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The 5 Step Best-Approach To Get Fit And Stay Fit

The Short Advice Get Fit

About the Author

Hayden Moloney is the owner of Fit & Firing, and a published author on Amazon with his title ‘A Bootcamp Program A Week‘. He has worked in the fitness industry in Melbourne, Australia for nearly 10 years and specialises in corporate health and wellness. In other words, he helps everyday people get fit and lead healthier, happier lifestyles. Hayden not only aims to help his clients get fit, but also to stay fit. Sustainable exercise and nutrition is a key area of focus for Fit & Firing, and such is the tone of this guest post! Without further adieu, we present…

The 5 Steps to Get Fit and Stay Fit

This article will highlight some things you probably already know, but need to read again, to remind yourself just how much this ‘get fit’ situation is within your control. I’ve trained people with permanent disabilities, from different backgrounds, and with minimal to no exercise experience. The people who really wanted it, were able to get fit and have stayed fit as a result. Regardless of your experience or condition, there is always something you can do. Don’t excuse yourself because it’s more difficult for you than it is for others. You may need to seek medical advice first, or work harder than the next person, but it is possible for everyone to get fit and stay fit. 

1. Start.

The first step to get fit, is to just get started. If you are someone who doesn’t have much experience exercising, it might be a good idea to seek the advice of a trainer, an experienced friend, or even join an exercise group. Perhaps you’d prefer to have a go on your own? There are plenty of resources for that too. The main idea that I’m trying to get across here is that it doesn’t particularly matter what you do to get started. Just get started. Stop putting it off and waiting for the right opportunity to exercise. It’s already there, all you need to do is go out and find it. Not tomorrow, but today.

2. Ignore the Fads.  

Being healthy is not a fad. It needs to be the lifestyle that you choose if your fitness is going to be sustainable. There will be a new superfood pushed to the masses every year, or a new celebrity diet, or mode of exercise. Don’t get caught up in the hype, and try to remember why you began this health and fitness journey in the first place. I’m sure it wasn’t just for the juicy hashtags. Hopefully it was to improve your quality of life and make you a happier, healthier and more valuable person for the people that you love. Your justification will be a major source of motivation for you, which brings us to point three…

3. Set Goals.

In most step-by-step processes you might find this point at the top of the list. But you don’t always need a goal to get started. You do, however, need a goal to keep going. So, in the context of this article, why do you want to get fit? Your answer to this question needs to be the motivating factor that will help you stay fit, once the getting has been gotten. You might have more than one fitness goal to keep you motivated. For example, a long-term life goal (abstract) might be to exercise with your kids, and grandkids one day. A more immediate and specific goal might be to run sub five-minute kilometres by Christmas. If you want to understand goal-setting best practice, just read up on The Short Advice’s SMART goals article here

4. Find an Activity You Enjoy.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this point. Some of the best experiences you can have in life are those you create by undertaking physical activities. There are lessons to be learnt, and much fun to be had. So, find something that makes you happy, and motivates you to get fit. The social side of team sport/group exercise can be a great way to challenge and unite people. Often, there are many metaphors to life that will help your personal growth and development at the same time. Finding something you can do individually is also a great idea. Don’t rely solely on others for motivation, find something you can do whenever you choose. Such is the internal happiness strategy.

5. Embrace the Trial and Error Process

There are two ideas here. The first, is that what works for someone else may not work for you. There will always be contradicting, scientifically-proven studies selling you on the latest best-practice… ‘Eating your own hair increases metabolism’, or ‘backflips proven to reduce risk of cancer’. I made these headlines up, but I haven’t put them into Google Search yet, so who knows… Don’t believe everything you read, but don’t be closed off to new information either. Find what works for you in terms of nutrition and exercise, this is idea number two. Don’t be afraid to change it up now and then to improve and refine the process. If you’re always open to learning, you will allow yourself the best chance to get fit, and stay fit. 

Final Note…

Thanks for tuning in to our guest post today! For more information on nutrition you can view Fit & Firing’s ‘Don’t Diet’ article here. As always, thanks for reading and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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Overcome Your Fear of Failure: 5 Fail-Proof Tips

The Short Advice Fear of Failure

Understanding Fear of Failure.

Fear of failure is quite common. It’s normal for us to experience this to some extent, although in extreme cases it can become a phobia. More specifically, atychiphobia. Of course, there is a phobia to describe just about every fear imaginable, so don’t throw yourself into that category just yet. A powerful emotion that is a driving force behind fear of failure, is shame. The shame in knowing that you are not good enough if you do fail. The shame in others knowing too. It can drive us to self-sabotage and procrastinate until we give up. So don’t let these feelings mount, combat them by putting some simple strategies in to place…

The 5 Fail-Proof Tips to Overcome Fear of Failure

We all have dreams and aspirations. And they wouldn’t be dreamy, if they weren’t somewhat difficult to achieve. Achieving your dreams is never going to be easy, and sometimes we tend to talk ourselves out of even trying. Because, what if I don’t succeed? Well, the reality is that you won’t always succeed. And yes, failure can be a scary thought. But don’t let that get in the way of trying. Trying leads to opportunity, and with every small step that you take, your chances of success increase. Maybe only slightly, but they do increase. As will your access to more new opportunities. But the closer you get, and the more work you put in, your fear of failure mounts. We’d prefer to believe that the reason we didn’t achieve our goals is that we didn’t try in the first place. Because trying, and not being good enough is terrifying. So, we stop trying. But before you give up, and continue working in a job that doesn’t motivate you, consider our first ‘Fail-Proof Tip’… 

1. Embrace Your Fear.

Are you afraid? Good. You should be. If you aren’t, then you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone yet. There isn’t a great deal of personal development that happens there, so step number one is to throw yourself into the path of fear, simply by trying. Your fear of failure is necessary in order to balance out the positivity that is associated with courage and bravery. Without fear, these positives could not exist. So be brave enough to try! Yes, you may not succeed your first go, or your second, or your third… But if you can succeed at trying, that is a big step towards achieving something of value, even if that something isn’t what you initially set out for… “Well, Columbus wasn’t looking for America, my man, but that turned out to be pretty okay for everyone.” – Beanie, Oldschool

2. Plan for Success.

Through planning, you allow yourself to visualise your path towards achieving your goals. Breaking down your goals into smaller, more achievable steps will help you to create a pathway towards your long-term goal. In doing this, your approach becomes far more realistic, and your fear of failure will be combatted by the confidence you feel after achieving each step. Don’t expect it to disappear though. It won’t, and it shouldn’t. Rather, use it to remind yourself how you felt before reaching the last small milestone. If you were able to overcome your fear of failure once, you can do it again, and again, and again… 

3. Leverage Your Passion.

Hopefully, it is your desire to succeed in an area that you are passionate about. Don’t let success/failure dictate your level of enjoyment. Your passion should not be dependent on either of those things. If you are doing it because you love to, and not because you have to, then you will immediately have an advantage. Of course, to excel in an area you are passionate about, you’ll have to do some things you may not want to do in order to improve your position. Next time you’re undertaking one of these tasks, just remember it is your passion that will benefit, and give you satisfaction, rather than solely focusing on what you will gain from success. 

4. Manage Your Emotions.

If you’ve just trawled through instagram and seen all the happy, smiling faces earning six figures a month working from home, you might think it looks easy. Firstly, it’s not. Secondly, most of these people are probably liars, and not earning anywhere near what they claim (nor are they helping anybody in the process). Aim to be realistic about your expectations of what your journey towards success will look like. A few months in, after strictly following your plan and seeing little to no reward, you will be upset. Disappointed, angry, dejected, embarrassed… Any combination of negative emotions that stop people from doing what they want to every single day. Emotions will arise without your permission. How you respond though, is completely within your control. 

5. Build Your Resilience. 

Accepting your fears is the first step towards developing mental toughness. But don’t stop there. Be resilient as you face your fear of failure, and keep going. There is much to be gained by embracing the old saying ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. As the negative emotions arise, and try to keep you from realising your dreams, remember that it is action that will make them subside. You will build a resistance to this internal negativity by proving to yourself that you can overcome it through your actions. The road to success shouldn’t be a dark and miserable one. It will be tough, but happiness can (and should) be found in hard work, and not just the end result. 

Final Note…

One step at a time, you will be able to overcome your fear of failure. It won’t disappear forever, but it doesn’t have to for you to achieve success in your chosen field. Never stop trying, and enjoy the trying part too, not just the succeeding part… As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Finding Internal Happiness: The Happiness Investment Strategy

Internal Happiness The Short Advice

Happiness Starts at Home

Not your literal home, but the figurative one inside of you. You are in charge of your happiness, and solely relying on others to provide it for you is unwise. Whilst you might be able to influence the life choices of the close people in your life, you cannot entirely control them. And nor should you! Rather, consider the things that you can control in your life that bring you happiness. If you haven’t been practicing this, then it’s time to find something that you are passionate about. Something you are so grateful for that no relationship could ever take from you. Hypothetically, if all of your meaningful relationships fell by the wayside, how would you fill your time? Please don’t say ‘cry’, that’s not the answer we’re looking for here… In other words, what would you do that would make you happy if the closest people in your life were no longer around? A difficult question to contemplate, but a necessary one if you are to be a sound investor of happiness…

Purchasing Shares in Happiness

If you are lucky enough to have some strong family bonds, good friendships and a romantic relationship, you are probably not as lucky as you are a good friend, relative and partner. That is to say, you have earned these relationships, and the benefits that come along with them. All of your positive attributes that have helped bring you happiness have put you in a buyers position. The question is, how will you spread your wealth? Too many people make the mistake of investing their life savings of happiness chips into a romantic relationship, and expect to put their feet up and sip cocktails on their figurative island in the sun. When their relationship ends, they can’t even afford to pay the mortgage on their happiness, and so, depression becomes their new form of currency. Continuing with this metaphor, lets consider an investment strategy to better manage our happiness:

1. Diversify Your Happiness Portfolio

Smart investors spread their wealth, so do the same with your happiness. Don’t invest it all in your romantic relationship, and neglect your friendships. Don’t forget to spend time with your family, because your financial success has become an overbearing focus. This point is all about creating balance. Not just between the people in your life, but also the activities you undertake. 

2. Invest in Others Wisely

Every now and then, investors take a leap of faith based on some good information. Sometimes we will over-invest when an opportunity presents that seems almost too good to be true, and sometimes it is. Remember the importance of finding the right balance, and check your insecurities at the door. Try to judge every opportunity on its merits, rather than comparing each to your last investment. This can be said of people, business opportunities or other. 

3. List Your Own Company

Invest in yourself! Happiness shouldn’t all be passive income, so get involved in your growing portfolio. Put time aside to find and develop your passion, and excel in areas of interest. This might be a hobby, business opportunity, or both. Whatever it is, it should add value to your life, and hopefully other lives as well. Two important criteria that will help you generate a strong revenue stream of happiness. Get out there and achieve your goals

4. Ride the Peaks and Troughs

Heres where the analogy gets a bit tricky… You can’t sell at the peak of your happiness, and then reinvest when you hit rock bottom. A financially sound idea, but one that doesn’t translate well in the context of happiness. Instead, the point we’re getting at is that you can’t always be happy. When we invest in our passions, and in people, we’re generally in it for the long-haul. Naturally, we’ll have ups and downs. Relationships experience conflict, and the motivation that drives our passions can waver. This is the leg-work behind ‘happy’ that is necessary for it to be sustainable. So, enjoy the good times, and make the tough times better. 

5. Know When to Buy/Sell

Buy when you have the wealth to buy. That is to say, once you have developed some internal happiness. When we are unhappy within ourselves, our insecurities can have too-strong an influence over who we choose to invest in. And when that person’s stock opens significantly lower than when we invested, it can be difficult to sell. Put simply, unhappiness can land us in unhappy relationships. And the same insecurities that saw us settle for these relationships, has us trapped inside them. If you don’t remember how to be happy alone, and are too heavily invested in a negative relationship, it can be much harder to end it (sell). So get back to focussing on point three, and invest in yourself first! You’ll make a better partner in the long run.

Final Note

Happiness is in infinite supply, just like sadness. It is, however, a little harder to find. With the right motivation, resolve, and a sound happiness investment strategy, you’ll be on your way in no time. So get up off the couch, and get stuck into whatever makes you happy, and adds value to other lives as well. If you’re not sure what that is yet, go and find it! As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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SMART Goals: What Are They And Why Should I Use Them?

SMART Goals The Short Advice

The Importance of Goal-Setting

Goals give purpose to our actions and are a major consideration of the ‘Success Blueprint‘. They provide the direction and motivation needed to be successful in our endeavours, acting as ‘stepping stones’ to track our progress. Goal-setting should incorporate both long-term and short-term goals, to ensure that we set ourselves realistic and achievable targets. This brings us to the acronym that we’re going to dissect in this article, SMART goals. 

SMART Goals

The term was first coined by George Doran in a 1981 article for Management Review titled ‘There’s a S.M.A.R.T way to write management’s goals and objectives‘. Whilst this article was written for the context of business management, the idea itself is not exclusively for business application. Since 1981, the term has been further developed, and can be presented in a number of ways, according to Robert S Rubin. Below, we’ve chosen what we believe to be the most helpful term for each letter of the acronym, to describe the process of defining realistic goals. 

Specific

Exactly what are you aiming to achieve? Don’t be vague, be precise. This will help you to define the steps that you’ll need to take in order to achieve your goal. The more specific your SMART goal is, the easier it will be to identify the path that will get you there. In previous posts, we have referred to this path as the ‘short term goals’ and ‘regular activities’ necessary for overall success. 

Measurable

How will you measure your progress? Consider the criteria that must be met in order to continue moving towards your end goal, and ensure that these points are clearly defined. Now, consider how you will measure the success of your overall goal. Is your SMART goal specific enough for you to clearly define what your success will look like? As well as setting a specific goal, set specific targets that will allow you to track your progress and encourage you to continue towards the ultimate outcome. 

Achievable

Make sure your goal is a realistic one. It’s okay to reach for the stars, but sometimes you need to focus on making it outside of the Earth’s atmosphere first. That is to say, the achievement of realistic goals, will make those less-attainable goals more attainable. Similar to above, long-term goals need short-term goals, and broken down further, regular activities, in order to be successful. Naturally, your shorter-term goals will be relatively easier to achieve in comparison to your long-term one. 

Relevant

This point encourages you to consider if your goal is relevant to you, your environment, and your needs/wants. Your SMART goals should be aligned with your values and principles. How will they contribute to your overall development, and how do they relate to any other future aspirations/goals? Chasing large goals can affect other areas of your life, so consider whether it is a wise life-choice before embarking on your journey. 

Time-based

Perhaps one of the most important points of the SMART goals acronym. This brings us back to specificity in a way… Exactly how long are you going to allow yourself to achieve your goal? By setting deadlines for each task, you’ll keep yourself on track. This also takes us back to the ‘measurable’ point. Completing tasks within a time frame that you’ve set provides a measurable point of success. Or perhaps you didn’t meet the time frame? That’s okay too, it still provides a measurable benchmark that you can improve on. 

Are SMART Goals Flawless?

Nothing, and no-one is perfect. SMART goals are a fantastic tool to plan and analyse the goals we set for ourselves. But there are other considerations we should make during the goal-setting phase. Because, just like interests, goals can change. Measures of success can change. So, we must be able to adapt throughout our journey in order to achieve our goals. That is why critical self-reflection is so important. If you have been unable to meet the targets outlined by your SMART goals, then you need to understand why. Our mistakes and failures are but invaluable lessons that provide the basis for our success. Absorb these experiences, and use them to refine and re-implement your SMART goals. 

Final Note

If you don’t start today, you’ll wish you had tomorrow. Use the SMART goals acronym to refine and re-implement your current goals, and give yourself the best chance at achieving success. We sure hope you’ve found this article helpful, and we are forever grateful that you’ve taken the time to read it! So, as always, thanks very much, and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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Financial Stress: 6 Simple Management Strategies.

Monopoly financial stress

The Pressure of Financial Stress.

Pressure and stress can be factors that motivate us to work hard. But, if they’re not properly managed, they can hinder our ability to perform at a high level. Not only can this make it more difficult to appropriately manage our finances, but it can also be the cause of many stress-related health issues. There are a few simple ways that we can better manage financial stress, starting by simply taking a seat, and pulling out a pad and pen… Budgeting is the most obvious strategy, and we’ll discuss that in more depth later. However, one strategy that is often over looked by many people who suffer from financial stress and pressure, is the insatiable desire to compete with their neighbour. That’s why we’ve included this strategy at the top of our list:

6 Simple Management Strategies for Financial Stress

1. Ignore the Competition

Monopoly. Dubbed ‘The Game of Life’. Sadly, it’s a truth that is all too real. Many of us lose track of why we set out to earn in the first place, and tend to measure our financial achievements against those of our friends and family. Do you live to work, or work to live? What are your priorities? Before you start looking at how you will spend your money, or how you can save more money, you need to consider the why. You may not need all of the lovely expensive things that your wealthy friends have. Don’t put yourself under severe financial stress, and over-extend so that you can achieve somebody else’s financial goals. So, before engaging the following 5 strategies, put the competition aside, and focus on what suits your lifestyle. 

2. Set Financial Goals

Goals provide us with the direction and motivation needed to succeed. Of course, it does take a little more than simply setting goals in order to succeed (mental toughness for one). But it certainly is a great place to start. Set a long-term goal, and then a series of short-term goals that will act as ‘stepping stones’ towards achieving that long-term goal. To break it down further, you can brainstorm some daily, and weekly activities that will help you in reaching each goal you set. For example, if your long-term financial goal is to purchase your first home in 2 years, a short-term goal might be to save $10,000 in six months. Your daily/weekly activities might be cooking everyday, instead of eating out, or counting and reviewing your expenditure every week. 

3. Create a Budget

The absolute staple of every financial planning/management article you’ll ever read. Budgeting is important, as it helps you to set realistic financial goals. It’s also a great way to consider how your finances can best serve your lifestyle/priorities. Using the example above, perhaps purchasing a home in 2 years is a goal for you, although you are unwilling to sacrifice regular brunch dates. Thats fine, if thats what fulfils you, although you may need to reconsider the time frame you’ve set to purchase your first home. Depending on your circumstances, you might like to use a budgeting template, or just create a very simple one yourself. Make sure you track your in-goings and outgoings, and ensure that you have a realistic savings goal so that you always put money aside. 

4. Enjoy Without Spending

The advertising industry has you convinced that you can’t have fun without spending money. It’s a lie, but for some reason, we all believe it. Usually, the lies we believe are the ones that are convenient for us to believe… But this lie is extremely inconvenient! So, instead of subscribing to this common misconception, find something fulfilling that you can without spending money. Can you converse with your friend whilst walking in the park and eating a banana, instead of sitting in at a cafe and eating poached eggs with avocado? Probably. We won’t ramble on any longer about all of the great things you can do for free, but to immediately relieve some of that financial stress, go and find something!

5. Live Within Your Means

Living to excess in any facet of life can be dangerous, and a major contributing factor to financial stress is excessive spending. Credit card debt, personal loans, and crippling mortgages won’t make life any easier. Each of these examples of over-spending are usually quite avoidable, simply by exercising some restraint. Once you’ve sat down and budgeted, you’ll have a better idea of what you can and can’t do financially. Your goal will one day be to make a significant outlay in order to satisfy a ‘want’, and that’s fine. But excessive spending in the mean time will not help you to get there any faster. So, be smart, and be disciplined. It will pay off. 

6. Consider New Opportunities

This is a step that might not suit everyone, but it can’t hurt to add it in. Opportunities for new revenue streams are a click away these days… I mean hey, you could start a blog! If it’s something you are passionate about, it might also double as your new ‘free’ hobby. You could be creating a new opportunity to earn, and saving yourself money at the same time. Of course, there are a multitude of opportunities out there for those who are actively seeking them. If supplementing your income is something you’ve always been interested in, why not do a bit of research? But don’t wait until tomorrow, it may never come… 

Final note…

Financial stress is bound to strike at some stage, so be proactive in your approach to stress management. Check out our previous article about managing stress, and get across ‘The Stress-Less Game Plan’. As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below.