Flipping “Your Gap”

Gratitude.

Does a gratitude mindset really make that big of a difference.

I think we know in our hearts that it does, but science actually backs that up as well.

This video hit me hard. My mindset is in “future mode” so much I hardly ever even think about far I and we as a company have come.

In this video Mindvalley CEO Vishen Lakhiani talks about “The Gap”.

And it explains why so many of us never really find the joy in the journey I wrote about a few days ago.

The concept doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs and visionaries, it applies to those of us whose “future” includes losing 30 or 40 pounds,or  running that half-marathon, or getting that first chinup.

Watching this might be the most valuable 4 minutes you invest in yourself all week (month? year?)

Feeling Like It

You ever “not felt like it”?

As in:

  • I don’t feel like eating veggies at breakfast.
  • I don’t feel like going to the gym.
  • I don’t feel like planning and prepping my food.
  • I don’t feel like turning down my 3rd glass of wine.

Me too.

Look at it this way.

You have a hole to dig, and for that task the appropriate tool to use is a shovel.

You would never ask “How do I get myself to feel like a person who uses a shovel?”*

That would be kind of silly.

You either pick it up and dig the hole, or you don’t.

Action always trumps feelings. Take action, and you will feel like it, not the other way around.

The reward is in the doing.

(* Thanks to Steve Chandler and his book “Time Warrior” for the inspiration.)

 

 

 

Effort Trumps Ability

It has long been studied why Japanese students have long outscored American students when it comes to math. It must be the Japanese are just “smarter” or have better genetics for math, right?

It turns out is a matter of culture, not genetics.

Jim Stigler, professor of psychology at UCLA sums it up this way:

“For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in schoolchildren is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated but is often used to measure emotional strength.”

As an example researcher gave first-grade students an impossible math problem.

The American students worked on it an average of less than 30 seconds.

The Japanese students? The researchers had to stop them after an hour of trying to solve it.

Did you get that?

These first-graders worked on the problem the whole hour before finally being told to stop.

Stigler: “Think about that [kind of behavior] spread over a lifetime. That’s a big difference.”

What would happen in your life if your effort trumped your ability? If even against impossible odds you kept persevering?

What couldn’t you do?

Where Is Your Focus?

The best part of being on a team of coaches like I am at Get Fit NH is I get to learn from them too. Coach Meagan shared a quote last week that really resonated with me.

“If you focus on results you will never change. If you focus on change you will get results.”

To me it is another way of saying the joy is in the journey.

Focusing on the journey (necessary change) rather than the destination (results – which are always a moving target) is a far more pleasant way to live.

You can’t always control the outcome, so isn’t it better to focus on the change we can control anyway?

 

Building Your Masterpiece

A tourist in Paris walked up to a construction site and asked one of the workers “What are you doing?”

The man, breathing heavy from his labor and covered in sweat sarcastically replied “I’m laying bricks, what does it look like?”

The tourist moved on and saw another man laying bricks and asked the same question. “What are you doing?”

“I” the man, also covered in sweat and dust, proudly replied, “I am building a Cathedral”

Two men, same task, totally different perspective.

Who would you want building your masterpiece?

The way you train, the way you eat, how much sleep you get. These actions all contribute one way or another to the masterpiece that is your body, your health and ultimately the way you are able to enjoy life.

When you miss a workout, you are delaying your masterpiece.

When you only get 5 hours a sleep a night because you are “too busy” you are delaying your masterpiece.

When you fill your body with sugar and alcohol, you are delaying your masterpiece.

It’s really all about perspective, about vision.

You can have the perspective of one who merely “lays bricks”, or you can have the vision of an artist, and create the life you want.

It’s up to you.

Yes and No

I can’t remember from whom I first heard it, but this axiom has stuck with me ever since.

“Saying ‘Yes’ to something means saying ‘no’ to something else.”

Saying ‘Yes’ to being on another board means saying ‘No’ to that evening with my wife.

Saying ‘Yes’ to that early morning political meeting means saying ‘No’ to breakfast with my girls.

Saying ‘Yes’ to taking another training course means saying ‘No’ to some needed down time.

Saying ‘Yes’ to hitting the snooze button (again) means saying ‘No’ to a much needed workout.

Saying ‘Yes’ to a glass of wine every night means saying ‘No’ to optimal fat loss.

Are any of those ‘Yes’ answers “wrong”?

It’s not a matter of right and wrong, it’s often a matter of better and best.

Can it can be flipped around too?

Does saying ‘Yes’ to more fruits and veggies mean saying ‘No’ to filling up with more bread and pasta?

Does saying ‘Yes’ to getting to training mean saying ‘No’ to the effects of disease and aging?

Does saying ‘Yes’ to talking a walk with your wife and kids mean saying ‘No’ to sitting on the couch (like I did for so many years) and staying fat and lazy?

Yes, or No?

 

Off The Scale

scaleI have to admit that I have had an unhealthy obsession with the scale. In spite of the fact it is a poor day-to-day indicator of body composition, it is a hard habit to break. Some people do just fine with it, but others let it drive them crazy. Do any of these things sound familiar?

  • You are up a pound, so you eat less that day.
  • You are down two pounds, so it’s ok to have dessert that night.
  • You are up one day, down the next, up the next two, etc., and it is driving you crazy figuring out what you are doing “wrong”.

I think most people are susceptible to thinking and feeling this way.

So what’s the solution to keeping track of our body fat (which the scale doesn’t do anyway)?

Phil Maffetone offers some great insight:

“The most practical way to monitor body fat is to not step on a scale, but rather to measure your waist. Measuring your waist is easy, and most people already know if they have gained body fat because their pants fit too tightly or they have had to increase their pants size. If you want to be more accurate, get a tape measure and wrap it around your waist at the level of the belly button, keeping the tape parallel. But don’t do this every day. Just as with the obsession of daily scale weigh-ins, this only contributes to mental-emotional stress we can all do without. This added stress can contribute to fat storage, too. Instead, measure your waist once a month on the same day and time (in the morning before breakfast works well).”

You know the interesting thing is I have a MyoTape sitting on my dresser, and until recently I have chosen to ignore it all too often. I really would rather play “the scale game” than know the truth – is my waist line getting bigger, shrinking, or staying the same? It has always been an accurate indicator of my bodyfat, so for the past 3 months I have been checking it every other week to see what’s going on.

As far as weighing yourself? Research indicates that Wednesdays are the most accurate day of the week. The same research correlates regular weigh-ins as aiding in weight loss, and once a week on Wednesdays seems to be the best.

Taking Action:

  1. Don’t feel like you have to weigh yourself every day. Use the indicators above to see if it’s actually counterproductive.
  2. Measure your waistline at least monthly, I prefer every two weeks.
  3. Weigh yourself and log on Wednesdays.

Remember: Obsessing leads to Second Guessing which leads to Stressing. Let’s break the cycle.

 

Don’t Wait To Stop Procrastinating

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?

Or was it the other way around?

Heck, I can’t remember, I’ll look it up later. 🙂

Seriously though, did you know there is a “brain” reason why we tend to procrastinate?

Why eating the doughnut right now is much more desirable than fitting into your wedding dress in 6 months?

The good news is there is way we can start to break that vicious cycle.

Click here now (not later) and read how “Two Harvard Professors Reveal One Reason Our Brains Love to Procrastinate”

 

 

“Tired of starting over?”

We just recently finished a 6-week nutrition challenge at the gyms my wife and I own.

I have a love-hate relationship with short term challenges like these.

On the one hand they are awesome for getting people to focus on some changes they need to make in order to reach their goals.

On the other hand there is a “end” to the challenge, and that can be problematic. As soon as the challenge is over, for many there tends to be a gradual (or sometimes not so gradual) regressions back into old patterns of eating.

Which brings me to Shia LaBeouf’s monologue posted below.

While he make look a little crazy saying the words, what he actually says is some of the best advice I have ever heard.

What he says at the end is what caught my attention the most.

It applies to 6-week challenges, and so much more.

“If you’re tired of starting over, Stop, giving, up.”

Action Before Motivation

In conversations with my coaching clients we talk about “Outcome Goals” and “Behavior (or process) Goals”.

An outcome goal might be “Lose 20 pounds”.

The behavior or process goal is in reality the action that it is going to take to get there. “I will plan every meal, eat protein with every meal, and eat vegetables with every meal.”

Process goals are ACTION oriented.

We must DO something if we want to get somewhere.

This may sound like heresy, but motivation is really irrelevant. Nobody is motivated all the time.

It’s the results of taking action that creates motivation.

It looks like this:

Action —> Motivation —> More Action —> Consistency —> Results (Thanks Jen Sinkler!)

Here’s another “secret”. Make your action steps so easy to do you can’t possibly not do them.

It’s not about the volume of action you take, it’s the consistency of what you can really do that counts.

One action consistently done is better than 10 actions done 10% of the time.

What action can you take today to create the results you want?

 

 

 

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