It’s 2020: the theme for this year? CLARITY.
But my personal theme, as always, is RESILIENCE.
So this year, we’re getting clear about resilience, and I’ll do a good bit of legwork for us. I spend at least an hour a day reading peer-reviewed journals, articles, and super-nerdy stuff that took me years to even understand. (I’m about to dig into the latest issues of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. I LOVE IT.) Usually, I just read stuff, and run some guinea pig-like experiments on myself to see what works and is worth incorporating into my daily routine. But this year I’ve decided to stop being a selfish nerd, and start sharing the results of my road tests. There will be reading, calls to action, suggestions—and behind-the-scenes glimpses into my road to becoming the healthiest version of myself possible.
Today’s lesson about getting healthy, and building resilience? Stress can be good.
Short-term stressors can make us stronger. They’re how muscles are grown and antibodies are developed. One recent paper even called it “Mother nature’s mechanism for enhancing protection and performance under conditions of threat, challenge, and opportunity.”
So if you’re upset that you haven’t started a New Year’s resolution, or the fact that 2020 is already 1/12th over… that’s okay. You can still turn this year around. When you’re done reading this, set a timer for 5 minutes. Imagine yourself in 1 year, if all of your hard work this year paid off, and a bunch of amazing things happened. The turnaround has been remarkable—yet, for the sake of this exercise, somewhat realistic.
What areas of your life are different? Use those to pinpoint a few things that you have to work on.
So think about it—just a little. (Stress yourself out about it—just a little.) Yes, you only need 5 minutes. No more. You already know what parts of your life you want to improve because you’ve been thinking about these sorts of things for years. See what bubbles up in a few minutes, and stick to that.
When you’re playing the long game—which life is—it’s never too late to start, or start again.
Bust your brain for 5 minutes and write. You’ll be stronger for it.