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5 Life Changes That Will Make You Jump Out of Bed Every Morning!

5 Life Changes That Will Make You Jump Out of Bed Every Morning!

If you want to see how life is meant to be lived, just take a few moments and watch children play.  Their first instincts are to explore, create, experience and have fun! We carry this explorer instinct with us through our teen years and maybe through the first few years out of college, but then something occurs; we grow up.

After all, life can get pretty serious.  College graduates must find jobs, housing, pay bills and establish themselves.  Then it’s time to find a spouse, settle down and start a family. Next, gotta focus on promotions to get those big raises to provide for that beautiful young family.  And what about college educations and retirement? And by the time the college graduate realizes, 25 years has quickly and magically disappeared!  Becoming an adult is a process and it tends to result in people being formed and pressed into molds.  We learn as we grow older that being different isn’t always the best thing.

Many of us even learn to modify our behavior to make sure we don’t stick out of the crowd. Ever heard the expression “Fly under the radar?” There is one problem though.  Conformity suppresses our individuality; the essence that makes each of us unique.  And once our spirit is suppressed it may take years, if ever, to excavate.

In order to reawaken that child-like, adventure-seeking, explorer within, we must introduce new and exciting things to our lives to reawaken our authentic self and make us feel alive once again! My motto is: if you can change your thinking, you can change your life!  So here are 5 life changes that will make you jump out of bed every morning:

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1. Begin planning a fall vacation in January

Nothing says excitement like getting away from it all and relaxing!!  And what better way to add excitement back into your life than to spend your year planning and anticipating an exotic vacation?!  Imagine beginning your year with the knowledge that you may end up anywhere in the world come September or October.

The possibilities are endless: cruises, Caribbean islands, United States, Asia, Europe, Disney, hiking, skiing, scuba, relaxing, cocktails, great food, etc.  Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps! And the fun of it all is you get to plan every aspect along the way.  Talk about adventure right from the same chair you boringly scanned the internet just 2 months prior!

Now your life has a purpose and you have some fun to look forward to.  Not only that, but the excitement of the unknown and the unlimited possibilities reawakens your dormant adventurous spirit which, in turn, adds excitement to a boring, mundane life!

2. Join an exciting exercise program

I cannot think of a better way to change one’s life than to begin living a healthy lifestyle. I experienced the benefits of a healthy lifestyle a few years ago upon losing 25 pounds following my MS diagnosis.  And let me tell you, it will change your life forever!!

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What is keeping you from working with your doctor to develop an exciting fitness regiment that works specifically for you? Oftentimes we think of gyms and machines when we think of fitness and exercise, but what if you think outside the box and add some spark? Ever thought of martial arts, MMA training, boxing training, mountain climbing, parkour, anti-gravity yoga, plyometrics training?  There are so many new and exciting fitness regimen that will not only break the cycle of boredom, but will also get you into that ripped physique you’ve always imagined!

3. Begin planning the business you always wanted to open

I have always believed that luck occurs when opportunity meets preparation.  And what better way to add some zest to your life than opening a business!  Or at least planning to open a business.

Even if you don’t have the capital right now, why not start planning?  Go online and begin preliminary investigations on your business.  How much will start up costs be?  Will you need permits?  If so, where and when will you need them?  Will you need to lease a building or office space?  If so, what location, price and square footage?  Will you need employees? What is your operating budget?  Have you conducted demographic studies?

Now if these plans don’t get you motivated I don’t know what will!  Imagine spending an entire year planning and preparing every detail of your business.  Before any entrepreneur goes into action, they must do the leg work and develop a well-developed business plan and that planning process might just be what the doctor ordered to break you out of your dull-drums!

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4. Start writing your autobiography

So you say you don’t have a story to tell?  You don’t think anyone would be interested? How do you know if you never try?

I can tell you some of my favorite blogs are those that tell the everyday stories of a person just like you! Maya Angelou said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings).  With that said…let that story out!  Sit down with pen and pad or grab your laptop and get to writing.  It is that simple.

Reminisce about about your childhood.  Think back to family vacations.  What about the neighborhood in which you grew up?  Remember the names of your friends growing up and the times you spent together. Before you know it, your jog down memory lane will come to life on paper and paint a picture of an experience that no one on this planet has ever experienced!  You may just discover that your life isn’t as boring as you think!

5. Take up an amazing new hobby like skydiving or scuba

Extreme sports are not for the faint-of-heart and are not recommended for everyone. But, can you think of a better way to add juice back to life than jumping from a perfectly functioning airplane? Or maybe diving with sharks on a shipwreck at 80 feet?

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I know several friends that have taken up some type of new hobby which acted as a jump-start for their life, making them feel alive again. Go online and see what excitement exists in extreme sports: rock climbing, skydiving, scuba, cycling, mountain biking, white water rafting, kayaking!  There are so many expedition companies whose experts are waiting to train you to experience a life lived on the edge.

Don’t be afraid, take the plunge today!

When all is said and done, life is about experiences.  And it is the lack of new and exciting experiences that kills our spirit as adults.  Life wants to compress you, stifle you and mold you.  But I say it is time for you to break free of this conformist thinking and get out onto the expressway of life and live!

Here’s the skinny: you may not all be able to work the job of your dreams, but you sure can live the life of your dreams!   The only question left: are you up to the challenge of changing your actions in order to get new and exciting results?

Featured photo credit: Alarm Clock/Phalinn Ooi via flickr.com

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Published on September 21, 2018

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

“Can I look like you in 3 months?”

The teenager stared at me, waiting eagerly for a response. It’s a normal day as a certified fitness coach and yet again, I had to grab some flying feet and put them down on the ground of reality again.

“If I would be able to reach this body in 3 months, you think it would’ve taken me 5 years?” I responded smilingly.

In the same moment I tapped the teenager on the shoulder and we both went to the training floor together. Fast forward to today, he eventually reached his dream body. But it took him a little bit longer than 3 months.

In this article, I want to give you a broad overview and answer to the commonly asked question: how long does it take to build muscle and increase fat loss?

Your biggest enemy for building muscle and fat loss

I remember when I joined my first gym years back. After two weeks of continuous training, I saw absolutely no difference in the mirror.

I googled “2 weeks body transformation” and was frustrated by seeing all these pictures by savvy marketers.

We human beings have evolved to seek instant gratification. We can’t wait for things to happen tomorrow. We want them today or even better, yesterday.

It doesn’t matter if we talk about business or our fitness results. If we truly want to make a long-lasting change, we have to delay our innate need to crave gratification instantly and focus on the big picture.

In the book called Grit by Angela Duckworth, a predictor for future success in children was the so called ‘Marshmallow Test’.

The Marshmallow Test works this way. Children are basically given two options:

  1. Eat the marshmallow in front of them right now.
  2. Wait 10 minutes without eating the first marshmallow and get a second marshmallow to eat on top.

This is an insane test of willpower and the ability to delay gratification for an even bigger payoff, as a 10-year old school child. If the child already mastered that crucial skill at such a young age, it was a strong predictor for future success.

We all have to learn how to delay gratification better. Most people overestimate what they can do in one month, but totally underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

What you really need to build muscle fast

Your ground zero

It all matters on which point we start off. Because the reality is:

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Everyone has to start somewhere.

A former Olympic athlete will have an easier time building muscles and losing fat than an avid couch potato. There are mainly two reasons for this:

  • The pre-selected genetic blueprint of the athlete.
  • Work ethic of a professional.

While countless of variables play a role in influencing your success in the gym, it all can be traced back to those crucial points. And the saying still holds merit:

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. — Tim Notke

A mentor of mine told me years ago that you can succeed in life if you just don’t give up.

You can have average skills, average genetics and average work ethic. As long as you keep improving on your craft, you will succeed.

Not immediately – but definitely and finally.

Setting the right expectations

I’m great at setting unrealistic goals and having the wrong expectations. I wanted to have 100,000 subscribers on my Youtube Channel and at the end of my first year when I started, back in 2015, I ended up with 30.

This is an embarrassing story, but I hope it gets one point across:

Your goals need to be realistic if you can’t deal with the setbacks of not reaching them.

Ending up with 30 subscribers even after pulling frequent all-nighters to get this endeavor rolling was soul-crushing. I contemplated throwing in the towel.

With the right support from my network and discipline, I managed to keep going. The channel has now grown 100-fold in those 3 years.

To find out what is realistic, consider the next timeline.

The muscle growth timeline

Here’s what results you can expect if your main goal is building lean tissue mass. Warning: Genuine muscle growth without performance enhancing drugs takes a long time.

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Of course these time periods can vary individually depending on your genetic blueprint and work-ethic. You might see results sooner, or maybe even later.

The time frame is set to training 2-3 times per week (continuously!).

Pro tip: Ask a friend or hire a coach to boost your progress tremendously.

This is what happens when you decide to join a gym, out of my experience training hundreds of clients:

Month 1-3

Eat – Sleep – Gym – Repeat.

Your motivation is at your peak at this point. You will tell your friends and family about your new workout regime. You will notice slight differences in your appearance, which are mainly nonexistent.

You will experience immense strength gains on your training because your body finally realizes how to use its muscles properly.

Month 3-6

This is the time period where most people break. You will be going to the gym consistently, yet the results won’t come just now. It’s the big dip in the whole process.

Your goal in this phase is to build a habit around your gym visits. You will most likely discontinue to have the all-in mentality as in the first 3 months. You will seek sustainability. Breaking news: It will still be hard.

But in the end it’s all worth it. Trust me.

Month 6-12

“I’ve seen a new vein in my arm!”

The guy came up to me excited. This is the time where the normal person starts to see considerable results in his training.

An old friend will talk to him and see a difference in his body shape. Suddenly, his old t-shirt gets too thin. The frequent gym-goer feels amazing.

Month 12- 24

Fitness is a trojan horse. While you might think frequent training will only change your body shape, your character will be impacted too.

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Your friends and family will notice. You’re more confident, assertive and more happy with your self-image. You feel confident and sure in your abilities because you have achieved what you set out to do.

Breaking news:

You will still not be satisfied. And that’s a good thing. But don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

They haven’t come easy.

Month 24+

“That’s what works for me!”

If you’ve been going frequently and consistently (twice every week for 2 years), you can pat yourself on the shoulders.

If you’ve done most things correctly and with a certified coach, you will reach the goal shape at this point. But this is also the point where it can get frustrating.

Further results will come painstakingly slow at this stage. You increasingly have to work on your weaknesses and constantly alter your training to see further results. Be it applying different repetitions, intensity, workout duration, speed or machines.

A lot of people will not see results after this stage because the benefits are not worth the work for them. We have to realize that what got us here, will not get us to the next level.

The fat loss timeline

If you’re trying to lose fat, I have 2 pieces of news for you:

  1. It will come faster. Fat loss has a shorter timeline.
  2. It will be exactly as hard as building muscles, if not harder.

Here’s what you can expect if you’re starting to lose weight. Here again: Proper guidance can speed up the process.

Month 1

“I’ve lost 10kg in the first week!”

Your results will come fast. Too fast.

You will feel exhausted. Most of your weight that you lose will be water. This is the big dip in the whole weight loss process.

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The shocking news: Most people stop their diet in the first month.

Month 2-3

You will reconsider your dieting strategy and opt for more sustainability. You will reintroduce “bad foods” in your diet that you’ve most likely blocked out in the first two weeks or month.

Because balance (and not quitting your diet) is more important to you at this stage than seeing rapid weight loss. Your life quality will increase at this stage.

Month 6-12

At this time frame, you have probably lost more than 10kg. The majority of the people looking to lose weight will be satisfied with their results and shocked by how much of a difference it makes in their appearance.

You will feel more confident, more energized and more self-assured. You would’ve never guessed that you could make it, that you could finally lose your weight – yet you did!

And everyone will notice. “What happened to you?!” – your friends will ask you jealously. Old crushes of you will suddenly initiate contact again just to know what you’re “up to this weekend”.

The fat loss after this stage will come slowly if you haven’t been obese to start with. The goal at this stage is to have created a rock-solid habit out of your gym and eating patterns.

Then you don’t have to worry about the Yo-Yo effect.

Conclusion

“You changed my life!”

The same teenager took me aside at a Monday evening. He had his first date the weekend prior. Apparently it went well.

In the whole time frame we worked together, he built up more than 10 kilograms of muscles. It took him more than 2 years. Yet I’m sure if you’d ask him today, he would tell you that it was all worth it.

Focus on the things that you can control. Losing fat or building muscles might be an overwhelming task to start out with. We have to delay our innate need for instant gratification and focus on the things that we can control.

Changing our genetic blueprint or the responses our muscles have to the training stimulus is not in our hands. But training at least 2 times per week, eating the right foods and setting the right goals and expectations is.

Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via unsplash.com

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