I was reading an article about why Japanese children do so well in math compared to other countries. The reason was not what I thought it would be.
The kids do so well in math because their teachers allow them to struggle the longest with problems.
That sounds kind of counter productive at first, but it makes sense. It is hard to watch kids struggle! Have you ever watched a small child “help” with dinner, tie shoes, dress themselves, or learn how to walk? Your first instinct is to help them out and do it for them. You don’t want them to suffer through the process.
But the struggle is vital to make change and progress. Otherwise they will never learn to do things on their own.
We need to struggle to move forward. And that is especially true in exercise.
You have to continually struggle to get better, the workouts should not be a breeze every time, and some days you may even wonder why you try. Those feelings are natural and happen to everybody.
The one thing you must avoid is comparison to others. No one knows what all you have going on and vice versa you knowing about them. We all struggle in different ways and handle the struggles in our own personal manner.
Next time you are struggling, embrace it and don't give in. The struggle is helping you reach your goals, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
Did you know that now is when you see the most dramatic drop off in gym attendance every year? For whatever reason the third full week in February is when most resolutions are over.
If you have given up on the goals you have set for yourself, it’s not too late! There is plenty of 2017 to go, you just need to recalibrate.
Your first step is to find out what went wrong. Did you choose a goal that just sounded good, but not one you were committed to? Did you set too many goals? Did you have the right goal, but it turns out you hate working out?
It could be several different reasons why things did not work out. No pun intended.
Your second step is to figure out a new game plan. Don’t think about having to commit to the rest of the year. Set a goal for the next 4 weeks. As legendary SEAL Joe Maguire says, “Don’t look forward to the pain.” More on that in Friday’s e-mail.
Your third step is to figure out the most enjoyable way you could reach your goals. What types of exercise do you actually enjoy? Roller skating, yoga, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, shaking weights? Pick something you look forward to.
The fourth step is to do the same thing with food the next four weeks. Find some healthy foods that you like. They are out there I promise, you may have to do some experimenting. Or if you prefer you can start with the food first, then try the exercise in the fourth step.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to make you miserable. On the contrary it should make you feel energized and excited! You just have to find what works for you, even if it isn’t the typical “go to the gym, eat foods you hate but are super healthy, and look great but hate your life” tract that people get stuck on.
Your challenge this week is to do one thing to eliminate one major source of stress in your life.
What's the thing in your life that causes you the most negative thoughts in your life? When you read stress, what immediately popped into your head? That's what you need to attack.
Whatever it is, just do ONE thing this week that starts to work on the stress source. You will feel so much better just by doing one thing!
I am a true believer in the AAA principle.
Action Alleviates Anxiety
No matter how big the situation is, pick out something to do. In debt and can't see your way out? Start a budget. Does it immediately solve your problem? No, but it's a start.
Are you so out of weight and have so much weight to lose you feel paralyzed? Start keeping a food journal, do 10 minutes of exercise, or eat one healthy meal. You didn't put all of that weight on overnight and it's not going to come off overnight. Start the process now.
Do you find yourself stressed out by the political climate in America right now? Do something positive in your community. Does it fix the entire country? No, but it sure beats worrying and feeling helpless all the time.
When all you are doing is worrying about a problem it becomes a much bigger problem. You become more negative and the stress continues to build. When you start to do something about the issue, you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Take action and you become an active participant in getting the stress resolved, rather than just being a victim. These may seem like small, worthless steps but they will help I promise.
Do one thing this week to help with your biggest source of stress.
I have just started to listening to the book Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg on CD. Shout out to the public library. It’s full of free stuff!
One story in the book was talked about techniques that recruits use to get through boot camp to become Marines. When things get the absolute worst the recruits are taught to ask each other questions that start with Why.
This sounds a little strange, but there is a method to the madness. Duhigg explains, ”If you can link something hard to a choice you care about, it makes the task easier, Quintanilla’s drill instructors had told him. That’s why they asked each other questions starting with “why.” Make a chore into a meaningful decision, and self-motivation will emerge.”
Quintanilla is a young man who is going through boot camp. During a grueling portion of boot camp called The Crucible his buddy asked him “Why are you doing this?” His reply was, “To become a Marine and build a better life for my family.”
You have to have a Why in your life too. I want to lose weight is not enough. Dig deeper!
-Why do you want to lose weight? To fit back into that dress I haven’t worn in years.
-Why? To feel better about myself.
-Why? So my husband will be attracted to me again. Ding, ding, ding! This is the real Why.
That is a real example that I have experienced. When you get to that deep of a Why, you are almost guaranteed to be successful.
Tie your Why to the mundane task of chopping vegetables, prepping food for the week, or planning meals. Remember your Why when it is cold, your bed is warm but your workout is waiting. Remember your Why when you are shopping for groceries or trying to get through that last set of pushups.
The actual workout part is physical but the mental side is what will keep you going. Put the work in, it is worth your time to discover your true Why.
When I was 21 years old I was living in Dublin, Ireland. The last two weeks before I was about to go home, my older brother Tony flew over and we traveled along the coast of Ireland.
We had some awesome adventures and saw some great sights. One place stands out in particular for a not so good reason.
I got scabies from a hostel in Killarney located in County Kerry.
This was pre-internet in your pocket, so we based all of our decisions on one of those Fodor’s travel books. We would pick the cheapest hostel from the book and stay there.
It backfired on us, when I got scabies. If you want to horrify yourself, go look up what scabies are. Shudder…
So I have these super, itchy rashes on the inside of my arms and along my waistline. The best part of my day was when I got in the shower and burned the places with the hottest water I could find. Side note- that’s not what you are supposed to do.
I didn’t go to a doctor. Didn’t get any help. Just kept doing my quick fix of really hot showers that gave me temporary relief.
When I came back to the states, I finally went to the doctor. I got a prescription cream and it cleared it up almost immediately.
Pretty silly to wait that long when I could have gotten help huh?
People do the same thing every day with their body. They are not happy with how their body looks, feels, or performs but they will continue trying quick fixes.
Fad diets, the latest supplement regimen, or a couple of weeks of random workouts on their own. It’s ok to get help! This stuff is confusing and constantly changing, I feel your pain.
I get it, I did the same thing. I was embarrassed, I was broke, and I figured I could just deal with it.
It doesn’t have to be like that! There is no need to be embarrassed. I’ve been overweight and out of shape myself, don’t ever give up on yourself. We all started somewhere.
You don’t have to be rich to get in great shape. Want to hear some great news? Burpees don’t cost a thing! There are tons of free ways to get in shape. Eating healthy appears to cost more overall, but there are ways to eat good and not break the bank.
You don’t have to put up with feeling bad about you look. You don’t have to accept feeling tired all the time.
Life is too short to not be enjoyed to the fullest! And you can’t do that if you don’t feel good about how you look and feel.
If you have questions that I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to ask them. I’m always here to help.
Have you ever heard the story of the Golden Buddha statue in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s pretty amazing!
The statue, officially called Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon, is a 5.5 ton statue made of gold that was believed to be from the 13th-14th century, but was not discovered until 1954. How did a giant, gold statue avoid discovery for so many years?
For hundreds of years the statue had hidden in plain sight. At some point over the years, the beautiful, gold statue had been covered in plaster so it would not be stolen by invading armies.
The discovery was accidental. Workers were trying to move the statue, the ropes broke, and the giant statue came crashing to the ground. On further inspection after the accident, gold was seen shining through the cracked plaster.
Isn’t that amazing? Something similar to this is one of my driving beliefs for boot camp.
I truly believe that everyone has an athlete inside of them.
I’m not talking about being great at sports either. I’m talking about the joy of movement. Our bodies are meant to move, to be challenged, to try new things, and to experience the thrill that comes with doing those things.
Do you know why it feels so good to exercise even when it hurts sometimes? Because you are doing what your body is designed to do!
It is your job to find out what that kind of movement is. If you’ve hated exercise in the past, try something new! A great way to describe our boot camps is: exercise for people who hate to exercise.
A common compliment we get from our classes is “I can’t believe it, but I actually enjoy exercise now!” That could be you too.
Find some form of movement that you enjoy and that you will continue to do on a consistent basis, whatever that happens to be. It is worth the effort and it will change your life.
Are you a planner? Do you have to have all your ducks in a row before you do anything?
I am married to one of those people. Thank goodness, because I am the exact opposite. Marriage is all about filling in each other’s gaps.
There is definitely a time to plan, get ready, and make sure you have all the bases covered. But it can also be a sticking point.
It becomes a sticking point if it keeps you from taking action. Do you know what science has determined to be the perfect time to start exercising? Now. Now is the best time.
I love this quote I heard from Tim Ferriss: “Don’t be afraid to attempt what you are not qualified to do.”
I also like this quote from Kamal Ravikant, investor and author, “If I only did things I was qualified for I’d be pushing a broom somewhere.”
-Do not be afraid to do your first 5K because you don’t think you are ready.
-Do not be afraid to start Adventure Boot Camp because you think it is too hard or you can’t keep up. Spoiler alert- it's not and you can.
-Do not hold yourself back from reaching your full potential because that lying voice in your head says you can’t.
Go all in this year, put yourself out there, and see what happens. It won’t be easy, it will hurt, but it will be worth it. Don’t go through another year with regrets.
This is the year and now is the time. Take that first step towards change and just keep stepping.
Happy 2017 to you!
It is almost time. The time of year when we MUST change everything in our lives in ONE day!
I love resolutions. I love goal setting. I really love writing down goals to accomplish, but what is going to make this year any different from last year?
Let em explain. I've seen a lot of people searching for their word of the year. If I had one it would be momentum.
I think momentum is absolutely crucial to your success. So I am going to give you some advice that is probably counterintuitive to what most people will do.
Start with your strengths.
If you hate exercise, don't start there even if the rest of the world goes to the gym in January. If you hate eating healthy, don't start there even if the rest of the world is producing a broccoli shortage. Pick something that you are already pretty good at and go all in.
If you have already been exercising a little bit, it is time to pick it up! No pun intended. Lift heavier, go further, go faster. Do that race you are nervous about attempting, try that class you've always wanted to try, pick up a new active hobby. Cross train in other areas to improve performance and increase results.
If you already eat fairly healthy, it is time to dial it in!
The goal is to increase your confidence. What happens when you work on your weaknesses? You feel incompetent, that everybody else makes it look so easy, and you feel like a failure.
But when you are working in an area you already have competence, you can really grow your confidence and that will produce momentum.
You can use that momentum to delve into the other areas that you want to work on. It will work better than the quitting smoking, getting a new job, working out 7 days a weeks, and eating a complete Paleo Slow Carb Mediterranean Diet all year game plan.
Doing things the way you have always done will get you the same things that you did not want. Try something different and see what you are truly capable of.
There is a hallway at my church where all the kid’s classrooms are. The walls are all painted with famous stories and people from the Bible.
One year my wife and I were leading a Sunday school class and I had a brilliant idea involving marshmallows and a painting of Goliath.
You have probably heard the story in the Bible about David and Goliath. Where tiny David killed the fearsome giant Goliath by flinging a smooth stone into Goliath’s forehead.
I thought it would be pretty awesome to have the kids act like David and try to throw their marshmallows into Goliath’s forehead. They loved it! There was just one problem.
There’s always that one kid.
One kid had apparently been licking his marshmallow while he waited in line. Then when it was his turn he ran up and dunked Goliath in the forehead like he was Lebron James. You would be amazed at how quickly a marshmallow sticks to a painting of Goliath and it would not come off!
Goliath had marshmallow residue on him for weeks! Every time I walk by that painting I am reminded of that day. It also reminds me of the kids’ laughter, enthusiasm, and zest for life that day. It is also a reminder that there are kids that look up to me and I need to be a good example. Every time I see that guy it is a great reminder.
You can set up visual reminders for yourself too. Print off a favorite quote of yours, a picture of the finish line at a race you are training for, a picture of your kids. Think of something that: positively motivates you to be healthier; keep proper nutrition and exercise a priority; and is deeply meaningful to you.
I have no idea how to use semicolons, but I throw them out there occasionally to keep that button on my keyboard from getting rusty. I’m a rebel like that.
Hope you have a very Merry Christmas, thank you for being a reader!