I am writing this between the days of Christmas and New Years. The end of the year gives us a good opportunity to reflect on our own lives and the lives of those around us. I don’t know what kind of year 2011 was for you; for me it was, at times the best year of my life, and at other times very challenging. Seeing my business continue to explode and building my team of trainers and support team to 13 people has been a great learning experience. Releasing my book, Fit Moms For Life, has been nothing short of amazing. Starting my own radio show is both exciting and challenging. Traveling over 15 times this past year to cool places continues to open my eyes up to the world and the awesome people that live in it. In my personal life, I have had to overcome quite a few challenges. Both of my grandmas died this year, as well as my adopted neighbor grandma, Lenore. I also had a 4 year relationship to an amazing girl end.
For me, I believe I have learned more this year then any other year. I have traveled extensively and met some of the smartest, highly motivated, and successful people in the world. From my observations of those around me, from the 30 plus books I read this year, from the hundreds of hours of audio programs I have listened to, and from the interactions with thousands of people this year, I will share with you some of my life lesson takeaways. I write these for two reasons: the first is for my own clarity and reflection and the second is for you to maybe learn something about your own life, as well as challenge you to do this same exercise regarding your life in 2011.
1. You become like those with whom you spend the most time. Alright, this one isn’t new to you. I have been talking about this so much. But it keeps coming up. If you want to be more fit, spend time with people who are fitter then you. If you want to speak better Spanish, hang around Spanish speaking people. If you want to learn how to cook, spend time in cooking classes or around people who love to cook. If you want a better relationship with your spouse, find happy, together couples and ask to interview them. If you want to make more money, spend time around people who make more money then you. If you feel spiritually empty, find someone who seems like they are spiritually strong and ask them what they believe. If you want to make a bigger difference in the world, find people that are making a big difference and ask them how you can help them help others. Success leaves trails, and most people who are where you want to be in a certain area are more then willing to help you, if you just ask. One of my mentors said, “Everyone is a genius in a certain area of life; don’t think you are better then anyone and don’t think you are less then anyone.”
2. Those who succeed in any area are the ones who STOP making EXCUSES and start taking ACTION. I have worked with enough clients and coached enough trainers to know that there are very few legitimate reasons why you can’t succeed at your goals, whether that is to get stronger, lose fat, build a business, or improve a relationship. It comes down to making it a priority. When it becomes a priority, you will find time to do it. This year I have tried very hard to stop using the phrase, “I didn’t have time,” and instead be honest with myself and whomever I am talking with and change it to, “It wasn’t high enough on my priority list.” Check out this video below. I have shared this once before. I really like his breathing analogy a couple minutes into the video. This video pumps me up and if your kids are old enough, I recommend having them watch it with you. FYI, I don’t agree with skipping sleep; sure, once in awhile it is fine, but sleep deprivation can bring with it lots of bad side affects.
3. The goal of working out and eating right is less about having an amazing body that turns heads, but more about a body that will take you where you want to go and function at a high level for the rest of your life. Maybe it is that I am now 28, but the vanity goals of my college years just aren’t quite as strong. 🙂 Sure, I still want to have a great looking body that guys want to have and girls want to be with, but that is no longer what consumes me. I want to see how fit and healthy my body can be, so I can go hike volcanoes in Hawaii, so I can play basketball with college guys, so I can eventually outplay my teenage kids, and so I can be a cool, fit grandpa someday that can keep up with his grandkids. I want to be able to live life to its fullest and not have to worry about whether my body will be able to come along for the ride. So the things I am doing now have much longer term consequences rather than just the short term results. We all know people who have died too young or have struggled with their health because they weren’t good stewards of their body.
4. Relationships are the foundation of life and they should be kept up towards the top of the priority list. Tim Ferriss said something this summer in Napa Valley that changed my life. (BTW, Google ranked Tim as one of the 100 most influential people in the world; his picture is right next to Obama’s in the Google office) He said, “My network is my net-worth.” That hit me really hard. When he referred to “net-worth” he wasn’t really referring to his bank statement (although that is part of it); he was referring to his happiness in life and the quality of his life because of the people he has in his life. Since that meeting, I have been saying NO to so many things that could make me more money, but don’t align with my goals, or would take time away from spending it with people. I have spent much more time with my family and my closest friends. I have really tried hard to add as much value to people’s lives as I can, without even thinking about whether they can repay me in the future. When I made this shift, it has been amazing how much more fun life becomes and how many amazing experiences can come from an attitude of pure giving. For example, in early February I am going to take about a 2 week trip to go skiing in Park City, UT and then on to Maui . I have a condo in Park City that was given to me for free as well as a 6,000 square foot villa in Maui that I also get to use. I don’t think either of these things would have happened if I hadn’t shifted my attitude towards relationships and somehow been a blessing to these people who are now generously giving of their resources.
5. The last point is one that I have also talked about before, and that is, overcoming fear. It breaks my heart to see people not getting results in their physical bodies because they are embarrassed with what people might think if they come to one of my bootcamps, or they don’t want to tell their friends that they have started a new program because of fear of failing. Let’s take, for example, someone who is VERY unhealthy, to the point where they will most likely die prematurely. I would challenge this person to consider the following question: “Would you rather feel inept in an exercise class, which will help you live longer and feel amazing, or would you rather leave behind devastated family and friends as they look at you in a casket 15-30 years before your time?” I know this is a grim and in-your-face face example, but seriously, the lies we tell ourselves keep us from living the lives we deserve. BTW, NOBODY will be judging you in a Fit Fun Bootcamp or MamaTone class. That is one of the safest and most encouraging places you can be. Besides, everyone else is too focused on making it through the workout to really care or notice how others are doing.
I hope that you have enjoyed this, now I challenge you to reflect back on the past year and see what your biggest lessons from the past year were. I want to leave you with a beautiful video. I love this song, but more importantly the message. This video challenges me to look for opportunities to bring a smile to those we interact with on a daily bases. Cheers to an amazing 2012!