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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Attention all drummers!

Try this one out before your next rehearsal and unglue your shitty forearms.

Here’s what to do.

1. Grab a LAX ball, or a tennis ball to start cause this can get NASTY.

2. Hang you wrist off of a counter or over your snare.

3. Roll the ball over your forearm, up close to the elbow.

4. Find the spot that sings like Shakira and hold it!

5. Make a fist. Try not to cry. 👶

6. Relax, open your fist and repeat all the way down closer to the wrist.

HIYA! Take that, wrist pain.

I’ve got some more books to help you on the road with exercise and nutrition if you’re the career-minded musician. First three to comment below and tag their band get a FREE e-copy. 🤘

🎶 by The Heist – “Let it Go”

Go check out my YouTube channel, subscribe for a weekly dose of awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeP8bF4NNmv_HqkcHfrtNgA

‘Til next time, stay sweet.

I had the privilege of sitting down for coffee (one too many by the sounds of it in the interview!) with a fellow local athlete, friend and huge supporter of the community, National Development Skeleton Athlete, Grace Dafoe. img_5438Grace is also a Physical Literacy Advocate and as I mentioned, huge supporter of some really inspiring organizations out to do a lot of awesome things. We got to talking about her life as a role model, struggles as an athlete and the immense focus she puts into her personal life to maintain a healthy balance between her training and everything else. We’re “Human first”, and I think you should tune in to take a listen to one of our nation’s up and coming rock stars on the ice track (I think that’s what they call it…) …plus it’s my birthday today. So do me a solid and rate this on iTunes and share with your friends! Best birthday gift ever.

Here’s the interview!

 

ps. Skeleton! Holy eff! What a sport.

So I guess I have a bit of a series going on here about booze and its (possibly negative) effects on lifestyle. This week I have heard one recurring statement from numerous people close to me in my life. “I’m just going to relax with [insert name and quantity of choice alcohol] and stay in tonight/watch TV/forget about the day. But how much of that statement is truth? I am going to put forth a question to all of you readers out there tonight. What is the deal with our societal acceptance that alcohol will help us to relax?

Fact: Alcohol has both stimulant and sedative properties. However, it can be argued that the aggression, increased heart rate, motor slowing and cognitive impairment are all tied to the stimulant side of things¹. So if the science shows us that the alcohol is stimulating, why do we still “relax with a bottle of wine?” A million people can’t all be wrong, right?There must be some truth to this and I’m going to argue that the sedative effects of alcohol are a more of a subjective finding, in that – we have “feelings” and “emotions” tied to our use of booze. Before all you haters jump me in the alley for saying you’re crazy for thinking that booze is making you relax, I am certainly not taking away from the legitimacy of subjective perspectives. Hell, as some of you may recall, I’m in the middle of conducting a research project that is actually studying the subjective worth of exercise. (Check that out here!)

I do see the value in how our thoughts shape our actions in the simple fact that what we think can become our reality.. however, we also need to recognize that the science doesn’t lie. That stuff isn’t subjective. It’s a cold hard fact that alcohols stimulant properties will actually increase your heart rate and causes vasoconstriction, the narrowing of blood vessels. So no, you’re not relaxing because you are physically putting your body under stress. Stress is something that will keep you up and not let you sleep. or relax. End of story.

But alas, society will continue to unwind with booze. Maybe the mind is more powerful than we let ourselves believe..? Until the next episode… have a cup of herbal tea to relax. That shit is science. Make it hibiscus and grape so you get the wine feel… you know, cause it’s the grapes that are good for your heart anyways. 😉

 

¹http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21560041

I’ve been living a paradoxical lifestyle for the past 10 years. Musicians get a bad rap as far as their attention to health and wellness. Maybe it’s a fair argument. But maybe it’s not. It doesn’t matter. In my reality  as a drummer myself and a health coach that has had the privilege of working with clients that have overcome the obstacles presented by conditions such as MS (multiple sclerosis), fibromyalgia, strokes, mental illness, post-operation rehabilitation and various other barriers to general wellbeing,  I understand the message from Billy Talent’s drummer Aaron Solowoniuk better than most of my musical colleagues.

I am on a mission to communicate the absolute importance of health and wellness in the musical community. I have a wellness initiative I am implementing in March that will see a study of my specialized restorative strength training, known as energizers and the effect it has on quality of life of the participants.

I am now extending my study into a branch of preventative care and recovery from chronic injuries common to the working musician. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to not have any ailments that would keep my from my passion behind the drums. When I first learned of Aaron’s story a couple years after I graduated high school, when I was really starting to pave my future as a drummer I thought “holy shit, how is he still playing?” But now I know, no matter what the obstacle, you can overcome it with the proper mindset. That starts with attention to your health, no matter what you are trying to beat. I’m inspired by Aaron – I’ve always enjoyed his playing, I’ve been a big fan of Billy Talent and now with his recent news that he’s stepping away from the kit in order to ensure he’s healthy just speaks volumes to his character.

While it’s unfortunate he can’t be on the road or in the studio for a bit, he’s made the right decision here. Please fellow musicians, take notes. It’d be a dream come true for me to be a part of Aaron’s story, but for now I will do what I can and offer my services and my education to my colleagues… Please contact me at mike@armyofharmony.com or 403 797-3853 or on Twitter at @coach_schwartzy for more information about how you can be part of a movement to inspiring musicians and artists to pay more attention to their health. I have a great program to work with you one in one regardless of your location, so get in touch if you want to keep doing what you love.

Big thank you to Aaron for his leadership on the movement.

After watching Aaron’s message here, I really hope you consider taking better care of yourself. Especially if you have no external “limitations”. Don’t take for granted what you have. You only have one body and even if you’re a musician, that’s all you get.
Follow Aaron at @AaronSolowoniuk and join him in support of conquering MS. Aaron, if you happen to come across this – please do contact me. I would like the opportunity to help you on your way back behind the kit. Check the video below. Get inspired. Be awesome.

https://youtu.be/50cuvTXp8M0

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Looking back on my last full year, November to November – it’s had it’s share of ups and downs. I am in a great place now, but it’s taken some time to come to terms with everything. I still remember that day. The weekend had just passed and I was rolling into North Hill World Health to do what I always do. Just like any other day – I was going to meet with a new gal whom I met in my Friday spin class and helped her out afterwards with some release techniques to help her relieve some nagging knee, back and hip problems she mentioned. I had no idea Michelle was going to be such a prominent figure in my next 12 months and as it stands, much much longer.

-Be forewarned, as you read on I open up to the behind the scenes truth and reality of my life. That’s what I do. I make no excuses for anyone in this post and for those reading it that were a part of the action, if you’re upset – you really only have yourself to blame. You’re in complete control of how you handle your reaction and in saying that, you can quite literally change the outcome of that action. I have absolutely no shame in any other the stuff I’m discussing and while this can act as a sounding board, my intentions are merely to bring reality and my perspective of the situation to light. This is the account as according to me… it’s not a choose your own adventure and some things could be taken pretty harsh. I figure, emotion is the basis of humanity.. so don’t ever hide your true colours. Deal with them.-

As many of you know, I had just been – for lack of better terms, abandoned- by my now former wife – Christy. I am  just waiting on documents for finalization of the divorce and I couldn’t describe to you in words how happy I am to be rid of that chapter of my life and the entire network that’s associated with that part of my past 5 years.

It goes like this, that Friday, November 21, 2014. After 5 years together, 3 of them married she decided to pull the plug on our relationship with no warning and no communication whatsoever with the help of her inner circle. Something now in hindsight, I can recognize I was never really a part of. Literally woke up, said I love you and then a bunch of elves or something came and took half of our basement suite away to “another place”, including our effin’ dog! Who does that? To her I guess our relationship was a cool idea in a snow-globe, paradise “Keep up with the Jones'” kind of effed up, dysfunctional way. I was clearly not seeing things the same way as I actually thought I had a great relationship. In any case, the sociopathic, pre-meditated nature of events that lead her to literally walking out on her problems instead of confronting and challenging them and finding another way has helped make this break a lot easier on me. *weakness* Segway….

Enter Michelle. *strength*

The title of my post says it all. No one brings it like this woman. And she’s done it from day one of working with me. I knew she would be a longer termed “client” of mine, because I knew I had the tools that would solve her previous ailments. However, I could have never guessed that she was up to the task of being one of the strongest pillars of my success through what could have otherwise been an absolutely devastating turn of events after my life flipped ass-over-tea-kettle, upside down and inside out. She was a constant reminder of the need to push through any challenges, working hard at everything with a planned direction and goal in mind. An incredible teacher to learn from especially with the timing of my current life events of going through a shocker of a separation. It didn’t stop there. No, no. Michelle probably doesn’t even realize how much our goofy side conversations and her constant interest in my “flavour of the week/month/day” helped me cast off the absolute torture I was enduring through this separation. To put it in perspective, she kept me focused on resetting myself from what I thought was my path to find a new way, allowing laughter, ridiculous playlists full of One Direction and an overall great time to be had every single time she came in for a session. I was so fortunate for her upbeat, sarcastic, but absolutely loving persona to be a part of my life at such a critical time. She quite honestly kept me a float more than a few times and I’m willing to bet she had no idea, because that’s just the way it is. Kinda like Tupac.

Michelle has gone on to support me and actually I probably owe it to her for DSPT in it’s entirety to actually come to fruition. She first mentioned I should get a bootcamp style outdoor thing going so she could come train and have fun again with her girls. That’s how it all began. So not only did she act as my therapist over the past 12 months, she has also helped push me into actualization of building my own passion for health and wellness in others into a very successful operation. This woman is an absolute angel if you believe in the big guy upstairs, a complete beauty with a golden heart, precious soul and integrity within her rivalling a modern day Mother Theresa. This blog wasn’t supposed to be about how awesome she works in every session, or how great she looks and feels and continually gets better performance out of herself even though she curses me up and down most days we’re together. She does that anyways. That’s just by-product. A no brainer. No, it’s about the stuff you don’t hear or see. The silent leadership Michelle keeps that empowers the whole room. The quick smile and hop-to-it-attitude when set rest is over and it’s time to get back to the next round of swings. It’s the charisma and confidence of going up and letting Jessica or Alanna know how great they look, genuinely from the heart as she hadn’t seen them since she got back from vacation or whatever the case may be. It’s crazy to see how much magnetic charm, charisma and overall positive energy one person can maintain through the darkest of situations or most daunting of tasks. She’s really one of the biggest reasons I was able to realize, “Hey, it’s not so bad on this side of the tracks. I might have dodged a bullet.” Even if that was the case, Michelle would be one of the first to jump in front and take the bullet for me. Good god, home girl  you know I would do that same for you.

Michelle, you have done so much for my personal growth, my professional career and you have actually helped me set a foundational mindset full of pursuing one’s passion. This is something that I have for 1. now based my business DSPT on, 2. my now-retired skating career message on and 3. my reason or calling in life on. I will continue to employ this attitude in all of my acts of service and relationships moving forward and I cannot thank you enough for being there with me and keeping me grounded. You deserve the world for you and your beautiful family and I’m so glad I can be a part of it. You’re truly the definition of champion, rockstar and most importantly friend. I am so excited for our new challenge of getting you to a new level with your sport, Triathlon. The unmarked territory and exciting nerves are going to be the fuel that gets you there. I’m just the facilitator, the medium. And even though you may not think you’re the rockstar at the start, you’ve made the decision to start to become that rockstar. Take a lesson here, folks. Michelle, you’re an inspiration.

Please, if you would like to be a part of my success stories, reach out to me through the contact form below and find out how to train and motivate and inspire others with the heart of someone like Michelle. If you’re in the Calgary area I would gladly set up a brief chit-chat about your health and wellness goals and see if we can team up to start your path to becoming a rockstar. You truly are limited only by your own reality, I encourage you to push your standards and strive for success! I will help you start that journey and realize your health and wellness goals.

0.5 Prioritize the important and understand that what’s urgent is not always important. Though, some people will have you believe that. 

1. Learn how to say “no”. Or even “not right now” – empower yourself and understand that those same people that mistake urgent for what’s important to you cannot expect their problems in time management time make problems for you. Declining authoritatively will feel great and also help you maintain respect. 

2. Schedule your day. Actually block off all the hours of important things that need to get done. 

3. Stick to your schedule. Should be a no brainer, but the hardest part is sometimes to follow through with your intentions.

4. Sleep. Try for an early rise and early bed. Your body’s clock is fine tuned to the sun or circadian cycle – 10:30-6 is ideal. You’ll feel like a million bucks, increase energy and in turn productivity after the first week or so of transition. 

5. Breathe. Take time every morning to set your intention for the day. Drink tea. Go for a quick jog. Do something other than Facebook, Instagram or tv or emails. Deep breathing has shown to help focus your intention, meditation too. So hit the yoga class or just stretch at home. Find something to relax and get the mind and body ready to tackle life’s greatest battle each day. 

With these 5.5 quick alterations to your current mindset you should be able to increase your productivity, creativity and general happiness. Give it a shot! And if you’re already doing all of this, good job. You’re ahead of the game. Stay tuned for next week where I dive into my specific experience with time management.