How To Put New Patterns On Auto-Pilot

Let’s talk a little bit more about context changes…

I’d mentioned how manipulating conditions in your present environment to “handicap” your future self is really key, because it takes willpower out of the equation to a large extent.

So for instance, if you want to lose weight or improve your fitness, you can skip buying your monthly metropass and take up the habit of walking to and from work instead.  You can prepare healthy meals to bring to work with you and limit your choices.  You can STOP keeping foods that you have a hard time being moderate with in your house.

I heard some other great examples recently…

These are from Harley Pasternak.  He’s encouraging people to move more, and said as a busy person, what he’s done is to get rid of his coffee machine at home, so he has to walk four blocks to get his morning coffee.  Also, when meeting with someone, instead of just meeting at his office, he’ll say let’s walk and talk; your mind is in more of a creative state anyway.

I’ve talked about public speaking

One of the best things you can do to get yourself going with that is join a group; something like toastmasters.  You’ll pick up a few tips.  But most importantly it gets you up in front of people each week.   And remember, DOING is the path to BEING.  If you want to be decent, let alone great at anything, you need to do it, and do it often.

So this year, when I decided to get back into the flow of speaking (as I emerge weary-eyed from behind my laptop where I spent the last few months of 2016) one of the things I did was sign up for a stand up comedy class.  Now, I have no ambitions of becoming a comic…

But doing the stand up thing is definitely different from the speaking I’ve done over the years.  It’s a little out of my comfort zone, and that’s the point.  It’s got me thinking about humour, and how to add more of that to my presentations.  Mostly, it keeps me in front of people each week and it’s an opportunity to continue to refine my communication skills.

The other thing I did was commit to a monthly interview on  Same idea, forces me to really button up my content, as well as practice being interviewed.

Finally, doing these videos was the third context change.   Each one is like a mini talk, so it forces me to clarify my ideas, and I’m getting practice at communicating them as well.

That’s really it.  That’s how it’s done.  That’s how I’m doing it.  That’s how you can use my concept of context changes to effectively automate any good behavior you want more of.  As I’ve said before, put some thought into what you want to accomplish.  Be clear on your intention.  Then be ruthless about organizing your life in ways that make it a lot harder for you to NOT do the positive new patterns you’re creating for yourself. 

Edit your daily method of operation, and your environment, so it becomes second nature.

With a just little bit of thought, I’m sure you can find ways to do this.

For a lot more ideas, to help you along the road to being EVEN more, and accomplishing EVEN more, be sure to sign up for my email tips by clicking the graphic in the right column.

Thanks for watching, and happy transforming.

Conor Kelly

Yet another unexpected benefit of exercise

It’s said that Edison, when he needed an answer to a question, would take a nap.

By the time he woke up, he’d usually have it.

You see, he understood that by NOT focusing on a problem, you find creative solutions.

Whether suspending conscious judgment rouses the subconscious, which then serves up previously unnoticed connections, or the ideas come from the ethers, God, or the Universe…no matter what you believe, many of the world’s greatest thinkers have used a similar tack through the ages.

So here’s another suggestion…

Go workout.

That’s where I get most of my best ideas.

(Including the one for this email.)

If you do anything creative, ever, or you’re simply uncertain about how to handle a personal issue, take off the ol’ thinking cap and instead hit the gym (or the yoga mat, or the living room floor).

Get a pushup infusion.

Uno, the act of devoting your attention to something different frees your mind to send forth some of its best inventions.  Dos, a wee bit of sport provides the oxygen your brain needs for optimal function.  Tres, research shows exercise stimulates the production of neuronal growth factor BDNF, which plays a crucial role in the re-shaping of synapses.

There you have it…

Staying in tune with your breath, flexing your muscles, and getting your body into movement all have the potential to be the fiery spark that ignites fresh thinking.

It’s not like you needed any more reasons to exercise…

Just thought I’d lay down a trail of bread crumbs for you intellectual types.

To get ye olde ball rolling with such creativity enhancements, call (416) 826-4844 to request your personal training consultation.

Your Mona Lisa…your Statue of David…your War and Peace is in there.

Let’s beat it out of you with squats and dumbbell presses.

Happy Creating,

Conor Kelly

Get fit in 2017, start here

Few things in life are more certain than the holiday *hangover* (for some, a literal term) that compels people to clean up their diets and start exercising.

Sure enough, getting in shape tops the list of New Year’s resolutions.

Job numero uno, in my opinion (which makes it fact) is to pick apart roadblocks to success.

One example is detoxing.

Why, you ask?

Most of us have at least some fat loss resistance due to toxicity.

Toxins take up residence in our bodies and cause inflammation – a screw driver in the cogs of an otherwise healthy metabolism.  Fat cells, in particular, become storage ports for these buggers.  This increases the stickiness factor of any stubborn fat.  Adding to the mix, if your liver is laden with toxins, it’s got fewer resources to devote to fat-burning.

Yup, detoxing es mucho importante.

There are a ton of programs out there for you to choose from, ranging from the somewhat palatable, to the downright horrific.

I’d recommend you start with the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox, based on the following clever considerations (not to toot my own horn or anything):

One, it’s 12 days.  Even the most discipline-impaired person can navigate the relative short-term-ness of this protocol.

Two, you eat regular food (with a few significant changes…no sugar, nothing processed, no dairy, no alcohol, no yeast).

No fasting or juicing required.

The handy nutrition guide shows you how.

Three, it’s gentle – perfect for newbies.

The herbal concoction mostly helps you go the washroom more often.

Empty colon = happy colon.

But most of all, it’s a short-term commitment to cut out trigger foods that spur cravings.

When you make it through the 12 days…and you will…it’s not that you won’t want your favorite foods any more, but the need is gone.  Your *new normal* will be a big improvement on your pre-detox habits.

And that’s a victory you can build on.

Here’s the link again:

The Conz’ Herbal Protocol That Drives Out Evil Toxins

Get it from any health food store.

By the way, I get absolutely nothing for recommending this.

I just think it’s the perfect kick start to your 2017 fitness ambitions.

Happy Detoxing,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  Hire me to speak to your group or meeting in 2017!  For a list of speaking topics, head over yonder:

Click here for a list of speaking topics.

Beat colds with this unlikely nutrient

I’ve come to think of my parents’ house as a place where ambitions go to die.

A sort of black hole, nestled imposingly in Southwestern Ontario, it blots out any attempt at a willful act.

Maybe it’s the plush leather couches, with cushions that contour your body like shallow bay waters receiving an ocean liner for its maiden voyage.  Or the exceedingly supportive recliner that catches you quickly, but releases you slowly.  Maybe it’s the big-screen TV.  Or Mom’s home cooking – the main ingredient of which is love.

Whatever the reason, I find it hard to get anything done (other than hardcore relaxing) when I’m home for the holidays.

All that’s to say you’re lucky to hear from me today.

Especially since the tip’s a timely one.

And here it is…

To beat the best of what cold season has to offer, try glutamine.

Glutamine’s an amino acid (the most abundant in the human body, and easily tapped in times of stress, like e.g. a good workout).  Bodybuilders eat it by the spoonful to improve recovery and as a natural GH booster.

Hospitals include it in IV drips for burn victims.

It’s beloved by naturalists for its ability to heal the gut (and it’s vegan-approved, for the more militant among them).

As an added benefit, it’s a potent immune system enhancer.

Things like Vitamin C and Echinacea are commonly recommended for colds.  I also like oregano oil (a great anti-viral).  But I’ve found glutamine does the job better than anything else.  I take five grams per day (at bedtime) for all the above reasons, and if I feel a tickle in my throat (which is rare) I move up to fifteen grams.

I’ll either not get sick at all, or if I do, it’s short-lived and the symptoms are mild.

And I have a four-year-old.

My home breeds more bugs than a virology lab.

Anyway, there you have it: an immunity booster that also builds muscle and burns fat.

I’d say my work here is done.

The recliner is calling.

Can’t…hold on…much…longer…

Happy Cold-Beating,

Conor Kelly

The bloodsport of writing

One of the best examples I know of suffering for your art is Virgil’s famous poem, the Aeneid.

He started writing it in 29 B.C., and continued until 19 B.C. – and still wasn’t finished.

That’s an average of a line per day over eleven years.

Some days were good.  Words flowed, and well-formed ideas leapt onto the page.  Other days he sat and stared as doubt and self-condemnation welled up inside him.  He was never happy with the end result, and agonized over every line until his death, upon which he left instructions for the manuscript to be burned.

Bit dramatic for my tastes.

But I am tempted to hurl my laptop from the balcony on occasion.

I emerge from some writing sessions like Jean Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport, with the emotional equivalent of broken ribs and a giant cut that swells my eye shut.  Or like the guy whose face is the slow-motion close-up of a foot entering and permanently disfiguring it.

I’m deliberate about every comma, every break in the text.  Even then, when I finally push ‘send’, my finger hovers reluctantly above the button.  It’s as though my child is leaving the safety of the nest for the first time, “She’s too young!  She’s not ready!!”

Maybe some people feel 100% confident about their writing.

I guess that’s not me.

Anyway, the point is getting fit’s like that too.

It’s non-linear.  I’ve never met anyone who lost exactly two pounds per week for 26 weeks.  Instead, there are fits and starts.  For some people, the engine of transformation comes roaring to life in the first month, only to sputter and fall silent in the next.  For others, nothing visible happens until one day – months later – the fat falls from their flesh as though it were well-cooked steak.

Most folks land somewhere in the middle.

It’s an awkward (and often messy) beginner’s dance between progress and plateau.

All of this offends our aesthetic sense.

But thinking you need to be perfect is a trap.

If I needed to draft elegant prose every time I sat at my desk, you’d never hear from me.  But I write every day.  How?  I embrace ENTROPY.  It’s the principle that everything in the universe tends toward chaos.  Or, in my layman’s interpretation, the energy you put into something becomes a lower, less-organized form, but is never wasted…

Perfect is the enemy of good.

It’s action that counts.

If you’re not having the occasional meltdown, you’re not trying hard enough.

For all his hysterics, Virgil created works that endure two millennia later.

So borrow a page from his parchment, give yourself permission to fail, and be bold enough to take your best shot.

Happy Mess-Making,

Conor Kelly

Where there’s a will there’s no whey

My last post on dairy caused quite a kerfuffle.

(Well, not really.  I just like that word… “kerfuffle”.  Heh.)

Building on the theme, I shall now turn my deadly gaze to a darling of the health world:

Whey protein.

It’s been a staple of my diet for the last two decades.   Tons of reliable research shows it’s the best protein for losing weight and building muscle.  But that’s not why I’ve turned my back on my former sidekick.

No my friend.

It’s something far more sinister.

See, whey’s derived from dairy [hissssssss].

As per my earlier comments, dairy products are among the most reactive foods.  And even though I don’t experience any immediate symptoms when ingesting whey, a light bulb went on recently that prodded the gerbil in my head to run a bit faster than usual on his little gerbil wheel.

(Translation: it made me think.)


I decided to perform a whey-ectomy on my eating habits.

And I gotta tell ya, it’s been a revelation.

Not only do I feel clearer, but I digest better…and I may even be a tad leaner without meaning to be.

What am I saying?

If you have any type of sensitivity to dairy whatsoever, I suggest you forego whey for a while (2-3 weeks), to see how it doth feel.   Even if you don’t, try it for “sheets and geegles”, as my Israeli friend likes to say.  The difference might surprise you.

The challenge then becomes what to put in its place.

Soy’s a definite no-no.   Rice, pea, and hemp, while decent, tend to be granular and not tasty.

I’ve long since given up worrying about it.

I was mostly using whey for snacks, and have replaced it with snacktacular trail mixes of nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes.  These don’t tip the 20 grams or so that a bar or shake would, but unless I miss my guess, the improved digestion from eliminating the whey translates to better absorption of proteins in general, so my net intake is higher.

Make sense?

Such is the “411” for today.

For more insights, call (416) 826-4844 to request your personal training consultation.

I’ll see if I can put my little gerbil to work for you.

Happy Whey-Replacing,

Conor Kelly

Barnyard noises that make you 30% stronger

When I was at Western, some buddies and me founded a varsity powerlifting team.

We were an unruly bunch.

Officially UWO Varsity Powerlifting, we went around calling ourselves the “Beefalo Stampede”.

Our many hijinks included:

*Drawing a chalk circle on the floor where we were doing deadlifts, and writing in it the words CIRCLE OF RAGE – a fact we took great care in pointing out to everyone who walked by… “Careful, bro…circle of rage here.”

*Composing rap lyrics about how strong we were (including an epic one called Rage of the Colossi…rage was a theme back then…)

*Slapping each other on the back when psyching up for a big lift, as well as inhaling smelling salts (perfectly legal and commonplace in competitions, but intense-looking to the casual observer)

*My co-founder created comic strips featuring our super hero alter egos The Giant Killer and The Beast (in which we were great conquerors whose mission it was to bring glory to a blood-thirsty Goddess known as The Iron Lady)


Sure is something, ain’t it?

One time, someone wrote a ‘letter to the editor’ of the school newspaper, which didn’t use our names, but was clearly about us.  It was a complaint list about the varsity gym, and the sender made mention of a group of lifters he called “the grunters”.  He identified our “barnyard noises” as one of the reasons a novice could feel intimidated.

He had us pegged for dumb brutes.

Boy was he disappointed.

We published a thoughtful, and painstakingly researched retort citing the use of grunting in professional sports (think Tennis), how Karate black belts call this controlled use of breath kihap (think ‘hiiiiiya!’), and how studies show grunting or shouting while lifting can increase your strength by an average of 30%.

All true, by the way.

What do such musings contribute to your life?

Well, for starters, if you want to be fit, you can’t be too worried about what other people think.

A lot of people shy away from lifting weights, even though it’s the best way to burn fat, build strength, and protect yourself from injury – for that reason.

The real problem is lack of knowledge.

I’ve found that clients overcome their fear when they gain a bit more confidence in the how-to’s of working out.

That’s where Yours Grunty can help.

Call (416) 826-4844 for your personal training consultation to learn more.

No moos, oinks, or baaas will be required in the making of your new body.


Happy Lifting,

Conor Kelly

How to get what you want

Thus was my email to family members recently:

Dear Family, you’ve been preoccupied lately with thinking of what to get me for Christmas. 🙂  It is my sincere wish to relieve you of this terrible burden.  I crave above all else, one thing…Knowledge.  It is with that in mind that I hereby humbly request the following books from Santa…”

You’re thinking two things, (1) I wonder what books he asked for, and (2) wow, he puts a lot of thought into writing even basic communication.

Re: (2) thank you, yes I do.

And (1) sorry, me no tell…

This leads me to today’s venerable truth.

The way to get what you want is to ASK for it.

Before you go DUH, let me clarify…

If you watch kids, they have zero problems with asking.  My four year old basically wakes up in the morning asking, and doesn’t stop asking until it’s lights out and time for bed (and even then she’ll keep going if we let her…)

As we *grow up* [frown], most of us are conditioned by others to think it’s selfish to ask for things, or impolite, and that you shouldn’t *bother* people.

This learned inhibition affects all aspects of our health, happiness, and success.

Our natural state is to be abundant.

My daughter’s *askiness* is proof of that.

Yet sometimes we unconsciously (or consciously) hold ourselves back because of our fear of saying what we want – and moreover, our inability to accept it coming our way.  This arrested communication with other beings and the world at large keeps away lots of goodies we deserve (a lean body, success and money, strong relationships).

This holiday season, I propose a different type of exercise.

Train your asking muscles.

(As I once heard Jack Canfield say, become an *ask-hole*.)

Ask every chance you get.

You’ll discover people love to help and they might even thank you for your forthrightness.

Forget the notion that giving is somehow better than receiving.  It’s a two-player dance.  You need both for it to work.  By being a poor receiver, you’re depriving someone else of the pleasure of giving.

Childlike excitement for your desires still exists in you, somewhere.

Set it free.

Too much modesty never did anyone any good.

By the way, I invite you to use the above message-to-family for your own purposes.

Who knows, you may even get what you ask for.

For your body-related goals (losing fat, reducing pain, boosting energy), call (416) 826-4844 to request (there it is again) your personal training consultation.

Happy Asking,

Conor Kelly

Why dairy’s like mother’s milk to us

Wait…it is mother’s milk.

That’s one reason folks are so defensive about dairy without realizing it.

(Another is the prevailing belief that it’s a health food.)

See, most people know sugar is bad for them.  That’s why, when I recommend avoiding it, it’s not such a shock to the system.

But God forbid I go against the dairy…

Now it’s personal.

Milk and other dairy products contain a protein called casein that’s known to have a morphine-like effect on the brain.  Indeed casomorphins, which your body derives from casein, are thought to reinforce the mother-infant bond when nursing.

No small wonder we feel such a connection with our three-cheese pizzas.

Here’s the deal-e-o…

The earliest instance of consumption of dairy by humans is about 6,000 years ago.

That might seem like a long time, but it’s not – at least not by evolutionary standards.  Our bodies haven’t adapted.  If you want proof, consider that about 25% of the population is lactose intolerant, including me.  The rest of us are likely sensitive to it, even if we don’t have obvious symptoms with the first sip of a latte.  That’s because dairy is so reactive, regular consumption puts your immune system on alert.  The resulting inflammation makes you gain weight.

Still attached?

Let’s use logic to cut the cord instead…

What’s mother milk’s for?

To help little Bessie Jr. grow into a 1-ton animal.  What’s it doing to you, then?  Its growth factors are running around, turning on biochemical switches.  I’ll give you a hint, fat loss is not one of them.

But it’s good for bones, right?

Guess again.  Milk and yoghurt are low pH, which creates an acid environment in your body that leeches minerals from your bones.  Net result = less calcium, not more.  Cultures that are big consumers of milk have higher osteoporosis rates.

Of course, I’ve never told anyone flat out to stop eating dairy.  I’m slicker than that.  I always say, “if it were me, and I had your goals, I wouldn’t eat it,” which is moot since I can’t eat it, as per my comment above.

Anyway, that’ll do for today.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

For more of my own special brand of tough love, call (416) 826-4844 to request your personal training consultation.

Cue angry replies…now.

Happy Weening,

Conor Kelly