33 Lessons from Boxing, Book Writing, Building a Business and Being a Dad

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Another year has come and gone.  Looking back, as cliche as it sounds, time really does fly by when you’re working your ass off.  The past year has had its fair share of wins, challenges, breakthroughs, ups, downs and moments where I wanted to quit everything.  Everything has been amazing and everything has sucked. This blog is a gathering of my thoughts and lessons from my 33rd year on this planet – I hope you enjoy them.

1. I took up boxing about halfway through year 33. I’ve always been a fan of the sport, but I never jumped into actually learning the sweet science.  Life is too short to avoid trying new, challenging and uncomfortable things. It’s been an incredible undertaking to learn the basics and master the beginner levels of boxing.  I must say I am quite happy that I decided to start. After working out for 20 years the feeling of being a beginner is truly refreshing.

2. Writing a book was a goal I wrote down for 2018.  I did it, but it wasn’t easy. The best advice I can give for such a big goal is to write daily.  That’s it. Just write daily. Don’t skip a day.

3. I love coaching people.  But there are times where people aren’t coachable.  This past year I’ve worked with quite a few amazing individuals as well as a few really bad apples. Allowing people with no morals, zero integrity and poor work ethic into my coaching program was a massive mistake.  For all you coaches reading this – be thorough when it comes to your client selection process.

4. Do what you say you’re going to do.  That mantra has been replaying over and over in my head all year.  It hasn’t been easy to do everything I’ve said I’d do – but aiming to follow through on it all has made a world of a difference.

5. In boxing you’re going to get in the face.  Sometimes you’ll see it coming and other times you won’t.  What you decide to do after that will change the course of your progression forever.  The same is true in business or life for that matter. My suggestion? Shake it off and keep going.

6. Being a decent father is challenging.  Being an incredible father is monumental.  My focus continues to be on showing up as a great dad every single day.


7. Building anything great takes time.  That goes for your body, business, relationships or Instagram followers (Follow me here).  Rushing the process tends to leave you susceptible to making big mistakes. Take your time.  What’s the rush anyway?

 

8. Many books have been written on many topics.  At times, as I was writing my book, I began to doubt myself.  After all, many great minds have written on the power of nutrition before me.  Why should I consider myself special? It wasn’t until I saw the movie “A Star is Born” and Bradley Cooper says “ Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.” that I realized my message matters.

9. Rough housing with my boys is truly one of my favorite things.  It brings our bond to new levels of strength very quickly. Putting my phone away and being present with them is incredibly refreshing.  Do yourself a massive favor and get rid of distractions for at least an hour per day.


10. Helping people each day is the fastest way to grow a business that is both profitable and fulfilling.  I get messages daily from people all around the world that have been impacted by my podcast, blog, YouTube videos, or coaching programs.  Help people more and your life will improve.

11. Boxing is both an art and a science.  The same is true with getting in shape, being a great husband, father or friend, or becoming successful.  Learning the science is super important, but putting your own spin on things is where you really get to new levels.


12. Eating healthy food is tremendously important.  When you’re constantly creating a demand for mental clarity and focus your food choices have to align with those needs. The more jam packed my schedule gets – the more I notice the positive effects of high quality food sources.

13. Shadow boxing is phenomenal cardio, but sparring is a completely different animal.  Practice is important, but don’t be surprised when real life feels much more difficult (that’s because it is).

14. My kids ask a million questions.  They are infinitely curious. It’s a reminder to never stop learning.  Learning, for me at least, keeps me mentally in the game and reminds me that there’s so much more to explore in this world.

15. The power of habits and routines was never more evident than when I was writing my book. The daily habit of putting words on paper led to an incredible accomplishment of finishing Diets Suck.

16. Having a team is necessary no matter what your goals are.  Want to be a good father ? I suggest you surround yourself with other good fathers.  My wife and I are a team when it comes to our boys. My business isn’t just me – it’s a combination of different team members who all contribute to the goal. Boxing is no different. Top boxers have a huge team of people who work together to ensure the final product is successful.  

17. One of the fastest ways to learn is to teach others.  When I learn something new – I immediately teach it to someone else.  This helps tremendously when it comes to gaining a better understanding of what you’ve learned.

18. One of the best pieces of advice I heard this past year on raising my boys is to picture them as younger versions of you.  It’s easy to lose your patience but when you imagine they are just tiny little versions of you who haven’t experienced all that you’ve experienced – it changes perspective. I’ve noticed a massive shift in my level of patience after hearing this advice.

19. Sleep is not overrated.  In fact, I consider it the beginning of my day.  If I don’t start my day with 7-8 hours of sleep, I know I won’t be 100% on top of my game.  I’m sure there are people who will argue that they don’t need a lot of sleep. Good for them. Personally, sleep is an incredible tool.

20. Writing my book was an amazing accomplishment, but it’s not what I’m most proud of.  Honestly, I’m most proud of my marriage and my family. These days it’s not easy to stay married and raise two boys, especially while growing multiple businesses and staying in shape.  My family is something I’m very proud of.

21. In boxing – the better counter puncher usually dominates.  You must have patience and be calculated with your punches in order to beat your opponent.  The same is true in life. Don’t overreact to life – be proactive and patient.

22. My boys are already imitating everything I do.  Want a wake up call? Have kids. They’ll mimic all your bad habits – which, if you’re anything like me, will drive you to correct yourself quickly.

23. I’m going to get vulnerable with lesson #23.  I’m scared as hell of death. Not because I don’t have faith in God, but because I love my family so much.  The idea of leaving them behind is truly agonizing. I am a Christian and I believe in Heaven, but I’ve never been there nor has anyone else. How am I dealing with this? By simply praying and living as best I can each day to ensure my family feels loved.

24. Reading is my secret super power.  Ever since I was a kid, the more I read – the better my life gets.  I read all types of books and I encourage you to do the same.

25. I’ve avoided watching the news this entire year.  I haven’t missed it at all. I still catch the big headlines, but I don’t get sucked into the petty crap that only distracts me from getting things done.

26. My sparring partners in boxing aren’t afraid to jab me in the face.  In life, you need people in your corner who will keep it real with you.  I’m thankful for my sparring partners in all areas of my life.

27. This past year I had my first ever major surgery.  More than anything this reminded me of the importance of health. I was out of commission for almost a week and it drove me nuts.  Take care of your health – it’s the most important thing we have.

28. Day dates with my wife saved our relationship this past year.  Date nights weren’t possible for an extended stretch – so we opted to take a day off every few weeks and spend it together while the kids were in school.  I highly suggest you give it a shot.

29. I stopped taking myself so seriously this past year.  It’s important to laugh at yourself from time to time.  After all we do some really weird and wild things.

30. The more I take time to be grateful for what I have – the more abundance comes into my life.  When I’ve focused on what I don’t have – that’s when things get worse. Appreciate the blessings you have and life will improve.

31. Don’t avoid doing the little things you’ve always wanted to do.  I’m starting a movie review company in 2019. Why? I’ve always wanted to do it.  Life’s too short to not do what I dream of doing.

32. Writing my book gave me ideas for 10 more books to write.  Yes, 10 more. Sometimes tackling a huge project gives you incredible clarity on how to tackle even bigger ones.

 

33. I’ve created a life motto to live by and I want to share it with you:  Hug and kiss the people you love, stay active, eat well, laugh daily and remember – life moves fast so make it count.  

4 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO STOP LETTING LIFE CONTROL YOU

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

What does it mean to be a strong person? To be someone who has mastered their emotions, roll with the punches and never give up?

When we think of what it means to be a strong person, the first thought that may come to mind might be an Olympic athlete or maybe a famous MMA fighter, right?

If we look beyond the surface, we would see that both of these athletes have similarities despite being in completely different sports. When we strip it down, we can see that they both have a challenge to face and they know there is going to be a struggle, especially if they want to come out on top. Despite the pain and the challenge ahead, they push through and go at it full force. They don’t complain that it’s too hard, and they don’t quit.

 

Despite the struggle, they persist.

 

When we look at it this way, it’s easy to see that people just like you and me also have the capacity to be a strong person. No matter who you are, each one of us has a struggle we’re dealing with, likely several. Whether it’s heartache, financial struggles, a high pressure job,  or trying to eat better and exercise to lose weight, each one of us has something challenging we’re currently going through or have gone through in the past. However, the way we react to the struggle is what will set us apart.

 

No matter who you are, life is full of obstacles.

When faced with an obstacle, most of us have good intentions to change it. 

For example, You decide you want to lose weight, so you go on a diet. 

You start out with good intentions to improve your life. You go grocery shopping and buy tons of healthy food.

Then on Friday it’s your coworkers birthday and donuts are brought to the office. You can’t resist, so you have one bite. Then one bite triggers you and before you know it, you’re two donuts in.

You immediately feel like a failure. When a wrench gets thrown in and things don’t go according to plan, you get thrown for a loop and fall off the wagon. You get frustrated that things can’t ever seem to go right when you want to make changes.

You solemnly accept that life is simply too hectic right now to be successful. Between kids birthday parties, donuts at the office and the in-laws being in town, there’s just too much going on. 

If only circumstances were different you say…

Fast forward a few weeks or months later, you see a movie or facebook video that pumps you up, so you start a new, even stricter diet than last time… and repeat the exact same cycle again, only to feel defeated once more.

You are reminded that your life is just too busy. Your job is too demanding, your kids don’t like to eat healthy. It’s too expensive anyway… so you go back to the old patterns and behaviors.

You resolve that if your life looked different, then you would be successful! 

This is a dangerous mindset that will keep you stuck.

 

When we’re beginning a journey to become a strong person mentally and physically, we need to keep the keys to success at the forefront of our minds:

 

The first key to success is accepting that shit will happen. No health and fitness journey is perfect or linear.

Second, our reaction to the obstacles thrown in our path determines our success and our happiness.

 

Let me explain. If we are unable to adapt away from the mindset of ‘bad things keep happening to me,’ then we will stay stuck in a corrosive cycle and continue to suffer and fail.

The alternative isn’t easy, because it requires a mindset shift and taking personal accountability. However, this alternative path leads to freedom and long term fulfillment.

 

On the path to becoming a strong person, when an obstacle is thrown in our path, yes it will be frustrating, but we don’t stay consumed in the emotion for too long.

We acknowledge and accept our feelings.

At the same time we also ask ourselves what is within our control and more importantly, what we will do next.

We take the challenge as an opportunity to learn and become more resilient.

We adjust course and continue to persist.

We ask,

“How is this happening FOR me?”

 

Acknowledging the struggle for what it is and accepting the pain is part of the process. The next step is asking yourself what is within your control to improve the situation.


The long term result is that you strengthen yourself mentally and emotionally and become resilient. Becoming resilient will help you handle future obstacles more gracefully.

You become liberated because you’re no longer at the mercy of whether things go how you thought they should. By taking personal accountability, you sit in the driver’s seat. Yes, you still have to put gas in the car, get the oil changed and keep up on the maintenance, but it is your vehicle and you’re the navigator.

At the end of the day, what determines if you’ll stay stuck or move forward is how you deal with the struggle. Whether you hide from any feelings of discomfort, and allow it to eat you alive while also firmly declaring there’s ‘nothing you can do about it’, or if you face pain head on, learn from it, and grow from it.

 

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and rise up stronger every time you’re knocked down. It’s the ability to endure and keep climbing. Strength is the ability to continue charging on despite the struggle and pain, and as a result you grow and level up.

The wonderful thing about this concept, is you can learn to become strong in mind and body even if you don’t feel that way right now. We all start somewhere. Even if you feel stuck or have given up in the past, it’s never too late. You can always try again and decide to look through this new lens the next time you’re faced with an obstacle.

 

What matters is that you don’t give up. That you see any future struggle as an opportunity to learn and grow because that is where strength and resiliency begins-in the mind.

You can choose to take control of your life and you can choose how to react.

When you realize that events happen, and you can choose how to respond to them, then you’re on the path to success and to strength. You can learn to build the resilience and persistence to never give up. No matter what, life happens FOR you.

When you’re faced with a struggle, follow these 4 steps to better improve your mindset and how you handle it. As a result you’ll begin feeling stronger and more liberated.

 

1. When something uncomfortable happens, ask yourself how it makes you feel. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. If you try to push your feelings away and deny them, they will only eat away at you. It’s okay to validate your feelings. Do try not to get eaten alive by them. The next steps will help with that.

 

2. Ask yourself what IS and IS NOT within your control. Once you understand what you can’t control, it’s easier to let it go and stop obsessing over it. 

 

3. Once realizing what IS within your control, decide what you need to do to make it better. Everything you can’t control, try to let it go. If you put too much energy into what you can’t control, you’re going to feel more anxiety and stress, which will sabotage your progress. Put energy into changing what you can, whether it’s changing your perspective to a more positive one, or actually making moves to change the situation.  

 

4. Ask yourself what lessons can be learned from this struggle? Be open to learning from this experience. Ask what you liked/didn’t like about the situation and even about your own reaction so you can learn from it and continue to make better choices each and every time you’re faced with a new obstacle.

 

It doesn’t matter who you are. Any one of us has the capacity to be a strong person. Each one of us has the potential to develop a Warrior’s mind, if we consciously put in the effort.  

It starts with us as individuals and making the choice to become strong and resilient.

 

In strength,

-Jordan Raye

 

If you want to read more or reach out to me, you can find me here:

 

www.AlphaMaiden.com

www.Instagram.com/Alpha_Maiden

https://www.facebook.com/AlphaMaiden

 

Action Based Goals for Long Term Success

Josiah Novak

 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle


I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that you, dear reader, want something that you don’t currently have… a better job, six pack abs, a loving significant other, etc.

Whatever it may be, you believe this goal will drastically improve the quality of your life.  Chances are, it probably will.

So why is it that only 8% of goals set each year end up actually getting accomplished? Why do so many people struggle to achieve what they so desperately want?

Here’s the secret: too many people are focused on the OUTCOMES instead of the ACTIONS.
Real quick, stop and imagine yourself already achieving your goal.

What does that look like for you?

Would you be less stressed?

Would you sleep better at night?

Would you feel more confident?

You might’ve pictured yourself rocking a six pack with a hot thang on your arm, happy as can be, sleeping like a baby.

Did you also picture the hours of hard work in the gym? The weekly meal prep? The Saturday nights spent getting 8 hours of sleep instead of drinking with pals?
It’s easy to picture what we want our outcome to look like. Happiness, confidence, more vitality… These are all outcomes that drive us to set goals in the first place.

However, we often forget about the habit changes that must occur to get there. The space between point A (where you’re at now) and point B (what you want) is where the magic happens. This is where you take action. Here, you develop skill sets that make your goal a reality.

These skill sets can’t be obtained by chance (or over night). They require specific actions that you create and practice starting today. Not tomorrow, not next month when things aren’t as hectic, no, TODAY.

In other words, to achieve your goal, you must create habits now that mimic the habits of your future self. You must stop dreaming for the outcome to occur and instead start focusing on what you need to change.

Doing this allows you to look at the bigger picture. The Long Game.
When you focus on habits, you won’t be tempted to try the latest “quick-fix” diets because you’ll understand that your future self will have nothing to do with them. (C’mon, who wants to be dieting for the rest of their life?)

You’ll be able to convince yourself to wake up early to exercise because you know that’s going to be the normal routine for Future You with the six pack abs.

You won’t base your progress off of the number on the scale because you’ll realize these things take time and that rushing it and stressing won’t make you leaner any quicker.

Practicing the habits of your goal-accomplishing future self ensures sustainability long after your desired outcome has been reached, simply because you’re making a lifestyle change instead of a short-term fix.

Now you may be wondering: okay, great. But how do I start practicing these actions?

Start with the questions above, the vision of the person you wish to be. Break the vision down into what you’re really after.

You picture yourself with less stress once you reach your goals, right?
Well, why do you think you’ll have less stress?

Only because you’ve obtained your desired outcome? Nah, let’s be real. Stress will always be that ex that can’t let go, always trying to squeeze its way back into your life.

So if what you’re really after is less stress, you can start practicing relaxation skills and planning activities that help you unwind.

You don’t have to wait until your outcome is achieved. This is a skill that you can practice RIGHT NOW.

Same goes for sleep. You don’t just automatically start sleeping better when your life gets better. It takes practice & consistency. If your future self sleeps better, you’ve built habits that influence better sleep.

Confidence, too, is a habit that needs to be developed. It’s probably the biggest misinterpreted outcome people expect to accomplish.

This is because it’s extremely easy to base your c
onfidence on accomplishing a desired outcome (body weight, six pack, muscle mass, performance, owning a business, etc).


While all of these could potentially help boost your confidence, you’ll need enough confidence to achieve them in the first place. This confidence is required on the hard days when doubt overwhelms you and will be the factor that drives you forward.

Confidence, like every desired outcome, is gained through daily practice.

As you can see, by taking a look at what life looks like after achieving your goal, you can figure out what you need to practice today to move in the right direction.

Once you figure out these actions, you’ll have something measurable to record as progress. These are ACTION based goals that lead you to your OUTCOME based goals.
This is extremely effective because unlike desired outcomes, we have complete control of our everyday actions.

You aren’t able to predict that you’ll achieve your desired outcome within the next three months BUT YOU CAN ensure that every single day you’re taking the actions that will get you there.

If you want to get fit so that you stress less, sleep better, & have more confidence, start focusing on your actions and habits. Overtime, you will build a skill set identical to the person you wish to be.

Each skill set can be broken down into a daily practice:

Lower your stress by implementing five minutes of deep breathing every other hour.

Sleep better by creating a morning & nightly routine.

Build confidence by surrounding yourself with positivity & celebrating your wins.

The beauty behind this approach is
that it is completely individual to your current circumstances meaning that a small step in the right direction is all it takes. The options are endless. No matter the action, if you stick with it, you are guaranteed to see progress.


Each day you practice your skill set, you’re one step closer to your desired outcome.

Do this and you will create momentum, making uncomfortable new skills eventually become simple, normal habits – habits that will allow you to live your best life.

What are you waiting for? Take action.

 

– Chris Sexton

Lifestyle Optimization Academy

If It Fits Your Health (Do It)

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Have you ever woken up after a day full of eating all sorts of food (some good and some junk) feeling absolutely miserable? I’m not talking about feeling guilty (even though that’s part of it). I’m talking about actually feeling physically ill. Maybe it’s stomach pains or maybe it’s a headache. Even worse maybe you feel a cold coming on or a sore throat from all the excess sodium you consumed. As soon as your eyes open, you know all that food was a bad idea.

Well, I’ve woken up like that before. And to be honest I’ve felt crappy due to my diet choices many times. It’s not a fun feeling waking up and immediately knowing the day ahead is going to be a tough one because I’m physically not up to par. It’s truly a motivation killer to realize that getting through the day’s activities is going to be an uphill battle from the start.

At times we don’t even realize that our lack of energy or enthusiasm for the day is due to our diet choices. We eat like total crap on a Sunday and wake up wondering why Monday is so daunting. It’s no wonder that getting to the gym feels like an impossible task when our bodies hurt and our energy is on zero due to all the stress we put our digestion system through.

This is such an important topic. I hope that you walk away from reading this with a better understanding of where we’ve gone wrong with nutrition as it relates to our health, fitness levels, muscle and fat loss goals, and our enjoyment of life. I’m just as guilty as the next person of making huge mistakes with my personal nutrition at times over the years. I’m writing this blog to open your eyes to how unbelievably powerful our eating habits can be.

 

If you google “The Best Diet to Lose Fat” be prepared for an overload of information. Hundreds of diets, meal plans and products will be shoved down your throat before you even start eating. You’ll be stuck in an avalanche of product pushers, strict meal plans, and the latest and greatest diet strategies. Save yourself the trouble and forego the google machine. Today’s world is truly the most confusing it’ss ever been when it comes to diet and nutrition. It’s also a battlefield between who’s right and who’s wrong when it comes to their diet “methods”. The truth is that nutrition is actually quite simple so there’s hope, but it’s going to take some work.

The common theme for most online “gurus” or “coaches” is to take on clients and start them off on a very strict meal plan. They tell them what to eat and when to eat it each day to lose fat, build a toned body, and feel great. This is all based off their “expert” analysis of the client’s needs and goals. The client comes to them with the attitude of “tell me what to eat and when because I don’t want to think about it” so it makes perfect sense that these coaches cater to the clients demands. The client jumps on the meal plan and immediately starts to see results. This may go on for a month or maybe a few months before the client realizes that it’s just not sustainable for them to eat the same foods day in and day out. They start to get irritable and they feel ashamed when they report to their coach that they’ve cheated on their diet again and again. After all, following a meal plan is what all the top fitness competitors do so it’s the best way to get in great shape…right? Wrong.

Strict meal plans that limit your food choices and force you into a set regimen each day can cause more harm than good long term. It’s been proven that meal plans can set people up for a terrible relationship with food, create a desire to binge, and severely limit the healthy aspects of a diet full of variety. Not to mention, it’s pretty hard to live an enjoyable life when you have to follow a meal plan to reach your goals. Most people who follow a strict meal plan end up reverting back to their old diet habits once they realize that their meal plan just isn’t feasible for their lifestyle.

For the longest time, if you wanted to lose weight or build muscle you would hire a coach or nutritionist and they would immediately put you on a meal plan. However, after many years of severe restriction, the fitness industry fought back.

Enter: If It Fits Your Macros.

Counting calories has been around for quite some time. Arnold Schwarzenegger was known to count calories (and he actually had a pretty well rounded diet plan). However, counting calories has recently made a huge comeback. It’s gone one step further too. We know now that it’s not just about calories. It’s about the type of calories you eat too. Having the right amount of protein, carbs and fats in your diet is crucial for overall health and wellness. We all have our unique needs when it comes to these nutrients so just counting calories won’t cut it. We need to figure out where we get our food from so tracking macros has become all the rage.

However, as we’ve seen in the past, the fitness industry can take a good idea and turn it into a very bad one very quickly. Macro counting has been dubbed IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) because the new rule of thumb (keep in mind this is in response to the strict meal plans) is that you can ANYTHING you want as long as it fits your daily numbers for protein carbs and fats.

This could literally mean eating ice cream every day along with some candy because it fits your daily numbers. Ok confession time. I’ve been known to promote this type of eating over the past couple years. Why? Well because I count macros each day and my mind was blown a few years ago when I dieted down to 5% body fat eating ice cream just about every day before bed. Was this a healthy approach? Heck no! I would wake up and hit the toilet with a very irritable bowel movement just about every day. I didn’t feel great every day because I was eating way too much junk food simply because it fit my macros. I was rebelling against the severe restrictions of meal plans (an understandable reaction) but I wasn’t paying attention to my health.

Knowing how much food we eat is very crucial to our long term success when it comes to taking care of our health and feeling/looking great! However, simply applying numbers to our day and eating whatever we can fit in is not the healthiest choice. We’ve taken a great concept (counting macros) and turned it into a cult following. It’s become all about what sort of junk food concoction we can create that fits our macro needs. Health and feeling awesome is secondary to hitting perfect numbers with as much variety as possible. We forget to take into account whether or not we are getting enough vitamins and minerals. We ignore how our bodies feel when we fit in some McDonalds simply because it fits our macros. This is a dangerous path to go down.

If you’re still reading this…it’s not too late.

You might be confused at this point and that’s normal. It’s a very confusing topic for most people! However, let me simplify it for you. I’m very fortunate that I was born with the strong desire to learn as much as possible. Plus, I’ve been super lucky to be surrounded with very smart people who have helped me craft my current approach to nutrition and now it’s my job to pass along that help to you.

I want to walk you through my approach with my clients when it comes to setting up a successful nutrition strategy. Some of you reading this will be more advanced than others, but I still think its important to cover the basics as a refresher. You’ll be pretty amazed to see that we often forget about the basics.

Let’s say I have a married couple come to me looking to lose fat. They aren’t happy with their appearance and how they can’t seem to get motivated to get in shape. They’ve been eating a ton of food and not working out for about 6 months. They’ve tried all sorts of diets but nothing seems to work. We won’t address their workout plan in this blog, but let’s jump into the diet strategy.

First things first, I want to know what they’re eating now. I would like John and Jane Doe to write down everything they eat for a few days and report those food journals to me. Now, I would also keep in mind that working with a coach can cause some food journals to look better than an average day so I would also ask them to write down exactly what they ate (if they can remember) the days leading up to working with me. This gives me an accurate idea of what their nutrition looks like now so that we can start to implement new habits.

So, the next logical step is to write a meal plan right? Wrong. Taking a client from zero to 100 in a day isn’t realistic. We need to implement good habits one at a time while building momentum to increase motivation.

One of the first habits I want people to implement is to avoid drinking their calories as much as possible. I’m referring to sodas, sugary drinks and the lovely Starbucks menu that is jam packed full of sugar and high calorie drinks. Having a diet soda here and there down the road is fine, but for now I would suggest that John and Jane stick to water, coffee sweetened with Truvia, and tea. If my clients enjoy alcohol consumption, I would recommend cutting out alcohol for the initial portion of the plan. I also want to educate them on how alcohol works. If cutting out alcohol completely isn’t an option due to work demands or upcoming events — I would outline a simple strategy to control their alcohol intake.

While we implement the liquid habits, I also want my clients to start to track what they are eating in an app or food journal. Tracking calories and macros for a period of time can truly be eye opening. Most people severely underestimate their calorie intake. It’s important to gain the knowledge and information so that we are educated on what we are putting into our bodies.

The next habit I like clients to utilize is getting 2–3 servings of green veggies and 1–2 servings of fruits per day. Obviously I want my clients to listen to their bodies and take note of how they are feeling after they eat certain foods. Most people feel a lot better after getting into the fruits and veggies habit due to increase in fiber and vitamins and minerals. Eating more of these amazing nutrients will also help curb cravings and help most people feel more satisfied. Health is our number one priority and fruits and veggies are a tremendous source of health benefits.

Now comes the only time that I utilize meal plans. I never instruct my clients to follow an exact meal plan each and every day. However, it can help to write out a “perfect” day of eating a wide of variety of healthy foods to show clients how it can be done. This usually means 3–4 meals that contain a tremendous amount of nutrients but also provide the client with meal options that could be eaten at a restaurant if needed. To make things even easier, I like to provide my clients with 3 or 4 options at each meal to ensure that they never feel tied down to a meal plan. Plus, I want my clients to continue to track what they eat so they can learn how much food they are consuming and they can plug other foods in to ensure they are getting adequate variety.

Educating ourselves on how much food we need each day can help guide our food choices. Learning to eat properly for health and wellness takes time. Plus, there may be goals or events coming up that require us to change course and implement new strategies. There may be times where our bodies just aren’t feeling right and we need to make changes to our nutrition to ensure we feel our best at all times.

This leads me to the most important point that we all need to understand. If we aren’t feeling right, something needs to change and often times it’s our eating habits. Having a meal plan or macro numbers to hit every day doesn’t take our health and how we feel into consideration. If we are feeling overly full at a certain caloric intake then we probably don’t need that many calories. If our energy is terrible on low carbs and we feel super weak, then we probably need to add some carbs into our diet. The same can be said for low-fat. If we try out a keto diet, but we just don’t feel great — then it’s not the diet for you!

I hope this blog sheds some light on nutrition. I’ve made all the mistakes so want to help you avoid them if possible! There is no one-size-fits-all method that works for everyone. If that existed then this blog wouldn’t be necessary. You have to find a strategy that you can follow every day and make small tweaks to as your goals change. Going from binging every 3 days to eating “clean” meal plan is not a tweak. That’s an eating disorder and we need to stop creating more problems for ourselves by going from one extreme to the next.

 

Let’s stop eating things if they fit your macros — instead let’s eat things if they fit your social, taste,  mental and physical health (IIFYH).

I’m always here to help — just email me josiah@thetruetransformation.com or visit www.thetruetransformation.com/start-here to get started on your own journey today!

 

How to Live Like There’s No Tomorrow

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

What does it really mean to live like there’s no tomorrow ? A few nights ago I couldn’t sleep.  The thought of dying had found its way into my bedroom and snuggled up next to me like a child who had a nightmare.  What happens if tomorrow doesn’t come?  As flicked through my Instagram feed I thought about living for today like tomorrow isn’t showing up. After fighting the inevitable trip down the rabbit hole that is the endless thought process around death and dying, I passed out and dreamt of a random trip to London where I smoked tons of weed and drank Moscow Mules.  More on that later.

Growing up in a Christian home afforded me weekly trips to Sunday school where I learned about God, heaven and the pit known as hell.  Death wasn’t a scary concept, at least not to a young 8 year old boy learning about all the dope stores about Jesus.  I’ll save my religious beliefs for another post (spoiler alert: I’m a Christian), but the mention of my upbringing is necessary due to the fact that I have always been clear on where I’m going after I pass away.

My most recent thoughts around death have been sparked, at least in my opinion, by having kids of my own.  The thought of leaving them behind is rather horrible.  And, while my beliefs are still intact, I also think it’s normal to be a bit fearful of the unknown.  Which leads me to this article.  The phrases “live like there’s no tomorrow” and “live each day like it’s your last” make sense, until you actually put some thought into it.  What does it really mean to live today like there’s no tomorrow?  Should I pack up a suitcase and jump on the nearest flight to paradise, with my wife and kids, sitting comfortably in first class?  Because that’s exactly what I’d do if I had the inside scoop on the world’s impending doom.

Unfortunately, there’s no insider trading on death (at least I haven’t found that fraternity yet).  Your time could be up tomorrow or it could be many decades from now.  Trying to predict that is pointless, but the question still remains.  What does it really mean to live life as if today is your last day on earth?  I wanted to explore this idea from a realistic perspective and piece together, at least what I would consider, to be the perfect last day on earth.

LIFE

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit.  Taking a real, honest, and non-biased look at your life or mine requires a lot of work.  We’re not the best at being honest with our own lives and getting clear on where we currently are.  Living as if tomorrow isn’t guaranteed starts with doing things that make you happy.  I’m not talking about the stuffing-your-face-with-chocolate and eating whatever-the-hell-you-want type of happy.  True happiness isn’t gained through temporary indulgences.  I’d argue that genuine happiness comes from having a purpose for living your life.  A purpose that gets you out of bed in the morning even when you feel like hiding inside your pillowcase.

A purpose driven life is a happy life.  Everyone has the opportunity to build purpose into their day, week, month and year.  As I pondered the idea of how I’d live my last day, I quickly realized that I’d still be focused on fulfilling what I believe to be my purpose for living.  That purpose is to raise my boys, be an incredible husband and put an end to the history of less-than-stellar Dads and divorce in my family’s historical timeline.  Coupled with that my purpose is to help 1 Million men and women transform their bodies and lives.  Those areas take up 99% of my time so there’s no reason to think that a perfect “last day” wouldn’t include working on those things.

I could imagine waking up early, writing a really helpful Facebook post or blog article, sending it off to my assistant and then making my wife and kids eggs and pancakes while sipping on coffee feeling satisfied that I made a small dent in my purpose /life goals for the day.  I laugh as I write this article because I just thought “maybe I’d even partake in breakfast for once”, since I’m a 365 days a year intermittent fasting guy.  Honestly, I don’t think I would.  Intermittent fasting has been such massive life improvement that I’d imagine continuing to do it even on my last day here on this planet.  It makes me happy, so therefore it gets included.

If you feel like you don’t have a purpose, that’s ok.  I’m not here to tell you that it’s easy to find your purpose.  Many people don’t realize their purpose till later in life after they’ve been on their grind and busting their ass for a few decades or more.  To speed up the discovery of purpose, my best advice is to listen to yourself.   If you pay attention to the excitement you feel around doing certain things – I’d encourage you to follow that trail.  Give yourself the chance to discover what you’re great at.  For me it was coaching and teaching people how to become the best version of themselves through fitness.  I’ve always been curious about fitness, but it wasn’t until I pursued it and starting helping people that I realized I have a gift for leading people to their goals.  Follow your curiosity – stay woke when it comes to things that get you amped up and things that give you a sense of fulfillment.  You’ll find your purpose that way.

Get Started Today on Your Transformation

LOVE

Love is an incredible force that brings people together and creates a bond that can never be broken.  Your last day or my last day should be filled with love.  Living like today is your last day on earth should be centered around the concept of love.  I’m not just referring to the love you show your spouse and your children.  If you’re anything like me you’d take a bullet for your family.  That’s deep and powerful love.  But that’s not the only love we should live by.

Love for our neighbor and fellow human is an important piece too.   Traffic jams where people flip the bird, crowded streets full of angry people jockeying for position, and taxi cabs honking obscenities in crowded city streets is all the evidence you need to see how love can be quickly lost.  Love for my neighbor and fellow humans isn’t easy.  It’s hard enough to loving your relatives who often times know how to how to push your buttons.  Love for others on your last day should be a priority, but here’s why.

It starts by loving yourself.  The love you express for others isn’t something you can fake forever.  If you don’t first love yourself, it becomes quite challenging to love those around you.  It’s very difficult to love yourself.  Especially when you know all your faults and shortcomings.  You know each part of yourself so damn well that God forbid anyone were to know the real you – that would be a disaster right?  Well, you’re wrong.

Everyone has massive flaws.  You, me, and the rest of the human race.  Thinking “I’m not good enough” or “I hate how I am” is downright stupid.  Unless you’re hiding some evilness that I won’t even shed light on here, you’re more than likely very normal. Which leads me to the fact that you should take pride in loving yourself.  You can’t serve others from an empty cup.  And that cup is you my friend.  This love for yourself may not grow overnight.  It might need a lot of time and healing to become part of how you treat yourself.   However, as someone who’s struggled with depression in years past, I can truthfully say that being kind to yourself will create opportunities to help others.

On the last day on earth one of my greatest goals would be to show true love to those who I come into contact with and to the incredible family that I’ve been blessed with.   A smile, holding the door for someone, a hug and kind word are some simple ways to show people you care.  You never know who might need that positive energy.  The world can feel very complicated at times, but we can help simplify things by loving ourselves and loving others.

LIFT UP

One thing is for certain, if I’m living each day like it’s my last, I’m going to do things that make me happy.  Keep in mind that providing for my family and helping my clients makes gives me loads of happiness.  I also enjoy reading a well-written book (fiction and non-fiction), catching up on Chicago sports, and eating bagels before bed.  All of which can be done on the regular without them interfering with my adult’s list of things I must do.

You might be thinking, “if I only do things that make me happy I’ll just be fat, lazy, and broke”. When you ponder those adjectives – it’s quite apparent that being overweight and unsuccessful don’t match up with happiness, therefore doing things that result in those states of being aren’t truthfully adding to your happiness.  Therefore this assumption that all things that make you happy will result in a negative outcome is incorrect.  This isn’t temporary pleasure.  This is about maximizing your enjoyment and fulfillment.

It makes even more sense to do things that aren’t easy.  Lifting yourself up to a level of happiness that gives true fulfillment requires the simple things such as lifting weights to release massive endorphins, lifting someone else’s mood through a kind word or text, lifting your standards to give yourself the respect you deserve, and lifting your mood through a music playlist that gets your body moving.

This is why I train or move each day.  It elevates my mood. It clears my brain and makes room for positive energy.  It’s a natural high that makes the entire day 10x better.  Ask yourself this – what are the simple habits and routines that lift my life to new levels?   Keep those things in your life.

Going back to my “bagels before bed” happiness item.  A bagel with cream cheese before bed is delicious simply because it’s part of my daily routine and it’s built into my nutrition plan – which gives me massive results – which makes me feel confident – which, at the end of the day, contributes to my happiness.  There’s levels to this game.  Find your elevator to the happiness floor and level up.  Better yet, take the stairs.

LEVEL UP YOUR LIFE

LEGACY

If you’re living each day as if it’s your last, the question becomes – are you leaving a legacy?   For me legacy means blazing a path that I want to leave for those who would follow.  I want each day to build a blueprint for my sons on how to live life with no regrets and how to maximize their gift of being on this planet.

My question for you is this.  Are you creating a legacy that will impact the people you love in positive way?  Or are you missing the opportunity to set new standards and new levels of success?  Whether you know it or not there are people watching you and being influenced by you.

This is why I strongly believe that everything in your life starts with health and fitness.  It gives you the cheat codes to optimizing everything in your day to day life.  You get an automatic boost that most people miss out on as they live their days without a purpose with the weight of regret on their shoulders.  They feel as if something is missing and no matter how hard they try they just can’t seem to break through.  Little do they know that the secret is right in front of them.

As we wonder what it really means to live each day like it’s your last – the answer, at least to me anyway, is a simple one.  It starts with investing in yourself.  Train your body and your mind.  Love the people in your life.  Laugh.  Learn something new.  If you do that each day – I truly believe your life will be one worth living.

The Best Fitness Advice for 2018

What are the best fitness tips for 2018?  What strategies should you follow this year to finally get in the best shape of your life?

Good questions.

This article is going to help answer them.  Use this information and these 13 “best” fitness tips to help change your body, health and life this year.  Thank me later.

 

Fitness in 2018

In today’s world we thrive off of speed.  How fast can we get something delivered, downloaded and changed?  We look for overnight results.  We buy pills and whatever else we can get to quickly satisfy our need for change.  


It’s no different when it comes to health and fitness.  The fact of the matter is you’ve been lied to.  Due to your desire for quick, fast and easy – the marketers and gurus of the world see dollar signs everywhere. They carefully craft messages that prey on your need for instant gratification.  Due to all these marketing campaigns and advertisements, health and fitness has become complicated.

 

What diet is best?  How do you get started?  Should you do P90x or powerlifting?  Should you run or squat?  Are fats good for you?  Should you go low carb?  What supplements should you buy?  The list of questions go on and on and on.  Of course the answers you’ll get depend on who you ask.  Usually the answer is part of a bigger sales pitch to buy a diet book, supplement or special 7 Minute Abs workout program.  

 

After having gone through this horrible maze of complicated and contradicting answers – I always ended up back at square one.  Out of shape, miserable, less money, and more confusion.  That’s why today my mission is to help you get crystal clear on what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to your health and fitness strategy.  I’ve sifted through the BS and laid out 13 tips that will give you massive results right now, plus help simplify things for you so that you don’t worry about all the noise and nonsense out there.  

 

If you take action and implement these things I’m about to outline for you, you’ll find that fitness becomes simple, gives you a return on your investment, and possibly even becomes a healthy addiction.  The one caveat though is this: this stuff requires effort and accountability.  You actually have to do some work.  I know, that part isn’t the fun part, but let me remind you that nothing great (seriously nothing) happens without great effort.  The good news is that you’ll be able to put in the effort knowing that you’re doing the right stuff and not wasting time on the fads and the snake oil that a lot of folks want to sell you.   You’ll sleep well at night knowing your routine is going to net you some phenomenal gains both physically and mentally.

 

So let’s not waste another second.  Here’s my 13 Action Items to Get Your Fitness in Order:

 

1. Understand that Food is Fuel

Calories are how we measure that fuel.  If you eat too many calories you will gain weight. Period.  There is no arguing that.  Most people’s activity level each day doesn’t require a lot of fuel.  Imagine your body is a car.  How often is your body moving ?  Just like a car, the more you drive (move) – the more fuel you need.  In order to shed unwanted weight, we need to burn more calories (fuel) than we take in each day.  And we need to do that for as long as it takes to lose the weight.

Action: Take an inventory of the amount of calories you’re consuming on average (including weekends) per day.

 

2. Pick One Program and Follow it for 3 Months

Most people handicap themselves by trying to follow 2-3 different workout routines and diets. Pick ONE.  Commit to it 100% and follow it for 3 months.  Even if that’s a running routine – as long as you’re committed you will see change.  My suggestion is to focus first on a routine that is built around getting your body fat to a healthy level.

Action: Pick one workout routine and commit 100%.

 

3. Start with Training 3-4 Days Per Week

99% of my clients train 3-4 days per week (including myself).  Stop making the excuse of “zero time” – you don’t need TONS of time to get massive results.  Personally I train 4 times a week for 45-60 minutes.  The key is to put it in your calendar and make that time sacred.  For me it’s mornings, for you it might evenings.  

Action: Put 3-4 blocks of 30-60 minutes on your calendar for workouts.

 

4. Make Nutrition Simple

The easiest meal plan in the world looks like this: Eat 4 times per day.  Fill up your plate with 50% veggies, 30% protein, and 20% carbs or healthy fats.  Drink water, coffee, and unsweetened tea.  Watch the fat start to melt off.  

Action: Start with a basic approach to eating and get the most out of it before going to the next level.

5. Know Your Why

Getting in shape will have moments of struggle and failure.  That’s part of any self-improvement process.  One thing that helps is to have some “Why” resources nearby when you feel like saying “Screw it!” and going off the deep end.  For me its a video montage of my wife and kids that reminds me why I take care of myself.  For you it could me something else.  Find it.  Have it nearby.  Always.  

Action: Put together your Why Resources

6. Start with Five Minute Workouts

If you truly don’t have time…start with 5 minutes of basic bodyweight work in circuit style.  Simply do push-ups, squats, and burpees for 5 minutes straight.  Even 5 minutes is better than nothing. Combine that with walking more and being more active doing daily tasks and you’ll be well on your way to getting in better shape.

Action: Stay active – start with 5 minutes.

 

7. Win the Day

Start each day with a win.  You might have heard this before.  Do something that gives you a quick feeling of accomplishment.  Make your bed, floss your teeth, chug some water, etc. This will translate into a positive vibe for the day which makes it much easier to be focused on health.

Action: Start the day with a small victory

 

8. Listen to Your Body

It’s not ok to live in pain or feel horrible each day.  If eating certain foods or working out a certain way makes you feel like crap – stop it! Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it works for you.  Our bodies are incredible and by listening to them we can uncover what truly works.

Action: Take note of how certain foods or activities make you feel. Change things when necessary

9. Focus on Behavioral Goals

Set primarily behavior based goals – instead of focusing on outcome goals.  Getting rich and losing fat are really no different.  But if our goal is to make $50 million yet our daily habits and behaviors don’t align with that outcome – we will struggle big time.  Focus on habits and routines that will ensure that your outcome goals are met.  Having clear behavior goals will allow to accomplish more and build momentum instead of getting frustrated that our ultimate outcome hasn’t been hit.

Action: Put major focus on habits and routines.

10. Enjoy Life

Enjoy life. But don’t abuse it.  Alcohol, bad food, high stress, and no sleep are a part of life from time to time.  But not all the time. Take accountability for the things in your life that are harming your health. Be real with yourself and be sure to avoid abusing life’s unhealthy pleasures or bad habits for temporary gains.

Action: Enjoy life’s amazing journey by putting health first 

11. Avoid Cult-like Thinking

Avoid any advice that says it’s the “only way”.   There are many ways to live a healthy life.  There are many ways to get in phenomenal shape.  Find one that works for you.  Your choice should always center around the question “Can I do this forever and enjoy it?”  If the answer is yes, go for it.  

Action: Try new things.

12. Lower Your Stress and Get Quality Sleep

High stress and bad sleep are major killers of health.  Meditate, listen to music you love, sing in the shower, get a massage, go to bed a little earlier, avoid caffeine later in the day, and have a evening and morning routine.  

Action: Develop a morning and evening routine that sets you up for success

13. Have Perspective

Remember that being healthy and fit is a lifelong habit.  It’s something we must adopt forever.  This gives us the best chance of being around for our loved ones as well as enjoying life to the max.  I truly believe our highest potential as a person is only truly met through health and fitness.  

Action: Enjoy the journey

Now What?

You have the tools, now it’s time to take action.  Work on a few of these items over the course of the next month or two.  Don’t try and tackle every single one at once.  Combine patience with consistency and soon you’ll see massive positive change!

By the way – I’d love to hear from you.  Drop me an email – Josiah@TheTrueTransformation.com and let me know how you liked this article.

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this out on your social media – you never know who it might impact in a big way!

 

The Only Thanksgiving Survival Guide You Need to Read

 

Looking For A Jump Start To Your Fitness? Click Here For The 7 Day Guide 

 

There’s a million Thanksgiving Survival Guides out there from a variety of health and fitness professionals.  This is the only one you need to read. 

 

Thanksgiving Survival Guide : Read This First

Let me start by saying, you don’t have to follow any of the advice I’m about to give you when it comes to “surviving” Thanksgiving.  The truth is that you can do whatever you want, I’m not your Dad or your Boss.  You can make the call when it comes to how you approach Thanksgiving and I promise you there will be no judgement from me.

However, if you’re interested in how a former overweight, depressed and confused guy like me (plus my clients) handle the Thanksgiving holiday feast…read on!

 

The Problem with Trying to Survive Thanksgiving

Whenever someone contacts me in panic about how to survive Thanksgiving, there are usually one of two reason why.  First, that person has been near perfect with their diet and training and are deathly afraid of losing all their progress.  This is something that I can definitely relate to after losing 80 lbs of body fat and working to keep it off over the past 8 years.  That fear of eating to your hearts content and then somehow waking up back inside your overweight body is something out of a horror flick for sure.

The second reason that someone would freak out over Thanksgiving is due to the fact that they haven’t been disciplined with their diet and now the fact that they’re entering a calorie feast makes them super insecure about their lack of consistency.  The realization that they should be more strict and focused on their nutrition is slapping them in the face and they start to regret the time they’ve wasted.  It’s like when your vacation creeps up on you and you realize you forgot to get lean. That panic button gets hit real quick!

Both scenarios are understandable, but completely unnecessary.  The problem with the whole “Surviving Thanksgiving” idea is that it elevates one day of high calories to a state of national emergency when it’s truly not justified.  Imagine if one day of fasting (zero food) would mean that you’d wake up malnourished and anorexic.  If you’ve been doing great with your nutrition and workouts – one day won’t derail you (unless you allow it to to turn into a week or two of over-eating).  If you haven’t been on track then it’s time to take action and get on track, but in the meantime be sure to enjoy Thanksgiving.  One day won’t make or break you.

 

Skip Breakfast on Thanksgiving and Enjoy Dinner 

There are a few strategies that can work for making Thanksgiving a bit more controlled.  However, my best advice is to keep it simple.  Counting calories or trying to watch portions is fine if you really want to.  But, I’m guessing you won’t so the best bet is to keep your food intake low to zero earlier in the day and just waiting to feast later on.  Funny enough, most of my clients follow intermittent fasting where they skip breakfast and wait 4-6 hours after waking up to eat their first meal.  This translates very well to Thanksgiving, so if you’re already following this approach don’t change anything.  Maybe keep lunch light or munch on some appetizers before enjoy a good amount of food for dinner (plus some dessert of course).

The only real rule you might want to think about is never eating to the point of being sick.  That’s just unnecessary.  Being so full that you feel like throwing up is terrible for you.  Eat to your heart’s content, but don’t get sick.  Being satisfied and full is fine, but thinking about pulling the trigger is flat out dumb – don’t do that.

Enjoy A Few Drinks if You Feel the Urge

Food and alcohol is something I usually suggest clients avoid combining, but in this case – who cares?  Happiness isn’t just about being fit and healthy.  At times happiness and enjoyment means drinking a few drinks and enjoying some alcoholic beverages with friends and family.  If you’re someone who enjoys a cocktail or two, have at it.  Try and avoid a ton of sugary drinks, but if you end up having some higher calorie beverages, don’t panic…you will be ok.

Once again, my only rule of thumb here is to avoid getting sick.  Plus avoid being the “drunk” of the party.  Nobody likes someone who’s too tipsy, unless you get really funny and entertaining when you drink like I do (no joke, it’s the truth). Just be sure to avoid driving if you drink and be responsible.

By the way, my favorite drink for any occasion is a Moscow Mule.  Vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice…amazing!  Don’t forget the copper mug!

 

Workout if You Have Time and Energy

I highly suggest getting a morning workout in the day of Thanksgiving.  Why?  It simply feels awesome to start the holiday off after an awesome workout!  Plus, burning a few extra calories never hurts right?  It will get you fired up to enjoy the day to the max and since you’ll be eating and drinking, you’ll feel much more at ease knowing you got a good sweat on prior to the day’s events.

If you’re following a workout program that’s been working great – just stay consistent with that.  Or if you’d like to try something new, here’s an awesome and fun workout to try:

  • 1 Mile Run
  • 50 burpees to pull-up
  • 1 mile run
  • 50 burpees to pull-up
  • 1 mile run

 

Or you can give this one a shot:

20-1 Ladder (Do 20 reps of each movement, then 19, then 18…all the way to 1)

  • Medicine Ball Slams
  • Push Ups

 

These are just examples of some fun (and challenging) workouts that can be added to your current routine or done on their own.

Relax and Enjoy the Day

If you only take one piece of advice from this article – take this one: RELAX and ENJOY the Day!  Happy Thanksgiving!

 Click Here To Download Your Free Guide 

 

What Happens After Thanksgiving is What Really Matters

The biggest issue people struggle with is getting back on track after a splurge day like Thanksgiving.  Leftover food and alcohol sit there in front of your face and tempt you to consume it all.  You think “Oh this shouldn’t go to waste” and next thing you know Thanksgiving Day turns into Thanksgiving 6 weeks.

Your best bet is to enjoy the Holiday, give massive thanks and remind yourself to be thankful and full of gratitude daily (not just once a year). Send the leftovers home with relatives and store the alcohol for a special occasion.  Clean up the house and get back to business on Friday.  And by business I mean your daily routine.

I can’t lie, this might be challenging, but be prepared to face resistance and temptation to keep the party going.  Just keep in mind that Christmas and New Years is now within reach so there will be parties and more food coming your way, therefore it’s important to stay ahead of the game.  The cool part is that within a few days you’ll see the Thanksgiving bloat and water weight go away and you’ll be back to where you were (maybe even slightly leaner) after a few short days of consistent eating and training.   Just promise me you’ll send me thank you email for encouraging you to live life instead of sweating the small stuff.

 

 

 

How to Get Lean Without a Gym Membership

Josiah Novak

Looking For A Jump Start To Your Fitness? Grab my Guide to Getting Lean Below

 

If you want to get lean without a gym membership – this video will help you map out the key factors you should consider when putting a plan in place for a fat loss routine (without a gym membership).

Getting Lean Without a Gym Membership

Do you really need a gym membership to get lean?  Absolutely not.  In fact, getting lean and losing bodyfat comes down to a very simple formula.  First, you must eat fewer calories than you burn each day combined with eating the right amount of protein, carbs and fats.  Then you must incorporate a consistent exercise routine that can be done at home or anywhere that gives you some space for bodyweight training movements.

 

30 Men You Should Follow in 2017

Josiah Novak
For me, fitness is priority number one! I know that if I don’t take care of myself and do something physical EVERY day, I am not at my best. Fitness puts my world in focus… Without it, the path to success is blurry.

A couple weeks ago I ventured down to Atlanta, GA on Super Bowl weekend, but it wasn’t for the Super Bowl.  Well, actually it was.  It was for a different kind of Super Bowl.  It was for the Super Bowl of Men’s Fashion and Lifestyle – AKA Style Con 2017.

I had first heard of Style Con a couple months ago when a friend of mine had mentioned it to me as a possible networking event.  Being an online business owner and podcaster can make it difficult to get out and actually do in-person networking.  And when I say difficult I mean it puts me out of my comfort zone.  When Style Con came on my radar – I immediately knew I had to go.  But, I didn’t pull the trigger right away.

When you’re faced with an opportunity that you know will be worthwhile- it can be scary at first.  We know we should do something, but we hesitate.  This is exactly what happened with Style Con.  Luckily, one of my friends Ryan Michler (who you’ll learn more about below) – urged me to attend.  So I finally took action and booked my trip.

Needless to say – it was worth it.  I wish I could tell you all the knowledge bombs that I picked up over the 48 hours I was there, but there were so many that it would take many blogs to cover them all.  I was completely blown away at the value of both the speakers and the networking that took place.  I was expecting it to be a Style and Fashion show, but in reality it was a personal growth and business acceleration event.  The money spent to get there will be worth 10-20x in the next 4-6 months due to the relationships and connections I forged.

I figured I’d introduce you to the 30 men who spoke at the event.  These legends are all worth following and learning from.  This list will serve as a great resource for you in 2017 as you set out on a journey to become a better man and person.

As a final note…make sure to attend Style Con 2018  – now known as MenFluential 2018.  You’ll be thankful you did!

1. I AM ALPHA M. (AARON MARINO)

Aaron Marino is a legend in men’s self improvement and online content marketing.  Aaron’s brand I Am Alpha M simply dominates the online pace.  In addition to being one of the co-founders of Men’s Style Con, he is the founder of Alpha M. Consulting which is an image consulting firm dedicated to helping men maximize their full potential. I actually knew of Aaron prior to Style Con through is incredible YouTube Channel – where he humbly has over 2 MILLION followers!!

I personally recommend you subscribe to his YouTube channel immediately.  His videos will entertain and educate you with incredibly valuable advice on style, grooming, fitness, fashion and lifestyle.

All that being said, the most impressive thing that I experienced with Aaron was when he made it a point to come over to me and introduce    himself in the midst of hundreds of people.  He spent a few minutes chatting with me and also followed up with after Style Con.  He’s a true master of his craft and his story is extremely inspiring.

For me, fitness is priority number one! I know that if I don’t take care of myself and do something physical EVERY day, I am not at my best. Fitness puts my world in focus… Without it, the path to success is blurry.
 -Aaron Marino
 2. REAL MEN, REAL STYLE (ANTONIO CENTENO)
Antonio is the co-founder of Style Con and has built his own empire with Real Men, Real Style.  His YouTube channel is has over 1,000,000 subscribers!   Antonio is a former Marine who teaches men how to build their personal brand through style, confidence, communication and presentation.
The coolest thing about Antonio is his willingness to help others and make valuable introductions.  At Style Con I was introduced to Antonio and he immediately, after learning I was in the health and fitness industry, introduced me to a few other folks at the event in the fitness industry.  This really showed that he cared about my needs and that he was willing to quickly bring me value (even though he had just met me)
Never stop learning – it’ll make such a huge improvement in your life.
-Antonio Centeno

3. ORDER OF MAN (RYAN MICHLER)

I’ve known Ryan for a little while and this guy is the real deal.  There are so many fakes in every industry – but Ryan is not one of them.  I consider Ryan a friend and valuable ally in the business world.

Ryan Michler is a husband, father, Iraqi Combat Veteran, and the Founder of Order of Man.

Growing up without a permanent father figure, Ryan was left to learn how to be a man on his own and with the help of a few strong men in his life.

He believes that most, if not all, of the world’s biggest problems could be solved if males everywhere learned how to be better husbands, fathers, friends, and leaders. He’s on a mission to help all men become the men they were meant to be.

Health is such a critical component to success. As leaders in the home, business, and community, we’re expected to serve others all the time. And while, any leadership opportunity is a noble endeavour, we aren’t capable of a sustained level of service without taking care of ourselves first.
 
The ability to serve others is in direct proportion to our ability to take care of ourselves.
-Ryan Michler

4.  THE ART OF CHARM (AJ HARBINGER)

Before meeting AJ, I was huge fan of Art of Charm‘s Podcast.  Ryan Michler invited me to lunch on Day 1 of Style Con and I got a chance to grab pizza and chat with AJ a bit about their business and their future.  Needless to say these guys do incredible things!
The Art of Charm is on a mission To Help Ordinary Guys do Extraordinary Things.  They help you unlock the power of persuasion, build confidence in uncomfortable situations and develop techniques to control more outcomes in both your personal and professional life.
I highly recommend you check out their podcast and their week long training program in Los Angeles!

When it comes to making a first impression, your health is the absolute foundation.

-AJ Harbinger

5. HANDSOME GUY SECRETS (RYAN MAGIN)

 Ryan is the reason why I’m creating my YouTube channel.  After he was kind enough to chat with me for a few minutes about the day to day struggles we both face as business owners – I realized that it’s not every day you get to meet successful people who aren’t afraid to talk about their failures.  Ryan is both confident and humble, plus his YouTube Channel gives you tips and tactics to land more dates, dress like a style pro, and other men’s fashion tips that you’ll find incredibly valuable.
Ryan is also a Dad, business owner, blogger, and overall a real cool dude.  I highly recommend you check out his Handsome Guy Secrets YouTube Page!

You know when you are just haven a shitty day?

The gym is always there for you…

When life throws you curve balls…

The gym is always there for you.

-Ryan Magin

6. MASCULINE STYLE (TANNER GUZY)
When I think of classy swagger – Tanner immediately comes to mind.  Tanner doesn’t lack self-confidence, but his story is what really inspired me to learn more about him.  He’s a husband and father of 3 and still manages to find time to run his Masculine Style business and create epic content on his YouTube channel.
His insight into fashion and style is truly incredible.  I signed up for his newsletter and the value he sends out is phenomenal.  The real interesting part is that Tanner wasn’t always a style pro – and he shared his background at Style Con.  His transparency and a willingness to help others is evident by his commitment to brining value and real information through his different channels.
I highly recommend you check out Tanner’s Masculine Style YouTube page!
For some reason we grow up thinking you can either be strong or smart, not both. It’s as if the two goals are mutually exclusive and, as you make progress towards one, it comes at the detriment of the other. The Greeks understood that the mind and body are interdependent and improving one benefits the other. So on top of the physical and social benefits that come from being in shape, there are intellectual and psychological payoffs as well. 
-Tanner Guzy

7. GENTLEMEN’S GAZETTE (RAFAEL SCHNEIDER)

 I love Rafael’s company mission. “We help men be gentlemen and look the part – classic men’s style, not fast fashion. Backed by history, not trends.  Quality, not quantity.”  That’s a powerful mission statement and Rafael comes across as a man with a real plan.
Rafael’s obsession began at the age of 14, and he has since amassed an ever-expanding classic wardrobe, a significant collection of 20th century fashion references, and a keen understanding of what it means to be a gentleman in this day in age.
Wearing the right clothes can communicate status, wealth, competency, respect, attitude, character… and when you look at clothes that way, the are one of the puzzle pieces of success, especially when it comes to sales. And whether you sell your company, your product or yourself, you always sell. 
-Rafael Schneider

8.SPARTA STRENGTH (RYAN MASTERS)

 Ryan is from the same area that I live in (Northern VA) and I’ve been a fan of his message for quite some time.  His Sparta Strength program is phenomenal and teaches guys valuable body transformation tips and tricks.  Plus, his videos are super creative and entertaining.
Ryan talked about getting out of your comfort zone and pursuing things that scare you every day.  His talk was one of the most entertaining at Style Con – especially the video him wrestling alligators. The dude is wild!
Ryan also took some time to chat with me about building marketing strategies and growing my brand.  He’s a great resource for health, fitness and building your brand.
Health and Fitness is vital to your success because once you instill the discipline to transform your body you realize you can conquer anything
-Ryan Masters

9. BEARD BRAND (ERIC BANDHOLZ)

Eric is a legend in the men’s facial hair world.  He’s inspired many guys to start growing bears and he’s led the charge in changing the perception around facial hair.
Here’s his mission statement:
Beardbrand wants to bring high quality products for beardsmen. Our grooming products use natural products and we want our customers to have a positive experience with their beards – crappy products don’t help in that regard.

In addition to providing great products and service, we want to change the way society looks at beardsmen. There are still organizations who require men to shave, and there is negative terminology used towards beardsmen that still lingers in our culture. For instance, the term “clean-shaven” should be “completely-shaven” or “beardless.”

These changes take time, but progress is being made. Recently Disney eased their policy on beards and other companies are joining suit. We can’t do this alone, and we need you to help us change society. Connect with us by joining the mailing list below, and most importantly – beard on!

Make sure to check out Eric and Beardbrand!

10. TEACHING MEN’S FASHION (JOSE ZUNIGA)

Jose is probably the most successful (yet humble) 22 year old I’ve ever met. His YouTube channel went from 50k followers to 500k followers in a single year!  He puts out incredibly valuable fashion and lifestyle advice that every guy can benefit from.

In his own words…

Basically two Latino brothers with an influence on the menswear industry…

We are a gentlemen’s lifestyle brand, reaching hundreds of thousands of men and women every month through our social media efforts and website. We cover topics including Mens Style, Mens grooming, gear & tech, and mens lifestyle and living! Our founders are two brothers Jose Zuniga, a finance student, business owner and winner of GQ’s HGQRU Style competition and Juan Zuniga, a lawyer, father, and husband.
Make sure to check them out!
11. COLLEGE INFO GEEK (THOMAS FRANK)
I got a chance to chat with Thomas over lunch and I was really intrigued by his business.  His mission is to help others study, learn and implement at a high level.  We chatted briefly about “speed reading” and why he believes its a myth.  I also was highly interested in his business due to my oldest boy being an advanced student.
If you’re trying to get better at learning and being a student or if you have kids who need help in that area – I would highly recommend checking out Thomas’s business!  His YouTube and Blog are super educational and he puts an extreme amount of work into every piece of content that he puts out.
 I primarily create content about how to be more productive, which means I’m constantly exploring new techniques for working more effectively. However, I always keep a reminder in the back of my mind… all of these techniques are like small modifications on a car. They can help if everything is working properly, but they’re useless if the engine is gunked up or broken down. My mind – and, by extension, my body – is the engine that allows me to do my work. Thinking this way helps when I’m tempted to skip a workout (or stay up late) in order to “get more work done”. The effectiveness of that work goes down if I don’t keep my health in check.
-Thomas Frank
12. MEN’S FASHION MAGAZINE (PAUL MCGREGOR)
Paul’s speech closed out Style Con and it was truly incredible.  He spoke of his father’s battle with depression and how it ultimately ended in his father taking his own life.  Paul’s story truly hit home for me as I’ve lost a very close family member to suicide myself.  Paul spoke of his fear of following the same path as his father did and the struggle’s he’s been through to overcome that fear.
I also got a chance to chat with Paul a bit prior to the event and he’s definitely a genuine and humble guy.  His work has been featured in GQ, Vogue, Esquire, and the Huffington Post.  His mission is to help men look and feel better about themselves – he calls this “Style from the inside out”.

Make sure to check out Paul!

13. DANLOK.COM (DAN LOK)

Dan Lok came in and rocked the house at Style Con with his speech about charging what you’re worth.  His story about how he went from broke to making well into the 8 figures truly inspired me to take my game to the next level.
Dan Lok, a.k.a. The Man, is the world’s most cherished entrepreneur, business mentor and internet marketing authority, with an inspirational story that resonates around the globe. The Dan Lok brand is a global movement with one mission: To empower 1,000,000 entrepreneurs to become successful in life and in business.
It’s better to be really good at one thing than average at a bunch of things
-Dan Lok
14. PRIMER MAGAZINE  (ANDY SNAVELY)
Andy runs Primer Magazine…I’ll let Andy cover the details:
Primer Magazine is not your typical men’s magazine. We dig deep into issues guys in their 20′s face like career success and personal wellness. We strive for content that is not featured anywhere else. As men we are no longer interested in articles like “The 10 Best Spring Break Hot Spots” but are not ready for “Breakdown: 10 Spots to Escape Your Mid-Life Crisis.” At Primer, we search for new ways of bettering ourselves, as well as returning to the ideas of manhood that may have skipped our generation.

As a departure from the status quo of typical men’s journalism, we are shredding the portrait Maxim and GQ paint of us. We’re over week-long binge drinking and the post-pubescent hunt for random hookups. We want to stay in shape and dress well but don’t relate to the idea of wanting or needing a $2,500 suit.

It would be nice if we all had successful older brothers who were happily married, the life of every party, and made VP by 35. They could offer incalculable career advice, financial and investing tips, and key points to keeping your knockout girlfriend. While we all can’t be that lucky, Primer may be the next best thing. With writers contributing from all walks of life, we can learn from their experiences as if they were our own and apply them moving forward.

As a young man leaving college, one must be ready to take on the world. Armed with an education, a sense of self, and toting a diploma, the world quickly reminds you – there’s more to living as an adult than is covered in ‘Comparative Politics’ and ‘A History of the Renaissance.’

Young men rejoice, you no longer need to stumble into the gate of adulthood.

15. EFFORTLESS GENT (BARRON CUADRO) 

I have a confession to make.  The Effortless Gent happens to be my favorite fashion resource simply because it makes looking good EASY and EFFORTLESS.  Plus, Barron shows you how to use a few pieces to make tons of outfits.  As someone who doesn’t want to have to hit the mall for every new event that pops up – Effortless Gent is a huge resource!

I highly recommend checking out Barron’s blog – where recently he shows you how to rock the Crewneck sweater all sorts of different ways – trust me its worth bookmarking this blog!

 

 

 

16. THE MODEST MAN (BROCK MCGOFF)

Brock runs The Modest Man – a fashion and men’s lifestyle resource for shorter guys.  I love how Brock has true niche and has grown his business tremendously over the past year.

Whether we like it or not, our physical appearance affects how we are perceived and treated by others. Our color, shape, size, clothing, style, body language and hygiene all impact what people think about us – and what we think about ourselves.

17. MENFLUENTIAL.COM (TERRY ADELMAN)
Terry and Aaron Marino partnered together to build Menfluential which helps online brands in the men’s self-improvement space.
In their own words..
MENfluential Media was created by influencers for influencers. We understand the difficulties and frustrations that come along with running a successful blog. The more successful you get, the less time you have to focus on what you love doing… creating amazing content and connecting with your fans. Another super frustrating aspect of being a professional content creator is having to put on the “sales” hat when dealing with interested brands and advertisers.

MENfluential Media lets you to turn your passion into a profession by giving you the time you need to do what you love, while negotiating and securing you bigger and better promotional opportunities through our deep network of established brand partners and advertiser relationships.

 

18. THE DISTILLED MAN (KYLE INGHAM)

The Distilled Man has a mission of making you a better man in areas guys are expected to be good at. Whether you want to learn about cocktails, grooming, grilling, or even social confidence, Kyle’s in-depth articles and videos help you become a better version of yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

19. UNKEPT GENTLEMAN (TRAVIS WHITE) 

Travis White runs the website Unkept Gentleman where he teaches men how to discover their personal style, build a personal brand, and get what they want out of life with confidence.

Travis was also the first guy who I shook hands with at Style Con and he was super friendly and down to earth.  It made the start of the event really relaxed and less pressure packed.

 

 

 

 

20. MODERN MANNERS GUY (RICHIE FRIEMAN)

Richie is The Modern Manners Guy for QuickAndDirtyTips.com – a fun and humorous weekly column and podcast about manners and etiquette.  It is as a Top Educational Podcast on iTunes that has helped millions of people.

 

 

 

 

21. FRAGRANCE BROS (DAVE JOHNSON)

Founder of Fragrance Bros, Dave gives great recommendations when it comes to anything and everything about fragrance. Check out Dave’s page for his fun and honest recommendations.

 

 

 

 

22. ELITE MENS MAGAZINE (JUSTIN STENSTROM) 

Justin created Elite Man Magazine as a way to help men master their personal, social, and business lives. Once anxious, insecure, depressed, and unhappy, Justin’s overcome many of life’s greatest obstacles and loves nothing more than helping others do the same.

Make sure you check out Justin and Elite Men’s magazine!

 

 

 

 

23. DIYPETE.COM (PETE SVEEN)

Pete is a content creator in the DIY and Home Improvement industry who helps and inspires DIY’ers to build and create. His passion for teaching on Youtube has helped people around the world build furniture and accomplish “honey do lists” with ease. Pete is an active outdoorsman and private pilot living in Bozeman, Montana.

This is a phenomenal resource for guys!

 

 

 

 

24. HIGH FASHION MEN (EVAN MARSHALL)

The source for quality brands to expose themselves to a global clientele interested in the world of fashion. With 2.5 million followers, we strive to influence individuals who are seeking fashion innovation. Our goal is to become your personal style coach and to share all  the tips, tricks, and tools you will need to live a more eye-catching life.

 

 

 

 

 

25. GENT’S LOUNGE (GEORGE LABODA)

George is a master of his craft – his Instagram account is a must-see for anyone looking to grow their following on social media.

George is a television editor turned menswear influencer based in Los Angeles, CA. He co-founded Gent’s Lounge, a menswear education and lifestyle platform in 2013. Using his film background to produce high quality visuals, Gent’s Lounge has gone on to become one of the premiere pages for menswear inspiration and education.

 

 

 

 

26. REDOLESSENCE (STEVEN GAVRIELATOS)

Steven created Redolessence to shed light on the many functionalities of fragrance. His reviews of a diverse range of fragrances have helped men and women find their perfect olfactory accessory. Whether you’re looking for your signature scent or the perfect cologne for that special occasion, Redolessence can help.

 

 

 

 

 

27. GENT’S LOUNGE (BLAKE SCOTT)

Blake is a beast on Instagram!  If you want someone to model your own IG account after – this is your guy!

Blake Scott is a LA native and  a digital influencer. His goal with social media is to educate the everyday guy on ways to simply dress better, feel better, and learn more about the world around us.

 

 

 

 

28. A GENTLEMAN’S JOURNEY (CHAD MCCHESNEY)

A Gentleman’s Journey is catered to the everyday gent looking to expand his knowledge of fragrances, as they go through their own fragrance journey. His channel is about helping men who wants smell good, without breaking their bank account. Chad is relatable to the common man as he is a common man himself.

 

 

 

 

 

29. ARIAN NEY 

Arian comes from my wife’s childhood country of Germany and I really liked that Arian brought his significant other to the Style Con event – he definitely had some major swag points for that!

Arian is a top influencer who proudly presents the best of Instagram from Germany.
He has worked with over 20  prestigious brands and  clients on the market such as LVMH (Dom Pérignon), Montblanc, Tissot, and Francesco Maglia.

 

 

 

 

30. THETRUETRANSFORMATION.COM and FITMANPODCAST.COM (JOSIAH NOVAK)

Shameless plug…

However, I strongly believe my online health and fitness coaching program is the go-to for anyone looking to learn how to implement sustainable and healthy health and fitness habits into their lifestyle.

Being fit is a huge advantage in this world where we are constantly being asked to exceed expectations and deliver quality results in every area of our life.

My specialty is helping busy, successful men transform their entire image – starting with their mindset around health and fitness and then implementing a nutrition and workout strategy that can be executed with ease in their day to day lives.

My podcast – The Fit Man Project – is centered around learning the stories, habits and routines of the most successful people on the planet.  Make sure to subscribe on iTunes! 

Being Great Starts with Being Fit

-Josiah Novak

What  FIT GUYS  Know  about  being  lean

Josiah Novak
Imagine being at the pool, beach or that summer vacation and feeling totally at ease with walking around in your bathing suit.  Your body is lean, confidence is high, and you feel proud of the fit body you’ve achieved.  How would that feel?

What if there was a secret that all these fit guys walking around had that could drastically cut down on the struggles you face when it comes to getting in shape?

Feeling comfortable with taking your shirt off in public and revealing a lean body comes from more than just doing a few sit ups and chugging some protein shakes.

And while there are no magic pills that can give you a dream body overnight, there is one strategy that I want to share with you that can get you results 2x as fast in 1/2 the time.  Interested?  Cool.  Keep reading.

While your friends are all hopping from one diet to the next and from one crossfit box to the orange theory down the road….I’m going to change the game for you.

It’s TIIIIIMMMEEE!! (UFC Voice)

There’s a secret that all these lean guys have that took me years and years to learn.

It was literally 10 years ago that I was sitting on my bed, stuffing my face with Papa Johns pizza, and wondering if living life even made sense anymore.  I was 80 lbs. overweight, depressed, broke and just flat out sick of life.

It took me a long time to come out of that dark place and get my life in order.  It took many ups and downs to figure this whole “getting fit” thing out.  I can’t say it was easy.  In fact, it sucked ass a lot of the time.

However,  I uncovered a secret that the guys who have abs and seem to enjoy the heck out of life have.

You ready?

Instead of chasing after every new diet, new supplement, new workout routine that comes along, or some other weird voodoo method that some guru preaches about….they simply do the work.

They have a simple routine.

Their diet is both strict and flexible when it needs to be.

They don’t follow the trends.

They do the work.

While everyone else chases keto, paleo, or eating poptarts – they stick to the basics.  They ignore the 10 new forms of creatine that come out and instead they invest in quality food.

They train consistently.  Sure, they change things up, but its always with a clear purpose.

Bottom line…

They do the work.

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It’s not the sexy stuff that’s going to give you the satisfaction of achieving your dream body.  There are no magic potions or strange diet hacks that will bless you with abs tomorrow.

It’s all about the work.

The consistent weight training workouts.

The consistent and well balanced nutrition plan.

The good sleep you get most nights.

The flexibility to enjoy life and get back on track right away.

As my friend Daniel DiPiazza said – “having ideas isn’t the hard part – actually creating art from those ideas is what separates the best from the average”

Getting lean and having a body you’re not ashamed of comes down to work.

Are you ready and willing to do the work?

GRAB  THE  FREE  GUIDE  FOR GUYS  WHO WANT TO  GET LEAN