One of the key things I do at the end of each year is taking a break or at least slowing way down. I dramatically reduce my stress levels, for like two weeks, and not at the very end of the year — meaning, not after I’m so wiped out tired after the end of the year closeout, but slightly before.
I’ve done this for years with few exceptions, and last year, I was reminded of why it’s so important.
In December of 2014, I was flying fast in November and December and just kept pushing harder and harder. I had big goals to hit in 2015, and I was not going to be denied.
Yes, I had my stories, and they were driving me harder than usual. We were launching a new product line called Superfood Infusions™(which will now be available at PerformanceLifestyle.com in 2017), and it was the first time my company had ever launched a natural product.
For years, clients had asked me to produce products that helped them eat a whole-foods, plant “based,” (not necessarily vegan) nutrient-rich diet (I know, great eating requires lots of descriptors) and this was one of my biggest challenges to date.
I was preparing for a big talk to a national organization, and my adrenaline was running high. Well, I think it clouded my judgment because by-the-time the clock struck 12:00 on January 1, I was so wiped out tired, I couldn’t even think straight.
I was not the best way to start a New Year, because in January when you want to ramp up, you have slow down to recuperate.
You know what happens next. Tired, I was not present, I was preoccupied, moody and the like; and the sheer thought of ramping up to speed in a New Year felt daunting.
Then, on January the 18th of that year, there was an ice storm. I slipped and fell on my front door steps, and landed myself in the hospital for nearly two months.
Yeah, that could have happened regardless, but I know the truth.
Needless to say, my year was way off course and frankly, I’ve felt the reverberations of that day ever since. I was behind the 8-ball, all year that year. It affected my decisions and the like. Easily one of my toughest years to date.
In 2016, I had to spend almost the entire year correcting course, while living life and running a family and a business and it was learned but not the most fun; which is why this year, I am committed to returning to my old ritual. And that is rebooting my body mind and spirit a few weeks before the end of the year.
A legitimate human reboot is when you remove all the primary stressors and keep only the essentials in play to allow your body to rejuvenate for a new period and a new surge to power you forward.
This rejuvenation (the hardest aspect of human performance that one must accomplish) could mean for you:
- Taking an early vacation or staycation — where you don’t go anywhere.
- Clearing your schedule and not getting caught up in too many festivities,
- Making sure that you get all end-of-year closeout stuff done by the 14th of the December and then operate slowly through the holidays. (This makes you highly productive the first 2-3 weeks of December)
- It could mean keeping your regular schedule but meditating more, giving your body a break from food, (fasting to some degree), pulling back from your training, getting to bed early and simply being more deliberate but at a slower pace all month.
- Or any combination of the above.
For me, I use all of the strategies. But this year, it’s time to return to True North (literally and figuratively) after three years on a trail that have taken a heavy toll on me, particularly after my accident last year that took me majorly off course.
It’s time for a legitimate reboot. What’s that? We’ve all heard of a reboot, but for most us, that means committing to less sugar, more exercise, earlier to bed, or some tactical strategy(s) for a defined period.
But what it’s really about is rejuvenation. Rejuvenation is the essence of transformation, and it’s is more important than anything else when it comes to starting fresh in any or every way you can think of.
I go to a health-promoting retreat center and fast for some days, get lots of sleep, rest, recover, relax and rejuvenate — the last being the most important and the grandaddy of all the preceding.
You see, the hidden variable that undermines all health and performance initiatives, especially at the end of the year and the start of a new, is energy debt.
We’ll be teaching you a lot about this in the performance-living 101 module when PL365 launches in February.
It’s that over-expenditure of energy each day that accumulates and leaves you feeling tired all the time, even though you periodically get that 7-9 hour of sleep each night.
It’s that feeling of low-grade fatigue that you can’t quite put your finger on how to solve, and it’s insidious when it comes to achieving your goals because it’s just enough to cause procrastination, and take you off your game.
You’ve got to deal with that.
In 2015 and 2016, I’ve just run concurrent marathons (the life and business kind of marathons), I’m tired, and I’m listening to my body.
As an entrepreneur; I like to look at it as a product-development retreat. And I’m part of the product.
It’s not an adventure trip nor a vacation, it’s primary purpose is rejuvenation (which is the essence of transformation, on which all other aspects of lifestyle depend) and yet it’s still a very productive period with no distractions.
I fast and rest, and move slow focus only on the essentials and gear up for the time ahead when I want to feel vital.
If you can’t get away 100% for a significant period, this is the next best thing and sometimes better than going away on vacation. It’s essential and for best results at a location far away from your usual life.