Yep – you guessed it. It’s my birthday week.
I’ve never been a big ‘birthday guy.’ As clichéd as it may sound, I feel as though I am celebrating life each and every day.
That said, I do enjoy a good birthday celebration. Typically, a nice dinner (either at home or out) with my friends and family is my celebration of choice.
Sometimes, our birthdays don’t fall at the most convenient time. The month of March has been a difficult month to focus on my health and fitness. You already know I’m not a fan of excuses, but increased workload, travel, time away from your routine, etc. can be detrimental to achieving your fitness goals.
When writing this article, I put together some ideas that I feel are important to having a fun, successful celebration of your life (and you SHOULD celebrate). This week, I will also do my best to follow my own advice.
When Liza and I got married, we made a pact that we would avoid the stresses of a typical wedding and we chose not to sweat the small stuff. I apply the same principle to my birthday. A birthday should be a CELEBRATION. If you are stressing about what food to make, what you’re going to wear, or something superficial, you are missing the point.
Avoiding stress really isn’t all that difficult. Put things in perspective. Understand that gratitude goes a long way. Being grateful that you are alive and able to celebrate another birthday will cause a mindset shift from stress to solace.
We already know the physiology behind stress; it causes the release of adrenaline and cortisol in the body, it can lower your immune system function, and cause you to become irritable. Stress is a natural response that used to keep us safe from the saber-tooth tiger. Now, we sometimes stress-out over ridiculous things that are not a matter of life and death. Instead, choose to be happy on your birthday and minimize your stresses.
What do you typically do on your birthday? If the answer is ‘veg-out and do nothing all day,’ I wholeheartedly ask you to consider other, more active plans.
Yes, you should take some time to unwind as you celebrate your birthday. However, I want you to feel good about what you do. Surprisingly, a day of watching binging Netflix isn’t all that fulfilling in the grand scheme of life.
Get outside, be social, stay active! What good is a passive celebration of life? Go and DO something with your special day that you find fulfilling. Not everyone finds exercise as fun as I do, but I would encourage you to exercise on your birthday. You don’t have to go to the gym for an hour and a half, but you may consider going on a walk or doing a quick at-home circuit. Exercise boosts your endorphins and will elevate your mood – something you should experience on your birthday.
Have Discipline Leading Up to Your Birthday
Do you plan to have a sober birthday? Are you going to skip the birthday cake?
Perhaps you will, but many of you will not. Don’t feel bad – instead, work for it!
Having some discipline in the week of your birthday makes the birthday cake feel even more satisfying. One day of cheat meals will not completely derail your fitness goals – just the same as one day of perfect eating will not drastically change you either.
The more important concept is that you should have enough discipline outside of your birthday that a bit of indulgence seems reasonable. I do not subscribe to the idea of perfection all the time. It’s simply not realistic. If you have been putting in the work consistently, you earn a cheat meal here and there. Stay disciplined, be realistic, and enjoy your birthday.
When your birthday comes around, how will you celebrate? My favorite birthday meal is a home-grilled (by me, of course) sirloin steak with pineapple upside down cake for dessert.. And the best part is: I don’t even worry about it! Don’t stress, stay active, and have some discipline throughout the year and your birthday will truly feel like a celebration.
What are your favorite ways to celebrate? Drop us a comment below and whenever it may be, I wish you a happy, healthy birthday!