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Routine is not the Enemy

Routine is not the Enemy

Routine is not the Enemy

Although it can feel like we are stuck in a rut sometimes, having a routine (or lack of routine) can have a big impact on our lives. If you know me, you know that I have a set of things that I need to accomplish in a day, otherwise you could call me “Mr. Grouchy Grouch!” Getting enough sleep, eating enough, getting my workouts in, and several other non- gym related tasks are certainly on that list. Having a routine helps me get those things done each day.

Make a plan!

The key to any good lifestyle change is to have a plan. When I say make a plan I don’t mean, “I plan to get my ‘poop in a group.’” That doesn’t help you at all. I really mean make a plan. One with a clearly defined goal, and the steps you will take to get there. It can also be extremely helpful to visualize what your life will look like when you accomplish it. This helps you remember why you set the goal in the first place and will hold you accountable to putting that plan into action. Once you have the plan, all you have to do is put it into action. If you would like to start getting up at a certain time each day you could just set an alarm and hope for the best. In the long run you will be much more successful if you set yourself up to BE SUCCESSFUL. If you want to add to your routine getting up earlier, it really starts with going to bed earlier.  Removing barriers to success leads to… You guessed it. Success. Take your plan and go back as far as you need, remove all the barriers, and then you’ll be left with a clear path to success.

Success is a Habit

Once you learn to remove the barriers for success, you become successful all the time. It becomes a habit, and habits become routine. By waking up on time you remove a barrier for the next thing you need to do in your day. This is a domino effect. It keeps going forever. You wake up on time. Then you have breakfast on time. If you have breakfast on time you have plenty of time to get to work. If you get to work on time you get done with work on time. If you finish work on time you get to the gym on time. Most importantly of all if you get to the gym on time you don’t have to play catch-up by warming up with extra burpees. (Burpees are a great full body warm-up by the way!) It is easy to see how this cycle can keep going on and on! This is what the saying “success leads to more success.” Games athletes don’t keep going back to the games because they made it there once, they go year after year because they routinely do the things needed to get them there.

What should be in my routine?

The simple answer is whatever you need to do to be successful. That also includes all the steps to achieving those little successes. All of us need to drink enough water, so it is natural to add that to our list. We make it routine by constantly doing the things that allow us to drink enough water, and then by drinking enough water, I accomplish this task by filling up my water bottle between every class and then drinking it in class. It can really be that simple.

Routine is NOT the enemy!

I’m not saying that you need to regiment your entire life so that you only do the same things in the same order each day. Or that you should eat the same meals each week. All I’m saying is that a little bit of structure can make your day a whole lot easier. People who have consistently good nutrition habits either have the time to cook several healthy meals each day, or they take the time to cook them once or twice a week and then add it into their routine to grab a container before they leave in the morning. Those little steps that are a part of your daily routine can make a huge difference in helping you accomplish any goal, big or small!

Change Your Words…Change Your Life

Change Your Words…Change Your Life

“Abracadabra!!”

If you’re like me, when you hear the word “abracadabra”, you think of magic, and you are absolutely right.  Abracadabra is magic, but not rabbits in top hats magic. Loosely translated from an ancient language, abracadabra means “with my words, I create”.  It makes sense, right? Magicians create those rabbits out of thin air using words and casting a spell, but guess what else? You create the person you are today as well as the person you will become tomorrow with the words that you use too.

We’ve talked a ton recently about reviewing your 2018 and planning your 2019, but we haven’t talked in depth about what words you’re using to frame those reviews and planning exercises.  That’s all about to change…

If you’ve watched any of Coach Sara’s videos about vision casting or read Coach Shoe’s blog about goal setting, you’ve probably heard the terms “affirmative language” or “Procabulary”.  What does that exactly mean?

Today I’m going to break down all things “Affirmative Language”.  We’ll talk about the intent of using affirmative language, then I’ll introduce 3 main obstacles to affirmative language, called “Conflict Language”, and finally, we talk about why it’s important to develop affirmative language in your everyday life.

What Exactly is Affirmative Language?

Affirmative language, at the heart, is designed to be an accurate way to describe events, actions, perceptions, feelings, emotions, so on and so forth….  Affirmative language takes out the judgement (both internal and external) surrounding an event, action, perception…also.  We are talking facts, just the facts.

Affirmative language decisively describes a desired outcome, where the speaker retains full individual power and responsibility for his or her actions, feelings, and emotions.  

What Detracts from Affirmative Language?  Conflict Language!

Negations – What You Don’t Want

Have you ever tried to coordinate dinner date with friends and heard the following, “I don’t want hamburgers tonight, and I’m not drinking beer either.”  How helpful is that when it comes to deciding where you do go for dinner? Negations explain everything about what a person doesn’t want, and describes nothing about what they do want.  

Projections “He/She Made Me..,”

Have you ever shared a coffee with a friend and heard something like, “He made me so mad; I just lost it.  I took off out of the parking lot and then got a speeding ticket all because my husband forgot that I had a hair appointment scheduled and couldn’t pick up the kids from daycare”.  That is an example of a projection. It completely removes all individual power and responsibility for an action, and gives it to an outside actor (person, place or thing).

Soft Talk – The Language of Indecision

Think about a time when you are being pressured into committing to a social event that you have no interest in attending.  Does this sound familiar…”Yeah, that’d be great! I think I’m free, but I might have something that my guy/gal has planned for me.  I’ve, sort of, thought about attending more events like this, and I kind of think it’s something that I should attend. I’ll get back to you.”  Honestly, what are the odds that you’ll be at that event?

Soft talk creates these “outs” for you, it gives you permission to be indecisive.  If you’re saying words that you don’t believe in at either a conscious or subconscious level, you’ll pepper in words similar to these when you talk or write:

  • Like; Kind of like
  • Sort of
  • Might, Maybe
  • Possibly; Perhaps
  • Someday; One Day
  • Should; Hope; Try

Why is Using Affirmative Language Important?

The way that you talk to yourself, literally, drives both your present and your future.  Of those conflict language examples above, how many of you have said one or all of those sentences, or some semblance of those sentences, to yourself?  What about the following sentences?

  • I don’t want to live like this
  • I don’t want to come home to a messy house
  • I don’t want to have to go to the store to buy a bigger sized pair of jeans
  • That driver had no idea what was going on, so I had to slam on my breaks
  • That guy at Costco was being so slow, so I couldn’t pick up the tomatoes I wanted
  • I should go to Icehouse consistently; maybe this week I’ll get my act together
  • I might give my old high school friends a call this week, we should get together more often than we do

If you change the words you use to frame an event, action, or feeling…it will completely change your perspective…Don’t believe me?  How do these sound?

  • I  live a life that I enjoy; I want to be able to leave my work at work and enjoy my family when I am home
  • I have a clean house, where the sink is clear and the floor is swept
  • I eat healthy and go to the gym so I can continue to wear the clothes that I have in my closet
  • I was following too close in traffic, so I slammed on my breaks to avoid a crash
  • I was feeling rushed and impatient at Costco, so I chose to pass on picking up tomatoes today
  • I value friendship so I’m sending out a message to get my friends together this week and blocking out a couple different times in my calendar for coffee.

And just like that, you change a few words and are able to see the same situation through a more accurate set of lenses.

How Do I Add This “One More Thing” to My Daily Life?

Look I get it, deciding what you want is difficult; saying what you want, out loud, is more difficult; writing down, on paper, what you want is even more difficult to do; then finding the right words, seriously???

Yep.

Change that order.  Change the words that you say to yourself first.  Start there. Once you’re out of conflict language and into affirmative language inside your own head, everything else falls into place.  

Don’t believe me?  Listen to someone far more experienced in life and compassion…

“Your beliefs become your thoughts.  Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions.  Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny” – Mahatma Gandhi

If you’re looking for more information on this, click on the link here and you can listen to the founder of Procabulary, Mark England, talk about, “Process versus Identity” and how changing the words you use to talk to yourself today will actually change your tomorrow.

Thanks for the read

GOALS!  Where to start when setting your 2019 Goals

GOALS! Where to start when setting your 2019 Goals

We are already 1 week into 2019!  The new year is usually a time to reflect (which we did last week, feel free to take a peek for some coach’s deep thoughts!) and adjust.  That usually means setting some goals.

I am going to go through the first few steps of setting goals, that often surprising get overlooked.  The steps for setting and crushing goals is very similar to completing a college paper, or high school paper, or whatever assignment you may have been given in years past.  Just bear with me on this.

Step 1: WRITE IT DOWN!

For our example today, how would you start with your assignment?  You would outline it!  Or at least do a rough draft.  Or maybe just sit down, pound some red bull and go wild on the keyboard.  In all scenarios you are WRITING IT DOWN!  You would never go into your class on the due date and say “well I thought about the paper” and then not hand anything in.  Or maybe you would…but you’d get a 0 which no one wants. If you wrote something down, worst case you at least had an outline or a rough draft to prove you at least started said paper.

If you don’t write it down, you can’t get a grade.  If you don’t write it down, you can’t create a plan to meet your goal. Period.

Step 2: GET REAL: Is what you wrote for YOU, or because you felt obligated to write it.

Now for the college paper, yes you were probably delegated a topic you may not be crazy about, but is there a way to spin it to use your own lense and perspective to make it more interesting? Maybe, maybe not but it’s worth the thought!

But we aren’t talking about assignments here. The reason we are setting goals should be because we WANT to get better FOR OURSELVES.  The goals we set should be ones we set because WE WANT TO, not because our mother in law, or old friend made some comment about our weight, or whatever other personal thing that has nothing to do with them when we went home to visit over the holidays.  If your goal is to loose weight because you want to feel better, or fit into a smaller size, or be able to run faster, or keep up with your kids, or whatever YOUR reason then hell yeah that’s a great goal! If you feel great, other then when so and so said something mean or passive aggressive, then skip that one. You won’t be excited about it because you are only doing it out of obligation to fit into someone else’s vision for you.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Once you have a list of 3-5 goals you actually want to work on you can move on to step 3.

Step 3: MAKE IT SPECIFIC

Goals that are super vague make creating a plan to accomplish said goals really really difficult if not impossible.  Here are a few common ones I see:

  • I want to lose weight – Cool! Do you want to loose body fat or just weight overall?  How much?  By When?
  • I want to PR my (Insert lift/workout here):  Hell yeah let’s get strong! How much would you like to increase by?  When do you want to hit that goal?
  • I want to work on my mental health! Two thumbs up for selfcare!  What does this actually mean for you? Do you want to start therapy?  How often? Meditation/Journaling?  When can you start, how often will you do those things?
  • Read more.  AWESOME!  How many books do you want to read this year?

We basically want these goals to be SMART Goals, which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Time Bound.  So once you’ve made them specific/measurable like our examples above make sure they are actually relevant to you (which we talked about in step 2) and well as having a deal line/or a timeline so you have an idea of when you’d like to accomplish them by.

This is basically they first draft of your paper that you’ll write based on your Step 1 Outline in the College Paper Scenario.

Step 4: MAKE A PLAN

From here you have a goal that is specific.  AKA the final draft of your college paper.

The next step is break it down into smaller steps.  Maybe loosing 20 lbs is your goal, let’s say we want to loose 1 lb per week.  To start maybe we will do meal prep and cut back on eating out to 1 time per week.  Maybe you will hire a nutrition coach to help you with this plan (shameless plug: have we mentioned our coach Anna@crossfiticehouse.com is legit?! Hit her up!)

Want to PR a lift?  Maybe you will go to OLY classes 1x/week.  Want to PR a workout? You could go from doing 3 workouts a week to 4 for the first month, then maybe up it to 5 the next month.  You could stay 5 minutes after class to work on a skill keeping you from getting better at that workout.  I commonly prescribe a 5 minute buy our of double unders, handstand holds, pull up progressions and other movements to just chip away at these goals in 5 minute increments.

Maybe to read 1 book per month.  First step may be to simply buy book 1. Step 2 schedule yourself 20 mins a day to read said book.  Then begin a list of the next 3 books that are on deck and have book 2 on it’s way in time for February.

When you make this plan, schedule the time you plan to work on these things into your calendar during your weekly time blocking, and make those times non negotiable like you would a meeting for work, or happy hour with a friend. (Peep Coach Mo’s Time Blocking Blog for more on that HERE.

Give it a try!  What goals did you end up with for 2019?!

Coach Mo’s 2018 in Review

Coach Mo’s 2018 in Review

2018 has been the most rewarding and challenging year to date.  As with the theme since moving to Fargo I have experienced a lot of growth. The first half of the year was surrounded by major life events happening to and for the people around me.  Some of which were amazing accomplishments (so many babies) and some were tragedies that rocked me to my core.

From the Beginning to Summer

Early 2018 was really great, Ashely moved to Fargo and we found our tiny apt on the North side. The amount of support she provides is a major reason I can achieve so many of my goals. There were so many babies born at Icehouse during this time of year, it was fun to watch and coach all the Moms as they crushed workout after workout. FNL is also a favorite time of year for me, ya’ll know how to make this place electric.

There was also a time of reflection as several OG’s of Icehouse moved from the Fargo area, yet it has been really fun to see where their adventures are taking them. Summer also brought a chance to head to the lakes and take some much-needed relaxation time.

Summer to Now

Although summer brought the lakes it also brought some very challenging times for me. There was an honest moment sitting with Ashley reflecting and asking myself “can I do this, do I want to do this anymore?” After a few visits to my therapist, she handed me a book that has forever changed the way I look at myself and the things around me. It has allowed me to change the trajectory of 2019 and really dive into who I am and where I want to go.

It takes a village and I have been amazed by the people around me, they keep me accountable and are not afraid to dive into the weird with me. Coaching is a part of what I love most about life, getting to help people see themselves differently is truly rewarding. I look forward to continuing to make Icehouse the best place to be in Fargo.

Moving into 2019

Each quarter I sit down and write goals for the quarter, so far I’m 1 for 3 on accomplishing them for this final quarter. I don’t always get it right and I have a lot of room to develop into those as 2019 kicks off.  I have hired a coach because coaches need coaches too. Not a workout coach but a life coach and I will continue to make this a trend into 2019.

I’m learning a lot about filling my cup first and also creating the life I want to live. Language is a huge part of this and so is writing things down, I journal now more than ever (this is a practice I started in 6thgrade). I want to continue to be the best coach I can and to elevate everyone that walks into Icehouse, to help them find the best version of themselves. I’m looking forward to 2019 and continuing the dive into the weird, to live fully, and share openly with all around.

Thank you for being a part of my journey

“I’ll Start Monday”

“I’ll Start Monday”

How many times have you told yourself that you’ll start something on Monday? I’d bet it’s more than one. I’m here to tell you that sometimes, you don’t need to wait until Monday. Start today. It’s like the old saying goes, “the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, the second-best time is today.”  You might be wondering what I’m talking about so hang in there and I’ll explain. (more…)

Confessions of a Recovering Robot

Confessions of a Recovering Robot

“Breath in, breathe out.  Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in.”

A couple of my favorite songs play during a super tough workout are “Machinehead” by Bush and “I am Machine” by Three Days Grace.  It’s this singularly focused mindset that I slip into, for four to nine minutes, where nothing matters but efficient movement and the prescribed work.

Four to nine minutes… for a few days as week, at most, that’s the “optimal” time to become a machine on the training floor.  What if that bleeds into your everyday life? What if you think and prepare and execute as though you were a machine, all the time?  Is it really that bad?

Routine

I’m a big fan of routine; in fact, I thrive on routine.  There’s a lot of science out there that suggests that the more we can automate our daily tasks, the more energy and brain power we’ll have to give to novel (not daily) tasks.  It takes extra energy that you have to spare in the present moment to pay forward to your future self when you either don’t have time or brain power to spare. So what kinds of things do I “automate”?  

  • Meal prep – I have batch cooked the exact same breakfast (pumpkin baked oatmeal) since august, and generally eat it 5 times a week.  For reference, I ate the same lunch for 75% of my 4 years of high school (turkey sandwich with mustard and pickles)
  • Prep for the day – Before I go to bed, I lay my clothes out for the following day and pack my gym bag.
  • Prep for the week – Sunday evenings I make sure to review my calendar for the following week and make note cards for all of my classes.

Perfection

Truth be told, as much as I automate to make my daily life seamless and predictable, I automate to make my life as ideal as possible.  I try to be prepared in order to be of service to the people in my life, and I find it real hard to ask for and accept help when I need it.  I have learned that being an “ideal friend” who doesn’t have needs, isn’t ideal. Help, support, love needs to bounce between people like an electrical current.  People need to feel needed and useful, all people. Being able to help is as much for the helper as it is for the person receiving help. Allowing myself some grace for having bad days, and having needing help is still a work in progress, but I understand why it’s so valuable and worth breaking the habit.  

Predictability versus Novelty

As big a fan of predictability  as I am, I have learned that there are limits to the effectiveness of it for life.  I err’d on the side of routine for a long time; I could automate, pre-load, and prepare for just about every part of my day.  Everything turned into a boxes to check and “to do” lists to clear; becoming really good at checking boxes is where I derived my value.  That mindset resulted, for better or worse, in me becoming far less capable of dealing with change and appreciating the novelty of life.

There’s the kicker…life, real, wholehearted life, is nothing but change and novelty.  

I got real good at checking boxes, I was really good at being EFFICIENT in my day to day life.  I wasn’t any better, and go so far as to say that I was worse, at ENGAGING in life.

The Way Ahead

I still have a fair number of robotic tendencies.  I am being more mindful to keep the ones that serve me (meal prep, preparing for the day…), and letting go of the ones that do not (seeking perfection, never asking for help…).  It is challenging work, but absolutely worth it.

‘Real isn’t how you are made.  It’s a thing that happens to you.  Sometimes it hurts, but when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.  It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept.  Generally by the time are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and are very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.  Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.’ – Margery Williams “The Velveteen Rabbit”