Being Thankful For A Successful Future

Yesterday, we talked about what we are thankful for in every single day of our lives.  I got to thinking about this “attitude of gratitude” and I remembered the idea of practicing affirmations to sort of “fake it ’til you make it”. 

Basically, I would venture to assume that practicing affirmations can lead you to success in whatever field you are practicing.  Not only would you live in the present with joy, but you would succeed with your dreams by practicing gratitude for your future success.

I also remember a wise man saying “You don’t do things for what you’ll get out of it.  You do them for who you will become!”  If you’ve been following me for very long, you know that’s an Elliott Hulse quote.

So in all respect to reality, you may not be successful.

…at least not on your first attempt.  But if you dedicate yourself to a mission and practice gratitude, you will find that you are growing into a different person through the challenges and tribulation.

So what does this mean?  Why would we practice affirmations?

While I can’t say that you should do something, I can offer up my own experience because(although it is limited) it’s all I have at the moment.  I mentioned in yesterday’s post, where I listed 5 things I am thankful for(click here to read the post), that I am mostly thankful for the experiences I have gained in this past year alone.  I am 21 and so far 2015 has been the best year of my life.

..not because it was easy!  Because it was hard.  I went through a lot of problems this year, faced a lot of adversity, cut off a lot of harmful relationships, and began a journey of self-improvement.  This year was the best year of my life thus far because of the all of the challenges that I had to overcome, so that I could become someone new.

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..and throughout this whole year, I couldn’t have had as many small victories if I had not practiced positive affirmation.  I constantly told myself I would succeed at any small SMART goal I had, and I did!  As I said, this year has been all about self-improvement and I am a lot healthier, stronger, happier, and wiser than I was a year ago.

..and while I’ve done so well this year, I have to remember that we all have humble beginnings.  I am still certainly not where I want to be in any of my long term goals, but I am working to achieve them.  2 quotes come to mind as I think about this journey, or change, that we should all attempt to go through as we constantly affirm that we will succeed:

  • One is supposedly a Native American quote.  I’ve seen it on Facebook several times and when I looked it up, I couldn’t find who actually said it, but here it is

wolf quote

 

  • I also want to mention a Bible verse, Matthew 26:24, as it seems to be implying the same thing.  It’s interesting how two completely different cultures stressed the same sentiment.

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My point is you could challenge yourself so that you can grow and be the type of person you would be proud of, and to guarantee your success you could practice affirmations.   Thanks for reading and my challenge for you today is to not only think of 5 things you are thankful for,

but also 5 things you will be thankful for when you succeed at whatever your goal may be.  Whether they’re materialistic things or a better character, I’m interested in reading your responses.

 

Using SMART Goals To Get Ripped In Three Months

Write Your SMART goals down in a journal!

Write Your SMART goals down in a journal!

SMART goals are used by businesses and smart people to set their goals in a way that makes those goals:

  1. Specific – goals are very specific and include detail of what, why, and how the goal should be accomplished.
  2. Measurable – goals should have tangible evidence of how to tell whether you’ve completed them or not.
  3. Achievable – the goals should be very possible and not impossible.  If a goal is impossible it is likely to only discourage someone.  If the goal is obtainable then the person achieving the goal may feel very proud of themselves once they finish.
  4. Results focused – there should be a clear explanation for why you’re completing the goal.  Also, there should be a definite result from completing this goal that can impact you or your work.
  5. Time bound – there should be a set date for when you need to complete this goal.  Your goal should have some urgency involved to its completion.

If you haven’t noticed yet, SMART is an acronym standing for specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.

Not only are SMART goals a great way to accomplish things in your life or at your workplace, but they can also be very handy when you are wanting to make achievements at the gym.  If you haven’t read my post titled “Victory From A Goal And A Direction And Why You Can Succeed” I highly recommend you click here because that post relates very closely to what I am about to talk about with SMART goals.  Now, it’s time to explain why SMART goals are so important:

  1. They help give the driven a path to follow.  Is your mind cluttered with all sorts of ideas of what you want to do?  Then it’s good that you’re driven, but write out some SMART goals so that you can truly be successful.
  2. They raise your confidence!  When you set small, achievable goals they will eventually add up and you will realize that you have achieved a lot more than you originally thought possible.
  3. Businesses have been using them for years!  Do you want to try and reinvent the wheel or do you want to find what has worked for successful people for a long time already?  Great, I know you made the right choice.

As I said earlier, you can apply these goals to fitness the same way you can life and work.  Simply pick something and go for it!  Here I’ll show you my current SMART goals on getting ripped in three months and this will give you the framework on how to write your own SMART goals:

  1. List the goal –  My goal is to get ripped in three months!
  2. Be specific – I will achieve sub-10% body fat by February by eating at a small caloric deficit, intermittently fasting, and I am doing this because I want to feel good about my body and my health.
  3. Measurable – I will know how close I am to achieving a body fat % below ten by using a body fat caliper.  I can also track my results using measuring tape and a scale to check my weight.  There are also some clear physical attributes that will become noticeable as I obtain a lower body fat %.
  4. Achievable – The goal is very achievable.  The average person can expect to lose about two pounds of fat a week and once I am lower in body fat I know that may slow down, so I expect to lose about two to three pounds of fat a week for a while.  After those first two months, I expect to lose about a pound of fat a week resulting in that low body fat %.  Plenty of people have done this successfully; it simply takes time and dedication to a healthy and balanced diet.
  5. Results focused – The benefit of accomplishing this goal is the fact that I will feel good about myself and I will build the values and confidence to achieve more SMART goals.  As a result, when I move on towards my next goal of gaining lean muscle mass, I will have a lot more confidence in the fact that I can achieve the things I set my mind on.
  6. Time bound – The completion date that I have established is February.  This puts a lot of urgency on me and a lot of pressure even if it is attainable.  This urgency is a great thing though, because I am more likely to stick to my diet and work harder to achieve my goal in that set amount of time.

As you can see, I have a great framework for my SMART goals and I hope you decide to write some goals out for yourself.

Just use the same SMART goal rubric I taught you and do your best to achieve something because you’re smart and capable.

Victory From A Goal And A Direction And Why You Can Succeed

“I’m going to get ripped!  I’m going to get jacked!  I’m going to be huge….

The most important question I have is WHERE DO I BEGIN!?” –beginner

“Have you tried intermittent fasting?  What about dropping your carbs?  How about doing a low-fat diet?” -random gym bro 

“No, no!  Don’t listen to those suggestions!!  Just drop your calories to get ripped or raise them to gain muscles!” –a different person who works out that has different advice..

HOLD UP!!

There’s a HUGE problem with the conversation I just made above.

FIRST OF ALL, when you begin working out you are going to have a lot of questions.  However, you need to slow down for just a moment.  You need to slow down so you can congratulate yourself.  You may have a high body fat percentage or you may be extremely skinny, but you’ve made the conscious decision to better yourself.

..and that’s very admirable.

Now, I hope you’re feeling good about yourself.  You should.  Exercising and working out should be fun; after all, it’s about self-improvement and that’s something that should be congratulated.

And now it’s time to dissect this hypothetical conversation I made up at the begging of this post:

If you’re asking any of the questions I posted above, then you definitely have goals.  You have goals and you set the bar high for yourself, and that’s awesome.  If you’re like me and you asked all of these questions at once, then I’d say great but make sure you also have one other very important thing….direction. 

It’s great to have an idea of what your “dream body destination” is, and it’s great to have these goals for yourself but without direction…well, without direction you’re not going to reach your destination.  So, you’re starting to think about these two words that I’m bringing up a lot in this post:  Goals(you could say drive?) and direction.  

Your goals are what drive you.  Your goal of getting a ripped six pack or 18 inch biceps is what is driving you to do something about it.  

Your direction(s) are the planned steps you’ll take to reach your destination of the above mentioned six pack or 18 inch arms.

Now you see what was wrong with the conversation at the beginning of this post?  The beginner had a lot of great goals for his or herself but had no idea what to do about it.  They had no idea what steps to take to get there, and would take advice from just about anyone.  That’s not something to be ashamed of, because I’m sure we’ve all been there.

But if I could go back four months to when I started, I’d do this:  I’d write out my goals, my dreams, and what I want from the hard work I am willing to put in.  I’d think long and hard about what my objective is in going to the gym.  I’d spend a long time thinking about these objectives and then I’d think “Well, how am I going to do it?” 

Once I have my goals in mind, I’d pick just one.  I’d pick just one goal to start with and put everything I had into succeeding at that one objective.  I could do some small work with other activities, but there would be one goal that I would give my everything!

Let’s step back for a second and see what was said:  

“I’m going to get ripped!  I’m going to get jacked!  I’m going to be huge….

The most important question I have is WHERE DO I BEGIN!?” –beginner

Now, we know that the beginner has three different goals that are actually conflicting goals.  It will take time to achieve all three.  The people that this beginner was asking probably didn’t know this person very well, and they told him or her what worked for them personally.  That’s not bad, and there was good intention from them in doing so, but what the beginner needs is not actual advice in nutrition or exercise to start things out.

This beginner needs some help building character.

The diet is extremely important!  The exercise and lifting is important, but what this person needs the most starting out is character.  This person needs to not only have the passion and drive to achieve these goals, but he/she also needs a plan.

So as I said earlier, I’d pick one.  I’d pick one of those objectives and focus on one wholeheartedly.  Let’s say this person takes that into consideration and decides to go for that ripped, 8% body fat look.

..and so it begins!  This person has not only found the passion and the drive to achieve this goal, but also has a plan and will follow it step-by-step until they succeed.  This person will probably study work-outs and nutrition intensely.  They’ll learn a lot of things they didn’t know in the beginning.  They will find what works for them and then one day…

One day, this person will look in the mirror.  This person will look in the mirror and see cuts and striations that they didn’t have months before.  They will see that six pack abs that they were aiming for in the beginning.  They won!  That wasn’t dramatic enough…

They….WON!  THEY WON!

And it’s not like they just won in one area of their life!  Sure, it was one victory…but what about all the small victories it took to achieve that dream?  What about all the days they succeeded in building good study habits for learning about how to do it?  What about all the days they wanted to eat something that was bad for them but didn’t?  What about all the days they didn’t want to weight train but went to the gym anyways?

All of these small victories made this person more familiar with victory.  They learned discipline, study habits, and victory.

Congratulations to this person who started with nothing but a dream.  This person became a warrior who charged towards anything they wanted with the heart of a lion and took what they deserved!  They took what they wanted because they could earn it through hard work.

Also, the character values they gained from succeeding they can now take over to their next endeavor.  When this lean person decides they want to gain a substantial amount of muscle it will be a lot easier than the journey to becoming lean.

Why?  Because they now have study habits and discipline.  If they have the same passion and drive that they had to get lean, they will take that over to their next goal and succeed.

Through having that same goal-minded mentality and a clear path they will succeed, and so will I.

and so can you!

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Don’t Waste Time and Energy Being Negative

Maybe you have dreams and goals, and you have something you want to work really hard on and succeed at. Maybe there’s also something that is really bothering you.

Truth is, everyone has their own trials and tribulations and you’re definitely going to have your share of them. How you handle your problems is what is going to make a noticeable difference in your life when you try to focus on doing other things.

Think about this scenario:  You have a goal to write a page in a book or journal every night for your own benefit, or maybe you are hoping you can make some money doing it. However, during this time you have to work and you have people at work that are just really overbearing and they annoy you every day. Outside of work, you’re dealing with friends that are critical of you and a rocky relationship. All of these things are stressing you out and making you feel like you can’t think of anything else at times. 

Turn the page, and you have writers block. All of a sudden, because of things that are outside your control, you are having a road block that is keeping you from writing a page every night in your book. Worst of all, the stress was caused by the attitude of other people and you have no control over them and their actions.

Which leads you to ask, how can you break this cycle of negativity where someone else or something outside of you happens and it wrecks you’re mood causing you to not get things done? In return, you may even feel bad for not getting something done. Which leads to one simple solution out of many positive ways to deal this:

Decide that it’s not your fault, and that your long term goals and dreams are more important than temporary negative emotions caused by things out of your control. Love yourself, remember that you have value and that your dreams are important, and don’t let anything negative have a hold on you. 

I hope this post helped you and was relatable. Thanks for reading.

Build The Virtues Associated With Giving It Your All

No matter what you’re doing with your life right now, give it your all! That may sound cliche but if you never go all in you may never find out how far you can go with something, or how truly incredible your accomplishments are.

  
Along the way, you may learn that achieving your goals requires you to become more committed. You may learn that you have to become the type of person who has to commit, and finish what he/she starts, and take the ridicule and torment others try to drive your way and use it for fuel. You may need to learn to be strong, independent, self-accountable, and determine.

Whatever your end result is, if you learn something and become a better person through the experience then you are truly gaining something in life. That may just be my opinion but it’s the truth. 

I have a challenge for you. No matter what your goal is. If it’s weight training or running marathons or being a great painter, I still have a challenge for you. Decide today that you are going to pick that thing that you are passionate about and you are going to go for it 100%. No matter what the end result is, look at the beauty that had to have unfolded for you to grow as a person through the trials and struggles of achieving that goal.

Lastly, if you fail or fall off the wagon, just dust off your knees and try again. Thanks for reading.