Monthly Archives: December 2016

New Years Resolution

 

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Winter

We are down to the final days of 2016.  Many of us are looking back on our year and making plans for the one ahead.

The first day of the new year comes with a tradition in western culture where we promise ourselves that we will accomplish certain actions. We call them new year’s resolutions and while many people make them every year less than 8% actually accomplish them.

I have watched this unfold year after year at various gyms across the country. January rolls around and they are slammed full of people for the first week making it hard for the regulars to get in a good workout.  Some people begin the month doing two-a-day workouts.  By February 80% are no longer working out.  The excuses are always the same: I’m sick, my children are sick, I have no time, I got hurt, work is busy, I’ll do it home. Sadly, by March 98% have quit.  The key is not two-a-days, the key is patience: slow and steady progression.

Last year I decided that I would not eat refined sugar and I decided to stay closer to my former fight weight.  It seemed an impossible task.  I eat healthy for the most part, but I enjoy a few treats.  One in particular that I enjoyed is candy corn. I love candy corn, and they have recently come out with so many new flavors that I have wanted to try!  The end of the year is now here and I have made it the whole year without eating a single candy corn!

Another goal I had during 2016 that has been very hard for me to do is to let go of grudges and anger that I had towards others. I have made progress, but this is a lifetime goal and will take a lot more work.

I had a few other goals in 2016, all of which I worked on bit by bit, and accomplished.  This year I have a few new ones.

I will start by defining my goals with a definite finishing point. Goals don’t begin with, “I will try,” or “I would like to.” They will be goals that while difficult are achievable with hard work.

I will have to be patient, because nothing will happen over night or even in a month if it is worth it.  It is hard to see progress, but change will come.

If your goals are fitness related, you will reach a plateau – most likely more than once – on your quest. This is where it takes strength to keep going.  When you make it past these difficult points you will notice notable, change.

I speak to a lot of people who tell me they wish to write a book.  A common reason for not writing it is time.  Everyone can find an hour a day to write.  If you cannot write at home, go to a coffee shop or a library for an hour. It is work, you have to do it on a regular schedule.  The more you do, the better your work will be.  Don’t worry about getting it just right at the beginning, because the first draft never will be right and neither will the second.  Instead, get it on paper from beginning to end and then go back and make it better.

Vocalize your goals to others, they become real when you state them.  It helps when others are involved and keep you accountable by asking about them.

If you do something every day it is like putting money in the bank.  Some days I do not feel like training, but I do. Writing is the same, but as long as I do something, it will be better than nothing.

If something beyond my control happens or even if I just get lazy, I make myself get back into it right away. You might feel that you are starting over.  It will be easier if you string together as many days as you can without missing any.

People often say Friday is my cheat day, or rest day.  Try to avoid that and keep a floating day off instead. This way if something comes up on Sunday or Monday take that day off from your schedule and then go right through the rest of the week.

This year I will read the Bible start to finish. I will also write two books.  My last goal is to have a podcast or a radio show of my own.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself.

 

Christmas For Everyone!

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I would like to share my favorite Christmas memory with you.  I was very young and I woke up during the night and went out to the living room to see the Christmas tree.  It was dark, but I could see a tricycle with red wood blocks on the pedals.  I heard something outside and I looked out the window and I thought I saw Santa Claus take off in his sleigh.

I really enjoyed the holiday season as a kid.  We did Christmas shows at school, we told the tale of the three wise men and the star of Bethlehem.  Christmas decorations were up all over the city of Los Angeles. It was a very special time spent with family.

As an adult, I went through a phase where I grew less fond of the holidays, but one thing I could never understand was why it was offensive to some people to be told, “Merry Christmas.”  It does not hurt anyone and it certainly never hurt me to hear it.  While I do not drink alcohol, when someone offers me a drink I just say, “No thank you,” but the kind thought behind them offering one to me is not lost.  Yet, some people today find the idea of Christmas offensive and would like to erase the holiday.  Just how many people find it offensive?  According to some statistics, in the United States, ninety-two percent of Americans celebrate Christmas.  That is nine out of ten.  Still, society makes an attempt to change the greetings to not offend the few, losing the meaning and some of the history of the holiday for the rest of us.

During the bitter winter of 1777 George Washington and his closest men celebrated Christmas Eve with a dinner of rice and vinegar in their winter encampment in Valley Forge.

During the American Civil War both sides celebrated Christmas with special food and celebration.  President Lincoln held a Christmas party in the White House in 1861. He also visited troops and soldiers in the hospital on Christmas Day with his son. Union Soldiers pulled carts through parts of Georgia decorated like a sleigh with horse dressed to look like reindeer and handed out food.

During World War I on Christmas Day the fighting stopped in the trenches and they sang carols and exchanged cigarettes and chocolates.  There was even a soccer game between the English and German soldiers.

The founding fathers were Christians, and when they wrote the First Amendment they wrote that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” They did not want a state religion forced on the people, and they did not want the country to be ruled by the church.  The term I hear so many people speak about so often is “the wall of separation between church and state.”  To set the record straight for all those people who like to throw it out there: it is not and never was in the US Constitution. It was written by Thomas Jefferson to a church that heard a rumor that Congress was going to make a national religion in 1802.

Christmas is a celebration of the gift of God to us: the birth of Jesus.  It is a celebration of love, sacrifice, forgiveness and grace. It is the unselfish act of God sending his son into the world so that we may all have everlasting life.

The whole world benefits from Christmas, no matter who you are or what you believe in or don’t believe in, there are no negative effects of a celebration of our savior.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Makes Us Angry

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This is a post that is close to my heart.  I cannot tell you how many years I walked around with a huge chip on my shoulder.

In the past, any number of things might set me off.   I had all these notions of what it was to be a man.  I wanted and felt I deserved respect.  Whenever I felt wronged, I would spend days, weeks, months plotting how I was going to get back at that person.  I would go over it in my head and work myself up.  You know the old saying the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different outcome? That was me!  

It’s important to realize that nobody else has the power to make you angry.  When another person does something that we don’t like or that affects us negatively,  we have the power to control how we respond.

When I began to see that I could control my reaction to any situation, and that getting angry to get back at others was only hurting myself, I began to realize that my reactions to situations in life were actually holding me back.

When situations arose and I felt myself becoming angry, I made a conscious decision instead that I was not going that route.  I started to slowly see changes in myself.  Life is a work in progress.  

One of the ways I have learned a lot about anger is through Jiu Jitsu.  Jiu Jitsu is human chess and you must relax and set up moves sometimes six ahead of your opponent. There is no way you can compete when you are angry.  If you react in anger to your opponent, you will make foolish moves, waste energy and take foolish chances that will hurt you in the end.  It’s the same in life when you react to others in anger.

I still struggle with my bad attitude when things are tough or I’m having a bad day. I start to take it out on people around me instead of realizing that they have nothing to do with why I am upset. When I realize that, it is then up to me to put a stop to it.

For now I will keep working on always being aware of my attitude and consciously choosing not to react in anger.

Ephesians 4:26-27

In your anger do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

James 1:19-20

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Proverbs 29:11

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.

On Time

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The Creek

We measure our time by seconds, minutes and hours. Each of us only has a limited amount of time on earth, so it’s important we don’t waste our time or others.  A plane flight, a party, a dinner date, or a work meeting, it does not matter what the event is: each has a defined time period at which you should be present.  

Today many people consider a lack of punctuality “okay.” I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who values punctuality anymore.  As a trainer, I have heard every excuse that can be made, and they are all just that: excuses.  

Everyone at some point or another has something happen out of their control that makes them late.  However, when someone makes a habit of being late, and everyone expects them to be late, they are more than late: they are rude.  They consistently show a lack of respect for other people’s time.   In a way, they have become a thief: they have stolen time from others that could have been used for another purpose.

The father of our country, George Washington, was a stickler for being on time.  He demanded it of everyone he came into contact with during his lifetime.  George must have gotten along well with Benjamin Franklin because he was also known for holding punctuality as being of the utmost importance.

All of our time is a valuable commodity, no matter who you are or what you do in life.  

Does the Bible say, “Thou shalt not be late?” No.  But it does tell us to love one another.  It also says that love is not rude, and that we are to treat others as more important than ourselves.

When you are late and cause someone to wait for you, you may be doing more harm than just disrespect.  You will likely also aggravate them, maybe causing them to become angry and/or stressed.  You have become a stumbling block for them.

When we make an appointment or set up a meeting for a certain time, it is an agreement by us to the other party. Being punctual shows that we value them and their time.  It conveys dependability and responsibility.   

If you wish to be a leader and gain respect, you should always show up on time, otherwise, how can you ever ask the same from anyone else?

Do you want to be known as someone who is trustworthy and dependable?

If you’ve developed some bad habits for being late – it’s not too late for you to overcome them.  The first step is to realize that your actions affect your character and also the lives of those around you.  Being more responsible with your time will help you develop good character.  You cannot control other people, but you can always control yourself.  Being reliable and punctual will give you an edge in life.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.