We live in a world full of wonderful technology. I can pick up a phone not much bigger than my business card and be instantly connected with my pen-pal in china, and talk to him as if he were sitting across the table from me. Long gone are the days of truly “waiting” for anything. We live in a society where convenience seems to be the number one focus in our lives. Everyone everywhere seem to be searching for the easiest, path of least resistance way, to do absolutely everything. We all want it faster, better, cheaper, and above all else we want it to work. I think that there is where the problem may first start to rear it’s ugly head. What else in our wonderful natural world works like that? We certainly don’t expect to plant a tree and have it fully grown in a day? As a matter of fact nothing in the natural world works that way. Everything takes it’s own turn as part of a natural process. Bugs get it, animals get it, the oceans, clouds, moon and sun all get it…..we humans on the other hand…we are special. We have been bred by society, religion, media, and even our government to believe that we are special and the rules of the natural world don’t apply to us. We tend to circumvent natural laws as often as possible. But the fact is, although we may not want to live by them, they very much govern everything we do. We are not above “natural law.” For instance, in any population if you introduce an endless supply of food, the population will grow exponentially. And we think this is a good thing…..look at our ever-expanding waistline The good news is there is hope out there. In this post I will outline a very basic approach to 5 aspects of your life that I believe you need to conquer if you hope to achieve fitness enlightenment. (or at the very least reach you fitness goals)
ASPECT # 1 ATTITUDE: It’s hard to type briefly on this one (or any of the others for that matter) subject, but I will do my best. But first perhaps I’ll let some that have a bit more life experience under their bit do some talking for me:
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Winston Churchill
It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come. Dalai Lama
Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results. William James
….so after reading such quotes you may naturally ask: OK, what now? Well you asked for it. You have to become aware of your attitude toward you. Sounds a bit redundant right? But it’s not. You, right now, are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are a direct result of all the beliefs, choices, and events over the course of your life what you have done, and the decisions you have made have led you here. Stare at yourself in the mirror, that’s what you got!! Well what if you aren’t happy with that? Great News!! You can change it!!!!. What you can do is choose to change the direction you are heading. Look inside yourself. Listen to the way you talk to yourself about how you look, how you feel, how you eat, how you dream, how you act. You have to find and identify any negative self talk…any thoughts that allow you to …eat that cheeseburger, or skip that workout, or put off joining that gym this week. Simply…your attitude toward exercising and eating has put you exactly where you are today. If you want to be in better shape, the first thing you need to do is decide to be in better shape.
ASPECT #2 ENVIRONMENT: This refers to everything around you. Friends, Family, living conditions, work, television, the country, our media…..all of it….if you open your eyes right now and look,,,,,what you see is your environment…..and unfortunately……it may not be pretty. If you are a fit person in the United States of America you are on the extreme end of the spectrum. As a matter of fact, we are pushing to the %70 mark in the US. Seventy Percent of us are either overweight or obese….and for our children the percentage has tripled in the past 15 years. That means if you open your eyes and ears to what society is screaming at you……if you listen to what the majority of commercials tell you, or what your friends at work say…you will stay the exact same way that you are. The only way you are going to change is if you turn your boat around and start pedaling against the flow.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain
I may take Mr. Twain’s quote and go a bit further…in terms of fitness and nutrition…..instead of pausing and reflecting…I recommend you run like hell in the other direction….The bottom line is you, as a human being, are going to act, think, and reflect, the values of the environment that you are in. So…to change your life, change your environment. More on that in the week, book, years to come. Perhaps the biggest point to walk away with today, in regards to environment, is do not underestimate how important it is to be aware of how it can either enhance, or can crush your attempts to get/ stay in shape.
ASPECT # 3 TIME MANAGEMENT: I’ll begin by saying this. I am a father of three, a husband of one, run a business, and seem to fill my day with obligations. Impossible to just accidentally accomplish everything that I have to accomplish everyday. There is only one way I get to the things I “need” to get to. I plan it. The bottom line is that you have to plan for it though. Trust me on this. No one has ever accidentally got in shape. “My goodness….I woke up the other day and out of nowhere, I had a six pack of abs and I could run a mile in under five minutes” Trust me this doesn’t happen. What has to happen if you expect to get in shape is you have to make time for it in your schedule….and it has to take priority. The said truth is most americans take better care of their cars than they do their bodies……here is a time management page stolen directly from a Sales Mentor of mine Chet Holmes:
Commit to these six steps
Six proactive steps to time management can transform your day. They take five minutes to do and can double the amount of results you get daily. The problem is not whether or not these steps will work, because they will absolutely work. The problem is whether or not you will fully commit to doing them, repeatedly.
The key to time management is commitment to the following six steps:
Step One: Touch it once
How often do you pick up something on your desk and say, “I have to take care of this, but I can’t deal with it right now”? If you do that a few times per day with a few different documents/projects/tasks, by the end of the year, you will have spent an entire month touching and rereading information without taking action. So, if you touch it, move it to the next step.
If you want to see how often you waste time, each time you pick up something, put a red dot on it. After you have three red dots on a piece of paper, you begin to feel pressure to do something and move on. If you touch it, take care of it.
Step Two: Make lists, but stick to the six most important things
When we conduct this time management seminar, we ask how many people in the audience make lists. Practically everyone does. People often have lists with 25 to as many as 40 items on them. They are proud that their lists are so long and that they are so busy.
Further investigation quickly shows them that long lists are the perfect way to be busy, but not productive. When you have a long list, your energy is focused more on trimming the list than it is on being productive. Each day, pick the six items that will produce the highest level of results, put them on your list, and finish all six things by day’s end.
Step Three: Plan how long you will spend on each item
You’ve started your day by making a list of the six most important things. That took two or three minutes. Now take another minute to plan how long each item will take or how long you will dedicate to the items that are ongoing.
When we conduct this workshop, the people with long lists usually find that they can have an incredibly productive day with only six hours spent on their six key items. Most people who use these steps find they get more important work done in less time because their time is focused on the most productive tasks.
Step Four: Plan when
Now that you know how much time to dedicate to each task, you need to plan when you will do them. In addition, you must build in time for the reactive mode.
For example, if you are a sales manager interrupted by frequent “got a minute” meetings, plan a fixed time when you will accept those types of meetings. Otherwise, unless it is an emergency, do not allow people to come to your desk and ask if you’ve got a minute!
Think of any top executive you know. Can you simply call them up, or do you have to schedule time with them? Many top executives plan their day down to the minute. Everything is done according to a schedule, including time for “got a minute” meetings. Scheduling time is the key to time management.
Step Five: Ask the results
Few people are highly productive. People like to have items on a list, so they can cross off the items. But that’s not enough. The things that produce the best results are generally the most difficult. Thus, they get left off of the list or are scheduled at the end of the day, causing them to get bumped to the next day…and the next…and the next.
Schedule important tasks in the beginning of your day. Cold calling or trying to get appointments with key prospects or clients are the things that produce the best results. However, they often get pushed off by average salespeople. After you make your list, ask yourself if the items on it are the ones that will produce the most results.
Step Six: Will it hurt me to throw this away?
Of all filed information, 80% is never referred to again. After hearing this time management idea, I began to throw away four out of five of the items I used to keep. It’s been 10 years, and I cannot think of a single time where it has hurt me
Using those steps should help with not only work, but also may get us in the proper mindset of planning out our lives, not to mention our workouts.
ASPECT #4 NUTRITION: I’m going to make this one simple.Eat none of the following:
- Grains–including bread, pasta, noodles
- Beans–including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, peas
- Dairy products
From here on…now you are wondering what you can eat right??????
- Meat, chicken, and fish
- Fruit–especially berries
- Vegetables–especially root vegetables, but not potatoes
- Nuts–almonds, macadamias, walnuts, brazil nuts. Do not eat peanuts.
There…if you are wondering why…the why is for another time…for now…there it is….simple and to the point…take it or leave it..
ASPECT #5 MOVEMENT: It’s listed last, because in my experience, it is the least important. If the other four are aligned correctly then number five simply falls naturally into place. If you have the right attitude, are surrounded by the right environment, have planned out and organized your life, and are eating the way you were designed to, you workouts not only will work, but they will be part of your life, which is the point. We, as a species, are meant to move. We are mobile beings. We are not supposed to spend 8-10 hours of our day sitting on our asses…..I think that there is a very primal reason that no matter how hard you workout, afterwards there is a very good feeling. So I care not, for now, what you do to workout. Sure I would like you to do some sort of functional, crossfit like workout that would incorporate basic movements, and would ultimately lead you to feeling better, looking better, and moving better. Truth be told though, let’s at first work on consistency. Step 1, in Movement is to MOVE!!!!! Spend 30-45 minutes everyday doing something that makes you sweat,,,,from there we will talk again……
In summary I believe working to master those 5 concepts will move anyone on to the correct path of feeling better. Thanks for your time.