Each of us uses a checklist from time to time. They are handy tools to assist us in complicated or many faceted activities such as planning a party, coordinating a new project at work, or even remembering a multitude of items on your grocery list. No one questions the value of a good checklist. However, you can’t live your life going from one checklist to another. A well-lived life, the 100 Year Lifestyle life, isn’t about checklists.
Right about now some of you might be surprised. If you are relying on checklists on a daily basis, and the latest technology to create them, odds are you are at least slightly addicted to the process and not looking to change. Please hear me out.
Life isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a series of complicated tasks that take up every waking moment of your day. For many, checklists are a valuable tool in a specific situation:
There’s a reason why pilots and surgeons use checklists, even for routine procedures. The use of checklists dramatically reduces errors and omissions and improves safety. Even basic tasks can benefit from the use of a checklist. Checklists are recommended tools for process improvement. Creating a checklist is a good way to think through all of the steps in a given task. It can help identify new steps to take and steps that are candidates for removal.
However, going through life with a checklist in your hand means that you aren’t allowing for life to happen. You’re following a list and blocking out all the other amazing possibilities that life can offer. Unless your checklist includes space for spontaneous joy, unplanned fun, unanticipated adventures, or chance opportunities to have a meaningful connection with another person, your checklist is probably hurting you instead of helping you. It certainly isn’t contributing to your happiness, health, or longevity.
100 Year Lifestyle Defined
Most of us make our checklists so long—so full and demanding over a short period of time—that we actually remove the possibility of leading a long, healthy, happy life. Here’s the definition of a 100 Year Lifestyle (and these are bullet points for easy reading, not a checklist):
- Living a healthy, passionate, prosperous life, every day of your life, for 100 years and beyond
- Great relationships with multiple generations and multiple circles of people. It includes lifelong learning, activity, and adventure.
- Financial freedom, abundance, and independence
- Perfect balance of exploration, play time, and fun combined with meaningful work
- Maximizing your genetic capabilities and making the most of your time, energy, and talents
- Keeping your original body parts functioning at full capacity
- Stimulating your mind to keep it sharp
- Accepting challenges, embracing change, and adapting to the unexpected
- Balancing the need for immediate gratification and a secure future
- Knowing and trusting yourself
- Trusting your Innate Intelligence. Your 100 Year Lifestyle is yours to customize.
(Excerpted from The 100 Year Lifestyle by Dr. Eric Plasker.)
Missing the Point
Here’s the deal, if you put having great relationships, achieving balance, and embracing change on a checklist, then you’re missing the point of both checklists and creating a lifestyle that works for you. Think of all the great things that you’ve achieved in your life, all the wonderful experiences you’ve had, and all of the memories you’ve created. Were they on a checklist?
Yes, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that is derived from crossing out something on your to do list or making it through every item on your entire list for the day. But that satisfaction distracts you from living your life, and becomes more of an addiction.
At 100 Year Lifestyle we want you to be addicted to life itself, and to the good things in life that will support you and your family for many years to come. Living a healthy, passionate, prosperous life, every day of your life, for 100 years and beyond is something you embody—not something you need to write down to remember. Living your 100 Year Lifestyle isn’t a complicated set of rules, it’s a perspective. Your longevity isn’t a process that is viewed as a series of steps, but rather the result of living with passion and purpose.
Throughout the new year, 100 Year Lifestyle will be providing you with the information and resources to help you live 100:100—100% for 100 years. Make this the year your life becomes about more than checklists. Find a provider near you to find the support you need!