Martial Arts for Life

On A Quest To Be The Best!

Show Up For Yourself

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“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

Do you have anyone in your life who you can count on…to come up with excuses? You know the type of person I’m talking about. These folks seem to have absolutely the worst luck in the world. When it’s time for them to show up for you they have a flat tire, a sprained ankle, or a sewer pipe that broke and flooded their basement. If you made plans a month ago to get together, some minor calamity will befall them hours before you’re supposed to get together. These folks always seem to contract a mystery illness, have automotive problems, or random commitments that pop up at the last minute. I’m going to guess that we all have had experience with these types of people and eventually we come to the inevitable conclusion that we cannot depend on them to show up for us.

It is certainly disappointing and frustrating to find out that you can’t depend on a friend to come through for you, even if it’s just engaging in purely social things. However, it’s even more unfortunate when we fail to come through for ourselves.

Much like our flaky friends, we can become experts at making up lame excuses to avoid taking action. We tend to do this by justifying our reasons with logic, when deep down we know we are letting ourselves down. Naturally, this can occur in any area of life and I find it is a major challenge when it comes to health, fitness, and proper diet.

Human beings can justify almost anything within our own minds. Whether it’s purchasing some gadget or toy we don’t really need (and won’t use more than once) or parking next to a fire hydrant because, “it’s just going to be for a minute.” These are small things with minor consequences, but the habit of justifying laziness and apathy is invariably fatal to success.

For example, let’s imagine that as part of my New Year’s Resolution to get in shape, I committed to go the gym and exercise three times per week. And today, when my alarm clock went off at 6:00 a.m. I went through a series of reasons why it was definitely not a good idea to go to the gym today.

Perhaps my inner dialogue could go something like this:

“I did not sleep well at all last night and it would be pointless to even try to work out. I’m just not going to be into it at all. I’ll just go tomorrow instead.”

“Plus, I’m still a little bit sore from my last workout and I don’t want to overdo it. After all, if I hurt myself I won’t be able to train at all.”

“And, I think I’m starting to feel a little bit of a cold coming on, and working out will only make it worse.”

“Oh, and last time I went to the gym on a Wednesday it was way too crowded! I don’t want to have to wait to use any of the equipment. I’ll be there all day.”

The challenge is the potential truth in all these statements and that’s why it becomes easy to justify laying in bed. However, deep down I know none of those reasons is serious enough to keep me from training if I really wanted to keep my commitment to myself. The reality of the situation is I want to lay in bed because it is a lot easier to stay in a warm, comfortable bed than it is to drag myself to the gym in freezing weather so I can punish myself with cardio and weights for 90 minutes. However, admitting that I just want to sleep in makes me a lazy bum, while skipping because I am sleep deprived, sick and sore does not.

Way too often that’s how it is with the reasons we give ourselves. We have the reasons that “sound good” that we tell ourselves and then we have the real reasons that we dare not admit. And the problem is it becomes easier with each time we make excuses and don’t show up for ourselves. It becomes a habit. Pretty soon any old excuse will do and our health, fitness, and goals in all areas of our lives suffer because of it.

“The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.” – Dr. Robert Anthony

I believe successful people have an uncanny ability to be honest with themselves. I encourage you to make a real effort to be honest with yourself next time you plan on ditching your workout, straying from your healthy diet, or failing to show up for yourself. Ultimately, no one is going to force you to take care of yourself, no one is going to pursue your goals for you, and no one can make you show up for yourself. It’s up to you.

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

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February 27, 2013 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kickboxing Union County NJ | Martial Arts Union County NJ | Karate Union County NJ

I Have No Time For This…

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It’s January and that means droves of people who have resolved to exercise and get in shape in 2013 are joining gyms, buying yoga mats, and ordering running shoes. Unfortunately, many of the “New Year’s resolution crowd” will abandon their goal of living a healthier lifestyle in the not too distant future. According to psychology professor John Norcross, the success rate of folks who resolve to lose weight starting January 1st is a mere 19% after 24 months. Further, 60% of all resolutions are dropped by the six-month mark.

While those statistics are not particularly encouraging, research also indicates that those who make resolutions are still 10 times more likely to successfully change their lifestyle than those who do not. If you have taken the plunge and made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle this year, I’d like to congratulate you on taking the first step. The next step is to follow through with your commitment and stay the course.

Many people who fail to stick with their resolution to exercise regularly fall into the trap of making excuses.  And of course, the habit of making excuses is invariably deadly to success. There are 3 main excuses most people fall back on when it comes to giving up on their fitness-based New Year’s resolution.

“The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.” – Dr. Robert Anthony

Reason #1: “I don’t have the time to stick to my work out plan.”

Time is probably the biggest reason people give when they talk about why they can’t seem to stick to their workouts. Unfortunately, time is rarely the problem. The problem is almost always a simple matter of priorities. The challenge for many folks is they prioritize leisure time and recreation above their own health and well being. For example, according to A.C. Nielsen and a Gallup poll, the average American watches over 5 hours of TV each day and spends 66 hours on the internet each month (including 7 hours on Facebook)!*

I believe people who enjoy success in any area of their lives have an uncanny ability to be completely honest with themselves. The next time you find yourself using the time excuse, take a good hard look at how you are actually spending your time and see if you are completely booked up for 168 hours every week.

If your schedule is such that you absolutely cannot commit to joining a gym or attending a class, could you find 10 minutes out of your day to do some form of exercise? Most cable television subscriptions have on demand workouts for free. Video-sharing websites such as YouTube have literally thousands of body-weight workouts that can be done with no equipment and very little time – and they are FREE! Remember, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

Reason #2: “I have a bad (insert body part here).”

If you’re over 25 you probably have at least one joint or body part that has been injured, and the older you get, the more things will ache (especially after working out).  Many people who haven’t worked out in years expect their body to perform and recover similarly to when they were in their physical prime. This is an unrealistic expectation. Accept that working out can aggravate orthopedic issues and temper your workouts accordingly.

If you have some serious physical issues and certain types of exercises are impossible, find something else that is lower impact. If you have arthritis in your knee, running is probably a bad idea. If you have issues with your shoulder, doing heavy free weight exercises are going to be out. I believe there is a workout plan out there for everybody, whether it’s yoga, tai chi, swimming or something else. Your physician can often make suggestions based on your pre-existing conditions.  Don’t hide behind old injuries and physical challenge, simply work around them.

Reason #3: “I never see any results.”

In any undertaking, progress leads to motivation. As human beings, we can quickly become discouraged when we feel as though we are not improving. However, most people expect instant gratification and don’t even give themselves a chance to see any measurable results. I like to refer to this problem as the “instant gratification trap.”

We live in a day and age when almost anything we want is at our fingertips. If we need information on any subject it is available in a matter of seconds on our smart phone or our computer. If we want to find a product we need, find out how much it costs and have it shipped to our home, we can do it in a matter of minutes. We don’t even have to leave the house to rent a movie anymore! This means collectively we tend to lack patience.

Furthermore, we are bombarded with pills, potions and diets that promise quick results with minimal work. And let’s not forget about the 90 day miracle workout plans. Notice that the words, “RESULTS NOT TYPICAL” or “RESULTS MAY VARY” are tiny but never absent from advertisements for these products. My point is we are now conditioned to expect results instantly and with minimal effort. When it comes to diet and exercise, this is completely unrealistic.

You can make progress in 30 days and you can make more progress in 90 days. However, give yourself a minimum of 6 months of consistent training and proper diet before you judge your results from any program.

When you refuse to make excuses and give up on your goals, you refuse to be denied and you will succeed. I’d like to wish you the best of luck in 2013 on all your goals!

*http://www.statisticbrain.com/television-watching-statistics/

*http://www.statisticbrain.com/internet-statistics/

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Karate Union County NJ – Martial Arts for Life

January 10, 2013 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Safety: Holiday Shopping Safety

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Let’s keep it that way by staying healthy and safe this holiday season. Now that Black Friday has officially kicked off the holiday shopping season, many of us will be hitting shopping centers and malls in search of good deals on gifts for friends and family.

Statistics show that crime typically increases during and after the holiday season. This is because more people with cash, gifts, gift cards, etc. are out and about, which presents more opportunities for the criminal looking for an easy score.

Crimes of Opportunity

Crimes of opportunity are those resulting from spontaneous, unlawful action due to a situation that presents itself without prior planning. Such acts have little or no premeditation. For example, a criminal who notices a vehicle in an isolated section of a parking garage filled with shopping bags and then takes the opportunity to break into the vehicle to steal the contents is committing a crime of opportunity.

Our main goal is to avoid providing an easy opportunity for criminals. Here are some ways to avoid being targeted during holiday shopping trips:

1.) Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you have to shop at night, go with friends or other family members. Avoid shopping alone at night.

2.) Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or anything that would attract unwanted attention from a potential mugger or thief.

3.) When approaching your car check to see if anyone is hiding underneath the vehicle. It is possible for someone to hide under your vehicle and grab you as you get in. There have also been cases of assailants using a knife or other weapon to slash or attack their victim’s leg from under the vehicle, making it difficult to run or fight back.

4.) Don’t carry too many packages at once. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom to move. Consolidate your purchases into a small number of bags. Do not make it appear that you have purchased a large number of items.  

5.) Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay with a check or credit card instead.

6.) ALWAYS stay alert. Be on the lookout for anyone in the vicinity of your vehicle that is acting strangely. People do not typically hang around parking lots or parked cars, particularly if they are not carrying any packages, do not have their keys out, etc. Return to the store immediately if you see any suspicious activity near your car.

7.) Tell a friend or family member when and where you’re going, and when you’re expected to return.

8.) Do not purchase items from non-licensed solicitors in parking lots. The goods being offered are often counterfeit or stolen. Even more dangerous, these types of deals are often a set-up for a mugging or robbery attempt.

9.) Make sure any valuables are out of sight or locked in your trunk. Remember, MP3 players, iPods, cell phones, laptop computers, GPS systems, satellite radios and other small electronic devices are a car burglar’s dream.

10.) If you see something, say something! Contact mall security or your local police department if you witness any suspicious or criminal activity while doing your holiday shopping.  If you need immediate response, or anticipate personal safety could be a legitimate concern, call 9-1-1 immediately. And never, ever attempt to investigate suspicious activity on your own. Contacting mall security or police if you witness odd behavior – like someone wiggling the door handles on a vehicle – can help prevent potential crimes like car burglaries and auto theft.

Finally, I want to offer a word of caution on one safety tip that has been taught to people for years, particularly in women’s self-defense courses. It is often recommended that you have your keys ready, in your hand, prior to leaving the store you are shopping in. A few years ago, I learned of a case where the FBI had apprehended a criminal who had abducted and subsequently murdered nearly thirty women across the country over the span of several years. He had approached all his victims in mall parking lots. When the Federal agents were interviewing this career criminal, they asked him how he went about selecting his victims. He stated that he looked for women who had car keys in their hand because that meant they were not being picked up by anyone and were alone. I do think it is a good idea to have your keys (or key fob) in your hand, just keep that hand in a pocket or out of plain view.

If you are unable to follow these suggestions, I recommend doing your holiday shopping online with reputable websites in order to avoid putting yourself at risk.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

November 28, 2012 Posted by | Personal Safety | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment