Once in a Lifetime Chance to Reset

During a painful 6 mile run today, the thought of resetting my life popped into my head for the 1st time in my 38 years on this planet! Now, considering the past few weeks, there has been a lot of things popping in my head, but this stuck with me all day and I wondered why. I’ve had the luxury of speaking with numerous mentors, coaches, and friends over the past few weeks and they all agreed on one thing: Use this time to reset & reset quickly because you will never get it back again. I started thinking and a few ideas of areas where I can reset popped in my head quickly. I wanted to share these with you as I think we all share common ground in the categories I explore below.

Based on current stay-at-home orders, some of us have at least 18 more days before we will be allowed to leave our homes for reasons other than essential task. 18 days = 432 hours. If you sleep 7 hours per day, you’re left with 306 hours awake, available. If you work a full-time job (minimum of 40 hours week), you now have 186 hours to use at your leisure. These are 186 hours of mandated time in the house that can be life changing if we choose to use them wisely.

I had a chance to watch a great TED Talk entitled, ‘The First 20 Hours – How to Learn Anything’ by Josh Kaufman, a few weeks ago that shared how it only takes 20 hours to become truly competent in a skill. The video highlights that contrary to the popular 10,000 Hour Rule, we can become relatively competent in most skills with 20 hours of dedicated effort. With over 180 hours of leisure time available, this is a great opportunity to begin to transform who you are and start to tap some of your potential & passion. Here are the areas I’ve decided to RESET:

Mindset and Skills

  • What bad habits have the greatest negative impact on me and those around me?
    • There is a book called the ‘12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos’ by Jordan Peterson. Rule number two states, “Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.” The takeaway here is that people are quick to diagnose issues of others and let them know what problems they see but rarely will we sit alone and list out all the “idiotic things we do that compromise our ability to grow and see success.” We all are fallible but taking the time to list our bad habits and pick one to change could lead to a massive impact for you.
      • Exercise: Lock the door in your room or sit outside for 30 minutes. Make a list of the top 5 things you do that you think have the biggest negative impact on your daily efforts. Validate those with a close friend and start to think which one you need to change ASAP
  • What one skill or competence can I improve to allow for personal or professional success?
    • As I mentioned above, studies have shown we need 20 hours to become competent in a new skill. This skill can positively impact your performance professionally or you can choose a passion-based hobby where you would like to improve. The areas I would like to improve include my ability to ask better questions and utilize storytelling to communicate more effectively. Dedicating at least 20 hours to this skill will have a long-lasting impact on my family, friends, and company. Be proactive with your research, there are numerous free tools and resources available to help you build the skills you want to improve upon.
  • How much gratitude do I show each day?
    • During these times, it is easy to be caught up in all the negativity that surrounds us daily. Some of us have been directly impacted by the recent pandemic which makes it harder to focus on gratitude. It is critical during these times we slow down to really appreciate all the things we have that we take for granted. The moment you show gratitude for what you already have, you will catch yourself wanting for much less, as things move forward. 
      • ACTION ITEM: Make time each day with your family, friends, or co-workers to list one thing you are grateful for and why. You will be shocked how this little exercise will reset your mind and enhance your appreciation for life.

Focus on Your Health

  • What foods can you remove from or add to your diet to benefit your health?
    • One of the biggest, unintended consequences of this quarantine has been the decrease in takeout food that we have purchased over the past 2 weeks. The cost savings has been a plus, however the health benefit has been even more impactful. Cutting out “bad food” is by far the most important thing you can do for your health, energy, and your weight. It’s important to remember that your diet is 90% of the effort when it comes to losing weight and boosting your energy.
  • Can you find 30 minutes a day for some level of physical exercise?
    • We all know the benefits of physical health, so I won’t go down that rabbit hole. I will share with you a strategy that has helped me for the past 2 years. Find a friend that will hold you accountable. We have a group of 3 guys that text each other daily a picture of our workouts. If you fail to send in proof, there are text messages sent your way that I am not able to publish publicly. This level of accountability has forced me to workout in my garage and in the park by myself for the past 2 weeks.
  • When was your last full physical and what recommendations did your doctor have?
    • This is a touchy subject but considering the current state, I think it’s more important than ever to get a physical to figure out if there are any medical concerns that you can get ahead of. My last physical revealed my cholesterol levels were above average.  My physician  gave me a clear message, if I did not make a change in my diet this could end up being a long-term and more severe issue. Sometimes we are so busy in life, we forget to take care of the most important physical asset we have, our entire body!

Reset Relationship with Children, Parents, and Significant Other

  • What expectations can I reset in our relationship to allow for a stronger bond?
    • As we spend more time with our kids, significant other, and parent(s) over the next couple of weeks, there may be a few things you will learn that maybe you never knew, or you overlooked. You may NEVER have this much isolated time with your loved ones again and this is a great time to build an even stronger bond with the ones you love. It’s a great opportunity to reset expectations with your loved ones. Below are a few small things you can do that can have a lasting affect:
      • Answer 3 questions honestly
        1. What would you like me to stop doing today and why?
        2. What would you like me to continue doing and why?
        3. What would you like me to start doing and why?
      • These three questions must be delivered with good intentions and it’s important you take the feedback and think about how you can actively improve your relationship based on their responses. This is a great exercise to do with all close family, friends, co-workers. You may realize a few similarities in your answers.
  • How can I use this time to build a stronger bond?
    • If any of you have kids, you know the longer you spend with you kids the more, they will talk to you. The typical answer when I ask, “How was school?” is typically good from my 14-year-old. However, while taking a walk or throwing the football, I learn more than I need to know. Spending genuine time with the ones you love can result in funny, engaging conversations you need to have to move the relationship forward. Dedicating a couple of hours, a week, to catch up with your family is invaluable. You also never know who just needs someone to talk to!
      • ACTION ITEM: Use 1 hour a week to have a conversation with someone you would like to build a bond with. No phone, tv, tablet. Just the two of you for 1 hour!
  • What goals or critical task do we need to prioritize and complete before it is urgent?
    • Completing our action items at work is always top of mind. However, we sometimes let our personal “to do” list linger. Take this time to look at the task you have been putting off for weeks/months/years and make the time to get them done. Cleaning your attic, garage, and/or closet are some potential duties to address. Reviewing wills, life insurance, old bills, retirement strategy or sitting with your parents or kids to find out what is important for them to get accomplished can also help you move life forward.
      • ACTION ITEM: Spend 1 Hour listing out the most critical task you have put off that you could get done if you prioritized.

Financial State & Goals

  • What does your family’s financials look like?
    • This is a great opportunity for you to sit down with your household and review your financials. Because of the significant financial impact on most Americans, it’s important to review and make changes where necessary. Look at your bank statements, credit card statements, and use budgeting tools to analyze where/when your money is coming in and where you’re spending your income. We are always shocked when we look at our expenses, so this is a great time to review those expenses and maintain familiarity with how your finances. A sleeper expense for me was my Apple subscriptions which has added up over the years.  You can also use this opportunity to plan the rest of the based on certain adjustments you make today. Downloading and utilizing a budget sheet from excel or google can be helpful.
      • ACTION ITEM: Update your family budget. List out all income and expenses. Identify ideas not only to cut expenses but ideas to generate additional revenue in the long term.
  • What grants/loans are available based on the recent federal legislation?
    • Due to the impact of the pandemic on numerous industries, the federal government has rolled out a few laws and programs to help Americans. Please make sure you are aware and reviewing these programs to see which ones you may have access to.

I hope this article was helpful for you. Even if you made one change to reset, over the next few weeks I’m sure you will look back and say, “It was worth it!”  It’s important I mention that everyone does not have the luxury to be home working during these times. So being more grateful and more compassionate to others during these unprecedented times, and beyond, would be a great starting point for your reset.

“Thank You to all essential workers for your heroic efforts during these times. Without your determination and hard work, it would almost be impossible to return to any form of normal.