The Simple Life

It started with my weekly email from Jon Gordon.  The title was “55 Days, There’s No Better Time Than Now.”


Upon opening it, the first line said “Counting today, there are 55 days left in 2019.”


Whoa? What? Reality-check. As you’re reading this now there are even less!


The email challenged readers to pick just ONE thing to better for yourself or your family to close 2019.


The message made me immediately realize there is no better time than now to re-focus my efforts on my health and fitness. My wife Megan is so proud that I’ve chosen health as my one thing for these final days of 2019.


So, with less than 55 days left in the calendar year, I’ve chosen to close 2019 by being intentional about my health.


Tod Meisner


In the last two years, fitness and my overall health have been larger priorities for me than ever before. From writing down workout goals, eating better, wearing a fitness tracker, etc. I’ve taken many steps to make fitness and wellness a priority.


However, during the fall I tend to get a little pudgy. It is football season you know? I tend to have more adult beverages on the weekends, in front of the TV or at a tailgate, than normal. And you know it’s not a tailgate without Doritos and pulled pork.


During the fall, I also teach classes at Auburn, so my days are long and the time to workout is shorter. Well, it’s shorter because I don’t normally feel like beginning a workout at 7:30 p.m.


These are all just excuses. What are some of the excuses that you find yourself facing?


Tod Meisner



There is no better time than now to stop the excuses. It’s time to implement changes now, before the holiday food is endless, that will help me maintain a healthy weight and not have me second-guessing my food and drink choices for two months.


What changes will I implement? Well, I have to make myself realize that 2-3 days a week it must be OK to workout at 7:30 p.m. But that is just temporary. The fall semester is over the first week of December and doesn’t begin again until early January. I will have an entire month of normally schedules workouts!


See what I did there? I looked at the positive side of things and not the negative. It’s hard to do, but as I always say, only you choose your attitude, so choose to be positive. What kind of changes can you make to overcome the excuses and be one step closer to your goal?



An Early Jump

By getting an early jump on my intentional fitness goals for 2020, I will be in the right mindset for our holiday travel. There’s no better time than now to re-focus on family and enjoying the foods and drinks that I like, while knowing I have intentionally planned proper fitness sessions along the way.


This mindset all ties back to my minimalist values of focusing on health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution. I’m making a concerted effort to make each of these things an intentional part of my life and not things that ebb and flow. It’s hard to do and takes focus and energy, but it’s been an amazing change for me.


There’s no better time than now. There isn’t. No excuses. It’s time to focus on what matters to you and make the most of what’s left of 2019.


So what about you? What ONE THING will you focus on to close out the year?


The Simple Life

It all started with a mention from Mark Hodgkin on the Sports Leadership Podcast. I can’t even recall the episode or quite exactly the date I listened to it on my way to work. But, it stuck with me. He mentioned changes he’d been making personally and said he had read a book and then watched a documentary by two men who dubbed themselves “The Minimalists.”


He mentioned how they stressed intentional living and living with less. “Living with less.” That phrase really stuck with me. It sounds so simple, yet many people struggle with it. Including myself at the time. My life had recently turned for the better as I had just begun my new job at Aflac.


Why So Anxious?

Gone were the days of wondering where the money for our next mortgage payment would come. I had new employment and a nice new paycheck. But, as is often the case, money isn’t everything. It brought a lot of peace of mind, but I was still feeling…un-settled. Maybe even anxious?


I tend to be a natural worrier, but this was different. So, I asked my wife Megan  if she’d heard of these gentlemen (she had!) and if she’d be willing to watch their documentary. Thankfully she said yes and we watched it the next time we had a weekend alone. I had no idea how life changing the show would be for both of us!


Tod Meisner


How did it change our perspective? Well, we realized that we are not our things. We also realized what we should really value in our lives.  By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.


To put it simply, we now try to live a lifestyle where we only bring things into our lives if they add value. What did we cut out you may ask? Old furniture that took up space, extra clothes that we hadn’t worn in months, knick-knacks that sat on shelves serving no purpose. The list was long!


There was also digital minimalizing. As in, so long Snapchat. See you later Facebook and other apps from my phone that only served as distractions. We began scanning pictures and putting them on flash drives. Scanning articles and old clippings so we still had a record of things, but not the paper trail.



Minimalism is Different for Everyone

Now, minimalism comes in different flavors and it may not look the same for everyone. It’s not like we sit around on the floor and stare at stark white walls. You may not know we consider ourselves minimalists if you visit our house.


Minimalism to us is really the mindset of living with less. And living that way intentionally moving forward. We constantly ask ourselves what items are adding value to our lives. We regularly take stock of our belongings and do regular purges.


If living with less seems appealing to you, but you’re not sure where to start, let me offer you some simple tasks taken straight from “The Minimalists” themselves.


Start here with some of their basic resources.

Try the  “30-Day Minimalism Game.”

Try a packing party.

Or just start getting rid of your crap. Because let’s face it, most of what we own is crap.


Living with less has made me focus on the more important things in my life. My mind is way more calm and free of worry because I don’t feel trapped by all my “stuff.” By focusing on health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution, I know I am putting a priority on five areas that truly matter.


Thinking like a minimalist didn’t happen overnight for Megan or myself. But, by adopting its principles and living them intentionally each day, we’ve completely transformed our lives.


So what about you? What changes can you make in your life to begin living with less?