Category Archives: wellness

Preparing for a Successful Lifestyle Change: Part 2

Habits and Affirmations

If a ship does not have a clear sense of direction, it will go around in circles. Making a healthy lifestyle change and a new, younger me is much like a ship traveling from point A to point B; one needs a clear direction! Because of this, and to help guide my new healthy lifestyle, I’ve focused on cultivating solid habits and affirmations.

I’ve done a lot of research on reversing the aging process, but the resource that best sums up my goal is Deepak Chopra’s book Grow Younger, Live Longer. In it, Chopra outlines various steps we can take to actually grow younger through nutrition, exercise, proper rest, etc.

Inspired by this idea, I have set my year-end biostat (biological statistic) goal to become 39 years old. I know I am 47 years old, but biologically I want to finish this year at an age of 39. To lay a foundation for lifestyle change that will help me accomplish my goal, I’ve incorporated habits and affirmations into my daily life.

My Daily Affirmation

My affirmation sums up all the areas in which I want to invest making a successful lifestyle change, in elegant Chopra style. I read it every morning and check in to review if my ship is moving into the right direction toward age reversal. 39 is a bit ambitious but I believe it is feasible. This summer I am planning to conduct further bio tests — a bit difficult to conduct in Malawi — and hopefully I will arrive at this number.

Here is my affirmation:

“Every day in every way I am increasing my mental and physical capacity. My biostat is set at a healthy 39 years of age. I look and feel like a healthy 39 year old. To reverse my biological age, I will begin by changing my perception of my body, its aging, and time. I do this through the following:

  • Two kinds of rest (restful awareness and restful sleep)
  • By nurturing my body through healthy foods,
  • By using nutritional compliments wisely
  • By enhancing mind/body integration
  • Through exercise
  • By eliminating toxins from my life
  • By cultivating flexibility and creativity and consciousness
  • Through love and by maintaining a youthful mind.”

I translated this affirmation into a 6-pillar development plan in this post to put this lifestyle change into practice. And if you haven’t read the first blog post on preparing for a healthy lifestyle change and crucial time management in order to do so, read it here. Like time management, habits and affirmations are an important part of building a foundation for lifestyle change.

Conscious vs. Subconscious mind

To achieve my goal I have incorporated a lot of different routines. It’s a little bit like driving on autopilot. When you start driving a car, you don’t start by thinking, “Let me put by hand onto the steering wheel, let me start the car, shift the gear, press the break, look trough the window.” You do these things almost automatically. Your brain is trained to do them effortlessly.

But remember your first driving lesson, how nervous you were and how challenging driving was at that time?

To me all these new routines are similar, and once I moved these habits (through the use of my affirmation) into my subconscious mind, they become effortless. They are now an automatic part of my day. I am happy when I realize later that I am on track and moving forward.

On the other hand, my conscious mind is busy focusing on the main goals I have set for my day, the challenges I am trying to solve, and the results I am trying to achieve.

It is an elegant balance between moving forward in my growth and being able to accomplish everything scheduled in my day. They are not conflicting but rather they are complementary in moving towards growth.


One of the hardest things to establish are habits. You might say, ” I don’t have time to do that,” or “My day is already busy,” or “I don’t have the energy or motivation for a new routine.”

Trust me, I was the same way!

But then I came across Andy Ramage and his One Year No Beer (OYNB) program. When I joined OYNB in 2017 the only thing I did was listen to Andy’s thoughts on establishing goals and habits. I listened with disbelief because everything sounded so unrealistic and so far removed from my life. It sounded great, wonderful, but how the hell can I (little me) achieve this?

But then something changed. I took little, tiny steps into the direction he suggested. I started with a few minutes, reflected on the results and then started to expand on new habits and new routines.

Life is a daily journey, and it is about realizing and welcoming every single moment and appreciating what we have. When you grow a habit like you would grow a seed into a plant, you are building a strong foundation, and therefore something that has the chance to be sustainable and to be with you for a long time.

Habits are not doing the same thing every day in the exact same way. A habit (like a plant) needs to be adjusted, pruned, changed up. It is that flexibility, the openness to drop a habit and try a new thing which makes a habit powerful and eternal.

Now I probably have about 50 habits I am focusing on every day and I love it. I love the fact that I am investing in my future and health while having fun in the present and that I am on track of achieving my goals.

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How to Prepare for a Successful Lifestyle Change

Part One: Making Time for Healthy Habits

If you read my last post “A New Journey to a Healthier and Younger Me”, you know I have embarked on a new journey of health and wellness. I talked about six specific pillars on which I am focusing in order to make a lifestyle change and, in turn, to transform myself physically, mentally and spiritually.

The ultimate goal? To become physically younger and inspire others to do the same.

Establishing healthy routines is imperative in this journey, and sustainability and consistency is key. So before we go about implementing our six pillars, we must first have a strong foundation on which to build routines. First, we must make TIME for our new daily routines.

1. Examine Your Current Daily Schedule

Examining your daily schedule will help you find pockets of time to make your lifestyle change.

I like the quote I heard a few months ago: “You have the same 24 hours as Beyonce…” The biggest challenge is that we all have the same 24 hours in our day. Expanding one activity means we have to reduce another.

Find for pockets of time in your typical day that you spend on leisure and rethink them from this perspective: Are they really make my boat go faster? Is this really good for my health? Do I really need to watch another Netflix movie?

Think about your daily routines from start to finish. Do you spend too much time on your phone clicking on click bait? Consider using an app on your phone to alert you when you’ve spent longer than 15 minutes “decompressing” by playing a game you love. That game might relax you, but it’s not directly contributing to your healthy lifestyle change.

2. Rethink Your Wake/Sleep Schedule

Personally, one of my most important foundations to find time to be healthy is to first look at the wake/sleep balance. I aim for 7 hours, 30 minutes of sleep and then build my schedule around that. Sometimes it works, but most of the time I’m less than perfect at getting the requisite sleep.

With small children, a full-time job, social obligations, and chores required to keep life running, what is ideal might not be realistic every day. But just having that sleep goal is the key for me. I do not beat myself up when I only get 6 hours of sleep. Instead, I look forward and remind myself that tomorrow is another day and I will try to move into the right direction toward my goal of a healthier me.

Then I reflect on what I can do to get more sleep.

In my next blog installment, we will cover Part 2 of How to Prepare for a Healthy Lifestyle Change. We will be covering affirmations and healthy habit as crucial first steps in our wellness journey.

Stay tuned!

A new journey to a healthier and younger me….will you join?

Rainmaker. Knowledge broker. Healer.

Wishing everybody a Happy New Year!

I am planning to expand this blog from a water and tea blog to a wellness blog and I will document my journey of becoming younger and younger biologically. My goal is to help as many people as I can, to inspire them to become the better version for themselves.

So many dreams for 2020….

While I have been silent for the past months as our family transitioned from Myanmar to Malawi, the start of the new year is also a motivator for me to finally relaunch my blogging.

Over the past months, a lot of things have happened. The move from Asia to Africa has not been without any bumps, but we finally settled into our new life here in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Malawi, also known as the warm heart of Africa, is a wonderful place with so many opportunities, but also challenges. While Malawi is the second largest exporter of teas in Africa, access to clean water is an issue and access to fine water is almost non-existent.

Despite all of this, I managed to continue exploring my passion for water and tea, but an additional desire slowly emerged.

The Year 2019 – My main achievements

These are the moments I am most proud of in 2019 (in no particular order):

Successfully transitioned from Myanmar to Malawi

Walked 100,000 steps in one day to earn the Fitbit Olympic Sandal badge

Being a husband to my lovely wife Kristen

Being a father to my lovely sons

Listened to 230 audio books

Presented at the Fine Water Summit in Stockholm, Sweden

Conducted 5 water tastings on 3 continents

365 days alcohol free and member of OYNB

Maintained my target weight

Built my first home gym

365 days of Elevate and Calm – my ultimate go to apps in the morning.

The journey to better health

As many of my friends know, I have enjoyed my journey to a healthy and better me over the past two years. More and more I realized, that developing a new wellness strategy, is what makes me happy and ultimately will contribute to a stronger me.

Out of this, a new idea was born for me: Push my envelope and create a new ambitious goal.

Daily mantra

My daily mantra over the past two years has been:

“How can I become a better version of myself by the end of the day?”

The daily change has been tiny, but doing this every day has allowed me to reach a level of performance and health I would never thought of possible two years ago.

My wellness and fitness journey, started with a simple Fitbit tracker in 2017 and reaching 10,000 steps every day has been a motivator going forward. In 2019, I even managed to walk 100,000 steps in one single day (took me 17 hours walking nonstop in Rome, Italy) to obtain Fitbits Olympian Sandal badge.

To motivate me to grow as a person, I started using technology on a new level as of this year. In 2019 I managed to listen to 230 audio books and expanding my knowledge has been a passion for me and my personal growth. I read a lot of books on wellness, health, nutrition, bio hacking, aging and most of all reverse aging.

Michael 2.0 – The Year 2020

My 2020 goal sounds crazy, ambitious – but I know, achievable. One of the questions in 2019, which stuck with me is : “Will it make the boat go faster?” I only focus on development goals, if they will add value in growing as a person. If it is counter productive, I will not do it.  Sounds easy, but requires a lot of daily discipline. The key is to balance your developments to the point that they support each other and make you as a person overall stronger.

Over the past 48 months, I have eliminated alcohol, sugar, actually any drink calories, as I have now a zero calorie drink diet (I only drink water, tea and coffee).

I am at my ideal weight, set at a BMI of 22.5 , which I have maintained over the past 2 years (give or take a pound). I have a healthy, 117/75 blood pressure, a full range of healthy within normal stats including cholesterol, blood sugar and BF.

My main 2020 goal is:

While I will get one year chronologically older, I will become one year biologically younger.

Everything I am doing wellness wise, is driven by actual numbers and data goals. I have created a detailed affirmation and a plan on how I will achieve this.

Anything I do on wellness has to fit into my busy day. I am first of all a husband, father and work as the head of resource management for the World Food Programme in Malawi. Life is hectic and there are a load of daily challenges which need tackling.

The wellness path forward – A new blog

I am planning to expand this blog from a water and tea blog to a wellness blog and I will document my journey of becoming younger and younger biologically. My goal is to help as many people as I can, to inspire them to become the better version for themselves.

My development plan for 2020 is build on 6 pillars:

Tracking:  Making my goals visible is one of the most important elements. I am using a Fitbit tracker, a Fitbit scale and an Oura ring. This provides me with insights on my progress towards my goals and my health status.

Mindfulness: I am a big fan of the Calm app and I have started using Muse 2 this year. Mindfulness has been a game changer for me to be present in the moment and to build a strong mind/ body integration.

Fitness: I am passionate about my fitness routines. I have started to use Neuro Priming and Neuro Stimulation (Halo Sport) this year to achieve better results. I focus on cardio, core and strength trainings. My favorite room in the house – our own gym!

Nutrition: I started my own nutrition programme and I labeled it : Reverse Engineered Metabolism (REM) – I am focusing on giving my body the elements it needs for growth and maintaining the proper health. I also started incorporating vitamins and probiotics on a mindful level. This also includes my zero calorie drink diet.

Skin: To look and feel younger, skin care is essential. This is not coming natural to men so it took some time, but now I am hooked. For me the skin is our largest organ is the entry gate to cell rejuvenation and growth.

Social aspect: While my growth is focused on me as a person, I cannot do this alone. I am so blessed being part of several great communities, most importantly the OYNB community but other amazing facebook groups as well to learn from others. I want to give back and help others in their journey to achieve a healthier and happier version of themselves.

Over the next 12 months I will document my journey and highlight what has worked and what has not. Certainly I will include my thoughts on the latest trends in tea and water as this remains one of my most important interests.

Please feel free to reach out to me in case of any questions and I am happy to include the topics in my next blog.

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