Just One Step Forward

Stop and look in the mirror. 100% happy with everything you see?

I certainly am not. I’m still scrawnier than I’d like to be. Ideally, I want to gain another 30 pounds of muscle. My bank account? Well, that’s scrawnier than I’d like it to be as well. My career is moving along, but if I’m honest, I’ve not done as much as I thought I would when I was a senior in college and expected myself to change the world. Socially, I have a few good friends and I’ve made a lot of progress towards overcoming that natural shyness that I grew up with. But you know that guy that just walks into a room, commands instant respect, and electrifies the crowd? That’s still not me.

If I honestly assess where I am at as a person vs where I’d like to be, I see so much ground I need to cover. It’s a bit overwhelming – so much to do. I find myself either stressing out about how far from my ideal self I still am or trying to just accept where I am now as good enough.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

I could freak out and stress over how much work I still have to do or I could give up and just accept I’ll never reach my goals, but a third option exists. Just One Step Forward. All I need to do today is take one step forward towards my goals. Just one step. Slow, steady forward progress will eventually accomplish your largest, most incredible dreams.

What can you do today to take 1 simple step forward? Here’s a few ideas.

  • Take a jog to burn some calories and strengthen your heart.
  • Sign up for a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn.
  • Visit the store and buy one clothing item that fits well and gives you confidence.
  • Join an online dating site and practice chatting with someone.
  • Better yet, visit a coffee shop and make small talk with someone there.
  • Sign up for a gym and search Youtube for a few basic workouts.
  • Fill out a to-do list to get yourself organized.
  • Clean one room or even one part of a room.
  • Message a friend to reconnect.
  • Read the first chapter of a book you’ve always wanted to read.
  • Drop $10 into a savings account.
  • Take 5 minutes and just breathe. Repeat the word “peace” or “strength” or “love” in your mind. You just meditated.
  • Plan to help someone today. When the opportunity presents itself, go for it.

None of these ideas are dramatic or life-changing. But then again maybe they are. If the journey of a thousand miles really does begin with a single step, then these simple steps may change you in ways you can’t imagine. You don’t have to change the world today. You don’t even have to transform yourself. You need just take a single step towards a better you. And in doing so, you just might end up changing yourself and the world more than you ever realized.

If you really want to master something as quickly as possible and go from first step to goal even quicker, I highly recommend The First 20 Hours – How to Learn Anything Fast. Josh Kaufman helps self-directed learners like us expedite the learning process get to the stage of enjoying what we’ve learned as fast as possible. If you are serious about self-improvement, moving forward towards goals, and achieving skills faster, then consider this book a strong introduction to everything you need to know.

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Happy reading, happy improving, and may your small steps lead to giant leaps toward your dreams!

Too Busy for the Gym?

If you want to improve your life this year, the first thing you need to banish is your list of excuses. Then again, sometimes our excuses are pretty legitimate.

Good example – you might be working overtime, filling your spare moments studying a foreign language or working on your side business. So you aren’t just belly-aching when you say you are too busy or tired for the gym.

I hear you, but don’t give up so easily. Oftentimes with a touch of creativity, we can explode our excuses and find a way toward our goals. Here is one of my favorite shortcuts to success.

Too busy for the gym? Too tired? Here’s the routine. Order a pull-up bar for a doorway you pace through frequently in your home. Everytime you pass, do a pull-up. Boom, that’s your workout. Too easy? Do two pull-ups. Or two pull-ups and a couple pushups.

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Cost? A few bucks for a pull-up bar. Time? 30 seconds here and there throughout the day. Results? You’ll work your shoulders, upper arms, back, and core.

So how about you? Taking this same principle of finding simple hacks around common excuses, what ideas do you have? Share yours in the comment section below!

 

 

Bulletproof: Real Deal or Snake Oil?

Many people in the self-improvement world are already familiar with Bulletproof. For those of you who aren’t, check the video above for a brief introduction.

The basic premise of Bulletproof is that through biohacking, we can have more energy, need less sleep, feel better, lose weight, etc through easier methods than just slogging out hours in the gym or nitpicking every detail of our diet.

I’m a cynic at heart, so when I hear claims that seem to be too good to be true, I generally expect them to be b.s.

So I’ve dug into the ideas behind Bulletproof, and I am pleasantly surprised, though perhaps not fully convinced yet. Let me explain.

About a year ago, I began to increase my consumption of protein and especially fat. I’m naturally thin, so I was trying to bulk up (I’m up 10 pounds in 6 months 🙂 )

But surprisingly, I feel mentally sharper and have more energy than I did before my dietary changes.

It turns out, I unwittingly had started following a rough approximation of the Bulletproof diet. Here’s the diet is explained in a bit more detail, from BulletproofExec.com.

How To Eat Bulletproof

The Bulletproof® Diet is the foundation for a Bulletproof Body and a Bulletproof Mind. It’s one of the most important things you can do to increase your performance across the board.

Target 50-60% of calories from healthy fats (this is easy and tastes good), 20% from protein, and the rest from vegetables.

Using the roadmap is simple: eat the stuff in the green zone and watch what happens. No calorie counting. No measuring. Just eat until you’re satisfied and enjoy the benefits of eating good food: feel your brain, body, and hormones re-awaken, effortlessly lose weight, and gain muscle with little or no exercise.

The Bulletproof Diet looks related to paleo, primal, or caveman diets based on what our ancestors probably ate. There are certainly similarities, but the Bulletproof Diet’s approach to nutrition is slightly different from that of a paleo-style diet. The Bulletproof Diet arose from research into biochemistry and human performance. For example, it doesn’t shun supplementation just because cavemen didn’t supplement, and it doesn’t promote all the foods our paleolithic ancestors likely ate. For that reason, the Bulletproof Diet overcomes some of the problems that can arise from long-term paleo dieting.

Now the fun part of this is how Dave Asprey recommends getting some of those extra fats into your diet – Bulletproof Coffee. Bulletproof Coffee is low-toxin coffee mixed with grass-fed, unsalted butter and brain octane oil.

For people trying to lose weight, the coffee can be drunk in place of a meal at breakfast. For people like me who are trying to bulk up, you can drink it along with a high protein breakfast like ham and eggs.

I’ve tried it, I love it, and about 200,000 people have tried it out as well, including a lot of people in demanding roles like performers, executives, and entrepreneurs.

All that said, there is one part of Dave Asprey’s overall approach I do not agree with. He diminishes the importance of exercise, but there is simply too much research that supports the vital role exercise plays in many areas of our life – heart health, mood, sleep quality, stress reduction, etc.

So while I think the Bulletproof Diet and Bulletproof Coffee can have a positive impact and in your life and I encourage you to give it a try, I do not believe it should be used as an excuse to reduce exercise.

Bottom Line: Add Bulletproof to your life, but don’t do it instead of the other healthy habits you already have (or are working to develop).

All the best,

Jamie

Motivation for Monday

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The only thing standing between where you are now and where you want to be is the work that it will take to bridge the gap.

Get busy this week.

For some self-improvement ideas to inspire you, check out our self-improvement curriculum, our suggested book reading list, our Facebook page, and our Twitter page.

– Jamie

How to Have a Great Morning: 4 Steps to the Perfect Morning Routine

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4 Rules for a Great Morning… Every Day!

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Drink Water Right After Waking Up

Your body needs water to, well, to survive. But you don’t want to just survive, you want to thrive. Check our post on how to get enough water throughout the day and watch your skin, energy, and brain power improve!


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Make a Simple, Fresh, Healthy Breakfast

You don’t have to get fancy here. A homemade smoothie is so easy, so delicious, and best of all, so good for your body. Check out our post on how to make smoothies part of your morning routine.


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Do Easy but Effective Body Weight Exercises Right in Your Own Home

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for you going to the gym. But if you are pressed for time or money, there is really nothing better for your morning routine than a quick run through some body weight exercises. Check out our post on how to use these effectively right in your own home for great results!


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Do Something You Enjoy in the Morning

The secret to getting up easily in the morning is having something you want to get up for. Set aside a little time each morning for something you love to do. Need ideas? Here are a few!

Read something you love.

Keep a journal.

Start a blog!

Go for a run!


If this blog is inspiring you to make positive choices in your life, please share us with your friends! You can follow us on Facebook!

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How to Have a Quick, Healthy Breakfast Every Morning

Your mornings are slammed. Wake up. Gym. Shower. Catching up on news. Prepping for this morning’s meeting. Some days breakfast is the last thing on your mind. Now I’m not going to regurgitate that line about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Honestly, all meals are important because you need proper nutrition all throughout the day if you want to be healthy, sharp, and feeling good. It’s just that breakfast tends to be the one that gets sacrificed most often because of time constraints. So what can we do if we chronically face a shortage of time in the morning? If you want to have a quick healthy breakfast, get a blender.

Seriously, if you make breakfast with a blender, your prep time gets knocked down to about a minute. You can drink your meal in a minute as well. Clean up? Less than a minute. In the time it takes to brush your teeth, you can prep, eat, and clean up your entire breakfast. Plus, a blended meal is portable, so you can take it with you if needed. Best of all, it is easy to make something healthy and delicious. You really only need milk and some fruits and veggies. Alternating between various fruits and vegetables gives you endless flavors and textures to choose from each day. You can add protein powders as well to support your gym goals.

A big factor in living a successful life is building simple habits that make it easy to reach your goals. Grab a gallon of milk, your favorite fruit or vegetable, and a blender, and start making breakfast the easy way. You’ll save some time, have more energy, be healthier, and feel great each morning.

Here’s my recommended blender if you are overwhelmed by the plethora of options out there. Inexpensive, good reviews, and has sealed cups for breakfast on the go.

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Drink Enough Water Every Day

Time for some real talk. You and I probably have not drunk enough water today. Water is practically free, takes just seconds to consume, and has tons of positive effects on our bodies and brains.

So here is today’s challenge. No soft drinks whatsoever. You may have some coffee and beer, but for each cup of joe or pint of beer, you have to have an additional glass of water. Try it today. I stake my entire reputation on the fact that you will feel more energy than you normally do.

How to make sure you get enough water every day? It’s this simple. Forget trying to measure ounces and just follow this routine and you’ll be fine.

  1. Two small cups or one large cup as soon as you wake up. You’ve gotten dehydrated during the night, so this wake-up refreshment is important for your brain and skin.
  2. Drink water with each meal.
  3. No soft drinks.
  4. One glass of water for each cup of coffee or bottle of beer you consume.
  5.  A glass of water whenever you feel thirsty.
  6. A glass whenever exercising, working outdoors, or other sweat-inducing situations.
  7. One small glass before bed.

Try this for a week and marvel in your new-found energy levels and bright, clear skin. Need additional motivation? Get a great water bottle that’s stylish and easy to bring with you to work, class, or the gym. I like Embrava’s 32oz BPA Free grey water bottle. Get’s the job done and looks great.

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To your daily growth!

Jamie

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