Monthly Archives: December 2017

We Can Achieve Anything

The end of the year is here.  Have you reached your goals, or did you settle for less?

So many of us settle because we are not willing to finish what we begin.  There is no guarantee of happiness.  Contrary to popular belief, happiness is not promised to us in the Constitution.   No person can make us happy, no object we own, and no place we can visit.

There are many excuses we make for failing to reach our goals.  A lot of times we like to play the blame game, passing the buck to someone or something out of our control.

I will (insert) as soon as I get here, or get this, or this happens.

The government is holding me back.

I was born poor.  

I have no education.

I don’t have the time.  

I don’t have the talent.

No matter what our reasons are, if we do not reach our full potential we are hurting ourselves and the people closest to us.

We cannot let fear of failure hold us back.

It is time to get out the pen and paper and start mapping out the things we will accomplish in the coming year.  After we write it down we need to plan the steps we need to take to reach our goals. You are in control of your decisions and your path.

If we never challenge ourselves with new goals we will never grow.  Let’s all make 2018 a great year!

2 Corinthians 5:7

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

 

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Bodyweight Exercises

 

 

IMG_8102_webThere are times we can’t make it to the gym, maybe because we are on the road and there is no gym nearby.   If I am taking a road trip, I bring a kettlebell and a jump rope with me in the car.  If I am flying somewhere, I bring just my jump rope, and hope I can find a gym at my hotel or nearby.  

When there isn’t a gym, we can always do bodyweight exercises.  

Here is a list of some of my go-to bodyweight exercises:

  • Plyometric Push Ups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Alternating Lunges
  • Jump Squats
  • Dips (can do these on a chair or bench)
  • Planks
  • Bear Crawls

People often overlook bodyweight exercises because they mistakenly think they do not do enough for us.  This is a huge misconception because body weight workouts done right are very efficient workouts that will boost your overall fitness level.  

The best part of choosing to train this way is that there is no equipment necessary.  All you need is a small space and the drive to get after it.  I often use a free timer app on my phone or iPad and time myself doing each exercise for 30 seconds with a ten-second break in between, just as if I were training a circuit at the gym.

Plyometrics and speed exercises done as high-intensity interval training will improve cardio and strength in a very short period of time.  

I recently heard a fighter talking about how he did only bodyweight exercises for four months leading up to a fight, and after fight time when he went back to the weight room at the gym he had lost none of his strength. I’ve found the same to be true for myself and others I have trained.  Body weight exercise training has actually improved my other workouts, because my balance and stability have improved.  

When you use fancy equipment at the gym, most of those machines remove the need for you to stabilize or balance your own body.  They all restrict motion to one plane.  The same is true of a lot of powerlifting.  You strengthen one small part of your body, but the surrounding muscles aren’t involved or used to stabilize you, as the equipment does it for you.

We can increase our flexibility and core strength fast by utilizing just the weight of our own bodies.  From there, we can step it up another notch by using other forms of strength training equipment such as kettlebells, slam balls, and small free weights.  

No more excuses not to workout, because it’s free and we all have thirty minutes we can put in a day.

 

Happiness Here

Sometimes I find myself thinking I’ve learned all of the important lessons in life..  Then life steps up and surprises me again.

One lesson I thought I knew was the key to working with what I have and where I am right now.  Even so, it is always easy to get caught up in “I’ll be happy once I reach this point or have this much” attitude. This year I have really been forced to slow down and take each day, week month one at a time. In the midst of it I really began to enjoy what I have and where I am in the world around me.

We can actually buck the current trend and be happy with less and guess what? It’s okay!

We all see others on social media and think, “Wow they live such a great life.” In reality, we are only seeing what they want us to see.  If we focus on being content in our own lives, there is no need to compare.

Instead of complaining to others or ourselves about how bad our day was, or our life is at this moment, I challenge you to end every day thinking of all the things you are thankful for. I thank God every night that I had another great day. I am thankful for everything in my life and for all that will come.

As you close out your day with gratitude, spend some time planning your next day.  Think about how you will wake up and put in the best work you can.  When you make that plan and follow through, there will be no excuses to be made or blame to be assigned at the end of the day.   

Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Proverbs 22:29

Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

 

Gratitude

Life is hard.  We all face periods when it feels like our world is collapsing in on us.  During those tough times, we can either face the hard times and deal with them, or let ourselves become prisoner to our circumstances.

The holiday season is here and it tends to bring many feelings to the forefront – many good, some bad.  One of the most important is gratitude.  

I am coming up on my third holiday season in the Midwest.  Being away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, I have truly learned to enjoy a slower pace of life.  I have learned to treasure the small things that come up on a daily basis and enjoy the beauty of the country around me.

I had it in my mind, for a very long time, that the only things I should be thankful for are cash money and freedom. The funny part about that, is that the money never made me happy and freedom is something I never really had.  I held on to that warped sense of “what life should be” for far longer than I should have.

It took me many years to reach a place where gratitude became an important part of my daily life.

It is easy to let life distract us with what we don’t have, but the reality is that here in the U.S. we live very blessed lives. No matter what our economic level is, we have clean water, electricity and there is always food available.  

It is time for me to not only be thankful for my many blessings, but to also step it up and do what I can for others because I have been so blessed.  I always talk about my “goals” and this is a big one:  I will pay it forward.  I will help others just as people along the way have helped me.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.