TARA MARIE’S TOP TEN WAYS TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!
TWO: Put exercise at the top of your list. If you are truly committed to achieving your goals, you will sometimes have to sacrifice other things to make room for your fitness program. I am not suggesting that you don’t take your sick child to the doctor, but you may have to forgo meeting your friends for drinks after work when your time is tight.
I am reminded of one of my girlfriends who is quite the social butterfly. We laugh because she doesn’t have time to always get to the gym during the week because she has a very robust social schedule and has engagements most evenings. I, however, rarely have time to socialize during the week because I go to the gym in the evening after work.
We all make time for the activities that we believe are a priority and the rest we do when and if we “have time.” The truth is, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but we all place a different level of importance on different things. There is no right or wrong choice, but make sure that your choices are aligned with your goals.
I have worked with many movers and shakers and asked them how they make time for exercise during a busy week. Every person said the same thing: they schedule an appointment with themselves and keep the appointment, making it a priority as they do their appointments with CEOs and business clients.
Put exercise at the top of your list and book an appointment with yourself. Once you book the time, regard it as highly as you would any other appointment to which you are committed. You are certainly worth it.
Stay tuned for Tip #3!
TARA MARIE’S TOP TEN WAYS TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!
ONE: Stop trying and start doing.
Set yourself up mentally for success with an “I will” attitude rather than an “I’ll try” attitude.
Saying “I’ll try” to exercise is really saying, “I will exercise if everything else gets done, if I am still in the mood, and if nothing better comes up.”
Yes, unexpected things happen and our best intentions are sometimes derailed, but the mindset that you bring to your self-care is of prime importance. If you take an “I’ll try” attitude toward your health and fitness plan, you are essentially putting yourself and your plan at the bottom of the list.
When you take an “I will” attitude, you are putting the two at the top of the list. In other words, unless you are dead or seriously disabled, you are going to find a way to fit some form of movement into your day—no excuses—period!
One of my favorite quotes is by Pat Riley, widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time. He said, “There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between.”
Decide now to bring an “I will” attitude to your life. Stop trying to do things and just do them. Make a commitment and hold yourself to a high standard.
Every day when you awaken is a chance for a fresh start. Decide today to be better, do better, and live better than yesterday. Greatness begins with a quiet decision to pursue excellence.
There are occasions in life that knock us down and it seems impossible to be positive in the moment. Loved ones die, relationships break up, we experience a health crisis, businesses fail, homes are lost, people disappoint us, we disappoint ourselves, or mundane things happen that ruin our day: this is life as an adult. Much of it is no fun, and you have to get over it.
When it seems IMPOSSIBLE to put a positive spin on a given circumstance, you can still ALWAYS be resilient.
Being resilient simply means that you WILL get up when you are knocked down. It means that NO MATTER WHAT, you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and fight your way back. It means that NOTHING and NO ONE can break you, because you will always get up swinging.
I continue to learn the skill of being resilient, and the more I practice, the easier it gets. At this point, I still can get twisted in knots about something and indulge in a 2-day crying jag, but for the most part I am learning to take my knocks and keep going. The secret is in the way we frame the things that happen in our lives.
I saw an episode of ABC’s 20/20 that featured 4 billionaires that all started with nothing and built an empire. One of the consistent traits they shared was that they shrugged off failure like it was nothing and kept going. While many people let failure put an end to their dreams, these billionaires played life like it was a game of Monopoly and accepted failure as a part of being successful.
The show reminded me of a former client of mine that I’ll call John. John is a global financier and spends his day making deals with sums of money that most of us never have occasion to even think about.
As a high-powered businessman, he always checked his Blackberry between sets at the gym. On one particular day, he reviewed his emails as I was loading the squat rack with another couple of plates. I heard him say in a monotone voice, “Oh, crap,” and then let out what almost sounded like cocky laughter. When I asked him what had happened, he told me that he had just lost a 26 MILLION dollar deal. He said it like he was asking me to get him another towel.
For the majority of my life, I struggled with my body image and had a very dysfunctional relationship with both food and exercise. I was born in 1965 and grew up when Twiggy was the world’s most famous model—the “look” that was valued at that time was long, lanky, and thin, thin, thin! My very well-meaning mom, who swore by the credo, “You can’t be too rich or too thin,” was diligent about keeping her own weight as low as possible and made sure that I understood that being thin was equated with being attractive and successful.
The only real glitch in the situation was that I was built more like a lineman than a model. All my life I was a sturdy little gal—never frail and tiny like so many of my classmates growing up. Wanting the best for me, my mom warned that I had a “problem” figure and needed to carefully monitor my food intake so as not to get fat. I was taught that it would almost be better to be dead than fat. I personally did not see the problem, but as a kid you believe what you are told. I internalized the message that my body was a “problem” and dedicated myself to finding a solution.
I was struck by a quote that I read recently by George Jung: “Life passes most people by while they’re making grand plans for it.” It really hit me, as I spend many hours talking to clients that have big plans and grandiose visions of what they are going to do. I have been in this position myself: talking a great game but failing to take action and more importantly, failing follow through until the goal is reached. My Mom used to say, “Don’t tell me what you’re going to do; tell me what you’ve done.” When she would say this to me, I would get annoyed because I wanted someone else to buy into my story. Now that I have moved past the days that I tell myself “stories” I see the validity of her point.
Many of us talk a good game, but it never goes beyond talk. We need to ask ourselves WHY? Is it that we simply don’t want something badly enough? Is it that we are lazy and don’t want to do the work involved? Is it that we are somehow afraid of success and the responsibility that it will bring? I personally can vouch that I have fallen into all of these mental traps.
In all my years working in the fitness industry, I have noted patterns of behavior that many of us share. Unfortunately, most of the behavioral patterns that I see are destructive and hold us back from getting what we really want. This is a shame, as I do believe that people begin a new fitness and eating plan with good intentions. Here is but one of the many negative thought patterns that I have observed over the years and have fallen prey to, myself: Thinking of yourself as GOOD or BAD!
If you believe that you are good when you stick to your plan and bad when you take a detour or have a minor setback, you are going to turn a LAPSE into a RELAPSE and finally, suffer a total COLLAPSE!
Let’s say you fall off the wagon. First, you tell yourself you are bad; yes, you are a bad person because you ate the left over pizza in the fridge. Labeling yourself as “bad” will make you feel like a failure. You are not good at anything, and Mother was right: you will never marry, have seven cats and die alone. You think, “What’s the use of even trying?”
Now you feel like you have “blown it,” and since you are a bad person AND a failure and have blown it, why not just totally blow it?
Finally, you spiral into state of worthlessness because you are bad, you are a failure, you have “blown it,” and you have wasted one more day of your life that you’ll never get back.
Sound familiar? I have been stuck here, circling the drain, myself.
Have you ever started a new diet and exercise program that fizzles fast because you just can’t take it anymore? You need to get real!
First, do what works for you. This is your program, and it must accommodate you—your skill level, and activities that you know you will do. If you try to follow the same fitness plan as your single gal-pal at work, it may not fit into your life if you are a working wife and mom with three rug rats! Examine your life, what you like to do, and your limitations. Customize your fitness plan to meet your needs and it will take less effort to maintain it.
Next, create a plan that you can live with forever: no shortcuts here—your plan is your new lifestyle, and you must create one that you have time to incorporate into your schedule. Taking extreme measures will do nothing for you in the long run. It’s better to make and sustain small changes than to do anything too extreme for a short while. If you get overwhelmed or frustrated when thinking about “forever,” think only about today. Tomorrow will come and you will handle it when it gets here.
Want to have a social life this holiday season while watching your weight? Here are some easy tips to keep your waistline in check and still enjoy the dolce vita. I call this list, TEN WAYS TO ENJOY A PARTY AND NOT REGRET IT IN THE MORNING!
1. Don’t be a two-fisted eater. Slow down, chew, talk, and keep one hand free to wave at your friends across the room!
2. Drink smart. If you want to drink alcohol, drink one glass of sparkling water between imbibing in the fun stuff! This will fill you up and slow down your intake of alcohol (and empty calories).
3. NEVER go to a party famished. There are two reasons for this: there may not be any (even moderately) healthy fare offered, and arriving starved will undoubtedly lead to binge eating!
4. No loitering allowed! Back away from the buffet after you have filled a plate, and go to the other side of the room to mix and mingle. Hang out under the mistletoe, NOT at the buffet table!
Sir Isaac Newton said in his first law of motion, which is also known as the law of inertia, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
Newton’s Laws of Motion were first published on July 5, 1687, and since then nothing has changed.
It’s a fact: a body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest. Get up and move your body everyday and you will want to eat in such a way that you feed yourself rather than gorge yourself.