Change Your Relationships...

Change Your Life!

John Mellencamp

“Your life is Now! In this undiscovered moment, lift your head above the crowd… shake this world…”

What Moves You?

Music moves us!

And after listening to the timeless and timely lyrics of Mellencamp’s 1998 hit, Your Life is Now, we realized the song is loaded with insight and inspiration for today.

Would you take the high road if you could chose?

Do you believe you’re a victim of a great compromise?

Cause I believe, you can change your mind and can change our lives.

Your life is now…

As the world breaks free from COVID quarantines, forced closures and long-term separation, people are craving connection and change.

How about you, are you ready to chart a new vision for moving forward by re-investing in you and your relationships to change your life?

If so, we’re here to help. Some our of most rewarding life changes happened while at Sundance Mountain Resort. Sundance is an enchanting mountain playground where our family, friends, fitness, faith, and fun blend to create a sacred place for shifting perspective and inspiring change.

Find a place where your mind will clear and your perspective will shift and consider these 6 strategies for changing your life.

1. Re-focus on family

We’re fond of saying a great marriage/relationship is not about FINDING the right person.

Great marriages/relationships are about BEING the right person.

Think back over the last month, how would you score on “being the right person” to your spouse, significant other or best friend for that matter?

Are you in search of Mr./Ms. Right?

Or are you working on improving you?

Why not take a moment to pause and reflect:

Think about your family, 10 being highest, what’s your current level of fulfillment?

What about your family is moving in the right direction?

What needs some adjustment?

Being a better person requires a service over self-interest mindset.

A great way to get started is to ask your significant other, at a non-emotional time, “What one thing do you need more of from me and what one thing do you need less of?”

How about your kids?

What are you doing to engage them, not nag or control them, what are you doing to show interest in their lives and choices?

What are you doing to be present—to be intellectually and emotionally involved in their lives?

If you find yourself guilty (most of us are) of doing most of the telling and talking, pause!

Notice, then ask (don’t assume) and by all means, listen.

Most kids have a lot more to offer than meets the eye, great parents notice, ask and listen.

2. Build an Epic Friend Tribe

Still hanging with the same crowd, still having the same conversations, doing the same stuff?

Epic friend tribes are born of true friends who do not tolerate boredom; they’re intolerant of superficial, mindless conversations.

True friends will confidently pull the plug on toxic, empty and selfish monologues.

Growing meaningful and enriching relationships isn’t just about hanging with movers and shakers. Movers and shakers can be interesting, but are they interested as well?

Epic friends tribes practice the balance of being interesting to others and interested in others.

It’s about challenging the conversation-as-usual trap and initiating interesting and more meaningful discussions.

True friends ask as much as they tell and they ask questions that go beyond surface. Questions that inspire thinking, exploring and dialoguing around meaningful issues.

As an example, we’ve serve as “dialogue facilitators” for various groups. One of our more impressive experiences was with 6 couples who’ve been meeting annually for over 14 years to dialogue about timely and timeless world issues. They always break bread, sprinkle in some fun and learn about something new. They meet in different places and come from different parts of the country. They all share a passion for learning, yet if you ask, “what really makes the group EPIC?” Answer, the different and conflicting perspectives they each bring to the experience.

In the year we facilitated, they toured the County Medical Examiners Office and Sailed Dennis Conner’s America’s Cup Experience. They ended with dinner and dialoguing about innovations in third world countries, one of which we wrote about in NANOVATION.

Think about your last evening out with friends. Was the conversation fulfilling, meaningful? Did you walk away feeling energized and enriched or was it unremarkable, did it teeter on boredom?

We tell our children frequently, you’re known by the company you keep. That company will either draw you up or drag you down.

Epic friend tribes work at drawing the best out of each other and doing whatever it takes to avoid drama, superficial and mindless interactions.

Could you use a refresh on getting together with friends and family, could the conversation use a boost?

Well, enriching the conversation has to start with someone who is willing to try.

Be that person… Dare to try!

Be the one who shows up with something meaningful to offer and something meaningful to ask.

In our experience, being the one to shift the conversation isn’t always easy, you may get resistance. A lot of people find comfort in the status quo and instigating drama, but neither are healthy, they’re toxic and dysfunctional.

Keep in mind, bringing new direction and life to the conversation will inevitably change AND enrich your relationships.

A bonus, people with relational depth and breadth make more money. Successful people will work with you, hire you and pay you because of how connected they feel to you. Money is born of relationships.

3. Get Fit Together

Health and wellness is a lifestyle, not a program, a lifestyle influenced by food and fitness.

You can’t expect your health and wellness to improve if you focus on one and neglect the other.

We all know people who workout, eat crap and complain about their weight.

We also know people who don’t workout, eat reasonably and complain of low energy and feeling tired.

The goal is finding the right balance of nutrition and activity to achieve your own health and wellness goals.

We do know this, fitness, health and wellness is about moving, not moaning!

And every little bit helps.

Park farther away. Take the stairs.

Stop sitting, its highly overrated. Shake it up, try a standing desk.

Host a walking meeting and bring an iPhone to record the “to dos.”

Walk the track or the field while your kid plays soccer, rugby, or baseball.

Find an accountability partner, someone who will help you stay committed to a fitness or wellness routine. When your neighbor is in the driveway waiting at 5 AM you won’t hit snooze and lean on “I’ll start tomorrow.” You get up and move.

Experiment until you find an activity you love. You don’t have to love running, yoga or spin, but explore and find something you do love. When that happens your workouts will become a go to and not a grind.

Make healthy eating a family challenge, engage in a collective agreement to eat healthy.

Together, say “no” to those bottomless orders of chips and salsa.

Keep junk foods out of the house and choose replacements that make everyone feel better.

Be more mindful. Remember, temporary pleasures lead to permanent reminders.

If you’re like us, we love the way we feel post workout. Log that feeling, embrace that feeling.

We hate the way we feel after a self-indulgent excessive meal. Replace that feeling with the endorphin rush that follows a walk or workout.

A binge feels good for the moment but bad for the month.

Choose the food and the activity that make you feel better for the month.

4.  Refresh Your Faith

What have you done in the last year to grow or refresh your faith?

Bible study?

Prayer group?

Mission outreach?

Spiritual retreat?

Books, podcasts?

Compared to two years ago, has your faith declined or stalled?

Are you feeling hopeful or hopeless?

Are you learning, questioning, and growing?

Your view of God, your faith, will influence and impact literally everything else in your life. So, it’s critical to get this one right.

In our lives, it seems like the darkest moments call us to choose between faith and fear.

In desperate times, we’ve learned to choose faith over fear.

It is easy? Hell no, doubt and difficulty are hard!

But remember this, fear will alway seem safe in the short run but rest assured, fear never proves fruitful in the long-run.

As a faith refresh, look around…

Who in your network is a pillar of faith and would serve as a sounding board?

Ask if they’d be willing to meet monthly to explore faith and spiritual awareness.

During your monthly connections, explore good reads, podcasts and other sources of inspiration.

Discuss what challenges your faith, what guiding principles guide your choices and what life challenges you’re up against.

Faith is meant to be experienced and shared in relationships.

Keep in mind, faith is protected in the privacy of your heart. Yet, faith grows in the heart of your community,

5. Re-define Fun

Many of the most successful people we know work hard and play harder.

Over the years we’ve discovered, professionalism, seriousness and intensity are highly overrated.

As a matter of fact, they are wreak of arrogance and insecurity.

Fun is healthy. Fun and laughter should be our drugs of choice.

When we laugh our bodies produce endorphins (the body’s natural morphine) and when endorphins flow through our bodies our immune systems improve and our stress is reduced.

When we were writing NUTS, we spent two years onsite with Southwest Airlines’ executives and employees. After a day of interviews, our checks hurt, not from sitting in endless, long winded session, but from smiling and laughing so frequently.

It was an adjustment for us when the book was finally finished; we actually experienced Southwest Airlines withdrawals because we missed our daily contact with so many fun spirited people.

Surround yourself with more people who laugh and you’ll benefit big time, laughter is highly contagious.

Who in your network loves to laugh and laughs often?

Find ways to spend more time with fun people, invite them to lunch, happy hour, a workout or a walk?

And ask yourself, “am I contagious, do I inspire laughter; do I add to the fun or am I putting a damper on it?”

Fun is not an illusion, it’s a choice, look for the humor in life not just the heartache or hardships.

Challenge yourself to relax and look for the lighter side of life, it’s there, it just needs to be discovered.

6.  Focus on Your Focus

Focus and prioritization is a struggle that long predates the COVID-19 crisis.

With work and life blurred and boundaries stretched, now is a great time to reimagine you and your impact post-pandemic.

We’ve said it before and it’s worth saying again…

Start by tackling unnecessary and unwarranted busyness. Focus instead on engaging in work, innovations and activities that really matter, activities that create ROI.

Ask yourself:

Where is my focus, do I see the glass half full or half empty?

Do I listen to the good wolf or the bad wolf?

Is my focus on the future or the past?

Is my focus holding me back or advancing me forward?

Monitor your focus and where it gets you—how does your focus impact your mood and performance over the course of a week? What you focus on determines what you see.

Some of the biggest drains on productivity can be solved by removing unhealthy foods, toxic people and non-productive habits from your life.

Just do it! Grab a buddy and commit to a 30-day challenge:

Subtract one unhealthy food, one toxic person and one non-productive habit from your life.

Replace each with a more enriching addition to your life:

Add a healthy food alternative (or simply drink MORE water).

Reach out and connect with someone who has a sense of humor or someone more driven and adventurous than you.

Add a new habit, here are a few ideas: read a book a month, read a daily devotional, walk and track 10K steps a day, get up 30 minutes earlier.

Choose a habit that best suits you.

What you focus on determines where you go.

Change your habits, change your focus and your life will change.