Especially when we have it right in the palm of our hands, everything just happens so quickly. But I’m firm in my belief (which has no correlation to truth) that if you’re feeling comfortable… you can move faster.

This weekend I made great strides and I’d like to talk briefly about how I set my intentions since I last wrote in an effort to help you use the next 7 days of 2018 to shape the remainder of the year for yourself. Let’s add more depth to the vision. More tangible goals to reach and most importantly, let’s identify the key players of your team. I call this, process “trimming the fat”.

What is “the fat”? (in business and success coaching, that is)

Fat is extra energy (sometime useless) energy. It can be good for a burst of distraction in the right setting, but generally speaking, fat will slow you down. It can be full of energy, but that energy typically pulls you away from your end goals. Distractions.

Fat also houses a metric shit tonne of toxins. Bad energy. No nutrients. Just cancer-ridden tissue that will ultimately poison you, slowly.

Top 5 Fats to Trim From Your Life If You’re Serious About Success

  1. Facebook, Instagram and the rest of the social media gamut – Put your phone away and listen up. Actually make an effort to designate particular hours to be on your social media accounts checking the latest tweets. Otherwise, invest in self-control or look into a focus app (like Stay Focused for Chrome users, or Hey Focus for safari users). There’s a bunch of stuff out there and research shows productivity in the workplace is at an all time low, so don’t become a statistic. Stay driven!
  2. Poor diet – If you’re feeling lethargic it’s likely a by product of your poor lifestyle. Carefully examine the fuel you’re putting into yourself and see how much of it is “real”. Your first clue is does it have a label? If your answer’s yes, you’d better start connecting the dots… Eating real food will help you get the right nutrients to the body and mind and keep your energy up and uselessness down. Boom. However, it’s also important to know how much to eat. Without getting too picky, this is a great way to measure out food. If you need a little help with how much of what you need on your plate, I can help you with that as part of my Precision Nutrition Coaching. Here’s a rad diagram for you to keep when you wanna take that 10oz steak down. Keep in mind you’re not a lion. Unless you are. Then carry on and feed the pride.  screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-12-47-36-pm
  3. Relationships – AKA “Energy Vampires”. These people suck – quite literally – the life of you. Ever had a conversation with someone and you leave feeling exhausted? I have. Yeah, they need to go. Like, now. You are on your way to bigger and better things so you have to cut the dead weight that is holding you back and draining you of physical, emotional and psychological energy. Ever heard the expression “You’re the Sum of the 5 people you’re around the most?” While that’s pretty accurate, you’re also responsible to the beliefs that you hold. So the 5 beliefs you have (i.e.: you have to talk to so and so because they’re family/life-long friend/ girlfriend is a story you’ve been telling yourself. If that relationship only serves you in a negative headspace, you gotta cut ties.
  4. Your conflict language (victim/blame game) – Practice ownership of every situation you’re ever in. I just taught a Musician Wellness course based off of my first book “The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle” last week and when we got to the mindset section on the third night, the biggest takeaway for the class was that they’re usually completely responsible for all the shittiest things in their life and when they thought about it, they were also in complete control of how to rectify that situation and get the ship back on course. It starts with owning your language. Listen to a  two part chat I had with Mark England, Co-Founder of Procabulary in Season 2 of the SchwartzCast if you’re interested in the power of words —> behaviour —> action. Listen here. Subscribe to my Podcast on iTunes or Google Play.
  5. Sitting – Seriously one of the most cancerous fats you could possible exist in your world. If you’re sitting for more than 60% of your day, you’re slowly committing suicide. The compression of your spine, tendency to roll shoulders, slouch, tip your head forward, disengage your muscles in your back, butt and legs etc… The list goes on… are all huge factors that seriously cramp your postural style and thus need to go. Stat. Try getting up every 15 minutes or so and having a little stretch or meet Bob at the water cooler every 30 min for a high five. You know he’s good for it. Bob loves high fives. Check out a personal favourite of mine, Kelly Starrett at www.mobilitywod.com for a hundred more reasons why you shouldn’t be sitting. If you are right now, get up and walk around a bit. Seriously… I’ll wait….

still waiting….

You good?

Get a stretch in?

Good.

Let’s round this out with some closing thoughts.DSC_7153-Edit-e1461440768481.jpg

So I took a serious look at these areas in my list on Thursday night and set an intention (with help from a major player in my life, Janis Isaman – check her out) to earn money every day. Since setting that and affirming it, and having Janis message me her grand successes, kept me on the straight and narrow each day since.

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Another major help was a new friend, Mr. Mike Little, Producer, Songwriter and Studio Musician. Now, this dude is a heavyweight in the Canadian music scene. He’s probably played on more records than you’ve even listened to.

He’s a monster.

He’s been so kind to really add some business acumen to my company’s vision as well, and I’d like to close with that and how you could be a part of helping to create great music.

I’m in phase one of research. If you are a musician, even just dabble away at guitar, weekend warrior, used to sing, want to get back at it, I’m asking for your help.

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I’m setting up a platform that will connect all musicians with unlimited, tailored access to world-class resources from leaders in the health and wellness world. We’re talking content, services, information, education, remote coaching, live events.. you name it… all to help bring to life musician wellness.

I’m just working out the kinks, because I am going to do this right. So here’s where you come in.  I’d really appreciate it if you shared this link with every musician you know. Music has no borders and neither does MusicFit Collective: a resource pool of health and wellness service providers aimed to educate the entire music industry in all things proactive health. Please take a peek and share, share, share. It’s a dream of mine to make health education accessible to my music industry peers. Your support is appreciated.

here’s the link: https://goo.gl/forms/7TjjP1WBMW80ypjc2

If you’re down, please share the shit out of that.

Until next time, stay sweet,

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Ps. If you’d like to check my book out, you can start reading it for free on amazon.ca here
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As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.

When you’re lost in the woods it’s nice to come across that old bridge again.

The one that heads north –

Out past the river, to the meadow and into the sunshine, warmth and life of the universe.

When you step you to that stage, what’s going through your head? How does your body feel?

Do you feel your chest tighten? Sweaty palms, throat closing up? How’s that feel?

 

If this sounds like you before a gig, you’re not alone. Of all the musicians I work with day in and day out, their stage performance anxiety tends to be a huge obstacle in the way of their success.

So what do we do?

I’ve picked up some tricks that help settle the mind, settle the body and keep my peers, my friends and my clients on the top of their game. While we could stay on this topic all night, I’ve narrowed it down to one simple exercise and a practice I have found effective to calm my bones prior to a show, a big presentation or a talk.

Ready?

Breathe.

That’s it. Here’s the drill: Breathe in for seven seconds through your nose, hold your breathe, then slowly exhale. Aim for working up to making each piece last for 7 seconds or longer. If you wanna take it to the next level, place one finger on your right nostril as you breathe in, then switch to place the finger on your left nostril as you breathe out. Repeat. That gets both sides of the brain working. Mind-body stuff is rad.

I’ve attached a little picture below for you to keep calm and rock on.

Breathe in

Tell your friends and if you have any other questions fire me a note at mike@mikeschwartz.ca or go public on Twitter or Instagram.

 

Til next time, stay sweet.

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Calisthenic or “body-weight exercise” often goes underrated in the world of fitness. Overshadowed by the likes of the latest Spin Class, or CrossFit “Workout Of The Day” (WOD) – and don’t get me wrong, I love my friends at YYC Cycle & at CrossFit Above All – but social media has coached us into moving our body with some sort of apparatus generally speaking.

I am here to dispel that notion and shed some light on another way; a way for people that enjoy getting in shape with the things that they have around them… Like a stair case, a wall or the playground their kids hit up on the weekend.

What is calisthenics? 

Simply put, sequences of “primal” movement patterns (squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling and twisting…)

Many people consider body-weight exercises as elementary or “rookie” because of the media’s misconception of the strength training fuelled by the big box gym and companies that sell shit that they want you to buy. Really though – we all have the resources right in front of us. And if you are still skeptical about how body weight training could possibly make you strong, check this fella out. Ido Portal is a God of movement and one of my favourite specialist to model programming from. Here is a bit of his practice. Tell me what you think.

If you are interested in learning more, click here for a primal movement pdf to help you learn the basics.

I am offering a 6 week body weight training program too. In person and remote. Click here if that sounds like fun.

Thanks for reading. Stay sweet!

Realists don’t 

Really have a 

Real place in what I deem to be 

Reality.

Let’s examine a child’s mind for a moment. Heck, let’s look at your youth. What did you see when you laid out in the freshly cut lawn, face up, staring into the open blue skies that was every lazy Sunday afternoon in your childhood? Did you daydream like me? 

Just because I’m snacking on carrots doesn’t mean I am a bunny. That may be as great of an assumption as if you thought anyone that chases sticks is a puppy. 

It’s not whether you are for the carrot or the stick that defines you. No, no- I believe that if you let what you do define you, you’ve already lost. 

The wonderment in a child’s eyes is simply unmatched in this world. The playground is how I create. The playground is how I thrive. The playground is how I groove. I encourage all of my nearest and dearest and anyone else I respect into that environment of intellectual prosperity. We live in a social construct that doesn’t subscribe to the creativity that the playground, the child’s imagination and the spirit of the phrase “what if” epitomizes. 

I’m here to dispel that fallacy. I’m here to bring about groovement, raditude and a place we call home; Imagine-Nation. 

Look up into the sky this afternoon. That’s your reality. 

This one comes from the heart. I spent part of the weekend out at my folks’ farm for my birthday, I got to hang out with my awesome nephew and niece, brother, mom and dad. We ate ribs. More importantly, I studied the movement patterns of my way too energetic two year old nephew, Zane. 

I came up with these few conclusions:

  • Infant movement patterns (in this case toddler) are king in functional fitness. 
  • Core stability is absolutely quintessential in developing strong, consistent movement patterns laternin life.
  • Natural progression of most stabilized movement positions to least stabilized movement positions is vital to proper growth and development (as the adage: walk before you run) 
  • Kids know how to have fun. 

Though the last one may seem lighthearted, and it is, it’s the most important. I even tried teaching some of the basic movements I saw Zane just kill on the weekend, yesterday and today with some friends and clients respectively, and much to my surprise the adults couldn’t perform like a two year old. 

Crazy, right? Here’s the key – I think adults have to take a more creative and relaxed approach to life in order to be able to bend, twist, push, pull and squat their way into greatness… like a two year old. 

Think about it. Infants and toddlers have no self-awareness. They just go from what they observe, what is natural and fight their way through movement without injury and oftentimes with more grace than an Olympic athlete. 

We lose that ability in performance somewhere along the way. 

Stay tuned next week for a look at how this can be.