Lifestyle

Lifestyle

INVESTMENT


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“A well lived life is crafted each day in how we think, how we act and who we invest our time with.”  Nathan Marsala

How we invest our time, and how we think, couldn’t be more important than during this unique period in 2020. Time is a precious resource and many of us will view the COVID-19 situation as an impediment to our lives. For many, COVID-19 has become an impediment. With what I am about to say I do not want to minimize, or generalize this situation for all people. But, I do want to focus on how we can choose to see this time as an opportunity, as something that can be a positive and not just an impediment. Seeing this pandemic as an impediment for many of us is a choice. Has life as “usual” changed? Yes. Does that mean the change is bad or road block? No.

I am speaking from the position as someone who was laid off and lost their job. As someone who has family living with them that is on immunosuppressants and has been considered higher risk. I also understand the challenges of trying to get my first grader to complete their schoolwork from home. We are all touched in some way, shape or form by the current circumstances.

So how does one see this as an opportunity? How have I chosen to see this situation where time was awkwardly and unexpeditly handed back to me?

To start, here are a few quick questions to ask yourself, and please be brutally honest with yourself as you answer them out loud.

1 – How many hours a day do you spend watching a streaming service with content that is “non-educational” material, think “Tiger King” and other types of shows. 

2 – How much time do you spend each day scrolling and posting on social media? 

3 – What was the last investment you made in yourself? Was it a book you read that expanded your mind, a course you took to learn a new skill, meditation, or exercise?

4 – Do you still manage proper self-care: sleep, movement, morning and evening routines?

Let’s take a moment and look at the added time many of us have been afforded to invest in ourselves, and to grow. Let’s use just one example of where many of us had time handed back to us. Our commute. If you had a commute and are now working from home, you have now saved that commute time. Let’s assume that commute was 30 minutes to and fro. So, you were given one additional hour per day in “our example,” to spend however you choose.

So, how can you spend that time?  How do you spend that time right now? A few things we could do would be to invest that time back in learning a new skill, maybe it’s coding, or learning to cook. A new language, a new certification in our chosen field. Or maybe it’s adding a new healthy habit to our lives that we can carry with us as we return to “normal life” again,. Maybe it’s connecting with people that we were too busy to connect with before. 

The thoughts we hold will determine in large part how we spend this added time that has been given back to us. By choosing to see this time as an opportunity and adopting a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset (for more on this, invest a few bucks and a few hours and read “Mindset” by Carol S. Dwek PhD.) we will be more apt to come out of this situation better than when we went into it. Investing in yourself is like investing in the markets. Small growth compounds over time and leads to better opportunities. The cost for most of this investment, is time. There are a dozens and dozens of free resources right now that people can access if they will invest their time to become better.

We have been gifted time, a precious resource that is finite. Use it wisely, and take this opportunity to become a better version of yourself. Instill a habit of thinking better, and using your time become a the new you.

By Nathan Marsala

Behavior Change, Lifestyle, Transformation

Getting Started


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A question I seem to get a lot is, Where do I start? With all of the information that is available and all of the “changes” that may or may not need to be made it can become overwhelming. Starting with an all or nothing approach can be for you if you are that person. Most of us are not, and we need to pick one item and ease into the changes.

I am an advocate of the minimum effective dose (MED) to make a positive change. The MED for week one is only becoming aware of the behaviors that you currently have. I am not saying you obsess over these items, but merely become informed. An example would be with food and meal frequency. I recommend that you write down everything you eat and drink and the time for one week, you do not need to count macronutrients or calories, this is just to become aware of the choices and decisions we make. If carrying a notebook is too much, use the camera on your smartphone and before anything enters your mouth snap a picture. The phone will time stamp and show quantity, and it is simple. This is a MED to become aware of one habit. After we have been able to bring awareness to the meal timing, and content we can then begin to work on making the positive changes.
Typically the next step would be to purge the pantry of any processed food, vegetable oils, sugars, and other simple carbohydrates and to go grocery shopping for real, whole foods. I emphasize green leafy vegetables, some fruit in season that is fresh for a sweet tooth, healthy meats and fats. We work on merely eating these foods over processed foods. Timing, quantity, and frequency will come next. Again each approach is tailored to the individual and what they can take on. For some, it may be easier to go all in and attack all aspects in one step. Understanding how much to change to take on at one time is something you need to play with to determine what the MED is for you. I don’t want clients to be starving or hungry at first. I want them to start focussing on better food choices. As quality foods become a natural part of their lifestyle, then we can start working on the MED for other aspects of health. These would be meal timing, quantity, understanding the difference between satiated and stuffed. After food, we focus on sleep, movement, exercise and stress resiliency. Regaining our health does not happen overnight, in a week or a month. It is a process that takes time. The time required is different for each person, and it has a lot to do with how long a person has been living in a way that was opposed to health. My journey back to health took over a year to get to a healthy weight and as my knowledge expanded so did the time it took. My weight loss and return to health were non-linear, and I am still working on making consistent changes as my goals and understanding progress. The principle of MED has not changed and is still there.

So where do we start? With becoming aware of what needs to change and then taking the minimum effective dose to start making that change.

By: Nathan Marsala