1. Life is about balance
Work, play, health, family, friends, business, goals….. The list goes on and on. Life comes at us at such a fast pace in the modern world it becomes almost impossible to fit everything in. Whilst to do well at anything we must assign a level of commitment and dedication, it is important that in the midst of this we do not forget all else that is important in life.
Living in the concrete jungle of London I know too well about the day to day grind people go through just to get by, with life consisting of getting up in the morning, spending an hour on public transport, sitting at a desk for 8,9, 10 hours plus and then getting on public transport for another hour and coming home to your 2-3 hours of free time before repeating for another 4 days, into another week, before we realise another year has passed. As a young man with an entrepreneurial spirit who is trying to pursue his passion and create a life of happiness and freedom, I am learning how difficult it can be to manage time. When you are working for yourself and you are trying to grow a business it can feel like your every moment is being thrown back in to ‘work’.
We must remember one thing; life is precious and can be taken at any instant. Whilst it is fantastic to have ambition and want to change the world, we must remember that in order to work at our best and maintain a place of happiness within, we must create time for the other factors of life that are important to us. If we give all our time to work or business we will miss the joy of life brought to us be our family and friends. If we spend every moment with friends and family we may not be able to provide for them the life we want as we are not making any money.
“Mental Health, Physical Health, Family, Work & Business, Personal & Social, Spiritual
These are 6 key areas of our lives that will remain constant for almost every individual. In order to maintain a state of happiness, growth and self-development we must aim to create a balance within these areas. At any point in our lives we may favour a particular area, for example “during the Christmas season we may take a backseat in work and career/physical health, putting more of a focus on family & spiritual”, but if we let our lives be too dominant in any one area we are setting ourselves up for a fall.
1. What area do you focus on the most?
2. How could you make time for the other areas?
3. What benefit would this have on your life
2. Seek Mentorship
In order to get better at a specific skill we must seek out those who have greater experience than ourselves in our chosen field. People that have either mastered a craft themselves, or helped many others to master a certain craft. A coach or mentor isn't simply someone that provides us with answers, but a good coach will get us asking the right questions so that we are able to solve the problems that are occurring ourselves. A coach is someone who provides direction, but doesn’t give us the complete mapping. A coach or mentor doesn’t have to be someone that even knows us on a 1-1 basis. In modern society, we may be using content from others online who have the knowledge and provide quality content that we can learn from and apply to our practice.
In all fields of work now there are authority figures online who provide quality content that we can use to aid in our own practice. However, as good as content as we may be able to receive from someone online, with personal interaction and them understanding who we are, where we are currently at, and what we are trying to achieve, I feel like online coaching or content will never be the same as on a 1-1 basis, particularly if we are an athlete trying to master a skill in our sport or something technical in the gym. To reap the greatest benefits from coaching or mentorship we want to have a relationship whereby there is a mutual understanding of the end goal, and a desire for both to reach it.
Another key element of having a mentor is receiving feedback. Feedback is a form of information that we receive that enables us to create a picture of what we are doing well and what needs to be improved. Without feedback we may be spending hours practicing a skill, but all we are doing is ingraining bad habits. In a gym environment this can be very common, whereby someone has simply tried to teach themselves how to do an exercise, with no external feedback on how it should feel, how it should look, and what muscles are to be engaged. Therefore, someone may have been practicing this skill for years in the gym, but because they never taught themselves how to do it correctly initially, all this time they have been ingraining negative habits which have led to inefficient movement patterns, or worse, injury.
I truly believe that mentorship for the younger generation is few and far between, with a lot of parents not providing their child with the guidance they need to pursue their passions. Whether we are a child or adult, we should constantly seek out mentors, people who have knowledge in the areas we would like to develop, and those who resonate with us.
1. Who in my life do I see as a mentor?
2. What would I like to learn more about in the future?
3. Who do I know or could i reach out to that would be able to help me?
3. Work SMART before you work HARD!
I consider myself a hustler. I am definitely not avail to hard work. But quite often hard work is simply not enough. I am constantly asking myself, how can I work smarter. There are many people in the world working their nuts off, day in day out, doing a job that they don’t really enjoy that is creating wealth for somebody else. Almost any top achiever in their field will have worked hard, but the difference between them and everyone else who has put in the same hard work is that they have been smart, they have seeked out knowledge that will help to get them to where they want to go rather than just pulling up their sleeves and burying their head in the sand.
Elite sport is an excellent example of this: lets use the example of Jerry and George, two awesome young basketball players with promising futures. Both players arrive to sessions early and are the last to leave. However, they were at a club with little opportunity to get scouted and make it to the big league. Jerry continued putting in the hard work at his club, whilst George made the decision to travel to another team that meant an extra 20 minutes of travel for training and matches. The difference? George knew that the new team he was playing for would have scouts at every game. George made it to the NBA and Jerry now plays recreationally with his friends on a weekend. Hopefully you get the image I am trying to create. Before you start putting in your hard work,
1. Am i giving myself the best opportunity for success?
2. Could I be seeking advice from someone instead of banging my head against the same problem?
3. Is the hard work I am putting in going to benefit me in the long run?
4. Try to do some form of physical activity every single day
Don’t feel that you have to spend every moment of your life in the gym. As a fitness coach it is my job to find out the best solutions to help clients achieve their goals, and with the reality of day to day life this involves finding out what exercise provides the best bang for your buck. I still struggle to understand why we as a human race do things that we know will cut years off of our life (smoking) and shy away from activities that research has proven to boost our physical and mental health (eating natural foods and exercising). The benefits of physical activity are numerous and well documented including:
Boosting serotonin levels which have a positive impact on your mood
Increase body image and self confidence
Maintain a healthy functioning body (including muscles, joints, heart, lungs and all other organs)
Socialising and meeting new people
Promoting better sleep, in turn reducing stress and increasing energy levels
1. Are you happy with the way you look, move and feel?
2. Are you getting enough exercise into your life?
3. What people in your life could you spend more time with that would have a positive influence on your health?
5. More men should be doing yoga/pilates and more women should be doing strength training
In all areas of life there are stereotypes, and that remains consistent in the world of exercise and fitness. For many years if you step foot inside a gym and walk to the free-weights area you will see pack of men and possibly the odd female in the corner, the opposite is more than likely to be true if you walk into a yoga studio. Whilst, as a fitness professional I am glad to see this has begun to change quite significantly in recent years, with the opposite sexes becoming more comfortable in one anothers environments, I still believe there need to be a greater shift. It is a little bit a case of chicken and egg, are women more flexible because they do yoga regularly, or do women do yoga because they are naturally more flexible?
In my opinion, every single individual is different, genetically, anatomically, physiologically and psychologically. In no way am I saying all men should stop weight training completely and just do yoga, and vice versa; the message I am portraying is that both genders need greater balance in their lives. For the man who is regularly challenging his body in the gym or playing collision or combat sports, yoga or pilates can be highly effective in releasing both muscular and mental tension, increasing mobility and preventing injury. For the women who does yoga 6 times a week but nothing else, partaking in strength training will provide greater structural balance, prevent muscle atrophy and diseases such as osteoporosis - it will also most likely improve their yoga performance.
1. Am I doing any exercise?
2. Could I benefit from adding variation to my routine?
3. When could I schedule in this alternative training?
6. Take time to self-reflect
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to day aspects of life and forget to pause, self reflect, and look at the bigger picture. Slowing down and taking time to think about your life is extremely helpful in creating a better sense of you are, who you want to be, and how you will get there.
Reasons it is beneficial to self-reflect:
Self reflection helps to build emotional self-awareness. By taking the time to ask yourself the important questions, you gain a better understanding of your emotions, strengths, weaknesses and driving factors. Once you understand important aspects of the self, you become better able to adapt to changing situations and tough circumstances.
Integrity increases when you take time to reflect on core values. Having a clear understanding of what values you deem most important puts them at the forefront of your mind and strengthens your decisions.
Our lives often become a cycle of doing/producing where we try to maximize productivity and minimize time spent. When we are always acting and moving from one thing to the next we sometimes forget to stop and think. Taking time to think allows for new ideas to emerge and counters the risk of becoming stagnant. New ideas and continuous change, not matter what your situation, is necessary.
1. What are your greatest goals, what obstacles stand in the way, and how can you overcome them?
2. Are you honest with yourself in terms of you want to be and the work you are willing to put in to get to that place?
3. What things in life make you happiest, and are you making enough time for them?
7. Create positive habits daily
Goals are great. But goals aren’t achieved without creating habits. Greatness is a lifestyle. You want to be healthy? Eat wholesome natural foods every day, drink plenty of water, stay away from processed foods and exercise regularly. You want to feel good mentally? Be grateful every day for everything that you DO have instead of focusing on negatives and whinging. All successful people will report their daily rituals they follow that enable them to perform at their best and get the most from life. Just a few of these daily habits might include:
Live life on your terms: Every day live your life the way you want to live, put yourself first so that in return you can give back to others. Know that life is too short to be spent doing things or spending time with people that make you unhappy, and remind yourself of your purpose every single day.
Tune out distractions."Every day, I dedicate a period of about 30 to 60 minutes when I turn off all electronics, and most of the time this aligns with my daily exercise. This daily digital detox allows my mind to wander to what really matters, eliminating any distractions from others. I use this time to check in with myself, set personal priorities and focus on important issues for both myself and my business. I've found that these small breaks give me a sense of peace and help me better navigate everyday business decisions." --John H. Stevens, M.D., president and chief executive officer of HeartFlow, a medical technology company that recently secured over $240 million in Series E financing
Feed your mind. "A most important habit of success is the monitoring of daily nutrition. But by that, I am not talking about what successful people eat or drink. I am talking about what they feed themselves through what they, read, what they listen to, who they talk to and what they watch. In every day, the truly great ones I have had the chance to work with use a piece of that day to feed themselves something that will give them an inspirational advantage over those they're competing against. Whether it is looking for inspirational quotes, watching videos of people offering lessons on excellence, or reading a chapter in a book that will help them in their journey, there is a piece of every day that is committed to growth."--Don Yaeger, award-winning motivational speaker and an 11-time New York Times Bestselling Author who has written extensively on what makes great teams great and coaches top businesses on improving team culture
Take care of yourself. "It comes down to taking care of yourself--your body, mind and spirit. I have a regular exercise regimen. I start every day with a 40- to 50-minute workout: a combination of cardio, core strength and resistance training. During the day, you need to eat great food that fuels you without robbing energy, drink lots of water and stay hydrated. It's amazing how much water your body needs during the day."
--Hunter Muller, president and CEO of HMG Strategy, LLC, an international network of more than 300,000 technology leaders, search executives, and technology partners which has hosted more than 70 live events in the U.S., Canada and Europe
Have a clear strategy for each and every day
“Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to succeed, but more importantly, what’s your plan to succeed?”
Each night create a task-list for the following day without the two most critical components at the top of the list! Make sure these tasks get done at all costs, and ensure they are crucial in helping you on your path. Whilst, you may have lots of smaller nuances that crop up throughout the day, having a clear to-do list will enable you to maintain focus and remember what it is that needs to be completed.
8. Always seek guidance before investment
It can be difficult when you are ambitious to separate those who actually want to help you from those who simply want to build their own financial empire. I am a big believer in investing in self-development and continually spending money to increase your knowledge and better yourself. However, in modern society there are so many people pretending to be professionals who want to help you, when in reality they are just good at marketing and taking your money.
Don’t simply spend money because someone has made you a good offer, the process should always begin with you as the individual having a very clear idea of what it is you want to learn, from here you should then spend your time researching different people who can offer the skills you want to learn. From here, you can shortlist all the different providers who offer what you desire, create a list of questions in regards to the service or product and pose them to the provider, gaining important feedback in terms of whether they are right for you. Also see whether it is possible to read reviews and gain feedback from others who have invested before you, gaining honest unbiased feedback on the quality of a service or product.
Take for instance, you are reading your morning emails when an advert pops up about the latest discounts Nike has on their trainers, when you first sat down at your computer, trainers were at the back of your mind, and in all honesty you don’t need a new pair of trainers but just because they had 40% off you decided to buy them. The trainers were nice, but they have sat in the closet for the last 6 months and haven't been worn, worth the investment?
1. What do I want to learn?
2. Who are the best people that can provide me with this knowledge?
3. Am i ready to invest not just my money, but my time on learning?
9. Take on new things by yourself
If you want to do something, GO DO IT! If you spend your life waiting for someone else to do something with you, then you might be waiting all the way to your grave. Taking on something by yourself gives a true sense of self belief and can truly empower an individual. Too often in life people hold themselves back due to fear of what others might think of them or what ‘might go wrong’, spend less of your time caring about what others think, and start stepping outside your comfort zone a little more regularly, you will be amazed at the positive benefits this can have on your life.
1. What would I like to learn or where would I like to travel in the next year?
2. What is the worst that could happen?
Go ahead and book your first lesson or buy your flight
10. Change the way you feel, think, and act about money
Most people have an unhealthy relationship with money. It’s not necessarily their fault; it’s what they were taught. In order to change your financial world, you need to alter your paradigm and feelings about money. Here are some key beliefs the most successful people in the world have:
In a free-market economy, anyone can make as much money as they want.
Your background, highest level of education, or IQ is irrelevant when it comes to earning money.
The bigger the problem you solve, the more money you make.
Expect to make lots of money. Think BIG: $100,000, $500,000, or why not $1 million?
What you focus on expands. If you believe in scarcity, you’ll have little.
If you believe there is unlimited abundance, you’ll attract abundance.
When you create incredible value for others, you have the right to make as much money as you want.
You’re not going to be discovered, saved, or made rich by someone else. If you want to be successful, you have to build it yourself.
When you develop a healthy relationship, you will have more. You won’t spend money on the crap most people waste their money on. You’ll focus more on value than price.
1. Not how much something costs, but instead is it going to solve a problem I have, and is it worth the investment?
2. Can I find ways to save money in other areas in order to invest in something that will truly impact me?