2018 won’t save you


Relax. I’m going somewhere (positive) with this….

Look, we all see a lot of interesting social media posts this time of year.
“I love the first snow!”
“What the f**k is my f**king coat?! #loveloveactually
“Can’t wait for the annual actor holiday party!  #totalcheatnight
“Ughhh….I ate too much for my total cheat night…” #worthit #round2tonight
Okay those are just mine. I’m sure you’ve seen others that are richer in content. At the same time, I’m also guessing you’ve seen a variety of not so positive messages this time of year….
“SERIOUSLY 2017?!” #sooverit
“Can we just get into the new year already? 
“Next year is going to be so much better….”
“I just got fired for reading Tony’s blog at work. #unsubscribing”
Whether you’re #sooverit with 2017 or just excited for 2018, I have news for you: 2018 is just a date on the calendar. 
Of course there’s nothing wrong with using dates on a calendar or any kind of “new beginning” as a force of positive motivation. But let’s not confuse external motivation as the only source of motivation. That said, I’m not here to crush your “positive bubble.” . Instead of relying on a date on a calendar or any kind of external motivation, what do you have at your disposal that you can use as internal movtivation?? 
If you’re eager to learn more about this, I recommend reading up on some of the thought leaders who have been in the game a little longer than me. Some of my favorites include Brendan Burchard, Darren Hardy, and James Clear
But Tony – I’m here! Can you give me any tips or advice that might be a little more helpful in the meantime?
I thought you’d never ask….
On my flight back to Boston, I compiled a lost of positive and empowering thoughts. Feel free to print out or write them down as reminders when you’re feeling frustrated.

Empowering thoughts:

  • 2018 will have setbacks. Buckle up 😉 (Sorry…that wasn’t empowering…)
  • 2018 will also have beauty. Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss it.
  • You are absolutely allowed to find beauty in your setbacks
  • Just because you’ve never done something before that a lot of others have been doing who are a lot (older than you, younger than you, etc) doesn’t mean you can’t start exactly where you are
  • Sometimes things can be a lot easier than they seem


Thoughts for my single friends:

  • Being single allows you time for things you might not have if you were in a relationship. Enjoy them while knowing that it won’t stay this way.
  • Please…you can find a new boyfriend without making a bunch of physical changes. Stop reading blogs that tell you otherwise.
  • List five reasons you’d make an amazing partner. Consider how many people currently in relationships aren’t getting those qualities from their significant other. You get to give those to someone.

Goal thoughts

  • Sometimes the hardest part that you’ve been dreading for so long won’t be nearly as bad as you make them out to be in your head
  • Ten years from now, you’ll probably have achieved a lot of your goals. And you’ll wonder why you wasted so much time freaking out.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself that you stop enjoying the journey.
  • There are going to be parts you look back on fondly that will surprise you


  • Your situation that’s happening right now is just that – it’s happening now. That doesn’t make it permanent.
  • You’re hard on yourself because you care. Be proud that you care.
  • Sometimes that negative voice in your head will get very loud. That doesn’t make it true. Volume does not equal truth.
  • Your week might start out with six bad days, but that seventh awesome day will make everything worth it.
  • You don’t have to be happy right now. But keep the flame of hope alive for when you’re ready to get back up

And a Tony thought for you…..



“Start where you are, with what you have – because what you have is plenty enough.” -Eric Thomas. 


I’m #notperfect. But if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re not either. Why not try something empowering instead of disempowering this week – or hell, this year??

Thank you for reading – whether it’s your first time or one hundredth. I’m grateful for you. You deserve to feel amazing. Go after what you love.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.


PS – Thanks to all of you who did make 2017 so memorable 🙂



Photo by Garret Sacco 


Photo by Nicole Shuberg Photography


Photo by Johnny Knight Photo 


***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 


“Because that’s life”

Hello! And welcome to TonyinChicago.

I update every Thursday. (You should subscribe. They’re pretty great….though I suppose I’m biased).

I write because one of my favorite things in the world is to share with others how to become a more authentically positive version of ourselves so that we can do the things we really want to do with our lives. I want others to discover they have control over their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and patterns.

I want people to start realizing, “Oh wow….I used to feel (insert negative emotion here). But now I don’t. And my previous self would have never considered this a possibility!”

It’s a pretty awesome feeling once we realize how much control we actually have in life.

Sadly most people don’t accept this. They go with the, “It is what it is,” mentality. Oh! That reminds me…

There’s a guy who always visits one of my day jobs. I recall a conversation wit him where he shared with me -within minutes -about a health problem he had, then followed with how the red-hot Cubs would likely lose in the playoffs. “Because that’s life!” he told me.

Funny thing about life….


…it doesn’t actually suck. It only sucks if you allow it to suck and allow yourself to be pulled by the current of “it is what it is.” It’s a herd mentality. I’d advise you not to follow it.

My hope to everyone is that you start reading more than just this blog from a guy in Chicago. Read authors such as Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, and John Maxwell. Subscribe to Marie Forleo, Eric Thomas, and Preston Smiles on their youtube channels. Spend just a little bit of time everyday reading and watching these materials so that they eventually compound into these powerful thoughts that you never realized you were capable of having.




I hope you do this so that you can have your own transformation…and yes, I might be a bit more trim in the “after” photo. It’s more than just an “I eat better and exercise” photo. It’s an “I’m a happier person” photo. I hope you can be happier too.

And I hope you realize just how amazing life can be, my friends.

Let’s go get ’em.


Tony Rossi (that’s me!) is an actor, motivator and Beachbody coach helping others to become the most authentically positive version of themselves. If you’d like to speak with Tony, learn about his services, or tell him how much you like his hair, feel free to email him at tony.rossi@gmail.com. 


I’m taking a BREAK! You should too.

Recently Darren Hardy hosted a call titled SUMMER SURGE: 10 Strategies to Beat the “Summer Slump” and Keep Your Productive Momentum. A bulk of the call was geared towards taking non negotiable time for rest and relaxation. Darren emphasized this wasn’t about “finding our bliss.” It’s about the necessity to unplug completely from our work so that we can recharge our batteries. When we don’t do this (and many of us don’t), we fail to be able to operate at full capacity.

If you’re a big TonyinChicago fan (which you are, right?) you may have noticed there wasn’t a #ShoutOutTuesday post this week. It marked the first time I had missed a consistent post since first starting thie section three months ago. And I’ll be honest – I tried writing a shout out. About three different times. After several failed attempts and a lot of frustration, I gave in.

My batteries were drained.

Lately my schedule has consisted of five days in a row of internships and work. In between there are my beachbody coaching hours, auditions, and other projects I take on either from home or on the go. It’s a lot. And you know when my first day “off” is after that? Tuesday.

And guess who struggles to come up with all of these positive, awesome, inspiring and AMAZING blogs on a Tuesday after all of this?

“Tony….did you really just call you blogs amazing?”

I mean, I think they’re alright….

Here’s the thing: I don’t have a boss. I don’t get paid for this. But I want to someday. So I treat it like a job.And it’s been feeling like a job….except not a fun one….and the whole reason I started doing this was because it was fun! So I’m taking a page out of Darren Hardy’s book and taking a break.

One month off from updating my blog. After that? We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Thursday posts. We’ll also have a #ShoutOutTuesday….though it may not be on Tuesday….which means I need a new hashtag…


Not that this blog keeps me from sleeping….but I plan on doing some sleeping next month

There’s a misconception that working long hours and late nights will get us success. In reality, there’s a point where we hit a wall and stop being our most productive selves. This leads to operating at less than 100%. Whereas, if we have time to charge our batteries, we can get back up and refill our creative tanks.

Take time for you before you burn out, friends. I’ll see you in August 🙂

“BUT TONY. What if I really actually think your blog is awesome. What can I do in the meantime?

Great question. I’ll still be doing my periscopes and Sunday videos! Follow me @_tonyrossi and get a notification every time I do a periscope. Alternatively, you can catch up on my previous videos on youtube channel.

Also, sometimes it’s nice to get a fresh perspective from someone else. I recommend checking out blogs from my own life coach, Courtney Rioux, who offers help to both artists and entrepreneurs.


Photo stolen lovingly from Gretchen Kelley Photography

And if you’re really looking to switch things up….head over to hulu and see her as paramedic Courtney on Chicago Med 😉

Have a great month, my friends. Go get ‘em.


Tony’s Ten Favorite Quotes to Make You Happier

I don’t know who that negative voice is in my head.


…though it might be him. He was used at one of my last shows I did in college. Saw him when I was home last week….just look at that stare….

I don’t know why he says the things he does or what benefit he gets from bringing me down. All I know is he can make me very unhappy in a short amount of time.

Often he’s pretty convincing. So I’ve made it a priority to flood my brain with as many positive thoughts as possible. Morning, afternoon and evening.  I have times where I purposefully am listening to or reading information that will make happier, more positive, thinking bigger.

Many people share with me how difficult it is to think positive and chase big goals. And I agree. It’s why I believe books and audios are a non negotiable (LINK: Blog). When you have ideas like these jumping out at you, it makes your day a little bit better.

Below are ten quotes from four speakers. These quotes specifically have been resonating with me over the past month.


Les Brown

“I’m not having a bad day. I’m having a character building day.”

“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to be your reality.”

“No matter how bad it is, or how bad it gets….I’m going to make it.”


Darren Hardy

“The activities you’re most afraid of are the activities that can cause a breakthrough in your success. Step into them.”

“People love your flaws! They make you “flawsome” and adorable.”

“One of the best days of your life can be when you finally say, ‘I’ve had it!’ then stand up and fight.”


Dr. David Schwartz

“How you feel when you lose determines how long it will be until you win again.” Schwartz

 “You are what you think you are. Think more of yourself, and there is more of you.”



Eric Thomas

“Just because you failed, it [doesn’t] make you a failure.”

 “So many people live life and die, without really living life. I wanna know what it’s like to live life. I wanna know what amazing feels like.”


Sometimes I’ll come across these quotes when I’m having a bad day. They help. If you’re having a bad day of your own, I encourage you to come back to this page and read these for yourself. Or look up these speakers yourself!

And of course, you have yours truly to help you out. I update my blog twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also update weekly videos to facebook on Sunday, plus host a live periscope at 8pm central time. All of these are uploaded to my youtube channel.

Did you have a quote that resonated with you? Or a speaker you like to follow that I missed? Leave a comment below! Would love to get more insights.

Have a great week, my friends. Go get ‘em.


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Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 


Why a date on a calendar is poor for resolutions

Remember all the blogs I wrote about during the summer on being your best self? Neither do I. They never got written. I stopped updating when I lost motivation

We don’t need more motivation. We don’t need more willpower. They’re fleeting and useless when life throws us curveballs or simply gets busy.

I started writing again after some initial motivation. Then it developed into a routine. I keep writing now because I believe this blog needs to be read. There’s a friend out there who hasn’t heard this message. There’s a student who got my business card and has no idea that personal development is a thing.

I figured out why I want to write. And that’s what keeps me going.

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath

Need an ongoing dose for motivation?  The “Thank God It’s Monday!” series from Eric Thomas was a a great one. I’ve watched ’em all =) 

You have to have a why

In February of 2014, I bought the 21 Day Fix. It made nutrition simpler and easier to understand than anything I ever tried. I was finally seeing the toning results I was looking for.

…those usually got erased a couple times a month. Even though I knew what to do, I didn’t have a good reason for why I was doing it. I knew I wanted to look good. But that didn’t stop me from eating when I was stressed. (Or just bored.)

Ten months later, I found a deep why. My nutrition has been great ever since. And I still get to have my treats.


The dessert spread at my Aunt’s house on Christmas. You never would have known that I’m a healthy eater after…

Your why has to be deep

If it’s a surface level answer, it’s not deep enough. Go deeper.

Why do you want to eat better? (Because I want abs.) Why do you want abs? (Because I want to look good.) Why do you want to look good? (Because I feel better about myself when I look good.) Why do you want to feel better? (Because when I feel better, I do my best and most efficient work towards living my crazy awesome life.) Why do you want to live a crazy awesome life? (Because I can literally cry thinking about it. And I can also literally cry after submitting to a bunch of jobs that I know I don’t want to go to.)

Find your why that makes you cry.

You have to be willing to fail

There’s a myth out there that says if we’ve failed, there’s something wrong with us.

There is nothing wrong with you.

Failure is feedback. Without it, we don’t get better. Tell your ego to chill and go out there and fall a few times.


falling darren daily

Highly recommend subscribing to www.darrendaily.com for gems like this one each day


When all else fails, remember this: There are others waiting for you to live your crazy awesome life. It’s going to help them. Whether that’s because your dream job involves it, or because you’ll be happier and have a stronger relationship with your significant other, friends and family. There are others counting on you.

How’s that for a strong why?

Have a killer 2016. I’ll see you after a couple of stumbles. I know they’re in store for me too.

Go get ‘em.


How Being Healthy Caused Me Extra Stress

Many of you know that I’m a health and fitness accountability coach. I started a year ago and couldn’t be more grateful. I’m helping others, plus am constantly learning about workouts and nutrition.

Prior to this, I did the whole gym thing. For some, this is exactly what they need. For me, I was guessing (and mainly guessing wrong). I knew very little about weights or cardio. I didn’t know anything about nutrition. Forget about those abs I had wanted since forever.

Fast forward to today: I workout from home. I love my body. My nutrition plan is my favorite. And I recently got abs. So like, I’m pretty sexy now.

…I mean, I don’t look like Shaun T.

Shaun T

The rest of the body though? Oh that’s so me. Particularly the facial hair…#notreally

While I’m thrilled with how far I’ve gotten, it hasn’t been an easy journey. Eating clean takes a lot of work and preparation. Getting in my workouts sometimes means waking up extra early. I also took on some harder goals: Avoiding food three hours before bed, plus saved cheat days to just once a week.

This became easy enough when I didn’t have anything going on. I quickly learned, however, this was increasingly difficult on days where I had to, like, be a real person and leave the apartment. I refused to accept this as a day of adjustments. Not getting in my “perfect Tony routine” meant failing – which led to lots of stress and frustration.

I started avoiding the outside world. I was socializing less and rarely submitted for work – the kind that was, you know, paying my bills.

Granted, I was in the best shape of my life. But I was also pretty miserable.


I most certainly could have used more of this….

There’s a rumor going around that once we reach a certain point in our careers or lifestyle that we’ll all of a sudden be happy. Unfortunately, this rumor is false. (And if you know who started it, send them to me right away…) By putting our happiness on hold, we’re likely to feel unsatisfied as we start accomplishing our goals.

Should you ever find yourself in a situation similar to mine, here’s what I recommend:

1) Make happiness a priority. I wanted abs because I learned having a body I’m proud of makes me happy. Yet I finally had abs and was very much not happy. What could you be doing as you go about your goals to keep you happy?

2) Avoid perfection. Perfection is dumb. And it doesn’t exist. What areas could you allow yourself to be a little more laid back in? Want to know another cool trick? Failure actually helps us get better.

3) Learn to appreciate the journey. It’s not always about the final destination. Sometimes there is no destination – it’s literally a lifelong road!

Keeping all this in mind, enjoy the process. Seek failure. And then call me so we can eat chocolate together. (This has been sitting in my bag since Friday….)

2015-03-11 15.57.42

Go get ‘em, friends.


Why You’re Not As Happy As You Could Be Right Now

Wow….that’s a morbid title, isn’t it?

I want to emphasize this varies for everyone. It’s based on things like work life, social life, health and nutrition, or whether or not you have an awesome goal you’re hoping to achieve – but keep putting off. You might be happy with all of these….in which case, we need to hangout. I’m always looking for more positive and people in my life. (Like, seriously).

So how do we learn whether or not these are areas that are preventing us from being happy? Go back to that list I just mentioned. As you read, notice whether or not any one of those topics make you cringe. Then dig deeper.

…I know, I know. Digging deeper isn’t fun when it comes to things that make us cringe. Try not to focus on how uncomfortable it feels. Rather, think about how this is a small step towards making that area less stressful. Which then leads to a happier YOU 🙂

Okay, so you’ve sucked it up and dug deeper: Why am I unhappy in this area? What’s stopping me from making progress? Here’s a common reason:

There are rules in your head that are stopping you from overcoming obstacles. We call these limiting beliefs. These beliefs vary from “I’m not good enough,” to “That won’t work,” to “That’s only something that other people can do.” How these beliefs got there in the first place can vary. What’s important is getting rid of them. And to get rid of them, we need to recognize them. The scary part is we usually don’t know that these beliefs even exist. Before I started working with Courtney Rioux, I didn’t know I had any limiting beliefs. (Now I know that I have several hundred.) If this wicked awesome blog post you’re reading right now isn’t enough to break your limiting beliefs, you may want to consider a coach yourself.

If that’s not for you, or you want to start smaller (and I always am a fan of starting small), I recommend incorporating personal development into your daily routine. Doing this consistently over time will help you recognize these beliefs without even trying. I personally recommend audio: Books, interviews, motivational speakers, etc. I like audio because of what I can get done while I’m listening: Cooking, cleaning, showering, driving, etc. We don’t always have time to sit down for an hour and listen to a motivational speaker. But we all have time to do things like shower.

(And if you don’t….we do not need to hangout….regardless of how positive you are….)

If you do have time for reading (even ten pages a day), here are some books I recommend:

2015-02-24 11.00.37

“The Compound Effect” – Darren Hardy

“The War of Art” – Steven Pressfield

“Failing Forward” – John C Maxwell

“Eat That Frog!” – Brian Tracy

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” – Dale Carnegie

I have plenty more 🙂 But to avoid overwhelm, start with those. Hell, just start with ONE. Again – start small. If you’re not a reader yet, start with “The War of Art.” The longest chapter is about four pages.

Have you ever discovered a limiting belief that you didn’t know you had before? Share below in the comments section!

And then…have a great week! IT’S ALMOST MARCH 🙂

If you know someone who might enjoy this post, I’d love for you to share with them! And if you wanted to share on social media, I wouldn’t be upset either….


Recognizing Those Who Are Trying to Help

Not too long ago, I posted about clipboard people. You know, those people who are SO happy to see you from a block away, despite the fact that you’re considering running into traffic if it means not speaking to them?

…sorry. That was too much. I was up late last night.

I used to have the mentality of “everyone is out to get me.” In other words, I could be on a free phone call with a highly respected acting coach. Then once I’m on the call, I learn the coach wants me to sign up for his class. (And if you sign up before the end of the call, you save $100 and get a free pencil!) I would be disgusted and eager to hang up.

Recently, I finished the book, “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. I didn’t know who Hardy was prior to reading. Now I’m convinced he’s the most successful person in the history of ever. (Google him, if you don’t believe me). If you ever find yourself needing to run a marathon in Chicago with negative wind chills, give “The Compound Effect” a quick read. You’ll be fine.


Photo credit: https://store.success.com/the-compound-effect-by-darren-hardy-paperback-edition.html

At the very end of his book, Hardy asks us to consider loaning the book to five friends who would benefit from his principles:

“I know this sounds like it benefits me. It does. Remember, I am after the success testimonials. My goal is to make a difference in millions of people’s lives, but to do that, I need your help. But I promise you this: ultimately, it will be you who benefits the most. Your helping someone else find the ideas to gain greater success is the first step toward you exercising them in your own life.”

This made me change my whole outlook on the “everyone is out to get me” approach. First, he put me at ease by stating his intentions. I never heard someone admit “yes, this helps me.” At the same time, he introduced the concept of “Yes, this helps me. But it also helps you.”

Let’s go back to the stupid clipboard people: Giving them money for their organization usually doesn’t help you. It only helps them. But the next time you’re on a call with that acting coach who wants to give you free pencils, don’t ask how they’re trying to hurt you. Very rarely is this the case. Instead, how might they help you reach your goals?

Lastly, I want to address the money issue. Once we find out we have to pay for something, we tend to freak out. (Or at least I do). I’ve found that focusing on what I’m gaining, as opposed to what I’m losing (money) is far more valuable. Perhaps you’ve heard of the phrase “investing, not spending.” If I’m going to a Cubs game, I’m usually spending money. But if I decide I want to give Darren Hardy my money, that’s an investment. How else am I going to run that marathon in January?

I want you all to think about this money concept carefully. Because starting next month, you’ll all have the opportunity to continue reading my blog for the low price of $19.95 a month. Really try to think of this as an investment

….okay no, I’m totally kidding. This is still free. I’m sorry. Did I mention I was up late last night?

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Don’t Underestimate Your Progress

Today we’re going to discuss the issue of getting frustrated when it comes to our goals. I want you to think of that big, scary goal that you really, really want. (If it helps, use the “ask for it, and then let it go” game.) These goals are big and scary for a reason – they aren’t easy to achieve.

If you’re taking action towards this goal (and I hope you are), give yourself credit for attacking it in the first place. Even if you’re not where you want to be, or even if you’ve fallen off track, you’re chasing it. That deserves acknowledgement.

Second, think about where you are right now on the path towards this goal. Then think about where you were a couple months ago. Are you closer? If you are, that means you’ve made progress. Progress is something we often look past. We’re too focused on the fact that we haven’t reached our goal. So we kick ourselves and get upset that we’re not there yet.

I just finished reading a fantastic book called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. It talks about how taking those small steps don’t seem like much when we’re taking them. But over time, they add up. And they add up BIG.

“What’s most interesting about this process to me is that, even though the results are massive, the steps, in that moment, don’t feel significant.” – Darren Hardy.

Now I know that most of you think I’m this perfect writer who has a perfect life and everything smells like peaches.

[There is an uproar from everyone reading this blog, as none of them think this is the case. Also, some side comments are made regarding how I always think things smell like peaches.]

I want you to know that this isn’t the case (minus the peaches part). I have a few goals that I haven’t hit yet. And OH MY GOD is it frustrating. To prove my point, I’m indulging in some wine right now. I usually save wine for the week, as weekends are “school nights” for me. But tonight is an exception. Things most certainly do not smell like peaches tonight.

That being said, I’m closer to my goals than I was a month ago. I’m just not seeing results yet. It’s hard not to get frustrated when you really want to hit your goals. But they add up. It just takes time.

Think of some areas that you’ve made progress in. It might make you feel better. And if not…have some wine. (Especially if it smells like peaches).