3 Apps to Keep You Motivated

Motivation appsSix months ago I decided it was time. Time to get serious. Time to stop making excuses and start making real change. Time to get in shape! Yeah, that’s what everyone says in January, right!? Most people want better health, more energy and to feel a sense of accomplishment. Well, I’m happy to say I’ve stuck with it for six months now. I’ve lost 25 pounds, built muscle and increased my overall stamina.

My focus has primarily been strength training with some cardio. And, for most of the time I’ve done a pretty good job eating a healthy diet.

It hasn’t been easy, but there are a few key factors that have contributed to successfully keeping me motivated.

Having a workout buddy has been crucial. Rain or shine he picks me up at 6:15 am to head to the gym. Thursdays he’s quite chipper as those are dedicated “Shoulders day” for us. For the record, I hate shoulders day. #Ihateshouldersday

Technology has been my other secret weapon to staying consistent with both daily workouts and healthy eating. While there are countless apps available I’ve found three apps especially beneficial for staying motivated. All three apps have a free versions and are available for Android and iOS.

Make My Plate#3 Make My Plate

This beta app provides detailed meal planning, recipes, and shopping lists. Simply input the daily calories you’re targeting – including macros, and the app creates three meals, plus two snacks daily. Even if you don’t follow it religiously the app gives plenty of meal ideas, so you don’t get stuck eating plain chicken and broccoli every day.

One of my favorite features is the Restaurants sections. Make My Plate gives you suggestions and nutritional information for forty national fast food, fast casual and full-service restaurants. A perfect resource for when you’re on-the-go.

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This app is an extension of the BodyBuilding.com website with articles, exercise tips and a supplement store. The app allowed me to pick a workout routine based on my fitness goals. It gives me a daily plan with detailed exercises including videos to ensure you use proper form while lifting to guarantee maximum results. From novice to pro that app has all the workout routines and advice you need.

#1 My Fitness Palmy_fitness_pal_logo

Now owned by Under Armour, this is my #1 app for keeping a daily food log of everything I eat. Helps me ensure I’m getting a high amount of protein, while keeping fats down and managing carbs effectively. I enter my weight on a weekly basis to visually see my progress. Yes, I even enter the cheat day calories so I know how much I’ve got to work off the next morning.

Motivational blog articles and recipes can also be found in the app. And of course, a link to buy Under Armour gear.

MyFitnessPal syncs with my FitBit to track my steps and approximate calories burned, adjusting my daily calorie intake from food. It’s pretty slick! I don’t track my workouts here, but the functionality exists.

Here’s the next six months of success!

DJ

 

How are you using technology to keep you motivated?

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY AMERICA!

ID-100427595I love international travel! I enjoy meeting new people, attempting to learn new languages, tasting new foods and experiencing new cultures. In the past year I’ve been to Italy, the Bahamas and most recently the Dominican Republic.

Returning home however, I’m always reminded that there’s truly no place like home. The familiar sights and sounds of home are comforting.

July is a spectacular time to be in the USA, especially over Independence Day weekend. I love the hot summer weather, parades, apple pie, American BBQ, picnics, and fireworks. While riddled with its own set of challenges I still believe this is an amazing country and I’m proud to be an American… after all I was born on the 4th of July.

May you enjoy friends, family, fun and food in your home this weekend – wherever that might be.

Happy Independence Day!

-DJ

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Learning from being a Dad

ID-100218845Being a Dad is the most challenging and gratifying part of my life. It’s a role that requires me to constantly be learning and improving. The lessons learned as a father directly impact many other areas of my life, including being a more effective leader.

As a Dad…

You adapt to different personalities

No two kids are alike. In fact, all four of my kids are unique in their likes, desires, motivations, stresses, hobbies, and more. To be effective I have to adapt in the way I interact, encourage and occasionally chastise. A strong correlation exists between my ability to adapt to each personality and how well we connect with each other.

You make the best with what you have

Almost all Dads deal with limited means – time, money and resources. Waiting until there is a surplus of these things simply isn’t an option. So you get creative, become innovative, develop patience and just find ways to make it work.

You invest in the people

Giving my kids attention is far more valuable to them than giving them money – although my two teenagers may argue this point. In the end it’s not the house, the car, or the yard that matter. It’s the people. When you invest in people, relationships flourish, expectations are exceeded and individuals accomplish far more than you ever expected.

You have to laugh

A sense of humor might be one of the single most important characteristics a Dad can have. If you’re not careful the seriousness, stresses and pressures of life will weigh you down. Sometimes you just have to laugh it off.

You laugh to lighten the mood.

You make others laugh to brighten their day.

Sometimes you laugh to keep from crying.

-DJ

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Here’s the my amazing family!

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Right Company vs. Right Job

ID-10012988Starting a new job is always exciting and often has some anxiety associated with it. Having starting a new job last month I can attest to that.

In general, people accept a new job hoping it will be better than their last job – based on some number of factors.

Articles for job satisfaction evaluation are spread all across the internet. While there are some universal truths, like people want to be treated fairly and work in a humane work environment, many factors for defining job satisfaction vastly differ from person to person.

To overly simply it, job satisfaction is essentially a balance between working at the right company and working in the right job. Here are some factors that impact each category.

Right Company

  • Culture
  • Work environment
  • Industry
  • Office location
  • Companywide benefits (Ex. health insurance, PTO)

Right Job

  • Type of working being performed
  • Job role / title
  • Compensation
  • Hours worked
  • Supervisor/Management you report to

The ideal situation is to be in the right job while working at the right company. If you had to choose – which is more important to you? (Company or Job)

Another way of defining this is to weigh these two options. For example, 60% right company and 40% right job. Saying you couldn’t choose 50/50 (because that’s too easy).

So, if you had to choose which would you say is most important to YOU?

Or, what percentage would YOU give each factor?

 

I’d love to hear your feedback!

 

 

 

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11 Reasons to Travel Right Now!

Next months I have two trips planned, one to Florida + the Bahamas, and the other to The Dominican Republic. In November I want to go to Spain for my 20 Year Wedding Anniversary; and I’m still trying to figure out how to pull off a trip to Dubai. *sigh

I planned to write about reason why you should travel, but this article was written so well I thought it best to simply reblog it. It’s worth reading!

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

The first time you find yourself in a foreign country you are probably hit hard with the realization that you were living in a bubble. No amount of reading, education or knowledge about the big bad world could have prepared me for that feeling. A feeling that I had a birth right to the world, I am a citizen of the globe and it took me stepping onto foreign soil to realize that the world was very much mine to see. Escaping to adventures found in books or living through the imaginative stories and histories of movies was not enough, is not enough and will…

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Living without Regrets

No one wants to live a life full of regrets. I certainly don’t. To that end each year I create a yearly Bucketlist. Despite my best efforts I have three major regrets that come to mind.

  1. Not taking a typing class in high school
  2. Not volunteering for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City
  3. Not taking my mom on a cruise

Not taking a typing class in high school ID-100253306

In high school I took several elective classes generally based on what sounded fun. Practical life skills weren’t top-of-mind in this class selection. I’ve long since forgotten all I learned in astrology, ballroom dance and the like, mostly because I never used that information again. A typing class would have proved useful almost every day of my life since.

So, Now What?
I tell my kids they will take typing in high school and maybe I’ll take an online course myself. I could have written this post 65% faster if my typing skills were improved.

Not volunteering for the 2002 Winter Olympic GamesID-10078316

In 2002, Salt Lake City, Utah welcomed the world as it hosted the Winter Olympic Games. The actual events were held in various venues in the Greater Salt Lake area. Many Olympic venues 30 minutes or less from my home at that time.

Olympic games require large volunteer support. As the games drew near multiple requests were made for volunteers. I highly enjoy sports, competition, and interacting with people from different countries and cultures. Multiple times I considered volunteering, each time I talked myself out of it. There was always a reason (excuse) why I shouldn’t.

My wife and I were able to attend an Olympic hockey event and had a great time cheering on the different countries. However, I missed out on an amazing opportunity to serve the Olympic community while interacting with athletes and fans from across the globe.

All these years later in the winter I see people wearing the Official 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games coats they received as a volunteer – a brutal reminder that I didn’t.

So, Now What?

When a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity comes… I’ll grab it and hang on tight!

Not taking my mom on a cruiseID-100348000 (1)

Just a few short years ago my mother told me she’d always dreamed of going on a cruise with her kids. It was the #1 thing on her Bucketlist. We talked about it, but never set a date; never make a real plan to make it happen.

Six months later she got extremely sick requiring a liver transplant. For two years after the transplant she had varying degrees of health, but never got back to her normal self. Never again was she healthy enough to travel.

In March 2016 she passed away due to liver complications. She told me just weeks before passing how sad she was that she’d never had that experience with her children. I regret not taking her on that trip.

So, Now What?

One of my Lifetime Bucketlist items is to go on a cruise my wife and children. We’ve decided not to delay. In a few weeks my wife and I will take our children on their first cruise.

While we can’t change the past, we can change the future… starting by what we do in the present.

– Doug

 

Photo creds: Photo by Suwit Ritjaroon, Photo by Salvatore Vuono, KEKO64