Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 03 2017

What Will 2017 Mean for Your Life?

By Mark Sisson
19 Comments

2017 goals list with gold decorationIt’s 2017. There are old sci-fi stories set in 2017. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the basis for Blade Runner, takes place in 2019. That’s just two years away. It’ll come faster than you think. The time to make anything happen is now.

But how?

That’s the catch. No one can bestow motivation upon you. External events can trigger or inspire a motivation cascade, but it ultimately comes from within.

As I enter this new year, I’m mulling over a couple different quotes. I don’t normally go for quotes, as I find it too tempting to read them, ponder them for ten seconds, and just move on with life, thinking I’ve done something meaningful. But these are really striking a chord, and I think they’ll help some of you start an internal dialogue on motivation and meaning that could bear fruit in the new year. Let me know what you think.

The first comes not from the Iliad, but from the fairly mediocre yet fun film adaptation starring Brad Pitt as Achilles—Troy.

“Any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”

Pitt’s Achilles says that’s why the gods envy us, and it’s what makes humans so special and unique among all other organisms. Our finiteness compresses and accentuates our experiences.

The second comes from Alan Watts. It’s long and somewhat ramble-y, but in true Watts fashion, every line matters.

“Let’s suppose that you were able, every night, to dream any dream you wanted to dream. And that you could, for example, have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have. And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure you could perceive. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say, ‘Well, that was pretty great. But now let’s have a surprise. Let’s have a dream which isn’t under control. Where something is going to happen to me that I don’t know what it’s going to be.’ And you would dream that and come out and say, ‘Wow, that was a close shave, wasn’t it?’ And then you would get more and more adventurous, and you would make further and further gambles as to what you would dream, and finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.”

Both quotes speak to the uniquely human condition: We have limitations, we’re aware of those limitations, and we have the freedom (or illusion thereof) to choose how to react to them. Do we flail impotently against, subvert, work around, or redirect them? It is in the context of our limitations that we define ourselves and derive meaning.

I maintain (and Watts would agree) that we must embrace our limitations. Or at least stop spending so much energy bemoaning them.

Our limited time here on earth and the tensions we face throughout it are difficult, yes, but they’re also blessings. They make life worth living. They mark our progress. We can’t help but peer past them and wonder what lies beyond—and then go explore. If there are no obstacles to goad us into action, we’re stuck.

So it’s not just that you don’t have total freedom. You don’t want total freedom. Total freedom paralyzes you. It makes life dull. We don’t appreciate anything if it comes too easily, or if it’s available in endless quantities.

And look: you can try to ignore the obstacles and hardships life places in front of you, or complain about them, but they’re still there. It does no one any good to deny reality. Better to grab it, mold it and be the risk-taking artist of it.

As I moved through my 40s, everything was in fast forward. Christmases and birthdays felt like they came every six months. I’d get up, log my miles on the track or bike, and just try to keep my body together. I tried a few businesses, nothing really sticking. Days bled into weeks. My life was slipping away. 

This is pretty normal. Usually, life speeds up the older you get. Your perception of time—which matters more than what the clock says—quickens. 

I decided I didn’t want that to happen. So I embarked on the greatest journey of my professional life up to that point: Mark’s Daily Apple and The Primal Blueprint. This introduced the kind of novelty and complexity that forces the brain to perceive time with greater sensitivity, and it gave my life new meaning. Later, I injected even more time-slowing novelty and meaning, including Primal Kitchen, Primal Kitchen Restaurants, and Primal Health Coach.

These days, I’m busier than ever. I’m also more engaged than ever. My entire being is committed. And time? Well, it’s neither slow nor fast. My days are full and rich. I don’t really think or worry about it because I know I’m doing all I can to make the most of it.

Are you? What could 2017 do for that endeavor?

On that note, let me share a bit about what we’ve got in the works here. This year is already shaping up to be a big one for us, and we hope the changes we have in store can help you get a leg up on your personal vision for the year. That’s why I do what I do after all….

First off, I’ll be covering a whole array of new topics in 2017—including many of those recently submitted by you. For some of these I’ll be partnering with Dr. Cate Shanahan next month to take up many of the women’s health issues MDA readers have shared interest in over the years. I have new free ebooks in the making as well as other premium resources and additions to come for newsletter subscribers. You’ll also be seeing more of me on the Mark’s Daily Apple social media accounts. More to come on that…

With the ketogenic eating strategy taking off in popular culture, I’ve been compelled to basically drop everything and complete a book in short order. It will detail a seven-step approach to help everyone from hard-core Primal/paleo enthusiasts to people with just casual exposure to Primal/paleo understand the amazing breaking science and widespread health and athletic performance benefits of becoming fat- and keto-adapted. This book will release in fall of 2017.

Primal Blueprint Publishing is also making a big effort to extend into the digital realm with the release of two comprehensive online multimedia educational courses in early 2017. Primal Endurance Online essentially brings the popular book to life with over 100 hours of video instruction and interviews with endurance experts in a complete home-study course. Paleo Cooking Bootcamp for Busy People is an actual 30-day bootcamp where participants complete a guided 2-hour weekend cooking class to eat meals and snacks for the entire week. Paleo chef Katie French has delivered this award-winning class live in San Francisco, and now the entire bootcamp will be available for you to participate in at home.

On the Primal Health Coach side, we’re planning a new tech platform that will result in a total upgrade of the learning experience. Along with this overhaul, we’ll have new handouts, templates, questionnaires, ebooks and programs to help grads begin their health coaching businesses. We’ll also be implementing new strategies for connecting our health coaches with clients.

And, finally, we’re continuing to expand the Primal Kitchen lineup this year. I just released a brand new Macadamia Sea Salt bar last week, and there’s more products on the horizon‚ including an allergen-friendly mayo, dairy- and soy-free Caesar and Green Goddess dressings, and a new protein powder featuring one of my favorite ingredients.

These are just a few of the offerings we have planned for 2017. Here’s to making the new year the best yet!

Take care, everybody, and share what 2017 will mean for you. What are your visions, and how will you be using the Primal Blueprint to make it happen? Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year.

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19 thoughts on “What Will 2017 Mean for Your Life?”

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  1. Well … I was going to commit to cleaning up my study in 2017 … but after reading Mark’s itinerary maybe I could stretch a bit more than that.

    1. Don’t overdo it. Clean that study one small area at a time. The year will simply fly by.

      😉

  2. What 2017 means to me: I’ll be one year closer to death.

    Actually, I’m committing to going to the gym in addition to OrangeTheory Fitness and writing a book. Wish me luck.

  3. Congratulations on the exciting changes for you in 2017, Mark! My 2017 theme is heart. I’m going to let go of living on the surface. While I’ve made tremendous (and exceptional!) progress in 2016, I’m still missing some key pieces. This will also require leaving my comfort zone behind and being more vulnerable than ever! I’m extremely passionate about my health and I spent most of 2016 learning everything I could get my hands on on the healthcare world. I’d like to see myself slow down, process, and put into action my learnings so eventually I can inspire by example. Thank you for being someone I look up to. I will be more like you someday!

    1. Hi Lori! If you havent already read/listened to books and talks by Dr Brene Brown (The power of Vulnerability seminar, The Gifts of Imperfection, and more), you would love them! They have been instrumental to my own personal growth in 2016, and I plan on continuing on in 2017 with more of the same. Best wishes to you for wholehearted living 🙂

      1. Amazing, Lora!! I recently (meaning last night) started watching a few of Brene brown! And oh my goodness, the gift of imperfection is laying on my bed to start and I had no idea that was by Brene Brown!! It’s meant to be! Thank you for the comment and tip, Lora!!

  4. 2017 means more for me, more of all the good things I cherish; more sleep, more naps, more meditation, more peace, more time with friends, more exercise, more nature, and more fat, just for starters. Happy-ness is my daily goal.

  5. Since becoming a Primal Health Coach in 2015, I’ve slowly been transitioning my business away from the purely personal training work I had been doing to wellness coaching. Last year, I launched The Wonderfulness Program to help women establish the lifestyle habits that lead to them feeling wonderful. This year I’m planning on expanding my comfort zone and really start to push this wellness mentoring program. Please wish me luck!

  6. Great post, Mark.

    I read every single post that you make. But I very very rarely, if ever, comment. I’m just a lurker.. and I’m sure there are many like me out there.

    But I still appreciate everything you write. Today was no exception. I just wanted you to know that. Keep up this great work.

    1. Andy, thanks for your note. It’s good to hear from folks, and I appreciate knowing the blog contributes something meaningful to your day. Grok on!

  7. My focus is to mindful of what I need to do next. My adrenal glands have been working overtime for several years apparently, so am exploring how I can heal. Although I eat primally all the time my body increased by 20 pounds (they do NOT fit into my clothes) so hopefully I will go back to my normal weight!

  8. Mark you always seems to have a quote or two that makes me deeply appreciate your perspective. This time it was this, “My days are full and rich. I don’t really think or worry about it because I know I’m doing all I can to make the most of it.” It struck a chord with me as I have been reflecting on the fact that we all have a choice whether we want to be happy or choose to worry/live in the past or future/you name it. I suppose no matter how one chooses to live their life we will always have regrets and wish we could have done more with the time we had. Makes me realize more and more how important it is to choose wisely with each passing moment. 🙂

  9. “With the ketogenic eating strategy taking off in popular culture, I’ve been compelled to basically drop everything and complete a book in short order. It will detail a seven-step approach to help everyone from hard-core Primal/paleo enthusiasts to people with just casual exposure to Primal/paleo understand the amazing breaking science and widespread health and athletic performance benefits of becoming fat- and keto-adapted.”

    This will be a huge benefit to many and what seems to be missing at present. Not only in directing, but for providing the fresh and latest research.
    Really looking forward to this book Mark; good luck with the project!

  10. My 2017 goals revolve around simplifying life and improving my health. I’m going to continue losing weight (down 20 pounds since November) and very soon begin increasing the amount of strength training that I’ll be doing.

    Also plan on getting the house set up so that there’s minimal maintenance/cleanup that needs to be done, no small feat with 3 kids under the age of 5 running through the house like miniature tornados. 2017 is about consistent, but stable, growth in my life.

  11. Wow, I am so excited about everything Primal Blueprint has going on…LOVE Cate Shanahan and can’t wait to try the new dressings. And the keto book sounds like it is something that will be helpful to so many in this community. I am super excited for 2017. Since I have a lot of the nutrition stuff dialed in (although I’m always learning!) I’m going to focus on a very important primal habit….sleep. I know that getting more of it, and improving the quality, will improve every area of my life. I’m looking forward to having even more energy and focus. I plan to finish my Primal Coaching certification by the end of February, and use my blog and social media to spread the word about how great we can all feel. It’s going to be a great year!

  12. Just today, I joined the Primal health coach program. I am excited to be on a path that, hopefully, will help friends, and clients achieve their health, and fitness goals.

  13. This Year, I was planning to focus on my job, but now I’ll plan in a different style Thanks Mark’s for sharing such an amazing post.