The Key To Making Goals Work

Today I want to talk about the key to making goals work and a little about my family. I am living out a dream. It is a recent dream of mine to work with my two daughters. Nicole is an entrepreneur, starting a fitness business. Lindsey will graduate at the beginning of May. She is creative and wants to write movie scripts, eventually breaking into the entertainment industry.

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Making Goals Work

Nicole and I have partnered up and opened Beastrong Fitness. It is an online and in-person fitness company. She is designing a line of fitness apparel and wants to open up a gym. This is her dream, and we are working together to get it started.

Lindsey and I are writing a book together. It is a fictional novel loosely based on my experiences. She is very talented and creative. For Nicole, Lindsey, and I to be successful we have to have goals. More importantly, we have to know the key to making goals work.

Goals

A goal is simply what you want, written down with a date. For example, a certain number of words written for the book; or a design finished by a certain date. These are the results we are looking for. It is our roadmaps for getting us from nothing to something. They are results-based.

Results-based goals are necessary, but what happens after we achieve the results? For example, take weight loss. You set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date. You change her diet and exercise more. Congratulations, you met your goal. You feel better, look better, and are happier.

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Beastrong Fitness Logo

The Key To Making Them Last

What happens next? Studies show 90% of people will gain the weight back. Why? It is because they didn’t know the key to making goals work. They achieved their results and met their goal, but they are the same person. The key to making goals work is you have to change your identity. You have to set identity goals.

One day, I asked Nicole what do you say when someone asks, “What do you do?” She replied, “I am a personal trainer.” She identified as a personal trainer. I told her she should start saying, “I am a business owner.” She should set a goal to become a business owner. Lindsey must identify as a writer, not a college student.

Become The Person You Want

By changing your goals from results-based to identity-based, you will become the person you want to be. The results will then last a lifetime. Going back to losing weight, turn your focus to the goal of being a healthy person. Begin to change your habits and the person that you are. You will still set results-based goals to keep you on track, but now your results will last.

Think of the person you want to become and picture you as that person in your mind. Start doing the things that they would do. A healthy person walks more and is in the gym daily. A writer writes consistently and meets their deadline goals.

Enjoy The Process

Once you set identity-based goals, don’t get in a hurry. Change takes time. It won’t happen overnight. Make small changes to your daily routine. Do not try to do it all at once. These small changes will begin to add up. Soon you will act, feel, and think like the person you want to become. Your results-based goals will be met, and they will last a lifetime. Changing your identity is the key to making goals work.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@brett_jordan

Vince Lombardi’s Inspirational Speech

For my podcast today, I am reblogging a post I wrote several months ago, Vince Lombardi’s inspirational speech.

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Vince Lombardi was a great leader who knew how to motivate men. He was an American football coach, winning many championships. He was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers when they won the first Super Bowl, and The Super Bowl trophy is named after him. Lombardi was famous for his inspirational speeches. One of his most famous speeches is “What It Takes to Be Number One.”

Lombardi was known for his drive and determination, but he is remembered for his leadership. Lombardi was driven to be the best and demanded the same from his players. “What It Takes to Be Number One” was first given in the locker room at halftime. Since then, Lombardi gave this speech many times to businesses and at political conventions.

I have always admired Vince Lombardi. You could say, he is my “go-to” guy for inspiration. Vince Lombardi’s inspirational speech is one of my favorites. I have it on a card hanging up in my office. Now and then, I take it down and read it. Vince Lombardi has been such an inspiration to me I even married a girl named Lombardi.

Lombardi’s Inspirational Speech, “What It Takes To Be Number One”

“Winning is not a sometimes thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

By doing the right things all the time you will find yourself winning more often than not. Develop the habit of winning in everything that you do

“There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second-place ballgame, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.”

You won’t win every time, nobody does. When you don’t win it should drive you to come in first the next time. Only one team is having fun at the end of a championship game. The winning team.

All In

“Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up, from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.”

Giving it everything you’ve got is how you win. You cannot do things halfway.

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Win

“Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization, an army, a political party, or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win and to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.”

The objective of any business is all the same. It is to make a profit. If you are not making money in your business, you have a hobby.

Compete

“It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there, to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules, but to win.”

Competition makes everyone better. It doesn’t have to be nasty and you don’t have to cheat. Do your best and win fairly.

Grind

“And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head-to-head combat.”

Embrace the grind and everyday challenges. Learn to love the daily routine of making yourself better. Championship teams put more emphasis on practice. They embrace the difficulties of the daily grind. Championships are won during these times.

Read

The final paragraph of his speech is the most important part for me. It sums up what it takes to be number one. Read it many times and let his words take hold of you.

“I don’t say these things because I believe in the “brute” nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear, is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he’s exhausted on the field of battle, victorious.”

I love Vince Lombardi’s inspirational speech and hope it helps those still sitting on the sidelines. Get in the game and go after what you want. Thanks for reading and listening.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@jontyson

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WindShield Mentality

So often, our thoughts are centered around the past and the future. For personal improvement, you should spend the majority of your time focused on today. Think about what you’re doing right this minute. What can you accomplish today? This is called windshield mentality.

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Windshield Mentality

Windshield mentality is looking at what is in front of you. When you are driving a car, you look at what is in front of you through the windshield. Most of your time is spent concentrating on what is happening now. Only a small amount of time should be spent looking too far ahead or what is behind you. It is only what is directly in front of you that counts.

I first heard of windshield mentality when a Clemson University football player was interviewed after a tough game. The team didn’t play well yet still won the game. When asked about the team’s performance, the player responded by saying they had already forgotten about it. Coach Dabo Swinney teaches them windshield mentality. They don’t look at the past or future, only what is directly ahead.

Your Past Does Not Define You

You cannot improve yourself by focusing on the past. It will keep you where you are. Your experiences in the past have gotten you to where you are today. You can never go back and change your past. It is gone, never to return. For example, football players cannot do anything about their poor performance. They cannot go back and replay the game.

Your past does not define you. Whatever happened, happened, and it cannot be changed. Develop a windshield mentality and begin getting ready for the next game. What can you do today to improve yourself?

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Do Not Worry About The Future

Focusing on the future only leads to anxiety. The future is unclear, and there are many factors you cannot control. Do not worry about it. If the football players begin looking too far into the future and worrying about playing poorly, they will not be ready for the next opponent.

What can I do today? You will be asking yourself this question if you have a windshield mentality. Remove all anxiety by controlling your future. Decide what your future will be and put the work in today to ensure it.

Set Your Goals

I am a big proponent of setting goals. Goals are what you will accomplish in the future. The negative side of setting goals is the anxiety created when it doesn’t look like you will complete them. The most important part is the method of accomplishment, not the goal itself.

if you are working on the method today, your goal will be attained. There might be a few tweaks along the way, but that is normal. You might even have to change your method altogether. Set your goals, develop your method/plan, and focus on your method/plan. Develop a windshield mentality and work on what you can control today.

Do You Have A Windshield Mentality?

What do you focus on, the past, the future, or today? Remember that whatever happened in the past is gone and does not define you. Do not waste time worrying about the future and events out of your control. Focus on the things that you can control.

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to visit my site and read my blogs. Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@jerrykavan

https://unsplash.com/@tateisimikito

Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone

The other day I was thinking about those psychological barriers we put on ourselves called comfort zones. Those areas or events which we feel good when we are there. It is our safe place. It is where we feel warm and fuzzy. Nothing can happen to you when you are in your comfort zone. You must break out of your comfort zone to develop.

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Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone

For most people, their comfort zone is their home. You feel safe and comfortable inside your home. You can control what goes on there. On the other hand, if you leave your home, you lose control. When you walk into a building you have never been inside before, you feel nervous and uneasy. That warm and fuzzy feeling inside is no longer there. Your senses are heightened because you are outside of your comfort zone.

Your comfort zone is created in your mind. It is a mental boundary based on your past experiences. Everyone has a different comfort zone. Some are small, and some are extensive. Some people are only comfortable inside their homes, but not everyone. If they relate their home to previous bad experiences; it will not be comfortable for them.

Comfort Zones In Your Mind

Your brain is designed for survival and to keep you safe. It creates these comfort zones based on your experiences. Negative experiences as a child manifest as fear. Those experiences would become fearful to you and would be outside of your comfort zone.

What I am talking about is boundaries. Your mind has created these boundaries to avoid the fear that you manifested. You are born with only two fears. The fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises. All other fears you manifest, and all fears can be controlled.

When you decide to expand your comfort zone, it is a painful process. You have to overcome years of boundaries formed in your mind. Your fears will have to be faced, but you can do it. A way to describe your comfort zone is to think about a dog and an electric fence.

No Fences

When my wife and I were in Colorado, I noticed our friends’ neighborhood had no fences to separate the properties. In Florida, almost everyone builds fences around the property. I inquired as to why they didn’t build fences. The reason is that they have herds of elk, deer, and even the occasional bear wandering through the neighborhood. Therefore, the HOA outlawed fences.

Our friends have two large dogs, so they put an underground electric fence as a boundary. The dogs can run around the yard, but if they try to leave, they get a mild electric shock. It teaches them how far they can go. Inside the underground fence is the dog’s comfort zone. It becomes painful when they try to go outside their comfort zone. You are no different. You have created a boundary that becomes painful when you go outside it.

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The dogs manifest a fear of the edge of the property. When they try to leave, they feel the discomfort of the collar and go back to their comfort zone. They are happy in their comfort zone. It is their warm and fuzzy place.

She is A Looker

What happens when one dog decides it wants to expand its horizons and leave? Maybe the dog is a male and sees a beautiful female dog a few houses away. First, it would slowly approach the edge, receive the shock, and jump back. Its desire to meet this female is strong. Instead of going back to its comfort zone, this time the dog stays and tries again.

Each time it receives the shock, it gets less painful. It is becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. With each try, the dog gets farther and farther, until they break free of the pain. It now has new areas to explore and sniff. New experiences are waiting for him, along with the female dog.

Painful?

Was it painful? Yes! Why didn’t he go back to his comfort zone? Because his reason for wanting to get out of the yard, (the female), was bigger and more powerful than the pain. As a result, he expanded their comfort zone. Like the dog, you must break out of your comfort zone.

If your reason for wanting to change your life is larger than the pain of leaving your comfort zone, you will do it. Slowly begin doing the things you are not comfortable doing. Try to do it a little at a time, and the pain and discomfort will diminish. You will be expanding your comfort zone. You might even break free of it altogether.

Self-improvement is painful. You have to face your fears and deal with the past. Your past has shaped you into the person you are today. You have the power to improve your future. Break out of your comfort zone for yourself and your family. Start doing those little things today!

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@lemonzandtea

https://unsplash.com/@alvannee

Today Is A Great Day

Today is a great day! I write this statement at the beginning of every journal entry, which I write on most days. Some entries are short and some are long. They consist of the thoughts in my head at the time I sit down to write. Journaling has helped me to enjoy writing, and some of my journal entries will become articles I write for my blog.

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Is Today A Great Day?

Is today a great day? If so, why? Is it a true statement, or am I just wishing it will turn out to be a great day? For me, it is a true statement. Every day is a great day, no matter what happens. It is great because I choose to see the greatness in every day.

My eyes opened this morning, and I think that is pretty great. When I was in the military, we were always greeted at Zero Dark Thirty with the statement, every day above ground is a great day. This saying has stuck with me throughout my life. Therefore, today is a great day.

Smile Today

People tend to take life for granted. They forget about the fragility of the human body. Everyone is a heartbeat away from death. It is not something people want to think about, but it is true. I have had friends die from a heart attack in their 40s, and I have had family members last into their 90s.

We don’t know how long we have. Make the most of your life. Make the most of every day. Today is a great day, live it to its fullest. Write a list of things you want to do and begin crossing off the events as you do them. When you have crossed everything off, write another list.

Find Your Happiness

Do activities that make you happy. Travel to places you want to see. Learn to do something you have always wanted to do but never found the time. Be creative, write, draw, paint, whatever your heart desires.

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Focus on the positive aspects of your life and see the beauty in everything. Look at every day as a great day. It is your choice how you tackle each day. Dreading what you have to do or smiling even if the task is unpleasant for you.

Be Positive

Do not worry and create anxiety picturing a dark future. Tell yourself that no matter what happens, you will handle it. What if something bad does happen today? Is today a great day? Yes, it can be if you approach it with a positive outlook. Negative events are just challenges for you to overcome. You will become stronger and wiser from them. Look at all the great things that come from pressure; diamonds, wine, olive oil.

You can overcome any and everything that life throws at you. My life has not always been easy. I don’t know anyone who has never had setbacks in life. Before, I allowed these negative things to control my life by worrying about them. Worry and anxiety never helped me out. Despite this, I somehow made it through each setback.

Keep Going

Whenever you are going through tough times, keep going. Continue to move forward. Do the activities that bring you the most pleasure. Tell yourself that today is a great day and choose to make it a great day.

My daughters are at the age where they are beginning to understand that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. They are trying to establish themselves financially. When they feel they are getting ahead, an unexpected debt comes in. As long as they keep the right mental attitude, they will deal with it and move forward. Sometimes, I have to remind them that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

I hope that today is a great day for you. If you are going through tough times, choose to make it a great day. Look at the big picture and focus on the positive aspects of your life. Don’t wait to do all the things that you want to do. No one is promised tomorrow.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@tanyap

Some Of The Advantages Of Teamwork

What is your preferred way to handle a project? Do you like to tackle it as an individual or as a member of a team? There are many advantages and disadvantages to each. At times, I prefer to handle a project alone. In contrast, I am a big proponent of teamwork for certain projects. Let’s talk about the advantages of teamwork.

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Advantages Of Teamwork

Before I go over the advantages of teamwork, we need to consider some factors. Different projects present different challenges. Before you decide on tackling something individually or as a team, you should ask yourself some questions. Is the problem/task simple or complex? Do you have the specialized knowledge to complete it alone? If not, how many members do you need for your team? Do they possess the knowledge necessary to complete the task?

There are many advantages and disadvantages of forming a team. Some of the advantages of teamwork are:

  1. A team is better for brainstorming new ideas;
  2. Team members will motivate each other;
  3. If a team member is ill or out for some time, productivity continues;
  4. Members can work on different sections of the project at the same time. Therefore, the project/task is completed sooner;
  5. Team members will bring specialized knowledge to the team.

Knowledge

When you first begin a project, you probably don’t have all the knowledge on how to get it completed. Other people have knowledge that you do not possess. Therefore, by forming a team you will be able to have a brainstorming session for new ideas. These new ideas that the team has brainstormed will show you different ways of completing your project.

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If you are like me, you have days where you are just not motivated. These days, it takes discipline to even work on your project. It is hard to be motivated every day as an individual. Team members will motivate each other. It’s much easier to perform a difficult task if you know somebody is counting on you. Team members should always raise each other.

Missing Person

Working on a project is easy when you are feeling great. It is another story when you wake up ill. A sickness can stop you from working on your project for many days. When this happens, your team members will pick up the slack for a member that is out. The team’s productivity and momentum don’t stop.

Working as an individual generally means working on one aspect of the project at a time. It can increase the time it takes to complete the project. When you have a team, each member can work on different sections. By working on different sections at the same time, your project will be completed sooner.

Harmony

No one has all the knowledge necessary to complete a complex task. Your team members will bring different knowledge to the table. Each member will have specialized knowledge that you might not possess. This specialized knowledge will be necessary for accomplishing your goals. For example, you might be an excellent businessperson, but do not know design. You won’t be able to sell your product until you have designed it. One of your team members will bring that knowledge to your business.

Before I go, I want to touch on an important aspect of teamwork. It’s the word harmony. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If a team member is creating disharmony, your project will fail. So, when selecting your team members, take care and select the best. Make your selections based on knowledge, work ethic, and most importantly, their ability to work in a team.

Focusing On The Big Picture

Often we go through life and never really see everything that is going on. Some people are so focused on the 1% of negative events that they never see the 99% of positivity in their life. They are not focusing on the big picture. If this is you, don’t worry, it is fixable. All it takes is to open your mind and eyes.

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Focusing On The Big Picture

I read a good story the other day to illustrate this point. Some workers came to their office on a Monday morning as usual. Everything was the same except when they looked at the ceiling there was one ceiling tile missing. The missing ceiling tile became the main topic around the water cooler. It was the talk of the office.

One by one, everyone focused on the missing tile. You could hear question after question about the missing tile. What happened to it? Is it up in the ceiling someplace? Was there a reason someone took it?

The next day the workers return, and the tile is still missing. The workers began to only look at the empty space. They focus only on the missing tile. They neglect to see the rest of the beautiful ceiling tiles that are perfectly in place.

The Missing Tile Syndrome

This is referred to as the missing tile syndrome. You are not focusing on the big picture. Your focus is on the small percentage of negative in your life. You become so consumed by it that you cannot see all the good things going on. Your focus is only what is missing in your life.

How many times have you run into an acquaintance, asked how they were, and only received negative responses? They proceed to tell you about every little pain they have. Even if you bring up something positive you heard that had happened to them, they quickly return to telling you about the bad things. They are not focusing on the big picture.

Look Around

When my wife and I took a trip to Colorado, we did a lot of hiking. I saw many hikers who never took their eyes off the ground. They missed out on some wonderful scenery. My wife and I would stop every few minutes just to look around and take it all in. We saw birds and animals other hikers did not. A few times, I even smelled the musky odor that told me a bear had passed by the area recently or was still close by.

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https://www.pexels.com/@pixabay

When you look at your body, look at your whole body, not just the flaws. Flaws can be fixed, but this is the body you were given, and it is perfect. If you want to change something, great. Start an exercise program and eat healthier. First, fall in love with your body as it is. My body looks a lot different than it did 20 years ago, but I don’t focus on the negative. It gets me through every day, and my engine is purring like a kitten.

It’s A Wonderful World

We live in a beautiful world, open your eyes and take it in. The media conditions you to only see the negative. Begin focusing on the big picture and see all the wonderful things that are happening every day. Acts of kindness are occurring daily. They are just not the focus of the media.

Acts Of Kindness

I encourage everyone to perform at least one act of kindness a week. Smile at someone, compliment a stranger, or tell an employee they are doing a great job. Whenever my daughter, the personal trainer, receives a compliment from her client, she can’t wait to come home and tell me. I can see the pride on her face.

One way I try to extend kindness is in checkout lines. They usually have racks of candy bars to tempt you before you pay for your goods. If the clerk looks like they might be having a bad day, I tell them that I wanted to get a candy bar but cannot decide which one. I then ask them what their favorite is. When they tell me, I purchase the candy, and as I’m leaving I hand it to them. I thank them and say, I hope this helps brighten your day. It always brings a smile to their face.

This is just a small gesture of kindness, but you never know what people are going through. I hope that you will open their eyes to good things going on in their life. Maybe they will begin focusing on the big picture. Focusing on all the positive things in your life and the world will lead you to do more positive acts. It really is a beautiful world we are living in. Let’s continue to make it better.

Cites

https://www.pexels.com/@pixabay

Developing The Right Habits

Developing the right habits is essential if you want to change your situation. Doing the same things that you are currently doing will get you nowhere. You must change your mindset, which includes developing new habits. If you are having trouble developing new habits, remember this question. What matters more?

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Developing The Right Habits For You

A great story to illustrate this point comes from the late, great Kobe Bryant. He was being interviewed by a reporter who questioned him about what time he woke up. When Kobe told him he woke up at 3 AM to get to the gym at 4 AM, the reporter was stupefied. Why so early? He asked. Kobe replied because my competitor gets to the gym at 5 AM.

The reporter couldn’t believe Kobe would wake up so early. He said, don’t you like to sleep? I know I do. Kobe didn’t reply, so the reporter asked him if this was a trait with which he was born. Did his father wake up early? Kobe replied, no. Then how do you get up so early, he asked? Calmly, Kobe responded, it comes down to what matters more.

What matters more, sleep or winning? For Kobe, it was winning. He developed the habit of waking up early so he could get in more practice time than his opponents. Whatever type of person you want to become, you must develop new habits. If you desire to be a great athlete, research the habits of great athletes. Are you an artist? Then research habits of great artists. Here is a post about the habits of the wealthy.

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It Is Not Easy

Developing the right habits is difficult. You must be consistent in practicing these new habits. It takes 21 days in a row before a habit will start to form. Some days are going to be more difficult than others. When you go through these days, ask yourself, what matters more?

Changing your routine means getting out of that zone of comfort you are currently living in. For example, most successful people wake up early. Just like Kobe, they want to take advantage of every minute of the day. But sleeping is good, and your bed is oh so comfy. You are safe and warm in your bed.

You feel so good that it is simple to close your eyes and go back to sleep. At that moment, ask yourself, what matters more? Becoming the person you want to be or going back to sleep? By getting up, you have time to read, meditate, exercise, journal, etc. One decision will change your lifestyle, while the other will keep you where you’re at in life. What matters more?

The Great Irene

Look at my post about the heroic deeds of Irene Sendler. Irene risked her life during World War II by smuggling Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. For Irene, what mattered more, was the lives of innocent children over her life.

Are you happy where you are at this point in your life? If not, you must change and begin stretching your comfort zone. Get a little comfortable being uncomfortable. Begin your change by researching and developing the habits of the person you want to become. If you want to improve your relationship, develop habits of people in good relationships. Do you want to be wealthy? Research the habits of rich people. If it becomes difficult to change, remember to ask yourself, what matters more?

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@lazizli

https://unsplash.com/@prophsee

3 Relaxation Techniques

It is important to function at your highest level. You cannot be at your best when you are tense. Tension is not good for your health and can lead to heart problems and other diseases. In addition, tension can sap your energy and stifle your creativity. Learning how to relax can improve your life. Today I will talk about 3 relaxation techniques.

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Techniques For Relaxation

Currently, I am learning to play golf, and it is a great example of the benefits of relaxation. Learning to hit a golf ball is not hard; after all, it is not moving. I have learned to hit the ball but hitting it straight and far is another matter. As I learn to relax my body, hands, and mind, I began to hit the balls farther and straighter. When I tense any part of my body, who knows where that ball is going. My mind has to be perfectly quiet for me to have a good stroke.

I have spent much of my life dealing with intense situations. When we were conducting undercover operations, we always had to be on high alert. Most of the traffickers would kill without a second thought. I had to learn how to relax and stay calm in the tensest situations. If not, my mind would not function properly. I called it relaxed tension. I looked calm on the outside.

Benefits Of Relaxation

To be able to experience the benefits of relaxation, you must be able to relax both your interbody and your outer body. Today I use these relaxation techniques daily. It keeps my mind calm and helps me focus and be creative. Here are 3 relaxation techniques.

Breathe

The first is simply breathing. Currently, I live in Florida, close to sea level. At sea level, I only use ¼ to ½ of my lung capacity when breathing. Therefore, I perform breathing exercises every morning to inflate my entire lungs.

Begin by sitting upright and tall with good posture. Try to relax your muscles and breathe in through your nose until you feel your belly rounding out. Breathe out through your nose, emptying your lungs and bringing your navel toward your spine. Try to breathe to a slow 4-Count rhythm. Do this seven times.

On the next breath in, expand your rib cage. Feel your lungs filling with more oxygen and your ribs stretching. Keep the 4-Count rhythm and do this seven times. Last, breathe in until you feel your chest lifting and your lungs filling. Slowly breathe out until your lungs are empty and pull your navel toward your spine. Do this at least seven times. You will begin to feel your muscles relax.

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Take Your Time

Another technique for relaxation incorporates the entire body. This technique takes some time, so have at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time. Find a place where you will not be disturbed and create a comfortable place to lie down and stretch out. You will never be able to fully relax if you’re not comfortable.

I also like to put in earphones and listen to calming music. Begin by closing your eyes and relaxing your right toes and foot. Keep going slowly up your right leg, relaxing your ankle and calf. Picture waves of warm, soothing water washing over you. Continue slowly up your right leg until you get to your hip. Repeat the same exercise for your left foot and leg. Take your time and feel your legs relax.

Inside And Outside

Continue up your torso, feeling your body relaxing, on the inside and outside. Picture your inner body and each organ beginning to relax. Once you have relaxed your legs and torso, begin at your fingers and work your way up through your right arm and then your left arm. Relax your head and picture your brain still and calm. Remain in this state for at least 20 minutes. After, open your eyes and take three deep breaths, then slowly roll over to your side and stand up. I always feel both calm and energetic after doing this relaxation technique.

Embrace Your Inner Child

The last technique is a simple one but great for relaxation. It can be done quickly or last several hours. I learned this technique when I volunteered as a facilitator at a grief counseling horse farm. It is coloring mandalas. Mandalas are a graphic and often symbolic pattern usually in the form of a circle divided into four separate sections.

When the instructor handed out the mandalas and crayons, I was skeptical. How is this going to relax me? I had not colored since I was a child. Imagine, a 50 something-year-old man sitting at a table with a box of crayons and coloring a mandala.

It Really Worked

I was amazed at how quickly it worked. My mind stopped thinking, and I felt a wave of relaxing energy sweep over me. Today, when I feel tense, I will print out a blank mandala and begin to color in the different shapes. I can color all of it or just part. It doesn’t matter; it is about the process, not the outcome.

I hope these 3 relaxation techniques work as well for you. Do you have any relaxation techniques that you use? If so, let me know in the comments section. I appreciate everyone who takes their time to read, like, and follow my blog. Keep focusing on the process, and I will see you next week.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@haleyephelps

https://unsplash.com/@swat_creations

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Change Your Life

In today’s podcast, I talk about two of the most powerful words spoken daily by most people. They are to words we don’t give much thought to. These two little words are so powerful that they can change your life.

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You Can Change Your Life

To understand the power of, I Am, we only have to look in the book of Exodus, Chapter 3. This is the story of the burning bush. God tells Moses to go to the Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses says to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I Am has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:13, 14 NIV)

One translation of I AM WHO I AM, is, “I will become what I choose to become.” Another is, “I create what(ever) I create.” These two words give you the power to become what you choose to become. They can change your life. In contrast, they can also create an unwelcome life if not used correctly.

Describe The Present

We use these words to describe our present situation, person, or job. When someone would ask me, “What do you do?” I would reply with, “I am a soldier,” “I am a student,” or “I am a federal agent.” These were words to describe my present situation at the time. I never really thought about what I was saying. There are many different ways to answer that question.

So why are the words “I Am” so powerful? It is because when your mind hears you say these words, it is creating a life to match your words. Whatever words are used after, “I am,” I developed a belief that is what I would always be. I continued that life until I changed what I was thinking and saying. For example, when I was a soldier and wanted to change, I began saying, “I am going to be a federal agent.” A year later, I was a federal agent.

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Change Your Statements

Analyze how you are using the words, I Am. I called these; I Am Statements. Are you negatively using them? Are you saying, “I am drowning in debt,” “I am not feeling well,” or “I am miserable?” If you are, this is what you are bringing into your life. Saying, “I am sick,” will only bring more sickness to you.

You can change your life by changing the “I Am Statements.” Think about what you’re saying and change them to the life you want to live. Think about how you want to be in the future, not how you are right now.

Use Positive Words

Begin writing your “I Am Statements” with positive words and phrases. Write them on a pad and put them where you can see them. Throughout the day, read them out loud. Simple statements like “I am happy,” “I am loved,” and “I am healthy” will change your life. Repeat the statements several times a day, especially before you go to sleep. Soon, you will begin to feel different as you build belief.

I write down several “I Am Statements” twice a day, once in the morning and before I go to sleep. I wish you could see the difference it has made in my life. It is enormous. My life is peaceful and full of love. I have cast away fear, worry, and doubt. I owe it all to two of the most powerful words ever spoken, “I AM.” I will become what I choose to become.

You can become whatever you choose to become. Begin your daily regimen of speaking your “I Am Statements.” I do not doubt that you will experience the same positive changes that I have.

Cites

https://unsplash.com/@iamfelicia

https://unsplash.com/@sharmine27