Top 19 Things I Learned In 2023

Dec 25th, 2023


Top 19 Things I Learned In 2023

I’m writing this a few days after my daughter turned eight months old. 

I can’t quite believe it’s gone so fast. It’s strange; at the beginning it felt like time went super slow, but as each month has gone by, it’s sped up rapidly. I think part of it is because milestones are coming thick and fast, and her interaction with us continues to grow. 

This is the seventh time I’m writing one of my “Top Lessons” articles. I always flick through the previous installments to get a feel for where I was, where I’ve been and if I’ve learnt from the past.

Oftentimes I see lessons from 7 years ago that feel timeless, and will never get old. Sometimes I look and cringe at what was going on in my life, and the clear influence it had on my writing.

I’ve yet to get to the end of a year, since as long as I can remember, and think life isn’t better than it was a year before. At least on my own scorecard.

The chapter of 2023 was “The Disciplined Dad”, so let’s dive into see what I’ve figured out along the way…

     1. It’s a different feeling when it’s your child.

I never had much interest in other people’s kids, but it was different when Sia entered the world. I remember a few months before she was born, I went for a walk with my dad with one question on my mind: What if I don’t feel much when she arrives?”

I shared this with Chandni at the time and she recently said she can’t believe I held this irrational fear. It turns out it’s very normal. I guess because we’re not the ones holding the baby in our stomach, why would we feel that emotional, tightly knit bond a mother does right from pregnancy?

My dad’s advice was straightforward: “you’ll know when she arrives”. One of my best friends said the same.

He was damn right. Because right from when her head popped out - and her head was the only thing showing for a moment - there was an immediate rush of love.
Interestingly, the love has grown most since she turned 4-5 months, because I’ve been able to play more of a role in her day to day. Whether it be swimming, blabbering, or simply more interaction.

When Sia was born, I shared 11 thoughts from the first 11 days in an Instagram carousel here. I still don’t think I’ve cracked the answer to most of them. Mind boggling.
1. Your baby won’t check your calendar (so throw it away).

2. How does one sperm and one egg create an actual human being?!

3. I wonder how much trial and error has gone into raising humans. (Imagine being one of the first!)

4. Which soul entered my daughter’s body? Where was it before?

5. A pregnant woman’s maximum force production is remarkable. I had this passing thought during the birth when Chandni was in a deep squat position: “I wonder how much Chandni could lift right now?”

6. I wonder what it’ll be like when my baby gives birth to her baby.

7. It’s crazy how fast your primal instincts kick in. I’d never changed a nappy before. Now I reckon I could be the demo guy for Pampers.

8. Having a baby creates a new sense of responsibility that’s hard to imagine beforehand.

9. The drive home from the hospital would make any driving instructor proud.

10. Babies have no massive goals or distractions; no time pressure; no inflated sense of ego or self. No monkey mind interfering with their beautiful existence. As a 30 year old with a Type A personality trying to build a business, observing a baby is the perfect reminder for learning how to enjoy my time here.

11. You get way too much respect as a dad in public. A mother could be tending to triplets all on her own, but us dads are treated as war heroes for pushing a pram!

     2. Becoming a dad has made me less in a rush, and has helped me (progressively) break my workaholism. 

For the past 3 years I’ve tried everything to help break my workaholism, and my addiction to the grind. Whilst I’m not completely sober, I’ve made more progress this year than all the years before combined. The only difference is Sia. 

Before becoming a dad, my obsession with work was by far the biggest vice I wanted to break. I didn’t want to be an absent dad, physically or mentally, and I didn’t want burnout to stop me being there emotionally. 

This was the reason I quit being a personal trainer in the first place. I saw my colleagues having children and either never seeing them, or being too exhausted to be present. 

I had to reconnect with this in January, where I built a “12 Week Baby Winter Hit List”. 

The goal was to reduce my day to day requirement in the business, empower more team, and be able to enjoy time with Sia. Unsurprisingly, it was by far the most productive period of the year (deadlines get sh*t done).

Life before having a baby meant you could do whatever you wanted. Wake up whenever, work whenever, train whenever. I guess I can still do this, but it’d mean missing out on the best of times. So here’s what I’ve put in place as non-negotiables for Sia:
  • 7.30am-8.30am breakfast 
  • 5.30pm-6.30pm play, bathtime and bedtime
It was at first weird not working in those periods. I felt guilty. But that quickly dissipated as I realised they became anchors in my day. 

I can count on one hand how many breakfasts I’ve missed, and the only reason I ever miss bathtime is if I’m out, which may happen 2-3x a month. These times have taught me to slow down, rush my days less, and enjoy the little moments.
In the 8 months, I’ve refined more and more what I want out of this next season of life. Working myself to exhaustion is no longer something I wear as a badge of honour. The hustle culture I used to embrace actually makes me feel sick now. Anytime bad habits rear their ugly head I immediately realise why it no longer serves me. I can almost automatically feel when I’m out of alignment with my 3 priorities:
  • Sia and Chandni
  • Physical health
  • Business building (RNT)
The harmony between the 3 is critical. In 2023 they’ve rotated top spots multiple times, depending on travel, business goals, Sia’s age, and my fitness goals (the Muay Thai fight, for example).

     3. Ambition is a beautiful paradox. It creates the drive to make real change happen in your life. But if it goes unchecked, it can be the very same thing that destroys you. 

I read a powerful quote by philosopher Nassim Taleb:

“The world is split between those who don’t know how to start making money, and those who don’t know when to stop.”

I haven’t been able to get it out my head because to me it represents the importance of:
  • Defining the game you want to play
  • Creating your rules of play
  • Understanding what success looks like
Ambition is a beautiful paradox. It creates the drive to make real change happen in your life. But if it goes unchecked, it can be the very same thing that destroys you. 

I’ve recently watched an excellent show called Peaky Blinders, and the lead character Tommy Shelby is a perfect example of this. His ambitious mind enables him to achieve external success, but his broken soul leaves his internal state much to be desired.

As I get older, I’m trying to get more and more to the roots of my ambition, whilst having the self-awareness to know what’s my ego talking and what’s a genuine thing I want. 

It can get murky. So I try the following:
  • Marinating on big ideas / goals for a minimum 30 days. This usually kicks the initial emotion / excitement out of it and brings logic into the equation.
  • Speak to mentors / advisors / friends I trust to give me harsh truths. If they answer with “is this what you actually want or is it your ego talking?”, I know what the deal is.
  • Ask Chandni. Simple.
I’ve thought more and more about this ambition conundrum this year. The more I can play my own game, with my own rules and to own my version of success, the less I need anything from anyone else. This is when I feel truly free to do my best.

     4. The desire to prove yourself can become a poisonous habit of the mind.

This year I’ve finally started to lose the need to constantly prove myself. I think my workaholism tendencies come from the desire to feel like “I’m enough”. Most ambition I suspect comes from a place of perceived lack of to begin with. But where I went wrong is letting the same scarcity fuel outlive its original purpose. When this happens, the desire to prove yourself can become a poisonous habit of the mind. You forget why you put yourself through so much pain, and it becomes a default. 

It’s like any bad habit, or vice. Having a daughter has forced me to level up my standards, because I know our living is the learning. And if this is true, I want my daughter to see me work, create and build from a place of abundance, love and fun, not an imprisoned mind.

On the flip side, I’m excited to pass on strong values of prioritising physical health. For many years I’ve paid attention to how kids model parents. I said to a friend the other day whilst walking in the park, “parenting would be a lot harder if you were unfit / out of shape”. 

     5. A mother’s love is a magical thing to witness. She will do anything and everything for her children. I’ve felt it myself, but it’s another thing to witness it as an adult.

I can’t quite put into words this lesson. I’ve experienced too many instances of simple wonder of how one can be capable of so much love. I’ve always struggled with expressions of love. It took me 28 years to tell my parents I love them. Funnily enough, Chandni was first to say it to me, and that happened after we’d moved in together! 

I’ve wanted to break this cycle of mine with Sia, so I make a conscious effort to tell her I love her daily. But my love must feel like a drop in the ocean compared to what her mother brings. I felt a mother’s love from a young age, but I’ve never witnessed it, to another baby, this closely, as an adult. 

The most relatable example every dad can probably relate to is how mothers can survive (and thrive) on such little sleep. I’ve always been a sucker for sleep - I still need 8-9 hours uninterrupted to feel good. 

How mothers do it, yet still have boundless energy, joy and happiness when morning comes around is inspirational. The only answer must be the fuel of unconditional love.
     6. What I value above all else is freedom. 

I’ve learnt this year the life you live now is a result of decisions you made 3-7 years ago. 

As a personal trainer, I craved freedom. My days were controlled by constant appointments, I worked all day in a basement, and if I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid. I loved the result of my work, so I stuck with it for a while, until I considered my future. 

That’s when I realised:
  • I didn’t want a commute. I’m still shocked I spent 12-16 hours a week for 5 years simply getting to and from work.
  • I wanted location independence, versus only being able to work from one place.
  • Flexibility of working times was important, versus the unsociable hours of a PT.
Living this life in my early 20s (with minimal responsibilities), fuelled by an entrepreneurial spirit, meant setting up RNT was a no brainer. I love helping others achieve body transformations, and I love business. This was the perfect way to blend the two, on my own terms. 

In fact, for a few years, my gauge of success was simple: being able to work from anywhere, anytime and on my own terms. Now this is part of a wider scorecard, but I understand it had its roots in freedom.

2023 has been the year I’ve counted my blessings I’m not a personal trainer anymore. This freedom has enabled me to live a life by my design, and in line with my values of growth, physical health, and freedom. 

I wrote in my article earlier this year, 31 harsh truths I wish I knew at 21:

Paradise is no alarms, long walks in the park, writing, thinking time, clear calendars, hard exercise and deep conversation with loved ones. 

I have little to add to this except to note that nothing on this list costs money. My goal is to craft my days like this.

Because what if this was the paradise we’ve all been promised?! 

The lesson here is the importance of understanding (and accepting) your core fundamental values, then steering your life towards it. 

For me it’s crafting as many of these days as possible. In Mexico, I had to pinch myself like damn, I’m exactly where I’ve always wanted to be.
     7. Asking “What if this is the last time?” can quickly bring you into a state of gratitude.

This new mental model began when I started going on walks with Sia early into her life. I’ve always struggled with gratitude, so asking “what if this is it?” can really dial me into the present. 

It’s a harsh reminder of the fragility of life, and a framework I believe has its roots in the Stoics. I received a beautiful book called The Daily Dad by Ryan Holiday from a friend. Every day is a new sentiment around parenting. In December, it emphasises this concept of mortality and the idea that “this could be the moment”.

It also describes an evening ritual of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, where he’d remind himself his children may not be there in the morning. 

As you kiss your son good night, says Epictetus, whisper to yourself, “He may be dead in the morning.” Don’t tempt fate, you say. By talking about a natural event? Is fate tempted when we speak of grain being reaped?

The early death of many of his children empowered him to be grateful for every moment. So every time I think about rushing bathtime, or whizzing through the pre-bed massage, I think, “what if this is the last time?”

With milestones coming thick and fast, it could be as simple as “what if this is the last time she does this thing before something new?”

     8. Investing in space, convenience and coaching pays back in spades.

For many years when travelling, my focus was on “good enough”. Especially on my longer stints abroad, where I stayed in some very questionable hostels and lodges. My mindset was simple: I don’t need much so the more basic the better. 

I realised as I’ve gotten older I really like space - physically and time in my days, as well as convenience. My default setting is pretty lazy, so anything I can do to speed up processes is a win in my book.

Before, I’d been afraid to spend any money, because I saw it as a waste. In 2023 I’m starting to change my mindset on this. It’s a work in progress but I now see my time away from home as an investment, where I’m expanding my thinking, horizons and cultural understanding. 

Because I still work normal days when away, if I’m living in cramped spaces, it’s impossible to do good work.

Similarly at home, I’ve never had a trainer at the gym. This year I’ve had two 1-1 sessions with my Muay Thai coach every week. When I go away, I book in 1-1s whenever I can. Why? I don’t want to think about my training, I want the best results, and I don’t want to waste time.
As I’ve gotten into running, I invested in improving my technique, and the results are insane (link to video here):
I’ve always valued investments in my business, and coaches for my bodybuilding days. This year I’ve started to shift my mindset around money in more aspects and the ROI has been tremendous.

As a side note, this is why what we do at RNT is so powerful. Because you get to hire world leading experts to take the thinking out, and time-collapse your goals in record time. If you’d like to explore what this looks like, click here to apply.

     9. Close friends can become strangers, and that’s okay.

Something I’ve battled with this year is understanding (and accepting) the mechanics of drifting close friendships. 

I always prided myself on maintaining a strong, tight-knit group of long-term friends. As each year passes by, I’ve noticed myself drifting away from a few. 

I remember my mum once said to me, “there’s a reason why at my age, I have very few, if any, real close friends”. 

With personal growth comes new avenues, new interests and most importantly, a new standard for the people you want around you. When you make a step change in your life, your perspective shifts to the point previous common ground disappears. 

This seasonality of friendships is something I’ve only grasped now having been through a few different seasons of life:
  • “Personal Trainer in the City” 2013-2017
  • RNT without Chandni 2017-2018 (a short season, I’m glad I met her early on!)
  • Chandni, RNT and married life 2018-2022
  • Becoming a dad whilst “retiring” from bodybuilding (my training periods feels just as much of a season as anything else) 2022-present
After a season finishes, what you’re left with is nostalgia of the good times, and a bittersweet reminder of a few more who left the tribe. It reminds me of what my dad often reminds me of, “some of these friends will come back if the season aligns, but most won’t, and that’s okay.”

I was talking about this with a friend in a similar boat, but a few years ahead of me in life. 

They spoke about the 4 pillars of relationships (inspired I believe by some of Jay Shetty’s work) - the 4 C’s: Care, Consistency, Competence and Character.
  • Care: Someone who loves you unconditionally (may/may not always be there)
  • Competence: Someone who you can take advice from, who can help you grow, etc.
  • Character: Someone who guides you and keeps you grounded in your morals and values
  • Consistency: Someone who you can always count on to be there.
The exercise my friend explained was bucketing and accepting that most long-term friends will fall into “care” and “consistency”. And that’s cool. If you know that those are the pillars they’re fulfilling, you won’t expect more.

The more pillars one fulfills, the more you’ll be drawn to them, the stronger the bond, etc. The problem is, the people who can meet your “Competence” and “Character” pillars are tough, especially when you’re growing.

Quick test I like: After you see a friend, check in within yourself to see how you feel. If you’re drained, it’s a red flag.

     10. You can’t intuitively eat until you break an “all or nothing” mindset.

Before I went vegan on January 1st, 2022, I cracked the code of intuitive eating. I could stay in great shape easily no matter what. As with any lifestyle change, there is a tricky period of readjustment before it becomes normal. 

I’d say for the first 18 months, until mid 2023, it was all about relearning. I needed enough exposure to different environments, emotions and events, over a long enough period of time, to get back to intuitive eating. 

For my recent trip to Mexico, I decided to put my work to the test by not carrying any scales with me, using only my intuition to stay the same bodyweight. I nailed it. I left 77kg, came back 76.8kg. This was despite eating out 2-3 times a day, with desserts every night. 

The 5 main principles to guide me were:
  • Start your day right. I always ate the same breakfast. Oats, protein powder, banana and peanut butter. This meal keeps me going for 4-5 hours, and helps set the tone for later on.
  • Plan ahead. If you’re vegan and you care about protein, you won’t get it by accident.
  • Be adaptable. We were in a few remote places in Mexico, so for a few days, there was no vegan food on the menu. So I’d get creative by asking for refried beans, avocado and tortilla wraps, with a boat load of veg. This combination was in almost every local mini supermarket and restaurant, so I was all good. 
  • Don’t plan “indulgent days”. The mistake to make when you’re trying to maintain your weight is having days where you blow your diet with a label on it. Pre planned indulgent days, cheat days, whatever you want to call it. The more I’ve stayed leaner for longer, the more I realise I have no “on” or “off” days. It’s a lifestyle. I eat dessert most days, even at home, because I don’t eat too much of it. The moment you start blowing out, or plan these blow outs, is when trouble appears. Breaking that all or nothing mindset is the best thing you can do for a lifestyle solution.
  • Don’t eat beyond fullness. This sounds obvious writing it out, but a mental cue I use now more than ever when eating is simple: when I’m full, stop. When you force beyond fullness, weight gain becomes inevitable. Your body is smart, listen to it.
     11 .Veganism is a philosophy and way of living, not a diet. 

When I figured out how to make a vegan diet sustainable from a diet perspective, I started to tap into the deeper questions behind the philosophy. Veganism is not a diet, it’s a way of living. As you peel back the layers to more truths behind farming, biodiversity and the real threat on the planet, the idea of going back to previous eating habits feels alien. It was the single biggest question I got in 2022: “are you planning to stay vegan?” 

A friend of mine once said to me in passing as I was considering the switch a few years ago, “if you think conscientiously enough over a long enough period of time, the outcome of turning vegan is inevitable”. The problem is a case of out of sight, out of mind. But if we’re privileged enough to even discuss what we put in our mouth, it’s worth taking the extra step of considering where it came from (and how). 

     12. Maintaining a body takes ⅓ of the work it took to build it. Cardio won’t kill it!

I don’t think I’ve set a single personal record this year in the gym. I don’t think I’ve tried to,  or had any desire to. It may be a first. I’ve never weight trained so infrequently in my life. 

It’s been exactly a year of weight training no more than twice a week, hitting body parts no more than once a week, sometimes longer. Ever since I picked up weight, I’ve trained without fail at least 4 times a week. I never liked 3 days. But since my passion for Muay Thai grew, it’s completely taken over. Two days is the sweet spot for recovery and maintenance, over an upper/lower split. 2023 has split into 4 distinct phases:
  • Jan to March: prep for Muay Thai fight. 
  • April to June: injured ribs, maintenance work only. 
  • July to September: running focus w/ 2x half marathons
  • October to December: training for fun.
It’s been alternating periods of intensity and volume, with periods of either forced or voluntarily slowing down. I’ve also rotated my area of focus between Muay Thai and running, depending on what I want to focus on.
     13. The trick to “hybrid training” is nailing your recovery. The biggest risk is overtraining.

Unfortunately, injuries this year have been rife from a combination of overuse, overreaching and sometimes, just getting hit too hard (including a trip to A&E with a debilitating neck spasm!). Balancing the three disciplines of weight training, running and Muay Thai has been difficult. I’ve burnt out a few times this year and going into 2024, one of my objectives is to figure out the sweet spot and sit in it as long as I can. 

Part of this is being proactive with recovery days. With a business and new-born, I have to be realistic with what I can recover from. My type-A personality gets excited when planning two-a-days, but reality kicks in when I’m broken a few weeks later.

From my bodybuilding days, I also know anything more than 5 days a week, with 2-3 of them being hard, puts me at risk of not recovering.

I also realise I’ve accumulated a bit of “challenge fatigue” this year, having competed in Muay Thai and two half marathons (one of which was a bit unplanned!). So I’m considering a year off from doing anything extreme!

What I’ve learnt this year is that sometimes I like to run, sometimes I like to kick things, and sometimes I (still) like to get under some heavy ass weight.

By the way, when I get asked why I love Muay Thai. It’s simple. It empties my mind and allows me to focus entirely on the task at hand. It takes me into the Void where nothing matters but the moment I’m in. When you’re coordinating your body in new positions, or trying to avoid getting hit, you can’t do anything but be all in on the present. 

     14. Leaning into your deep-rooted fears makes you feel alive. 

The morning of my fight on March 17th I had a throwback to a moment from when I was 15.  I’d been doing a few boxing sessions at the local gym when the instructor asked if I fancied sparring. 

I got into the ring that day and was humbled by punch after punch from a pretty big guy. I remember him saying after he was about 4 stone heavier than me. As a 15 year old skinny kid those were some hard knocks. I never stepped foot in the boxing gym again. Despite loving the training, I remember feeling embarassed and scared. This, combined with the fact I got mugged at a similar time, meant I then went all in on weight training to try to get bigger and build my confidence.

All I could think about on fight night was that moment of letting my fears get the best of me. The decision not to go back to the boxing gym. So my only goal for the fight was to stand my ground, never fall back, and keep going no matter what. About 15-20 seconds in I was picked up and slammed to the ground. I remember feeling the lights getting knocked out of me, with the roaring sound of 1000s in the crowd ringing in my ears. I knew this was the test. I got up, the referee checked in on me, and then I got back into it. About 30 seconds later it happened again. I lost the first round, but the second round was mine. The third could’ve gone either way, so the fight ended in a draw. 

What I was most proud of is the fact that I stayed calm and steady throughout. Deep down I knew I won, regardless. What I learned from this, and the martial art as a whole, is leaning right into your fears makes you feel alive. It’s never too late to rewrite those childhood memories, or perceptions created in your head. I hurt my ribs pretty bad from the fight, but since recovery, I’ve continued to lean into the process of getting in the ring, sparring and learning to respond after getting punched in the face!

To watch my Road To The Ring YouTube series, click here.
     15. Sometimes you gotta use dopamine to sprint your way to long-term transformation.

I used to shun dopamine. I was never a fan of “hacks'' or cultivating a sense of “excitement” to get in shape. Over the past year I’ve realised the power of using dopamine to sprint your way to a long-term transformation. Dopamine, in the context of a long game, can be a powerful tool to keep making progress. I remember speaking on our podcast with body composition expert Lyle McDonald, where he predicted the way to solve the weight loss problem will be via dopamine manipulation from big tech companies. If you think about what they’ve done with social media, imagine the same for getting fit.

This year we’ve tested a few initiatives in the form of challenges to replicate this idea of short-term hype feeding into long-term change. So far, the results have been excellent. In 2024 our plan is to refine these more and more so people who’d never expect to get results can transform their lives.
     16. Results will always be number one.

I’m going to borrow something I wrote in 2017 for this one. In an industry full of ‘promises’, fads, myths and snake oil salesmen, the best marketing method is, and always will be, results. 

It’s a fundamental core value of ours. All our coaches’ performance is judged on results and results alone. Whether that be physical, mental, or the fact they’ve been able to guide our members through our Five Phase Methodology. Nothing else matters.

I think a big reason we’ve stuck around where many have come and gone is because our business is built on results. You only need to watch our recent Awards Ceremony to see we get the best results in the industry. 

When I saw my team put together the advert for the Awards, it looked like we were promoting a Marvel Movie. Ordinary people, extraordinary results. That’s what RNT is all about.
Reflecting on the 2023 Awards connected me right back to why we started RNT in the first place: to be the best in class at producing results, and create the best educational ‘hub’ for ordinary people to learn how to achieve a life-changing body transformation. 

It also made me realise how we’ve developed a unique profile for success on the RNT journey. 

Over 80% of our Awards nominees had the following in common:
  • Aged between 35-50
  • For men, lost 20-30+kg. For women, lost 10-20+kg.
  • Parents of young kids
  • Achieved career success at the expense of health
  • Tried everything in fitness but never achieved any real results
What’s exciting is my team and I are always iterating our product to make it slicker, faster and easier for our members to get results.

The only catch? A body transformation still requires honest hard work. But it’s one of the few things in life you can’t cheat, you can’t buy, and that’s why it’s such a special feeling when you get there.

     17. My role in the business has evolved to asking “who?”, not “how?”.

Two conversations this year changed my approach to business. 

The first was with one of my team, Ed, prior to Sia’s birth. He was welcoming his second child at the same time. When discussing paternity leave he said, “the business will tick along fine without you, but it won’t grow”. 

The second was with a friend of mine who mentioned this year he’s tripled the business working 10-15 hours a week. And whether he’s there or not, growth will continue. 

These two conversations, plus bringing Sia into the world, really highlighted the importance of building a proper business. I’ve learnt this year the value of a business is inversely proportional to the involvement of the founder. 

I don’t have any plans on the horizon to sell RNT, but I’m excited at the challenge and prospect of creating a business that can still grow without reliance on me.

Thinking about this has changed my internal philosophy of thinking from “how can I do this?” to “who can do this?” My role is continuing to change, whereby if I’m “doing” something in the day-to-day, it’s a red flag. 

In fact, to get clarity on where I need to delegate better, I’ve started to track these specific tasks by a Toggle timer. I’ll then use the data to refine my delegation, accountability and organisational skills to create a business that lasts.

     18. We need to be reminded of the same fundamental principles, instead of constant exposure to new information.

The more years I spend in business, the more I realise most things are a distraction. 

As Steven Covey says, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”

In fact, a few friends slightly ahead of me always say that business should be boring.  For a long time, I knew this concept but didn’t really embrace it. I’m an ideas guy, so I like to throw new things into the mix to keep it fun. The only problem is it’s not fun for anyone else on the team. 

So this year I’ve made a more conscious effort to do things like:
  • Re-read the same books I know I’ve yet to implement in full.
  • Channel new idea energy into micro improvements of the same thing (like our new transformation challenges!).
  • Repeating the same messages over and over again, in creative new ways.
I’ve tried to embrace the role of Chief Reminding Officer more and more, and empowered my team to do the same. Whether it’s marketing, sales or coaching, most of us need reminding of the same fundamental principles. 

     19. Working on your relationship together is even more important when you’re parents. 

Since 2019, Chandni and I have maintained a “Weekly Couples Check In” ritual. We have a dedicated journal for this where we’ll sit down and go through the following:
  • Appreciations (minimum of 3 to recognise the little things)
  • To-do’s together (house or financial admin usually)
  • Plans for good times (something in the diary together for the next 7 days)
  • Opportunities to improve (get it all out and in the open)
  • Sia’s milestones (new addition for us to reflect on)
  • Weekly wins (big and small, personal and professional)
It’s evolved over the years as we’ve grown in our relationship. We started this ritual 16 months into dating. So this journal has helped us through:
  • Moving in together
  • Lockdown
  • Getting married
  • Working together
  • Travelling the world
  • Becoming parents
It’s a constant anchor where we aim to keep communication open and clear, and always move forward. We’ve found weekly to be the perfect cadence. Anything longer and it’s easy to forget the little things, and/or let the opportunities to improve either build up or get missed in the moment. 

As life gets busy, and time alone becomes more precious as parents, the importance only grows. 

It symbolises something more than just a series of questions, or a tick box. It’s an opportunity to connect, reflect and share gratitude, whilst recognising the strength of our relationship is the springboard to anything we do in life.
What does 2024 hold?

Much of what I think about next year is about staying in the middle lane. No extremes, no burnout and no new injuries. 

I’ve enjoyed the richness and joy of 2023. I’ve felt emotions I didn’t think I was capable of, and I’ve changed habits I didn’t think I could break. 

And if you told me a year ago I’d have stepped into a ring with a stranger and held my own, I’d have laughed at you.

I said to my Muay Thai Coach the morning of finalising this article, “I can’t believe I can do certain things now in the ring”.

His reply is the perfect note to finish 2023: “When we met a year ago, we started step by step, one thing at a time. Every session we can work on something to get a little better at. A year later, all the small wins add up.”

I’ve butchered his words, but my final sentiment is to never underestimate what you can do in a year when you go all in.

If for you it’s a body transformation, you can click here to take your first step by applying for a position on our World leading Transformation Programme, RNT Pro.

In closing, I want to thank you all for being a part of this journey - it’s an absolute pleasure and I look forward to growing together in 2024.

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