Personal Development: A Significant Life Demands It

Clint Fix LIFE

In 2004 I realized that the lifestyle I was leading would eventually lead to permanent health problems or even premature death. I was obese and had been for as long as I could remember. With the help of a stack of books on nutrition and exercise and some friends who were in excellent shape, I began a journey to overhaul my health. I set some goals and began the painstaking process of losing weight the healthy way (after trying out the crash diet thing.) Over the course of a few years I lost 85lbs and dropped my body fat to less than 10%. I achieved my goals. I thought I had it all under control. For a few years I thought I was “maintaining,” but in reality, I was slowly packing the pounds back on. I was still working out, but less consistently. I was still eating right…most of the time. By the time I realized what was happening my body fat percentage was peaking over 15% and I had packed on enough fat that I no longer fit in my clothes. What happened to me? The same thing that happens to us all in every area of our lives. I tried to coast on my past efforts. I didn’t have the next goal set. I wasn’t focused on moving forward. As a result I slacked in my effort and in my education on the subject. In the end, I learned a very important lesson:

If you’re not moving forward, you are going backwards.

There is no maintaining. Momentum may carry you forward for a time, but you will inevitably slip backwards. Discipline is not a choice; either we discipline ourselves now or outside forces will discipline us later. If I hadn’t done the hard work of disciplining myself with regards to my health, eventually I would have lost the freedom to eat certain foods and may have been forced to take certain medications. I use the example of my weight loss journey, but the principle is the same in every part of life. It’s my experience that if we aren’t continually focused on the hard work of improving ourselves in the most important facets of our lives, life is eventually going to get much harder.

To live a significant and successful life, I believe there are a handful of areas where it’s valuable to engage in a program to help us continually learn and grow so that we don’t slip backwards:

Faith
Relationships (marriage, parenting, and friendship)
Finances
Fitness
Leadership (people skills, conflict resolution, vision, etc)
Freedom (history and economics)

Obviously there are many other areas that you may want to work on, but the areas listed will impact every area of your life. There are many different avenues for getting education in these areas so I’ll highlight some principles and questions which I recommend that you use to weigh the different programs that are available.

1. Do the people that are teaching have the results that you want in the area in which they are teaching?

Anybody can spout theories, but if you want to get better in a certain area, find someone who has results in that area.

2. Are they currently active in the area they are teaching or are they speaking on past results?

This is an important question, especially for areas like leadership and finances. Just because someone did something once a decade ago doesn’t mean that it’s applicable right now and in this economy.

3. Is the information and teaching packaged in a format that makes engaging with it easy?

While a college course or a leadership institute may have fantastic information, usually the format requires large blocks of dedicated time which is a hindrance to most. Look for programs which allow you to plug into the information in the cracks of wasted time that we all have throughout the day: while commuting in the car, working out, cleaning the house, etc. Audio learning is is one of my favorite formats because you can listen to it repeatedly and cement it in your mind. Humans learn best through small bits of information repeated over time.

4. Does the program give you access to one-on-one coaching from someone that has the results you’re looking for?

We are all very good at deceiving ourselves. Having an outside perceptive to lovingly point out blind spots and help us correct our thinking is a non-negotiable if you want to lead a significant life. All the greatest people throughout history had mentors. Even one of the best basketball players ever, Michael Jordan, had a basketball coach.

5. Does the program have a community that you can associate with?

Building relationships with people who are on a similar journey is critical for your success. The encouragement and accountability of a community can be the difference between success and failure in any self-improvement journey.

6. Is it continuous?

One-off seminars and classroom teaching has its place, but neither one will create the consistency needed for changing the habits that are holding us back. Look for a program that is on-going. Most of us have been taught the things we need to do, but we forget easily. We need continuous reminders. On-going training programs should not only teach new information, but remind us of the things we’ve forgotten.

Obviously there are other factors to take into account, but this should narrow the choices considerably. The program that I personally plug into is the one crafted by a company called LIFE. It was founded in 2011 by Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, and Dan Hawkins. Check out some of the LIFE reviews and testimonials.

Making the decision to embark on a good personal development program will change your life. Most people are trying to coast on their knowledge from formal schooling, much like I tried to coast in my health after achieving my goal. We know how that turned out. If you want to stand out from the crowd plug into a program with a specific intent to continue learning and getting better.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

Personal Development: A Significant Life Demands It

Weight Loss as a New Years Resolution – Done Right

As we enter the new year, I’m sure that many of you have decided to make a change when it comes to your health. Weight loss is usually on most people’s new years resolution list. It’s no surprise given that the leanest state in the country is Colorado at 21% and the worst at 34% is Mississippi! 1 in 3 adults are not just overweight, but obese! These are alarming statistics. I applaud you for making a stand to reverse the frightening trend of obesity.

Why should you listen to me on this subject? Because I used to be in the obese category and decided that I needed to make a change.  Is the change easy? Not at all. Is it worth it? I can’t describe the difference it makes in every area of your life. You better believe that it’s worth it! Hopefully I can give you a shorter path to a healthy life than I took myself. You are already off to a better start because you’re seeking help from someone who has done it. I searched for the short cut. Fad diets and magic pills don’t work. They’ll extend the journey and make it much more difficult. Because of things like those, it took me nearly 3 years to lose 85lbs when it should have only taken me 1. Just remember, there are no short cuts to success in weight loss (or anything for that matter).

So what’s the first step? Resolve to drop all excuses. You will NOT get your weight loss goals if you cop out by making excuses like, “I don’t have time to work out,” or “I just can’t lose weight,” “I don’t know what I’m doing,” etc. If time is your excuse, throw out your TV or at least get rid of cable. This will be a double whammy when it comes to weight loss; you’ll get off your butt and if you are an average American, you’ll save an average of 20-30 hours of time per week. You can lose weight. The only way to figure out what you’re doing is to start doing it and seek help from those that know what they’re doing. It only takes ONE excuse to keep you from your fitness goals.

For those of you that are serious about weight loss and resolve to not make any excuses can move on to the next step: setting a real goal. Just saying, “I want to lose weight” is not good enough. Goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Specific. Tim Marks does a great job diving into the goal setting process. Exactly how much weight do you want to lose? A realistic weight loss goal should be somewhere in the realm of 2-4lbs a week. When do you want to reach your goal by? Do you want a certain toned look? If so, you may need to get even more specific and take into consideration your body composition, not just weight. My fitness goal for 2012 is to be 165lbs at 8% body fat by December 2012.

Now that you have the vision of where you want to be clear in your mind (and hopefully on paper), we can begin what Orrin Woodward calls  PDCA or the Plan, Do, Check and Adjust process.  Remember a mediocre plan acted upon is infinitely better than a perfect plan that remains unimplemented. To help out, here are a few tips that should start you on your journey.

1. Cut out refined carbohydrates (sugar, starches, etc).

2. Replace at least one meal per day with a higher protein meal replacement shake (there is very strong evidence showing the link between meal replacements and long term weight loss)

3. Start a weight training regimen. Don’t even start to make excuses – this is a must for both women and men for long term health. Don’t worry women, you won’t get big and muscular.

4. Eat most of your carbs towards the beginning of the day, tapering them off throughout the day.

5. Eat 4-6 SMALL meals per day. This is where meal replacements can come in handy.

6. Don’t make drastic changes all at once. You will probably end up quitting. Ease into these suggestions. Set little goals along the way.

7. Find someone to encourage you and hold you accountable.

8. Reward yourself along the way! Wayne MacNamara, who competed in competitive body building, tells us that we need to reward ourselves to motivate ourselves. Make sure to check out his blog on fitness!

These are some simple tips that should get you started on your weight loss journey. As you go along, you may need a more specific plan which can be provided by a professional (not a doctor…they usually don’t know jack about nutrition) or someone who has done what you’re trying to accomplish. If you live in Colorado Springs, here are a few great personal trainers:

24 hour fitness: Jerod Langness – he trained me after a car accident and did a great job getting me back into working order.

Gold’s Gym: Benito Juvera – Great if you want a hardcore, no excuses trainer. Definitely knows what he’s doing and will get you results!

Lifetime Fitness: Rachael Smith – Awesome trainer with some physical therapy training. Ladies, she is your go to gal!

If you’re not seeing results, or not getting the results you want, it’s time to check if you’re doing the steps of your plan correctly. If so, adjust and start the PDCA process over again.

Your weight loss journey will be rewarding. It will boost your confidence, self-image and help you function better at work, as a wife/husband, father/mother, etc. It will make every part of your life better! Now that you have the basics – GET INTO ACTION!

Physical fitness isn’t all that counts, however. Make sure you’re also working on your Mental Fitness as well. The best program I’ve seen for getting rid of flabby thinking is the Mental Fitness Challenge. It’s kinda like P90X for your brain.

As always, let me know your thoughts down below!

Happy New Year!

Clint Fix

 

Weight Loss as a New Years Resolution – Done Right