How to make 2023 your year!

Happy New Year to you.

You may be using this time of the year to address working on yourself, and setting some self improvement goals.

Putting some resolutions together which sees you full of enthusiasm.

You say to yourself ‘this is it, this the year that everything changes’.

And come January 1st you set off like a monkey out of a box.

You follow the spreadsheets of life changing tasks you found on the internet.

Some of them seem a little far fetched. But the motivational guru you saw on Facebook was very confident in telling you that’s what’s required.

So you knuckle down and make a start.

It feels good to know you’re doing something for yourself. Something that will change your situation. Something that will transform your life!

Sure there’s a lot to do and sometimes there are clashes with other responsibilities. But it’s ok, it’ll work itself out. 

A week passes and you’ve noticed the daily actions take a long time. You’re finding that because they take so long you’re not completing them. 

But it’s early days. It’ll work itself out.

Another week passes.

You’ve noticed the no negotiation hardline for working on yourself has been lifted. 

Family and work obligations have now resumed the top spot on your priorities list. And your resolutions have taken a back seat.

February your enthusiasm is fading.

And by March it’s completely gone.

Sound familiar?!

How many years have you experienced this?

It’s commendable that you want to change your situation and become a more integral man.

But the mistake you’ve been making is trying to crowbar in time for these tasks (most of which are redundant).

And you were relying on motivation.

What you have to understand is self improvement comes down to building self control. Which is required to remove the bad habits and replace them with good ones.

And you don’t find time…

…you make time!

By removing the distractions and bad habits from your life. The ones that leach your time and drain your life force.

Doing so will free up time, more than enough time for the good habits, the ones that enrich your life.

I must stress that this is simple, not easy.

And I say it’s not easy because you’re going to have to build self control. To resist temptations from others (this means saying no) and also from your innate drives.

Because giving into these temptations in today’s world is dangerous. 

Social media,
Fast food,
Nicotine,
Alcohol,
Porn,  
TV,

rob you of your time, focus and wellbeing. This is why cutting them out is imperative.

Replacing them with: 

Sleep
Writing 
Exercise 
Nutrition
Challenges  
Deep work 
Family time
Mindfulness
Investing (money and in yourself)

is when you’ll see an improvement physically, emotionally and spiritually.  

It’s about adopting an essential approach, a disciplined pursuit of less.

Because right now if you had more time, you’d only fill it with more distractions. You need to cut out the distractions and action the essentials.

Improve your life by doing less, not more!

I like to call this the minimum effective dose. Performing small actions that see you make marginal gains. 

After adhering to them for long enough they become habitual. And these habits compound into huge changes.

If you’d like to discuss changing your situation click here.

22 lessons from 2022

1. Confidence is on the other side of fear 

Why?

Fear is something that’s hardwired into us. But it’s redundant for most modern day scenarios.

You’ll find confidence when you act despite fear.

2. Invest in yourself

Coaching, courses, communities.

If there was ever a “shortcut” to success. It’s this.

My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

3. Surround yourself with people who are better than you

If you’re the smartest, strongest, or highest achieving person in the room…

…you’re in the wrong room.

The people we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on us.

4. Gratitude

We’re hardwired to the negative and society perpetuates this.

Gratitude flips the script.

You change the narrative when you start taking stock of what you have instead of what you don’t.

5. Explore your curiosities 

Do you find something interesting? Go and explore it. Start investigating.  

You never know what opportunities it may open for you. 

Don’t wait for others. Do it alone if you have to.

You’ll be much happier doing things you want to do by yourself, than doing things you don’t want to do with others.

6. Outside of your comfort zone is where you grow

Ever experience that uncomfortable feeling when in an unfimilar situation?

It means you’re putting yourself out there! 

If you’re not experiencing this, it means you could be stuck inside your comfort zone.

7. The power of “no”

‘Yes’ is our default social obligation response to appease others, so as not to be ostracized from the group. 

But, saying “yes” to everything is a sure fire way to give up control of your life.

Let the power of “no” liberate you.

8. Consistency is the key that unlocks success

Success requires consistency.

Consistency requires discipline.

Discipline requires you to build effective systems into your life.

Systems are formed through habits.

Make a start.

9. Start journaling

Journaling is fantastic for gaining a better understanding of yourself.

Some of benefits I’ve got from journaling this year:

– Less stressed
– More focused 
– Sense of gratitude
– Increased self-awareness
– Baseline happiness increased. 

10. Relationships

Isolated and alone you’ll struggle.

Relationships are the hand holds that support you in life.

The quality of your relationships has a huge effect on the quality of your life.

Don’t wait on others, reach out, connect.

11. Sleep impacts every aspect of your life

– Mood
– Focus
– Hunger
– Decision making

You’re not getting by on 4 hours sleep, you’ve just gotten used to feeling like shit!

If you want to optimise your life — sleep is the best place to start.

12. Your mind is a monkey in a cage throwing feaces

It urges you to scratch that immediate gratification itch all day.

It spews out random thoughts 24/7.

But once you understand these thoughts are not the truth but stories we get caught up in. And you learn to control those urges. Life get’s a whole lot easier.

13. You can get a whole days work done in 4 hours

This system has improved the quality of my work and saved me so much time:

1. Block out 60-90 minutes (routine)
2. Assign only one task to each block and avoid multitasking
3. Get some coffee and L-theanine before you start 
4. Turn off your phone and notifications on your computer 
5. Listen to instrumental music/binaural beats/brown noise
6. Take 15-minute breaks between blocks

14. Attention is a finite resource

Where you allocate your attention will decide the outcome of your life.

Decide what matters most to you.

Assign your attention accordingly.

15. Silence and time to yourself

In a world where you’re being constantly stimulated it’s imperative that you unplug. Take time to be alone in silence, no music, no devices, no people.

Some options:

– Writing is journaling meditation.
– Hiking is walking meditation.
– Sitting quietly is direct meditation.

16. Your health comes first

Before everything else, before anyone else. 

I’ll use the old adage; ‘fix your own facemask before helping others.’

Optimise these:

– Exercise
– Diet
– Stress
– Sleep

17. Your ability to delay gratification will determine where you end up in life

It sounds extreme, but it’s true.

You wouldn’t plant a seed, and dig it up every 2 days to check on it.

True growth requires patience and discipline.

18. Wealth is the difference between income and spending

Everyone is caught up in upgrading their lifestyle.

Earning more to buy things they don’t need. To keep up with others.

Peace of mind comes from controlling your spending and saving (investing) what you don’t spend.

19. Keep learning

Learning keeps you young.

But remember to apply what you’ve learned. 

Because not doing is the same as not knowing.

20. Discipline > motivation

Everyone is reliant on motivation to take action. That’s why they don’t make any progress.

Motivation is doing it when you feel like it. Discipline is doing it when you don’t!

21. Start the day right

Your morning sets the tone for the day.

What works for me:
– Phone away for the first hour after waking
– Hydrate (water)
– Walk outside (commute) for silence
– Read
– coffee
– Get to work

22. Be happy now

Read that again.

Everyone back loads their life. Putting off happiness until some future scenario has been achieved.

‘I’ll be happy when…’

or they tell themselves

‘I want to be happy.’ 

The problem is…

…when you tell yourself you want happiness, you’re telling your subconcious you don’t have it!

Tell yourself ‘you are’ not ‘you want to be.’

How to fix your sleep in 7 simple steps

How would you rate your sleep?

Recently I put out a poll on social media asking which area of people’s lifestyle they struggled with.

As expected sleep was the resounding ‘winner’.

Not surprising as 23 million people in the UK suck at it. 

Which is heart-breaking, because if you get it right, sleep will energise you more than any stimulant can.  

A poor night’s sleep sucks your emotions dry. I know this all too well.  

I use to hate going to sleep knowing that I was just going to lie there for what felt like an eternity until I finally drifted off.

That was until I discovered what makes you sleep better than a Koala!

It’s not that I was a bad sleeper per-se. It was because I was doing things that was impacting my sleep. 

So fixing those, plus adding in some other things means I’m sleeping better than ever. I now can’t wait to go to bed.

And I drop off with ease. I go out faster than an energy saving light bulb.

So here are 7 rules to help you get the revitalising sleep you need.  

1. Don’t have a big meal before bed have a small snack instead.   

A big meal will activate your digestive system for a long time and keep you awake.   

whereas a small snack won’t and it’ll boost tryptophan & serotonin, fuelling your sleep. I go with a slow release carb based snack an hour before bed (porridge and some whey).

2. Have a caffeine cut off time.  

Caffeine blocks adenosine (the chemical that builds sleep pressure).  

The more caffeine in your system the harder it’ll be to fall asleep.  

Have a cut off time at least 6 hours before your bedtime. 

3. Use blue light blocking glasses.  

Most devices emit a blue light, which blocks a hormone called melatonin that makes you sleepy.   

This makes you less drowsy and it takes you longer to fall asleep.  

So I pop on my blue light glasses 90 minutes before bed.

These are the one’s I use  http://barnerbrand.com 

4. Have a warm shower or bath before bed.  

Your body’s core temperature cools down afterward. This sends a signal to your brain to go to sleep.  

Have a shower or bath 90 minutes before bed in water at 104 to 109°F (40 to 43°C). 

5. Have a cool bedroom.  

If your bedroom is too warm you’ll have a hard time falling asleep.

Set your thermostat to a cool temperature between 60–67°F (15.6–19.4°C). 

6. Have a sleep schedule.

Your body has a regulatory system called the circadian rhythm.  

So waking up and going to bed at the same times each day help your internal clock keep a regular schedule.  

Experiment with times to get in sync with your circadian rhythm.

7. Practice mindfulness or meditation.  

When you’re stressed, you’ll have difficulty falling asleep.  

Meditation, and mindfulness are tools to calm the mind and relax the body.  

Headspace is good for meditation.  

Or if you prefer to journal (like me) use the 321 technique.

Here’s a guide on how

If you want more help with other areas of your health and wellbeing you can download my Vitality guide. The guide includes guidance on nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management

Download here

If you have any other questions reply to this email and I’ll get back to you.

How to reduce stress

The stress we experience is what we create. From your mind being overstimulated and your body is under stimulated and overfed.

We will have a thought and think it’s the truth.

And we continue down the rabbit hole with this thought it leads to stressful situations.

So it is imperative that you pick up on these thoughts. Which your mind spews out like a bubbles from a bubble machine.

Mindfulness will help you to pick up on this happening. As you’ll be in a better frame of mind to identify these thoughts.

and see them for what they really are

…stories!

To achieve this calmer mind (dialling down the bubble machine intensity). You need to work on certain things.

Which will take a bit of elbow grease.

Because a fit body and a calm mind cannot be bought they must be earned!

This is why it’s essential to have things in place to achieve this state of mind.

But these things get missed because you make cut backs, when you tell yourself:

‘I’ll go to bed later to finish work’

‘I’ll skip the gym I’ve got too much work on’.

‘I’ll do some mindfulness another time I need to work on this project’.

‘I haven’t time for breakfast’.

All these ‘time savers’ are the result of short term, obtuse thinking.

When you continue with these health cut backs you’ll see performance decline.

making more mistakes

start slowing down

losing efficiency and energy

concentration lapses

So these cut backs are actually costing you more time in the long run.

This is why you have to build the discipline to do the things that will benefit your body and mind.

And then you get the benefits of confidence, being more efficient and energised. A calmer mind.

You become a highly tuned machine.

How to build self discipline

Most people see others, on social media/ TV, those who are in great shape, and have fantastic lifestyles and they ask themselves “What do they have that I don’t?”

“What is missing”?

Their brains look to add, rather than subtract to optimize circumstances.

They look for that magic fix that could dramatically change the quality of their life.

The truth is, there is no magic fix that will improve the quality of your life overnight.

So, what’s the secret of these people? Sure they have some set of principles. But that’s not the secret. Anyone can do a quick google search and find these principles. They will be along the lines of:

Improving the quality of your thoughts requires you to read, write, and meditate regularly. To be fit, hit the gym, regularly. To lose weight control your calorie intake.

Most people know these ‘success’ principles. But knowing is not enough! The secret lies in the level of their commitment. The unshakeable self-discipline.

You must take consistent action, which requires self-discipline. Self-discipline is a constant battle. A battle against weakness.

In this battle, there is no end to the fight. It is the individual choices in the day where you either become victorious or fall short.

Self-discipline is a decision!

Deciding to wake up over going back to sleep when the alarm goes off.

Deciding to go to the gym over skipping it.

Deciding to eat a balanced meal over take away.

Deciding to read or listen to a few pages from a book over scrolling on social media.

The culmination of all these individual decisions either makes you or breaks you.

You need to forge levels of restraint and build a calloused mindset to overcome the lure of immediate gratification.

However this is easier said than done for the following reasons;

1. To become a ‘new you’ the old you must die – and this is a painful process.

When people are trying to build self-discipline they often ask questions like, “how do I get up early in the morning?”, “how do I restrain myself from excessive fun food intake?”, “how do I focus on the task at hand?” etc.

You need to override that voice that tells you to stay in bed when your alarm goes off.

You need to say no to fun foods and keep them out of your environment. In doing so you are not going to continually test yourself.

You need to be uncontactable/omit distractions when you need to focus on work.

Lack of shortcuts to achieve these things is why self-discipline seems like a struggle. But know that the people who overcome these tests are heavily rewarded.

2. One of the core elements of self-discipline is consistency. Consistent efforts brings automaticity to your productive habits. Which help you reach your desired purpose.

Yet, doing something outside of your comfort zone on a consistent basis. Especially when you are starting to build your self-discipline, might feel like a burden. It is what we dislike, but you need to be determined to stick with it.

Aiming for 1% improvement daily is more than enough to transform your life, even if it doesn’t seem like much.

You have to make gradual changes every day. Because tiny progress made consistently over a long period is what results in massive achievement.

3. Once the initial motivation to get started begins to fade, then the process will become a grind. You’ll need to focus on building the habits necessary to achieve your goals. And aim for over 85 percent compliance.

Trying to achieve 100 percent compliance (perfection) is difficult because slip-ups are inevitable.

The key is to correct yourself after a slip-up and get back to it immediately.

So, be aware that the process of developing self-discipline is a long and rigorous one. Understand that you’re in this for the long haul. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.

For more help building your self discipline download my free guide – Get Out Alive.

Ignorance is bliss

This week my wife surprised me with a birthday outing. A meal at one of my favourite steak houses, Hawksmoor.

The service and ambiance only bettered by the steak they serve. Delectable enough to convert any vegan.

We arrived and were seated at our table. The server asked if we would like menus with calories or without.

This was all new to me as I hadn’t dined out since the new governance on calories being displayed on menus had come in.

On being handed my menu curiosity hit me. I asked the server –

‘What do you find the percentage of people who ask for menus showing the calories’.

He told me that they record this information, and 95% of people opted for the menu without calories.

I couldn’t say I was surprised. I’m sure if there was an option to opt for a menu without pricing people would opt for that too.

Most people don’t want to know. They want immediate gratification and to hell with the consequences. They’ll be paid for (in a monetary and health sense), in the distant future. Seemingly so far away it doesn’t bear thinking about now.

Scanning over my menu I was astounded over the Bearnaise sauce coming in at 600 kcals!

I say again. A sauce/condiment. 600 calories.

Sauces are definitely something that some wouldn’t even consider being cognisant of when it comes to calories.

This definitely shaped my decision when it came to ordering.

A result of me choosing information over ignorance. And it’s these choices that hold me in good stead.

I would describe the basis of them as; short term pain (restriction) long term gain (health).

The opposite, the immediate gratification choice is why people incur problems. In there unwillingness and not wanting to know they fall foul. They tell themselves they deserve to live a little’ or it’s just this one time.

The reality is it’s not just this one time. There selective memory and ego has them saying this.

And after years and all these ‘just this one times’ the shit hits the fan.

Their doctor informs them that their current predicament warrants medication or surgery.

Now there are some that think with making these changes and imposing restrictions. They can no longer enjoy themselves or they are imprisoning themselves.

When really imposing a little self control and restriction gives you freedom.

Freedom from low energy that stops you achieving what you want.

Freedom from insecurity with your body that holds you back from putting yourself out there.

Freedom from concerns about your health.

Freedom from the lethargy that holds you back from taking action to progress in your life.

Freedom from doing what’s best for you.

Freedom from a poor quality of life.

Freedom from poor health has limited the things you can do or wanted to do in the future.

This lack of discipline which plagues your life is what prevents you from achieving your true potential.

I implore you to top struggling and do something about it.

Your first step to freedom download my free guide to self discipline

How do you have the energy?

Time, time, wherefore art thou time? The question we all ask when it comes to working on our personal goals, business and spending time with our loved ones.

But we know wishing and hoping for more time is futile, as you can’t increase the hours in the day!

But you can increase your energy levels. Which will see you function better and be more productive with the time you do have.

Managing and improving the quality of your time is paramount! As time is the most valuable commodity we have!

You cannot generate more of it (well, only through healthy living).

And how you spend it has a direct correlation on your happiness. Are you a master of your time? Or are you a slave to it?

Are you spending it in accorardance with what you want to achieve in life? Are the actions you take fall in line with reaching your true potential? Do you have the energy to do those things?

The people that are performing at their best. Those who are at the top of their game have an plenty of energy.

Having this energy allows them to perform at their best for longer and be more creative. They consistently execute.

They create this energy through fuelling themselves properly, training efficiently and resting appropriately.

Throw in drive and passion for their profession and they are unstoppable.

So I ask you; do you have the energy that you need to reach your true potential?

How to improve your energy, confidence & performance.

When we look past the superficial of aesthetics or leanness – is when when we get to the root of our desires.

Going beyond the norms of what society tells us we want, to find our true reason to improve our health and wellbeing.

Which is why want energy, confidence and better performance.

And this is coming from someone who has competed in Body Building.

I’ve attained much more enjoyment from pursuits that have been performance based i.e. Marathons, Power lifting. And I’m even more excited about upcoming open water swim and Mountaineering pursuits.

In terms of physical fitness and performance I’ve never been better than I am now.

And this will only improve because of the compounding effect of the day to day actions that are part of my routine.

I emphasise MY routine because not one size fits all. It has to be bespoke for you!

What you can commit to with exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress management is unique to you.

And you have to optimise those pillars to see you be at your best, to be on top of your game!

And hear me when I say it’s got to be bespoke because when we try and conform to something that is so far removed from our lives it won’t last!

That’s because the regimes and protocols out their are cookie cut on someone else’s plan. And to adapt and adhere to it you have to be at your best or nigh on perfect!

For success a plan needs to work even when you aren’t at your best. What you can be consistent with on your worst days.

Factoring in a margin of error!

Because we don’t rise to our goals we fall to our habits.

Which is what my coaching program The Performance Project is all about.

Devising a plan for you to help you build habits that will see make progress even when life gets hectic.

A plan that works in the face of high pressure and adversity. Taking into consideration all the obstacles that life is sure to throw at us.

Paired with accountability and support to see you break through plateaus and perform at your best.

For more info click here

The sunk cost fallacy

It was only a few sips into my drink before he came out with the bombshell that things haven’t been good at home.

I was flabbergasted, from the outside, his relationship portrayed your ideal couple. Photos of them on exotic holidays. at events, going out for walks with the dog would litter my Facebook homepage.


This was the real reason that he had asked if I wanted to go for a drink. It wasn’t to watch the football. He needed an ear to bend.


He told me the ins and outs of the past few months. Who had done what to whom. The arguments, the infidelity, it was Pandora’s box in relationship form.

On coming to the end of his rant I asked him the most pertinent question ‘do you still love her?’ His response was ‘well, yeah.’


I asked him ‘Do you still want to be with her’. His response, ‘well, we’ve been together for so long and we’ve got the house and the mortgage and everything.’


His whole standpoint for staying with her was that it was convenient. And he’d already invested so much time. And was willing to offset his future happiness on the basis that he had invested that time, energy and money.


He had fallen foul of the spent cost fallacy!


Which is where time money and energy you’ve already invested that cannot be recovered.


An example of this would be if you went to the cinema. Paid your money and halfway into the movie you decide it is awful. Rather than getting up and leaving or you think to yourself well I’ve paid the money I’m going to see this through. And then proceed to suffer through the rest of the movie. Knowing full well that another hour of your life will be wasted!


The thing to consider in this example is that you have already spent the money on the cinema ticket. That money is not coming back. and it should not affect your decision to walk out.


It’s like finishing a meal in a restaurant that’s terrible. A glass of red from the bar that is disgusting, a meal replacement shake that tastes like feet. A diet and exercise plan that isn’t working. More sunk cost fallacy at work!


The time, energy, effort and money is already spent! Try not to let it cloud your decision on future enjoyment. Don’t put yourself through, pain, ineffective fitness plans and poor wine in the future!


The sum paid in the past that is no longer relevant to decisions about the future.

How much protein do I need?

Ever thought to yourself ‘how much protein do I need?

And the answer is…

…it depends

Let’s go through it. The first thing we need to find out is how much lean mass we have; muscle, ligaments, organs, bones, etc. We need only take into account lean mass as these are the structures that need protein, body fat does not.

How do you work out how much lean mass you have? First, you would need to know your body fat percentage. There are a few ways to find this out. One option is skinfold testing, for which, you would need a qualified professional.

Then there is bioelectrical impedance. Machines that passes a small amount of electrical current through your body,

The latter is the least accurate.

From one of these, you will derive your body fat percentage. Again one will be more accurate than the other but it’s a good starting point.

Knowing your body fat percentage we move onto the next part of the puzzle. Subtract your body fat percentage from 100 to get your lean mass percentage.

Here is an example:

100 – 25 percent body fat = 75 percent lean mass.

Divide your lean mass percent by 100 to calculate the decimal for your lean mass percent. Here is an example: 100 / 75 – .75

Multiply your lean mass decimal by your total body weight to calculate your lean mass weight. If you weigh 175 lbs, multiply 175 by .75 for 131.25 lbs. of lean mass.

And there you have your lean mass.

So how much protein do you need for that lean mass? Before we answer that we must ask ourselves what is the goal?!

Are you focusing on fat loss or building muscle and size? I ask because we need different protein amounts in each phase.

Here is where most people get it wrong; when in a fat loss phase you actually need more protein per lb/kg of lean mass! And when in a building size/muscle phase, less.

The reason being as you get leaner and leaner during fat loss muscle breakdown is an issue. So we want to guard against it! More protein will help not only keep and repair muscle but aid hunger reduction. A bonus when dieting for weight loss.

When we are building size and in a calorie surplus there will be more insulin in our system. Which is the anti-muscle breakdown hormone. And we get to have more calories coming from carbs and fats. Which are our energy macronutrients!

This is good because we are more fuelled for our workouts and are in a position to achieve more weight lifted. [More weight/volume equates to getting stronger and ergo more muscle].

In a fat loss phase, you are looking for around 2.5g of protein per kg of lean mass.

In a weight gain phase, you are looking for 1.6g of protein per kg of lean body mass.

Then to optimize muscle growth, you would want to split this total protein intake over the day. 4 equal servings being optimal 3/5 absolutely fine.