2019 Ultimate Holiday Shopping Guide

🎅🏼 🎁I know it’s a little on the early side… but have you gotten your holiday shopping done yet? ✨

🎁We have a GREAT free gift for you that will help you check all the names off your list – and help you spread the gift of good health! It’s our brand-new 2019 HEALTHY HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE!

🧘🏼‍♀️ You’ll find something perfect in the guide for everyone, even the hard-to-buy-for people on your list. We’ve included everything from stocking stuffers to healthy treats and must-have fitness equipment! 💪🏾

🎄Whether your gift-ee is into wellness, yoga, fitness, or simply enjoys eating delicious food, we’ve got you covered!

🎉Not only that, but we’re pretty sure you’ll find at least a few items that you’ll put on your own personal gift-getting list. :)

You can download your copy of our 2019 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for FREE right now! 🎅

⚡It’s only available for a short time… so be sure to get your copy today! (It’s our gift to you!!!)

Clear Work/Life Boundaries

Creating Clear Work/Life Boundaries

It is so easy to plow through our day without taking a moment to breathe, pause, or just “be.” We move from one thing to the next, whether it is at work, or serving others, or being a parent to our children, we just keep moving. I have found that I can very easily run myself into the ground without being intentional about taking moments to PAUSE in my day. In order to do that, I have to create boundaries so that I am not going 100 miles an hour all day long.
Here are a few tips that I have implemented in my own life to help me create boundaries:
Coming up with an end-of-the day ritual or habit to put closure on work responsibilities. Leaving work and going for a walk, having a cup of tea, or doing something specific that tells you that work is over for the day. It helps our minds shift in the right gear from work, and into our home/family tasks.

Setting a reasonable time to arrive and leave work is also helpful in creating boundaries. Choose a time that is reasonable so you can get self-care in, family time, and essential things that will help you close your day out right.

Answering emails late or working on your computer late at night may stimulate your brain, when you actually need to relax! Take that time at the end of the day to put a period at the end of the sentence and just BE! There is so much to keep you busy during the busy workweek, so you need to “shut down” in order to properly wind down.

Be ok with not having everything perfectly or entirely done on your to-do list. It may be hard to let things go and not dot every I or cross every T, but sometimes for our mental health and well-being, we just need to turn off and tackle the tasks when we are fresh in the morning. I have found that to be effective for myself. I’ve learned to not put added pressure on perfecting everything in one day, but saving some things till I am fresh in the morning to give those things my full and clear attention.

Healthy boundaries help keep us in check in work and school and our overall well-being. Doing self-assessments every so often is a good reminder about how we are doing in that area. Give yourself a check-up every once in awhile so you can stay as healthy as possible in all areas. You will then be able to GIVE BACK to your staff and your family the BEST you!

Hope these tips help you look at your own boundaries between work and life and come up with a schedule that keeps you well and balance

Systems Check: Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life

Systems Check

Every athlete and team in competitive sports has the same goal, win. Unfortunately competitive sports are at best a zero sum game and for every winner there is a loser. At its worst there may be only one winner among hundreds of competitors. So, if goal setting does not differentiate those that ultimately succeed from those that fall short, what does? Systems. Systems are how the best become better and the novice becomes the master. Systems are used from the mundane,such as laundry, to the greatest human achievements like space travel. A goal is a direction or a purpose but a system is the path to achievement. The longer the race, season, or match the more important and relative the system becomes to ultimate success. Life is a competition of one;  and our success falls to our systems instead of rising to our goals. Below are examples from Atomic Habits authored by James Clear of how systems are better than goals for continued success and one strategy you can implement to improve your systems in a realistic and meaningful way.

  1. The 1% rule. Aim to be better by 1% every day, week, month, etc. instead of shooting for 100% immediate transformation. Small changes and improvements will be imperceptible at first , but they will compound into massive change over time. If you were to improve by 1% every day for a year, at the end of that year you will have improved 37 times over! Conversely, if you decline by 1% every day you will be near 0 by the end of that year. Britain’s National cycling team employed this strategy to every aspect of racing, training, recovery, etc and it paid off in unprecedented success.“Habits are the compound interest of self improvement.” James Clear
  2. Outcomes are a lagging indicator of your systems. Just like the stock market is a lagging indicator of the national economy, your weight is a lagging indicator of your diet, messiness of your cleaning habits, net worth a lagging indicator of your financial habits. This is the hurdle to clear when building and maintaining good habits. Systems will keep you on the path when you have yet to see any tangible changes or success. Success often appears to be overnight but every major transformation begins with a single, tiny decision. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks everyday.”- John Heywood, playright
  3. Ignore the goal, focus on the system. This may sound contradictory to the prevailing mantra of set actionable goals to succeed. But, if you had a goal of losing weight and you didn’t step on a scale for 6 months and instead put all of your focus on the system of losing weight do you think you would still achieve success? I believe you would. It is important to have goals for direction, but once you have direction you need a path. “Do your job and trust the process.” -Nick Saban (he has won a few championships) 
  4. Goals restrict happiness. How many times have we told ourselves “once we accomplish this goal, I’ll finally be happy” only to fall short or achieve and have that happiness be fleeting and need to chase a new goal? Systems are the antidote to this delayed, permission based happiness. You can find happiness each and everyday while the system is running and success in systems can come in different forms, not just the way you first envisioned. Goals are  fixed and reductive. You can change them at anytime but they are a fixed destination. Success in goals is finite and defined. Systems are flexible and can be improved, modified, changed to fit your abilities, life stage, circumstances without being completely overhauled and discarded. Success is found in executing the process. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle
  5. Goals are temporary, systems last forever. It’s great to achieve long term goals and celebrate that achievement, but what then? Do you abandon the system that lead to your success? Unfortunately this is what tends to happen. We set a PR and back off on training. Lose the weight and relax our systems. Backsliding and repeating the same process all over again, constantly climbing and falling down the same hill. Insanity defined. If you are more focused on the system  you will still be able to celebrate milestones without feeling like you have arrived only to fall back to the starting line. “The backslider blues ain’t a hard song to sing, you know right from wrong, you just don’t do a thing.” Backslider Blues, Jason Boland

What systems are you running to improve yourself and your life? Are you only focused on the outcome and ignoring the path? I would encourage you to focus on your systems for improvement. Remember, your transformation will be a lagging indicator of your hard work and commitment to good habits. Your failure is also an indicator of the same but opposite side of the coin. If you are coming up short in your quest for improvement in one or more areas of life, perform a systems check and you will most likely find the cause. If you are struggling to stick with your ideal system, modify it to something manageable and repeatable. We would love to discuss your goals and help you develop and refine a system to help you achieve success each and every day. Success in the game of life is not zero sum and is available to all, you have to work for it!

Written by Coach Jared MacDonald

Why We Suffer

Why We Suffer by Coach Jared MacDonald

I was at rep 67 or so of 100 of overhead barbell squats, legs screaming, mind focusing, searching for balance and depth. I thought briefly, “why am I doing this”? It wasn’t a question of doubt, but more of introspection. Why would a 38 year old , who is long past his best days as an athlete, and those days weren’t impressive comparatively, do 100 squats with a barbell over his head. What is he after? And that question has stuck with me recently and I wanted to share some conclusions and thoughts about that question and hopefully you can take something away from that introspection. A couple of notes before we continue. I did not write this to be braggadocious or snarky and I hope it comes across as genuine and useful. Secondly, I have come to realization over the last few years that trainers are not normal, we enjoy things that the general public mostly doesn’t. If you don’t enjoy suffering in the gym you’re not alone, but trainers are a different breed in this area. 

  1. We suffer to improve. I was challenging myself in a new and difficult way. Anyone can do this, and for some it can be stepping into the gym for the first time. It doesn’t need to be the latest and fanciest form or variation to be a challenge and cause change or improvement. Everyone in the gym is looking to improve. Strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc. Keep that in your mind when your body is screaming at you to STOP!
  2. We suffer to suffer less outside the gym. We could be improving strength and coordination so that walking up and down stairs is easier. We could be looking to improve our cardio respiratory system so keeping up with kids or grandkids is easier and more enjoyable, or hanging on to as much endurance and athleticism as possible so we can still compete at some level in recreational sports. The point is not to be better inside the gym, although that is a byproduct, the main goal is to be more outside of the gym.
  3. We suffer for others. We want more energy outside the gym to be better fathers, mothers, partners, grandparents, humans. We want to be able to warm up our pitcher of a daughter, coach our receiver of a son, go on a hike with our spouse, pick up our grandchildren, live longer and more prosperous lives with those we love.
  4. We suffer in vanity. We want to look better in jeans, surprise ourselves and others with our abilities. It’s fun and encouraging to do difficult things! Celebrate your accomplishments, feel good about achieving new found strength or endurance. Hit 100% on the MyZone, Ring that Bell!

The next time you are slogging through a workout and your mind is telling you to stop, think about why you are suffering. What are you after? Is it worth the cost? Will you suffer?