Fortitude, Nutrition, Personal Development

ConQuer Your Mind – Part 1 “What You Feed Grows”

The following video expands on the chapter one idea “What you feed grows” from my e-book How To ConQuer Your Mind To Achieve Your Goals.

The truth is that until you get your mindset right, your success in any goal will be temporary and limited at best. Watch as I share some thoughts about how you can change your behavior with a focus on mindset first.

You can get the e-book for free from the Team Quadzilla Facebook page, or directly HERE. Stay tuned for more videos to supplement the e-book content.

Fitness, Fortitude, Nutrition, Uncategorized

7 Tips to Keep Your Healthy Living Journey From Falling Off the Rails

Many people have fallen off the train to physical fitness. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve been on the train (all aboard in January, right?) and fallen off multiple times. You are frustrated. It wasn’t your body that gave out on you though. Oh sure, you might have told yourself that your knee or back derailed your ride to fitness, but you know the truth: You chose to jump off the train. Maybe your results weren’t coming fast enough, maybe it was too hard, you were doing the wrong exercises, or other activities got in the way. There are a million excuses and yours is not new.


News Flash: Getting fit is hard. So is paying for medications, feeling stiff, weak, tired, and not being able to do the things you once did (or have always wanted to do). You choose. #toughlove

Getting fit (and staying fit) is a mental game more than a physical one. Most people approach fitness the wrong way, and it leads to failure. A mindset shift about fitness is required. Fitness isn’t a project with a defined start and end date. There is no “arrival.” There’s no retirement. Fitness is a process – a healthy living journey that never ends. Wrap your mind around the reality that you need to pursue a lifestyle of healthy habits and read on for more helpful tips to master the mental side of getting fit.

Set mindful goals

Set small reasonable goals and remember to focus on the process. Expect more internal negative feedback at the start than positive. You will be sore, and maybe hungry. You might get grumpy and want to quit. Health benefits are delayed for a while – longer than the instant gratification we all expect. Recognize that everyone struggles with new routine. Get used to being uncomfortable and know that it will be worth it if you don’t give up.

Don’t exercise – train

Exercising for the sake of exercising is terrible. We’re like a hamster on his wheel, mindlessly moving and loathing every minute of it. Kinda like how I feel about treadmills. Exercise on purpose. Train for something. Follow a plan or program. Sign up for a race or fitness event. When you finish, sign up for another one. Remember your driving force behind your fitness journey. Why are you really trying to get fit? How will you feel? What will you be able to do?

Be Social

Find other people to motivate you. Join a club or challenge group. Find a workout partner. Coach others. I have found the mutual accountability in helping others to be an awesome way to keep momentum in my healthy living journey. There is great power in being part of a group.

Change your Habits

Have you heard of Habit Stacking? It’s where you stack your new healthy habit on top of something you already do every day to help ensure you get it done. Plan ahead. Remove as much friction between you and the workout as possible. Set aside time in your calendar like any other meeting or appointment. Set your gear out the night before. Following a plan ensures you don’t show up to the gym with no idea how to maximize your results. We love working out at home because it eliminates so many of the common obstacles.

Define yourself

You are what you eat, you are what you do – not what you say you do. Talk to yourself and about yourself in a positive voice. “I am strong. I am healthy. I’m taking this time for me so I can be my best for everyone else.” You are a responsible person so you go to work every day. You don’t just skip work cuz you don’t feel like it. Same with your healthy habits. You are an active person, you are on a mission to be the best version of yourself, so you don’t ditch your program/ workout commitments.

Rest

Once you get on track, you love how you feel, you’re making progress, etc. you won’t want to stop. You still must listen to your body and rest. Give your body a chance to recover. But don’t use rest as an excuse to jump off the train. You can still eat right and do lower impact activity.

Change your routine as you age

Fitness isn’t a goal, it’s a lifelong process. It will change as you age. Adapt. Mix up your program. Avoid comparison with your younger self. Never quit. Find the activities that suit you. You may lose some speed and strength over time, but far slower than you would if you sat idle telling yourself you are too old or fat to do anything. Get moving. Conquer your mind. Do your thing. Press on!

faith, Personal Development

One Habit to Make You Happier

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One of my trusted resources for healthy living is Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah. I read his daily email devotional every morning as part of my routine to start the day. Following is an entry he shared a while back that I thought was fitting for us all.

 

Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled “One Habit to Make You Happier Today.” The writer said, “Repeating a positive phrase, or mantra, to yourself creates new pathways between neurons in your brain, conditioning you to feel calmer and healthier. Research shows that thinking of a word or phrase that affirms our values—and repeating it over and over—produces powerful physiological changes…. Mantras can create and strengthen new neural pathways that are positive and not toxic. And that can make our brain much calmer and happier.”

For some odd reason, the writer neglected to mention the power of quoting the Bible to oneself. It isn’t a mantra we need but manna from heaven. It’s not a positive sentence but a promise from God. We don’t need clichés; we need Scripture. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

Self-control is a battle that begins in our minds. Our minds as well as our hearts need to be focused on God and His Word. Daily Bible reading and meditation really is the one habit that will make you happier—and holier—every day.

The Bible contains all the information needed for life’s challenges. Its words provide strategies for every situation we face. They are life-changing and life-giving. God’s promises are never-failing, and His truths are infallibly reliable. – David Jeremiah

 

Daily Bible reading is an excellent healthy habit we would be wise to cultivate. While I understand that you may not be into Jesus and reading the Bible, I still encourage you to consider giving it a chance. You might be surprised to find the practical wisdom in the Bible makes more sense than you thought. Check out the links below for verses to encourage you. What is your favorite verse?

Great resource to help you get started with scripture memory – https://www.patheos.com/blogs/onedegreetoanother/2016/08/fifteen-verses-memorize/

https://www.mcleanbible.org/connect/kids-quest/top-20-bible-verses-everyone-should-know

https://growchurch.net/top-100-most-popular-bible-verses-to-memorise

Fitness, Personal Development

Advance Your Healthy Living Journey With This No-Sweat Exercise

aaron-burden-64849-e1514680087218Team Quadzilla aims to encourage a lifestyle of healthy living. To us, that means way more than 6-pack abs or plates full of kale and broccoli. We believe that healthy living requires positive, purposeful exercise for our mind, body, and soul. Some of the best healthy habits we can have require no sweat at all. The healthy habit I’m about to describe can be the catalyst for other healthy habits because “healthy living starts between your ears.”
If you follow Team Quadzilla on Facebook, you might recall that I have posted about my journaling habit. Whether I’m sharing something I wrote that I think will encourage you, or I need some help to pick the next book to fill, I’ve made it no secret that I enjoy writing in a journal. Following are some reasons why I journal along with some suggestions to help you get started if you don’t regularly write already.
Journaling is a key part of my morning routine
Mornings can be chaotic. There are so many things to do in a short amount of time. But just like you weren’t sure how you would get it all done, you do. Every day. You can do this too. That was my thought process when I first started. I make time for what is important to me, and journaling has proven to be worth my time. Now that journaling is my habit, it’s like eating breakfast or brushing my teeth; I notice if I miss it. My day can’t really start properly until I spend some time writing. Once I write, I feel calm, focused, and mentally prepared to deal with the day ahead.
Journaling helps me clarify my thinking, process my feelings, and make better decisions
Writing is therapeutic for me. And way cheaper than a counselor! I find that writing draws out thoughts and feelings I didn’t know I had. I think it’s the focused time to reflect and take a self-assessment. Since my mind races all day with work, and I’m busy with family stuff (or even vegging) in the evenings, I don’t otherwise have time to process life. Writing helps me do that. In my journals you would find many examples of me wrestling with something and landing on a much better decision than if I didn’t take the time to write it out.
Sometimes I’m feeling really down or upset and I just write all kinds of emotion. Usually after I vent for a bit, my writing turns much more positive and encouraging and I leave feeling so much better. There is something very powerful about writing feelings that just works.
Journaling captures my progress toward my goals
Writing goals is important. It makes them seem more real, and it makes me more accountable to them versus just having the idea of goals in my mind. My journal is a great place to report my progress and my failures in the journey toward my goals. These notes become valuable as the lessons learned are what drives me forward. I learn what works and what doesn’t. Writing makes it much harder for me to forget what I’ve learned.
Journaling focuses my prayers and keeps record of my blessings
IMG_0830My journal captures lots of things, but the primary theme is me talking to Jesus. That may seem strange to you, but I’m OK with that. If you are the praying type, you may have found it difficult to focus for more than a couple minutes. Distracting thoughts from out of nowhere come in to sabotage your time and it feels fruitless. Writing focuses my thoughts like nothing else I’ve tried. Pen to paper is key, as typing my journal didn’t have the same focusing affect. I write my prayers as if I’m writing Jesus a letter, or more like talking to him as if he’s right next to me. I give thanks and record my blessings. It’s great to read the entries after some time and see how blessed I am and how well the things turned out that I was so concerned about. I would never remember such things unless I wrote it down.
Journaling is my story; my legacy
IMG_0829The main personal, compelling reason WHY I write in my journal 5 days a week is because I want to record my personal story for others to read…someday. I figure that when I’m gone, my son and future generations behind him might find encouragement by reading the trials and triumphs of my life journey. Or they might think I was crazy! Either way, these volumes of my sloppy handwriting are part of my legacy. Want to know who I really was? You will find out in these books.
In the last few years my dad was alive, I would often ask him if he’d written his stories so we would all remember them. Most people don’t, so their stories get lost forever. My dad recorded some audio of his stories, which are precious for sure, but they can only capture a fraction of his life and heart. I hope people will be encouraged and maybe even get a laugh here and there while reading my story.
Just in case my reasons for journaling have inspired you to start the habit yourself, here are a few ideas to help you get started.
How to Journal

Keep it simple
Get a blank book and start writing. How’s that for simple? My first journals were spiral bound notebooks like we used in school. Now I prefer a more durable blank book that is meant for handwriting. None of mine have cost more than $10. As for the writing instrument, that’s surely a matter of personal preference. But I bet you have a favorite pen like I do. You know, the one you always go to when you need to write something down? The one you whine over when you can’t find it? Yeah, get more of those.
What you write in your journal is completely up to you. There is no wrong way to journal. Some sketch pictures in their books. Others reserve theirs for a particular theme like a weight loss journey, recording your kid’s firsts, a vacation journal, notes and insights you gather from a book you are reading, etc. Make your journal whatever you want it to be. You make up the rules. You are the boss! Go you!
Consider a template
OK, if you are the type of person that needs to know exactly what to do and exactly how to do it before starting something new, I suggest creating a template. Again, the template can be anything you want it to be, but the key is that you follow it each day you write. That way you don’t really have to think about what to write, you just answer the questions. Here’s one sample template from Michael Hyatt:
What happened yesterday? Just the highs, lows, and anything I want to remember later.

What were my biggest wins from yesterday? This gives me a sense of momentum to start the new day.

What lessons did I learn? It’s not what happens to us but what we learn from it that matters most.

What am I thankful for right now? This is one practical way I can cultivate a sense of abundance and gratitude.

How am I feeling right now? Feelings aren’t the be-all-end-all, but they’re a clue. In the past, I just ignored or suppressed them. This gives me an opportunity to check in on myself.

What did I read or hear? Here I list important books, articles, Bible passages, or podcasts I consumed since I last journaled.

What stood out? I don’t want to lose what I learn in my reading and listening, so I record key insights.

Habit stacking

Adding a new activity to your busy schedule, especially in the morning, can feel overwhelming. While I recommend writing in the morning, you need to find the time that you can stick with consistently. Otherwise, journaling will frustrate you as the days and weeks pass between entries. Habit stacking is simply doing the new activity immediately after something else you already do every day. I write before I dig into my work. Once I start into the emails and phone calls, there is far less chance I will get back to writing, so I commit to writing before I start work. Since I only write on the weekdays, this works well for me. So choose something that you do every day and associate it with your new activity. Brush your teeth? “Ah yes, time to write in my journal.”
Journaling has become an important part of my healthy living journey and I highly recommend the practice to everyone. Remember that mental fitness is really important. “Healthy living starts between your ears,” right? Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you.