To do list = not focused?!

images-1As part of helping people reach their fitness and wellness goals, I help them to become more organized: first in their thought life, then in their physical life (sequence is key). Rather than just telling them do this or that, I ask questions regarding what’s worked and hasn’t. No need to change anything that’s already working.

A common yet faulty strategy is creating the lengthy to-do list. We’re convinced if we can just plow through it, we’ll be ahead of the curve and shouting from the rooftops of productivity. Problem is, just as quick as we’re checking off the boxes, new tasks are accumulating at the bottom. The list is a trap, it never ends and puts your self-worth and value on the line when it’s incomplete.

Problem is, a long list isn’t conducive to focus. The longer the list, the less focus there is. It’s likely that you’ve got all your important tasks on there but I’d bet your bottom dollar, there are plenty of unimportant or urgent tasks taking up some hefty real estate. To-do listers tend to put health and well-being related activities at or near the bottom of the list and only get to them if they have time. I’ve found they assume our meeting once or twice per week will be the magic pill. This is an issue of mindset, not time management.

I help them connect the dots that their most important activities, including taking care of themselves, comes before everything else. This sounds logical and seems easy to apply but not when you’ve gotten used to placing your needs at the bottom of the barrel. Change happens in the mind first and once the dots have been connected, the list organizes itself.

The most focused and productive people I know don’t need lists. Their tasks are written down to remind them of what’s important and to make their goals concrete. It’s not a list of what to do in order to be productive. Again, we need to be cautious that more = better. Our worth comes from the fact we are human beings, not human doings.

Take a strong look at your list. Which of the few and true tasks that once completed will get you closer to your preferred status? Short list = focused efforts = productivity = worthiness!

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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.

How can I easily get rid of my muffin top?

81EkbjpmuoL._SX450_ Question for Mike: How can I easily get rid of my muffin top?

Answer: There is no easy way to get rid of a muffin top. At the same time, I would say the fact that you have a muffin top is far less important than why it’s there to begin with. We are in a culture that is quick to judge WHAT has happened and pay little to no mind regarding WHY it’s happened. Losing a muffin top is a desire of the mind that is not necessarily feasible for the body when its fundamental needs are not being met. Once the needs of the body are met via movement, nourishment, rest, support, and stress management, the wants of the mind become the byproduct of that (bye bye muffin top). Think of any relationship where needs and wants are imbalanced, it falls apart. The mind-body relationship is no different.

Many of the clients I’ve worked with who struggle with portion control need to be educated on their hunger threshold…when physical hunger becomes emotional. Understanding that food, although temporarily soothing, can’t fill the deeper voids commonly driving overeating. At that point, they need to be made aware of constructive, alternative options that reduce stress without compromising their health and well-being. You can’t fix an emotional issue (overeating) with rational advice (eat less).

Many times, these very same clients claim to be lazy or demotivated, which is also untrue. Protectively, they label themselves as such to justify their behaviors and need to be made aware of the mechanism at play. When someone is under a lot of stress (not hard to imagine), struggling with worthiness issues and/or living in a non-supportive environment (WHY many people eat more and move less), exercising simply is not the most important item needing to be addressed, which doesn’t mean it’s not important at all. In this common scenario, I’d say it’s not the BIGGEST ROCK needing to be handled.

My strategy would be to empower you to manage your lifestyle and its’ associated stresses so that fueling yourself and leading a movement based lifestyle can actually be made a priority for your mind and body. This is the path less traveled but offers sustainability and enjoyability of your efforts. Address the need, achieve the want. Hope this helps.

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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.