Category Archives: Motivation

Knowing When to Jog & When to Sprint On Your Goals

In my previous post, Find Your Why, Repeat Your Why I’ve talked about life and motivation working like a roller coaster. That there are going to be up’s and down’s for everyone, and that recognizing this, and knowing how to work with this natural flow, can help you not only overcome the lows, but also to keep things in perspective.

Something I’ve found to be incredibly helpful, is understanding and applying the differences between standing still, jogging, and sprinting in anything that you do.

Standing still is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when we’re not moving at all, when we feel stuck, when we’re not making any progress towards our end goals. Standing still is quite possibly the worst place we can be.

Just as iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water putrefies…

If you’re feeling stuck, and find that you’re standing still, one of the quickest way to get unstuck, is by taking the smallest step you can. A Little Victory can go a long way in getting you from standing still, to jogging, and once you start jogging you can turn your focus to keeping that pace.

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Start by thinking of the smallest, littlest step you can take towards one of your goals. Have a goal to read more? Just open the book and read one sentence. Have a goal to exercise more? Just do one sit up. Any goal that you have, think of the smallest littlest bit of work you can do towards that goal, and do it. By taking this one small step, your suddenly, no longer standing still. Now if we can do this again the next day, and then again the next day… you’ll suddenly realize, you’re jogging.

Jogging through life is a solid baseline to making great progress towards your goals. Too often people try to work back-and-forth between standing still and sprinting. They’ll procrastinate working on their goals until they have a sudden burst of motivation. Then they’ll shift to sprinting until they gas themselves out and wind up standing still again. This goes back to the up-and-down, motivational roller coaster, that people ride.

One is always greater than zero. This mindset will help you keep ‘jogging’ towards your goals. 1 > 0

What we want to try and avoid is riding a roller coaster that has such steep inclines and declines. What we ultimately end up with is a lot of hard work on a sprint, only to lose most of that work while we’re standing still. Anytime we end up in the standing still scenario, our goals become farther and farther away. This is what makes jogging and little victories so important.

By getting into a good pace of jogging, and working towards our goals every day, we raise the bottom line of our effectiveness. Instead of taking a zero for a long period of time while we stand still, we’re getting a one, and one’s start to add up quick. Think about it, if you only even did the smallest amount of work towards a fitness goal, say one pushup a day. By the end of the year, you’ll have completed 365 pushups. If you’re not a person who normally works out, that’s most likely 365 more pushups than you did last year, and that’s pretty solid progress.

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Knowing how to go from standing still to jogging is a must. Where I find I tend to struggle is recognizing when to go from jogging to sprinting and back down to jogging. What I’ve found to work the best over the course of my life is that if we can get ourselves to jog at a regular daily pace, we then just have to identify the right times to sprint.

Sprint ahead on your goal when the daily routine starts to become boring.

I’ve found two moments that have really stood out to me as great times to sprint. The first, when the jog has started to become mundane. When you usually start jogging, it’s new. Your body and mind are adapting to the new pace and the new way your day is unfolding, but after a while, your body adapts and what was once difficult, and interesting, has now become boring and repetitive. These are some of the best times to start sprinting.

In these cases, I use sprinting to provide some variety form the mundane and to push my regular routine a little bit farther. If I’m reading one page a day from my book, I might sprint and read for 30 minutes, and then adjust my “jog” to start reading two pages a day. This short sprint tends to recharge my mindset on what I’m working towards, reinvigorating me, and then I slow back down from the sprint, but at a higher level jog. This has been great for pushing forward when things get dull.

Sprint ahead on your goal when things start to “feel” right.

The other time I love to sprint on something I’m working towards is when the opportunity feels right. I say, “feels” because it’s not always something that you can really quantify. It’s more of that feeling of knowing everything is starting to line up, you’re feeling great, and deep down you just know, it’s time to sprint. As I’m writing this article, this is exactly the sprint I’m taking. I’ve been working on this article a little bit at a time, but today, for whatever reason, this piece really just felt right to sprint on, so here I am, typing away.

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These types of sprints tend to be more about opportunity. They aren’t an attempt to push yourself farther or to try and overcome routine. These types of sprints fall more into the creative category. When you’re just, “feeling it” sort of sprint. These are important sprints to recognize and take advantage of, because they tend to come and go as they please and are not always aligned with our plans, however they can help us make great strides towards our goals. When ever you’re starting to feel, that little bit of extra motivation and you can see the pieces falling into place, it’s time to sprint!

Remember that sprinting towards something can not only help us take great strides towards the things we’re working for, but can also be used to shake things up and help get us to that next level of jogging.


How To Wake Up Early In Two Steps

4 AM

That’s how early I was waking up and hitting the pavement to run. Every morning…

It was crazy, to be honest.

But I was extremely motivated for an upcoming 5k that I was competing in and it was giving me huge drive to be up, and running, before work.



Eventually, I was able to run my 5k and still maintain my early routine, but around Christmas I got sick… Which basically reset my sleep schedule and made it extremely difficult to start waking up early.

Now I’m back on the path to waking up early and I want to share the tips that are working for me and how you can implement them into your own routine, if you also want to become an early riser.

1. Make It Automatic

Have you ever heard of Pavlov? Maybe you’ve heard of Pavlov’s dogs? If you haven’t, Pavlov was a Russian scientist who, in the 1890’s, conducted a small test, and learned that he could train his dogs to do things, just by playing a particular sound.

His test showed that he could ring a bell, show a dog a treat, and the dog would salivate in anticipation of getting that treat. After a few rounds of this, Pavlov could then remove the treat from the equation, simply ring the bell, and the dog would still salivate, despite there being no treat.

Now, we’re not dogs, but understanding that we can train our bodies using similar methods, can help us to become early risers. What we are aiming to do is train our bodies, so that when it hears the sound of the alarm clock, we immediately get out of bed.

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We start this process by setting our alarm clock for the normal time that we already wake up. So if you typically wake up at 7 AM, and rush to get to work. That’s okay. We want to start training our bodies with the normal time we already wake up, even if we are always in a rush.

It’s very important that we start where we already are. Don’t try to be wishful and think, “Oh I’ll start at 6:45 today” when you haven’t even been getting up at 6:45 since pre-covid….

Set your alarm for when you already, normally, get out of bed.

Now when that alarm goes off, before you turn the alarm off. Jump out of bed. Literally, get out of bed the second that alarm goes off. This shouldn’t be too terribly difficult if you’ve set your alarm for the correct time you already, naturally get out of bed, so… again…be sure you’re setting the correct time.

The key element here is that when your body hears that alarm sound, it’s response is to get out of bed quickly. What we’re essentially doing is training our bodies response to the sound of the alarm, similar to Pavlov training his dogs to salivate, at the ring of a bell.

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2. Make It Small, but Always More Challenging

Along with training our bodies we also need to progressively move our wake up time towards our target time. So if we want to train our bodies to wake up at 5:45 AM, we need to start working in that direction. The trick to doing this is actually understanding how our minds tend to work as we aim for a goal.

When we set goals, we naturally tend to think, “What’s the truest way to reach my goal?” but this also tends to include, “What’s the fastest way?

Our minds naturally want to find the most efficient path to reaching our goal, so that we can obtain that goal, and benefit from it, but this is also where we make our mistake.

What I’ve seen happen in myself, and other people, is that we tend to get caught up in getting to our goal. It overwhelms the actual process to getting to that goal, and the moment anything happens that looks like it might not be as easy to reach your goal as you thought, things start to fall apart.

BUT, there’s a way around this and it’s as simple as not worrying about how quickly you are getting to your goal. When we’re talking about waking up early, and our target time is 5:45 AM, we should not be taking 15 minute jumps on when our alarm goes off, compared to when we typically wake up. We should instead slowly, over-time, move our alarm clock backwards.

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This small process, of making these tiny incremental changes, along with training your body to react to the sound of your alarm clock, will train you to wake up early.

I’m currently dialing my alarm clock back 5 minutes everyday as I work towards my goal time. I’m sure I will have a day where I miss or I will reach a time where it seems like I can’t wake up.

When that happens, I’ll adjust my alarm clock back 1 minute to my last successful wake up time instead. Then I’ll slowly adjust back by 1 minute, until I feel like I’ve overcome that more challenging spot in the process. Then I’ll go back to adjusting by 5 minutes.

The idea is that we want to make these tiny steps every day. We don’t want to try and rush to reach our wake up time. People rush to reach their goals all the time. It’s why fad diets are a thing and why they don’t work. Don’t rush. Let the process roll out overtime and put more focus on just always make a small improvement and you’ll get there.


There Is No Finish Line

How many goals have you set and achieved?

What does your success ratio look like?

If it’s anything like mine, it’s about 2:9843455….

So why is achieving our goals so difficult? Well there can be a number of different reasons, but I think that ultimately there is one key flaw in our goal setting that is holding us back and I don’t think it has anything to do with the goal itself.



Have you ever asked yourself what would happen after you’ve reached your goal?

Let’s say you wanted to lose some weight. You sign up for an 8 week program, you do that program, you lose some weight… and then what?

What happens after that 8 weeks?

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What happens after you’ve reached your goal?

This is the area of time I don’t think enough people consider when they are setting their goals. What happens AFTER you’ve reached your goal? Well if you go back to behaving like you did prior to starting your goal…

Guess what’s going to happen to your weight…

People tend to be terribly short-sighted when it comes to goal setting. It’s just a natural part of who we are as human beings. We’re quick to jump on a new strategy or plan if we think it will get us to our goal faster but we’re not stopping to consider what happens if we actually reach that goal and we’re especially not considering what happens after.

What we’re really missing some perspective on, is the journey towards the goal.

It’s not the goal that gets us in shape, it’s the pursuit of that goal that gets us in shape.

It’s the journey that gets us in shape.

David Goggins, one of the most intense athletes I know, once said,

“An NFL football player comes up to me and says, “Goggins can I ask you a question? How do you keep that dog mentality?”

And I said, “Let me ask you a question? When you were younger, what did you want to be?”

He said, “An NFL football player… but once I got there I lost that dog mentality…”

He had a finish line in his brain. Guess what, a true dog mentality…

I have a dog at home, he never gets full.”

You see even those that can achieve amazing accolades, those that can reach the peak of athleticism, can reach their goals and not know what to do next.

This is the same mistake many people, including myself, make when setting their own goals. Our mind is too far spent thinking about the finish line, and not about the journey.

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The journey is really where we should be putting our time and effort in to.

But yes, we do still need a goal. A goal sets us on the journey. It gives us a direction, but the goal should only give us the direction. It should only be to point us to where we want to go, it shouldn’t be a finish line.

So the next time you set a goal, don’t set one that has a finish line. Set one that is grossly unachievable (Setting Big Goals: What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up) and then spend your time focusing on the journey.

Don’t worry about ever trying to achieve your goal, worry about what you’re doing today, that is taking another step on the journey.

Go all in on the journey and never stop walking the path!


How To Put Bad Things Into Perspective

Ever had a day where things just weren’t working out? Maybe life decided to throw you a little curve ball or you just had a bad day. That tends to happen from time-to-time but there’s one thing you can do to really change that.



Most times when we start to get down about a situation we tend to focus on the situation itself. We start thinking within the context of that situation. We basically zoom in and focus on just that moment.

Think about someone who has had a bad morning and then that bad morning carries on into the rest of the day. While only the morning was bad, that feeling of a bad morning continues on with that person throughout the day.

That’s because this person is still very zoomed in on that morning. Their thoughts and focus are still zoomed in to that exact moment.

Think about when someone has road rage. That moment where they are angry or frustrated with other drivers is an extremely zoomed in moment. When I say zoomed in I mean, they are really only thinking about their current situation. They are thinking about the traffic, their day, and probably why they’re late to where they need to be going.

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Another common situation when things aren’t working out and we are very zoomed in is in our goal setting. When we try to set a goal and achieve it but we misstep or we fail some where. Maybe we miss a day going to the gym or we relapse on trying to quit smoking.

Often times when that happens for people the next thing that follows is them giving up on that goal all together and abandoning it. That one bad day, that one slip up, ruined the entire thing for them. They are still very zoomed in and focused on this one mistake.

BUT, there’s a better way you can deal with all of these situations and scenarios and it’s not hard to do. It’s probably more difficult to just remember to do it but it does work.

Whenever we have a situation like this, where we’re feeling like things aren’t working or we’re feeling frustrated, all we have to do is take a second to zoom out.

photo cred: Krissana Porto

We tend to try and think of our lives in only the present. We tend to think that only the current moment and maybe the next few moments or the previous few moments really ever matter. When we take a second to zoom out and think about where this moment in our life really fits, we realize how insignificant this small moment is.

Yes maybe you’re stuck in traffic today, but where does that land in the scope of your life to this day? Do those 20 or 30 minutes really matter in the scope of 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years of your life?

When you start zooming out and thinking more about the overall timeline of your life, it becomes much easier to not be bothered by smaller unfortunate happenings in life. Once you realize that even having a bad hour in the morning really means nothing in the scope of your entire life, you realize your morning really wasn’t that bad.

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Missing a goal or making a mistake and then zooming out and realizing that one or two slip ups doesn’t have to define the entire year for you can help you put those mistakes into perspective. Most people aren’t perfect and are going to make mistakes.

Instead of focusing in and being zoomed in on those mistakes, zoom back out and think about your life as a whole. See the bigger picture and understand where that mistake falls when you look at the timeline of your life.

It can be incredibly difficult to remember to zoom out but zooming out is one of the most effective ways to put perspective on any situation. So the next time you’re having a bad day pause and take a second to zoom out. See how much that bad day really matters in the scope of your entire life.


How Many Goals Should I Have?

I used to ask this questions all the time. How many goals should I have? Should I have just one big goal that I focus all my energy on? Should I have 3 goals so I don’t put all my eggs in one basket? Should I have more goals? Less? How the hell do I figure out how many goals I should have?!?

This was a really difficult question for me to answer for myself. I kept going around and around on the right number of goals until I made a couple of discoveries about myself. Like always, I sat down, opened up a couple of books and started diving into how goal setting worked and how to do it right. It only took me roughly 10 years to actually figure it out…



When I first started out, I used to set 1 goal. One target that I would work towards. This actually worked out fairly well for me seeing as outside of that 1 goal I was in my 20’s and spent most of my other free time doing dumb shit like most of us do in our 20’s.

photo cred: Danny Howe

There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s important to understand that at that point in life, having 1 goal can work great when you don’t really have a lot else that you are looking to achieve.

As I started to get older, a little more ambitious… 1 goal wasn’t enough. I didn’t just want more than 1 goal, I needed to have more than 1 goal. I started a career, a family, becoming a home owner, etc, etc, etc… I didn’t just want more goals I had a need for them and so I started playing around with the idea of 3-5 goals at a time.

This strategy actually felt like it worked less than 1 single goal. Where as before, I could dump as much time in as needed, as I was getting older, I was having less and less time for things, and having more goals was spreading me even thinner.

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I stayed stuck in this sort of limbo where I had too much going on and then on top of that too many goals that I wasn’t actually achieving very much.

I had no problem laying out my goals in my mind and how I wanted to do them but I was terrible at execution. I just couldn’t make it all work out correctly. I would have a plan, but I just couldn’t execute on that plan…

Then one day, about 3 months ago, I made a new discovery…

The problem wasn’t how many goals I had set…. The problem was really two -fold. I had this expectation that I needed to achieve each of my goals at 100% perfection. So if I couldn’t get up and go to the gym and lift thousands of pounds for an hour straight, then I just wouldn’t workout that day. Perfection became my poison

I also then played victim to, “I don’t have any time to work on my goals.” What I mean is, I didn’t have time to sleep in, go to work, take care of my kids, watch movies, play video games, screw around on weekends, AND achieve my goals.

What I learned was I felt I had to be perfect and I felt I had to devote more time to my goals than I really needed to. Once I eliminated those two factors, I was able to take on multiple goals. Multiple…. like.. 10+ goals… and I’m actually able to achieve them.

You see when you stop worrying about being perfect and you stop worrying about needing all this time to actually do it you can have as many goals as you want and make movement on them! Let me walk you through an example.

Let’s say you want to:

1. Get in shape

2. Write a book

3. Start a new diet

4. Earn a promotion

5. Remodel your kitchen

6. Get out of debt

7. And read a book

That all seems like a lot, especially if you consider you probably have a normal life on top of that. A job, kids, a marriage, bills, housework… so how do we make all of that fit into a single day? By being in it for the long-game.

photo cred: Capstone Events

Instead of trying to achieve all of these things in day, or a week. Be in it for the long-game. Play the long-game here and chip away at each of these goals every day. So while you will still have to get up and go to work, pick the kids up from school, do homework with them, and do your housework, you should also then…

Do 1 sit up.

Write 1 sentence for your book.

Pack 1 healthy snack for tomorrow.

Write down 1 work item you can accomplish.

Buy 1 item you need for your kitchen remodel.

Balance 1 part of your budget.

Read 1 sentence in your book.

Not one of those items on that list takes longer than 5 minutes. And the more you keep doing each one, the more you do it day-after-day, not expecting perfection, but chipping away at it each day, the better you’ll get at it.

Before long, you’ll say, “You know I’ve been doing 1 sit up for 2 weeks now, I think it’s time to do 2.” And then you’ll do it again, for another goal, and if you keep doing that, if you keep chipping away….

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Then in a year, you’ll have, completed 365 sit ups, written 365 sentences, eaten 365 healthy snacks instead of junk, completed 365 work tasks, taken 365 steps to a new kitchen, budgeted 365 times, and read 365 sentences.

You will have made so many more strides and steps towards your goals than you ever had before! So lay out your goals and lay out lots of them. Do as many as you want to do and plan to do them a little at a time. Small steps that chip away daily at the goal.

Play the long-game and you will reach your goals.


How To Stop Failing At Your Goals

Reaching our goals is tough. It’s so incredibly tough that most of us never actually reach them.

But there are some ways to actually making your goals much more of a reality and they’re not as complicated as you might think.


Let’s start with the big one. The number one reason people fail at achieving their goals is actually the elephant in the room. It’s not some surprise thing that their not doing or some off the wall trick that they just haven’t figured out yet. The main reason people fail at their goals…. is because they quit.

There I said it.

And it’s the big truth in anything I’ve ever seen people try to achieve or I’ve ever tried to achieve myself. Most people tend to have no problem starting a goal, it’s sustaining the goal that they fail at. It’s the waking up and showing up everyday part that most people can’t seem to get down. And here’s why.

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Most people expect to come at their goals at 100% every day. They expect that they are going to be highly motivated like they are when they first start their goal. They think they are going to come out and show up to their goal at 110% and crush it every day.

Then life comes in and punches them right in the mouth. A bad day comes along, they have a bad nights sleep, a shitty day at work, or something completely unforeseen happens, like getting into a car accident. And as soon as this bad day comes along, people quit. They say, “ya know I’ve had a rough day, I’m not feeling it today, so I’m going to skip.” Just like that, they’ve lost their goal.

photo cred: Dan Burton

What we can do though, is recognize that this is how life works. We can understand that life is going to purposefully try to throw us off, that life is going to come to us and say, “How bad do you really want it?” and when that happens, we have to be ready to answer.

There are two ways I’ve found to answer this question that life asks of us. The first is about getting back up. It’s about simply knowing that life is going to knock you down and it’s about getting back up anyways and trying again. Notice that I didn’t say it’s about getting up and getting it all done, no I said it’s about getting back up and trying again. It’s about not quitting, remember?

The second piece of advice is once you’ve gotten back up. Once you’ve mentally made the decision to try again understand that it doesn’t have to be all out. It’s better to have showed up and lost the fight than it is to have never shown up at all. What that means is that it’s better to show up to your goal and half ass it, than it is to never try at all.

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So if your goal is weight loss, it’s better to have done good on half your diet than none at all. If your goal is writing a book, it’s better to have written one sentence than none at all. If your goal is to quit smoking, it’s better to have reached have of your goal than it is to have completely abandoned the goal all together.

Remember, the number one reason people fail at their goals is because they quit. Because they think they have to do it at 110% everyday or it’s not worth anything. That perfectionist mindset is poison towards your goals. Don’t let yourself think that way.

Get up and give it 1% every single day.

Good or bad .

and never…

ever…

quit.

How to Reach your Goals in 24 Hours

Twenty-Four

It’s how many hours we each get in a day. Rich, poor, middle class. Black, White, Hispanic. Straight, gay, bi. We all get the same 24 hours.

We all get exactly the same amount of time to work with every day. No more and no less. Yet some people seem to get so much done while the rest of us are fighting to keep up. How do they do it? Is it because they have people to help them, trainers… chefs… assistants? Is that how they are doing it? If so, then how did they get to that point in the first place? Were they born with those trainers, chefs, and assistants?

Nope.

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The truth is, most people don’t start off getting everything done in a 24 hour period. The truth is, most people don’t get everything done in a 24 hour period but there is a key difference between the people we see with massive amounts of success and the every day joe.

That one key is consistency.

You see most of the time, when we see someone with massive success we are seeing them at their peak. Think about it, when we’re inspired by an athlete or a musician, an action star or a politician, a motivational speaker or an author we are seeing them at their peak moment. The moment where they’ve finally reached great levels of success.

How many people knew J.K. Rowlings before Harry Potter? How many people knew Taylor Swift before 1989? How many people knew Steph Curry before 2015? It’s not to say that these people were completely unknown, but they weren’t household names prior to these moments.

photo cred: Dominic Hampton

What we’re not seeing though is how they got to those moments. We don’t see their 24 hours, every day that led up to those moments. But if you take the time to look at their 24 hours leading up to those massive successes you’ll notice some similarities.

  1. They weren’t perfect. They had off days, but they showed up every day.
  2. They had drive. They kept trying and trying and trying. Every 24 hours.
  3. They didn’t waste their 24 hours. They didn’t say, “gosh I need a break.”
  4. They put in the work, every 24 hours.

They did all of this before the trainers, before the assistants, and before the chefs. They did it even when they could have been watching netflix or going out partying. They did it even when they could have been playing video games or napping. They put in the work for a full 24 hours every day.

photo cred: Markus Spiske

And that is the secret hard truth to getting it all done in 24 hours. It’s about sleeping less, playing less, and working more and for some that sounds unenjoyable. For some, people say, “well I don’t want to live that kind of life that sounds miserable” but I think this is the mistake most people make. They equate hard work to not being enjoyable. They think that life is about comfort. That it’s about avoiding hard work and then they can’t figure out why they feel a sense of unfulfilled potential.

But I think if you asked Taylor Swift if she has fun writing her music she would say yes. If you asked J.K Rowling if she had fun writing her book, she would say yes. If you asked Steph Curry if he has fun practicing basketball, he would say yes.

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So when you look at what you want to do with your 24 hours and how you can manage to get it all done, if you’re thinking it all looks like a lot of miserable work, then you’re probably going to wind up on the couch again. If you can look at what you’re doing in your life and remember why you enjoy it, why you got started with it, you’ll be right on track to be in line with some of the greatest!