What's Up Motiv8ers!
So, the information I've put out over the past two weeks has talked about goals and how to reach them. Today, I would like to share my experience with putting those concepts to practice. Have to practice what you preach right? =) I hope that this post, and my experiences so far, will help inspire many of you take action on the goals you have been procrastinating on.
Two weeks ago, we talked about turning your mountains into hills, which means taking your big goal, like running a marathon, and breaking it down into simple easy-to-do tasks.
Last week, we talked about actually focusing on the small actions needed to reach your goals. If you want to refresh your memory on these blogs, click on the links above or just scroll down.
Lets get started.
So, it all started with this book. "Mindlift: Mental Fitness for the Modern Mind"
This book is a really fantastic read! It gives 50+ tips and tricks to help keep your mind productive, healthy, and strong. If you are looking for something to help increase your focused awareness, enhanced mental fitness, and limitless personal freedom, this is the book to check out.
I have gone through the book twice now and the topic that has stuck out the most is how to actually conquer tasks that are easy in concept but difficult to execute and start. For example running a marathon is an easy concept. Just put one foot in front of the other until you reach 26.2 miles. Easy concept but hard to execute. Also eating a healthy diet. Just eat a whole foods diet full of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and lean meats with no processed junk. Easy concept to understand but hard to execute. Basically, once the brain labels a task as hard your chances of starting that task greatly decreases. So how do you start? You start small.
When I read this, I began to think about all the goals I hadn't accomplish yet and why I never started them. In that moment, I told myself that I wanted to put some focus into starting small and see if I could actually get started with a few of those goals. So I started small! =) I came up with a small list of goals that I new would be easy to start with. Check out my list below first and then I'll go into detail of each one.
Coach Ty's Goal List!
- Eating greens and vegetables more consistently each week
- Running 6 times a week
- Writing this blog a little at a time instead of all at once
- Cold showers
1. Eating more greens and vegetables on a consistent basis each week.
Over the past year I have been thinking that I really need to eat more greens, but every time I buy greens or vegetables from the store they just seem to go bad in the fridge. I am not a big cooker. I love to just use the rice cooker and pop a can of beans and call it a meal. So anything that takes more effort than a rice cooker, I lose interest. And really, I just didn't want to spend the time finding recipes.
So what did I do? My fiance, Alicia, and I found a company that did all the hard work for us. The company is called Lettuce. Every Saturday, Lettuce sends us a bag full of vegetables, spices and salsas, along with three easy-to-follow recipes, to match the vegetables in the bag. All you have to do is have a few basic things to go with the recipes like rice, pasta, beans, etc. These are all basic things that I have on a regularly basis anyway, so it wasn't hard.
Check out some of the pics below of all the cool meals we have been making. Before Lettuce, I never would have put in the effort or mental energy to make these meals. So has it been a success? Definitely! And it has been a blast cooking some very cool meals with Alicia. The biggest point here is that lettuce laid out the steps in an easy way to follow and understand which helped me take action.
2. Running 6 times a week!
Every week for the past few months, I've told myself that I need to start running more consistently during the week. Especially Monday through Thursday. Those are my busiest days. I have some big races coming up in 2018 that I need to prepare for so it is important that I get in some good training. But my mindset towards running on those days has always been, I'll run if I have time. Work comes first. Which means basically I never had time to run. The work excuse always got in the way. So what did I do?
First, I made the commitment to run every day except for Wednesday, since it is my busiest day. Second, I said that I will run at least 2 miles on every run. 2 miles sounds easy, so it became my small step. Then, I placed all of my runs into my weekly schedule. That way, I couldn't pull the "I don't have time" excuse. Finally, I told everyone about it. I told my Motiv8ers, Alicia, and friends so I would stay accountable. How did I do? Pretty well. This past week I fell off only one day and the added pressure of everyone asking how I was doing helped a lot too. It got me to run on Thursday when I really didn't want to. I definitely felt proud of myself for taking the small step to making something so important to me a big priority. Oh and did I still have the time to put in all my work? Definitely.
3. Writing this blog a little at a time instead of all at once
Now this was a big one for me. Here's the problem. Every Monday morning, I write the Motiv8 blog, email, and then post it onto social media. This process takes about 3 to 4 hours and causes me so much anxiety and stress that once I'm finished, I am mentally exhausted. Because of this, I kept telling myself "this week, I'm going to do a little bit each day so I don't have to do so much on Monday." But did that actually happen? No way. This went on for months. I just couldn't make it happen. Why?
Basically, my brain was hardwired to only start something if I had time to finish it. For some reason, sitting down and only writing a little over 20 minutes was uncomfortable to me. I didn't want to write something that wasn't perfect. But this mindset was complete BS. Once I recognized my problem, I decided to get uncomfortable and smash this little problem. What did I do? I started small. I told myself that I had to write a little bit each day even if it was only for 10 minutes and even if it didn't make sense. And what happened?
I made the effort to write more in the week. For the past two weeks, writing the email and blog on Monday has been a breeze because I had so much material to work with. All I had to do was edit the material and make it look nice. Now a huge part of my weekly stress is starting to go away, so this is a win for sure! =)
4. Cold Showers
I know what you are thinking, COLD SHOWERS? Why on earth would you want to do that? But there has been a lot of science proving that cold showers are great for your health and gives you a mental boost in the morning. Of course I am all about this =) But...I hate the cold and a cold shower sounds horrible. But once I read Mindlift, I knew I had to take action. So I committed to taking one cold shower every day, but I made my steps small. Really small. =) At first, all I did was put my hands in. That's all I could take. Then the next day I put in my head and hands. Then the third day I started with hot water and slowly got cold. Once it was fully cold, I put my whole body in for five seconds. Today I'm up to three minutes. =) It took me about a week and a half but it's getting a lot easier and man, do I really feel good after a cold shower. Do I recommend them now? Heck yes!
If you want to see the health benefits check out this video here.
Motiv8ers, why do we talk about things we want to do but never start? Because it is fun to talk about new goals you want to try but in reality it's really uncomfortable to start something new. Disruptions from your normal routine makes your brain say "nope, stay away from that." Your brain just doesn't want to work hard.
But once you understand this and know that you only have to get uncomfortable once, you can start expanding your comfort zone and making yourself into a smarter, healthier person. I know I have already started to reap the benefits.
When you have a spare minute, check out this book as well. It was really got my brain thinking.
Motiv8ers, start getting a bit uncomfortable, start small, find tools to help you make actions easy, and began to improve your life. All it takes is being a little more mindful.
Stay EPIC and Don't Forget to Be AWESOME!
Coach Ty out!