I was inspired to write this post by two things.
1). Superheroes are freakin’ awesome
2). I was listening to a podcast recently and the host was talking about how we all so often forget how bad ass we are and we should unleash our own inner superhero
So there you have it, let’s do it.
First off, why should you become your own version of a superhero? So much of our modern lives are spent putting out fires, dealing with negativity, navigating stress and ultimately trying to drown out the noise of things like social media and all of the comparisons that come with that.
We spent a lot of our lives in reactive mode, instead of productive mode where we attack what we want and become ruthless with our time. I understand that you can’t *always* do this, but things like Facebook, Twitter and of course the ol’ Snapchat, make that even more difficult for us to live in the moment, quiet our minds and enjoy who we are right now instead of comparing to what so and so did yesterday and why their lives must be so much better than ours.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
So I’ve decided there are seven big things you must do if you want to channel your own inner superhero. This is about becoming the person you want to be in the long term but also from day to day. This was a big lesson for me, as I’m a pretty anxious future thinker. To be able to set intentions for each day, carry them out with a vengeance and not let outside circumstances dictate what I thought or how I felt about myself, this was my inner superhero.
It takes some construction of good habits to ultimately drown out the old bad ones.
1). Sleep- sleep is the silent killer of clear thinking, confidence and the ability to get shit done, whether it’s training hard or simply holding a solid conversation. People underestimate the power of sleep because most of us are already so depleted we can’t even play catch up.
If you want to carry out the next six things on the list, you gotta get your sleep right. Now you don’t have to hole up in the bat cave but I highly recommend getting at least 7 hours in a cool, dark room without your phone next to you.
2. Train your body- every super hero in history, male or female, trains hard. Your body is the only thing you have 100% control over in this life and it’s the catalyst for all thing. If you want to have more energy, more confidence, be more productive or be a happier human being, you need to work out.
Here’s a simple schedule for an ideal week:
-3 days of full body strength training with 5-6 of the big movements, this should last about 45 minutes (you can make it shorter if needed)
Exercises like (and variations of) lunges, squats, dead lifts, push ups, pull ups, presses, sled pushes and kettlebell swings are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. For most people 8-12 reps and 3-4 sets will do the trick.
-1-2 days of interval style, high intensity training. This is whatever is high intensity for YOU. My favorite go-to superhero conditioning workout is to sprint up some hills. Find a hill that takes you about 15-30 seconds to run up. Run as fast as you can to the top, rest and walk down, then repeat anywhere from 5 to 10 times depending on your fitness
3). Get your mind right- as I mentioned in the earlier paragraphs, we are so suseptible to social media, instant gratification and comparing ourselves to others that it’s really tough to keep our minds in a positive state that allows us to continue to grow and improve
A few things that really help me are:
- 8-10 minutes of meditation each morning
- setting my 2-3 big intentions for the day
- making meaningful connections and conversations with AT LEAST one person each day
- shutting off social media for chunks of the day and by 8pm each night
- reflecting on my day by picking 5 things that were awesome or that I’m grateful for
These things just help me reframe my life and my mindset. I would start slow with these and pick 1-2 until those are engrained as habits, then start adding a few others. Put them in your calendar as reminders every day until you don’t need that any more. It helps tremendously.
4). Accountability- you’ve heard me talk about this before in relation to fitness and getting results. Accountability is huge. Studies show that people who have professional accountability (meaning a trainer, coach or doctor) when they embark on a new challenge, have a higher success rate than those who just work out alone or with a friend.
Find a program that you can join that allows you to report to someone else, outsource your workouts (it’s not your job to create workouts, plus you want to make sure you’re doing the right stuff) and have other people around you in that group that are striving for the same goals.
5). Retrain your brain- we all have bad habits that we want to kick. Whether it’s drinking too much coffee, eating too many snacks after dinner, or not working out, it all comes down to retraining your brain.
You cannot rely on will power alone for very long. Eventually we need to put in place some solid positive habits that will eventually “push out” the old ones. Think about it, if I told you that you have to immediately give up those 3 cups of coffee with no help or build up, you will probably cut me. Particularly because you’ll be on a caffeine crash.
But if I said okay let’s add 2 bottles of water to your day and replace one coffee with an herbal tea, that would be much more do-able for you. Eventually you add a bit more water, then cut another coffee and before you know it (ideally just a few weeks) you will have pushed out that coffee habit and replaced it with the healthier, more beneficial habit of water.
6). Have fun- as the old Ben&Jerry’s saying goes, “If it’s not fun, why do it?”
Yes I’m a Vermont girl, remember?
But it’s true. Of course exercise is going to be hard, some days you won’t be into it, but if you can make it fun then you’re more likely to comply. Especially if you have that added bonus of accountability. How do you make it fun?
Train like a superhero or an athlete, no matter your level. This is something we focus on and we meet people where they are at so it’s safe and progressive. But ever body should sprint, run, jump, throw, move weight and challenge their power and balance. Those are the foundations of athleticism. If a sprint for you is using the agility ladder, then that’s cool. If a jump is 2 inches off the ground the first time you do it, cool, great for you.
You progress at your own levels, not the levels of other people. Unleash your inner superhero in the gym and have some fun.
7). Find your super power aka your unique ability– everyone has a unique ability, something that they are exceptional at, they love doing and people love being around them when they’re doing it.
This is something that we all need to unleash in order to be happier, more confident and more fulfilled. It may be a combination of things or skills. For me it’s when I can coach, lead, empower and also write. If I have any combination of those in my day, I’m happy and I know I’ve made an impact.
What’s your superpower?
So there you have it, there’s a simple blueprint to unleash your inner superhero. Take care of your body, your mind and stop comparing yourself to others.