Why I love going to the gym

I love going to the gym late at night. I go to 24-Hour Fitness, so I can go any time, but late at night there are no crowds and no waiting.  There are few distractions and it is easy to focus on the task at hand.

I’ve always known that staying in shape makes me feel and look better. I have more energy and it improves the quality of my sleep. I have recently realized that another major benefit is that I feel better about myself when I work out too. I feel proud that I am keeping a promise to myself.

I’ve also realized that going to the gym is very rewarding because I know EXACTLY what my goals are. I know what muscle groups I will work and what exercises I will do. I know how long it will take. I even know how I will feel when I am done.

The lesson that I have learned is that having clearly defined goals and self imposed time constraints can help me in every aspect of my life.

Do you like to go to the gym?

Have you had success using specific short-term goals and deadlines to get more done and feel a sense of accomplishment?

Leave a comment below!

Where Will They Find the Time?

Directv has a new moto.  “It will change your life”.  I assume they mean in a good way, but research would probably say differently.  At least about tv in general.  A local radio morning show was talking about a study that found that people who watch more than four hours of tv a day were more likely to die of any cause.  I really began to understand the difference between causation and correlation when I read the book Freakonomics.  It is easy to think that something is the cause just because two things happen at the same time.  It could simply be that people who are dying watch a lot of tv because they are unhealthy and can’t do much else.  Or, as the DJ’s I heard this morning assumed, maybe sitting on the couch watching tv is a primary cause of our unhealthiness.  Seth Godin claims that he doesn’t watch tv, or go to meetings.  I don’t know if I could take it that far, but image all the time it would free up!  Clay Shirky helped to quantify the collective amount of time we spend vegging out in front of the tube and even used Wikipedia as a unit.  Are we beginning to learn better ways of spending our cognitive surplus?  We may be witnessing a revolution, but TV is still a sacred part of American culture.  A co-worker of mine got a surprise bonus, and his first thought was “big screen”!  The first caller on the radio show asked, “what else are we supposed to do?”.  Most adults grew up watching tv.  Most of us never dreamed of today’s toys.  New gadgets like the iPab continue to blur the line between fun and functional.  Digital media is highly portable and very easy to share.   As Mark Cuban wrote that “the IPad will change how kids grow up”.  Entertainment is becoming interactive.  Finding music videos on youtube and sharing them with your friends on Facebook must require a little more brain activity than sitting on the couch watching Lost.  It certainly doesn’t require much more physical activity, so it may not do much for our health, but it just might do wonders for our society.   As future generations grow up using interactive technology they may spend their time creating and collaborating rather that sitting and watching.  Today’s kids use Facebook to talk about not wanting to do their homework or the cute boy in science class, but they also use it to have meaningful discussions about the tragedy in Haiti.  There is tremendous power in the collaboration of human minds.  My children will be “connected” by default and will simply expect to be able to exchange ideas and information worldwide at will.  Anytime, anywhere. The real question isn’t where whill they find the time, but what will they create?

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Last weekend I watched Alice In Wonderland in 3D, another masterpiece by Tim Burton. The movie is visually stunning and Johnny Depp is amazing as The Mad Hatter. The story takes place many years after the original and Alice has grown up to be a very curious young woman. We learn that her father was a visionary and taught his daughter some very important lessons. Before Alice can save Wonderland she must first believe that she can. Believing in the impossible is the first step to making it possible. The people who have shaped our world have always known this. Henry Ford is famous for believing in his vision so much that when his engineers told him that it was simply not possible he told them to “produce it anyway” and to “go ahead and stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time is required”. And they did. The impossible for you right now might be finding a job, getting out of debt or maybe just learning how to be happy and enjoy life. Whatever the challenge, if you believe and refuse to quit, you can make it reality, just like Alice and Henry Ford.

How To Get Motivated – 5 Tips That Work


1. Focus on the benefits. Remind yourself of what you stand to gain.  If you are trying to work out and/or eat healthier food, it helps to focus on how much better you are going to look and feel.  If you are trying to find ways to earn more money, focus on how proud you will be to finally give your family everything they deserve or even just get your creditors off your back.

2.One step at a time. Sometimes if you think of how far you need to go it can be easy to be overwhelmed by everything you need to do and not do anything at all!  Break your bigger goals in to several steps with each one leading you closer and closer to what you want.  Decide on the single most important thing that you can do to make progress toward your goal right now.

3.  Get some leverage. Think about the negative impact of not doing what you have chosen as your goal.  What will it cost you if you don’t follow through?  Will you lose money?  Will it hurt the quality or length of your life?  How will you feel about yourself if you don’t get this done?

4. Make yourself accountable. People are more prone to keep agreements with others than they are with themselves.  Tell people what your goals are and what you plan to do.  If you want to get promoted, tell your boss of your intentions and ask for their advice.  If you have trouble getting your weekend chores done tell your spouse, friends and children what you are planning to do.  It is no fun to tell the people you care about that you didn’t follow through.  Avoiding that pain is a great motivator.

5. Reward yourself. Use the power of anticipation.  When you have something to look forward to, you can get through almost anything.  Choose rewards that correspond to your goals.  If you are trying to lose weight a great reward would be some new clothes that compliment your improved figure.  If you are trying to find ways to increase your income decide to spend a percentage of your extra earnings on something you love.  Set a series of milestones and rewards that will lead you to your goal.


I don’t fly much, but when I do I prefer to sit by the window. I know many people would rather sit by the aisle because they get a little more shoulder room and have easy access to the restroom, but not me. One reason that I like the window seat is because I can lean against the wall if I decide to take a nap, but the biggest reason is that I am fascinated by how different things look from 30,000 feet. I can see for hundreds of miles and I get the chance to see things in a way that I never could from the ground. Things like how carefully the roads are laid out in a grid and just how many roads, towns and houses there are, even in remote areas. Looking at the clouds from above is like no other view on earth, but today it reminded me of what it must be like to be floating in the arctic ocean amongst the icebergs.

When I wake from one of my plane naps I always wonder “where are we?”. I try to guess based on the topography, the rivers and lakes and the population density. But from high above I have know way of knowing the names of the cities I see or who lives there. I can see the “big picture” but I miss out on the details.

Too often in life we become trapped by the view we have available and mistake it for the only view that exists. Employees may fail to realize that they are part of something bigger and executive sometimes don’t notice the little people below. We all take things for granted.

Today, take the time to find a way to change your perspective, if only for a moment. What have you been missing?

The Anti Cleaners

How can it be that my children know exactly how to make the biggest mess possible at any given time?!  It is like they have been given special training.  A bag of rice dumped on the floor.  Nail polish on the TV.  If I turn my back for a moment, they somehow know to go straight for the most difficult thing to clean up!  We’ve tried locking everything up as best we could, but now they are able to get into most anything between the two of them.  They help clean up when I make them, but they are slow and easily distracted.  It takes so much longer to clean up than it does to destroy!  Maybe there is a lesson in that.