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Breaking Free from Mediocrity

Breaking Free from Mediocrity

So tell me, how mediocre are you today? Sorry, let me rephrase that, who are you hanging with today?

If the people you hang with all very successful, daring to be different,  and doing things you want to accomplish, I bet it inspires you to be the best you can be. If everybody around you is looking up to you as their hero in every aspect of life, however, you’d better wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe it’s time for some changes?

Social Creatures

People are social creatures—even if you are a loner or prefer to work alone, I bet you have some form of social network around you, in real life and online. If you examine your network you will most likely find that the people you interact with most have similar drive, similar levels of success, and similar ambitions. What does that mean? Simply put, you are becoming an average of each other. Does that scare you or inspire you?

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You may know somebody who has made some bad choices in life and ended up in bad places. With effort, they may have come out of those bad places and started making positive changes: during this period, they might have great support from counselors or similar, but what happens afterward? Well, some may go on to become successful to some degree, but there are always some who fall back into their old habits. The difference? My money is on the changes they have made in their social network: if they make no changes to their network at the same time as they were going through their other positive changes, all their efforts may very well be for nothing. Why? Because their old network is supporting their old way of life and will make them gravitate towards their old habits.

The same goes for very successful people—who do they have in their network? The answer is: very successful people!

Putting it Together

So what does that mean to you? Well by making some adjustments in who you surround yourself with, you can accelerate the changes you are implementing. People can help each other by teaming up with others of complementary strengths, for example, so together they can catapult each other into greatness. Sounds good, right?

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So then, where do you get these complementary boosts? Well, there are a number of ways to choose from and it depends on what you want to accomplish. Want to become fit? Ask a fit friend to work out with you and spend more time with that person, or join a running class or a gym with team training to get inspired, and find friends that pull you forward instead of weighing you down. Want to start a business? Join an entrepreneurs’ club, visit online forums, network online and off-line, and get advisors or mentors.

Remember, understanding this and recognising this means nothing unless you make changes where you see the need for them. Action!

So here is what you do:

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  1. Take a long, hard look at who you interact with most: list them and quantify their level of success in relevance to where you want to be.
  2. Quantify the time you spend with these people.
  3. Identify the energy thieves—that’s anyone you feel is giving you more negative energy than positive. Look for clues like people who complain a lot, never give you encouragement or try to put you down.
  4. Now take action to break free from these energy thieves, and with that, kiss some of your mediocrity goodbye.
  5. Identify people in your circle whom you admire or who have a lot of success in an area you are interested in.
  6. Take initiative to spend more time with these people, and be inspired to be the best you can be!

Does it sound scary? It can be, but remember: sometimes you have to put yourself first, so make yourself a priority!

Conclusion

In closing, I want to stress that a you don’t ditch friends because they are going through a rough stretch in life and need your energy to stay afloat—we all have to roll with life’s punches and that’s when friendships are tested, so cherish those friendships that stand strong during difficult times. This post refers to the fake friends and acquaintances who give a false feeling of friendship—flush them out and invest your precious time with those who can lift you to new heights.

Have you considered how your network affects you?

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Featured photo credit:  Full length of muscular guy via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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