Category Archives: StartEXP

The Start Experiment with Jon Acuff

An Audacious Plan to End Childhood Obesity, One Family at a Time

#Start Now

#Start Now

A few months ago I began developing an intentional plan to eradicate childhood obesity. As a member of Jon Acuff’s first ever, Start Experiment, I was asked to identify a risk. I almost played it safe but I was feeling froggy that particular day and decided to just do away with the #1 health crisis in the world today, obesity.

This is the point where I could lay out a bunch of data on why this is such a problem but, if you’re really curious, I encourage you to do a bit of research both online and by simply walking around in public. I’m not talking about a vanity crisis, I talking about a Health Epidemic!

3 main factors led me to identify this as the risk I wanted to tackle:

– I grew up in a time when my television was filled with graphic images of swollen-bellied children who were starving. I learned recently that there are now more obese people on the planet than starving. Both break my heart but one of those is efficiently claiming my friends lives even as I type this.

– I learned that my county, (Polk County, Florida) is ranked 7th in the nation for childhood obesity. As a former youth pastor & 15 year veteran of the school system I am compelled to serve children. Read the rest of this entry

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Where Dreams Come to Happen: Success Stories from the Start Experiment

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

30 Days ago I joined a movement that I’m pretty sure is going to get this world’s attention eventually. It all started with an email sent by best selling author, Jon Acuff, that simply said, “Adventurers Wanted.” That’s it. There was a form to fill in.

I have an odd affection for vague adventures, and I respect Jon, so I just went ahead and drank the kool-aid.

This online, Facebook group is called ‘The Start Experiment’ and is based on Jon’s best selling book, START. All participants are asked to identify a risk.  My risk for the first 24 days was to create a blueprint for a program that would eradicate childhood obesity in my county 1 family at a time.  I completed it.

My new 24 day risk is to implement the program I created and begin training to get on the cover of The Challenge Magazine. So far, so good!

All this may sound pretty insignificant until you realize that there are nearly 3,500 other starters in the group of varying ages, demographics & interests!

Here’s the thing…We are making a ‘ding in the universe’ and I wanted to share just a few examples of the Awesomeness that happened in just the first 24 days:

Read the rest of this entry

Day 27 progress pic for my 90 Day Challenge

Day 27 progress pic for my 90 Day Challenge

I’m transforming….It’s actually Happening! Eeeeeeek!!!!!

When Fear Wears Lipstick

ImageFear is my enemy.  I’ve heard it said that I should keep my friends close & my enemies closer so I like to study my opponent any chance I get.  I discovered something about fear this morning that I never realized.  It turns out that fear can be your loudest cheerleader if that’s what it takes!

If I asked you what fear whispers to you  our answers would, no doubt, be similar:

-Who are you to do that?

-What will your friends & family think if you attempted that?

-You have failed every time you’ve tried that before?

-You’ll do that one day. Now’s just not the right time.

Oh, yes, Fear can be a bully!  Read the rest of this entry

Stuck? Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself & Read This!

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5 Simple Steps to Get Unstuck

20 Days ago I embarked on a 24 day challenge called the Start Experiment.  I set a goal:

My risk: Identify a child in my area who is struggling with obesity and is willing to take action towards better health.  I will also identify a personal trainer & a nutritionist who are willing to walk alongside this child (family) for 90 days.  Pretty simple.

Each day at 5am I’ve been getting an email from Jon Acuff with a very brief & doable task to help me in getting my risk accomplished.  I realized this morning, however, that I’ve taken my eyes off of my risk and had my gaze shifted towards getting each daily assignment finished instead.  Have you ever done that?

I had sacrificed the important on the altar of the urgent.

Here’s a quick exercise I encourage you to do if you feel like you’re not making progress toward whatever your goal is.

1.Write your goal down

2. Break it down into segments

3. Set a deadline

4. Make it Public

5. Take 1 Deliberate step EVERY day:

A rule of my life is to never challenge others with what I’m not willing to do myself.  Here is my Plan with only 4 days left:

 

1.WRITE YOUR GOAL DOWN:

-Help a child struggling with childhood obesity over the next 90 days.

2. BREAK IT DOWN INTO SEGMENTS-

– Speak to the personal trainer

-Contact the child/family I’ve selected

-Set up a first meeting with me, the nutritionist, the personal trainer & the family of the child.

3. SET A DEADLINE:

-Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

4. MAKE IT PUBLIC:

-Um…thanks for reading my blog LOL

5. TAKE 1 DELIBERATE STEP EVERY DAY:

-Call a few personal trainers to see if & how they are willing to participate.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up 1 minute longer.  I encourage you to take deliberate action towards making your dream a reality today by applying the 5 steps above.

Together, we will change the world!!!

What’s your risk?  Share it below and go public today!!

My Top 3 Fears and How I Punch Them in the Face

MyTop3FearsWhen I was a kid I always feared rejection.

Whenever I was accepted, I feared losing it.

Fear is a Liar.

When I was a young man, I always feared being unloved.

When I finally had someone’s hand to hold I feared they’d pull it away.

Fear is a Thief.

As a married man with 6 children, I fear I am not being enough for them.

When my bride assures me that I am enough I dismiss her words and dwell instead on what I know I could be if I just tried harder.

Fear says you’re not enough.

I’d love to be able to wrap this post up with a nice, little bow of reconciliation about how I conquered fear once and for all, but that wouldn’t be honest. I think it’s always gonna’ be there in some way.  38 years and counting so far…

I think of this question often: Without fear, what kind of plot would there be in my story anyway? It certainly wouldn’t be a book worth reading!

I’ve found a bit of relief in these words:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

I’m pretty certain that the best I can do today is to decide to be brave once more.

To show courage when fear whispers and take just one more shaky step forward.

And in so doing,  punch Fear full in the face!

Where is fear telling you not to go?

What’s 1 step you can take toward that place today?

Do it!

*This post was inspired by Jon Acuff’s book, START!  If you haven’t read it yet, click the link and get a copy like, NOW!  It is that good!

Why Keep a Journal by Jim Rohn

ImageToday I was challenged to begin keeping a journal.  I recalled this powerful teaching by one of my all-time favorite mentors, Mr. Jim Rohn.  If you’re serious about becoming successful ,whatever that may mean for you, then journaling is a must!  Soak in this powerful teaching from Mr. Rohn himself.

Why Keep A Journal?
by Jim Rohn

If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy , powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual—don’t trust your memory—keep a journal. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down.

I used to take notes on pieces of paper and torn-off corners and backs of old envelopes. I wrote ideas on restaurant placemats. On long sheets, narrow sheets and little sheets and pieces of paper thrown in a drawer. Then I found out that the best way to organize those ideas is to keep a journal. I’ve been keeping these journals since the age of twenty-five. The discipline makes up a valuable part of my learning, and the journals are a valuable part of my library.

I am a buyer of blank books. Kids find it interesting that I would buy a blank book. They say, “Twenty-six dollars for a blank book! Why would you pay that?” The reason I pay twenty-six dollars is to challenge myself to find something worth twenty-six dollars to put in there. All my journals are private, but if you ever got a hold of one of them, you wouldn’t have to look very far to discover it is worth more than twenty-six dollars.

I must admit if you got a glimpse of my journals, you’d have to say that I am a serious student. I’m not just committed to my craft; I’m committed to life , committed to learning new concepts and skills. I want to see what I can do with seed, soil, sunshine and rain to turn them into the building blocks of a productive life.

Keeping a journal is so important. I call it one of the three treasures to leave behind for the next generation. In fact, future generations will find these three treasures far more valuable than your furniture.

The first treasure is your pictures… Take a lot of pictures. Don’t be lazy in capturing the event. How long does it take to capture the event? A fraction of a second. How long does it take to miss the event? A fraction of a second. So don’t miss the pictures. When you’re gone, they’ll keep the memories alive.

The second treasure is your library… This is the library that taught you, that instructed you, that helped you defend your ideals. It helped you develop a philosophy.. It helped you become wealthy , powerful, healthy, sophisticated, and unique. It may have helped you conquer some disease. It may have helped you conquer poverty. It may have caused you to walk away from the ghetto. Your library, the books that instructed you, fed your mind and fed your soul, is one of the greatest gifts you can leave behind.

The third treasure is your journals… All the ideas you picked up, the information that you meticulously gathered. And of the three, journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you’re a serious student. Taking pictures, that is pretty easy. Buying a book at a bookstore, that’s pretty easy. However, it is a little more challenging to be a student of your own life , your own future, your own destiny. Take the time to keep notes and to keep a journal. You’ll be so glad you did. What a treasure to leave behind when you go. What a treasure to enjoy today!

To Your Success,

Jim Rohn

© 2006 by Jim Rohn International. All Rights Reserved.

The Myth of Motivation – Swallow That Frog

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Activity Trumps Motivation Every Time

I used to have this belief that I needed a healthy dose of motivation before I could take action.  This fallacy found it’s roots in my noble pursuit of personal development.

You may have started reading this blog in your own quest to be motivated.  If that’s you, I’m going to challenge you with a task.  I’ll actually be taking on the same challenge for a 24 day challenge I’ve volunteered for inspired by Jon Acuff’s amazing book, START!

In my life I have discovered that motivation is actually overrated.  The truth of the matter is that I am most productive after I begin taking action on a task.  Here’s my theory:

Action CREATES Motivation

Right now, I want you to identify the task you’ve been putting off as of late.  Chances are this activity is not urgent but it is important.  I want you to commit to completing that task TODAY before you even do any of the other, more urgent, things on your to-do list.  This technique of tackling the BIG stuff is called, “Swallowing the Frog.”

Here’s my theory:  The satisfaction you will feel in having finally completed the 1 thing you’ve been putting off for so long will actually inspire you to bust right through the rest of your list.

Motivation is a trap.  It is quite a shiny and lovely thing and certainly has it’s place in the arena of success but, it is not the main ingredient for winning.  Activity trumps motivation each and every time.  So here is my theory:

Action creates Motivation

Motivation without Action = Frustration

 If you’ve been finding yourself increasingly frustrated and less productive then chances are you’ve fallen into the Motivation Trap.

If you have been inspired by the words I have shared with you that is called motivation.

If you allow yourself to take immediate action that is a victory.

It’s your move…go out there and swallow that frog.

Be sure to share your “Frogs” below and let me know how this concept helped you!

How 90 Days Changed My Family Forever- Our Story

If you’ve ever set a New Year’s Resolution you know the feeling of forgetting what you even committed to by February 1st. Almost 3 years ago now I started setting goals a different way and it has transformed my life and the way I live it.

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I know. I’m sorry but this is horrible.

If you’re like me you probably tend to set goals when you are frustrated. Maybe the buttons of your pants is screaming for relief or that yellow dress is beginning to make your back look a lot like a croissant! At any rate, you realize one day that something about your life is out of control and your are ready to do something about it! The problem with this approach however, is that frustration lends itself to desperation and desperate people resort to desperate measures. Here’s my story:

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Don’t you love when friends tag you in a Facebook photo?

I was the heaviest I’d ever been and one of my friends posted a picture of me on Facebook and was kind enough to tag me in it. I didn’t know how to remove that tag and I was embarrassed. Now normally, I would make a vow to start eating ‘right’, begin exercising & vow not to eat anything sweet until…well, ever again!!! I would make these decisions as a punishment for letting myself get so out of control. In September, 2010 however, I learned about a 90 Day Challenge.

My wife & I were frustrated. We had tried over and over again to change all of the factors at 1 time that are necessary to achieve weightloss and had failed miserable. For our first 90 Day Challenge all we did was replace 2 meals a day with a delicious shake, eat a normal, non-diety 3rd meal and snack when we felt like it. She lost 23 lbs & I lost 27. Success happened when we focuses on just 1 thing…It’s a concept called ‘Narrowing Your Focus’.

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Because of her success on her 1st Challenge my wife had the confidence to run her first 5K ever!

My crossfit friends frowned at my method and my ultra-healthy friends tried to explain their better way (again) but we were having success and decided to do our own thing for 90 days. Here’s the crazy thing. For my wife’s second 90 Day Challenge she committed to training for her 1st 5K. She partnered up with a few other women and our daughter and actually finished the Iron Girl 5k!

After losing a total of 42 lbs in my 1st 2 Challenges I actually returned to the gym! I put on my 14 lbs of muscle in 90 Days using a Challenge Kit designed for folks who wanted to achieve those results. 3 months ago I actually did a juice fast with my friend who has a phenomenal Facebook community called ‘Juicing with Jill’.

Sometime, experts mean well but they underestimate the power of gradual changes over time. They are so passionate a out what they do now that they fail to remember that they didn’t get there overnight.

Here’s a fact: The Body by Vi Challenge is the path of least resistance to becoming a healthier person because the products taste amazing, they are simple & very affordable (ie. FREE) Over 100,000 a month start a 90 Day Challenge of their own!

In the almost 3 years I’ve been sharing the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge with folks we have helped 1000’s of people not only reach their health goals but maintain them. On the surface, many folks dismiss The Challenge as some fad but here are some numbers for you:

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For more Facts, just click the picture

Simply put, the Body by Vi Challenge is not a diet but a lifestyle IF you allow yourself to implement it for 90 Days. Many folks make a couple shakes and then just move on to the next lotion, potion, pill or powder that comes along. They continue to approach as a punishment instead of a Challenge and let me tell you, punishing yourself is toxic.

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And we’ve KEPT the weight off for over 2 years now!

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My wife actually posted a picture of me shirtless on Facebook. The Challenge has helped in several aspects of our marriage 🙂

I encourage you to take a close look at what exactly the 90 Day Body by Vi Challenge powered by Visalus Sciences has to offer. Everyone will NEVER agree with the same thing but here’s what I know: Our family has been transformed by the power of 90 Day Challenges and you can NEVER take my story from me.

Are you up for a Challenge?

At the Edge of Starting

ImageI’ve joined a secret society of folks seeking whatever their own flavor of awesome may be.  This all started when I answered an email that referred to ‘Taking on a Challenge’ which was sent by my friend, Jon Acuff. I say friend because he follows me on Twitter & I actually met him once. He wrote some words in a book I was holding. Since his name was on the cover I think he felt entitled. I digress.

I find myself on the edge of starting and I don’t even know why I’m excited.  It’s not like I wasn’t already headed somewhere.  This month is already geared to be one of the greatest our home-based business has ever experienced.  So why am I so jazzed right now?

I think I’m excited because over 2000 other people responded to that same email.  We’re all jockeying around in the Starting gate waiting for the doors to bust wide open. We’ll be separated in groups of 24 and partnered with 1 other Starter to begin a journey on our distinct road to Awesome.

Details would be great right now but I sorta’ like this nervous energy.  A pilgrimage is about to begun from the land of Mediocrity towards the valley of Trying on our way to the mountaintop of Awesome and I am ready.

My plan is not to really mention this  experiment while I’m traveling these next few weeks.  I’ve been advised to put my bullhorn down by Jon & just go out and DO Awesome instead of talking about doing it.

We stand ready at the edge of Starting.

May Average be left on the shore

Our sails billow forward with Awesome

Toward a Challenge for those who want more!

If you haven’t read Jon’s book, START , yet I fully recommend you do. It’s THAT Good!