When Looking Back, Focus On The Half Full…


We’ve all heard the expression, “Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?” If you’re like me, on the last day of the year, you’ll likely look back on the last 12 months. You might think it was a good year, a bad year, a slow year, a fast year, etc… You may have set some goals at the beginning of the year that you’ve yet to fulfill and you likely accomplished some things that you did not aspire to on January 1st. New year’s resolutions are common and often beneficial, but people tend to beat themselves up and often give up when things don’t go as planned.

We could look back on what we did not accomplish. We could think hard about the bad times, the times we suffered, the times we cried, and the times that time seemed to creep slowly, but what would that do? When I look back on my life, I don’t really remember the tough times, what sticks out to me are positive experiences. If I think hard, I can dig up some bad memories, but doing so benefits me none. For example, in the same week that “The Bro” was born, our yellow lab Charley died. Do I sob daily about Charley? No. Everyday, I thank God for my son who makes me smile more than two pounds of steamy king crab. While I grieved over Charley for awhile, I now only have fond memories of him.

Today, I encourage you to look back at what I call “Past Year’s Fulfillments”. You see, there is no way that we can know what the new year will bring. And, while we can have good intentions and postulate at what we think would be good for us to accomplish in the coming year, each day will bring a challenge of it’s own.

My advice is to gain a mindset that will prepare you for the unknown and unknowable. How can you do this? By doing what is hard, taking the high road, practicing self-control in your diets, being disciplined in your training, etc…

Fitness, nutrition and life are all personal journeys, so find what works for you. If you try something that doesn’t work, make changes and move on until you find something that does. Focusing on what you have accomplished is a positive experience and will help you make positive changes in your life. So, what do “Past Year’s Fulfillments” look like?

Here are 13 accomplishments of mine from 2013:

  1. I logged over 300 workouts and competed in 4 CrossFit competitions.
  2. I worked to turn an old tire shop into a world-class CrossFit gym.
  3. I held three “Keep It Paleo!” seminars and turned “everyday Joes” into Culinary Ninjas.
  4. I was a part of the Steve’s Club summer leadership camp where I had the opportunity to influence at-risk kids to become the future leaders of America.
  5. I traveled to Minnesota for my brother’s wedding and Mexico for my brother-in-law’s wedding (traveling with The Jo and The Bro even to the grocery store is a feat in itself).
  6. My beautiful wife, Jessie, and I celebrated our 10th anniversary by traveling California’s Big Sur region.
  7. I posted 178 articles to this website, produced 10 videos for PALEOCHEF, and 12 videos for CrossFit.com.
  8. I coached “The Bro’s” T-ball team to an undefeated season.
  9. I helped my wife build her etsy business.
  10. I landed a sponsorship with Camp Chef (and subsequently smoked over 1000 pounds of meat), John Boos, Zephyr Hoods, and Vitamix.
  11. I met Jesse Kahle, an awesome dude who has answered my prayers regarding video production.
  12. I worked with Shabir and Ian and through the experience gained two dear friends.
  13. I made the decision to quit my day job and focus on PaleoNick.com full time.

So many more things happened. I met countless amazing people and read some good books. I could go on and on about what happened in 2013, but I won’t. The point I am trying to make is that, while there is a time to be hard on ourselves, there is also a time to reflect, pat ourselves on the back, and celebrate.

Neetobreathe is one of my favorite bands and they have a song titled“Stones Under Rushing Water.”I don’t exactly know what it is about, but it sounds like a husband and wife singing to each other. One of the lyrics says “Why don’t we dance anymore? I’m not okay with that.” We get busy with life and at what point does it become okay to stop dancing with our significant other? The song is about how quickly life passes and how “…the years go by like stones under rushing water”.

Before you know it, you’ll be reading my closing post for 2014. As today turns to tomorrow, think back on all that you accomplished this past year. Prepare yourself for the coming year, but not with a list of to-do’s. Do it by making positive changes that will prepare you to confidently handle whatever challenges you face. Focus on the positive, eat clean, train hard, and above all, have fun! If you’re looking for some guidance on how to do this, stick close to this site, because it is going to be full of all of the above! This, I promise you.

As Abraham Lincoln says, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Focus on what you can do today, focus on the full half of the glass, and don’t forget to dance.

I’ll leave you with a quote that my wife stamped on one of her signs early in her sign-making business…

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast, you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

While we sometimes need a soft and fluffy message, like today’s, we also benefit from abrasion, I’ll publish that message tomorrow…

“Keep It Paleo!” my friends.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(The Bro, my assistant.)


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