Anthony Magro

Tristan Miller – All On The Line

Recently I was privileged to meet a man who achieved his goal after major adversity.

Imagine you were married for six years and your partner told you that they wanted to leave you. Imagine that after a grueling eight month interview process you secured a dream job with Google only to have it ripped away from you eighteen months later thanks to the Global Financial Crisis shutting down your office.

After having these kinds of set backs you might think to yourself it would be easy to just move back with your parents, take up a generic job and quit trying in life.

Tristan Miller acted in the opposite.

Tristan sold his house, his car and his possessions to embark on a year long journey around the world to run marathons. Not just any marathons but rather 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Wow!

Doctors told him it was a bad idea for his health, friends at his running club Tribal just thought he was drunk when he told them and the inner voices reminded him that he was throwing away all the wealth he accumulated over the 33 years of his life.

As the story goes he ran his 52 marathons in 52 weeks over 7 continents in 2010.

I’ve personally never ran a marathon (and some day I would like to build my body up to that point), Tristan shared with me some very valuable life lessons;

The Importance Of Having Goals

I would like to believe that everyone reading this has some form of goal. They maybe short term goals like sales targets or assignment deadlines and others may long term like weight loss or personal development. Who ever you are, it is important that you have goals in both your personal and profession life. Failure to have goals will result in you waking up years from now and very little has changed.

Getting Started

Have you ever had a conversation with yourself where you attempt to talk yourself out of an exercising session? Anyone who has pushed through that conversation will know that once your start it is hard to stop. The endorphins kick in and you complete the whole session.

Emotion is created by motion.

No matter what goal you have set yourself, make sure you have started a path to achievement. 95% of goals live in imagination land because we never put an action to it.

Let Others Know About Your Goals

When you tell others about your goals the universe seems to pull things together to help you achieve them as long as you have committed to them with action. Letting other people know will mean you are serious about your goal and your friends and colleagues will assist you in achieving them. If nobody knows then how will we help?

Learn To Push Through

In life we are faced with walls which hinder our progression. Instead of walking away we need to learn to find ways to get through. Push, jump, walk around, climb… Just find a way through. Continue to use positive reinforcement to push through your toughest challenges and remember that achieving a goal (much like a marathon) isn’t just about coming first, it’s a personal achievement so do YOUR best.

Break Your Target Into Bite Sized Pieces

Some goals are bigger then others and your goal upon reflection might be so big that you don’t know where to start. It would be easy for Tristan to look at his 2,160+ kilometres worth of running and be completely overwhelmed. Keep your focus on the challenge at hand and break it down to achievable bite sizes. If you want to lose 10 kilos of weight you should focus on achieving the first kilo then the next and then the next. Once your focus is on a smaller goal you can put action to losing that first kilo.

By accumulating these small victories you will feel better about yourself, you will keep focused and your path to success will remain positive.

Get Used To Being Uncomfortable

Anytime you do for the first time is going to be uncomfortable. This is the start of the learning process.

Far too often people limit themselves with beliefs which were created in the past. Some people even decided who they were in high school. Hanging on to these out of date beliefs will limit your potential. To achieve your goal there are going to be moments which you need to try something new.  Expand your bubble and try something new. I personally realised four months ago that I hit a brick wall when it came to my health so something had to change. My current food choices only got me so far so I decided to become a weekday vegetarian. 27 years of my life I had consumed meat during lunch, dinner and sometimes for breakfast. My menu choices at restaurants were now limited and I had to forfeit home cooked meals with the mother in law because they were laced with meat. In four months I have dropped 14 kilos and am at the lowest weight in 10 years. The rewards were worth the uncomfort and my will power is so strong that I naturally make the vegetarian choice. Eventually it becomes comfortable.

Be Grateful

Tristan shared a photo which really hit home with me;

This photo of a young Indian boy was taken during the Mumbai marathon. Look at how happy he is. Smile beaming as he walks barefoot on a main road covered in a cloth. Our emotions often are dictated by insignificant things like material possessions. Anyone who has travelled overseas will tell you they return to Australia with a greater appreciation for what they have.

I look at this young boy and am reminded that happiness comes from within. My minor problems are nothing compared to his daily struggle to find a meal. The next time your manager makes a demand that frustrates you I want you to reflect back to this picture. Is the demand really that great? Are my problems really that big? My trip to Laos last year with the Save The Children Fund gave me that full appreciation of what I really have. Reflect on what you have that you can be grateful for.

It was an amazing story from a humble man. I strongly urge you to visit Tristan’s website and find out more about his story. Below I have uploaded the ESPN video which showcases his journey.

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S.M.A.R.T Goals

As the year winds down I notice many of my friends are talking about the year that was and what they want from the new year. Many of my friends are very excited because next year is going to be their year… things will be different! What many of them don’t realize is that next year won’t be their year, or the next year, or the year after that. A common pattern I’ve noticed is that when I ask them about the year that was, it is often filled with negativity and they “hope” that the new year would be different. Albert Einstein once said that insanity was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Many of the people I speak about will be setting their new years resolution on the 1st of January (and probably will be hung over too). They will identify an area in their life that they want to change but many won’t follow through with action. Sadly 95% of all New Years resolutions live in imagination land and never place a step into reality. To ensure you that you see real change in the New Year, I will introduce you to S.M.A.R.T Goals. Below is an except from Paul J. Meyer who describes the characteristics of S.M.A.R.T. goals in Attitude is Everything;

Specific

The first term stresses the need for a specific goal over and against a more general one. This means the goal is clear and unambiguous; without vagaries and platitudes. To make goals specific, they must tell a team exactly what is expected, why is it important, who’s involved, where is it going to happen and which attributes are important. A specific goal will usually answer the five “W” questions:

  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

Measurable

The second term stresses the need for concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal. The thought behind this is that if a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether a team is making progress toward successful completion. Measuring progress is supposed to help a team stay on track, reach its target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs it on to continued effort required to reach the ultimate goal. A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable

The third term stresses the importance of goals that are realistic and attainable. While an attainable goal may stretch a team in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, as these may be considered meaningless. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. The theory states that an attainable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals. An attainable goal will usually answer the question:

  • How: How can the goal be accomplished?

Relevant

The fourth term stresses the importance of making goals relevant. A relevant goal must represent an objective that the goal-setter is willing and able to work towards. This does not mean the goal cannot be high. A goal is probably relevant if the goal-setter believes that it can be accomplished. If the goal-setter has accomplished anything similar in the past they may have identified a relevant goal. A relevant goal will usually answer the question:

  • Does this seem worthwhile?

Time-Bound

The fifth term stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps a team focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency. A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:

  • When?
  • What can I do 6 months from now?
  • What can I do 6 weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?

Understand why you must achieve this goal. Goals need commitment to last through even the toughest time. Knowing my why will push me through the excuses that I will form over time. What are the reason you absolutely will achieve this goal no matter what? Why do you want to do this? Set your goal prior to the new year. There is no time like the present to take action on your detailed goal. Look to build momentum with your new year goal and ask yourself what action no matter how small can you take immediately? If you have a moment, I would love to hear about your goal and what you want to achieve. So what is your goal for the new year?

Smallest Token Means The World

In my role at work i often travel around Australia and Melbourne in particular is turning into my home away from home. Due to a few events in Melbourne last month, i found myself staying in a hotel that i had never stayed before named Jaspers. A cute place that is convinently located next to the Queen Victoria Markets. It isn’t the most elegant hotel and nor is it a backpackers.

Fast forward a month later.  I have returned to Melbourne and again i am staying at Jaspers. Even though i have been traveling for work since 2008, i find myself surprised for the first time as i check into Jaspers.

After throwing down my posessions and jumping on the bed for a moment, i find an envelope on the dressing table and it is addressed to Mr Magro.

“What on earth was this?” i wondered.

Was it from work? Was there something about my hotel room i needed to know about? Was there an unpaid charge from my last stay? I honestly had no idea.

I opened it up to find a card but it wasn’t my birthday.

What i found was this;

Wow!

I have stayed at many hotels and they all have their loyality programs but this is the first time that a hotel has really built some loyality with me. I’m a valued customer.

They didn’t need to offer me a free night once i accumulated the approperiate amount of points, i wasn’t being bought with a complimentry breakfast…

A 40 cent card with 20 seconds of the managers time to personalise the card was all it took for me to have a positive impression of them. In an age where retailers fear online shopping will send them bankrupt, here is a company which has made a concious effort to create a satified buyer.

If you are in an industry where you deal with customers on a daily basis, reflect on how you interact with your customers. What can you do to stand out and be memorable?

If you are struggling for ideas i will give you a few;

  • Ask for your customers name and use it throughout the conversation
  • Remember customer past orders
  • Offer your customers a drink of water, tea or coffee
  • Be prompt in acknowledging them
  • Provide an inexpensive item as something for nothing
  • Put in a little extra

There are many ways which you can stand out. Remember that is always harder to attract a new customer then it is to upsell an existing customer. If you are sales driven or looking to achieve your budget you should first look at your existing customer base.

A Healthy 2012

This article is brought to you by Pete Brown.

Pete is a personal trainer and has competed in natural bodybuilding competitions for the last three years. His vision is to live in a world in which people are healthy and live long happy lives. He is inspired to work in an organization that  truly believed in the healthy fitness programs they delievered with the sole purpose of helping the community.  Through his natural bodybuilding he is able to practice what he teaches.

With 2012 approaching have you set your goals?

Is a fitness goal incorporated into your goals?

Is it a healthy goal?

In the end what is fitness without health?

The reason I ask if the goal is healthy is most people forget that health can be lost in the quest of a fitness goal.

Many people will find a program or a diet off the Internet to follow and in most cases these diets/programs are extreme, written up by athletes for athletes. Other people will take the advice of a personal trainer thinking they re-doing the right thing, the problem here is unfortunately there are many personal trainers out there who will do the same as you. They will jump on the internet find a good-looking program and diet then give it to you.

These programs tend to look good on paper. They look like hard work, have lots of exercises and the diets are calculated precisely to the last calorie. Cutting carbs eating more protein blah blah blah!

Sounds good doesn’t it? In the short-term you may achieve something but it will require a lot of time, effort and sometimes even money. It will take a toll on relationships, careers and in the end your health.

The quest for optimal health and a good-looking body should in fact enhance your life. Not make you feel tired and cranky. Achieving optimum health should be the base and structure for you to go on and achieve in every area of life.

Below I will outline my tips to a healthier 2012;

  1. More is less – 3 – 6 hours are required in the gym a week to provide great results. This will mean per session the maximum time you should spend is 1 hour, ideally you should be in and out in 45 mins
  2. Base your program around your weights – A healthy training program is based on intense weight training. Intense cardio fits into the program on your days with no weight training. Muscle drives your metabolism and is the one determining factor when it comes to losing fat and keeping fat off.
  3. Intensity – you cannot workout with intensity for long periods of time, lift heavy with low reps and low sets. Perform your cardio hard and fast in 20 – 30  minutes. Interval training is the best style of cardio in this instance.
  4. Match your nutrition to your training – most people restrict calories and increase training. Unsustainable! Instead the more you train the more you should eat.
  5. Eat the right foods – Tying in with point 4, no one ever got fat from eating fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, seeds, milk, yogurt, and unprocessed grains. Eat a variety of these foods to ensure the body gets all of it nutrients.
  6. The big one! Forget calories! I could go on about this but I’ll put it shortly.

Your body does not crave calories! It craves nutrients. Ever wonder why you can eat cheese burgers (high calorie/low nutrient) till the cows come home.

Instead eat plenty of unprocessed foods six times a day, this type of food is (low calorie/high nutrient)

With these tips I hope you achieve health and fitness without sabotaging your relationship and career goal for 2012

NOTE – The above information i have gained through my mentor Dr Paul Cribb , he  has developed a program called ‘Metabolic Precision’ available for personal trainers to help their clients achieve great results efficiently. You can find further info at mp-body.com. I am a qualified level 2 Metabolic Precision transformation specialist .

A Millionaire Mind with T Harv Eker

During the National Achievers Congress i was able to spend time with T Harv Eker. Eker is known for promoting his ‘Millionaire Mind’ book where he has been famously quoted that within five minutes he is able to predict your financial history using your financial blue print. A bold claim.

What is a financial blue print though?

T Harv Eker explains that we are all control by an inner blue print. Our attitude, values and beliefs control and restrict our perceptions and behaviours that control our end result.

“If you want to change the fruits, you need to change the roots”

Within my own coaching life i meet far too many people who are unhappy with what they have in life. Not happy with the position their career is in, the rewards aren’t big enough for someone like them or they aren’t as healthy as they might like. Money and health are only results…

“If your life isn’t where you want it to be that is because it is a result of you… So change you”

Our minds are a powerful tool. It controls every part of our body without thought, we can place it under amazing pressure and how we use it will shape our destiny.

Thoughts -> Feelings -> Actions -> Results

If you want to change your results you first must change your thoughts and feeling. The inner conversations we have with ourselves are more powerful than the external conversations we have with our relationships.

Has there ever been a time where you have wanted to exercise, maybe before or after work and when it got to that time you talked yourself out? You even brought your gym bag!

Despite the inner conflict, did you win the battle? Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. If you did win did you convince yourself to just do 20 minutes but then found that you completed an entire session?

It’s amazing how your inner world will ultimately affect your outer world. Regardless if your goal is financial, spiritual, career, relationship or health related… If you want to bridge the gap between your present state and desired state you need to be able to influence your blue print (attitude, values and beliefs).

Anthony Robbins mentions in his book ‘Awaken The Giant Within‘ that when it snows many people complain and stay inside to avoid the cold but some people grab their snowboard and hit the slops. It is all about perception and perception will directly control your outer world.