Vaccines are being rolled out, storefronts are switching their signs from CLOSED to OPEN, and throughout the last few weeks, Spartans have officially hit courses around the world. We are BACK. There’s lots of chatter about our “new normal.”
Masks may now be a staple on airplanes for the foreseeable future, large gatherings may have reduced capacity for quite some time, and we're convinced that cupboards should now always be stocked doomsday-style with toilet paper. You know, just in case. But you’re a Spartan, and your new normal won’t be the traditional new normal that everyone else is talking about. F*** that new normal. This is your chance to really change your life, do things differently, and build that fortitude you’ve always wanted. Follow these steps and get your Spartan normal up and running.
Get Rested: How to Optimize Your Sleep Schedule
You know what’s even more important than your standard eight-hour approach to good sleep? Going to bed at the same time every night. This takes discipline and intentionality, so here's how to do it.
1. Always Hit the Sack at the Same Time
Not only will this predictability help you organize your entire day — because you know there’s a finish time that you’ve got to commit to — but you’ll be more likely to wake up at the same time as well. You’ll solidify a standard schedule for yourself.
2. Body First
Nighttime snack needed? Absolutely not. In fact, your last meal should be a few hours before your head hits the pillow. Try to avoid that alcohol, too. There’s really no need for it and it only disrupts the quality of your sleep.
3. Create a Restful Bedtime Routine
What’s the best way to get your circadian rhythms ready? A conducive, calming environment. Dim the lights, put away the phone (this one is a no-brainer), leave the laptop downstairs, and make the room as dark as you can.
Diversify Your Plate
I know that you’re dying to get back to your favorite restaurant and order that 2-pound bacon burger, smothered in cheese and layered between two brioche buns. Right? But you can do FAR better. Think of this time as an opportunity to commit to getting your nutrition on point. Order something that you wouldn’t normally consider – something that diversifies your palette AND won’t clog the s*** out of your arteries. You’re going to need them as clean as possible for those blood-pumping races!
To get started, try some new vegetables — root vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, and radishes — and fruit, such as kiwi, passion fruit, cherries, or blackberries. Make a commitment to integrate new foods into your diet. When it comes to gut health, plants are best and diversity is even better. So spice it up!
Move Beyond Uncomfortable and Into Failure
You know the usual saying, "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable?" Well our new normal is all about failure. Get comfortable FAILING. This year, sign up for something that you’ve never done before, maybe even something that you really think you can’t do. Put yourself out there in a way that you haven’t before. Don’t just go from Sprint to Super … go from Sprint to Ultra, Beast, or Agoge. Really push yourself to the limit. If you succeed, great. But if you fail, even better. Let that s*** sink in and really test your mental resilience.
Get Your Parenting on Point
If you’re a parent, this is your chance to set the record straight on what kind of parent you want to be. Kids have been sitting in front of screens for a year straight. It was bad enough before the pandemic, and now you’re undoubtedly facing an uphill battle when it comes to getting them outside, active, and moving. But I don’t want to hear the excuses — rip those screens away, give them some chores, and then do something awesome with your kids. Plan for a summer trip that doesn’t include a swanky hotel, but instead a cabin in the woods … with no WiFi. Start showing them what it really means to rough it. Better yet, sign them up for Spartan Camp at the farm in Vermont. Let me take care of them.
Dream Big and Execute Without Distraction
Many of you refocused in 2020. You emailed me with stories of what you planned to do, how your values shifted, what you really wanted out of life. Here’s your chance to make that happen. Don’t go back to the new normal of a mediocre life. Remember that big dream you had when you were confined to your house and were eating soup for the 12th straight day? NOW is your moment to execute. What’s standing in your way? Distraction.
But here’s the thing about distraction: You have the ability to control whether it gets to you. Interruptions and diversions will likely haggle you at every moment, especially in a work-from-home setting. But it’s completely up to you whether you choose it or put your head down and get s*** done. Pick the latter. Write your goal down on a big piece of paper and tape that puppy up on your bathroom mirror. Every day, make sure that you have done at least one thing on that list to move you toward your goal. No excuses.
I’m tired of people waiting for their big, awesome life to come to them. You’ve got to go get what you want. You’ve got to put in the time and do the work. The new normal that many people will return to isn’t really new – It’s the same old, same old. And you want better. So go get it.