Your Personal Trainer

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Picture yourself working out with a famous personal trainer who makes the fitness center burning hot one day and freezing cold the next, and sometimes sprays you with water while you’re exercising. He makes sure you’re either too hot or too cold and sometimes soaking wet.

It turns out we all have this demanding personal trainer. It’s called the weather.

View the weather outside as your ultimate personal trainer. Stop complaining about the weather, and you’ll start viewing it as a personal challenge. You’ll welcome the rain and snow and extreme temperatures.

Working out in front of a TV in a fitness center will burn calories, but it won’t make you tough or resilient. It certainly won’t prepare you for any real life challenges.

Start doing more of your workouts outside. Embrace running in the rain and doing push-ups in the snow. You’ve got the rest of the day to be comfy indoors, so for one hour embrace the cold, the heat, and wet, and stop complaining about having the world’s best personal trainer.

Contentment

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With the dawn of air-brushed photos on magazine covers we all started feeling less content with our abs. With the publication of about fifty different hunting magazines we became discontent with the deer we shot. And thanks to media, I’m painfully aware that my house should be updated, my lawn greener, my teeth whiter, my kids busier, and my wallet fatter.

The entire foundation of advertising is to make you discontent with what you have. They have to convince you that you’d be happier with a new car, or non-stick frying pan, or whatever. Their job depends on it. (I won’t even delve into how pornography affects contentment).

But I want to let you in on a little secret: It’s all a big lie. None of that stuff will make you happier. Happiness comes from contentment and discipline, and comparing yourself to others will kill your contentment.

Contentment is something you should practice daily. Be thankful for the house and car that you do have. I practice being thankful for my dying lawn, outdated bathroom tile, my 2009 truck, and if I shoot any deer I’m thrilled.

If you ever want to achieve happiness then you must reject comparison.

The First Hour

“The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.” I wonder if Henry Ward Beecher had any idea how distracted we would become one day.

Technology made our waters choppier. We’re inundated with emails, texts, social media, and news. If we don’t intentionally set our rudder on the right course, we will easily get lost at sea.

Men who have drifted off course tell their kids they don’t have time to read to them, they tell their buddies they don’t have time to workout, and they tell their wife they don't have time for a date. But these same people have time to check out the pictures on Instagram of the dessert that their college roommate’s ex-girlfriend made. And they know which celebrity just got divorced. These are men who aren’t following any course at all. They’re just going wherever the current takes them.

Wake up early enough to start your day doing what you love. Do what makes you come alive. Whether it’s reading, running, hiking, or swimming. Wake up a little earlier and set your day on the right course. Point your day (and New Year) in the direction you want it to go.