I don't care how you slice it, if you don't make a plan, you cannot effectively achieve any goal!

Yes, it's that simple and the real. 

My commitment to you is to make certain that I share valuable, useable/practical, scientifically reliable information that will assist you in achieving your body transformation goals . . . . .  or any goal for that matter.

I can't express to you the importance of choosing a goal and making a plan to achieve that goal.  Yes, I know I sound like a broken record.  I'd ask you to excuse me, but the truth is, if you're not doing it, then you needed to hear it again.  Hopefully this time you will take it to heart.

I've spent a great deal of time reading and investigating all sorts of self-help books, motivational articles, CD's, DVDs, seminars, etc.

I've taken that information and shared it with my clients for over 2 decades. I've watched carefully at who achieves their goals and who tends to struggle.

You know what they all have in common?

You guessed it, yes, virtually all of the clients that achieve their goals make a plan, and some even utilized my suggestion to use visualization of themselves already achieving the goal. 

Why visualization?

Remember last week's post and the term reticular activation.  Well, visualization is another very important aspect of reticular activation. Athletes use it all time to improve their performance on the field.  Seeing yourself already achieving a goal is a powerful tool.

But it all starts with a plan.

Often times clients ask how to make an effective plan.  Here are two very helpful ways:

DAILY_PLANNING.doc

How_to_squeeze_the_most_out_of_your_time.doc


And just in case you need some good old fashioned video motivation -- here's one of my personal favorites:



Now Go Out and Get It Done!
I remember an old phrase someone once shared with me that has given me a great deal of insight through the years and I want to share it with you:

"That which you resist persist"

I'm sure there are many different interpretations, but to me the phrase basically means, the more you time and energy you spend on something, often times the more you will experience it.

Think about it for a second.

When something really gets on your nerves, whether it's traffic, a disagreement with a friend or loved one, or a situation at work, have you ever noticed how much time and energy you spend re-playing the event over and over in your head.  And then wonder why the situation seems to continue coming up in your life?

I'm beginning to believe in this world of instant gratification we all get a bit too easily frustrated and distracted when it comes to getting things done.  When a situation doesn't go our way, we spend so much time re-telling the story to anyone who will listen, we constantly replay the event in our minds, and then wonder why we are continually running into these types of situations over and over again.  Why me?  We sometimes ask ourselves.

Maybe a better question is, why are you spending so much time and energy preoccupied with the very thing you don't want in your life?

Be clear, I'm not referring to some new age spirituality, but instead something that we all know as scientifically true .  Remember my post on reticular activation?

Why not try a different approach.  Try spending more time and energy focused on the things you do want instead of the things you don't want.  Yes, it sounds oh so simple, but try monitoring how much time and energy you spend on the things you don't want in your life versus the goals and plan you have to achieve those goals.  Which one wins out?

Here's a simple example I think we can all identify with to make the point more clear.  You've decided you want a certain outfit or a certain type of car.  Ever notice how it seems that every place you look you see that car or a similar outfit?  That's because your mind is tuned into that stimulus and has increased your awareness of it.  It's an oversimplified example but I think you get the point.

If you're sincere about wanting to transform your body, get out of pain, or just improve your day to day experiences, start paying attention to how you spend your energy and what you let affect your thoughts and grab your attention.

Need a little help nailing this down?  Check out these two:

Liberate_Yourself_from_the_Opinions_and_Judgments_of_Others.doc

Eradicate_the_poison_that_kills_dreams.doc

The bottom line is, if this year is going to be better than last year, you have to be better than last year.  Start paying attention to how you spend your time and energy. 

Now Go Out, Practice, and Get It Done!
Just Do It!  We all know the slogan.  And we all know what product it belongs to.  Truth be told, those three words say tons about how to get anything accomplished in life.  Just Do It.

Just getting in there and doing it has its merits without a doubt.  But it's been my experience that it's often times challenging to just do it when you don't have a decent grip on the present state of affairs -- work, family, personal responsibilities.  Part of being able to Just Do It, has a great deal with being able to see yourself doing it.  And it's been my experience that it's awfully hard to see yourself doing anything if you're constantly feeling overwhelmed.

So first things first shall we.

Let's first get you to a mental space where you can start seeing yourself just doing it. 

And the first step in the ever changing, fast paced, immediate gratification world, is to get your stress under control.  Yeah, Yeah, I know, everyone is stressed out beyond belief.  But if you're going to change your present circumstances you're going to have to get your stress under control.  Otherwise you're just running in a circle and not making any progress.  And that's no way to live your life.

So to get you started, let's have you start by practicing these 3 everyday, starting now:

Three_Rules_For_Turning_Stress_Into_Success.doc


OK, so you'll start practicing those 3 starting today.  But let's be honest, just getting your stress under control is easier said than done -- right?  I mean you can say all the affirmations you want, listen to your motivational CD's in the car on the way to work all you want, but if you don't actively apply what you're learning, it's just a process of going through the motions. 

No, you'll need one more vital tool if you're truly going to get your stress under control and be able to see yourself just doing it.

LEARNING_FROM_YOUR_MISTAKES.doc

Motivation is great!  Heck, that's why I spend each Wednesday giving you tools to use to keep you on track and moving forward.  But giving you tools is only as good as you are ready to apply them. 

Think of it this way. You can't grow a garden if you don't first prepare the soil -- right.  You first have to get rid of all the weeds, turn over the soil so it's soft and ready to nurture the seeds you plant.  Otherwise you might as well try planting a garden on concrete for all the good it will do you -- make sense?

So first things first.  Get your stress under control, learn from your mistakes, and as you're practicing these tools (see how I'm preparing you for the seeds of your own greatness), then you'll be ready to envision yourself doing or achieving the goals you have set for yourself.

You have the tools --

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
We all have goals we would like to achieve.  It doesn't matter what that goal is quite honestly.  For my purpose I want to help you achieve the your best body. 

I want you to live without having pain. 

I want you to be the weight you desire. 

I want you to like what you see when you look in the mirror.

I want you to be able to do what you truly love doing, whether it's gardening, knitting, playing a specific sport, or working out.

I know you work unbelievably hard at your job each day, each week.  I believe you work just as hard at home, to the best partner, husband/father or wife/mother.  It's a grind sometimes, let's be honest; but you do the best you possibly can each and every week.

Yet amongst all those responsibilities we have to find some you time. 

I know, I know, it can be a daunting task at times.  But if we don't take good care of you, you won't be able to show up in the other areas of your life the way you want.

I don't know about you, but when I don't take good care of myself, feeling as though I'm running from one obligation to the next; I get cranky, have difficultly sleeping, and quite honestly, am not that pleasant to be around.

I respect the amount of time you spend at work and at home, so I spend each week carefully choosing subjects and information that will inspire, educate, and motivate you into action.  Action that will give you a renewed sense of "get it done".  Because you and I both know the better you take care of yourself, the better you're able to give to others.

But sometimes it's hard to find that time, or so I thought. 

What I've come to realize is, it's not about finding the more time to get everything I need and want, done.  No, actually it's about me managing the time I have.  Does that sound like you? 

The first thing I had to do is have the discipline and the courage to create a goal and the plans to make it happen.  These two items were a big help:

The_Indispensable_Quality.doc

The_Time_to_Act.doc

The older I get and the more I think about it, the more I realize success has more to do with managing what you have than it does with longing for something outside of yourself.  And the funny thing about managing what you have is that you often times find yourself getting more of what you want and need.

But the first thing that has to happen before you can start working on any of this, is a sense of urgency.  A sense that it's time to make a change.  Time to stop filling up that closet with regrets and missed opportunities.

Excuse_Me_Your_Life_is_Waiting.doc

It's your life.  You deserve to have the type of life you want.  There is nothing you can't accomplish.  It will take a plan and some effort, but it IS within your grasp. 

Just take the first step -- that's all I ask.

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
I've been getting all sorts of emails and personal inquires about how to get in shape quickly now that the summer weather is approaching.  As well as the usual inquiries regarding  how to get out of shoulder, hip and back pain, which I will address next Monday.

Funny thing is the answer is the same to both of these questions.  "What results are you getting?"

Now, that question is not meant to be a smartypants comment at all.  It's meant to initiate thought.

You would be surprised how many people are not getting the results they want, and yet continue to do the same things that are already not working (not getting results).

When people ask me how to get rid of that last little layer of flub around the middle, they seem to expect an easy quick fix--one size fits all answer, that will magically dissolve the problem overnight.  Instead I usually ask them 2 specific questions:

  • What is their present nutrition schedule like?  Meaning how many times are they eating per day, as well as how each meal is made up -- regarding protein, carbs, and fat.

  • Next, I ask them what type of metabolic work are they doing?  Meaning what type of program are they using to stimulate an increase in their metabolism.

7 times out of 10 the person looks at me with a blank stare, or proceeds to tell me what they ate yesterday or today.  And if you'll remember my post on that response a few weeks ago, you'll know that is a dead give-away that the person has no real system to their eating/nutrition.  Yet they wonder why they are not getting the results they want.

I know you're tired of hearing it, but you have to have a plan if you're going to make successful changes to anything in your life.  If you don't write it down, it's not a serious goal.

Your results tell you if your program is working.  Don't just keep doing the same thing that's not working and get more and more frustrated. Find out why it's not working -- that's what I'm here for.
 
If you're not dropping the weight you want -- for goodness sake, please start keeping a food journal.  It's the only way to truly find out what's wrong.  Your car has a gas gauge to tell you when you're low on gas.  Your food journal (your human gas gauge) will tell you where to make changes in order to create the results you want. 

Equally important is to remember that steady state cardio does not work in getting rid of body fat quickly.  Want 2 ways to start seeing results from your cardio/metabolic training sessions?

Try these:

  • If you have no history of heart condition nor in your family, then try intervals.  Meaning a slow period of walking, jogging or running, followed by a fast period of walking, jogging or running.  The periods should start at about 30-45 seconds, for 10-20 minutes at a time.  After approximately two weeks move to 45 seconds to 1 minute interval periods.

  • Try using circuits in your weight training.  Meaning do 3-5 movements in a row, alternating upper and lower body movements, before taking a 1-1:30 minute break.  Do 3-4 cycles of this method and watch the results happen.

Ok.  What does that look like: 

All movements should be done with a weight you can do 12-20 times in proper form, but challenges you.

Push-up or Flyes
Squats (body weight or with dumbbells)
Rows (seated or 1 arm rows with dumbbell)
Lunges (backward stepping, dumbbells optional)
Wood Chops (using an elastic band or 1 dumbbell)

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
Do you remember the cartoon Popeye?  Remember the cast of characters, Olive Oil, Brutus, and who could forget Wimpy?

Do you remember one of Wimpy's favorite statements?  "I'll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today?"

It seems like too many people are playing Wimpy these days.  They want results today, but want to pay the price of follow through and commitment on some other day or time.

I really wish it could be that way, but unfortunately . . . . . .

You have to put the effort in first, if you want to see the results later.

Now if you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know I don't have any powders to sell you.  I don't have any food bars, magic weight loss supplements, special shoes that will lose the weight for you, nor mythical exercises that work magic.

What I do offer you is honest to goodness, tried and true, reliable information and techniques that will get you results. Believe me, if there were an easier way to provide you with lasting body transformation, I would gladly share it with you.

The truth is, it's going to take some effort on your part first to see the results, later.  You can't have that hamburger today and not pay the price for it.

But let's be fair.  I'm not asking you to eat tasteless meals once or twice per day.  I'm asking you to eat 5-6 times a day.  That's the typical 3 of breakfast, lunch and dinner -- AND one morning snack as well as an afternoon snack.  I'm asking you to make sure that you have a protein, carb, and fat in each meal.  And though I may be out of line, I'm actually asking you to plan your meals in advance as best you can, so you won't be stuck eating food that sabotages your progress (think processed foods, or fast food).

No, I believe I'm giving you the real deal.

I realize we live in a world of instant gratification.  A world of smart phones, I-Pads, instant fame from reality TV, and all sorts of feel good now philosophies.

But there is one thing that will never change.

If you create a good plan, put in the work by taking the steps each day, you will get results -- Period.  There is no way around it.  You can accomplish anything you set your mind to doing.  I believe that about you.

Think about.

All the things you're most proud of, all the things you've accomplished took some amount of effort and consistency to achieve.  If you take a look around, all those around you (not counting reality TV) that have accomplished success in any field, did it by taking the steps each day, each week, each month.

If success were easy, everyone would be lean, driving sports cars, and sipping their favorite coffee beverage while making deals on their smart phone or I-Pad. 

But this isn't a cartoon.  This is your life.  And the sooner you take the time to make a plan, and follow it daily, the sooner you'll see the results you deserve.

Need some help with recipes, stretch or exercise ideas on how to get out of shoulder, knee, or lower back pain, or some exercises to get you out of your workout rut?  Take a look in the left hand margin under categories and . . . . .


Go Out And Get It Done!
I realize you have a busy schedule, family responsibilities, an unbelievable load of work at your job, and can barely find the time to do the things you need to do, let alone the things you want to do.

We are all under such unbelievable loads of stress, and maxed out on our ability to manage our time any more efficiently.  Between the commute to work, the meetings, the children's activities, the business dinners, the project deadlines, and on top of all that, there is always that relative that wants to come and visit at the most inconvenient time.

Believe me when I tell you, I get it.  I really do understand how hard it is to find time to get your meals made ahead of time.  How unrealistic it is to be able to make good food choices at work when all there is is fast food.  And honestly you barely have enough time to get that meal in you before you have yet, another meeting.

Equally, I respect how challenging it is to find time to even consider creating a regular routine for exercise.  I understand even the thought of it is overwhelming.  I know you understand the benefits of it and would do it if you could.

I think this article and video is a great example of the kinds of challenges that can get a person down and unable to focus on, or accomplish the goals that are most important to them.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Video on Challenges


Now if that is not the absolute ultimate example of a truckload of cards stacked against you and still choosing to come out on top, I don't know what is!

If that doesn't motivate you to want to find a way to be creative, to find a way to make your body transformation happen, get out of pain, or whatever goal you have chosen, in spite of the circumstances that arise -- What else can I say?

I guess, I have to be honest.  I was a high school wrestler and so I really can appreciate the accomplishment at a different level.  That being said, at some level you have to admit that it must be exceptionally hard, challenging and difficult to make a choice to participate in sports at all, let alone this type of competition. 

But somehow, someway, with lots of coaching and guidance I'm sure, Anthony found a way to be his best at his goal.

You know what?

I believe you can do the exact same thing that Anthony just accomplished.  I believe you can set a goal, check in with me each week, stay on your program by using the tools provided, and watch the results happen. 

We can't all be that level of athlete, I actually didn't compete in team sports in college or graduate school.  But we all can achieve a goal we set for ourselves, by following the steps each day and believing that it is possible if we are diligent; even in the face of challenges.

Now it's time for you --

To Go Out and Get It Done!
I have to be honest with you, I cannot think of one person I know that does not have a boatload of things to do each day.  It doesn't matter whether they are self-employed, or work a typical 9-5 job.  It doesn't seem to matter what gender the person is or how much they make a year, we all seem to be working at maximum capacity to get through each and every week.

Like you, my clients and friends have work responsibilities, family responsibilities, and personal projects that pretty much take up their complete day from start to finish. 

But I will let you in on a little secret.  Some people have a tendency to get all of their stuff done consistently, while making progress to their long term goal.  While others seem to be caught up in a rut of complaints and constantly feeling overwhelmed.

Want to know the secrets of the people that get it all done?  Check out the link below:

Shortcuts_to_Getting_It_All_Done.doc


Now understand, just because they are called shortcuts doesn't mean you do a poor job just to get it over with.  No, shortcuts in case refers to effectively and efficiently using the time you have to do the most important things first and making sure they are done to the best of your ability. 

Which of course leads me to the next item I would like to share with you.  When you go on a trip do you just jump on the freeway or interstate and kind of guess which way to go while in route to your destination?  Or when you get on a plane heading out of town, do you think the pilot has any idea where he's going before he gets into the air?  I think we can all agree that in each case there is indeed a plan, an itinerary. 

But for some reason when it comes to getting the day to day items done in our lives we seem to just wing it.  Then we find ourselves frustrated at the lack of progress or when we don't attain the goal we had set. 

There is no success without a plan. 

Anything that is of importance to you is worth taking a moment to make a plan.  Sure it may change along the way as you get more information or as life happens.  But in either case, a plan is the best possible way to achieve any goal you set.

YOU_CANNOT_FAIL_WITH_A_PLAN.doc

No matter how well thought out your plan, life will happen.  If you were traveling on the freeway and have to take a detour, you would have to make an adjustment to your plan to continue towards your goal.  If there are strong headwinds, a pilot may have to make adjustments to his flight plan.  A plan serves as a guide to keep you on track.  Life will happen, you can count on it, but don't let life get in the way of your progress.  You may need to take a step back, pause, make the necessary modifications and then proceed.

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
Have you ever found yourself in a situation wondering, "How the heck did I get here?"

I'm really not sure what is going on over the past few weeks, but it definitely seems that I've been running into many people are becoming fed up with what used to not bother them at all.  Situations or conflicts that they once brushed off are now irritating and aggravating at a level that is both distracting and frustrating. 

Being the overly inquisitive person I am, I asked why was the level of irritation so much greater now, than before?  What's changed that makes this situation less tolerable than it used to be? 

You would be surprised at some of the answers I received -- They truly ran the spectrum.  But what I found out is that it wasn't so much the situation that had changed, but the person had changed (think grown to a new level).  I got the impression as I listened to each of these individuals that it was kind of like putting on a pair of pants or shoes that once fit, only to wake up one day and find out that the pair of pants or shoes are now too small, out of style, too tight, and don't even come close to fitting your present tastes.

Sound like you or anyone you know?

Life is too short to be in situations and experiences that don't help you move closer to your ultimate goal.  That doesn't mean everything should be waterfalls and rainbows in your world all the time.  Heck some of my best lessons have come from experiencing situations that were uncomfortable, irritating and at times made me darn right angry.  But having learned the lesson from those experiences, in hindsight it was worth the short term discomfort.

And then it dawned on me, whether it's losing weight, saving more money, getting out of pain, or just having less stress in our lives, we all have to keep our goals at the forefront of our minds.

Most of us start out with good intentions and great follow through, but then something happens.  We say "Yes" too often when we should have said "NO".  We overlook the mild irritations thinking they would go away and yet they only got worse.  Then we wake up one day, completely off track, frustrated and irritated at our present circumstances, asking "How the heck did I get here".

Life happens.  That is one constant you can rely on.

But there is a way to stay on track.  Whether it's losing weight, saving more money, getting out of pain, or just having less stress in your life. 

You have to have a code that guides you.  A way to make sure that each action you take is moving you closer to your goal and not further away.  And sometimes that can be a challenge to keep track of with all that we do day in and day out.

Here are a couple of excellent cheat sheets to help you stay on track no matter what your goals. 

THE_TOP_10_QUESTIONS_to_ASK_YOURSELF_FREQUENTLY.doc


Top_10_Tolerations_We_Can_Get_Rid_of_Using_Our_Emotional_Intelligence.doc

As my father was always fond of saying, "A word to the wise is sufficient". 

Nuff said --

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
Let's face it, change is not easy no matter who you are.  It doesn't seem to matter what the issue, change takes some effort and some serious focus.  Don't believe me, take a casual walk through your local bookstore. There are literally stacks and stacks of books on how to make successful changes in your life.  Literally volumes of information, diagrams, templates, exercises as well as audio and video.

But you know what?

I found a way to create successful change in 3 Easy Steps.  Want the cheat sheet?  Click the link below.

The_3_Key_Components_to_Any_Successful_Change.doc


Are you stressed out, or know someone who is? 

I know with my own schedule it is a challenge to not get stressed out with all of the projects and daily responsibilities.  For me at least, it doesn't seem to matter how fast I go, there is always more to do.  Honestly I've come to accept this as part of the landscape of my life.  But on the other hand how do you effectively handle your day to day without getting stressed out?

I've come to realize it starts with how you begin your day.  Another key component is making sure to get your body moving on a consistent basis.  Want to know the other 5?  Click the link below.

7_Ways_to_Ensure_a_Very_Cool_Day_from_Start_to_Finish.doc

Without tooting my own horn too much, I have to say these 2 documents are worth the read.  There is some really common sense stuff in them that I believe we all forget way too often.

Now that you know. . . . . . .

Go Out and Get It Done!