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What's In Your Jar?

accountability mindset Feb 10, 2024
What's In Your Jar? | Arangio

The professor stood in front of the class with an empty jar.

Around the jar, he had some big rocks, some smaller pebbles, and a pile of sand.

The jar represented his life, and the big rocks, pebbles, and sand represented all the things he needed to get done.

Some of you may know this story.

What's In Your Jar?

Consider what happens when you put the sand in first.

You can sneak in the pebbles, but you can't fit in the big rocks.

However, if you start by putting the big rocks in first, followed by the pebbles second, you can pour in the sand and, like magic, it fills the cracks around the rocks.

Your big rocks are things that bring the most fulfillment in life. These are the things that make the biggest difference and create the biggest impact.

Big rocks usually include meaningful time with friends and family, maintaining your good health, earning a living, and getting quality sleep.

Pebbles add extra fun and satisfaction to your life but aren't necessities like the big rocks.

Pebbles include things like hobbies, projects, being a competitive pickleball player, or winning awards at work.

Finally there's the sand.

Think of the sand as bonus activities that are enjoyable, but not crucial to survival or fulfillment.

Sand includes things like watching TV or scrolling social media.

So, if the jar represents your life and the limited time you have, remember that you'll be able to fit a lot more in if you prioritize the big rocks and place them in your jar first.

That means creating health independence, earning a living, and spending time with loved ones.

Once the big rocks are accomplished, and only then, should you fit in your pebbles. You know, things like your projects and hobbies.

Finally, if time allows, dump in some sand, which includes watching TV, social media, and other mindless activities.

⏳ Time is your most valuable asset.

You only have so much of it and you can't get more.

Also, your jar is one size and it's up to you to fit in as much as you can.

So many 40+ folks, who struggle with obesity, fill their jars with sand and pebbles first. They save the big rocks, like health and family time, until it's too late and there's no room in the jar.

Now, of course it’s not as clean and linear as it sounds, but it's important to make sure you’re carving out your “Big Rocks” each day and each week.

This picture collage will get you thinking about the big rocks.

Consider your physical health for a minute.

You have a jar for this too.

If your goal is to lose weight, your two big rocks are things like workout frequency and maintaining a caloric deficit.

Nothing else matters if you’re not completing four 45-minute weekly workouts and being mindful about your nutrition.

Pebbles may be things like what exercises (pullups vs. chinups) you do and what nutritional "strategy" you choose (paleo vs. intermittent fasting).

And sand may be things like what type of tools you use (like dumbbells or barbells or machines), or if you should eat broccoli or green beans.

To be brutally honest, these smaller details (the sand) only matter if you have the rocks in the jar first... and then the pebbles second.

What's my point?

Start filling your jar with the big rocks first. Lead by example.

Then, and only then, you can fill in the cracks with pebbles and sand.

But here's the rub. For some men and women, over the age of 40 years, no matter how hard you try, you never seem to find the time to focus on the big rocks, like lifting weights for four sessions weekly.

Do you know anyone like this?

You’ll never find the time to read one book per week.

You’ll never find the time to travel at least four weeks per year.

You’ll never find the time to tick off everything on your bucket list.

You’ll never find the time to play with your kids, or grand kids, and enjoy hanging out with them as they grow up.

You’ll never find the time to network effectively so that you can build the career you dream about.

You’ll never find the time to do all of the things that you know you need to do to live your best life.

I’ve met many people who had honorable intentions, but were unable to find the time to achieve meaningful things.

And you'll never find the time until that thing you want to accomplish becomes a priority.

To say "yes" to anything in life, you must value it and it must be a priority.

You are what you do. Your intentions or goals don't matter unless your behaviors and actions line up with them.

No one else can experience what you feel, only how you act.

If you want to accomplish anything or impact others in a meaningful way, remember, you are what you do.

So put the "Big Rocks" in your jar before anything else.

To your success,

Coach Joe



Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online age-management personal trainer, or you want to visit the best longevity personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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