Tag 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.


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!


Input = Output

It’s easy for us to understand that what we eat directly affects how our bodies look and function. What we put in, is what we get back out.

Where we sort of get tripped up is in realizing that this concept of consuming goes much broader than just the meals we set down in front of our faces.

Input is more than just food, it’s what we watch, what we read, who we talk to, and what we listen to.



Input is input. When we are dieting, input is easy to see. We can track the food we’re consuming, what it was, how many calories were in it, and overall if it’s good for us. We can easily relate good input to giving us good output.

When it comes to not food things we don’t seem to make the same connections. We tend to forget that the people we hang around with often times shape us. We forget that the songs we listen to put us in better moods. We forget about that connection of input = output when it comes to things that are not food.

Let’s consider a few different categories of input and look at how they can impact our lives, our health, and our happiness.

What type of social media accounts or news outlets do you use or read? What are the people talking about in those outlets? Do they talk about positive things? Things that build you up or give you confidence? Do they talk about negative things and things to be afraid of? Do they offer you new knowledge that you didn’t have prior, like a ‘How to’ video? Or do they offer you entertainment and a smile?

photo cred: Freestock

Everything that we look at on the internet and on our phones is feeding us some type of content and as we watch that video clip or read that article we are consuming that content. So what do we know about consuming? Well we know input = output and that should be telling us something about what media we’re consuming.

I think there is a very strong relationship to the type of content we consume and the type of output we generate in the world. Sort-of… a Clockwork Orange just maybe not as extreme.

When you’re working through different things in your life and you’re trying to change a situation or change a scenario that you’re in, think about the amount of content you are consuming in regards to that change.

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Do you want to get in better shape? Then not only should you be eating well and exercising, you should be consuming fitness content in that same regard. When you’re on social media, are you following accounts that promote healthy eating and exercise? Or are you laughing at that next meme about eating cheeseburgers?

Do you want to pick up a new hobby? Then find a book on how to do that hobby and a couple of online bloggers who already do it. Most likely a few of them are already showcasing some of their work on some social media platform that you can learn from. Follow them and consume their content.

Do you want to do better with your mental health? Check what content you may already be consuming that is detrimental to your mental health. Do you read a lot of sad stories or watch content that is, by nature, depressing? Try changing up what you’re inputting into your mind set and swap those out with something a little more up beat or positive. See if that change in input doesn’t affect your output.

In most cases than not, a lot of us our products of our environments. Not by choice, but by nature. That’s not to say we can’t change who we are or even go against that nature, but rather it’s very easy for us to simply fall in line with what’s around us.

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One of the best ways to improve your situation, whether it’s a bad situation you want to make better OR a good situation you want to make the best, is to check what you are inputting into that system and understanding that it has a dramatic affect on what you’re outputting.

I’d love to share some ideas others have of how they are taking input and turning it into positive output in their lives. If you have a great source of input I’d love to hear and share it!

Some of my top sources of positive input come from a number of motivational speakers like Inky Johnson and Gary Vaynerchuck. I also love to consume the content of Ray Dalio & Stephen Covey.

What content do you consume that helps give you great output?


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.

The Two Rare Skills You Need To Be Wildly Successful

There’s a lot of things out there to learn in life.

I remember being fresh out of high school and changing my major about 500 different times never really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I felt like I had to find the right skillset or I wouldn’t be setup to be successful later in life. Unfortunately, the skillsets you need to actually be successful in life aren’t even taught in the class room.

For anyone out there reading this and trying to figure out how to be successful at what they’re doing, understand that it has nothing to do with what you’re actually doing. The two skills that you need to truly be successful can be applied to any job, any relationship, and any situation. They are the secrets to success.

Skill #1

photo cred: Moritz Mentges

The first skill is the most important one. It’s the one that actually creates action and makes things happen. Skill #1 is Work Ethic.

Work ethic means that if you put in the hours, you put in the work, you collect feedback, and you take time to learn, you will find success. Work ethic is the number one ingredient to making things happen.

Life is often times like a set of dominos except every so many dominos gets bigger and harder to fall over. Each time you knock down a domino, a couple of them fall, but then they get stuck on a domino that is even bigger than the others. That’s when you have to come along and work to make that next domino fall.

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And they don’t just keep falling for you. That’s a trick that a lot of people fall in to. They think they can just work hard for a few days, a few weeks, a few months, and then dominos will just keep falling, but that’s just not how it works. Your domino’s will stop falling and you will have to go put in more work to make the next one fall.

Skill #2

photo cred: Nathan Dumlao

The second skill goes right along with the first. It’s what keeps us honest and balanced and it’s life’s way of making sure you earn what you get. The second skill is Patience.

We live in such a, “give it to me now” society and we’re so used to instant gratification. We want to do one workout, one little project, one day of hard work, and then expect the lavish rewards. Life doesn’t reward you for one single great effort. Life rewards you for consistency. You can’t go to the gym once and get in shape, you have to do it every day, over-and-over and to get to that point, you have to be patient.

Lacking patience is what makes people quit too soon. The lack of patience has people hitting the gym for a week and then giving up because they don’t see any difference on the scale without realizing how close they really are to getting there.

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Try to understand that life is longer than you think. All of that, life is short talk that you see online is garbage. It’s just another marketing point to get you to spend money. “Life is short, take the vacation…” but the truth is, life is pretty fucking long. You literally spend years of it drinking and partying (aka college) and then come out the other side 10 years later with a job and a family.

Life is long, be patient with your goals and with yourself.

If you take these two skillsets and you mix them together you have everything that you need to be successful. Don’t expect to put in 1 day of hard work and reach your dreams. You haven’t earned it and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone else that had. Life rewards you with what you deserve. Work hard, be patient, and reach a point where life has no choice but to reward you.


Living in the Present and Staying in the Game

It’s so often easy to let ourselves get caught up in the things that happen in our lives. We always seem to end up in one of two places, either thinking about the past or thinking about the future. And the thing about both of these places is that they cause us to end up frozen in the present.

When we’re thinking about the past we’re typically dwelling on a situation that we either wish we could live again OR that we wish we had done differently. When we’re thinking about the future it’s typically some form of anxiety or worry. Hoping for something to workout a certain way or uncertain of how things will happen.

What we don’t realize is that when we go to either of these places we actually drive our own mental cars into the ditch. We put ourselves in a situation where we have now become stuck. If you’ve ever actually had your car get stuck somewhere in a snowy or muddy ditch you know it takes a lot of effort to get it back out. Typically it takes some outside help, like a tow truck, to pull you back on to the road.

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In life, a lot of times we do this same thing. We get ourselves stuck in a ditch and we sit there waiting for the next tow truck to come along and pull us out. Waiting for the next thing to happen in life that will brighten our mood and get us out of that ditch so we can get back on the road.

But while we’re sitting in that ditch dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, everyone else’s car is driving right past us. The rest of the world keeps moving forward and what we fail to realize is all of the people that also get stuck in a ditch every now and then.

And that those that are happiest in life are the ones who know the tricks to getting themselves out of that ditch as quickly as possible so they can get back on the road.

That’s the key right there. Everybody falls into a ditch but the happiest people know how to get themselves out while the rest sit and wait for a tow truck.

So how do you get yourself out of that ditch on your own? The effort typically needed to get out of that ditch is so great. How can you ever match the strength and power of the tow truck to actually pull yourself out of that ditch?

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The secret is in realizing that you can only ever actually do anything in the present. Once you start to realize that you can only ever make a strategic move while in the present you understand that trying to do anything with the past or future is useless. You physically cannot make any changes to the past or future, understand that.

It’s sort of like the present is the basketball court or soccer field. The areas inside the field represent the present. All of the areas outside of the field, the fans on the sideline, the bench, the parking lot, everything outside of those lines is the area where you can’t actually play the game. They represent the past and future. You just simply can’t go to those areas outside of the field and actually make anything happen. It just doesn’t work that way.

photo cred: Victor Garcia

The way we take advantage of this is to get back onto the field or court and to just start doing things. Literally doing anything is still better than not being in the game at all. You have a better chance of winning if you are in the game than you ever will if you are on the sideline. If you’re on the sideline (stuck dwelling on the past or worrying about the future) you cannot make your situation better. You cannot get yourself out of the ditch.

BUT, if you put yourself into the game, you put yourself into the present and start doing things, you’ll find that suddenly you’re not stuck in the past or worrying about the future. You’ll find that suddenly, almost magically, you’ve pulled yourself out of that ditch and put yourself back onto the road without even realizing it.

So the next time you catch yourself feeling down about the past or worrying about the future go find something to do! Go for a walk, go read a book, go take a shower, go make a snack, go do something positive for yourself, or better yet someone else, and take action.

Take action in the present and get yourself back in the game.

Before you know it you’ll be out of that ditch and right back on the road.