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Living Your Best Life – Part 6 of a 6 Part Series Exploring Happiness and Contentment

In order for something to become a habit, you need to keep at it for a minimum of 6 months. If you start now, by the time New Year’s comes around, you will have no need for those silly “resolutions” we talked about back in part 1. You will have already changed your life for the good….and maybe you will be happy!

The end is nigh! We have finally reached part 6 of our series along with the end of my personal 12 week targeted training plan for my attempt at “The World’s Toughest Footrace”, the Badwater 135 mile ultramarathon. It looks to be even more difficult this year due to the extreme temperatures out west. Everything has gone well so far and I am excited to get started and give it my best.


This final article is going to contain a plan (or program) that you can follow in order to improve your physical, emotional and spiritual states. Like I promised you a couple of weeks ago, it is very doable with only about an hour per day recommended.


On to the plan…..


First, you will need to put in 20-30 minutes of physical exercise. That can include ANYTHING that you enjoy and want to do. You can walk, do yoga, lift weights, cross-train, or whatever. It just needs to be targeted exercise. Mowing the yard or working in the garden are good things to do but do not count. You need to specifically do something focusing on your physical well-being. In addition to that, you need to follow a structured eating plan. It does not have to be a fancy diet. I personally conduct a 12 hour fast each night (I eat breakfast at least 12 hours after my last bite of dinner), avoid caffeine, and limit processed sugars. You have to design a plan that works for you based on your lifestyle. Following an eating plan also makes you feel accountable for what you put in your body. Make this as elaborate or as simple as you want. If you mess up, then do better the next day.


Secondly, you need to spend 15-20 minutes per day reading a book. Yes, a book. A book made of paper that you can hold in your hand. Many people recommend a self-help text but if you can improve your mental state by reading Steven King, then so be it. Reading activates your mind and helps you retain focus when you face difficult activities. We are all readers if we find something that we are interested in. Magazines do not count (too many pictures) nor do books on your phone or Kindle. Electronic devices lead to too many distractions and that is exactly what you are trying to avoid during this time.
Lastly, I recommend 15-20 minutes of spiritual time. This can be time spent in prayer, reading the Bible, meditating or even listening to spiritual music or messages. It simply needs to be something that makes you think deeply about who you are and what you want your life to be like.
Now for the cool part! You can actually combine some of these together!


Reading a holy text could count as emotional and spiritual. Praying while running could be physical and spiritual. You might even be able to set your book up on your treadmill and read while you are walking to knock out your physical and emotional training. However, if you do this, still try to get your one total hour in per day. Don’t try to cut the total time down by combining activities because you are defeating the purpose. A 30 minute work-out followed by 30 minutes of reading a devotional would cover all three areas and add up to an hour. Be creative with how you divide up that hour but you are the one in charge.
The key thing is to not quit. You will absolutely have days when you do not meet your goals. Do better the next day. Never give up by thinking that one bad day ruins everything. It does not. Stay consistent and you will absolutely see changes in your life.


A final word. In order for something to become a habit, you need to keep at it for a minimum of 6 months. If you start now, by the time New Year’s comes around, you will have no need for those silly “resolutions” we talked about back in part 1. You will have already changed your life for the good….and maybe you will be happy!

Living Your Best Life – Part 1 of a 6 Part Series Exploring Happiness and Contentment

Living Your Best Life – Part 2 of a 6 Part Series Exploring Happiness and Contentment

Living Your Best Life – Part 3 of a 6 Part Series Exploring Happiness and Contentment

Living Your Best Life – Part 4 of a 6 Part Series Exploring Happiness and Contentment

Living Your Best Life – Part 5 of a 6 Part Series Exploring Happiness and Contentment

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Shane Tucker is a guest columnist for All on Georgia. He is a retired teacher, ultra runner, and life-long resident of Chattooga County. He is also a member of Alpine Community Church and enjoys hiking/running with Cookie, the rescued Basset-Lab.

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