Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:40

Moving Beyond the Life-Hack

Moving Beyond the Life-Hack

 

Doing things in an efficient way is important. None of us want to waste time on a task. As we pointed out in last month’s blog post, our time is extremely valuable!

 

But in this age of life-hacks and shortcuts, we often substitute hard work for convenience.

To further accentuate this point, Navy Seal and Ultra-Athlete David Goggins says this in his book Can’t Hurt Me:

“Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort.”

 

As David stresses over and over in his book, the process and struggle of learning, failing, and spending time bettering yourself is much more important than any easy-button outcome. We should look to move beyond the life hack and instead embrace the challenges that come our way.

 

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Sure, if you can do something quicker without sacrificing the quality of your work, then do so. Sometimes just focusing on a task deeply is all it takes to halve the completion time of a task. But for things like fitness, groundbreaking professional work, or even mastery of a skill, there is no such thing as a shortcut or life-hack that will make you instantaneously achieve your goals.

 

Yes, there are things you can speed up through deep focus, but sometimes you should remember that all good things take time. If you want to master more skills, learn more, be healthier, become a better person, and achieve more within your life, you need to move beyond the life-hack.

Mastering Skills

To master anything requires ample time. We need time to make mistakes, learn from them, alter our perception, smooth out the nuances of our craft, receive and integrate constructive feedback, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Robert Greene wrote a book on mastery. In it he says this about this about the subject:

“Most people don't have the patience to absorb their minds in the fine points and minutiae that are intrinsically part of their work. They are in a hurry to create effects and make a splash; they think in large brush strokes. “

 

This is eloquently put, and it accurately describes the spirit of our times. Because we expect so much in so little time, we rarely devote the time necessary to achieve a deep set of skills. But this does not mean that if we work on something 12 hours a day, we can shortcut our way towards mastery.

 

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000 hours rule--that is, it takes about 10,000 hours of marketing, writing, playing basketball, or whatever, to truly master a skill. The science behind the concept is iffy, but assuming there is some truth to it, it really does takes a long time to get good at something. There is no program that can accelerate your learning and your success a hundredfold. There is only good, old-fashioned work combined with a lot of drive and focus. There are no considerable shortcuts to take!

Diets and Fitness Fads

This could be applied to not only artistry or professional work, but also fitness as well. So often the emphasis is placed on achieving a six pack in 6 weeks, or losing 50 pounds in a month via a juice cleanse.

 

What is lost by taking shortcuts is the discipline, the patience, the toughness, resolve, and skill that is required for successfully maintaining physical wellbeing.And it’s no mystery why so many diets and fitness fads never work.

 

When you look to find shortcuts for fitness and weight loss, you are skipping the grueling months of hard work. Without the discipline to keep the weight off, you will gain it back. Without the consistency and persistence of going to regular workouts, you will quickly lose interest. Think long term when it comes to fitness and achieving a healthy lifestyle.

 

Yes, deadlifting 600 pounds is an amazing goal to have, but getting constantly injured and losing progress because you are trying to leapfrog the required time for strength is a recipe for failure. Take your time! It’s funny if you think about it, but you actually save time if you take your time. This is contrasted with wasting time trying to take shortcuts. Sometimes you have to slow down in order to speed up.

Back to Basics: Action Steps For Moving Beyond the Life-Hack

 

Finding a shortcut through town is one thing, but when it comes to your life and potential, there are no substitutions for the fundamentals of hard work.

 

  1. Next time you are tempted to try the next fitness fad instead of doing what your personal trainer suggests, know that most diets and workouts are designed by marketers and not fitness professionals. Consider sticking to a tried-and-true fitness program crafted by a fitness pro.

  2. Embrace failure and become a lifelong learner. Nothing will guarantee you skip the shortcuts more than becoming comfortable with failure. Likewise, the most effective learners are those who have failed more times than they can count but who still have the grit to push on.

  3. Find a mentor. This means someone who can hold you accountable and make sure you are sticking to the program, so to speak. Don’t worry about being compensated, just know that the knowledge you gain is vital for your continued success.

  4. Next time you are thinking about cutting a workout short or are about to sign off from working, just give it 10 more minutes. Sometimes that’s all you need to catch a second wind, other times that 10 minutes will feel like an eternity. Regardless, you can make a lot happen in those 10 minutes you normally would have just stopped altogether.

Practice these and keep the message of this blog post to heart. And remember, you are only short-changing yourself if you take shortcuts!

 

Published in Blog
Thursday, 28 February 2019 14:18

Determining Specific Fitness Goals

Determining Specific Fitness Goals

 

There is almost nothing more important than defining a game plan for your fitness regimen, especially at the advent of a new year.

 

You need a roadmap, an outline, or frame of reference to fall back on. You will want to have clear-cut benchmarks to welcome in 2019; and by extension, you need to have goals to maintain focus.

 

But before anything is drawn up, questions need to be posed. More specifically, if you are buying a program online, having a personal trainer design a tailor-made schedule for you, or you are flying solo,  you should first determine what your fitness goals are.

 

Let’s look a little further into determining specific fitness goals.

 

The Importance of Specificity

 

Determining just what exactly your fitness goals are can be a difficult question to answer. Most of us offer vague answers about wanting to become stronger and healthier. That much is obvious! But if pressed any further, we find it very difficult to articulate specific fitness goals. To alleviate the challenge of specificity, start broad and then narrow your objective.

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Let’s say that you want to have healthier lungs this year. Your diet is good, your exercise regimen has been consistent, but you have slacked on cardiovascular conditioning. Logically, your next fitness goal is to strengthen your heart and lungs.

 

You have just determined a goal. Better lungs? Check! Stronger heart? Check!

 

You saw room for improvement, and so, you prioritized more cardio. Now, after determining your general goal, you need to narrow it enough to be effective.

 

If you tell yourself something general like, “I am going to run frequently for stronger lungs,” you are not establishing a fitness failsafe for yourself.

You might buy some great shoes, plan out your route, get up earlier before work, the whole nine yards. Eventually though, if your plan is not specific enough, you will probably grow bored and quit. A day, a week, a month later? If your goal is not focused, you are probably not challenged or stimulated enough to cultivate the necessary motivation to continue running regularly.

 

Narrowing it Down!

 

What if you tried to run a faster mile every week? Even more specifically, let’s say you wanted to run an 8-minute mile. That’s very doable! And now you have a target to hit, which means you are strengthening your lungs with more purpose, more oomph.

 

Yes, cardiovascular health is extremely important on its own, but without specific goals, it is hard to stay motivated. Training for an 8-minute mile--or dare I say, a marathon--can keep you effectively engaged.

 

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And even better, this model can be repeated for other aspects of your fitness lifestyle: if you want to fit fit into smaller-sized clothes, that’s a very specific goal you can achieve with a healthier diet. Just telling yourself you will eat healthier is an absolutely great thing to tell yourself. Confidence is key! But will you follow through if you don’t have a specific goal in mind? Probably not.

 

With all of that in mind, being realistic about your goals is extremely important as well.

 

Finding a Sweet Spot: Be Realistic With Your Goals

 

Most of us want six pack abs and chiseled features. That’s a specific objective and very important! Sometimes being too specific can be detrimental though. Instead, we should try to find a sweet spot between general and very focused goals.

 

If you want six pack abs, that’s a very admirable goal. Go get it done! But before you take the six pack plunge, assess how realistic the undertaking will be for you. If after you have assessed how realistic the goal and effort, you still think you can stay focused enough, then there is nothing stopping you.

 

But keep in mind that six packs are the product of low body fat percentage, just training your abs to death won’t give you the results you are looking for. A balanced diet and consistent workout regimen will get you closer to the desired six pack look than isolating the abs or focusing on abdominal work.

 

Just be realistic and find the sweet spot between being specificity and generality.

 

Consider a Personal Trainer



In summation, there is no one more qualified to keep you dialed-in than a personal trainer. When it comes to investing in yourself, you don’t want to take any chances. Especially if you are lost and having trouble determining what your fitness goals are, having an expert guide you and ask the right questions can make all of the difference.

 

Hire a personal trainer to make a routine, program, and give dietary advice. And remember to be realistic and specific with your goals. Stick to them and you’ll be so glad you did!

 

Websites

 

www.fitness-artist.com

 

www.wfstrong.com

 

Social Media Channels

 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFhzLcU34Yf9q98YnipHVA

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fitnessartistsculpting/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FitnessArtistTrainer

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fitnessartist/

 

Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/fasculpting

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheOfficialFit1

 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-416363932

 

Tumblr: https://fitnessartistsculpting.tumblr.com/

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fitnessartist1/

 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100138388594109709657

 

Published in Fitness
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 13:48

Don’t Bank on New Year’s Resolutions

 

 

 

It seems suspicious that New Year's resolutions never really pan out. We make well-laid plans to become new and improved people, but often our motivation bottoms out by the middle of February. What goes wrong? Why do our best intentions often fall short when implemented? There could be many different answers to these questions, but for the most part, the biggest two are these:

 

(1) We try to do everything ourselves, without help, and without a viable strategy for achieving our goals.

 

(2) We base our decisions on a New Year’s resolution instead of a strongly-held conviction or desire.

 

Be it quitting cigarettes, cutting out soda, or joining a gym and achieving your dream body, waiting until New Years to start acting on a fitness plan is a recipe for failure. Because so often we only try due to social pressures and an obligation to adhere to the typical resolution experience, we aren’t really wanting to change our lives. Instead, we are just going through the motions.

 

In response, one should get a jump on the process by joining the gym a month or two before New Years to beat the rush, as well as hire a personal trainer to make a strategic program for achieving your fitness goals.

 Starting Early, Getting Help, and Playing the Long Game

 

Don’t go through the usual routine of loading up on calorie-dense foods during the holiday JUST because you are extremely sure you are going to stick to your fitness goals once the New Year hits. It is best not to take that chance!

 

It is much too easy to grow complacent and lose all motivation; having a personal trainer can help you get an early jumpstart on achieving your fitness goals before the New Years crowd. But first, it is important to motivate yourself enough to take the initiative.

 

Plain and simple, the holidays are the perfect time to get a jumpstart on your new diet and fitness program. It is a true test to pit yourself against tempting treats during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just think of how motivated you will be if you successfully stopped yourself from eating like you normally would around the holidays. And even if you fail, you still tried; that puts you at a much more positive position than going into the New Year’s cold instead of warmed-up.

 

Therein lies a huge part of successfully strategizing to achieve your health goals. 9 times out of 10, the motivation has to come from within yourself. And if you can successfully start your journey, without putting it off for another day, you will be that much more motivated to continue. Much more so than if you had waited until the New Years out of obligation, only to probably fall off the wagon just like the majority of gym-goers. And much more motivated to hire a personal trainer who will help you along the way.

 

By playing the long game, by setting ourselves up for success over hoping for the best when the New Year comes around, one can be considerably successful over the opposite position.

In Review

 

- Start small by getting yourself acclimated to changing your lifestyle. Don’t go “all-in” right away because you will run the risk of burning yourself out.

 

- Motivate yourself. Don’t let others influence your decisions completely. A desire for change has to come from deep inside you.

 

- Start early, get a jump on the Resolutioners by joining a gym and getting a personal trainer.

 

- Lastly, ditch the resolutions for good. You don’t need them anyways!

 

Websites

 

www.fitness-artist.com

 

www.wfstrong.com

 

 

Social Media Channels

 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFhzLcU34Yf9q98YnipHVA

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fitnessartistsculpting/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FitnessArtistTrainer

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fitnessartist/

 

Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/fasculpting

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheOfficialFit1

 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-416363932

 

Tumblr: https://fitnessartistsculpting.tumblr.com/

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fitnessartist1/

 

 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100138388594109709657

 

Published in Blog