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I like this time of year. The hot days of summer are finally coming to a close and for many parents and students, it’s back-to-school time again.

This time of year always sparks the question in my mind, “What am I doing to learn something new in my life?” or an even better question might be,  “What could I learn that would provide me with a higher quality of life?”

I thought about this recently and came up with a list of six categories that, if I learned more about, could help me enjoy my life more now and also affect my future in a positive way. With each category, I’ve asked myself a question to help me get a clear bearing on where I stand relative to that category.

Here’s the list, along with some questions to help you sense where you’re at and whether or not you feel the need to continue your learning on some level:


Am I as healthy as I’d like to be? What are good age-appropriate activities that would safely maintain my health and fitness and would contribute to conditioning my whole body?


Have my nutritional health needs changed in any way compared to what they were 6 months ago… a year ago? Am I eating different foods now than I was in the past? Am I eating healthier or less healthy? What could I adjust to change my diet for the better? Is there an area of my diet I could learn about in order to make more healthy, informed food choices?

Challenging mental activity

My mind is a “muscle” that definitely needs just as much fitness and exercise as my body. Do I challenge myself to think in new ways or to learn about new ideas? Am I challenging or questioning my belief systems?

Social interactivity

Am I building and maintaining a circle of family and friends? When was the last time I met a new person I was drawn to for some reason? Did I make any efforts to nurture a friendship? Am I happy with the number of friends I have? Do I challenge myself to interact socially?

Meaningful work

Do I like my job? Does the work I do give me more than just an income? What is it? Would doing something different be more fulfilling? If there is something else I would rather do for work, how would I go about starting the process of change? Could I create a hobby out of something I would like to be doing?

Personal growth

Do I have a regular practice that nourishes my inner being? Is there any way I would like to feel myself that is not currently in my experience? Where can I find out more?

What adjustments to my life do I need to make, or what do I need to learn in any of these areas, in order to create a sustainable, higher quality of life for myself? Am I challenging myself to learn and progress in each of these areas of my life?

I invite you to pay special attention to any of these questions that create some “inner rumblings.” If you keep a journal, write down your answers to these questions. Then go back and read them regularly to remind yourself that changes towards better health and fitness don’t happen by accident. It takes intention and courage to throw yourself into the unknown. But, as they say, you can’t discover new lands if you never leave sight of your own shore.

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