Don’t get me wrong – I’m always reading or learning about training. That’s my first priority.
But at this point in life, it’s not my only priority.
As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to structure my life over the next couple of years.
What makes me the most happy?
When am I filled with energy and enthusiasm?
Finally, what things are holding me back, or keep me from being my best?
These aren’t always easy questions to answer, as they force you to take a good, hard look at yourself.
And they make you figure out what’s working, and most importantly, what isn’t.
Before I get into all this, if you haven’t read it before you should definitely read my Manifesto Post from a while back. This will give you a little bit of insight as to my long-term goals and definition of success.
At this stage in the game, I don’t play by other people’s definitions of success. I’m through trying to keep up with the Joneses or be like other people.
I have my own definition of success and it’s unique to me and me alone.
With that being said, I thought some of you may enjoy the things that I consider important in my own life – things that I think will make me a happier and healthier person for as long as I’m around.
Without further ado, let’s get into this!
Live by the Four Agreements
I’m not sure who referred me to this book, but I’m definitely glad I picked it up!
The Four Agreements are quite simple:
- Be Impeccable With Your Words
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
- Don’t Make Assumptions
- Always Do Your Best
I don’t want to steal the author’s thunder, but this is a fantastic read and it helps simplify the life you lead. I try and remind myself to live by these four agreements on a daily basis, although each one can be difficult from time to time!
Perform the Sunday Ritual
While the workweek starts on Monday, I feel that for me, the foundation is actually laid on Sunday.
While Sunday is primarily a family (and nap) day, I do take about one hour out of my Sunday to set myself up for success during the upcoming the week.
In some cases, this could be preparing shakes, food, etc.
I do my own laundry, so Sunday is the perfect day for that.
But the most important thing I do on Sunday is game plan my entire week. I start by taking a few moments to ask myself one simple question:
What are my goals in the next 1, 3 and 5 years? In life?
This helps me reconnect to my goals and focus on the most important tasks to complete for the week.
Next, I do a “brain dump.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, I simply write down every single thing that needs to get done (now or in the future) and get it out of my head.
This is huge for me because I’m really bad about letting things bounce around in my head. By doing a brain dump, I get it all out and I feel like my mind is “quiet.”
Furthermore, I hate going into Monday not knowing what to do. If you have a ton of stuff to do, the worst thing you can have is times of indecision where you are so bogged down and overwhelmed you don’t know where to start!
By adhering to this simple tip, I always know what needs to get done, and it allows me to enjoy the rest of the weekend knowing that the workweek will take care of itself.
Train Three Times Per Week
A few weeks ago, Zach Moore asked me a simple question:
The cool thing was, there was no hesitation on my part. I still love training.
The issue, however, is that I also have other priorities in my life. Training isn’t the first and only thing I think about anymore.
I still love to train with my guys, and there’s no doubt that uncorking a big squat or deadlift feels amazing.
But with a wife, daughter, two business, etc., I have a lot of other things on my plate and the days of training 4x/week are a thing of the past.
Three times per week still allows me to achieve my strength-related goals, while keeping me sane and balanced in other areas of my life.
Have Dinner as a Family
Like many of you reading this, I grew up in the TV era.
Unlike decades past, fewer and fewer families sit down and actually eat meals as a family at the dinner table. I know my family in particular was pulled in about a zillion different directions, so the only times we ever had dinner as a family were:
- When we went out to eat, or
- On a holiday.
Jess and I have always eaten dinner together at the dinner table, and this is something we will always continue with Kendall. Even if we’ve been running around like crazy all day, it’s great to reconnect and talk about our day together.
I remember Dave Tate saying a while back this was one of the most important rituals you can get into with your children, and I’m buying what he’s selling.
Speaking is one of those things that’s a love-hate relationship.
I hate the travel side of it, but I love sharing my knowledge with other motivated trainers and coaches.
Going back to my Manifesto post, my goal is to positively impact as many people as possible. One of the best ways to push massive change within the fitness industry is to teach coaches and trainers how to do their job better.
If you coach a client or athlete, you influence once person.
But if you coach a trainer or coach, you influence not only that person but also all the people they coach/train as well!
The goal is to slowly make it so that I have to travel less, and Bill and I can do more and more seminars at IFAST. But in the interim, 10-12 engagements per year is about the most I can do while keeping some semblance of balance in my life.
Attend 3-4 Seminars Per Year
One thing I need to get back to is educating myself. The best way for me to do this is to attend seminars.
Sure, I read every night and/or watch DVD’s, but there’s no substitute for going to a seminar and immersing yourself in someone else’s system.
Perhaps more important than what you learn at a seminar is that the thought-processes they tend to kick off. Often, I’ll walk away from a seminar with a few new ideas, but most importantly, I have a ton of ideas on how to do what we’re already doing better.
And for the younger pups reading this, there’s no better way to network and learn than to attend seminars. Often the discussions you have in the hallways between sessions are every bit as valuable as the presentations themselves.
Being a great dad is something that’s incredibly important to me, and something I’ve relished over the past 15 months. Having a child is an amazing thing, and perhaps one of the most special times in your life.
But it’s also very easy to get so caught up in that world that you let other aspects and relationships in life slip. My wife is so important to me, and it’s a relationship that we’ve been working on for 14 years now. It only makes sense that we need time to ourselves to make that relationship as strong as it can be.
1 hour of continuing education
This one is simple and straight-forward – I’m a better person to be around when I’m learning and growing.
When I’m not, it’s like my body knows something is wrong and I’m slacking. As a result, I’m grouchy and not nearly as awesome as usual.
So basically, I need to stay on my grind and learn something for one-hour per day. The world will thank me later. 🙂
Front-load the week
One of the keys to getting older is figuring out when you’re most productive and maximizing that time.
Back in the day, I used to be a night owl. I would stay up until all hours of the night doing god knows what, but I was always the most productive after 9 pm.
Now, things are a little bit different, and my energy is definitely a lot different. I can tell you right now that my best writing, training, or anything “creative” in nature is best done before noon.
After noon, about the only thing I’m good at is coaching.
Along those same lines, I also make an effort to front-load my week and crush every Monday morning. When I do this, not only do I have this amazing sense of accomplishment, but it allows me to slow down at the end of the week when I’m naturally lower.
This works great for me, but make sure to figure out what works best for you!
Reconnect with Friends
If I’ve really slacked in one area of my life over the past couple of years, it’s been with friends.
Professionally, I’m incredibly happy.
My home life rocks – I couldn’t ask for a better wife or daughter.
But with everything else going on, it’s been hard to get out there and see some of my guy friends from high school and college.
With that being said, I’m going to make a concerted effort to get back out there and at least have dinner, coffee, or a few beers with the guys. These are relationships that meant a lot to me at one point in time, and while the phone works two ways, it never hurts to be the one to make the call.
Hold me to this one!
Here and Now
Last but not least, I’m blatantly stealing this from my most recent book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior (thanks to my good friend and IFAST coach Dan Brown for telling me about this book).
One lesson the main character in this book learns is that his mind has a tendency to keep him in the past, or thinking about the future.
Instead, the most important thing is what’s going on right here and right now.
Another way to think about this is to be present in whatever it is your doing.
This can be tough for me – I always have a tendency to be “thinking” about stuff. But I’m getting better at it with time as I become more conscious of my habit.
Another big breakthrough came when I realized when I’m speaking, writing, training, etc. are the times I’m most happy. And not surprisingly, those are also the times I’m most dialed in and focused on the present!
It’s taking some time, but I’m doing better about shutting my mind off and just enjoying the moment. If this sounds like you, I’d definitely recommend reading the book as well – it’s fantastic.
This post had very little to do with strength training, corrective exercise, or even coaching and training, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless.
After reading it, did you realize anything about yourself?
Maybe something you need to work on?
I’d love to continue the discussion below. Post a comment and let me know what you’re thinking!
All the best,