Scrawny To Brawny

Log In to Your S2B Account

Forgot your password?

Evolve and Dominate: 6 Ways To Become a Better Man in 2014

A new year and a new you? Maybe. But most of us will continue to do the same old shit. Here are 6 ways to break out of that routine and become a better man.

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

– HL Mencken

So here we are.

The world didn’t end. The zombies didn’t attack. You, me, and every other person in the world? Most of us are gonna do the same shit this year that we did last year:

  • work the same job
  • earn the same amount of money
  • do the same workouts
  • feel the same level of motivation
  • sleep next to the same person (or sleep alone)
  • make the same excuses for our actions or apathy
  • look the same in the mirror

And on and on.

Of course, “same” doesn’t mean “bad”. If what we have is working then we’d be foolish to change it.

But “same” doesn’t mean “good”, either.

So, if you feel like there’s a part of life you just haven’t figured out yet, you’re not alone. And if you feel like you still have some juice in the tank and want to build a good body, well, now’s the time.

Sure, it’s a new year. But this isn’t about bullshit resolutions. Self-improvement isn’t dictated by a calendar or clock.

This is about progression and practice. This is about maturity. This is about the quest to build a good body and a good life — the kind you can be proud of.

So, let’s get to it.

It’s time to evolve into better men, dominate the stuff we can control, and ignore the stuff we can’t.

To kick off the new year, here are 6 ways to be better than you were yesterday. Because in the end that’s all we can really ask for.

6 Ways To Be A Better Man

1. Be Selfish

You’re on an airplane watching the pre-flight instructional video and you hear this:

“In the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the compartment above. Please put on your own mask before attempting to assist others.”

Why put your own mask on first?

Because you can’t help others breathe if you’re gasping for air.

The lesson? To help other people and make the world a better place, you first have to help yourself and make your world better.

Otherwise you’re just shortchanging everybody.

Try this:

Schedule stuff that’s important to you — workouts, sleep, time by yourself, etc — and ruthlessly guard your time. Don’t let anything short of an emergency sneak in. The next time you get invited to something you don’t want to do, say “no thanks.”

Being selfish isn’t an excuse to be an asshole or a self-contained human who never does anything for anyone else. You still have to participate and contribute. You still need empathy. You still need to help others.

But not at the expense of slacking on your own shit or neglecting to take care of yourself.

2. Stop Telling White Lies

This is the single biggest step you can take to becoming more self-confident and at-peace with who you are. It’s the recipe to a simple, no-bullshit life.

And it scares the hell out of most guys.

“I can’t hang out tomorrow because I have an appointment.” 

“That’s an awesome business idea.”

“No, I don’t mind taking care of that for you.”

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

When we tell “white lies” to people, we’re trying to spare them — or us — temporary discomfort. What we’re really doing is robbing them of our opinion, cheapening our relationships, and souring our experience.

Try this:

The next time you find yourself in the middle of a white lie — and it will happen multiple times per day — stop yourself and apologize to the person you’re misleading.

Then tell them what you really think.

Sure, it can be uncomfortable. It’s also liberating.

3. Become An Expert In the Things You Enjoy

If there’s something you like to do — playing basketball, cooking, watching history documentaries, drinking beer, whatever — becoming an expert in it will make it even more fun and fulfilling.

For me, it started with coffee.

My girlfriend thinks I’m weird because I know 4 different ways to brew a cup. But it doesn’t stop there.

I also know:

  • the perfect water temperature for all 4 brewing variations, and how long it’ll take to get the best extraction
  • where the best beans come from, how they’re roasted, when they’re fresh, how to grind them for each brewing method, and how to store them

I also own a bunch of equipment from specific kettles, glass carafes, cups, and filters to thermometers, scales, and stirring utensils.

I’ve woken up at 4:30 AM so I could meet professional coffee roasters and baristas and watch them work. I’ve asked tons of stupid questions and written pages of notes.

Crazy? Probably to most people. But not to me. Why? Because I enjoy making, experimenting with, and drinking coffee. Every time I make some for myself or for other people I have a bunch of things to try and cool stories to tell.

It’s a state of constant learning and experimentation. And that’s only one small part of my day.

Try this:

List 2-3 things you really like to do. Then pick one and figure out how you can a) learn more about it or b) become better at doing it. (Or, ideally, both.)

Once you have your topic, here are my suggestions for further learning in order of least effective to most effective and rewarding:

  • read free articles / watch free video tutorials
  • buy a book and try to apply what you learn
  • find someone who’s really good / knowledgeable and have them teach you what they know

4. Spend More Time Alone

In our world of crazy-technology, most of us are occupied all the time. And most of it’s bullshit stimulus that doesn’t mean anything to us — it’s just entertaining distraction.

Even when we’re not around other people, we’re “connected” by some sort of device. We Google random stuff while we wait for our friend to show up. We read email in bed. We text while we’re out at dinner. We listen to music while we drive.

Where’s the time for self-reflection? Where’s the time to appreciate all the opportunities we’ve been given? Where’s the time to take a shit without checking Facebook?

“Alone time” is in short supply for most of the first-world, but it doesn’t have to be.

Try this:

  • Leave your phone at home when you go out with friends. Or at least turn it off when you’re with friends. Don’t be that guy who texts or checks email while hanging out.
  • Don’t spend every waking minute with friends, significant others, or random people. Take some time — 15 minutes, an hour, a day, a week — to go away and be by yourself. What do you do when you’re alone? Here’s an idea: Think about stuff.

5. Stop Comparing Yourself To Other Guys

You will always be doing “better” than other guys. And other guys will always be doing “better” than you.

Comparing yourself or your success to other people is not only pointless, it’s a sure-fire way to feel like shit.

Try this:

Focus on you.

What are you working on? How are you doing? What do you have going on that’s cool? All those other guys? Fuck ’em.

And I mean that in the best way possible.

6. Embrace the struggle

Struggling or “having a hard time” is a normal part of self improvement or doing anything worthwhile in life. But most guys have a hard time looking stupid in front of other guys.

Remember this:

You are not a failure just because you don’t succeed at every new thing you try. The only true failure is to quit trying.

 

About the Author: Nate Green is the Program Director for Scrawny To Brawny. You can find him on Facebook or Google+.

114 Responses to Evolve and Dominate

  1. Peter says:

    First, I am not trying to kiss ass or anything, but this post is one of the best things on the internet, and I am going to send this link to a bunch of people who may or may not be irritated with me for sending it because they might take it as an accusation that they aren’t doing a good job living their lives, that I am criticizing them, but I don’t really care. As for what I am going to focus on this year, I have three things: press a kettlebell approximately half of my bodyweight, become a certified instructor (or at least make substantial progress toward being one–probably going to take more than a year) in the martial art I train, and this third one is brand new: I want to be more kind to people, and I still do, but after reading this post I figured out HOW to do that–it is a combination of 2 and 5 on your list. Long story short, I push myself and I get irritated too easily by people being stupid or not paying attention, etc.–but I think that is largely me wasting time comparing myself to others. Rather than get irritated, I will (if appropriate) tell people my honest thoughts and then be done with it, not let it become some comparison where I feel superior or some self-aggrandizing bullshit like that. Kinda hard to explain in the comments of a blog without writing a novella, but hopefully you get the idea. Thanks for a great way to start the new year, hope you have a great one, and now it is time to go lift some heavy stuff.

  2. Jon M. says:

    Thanks for the post, I think that it is right on point. I plan to “Stop Apologizing” for being me. This happens when people dont know who i really am and i feel i have to explain myself to them. The more authentic I can be, the more I will be surrounded by people that encourage me and the less I have to “defend” myself. Happy New Year and I look forward to reading more.

  3. kedric93 says:

    Awesome post Nate,people need to wake up and smell the coffee man. I’m going to start focusing on expanding my blog. Just started a blog and figured I love reaching out and interacting with people. So this year, I’m going to kick some serious ass. Great year ahead :)

  4. Tim says:

    Learn more about fitness, cooking and eating healthy; share and repeat often. This is the year I follow in the steps of Nate Green, Martin Rooney, Phillips, Weider….make a difference.

  5. biglou says:

    I want to finish writing my dissertation. It has been weighing me down for over a year. I feel a renewed commitment the last 2 weeks or so and want to continue with this momentum. Completing this will allow me to receive my degree and complete my goal.

  6. Matt Johnson says:

    Great post. The one thing I’m focusing on this year is actually putting into practice what I already know. I usually feel like I need to learn more, study more, research more…that’s all well and good but it has a tendency to be an excuse for not taking action. I’m coming to realize that the knowledge I already have is more than enough. I know how to eat right, I just have to actually do it. I know what steps to take for my career, I just have to actually take them. So this year is all about action; about knowledge actually applied and put into practice.

  7. korey boone says:

    I’ve been taking classes to become.e a Computer science major. I’m really going to focus on improving my skills and actually devolping a portfolio so I can get a new job this year. I will also be focusing on honing my halo 4 online skills so I can mirk those dumb fu@#ers

  8. Jeremy Partl says:

    Awesome post. This is one of the reasons I love this blog, and being involved in the S2B program. It is all about becoming a better version of ourselves, little by little over time. I hate the idea that just because the calendar changes that you can instantly change bad habits or become a new person. It is slow process that takes time.

    For me the two things that I am going to focus on are investing in myself and letting go of control.

    In regards to investing in myself, I find it is somewhat similar to your “being selfish”. Specifically, I push things off like quality sleep, corrective exercises, relaxation time, and more just because I am pushing myself to the limit with work and school and other priorities that are about the here and now. In addition, the most important way I can invest in myself is not worrying about money and buying sufficient amounts of quality food. Personally, I have a really bad habit to prioritize foods and minimize my food intake to save pennies. I even created a spreadsheet comparing different foods on how much they cost per serving and how much 100 calories of that food would cost me. I’m looking to go from this messed up mindset to thinking of food as an investment in my health, now and later. By changing this, hopefully I will be able to eat a varied, quality diet that supports my goal for improving my health and gain weight, regardless of how much it costs.

    Secondly, I want to learn to let go of control. I am a control freak to say the least. I only want to do things the way that I think is best, from the knowledge that I have gained from doing lots of research and digging into science. However, I have made little to no progress in the last couple of years. For me, entering S2B this year was my attempt to learn to let go of control. I knew it would go against many things that I would believe are the best…many meals per day, lots of protein, etc. I am so stuck in my mindset of what I believe is right that I’m not willing to give the other options a shot. I won’t know if I can get better results out of those ways unless I give them a go. But, to do that I must let go of control and trust the plan I am given.

    Work in progress,

  9. Lindsay says:

    Very good article! And the timing is perfect, Nate. Along with these steps, I’m also going to add “Take Risks.” Risk-taking…historically, I suck at it. At least the risks really worth taking. I’ve been more than aware of it for a year now, so it’s time to get off my ass in this area of my life, and take some exciting, calculated, high-quality, life-producing risks.

  10. Lucha Ligero says:

    I have been on a fairly strict clean-eating diet, but have reached a plateau and can’t seem to shed those last few pounds of weight around the lower abs. Instead of doing the same old routine, this year I am mixing it up a little and am focusing on eating a LOT of kale, spinach and other leafy greens every day along with a high protein diet. My plan is to finally get that six-pack! Thanks to PN for all their great tips and motivation!!!

  11. Randy Bird says:

    1. Actively working on deepening my relationship with my wife.
    2. Spend time reading daily.

  12. Jim Smith says:

    I am going to stop paying taxes. If I don’t earn money, then I don’t pay taxes. Although, its not really about the taxes, its about living for myself simply, modestly, happily and healthily. I eat well and exercise, but the stresses of life are killing me. I have also used the analogy of the oxygen mask when advising my adult children. The problem is, I haven’t followed that advice myself. I have enough to make it. It’s time for me to go home and live the “pure life” as long as I still have it to live. .

  13. Awesome stuff nate! I’m determined to be honest with people instead of telling people what I think they want to hear. I’m going to cut out distractions, be on technology less. Spend more time in Gods Word, leadership principles to grow myself better! I have more joy when I focus time on what matters most to me. I’m also continuing nutrition education to graduate college BS degree. :

  14. trey says:

    how about a new year resolution that involves NOT reading posts with a lot of ‘swear’ words?

    words like ‘asshole’ , ;bullshit,:;..’same old shit.”…it gets irritating.

    Nate… stop being childish…if you wanna get a point across, please refrain from being immature…

    you think guys on the S2B program are a bunch of retards?

    Look at the posts JB posts…

    You have a responsibility towards your clients especially the guys who look up to you…

    • Aaron Harris says:

      Trey, I agree with what you said, but I think your critique sounded a
      bit harsh. I think the posts should be profanity free as well; they
      will sound more professional. Not sure you needed to accuse Nate of
      being immature.

      • trey says:

        Aaron,
        In one of his posts on how to make a muscle meal, Nate has asked us to ‘drink beer’ while the food is being cooked.

        Is that a ‘brawny mindset’ kind of attitude?.

        I have nothing against the guy…just that, he should not be so flippant, as he is a coach for a bodybuilding program.

      • Aaron Harris says:

        Holy crap have you ever played sports? You think Nate is being flippant? My coaches said things that make me blush 20 years later! I think Roman’s point was spot on.

      • trey says:

        Aaron, i strongly encourage you to join the S2B program….you will understand what i mean.
        the last thing that is tolerated over there is a flippant attitude.

      • Nate Green says:

        I’m glad you like the program, Trey. We worked hard creating it and writing all the lessons.

      • Aaron Harris says:

        Dude, I would LOVE to join the S2B program; unfortunately, I have 2 kids in competitive sports and their coaches get all of my money! Hopefully the program is working for you. On a different note, I think it’s great that the people who read this blog can actually engage in critical dialogue without going off the deep end and resorting to cheap insults like you see on so many other sites. Happy New Year to you all!

    • Nate Green says:

      Sorry you feel that way, Trey, but there are also a lot of guys who respond well to it.

      I don’t use profanity for profanity’s sake — I often do it to make a point. And when I’m not making a specific point where I want added emphasis, I normally write how I would talk to a friend at a bar. And sometimes that includes the word “shit.”

      Not sure where you got the “bunch of retards” thing, though. But to me, that kind of offensive language is way worse. :)

      Good luck in 2013!

      • Matt says:

        I thought I would jump in on the issue of swearing. First, Nate thanks for the great post. It has lots of useful of information. I agree with Aaron that knowing your audience and purpose is crucial. I suspect one of the purposes for your blog is to represent yourself as a knowledgeable and intelligent person. Someone who’s thoughts are worth listening to. Ultimately resulting in people perceiving you as an expert and thus willing to pay you for your expertise. The people you risk alienating with the use of “excessive” swear words are probably educated middle to upper class individuals. You know, the people with money to spend on S2B coaching. I’ll admit that something I’ve found frustrating about fitness blogs is the excessive use of swearing. Excessive use of swear words does at times make authors seem less credible. (I haven’t found that you use excessive swear words). I understand Roman’s point about being authentic/honest, however that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to explore new ways of expressing yourself. This whole blog post is about growth. You aren’t going to loose readers because you don’t use swear words. I like your general principle of not using “profanity for profanity’s sake.” Thanks for the great work.

      • trey says:

        Spot on Matt.

      • Nate Green says:

        Thanks for all the responses, guys. This is obviously something that’s important to a few of you. I appreciate you taking the time to post.

      • Kenny Hutto says:

        Thank you! I work a professional job, I am around respectable people all day, and I have to watch what I say all the time. None of this takes away from the fact that I grew up in a bit rough-around-the-edges and at the heart of my vocabulary is a sailor just back from sea. I can control it just fine, but I feel like I’m not being genuine for the sake of those around me. I appreciate Nate being real. When I am speaking with someone much higher up the totem pole than me and they swear (especially an F-bomb!) I feel much more at ease and confident. As long as the language is not offensive to any particular group I am fine with it. That is the language of contempt, and I will never be okay using or hearing that.

    • Roman says:

      I think refraining from using specific language would kinda be contradictory to Nate’s philosophy of being authentic/honest etc. The blogging world is all about personality. Nate built up a following by being himself and offering value to people, so it just doesn’t make sense to be “professional” (whatever that even means anymore in an industry as saturated as fitness) for a small minority of readers.

      • trey says:

        Roman… i agree with you a 100 percent…
        to be fair, this is Nate’s blog and he can say and do what he wants.

        But…. He is also a coach for the S2B program, a program i am undergoing right now…

        the s2b is a program that involves a cohort of men in which a strong sense of discipline is encouraged.

        Thats why i felt he needed to be ‘professional’ is his statements…not only because of his position, but also of what he represents.

        there is no doubt, there are a ton of guys who have been influenced to take part in the S2b program, because of Nate.

      • Aaron Harris says:

        Good point. Goes back to the basics of writing: audience and purpose and Nate effectively hits at both. I stand corrected.

  15. Guest says:

    Loved the post, as usual, the white lie thing really stood out. For me I’m going to continue the practice of living an integrated life. To be the same guy in all aspects of my life. My gym self, my work self, my family self will be the same person. I won’t fear my opinions. Ill be respectful but speak up and be honest. The best thing for my friends and family is to be myself and to let others be themselves. It seems simple but like a good workout takes time, attention and discipline. It also means knowing myself better and blocking out time for that will be an intentional practice this year too.

  16. David C says:

    Great things to think about, all of them.
    2013 is going to be the year to “measure and assess”. I know, I know, I should already be doing this to truly see what works and what doesn’t (workouts, nutrition, etc..), but hey I’m a guy, and sometimes I just know whats best right?

  17. I will focus on diet and exercise to gain muscle and lose fat.

  18. This is great advice. Unfortunately, your favorite protein powder isn’t organic. That means that the cows from which the milk and protein is derived from were probably given a grain-based diet with who knows what chemicals in them. I prefer a grass-fed organic-based protein powder.

  19. Scott Green says:

    Excellent post, Nate. It’s refreshing to hear words of wisdom, not just advice. As for me, I already know what I need to do: quit coasting and start driving. Too many areas of my life where I’m letting other people, circumstances, or just lethargy control what I do. It’s time.

  20. Jimmy Meade says:

    As always a very good post, Nate! You and the rest of the team are very influential in the lives of so many and help people change their lives for the better every single day, and I, along with many are extremely thankful for the work you and the rest of the team do. Again, this article hits close to home. For 2013, I would like to become more in touch with who I am as an individual and become happy with the person I see in the mirror. Also, I want to take time to tell those around me who I love just how important they truly are to me each and every day, and lastly, I want to try to live a complete life full of integrity and meaning. I want to live with a purpose, and not only better myself mentally and physically but also those around me. Happy New Year to you and the rest of the crew!

  21. Doug says:

    So many things to do and not a lot of time. :) I am going to complete the LE program and drop the last 15 pounds that I no longer want. I am going to finish the Nutrition Certification course that I started in 2012, and with any luck, I will start up a new romance….perhaps the new bod will attract the right person :)
    Doug

  22. Chris says:

    Thanks Nate I really enjoyed reading that and it’s given me plenty of food for thought. The main thing I’m going to concentrate on is getting myself out of my comfort zone in order to grow as a person. I’ve wasted far too many opportunities by being a chicken.

  23. Daniel says:

    Nate, when your posts hit my email, I always have to read them. Keep producing authentic, masterful work.

    This has to be one of the best New Years articles I’ve ever read, by the way. Great job.

    Anyways, I will have go with number 1: Be Selfish. I work from at home full-time. Too often I say “Yes” to others when I should say “No.” This year I need to protect my time and stick to a schedule.

  24. Mike Murphy says:

    Killer post with some great reminders Nate. Got some notes of my own…

    1. Be Selfish

    I kicked this one into gear in the last month of
    2012. I was a YES man and agreed to do
    way too much. It caused me HUGE stress
    through the year and the day I axed commitments that didn’t serve me, a big
    weight was lifted off my shoulders.

    2. Stop Telling
    White Lies

    I hate to admit that I did this but I did. I’m too tired to workout…I’ll get to this
    tomorrow…I’ll only work for one more hour then head to bed. Had enough of that. My solution for all of them is to make
    everything a YES or NO decision. Is it a
    workout day? Yes. Fucking do it and shut your hole. :-)

    3. Become an
    Expert in the things you Enjoy

    I started this transformation in the last 2
    months of 2012 as well. Internet
    Marketing, fitness/nutrition and guitar.
    I love these areas and have websites/businesses in development around
    them. My problem there is I have always
    downplayed the massive amount of experience and knowledge I do have so I
    discount it and don’t pass it onto others.
    I’ll be sure to change that and share more going forward.

    4. Spend More time
    Alone

    I’m going to change this one to “Make the time I
    spend alone super focused so it’s worthwhile and allows me to make the time
    spent with friends and family 100% guilt free”

    5. Stop Comparing
    Yourself to Other Guys

    I used to do this too and it sucks. It’s very self-depreciating. I never thought ill of what I was doing
    because I was doing the best I could at the time but I did view other dudes
    with a touch of envy. My 2013 version
    will be “Focus less on what other dudes are doing and focus more on what I’M
    doing.”

    6. Embrace the
    struggle

    Roger that man.
    Gonna need to remind myself of this monthly. It gets frustrating sometimes especially when
    progress is not as great as I’d hope…which is why I joined S2B.

  25. Tyson Pitre says:

    2013 Will be about refining what I already do (Nutrition and Exercise) and allowing this foundation to be the backdrop for a business I can cash cheques from that makes me feel as though I earned my living and didn’t just do something random and meaningless for money.

    Every cell in your body is relevant to who you are just like your relationships with every person in your environment is also relevant to who you are.

  26. I am going to do my workouts differently. I am going to plan ahead for 4 weeks and follow through.

  27. Timbo says:

    Be an expert at loving my wife. Serenade, be romantic and listen to ger…really listen. A few months back I sang to her in front of about 75 people for our tenth anniversary. I practiced this one song with my daughter for weeks. If tou want to raise the bar with your friends, then do something for your wife in public. You will be the talk of the crowd. Sure some might say don’t quit your day job but the women will look at their men and say…why dont you ever do tbat??? Raise the bar and keep it simple.

  28. Greg says:

    I’ll be focusing on staying consistent with my training. I’ll be starting up work full-time after grad school, so making it a priority to keep training consistently will be important to continuing to build the body I want.

  29. Sean Booth says:

    I’m focusing on living deliberately. Not just floating through life but making conscious decisions in what I eat, how I exercise, and how I enjoy my life. I’m not just going to take the easy way out and let others make my decisions for me.

  30. In addition to the above in your article – which are awesome points – I’m adding “Never settle.” and “Don’t stop hustling.”

    I just hate when you catch up with old friends, and they start settling for less, and you can see the passion sucked out of their eyes during a conversation.

    Never stop hustling. Similar to becoming an expert in some of your interests. Just. Don’t. Stop. You’re either still great or that one guy who used to be cool.

  31. Ultan says:

    As eye opening as always Nate. Mine is to break bad habits and embrace good habits ultimately helping me to becoming a better man and person

  32. Edward says:

    Awesome post Nate! The freedom to be selfish at times is a particularly pertinent reminder.

    Two big areas of focus for 2013 are going to be:

    1) Being proactive in creating and developing relationships that matter, and…

    2) (this might be a match for quirkiness in being obsessed with coffee) Developing my memory. I’ve just finished reading the fantastic book Moonwalking With Einstein (author – Joshua Foer) and now plan to schedule in an hour’s mental/creative training on any and all rest days from the gym.

  33. Dennis says:

    Taking part in s2b, training for a marathon for a cause thats close to the heart

  34. I want to focus more on my life, I thought the second and fourth points were the best, and I needed to input those points in my life more. These are great tips Nate, thanks a lot.

  35. Hey Nate,

    Great post and Happy New Year. 2013 I want to focus on – among many other things – planning better. “A goal without a plan is a wish,” said Herm Edwards, and that really resonated with me. Sure, plans won’t always hold true, but they can serve as a lighthouse to keep myself in the right direction.

  36. Josh Cruse says:

    Great post nate, this year I’m taking a different approach to the old New Years resolutions. It’s called “one word” and was created by Dan britton and jimmy Paige. There is a book and website out on the concept now. Goals and resolutions are hard to remember and keep track of, one word is easy to remember. My word for this year is “TIME”. Don’t waste my time, don’t waste other’s time. No matter what I’m doing I will be asking myself if this is making me better or am I just wasting my time. Have a great 2013 nate, I’m so impressed with the value you bring to S2B

  37. patscomputerservices says:

    Another awesome post. The two things that I’m planning on focusing on are the spending time alone, and learning everything about something that I enjoy. I should add, that if you find me on Facebook, my new years resolution is “To Try”. Try to eat better. Try to exercise more. Try to be a better person overall. Try to learn new things. If you set a concrete “I will….” resolution, and you fail to do it, you’re more likely to quit. But if you say “I’ll do my best to….” then you’re more likely to continue with it, even if you fail at it.

    Specifically, I’m going to set aside a period of time, where I’ll meditate. I’ll mute the computer, leave the tv off, leave the phone in another room, and just concentrate on me. I’ve been planning on doing this for a while (and even started reading different material on how to do it).

    As for the learning everything about something that I love, I haven’t narrowed it down yet (except maybe for learning how to meditate). My life (and love) revolves around computers, so it’ll be something related to that. Most likely how to program in a particular language (which after I feel confident enough, I’ll change to another language). I’ve already started this last year, but I’ll dedicate myself to it fully this year.

    Along these lines, one motivational seminar I watched last year said you should pick a new topic every month–and learn everything you can about it. Granted for most things, you won’t become an expert in one month–but at least you’ll know more about the subject. That falls right in line with your “Become an expert in things you enjoy” habit.

    Have a great day, and Happy New Year.
    Patrick Dickey.

  38. Hal Kreisel says:

    1. Remembering I will die.
    2. Deeds before words.

  39. Brian G says:

    Hi Nate,
    I love those three words, “Focus on you.” In the beginning of this program it was intimidating to enter the gym when the muscle boys were there huffing and puffing. But now I feed off that energy and concentrate on what I’m doing. It’s still hard, but at least I am trying, That’s better than doing nothing, right? So, this year will be improving on that concentration and getting through the full workout at 100%.

  40. Jozef K. says:

    Great article Nate, as usual…this year i am going to wreak some havoc in both gym and mat.

  41. Kevin Samways says:

    You got me thinking Nate, nice post. This year for me is about stepping up to the plate and being the best possible father and husband I can be! I’m going back to school in order to start a new career and not wasting time with anything that doesn’t have to do with my son, my wife or my own well being.

  42. My two goals for 2013 are consistency and immediacy. Simply, prioritizing and then doing things right away in the order they need to be done, and being consistent in as many facets of my life as possible, whether it’s at work teaching, on the ice playing hockey or grinding out those gym sessions at the end of the work day.

  43. Vincent says:

    Last night I wrote a letter from my “future self” dated 1/1/2014 to myself in 2013. Here’s some of the advice I offered myself:

    If your scared to do something it’s probably the first thing that you should do. Don’t worry though because the only one who really cares about you is you.

    Trust your gut, it will help to guide you in the right direction.

    Focus only on the essential, the stuff that will provide the most impact and eliminate everything else.

    Stay focused, stay driven, stay committed, even when it doesn’t look like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    You’ll be capable of far more than you think you are.

  44. Ugo says:

    1.work harder
    2.work smarter

  45. I love reading your posts Nate. Good stuff. My plan for the year is focus. Regardless as to what you are doing focus…at the gym, at, work, with the kids, with my wife, etc. It has become amazingly obvious to me in the last 30 days how focused our culture and I am on multitasking. No one can do just one thing, music has to be playing, I am watching TV and on the internet, in conversation and checking messages on my phone. There is no focus on the task (singular) at hand only on everything. How much better can I do by narrowing my attention…in one word. FOCUS

  46. Stormy says:

    I’m gonna focus on my 4-month-old son and my wife, being a better husband and father for them. Which means being in better health so I can be with them for a long, long time.

    I was approached in 2012 at my job to be part of succession planning for the future. I’m going to be more diligent in my job so I’m better prepared when that opportunity comes.

  47. Michael B says:

    To become a better man I plan to start working out, finally find a job in my work area that will help me pursue my work goals.
    By doing these two things will allow me to become a more healthy person and give me more options by making more money.

  48. Awesome article.

    For a series of years I have made a series of concrete, measurable goals. I’ve met many of them but in 2013 I’m going to do something different.

    The two decisions I’ve made that will make 2013 kick ass are:
    1. To be happy
    2. To be at peace

    I figured, if I pre-decide now that no matter what happens, I won’t let my peacefulness be disturbed, and always remember that I have the choice to be happy, there’s no way 2013 won’t end up being awesome.

    Cheers to everybody, and good luck men,
    Andrew

  49. Kevin Haggerty says:

    I’m a writer but, I find myself making too many excuses when I should just get to it. This is why I’ve decided to challenge myself to write at least 1000 words each day for the whole year. When I’m done, I’ll have written at least 365,000 words which is more than SEVEN Novel 1st Drafts. That’s right, doing the bare minimum here will get me seven new books on top of the four I’ve already written. I’m stoked to see what the results are going to be.

  50. zevenesh says:

    Nate, GREAT one, homie! My best to you and Chelle :)

    I DIG the coffee infatuation, would love to see some posts on coffee!!!!

    Hit me up if U ever hit NYC / NJ.

    Peace, homie!

  51. Dan says:

    Great read!

    This year is simple, I want to keep growing my mind and body. The only difference between me and those people who are successful is productivity, and all successful people realize the concept and importance of continuous productivity.

    Last year I graduated with honors earning a diploma in Health, Wellness and Fitness and got hired as a personal trainer at the largest Gold’s Gym in Canada. From there worked my ASS off and became the most booked trainer on staff. Once my schedule was on lock-down I reached out and earned 4 additional certifications which lead to me being offered an additional position at the facility as their head Nutritional Consultant.

    I plan to keep this fire burning by first putting myself through the experience of competing in a bodybuilding show in April at the Stratford OPA classic and to continue to get up every day with the purpose of becoming a true fitness professional.

    Just recently I contacted as many fitness professionals I knew to continue to grow myself not only through exercise sciences but with communication techniques and also asking them questions only experience could answer. I have a dinner with a UFC fighter conditioning coach next week! Getting off your ass and knocking on doors pays off!

    To put it short, recently I looked back at 2012 and realized how far I came in one year, by 2014, I wish to have the same reflection on 2013.

  52. James Weise says:

    #1 – To work through the pain of my marriage ending.
    #2 – To be the best father I can be to my three kids as their family gets redefined moving forward.

  53. Will Brookreson says:

    My first goal is to stop wasting so much damn time! Every wasted minute is like peeling off a dollar bill and tossing it in the fire. Time is your most valuable currency, unfrotunately you can only spend, not accumulate!

    Secondly, I need to stop allowing my generosity and kindness to be take advantage of. It is draining and usually ends up with me facing a difficult
    situation I have no business being involved in.

    Thanks Nate! Great read as always!

  54. Jonathan Pope says:

    Slave all year on fitness goals, education goals, financial goals, and building resume goals. Continuing to create a trend of consistency in life through good grades, good health, and good feelings. Finish the year tuned by achievement, then reevaluate and go through more moratorium if reevaluation of goals doesn’t happen before next year. Building my life’s foundation and getting ready to share my self with another when the time comes. Focusing on letting things happen, expect the unexpected. Job changes, maybe establishment changes, embracing change will help you psychologically.
    Basically
    _ Reevaluate based on progress/direction of goals
    _ Be conscious of strengths/weaknesses of goals
    _ Consider all possible mediums for goal to travel in
    _ Even if you do not meet a goal at least you have progress towards it. A goal with progress is better than no goal at all. Don’t let a shortened attempt get you down. Sometimes goals have benchmarks
    _Don’t lose track of time
    _Stay childish / foolish

  55. Drew says:

    You know how passionate and enthusiastic you get when you do something you love? I want to apply that feeling and enthusiasm to every facet of my life.

  56. zbecktx says:

    Great post Nate,

    My two focuses this year: dropping 20 lbs of fat by June 1 (continuing my weight loss from last year) and beefing up my Spanish. Keep up the motivation!

  57. This is some good stuff. Thanks Nate

  58. good shittt!!! ima be a whole new monster. Lets go Nate!!

  59. As the first day of 2013 gets shot, I’ve come to the conclusion I need to do this for 2013:

    1) Stop spending so much time on the Internet. Particularly Youtube (which is no better than watching television in the old days), Facebook (if you spend 1 minute on each of your 150 Facebook friends every day, look at that chunk of time), and checking e-mail way too often.

    2) Staying focussed. My problem is starting difficult or challenging tasks so I put them off. All too often when I get into it, I discover the starting it was the most difficult thing.

    3) I have a list of 10 winter project things I need to get done by April. I’d like to have that list completed. Last year I only checked one item off that list.

    4) Complete my taxes in February, not on April 13th.

  60. Nate Green says:

    Keep the comments coming guys! These are awesome.

    We’ll pick the 2 protein powder winners by Friday afternoon, by the way.

  61. Nestor says:

    Awesome post.

    For me it’s gonna be:

    1. Read more, read faster. Keep my brain alive.

    2. Learn to really meditate and keep up with learning more about buddhism

  62. Gregg Walls says:

    1. Be alone when I’m alone. Turn off my electronics and completely lose myself in what I’m doing.
    2. Stop telling white lies to people because I’m worried about hurting their feelings. Let people see the real me and either except it or go away.

  63. Stephen Frianeza says:

    The one thing I’m going to be focusing on this year is taking action. I’ve been just reading and gathering information without acting on it, or at least committing and taking significant action. I need to spend more of my time out of my comfort zone.

  64. Some awesome insight here, thanks!

    This year I’ll be focusing on meditating daily. Last year I really didn’t bother much but the year before I was meditating everyday and it really helped me feel more focused and grounded. Also, this year I will be focusing on music, practicing every day rather than spontaneously. I think what Ill take from this post is that I should schedule both meditation and music into my day, making them a priority rather than just a random activity that I luckily had time for.

  65. Awesome post, as usual, the white lie thing really stood out.

    1. For me I’m going to continue the practice of living an integrated life. To be the same guy in all aspects of my life. My gym self, my work self, my family self will be the same person. I won’t fear my opinions, or what others may think of me. Ill be respectful but speak up and be honest. The best thing for my friends and family is to be myself and to let others be themselves.

    2. To truly be myself also means knowing myself so blocking out time to be alone will be an intentional practice for me this year too.

  66. Tim Sparks says:

    Man this is a great post ant it definitely hits home. I can’t count how many time’s I have told a friend that I liked something that just plain sucked. Also, I feel that my abilities as a film maker have been held back by people not telling me when I suck.

    I just signed up for your updates and I can’t wait to read more posts. Thanks for the great post!

  67. Sam Yosemite says:

    SLEEP – I know it sounds simple, but I plan to be in bed by 10pm every night. No more wasting hours watching TV after dinner. I’m an early riser anyway with 2 small children, so up by 6:30am every day.
    I know getting that extra hour or so sleep every night is going to help my life a lot, emotionally, physically and mentally.

  68. Mike Drew says:

    1-To be the best father
    2-To be the best husband

  69. Brendan Micik says:

    Awesome Stuff Nate. Peace of Christ with you always brother. FaithFocusFinish

  70. Jesse says:

    I made great progress on 4, 5, and 6 in 2012.
    This year I’m working with a mentor on business dev so I can be self-employed someday, and I will be focusing on my meditation practice (hopefully doing a Vipassana retreat!)

  71. James says:

    My first goal is to complete the “dryathalon” for January, or a month with no booze, it’s all for cancer research, I’m not sure I can do it; not that I drink very much, I just love a beer watching the football and the odd glass of wine with my girlfriend. I want to test myself myself.
    I think it’s important to set yourself goals that are difficult but achievable if you keep focus.

    Really enjoy the blog. As always thanks for the inspiration

  72. Phi Doan says:

    Excellent points, and I think #3 is really related to my goals for this coming year.

    I have a tendency to like to get involved in many things, which is great for experiences, but doesn’t really let me really become an expert and truly master/enjoy it. There are a few major goals that I have my sights on this year and they will become the priorities for me – complete the Ironman in May and going back to school immediately afterwards.

    Also related to #1, time to make sure I give my own priorities the attention they need. Happy New Year!

  73. Peter iacavazzi says:

    Take time out every week to do a simple act of kindness for another. Volunteer at a school or church function. A soup kitchen, a shelter or something as simple as helping an elderly or struggling neighbor with a household task. Even the smallest and random acts of kindness make both the world and “us” better.

  74. Craig says:

    In my career I’m responsible for helping others be successful and grow their business. In order to improve my ability to do this and have a greater impact on people, I will devote at least one hour a day to reading, learning, discussing, and practicing. The list of areas for improvement is endless as I have learned I can never be prepared for everything. I feel it’s important to measure success and mine will happen through the reporting I do for my job, which details every type of communication I have with partners and shows the growth, or lack of growth, in their businesses. I’m also getting married this year and pledge to maintain a puppy-like attitude toward my bride-to-be; always be happy to see her and greet her with a smile because she could be taken away from me at any time, be excited (or find something to be excited about) when we go out, genuinely kiss her, and remember that no matter what, she chose to share her life with me and I should never take that for granted. Measurement for success…staying out of the dog house (I know it’s a terrible joke, but I had too).

  75. Great post Nate, I know some of the things I’ve been doing to better my fitness level over the past few months is not only following new workout programs but I take done notes on my workouts with my notes app and comparing workouts. I’ve also used my fun to become better organized by using the reminder app to remind me of tasks in need to do, groceries to get, gifts to purchase or bills to pay on certain days or locations. These are just a few things I’ve been doing to become a better man and I plan on adding some of your tips into my life too, like the taking 15 a day for just myself to think.

  76. alucardv says:

    Great Article Nate! I may need to bookmark this and read it regularly. I’ve been focused on losing weight for so long, I think I have forgotten to get strong. So that is where I am. This year, I am going to focus on getting Strong(ER). This week I figure out where my numbers are (Deadlift, Squat (Front/Back/OH), Bench, and Military press) and go from there.

  77. Alex says:

    Going to focus on saying no more to things I don’t want to do.

  78. Josh O'Donnell says:

    I plan on going from Scrawny to Brawny. Also, I plan to increase the level of interest I have in interests and activities and really focus on them. It’s time to take action and the only one who can guarantee success is myself!

  79. Ross says:

    Dude – I’m deep into coffee too! I’ve got a Kalita, Chemex, Aeropress, and French Press – Plus a sweet Maestro Plus Burr Grinder and a Bonavita kettle, ha! I really dig your 6 points – well done.

  80. Tim says:

    Great read, very motivating!
    This year I’m focusing on acing my fitness instructors course and starting working at it for myself. I’ve put on 1.5 stone since last January. I aim to put on another 2 by this time next year. Reading is also another thing on my list. I bought fats that heal and fats that kill recently.

  81. Dan the MAN says:

    This year I’m going to gain 30 pounds of muscle and stay in fighting shape. I’m also going to advance in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, my armed security career and training, shooting, advanced yoga teacher training (im already a yoga teacher) and find a good woman who takes care of herself.

  82. James says:

    1) Realize excuses are not a stumbling block, they are an endless pit fall, until we can stop excusing what cuts us short of our goals we will never achieve them.

    2) Enjoy the small things. I let anxiety eat up any gains I would otherwise make in life because I always feel I could of/should of done more.

    No more of this… bullshit breeds when cows just stand around…time to get moving cause there’s a million mediocre mother******s out there and I am damn tired of being one of them.

  83. Dillon Purvis says:

    1 & 2 are rough (1 especially, cause it just sounds wrong!). I’m gonna have to work through that one. But I think there’s truth in there somewhere. For sure –

  84. B-man22 says:

    Im going to focus on being a better me and not comparing my success to others around me. I will also spend more me time of self reflection and just zenning out and gather postive energy.

  85. Shazad Khan says:

    I want to become better at not being a pushover (telling white lies, included), and try to find time in a 12-16 hour work day to work out.

  86. Darcy says:

    I’m going to focus on this: “Running toward the darkness”. It’s a saying I’ve coined to represent how I put of things that scare me or I don’t know how to start. Imagine you are at the edge of a forest. Inside there’s little light, the field where you are is bright and sunny, because you know the field, you don’t know the forest. Don’t waist time lying to yourself about developing a strategy to go into the forest when you know it’s procrastination. Don’t walk into it. Feel the fear and run into it. I’m going to ask questions about stuff I don’t know about, try new things, stuff I fear (but not silly dangerous stuff, that’s stupid). But I will run towards the darkness.

  87. Kenny Hutto says:

    Thank you, Nate. I needed that. This past year I took a much better job which also came with a load of extra responsibility and 50-60 hours a week of work. I was too focused on making money and creating stability and lost of focus of simply taking care of myself. I need to be selfish. I have always been the first to help other people, but many times at the expense of my well-being. I now realize I need to make every day count. That starts with taking care of myself and making time to do the things I love. Then, and only then, will I be able to help others to my full potential. Thank you, JB, and the whole S2B team for everything you do. You are helping me enrich and shape my life for the better. Happy New Year, buddy. Keep it up!

  88. The big thing for me this year is to make more mature decisions as a business owner. I’ve been uber aggressive building my training business, it’s paid off. But it was risky. That was when it was just me and now I’m building a family, more responsibilities, different priorities, more focus. Great post.

  89. Greg Carver says:

    Awesome post Nate. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and this year I want reduce my overall stress. So I’ve been walking – every day. Great active recovery exercise and it gives me the ‘alone time’ to think.

  90. Mark Howard says:

    All of these points are great advice that I’ll definitely put to use!

  91. Eric Buratty says:

    Lots of great posts here thus far–here are two things I’d like to focus on:

    (1) Connect with highly influential people in the health & fitness field to help others stop doing things for the wrong reasons and start doing things for the right reasons locally.

    (2) Become better at regulating my Olympic Weightlifting training–sometimes I become more neurally fatigued than expected.

  92. Christopher Mark says:

    I’m going to practice a week of Stoicism every month this year.

    A “week of Stoicism” involves self-denial to learn to appreciate what you have. Having done it before, it’s a MASSIVE difference from doing it for some other reason.

    Let me give an example: dieting. During a week of Stoicism I will only eat extremely simple food – what would be available to me were I extremely poor. This way, I will learn not to fear being poor because I already have experience with it. But the interesting part is that IT’S MUCH EASIER to deny yourself in this situation because it’s not to stave off something impossible to see (a little harm to your body by eating a little sugar) but to practise self-denial. The goal is practising self-denial but has a knock on effect of eating healthier.

    The “week of Stoicism” is a great time to implement new practises and habits. You imagine losing loved ones (to appreciate them), eat and live simpler (to avoid addiction to wealth), to live more virtuously, etc. etc. etc.

    It’s unbelievable effective (and difficult to explain so shortly).

  93. Chris says:

    I’m trying to be less judgmental. Even the smallest degree. It’s hard…And if it’s possible to NOT take things for granted, I’ll attempt that too!

  94. Anton says:

    This year I will “pay it forward” more. As my fitness, speed, and knowledge increase this year, with your help Nate, and comments and feedback from everyone here, so too I will help others around me that wish to do the same.

  95. benallymichael94 says:

    I love these posts. I can say that I have been trying to incorporate many of these lessons into my life. no lies, its hard to be healthy financially, nutritionally, and physically at 23.but sites like this keep me running strong.and the s-b breakfast shakes help too

  96. rodmelo says:

    Awesome post!

  97. Ben Coomber says:

    Love it NATE, too true, keep the AWESOME blogs coming. The blog especially hit home as I blogged everything I had learnt in 2012: http://bodytypenutrition.co.uk/blog/what-i-learnt-and-discovered-in-2012/ I think documenting progress is key, and what you are then going to implement and achieve. Accountability is key in ongoing progression! After all, who doesn’t want to be more AWESOME?