Plenty of people are pissed off, stressed out, out of shape, and completely unhappy. And I get it, I’ve been there before.

But even though you feel stuck, you aren’t.

Over the last 12 years or so, I have done everything I was capable of to transform my life because at one point I didn’t like who I was.

LISTEN: The Iron Life Podcast #16 with Bedros Keuilian

Recently, I started to write out some lessons I’ve learned that helped me change my life, and today, I thought that this would be a good time to share them with you.

The goal of this article is to help simplify some pretty important stuff I’ve learned over the years. My hope is to help you break through whatever you feel is holding you back and achieve optimal health, wellness, strength, success, freedom, and happiness.

These aren’t in any particular order; just a natural dump of my distorted thoughts.

Broken chains

 Kevin Carden ©

Here it goes…

  1. Wake up early. At least 15 minutes before you have to get up. This is the best time to get the work done, which you say you have no time for.
  2. Move often. Walk, stretch, stand, and sit. Don’t just stay in one spot for too long.
  3. Read 30 to 60 minutes per day, every day.
  4. Knowledge is powerful. But it’s useless if you don’t apply it.
  5. Sprint. Human beings are designed to do this. Sprinting is in our DNA. It will help you build lean muscle, develop explosiveness, burn fat, and elicit hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone. If you haven’t done this in a while, sprint up a hill or bleachers.
  6. You are a product of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose your inner circle wisely.
  7. Belief is powerful. If you want to achieve anything, you first have to believe it’s possible. Choosing the right circle of people has a lot to do with that.
  8. To achieve anything, you have to be relentless. Not just for one day or one month. EVERY FUCKING DAY. Consistency is the key to your success.
  9. Tell people how you feel. Let them know what’s on your mind. Holding that shit in is toxic and will eventually lead to resentment and anxiety.
  10. Lift heavy shit.
  11. Hike, jump, throw, swim, and play.
  12. There is an entire world out there filled with shit to see. Go see it.
  13. Invest in yourself. Take classes, go to seminars and events. Learn something new!
  14. Tell the people you love how you feel. You’ll make their day and you’ll feel even better for it.
  15. Don’t hate on others’ success. Be happy for them and let them know it.
  16. Ignore the haters. They’re out there. Trust me.
  17. Don’t be a dick.
  18. Sleep seven to nine hours per night.
  19. Turn off all electronics 60 minutes before bed.
  20. Take a cold shower before bed. You’ll sleep much better.
  21. Face fear. We all feel fear. Some let it hold them back; I was one of them. Because of that, I was anxious and depressed. Once I started to make it a point to face my fears, my life changed for the better. Be sure to do something that scares you or at least makes you uncomfortable every day.
  22. Growth requires discomfort.
  23. Take risks. Life is short; go after what you want. To do that, you’ll have to take some risks.
  24. Don’t argue with people. It’s cool to disagree. We will never agree on everything. But arguing will get you nowhere.
  25. Seek out mentors. Don’t try to accomplish your goals alone. Find someone who’s already done it and don’t be afraid to pay them for their service.
  26. Write down your goals and read them every day.
  27. Your mind fills up with plenty of thoughts and emotions. Journal what’s going on and read through it. Sometimes you’ll find the answers you’ve been looking for.
  28. Don’t be a slave to your phone. Don’t look at it first thing in the morning or right before bed. When you’re working, keep your phone on vibrate and across the room. Don’t look at your phone when you’re with other people; you’ll never be present.
  29. Be totally present.
  30. Don’t fucking text and drive. It’s stupid and irresponsible.
  31. Be empathetic and LISTEN to other people. Truly listen. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.
  32. Squat and deadlift often.
  33. Don’t train to failure.
  34. Eat plants, animals, fruits, unprocessed carbohydrates, nuts, and seeds. That should be the make-up of your diet. If it is, you’ll build lean muscle mass and burn fat.
  35. Avoid processed, refined sugar most of the time.
  36. Avoid flour most of the time.
  37. Avoid carcinogenic oils most of the time.
  38. Get a massage as often as you can afford.
  39. Meditate daily. This combined with box breathing has helped keep me calm and less anxious.
  40. Set big goals.
  41. If you think you’re doing enough to accomplish your goal, double what you’re doing.
  42. Competition is great for our well-being. Compete in some way and compete often.
  43. Schedule quality time for your friends and family.
  44. Stand up for what you believe in. Not everyone will agree with you, and that’s OK.
  45. Don’t try to please everyone. You’ll never succeed. Be true to who you are.
  46. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start right now.
  47. Be open to new ideas.
  48. Wash your hands.
  49. Don’t leave piss on the toilet seat, you rude bastard.
  50. Embrace the journey. Life won’t always be easy.
  51. Make quick decisions. Even if it’s the wrong one, you’ll make some progress and course-correct. Overthinking just wastes time.
  52. Make sure your daily habits are aligned with your goals. If they’re not, change them.
  53. Don’t ever fart in my car.
  54. Hate something? Don’t do it anymore. Trust me, there is a way. It just takes work.
  55. Be grateful and express your gratitude.
  56. Drink water. At least half of your body weight in ounces daily.
  57. Drink your coffee black.
  58. Don’t ever say, “JK.”
  59. Don’t be afraid to pump up the gunz with curls and direct tricep work.
  60. Create a code and live by it.
  61. Learn new skills. A martial art, how to play an instrument, how to paint… whatever you want to do, but do something.
  62. Don’t fear failure. There’s always a chance that you’ll fail, but if you don’t take that chance, you’ll never know if you could have succeeded.
  63. Train aggressively.
  64. Volunteer, mentor, or give back in some way. This is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing that you can do.
  65. Smile more and say, “hello,” “please,” and “thank you.”
  66. As Ray Lewis says, “Be pissed off for greatness.” It’s the edge you’ll need to succeed.

I believe that we are all capable of achieving great things in our lives. However, most people hold themselves back.

Maybe it’s because they don’t know where to begin. Or maybe it’s because they’re afraid.

My advice is to just start wherever you currently are.

You’ll make mistakes along the way, but you’ll learn and grow from them.

Stay consistent and keep moving down the path you’re on. Over time, you’ll see the change.

I hope this article helps.

Thanks for reading.