My wife and I were talking, and we realized that in the last 12 years, we’ve moved 8 times. From a series of apartments and duplexes in Japan and through four houses in California. Just thinking about all those boxes and rented moving vans wears me out!
In all of those relocations, we’ve never not gotten our full deposit back. Which got me thinking about the experience I have every single time I move.
You might have experienced this yourself. It’s time to move on. You need to get your deposit back or sell your home for a good price. So you get busy. Floors are mopped, surfaces are deep cleaned, even the walls get a wipedown. That hinge that’s wobbly on the cabinet finally gets screwed in tight. The scuffs and marks around the house get a paint touch-up.
For people selling their home, these final improvements can be even bigger. Repaired plumbing, new countertops, or fresh landscaping that you’ve been putting off finally gets done.
When it’s all wrapped up you step back and take it all in. The place looks amazing. All the little things that were driving you crazy have been repaired or improved. The home is sparkling. But as you survey your good work, there’s a sour note. “Why did it take me so long to do this? I could have been the one enjoying all these changes. Instead a new random tenant gets to live here and benefit from all this work!”
Not a great feeling is it?
Now consider that no matter how many times you move house, you’ll always be carrying with you the home that is your own body. Just like a house you get used to, you grow complacent in your body, and stop seeing all the wobbly hinges and places that could use a little touch-up.
Think how great it would feel to put in some elbow grease and get your body all patched up and presentable, with the same gusto you put towards getting your deposit back. Except this time you get to keep living in the newly refurbished space, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
What does a get-your-deposit-back body look and feel like? It’s not a chiseled fitness model physique. Getting your deposit back is all about the basics.
The five biggest fixes for a livable body that pay your deposit year after year.
It’s perfectly fine to have a few kilograms of upward drift during the year, especially during winter, times of high stress, or a period of schedule disruption (cough cough global pandemic). But you also want to be sure that a few times a year you check yourself and gently bring that weight back down with several weeks of concentrated exercise and clean eating.
You don’t need to get all the way down to chiseled abs, just to a point where your usual clothes are fitting well again. Keeping excess body fat off is the single easiest way to feel more comfortable in your body, with more energy to do the things you want. Imagine if you had to carry a 5kg (11 pound) dumbbell around with you all day and night. Pretty annoying and tiring right? That same drag applies if you add that weight to your body, it’s just more subtle.
A good way to think about this process is that it’s fun in both directions. Having some lazy weeks where you eat what you like is fun. Tightening up and trimming down with nutritious, energizing food is also fun. No matter what, you’re having a good time. Taking care of your body is FUN.
Sleep is the elixir of health, and when your sleep is right, every wellness metric improves. But sleep gets the short end of the stick when it comes to priorities. Think about how much time and thought people put into the car they drive. They compare models, take test drives, and read internet forums.
But how many hours a day does the average person spend driving? One? Maybe two? How many more hours a day do we spend asleep? Treat sleep with the amount of attention that’s due to something you spend 1/3rd of your life doing.
- Practice sleep hygiene. Avoid caffeine after lunch. Have a regular sleep schedule. Avoid bright light in the evening. Use your bed only for sleep.
- Buy stuff. As your cash flow allows, invest in quality bedding. If you’re not sleeping well, try out “sleep accessories” like black-out curtains, eye-masks, white noise machines, or weighted blankets. Anything that improves sleep quality will pay for itself many times over.
- Be patient. Sleep is one of the most complicated physiological processes your body does. It won’t change in a week. But steady use of best practices WILL get you higher quality sleep over time.
The human body REQUIRES the daily maintenance that comes from 30 minutes of movement, no matter what it is. A walk around the neighborhood, a pick-up game of basketball, a swim or cycle session, or a YouTube workout. It doesn’t matter, just get it done. Your heart, lungs, and circulatory system need the opportunity to work at a higher level for a few minutes every day.
You don’t question that your teeth need brushing daily. In the same way, your 30 minutes of movement should be a non-negotiable part of body hygiene.
Life’s not easy, and I don’t blame anyone for having issues with chemical dependency, be it caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or harder drugs. But having an addiction creates a massive sinkhole for your daily energy levels, as your body is juggling the usual demands of the day with the need to have steady access to an external chemical to reach homeostasis.
Of course it’s an easy thing to say “Don’t be addicted” and a much harder thing to get out of the cycle. But if you’re dealing with an addiction, slide the importance of that battle way up on your priority list. Dealing with it is the low hanging fruit to get your deposit back on a rich, vibrant life. Kicking addiction is beyond the scope of this article, but there’s a whole army of professional advice a few search bars away. If this is an issue for you, get to work on it NOW! You can do it!
Homeowners are vigilant about their house. A leak that’s caught early can save thousands in repairs later. Cutting back tree branches keeps animals off the roof and gutters. Knocking out termites or mold quickly can save an entire home.
These same “on top of things” people will feel a consistent ache or pain in their own body, and talk themselves out of going to a doctor to check it out. Here’s what their reasoning sounds like:
“It’s probably nothing.”
“In a few weeks it’ll probably go away.”
“I’ll wait and see if it gets worse.”
The house gets 5 star treatment, but the very body they have to live in for the rest of their lives is treated like a shabby afterthought.
When something feels off, go to the doctor. I know everyone has different health care expense issues, and there’s nothing worse than a trip to the doctor, but this is serious stuff. Catching a problem early will save time, money, and oh yeah… your life.
A good rule of thumb is if you’re saying “Ugh, this is the worst ___________ I’ve felt in my whole life,” then it’s time to go to the doctor. For example, I had a friend say, “This is the worst stomach ache I’ve ever had. I must have some kind food poisoning.” He “gave it some time”. It was appendicitis. Not only did he need surgery, but he had complications due to sepsis from waiting too long.
You know your body as well as the halls and rooms of your home. When something feels wrong, listen to your body and get it looked at!
These are the five things to get right. We’re not talking about push-ups, HIIT cycles, and whey protein shakes here. Get these basic things right first before moving on to flashier parts of fitness.
Put at least as much thought into taking care of your permanent home (your body) as you do to the place you call home. You’ll get your deposit back many times over, in the only currency that matters — a happy, productive lifespan.
Patrick Reynolds // Kenzai Founder