Friday, April 28, 2017

FINISH!



In my last post I talked about STARTING. This post is dedicated to FINISHING! After you get used to starting things, get in the habit of finishing them too! Once starting is a non-issue, all of a sudden finishing can become the next hurdle! It's easy to begin something (or many somethings) and never finish anything!

I know from personal experience I have challenges finishing things. Two main things hinder my ability to finish:

  1. So many ideas, so little time. 
  2. The devil's in the details.


(1) So many ideas, so little time... I find it easier and more fun to brainstorm possibilities, especially when I get inspired by a new idea. I love the feeling of that creative energy, which is so much easier when it's just a dream and you don't have to worry about any actual details of implementation, leading to completion.

(2) The devil's in the details... Once the broad-strokes have been brushed, all of the minutia churns into a shitstorm of incompletion on more projects than I can count. Sometimes other people have gotten caught in those storms which can cause some hard feelings. In our heads it seems totally natural to move on to the next shiny object, but to those who may have gotten dirty down in the trenches with you, they don't necessarily hear what's going on in our brain, so they may be left in the dark, feeling abandoned and a little bitter for the time they spent on your project abortion.

I learned a few things about myself along the way regarding finishing. No, I still don't always complete all of my projects. Yes, I still get distracted by shiny objects. And, yes, I can still frustrate people who are collaborating with me, as well as those who are anxiously awaiting my next creative endeavor. So, no I'm not perfect...But I'm better than I have ever been and I plan to keep improving!

Here are 5 tips on how to FINISH:

1) When you think of that NEXT great project, instead of shelving the one you're working on now to entertain the new shiny object, write it down and put it in your "Great Idea" folder. Then get back to the completing the project in hand before spending time on the new idea.

2) Make a "to-do" list of the details that you need to complete.

3) Make a timeline. Create a schedule of when you plan to get those things on your "to-do" list done.

4) Probably THE most important tip is to Set a overall project Deadline (then you can work backwards to connect the dots for your timeline)!

5) Know when to quit. Not every project needs to be completed. Yes, it's true, not all endeavors need to see the finish line. Some things are best left on the cutting room floor so to speak. 


Know what to Start, what to Finish and what to walk away from. Whatever you do be sure that you are Enjoying the Ride!


Keep going,
~Craig


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

START!




If you wait until everything is perfect, you will probably never start! One of the (many) things I do is run a martial arts academy and if I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say, "Before I start training, I want to get into shape first"  I would be rich! Those people almost never start.

No, we have to START first, often before all of our ducks are in a row, before everything is perfect.  To start means to take action, to do. Breaking out into the unknown is scary, especially in a world where we are infused with so much information. The information can (falsely) give us comfort and make us feel as if we are actually doing something and/or making progress. It can also give us a sense of being overwhelmed (a.k.a. analysis/paralysis). Another symptom of having access to an overload of information with little or no actual experience is criticism (a.k.a. the armchair quarterback). Which brings us full circle to folks not actually starting...

I've talked to countless people who want to start their own journey in things from businesses to blogs and most fail to do the THE most important step necessary to success... STARTING! That's right simply take the first step. Remember the second, third and forth steps won't matter if you never take your first!

When is good time to start? NOW! Today's day and age is perfect for aspiring newb's in pretty much any field! Why? Because of the ease of entry. It is simpler than ever to get the information and resources needed to do whatever you want to do!

You want to be a writer!? The software you need to write it, publish it and distribute it is free! No longer do you need expensive equipment and a publishing contract with some huge firm to accomplish your goal of being a writer. You have access to everything you need to produce, publish, market and distribute your own book, petty much for FREE!

You want to play music? You can learn any instrument free on youtube, buy it cheap and have it delivered to your doorstep from ebay, access (free) apps that will provide you the rest of your band (electronically), then edit, engineer, produce, publish, market and distribute your entire album as well as build your following, all for free (or pretty darn close to it)!

You want to be a journalist? You can wait for New York Times to hire you, or you can write the next world changing story, post it on your free blog (like this one), get your word out, build your following and change the world.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Never in our history has it been so easy to do these things! However, you have to START! Don't wait until everything's perfect! Do it now! Don't worry, you can correct and refine as you go.

Make a plan, refine it as best as you can, and get it out of your head and into the world, then make the necessary changes and corrections as you move forward!

Yes, it takes courage, a little planning and tenacity, but you can do it!

and... Keep Going!


All the best,
~Craig


Monday, April 24, 2017

Being Tough vs. Effective



I was listening to an interview with Rickson Gracie and he said something that I thought was pretty insightful. He talked about the difference of being tough vs. effective. Being tough, Rickson stated is about your mentality. Being effective is about your skill and technique.

I suppose you could describe those two things by using other words, however the point that I got out of it is that you can be tough and not efficient or effective at something. Efficiency and effectiveness comes out of proper strategy, tactics and technique.

Obviously, one should strive to have toughness, efficiency and effectiveness. And, lets not forget ethics. What is the intent behind why you are doing what you are doing?

Being tough is good, however being tough, efficient, effective and ethical in everything that you are doing in life gains much better results. Not to mention it enables you to have a better chance to not only survive the long haul, but maybe even enjoy the ride a little more. 

In martial arts / tactical training try to learn how to accomplish things with less effort and violence whenever possible. How can we be more efficient and effective rather than using only toughness to try to compensate for lack of strategy, tactics and proper technique?

Now when the sh*t hits the fan in life, do whatever you need to in order to accomplish what is necessary (within ethical parameters of course), be it survival, business or brain surgery. However when you are training, try to learn the knowledge and skill necessary to help you accomplish things more efficiently and effectively in ways other than just the brute force of "trying harder." As a matter of fact, sometimes being tough and/or trying harder isn't enough

So what are you doing to become more efficient, effective and ethical in those areas of your life that you want to excel in? Change your perspective to look at the situation differently, so that you can leverage not only your toughness, but all attributes at your disposal. Work smarter and harder, be tough and effective!

Keep going!


Best,
~Craig


 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

11 Tips to Stick to an Exercise Schedule




1) Train for Life 

We were meant to move, so don't over complicate it. You were given one body this time around and if you don't take care of it, where are you going to live?




2) Doing Something is Better than Nothing

Waiting until your schedule is free and your life is perfect to begin your Olympic style workout basically means that you won't be training any time soon, if ever. Do something, anything!



3) Find Something that Works for You

Yoga, martial arts, Pilates, Zumba, swimming, running, lifting, step aerobics, dancing, hiking, biking... whatever! Find something that works for you. Try to get some strengthening, stretching and cardio... and breathe dammit breathe!


4) Start Small

If you are just starting, go easy on yourself: Slow at first. If you've been training, but get injured or life happens and your training lapses: Start back up slow. Don't just rip back into your old workout. Dial it back a few notches for a week or so, before ramping it up.


5) Don't Be So Hard on Yourself


Life is a marathon not a sprint, do things that are sustainable. Think of the big picture. Have fun and don't wreck yourself!


6) Being Fit is Different than Being Healthy

Yep, they are different. Fitness is relative to the activity you are doing. Being overall healthy is being fit for life! Your fitness isn't worth your health!


7) Develop a Habit

A lot of consistent little things add up to big things. If I'm running late and feel like skipping a workout, I'll talk myself into running a few blocks rather than not doing anything at all, so even if I don't get my usual 3 to 5 miles in, I at least did something! It helps me keep my habit.



8) It's Not About the Thing, but the Things the Thing Helps You to Do

I train so I can live a happier, healthier, better life. I have to continue to remind myself of that, or I'll go head first into my ego to wreck myself doing the thing, rather than the things that thing is helping me to do!


9) Push Yourself

Wait a minute, didn't I just say "don't be so hard on yourself?" Yes I did... It's alright to push yourself in a healthy way, just like competition can be healthy if it is done in a balanced way. Listen to yourself. Your body will tell you to move faster or put more stress on. If you train in a group, w/a partner or a trainer, let the momentum carry you to new heights. This occasional push will enhance your overall experience keeping you on track. Challenging yourself is necessary to staying engaged in your training. 


10) Stay Motivated

Surround yourself with inspiration! Whatever works for you! That could be people, reading an article, posts (like this) or book; watching videos, teaching someone else, learning something new, buying something that helps your practice (be it apparel, a prop, whatever); have a goal and when you achieve that set a new intention; enter a competition... But keep it all in balance! Remember healthy vs. fit!


11) Everything Has a Season

Just like the seasons change, so should your training! Things change, you change and the way you workout has to change if you are going to continue for the long haul! If you are 50 and still trying to workout like you did when you were 30, you are setting yourself up for failure, injury and disappointment. If you were in peak condition (for you) before your 2 week vacation in the Bahamas, and now you find that it's two months later and you still haven't worked out; that (micro) season is done as well! Make sure your workouts and expectations are appropriate for the season you are in.


BONUS Tip!!  



12) Keep Going 

This one is simple not easy!



Be well,

~Craig