The Biggest Test We Face When Setting Goals

Ah, goals. Don’t you love that feeling when you decide enough is enough and you’re ready to make a change? You think to yourself, “YES. I CAN DO THIS. I AM AWESOME. LIFE IS AWESOME. I AM THE ONE.”

And once the feel good feelings wear off, you suddenly start to remember a few things…

You suck. You realize you weren’t strong enough. You can’t keep up with the pace of everyone else. You fizzle out. You let life get to you. And you realize how much you love things like cheese and chocolate. (Or, you know, whatever throws you off track from your goal.)

But let’s put this in nicer terms, yeah?

What’s really happening here: The Universe is throwing you a curveball. 

I recently set a goal to complete three straight weeks of clean eating and exercise. I picked a workout program that was exactly 21 days. I specifically wanted to send in my results to Beachbody and do the program start to finish – no cheats. (And I kinda wanted the free t shirt.)

I had tried this program once before. I got hurt on day ten and had to stop. But this time was different. This time, I decided, I would win. I even had my day 22 cheat day planned: Red Sox vs White Sox game. It was perfect. 

….and then a free Cubs ticket landed in my lap.

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Those two words: Free. Baseball. They’re kinda a big weakness of mine.

“But Tony. I don’t believe in this whole thing where the Universe is ‘for or against me.’ In fact, I hate anything ‘woo-woo.’ This isn’t for me.” 

I actually totally get it. And I’m someone who, admittedly, can get a little “woo woo” and warm and fuzzy. At the same time, this lesson applies regardless of whether or not you believe in a higher power. Life is always going to test us. As Alexi Panos would say, it’s like “the universe asking whether or not we’re really serious.” But you can call it whatever you want. 

The reason I like this explanation so much is because it stops making the situation so damn personal. It makes us normal human beings and not some awful person for wanting to revert to our old habits. Which, by the way, don’t just bring us comfort. They bring us joy, pleasure, and instant gratification. And it’s a completely natural thing to want to do when you’re having a shit day. 

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I’m going to start referring to those off days as “days where I get to be treated as a princess.” I think it has a better ring to it. 

So be aware that this test is coming. And if you slip – that’s fine. You’ll be ready for it the next time. Whatever you do – please don’t stop. Because there’s people you love who are going to benefit from the “you” who wins.

Let’s go get ’em.

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Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their own terms.

He also loves to blog on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire if he can do some writing for you!  You can reach him at tony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

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Wanna see more? Check out my actor website! 

I also have a YouTube Channel with weekly #SundayVideos where I share how to take control over our thoughts and feelings on facebook live! 

Just go do it yourself. (Spoiler: There’s some choice language…)

Stop asking. Stop waiting. And go F-ing do it yourself. 

“Tony. That’s mean. And you’re scaring me.” 

I’m sorry. (And sorry for cursing.) I’m not saying that condescendingly. I’m saying it lovingly. As in, “I’m on your freaking side, my friend. Let’s go get ‘em.” 

I get asked a lot of questions. I love it. I love helping people and it absolutely boosts my ego knowing that I made someone’s life easier. Even if it’s a question about doing Facebook Live and how to save them after. Here’s the thing though – I learned about Facebook Live through google. I had never done one and wanted to know how. I also don’t like waiting. And the amount of time and energy you save when you take control and do things on your own isn’t just faster – it makes you more confident that you can find more answers. 

That’s a small example. But I think this is where it starts. I’m in a lot of private groups for actors, entrepreneurs, and fitness enthusiasts. (Hint: Birds of a feather flock together. Want to start thinking bigger and smarter? Surround yourself with people who do that. Facebook is such an easy way to do this.) These are great resources to finding answers to the questions we so desperately seek. At the same time, it becomes very easy to give up control and let others do the work for us. I frequently see questions from others who want to know basic information that they could look up on their own. Things like what time a team meeting is, or a particular file that was posted a while ago. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes these individuals have already put in time and energy looking on their own with no luck. I’m not talking about them. I like them. And some of them are cute. (Looking at you, Pablo. I’ve seen your results this month.) I’m talking about the ones who go RIGHT for the post button the minute they have a question.  It’s not entirely their fault. They’ve become so set in their ways that it’s part of their wiring.

And maybe that’s you. So….let’s rewire you. 

The next time you are looking for answer – don’t post about it. Don’t bug your friend. Put some time in to figure it out yourself. Even if it seems like something that might take a little while to figure out. Give it ten minutes. Set a freaking timer if that helps. And if you haven’t gotten answer by the time the timer goes off – stop. The point is to start a new habit – not necessarily to find the answer. THEN….go ask your friend. 

And if it’s Pablo, see if he’s free for coffee later. (Seriously ladies, get on that one.) 

To reiterate: This seems like a small step. It can lead to bigger things. I realized this earlier yesterday morning when I saw one of these questions coming from a friend. They asked a question about something basic that I could have figured out if I cared enough to know. I love this friend to death. And while this particular topic wasn’t important in the grand scheme of life, I could help but notice – This friend is struggling with a few different and MUCH bigger areas right now. What if by starting by figuring out that one answer on their own – they were able to start a compound effect to making more awesome, powerful decisions on their own? 

That’d be pretty fucking cool, wouldn’t it? 

Let’s go get ‘em friends. Let’s take back control. 

PS – Sorry for swearing so much in this post (Mom). 

PSS – Pablo isn’t real. I just like that name. Sorry ladies. You’ll have to do your leg work to find such a looker. 

Why I Do Personal Development (with a story of my not-so-good morning)

My morning was going freaking fantastic. And then, it just wasn’t. 

Some context:

It was my first day back to my “Tony’s morning routine.” This is where I wake up early somewhere between 5-7am, listen to my morning meditation from Wendy Braun as I shower and change, write in my gratitude journal, and then eat my (healthy) chocolate oatmeal while I read a personal development book. (Right now I’m reading “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins. Love it.) I do all of this before checking my phone, email, Facebook, or anything that might have something or someone wanting my attention. I want to be in a positive state before checking any of that. 

It. Was. Great. 

I had been working a day job the previous few days and didn’t get this routine. I was excited to be back. I proceeded then to catch up on emails and messages, drink my coffee, and put in some work towards my Beachbody coaching for a couple hours. I was having FUN! I felt a rush of adrenaline that I hadn’t felt in a few days. 

And then…..I worked out. 

Usually this is another part of my morning that I enjoy. Lately however I haven’t been able to workout without experiencing some symptoms after. It’s frustrating. And being a Beachbody coach, I like to share what I’m doing – which includes setbacks. That day I learned after that I still couldn’t finish a workout without experiencing symptoms after.

(Side note: No it’s not serious. Yes I’m okay. Yes, I will repeat this again and still get questions from friends and family asking if I’m okay…) 

I’m sharing this part because then….I got pissed. 

I’d share all the thoughts I said to myself that hour, but instead just pretend you see Tony Rossi doing the opposite of what he posts on social media when it comes to positivity….it’s not pretty. 

I was about to mindlessly scroll and throw a pity party until it was time to leave for work. Instead, realizing that this hasn’t helped at all in the past, I decided to check my folder in my Gmail titled “Personal Development” – filled with blogs and videos from my favorite people that help me be my happiest self. I found found a video from Andrea Schulman from Raise Your Vibration Today that I had yet to check out…..

STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF  

…oh my. Okay then. 

It was a slap in the face that I needed. It gave me reminders THAT I HAD HEARD EARLIER THAT MORNING IN MY MORNING ROUTINE that I had completely forgotten about. (Sorry for shouting. We’ll get back to that). Then…I started to feel a little better. 

Personal development, positive reading, and self care isn’t this “one and done” thing. It’s like working out – you have to keep doing it if you want to keep the results you earned. 

So as you go about your day and wonder why it is you’re not feeling happier, more motivated, energized about life, etc ask yourself when the last time you read a positive book or listened to a positive audio. I don’t share this stuff because it’s cute (though some of my blog are pretty adorable.) I do it because I need it for myself. 

I hope you take advantage too, my friends. 

Let’s go get ‘em, yeah? 

How to make life easier

I’m guessing you’re a busy person, so I’ll just give you the answer here: Stop making it harder.

Okay, obviously we don’t intentionally want life to be harder. But I’ve found there are two areas where we might be taking action towards a goal or emotion hoping it will make us happier, only to learn it actually makes the job harder.

Allow me to share two of my own examples….

I wanted abs.

Up until a few months ago, I thought the answer to getting abs was simple: Cut out a serving of carbs from my nutrition plan and add in an extra ten minute ab routine. When I started a new workout program, I opted to just follow the workout calendar and eat the recommended amount of food – carbs at all.

The result – Less time exercising, more food consumed….and better abs.

Have you ever tried to customize a plan? Maybe it was something created by an expert. Or maybe it was something that’s been shown to work from other successful people in your field. When we recreate the wheel, we end up putting our own take it on based on ideas in our head based on assumptions – not facts.

Make things easier on yourself. Trust the pros, following the plan, and avoiding any extra work.(Again, you’re busy. No need to be busier.)

Also – if you’re like me and like your carbs, these meals were some of my favorites I enjoyed while getting my raging six pack (not really raging…but still….)

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Toasted avocado and tofu sandwich with Ezekiel bread. Side of blueberries. Obviously not plated yet…

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Quinoa omelette! Side of apples, peanuts, and peanut butter. 

 

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Eggs, veggies, and sweet potato crips. I cut up a few slices, throw some paprika on them, and throw them in my air fryer for 5 or 6 minutes. (If you don’t have an air fryer, I’m sure an oven will do the trick.) 

I wanted answers

A few months ago I was venting in the #MyBigYear2016 facebook group  about an uncomfortable situation I was in. It was a time set aside for our coach Courtney Rioux to answer some of our questions. She quickly pointed out that I was focusing on problems and that instead we should focus on solutions.

Another way we make things harder on ourselves is by complaining. We often think we’re sharing ways to find an answer to a problem, when really we’re just expressing thoughts about how unhappy we are. Venting does not lead to answers –and  I’ve had to learn this the hard way.

Many personal development leaders emphasize the importance of asking the right question. If we ask the question, “Why am I always so unhappy?” we’ll come up with a laundry list of reasons to be unhappy. On the flip side, if we ask,” What are some activities I can start doing more of that will make me happier?” we’re leading our brains toward the things we actually want.

Start making things easier by asking better questions and focusing on solutions versus problems.

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From “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” – John C Maxwell

 

Do you have any ideas that help with making life easier? Or some areas where you’ve caught yourself making life harder than it needs to be? Share ‘em below….I could probably benefit from it (and I’m sure my friends could to).

Until next week, my friends.

Let’s go get ‘em.

#NotPerfect

I started using this hashtag in my “March Madness: Making it (Mildly) Healthy” fitness group. The idea behind it is to focus on progress and consistency, while neglecting the notion that we’re a failure if we slip with nutrition or workouts.

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I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot. In addition to nutrition, I’ve caught myself trying to be “perfect” in several other areas: Acting goals, finances, and balancing a work/social life to name a few.

Here’s the biggest problem with being perfect: It doesn’t exist.

There’s always something we can do make our situation, our goals, or our lives even better. Going after perfection just sets us up for failure, which ends up hurting our self esteem.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from creative career coach Dallas Travers. (And I’m really excited about the #AgentEquation series that she’s starting next week. Feel free to join me and connect in the facebook group!) She suggested we go about our goals in a way that makes us feel good – not necessarily the “right” way. When we focus on how we want to feel, it changes the game. We can bend the rules or approach our goals in a different direction that we might have originally pursued. This is much more fun than listening to what the negative voice told us.

Not only that, taking action feels good! In his book “Goals,” Brian Tracy talks about how gratifying it is when we complete a task. We’re literally releasing endorphin’s each time we finish something (I know, right?)

So how am I going about this #notperfect concept myself? Here are a few examples:

-I haven’t gone through all of my latests posts, but I’m fairly positive I’ve blogged about this topic a dozen times. Yet, it’s Friday and I have yet to post. This is what’s on my mind and it’s what I want to share. #notperfect

-Speaking of which, I used to blog weekly on Tuesdays. Since last fall, I’ve been inconsistent with days, and even missed a week here and there. #notperfect

-I made this very imperfect video for the Thriving Artist Circle page yesterday. It’s most definitely #not perfect.

I’m not perfect. I think it’s important to share our “imperfections” with others. No one can relate to perfect people because they don’t exist. More importantly, each time I write a blog, make a video, or complete a task, I get the endorphin rush and immediately feel better than I did before. I’d much rather feel happy doing things imperfectly rather than not doing them at all.

What can you do today to get that endorphin rush?

Go get ’em, friends.