Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
1 Jan

What Is Your New Year Vision?

New Year HealthNew Year’s: it’s one of my favorite holidays – and not just because it has the best parties. It’s the concept of possibility, of change, of transformation. (You’ve heard me talk about that, right?) You see, in a health culture that seems hell bent on standing by milquetoast moderation, I’ve hung my hat on something bigger. I’d say more hopeful. Although massive change can begin any day, the message of New Year’s, I think, gets all of our attention. Even if we take a somewhat curmudgeonly, skeptical view the rest of the year, it’s hard to not be moved by the collective celebration all focused on the sole theme of conversion. It’s exactly the thrust of my mission here. I know it’s my passion and life’s work – transformation.

Long ago when all this began, I set out to help 10 million people with the message of Primal living. By some measures, I’ve already achieved that, but I’m all about crossing every finish line to be sure. And if a few extra hundred thousand (or more) are helped in the surge toward those alternative metrics, I’ll take it. The fact is, the more change we see, the more motivated we are to keep going. Every success story, every letter, every personal anecdote in the comment board or conversation at a Primal event spurs my interest in continuing. I’ve never been more convinced that people need an alternative path to the conventional wisdom that leads them away from the possibility of genuine health, longevity and vitality. The higher the numbers climb for obesity and lifestyle related illness, the more I believe in the necessity of the message and this community as a model of good Primal sense and truly optimum health and well-being.

The New Year offers, in some sense, capital for personal change. It comes with its own energetic motivation, its own contemplative structure and its own collective momentum. How are you going to use that capital this year? How can it encourage you to reclaim your most vitalized self, your optimum life?

Think for a few minutes… Beyond the geographical conditions of sub-zero temps (Yes, I feel you Upper Midwest – I’m from Maine after all.), where would you love to be at the end of 2014? How could life be better? How could you feel more alive and in control of your health? What would you like the energy and vigor to tackle this year? What do you wish were possible for your body, your blood markers, your life satisfaction? That vision you conjured – you deserve it. Why would you accept anything less? Now grab it. Make it your intention. Make it your resolve. Put it up twenty different places in your house if you have to. Put it here to make a public statement. Make it your motivation each day, and celebrate every day and choice that will get you there.

With all this in mind, let me present the salient question for the day. What can Mark’s Daily Apple do for you? What Primal resources could be of use or interest to you? What communal or personal support do you think can get you where you want to go? It’s exactly what keeps me coming back each day after all. Let’s take a look at a few examples….

If you’re a newbie and just getting started, these free resources can get you going along the Primal path.

If you’re new (or not!) and are looking for a workout plan, I have just the thing.

If you need help with meals, we got ‘em!

  • Get the Primal Blueprint Meal Plan delivered to your inbox
  • Check out one (even better – all!) of the Primal cookbooks. (You save 25% when ordering three or more books, and all domestic orders get free S&H.)
  • Peruse the hundreds of Primal recipes on the MDA site.
  • Print out our Primal “grocery shopping list” found on the shopping list page
  • Give Primal Fuel a try.

If you’re ready to dig deeper and challenge yourself, consider these resources and ideas for your next step.

If you could use more detailed or individual guidance, consider these programs/services.

If a live event is more your speed than reading a book, why not join in?

  • Attend one of the many Primal seminars being held across the country this year. (Check back for added dates/locations in coming months.)

If you want to be inspired, meet your fellow Groks, and have a vacation/retreat to remember for life, I’ve got that, too!

Tell me – am I missing something?? When I look back not too many years when I began this blog, I had no idea where it would lead. I knew I had a message I wanted to share because it had changed my life for the better. These days I look at the enormous and incredible community that has built up around it, the inspiring examples and now Primal Publishing authors who have contributed to the vision, and it never ceases to amaze me. Every element we’ve added has unlocked some new avenue of support – and social connection – for the Primal community, and so many of those ideas begin right here from you, our readers. You’re driven by your own Primal pursuits and the interest you have in deepening the challenge or support in that journey. Whatever your questions or ideas, I want to hear them. The entire MDA team (as well as the outstanding MDA reader community!) are here for you. Don’t ever hesitate to contact us with whatever assistance or answers you’re looking for. As for me and the bees in 2014, we have plenty of big plans for the year. Look for announcements to come in the next few weeks…

For right now, I’m interested in kicking off the New Year here with your thoughts and goals. Tell me about your resolutions. What are you aiming for in 2014? How do you want your life to be different – better (because that’s the point, isn’t it?) – by the end of 2014? How big and bold are you going? What step will you take, and what meaning do you want it to have for your personal health and overall vitality?

In keeping with those interests, what would you like to see from MDA this year? Let us know what ideas would be helpful to you in your process (e.g. new site feature, new product, new book, service or event). I’ll look forward to reading everyone’s resolutions and feedback.

Happy New Year, everyone, and Grok on!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. By the end of the year, I want to be the one in control. I no longer want food to control me. I want to be able to pass up the donuts and cookies and not feel like “poor me, I can’t eat that”. Instead, I want to say “why would someone want to eat that? Its poison.” I want to be healthy, to feel good, and to look good. I want the will power to accomplish the PERMANENT changes that need to take place. Its a tall order.

    Jura16157 wrote on January 1st, 2014
  2. When I really need a boost I look at the Success Stories. I then I type in Dave in the search box and I just get so inspired. I have given out this URL to so many people. I really like to read other’s comments as I find that what they post also melds with my thinking. Not that I love when others fall off the wagon, I just like knowing that I am not the Lone Ranger in this journey.

    Dorothy Lee wrote on January 1st, 2014
  3. I love how your article was worded Mark. The questions you posed made me really think. I’ve been a MDA creeper for several months now and I’m finally ready to become a member of the community. I have daily reminders set-up in my phone to remind me to check the site (until it becomes a habit).

    In 2014, I want to take control in my life physically and financially. I want to get healthy and be in control of food and not the other way around.

    I’m looking forward to having MDA help me achieve optimal health.

    Tegan wrote on January 1st, 2014
  4. Mark, I enjoy reading your postings every day. My favorites are the motivational topics! I really have been looking forward to the holidays fading and my focus on health returning. I love the holidays (all of them) and the social and spiritual interaction. The food puts pressure on me, though, especially the homemade sugarbombs with emotional strings. The new year brings freedom and a better attitude. Onward! :)

    gibson wrote on January 1st, 2014
  5. My 2014 starts with my retirement and 65th birthday, happy days !
    I’m beginning a 30day strict paleo regimen in mid January to set the standard if my new life . A daily walk for an hour and a half together with a friend is part of this, too!

    MDA has been a part if my life during 2013 and will continue being so of course 😄
    Christina from Sweden

    Christina Ljunggren wrote on January 1st, 2014
  6. Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words, and happy new year!

    And thank you for your feedback as well. I’ll be taking all of it into consideration as I continue to try to make MDA a valuable resource for millions of people looking to get healthy and fit.

    Grok on!

    Mark Sisson wrote on January 1st, 2014
  7. In 2014 my goal is to kick breast cancer’s butt!

    Jill wrote on January 1st, 2014
    • Go, Jill!

      Allison wrote on January 1st, 2014
    • Go Jill!
      I’m 3 years into remission, I hope you will get through it with much courage! :)

      Lipeng wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  8. Happy New Year to all. I have a lump in my throat and a smile on my face. At times it is somewhat difficult to read about others, their stories/thoughts and of the challenges facing them. Alternatively the messages of those that have had success are so inspirational and motivating. I took on the task of improvement “primally” 27 months ago to the day. The amount of information and quality food I have devoured since then has been well worth it. The trajectory of change continues in that positive direction. The questions I ask and the answers I seek are never ending. What an appetite! It is a lifestyle like nothing I could have imagined. But.. the toughest part is not having pretty much any family members and friends participating in something so incredible; taking charge of your own health. It can be a lonely and strange feeling. That said I am totally committed to lead by example. Yesterday afternoon I experienced something that was so refreshing and heart warming. We were at an open house visiting and met this wonderful 86 year old woman. The conversation began light heartedly about whether we had “gluten” containing food on our plates. “Well we don’t even have any grains on our plates…we’re paleo” I said. Now..what happened next was so cool.This woman was an unbelievable wealth of information and I mean absolutely incredible resource of knowledge in regards to paleo. I was awestruck! It was so much fun to listen to her. Talk about alive and vibrant. Her eyes were so clear, vivid, such depth of color. She had become interested in paleo a little over 2 years ago as well. Her reasons for change were not only for her health but that of her husbands. You see he is experiencing early symptoms of alzheimer’s disease. She makes sure he consumes coconut oil every day, it is helping she said. So we chewed the fat (pardon the weak pun!) for quite a spell. It was beautiful. She experiences probably what a lot of us do, the conventional thinking and dogma of those around us. The resistance to just connect a few dots and wise up. But let me tell you, there is nothing that will get in this womans’ way that I am convinced of. God bless everyone. Day one of 2014

    Rob wrote on January 1st, 2014
  9. As far as improvements for the MDA site, it’s hard to come up with anything I would change or add. I love the science, recipes, and personal stories. I especially enjoy discovering new elements of “play.” We enjoy the outdoors, and it would be cool to incorporate more outdoor cooking and play ideas. Maybe a primal guide to eating and cooking while hiking or camping? Putting a piece of meat on the fire is, of course, basic, but there’s logistic issues with carrying raw meat on an over-night trip in a pack. Not impossible, just need some tips. Just a thought!!

    The Beckster wrote on January 1st, 2014
    • BTW, I forgot to say that my new year’s resolution is to eat more fish. I have some canned wild-caught salmon in the cupboard that needs to be eaten. I’ve never been good at cooking fresh fish. Baby steps . . . :)

      The Beckster wrote on January 1st, 2014
  10. The daily posts are a huge inspiration to me! I’m a marathoner, soon to run my 56th and eat/sleep/breath PB. I would love to have a map of where all the Primal people are…I live in Canada and feel like an alien.

    Jade wrote on January 1st, 2014
  11. Thanks for all the work you put into MDA, Mark! It’s a well researched and reliable source of information!

    It would be nice if the site’s search function was a bit friendlier to use on mobile platforms, and if the forums were formatted for mobile platforms, too.

    SarahK wrote on January 1st, 2014
  12. I live the new year because it’s always a time where I get to reflect and more importantly decide where and what I want to do this year.

    My biggest goal is to work harder at being a good family member and working harder in life at a lot of things.

    Heyo Paleo wrote on January 1st, 2014
  13. My theme for the year is to “build better habits.” The first one is less TV. I figure that will free up a lot of time for exercise, cooking, studying, reading, playing, and sleeping. Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make it a great one!

    Ara wrote on January 1st, 2014
  14. Wonderful post Mark, thank you so much for this site. I really appreciate your generosity of thought and knowledge, sharing with us all.

    Like others I chose to not do any resolutions this year, as my life is so good now, that I don’t feel a need to improve anything. For this I am sincerely grateful! If anything my plan is to continue the primal lifestyle I’ve been playing in for most of 2013.

    I’ve had relatives staying and it was quite frightening to me what they chose to eat on a daily basis. As soon as we dropped them at the airport we came home and prepared a kick-ass salad with chicken. They thought we were weird, focussing on meat and vegies, having cream in coffee and not eating bread, rice or pasta. I realised again that when I stray from primal, I feel sludgy, uncomfortable and tired.

    So back to 2014… I have 3 kilos left to go, having removed 10 kilos this last year. My body is the best its ever felt, and my energy levels are high… My work life is much improved, and I have a new job to move to this month. Like another poster, living this way has made me better at work as well. I cannot thank you Mark and the worker bees enough. You’re an inspiration every day.

    I’m not a fan of podcasts or videos, I find the site easy to read on my phone while travelling to work on the train. Silent is good for me. More technical information is good, re diet and specific problems maybe. But Mark like another poster, I’m cognizant you are one person, take it easy, you’re doing really well!!

    HB wrote on January 1st, 2014
  15. Starting a 21 day on January 4th. Start the new year right. My goal for 2014 is to find the sweet spot of living primal with ease and not have it be such a struggle. Experiment with fat/carb/protein ratios & lifestyle things to kick my joy level up a notch.

    What I’d love to see from MDA, beyond a continuation of all the fab things you already do? You know, it seems like Primal for women (especially women over 40) needs individual tweaking more often than Primal for men. It would be nice to have some conversations, feedback, info aimed at that idea of how Primal can work best for them.

    Colleen wrote on January 1st, 2014
    • Yes, please, more info specific to women over 40. I have been living as primally as possible since a co-worker pointed me to MDA in 2009. The weight refuses to budge despite my best efforts.

      I have Chris Kessler’s book on order, so hoping that will have some insight that I’ve missed.

      Beth wrote on January 2nd, 2014
      • +1 for more Primal for women _especially women over 40 _! Thank you.

        sgl wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  16. My vision is: more development, in everybody, of the Real Self. That is the curious, creative Self that is so often repressed in modern life. And to be honest, the Real Self is subversive. It usually doesn’t want to work for The Man. It wants more spontaneity, more laughter, more dance, more music, more physical activity, more sex, more leisure, and more time to work on its own projects than life in capitalist patriarchy usually allows.

    To that end, I am not going to make any young person/student/kid do anything they don’t want to do, other than their fair share of household work. I was a teacher for years and years and recently quit a job tutoring home schoolers. These kids were demoralized. They did not like any aspect of academic work. They were not free. They had little acquaintance with their Real Selves, and the adults around them feared and repressed their Real Selves. They had little time during the week to nourish their true passions.

    Also they had little ability to structure their time toward the goals of the Real Self, whatever those might be. The Real Self needs passion and engagement with compelling projects, but it also needs some structure and ability to Get Things Done. When you put those things together–passion and self-discipline–you are unstoppable.

    Let’s nourish passion, direction, focus and structure in the service of Real Self goals in ourselves and each other this year.

    shannon wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  17. I have a good feeling about 2014.

    ninjainshadows wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  18. Thrilled at the hint of a podcast by you. I followed your plan to a T a couple of years ago but then went back to my old ways and was in a brain fog until Thanksgiving when I took a tough look at myself and started going back to eating Primal and doing some daily exercise. Feel like a million bucks and back to my old self and a lot of that has to do with your website and writings. To have a weekly podcast would be such a treat.

    Thanks for all that you do and Happy New Year.

    Kim wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  19. I think MDA is a superior site that I refer to often. I don’t have time for another podcast, though I’m sure you would do a great job. That is a huge undertaking which Angelo Coppola and others are doing quite well. What I would love to see more of is mainstream acceptance of healthy choices and support from health care professionals. When those two things start to change the benefits could be tremendous.

    Mary C. wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  20. i dont understand what type of diet this. what type of protein do you eat. can you eat raw food without cooking it?

    peter petraccoro wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  21. glad to see my milk-toast/milquetoast correction was noted :)

    colin nelson henley wrote on January 2nd, 2014
  22. A buddy systen, I think, would be beneficial. I find there is a big difference between choosing to read MDA frequently and someone asking me how things are going. Maybe it could be an opt-in part of the forums or something like that so readers could choose to participate and how they wanted to pair/team up?

    Becca wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  23. Mark Sisson…I love you!

    tkm wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  24. It has been a year since I went primal. I lost 40 pounds and reversed my Type 2 Diabetes. My goal for 2014 is to lose another 40 pounds and to lower my blood sugar by another 30 points. Thank you for your inspiration! Let’s do this!

    Kelly wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  25. Hi Mark

    God bless you and your extended MDA family with love and good health always! Please come to Sydney to present some primal seminars!

    I started my primal journey 7 months ago and lost 18Kg in the first 5 months. Unfortunately I haven’t lost any weight in the last 2 months. I have about 5Kg more to lose. I’m stupidly blaming the plateau on breastfeeding my 10 month old baby. I’ve heard that breastfeeding women’s bodies hold on to fat. But honestly, I think it’s because I eat too much fruit and dried dates. Have you ever eaten dates squished with a big slice of butter??? It’s heavenly!!! My goals for this year are:
    1. try crossfit. I have arthritis in my lower back so I’ve been terrified of trying anything other than my outdoor fitness classes that I do twice a week. I have to modify the exercises so that I don’t do anything asymmetrical that would hurt my back eg I do squats instead of lunges;
    2. eat less fruit and stop eating dates and honey; and
    3. most importantly, be grateful for all my blessings, live in the moment, worry less and be more loving and generous. These are all different ways of saying the same thing. I just didn’t want to have too long a list lol!
    Thank you for everything you do!

    PrimalRo wrote on January 6th, 2014
  26. Mark, I love the post … very profound and relevant! Thank you.

    There is a plenty of misinformation out there for athletes with a strength focus (Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Strongman, etc.). I have been following a Primal lifestyle to support my recovery from lifting and general well-being. The impact has been profound, especially on my performance in the gym. I would love to see more posts that deal with tailoring the PB to various specific athletic pursuits.

    Aaron wrote on January 13th, 2014

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