Friday, January 31, 2014

Building your All-Star Team ...

The number one predictor of change is your support system.  

Recidivism rates among convicts is high, not necessarily because they cannot be reformed, but because they go back to the environments where crime is simply a way of life.

Being healthy and fit, or unhealthy and overweight, could be considered "contagious" as well.

When we look for any significant change, we must work hard to build a network of social support around the changes we seek.

We need the people around us to be on board, and to support the direction we're traveling.

One interesting thought to make this happen more easily is to assign roles to the people in your life as if you were drafting a top notch all-star team. 

Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice got to "draft" the NFL Pro Bowl players this year in an interesting twist on the All-Star game.

For us, the idea of choosing an "expert" or mentor or coach to help in areas of need makes sense.

You could pick out your go to person when you are under emotional stress.  

Or choose the person who can best help when you worry about finances.

Enlist the help of the person who can cheer you up and make you laugh when you need it.  

Perhaps find someone who is your motivator and who helps you stay on task.

It is impossible for one person to be all these things.  You would never want to go to your mother as your support system if she is just not any good as a cheerleader, for example.  But she might be perfect in that role, and perhaps not an ideal financial go to person?

Whenever I'm feeling inadequate, I can talk to my dad.  One of his greatest strengths as a father is he sees the good in his kids, and either doesn't see, or chooses to ignore our short comings.  In other words, I never feel judged by dad for the areas I feel are not up to par.  So, he's a great "go to guy" if I need a self-esteem, confidence, or feel-good boost.

Take the time to make a list of who your go to people are that you can call, talk to and hang around when you need them.

Here is a list of team members to consider:

Who is your stress reliever?   _______________________________
Who is your humor generator?  _______________________________
Who is your motivator?  _______________________________
Who is your financial advisor?  _______________________________
Who is your fat loss eating coach?  _______________________________
Who is your exercise buddy?  _______________________________
Who is your recipe generator?  _______________________________
Who is your planning and organizing coach?  _______________________________
Who is your accountability coach?  _______________________________

(What other areas in your life are important to have a coach, or support system?)  _______________________________

Are you easily finding people to fill these roles?  Take the time to find the people you need to support you.  It is the absolute best strategy for long-term success.  Everyone needs a coach and every coach needs a team.

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do you remember?

A year ago today, do you remember where you were?

I don't mean, "I was on a business trip in California". 

Where were you in your life?  Your business or career?  Your relationships?  Your family?  Your health and fitness?

Are you more trusted? More skilled? More connected to people who care about your work?  A better manager?  More patient mom?  Healthier, in some way?

How many people would miss your work if you stopped contributing it?  We know what would likely happen if you stopped contributing at home.  :)

New Year's resolutions rarely work, because good intentions don't often survive a collision with reality.  They look and feel good on paper, but if created in a bubble, when the rubber meets the road those "changes" tend to run out of gas. 

But an inventory is a helpful tool, a way to keep track of the areas you've grown, improved, and ultimately mastered.  It's rewarding too to look back and see how far you've come.

Only 15% of Americans have a gym membership.  Even worse, though, ONLY 8% of those with a membership actually use it.  Nearly everyone that said they were going to start working out in the new year, have already fizzled after a mere 2 week effort. 

I would say that you're in rare and elite company by showing up to your daily workout. And I'll also take a low risk guess that you've grown quite a bit in the past 12 months.

I can't wait to have this conversation with you next year, after another 12 months of prosperity!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |

Thinking versus Doing ...

Change is not easy.  Part of the reason is that we often believe change is about DOING, yet the truth is change is more about THINKING.  

Women today are the real life version of Super Woman.  They manage the house, work full time jobs, take care of the kids, hold everything together, and on and on.

Because of this, sometimes the thinking aspect of change is forgotten.  Change always starts with a mindset shift.   We can't simply strive to do more, and expect meaningful change to stick. 

Self-control is exhaustible.  This means the more you are focusing on, the harder it is to focus on something else.  In other words, the more you do, the less you do well. So, if we really want to make a change we need to learn how to think differently and focus on what is MOST important. 

In a study, two groups of overweight women were told to rank a list of values from least to most important for them.  One group was then told to write in a journal every day about their important values and what they meant to them .  The other group was told to write as well, but instead instructed to write on the least important values and why those values may be important to someone else.  When the women were evaluated moths later.......the group writing daily about their values lost an average of three pounds while the group writing on values they were not connected gained almost three pounds!

Rather than being on a calorie restricted diet, these women were put on a thinking restricted diet. And, they lost weight!

Instead of focusing on DOING, focus on your values, or what's MOST IMPORTANT to you - your WHY for making a change.   This gives you a constant reminder as to why improving your health and fitness, or any other area of your life, is important to YOU … and where to focus your attention.

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A refreshing start ...

For many of us the New Year is a refreshing start.  An inspiring time where we feel like we can accomplish everything we set our minds to, and take a leap of faith we never imagined.

As the weeks wear on, and the shine of the New Year begins to dull from the dust of everyday life, many of us will think, "What happened? Where did I go wrong? Maybe my life is just too full for me to make the changes that I truly want to make?"   I think we've all been there.  Perhaps disappointed in our lack of commitment or determination or willpower.

Why does this happen for so many of us?

Possibly we come up with a bunch of stuff we'd really like to change … but we do it in a bubble.  In other words, we create goals and aspirations without considering our current environment (all the things around us), or current demands and stress, or the IMPACT our current patters hold over us. 

I've become an advocate for picking ONE THING to focus my energy and efforts on.  Sure, I have 27 things I want to do differently, be better at doing, change, and improve. 

Right now I'm working on an extra hour of sleep, and that's been hard enough. 

Funny, because it sounds simple enough on paper … a few weeks ago (in my bubble) when I decided I was going to get more sleep in 2014, it seemed like an easy no brainer. 

Truth be told, it's been awkward.  My old habits keep creeping in, and it's been a struggle.  I've failed to get an hour more of sleep every day thus far in the new year, except for one.  Frankly, it would be MUCH easier for me to go back to my old patterns … they are so ingrained, and "normal".  I can deal with less sleep, I've done it for years. 

But I'm going to push through this uncomfortable part of the journey.  I truly do want an extra hour of sleep, and know the benefits associated with it. 

I share this because it takes time to break an old habit, and to create a new pattern.  Even when we are acutely aware of the benefits associated with the new pattern.  It requires struggling with it.  Being uncomfortable with it.  Fumbling through it and messing up way more than succeeding, in the beginning. 

Anything worth having is worth doing poorly, at the beginning.  I know I will get better.  At some point, I'll look back and laugh at how a little goal of getting an extra hour of sleep threw me for a pretty big loop!  And it will all be worth it.

Now, if I tried to double that level of change by adding a second habit to change, I'm not sure I'd master both.  I might make a tiny progress in 2 areas, but I'm sure I'd go back to my old patterns soon enough.  Can you imagine trying to master 3 – 5 new things at the same time?

Focus on your MOST important area you want to make different or better in 2014. The thing that will make the biggest difference in your life this year.   Intensely focus on that.  Master it. 

Once it's part of who you are … then, and only then, move onto the next most important thing.

Here's what some of you are currently working on:

  • More sleep.
  • Moving from 4 – 5 days of exercise per week.
  • Eliminating "trigger foods" from your environment.
  • Cleaning the office once per week.
  • Reaching 10,000 steps per day.
  • Eating food (all but 2 meals per week) that you prepared.
  • Boundaries around social media and computer time.
  • 90% consumption of Fat Loss Foods.

What is your ONE habit or behavior?   

Struggle with it … fail more than you succeed for awhile … then get a little better at it … until the Power of Momentum kicks in and eventually you've MASTERED IT!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |


Sunday, January 5, 2014

5 thoughts to Create a 2014 That Inspires Your Best

If 2014 ends the same as 2013, will you be happy? 

1. Have your biggest dreams written and on display!  

Your dreams and audacious goals should be written where you can consistently see them.  Create ways to “play” with your BIG DREAMS every day.   In 2013 Jennifer and I started using Evernote to track our most important weekly, monthly & quarterly objectives/goals.   We use it to capture ideas, thoughts, inspiration, books to read, areas to improve … and our BIG DREAMS.  Having your biggest dreams and aspirations ON DISPLAY constantly keeps us on track and gives us a fighting chance against the daily distractions that are all around us.    

2. Create an inspiring EXTERNAL environment  

Your environment HAS TO inspire you.  Surround yourself with images that motivate you, but also in a clean, clear space.  Clutter truly does clutter the mind, and it’s on MY LIST to improve in 2014. 

Pattern your work and home environment as you’d love it to be.  Create space inspires your best, and organically motivates you.  This is where the magic happens.  This is where you spend most of your time. So make sure it impacts you positively. 

Hang around enthusiastic and positive people that naturally make you feel good, and elevates your standards.

 3. Create an inspiring INTERNAL environment  

What you feed your mind every day becomes YOUR reality.  Read inspiration books - readers are leaders!  Listen to audio CD’s in the car.  Subscribe to blogs that cause you to THINK, and inspires you.  If our daily dose of mind-nutrition comes by way of facebook, the local news, and general negativity, it saps your energy, drains your spirit, and reduces your potential.  Pay attention to what you focus on, it makes ALL of the difference.   

4. Practice discipline  

Discipline isn’t sexy, but it’s necessary to growth.   It’s a requirement to reach your dreams, and become WHO you are destined to be.  It’s the only path to remove obstacles in your life.  

We become what we do every day.  If we practice laziness and distraction, that is what we develop, resulting in regret and missed opportunities.  Practice the habit of discipline, it can be tedious, but it’s the one thing that sets you apart from the ordinary.    

5. Workout everyday

The fastest way to change how you feel is to MOVE your body.   It positively changes your hormonal state, creates energy, eliminates mind garbage, inspires productivity, and provides a fresh start.  There’s no better way to begin your day!


HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road, Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665 |