Knowing what to do isn't enough.
Everything you need to know about getting in shape can be found on Google.com, including how to burn fat, build muscle and look like a glorious, undomesticated unicorn.
Information is abundant, but if that was all we needed, we'd all be billionaires with six packs by now.
Applying that information is the challenge. We have busy lives to contend with, complete with conflicting responsibilities and these pesky little things called emotions.
If you really want to get in great shape, if you want to feel confident in your skin, attractive in your relationship, and feel unstoppable in every area of your life, the real magic is in self mastery. Figuring out why we aren't doing the things we know we need to do, then figuring out how to do them.
Which brings us to one of the most devastating challenges people face when trying to get their fitness up:
The Abominable Lifestyle Cycle of Doom
Scary, right? It goes like this:
Responsibility --> Anxiety --> Self Medication with booze or food --> Feel worse --> Repeat forever.
The longer you're stuck in this cycle, the worse you feel. Life gets harder, your happiness tanks, and any hope of getting your body in shape fades into the ether.
Here's the good news: we can break that pattern, and we can do it by destroying the cycle at any one point.
We're going to break down the cycle, piece by piece, so you can finally put an end to it's reign of terror, and build the body and lifestyle you know you deserve.
Long work hours, young children, social obligations, side projects, etc.
We've all got a plate full of responsibility, and unless you decide to live out your days meditating in a cave, you can't escape it.
But sometimes we're just trying to do too much, and we're doing it in a terribly inefficient way.
If your level of responsibility is destroying the other, equally important aspects of your life, here are a couple ways to optimize your work-life balance.
1. Reduce It
We romanticize The Grind. We live for it, we take pride in it, and we measure our self-worth by it.
Sure, getting in killer shape and taking care of our mental health sounds nice, but we live for The Grind, baby.
We often feel obligated to do as much as we can, even if it's just for the sake of doing it.
If we take time for ourselves, we feel guilty, like we're missing out or falling behind.
You're probably reading this on a cell phone. What an incredible invention. You can get so much more work done, and you can do it from anywhere.
In fact, you're expected to work from anywhere.
As we become more efficient with our work, we quickly fill that extra time with more work.
We're now monstrously productive, but we're also overwhelmed, miserable, and out of shape.
Take an honest look at your day-to-day. Why are you doing so much? Can you reduce it without it negatively impacting your life?
The better question, if you reduced your responsibility, how would your life and your health improve?
2. Organize and Optimize
Sometimes it's not the total workload that's killing you, it's the way you attack it.
By organizing and optimizing your day you'll get more work done in less time, and you'll have a clearer mind overall. That means less anxiety, less self-medication, better nutrition, and more energy for workouts.
How can I organize my day more efficiently?
This could include a daily planner, a journal for your thoughts, to-do lists, or prioritizing tasks into must-do and can-wait categories.
Planning and organizing your tasks on paper is incredibly powerful and under-utilized. By doing so, you'll work more efficiently, and you'll reduce the mental gymnastics around organizing your day.
Can I outsource any of my work?
Are you doing things you don't need to do? Are you struggling through things someone else specializes in?
By outsourcing the work you hate, suck at, or just don't need to be doing, you free yourself up to do what you love, are great at, and absolutely need to do.
This gives you more time, leaves you with more energy, and makes your day more enjoyable.
Anxiety is the unwanted guest who shows up at the most inappropriate times.
It shows up when the boss calls you to the office. It piles up on you as you navigate your day. But anxiety is strongest and most annoying when you're laying in bed trying to sleep.
Usually, anxiety is born out of anticipation.
We get lost in a sea of worst-case scenarios, living out every possible hell we can imagine.
Most often, the fire and brimstone we conjure up is 10x worse than the real scenario. But that doesn't make the anxiety itself any less crushing.
It's important to remember that responsibility isn't the source of our anxiety, but how we interact with it is.
If you want to reduce your anxiety by changing how you interact with your world, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Are you putting up mental resistance?
"Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water” ― Bruce Lee
Listen, life is going to throw some shit at you. How much misery and anxiety it causes you depends on how you interact with it.
If you mentally resist changes and obstacles, or spend energy wishing things were different, you're unnecessarily creating more anxiety .
Instead, be like water. If you get poured into a cup, become the cup. If you get spilled on the floor, cover the surface of the floor.
This means you roll with the punches. Instead of resisting the ebb and flow of life, you adapt to it.
Become malleable. Instead of agonizing over the current situation, do the best you can within it.
2. Are you leaking energy?
The mind is the body, and the body is the mind. There is no distinction.
If your body is tense, your mind is tense, and vice versa.
Become aware of your body as you move through your day. You may be leaking energy in the following ways:
3. Are you cotastrophizing?
One of the biggest causes of anxiety, drains on our energy, and crushers of happiness is our habit of catastrophizing everyday events.
Somehow we take a snarky email from our boss, interpret it to mean we aren't good enough, we may lose our job soon, won't ever find another one, we'll be forced to sell our house and live in a cave, and our lack of hunting skills means certain death.
If you feel anxiety welling up inside you in response to... well, anything... pause, and take an honest look at the likelihood of the absolute worst case scenario.
Bring it to the light, and you'll see the monster in the closet is just a pile of clothes on a back pack.
(There are a ton of mindset strategies in The Complete Guide to Optimizing Your Life and Supercharging Your Body you can use to optimize the way you interact with your world, and in turn, boost the results you get.)
Of all the points we could infiltrate in The Cycle, this is the most effective, and most crucial.
Time isn't an issue, since you're already taking the time to self medicate, whether that be downing a few whiskies or crushing a plate of chips and queso.
The problem with using junk food and booze to self medicate when you're feeling anxious is it contributes to the problem.
Eating low quality food takes you further out of shape and makes you feel physically awful.
Drinking booze helps temporarily, but alcohol is like a credit card- you're borrowing happiness from tomorrow. The next day you wake up feeling worse. and more likely to fall deeper into the cycle.
We've got to break that pattern by replacing your current habit with a new one. One that contributes to your goals instead of steals from them.
To do that, we need to understand the Habit loop:
Habit Loop- Trigger → Routine → Reward → and repeat.
If you're going to replace your old habit with a new one, the new habit needs to provide the same reward as the old one.
In this case, we're looking to escape, reduce anxiety, and feel better.
Here are some great options that not only reduce stress, but help you build a body you can feel unstoppable in:
If you're a busy, stressed out person, the thought of getting in shape can seem impossible.
The idea of overhauling your lifestyle and putting more on your plate just creates more anxiety.
The body, confidence, and lifestyle you want becomes a pipe dream.
But by breaking down just one area of The Abominable Lifestyle Cycle of Doom, you can decrease your anxiety, increase your energy, and in turn, burn the fat, build the body you want, and feel unstoppable in every aspect of your life.
GET THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO OPTIMIZING YOUR LIFE AND SUPERCHARGING YOUR BODY (FREE)
Using our 5 Pillar system, we not only optimize your workouts and nutrition. We optimize your entire day, for a more complete approach to fitness.
That means more fat loss...
...more health and vitality...
and a better life overall.
The 5 Pillar System Includes...
1. Powerful Morning Rituals
2. Nutrition and Self Mastery
4. Mental Fitness
5. Powerful Evening Rituals
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