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Dynamite habits I’ll be taking with me into 2024

GABRIEL JONES PERFORMANCE

16 DEC 2023


It’s December 31st 2024.

You’re walking down the street and you feel a tap on the shoulder. It’s a random stranger who you’ve never met before, and they wish you a happy new year and ask ‘Have you had a good 2024?’.

‘No, I’ve not had a good year’ you reply smugly, ‘I’ve had an amazing year’.

‘Pretty arrogant’, thinks the curious stranger, but whatever. You’ve peaked their interest and now they want to know what it is you did that was so special, you took what could have just been a ‘good’ year, and made it amazing.

You tell them, ‘well, I put it down to breathing, sleeping, moving, going outside… you know, all that good stuff’.

They don’t look very impressed, back away awkwardly and wander off into their new years eve, ready to get royally sauced.

You may have left some important details about how, when and why you did those things, but there’s something very bleak about our approach to those very basic things in life which never fails to underwhelm the majority when emphasised. Most people want it to not be case that they are important, instead they want there to be a magic bullet, a secret, literally anything other than:

  • Nail your sleep

  • Hydrate like a boss

  • Move your ass regularly at all difficulties

  • Be deliberate about light exposure

  • Do hard things

However, this is the greatest reality of all, and coming to terms with it and taking actionable steps to address it could be the single best decision we make in life for our health and happiness.

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‘We don’t get older, we get better’ - At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So here are the main things I’m carrying with me into 2024 so that when I look back, I can hopefully say they contributed to an amazing year:

NON-EXERCISE HABITS

Morning

  • View early (sun)light

  • Drink water (and hydrate throughout day)

  • Cold shower

  • Delay coffee

Day

  • 9/10 hour eating windows - high protein, fibre, whole foods, fruit, veg (and always allowing 10% for delicious things I enjoy)

  • Saunas (2-3 per week / 10-20 mins)

  • Afternoon naps (to offset high workload days/bad sleep)

  • Language learning (chasing Spanish fluency)

Evening

  • Plant based dinners (occasionally fish) high in fibre, protein, vegetables

  • Limit alcohol consumption

  • TV off at 9:30 during the week (and generally no more than 90 mins TV per weekday)

  • Charge phone in another room overnight

  • Nail the sleep routine (Kindle or Duolingo, nightime sounds app, dark room, consistent sleep/wake up time)

(The morning stuff is also KEY to the sleep routine)

General

  • Saying ‘no’. Turning down work, clients, and other opportunities has improved my life by allowing me to focus properly on the things I deem priorities.

  • News, media, and mobile social diet - quitting facebook and twitter has been a huge relief (I am still on Instagram for professional purposes). They are designed to trigger emotional responses and polarise our views - it certainly worked on me. Restricting my access has helped me feel less aggrieved about everything (even though I’m still far from impressed with humanity right now), and has helped me have more respectful conversations with people about controversial issues. Switching my phone to silent and certain what’s app groups to ‘mute’ has also given me a priceless peace of mind. I never hear my phone go off, and only switch it to loud if my wife is travelling home alone at night.

EXERCISE HABITS

  • Regular walks (also part of viewing morning light) & taking the stairs

  • Mobilise

  • Cycling to work

  • Throw / Rotate / Jump / Hop / Skip - Essential for SPEED, POWER, BALANCE, FUNCTION

  • Accel / Decel/ High Speed Running / Change of Direction - Essential for SPEED, AGILITY, ANAEROBIC, COORDINATION

  • Squat / Hinge/ Push / Pull / Carry (Slow / Fast / Paused) - Essential for STRENGTH, HYPERTROPHY, ENDURANCE, INJURY REDUCTION

  • Jog / Cycle / Swim - Essential for VO2 MAX, AEROBIC, LONGEVITY

  • Football - 5 a side and 11 a side

  • NEW HABIT - next year I am looking to have a go at a new discipline, Brazilian Ju Jitsu

So, what’s going to be on your list of essential habits to drag into 2024 with you? Which habits are you looking to leave behind?

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