FOCUS: Decay is Optional

Personal Mastery, Mental Models

You do have to age, but you don’t have to rot.
Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, MD


My sister Wendy sent me a book she said had changed her husband Gary’s life. I was intrigued. I’d thought becoming a grandpa had done it. She said, “Yes and no.” The book inspired Gary, generally conservative, to buy a sailboat to dock near the granddaughter, so they can see her often.

The book, titled Younger Next Year, is, indeed, a winner! My sister sent me the version for women. (The original is for men.) The full title is Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond, by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, M.D. I’ve been so impacted by this book, I just have to recommend it to you. The quote above is the title of the first section of the book, You Do Have to Age, but You Don’t Have to Rot. That’s great news for those of us who are getting up there in age! For a taste of the book, here are “Harry’s Rules”:

 Here are “Harry’s Rules”

  1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.
  2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life.
  3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.
  4. Spend less than you make.
  5. Quit eating crap!
  6. Care.
  7. Connect and commit.

Okay, so what’s new? What’s new is that these guys are funny and full of scientific information. The writing is breezy, and amazingly motivating. It’s one thing to know we “should” do these things. It’s another to feel that switch and WANT to. I’m actually getting up in the morning WANTING to do aerobic exercise.  That’s new. The miracle is how energetic I feel. How young!

Consider these gems on exercise, written by Crowley, who is over 70, and blunt:

Nothing you are doing in the Next Third is as important as daily exercise….It’s deadly serious, because it will keep you from becoming a pathetic, dependent old fool.

We are not tired at the end of the day because we get too much exercise. We are tired because we do not get enough exercise.

Exercise reverses the chemistry of decay. You swim against the tide.

Real strength training has stopped bone loss cold in multiple studies.



A recommendation Crowley and Lodge make that I am doing is to keep a log. Listen to this:

Keep a simple diary or log in which you write down, every day, these three things. 1) what I ate, 2) what I did for exercise (or didn’t) 3) what I did with my life – socially, morally – whatever you care about. If you do not keep an accurate log, you will lose command. Of yourself.

I’ve often kept a journal, but never one like this. I discovered in just 10 days that I exercised less than I thought, ate more chocolate than I admitted, and spent more time than I thought doing things I don’t care about. So – I’ve made some changes. Keeping this log is really helpful.

Check out the website Or better yet, buy and read the book. I think you’ll thank me.


  1. What kind and amount of exercise do you need to stay fit? And why?

  2. How can you eat well for continued health into old age?

  3. How much of your life centers around what you really care about?

  4. How many deep connections do you have with friends and family?

  5. For guidance on any and all of these questions, read the book, Younger Next Year.


Please join me for a 45-minute telegathering to explore this notion getting younger next year more deeply Tuesday, May 20, at noon Eastern (11:00 a..cenntral, 10:00 a.m. MT, 9:00 a.m. Pacific)  1-218-862-1300 PIN 276583.  No need to register….just call at that time!

Read an excerpt from Liberating Greatness, the Whole Brain Guide to an Extraordinary Life, the book Hal and I wrote, at

Reach me: 1-888-907-HOPE (4673)or e-mail I am a personal and executive coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary coaching session by phone. Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

Sharon Eakes | 720 Maple Lane | Sewickley, PA 15143

Fresh Views E-zine Index

720 Maple Lane, Sewickley, PA 15143
TOLL-FREE: 1(888) 769-3494
FAX: (412) 741-2159