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The Longevity Framework 2.0
Revisiting the framework that started it all.
Today marks the 30th edition of my Longevity Minded newsletter.
This article is an overhauled version of The Longevity Framework, that better captures my definition of longevity, outlines fundamental principles for achieving “success,” and the levers we can pull to get us there.
P.S. In other exciting news, I’m launching a website in the coming weeks. It will be my information sanctuary, and hopefully yours too. Beyond storing my articles, it will be home to a directory of the best minds and brightest ideas in the realm of longevity. If I can’t answer your question, this curation will point you in the direction of someone who can.
Besides actors and athletes, who design their lifestyles to achieve specific goals, most people don’t know why they make health-conscious decisions other than for the lackluster reason it’s what they should do.
Visit a gym and ask its occupants why they are there. The answers you hear will be encompassed by vague statements surrounding fat loss or muscle gain.
There’s nothing wrong with these goals. Both are very important. However, they fail to capture the four outcomes we desire most: to live longer, feel healthier, look better, and cultivate purpose.
These ambitions aren’t end states. Far from it. They are a continuous process of inspiration, motivation, dedication, and reinvention.
Losing fat and building muscle is not the goal. They’re outcomes one achieves naturally by designing a lifestyle around these pillars.
Longevity is not only about living longer. Extending lifespan, the number of years we roam Earth, is only a quarter of the equation. Healthspan, the quality of those years, is of equal importance.
I’d take five additional years with an able body and sound mind over ten that consist of wheelchair dwelling and forgetting friendly faces to dementia. If natural causes don’t take me before I resemble the latter, I’ve contracted someone to take me into the Canadian Rockies and pull the trigger as I gaze into my final sunset.
The aim is to live longer in a healthy state, then decline and die rapidly with as little suffering as possible for ourselves and our loved ones.
In addition to increasing lifespan and healthspan, who doesn’t want to look better? Call me vain, but I take great pride and enjoyment in looking fit.
The final piece, cultivating purpose, happens to be the trickiest. Its impact extends from our daily enjoyment to long-term sense of fulfillment and even lifespan.
It’s also a massive bucket. Everything from career aspirations and creative endeavours to travel dreams and family life resides here. This is by design. It forces simplicity and selection. You can’t have or be everything. Getting what you want first requires ruthlessness in defining it.
💡 Longevity = Lifespan + Healthspan + Look Better + Purpose
Key Principle: Anti-Goals
Defining where you don’t want to end up (anti-goals) is just as important as determining where you want to go (forward goals). Treat each pillar of longevity as an area of your life and decide how you want and don’t want it to look. Include your why so you remember what’s driving you when motivation runs low.
“He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Be detailed in your responses and don’t move on until you complete this step. If you’re stuck, use the case study below for inspiration. Remember, these are your short-term (3-6 months) goals. They may tie into long-term themes, but will probably evolve as you reinvent yourself.
Case Study: (Anti) Goal Setting
If you’re like me, explanations only go so far. Here’s (anti) goal setting I recently completed as an example.
💡 Live Longer (Lifespan)
Increase VO2 max
Improve grip strength
Strengthen hip flexors (L-sit 30 seconds)
💡 Feel Healthier (Healthspan)
Eliminate left knee pain (strengthen > rest)
Morning breathing + meditation practice (daily)
Check email 2x daily (focused work, limit distraction)
💡 Look Better
Lean out for summer (diet enjoyability + consistency)
💡 Cultivate Purpose
1000 True Fans for the LM newsletter
Improve writing skills
Dedicated quality time with family + friends this summer
Eliminate all activities that don’t contribute to the above goals
Next, translate goals into daily actions. Enter The Five Levers.
The Five Levers of Longevity
Levers are tools that can be pulled to tilt the odds of success in your favour. Success won’t be easy, but it need not be a myth. By distinguishing key components, studying them, and repeating calculated actions on a daily basis, the outcomes you defined will gradually turn into reality.
The Five Levers are a framework for discovering principles, strategies, tools, and tactics to live longer, feel healthier, look better, and cultivate purpose. To make the levers uber-actionable, each contains sub-levers.
Time Restricted Feeding (TRF)
Dietary Restriction (DR)
Caloric Restriction (CR)
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Stability, Flexibility & Mobility
Mental & Emotional Health
Distress Tolerance & Emotional Resilience
Mindfulness & Stillness
Fulfillment & Happiness
These levers serve as the basis for rewiring our thoughts and actions towards living a longer and higher quality life. They act as a guide in determining the actions we can take, or not take, to increase the probability we live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.
What’s up with the order?
The levers are ordered based on the sequence I recommend you approach them. There are two benefits of tackling longevity in this order.
Momentum: Increased likelihood of successful habit adoption — success breeds success.
The 80/20 Principle: Disproportionately strong results for minimal time and energy invested.
Forming new habits or breaking old ones is difficult. Starting with small, easy-to-achieve daily actions will nudge us closer to our goals while building momentum. After successfully changing one habit, we can “ladder up” to sequentially build or break more deeply ingrained behaviours. Success breeds success.
This approach also signals a shift in our self-identity which can be a powerful tool for habit change. Our identity tells us who we are and what we care about. If we purposefully reshape it, actions that lead us toward our goals will follow.
Contrast this incremental approach with one of going haywire and adopting the lifestyle of a Navy SEAL. Completely overhauling your daily behaviours is certain to end in failure and disappointment within three days.
💡 Develop one habit at a time to prevent overwhelm and minimize failure.
Understandably, we vary in starting place and objectives which dictate the lever we focus on first and the unique approach we apply. Perform a self-analysis to determine your current habits in the first four levers, start small, and progress sequentially once you gain confidence in your newly developed or discarded habits.
The 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 Principle, or Pareto distribution, states that 80% of outcomes stem from 20% of causes. In practice, the ratio often skews much higher from 90/10, 95/5 to 99/1.
This principle has many real-world applications:
Business: 80% of sales come from the top 20% of salespeople.
Agriculture: 80% of fruit harvested comes from 20% of plants.
Wealth: 99% of wealth belongs to 1% of people.
Applied to longevity, habits pertaining to the first four levers (sleep, nutrition, exercise, mental and emotional health) will generate 99% of our outcomes.
Within those levers, a handful of specific actions will generate the majority of our desired results. Applying this principle allows us to isolate the vital few actions that will generate 99% of our outcomes from the trivial many.
Perform a self-analysis. Analyze the three (anti) goals you most want to achieve by asking yourself:
💡 If I can only take ONE action per day to achieve this outcome, what would it be?
This forces us to take the uncomfortable but critical actions we may otherwise put off in favour of low-impact busywork.
Momentum gets the ball rolling, 80/20 ensures we execute the few critical actions required to attain results.
The Process of Enjoyment
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” — Carl Rogers, American psychologist
Setting goals isn’t about arriving at the day when they reach 100% completion. Such a day will never arrive. As we work towards an outcome, the fabric of who we are evolves. We build skills, develop new interests, and watch ourselves grow in a continuous process of reinvention.
I believe the purpose of life is enjoyment. The Longevity Framework is simply a mechanism to facilitate the creation of a life that makes you proud, joyous, and excited.
I call this way of life Longevity Minded. I hope you join me.
If you made it this far (thank you), I’d love to chat. Shoot me a message on Twitter with feedback (I love hearing your ideas), challenges you’re facing (we’ve probably faced the same ones), or just to say what’s up.
Here’s to the good life,