Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Goal Setting – Ten Week Challenge

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Notes from the goal setting seminar by Ed Tseng at Crossfit Mercer, March 13, 2016 –

Everyone is here for the goal setting seminar. If you’re here for the procrastination seminar, Ed doesn’t do them anymore. (Would have been funnier if he had said, he’s putting that off for now).

From hanging out with the most successful people in the world, such as world champions on the Yankees, olympic gold medalists, to billionaires, he’s learned a different twist on goal setting.

Ed has a different twist on goal setting. Many people are anxious about crushing goals – but take minimal notes. He’ll tell us when to write things down (oops) but during the talk just try to be present.

Like in sports, you can’t think and hit at the same time. I think Ed said this was Mickey Mantle: “A full mind is an empty bat”. But when I looked it up, it was said by Branch Rickey. Use this for anything in life. The more you try to write down everything, the less you are in the moment and the less you will benefit. Listen as if you are listening to music, for something new. Listen for something different.

To Ed, the purpose of goal setting is to get more excited and fired up about life. Most people are so excited about their goals, they are like race horses with blinders on. They see nothing but the goal. Good news: you’ll reach your goal. But you may lose sight of everything else.

Mats Wilander from Sweden spent his whole life pursuing a goal to be a tennis champion. He got there, but after the excitement wore off, he told reporters he looked more forward to mowing his lawn than playing tennis. So do you want to spend all your time working towards a goal, thinking you’ll be happy then, or would you rather enjoy the process?

People are so focused on the goal, they think it’s weakness if they change or drop the goals. But if we keep our mind open, we might create better goals, more beneficial goals. Family life, job, even health might suffer by blindly following goals.

Make your goals measurable and specific. But instead of saying you’ll be happy when you achieve my goal, enjoy the process.

The goal should guide you, not govern you.

Goals will give you a direction to head toward. But people won’t know exactly what path that is. Most successful people will tell you they don’t know exactly what path helped them achieve success.

Happiness leads to success more often the success leads to happiness. If you think you’ll be happy when you lose a lot of weight, you might be wrong.

John Lennon story: his mother told him the secret to life is happiness. In school, his assignment was to write down what he wanted to be when he was older. John Lennon wrote “Happy”. The teacher gave the assignment back to John and said “I don’t think you understood the assignment.” John replied, “I don’t think you understand life.”

If you ask anyone about why they set goals, it boils down to happiness. But we can have that happiness now, throughout the process, not just for a short time after we achieve the goal. And then whether we reach our goals or not, we are still going to have happiness.

Happiness from achieving goals will be short-lived. If we achieve them, we’ll need to set new goals to aim for happiness again.

Miss New Jersey explained to Ed that even though she is so successful, she doubts herself every day. If she, or world champions doubt themselves, we are going to have doubt as well. But if we know these doubts are just thoughts, we can work through them. Ed compared thoughts of doubt to dreams. When we wake up, we know it was just a dream and don’t worry about what happened in the dream. Thoughts of doubt are the same.

If thoughts during our dreams shouldn’t affect us, why should our thoughts while we are in the middle of a workout, or during the day, or when we are deciding whether or not to eat a dessert?

Concern yourself less with the doubt and chatter that pops up, and you’ll be more in the moment.

The biggest obstacles in reaching goals are people themselves: the “six inches” between the ears.

We took a minute to think about a specific measurable goal for the next 10 weeks of the challenge, and wrote it down on a worksheet.

The first thing about goals you should know is that there is a superstar athlete, great father, caring mother, successful son, inside of all of us. Did you ever notice the white arrow in the Fedex sign? It’s pointing in the right direction. You may not have noticed it, but it’s been there all along. Same goes with your successful self – it’s already there. There is also a spoon hidden in “Fed”.

We can be successful. We already know what to do.  But when we’re in a low state of mind, we tend to negotiate with ourselves. If you acted on every thought you ever had, you might never get out of bed.

Winners do what losers don’t feel like doing. It’s your behavior that gets results, not your good intentions.

Take action knowing what you know.

Alongside our specific, measurable goal, we wrote down an accountability partner. It must be someone we will check in with daily or weekly. Schedule the time we will report our progress, to be accountable.

The idea or consequence of failing to achieve the goal has to be more painful than the pleasure you’ll get now by doing something that undermines your goal (this was my idea I was telling Augie before the talk, and Ed gave me credit for it. But it’s not mine either — it’s the pain-pleasure principal made popular by Tony Robbins). Tell your accountability partner your plans for the week, and if you don’t make it, you have to do 500 pushups, or take them out to dinner or write them out a $5,000 check… Something painful. It has to be more painful than doing what’s needed to achieve the goal.

Don’t be stressed about your goals. Achieve your goals one at a time, but don’t think about the other 99 things you have to do that day. That will clutter your mind and increase stress. Be present, in the moment. Live in the now. That’s when we do our best. In and out of the gym.

Doubts are self-created. We hold ourselves back. We have all the potential in the world. Ed’s baby daughter didn’t give up on walking because she doubted she could do it. She kept trying and eventually got it.

Thoughts feel real. But they are not. When you wake up from a bad dream, you’re heart races, your body is tight and you are sweating, but you’re just laying in bed. That’s how powerful thoughts are. But doubt your doubts.

Just because you have a doubt doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because you have a lack of confidence or a doubt doesn’t mean it’s real. Thoughts/doubts can be powerful but they are just thoughts.

We thought about what has held us back from achieving your goals, and what might be obstacles for the next 10 weeks.

Example: time to prepare meals for the week. We can’t make more time, but maybe we can re-arrange our schedules. Don’t negotiate with yourself about getting things done. Just do them. You may need to schedule the process of writing out your schedule.

Dolph’s side note on preparing meals: you can’t out-train bad nutrition

Ed also said someone once said: Nothing tastes as good as fit feels.

You want to be able to respond rather than react. If you have to go out to an unexpected business dinner, or head out with friends to an unplanned meal at a restaurant, think about your goals before you order from the menu. Or if you know you’re going out somewhere to a function and will be tempted, each a healthy meal at home beforehand, then just order a healthy salad at the function.

Ed’s area of expertise is the mental side. Losing weight, getting fit, making money — it’s all mental.

One last story: There were twin brothers. One was always positive and the other negative. One day, doctors put the negative boy in a room full of wonderful treats and toys, and they put the positive boy in the dark, dingy basement with a pile of manure in the center.

An hour later, they checked on both of them. The negative boy was not happy, even with all the toys and treats. “I might fall off the rocking horse, or the cake may upset my stomach.”

The positive boy was happy as can be, running in circles. They asked him what was going on. He said, “With all this manure around here, there must be a pony somewhere!

As we go through the next 10 weeks, our feelings will go up and down. But every situation can be seen in a infinite number of ways. A bad cheat meal might make us think we are off track and that we can then continue to eat poorly, or conversely we can think, “I’m more motivated to eat cleaner tomorrow.”


Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Do something every day that makes you uncomfortable.

-Living with a SEAL

100 Household Tips

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013


Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Back on Tuesday 2/27 Dolph from CrossFit Mercer hosted a talk by Geoff Else on supplements. I finally got around to going through my notes from the talk to throw up on the blog. I also wanted to do a little reading about what he talked about, and try to find some references, so this is being posted a couple weeks after the fact.

Disclaimer: I personally do not use lots of supplements. I don’t even take a multivitamin at this time. The only things I take daily are fish oil and vitamin D3. I really appreciate the time Geoff took to present this information, and as I learn more about it or find a need, I might give one or two of them a shot. With that said, here goes…

Geoff owns three GNC stores, one of them is in the Hamilton Marketplace on US Route 130. Dolph introduced Geoff and pointed out that a great thing about him is that he is a Crossfitter himself. So he understands what we are trying to achieve.

He prefaced his talk about supplements by stating that doing the Paleo diet as part of the CrossFit Mercer 90-day Body Composition Challenge kind of limits you as far as supplementation. With Paleo you’re introducing lots of different foods, lots of leafy greens. Truthfully you might not really need to supplement. There might be some things that could work with it, or as you begin to reintroduce some things into your diet (eg: Paleo + Dairy), or certainly when you’re done with the challenge.

Regarding the Paleo diet, it’s a great way to lose weight because you are cutting out all those refined carbohydrates, which in itself causes a lot of water retention. But once you have Paleo “figured out”, you may find energy levels are a little lower, and that comes down to the fact that you are cutting calories. Don’t be afraid of fats in your diet; you’ve got to introduce some. Fats will become very valuable to you. Being on a moderate/high fat diet will force your body to run on fat, and that will solve a host of problems. It can put you back on track if you are “metabolically deranged”.

If things are really tough for you, you can try MCT oil, which is essentially the fatty acid found in coconut. (Note: here’s an article I found on it from A tablespoon is generally 14 grams or 130 calories. Whole Foods and GNC sell it. You can also go straight for the coconut oil itself, and use it while cooking.

A question Geoff gets a lot is on pre-and-post-workout nutrition. For years, we’ve all heard about the carb-loading thing. But he said most people run around so saturated on glycogen anyway, they don’t really need any extra carbohydrates. The average individual eating a typical american diet will not really benefit from carb saturation or carb-loading. Yes, carbs are your major course of simple energy, but your body can only incorporate and saturate so much glycogen (simple stores).

Geoff tells us the best way to do carb-loading is at the end of a higher fat diet. There was a study by Lambert EV in 2001 on endurance-trained athletes. (Note: I looked this up after the talk; here’s the abstract). Geoff summed it up this way: they found a significant increase in output with 3-4 days of approximately 70% carbohydrate (not rice, wheat or oatmeal) following a high-fat diet (roughly 65% fat). That is about the only time carb-loading has been seen to be beneficial. And if your already doing Paleo, you’re primed for it. (Note: So for me, since I’m trying Paleo, it might be ideal to switch to a high-carb diet 3 to 4 days before my next marathon.)

Geoff went on to say if you’re trying to build, or recover from stress of being students, raising a family, working long hours, etc, consider that you are doing high-intensity workouts, and that increases your cortisol levels. That stress hormone response increases dramatically around your workouts, especially after longer workouts. It’s being recognized that consuming carbohydrates post-workout can actually blunt that response, and it is also introduced into your system with less insulin. You want to minimize insulin response, since you only have one pancreas your whole life 🙂  So, cluster your carbs post-workout with a ratio of 4:1 carbs to protein, or 2:1 if the workout was a little less intense. Again, this is when you go beyond Paleo, perhaps for the sake of convenience.

Whey protein is the number-one source of supplemented protein in the world. It is milk-derived, but most of the casein has been removed. It is fast-absorbing, and gets rid of some of the immuno-aggravating components. There’s no extra benefit to having a whey/casein mix, unless you are a super hard gainer and you are going for an overnight feed effect, or something like that. You can probably get enough nutrient density during the day to achieve some serious muscle growth without needing to wake up in the middle of the night and feed.

He stresses caution if you can’t afford the grass-fed meat, or need the convenience of nuts, or almond butter from trader joes because you are so very hungry every few days. As soon as you introduce stuff like that, you are increasing your omega 6 levels, a downside. And from a paleolithic perspective, you would never be able to crack all the shells of the nuts in that jar of almond butter. But if you’re forced to do it, so be it. If it happens more regularly, your omega 6-omega 3 imbalance increases. The ratio in the traditional american diet is something like is 12:1 (omega 6 to omega 3). In paleolithic time, it was 2:1 or even a 1:1 ratio. So if your omega 6 number is already very high, one way to improve the ratio is to take a high-density fish oil. It won’t bring down the omega 6 levels, but at least you can manipulate the ratio.

It’s not the true answer to everything, but hopefully, at least from the research available right now, he’s convinced that’s the way to balance things out. When those levels are not balanced, lots of inflammatory things can start going on: certain diseases, arthritis, and joints can flare up, etc.

Look for a cod liver oil which will have some additional vitamin A and D, or go with a straight fish oil. (Personally, I already take ultra-refined fish oil each day. I’ve been using Zone Labs Fish Oil since I started the Zone circa 2003. It’s expensive, but I believe it’s worth it so I’m on board with Geoff here). He’s a bigger fan of vitamin D than vitamin A. GNC has one he likes which is a triple-strength fish oil. Be cautious where you purchase your fish oil; most of them are 300mg capsules, but they say “fish oil 1000” on the front. It’s a little deceptive. Of that 1,000, only 300, or 30% are omega 3s. GNC’s is actually 90% pure. Look for “Fish Oil 1500”. The triple strength fish oil capsules are 900mg per cap. 1-2 per day is recommended. If you’ve eaten salmon that day, you can skip your dose of fish oil. It already has lots of Omega 3 in there.

One of the reasons we avoid so many foods in paleo is because of their gut-inflammatory effects. Lectins and phytates can aggravate the gut and sweep out nutrients we need. But as you are trying to avoid that, make sure you are introducing some of the beneficial bacteria that you won’t get anymore. On Paleo you’ve eliminated dairy (eg: yogurt) so you might want to look into raw sauerkraut, or kimchee or kombucha.

Regarding the adrenals and cortisol, magnesium doesn’t get as much attention as calcium, especially for women (bone health). He is not a big advocate of consuming supplemental calcium. There have been studies that show if you go over a certain amount, it increases your risk of cardiac events. You might not want to always take the 1500+ recommendation. Small tangent here: Where they arrive at the RDAs (and this applies to men as well), is sometimes just completely arbitrary. He explained that the recommended Vitamin D amount used to be 400 IU, an amount they found in a teaspoon of unrefined cod liver oil. That amount was something commonly given back in the 1900s, to keep kids from getting rickets. So it became the magic number – these levels are not necessarily grounded in real science.

That gets into the quality versus quantity area. if you consume a lot of leafy greens, or dense protein, this stimulates a lot of acid production, vitamin C is in there as well. So you have the perfect environment for calcium absorption. Magnesium balances it out. Robb Wolf is a big advocate of this: taking a magnesium supplement can actually help calm you down. (Note: I located Robb Wolf’s podcast that discusses magnesium supplements). Calcium causes constricting of muscles while magnesium is very relaxing. So, taking some magnesium can help calm you down from the stress of your day and help improve your sleep. He mentioned Zinc-magnesium aspartate. Any type of “chelated” magnesium would be an “awesome” addition to your evening run-down. Most guys might not be into chamomile tea (a good source for calcium and magnesium) so a couple pills might be a little easier. Avoid “oxide” forms which are poorly absorbed. They will generally end in “ate” such as magnesium citrate, magnesium aspartate. Look for about 400 to 600 mg.

He likes to recommend phosphatidylserine, if you’re burning out in higher intensity workouts. This is in the same category as neural transmitters. They do derive it from soy though, but it has a huge affect on blunting cortisol levels. If you can’t change the source of stress and you’re committed to the workout, the supplement can be taken once in a while. But it’s not meant to be taken for sustained periods of time.

Post-workout – anytime you work out you use your natural metabolic engines, you create free radicals, a highly reactive molecule. Antioxidants help with that. Vitamin C helps with neutralizing free radicals. Supplementing post workout can help mitigate free radicals in your system.

There’s a definite controversy around taking vitamin C and taking antioxidants around post-workout because it might blunt some of the “natural adaptation” you want, where some cortisol is good, and some free radical is good. But in his opinion, he doesn’t see enough evidence that vitamin C is going to negate the progress that much. Most people are not at the threshold where absolutely everything counts, like missing a meal. Our systems are probably not that sensitive. It’s a cheap supplement, especially for your immune system.

Geoff recommends getting tested for vitamin D. Tell your doctor you want your “25 hydroxy” tested. At this point, there is lots of research about how deficient we all are. We don’t see a lot of sun all the time at this latitude, or during overcast weather, so our bodies don’t produce enough of it.

You can get a lot of Vitamin D through diet. If you do cod liver oil you’re killing two birds with one stone. The RDA is only 600 IU, but that was increased from 400. However, personally he recommends (even not knowing what our current 25 hydroxy levels are) at least 1000 to 2000 IU. D3 is the natural form in the body. D2 is synthesized or derived from plants, but doesn’t translate into the same boost.  Personally, I am already taking 2000IU of Vitamin D3 daily. It was recommended to me by my doctor a couple years ago.

Absorption: he is an advocate of food first, but if you can’t get what you need from food, then you might need to rely on supplements. Vitamin D3 is REALLY well absorbed, especially if you take it with a small amount of fat.

Fish oil – it would be great if we could get a shipment of wild alaskan salmon every day, but there is also less likelihood of you getting mercury from the fish oil because it is super distilled. Those heavy metals have an affinity for muscle tissue, flesh, and less of an affinity (less concentration) in oil. So you’ll get more toxins out of eating fish than you would taking the oil.

Perfect world: we wouldn’t need supplements. But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Some popular performance related supplements include:

Creatine – most widely studied ergogenic aid to date. Comprised of 3 amino acids helping your body produce more ATP which means more explosive energy. Overall strength is increased. Your body naturally makes it, you get some of it through red meat (an awful lot of red meat). Women don’t respond as well as men, and 25% don’t respond at all because of their current levels. Sometimes it causes water retention, but there are chelated forms that won’t do that. He suggests creatine magnesium chelate is really awesome – Creatine Magna Power. You take less and get as good as an effect as creatine monohydrate.

Argenine – precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide got really popular with viagara because it dilates muscle fibers everywhere. And that helps blood flow out and in. Think of the burn when you rep out. It can help push that fatigue out a little further by getting more blood (oxygen) in.

Something that can help directly with that burn is beta alanine. This is an amino acid derivative that can actually increase intra-muscular carnosine. Beta alanine tends to also increase surface blood flow, so you may get pins and needs sensation or even a flushed reaction.

Something called GPLC is really new, a form of carnetine that has another effect on nitric oxide production, but also on fat burning. “Really cool stuff.” It’s a little more on the expensive side but is coming out in lots of products.

If you have long days, your energy levels may be lower than desirable. Stimulants are extremely popular in the supplementation community. It puts you on your A game, something to consider. Lots of companies put together pre-workout formulas. GNC has quite a bit of them and he likes some of them. Red flag though: they contain a geranium stem extract, DMAA 1,3-dimethylamylamine. A couple teams were flagged at the CrossFit games because it was technically on the banned list. So if you have aspirations of competing, then it’s not for you.

A few companies (eg; About Time) have stevia-flavored whey protein from clean sources. It’s good for pre-workout – natural energizers, nothing over the top. Definitely geared toward someone looking for a cleaner diet and a little boost.

All these he mentioned are amino acids: creatine, argenine, glutemine.

In points of starvation, your body goes looking for amino acids, and if you don’t have enough protein in your diet, it tears down your muscle in order to release amino acids into the bloodstream. You can supplement with glutemine. If you are bedridden or have the flu, using glutemine might help you avoid losing all those gains you made at the box. It’s an excellent recovery amino acid.

Geoff also mentioned something he was discussing with Dolph called “Waxy Maize hydroxypropyl distract phosphate”. He didn’t explicitly recommend it; he just mentioned it. I think he said it was advocated by Brian MacKenzie.  Out of curiosity, I looked it up and it’s touted as “the carb that burns fat”. But lurking around the internet left me feeling like it’s a bit shady. However, I also located this study done by Shimotoyodome, Suzuki, Kameo, and Hase. The study was done with healthy subjects, but they conclude with:

…Dietary supplementation with HDP lowers postprandial GIP and increases postprandial REE and fat utilisation in healthy humans. An HDP-rich diet may therefore have beneficial implications in weight management.

So, I’m not sure about waxy maize.  That is all.

Goal Setting Seminar with Julie Felsher

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Julie Felsher – Crossfitter and life coach – notes from seminar at CrossFit Mercer

Benjamin Elijah Mays said:

The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.

If you have no goals, or if you have goals that are so high, you are set up for failure.

Typical Goals a lot of people have:
I wanna lose weight. I want a new job. Make more money. Fall in love. Get a new house. Get a new car. I wanna “get things.”

But the question for everyone is: Why?

Too often, people put their lives on hold because they are chasing a goal. They are so focused on that, that everything else happening in their lives is disappearing. They are not actually enjoying themselves. They get to a place in life where they think: “It’s been ten years, and I don’t even remember raising my children.”

Julie doesn’t want this to happen to us. So we are going to look at goals in a whole new way.

Would you say to your child: “I will love you when you are skinny.” Or, “if you get straight As, I will love you more.”

Of course not. Never.   So why do you say this to yourself?

There are 5 key points that people want to change in life:

1)   Body: be skinnier, leaner, more muscle, stronger
2)   Finances – more money, better job, bigger house
3)   Relationships – new one or eliminate one
4)   Recreation – what am I doing to have fun? Have more excitement in life.
5)   Personal growth – this industry has exploded in recent years, because they know people are looking for change. All kinds of programs, podcasts, certs, etc.

But people chase these achievements, and they still feel bad.

Motivation and willpower are NOT enough. Motivation and willpower are a fight, and you get tired from fighting and fighting.

We need connection and inspiration. This is what is missing from people when they chase goals. We need to be inspired by our goal(s), and be connected to them.

Less than 46% of adults, who set a New Year’s resolution, are still chasing it in February.

Maryianne Williamson ( ) author said:

You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.

So to be successful in this 90 day challenge, we need to change the way we think. Julie wants to leave us with a new way of thinking.

Two things she has discovered in life:
1)   even when you achieve things, you don’t always actually feel better.
2)   people want a feeling of hope when chasing goals.

Before we can understand “Goal Setting 2.0”, we need to revisit 1.0.

Remedial Goal Setting – “1.0”
“SMART Goals” – acronym for:

  • Specific – Details are important so flesh out your goals fully.
  • Measurable – How will you know you are getting there? If your goal is specific enough, it should automatically be measurable
  • Attainable – It has to be something you can get to. If you can’t do any pull-ups now, a goal of 20 unbroken pull-ups is probably not attainable in 90 days.
  • Relevant – Is it important to you, or relevant to your life? You want to feel good about doing something you weren’t able to do before, and CrossFit is great for that because you often finish a workout that you didn’t think you could complete.
  • Timely – How long? 90 days, or 6 months or a year.

The worksheet she shared with us factors all these attributes of goals.

So, this works, 46% of the time. 🙂

Let’s take goal setting to another level.

Goal Setting “2.0”

Think about a goal on your front burner, then close your eyes and visualize how you feel after accomplishing your goal. Who else is there? What do you look like? What are you wearing? What do you hear? How do you feel?

Some adjectives, feeling words you might have thought of:

  • Relaxed
  • Satisfied
  • Proud
  • Confidant
  • Strong
  • Powerful
  • Excited

And what are some words that describe how you feel right now, or when you woke up this morning? When you first committed to doing the 90 day challenge, what were you moving away from?

  • Uninspired
  • Frustrated
  • Tired
  • Sore
  • Annoyed
  • Stagnant
  • Comfortable
  • Stuck
  • Lazy

The road from here (frustrated) to the SMART goals is tough. There are lots of obstacles (in the center).

Uninspired Lots of “stuff” lies between your current place and your target. It is in the way of you getting from the feelings on the left, to your smart goal feelings on the right. How do you break through these obstacles? Relaxed
Frustrated Satisfied
Tired Proud
Annoyed Confidant
Stagnant Strong
Lazy Powerful
Comfortable Excited
Sore Relaxed
Stuck Satisfied

Those obstacles make it really hard to get from the Left to the Right.

So, what we are really after when we are chasing a goal, is a feeling. We want a feeling. We don’t really want to lose 20 pounds or do 20 pullups. We want to feel strong, or proud. We want to feel confident or sexy. We are really chasing a feeling.

But once we work our tails off trying to get there, pushing and fighting, and finally get there, we discover the feeling is not there. This is because we weren’t attached to it along the way. These are false positives.

Talking about goals is just enough to feel like you are doing something, without actually doing something. You share your goals with people, feeling really good, then go on your merry way and eat pizza, or peanut butter, or drink diet coke.

So, that feeling that you want is not something outside. It’s not something six months from now. That feeling you are chasing is in you NOW, since you can visualize it now.

Go through this exercise on your own.
Write down the top 3 feelings you want to feel. Here is one example:

  1. Confident
  2. Accomplished
  3. Happy

Have you felt these feelings before in your life? Next to each feeling, brainstorm and write down all the tiny, tiny things that you do that make you feel that way right now. For instance, maybe you feel confident replying to an email and you know you have the answers for the other person. Or you feel happy every time you leave the gym after a good workout. Or every time you eat a good, healthy meal.

Pay attention to when you feel these feelings, and remember them. They happen every day, so focus on them.

Focusing on these feelings will help clear the path so you can get from the left side of the chart above, to the right. Focus on the positives.

On the goal worksheet, set the goal for a year from now, then pull back and detach from it. We often feel like our goal is this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But actually, the goal is the accumulation of single coins you collect along the way. You need to pay attention to these.

Your mind desperately wants you to reach your goal. But if you tell yourself you feel crappy, you will focus on that instead of the positives. People will definitely bug you, and you will definitely feel tired. But if you focus on feeling relaxed, confident, and happy, your mind will focus on noticing more of those things, breaking through all the obstacles to help you reach your goal.

Let’s take a new look at Goal Setting 2.0:

This is GOAL SETTING 2.0. Add the following attributes (+) to the original list:

  • Specific
  • + Sensory – You have to feel this – how do you feel setting a PR, or dropping body fat? You need to practice feeling this more.
  • Measurable
  • + Meaningful – What does it mean to achieve that goal; to feel satisfied, confident, etc? Who else does it affect? Does it affect your children, spouse, friends, your productivity at work? Of course it does.
  • Attainable
  • + Actionable & Attitude – Actionable: You need to know what the steps are. What do you need to do to reach the goal? If you don’t know what to do, find someone to help you. The attitude has to be positive. State your goals in the positive. Not what you want to LOSE – what you want to GAIN.
  • Relevant
  • + Resourceful – You need to find the resources to accomplish your goals. If something is not working then there is a resource missing. You have a gym, a kitchen, and people to talk to. Find an accountability partner.
  • Timely
  • + True – It is easy to get wrapped up in other people’s goals. Make it YOUR goal, not someone else’s. Make it truly important to you.

Motivation and willpower are what push you away from the initial pain, the initial discomfort.  For example, you’re motivated to fix your weight because you are uncomfortable right now. But that only gets you so far. The Connection, Emotion and Inspiration pull you toward your goal.

Find the deep reasons for your goals.


Go to facebook and like You can post questions there and Julie will answer them.

Website: sign up for the newsletter at There is a group program starting in first week of April: waking up energetically, waking up to your life.

Gratitude journal – Check in, be present every day.

Notice when you are falling back to your negative feelings. “I’m so sore”, “I’m so tired”, “I’m so frustrated.”  Catch yourself there and notice that, then you’ll be able to move away from it.

Make sure to remember what makes you happy.  Stay “tapped-into” those activities and feelings.

Use a dry-erase marker to write things on your bathroom mirror. But first make sure the dry-erase marker erases from your mirror 🙂

Often you choose to feel bad. You can choose to feel good instead.

Wrap up:

Do the work of writing down your three goal feelings, then recognize when you feel them. Remember them.

Last quote about “Weightlessness” by Astronaut Robert Crippen:

The real pleasure was having the chance to enjoy being weightless, and the other was to spend some time looking out at this beautiful Earth that we’re all lucky to inhabit.

The Champion – Lyrics

Monday, May 28th, 2012

My buddy Nate posted that he was looking for the lyrics to “The Champion” by Stic.Man. I hadn’t heard the song before, but I looked it up and it sounds like a good song to work out to. I may purchase the whole album. In any case, what follows is my attempt to decipher the lyrics. I believe these are 99% correct, except for a reference where he wants to rise like someone, which sounds like Horace, but I can’t be certain. Enjoy, and if you want to suggest corrections please submit a comment.

Lyrics to: “The Champion” by Stic.Man.

… Now I understand this game.

Who am I? I’m the champion.
I’m the champion. [I’m the champion]

[repeat refrain once]


I stick and move through the madness.
Bob and weave the negative.
Blockin out the haters.
My meditation is medicine.

I beat down barriers.
And stomp out worries.
Gotta keep my guard up,
Cuz that drama comes in flurries.

It’ll throw you off center.
Take your balance off center line.
But I know my enemy,
The biggest battle is within the mind.

Know yourself, build your strength,
Learn from weakness.
Nothing comes free,
Only your sweat earns the secrets

The secret is…
Power exists in all people.
The struggle is a sifu
If you learn to let it teach you.

The key to, the universe
Is right within our reaches.
But we can’t win the game
If we’re standin’ in the bleachers.

[refrain x 4]


The game is mental.
The mind is the head coach.
Strength is to youth,
What wisdom is to old folks.

Like a ball going through the goal post.
See the goal clear in my mind,
Touch it, it’s so close

I aspire for higher
To rise like {Horace?}
Increase my flexibility,
My strength and my endurance.

I see no opponents.
I compete with myself.
Training 101,
Like I’m in a class by myself.

My health is a priority,
Winner mentality,
All I see is success
And build it up gradually.

Step by step,
Like two shoes on a treadmill,
Got to make moves in this life,
Can’t stand still.

[refrain x 4]

[shout 6 times:] Who am I ?!? I’m the champion.

The heart, the will, the drive, the skill,
The sweat, the work, desire to win.

The fate, inside, the focus, the fire,
The goal the struggle, humility, pride.

The heart, your will, the drive, the skill,
The sweat, the work, desire to win.

The fate, inside, the focus, the fire, the fight,
The triumphant rise of the champion.

The Heart Sees No Color

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

My wife Jeannie wrote a great screenplay titled “The Heart Sees No Color.” It was fascinating to watch over the last couple of years how the screenplay evolved from her first version into the piece of art it is now. I won’t spoil the story for you, but I want to share the impressive talent she has lined up to star in and work on this film.

Chris Mann will play the role of Chris, a recent widower and single father who develops a love interest for the character Melody. You might recognize him from the HBO series The Wire as Councilman Anthony ‘Tony’ Gray. He was also in the film Michael Clayton with George Clooney, and in Duplicity with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.

Brian Anthony Wilson will play the role of Will, Vivian’s husband. His past behavior is a factor that makes it hard for Vivian to accept her brother Chris’ relationship with Melody, who is Caucasian. Brian played Detective Vernon Holley on The Wire, and was also in the film Limitless with Bradley Cooper.

The Heart Sees No Color will be directed by Emmy Nominated Fritz Brekeller. Fritz was a director for the TV series All My Children.

And Jeannie will play the love interest, Melody. Melody is a widow of five years and has children of her own. She can empathize when she sees that Chris is suffering and a relationship grows from there.

There’s more detail about the story line at the Kickstarter project page. There’s a great video too, where Chris Mann, Brian Anthony Wilson and Jeannie discuss the film and how they are trying to fund it. They do a better job teasing you with the storyline than I do. Please check it out, and share it on social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace, Orkut, etc). The more people that see the video and the promise of the screenplay, the better chance the project has of reaching its fundraising goal so the film can get made. And if you want to get involved, consider making a pledge. The pledge levels have some pretty cool benefits. You could even become an extra in the film.

WordPress for iPhone

Monday, October 24th, 2011

That was incredibly easy. The folks at WordPress make it very simple to post blog updates from an iOS device. The app was free and configuring it to post to my self-hosted blog was a piece of cake.
Perhaps this will help me post more regularly to my blog. See you soon.

The Negligent Blogger

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I have been pretty negligent with my site; I doubt anyone really reads it anyway. My last post is from May 2011… Life gets busy and there’s little time for writing updates. I’ve turned toward posting updates on much more frequently than on my wordpress blog. It’s just easier since I have an app on my iPhone for it. I’ll have to see about changing that. Perhaps there is an iPhone app to make it easier to post.

It’s about four weeks until the Philadelphia marathon, and only three weeks until the Tough Mudder. My plan is to qualify for Boston 2013 at this November’s Philly Marathon. Based on my age, that means I now need a 3:10 finish to qualify. My performance at the recent Asbury Park marathon leaves me with much doubt that I can accomplish the task. Sure, there was wind and sand on the boardwalk, and most of the mile markers were missing. But really, how can one truly gauge how they will perform on marathon day when all the training is done at different speeds? Slow long runs, fast repeats, easy runs, etc. My last set of Yasso 800s averaged out to about 3:06, but that’s not really a very scientific indicator.

I ran a good 15 miles on the tow path with from friend Dimitri yesterday. The pace was 8:28, which I was happy with. Unfortunately, my kneecap is suffering some pain from that run. Hopefully today’s workout and stretching help it recover. I’ll use ice again tonight too. And my Tuesday morning yoga class always helps to set things straight. I really need to get in a speed workout tomorrow, and I’d like it to be another set of Yasso 800s.

Jam for Japan Concert is Fri May 27

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Mark your calendars: Friday May 27, 2011 6:30pm

Jam for Japan at the Ewing Community Center.

My son Peter is hosting a concert as a “pay it forward” project to raise money for relief in Japan, through the Red Cross.
He and some of his friends will play songs on guitar, piano, and trombone.
The concert will last approximately an hour.
Admittance is only $5 per person or $10 per family (additional donations are welcome, of course 🙂

The Ewing Community Center:
999 Lower Ferry Road
Ewing, NJ

Here is the flyer Peter made (PDF): Jam for Japan.pdf