5 Ways to Remain Goal Focused through the Holidays!

(As seen on Clinical Sports Labs at clinicalsportslabs.com)

Athlete  with bottle of water after running workout outdoors

We are fast approaching that time of the year where New Year’s resolutions will be set. Am I moving too fast for you? Okay, ill slow it down a bit. . .

November is here and thanksgiving is just around the corner! The most festive times of the year where loved ones gather with family and friends and partake in the high carb, low exercise festivities. . . I mean, it’s true right? This is the time of year where goals usually receive a swift kick in the ass out the front door. But just because that’s the holiday “norm”, it doesn’t have to be you! Below are a few ways you can remain accountable and motivated to stick close to your plans in reaching your fitness goals even through the holidays!

  1. Re-write your game plan!

Chances are, you sat down a long time ago and wrote down your goals in a notebook or on a sticky note. That notebook is probably underneath books and papers that have accumulated over the months or that sticky note was maybe thrown away on accident; what I’m getting at is that the goals in your head have become clouded and may not be as clear to you as they once were. One way of re-introducing your goals back into your daily routine is to re-write them! Reacquaint yourself with your fitness goals and map out a plan of attack. This time, keep that paper pinned on your wall or somewhere you can see it daily. Never forget what it is you want and never stop working towards it!

  1. Cheat … Smart!

Yeah I said it, cheat. This pertains to you meat heads and fitness junkies out there! Competition prep can really hit you hard not only physically but mentally as well (you know). Allowing yourself to cheat is a healthy way to recharge you mentally and physically. Allow those extra carbs you consume through the holidays to fuel your workouts! Your brain will thank you for it as well for receiving the macro-nutrient it loves most! But be careful don’t allow your thanksgiving meal to drag you down. Cheat, but cheat smart. Enjoy thanksgiving and all the delicious, mouth watering carbs it provides but don’t let this cheat meal or day turn into a cheat week! Get on track and hit the gym the next day. That workout will be the best workout you’ve probably had in a long time.

  1. Short term reward for long term risk?

What I mean by this is when it comes to making decisions that may have a temporary reward ask yourself “Does this also have a long term reward?” Saying yes to a few sugar cookies a day can be your arch nemesis when the day comes that you have to check in with your coach around contest prep time. Yes have a cookie, but don’t over indulge! Think about the long term advantages and disadvantages of every move you make. Trust me, they count.

  1. Supplement your sweet tooth!

The holiday season is famous for its sweets! This is a perfect time to get creative with your supplements! With the help of Clinical Sports Labs’ delicious protein flavors you can come up with healthy, protein rich sweets that will help you steer clear of the devilish, high sugar desserts put in your path. I am a huge fan of blending Arctic Zero’s Cookie Shake ice cream with a scoop of Clinical Sports Labs’ vanilla ice cream protein and almond milk to make the most delicious milk shake on the planet! (My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!) You can add protein to cookies, cakes, pancakes, oatmeal, and coffee to create something you can indulge in and leave the guilt behind!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-vanilla-ice-cream/

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself

Look, we are all human. We all make mistakes and we all slip up. It happens. The point I want to drive home is that you shouldn’t hate yourself or be hard on yourself because you made the decision to eat cake. They don’t call it bulking season for nothing right? 😉 Your body is an amazing machine. It’s ability to adapt is profound. You can truly adjust, change, and manipulate your body in a way that you are happy with whenever you want. Yes, it may take some time to work off the cake you ate at your holiday party but the thing is that it’s not impossible. It’s not like that cake is permanently glued to your thighs or abdomen, although it may feel that way for some time. Don’t be hard yourself. Look at your goals and get right back on the horse.

T.G.I.M: Live life with no excuses

Be stronger than your strongest excuse.

Excuses tend to get us out of  many, many messes. It covers our asses when we need it most and gives us a reason for not wanting to or not doing something we know we should have done in the first place. The problem with this? Excuses can become little road blocks preventing us from moving forward towards our goals.

My alarm wakes me at 7:00a. I open my eyes and think to myself, ” I really don’t feel like getting up and studying. I am so comfy and could actually use a little extra sleep … I mean, I didn’t really get enough sleep the night before because … because of ..my dog. He kept me up so late that night. My body needs to catch up on some rest and plus I have time later to study.” I hit “snooze” and go back to sleep.

This is absolutely legit and is something I struggle with almost every other morning. Since I really don’t sleep well at night, it is incredibly difficult to wake up in the morning. Especially to study. This is where I am failing to see the big picture and many of you are as well, (I know i’m not the only one who does this).

It isn’t about the studying or the sleeping, it’s about your goals, your dreams. It’s about doing whatever you have to do and whatever it takes to get you closer to reaching your goals. It is about what you have planned for your life. You can’t allow your excuses to become bigger than your goals! Tell those excuses to go f**k off and get to work! Build a life you can be proud of and a life that makes you happy. Learn to ignore those little excuses that your brain creates and learn to push past them. Look at the big picture and in my case, get out of bed. If your goal is to lose weight, wake up early and get that morning workout in before work. Save us all from listening to the perfect excuse you have created convincing yourself that you will do it later because we both know that wont happen! Trust me, I’ve been there and done that. If you are trying to grow your business then get out into the world and network your ass off. Don’t let your lacking skill-set excuse you from working hard. Teach yourself ways to improve your skill-set and then work harder. Wake up, work hard, and get it done! No excuses.

Be stronger than your excuses.

-mk

 

T.G.I.M: Music to Promote Positive Vibes

positivevibeselephantI thought I would do something a little different for you all today!

Instead of writing ABOUT something, I thought I would GIVE you something you can use to help you have a better, positive start to your day!

We all listen to some form of music right? I would like to think so. I 100% believe that the words we listen to and the vibrations we receive from our music absolutely have an impact on our mood and mentality. Have you ever noticed how when you’re mad you might want to listen to rock, hip hop, or something of the sort? I know I do. Or, if you’re feeling sad and sorry to say, you might feel like throwing a little pity party for yourself (I know I have before!) you might listen to some music that hits your emotional side hard like maybe country.

Well I am about to share with you my absolute favorite Spotify playlist that calms my nerves, puts me in a great mood, and promotes positive vibrations!

First of all if you don’t have Spotify I recommend you download it.

https://www.spotify.com/us/

Check it out by clicking the link above.

There is a free version and a paid version. Try it out for free, that’s what I did.

So here is the name of the playlist:

Beach Vibes

After you have created an account with Spotify and logged in, type the name of the playlist into the Spotify search bar. The image you’re looking for is shown below. Click the image below to be taken directly to the playlist!

Some of the songs you will find in the playlist are:

  • Wonderful World, Beautiful People by: Jimmy Cliff
  • What I Got by: Sublime
  • Upside Down by Jack Johnson
  • True To Myself by: Ziggy Marley (my absolute favorite song!)
  • Ordinary girl by: Rebelution
  • Three Little Birds by: Bob Marley & The Wallers
  • Love Is My Religion by: Ziggy Marley (another favorite!)
  • Bowl For Two by: The Expendables
  • Right Me Up by: State Radio

Listen for yourself and feel the calmness take over your body!

Enjoy!

-mk

I. AM. HUMAN: The Disappearance of Motivation

flower

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

I’m sitting here on my couch, sipping on a warm cup of coffee and listening to “The Today Show” all while I look at my blog and wonder where my motivation went. Isn’t it strange how you can start something like a fitness routine or in my case a blog with an amazing amount of motivation to keep it going and then one day you lose it? It is pretty perplexing to me seeing as how it’s something I really enjoy doing.

But guess what … here’s why it happens:

I. AM. HUMAN.

or you can read it like this:

YOU. ARE. HUMAN.

That’s really it. While there are thousands of very motivated and inspiring individuals out there, not everyone is the same. Where one person might be highly self motivated another may not be. These people, like myself, have to look for inspiration that will jumpstart our motivation from something inward or outward.

Just because you experience this odd disappearance of motivation doesn’t mean you failed, I’ll say it again:

YOU. DID. NOT. FAIL.

A lack of motivation is not failure. Failure to notice this lack of motivation and not creating a plan to get back on track is failure. If you aren’t aware of your lack of motivation you wont ever feel the need to make changes. Without creating a game plan to get back on track … you wont ever progress.

  1. Recognize that you have a problem: Lack of motivation
  2. Create a game plan to get back on track
  3. Make a note of why you veered off path before (laziness, school, responsibilities, etc)
  4. Execute your game plan!

As long as you dedicate yourself to getting back on track, you will not fail.

That goes for everything in life: addictions, fitness routines, diets, work, blogs, writing, drawing, etc. Sometimes you just have to recognize what the problem is and where the problem came from in order to create a fresh game plan to get you back on track towards your goals!

-mk

T.G.I.M: Will you sink or float?

sinkaship

I am in love with the symbolism here!

Your body is the ship and the ocean water is the negativity of the world. The water slams into the sides of the ship repeatedly day in and day out just like negativity slams into our mind, heart, and body. How strong the ship was built, or how strong our bodies are built, determines whether or not that negative water will pour into the ship.

But listen! It is up to us whether our boat, our body, sinks or continues to float!


I consider negativity a mental disease. I mean, it works like a disease right? It gets inside of our brain, latches on, and seeps out of our body like blood from an open wound. It shows symptoms of anger, depression, and a lack of motivation; it eventually moves from one part of your life to the next destroying what little motivation and hope you had left.

Unlike physical diseases, we actually ALLOW negativity to enter into our heart, mind, and body.

Why do we let this happen?

It’s easy. We let it happen because we don’t know how to prevent it.

Living a positive life isn’t a skill you are born with. The negative influence the world has on us is something we are born into and it is up to us to teach ourselves how to deflect it or how to see the positive side to any negative situation.

It is my decision whether I wake up with a smile on my face or a frown. Whether I let spilled coffee on my clean shirt ruin my day or wipe it off, suck it up, and move on.

This reminds of a scene from “The Pursuit of Happyness” where actor Will Smith played a character named Chris. He was sitting in the interview room with his future employers. He was covered in paint from head to toe wearing only a paint jacket, white tank top, jeans, and work boots. His employers were less than impressed but he didn’t let that stop him. Will Smith’s character was able to impress his future employers by answering one simple question.

“What would you say if a guy walked into our office for an interview without a shirt on and I hired him, what would you say? ”

His character replied:

“He must have had on some really nice pants.”

His comment impressed his future employers and he was hired on for a chance to be hired for the internship. He didn’t let his circumstances that he could not change get in the way of him reaching his goals in the pursuit of happiness.

To watch the video clip click the link below! Absolutely inspirational!

https://youtu.be/8ioBmnoto1o

The one thing you have 100% control over in life is your own attitude. 

Don’t allow the bad situations that occur in life, big or small, to seep into your heart, mind, and body. Don’t let these negative experiences dictate whether your life is good or bad. You can decide for yourself!

If you were blessed with another chance to open your eyes and to breathe in the fresh air … you were already given a huge reason to be happy and positive. You are blessed with another day to reach your goals and to experience life: good AND bad!

Don’t let yourself sink.

Patch those holes and build your ship stronger.

You can prevail.

You will float.

-mk

.

T.G.I.M: 8 Tips to help you Self Motivate!

8 Tips to help you Self Motivate!

Self motivation can be very difficult for many of us and trust me nobody is perfect! We all suffer from a lack of motivation. That’s why learning how we can encourage positive motivation in our lives is important! Below are a few things you can do to help you along the path of self motivation!

  1. Get Started!

tumblr_n6bpxcjn7t1tvo30xo1_500

If you want to achieve any particular goal in life you have to make that first step! You have to get started and begin working towards what you want to achieve. Push that ball and get it rolling my friend!

  1. K.I.S.S

KeepItSimpleStupid-1920x1200

I know we have all heard this acronym throughout our years in school! The second step to help you self motivate is simple, literally!

Keep

It

Simple

Stupid!

Keep any and all motivators around you at all times. Pictures, quotes, jewelry, notebooks, etc can all be motivators that help spark your motivation! Keep them with you at home, in your car, and at work!

  1. Keep Company with People Who Uplift You

goodcompany1

Have you ever heard the phrase “keep good company”? I am sure we all have and those are words to live by! You are only as good as the company you keep. It is very easy to get caught up in the web of destruction negative people weave. The best way to self motivate is to have positive motivation around you and that involves the people you spend your time with: family AND friends. When you surround yourself with people who uplift you and provide a positive and motivational atmosphere, self motivation comes naturally!

  1. Positivity is Key!

positivekey

No, that glass is not half empty, it’s half full! See? Looking for the positive side to any situation will create a motivating atmosphere for you! You need to learn how to look for solutions to a problem and if it’s something you can’t control don’t dwell on it! Let it go. The one thing you can control is your attitude, so get a grip!

  1. Don’t Over-think!

overthinking

Stop thinking … just do! There are times where you should think about the different aspects of making certain decisions but, when it comes to achieving your goals and maintaining a high level of motivation you need to stop over-thinking! Take a leap of faith! Don’t be afraid to take that first step towards what you want in life! JUMP!

  1. The one person who knows you best is YOU!

Butterfly-clock

You know what makes you tick and what makes you … not tick. Even if you’re not sure what motivates you, you can learn! Try keeping a log or journal. Write down notes on the days where you are suffering with a lack of motivation AND write down notes on the days where you are more motivated than ever! Take notes of specific things motivate you and what brings you down. Over time you will notice what works and what doesn’t and will be able to create a plan that promotes better self motivation!

  1. Keep Track of Progress

progress

Keep a list of the projects you are currently working on. Also, keep a brief description of how far along you are on that project. Wherever we see growth or progress therein motivation lies! The best way to complete a project is seeing how we are progressing!

  1. We rise by lifting others!

werise

I use this quote quite a lot in my blog posts because I truly believe that by lifting others up we find self growth! It’s rewarding and motivating. Work with others who have similar goals as you. Talk to people and motivate them to reach their goals. You and the people you help will find that self motivation will come naturally when you see others achieve success!

Apply these to your daily routine whenever you need help in the motivation department!

Happy Monday Everyone!

-mk

T.G.I.M – One positive thought a day!

10-15-Monday-Morning-MotivationIs sacrificing the good in your day really worth that one negative thought?

Negativity is like a disease.

One thought turns into this rapidly growing, self mutilating disease that escaping from seems impossible.

Why would you let that one negative thought grow and grow inside your brain destroying your hope, motivation, and dreams?

Wouldn’t it be simpler to have at least one positive thought a day?

A positive thought that begins a chain reaction of happiness, motivation, and possibility.

I can tell you right now I would rather have positive thoughts flood my mind than allow negativity to destroy it.

It truly comes down to you; you decide how you want to feel today.

Choose happiness.

Choose possibility.

Choose positive vibes!

-mk

tumblr_n6bpxcjn7t1tvo30xo1_500

T.G.I.M: Quotes of encouragement for your Monday morning!

Sometimes it’s the simple things.

I have collected a few of my favorite Pinterest encouragement quotes and I hope they can help you get motivated to start your day and week off on the right foot!

Happy Monday to you!

Enjoy!

-mk

0f44611f717588f0a4c3cba59aa38737

4f1ad4c652b8bafbfa722645e7959255 07a7a7cb3dc4dfe552fca00076095756 9d8547a3452550947c570a2529d4d6c7 40b2c56eb71ff01886d9afc5409b9916 83bb4b4ce918f98fdc62721c12b99ccc 837d29ed99426fbbedf617a4164bafe5 1787b287149d0fd48b0a4cb9c982606e b1aa219ae63e374b2833d89c46b65662 b518707e432fd083dda12b7a3027989f cc715e71946bd2587136217d8687cb44 e7e46ce1ade76752fbe0b39e8587c513 e4611c988574ba8067b43a7af3934553 edcbd4155ff93e8a59e682ccb94e2386 fb77e1a2eb41bee8a2e4002efbaf35c0

5 Types of Fat Shredding Cardio

First let me say that I am not one of those religious cardio bunnies you see sweating their life away for an hour on the treadmill. Unless you’re main goal is to shred tons of fat, and even then it’s questionable, I don’t feel like steady state cardio is as much of a necessity as weight lifting; but everyone is different. However, I do believe that various types of cardio or cardiovascular training are extremely important about 5 days a week. Cardio keeps your heart strong and healthy and also keeps your body fat down.

Below is a list of five different types of cardio and what they can do for your body!

  1. Steady State Training

treadmill

  • Involves training at the same workload OR the same speed & level for an extended period of time ranging from about 20 minutes to 60 minutes.
  • Steady state cardio is constant; there are no moments of rest.
  • Steady state cardio will burn fat AND muscle. Those of you more focused on building muscle might want to avoid steady state training.
  • An example would be jogging at speed level 7 for 30 minutes on a treadmill or using the Stairmaster at level 4 for 30 minutes.
  • This type of cardio training is great for all fitness levels especially beginners.
  1. HIIT: High Intensity Interval training (my favorite!)hiit
  • HIIT requires you to train at a high level for a short period of time followed by a relaxed recovery period.
  • The switch from a higher intensity to a lower intensity really heats things up and confuses the body.
  • This type of training is great for all fitness levels.
  • For those of you who are focused on burning fat without eating away at the muscle you have worked so hard to build, I would recommend utilizing HIIT. It allows the body to burn fat while holding on to muscle.
  • An example would be training on theStairmaster beginning at level 4 for the first 4 minutes. Bump it up 2 levels to level 6 for 2 minutes. Bump it up 2 more levels to level 8 for 2 minutes then bump it up to level 9 for the last-minute. Repeat this process 1 – 2 more times to complete the training sequence.
    • You can adjust levels/speeds to your fitness level. Beginners may start at level 3 instead of 4.
  1. Fartlek Training – My brother introduced me to this type of cardio training after he received his PT certification.

fartlek

  • Fartlek training is very similar to HIIT.
  • Traditional Fartlek training is unstructured and is performed by surging from one landmark to another.
  • It can also be structured. What I mean by that is you can train by determining what speed and time to perform at; basically creating a routine.
  • This type of training is very demanding, therefore is recommended for people who are experienced with running and fitness.
  • For more information on Fartlek training and sample Fartlek training workouts click the link below.

http://running.competitor.com/2012/03/training/workout-of-the-week-fartlek-session_49932

  1. Circuit Training or Super Circuit Trainingdeadlift
  • Traditional circuit training involves rotating through pre-determined exercises for a certain amount of time or rounds.
  • Super Circuit Training is aerobic training that involves a combination of anaerobic exercises like resistance training with short periods of cardio.
  • An example of this would be to perform 3 minutes on the treadmill followed by 1 minute of squats then immediately performing 3 minutes on the elliptical followed by 1 minute of leg presses, so on and so forth.
  • This type of training is perfect for those of you trying to squeeze maximum training into a short period of time.
  • Super Circuit training is also great for those of you competing in anesthetic competitions like body building. It allows you to burn the fat without wasting precious muscle mass.
  1. Cross Trainingcrosstraining
  • When I do decide to train cardio, I am a huge fan of cross training. I get bored easily so I like to switch it up to keep my motivation high.
  • Cross training is simply switching from different cardio machines remaining on one machine for a certain amount of time and then switching to another for a certain amount of time.
  • An example of this type of training would be performing 10 minutes on the treadmill, switch to 10 minutes on the arc trainer, and then 10 minutes on the stationary bike.
  • You can also choose to switch machines each day: stationary bike one day, treadmill the next day, etc.

Frequency, Duration, & Intensity

  • 3 – 5 sessions a week is recommended
  • 20 – 60 minute sessions
  • 55% – 90% of your max heart rate

These numbers can change. We aren’t robots therefore we are not all the same and do not require the same times, intensities, and frequencies. Consult with your doctor or personal trainer to determine what your body needs.

Not one type of cardio is better than the other though each one yields very different results. When determining which type of cardio training is best for you I recommend utilizing one that you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy cardio at all HIIT or Super Circuit Training might be right up your ally. If you are a book-worm and don’t mind reading while doing steady state cardio then by all means give it a whirl!

You need to find the type of physical activity you enjoy doing to keep your body and mind as healthy as possible. If you don’t enjoy it, do you think you’ll be motivated to do it 3 – 5 times a week? My guess is probably not; I wouldn’t.

Be healthy. Be happy.

-mk

Does fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship?

I am putting together some ideas for a future blog post and I need YOUR help. I have actually seen a couple posts about relationships and fitness but I really wanted to find out for myself from all of you!

Here is my question:

833ce5029bc78a4f2f82a24c3b1c7106

  • Does health and/or fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship? Whether it is yes or no, can you explain why?

Fitness and health play huge roles in my relationship. My boyfriend Joey trains in Jiu Jitsu about 4 – 5 days a week. I weight-lift about the same amount of days. We both encourage and motivate each-other to work hard doing what we enjoy. He is okay with the time I take to weight-lift and I am okay with the time he takes to train. Two people in a relationship should be able to take time to do what they enjoy even if it involves being apart. Don’t get me wrong we workout together too! 😉

Please comment and leave me your thoughts and opinions. Your comments will help me write my next blog post on Fitness and how it impacts relationships!

-mk