Righting the Ship

Righting the Ship

It is easy to get off base during a hectic season of life. Increased demands with our time create a bigger strain on what we feel we can accomplish.

Before you know it, you’re living a life that’s far away from what you are intending. Is it time to right the ship?

When things feel off-course, simply return to your original methods of past successes.

Knowing where you’ve succeeded in the past is a quick reminder of what you’ve been able to accomplish and how you got there. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction and it builds trust in yourself at a time when you need it the most.



 

Personally, October has been a really rough month.

I’ve been thrown off course many times in the last 30 days: by multiple commitments coming together at the same time, new endeavors, and by my own mis-management of time. After all of the tumultuous times of October, I realized that it was vital for me to return to my past methods of success. Referring back to what worked in the past is a great way to see quick success today.

My success begins with a great morning routine. I am grateful that I can return to it any time almost sub-consciously. I also have written success stories that show all of the great things I’ve been able to accomplish. I just search my journal for times when I was able to achieve greatness. It keeps the courses to success fresh in my mind as I figure out how to get back on track.

If you don’t yet have a written set of successes, just start today. It’s simple, really. Comb through your past achievements and build from that. No list is right or wrong, and remember this is a personal and detailed list of success. It is meant to rebuild your confidence and help you press on through difficult times.

There will come a time when you feel defeated like you can’t get out of a rut. Having your success list will help you right your own ship.

What’s your method for righting your own ship?

How’s your ROI?

Hows your ROI?

Students go to college for various reasons, but every decision of higher education gets to the same conclusion: The benefits of the education and experiences outweigh the costs of the education itself.

In business, that’s called ROI, or return on investment. It is vital to have a positive ROI in both business and in life.

The keys to success don’t stop at high school or college.

Education is a lifetime affair.

Kristin and I got the chance to attend a really awesome conference recently called Product Camp Cincinnati.

PCamp Cincy

It was an inaugural session for the Cincinnati area. What a great and inspiring day! We learned a lot, met some great entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and other top minds in our area.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s session! (Learn more about bringing Product Camp to your area here)

This week, we are also going to attend a TEDx event which we are very excited about!

If you’ve heard of TED talks, TEDx talks are independently organized, and this year the focus is on Health and Wellness, something we want to learn more about. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, be sure to check out some of the speakers and information here.

TEDx Cincinnati

 

For me, conferences are like little mental vacations: a chance to go visit an interesting place for a couple of days, and come back rested and refreshed with new ideas and perspectives. – Erin McKean

Here are just a few easy ways to start investing in yourself:

  • Feed your Mind – Feeding our brains with books has never been easier. Most public libraries offer free e-book downloads you can read on almost any screen. This is how I get almost all of my books. I make it a point to read and learn something new every day.
  • Feed your Body – When investing in yourself, good food and exercise are an important part of that mix as well. Treating your body well will give you a lifetime of health and happiness. Our body is our temple, and we only get one.
  • Find a Community – Not only do we have unprecedented access to information today, we also have no barriers to entry with community. Search meetup.com for information sessions in your area that interest you, and get out there and meet your community!
  • Fund your Investment – if you are in a position to spend real money on investing in yourself, start setting aside some money out of the budget. Again, we’re talking positive ROI’s here. Most times, the money spent on education far outweighs the cost, so always be thinking in terms of a positive return on your investment.

What are you doing in your own life to better invest in yourself? Are you reading, taking classes, or going to conferences?

 

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!

 



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