Change Starts with your Environment.

Willpower won’t work! Habits happen. The easiest way to interrupt a bad habit and replace it with a good habit is by shaping your environment. So many people beat themselves up over a lack of willpower when what is missing is a lack of commitment.

When you are committed, you’ll shape your environment to eliminate temptation and foster the behavior you want to adopt. If you’re serious about eating healthier, you will remove junk food from your home and always ensure you have healthy food available.

Midnight hungry dog.jpg

When you are committed, you don’t rely on willpower; that inner resource that depletes as the day progresses leaving us vulnerable to temptation. If you take a moment to reflect, you will realize that most of your bad habits occur during the last hours of your day. That is because your willpower has left you naked to temptation. If you haven’t remove the temptation from your environment, you have effectively set yourself up for failure. If you want to change your behavior, start by changing your environment.

Learn more, Learn the Skill of Willpower & Identify ONE Bad Habit, Interrupt and Replace It.

Drinking Habit Loop

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When you are Committed, you don’t need a lot of WILLPOWER

If you are committed, you will shape your environment, so you don’t need a lot of willpower. As the day progresses, our willpower diminishes and leaves us vulnerable to temptation. It is a lot easier to shape our environment then to try and exert control over it.

If you blew your diet last night eating junk food, I would argue that your problem isn’t a lack of willpower, it is a lack of commitment. Why was that junk food in your house in the first place? It isn’t good for you, and it isn’t good for anyone else under your roof. You don’t want to deprive your children? Of what? A lifetime of sugar addiction? A lifetime of struggling to control their weight and eating. Anytime you decide to change, you can. But it requires commitment. Shape your environment to foster good habits and remove the temptations that cause you to fall into bad habits.

Learn more, about Willpower.

The Effective Program Litmus Test – Does your Program Pass

 “Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day after day, workout after workout, obedience after obedience, day after day.” Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis _image by Shea Huening .pngImage by Shea Huening

Today we are drowning in information, but starving for wisdom. Most of us have the knowledge of the world available to us in the palm of our hand. A lack of information isn’t the problem. A lack of common sense is the problem. Nowhere is this truer than in the fitness industry.

You might be reading this with the hopes of validating your current program. You want to know if it meets a scientific litmus test for determining its effectiveness. You might be reading this to discover the five characteristics of an effective program. I am sure you could find an article like that, but this isn’t it. I conducted a Google search and wasn’t disappointed.

The litmus test for determining if a program is effective is simple. Is your diet and exercise program sustainable? That’s it. If your program is sustainable, then it is effective. So many people fall into the trap of doing a program. The whole mentality of “doing a diet” or workout program is flawed. It implies a task that has a beginning and end. Staying fit is a journey, not a destination. Fitness isn’t something you do, it is something you live.

If your program isn’t sustainable, your results won’t be either. It’s unreasonable to think otherwise. That is why I focus on developing small daily habits. When it comes to fitness and life, small and sustainable gains are the key. It isn’t what we do once in a while that matters, or even what we do for 12-weeks. It is what we do consistently, day after day, week after week, year after year. Staying in shape is a lifestyle.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” Jim Rohn

If you want lasting results, ensure your program is sustainable. Every fitness program has two elements, diet, and exercise. If you need to lose weight, diet is the key. If you set your goals on the MyFitnessPal app, accurately log your food, and don’t exceed the caloric intake, it calculates, you will lose weight. Don’t try to out exercise a bad diet or fly blind by not logging your food. For you to lose weight through exercise alone, you would have to run approximately 25 miles a week or walk 45 miles. If you want to run the numbers for your specific bodyweight, Runner’s World wrote a great article on the topic.

Energy balance is how you gain or lose weight, but we become fit through exercise. Exercise should primarily be done to improve performance, not weight management. It is possible to stay thin without exercising, but you will not become fit. If you want a strong lean capable body, you need to exercise.

Too many people get this wrong. I see a lot of overweight people working hard on cardio, but neglecting to eat mindfully by logging their food. I see skinny guys working hard in the weight room, but neglecting to eat enough calories and protein to build muscle. You cannot build a house without bricks. You can have the best blueprint, the most skilled workers, but without raw material, you aren’t going to build anything. Gaining and losing weight is a numbers game. If you create a deficit, you lose weight, if you create a surplus, you will gain weight. This is scientific fact.

We need to find a diet and exercise program that suits us. I eat small meals in the morning because I am not hungry in the morning. I save my larger meals for times when I am hungry. It isn’t when you eat your calories, but how many you eat. This is science. It isn’t how often you eat, or when you eat that matters, it is how much you eat each day that matters.

Your muscles are not snowflakes, and frequent eating has not been proven to increase your metabolism. Eating high protein food does increase your metabolism because your body burns calories digesting the food; this is called the thermogenic effect of food (TEF).

Protein has the largest TEF. Approximately 30% of the calories consumed from protein will burn during digestion. About 10% of the calories consumed from carbohydrates will burn during digestion, and 5% of the calories consumed from fat will burn during digestion. Eating a high protein diet helps with appetite control; but how many meals you eat, three vs. six meals does not affect your metabolism as demonstrated in a study by the University of Missouri. [i]

Another study conducted by the University of Ontario, found no significant difference in average weight loss, fat loss, or muscle loss, among study participants who consumed a hypocaloric diet spread out over three meals vs. those that ate three meals and three snacks each day.[ii] The studies demonstrated what you would expect; large meals produce a greater thermogenic effect than smaller meals when macro ratios are constant. The ratio of metabolic increased was proportional to the size of the meal. Thus, there is no benefit to smaller or larger meals.

I prefer strength training to cardio training, so I spend more time lifting. Any exercise burns calories, but strength training helps us to preserve muscle and reshape our bodies. Learn more, Why you should prioritize strength training, especially on a diet (UPDATED with FREE workout program log).

If you prefer cardio training, I suggest you spend more time doing cardio. I believe we should balance out our programs, but there is no one size fits all. Do what you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy your program, it won’t be sustainable, and neither will be your results.

Spend most of your time doing what you enjoy. If that is playing basketball during your lunch hour, do that. If it is Brazilian jiujitsu, do that. The only caveat I would suggest is that you spend a little time doing some strength training. This is because without strength training your muscles will begin to waste away as you age. The condition is called sarcopenia, learn more, Why your Metabolism Slows Down as you Age and How to Prevent it!

An example minimalist strength training program would be one set Dips, one set of Chin-ups, one set of Bulgarian split squats, and one set of One Leg Hip Thrusts performed two to three times a week. This routine should only take about 5-7 minutes to perform. Focus on good form and generating a strong contraction in the muscle. Perform as many repetitions as possible. When you can exceed 15 repetitions add weight. You can add weight using a backpack. You don’t even need any equipment to begin strength training, THE NO EQUIPMENT, NO EXCUSES WORKOUT

No Equipment No Excuses Workout
I believe the 3 Keys to an Effective Program are:

1)    Sustainability: If you cannot sustain your diet and exercise program as a lifestyle, any results you achieve will be temporary. You must be able to fit exercise into your daily schedule. You want to choose a diet you can adopt as a lifestyle, not a temporary, quick fix approach to weight loss.

2)    Likeability: The more you enjoy your eating and exercise program, the more consistent you will be. Find pleasure in the process. Instead of focusing on what you cannot have, focus on what you can have. Savor your food. Enjoy your workouts.

3)    Variability: Vary your workouts. You cannot go hard all the time. Vary the intensity of your workouts. Vary the length of your workouts. A 10-minute workout is a million times better than a missed workout. Don’t let great be the enemy of good. If you feel burned out, take a walk instead of doing your normal routine. Don’t make exercise drudgery. Change up your routine from time to time. Don’t allow your workouts to become stale.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Start SMALL, dream BIG, build MOMENTUM! Do BETTER today, be BETTER tomorrow. Change your habits, change your life!

Learn more, The Habit: Week-10 (Develop Consistency through Accountability)

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Book Available on AMAZON – Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #naturalbodybuilding#traininglog #workoutlog

 

[i] Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW, “The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men,” Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr; 19(4):818-24. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.203. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

[ii] Cameron JD, Cyr MJ, and Doucet E, “Increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss in subjects who were prescribed an 8-week equi-energetic energy-restricted diet,” Br J Nutr. 2010 Apr; 103(8):1098-101. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509992984. Epub 2009 Nov 30.

90-DAY BOOK PROMOTION (20% off Paperback & FREE DOWNLOAD PROMOTION 19-23 March 2018)

FOLLOW Us On Facebook & INSTAGRAM for Regular Doses of Information & Inspiration.

I want to thank everyone for their support and positive feedback. The purpose of the promotion is to show my appreciation and ask for your continued support (BOOK REVIEWS).

I want to show my appreciation by reducing the price of the PAPERBACK by 20%, offer the KINDLE version for $2.99 (with a FREE Download Promotion beginning Monday, March 19, 2018, through Friday, March 23, 2018. The price of the Audible audiobook is set by Amazon.

You can DOWNLOAD the book’s 20-WEEK PROGRAM, LIST OF EXERCISES (with Video Demonstrations), STARTER GUIDE HERE.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could devote 5-minutes out of your busy schedule to write a BRIEF REVIEW. Reviews greatly increase visibility on AMAZON; without them, our book is invisible.

“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart.” Confucius.

“We are what we repeatedly do.” Aristotle

First we form habits, then they form us; so why not engineer your habits to become the best version of yourself? Our book teaches high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

The promise: If you are committed to applying our 7-highly effective change strategies, you will translate desire into action; whatever your goal is; execution is the key. We don’t get what we wish for; we get what we work for.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” – Benjamin Franklin.

CHAPTER ONE: WHY HABITS ARE SO IMPORTANT.
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart” Confucius

CHAPTER TWO: ESTABLISHING A SENSE OF URGENCY
“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Jim Rohn

CHAPTER THREE: TWEAKING YOUR ENVIRONMENT TO GOOD HABITS THAT SUPPORT FAT LOSS
“Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.” Paxton Hood

CHAPTER FOUR: FIND BRIGHT SPOTS – INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON THE PROBLEM, COPY SUCCESSES
“Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.” Tony Robbins

CHAPTER FIVE: CREATING HABITS AND LEARNING WILLPOWER

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

CHAPTER SIX: CREATING ACCOUNTABILITY & GENERATING SHORT-TERM WINS
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” Stephen Covey

CHAPTER SEVEN: CREATING A CALORIC DEFICIT MADE SIMPLE
“Your body keeps an accurate journal regardless of what you write down.” Anonymous

CHAPTER EIGHT: MAINTAINING LEAN MUSCLE MASS WHILE IN A CALORIC DEFICIT
“Food is fuel, not therapy.” Anonymous

CHAPTER NINE: STRENGTH TRAINING – IT IS HOW YOU BUILD A LEANER STRONGER BODY
“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” Morihei Ueshiba

CHAPTER TEN: GET ENOUGH SLEEP; IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Benjamin Franklin

CHAPTER ELEVEN: CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING – ANOTHER WEAPON IN YOUR FAT BURNING ARSENAL
“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” Muhammad Ali

CHAPTER TWELVE: GETTING STARTED – WHAT YOU WILL NEED, IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: PROGRAM LOG & WORKOUT GUIDELINES
“The hardest thing about exercising is to start. Once you’re exercising regularly, the hardest thing to do is stop.” Anonymous

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: I HAVE FINISHED THE PROGRAM, NOW WHAT?
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”-Napoleon Hill

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: CONCLUSION
“Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it.” Winston Churchill

THE BOOK CONTAINS:

  • 7 CHANGE STRATEGIES FOR ADOPTING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
  • FLEXIBLE DIET THAT DOESN’T PUT ANY FOODS OFF-LIMIT, including Alcohol
  • HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TRAINING PROGRAM BASED ON SCIENCE, not Bro Science
  • 20-WEEK WORKOUT LOG WITH PROGRESS ASSESSMENTS (Downloadable PDF)
  • 3 STRATEGIES FOR KEEPING THE WEIGHT OFF AND RESETTING YOUR BODY SET POINT

We focus on a sustainable lifestyle because if your program isn’t sustainable, neither will be your results.

cover (jpeg) 09.29.2017

 

The Habit: Week-12 (Overcome Our Natural Tendency to be Negative)

“Negative is normal. It is not successful, but it’s normal.” Jim Rohn

When the negative thoughts come – and they will; they come to all of us – it’s not enough to just not dwell on it. You’ve got to replace it with a positive thought.” Joel Osteen

Negative is normal. Neglect is natural. They aren’t helpful, but they are natural. People don’t rubberneck when they see a beautiful sunrise; they rubberneck to see a horrific accident. Weeds don’t require nurturing; they only need neglect to grow.

This week’s challenge is to cultivate a positive outlook, so we begin each day energized to pursue our goals and live a rich, fulfilling life. As you learned during Week-2 (Motivation), our subconscious is most impressionable in the morning, so this is our best opportunity to overcome our natural tendency to be negative. Before we discuss what we can do to cultivate a positive outlook on life, let’s first seek to understand why negative is normal, and its impact on our lives.

Our ancient mental programming was designed to ensure our survival, not our happiness. When we neglect to control our thoughts, our mind will look for lack and attack. Our mind looks for problems that could threaten our survival, like a lack of water or a threat of attack. It is programmed to constantly scan our environment for problems.

It is important to recognize problems, but focusing our time and energy on taking positive action is a lot more productive. We don’t solve problems by worrying about them. We solve them through action. Our energy and enthusiasm is a product of our emotional state.

Negative thoughts like worry, frustration, and hopelessness produce a low energy state. It is possible to take a negative emotion, like anger and use it to fuel positive action. We can use anger to fuel our efforts to address the situation with an I’ll show them attitude. Our focus and energy are precious. We don’t want to waste them on the wrong things.

Energy is vital to our success. It is often said energy is more important than intelligence. You probably know some brilliant people that aren’t successful. Would you agree with any of these statements? They have a negative attitude. They are always complaining or being critical. They are low energy. Spending too much time with them is draining. They never seem to get things done. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you answered the affirmative on all five questions.

Avoid negative people. We want to eliminate these energy drainers from our lives. They are toxic. They will rob you of your energy. In his international bestseller, The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy, author Jon Gordon describes these negative people as “energy vampires.” He says “these people suck the life out of you and your goals and vision if you let them.”

Constantly focusing on our problems makes us feel overwhelmed. It produces a feeling of hopelessness. The best way to snap ourselves out of a depressed state is by forcing ourselves to take positive actions that will make us feel better. This strategy is simple to understand, but difficult to do; especially if we have conditioned ourselves to focus on things that put us in a depressed state. Positive action activates our dopamine system and makes us feel better. Addressing a problem makes us feel in control of our lives. When we take back control of our lives, we feel better.

Depressed people typically lack an internal locus of control. They feel that outside forces are controlling their lives. They fail to take positive action because they don’t believe they can affect their outcomes. Life is happening to them. They often waste their time and energy focusing on things they cannot control, like the actions of others or their environment. “Where focus goes, energy flows,” Tony Robbins. We shouldn’t waste our valuable energy focusing on the things we cannot change.

Let’s focus on what WE CAN DO to solve the problem, then pour our energy into the solution. We cannot ignore our problems. We must address them. We do this through action NOT anxiety. We cannot hope someone will solve our problems for us. The only one we can count on to address our problems is ourselves. We develop an internal locus of control when we solve our own problems.

If I were laid off from my job tomorrow, I would immediately take massive action to find a new job. I would resist my natural tendency to spend time worrying about how I am going to pay the mortgage and other bills because that isn’t going to solve my problem. Worry is normal, but it isn’t productive. Worry will not pay the bills, finding a new job will.

Like many people, I use to watch the news daily. I didn’t realize what a negative impact this was having on my life. If you still have any doubt that we live in a negative world, just watch a few minutes of a news broadcast. It is an all you can eat buffet of negativity. Everyday miraculous things are happening all over the world, but you will not see them covered by the news.

Our mind is the factory that produces the social, economic, and financial fabric of our life. We must stand guard at the gates of our mind. If we want to weave a positive, fruitful life, we must only permit positive influences in. We want to feed our minds positive, inspirational information. We want to surround ourselves with positive, uplifting people. If you cannot find these people in your environment, you can find them in the pages of an inspiring book, on a podcast, or on YouTube.

Everything we do in life begins with a thought. The bible says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” A great attitude produces great results, but our attitude begins with our thoughts. Our thoughts are a product of what we are pouring into our mental factory. It isn’t enough to simply block negative influences.

We must condition ourselves to be positive. If cultivating a positive attitude isn’t a daily priority, it won’t be a priority. We condition ourselves by repeating something daily. If we neglect to cultivate a positive attitude, our minds default programming will produce a negative one. In the absence of light, darkness takes over. Being negative doesn’t require effort. Weeds don’t require nurturing to grow.

Beginning and ending each day with the news is like choosing to cultivate weeds. Our need to identify problems is normal, but it isn’t beneficial. Viewing the world through this negative lens certainly doesn’t inspire us. It is much more likely to leave us feeling depressed about the world. It creates a pessimistic view of life.

The pessimist is the person that doesn’t see the beautiful sunset because he is too focused on the crack in the window. The pessimist leads a miserable life. Pessimists don’t accomplish much. They are too busy studying why something will fail instead of why it might succeed. “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution” Albert Einstein

When we stock-up on wars, riots, scandals, tragedies, and murders, what hope do we have of living a dynamic, positive life? The news filters out almost everything that is good, so what you are left with is all the injustices of the world. Not only is this view of the world overly negative; it is also inaccurate. Most people are good. Millions of acts of kindness are carried out each day, but they aren’t newsworthy. The news focuses on problems, not solutions. Tragedies, not triumphs.

People get depressed by the news. Some become disheartened by what is transpiring in the world, but if they stopped to think about it, they would realize that the world is mostly good. How much of what they see on the news do they experience in their own life? A poor national economy doesn’t mean your personal finances are being affected. People like Franklin Templeton made their fortune purchasing stock and assets when people were most pessimistic about the economy. In my opinion, unless we are going to throw our hat into the political arena, we only need to know enough to be an informed voter. Watching the news is like worrying about something instead of addressing it. It is a passive activity. Our time would be better spent taking active measures to make the world better.

When we end the day watching the news, our subconscious mind is made to worry about all the problems of the world. Problems that we have no power to fix. What a waste. If we had chosen to review our goals or plan our tasks for the next day, our subconscious mind could have been put to work on how best to accomplish them.

Our subconscious mind is powerful. It holds immense amounts of information and can piece that information together to form creative solutions. The more we draw from it, the more successful we will be. When we draw on its power, we wake up the next morning better prepared to overcome our daily challenges. “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”-John Steinbeck

This week’s challenge is to cultivate a positive attitude, so we begin each day energized. As you learned during Week-2 (Motivation), our subconscious is most impressionable in the morning, so this is our best opportunity to overcome our natural tendency to be negative. The easiest habit to adopt is listening to something inspirational each morning. Everyone can control the first 30 minutes of each day. This might require us to wake up earlier than we do now, but we can all control our mornings. Our workdays are often filled with obligations and commitments that make forming a consistent routine difficult, but we can usually engineer the bookends of our days; our first and last hour.

I keep a pair of wireless headphones next to my smartphone so I can put them on after turning off my alarm. Before I take another step, I immediately begin to listen to something inspiring. It could be an audiobook, a YouTube video, or a podcast. I resist the urge to check email, FaceBook, Instagram, or anything else. How we begin each day determines how we live each day. We want to be proactive, not reactive. Every minute is precious. Our energy, focus, and creativity are at their peak levels during the first couple of hours each day.  While I am listening, I complete a few morning chores, which usually lasts 15 to 20 minutes.

motivational videoClick to watch

This easy to adopt habit shouldn’t add any time to your existing routine. If you only adopted this one habit, it would give you a more positive outlook on life in just a few weeks. Motivation, like everything else, doesn’t last; that is why we need to do it daily. We need to nourish our spirit like we to our body. We need to make regular deposits into our spiritual bank account so we will have something to withdraw from.

If something is important, we must wire it into our daily schedule.  It needs to become a habit. What we do every day matters most. We become what we habitually do. No one is naturally positive. They develop that mindset through conditioning. “Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.” Confucius

Cultivating a spirit of gratitude each morning is highly effective at promoting a positive outlook. It helps us put everything in better perspective. It is easy to ignore all of our blessings and focus on all of our challenges. As we have already discussed, that is our natural programming. We look for lack and attack. Like the news, it creates a distorted perspective. Gratitude helps us gain a truer perspective. We shouldn’t ignore our problems, but neither should we ignore our blessings. Only by looking at both to we gain a more accurate perspective.

I recommend keeping a gratitude list in your journal. Gratitude is highly effective at chasing away negative thoughts. Negative feelings are incompatible with gratitude. We cannot be upset and grateful at the same time. The most effective way to combat negative thoughts and feelings is with gratitude. Remind yourself of all your blessings. Put the problem in perspective. Ask yourself, what can I do to make this situation better.

Commit to spending 5-minutes each morning re-reading your gratitude list, and updating it occasionally will give you a much better perspective on life. This tiny investment of time, repeated daily, will pay huge dividends. In a few weeks, you will begin to notice that you are complaining less, and doing more. Negative emotions, like negative people, are draining. Consistency is the key. Anything worth doing is worth doing daily.

After we have identified all our blessings, I suggest we spend 5-minutes reviewing our goals. When we review our goals, we reconnect with our values. It helps us to avoid the trap of being swept-up by daily obligations that distract us from what is truly important to us. It is easy to get caught up in our daily obligations and neglect to work toward our personal goals. Neglect is normal, but our challenge is to do better. We will be much more likely to take daily actions towards achieving our goals if we begin each day reconnecting with them. Focus on consistency. Commit to taking at least one action every day, no matter how small. “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” Jim Rohn

So what does pursuing our goals have to do with cultivating a positive attitude? When we are pursuing a goal, life takes on special meaning. Our life becomes purposeful. The bigger your dreams, the more they will inspire you to act. When we pursue our dreams, it forces us to become more than we are. Nothing is more universally linked to happiness than progress. Tony Robbins often says, “progress equals happiness,” and I agree.

Progress activates our dopamine system. When our dopamine system is activated, we are more positive, excited and eager to pursue our goals. I believe self-improvement should be everyone’s goal because making improvements in any area of our life leads to lasting happiness. When we stop growing, we start dying. In life, we are either saying hello, or saying goodbye.

So far, we have spent approximately 10-minutes identifying our blessings and reviewing our goals. Last, I would recommend you workout for 20-minutes. As you learned during Week-3 (Morning Exercise) It’s for the Mind more than the Body, exercise not only stimulates the release of endorphins which make us feel wonderful, it also stimulates the production of Brain-derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF).

BDNF is a protein vital to the health and function of your brain and peripheral nervous system. BDNF has often been described by scientists as “Miracle-Gro for the brain” because it stimulates the production of new neurons. Low levels of BDNF is linked to Alzheimer’s, accelerated aging, poor neural development, neurotransmitter dysfunction, obesity, depression, and even schizophrenia.

Beginning your day working-up a sweat is going to prime your mind and body for the day ahead. After a few workouts, you’ll start to notice you have more energy. Working out in the morning also allows you to begin each day with a sense of accomplishment, which also activates our dopamine system. Morning exercise primes the mind and body. It increases our metabolism and energy. It improves our mood, focus, and impulse control. It simply makes us feel wonderful. 

If you don’t exercise regularly, begin by taking a brisk walk each morning. The key is to get started doing something that simple and easy; build momentum. Make it as enjoyable as possible. Create a great music playlist or listen to something that inspires and motivates you during your walks. There are a lot of great YouTube channels that provide great motivational speeches set to music. Listening to these during a workout will energize and inspire you. It is like having a coach or personal trainer giving you encouragement during your workout. We all need a little push, especially in the beginning. 

believe (workout motivation video).PNG

Click to watch.

Do it every day until you are conditioned to do it, without the need to muster up much willpower. If you are pressed for time, it is better to do 5-10 minutes, than to skip the workout. Good is not the enemy of great. Inconsistency is the enemy of progress. You want to make a commitment to yourself and keep it every day. Every day you do it, you’ll be making another deposit into your self-esteem account. Make morning exercise something you do, no matter what. Focus on making your workouts as enjoyable as possible and doing them as consistently as possible.

After it has become a habit, you can start building up the intensity a little at a time. There is no rush. Life is a marathon. Avoid the urge to push too hard too soon. The worst thing you can do is make your workouts drudgery. Pushing too hard too soon could cause you to quit, and that would be a terrible outcome. Don’t focus on optimal, focus on sustainability. Consistency is the key. We form habits, then they form us. “We become what we repeatedly do.” Sean Covey

You don’t need any equipment to begin an exercise program. Learn more, THE NO EQUIPMENT, NO EXCUSES WORKOUT. Don’t overcomplicate exercise. Complexity is the enemy of execution. Start out small and easy. Focus on building momentum through doing a little each day. Focus on consistency. Make a small commitment to yourself and keep it. Wire the activity into your day. Make consistency your top priority and everything else will fall into place.

As you develop these three habits, you will begin to recognize negativity in yourself and others. Awareness is the first step in transformation. Gradually your new positive conditioning will replace the old. You’ll notice you have more energy. You’ll stop complaining about things. You’ll start viewing life through an empowering positive lens. Instead of complaining about problems you’ll recognize your ability to address them.

You’ll do more and complain less. You’ll have more energy and vitality because you’ll have eliminated most of the negative thoughts that use to drain you. It is hard to eliminate all negative thoughts, but when they surface, you’ll recognize them as a problem. You will immediately begin to put them in proper perspective by counting your blessings.

I hope you will accept this week’s challenge to cultivate a more positive outlook on life. Being negative is normal. It doesn’t require any effort, but it certainly takes a toll on your emotional state and energy levels. I hope you accept the challenge to wake-up each morning energized to pursue what is truly important to you each day. How you begin each day determines how you live each day. Start your day with intention. Don’t allow yourself to sleepwalk through life like most people do, being reactive instead of proactive. Allowing the negativity of others to affect your attitude and energy. Begin with the desired outcome in mind; a positive outlook on life where you feel energized to pursue your dreams and desires.

Until next week, good luck!

Key Points:

  1. Control the spirit of your day: Listen to something inspirational, the first 15-20 minutes after waking up.
  2. Stand guard at the entrance of your mind: Don’t allow all the negativity around you to creep into your mental factory.
  3. Begin each day with Gratitude: Review a list of things you are grateful for, a gratitude list, to help put your problems in proper perspective.
  4. Reconnect with your goals: Review your goals each morning.
  5. Begin each day working up a sweat. Starting your day with 20-minutes of exercise will improve your outlook on life, rev-up your metabolism, increase your energy, and mental focus.

Until next week, good luck!

All actions begin with our thoughts. Everything is created twice, first in our mind, and then in reality. Change your habits, change your life! 

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Best wishes and Best Health!

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Book Available on AMAZON [Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook]

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

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