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6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reach Your Biggest Goals in 2017

6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reach Your Biggest Goals in 2017

Picture this.

You’re sitting on the patio of a beautiful restaurant watching the fireworks of the year’s end with all of your closest friends.

You’re smiling because you’ve achieved all of the biggest goals you set for yourself in 2017 and you’re excited to share this moment with the people you love as you cheer on another great year to come.

That would feel pretty good, right?

Although many of us feel that the above situation is a pipe dream locked away for only the most productive people to achieve, it doesn’t have to be this way.

By following different proven methods of productive goal-setting, you can achieve your biggest goals too, whether they’re losing more weight, starting your business, meeting that special someone, or writing that book you’ve always wanted to write.

It sounds impossible, but it’s not. I promise you.

Here’s how you can make 2017 your best year yet.

1. Imagine Yourself Already Having Achieved Your Goals

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

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Say you want to start a business, but you don’t know how (really, you don’t even know where to begin). Instead of procrastinating in despair, try this.

Take 5 minutes right now to think about how good it would feel to be running your own business.

What would that look like for you? Would you be working from the comfort of your own home, from the coffee shop down the block, or maybe before boarding a plane that will take you jet-setting around the world?

No matter what business you want to start, focus on how amazing it would feel to finally set the blocks in motion and be living the life you want. Make sure you keep it personalized to yourself (and remember, it doesn’t have to be realistic — yet).

2. Set Your Goals in Reverse

Now that you know what your ideal life would look like, pull out a piece of paper to complete the picture.

At the beginning, write down the desired result of your biggest goal. If you want to make money from home, write that. If you want to be a published author, jot that down.

Now it’s time to make your goal more tangible.

What are the steps you could ideally take to reach that goal? If you want to start a business to make money, how would you generate money?

For instance, you could create a webinar to generate sales for your business, but you’d need an email list before you could do that. And before that, you’d need clients, a website, a name, and an idea for your business.

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Don’t think too complicated now. This exercise is just intended to generate a simple way path to your goals, no matter how far away they seem now.

3. Break Your Goals Into Bite-Sized Pieces

You already planned out how to achieve your goals in reverse. But let’s face it — it’s hard to reach your biggest goals. We all know this.

However, if you break them down into little bite-sized pieces first, then it’ll be much easier for you to make progress towards them every week.

As we’ve all heard, it’s easier to eat an elephant if you do it one bite at a time.

The same is true for your goals. If you try and take it all on at once, it’s going to make things way harder than they need to be for you.

But if you just do one small thing today towards your biggest goal, that progress will add up faster than you think.

4. Become Distraction-Proof

Now that you’ve made a roadmap to reach your goals, you need to concentrate on the roadblocks stopping you from reaching the destination of your ideal life.

Ask: What’s blocking you from achieving your desired results?

If it’s constant interruptions, consider ways you could fight against that.

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For instance, if you’re trying to do focused work on your laptop, you could disconnect completely from the internet or install an internet-blocker like Freedom.

Or if you’re having trouble working from home, you could go into a quiet study area at your local library to escape the distractions all around you.

If you can find a way to circumvent distraction, it’ll be much easier to start achieving your biggest goals today.

5. Work in Focused Sprints Every day

Most of the work we do these days is shallow and unfocused.

That’s why I love Cal Newport’s new book Deep Work. In it, he shares a method where we can all achieve the desired results we want in our lives.

The solution is finding time in your day to do focused work. Unlike shallow work, this form of “deep” work can help us make progress towards something substantial that’s related to our personal or professional lives.

If you can fit a focused burst of 25 minutes into your morning, try that. If not, fit it into your afternoon. Whenever you can find a time, these 25-minute Pomodoro’s can do wonders to help you reach your goals instead of just checking your Facebook notifications or replying to yet another email on the list with no real benefit.

6. Constantly Review and Access Your Goals

Goal-setting is not just for the end or the start of the year.

Many of us make the error of only setting goals when we see the new year approaching. Then, shortly after it, we fail to follow through on those goals we set for ourselves.

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Soon into the year, many of our goals are forgotten, abandoned, and left unfinished only to be ticked onto our lists for the next year to come.

The problem is that we should be setting new goals constantly — either to reach new goals or to make adjustments to our old ones — because our lives aren’t stagnant. Like our environments, they’re constantly changing, so we should be adapting along with them.

Don’t be afraid to delete any goals that no longer mean anything to you. Above all, always be changing, modifying, and adapting.

If you can develop a model of consistency when it comes to reviewing and accessing your goals, you’ll be way ahead of the rest.

How to Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

Take a moment to think about the biggest goals you want to achieve in 2017. Maybe they’re goals you didn’t achieve or didn’t have time for last year.

Think about how you would feel by accomplishing even one of them. And imagine how great it would feel to be sharing champagne and celebrating with your closest friends after achieving your biggest goals for 2017.

I know it feels impossible, but your goals are achievable.

By following these six simple strategies, next year you won’t be looking back at 2017 in despair. Instead, you won’t be able to do anything but smile.

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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