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

You, CEO – Monitoring

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Welcome to our first post in our new series You, CEO. Be sure to check out the introduction here if you haven’t already.

Monitoring

Companies generally don’t make decisions based on emotions, feelings, guesses, or blind chance. But if you are honest, those factors often play a role in the decisions you make in your own life.

If we want to copy the success of top CEOs, let’s start by learning to copy their decision-making strategies. One of the best decision-making tools is data analysis. It’s a huge and growing industry that is changing the business world. It can have an equally powerful impact on our lives as well.

However, before we can analyze data, we need to have data. That’s today’s topic – getting the right data.

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You Get What You Measure

You get what you measure. This is one of the immutable laws of business, and it can be applied to your personal life as well. Whatever you choose to measure, you will begin to focus on it and improve it. Likewise, what you decline to measure generally gets overlooked and rarely sees improvement.

So step 1 is simply to choose what areas of your life you want to improve. Step 2 then is to choose a specific way to measure progress in that area. For example, if I want to save money, I should start tracking how much money I have saved at the end of each week. If I want to get stronger, I should start tracking how many pushups I do each day. If I want to become more intelligent, I could start tracking how many self-improvement books I read each month.

Now step 2 can be easily messed up, so be careful. Remember we said, you get what you measure. If for example you only track how many pushups you do, you may wind up focusing on pushups to the exclusion of other exercises. Then you aren’t really getting stronger overall; you are just getting better at a specific exercise. So choose carefully and choose multiple measurements to get better overall progress.

I use an Excel spreadsheet to measure my progress across several categories. You can do it digitally like me or write it out by hand as well. Choose the method most comfortable to you and stick to it. It may feel hard to at first, but I promise you can develop the habit within a month if you tough out the first few weeks.

Then, just as a CEO has piles of data to look at when making decisions, you too will have the data you need to stay motivated, track progress, and make well-informed decisions about your life. We’ll build on this idea in our next post in the series CEO, You. See you soon.

Jamie

Stay connected! Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter!:-)

P.S. If you want to do even more to improve your life today, sign up for the free version of Grammarly. Grammarly is a real-time grammar editor that will keep your writing error-free, warn you about plagiarism, and help you improve your writing. After all, as the CEO of your life, you can’t be a sloppy communicator. Try Grammarly today and start writing like a pro!

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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Skincare for Men: A Simple Morning Routine Your Face Will Love

I have two quick questions for you today.

Do you want to be more attractive?

Do you want to reduce your risk of cancer?

If your answer to these questions is “No” then carry on with whatever you were doing. But if your answer is “Yes” then let’s look at a simple habit that will accomplish both.

Apply an SPF moisturizer to your face every morning.

An SPF moisturizer will make you more attractive. How? There are 2 key benefits. One is it makes your skin look as good as possible today. Daily use reduces dryness, puffiness, blemishes, wrinkles and other things which would otherwise make you less attractive. Think of it like your wardrobe. You could just wear some ratty old clothes, but a tailored shirt and a nice suit make you look your best. The other advantage is it makes your skin look better down the road. Proper moisturizing and protection against ultra-violet rays is one of the single best anti-aging habits you can have. With just 30 seconds a day, you are making sure your skin looks amazing today and for years to come. Imagine how confident you’ll feel at work or on dates knowing that you look your absolute best.

You’ll love that women love your skin, but perhaps even more importantly, by using an SPF moisturizer, you’ll be protecting yourself from cancer. Let’s briefly look at the grim data.

Approximately 20 percent of Americans will get skin cancer in their life.

Scary. That’s 1 in 5. Don’t let it be you. An SPF moisturizer not only helps you look sexy, it may save your life. Your face catches more sunlight than you may realize. Driving, walking, sitting near windows – it all adds up and overtime increases your chances of being stricken by cancer. Wearing an SPF moisturizer every day won’t guarantee you stay cancer-free, but can cut your risk significantly.

Some men balk at the idea of putting anything on their face. I understand. I grew up in a small town, and there, the idea of a guy wearing an SPF moisturizer was pretty foreign. If fact, you risked being teased if someone knew you did really anything in terms of taking care of you skin. But here’s the deal – the manliest thing you can do is put your best foot, or I should say, face, forward every day. Your career, your dating life, and your self-confidence all deserve your attention and care. Additionally, we may not fight tigers or lions or woolly mammoths today, but we do fight against other threats, perhaps none as sinister as cancer. Fighting off cancer and protecting yourself is pretty manly thing to do too.

This summer walk out of your home each morning with a face ready to make other men respect you, women swoon, and cancer run – apply an SPF moisturizer.

Choose one of the following 3 options for a great deal and healthy face.

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Nivea for Men Face Care Energy Lotion Q10, SPF15 1.7 Fluid Ounces (Pack of 3)

Specially formulated for men, Revitalizing Lotion Q10 revitalizes, moisturizes, and protects tired, stressed skin.
Enriched with skin’s own Coenzyme Q10 to helps maintain skin’s vitality and elasticity
SPF 15 helps protect against damage caused by UV rays
Skin is left looking healthy, fresh and fit
Dermatologist tested.


31R7nC7X+0L.jpgKiehl’s Facial Fuel Sunscreen SPF 15 Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men, 4.2 Ounce

  • A facial recovery accelerator of sorts, itll help skin resist the effects of environmental stress for a healthy, invigorated appearance
  • The formula, with vitamins C and e, chestnut extract and soy, helps waken tired-looking skin and helps improve skins look and texture
  • With use, skin will feel refueled, re-energized and revitalized

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Lab Series Skincare for Men Treat – Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 15, 3.4 fl oz

All-day moisturization and environmental defense for fresher, healthier-looking skin. (Formerly Day Rescue Total Face Therapy SPF15.) Lightweight moisturizing SPF 15 lotion infused with antioxidants continuously hydrates and helps protect the skin from UVA/UVB rays, smoke and pollution. Minimizes signs of aging, smoothes fine lines and improves overall skin texture.

No matter which product you choose, make sure to make it a daily habit to apply. Within a few weeks you’ll notice the improvement in the health and appearance of your face. And in the long-run, this is one habit which just may save your life. A daily application of an SPF moisturizer is a simple, powerful way to improve your life this year.

To your daily self-improvement!

Jamie

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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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