How we spend our “free” time is a choice. “But I don’t have any free time,” you say. We may like to think we don’t, but even the busiest people find time for the things they love.
 
I know from my own experience that when I am productive I feel good, I’m filled with positive energy and optimism. Conversely when I am unproductive I feel badly and my head can fill with self directed frustration. 
 
Our lives are filled with good times and bad. I’ve heard hundreds of stories about great achievements that require focus and discipline. I’ve heard thousands of rationalizations, reasons, and excuses why something didn’t happen. I’ve made my share of them so I include my own achievements and excuses among the group.
 
Every person has their own definition of productivity and it can vary substantially. 
 
Here’s a few examples of things that make me feel energized.
spending time with my family and kids
getting a good night sleep
reading
exercise
eating nutritious food
sharing a client breakthrough
 
What makes you feel productive? Do you know? Make a list of 10 things that fill you with energy and optimism? Once you have that list, figure out how many of them you have time, or can make time for. The goal should be to make the list as long as possible and fit as many items as possible from the list into your life. 
 
My point here is that you have a choice. Knowing what makes you feel good is the first step. Next choose something both important to you and realistic and start a streak. There’s an mobile phone app called “streaks” with a calendar that tracks how many days in a row you’ve done something. Making that checkmark is like a little victory every day.
 
In his book “The Power of Less” Leo Babauta recommends focusing on one thing at a time. Start with one thing and see it through. Most likely everything on the list is important to you but start with one.
 
The longer your streak the better your feel so what are you waiting for? Make your list and START STREAKING TODAY!!!
 
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UnknownSo I read a blog by 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer by James Altucher becayse I read about him in a book I liked and I don’t want to totally suck at blogging.  Tip number 1; take out the first and last paragraph. Tip 2; “Take a huge bowel movement every day.” No joke, that’s tip number 2. Technically they aren’t numbered but that is the second one and if you think about it, its really tip 1 after we remove the first paragraph. More on this in a minute because tip 3 is the crux, “Bleed a little in the first line.” Let’s assume that I’ve already taken out the first paragraph and this is the first line.

Ok, here I go.

I’m afraid to do what I need to do in order to avoid my fear of failure but I’m even more afraid to stay right where I am. I’m happy to share my ideas with those closest to me yet so afraid to put myself out there into that proverbial abyss that is what everybody thinks. One of the tips is “Don’t be afraid of what other people think.” Ha, according to Altucher, you lose 1% of the quality of your writing for each person  you worry about. Ok, maybe that’s a “fraidy cat’s” way of bleeding because I don’t feel over exposed.

Take 2; I’m a personal trainer. I’m an expert with certifications to prove it. I know the secrets of how to be “healthy.” Believe me, its not really a secret, its just hard to do. I guide, coach, listen, care for, remind people all the time to take care of themselves and I do it well. Here’s the blood, I have stopped doing that for myself.

Previous habits that helped me finally win my lifelong battle with obesity have become a challenge and I am tired of it. In his book “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depended on It,” Kamal Ravikant calls it coasting. We work so hard to achieve something and once we feel better we have a tendency to think the good feelings are there to stay. We conveniently forget what we had to do to get there. We lose weight and suddenly decide to go eat ice cream to celebrate. Huh? What’s up with that? A friend of mine gave up drinking for a while and repeatedly told me how great she felt during that time. In a recent conversation, over drinks, she told me how much better she felt when she wasn’t drinking?

I hear things like this all the time and I know what to say. I can help people set and achieve goals, I know mobile apps they can use to help them, I’ve read countless books, articles and taken classes on motivation. Yet, I’m overworked, not getting enough rest, not making enough money, not eating as well as I would like, having a hard time with relationships and I’m the coach. I felt so much better before I became a trainer.

That said, I love my job, I love myself, I love my life. If it was easy, everyone would be good at it.

What tip number 2, (take a huge bowel movement every day) means to me is that it’s important to unclog yourself. From childhood we are trained by everyone what’s ok to do, think, eat, wear, play. Spend a little time and watch a young child stand in front of an audience and sing and dance proudly. A lot of us have forgotten how to be a small child yet revel in the joy of watching the song and dance.  Regardless of what you choose to do, don’t forget to sing while you’re doing it. Free yourself from the prison in your mind.

That’s how I’m going to become a better writer.

The more I think of it, the more I see the wisdom in it.

Moderation is just “an out” for anyone that wants to do whatever they please NOW and complain about it later. When in fact, NOW is the only time that matters.

What you did yesterday is done. What you will do tomorrow doesn’t matter.

The only thing that will positively impact your achievement of your desired outcome is what you do in the present.

Moderation is a for the uncommitted

Try this quick and easy recipe for a power packed start to your day.

What you need:

2 EggsImage

2 Sweet Potatoes, chopped

4 slices of Bacon

1 small Onion, chopped(optional)

Leafy Greens, chopped (Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach)

Salt and Pepper

Ground Cayenne (optional)

To make this quick and easy hash

Get the bacon started in a skillet over medium heat flipping it frequently.

Put the potatoes into a pot with cold water and set them to boil. When the water starts to boil, give it about a minute and then pour the potatoes into a strainer, hit them with cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Take the cooked bacon out of the skillet and leave the fat. Put the onion and potatoes into the hot skillet stirring regularly and cook until tender about 5-8 minutes. Chop the bacon and put it back into the skillet with the greens until the they soften.

Fry the eggs in a pan to your liking and enjoy!

You can’t out exercise a bad diet and there is always room for a little indulgence in a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s not make this more complicated than it is.
This research citation may be of little appeal to some but I am sure someone out there will want a citation so here it is.

PM R. 2012 Nov;4(11):840-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.09.576.
The role of exercise in the treatment of obesity.
Laskowski ER.
Source
Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, First St. SW, Rochester, MN(⁎). Electronic address: laskowski.edward@mayo.edu.
Abstract
The United States is in the midst of a significant public health problem that relates to obesity and inactivity. This epidemic has far-ranging consequences for our workforce and our children and shows no signs of slowing in the near future. Significant research has been performed on the effects of exercise for the reduction of body weight; results of most studies indicate that exercise alone has a small effect on body-weight reduction independent of caloric restriction. However, when combined with dietary restriction, exercise has a synergistic effect and enhances weight loss beyond the effect of diet alone. In addition, exercise has been shown to have significant beneficial effects on cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors independent of actual weight loss, and losing just a small amount of weight can have a significant beneficial effect on these parameters. Genetic factors related to obesity have been found to be positively modified when persons incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle. Sitting time appears to be an independent risk factor for the development of metabolic risk factors; persons who spend more time sitting and watching television have worse metabolic profiles, even if they achieve the recommended amount of physical activity per week, than do those who move about throughout the day. Exercise also is essential for the prevention of weight gain over a life span, although the amount required to prevent weight gain may be closer to twice the amount of exercise recommended by the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (www.health.gov/paguidelines). In many ways, the physiatrist is the most well prepared of all the specialists to address the complex, multidimensional problems of obesity and inactivity.

If this isn’t fairly obvious to you, consider yourself enlightened. I am not a nutritionist so I’ll refrain from pontificating.

Food Basics (the Quick and Dirty)

DO
Aim for half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. (Seems like a lot but we are mostly water after all.)
Consume a diet rich with a variety of vegetables
Eat unprocessed, lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans
DON’T
Refined grains (basic breads, white rice, crackers, pretzels, and the like)
Trans Fats
Fried Food
Sugar (see above room for indulgence in a healthy lifestyle)

There are a lot of people that have much more strict perspectives on the do’s and don’ts but that is a subject for down the road.

For now think of your current habits and be honest with yourself about how you define “a little indulgence.”

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