CLICK TO LISTEN TO SHIFT #3
Click the player below if you would rather listen to the post or download it and listen to it on a nice long walk, in your car or while you are having sex (actually I am just checking to see if you are actually reading this or not.)
Audio: Download |
I’m going to introduce you to a phrase that may become the most important phrase in your vocabulary. It’s called the HARD REBOOT.
What is it?
It’s actually a computer phrase. It’s that thing all of us techless weinies do when our computer is acting up. We abruptly shut off the power to our computer and then turn it back on again. The brilliance of this tech savvy move is it allows us to begin again with a clean slate if you will.
Can we do a hard reboot of our lives?
The very first time I heard this phrase used in a human context was while listening to Charity: Water founder Scott Harrison speak.
Harrison was a bit of a wild man in his 20′s while working as a night club promoter. Alcohol, drugs and sex were a regular part of any typical day for him. But as he neared his 30′s, he became less and less enamored with the lifestyle.
Lurking beneath was a very unhappy individual who had no purpose and was making no meaningful contribution to the world.
One morning while sitting on a beach after yet another night of partying at some exotic worldly location, he abruptly decided that the life he was living was no longer working.
And in an instant, he did a HARD REBOOT. He quit his job and took a volunteer position [he had to pay his own expenses and did so for 2 years] on a Mercy Ship that performed surgeries for the poor in small remote African villages.
The rest as they say, “Is history.” What followed was the founding of Charity: Water, which has revolutionized the way charities are now being run.
So how do we get to the point of a hard reboot? Well in order to do that we need to understand why we don’t do a hard reboot.
Dysfunction vs Empowerment…
On the most simplistic of levels, a hard reboot happens when the realization is made that we can no longer travel the path that we are currently on.
That path may involve a relationship; either with someone else or ourselves. It might be a career we have chosen, as it was in Harrison’s case. Or it may be with the path we are currently traveling with our health.
But there is just one catch. A hard reboot is WAY easier than it sounds because of one little thing: our freaking emotions.
That’s why it is so easy for us to see that the relationship our friend is in is doomed (we have no emotional ties to that relationship) and yet we can’t see it in our own relationship (damn you emotions!!)
When our emotions are running the show (our relationship, career or our eating habits for example) we live in a state of dysfunction. The formula looks like this…
A hard reboot is not possible in the above scenario until we are able to flip the equation. Some call this hitting rock bottom. I disagree with that notion. It is simply that moment where our emotions are no longer allowed to run the show (YOU’RE FIRED emotions!) and our rationale self takes over and begins to deal in a new currency: FACTS.
The paradox of success…
OK so let me put aside my Freudian psychobabble and give you and actual example of how I implemented a hard reboot in my own life this past week.
I will write about this in another shift, but there is a myth out there that success breeds success. When it comes to how we look however, I do not believe that is the case for many people (it is why statistics show that 95% of people who lose weight put it all back on again).
It can, if that success is properly managed over time, but success also breeds a sense of subtle recklessness as well that slowly creeps in and begins to erode the success we once had.
You know what I am talking about here. We start testing our limits of what we can actually get away with. Maybe it’s OK for us to have bread once in a while. Maybe we don’t have to work out as often as we thought. Maybe we don’t need to track our results anymore. Maybe we don’t need to spend a Sunday morning preparing our weekly meals in advance.
It is what I call the paradox of success. The more success we have, the less disciplined we feel we need to be.
That’s exactly where I found myself last week as that was the first time I realized I had put some weight back on. Not a lot of weight, but enough to know I didn’t like where I arrived.
And so I decided it was time to implement a hard reboot.
Step #1 to a hard reboot…
Determine what has changed between the time when you were most successful and now.
For me that is a period of about 8 months.
I opted to use my journal and brainstorm a list of everything I could think of that had changed. I came up with 17 things worth mentioning here. I was blown away by the sheer volume of changes I had made without even realizing I had done so. Damn you success!!
Here is my list…
- BEFORE: drinking coffee black
- NOW: drinking bulletproof coffee (butter and coconut oil added)
- BEFORE: ate one big salad every day
- NOW: I have had weeks where I had no salad at all
- BEFORE: no ice cream for the first 8 months
- NOW: Had it 4 or 5 times the past few months
- BEFORE: ate red meat 3 or 4 times/week
- NOW: I was eating it 7 to 10 times/week
- BEFORE: sprinted once a week as part of my workout
- NOW: due to a pulled muscle in my glute no sprinting
- BEFORE: 5 or 6 workouts/week at 30 minutes or less
- NOW: Workouts are all over the freaking map
- BEFORE: one workout dedicated solely to abs/core (when the abs feel tight I feel lean)
- NOW: can go 3 or 4 weeks and not realize I didn’t actually do it.
- BEFORE: drinking 1 or 2 cups of coffee/day
- NOW: 3 or 4
- BEFORE: tracked my eating for almost all of 2011
- NOW: attempting to do it intuitively
- BEFORE: once a week I used my crock pot to make a soup which gave me 5 quick meals
- NOW: gone about 4 months without using the crock pot
- BEFORE: Sensible portion sizes with my meat (about the size of my hand)
- NOW: I eat two of everything…2 chicken breasts, 2 steaks, 2 pork chops
- BEFORE: after shopping I would portion up my meats into single servings and then freeze them
- NOW: Cooking and eating in batches. (last week I cooked up a package of 3 chicken breasts and ate all 3 even though 2 were supposed to be for lunches later in the week…doh!)
- BEFORE: a balance of about 50-50 cooked to raw foods
- NOW: some days it’s 100% cooked foods
- BEFORE: drank 2L of water a day
- NOW: I am like a camel. I can go a whole week and not drink any
- BEFORE: breakfast consisted of 3 eggs and veggies
- NOW: 4 eggs and veggies
- BEFORE: workout before 12pm
- NOW: workout at some point in the day (fingers crossed)
- BEFORE: took a picture of myself everyday for 3.5 months
- NOW: nothing in 8 months
Step #2 of the hard reboot…
Be prepared to give everything up and start again from scratch.
Last Sunday, I made the decision to revert back to my original ways for everything with a few minor exceptions. I explain a few others and the insight I learned.
- bye bye bullet proof coffee
That was a little tough to give up because I really liked it, but what I came to realize is ALL DAIRY is bad for me and my body type and that includes butter.
- bye bye 3 treats/week
I actually never deviated from the 3/week rule but I did notice the quality of my treats were starting to change. And I had another thing bugging me. While 3 treats helped me from exploding and binging, I also walked a fine line. Every time I had a treat I craved more and it could be a real battle at times to control the treat beast that roared within.
So two weeks ago I decided that I was not going to have any treats at all….EVER! My rationale is simple. The reason I don’t eat them in the first place is because they are toxic for my body. My logic to reward healthy eating by eating crappy food would be equivalent to a person decides to reward himself with a cigarette to celebrate being a non-smoker. My rationale is equally flawed in this area and has to change.
I have resolved instead to make healthy treats. I will continue to play with this idea moving forward.
- sprinting once a week
I still have that glute problem but it only bothers me on flat ground sprints (I think because I am running so close to the sound barrier that my poor ass just can keep itself in one piece.)
What I learned is I can run stairs and it doesn’t bother me and stairs is actually a better workout because I am leveraging gravity as well.
- tracking my food data
I am not going to go back to using the online food journals I was using in the past. They served their intended purpose back then. What I am doing now is journaling first thing every morning. The first list is things I was grateful for the day before and includes my eating and exercise. The second lists those things that need improvement. That is much more effective for where I am now and I will continue with that method.
- pictures everyday
I’m not taking pictures everyday like I once did. That is overkill. But I realize there is incredible power in using pictures to track my progress and so every Sunday morning I am taking a total of 5. The plan is to do this for the rest of my life.
Step #3 in the hard reboot…
Validate what you have learned.
In hindsight it is clear I got duped by my success. To my credit however, I caught myself very early so the damage is minimal and easily repairable. But it has been a MASSIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
Here are 3 things I learned that will serve me well moving forward.
- the more success you have the more management skills you require to maintain it
It’s clear from my list above that I had no management system in place. Things were mindlessly added because I had no clear system in place to help keep me conscious of my decisions.
- my workout is the most important thing I must accomplish each day
It dawned on me that my workout is the most critical aspect of my success. Every other aspect of my life stems from that. When I do it I have more energy, more joy, more creativity and I feel leaner in general. But I also realized that I HAVE to get my workout done first thing in the morning before I do anything else. I learned I expel a tremendous amount of negative energy when I don’t do it in the morning because I spend my whole day thinking about when or if I am going to do it. Even when I think I am not thinking about it I am and that sucks the life out of me unknowingly.
This never occurred to me before, but has been a HUGE insight.
- being mindful of this whole process promotes leanness
It has only been 6 days, but I can already see dramatic results. And I believe one of the reasons for that is the mindfulness I have to the process. Each morning I commit 1 hour of Dean time (I have created my own time zone known as DST: Dean Standard Time) just writing in my journal answering 3 main questions.
- What was I most proud of yesterday?
- What needs improvement?
- What do I intend to commit to today?
There are other insights, but I will share those in later shifts.
Before I leave you with your task for today, let me make a few quick announcements.
- The Make Shift Happen Show launched on Wednesday and today appeared on 3 top 10 lists (Canada, the US, the UK). Thank you to everyone who contributed questions and to everyone who listened to it. You can listen to it or subscribe here, here or here.
- I quietly launched the first episode of Make Shift Happen TV. You can see that below. It’s only 5 minutes in length. This will also be a new weekly feature.
If you want to subscribe to the channel you can click here.
- I will be opening up registration to my membership group called SHIFT+. It currently has 107 members and has been closed to the public for the past 3 months. It will be opening again in a few days. Stay tuned for the special offer that will be coming.
Tools and Tasks…
[Note: post audio will be available Saturday. iTunes podcast will be available Tuesday. Video will be available Wednesday.]
1. Print off the document (PDF available above) and read it with a pen handy. Make notes of ideas that resonate and original ideas that come to mind. Remember this is like a book I am releasing one chapter at a time so when you are done store them in a binder or folder for future reference.
2. Decide if you are in need of a hard reboot in some area of your life. If, like me, your health has slipped away from you then it is time to reel it all back in and take control once again. If you decide a reboot is in order, start by comparing a time when things were good with your current situation. Brainstorm as many changes over that time as possible.
3. Once you have completed your list commit to the hard reboot. Let all those things go that are holding you back and start again. Be sure to create some rules and hypotheses to test as you move forward on your new journey. Follow my example above as a guide, but make this journey uniquely you.
I will be addressing specific questions in the podcast and sharing any good stories (Do you have a successful story of a hard reboot?) that are left in the comments. When you leave a comment be sure to use your full name and list your website if you have one so I can acknowledge both if I use your question.
[Podcast is recorded on Monday so get your questions and comments in before then.]
To making shift happen,