7 Reasons Listening To Top Podcasts Will Benefit Your Life

Podcasts are more popular now than ever.

In the wake of the huge success of programs such as murder mystery Serial and introspective interview series WTF with Marc Maron, which recently nabbed former President Barack Obama as a guest, it’s about time they’ve gotten their due.

Thousands of quality top podcasts are regularly being recorded that either inform or entertain their audiences, and they can all be listened to in any type of environment you could think of. Learn six big reasons podcasts make great additions to your life…

1. You can learn about a subject, an industry, etc.

Podcasts aren’t only good entertainment, but also great education. The time you’d normally spend doing those mindless chores or exercising can be used to help you prepare for the next phase of your career.

There are a ton of shows out there that teach you about specific fields of study and career paths. For example, the productivity and technology-focused podcasts Supercharged and Back to Work, both on the 5by5 network, would probably be of interest to many people reading this; nearly every subject you can think of is well-covered.

2. They’re perfect for mindless chores

There are a number of tasks that don’t require a lot of brain power, such as driving to work and cleaning the house. Podcasts are a great way to help pass the time, letting you immerse yourself in an enlightening conversation over the airwaves even though in real life you’re scrubbing toilets or washing sinks.

3. They’re usually conversations instead of stories

Unlike audiobooks, in which an author narrates a story, podcast episodes generally consist of conversations between two or more individuals. That back-and-forth has a lot of advantages over the typical one-person narration found in books on tape.

A conversation often feels more natural then someone telling you a story. You get to hear people bounce off each other and build off of what the others said. A podcast isn’t as structured as a book, so it has more opportunities for interesting tangents and divergences that make the listening more unpredictable.

Perhaps best of all, you’re able to tune in and out of a podcast. Whereas with an audiobook you can easily become lost if you lose your focus even for a minute, a podcast episode gives you a lot of chances to jump back into the fold. That leads to my next point.

4. You’ll get less bored with your music library

Even the largest libraries of music on MP3 players and smartphones can get tired. Listening to podcasts give you a breather from music. By taking a break from your tunes, you can be excited about them all over again when you return to them.

5. You can listen to them anywhere

Podcasts aren’t only good entertainment, but also great education. The time you’d normally spend doing those mindless chores or exercising can be used to help you prepare for the next phase of your career.

There are a ton of shows out there that teach you about specific fields of study and career paths. For example, the productivity and technology-focused podcasts Supercharged and Back to Work, both on the 5by5 network, would probably be of interest to many people reading this; nearly every subject you can think of is well-covered.

6. They’re free entertainment

Podcasts are by and large offered for free. Audiobooks can be purchased for about $15 apiece, usually delivering somewhere between eight and twenty hours worth of listening.

Meanwhile, even though you can get hundreds of hours of entertainment out of programs like Fresh Air or The Nerdist, you don’t have to pay a cent for podcasts. You can contribute to Patreon crowdfunding campaigns if you want to support the shows you particularly enjoy, but you almost always have the option to listen to podcasts for free.

7. Optimize Your Time

Listen to podcasts while walking, driving, commuting, or working out. I find that I really enjoy my commute from Las Vegas to Southern California when I listen to my favorite podcasts. I get inspired, educated or entertained which makes a 4 to 5-hour drive literally fly by!

Find Your Motivation To Study

Let’s face it.

Being a student sucks. It’s like having a job, but not getting paid.

Yes, you’re getting an education, which is great…

But finding the motivation to study can be a challenge.

The definition of motivation is:

  • The general desire or willingness to do something.

So the trick to increase your motivation to study is to increase your desire to study in the first place.

That’s why we’ve come up with this kick-ass list to help you boost your motivation to study (even if you don’t have an exam)…

1. Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself

To enhance your motivation to study, reward yourself for a job well done.

Whether it’s buying a cup of your favorite coffee, going on a nice long hike, or snarffing down a bag of potato chips, reward yourself for a good, long study session.  This reward system, will help motivate you to study more often.

2. Set goals

If you want to be a successful student, you need to set goals.  Because if you don’t have goals, then it’s like shooting in the dark.

An easy place to start is to:

  • Talk to a counselor to determine the classes you need to take to get your degree. Then…
  • List which classes you need to take each year. Then…
  • List which classes you need to take each semester/quarter. Then..
  • List off what grades you want to achieve for each class.

Just having this type of list and being able to check it off is a HUGE boost to your confidence and internal reward system.

It’s like running a race and seeing the mile markers fly by!

3. Make studying fun with mnemonics

Mnemonics (sounds like new-monics) is when you use systems for improving your memory.  It can be a fun way to boost your study skills and improve your memory.

Here’s an mnemonic you may already know: Never, Eat, Shredded, Wheat

This is used to memorize the directions of North, East, South, West (listed clockwise)

There are tons of articles online that’ll help you get started with mnemonics.

4. Get a study buddy or study group

One of the best ways to motivate yourself to study is to get a study buddy (or study group) because not only will you be relying on them, they’ll be relying on you.  Studying with others is fun, productive, and more effective because if you have questions on the material your study buddy can help.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Find a study buddy (or study group).  The best place to find a study buddy is someone in the same class.  Or you can ask multiple people to set up a group.
  2. Set a schedule for your study sessions.  It helps to schedule it at the same time every week so you don’t have to think about when it is and it becomes a habit.
  3. Find a location to meet that has WIFI such as the library, coffee shop, or a fast food joint.

5. Cut your study time in half (that’s motivation in itself!)

For those procrastinators out there, you’re going to love this…

Parkinson’s law is the theory that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion“.

For example, if you give yourself 10 hours to study, you’ll take 10 hours to study.

The next time you have a project, paper, or exam, cut the time you think it’ll take to prepare in half to increase your focus and productivity and maximize results.

For example, if you think it’ll take you 10 hours to study for an exam.  Only give yourself 5 hours.

WARNING: This is a risky approach, but if done properly, it can have great results.

Alright students!

Enough reading… It’s time to hit the books, study, and kick-ass!

Best of luck.

And if you have any motivation hacks for studying, leave a comment below…

Best Productivity Apps For Android to Skyrocket Your Output

By Arnold / November 2, 2018
We live in an incredibly competitive and complex world.

It can be tough to navigate the waters of your work life, while staying on top of the dozens of other commitments you have lingering in the background. Making sure that you do things effectively and efficiently is one thing, but ensuring that you don’t slip up, forget things and make mistakes is another.

The human brain didn’t evolve to juggle this many tasks at once. Fortunately, while technology has given us more responsibilities, it has also provided a way to manage these tasks by outsourcing some of the cognitive load to different machines and applications.

The main benefit of these apps is that we can keep them, literally, at arms reach, inside our cells phones. This allows us to seamlessly connect our work and home lives, on the go, wherever we are.

The following list will help you find the most effective apps to improve your productivity in four important areas of your life:

  1. scheduling and time management,
  2. financial management,
  3. collaboration and team management, and
  4. health management.

Here are 8 of the best productivity apps for Android to skyrocket your output…

Scheduling and Time Management

Tasker

They usually say save the best for last – but that wouldn’t be very productive now, would it? Instead, I’m going to save you time by giving you the best productivity app straight away. Automation apps are an ever-expanding market and for good reason. Tasker can do (almost) anything from turning on your Bluetooth when you step in the car to disabling your lock screen when you step in the house. It can send a particular email or text once you arrive at the office or disable screen rotation for individual apps. Furthermore, it has many of its own plugins, so it continues to become more and more versatile.

Download Tasker for Android

Google Calendar

Google calendar is an app that you can use for web and mobile to keep track of events and to share them with others. People often overlook it because it’s free and already available if you have any sort of Google account, whether drives or Gmail or Google Plus. However just because sometimes the most effective tools are right under our noses, and if you want a powerful tool to manage your schedule, Google calendar is the way to go. You can add and remove events, color code them, share them with gmail contacts, integrate with a number of web-based applications, and receive automatic reminders to your phone based on conversations in Gmail.

Download Google Calendar for Android

Financial Management

Good Budget

Good budget is an app that plays on an old fashioned way of dividing your money. Basically, you separate a certain amount of money for each expense, say $100, and you place them in virtual envelopes. For common costs like rent, food and entertainment, you can allocate one amount, and for saving for emergencies or vacations, another. You simply need to add a transaction to the account every time you spend money, and it will help you exactly where your finances have been budgeted each month. It may seem deceptively simple, but that’s exactly why it’s so good, with a clean interface and charts and graphs to track your spending visually, it’s the perfect productivity app for your android. Good budget comes in a free plan and plus plan for $45 a year or $5 a month.

Download Good Budget for Android

Mint

Mint is similar in function to good budget, and the difference between the two typically depends on style preferences more than anything else. The benefit, however, is that it allows you to create goals and receive notifications when you have late fees, bill reminders, or go over budget. Mint is free but generates revenue from its ad banners, which some may find annoying and invasive.

Download Mint for Android

Collaboration and Team Management

Trello

Trello is a task management app for teams that is visually stunning. Basically, you have a digital whiteboard that you fill with different colored post-it notes. You can click on each note to go into more detail about the task and view additional resources. The team can divide each board and team member into activities that are to do, doing, and those that need to be done. Trello starts with free plans which allows all the basics. They also have a $10 a month business plan and a $20 a month enterprise plan, which allow unlimited boards and integrations with evernote, google drive, dropbox, and more.

Download Trello for Android

Google Drive

Again we come back to the basics. Google drive is so easy to navigate and combine with your other applications, that it has become somewhat of a staple. Google Docs and Google Sheets are easy to use, particularly when you want to edit and share documents between groups. For many people they’ve begun to replace windows software, and with constant autosaves and cloud sharing, we never have to lose files again!

Download Google Drive for Android

Health Management

My Fitness Pal

When it comes to productivity, our work tasks aren’t the only area we should focus on. Fitness and health is the most direct way to optimize our energy, and therefore output. However, this is unsurprisingly another time-consuming aspect of life, which is where My Fitness Pal comes is. This fitness app helps you to track your calories, as well as the vitamins and nutrients you’re getting in your diet. After being acquired by Under Armour, they’ve released a premium version which includes recipes and meal plans. My Fitness Pal is the perfect way to track your health, exercise, and diet, particularly if you don’t have much time on your hands. The plans start at $10 a month or $49 a year.

Download My Fitness Pal for Android

Insight Timer

Insight Timer is a meditation app and social community that allows you access to thousands of free guided meditations from around the world. Though it may not seem like a first choice productivity app, it is the quickest and easiest way to learn meditation and stay accountable with a community. And once meditation becomes a keystone habit, you’ll see your productivity skyrocket. The majority of features in the app are included in the free version, though for $5 a month you can download guided meditations and take them on the go.

Download Insight Timer for Android

Ultimately if you want to skyrocket your output, you need the right apps to help you do so. These eight applications can help you to streamline your responsibilities so you save time and get more done. Many of them are free or offer free trials, so try them today – you’ve got nothing to lose!


7 Kinds Of Adversity, And How To Overcome Them

By Arnold / November 2, 2018
Our troubles don’t define us. However, the way we handle them does.

Because of that, we should always be aware of the kinds of adversity we might face in our lives, and understand the tools and techniques that can be used to overcome them.

Adversity comes in many different forms. Here are six kinds of trials you might face, and what you can do to get out the other side.

1. Physical Adversity

A physical disability is the most obvious example of physical adversity. The quarterback who breaks his spine during a football game and is suddenly stuck in a wheelchair faces a number of new challenges and a drastic change to the way he lives his life.

There are less drastic but similarly problematic types of physical adversity, as well. Handicaps like chronic pain, fatigue and obesity force people to fight to achieve a sense of normalcy in their lives.

Whether they’re unable to exercise how they want to, have to more carefully monitor their health or have to deal with other limitations most of us will never know, those with some type of physical adversity face barriers that are not easily overcome.

What can people do to handle their specific situations, other than seeking out magical cures? There are a lot of options for coping with physical limitations, big and small.

A priority should first be put on coming to terms with your condition. Accept that it’s a part of your life (at least for now) and that you’ll be facing struggles that most others won’t. Don’t obsess over how it’s not “fair.” Rather, learn to live with the adversity without feeling bitter about it.

On that same note, you need to consistently take good care of yourself. Whatever steps you can take to manage your health, physical and otherwise, you should take. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and positive thinking are all necessary components to doing well.

If that still isn’t enough, look for support groups made up of people going through similar circumstances. There are services from such organizations as Overeaters Anonymousthe American Chronic Pain Association and more to help you find a community of individuals who can relate to how you’re feeling.

2. Mental Adversity

Just like a physical handicap might limit you, so can a mental problem.

Being properly treated by psychiatrists and psychologists is obviously crucial to managing your mental health, but there are steps you need to take beyond going to the doctor. If you’re dealing with mental anguish, routines are your friend. Get in a pattern of waking up, exercising and especially taking your medication at the same times of day.

Another key aspect of handling mental health problems is to never give up on the idea of getting better. Things can be rough for a while, sometimes quite a while, but there’s always something new you can try to improve your well-being.

Work with a doctor on adjusting your medications and adding supplements. Keep trying different kinds of meditation and mindfulness techniques until you find something that works for you. Confront your problems.

If something stops being as effective, go back to the well to find something that will do the trick. Keep looking, and you will eventually find sanctuary.

3. Emotional Adversity

Most of us desperately need to learn how to have our feelings without letting them overcome us. Emotional maturity comes from experience and an effective state of mind. Those who don’t have that maturity face more difficulties in life.

A very common, very human problem is for people to undervalue themselves. Those individuals need to learn how to improve their self-worth.

Another emotion that can overwhelm us is rage. Schools don’t teach you how to forgive, even if they should. You have to figure that out for yourself or find guidance elsewhere.

Every emotion, no matter how fierce, can be tamed. Learn to tame yours through the resources available to you (this Huffington Post article is a great one) and by keeping a watchful eye on them in case they flare up.

4. Social Adversity

How we interact with people is paramount to our success. Life is awfully lonely without friends by your side. You can’t get a promotion at work if your boss doesn’t enjoy being around you.

That means that anyone who doesn’t have certain social skills is at a major disadvantage. People who are “awkward” (such as those that fall somewhere on the autism spectrum) face major and sometimes insurmountable hurdles to succeed in either their personal or professional lives.

What can people do to handle social problems? There are creative and surprising things you can do when you’re lonely. Likewise, there are programs and self-help books that will help you improve your social game. Almost anyone can benefit from a little study and practice into how to improve their people skills.

5. Spiritual Adversity

Faith in some kind of a higher power is generally an advantage in life. That higher power doesn’t even have to be a god. People who believe strongly in the human spirit, the power of community or something equally important will often attain a sense of peace that a lot of others do not.

If you don’t have that, find it. Enrich yourself by embracing something that you think matters. If you already have some kind of faith but feel it slipping, return to the core of whyyou put your faith into it.

6. Financial Adversity

One of the most obvious kinds of adversity is when you don’t have the money to afford a certain lifestyle. There is no quick way to go from rags to riches, but there are steps you can take to improve your financial well-being.

7. Discipline Adversity

Correcting and reproving us for something we did

Learning new skills doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Oftentimes you can make more from a trade school than you can from a university.

Additionally, there are plenty of ways to learn new skills! Night school at a community college is fairly affordable. Lynda.com is a wonderful service that teaches you marketable skills for as low as $25 a month. If you make a small investment and spend a few hours a week learning, you can head down a whole new career trajectory.

There are also effective ways to set a budget. We’ve recommended Mint before, because of its versatility, ease of use and ability to track your spending habits. But really, any kind of budget plan can get you a long way.

It’s not easy. No one is saying it is. But, if you have the willpower and mental fortitude, you can move yourself beyond your current means.

Sometimes your adversity will be too complicated for one category to contain. Physical symptoms might accompany a mental health issue. At times you have financial problems specifically because of your difficulty socializing/networking.

Even if your adversity is multi-pronged, look at the suggestions given in this article and see how they can apply to your situation. Keep in mind that there’s a lot of crossover between the strategies to fight different struggles. Mix and match them until you find a way to face and surpass the challenges that are holding you back from success.

16 Life Lessons Learned from Being an Athlete

By Arnold / November 2, 2018

Bulging muscles, swimming miles on a single banana, and running faster than a bullet – figuratively speaking – means that athletes can feel like superheroes during their time of glory.

Yet, being an athlete isn’t that glamorous.

No matter your sport of choice…

Here are 16 lessons learned from athletes to make you a better person in life.

1) Embrace change

Most athletes change their workouts to make sure their body doesn’t get too comfortable with routine. When the body learns to adapt, it can slow progress. When you get too comfortable, changing your pace can make you stronger.

Change is inevitable in life. Many people resist it. However, those who adapt and embrace new possibilities find happiness.

2) Surround yourself with successful

The best way to get better in any athletic discipline is to work out with stronger athletes. Successful competitors seek out others who can bring up their game. While it may be uncomfortable and humbling to have others leave you behind, it will make you better.

You should also try to surround yourself with winners at the game of life. Some people feel uncomfortable if they aren’t the richest, strongest or most intelligent person in the room. They also thrive on bringing others down to feel more secure. This isn’t the way to grow; it’s the path to atrophy. Always make sure those closest to you inspire you to become better by their example.

3) Limitations are only as real as you make them

When you train in the elements, Mother Nature is going to throw you a curve ball. You may have sweltering heat, freezing temperatures or pounding rain. I’ve had some of my best runs in some of the worst weather.

Top athletes learn to embrace the hardships to test their limits. Image what you could do if you saw every challenge as an opportunity to conquer something weak within yourself! You would start to seek out tougher battles instead of shrink from them. With every tested run, you gain confidence in your body’s ability to perform.

The secret is the true challenge isn’t about what you face on the outside. It’s about what you think inside that will determine if you’re workout is going to rock your world or defeat you.

Life also throws us unpleasant circumstances. To become successful, you can’t run away when situations get hard. If you keep your inner fire fueled with positivity and focused determination, you will weather any storm and become better for it.

4) Seek progress over perfection

Everyone has their own journey. Too many times, I got frustrated that someone else was farther along the path. I would look to that magic moment when I could run a mile in a certain time.

Now, my goals have changed. I no longer want to be better than others; I want to be better than the person I used to be yesterday. When you are always looking to the distant future, you have an unpleasant present. Don’t get so caught up in the person you want to be someday that you don’t appreciate where you are now.

So many people live life in the future tense. They believe that when they achieve goal “X” they will be happy. That’s a hard way to go through life. Learn to be happy during the process – not only at the end of it.

5) Setbacks happen, but defeat is a choice

I’ve had a few pretty tough setbacks in my athletic career. Health problems put a stop to my running for several years. It’s tough starting back from ground zero. Slogging along on a slow run or bike workout when you’re used to flying is one of the hardest mental battles. I was tempted to give up. The mountain seemed too high to become the person I used to be.

However, the misery of not being the best version of myself continued to push me back to my workouts. Once you have tasted the endorphin-drenched happiness of smashing through your previous PR, you can’t go back to a leisurely life without the longing always tickling the back of your consciousness.

In life, setbacks will also happen. You may lose your job, face a health crisis or find yourself settling instead of living your deeper dreams. These bumps in the road will only defeat you if you let them. Choose to keep going, and you will never experience failure.

6) Performance isn’t dependent on outside forces, but inside perseverance

When you train in the elements, Mother Nature is going to throw you a curve ball. You may have sweltering heat, freezing temperatures or pounding rain. I’ve had some of my best runs in some of the worst weather.

Top athletes learn to embrace the hardships to test their limits. Image what you could do if you saw every challenge as an opportunity to conquer something weak within yourself! You would start to seek out tougher battles instead of shrink from them. With every tested run, you gain confidence in your body’s ability to perform.

The secret is the true challenge isn’t about what you face on the outside. It’s about what you think inside that will determine if you’re workout is going to rock your world or defeat you.

Life also throws us unpleasant circumstances. To become successful, you can’t run away when situations get hard. If you keep your inner fire fueled with positivity and focused determination, you will weather any storm and become better for it.

7) Hard work now makes it easier later

Sprinting uphill is one of the most difficult ways to run. Yet, once you master running hills, everything else feels easy. Hill sprints make you faster. In a race, you won’t be intimidated by these tug-of-war sessions against gravity, because you eat them for breakfast.

Any athlete will tell you that there is no way around hard work. If you skimp on your workouts, you cheat yourself on race day.

Focused efforts in any area will give you future life rewards. Those with a strong work ethic often succeed where others fail. So learn to appreciate that sweat equity!

8) Run from the stagnant life

You can never stay the same. You are either moving toward your goals or away from them. Every choice pushes you either forward or backward. If you stop working out, your body slowly melts back to couch-potato status. If you crush that hard workout, you are one step closer to reaching your next PR.

If you notice that you are simply gliding along wherever the current takes you in life, it’s time to wake up. Anyone can go with the flow. Even dead fish move with the current. Every choice to do nothing is a step closer to dead-fish status. The tough fish swim against the current and go places others never dreamed!

9) Live outside of your comfort zone

All athletes know true change only comes through challenge; and you won’t be challenged living in your comfort zone. Top athletes sign up for races that scare them silly. They know if they sit back, they will soon be on the sidelines.

10) Not all pain is bad, but don’t forget to listen

An athlete understands that there are two kinds of pain. There is the pain of soreness, showing that you’ve torn down your muscles to build them back stronger. There is also the pain of injury and over training.

Smart athletes walk the fine line between pushing their body to the limit and pulling back when they know they’re dancing with disaster. After all, taking time off training to nurse a torn ligament or sprained ankle is going to set you back a lot more than taking a necessary rest day.

You’d be surprised how many people recklessly grind themselves into the ground in their jobs, lives and relationships. Steven Covey talks about taking time to sharpen the saw. You can’t cut down a forest with a blunt blade, and you can’t achieve success when you’re too exhausted to think straight. If life is running you instead of the other way around, start taking control. However, don’t shy away from hard work either. Find that balance.

11) Recognize your excuses and crush them

I didn’t run a marathon until my early thirties. I did it when I saw people twice my age running multiple marathons per year. My excuse used to be that I was too old or too busy. After watching others defeat these ideas, I realized these excuses were a smoke screen to cover up my fear of failure.

Learn to recognize your defenses for defeatism. When you discover your underlying fears and address them, you can eliminate your excuses. If you truly want to do something, you will find a way while everyone else keeps a white-knuckled death gripe on the reasons why they can’t.

12) Don’t be a hermit

I grew up as an only child. I’m naturally pretty independent. Yet, I’ve learned to let other people into my workouts. I need people to push me, give me feedback and hold me accountable. I value coaches and their input into my training. I’ve learned that other athletes make me better.

In life, we often need an outside perspective as well. Many times, we are too close to the goal. It’s important to be open to what other successful coaches can teach you and not resist sound advice. A little humility and a listening ear go a long way toward making you better in any discipline.

13) Learn to forgive yourself

An athlete understands that there are two kinds of pain. There is the pain of soreness, showing that you’ve torn down your muscles to build them back stronger. There is also the pain of injury and over training.

Smart athletes walk the fine line between pushing their body to the limit and pulling back when they know they’re dancing with disaster. After all, taking time off training to nurse a torn ligament or sprained ankle is going to set you back a lot more than taking a necessary rest day.

You’d be surprised how many people recklessly grind themselves into the ground in their jobs, lives and relationships. Steven Covey talks about taking time to sharpen the saw. You can’t cut down a forest with a blunt blade, and you can’t achieve success when you’re too exhausted to think straight. If life is running you instead of the other way around, start taking control. However, don’t shy away from hard work either. Find that balance.

14) Big dreams need focused plans

Most athletes don’t randomly work out. They know that strategic workouts equal better results. They have a plan to target weak areas and improve on strengths.

If you have a big life goal, like starting a business, paying off debt or bringing a new idea to life, you have to put a plan in place to ensure success. Think about it like climbing a mountain. Plan for each little step of the journey. Eventually, you’ve met your goal and are enjoying the view. No one gets to the top of any mountain in one big jump – unless they’re superman.

15) Comfort is sweeter when earned

There is nothing better than letting the hot water of a shower wash away the grime from a long run, slipping into you comfiest pajamas and sliding into bed for the night after a hard workout. You will sleep so much sweeter because you earned your rest.

Did you know that 70% of lottery winners lose all their money within seven years? They didn’t earn that money, and they don’t know how to manage their winnings effectively. They didn’t go through the lessons or the pain to achieve all of those comforts; so they blow it all.

You will find that success tastes much sweeter when you get there on your own. Don’t go through life looking for handouts. You have everything necessary to win your own battles. Your success is 100% within your own control.

16) Time Management

This is pretty self-explanatory, but being a student-athlete is a full-time job. Between hustling to classes, eating lunch, going back to class, working your on or off-campus job, going to 2 1/2 hour practices 5 days a week, traveling 5+ hours every other weekend for games, doing homework, watching films, trying to have a social life, and finding time to sleep is the definition of struggle. How we find all the time needed in a day to do all of this still astounds me, but we get it done. Time management is definitely a skill we can apply to anything and everything we do post-athletics in the real world work, or otherwise.

Doing anything legendary takes risk. All of the biggest inventions, companies and success stories started when someone stepped away from routine to become revolutionary. So don’t wait another minute. Find something that terrifies and inspires you – and then go do it!

10 Natural Ways Of Overcoming Depression

By Arnold / November 2, 2018

Depression is one of the most misunderstood, misdiagnosed mental illnesses in America. It affects nearly 19 million adults every year.

But the harsh reality is many people suffering from depression never seek treatment.

Those who do seek help often turn to antidepressants to feel better. While medication is often very effective (and sometimes life saving) there are also natural ways to boost your mood.

Here are 10 natural approaches to overcoming depression and getting on the path to happiness.

1) Talk with Your Doctor

Many people go to their doctor seeking anti-depressants to help with overcoming depression. While these medications certainly help many people, they do carry unwanted side effects. Depression may be a symptom of an underlying issue, just like high blood pressure or joint pain. Here are a few topics to discuss with your doctor at your next visit.

Check for Vitamin Deficiencies

Many times, depression is a symptom of vitamin deficiencies in your body. We’ve already talked about Vitamin D, but have your doctor check for low levels of other essential nutrients as well.

Ask About Natural Therapies

You should also talk with your doctor about natural supplements to treat depression. Most of these supplements boost serotonin levels. Therapies currently showing promise include SAMefolic acid, B12, fish oil, 5-HTPSt. John’s WortSaffron and L-Theanine.

Blood Sugar and Diet

The healthier your diet, the healthier your head. Try to eat fresh, whole foods and avoid eating out of a box or fast-food bag. Diet modification is very effective at treating depression.

Poorly regulated blood sugar levels can also contribute to mood swings. Eat a diet that will stabilize your blood sugar and avoid energy crashes. In fact, managing my blood sugar was the final strategy I employed to completely cure my depressive episodes!

Check for Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones can play havoc with our moods, energy, and happiness. Postpartum depression is just one example of how swings in hormones bring about the baby blues.

Depression can be a symptom of underlying medical issues. Talk with your doctor about checking thyroid levels (such as TSH, free T4, free T3, total T3, and thyroid antibodies), adrenal hormones (cortisol, DHEA-S and pregnenolone) and sex hormones (estradiol, progesterone, free and total testosterone).

Quick tip:

Having a hard time getting motivated to work out? Focus on finding the type of exercise that’s right for you. You can take an exercise personality quiz here that’s directly from the book The Chelsea Piers Fitness Solution by author Elena Rover.

2) Get Your Daily Dose of Sunshine

If you’re depressed, you may be tempted to hide away in a dark room and watch Netflix all day. Don’t do it! There is a strong correlation between low Vitamin D levels and depression. In 2006, the CDC reported that one fourth of the American population was deficient in vitamin D. While you may also need supplementation, the best way to get your sunshine vitamin is to get outside!

Greeting the sun in the morning can also help regulate your circadian rhythm, which maintains your internal clock and facilitates better sleep, which will definitely make a difference while overcoming depression.

3) Try New Things, Socialize, and Have Fun!

While it may seem like the last thing that you want to do, going through the motions of having fun can bring about actual fun. It’s a classic “fake it till you make it” strategy. Embrace new activities and laugh with friends. You’ll be surprised how good you feel!

Researcher, William Fleeson, found that those who’d acted “talkative” and “assertive” throughout their day – even if they were introverts – were more likely to report feeling positive emotions such as excitement and enthusiasm, which can help when overcoming depression. However, it’s important to note, if you are an introvert, you should focus on balancing socializing with other fulfilling solo activities like reading or enjoying one of your hobbies.

4) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Support Groups

Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who can put depression into better perspective. Find a professional proficient in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). They can help you understand how thoughts trigger feelings and how to challenge negative ideas with positive, logical ones as you work on overcoming depression.

Quick tip:

Depression magnifies negativity to such a level that positive facts get out of focus. Try to keep a mood diary to write down all of the good things in your life to put things back into a healthy perspective.

When patients learn to be more self-aware, they can then change destructive patterns. Participating in support groups can also aid in recovery, because you realize that you aren’t alone with your struggles and can learn from others.

Adding mindfulness exercises to your CBT (called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) can also help to prevent relapses after overcoming depression.

5) Pursue Goals and Responsibilities

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins

While it may be tempting to pull away from everything while battling depression, setting small daily goals and taking on responsibilities can help you find purpose in life. You can also volunteer and help others, which moves your focus to people instead of your own inner turmoil.

Part of the deception of depression is that life has no purpose and you have no value. When you find yourself doing something productive, you can combat destructive thinking by seeing that your efforts do make a difference which will help to overcome depression.

Learn from these 50 Personal Development Bloggers for inspiration and how-to’s.

6) Take a Deep Breath and Do Yoga!

Deep breathing has proven effective for many people in overcoming depression and anxiety. Deep-breathing exercises stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for activities when the body is at rest.

Yoga is a great activity to combine with deep breathing, as it puts the body into relaxing poses. Among its many health benefits, enhanced moods and a relaxed mentality are especially helpful for depressed people.

7) Exercise

When you’re depressed, exercise is often the last thing that you want to do. However, several studies suggest that exercise can perform at least as well as pharmaceutical medications in reducing symptoms and helping to prevent a relapse.

Exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals like neurotransmittersendorphins and endocannabinoids and increases your body temperature, which can have a calming effect. Exercise also helps you stop focusing inward, facilitates engagement in social interaction, and helps you feel better about yourself, which will all assist in overcoming depression.

8) Pet Therapy

Did you know that a pet can help you treat depression? Pets provide unconditional love, touch, companionship and give their owners purpose. Pets get you outside and moving. Petting furry animals increases oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that can combat depression.

Improved mental health from pets is well documented; which is why many hospitals and nursing homes promote pet therapy for their patients. Visit your local animal shelter or online pet finder to learn more about bringing a new fur kid into your home.

Aquariums also help reduce anxiety and depression. The sound of running water is soothing, and watching fish swim promotes tranquility. Why do you think so many dentists and doctors set up fish tanks in waiting rooms?

9) Work Hard and Sleep Well

It is very important to follow a healthy routine as much as possible, at least throughout your work week. This keeps you busy doing productive things and not dwelling on negativity.

Also, try to create a regular sleep schedule and stick to it. Unfortunately, depression often brings on insomnia as a side effect. When you’re exhausted, everything seems worse. Protect your sleep, stop bad habits that contribute to sleeping disorders, and find natural ways to combat insomnia.

10) MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT

Obesity is a state of chronic inflammation, which fuels depression and anxiety. On top of the physiological effects of inflammation, the emotional burden that many overweight and obese people feel further exacerbates their depression and anxiety.

While overcoming depression can sometimes seem overwhelming, there are many natural treatments available to help you lead a happy, healthy life. Remember, while depression may feel like it will last forever, it is often only for a small season of your life. Depression doesn’t have to become your identity. Keep seeking answers until you find the treatment that enables you to find your inner joy again.

How To Achieve Laser Sharp Focus Like This Olympian

Kikkan Randall is a woman on the move…

Randall is a cross-country skier from Anchorage, Alaska, 4-time Olympian, the first American woman to win a cross country World Cup, and the President of Fast and Female USA—a non-profit that keeps young girls healthy, happy and active in sports.

She’s also won 17 U.S. National Titles, 3 Overall World Cup Sprint Titles, 13 World Cups, and was a World Champion in the team sprint in 2013.

In this interview, Kikkan shares her story as a professional athlete, the trials and tribulations of becoming a 4-time Olympian, and how she stays motivated in both her personal and professional life…

Interview with Kikkan Randall

How did skiing become so important in your life?

I grew up skiing with my family.  My Mom was a competitive cross-country skier in college and my Dad was an avid alpine skier, so I grew up doing both.  My aunt Betsy and my uncle Chris were both Olympians in cross-country skiing so I had great role models growing up

As I got into high school, I was really getting into running and skiing.  I ended up getting more serious about skiing because I liked that it combined endurance with power and speed.

I was also intrigued that no American woman had ever won an Olympic medal in the sport and wanted to try to be the first!

I love skiing because of the amazing feeling of gliding on the snow by your own power and the places it can take you.

What did it take, physically and emotionally, to become an olympian?

Becoming an Olympian has required a lot of desire and belief to set a long-term challenging goal and then a lot of hard work, persistence and patience over the course of many years to make my dream come true. While the physical training is demanding, requiring workouts twice per day six days a week for 11 months of the year, the mental and emotional components have been the most critical to my success.

Staying positive, focused and calculated has been crucial for making the small gains that lead to the big results.

What was your greatest professional or personal success?

One of the greatest moments in my career thus far has been winning the 2013 World Championship Team Sprint with my teammate, Jessie Diggins.  It was the first gold medal at a World Championships in Women’s Cross-Country for the American team, and it was an accomplishment that really represented the hard work of our entire team.

We know a huge goal of yours was to win America’s first cross-country skiing medal since 1976. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as expected in the 2014 Winter Olympics. How did you overcome this letdown?

Before the Olympics in Sochi I promised myself that the most important success of the Olympics would be walking away knowing I had given my absolute best effort and knowing I left everything out on the course.  In my mind, my best effort meant victory and I believed wholeheartedly that the gold medal was possible.

When race day came, however, and I gave my best effort and left everything out on the course and I didn’t win the gold medal, I had to remember that promise.  Even though I was disappointed to not have been able to fight for the medals, I was proud of myself for preparing well and for giving my best effort during the race. So I was still able to walk away from Sochi with my head up.

In my career I’ve learned that while we always chase after the wins and the medals, it’s really about putting yourself in the best position to be successful and being able to give all your effort towards your goal.  If you are able to do that, you will be more successful and more satisfied, a better feeling than the trophies can ever provide.

What are the common lies, myths, and misconceptions about competitive skiing?

Most people think cross-country skiing is boring, that the skiers just disappear off in the woods and endure discomfort for long periods.  Skiing is actually becoming a very spectator-friendly, action-packed, fast-paced sport that combines speed, endurance and power all by gliding along the snow.

It’s actually quite exciting!

What motivates you to achieve your goals?

I am motivated by trying to reach my peak performance and keep pushing the barriers of what is possible in my sport.  I like to find new ways to enhance my training and at the same time I love learning techniques from others.

I love the camaraderie of racing and training all over the world and getting to know athletes from other teams.

What is the #1 reason most people fail to succeed when attempting to become an olympian?

I think some people have a hard time being patient enough to work on the small goals that lead up to becoming an Olympian.  Many get excited at the beginning of the journey but when they start hitting the rough spots, which are inevitable and happen to everyone, it can be easy to lose focus and let negative thoughts break down motivation.

My advice to those tackling a big goal like trying to make it to the Olympics is to be patient and positive.  When the going gets tough, focus on doing the small things directly in front of you as well as you can and most of the time, you can pull yourself through the challenges and before you know it, you’re on track to reaching your goal!

How do you spend time with your family with such a busy training schedule?

I try to build time into my training schedule to take small breaks here and there so I can just focus on family or friends without the distraction of having to do a workout.

But sometimes, I also use workouts as great ways to catch up with family and friends.  I’ll invite my Mom to ride her bike while I rollerski and we can chat while we go.  I love running with friends to catch up!  Now that we have a son, my husband and I have to be better at planning ahead so we can still get out for some workouts together and also get some time with just the two of us outside of training and baby.

If you could give one piece our readers about becoming a professional athlete, what would that be?

Decide where you want to go or what you want to achieve and then build a road map of how you will get there.  By breaking the big goal into smaller goals, you can stay focused on the process of reaching the goals and can build towards your dreams one step at a time.

This takes patience and belief but it also makes the journey productive, enjoyable and surprisingly doable!

What is your favorite quote of all time?

If you could create a quote to be remembered by right now, what would you say?

What are your current goals?

I am still motivated to try to win an Olympic medal and am especially focused on helping my team try to win Olympic medals in the relay events.  Having team goals on the line is really keeping me motivated to work my way back to top shape after having a baby this past spring.

What projects are you working on now?

I am the President of Fast and Female USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping keep girls involved in sports for life.  I help lead the organization which hosts inspiring fitness events all over the USA where top elite female athletes mentor girls ages 8-18. We’re teaching confidence, positive body image, healthy lifestyle habits and hopefully inspiring girls to stay involved in sports for life.

I also appear at local schools and community events on behalf of a project called Healthy Futures, an Alaskan program geared towards teaching positive daily habits of physical exercise and healthy lifestyle choices to kids.

Having Insomnia Symptoms? Here’s 7 Ways to Kick It to the Curb

By Arnold / November 2, 2018

There is nothing worse than slogging through a day devoid of precious sleep due to insomnia symptoms. You’re too tired to be productive, yet you can’t sleep if you go back to bed!

I’ve been there…

I feel like the past four years I’ve been a walking zombie. After health issues and emotional stress crept into my life, I hadn’t had the luxury of a normal night’s sleep for years. I would have problems falling asleep, and even more issues staying asleep.

My sleep disturbances originated from multiple disorders, which are beyond the scope of this article. It took addressing all of those in combination with changing some of my bad sleep habits to finally kick insomnia to the curb.

I’m happy to report that after dealing with some of the underlying health causes impacting my ability to sleep, and then addressing my poor sleep habits, that today I am completely cured of my insomnia. I get a full night’s sleep just about every night and wake up ready to take on my daily goals.

So, how did I morph from zombie to zesty?

I did it by addressing some of my bad habits. Here’s how I supercharged my sleep by getting rid of my insomnia symptoms, and how you can do the same.

1. Create a Relaxing Nightly Ritual

Getting into bed in the right frame of mind is very helpful for drifting into dreamland. I actually suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). I began taking nightly bubble baths with lavender oils to get relaxed before bed. This helped eliminate the RLS so that I could sleep. Whatever activity makes you the most relaxed, save it for your bedtime routine.

I also eliminated anything that could upset me before bed. Since I have trouble turning off my brain at night, I made sure that I wasn’t going to engage in any upsetting conversations or read any negative emails before bed. I also avoided any work activities that stimulated my brain.

For the best sleep, try to do whatever you can to create a very relaxing atmosphere and frame of mind to decompress before bed.

2. Get on a Schedule

Do you ever go to bed much later than your normal bedtime, and then find yourself awake? Personally, I found that if I didn’t get to bed by 11 p.m., my second wind caused me to stay up all night.

If you want to get a good night’s sleep, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.

3. Create the Ideal Sleep Setting

In addition to keeping your room dark, also keep it cool, make sure your bed is very comfortable, and find ways to keep the noise down. If you live in a location where you cannot control the noise, try to get a white-noise machine or use a fan to drown out noise pollution.

Also, reserve your bedroom for sleeping and sex. If you work in your bedroom or watch television, your brain can turn on in anticipation of those events. You need to train your brain that it needs to power down, not up, when you walk into your bedroom.

4. Seek Out the Right Light

Your body follows a natural 24-hour circadian rhythm, which impacts the sleep-wake cycle. It is regulated by the hormone melatonin. Light exposure is a trigger for the body’s management of this hormone. When there is less light, your body produces more of this hormone, which makes you sleepy.

During morning hours, it’s beneficial to get a good dose of natural light to help your body wake up. However, during the evening hours, you will want to limit light so that your body can prepare for bed. This means that you shouldn’t watch TV or look at computer screens at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Instead, listen to relaxing music or read a book.

When you go to sleep, make sure that your room is completely dark. You want your body to produce more melatonin to keep you asleep. If you are unable to make the room completely dark, try a sleep mask to limit the light exposure to your eyes.

If you do wake up in the middle of the night, avoid turning on lights. Try to use a flashlight or motion-activated night light to lead your way to the bathroom. This helps keep your melatonin production high so you can fall back asleep easily.

5. Track What Works for You

I’m a big fan of experimentation and tracking results. Everyone is different! I use a sleep app called Sleep Cycle to track my sleep and adjust my activities based on what gives me the best sleep over time. You could also try the Beddit 2.0 Sleep Tracker, which gets great reviews online!

Don’t Give Up

At one time, I felt that I would never experience a normal night’s sleep again. It took consistently following these habits before my sleep cycle normalized and I started experiencing restful nights.

Once I was able to eliminate my insomnia symptoms, my motivation and productivity during the day soared! So, keep great sleep in the forefront of your mind during the day, implement these steps, and give yourself permission to stop living life only half awake. In no time, you will be greeting the sunrise with a smile!

6. Good Sleep Starts During Your Daytime Activities

Exercise was one of the most critical elements to eliminating my insomnia. Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to ensure a good night’s sleep. However, try to avoid exercising too close before your newly scheduled bedtime, as this could wake you up.

Here are a few rules of thumb to follow to eliminate your insomnia symptoms:

  1. Eliminate caffeine in the afternoon and evening hours. Caffeine can cause sleep issues for some people even 10 to 12 hours after drinking it.
  2. Don’t drink alcohol before bed. While a nightcap may help you fall asleep, your quality of sleep suffers as alcohol impacts your ability to sleep as deeply so you may wake up during the night.
  3. Limit liquids in the evening. After all, you will be much more rested the next day if you can avoid the bladder alarm clock. This also eliminate the chance that you won’t be able to fall back asleep.
  4. Avoid big meals at night. If you eat a large meal, especially one with a large amount of fat, your stomach may not be finished with it by the time you’re ready for bed. (Some people do feel better eating a small meal before bed instead of going to bed hungry. If you need to eat something to fall asleep, try something light such as fruit or yogurt.)
  5. Don’t smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant, which will keep you awake. Smokers also experience nicotine withdrawal as they sleep, which causes them to have a harder time sleeping deeply and staying asleep.

7. Progressive relaxation

This mind-body relaxation technique is a simple, striking way to become familiar with your body and the places where you hold stress and tension. Progressive relaxation involves working, one at a time, with different areas and muscle groups of the body, first tensing and relaxing them. This cultivates an awareness of what both tension and relaxation feel like in your body. With that awareness you become better prepared to address that physical tension—and any mental or emotional stress that accompanies it.

Used as part of a nightly power-down routine, progressive relaxation can help you release physical and mental tension that, left unaddressed, can interfere with sleep. A typical progressive relaxation routine starts at the lowest point of the body—the feet—and works gradually up to the top of the head, tensing and relaxing every area of the body along the way.

The Broad Benefits of Relaxation

Scientific studies show the benefits of these relaxation techniques in managing stress and promoting sound and restful sleep. Controlling stress and getting sufficient high-quality sleep are two important components of health, so by employing relaxation techniques to help in these areas, you’re making an investment in your fundamental well-being.

These same techniques are also used to help a range of other health conditions. On their own, and more often in conjunction with other therapies, these five practices may help:

  • Reduce chronic and intermittent pain.
  • Limit daytime fatigue.
  • Ease nausea.
  • Improve cardiovascular function, including lowering blood pressure.
  • Treat and control symptoms of mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
  • Quit smoking.

These techniques are also used in treatment of cancer and other serious illnesses to help patients better cope with symptoms and treatment. There is preliminary, emerging evidence that meditation and relaxation practices may contribute to better cancer outcomes. Studies also indicate that relaxation practices may have a positive effect on immune function and nervous-system activity.

The broad potential benefits of relaxation practices stand to go way beyond helping you manage your way through the holidays, or navigate post-election conversations with co-workers and friends. Integrating relaxation exercises into your daily life can significantly improve your sleep, lower your levels of ongoing stress and anxiety—and help you better cope with the acute spikes in stress we all encounter in life. They can contribute to whole-body health and wellness, through every day and every season.

6 Scientific Benefits of Crying It All Out

By Arnold / November 2, 2018

Some people need a good cry now and then.

But, guess what? Science says so, too!

When you cry because of low self-esteem or any other array of emotions, it can have huge benefits for you physically, mentally and, of course, emotionally.

Learn the science behind these benefits of crying…

1. Crying Flushes Out Toxins And Bacteria

…you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.

― Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning

The author of the A Series of Unfortunate Events young adult book series might not be the most literary writer that will be mentioned in this article, but his quote is among the most insightful. We feel better after crying, even if the only thing we’re left with is drier eyes.

Why is that? Because of the most obviously scientific benefit of crying: the act itself gets garbage, like toxins and bacteria, out of your body.

The biochemist and worldwide expert on tears Dr. William Frey discovered that tears formed based on emotions include more toxins, which means that when those tears leave your body you are cleansing yourself of those toxins. Tears fight against bacteria that we might get from communal items or areas as well, so if you cry you’re also less likely to have to waste a sick day at work!

As weird as it may sound, crying may do wonders for your overall health.

2. Crying Relieves You

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.

― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Dickens knew a lot about the benefits of crying even without access to the scientific evidence that we have now. The main reason we are “better after we have cried” is that tears help us manage something called our manganese levels.

An overexposure to manganese often results in terrible feelings such as nervousness, irritability, anxiety, aggression and more kinds of distress. Tears that come from emotion actually lower our levels because they contain a higher albumin protein concentration, which helps transports small molecules through our bodies.

You might not totally understand the biology behind it, but the point is that when you cry you tend to feel better.

We also tend to feel less stressed out after a cry. Scientists like to say that tears leaving your body when you cry is similar to perspiration leaving you when you exercise. The chemicals that make up stress are directly leaving your body.

Relieving stress is high on a lot of people’s priority lists, key to accomplishing the things we need to get done, and doing that can sometimes be as simple as shedding a few tears!

3. Crying Opens Up Your Vulnerable Side

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.

– Robert Frost

In this quote famed poet Robert Frost (author of The Road Not Taken) is mainly referring to the art of storytelling, but his message also aptly identifies how crying can make you connect more with certain individuals.

That doesn’t mean you should cry on the subway every day after work, but if the circumstances are right it shouldn’t hurt to shed some tears in front of a friend. More often than not, that person will appreciate that you opened up to them in such an honest way.

One of the most difficult aspects of building a friendship is peeling off the layers of someone to reach their core. Crying is often (and mistakenly) seen as a sign of weakness, but making yourself vulnerable demonstrates a real strength of character.

As we’ve mentioned before about happiness, it’s important to get past your pride. Remember that if other people are crying in front of you or if you feel embarrassed because you’re weeping in front of someone else. Don’t regret it, just let the tears flow.

4. Crying Helps The Grieving Process

Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.

― Brian Jacques, Taggerung

As important as it is to get motivated when you feel depressed, the death of a loved one or a major loss of any kind often requires something sometimes referred to as a “wallowing period.”

Everyone needs time to process their feelings, maybe with the help of things like a big tub of ice cream and a favorite movie. Usually, grieving a loss also involves a good, long cry.

For each of the five stages of grief initially proposed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in the 1969 book On Death and Dying (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), crying is arguably a key component. Each step may involve tears during the road to recovery.

5. Crying Is A Crucial Step To Start Moving Forward

Those who do not weep, do not see.

― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

This quote is true symbolically and literally.

On a scientific level, tears are what makes it possible for us to see. That’s literally what they’re there for. Tears both lubricate our eyeballs and our eyelids and help us prevent the dehydration of our mucous membranes.

In the fascinating article “The Miracle of Tears,” author Dr. Jerry Bergman explains that without tears, seeing would be very uncomfortable in the short term and impossible in the long term.

Tears also help us “see” into our futures, opening up ourselves to a life beyond what we’re crying about.

By letting go of pain we’ve felt because of things in our past, we can move on to feeling joy about the present and the future. It’s important to release your emotions instead of bottling them up inside. That enables you to move forward and keep seeking out the success you’ve always wanted.

Crying is most often seen as something bad, but by releasing your emotions you’re opening yourself up to something good in the future. Don’t forget these benefits of crying when you feel waterworks coming down the pipe.

6. Boosts Communication

Crying can show what words cannot express, especially in a relationship. This is mostly seen when a person in the relationship is having a different reaction to a situation that isn’t transparent until tears begin to show. For example, “Someone may be trying to play it cool, or hold it together, or be out of touch with emotions — that are suddenly apparent when one person starts to cry,” April Masini, relationship expert and author, told Medical Daily in an email.

It is at the moment one person bursts into tears that the flow of the conversation shifts toward the emotional aspect the conversation was covering. Masini believes “The crying can quell a fight, emphasize a point not gotten across in words, or simply underscore the importance of the feelings behind the dialogue.”

A good cry or two can naturally heal us both physiologically and psychologically. 

How To Get Motivation For Weight Loss To Reach Your Goals

By Arnold / November 2, 2018

Most of us go through the vicious weight loss cycle of despair.

You wake up motivated and convinced that TODAY is the day that you will make healthy choices to stay on your weight loss program. A few hours later, it only takes the sighting of one doughnut to glaze your resolve over. Again.

Why does this keep happening?

After all, no one needs to tell you why you need to lose weight – you know exactly how losing some weight will do you good. You know that losing some weight will keep you in better shape while improving your physical health and perhaps your mental health too… So why can’t you be motivated enough to stay on track?

Well, the good news is that lasting motivation for weight loss is only a few easy habits away.

If you’re reading this, congratulations – you already motivated to get started… and we’ll help you take it to the next level where you’re firing on all cylinders and smashing every single one of your weight loss goals!

So, let’s discuss the steps to increase your motivation for weight loss to reach your goals…

1. Write your weight loss goals

Research shows that people who set goals are more successful at achieving them.

Being specific about your weight loss goals makes them more realistic and achievable. The keyword here is specific. To be as specific as possible, use S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

For example, a SMART weight loss goal could be:

“I will run for 30 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the middle school track from 7:30 to 8:00 am.”

This goal is so specific, that you can practically already see yourself running, right?

Once you have your SMART goals written down, post them so that you get a visual reminder to boost your motivation to continue to reach your weight loss goals.

2. Understand your goal of wanting to lose weight

Why do you want to lose weight? Do you have a special event that you want to look stunning for? Or do you want to improve your health or have more energy?

Whatever your reason for wanting to lose weight, revisiting your original goal will help you stay on track.  Because research shows that keeping your original goal in the forefront of your mind will keep you in a better position to cope with setbacks when they arise.

3. Set small, realistic daily goals

Instead of gunning for big, audacious weight loss goals, set smaller realistic targets instead. Daily short-term goals are easier to track and measure (10 mins of cardiovascular exercise each morning) than huge, arbitrary targets (lose 50 pounds within the next month). Realistically, you may not achieve your goals every single day, or you may find that you’re closer to hitting your targets on some days than others. Don’t worry. Small realistic expectations will help to boost your feelings of achievement and prevent you from burning out, so lower the bar and smash those goals.

4. Keep a food journal

“What gets measured gets managed.” The eternal words of Peter Drucker ring as true in management as it does in weight loss.

Writing in a journal isn’t an activity to be left to teenagers alone. Journalling how much you eat and exercise is a great way to record and reflect on your weight loss progress. Not only will recording your food intake help you to keep track of your progress, but it will help you to better understand your eating portions, habits and progress.

5. Get a support group

Trying to lose weight can be a lonely journey, and it is much easier to fail on your own than to fail as a part of a strong, supportive group.

Do whatever you need to do to build a support system:

  • join an online fitness community,
  • hire a personal trainer,
  • find an accountability buddy with similar goals or
  • join a fitness group or gym.

Making sure that you build a stream of motivational and positive support around you to reduce your chances of finding yourself in the precarious position where there’s too much junk food and not enough willpower to go round.

6. Reward yourself

A small reward for a job well done goes a long way to boost motivation. Even tiny rewards are enough to motivate people to go the extra mile, so there’s no better reason to reward yourself whenever you reach a milestone. Whether you buy yourself day at the spa, new yoga pants, or some time out with friends, rewarding yourself is a great “hack” to use the human inclination for positive inclination for good.

7. Talk positively

Because weight loss is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one, it is beneficial to create a regular mantra you can recite to yourself to keep you motivated.

A statement as simple as “I will make healthy choices today” could help you build your reserves of mental toughness and self-confidence when required to make important decisions.

People who speak positively about themselves are more confident in themselves and end up losing more weight. They are also more likely to follow through with their plans.

8. Pick a weight loss plan that suits you

In this day and age, there are a plethora of diet plans to choose from. It’s best to pick something that suits you as an individual, rather than what’s trending at the moment.

Making small changes to address the weak spots in your diet (such as late night bingeing or out-of-control portion sizes) could turn out to be more effective for you than cutting carbohydrates all together.  There are many small changes you can incorporate into your diet to achieve your ultimate goal, such as eating more fruit and vegetables, reducing your portion sizes, decreasing your calorie intake and cutting out snacks.

The key thing to remember is that all of these steps require some forethought and planning. This shows that just by implementing these small changes and planning ahead, you can get motivation for weight loss to reach your goals!

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