Tag Archives: food

Stop Talking About What You Want To Do

We are all guilty of telling our friends and family about the things we hope to do one day, and then doing nothing towards achieving those goals.  

Inaction costs us our desires.  Think about the inventions, art, music, literature and financial gains that are lost because we never take the necessary steps.

Could it be that we are all lazy?  Or do we just derive enough pleasure from picturing our perfect scenario without having to do any of the work it will take to get there?

The problem with this is that one day we will begin to have feelings of regret and disappointment.

I see it all the time in the gym.  People come in to get into shape. They know they need to do something and yet they just cannot persevere or push through mental/physical obstacles.  Sometimes they blame it on “not having time,” which simply means it is not a priority. We all have time for the things that matter to us.

Then, a year passes, and inevitably they are worse off.  

I have seen it in Jiu Jitsu so many times. People come in and want to learn, but they just are not willing to put the time into learning.   I can tell you this observation I have made. Those that have become black belts in Jiu Jitsu that I have trained with are not the loud, weight-lifting braggart types.  They are those that showed up day after day and put in the work and the time to learn.

I also observed it in my writing career.  People often talked about their projects, took classes, seminars and did everything they could, except actually putting pen to paper day after day.

The problem comes from the inside.  Each of us must ask ourselves if we are content maintaining our current life without making any changes.  If the answer is no, then we must make changes.

Dreams, goals and destinations will never happen without first taking solid steps that will build the momentum to reach them.  Each of us holds the power to change, no matter what our situation is at this moment. We cannot blame anyone else for our failure to accomplish our goals.  The decision is up to us, we alone must take action.

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Internal Battles That We Win

I know that I am not the only person to have big internal battles, so today I will share a little about mine.

When my day begins roughly around 2:30 am five days a week, the first of my daily battles kicks off.  I may wake up just before my alarm, in which case I wonder to myself if I should close my eyes or just get up.  Often I am shocked into alertness by my alarm and I dream about what it would like to just turn it off and roll back over.  I always get up, because a few minutes extra sleep will make no difference. It may sound crazy, but I enjoy getting an early start on my day.

After I have read the news and enjoyed a cup of coffee, I take my dogs out for a long hike at about 3am.  During my walk I judge how banged up I am from the day before. My leg, foot, shoulder, back or a combination of them all, may hurt.  

It may play out in my mind something like this: I am not going to do everything today. Maybe I’ll just do half a workout or I’ll just move around.  Then I think about my end goals and I know I will do what I need to do.

The bottom line is we all struggle with many things every day.  We know what we should do and yet we often settle for what is easy to do.  

This is where personal responsibility comes into play.  We as adults should know the cost of any decision as well as understand the reward.  We are the ones who will ultimately need to take action to reach our goals.

It is hard, not fun or popular and at times we may feel like we are missing out.  If we are honest with ourselves, we all know deep down what choices we should make for ourselves.

Making better choices is a learned behavior and it takes work. The good news is if we practice it, it gets easier.  It may be really hard to get up before the time you usually do to get in a workout, but after a few weeks of doing it, it becomes a habit.  Keeping our ultimate goals in mind is a great help when we become distracted by something. Immediate gratification is tempting, but if we change the way we look at life, we come to understand while it looks, tastes or feels good at the time it is not greater than the alternative prize.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Consistency Is King

Success comes with being consistent. It does not matter what you wish to accomplish in life, the key to achievement is working on it day after day.

I am not talking about some self help, new age mastery technique. I am talking about backing up your dreams with action.

Pablo Picasso wrote “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

John Steinbeck wrote “Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”

Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers writes that greatness requires enormous time. In fact, he recommends investing 20 hours every week for ten years in order to achieve success, and he calls it the 10,000 hour rule.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

A great start on the road to reaching our goals is just showing up.  I think that first step is hardest sometimes. It could be putting words to paper, sketching on a pad, showing up to the gym, opening a book or even making a good food choice. No matter what we wish to accomplish, we must start somewhere or it’s nothing more than wishful thinking.

Most people fail to begin.  Once you begin, you are on your way to success.  This is where it becomes so important to be consistent.  You must put in the work each day in order to progress.

Find something that stimulates you deep down.  A dream you want to accomplish, and commit to it.  Start working today. It will get tough, life will come up, temptations, distractions… you may ask yourself if it is worth it or if you will ever see results…. It is so important to just keep doing it.

It is only through proper repetition that we become a master at anything. Becoming a better version of ourselves takes work.

 

2018 Is Here!

2018 is here! What changes will you make? The new year is a great time to commit yourself to better health. Sadly, New Year’s resolutions to get into better shape and go to the gym rarely last out the month of January.  I encourage you to make a commitment to yourself to make fitness a regular part of your life and stick with it.

There is no use getting a gym membership where you either have no real idea where to start or you get into something that’s not a good fit for you.  

Fitness is not a quick fix.  Instead, it is all about the steady, long-term, day-to-day training.  If we all take an honest look at our lives, we can all get an idea of how long we have been abusing our bodies.  The changes for the negative did not happen overnight, and it is going to take some time to get it healthy again. There are no shortcuts.  If something promises a quick fix, run away from it.  

It will be hard to stay committed. You will be tired and sore and there are many days you will not feel like training.  Excuses are a dime a dozen, but those of us that stick with it will find that reward worth it.

There will come a point where you will be amazed at how great you feel.  You will eventually come to the realization that you accepted feeling bad as normal.  

Life is short.  We have no guarantee for tomorrow.  Take care of your body while you are in it.

This could be the year that more of us come to the realization that food is fuel for our bodies. It’s purpose is not to make us happy or comfort us.  Good food, unlike medications, has no negative side effects.  Proper diet is important to our health and can keep us functioning at our best.

You have heard it before,“Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”

Eat smart, train smart, make it fun and stick with it. You will be amazed at the difference it will make in your life.

 

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.

 

Stand Out

Each of us defines success in a different way.  My definition of success today is being content, loving those close to me with a full heart and enjoying life to the fullest.

One of the things I like to do is speak to people about life and what they can do to accomplish their dreams and goals.  I listen to their stories and try to find the commonalities with others who have become successful in life.

I was speaking with two people, in particular, this week with very different lives, yet their stories share common threads. One is an actor who started out for many years as a carpenter first. He studied acting on the side as he worked his woodworking craft.  He lived frugally and held himself to a high standard. He pushed himself and never lost sight of where he wanted to be.  There were no roles available for guys like him, yet he never gave up and today he is in a number of shows working as a full time actor.

The second is a professional athlete who has worked at his craft his whole life.  He reached the top of his game and still he kept at it.  Even when his career started to wind down, he stuck to his personal code.  He faced tough times and many changes, but with each move and shift he learned and grew. Those tough times helped shape him and equip him for his life today coaching and pushing other athletes to reach their potential.

We can all learn from their stories.  First, they each had a clear vision of where they wanted to be, and worked toward it.  They did not get caught up in the small things that drag us down in life and will do nothing for us.  Second, they demanded excellence from themselves.  They went to bed early, got plenty of sleep and woke up early on a schedule.  Each of them was willing to sacrifice immediate temporary pleasure for their long term goals. They were willing to put as much time as they could possibly find into mastering their craft.

In doing this they cracked the code of success that many others have followed. Hard work at every stage. They gave it their all no matter how small the work seemed at the time.  People took notice because of their hard work.  Good work never really goes unseen, even if you feel like it does not matter at the time.

After many years of toil, when they finally had their big opportunity, they were ready.

Another thing that stands out to me about these two, is that they both give thanks to him who made it possible. They will tell you that God will never give you more than you can handle.  Their advice is to stay focused, do everything to the best of your ability, demand excellence from yourself and make no excuses. By following these guidelines, we can all reach our full potential.

Titus 2:7

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

 

Live The Dream

What are your dreams and goals? A lot of us use the phrase someday when we talk about them.  We often put off taking that first step until it is too late.  I wonder how many works of art died before they were ever realized? How many great stories were never told?

Kids dream big.  Astronaut? President? Racecar driver?  Sure!

Could it be that we were never taught how to reach our goals?  When I had something I wanted to accomplish in the past I would often get caught up in my own thoughts, holding myself back. I would basically talk myself out of it.  I would think, “I can never actually do that,” or, “I don’t have the education or the training.”  Worse yet, “I don’t have the connections I would need to succeed with that.”  

Do you see how I never even took the first step?

Today when I think about my goals, I investigate them.  I learn everything I can about them and then I begin to chip away.  I put one foot in front of the other.  Each day I make progress in the direction I wish to go.  I keep that mental picture of myself doing or succeeding at what I am dreaming about.

This is when I have learned to be patient.  Let’s say I did arrive at the end without all the hard work in the middle.  If that happened, I would not be ready for the success.  Most likely I would fail.  I wouldn’t have all lessons that I would need to fall back on that I should have learned on the way to reaching my goals.  

God knows what I can handle – success and failure – and where I need to be. I have to trust in him on my journey to accomplish the dreams he has put inside me.

Ambitious dreams are great! Working towards them is part of life.  Letting them die is a waste. I am sure that any cemetery is full of wasted possibilities and unfulfilled potential.

I do not know what legacy I will leave behind when I die, but I do know that I do not want to be remembered as the “Someday I’ll accomplish that,” guy.

There is no better time than right now to take that first step towards your goals.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.