I need 2 things from you for tomorrow. I need your excuses why you skip workouts and I need you to bring a friend. We will be inside, so they don't have to worry about freezing to death. You don't want to miss! Last time this workout involved lighter fluid and a lighter.
 
 I got to thinking about a challenge I sent out to my 13 week challenge group. If you haven't heard of it, the 13 week challenge as started to give people who are in boot camp, not in boot camp, men, women, young people, old, people, etc... a chance to get a little of the coolness that is the J Train. Yes I've been called that name before, don't be jealous. I'm a man of many nicknames. Anyway, I sent them a challenge that I thought you all could benefit from as well. It is about avoiding negative self talk and starting to give yourself little pep talks. Negative self talk is terrible! It sounds innocent and insignificant, but it adds up. Check it out:
 
Ok, we've had some tough challenges that not everyone has been able to accomplish. You may be getting down on yourself. Snap out of it! Time to turn things around. So this may be a little touchy feely coming from me, but the next challenge is affirmations. The most famous affirmation I can recall is Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live. If you're not a young whippersnapper you probably remember Stuart looking in the mirror and saying "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it people like me!" Remember that? Good times. If not, here you go (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DIETlxquzY) That was poking fun at affirmations, but they are a helpful tool. Whatever you give attention to grows. A mentor of mine always says "Where the mind goes, grows." This can be good or bad. Ever had a stressful problem that you can't get off your mind and the problem seems to get bigger every minute? Thoughts become reality, so you gotta encourage the good thoughts. So how do you go about starting an affirmation? Make a list of the top things you want to improve in your life. Next to each  one write a few positive thoughts in the present tense. For instance if you wanted to improve your memory you could write:
-I have the ability to learn  quickly
-I am in control of what I remember
-I am calm when I learn
-My brain absorbs knowledge like a Shamwow
 
So you got them all written out, now what? Well you have a few options.
1. Speak to the mirror. Speak with passion and conviction like you are trying to convince yourself. Because that is what you are doing!
2. Write them down and look at them several times a day just like your goals
3. Sing or chant them. Not recommended at work.
4. You can always go with some audio programs to get the affirmation into your subconscious mind.
 
So your challenge this week is two-fold. After you read this, write out your self affirmation. The rest of the week, the challenge is to do your affirmation twice a day using number 1 and 3. Night and day, breakfast and lunch, however you want to do it. The other half of the challenge is to eliminate the negative self talk. Don't ever talk bad about yourself! What good does that do? Replace things like "I'm no good at that." with "I'm not great at that now, but I'm getting better." I know this stuff is a little much, but all the cool kids are doing it! It's free, doesn't take much time, and it just might help. What's to lose?
 
Cliff notes version of this e-mail
1. Say good things to yourself
2. Don't talk bad about yourself