To stay young is an ideal. How about disrupting the age-old monotony of this statement? We all know that what is seen as ideal or perfect can be so discouraging. Therefore ‘ideal’ must be the difficult part. Quite surprising, isn’t it, since we have been taught to let ourselves be guided by ideals?
Focus on Action
So let us deflect ‘ideal’ out of focus. It is a bit standoffish. Instead, let’s concentrate on staying young, which brings action into focus. Action in the present moment.
I have already suggested three fundamental keys to being young despite time, which can help you forge a youth-bound mindset. The way you project yourself is also crucial in order to stay young at heart and mind and maintain youthful looks. Well, apart from this interior work, action itself helps a lot.
Therefore, there are some important things you should integrate into your lifestyle if you want to stay young. Here follow five of them, which I find operative and extremely activating.
1. Keep yourself busy and focused on the present moment.
If you are rather the pessimistic type, keeping yourself engaged in doing things will leave little time for thoughts. Pessimists tend to recollect negative things in their past, always see the dark side of the moon, and project themselves in a conventional future, if not downright darkish. Therefore try to keep your focus on doing and on the present moment. Do not imagine yourself in the future too much. Instead, try to find reasons for pleasure, contentment, and pride in your present.
When more optimistic a nature, you are more likely to be already set on being young forever. Keeping yourself busy still helps, as too much enthusiastic planning without acting can eventually lead to disappointment. Disappointment is destructive and can cut your wings, so try to avoid that.
If the image of the same young YOU smiles back from the future, good. But the next wise step is to bring this reassuring future into present. Do things now, make your present fruitful, in order to make that future possible. And even happier than expected.
2. Always make short-term plans (for the day, week, or year).
Short term planning is constructive, productive, and profitable. It yields results sooner, ensuring a permanent string of satisfactions. No matter how tiny, satisfaction is key to a good mood and renewed energy. To a young mindset, so to speak.
But do you know which the greatest benefit of short term planning is? Well, it is sanitary. It keeps your mind and daily routine in good order, free of unnecessary thoughts and activities. This helps you to focus on the present, and a rewarding near future. Your present becomes meaningful to you and you really mean to stay young forever.
Tomorrow I’ll go to the gym. This resets two whole days of your life. You pay more attention to what you eat, prepare your workout outfit, plan what, how much, and when to eat, set some exercising and weight goals, are more likely to drink enough water. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Also, going to the gym again.
This week I’ll go to the gym twice, let’s say on Thursday and Saturday, and I’ll reward myself with cake or a bountiful meal, or both, on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. It is a simple way to organize a whole week’s activity into meaningful sections and channel it to a set target. As there is no planning without target.
By the end of next year I will have a glasshouse in my yard. Several mini-plans stem from this, starting with mental designs, involving some financial planning, and ending with searching for and hiring a team of builders. Setting a goal resets your life around it. And, above all, keeps you young forever. As you are never going to stop planning.
3. When you make long-term plans, always picture yourself as the same young and vigorous woman/man.
Long-term plans are not advisable if you are strictly conventional age-wise, or pessimistic. Unless you manage to overcome these negative aspects of your personality. Exercising in my 3 Fundamental Tips to Be Young despite Time could help in both cases. I admit it is a lot easier when you are just highly influenced by the social conventions and stereotypes related to age. Pessimism is more difficult to fight, but not impossible. I truly wish everyone could feel and act young forever. Even if eternal youth is just an illusion, by trying to live it we can at least stay our true selves. Conventions distort us.
No Distorted Projections
No matter the time span of your plan, try to picture yourself as the same young and vigorous woman/man. Never distort the present young image of you in your projections. This is the secret to using long-term planning in order to stay young forever. And believe me, it is powerful.
Another important attachment to this immutably young image is the durability of your assets, both inborn and acquired along the years, the material ones included. You grow, you do not age. You accrue and never lose anything.
The best part about planning in general, but mainly long term, is that it induces in you the idea that you still have lots of things to accomplish. Just imagine time stops still to let you do that.
4. Go for new beginnings to stay young.
I said it before. New beginnings are energizing and youth giving. This has a lot to do with planning.
Just as with planning, a beginning implies assessing the status quo, with the minuses and pluses and whatever needs improvement or radical change. Assessment in itself has many benefits. It is an index, a definition, and an activator.
Find a Need
Assessment is an index. It indicates where you are and what you still need. This is good, as when you still need something it means you are young. Thinking that you no longer need anything is more than a limiting belief. In my opinion, it is a sort of ‘innocent’ arrogance towards your child self. And it dangerously pushes you towards feeling old. Children always need something, sometimes to their parents despair, isn’t that so? Therefore be an empathetic parent to the child in you, and not an arrogant grownup with no needs. Just scan your mind and soul for needs, and you will surely find something.
Get into Action
Assessment also defines who you are. What you feel like, look like, the people around you and what you have at a certain moment in your life. It is a starting point for something new. You may think you feel just perfect. But believe me, there is always some feeling you haven’t experienced. You may be happy with your physical appearance and those around you may sincerely compliment you. Yet, I’m sure your natural assets allow for new, unexpected looks to amaze both yourself and anyone else. You can always be a lot more than you think and have already tried. And you can always have more and better and meet new good people to make friends with.
That is why assessment is an activator. When you realize what you have, you want more. Likewise, when you realize what you miss, you want to have it. Realization gets you into action.
An Illusion, So What?
Of course, you don’t go into action chaotically. Planning is thrilling, it feels so playing young, and you know it. So go for new things for the thrills of preparation and planning, for the fervor and excitement of action itself, for the life changing new thing in your life. New looks, a new dress, a new friend, a new town or country. New furniture or just different colors in your home, a new interest, anything new infuses you with youthful spirit.
What does life changing mean after all, if not life giving? When you change something it is like starting life again. A new phase in your life. Therefore, live your life by phases. Open new chapters in a series that never ends. If everything has to have a beginning and an end, then multiply the number of chapters in your life, each time featuring a new you as protagonist. Illusion or not, you will stay young forever.
5. Go to the gym.
You know that physical activity keeps you fit, healthy, and strong. Walking or jogging is not enough though. It may be pleasant, but you spend quite a lot of time with no visible results. You can do that to relax. Beside relaxation, you need some proper physical activity. It should be rhythmical, empowering, transformational, and above all dynamic enough to activate your growth hormone. Remember, you want to grow young, not just relax your way to old age.
Why the Gym
Why the gym? First of all because working out in a gym is a kind of mute socializing. You don’t necessarily have to speak to anyone there, especially if you follow a program without a personal trainer, but you still socialize. You feel you belong to a group of people who all share a goal: transforming their bodies. Their drive and strive will surely rub off on you.
Secondly, in a gym you can combine all sorts of schools, types of training and techniques, provided it is a well-equipped one: cardio, aerobics, bodyweight, weight and machine training, kick boxing, tae bo, tai chi, you name it. A well balanced combination of different elements is, in my opinion, the best solution. My program, Next Woman Fit, also includes breathing exercises, a little work with the chakras, rhythm and harmony. That is why music is a must.
It is again a matter of setting a goal and planning the steps to reaching it. Usually a long-term plan is divided into several short-term ones, to give you maximum satisfaction more often. Although, believe me, you are satisfied after each session. I think gym sessions are the simplest and healthiest ways at hand to give anyone satisfaction. All you have to do is go there.
Interruption Invites Corruption
I know. Sometimes it is difficult to move yourself to the gym. You are tired, exhausted after a day’s work. You have chores to do. You had better relax indoors and go the following day – parole d’honneur. But once there, feeling the rhythm of workout, you immediately get into the groove. So pack up your gear and leave home without too much thinking.
To ensure consistency make your gym sessions as easy and pleasant to suit your taste and physical capacities. And consult with a doctor when needed.
Do not take breaks longer than one month, no matter what. Do not try to find excuses. If you sprinkle your ankle, for instance, go back there as soon as you can walk again, and just do exercises suitable for your condition. Of course, consult with your doctor before resuming the workout.
Therefore do not interrupt the flow for no serious reason, as it is more difficult to resume training after that. As soon as you interrupt training a lot of other pleasures will corrupt your mind.
Constant Results Make You Stay Young
Take pride in your accomplishments, pleasure in new beginnings and rewarding results, and keep a young vision of yourself in the future. Also, turn working out into one of your pleasant routines. Working out is a pleasure with constant visible results which make you be proud of yourself and stay young. Just keep that in mind.