46 Tips On Living Your Best Life

It’s hard for me to believe I’m writing a post on living your best life. It’s also hard for me to believe I wrote a book titled On Living Your Best Life: A Simple Guide to Being In Control. Life wasn’t always fun or even manageable. There were days when the towel was thrown in the ring and I gave up trying. There were depressed days and months, weeks and what seems like years. Happiness wasn’t always a part of who I am. Anger ruled my world. Depression sunk me into the couch and life wasn’t worth living. I felt useless and hopeless and could never see what good the future had in store for me. Even after I got my life back on track and began to make progress like most of you, I still hated life. I had everything I could ask for. A home, a job, a business of my own, a family, and money in the bank that helped my family thrive, but I wasn’t happy and I was ready to give it all up.

Not many people who know me believe this or even saw it, but the truth is, my best life was far from my eyes and what people thought was a happy life, was a miserable existence I self-created. All of the pain and depression I put myself through was out of line and what I failed to realize was the simple truth that I wouldn’t accept. Why was I unhappy? Why, when life was good to me, did I hate everything? The answer lies in the vision and the story I was telling myself. I created a false belief that didn’t exist and failed to see the true reality of my life.

When I noticed the problems of my own mind and the abundant joy in my reality, I made several changes. Along the way I wrote post after post after post about what I was learning. Here are 46 of those tips that I now use and accept to live my best life.

1. Pain means you’re alive. Use it for your own good.

Being in pain, mentally, emotionally, and even physically, you have a deep anger and a good power inside. Releasing this power in a positive way can be productive and used as motivation to drive forward. Keeping it in, hiding, under the skin and shadow of your true life can create an emotional imbalance that leads to problems. Use your pain for the good of people all around you.

2. Your health is related to your mindset.

If you feel lazy and exhausted, you might be thinking you’re lazy and exhausted. Get up and get in the gym and move your body. Let nature do amazing work by releasing hormones that create joy and pleasant experiences. The more we train, the better we feel.

3. Be Okay With Day Dreaming.

Find time in your busy life to sit aside from the commotion of everything around you and relax, day dream. Have no expectations or agendas. Just dream. Daydreaming is linked with creativity and improved mindset.

4. Get Uncomfortable.

Does working after work on your passion and dreams make you uncomfortable? Do it. Does exercise make you uncomfortable? Do it more. The more we push beyond our comfort zones, the better our results are in everything relating to our life.

5. Set Positive Intentions.

What do you want out of life? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Why? Answer the deeper questions in your mind and heart and when you find the truth, set the positive intention to make it happen and do good where you can. A life lived with intention on positive experiences is a life lived to the max.

6. Continue to Learn Daily.

Learning about new things, ideas, and experiences is one of my highest values. I can’t go a day without learning something new. The more we learn, the smarter we get, the better our life experiences get. Knowledge truly is power and with it you can open doors to amazing things and moments you never dreamed possible. Always be learning.

7. Figure out your personality.

Much of my mental and emotional problems and experiences were overcome when I found a simple test called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I am an introvert and I created a life that better suited an extrovert and when I got severely overwhelmed, it caused massive problems in my day to day functions. Find out your type, read about it, and see where you can make adjustments to better your life.

8. Be Careful of the People You Surround Yourself With.

The people around you have a great effect on how you live your life. If you are surrounded by negative people you will naturally and inevitably become a more negative person. If you are surrounded by successful, smart, motivated, and fit people you will begin to change your life to mirror them and make your own mark. The people we interact with have a greater effect on our life than we think. Make sure you surround yourself with positive and uplifting people.

9. Quality over Quantity.

I am a big fan of beer and I enjoy good beer. That is why I choose craft beers that are highly rated and well reviewed. I don’t drink often but when I do, I want to have the best quality beer around. The same goes for everything we do in life. More is never better. Better is always better.

10. Find A Happy Place.

I love going to my in-laws lake house. It’s peaceful. It’s surrounded by water and it’s ultra relaxing. Being there releases tension in my body and removes the stresses of reality. It’s a great place to enjoy friends and family and it’s even better when you are alone with just your thoughts. Find a happy place and visit it as often as you can. Another happy place for me is the Float Tank.

11. Don’t Get Caught Up in Material Possessions.

“I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger, I wish that..” One of the most life alerting lessons I learned is that more is not better and that being caught in a trap of materialism can create unneeded stress and problems in many area of life. Buying the next best, the latest gadget, a new car every three years, and a house bigger than you need is not what’s best for living your highest life. Think like Gandhi. He owned less than 1o things when he died.

12. Find Your Inspiration.

What inspires you in life to wake up everyday and try harder? This could be your kids, your job, your boss, your spouse, your coach, a group of people who you share your life with. Capture that inspiration and use it when you need a helping hand.

13. Know What You Want.

And then go get it. If you want a million dollars and a vacation home, go get it. Do not disregard your desires. There is truth and power in knowing what you want, accepting it, and believing you can have it. Don’t wait for someone to tell you you can have it, just go after it right away.

14. Be A Child.

Kids are crazy, fun, and very zen like. They love everything about life. They smile all the time. They brighten our days and are excited to experience everything life puts in front of their moments. Be a child and relax and enjoy the awesome present moments we are gifted.

15. Be Willing To Fail.

Fear of failure will stop you from ever trying and will keep you exactly where you are right now. Accept that failure happens and there are great lessons in failing. Go and do the work with the acceptance that it might not work out.

16. Enjoy the Mundane Parts of Life.

Wake up, get dressed, get coffee, drive to work. These redundant and mundane tasks can drive us nuts if we let it. Instead, try to enjoy them and feel the present moment and make a fun routine out of it. Driving to work is a powerful time to learn by listening to podcasts or audiobooks.

17. Question Yourself.

Did you try hard enough? What do I do next? Questioning yourself is a great way to see your true intentions and to find out if you’re working to your potential. It will also help motivate you when you feel down.

18. Go The Extra Mile

How often do we accept our half best? How often do we stop just before the moment of a breakthrough experience? Go the extra mile when it comes to your work, your family, and taking care of your life. The extra mile is the road less traveled and it’s the road to greatness.

19. Embrace The Suck

Life is going to throw curveballs and you will go through trials that test your wits and what you’re made of. The same goes for exercise. It’s hard work and exhausting, but by embracing the suck you will persevere.

20. Accept The What If’s.

What if I fail? What if I die trying? What if I lose all of my money? What if I hurt myself? These questions stop us from trying. To go further and live your best life, you have to accept that whatever happens, happens for a reason.

21. Overcome Fear of Failure.

The only way to overcome fear of failure is to get and take giant steps and do the work. Accept it as possible, embrace the suck, accept the what if’s, and walk through fire by trying your best.

22. Awaken the Truth of Life.

Many of us are brainwashed by media and propaganda. This isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s fact. Awaken the truth about life by being open to change and continue to learn about all things in life. Meditate, read different books, ask questions. Find your greatness that is inside.

23. Use HOPE to Move Forward.

Hope gives us the energy to move forward. Hope gives us the power to overcome our fears. Hope helps us stay motivated that things will always work out. Hope changes the way you think and act. Go forward with the power of hope.

24. Share Your Knowledge.

Continue to learn everyday and then share that knowledge with others if it will benefit their life. Keeping in what we learn is a scarcity mindset move. Pay it forward and bring those behind you up front.

25. Be Yourself.

If you’re a rockstar and you’re hiding the truth of the music inside of you, you need to let it out and be yourself. Do not try to make up a story about who you are. Be the real person inside and show it off to the world.

26. Be An Action Taker.

You can read, listen, and watch everything and learn a ton but without taking action you will never move forward in life. Take daily actions to your goals and dreams. When you feel like you don’t want to go to the gym, go to the gym. When you feel like eating fast food instead of cooking good food, cook the good food instead.

27. Show Gratitude.

When you wake up in the morning, you are lucky. When you have a job to go to that pays the bills, you are lucky. When you have the ability to walk and talk, you are fortunate. There are many people in the world who are suffering more than we are. Be grateful for all of the goodness in your life. Be grateful for the people, the food, the water that you have and release that gratitude to the universe. I am grateful for you.

28. Enjoy Competition.

Whether it’s watching baseball or football on television or playing a pick up game of basketball, enjoy the energy of being competitive. Famous author and publisher Louise Hay says there is no competition, only collaboration, but the competition of trying to excel while others are as well is motivating and greatly energizing.

29. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over.

At one point in my life, I lost everything I ever owned. I walked away with the clothes on my back and started my life over. It happens to many people. Starting over can be a blessing. Maybe you had a business that failed because it wasn’t a part of your true destiny. But now you have another idea. Don’t be afraid to take action and start all over.

30. Use Affirmations Daily.

Affirmations are a powerful tool to help you stay motivated and centered. Using affirmations can help you attract that which you are seeking and bring about an inner peacefulness. Practice using affirmations whenever you are alone and focus on the energy they bring you.

31. Give and Show Love.

Love is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. The energy of love and the vibrations are love can change your life. If you lack giving love to other people, make it a practice to share your love with those you encounter. Love the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the people in your life.

32. Capture Your Dreams

It’s easy to dream of a life where we have everything we ever wanted or where we live to our full potential, but it’s hard to actually capture those dreams and make them happen. Too often we don’t “do it” and just watch as others do. To live your best life, dream big dreams and then get to work.

33. Time Flies

We’ve all heard the expression “Time flies when you’re having fun.” but it also flies when you’re not. Make the most of the time we have whether it’s boring or fun and find the best parts of each moment. The time of our life is always now and we only have right now. Enjoy it to the fullest.

34. Do the work

There will always be work that needs to be done. We have household duties, job responsibilities, self improvement tasks, and more. A major part of living your best life is doing the work you have in front of you to capture the moments and bring out of them the best experiences of your life. If you want to increase your finances, do the work. If you want to lose weight, do the work.

35. Befriend Your Inner Critic

My inner critic is responsible for over 400,000 words never published in any format. That’s four major novels worth of writing that I have allowed to either sit silently in the dark or it’s deleted. The inner critic can stop you from taking action and destroy your dreams faster than anything else. We know it’s there and we know it’s afraid. Befriend the inner critic and accept the opinion within. Weigh the options and then, push forward. Your work is good enough.

36. Practice Visualization

One thing I’ve done in my business that has spurred growth and success is visualize the outcome I am looking for. I just moved to a new location for my gym. This is the third time since I started in my driveway. Each time, in each new facility, I quietly sat or stood there and visualized a full gym. I imagined the type of people I wanted training, the hours, the music, the exercises, the size of each class and then I went to work on all of my important tasks. This practice has helped me reach my goals and they continue to improve. I also use this for weight loss. When I won the beat the trainer challenge at my gym, I visualized myself winning and losing enough weight to capture the prize.

37. Never Give Up

Never giving up on your dreams and goals is one of the most important things we can do to live our best life yet. Through failure and difficulty we become smarter and stronger, therefore we must never give up trying to accomplish what we set out for. There have been hundreds of times where I felt like quitting writing, training, being a coach, and more, but each time those thoughts of failure and extreme difficultly came to mind, I rose above the negative beliefs and kept trying. What’s there to lose?

38. You’re Important

Some feel their life isn’t important. If you have a friend, a boss, a co-worker, a family, or people who like you, you’re important. We’re all important. You never know who you really are until you really try to find out. Look at some of the brightest inventors of our time. If they sat there feeling like their life wasn’t important, we may never have cars, light bulbs, coffee creamer, and MRI machines. You are here for a purpose. Believe it.

39. Realize Your Inner Strength

Strength doesn’t just mean that which relates to physical exertion. There are times when our physical strength means nothing and our emotional and mental strength mean the world. We are all stronger than we believe in every facet of our lives. We are all capable and equipped to withstand great adversity if the time comes. We may feel exhausted and unable to train for fitness but the truth is, you have the strength to push through a workout and get the job done. Push yourself so that you find that strength.

40. Be Creative

Each of us have unique opinions, beliefs, and perspectives, and they matter. There is no better way for us to relay our thoughts and ideas than by being creative. Whether this is writing, art, music, construction, design, photography, or sports, letting out our creative expression will help us live our best life. Silence the inner critic, do the work, and let your “art” out.

41. See The Truth of Happiness

Happiness is not something we can chase. We can’t find it, buy it, sleep with it, eat it, train for it, and we can’t see it. The only thing we can do for happiness is to choose to be happy. The truth is, we’re all capable of being happy. It’s inside of us right now.

42. Find Balance

There are many things we have to do in life and many responsibilities to take care of. To live our best life and avoid extreme exhaustion or overload, we must find balance. Our days are going faster and faster and we keep loading obligations onto our plates. The best thing we can do for balance is cut out unnecessary things from our life and focus on the few very important parts.

43. Be a Warrior

While a warrior is said to be a fighter or solider, the truth is, a warrior is also a strong, brave, and fearless man or woman. You don’t need a sword or machine gun to consider yourself a warrior. A warrior follows a creed of life that sharpens the edges and defines courage. Warriors follow their dreams, remove themselves from the masses of life, and are determined to succeed at their mission.

44. Enjoy The Little Things

I stopped the car the other day right in the middle of the road to watch a black beer rummage through a neighbors yard. I stopped the car the other day to witness this years baby geese at the pond down the road. Last year, there was one. This year, I’m excited to see there are three. I saw a flower nearing the state of blooming and stopped to enjoy the beauty and amazing laws of nature in action. I watched closely as my daughter ran around my gym without a care in the world. Worrying or thinking of nothing but experiencing the moment. That is where the true beauty of life lives.

45. Find your passion.

Do you like to mountain bike for sport? Write articles about living your best life? Draw pictures of nature? Whatever it is that you love, and we all know deep inside what we truly love, capture it and participate in your passion. Too many people are stuck in jobs and positions they hate and it’s slowly killing them just as life is slowly leaving all of us. Don’t waste the time you’ve been given. Make the most of it by living your passion.

46. Use The Best of Your Inner Energy.

Inner energy, inner strength, inner self. Inside of us is a power we’ve never fully understood. Our body heals itself. Our subconscious mind breathes, thinks, pumps blood, and digests food without our control. We never stop functioning as an awesome animal. Treat that inner energy well by feeding yourself good foods and exercising with a purpose.

Living your best life starts and ends with the energy you’re made of.


On Life, Effort, Risks, Goals, and Teaching My Daughter About Hulk Hogan

This week has been awesome. Tuesday I taught my daughter how to give me the pound and she’s loving it. Just the week before I taught her how to mimic Mike Myers in Austin Powers with the famous Fat Bastard line: “Get in my belly.”. The little things really do make the days better and more enjoyable. Today I taught her “Whatcha gonna do BROOOOTHER?” The world famous Hulk Hogan quote that brought him to wrestling stardom. Now I just need to watch everything else I do.

I officially received word that my town accepted my application to expand my gym into a new location that triples the training floor space. This is one of those moves in life that is risky. I’m freaked out by the decision but it’s necessary and from it’s either sink or swim, and I only accept swim. When I sit back and think about the journey I’ve been on in the gym business and life itself, I see that we really do manifest our reality. For the past year I knew it was time to expand the gym. Whether I had the membership base to afford it or not, it was time. All year I spent working hard to grow the business and find a new location. The law of attraction is spontaneous. Out of nowhere the thought came to me to inquire about space at a local warehouse park. Fortunately the timing was perfect and the opportunity was given to me. I’m running with it. Running with fear latched onto my heart and my nerves on edge but nonetheless, full steam ahead.

We are all very capable of capturing our dreams and making them come true. Our thoughts are here for reason and we can’t ignore them. Each time I had a thought about moving into a gym they were so strong I couldn’t think of anything else. The nervousness that comes with it too is not fun at times. On occasion it feels like I need to vomit and I often ask myself if this is real. But the powerful thought of knowing I want to do this is so strong that I work to make it happen. I don’t let it go and think it’s a foolish idea. No matter what, if I fail or succeed, it is what it is and the next thought will come and I’ll continue on this journey.

Being able to do all of this and spend much quality time with my children is amazing. Two of three days a week I get to spend the entire day cleaning up poop, spilled milk, and strawberries mushed into the rug. I also get to look into the eyes of joy and feel the connection of human love. Then there’s teaching my daughter the many joys of embracing the little things. Today we trained. I did a circuit of five sets. Five burpees, ten push ups, ten squats, ten kettlebell swings, and twenty flutterkicks each leg. At the third set my daughter said: “Oh boy. I’m done.” She’s two and a half. I said “No way. Let’s go! Two more rounds.” She held the kettlebell for a few seconds, did some funny looking burpees, and tried to squat. She kept going and I had to push her. I wonder if she realizes it, probably not, but I just taught her a valuable lesson. One I will continue to teach her until I’m done in this life.

That’s how it’s been with writing and my gym as well. For a long time there hasn’t been many readers of my work. Now I’m close to 500 blog posts since I started writing and there are over 300 that have only been read once or twice. Some classes at my gym have one or two people and last summer there were many that nobody came to. But I keep going, not quitting, doing the reps one motion at a time. What good would it have been if I gave up the first time nobody read a blog post or the first class nobody showed up to?

We are all capable of moving forward towards our dreams. Along the way there are days and weeks and months and even years that are hard. Filled with brutal work and endless days. Failure after failure after failure. Haters, negative people, competition making fun of you, being upset, sad, depressed, let down, and angry. These are the haymakers that are thrown our way that are meant to ask us one question. “Are you strong enough?” And the answer is always yes. One foot at a time.

My friend commented on another friend’s post today “That is sharpening the sword.” “Sharpen the sword for life.”

To me this means that through failure, through trials and tribulations, when we move forward and keep going, we’re working on forging our strongest self. We’re working on becoming the self that our inner core screams for us to notice and let loose on life. Yesterday I spoke to some co-workers about I felt my writing and podcasts were a little dry because I feel I’m not being my true self. I’m holding back my true opinions and the immense knowledge within my mind. I don’t want to rock the boat. I’m afraid that people will see the true man I am, where I’ve come from, and not accept me. I’m not alone here either. WE ALL have those feelings. Each day I try to do one thing to learn how to accept that part of me and I work on finding the reasons I MUST let it out in my writing, coaching, podcasting and more.

Moving forward I accept my role as the Bumblebee.

Fitness Classes, Home in Bed, and Other Random Thoughts

After classes this morning at the gym I came home and was able to spend some time in bed with the whole family. My son, six months and a tank, was bouncing back and forth in excitement to see our sleepy, but smiling faces. My daughter, still getting over a nasty cold that crushed our sleep time over the weekend, was kind of happy. The boogers and cough have got her upset. She’ll be fine. My wife, gorgeous as ever, took the day to take care of our daughter’s cold. She’s an amazing person. Great mother, great wife, and awesome therapist. It’s perfect to be able to come home and have that moment before our day gets crazy. Even if it was only for five minutes, it felt like forever and I could hold it until the end of time.

Recently at the gym we’ve been having a fat loss challenge. Thirty days. Winner takes all. The person who loses the highest percentage of their starting weight will take the prize. I’m in this challenge as well. It’s a beat the trainer event and if I lose, fifty dollars is coming out of my pocket. The other challengers, they put in twenty and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort they’ve been making. Watching men and women both work hard at achieving success, to possibly get a hold of the fat cash jackpot, fills me with gratitude, happiness, and appreciation.

After another morning class I stopped to pick up my buddy, Cooper, from my brother’s apartment and headed into the office. The ride over was nothing fancy. A quick trip through farm country and the quiet America that still exists if you look for it. There was a farm with several horses outside eating the grass. They each had on one of those blankets that keep their backs and most of the torso warm. A calming sight as I sped into work.

Cooper is a fine young man of a black lab. He’s mixed with something. “Whatever jumped over the fence that day” said the man at the farm where we adopted him. He’s four now, going on five and has started to get more white on his chin, just below his mouth. He comes to the office almost everyday, with either my brother or myself. He’s like our mascot. During the day while we work away on our computer machines, he sits on a chair and dreams about dog world and chasing deer.

As I sit here and write, I’m listening to some Tibetan bowl meditation music that is keeping my mind centered. Normally I’d be distracted within the first paragraph and stop to think about baseball or rap music or the growth of my gym business. When the music centers me, I feel more in flow with my creative nature and I keep the cursor moving. Practice filling up the screen with stories and let the truth be set free.

Don’t judge the work while the fingers are moving. You have plenty of time afterwards to stop and check for mistakes or to be critical of the words coming from within. Normally, I write with a timer. Ten minutes and then post it up. I don’t care about mistakes. What people say is what they’ll say. I have no control over it and maybe nobody will even read it, but here it is.

The other day I decided to let go of the thought about what others think and I began a novel. I hand wrote in a notebook three pages. The story begins. I’m not in a rush to get it done either. This will be good and will have the finest quality of my writing and may take years. Through that time I’m sure I’ll learn a few things or maybe many. For sure this will influence the outcome. At least it’s started now.

Staying Home With The Kids and Other Random Thoughts

The last few weeks have been quite interesting. I’ve stayed home more with my kids than I have before, and I love it. My daughter is crazy and is so intrigued by everything. She has a passion for her toys, smiling, and getting tickled. When I try to read, she sits on my shoulders or jumps on my sternum. It hurts, but she laughs so it’s all good. My son is small but getting big. He’s trying to sit up and can roll over now. He laughs at everything and talks to the television if he catches it on. He also enjoys being tickled.

During this time, I haven’t done much of anything but be a father and read a few pages of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I’ve coached my sessions at Activate Fitness and have worked slightly on growing my business but I’ve thrown it all on the side for my kids. With the time I’ve spent home, I guess you can call me a part-time stay at home dad. I’ve spent more hours changing diapers, making lunches and breakfast, cleaning up toys, and rolling around on the floor than I have behind a computer or at the gym.

When I was getting started in the fitness industry I would listen to guys like Jim “Smitty” Smith, Zach Even Esh, and Jim Wendler talk about being home with your kids and to enjoy it, because it goes fast and I’ll never get it back. I’ve accepted the fact my time is needed at home, and the gym can wait. Besides, it’s doing great. Right now, I’m Dad.

This change came out of nowhere. Like a meteor slamming into the farm on a clear summer night. Before this shift of heart, I was glued to the computer, to my books, to writing, to training, to seminars, and more, trying to grow my business and make more money. I was unconscious to my surroundings and unaware of the distance I was creating in my life. I’m happier now that I get to hang out with two little kids. They say you’re the average of the five people I spend the most time with. Well, one is a two-year old girl who hides in the corner to poop while staring at the ceiling. The other is a four-month old buddy of mine who sleeps most of the day. Then there’s my wife who is a kick ass occupational therapist, and for the other two, that’s really it. Some days I go to the office and I work next to my brother who has his shit straight finally and he’s working hard to make an awesome life. Other than that, there’s my imaginary friend Fred who is a pot smoking cat that brings me inspiration to write. So, take the average of those five people and everything looks well. My roundtable time sitting with the sharks can wait.

Just the other day I had to bring my kids to the gym with me and we had a blast, at least my daughter did. My son slept the whole time even though Disturbed and AC/DC were blasting for an hour. My daughter was pretending to load atlas stones with a six pound medicine ball and even though it was relatively heavy, she still tried. Can’t ask for more, even from my clients. All I ask of them is to try their best. Do one burpee and if the next one doesn’t happen, at least you tried.

One of the greatest lessons I will teach my kids as they grow up is to always try. For many years, I never tried at nothing. The only thing I tried to do was hide from people. The more recluse I became, the better I felt. That got me nothing special, in fact it got me only the clothes I wore and the title of “homeless bum”. It will be important to teach my children the responsibility of trying. You can’t write your name in cursive? Try again. You can’t lift the 20 pound kettlebell? Try again.

They’ll also learn that reading is one of the most powerful things we can do. Half the time, I fall asleep or read the same line over and over. Some days it doesn’t happen and reading fifty pages can be saved for tomorrow. Try though, read what you love. Don’t read Essentialism just because ten other people you know said it was a good book. If you can’t get through the first few pages effortlessly, dump it or come back to it another time. Read fiction. Read romance. Read drama or conspiracy theory. Read religion or atheism books. Read Hunter Thompson for sure. He’ll make you smile. He’ll make you think. Read Stephen King’s On Writing even if you have no desire to write. The story of his life is fascinating. Read the four books your Daddy wrote. Critique him. Bring him to show and tell and say “My Daddy is an author.” Even though he hasn’t sold a bunch of books like Glenn Beck or Robert Greene, at least he sat down and did the work. Read Steven Pressfield books and use the things he teaches in whatever you’re passionate about. Read A.A. Milne books and then read The Tao of Pooh. Just read. Even though it’s boring and not a fancy thing like dancing, it will take you further than you ever imagined.

Being at home with my kids is something I am extremely grateful for. I feel bad as well. Their mommy is out busting her ass in her therapy sessions and I’m sitting home watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or playing “tea” with my daughter. I go train a few people in the mornings and evenings. She helps people all day. My kids and I have fun, we color and make hearts and paper cards for Mommy while she’s dealing with people who need a lot of help.

Staying home with two children under two and a half has also taught me more about my self. About my ego, my desire to write, my passion for fitness, my mindfulness, my anger, my love for my wife, and more. Stay tuned as those stories come, another day. Right now, it’s time to play.

Being A Strong Dad

Fitness should be an important part to everybody’s life. The more we participate in fitness activities, the better we’ll feel, the less fat we carry, the more energy we walk around with, the more testosterone men produce (and some lucky ladies will enjoy that) and the better our minds work. As a father, it’s important for me to be a strong man. Wanting to set an example for my children is one thing, but there is more to being a strong dad. Much of the writing on my blogs has shifted from nutrition and exercise over to our mindsets. The mindset we approach life with has a great effect on our realities.

For a father, our mindset will make or break our relationships with our wives and kids. Walk around with a negative attitude, some laziness, and no mindful approaches to healthy nutrition, and we can be sure to have problems in many areas of our life. Being a strong dad is hard work. We have work obligations, family obligations, and social obligations. The last thing we want to do with our free time is exercise. Eating healthy is hard for some men as well. Depending on where you’re located in the country and what your family history is, eating a proper nutritional diet can be a living nightmare. Some guys are used to burgers and fries or pasta and meatballs as everyday dinners. As busy Dads, we often forget to pack a lunch or just don’t want another damn salad, so we stop at the most convenient place for lunch.

At my gym, I train mostly women. From these women, I’ve heard numerous stories about how hard it is to get their husbands to eat a good meal and exercise. The women are exhausted by the end of the day and instead of eating a good meal themselves, they make whatever the house wants. This usually happens because their husband doesn’t want grilled chicken and salad with a side of asparagus. They just won’t eat it. Instead, they turn to quicker, and most likely processed, meals. Making three separate meals is out of the question. As a Strong Dad, we need to help these women and work on an agreement for better dinners.

Training is one of the greatest things we can do for our wellbeing and happiness. Finding the time to squeeze a workout in is hard. We have diapers to change, lunches to prep, and jobs we can’t be late for. Usually at the end of the day we have to get right back to those priorities and that is why exercise comes last. But it doesn’t have to and there are ways to make it happen. Lately, I’ve been fitting my workouts in between my evening or morning classes. Sometimes that means I have ten or twenty minutes. That’s okay. When we’re confined for time there are still ways to make a workout happen. Even if you can’t get to the gym.

At home, you can do something like this:

Squats for 20 Reps
Push Ups for 15 Reps
Lunges for 10 Reps each leg
Plank for 1 minute

And go a few rounds.

I’ve done that workout in the living room while watching my daughter enjoy a cartoon. You can also run through that quick bodyweight circuit in ten minutes- as soon as you wake up, right next to your bed. And, who cares if you’re sucking wind? Just do it and the next time, it’ll feel better.

Being mindful about our health and fitness can go a long way for the betterment of our lives. We’ll feel happier, more alive, motivated, in control, more confident, and the example we set for our wives and kids will have a huge impact on the choices they make. Exercise is hard and sometimes eating greens and dried meat sucks, but in the long run, the pros far outweigh the cons. Start slow. You don’t have to grab a Flex Magazine and get right into a five day workout routine. You can start with the small circuit above one day and then go from there. For nutrition, just try eliminating some sugar first and add a little more water. That one step will have a huge impact and it isn’t hard at all. Once you see and feel progress, make another change.

Remember, people follow leaders and in your home, you are a leader. A few easy to do steps and you’ll have your family on your back following your decisions while enjoying your new found happiness and confidence, and most importantly- your better health.

The New Adventures of Coach Dad

I’ve had a recent shift in consciousness. Before, my days were filled with learning how to be better at everything. How to make more money in business, how to be a better marketer and salesman, and many other things, except how to be a better dad, and husband. This sort of awakening has forced me to think deeper about my purpose in life and what I’m meant to do. For a long time, I battled myself over what I’d write about. Some days, it was floatation. Other days it was self improvement through goal setting or meditation. I wrote about fitness routines, diets, and how to get into the best shape of your life. I’d write about the gym I own and how awesome everyone was doing.

Then, it became boring and I’d lacked a passion for posting anything on here. I’d practice writing about a fat cat named Fred and poems about my inner made up misery and deepest dreams. What I hardly ever wrote about was how awesome it is to be a father. How great my kids are and why my wife is truly an amazing person. Everything that mattered to me, the most important parts of my life, never saw the attention they deserve.

This shift in consciousness as led me to the new journey. The Adventures of Coach Dad. While I am a coach, both in fitness and life topics, my biggest role as “coach” is “dad”.  As I move forward with this blog, the adventures of coach dad will bring you stories of shitty diapers, being a business owner with two young kids, training for stay at home moms and dads (because I stay home a few days with the kids and I know workouts can get done), and my journey through self development.

Here are a few posts I previously wrote about my life with kids:




Keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times and buckle up for the ride!

To My Son And Daughter

In a world that is constantly on the run, I want you to stand still. In a world where they rich get richer and the poor get poorer, I want you to just be. In a world where everyone seems to be searching for more, I want you to seek less. In a world that always tries to tell you you’re not good enough, I want you to listen to the music of your mind. In a world where the powerful media creates fear and despair, I want you to smile and walk away. In this world where you can be anything you want to be, I want you to be yourself. In this world where millions are not happy, I want to see that they are and if you want, show them how to see it for themselves. In this world where people are angry, I want you to smile and walk away. In this world where you can make a difference, I want you to try.

In a world where people are getting sicker and fatter, I want you to love your body and respect it. In a world where people are afraid of their power, I want you to accept it. In a world where fears stop most, I want you to push forward. In this world where people gossip, I want you to smile and walk away.

In this world, you can be anything you want to be. In this world, you can make a difference. In this world, you have the power to change. In this world, you can be happy.

Believe in yourself and follow your heart. Listen to your instincts and go for your dreams and never give up.

Thought of the Day: April 18th, 2014

It’s easy to become so consumed in your work and personal development that other, often more important, things take a back seat in your life. We’re often working, and commuting, more than a total of 50 or 60 hours a week. Sleep, if we get any, usually grabs 5 or 6 hours out of our day as well. Sometimes 8 or 9 if you have a more laid back lifestyle.

This leaves very minimal time for the people we love and for the hobbies that keep us sane. When the imbalance builds over time it creates a bubble that will one day burst, unless we get control of it. When we make a decision, like deciding to go to a seminar, and don’t think about the other people in our lives, the other more important tasks that need to be done, and lack a communication needed for balance, a realization will come forth.

A realization that we often work so hard, fill our schedules up to a bursting point, and where our laser like focus isn’t- we see problems created. Sometimes we have to step back and readjust our schedule. Even if it means losing money in the process. Because beyond our professional development and desire to learn, we have people who need us and want us.

You can only have a muscle imbalance go for so long before an injury happens. The same goes for work and family life or social life. Looking inside of our hearts and minds, stopping to take a deep breathe and asking “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” will help make life roll along more smooth when the balance is off.

Our mind and heart will always tell us what’s more important, it’s the ego that fights it with anger and attitude. Stepping over the ego’s resistance is a victory, one that often is fought with blood, sweat, and tears.

The Day I Became Homeless

As a kid growing up we used to frequent my Grandmother’s house. It was a home stuck in the 1950′s. Linoleum roll out floors with a green hue, a range oven with a pull string fan on the wall, blue carpet that seemed like it was always brand new, and the furniture… The one couch in her house had to be 50 years old. But it too, looked brand new. Her dinnerware was white with gold and brown designs and not one piece had a chip. My grandfather and her used to sleep in separate beds, no bigger than a twin size each. In the basement, where my brothers and I would generally spend our time, were my Grandfathers tools. He was an electrician who had thousands of different tools, screws, nails, and pipes of all sizes. On his workbench were pieces of paper like an oversized dollar bill which we would use as fake cash when we pretended it was a hardware store.

The garage was simple. Buick about 30 years old with 10,000 miles on one side and a grease and oil stained workspace in the other bay. A mower, a bucket, and a few gardening tools were all that took the space. I remember one time hanging out in the garage, with my brothers pretending we had an auto shop, when I slammed my thumb in the riding mower. Took the nail clear off. Ouch.

My grandmothers home was minimalist in nature. Simple, easy to navigate, effective, and clean. Not so much comfortable in my opinion. I could never find a chair or way of lounging there that made me feel relaxed. It was a proper home. Sit up straight, elbows off the table, keep shit clean or else!

I tell you this because throughout my life it never changed. NEVER. From as far back as I can remember until the last day it was part of our family, it looked and felt the same.

It was 2006 when I went to live with my grandmother. She had taken a bad fall and needed help and I wanted to change my situation. I was a free loading, lazy, worthless person who wanted no responsibility and nothing more than to just hide out of sight. The perfect moment came when I decided to go stay with her. Nobody to tell me what to do, how to do it, and not a care in the world.

Basically, I took advantage of the situation. I made my nest in the upstairs bedroom that was very bland. Hardwood floors, white walls, a bed too big to be a twin but too small to be a queen, a wooden end table with a single lamp, and a wooden dresser with maybe 3 drawers. It looked as if it was built the day before and furnished that morning, with relics of the 50′s.

During my time spent hiding out in her home I worked briefly at a lighting store, got fired, and acquired a warrant for my arrest. Fun times. The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series and a friend of mine, a huge fan, watched the game with me on a black and white Television with rabbit ears catching the signal from space. I stole checks from her and forged my father’s name so I can eat and go hang out with friends. Sometimes I’d go downstairs and sit and watch the Yankees game with my Grandmother. She couldn’t see the game but could hear it. The television was too small for her to see and the people in most other shows spoke too quickly for her to understand. It was perfect for her. I wonder if she even liked the ballgame?

As the days rolled along and my grandmother was moved into an assisted living facility, the house went up for sale. I knew my time was limited, but for some odd reason I chose to ignore that. Never did I think, “What am I going to do when the house sells?” I thought I’d stay there, always, like a stuck pig.

In time, my father had an estate sale, a dumpster in the driveway to throw out the relics of the past, and he stopped coming by as often as he did. The furniture was gone, the furnace turned off, the dishes gone, the kitchen table sold. Nothing left except my sleeping bag, a milk crate, and that black and white TV.

Being unemployed there was nothing for me to do, so I thought. To pass time I would read the bible. But why did I allow time to pass? Just like that? No resistance, no future thinking, just the here and now with no motivation or desire. Spending a good year in that home I should have been working on getting my stuff in line and setting up my future. Problem is, I never thought about it. I just did what I had always done and didn’t give a fuck.

Then the day came, warrant still active, that my Father took the key, told me to leave, and the house transferred ownership through the closing. An era of family locked away with the turn of the key. For many years our family lived there. Good times and bad times. We used to spend New Year’s Eve there with my grandparents when my parents went and partied the night away. Always never making it to see the ball drop. We used to ride on my grandfather’s lap as he mowed the lawn and when the cicadas came, we played with the shells. It was sad to see that house go.

When I was told my time was up I had not a clue of what to do. My car became my home and I will never forget that day. The day I told myself I was homeless.

Daddy Daughter Day

“Do you know how lucky you are to have a daughter who loves you so much?” ― Ingrid Ricks, Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story

Every Friday is a true gift, as is each and every minute we have. But Friday is special. Many people enjoy the thought that it is followed by the weekend, but for me, it’s because Friday is Daddy Daughter Day.

Waiting for me to get back home after some early morning coaching duties at the gym, wide awake and gleaming with joy, is my 13 month old daughter. The door opens and a wave of “Da Dah.. Da Dah” greets me. There, in the living room, is my daughter with an ear to ear smile, some goofy looking baby teeth, and bright wide open eyes waiting for me.. hands in the air, as if a signal to “pick me up Daddy.”

And so begins our Daddy Daughter Day.

To be able to take this time away from my work is something I am grateful for. It’s not often that men, and even women, get to spend an entire weekday with their children. Setting aside Fridays to spend with my baby has been one of the best things I have done for her and myself as well.

Usually I sit back and watch her play without a care in the world.. admiring her ease of movement, her glowing happiness, and an unbelievable sense of humor. She is fun. More fun than anyone else I know. When we’re hanging out together, we don’t give a shit about anything else… because, we’re silly and aside from Mommy and Cooper, nothing else matters in that moment.

Daddy Daughter Day should be a day that every father sets aside for his little girl or girls. And not just a once a month sort of day. I’m sure making a weekly daddy daughter day, just daddy and daughter (sorry moms), has a huge impact on the future of the child. In the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters author Meg Meeker, M.D. says:

“But I can tell you that fathers change lives… You are natural leaders, and your family looks to you for qualities that only fathers have. You were made a man for a reason, and your daughter is looking to you for guidance that she cannot get from her mother.”

I highly suggest reading this book if you never have and you’re a father. Even mothers can get some takeaways from it.

The hustle of each day to produce value, earn, and provide for my family, our families, takes needed quality time away from our little girls. Yesterday I ran into a man who saw my wife and I with our daughter. He said to us, “Every minute you spend with her under 14 years old is a minute less you spend with her in a courtroom over 14 years old.” Kind of weird and random but it was true and made me realize just how important it is for us to have this day.

She might not remember these special moments as she continues to grow but one thing is certain, I always will. As time moves forward this day will always continue as a tradition and I will work my hardest to make sure I don’t miss too many.

Daddy Daughter Day is the best day ever and while it may not always be perfect it’s always meaningful at the very core.

She doesn’t even know it yet, and mommy denies it, but for my daughter..

Daddy is number one!