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When we are busy and sometimes too busy for ourselves, we must remember the pursuit of happiness. With that being said, we tend to focus on our goals, we put our heads down and hit that daily grind, day after day and we lose sight of our state of happiness.  The state of happiness means different things to different people.  Being in the fitness and nutrition industry, I’ve heard several times, “I just want to eat whatever I want to eat.  I just want to be happy.  YOLO (You only live once)”.  To that I say, are you looking to be happy for the moment or for the rest of your life?  Yeah, I understand the desire to want to eat that fried chicken, french fries and biscuit with gravy for lunch every day, heck it made me happy too.  However, the price I paid for that happiness was high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and high cholesterol along with my insides not being happy.   Let’s be happy for a lifetime, not just for the moment.  Here are some tips that you can do in your daily life to create happiness in your existence.

1.   Catch the Sunrise/Sunset -  It does not matter, if you are at an exotic vacation spot or in the comfort of your own home; the sun will rise and set.  Many people say that they feel a sense of peace and joy when watching the sunrise/sunset.  If you are an early riser, get outside with a cup of coffee or cocoa and watch the Sunrise.  Take in the sense of happiness that you made it another day and you have all day to complete your mission.  If you are not an early riser don’t worry about, you can catch the Sunset.  Let the feeling of peace and satisfaction of a job well done, fill you. Either the Sunrise or Sunset will put a smile on your face.

2.  Surround yourself with positive people - We all have a person we know that every time you talk to them they are so full of woes, their car broke down, her boss is mean, her co-workers don’t like her, etc.  If you don’t know that person it might be you!  You want to speak positivity into your life.   You want to be part of the solution not the problem.  You want to surround yourself with positive like-minded people. The energy that you share and pick up is important to your state of mind.  Stay positive and avoid anyone who is stealing your joy.

3.  Sweat-  Find some way to get your sweat on.  Find something that will make you forget about your problems, even if it is for just 30 minutes.  Play tag with your kids, jump rope, swim or whatever makes you happy.  You can do something as simple as turn on your radio and dance!  I promise you, that alone with make you laugh.

4.  Smile- Yes, smiling will make you happy.  A smile is contagious so wear it, share it and spread it all over.  

5.  Stop and smell the roses -  I know you have heard that before but it is very true, take time to enjoy nature.  Take a timeout and walk around the block.  I know our days are so cramped with all the things we have to do, that we feel guilty if we take a moment for ourselves. Believe me, you will have a clearer mind so that you can focus on that to-do list.

Take time daily to do something that makes you happy and share that happiness with others. We are all in pursuit of happiness so let’s help each other along the way.

We all have priorities in our lives, things that are regarded as more important than others like work, kids and bills.  Our priorities shape our lives in a positive and or negative way.  Are you willing to redesign, some of your priorities for what you want?  Here are 3 priorities that we can change to redesign our lives in a positive way.

1.  Sleep - Sleep is a priority, more or less depending on the person.  I’m sure we have heard “I want to work out, but I don’t have time after work.  I have to get my kids, run errands and make dinner, etc.”   Why not workout in the morning?  If you really want to work out and live a healthier lifestyle you have to be willing to make a change.  You can get up 40 minutes earlier to do 30 minutes of cardio. Change your priority, change your life.

2.  Family time - Let’s face it, we work hard for the money!  We are consistently checking our emails, answering the phone when client’s call, (even if you are at dinner with your family), searching the web for news that is relevant to your work or content for your meeting.  Whatever it is you are doing, you are more connected to that phone than the people who are actually around you.  We know that work is a priority and yeah without money, the lights won’t be on, or food in the fridge, clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads.  Yep, we get all that and I am sure your family really appreciates all that you do for them.  But, does your work have to be priority 18 of the 24 hours a day? If you want your family time to be a priority as well, you have to redesign your priorities to change your life.  Now, I am not saying quit your job, I am saying manage your time.  Example, if you have a 9 to 5 job you clock out, get home and decompress for an hour or so then spend quality time with your loved ones.  However, if you are an entrepreneur it is not that simple, but it can be done.  You have to set boundaries and stick to them, your clients will understand and fall in step.  Example, set a time that you will not answer the phone, return emails or search the web.  I know this is tough but you do want to have a relationship with your family, right?  Say 8pm to 10pm is family time to just eat, drink, play a game or just cuddle up on the couch and watch a television show/movie.  You will be surprised at how your family will react to that.  They will feel special and that they are a priority in your life as well.  You are in control of your time, time is precious and so is your family, change your priorities, change your life.

3.  Money -  Money makes the world go round.  We all have heard all kinds of excuses based on the fact we don’t have the money.  For instance, “I really want to get into shape but I can’t afford a gym membership” “I really want to eat better but healthy food is too expensive” or “I want to take a vacation but I can’t afford it.”  We can afford anything we really want.  If you really want to get a gym membership, you may have to stop going to Starbucks every day.  If you really want to eat better, you can save money by not going out to eat every day for lunch.  If you really want to take that vacation, you can save money by not getting your hair done every week or hold off on getting that new pair of shoes or that must have purse.  Take the money you saved to get that gym membership, get healthy groceries and take that vacation.  Change your priorities change your life.

You have an excuse, I have solutions.  No one has a trademark on good health it’s not just for the rich and famous.  Good health is an equal opportunity giver, no matter of your social status, if you are rich or poor.  I’m pointing that out to ask, what’s your excuse?  Here are 3 excuses I hear often from people when it comes to working out and eating right.

Excuse #1:  I can’t afford a gym membership.  My response to that is, “do you get Starbucks every day”? Let’s just said you did and you just got the basic large coffee $3.95 that’s $118.50 a month.  Do you eat out for lunch every day at work? Yes, and I know you get that lunch special for $7.99, well my friend that’s about $160 a month for that.  Keep in mind they have gym memberships for as low as $9 a month.  Now if you can’t afford the $9 dollars a month I have a few free ways you can still get your workout on. 

For cardio you can jog, hike, bike, swim or it can be as simple as walking up and down your stairs at home.  Just make sure you are consistent and do at least 20-30 minutes 3 times a week.

Excuse #2:  I hate working out.  My response to that is, “do you hate being overweight, unhealthy and fatigued?  Which do you really hate more?”  Look there are a lot of things we must do in this world that we may “hate” in order to thrive. Some people hate going to work every day but they go because they would hate to be homeless.  Think of working out as one of the things in life you must do, like eating, drinking, breathing, going to work and now working out. 

Excuse #3:  What’s the point, you’re going to die either way?  Life is short and I want to enjoy it:   My response to that is, “what if it isn’t short?  What if you live a long time”? Oh no, all that good living has caught up to you and now you can’t even walk around your block.  Let’s treat our bodies as if we love it and want it to last in good working order as long as it can.  Think of it this way, when you get a fancy new car, you are all on top of it’s maintenance. You even go a step further, you get it washed and polished on a regular basis so it looks good as new for as long as it can.  Unlike that car, when your body breaks down, you can’t trade it in for a new one, you only get one body treat it right!

Was your excuse on the list? I hope so because now you have the solution.  No more excuses, remember good health is for all. Not just for the rich and famous.  

No More Workout Excuses

How to Create a Vision Board 101

​5 Tips to Get Happy

The year is nearly over, it's a great time to regroup and focus on your goals.    So let’s get ready and set SMART goals.  

    S - Specific:  Be specific with your goals.  Make sure the goals are significant to you and your life.  For example, you set a goal to lose weight.  Is that specific?  Nope.  Here is what a specific goal should sound like, I want to lose 10 pounds.  

   M - Measurable:  Make sure you are able to measure your goals. In sticking with that same weight loss goal.  You have to weigh yourself at the beginning to get your current weight and weight yourself weekly.

    A - Attainable:  Make sure you are being realistic with your goal.  Don’t set yourself up for failure.   Make sure your goal is attainable.  So, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds in 2 days, that is not attainable.  Attainable is I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months.

    R - Relevant:  Make sure you make your goals connected and close to what you truly want to obtain.  If you have no intention of putting in work to lose weight, then it shouldn’t be a goal for you.  It has to be relevant for you so that you have the passion and focus to get it done.

   T - Time:  You have to set a deadline for your goal.  If you just say, I want to lose weight and I will start going to the gym one day, is not a smart goal.  You will find that one day will never come.

Action for this week:  Create smart goals.   

Example:  I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months and I will go to the gym 3 days a week.  I will weigh myself once a week on Wednesday mornings.  Now that’s a smart goal.  Remember, be specific, make it measurable, attainable, relevant and set a deadline.  

Our mind is a powerful tool that works for us in many ways.   Many successful people from the POTUS, CEO’s, airline pilots and even our most honored athletes competing in the Olympics have learned the skill of visualization.  To say that they learned it, is an understatement, they have mastered it!  I am going to share with you an activity you can do to get your powerful tool engaged.   Let’s start with something simple, make a vision board.  Simple right? For those of you who don't know what a vision board is, let me explain.  A vision board is what you create by placing all the things you desire onto a poster board where you can visually see your dreams.   You will need a few supplies to get your vision board started.  Most of these supplies you may already have.

-    Poster board
-    A stack of different types of magazines ~ Personal Photos ~ Images from the internet
-    Glue/Glue stick.  (Now if you are really crafty you can get really fancy with it and use glitter, markers, ribbons, etc.)

Suggestions to get you started:

-     Set aside about an hour to complete your vision board. 
-     Create a relaxing atmosphere.
-     Sit quietly and set the intent.  Ask yourself:  What it is you want? What is the life you want to live?
-    Cut out images that represent the life you envision.
-    Place the photo of yourself in the middle of the board or your most sought after goal.

Once you have all your material arranged on the board the way you like it, glue.  Take a picture of your vision board and use as your screen saver, place it somewhere you can see it daily.

I often get asked the question, “How do I get the right workout clothes for me?”  So I came up with a quick little guide that will help anyone who is purchasing new workout gear.  When trying on workout clothes is it always very important to get your true size (not a small when you truly wear a medium) no one will see your size it is sewn on the inside.   If you get a size to small or even too big you will regret it.

Here are a few tips that you should do when you are in the dressing room.  Make sure you get the big dressing room because you are going to be doing some big moves.

Stand with your feet hip width apart and raise your hands above your head, reach for the ceiling, really stretch, come up on your tippy toes so that you can reach your full stance.  

You are doing this so that you ensure your top is not riding up and that your workout pants are not slipping down.

Keep your left arm above your head, drop the other arm to your side and do a side bend to the right, keeping both feet firmly on the floor, do a nice full stretch.  You want to make sure your top does not rise too much but if you don’t mind some skin showing you can choose what your comfort level is.  Repeat on the other side.  
Bring both hands down and touch your toes.

You want to make sure your workout pants are not creeping down those hips.

Stand tall and raise one knee to your chest, grab with both hands and pull in close to your body, make sure you have the flexibility and ability to move your leg easily, repeat with the other leg.
Squat down and place your elbows on your knees with your hands together like you are praying.  Again, make sure that the pants are not creeping down, we don’t want any plumbers crack in the gym.   If you follow these simple tips, you will find the perfect workout clothes for you.

I was watching the Finals and the Golden State Worries were down at half time. The commentators said, what do you think the coach is doing right now in the locker room?  Someone answered well it’s three things the coach should be looking at?  Are they playing hard enough?  Are they playing smart enough? Are they playing with the right tools?

That made me think, as a coach we can apply this to our lives.  Life is a game and a lot of us are in half time, we need to utilize these three things in our lives.  Let’s break it down.

1.  Are you playing hard enough? -  Are you putting in the time to get better at your craft?  Are you going to networking functions, are you taking new courses?  Are you reaching out to new contacts?  If not take a little time to assess where you are, now at this very moment and make adjustments accordingly.

 2.  Are you playing smart enough? -  Are you going to every networking event or only to the ones that have your targeted market?  Are you reading books that can further your career vs. a fun good book?  Are you doing your follow ups?  If not start today. Review what new contacts you have made and if they are your target audience send them an email, make contact.  If you haven't been to the any networking events look for the ones that fit with your business and get to it.

3.  Are you playing with the right tools? - That’s a tough one, maybe you have to shake it up a little bit.  If your partner is not pulling his/her weight it may be time to change things.  If you have been paying to be a member of a professional service and you are not getting any clients or referrals it may be time to look into other services.  Reevaluate your team.  You are only as good as your weakest player.

Remember, life is a game, play to win!

3 ways Overcoming Obstacles

I was recently a panelist for NAPW and the topic was Overcoming Obstacles, Even During the Most Challenging Times.  It was such an amazing group of panelist and we all had a way to overcoming obstacles that I felt was so incredibly clear and concise that I must share with you.   Let’s face it, no matter where you are in your life you have obstacles.  Everyday, we face obstacles, we have to make discussions that will effect not just today but our tomorrows.  Let me start by giving you  the definition of Obstacle:  It is a thing that blocks one's way or prevents or hinders progress.  No matter how small or big.   I’’ll share with you 3 simple tools you can add to your toolbox and tackle any obstacle.

    1.  Face fear - Look, we all have that fight or flight gut reaction and unfortunately many women have that flight reaction stronger than men.  We generally don’t want conflict.  Listen, when we have a plan set in our mind, we move toward that goal but  if someone else (may it be your boss, co-worker, or even your spouse) have a different plan we tend to agree and shy away from our plan even if it isn’t in our best interest.   No more, let’s face our fears. Speak up, show up and be prepared to stand for what you want.    You have a voice use it, no more sticking our head into the sand.  You will be surprised at how great you feel from standing up for something you believe in rather than just going with the flow  and your plan has been sidetracked. 

    2.  Hold yourself accountable -  We can come up with tons of excuse (obstacles) that can prevent us from doing the things we set out to do. Did you plan out your week? Did you make all the calls you were suppose to make?  Did you workout like you said you were? I could go on and on.  However, we all have 24 hours in a day it’s what we do in those 24 hours that count.  Plan out your week.  Set appointments for the things you have to complete and keep your appointment!  Look at yourself in the mirror and get real with yourself,  you can hide from other but not the person staring back at you.  

    2.  Get a team -  Look, we all have our strengths and weakness the key is to address them.  Sit down and make a list.  Once you have found your strengths, great focus on those and move forward.  However,  we have to acknowledge our weaknesses.  We all have weaknesses and that is not an obstacle we can’t overcome.   There are people who are strong where we are weak.   Seek out those people and form your dream team.

Be S.M.A.R.T

Are You Playing to Win?​

Redesign Your Life