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                        Planning makes you more productive.   photo Raw Pixel on Unsplash                                                                        

 

Life Can be Hard

This week I was reminded again of how fragile life is. I went to visit a friend, and she told me they had a big scare with her mother, Abby. You see Abby is 78 and lived alone in a cozy apartment in the city. Abby got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and somehow hit her head and ended up on the floor. She's taking blood thinners, so that bump on the head turned into a bleed in the brain.

 Abby couldn’t get up; her whole body was like jelly. She would have lain there on the floor all night and much of the next day had it not been for the fact a friend was overnighting with her and heard her cries. Abby was rushed to the hospital and spent the next few days there trying to get her bleed to stop and get her blood levels black to normal.

 Unexpected outcomes

The point of the story is this, she goes into the hospital in a stretcher and comes out in a wheelchair and must be under 24-hour surveillance. She has suffered some brain damage due to the bleed. What that means is her mobility is strictly reduced, and she needs help to go to the bathroom. A nursing home is her only option because her daughter still works and can’t give Abby the care she needs.

 

But Abby doesn’t want to go to a nursing home. And it made me think, is this what happens to everyone when they get old?

 I want a different outcome

I don’t want it to be my fate. One fall and I’m stuck in a nursing home. If I dig a little bit into Abby's life though you can see right away that she wasn't fit. She did walk but it was minimal there was no cardio involved at all. It seems to be a common pattern in the elderly, minimal exercise, no weight bearing movement, no cardio. This is a recipe for ending up where you don't want to go, a nursing home.

 

When you are young, you can get away with very little exercise and a poor diet. But it always catches up with you. And it’s easier to start on the road to fitness when you’re young.

 So I’m left with what can I do to change that outcome?

 Setting Goals

I read about the 100-year-old Ivy Lee method, and it's something I want to share with you because it's all about ultimately meeting our goals by being more productive on a daily basis. And I believe the goal to not end up in a nursing home is achievable, but it starts with the daily steps we take. (Of course, no one can prevent a catastrophic accident or disease from happening) But let’s assume no catastrophe happens. If we do nothing to keep healthy our bodies will fall apart.

 The Cheat Sheet

The Ivy Lee method is brilliant. I first heard about it from author James Clear who writes about forming good habits and has wonderful ideas about what it takes to make a habit. The main thing you must do is at the end of every day you sit down and plan 6 things you have to do the next day. Put nothing more than 6 things on your list. When you get up the next day, do those 6 things. You start with one thing, and this is where you must be very strict. You only do one thing, and you do not move to the next thing until you have finished the one you started. And that’s it.

If there is anything unfinished at the end of the day when you plan you add things you need to do for the next day, so the total number on your list is always 6. And you continue this day after day.

 Accomplishing my goals

Like most of us, I have a goal to be fit into my old age. But many times, I’m unproductive, life gets in the way and I end up not exercising even though it’s a big goal of mine. This is where the Ivy Lee method can help. At the end of my day when considering what is important enough to put on my list, I put the exercise task as one of the 6 things I must do. Every day I put it on my list.  If I don’t put it down, it’s too easy for me to not do it if something urgent comes. What varies for me is whether the exercise and walking is the first thing I do on my list or not. So far, I have been doing the exercise every day. And the other 5 things on my list have been ticked off as well. (Mostly). I know for a fact that I’m able to tick more things off than earlier and I am much more consistent with my fitness goals now that I use the Ivy Lee Method.

Give it a try

 Why don’t you give the Ivy Method a try? Choose the 6 most important things you need to do tomorrow. Keeping fit is the thing for me. For you, it might be something else. But see if this method will help you be more productive and get closer to achieving your goals. Comment below and let me know how it goes, or click here to comment on the Heart2Live Facebook page.

 

 

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