Stop saying YES when you mean NO!

Successful people become masters of time and the management of it.  In order to master time, learning to say NO becomes critical.  Learn to say NO to certain meetings, appointments, tasks, activities, friends, etc.

You sacrifice what you want now to get what you want later.

It’ll be worth it.

How Your Loser Friends Can Change Your Life Forever

7 Reasons to Divorce Your Loser Friends

Disclaimer:  I am not calling your friends losers.  Well, I am, but not directly.

Your friends are allowed to live their own life any which way they please.  For the sake of this article, your loser friend is defined as:  A friend in your circle who is a contributing factor to you losing sight of your goals, ambition, and ultimately what you want to accomplish.  Someone who brings absolutely no value to your end-game goal.  Agree?  Ok, good.  I’m sure by now you have an idea of which friends I’m talking about, so let’s move on.

Signs of a loser friend:

1. They are not supportive of your goals
You have goals, right?  If not, read THIS before you continue. Your goals are defined by your work ethic and the support of friends and loved ones.  Simply put, if your circle is not supportive then they are distractive.

2. They go missing when you need them most
You need them when things go wrong.  Their unavailability will emotionally hurt you.  Why?  Because you are always there for them! These one sided relationships will eventually take its toll on you.  Maybe it is time to find yourself a mentor?  Need help finding a mentor?  Read THIS….

3. They don’t clap when you win
This is my favorite way to define my real supporters vs. my fakes.  Big wins, small wins, almost wins, some losses…I want my support circle to “clap for me” to help keep me going.  The friends that really love you and support you are going to celebrate everything with you.

4. They’re in constant need of favors
This is the friend who always comes to you with a favor, big or small, but gets offended when you are unable to deliver. Remember above, when you needed them and they were busy?  Now that the tables are turned, notice how you are the bad guy for not being available? Take the hint…

5. Their whole life is a crisis
The more they need, the more they want, the more crisis they have in their lives, the more it weighs down on your ability to focus on your success.  How much of your time can you devote to their crisis vs. working on your success?  I’ll make it easy for you, the answer is none.

6. They have no goals or ambitions
What are their goals?  If they haven’t made it abundantly clear what their goals are, there is a good chance they don’t have any.  If they do, and don’t share with you constantly, you should re-evaluate the level of trust within your friendship.

7. They have a part time job that they show up to twice a week
Do they work part time because the rest of the time they are in “school”?  Are they the type to call in sick more days than they show up to work?  Do they take days off to study for “school” 3 times a week?  My examples are extreme to demonstrate the habits and patterns that should be tipping you off.  A lazy friend who won’t put in any effort for their own goals/success will definitely not put in any effort to help you reach yours.

Let’s take a look as to where your loser friends came from.

You used to live across the street
You used to go to school with them
You met them at a party / bar / gathering
You played on the same sports team
You had a similar interest back in 1992

If you notice the pattern, all of the items on the list above are “passed-tense” themed.  The theme should give you enough of a hint that these people were there at a certain point in your life but are not where you plan on going. If your ambitions and work ethic aren’t directly in-line with that of your friends, it’s time to consider how much time you actually spend with said friends.

You don’t want to divorce your friend, you have excuses:

– He’s been my friend since we were kids
– He would pass me the ball more than anyone else on our basketball team
– He’s crazy, but that’s him being him
– I HAVE to be there for him in case he needs me
– If we break up, he will have nobody to turn to
– He will be heart broken

Most people take the passive approach.  I don’t want confrontation in my life, I have too much going on to have to deal with this too, etc.  Ultimately, if your thoughts are in line with this article that means it is only a matter of time before they do something to send you off into the deep end.  There are ways for you to mutually divorce your friend without making it World War 3.

My biggest advice would be to do it now vs. wait for reasons outside of your control to get it done.

7 Tips to CRUSHING Your Goals

Francis Bacon said “If we are to achieve things never before accomplished we must employ methods never before attempted.”  If you have yet to start focusing on your goals, use this as your warning!  Start now.  

1) Patience – Crawl.  Walk.  Run.
The natural progression takes time, self-discipline, and tenacity.  If you stress over the “easier” goals, your expectation of crushing the difficult goals with road blocks and challenges go out the window!

2) Define goal purpose. 
Everyone sets goals.  Most people set them and forget about them.  Make absolutely sure that your goals are things you want to wake up for.  Goals that are synced with your purpose are easier to wake up for and easier to accomplish.  I’ll use a quote to help with my point:  “Work with purpose is passion.  Work without purpose is punishment.” -Jillian Michaels 

3) Document! 
Everyone I speak to about setting goals, we talk about journaling and documenting progress.  Some goals take 3,6,12,16 months to accomplish.  When you look back on Month 6, you should be able to see some sort of progress.  Something has to show the work you have done until today.  If you have goals of achieving weight-loss, pictures every week will help you document your goal and actually see results along the way.  Seeing your documented results will keep you determined and motivated every step of the way.

4) Short-term goals MUST support Long-term goals. 
Why does this matter?  If your short-term goals don’t ultimately support your long-term goal, it’s time to re-evaluate.  These goals should be tied together from the top down to achieve the result you are aiming for.  Use an app, a worksheet, something to track your goals and your progress.  Here is an example of a Goal Sheet you can use starting today:

Long Term Goal:  This is something that is at least one year or longer out.  One thing.  
Short Term Goal:  Now break down the long-term goal into short-term mini goals.  What do you need to cross off this list to get closer to the One Thing above.  These should be 5-6 items that can be achieved within the next 3/6/9 months.
Short Term Goal Breakdown:  Now let’s break down each one of those 5-6 items into the following list – (You should have these 5 steps done for each one of your short term goals):

*Specific:  Make sure your goal is as specific as possible.  The clearer the defined goal, the easier the process will be.
*Measurable:  How do we measure this goal and document the progress?  How will you be held accountable to achieve this goal?
*Achievement:   How do you achieve this goal?  What steps do you need to take to make progress towards achievement?
*Realistic:  Is the goal realistic to your life?  Do you have the drive to accomplish this goal?
*Timely:  What is the time frame to accomplish this goal?  How will you be kept accountable?

This exercise will help specify and define your overall goals into smaller, more achievable steps.

Daily Goal Breakdown:  Now list daily goals into your daily checklist.  There will always be checklist items that have nothing to do with your goal.  That is completely normal, whereas, you are still expected to live a normal life while you work towards specific goals.  If you go too many days where the majority of your list is not geared towards the larger goal at hand, you need to pause and reflect.

Set.  Achieve.  Repeat.

5) Excuses.  Excuses.  
The more excuses you have the harder your goal becomes.  The longer you procrastinate, the harder your goal becomes. Anything that deters you from accomplishing your daily task list will inevitability push your goal farther out.  You can’t slow down or justify excuses to yourself.  

6) Failure.  Lessons.  Change.  
If you were afraid of failure, you would not be this far into this article.  I wish I could tell you that you won’t fail and everything is going to work out perfectly.  However, I can’t.  I won’t.  You will fail.  More than once.  Then again after that.  If failure was detrimental  there would be no companies trying to change the world.  Failure is the first step to success.  Fail, learn from it, change (or better yet, improve!) and re-do.  It becomes a cycle.  So many people give up or crawl into depression after failure that they never learn the lesson.  The lesson is the most valuable part of your failure.  Without the lesson, there is no progress… there is no change.  

7) Don’t give up.  Ever. 
You know when you try and explain things that explain themselves…. this is one of those moments.  Here is a quote to help: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” 

5 Fitness Must Do’s if You Have a Desk Job

Is your office chair destroying your back, your posture, and your health?  Declare war on your office chair! 

When you think of a job in America, you automatically think of a 9 to 5 sitting at your desk for an entire day. Whether you like it or not, you are stuck to that desk trying to get all your tasks done. That stagnant seated position is doing a number on your back. You also aren’t getting the adequate exercise you need during the week because of your desk job. 

Here are 5 easy tricks to improve your way of life and remind yourself that taking care of your body is just as important as your desk job!

1. Take a break.  
Take breaks every 30-45 minutes! Get up and walk around the office. Maybe take a step outside and catch some air? Being in a seated position = your hips are in a flexed position, which = tightness in the hip flexor muscles. These muscles include the rectus femoris, sartorius, and the iliopsoas. Tightness in these hip flexor muscles can lead to many complications such as low back and hip pain.

2.  Support your spine.
Put a rolled up towel behind your low back. You have a natural curve in your spine when you reach the lumbar region. Desk chairs are not made to support your back. By putting a towel roll behind your low back, you are able to apply some extra support to your spine and keep it a neutral position while being seated.

3.  Do you play tennis?  Steal a ball for the office. 
Keep a tennis ball or a lacrosse ball nearby at all times! If you every feel a knot forming in a muscle or any stiffness in a certain area, you can easily get up and roll out that area by either using a wall or the floor. You can use the tennis ball or lacrosse ball as a device to help get deep into the muscles and eliminate any knots you may be having.  This will bring instant relief!

4.  Keep stretching, you will thank us. 
It’s as simple as it sounds. A few neck stretches every hour or so and keep your muscles loose. Think about the strain you are putting on your body by just staying in the same position most of the day.  A few stretches here and there will make the worlds difference and your body will thank you!

5.  Posture is everything.  
Always always always keep your posture in your mind. Try to always sit up as straight as you can while typing. This is the number one issue I see with people who have desk jobs. Their posture is horrible. Your shoulders start rounding in, you form a hunch in your upper back, and your neck is forward. Keep your shoulder blades back and down. Keep your neck in line with your spine. You want a straight line down from your neck to your low back.

If you get a yardstick and put it form your head to your back, you would want all areas of your body closest to the yardstick, to be touching the yardstick.

Meher Manouki is a guest blogger for Meher is a personal trainer based in Los Angeles. You may contact him on Instagram @ultrafitnessbymeher.