Welcome back to another post on the High Performing Student blog. This post feels extra special because, and I don’t know if you can feel it, but we’re at the start of a new decade, a new month, and a new year. In my life span, I’ve only lived through two decades. The first one was from 2000 to 2010. I was not intentional about it, and I did not plan it out. I didn’t reverse engineer my goals because I was a baby! The second decade I lived through was from 2010 to 2020. I would have been 11 years old. Still was not intentional about it, didn’t reverse engineer my goals or reverse engineer my life. But we’re moving into a new decade. And if you’re listening to this show, you’re a high performer.
You have a vision by now, and you have dreams, goals, and you want to do something. You’re purposeful with your life. It doesn’t mean that you have to go and do something huge, but you want to love the life that you live. One of the most beautiful things we could do at this point in our lives is to be intentional about it and plan things through. Your plans will change. I guarantee you that now, but that’s not the reason you set them. You don’t set them to make them definite. You set them to give you a target. You’ll never hit the goal if you don’t know the destination. But if you set things intentionally, it gives you direction. It gives you a path to proceed instead of just aimlessly wandering.
And there’s no rush in life. There’s no rush to discover the things that you love and the thing that you want to do, but there are benefits in being intentional about it. That’s why I’m so big on planning, setting goals, and reverse engineering your life. It all just helps with the process. And hopefully, at this point, you’ve already started. I hope you’ve done some sort of reflection. I hope you’ve done some kind of goal setting. I hope you’ve done some sort of planning for your future.
But aside from all that, because that is basic, if you want to be a high performer and do some very fulfilling work with your life, those are things that you shouldn’t skip, and you should be doing. But there are six other things that I want to mention today that could be an absolute game-changer for you in this new decade from 2020 to 2030.
THE 6 HABITS
And these six things have had a significant impact on my life. They’re basic principles that are more often than not overlooked because of how simple they appear. And aside from these six things, you have so much flexibility in your life, but you do not want to neglect these habits as they form your foundation.
Now, the first of the six things that I want to talk about is water. This sounds basic, but you need to drink water and drink lots of it. Our bodies are comprised of over 70% water. Our brain is over 70% water and coincidentally or not is one of the most essential organs in our body. If you’re not hydrating your body enough, you’re not giving your body what you fundamentally need.
I struggled with acne growing up a lot. I tried so many things, so many creams, so many gels, so many face washes. I tried changing my diet, but I have personally noticed the days when I drink more water, I tend not to break out. The days I drink the most water are also the days when my skin looks and feels the best. When you’re dehydrated, your organs are also not able to function correctly. Water is like an insulator for your organs. It’s also an insulator of your body and your joints. I’m not sure if you guys can relate to this, but when you don’t drink enough water, you get a headache. Have you ever asked yourself why? It’s because your brain is 70% water. You’re pruning your mind by not drinking enough water. And the crazy thing is it’s such a simple thing to do. The reason why most people don’t do it is that we get accustomed to sugar.
Instead of drinking water, we drink pop, soda, Coke, Pepsi, root beer, and all these sweet drinks. It’s a very easy trap to fall into. What makes it even worse is that there is excellent marketing from the companies as well. “It quenches your thirst,” but the thing is, it doesn’t fuel your body the way that it needs.
So going into 2020 in this new decade, I would encourage you to stop as a first step. Stop drinking other beverages and just start consuming water – bubbly water, soda, water – only consume water. Okay? That will make a massive difference in your life, especially if you’re trying to lose weight, clear up your skin, or just feel better. All the other calories you get from drinking pops, and sodas will disappear.
Whether it’s at school, in a sport, hobby, or whatever it might be for you, just start drinking water. I know the target amount we always hear is four litres, but that is a lot to drink. Instead, drink a little bit more than you’re drinking right now and try and do that every single month until you reach a point where your urine is consistently transparent. So, that’s the first habit. The first thing I want to touch on is the importance of drinking water. Take it seriously.
The second thing that could change your life in 2020 is food. Eating healthy foods and getting enough calories in your body every single day. This also sounds like a basic principle, but it is very hard as a student, and I understand that reality. One of the most challenging things about being a student is that you must cook your meals.
You’re responsible for feeding yourself, which, uh, is expected, but it’s difficult when you’re a student because school – the way it’s set up – in my opinion, is pretty stupid. It forces you to dedicate your entire life to studying. Some much so that you have to neglect necessities like your health, your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Sometimes you have to study so much that you forget to eat. It’s not set up in a very reinforcing way to live a healthy life, which is an argument that I have against the education system. But that’s not the purpose of this blog post. The second point that I’m trying to get across is that you need to eat food. You need to fuel your body.
YOU CANNOT EXPECT A CAR TO DRIVE WITHOUT PUTTING GAS IN THE TANK.
It doesn’t work. And similarly, you can’t put sand in a gas tank and expect the car to drive. You can’t fill your body with just anything. It needs to be nutritious food; proteins, fat and greens. I think those three things are the most important — a healthy balance of proteins, fats and greens. Yes, your carbs are also important, but for me, when I eat carbs, I start to break out. For that reason, I don’t consume a ton of carbs. I replace my carbs with fat because you can also get energy from fat. But, if carbs work for you and you don’t break out, eat them, but choose to eat the healthier ones.
I know I have friends that do intermit fasting to have one massive meal at 1:00 PM or 2:00 PM every single day. They consume roughly 3000 calories in one shot. Cool, if that works for you. If not, disperse your meals. One at breakfast, one at lunch, one at dinner, and keep them healthy. But the basic principle is to eat food. Do not starve yourself. I included these two principles at the beginning of this post because I think they are the most important.
The third thing I want to talk about that is as equally important as the things you eat and drink is sleep.
I have a friend named Lucas who I’m still close with to this day. He started a company called sleep future where he designed a bed that shapes or reinforces the curvature of your spine instead of just allowing your body to sink into the surface of your bed. His whole premise was that if you put your back in the proper resting position, you would get refreshing, healthy sleep. Waking up energized instead of sluggish and tired. I thought it was a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, the intricacies of the company brought him to a halt. But he learned so much in the process specifically about sleep, and there were a lot of valuable things he learned about sleep. I remember one time, he mentioned how it could shrink the organs in your body, including your brain and reproductive organs, if you’re a male.
Do your research on sleep. I read this book by Paul Chek, “how to eat, move and be healthy,” and he said that at 1:00 AM every single morning, we should be sound asleep because That is when melatonin is released in our bodies. Melatonin is a hormone that encourages recovery in our bodies. Paul said if you’re not in a deep sleep at 1:00 AM – meaning you didn’t go to bed by like a 10, 11, or latest midnight – your body will not release melatonin. Even if you still sleep for eight hours from 2:00 AM to 10:00 AM, your body will not release the hormone.
It only gets released around 1:00 AM, which is in alignment with your circadian rhythm. It’s a fascinating thing, but it does not have to be complicated. When you start getting tired, go to sleep, do not stay up on your phone. It seems effortless when you spend five hours staring at your cell phone for no purpose. And what’s worse is that young people celebrate a lack of sleep. Why? Because when you’re in school, it’s almost an achievement to say, “Oh, I only got one hour of sleep last night, I bet I slept less than you. I was up all night grinding.”
A lack of sleep is revered, but it shouldn’t be. This one thing can have a big impact on your health. Every decision you make right now might not affect you in the present moment, but you do it consistently throughout a couple of years, guess what? All those actions are going to catch up to you.
The fourth thing I want to talk about is exercise. This one has been a game-changer for me. Why? Because exercise is multi-purposed. I use it for a couple of reasons.
- It gets me moving early in the morning and gets the blood pumping. I wake up quick. I feel energized the moment I hit the gym and finish. I’ve already completed something before my days even started, and I feel on top of the world.
- Secondly, it’s so beneficial to your mental health. I consider the gym to be a form of therapy. For me, it’s a place where I go early in the morning when almost no one is there. It’s complete silence, and I’m alone with only myself and my thoughts. At the gym, I’m able to process things that I’m not able to think about during my day. For me, it’s been a big game-changer in terms of my mental health.
- Thirdly, it’s beneficial for your physical health. I go to the gym five times a week. I’ve never felt stronger in my life. Right now, I’m squatting 265 pounds, deadlifting 365 pounds, benching 200 pounds, and doing weighted pull-ups, dips and chin-ups. The numbers don’t matter, but it makes me feel amazing. I feel strong. And what’s amazing is that when you start working out, it begins to add to your confidence.
For these reasons, the fourth thing I would encourage you to do in 2020 if you don’t already is to create an exercise regimen. It will benefit your physical health but also your mental health to a vast degree.
The fifth thing is meditation. For some reason, this is a taboo topic. A lot of people think that you have to be a monk or some sort of karate expert to meditate. But think thinking is false, and it often holds people back from starting. All meditation is, is a form of mental exercise. Meditation asks you to sit still and quiet your mind. This is so valuable because people that can control their thoughts can also control their life because everything starts in your head.
Meditation has been a game-changer for me. I noticed that when I was a competitive athlete, I had a very low heart rate. One reason for this was because I frequently ran. I was very physically active, but after meditating consistently for a few months, my heart rate per minute dropped to about 43 or 42.
So, not only is it beneficial for your mind to sit still and give yourself time, but it’s also actually physically beneficial. Meditation is something that I would consider in 2020. You don’t have to download an app, but if you do, my favourite apps are insight timer, Calm and Headspace. Insight timer is a free app, calm is a free app, and Headspace is a paid option. All three of them have premium offers that you can pay for, but there’s no need. Eventually, you will reach a point where you just set a timer and sit still for 30 minutes.
The sixth habit that could be a game-changer in 2020 is reading books. This one again is so simple. The sad thing is that from a young age, we are forced to read books that we have no desire to read. Throughout school, we have to read books for English and textbooks for math and science. Subconsciously we start to create this negative relation to reading. Reading becomes a chore, a task that we hate doing.
This is sad because there is so much wisdom documented over the past millions of years in books. I’m not telling you to go and read every single book. No. Instead, determine things that you’re interested in learning – that like light a fire in your belly – and buy those books to read those things.
There is a quote that states, “if you want to earn more, you have to learn more,” but it’s not solely about finances. Earning relates to, more time, more freedom, more respect, and more valuable relationships. Money is one of them. But when you read more, you don’t just earn more money; you gain so much more in every aspect of your life.
SO…WHAT WILL YOU DO?
So if you could take these six habits and implement them into your life in 2020, I firmly believe in the next ten years, if you stay consistent with them will be an absolute game-changer of a decade.
I’m going to come back to this post in 10 years and re-listen to it just because I can’t wait to see how my commitment to these six areas will grow. If you have any questions about any six of them and how I recommend you go about doing them, shoot me a message.
I’d be more than happy to share with you my morning routine, my nighttime routine, and anything else that might be beneficial for you. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. It helps the content reach a lot people.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this. I’m super excited for you 🙂 2020 is going to be a HUGE year.