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November 26th Features

 

 

 

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Have a Growth Mindset and Be Unafraid to Say I Don’t Know

“I KNOW!”

“Stop running to the corner away from the basketball. Run to the ball!”

“I KNOW!”

“You don’t know otherwise you wouldn’t do it!”

I didn’t know.

After each 9th grade basketball game, my dad would tell me what I could improve on. He’s been coaching for 20+ years, and playing sports his whole life. I was 14 years old and still learning about life.

I thought I knew.

I didn’t.

In this post, I’m going to talk about why having a growth mindset is essential for personal growth and improvement.

Adopting an I Don’t Know Mindset for Personal Growth

I can pick new topics and skills up quickly, I received A’s in school, and am able to connect with others on many different levels. I have 2 math degrees, am a reader of hundreds of books, and someone who is always looking to grow and improve my situation through what I’m learning on a daily basis.

I spend hours each week learning new things and apply them in my daily life.

Yet all of what I just mentioned doesn’t matter.

I’m self-aware. In particular, I’m self-aware that I know very little.

That’s right.

In the grand scheme of things, I don’t know much about anything.

That’s why I push to have what I call an “I don’t know mindset” (also called a growth mindset) in life and to live without ego towards my ideas and thoughts.

Dr. Carol Dweck, a pioneer in growth mindset research, defines it as “the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed.” Basically, the knowledge that even if you don’t know everything (none of us do, of course), you can always learn more and continue to develop and cultivate skills and knowledge!

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and I am no quite sure that I know that.” – Socrates

The Dunning-Kruger Effect and Perceived Knowledge

There are so many things I do not know. As humans, we tend to overestimate what we think we know.

There are two concepts I want to share with you now to illustrate my point.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is shown in the chart below:

dunning-kruger effect

When starting out in a new field, we start to learn a little bit and become very confident in our ability to perform. Think about when you first started learning math. What was the first thing that was taught? Counting! 1, 2, 3, 4…

We were confident because we could count, but then came addition. Then came subtraction, and then came word problems and all the other mumbo jumbo math stuff I don’t want to talk about here.

As we learned more, it became more difficult, and we became more weary of our ability to perform.

As our level of experience grew, we tend to be less confident in our abilities.

Many of us stay at the initial level because we feel confident where we are in our knowledge.

There are so many people in America who think they are experts on what’s going on in Washington DC, or in the C-Suite at their company, and yet don’t have political science degrees, MBAs, etc. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect at work.

As You Start to Know More, You Realize You Know Less

What’s interesting to me is that as you learn more in a subject, you realize you actually don’t know anything in the subject. In addition, you realize how much more there is to know and find out.

We go from “I know nothing” to “I’m an expert” to “I know nothing” as our actual level of knowledge increases! See this illustrated in the chart below:

adopt an i don't know mindset

Like I mentioned above, there’s quite a bit I know and am looking to improve my knowledge on. What I’m realizing more and more though is that I really don’t know anything.

Adopt a Growth Mindset and Become More Successful

Would there be a point to learning if you knew everything? No.

There would be no point to being curious or asking questions about the world or other people. Frankly, life would probably be pretty boring.

I’m suggesting working on adopting a growth mindset, or an “I don’t know mindset” for success.

How can you do this?

There are a few strategies that I’ve employed over the years to adopt a growth mindset myself.

  1. Live without an Ego
    • There are 7 billion people and counting on this Earth. Do I really matter in the grand scheme of things? Does anyone actually care what I think? Am I better than anyone? The answer to all of these questions is NO.
    • Believing that everyone is unique and no one is below you will allow you to live without an ego and put yourself in the proper mindset.
  2. Ask Questions to Clarify the Situation
    • Where are you from? Why did you pick that major to study in college? What excites you about life? Why are you doing this job and not that job? How many kids do you have? Where is your favorite place to visit? Ask 100 people these questions and you will get 100 different answers.
    • Many of my mistakes at work came from a misunderstanding of the problem. Would you please clarify this piece? I think I know what you are saying, is it this? Is this problem similar to this other problem? Asking questions like these will help you get clarity into the situation and shows that you are open to growth and understanding.
  3. Become More Self Aware
    • As I’ve learned more, I’ve realized that I’m right with my intuition and thoughts quite often. That being said, I’m also cognizant that even if I’m right, there can be something I can add to my knowledge base. I don’t want to fall prey to the Dunning-Kruger effect! Instead, I want to have a growth mindset that says “I don’t know everything, but I am always learning new things.”
    • Realizing when you are right and when you are wrong will allow you to navigate various situations with ease.
    • For more information on becoming self aware and increasing your emotional intelligence, see these books for emotional intelligence.
  4. Always Look to Learn Something in Every Interaction
    • One thing I’ve tried to do is whenever I go to a new website, pick up a book, or start talking to someone new is try to play investigator and try to learn something from that person. Everyone and everything has a story. There are many reasons she is like that or he is doing this. Asking questions and getting to the root of the situation is a great strategy to add to your repertoire.

Confidence is Still Key

One clarification point I’d like to make here is if you know something, I’m saying if you really know it, then be confident.

Self-doubt and a lack of confidence will hinder your ability to succeed.

If you know something, it’s important to share what you know and help others. Whenever a knowledge gap exists, there is an opportunity to teach and learn.

If you are at work and your boss asks you a question, don’t say “I don’t know” if you know the answer. But if you don’t know the answer, instead of lying, make sure to say, “I’ll get back to you with a clear answer.” This is an example of using a growth mindset because while you’re admitting that you don’t have the answer, you’re also communicating that you will look into it and figure it out.

Conclusion

Adopting an “I don’t know mindset” will help you grow. Being curious, asking questions, and uncovering the details for yourself will allow you to become more knowledgeable and valuable over time.

Even experts never stop learning – there is always something to learn and add to your portfolio of knowledge or skill set.

I ask that after reading this post, that you go out and recognize how you act when you are in conversation with someone who incorrectly says a phrase or fact. I’d ask that you also recognize if you start to talk about a subject you don’t know too much about and talk about it like you are an expert.

While I do believe there exists a learning and teaching opportunity whenever a knowledge gap exists, being able to say, “I don’t know if I’m knowledgeable in this area to speak on the matter”, and then to go and figure out the problem or idea at hand will set you up for success more often than not.

The only thing I know is that I know nothing at all.

Be curious, be courageous and be tenacious. Cultivate a growth mindset.

Readers: when you approach a new problem, do you assess it from various angles? Are you set in your ways? When is it okay to say “I know”, and move on?

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How to Create a 7 Step Plan for Success in 2022

Success and having a great life can be created from intentional action, and your actions come from creating a plan for your days and weeks. Learn how to create a 7 step plan for your success this year and get on the path to achieving your dreams.

Are you looking to take control of your life this year? Would you like to make a change this year and start living the life you want and deserve? Will you make this year your best year of many to come and set yourself up for happiness?

Creating a plan for success is not only possible, but easy – and once you have your plan, then you can get on to taking action and living your best life.

However, how do you make this plan for success?

In this post, I’m going to share with you how you can create a 7 step plan to create the life you want and deserve.success planning

What is Success… for You?

First, before creating a plan for success and for the life you want this year, we need to answer some questions.

First, what is success? What does being successful mean?

I pose these questions first because I want to make a point here – trying to answer the two questions above are useless unless you personalize them.

So, the questions become, what is success for you, and what does being successful mean for you?

For some people, success means making a lot of money or having a prestigious job. For others, success is being able to travel the world and experience many things. Other people might just want to be able to spend time with family and give their kids and loved ones time and gifts to make them happy.

Before creating a plan, we need to define what success is for you so that we can build a plan around those dreams and thoughts.

For me, for example, I want to have financial stability to be able to provide for my family, to be able to live stress free, and to do projects that I enjoy.

For you, what activities do you love doing that bring you joy? What is important to you? Is there anything in your life that you need and never want to let go?

All of these questions are important to keep in mind before getting to the planning process.

Creating a 7 Step Plan for Success

Creating a plan for success can be done by taking some time for yourself and following the steps below to define what is necessary to make the changes you need.

The 7 steps I’m going to talk about in the rest of the post are below here. You can keep scrolling or click on the following links to go to the section you want.

  1. Decide to Take Full Responsibility of Your Life
  2. Take Note of Where You Are and Where You Want to Go
  3. Define What You Want Specifically in the Future
  4. Believe in Yourself
  5. Create a Daily Plan to Attack Your Goals
  6. Plan to Reassess Over Time to Stay on Track
  7. Stay Consistent and Let the Power of Time Take Over

Below, I’ll go into detail to give you more details on these steps.

1. Decide to Take Full Responsibility of Your Life

The first step in making this year the best it can be is deciding to take full responsibility of your life.

You are the only person that can positively affect what happens in your life.

If you want more, you need to go and get it – no one else is going to give it to you.

Taking responsibility of your life means making a plan for yourself and working towards it each and every day.

You can’t just sit on the couch waiting for the world to change – you need to get out there and do what’s best for you and your goals.

While you might believe some people are just more lucky than others, you can begin to create your own luck through your work and habits.

2. Take Note of Where You Are and Where You Want to Go

Before planning, you need to take note of where you are and also understanding where you want to go.

For example, if you want to increase your salary at work, you can first start to understand where you are in the organization, what skills you have and how your skills and experience are valued.

Next, where do you want to be and what is required at your desired position? Do you need to get more education? Is a different or more prestigious degree required? These are questions you’ll need to answer for whatever goal and dream you have.

If you are currently an analyst and make $50,000, and want to become a manager making $75,000, what are the skills, habits and experience needed to get to this level?

Understanding all of this will be important for the next step in defining your plan. setting goals and dreams

3. Define What You Want Specifically in the Future

Now that you know that you are the only one who can change the future, and you understand where you are and want to go, now it’s time to define exactly what you want to begin to start making your plan.

For example, let’s say you have some debt and you want to pay it all off.

That’s a great goal, but it’s lacking specifics.

Some questions I would have for this goal are:

Changing your goal from “I want to become debt-free” to “I want to become debt-free in 24 months by paying $100 extra towards my loans and credit cards” is WAY more powerful and concrete.

When you shift your goal to the second, you will force yourself to start creating exactly what you need to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to find your success.

4. Believe in Yourself

Going back to the first step, you are the only person who can affect change and for that reason, you need to believe in yourself.

Having confidence in yourself can be hard, but you can do it.

Belief in yourself is something you can work on over time, and you can improve your belief in yourself through positive thinking and affirmations if you struggle with it now.

The point is that you need to believe that you are enough and you can achieve anything in life.

No barrier is too much and anything is possible with time and effort.

5. Create a Daily Plan to Attack Your Goals

Even though we have been talking about setting goals for the entire year, the way that you will achieve those goals is through daily actions.

For example, let’s say you have a goal to lose weight this year.

To achieve this, you might have decided that you are going to eat better and do some more exercise.

Well, how can you set daily actions that will ensure you are eating better and doing exercise?

This could involve having two meals a day which are completely clean and do not include sweets.

Your daily plan could be that you are going to walk for 30 minutes a day and stretch or do bodyweight exercises for another 30 minutes.

Of course, this can be implemented at the weekly level as well (for example, I’ll work out 3 times a week), but what I’ve found is you are less likely to put off what you want to do if you are focused on daily actions.

For me, I try to do a little exercise each day, do some learning each day, and do some work on my creative projects to keep everything going for my future goals.

6. Plan to Reassess Over Time to Stay on Track

When creating a plan, something that you need to keep in mind is flexibility is very important in your plan.

Sometimes things can change in an instant, and for that reason, you want to build some flexibility into your future plans and have periodic reviews of your actions.

For example, if you are trying to lose weight and after 1 month, you haven’t achieved the results you wanted, maybe you need to cut more sweets, add more exercise, or switch your diet.

Doing the same thing over and over won’t lead to the results you want if you aren’t doing the right things.

Experimenting and figuring out what is best for you will be crucial in creating the life you want – over time, your wants and dreams might change in the short term, and for that reason, flexibility is crucial.

7. Stay Consistent and Let the Power of Time Take Over

Here’s something that you should know and internalize as it’s very critical for your success.

Growth is NEVER linear.

In a world filled with instant coffee, instant breakfast, instant credit, instant shopping, instant information, and 24/7 news, we have come dangerously close to losing touch with reality and believing we have access to instant life. But life is not a clickable link.

Starting out in any area you want to become better in, growth is incredibly slow.

Think back to a time you were a beginner in something you wanted to become better at.

I love the example of when I started working out: I was weak and barely could do a few push-ups.

The next time I worked out, I could only do 1 more push-up, but it was progress. The next time, I could do 2 sets of 5. After a few sessions of working out, I was up to 3 sets of 8.

After a few years of working out, 30 push-ups in a row is easy and I can do more than 50 in a row. What started with less than 5 push ups in a row turned into many. It’s the same concept in life in whatever you want: personal finance, education, health, etc.

Understand that over time, you can accomplish anything and for you, anything is possible. Being patient, staying consistent and trusting in the process will get you to where you want to be.

Plan for a Successful Future and Live the Life You Want and Deserve

With this post, I’m excited to see what you come up with for your dream year.

Again, you deserve the best and with your plan, you can achieve and create the best for yourself.

In a year, you’ll thank yourself for taking action and living your life to the fullest.

Readers: what makes you happiest? What are your plans for making this year the best it can be? Are you making big changes or little tweaks?

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9 Simple Steps to Pay Down Debt Fast This Year

Paying down debt can be incredibly freeing and exciting. When you are in debt, you are tied to the banks and it’s restricting mentally and in your lifestyle. Get out of debt this year through the simple steps presented in this article. 

What would life be like if you didn’t have debt? How would you spend your time? What would the freedom feel like?

Being in debt restricts your ability to live freely.

Being debt free allows you to do what you want – without being tied to the expectations of a bank or another individual.

This year, there is a lot of uncertainty, and becoming debt free is a great goal to make sure you can live the way you want.

Debt is horrible: it is mentally draining, financially draining, and affects your entire life if you are weighed down by the large barbell of debt.

I want you to experience amazing freedom. Make getting out of debt a goal, and I’m certain you will feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders once you reach that goal.

Think about it: with no debt, you wouldn’t be a slave to the bank, or to anyone. You’d have more money at the end of the month, and with more money, you’d have more options.

Many people ask, “How can I become debt free? What are the steps to becoming debt free?”

Getting out of debt can be a grind and can take a while, but with the right plan, anyone can do it.

In this post, I’m going to give you 9 simple steps for you to follow to start paying down debt this year. With these steps, you’ll be able to gain the knowledge and confidence to be able to get going on your debt pay down.

9 Simple Steps to Pay Down Debt Fast This Year

To do anything in life, it’s important to define exactly what we need to do and then make a plan. For you, I’ve listed 9 steps which can help you easily create a plan to start paying down your debt fast this year.

You can keep scrolling or click on the following links to go to the section you want.

  1. Take Responsibility for Your Debt and Personal Finance Situation
  2. Stop Going Into More Debt
  3. Gather All Information about Your Debts
  4. Learn about Debt Pay Down Methods
  5. Determine Extra Money You Can Put Towards Your Debt
  6. Set-Up Auto Pay
  7. Believe in Yourself
  8. Stay Consistent with Your Budgeting Efforts
  9. Find Ways to Improve in Your Personal Finances

Below, I’ll go into detail to give you more details on these steps.

1. Take Responsibility for Your Debt and Personal Finance Situation

The first step in making this year the best it can be is deciding to take full responsibility of your life.

You are the only person that can positively affect what happens in your life.

If you want more, you need to go and get it – no one else is going to give it to you.

Taking responsibility of your life means making a plan for yourself and working towards it each and every day.

You can’t just sit on the couch waiting for the world to change – you need to get out there and do what’s best for you and your goals.

While you might believe some people are just more lucky than others, you can begin to create your own luck through your work and habits.

2. Stop Going into More Debt

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: if you’re trying to kill your debt, STOP GOING INTO MORE DEBT!

For example, if you’ve built up significant credit card debt, you likely have a habit of using credit cards all the time.

That statement isn’t meant to be an insult, rather to call out an extremely common issue that many credit card users and people in debt struggle with.

You can think of it like this, you have a bucket full of water that you are trying to empty. When you make a debt payment, you are able to dump some of the water out, but when you get into debt more, the level of water goes up.

If you are trying to empty the bucket, you need to stop allowing it to be filled with water!

The same applies to your debts – you need to stop going into more debt if you want to get out of debt.

3. Gather All Information About Your Debts

Next, you need to start gathering information about your debts. The information you need to know is:

With this information, you can then start to make a game plan to start paying down your debts strategically.

Before making this plan though, you should first figure out which debts you want to pay off, and which ones are ok.

Is Your Debt Good or Bad?

In general, I believe debt is bad – and many other personal finance bloggers and experts believe debt is bad as well.

That being said, I do think there are cases in which debt can be a good thing. (Remember, personal finance is personal – some people hate debt and believe all debts are bad.)

There are two conditions to meet for my classification of “good debt”:

Everything else is bad debt.

Credit card payments with an interest rate of 20%? Bad debt.

A home loan at 4%? Potentially good debt.

A student loan at 8%? I’m going to go with bad debt. There is, of course, the option to refinance student loans to get a more favorable interest rate.

A car loan at 2%? This one is tricky – cars are depreciating assets, but the interest rate is so low it’s probably fine.

Again, personal finance is personal and depends on your goals. If wealth is your goal, it’s okay to carry some debt. If freedom is your goal, crushing your debt should be your #1 priority.

Next, now that you have an understanding of your debts and understand which ones you want to pay off, now you can get onto learning about debt repayment methods and start to plan your debt pay down.

4. Learn About Debt Pay Down Methods

There are two main strategies to become debt free fast:

These methods are pretty straightforward. After compiling your list of debts, you will then pay a little extra towards a certain debt as determined by whichever method you pick.

By paying a little extra each month, you will be able to take advantage of some huge interest savings (as we will see a little bit later in this post).

The Debt Avalanche Method

Using the Debt Avalanche Method, you pay off your debts by paying extra toward your debt with the highest interest rate first. .

Once you have paid off the highest interest rate debt, you put the entire paid off debt’s payment plus the same extra amount towards the next highest until all debt is paid off.

For example, let’s say you have two debts:

Also, you decide you can put an extra $50 towards your debt a month.

Using the Debt Avalanche Method, you would put $250 towards the first debt and $150 to the second debt.

Over time, the first debt will be paid off faster than it would if you just paid the minimum payment. If the first debt is paid off before the second, then you put all $250 towards the second debt, for a total of $400 a month, until the second debt is paid off.

The Debt Avalanche Method is the mathematically optimal debt pay down strategy.

The Debt Snowball Method

Using the Debt Snowball Method, you pay off your debts by paying extra toward your smallest balance debt first. Once you have paid off the smallest balance debt, you put that payment towards the next smallest until all debt is paid off.

Many people like the Debt Snowball Method because psychologically, you can generally see your debt accounts disappear faster. If you have a $1,000 loan and a $5,000 loan, it feels good to have the $1,000 loan gone.

Let’s go back to our example with two debts:

Again, you decide you can put an extra $50 towards your debt a month.

Using the Debt Snowball Method, you would put $200 towards the first debt and $200 to the second debt, because the second debt is smaller in balance.

The Debt Snowball Method is not mathematically optimal, but is still better than applying no strategy at all.

5. Determine Extra Money You Can Put Towards Your Debt

Through learning and applying a debt paydown method, you can chop off many months and years of payments.

However, if you add extra money, instead of just paying the minimum on your debts, you can accelerate this process of debt repayment even more!

To do this, you need to look at your monthly income and spending. You don’t necessarily need to create a budget, but by understanding how much you spend each month will allow you to identify what needs to change for you to stop buying and save more money each month.

Your Savings by Paying Extra Each Month

I’ve created an example below where had my hypothetical person has 2 credit cards, a mortgage, an auto loan, and a student loan totaling $246,500.

By paying an extra $25 a month and applying a debt pay down method, in this example, there is potential savings of at least $49,915!

How is this savings achieved?

Looking at the left hand side of the figure below, you can see in the Avalanche method, we are paying off the highest interest rate debts first.

Looking at the right hand side of the figure below, you can see in the Snowball method, we are paying off the smallest balance debts first.

By paying just a little bit more, debt can be eliminated quick, and our user became debt free with some solid cash savings.

I’ve also included some statistics if you increase your extra debt payments by $100. The difference is fairly substantial just by paying an extra $100 a month!

In our example, our hypothetical person started out with $246,500 in total debt. If no method was used, it would take 290 months (just over 24 years) and cost $371,109 to become debt free.

By paying $25 extra a month, the user is able to save nearly $50k, and chop off 140 months (nearly 12 years) off their payment plan! If the user could find an extra $100 in their budget, they could save an additional $12,000 and be debt free 158 months sooner!

With either choice of repayment method, you will save money, and be on your way to financial freedom!

6. Set-Up Auto Pay

Humans are imperfect; sometimes you’ll forget to pay their bills, or pay late, which causes a host of problems on your credit report.

The solution?

Automate your bills so you never suffer a late or missed payment. These result in late payment fees that go up the more delinquent the payment becomes, and often result in absolutely crushing penalty APR increases.

For example, most consumer credit cards come with an average APR of 14-16%; miss as little as one payment and banks like Citi and Chase will slap you with a penalty APR of 29.99% that will haunt your account for months

Many banks who provide online banking services also include some integrated bill payment solution. With these payment solutions, you can easily schedule out automated payments for the future.

Since we already know how much each of our debt payments are, and when they’re due from gathering the information from before, setting up recurring payments is as easy as visiting a few websites and linking our banking information.

Once your debt payments are automated, another helpful step is to automate all of your other bills as well such as your utilities, phone bill, insurance, etc.

By automating your personal finances, you don’t have to worry about when things are due and you know they’re set up to fit within your budget. This frees up mental energy to devote toward other things like staying focused on your debt repayment, or increasing income to further beef up your payments.

7. Believe in Yourself

Going back to the first step, you are the only person who can affect change and for that reason, you need to believe in yourself.

Having confidence in yourself can be hard, but you can do it.

Belief in yourself is something you can work on over time, and you can improve your belief in yourself through positive thinking and affirmations if you struggle with it now.

The point is that you need to believe that you are enough and you can achieve anything in life.

No barrier is too much and anything is possible with time and effort.

In this case, you are enough to be able to pay off your debt and you will be on the way to creating the financial foundation you want and deserve.

8. Stay Consistent with Your Efforts

Unfortunately, getting out of debt is going to take time and effort. Each month, it’s going to feel like you have a lifetime to go, but it’s important to stay the course and be consistent over time.

If you are using one of the debt repayment methods, you will be able to experience some easy wins along the way as your smaller debts are paid off, and as time goes on, you will get closer and closer to the finish line.

Understand that over time, you can accomplish anything and for you, anything is possible. Being patient, staying consistent and trusting in the process will get you to where you want to be.

With your debt paydown, consistency will be key, and once you are done with your debt repayment, you’ll be so happy you put in the time and effort to get out of debt.

9. Find Ways to Improve Your Finances

After you have set your plan for debt repayment, automated your payments and started on your journey to debt freedom, there is more to learn.

In the future, you want to be able to get out of debt and then STAY out of debt.

Learning about personal finance is the next step after getting on the path to debt repayment. In addition, if you can make more changes to your monthly spending, or earn more money each month, you can speed up the time to getting to debt freedom.

How would that feel if you could become debt free a few months earlier? Would that be great?

The highest performers in the world are constantly trying to improve in what they do, and the more you work to improve your financial situation, the better the results will be.

If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your finances, check out the articles below:

Get Out of Debt This Year and Start Building Your Financial Foundation

I hope that this post has been informative and has given you what you need to start getting out of debt.

The journey to becoming debt-free might be a long one, but I know that you can do it.

Imagine what you’ll be able to experience without the cloud of debt over your head. The ability to do whatever you want without debt will be so amazing, and you’ll be so happy you did it.

Best of luck on your path to debt freedom and let me know if you have any questions.

Readers: are you interested in getting out of debt this year? What steps do you think will benefit you the most from this list?

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Doing 100 Bodyweight Squats Every Day for a Month

This month, I’m doing 100 body weight squats a day. While this physical fitness challenge has been tough, there have been a lot of benefits which have come from it as well. In this post, I’m going to share with you how you can do 100 body weight squats a day for a month to become more fit and get in shape.

Are you looking for a body weight physical fitness challenge? Would you work out every day for a whole month?

This month, I’ve been doing 100 body weight squats a day.

Each day, no matter what, I’ve done a few sets of 100 body weight squats.

While there have been some days where I’ve been sore or tired, I still got my squats in.

Now, my lower body is feeling strong and I’ve also noticed that I’ve lost some body fat across the rest of my body.

In this post, I’m going to share with you how to do this body weight exercise challenge, talk about why squats are good for you, and give you motivation to crush this challenge!

How to Do 100 Body Weight Squats a Day for a Month

Doing 100 body weight squats every day for a month is a big task to take on.

When starting out, doing squats is tough and can be a struggle.

The first few days, you will be sore, but after about a week, the soreness goes away and you will see the progress and gains.

For your 100 daily bodyweight squats, you can do them anyway you want.

You can do wide stance squats, narrow stance squats, or vary the technique in any way you want. As long as you are getting down and have a good range of motion (getting your legs to 90 degrees is a great goal), you will be making the most of this workout.

Right now, I doing 5 sets of 20, or 4 sets of 25 (depending on the day). These 4 or 5 sets take me between 10-15 minutes to do, but if you can’t do as many squats in a row as me, then you can break it up into more sets with less reps.

Doing 10 sets of 10 is the same amount of reps as 2 sets of 50.

In addition, doing 10 sets of 10 could be spread out through the day to reduce the energy spent in any one session.

If you still think 100 in a day is too much, you could start off slower.

During the first week, you could do 30 squats a day. Then, in the second week you can do 60 squats a day.

Finally, during the third and fourth weeks of the month, you can get to 100 squats a day.

By the third week, your body will start to get used to the increased number of squats and will be able to handle this increased volume.

Why are Body Weight Squats Good for You?

There are many benefits of body weight squats. Squats are a compound movement which hit many of the major muscles groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes and core, and helps with balance.

While doing 100 bodyweight squats every day might not be the best thing to do for your goals and routine, bodyweight squats are a fantastic exercise.

Adding bodyweight squats to your routine will improve your physical fitness and will help tone the muscles of your lower body and mid-section. In addition, you don’t need for any other piece of workout equipment!

A few other benefits of bodyweight squats which I’ve noticed are:

Whether you’re looking to lose some weight pounds, maintain mobility, or walk, jog or run faster, the bodyweight squat is for you!

Don’t You Need to Take Some Rest Days to Recover?

Make no mistake, doing bodyweight squats every day is tough.

One thing about the human body is that it is incredibly resilient and is able to adapt to tough situations.

From experience, the first few days of this body weight exercise challenge is tough.

You are sore, you struggle to walk, and you aren’t loving life.

But, after about a week, if you are sleeping enough, eating a healthy diet with a lot of protein, and not pushing too hard else where, you will start feeling more confident and better about your progress.

In general though, if you really need a break, then you should take a break. If you are on the verge of injury, then taking a day off instead of pushing through would be best.

However, I don’t think general soreness is necessarily an injury.

With bodyweight exercises, the amount of work and stress you are putting on your body is not an intense amount, so you can do it more often.

At the same time, as I mentioned, you need to listen to your body to make sure you are doing what’s right for your current level of health and physical fitness.

At the end of the day, incorporating body weight exercises and body weight squats can be very beneficial for you and support your current routine.

Would You Do 100 Body Weight Squats a Day?

Now that you have finished reading this post, I hope you are inspired and motivated to get out there and try this challenge.

While I don’t think I’d recommend it if you are doing heavy weighted barbell squats (there your body definitely does need to recover), I would recommend this if you want a change in your exercise schedule and routine.

Getting stronger legs and becoming fit is all about consistency. By doing a little bit each and every day, you can reach your goals of becoming fit, healthy and strong.

Readers: what exercise challenges do you like doing? Would you do 100 body weight squats every day for a month?

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8 Habits for Success: The Secrets for Making Positive Change

Your level of success is rarely exceeded by your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become. If you want success, you need to develop good personal habits. In this article, you’ll learn 8 easy habits to do for success and personal development.

Have you asked yourself why there are some people who seem to have better lucky, or have certain characteristics that attract success when you struggle to see the same results?

Sometimes, we think that we can never become like those successful people, or know the secret to their success.

But, the true secret, which is 100% attainable for everyone, starts with realizing that success comes from simple daily habits.

The truth is that there is nothing that can stop us from becoming what we want to be – rich, successful, happy, etc. The difference between those who achieve their dreams and those who don’t is in their habits.

This is the grand secret of success – finding success come down to who is able to change their existing habits and re-align their actions to continue on the path to achieving their goals.

Deciding today is the day to dedicate time and effort to yourself and your dreams is a start, and then each day, doing a little will help you on your way to the ultimate goal of success and happy.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 8 simple daily habits for success and how you can start living an intentional life geared towards achieving your dreams.

Successful people are simply people with habits geared towards success.

8 Easy Daily Habits for Personal Success in Life

There are 8 daily habits that I try and do each day to move a little bit closer to my goals. Below, I’ve listed those 8 and in the rest of the article, I’ll describe how you can do each of these habits on a daily basis.

  1. Read More
  2. Wake Up Early
  3. Be Active and Exercise
  4. Eat a Healthy Meal in the Morning
  5. Activate Your Mind with Games and Learning
  6. Establish Goals and Plan For Success
  7. Practice Gratitude
  8. Give Yourself Space with Silence

Let’s dive deeper now into each of these habits for success.

1. Read More to Find Success in Life

According to Forbes, 88% of millionaires read at least 30 minutes a day.

Reading is a form of mental exercise, and reading activates parts of your brain that you also use when you speak or learn. Reading can help us connect the dots between different subjects and thoughts.

Also, reading can help you keep your mind fresh, as studies have shown that adults that spend their time doing creative and intellectual activities (like reading) do not experience a substantial decline in cognitive ability as they age.

For you, you don’t need to read a book a week, or try and read 100s of pages each day.

Instead, you can start with 10-15 minutes a day of reading in whatever subject or genre you want, and after you have done this for a few days, you can see how you feel with your progress and see what makes sense for you going forward.

Also, if you are trying to learn something, reading can help with that as well! 15-30 minutes a day of a new subject will add up fast – you’ll be proficient soon!

For example, if you want to make more money at your day job, you can read about the skills necessary for increasing your value.

For me, I try and read at least 30 minutes a day. Usually, I will read blogs from my favorite writers, but also, I will read some pages from some books I have to continue to practice this skill.

2. Wake Up Early

You might roll your eyes at this recommendation, but I’m not going to say “Wake up at 5 AM” like so many other “personal development” bloggers would tell you.

Instead, what I mean when I say “wake up early” here is that going to bed and getting up at a reasonable hour will help you establish a routine for success.

For me, I try to go to bed around 10:30, and get up around 7. There are days that I wake up a little earlier, and there are days that I sleep in past 8.

The point is that if you wake up earlier, you can get more done in the day because in the early morning, there usually isn’t much to distract you.

If you want to achieve success, you need to set aside time to work on yourself and your goals.

By waking up earlier, you can spend an hour or two on your goals, and then after, you can spend quality time with your family, friends, or doing other hobbies.

For example, I used to live with some people who would wake up at 11 AM on the weekends. By the time 1 PM rolled around, they had just finished up eating and getting ready for the day – and the day was more than half over!

Usually, they would go out with friends during the afternoon and the night, and after getting home, would crash on the couch for an episode or two of Netflix before going to bed.

While this life might sound great to you, for someone who wants to achieve success in their life, there is a lot of wasted time in that schedule and many areas to improve.

So while you don’t need to get up at 5 AM every day (I never do), getting up at a reasonable hour can add many hours to your week.

3. Get Up and Be Active With Exercise

As humans, we each have a body which allows us to do amazing things.

We can walk, run, bike, swim, jump, play sports, climb, do yoga – the list is endless!

However, there are other benefits to exercising and being fit that do not stop with actually activity.

If we want to be successful, doing a little bit of exercise each day is essential.

Getting blood to your brain and different body parts will help you think more clearly, feel more energetic, and bring you a sense of accomplishment.

Being successful and being a well-rounded person involves exercising both your brain and your body.

While you don’t need to be some ultra-marathoner or body builder, exercise is important.

Even 15 minutes of walking a day is beneficial!

For you, if you haven’t been prioritizing exercise, start small – walking a mile, biking for 20 minutes, doing some weights, all of this will get you on the right track.

If you want to get more fit, I have done a few challenges over the years which may inspire you to get more in shape:

4. Eat a Healthy Meal in the Morning

You have probably heard the marketing phrase “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”

While this phrase was created to sell sugary cereals (which probably aren’t the best for you), there is still some truth to this statement.

Getting a meal in the morning which is high in protein and contains fruits and vegetables will help you obtain the energy necessary to crush your responsibilities for that day.

I don’t usually eat traditional breakfast (since I intermittent fast), I do look at have a healthy meal in the later part of the morning to give myself the energy I need for the rest of my day.

I love eating bananas, yogurt, granola, and eggs as a way to give myself the vitamins and nutrients I need to be successful.

5. Activate Your Mind with Games and Learning

Turn off social media for a little bit and activate your mind for a little while. As we age, it’s important to keep our minds fresh and active.

Having a powerful brain is something we all have, but our brain is also a muscle which needs stimulation and exercise.

Activating and exercising our mind is important to do on a daily basis (just like exercising our bodies), and by doing so, over time, you will keep your brain sharp and able to problem solve in difficult situations.

Things you could do are do crossword puzzles, do a sudoku, read a book, learn a second language, do a puzzle, bake, play board games with family, do crafts (sewing, painting, writing, etc.) – there’s really so much you could do to activate your mind.

For me, I’m looking to become fluent in Spanish, and so each day, I look to spend at least 30 minutes doing flash cards, reading articles, or watching videos in Spanish.

Other things I do are play strategy games on my phone (yes, that’s not the best use of my time, but it’s still fun and takes some thinking), and listen to self improvement podcasts.

6. Establish Goals and a Plan for Your Life

Setting goals and having a game plan for your life is essential if you want to be successful. If you don’t know where your destination is, how will you reach it?

Establishing goals is very important in both the long-term, but also the short-term. This article is about daily habits, and one of the best daily habits to have is having a daily list of things to get done.

You can make this list in the morning, or the night before, and this list should be a reflection of what you want to accomplish during the day.

With your daily to-do list, with each item that you check off, you get the satisfaction of completing something and can then feel good about moving on to the next task.

This list should also be aligned with your medium and longer term goals. Living an intentional life geared towards success is all about doing little things every day which add up to achieving your ultimate dream.

7. Practice Gratitude

Living in the present and being aware of where we are in life are two pillars of working towards and living a life of success.

Practicing gratitude can bring you back to the present and help you center yourself on what you have in life.

I find that when I’m struggling with not reaching my goals, I try to look at the positives and look at what I have achieved in my life.

For example, if I’m not happy with how my body looks, I’ll instead say, I’m thankful for the fact that I’m not sick, and I’m thankful for the fact that I can do exercise.

Likewise, being thankful for family, friends, your job, and other things is also very important to recognize. Not everyone might be in the same situation as you, so it’s important to recognize this.

By practicing gratitude, you will spend more time in a state of happiness since you are thinking of the positives in your life.

8. Have Moments of Peace and Calmness in Silence

Giving yourself space and time to think and heal is a great habit to practice each day. While you don’t need to become a master yogi or master mediation, giving yourself 5 minutes of peace and silence during your day can be very helpful.

When I drive, sometimes I don’t turn on the radio. I like to just let my mind wander and think about what’s going on in my life.

It’s calming to be able to relax and think just for those minutes on the highway, instead of blasting some music or listening to a podcast.

Occasionally, I do listen to podcasts when I drive, but there are times when silence is good.

By practicing giving yourself time and space for a few minutes a day, you also practice mindfulness and living in the present.

Living in the present is so key for success, and by increasing your ability to live in the present, you will see increased focus when you do other tasks requiring your full effort and attention.

Which of These Daily Habits Will You Start Today?

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article and it has given you food for thought on how you can start to plan your days to get on the path to success.

While you don’t need to do all of these starting today, which one of these daily habits will you look to start soon? Are there are I’ve missed?

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Mind Pump MAPS Anabolic and MAPS Prime Review

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

Ever heard the phrase “life is like a box o’ chocolates”? How about “Luke, I am your father”? Or most importantly “At least he has his health.”?

Health is one of the most important aspects of our every day life.

We need to ask ourselves each morning: are we energized, ready to jump out of bed and seize the day? Or are we just waking up and just looking for the coffee?

It is safe to say, we all would prefer the former… but what’s the recipe for this Carpe Diem attitude?

Doing what matters to you in life comes down to your mindset; mindset is everything.

For me, I wanted to become physically fit and strong. I recently completed the Mindpump MAPS program and want to share with you my thoughts in this post.

“Your level of success will rarely surpass your level of personal development, because success is what you attract by the person you become.”

Mind Pump MAPS Helped Me Become as Strong as Ever

Over the last 3 months, I went through the Mind Pump MAPS program. The two specific programs I tried were the MAPS Anabolic program, and the MAPS Prime program.

I was a little skeptical at first, but after getting into the early AM workouts, I was crushing personal records week after week.

Priming Your Work Out with MAPS Prime

Warm-ups and cool downs have always been part of an athlete’s main stay.  What do you do to get ready for a big game? Do you have pasta parties the night before a big competition (carb loading)?

Do you visual yourself crushing the competition, visualizing each detail as it happens real-time, and executing the strategy you have been practicing for months?

Many athletes have pre-game rituals: did you know Michael Jordan wore his UNC shorts under all his professional shorts while he was winning his 6 championships for the Bulls?

One of my favorite pre-game rituals is “The Haka” performed by the All Blacks New Zealand Rugby team… talk about intimidating before the match!!!

We all have our own rituals, superstitions, and pump up songs! I personally love “Nothing is Stopping you” by Big Sean and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” while getting ready for my workouts.

Are you preparing for a work presentation, wedding speech, first date?  There are plenty of reasons to get yourself in the zone. Am not going to get into mentally psyching yourself up here, but keeping your body physically prepared is key as well.

MAPS Prime

Mind Pump has recently introduced a program on “priming” your body before workouts.

Your body is supposed to move a certain way and there is a reason why form is everything when lifting, shooting a basketball. It’s just like in life, being balanced is extremely important!

MAPS Prime is specifically designed to encourage superior muscle recruitment, proper joint mobility, and priming the central nervous system to maximize the muscle building signals sent throughout your body.

The key to MAPS Prime is in it’s ability to re-align your body.  This means getting rid of muscle imbalances.

The exercises in MAPS prime specifically work to help correct these weaknesses through a combination of lifting, yoga, and physical therapy.

MAPS Prime has had a profound effect on my physical ability and I highly recommend trying MAPS prime out.

The MAPS Prime Workouts

There are three main tests to judge your muscle imbalances and functionality. They help you customize what is right for your priming.

  1. Zone 1 – The “Wall Test” consists of the entire upper body starting at the thoracic spine.
  2. Zone 2 – The “Windmill Test” identifies spinal and core rotational mobility and over trunk connectivity.
  3. Zone 3 – The “Squat Test” consists of the low back, hips, and the rest of your lower body.

After these tests you are given a wide range of movements to help target your  weakness areas before and after your workouts.

Growing with MAPS Anabolic

After going through the MAPS Prime workouts, I continued my workouts with the MAPS RBC bundle. Next up was the MAPS Anabolic workouts.

On workout days, I woke up at 5:10 AM and am one of only people at the gym.

Going EARLY is amazing if you want full use of the squat racks, cages, bench presses, free weights, and most of the other exercise equipment!

After running 1 mile to the gym, each workout was a sequence and combination of the following. All workout days hit every body part, and I felt massive from the pump I was experiencing!

  1. Barbell Squats
  2. Barbell Deadlifts
  3. Walking Lungs 
  4. Bench Press
  5. Dumbbell Rows
  6. Rear Laterals 
  7. Shoulder Shrugs
  8. Shoulder Press 
  9. Barbell Curls
  10. Triceps Press-down
  11. Planks 
  12. Random Yoga
  13. Jump Squats 

After running home, I’ll be home at 6:35 AM and make a shake, some bacon and have some fruit.

I LOVE THIS WORKOUT and it is a GREAT start to the DAY!

I believe routine is everything: prefect preparation prevents poor performance.

Give Mind Pump a Try, It worked for me

I want to shout out to Adam, Justin, and Sal over at Mind Pump. They have put together a great program and I’m excited each and every time I go to the gym.

If you listen to podcasts, I recommend listening to the Mind Pump Podcast! The Mind Pump guys have a blend of talents, passions, and experiences in personal training, bodybuilding, and personal transformation, which are interesting to me and other people looking to grow physically.

I listen to it most days; they talk about various myths of the workout industry. Also, they discuss different mental and physical exercises for becoming a complete person.

I definitely recommend the Mind Pump MAPS program. After increasing my squats by over 100 pounds (admittedly, I started low) and other lifting by nearly double, I’m excited to see how the next 3 months go!

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