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Lights Out at 10: A 41-Year-Old’s Quest for Sleep (and Sanity!)

Tick-tock, tick-tock… goes the clock, reminding me yet again that it’s well past midnight and my eyelids are doing the dance of exhaustion. As a 41-year-old with three wee pals (and a very full life!), let’s just say my sleep schedule has become a distant memory. But enough is enough! I’m embarking on a mission to reclaim my nights, and you’re invited to join me on the journey!

Starting tonight, February 25th, 2024, I’m declaring war on late nights. My new battle cry? Lights out by 10:00 p.m., no exceptions. This might seem drastic, but let’s be honest, my current sleep habits are about as healthy as a three-day-old pizza. It’s time to trade the late-night scrolling for some much-needed shut-eye.

But this isn’t just about catching some Zzz’s (although those are definitely important!). I’m on a quest to uncover the true benefits of a consistent sleep schedule. Will I finally have the energy to keep up with my kids without needing a nap after lunch? Will my brain function at peak capacity, allowing me to tackle work and life with newfound clarity? Will I, dare I dream, wake up feeling refreshed and ready to seize the day?

I plan to document this experiment in weekly blog posts. I’ll be sharing my struggles and triumphs, the good, the bad, and the (hopefully) well-rested. I want to be transparent about the challenges, the occasional slip-ups, and of course, the amazing benefits (if any!) that come with finally prioritizing sleep.

So, are you ready to witness the transformation of a sleep-deprived 41-year-old into a (hopefully) rejuvenated and energized version? Tune in next week for the first update, and let’s see where this journey takes us! Remember, even small changes can make a big difference, and I’m hoping this experiment inspires others to prioritize their own sleep health.

Sweet dreams (and stay tuned)!

Steve 41 with cerebral palsy

Middle-aged and crazy

I will write blog posts on rolling motivation.com anymore because it’s something that I haven’t been passionate about for a long time. That’s not a bad thing, the passion I had before was a false sense of who I was, who I was hoping to be, and how I wanted to show up in the world.
I’m not saying by any means that I was being fake, or trying to mislead I can guarantee I had nothing but genuine intentions when I started this blog and every time, I write an article.
I always reflect on past events around my birthday which is in June, also in September (which I think has a lot to do with growing up in school and starting the new year in September), and of course in December around year-end.
It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning, I would say I don’t know who I am I would in fact say I know more about myself now than I ever have and what comes with that is a deep and shocking realization that totals have ever really liked myself. Now that’s a bit shocking to hear, right? Or think about how shocking it is to say and to realize.
Now I can say I like myself more than I ever have in recent months. That’s due to a few things:

  1. Daily meditation (10 minutes or more every day)
  2. understanding that I’m not an entrepreneur and that the best place for me is a job that accentuates my skill set.
  3. Getting said job, which allows me to thrive through good customer service and making connections with people. I love to chat and I’m in a position that allows me to do just that.
  4. I stopped offering unsolicited advice. (I understand the slight irony based on this blog and my YouTube channel etc. Haha)
  5. Surrounding myself with people who not only love and respect me unconditionally but also encourage me to be more of my true self.

I think society has had it wrong for a lot of years.


You always hear things like “no one’s ever going to love you if you don’t love yourself first”
That’s a pretty bold statement and it puts a lot of pressure on people to just figure out how to like themselves especially when most situations, people, and circumstances that you interact with in your life are going to make you question who you are.
The fact of the matter is there have been times in my life when I needed somebody else to love me because I could love myself and that was the only way I started to see value in who I was and start the process of loving myself. You see. I’ve spent so many years trying to fix all the things that people told me are weird or unattractive, or simply will hurt my chances of closing a sale or getting a job.
That’s why I leaned so hard toward self-help I was trying to “fix” all the things that all these people told me were wrong with me. And it has only been recently that I’ve been able to understand that there is a toxic side to self-help and positivity.
Now please listen to me when I say this, I think there are a lot of positives to self-help seminars and personal growth in books and videos. We have access to so much information that anything we want to learn or do to grow is at our fingertips.
On the flip side were inundated with so much information that it can become just as addicting as anything else. I know firsthand that if you keep looking for things that are wrong with you. You’re always going to find something wrong with you. You can always prove your theory there is always going to be a friend, a family member, a coworker, or some person you are trying to date that’s going to point out things you need to work on. However, if you’re not careful you will end up spending all your time “trying to fix yourself” and no time actually discovering who your genuine authentic self is.
I didn’t realize how much I avoided this for so many years. Now that I have had a glimpse of who I genuinely am. I have many wonderful traits and many flaws; the next step is the hardest part of my journey.

Your next question probably is “how do you fully accept yourself?”
My answer: I have no idea but am working on finding out.

Happy 40th to me

I’m 40. I feel like there should be more that I should say in this post.

I’m sure you’re expecting something profound right? Well sorry to disappoint. I still want to provide value for people and help other people, but it’s for a different purpose now. I just haven’t had any desire to write blog posts nowadays. So this is what you get I am 40 and happy.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and I look forward to 40 more years.

2020 Goal Setting tip that works!

stack of 3 note books

Does the term 2020 goal setting seem like an oxymoron? Let’s face it 2020 has been a crazy year. Normal goal setting is difficult enough, but, 2020 goal setting is plain ridiculous!

Do you have trouble achieving your goals? Do set them and forget them?
Goal setting is easy. It is achieving your goal that is hard.

stack of 3 note books I use for 2020 goal setting
2020 Goal setting Notebooks

Well here is the biggest tip I can give that will help you achieve your goals and finish strong for 2020.

So what is my big secret tip?
Reflection.

It can be fun to look back on your life reflect on where you were at certain times. 

I visiting my parents recently and my mother was going through a bunch of photos and she found a photo of me that she really likes. 

Mom also found some old birthday cards and Christmas cards of mine from back in the day.

Needless to say, this inspired me to look back at my blog and listen to myself.

That sounds arrogant to some of you. You’re probably thinking, who wants to take advice from their past self? Well, the fact is, I do! 

Take a look at this post from 2016 on gratitude being a key to goal setting and achieving.

It’s an important process to track your progress.

I have found that the best way to do that is to look back at where I was at a specific time and compare that to where I am now.  It really is no different looking back at old photos, Christmas cards, or birthday cards. 

Think about it, did you have a diary growing up?  What about an old Journal or Sketchbook if you were an artist?

I am lucky to have my blog and my YouTube channel.

When I look back it gives me chance to see what I wanted to do in the future. I also get to see if I did in fact accomplish any or all of those goals.

I can actually look back at a specific date and time to what I was thinking about as well as what I was going after.  It is powerful! 

Every so often I look at a video or a post and think, “Oh man, things have changed. Other times, I say to myself “Hey! I never accomplished that goal, what happened there?

As you can see this process becomes very reflective and reflection is the best way to achieve a goal.

Let’s be realistic you can Google “goal setting” and millions of search results will come up. Many people have different opinions on goal setting.  Goal-setting isn’t the problem.

Picking a goal, writing it down, giving it a deadline was easy, If fact, it is still very easy. 

The hard part is sticking with that goal and ultimately achieving it.

Over the next little while I’m going to write more on goal setting and goal achieving.

Goal Achieving – by my definition is goal setting in a way that helps you stay focused and passionate about daily until it’s achieved. 

4 years later – a look back at High blood pressure (Hypertension)

Hypertension chart

Today is a public service announcement. I’ve kept this image on my fridge for 4 years. October 26th, 2016 I have a 24-hour cuff put on me to test my blood pressure. as you can see it isn’t exactly much to write home about or is it?

A black and white picture of my BP with the averages listed
A Hypertension – Blood Pressure

Here’s the story.

At that time I was 34 years old I haven’t been to the doctor in 4 years. I was working full-time, practicing Aikido, playing video games, and I was exercising on a regular basis. I mean why did I need to go to a doctor? Hahaha!!!

At that time diet mostly consisted of stuff I could prepare quickly. Meals, that didn’t take much preparation or no preparation was my ideal choice.  I figured hey, it’s not that bad. Wow, I was wrong! So, with the not-so-gentle encouragement from a friend of mine, I booked an appointment. My blood pressure was 165 over 110 in the doctor’s office that day. For those of you that don’t know 120 over 80 is the ideal blood pressure rating you want.

Since my doctor is awesome and understood that white coat syndrome is a thing so he requested that I wear a blood pressure cuff for 24 hours and see what the results would be over the course of a day. The machine will take my blood pressure every half an hour while I was awake and every hour while I was sleeping. 

Here comes the scary part.

After the results came back but my blood pressure was alarmingly high. Here is a closer look.

This is colour picture of my 24 hour BP test
Blood Pressure screenshot

As you can see by the picture 2 little separate green parts of the picture were the only time that my blood pressure was at a normal rate that was just as I fell asleep and just as I was waking up the rest of the time the chart looks like red mountains.

My doctor has been practicing for 15 years and that was the highest 24-hour blood pressure test he had ever seen. To be clear this is not the type of record that I wanted to set. Nobody wants to scare their doctor and therefore scare themselves in the process.

What did I do after I found out about my high blood pressure?

The first thing I did was call my parents and cry. That’s 34 years old in the parking lot of the doctor’s office, crying and questioning my mortality. The doctor put me on a blood pressure pill and claimed that I would have to go on one possibly or two more pills, for a total of 3.

I started to think if this continues on how much longer am I going to live? Is this the beginning of the end?

I am the guy who peaked in his late twenties and everything was downhill from there?

After the crying was over, I got to work.

I’m a solutions-based individual I started doing research and it turns out sodium and salt are both huge contributing factors to high blood pressure.

At the time I lived in work near Chinatown and so I continuously ate out for convenience. Now I have nothing against delicious Chinese food, Japanese food, and any other takeout that you can get your hands on every once in a while. 

However, I was eating something packed with soy sauce 6 to 7 days a week, for lunch or dinner. On top of that most mornings, you could find me headed to a Tim Hortons drive-thru or Starbucks for a salty breakfast sandwich. I blamed my Cerebral Palsy and wheelchair because it was easy to just grab and go.

Over the next month, I cut out almost all salts, no more eating out and I consumed mostly salads and wraps.

Here is a previous post I did about taking action.

My next doctor’s visit was good news! My blood pressure had dropped into an acceptable range. I believe it was in the 130s over 90. I told my doctor what I was doing and he encouraged me to stay on the path that I was on.

In the last, four years of continued diligence with diet and exercise. 

I’ve been able to keep my blood pressure in check, with a  single pill Instead of three.  I have also dropped my weight and without all that salt and sodium I am not thirsty all the time or tired.

You may ask why am I telling you all this?

The simple answer is because this led me down a path of healthier eating habits and regular doctor visits.  good habits snowball into positive results.

In May of 2019, I got a CPAP machine to help me with sleep apnea

I’ll have another article about sleep apnea at some point down the road.

What are you avoiding?

Do only do things when they absolutely have to be done?

Do you clean up your apartment only when you know you have guests coming over? 

What about renewing your insurance on your car the day it’s due?

These are all examples of things that I have done and I’m at risk of still doing.  I just don’t like doing them. My formula isn’t perfect but here are the things that help me overcome avoidance behavior.

  • Most of us who avoid things already know what’s going to happen if we procrastinate. The key is to remember that that is what’s going to happen and that will motivate you to actually do the thing.
  • Reward yourself. I know it sounds silly but even the small things tell yourself once I’m done this I can work in my garden, watch Netflix, or whatever suits you.
  • My mother always told me “You bugger around first and then you rush later, just get the task over with and then bugger around!” if you don’t know what the term bugger around means chances are you’re under 35 years of old 🤣.
  • Recognize that you like to avoid things and make a conscious effort to not do it. This will be hard at first but if you work at a daily you’ll notice you procrastinate less and less.

I can guarantee that you’ll never be perfect. Nobody ever has been or EVER will be “Perfect”. Take this blog for example; Someone is reading this post right now and thinking about all the grammatical errors, misuse of words, and typos.

I think about that every time I write and I do the best I can but if I worry about it too much I will never blog. Which is why there’s a two-year Gap between written blog posts on this site.

I had too many people tell me about all my errors and instead of just fixing them I’m moving on I avoided writing blog posts for fear of judgment. Guess what? It’s not that scary to screw up. When people tell you what you did wrong just fix it and you get the heck on with your day!

 

Rollingmotivation! The proof is in the pudding

Happy #RollingMotivationMonday. The proof is in the pudding, meaning if you want people to perceive you differently you need to change your behavior. In this video I tell a story about how a friend didn’t believe that I could have a short conversation. When you look at the facts I’ve never had a short conversation with her. So if I want to change that I have to change what she sees. In essence I have to prove that I can change the behavior.

Facebook.com/rollingmotivation | Youtube.com/Rollingmotivation |Twitter: @rmotivation|               Email : Steve@rollingmotivation.com

Patience & Timing… How everything seems to work out

Do you find it interesting when we want something and we have a time line that we needed it off it doesn’t show up. However, once we move on and forget about it that thing shows up and it was even better timed then we had originally planned. Patience & Timing go hand in hand  🙂

Facebook.com/rollingmotivation | Youtube.com/Rollingmotivation |Twitter: @rmotivation|               Email : Steve@rollingmotivation.com