Happiness…where it isn’t!

IMG_2003Happiness.

Most of us have a difficult time describing what it is.

That’s because the area of our brain that “feels” has no capacity for language.

So, I’m not sure I can tell you what it is but I can tell you where it isn’t.

It’s not in a nice car. It’s not in a fancy wardrobe. It’s not in the Super Bowl. It’s not on the leader board. It’s not at your local supermarket.

If you keep looking for it outside of yourself, you’ll never find it. It’s within you. It’s a state of mind. It’s a matter of worth.

The question I’d ask is do you believe you are worthy of feeling happy. If you are, then you should 🙂

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Bad posture is normal

images-2Posture is an expression of all that you’ve experienced in your life. While posture is thought of as some static position we maintain, it’s a dynamic representation of our abilities and capabilities.

We’ve been conditioned to fight bad posture by pinching our shoulder blades together, pushing the crown of our head towards the sky and sucking in our gut. I’d hate to be the bearer of bad news, but none of those techniques actually work…and for a variety of reasons.

Gravity – It’s 24/7/365 and you’ll never beat it.

Attention – Performing any of those techniques above requires your attention and we’re not so good at doing two things at once.

Position / Motion – You can’t fix posture by holding a position, you’ve can only improve it with motion or movement.

Allow me to debunk a common myth that you should keep an upright posture while sitting. When sitting, your body should naturally assume a flexed posture (round back). In addition, turning your hands face down to type or write pulls your shoulders forward. So trying to upright yourself literally fights the position you’ve put yourself into, not to mention, it’s uncomfortable to sit upright and impossible to hold for long periods of time.

When sitting, embrace the posture it creates but be sure to move throughout the day so your body doesn’t form an adaptation to the round back, shoulders forward position.

To reverse the cumulative and degenerative effects sitting has on your body, perform the restorative routines below for one minute every hour you spend in a seated position. If you sit for 8 hours, move for 8 minutes.

1. Gently unwind bad posture in all three planes of motion:

2. Follow this week’s video blog for quick hitters to enhance posture right at your desk

3. Pick up one of these to stay active while sitting, the 15” disc is much more comfortable

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Reversing the Effects of Sitting – Part 1 of 3: Hips

sittingMove over cigarettes, sitting is the new silent killer. Spending too much time in a seated position has both cumulative and degenerative effects over time: lower back pain, tight hamstrings, poor posture, low energy and a lack of mental clarity. Sitting’s effect is more than just physical, it impacts our mental and emotional health as well.

Since we can’t avoid sitting, we must work strategically each day to reverse its effects. There are two parts to this process: first we lengthen, then we strengthen. Lengthening congested tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, fascia, etc.) improves joint mobility, while strengthening congested tissues improves joint stability. “Mobility + Stability = Most Ability” Gary Gray

We will apply the “lengthen to strengthen” process to three key areas of the body: hips, spine and feet. Restoring movement health to each area takes only about a minute and simultaneously improves posture and core strength.

Day 1 of 3: HIPS

Day 2 of 3: SPINE

Day 3 of 3: FEET

Aim to perform one minute of rejuvenating movements for each hour you spend in a seated position. Receive all three directly to your inbox by signing up for Mike’s Movement Matters blog: http://www.conditionforlife.com/movement-matters/. Be well.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach has inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

What story are you telling yourself?

magic open book of fantasy stories

magic open book of fantasy stories

When working with new clients, oftentimes, there’s a disconnect between where they want to be in their lives and the story they keep telling themselves.

Where you want to be in your life is called your vision. The story you tell yourself (self-talk) is called belief.

If what you believe about yourself aligns with your vision, it’s only a matter of time before you get there. If not, you’re only wishful thinking.

Only you know what you tell yourself and the source of it. Only you can reprogram what you believe about yourself. But how?

It’s suggested that 95% of what we believe about ourselves is driven by our behaviors, what we do everyday. Change the behavior, change the belief.

Don’t try and change it all at once though, you’ll fail time and again. Choose one behavior that discourages you from fulfilling your vision: eating fast foods, sedentary lifestyle, getting to bed too late, putting yourself last, etc.

Perform the new behavior just once to prove you can do it and say aloud: “I am enough.” Pairing the action with the statement plants a new seed.

Challenge yourself to repeat this behavior for one week, then reflect on it’s impact. How has it improved your quality of life.

Once you’ve connected the dots that encouraging behaviors bring your vision to life, continue making decisions that honor you.

Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Every other line

UnknownPeople come to me to enhance their body, but it’s their mind holding them back and their spirit that suffers. We take a Mind-First Approach® to enhancing quality of life!

As much as my clients just want to be told what to do, I prefer to teach them how to think for themselves. We choose to operate in their best interests.

Since the mind often holds back the body, we condition the mindset first. If we think good thoughts, then we feel good feelings and behave ourselves accordingly.

With the help of Carol Dweck, one of our first strategies is to help them transition themselves from a fixed to a growth mindset. We help them get their mind on their side.

A fixed mindset confuses not knowing with not good enough and avoids challenges, whereas a growth mindset asks questions and sees challenges as an opportunity to change. Good thinkin’ Lincoln!

Appreciating that our brain adapts to our every thought, we help our members embrace a problem-solution mindset. We leverage the power of association, problems need solutions.

Grab a lined sheet of paper. Write down your perceived problem. On the next line, write down a viable solution. Then, explore the solution. Simple.

We are designed to follow the path of least resistance, so you may think: Well, what if the solution is wrong? Don’t get caught up in right or wrong, we’re aiming to develop a solution-oriented mindset, that’s it.

I want to build success into this process, so let me be the first to tell you that not all of your solutions will actually work. If 20% of your solutions work 80% of the time, your life will be transformed, hands down.

The biggest problems are typically the hardest to see. If you want to find them, tune into your self-talk, what Tom Asacker calls the “story we tell ourselves”. You will play out that narrative every day.

Daniel Siegel tells us neurons that wire together, fire together: Problem-solution, problem-solution, problem-solution, problem-solution, problem-solution…over time you’ll be more focused on the solutions to your problems than the problems themselves.

Consistency is key. Persistence make all things possible. Repetition creates results. In other words, continue practicing until this constructive mindset is automatic and when it is, you’ll find others coming to you for solutions.

At the end of the day, all that matters is you care enough to ponder solutions to perceived problems—a sign of worthiness and a gateway to your dreams. Become your own catalyst and create the solution to your own situation every other line at a time. Be well.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Fitness without function is useless…

impossible-and-useless-objects-522051027d34b_hiresCrossfit, kettlebells, bodybuilding, club bells, sandbags, you name it, if you’re surpassing your individual threshold, you may develop fitness but if it’s at the expense of function, it’s useless.

You just hit a new RM but your knee is killing you…useless.

Your midsection is ripped but your back aches when you get up in the morning…useless.

You can hit a deep squat but you’re compensating left, right and center…useless.

You’re dominating the leader board at your box but you have shoddy form…useless.

If you’re not challenging and engaging your body at all…useless.

This is the same as having a gun with no bullets, a surfboard with no waves or a kite with no wind. One without the other is useless.

When your outlook is “bigger, faster stronger”, you lose sight of movement health and exchange quantity for quality of movement.

The issue here is sustainability of your efforts…if you can’t maintain the pace, you’ll eventually forfeit the race. Find your balance.

Suggested solutions:
– Reduce the range of motion, going deeper isn’t necessarily more beneficial. Most of life happens in short ranges of motion…training should reflect that.
– Reduce speed of movement, going faster makes it challenging to maintain awareness and therefore, high-quality form.
– Respect the relationship between speed and range: slower movements pair well with deeper ranges while faster movements pair well with shallow ranges. Beer and liquor don’t pair well either.
– Reduce the load, deeper soft tissue structures, such as tendons and ligaments don’t adapt as quickly as muscles do.
– Adopt an outlook of sustainability, that one workout is never the one that gets you to your goals, it’s the ability to do it well over and over.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

The answer’s within

imagesFor just about every perceived problem, there’s a pill, program, procedure and app for that.

The dilemma here isn’t the problem, it’s where we’re looking for the solution.

If it’s a pill, realize your body probably makes some natural form of what the pill’s offering you. If things aren’t working right, maybe you’re body’s not getting what it needs to function optimally.

If it’s a program, sure you can follow some cookie-cutter approach to just about anything. Bigger issue is when you’re being told what to do, you’re not thinking for yourself.

If it’s a procedure, question if you’ve exhausted authentic means first. Otherwise, the path of least resistance will most likely take you back to where you started.

If it’s an app, sure it’s fun, easy and convenient, but that doesn’t sound like an environment for growth.

Bottom line is, if you’re looking beyond a 3 foot radius for the solution to your situation, you’ve gone too far.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be.  Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

The weekend strategy

The-Power-of-LaughterAll too many times we try to change everything on a Monday: sleep more, eat better, move more and stress less. Somehow, things don’t seem to be changing as quickly as we’d like them to.

First things first, initiating a change on a specific day, such as a Monday, sets us up for failure because we go into it with a perfectionistic frame of mind. We come up with a grand strategy in our head to heal ourselves but we fail to leave room for being human and enjoying life. It’s inevitable we’re going to have a “cheat” day, in which we throw in the towel until next Monday. Repeat. How frustrating?!

As my boy Einstein says: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Therefore, we need to think about tackling our goals differently. Lets position ourselves for success and consider making a subtle behavior change during our favorite time of the week: the weekend.

The weekend’s a perfect time to initiate change: we’re at ease, thinking more clearly, more well rested, less structured and typically a wee bit happier 🙂 Don’t rush into the change Saturday morning, sit down with your spouse or a friend over a cup of coffee and run your idea by them. Get their insight and listen closely. Then, invest the time to grab a fresh sheet of paper to reflect the blank canvas you are…full of change potential.

Write down your vision at the top. Your concerns on one side and your aspiration on the other. Take notes from previous experiences so as to avoid previous setbacks. Take all things into consideration, be realistic and manage your expectations. Most importantly, remember the 80/20 principle…build success into your program by creating some room for life happening 20% of the time.

A 20% fun factor will give you the courage to make decisions that serve you 80% of the time. Maybe your redemption starts on a Sunday?!

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be.  Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Fitness is more than physical

Fitness is more than physicalWhen working with a new fitness client, the best place to start is with an assessment. With so much to assess, you may start to wonder: What should I focus on first? Anything but their physicality! But their goal is to lose weight and tone up. Right, but their mind is what drove to them to you and you will want to assess their mind first.

How do I assess someone’s mind first? Focus on them, what they want, what they need, what they like, what’s worked, what hasn’t, their expectations, their dreams, their values, their vision, their M.O., their family, their job, their lifestyle and what makes them tick. Ask lots of questions, take lots of notes, connect some dots and become strategic before jumping into tactics.

What if my client has an expectation that we’ll work out on day one? It’s your role as their professional to guide them to their goals. If their last failed attempts started with a physical assessment on day one, it seems like a perfect opportunity to try something new. While they may have preconceived notions, the service you deliver in no way has to mimic their previous encounters…the slate is clean and you have the pencil in hand.

More importantly, once you’ve asked the right questions and actively listened enough to be an impactful resource, what they’ll cherish most about you will have nothing to do with being physical.

#mindfirstapproach
#gettheirmindontheirside
#lifestyleandperformancecatalyst
#strategybeforetactics
#gamechangeryouare

Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Make a list…a very small one

Make a listCut out a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of paper.

Write down all the people who matter in your life.

If the person who just upset you isn’t on the list, let it go.

If they are on the list, sort it out.

Energy is a finite resource and should be reserved for those who are on the list.

If you get upset about someone who’s not on the list, what does that say for the person who is on the list?

Do you pay them both the same amount of mind?

This isn’t a matter of protecting yourself, it’s a matter of the value you find in who you are.

Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.