Focus on the Big Wins to Dominate Fitness and Life


There are two ways to succeed with your fitness goals.

  1. Focus on every single little detail.
  2. Focus on the one or two most important factors and let the rest take care of itself.

The concept of the Big Wins was first introduced to me by Ramit Sethi and it’s one of the best approaches to every area of life I’ve ever come across.

Let’s look at two different people who are trying to lose weight.

Sarah wants to lose weight after having her two kids. She tracks every single calorie she eats, every single rep she does, makes sure she weighs all of her food… She quickly burns out from living such a rigid live and falls off the wagon. Then, like clockwork, she’s back on her schedule and falling off again two weeks later. She’s completely stressed and her fitness goals make her feel guilty instead of inspired.

Rebecca wants to lose some weight after she realized she put on extra weight while finishing her Master’s degree. She tracks her food for a week to get a ballpark of where she is. She writes out an average daily diet to carry with her so she knows if she’s generally on track or not. She doesn’t stress too much when she has extra food but she makes sure to get in every workout throughout the week and get enough sleep at night. She knows she could lose the weight faster if she tracked every little detail, but she’s inspired by her goals and can see the weight coming off. She doesn’t start and stop again because she’s not stressing herself out.

These are simple examples, but these are completely different approaches to goals that yield completely different results.

The purpose of the Big Wins is to identify the main areas that bring the biggest results and make sure you do them. It frees you from having to focus on the little details that drive you crazy.

Now, if you are competing in a fitness competition, it’s important to focus on the little details as well. In that case, you could use the Big Wins in the other areas of your life: relationships, finances, career, etc.

With fitness, the biggest pillars to your success are:

  • Working out most days of the week
  • Having a general idea of your current calorie intake
  • Getting enough sleep

That’s it.

The fitness world is a billion dollar industry that tries to convince people that it’s somehow more complicated than that, and it’s not.

Sure, there’s a million ways to approach each of those pillars (counting macros, Crossfit, paleo, and so on), but the basics stay the same.

When you keep your pillars consistent, that’s when you can focus on mixing it up.

If you skip 50% of your workouts, no program in the world (good or bad) will get you in shape.

If you only sleep a few hours a night, your results will suffer.

If you don’t have a diet that supports your goals, you can work out hard every day in the gym but you won’t see the results you want.

Being consistent with the Big Wins will change everything.

Now that doesn’t mean you have to change them all overnight if you’re just starting. You can simply pick one area and build the habit before moving on to the next one.

In other areas of your life, the Big Win approach looks like this:

  • With your career, you focus on meeting the right people who can get you in a position you want. You’re active when it comes to knowing if you’re in the right career at all and you rarely end up in a position or job you don’t want.
  • With your finances, you automate as much as possible: your savings, paying down debt, your 401K, etc., and you focus on bringing in more than worrying about buying a latte every few days. That means you are prepped for your conversation with your boss asking for a raise and maybe you even start a side hustle to bring in extra money.
  • With your relationship, you make sure you find the right partner in the first place. A lot of relationship stress comes from trying to make it work with someone who you shouldn’t be with at all. Once you do that, you focus on the big things that make them happy. Maybe that’s spending quality time together, maybe it’s putting your phone away when you talk to them, maybe that means a date night out… Identify the big wins and be consistent.
  • With your productivity, that means every day making a list of the three biggest things you could do to progress in life and doing them. It doesn’t mean a million tactics to become more productive, it just means getting the essential things done.
  • With your home, that means you declutter and only have the things around you that make you happy. Finally organizing a whole bunch of stuff you don’t even want in the first place makes no sense. Then, you focus on cleaning the “Hot Spots” – the areas where you’re around the most often.

Of course, with all of these once you master the Big Wins you can focus on the little details. You can tweak your productivity system, you can invest your money in the stock market, you can try different approaches at your job, but no little tactic will get the same results as focusing on the biggest pillars.

None of this is sexy.

Tactics, hacks, new equipment/gear… all of that feels sexier.

Focusing on getting enough sleep doesn’t feel as fun as getting a new pair of running shoes. Setting up a new productivity system at work instead of having that uncomfortable feeling of asking your boss for a raise seems sexier. Hooking up with someone new sounds way more fun than doing the work and thinking about what you need in a relationship.

I totally, totally get it.

Believe me, I am a tactic addict.

I probably have thousands of bookmarks of websites with little hacks here and there, most of which I’ve tried. Even with all of that testing, nothing beats focusing on the big pillars.

Take some time this week to sit and think about your big pillars in your life. What are the essential things that hold your life together? Are you giving them the right amount of focus? If not, what do you want to focus on first?

Focus on the big wins and watch how it all comes together.



Priority Shifts, No More Off Seasons, And Working Like The Rock

“When you don’t know what to do, get still. Get very still until you do know what to do.” – Oprah Winfrey

That quote has been the epitome of the past few years for me.

Also, to be noted, this post is more of me writing to flesh out all the ideas I currently have in my head. If you’re going through a career change or another big change this might be helpful. This one is less about fitness and more about life. Continuing on.

Recently, a huge work project wrapped up and I thought about moving on to hunt for a new one. Instead, I stepped back and took a week off from any work at all. At the end of that week, I realized I still didn’t want to get back into hunting mode.

Sometimes, priorities shift internally before your brain catches on. New goals start formulating in your mind, and when you’re working so much it’s hard to step back and realize the priorities you have and the things you want have completely shifted.

That’s why I love Oprah’s quote so much. I’ve stepped back since the start of 2016 from everything to see what I really want to continue with and how many of my goals were me “shoulding” all over myself (<– A highly recommended post to read, BTW.)

My dreams of waking up in the morning, writing all day, and working on copywriting projects was over. I lived it, it was fun for the time being, and now I want something else.

My dreams and goals have shifted, but it took a long time to admit. Sometimes abandoning a dream feels like a break up. You’ve loved something for so long, you worked hard at it, but it just doesn’t want to continue, and that’s tough.

When you know something is over, but you’re not sure of the next steps, it’s important to quiet your mind as much as possible from all the thoughts that don’t help.

Worries about failing, goals you “should” want, superficial things, that writing degree you paid tens of thousands of dollars for…. All those thoughts.

However, do not think about it too much. It’s easy to think too much about life and in turn make yourself stuck with analysis paralysis. As I’ve been trying to figure it out, I’ve been active with ideas and really testing them out to see how they feel.

I want to get back into the health and wellness industry, move out of Denver, get to Europe, work on incredibly creative projects, live well, 5% less body fat, and above all create way more superhero workouts for people to use. (Actually, can I just create superhero workouts all day every day? That is all I want to do at this point.)

The second step for me, in this giant brain-dump of a post, is to dedicate all resources to making these newfound goals come to life.

This is a quick video from Elliott Hulse to watch on the importance of this next step:


If you can’t watch videos right now, essentially he says it’s important to mull over a decision, play with ideas, and think about your next steps. However, once you’ve made your decision, THAT’S IT. The decision is made, now you must follow through.

Now that you’ve made your decision, you have to stand in that decision. You have to become the person who deserves to have the results of that decision.

I have only half-assed my own personal commitment to fitness. This really stemmed from a place of not deciding what I wanted, not only in the gym, but in my entire life.

wanted to be lean, but I wasn’t becoming the person who deserved a lean body. The person with a lean body works incredibly hard in the gym, fits in the extra cardio, refuses to be lazy on any day except rest day,

Look at your goal. Who is the person you need to become to achieve those goals?

That’s the question I have overlooked on this new life path. The person I need to become to achieve my new goals is different than the person I was before.

Note: I’m not saying you need to be inauthentic and change your personality, I’m saying the virtues in line with your new goal are different, and you need to develop them.

Only losers complain about the results they have from doing the same thing they’ve always done. I can say that because I’ve been there. I’ve wondered why I wasn’t getting results when I wasn’t making the sacrifices and building the character associated with achieving those goals.

The work needs to be done. The effort needs to be put in. Nothing short of 100% will do.

I already achieved so many of the goals I set for myself at 18, and now at 26 and with a whole new set of goals, I’m realizing I’m back at the bottom and have a long way to go.

That’s why I’m going to set much harder rules on myself for the next few months.

I am eliminating any cheat meals, “off” days, and extra sleep from my habits until my birthday in June. It’s extreme, but I prefer to go all-in instead of half-in.

Not to mention, these new goals are much tougher than any previous goals I’ve set for myself before, so it requires much harder work than ever before.

Lately, I’ve been looking around at people who are living a life I want. Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, is one of those people that has the work ethic that I admire.

I’ll write more about this in the future, especially after I try a few things out, but his work ethic in unparalleled.

That’s it for now. This post is not so important to most people, but everything to me and my life moving forward.

The Rock is also worth a follow on Instagram for morning inspiration like:



Funny how things come back full circle. When I was 14 me and family were evicted from our 1 bedroom efficiency and forced to leave the state of Hawaii. At that time I made a promise to myself to do everything I could to work extremely hard to make sure we never see another eviction notice again. The only action I could take as a 14yr old punk kid was go straight to the YMCA and hit the iron. At that time all my heroes were big strong dudes who were successful – Eastwood, Arnold, NFL players and Pro Wrestling icons. That's why it was so cool for me to go back to the YMCA this past week, train like an animal and remember where it all started for me. Funny thing I realized as I was training that I still wake up every morning at 4am to train with the mindset that "the wolf is always scratchin' at my door" and that f*cker is delivering another eviction notice. One day I'll get the proper psychiatric therapy I need ;), but until then let's always be hungry, humble and always be the hardest workers in the room. #WolfIsAlwaysScratchin #ButNotAt4am

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on Mar 20, 2016 at 5:31am PDT


2016 Fitness Goals

Not everyone is into goal setting, but it’s something I’ve always liked to do with the start of the year. I’m not as big on New Years Resolutions because I think it’s more important to look at the entire year instead of promising you’re going to change all of your habits overnight.

Also, just to note, these are more themes for the year than concrete goals. I don’t have any PR’s I want to hit, goal weights, or timed miles. I just want more of these things in my life overall.

If you want a deeper look into a goal setting and planning routine, Click here.

By setting yearly goals, I can see what I need to accomplish throughout each month to get there.

These are my fitness goals for the year (my business goals and personal goals are in a whole different category), but hopefully putting them in writing will force me to stay accountable. I’ll also be doing either quarterly or monthly updates to make sure I knock all of these out of the park.

1. Increased endurance.

Yes, I know this isn’t a specific goal, but I generally want to increase my cardiovascular endurance so when I’m hiking and swimming all summer I won’t feel like my lungs are dying.

All throughout high school I played lacrosse and after that ended I stopped doing a lot of cardio. I’m honestly not a fan of cardio, but if I want to hold my own all summer, it’s necessary.

2. Only two-hour computer periods.

One of the worst fitness mistakes I make is sitting at this damn computer for far too long. These giant chunks of metal rule so much of our lives now, and every time I do work binges I feel my body start to ache.

Sitting is not good, and I don’t like standing desks either. So, I’m simply going to combat this with walking away from this thing every two hours and doing something else for a few minutes; mainly stretching.

3. Fitness classes

I want to get involved in some kind of competitive environment again. Whether it’s boxing, martial arts, adult lacrosse leagues, or something else, I need to get in an environment where I’m challenged in a new way. I want to sign up for a few things this year and see what I enjoy.

It’s enjoyable to get roughed up as well. No, I don’t mean in a 50 Shades kind of way, I mean in a competitive way. Some of my favorite memories from high school involved pushing girls around in lacrosse.

(Note: Please do not suggest Crossfit. I hold nothing against Crossfit, I just want to do something that doesn’t involve weights because I already spend all kinds of time around weights and in a gym.)

4. Consistency.

If anything, I just want to stay consistent with my fitness this year. No months off, selective cheat meals, marching through all kinds of new programs, consistent content for this blog and my YouTube channel.

Nothing in the world beats being consistent. That’s how everything great in life happens. It’s not flashy, it’s not sexy, but it’s the one thing that separates the people who really want something from the ones who don’t, and I really fucking want it.

I have a huge calendar where I mark off the days I am consistent in all the areas that matter, and all I want is for it to be full of check marks.

5. Go on a vacation and focus on balance.

I just looked at my planners and realized I haven’t been on a vacation where I get to lay on a beach and not give any shits for a solid week in over 11 years. Yes, 11 years. All of my vacations since then have been busy vacations with no actual down time and constant movement.

I just need a break. Whether I schedule one mini vacation every three months or a huge vacation, I am not sure yet, but it will be happening.

Workaholism is a problem I constantly deal with, and I’m going to force myself to actually balance this year, or else I’m going to burn out.

This overall goal/theme includes stretching daily, actually doing physical rehabilitation to fix imbalances, and getting enough sleep.

Hustle is great and I know I can get more done without working 17 hours a day like I have for 5+ years now if I concentrate on the select few things that matter.

That’s it for the year. What are YOUR goals / themes for the year?

Become Your Own Hero and Save Yourself


Too many people are waiting on someone else to make them happy.

They make every excuse in the world to do what’s not important to them. They wander around on Facebook, go out to happy hour at the bar every night, smoke weed, play video games, and do every other thing to avoid the hard work of pursuing their dreams.

The thing I’ve realized about becoming an adult is the importance of saving yourself. To look yourself in the mirror every night knowing you gave that day every ounce of passion, work, and sweat equity you could.

My nerd heart was stoked to discover the Nerd Fitness website where Steve Kamb wrote about Captain America and the importance of old school thinking.

Basically, you need to focus on the essentials.

I’ve gotten caught up in my own tidal wave of mindless drivel recently. I got off track and paid the consequences.

Last night I sat down all huffy realizing I am off track and wrote down my three most important areas of focus:

1. Business.
2. Fitness
3. Rocky (my dog).

That’s it. Everything else that seems to take over my days needs to head to the back of the list and never take precedence over those three things.

One of the only shows I watch on TV is Agent Carter. If you haven’t been watching it, I’d highly recommend it.


It follows the storyline spinoff of the first Captain America movie, picking up with Peggy Carter and her career in New York as an agent.

A constant theme throughout every episode is that Peggy is always focused on what is important and wastes no time waiting to be saved by anyone. The love of her life is at the bottom of the ocean, she’s working as an agent in 1940’s America which wasn’t exactly a welcoming place for women at the time, and people are constantly trying to kill her.

Captain America: The First Avenger

However, you don’t see her moping around wondering when someone is going to save her, complaining about her circumstances, or wishing she was doing something else. She just gets to work.

All of which are attributes I’m trying to strengthen in myself and I wish I saw more of in the world.

Especially around this time of year, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, all of my social network feeds become full of “woe is me” kind of posts about being single. If you want to feel special on V-Day, spoil yourself. Don’t wait for someone to buy you things in order to prove they love you.

The fact that The Bachelor has higher ratings than Agent Carter speaks volumes about our values in this society. The Bachelor is the epitome of victim “waiting-to-be-saved” mentality.

Watch any hero movie. You will see they spend no time whining about their lives. They work harder when times get tough. They focus on the essentials.

1. A mission.

Everyone needs a mission. Maybe your mission isn’t to drive the tesseract (from the movie) into the bottom of the ocean, but it doesn’t make it any less important.

The problem comes when people don’t know their mission. They don’t have that drive, a goal, to work toward.

I would challenge you to pick any goal for just 12 weeks and see it through. Don’t spend any time wondering if you chose the right goal, studying it on the internet, or comparing yourself to other people who have that goal.

Just pick the one you feel a strong pull toward. This could mean writing a page every day, trying out a new bodybuilding program, reading a chapter of a book every day, practicing your interviewing skills daily… Just pick something.

See, the secret sauce lies in the fact that it matters less about the specific goal you pick and more so who you become in the process. You become someone more disciplined, mentally tough, and determined.

What I learned by finishing Shortcut to Size had nothing to do with the muscle gain (although that was nice) and had everything to do with realizing I could finish something I started. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities. “If I can finish this, what else am I capable of finishing?”

wonder woman

2. Spend less time being comfortable.

Our ancestors would laugh at our complaints today. I know if I was hanging out with Agent Carter and complaining about the snow on the ground she would look at me utterly baffled.

“My generation beat the Nazi’s so you can sit here and whine about the snow?” is what I imagined that look would say. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but you get what I mean.

The point is, stop seeking comfort. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Suck it up when you’re in the cold. Walk to the grocery store instead of driving. Wait just a little big longer before turning on the air conditioning.

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” Theodore Roosevelt.

3. Remove complaints from your life.

Generations before us did not sacrifice their lives so we can live in misery.

Nothing good ever comes from complaining. If anything, it only brings other complainers into your life and pushes away the people who want to build you up. We all know those people who continue to complain even though you have tried everything you can to build them up.

Sure, vent about things once in awhile, but after you’re done do everything in your power to change the situation at hand. If you find yourself complaining about something for more than a month, you aren’t working hard enough to change it.

4. Make your own way.

Self-reliance is the most important trait any human can develop. To look at your own circumstances and shortcomings and to decide you want something better in your life. Then to work tirelessly day in and day out to make it a reality.

There will be days when it seems hard and you want to quit. It wasn’t meant to be easy. If it was easy, everyone would be a self-reliant hero.

5. Empower other people.

The true mark of a hero is the sacrificing for others.

“A hero or heroine is a person or character who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage or self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good.” – The meaning of the word “hero”

The world needs the strongest version of you. Your family needs it, your friends need it, your community needs it.

There is a hero within you, and if you’ve read this far, I’d suspect you feel it, too. Quitters already stopped reading this article about 1,000 words ago.

Pick something.
Stay committed.
See it through to the end.
Discover you are capable of so much more.

Setting Fitness Goals When You Don’t Have A Specific Result

When I was training clients, goal setting was one of the first things we would focus on.

Most of my clients had a specific goal in mind:
– Lose 20 lbs.
– Fit in a size 8 dress
– Gain two inches in their arms

But what do you do when you don’t have a specific result?

For many people, when they don’t have a goal, they don’t have a reason to lift. They go in and out of the gym, never really sticking to a program and constantly stuck on a yo-yo diet.

When you don’t have a why, you can’t figure out a how.

I finished Shortcut to Size, kept lifting for awhile, and with 2015 around the corner, I’ve been asking myself what I want to do with my fitness from here.

Going back and watching videos from Elliott Hulse, one of my fitness mentors, I remembered the important point that most of life is in the journey, not the destination.

The most important part is the habit, the action.

The real strength is found in the going to the gym every day. Everything else from there is just refining.

That being said, you still need to find the motivation and purpose in keeping up such a rigorous habit, so having some kind of end goal is important.

Recently, I was talking to a friend about his fitness goals for 2015 and after dancing around the question for an hour, I could tell he wasn’t telling me his real goal.

“Oh, you know, just to feel good. It would be nice to be fit…” all kinds of BS he said in this low voice where I could tell there was no passion behind it.

I started to get mad at him and told him he had to tell me his real goal no matter how embarrassing he thought it was.

“Okay only if you promise not to make fun of me.”
“I promise!”
“……….I want to feel like Captain America.”

I stared at him with a huge smile for about 30 seconds and he snickered back, “You promised! Why are you smiling?”

“Because Black Widow is like my favorite superhero of all time. So believe me when I say I get it.”

Then we geeked out for like 10 minutes and I told him it was easy from here now that he was honest about what he wanted.

The point is, no matter what your goal is, whether it is to feel like a superhero, get hit on, perform better in the bedroom, play with your kids, climb mountains, run a marathon, feel confident at the beach… It’s really important to identify how you want to feel even if you don’t have a specific number goal in mind.

I’ll develop more into goal setting and achievement this year, but before 2015 comes, start to get an ideal vision in your mind of what you want to achieve in your lifetime when it comes to your health and fitness goals.

P.S. Becoming a superhero is a completely reasonable goal. I mean, have you seen how badass Captain America: The Winter Soldier is?