Sore Legs, No Equipment

Fitness

Everybody hates leg day. It hurts. I only do it for two reasons. I don’t want to look like a buffalo riding a chicken, so vanity, and it may sound crazy, but doing leg work actually makes my back feel better. My lower back gets out of whack sometimes and will become inflamed to the point that I get tingling down one leg and some numbness in my big toe. I’m in a chair at my desk a lot, and I’ve heard that’s now considered to be as deadly as smoking. What if I smoke Marlboro Reds with the filters cut off at my desk? They cancel out? Your hamstrings tighten up and start pulling on your spine, hips, and knees more than they’re supposed to when you sit that much. I realize not everybody has access to a gym to squat or leg press, but here’s a workout that’ll smoke your legs and you can do in it your living room watching the Braves game or the NFL draft Thursday night. The lunges will stretch you out, and the wall sits will further strengthen your quads (thighs) to pull against those hammies (the back of your thigh) and balance them out. The workout explanation has a video with it. Bobby Maximus, the dude in the video, is a beast. I bought his book in the advertisement at the end of the video, and some of the workouts are cray, cray. I did one that involved doing a quarter mile of lunges with push-ups mixed in. Brutal.
Workout Here

Cooper Manning & The Holy Ghost

Faith

I had a Chain Mover (Thanks, Cole!) recommend a book to me last week, “Forgotten God,” by Francis Chan after talking about the Holy Ghost/Spirit in a post. I’m like a chapter in, but I love it already. It pertains to the Holy Spirit largely so far, and it’s pretty eye opening. Chan talks about it in the book, but we kind of treat the Holy Spirit like a third wheel. Like it’s the Cooper Manning to Peyton and Eli. “Oh what’s up, Peyton and Eli? Super Bowl winning, Pro Bowl, all-time great quarterbacks, ‘da real MVPs.’” Then there’s the “other” Manning that we kind of know of, but we don’t really know what he does for a living, if he’s athletic, or what happened to him? Did he get hurt or not get put in the game like Uncle Rico back in 1982? Like, what’s the story there?
The Holy Spirit carries just as much weight in the Trinity as God and Jesus like if Cooper had a couple of Super Bowl rings himself. Poor Coop. I had heard that the Holy Spirit wasn’t on the planet prior to Jesus’ ascension to Heaven, but after doing a little research, the Holy Spirit didn’t dwell inside Christians until Jesus left. It descended into the believers as Jesus ascended. I’ve always thought of and felt the Holy Spirit was kind of my conscience. Could you imagine going through life without a conscience? I’m not a theologian, obviously, so I may be wrong, but I lean on my conscience and gut as the Lord leading me through my daily life. Talk about feeling lost without it. The Spirit could and would “come upon” believers for specific tasks and for certain periods of time, but it was just around us, not in us, until well into the New Testament. As Jesus was preparing to leave the earth, he was coaching the disciples up and told them that “Another Counselor” would come and be with them forever. The disciples had no idea what he was talking about. They were probably thinking Cooper Manning, another actual person, would show up in the flesh and help them continue the ministry. They were used to having Jesus around to guide them like he was physically riding shotgun with them everywhere they went in life. Jesus told them it would be best for Him to leave so the other Counselor could come. I can’t imagine what that feeling would have been like as a disciple. You’re literally talking to God, face-to-face, and He’s saying it’s better for Him to leave you than for Him to be right beside you. I’d have selfishly begged Him to stay. As He always is, Jesus was right. What’s better than beside you? For the Holy Spirit to live inside you, in your heart, forever.
Chan’s point to all this is that think about how your life would look differently if Jesus were physically with you every day helping you make decisions. It’d be awesome! What’s even better is that if you’ve accepted Christ, then you have the Holy Spirit living in you, and you do have the Counselor available to guide your daily life. The problem is that too many of us, Christians in general, live lives that look no differently than people that are going through the day without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our lives should look so totally different that it’s obvious we have God in our lives. The joy of the Lord should shine through, but it’s often far from the case. I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit do it’s thang in your life and see if your life looks different as the week progresses. Listen to the Lord, that still small voice, and see if your decisions are a little different. Love on people. Be a light to the world.

Chain Mover Monday, 4.16.18

Today is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it! Even if it is a Monday. Hope you had an awesome week. You try any of the body weight workouts from last week? I mixed the first one into my workouts this week, and I really liked it.

Finance

Tax day is tomorrow! If you haven’t filed yet, you need to get on that. The IRS will ding you with a 5% penalty for filing late if you haven’t filed an extension. Hit up TurboTax, TaxSlayer, H&R Block, you know the drill. Taxes kind of lead me into the “Rule of 3” for productivity. I’m terribly reactionary in my work life. I’ll have a to-do list a full notebook page long and do my best to knock it all out. I came across the Rule of 3, which makes a lot of sense and is super simple. Basically, you write down the 3 most important items you need to get done that day. The guy suggested using a notebook to physically write them down because they can end up “out of sight, out of mind” in your phone or on a tab in your computer. I’m going to use the old fashioned post-it note and put “Pay your taxes” at the top of the list today. Why is the Rule of 3 better than my notebook page? The vast majority of the crap on my page isn’t THAT important. Buried in the 25 things to get done are 3 that are vitally important. I could get 22 of 25 things done and feel like I accomplished a lot, but the 3 items that carry the most weight would’ve fallen by the wayside. That’s the Cliff’s notes version of the article. Here’s the feature length article right here.

Fitness

I have only recently, like in the last 5 years, really bought into nutrition mattering to my fitness and physique. I always thought I could just workout harder or lift more weight to outpace my nutrition. I have a huge leg up in that Katie has a Master’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis on nutrition, so she’s great about cooking some really tasty, healthy stuff for dinner. I really like the Chobani Triple Zero Greek Yogurts for breakfast. I eat one every day and there are a ton of different flavors so it doesn’t get old. I throw in some walnuts and oats to make it heartier. My problem has always been lunch. I rarely, if ever, take my lunch to work. It’s something I’m wanting to change, but I have to break my day up and leave the office at some point. Lunch gave me a good excuse to leave, but I would absolutely kill my “diet” by eating some type of garbage at a restaurant. I put diet in quotation marks because diets are dumb. They always feel restrictive and you end up hating them. I try to make it a lifestyle. It’s got to be long term to see sustained results, and most people can’t stick to a “diet” long term. Think Atkins, Paleo, Keto, etc. I have a few simple guidelines I try to stick to in order to avoid empty, wasteful calories. My biggest crux forever was sweet tea. I’ve never been a big soft drink guy, but I would hammer some sweet tea. Chick-fil-a, as Holy as it is, still has calories, and their medium sweet tea has 120 calories in it solely from the sugar. Get a re-fill and you just drank 10% of a 2,500 calorie a day diet. I weened myself slowly with half and half, then ¾ unsweet and a ¼ sweet until I was solely on unsweet. Unsweet has 0 calories. I did that and stopped eating French fries, and I lost 10lbs in 4 months. Crazy. My other items? I try to avoid fried foods, bread, and cheese. That’s it. If I’m really craving something or the menu at a restaurant with a client just doesn’t lend itself to avoid all those things, then don’t stress about it. It’s more about “winning” more than you “lose.” Try to do really well 4 out of 7 days a week, and you’ll be amazed at the results. Maybe not in a month or two, but that’s cool. We’re thinking long term. I have a full-blown cheat meal every week. We eat pizza almost every Friday night as a reward for eating well during the week. It gives us something to look forward to, and it keeps the “diet” from feeling like we can’t live a little and be red blooded Americans.

Family

Family time is super important to me, and I know it is to all of you as well. I know we have several new and expectant fathers as readers, so I wanted to pass along a few Pro-Tips. If you have one you want to add, feel free to post it in the Facebook group for the other guys the see.
Let’s face it, after the first child comes, your whole life is tossed completely upside down. Everything you once knew is toast. Life is just different. You feel like a deer in headlights because…well, you are. You don’t know anything about kids. It’s totally natural and expected to not feel an immediate connection with the baby once you get them home from the hospital. That first time you see them come out of the womb? Religious experience. But, after that, you’re just trying to figure out where you fit in as a dad. Best thing that happened for me was being able to give Briggs and Sully one bottle a day. Katie needed a break and the doctor said at like 2 weeks that I could give them a bottle of breast milk once a day. We found the timing to be best at like 11pm. They’d eat at 9pm with Katie, I’d stay up and give them the bottle at 11, and then it was back to Katie at 1am and through the rest of the night. It gave her a chance to get 4 straight hours of sleep that she desperately needed because let’s face it…waking up every 2 hours in the middle of the night is awful on top of everything else that comes with being a new mom. It also helped start building a bond with the kids, and it felt like it gave me more of a purpose as small as it may seem. It was my “job” and I looked forward to it. The next step was bath-time, which I love. Both my kids love the bath, so it definitely makes it easy to enjoy. It gives us some great time together every night to laugh and play, and it also gives Katie time to get their rooms ready for bed and lay out their pajamas, etc. Teamwork makes the dream work, and you’ll learn that kids do really well when there’s a routine. Bath time must have…this little stool. The first week or so on my knees on the tile making sure they didn’t fall over and drown made me feel like I’d been playing catcher in the major leagues for the last 60 years. I think I developed arthritis in 10 days. Gotta be a record. The stool is perfect. Cheap and folds pretty flat if you need the space.
Hope you guys have an awesome week! Let me know what your Dad Pro-Tips are if you’re a more experienced father. Lord knows I could use them!
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Love Ya’ll
Josh

Keep It Movin’

Mornin’ Sunshine! Hope you had an awesome week. Been struggling a little bit on whether to go long form e-mails with more of my commentary and thoughts like the first few or to use Chain Movers as kind of a hub to pass along info I found useful in becoming a better person. I was getting conflicting info, so as any rational person would do, I left it to Facebook for the tie break. I’m not crazy enough to leave it to all of Facebook, so I posted it to our Chain Movers group. Three times more people said short bullet points with links, so that’s the way we’ll roll. I’ll sprinkle in a little stump preaching here and there when I get hot on a topic haha.

Finance

As most of you know, I’ve owned an insurance agency here in my hometown for roughly 9 years now. We mainly offer auto, home, and life insurance. I’m big on trying to educate my clients, and the community, on what they’re buying so that they can make the best coverage decision for them and their families. I’m astonished at how many people have gone years basically blindly purchase insurance when they call me for a quote. I’ll spare you my thoughts on how much I believe we should spend a lot more time on personal finance in our high school years, but that’s another convo….In doing a little research for something, I came across a really short, sweet, to the point article that does a great job of defining and explaining auto insurance coverage. Chances are that all of you own at least one vehicle, so check it out to better understand what all that insurance lingo means on your policy. It could potentially save you a lawsuit or financial burden in the future. Have any questions? Use me for answers. Not trying to sell you anything, but I’d be doing a disservice to you guys if I didn’t offer my experience to you guys. Article Here

Fitness

Spring Break 2018 (SB2K18 for the cool kids) just wrapped up for the schools here in Cherokee County, GA, but summertime and the Griswold’s family vacay to the beach is likely around the corner for all of us. We’ve all got excuses on why we don’t make it to the gym (I only made it once last week)….well guess what, here’s 3 great body-weight, no equipment needed workouts that your neighbors will be thankful you did when you take your shirt off to cut the grass. Don’t know where to start? Do one Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next 6 weeks and see how you feel. If they get too easy, add another set or 2 to each exercise. Workouts Here

Faith/Family

We had a really good sermon Sunday morning talking about God as our “Father.” You hear it all the time, and it’s one of those phrases that ends up sounding super “churchy,” but it really hit home this week. Having a baby is an awesome experience. The pregnancy aspect is obviously easier on the dad, but it’s often hard to really feel any different or to get too excited because you have to wait so long for the kid to actually arrive. But man…when they do arrive…the best way I can think of, and the way I always describe it, is as a religious experience. The whole God as our Father and a Father’s love thing washes over you the instant you see your baby, and it changes you. The sermon hit on all of that, but I skipped the link ahead to the part about how the Holy Spirit kind of facilitates the whole relationship between God, Jesus, and us as sinners. I thought he did a great job explaining how God views us as His children. Give Pastor Jason and the video a couple of minutes and see if you take anything away from it. Like what you hear? Back the sermon up and start from the beginning, which is about the 22 minute mark if you want to skip the music. Sermon Here
I hope you all have an awesome week. Pass this along to friend. They can subscribe right here. Not in the Chain Mover Facebook Group? Join that right here. The group has been a little slow the last couple of weeks. That’s my fault. We’ve been traveling, and I haven’t done a good job facilitating the conversation.
Follow me on Instagram for pics of my family life.
Love Ya’ll,
Josh

Chain Mover Monday

Happy belated Easter! I hope you and your families had a great day hunting eggs, and more importantly, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

Faith

The pastor this morning spoke on John 3:16 about the gift of eternal life. Solid choice for Easter Sunday, but I wanted to re-read the whole story. I encourage you to do the same. Think about all the other people in the story as well. Pilate, the crowd, the soldiers, etc. How’d you like to be those people?! Going along and even encouraging the crucifixion of the Son of God?!
Check out Mark 15 for the crucifixion story here. The joy came on the 3rd day though…Mark 16 here.

Family

From my family to yours…Happy Easter!

Finance

Easter also happened to be April Fool’s day. I caught this article from Forbe’s on Twitter. It’s “10 Financial Myths That Should Be April Fool’s Jokes.” It had some pretty good info on general personal finance. Check it out here.

Fun

My brother-in-law is getting married May 5th, and we had his bachelor party this weekend. We had 13 guys at a plantation in South Georgia (many of whom are Chain Movers.) We played a little golf, shot some skeet, and ate a lot of great food. Being around all those guys reminded me again how much we need interaction with other guys. Tons of fun to share the camaraderie. I encourage you to make time to hang out with some buddies. Grab dinner, go bowling, or meet a buddy at the park with the kids for a play date. Your wife can’t say no to that haha.
Hope you guys have an awesome week! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to research out for you or if you have any questions.

R&R

Hola! That’s a little something I picked up in Mexico this weekend. Katie and I were able to sneak away to Tulum, Mexico this weekend for her 30th birthday. Huge shout out and thank you to my in-laws for keeping the kiddos and our dog this since Thursday for us to be able to make the trip.

Fun

If you’re down with the Chain Movers theme, you’re a grinder. Plain and simple, but even grinders need a little rest & recovery. We can fall into the monotonous routine of daily life and forget to enjoy the moment, the present, the here and now. You also only get one opportunity for special days or occasions. Turning 30 is a pretty big one, so we wanted to do it right for Katie’s birthday.
Tulum was fantastic. It’s an hour and half south of Cancun, and we quickly understood why people had been raving about it. It had some culture, it had the beach, it had great food, and it definitely left us with a memorable trip for a big birthday. We’re big on memories and experiences over “stuff,” and Tulum certainly delivered both.

Faith

While in Tulum, we took a tour of the ancient Mayan ruins there. Absolutely breathtaking. The Mayans knew how to pick beachfront real estate. This city was built on the highest point above sea level on the Yucatán coast, which is only like 40ft or so, but the cliffs with the beach below made for some remarkable views. The city was laid out much like a city would be today with streets and residential avenues. One of the houses a noble lived in even had a well below it that was part of an underground river system and called a “cenote.”
How’s it tie into faith? They had a huge temple in the city, which is pictured below, and all of the other buildings had carvings of their gods all over. They had something like 13 different gods and goddesses! A couple sun gods, a maize god, a death god, an earth and moon goddess, and so on. Ancient Mayan culture has long since died out. Although, we did learn that Mayans are still alive and well, but they have largely acclimated into Mexican culture. With the Ancient Mayan culture dying out when the Spanish invaded, so too did all of their gods.
It made me so thankful and grateful that we worship and serve God Almighty. The One and Only. The Living God. They said that there’s no evidence of human sacrifices at the pyramid at Tulum (we asked), but there were certainly animal sacrifices. Our God sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Even thinking about a pyramid being used for human sacrifice, and the thought of somebody’s son, anybody’s, perhaps being sacrificed in a place like that broke my heart. I couldn’t imagine. So hard to even think about as a parent now. But, that’s exactly what God did to allow us to have a relationship with Him.
Make the most of your opportunity to build that relationship with the Lord. He wants it more than anything, so it definitely needs to be at the top of our list.
What’s your favorite way to rest & recover? Coolest vacation spot you’ve ever been to? You have a devotional that spoke to you this week?
Follow me on Instagram for more pictures from our trip over the next week or so along with pics of my daily #dadlife. @JoshBagby
Pyramid at Tulum

Moving the Chains on a Monday

Top of the morning to you, Gents. I wrote that in an Irish accent if you didn’t read it that way. I’d like to say we had an awesome St. Patrick’s Day, but I gotta be honest. Katie never even mentioned it, and it took me until 4:30pm to even realize it was St. Paddy’s. We were at the park. I looked around, and I noticed like half the kids had on green shirts and even some of the parents…then it hit me. I always thought it was weird how as Americans we totally commandeer other country’s holidays, but I heard this stat Saturday night and thought about the whole American “Melting Pot” thing. There are 4.5 million Irish people in Ireland. There’s 11 million Irish people in the US. We’re more than twice as Irish as Ireland.
I’m going to pull a little switcheroo on you guys this week. Let me know if you like it as opposed to my longer posts.

Faith

Had a pretty obvious God speaking to me moment this week. I’ve been mentally debating getting up at like 5 for a while now, but kind of like this blog, I procrastinated about kicking it into gear. Tried it a couple times and hit the snooze. We usually wait until one of the kids wakes up for good in the morning and then we get up. I did it Friday morning somewhat out of necessity (had somewhere to be), and I let my mind get a little sideways about being up that early. Read my devotional later that day and was pretty humbled. It talked about a saying believers have been reciting since the time of Jesus. “Be strong as a lion when you wake up in the morning to serve your Creator.” It went on to say that rabbis in Jesus’ time said a prayer in bed before their feet hit the floor that went like “I offer thanks to you, living and eternal King, for you have mercifully restored my soul within me. Your faithfulness is great.” Literally thanking God for waking them up in the morning. I was definitely looking at it in the wrong way. I also noticed my whole day felt less reactionary when I dictated when I woke up, and I was able to get a workout and devotional in before the kids got up. The devotional is “STAY FIT: Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus.” It’s in the Bible App, and I’d definitely recommend it. I’d link you to it, but I’m not sure how.

Fitness

Anybody ever done the Crossfit workout “Murph” before? It’s named after one of the Navy SEALs that was killed in action and featured in the “Lone Survivor” movie. I was going to link to his heroic scene in the movie where he gave his life for the other members of his team, but after watching it again, I don’t want to start your week off like that. Dude was an absolute hero. Let’s leave at that.
Legend has it that he would do a version of this workout before deployment to make sure he was at the top of his game physically. He’d do it in his body armor, which weighs approximately 20lbs. The workout is run a mile, do 100 pullups, 200 pushups, and 300 air squats then run another mile. Officially, you’re supposed to wear a 20lb weight vest, but most people don’t. I’ve done it both ways, and it’s always a lot of fun however you do it. You can scale it even further to take out the pullups if need be. It’s a huge nationwide event on Memorial Day every year called “The Murph Challenge.” Most good sized CrossFit gyms will get together and do it kind of like a 5K, and most open it to the community. The gym we used to be at would have 75-100 people sign up to do it. Really cool environment, and it’s not as bad as you’d think.
The reason I mention it is that I’m starting to train a little bit for it. Not that you need to, but it makes it suck less haha. You can break the pullups, pushups, and air squats up, and I usually do it as 20 rounds of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats. To build up, I try to see how fast I can do 10 rounds of it broken down that way on Saturdays. I’ll add a couple rounds every week leading up to it and not do it the week before.
I find it easier to train and workout when I set a goal. Set your eyes on the Murph Challenge and train up to it. I think you’ll really enjoy it! Sign up for the official Murph Challenge E-mails on their site here.

Finance

As I stated earlier, I’m a procrastinator. Always have been. It’s always bugged me. I always get the job done, and usually at a high level, but I add a lot of undo stress in getting it done by waiting until the last minute. I saw this article on Inc.com this week, and I took a lot away from it. It had a good Mark Twain quote in there…”Eat that frog,” which means do the part you dread the most first. Check out “15 Time Habits of the Most Productive Entrepreneurs.”
Let me know if you guys like this better! Leave a comment. Share ChainMovers.com on social media if you’re liking it so far. Don’t forget to join the Facebook group for more conversation with the other Chain Movers. I love hearing from you guys. The texts and e-mails I’ve had so far have been humbling, motivating, and greatly appreciated. Have an awesome week!
Josh

Chain Mover Monday: Take 2

Dad Blog
Happy Monday! I hope everybody had an awesome weekend. My brother-in-law is getting married in a couple of months, so we had some family in town for a wedding shower. Some of the guys went to a local sporting clays range here locally, which was unbelievable. First time I had ever been to one, and it was really cool. Think kind of a golf course set up i.e. clubhouse and even a golf cart with 14 shooting stations (holes) but with shotguns of course. I was terrible, but it’s always fun to have a new experience.
My dad also turned 54 on Sunday. He’s a Chain Mover, so shout out to him. Love you, Pops!
Little recap on chasing goals I set last week…I wanted to continue doing a devotional every day, and I was able to knock that out. I’m feeling a little momentum creeping in on that, and I think I got into the Word 6 out of 7 days last week. The Bible App also hooks you up with the little streak counter now, and something so little and dumb adds that little extra motivation to open the app and add to my score. Totally the wrong kind of motivation, I know, but hey whatever keeps me coming back while I’m building this new habit. My sales calls? Ha! Utter failure. One. I made one outbound sales call for the week. I have to admit that we had a fantastic production week at the office, but I failed at my goal nonetheless. Takes me back to the “What could’ve been…” thought. It’s still a goal this week, and I’m going to create that habit as well. My days are super hectic and reactionary. Anybody have a good way of segmenting their time? Leave a comment on the website, reply back to the e-mail, or let me know in the Facebook group. I hope all of you were able to accomplish the goals you set last week! Let me know about those as well.
Last week, I got a little long winded, and I had a Ted X Talk I wanted to share with you. Link to it is right here. Guy’s name is Stephen Duneier, and I linked his name to his Wikipedia page. He’s a Wall Street guy. I was looking for some motivational videos while I was working out, and I have no idea how I ended up on his video. He’s definitely not your stereotypical motivational speaker. He’s not a screamer, jacked, or super famous. Dude’s kind of a nerd to be honest. What reeled me was something he said about the tennis player, Novak Djokovic. He said early in Novak’s career he was ranked way down the list, over 100. He only won 49% of his matches, and he made around $300k/year. A couple of years later, he had risen to 3rd in the world, made $5 million/year, and won 79% of his matches. Four years after that, he reached number one in the world, won 90% of his matches, and made $14 million/year.
Stephen had me hooked. What was Novak’s secret to being the freaking man on the tennis court? Earth shattering stuff here…he won more points. I was like, duh! But it wasn’t what I was thinking. Stephen explained that there’s usually 1-3 points in a tennis match that swing the outcome. He said that Novak had to improve his “decision success rate.” Basically meaning he had to make better decisions to win more of those crucial points. But how many? Some outrageous amount? Not at all. To go from over 100th in the world to 3rd, he improved his decision success rate by 3% from 49% to 52%. What?! A 3% improvement lead to that big of a jump? Yep. What’s even more crazy was that to go from number 3 in the world to number 1, and maybe one of the best ever, he just improved 3 more percentage points up to a 55% decision success rate.
It kind of blew my mind, and I get that it’s probably harder than it sounds. But still… In Novak’s case, a 6% improvement meant going from living in relative anonymity to being world class. My mind immediately ran to football. The highest QBR in the NFL last year? Carson Wentz of the Super Bowl champion, Philadelphia Eagles (I know he got hurt and didn’t play in the Super Bowl.) His completion percentage: 60.2%. The worst QBR among qualifiers? DeShone Kizer of the winless, 0-16 Cleveland Browns. His completion percentage? 53.6%. Looky there…a little less than 7% difference between the top of the football world and the bottom.
In the rest of the Ted X Talk, Mr. Duneier goes on to talk about how he would tackle these seemingly huge tasks by breaking them down and making small improvements over time. He learned German listening to language lessons on his iPod on his commute to work every day. He lost weight by hiking a series of 33 trails over the course of a year. He wasn’t a hiker at all when he started. The video is worth the watch or listen. The whole thing is only like 17 min long. He gets into “Yarn Bombing” at the end. Kind of lost me.
I found another pretty cool, similar article about Kaizen, which is the philosophy of getting 1% better each day. It compounds over time to where you reach the point of getting the same amount better in a day than the level you even started at. You know…kind of like compounding interest? I know, I know…math. The story goes that American businesses were struggling coming out of the Great Depression, and the feeling was that we needed to be preparing for a second world war. Instead of massive overhauls to equipment, processes, etc because there wasn’t the time or the resources to do so, the government urged businesses to focus on the smallest portions of their operations and try to get just 1% better. All of the small jobs and existing equipment could be made just 1% more efficient, and the thought was that it would lead to huge results. Obviously, it did because we’re the great country on the planet and back-to-back World War champs.
We even taught the theory to the Japanese after WWII to help their economy improve after being decimated by the war and atomic bombs. They gave it the freaking sweet name, Kaizen, and have been using it ever since. American businesses even forgot about the philosophy as time rolled on, but the Japanese kept to it. When Toyota and other Japanese automakers started encroaching on American automaker’s style in the 80s and 90s, they were quick to try and study what they were doing. Shocker, the same thing we taught them to do back in the 40s, Kaizen. Continuous improvement can lead to massive results.
How can you continuously improve the smallest aspects of your life? We touched on habit stacking last week. In the Facebook group, Jimmy mentioned a motivational app called Peptalk. I downloaded it yesterday, listened to the first piece of audio, and I think I’m hooked. I had chill bumps. It’s like the movie trailer voice guy with epic background music and some legit content. When the first screen you see for the app has the Ray Lewis quote, “If you ain’t pissed off for greatness, then you’re just ok with being mediocre.” you know you’re in for a ride. It was free and in the app store for me. My man, Will, let me in on a little goal tracking worksheet he uses to help him visually check off his goals for the day. Here’s a link to that. It’s called a Rhythm Register to help you get in the rhythm of accomplishing small goals throughout the day to get just a little bit better day in, day out. You’ve got alarms on your phone and in your calendar that you can set to recur daily to remind you to do things. The app Coach.me is one I’ve used in the past to help me with reminders and a little motivation. You can add accountability partners on it if you want. The Audible app is awesome for “reading” books on your commute into work. The first one is free, and sometimes they hook you up with a coupon for more free ones over time. You can even change the speed in which the reader reads it to you, so you can get through it a little quicker. Pick a book you’ve always wanted to read. Self-help, business, fiction, I don’t care. I’m not a big reader, but stuff like that gets your wheels upstairs turning. Looking to work on your fitness a little? Do one push-up when you wake up. That’s it. One. Then add one the next day, and the next. In 2 months, you’ll be doing 60 push-ups a day. If you’re not doing anything at all fitness-wise, that’s a simple, quick adjustment that can change your life. Not to mention tank-top season is right around the corner. Spring Break 2K18, anybody?!
All this stuff is the core of what being a Chain Mover is all about. Incremental improvements to be the person you want to be when the good Lord calls you home. We’re not swinging for the fences. We’re under control and taking base hits or even bunt singles to move runners around the bases and to keep scoring. Small ball, baby. Discipline. It’s what’s going to lead to big changes and massive results in your life. Get out there this week and get a little bit better. Find the smallest aspects of your job and your life that you can be 1% better at this week.
Help me out and forward this thing to a friend. You know you’ve got buddies who need to hear this kind of stuff. If you think they won’t subscribe on their own, sign them up yourself. All you need is their name and e-mail. It might change their life, and they can always unsubscribe. Subscribe right here.
Have a phenomenal week!
Josh

 

Chain Mover Monday

Chain Mover Monday, baby! Rise and shine. Rise and grind. Rise up. Hope you had an awesome weekend. The weather here in Georgia was absolutely perfect. Got a little yard work in. Made the season’s 1st trip to Home Depot to pick up some pine straw, which Briggs proceeded to call “cow food.” Hey, at 2 ½, that’s pretty dang good. Katie and Sully had a wedding shower to attend, so Briggs and I promptly took our talents to the park playground. All we were missing was a nice little trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
So what do we have this week? Goals…We’re a little late on New Year’s resolution type goals, but there’s plenty of time left in the year to make a huge impact in your personal and professional lives. In the Facebook group, which has been great so far, you can join here. We had a little discussion on what we needed to move the chains on the most, and the majority of people said their faith was the biggest area that has been neglected so far. I’m right there with’em. Some ideas were thrown out there, and my man, Ben, had something he’s been trying called “habit stacking.” Totally new concept to me, but it’s basically forming a new habit while performing an old one. Need to get your devotional in? Do it while you drink your morning cup of coffee. Make a long pit stop in the morning? Read it while you sit there. Don’t sit too long though. Your legs will go numb…or so I’ve heard.
I listen to a ton of podcasts nowadays, and I found these Max Lucado like 1 minute devotional podcasts. I don’t have a link to them, but they’ll come up when you search him. They’re super quick, and he sounds like your grandfather speaking wisdom into your life. I try to turn it on as soon as I get in the car, and it kind of sets the tone for the rest of my day. I found a couple of great sort of “manly” devotionals in the Bible app as well: “STAY FIT: Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus” & “Undaunted.Life: A Man’s Devotional.” Both of them have been interesting and relatively short. The STAY FIT one is actually written by the North Point Ministries staff, which is Andy Stanley’s ministry for those familiar with them in the Atlanta area.
I got to thinking about how last week started off for me, and I made it sort of a mental goal to do a devotional every day. Didn’t matter if it was the 1 minute podcast or one of the devotionals or all three. It just had to be something, and I can honestly say that I pulled it off. Going to sound hokey, but I had a really great week. Whole thing just felt more positive, and when I used to forget to do a devotional on the regular, it’s just a little bit more of a habit for me now and is easier to remember just 7 days later.
My goal this week? Build on last week. Keep the devotional thing going and turn it into a true habit, but I also want to move it into my professional life. Most of you guys know I’m in sales, so I’m going to try and make 5 outbound sales or follow-up calls per day this week. And no, this doesn’t mean I’m about to start hammering you guys with calls about your insurance. It sounds so ridiculous when I say it out loud, but I’ve been riding off of client referrals for the last several years, which is great, but how much have I missed out on? I know I need to do it just like I know I need to do a daily devotional, but I always find an excuse. “Too busy” being my go-to.
What’s a goal you can set for yourself in your professional life you can accomplish this week? What’s the one thing in your job that you know you should do more of? We had one come up in a meeting this week about asking for referrals. We all know we’re supposed to do it! We just don’t. My thought has always been that if we take good enough care of the customer, then they will refer us out. It’s served well so far, but I’m sure we’ve missed out on a ton. Make your goal a SMART goal. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive. Want an accountability partner? Reply back to me with your goal or contact me here with it. I’ll follow-up with you about it. Even better, join the Facebook group and speak it out loud there. That’s another thing I’ve learned about goals. Don’t just write them down but make them known. Do both at the same time by adding it to the Facebook group. There’s about 40 of us in there that will help you accomplish them.
Man, I had a lot of other stuff I wanted to touch on, but I got a little long winded. Forward this to one or two of your buddies for me. Let’s grow this community and help other people keep the chains moving in their lives. Never miss a post and get it in your inbox right here.

Sentio Vivere

So excited to have everyone that had joined the newsletter so far. I appreciate your willingness to jump on board with me and see where this thing goes. I think our longest distance member is in Indiana. Shout out to Beau!

I hate to kick this thing off on a somber note. I wasn’t planning on posting until next week, but stick with me…My wife and I attended the funeral of a friend of ours this afternoon. Her and Katie had been friends for a few years, and we had followed her battle with triple negative breast cancer, which is some pretty nasty stuff. She was 43 years old and leaves behind a husband and two pre-teen daughters. Say a prayer for the whole family if you get a second.

It was the first funeral I had been to in a while, and man, did it hit me hard. Anytime somebody that young passes, I think it hits harder than when you know someone has lived a long, full life. This one was still a little different though. It just reminded me of how life is so brief. So fragile. We legitimately have no clue when our last day on earth is going to be. Our last second. I know it sounds like a great time to hit you with a big carpe diem, but I think I want to take a different angle.

As guys, we’re raised to hide our emotions. Bury them. Show no weakness, and I get it. I am one of those guys. Everybody wants to be the alpha male and check all the “tough guy” boxes. I think by trying to be that guy, we miss out on a big portion of life. You need to FEEL life. Enjoy the emotional ups and downs. If you always stay in the middle, how do you experience true joy? True love? Even anger or excitement? Yeah, you might save yourself some heartache by not feeling the lows, but I believe God allows the joys of life to be so much greater than any burden we’ll ever bear. We’re missing out. Emotions are what makes us human.

One of the pastors today hit on John 11:35, which is the shortest verse in the Bible. “Jesus wept.” Even I have that one memorized. I didn’t know this part about that verse though. He said that Jesus was weeping over the death of his friend Lazarus, who he raised from the dead a few chapters later. Like he didn’t know he was going to do that?! Jesus let himself feel human for a minute, and I think we can all learn from that. The pastor followed it up with kind of a quip about “maybe real men do cry.” I think they do. Open your heart a little more to your families and friends. Tell them you love’em. Show them you love’em. Make sure they know it because the Lord could call you home tomorrow. The church was packed today because there were a lot of people that loved the lady, and they knew she loved them, too. Go ahead and let yourself “sentio vivere”. Feel alive!

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