Reinventing yourself is not easy, it takes everything you’ve got.
I’ve made big changes a few times before.
From unskilled manual worker to project manager. From single man to married man with kids. From local worker to international expat living abroad. From project manager to head of department and line manager.
But during each of these changes, I essentially remained the same person, constrained by a lifestyle which included all the things that had held me back before.
I therefore have doubts about whether I reached my full potential.
Now I’m trying to bring about further change in my life, only this time I’m going for a complete reinvention, to become the best possible version of myself.
Progress so far has been mixed, but I hope the following lifestyle changes will provide the foundation for a sustained effort and eventual success.
I never thought I would enjoy running so much.
I run in all weathers, in all cities, whenever I get the chance, I run.
It raises my spirits and releases the creativity within me. Often when I return from a run, the first thing I reach for is not a glass of water, but a pen to capture the thoughts I’ve had about a blog post, a speech, a chapter in my book, the answer to a problem.
I can always rely on running to find the solution.
I love a glass of wine, especially now that I live near many beautiful vineyards.
I love a nice cold beer, so refreshing and an important part of any good night out for me.
But every night I needed to make at least two decisions.
Shall I have a drink tonight?
And after having a drink, a second decision was always needed – shall I have another one?
I found these decisions quite tiring.
I have discovered over the last year that it is much easier to not drink at all, to remove the need for such decisions. This was not easy to begin with, but after breaking the habit, the thought of buying a bottle of wine barely crosses my mind.
And I never thought I would enjoy the mornings as much as I do now. It is my most creative and productive time of the day.
I still drink socially when I’m with others, but I don’t drink when I’m at home.
I’ve not made a commitment to keep this going for ever, but almost 4 months into this change, it feels like the right thing to do.
My daughter has done something her Nan would be so proud of. I don’t know how she did it, but she did. She gave up eating meat and influenced me to do the same.
And I rarely eat fish either.
I never thought I would enjoy vegetarian dishes so much. I watched my mom eat vegetarian meals for most of my life, but I was never tempted by them.
Yet now, I can honestly not see the need for meat. There is nothing more delicious than a potato curry or pasta with olives and onions and tomatoes.
And because I’ve cut out meat, I rarely eat takeaway meals, something that was a regular part of my routine. This salty food, together with the alcoholic drinks that I washed it down with, left me gasping for water in the middle of the nights.
Oh how I now love my sleep.
If there is any food in the cupboards, then late at night, I will go and find it.
So this lifestyle change has removed the temptation.
Every night on my way home from work, I call in at the shop to buy the ingredients for the meal I will cook on that evening. It’s as simple as that. No big weekly shop. It’s rather like a just-in-time manufacturing process, where stock levels are kept to a minimum. My cupboards are now always empty, apart from spices and sauces and so on.
It works a treat!
Often in combination with the glass of wine and the takeaway meal, my Smart TV became a time-consuming and at times demoralising part of my routine.
I still watch It, but much less.
Without the wine, I find I get a second wind, often at about 8 pm, when I can write new material (as I am doing now), go for a run, do some studying, read a book or have a chat with my family.
Many of the above routines have given me two important things; 1) more money and 2) more time. I have been able to reinvest this in training courses, coaching and other activities that are more beneficial for me and my family.
A lot of the things I’ve mentioned above would not have been so easy if my life were comfortable, all sorted out, neat and tidy and going according to plan. I am fortunate that my situation is bringing out the best in me, driving me to discover new things about myself and the beauty of living life to the full.
It’s an exciting time! 🙂
Thank you for reading.