Can I ask you a quick question – do you know anyone who isn’t overloaded with information?
Uh-huh. Like, no-one right?
Information is cheap these days. At the click of a button, we have access to more ideas, blog posts, news stories than we could ever possibly read, watch or listen to.
It’s hard to remember – or imagine, if you’re a lot younger than me – a time when information was a scarce resource. That we were dependent on books or relying on other people we knew to share their knowledge with us.
Things have changed…
But now time, not information, is the scarce resource. We are frantically playing catch-up or reviewing our processes to maximize our productivity as much as possible.
(I often wonder if I just stopped reading books on time management and productivity, I might have all the time I need to do the things I need to do!)
And with information all around us, it is imperative that we treat our time with respect if we want to achieve our goals and create a virtuous cycle of upwardly successful life.
Could you do better?
But with so many choices of how to spend your time available to us, it is easy to spend time on those that don’t add any value.
And if you’re not adding value to your life, you are wasting your time.
And time is an irreplaceable resource. It is precious. Once it’s gone, you will never get that time back.
So when you are designing your paleo life, avoid these mistakes at all costs. They will waste your time by creating information overload at the expense of offering no, or even negative, value in return…
Paleo Mistake #1: You love complexity
Complexity is a sign of academic achievement, intelligence, or sophistication. People often use complexity in a passive-aggressive manner to control or laud it over other people.
But the opposite is actually true.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
~ Leonardo da Vinci
A sophisticated paleoista keeps things simple. She knows herself, what works for her, and sticks to it. She understands the Pareto Principle – that twenty percent of what she does gives her eighty percent of her results – and focuses on getting that twenty percent down.
Next time you try a recipe, a new workout or make a lifestyle change, see how you short and simple you can make it. Make your work smarter, not harder. Know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Paleo Mistake #2: You’re self-indulgent
Let’s not pussyfoot around here.
The harsh truth is this: Other people aren’t interested in you, your life, your success, or your stories.
You might think it’s your job to help other people, to guide them, and inspire them into following this paleo thing. To turn their life around, extend their life, even. Why wouldn’t they want to?
Well, I don’t know, actually. Doesn’t make any sense to me either. But the fact is they don’t. If they did, they’d be asking you all sorts of questions, educating themselves, making changes.
And if they’re not, move on.
Paleo Mistake #3: You think you need to follow it 100%
Some people are going to disagree with me here. And they would be right.
For some of us, the health impact is so great that doing anything less than 100% causes a far greater loss in health than makes the compromise justifiable.
But what I am really talking about here is about using your paleo purity as a badge of honor to prop up your self-esteem.
When you do this, you clog up your brain particles worrying about the fine details of the this and the that without adding any value.
While wasting a lot of energy puffing yourself up like some kind of paleo blow-up doll.
(Okay, forget I just said that)
You are who you are, you aren’t some kind of “better” because you’re “more paleo” that someone else. You’re okay, I’m okay.
Instead, relax from time to time, especially in favor of your relationships.
Break your paleo rules to enjoy the Halloween cupcake your kindergartner made for you. Skip your workout to meet your spouse out of work. Put down your mouse to visit a Star Wars exhibit with your family and discuss it over a fast food burger later. (Yes, this did happen – it was hard to break away from my work but I’m so glad I did.)
Paleo Mistake #4. You see food purely as fuel
Seeing food simply as fuel, as we are often urged to do, will bore the pants off you eventually.
Instead, allow yourself to enjoy your food.
Ask yourself whether you are excited about what you eat? Do you look forward to your meals? Do you get inspired and creative about food?
Get a cookbook with beautiful photography. Really ramp up the pleasure of eating by only eat when you are hungry. Find ways to measure the quality of your eating experience rather than the quantitative aspects. No doubt, your body would rather you eat one great meal than several mediocre ones.
Paleo Mistake #5: You get bogged down in the science
…And you’re not a science person.
You’re the type of person for whom the jargon and concepts of science that underpin health, nutrition and paleo require you to stop and think. And sometimes hard. Then you forget it.
And sentences full of scientific terminology slow you down because they’re full of unnecessary words.
If this is you, do yourselves a favor and skip the science. It is not necessary to understand it in order to be successful.
And don’t get caught up in the idea that paleo is a club you only get to join when you’re able to understand the macronutrient levels of thirty different foods, complete ten unassisted pull-ups, and become familiar with the native diet of the Inuits, either.
Despite what some people would lead you to believe.
Just skip it all and focus on paleo-acceptable foods you like, exercise you actually do, and habits that support your sustainable success.
Paleo Mistake #6: You make an end goal
It’s an easy mistake to make.
You’ve poured all your energy into achieving a goal. It might be the dress size of your twenties, a cholesterol number in the low hundreds, daily medications that no longer hit doubles figures.
And you think you’re done.
I hate to tell you this but it doesn’t work like that. At all.
Lifelong learning is spouted all over the place these days. And I’m going to spout it here.
Education is the key to making the changes in the first place and persistence and continuing education is what will keep your efforts flowing counter-culture as they need to for your ongoing great health.
It is only when we truly understand the impact on our bodies of our carb-loaded, stress-driven, couch-loving lifestyles that we take on board what we need to do to make things play out a different way.
Believing our paleo efforts have an end point is wrong but also missing the point. This is a lifestyle, a philosophy, a culture. It doesn’t end. Ever.
Besides, going back to a Standard American Diet after paleo is like finishing a lavish meal with supermarket ice cream. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Instead, put all of your enthusiasm into a paleo lifestyle that inspires, motivates, and energizes you and watch magic happen.
Is your time slipping away? Or do you spend on paleo matters that contribute to your success? And what are they? Please share because people need to know!