April was a shaky month indeed! A lot going on. 9-10 days of sickness at the start of the month. I have come to learn that trying to maintain habits past 5 days of sickness is very tough indeed.
April was also a very busy and high pressured month for me at work. I am an IT project manager, and my current project went live at the end of April. The last few weeks of an IT project, building up to go live, are always the most crazy and stressful.
Thankfully, my IT project was a success and it went live at the end of the month. I then celebrated by taking a trip to Slovenia. I decided right from the start of Formula Foxo that when I am on holiday, I get a ‘free pass’ with habits, and don’t have to stick to any of them. As such – I had drank alcohol and thoroughly enjoyed it!
You can also see a couple of blocks of time where I wasn’t even recording my habits. This means that I mostly wasn’t doing them and just didn’t want to face my own failure, so I didn’t record even the ones I was doing! I really want to overcome this in the future, and still stick with tracking everything even when I’m not doing well with it.
N.B During fasting, I obviously could not complete certain habits i.e salmon salad, fermented foods and probiotics. As such, I have still given myself a ‘win’ for their weekly totals.
This is a new YouTube series called Formula Foxo. What is it? It’s a VLOG style series, all about longevity habits. Specifically, the habits that I am trying out with the goal of increasing my health and life spans and delaying aging.
If you’ve watched my YouTube videos, you’ll be used to polished presentations. This series won’t be like that at all. It won’t be scripted, it will be a reel of handpicked footage from the previous month, sharing and demonstrating some of the health habits I’m trying to internalise. Just a handful.
So, why have I decided to create this series? Well, there are a few reasons but at the foundation it’s because something is coming. Something big, and it’s coming to the longevity space. Maybe you have felt it, especially in the last couple of years. As a species, we seem to be on the brink of something, and it feels like a moment in history is around the corner that will impact the health and lifespan of humans in a truly incredible way.
I keep hearing about more and more breakthroughs, from really understanding why we age, to stem cell therapy, to gene therapy, to CRISPR gene editing, to peptides, hormone optimisation to 3D organ printing……it’s got exciting again. It’s got me excited enough to start making videos once more. It seems like that it is a very real possibility, that within 15 years, we’ll have the technology to able to increase lifespan significantly, potentially increasing lifespan by about 20 years. Not only that, but to also have energy and vitality in our later years. Many of the diseases we suffer today will be curable. Being ‘old’ will be completely different, and not something we need to dread anymore.
Now, it could even go further than that, in that one day we’ll actually be able to reverse aging, and restore our whole bodies, skin and hair included, to a youthful age so that we’ll actually look young again. I know that’s a very bold statement (and just a little bit terrifying!) and even I’m not completely sold. BUT, it wouldn’t surprise me if that is the future that awaits us.
Don’t take my word for it, because I’m just some guy making YouTube videos in his spare time. However, if what I have said has piqued your interest, I do strongly encourage you to look into it.
HOW OLD AM I?
Now, I said a breakthrough could be coming in the next 15 years, so if we want to get the most benefits from those technologies, we want to be as healthy and as youthful as possible when they come.
As I record this video today I’m 41 years old. I’ll be 42 in a few months. In 15 years I’ll be 56. So, potentially I just need to hold on until I’m 56! As such, I’ve decided to make it my mission to take my health even more seriously, and work hard to slow down my biological clock. I’m not going to say I’ll do whatever it takes, because longevity comes at a price, and there’s a limit to what I’m willing to pay. There are only so many pleasures of life I’m willing to give up, and only a certain amount of time and sweat I’m willing to put in. However, I will certainly be doing more than the average person.
THE POWER OF HABITS
So, let’s come back to what exactly I’ll be doing in this series. As I said, I’ll be sharing healthy habits. That is, specific repeatable actions that I’ll be doing every week, which I believe will impact my health and longevity for the better. I started this process in January, and I’ve slowing been adding a few habits every week. Now, it’s really important to me that I make these things habits, because that seems to be the only way I can get myself to do anything for a sustained period of time.
I’ve come to accept that, for the most part, we humans really can’t make ourselves do anything. Most of the time we’re running on autopilot, we think mostly the same thoughts everyday, and we do mostly the same things everyday. We’re essentially asleep, and we don’t even know it. We’re not really as in control of our own lives as we think we are. If you don’t agree with that, let me ask you something. Is there something that you could be doing in your life (I mean, that you really could be doing e.g. you could find the time if you wanted to) and you knew that if you did it consistently it would make your life better, but you’re not. I bet there is. If that is the case, then why aren’t you doing it? I agree with the concept (and it’s not my concept) that we are not as in control of ourselves as we would like to believe, and making significant change in our lives is very, very difficult. Especially as we get older.
So, that’s why I started small. The first week of Jan 2022 I started with 4 habits, and I’ve slowly been adding more every week. Now I have 37 that have managed to survive to today (May ’22). Some of them are very easy, some are hard, but they all add up.
I know from experience that trying to do too much too soon is not sustainable. I’ve learned that there is real power in momentum, and although I’ve had a few hiccups on the way, my momentum is strong today.
HOW DO WE CHANGE?
Studies have shown that we only get a little bit of will power everyday. Only a small amount. We should consider that little bit of will power as a gift. Because if we don’t use our daily allocation, it’s gone for ever. It’s not like we can store it in jar and use it later!
Rather than waste that bit of will power, we should invest it. How should we invest it? We should invest it in creating new habits. First we shape our habits, and then they shape us. Our current habits are steering us down a path or life, to a certain destination. If we want a different destination, we need a new path, and we need new habits to make that path. One by one, we need to swap out our old habits for new ones. Better ones. Ones that will take us where we truly want to go.
We start small, we take baby steps and do it gradually. It might seem slow going at first, but if we keep adding new habits over a month, over 6 months, over a year, 10 years, 15 years, then we will completely change.
The great thing about a habit, is that once it truly is a habit, it no longer takes any will power to do. It becomes part of the auto pilot programme. That’s why we have to introduce these habits at the right pace, if we try and do too much, we’ll exceed our daily ration of will power, and the habit won’t stick.
I’M NO MASTER
Now, although I’m writing this for you, I’m also writing it for myself. I am certainly no master at this. And I still haven’t been able to crack it, even after 41 years! Yes, I’ve done a lot of biohacking, but I’ve never been able to sustain it as a true way of life. I’ll go hard, and then I’ll slack off. I’ll go hard again, and then I’ll slack off again. I guess that’s better than nothing, and to be fair it seems to have given me some results, but now I’m at the age where that approach is not going to cut it anymore. If I want to hold on for those 15 years, I need to be more consistent.
One thing I have learned, is that when I do these kind of things, it really helps to break up the task. To work towards milestones. I’ve also learned that it’s fine to have periods where I ease off and take it slower, provided that ‘easing off’ is planned, and not just due to burn out giving up. Having a specific goal or target to strive towards, with a reward period after, really helps me. Once achieved, I can relax a bit and recharge, but then it’s time for a new goal. I like to think in terms of phases or projects.
That’s why, with these health habits, I intend to keep adding more for the first 9 months of the year, and then ease off for the last 3 months. That works out well because I’m always motivated at New Year and that it historically when I have made the biggest changes in my life that have lasted the longest.
ONCE MORE, WHAT IS FORMULA FOXO?
So let me circle back to what formula foxo really is. It’s a series about my journey to figuring out how to slow down, and even reverse my biological clock. My chronological age I can’t change, but I can (apparently) change my biological age.
So, I’m on a mission to understand what habits I need to incorporate into my life to able to do that…and that will be my formula for longevity, formula foxo, my personal formula. And hopefully by doing so, you can learn with me and maybe even be inspired to make some changes in your own life.
HOW DO I MEASURE THIS?
So, how am I going to know if I’m being successful on my mission? How will I measure this? Well, there are plenty of biomarkers out there that can be associated to health, so for sure I will be using some of those. However, there are consumer tests available that actually measure our biological age. They are called epigenetic aging clocks, which, as I understand it, measure methylation. Methylation tells us if our gene expression is operating as it should be…and it seems the better it operates, the younger we are.
So, I’m quite excited about how I measure and journal this journey. But I’m not going to decide it now, and I’ll incorporate new measures as I go through the series. I’ll be storing all the metrics on the this website in a monthly post. I’ll also document all my habits and show each month how well I’ve done in sticking to them.
DISCLAIMER AND PRODUCTION QUAILTY
Okay, so 3 more points I want to make before wrapping up this overview. Number 1, is that I have no idea how this is going to go! I might fail miserably, and I’ll be very embarrassed and end up deleting all trace of this series from the internet. Or, I might just find that making the series is not as fun as I thought it was. Either way, I reserve that right the stop at any point if it isn’t working out!
Number 2, this is not medical advice. This is for your entertainment only. Now, I do my homework well, but you should still assume that some of what I say is incorrect, so do your own research if you want to try anything I share.
Number 3 is the production quality. I know the production quality isn’t very good at the moment , but at least by setting the bar quite low I can only go up from here. So, series 1 will be this year, and my goal is to release an episode every month if I can. If I decide to do a series 2, I’ll probably look to improve the production quality.
That’s it! Thanks very much for visiting the site and supporting my journey!
ress! This is your first post. Edit or delete it to take the first step in your blogging journey.