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Category: Lifestyle
Episode 22: 5 Ways To Get Better Results In 2020

The truth is.. 2020 won’t look any different if you aren’t any different.

We all set these goals to accomplish new things (financially, vocationally, relationally, physically, socially, etc.) but somehow, we except to get new results with the same habits. Being the same person.

It’s weird, too, because admitting you need to change is like admitting that there’s something wrong with you…

But that’s not necessarily the case. It’s not about looking at yourself as if you are “good” or “bad”, or “failing or “winning”.

Either way, parts of us are always changing. When you purposely make those changes, it’s called growth, and that’s just a part of taking control of your life.

I’m passionate about consistent growth, so I taught on this to our Superfit Foods team last week, and I wanted to share this with you.

Here are the 5 Ways to Get Better Results this year:

 

1) Pay attention to yourself (increased self-awareness)

Take some time while reading this, or shortly after, and ask yourself these tough but super important questions:

  • Why do I do the things that I do?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What are my blind spots?

If you struggle with any of these questions, then the next step is to ask the people that are closest to you. What do they have to say?

Side note on that last comment: If you struggle with discerning good feedback, check out my last blog or podcast on “How to Measure the Value of Criticism”.

 

2) Look for opportunities to get your reps in (increased situational awareness)

Once you make a cognitive commitment to being “different”, you will have to make a conscious effort to look for opportunities to make that happen. It’s like saying you want to get stronger, but you don’t plan on going to the gym… it’s a recipe for failure.

So let’s say for example that you want to be more generous: You would start paying more attention to the homeless people on the corner of the road, and/or you will start paying more attention when friends, family or coworkers who are asking for help.

It’s almost like when you decide you want to buy a certain kind of car. All of a sudden, everyone on the road has that car.

Before you can start acting different, you have to thinking different.

 

3) Practice being different, in a good way

This is where action comes in. Instead of recognizing the above opportunities, and just saying to yourself, “wow! I noticed 5 homeless people on the way to work! I must be such a different person”, you now go out of your way to help those people. Roll your window down and give the guy a dollar.

Or instead of telling your friend “I’m praying for you” when they tell you about their problems, you invite them to grab coffee and talk about it.

Or instead of handing the training manual to the new girl at work, you take the time to sit down with her and show her how to do the project she was struggling on.

Every time you take action on an opportunity to be different whether it’s being more kind, saving money, being healthier etc. – you begin changing your brain and ultimately, yourself. These steps can be applied to any area in life that you want to be different.

The toughest things about the above 3 points is that they are all routed in selflessness. You will have to commit to thinking less of yourself, or more about others, if you want to make positive changes in your life.

 

4) Get CLEAR accountability

Like any other goal, accountability is going to be what keeps you going when you are ready to give up. But just like your fitness goals, you can’t expect to get clear accountability from your friend that doesn’t prioritize fitness. Your buddy that doesn’t work out isn’t going to be the best person to motivate you to stay in the gym, just like your friend who is bad with money isn’t going to be the best person to count on to help you make better financial decisions.

Financial goals – go to your friend who is financially responsible.

Relational goals – confide in your friend who has a healthy, stable and long-term relationship.

Fitness goals – tell your friend who is a fitness junkie with a bit of knowledge.

You get the picture…

 

5) Reward yourself

Once you run through the first 4 steps, you will notice that you are beginning to grow into a completely different person. All of these steps require commitment and discipline, which I think should always be rewarded.

You just have to use common sense when rewarding yourself, though. For example, if you lose a few pounds, don’t reward yourself at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Or if you save some money, don’t reward yourself by buying something you don’t need.

Only you will know the best way to reward yourself, but here are a couple examples of how I would do it:

  • Lose 5 pounds: go out to dinner with a friend and have whatever you want
  • Save $1000: buy yourself a gift for $50-100 that has a practical benefit
  • Finish 1 book in 1 month: put the book down and binge on Netflix for a day

 

I write this stuff as much for me, if not more, than for anyone else. So don’t misinterpret what I put out there as if I’ve got it figured out. Growth is a journey that will look different every day, but I hope these steps help make those days a bit easier.

What’re your thoughts on this?

Episode 21: 3 Steps to Regaining Your Focus

Have you ever heard of or taken the Clifton Strength Finder test? It is an online assessment that helps people identify, understand and maximize their strengths. It shows you what your top 5 strengths are, and one of mine is “focus”.

But in my opinion and from my internal point of view, this past year would show that I fell really short of that being one of my strengths. Don’t get me wrong…in 2019, I accomplished a lot of really great things, and I reached a lot of my goals. But throughout the year, more than ever, I found myself spread thin, scatterbrained and stressed out from having committed to too many things, which in turn, weakened my focus.

That’s why I’ve committed FOCUS as my word and objective of the year in 2020. Not that I won’t be working on many other things, but I know that if I can dial in on this one particular thing, everything else I care about will grow.

So you might be asking, “if this guy sucks at focus, then why is he writing about it?” And well, I get you. But remember, technically, it is one of my natural strengths. I just had to have the humility to recognize that I had let it fall by the wayside. Now, I’m going to explain how I am regaining my focus, increasing my strength in this area, and how you can too.

Have you ever felt like you’ve lost focus? Here’s my 3-part process for getting back on track with life and goals:

 

1. Understand your mission, vision and values

I believe we have all been created and designed specifically for a purpose. If God has a vision for your life, then so should you.

It took me a bit of time, but in the last 5 years, I have identified my mission in life, my vision for the future, and the 12 values that support those statements.

If you’ve taken the time to identify what these are already, then you just need to revisit them. I try to read them to myself every day, and normally when I feel my life getting off track, it’s because I have most likely let that habit fall by the wayside.

If you haven’t already done this, then mark off a few hours in your calendar over the next week and spend time alone really thinking and praying about your mission, vision and values.

 

2. Learn to say no

Once you’ve identified your mission, vision and values, you should have a good idea of what it will take to accomplish your goals. Some of us waste too much time and energy doing things we don’t enjoy or things that don’t add value simply because we don’t know how to politely decline our friends, family and coworkers when they invite us to things or ask us to do things. Please take this into context and know that I am not advising you to tell your spouse or your boss no, because some things need to be done and aren’t negotiable, but common sense will give you an idea of the things in your life I’m referencing.

Here’s a few tips for saying no:

  • Be honest
  • Explain why (if necessary) but don’t make excuses
  • Keep it simple
  • Be confident and don’t over-apologize

 

3. Audit your time

I schedule mostly everything that I do, but over time, it seems like it is inevitable that unnecessary tasks end up on my plate. Conversely, new and important responsibilities stack up while I am still somehow managing to do the old tasks that got me to where I am. This is when an audit comes into play. I would recommend doing a “deep clean” once every 3 months and ask yourself 3 questions?

  1. What can I eliminate?

When you audit your time, you will recognize a few small things that simply just don’t need to be done. You may have to have a quick conversation with your boss, coworker or spouse before you ultimately quit, but these are the things that if they didn’t ever get done again, would anything negatively change? If the answer is no, then you can just stop. This act can add a few minutes back to your day, which can add up over time.

  1. What can I automate?

There are plenty of apps or services out there that automate plenty of roles for very cheap, if not free. In the most practical way for me to explain this, ask yourself, “what am I doing that an affordable robot can probably do?”. Once you identify a few things, simply Google, “how to automate ________”.

  1. What can I delegate?

If you work for a growing company, or if you are at least in a growing role, delegation needs to be one of your strongest weapons as a leader. Once you’ve audited your time and identified all the things that take up your time that may not serve you or your organization best to do yourself, and if you have important stuff leftover after eliminating and automating stuff, now it’s time to delegate. This is how you raise up leaders and high performers alongside of you.

 

BONUS HACKS FOR FOCUSED TIME ONCE YOU’VE DONE THE 3 PART PROCESS:

  • The “do not disturb” feature on my iPhone has recently become my best friend. Like most people, I have a hard time ignoring the vibration or ring from my phone. But when I am trying to do focused work, I simply put it on “do not disturb”, turn my phone upside down, and only check it when I really need to, or when I’m done.
  • Carry a mini notebook. I often have thoughts or ideas that need to be written down, but when I pick my phone up to write it down, somehow, I end up answering text messages and scrolling on Instagram. I’ve adopted using a small notebook to write down those things, so if they are important, they can go in my phone or agenda later.
  • Tell people when you are trying to focus. When I’m in the office, we have an open-door policy. I want people to feel comfortable asking for help. But if I know that at least for the next hour I am going to be intently focused on writing something, or reviewing a proposal, or even brainstorming a marketing plan, I ask them to email me instead and I will get to it ASAP.

 

My final recommendation: take your time, and don’t expect too much from yourself. Yes, you should be ambitious. And yes, you should set high expectations and lofty goals. But you know yourself better than anyone, and you need to be real, so you don’t discourage yourself in the long run. Don’t try to take all these steps and apply them overnight. Pick one, knock it out. Then move onto the next. Within a few weeks, you will be a way more focused person, and you’ll love it.

 

One thing at a time.

 

Episode 20: 5 Personality Traits of the Ideal Leader

Every Wednesday, my team and I have what we call a “leadership meeting.” We revolve who teaches each week, and since I think leadership is the key ingredient to success in any part of life, the topics are generally pretty broad ranging from “creativity in leadership”, “nutrition education” or even traveling tips.

 

This past week, however, we dialed in and talked as a group specifically about the key personality traits of the ideal leader. Below, I will outline them, define them, and explain how we got there.

 

At first, I went around the room and asked what the top 3 traits each team member thought was important for a leader to have. After going around the room, we ended up with 21 traits written on the board (we have 5 people in the office, but you’ll see from the picture below there was an “others” column)

 

 

After going through the 21 traits, as a team, we collectively decided that these were the 5 Key Personality Traits of the Ideal Leader:

 

1. Humility

Humility is the underlying ingredient to be the right kind of servant leader. The type who empowers others by setting the example but doesn’t always do the job for them. Humility, in this sense, is not a lack of confidence or self-worth, but the absence of pride and self-absorption. Knowing that you wouldn’t be where you are without your God-given talents, abilities, and most importantly, your team.

 

2. Influence

Influence is very simply the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of others. More specifically, positive influence. It’s hard to be a leader if people don’t want to follow you.

 

3. Vision

Vision can be defined as a picture in the leader’s imagination that motivates people to action when communicated compellingly, passionately and clearly. To be a visionary, a leader need have nothing more than a clear vision of the future. A visionary leader who clearly and passionately communicates his or her vision can motivate employees to act with passion and purpose, thereby ensuring that everyone is working toward a common goal. The end result is that everyone contributes to the organization’s forward momentum.

 

 4. Open-Mindedness

Open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas, which relates to the way in which people approach the views and knowledge of others. Open-minded individuals are more inclined to listen to, and seriously consider, alternative viewpoints. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “every man is my superior, in that, I learn of him”, which means that everyone has some value to contribute, and if we don’t recognize that value, we are stunting our personal growth and the growth of the team and mission as a whole.

 

5. Competence

Competence is a cluster of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that enable a person to act effectively in a job or situation, and we believe both relative to the specific field, and general competence are important for a great leader. This may seem insensitive, but charisma can only take you so far. People need to know they are following someone who knows what they are talking about, how to get the job done, and if not, someone who knows how to find a way to figure it out.

 

 

Us choosing these 5 traits doesn’t mean the rest aren’t important. If you look closely, the remaining 16 traits are key ingredients to mastering the main 5 we’ve identified. Open-mindedness takes self-awareness and empathy just like influence takes charisma, passion and communication.

Episode 19: 3 Ways to Get Unstuck and Stay There Forever

Have you ever felt stuck? Like you’ve been doing the same routine forever, and you’re not growing in any way? Well, you’re not alone.

A study of 2,000 people found that 69 percent feel trapped in the same old routine and over 40 percent are generally unhappy with their lives because of it. (1)

In this article, I’m going to outline the 3 main reasons that people get stuck in the first place, give you the 3 ways to get unstuck, and give you practical examples of your next steps so you can live a life of endless personal growth.

But first, why is “getting unstuck” even that important? Especially if I’m comfortable here…

According to Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse, the greatest regret people had when they were in their death bed was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” She goes on to write: (4)

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Many people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”

The goal here is to not wait until our last days to realize our potential and regret the way we lived our lives. God has created each and every one for some form of greatness, whether it’s to be the best 3rd grade teacher possible, the quickest and most accurate delivery driver, or the next President of the United States – either way, it’s our responsibility to find that out and figure out how to get there.

 

The 3 main reasons why people get stuck:

 

1. We don’t set goals

According to the best research, less than 3 percent of Americans have written goals, and less than 1 percent review and rewrite their goals on a daily basis. (3)

Why?

The primary reasons people don’t set goals is because they don’t know how, they’re scared of failure, or they’re just not serious enough.

 

2. When we do set goals, we suck at it

Studies show that under 25% of us actually stick to New Year’s Resolutions after 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. Clearly, there’s something wrong with how we are setting goals.

Why?

Because most of us just don’t know how. Brian Tracy, self-development author and goal-setting expert, says, “One of the greatest tragedies of our educational system is that you can receive 15 to 18 years of education in our schools and never once receive a single hour of instruction on how to set goals.”

 

3. We are too one-track minded about growth

Most people think growth is linear, assuming you can only grow in one way at one time. Then they get stuck on it.

For example, if you’re trying to get a promotion, you dial into the lifestyle it takes to get that promotion and forsake everything else. Or if you’re trying to lose weight, you do a mediocre job at work, maybe hang with your friends when it’s convenient, but give your fitness goals 100% of your attention.

The problem with this is that we stay there, and even once we’ve reached our goal, we don’t think to diversify until we’ve sunk into the depressive state of being stuck again.

 

Now that we’ve covered the bad news and the not-so-fun statistics, here’s the good news: you can change.

Getting unstuck isn’t that hard; I promise. It’s just a few simple steps. You can live a life of greatness, fulfill your potential, and be happy doing it.. and most importantly, you can start right now. Not next Monday, next month or next January.

 

Here’s the 3 Ways to Get Unstuck and Stay There Forever:

 

1. Identify all of the areas where you can grow

In an earlier article I wrote, 7 Life Hacks to Mastering Work-Life Balance (5), I wrote about the four main quadrants of focus in life: Family, Business, Health and Hobbies.

Although what falls in these quadrants may be different for you than it is for me, I still think everyone’s life should have these 4 main areas of focus in which you can grow in.

Within each quadrant, there are sublevels of focus.

Family:

  • Friendships
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc)

Q: What can you do today to grow in any of these “family” relationships?

 

Business:

  • Full-time job
  • Side-hustle
  • Investments
  • Other opportunities
  • Relationships that pertain to the above (Staff, partners, managers, vendors, etc)

Q: What can you do today to grow in any of these “business” related areas?

 

Health:

Side note: I look at health in 3 ways: Physical, Mental/psychological and spiritual

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Education (or continued education)
  • Church (or whatever religious establishment you may be a part of)

Q: What can you do today to grow in any of these “health” related areas?

 

Hobbies:

  • Traveling
  • Art
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Skills / activities

Q: What can you do today to grow in any of these personal “hobbies”?

 

2. Set SMART goals

S-M-A-R-T goals are goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. (6)

For example, if you know you are overweight, instead of saying this:

  • “I want to lose weight this year” (too vague and immeasurable)
  • “I’m going to lose 20 lbs in a month” (unachievable)
  • “I’m going to do a juice cleanse” (irrelevant and immeasurable)

Say this: I want to lose 20 pounds this year (relevant and specific). I am going to lose 1 pound a week by exercising 3 times a week and watching what I eat (measurable and achievable), and by December (time-bound), I will reach my goal.

I like to set 3 types of goals: Personal (Family and Health), Professional (Business) and Play (Hobbies).

 

3. Reference them daily, weekly and monthly

This one is the easiest one, which is good and bad. It’s good because it takes very little work, but it’s bad because it’s the easiest to not do. It seems so unimportant over time, but don’t be fooled, it’s the biggest step.

  • Write all of your goals down where you can reference them daily and easily. I put mine in my iPhone notes.
  • Set a reminder in your phone to read them daily. This takes 3 minutes.
  • When you see one that stands out that you need to begin working towards, set a time during the weekend to plan how you will achieve this goal.
  • At the end of each month or beginning of each new month, set time aside to audit your goals and track how well you are doing, where you may be falling short, what you need to change, and most importantly – what you need to celebrate!

 

As promised, here are some practical examples:

Family:

  • Set a goal to hang out with your friends 1 night a week, and when you read this in your notes, start a group chat with your buddies and ask if any of them are free for dinner and then make sure it gets scheduled.
  • Set a goal to have at least 1 date night with the wife, put it on the calendar as a recurring appointment, and make sure to ask her in advance what she’s in the mood for.
  • Set a goal to talk to your parents more and set a reminder in your phone on your least busy day to “call parents”.

 

Business:

  • Set a goal for 2 million in revenue for the year, then break that down to quarterly (.5M), monthly (167K), and weekly (38.5K). Then, get with your team and strategize what it takes to reach that goal, and measure it week over week.
  • Set a goal to delegate a major task of yours to one of your direct reports by a certain time period, then establish the steps to reach that goal, and identify what you will do with your time once it’s done.
  • Set a goal to increase profitability by 2% by end of the quarter and do an internal audit of all your expenses. Get rid of unnecessary expenses that have accrued over time, pay off high interest debts, and renegotiate what you can.

 

Health:

  • Set a goal to get 49 hours a week of rest. On the nights you don’t get 7, try to make up for it the next day. Make sure to catch up by Monday and start over.
  • Set a goal to eat healthy 80% of the time. If you eat 21 meals a week, this allows you 4 “cheat meals” per week. Figure out ahead of time what 4 places you will have your cheat meal, so you can enjoy it as much as possible.
  • Set a goal to bench press 250 pounds by December, and break down weekly how much stronger you need to get. Then create a workout program that incorporate bench press often.

 

Hobbies:

  • Set a goal for how many new destinations you want to visit this year, then look at your calendar, reference your paid time off, and schedule those trips ahead of time.
  • Set a goal to read 12 books in the year and pick out the books. Then identify how many pages per day you’d need to read in order to read 1 book a month.
  • Set a goal to get a soccer game together with some of your old teammates, reach out to all of them, and make a Facebook post. Then schedule a game once every month.

 

Even after doing all of this, you are still going to find areas where, even when you are trying your hardest, you will get stuck in. When trying to lose weight, you’ll reach a plateau. When you’ve gotten the promotion, what’s next?

The main point is you can always grow. Once you hit that plateau or reach that goal, look at everything else. If you’ve outlined all the areas in all 4 quadrants, then you should easily be able to recognize an area where you can grow, and a strategy to do so. Life will always have its ups and down, it’s highs and lows. It’s your responsibility to focus on what you can control, and make the best out of whatever season you’re in.

 

Resources:

Episode 18: 7 Life Hacks to Mastering Work-Life Balance

 

I’ve had tons of conversations and read a handful of articles about how there’s no such thing as “work-life balance”, if you really want to excel at both. Some say that when it comes to Fitness, Work, Family, Sleep or Friends, you need to pick 3. (1) Others say that when it comes to your health, friends, family or work, one is going to suffer. (2)

 

While I think it’s impossible to give them all 100% of your energy, because that is physically and mathematically impossible, I still think we can do much better at managing them all and stop making excuses for bad performance at work, lack of presence or commitment in marriage or parenting, no-showing on your friends and not taking care of your health.

 

Unlike the writers I referenced, I think there are four main quadrants (or “burners”, as James Clear would explain in the below reference) which would be: Family, Business, Health and Hobbies.

 

In Clear’s explanation of the Four Burner’s Theory, he illustrates a picture of a stove top where all four burners can’t be going at once. In my opinion, managing these well really looks like an ever-changing, seasonal pie graph, where you expend your energy differently on each thing throughout life. In the poorly drawn, peace-sign-looking illustration below, you’ll see an example of what I mean and how mine is in this season of my life.

 

I have a small family and no kids or wife, so that quadrant only takes up 10% (or an average of 16 hours a week) of my energy, and it is mainly on investing time with friends, get-togethers, church groups, dating and hanging with my pup. As you can tell, my health (45% or 75 hours a week) and business 35% or 60 hours a week) are the highest priorities in my life, with my hobbies being a much smaller, but still important percentage.

 

Keep in mind this is going to be different for everyone, so before we get into the life hacks, you need to spend time identify what your pie graph looks like and understand that this graph will change seasonally, and you need to stay conscious of it.

 

For example, when I get married and have kids, that part of the graph will grow significantly, and I will have to take away from the others. For you, it might mean that when your kids go off to college, you invest less time on “family” and more time on “hobbies”.

 

Once you’ve drawn out your graph, these are the 10 life hacks that are going to help you manage your pie graph with excellence:

 

1. Create a time budget (3)

If you begin to value your time like you do your money, you will get a lot more out of it. Identifying that there is 168 hours in every week, and what to do with those hours specifically will allow you make the proper commitments. Please check out reference 3 for an outline.

 

2. Use a meal prep company 

Outsourcing things you don’t enjoy is a key hack that gives you more time in your day. Since most people don’t enjoy cooking a ton of meals in advance, and health should be a priority, using a meal prep company kills two birds with one stone. This would give you more time with friends, or more time with the wife, rather than running through drive-thrus or cooking at home when you’d rather be on the couch, the office or out.

 

3. Outsource work or learn healthy delegation

Most business owners and entrepreneurs I know like to do all the work, because they know they do it best and it saves them money. But once you recognize where your energy in your pie chart should be expended, you may see that by hiring others, delegating roles, or researching automation software, you can invest in those other priorities.

 

4. Hire a personal trainer or join a group training facility 

We all need to be working out, but most of us don’t have time to draw up a work out plan and spend 2 hours in the gym every day figuring it all out. By hiring a professional or joining a group, you can be in and out in one hour and stay in shape.

 

5. Plan ahead and schedule everything

Even if it’s your work schedule, your daily work out, church on Sundays or picking up the kids, put it all on your calendar. It may seem tedious, but these things all take your time and energy and need to be documented so you know what you can realistically commit to every day/week moving forward.

 

6. Learn to say no

Once you’ve created your pie graph, you should have a better perspective of the things in life you really value. Some of us waste too much time and energy doing things we don’t enjoy or things that don’t add value simply because we don’t know how to politely decline our friends, family and coworkers when they invite us to things or ask us to do things. Please take this into context and know that I am not telling you to tell your wife or your boss no, because some things need to be done, but common sense will give you an idea of the things in your life I’m referencing.

 

7. Create a to-don’t list every month

Over time, we accumulate roles, responsibilities and habits that we simply don’t need to be doing anymore. At the end of each month or beginning of each new month, take 1-2 hours to sit, reflect and document the things that have added up in your day to day. If you’ve already begun to master 1 though 6, it will be easy to identify how to eliminate the things that will go on your to-don’t list.

 

I recommend that anytime a major life change happens such as a new job, relationship, move, new pet, kids, health issue, etc. – you reevaluate your pie graph and adjust accordingly. The key to mastering work-life balance is being proactive about the seasonal changes in your life and always understanding your proper percentages.

 

Resources:

 

Episode 16: Time or Money – Choose one

You know what breaks my heart? People not living up to their potential, and in turn, being unhappy.

 

As I mentor friends, work with e3 clients and just browse social media – I see one common theme: most people aren’t reaching their goals for 2 reasons:

 

Not enough time, and/ or not enough money.

 

That’s because they have been conditioned to believe they have specific predisposed capacity, and that subconsciously we have to choose free time or a surplus of money. Most people that have money are always “too busy” to spend time with friends or family. Most people that are consistently social are often times complaining about being broke.

 

Unfortunately, at least in America, we are seeing people dramatically lean to one side or the other. We are seeing the largest income gap since the 1920’s, and worse, the largest percentage of people struggling with mental disorders like depression and anxiety.

 

So what I want to talk about today is: By learning to manage these things better, we can learn to make more money, take back our time, and live happier, healthier lives.

 

What I’m about to say is not to boast, but to give perspective. I personally run 2 businesses, one full time and one part time. I am in college part time, I work out 6 days a week. I have 3-4 social evenings per week. I practice hobbies such as boxing, painting, shooting guns, and even traveling regularly. I read and write every day, and I also take care of my pup. I do all that and get an average of 7 hours of sleep per night, and I know – that there is still more in me…

 

A preponderance of evidence shows that the feeling of having enough time — “time affluence” — is now at a record low in the United States. When a survey was done of 2.5 million Americans by the Gallup Organization, they found that 80% of respondents did not have the time to do all they wanted to each day. This situation is so severe it could even be described as a “famine” — a collective cultural failure to effectively manage our most precious resource, time.

 

Time poverty exists across all economic strata, and its effects are profound. Research shows that those who feel time-poor experience lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. They experience less joy. They laugh less. They exercise less and are less healthy. Their productivity at work is diminished. They are more likely to get divorced. And in an analysis of the Gallup survey data, researchers found that time stress had a stronger negative effect on happiness than being unemployed did.

 

On a broader level, time poverty directly accounts for billions of dollars in productivity costs to companies each year, and secondary costs multiply that number many times over. Public health officials rank it as one of the top contributors to rising obesity. Researchers put the health care costs of time stress at $48 billion a year.

 

 

1. LOOK AT TIME LIKE WE LOOK AT MONEY

Why?

Studies showed that people who prioritize their time are more likely to pursue and work in careers they loved

Example: every time you go to spend $5 on a coffee, or $100 on shoes, you ask “is it worth it”, and you justify the money spent or you decide not to spend it.

What do I do?

Create a time budget.

How?

Draw out 168 hours…

 

 

2. PLAN TO BE SPONTANEOUS: 

Why?

Because of TIME SLACK – Slack is the perceived surplus of a given resource available to complete a focal task. Our research shows that, in general, people expect slack for time to be greater in the future than in the present. This expectation of growth of slack in the future is more pronounced for time than for money.

 What do I do?

Plan your future time. When it comes to leisure time, the data suggests that people have a natural bias toward spontaneity: We don’t want to feel our free time is too scheduled. So we do things like leaving weekends up to chance — and then end up wasting much of them. But we’re actually happier if we make plans and don’t passively fritter away time.

How?

Communicate with your friends, family and/or spouse more about your flex time. See when they are free so you can all enjoy each other together more.

 

 

3. PLAN YOUR MEALS: 

Why?

When Romain Cadario, a professor at IÉSEG School of Management in Paris, recently surveyed 12,000 French and American adults about their dining habits, he found that on average, the French spent significantly more time eating. In turn, they had a much more positive association with food. Americans spent more time choosing their meals than actually enjoying them.

What do I do?

Plan your meals like you plan your outfits.

How?

Prep and cook in advance, use a meal prep company, or simply think about your lunch tomorrow in advance so when lunch time comes around – you know where you are going.

 

 

4. IDENTIFY WHAT IS WORTH REALLY SAVING MONEY OR TIME ON

Why?

Sometimes our “bargains” are actually costing us more time AND money.

For example:

  • a 10 hour flight vs a 6 hour flight and saving $50
  • driving further for cheaper gas
  • going from store to store for a bargain on the same shirt to save $10

What do I do?

Always weigh the pros and cons of purchasing decisions.

 How?

Learn to create more inner dialogue. You will want to do this quickly (for purchases like gas) and know when to spend time on it (like airplane tickets).

Episode 15: Leading Women In the Workplace Featuring Tammy Heermann

In this episode, Jared sits down with speaker, leadership development expert, and soon to be author, Tammy Heermann to unpack leadership in the workplace.

Tammy is specifically sought out by global Fortune 500 companies for her expertise in gender diversity and programs that accelerate women’s advancement. While having a significant impact in the C-Suite, she is happiest when pushing up-and-coming leaders to break through organizational and self-imposed barriers to reach their potential. She creates trust by sharing stories of her own journey from Senior Consultant to Senior Vice-President. Through alternating moments of humor and heartache, people walk away from their experiences with Tammy transformed.
Tammy helps individuals and organizations get serious about leadership. For over 20 years she has developed and facilitated pioneering and multiple award-winning programs, beginning from within Human Resources and ultimately as the head of the Leadership Development practice at a Global Consulting firm. She has helped change thousands of people’s mindsets around what it takes to lead, both self and others.
Tammy sits on the Women’s Leadership Advisory Committee for Women in Communications and Technology where she acts as a mentor and helps aspiring C-Suite leaders advance through sponsorship. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics where she earned a Master of Science degree for her studies on change management and global human resource strategies. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
To learn more about Tammy, visit her website at www.tammyheermann.com or follow her on Instagram @tammy_heermann
Episode 14: The 5 Disciplines of Leadership That Got Me to Where I am

(that I learned the hard way)

 

1.Time Management

When you are on house arrest, you have to show up to your CO every Sunday morning, and present a document that literally details the next 168 hours.

Quick tip: create a time budget

 

2. Responsibility

Be a person that does what you say you are going to do. Not just for others, but for yourself. How many of us let others down by being “that guy”, or “that girl”?

More importantly, how many times have you told you that you would do X, Y and Z this year… only to let yourself down time and time again.

In my situation, you get to a point where you realize that no one is going to do it for you. And growing up, being someone that was well aware of my potential, I knew that if I didn’t do it for myself, it wasn’t getting done. And I could either choose to sleep on a deflating air mattress every night or do what it took to make something of myself.

Quick tip: write everything down on a running to-do list

Do what you say you’re going to do.

 

3. Driven by learning

Leaders are learners.

Quick tip: commit to learning something new every day, week, month and quarter.

 

4. Patient urgency

Having this relative and dual perspective of time, you can live in both the now and the future. Patient urgency is the combination of foresight to prepare for a big idea, willingness to wait for the right market conditions, and agility to act straight away when conditions ripen.

Like Blockbuster, who failed to see the writing on the well and act in urgency. Or WebVan.com?

Quick tip: Have all your dreams and goals written down and refer to them as often as you can. By doing this, you will have a much better idea as time goes on as to which idea or goal to act on. Also, by being better with time management, responsibility and learning more, you will naturally be prepared for these opportunities.

 

5. Faith

Yes, I mean faith in God. But even more so, faith in yourself. Faith that no matter who you are today, who you see in the mirror, what people say about you or what you have or haven’t accomplished so far, especially compared to what you had planned by now, that you are capable of far more than you can think or imagine. I was once the kid in school that was so poor that I drew the Nike sign on my hand-me-down socks that I got made fun of. I was the kid that didn’t make the little league football team because I kept showing up to practice with no pads. I was the kid that, in 7th grade, my teacher told me, in front of everyone, that my homework was to look up the definition of “miserable failure,” because that’s what he told me I’d be.

 

You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. And by taking a small step every day in the direction of these 5 disciplines, you can change your life and the trajectory of your future.

Episode 13: 4 Traits of High Performers

1. They have VISION

How do you establish vision?

  • What is my Mission?
  • What are my Values?

 

2. They have a “TIME BUDGET”

How do you create a time budget?

  • Schedule everything that’s consistent in your life. Put it on your calendar.
    • Hobbies (Bible Study)
    • Regular Meetings
    • Healthy habits (gym)
    • School
    • Work
  • Create running to-do list
  • Create a “to-don’t” list (and quite wasting your time!!)

 

3. They are HEALTHY

We all know this is important, but people rarely practice it. How can you be healthy?

  • Eat healthy
    • Find healthy food or a diet that works for you (or a meal prep company!)
  • Exercise regularly
    • Find an activity you like! It doesn’t have to be the gym.
  • Sleep enough
    • This is more important than most people think. Get no less than 6 hours a night, but ideally 7-8 hours per night.

 

4. They are HUMBLE

How can we maintain or gain humility?

  • Ask more questions
  • Fail forward and fast
Episode 12: 8 Steps to the Healthiest Year of Your Life

An 8 minute read by Jared Graybeal

As we look back at each year, some of us are filled with encouragement and joy for everything we were able to get done and experience, but some are filled with regret for looking at how fast the year went by without accomplishing their goals or getting any further in life. I’m sure we have all felt one way or the other at one point. Some would say that is a part of life, and while we can’t control a lot of what happens to us, there is a lot that we can control. Like our habits. We have all heard the famous saying, “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish”.  Although that may be true in most cases, I am a firm believer that HOW we start, will ultimately determine how we finish. I think if you get in the routine of having enough “good days”, you will be able to look back and confidently say you’ve had a good year. It’s time to take a step in the right direction.

I personally have 15 things that I like to do every day, and since some of them are personal and individual to my life, I have pulled the 8 that I think can apply to everyone. I have taken the time to describe them as well as the rhyme and reason behind why I do it!

What’s great about locking down these 8 steps to a better year is that after enough of these ‘days’, they eventually add up, and lead into living a better life. And that is ultimately the end goal and what I want for everyone.

5 of these should or can be done prior to going to work or starting your day, whatever that looks like for you.

1 and 2 takes 15 minutes before you go to sleep.

3 – 6 takes 45 minutes before your day starts.

7 takes 30-60 minutes and is only needed 3-5 times a week.

8 can take 5 seconds

Total: 1.5 to 2 hours

 

Step 1: Spend 15 – 20 minutes reading before going to sleep.

  • According to the National Sleep Foundation, a relaxing reading ritual can prepare your body for sleep and help your mind separate your sleep time from the stresses of daily living. A winding-down ritual can help people fall asleep faster and enjoy a higher quality of sleep throughout the night.
  • Reading before bed can help to lower the body’s cortisol levels by reducing stress. The result? A body with lower levels of cortisol is more likely to sleep soundly, and thus cope with the following day’s stressors more calmly.
  • General practitioners in Britain have begun prescribing book reading to patients who suffer from mild to moderate depression and anxiety, and many of these patients report an alleviation of their symptoms as a result.

 

Step 2: Review your short-term and long-term goals.

  • By looking at these every day, even just for a minute, it will continually help you navigate proper decision making. You will do a better job of saying “no” to opportunities that aren’t conducive to your goals, which will give you more time and energy to say “yes” to the things that do.
  • I like to do this before bed, but do whatever time works best for you.

 

Step 3: Upon waking, chug a bottle of (room temperature) water.

  • When you’re not properly hydrated, your brain operates on less fuel and you can experience fatigue or mood fluctuations, which is something I’m sure we would all LOVE to avoid.
  • Getting fluids right when you wake up will help your body start flushing out harmful toxins right away. According to Kenneth Ellner, an Atlanta based dermatologist, “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate. “
  • A 2003 study fromThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking two cups (16 oz., which is a typical bottle) of water upon waking increased metabolism by 30% after 30–40 minutes. Not only does water keep your body lean it also helps with keeping the flow of nutrients and helps get rid of free radicals.

 

Step 4: Prayer (some may call this Meditation).

  • The first half of my prayer is gratitude, or thankfulness. By spending time acknowledging every single thing that you have been given in life, you will immediately be in a better mood and be able to accomplish the things you set forth that day and tackle any challenges that may pose themselves much better. According to Robert Emmons Ph.D., regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25%. I make a point to recognize and thank God for everything that comes to mind, both big and small.  Like the sun rising again, my physical capabilities, my senses, my friends, family, home, vehicle, clothes, talents, career, etc. (sometimes this can take a while – but that’s a good thing!)

“Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.” – Zig Ziglar

  • The second half consists of mentally mapping out my day and speaking life into (or self-affirming) all of the goals I have set and the things I plan to accomplish that day. Affirmations, or positive thinking, can interrupt your maladaptive neuro-nets. The more you do this, the more those nerve cells that are connected to each other start breaking the long-term relationship with your negative thoughts, literally re-wiring to your new, affirming beliefs. Science calls this neuroplasticity and it is the proof behind how powerful this practice can be.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” – Proverbs 18:31

 

Step 5: Eat (a healthy) breakfast.

  • This is literally the most important meal of the day. For people like myself, who work in the health and wellness industry (and actually apply what we know), that is a given. But unfortunately, most people neglect this information and forego this meal on a daily.
  • Breakfast is a critical meal because it influences practically every dimension of our being during the course of the day, including how we perform physically and mentally. Breakfast immediately raises the body’s energy level and restores the blood glucose level to normal after an overnight fast. It also raises the muscle and liver glycogen stores.
  • Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast perform at a higher level in school and are more physically active than those who skip breakfast, ultimately leading to better physical fitness (which is a whole different article in itself). Also, breakfast helps increase the ability to focus and reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning hours.

 

Step 6: Learn something (relevant to your career and/or passions) for up to 30 minutes.

By spending a bit of time increasing your knowledge of your trade, you will naturally go into work each day an incrementally better, more equipped employee. Doing this every day will eventually and inevitably lead to higher pay, promotions, opportunities, etc.

  • The more you know, the more you can help people. No matter what you do for a living, if you want to be successful, you have to consistently focus on how that product or service is benefitting others. By investing a short period of time each morning to learning a little bit more, you will have more opportunities to relay that information to others throughout the day and begin to positively impact the lives around you.

 

Step 7: Exercise for 30-60 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week.

(If you can) Morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.

  • No matter what time of the day, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. It’s ideal to do this first thing in the morning, so you can go into work feeling AWESOME!
  • By getting a short work out first thing in the morning, you can increase your EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), which allows your body to burn more calories at rest throughout the day.

 

Step 8: Do or say something nice for someone else.

Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. It promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness
  2. Helping others leads to a more physically active lifestyle
  3. It distracts us from our own problems
  4. It improves our self-esteem and competence
  5. Studies show that older people who give support to others live longer than those who don’t

Examples:

  • Buy someone coffee
  • Send an encouraging text
  • Tell someone you love them
  • Give someone a compliment
  • Teach someone something (vs showing them)
  • Volunteer
  • Mentor

 

I believe that by implementing these 8 steps every day, you’ll immediately begin to experience a better day, have a better year and ultimately, a better life!

 

Much Love,
Jared Graybeal
CEO – Superfit Foods

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e3 Business is a consulting agency dedicated to helping businesses, big or small, established or start-up – inspire growth, increase traffic, manage change, implement management and leadership strategies, as well as marketing & advertising, etc. to ultimately create long lasting, positive and sustainable success in the work place and an impact in the community.

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Jared Graybeal, the founder and CEO of e3, is an entrepreneur and business owner, primarily in the health and wellness industry, with a passion for driving positive change. Throughout his 9 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, Jared has managed chains like LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym and Lifestyle Family Fitness as well as a chain of small group personal training stores and independent personal training studios.

He is the CEO and Co-Owner of Superfit Foods, a meal prep company serving Central and North Florida. Jared is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Behavioral Change Specialist and Nutrition Specialist. (CPT, CEC, BCS, FNS)

Being a Personal Trainer at heart, Jared’s main purpose is driving results and creating a positive impact in people’s lives through encouragement, education and empowerment.

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