You Don’t Get There By Saying “Must Be Nice”

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I’m not a fan of fancy gadgets. I’m not a fan of flashy cars and high dollar clothing. I’m not a sneaker fan, a go out all the time fan, or a big house fan. Many people hustle hard and bust their asses to pay off big homes, big cars, big clothing credit card payments, and fancy dinners every weekend. I’m not that guy and my family isn’t that kind of family. We’re simple minded, easy going, and content. While there is a culture of new is better, where someone gets a new house or new car every five years, I’m sitting here enjoying the gratitude I have for being alive.

One thing I have done is worked hard for the past five years building a business. I scarified a lot to get the job done. Some days I failed and others I won. Those five years have been brutally challenging and at some points scary as fuck. It took a lot of courage to give up some of the things I did and neglect some of the other. During the past five years I haven’t traveled much or enjoyed family vacations a whole lot. Mostly because I’ve been in the trenches helping other people lose weight and feel better.

Things this summer have changed. I’m traveling more than I ever have because I am finally in the position to be able to. As a business owner and a leader that people come to see, to learn from, to be around, and get results, it’s tough to remove yourself from the daily functions for a week or two here. It’s hard to say “This year, like many people from corporate America, I’m getting four or five weeks vacation.” It doesn’t work that way when you have to open and close the doors. And for the past five years it’s been that way. Now, I have help and I’m burned out.

So what do you do when you’re burned out? You stop, relax, reflect, recharge, and refocus. And, you spend time with the family, which always comes first. This summer I’ve been fortunate enough to take time to go camping twice. Once with my family and once with my brother and father. Next I get to go spend time in the Mountains by the lake with my family before we head to the beach for a few days. It’s not a lot, but it’s needed.

Several years ago when I had my sleeves rolled up, my work boots laced, and my mind laser focused on being able to survive and help my family thrive, I didn’t do this and I used to look at people who vacationed for two weeks at a time and say “Must be nice”. Well now I know that you don’t get there by saying “must be nice”. You get there by committing to the goal, kicking the door down every day and doing the work. You make sacrifices where you need to and then you apply the effort needed to succeed. You don’t waste energy being upset that someone else is going on a vacation, in which you actually know nothing about, and you use that energy on doing the work.

My Thoughts on What It Takes to Lose 50 Pounds in 6 Months.

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There are very few people who can pull off dramatic results. Like Tom who once lost 28 pounds in less than 30 days at Activate Fitness, or Deanna who lost over 50 pounds over her span of time at the gym. Debbie lost over 40 pounds in seven months and is headed to break the all time weight loss record for women at Activate Fitness. The truth is, to get results like this you need to be dedicated to not giving up. If you stick to the program, follow the guidelines, and try, you will get these results. Anybody can do. We can all talk about doing it, but it only happens when we get to work.

Here are a few steps to take to lose 50 Pounds in 6 Months.

*Note: Not everyone can get these results. Going at it fifty percent will not get you to 50 pounds lost in 6 months. Going at it seventy five percent won’t either. You need to be committed and follow a good nutrition program, consistently exercise, stay hydrated, and sleep. If you’re a hundred and thirty pounds, shooting for fifty isn’t possible, but following this advice will help you reach your body’s ideal weight.

Let’s start with the obvious. Nutrition. In order for someone to get great weight loss results they need to have a solid nutrition program and follow it. Eating lean cuisines and weight watcher gimmick foods won’t help you. You need to eat real quality foods. Stuff like broccoli, chicken, asparagus, salads, nuts, and lean meats. The best thing to do is start by eliminating added sugars. Do not be fooled by processed foods that use taglines and gimmicks that say “organic and all-nautral”. Sure it’s organic, but it’s still processed with added sugar. Many companies hide the sugar under different names like Agave Nectar or Honey or Organic Cane Sugar. These foods need to be tossed.

A good nutrition plan has very few basic foods. You can say it’s boring, but the goal is to lose fifty pounds right? Good quality foods and a good nutrition program will have foods you eat nearly every day. This is good. By using recipes and spices you can mix it up and you can also cook them differently. Grilled chicken is a lot different than baked chicken. Steamed broccoli is very different from roasted broccoli.

The few basic foods you should eat are simple: Greens, Fruits, Other vegetables, Lean meats, nuts, seeds, butters, and fish. There are many different combinations you can create and quality healthy food is freaking delicious. Maintain a ninety percent compliance to healthy foods and enjoy some time and meals with friends and family. In my opinion, I wouldn’t have cheat meals unless I earned them. Working out once or twice a week and picking at snack foods or larger portions is not earning a cheat meal. Be disciplined.

Once you clear your nutrition out and replace it with foods that grow out of the ground, foods that walk, swim, and fly, then you need to focus on sleep. If you’re sleeping four to six hours a night, things are going to be difficult. Your body works very hard during sleep to make you healthier and combined with good nutrition and exercise, sleep will help you burn a lot of fat. You should be focusing on seven to nine hours and improving the quality of the sleep you get. Using a sleep mask is great. Turning off electronics an hour before bed is also a great way to improve the quality of whatever sleep you get. Keep the room temperature cooler than the whole house. Use a fan. Eliminate blue light. This is very hard for new parents who have monitors and people (like me) who use their phone as an alarm clock. Clean up your sleep, get more of it, and you’ll burn more fat.

Now that nutrition and sleep is said, water is the next thing I must mention. You know one thing about the people who get great results that is common? They drink water. They stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Some people claim the bodyweight in half is the amount of ounces one should drink. Others say a gallon. Some even say to drink only when thirsty. In my opinion, I drink as much as I can. Water makes me feel better, especially since I slack in getting enough sleep. I normally drink about thirty two ounces upon waking up. Throughout the day I use the same cup or bottle and have anywhere from four to seven servings. If you drink twelve ounces of water a day, you need more. If you hate water, be disciplined like an adult and drink more. Start with an extra twelve ounces and work up from there. Make a conscious effort to always have water within an arms reach.

Finally, we get to the best part and also what many consider the hardest part. Exercise. Without exercise you can lose weight but you’ll never feel as good or lose more weight than you will with a good exercise program. What do the people who have lost over fifty pounds in six months have in common? They train hard. They train consistently. They ditch the excuses about working out and show up. It was never easy for them and it still gets tough, but being disciplined to show up and do the work is how you get results. The people who win our weight loss challenges work out the most in the gym. They’re always there. I see them every day. When we special workouts, they show up. When we have challenges, they do them. When we have events inside, outside, or other events not part of the gym.. they show up. The only way exercise will help is if you show up and do your best job. What you can do is the only thing that matters. What someone else is doing is none of your business or concern. The only person you are responsible for and the only person who can get you results is YOU. Take control and act.

Losing fifty pounds in six months is a hard task for anyone to accomplish. It takes great commitment and purpose to get through the work but anybody can do it. You can do it. Follow these guidelines along with a positive attitude and you can’t fail. Being positive that you are strong enough and capable of getting results is a cornerstone for success. If you believe you can’t do it, you won’t do it. If you believe you’re going to fail, you’re going to fail. Another thing about winners in the weight loss challenges we have is that they EXPECT to win. They can’t lose. They don’t accept the belief of possibly losing. Whether they win or lose doesn’t matter, it’s the fact that they run through their days with the positive mindset that they are winners and will be successful. Moping around, wallowing in negative attitudes, and making excuses is not how you get results. You have to ditch that mindset. Turn the switch on in your mind that we all have and ignite the fire in your belly and you can’t fail. I know you are able to be successful. I know you want to be successful. Now, all YOU need to do, is the work.

Will you do it? I’m in it with you. I’ll do it with you. Let’s GO!!!!!!!

Thoughts on Filling The Void in Your Life

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The wiser I get through knowledge, action, failure, and success, and experience, the more I begin to see how foolish some people are in their way of life, their vision of reality. I’m included in those people. Life is strange and the way we live is even stranger. Working, waking up at four in the morning, consuming more food than we need, more gas than we need, shelter too big for what’s needed, resources, and materialistic garbage is not for me. I realized very early in my business that I don’t want to be a fancy materialism based facility. I don’t, and you don’t, need towels, water fountains, showers, fancy art work, hardwood floors, and shiny objects when what you are coming for is a workout. The point of coming to the gym is to train and anything beyond the essential tools is pointless. The same goes with my life. I have way too much shit right now and getting rid of it is a big priority. I don’t need it, I don’t want it. It’s useless. What I need in my home is love, companionship, happiness, and fun. Beyond the basic needs of food and water, there is nothing more that I need. Filling it with useless material junk is a waste of energy, money, and space.

A Zen Buddhist quote says “To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is Bliss.”  The seeking of things beyond essential needs is an ego related matter and often times we fill it because of a lack of knowing who we are within or to fill a void we feel is left by something beyond our own self. Men around the world seek to fill pieces of their self through cars, cigars, homes, boats, electronics, and drugs. Women around the world seek to fill pieces of their self through shoes, make-up, boob jobs, and more. Often times when we seek something, say through a possession, we find that the void in our lives we wish to fill is still empty. That is because things that money buy can’t fill your heart and soul with what you really desire. What you really desire is purpose, truth, and love. Some times people who were never loved as a child, told they are beautiful or enough, have lives in which they obsess about a particular thing, like sex, money, a perfect body, drugs, cars, music shows, and more. They want to fill the whole in their heart. Sadly they don’t realize or understand that the whole in their heart needs to be filled from within first and by giving fully of who they truly are.

Buddha once said “Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.” Look at that through action instead of word. Better than a thousand hollow actions is one action that brings peace. That brings YOU peace. Often our actions are not aligned with our true self. Our actions can sometimes be cries for help. Drug addicts are crying for help. They have shame and embarrassment and often don’t know how to ask for help. There are times when the help they get isn’t what they need. A drug addict who is in deep emotional and mental pain will not be cured of their addiction through rehab and most talk therapy. They need to confront the pain within and find a way to accept it, own it, and become bigger than it. A hollow action (rehab) won’t end the suffering, but one look within to see the pain may. It is your actions that form your life.

If you don’t feel loved you can act by becoming promiscuous to fill the void of love, but often you’ll find that being promiscuous doesn’t do the trick. Instead of acting through sex, act through giving love to something else. Confront the demon of why you don’t feel loved and work at that point to make change. We can’t put gum in the cracks of our lives. You have to mend the cracks with both pieces and apply acceptance.

Accepting the pain of emptiness one might feel is a stepping stone to improvement and fulfillment. Rather than using things like a big home or alcohol to feel fulfilled, attack the feeling of not being fulfilled and accept it and then thank it and then work on filling it with self love. If we look close enough and wad through the deep mud of pain we will find enough self love to drastically change our lives. Objects can’t make you happy unless you accept that happiness is already a part of who you are. If you feel you need more money, fancy jobs, bigger houses, or longer vacations, the first place to look for those needs is going to be your mind and your heart. It’s hard to battle the feelings and thoughts that cause pain, loneliness, and emptiness but you’ll never live activated and in charge if you don’t sweat a little. You have the courage and the strength to hold your sword out front and defend and attack. Now act.

BETTER TO SIT ALL NIGHT THAN GO TO BED WITH A DRAGON. Zen Proverb.

Thoughts on Starting a Business, Life, and Character

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I built my business through sacrifice. Through pure determination to not fail. I neglected more important parts of my life and live with that, and the endless days of digging my feet into the mud put scars on my life that I can’t change.

There were days that I wanted to quit and admit failure. Days in which I cried. I didn’t cry because I was a failure, but because my passion to make a good life was hard on my soul. Many men and women around the world push aside things that matter more to make something for the future and while it’s not a shame, it’s virtuous.

The long days of putting myself on the line and accepting the responsibility to help others has paid off more to who I’ve become and who I’ve helped than to what I’ve done. Before my efforts in the battle for success, I was a wimp, a whiner, and a fool. Today I am changed by the defeats and the pain, but I’m stronger and fulfilled.

People will question the effort and ask if it’s worth it. You don’t know if it’ll be worth it, but in doing you find who you really are. What I am can only be defined by those who care. The critic can put you down but the fan, the follower, the listener and doer can only tell the truth of what you’ve become. Do I wish for more? Certainly. But I also appreciate all I’ve been through and the experiences I’ve created. One can sit on the sideline and think about the actions and easily criticize, but it’s the people who sweat and make the sacrifices that can only know for sure if its noble.

I live with humility that I am not my best self. I live with humility that there are people better than me, smarter than me, and who live more activated than I. Building a business isn’t a worthy cause unless you impact the lives of others and share the truest purpose of your heart. I don’t look for recognition, instead I try to help others realize their trueness. Their strength and their purpose.

What I’ve done is nothing compared to those who have listened to what I say. And what I say is only a reminder to myself that I need to act and make and do. My work is a reminder to myself of the direction one should take to live fully. What I need to do now is to learn how to love fully. For my love is shadowed by fear and the courage to show that is small compared to loved ones around me.

The simple actions of standing up and doing the work aren’t simple unless you accept that which you cannot change. Some days you win and some days you lose. What matters is what you do the next moment. For you can sit and blame and wallow or you can try and do. That choice is a choice we all have. That choice is a choice we all have the strength and courage to make. My purpose is to help you see that and live it. Not just to read it and say Uh huh, but to actually put yourself on the line and take an arrow or two. You’ll only realize the greatness inside if you allow failure and heartache into your life and then try again to improve. Grow each day or decay. Accept that and you’ll find the path to living the activated life.

My advice is only wise if it aligns with your values and only you can decide if they fit. But what my advice does do is speaks the truth of what it takes to put yourself in front of fear and stand strong.

How to Be Strong, Happy, and In Control

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In my early twenties my life was filled with parties, late nights, junk food, and a million excuses as to why acting like a kid was more important than living in your real world. I ate fast food on a daily basis, sometimes twice. I drank and hung out until the sun came up and then did it all over again. My goals looked nothing like they do now. Back then, goals looked something like this “Have enough money left over at the end of the week to eat.”

I thought I was happy. I was hanging out with my best friends all the time. I worked, bills were paid, and even though I didn’t know where I would sleep, I still thought life was awesome. Then it got old and I realized I was stuck in a life threatening loop of danger. I wasn’t a teenager anymore and I needed to change before something bad happened, and the way things were going.. it was going to happen.

After struggling to make it through the days and realizing I wasn’t happy, it was time for a change. It was time for me to get control of my life. At this time I wasn’t strong or in control. I was fat, sick, and on my way to an early death if I didn’t shape up.

When we’re faced with a situation like this there are two things we do. First we either correct it and take control and make positive changes or secondly, we accept it as fate and wither away to nothingness. Luckily, I wanted more for my life and decided to grab the reigns and take charge.

After I met my now wife I knew I had to do something about my body and mind and make corrective measures to heal and flourish. I started a workout program and began to exercise four or five days a week. I started lifting weights and doing cardio on machines at the gym. The exercise worked well for my body and combined with the nutritional changes I made, my mind also improved. At the time I also began reading more than I ever have. Self-help books, relationship books, and exercise books took up my time. Through this process of daily action and a commitment to success, I got control of life and found the happiness that was already there.

How to be strong-

Becoming strong in the physical sense is a process that takes time. I am still nowhere near where I should be in terms of strength, but daily actions are improving it everyday. Being strong in an emotional and mental sense is something we all are and the only way to see it is by needing it. When I was homeless and had no hopes for the future, it was my inner strength that helped me tackle the obstacle and continue on the way.

Getting strong physically is done by doing exercise. Lift weights, climb, roll, jump, and run. Focus on bodyweight exercises first if you’ve never trained before. Do push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats, lunges, and crawl. Graduate to dumbbells and kettlebells and then grab a barbell. The basic exercises are and will always be the best thing for us. They’re not sexy and doing it over and over can get boring, but so fucking what. Do it anyway. Squats, presses, deadlifts, and carries. Train three or four days a week. Do some other types of exercise other days if desired. Walk, run, swim, do jiu jitsu or karate, or box.

Finding inner mental and emotional strength will be easier when your body is strong. You can dig up some of the strength within by talking to yourself in a positive way. Motivate yourself through movies, books, people in your life, and talk yourself up. Ditch the negative style of thinking we often fall into and see the true nature of your powerful self. Do this daily.

How to be Happy-

You can either be happy or unhappy and it’s entirely your choice. Nobody or no thing can dictate your happiness. You can choose to be happy and grateful to be alive and where you are right now or you can choose to be miserable, angry, and depressed, unhappy with where you are.

Often people tend to turn towards things outside of themselves to find happiness. Some people turn to other people and think relationships will make them happy. Some turn to drugs. People turn to sex to find happiness and some chase the dollar and end up workaholics trying to find happiness. Many times we put different objects in our mind and say “That’s the thing that’ll make me happy.” Maybe it’s a house, a car, a vacation, a concert to see your favorite band, or a movie you want to see.

By looking externally for happiness you push away the true happiness within you right now. It’s all perspective. You can dread your life situation or you can be grateful you have it better than someone else. Be happy by appreciating your life, your thoughts, your ability to choose your destiny, and then make shit happen.

Nothing will ever make you as happy as accepting your life and accepting that you are strong, powerful, and capable of doing anything you wish.

How to be in control-

Stop letting the negative thoughts crush your hopes. Be strong in every way and practice your gratitude and appreciation. Set goals for your life and stick to them. Make them happen. Get your hands dirty and don’t wait for anyone to tell you it’s okay. Just fucking do it, now. Be in control by becoming the captain of your ship. Do not put your destiny in the hands of politicians or employers. Choose to be the leader of your life.

Start right now and write down what you want in life. Write down what a perfect day would look like. Be specific. Write down what time you’d want to wake up, where you’d want to wake up and next to who. Write down what you would love to happen when you woke up and then keep going through the entire day.

If you write it, you can do it and it WILL happen.. If you do the work. And you are strong enough and capable enough to do the work. So go fucking do it. Stop letting others control your life. Grab the wheel and do not let go. You are in charge now. You are in control. Make it happen!

Live Your Life ACTIVATED!

Get Your Health in Order

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Stop being lazy and get your health in order. No more running around like a teenager on a Friday night eating ice cream and crap. It’s time you stand up and get your shit together. Throw away the cookies, the candy, the chips, and all the pastas. Stop eating added sugar and fix your health through the foods you should be eating.

Get off your ass and start to move, every day. No more excuses about exercise. It’s time you get up and put the effort in to fix your health. Walk every day, do a fitness class a few times a week, go to the gym and lift. Do something. You never know how needed exercise is until you’re in the hospital staring at the ceiling with your clothes ripped open.

You have loved ones that need you around. You have loved ones who wouldn’t know what to do if your health took a devastating blow. You are the captain of your life and nobody can make you do anything, but wouldn’t you feel better about yourself and life if you exercised and ate well?

Damn right you would. When you exercise, your body releases feel good hormones and operates better. When you eat well, you burn fat, build muscle, and your body feels better.

It’s time to stop acting like a lazy lump and take control of your health and ditch the excuses. There is nobody that is too busy or too out of shape for exercise and good nutrition. Start with a walk and a salad. Do it again tomorrow and then do it the next day. Find a professional to help you if needed. Go buy food at a farm instead of the Quickie Mart. Stop eating sugary snacks and say you have cravings.

When you don’t control your cravings, it’s weakness that doesn’t need to be there and shouldn’t be either. You can grab a healthy snack instead of cookies, but you choose not to. Stop making childish choices and act your age. I don’t want to come off as harsh but instead, honest and straight forward. What I am writing here you already know and there are days when you think about that. You know a healthy food from a shitty food. You know walking is good for your body and mind. You know exercise gets easier when you practice.

Why don’t you do these things?

I’ve seen people who were walking heart attack risks turn their lives around and completely change their life. It wasn’t easy, but they did it and they didn’t give up. They asked for help. They asked questions. They made sacrifices. They saw results.

You can do this too. You have the power, the energy, and the willpower to do it. Stop defeating yourself before you get started and tackle this journey. There are people close to you who can help you. There are people close to you who want to help you. ASK. Get your health in order, right now.. before it’s too late!

You Need to Be Strong

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We need to be strong. Strength is a key to living an activated life. Whether it’s physical or mental strength, we need. Most of us don’t train the body to be strong. The nation is filled with couch potatoes and office workers who don’t get physical with fitness and it’s the weak who feel the burn of dis-ease, discomfort, pain, and unhappiness. Getting physical in a gym, outdoors, or other form of activity is a key to happiness and living a strong activated life.

To be weak is a disservice and in my opinion a disgrace to the hard men who fought for our freedom and continue to do so this day. They sweat and bled for our freedom and for us to live comfortable lives. We must be strong and courageous as a form of gratitude for their hard work and for our gratitude to be free beings.

Strength is your ticket to a fun ride through life. Being weak means being stuck, hurt, sick, and overwhelmed. By training for physical strength we increase our mental strength and that helps in other areas of life. Mental strength is also something we don’t recognize we already have within our minds and bodies. Pregnant women don’t know how strong they are until they go through labor and delivery. Moms and Dads don’t know how strong they are until they get through long sleepless nights that turn into days and weeks. Wives and husbands never know how strong they are until they need to stand by their loved ones side and be the strength they need.

We often don’t test our strength or mope through days feeling weak. The truth is, a change of state of mind can quickly show your strength. We also must find ways to test our strength. Some do it in the gym, others do it on the farm. Some people run Spartan races and others roll in Jiu Jitsu class. The test of strength improves ones strength.

If you don’t feel strong in your mind and body then you need to work on it, today. Lift weights, run a mile, hike a mountain, go volunteer, do something that shows you your strength and then, improve it. Daily.

Lifting weights makes the body strong. Meditation can make the mind strong but testing your emotional, physical, and mental strength will make you stronger everywhere. Some women come in the gym and ask for the three or five pound weights. We don’t have any. Those weights are for my not even four year old daughter. She lifts them overhead and walks a hundred feet. What the women find out quickly is that they’re stronger than they think they are and I’m going to make them stronger.

If you believe you are weak then you’re going to be weak. Develop a tougher mindset through challenges. Make commitments that scare the fuck out of you and then do them. Challenge yourself in the gym and break past any comfort zones you have set up for yourself. Be strong for yourself and be strong for others. Somebody needs you to be strong, do not fail them. Make a promise to yourself to improve your strength and do it now.

Taking Extreme Ownership

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I sat by the fire a few hours after the kids went into the cabin and my wife joined them. Alone outside in the woods by the crackling fire I began to look deep within my heart and soul, in my mind and agendas. As I sat there I began to question my actions and non-actions. Realizing that I was making excuses in different areas of life, I asked myself what needed to happen to make progress and get past the excuses.

For a few weeks I’ve been listening to the Jocko podcast, every Tuesday I believe he puts out a new episode. It struck me right in the gut and has been helping me get over the obstacles I create in my life. Normally he reads through a military based book and discusses it and then answers questions from people across the world. He wrote a best-selling book called Extreme Ownership and I don’t need to read it because I get it. The whole point of the book is simple, own everything with one hundred percent responsibility and take charge of your own life.

Simple I thought, and as I got back into the swing of things at the gym and home life I realized much of the problems going on in my mind are created because I’m not owning my responsibility. Before the trip I felt stuck in my writing and actually thought I’d never find something to write about. I didn’t meditate for about a year because I made the excuse of not having time and kids keeping me from doing it.

What all that is was bullshit and fake assumptions and negative thinking. Own it I told myself. Get after it I said. Words enveloped in my language from listening studiously to Jocko and Echo talk about being disciplined and in charge.  I call it living your life activated and being awake and alive. Mantras I preached and lived by but words that fell off my shoulders. Being stuck was nothing more than laziness and ill thinking.

The power of negative thinking and burn out can be soul crushing and when we let it linger, it causes excuses. One of the best things that ever happened to me was learning how to say no. I am a generous person and I often give my help to those who need it without question. I drop everything, change plans, do things I don’t want to do to give my help, but learning how to say NO and being okay with it was a game changer. You can call it being selfish but I call it putting my own mask on first. What I found is that being spread thin and sympathetic left me burned out and there came the excuses I created for “writer’s block” and not meditating.

As I learn from the Jocko podcast and through the art of living I learn that we must act, even if we don’t want to. We must find the courage to fight our fear. We must push through the obstacles in the way of our dreams. We must take full responsibility for everything and not be a circumstance of the situation. We create our lives through our thoughts, our beliefs, our goals, and none of it becomes possible without action. Consistent action.

My excuses and failure to see the negative self talk and lack of acceptance of responsibility left me confused, frustrated, and stuck. Now that I stand awake again and alive, my mind is activated and my energy is charged towards action. If you ever want to achieve your goals, live your best life, be activated, and fully charged you must own your journey and accept full responsibility for all that stands in your days.

5 Tips to Help You Get In Shape

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Getting people in shape is what I do. At my gym I’ve helped many people lose weight. Some lost up to fifty, sixty, and even eighty pounds. As time goes by I continue to learn about what helps people get results and what keeps people from getting results. There is a fine line between being successful and failing and often the person who fails needs to tweak one thing and the results will come.

On my gym blog and in some of my books I have numerous posts or chapters about diet, exercise, sleep, and getting in shape. For awhile now, it’s bored me to write about it anymore but today I wanted to share some tips that will help you get in shape.

1. Believe in Yourself

I’m writing this first because without the belief that you can achieve successful results in your fitness journey, you’re not going to get anywhere. Believing in yourself is a powerful tool we fail to use and often our negative thoughts and fears prevent us from taking action. If you don’t believe in yourself you’ll end up skipping a workout and eating crap food. You must have a complete and total confidence in your abilities to get in shape. If you can dream about being fit, strong, sexy, and in shape then you can do it.

2. Ten Thousand Steps A Day

When new people come into my gym the first thing I find out is their current fitness level. Do they exercise daily? Do they do zumba, run, crossfit, walk, jiu jitsu? What I often find is that many people do nothing. They don’t even walk. Often the first tip I give them is to get their asses moving and get on their feet. I’m a big believer in the ten thousand step challenge I’ve seen around the internet. Basically all you need to do is walk and move throughout the day to get those steps. In today’s society we don’t walk as much as we should. In the morning we walk a few steps to the car and get to work. Once there we walk a few more and sit down for eight hours. By the time work is over we have maybe two thousand or three thousand steps. It’s not enough movement and not moving enough will kill you. Get up and walk. Grab a fitbit to help track your steps if needed.

3. Have More Sex

This is strange for people to hear but it’s the truth. People who enjoy a lot of sex and exercise are in better shape than those who don’t. Sex releases an array of feel good hormones and chemicals and they help you feel better, more confident, and full of energy. Sex helps relieve pain, reduces stress, boosts heart health, helps you sleep better and leaves you in a better mood. All of those effects are extremely valuable to you when you’re on a weight loss journey.

4. Find a Gym Buddy

Having a gym buddy to work out with is awesome. The two of you can help keep each other accountable and on track. When one starts to slow down and the other is going strong, a few motivating words can help you push through. Having a gym buddy with the same goals as you will also help you stay accountable with your nutrition, if you make that important. Setting times to workout together will help you show up and seeing your buddy work hard will help you work harder. Find someone you can train with and make sure you work together.

5. Meditate

I’ve been a big fan of meditation for quite some time now and have fell off the wagon for about a year. I recently added meditation time into my schedule again and so far the effects are noticeable. Meditation will help you relax and focus and knock away some stress in your life. All it takes is two minutes to start. The best time to start meditating is right now and you don’t need any special skills or talents to do it. Simply sit down, close your eyes, and breathe in and out. Don’t focus on an outcome or have expectations, just be. By adding meditation into your routine you help relax the body and clear the mind, which will leave plenty of room for action on the things that will help you get in shape.

The whole secret to getting in shape is to consistently apply what you learn about living a healthy life. There are no magic bullets and quick fixes. It’s going to take time to improve your endurance, to get stronger, to build muscle, and to tone up. But by persistently attacking the day with the positive steps needed to be successful, you will reach your goals. Now, go do it.

Don’t Let Your Thoughts Stop Your Results

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There I was sitting in front of the computer. I sat down ready to type up a new blog post to share with you when it hit me. I don’t know what to write about. I don’t know what to share. Writer’s block many people call it but what I see it as now is an excuse. Plain and simple, an excuse to not do the work. My mind was playing tricks on me. It was telling me that I didn’t know what to say, that I had nothing to share, and that I was blocked and should just quit. Since I listened, nothing got done.

This is very common among us all today. We talk ourselves out of action. For one reason or another we come up with excuses as to why we can’t get shit done, why we fail at this thing or why we ignore another. Your thoughts are extremely powerful and they will make or break your results.

If you’re caught in moment where you find yourself playing down the importance of a workout, trying to dig up an excuse to sleep in or skip the night session and head straight home, you’re thinking is going to prevent you from doing what you want to do and what you know you should do. Negative self talk is one of the biggest factors in the prevention of success and getting results. It’s up there with fear. Most of the time negative self talk comes about because of fears we have running through our mind.

If you grab hold of a fear or a negative thought it’s like making cotton candy. First you start with the stick (fear) and then it goes into the machine where all the sugar (negative thoughts) is flying around. Soon the stick is full of plump sugar air, cotton candy (Excuses/Prevention/Non Action).

It takes a lot of brain power and energy to be aware of these situations and the thoughts that come up in our minds and therefore we often get crushed by them because the effort to fight through leaves us exhausted, or we don’t fight it because we’re already exhausted. You need to get out in front of this and start your day off right. Meditation or Affirmations are a great way to set yourself up for success and results.

When I wake up and head to the gym in the morning I listen to affirmation audiobooks. I’m putting positive thoughts into my mind and avoiding the common negative self talk such as “I hate going to work” “Why can’t I do this..” By jumping ahead of the negative thoughts that are definitely going to come, I’m building a barrier that will work to prevent it from capturing my thoughts and pushing on excuses.

You also don’t need a long time or a morning to stop the negative thoughts and fears from controlling you. All it takes is a body posture change, a scenery change, or hearing something that motivates you.

Your thoughts control your life. We think over fifty thousand or so a day. Make an effort to make the majority of them positive and productive thoughts and you will reach the results you desire easier and faster.