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30 Days to Success

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A powerful personal growth tool is the 30-day trial. This is a concept I borrowed from the shareware industry, where you can download a trial version of a piece of software and try it out risk-free for 30 days before you’re required to buy the full version. It’s also a great way to develop new habits, and best of all, it’s brain-dead simple.

Let’s say you want to start a new habit like an exercise program or quit a bad habit like sucking on cancer sticks. We all know that getting started and sticking with the new habit for a few weeks is the hard part. Once you’ve overcome inertia, it’s much easier to keep going.

Yet we often psyche ourselves out of getting started by mentally thinking about the change as something permanent — before we’ve even begun. It seems too overwhelming to think about making a big change and sticking with it every day for the rest of your life when you’re still habituated to doing the opposite. The more you think about the change as something permanent, the more you stay put.

But what if you thought about making the change only temporarily — say for 30 days — and then you’re free to go back to your old habits? That doesn’t seem so hard anymore. Exercise daily for just 30 days, then quit. Maintain a neatly organized desk for 30 days, then slack off. Read for an hour a day for 30 days, then go back to watching TV.

Could you do it? It still requires a bit of discipline and commitment, but not nearly so much as making a permanent change. Any perceived deprivation is only temporary. You can count down the days to freedom. And for at least 30 days, you’ll gain some benefit. It’s not so bad. You can handle it. It’s only one month out of your life.

Now if you actually complete a 30-day trial, what’s going to happen? First, you’ll go far enough to establish it as a habit, and it will be easier to maintain than it was to begin it. Secondly, you’ll break the addiction of your old habit during this time. Thirdly, you’ll have 30 days of success behind you, which will give you greater confidence that you can continue. And fourthly, you’ll gain 30 days worth of results, which will give you practical feedback on what you can expect if you continue, putting you in a better place to make informed long-term decisions.

Therefore, once you hit the end of the 30-day trial, your ability to make the habit permanent is vastly increased. But even if you aren’t ready to make it permanent, you can opt to extend your trial period to 60 or 90 days. The longer you go with the trial period, the easier it will be to lock in the new habit for life.

Another benefit of this approach is that you can use it to test new habits where you really aren’t sure if you’d even want to continue for life. Maybe you’d like to try a new diet, but you don’t know if you’d find it too restrictive. In that case, do a 30-day trial and then re-evaluate. There’s no shame in stopping if you know the new habit doesn’t suit you. It’s like trying a piece of shareware for 30 days and then uninstalling it if it doesn’t suit your needs. No harm, no foul.

Here are some examples from my own life where I used 30-day trials to establish new habits:

1) In the Summer of 1993, I wanted to try being vegetarian. I had no interest in making this a lifelong change, but I’d read a lot about the health benefits of vegetarianism, so I committed to it for 30 days just for the experience. I was already exercising regularly, seemed in decent health, and was not overweight (6′0″, 155 lbs), but my typical college diet included a lot of In-N-Out burgers. Going lacto-ovo vegetarian for 30 days was a lot easier than I expected — I can’t say it was hard at all, and I never felt deprived. Within a week I noticed an increase in my energy and concentration, and I felt more clear-headed. At the end of the 30 days, it was a no-brainer to stick with it. This change looked a lot harder than it really was.

2) In January 1997, I decided to try going from vegetarian to vegan. While lacto-ovo vegetarians can eat eggs and dairy, vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal. I was developing an interest in going vegan for life, but I didn’t think I could do it. How could I give up veggie-cheese omelettes? The diet seemed too restrictive to me — even fanatically so. But I was intensely curious to know what it was actually like. So once again I did a 30-day trial. At the time I figured I’d make it through the trial, but I honestly didn’t expect to continue beyond that. Well, I lost seven pounds in the first week, mostly from going to the bathroom as all the accumulated dairy mucus was cleansed from my bowels (now I know why cows need four stomachs to properly digest this stuff). I felt lousy the first couple days but then my energy surged. I also felt more clear-headed than ever, as if a “fog of brain†had been lifted; it felt like my brain had gotten a CPU and a RAM upgrade. However, the biggest change I noticed was in my endurance. I was living in Marina del Rey at the time and used to run along the beach near the Santa Monica Pier, and I noticed I wasn’t as tired after my usual 3-mile runs, so I started increasing them to 5 miles, 10 miles, and then eventually a marathon a few years later. In Tae Kwon Do, the extra endurance really gave a boost to my sparring skills as well. The accumulated benefits were so great that the foods I was giving up just didn’t seem so appealing anymore. So once again it was a no-brainer to continue after the first 30 days, and I’m still vegan today. What I didn’t expect was that after so long on this diet, the old animal product foods I used to eat just don’t seem like food anymore, so there’s no feeling of deprivation.

3) Also in 1997, I decided I wanted to exercise every single day for a year. That was my 1997 New Year’s resolution. My criteria was that I would exercise aerobically at least 25 minutes every day, and I wouldn’t count Tae Kwon Do classes which I was taking 2-3 days per week. Coupled with my dietary changes, I wanted to push my fitness to a new level. I didn’t want to miss a single day, not even for sick days. But thinking about exercising 365 days in a row was daunting, so I mentally began with a 30-day trial. That wasn’t so bad. After a while every day that passed set a new record: 8 days in a row… 10 days… 15 days…. It became harder to quit. After 30 days in a row, how could I not do 31 and set a new personal record? And can you imagine giving up after 250 days? No way. After the initial month to establish the habit, the rest of the year took care of itself. I remember going to a seminar that year and getting home well after midnight. I had a cold and was really tired, yet I still went out running at 2am in the rain. Some people might call that foolish, but I was so determined to reach my goal that I wasn’t going to let fatigue or illness stop me. I succeeded and kept it up for the whole year without ever missing a day. In fact, I kept going for a few more weeks into 1998 before I finally opted to stop, which was a tough decision. I wanted to do this for one year, knowing it would become a powerful reference experience, and it certainly became such.

4) More diet stuff…. After being vegan for a number of years, I opted to try other variations of the vegan diet. I did 30-day trials both with the macrobiotic diet and with the raw foods diet. Those were interesting and gave me new insights, but I decided not to continue with either of them. I felt no different eating macrobiotically than I did otherwise. And in the case of the raw diet, while I did notice a significant energy boost, I found the diet too labor intensive — I was spending a lot of time preparing meals and shopping frequently. Sure you can just eat raw fruits and veggies, but to make interesting raw meals, there can be a lot of labor involved. If I had my own chef, I’d probably follow the raw diet though because I think the benefits would be worth it. I did a second trial of the raw diet for 45 days, but again my conclusion was the same. If I was ever diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer, I’d immediately switch to an all raw, living foods diet, since I believe it to be the absolute best diet for optimal health. I’ve never felt more energetic in my life than when I ate a raw diet. But I had a hard time making it practical for me. Even so, I managed to integrate some new macrobiotic foods and raw foods into my diet after these trials. There are two all-raw restaurants here in Vegas, and I’ve enjoyed eating at them because then someone else does all the labor. So these 30-day trials were still successful in that they produced new insights, although in both cases I intentionally declined to continue with the new habit. One of the reasons a full 30-day trial is so important with new diets is that the first week or two will often be spent detoxing and overcoming cravings, so it isn’t until the third or fourth week that you begin to get a clear picture. I feel that if you haven’t tried a diet for at least 30 days, you simply don’t understand it. Every diet feels different on the inside than it appears from the outside.

This 30-day method seems to work best for daily habits. I’ve had no luck using it when trying to start a habit that only occurs 3-4 days per week. However, it can work well if you apply it daily for the first 30 days and then cut back thereafter. This is what I’d do when starting a new exercise program, for example. Daily habits are much easier to establish.

Here are some other ideas for applying 30-day trials:

  • Give up TV. Tape all your favorite shows and save them until the end of the trial. My whole family did this once, and it was very enlightening.
  • Give up online forums, especially if you feel you’re becoming forum addicted. This will help break the addiction and give you a clearer sense of how participation actually benefits you (if at all). You can always catch up at the end of 30 days.
  • Shower/bathe/shave every day. I know YOU don’t need this one, so please pass it along to someone who does.
  • Meet someone new every day. Start up a conversation with a stranger.
  • Go out every evening. Go somewhere different each time, and do something fun — this will be a memorable month.
  • Spend 30 minutes cleaning up and organizing your home or office every day. That’s 15 hours total.
  • List something new to sell on ebay every day. Purge some of that clutter.
  • Ask someone new out on a date every day. Unless your success rate is below 3%, you’ll get at least one new date, maybe even meet your future spouse.
  • If you’re already in a relationship, give your partner a massage every day. Or offer to alternate who gives the massage each day, so that’s 15 massages each.
  • Give up cigarettes, soda, junk food, coffee, or other unhealthy addictions.
  • Become an early riser.
  • Write in your journal every day.
  • Call a different family member, friend, or business contact every day.
  • Make 25 sales calls every day to solicit new business. Professional speaker Mike Ferry did this five days a week for two years, even on days when he was giving seminars. He credits this habit with helping build his business to over $10 million in annual sales. If you make 1300 sales calls a year, you’re going to get some decent business no matter how bad your sales skills are. You can generalize this habit to any kind of marketing work, like building new links to your web site.
  • Write a new blog entry every day.
  • Read for an hour a day on a subject that interests you.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Learn a new vocabulary word every day.
  • Go for a long walk every day.

Again, don’t think that you need to continue any of these habits beyond 30 days. Think of the benefits you’ll gain from those 30 days alone. You can re-assess after the trial period. You’re certain to grow just from the experience, even if it’s temporary.

The power of this approach lies in its simplicity. Even though doing a certain activity every single day may be less efficient than following a more complicated schedule — weight training is a good example because adequate rest is a key component — you’ll often be more likely to stick with the daily habit. When you commit to doing something every single day without exception, you can’t rationalize or justify missing a day, nor can you promise to make it up later by reshuffling your schedule.

Give trials a try. If you’re ready to commit to one right now, please feel free to post a comment and share your goal for the next 30 days. If there’s enough interest, then perhaps we can do a group postmortem [in 30 days] to see how it went for everyone. I’ll even do it with you. Mine will be to go running or biking for at least 25 minutes or do a minimum 60-minute hike in the mountains every day for 30 days. The weather here in Vegas has been great lately, so it’s a nice time for me to get back to exercising outdoors.

This article is copyright © by Steve Pavlina and is reprinted with permission. For more personal development articles, visit Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People.

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Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know

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While kids everywhere else in the world (especially in Finland!) relax and probably enjoy their studies, the kids in India aren’t so lucky.

Everyone else already has a laptop and is well-versed with it, and yet our children continue to do things the old-fashioned way.

It’s typical of this country to lag behind in a number of departments but it’s sacrilege when it comes to hampering the future of our nation. To be honest, this has been my biggest gripe for a while now, thanks to being able to see the difference the way different education systems work.

At least, they don’t hit children anymore because this generation of kids are more than happy to stand up to their adults and rebel verbally and violently.

Speaking of disciplinary action such as this, why should we use it especially since most dog trainers have moved away from training dogs this way as well. There are certain cases, like training dogs in a city, that can make things more difficult. However, a few simple tips can help one navigate these sometimes troublesome waters.

A Few Thoughts on Dog Training
You might say that humans and animals are different but it begs the question: Is cruelty necessary?

It isn’t, truly. But that’s how dogs have been trained in the past.

The general attitude towards teaching obedience training has been harsh, to say the least. Whether it is a beating or even shock collars to keep them in check, one wonders if it is fair since we wouldn’t be allowed to treat humans that way too.

So, it is not with love and affection that the poor canines were trained but by subjugation and inculcating behaviors that were forced due to the “fear of punishment”.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and a method known as ‘positive reinforcement’ has changed the way dog training is done now.

In other words, instead of punishing them for bad behavior, we reward them for good behavior instead.
What does happen is that when they are rewarded, they tend to do what pleases the ‘master’ if only for a few more treats.

It is how school children should be treated as well when learning manners too. One should refrain from criticizing their children but encouraging them for their achievements, however minimal.

That said, here are a few dog training tips that one can use even if the services of a dog trainer isn’t required at all.

Dog Training Tips – The Basics
The most popular commands that are taught are sit, down, heel, recall, stay and close where the right behavior is rewarded and the wrong is ignored.

While these commands are necessary, there are others that can cause problems with friends and family, and so here are a few situations that a dog must be trained for:

#1: Not to Bite
When they have the urge to bite, tug at their leash so as to divert their attention to something else that interests him or her.

#2: Fetch an object
Throw a tennis ball and walk away so that the dog gets it back for you. Then you can teach it to fetch other objects such as the newspaper too as it understand the meaning of this command.

#3: Not to bark at visitors
Since this can be scary for visitor, train them to “sit” as soon as the doorbell rings.

#4: Crate training puppies
Using a kennel crate works best as they are more likely to pee or poop when they are asleep.

In Closing
So, are there any other dog training tips that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Also, here is an article on the best dog foods.

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What You Need for the Perfect Gym Storage Solution

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If you operate your own professional gym or are looking to create a home setup, it’s crucial that you carefully consider your storage solutions. A tidy gym is without doubt a happy environment for people to work out in!

Good storage will help protect equipment from scratches and other damage, make it easy to find where equipment has been left, and prevent hazards such as trips.

It can also help the gym to feel more of a clean and organised environment that can keep members motivated while working out, which typically leads to a higher retention rate.

When it comes to gym storage, there are not many companies around that share the same expert knowledge as PowerGym Fitness. PowerGym is a supplier of commercial gym equipment, from weights and barbells to high-end strength training machines, with clients throughout the world.

They are also experienced in providing gyms with advice and support for installing the perfect setup.

PowerGym Fitness have provided us with some pointers on how you can create the perfect gym storage solution for your commercial facility or home setup.

Dumbbell Racks

The type of storage you will require can depend on the type of equipment that your gym provides. For example, some gyms may specialize in cardio equipment as opposed to strength training, or vice versa. That said, most gyms will typically include dumbbells.

Dumbbells are a popular form of free weights that can help users to build muscle mass. Dumbbell racks are one of the best ways that you can keep your gym tidy and free of hazards.

Without a rack, there would be no designated place for members to collect and return a dumbbell. Dumbbells left on the floor can cause damage and can be hazardous for other members when walking around the gym space.

These racks are designed to securely hold a certain amount of dumbbells when they are not in use. All round, it adds a safer and more organised structure to your environment and increases the longevity of the dumbbells.

Weight Plates Holders

As with dumbbells, most gyms typically include some type of weight plates. Tri grip and bumper weight plates are two examples that are available for purchase at PowerGym Fitness.

The plates can be attached to a barbell which can be used for effective and flexible weightlifting routines. One type of weight plate holder includes a storage tree.

This provides the option of a simple vertical holder where the plates can just slide on to a storage horn. Another option is a wall weight plate storage, allowing easy access to plates from a wall position – plus, it saves up space and improves the aesthetic design of your gym!

Mat Hangers

Gym mats are essential for exercises that require closer physical contact with the floor. This can include press-up exercises as well as Yoga, Pilates and studio workouts. Mats provide an extra level of comfort so that you don’t encounter discomfort when encountering the floor.

Mats can be used by a lot of people each day, so naturally there’s a lot of wear and tear. Mats that aren’t stored properly can lead to greater damage which will result in you needing to replace the mats sooner than should be required. With a mat hanger, when the mats are not in use, they can be stored safely to prevent unnecessary damage.

Barbell Storage

Whether you use a barbell freely or with a weight plate attached, it’s important that you store the bar appropriately when it’s not in use. Bars can be very heavy which can lead to floor damage and potentially serious injury if it drops to the floor or is left unsecured.

Like with weight plates, there are options for horizontal and vertical storage. These storage products can either be attached to the wall or the floor. They provide an organised and safe place for barbells to rest when not in use.

Cable Attachment Racks

Cable attachments are additional products that can help athletes take their strength training to the next level with varied workouts. With several types of attachments available, from revolving bars to handles and ropes, they expand the options that are available on a cable machine.

Most of these attachments are quite small, so it can be easy for them to become lost or get muddled in with other pieces of equipment. A cable attachment rack is a great way to store the attachments so that gym members can easily see where the attachments they require are placed.

Power Rack Storage Horns

Power racks are fantastic pieces of equipment to have in your gym. They are premium products that often act as the centerpiece of the gym. Power racks provide a safe space to perform a wide range of exercises, with freedom of choice left to the user.

Alongside the power rack, it’s widely recommended that you get storage horns that will seamlessly attach to the power rack. These horns can then be used as a storage option for weight plates. It will allow you to free up space around the gym and provides users with a quick and easy way to access the plates they need.

Storage Cages

The storage options that we have talked about so far clearly relate to products that have been specifically designed for certain gym equipment. To improve the tidiness, safety and structure of your facility event further, you can get a storage cage that will hold the rest of your smaller items.

This can include things such as medicine balls and bags, as well as boxing equipment. The cage can usually be locked for added security and with lockable wheels, it’s easy to transport the equipment from place to place.

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Top Five Supplement Reviews To Check Out

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In this modern world, we are so used to having a lot of “instant”. Most of us are not used to the long and arduous processes, even though we think we do. You may have noticed the impatience of most people especially when it comes to services. They want to have what they want right now, and this is why most companies adapt to the situation.

You can see it in their products and services; they want to deliver it fast enough to save more time. The same reason applies to humans who want them all as soon as they can. Even the food industry has to go with this notion, but this has also led to a new trend: obesity.

This may not be a problem in most countries. In the West though, it is considered a major health issue. There has been an increase in the overall weight of the US population for example; at least 40% of the people over 20 are overweight as this article reveals.

It has been such a serious problem due to the prevalence of fast-food chains. There is nothing wrong with consuming them, but many depend on them for their daily diet. With all of its sugars and salt, it can be quite detrimental to your health in the long run.

New Horizons in Medicine

Fortunately, there have been advances in the field of medicine as well. Weight loss has become way different compared to the way it was in the previous century. People did not know anything about it. There was a time when fat is considered as the devil’s advocate of being overweight, and sugar was thought to be the healthier option. Even though this has already changed in recent times, there is still a prevalence of this kind of thought in many circles. If you want to lose weight, you need to read and learn more about the proper way of doing it.

There might be a lot of factors that can contribute to this goal but we are just going to narrow it down to three: diet, exercise, and genetics. There is nothing that we can do with the last one though since this is already in our system. Some people might be lucky enough that they do not need to control their diet or even exercise. Their bodies have already reached their full potential, so all they need to do is to maintain it.

Unfortunately, others are not that lucky. It is either they need to have a rigorous diet plan, more exercise, or both. It is a lot of effort to lose the mass, but it can be worth it in the end. You may visit Supplement Smarts website and other similar sites to learn more info regarding this.

If you are experiencing difficulties or you want to have the results faster, then you might need to take a supplement for that. There are many options in the market these days, so choosing just one can be quite confusing. You also need to understand that not all of these supplements may work for you. Below are some of the best substances that can certainly help you with weight loss.

ripped-man-arm-flex

Options for Cutting Those Flabs

  1. Caffeine

Everyone knows what this is; it is just the main ingredient in the most popular beverage in the world besides water. Aside from being the universal pick-me-up in the mornings, it has also been found that caffeine can assist in weight loss.

It speeds up metabolism moderately, which also helps in the faster absorption of calorie intake and fat burning process. However, you do need to take it in conjunction with other substances for it to take on full effects. You also need to be careful as it can still cause dependence.

  1. Green tea Extract

Another common beverage that has some medicinal properties, green tea has been around for ages. It has its origins in China, but the rest of the world is already enjoying it. However, green tea is the fresher version and it has little to no added processing in its consumption.

It is rich in antioxidants, as well as having the ability to burn fat. It is more focused on the stomach area though, where most of our extra fat goes anyway. If you want to reduce your waistline, then having this a part of your daily supplement may help with that. Check this link https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538 to know more.

  1. Garcinia cambogia Extract

This might seem to be unfamiliar to most people, but it has been gaining some popularity in the previous decade due to its mainstream exposure. It is a green fruit with pale flesh, and it is native to Indonesia although other countries have started cultivating it as well.

Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, also known as citric acid lyase. This is said to help in losing weight by also removing excess fat from the body. There are still ongoing studies about this as there is unclear evidence of how it works. However, it is safe to consume as long as you control your dose.

  1. Hydroxycut

This is another form of supplement, but this time it is a combination of other substances including caffeine, wild mint extract, and cumin extract among others. It was developed by MuscleTech Research and Development, and it aims to help you lose those extra pounds.

It has been rather popular for the first ten years of its existence due to these various extracts. Even though it is under one name, there are many kinds of it available in the market. Some of them even exclude some ingredients like caffeine for those who have adverse effects from taking them.

  1. Glucomannan

Lastly, this is a diet supplement made from a root vegetable called konjac or elephant yam. It is full of fiber amongst other nutrients, which make them great for controlling your eating habits. Once you eat or drink a supplement, it will make you feel full because of all the fiber.

It will also help with digestion and excretion of wastes in your stomach. However, you will need to drink a lot of water when using this as it can promote too much hydration loss. You will also need to check on your doctor if you can use this safely and follow the dosage always.

 

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