Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Be About It!

I'm embarrassed to admit that I was watching American Idol tonight - my wife made me watch it with her ;-). I'm actually glad I did because at the end of the show, Randy Jackson told one of the contestants to "be about it," after she got voted off the show.

I loved that quote. Be about it... what does it mean?

To me, it means: Go for it; don't stop; commit to your decisions; stay positive; follow your passions; go all the way; never let anyone say you can't; work your butt off at all time; never quit.

Be about it. 
When things get tough, and you hit a wall, keep fighting through to your ultimate goal. Create a plan in your mind, put in on paper, and take action towards your finish line. When your friends and family tell you that it'll be too hard, and you'll most likely fail... ignore them at all costs.

Be about it. 
Jealousy is all around you, especially when you're taking a risky road... a path that most wouldn't take. Remember that when you're reaching for higher ground, many will try to grab ahold of your heels, and pull you back down to their level. They hate those who strive for more than they could ever dream of. They can't imagine long term goals manifesting. Actually, they can't imagine even having long term goals.

Be about it. 
The past has nothing to do with your future. You should try to learn from yesterday, but never ever allow it to dictate your actions today. This minute, and the steps you take, will determine your future... the challenge for us all, is the future will never be here, so we mustn't focus on it too much. The day we think our future is upon us... it turns into now. Now is all we have - concentrate on maximizing it's potential.

Be about it. 
Have a dream, and wake up trying to make it come true. Feel the passion deep in your gut when you think of that dream. When someone tells you that you're crazy for wanting to attain such a lofty goal, nod your head, tell them you respect their opinion, and then mentally give them the finger! Let them live in negativity... you live in possibility.

Be about it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stop Talking So Much...

I know it's cliche and trite, but it's so true: 

If you're going to talk the talk... then you better walk the walk!

Talk's cheap!

Shut up and play!

Put your money where your mouth is!

Action speaks louder than words!

(Nike said it best): Just Do It!

My biggest pet-peeve when I'm coaching is the student who talks the big game, says all the right things, but never follows through. 

If you're that person, don't be... simple as that!

Quiet confidence is much more powerful than loud emptiness.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Are You Immersed?

I was recently talking to someone about the work I do, trying to explain in detail, when she came up with the perfect definition... she titled me an 'immersion coach.' When I thought about it, she made sense. I help people get immersed in the process of whatever they're trying to accomplish... and attempt to keep them immersed in that journey through the inevitable ups and downs. Kinda cool, when you think about it that way.

So... are you immersed in your process? If not, why? If so, what will it take for you to stay totally committed through the difficult days?

Becoming completely wrapped-up in the wonderful (sometimes painful) walk to the "next level" is critical, don't you think? When I look back at the things I've accomplished, they've only taken shape when I became 100% focused on reaching that goal... no matter how long or how many different directions it took. Conversely, when I glance at the rear view mirror and look at the road of my incompletions, it's so obvious the reason I failed to achieve was due to the lack of immersion.

Does this intense concentration come from passion? Is it born from the willingness to never give up, whether we're in love with the journey or not? Yes. And yes. Sometimes, immense passion is the absolute key to success, where other times it can come from old fashion grit and heart. Either way, becoming engrossed in the development of our chosen path is crucial to it's finish.

"Wanting, hoping, or thinking about how nice it would be if..." just isn't enough, and won't ever push us far enough. We must make a conscious, committed, and unwavering decision to do whatever it takes to accomplish our goals.

  • Sure, it would be awesome to play professional sports, but do I truly have what it takes, mentally and emotionally... and will I immerse myself in the long, difficult journey of such a goal? 
  • To be able to shed this extra weight (5-150 lbs... doesn't matter) would be a dream, and would change my life! Will I sacrifice my old habits, create new ones, and totally commit to whatever it takes... no matter the mental and physical pain?
Whatever you choose, make it who you become... not what you do! Accomplish this, and you'll definitely be on your way to success!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Work Backwards

I was preparing notes for a new student I'll be starting with tomorrow, thinking about what he needs this minute of his career. He's an elite 17 year old golfer, who's headed for the college life next year, but also has a great chance at the professional level. He's as physically talented as they come for his age, but is in need of some detailed mental tools. 

As I continued to prepare his session, focusing on specific concepts he can bring to the course right away, it dawned on me that he's a "mental rookie," meaning we haven't talked much about his long term plan. He wants techniques that will help him become emotionally tougher tomorrow... but this can't, and won't happen before the more important picture is painted. 

Why does he need help? How is he going to use these tools? Why work so hard in the first place... what's he striving for? Before any of these questions can be answered, we must first sketch his long term motivations and goals.

We have to work backwards!

What does he specifically see for himself in 6 months, 2 years, 5 years? 

This is a great lesson for all of us. Before we can put anything into action, we need to see the "finish line" first, then work backwards to the present. This technique will cause our path to be clear in our mind's eye, and also make the action needed very definite. If we say we want to achieve (X), and then begin today, we're more apt to zig-zag through the process, not having as clear of a picture. 

I used this tool for preparing for tennis tournaments. For example, if my starting time was 11 am in Los Angeles, two hours away... I would begin there, and work backwards in order to figure out my wake up and departure time. 
  • 11:00 start
  • 10:00 warmup 
  • Two hour drive - leave at 8
  • 30 minute morning warmup - start at 7:30
  • 15 minute drive to court - leave house at 7:10
  • 30 minute breakfast - begin at 6:35
  • 15 minute shower - 6:15
  • Wake up time: 6:10
This technique made my tournament days so much easier on my emotions and stress level. 

The same can be used for long term goals in our daily lives. What do we see for ourselves in 1 year? What must happen in order to achieve those goals? How are we going to make that blueprint manifest? "Go."

If we look ahead to that 1 year goal, then bounce all the way back to the present, we consequently ignore the most important part of the process... the action needed to achieve. 

So, back to my 17 year old golfer... tomorrow, he'll instinctively want answers that will immediately create a stronger, more effective mental game. Unfortunately, before any of these techniques can be revealed, he has to paint a clear, detailed picture of what he sees for himself in the long term... then work backwards!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

She's My Reason...

As I sat down to my computer to focus on a topic to write about, I began thinking about how lucky I am to have such an amazing foundation of support under me.

It then struck me like a sack of potatoes (have you ever been hit by a big bag of potatoes? I HAVE - it hurts!): We can't, and rarely will get anywhere in our lives without a strong support system. Think about your own life for a minute... when you're being fed with love, strength, and confidence, how much better do you feel... therefore, allowing for a stronger result? Compare that situation to the times where you've felt alone. Unfortunately, we've all lived in that room - some longer than others, but we've all experienced it's pain. That time feels horrible, as if nothing positive will ever appear in our lives?

To those who are still living that alone existence... my apologies. I wish I could do something for you in this immediate moment. I wish I could take your hand, place the magic solution inside, and make it all go away. In these moments of alone time, flip the switch on it's butt! Use this minute to plant the seed of power... yeah, I said POWER! No one will help you through these difficult days?? (Bleep) them, then! Grow strength from yourself, and the knowledge that you have slowly growing on the inside. Don't know what that specific knowledge is yet? Look yourself in the mirror... no tears or self-pity... and ask. Keep asking until you hear an answer whisper back. Then take crazy, massive action, and use "their" lack of help as fuel to reach your goals. Do it now!

Whoa... didn't know where that apparent passion/frustration came from. Maybe I've felt that way in the past, yeah?

Look around to the people on each side of you. Are they lifting you up or pulling you down? If they're not holding you high, simply let them go. Life's too short to live in the moments of struggle, when it becomes our choice to wake up that way. If you have "friends" who wish you'd simply stay the way you are... say bye bye. It doesn't have to be a rude or angry farewell - consistent silence is just as powerful.

To those friends who are holding you on their shoulders, begging you to reach for that next step... thank them like you've never thanked anyone before. They are why you succeed, and will continue reaching new heights. They look after you, even (especially) when you're not looking. These angels are why you are who you are. Try not to take them for granted. Each moment that drifts by without a subtle head-nod in appreciation is a minute wasted... an occasion missed to acknowledge those who truly make a difference in your life.

Without this support system, we'd be going at it alone, wondering if what we're doing is really making a difference.

This is where I give my gorgeous wife soooo much credit for who I am today! Without her love, support, and assurance that I am doing what I should be doing, I simply wouldn't be doing. She's never, ever said I would fail... or ask me why I'm shooting for such lofty goals. Conversely, she's only said I WILL... I absolutely will achieve everything I'm longing for. Not only does she give me mental and emotional support, she gives me that "look." Those eyes that stare through me, as if to say, "If you don't keep pushing, fighting, and proving... I will hurt you!"

I love her for everything she's taught (and continues to teach) me. She's my shoulder... she's my reason!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wanting Vs. Trying

I got into a heated discussion with a client today regarding "wanting" to win vs. "trying" to win. He was attempting to convince me that all the so-called greats try to win every time they compete. He couldn't be more wrong!

Let me explain...

There's a huge difference between wanting and trying to achieve. We all absolutely want... but the ones who truly get it never try to win. They try to master their process, and allow the result to be what it's going to be. They focus on their decisions and daily goals... everything that's in their control. Winning isn't in our control. Don't believe me? (Many don't at first).

Show me how to win. You simply can't!

  • You can show me how to eat correctly and work out regularly (that may or may not help you lose weight). 
  • You can show me how to hit that perfect golf shot (that may or may not lead to a good score).
  • You can show me how to smack a brilliant forehand in tennis (that may or may not win you the match).
You can only show me the immediate action that may or may not bring you the result you want.

If we can't control the outcome, then we shouldn't be trying to focus on anything that has to do with outcome. We should only be trying to accomplish those things that are in our control. We're all humans, which means we're emotional and get attached to results. The problem with this instinct is that it makes us fall into the "trying to win" trap.

If you're trying to become healthier and create a lifestyle change, wanting your specific goals to manifest is natural and good... but focusing on trying to accomplish them is an illusion.

Instead, TRY to stay consistent every single day with your actions. TRY to remain discipline when every bone in your body is telling you to take a break from this journey. TRY to make the correct decisions that will eventually lead you to your ultimate goal(s). TRY to stay strong in the face of jealousy and drama. TRY to think correctly, which will create positive and powerful emotions, which will help you attain everything you're wanting. TRY to focus on everything that you can control in this minute. TRY live in this single moment.

You see... if you simply try to do all of the above, good things will naturally happen.

Do I want to win every time? Heck-freakin-yes!

But I'll never try.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mental And Physical... Perfect Fit!

Coach Your Mind is lucky to have Chris Ecklund, owner of Prevail Conditioning, adding his expertise on the physical side of change. 

It's critical that we blend the mental with the physical if we want long lasting results. Chris is incredible!

8 Habits, 8 Weeks, 8% Body Fat

Part 1 of 8

If the title is what intrigued you…great. But know that my intention in writing this series is not to simply help you lose 8% of body fat in the next 8 weeks. Truthfully…that’s not as difficult a prospect as most think. There are thousands of “diets” available that can help you do that. So if that’s all you’re looking for, move on because you’re not going to like the rest of what’s in here.

Losing weight is easy.

Over my years in the fitness industry I’ve met countless people who tell me that losing weight isn’t the problem…keeping the weight off is! They’ve done the diets (good and bad ones), they’ve dropped the 10-15 pounds, and then 2-3 months later they are right back where they started…or worse.

So what’s the deal? The trick? The magic technique?

Consistency. It's that simple...and that difficult.

My guess is that at this point you’re either rolling your eyes or you’re feeling the impact of where I’m headed. This is the deal, though. Yes, there are all kinds of nutrition and exercise techniques and tricks I can offer my clients to lose some body fat quickly. And there are times when we’ll do that. But if the weight is going to stay off, I ALWAYS come back to consistency. Let’s be honest for a moment and blow the cover on all the quick fixes out there…THEY…DON’T…WORK! We’ve tried too many things not to understand that change in life (in any area) takes 2 simple ingredients: work and consistency. So let’s agree to embrace the truth, quit messing around with things that offer short-term fixes or false hope, and get to work.

Most of the struggles and physical problems I see that result in excess weight and a variety of cardiovascular disease (among others) are a result of doing just a few things wrong. The problem is that what we do wrong, we do it wrong enough long enough to throw our bodies spiraling into a frenzy of physical mayhem.

It’s not that we’re doing everything wrong. It’s simply that we’re doing a few things wrong and we’re doing it wrong consistently. That’s the fix. The difference I see between “success” and “failure” in this arena centers around:
-the ability to change a few habits
-the ability to be consistent about the implementation of those habits
-the ability and desire to continue getting back on track more often and more quickly after getting off.

So before we get into the meat of how to attack this and make some lasting changes that will stay with you for a lifetime, let me offer a definition of fitness or health success.
Fitness/Health = caring for the gift you have been given (in your body) in such a way as to honor the One who gave it to you in order to be able to accomplish the tasks/jobs/passions/responsibilities put before you in this life.

Now, I realize that is quite off the beaten path as far as health descriptions go, but I do believe there is a wealth of benefit in that perspective…and it has been of significant value in my own life. It also leaves room for some differences. Example: fitness for a professional athlete involves a tremendous amount of time and effort on nutrition and exercise. If that is the job and passion to which he/she has been called, it requires more focus. A school teacher, on the other hand does not need to put the same time and effort in order to achieve a reasonable level of health in order to carry out the task or passions before her…nor should she! It is unnecessary.

Stop listening to the ads, buying into the commercials, and comparing yourselves to those that are called to different tasks or passions. You don’t need to look like them to lead a full and healthy life. I’ve got some news for you folks, self worth is not found in a dress size or a body fat percentage (focus on self worth…self esteem is overrated). Never has been. A study I heard yesterday said one of the primary differences between those that labeled themselves as “happy” and those who were “unhappy” was that “happy” people watched 20% less TV. Read into that what you like, but I can tell you it’s true for me.

If you’re still with me and want to make some lasting change in your life that will begin in the next 8 weeks, let’s get started. I truly hope you find success here and begin the journey well. But I would encourage you to check your perspective and beliefs. If you are not on the same page with me at this point, you’re going to fail. You will give up when the body fat doesn’t leave fast. You will not be committed to the process. And even if you drop 8% or 10% or even 15% in 2 months…you’ll gain it right back because you missed the point. Don’t do that to yourself…again.

If you are on the same page, good things are to come. I worked with a friend on this very same process. She had struggled with weight her entire life. She was over 300 lbs. and nearing 50 years old. Blood pressure meds., cholesterol meds., etc. Things were not getting better. She stuck with me, bought into the lifestyle, and 2 years later she was over 100 pounds lighter with a renewed passion for life (read Jeanne's story here).

Over the next eight weeks we’ll be exploring what I have seen to be some of the key nutrition habits that effect long term health and weight management (muscle gain or fat loss). ONE HABIT per WEEK. That’s it. Do one thing well, make it a habit, and then we add to it. I will cover both the areas of food intake and supplementation. In all that I have gathered from those I respect in the nutrition field, I have come to 2 conclusions at this point:
1. We need to do our best to get as many nutrients through real food as possible.
2. Even if we eat well, we won’t get all we need through real food so it’s worth filling in the gaps with appropriate supplements.

I will offer you the supplement suggestions I offer my clients in case you are looking for products you can trust. These are the products I trust and are the only ones I recommend to my clients.
Lastly, if you’re not currently exercising, you need to get at it. I’ll explore that arena in some upcoming articles, but suffice it to say that I believe nutrition is the bigger issue here which is why I’ll focus on it. As for exercise…2-4 times/week of 20-30 minutes of vigorous activity (circuit training weights and or cardiovascular activity).

Food Habit #1: Drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of Water/day.
Example: If you weigh 140 lbs., you should drink about 70 ounces of
water each day.
*If you sweat a lot, drink 15-20 ounces more per day.
*If you don’t sweat much, adjust your ounces down a bit.
*Yes, you can do teas (i.e. Green Herbal or Oolong Herbal).
*Don’t count any other beverages (avoid soda, monitor juice).

Why? Among the many reasons this is important, let me name a few:
-Thirst is often masked as hunger (meaning you think you’re hungry but you’re actually thirsty). Drink first, then decide if your body truly wants calories.
-Helps you stay hydrated with less calories.
-Keeps metabolism boosted (all metabolic activity occurs in body fluids; less fluid = less metabolism).
-Digestion and excretion suffer (both negatively impact weight loss/management).

How? Carry around a 20-25 ounce reusable water bottle with you at all times. Drink it whenever you think of it throughout the day (not all at once!).

Supplement Habit #1: Cleanse, Breakfast and Energy.
Why? If you haven’t read my article entitled “GI, Oh My,” make sure to so you understand the benefits of cleansing toward the ends of weight loss (as a colleague of mine says, “If it ain’t comin’ out, it ain’t comin off!”).
-A quality breakfast with good protein primes the metabolism. You can either use the Meal Replacement Shake for this meal or for lunch (whichever you struggle to get in consistently).
-A healthy, clean energy drink supports your metabolism during your “low” point during the day so energy stays up and food decisions stay good.

*Get the following products (see note at end of article to save):
Herbal Cleanse

Meal Replacement Shake

SparkSLAM, or V-16

Your task: focus only on water consumption, a Meal Replacement Shake for breakfast or lunch, Herbal Cleanse, and Spark/V-16 this week…no other nutrition habits.

Example Day/Week One:
Herbal Cleanse 30 min before Breakfast
Meal Replacement Shake for Breakfast (within 1 hour of waking)
Water and snack
Spark 30 minutes before lunch
Water/Tea and lunch
Water and Snack
Water/Tea and Dinner
Herbal Cleanse before bed
Stay Tuned for Part 2...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And The Final Piece Is...

Making a decision for change is very important, and a critical starting point... but not enough.

With this component, anything is possible... still not enough.

Now we're getting closer. The blueprint is absolutely necessary if any action is to be taken. This is where the mental begins to turn into physical... almost enough.

Don't "click here!" We're not ready yet.

Before anything can begin taking shape, we must have a crystal clear picture of EXACTLY what we want it to look like... in detail, as if it were already here. We must know we deserve, and absolutely will achieve that picture. When we're able to see it this clearly, the remaining pieces will begin moving into place.

I was talking with a woman who had recently reshaped her body, but was still wanting more. After speaking for about 45 minutes, it became obvious that her "next level" wasn't clear in her mind's eye. She knew she wanted to achieve more, but couldn't see exactly what that more looked like. When she creates that detailed visual, her goal will definitely be attained! 

What do you "want," that you're having a difficult time seeing clearly in your mind?

More important question: Are you even trying to visualize that picture?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Answer: Glass Tables!

I've received a few emails, texts, and phone calls about a phrase I used at the end of a post a couple weeks ago, wanting me to talk more about the subject:

"Clarity is often too clear to see."

We've all been there... the answer to our most difficult challenge was staring at us directly in the eye the entire time, but for some reason was too cloudy to see. I contend that it wasn't cloudy at all. I believe these obstacles are often too clear to see. Our minds make them cloudy, sometimes as a defense mechanism, other times due to fear of the unknown. Whatever the reason, it's important for us to understand the harder we look for the answer, the more difficult it becomes to find... as if we were staring right through it.

An example I like to use is that of a glass table...

Depending on how we look at it, we either see what's on top of the table, what's under it, or we're able to see our reflection. If we glance at the table quickly and superficially, we'll simply see the obvious... those things on top of the table. If we search a little deeper, the challenges on top become blurry as we stare through the glass, and are able to see what's under the table. Those two are relatively simple... and is how most of us search for answers. The more difficult solution is being able to make the junk on top blurry, not allowing our eyes to focus on what's under the table, making them concentrate on our own reflection. 

Too often, we don't want to see that reflection, as it becomes difficult to acknowledge what's staring back. Not only is it more physically challenging to see the image in the glass, but it's mentally and emotionally demanding as well. What's on top of and below the table is simple to see, and is what we usually choose as the answer to our personal confrontations. This is why many tend to spin round and round, rarely moving forward enough to make a difference. 

Clarity begins with what's staring back at us. It only becomes too clear to see if we choose to look somewhere else!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Doing Vs. Being: Totally Different!

As I walked my little Logan around the neighborhood this morning, I began thinking about how much I've changed in the last 14 months. When we strolled around town the first few months, I felt as if this is what I did. I even felt a little self conscious, knowing people were looking at the "new daddy with his little baby -- how cute."

Again, I felt this is something that I did.

Walking with Logan this morning, I realized this isn't something I do anymore... this is who I am! I'm her father, she's my daughter - I need her as much as she needs me. We're connected by a force that's unexplainable to those who haven't experienced parenthood. I'm now being a dad, rather than doing fatherhood. Every minute of the day is spent as "dada" (as she likes to remind me), which means it's as much a part of me as my heart, blood, and oxygen I breathe.

Being a father isn't something I do from the outside... it's who I am from the inside!

Looking at our daily lives, what can we switch from doing to becoming? When we wake up in the morning, are we eating a healthier breakfast because we have to, or because this is now who we are and who we've become? When it's time to workout, are we doing or being, meaning is it something that we force on ourselves, or has it become part of our souls?

I have a student who wants to run a marathon, but knows it's going to take a large amount of change in her mind and body to accomplish. My daily question for her is, "are you becoming the runner from the inside-out... or are you simply doing your daily workouts from the outside-in? When will this marathon become part of your DNA?" 

Doing and being don't sound very different, but truly are from different worlds. It's easy to do what you need to do, but becoming that person... living those goals and motivations is what really creates that 'new us' for the long term. 

Let me ask again: What are we doing on a daily basis that we should be mentally switching to becoming, living, being? When we turn down that soda because it has 46g of sugar, are we doing it because we know too much sugar isn't a good thing... or are we living a life without it because it's who we are now, and who we'll always be? The two don't sound very different, but the first is a short term adjustment... the latter is a long term, life altering decision.

I look at Logan, and I see myself... I see who I've become!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Are You Brave Enough To Take Action?

I want to congratulate Josh for his drive and willingness to put it all on the line. He's definitely an inspiration to all of us who have a dream, and are attempting to make it come true.
Know what you want, create a visual blueprint, and take massive action!

He and I were filmed and interviewed about his amazing journey of trying to make it to the NFL at the "young" age of 38. 

CNN has picked up the story, and will be running it soon.

Click on the link below to see our version of his process...