Written by Nate Dodson.
TAKE NOTE: This was written in early 2010, and I have since altered my strategy and changed up some of my business ventures. I decided to leave this post up here in case you want to explore my improvement process.
Ok, this post is about exactly what the title says. I really do believe this is the best strategy (for me) to employ to get the most out of life (to be happy). This strategy is for me now at this point in my life and over the next few years, and I’m sure it will change over time.
When I think about the areas of my life that are most important, four things come to mind: personal relationships, business, adventure, and health (feeling good). So the point of this strategy is to make the most out of those four areas.
Making the Most of Personal Relationships
There are two key strategies that I’m going to employ to make the most out of personal relationships, repair my communication skills and form deeper connections. I have the tendency to be short with people because I find small talk inefficient, and that causes strain – so my communication style is a big one.
My plan to repair my communication style and nurture effective communication:
- re-read (didn’t finish) Difficult Conversations
- consciously attempt to mirror others and recognize & shift towards their communication style
- study the practice of compassion, and meditate on compassion
I also want to form deeper connections with people. One good way to do this is to go through some sort of adventure or engaging in a regular sport. I am going to invest significantly more time to rock climbing with my little brother – and I might even try to get my sister to come.
I have a tendency to want to go solo (or with just my wife) on a lot of my adventures. This year I will spend more time planning and engaging in adventures with groups of family and friends.
I also want to spend more time getting to know my Slow House patrons on a personal level.
Making the Most of Business
The majority of my business focus this year will be on growing our newest business undertaking OrganizedEating.com. I am excited about this business because it is built around recurring payments and a 100% scalable product. Growth will focus on marketing, adding an additional product line, and making the site look more professional.
I have some insanely extensive marketing notes and plans but I just don’t want to dive too deep into them on this post. We will be giving away lots of subscriptions to get our brand out there. If you want a free subscription, go here.
Our additional product line will be a vegetarian version of Organized Eating, you can get on the waiting list here if you want. Maybe we’ll even do an entrepreneur’s version? ha!
We will also be working on our systems, including outsourcing most of the functions to other Dietitians and VA’s.
I will continue running Slow House and printing greeting cards if needed (they sell really slow). I will also probably reduce my (already little) time spent on Gringo Mate by only selling in large mason jar quantities. I hopefully won’t be pursuing any of the millions of other business ideas that jump into my head each month, I’ll try to save them up and share them with this audience periodically.
I also want to take more notes on the business books I read this year and make a real point to enact the viable suggestions. I might make the notes available to my readership, let me know if your interested.
Nurturing Personal Health
My ongoing strategy for health is pretty multidimensional, it will be strategic in regards to managing my crohn’s disease, increasing longevity, promoting mental health & focus, and increasing strength & flexibility. Here are the tools I already use and ones I will add:
Managing crohn’s disease
- follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) (similar to paleo diet). The only sugar I eat comes from honey, fruits, or vegetables. I eat no grains at all, and no dairy with residual sugar) I only basically eat yogurt fermented at least 24 hours (in my yogurt maker), beans soaked at least overnight, pastured meats, most vegetables, some cheeses, most fruit, honey, and nuts & seeds. I think its a really healthy diet, although labor intensive at times. I use hardcore batching techniques to make it easier. This diet has allowed me to discontinue all medication.
Increasing longevity (good article in this issue of Mens Journal, look for it at your local library)
- drink several cups green tea (mostly oolong, I LOVE oolong – here’s where I buy it)
- volunteer and nurture my community (one reason why 7th day adventist live so long)
- practice calorie restriction (as per Okinawans), and reduce meat intake
- increase upper body strength
Promoting mental health and focus
- daily meditation
- restful sleep (black room, consistent schedule, sex, wind down routine) Thinking about adding blue-light therapy.
- Daily exercise. (I plan to add a competitive sport to my schedule this year)
- volunteer (as stated earlier)
Increasing strength and flexibility
- climb longer each session (until complete burnout) – and rest longer between sessions
- daily short yoga flow at home in addition to increased studio time (good husband + wife activity)
- start a routine of squats, dead lifts, and bench press w/ little brother
Nurturing an Adventurous Lifestyle
As mentioned above, I plan to do more group trips. For me, these trips tend to be more safe (boring), but they really do help build great relationships. To compensate for the loss of excitement, I’m going to be doing lots of solo backpacking (minimal gear) trips, which really gives me a great sense of freedom and excitement. These will be all over the map including private and public lands.
Another big thing I’ll do is attend more unusual events. Last night we went to a puppet show at a cafe here in Bloomington. It was awesome and hilarious. It was about a King born with one magic boob, I kid you not. There was a full band to add the soundtrack and the performers integrated lots of puppet improv into the show – it was extremely clever.
There are really creative people in this town (hipsters) doing amazing things, and I hope to become more involved in that scene. I realize this scene’s a little trendy, but at the same time its creative and interesting.
Well that’s my extensive strategy for living the good life at the moment. Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.