Today is the second day of the year and the first Monday of the year. Many people like to make New Years Resolutions, I say the heck with that MAKE PLANS! Take action to achieve your dreams and goals. Do not make resolutions to make huge life changes, make a plan of attack! Figure out where you want to go and what you want to do then work backwards from that to achieve those goals. I hear people (myself included) saying I want to go on a long trip (making an example). They throw this out and never stop to think about what that is going to entail. They just say they want to do it! Then the following comes into play, how much money will I need, how much time will I need to take off, and what am I going to do on this trip. So knowing all of these details I suggest you start working backwards. Say, I need X amount of money. Ok, I need to save X percentage from this point on to achieve that amount. I need to tell my company or who ever you are responsible too that I will be off these days. Giving a heads up to someone is not a bad thing, it is better than surprising them with it later then you get turned down and disappointed. Then lay out a plan of attack of what you want to see and do on this trip. How much time will I spend in this place, what will I want to see, how much can I reasonably fit in given the time constraints. These are just a few things that need to be done if I wanted to plan a trip.
So stop making resolutions with no true plan of attack. Get out there and make your self better by adding a bit of planning in your life. What successful people know is that time is valuable, make the most out of it! This wait and see mentality or hoping things will fall in your lap will never get you any where. If you want something, get out there and get after it! You want to lose weight, put together a plan that will get you to that goal you want. The people that say these things and never take action piss me off! Sorry for the harsh language, but put plans in motion to achieve your goals! Share your knowledge with someone! Helping someone else can be helpful to you as well! Want that promotion at work, put in the time to really know your craft where people are going to see how valuable you are in your area of expertise! Want to run a marathon, put the time in to get the mileage to make that a reality!
Here is a video from coach Zacheven-Esh who runs an underground strength program! Here is his take on being lazy and get things going! We need more Entrepreneurs!
START THE NEW YEAR OFF RIGHT!!
The End of 2011
As the year comes to an end today I think back to all the good and the bad of 2011. I believe that you have to power to change things in your life if you do not give up on them. Many of us including me at times wonder at times “Why is this happening to me”! I am learning to stop thinking this way and embrace the things that are happening. Embrace the unknown and challenge your self to make the best of all situations. I for one have had a great deal of change in 2011. I quit my job at RealtyTrac which I had held for almost six years with no other job in site. I just felt it was time to make that change. I also found another opportunity, but in Austin, TX. So I moved from Laguna Beach, California to Austin, Texas. I did not know ANYONE. I found my self frustrated with simple task of going to the store or attempting to meet people out and about simply because I did not know where anything was located. I also started CrossFit when I moved there. I knew nothing about it except it was challenging and could be very demanding. I look back at that point in this year and feel blessed that those changes happened. I have been pushing my self ever since to change things for the better!
Inspiration and Motivation
I have learned a great deal while I have been in Austin, some good some bad. I have learned and embraced the CrossFit culture of pushing your self and getting comfortable being uncomfortable. I have learned with the help and encouragement of others you truly can do great things! I have learned that there are people that really can help spark your passions in life! Here is a great example of that finding that spark! I decided to take a strength class with Travis Holley in October. I was looking to get stronger in a few areas that we do not get a chance work on often enough in CrossFit class. Travis was my coach in the essentials class that all CrossFit Central members have to go through. By the way, that was my first Monday in Austin (June 6, 2011). I was a bit unsure of what to expect but he was supportive and really detailed oriented. So fast forward to October. I saw that he teaches a Strictly Strength project for 8 weeks with only a few students so you get extra supervision and attention through movements. I signed up immediately!
I love the passion that he has for what he does and coaches! That has given me a new outlook on how passion helps drives people to never stop learning and improving. During the class I learned so much about how attention to the smallest detail in everything you do can make a huge difference. Travis always answers my questions about a movement or exercise which helps me understand why something is done a certain way. Not only giving an answer, but really being passionate about his craft and the detail that goes into it! That passion is contagious and makes me want to try to push my self in new ways! I never expected this when signing up for his strength class that it would spark so many desires within my self. Inspiration and motivation can come from places when you least expect it! If you are looking for motivation or tips please read his blog that he updates daily with strength tips as well as over all great ideas on ways to attack each day! (Click here)
Getting to 2012
Many of us do not know what 2012 will hold for us. I surely did not see the changes coming that were made for me in 2011! I say embrace them and keep moving forward. Do not let setbacks keep you down, move past them keep moving forward! Wake up and say today is going to be a great day! Believe those words when you say them! No one else can change you but you! Go out and be GREAT!!!
I have shared this before but it is worth sharing again! Get after it in 2012!!!
“To devote wholly and earnestly“
I know many people out there are in holiday mode and have a list of things on your mind. I just wanted to talk a few minutes about dedication. I feel dedication is one of those things that you either have or do not have. You cannot teach someone to have dedication! I hear people all the time talking about things that they want to do or they wish they could do! This maybe related to a certain exercise or a new job. Many of us including me at times state how I want to do something. The biggest separation between those that want and those that do is DEDICATION!
You have to really dedicate your self to those goals. I cannot just say I want to lift 400lbs on my dead lift or want to learn a new language without dedicating my self to those goals. I have to map out a plan of how to get there and then dedicate the time or resources to help achieve these goals or wants. If you want to learn a new language, then dedicate the time to going out and learning a new language. It is not just going to fall in your lap, you have to want it and dedicate the time and energy to it.
I have dedicated myself to several things in the last two months. One of those things is my diet. I was never a bad eater, but I was not the healthiest eater either. I started food logging. I listed every meal I ate and how frequently I ate. I also logged my workouts and the results of those workouts. I dedicated the time to do this no matter what the situation or where I was. I had a saw great results after 6 weeks. I lost over 8.5 inches, 1% body fat, and 8 pounds. All this in just 6 weeks of dedicating my self to a challenge.
Anything is achievable if you decide to dedicate your self to your wants or goals!
I have heard the saying “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” often lately. I hear this from several of the coaches at CrossFit on a weekly basis. I know they are specifically talking about the workouts that we are doing or a specific movement that is causing pain. I have thought about this saying more and more lately. I think about this when it comes to work and other things that I am engaging in on a daily basis. Many of us do not like to change from things we are comfortable with. I must confess, I am the same way.
In June I packed up and left everything that felt comfortable in my life and moved to Texas. I must admit that I was very uncomfortable coming to Austin, TX. I did not know anyone here. I took a risk taking a job in an area that I did not have an established network. I was and still am UNCOMFORTABLE. I got over the fact of trying to figure out where things are and how to get from point A to point B without the help of a map or iphone. I realized from previous experience that this would pass (Raleigh, DC, Glendale, Laguna Beach). I still find my self unsure on what I should do with my free time. I try and explore something new when I can. I am trying to learn to relax and kick back when I get the opportunity. All of this has helped me with learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
I am striving to go out side of what I find comfortable. I am continuing to learn more and more about Linux. (Geeky side of me) I am still trying to lift heavier weight and do things faster in my CrossFit classes. I am also contemplating taking Spanish classes. Again these are things that are great for me to learn, but it will put me in an uncomfortable position. Learning new things are fun and exciting but can put you in uncomfortable places as you try and learn new things.
So go get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
This has been an interesting week for me. I have had some highs and lows this week. More lows than highs! I feel I am at a bit of a crossroad in my life with my career. I moved to Austin to take what I felt at the time was a great opportunity. It was compelling enough for me to leave everything I had grown to know and love about Southern California.
I have been here in Austin for 5 months today! I have learned a great deal about the city and its culture. I have realized that change can be good and can at the same time be bad. Giving up your support network can have negative affects. I find my self wondering what to do or who to call when I need to talk about things. I find my self missing parts of my life in Southern California. I miss that I had my best friend within driving distance and we could hang out or have breakfast. I could walk around Laguna Beach and had a high chance of running into someone I knew.
I have to work to get that life back in Austin. It is a slow build to gain that portion of my life back. I have been trying hard to build this back up. I have been meeting people through CrossFit which I have come to enjoy and love. I have met people through work and tried to make sure I attend work events when I am invited. All of this is key. I just have to remind myself that this takes time. Relationships take time to grow.
Reflecting on the last couple of months since being here in Austin I remind my self that many things come in small doses. Taking things in stride and realizing that success takes time. This is especially hard for me, I want things to happen quickly. If they do not happen quickly it sparks frustration. This makes me feel as if I have failed. Take for example CrossFit. During each workout the coach will demo each of the movements. They do many of the movements with little effort. This makes me think I can do the same movements with the same grace and effort. Because of this I go into the workout expecting to power through them only to find out that I am struggling. I am struggling because I do not realize that the coach has had months and years to perfect these movements over and over. They have mastered these movements and I am still learning. This is something that I forget when charging into a workout. I need to remind myself that I need to take small “baby” steps. I need to focus on the small instructions that are given to me so I can eventually get to the point to perform the movements with no effort.
Same goes for my work life. I always want the to jump into big projects without doing all the small details to guarantee success. I start each project expecting success. When I do not take the time and set small goals for myself I get worn down. I feel like little or no progress is being made. Frustration starts to build! Then I keep at until I get my end result! I sit and analyze the outcome only to realize that it is not a success as I had hoped. I missed the small details! I did not take the time to plan and set goals! I jumped in without understanding the little “baby” steps that I needed to layout for the desired outcome!
So I am learning. I am reminding myself that I need to take “baby” steps!
Like many of you out there I strive to be perfect in many things I do. I keep doing things over and over hoping to become perfect. The harsh reality is that perfection is truly not attainable. While we are chasing perfection we do have the ability to catch excellence. Vince Lombardi said that, well he actually said, “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” I do agree with his point of view. I chase perfection while doing CrossFit. It does not happen, ever! I really put my heart and my soul into my workouts because I want to know how much better I can be. I try and do each movement or exercise perfect. I think about each movement carefully and then execute the movements. No matter how hard I try my coaches always give me small critiques that help me improve. It is my drive for perfection that make up excellence!
I often pour over my workout for hours after I am finished. Thinking about all the things I did wrong and what I need to do in order to make corrections. I also do the same thing with work. Any feedback I receive from my boss, co-workers, or the people that report to me I spend endless hours thinking things through so I can approve. I truly love data! I love to analyze all things. I like to understand why something went wrong or how something could have been better. I have been told by many that I never seem happy with the way things go while others in my same spot would have been thrilled for the same results. An example would be the fact that I have lost around 5% to 6% body fat since I moved to Austin. Many have said things like, “WOW! You have to like those results!”. Do not get me wrong, I am happy and grateful about the results. I like to dig deeper and try and understand why it was not more. What things could I have done differently or can I change going forward that are going to increase those results! I love looking at the data that is captured in exercise and in daily task.
I write down all of my food for every meal and all amounts of water I have daily. This seems like a waste of time to many people, but I think it helps me analyze what is really going on with my diet. How I feel after I have eaten certain combinations of food throughout the day and how those things affect my workouts. This is all useful information in my pursuit of the perfect diet and perfect workout!