While reading Craig Ballantyne’s “The 12 Rules I Live By” post on EarlytoRise.com, I thought to myself, “Well that’s cool! He’s so driven and structured!”
Which inspired me to start thinking about what my rules are.
Here’s the thing: I HATE rules. I still have that punk rock rebel in me that hates conforming to any set of rules… even the ones I place upon myself.
But there are a few things that I refuse to do, and some things that I absolutely need in my life.
So what are my guidelines for health and happiness?
As I go through my rules, maybe you’ll start thinking about your own…
Here are my “rules” that I abide by at all times (or at least most of them):
I Need Silence
If I don’t have at least one day of silence per week, I get really exhausted and my brain starts to shut down. My enthusiasm goes through the window and it’s a struggle for me to keep my sunny disposition that I’m known for now.
Like rechargeable batteries, my brain needs time to digest, create and zone out.
I make sure to schedule my week around this time so that I don’t end up Amy-the-Zombie.
I think I require more time than most people, but a lot of friends I talk to are the same way. Do you need your quiet time, too?
I Don’t Join Pity Parties
Sometimes at the gym, trainers will start talking about how hard one of their clients is to train. I try to nod and listen for support, but refuse to add any difficulties I’ve been experiencing simply because they’d add to the conversation.
Pity parties need fuel to keep the fire hot. I, for one, don’t want to add to that complain-y fire. I would very much like to put it out.
Negativity fuels more negativity. I fought way too hard to rid myself of pessimism to invite it right back in again.
I do catch myself complaining from time to time, but then I remind myself how much I have to be grateful for.
I make my own life, just as you make yours. The only person I have to blame for something I’m unhappy with, is me.
Aaaaaaand I’d rather not do that in public. :)
I Eat Like A Trainer… 90% of The Time
But during the week, I eat like I mean it. I stick to those rules I preach to all of you.
As I said in last week’s post:
I don’t do grains during the week unless I’m training for something specific.
I don’t do added sugar during the week unless I’m counting it toward my 4 opportunities.
I don’t drink anything but water, coffee and tea.
I LOVE me some veggies! I eat them at every single meal.
Now that I’m doing the 30-Day dietary vice challenge, I’m going to eat like a trainer at night during the week as well! I won’t be eating just to eat at night; I’m practicing mindfulness even when I’m relaxing in front of the boob tube.
The un-trainer-y part? I make sure to allow myself that 10% every week (again, unless I’m training for something specific).
I’ve found that if I try to be healthy all the time, I end up binging on what I want because I feel deprived. This can sabotage all my health and fitness efforts, whereas allowing myself 3-4 meals that aren’t trainer-approved (including my scone, cookie and yogurtland) keeps me from that feeling of deprivation.
If you aim for perfection, you’ll always fall short.
Instead, prepare for the delightful naughtiness that makes life so enjoyable!
I Must Have Coffee
No “but”s about it. I need my Americano…-s. (I have about 3 a day :/ )
The best purchase my fiancé and I have made is our little espresso machine. I love my Gaggia.
Studies show that people handle caffeine in a multitude of ways depending on their caffeine metabolism. I, for example, can drink caffeine and feel more focused, energized and present. To tell you the truth, in addition to exercise, it’s one of the best anti-depressants I’ve found!
Others I’ve talked to feel shaky, nervous or anxious after a cup of joe.
If you fit into the latter category of people, I wouldn’t recommend coffee for you. You can try green or black teas, but these might be too much for you, too.
Stick to what works best for your body when it comes to caffeine. If you’re jittery, skip it. If you’re more focused and energized in a good way (and you don’t have any healthy issues that would get worse from caffeine use), go for it!
Just remember: moderation!
I Take At Least 1 Day Off from Working Out
I’m one of those people who WANTS to work out every day because it clears my head and really helps with my anxiety.
But, I make it a point to take one full day off from working out at least once a week.
I’ve overtrained before and it aint pretty.
Some side effects include:
inability to recover from workouts
… and a host of other delightful forms of your body screaming, “PLEASE STOP!”
I’m doing great with this rule. Next up: taking one full day off from working, period!
..one step at a time. ;)
I Never Try to Hurt Anyone
Out of spite.
Because they hurt me.
They deserved it.
These are all justifications we tell ourselves to lessen the blow of rightfully-felt guilt.
What are you going to teach someone if you treat them the same way that they treated you?
That their actions are normal. You’re teaching them to repeat what they’ve just done because everyone else is doing it, too.
When you have the courage to stand up to a negative action in a non-reactive way, you take the power out of the hurter’s hands.
People who inflict pain on others do so in order to exert control over those who are “weaker.”
Show them that you won’t stand for it, and you won’t fall into their plans. Show them how strong you are by stopping that negativity in its tracks.
They want a negative reaction out of you? Refuse to give it to them.
Instead, tell them–calmly–what you honestly think, then stop talking to them.
I simply don’t deal with pain-inflictors. If I see someone is like this normally, I try to spend as little time as possible around them if I can’t take them out of my life completely.
Now, I don’t all of a sudden turn nasty toward them. That would defeat the whole purpose of not hurting anyone.
I try to be as honest as I can when it is called for. If someone asks me why I don’t want to hang out anymore, I’ll tell them, but if they leave it alone, they usually know what’s up… or don’t want to.
I also don’t forget that people who act like this have often times gone through a lot of pain themselves. Everyone has a struggle.
Trying to hurt others because you feel hurt is normal; we all want to feel less alone. If someone else is hurting like you are, it’s comforting in a dark way.
I did this plenty when I was in my teens and early twenties; I lashed out at anyone and everyone because I was hurting so much. Now that I have some perspective, I try my best not to be the one to hurt anyone.
Now, I try to help people overcome their pain.
So now that I’ve revealed my 6 “rules,” let me remind you that I’m not usually a rule-follower. But these rules mean a lot to me. They’re more like a personal philosophy.
Now I want to hear from you!
In the comments, tell us:
What are the rules you live by? What’s your personal philosophy?
And just a reminder: The 30-day challenge is still going strong on Facebook! I’ll be updating there weekly with tips and discoveries as I go through my month without mindless night eating! What’s your dietary vice? There’s still time to join in on the 30-day challenge and just say “no” to that one habit you know you want to quit! Here’s to kicking it for good!