Have you ever experienced stress? Of course you have, there is not a human alive who has not experienced some sort of stress. As many people know, stress can hurt your performance and your health. Stress negatively affect the body's ability to get into a state of fat burning.
There are many articles to help reduce stress, but I think there is a better strategy. Decluttering life and cutting the stress out before it happens. Cutting stress can mean making tough decisions, but it will help you look, feel, and perform better in the long run.
Here are my top five recommendations to have a happier life:
1) Declutter your possessions - Items in your home and immediate surroundings should bring you joy and happy memories. The clothes in your closet and in your drawers should all make you feel happy to wear them. Go through your possessions. If you have items that are sitting around and taking up space, give them away or donate to charity. There is someone out there that could be enjoying that item and by getting rid of it, it allows you the space to have peace and enjoyment in your surroundings.
2) Decluttering your calendar: Most up us have full calendars with work, family and recreational commitments. Learning to say "yes" to things you love to do and "no" to-non essentials and events that bring you happiness will leave you feeling more refreshed and less stressed.
3) Decluttering your goals: In endurance training, my clients are only allowed one "A" primary race every six months. The same should apply to life goals as well. Focusing only on one goal at a time increases the likelihood that you will not only reach but exceed the goal. Multiple goals is a sure way of doing a couple of things badly.
4) Decluttering your thoughts: Every thought that we have has a chemical reaction. Those chemicals determine your feelings of happiness. Practicing gratitude and forgiveness is a great way to amplify happy brain chemicals and reducing stress chemicals.
5) Decluttering your media: Focus your time and energy on media that enriches your life and helps you reach your goals. Watching sensational news stories and negative reporting distracts you from your goals and detracts from you quality of life.
Every moment of the day we have the opportunity to reduce stress and choose happiness. Decluttering life allows you to destress and make space for happiness.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Power of Habit
Have you ever had an “ah ha” moment? Lately, I have been focusing on my short and long term goals. I have been reading such self help books like, The Magical Art of Tidying Up, The Importance of Habit, and Essentialism. All the reading I felt would help me with my future plans.
In my goal goal planning, I decided to attend a group five hour guided meditation session to get some clarity on some of my decisions. Yes, you read that right, sitting for five hours straight and thinking. I have attended Gong Meditations, guided meditations, and relaxation yoga to help me focus. I felt this would be a great way to to get clarity on my goals.
Months back, some friends of mine and I were talking about upcoming race. We decided that we would do St. George 70.3. This seemed like a great plan to me. I love training with friends and the 70.3 seemed like a good challenge.
As many of these planning sessions go, I was the only one who ended up signing up for the race. I thought no worries, I can train on my own. Training did not go quite as planned. With every run that I did, my ankle would swell up. It took me a couple of months on continual feedback that running was not going well, I decided to see a podiatrist. After X-Rays and a MRI, the verdict was arthritis and tendonitis. Not good news!
The treatment recommendations were orthotics, that insurance said was “medically unnecessary” and prescription anti-inflammatories.
Sitting there, I realized that I was training for a race that I really don’t want to do, with friends who won’t be there. I have been trying to run even though it causes me constant pain. Maybe, I should stop running, and not do the race? What a novel concepts. Cycling doesn’t seem to hurt my ankle, weight lifting doesn’t bug it either. I love doing both of those things. A simple solution, stop doing the thing that hurting me.
Further into the meditation, I had another ah-ha moment. I have been gradually taking on more online clients. With my online clients and personal training clients, my time has gotten harder and harder to manage. I realized that at some point that I will need to refer my personal training clients to another trainer. I care about them deeply and this is a very hard decision. I asked myself, where do I want to be in one year, five years and beyond. My long term goal is to only have online clients and I have reached the tipping point where I can no longer be an effective coach online and an attentive personal trainer.
Since the meditation lasts five hours, I had more time for contemplation. I had one more ah-ha moment. I have saved up for a new power meter for my new bike. I learned that my favorite researcher is speaking at the TrainingPeaks Endurance Coaching Summit. After the Summit, I plan to attend the TrainingPeaks University to learn more about updates with TrainingPeaks. I felt like my long term goal is to be the best endurance coach possible, my money is better spent attending the conference and TPU. The power meter will have to wait a couple more months.
I am appreciative the the time well spent in mediation. My big take away it wasn’t that I needed to do more things, that I needed to stop doing many things that are not in alignment with my goals. I hope the information will help you think about what your goals are and what you should, or should not, be doing to reach them.