Category Archives for "Mindset"

Goals and Games

My friend Josh Hillis has a very interesting take on goals and goal setting. He says imagine someone walks into a gym where two teams are playing basketball. Most of us would look at the scoreboard and ask a logical question.

“Who’s ahead?”

There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s why they are playing. The score is an outcome based goal.

What we don’t even think about is that the process goals are more important than outcome based goals most of the time.ย  In other words the team had a plan to achieve the desired outcome, which is more points on the board than the other team. They developed skills; they practiced shooting, they practiced dribbling, they practiced working together as a team on offense and defense. Doing all those things has a big impact on the scoreboard.

In the case of fat loss, our scoreboard is usually the scale. We step on it and check the score. Am I winning or losing? (or maybe we say “Am I gaining or losing”, but I digress)

Now don’t get me wrong, you have to check the score. But checking the score doesn’t affect the outcome of the score, at least not very much. We might feel pangs of guilt or regret or anger or frustration which can “motivate” us, but we all know those things are all too temporary.

To really affect the scoreboard we need to do what the basketball players do.


  • Practice planning.
  • Practice food prep.
  • Practice eating slowly.
  • Practice eating until we are not hungry instead of stuffed.

To name a few…

Those things will affect your scoreboard with far more impact than stepping on the scale every morning, believe me, I am right there with you.

If you need help practicing, check this out.




Rules vs. Resolutions

rulesWe have been discussing the merits of New Years Resolutions over the past couple weeks. For me resolutions don’t work, but I know sometimes I need a little “mindset reset” to get back on track.

And what should appear in my inbox? This great article from Leo Babauta on his blog “Zen Habits”. Head on over and read it, I’ll wait. ๐Ÿ™‚

Although we might bristle at the word “rules”, to me it just makes sense. I may not call them by that name all the time, but I do have rules that I live by, and I bet you do too. Good rules protect, not restrict. Games have rules so we know how to win. We can creates rules that help us win too!

For instance in my marriage I understand there are certain things I need to do and certain things I need not to do to have a healthy relationship with Nancy. Basic but important things, like:

  • When I am traveling, it is my rule to call (or as a last resort, text) before bed every night.
  • It is important to her that she get a kiss before we get out of bed in the morning, so that is a “rule” I live by.
  • It is my rule to talk respectfully with all women and never cross a line that anyone, but particularly Nancy, would consider inappropriate.

To me these rules are not restrictive. They actually help create a sense of security and therefore freedom within our marriage. Big win!

The same thing can apply to our exercise and nutrition. We can set goals, but then we must take action in order to reach those goals. By having rules, we create a foundation for taking the action that helps us reach our goals.

Leo gives some great examples in his article, so I won’t be redundant. But I will say it has been very helpful to create some rules for myself in this area. For instance I used to have a loose training schedule. My goal was to start my training by 2:00pm in the afternoon, but all too often I would stay behind my desk and have to abbreviate my training and sometimes I lost track of time and missed it all together – not cool. So now I have established a “rule”. On training days I am in the gym by 1:00pm. So far, so good. Haven’t missed or had to abbreviate a training session yet, and that is progress.

So what about you? What rules do you have in your own life, or what rule are you going to create to help you take the action that pushes you toward your goals?

Share in the comments below!


Thankful Tuesday: Christmas to New Years Edition

top5I still have that “Christmas Feeling” deep down inside – maybe it is because snow is on the way?

Anyway I hope y’all had a great week last week and are looking forward to making this one great as well.

This week I am thankful for:

  1. Second chances/fresh starts
  2. The kids enthusiasm
  3. Nancy’s drive and determination to make our business, marriage and life better
  4. The new faces I got to welcome into my life this year
  5. The opportunity to have so much opportunity I have to say “no” to some of it.

What about you?

Old But Not Obsolete

quotescover-PNG-92You might recognize that line from the sci-fi flick “Terminator 52” (or something like that).

I actually love that line.

“Old, but not obsolete”

We get so caught up in trying to look young, feel young, and even act young that we miss the fact that with age comes other things – perspective, grace, wisdom.

I look at a picture of myself now and don’t hardly recognize the person staring back at me. Age happens.

But it doesn’t mean we have to get worse.

I have been ridiculed for “trying to live forever”, but that is not my goal.

My goal is to be as productive as possible for as long as possible.

Part of that is taking care of myself physically. But I also read voraciously, try to learn something new every day, and try to add something of value to this world.

It’s not about living forever, ain’t gonna happen in this body.

I just want to grow “Old, But Not Obsolete”.

Who is with me?


Thankful Tuesday: Christmas Edition

IMG_2904Nancy and I had a great time taking the kids up to Santa’s Village on Saturday. We saw our first snow of the season and it makes us happy to see the kids having a great time. There is so much more than Santa at Christmas though. It was pretty easy to come up with 5 this week, how about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Happy Faces
  2. Christmas Music
  3. Christmas Cookies
  4. The baby in the manger
  5. The Savior of the World

“In the shadow of a steeple, in a star that lights the way, you will find Him in a manger – the Heart of Christmas has a name” – Matthew West, “The heart of Christmas”

Your Holiday “Treat” Strategy

christmas cookieYou ready for it?

Have some.

No really, that’s it.

Have some treats that you really enjoy. Don’t try to make Christmas cookies out of coconut flour and stevia, just make and bake the real ones and eat them.

I am going to bake some cookies with my girls, it’s a family tradition. We’ll get out the cookie cutters, do our best to make sure the dough doesn’t stick in the plastic ones we have had forever, decorate them with sprinkles and bake them until they are golden brown. I like mine on the almost burnt side. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have made the mistake in the past of baking about 12 dozen. For me that is a bad strategy, because then I’ll eat about 4 dozen myself- not cool.

My friend and fellow nutrition coach Josh Hillis talks about the “best version of ourselves”, as in, “How many treats would the best version of myself have?”

He gives this example “For my best version of myself, treats are usually awesome, special, and social. They aren’t mindless and they aren’t ever more for the sake of more.”

How cool is that?

We have a cookie or two because we want to enjoy a cookie or two. Nothing more, nothing less.

This month I will eat more cookies than a normal month, but I’ll know that ahead of time, decide when that might be (when we bake them, on Christmas Eve, at a holiday party at work, etc.) and I’ll feel good about it, not guilty. Guilty and Food are always a bad combination.

What about you? How do you think the “best version of yourself” is going to approach treats over the next few weeks?


Did You Get Better Today?

beforewegoIs plastered on a white board behind Coach Dan John on the cover of his new book “Before We Go“.

Coach John is one of my heroes. He has a way of distilling all the noise down into the very simple. Anyone can make things complicated. It is the true masters who can make it simple.

The question on the cover of that book is one that should not be passed over lightly. At the end of every day it is worth turning off the noise, settling in, and reflecting.

Did I get better today?

Better at what? That depends.

In the gym, did you do one more rep, lift 1 more pound, sustain your heart rate for 1 more second and then recover 1 second quicker? Were you able to get hold that stretch longer or squat deeper? Then you got better.

With your nutrition, did you plan 1 more meal, or try a new food, or cook a new recipe? Did you drink a little more water, a little less soda, and eat just one Christmas cookie off the tray at work instead of 3? Then you got better.

In your life, did you tell your wife and kids you loved them one more time? Did you listen to a friend who needed you rather than ignore the call? Did you overlook a fault? Did you show kindness to a stranger? Did you do something for someone you didn’t have to? Then you got better.

I am firm believer that we can get a little better at something, every day.

We are all too happy to settle, when within is lies so much potential. I don’t care how young or old you are, you have potential.

To Get Better.

Every. Single. Day.

How did you get better today?


Proclamation of Thanksgiving

happythanksgivingAlthough this was not the first President or first time a day of Thanksgiving was formally recognized, this is the proclamation which set the precedent for that which we now know as “Thanksgiving Day”.ย  May we not forget our blessings this day or any other.

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler et al.

Thankful Tuesday

I am thankful:

  1. For getting to meet Meagan and Justin’s baby Elijah
  2. That the college kids come back and train with us when they are home
  3. My dad and mom are still here for another holiday season
  4. My kids enjoying being with my parents and their spouses – and vice-versa
  5. That this week we are all being reminded to be grateful

What are YOUR 5 this week? Post below!

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