Finding and maintaining motivation can be a little challenging at times. What is the missing link that can keep you highly motivated at all times? What can keep you just as energized and enthusiastic on day 1 of a journey as you are on day 1,000?
“Why?”. Asking yourself that one simple question may be the spark you need to push you to that next level. If the “why” is strong enough, then the daily motivation should be able to take care of itself. Why are you doing what you’re doing? That simple yet powerful question can be a driving force in your life.
If you’re trying to lose weight what are some of the possible reasons (the “why“) that you are trying to do it? Could it be to improve your health, look better, feel better, have more energy, avoid possible health risks such as diabetes or heart disease? There could be a number of reasons why you are taking certain actions but concentrating on the one that can have the most profound effect on your life can be an excellent source of motivation.
Next time you need a little motivation, remind yourself of “why” you are taking action in the first place and visualize how good you will feel accomplishing your goal!
“People often say motivation doesn’t last, well that may be true, but neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it every day.”~Zig Ziglar
Please feel free to share any tips that you have about staying motivated by leaving a comment. Remember – The sky is the limit!
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”~ Zig Ziglar
I love that famous quote by Zig Ziglar! I believe that it holds a lot of truth. Your attitude may be the single most important factor in what you accomplish (or don’t accomplish) in life.
Fortunately, I grew up in a very positive household. As far back as I can remember, my mother was always reciting little positive sayings to me and those around her. Sayings such as “If you believe, then you can achieve!”, “Inch by inch, it’ll be a cinch!” and “You can do it, if you put your mind to it!”. Through that constant positive reinforcement, I developed a “sky-is-the-limit attitude”. I believe that any of us can do whatever we put our minds to!
Our attitudes can act like a “gift and a curse”, so to speak. I believe that if we adopt a positive attitude, then it can help take our lives to that next higher level. Consequently, if we adopt a negative attitude, then that can cause major set-backs and broken dreams. Each and everyone of us is capable of success in accomplishing whatever we want in life. Don’t let negative thoughts rob you of reaching your goals and living out your dreams!
Expanding on the idea of your attitude determining your altitude, make sure that your actions reflect your attitude to help you get to where you want to be. After all, “Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson.
A few tips to help you reach the altitude you’re striving for:
Be Grateful For What You Have.
Believe That You Can Do Anything.
Remove “Can’t” From Your Vocabulary. (Replace can’t with how or will)
Surround Yourself With More Positive People. (Birds of a feather, flock together)
Don’t Be Afraid To Go After What You Want.
Remember That Stumbling Blocks Can Be Turned Into Stepping Stones To Get You To The Next Level!
Here is a link to a Zig Ziglar video that I came across on Youtube about attitude. Click here for video.
I may be in the minority, but I have never watched the popular movie “Field of Dreams”. However, I have heard alot of referrence to a line from the movie. The popular phrase, “If you build it, they will come”. Recently, I have thought about an adaptation of that phrase in relation to healthy living.
In my adaptation the phrase I changed one word, “If you buy it, they will come!”, the “it” I am referring to is unhealthy (or “junk”) food. The “they” I’m referring to is extra pounds which may be gained as a result of consuming a lot of unhealthy foods and beverages. So, my toughts are if you try to avoid buying unhealthy food & beverage choices, then it will make it a lot easier to maintain or achieve your healthier lifestyle and/or weight loss. It may seem like a no-brainer to some, but actually making this habit a part of your healthy lifestyle may not be that easy. Especially, when there are lots of tempting items that sometimes scream your name in the snack aisle and at the check-out!
Healthier grocery shopping actually starts before you even leave the house. Do not go grocery shopping hungry!! Make sure you have a meal or healthy snack before you go shopping to help you avoid the temptations to eat or buy junk food.
Next, to help combat those temptations to buy unhealthy items, start with a plan by putting together a menu for the week. Try to plan your healthy meals and snacks in advance. Make sure you stock your home with a good variety of healthy items. When you grocery shop do you use a list or just randomly pick up items? Make a grocery list before you do your shopping and try your best to stick to the list. The list may save you time, money and may save you from the temptation of buying alot of unhealthy groceries.
Try new things! I’m a very picky eater and used to be extremely limited in my diet. My diet mainly consisted of pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, Philly steak sandwiches and Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. I know that was pretty pathetic but that’s what I liked and that’s what I used to eat ALL of the time. When I decided I wanted to start being healthier I knew I definitely had to expand my variety of foods. I started gradually trying new things and have expanded my options considerably! Surprisingly, I am very content these days with my healthier food choices and have learned to love Broccoli (which I never would have imagined me ever saying nor admitting) and have added trail mix to the list of snacks I like. To get started on expanding your at-home menu, why not try buying a new healthy food a week to find out what you like?
Don’t assume things are good for you! Always check the labels of the items you’re considering purchasing and try to compare them with similar items when possible. Just because a product may be labeled “reduced fat”, “low fat” or some other term doesn’t always make it a healthy choice. Sometimes there may be added sugars to compensate for the fat reduction.
What’s your living situation? I know that everyone’s living situation is different and sometimes living with others can make your plans for improved health or weight loss a little more difficult but you have to remain determined. If you live with others, you made need to make additional plans/arrangements and ask for a little support in your efforts. Maybe you can negotiate to limit the number of unhealthy items that are purchased for your home. Also, Leading by example can sometimes help encourage others around you to want to strive for a healthier lifestyle too.
Last but not least, buy items as close to their natural state as possible! For example, why not buy an orange instead of orange juice? View a video of oranges vs. orange juice here.
After you make your serious commitment for improved health or weight loss, you have to stay motivated and focused on your goals! Be patient and persistent in your efforts! Remember that nobody’s perfect. There may be small stumbling blocks along the way, but if you happen to trip over one, make sure you pick yourself back up and continue on your path to improved health. “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”-John Quincy Adams.
Quick Tips To Help You Reach Your Goal Of Healthier Living:
Be Adventurous! At first, I was hesitant to try some new foods but I am very grateful I did. I make alot more healthier choices and I suprisingly don’t really miss the “junk” food. Having alot of options of healthy foods I like has helped me tremendously.
Practice Moderation! Even some of the healthier choices can add up to alot of extra caloreis if you indulge too much. Be careful of the serving size!
Clean Up! Toss out all of your unhealthy foods and keep unhealthy foods out of the house. If the food is not easily accessible, then that should help fight your temptations a great deal.
Stay Active! Move around and burn some calories. Think about taking a walk or doing some type of physical activity when you are bored instead of eating.
Think Before You Drink! Be sure to read the labels on your beverages before making a purchase. Also, be aware of the calories in any alcohol you consume. Beverage calories count too and can add up very quickly!
*This was written for informational purposes only. Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program or modifying your diet.
Hi! I’m Brian and I am a Procrastinator. (I’m not sure how long it’s been since my last procrastination.) Proudly, that is a statement that holds less truth as each day passes. Recovering from procrastination can be a difficult thing to do, but it is well worth it and very achievable!
I was a HUGE procrastinator in the past and suffered the consequences of my habits. The consequences were varied and I don’t really think I can recall any of them being good. Some of the consequences were angry girlfriends because of getting to places late, late fees for not paying bills on time, gaining weight from putting off working out or eating better and stress from trying to meet closing deadlines.
Eventually all of my procrastination resulted in me getting tired. Tired of disappointing people by being late, tired of paying unnecessary fees, tired of not being happy with my weight and just tired of being stressed out from possibly not meeting a deadline on time.
After I finally had enough, I decided it was time to make some positive changes to start getting rid of my bad habit of putting things off. I’m human and still have an occasional moment of procrastination but I’m much better than I used to be.
First, I wanted to figure out why I procrastinated so much. Sometimes I think it was just laziness, sometimes I think I was just overwhelmed, sometimes I don’t even think there was a real reason or just didn’t think getting things done later was that big of a deal. Whatever the reason, I knew things had to change and I started gradually changing my bad habit.
What I figured out was the most basic thing ever. Just get started! No matter what it was that I needed or wanted to get accomplished, the easiest thing to do to avoid procrastination was to just start working on it. My inspiration for writing this post was the fact that this morning I knew I had a ton of things to do today and I was going to put off my daily workout until later. After thinking about my tentative schedule for the day, I couldn’t figure out what time later was going to be. My guess is that if I would have waited until later, then I probably would have never got it done today. So, needless to say, I went ahead and did my workout like usual this morning. Now, I am happy I did it, I feel great and feel better knowing I got it accomplished.
Getting started may be an extremely basic suggestion, but it does work! Even if you go into whatever you need to accomplish with the attitude of only committing 5 minutes to the task, then atleast you will be making progress if you actually take action right away.
For additional strategies to help conquer your procrastination, I have included links to 3 websites that may be of some help to you. For the procratinators reading this, I hope you don’t say you will read the additional information in the links later! Just do it and start on your road to recovery from procrastination too. I hope this info is helpful. Feel free to comment and share any strategies that you may have to reduce procrastination.
“Pop” vs. “Soda” , seems to be a great debate between people from different regions of the United States. How do you refer to a soft drink in your area? In my hometown, we always called it pop. Regardless of which particular name you call your soft drinks, if you have a problem with losing weight, could your drinking habits be contributing to your difficulties?
I used to drink a shocking number of calories per day. Probably about 1,000!! I didn’t even realize it at the time. I had my normal habits of going to the store and getting pop to drink or other calorie-filled beverages that would satisfy my sweet tooth. During that period, I naturally put on a lot of weight as a result of my habits/choices. The beverages were not the only factor in my weight gain, but did play a major role. Back then I had a laundry list of bad habits, but that’s another story for another day.
I remember when I finally had my ah-ha moment, the light bulb came on or whatever you would like to call it. One day I decided to actually look at the label of a drink. To some, label reading may seem like a commom sense action to take, but to others it may be more common to overlook the beverage calories you’re consuming. Especially if you can relate and just drink certain beverages because you like the taste and don’t really pay attention to labels. After the light bulb came on though, I knew that I had to seriously cut back on the calories I was drinking.
In trying to find a solution for my problem, I figured it would be useful to know how many calories are in a pound. I thought that was a valuable piece of information to know and I think it is worth sharing to those who may not already know.
The answer is about 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. For those trying to manage their weight, knowing this info may make a big difference in helping you accomplish your goals.
How can I use this info to help manage my weight? Focusing only on the numbers and no other factors, to lose a pound in a week you would have to consume about 500 fewer calories per day for a week. Conversely, to gain a pound in a week you would have to consume about 500 extra calories per day for a week.
To give you an idea of a possible small change to help you consume 500 less calories, consider the calories you consume in your beverages. If you drink pop, there may be about 250 calories in a 20 ounce bottle. So, if you normally drink two or more 20 ounce bottles of pop per day and decide to cut out two bottles for seven days then, you may be able to lose about one pound in a week.
To help with your weight loss, make sure you read the nutrition labels to see how many calories you are actually consuming. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the serving size on the labels. Staying with pop as an example, there are usually about 2.5 servings in a 20 ounce bottle. So, if there are 100 calories in an eight ounce serving, make sure you determine how many servings you actually consume. (100 calories x 2.5 servings = 250 calories)
I hope this info is helpful. Paying attention to what and how much you are consuming is a very important habit to learn. Making small changes in your lifestyle may result in big improvements in your health! For the best results you must have balance! You should have a combination of a balanced diet, physical activity and be aware of the actual calories you’re consuming.
Quick Tip: Drink More Water To Help You Control Your Weight. Start gradual if you have to and work your way up.
*This was written for informational purposes only. Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program or modifying your diet.
When you travel do you try to maintain a healthy lifestyle or do you take a vacation from your healthy habits?
I know that it can be extremely difficult to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road but I think with a little will power and planning that you can still enjoy yourself and still make healthy choices.
For starters, make a plan! If you are trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle I think that having a plan in place for eating or physical activity is just as important as knowing how to get where you are going during your trip. Try to do a little brainstorming about your meals and snacks before you begin your travel. A good start may be to have a well-balanced meal before you leave and pack some healthy snacks for your trip to help you avoid eating junk food. Some possible snack choices are:
Nuts – walnuts, almonds (watch portions)
Single-serve containers of fruit
Peanut butter (In moderation)
Granola or cereal bars
Best For Last – Fresh Fruit
You may also want to think ahead about your meal choices. I think if you have some idea ahead of time about possible healthier choices then it may help you avoid making poor food choices. For example, thinking about how your food is prepared. Will you try to avoid all the sauces and extras that may come with your meal and keep it simple or will you completely indulge? I know that we all want to enjoy our trips or vacations but even if you indulge, do so in moderation. If your favorite meal is not a healthier choice, then don’t deprive yourself but be conscious of how much of it you are eating. Watch your portions! Maybe try sharing it with someone or only eating half and requesting a take-home container for the rest.
Do you plan any physical activity into your trip? Even if you don’t want to exercise in any “traditional” ways, could there be some enjoyable physical activity that you can do? Is taking a walk to do a little sightseeing an option or if there is a swimming pool, why not go for a swim? On the other hand, if you don’t mind more traditional exercise on the road, will you consider staying at a location that has exercise equipment for guests to use or planning a workout to do in your hotel room?
Don’t forget about water! Drinking bottled water can help you stay hydrated and help you cut down on the calories you consume. If you choose not to drink water, then try to be conscious of the calories you are drinking. Your beverage choices may add to some unwanted calories being consumed.
I hope this provides a little food for thought. No pun intended! Making healthy choices on the road doesn’t have to be unpleasant. You can still enjoy great food when you travel and maintain your healthy lifestyle. Just remember to plan, try to be as active as possible, practice moderation and have some fun!
*Sources and Additional Info
Feel free to share some of your healthy travel tips. I hope everyone is having a healthy and enjoyable summer!
*This was written for informational purposes only. Always consult your physician before modifying your diet or begininng physical activity.
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.”~Charles Buxton
Do you suffer from a lack of time? Does it seem like there are never enough hours in the day? Is there alot of stress throughout your days?
If you answered yes to any of the three questions, then is it possible that improving your time management can help improve your lifestyle? You may be thinking, “What’s time management have to do with wellness?”. Time management is an important part of wellness. When you manage your time better it can provide several benefits. Some benefits include:
More Time For Fun – When you manage your time better, you can get the most important items completed which will allow you to spend more time enjoying the things you love in life. Effective time management can give you that extra time to spend with family & friends, enjoy your favorite hobby or simply relax and have some down-time.
Increase Your Productivity – Effectively managing your time can make you more productive. One thing I noticed personally, is that I used to be really busy but not feeling like I got much done by the end of the day. With a few slight adjustments I’ve found that I am getting more accomplished in less time! The increase in productivity has also enhanced my sense of purpose.
Reduced Stress- We all have some type of stress in our lives and one way to reduce some of it is through effective time management. When you manage your time better, that can reduce the stress of getting things accomplished by certain deadlines. Also, as mentioned earlier, better time management can help make more time for the things you enjoy in life which can make the challenging parts of your life not seem so bad- the fun sort of balancing out the difficult.
A few things you can do to help you start managing your time better are prioritize, organize and eliminate! Quick Time Management Tips:
1. Prioritize – What are the most pressing items currently going on in your life that need your immediate attention? Figure out your priorites and write them down! (Writing them down will also help you to manage your time more efficiently.) After you write them down in order of importance, start executing!
2. Organize – Honestly, how much time do you think you waste in your life due to lack of organization? Be honest!! Sometimes it can be a simple thing like misplacing your keys that can take valuable time away from your day or searching for important papers for hours that you know you have but can’t find. Work on your organization skills to take back some of that time that you lose daily. Make sure everything has a set place and that it remains there when not in use.
3. Eliminate – Do you have distractions during your day that cause you to be less productive? Again, please be honest! Do you find your self surfing the internet, reading too many tweets or allowing too much time for other activities that can take away from your overall productivity? I can say that I have and when I finally realized it I started eliminating my distractions by designating certain time frames for each activity. I still do everything I was doing before, just not simultaneously. That has helped a great deal to increase my productivity. On a personal note, having the TV on in the background can be a big distraction sometimes, so I have to make sure it is off during the times I designate for the most important matters.
4. Delegate- Delegating can be a very helpful way to add time to your days. Is there someone that you can trust to help lighten the load a little? If you’re used to doing things on your own (like I am), then this can be a slightly difficult and take a little while to get used to, but can be a tremendous way of helping you manage your time better.
5. Reduce- Sometimes cutting back on the amount of commitments that we have is a good idea to help restore more balance in our lives. What activities are you involved in that you could possibly let go of (or scale back your involvement in) that may have become of less importance?
Time is a limited resource. Make the most out of your time! John F. Kennedy said, “We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.” I hope this information is helpful and if you have any additional info, tips or personal experiences about time management, please feel free to leave a comment.
So it’s the beginning of the second half of the year, how did the first half of the year treat you? Hopefully well! Are you accomplishing your goals? Did you get side tracked? Are you doing better than you ever imagined?
If you are having the best year ever in life, then I am extremely happy for you and I hope that you continue to build on the amazing year you’ve enjoyed so far! If your year is average or not so good, how can you make it better? What’s holding you back from experiencing a phenomenal 2009?
Right now is a good time to re-visit those goals that you set for New Year’s and evaluate how you’re performing in both your personal and professional life. Remember,“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”~Maria Robinson.
When you review your goals (which I hope you set, if not I encourage you to set some now), don’t forget to ask yourself some important questions. Make sure your goals are SMART!
S - Are your goals Specific?
- The More Detailed , The Better! Instead of writing I want to lose weight. Write I want to lose 20 pounds.
M - Are your goals Measurable?
- You Need a Way To Track Your Progress. I want to accomplish “X” by “Y”. Example- I want to lose 20 pounds in 2 months.
A – Are your goals Attainable?
- Make Your Goals Challenging, But Achievable! Staying with the weight loss example, If you want to lose alot of weight, then break your big goal down into smaller goals. For instance, I want to lose 5 pounds per month for 4 months.
R – Are your goals Relevant?
- Will Your Goals Provide A Benefit For Your Life or Really Bring You Happiness? Make your goal really mean something to you and provide value to your life!
T – Are your goals Time-Based?
- Make Sure Your Goals Have A Time Frame. An End Date Will Give You Something To Strive For And Help Keep You Accountable! Example- I want to lose 30 pounds by Halloween.
Now that we’ve talked about some criteria for evaluating your goals, make sure you write them down! I used to underestimate the power of actually writing out my goals but not any more. I used to say, “there’s no need to write them down, I have a good memory and I know what I want in life!”, but through experience I have learned that actually writing your goals down can have a powerful effect in helping you accomplish them. I’ve been told and have read that your goals are just thoughts until they are written. Personally, I believe that statement holds a lot of truth.
Whatever your current situation is, I challenge you to try to make it better! There’s always room for improvement. Stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize - literally! Not only write your goals down, but make sure that you look at them often. If you have to, rewrite them from time-to-time to help keep you focused and motivated. Whatever you do- Don’t give up! Go after what you want and celebrate your success when you achieve your goals. You can’t be stopped!
We all have some type of stress in our lives and sometimes it can seem overwhelming . By learning how to manage stress better you may be able to enjoy your days more. Today I wanted to pass on some information about a tool you may be able to use to help you manage your stress a little better. After all, stress management is a part of your overall wellness! The tool that I came across is called the SPARKLE Formula, by Pace Productivity. The formula provides alot of practical advice that can be applied to your day-to-day life to help you live a more balanced and stress-free life.
In wellness, Balance = Success! I hope you enjoy the formula.
Reduce Stress with the SPARKLE Formula
S – Sleep well.
Your bed is for sleeping, reading and intimacy.
When your head hits the pillow, it’s time to sleep, not think
Your bed should NOT be for: watching television, balancing your checkbook, planning the next day, arguing with your spouse, checking your e-mail, or making phone calls.
When in bed, books are OK, laptops are not.
P – Plan every day.
Create a to-do list every morning. This gives you a) a roadmap of what you need to do at the beginning of the day, b) a reminder of what still needs to be done throughout the day and c) a place to check off your accomplishments at the end of the day
A – Anticipate less.
Recognize the false assumptions you make that lead to anxiety. Will things really turn out to be as bad as you think? Probably not.
When you look to the future, visualize success rather than failure. After all, you really don’t know which it will be. So why not expect the best?
R – Relax.
Breath deeply when you feel stressed. Get up and change your environment, if only for a short time.
Go for a walk at lunch.
Relaxation means taking a break from what you were doing, not just “vegging out.” For instance, watching television isn’t always relaxing; it can be dumbing and dulling. Find activities that calm your body and stimulate your mind.
Create a time for your own kind of meditation. Find a quiet space and a quiet time that’s just for you.
K – Keep Anger under control.
Be empathetic and forgiving to others when they make mistakes. Like you, they’re trying to do their best.
Learn to give constructive feedback rather than destructive criticism.
When someone makes you angry, remember that you have a choice in how you react. Instead of yelling at that bad driver who cut you off, do a running play-by-play on his erratic driving techniques. It’s more fun.
L – Laugh.
Use positive affirmations to keep yourself on track.
Affirmations should use the 4 P’s; personal, positive, passionate and present. For instance, “I am a confident and successful manager who always runs an amazing team.”
Find time to share a joke. Laugh at the curves life throws at you rather than fretting over them.
E – Eat Well and Exercise.
Your body needs to be a well-tuned machine to manage all of the stresses that act on it.
Avoid eating packaged snacks – anything that comes in a wrapper or plastic bag. Try natural fruit instead.
Add more colored vegetables to your meals.
Reduce caffeine in your diet. It’s a stimulant and can exacerbate physical symptoms of stress that you may already have. Choose water instead.
Avoid the escalator or elevator and take the stairs.
Find opportunities to go for a walk. Ideally, get exercise that causes you to sweat for twenty minutes at least three times
“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”~Yiddish Proverb
Taking a nice hot shower or a relaxing warm bath can leave us feeling cleansed, rejuvenated, refreshed and just feeling good. Laughter has the ability to do the same for our soul and is a great stress reliever. A good laugh is priceless!
We cleanse our bodies daily with soap (atleast regularly- I hope, LOL), why not do the same for our souls with laughter? After all, being happy is a part of living a balanced life.
Whether it’s remembering an embarrassing moment (of your own or someone else), having a funny picture/item around or just calling a friend to get a chuckle or have an “I remember when…” moment; do something daily to give yourself a good laugh! You owe that to yourself. Life is too short to be unhappy. Try to find humor throughout your day everyday. It can make life a lot more pleasant and easier to go through.
Remember to smile. The way I see it, smiling is laughter’s parent. The more you smile, the easier it is to laugh. What makes you laugh?
Feel free to share some tasteful humor. Remember, a laugh a day keeps misery away!
“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”~Woody Allen