For the past month, I’ve been working to better upgrade my life. While this is still a work in process for me, I know that for many people during these times it’s difficult on them. Compared to where I live – where things are slowly opening back up week by week – people are concerned about a massive second wave hitting their town.
There are still many people living in lockdown and in self-quarantine yes. But the vast majority of us have spent their time doing what I did for my first few months. Cashing in my stimulus cheque, watching Youtube (or Netflix), and playing video games.
That’s not to say being lazy or relaxing is bad, but when your life turns into something like that, something must be done. I’m just happy I still have a few writing clients with me so I can put in some work time.
So whether you are in that scenario or this is months or years after this pandemic is over, here are some strategies that have helped me in the past. It’s these very systems that I’m using to better upgrade my life.
Whether it’s due to COVID, or another major life event, the first step is to self reflect. In this particular moment though, your self reflection should look at various aspects in different ways.
While it is still good to look at your life overall and figure out what could be improved, I believe there is a better method. Instead, self reflect on particular areas and compare them to what they were before.
In essence, I want you to reflect so much that you understand the difference between where you were at before the shift and where you are at now.
For example, before quarantine, I was going to the gym three times a week and slowly getting results. During quarantine, I was doing no form of exercise at all.
Do this in every aspect of your life. Your health, social, love, and financial life.
The idea isn’t to discourage you, but rather to help you understand where your life was before quarantine. The image you create is where your life was at currently and is your first benchmark to hit.
Now this will of course cause complications.
Not every person is able to build up a social life at the moment with social distancing being enforced. The key here is to take the time and take advantage of it when necessary.
I didn’t work on my health until a month ago when my personal trainer texted me that he was giving out free work out sessions at his place. I was the only one out of all his clients who took these sessions on a regular basis.
And I think by this point, it’s worth bringing back the other aspect of self reflection back in. Reflecting on yourself, who you are, and better grasping the situation and what you are currently capable of doing.
That self reflection is important and will help you understand what is worth working on right now. After all, there are some things you can’t work on due to reasons beyond excuses or other things in your control.
Rebuild A Routine
Once you have self reflected and identified what could be worked on, you can then get to the next step – rebuilding your routine. You know where you were before and so you want to get back to that point.
In this section, you want to start rebuilding the necessary habits and skills that got you there.
Note how often you did the activities before and make a point of getting back to that level. It’s not going to happen overnight and for some it may take weeks to get back to a comfortable level. That’s okay.
The key is to keep working at it and using some of the other techniques that I’ll be mentioning to keep you on track.
All in all, you are rebuilding the system that you used before to achieve the results that you once had. If no such system existed before this point, then you are working on building up a new one for the new path that you are treading.
In either of those situations, I find it helpful to write down the habits or activities that I want to be building. I also set it in a place where I see it on a regular basis. It’s for this reason I praise to-do lists as they keep my business functional.
It puts in perspective what you ought to work towards. Furthermore, it’s a reminder of how little actions we take everyday can impact the larger aspects of our lives.
I know this may be hypocritical of me considering the fact I stopped working out for a few months, but I still consider it important. It’s why when my trainer asked me if I wanted to work out at his place I said yes.
Weeks before he asked me, I was itching to get outside more often and have legit reasons to get outside beyond “eh I feel like walking.”
But since I’ve been exercising with my trainer, I’ve realized a couple of other fun methods people can do to stay in shape. They also are things you can do within quarantine as well.
First off, if you’re a personal trainer yourself, I would do what my trainer did and have an area devoted to working out and offer it to clients. Similar to how you’d do personal training on a regular, make a point of bringing in one client at a time during those sessions and book them accordingly.
Of course, this all depends on the level of quarantine you’re in. So be reasonable with doing something like this.
If you’re not a personal trainer, I’ve seen some other creative methods. So far I’ve been working out with limited gear, but I’m still burning up a sweat. That’s because my trainer and I have been focusing on the number of reps I’m doing rather than focusing on the intensity of the weight.
Using equipment like that is a cheap way to go. Things like exercise bands, and a few weights is all you really need.
But why exercise?
You may be asking and yes, let’s get back to that. The idea with exercise is that you’re getting more energy to do other things. I also find it helpful during days where you push yourself especially hard and don’t want to do much after that.
I see it as a notch in the “I did something productive today” column. During these days where we can’t really see people so much, these things are nice. You did a nice thing for yourself and that means something.
Better Upgrade With Better Goals
Beyond exercising, there are more direct paths to better upgrade your life and that is through goals. Getting back to the first step on self reflection, it’s important you go back to that and ask yourself one question:
How can I make this better and more useful to my life than before?
Another purpose of that self reflection is that it allowed you to look at where you’re currently standing at and what needed to change. You also figured out overall what sort of path you want to take to get there.
Whether this is a new endeavour for you or something you lost due to an event, you want to be setting goals to keep yourself on the course. You want to be making connections with your findings and the goals that you are setting for yourself.
These I feel are better goals to set as you’re referring back to yourself on these ones. They’re more grounded in who you want to become and you have deep personal reasons to pursue them.
This also extends to how you previously went about achieving those goals too.
In the case of my health goals, they haven’t changed and aren’t anything new. But as I’ve been working on building them back up again, I knew there was a certain way I had to go about it.
Working out at home didn’t cut it for me and I know how difficult it is working on your own. That’s why I suggest creative methods to go about it and to experiment until you know what works. For me, that’s working out with someone else.
Better Upgrade Through Learning
On the note of setting better goals to better upgrade your life, it also helps to be learning as well. I push experimenting because it’s one of the easiest ways to learn beyond buying books or reading other content.
For sure you can take that path, but I’m a man who cares more about action. It’s better for us to get in there, do something, and learn from that experience. That said, there are times where other forms of learning can help.
I learned about different exercising methods through videos. Like a man who tried doing 2,000 jump rope skips for 30 days. But I’ve also reached a point with my health that I know what works and what doesn’t. I can’t see myself doing that skipping rope challenge at this point. I can see myself showing up to a gym three times a week to be with my personal trainer though.
The idea is to have an open mind and to see every event as a learning opportunity for yourself.
When you fail ask yourself “what can I learn from this? How can I make this better and work for me in the future?”
When you find success, ask yourself “what’s changed in my life? How can I replicate this in the future to reach new heights in this part of my life and others?”
Success is a sequence of habits that are grounded through a system that you create.
The only way that you’ll see greater results is through refining this system and getting it to work for you. This is how you can get a better upgrade in your life.
Better Upgrade, Better Life
Whether we are in quarantine or not, I think it’s important we all learn to better upgrade our lives right now. During times of lull in our lives, I see these as times to get back to basics and figure out what needs tweaking.
Of course, it helps to stay in that lull for a bit. Part of upgrading is that you also want to take some periods to rest up and appreciate what you’ve built. But when you are ready to get back to it, follow these steps to identify lacks, build yourself back up, and achieve more.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon