Five Incremental Changes to Make Before the World Re-Opens

Pedram Shojai
4 min readJun 2, 2021


The Urban Monk

Phasers are set to stun.

By that we mean, cities across America are in various states of opening their doors — cracked ajar, opened but the threshold remains uncrossed, ripped off the hinges and flung into the lake where everyone is now swimming.

Businesses are reopening and in-person employees will be getting used to the new normal — which looks an awful lot like the old normal, but with masks, gloves, and at least a yard stick’s length between all humans.

More than half of the population has gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

The TSA is checking in almost the same number of people as they were a year ago.

We’ve done some real searching, thinking, and learning over the past year.

We’ve talked about allostatic load and the toll it takes on the mind and body.

We’ve talked about why it’s essential to take extra care with how you speak to and relate to yourself right now — this has not been a vacation.

We’ve talked about how to spread the emotional workload by using emotionships, and how to remember to support those who need it (even when you’re floundering yourself.)

And now that the world is reopening, you may feel guilty for “squandering” this “gifted” “time”. Maybe you didn’t accomplish everything you thought you would — maybe you inched ever closer to a goal you’ve had by using sister skills!

If you’re starting to panic…

Don’t! There is definitely still time to do the work you want to do to make yourself the kind of person you’d like to see in the world.

Let’s take a look at five ways you can remain focused on your goals…

Wear All of Your Least Favorite Clothes

Was one of your goals to pare down your physical possessions?

For most people, the most overwhelming thing about clearing space in their homes is their closets.

We gain weight, we lose weight, styles come and go — and yet the average American closet is fit to burst. The national average for women’s closets suggests they have around 103 items in them, about a quarter of which they consider “unwearable.”

While you’re still home, wear all of your least favorite clothes.

It’ll likely give you the push you need to get rid of them!

Perfect Your Form

What have you been working on — calisthenic exercising? Your Qi Gong practice? Your singing?

If you haven’t gotten as far as you wanted to, at least do this: Make sure your foundation is strong.

How’s your squat form? Are you letting your weights lift you when you’re lifting them?

How’s your running stance?

When you sing, are you breathing from your diaphragm? Can you do the scales completely?

Have you yet to achieve peace while practicing Qi Gong? Is your spine in the proper alignment?

Nail the basics!

Get Closer to Your Partner

Regardless of your stage in your courtship —virtual quarantine dates, living together, married for eternity — every relationship can be improved with a little bit of TLC.

2020 wasn’t an easy year for anyone. It’s understandable if we weren’t all caring for the people we love to the best of our abilities.

Think about what you can do right now.

A special date night? A book they’ve been mentioning for a while? A love letter? Extra time committed to exploring intimacy? A partner-themed day where you do their favorite things? Relief of all of their domestic duties for one day?

Sometimes, a little gesture goes a long way.

Keep a Plant Alive

For some of us, the biggest hurdle to jump in starting a garden is figuring out how to not kill even a succulent.

Maybe you didn’t get there yet. That’s alright!

You can always start over.

Read about why certain plants need more water than others, about testing soil before you plant in it, about the best way to use a tiny space for sustainable vegetable gardening.

But mostly… don’t give up! Get another plant. Try again.

Do a Toxin Flush

Quarantine gave a lot of people a chance to cut out some less-than-healthy habits.

If you’re not driving past fast-food joints, it makes it a lot easier not to swing through the drive-thru.

If you were trying to train yourself to avoid toxins not just in your food, but in your life, you can start with a few simple moves.

Eliminate plastic from your kitchen — replace Tupperware containers with glass, get rid of teabags in favor of loose leaves, use beeswax wrap instead of plastic sandwich baggies.

You can send bloodwork to a lab and find out exactly the level of metal toxicity in your blood, and determine a course of action from there.

You can completely eliminate processed foods from your diet!

Any and all steps towards a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle count.

There is still time. Practice deep breathing, pick a path, and take one single step in its direction.

If you enjoyed these thoughts and think we’ve got something in common, I have a feeling you’re going to love the streaming service I launched last year — It’s my answer to the dilemma of conscious consumption, where you’ll find ALL of my documentaries and series, as well as more from renowned thought leaders like Nick Polizzi, Dr. David Perlmutter, Dr. Tom O’Bryan, and more. Try it for two weeks — on me.



Pedram Shojai

NY Times Best Selling Author, filmmaker, and founder of