A Longer View on Goals

A Longer ViewWhere do you want to be in 3 years? What kind of person will you become in 5 years?

What will you do in the next 3 Months? What are you going to change TODAY?!?

Take a minute to think about these questions in your own life. Is your future a clear vision? A foggy haze? Total darkness? If you want to accomplish something specific, your something will need to be visible.

The holidays are almost here, and 2015 is approaching faster than you think. For me, that means New Year’s Resolutions and a chance to create something totally fresh in my life, but that doesn’t mean that I create a wall between this year and last year.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been making big plans. I’ve been brainstorming. I’ve thought hard about the future and where it might take Kristin and I. Though we’ve made some really great strides and accomplished many awesome things, I feel like there is so much we’d still like to do. And so the list of goals and aspirations keep growing.

We’ve got years of goals piling up, and thinking long term can be daunting. I’m starting to look at the list of resolutions in terms of multiple years and what might actually take several years to accomplish.

What I’ve found in our lives is there is so much we want to do and not enough time to do it all. So we must decide. Have you heard the phrase “you can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything”? Desiring is the easy part, deciding is the hard part.

It is time for us to decide.

Last year I made some pretty well-rounded goals that touched all aspects of our lives, but many of them I noticed were pretty easy to accomplish in hindsight.

It felt great to be checking things off the list, but many of the harder tasks are still left undone.

It turns out that some of the big audacious goals are actually things that will take years to achieve. They can’t be done in just 365 days. (This is a good thing, by the way.)

Last year was really one of the first years of setting structured goals, and overall, it was really great. I had an easy-going list in the first year to have some quick wins and build up my momentum.

 

This year, however, I want us to get a little more serious. I’ve been toying with the idea of quarterly goals. This will be a way to supercharge my activities.

 

I’ll be sharing some of those goals in the future. Today, I want you to begin reflecting on your year, and be open to where it may take you.

 

 

75% Complete

75% Complete

It’s a little bit overdue, but I wanted to share with you the progress made as we near the end of 2014.

2014 has been a powerful year for Kristin and I. I feel like we’ve taken charge with so many things in life and are now moving the needle in ways we never tried in the past.

A lot of this has to do with you, the community of readers and supporters!

Twitter Peeps!

Developing this community has been both humbling and rewarding for us. When we started the blog, I would have never thought we’d be reaching the people & the places we are.

From our hearts to yours, we thank you! We want our successes to inspire greatness in your own life.



Here are just a few areas where life got better this year:

Exercise

I’m rounding out the year of a marathon and an ultra with a half marathon coming up in a matter of weeks. I’ve been lucky to train with online training group Educated Running. It has helped bring focus to my training in areas where I’m lacking, specifically in speed work and dynamic exercise.

I also look forward to the possibility of going to Japan again this year for Ekiden, I hope to know more about that as we get closer to November.

Reading

I set a goal at the beginning of the year to read 30 books, up from 25 last year, and one recommendation from Kristin. After checking out my Goodreads page, it looks like I’m on track to do so with 20 books so far.

This goal was a little bit lofty for me. Adding an extra 5 books doesn’t seem like much, but it is over the span of time. I feel as though I’m flying through some books without understanding all of the content.

“Much reading is like much eating – wholly useless without digestion” – Robert South

In the future, I will be more selective with my books and focus on quality rather than quantity.

I also was able to start reading some fiction, with the help of Kristin.

I’ve been reading Hunger Games at the end of most days, and I find that it does give me that chance to settle down from the day’s stresses. It reminds me that reading can be worry-free & not so focused on learning.

Friends

So often we get caught up in our own lives that we don’t make enough time for friends. Life sort of gets in the way as the years pass, and it gets harder to be together with those you care about.

This year I decided to make a conscious effort to call a friend a month on the phone. While I didn’t succeed at this every month, this was the most fun goal of the year so far.

It was great to talk to some friends I hadn’t heard from in a while, and just hearing their voices made my day as well as theirs!

I feel like men are worse at doing this than women. Men don’t always have the gift of gab. Guys, that doesn’t mean you can’t “check-in” every now and then. It’ll do wonders for your friendships, especially across long distances.

Finance

We’ve made some great strides in our finances this year, and most recently, we paid off the first of three student loans! Those of you who have struggled to pay big debts know that it can be really tough, and we must admit that we lost some steam early on in the year.

Now we are back to focusing on getting debt out of our lives.

It’s a tough road plowing through debt, but it’s such a rewarding feeling being free from obligations that are a decade old like this one.

Now we have an extra $175 a month, and a great feeling that we are one step closer to debt freedom.

Personal Growth

I had intended to join a mastermind group or an investor club of some kind this year to further my development and be around like-minded individuals.

Though I struggled a little bit in the beginning with this one, I was able to find an awesome mastermind group through the Dreamers & Builders community.

This is what has jump-started my productivity and success. I have others willing to hold me accountable and provide feedback when I’m stuck on something.

It’s such a great resource to be able to tap into, I’m really thankful to be a part of such a great group.

(To the Hustler Mastermind-ers reading this, thank you so much for keeping me honest and providing accountability all the times when it was so easy to just give up!)

Conclusion

As we round home on this year, there’s still plenty to do, and I’m excited to see what the next 3 months have in store.

I’m also going to be shifting my goal mindset in 2015.

In 2015, I will be planning quarterly goals instead of yearly goals. Yearly goals are hard to remember, let alone accomplish. This will give me a chance to adjust goals more frequently and adjust goals based on the seasons of life we all go through.

I am excited to finish 2014 strong and I look forward to an amazing 2015.

Let’s hear from you! What are some wins you’ve had in 2014 so far? What do you plan to accomplish in the rest of 2014?

Why I take Cold Showers

Cold Showers

We have a bad plumbing setup in our house.

I’m not sure if it’s hard to get water to the area we live or if the builder used sub-par plumbing components, but we have a lot of trouble getting water flowing freely, especially upstairs in the master bathroom.

The water heater is not great either. I could easily wait 5 minutes for a hot shower, sometimes longer, and five minutes is an eternity during a rushed morning routine.

One day while running late for work, I decided I was going to say “forget it” and I hopped into a frigid shower for the sake of time.



 

WHOA! The water hitting my skin was a shock to the system. I might have jumped and winced like a girl. Had I just been awakened from hibernation like a bear?!? My whole body was fluttering.

I wanted to wash my hair and body and get the heck out of there! No wonder we take hot showers instead of cold, because THIS SUCKS!

After getting out of the shower – teeth chattering, body shaking, skin red – I tried getting dressed and went about the rest of my day, surely thinking I’d started off a bad day. Showering in cold water was a tough thing to do that day, but I began noticing something new.

I felt alert and alive the rest of the day.

Walking into work, I was ready to face the day boldly. I had already gone through the most difficult part of my day, so what could be worse than a cold shower? I began to fear the day’s activities less.

Getting home, I started trying to find articles about possible benefits of cold showers. Surely someone else had done this before and had experienced a similar feeling of accomplishment.

I ended up coming across a man named Joel Runyon. Joel has a business centered around doing the impossible, and he even has a whole system built around taking cold showers, check it out here.

I even found out he did a TEDx talk about cold showers:

I know not everyone will watch this, so I’ll break it down a little. The heart of the message in taking cold showers is to make it a point to get out of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

I’ve been taking cold showers for over a week now, and I think I’m hooked.

Cold showers suck because they are supposed to suck. They teach you to live in the moment of what you’re going through.

You have nowhere to hide in the shower, therefore, you are facing this difficult situation head-on. It relives fear, which is our biggest obstacle to success.

It’s great to know that Joel and his advice is actually changing peoples lives, I hope you’ll try it and see if it will change yours.

Would you try taking a 5 minute cold shower?

Reader Survey Responses!

A couple of weeks ago, Hello, Flecks! put a survey out to all the readers & fans of this blog asking for feedback and concerns with your own health and wellness journeys. (There’s always time to go fill it out at the link here, we love to get your input!)

Firstly, Thank You All so much for the feedback! You are helping us make a better site, one that can help you achieve success and feel great!

Here’s what we heard on a couple particular questions:

 What’s the vision of your perfect health?

Many of you said that just eating regular and healthy, unprocessed foods is part of the vision of your perfect health. Staying away from processed foods and bringing your connection back to mother nature’s gifts is a huge step in itself.

We couldn’t agree more, and we want to help.

It’s important to understand that this may not happen overnight, but it does happen with small steps.

Kristin and I have been on our own health journeys for a long time now. It started many years ago with simply adding frozen veggies to the grocery cart along with the frozen pizza. We started spending more time in the health foods section, even if we didn’t get anything. We scoped out the produce section rather than passing it right by, like I used to.

We didn’t always know what worked for us, but we began with a small task we could accomplish, like finishing a bag of veggies in a week.

As with exercise, you can not jump right into buying all Organic produce & no snacks and expect to succeed. You will burn out. Big audacious goals often take a while to build up to.

in particular for the last several months. If you check out our Instagram you’ll see we’ve been cooking up our meals for the week on #MealPrepSunday.

Sunday is now a day that reminds us of the great and healthy week we’ll be having, which puts us in the right frame of mind for the week.

We realize that healthy living includes things that don’t always come naturally for most people.

These are foundation items that can take a while to set in place.

One small successful step is way better than a failed leap.

The biggest hurdles to your success in health?

We heard this one loud and clear: Time and Motivation

That is something I think everyone struggles with. I’m always pressed for time and I, too, find it hard to get out there and get the workouts in.

While I don’t have a magic wand that can give you more time, I will say that consistency is what has helped me in the past.

To begin, figure out where you have no more than 15 minutes in your day, every day. By starting off with an easily repeatable task, this will build into a habit in about 3 weeks.

Kristin has been doing this with running 5 minutes a day. Yes, five minutes. Some may say that five minutes is not enough time to run, I say that is 5 minutes more than if she didn’t set aside that time each evening. She’s now going beyond the five minutes and is almost up to a whole mile of straight running. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

If you have children, include them in this activity, Please! I was not introduced to exercise beyond playing outside as a child, and I wish I had been.  This is a great opportunity for parents to teach children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle because children mimic their parents.

If you are demonstrating that healthy food and exercise is important, just imagine how that’s going to set them up for success in a world that is increasingly making processed foods the norm.

As for the motivation, know that it has to come from within. I can’t get you out there to work out or get you to drop the unhealthy habits, but I can try.

Begin to surround yourself with success stories. Check out how others have succeeded in ways that you’d like to, and use their success as a catalyst for your own success.

Just like it does for Kristin and I, motivation must come from within. You can’t do it for your spouse, or your kids, or your friends. You must change for you.

Something tells me that there is some reason for you to want to be healthier. Figure out what that thing is, and focus on it.

 

I hope you enjoyed the survey as much as we did with the responses. This was great knowledge for us, and so I’m very excited to be doing this again soon!

 



What’s your Food Kryptonite?

Food Kryptonite

“I think we should get two jars this week, maybe..” I say to my wife, looking like a little kid with the sad, puppy dog eyes.

“It hasn’t even been a week, and you have a half-full one at home!!” she exclaims. “No way, It’s completely ridiculous!”

I can almost smell the anger in the air as she gives me the bull-horned face of rejection. I put the other jar back on the shelf and my mind darts to wondering how I’m going to survive the week, like a junkie with an empty needle.



This is the conversation that happens weekly in aisle 7 of our grocery store. Sometimes I’ll just quietly go to the aisle myself, pick out the container and place it in the cart so that she doesn’t have to deal with the conversation. Why should I ask anyway, she knows my habit.

Better to ask forgiveness than permission, right?

 

Is this some crazy sugar-filled treat I let myself have? An outlier in our otherwise healthy eating habits? Could it be some weird concoction that’s an expensive delicacy like caviar, therefore bankrupting our frugal living?

No, it’s organic peanut butter, and I’m completely and hopelessly addicted.

Yeah right, if only I limited myself to this much at a time.

What usually ends up happening, in reality, is somewhat unbelievable and horrific. I devour peanut butter to the point of excess. One week, I calculated that I could easily average 800 calories a day of peanut butter. That is too excessive, probably… but, I mean, it’s delicious, guys.

Soon after coming home from work, my wife knows that I’ll already be all over the stuff. She’s no stranger to the peanut butter-laden welcome home kiss. We could be on our way to dinner, and I’ll just have a little bit to taste. I’ve even had it for a whole meal while standing up in the kitchen.

What’s the big deal?

We’re not talking about an unhealthy thing here, really.

Organic Peanut Butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A source of good fat, little to no added sugar, and a fair amount of protein. Basically just peanuts and a little salt, right?

The problem lies in my complete dependance on the stuff. Even if it were the healthiest food known to mankind, I should still try to limit my intake of peanut butter just as anything else in life. By keeping a check on my food, I’m able to better balance out the rest of my life, otherwise I’d just be curled up in the corner of the room, rocking back and forth, with dried peanut butter crusted around my lips.

It has easily become my food kryptonite, and it can take down an entire day’s worth of workouts in a single bound.

Over the past few months, I’ve been really trying to stick to one spoonful of peanut butter a day. I’ve found it best to keep myself out of eating more by grabbing my spoonful and then quickly replacing the lid.

This method has really helped me, just by setting this simple control in place.

It’s important to recognize what may trip you up, and not reject it completely. Though I’m getting slowly better at limiting peanut butter in my daily plans, I still allow myself the treat and try to limit and monitor it.

Let yourself have that food that you want, whatever it may be. It feels rewarding. Just be able to recognize when you are powerless over it, and make a plan to include it in your success.

 

Have you recognized your food kryptonite? What is it, and how are you limiting it to achieve success?

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