Photo by Shoeib Abolhassani / Unsplash

Want to live long and prosper? Me too. However that's not going to happen if we don't build a strong foundation.

All else in life will ultimately fail if you cannot commit to four simple basics. No life hack, no shortcut, no workarounds will improve your life better, help you live longer than these four things.

Research bears me out. This year, after The Year That Was, these four pillars have become so much more important.

Let's jump right in:

  1. Right food: for you, your age, your activity level, metabolism, exercise habits. This needs to take into account your allergies, your personal preferences, tastes and all the rest, but this begins with a visit to a capable nutritionist. Find out what works for you and you alone. For whatever might work for your cousin or your brother's sister's aunt's kid in Columbus, will not likely work for you. Find out what does. Learn to feed yourself for fuel, and expect to regularly update this over time. Some 85% of what you and I look like depends on what and how we eat.
  2. Right movement: and lots of it, for you, you age, your abilities, your interests. Find something you love, that you will do. Ideally build a balance of aerobic work and weight-bearing work. You will NOT do what you don't enjoy. So please, find a sport or activity (or several) that you will do because it's fun. Avoid extremes because you are likely to injure. And as with #1 above, if you are just getting started, especially if you're past fifty and have been sedentary, please see a doctor, a physical therapist and invest in a personal trainer to get you started. These are all for your own protection, to ensure that you don't injure.
  3. Right company: Assess your immediate and most intimate community. Speaker Jim Rohn famously said that you and I are the reflection of those five people with whom we spend the most time. It might be time to trim the tree if those five people do not support your best self, energize and love you for you, and get behind your efforts to grow. Surround yourself with get-it-done folks, people who love life and love to help others. Watch your world change for the better.
  4. Right purpose: Find a reason for being, a reason to get out of bed. Service is our highest calling. If you're late in life, finding ways to mentor and support others is a fine way to make use of your time and hard-won wisdom. No matter how old you are, being able to identify a good reason to be alive and healthy has unbelievable mental and emotional payoffs. Whether it's a charitable cause or a business, your family or committing to environmental causes makes no difference. Have a Big Reason to Live.
Photo by Joey Nicotra / Unsplash

So simple, yet for some, so hard. After a rough year which underscored what happens when you and I are not healthy, when our emotional stores are depleted, when our bad habits have made us terribly vulnerable, I would invite us all to recommit to ourselves and to those we love.

Let's live. And not just live, but prosper, in that way that only a healthy body, mind and attitude can. For it's not enough to have money. Money doesn't buy you a positive mind, nor can it buy you a healthy body. You and I have to do that inner work.

Today is the start of a brand new year. Let this year be the year you build your solid foundation for a long, happy, healthy life.

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