It just hit me.
We set goals on the new year, but we don’t often set goals for our own personal new year – you know, our birthday.
Today (it’s 9/24/22) I turn 51.
The Wake Up Call
These past two years or, more specifically, the past 1 year and nearly 9 months, have been huge. Actually, now that I think about it, it started two years ago.
My blood work came back from my 49th birthday physical. It wasn’t good news. My A1C level had climbed to the point that I was technically Type-2 diabetic. It was the lowest number that was in that range, but still, the doc wanted to prescribe me meds and send me down that road.
It was a wake-up call.
I had to reverse my trend of gaining a few pounds each year. I had to reverse my trend of drinking a bit more each week. I had to reverse my trend of poor eating and lack of exercise.
75 Hard and the LiveHard Program
I slowly started to add some walks and reduce my consumption during the fall of 2020.
But then I discovered this 75 Hard thing. An acquaintance of mine was posting about his journey on Instagram, and I was intrigued.
He shared the rules with me:
- Two 45 minute workouts a day.
- One of the two have to be outside.
- Drink one gallon of water a day.
- Read 10 pages of a personal development of business book.
- Pick a nutrition plan and stick to it with no cheat days or cheat meals.
- No alcohol.
- Progress photo each day.
For 75 Days. That part is important – 75 days. No cheats.
I started 1/1/21. I lasted 13 days and then decided to stop while our family came together around my father-in-law who was in the hospital and ended up passing.
I started again on January 17th and made it all the way through to the end. I won’t burn your eyes out with my before and after photos. Plus, I’m too lazy and have too much to do to try to find them and upload them here. Maybe I’ll edit this later.
The synopsis, though, is that I read about 5 or so books, drank over 75 gallons of water and lost 26 lbs in 2 and a half months.
I made two commitments:
- Do a little something everyday.
- Don’t get injured because it’s a lifelong journey and there’s no rush.
Therefore, I started with walks and yoga and slowly added in a little jogging and strength training as I got my body acclimated to movement again.
My weight had topped out at around 236 at some point. But when I started the program, I was at 226 and got down to 191 by the end.
The LiveHard program actually has three 30 Day Phases. I kept failing a few days into Phase 1, so I decided that I’d do the full LiveHard program starting after my 50th birthday.
So I started on 9/26/21 – two days after my birthday. I weighted in at 191 on the day I started the LiveHard program.
Now, I’m about a day and a half away from finishing the full-year program.
What Can Happen In A Year
What has happened in my fitness throughout this year has been amazing and completely unexpected (by me).
The only good thing about having a couple drinks on my birthday last year was that it gave me a bit of courage to sign up for my first half marathon, which I completed on Thanksgiving of 2021.
I ran a trail half marathon in February of 2022 in preparation for my first marathon – the Nashville Rock & Roll Marathon in April.
I whittled my weight all the down to 161 at one point during marathon training – which happened to also be near the tail end of my Phase 2 completion for LiveHard (if you haven’t clicked a previous link, click here for more info on this program – it’s free).
What I’m nearly most proud of is that I’m nearly two years in and still sitting around 175-180 consistently. I’m doing something everyday – i.e. walking, jogging, lifting, yoga, etc, whether I’m in the middle of a LiveHard phase or not.
I’m drinking nearly a gallon of water a day.
I ready 10 pages on 5 of 7 days, no matter what.
Most importantly: My A1C level dropped all the way down to normal levels. I’m not even pre-diabetic anymore.
Two half marathons and a marathon, a couple 5ks and a 10k, I’m still running, despite my knee getting a little thrashed at mile 10 or 11 during the marathon.
Generally speaking, it’s been my most healthy and fit stretch since high school. Frankly, I’ve probably eaten and exercised more than during that time. I just had teenage metabolism to fall back on.
Circling back to how I started this post.
I created one key goal on my birthday last year: Finish the complete LiveHard program. I started on 9/26/21 and have today and tomorrow to complete Phase 3 and succeed at this particular goal.
But what’s next?
The half marathons and marathon weren’t goals for the year but became great collateral benefits of the primary LiveHard goal. Reading books like Winning and Relentless by Tim Grover and Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins also drove me to push myself a bit harder and further than I think I would have.
Thanks to Andy Frisella for including the reading component in the LiveHard program. Transformative.
So… back to what’s next. I’m not exactly sure. But I do know that I like the idea of setting goals based on my birthday vs. the new year. If nothing else, it gives me a headstart on the new year.
Why wait until January 1 when I can get rolling on September 24?
Will I need be ahead of the game?
So it’s my birthday, and I’ll set goals because I want to.
I’d advise it for you too. It is actually YOUR NEW YEAR. Celebrate your own birth by making commitments in keeping with your calling and your own dreams and vision for the future.
Set intentions based on what God has put in your heart. Don’t wait until January.
Set a birthday to birthday goal and see what you can do in a year.
(A quick shoutout to Meg McKeen who created her own list of goals or semi-bucket list items to knock out during her 44th year. A great idea, too! 22 items, I believe.)
Pardon any grammar or flow issues. It’s my birthday and also my prerogative to not edit this post that might be viewed by 20 people over it’s lifetime