Laying It Out: 2014 Goals

I am writing this post more for myself than anything, but also making it public for anyone to keep me accountable. But, this is the list of thing I HAVE to accomplish in 2014. My prayer has been that God helps me keep disciplined in my decisions and actions so I can reach all of these. These are aggressive and scary, but I know I can reach each of these.

So, without further delay, here are my goals:

1. Pursue God more. Daily devotionals, worship time with the family, and finding additional opportunities to be used by God to advance His Kingdom.

2. Love my wife more. The biggest thing I have learned in 2013 is to be a better servant to my wife. Keep God first in our marriage, but keep her second in my heart at all times.

3. Financial discipline. This is the year I start removing a lot of debt from my life. I’ve setup a custom plan to rid my budget of debts in an order that is very beneficial to my family. It leaves us room to enjoy life but sets us up well for the future. There are 8 debts representing around $580 a month that I want to get rid of by October.

4. Career. We are always trying to grow our paychecks. My goal is to first make my move back to the senior level ranks of my role and then continue to increase my value and contribution. Doing these things will allow me to receive pay increases as they become available.

5. Fitness. I gained a LOT of weight back using my shoulders as my excuse to eat bad (cannot exercise, so this cheesecake won’t hurt, right?). No more. I’ve already set up my fitness goals, which includes dropping back into the low 170s or lower, taking my waistline by the tape to 33″ or less, and dropping body fat back under 15% with the goal of sub 13%.

6. Business. It directly relates to both financial and fitness. My goal is to get my business earnings back to a level that benefit the household budget.

7.  Personal Development.  My goal is to read one book a month at least.  I plan to do this by reading one chapter a night.

8.  Golf.  So this is more of a fun one.  My goal is to shoot in the low 90′s consistently, with some rounds getting into the mid 80′s.

It will be fun to review in 2015 to see what all I accomplished.

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RIP To My Lost Years: 2012-2013

I know, morbid title to this post, right?

But, there are some things that I’ve had to realize over the last 2 years.  I missed out on a lot physically.  Having to labrum tears and consequently 2 surgeries took a lot out of me.  I was one who was in shape doing routines like P90X, Insanity, Asylum, P90X2, etc, and then WHAM!  No good shoulders.  Nothing from the exercise routines, fortunately, but just old injuries that I never had looked at came back to haunt me.

Essentially, my shoulders have been jacked since before I first started P90X in 2009.

Each fall, I noticed they hurt.  Bad.

And each fall, I quit exercising because of them.  They needed a rest.

In 2011, I finally went to the doctor.  Just impingement condition (which I knew I was dealing with), a couple of shots, and some PT.  Therapist had me lay off some when I first started (no golf, which was a huge bummer).

Fast forward to 2012 – The year of the caveman (well, paleo/primal eating).  I lost weight almost immediately with no more exercise than PT.  I attempted P90X then, and the shoulders could not handle it by week 3.  I then went to Insanity.  I was not as fit as I was in summer of 2011, but I was making progress….except my shoulders had issues with month 2.

I attempted P90X2.  Phase 1 is not too shoulder intensive, so I made it through that.  A couple of weeks into Phase 2 (most shoulder work) and BAM….no good shoulders.  So I stopped and reverted back to Insanity off and on.

But the bottom line is, 2012 was a messed up year exercise wise.  I lift weights to lose, to maintain, and to feel good.  I like some cardio, but only as a compliment to a resistance program.  And there is only so much lower body stuff you can do.

So finally, I broke down and went to see a specialist.  He immediately recommended surgery (after over a year of PT), but wanted to try one more injection.  No good.  So I had my first surgery on November 13, 2012.  6 weeks in a sling.  No lifting.

3 months later, I surgery number 2 (other shoulder).  6 more weeks in a sling.  6 months of rehab.  The only saving grace in all of this is that I could play golf at the 3 month mark, which means by May I was playing again regularly.  But still no major exercise.

I started back in late September exercising away from PT.  Encountered a setback in late October that took me away for nearly a month.  Now I’m easing back into it and realizing that I lost a LOT of time.

Essentially, I lost 2 years of working on me physically.  And my body shows it right now.

So RIP to 2012 and 2013.  In 2014, the journey picks back up.

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Whatever Happened To Black FRIDAY?

Black Friday! More like “rushing Thursday” anymore.

I love Thanksgiving. As a kid it always involved a lot of eating, leftovers, and television. Every now and then we would spend Black Friday out shopping, but most times my dad was hunting or working and mom would take us out some. Once my wife and I started dating, Thanksgiving changed. The afternoon was spent pouring over the ads from the papers looking for good deals.

And then, a few years ago, it became looking at ads, driving back home, and hitting sales starting at midnight.

And then the sales started happening at 10pm. Still not bad and not too far off from “Black Friday” even with Toys-R-Us running a their sale all day on Thursday.

And then last year the sale started at 8pm at Wal-Mart. Now we are starting to rush.

This year? 6pm on Thanksgiving day.

Whatever happened to Black Friday?

For now, I’ll ignore (but not lessen) the fact that all of these workers are. Issuing family time. I’ve been there working retail on Thanksgiving day and definitely do not take their situation lightly. But now, in order to get some of the good deals, even the non-working are having to step away from the table, the family room, the yard playing football, just to score deals.

When is enough enough?

I get the point of the stores. People only have so much money to spend, so if their sale is earlier than a competitor’s, they can score a bigger piece of the pie. But 6pm on Thursday?

Eventually Black Friday will become Black Thursday, and families will gather around cash registers instead of kitchen tables. Or maybe we can all just say “enough is enough” and refuse to shop on a major holiday. Unfortunately, the almighty dollar, or the lure of keeping more of said dollars, will keep the masses buying earlier and earlier. And the stores know that and will call anyone’s bluff.

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All Things Thankful

It’s November, a month where we gather around dinner tables, talk about what we are thankful about, and get ready for the holidays.  At least, that is what it is like in the Worley household.

I’m not one to write everyday about things I’m thankful about.  Honestly, I really don’t have time to remember each day to write something.  August through November are my busiest months with work and working overtime becomes the norm, not the exception.

But with that, here’s just a handful of things I’m thankful for:

  1. I’m thankful for a loving God, who sacrificed His own so I can have a direct relationship with him.  I’m thankful for what He provides, His joy, and His grace.
  2. I’m thankful for my wife of 12 years.  She’s truly my best friend (my best of bests, to be exact).
  3. I’m thankful for my kids.  Sure, they drive me nuts at time, but I could not imagine life without them.
  4. I’m thankful for my church family, in particular my life group, our coaches, and my pastors.
  5. I’m thankful for my job.  Yes, it is stressful.  And yes, I could probably make more elsewhere.  But, I love the freedom and flexibility it gives me.  Plus I really like what I’m doing and who I work with.
  6. I’m thankful for a roof over my head.  It’s not my dream house, but it is extremely nice and a great place to raise my kids.
  7. I’m thankful for my family that does not live with me.  And while not taking away anything from my parents, but I’m thankful that I have in-laws I get along with.  A lot of married people cannot say that.  It makes life a lot easier.
  8. I’m thankful for the guys who go play golf with me.  I don’t mind playing by myself, but having someone else in the cart on on the tee box with you makes the game a lot more enjoyable.
  9. I’m thankful for somewhat working shoulders, even if one is still giving me troubles.
  10. Finally, but definitely not really the end and not the least, I’m thankful to be an American.  We do not always get it right.  We have people who do not get along running the country.  But I would rather be here listening to the political bickering than to live in the wild somewhere else.
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What Does Marriage Equality Mean For The Christian Church?

I’m resurrecting posting on this blog and will post a variety of content.  Some will be book reviews, some will be trip reports, and others will be just general thoughts.

But today, I’m doing something out-of-the-ordinary for me and making a somewhat political post.  I’m not a fan of politics.  I believe it has divided our country beyond a point that will ever be repaired in our current state.  The far left and far right have damaged any hope of us coming together as one nation again.  It’s sad, really.

However, with the Supreme Court taking on two cases regarding marriage equality, I thought I’d share some thoughts on how “marriage” equality will effect the Christian church.

First, let me give my disclaimer:  I’m a Christian.  I’m NOT anti-homosexual, or a homophobe.  I had several openly gay friends in college and have worked with many who prefer same gender relationships.  My thoughts and opinions are mine based on faith and reality.  If you think anything I may write in here will offend you, please do not read further.  However, I think you’ll be a bit surprised with my opinion.

My statements of my belief:

I believe God condemns the act of homosexuality but NOT the homosexual.  No where in the Bible does God says that a man attracted to another man (or a woman attracted to another woman) is a sin in of itself.  Lustful thoughts or acting out on these feelings is where the sin is.  Paul considers this just as he does sex outside of marriage between a heterosexual couple and classifies it as “sexual immorality.”

But being a “homosexual” itself is not the sin, nor would I condemn anyone with these feelings as being a sinner anymore than we all are (for we all have sinned….remember Romans 3:23?).

With that out of the way, lets get down to what the real issue is.

The Church wants marriage to be between a man and a woman, as God ordained it in the Bible.  The term to pay attention to here is “marriage” as an institution of the church.

The GLBT community wants “marriage” as simply the same benefits that heterosexual marriages have.  In other words, they are more concerned with the equality before the law.  And really, who can blame them?  Regardless whether the Church likes it or not, these people are typically in committed relationships.  They are faithful just like a heterosexual married couple are, or at least should be.  They want the tax benefits, the ability to make medical decisions when necessary, and the other legal benefits heterosexual couples get.

I don’t blame them.

The question we have to ask is what “marriage” really is:  A union blessed by God through a Church, or a legal contract between two individuals that extend certain inalienable rights

My thought is that it is an institution of the Church that the state has taken over.  With this thought, the solution, in my opinion is quite simple:

1.  The state(s) can recognize same sex unions.
2.  The Church does not have to.

Seems like the easy answer, right?  Churches have the right to choose which unions they will, or will not, allow, and the state(s) can allow equality by extending the same rights.  The Church has the right to not recognize the union or perform the ceremony.  There are plenty of offspring religious organizations or JP’s that can perform the same-sex unions.

People who want to pursue same sex relationships are going to regardless of whether the Church stands against it or not.  These couples are not searching for the blessing of the Bible or the church.  They are looking for legal standing so they can have the same rights as my wife and I.

So what should the Church do?  Easy….we should pray.  We should pray for an awakening of who He is to occur.  We should pray for those who seek out same sex unions.  We should not promote hate or intolerance (the way so much hate an intolerance is being pushed against the Christian community).  We should love our neighbors, regardless of their sexual orientation.  We should bless those who curse us.

But more than anything, we cannot let the doings of the governments affect who we are as the Church.

So how does all of this affect Christians?

If everyone will soul search a bit, you will realize that it does not affect what we’re called to do:  Love God, love others, win the lost.  Just because the government of the United States allows something against our beliefs does not mean that God is any less perfect or our individual faith is any less strong.  The government has allowed worst atrocities, such as abortion, yet God still shows Himself strong.

But as my mom and I have talked several times, I will present one argument to the Church that we all must highly consider.

I refuse to believe that anyone should legislate their version of morality.

Minus the obvious things that infringe on the rights of others, such as murder, rape, theft, etc, legislating one set of beliefs above another is dangerous grounds.  Why?  Because Christianity is NOT the fastest growing religion, even within the United States.  If we accept legislating Christina morality now, we set a precedent for future generations to legislate the moral code of other religions.

If we say at this point in time that same sex unions should not be allowed, who is to say that another religion does not take majority and legislate laws undermining Christian beliefs?  Do you want that?  I know I don’t.  I don’t believe it will be in my lifetime or even my kids’ lifetime, but barring the return of Christ before it happens, it will probably happen.

To the GLBT community:  Based on my beliefs, I cannot agree with what you want.  But I will never say you shouldn’t have it.  We can just agree to disagree on the practice, but I agree with your desire for equal rights.

To the Church:  Let’s pray.  If same sex unions are allowed, let’s pray for God’s power to rock our nation and bring a revival so powerful that it will make what is going on a moot point.  Let’s remember that God told us to love our neighbors, not just our Christian neighbors, or neighbors that are straight, or neighbors that agree with us 100%.  Show kindness to all.  Be willing to pray for all.  Keep seeking the lost.  Let God work it all out in the end.

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Posted in Elections And Politics by Brent. No Comments

Welcome To 2012 – New Year, New You?

2011 is gone, 2012 is here.  Congrats, you’ve made it to a new year.

Now what?

I’m big on reflection and planning.  I reflect on the things I did, the things I want to change, and then I make plans to do something about it.  I wrote about the 7 highly effective habits I’m trying to form in 2012, but beyond that, I have to start planning on career success, business success, and anything else I want to accomplish.

So in the new year, do I create a new me?  New year, new you?

I like the person I am.  I’m not perfect, nor do I claim to be, but I don’t need to create a “new” me at all.  And you may feel the same about you.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But, what I am challenging myself, and will challenge anyone else with, is take the you that you like (or the me that I like, in my case) and be better.  Take that extra step.  Do that extra action.

For me, I have a few areas of concentration this year:

1.  Career progression – I have some goals here.  I have some things I’d like to accomplish.  2011 was a great year for me in getting things setup to make the move, and 2012 is the year I plan on piecing the puzzle together.

2.  Business growth – I work with Team Beachbody independently.  I like being a motivator for people to make a positive change in their lives.  But, this year, I need to do more.  I need to inspire more.  I need to encourage more.  There’s a real obesity problem out there, and I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.  With this means business growth, yes, but it also means a larger focus of what I need to do.

3.  Financial house in order – This is always a big one each year.  I’ve never been wildly successful with it.  This year, I’m planning on taking careful, measured steps in bringing a level of financial stability I’ve never experienced.  I have my plan in place, and now it is just time to execute.

4.  Fitness – Along with the business, I have  a level of fitness I want to obtain.  I’ve had setbacks the last couple of years with shoulder issues, but with therapy finally helping, I hope to resume what I love to do soon.

These are the areas I know that most of my non-family focus needs to be.  I’ve planned for a while for most of this, and now it’s just doing it.

A new me?  Nope, just an improvement on the me that is already there.

So maybe a “new you” isn’t in the cards for 2012, but just do something to make your world better.  Does not have to be anything major, just something.

Enjoy 2012 folks….its the only 2012 you’ll get!

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Seven Highly Effective Habits For 2012

I hate “New Years Resolutions” but I always make them.  The reason why I hate them is because of the connotation that they are never followed through by anyone in today’s society.  And that is true, and it is true for me to some extent.  I must say that made progress on all of the goals I set out for this year, and I’m proud of that.

But I was reflecting the other night on the knowledge I gained this year.  I learned a lot.  I learned techniques to become more effective.  I learned how to step up.  I learned how to lead better.  More than anything I’ve learned how to make me a “better me.”  With my knew knowledge, I wanted to put together a plan of action of sorts to take advantage of what I’ve read, what I’ve been taught, etc.

So instead of resolutions, I’m creating habits in 2012.  These are small daily tasks that will continue to make me smarter, sharper, better, in better shape/health, drive my career and my business, and just make me a more pleasant person.

With that, here are the 7 things I plan to implement and why I think they will help.

1.  Make a daily to-do list.  After reading “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy, I learned a lot about getting organized for my daily activities as well as keeping my personal, professional, and business life on track.  And this is something that I subconsciously do but never put it to paper (or, in my case, to iCloud).  This is my biggest thing to change and implement.

2.  No TV/computer/work at night within 30 minutes of bedtime.  Instead, I plan on engaging that time as personal development time.  This will be my time to dive into a good book, learn a bit more, etc.  Now, granted my book very well may be on my iPad, but I’ll still devote that time to reading.

3.  Ample sleep.  7-8 hours minimum a night.  That means I’m getting to bed early (10-10:30).  This will cut down in my extra work per night, which means I must be even more efficient during the day and early evenings.

4.  Dive into Scripture every morning.  I usually start my day by checking email, web browsing, etc.  Instead, I’m going to take 15-20 minutes and read The Bible some.  This is a personal choice, and I realize that not everyone reading this is Christian, but that’s fine.  I am, and this is something I’m going to do.

5.  Exercise and Eat Primal.  The exercise part I do fairly well already.  Eating Primal is something I plan on doing in 2012 and will write some about here on the blog (I’ll also write more frequently about it on my fitness blog).

6.  Journaling/blogging.  I need to be better at this.  I write a lot about fitness, diets, etc, but sometimes I need to just write and reflect thoughts on various things.  Some post I may write and never make public.  I may just write to vent, etc, and mark it as private on my blog.

7.  Spend more family time/more time devoted to family only.  Listen, it’s easy to get distracted.  TV, cell phones, demanding job, business, whatever…even for me, I find myself not paying enough attention to my kids and wife.  I’m not saying that I’m going to spend X amount of time a day with them, but I plan to make a conscious effort to unplug, unglue, and pay attention to them more.

Now obviously, some of these are breaking of one habit and establishing another.  But I’m okay with that.  Some of these are major changes, such as the move to eating Primal.  But that’s cool.

I know that doing these 7 things daily will make me better at what I do.

It will make me better at who I am.

And maybe, just maybe, some of these will help you as well.

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Many Thanks In A Very Rollercoaster Year

Don’t consider this my “end of year” post (although my posting frequency may cause it to be), but I was just just thinking about Thanksgiving, what all I have to be thankful for, and realized that 2011 has been nuts!

In a year that has brought so much change for my family and I, as well as struggles both professionally, in business, and in personal relationships, I have not had a chance to slow down, sit back, and think about the good things that have happened.

So, in no particular order…

  • I’m thankful that in a year when I’ve lost many friends due to a change decision my wife and I made, we have found many more in the process.  I knew when we moved on from our old church that many people would quit talking to us, and it happened.  But in that move, we have had a chance for other bonds to grow stronger with others as well as meeting an entire new group of people which we are getting to know well.

  • I’m also thankful of the relationship April and I have.  No marriage is perfect, and I definitely would never pretend ours is.  Through the tons of tough times this year, we’ve stuck through it, grown closer, renewed our commitment to each other no matter what comes against us, and learned that when no one else is around we can always rely on each other.

  • Along those same lines, I’m thankful for all of my family.  I’ve worked more this year than in any year past as I’ve taken on more responsibility at work.  They’ve been supportive of me when I had to hole up in the office all night, sometimes as late as 3am in the morning.

  • I’m very thankful for my job.  Sure, it has had its down sides over the years, but the bottom line is, I work for a great company in my profession.  After interviewing around some this year, I came to realize just how good we really have it.

  • I’m very thankful of the health of my family; in particular my kids.  I’ve heard horror story of kids with diabetes, cancer, and other unexplained illnesses.  I have 3 wonderful kids, all healthy, energetic, and full of love.

  • I’m thankful that I found a company like Beachbody.  Sure, I make money, but more than anything, it has me interested in my health, my fitness, my family’s health, and has given me a platform to be an inspiration to others, helping them achieve their fitness goals.

  • Finally, and most importantly, I’m thankful for a loving God.  I don’t talk on public forums like my blog or social media a lot about my faith due to how I see it being abused by so many (i.e. the “holier than though”, pharisee types who talk big but live a hollow, blasphemous spiritual life), but I’ve felt like my spiritual life has taken me from one wanting to find God’s love to being one that wants to display His love.

 

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My Return To Blogging Brings… “No Wonder We’re So Fat”

So I’ve neglected this blog while I’ve stayed fairly regular on my Brent Worley Fitness blog.  Mainly because I want the two places to have separate identities, but at the same time, some of what I want to write is not always best to put on a blog about a business and a workout set.

So I wanted to bring back this blog (all while thinking of what design I eventually want for it) and just start putting up some thoughts.

So my first thought coming back is this:  No wonder we, as American’s, are so fat!

I don’t visit buffets much.  The only time I prefer to go to them is when I know I need to eat out and get something in the bellies of my daughters without much wait.  In fact, buffets are very dangerous on a diet like I’ve been on.  But, we visited one yesterday for lunch after church.

No wonder we are so fat.

The veggies were drenched in grease.  The salad bar had a good selection, but the rest of the veggies were just not that good.  The only meat I really wanted (turkey) was heavily processed; it did not even taste like turkey.  In fact, it tasted like spam with a slight hint of turkey.  It was not appeasing at all.

The other meats were fried or fatty cuts.  In fact, a lot of the food on the buffet was fried.

The only area that was “bad” for me that looked good at all was the dessert bar.  And yes, I had dessert, in a very moderate fashion.  But I’d hate to know exactly what they put into the cookies I had (but they tasted good!).

The sadest thing about a buffet is this:  The amount of obese people that run to them looking for a meal.

Umm…hello?  Wonder why your weight got so out of control to begin with?  Maybe it’s the rounded over plate of fried chicken, french fries, fried okra, and buttery mashed potatoes!  I don’t want to come across as I am being mean towards obese people because I’m not.  But if we, as American’s, really want to know why our waistline is expanding along with our healthcare cost, maybe it is time we re-evaluate what we eat, how much of it we eat, and our increasing body fat percentages.

But buffets are not the only problem.  Calorie traps are everywhere.

Salads are supposed to be healthy, right?  Except with the salad comes in at over 1,200 calories on a single plate/bowl, that is (and yes, browse the nutritional menus of many popular restaurants and you’ll see plenty of gut busting salads).

Deep fried fairs and carnivals?  Oh yes, fried butter on a stick?  I’ll take two!

And let’s not forget about what I think is the number one offender of calories:  The drinks!  8 ounces of most soft drinks will run you 100 calories.  What are the calories?  Straight sugar, and not even the beneficial kind.  Nope, it’s the kind that is mass produced in laboratories so that companies can drive down cost while making us fat.  I even read about a sweet tea from Subway that runs between 300-600 calories…for a drink!  I barely consume 600 calories in a meal, much less something to drink.

We wonder why we’re so fat?  Take a look at what we are consuming.  And then take a look at our activity level, and you’ll soon realize that we simply are doing too little movement with the body and too much movement of the fork to the mouth.

Now, here’s my disclaimer:  I have no problem with people straying from a pretty good diet.  Even I do it.  Yes, I enjoy sweets.  I love greasy pizza and hamburgers.  I’m not going to lie about the foods I love.

But I am also going to tell you that I reserve these type meals for a one a week (or once every two weeks) cheat meal, special occasions, etc.  In fact, recently on vacation I ate whatever I felt like eating.  I felt like crap during the entire week, my energy was lowered, I felt bloated, and was tired more.  My body is accustomed to being fueled with good stuff.  Instead, I was fueling it with garbage, and the saying “you are what you eat” manifested itself.

The every-now-and-then overeating will not kill you.  The constant stuffing your face until you are beyond full will.  Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more are all linked to what we consume, how much we consume, and how fat we allow ourselves to become.

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Quitting So Close…

Survivor Quitter Kelly Purple

Survivor Quitter Kelly Purple

So tonight, I watched Survivor with my wife (as we usually do, DVR’d, of course), and I witnessed something that ticked me off as well as shocked me:  Two contestants, no more than 11 days from the end of the game, after being on the game for 28 days, up and quit.

They quit!

Hey, I understand being hungry, being tired, whatever.  But you’re over two-thirds of the way through the game, you are close to winning a million dollars, you know the longer you stay on the show the more you are going to get paid, and yet you are willing to walk away.

What are you thinking?!

Enough with the frustration though (and I was glad to see that moron Naonka leave…childess, ghetto, annoying…good riddance).  But Kelly Purple?  No one viewed her as a threat.  She might not make it to the final three, but she’s got several more days (epsidoes) until she is dismissed.  In other words, you passed on easy money.

Now seriously…enough with the rant, and on to the point:

I’ve never quit anything as big as Survivor.  I have stopped things, such as right now, I’m not adhering to my nutritional regiment as closely as I should…but I never quit.  I stalled, yes, but not quit.  I’ve never said “I quit, I’m not doing this any more.”

Yet, to so many, quitting is so easy.

They quit completely on their diets, and never return.

They quit on their dreams.

They quit on their relationships.

Let’s face it, quitting is all to easy.  Anymore, with divorce, you don’t have to have a reason.  Just call it “irreconcilable differences” and move on.  It’s easy.

But why quit when things are so close?  I was within a few pounds/body fat % until I hit my ultimate goal, yet I stalled.  I have not quit (in fact, I’m educating myself more and working on how to hit it even harder in a few weeks…and I’m still exercising to try to maintain result).

But I have not quit…I have not given up.  Yes, I’m not as proactive and involved.

All that said, where did you leave off on your goals?  Where were you on your dreams when things were derailed?  The great thing is, you can choose not to consider yourself a quitter and just consider what you went through a moment where you stalled out.  You can pick back up and continue.

But don’t quit.  You could be passing up money, health, fitness, passion, intimacy, or whatever it is that you are striving for.

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