It wasn't long ago that both of us were looking for a better way to live our lives. To live healthier and happier. We came across the paleo and primal communities and we were hooked. We're natural born learners and have a strong desire to teach others.
The journey to bringing PrimalPal to the world was filled with a lot of lessons and we're sure that the learning will continue as we make PrimalPal the best Paleo/Primal Lifestyle System that exists. Some of the lessons that were learned can be carried over into other areas of anyone's life. Here are some of our take-aways from this project. We hope that you can take something away from these lessons as well.
5 Things Building PrimalPal Has Taught Us About Health and Well-Being
No. 1 - Knowing everything will not help get projects finished or help you get healthier and more fit. There is this tendency to get stuck in the paralysis by analysis mode. Reading every book and reading every blog post to make sure that you have the most recent information about health and fitness. In our case it was gathering information about building a streamlined web application. But, this holds some of us back from getting as healthy as we want.
The fact is that you probably know the actions you need to take to get in better health and shape right now. Don't second guess yourself and then convince yourself that you need to read another book or another blog post. The key is taking what you already know and apply them. You already know that you need to move your body and get physical exercise. You already know that eating real food that comes from the earth is the best way to feed your body. The best part is that you can start applying these things today.
It's also worth mentioning that no one person has it all figured out. Some are better at convincing us they have than others. But we all know that everyone is still learning. Learn from others but have faith in your own abilities and mind as well.
No. 2 - Trying to be perfect is a production and health killer. We both have the problem of wanting to make things perfect and exactly how we picture it in our mind. A good example of this was the long list of ideas that we had wanted to add into PrimalPal. We soon learned that we weren't going to be able to do all of it. We also found out that we were able to build something awesome without a lot of those things we thought would make it "perfect".
Another great example is the actual launch of PrimalPal. We realize that our users will find small things that may need updated or changed. Now we could have paralyzed ourselves and not launched PrimalPal until we were absolutely positive that there were no glitches. But we soon realized that would be impossible. We tested as much as we could then we drummed up some faith and courage and launched.
We would encourage you to stop trying to be perfect. There is a lot of dogma around Paleo/Primal. We don't want that kind of environment within PrimalPal. Even Mark Sisson says start out being 80/20. Stick to your Paleo/Primal nutrition plan at least 80 percent of the time. Nobody is 100 percent compliant. If they tell you they are then pat them on the back and congratulate them. We are trying to create a lifestyle of health, well-being, fitness and happiness. Compliance to the level of obsession does not fit in well with this goal. Trying to be perfect all of the time will drive you nuts.
Go for the big wins every day. Eat Paleo a high percentage of the time, get sleep, get exercises and de-stress. If you stick with focusing on the big wins without being perfect you will see awesome results.
No. 3 - Take action every day to succeed. There were days where we didn't want to talk about the application let alone work on it. Those were days that we would focus on taking just a few actions to make sure we were moving forward. The rubber hits the road with action. You have to take action every day to get results.
Keep in mind everything we've talked about already and just make sure you take action every day. If that means you do something like pack your lunch the night before or get to bed just 15 minutes earlier, then do it. The small actions add up to big results over time. When you fail to accomplish what you wanted or you give into a sugary temptation, do not give up and throw in the towel. It's simply a flat tire event. It's a one-time thing that you acknowledge, you fix the issue or re-direct and then you carry on. There is nothing you can do to mess up so bad that you have to go back and start at square one. Stay focused on your goals and your 'why'.
No. 4 - Build a team and support network. PrimalPal wasn't built by two guys in a basement trying to learn complex code as we went along. PrimalPal was built by a team of programmers, developers and designers. As we move forward we will bring more people into the sphere to ensure that PrimalPal is the premier application for Paleo/Primal lifestyle enthusiasts.
The fact is, you can't do it all yourself. Having a network of supportive peers that are going through the same challenges you are is the best way to hold yourself accountable and to learn what's working.
We have some big goals for how PrimalPal can offer a community of people that support each other and help each other on their path to better health and well-being. The thing is that you can start building that network today. Tell some friends what you're up to. We guarantee they'll ask anyway once they see the results you're getting. Everyone wants to be fit, healthy and attractive. To deny this is to deny human nature. Sharing what you do with other people will help them and you'll build a strong network of people that are working towards the goal of being fit and healthy.
No. 5 - Make small adjustments during your journey. Don't get into the habit of continuously doing 180's. If you're on this path then give it time to work. Make small changes and then see what type of results you get. When we were building PrimalPal there were many instances where we needed to change something. Now, sometimes we wanted to change things in a BIG way. But our team (see, support network) came in and showed us some smaller changes that could get the job done.
You don't have to go back to the drawing board every time things aren't going as planned. We like to stick to the ABT philosophy. Always Be Testing. Cut certain foods out, get more sleep, pick up meditation, try CrossFit, try kickboxing, try bungee jumping... just seeing if you're still with us! The point is to test and get to know your own body. Soon you'll find what works for you.
There were many more lessons on the road to launching PrimalPal but the post can only be so long and you have to get started on your journey to better health and well-being.
Picture by Kennymatic.