Photo: Frank Herbbert

Photo: Frank Herbbert

Well here we are, at the start of a freshly minted New Year. My resolutions? I want to accomplish more. I want to feel better and more energized, and I want to find the keys to making the most of my trips around the sun on our beautiful blue planet.

To that end, in the last year I have made it a priority to try and deepen my understanding of how all this works – this brain, this body, my mind, emotions, and creativity – in order to accomplish more of the goals that are important to me and to enjoy my life more.

I’ve had a fair amount of success in my life and I feel that I’m fairly productive, better off, and healthier than the average Joe & Joesette, but I’ve not been able to escape the nagging feeling that I’ve got far more untapped potential. Perhaps I’m wrong and my expectations are too high, but I can only think of one way to find out that doesn’t require time travel.

It is a big job. There is so much new information about human performance, how our brains and bodies work. It is more than one person can handle. That is why I’ve created this blog – we need the power of the crowd to find out how you can be a better you, and I can be a better me.

Small Changes, Big Results

During the course of the last year, I have been making changes in my life – in my sleep habits, in my eating habits, in my exercise habits, in my work habits, and in the way I re-energize myself. I have been dutifully documenting my experience and tracking everything that matters. It has truly illuminating, and at the same time quite frustrating.

It has been illuminating to see how small changes in my habits have led to huge changes in my energy level, productivity, health, and overall wellbeing. It has been frustrating to see how deeply ingrained some habits are, how resistant they are to change, and how elusive some remedies have been (my low back pain for one).

The journaling and tracking have yielded some powerful insights – ten key principles (so far!) that have resulted in big benefits and have become the cornerstone of my Energy Management and Performance Improvement Programs. Keep in mind; this is what has worked for me. Hopefully it will give you starting point and a leg up to find what works for you.

10 Rules of the Road

I will go into each of these in more detail in the coming weeks, but here are the “rules of the road” that I try to follow as I go through my days:

  1. Create a plan for tomorrow – Plan the next days schedule and key priorities at the end of your workday, or before bed
  2. Prioritize – Make sure that each day, each week, and each month, that the right things are getting accomplished
  3. Capitalize on Early Energy – Tackle the most important tasks, and the ones the require the most creativity first thing
  4. High Protein Breakfast – One of the most powerful changes I’ve made
  5. Rituals – Create rituals for the most important daily tasks – i.e. plan them and make them as regular and automatic as brushing your teeth (you are doing that aren’t you?)
  6. Tracking – “if it is worth doing, it’s worth tracking”
  7. Sharpen the Saw – Plan time to learn new things and improve your skills
  8. You are what you eat (in all dimensions) – What you eat, what you watch, what you read, and who you associate with all have a powerful effect on you
  9. Focus on goals & energy management – Understand how everything you do is connected to either your goals or to energy management (or understand how it is not connected!)
  10. Sunday Reviews – Plan time to review the past week, plan the week ahead, and ask yourself, “what should I keep doing, what should I start doing, and what should I stop doing”

Although this seems to cover most of the bases, I’m sure there are more to come.

So what has been your experience? What has worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?

Please share your successes and failures!