Monday, October 27, 2014

Toxic Sleep

I've spent years working out....and stopping...then starting again. It's not an uncommon cycle for many of us. I tried various strategies, programs and tricks to keep myself motivated. None of them had the staying power to help me move from being a "talker" about fitness to actually becoming committed to my health, until the summer of 2013.

Physical Health Is Not Enough
If you asked me if I knew working out and eating clean were good for me I would obviously answer yes. But if you asked me if I knew how to commit to being healthy I would only recently be able to answer.

That's the funny part. My brain knew the right answer, but I did not fully realize the powerful difference eating clean and regular exercise would make in my life.

For the last fourteen months I've had a different answer when I'm asked about health and fitness. 

Life Is 90% Mental
My transition from knowing I needed to workout, to understanding that I needed to be committed every day has changed me.


My world starting moving faster than ever before. Yours may have picked up speed too. Balancing the many hats we wear in life, managing nonstop changes in the workplace, and pushing myself to take on new challenges for the first time in my career all happened during this period of time.

...but I couldn't figure out how to quiet my mind when it was racing with so many thoughts, ideas, and pressures.

...but I couldn't find the right formula to balance my energy for the responsibilities I had to deliver on.

...but I couldn't "do fitness half way" and find any peace.


So I went all in. I realized the combination of eating clean, a decent amount of sleep, training at a high level, and pushing myself harder than ever before actually brought a sense of calm I had not experienced in the past. 

Think about that for a moment. My commitment to health actually slows my life down, gives me some control, and brings me peace each day.

How About You
What techniques do you use to quiet your mind? Do the vices in your world include a commitment to building energy through hard work in the gym or at home with a DVD or workout routine? 

Is your network part of your fitness lifestyle? Do you fuel your body to build the energy you will need to be successful? Or, do you allow stress to be a convenient excuse to sit on the couch and make unhealthy choices.

Find some peace today.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sworn to Believe

It's campaign season again. That can only mean one thing...people calling each other names on television! One of my favorite criticisms is that someone flip-flopped on an issue.

Wait a second. We're now attacking people because they learned something new and changed their mind?

What? Don't we spend countless hours reading, learning, growing, and evolving as leaders? If I change my mind on an issue at work is my boss going to accuse me of flip-flopping? Am I supposed to lock in my opinions for my entire life and never expand my world view? 

What if we built this philosophy into our leadership  development programs? It would probably sound something like this... 

"Good afternoon everyone. Today I need you to commit to all of your opinions on every issue and never change your mind again, despite what you may learn throughout your life. Here at Company XYZ we call that leadership." 
There is another side of commitment, and that has to do with loyalty. I am a huge believer in being loyal to the brand you represent. Brands are a reputation, are culture, are people, brands mean so many things.

However, loyalty to a person is something very different. The cult of personality that comes with pledging loyalty to an individual feels awkward in the modern world of work. 

I don't think I'm supposed to be loyal to a individual exclusively, am I?

I would certainly follow a dynamic leader to another organization; but I wouldn't follow them to a company I didn't believe in. See the difference? Respecting someone and enjoying the work you do with them is very different than pledging loyalty.

How About You
Do you consider yourself a loyal employee? Is so, are you loyal to your organization or to an individual? 

This may seem like a simple issue; yet for those that focus exclusively on "the face of the franchise" the real work of leadership quickly gets lost in all the noise.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Arise and Purify

Sometimes we find ourselves feeling...well... stuck. It often comes in waves. Work gets complicated despite our best efforts to add value...we miss more workouts than we should... and personally life seems a bit off track.

We feel low. I hate that feeling.

When was the last time you decided to stand up for yourself?  What was the tipping point that made you realize you needed to take action? Doing something, even what most would consider a small step, can do wonders for your mindset.

Don't let others define you. You know who you are and what you have done and will continue to do. Stay true to yourself. Lead with that attitude!

Once you've allowed yourself to focus on you, block out the noise from those who judge you unfairly. Create a plan to literally move yourself forward. 

Maybe that is a new way to manage your workload; maybe it is a transition to integrate technology into your world; or maybe it is time to find a new job that will meet your personal and professional goals.

Allow yourself the freedom to go for it. Recognize that you might feel nervous or afraid. That's okay. Allow yourself to be overwhelmed with the fear of an unknown future. That's okay too.

There is nothing wrong with fear. But there is something wrong with living a life where you never stare fear down and take control.

How About You
Today is your day. Not tomorrow, not next week, and for God's sake not during New Year's resolution season. Today. Arise and purify yourself.
I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.