The Friday Reflex: Gratefulness

On Fridays, I like to post quick-hitting thoughts about the major topic that’s been on my mind this past week. I call it The Friday Reflex. This week’s topic: gratefulness.

If you woke up today and are breathing air in and out of your lungs and your heart is pumping blood through your veins, you’ve won.

I did. And for that, I am grateful.

I am grateful that I was able to kiss my wife goodbye as I left the house this morning, to first go to the gym to train my body and then to go to work to provide for my family. I am grateful that I will come home tonight to a warm house, where my kids will hug and kiss me as I walk through the door, and where I’ll make a nourishing meal that will strengthen and sustain our bodies.

I’ve read and heard far too often this week about how much 2016 sucked (just as I heard the same in 2015 and 2014 and 2013…). The turning over of the calendar to a new year too often seems to be met with a “good riddance” rather than gratitude for another day, another year, another chance to spend a day on this earth.

I have been trying every day to wake up and pray about one thing that I am grateful for. I didn’t need a New Year’s resolution to do it. I didn’t need any motivation other than I wanted to center my mind on being positive and happy each and every day rather than worry about those things that I do not have or cannot do.

Be grateful for the things you have and the things you can control. Use that gratefulness to make a positive impact on someone else’s life near you. When you feel like you can’t have an effect on this world, remember that every day, you encounter people who could use a pick-me-up. Smile. Say “hello.” Hold open doors. Buy someone coffee. Tell a friend how much they mean to you. Tip a server a few extra dollars for a job well-done. Send a handwritten letter.

Approach each day with an attitude of gratefulness, and see how it changes you and the world around you.

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16 Goals of Fitness

Did you see my Kansas State Wildcats whoop Texas A&M last night in the Texas Bowl?

If you follow college football, you might have heard about K-State Coach Bill Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success. If you haven’t, read up on them. I guarantee they’ll be every bit as relevant to your life as they are on the football field.

When it comes to your health and fitness, success is not about winning and losing like it is in sports. Success is a progression towards living out your “Why?” It’s about knocking down a series of bite-sized goals on the way to achieving bigger ones, and then setting new goals to further push the limits of what you can achieve.

Taking the lead from Snyder, I’ve recently come up with my own 16 Goals of Fitness, which provide a breakdown of the critical components of what your mental makeup must be in order to keep progressing through your health and fitness lifestyle.

  1. Commitment – To yourself and the process
  2. Work Hard – Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it
  3. Perseverance – Don’t let setbacks beat you
  4. Improve – Every day is an opportunity to get better
  5. Be Tough – Mentally and physically
  6. Self-Discipline – Do it even when no one is watching
  7. Great Effort – Give your very best every time
  8. Enthusiasm – Attack your health and fitness with passion
  9. Be Positive – Negativity or fear are counter-productive
  10. Accountability – Be honest with yourself and others
  11. Don’t Accept Quitting – If you do so one time it will be easy to do so for the rest of your life
  12. No Self-Limitations – Expect more of yourself
  13. No Shortcuts – Do it right the first time, every time
  14. Consistency – Do it until it becomes who you are
  15. Challenge Yourself – Push beyond the limits of what you think you’re capable of
  16. Responsibility – You are responsible for your performance

If you follow these 16 Goals and try to live them out every day, you will be successful.

With a new year upon us, I want to remind you that it doesn’t take a new year to take control of your health and fitness. But if you do make the commitment to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2017, let this serve as a reminder to you to plan to be successful. Make a plan. Set goals. Track your progress.

The majority of New Year’s resolutions fail because of unrealistic or undefined goals. If you use these 16 Goals of Fitness as the foundation by which you set your goals for 2017, you’ll succeed.

The Friday Reflex: Accountability

On Fridays, I like to post quick-hitting thoughts about the major topic that’s been on my mind this past week. I call it The Friday Reflex. This week’s topic: accountability.

You are accountable to no one but yourself.

You don’t need someone to hold you accountable. You are responsible for your own performance. You are responsible for the results you get – in fitness, at your job, in life. No one gets the reward – or the blame – for your performance but yourself.

Your accountability must come from within yourself when you say, “I will do this, I will stick with it, and I will do it well.”

In fitness, don’t look to a friend, a coach or a personal trainer for accountability. That’s saying that someone else is responsible for the results you do or do not achieve.

Don’t confuse accountability with help, guidance, or support. Those things can be offered easily by a friend or trainer without shouldering the responsibility of making sure you meet your own goals.

You are accountable to yourself and no one else.

Hold yourself accountable for your own results.

The Friday Reflex: Patience

Each Friday, I’ll be posting quick-hitting thoughts about the major topic that’s been on my mind this past week. I’m calling it The Friday Reflex. This week’s topic: patience.

Don’t rush. Be patient.

In fitness. In your career. In school. In life.

With yourself. With others. With circumstances you both can and cannot control.

Plan. Execute. Do.

Get in the habit of setting goals for yourself. Real, tangible, sticky, important goals. Then wake up every day and do something – anything – to see that you meet those goals.

Work hard every day to prove to yourself that your end goal is worth it. Let setbacks fuel your will to work harder, not handicap you from working at all.

The goal is not perfection, but demand that you get better each day. Make progress and the results will come.

Never let other peoples’ words or actions negatively affect you. Be above it.

And be patient.

Don’t ruin long-term success chasing short-term gains.