Create Highlights!

highlights packers.jpg

Second of 2 Parts (GameChanger Model for Results): Creating Highlights

How do most people celebrate occasions?

FOOD EXCESS IS USUALLY AT THE TOP OF THE LIST.

SuperBowl Sunday: A smorgasborg of “game day” foods, eating like a madman while watching elite athletes perform (It makes no sense to me)

Birthdays: Birthday dinner and cake

Christmas: Giant Feasts at every family you visit.

Holiday Cruise or Trip: All you can eat buffets and feasting because it’s “vacation time”.

Valentine’s Day: Dinner and Chocolate over intimate time.

Friday Night: Pizza and beer to “escape” to the weekend.

Food is quick and easy, providing tonnes of short term gratification. People often highlight each day, or try to salvage something good of it by finishing the day with an iced cappuccino or donut treat.

The end result is often sadness and feelings of weakness and insecurity as the weight adds up on your body and you end up on the next diet kick or try to hide your body in the summer.

That or, what you often see is someone look forward to a vacation for weeks, and shortly after the holiday they are depressed because…..then what?

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?

DELIBERATELY CREATE HIGHLIGHTS

THAT ARE MEANINGFUL & NOT FOOD RELATED

For the first time, an actual model to make this happen:

(I’m going to use my own thought process and ideas to help give you some ideas)

  1. Daily Highlights
  2. Weekly Highlights
  3. Monthly Highlights
  4. Quarterly Highlight
  5. Yearly Highlight
  6. 2 Year Big Highlight
  7. 5 Year “Mega Highlight

1. THE DAILY.  I make sure every day has a highlight to it that I can look back at, at the end of the week and say “wow” that was an awesome day. This is as simple as anxiously waiting to get home to see Episode #3 from Season 3 of “Son’s of Anarchy” on demand.  My key point is that there is something in place for the day that you look forward to that excites you versus what so many people do, seeking out food as their “highlight” or escape.

Other things on my “Daily” list include my Sunday night walks with my wife, Saturday refuel where we go for a special meal (as part of a discipline exercise plan), hot tub one or two times per week to cap off the night, a game of chess with my son on a Thursday night, Friday night coffee date, Tuesday night mountain biking through trails.

The point is, every night has something I really look forward to that is DELIBERATELY scheduled.

2. THE WEEKLY. Every week I try to come up with 1 thing that I look forward to all week.  An easy one for me is Tuesday Night Movie Night.  It might mean going to the driving range with friends on a Sunday afternoon.  Another on is catching UFC at a local pub on a Friday night.  I choose something that I’m really looking forward to, that is not food related and involves family and/or friends.

3. THE MONTHLY. Every month, I try to plan one special day with EACH person in my family.  That special day is devoted to that person.  I try to make it a meaningful daylong event.  This could be shopping and a tour through Niagara Falls with my wife.  This could be a day at an amusement park with my daughter. GoKarting, fishing and golf all in one day makes for a spectacular day with my son.  Another idea is concert tickets. This event happens every 31 days, it’s scheduled on your calendar.

4. THE QUARTERLY. Something special for each season of the year that you can’t wait for:

a) Winter: Snowmobile Rentals for a Day

b) Spring: Weekend in New York City

c) Summer: Annual Fishing Trip and BBQ

d) Fall: Scenic train trip up north during the colourful Fall in Ontario

5. THE YEARLY. Every year, there’s a getaway planned, a vacation of sorts.  This past few years its been a Cruise, Florida, North Carolina, and this year Florida again.

6. THE 2 YEAR BIG HIGHLIGHT.  This often requires saving some money to go someplace relatively special.  2 years of deliberate savings gives you 24 months to pocket some money.  Iceland is on my list as is Vegas. Believe it on not, neither trip is overly expensive and with a few hundred strategically set aside monthly, this is possible.

7. THE 5 YEAR MEGA.  Every 5 years, do something spectacular.  There’s only so many years that you are on this earth.  It would be a shame not to realize some of the dreams that you may have had.  Hawaii is on my list, as was one of the best trips I ever took, going to Arizona with my son do dune buggy through the desert.  Europe may be the destination.  You will kick yourself, when in your 60’s when you look back and realize that you didn’t really go anywhere.

You notice some of these items involve some money.  To that I say, create a plan to make it happen, both with travelling on a budget, and a monthly plan with your regular expenses, cutting back where possible to make things work.

Most of these options really involve deliberate planning and booking….action…to make happen.  Ever since I started deliberately planning in this way, with small things interspersed with bigger events, life has become a lot more interesting.  There’s always highlights to be had and to look forward versus the alternative of waiting for 12 months for the big trip and then wondering what to do afterwards, or worse yet, drowning aimlessly in food escape as a means to create a state of happiness.

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