Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Archive for the ‘Challenge’ Category

Quitting

Sometimes, quitting is absolutely necessary in order to have room in your life for other things. It is simply too crowded for new things when you hold on the old. Especially if you realize that that seaon of your life is over… that’s when you need to listen to your intuition and go for it. And if it’s just too hard to quit today, set a date by which you will quit, and work towards it.

But sometimes, we just want to quit because we want to. You know what I mean? We don’t want to watch our food intake anymore, or get up early to  workout, or study, or… you fill in the blanks. And for those days, here is my best advice: Quit Tomorrow. Because there is a very good chance that your strong desire to quit is being dictated by a right-now emotion that could totally change an hour from now.

When you repeatedly intentionally choose to not make rush decisions based on your emotions, you will create a new pattern of persistence in your life.  So your initial choice to not yield to “quitting” now changed your habit and shaped your character. We really are the sum of our habits, aren’t we? That is actually pretty cool.

Or really bad sometimes. Because being the sum of our habits works both ways. Instead of sticking to your workout today. , you could have chosen to quit and eat a donut–a little, unconsequential decision seemingly. But times fifty, and you have created another kind of habit…

Finish out today. You can quit or go for the donuts tomorrow. But there is a very good chance that tomorrow, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go. And even if halfway through you want to quit, you might as well finish out this one day, right? It’s just one day. One workout. One hour.

You can always quit tomorrow, right?

Coaching Relationship

The coaching relationship is interesting.  My client and I aren’t really friends, but we certainly aren’t strangers. Actually,  I honestly can’t help but really care for my client. At times, it actually seems that my client and I really have deep ties because of the shared struggles and success.

The coaching process typically begins with an interview to assess my client’s current opportunities and challenges,  identify priorities and establish specific desired outcomes. We do this interview in-person, on the phone or in written form such as email. Afterwards, I often challenge his thinking about the situation and together, we begin to  formulate a plan of action that he can live with and do well. The next coaching sessions will be scheduled weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly–depending on my client’s goals, and how much interaction is required to get there. I keep my client accountable between sessions and we both determine the how of the accountability.

I love that my client is really the one who sets the pace. I ask hard questions, I listen, I ask more questions and we take steps. One tiny one at a time. But he is the one who determines how far and how fast he/she wants to go. And in the process, thought patterns are altered, goals are achieved, and confidence grows.

So often, when trying to establish new patterns, we concentrate on what is wrong, and how it ought to be changed. I love life coaching ,because the coaching relationship is based on what works. We don’t react, we act.

As a coach, I:
○ Listen to what is really important to my client by understanding his values and beliefs
○ Honestly look at my clients’ current reality without judgment or criticism
○ Help my client to set specific, realistic and achievable goals
○ Guide my client through a step-by-step strategy to reach his goals
○ Facilitate a plan of action when obstacles get in the way
○ Provide accountability
○ Enable my client to make changes
○ Support and encourage my client through the changes and transformation

and I LOVE IT!

I share with my client the importance of being intentional about the process, exercise self discipline, challenge his existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones which will serve his goal.   I ask powerful questions that forces him to look at things as they are and help him focus on what he really wants. I create an awareness of where he is at. My client and I, we trust each other. There is a certain intimacy between us that is more special than words can express. We work together, we communicate, we listen. My client and I, we kick butt!

Healthy Feet and Exercise

Exercising your feet? Really? YEP! Exercising your feet is great not only for your feet (duh!) but it can also reduce your risk for injury.

Best exercise? Walking! When you walk, you put your foot through its full range of motion, from the time your heel hits the ground until you lift off with your toes. By the way, walking is one of the best forms of exercise for your entire body–if you do it like you mean it, it improves your cardiovascular health and can help your circulation, muscle tone, and mood.

feet

As far as keeping your feet healthy, walking is not enough though. You also need to add flexibility and resistance exercises.

Flexibility exercises will help to keep your feet limber and therefore reduce your risk for injury. No matter how old you are, you can still improve your flexibility. The easiest way to build flexibility is through slow and gentle daily stretches, focusing on one group of muscles at a time.

Resistance exercises are important too because they strengthen your muscles, which then can provide you with better support and protect your feet much better.You do resistance exercises when your muscles work against some type of resistance, such as weights or exercise bands.

Foot flexibility and resistance exercises can be built it into your everyday routine, even while you are at work at your desk or standing in line at the check out counter. But before you do any foot exercises, be sure to take some time to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your feet. There you have it!

Making Goals Work, Part 2

Last week we talked about the importance of making goals real. I really do believe with all of me that we ought to dream big and have very unrealistic goals so that we can reach for the stars, but within that process, we must have real attainable goals all along the way. So here is some of my same advice just in different words, because we need to hear stuff more than once, and some new advice as well:

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Give yourself small victories a little at a time. You can always make new short-term objectives when you have achieved the first ones.

2. Be specific in your timeline. Don’t just say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds.” Say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds by December 15th.” This way, when you start to be tempted in the ice cream aisle in the middle of February, you can say, “Nope, only 10 more pounds to go in a month and I am not going to blow it.”

3. Post your resolutions where you will see them every day. This will keep them in the front of your mind at all times. Instead of forgetting that you are trying to lose weight and ordering a big, thick porterhouse, you will have been reminded earlier that day that you need to go with something a little on the lighter side. It will help your will beat your desire.

4. Put a daily reminder on your phone. I have one at 10 am every single day. It says, “What are you thinking about?” This is so good to bring me back to my focus if I happen to not be where I ought to be in my thinking!

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4. Find someone encouraging, whom you you respect, to keep you accountable. This person should ask you, at an interval established by the both of you, how it is going. They must be the encouraging type, though. If you are blowing it, they can say, “Well, that’s okay, get back to it tomorrow.” If you are doing well, they can say, “Awesome job. I’ll talk to you next week.” You will look forward to their weekly encouragement.

5. Find a partner–someone who is trying to accomplish the same thing (or something different if need be). Just make sure that they really want to change, or they will end up just complaining about how hard it is and you will both fall into the abyss.

6. Write down a list of all of the benefits that will come if you accomplish this. If it is losing weight, it might be something like this: Feel better, better self-esteem, longer life, clothes are more comfortable, etc. This will help you see what you will get from accomplishing your goal.

7. Plan a reward for when you accomplish your goal. It can be anything from small to large. Reward yourself. Splurge and enjoy!

The Origin of Coaching

I am passionate about life coaching because of the amazing results I get to see with my own eyes.

bballLife coaching is mushrooming all over the world these days, but it really is not a new concept at all. The practice of coaching certainly has its roots in sports. There were soccer coaches, baseball and basketball coaches long before any other kind of coaches. Then we saw some athletic coaches for individuals, moving from a group setting to a personal setting.  Timothy Gallwey wrote a very insightful book in 1974,The Inner Game of Tennis, in which he showed a new approach to personal performance, shifting the focus r hysical action to the mental mindset of the athlete–when the tennis players were taught how to become “self-aware,: they performed a lot better than when they were simply taught how to hit the ball. And this is the process of life coaching. All other life coaching stems from this: executive, business, health, career, wellness, etc…

There a re a few principles that life coaches have come to believe in and adhere to:

~people must take responsibility and be accountable

~our lives are very much shaped by our interactions with others. Dr. William Mayer, a US Army psychiatrist who studied 1,000 American prisoners of war who had been detained in a North Korean camp, discovered a 38 percent overall death rate – the highest POW death rate in U.S. history. Even more astounding was that half of these soldiers died simply because they had given up. Why? Because of the extreme mental tactics that their captors used: deny men the emotional support that comes from interpersonal relationships.

~it is good to study and emphasize what is good with people rather than only what is wrong with them. This is the field of positive psychology, which roots go back to at least 1962, when psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote about what a human life could be in his book ‘Toward a Psychology of Being’. Maslow differed from traditional psychologists by studying happy, high-performing people to learn more about what they had in common.

Life Coaching depends greatly on:

~ the relationship the coach is able to establish with his client–there has to ba a certain level of trust and intimacy

~the coach’s listening and questioning skills

~the client’s willingness to take responsibility, be accountable

~the setting of goals

~Managing progress and accountability

An adventure in life coaching requires a lot of courage, focus and compassion on both the coach and coachee’s sides, but it is one of the most exhilarating growth process you will ever experience!

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F.I.T.

So, we all know we ought to be fit. Fitness is good. Fitness keeps you young. Fitness keeps you healthy. But the word itself might mean something completely different for each one of us. This is dictionary.com’s  definition of fitness:

fit·ness

/ˈfɪtnɪs/ Show Spelled [fit-nis] Show IPA

noun

1.

health
2.

capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort.
3.

Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology .

a.

the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation’s gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive age.
b.

the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in succeeding generations

Looking at the first definition, we come back to the same issue: What does health mean? It may mean being able to take a walk to one, and being able to run a marathon to another. It may mean not being depressed to one, and being happy all the time for another…

fit

So, just for the record, here is Barb’s Fit U best definition of FIT at this time:

F is for Fun

Whatever we understand by “fitness,” it should be fun to do. Which means it involves doing. Fit is a state of being that is accomplished by doing something that is enjoyable. Because no matter what the “doing” is, if you hate it, you won’t keep it up and you won’t stay fit. People need to enjoy what they do on a regular basis–especially if it does not involve the reward of money–or they will either skimp on it or quit all together. Fun makes you feel alive. So you hate going to your gym? Maybe it’s time to find a different way of moving. Your personal development book o heck? Maybe it’s time to reconsider what you are reading. You can’t see to motivate yourself to eat right? Maybe your meals just don’t taste satisfying–or fun.

I is for Intentional

You are not born fit or not fit. You choose to be fit or not fit by the choices that you make, or that you don’t make–which, by the way, are choices as well. This is definitely the Slight Edge philosophy: easy to do, easy not to do. Everything we are involved with in life should be intentional–on purpose. We don’t love b y accident, we don’t just happen to go to college, we don’t somehow just wind up running a marathon. We are intentional about the areas we want results in, we make plans and link those plans to behaviors. Some of us even hire life coaches to get there. It’s no different with fitness, no matter what our definition of fitness is. We don’t wake up fit one day just because. We plan to be fit and act accordingly. The results follow.

T is for Total

This one is probably the most important one: “Fitness,” according to Barb’s Fit U, does not have to do with a strong, healthy body, even though that seems to be what the dictionary says and it certainly is one component of fitness. Fitness has a lot more to do with wholeness than having a rock hard body and being able to jump high. Fitness has to address the entire human being, not just legs and heart. Fit people are balanced people who are making choices that bring about

~a mind that is alert, challenged and always growing,

~a body that is moving toward health because of what it is fueled with and how it is being trained,

~a spirit that is awake and always responding.

 

So that’s my take on Fitness.  What about yours?

So you Gained a few Pounds…

It happens to the best of us.  Life happens and … well yes, you know. So here are some tips to help you get on track once you are ready to do so:

1. Clean your house of all leftovers – if they’re not there, you won’t eat them.  It’s not the one dessert or pasta dish that “hurts” you — it’s the finishing the cake.days and weeks in between that do.

2.Eliminate liquid calories – have you been drinking too many calories the last few week? They might destroy your goals.. Drink water and unsweetened tea –like hot green or black tea.

wine

3.Keep a detailed log —If you can handle it, this alone will help you shed most weight gain.  Write down the foods and drinks you eat and track your workouts.  It’s the best way to track your success!

4.Hit the weights – Get back to it today — get on it and kick those workouts into high gear.

5.Eat REAL foods. What does that mean?  It means eliminating packaged junk and eating REAL foods with loads of nutrients and void of adding sugars and other crappy ingredients

6.Get more sleep.  Head to bed early and aim for 7-8 hours per night.  Sufficient sleep can cure disease and help you lose weight; yep!

7.Move more, more often.  The gym is great, but getting outside and moving in general.  Walk, hike, sprint … whatever you like.  Just get outside and get fresh air.   The more you can move, the better you’ll be. And it will put a smile on your face.

rope

8.Do something new If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. It’s really that simple sometime.

9.Focus.  Most people try to do too much.  Do a few things great rather than a million thing poorly and then complaining that there’s no time.

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