Self-Improvement

Say Thank You: Weekly Habit Practice

Say Thank You: Weekly Habit Practice

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The Weekly Habit Practices are mini-challenges intended to help you fine-tune different aspects of your health and wellness. Offered between Challenges, these practices address fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, productivity, and personal connection — because health is about far more than food and the gym (and we could all use a little practice).

Say Thank You Every Day This Week

Simple Instructions:

  1. At some point in each day, find someone to acknowledge.
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How to Break a Bad Habit

How to Break a Bad Habit

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It all started with dark chocolate.

I’d read about how dark chocolate can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and raise HDL, or “good” cholesterol, so I began ending the night with a few squares of 85% cacao dark chocolate.

It was good, but not very sweet, so I usually stopped after a few squares. It’s easy to avoid overdoing chocolate with so little sugar.…

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The Futile Search for Happiness and What to Do Instead

The Futile Search for Happiness and What to Do Instead

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I’m struck by how often people tell me they’re unhappy. We live in one of the most prosperous times in history, yet when I talk to people about what’s missing from their lives, most answers boil down to this: “I want to be happy.”

Which implies people don’t feel happy now.

As a society, we have more possessions, opportunities, and access to more resources than ever before.…

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Stop Procrastinating: Weekly Habit Practice

Stop Procrastinating: Weekly Habit Practice

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The Weekly Habit Practices are mini-challenges intended to help you fine-tune different aspects of your health and wellness. Offered between Challenges, these practices address fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, productivity, and personal connection — because health is about far more than food and the gym (and we could all use a little practice).

This Week We’re Going to Stop Procrastinating

Simple Instructions:

  1. Each day this week, you’ll do one thing that you’ve been “meaning to do” for a long time.
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Why You Need to Put Yourself First and How to Do It

Why You Need to Put Yourself First and How to Do It

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Before I had my daughter in 2005, at age 32, I spent my time boxing, surfing, traveling the world as part of my job with a tour operator, and fixing up a dilapidated beach house with my husband. I had lots of fun, but spent very little time doing things for other people.

I made time for my husband, my family, and my friends, but I was mostly able to do what I wanted, when I wanted.…

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Body Image Struggle

The Body Image Struggle Is Real

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I was once measured at 3.8% bodyfat in a Bod Pod. The test administrator told me he had only taken one other measurement that was lower than mine — and that person was a professional athlete.

But I wasn’t a professional athlete, just a regular Joe, fitness junkie, and martial artist. I wasn’t a competitive boxer cutting weight for a fight and I wasn’t even trying to be a certain percentage of body fat.…

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3 Steps to Overcome Resistance and Reach Your Goals

3 Steps to Overcome Resistance and Reach Your Goals

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Steven Pressfield wrote about “the Resistance” in his 2002 book The War of Art. It’s a short (and, for me, transformational) book about overcoming all those thoughts, feelings, ideas and distractions that keep us from doing the things we want to do. You know, things like learning to play guitar, writing the next great American novel, or designing new technology to keep slow drivers from even getting in the left lane to begin with.…

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How to Avoid the Dangers of Perfectionism in 6 Steps

How to Avoid the Dangers of Perfectionism in 6 Steps

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Most people believe that aiming for perfection is a good thing. But it can be a dangerous compulsion.

In our success-driven society, being perfect is the ultimate goal. The traits of perfectionism — constant striving, attention to detail, high standards, commitment to results, direction, hard work, achievement, planning and preparation — are highly praised and admired.

However, ask a perfectionist what his or her life is really like and the response is stark:

  • “If I’m not the best, then I’m a failure.”
  • “I can’t ask for help, people will think I’m not good enough.”
  • “I’m exhausted but I can’t relax — I always have to stay one step ahead.”
  • “I never feel satisfied and nothing I do is enough.”
  • “If I make a mistake it proves I’m worthless.”
  • “I feel hollow, like I can never be happy.”
  • Perfectionism, when taken to its extreme, has negative consequences.…

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    The Eightfold Path of Buddhism Applied to the Barbell

    The Eightfold Path of Buddhism Applied to the Barbell

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    The Eightfold Path in Buddhism is a course of behaviors that can help alleviate the cycle of suffering — which we experience as frustration, pain, and unhappiness. The Eightfold Path was the final piece of the puzzle in the Buddha’s discussions about the reality of our discomfort and how to alleviate it.

    To apply these eight behaviors to our strength training, we must be able to look at ourselves with love and compassion to see where we are caught up in ego-driven tendencies.…

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    How Choosing to Surrender Can Actually Empower Your Life

    How Choosing to Surrender Can Actually Empower Your Life

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    September, 2016, somewhere in the frigid southern Utah wilderness. It was raining. My buddy Patrick and I were huddled under a military-style poncho we’d pulled over our heads. Two minutes earlier we had been building our shelter for the night — a fallen log leaning up against a tree to create the A-Frame structure that we’d then stack more fallen branches against.…

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    The Chaos Monkey: How to Improve Your Life Through Failure

    The Chaos Monkey: How to Improve Your Life Through Failure

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    In 2000, I ventured onto a then-new website called “Netflix.” I can still remember how exciting it was to see the familiar red DVD mailer when I opened my mailbox.

    Then in 2007, Netflix launched a streaming service. As an early adopter, I distinctly remember how crummy the the streaming service was at first. I don’t think I was able to finish a movie for the first year.…

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    The Busy Trap and How to Get Out of It

    The Busy Trap and How to Get Out of It

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    I caught up with an old friend recently. When I asked how she was, she replied “Busy!” — as if I was interested in her to-do list rather than how she was feeling.

    Her response isn’t unusual. Many of us answer that question with “Busy!” before listing all the things we’re doing, our partners are doing, or our kids are doing.…

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