#53 The Meta-Habit To Improve Your Life

Good Morning!

A common theme that keeps getting talked and written about in the personal development content I’ve been consuming for the past couple weeks is to read more books.

A lot more. A book per week minimum and the more the better.

This  idea was solidified after reading about this in a couple blogs and listening to other podcasts with Gary Vaynerchuk, T.K. Coleman, and then finally after watching episode 83 of the Ground Up podcast by Matt D’Avella with his guest James clear, the author of Atomic Habits.

Matt asked James “Is there a universal skill or habit for creators?”

Continue reading “#53 The Meta-Habit To Improve Your Life”

#51 Health Blog – Putting It All Together

Good Morning!

I wrote about getting the mind in the right place this week and how it is the most important part of any type of life altering journey weather it be fat loss, getting strong, leveling up in your business, refining your skills in craft you practice, or whatever else.

How you think and perceive the world around you is what is true for you.

A great quote comes to mind: “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali / Napoleon Hill

If you study personal development material all the time, this will be a core theme, and for good reason.  Let me breakdown the experience I had with this mantra this week.

If my mind can conceive it. 

To conceive something is to form an idea or a plan. I needed to figure out a way to make eating the correct diet for my body meal after meal, day after day extremely consistent.

I needed a plan for how to make anything I wanted to eat to not be a never ending battle of having to choose between pizza, wings, and beer or a nutrient loaded piece of meat with broccoli or brussels sprouts on the side.

And my heart can believe it.

The plan was to write a short tutorial on how to quickly change your mind about something. While reading and researching and writing, my perception food started to change on a fundamental level. 

When I was writing out the examples of visualizations, I was in a very powerful emotional state where I could easily reprogram how I think about food by experiencing those emotions of love and grief while thinking about how if feel about those foods.

The realization surfaced, easy as ever: It’s not the food you love, but the experience the food brings you that you love . I don’t love food; I love what the food brings me.

The memories of the food are now fuzzy while the memories of the people are now in focus and what drives the emotions when I remember.

I wasn’t happy because of the ice cream; I was happy because I was eating ice cream with someone I care about.

This is the magic step.  This is where the plan was proven.  This is where my eyes and soul became open and how my view of the world changed ever so slightly so that all of the food choices I need to make in the future become not a choice at all. 

This is where the saying “you have to believe it with all of your heart” comes from. Once this happens, all of the pieces fall into place.

Then I can Achieve it.

Discipline is the result of putting the plan into action. Discipline doesn’t give you an option to not do and complete your task, it is a must.  I don’t think about not eating the diet I’m supposed to because I don’t look at food the same way anymore.

I remember eating all of those foods in the past.  I cherish the memories about all of the good times I’ve had with the people surrounding those foods, but its not the foods I love so much, it’s the experience with the people and the people themselves.

Progress

The consistency in my diet is starting pay off already. I feel like the symptoms of inflammation the headache/itchy/stuffy nose/water retention, are really starting to subside and my body weight is now moving in the right direction again.

At The Gym

Yesterday, the Trainer and I chatted about diet and the related science of it before we got into the workout. I really enjoy this time, chatting with someone else that is just as interested and open minded towards diet, nutrition, and performance as I am.

After a good stretch, here’s what we did.

  • Warmed up with Farmer Walks using hex bar, 3 x 120 feet, progressive weight increase each set 145 lbs, 165 lbs, 185 lbs.
  • Super Set 3 x 12 each movement
    • Dumbbell Arnold Press, 25 lbs.
    • Single Arm Cable Tricep Pull Down, 30 lbs.
    • Inside Dumbbell Hammer Curls, 20 lbs.
  • Super Set 3 x
    • Cable Rear Deltoid Extension, 15 reps, 20 lbs each cable.
    • Battle Ropes, 30 seconds

Killer workout today! Definitely kept the heart rate up.

The Next Meal

Another espresso in the next few minutes and then a Steak with broccoli smothered in butter and left over brussels sprouts for dinner. So good I just might make it for lunch instead!

There is a lemon curd recipe that I like to make that I’m going to make without sugar this time and see how it turns out. Lemon curd goes really great with blackberries and raspberries.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Have a great day!

P.S. If you enjoy reading my content you can subscribe to the email list to get notified every time I publish new stuff on the blog.

P.P.S If you want to read up on why we store fat so easily, check out “The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Dr Jason Fung, MD.*

Disclaimer:
I am not a medical professional and I don’t claim to be.  Any health-related things that I write or talk about in my blogs, emails or how ever else you get the information from me should NOT be taken as medical advice. Make sure you check with your health-care provider that whatever it is that you want to do, is safe for you.  Any health-related information is intended for entertainment purposes only. Use at your own risk.

#45 Health Blog – Consistency Is Key

Good Morning!

When you figure out what works best for you, consistency is the key to long term success, and that’s true with everything, not just diet and exercise.

My obesity story is the same old story: always a larger person, been overweight since childhood, and I have some pretty deep rooted psychological diet related issues just like everyone else.

I’m one of those people who only has to look a picture of food to put on weight.

So here I am at 38 years old and 344.5 lbs.  

I know exactly how I got here: too much stress, choosing the easiest path, being lazy, being inactive, eating a lot of garbage food with poor nutrition, and performing all of these with a great measure of consistency which took little to no effort.

It seems that no matter what diet or workout you choose, the basis of any long term success story is consistency.  You have to keep on doing whatever it is that moves you in the direction of the success you want.  When you stop, your success stops.

To get a healthy and fit body, you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle; it’s part and parcel.  

I’ve herd it hundreds of times: losing fat and keeping it off is a lifestyle change.

A new ‘Lifestyle’ sounds a lot like the same old “diet and exercise” the doctor’s keep telling us about, except with one very important idea that I keep failing to understand:

A new lifestyle isn’t adding “diet and exercise” to your current lifestyle, it’s a fundamental change in mindset and how you feel about pretty much everything.

When a lifestyle change occurs from fat to fit-minded, diet and exercise consistency requires virtually no effort because you don’t think like ‘the old you’ anymore.

Just imagine there was a pill you could take that instantly made you feel repulsed by any food that was processed or that wasn’t good for your particular body and made physical activities the ones you enjoy doing the most.

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about, except there is no pill, it’s a like a light switch.

Lifestyle, as defined by Merriam-Webster is “the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture”.

By its definition, changing your lifestyle is changing what is typical or normal about how you think and do things.  For example, you will see on a fundamental level that birthday cake is just like a cigarette: it’s hyper-additive, health depleting, and will very likely be the cause of some disease you don’t want with prolonged use.

I know this all too well, having gone through this instant lifestyle change in past already: It’s exactly like how I became a non-smoker when I stopped smoking years ago.

It was like flipping a switch. I read a book and then made the decision not to be a smoker anymore.  I went to sleep one evening as a smoker and then woke up the following morning as a non-smoker. It really was that easy and it’s one the most peculiar things that has ever happened to me, it was like being deprogrammed or having all of the blinders taken off so I could see reality again.

The weird thing about being an instant non-smoker is, all of the things I did previously while in the act of smoking felt strange each time I did them the first time again being a non-smoker, but in a good way.

When I followed Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness back in the day, he had a saying: “You gotta get your mind right”.

I think this is exactly what he was talking about.

Finding what it is that flips the switch from fat-minded to fit-minded is what I’m struggling with because I don’t think its something I can find, it’s more like a realization and something that happens all by itself.

So yes, consistency is the key to both short and long term success for a fit and healthy body, but it’s effortless when you’re truly fit-minded.

Progress

No change in weight from Wednesday weigh-in.

It would be nice to see a continuous drop in weight every weigh-in, but I know that’s not how the body works, and especially when there is no ultra consistency in the diet. Unfortunately for me, that’s the most difficult part.

At The Gym

After warm-ups and stretching we got to work. The RMT did quite bit of work on my upper back and shoulders the day before so I wanted to make sure that everything was stretched out, warmed-up, and moving like it should.

We did super sets today that felt like two workouts in one. This routine is a bad ass one. I ended up taking a short break to recover my heart rate about half way through as you can see in the heart rate graph below.

Here’s what we did.

  • Standing Cable Rear Deltoid Extensions, 3 x 15, 10 lbs each arm
    • Super Set with Step-Up’s, 12″ platform, 30 seconds, body weight.
  • Battle Ropes, 3 x 30 seconds
    • Superset with stacked motions: side raise, iron cross, front raise and then reverse order, 1 x 8, 8 lb each hand.
    • Superset with Underhand Grip Barbell Raise, 2 x 12, 30 lbs.
  • Single Shoulder Press with Fat Grip, 3 x 12 each side, 25 lbs.
  • Dumbell Hammer Curl, 3 x 12, 20 lbs
    • Superset with Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks, 15 lbs.
  • Stacked motions: Dumbbell Tricep Extension + Dumbbell Hammer Curl, 1 x 12 and 1 x 7, 15 lbs. My shoulders were cooked!

The Next Meal

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll have seen the picture I posted of the Beef and Broccoli that I made. It wasn’t fancy, but sure was tasty. I ended up eating the whole lot.

I got some hot Italian sausages and I also have steaks, more broccoli, and cauliflower to cook up. Butter and cheese go well with cauliflower, right? Zomg this recipe.

And well, you know I love my coffee.* Check out the video I put together about my morning coffee ritual below.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

P.S. If you enjoy reading my content you can subscribe to the email list to get notified every time I publish new stuff posted on the blog.

P.P.S If you want to read up on why obesity happens, check out “The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Dr Jason Fung, MD.*

Disclaimer:
I am not a medical professional and I don’t claim to be.  Any health-related things that I write or talk about in my blogs, emails or how ever else you get the information from me should NOT be taken as medical advice. Make sure you check with your health-care provider that whatever it is that you want to do, is safe for you.  Any health-related information is intended for entertainment purposes only. Use at your own risk.

#42 Just Get Started

Good Morning!

Have you ever started researching a project only to get overwhelmed by all of the details, options, and choices? I know I have.

I like knowing all of the details before I start a project and I tend to put quite a bit of effort into planning things, so much so that sometimes I don’t start when I planned to.

This trap is called paralysis by analysis and it can be solved with just three little words:

Just Get Started

You don’t have to eliminate the planning process. The plan is still the most important part of any project, but once you get a rough outline of what you need to accomplish, get started on it.

Then as the project progresses you keep filling in the details and making choices and decisions along the way.

This can be a huge time and money savings method so that you can almost totally avoid having to rework something in your project because you couldn’t foresee certain details that only reveal themselves at each phase of the project.

Other times it’s just more fun and educational to learn as you go; you don’t need to know need to all of the fine details before you start to get the outcome you want and a lot of the time, experience is the best teacher.

So next time you’re looking at all the fine details and are starting to get overwhelmed, just get started.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

-Karsy

P.S. If you haven’t already you can get on the email list for an email notification every morning there is new content on the site. If you found some value in this article, I’d love it if shared it with your friends!

P.P.S. If you want to learn some great ways to get started and get things done, check out the book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. I picked up the audio book of the first edition way back in 2007 and it’s paid dividends since then. Click on the image below to pick up a copy for yourself.

#38 You Can Quit Tomorrow

Good Morning!

Whenever I start something that’s pretty difficult, about half to three-quarters the way through, the quitting thought crosses my mind.

I’ve quit on a few occasions to just go and do other activities if I just couldn’t stand it any longer, but not when it ever counted.

When I needed to get something done, I told myself “You can quit tomorrow”.

I forget where I got this saying from, but it’s no doubt from a fitness or health coach of some kind.

Next time you’re feeling like you’ve had enough and just don’t want to continue what you’re doing, just tell yourself you can quit tomorrow and get it done today.

When tomorrow comes and you feel the same way, say it again.

With enough repetition you will eventually work-out the perseverance muscle to the point where quitting will just be a passing thought.

Have a great day today.

-Karsy

#31 Success Is The Outcome Of Many Failures

Good Morning!

Last night I played the game Super Meat Boy for the live stream.  It’s regarded as one of the more difficult games in the platformer segment, and I wholeheartedly agree.

You can watch some of the stream replay below to get an idea of the game. If the video starts at the beginning, skip ahead to 24 minutes.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/426219920?t=24m30s


In the two hours that I played yesterday, I completed 4 levels.  Each of these levels I played no less than twenty attempts and for two of the levels that number is probably closer to one hundred. 

Being ok with failure and not getting overly frustrated is a requirement of playing this game.

I’m going to suggest that this game is a requirement for all Gamers to play so it can be learned, that failure is a part of gaming and necessary succeed.

Failure is a part of the game.

When we know that failure is a likely outcome before we start doing something, it’s much easier to use failure as a tool and not be frustrated, much like how Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Thousands of failures and learning exactly what not to do from each attempt, for the next.

But when we don’t expect failure is when we grow our perseverance muscle, get back up and try again.

I hope you enjoyed today’s short blog about failure. It’s OK to fail. Figure out what happened and try again.

The sun is starting to come out!

Have a great day!

-Karsy

#30 – 10 Benefits of Working Under Pressure

Good Morning!

Lately I’ve been giving myself about two hours to write in the morning before the daily post needs to be published.

Working under a time constraint has some powerful benefits if the amount of time allotted for task at hand has been estimated correctly.

I shoot for five-hundred words every single morning, formatted, edited, and polished.

These five-hundred words should be meaningful words.

Words that someone might find useful, inspiring, motivating, or that they can use to see a topic from a different point of view.

A time constraint means that a plan is required for success.  If there is only a short amount of time to complete a task, the task needs to be thought about, its process designed, analyzed, checked, and subjected to scrutiny if need be in order to ensure that the task is completed in time and of such quality that is acceptable.

Procrastination is nonexistent.  You just have to do it.

Decisions become a lot easier to make. There is simply not enough time to not take immediate action.

It will test your resourcefulness by having do deal with unforeseen issues as they arise.

Depending on the size of the task and the deadline, you might need to collaborate with others.  When more than one person is involved in a task, the quality of the work almost always increases.

It forces you to hyper-focus on each task you until completion.

You know exactly when the end is.  Who doesn’t want to start task and see the light at the end of the tunnel?

It makes planning everything else easier.  If you know a task is only going to take so long, you can manage time much more efficiently.

Reduces long term stress by knowing that there is a plan that works and certain end.

It provides accountability when the deadline isn’t met. In my case, I have automated controls for the email subscription service that will deliver all of the content I’ve published on the site since the last email, at 9am every morning. If my task isn’t complete by 8:59am, I’ll be delivering either unfinished content or no content at all. Poor or no content equal no readers and no readers equals no blog.

Plan your task, estimate your time the best you can, give yourself a deadline with accountability, and then get it done.

I hope you enjoyed reading and found this information useful. If you did, please share this content with your friends. I encourage you to get on the email list, the one that keeps me accountable.

Have a great day, the weekend is nearly here!

-Karsy

#28 Reprogramming Yourself

Good Morning.

I remembered the dream I had last night. When I remember my dreams and they’re more like reality than something out of a sci-fi novel (those are awesome ones btw) , I tend to try to understand the why behind it.

I don’t remember the specifics, but what I do remember is that it was the same type of situation that instantly gets me angry.  Some people call this being triggered.

It made me feel shitty.  I don’t like getting upset, much less angry.  I don’t need stress in my life like that.

It’s a personal trait that I find disgusting and I wish I could instantly change that it.  When I get provoked in a certain way, I am much too quick to anger. The question I have is why? This isn’t me. That’s not who I am.

As I’m writing this morning, I remember back when I was a kid I got really pissed off for some reason or another and I decided to leave where I was, and I walked home.

Like the dream, I don’t remember any of the specifics except a blue jacket, but it’s the same reaction, the same person the same frustration, the same anger. I haven’t thought about that in 30 years or more.

The very next thing that pops into my head is the saying “slow to anger, fast to forgiveness”.  Is that the answer to all of this?

Not being sure where I heard that, I do a quick search.

Its actually a passage from the bible: James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

I was raised in a family with Christian values and regular attendance to church, so it makes sense that I heard this when I was young.

Slow to anger.

I know what I have to do now. Time to reprogram.

What I’ve learned in the past is that if you want to change your habits, aside from actually doing whatever it is you want to do differently, you need to practice the new way of doing things so that when it comes time to perform in the moment you’re ready to make a conscious decision to do it differently without regret.

I think about things in a pretty simple and straightforward manner most of the time. I break things down into their simple forms so they’re easier to understand. Here’s what I came up with.

The Pattern: Input – Logic – Output

Existing: Triggering scenario – old thought process – quick to anger

New: Triggering scenario – new thought processslow to anger

Dissect the old thought process, change something specific, and then use a thought experiment to test the changes.

The more visual and vivid these thought experiments are the more effective they will be.

After the new thought process has been figured out, or at least pointed in the right direction, its time to rehearse it. Make it familiar

Just like it is with everything else, the more practice and experience you have with something, the easier it will be to use in the moment.

Just the act of writing this morning has been of great value to me. Making this particular trait of mine public removes the shame I’ve had for it.

Writing has allowed me to think about this scenario with an analytical and objective eye. I have no doubt that for this specific trigger I will now be slower to anger.

We have blue skies again today!

Have a great day!

-Karsy

#26 A Tool For Keeping Track of Everything

Good Morning!

Have you ever worked on a large personal project or a hobby?

If you have, you’ll know for sure how much of a pain it can be to wait for the stuff you need to keep working on your project.

Planning the wait time into the long to-do list will usually make the process a lot more enjoyable and it will allow you plan the lead-time of each task more easily.

When we create lists, they tend to be vertical, but they can also be written horizontal and into the third dimension by branching, or by using tools like a Gantt chart.

It’s all about visualizing the timeline of your project.

This is a Gantt Chart. Read all about them here.

By using a chart like this, it allows us to visualize the entire timeline of our projects. In doing so we can plan out all of wait time, including shipping time so that our projects flow more smoothly, are more enjoyable, and nearly all standstills can be avoided.

Scheduling software can be kinda clunky for personal projects, but a simple spreadsheet makes this super easy. Here is the Google Sheets Template to get you started.

Planning the timing of things can get really tricky and that’s the reason why writing things down, using a spreadsheet or even a simple task list can such a large impact the enjoyment of the project.

I hope this tool will help you planning out your projects or whatever else you’re working on. Let me know what you think in the comments or share some of your own tips!

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

-Karsy