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

 

5 Motivational Tips for Success!

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  1. Be Goal Driven and Specific

What is the number one thing you constantly hear about how successful people became successful? Goals. Every person who is successful today has set goals that got them to that point. The number one way to achieve success is to set goals and work your ass off reaching them!

The quality of your goal is extremely important!

Let’s say you want to set a goal with squatting.

“I want to squat heavy” = this isn’t a goal … slacker.

“I want squat 200 pounds” = alright, it’s a little better but let’s be more specific.

“I want to squat 200 pounds in 16 weeks” = Ding, ding, ding, ding! Now we have a quality goal.

A quality goal requires specificity and must have a deadline.

It is important to set goals that are detail oriented.  I am fairly new to the fitness scene with only lifting confidently on my own for about two years. I have always had vague goals in the back of my head like a specific physique or lifting heavy for certain lifts. I never specified what weight I wanted to hit AND the amount of time I would designate myself to reach this goal. Specificity is key! Set your goal, set a deadline, and keep track!

Goals are important and are crucial but it’s also very important not to become obsessed with your goals. Realistically, you simply will not reach every single goal you set. Even the strongest, leanest, fastest person will fall short of their goals at some point … the key is not to get down on yourself when this happens!

Every failure presents a learning experience, so even though you did not reach that goal, you still gained something from the experience that will help you reach your goals in the future!

  1. Review your goals OFTEN!

How often do we push important life planning like goal setting aside for more immediate matters like work, bills, and family? Pretty regularly. It’s part of life. Make goal setting a priority. Setting aside time just once a week is all you really need! The best time to review your goals is first thing in the morning. When you get up, review your goals, remind yourself how important that goal is to you, and how you plan to eventually reach that goal. Five minutes is all it really takes!

  1. Don’t be afraid to change it up!

If you are anything like me, atmosphere is everything when it comes to fitness AND motivation. I am a huge “vibes” person, I can feel the serious, goal driven vibes coming from the person next to me at the gym. You know, the guy who is lifting heavy, panting, breathing heavy, and pushing himself further and further … well, that is exactly what motivates me. My motivation is high when I can feel other people’s motivation is high. On the opposite end of spectrum, my motivation can diminish when there are clusters of people having a conversation hogging the weights … dear Lord!

Don’t be afraid to change gyms if you notice the atmosphere just plain stinks! I’ll take old equipment, dirty floors, and bent bars over the other gyms if the atmosphere pushes me to be my best! Also, don’t be afraid to change-up your training routine. Change your reps, sets, weight, add plyos, HIIT, cardio, etc.

Step out of your comfort zone!

  1. Don’t be a shallow Hal, see the bigger picture!

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the gym selfie progress pictures and videos on IG. Yes you are working hard to better yourself physically but step back and look at the bigger picture. You are working hard to strengthen you mind, muscles, heart, and bones. You are creating a healthy body. A healthy body that is able to run around with your children. A strong body that is able to provide for your family and someday see your children get married. The bigger picture is that you are simply improving your body so that you will live a longer, healthier life.

  1. Grow a Pair!

Honestly, there comes a point in your journey towards your goals where getting motivated through others will just simply lose its impact on you. Simply put, you will need to motivate yourself. YOU need to want it!

If fitness is just too much of a hassle then stop and do something that makes you happy! Hula hoop, collect insects, run an ant farm, whatever it is that makes you happy … do it.

Being able to improve your physical and mental health, your physique, and bodily function is a privilege life allows us to experience and it is a privilege that most people only dream of doing in their life time.

So, don’t just dream of  it, work hard and achieve optimal health.

TGIM – Time to reassess your goals!

Style Cusp: Motivation Monday // Motivation:

Have you ever wondered where motivation comes from? Think about it.

You have a test that you really, really need to pass! You write down a game plan, execute it and succeed! (woo-hoo!) If it wasn’t for how badly you wanted to reach that goal … do you think you would have worked so hard for it? The answer is probably not.

Are there goals you have set in your life that you haven’t reached yet? Maybe it’s time to re-assess those goals. Are they goals you truly believe in working towards? or, are they goals that you wanted at one point but no longer care to reach?

Don’t feel bad in admitting that fact, it happens to everyone! What you want today may not be exactly what you want tomorrow. There is no reason to waste your time working towards a goal that you feel 50% about. Right?

Make today the day that you re-assess the goals you have made. Erase the goals you no longer feel 100% about and create new ones. If there are goals you still feel passionately about maybe take a look at the action steps and create new game plan! Sometimes we get lost and just need a fresh start to get back on track!

Have you ever been in this position before? What is a goal that you used to have that you kind of lost interest in? What goal did you replace it with?

-mk

“With ever new day we are born again.” – Buddha

T.G.I.M: Don’t wait too late to apply these helpful life lessons!

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I found these very helpful life lessons on another blog/website called reginabrett.com. These were written and created by Regina Brett the night before her 45th birthday and after she found out that she had breast cancer. These are some important lessons that we can apply to our lives today!

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

I. AM. HUMAN: The Disappearance of Motivation

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“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: Invictus “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

This poem hit me hard and I hope it will give you a slice of inspiration and motivation this Monday morning.

-mk

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

By: William Ernest Henley

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/invictus-by-william-ernest-henley#ixzz3gR9Ky7Dg

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

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I’m going to give it to you straight up … it ain’t easy. Hell if it was everyone would be living a healthy and fit life! Am I right? Knowing how to start helps and having simple steps to guide you through the process is even better. I have compiled my own step by step process to help guide you into this beautiful, stress relieving world of health.

  1. The Decision

It honestly has to start with the decision to willingly begin. It can’t be someone else’s decision for you, it must be 100% your own. As we all know if our heart isn’t 100% dedicated to something we are less likely to follow through with it. So, when you have taken that first step … you are ready to begin.

  1. Educate Yourself

This is the hardest and most frustrating part. Because you are a newbie you are a beginner and we all know where beginners start … the beginning, the bottom of the totem pole, the back of the line, etc. There is always a stage where you have to put in a little bit of hard work and that comes with anything in life: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Research any information pertaining to YOUR current health status. For example, if you deal with a disease or have any food allergies you will want to look up the foods you can and can’t eat. Take note. Also, make sure to write down the types of foods that your diet should be rich in and will have a positive impact on your health. As for your fitness plan, research exercises you can and can’t participate in. Any injuries you may have, you will want to find the exercises that will build these parts up stronger but won’t hurt these bones, ligaments, or muscles at the same time.

I strongly suggest avoiding fad diets. A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These types of diets may give short-term weight loss but the promise of keeping it off long-term … it just won’t happen. Fad diets can also cause metabolic damage and other health related issues.

To learn how to differentiate between healthy diets and fad diets check out the link below:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/fad-diets.aspx

After you have made a list of foods you can and can’t eat and a list of body strengthening exercises that won’t further irritate any injuries you may have, it’s time to make a plan of action!

  1. Plan of Action

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

So, it’s time to put all of that information you spent hours researching together in a document. Pat yourself on the back because the hard part is over … for now (insert evil villain laugh). I highly recommend using a word processing program like word, excel, or publisher to put together something you can refer to. This is where you can have fun! What I would do next is simply put together a sample weekly diet plan and weekly fitness regimen. Start with one at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself! A sample diet plan could look like this:

Monday

Breakfast: egg whites with spinach, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese and 1 slice of Ezekial bread with Almond butter.

Snack: handful of almonds and 8oz of water

Lunch: 1 can of tuna mixed with seasonings, spicy brown mustard, and celery served on top of whole wheat toast with a side of mixed field greens and balsamic vin.

Snack: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: grilled chicken breast, mixed veggies, and sweet potato

Try your best to be thorough but the key here is to create something that YOU CAN REFER TO. This shouldn’t be some silly ‘ole regimen you put together and never look at again. This should be your guidance, what you will refer to when you get overwhelmed in the future. Trust me, it helps.

A sample fitness regimen could look like this:

Monday

Morning run / Afternoon weight lifting: Chest & Tri’s

  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell incline bench press
  • Cable flies
  • Skull crushers with EZ bar
  • Dumbbell kickbacks
  • Cable press downs

If you are new and you aren’t sure where to start with selecting exercises visit bodybuilding.com. They provide thousands of sample exercises and all you have to do is type in what muscle group you are searching for.

www.bodybuilding.com

Those are a couple of examples of how you can lay out your sample diet and fitness regimen. A few things to aim for when it comes to creating a healthy diet plan:

  • Include variety: make sure your plan includes a variety of whole foods ranging from green leafy vegetables, fruits, red and white meats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, dairy, whole grains, etc. Including a variety of all of these foods allows your body to take in the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy! Of course, pay attention to any health or medical conditions you have as they might limit or exclude some foods.
  • Create balance: creating balance just means not having too much of one thing. I am sure you have heard of MyPlate. If not, MyPlate is just a useful website that gives you information about eating healthy. It shows you how to divide your plate according to meats, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, etc. MyPlate says to dedicate half of our plate to green leafy vegetables and then divide the other half of our plate between a carbohydrate and a protein. Simple enough right?
  • Moderation: this simply means to pay attention to how much of one item you’re eating. Have you noticed that you have been consuming a lot of sweet potatoes the past couple of days? Maybe it’s time to switch things up and try eating some brown rice. Too much of a good thing can be bad, so just keep an eye on what you eat and how much of it you eat daily.

Visit the link below for more information about healthy food choices and how to implement balance, moderation, and variety into your diet!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

  1. Implement your Plan!

The day has finally arrived. Day One in your calendar; this is the day where your life can change forever. You have made the decision to begin living a healthy life and you have created a plan of action that will guide and aid in this life changing process!

It’s GO TIME!

Always keep in mind what your long-term goals are: lose 20 lbs, clear your acne, relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, and strengthen your heart, whatever it is always remember what you are working so hard for! They will be your motivating factors on this journey. When it comes to health and fitness nothing happens over night, let me say it again,

NOTHING HAPPENS OVER NIGHT.

Got it?

This process takes time. Do not give yourself unrealistic expectations of trying to accomplish this life change in one week or a month. Be patient and trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? No.

If you are someone who is motivated through seeing changes, as I am, I recommend keeping a journal. This is where you can write any and everything! Write down your starting waist, hips, and thigh measurements, your current weight, how clear your skin is, how you feel mentally and physically. Write down whether or not you enjoyed the food you ate or if you hated it. Make notes about your fitness: what did you enjoy and what did you dislike? As time goes by you will begin to notice subtle changes and you will also have a point of reference for determining if and when you need a change.

These steps helped me start living a healthy and fit life. I always recommend reaching out if you have questions or concerns. Contact a friend for advice, information, and motivation. Talk to your doctor if you have health related questions or a personal trainer for physical questions. You won’t know the answer until you ask the question!

Today is the day you could change your life forever.

Go for it!

-mk

Other blog posts I have previously written that can help aid in this process are listed below: