Achieving Your Goals and Dream Life – Step Two

Achieving your Goals and Dream Life – Step Two

Last week we discussed the importance of creating a map for all realms of your life so that every initiative and action you take points you towards your goals and your dream life. Do not underestimate the power of Step #1 – that’s why it’s number one!

Today, we move onto….

Step Two:  Get Physical!

565859 Girlfriends Half 17 r770x495 300x192 Achieving Your Goals and Dream Life – Step TwoSince I’m a fitness professional, you had to know we’d be going here right? But it’s true that it’s hard to be great if you don’t feel great.  It’s hard to live your best life and achieve all your dreams if you’re not at your physical best.  Unfortunately, more than half of our population is overweight or obese and out of shape.  The International Journal of Obesity released a report that says we expend about 500-800 calories less per day than we did a few decades ago.  All the labor saving devises like remote controls, escalators, elevators, moving walkways and the internet that are supposed to be making our lives easier are in fact making us sick and slowly killing us. If you think about it, that’s equivalent to a 5-8 mile run!  That’s how much less we move our bodies today! Daily movement is absolutely critical to counteract our sedentary society.

The Surgeon General released a finding that said we need to move our bodies about 30 minutes a day to increase our health.  The finding wasn’t referring to exercise but rather just being active with household chores, walking the dog, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn etc.  I remember thinking that I can’t believe a government official would have to make a public announcement to just move our bodies 30 minutes a day.  But the sad reality is that most people don’t.  Think of the average North American day.  We wake up, sit to have breakfast, get in the car and drive to work, sit at a computer all day perhaps working right through lunch with interoffice email not even requiring us to leave our desk to communicate with a co-worker, get back in our cars to drive home, sit to eat dinner and then lay on the couch all night watching TV. When you add up the actual minutes of movement it doesn’t even add up to 30 minutes.  That’s a sad reality.  But in America, instead of fixing the problem, we accommodate the problem.  There are entire industries creating products and offering services to accommodate our bigger butts.  We don’t want to make someone feel uncomfortable so we build bigger chairs and airline seats!

Something’s got to give and hopefully it won’t be our hearts.

So yes, you have to move your bodies – every day!  And one of the things I’ve learned after being a fitness professional for 25 years is that exercise is 10% physical and 90% mental.  My biggest obstacle when working with clients is helping them to change their mindset so they catch the ‘fitness bug’ and exercise becomes a lifestyle habit like brushing their teeth or taking a shower.  In the beginning most people find exercise a chore and they actually hate it but eventually, if you stick with it long enough, you will notice your days are better when you workout, you may look forward to workouts and actually enjoy them!  Eventually, you want to workout and actually need exercise and then you’re hooked for life!

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Achieving Your Goals and Dream Life – Step One

Achieving your goals and dream life…take step one!

Working in the fitness industry for 25 years, I’ve noticed that there are certain things that those who are successful at achieving their goals do on a regular basis. I’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 Tips and will share those tips over the next few weeks to help you as you prepare to launch your 2014 year – potentially the best year of your life! 

Early in my career I used to get so frustrated if a client wouldn’t do what I knew they needed to do to achieve the results they wanted.  I used to bang my head against the wall trying to figure out how to motivate them.  Then one day, I was on a hike with my daughter Brianna and I learned my biggest lesson about goals and dreams.

Beacon Rock 200x300 Achieving Your Goals and Dream Life – Step OneWe had just hiked Beacon Rock in WashingtonState, a beautiful scenic hike with amazing views of the Gorge and the Columbia River.  I was getting my daughter situated in her car seat when a pick up truck pulled up beside us and two women jumped out to have a smoke.  They each lit their cigarettes and then one looked towards the top of the rock that we had just climbed and stated “You know, people actually hike to the top of that rock!”  The other gal took a long drag on her cigarette, looked up and then exclaimed “Why in the world would anyone ever want to do that?!”

My jaw dropped.  I couldn’t believe she had just said that!  I thought she would say something like “Gosh, I wish I was in good enough shape to do something like that!” or “I would love to do that” or “Maybe one day I will be able to do that!” But she had no desire, no interest for ever hiking to the top of that rock. And without any will, there is no way. So no matter what I said or programmed or suggested, nothing I could do would ever convince her to summit that rock.  There was no compelling reason for her!

So it taught me that I have to help people figure out their ‘why?’  Once there is a will, there is way.  But without a compelling force, success is so much more difficult.  The motivation and inspiration to stick to your program or your goals is within you.  You have just got to find the right reason – the reason that will make you so emotionally charged that you will take action, make the changes and stick to them regularly – no matter what!

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Here is an example to demonstrate this phenomenon.  Let’s imagine that you are on the 28th floor of a sky-rise building.  There is a small wooden plank that extends from the window of your building to the building on the opposite side of the street.  In the other building, there is a man who is holding a $10 bill and will give it to you if you walk across the plank to the other side.  You look down 28 flights and you see the cars speeding by and your stomach turns into a knot.  Would you go for $10?  No way! How about $100?  Probably not!  Would you go for $1000?  Still, no way!  It is not worth it!  But now imagine, the man is threatening to shoot one of your closest loved ones – your spouse, your daughter, son, grandchild – if you do not walk over.  Now, there is a different story.  You would probably, without a doubt, without even thinking about it, walk the plank.  You can see by the example that the ability to walk the plank is always there.  If the plank was on the first floor it would be no big deal – you could easily do it.  It is never a question of ability!  You just need to find that reason to walk the plank – to do something you would really rather not do.  Perhaps just losing 10 pounds or decreasing your risk for cardiovascular disease is like $10 – just not enough reason to walk the plank or take action towards your goals.  You will need to get more emotionally charged in order to stick to your plan.  Discover what it is going to take for you and remember, everyone is different.  What is going to motivate me is not necessarily going to motivate you. Keep asking yourself why, why, why and get to the heart of the matter!
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So Step One is clearly laying out your goals.

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Finding The Motivation!

 

Finding The Motivation to eat well and exercise can be tough….

change today 300x228 Finding The Motivation!I recently was the Keynote speaker for the “Dream Big” program which is an organization that helps kids create dreams, determine action steps to achieve those dreams and directs them towards resources that will help them make those dreams a reality.  Working in the fitness industry for 25 years, I’ve noticed that there are certain things that those who are successful at achieving their goals do on a regular basis.  I’ve narrowed it down to 10 Top Tips and shared these at my presentation. Over the next number of weeks, I will share these tips with you and help you you launch into the holidays and into the New Year with some serious motivation!  There is nothing that brings me more joy than knowing I’ve helped someone achieve their personal best and live their life to the fullest. To start, I wanted to share this quote with you…

 

“When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn’t matter. Am I tired? That doesn’t matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem.” Emil Zatopek

 

You know I’m in the fitness industry so you gotta know that one of my Top 10 Tips is to take care of your physical being.  I’m a firm believer that it’s hard to do great things if you don’t feel great.  It’s hard to live your dream life if you aren’t striving for your personal best.  Taking the time to take care of yourself positively impacts and trickles into every aspect of your life.  So as you start to plan your health and fitness plan for 2014, what will you do to challenge yourself and see what you’re made of?  Consider how much discipline it takes to workout three to five days a week.  Think about how hard it is to keep stretching beyond our comfort zones and how challenging it is to exercise at a high intensity.  Consider the self-resolve required to eat healthy foods and drink lots of water every day when temptations surround us everywhere we go.

 

But if you have the courage to respect your body – the temple that houses your mind and spirit –achieving your goals will not be far away. 

 

It says a lot about who you are as a person when you invest the time to take care of yourself.  It says you respect and love yourself enough to do the things necessary for you to be at your personal best.

 

  • Each time you get into the gym for a workout on a day when you just don’t feel like exercising, you grow a little stronger as a human being.
  • Each time you go for a run or walk on a cold winter’s day when you just feel like staying under the warm, cozy covers, you strengthen your character.  
  • When you endure a tough workout, it enables you to persevere through any other challenge in your life. 

 

Working on improving your physical conditioning will not only enrich your life and make you a better person, you’ll also become a better parent, a better spouse, a better and more productive worker, and a better friend.

 

Exercise gives us a lot more than just a great set of abs!

 

Exercising regularly, eating well and taking the time to relax and nourish your body will make you feel happier.

 

  • It will provide you with more energy than you have ever known.
  • It will give you greater stamina, mental toughness and make you a clearer, stronger thinker. 
  • It will make you more patient and loving. 

 

There are 168 hours in a week.  Surely each and every one of us regardless of our hectic schedules can carve out four or five of them to care for our bodies and work on mastering our physical state. And you must remember that……

 

…… a missed workout is much more than just a missed workout (or not doing something that you committed to doing)!

 

When you miss a workout, you don’t just stay at the same level you were at – you actually take a few steps back. Every time you miss a workout, you have done something to strengthen the habit of not working out. When you’ve made the promise to yourself to exercise so many times per week and then you break that promise, you start to lose trust in yourself. With each missed workout, you start to lose self-confidence and begin to question whether you can actually stick with it at all. A missed workout fuels self-doubt and makes that negative habit stronger.  Miss enough workouts, and eventually that negative habit of not working out will replace the positive habit of exercising that you have worked so hard to cultivate. Every time you fail to do the right thing, you fuel the habit of doing the wrong thing.  So the next time you’re trying to justify pressing the snooze button and skipping your workout, or working through lunch instead of taking a walk break or heading right home after work instead of stopping at the gym, just don’t do it.  Don’t even think about it.  Don’t even allow yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of doing what you know you need to do to be at your best.  Just remember that you’ll feel like a million bucks once you’re done.  The real challenge for most people is not the workout itself, but actually overcoming the negative thoughts that try to sabotage your very good intentions. Remember results are not guaranteed, they are earned! Stay tuned next week when I begin to share my Top 10 Tips for Achieving your Dream Life.

Yours in Health & Fitness, Sherri McMillan

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Holiday Workout Plan

007 Holiday Workout PlanSo, do YOU have a holiday workout plan?

Did you notice that the day after Halloween, stores had all the Christmas and holiday merchandising up?  Yep, Holiday season is upon us so it’s a good idea to be proactive and have a plan for maintaining your health and fitness during the festive season.  I had a client ask me the following…

“During the holidays I am so busy. So what’s the least amount of exercise I can do to maintain my fitness so I don’t have to start all over come January?”

It’s true that during the holidays we can get so busy decorating the house, buying presents, attending parties, and entertaining guests that the last thing on our minds is our exercise program.  But, if you’ve worked hard all year to achieve your current fitness level, the last thing you want to do is take the “all or nothing” approach during the holidays and let it all go to pot.  Starting from scratch come January is never fun! 

Having a few days off from exercise over the holidays is OK.  It may help give your mind and body a rest and help to motivate you to work harder in the New Year.  But, if you don’t want to get out of the rhythm of your exercise commitment, here’s a few tips to help you stick to your program when there are so many other responsibilities demanding your attention:

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No Excuses!

No Excuses!

Maria Kang, a mother of 3, was recently inundated with negative comments after posting the following photo. Some people said it was “bullying” or “fat-shaming” and that her intent to motivate others actually back-fired. 

Maria Kang1 240x300 No Excuses!I can understand why the negative comments surfaced.  People don’t like the prideful boasts that basically say “Look at me.  Look at how good I look even though I’ve got 3 kids under 3 years old. What’s your problem? Get your act together?”  And a photo like this doesn’t account for the fact that some people will never look like this no matter how hard they exercise and how disciplined they are so it may make people feel poorly about themselves even if they are doing all the right things.

But with all that said, there is some truth to what Maria is suggesting.

There will always be excuses that you can become victim to! 

There will always be someone with more kids than you that still finds the time to exercise and eat well.  There will always be someone who is busier than you…someone who travels more than you do…someone who has less money than you…someone who is older than you…someone who is in more pain than you…someone who is more out of shape than you…there will always be someone who is struggling with obstacles and excuses and yet, still figures it out.  They do what they need to do to be at their best!  So no matter what excuse you are using to convince yourself that you can’t commit to exercise and healthy eating, sorry, you need to get over it and start taking action.  No more excuses! You deserve better than that!

Here’s a list of some of the common excuse and how you can overcome them:

Not enough time:

If you have trouble finding time to exercise, you’re not alone.  Read the rest of No Excuses!

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Changing Your Workout Focus for Fall and Winter

Changing Your Workout Focus for Fall and Winter

In the summer, I’m always outside cycling, running, and hiking but as the weather gets a little colder and the nights a little darker, I find I spend a lot less time outdoors.  So since my outdoor activity level drops, I look for opportunities to stay active and healthy indoors and my fitness program tends to evolve and transition towards different activities.  And I’m not alone.  All gyms including our Personal Training studio experience an influx of clients coming back to seek refuge from the colder, wetter NW weather.

So if you are storing your road bike for the winter, now would be a great opportunity to start taking an indoor cycling class or purchase a Wind Trainer that you can hook your bike to and still cycle indoors.  If you like water sports, you might sign up for an Indoor Rowing program or enroll in a Masters Swim program.  If you like to dance, you’d love a Zumba class.  You might register for a Yoga, Core Conditioning or Pilates program. Use this as an opportunity to try something new or to focus on an area that you’d like to improve on.

I personally use the fall and winter months to start using my Indoor Rockclimbing membership at The Source Rockclimbing gym again.  I will also ramp up my weight training and indoor classes.  However, I do still get outdoors and run all year long.  As long as I have the right gear, I don’t mind running in the wet and cold weather.  Plus it ensures I still soak up some vitamin D and get some fresh air. I believe that helps a lot with preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder that many people experience in the Northwest.

Here’s a few of my favorite indoor resistance training exercises: Read the rest of Changing Your Workout Focus for Fall and Winter

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Releasing Muscle Aches and Pains

Releasing Muscle Aches and Pains

About a week ago we had a couple thousand gals participate in the Girlfriends Half Marathon to benefit the Susan G. Komen for a Cure and the KearneyBreastCenter.  So we’ve got a number of ladies feeling a little stiff, myself included!   I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss different techniques I use when I’m feeling sore.

Prevention:

The best way to treat extreme muscle soreness is to prevent it in the first place.  You’ll experience the greatest amount of stiffness when you are doing something new and/or at a higher intensity than you’re used to.  So if you ease into any new activities and make sure you train and progress correctly, you should minimize the amount of soreness you experience.

Cold treatment, elevation and anti-inflammatories:

 

stretch wall hamstrings 300x236 Releasing Muscle Aches and PainsWe experience stiffness due to the body’s inflammation response.  If you’ve done a little too much, your body will send blood flow and nutrients to the affected area to help heal the tissues.   Read the rest of Releasing Muscle Aches and Pains

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Life After Breast Cancer

Life After Breast Cancer….

Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with Breast Cancer realizes that the cancer experience does not end the day that treatment ends. You want to get back to your normal life and put cancer behind you but at that same time, you’re dealing with all kinds of post-Cancer Treatment effects that affect your physically, emotionally and spiritually.

breast cancer ribbon Life After Breast CancerThe Effects of Breast Cancer Surgery & Treatment

Breast Cancer Surgery will typically result in:

  • Pain to the affected areas
  • Tightness in the chest, underarms, sides, and abdominals
  • Reduced range of motion in the shoulder
  • Postural deviations such as internal shoulder rotation and hunched shoulders and upper back
  • Weakness in the affected muscles such as pecs and lats
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Internal Shoulder rotation, postural deviations, weakness & muscle imbalance in pecs/lats/seratus
  • Decreased Bone Mineral Density and loss of muscle as a result of Chemotherapy and Radiation.  The loss in Bone and Muscle one year after chemo and radiation is the same as 10 year losses in women! Read the rest of Life After Breast Cancer
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Change Your Mind and Change Your Body

Pitfalls to a Healthy Lifestyle – Change Your Mind and Change Your Body

sherrijumpingeditA 199x300 Change Your Mind and Change Your BodySucceeding with your health and fitness program often requires a change in mindset. Sometimes even when you have intentions of doing the right thing, if you have the wrong attitude about it, it can slip you up!

See if you find yourself in any of the following pitfalls to a long-term health and fitness program:

‘All or nothing’ Phenomenon: 

  • You are scheduled for a 60 minute workout but something comes up and you cannot get to the gym for the allocated time.  You scrap the workout and decide you will try to fit it in tomorrow.
  • You have decided to eat healthier but one day you slip a bit at lunch and have a chocolate bar.
  • You decide that since you have already failed for the day, you might as well throw in the towel and indulge in a few cookies, a bowl of ice cream and a bag of chips.
  • Tomorrow is another day.

Can you see how this “all or nothing” approach works against you? 

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Stay On Track This Time!

What went wrong?  Why did you fail last time?

Most people have great intentions and start an exercise program over and over and over again.  They decide to start working out and eat healthy and within a few months, for whatever reason, find themselves back where they started.  Something like a New Year’s resolution, summer, a wedding or a reunion sparks their interest and motivates them to try again.  They decide they will go on a diet or they will exercise every day.

Eventually, most people fail again because they are basically mimicking exactly what they did last time. 

Why do people get in the bad habit of just repeating past attempts doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result – isn’t that the definition for insanity?  The bottom line is that whatever forced you off track last time, will more than likely surface again. 

track 300x199 Stay On Track This Time!This time, though, things are going to be different. You are going to be prepared and you are going to stay on track this time!  You need to develop a strategy for overcoming roadblocks posed by work, kids, fatigue or lack of time.  We are going to determine how you are going to balance it all.  For example, if previously you found work or family responsibilities got in the way of you achieving your goals, your strategy may be to book your workout appointments into your schedule like you would any other appointment. You will carve that time out for you, your most important asset! You would not cancel a business appointment with an important client or cancel your yearly physical with your doctor.  Likewise,

you must never cancel your workouts. 

Another strategy may be to Read the rest of Stay On Track This Time!

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