10 Tips for Improving in 2022

by Aimee Wojtowecz

Everyone thinks the trick to getting started is motivation. But what is motivation? Motivation is having the self-discipline to do the things we know are good for us right? 

So how do we get more self-discipline? We all want more. Is there a self-discipline tree out there we can go rip a few leaves off of? Just imagine how much easier life would be if eating right wasn’t such a struggle or a trip to the gym wasn’t a fight with yourself! Thankfully self-discipline is a trait that anyone can master. You don’t have to be born with the ability. In fact, by following a few simple tips, you can start improving your self-discipline skills almost immediately. Here’s how:

  • Understand What’s Particularly Tempting

We all have something we want to improve. Whether we can’t say no to the salty snacks or wind up staying up too late night after night, we’re looking at the same solution: self-discipline. By knowing what our triggers are, we can come up with ideasto overcome them.

  • Change Your Environment

Once you know what tempts you, the simple solution is to remove the trigger from your environment. Easier said than done right? Start with just one thing, “this week I’m not buying that bag of potato chips when I go grocery shopping”. If they never make it to your environment they can’t be there to tempt you. 

  • Set a Goal

Without a goal, how can you plan any changes? Ask what you’re trying to change. What does your new future look like for you? Make an action plan to take you there. Seek extra help if necessary! 

  • Practice

Self-discipline doesn’t happen overnight. The only way you’re going to learn it is to practice it. Look at the plan you just created. What steps does it require? Push yourself to act on those steps, daily. If daily is too much, start with weekly, or monthly. Baby steps at first, and then get better over time.

  • Break Things Down into Smaller Habits

Change is more natural to make when the steps are kept small and very simple. Break things down to their smallest components. What’s something small you can do today to help you build the habit of self-discipline? Start with just 5 minutes. 

  • Pay Attention to Your Body

Your physical health will always affect your willpower, so taking care of the basics, such as getting enough sleep and exercising regularly will help you to have better self-discipline.

  • Gain a New Perspective

The moment you start thinking you have no self-discipline, or that your willpower is a finite resource, you start limiting yourself. By changing your inner dialogue, you’re more likely to have success. Remind yourself often: “I’ve got this.” 

  • What’s Plan B?

When going into a difficult situation where you know self-discipline will be challenged, create a backup plan. Know before you begin just what you’re going to do if things don’t go exactly as you’d like them to. Implement as needed.

  • Use Rewards

When you succeed in your goals, don’t be afraid to allow yourself a small reward! As human beings, we’re wired to work our best when we know we’re going to get something out of the experience we want. 

  • Know How to Move On

Something you wished you’d done differently? Forgive yourself and then keep going. You’re not a robot. Things come up and there are hiccups and setbacks. It’s what you do next that matters most.

If all of this sounds great but still overwhelming, join our upcoming Nutrition Challenge! Over 28 days we lead you through a series of habits that are purposely designed to fit into your lifestyle, PLUS you get the accountability and support of your coach and other challenge members. #strongertogether

Sign up>>>>HERE

Failure vs Feedback

by Michael Plank

Imagine that it’s 40,000 years ago. You and your friends grab your spears and journey out of your caves to hunt and gather and feed your small band of humans. Along the way, you stop to pick some berries. You set down your spear and step a little deeper into the bushes, picking ripe, juicy berries as you go. All of a sudden you hear a growl and look up to lock eyes with a saber-toothed cat. It starts to walk menacingly toward you and you pick up a rock and shout and throw the rock and hit the cat square between the eyes… but it keeps coming.

Now… do you hang your head in shame? Do you kick the dust and start thinking about what a dumb idea it was to use a rock? About what an unworthy idiot you are who can’t do anything right? Do you think that you might as well just give up since you failed so miserably to scare away the predator?

OR…

Do you say to yourself, “F! That didn’t work!” and then look around for your spear, or your friends, or some cover, or anything else?

If you imagined yourself making it out of that situation, I’m guessing you went with Option 2.

But so often, that’s not what we do when we’re in regular, every day situations. When we try something and it doesn’t work, instead of saying “Huh. That didn’t work. Let me try something else.” We apply deep judgment to the fact that a thing didn’t work, and then we tell ourselves stories about what that means about who we are as people.

But there’s no failure. Not in the judgment-laden, shame-inducing way we think about it. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that that kind of failure exists, but only in our minds.

There’s no failure. There’s only feedback. So especially as we close out a year that we started full of hopes and expectations and goals, if what you tried didn’t work, acknowledge it, dust yourself off, and try something else in 2022.

Set Yourself Up for Success

by Michael Plank

 

It’s just about that time of year!

“New Year, New You.”

“It’s YOUR year.”

“THIS year will be different.”

We’ve been in this game for awhile now and have worked with literally hundreds of people on goals and resolutions over the last six years. Here’s the bad news right up front: roughly 80% of New Year’s Resolutions don’t last more than 6 weeks. But the good news is that it’s not that hard to be in the 20% that make it beyond that! Here’s how to do it:

1) PICK A RESOLUTION

One. Not two. Not five. Not nine. Pick one resolution. I’ve been in the lots-of-resolutions camp and started many January 1sts with 15 minutes of meditation, 10 minutes of mobility, 4 meals that were all prepped and pre-packed, 5 minutes of journaling, a strenuous workout, prayer, scripture reading, more journaling before bed, and 8 hours of sleep. Guess how long that lasts? (I’ll give you a hint – you’ve got an 80% chance of being right). If the goal of a resolution is to make your life better, set yourself up for success by making it easy to focus. Pick one thing and it’ll be way easier to stay on track and not get overwhelmed by your new 14-step, 2-hour routine. One thing.

2) PICK THE BEST DOABLE OPTION

Avoid the Best Theoretical Option. Here’s what I mean: If you want to get more control over your in 2021, the Best Theoretical Option might be to work out 5 days a week, do 1-on-1 nutrition coaching, hire a house cleaner, hire an organizer, and start reading about personal finance and productivity. Great. But that’s a lot. You know what’s not a lot? Making your bed. But will coming home to a made bed at the end of the day move you one step closer to feeling like your life is under control? Yes. And would you actually be willing to spend 30 seconds in the morning do it? You probably would. Don’t pick the best thing that you could do (the Best Theoretical Option). Pick the best thing that you actually would do (the Best Doable Option). Remember that the goal is to move the needle, not to wake up on January 1st to a perfect life.

3) GET HELP

Get a friend who has a similar approach to progress (not necessarily a similar goal). Get an accountability buddy. Find social media groups for people doing what you’re doing. Read books, listen to podcasts. Best of all, hire a professional – someone who specializes in what you want to accomplish. For physical health, find a coach. For mental health, find a therapist. For spiritual health, find a clergy person or advisor. Or hire a guitar teacher, or writing coach! The point is to find someone who knows how to help people improve in the area that you are pursuing.

Remember that perfection is a myth. The route to real, lasting change is slow, maybe, but it’s steady. Ending 2022 a single step beyond where you are right now is progress that counts and is worth making. Progress is the magic.

Here’s to a 2022 that’s chock full of it!

Consistency is Key

by Michael Plank

There is a whole lot in this world that we can get nearly immediately. Results from fitness and nutrition aren’t one of those things. At least not if we want them to be results that are sustainable long-term without making us miserable human beings. But because there’s so much that we can get right now, it can be frustrating to wait for the results we work so hard for.

And so all the time we are tempted by intensity: 4 weeks to a bigger deadlift, 30-day detox, 90-day sprints, etc., etc. And look, we run a CrossFit gym. Intensity does have its place. But for long-term results, intensity isn’t the key. Consistency is the key. Sporadic intensity leads to yo-yo progress and frustrating. If you’re going to be intense with something, be intense with your consistency.

Lift weights, prioritize protein, veggies, and fruits, drink water, sleep, walk, stretch, put your phone down for a bit each day.

Then just keep doing that. It might be slow, it might be boring, but it works. And it works super well.

Enjoy the Holidays

by Michael Plank

We are smack dab in the holiday season. Every year we talk to people who get so nervous about the holidays derailing everything they’ve worked so hard for. From January through the first half of November they’ve come to the gym 3 times every week, improved their sleep, transformed their nutrition habits, added stretching and journaling, and now it’s a nonstop cookie and party parade everywhere they look. EVERYTHING IS RUINED!

Here’s a Holiday PSA for you…

It’s possible that actually everything is fine.

Think of the first day you can remember that was one you were really proud of… a day where you got lots of sleep the night before, you managed your stress well, fueled and hydrated your body, and got in a great workout. A perfect day! Now here’s the follow-up question… did that one perfect day get you all the amazing results you were dreaming of? Of course not. One day isn’t enough to catapult you forward in your progress. It’s not enough to derail your progress either. Two days isn’t enough. Five days isn’t enough.

Four weeks is enough to put on a couple of pounds. But the only way that’s the same as derailing all of your progress is if you don’t ever step away from the nonstop cookie and party parade even after the holidays are over. But you will. Because the holiday season ends. And what you do for the 6 weeks from November 19-December 31 is way less important than what you do for the 46 weeks from January to November.

Enjoy the holidays!

7 Quick Things You Can Do Today To Build Momentum

by Aimee Wojtowecz

You’re on your way! You have a goal in mind, you’re working hard to get there. It might be you’re working on something personal, like a fitness goal, or it might be you’re concentrating solely on your career right now. Whatever it is you’re working towards, you’re ready for it. You can’t wait to see the culmination of all this hard work. 

…only everything seems to be moving soooo sloooooow…

What you might be lacking is momentum. Momentum is what pushes you into action. It speeds you up as you work the steps and keeps you going. So, what do you do when momentum is lagging? Easy. You find ways to build it. Try these quick tips guaranteed to get things moving:

Visualize the Future
Take some time to consider where you’ll be in six months. What about next year or the next five years? Seeing yourself in the future is a really positive way to keep your momentum going. If you can get excited about the you of tomorrow, you’ll find yourself fighting to become that person right now. Be as detailed and specific as you can here. What does that future you do? How do they fill up their day to reach their goals? 

Get Up and Do Something
It’s easy to grow stagnant. Less daylight and colder weather means more time inside than most of us would like. Rather than binge-watch the latest Netflix sitcom, how about getting up to create some mischief of your own? Go play a game, take a walk, spend time with friends. Do things that fill your cup. You’ll find yourself far more refreshed and ready to tackle those goals. 

Learn Stuff
An active mind is a creative mind. The act of learning, even in small increments such as 10-15 minutes a day, will still improve cognitive function. Grab that sudoku, listen to a podcast, sit down at your piano. In short, by keeping your mind active, you will pick up momentum.

Act When You Don’t Feel Like It
If you’re waiting for the muse to strike, stop. There will never be a perfect time to work. Momentum means keep going, even when you don’t feel like it, ESPECIALLY when you don’t feel like it. If you need help with accountability we have tools to help with that!

Put Your Phone Away
Giving yourself the gift of uninterrupted time does wonders for momentum. By turning off your phone for an hour, (yes that hour before bedtime is necessary!) you’ll give your brain the freedom to relax, recharge, explore, and move forward. If that seems like too much, start with 30 minutes… or 10… or 5!

Quit
When it comes to momentum, if you’ve found you’re slowing down, it might be because what you’re doing just isn’t working anymore. In this case, sometimes the smartest thing to do is to stop. Don’t waste time beating your head against a wall when you could be making progress elsewhere, set up a goal review session and let us help you come up with a custom plan. 

Do Something Scary
Sometimes you need a challenge that pushes you to new limits. When you do what’s easy, momentum can stall. This is why it’s so important to challenge yourself to do the things you never thought you would, like lifting heavier weights!

Remember, whatever you can find to help keep the momentum going, embrace it! If affirmations help, post a bunch of them everywhere. I have sticky notes everywhere in my house! Put on music to get you moving and dance around your kitchen while cooking dinner. Create a social life around people who support you wholeheartedly. You’re the one in charge, it’s up to you to act.