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Lessons Learned

Here at EBSC we have our coaches focus on Personal Development to become their best as coaches and to better serve our clients. Personally I use Audible so I can listen to books when on the go or doing mundane tasks. It’s important that we work our minds just as much as we work our bodies. Here are some of the things that ended up on my wall over the past months. They are lessons and ideas that I have learned through experience, reading, interviewing others and just paying attention to my thoughts. When struggles come up the answer or comfort can be found in taking a look at these ideas/lessons that I have come across. Here is the list that is continually growing:

1. Count Your Blessings- remind yourself often to be grateful for what you have. It’s easy to take our lives for granted until we lose what didn’t seem important.
2. Lead With A Positive- there is so much negative in the world. Complain less and start conversations with a positive aspect of the day or in your life.
3. Do Not Judge Others- you have no idea what someone else is going through and dealing with in life.
4. Fear Isn’t Always Real- many times what we are anxious, stressed or scared of isn’t really there or true. Ask yourself if the fear you feel is true, if it really exists, or are you thinking too much.
5. Focus On Your Situation, Not Others, There Is No Reason for Comparison- someone will always be better off than you and someone will always have it harder and be in a worse place. Focus on what you need to do to improve and make your life better.
6. Be Careful What You Wish For- many times we wish and hope for things to happen in our lives but have not earned them or are not ready to handle the responsibility of having them.
7. Do Not Be Lazy- not doing something you know has to be done is being lazy. Avoiding your gut feeling and inner voice is being lazy. Taking short cuts is being lazy. Put your time in.
8. Practice Humility- bragging and arrogance are sure-fire paths to struggles. Attempt to remain at an even keel when things are going great, always remember there is more work to be done. If you want to keep your confidence up and remain positive keep making further progress.
9. Do Not Take Things Personally- it can be easy to make everything about you. Stuff happens, its not always your fault. When dealing with other people you must understand that they have a lot going on in their lives. So when someone flips out or acts negatively towards you, do not always assume it had something to do with you. More often then not it has everything to do what is going on in their own life.

A case for stretching and recovery work

Here at EBSC we emphasize foam rolling, stretching and properly warming up before training. We are always talking with our clients about how they should make recovery work (stretching and rolling) part of their daily lives. Most injuries and pain can be avoided by simply following a daily routine addressing tight and sore muscles.

Here is another perspective that may be helpful to understand why it is so important to address our muscles daily. Most of us have no problem brushing our teeth regularly. You have built this into your daily routine morning and night to prevent dental issues. No one is going to debate that if you do not brush your teeth regularly you will get plaque build up, cavities, tooth decay and possibly gum disease. Eventually you may need a root canal or tooth extraction. No one is going to say they do not have time to brush their teeth.

Many are suffering with muscular and joint pain. This could lead to injuries that eventually need surgery to correct. In some instances, you may need to have your hip, knee, or shoulder replaced. Most of the aches and pains you experience can be prevented with daily maintenance of your muscles, no different than how regularly brushing your teeth prevents dental issues.

When you walk around with poor posture, over use muscles or avoid addressing problem areas, muscles become chronically tight and others weakened. They pull your joints out of alignment and you start to move differently. The excessive use, tightness or lack of stability starts causing aches and pains.

Daily maintenance can prevent minor aches and pains, the need for physical therapy as those get worse, and in many cases the need for surgery down the line.

Loading dysfunction and expecting pain to just go away on its own is not the approach to take. This will further exacerbate the issue leading to greater problems. Just like routine maintenance keeps your teeth and gums healthy, the same applies to the muscles in your body. Get in the habit of rolling and stretching out daily!

“Identifying Patterns”

Most of us do not realize that the majority of what we do all day, along with the choices we make are for the most part automatic.  We have built up habits in our thinking, decisions, and actions. These habits dictate the outcomes of our days, weeks, months, and years.  If you have programmed yourself to attain the spiritual, health, fitness, work and relationship goals you desire everything will be much better for you.  If you are just going with the flow and letting life’s circumstances program your behavior then you are sure to be lacking the success you desire in many areas of life.  
When struggling in any area of life or looking to make improvements you are going to have to make some adjustments. After all “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity”.  You are going to want to identify the patterns of behavior that are leading to the lack of success in any given area of life.  An easy way to do so is to start paying attention; be aware of what you are doing.  Journaling is a solid practice to start to identify habits, thoughts, and emotions, along with successes and failures you may or may not be aware of. Stop acting on autopilot then trying to figure out what happened or where the time went because time has a way of slipping away from us.  
Becoming aware of your thoughts and behaviors that make up your habits is truly the starting point for change.  Without taking time to think, reflect, then create a plan of action, personal change will be very difficult to create and commit to.  You are winging it.  Stop doing that, it hardly ever works out to the the degree one would hope for. 
If you are looking to crush goals in 2016 or had enough of the same old, start taking action to identify and become aware of the habits you have formed in thinking and the patterns of behavior that are holding you back from reaching your full potential!

Get Some Rest

I work with a lot of people.  In coaching them to become their absolute best I am constantly hearing that they do not get enough sleep.  With school, work, practice, kids, their schedule, etc.  it is just not possible.  This may be the case for some, but for most it is just an excuse.  Get to bed 10-15 minutes early and see how you feel.  This small change can make a difference.  In time increase that if possible.  For those of you who believe this is never going to happen.  Here is another solution: try taking a cat nap for about 10 minutes during the middle of the day.  Set a timer to make sure not to fall into a deep sleep.  Personally I use the Address Stress app to meditate for 10-20 minutes everyday.  Download the app to your phone and grab a set of headphones.  There are so many known benefits to meditating.  It can be just what you need to relax, get more rest, improve your mood and come up with new ideas.  What ever the solution is, take action to make your life more enjoyable.  Do not accept the mentality that “this is just how it is” because it doesn’t have to be.  Go get some rest!

Your Why

I recently finished up a program with Dean Grasiosi,”The Winning State of Mind”.  One piece I want to share with you that was very revealing to me was a concept of “7 Levels Deep.” This is a process for finding the “Why” behind your goals and purpose in life. Most people are on autopilot and have no idea what they want and why they are doing what they do daily.  For most, the day to day struggles take away from what it is we are really after.  Lots of people fall into a rut and do not realize it until they are much older, feeling like their hopes and dreams have eluded them. Younger people just go with what everyone is telling them to do, cranking away without ever sitting back to think about what they want and where they are going.  This is the starting point for ending up where you do not want to be, living someone else’s dream of what they wanted for you. This is why taking some time to sit back and think about our lives is extremely important. It needs to be done daily. Make working on you a priority. Work on personal growth!
You can do this exercise at any point and time and revisit it often.  Ask yourself Why you are doing what it is you are doing. In Dean’s case it was all about finding what fuels you and what your purpose in life is.  I feel this exercise is meant not only for that but for all aspects of life. This could be a job, this could be a goal you have set, this could be a relationship you have formed. Ask yourself Why, and you will initially come up with a generic answer.  So then you must ask yourself again, then again.  Think deeply and keep asking even when you think you have gone as far as you can.  Go “7 Levels Deep”; ask yourself that question 7 times.  You will be surprised by what you come up with.
Just getting back in shape can have a huge impact on the way you feel mentally.  That is one of the starting points at EBSC.  Setting goals, going through the “7 Levels Deep” process for each one, then “Working in Reverse” (see New Year’s Solution’s below) can be a great place to start with your Mindset Training.  Start taking action steps to crush your goals in 2016!

New Year’s Solution’s

If you’re trying to make some changes going into the new year it takes more than just setting goals and going after them. While setting goals is a great start, figuring out your limiting factors or identifying the reasons you get out of sorts in the first place is equally as important.  This will help you plan out action steps to meet your goals.  So initially you may want to “Work in reverse”!
1. Identify what habits you have developed around eating.
Do you skip breakfast or other meals, eat out a lot, do you know how to cook, do you go shopping weekly, are your cabinets full of unhealthy foods, do you eat with your family or friends who are not trying to lose weight, do you wait until you are excessively hungry before eating, etc?
2. Of those habits, which ones can you take action on to make a change that would have the biggest impact on all of the rest? 
Going shopping weekly and purchasing healthy food options can solve needing to stop for fast food, not having food for breakfast, and not having healthy food options to snack on.
3. Now “Work In Reverse”
In the example above, not going shopping weekly would seem to be one of the root causes of not eating healthy meals and snacks day to day. It is not that simple; you may not know what healthy foods are, you may not know how to prepare them, you may not own a lunch bag to pack a lunch and snacks, you may be rushed in the morning with little time, or too tired at night to prepare even though you have gone shopping, etc.
You have to sit down and really think.  You have to come up with a plan and attempt to see the unforeseen obstacles.  You may have to get up early to have time for breakfast and preparing lunch.  You may have to go buy a mini cooler to bring to work. You may have to sit down with your family and come up with a grocery list. You may have to take cooking classes or invest in some nutrition programs to learn how to eat healthy.  It is more than just setting a goal to eat healthy and exercise. Keep working in reverse until you identify each of the action steps needed to maintain success.  It is a process that requires persistent effort.

 

“What Did You Just Say”

Most people have no idea they are talking to themselves all day long.  It is important that you pay attention to your thoughts.  All day long you’re telling yourself all kinds of things.  Statements about what is happening, how your future will play out, or dwelling on past events.  If you’re going to be doing this all day, wouldn’t it be great if these thoughts or statements to yourself are ones that drive you to do something, motivate you throughout the day, empower you, build up your confidence, and are in line with your values?  At the very least and most importantly you do not want your thoughts to be negative, bringing down your self confidence and hindering you from personal growth.  
Life is challenging enough when we are firing on all cylinders, why make it any harder.  It is a good idea to write down the things you tell yourself and you think about throughout the day. Pay attention and review what you come up with to see if you notice any patterns of thought that may be negatively impacting you.  Some of you may be very surprised at what ends up on the paper.  Read back what you come up with as if you were talking to someone else about them or if some else said those things to you. This will give you a better understanding to whether your thoughts are negatively impacting your life or if you are dwelling on nonsense that doesn’t really matter. You must understand your input throughout the day is shaping your attitude and actions all day long.  It is having a huge impact on you whether you choose to believe it you not.  It is well worth your time to become aware of what you are putting in your head, what thoughts are dictating your actions, and why you feel the way you do.  This could profoundly change your life!      

Check Your Gauges

1. Repair Gauge – Sleep – “How much sleep did you get last night?”
2. Fluid Gauge – Hydration – “When was the last time you had a drink of water?”
3. Fuel Gauge – Nutrition – “When was the last time you ate?” 
4. Pressure Gauge – Stress – “When was the last time you took a breather?”
5. Power Gauge – Confidence – “What are you doing for personal growth?” 
It is important to do a self evaluation periodically throughout the day.  Most people don’t pay attention to what their bodies are telling them. We all get the signals when you tune into them.  Instead of just trudging through the day blindly taking it as it comes, take some time to “check your gauges”. 
Lost sleep is the cause of a lot of problems, from fatigue and irritability to weight gain.  You should shoot for 6-8 hrs a night.  If you’re not waking up refreshed you’re not getting enough sleep.  This may mean getting to bed 15 minutes earlier each night or adding a mid day nap.  
If you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated, start drinking water upon waking and sip water throughout the day.  If you’re feeling sluggish with brain fog and a hung over feeling you’re likely dehydrated.  Simple fix, drink more water until your urine is just about clear color.  Darker color urine is a sign of dehydration.  
Beyond sleep and hydration if you’re still lacking energy and motivation the odds are you need to eat more frequently to keep the engine running.  Three meals a day is necessary, some of us need to add snacks in between meals to meet our needs.  Anything is better than nothing.  
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, like there is no end in sight for work and the problems are mounting, then its a good time for a breather.  Get some exercise, meditate, write in a journal, move to a different environment.  Do anything to get out of this state.  Nothing productive is going happen and prolonged periods in this state lead to sickness and disease.  
If your confidence is in the gutter, then I can ensure that you’re not thinking clearly.  I have been there and know first hand when you get your mind right and start thinking positive, good things come your way.  Start reading some books, watching motivational videos, find a mentor, surround yourself with uplifting people, find out what you want in life, your passion and get after it.
Becoming more aware of how your feeling and why you may be feeling that way makes it much easier to find a solution.  Sometimes the solution is much simpler than you think.  Check your gauges throughout the day and make some positive changes that will impact your life!  

“Believing is Seeing”

We are all familiar with the saying “Seeing is believing”.  There is an issue when this starts to become how we think or make decisions.  The thought process that you must first see something to believe it is possible for yourself can hold you back in athletics as well as in life.  If your waiting for results to just show up, or others to achieve success around you for you to step up and believe its possible, then you’re going to be way behind.  If an athlete does not believe they have a chance to win, make a team, or reach a goal, how are that supposed to attain it? If your convincing yourself you will fail before even starting, then the odds are you’re going to fail.  
The truth is “Believing allows us to see”.  It all starts with a goal, however small or grandiose that goal is.  Most people don’t even know what they want.  They are just saying the things that others want to hear or what comes to mind.  Take time to figure out what your trying to achieve and more importantly WHY you want that…dig deep.  What are the underlying motives? What is going to drive you to do work when it seems too hard and you’re not getting the progress you expected? Understand reaching your goal is going to take time and work.  Believing that you can, knowing that the hard work will pay off, and seeing yourself having success while reaching your goals makes them that more likely to happen.  Believing that “it” is possible and that you have what it takes allows you to see yourself there.  It allows you to dream and create new possibilities for yourself! 

“Where are you spending (investing) your time, energy and hard earned money?”

I know some people look at what it costs for a trainer or a gym and can’t believe people spend money on these kinds of services. This always confuses me because with a few questions its not hard to see that they spend well over the costs of training or gym services in a given month on items that do nothing to improve their quality of life.  Some are going out to dinner or the bar, others are spending on premium TV channels or video games.  The list goes on. Yet when it comes to their health, they pinch pennies and go for the cheap stuff.  What this thought process and all of the spending really comes down to is you will spend your time, energy and money, investing in what you value.  
 
Its a good idea to take a look at where your spending your money.  Take a moment to add up what you spend on miscellaneous pleasure items or where ever else you spend your discretionary income. You will see what it is that you truly value. This would be very surprising to many if they actually took the time to take a look at how much of their spending is going to waste.  Ask yourself what kind of a return your getting with the time, energy, and money your spending?  In some instances the expenses are actually harmful as is the case with alcohol, processed foods, and excessive time on the couch.  
 
One thing I know for sure is that the people investing in their health and wellness are getting a return on their investment.  You can’t do much without good health.  Just ask someone you know who is suffering or is limited in some way due to poor health, neglect or injury what they would pay to get back what they lost.  Do not wait until you have a problem or are in pain.  Most people will end up spending their money and time getting treated for neglecting their health at some point anyway.  So why not get started by choice on your terms improving yourself instead of trying to heal or manage pain after the fact.  The loss of quality of life is not worth it. Don’t take your good health for granted.  Your not getting any younger and your body is not going to take care of itself.  Be proactive and invest some time, energy, and money into your health to see that you keep it!