Archive for the Category ◊ Exercise ◊

• Thursday, November 24th, 2016


How are those 2016 goals working out for you? I’ve got some news for you, but most people don’t want to hear it.

There are only three reasons that you fail to make progress towards your goals. Yes – it’s that simple. But people are going to deny it.

The first two reasons are the most important – and the ones that people don’t want to face. The third reason is really just a caveat. So let’s scrap the third reason.

There are only two reasons you fail to progress towards your goals.
In. Anything.

a) You’re not doing the work, or
b) You’re doing the wrong work

That’s it. Nothing else is stopping you. Whether you want to get a promotion, make more sales, qualify for your bonus or lose ten kilos. If it’s not happening for you, it’s because of one of those things.

So here’s what you need to do. And I KNOW this sounds really simple, but I am really frustrated with a bunch of people I’ve been working with, so I’m going to spell it out.

First – find out what the ‘right work’ is. Because if you want to make more sales, but you’re only making three sales calls a week, then getting buried in admin – it’s probably not going to happen. Or if you want a brilliant team, but you aren’t doing one-on-ones with your staff at least once a month – it’s probably not going to happen.

So, find out what the BEST people in your world are doing. Whether that’s sales, or losing weight, or leadership, or whatever. And then do it even better than them.

Secondly. Commit and work relentlessly on making it happen. You can’t make those 10 sales calls every other week – it has to be every week. Don’t make excuses why you can’t get out the door and exercise, because you’re too busy – just make it happen. Don’t cancel those one-on-ones with your staff because you have too many emails to answer. Prioritise it and Get. It. Done.

And don’t lie to yourself and other people that you’re doing it, when you’re actually NOT.

What’s the third reason? The third reason is that your goals are out of your control. But this rant assumes that you set controllable, smart goals anyway. So forget it.

• Monday, April 20th, 2015

hi perform

High performers have a few things in common that most of us neglect on a daily basis. The good news? These things are really simple. Here are three things that will help you perform better at work every single day:

Move Your Body

Exercise does some amazing things for our performance. Most importantly, it helps train our little ‘energy generators’ within our cells – our mitochondria – to use and produce energy more efficiently. This makes sure that we have enough energy to stay focussed, control our moods, and choose productive behaviours. When we are fatigued, all of these capabilities suffer.

How you can apply it:

You don’t have to be an elite marathon runner, but you just have to make sure that you are moving every day. This can be in the form of structured workouts like running, walking, cycling or any other typical forms of exercise, or it can simply mean walking to work, taking the stairs more often, or finding a way to get your 10,000 steps down every day.


Have a Plan:

If you have an hour to complete a task, you’ll probably take an hour. If you schedule two tasks for that hour period, then you can probably get those done too. When we are not sure what we need to accomplish every day, when we make it up on the fly, we tend to take more time to get things done. However, when we really plan out our day and have specific, realistic task lists that are well prioritised and achievable, then we get more of the important things done. This plan also removes the decision making process. When we deliberate about what we are going to do, we don’t only waste time, but we habitually choose the easiest thing.

How You Can Apply It:

Take 10 minutes at the start of your day to map out the tasks you need to complete. Allocate a time to do each of these tasks, and if you can’t fit them into the day, then re-prioritise them for another day. If you regularly do NOT complete your day’s tasks, then you seriously need to look at what you are scheduling.

Switch On. Switch Off.

High performers realise that we can’t actually work at full capacity all day. Our physiological limit of full intensity is about 90 minutes. After this most measures of performance begin to suffer: problem solving ability, attention, reaction time…. you name it, it starts to falter. High performers work at full intensity for short periods, then take moments to recharge in order to be able to work at full intensity again.

How You Can Apply It:

Divide your day into blocks, no longer than 90 minutes each. Some blocks might be shorter due to meetings etc. When you plan your day (above) slot the tasks into these blocks of time, and work with intensity, blocking out distractions and resisting the urge to multitask. Between these blocks on intensity, take 10-15 minutes to recharge: go for a walk, fill your water bottle or get a coffee.


These are just some of the key things that greatly influence our performance and productivity. Incorporate these into your schedule on a daily basis, and you’ll find that your ability to get more done in less time will greatly improve.





• Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

exercise-pain-199x300You’ve heard that exercise is great for fighting stress. So you hire a personal trainer who kicks your butt every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. But you’re not naturally an exercise person, so you hate it. You start dreading the session 12 hours before its even started. You’re full of loathing while you’re getting your workout gear ready the night before.

How much is this actually helping you?

Research obviously shows that exercise does wonders for alleviating stress. But research also shows that if you are forced to do something you don’t want to do (actually, this also works of you’re forced to do something you do want to do as well) then the resultant stress can negate any of the positive effects that the activity might have had.

The Helpless Mouse

In one study, they had two mice exercising in different running wheels, in different cages.  Mouse one (let’s call him Voluntary Mouse) was subjected to various stimuli that the researches know induces stress related illness in these rodents – annoying sounds, flashing lights, cats circling the cage – that sort of thing. Now, if Voluntary Mouse is supplied with a running wheel and allowed to use it whenever he wants, the exercise almost completely deletes all of the stress related illness and response that mice usually get in these situations.

But let’s take a look at what happens in the second cage, with Mouse Two (let’s call him Involuntary Mouse). Involuntary Mouse is ‘yoked’ to his friend, Voluntary Mouse. What this means is that whenever Voluntary Mouse runs on the wheel, Involuntary Mouse is forced to run on his own wheel as well. Involuntary Mouse is effectively trapped in the wheel, and when Voluntary Mouse starts running, Involuntary Mouse’s wheel also starts spinning, forcing him to run as well.

What happens to Involuntary Mouse? He gets stress related illness and symptoms – even though he is not experiencing the stress inducing stimuli (the lights, noise, cats) that is happening in the other cage. In other words, Involuntary Mouse, gets the stress related reactions simply because he is forced to do something – even though that something would otherwise be good for him (incidentally, mice actually love running on these wheels, so in any other circumstance, Involuntary Mouse would be happy).

The message is pretty clear: stress-reducing activities are really only completely beneficial, when we do them voluntarily, when we aren’t forced to do them and they are most effective when we actually like doing them. If you hate boot camp, then maybe tennis is more appealing.

Whatever you are doing to de-stress, you’d better like it…. and if you don’t, then find something else that still fits the bill.