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#13: Backwards through time – Month 2

On December 11, 2022, I decided to travel backwards through time. In the six months until my 40th birthday, I want to reduce my biological age to that of a 20-year-old.

Meanwhile, the second month is over. How is my project coming along?

Despite my strenuous stay abroad, I have consistently followed my habits to improve my physical fitness. My habit tracker gives me an excellent overview of how I want to shape my life and whether I am implementing my plan.

Exercise and drinking plenty of water have become such an ingrained part of my everyday life that I rarely have to consciously remind myself of doing them.

Only sugar has become a vice again in the last few weeks. Not getting enough protein and my dissatisfaction with the external circumstances were probably the main drivers.

However, during the four weeks in England I got to bed much earlier and slept more than seven hours almost every night.

If there’s only one thing you do to get fitter, lose weight, feel better, get in top physical and mental shape, then make sure you’re getting enough and good sleep!

Overall, I already feel fitter and more vital than in the last five years, maybe even the last ten!

The success of the last nine weeks makes it very clear to me that identity drives our habits. With the identity I’ve created for myself—a 40-year-old with the vitality of a 20-year-old—it’s impossible not to be constantly on the move. Robin Sharma speaks of the PMM, the perpetual motion machine. Use it or lose it, and next to adequate sleep, exercise is the second pillar of lasting health.

If you want to change your behavior, first change your identity! Decide who you want to be. Then prove it to yourself with the appropriate actions.

In the past month, I’ve also been doing this for my mind and soul. My course made me feel the way I felt in my first job training. Learning new things, preparing for practical exercises and above all having loads of fun doing it.

When you feel pleasure in something, your body releases dopamine. If you only consider achieving your goal as satisfying, then the dopamine hit will come only with the outcome. You won’t enjoy what you do to get there. The incentive drops dramatically and you’re less likely to take action at all.

From a neuroscientific point of view, it’s much better to enjoy doing something than just the result.

 Having fun gardening, not just with the bottle of beer you drink when you’re finished. Experiencing joy while studying, not just on graduation day. Feeling bliss working out, not just looking at your ripped body in the mirror.

And if you really don’t like the path, but you definitely want to reach the goal?

Just pretend you’re having fun! Even if it’s not true, you’ll eventually believe it and trick your brain. We really are that basic!

But in the long run, you don’t want to fool yourself.

Real fun results when three specific things come together.

But that’s a topic for one of the next Freedom Letters.


Yours, Ulrich

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