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Blog, Motivation

The alarm goes off at 5am, I get pulled out of my sleep, the bed is so nice and warm, it’s still dark and cold outside…no you don’t want to get up, you rather stay in bed and sleep in. My inner voice is talking to me… why the hell on earth are you doing this, what are you thinking, just take it easy. You don’t want to get on this bike now and push yourself. No you rather stay in bed and sleep in, that’s what you should do yes.

I get up, take a deep breath, smile and tell my inner voice to shut up. I am not here to waste my time and be mediocre. I want to make things happen, push myself and get out of my comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens. In order to get there we need to hustle. Let’s talk about hustle and why I think it’s so important.

I still remember the times when I was in high school. That little and skinny boy with a bit of low self esteem. I wanted to be one of the cool kids, to be part of something, to be accepted and valued. I think we all want to feel worthy in the eyes of others, like we matter and that what we do is meaningful. I learned to put in the hard work, studying harder than the rest, ran around like a madman on the soccer field, use my talent and hard work to get accepted by my team mates.

I always felt I had to work harder than the rest and I was willing to take sacrifice unlike other kids back then. Especially when it came to studying, I felt like I had to put in more work to get the same results. I wasn’t good in high school or one of the smart kids but I learned that hard work and dedication can get you a long way. So I had worked my way from a weak mediocre high school student to a respected and high regarded uni student. I had to hustle and to do what others were unwilling to do. Sacrifice, in some form, I think it is necessary and part of the process, and whoever is more willing to sacrifice for the hustle will succeed in the long run.

This still applies to me now. I am not always going to be the fastest, strongest or smartest, so I need to figure out a way to overcome that, no matter the circumstances. Whether that means having the most energy, passion or desire. I am willing to put in the time and energy because I can still remember what it was like in primary or high school.

So hustle. It’s not about working smarter instead of harder. I think it’s about doing both. You need to take action, don’t wait or hope or pray for it to come or that someone else will hand it to you. YOU need to take action.

I like the following Japanese proverb which says:

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without a vision is a nightmare.”

You need both vision and action to achieve great things. Vision guides you, action propels you.

I think having dreams is great but they have one down sight. They are free and easy. They don’t require action or hustle. Training for triathlons have thought me so many things about hustle and action!

I have times where I hate training and don’t enjoy it at all (not too often but still sometimes haha). Believe me, it sucks. But I always say to myself. Be grateful and do not quit. Suffer now and live as your own true champion for the rest of your life. For me hard training and suffering, that is the hustle!

You don’t have to train for an Ironman or do crazy amount of training but I think you need some form of hustle! Something that gets you way out of your comfort zone, that challenges you physically and mentally,

Triathlon training requires consistency over a long time to see success. I think hustle is about taking consistent action over a period of time to build momentum which over time makes things easier in your life. But it’s not just about consistent actions, it’s also important to take smart actions as well. With smart actions I refer to taking care of the following 4 areas

  • Your body
  • Your mind
  • Your relationships
  • Your skills

As with everything it takes time to develop, so the best thing is to embrace it and fall in love with the process. It won’t happen overnight and that’s a good thing. It’s the journey and not the end goal that counts.

Like if I wouldn’t enjoy my journey to complete my first Ironman and would just focus on the end goal to cross that finish line, I think I would miss the objective. I embrace myself into the training and have developed a positive attitude towards it. The daily journey of developing and improving yourself is in fact hustle and over the time I am sure to see massive results from it.

So my massage to you: Go out there and hustle, stay consistent, embrace the journey, create a healthy environment to work and live in. Have love, passion and a greater story in your life!

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Blog, Lifestyle

Reading time: 10 minutes

Over the time I have created some useful and healthy habits that I use on a daily basis. It’s like a little tool kit that adds some more quality to your life! It’s handy and very practical. Let me share them with you and tell you how I integrate them in my life and what the secret behind a perfect day itinerary is.

In general it’s fair to say that these good habits have helped me in a few ways. Improved health and fitness, reduced stress levels, more productivity at work and sport, more time for things I enjoy doing and overall more fulfillment and purpose in life to name a few.

Here is a list things that I incorporate into day to day life. I make them a priority, make room for them. Don’t worry, I am not doing all of this every day, it’s just a repository and I pick the activities that work best for me in my current situation. Everyone is at different stages and places in life, so think about what could work for you to improve your day!
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— WAKE UP EARLY —

Believe me, I was never a morning person, I enjoyed my long sleep ins and was too lazy to get up! I changed that (I guess my triathlon training played a role in that) and now it’s a habit. Even if I have “sleep in” days and don’t necessarily have to wake up for training, I hardly get out of bed later than 7am. It depends on the time of the year but in summer I usually wake up at 5am. It has helped me to become more efficient and make room for a lot of other good things. Give it a try and test it out for an extended period. If you don’t wake up early you probably gonna miss out on some valuable time for yourself.

— MEDITATION—

Do early morning or before you go to bed meditation. It’s a great way to reduce stress, promote creativity, improve focus and self control, reduce anxiety. The list goes on. Even research is now catching up and finding evidence supporting the many benefits of meditation. How does it work? Well, as everything in life it needs practice. I personally use an app on my smart phone which guides you through your meditation. I can highly recommend to check out the Headspace app. Basically Headspace is your very own personal trainer to help you train your mind! What a great invention!

— BREATHING—

I practice different breathing exercises, usually in the morning or before I go to sleep. Sometimes when I feel stressed out at work, I stop doing what I am doing and just breath. It’s amazing what I does to your body and mind. It’s an easy way to calm down and get focused. It helps to remove that anxiety and angriness and get more relaxed and let go of things So chill out, relax and breath.

Usually I practice different types Pranayama breathing, Box and Kapalabhati breathing. It’s powerful. I was really impressed by a guy called Wim Hof who use breathing to withstand extreme cold. Read more on The Iceman – Wim HofA really fascinating guy.

— YOGA —

Go and do Yoga, Period! It’s great and helps in so many ways. Even if you just do a few minutes every day. It will help to reduce blood pressure and stress and makes you more aware of your breathing and body. A few rounds of sun salutation moves in the morning. It’s a great way to start your day and get your cardiovascular system going. I usually do at least 1 longer (1h) yoga session per week.

— STRENGTH EXERCISES —

Every day I include 1 or 2 strength exercises. Usually in the morning, after my mediation or yoga I engage in some strength work. Keep it simple. A few push ups, chinups, squads, planks or lunges will do the trick. No need for a gym. This is just to activate your cardiovascular system and to bring up your heart rate.

— COLD SHOWERS —

OK, this one might sound weird and crazy. Why would you take a cold shower in the morning after you wake up?. Well actually I admit it’s not comfortable in the first place and takes a bit of effort to get over it but once you have done it a few times and see the health benefits you want to stick to it. It’s no secret to science of the many benefits a cold shower can provide. Do a quick research yourself but here a few of the benefits: Improve your immune system, stimulates weight loss and fat burning, reduce stress, increase alertness.

I take my cold shower after I get up. Usually for 2-5 minutes. After that, jump back into your bed and lie down for a couple of minutes to relax. Engage in some deep breathing or meditation.The deep breathing in response to our body’s shock will warm you up again and it increases our overall oxygen intake. What an amazing feeling. I feel fresh, full of energy and with a sense of satisfaction. Now I am ready to get my day started!

— GLASS OF WATER —

Before I have my breakfast, I have one glass of room temperature, filtered water on my empty stomach. I usually add some organic apple cider vinegar (make sure it’s raw, organic and unfiltered). Alternatively you can squeeze in some lemon if you don’t have ACV at home.

— HAVE A GREEN SMOOTHIE —

There is hardly a day that passes by where I don’t drink my green smoothie. Make sure it’s packed with leafy green vegetables (no refined sugar or diary please) Keep it green! Add some fruit if you want. The green smoothie is usually so filling and packed with so many nutrients that it becomes a full breakfast. I am just eating plant based (vegan) but I am not saying everyone should eat that way. I just think it would be a good idea to make vegetables and fruits the main food sources in your diet. Eat your fruits and veggies guys!

— WRITING IN YOUR JOURNAL —

This is a new thing that I have just started doing, it’s not quite a daily habit yet but I can see the benefits of it doing. I try to write down a few things every day that I am grateful for or great things that I’d like to make happen. These can be small things like, e.g. having a nice conversation with someone in the office, smile more often, go for a walk after lunch break. I have come across this 5 minute journal which sounds interesting and quite helpful.

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I often get asked how I fit all this into my daily life. We have all said that before, way too often when it comes to creating healthy habits – “Yeah, it  sounds all nice and good but I don’t have time for that. I am too busy with work, family and kids etc…”. You name it.

In my opinion we always come up with excuses first, trying to find ways to avoid changes or implementing new habits in our life. Change is usually related to fear of the unknown. I have changed my perspective on change and relate to it with positive thoughts rather than negative ones. It comes down to your priorities in life and what is really important to you and the people you care about. For me health, being fit, having a purpose in what I am doing, people I care about and happiness in general are very important aspects, so I try to work hard to achieve that!

I got inspired by a book from Lewis Howes – The School of Greatness where he says that creating a perfect day itinerary is probably one of the most powerful things you can ever do for yourself to create the life you really want. In one of his exercises he explains how to map out what your perfect day should look like to align it with your path to achieve your vision and goals in life. It simply starts with a series of questions to answer (be honest here when answering):

  • How do I want every day to look?
  • How do I want to feel every single day?
  • What am I creating daily?
  • Whom am I spending my time with?
  • What places am I exposing myself to?
  • What passions am I fulfilling?

He suggests to write down a detailed itinerary for your perfect day. This should include everything you want to do and have to do and exactly how and when you want to do it. I really love this idea, as I am someone who likes structure and routine and a plan I can rely on. I think that every successful person has a plan which is designed to lead them to achieve their goals and their vision. So for me personally I have created a daily itinerary which includes a lot my the healthy habits I mentioned above. This might look different for everyone but I want to give an example on how such a itinerary could look like. Try it out yourself. It’s a fun thing to do as well!

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Perfect Day Itinerary (I should say it’s not perfect yet, still working on it)

5:00 a.m. 
– Wake up and drink a glass of water
– Take a cold shower
– Find a quite place, sit down and meditate for 10-15 minutes

5:30 a.m.
– Engage in some light physical exercise (e.g. yoga, go for a walk, run, do some strength exercises). I usually do all my light training sessions in the morning

7:00 a.m.
– Take a shower (yeah I shower quite a few times during the day) and prepare a healthy breakfast or green smoothie
– Sit down and enjoy your breakfast, take your time, listening to some relaxing music, write in your journal, browser your social networks

8:30 a.m.
– Go to work or do whatever you want to do

9:30 a.m. 
– Go for a walk and grab a coffee with colleagues

12:00 p.m.
– Have lunch, eat something light and healthy

02:00 p.m. 
– Go for an afternoon walk in the park to refresh your mind

6:00 p.m.
– After finishing work do some physical exercise or training (I usually do my intense training sessions in the evening where my energy levels are the highest)
– Swim, bike, run, play with your kids outdoors, go for a walk, work out, play tennis, etc..

7:30 p.m.
– Cook a healthy dinner at home or dine out with a friend, socialize

9:00 p.m.
– Prepare for bed – turn off all electronic devices (tv, phone, laptop, etc..), take a shower, relax, read a book, meditate, write in your journal

9:30 p.m.
– Lights off, sleep, dream and recover

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I structure my day in a way to make room for my habits. I make them a priority, schedule them in. It helps to print out your itinerary and put it somewhere so that you get reminded every day. Obviously everyone’s day looks different, we all have different commitments, jobs etc. but we all have 24h available each day. Write down a list of things that you currently do every day. Things you must do (like going to work e.g., bringing kids to school, eat), things you should to do and the things you’d like to do but can’t fit in to your day.

One thing that I noticed is that I’ve wasted a lot of time doing things that don’t really benefit myself, so I’ve started to cut them out completely or reduce them to a minimum to make up more time for the really important things.

  • Stop watching TV. I hardly watch TV any more
  • Reduce your exposure to news, they just make you angry and sad and don’t benefit you in anyway
  • Stop playing computer games
  • Stop eating unhealthy food that make you fuel, sluggish, tired. Avoid any heavy meals late in the evening.
  • Reduce your time you spend on social media like Facebook or Instagram. I try to make dedicated times for it in the morning and evening and during lunch breaks. It still needs improvement
  • Reduce browsing the internet, reading news or other irrelevant stuff that doesn’t benefit you
  • Learn to say NO, don’t over commit and feel you have to join every party, social event or invite.
  • Look after yourself and hang out with people you care about and who really care about you.
  • Hang out with people that inspire you.
  • Stop worrying about things you can’t change or have influence. Stop over analyzing things and don’t get attached to them.

It’s a challenge and I think we have 2 choices. Do Nothing, let it overwhelm you and fall victim to your circumstances or embrace the challenge, turn it to your advantage and make it part of your own success story.

I hope I could give you some ideas and inspirations. Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email. I would love some feedback or get some ideas from you. It’s always nice to hear stories from other people. Make your day count!

namaste 

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Journey

Looking back at 2015, I think I would sum it up with the following two words:
discovery and consistency 

I’ve discovered my passion and desire of what I can and want to do. It has been a great year from that perspective. When I’ve first started doing triathlons it was a fun thing, nothing I was too serious about it. I didn’t think this would be something I could become good at or would enjoy doing. Yes I was wrong. It has set me off to a new path and this path will continue the next year and the years to follow.

It was also a year of consistency without major disruptions. I was able to train throughout the year for the first time, completed all my races that I wanted to do. I didn’t suffer any injuries or setbacks that left me out of training for too long. And consistency is so important in this sport in order to achieve your goals and results that you want. I will build on that going into the new year with a great outlook. My goals are set and I am ready to tackle them.

My highlights of the last season from a racing perspective

  • Completed my first ever Half Ironman where I placed 17th in my age group
  • Qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in my home country Austria
  • Raced 3 Half Ironman races with solid results
  • 3rd place in my age group at the Karri Valley long course triathlon
  • Major improvements in all 3 disciplines

Apart from my races there were some other highlights that I am grateful for

  • Made the transition to an entirely plant based nutrition. This was huge and played a big part in my journey. I think I gonna write a separate post about that and why it was such a big thing for me
  • Not only did I discover my passion for this sport but I also found out where I want to take my life and what I really want to do
  • I discovered what is really important and matters in life which influenced a few decisions for next year
  • I have never felt healthier and fitter in my life. My overall well-being, state of mind and compassion have evolved
  • Special moments with friends and family

Looking at the year ahead of me I want to fine tune my vision and continue to make it a reality

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You become what
you envision yourself
being

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