Categories: Gettin The Mind Right

My Top 3 Lessons From 2017

Happy Monday!

A lot of gyms talk about working out and why it’s helpful.  Some gyms talk about nutrition. Both types of gyms teach with varying degrees of competence. Here at m.e.l.t. we know there are two additional very important aspects to your health – the mindset & lifestyle. That’s why we take time to share a motivational email each week and offer various opportunities to connect your fitness to your life through our community & charitable events.

The Top 3 Lessons I Learned in 2107

Below are 3 life-changing lessons I’ve learned that I want to share with you. These lessons, like every other piece of advice, will only work if you put them to work. Everything starts with how you think. The best lesson I can give you is to live with a “growth mindset.” If you can’t accept this powerful way of thinking, you’ll never achieve any level of fulfillment or true success.

Lesson 1) Compared to what?  There is always a better way to look at a situation. When you’re lost or down, allow yourself to experience those emotions. Then step away for a few hours then look at the situation objectively:

  1. What am I missing?
  2. How can I get around this?
  3. What needs to happen?
  4. Who can help?

When I broke my foot and couldn’t bear weight on it, that meant I couldn’t work out as I had been doing.  I had to decide if I was going to be sedentary OR find a way to work around not being able to bear any weight on that foot.  And since my overall energy output decreased, I had to change my approach to dieting and eat fewer calories with less room for error.

There is always a path, sometimes it’s just not as clear. However it’s not about what the path is, because whether or not you know it, you are on a path either way. For instance in my example above, I could have not trained and ate normally – and that would have been a path.

The path becomes clearer once you determine that you will find a way–that’s the most important of the lessons you’ll learn when you ask yourself, “Compare to what?”.

Everyday, people would respond to my injury with, “Ah that sucks,” or “Poor guy,” But I refused to accept that nonsense. When you feel sorry for yourself, your path will be full of pity and whatever you are going through will be exponentially worse.

A broken foot is nothing. The best lessons that I know of come from Eric LeGrand, a college football player and NFL prospect who was paralyzed on the field of play. But Eric doesn’t sit around and feel sorry for himself. Instead, he lives by the “Compared to what” motto.

Yes, a situation may seem bad—but compared to what?

Eric regularly stresses to the public how much better off he is than many others in a similar situation, due to good insurance that affords him more care + physical therapy which provides him a better quality of life.

I suggest you follow Eric’s story on social media. If he can find another way to look at it and still accomplish his goals, you and I have NO excuses!

Lesson 2) It’s better to care more about less and focus more: “Simplicity” has been a theme for me for the past few years. I’ve improved a great deal but still have lots of work to do. Maybe next year I’ll feel there should be more growth in another area, but for the 6th year straight it’s my annual theme.

I suggest declaring a “theme” for your life for 2018. What’s one word that can describe what you’d like to focus on or improve upon over this next year?

Years ago I would consider 6 years of one goal pathetic. But I was much more immature then. I couldn’t appreciate the importance of going deep rather then wide in all aspects of life. As I grow a better understanding, I keep uncovering more and more layers.

That is the type of theme you should set – the lowest hanging fruit. An area where you have so much growth to be had that it doesn’t matter where you start, because once you do you’ll realize so much about yourself and want more.

Your “theme” should be something that applies to all areas of your life.  Having a theme means prioritizing and saying no to stuff, even if it sounds good or cool. “What to do” will become easier when you have this theme word as you can lean on it at anytime – it’s your true north providing the direction you want to move in.

For me, the big lessons of my “simplify” theme from 2017 were removing clutter. Get rid of what you don’t need/want and you’ll experience an incredible amount of mental clarity. This is more than just throwing physical stuff out, its taking an interval inventory of what’s not working in your life and fixing it but that comes with time.

Here are some places to start:

  • Your closet – if you haven’t worn it in a few months, you’re not going to.
    • Clothes that are too big for you: m.e.l.t.ers, don’t hold onto those now that you transformed. Cut the cord, you are a different person now!
    • Clothes you can’t but want to fit into: If you have some, keep them. Follow our plan, let us know how we can help and we’ll help you fit into them.
  • Your work space – do something with those stacks of papers and emails!
  • Your car – you don’t need everything in there!

Lesson 3) Training for something is powerful: Unless I was training for a photo shoot, people would ask me what I was training for and I’d always say something like “life” or “lean symmetrical size.” Which sounds cool and all, but what does that mean? Details get lost in generality; when there are fewer details, there’s less direction and more of an opportunity for you to deviate off your path.

Here are some good types of lessons to learn and goals to measure:

  • Increasing overall strength in push-ups, squats, deadlifts and pull ups: Our M30 Plus Small group training is designed to make you overall more strong, we track your weights each workout so you can see the improvement from week to week – you can’t help but improve your strength, which in turn improves your movement so you can do better at your regular workouts and notice global change in your physique.
  • Improve overall mobility: Similar to a strength goal, what stretch or mobility movement do you struggle most with or area of the body you feel the most amount of pain? Simply work on it every day and measure the effectiveness by ease of movement as well as how you feel. *
  • Dial in a specific movement pattern: There was a time I didn’t know how to swing a kettle bell. So I dedicated time to improve the pattern until the movement felt natural and I could perform without thinking. Do you struggle with the swing or hip hinge in general? What exercise do you have a hard time performing, not because of strength but just because it doesn’t seem natural to you yet? I don’t care of it’s the bodyweight squat, have the humility to admit you need work and put in the effort to get better and you will. *

*These don’t sound sexy and might not directly excite you but if you improve your mobility and/or form with basic movements, EVERYTHING you do will get better. Don’t get me wrong, you can disguise poor movement and tightness but not for long, at some point you’ll cause damage which will put you in the other direction.

I am not sharing these lessons for  my own health. I am sharing them for YOUR benefit. We at m.e.l.t. are here to help you in every way possible, if you would like more info or tips on something, just hit REPLY.

I want those of you have the day off to dedicate 10 minutes (at least) to take action:
Write down a specific goal, along with what/who you need to get it, and the next step you need to take.

By the way, is weight loss a good goal?

If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, then yes. At our free 20 lb. Weight Loss Challenge orientations (where you apply for a spot) we perform a simple test to determine if you actually have 20 lbs. to lose in 6 weeks in a healthy and safe way. Most people who think they have 20 lbs. to lose actually don’t!

But for those of you who DO have 20 lbs. to lose, I’d say it’s an “okay” goal. As I tell everyone who gets accepted into our challenge, the real goal is learning and building the habits necessary to live a sustainable lean lifestyle. The weight loss is just a (welcome) side effect of following our program.
If you think you have 20 lbs. to lose, sign up TODAY to attend an orientation at the following link:




Have you been searching for the best whole-body workout in all of Connecticut? Look no further–it’s here at m.e.l.t. studios!  Try our M30 workout FREE — just send us an email at and we will hook you up with an amazing workout at one of our studios in Glastonbury, South Windsor, and West Hartford!

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