Intentional Accountability: Feb 29 – Mar 6

Welcome to another edition of Intentional Accountability!  Sorry this week’s post is a little late… my 7th child (baby girl) was born yesterday so it’s been a little hectic!

Anyhow, you know the drill!  If you do any sort of work out (spiritual or physical) and would like to share it with others simply scroll down below the post and leave a comment.

You never know… your workout may be the motivation someone needs to improve their spiritual or physical fitness!

Need Help Getting Started?

Now, if you’re not sure how to get started feel free to check out what some of us did the last few weeks:

And, of course, you can download our free Intentional Wellness eBook by completing the form below this article.  Inside the eBook we share a 40 day workout plan anyone can use.

Battle Buddy

Spiritual CombatThere’s nothing more exhilarating to me than moving to an objective as my teammates and I anticipate what awaits us on the other side of the door of a SWAT operation.

As we roll up to the target location on the running boards of the Armored Personnel Carrier and peel off at our designated L.C.C (last point of cover and concealment) many thoughts rush through my head.

I analyze the backdrop for additional threats from “friendly” neighbors, read the entry point to gather any last minute intelligence that will help our team get through our first hurdle… and through all of this I have supreme confidence that my team will meet our objective.  We will win.  We don’t lose.

In the Christian life people often form teams in order to grow in their faith together and hold each other accountable so that its members don’t slip up into bad habits, which prevent each of us from living the freedom for which we were made. This is often referred to as accountability partners. This term has never sat well with me because of the team experience I’m part of in the tactical police world.

In fact, I believe the term accountability partner starts from a position of weakness and almost connotes that your buddy is going to fail. I’m certainly not saying that we should expect to never fall, because that would be the height of pride, but I’d like to propose a different way of viewing these relationships, which are based on the objective of growing in closer conformity to Christ.

As such, in order to accomplish an objective like this you don’t need an accountability partner… you need a battle buddy.

From my experience on the SWAT team I’ve been a part of hundreds of operations in which I rely on my teammates in difficult and sometimes daunting circumstances. Both of these teams, the SWAT team and the accountability team, have many similarities.

Both have the goal of overcoming an adversary and coming out of the battle unscathed with the help of our teammates. Both teams rely on its members to accomplish their goal because we realize that if done alone, the task is impossible.

I think where the two diverge is in the mindset. In the SWAT world we often refer to it as the warrior mindset, because we’re programmed to win at all costs and continue fighting until the end. When executing a mission all teammates have complete confidence in one another to meet our objective.

We know that each one of us have prepared ourselves for this moment and are dialed in due to our careful preparation. We set the tempo on missions, not the other way around, so if the team needs to quickly take a target through speed, surprise and violence then we advance on our adversary until they are overwhelmed and give up, or else they choose to be engaged with swift and precise force.

While these tactics are rehearsed and planned ad nauseam, we also plan if one of our comrades falls. If my battle buddy goes down in the course of battle I will get him out of harms way by getting him off of the X (place he was wounded) and extract him to a safe place. This is where we’re trained to stop the bleeding so we can get him to more definitive care with a physician. We don’t go into missions expecting this to happen, but we have trained enough that it’s become second nature when it does.

The spiritual life mimics these very missions and we need brothers in arms who are switched on and ready to protect one another in order to meet our objective. However, the objective in the Christian life has much higher stakes than any SWAT mission, as heaven or hell lie in the balance. Rather than an accountability partner, we need battle buddies, a fraternal group of men who help each other towards our ultimate end, sanctity. We need men trained to pick the other up if he falls, get him off of the X, stop the bleeding and get him to the The Physician, Jesus Christ.

We all know the difference that friend’s make in our lives; so about two years ago I began a fellowship group that I call Guns N Rosaries.

The mission of the group is to forge bonds between likeminded Catholic men to promote true friendships which are rooted in Christ. If you don’t have other Catholic men that you call friends, then find some, form a group, and begin training because the battle is too fierce to face alone.

With the help of a comrade, a battle buddy, we can advance towards holiness and engage in combat against the world, the flesh and the devil.

Why I No Longer Track What I Eat (And Other Updates)

By Ron Pereira

UpdateI wanted to share a few personal, and Intentional Encounter, updates.

First, I’ve continued to do very well with my new clean eating and CrossFit workouts. My kids have even joined me to work out most mornings, which is pretty awesome!

When I first started this journey I weighed around 208 pounds and was definitely sporting a sizeable beer belly.

I recently weighed in at 185 pounds and am, unquestionably, stronger than I have been in a long, long time.

And while you’ll never see an “after” picture of me on this blog (we are Catholic gentlemen after all!) I will say my six-pack is definitely making a comeback, which seems to impress my kids more than anyone! ☺

I also have far more energy and mental focus, which has made me more effective at work and at home.

And, most importantly, my spiritual life is growing stronger each and every day… especially since my brothers and I began our 90-day Exodus journey.

No Longer Tracking What I Eat

With this said, I have made a few tweaks I’d like to share.

First, I no longer track the food I am eating. Don’t get me wrong… I strongly encourage folks to diligently track what they’re eating when they first start to eat clean since this is an excellent way to form keystone habits.

But, to be clear, this tracking isn’t meant to count calories since, let’s be honest; no one can really say exactly how many calories they’re eating. Plus the old calories in/calories out approach to weight loss simply doesn’t work and isn’t sustainable.

Instead, tracking what you eat will help you to steer clear of the bad stuff like processed foods, processed sugar, and grains. At least it helped me.

With all this said, I have definitely developed the habit, and now have the required discipline, to eat cleanly.  So I decided to stop tracking everything.  Of course, if I ever feel as though I’m slipping up I can easily go back to tracking.

White Potatoes Are Back on the Menu Boys!

Second, when I first started to eat clean I did my best to stay away from white potatoes. I’m not so worried about this now and, even though I do aim to eat sweet potatoes more often since their glycemic index is a bit lower (and they taste awesome with grass-fed butter smothering them)… I figure if white potatoes are the worst thing I eat I’m doing OK.

Now, as it relates to carbs… I do try to consume less than 100 grams per day. One cup of sweet potatoes has around 27 grams to give you an idea. So, to be sure, most of my carbs come from fresh veggies like carrots and broccoli. And I definitely avoid bread and grains similarly to how I try to avoid rat poison.

Importance of Sleep

And, finally, while it’s not a tweak… I do want to mention how important sleep has been to my journey. I now get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and actually come closer to 8 hours. My goal is to be asleep by 10:00 PM while waking up at 6:00 AM.

Of course, my wife is about to deliver our 7th child so our sleep schedule will likely suffer a bit in the coming months but it’ll be worth it!

Intentional Encounter Update

Next, things have gone very well with the blog. I have started blogs before and realize it can take quite some time before thousands of people visit the site each day.

But we already have a good, faithful, following which includes some of my children (Daddy loves you Ki!). And the awesome guys over at Those Catholic Men even gave us a Facebook shout-out last week, which nearly crushed our little server… but, man, we sure appreciate those guys for the blogosphere love!

We seem to have settled in on 2 new articles per week plus the Monday Intentional Accountability post. Hopefully this is working for everyone. If you have suggestions, or feedback, on how we can improve please do drop us a note!

To be sure we deeply appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to check in on what we’re up to.

Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!

Intentional Accountability: Feb 22-28

Welcome to another edition of Intentional Accountability!  If you do any sort of work out (spiritual or physical) and would like to share it with others simply scroll down below the post and leave a comment.

You never know… your workout may be the motivation someone needs to improve their spiritual or physical fitness!  And, let’s face it, a little friendly competition between friends is a good thing… so, if you think you can beat my time… bring it!

Need Help Getting Started?

Now, if you’re not sure how to get started feel free to check out what some of us did the last few weeks:

And, of course, you can download our free Intentional Wellness eBook by completing the form below this article.  Inside the eBook we share a 40 day workout plan anyone can use.

Finally, please don’t feel as if your workouts aren’t worthy of sharing.  It wasn’t all that long ago that I struggled to knock out 10 push-ups.

New Comments Feature

Finally, we recently added a new “feature” to our comments.  Now, if you’d like, you can “subscribe” to get alerted when new comments are added to this post.  Just check the “notify” box as shown in the image below.  You can always unsubscribe if we start getting a few hundred comments!


Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!

Subscribe & Never Miss New Articles

Thanks for reading!  We deeply appreciate it.  To ensure you never miss new articles please Subscribe to Intentional Encounter by Email. It’s free and we will never sell or share your email address with others.

What Women Really Want

By Chasity Short (Mike’s Wife)

Why, you may ask, is a woman blogging on a website for men? Because I know something you don’t. It’s something written onto my heart as a woman and I’m compelled to share it with all of you men. It’s the truth about what we women really want.

It’s no wonder that this seems to be an elusive topic, one we can approach but can never fully grasp. Society fills our heads with lies and we’re left in the proverbial tail-chase that results. We women do what we think our men want and you men do what you think us women want. All the while it seems neither of us can quite satisfy that itch. So, here I go. Are you ready?

We want a real man. We want a man that doesn’t swallow the lie from culture that to be a man one must learn to hunt, or drink scotch, or smoke cigars, or grow righteous beards, or bench press 300 pounds. Really, we don’t care about that. We want you, our man, just as you come, raw and real.

We want a safe man. We need (note I didn’t say want) our man to teach us through his words and his body that we are safe. That you would rather die than harm us. That we are all you see in this sex-drenched world. We need to know you have control over your passions, that you are not a slave to your base desires. But rather, you have gained, or are working towards gaining, true freedom.

We want a holy man. We want a man who is after God’s own heart. We want a man who takes personal prayer time seriously and seeks The One who relentlessly pursues you. We want to see you with scripture, with spiritual books or talks, getting to know our Lord. We want you to grab us by the hand before you leave for work and again before we say good-night and pray with us.

We want a man to lead. Not the grab-us-by-the-ponytail type of leading that the cavemen preferred, but the servant-king kind of leading. When you men get home from work and we’re surrounded by dishes and kids, we want you to lead the family by serving the family. We want you to lead family prayer. Not just rote memorized prayer you learned when you were 8 years old, but real, heart-felt deep prayer so that we all know you really know our Lord. And if you don’t know our Lord yet, start spending time with Him every day and fake it until you do.

We want a strong man. Not necessarily physically strong, though that sure doesn’t hurt, but mentally and spiritually strong. The world tells you men that to be strong is to show no emotions. I say true strength is being vulnerable with the other half of your “one flesh.” There is great strength in opening your heart to your other.

We want an interested man. How sad it is to see a woman sitting with her man while he is absorbed in his phone or the TV. We want you men to desire to know us, really know us. We want you to ask us questions and show us your heart still belongs to us alone.

We want a manly man. There is an epidemic of man-boys in our culture today. Men who would rather play games on their computer or phones than play games with their kids. We want men who have left the childish things of the past and who are realizing their importance in the family. You, men, are the visible sign of God the Father to your children. They will forever equate the Heavenly Father’s love with their earthly father’s love.

We need to see Jesus in you. Jesus was a real man. A manly man. He sweat, loved his Mother, did hard things. He fasted for 40 days, faced temptation and didn’t cave. He took our sins upon His body, and suffered for us emotionally, physically, and mentally. He laid down His life for us. This, men, is what we need. We need to look at you, our kings, and see The King.

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Thanks for reading!  We deeply appreciate it.  To ensure you never miss new articles please Subscribe to Intentional Encounter by Email. It’s free and we will never sell or share your email address with others.

Exodus: 90 Days to Freedom

By Ron Pereira

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war… (Psalm 144).

On Ash Wednesday I, along with 3 Brothers in Christ, officially entered into a spiritual battle with the evil one.

Yes, Lent began and we’re definitely committed to all that entails. But, in addition to our Lenten sacrifices my brothers and I also began a 90-day ascetic program called Exodus.

Why Exodus?

Exodus was created by the good folks over at Those Catholic Men which, I might add, is one of the best Catholic men’s websites around.

To be sure, Exodus is a program meant to deliver men from sin… especially sins of the flesh. But, even if you don’t struggle with this aspect of your life chances are very good you struggle with others.

Let’s start with your cell phone. How addicted are you to that little device? Have you ever found yourself more interested in it than your own wife or children? I have. And you know what… this is not only unacceptable it’s sinful.

What about other electronics including, yes, I’m about to go there… your beautiful wide screen TV? Could you give it up for 90 days? Could you make it through 90 days without watching televised sports if it deepened your relationship with Christ?

What about your health? Are you taking care of yourself and setting a good example for your children with respect to nutrition and exercise? And, yes, I know… you’ve started your annual Lenten diet and boot camp. Will you keep it up once Easter has come and gone?

How about alcohol? Has it ever caused an argument with your wife or negatively impacted other areas of your life? Have you ever put your kids in danger because you drove them around after having a few since, you know, it was only a little buzz?

Now, I could go on and on with other examples such as being slaves to our jobs and placing far too much importance on things like college football… but I won’t.

You see, in the end, our materialistic world has made most men soft, comfortable, and lazy. And this comfort often leads directly to mortal sin.

What is Exodus?

So, if you recognize, like my brothers and I recognized, that you need to break free from sinful behaviors the first thing you must come to grips with is you can’t do it on your own.

I don’t care how physically strong you are. I don’t care how rich you are. I don’t care how smart you think you are or how many Philosophy degrees you have. We, as individual men, cannot defeat the devil. Instead, only God can deliver us from sin.

The problem is most of us are too proud, stubborn, or scared to allow God to deliver us from the evil one. And this is precisely what Exodus is designed to help with.

My Experience So Far

Now, we’re only a week into the program but I can already tell you this is like nothing I’ve attempted before.

I don’t feel it’s appropriate to get into all of the disciplines of Exodus. But what I will say is my brothers and I have agreed to the following disciplines for 90 days:

  • We won’t drink alcohol
  • We won’t use the Internet unless it’s work related (or Intentional Encounter related for me and Mike)
  • We won’t watch TV… including televised sports
  • We won’t eat sweets of any kind including drink sweetener (even Stevia!)
  • We will only take lukewarm to cold showers

And if any us “fall to sin” or fail to follow any of the agreed disciplines (there are many more I haven’t shared) we have all agreed to reset, and restart the 90 days. Radical? You bet. But mortal sin isn’t easily conquered so we’ve officially embraced the grind and look forward to the struggle and sacrifice.

We’re meeting as a group one time per week to discuss how things are going. To be clear, this is not a meeting where we sit around holding hands singing hymns. We get right to the point… during our first meeting, this past Saturday, we discussed what the “mortar” in our lives was. In other words, we discussed what we each hope to break free from, once and for all, as a result of this 90-day Exodus.

Once the meeting was done Mike lead us through an awesome CrossFit workout.

We also check in with each other once per day to ensure everything is OK.

And, we’ve also received support from our amazing Pastor who has agreed to meet with us every 4 to 6 weeks for spiritual guidance and direction. He has also agreed to pray for us daily which we’re most definitely going to need.

Want to Learn More?

To be sure, there’s much more to the program and I’d definitely be willing to share more details by email or phone. So just contact me if you’re interested in learning more.

Here are some helpful links, and articles, if you’d like to learn more about the Exodus program.

Spiritual Death:

It begins when you start shivering.

You feel more uncomfortable than you can ever remember. Cold penetrates all over your body. Never in your life can you remember feeling this cold and there is no escape from it. Very soon, you may begin to worry: the cold is incredible… and you begin to notice it is becoming hard to breath. Soon you are not thinking at all and feel clumsy and dazed. You struggle to unzip your coat, not knowing why, and not noticing how difficult it is to move your hands.

Men Need Asceticism to Grow in Holiness:

Asceticism is the spiritual discipline whereby a man practices self-denial, self- restraint and self-mortification, and, for those who desire greater growth, a more rigorous self-denial, more extreme abstinence, and increased austerity

Almost universally, the first men to attempt Exodus were completely astounded at how “enslaved” they were to their passions (desires or appetites). Rarely, especially as men, do we ever see the need to deny anything to ourselves; we take and use to our own advantage nearly anything we want. This can be lethal!

Why You Should Not Attempt Exodus:

Our proposal to launch Exodus was met with a good amount of doubt and negativity. It made us pause and think.

We were told:

  • Men cannot handle the discipline, they do not have time;
  • The program should be for priests and monks, not married people;
  • Men do not know how to fast, pray, and do penance;
  • Men will not abstain from alcohol or video games or hot showers;
  • Modern men are disconnected and apathetic, Exodus is too intense.

The criticism was sharp, quick, sometimes sarcastic, and the message was clear: stop what you are doing, put it away, there is no place for this machismo non-sense in the Church. And the Church wonders why men are visibly absent from the pews.

Additional Support Articles Including Why There is a Nominal Cost to Exodus:

There are many reasons we decided to charge a minimal amount for Exodus. The first is that with a financial investment comes increased accountability to follow through on a commitment. Simply: We want to challenge men to take action! And one way to do that is by requiring a buy-in. That being said, if you cannot afford the investment, let us know, and we will gladly accommodate your needs.

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Thanks for reading!  We deeply appreciate it.  To ensure you never miss new articles please Subscribe to Intentional Encounter by Email. It’s free and we will never sell or share your email address with others.

Intentional Accountability: Feb 15-21

Last week we published our first Accountability post.  It was really an experiment to see if folks would post their workouts.  Well, 26 comments later I think it’s safe to say there were some folks willing to share!

So, it looks like we’re going to stick with this with one tweak.  Last week I called the post “Accountability Monday” which was confusing and made it seem like it was only for workouts done on Monday.

As such… we’re now going to call these posts “Intentional Accountability” while also stating the date range.  So, this week we’ll track workouts done from Feb 15 – 21.  If you do any workouts, including “spiritual” workouts, all you have to do is come back to this article and tell us what you did by leaving a comment.

Need Help Getting Started?

Now, if you’re not sure how to get started with your workout feel free to check out what some of us did last week by reading the comments from last week’s post.

And, of course, you can also download our free Intentional Wellness eBook by completing the form below this article.  Inside the eBook we share a 40 day workout plan anyone can use.

Finally, please don’t feel as if your workouts aren’t worthy of sharing.  It wasn’t all that long ago that I struggled to knock out 10 push-ups.

New Comments Feature

Finally, we added a new “feature” to our comments.  Now, if you’d like, you can “subscribe” to get alerted when new comments are added to this post.  Just check the “notify” box as shown in the image below.  You can always unsubscribe if we start getting a few hundred comments!

Snip20160213_7This way… when Walter or Kevin post their workouts you’ll immediately know what they did!

Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!

Subscribe & Never Miss New Articles

Thanks for reading!  We deeply appreciate it.  To ensure you never miss new articles please Subscribe to Intentional Encounter by Email. It’s free and we will never sell or share your email address with others.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

By Mike Short

I hear it all the time. People lament their lazy attitude towards exercise and nutrition while placing me on some false pedestal of total health. I guess it’s because I’m a SWAT operator that makes people think I’ve always been super serious about what I put into my body and what I expect out of it.

But the truth is, it’s a lie. You see, I’m very hot and cold. Sometimes I’m on fire about CrossFit and Paleo and other times I polish off a sleeve of Oreos without a second thought. Like everything else in my life, I’ve found it hard to be consistent and resolute.

In an effort to get in shape and not die, Ron came to me asking for beginning CrossFit programming. He had already started eating clean and his results were not far behind. He became incredibly excited and his passion was contagious.

I stepped back and took a good look at myself, at my luke-warmness, and decided enough was enough. I’ve been an avid CrossFitter for 10 years and have been training people to exceed new fitness limits for years through CrossFit programming and teaching about clean eating. The problem was, I felt like a hypocrite writing about it. Over the past year, my personal nutrition habits have taken a nose dive, but I thought I was too fit, or too tough for these habits to affect me.

This dichotomy was even supported by a yearly physical that actually revealed my cholesterol, heart health, and glucose had improved from the previous year when I was eating clean foods. My body type hadn’t really changed, so I even appeared fit and was still keeping up with and often beating guys 10 years younger than me during workouts. Momentum was building for a fall and it didn’t help that I am a hard-headed SWAT guy who has been programmed to believe that I’m indestructible.

However, shortly after Ron began to report how great he felt from his changed nutrition plan and exercise regiment, I was slowed by debilitating fatigue. By 9 am when the caffeine from my coffee had run its course, I could hardly keep my eyes open.

I knew my body well enough to recognize that something was terribly wrong, so I went to the doctor for a full blood work up, and I honestly expected the worst. After all, I was too fit and tough for my terrible eating habits and little amount of sleep to affect me! All of my blood work was fine, except for my cholesterol which had shot up. Hmmm, I wonder why. Could it have been all the Chick-Fil-a chicken biscuits I had been eating?

It was time for a change, time to become intentional again about my daily habits, including prayer. Ron’s successes and energetic approach re-ignited my passion for greatness. Knowing what to do and even teaching what to do, wasn’t good enough. I wanted to feel good again and set new personal records like Ron was doing.

So often this is the way of conversion, or reversion. We meet and encounter someone who is living in a way that is different and attractive. We want to know what they know, and in the Christian life, Who they know.

This new spark inspired me to re-evaluate my sleeping habits and kick my Chick-fil-a addiction. It wasn’t easy, but like all of my experience has taught me, clean eating, sleep, and exercise works! I’m back on course and am thankful for the lesson in humility I’ve gained in the process.

My Morning & Evening Routines

By Ron Pereira

rons routinesI’ve been doing my best to intentionally improve all aspects of my life – spiritually and physically – for the last 60 days or so.

So, what I want to share in this article is how I’ve gone about my morning and evening routines since they’ve been a key to my success. We cover why strong routines are so important during our habit series of articles so be sure to check those out if you haven’t already (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

Of course, I’m not proposing you copy what I’m doing… but if you feel like you’d like to improve your own routines perhaps my process can give you some ideas.

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Starting around 6:30 PM my wife and I (and the older kids help too) read to our littlest ones. This is one of my favorite times of the day… especially when our 2-year-old baby girl dumps around 14 books on my lap and hollers, “Read, read Daddy!”

After reading, my wife and I pray the Rosary with our children. Now, I won’t pretend our family Rosaries are always smooth and holy.  Our kids are kids but we do our best to fight through the craziness.

Optimally, we finish praying around 7:30 PM so the littlest ones can get to bed.

7:30 PM – 9:15 PM

From 7:30 PM to 9:15 PM my wife and I have “free time” which may involve doing things with our older kids… or working on projects… visiting with each other, etc.

9:15 PM – 10:00 PM

Now, at this point in the evening the “old Ron” used to begin his late evening ritual of wine drinking and TV watching until around midnight (or later). Those days are gone.

Now, I do my very best to be FOB (flat on back) in my bed by 9:15 PM reading a book. And by reading I mean a real book you hold in your hand and not an iPad. I’ve found reading paper based books really relaxes me and, quite frankly, makes me tired.

I may also drink some non-caffeinated herbal tea with raw honey… but I’m not always consistent with this.

10:00 PM to 6:00 AM

At around 10:00 PM I hit the hay. My wife and I sleep with the room pretty cold and very dark. I’ll share more on why this is in a future article.

I’ve also started to use an awesome app called Sleep Cycle, which uses my iPhone’s microphone to determine which state of sleep I’m in. It’s pretty neat to see the various sleep cycles you go through. I also turn the phone to airplane mode.

The app also has an amazing alarm clock built in that allows you to set a time frame of when you’d like to wake up. So, for me, I usually set my wake up time to be between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM.

The app works by examining your sleep state in order to wake you up while you’re in the lightest phase of sleep during the time frame you chose. It really does work and waking up this way is much better than being startled by a loud buzzer during a deep sleep phase.

6:00 AM – 6:15 AM

Once I’m up I use the restroom and put my workout clothes on. I then head for the kitchen.

6:15 AM – 7:00 AM

Once there I make my morning cocktail, which consists of warm water with 1 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 TBSP of raw honey, and some lemon.

With “cocktail” in hand I head to my pitch-dark living room and do some spiritual reading using my iPhone. I normally read a chapter or two from one of the Gospels. Mike has also recently encouraged me to read the Office of Readings, which I’ve done as well.

7:00 AM – 7:20 AM

At 7:00 AM I do my workout. Depending on what Mike has programmed for me I may need to go to my slowly forming “barn gym.” Sometimes I have all I need inside my house in which case I do the workout in my living room.

During the first 30 days I literally did my workouts in the bathroom… but my wife started to give me the evil eye when I broke out some kettle bell swings. So, I’ve pretty much retired from bathroom workouts!

7:20 AM – 8:00 AM

At this point I’m ready to take a shower, make some coffee and possibly grab some protein and veggies before heading to work after saying an “Our Father” with my wife while touching foreheads. I know… it sounds a little strange but it’s pretty awesome and our kids love it when they see my wife and I praying like this.

Not an Exact Science

Now, to be sure, this is the optimal routine I follow. I don’t always succeed and, sometimes, life happens. We have 6 kids out of the womb and one more about to be born so we have quite a lot going on. But, I am doing my best to stick to this routine.

As I stated earlier, I’m not proposing anyone copy my approach. Instead, be you. But, if you feel as though you’d like to modify your own evening and morning routines feel free to copy any aspect of what I’ve shared.

I do highly recommend checking out the Sleep Cycle app. It’s extremely cool and, at least for iPhone users, there’s a free version which works just fine.

Accountability Monday #1

Accountability MondayOur good friend, and fellow Brother in Christ, Kevin Vina recently commented:

Mike – great article – I appreciate it. I have a question for you guys and this new article kind of brings it up. What about accountability?

You said “men thrive in these environments where there is competition and physical tasks” – So have you thought about some kind of bulletin board where guys could go and post their results on some kind of leaderboard? Or personal score card?

I don’t know – I’m just brainstorming. I mean I don’t want to compete with YOU for max PU in 1 min but it may be motivational.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m getting at I guess I just want to know if you have thought of some kind of place for this kind of competition / accountability you are talking about.

Let me know

Mike responded, and after a few emails, we’ve decided to implement something called “Accountability Monday.”  Here’s how it’s going to work.

If you do any sort of workout over the course of the week and would like to share it with the Intentional Encounter community all you have to do is come to this post (or the latest Accountability Monday post) and leave a comment as to what you did that day.

So, for example, if you workout 3 times over the course of the week you would post a summary of these workouts in 3 different comments.

Warning: Mike is a Beast

Mike and I are going to do this… and, let me just say, Mike is a beast so don’t get psyched out by what he does.  He’s been at this for quite awhile and is in incredible shape.

He and I worked out on Saturday and I couldn’t even come close to keeping up.  But, it doesn’t matter.  He encouraged me and I did my very best and felt like a million bucks once we were done.

The Day After Super Bowl Sunday

I recently heard that the day after Super Bowl Sunday is the day most men realize they need to improve their health.  So, if this is you… we’d welcome you to take the first step.  We’ll be here to support you every step of the way.

Not Sure Where to Start?

If you’re not sure where to start… we have you covered.  Download the free Intentional Wellness eBook by completing the form at the bottom of this article.  You’ll find workouts for your first 40 days.

Need Motivation?

Finally, if you need some motivation… check this video out and then start.  Just drop down where you are… and do 10 push-ups and 10 crunches.

Can’t do 10 push-ups?  Do 5.  Can’t do 5? Do 1.  Can’t do 1?  Start doing them on your knees.  No one will judge you.  In fact, I’d personally congratulate you for your courage and willingness to try.  Believe in yourself!