Sunday, December 21, 2014

A New Year, A New Perspective, A New Beginning
The New Year brings many things — hope for fresh beginnings and anticipation of what life will bring this calendar year. Unfortunately, being in the fitness industry as long as I have, I’ve also seen the pitfalls of what the new year can mean to many people: frustration, depression and self-loathing. Because even though you may have the best intentions, things don’t always work out the way you planned. The words “New Year’s resolutions” pop up everywhere this time of year, and honestly — I choose not to use this phrase at all. I have seen all too many times resolutions made and broken, and how miserable people get over their failures to maintain them or to succeed. It really is a vicious cycle of negativity rather then positivity, and frequently doesn’t change your life for the better. I would rather use the term “new beginnings,” and think of this as a new way to look at life, by gaining a new perspective. Perspective is a funny thing — a very individual thing. Your perspective can make or break the way you approach life and the situations in it.
Let’s look at 2015 with a fresh pair of eyes. Imagine yourself at the end of 2015 and seeing all that you have accomplished. Imagine how you feel satisfaction because all your hard work paid off. Change the way you think about what your goals are. Don’t rush into making these valuable decisions. What is most important to you? Don’t worry what other people think about your goals. At the end of the day, it’s about you. GOALS MUST STIR AN EMOTION IN YOU TO MAKE THEM STICK. For example, I would like to stay healthy until my very last breath on this earth. I want to be physically and mentally

strong. My quality of life is very important to me. When your quality of life is good, you are happier and your life span is longer! The emotion attached to this goal is my sense of independence. I want to be independent even when I am at retirement age. I will be able to travel and still do the all the activities I value, such as playing with and walking my dogs, being active with my family, dancing with my husband. Really think about what is important to you. What are your top three values? My top three are family, health and my charity work. Values and goals go hand in hand.
Once you define what is important to you, the steps to begin the process will be easier to accomplish. As women, we tend to put everyone and everything before our own selves — family, friends, work and even our health! Many of us have been raised to think putting ourselves first is selfish, and that tending to the other people in our lives are more important. What kinds of mothers would we be if we put ourselves before our kids? Shame on us! Well I am here to tell you that you need to change that thought pattern, right now. That’s right — put yourself first. Especially when it comes to your health. I mean, let’s think about this. Without you being healthy, what will fall around you? Take a moment to think about it. I’ve always heard that the mother is the barometer in the home. If we are unhealthy and unhappy, nothing seems to go smoothly around the household. So why do we continually put ourselves last?
OK, so let’s get started. Take a few minutes to define what is important to you. Write it down. And then think — what if you were not healthy physically or mentally? How would the scenarios related to your values play out, then? You are important. Make time for yourself, and everyone in your life will be happier. Taking this time is not something you will regret. Now, make some goals based on what you have decided is most important. After you have come up with a goal, you need to make a map for how to get there. For instance, losing 10 lbs. is great on paper, but how will you do this? More importantly, if you’ve tried to do this before, what has stopped you from achieving it? What has sabotaged you in past years? Recognizing not only the “what” but the “why” is very important.
Here are some things to think about when creating goals:
  • Write down your goals. Start with one goal, then break it down into one or two smaller goals — for example, if you want to lose 10 lbs., break it down to a weekly goal such as 1-2 lbs. a week for five to 10 weeks.
  • Make the goals attainable, realistic and measurable.
  • Attach an emotion to the goals you have chosen.
  • Devise a plan — how will you reach these goals? List the steps.
  • Post your goals in a visible area that you see every day.
  • Think about what has sabotaged you in the past, and write down a solution for
    each reason/excuse. Recognizing and working around these roadblocks is the key to success.

How will you measure your success?
Tell someone about your goals. Who will you have to act as your supporter, and

to keep you motivated and accountable? Celebrate your success, and start a new goal.
In my experience, clients that have a support system seem to have much more success than clients who do not. Who is in your support system? If you don’t have one, why not? Where can you go to find support? The Internet is a great resource for support groups and organizations related to your goals. Maybe there is a community group right in your own neighbourhood that you could join.
I am always telling my clients to celebrate their little accomplishments along the way. Remember the small successes lead to the one big accomplishment that you have set out for yourself. Life is full of little celebrations — you just need to open your mind. If your goal is weight loss, maybe the stairs suddenly feel easier. Maybe the waistband on your jeans is more comfortable. Maybe you are realizing you really enjoy and look forward to drinking your water. Take the time to congratulate yourself and smile about these little milestones. If your goal was to lose 10 lbs. and you have lost 5 lbs., celebrate that halfway mark. Life is full of milestones — it’s all about how you choose to look at them.
Another motivator I use is visualization. Vision boards work great. Take some time to create a vision board. Put together on paper or a bulletin board what your goal is and what it looks like to you. Cut our pictures and words from magazines related to your goal. Maybe it’s a new outfit, maybe it’s you lounging on a beach, or maybe it’s a picture of you at a time when you felt really good about yourself. Whatever it is, seeing believes. Believing is doing. Be sure to place the board where you will see it every day. Positive reinforcement works wonders!
And lastly — don’t be afraid to ask for help on your journey. We all need help. Asking for help is a sign of strength. We cannot do everything alone. Follow these steps and get started on your new beginnings that will refresh and rejuvenate your life!