Tidy Up and Change Your Life

My tidy closet. Anyone who knows me well, who has been to my fitness studio or has visited my home knows that I am…A Neat Freak, aka Anil Retentive. I love my stuff organized, neat, clean, orderly, balanced, pressed, folded, or hung. I think you get the picture.

But through the years I’ve eased up, a little. I’ve allowed myself to spend my energy elsewhere into more productive and fulfilling projects. However, I am still a big advocate of the need to keep your stuff tidy. The author Marie Kondo expresses and gives great detail in the process of tidying up to create breakthroughs in your life in her best selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Maybe my “anal tentative behaviors around being neat attracted me to my Japanese wife, Yuki? I know it definitely had a part. 🙂

For many of us the onset of a new year, 2017 is to do overhauls of decluttering, organizing, and cleaning. While tidying up has the obvious benefits of an organized closet, a sparkling counter top, and possibly more importantly, it has been associated with improved mood, decreased stress, heightened creativity and increased activity.

Clutter can increase stress by distracting us and overwhelming our senses with extraneous stimuli and stress, which research has shown being the leading cause of disease. Research also shows that one of the top 5 stressors is clutter. Women specifically have shown to have chronic levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, if they perceive their homes as cluttered.

Beyond negative emotional effects, a disorganized space is also associated with less physical activity. On the contrary, organization and order have been associated with choosing to eat more healthily, being more generous and disciplined in other areas of our lives. With both the physical and psychological benefits to cleaning and decluttering, why doesn’t everyone do it?

There are certain barriers to getting rid of the junk. The time and energy it takes to decide what you want and to make a plan are often saved for more crucial tasks. Furthermore, many of us would rather spend our few minutes of down time relaxing rather than organizing our file cabinets. But take comfort in knowing that your home and office do not have to be pristine for optimal living and working. The key is finding what environment is most efficient and productive for you.  The NY Times best selling book The Life Changing Magic of Tyding Up shows that littered environments encourage more littering; once you make your space tidier, you won’t want to ruin your hard work. Experts report that they see a dramatic change in those who take charge of cleaning and organizing also take charge of their general health, especially in their weight.

So, while organizing and discarding items might not be enjoyable for everyone – the long-term mental and physical effects are reason enough to try a spring cleaning.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Steve Jordan, BS, CSCS, PES, CPT, HLC

Steve Jordan is a nationally renowned personal trainer, health expert, and motivational speaker.  You can learn more about his remarkable work at SteveJordan.com.

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Are You Three Feet From Gold?

Three Feet From Gold, Never Stop Trying Napoleon HillOne of my all time favorite books is called “Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill. I’ve read this book more times than any other piece of literature because it always speaks to me. No matter where I am in my life, up or down, the lessons, stories and teachings in this book always seem to hit me square in the jaw.

But there’s one story in particular that stands out most and one that I use consistently to keep my client’s motivated. It’s the story of a man named Darby who hit the jack pot because he persevered and never gave up.

So when you think of giving up or you feel like throwing in the towel. Read and re-read this story and stay your course because you may be “Three feet from Gold!”

Excerpt from “Think and Grow Rich”:

Harby’s uncle had gold fever, so he staked his claim and started digging.  After a lot of hard work, the uncle found a vein of ore, so he covered up his find and returned home to raise the money for the machinery that he would need to bring the ore to the surface.

They raised the money and Darby travelled with his uncle back to the site to make their fortune.

Things started well and before long, they had enough to clear their debts.  They were excited, everything from here on would be profit and things were looking good.

Then the supply of gold stopped.  The vein of ore had disappeared.

They kept on digging, but found nothing.

After a while, they quit in frustration and sold their machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars.

After they went home in disappointment, the astute junk man called in a mining engineer who checked the mine and calculated that there was a vein of gold just three feet from where Darby and his uncle had stopped digging.

The junk man went on to make millions from the mine.

Darby returned home, paid back everyone who had lent him money and was determined to learn from his mistake in giving up too soon.

He went on to become a phenomenally successful insurance salesman, more than recouping what he would have made from the gold mine.

He learned the lesson that you need to persevere through difficulties and stay focused if you are to become successful.

Whenever you feel like giving up on your dream, remember that you may be just three feet from gold!

Steve Jordan is a nationally renowned personal trainer, health and fitness expert, and motivational speaker.  You can learn more about his remarkable work at SteveJordan.com

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Be Fit, But CrossFit?

You want to be fit, but CrossFit may not be right for you.Everyone is built to be fit, but not everyone is meant to be CrossFit. In the past five years or so I’ve seen more injuries and mental breakdown from people participating in CrossFit workouts than any other form of training. Unless you’ve been living in a cave like Brandon Frasier in the movie Blast From the Past, then I’m sure you have had a conversation or two about CrossFit, the injuries, the benefits and the cult like following as one of the biggest fittest trends in the past 20 years. CrossFit is a series of daily exercise programs usually timed that are athletic, require strength, power, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination and a strong mind.

The purpose of this blog is to shed light on the challenges that I have been made more aware of after recently watching the Netflix documentary, “The Fittest On Earth”. As a health and fitness professional I am always looking for ways to help individuals stay consistent in their pursuit of health and fitness excellence. And after watching this documentary my concern is for the competitors and the millions of participants worldwide, who like the elite in this documentary invest so much of their lives into the pursuit of being “The Fittest On Earth”. After reading this blog you’ll be able to better understand not only the physical risks, but more importantly I believe you’ll have a greater understanding of the psychological impact long term competing at the intensity CrossFit classes at any level for prolonged periods of time.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am totally for any type of exercise activity that helps people find ways of being better physically, mentally and spiritually, but what I what I want to convey in this blog is that one who is interested in CrossFit or is already participating should consider building a stable foundation, cross train with other activities like yoga, meditation, pilates or the like to have balanced conditioning for the long duration of your life.

My exercise paradigm in which I built a successful business over the past 20 years has been based around the notion of “feel good, not looking good”. In city like LA where the community is the antithesis of this paradigm, I’ve had my work cut out for me. Feeling good is the one of the most important aspects of life in my opinion. Feeling good has long-term benefits emotionally, physically and spiritually to help keep you performing at the highest capacity in all areas of your life. However, too many people put the emphasis on looking good causing imbalances mentally, emotionally and physically that can lead to burn out, disappointment and inconsistency to name just a few of the common side effects. In my observations, CrossFit focuses on primarily performance goals that are timed or achievement aimed to compete against others around the world or in their gym. And in my opinion these type of goals can lead to similar side effects that that focusing on looking good does leaving the participant injury prone from the inside out.

CrossFit is an endeavor I believe you can’t do forever. The average age of the most elite athletes is 27yrs old and the Masters category begins at age 40. So with said, it’s obvious that CrossFit is a young persons game or activity. I watch my good friend Justin perform at the highest levels of his athletic life and he’s had a tremendous amount of success including being chosen to be on the Baltimore Anthem the National Pro Grid League a professional cross-fit team competing nation wide and at now at 42 he’s starting to slowly breakdown. I know he’ll kill me when he reads this, but it’s inevitable. This can be demolishing to a person’s ego. Most CrossFit athletes will eventually have a career that is going to be on the on the downswing in their mid 30’s or sooner. So what’s going to happen after that career is over. What is going to be of these athlete’s minds and bodies? Are they going to be living pain free? Are they going to have a mindset that they can be satisfied and content with performing at lower levels? What will be their personal expectations for their fitness life span?

As I ponder the answers to these questions I can’t help to think that most of the answers are negative. And for me, that’s a hard place to be since I am a glass half full kind of guy and quite the optimist. If any athlete has been performing at a high level of expectation of them selves and from their peers long enough, it’s hard to take two steps back and perform at a lesser intensity and expect themselves to be satisfied. Their bodies just can’t perform at the level they are accustomed to or they can’t compete against the young bucks that are starting young.

I believe that people who participate in fitness endeavors with the focus of feeling good rather than looking or performing good have a much better chance for long-term success. Less can be more! Yes you heard me correctly. Less can be more if you want to take care of your body for the long haul of life. Treating your body with love, respect and gratitude goes a long way even at an early age. At the age of 41.5 I feel stronger about this than I’ve ever have. I’ve played hard. I’ve competed in all types of sports including contact sports like football and lacrosse. I’ve almost done it all. And if I haven’t done it, I just haven’t had the time or interest. I am a competitor by nature and love the thrill of the fight. But life is typically hard enough and exercise should feel good from the start. So why add more stress, more tension and more risk of injury if it’s not necessary. Participate in Cross Fit, but use your judgment and know your mental, physical and emotional boundaries. Participate periodically to allow your body rest and recovery. Don’t follow the heard toward a life of pain, discomfort or burn out. Be the outlier of this strict community and find your own purpose, meaning and pleasure for sport or fitness participation. And no matter what…. “always feel good doing it” because you were born to be fit.

Steve Jordan is a nationally renowned personal trainer, health expert, and motivational speaker.  You can learn more about his remarkable work at SteveJordan.com.

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Trainer To The Stars – Maiden Blog Post

“Trainer to the Stars”… I know what you’re thinking! But please don’t go there Steve Jordan - Trainer To The Starsand don’t stop reading because I’m NOT going to sit here and rattle off the “Stars” I’ve trained or tell you how great of a health and fitness coach I am. But yes, I’ve trained and train many “Stars” of all industries, many whom you know, but the most important and rewarding “Stars” I train are the people who I’ve helped coach to find their inner “Star” and live the life they deserve and dreamed of. And folks, that’s why I’m here to embark on this journey with you and that’s the direction we are going to take in this blog.

Think of this blog as a fountain of youth with motivation, inspiration and education that you can come back over and over again to stay on the right path or get back on the right path to live your best life.  This forum is FOR YOU, the underdog, the average, the person failed once or several times in the past in any area of your life or the person who wants to go to the next level in life, but just can’t seem to get there. My passion and commitment is to work relentlessly to help you achieve this personal freedom to grow, progress, tweak, create and develop the life that you’ve always dreamed of.

I’ve been a personal trainer, life coach, mentor, educator, role model and athlete for over 20+ years and I’ve built an outstanding base of knowledge and experience to help anyone transform their lives. I’m originally from NJ, I went to the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) where I got my degree in Kinesiology and got my first career job as a personal trainer at the White House, an outstanding opportunity to build the momentum for an extraordinary career. From DC I moved to NYC where I quickly climbed the ranks of the personal training ladder where I became a frequent fitness expert on NBC.  I knew LA was the next big move to help me progress in my career so I moved in 2002 with a dream and lots passion. I’ve now been here for almost 15 years and have had experiences both personally and professionally fit for a movie.

Don’t think for a moment that all of this didn’t come at a price of hard work, sacrifice and unshakable commitment. Literally blood sweat and tears for many of the years that led me to where I am currently. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Next blog post I’ll tell you how I came about the website and title of this blog to help set the foundation for more motivating, inspiring and educational material to come.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Tony Robbins

Steve Jordan is a nationally renowned personal trainer, health expert, and motivational speaker.  You can learn more about his remarkable work at SteveJordan.com.

Following on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trainertothestars/

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stevejordanla/