Have you ever set a New Year’s Resolution? Or set a weight or a performance goal? Setting goals is a process. If you’ve ever been inspired to or forced to (I taught a health studies course for years, so that is for my students) … and if you’ve ever wondered, why you didn’t follow through or why you quit… then this episode is for you.
If you’re listening at the start of the New Year when I created this episode and setting goals for a new year that’s healthier, lighter, fitter, happier, more prosperous, or full of love you’re going to find this fascinating. Whether you’re just about to set goals or you’ve already set goals my hope for you is that setting goals is easier, effortless, and that they work for you better after this.
As I release this episode STRONGER I my 12 week program is launching. In every program I like to think that I’ve helped reduce some of the questions about goals make sense when it comes to the how do I do it? For instance if you want to be more toned, loss some of the belly fat specifically, or just overall weight, or you want to sleep better – all things that the right hormone balancing exercise plan can provide, how much and how often do you do? I take care of that. So if you know what you want and you’re still in search of the how to do it, I’ve got you covered. But you’ve only got a few days literally so register right now. If you’re coming later, the doors open a few times a year, and you can be the first to know when it opens again.
I’ve studied the science of behavior change for over 30 years. Including the stages of change, the so-called S.M.A.R.T. goals, and look back at all the goal setting my clients, university students, and the fitness instructors and trainers I’ve worked with in over 35 years and include my own personal experience having gone from someone who hated running in high school to someone who majored in exercise sciences and has completed many marathons and Ironman triathlons
Did you know that SMART goals originated in 1981 in an article by George T. Doran in Management Review.
This is one of those things that should inspire you to do anything that might be on your goal list. If he can do it so can you. The question is… is there any scientific proof that a SMART goal actually works? When was it adopted by health and fitness?
Indeed, teaching goal setting has become a staple of coaches and trainers and health educators. Yet, goal attaining isn’t actually any research showing SMART goals are more successful.
Despite decades of use there is little or no scientific data that the SMART goal formula either increases goal-setting behavior or produces better results than goal setting without using the SMART formula.
I’d been teaching SMART goals for a decade and a half – in fact as part of curriculum at Iowa State University and I began about 20 years ago to include my observation and opinion that SMART goals alone were dumb.
The SMART stand for Specific Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time.
So let me break those each down a little.
S for specific I would definitely agree with.
If you want to be in better shape or exercise more those goals are pretty illusive.
To make them more specific you would define what better shape is for you. Do you want to be faster, stronger, have a better body composition (less fat, more muscle)?
If its exercise more, then consider your habits in the recent past? Say, instead of averaging your 2 times a week exercise sessions, your goal is to exercise 5 days a week. Now you’ve nailed a specific goal.
But I also gave you two different type of examples. Better shape is an outcome goal, and exercise more is an action goal. Which one do you think is easier to control? You can set both, but I encourage you to definitely set your action goals.
M stands for measureable. And we just did that too for exercise more. But for better shape you have to choose if it’s that you want better body composition then you’d measure your percent body fat and body muscle right now. (which by the way I recommend all of our program participants do – STRONGER I participants have to do it to access their videos!)
A traditionally stands for attainable, within a time frame. So you wouldn’t want to say go to the gym every single day this year. Never eat sugar this year.
The other A that I often used is the actions. So rather than the outcome goals of improving body composition (less fat, more muscle) the actions are:
Lift weights 2x a week for major muscles
Do more interval training and less endurance exercise
Include high quality protein at 3 meals a day
R originally was realistic. But that one I challenge. How excited are you about a realistic goal?
Should You Set Realistic or Exciting Goals?
Should you only reach for examples of what you’ve seen before? Then who would ever have broken the record for running a faster mile or built an airplane or become a president of color?
R can and should be relevant. I think that’s obvious but if it isn’t something you want and it’s relevant to you, why bother right? But when it was a business goal or you’re setting for a team like I do for personal training departments or solo trainers, this is definitely important.
T stands for time. In this case, even if it’s a year when you’re going to measure again, I’d suggest you set monthly goals to measure your body composition and weekly to measure your action goals.
That’s a quick description of setting goals and how you’d fit them under SMART. Hopefully, that helps you understand how to focus on those goals you might be setting.
Before I dive into the second half of this episode, I want to thank CBD for Life for sponsoring this episode. If you’ve ever experienced a little soreness after a workout, you know you’ve got a little inflammation going on. After taking a full month off of anything but recovery workouts since my triathlon when I started back I definitely got sore. CBD for Life rubs have been amazing to get my hips and glutes feeling more comfortable. I even gifted some to my 93-year old mom for her lower back. I care about what’s in the products I put on and love that there are none of the toxins in their products – only the body rebalancing things I do want. I’ll link to CBD for Life in the show notes and add the special Flipping50 link where listeners can try it for less. The lavender rub is my favorite.
Since we know that there’s no data proving that using SMART goals is better than any other method, make sure that if you use it, it works for you!
The best thing the acronym SMART has going for it is that it’s memorable. SMART. We all know it.
But the system itself should show you anything is possible. This was born out of an article… a system or method born out of the mind of a man with an idea. A perfect example of an exciting perspective not a realistic one.
There are several things missing from SMART goals. The first thing missing is emotion. SMART goals are logical. Fitness and health goals are usually emotional when they’re followed through on.
There should be urgency.
You want it and you don’t want to wait. You are not motivated you are committed. Sharing goals and getting support for those goals is crucial.
There are components of goal setting that you must consider related to whether we’re talking about getting there vs. the trip there. Are you setting goals based on the end result you want or are you setting the actions to get there?
I suggest that you first set a powerful end transformation. Do it without your logical brain or the little voice in your head interrupting you telling you:
So stifle those thoughts for now. You’re only dreaming about what would be so amazing you woke up in the morning loving the life you live and the skin you’re in. Turn off your logical brain for a few minutes.
Make sure you’ve not left these 3 things out. Sure writing down your goals is a part of making them more effective. But that’s still a logical simple task. How you write them down and what you’re thinking will make those goals far more likely to be goals you will follow through on.
Watch videos of athletes or others doing expertly what it is you want to do. Collect images of those you want to emulate. You have to see it done perfectly before you can do it perfectly.
Mental rehearsal was something I learned about in the 80’s. It was used by athletes and employed by sports psychologists. One of my favorites was William P. Morgan of the University of Wisconsin. He was the first to connect the antidepressant effects of exercise and sport, which was the start of associating mental health and exercise.
It was used by athletes who traveled long distances to competition without days ahead of the actual competition to practice once they arrived. It was used by athletes who were injured. There was no difference between those tennis athletes who mentally rehearsed a perfect serve or golfers who mentally rehearsed the perfect chip than those who physically did it.
I want to point out here that no great athlete or business person focuses on what they don’t want. They don’t focus on missing the shot, or even avoiding the pond or sand trap, or on losing the sale. They focus on the ball landing perfectly in the exact spot they want it then rolling to a stop in the exact spot the hole is in. They focus on making the sale or a better sale.
Think about anyone who is good at something. It can be anything… cooking, baking, decorating, drawing, running, basketball. Who comes to mind for you?
I can easily think about the golfers in my life. My step dad and my son both are such perfect examples of this. Not only did they spend time practicing the sport. When they weren’t they were reading Golf Digest, watching golf’s greats on TV, and consuming everything golf that they could. They thought about themselves as golfers.
My 15-year old began to wear collared shirts more than t-shirts. Any sport that can get a high school boy to comfortably wear a pink shirt was OK with me. He became a golfer.
So there are three common denominators I walk both my private clients and group programs through. Here they are if you want to crush your 2020 goal setting and goal getting. From seeing the vision…
There must be emotion in the goals and the transformation you want. This is the second step but it’s the absolute most important part of what it is you will do.
One of the biggest challenges the SMART goals have in health and fitness is that they’re void of emotion. The process is logical. That can work for a business – so long as the employees are emotional about what they need to do and why – but it’s not very helpful in fitness.
The success of mental rehearsal involved feeling in your body. You needed not just to see a picture in your mind of someone or yourself swinging a golf club perfectly. You needed to feel the club in your hand and the texture of the grip as you laid your left hand and right hand together to align the perfect grip. You felt the club in the air just above the ground.
If you can create strong feelings inside your body when you think about what it is you really want you can trick your brain. If you repeat the experience of those feelings and imagine what it is you want so clearly, frequently your brain will begin to respond as if it’s reality.
When that happens the brain sends signals to your cells and physically begins to make that come true.
It’s proven in what’s widely known now as the placebo effect. You can get results based on the belief what you’re doing will get results. Now, those actions have to be in alignment and can’t be counter to your goal for best results.
Act like the transformation has happened. Act and talk “as if.” Behave as if. You, in fact, become someone who has habits of the person you want to become.
If you’re listening and you’ve had a goal, a repeating goal for quite some time, the problem isn’t what you might think. The problem isn’t motivation or discipline. It is most likely that it doesn’t excite you.
If you want to lose weight and then you think life will be great there’s probably more emotion tied to the frustration of weight gain than there is to the joy of being at your optimal weight. You may need to ask, what do you really want to change? How is this really going to change your life?
You may also have some negative feelings around wanting that weight loss. If you see it as a vanity thing and that goes against your first nature being to serve others and get things done it’s not congruent enough with who you are.
So shifting a weight loss goal to… I want to be more intimate with my partner and more confident initiating intimacy and getting that part of our life back on track.
I want to have more energy and focus to accomplish the career goals I have and still have time for myself instead of being exhausted. I want to plan trips and adventures over the weekends instead of recovering from work.
Then you have to do a check in with whether you’re focused on the negatives of what you don’t want or the positive feelings of what you do.
One woman was so focused on weight she wants to lose its all she thought about. She thinks about the negative emotions related to the weight she doesn’t like. She thinks about what she’s doing wrong. She thinks about what else she can try.
She’s got only negative emotion about what she doesn’t want.
Based on the process of feeling the transformation so strongly the “as if” part is what makes your brain interpret this as your new reality. It goes about figuring out how to make it happen.
So yes, you still need to pick up the weights and get breathless doing those intervals. You’ll just be creating something bigger that lasts longer than a 20-minute workout.
And if you string together more meaningful workouts you’ll find setting goals far more effective. It’s not just a process you go through at the beginning of a year, or week, or quarter.
It really helps!
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Are you motivated? Where does motivation even come from? Do you think it takes discipline and willpower to get fit after 50? Do you think you simply don’t have it?
Do you have clarity around these two things:
1. what exactly you want/want to change
2. how to get it
Women notoriously have a challenge stopping to put themselves and their own wishes first. They say they want to but when they really have the chance it’s hard! You’ve been ignoring or stifling what you want for too long!
Then, even if you do resurrect those personal desires and have a vision of what you’d love life to look and feel like, do you have a clear path to get it?
With infobesity and information overwhelm, it’s a challenge to know who to follow and what path to take. That’s not a motivation factor. Now one can be motivated to act if they don’t know what the actions are. If you know, like, and trust someone who can help you’re way ahead! I’m honored if I’m one of those people. And yes, I can help you sort through real and real for you right now at midlife in the midst of hormones and stress.
Then there are two other things to consider.
How much energy do you have to carry out the tasks that if you find clarity on what to do, have to actually be done? You may not have the right chemistry to do it. You may need to commit to nutrition or sleep in order to take action. Action takers have energy, even before they begin to make changes.
But it’s just a matter of habits. No one is born with good habits. They acquire them one by one and so can you.
How urgent or necessary is this for you? Do you think it’s really important or matters that you show up 100% for yourself, for your family or for work or someone else? If you don’t you’re going to have a hard time. Your motivation will wane if you think it doesn’t matter.
If you want more clarity on what to do to burn fat after 50, I invite you to my free online webinar Fit-U:
I’ll teach you:
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Chances are if you’re reading this you’ve got intentions about getting fit after 50.
I just returned from the gym. It was 5:45 pm, on a Monday, in January.
Actually, whatever you just imagined, it wasn’t quite that bad! There were parking spaces and really it was kind of quiet in the weight room and cardio area. Must have been the warm weather today that allowed Coloradans outside.
Yet, this time of night isn’t without some bumping into big young guys in the weight room anywhere in America.
I don’t wear ear buds & ipods at the gym so it’s hard not to overhear. That’s so much kinder than saying I was eavesdropping. Two college-age guys were excitedly chatting about a business plan and an app they’ve got in the works, well at least the idea stage right now.
Had I not wanted to rat on myself, and the fact I was totally listening, I would have injected a comment. I didn’t. I did smile ear to ear though, thinking what a funny comment.
“The hardest thing is deciding,” one said. “It’s committing. I feel like that day is the hardest day. Once you do that everything is easy.”
LMAO on the hip sled as they were bench-pressing mirror muscles, I thought, we’ll see.
See, I believe THAT day is the EASIEST day! It’s every day that follows that is hard.
Whether you’re talking about a business plan, a project, a marriage, or having a baby or … your getting fit the easiest day is deciding, signing up for the program, setting the New Year’s intention (or whatever you fondly call them), declaring I’m in for good out loud to the universe and maybe God and everyone you know… that’s easy.
Then there is the follow through on the commitment …
… when the alarm goes off at 4am (and it’s dark and it’s warm under the covers)
… when your spouse does something that really makes you angry or hurts your feelings
… when the cuddly bundle of joy you had is projectile vomiting across the room for the first time or has colic and you can’t stop it
… when it’s intimidating to walk into a new gym, new weight room
… when you don’t like the way you look and feel in your exercise clothes let alone the way you feel hot and sweaty
… when you have to travel for work and plan ahead how to order at restaurants and bring healthy food in your suitcase
… when you don’t like what your trainer has planned and you throw every possible obstacle out there for why you can’t do it
… when you’re full of excuses and it’s really not about the program, the trainer, but it’s about you doubting you
… when you want to believe that anyone who is getting fit after 50 must have a luxurious life with maids, and trainers, and no laundry to do and more hours in the day than you … but even you know that’s false.
That’s my observation about the hardest day on the journey to getting fit after 50. It’s every one after that first day you jubilantly declare your optimistic future dreams. Those days when you have to roll up your sleeves, not because it’s always about manual labor or hard work… but because it is about changing your habits and your mindset about the way it was going to be.
You are stubborn; a creature of habit. So am I.
Habit gravity is like the devil.
When you’re committed you’ve decided everything is “figuroutable” and even if the GPS you thought you were setting isn’t going to get you there, you do the U-turn and keep going.That is darn frustrating, right? To realize in the hurried state we’re always in that you’ve been driving in the stinking wrong direction?
So it is if you’re “eating healthy” or exercise hard every day and can’t lose a pound of weight. Not necessarily the right answer and usually the dead end for a woman whose started peri-menopause or is over 50.
Every day that you drop a little of your resistance to the plan that is right and you trust that process instead of giving into that devil-like resistance keeping you from what you want, that’s a good day.
When you recognize that you have resistance before you sabotage yourself with resistance again, that’s a good day.
If you want some support reducing your resistance and getting fit after 50 click here. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, click here instead – for my course specifically designed for fat burning, for women, over 50 based on science, and over 30 years of primary research working with midlife and older women.
Are you goal setting this year? Notice I didn’t ask if you’re making New Year’s Resolutions. I hope you’re goal setting. Really though, I hope you’re goal getting.
Every year since 2000 I’ve led a Best Year coaching workshop either in person or online for my coaching clients, staff members, and I’ve done it myself. I think goal setting is powerful, as long as you create the plan to get the goals you set. It isn’t that goals create motivation. The plan to reach the goals creates commitment.
If you attended college and completed a degree in the major of your choice it took some commitment. It did for me at least. I had to be really committed those semesters I took chemistry, physics, and statistics. My very first semester as a then graphic design major, I thought Art History would kill me. Thankfully, 5 other girls on my dorm floor were taking it at the same time. I got a tutor for physics and statistics.
Reflecting on that makes me wonder why we think it should be different as adults. But we seem to think it should be easy to change or do something new, by ourselves, without any support. I had a tutor for statistics and for physics! I’ve finally asked for help in these last three and a half years more times than I have in my entire adult life. Trauma will do that. It’s hard to ask for help, potentially the hardest thing ever. Give it? Sure, in a heartbeat. But asking for help, whether because of pride or ego or some other reason is so hard for so many of us.
Many of us avoid goal setting, making New Year’s Resolutions, or starting programs. We avoid starting. Even if we know the thing we would start will be a valuable step we don’t do it. I just read an email from a business community friend that nailed it. There may be joy in procrastination he said.
When we are teetering on the top of potential choices we are filled with hope and optimism. If we set a narrow focus on a goal we allow ourselves to be judged or graded by our progress. Our harshest judge, of course, is ourself.
Procrastination allows the myth of perfectionism to persist. Under every perfectionist is a tough inner critic. Without starting you have a safety net. You can’t fail if you don’t have a goal and a plan. You can live in Excuseville.
Not long ago at the request of several readers I posted a typical day of work/activity/nutrition. A comment came from a reader that suggested what I’d posted was a schedule for the wealthy. After I picked myself up from LMAO, I responded that reality was I had been as close to broke in the last 4 years as anyone gets and laid it all on the line to start over. Working for yourself is not a 8-5 job with kids (I’ve been there… and that’s a cake walk by comparison). But even before I wrote I knew whatever I wrote would not matter.
If you believe that you can’t you will be absolutely right. The human nature is to make ourselves right. If you believe because you have a job and a commute, a household, a family and they get in the way of you living your best healthy life, you will do everything in your power to make that right. It’s a safe place to be. It’s not a very happy place though, is it?
What you think becomes your reality.
My friend, Dean Jackson, who sent me the email that got me thinking about this mentioned his resistance to scheduling appointments. I laughed when I read it, because I think we’re all there. We’re so over scheduled that we love our freedom to choose to do what we want when we want. We have this fear of missing out (FOMO).
I suggest that if you’re hopping around from information channel to information channel, from one fitness expert to another that you too have a FOMO. You won’t commit to one because you might miss the next – better – thing. It’s the tortoise and hare. While the hare is looking for shortcuts and quick fixes, the tortoise is moving ever slowly but steadily to the goal.
We resist scheduling things now. When we resist though we throw away chances that tomorrow or next year will be better. Your future depends on the choices you make now. If you want to be a knockout in sleeveless tops or shorts next summer, your actions today and tomorrow all month matter. There are two questions that Dean asks so he can avoid staying right where he is now:
What would you like to do tomorrow?
If not now, when?
You see this next question coming, right? What do you want to do today, then to make that happen?
If you have a vision (or a vision board like I create annually) it doesn’t really matter until you have a plan to make that vision real. Be specific with what you want. Be more specific with how you’re going to get there. Goal setting has to be specific. It’s not:
It’s statements like this:
You would even deep dive further with any of these. Here’s an example of the first bullet above:
This question has been a catalyst for my starting so many things. I began doing triathlons when I was 40 because those “0” birthdays can move a bucket list item to a to-do list fast. I knew it wasn’t going to get easier later. When I was bike shopping and looking at a triathlon bike vs. a road bike there was logic and then there was, “if not now, when” and I’ve never regretted getting the tri bike. This month in fact I upgraded to a new tri bike.
This question is how I quit two jobs I loved, moved two states away, started pursuing my own business full time instead of half-heartedly pretending it was anything more than a hobby. It’s how daily I get up at 4am and get SD.
But that’s me.
And this is about you.
In this past week on live Facebook broadcasts inside private groups and on the Flipping50TV page I’ve heard a resounding message echoed.
…I need commitment.
I so need to do this.
How can I stay motivated?
It’s not motivation. It’s commitment. To get that degree, to have that job, to stay in that job, there are always parts of it you don’t love. And you’re not going to love getting out of bed early every day. You’re going to resist it because the rest of your day is full of things you have to do, places you have to be (another meeting, anyone?), and times you have to be there. It’s true.
Do it anyway.
I don’t agree or endorse a large percent of social media memes and messages. But one that I do agree with is… “said no one ever” following “hated my workout, wished I never have done that.” Seriously, as much as you might dislike exercise, or just the getting out from under those warm covers, no one ever regrets a workout. It might have been hard or light but… done and keeping your promise (your commitment) to yourself is such a rush you’ll feel good all day because of it.
A woman with a goal is a powerful thing. A goal that lights you up and makes you spontaneously smile changes you. Even when you want to procrastinate. There is only short-lived joy in procrastination.
Cheers to your 2018! Every single day of it.
Susan McNamee is doing her 8th of Ironman triathlons Sunday November 26, 2017. She’s 65. A little over three years ago she had done one just a few months before. She’s been busy and she’s thriving on the triathlon lifestyle. Hear her #nevertoolate story. Prepared to be inspired. She’s definitely still got it!
Back in August of 2014 Susan was a guest on the show after her second Ironman triathlon right in her backyard in Boulder, CO. She’s not only completed the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile marathon that collectively makes Ironman triathlons, 8 times over the last four years but she’d done numerous half Ironmans, and Olympic distance and sprints as well.
She is a connector in the triathlon community and at 65 she’s a “sponsored” athlete getting companies to support her efforts with clothing, sunglasses, and nutrition to name a few. It’s any young athlete’s dream and she’s relatively new to the sport.
In case you didn’t hear that first podcast, Susan couldn’t swim before she signed up for her first Ironman. Swimming 2.4 miles in open water (a lake, river or ocean) some degree of proficiency is required. Susan swam that first one buoy to buoy. She’s told a few stories of having to do that in rough water since then too but she’s made many improvements since that first IM three years ago.
Ironman triathlons may not be your activity of choice. There’s no denying the dedication, discipline and willpower that it entails. Athletes give some things up in order to get the chance to train to race. They willingly sacrifice for early mornings and early bedtimes to experience the joy that comes from movement.
Every athlete has a story. There is something that motivates a person to do what most people can’t or won’t. It may sound sexy, but it’s often anything but. A cover of a triathlon magazine never looks quite like a finish line for Ironman triathlons when an athlete comes in after swimming in a lake, riding through heat, wind and then running into the night. It’s as dirty and sweaty as most people ever get. At the same time there is something incredibly cleansing about getting from start to end on your own power with your own mind.
Want to connect and follow Susan?
Holiday magic doesn’t have to derail your fitness or health routine. It’s not impossible to stay on track, love the season, and yourself after. A little pre-festivity planning will carry you through.
With a few tricks and tips from Debra you’ll be able to create and commit to a holiday survival (or thrive!) plan that you will be glad you had. Start now while there is plenty of time. Think of your step-by-step plan and while you raise your expectation for each holiday experience, be sure you also raise the floor. Don’t expect too little of yourself any more.
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Holiday success kit for cravings, easy breakfasts, and satisfying fiber fix for traveling feeling your optimal best.
Take the time to:
So that you can enjoy the holidays and love you time with friends and family while still loving yourself and where you are after the holidays. It can be done. You’ll have a richer, warmer, more enjoyable time during.
It’s not about depriving yourself or making crazy with impossible goals. There will be resistance and yet, with a plan that you’ve got a clear why for, you’ll find it simple easy, and enjoyable to take care of yourself during holiday entertaining, shopping, and traditions.
No matter what your eating style you can find recipes to make in advance.
You can find exercise to do in minutes at home or in a hotel room or relative’s guest bedroom if need be.
And you can find sleep tricks so you’ll feel rested and best.
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Listen to the weight loss success story of a 62-year old business owner who eats every meal but breakfast out:
Nine months ago I made an intention with a placebo* pill. I wanted to be more present in the lives of people I love. As a part of that exercise in mindful intention however, I screwed up.
I stated the superficial revenue goal that I thought would accomplish this for me. It, so I thought, would allow me the comfort zone for freedom and flexibility to spend my time in a more meaningful way.
Every month that passed that I didn’t reach that goal, I wondered why and what I was doing wrong. At a mastermind meeting last weekend it donned on me that I had done it in reverse.
I speak about having your “why” in order to get through motivational slumps. In fact, I prefer the “cry why.” If it gets you emotionally, you’ve got it. I never had the reaction I had last weekend last August. I immediately had tears in my eyes when I worked it backwards. I actually felt it in my body when I said it. I’ve had that same reaction every day I’ve taken it since. It wasn’t the money that was the little hinge it was the ability to be present in moments that matter. That is what I wanted as a result of the financial goal. When I flipped my words to reflect that I was here already, present now, it changed everything.
Things have begun to change. Opportunities to reach more people and connect women to their “why” and the how to get there have opened up, yes, even in 7 days. In fact, the very afternoon I took the xpill something big happened during a conversation with a friend. I’ve felt myself be IN the moments since with members of my family so much more.
You probably know the place where I’ve been before this. There but not. Physically I’m in one place and always thinking about the next. Some how calculating how much time each task or “to-do” will take as I’m doing the one before it without paying any real attention at all.
Action for Change Exercise:
Step 1: Write down what you don’t like about right now.
Energy. Can’t sleep. Brain fog. Extra weight. Belly fat. A softness you didn’t used to have. Arm jiggle. Cellulite. Moodiness. Lack of confidence.
Step 2: Pick a goal.
Use something that will have the biggest impact on all.
You might say lose weight, especially the belly fat or upper arm flab you’ve noticed recently. [I might argue that sleep would be the hinge for you.]
Step 3: Dig into your goal.
Answer why you want it. This will work if you still have work to do to get to your real goal. If, like I made the mistake of choosing a tangible end thing, your why will be different.
Step 4: Ask why again. Keep asking what’s important about that.
That first why and maybe this one too is still a little like topical lotion. You need to get inside. For me the financial goal I tried to reach for was about good things but it wasn’t an emotionally driven thing. “Being fully present” as a goal brought images of loved ones and specific moments to my mind. I connected my heart and my head when I stated that intention the first time, and I do again every day when I repeat it.
At the moment I take the xpill I literally see in my mind devastating moments of being forced to be there. I see moments when I was resisting being there, wanting things to be untrue. I see moments right now this week when because I’m paying attention I feel so much more. My heart has been filled in the last 10 days by connecting to both colleagues on the same path and family who have seen the worst and best moments of life with me.
It’s true, even as a coach, I am in the boat with you. I think, it’s required, really. How could I ever provide personal trainers with a model of marketing and programming for their best customers? I knew I needed to always be doing it myself as long as I was going to be coaching them. So it is here too. How could I ever share secrets and success stories about how to stay vibrant and full of energy in a distracting over-stimulating world? I have to be overcoming obstacles too. I’ve got to be looking and wanting more which will mean new levels of resistance every step.
I ran last week on a clothing-optional beach in San Diego. Most were opting not. I was clothed, by the way. I’m from Iowa after all. Roots grow deep. Don’t think I wasn’t tempted though to get way out of my comfort zone and slip into nakedness in the crowd if only for myself. I ran out of time before I had the chance.
But truly what happened this week was that I felt more naked than shedding clothes would make me. It felt good. Freeing. Authentic, honest, raw and simple. I spoke in my hometown. I’ve been presenting to big and small audiences for 30 years, as part of my livelihood, but this one meant more.
Growing up in a small town can be filled with wondering what the neighbors will think and worry about fitting in. The external criticism can make you second-guess yourself. Until, that is, you have some turning point. It can be a slow evolution or it can be rapid.
This past year I’ve learned what is drama and what is tragedy. I’m done with the former. I can’t control the latter. The lesson that tragedy teaches is too expensive not to learn. There are things that just don’t matter and should never have earned any real energy but often do.
As I create this blog I have had two letters to write this week: one to my son in honor of his graduation from college and launch into the real world, the other about the impact of Bill Davis on my life. He has been gone since June 25th last year and the sentencing of the young woman who killed him, while on probation with two priors, and far beyond legally drunk, who then left the scene and fled, is May 30th.
These two letters so very different are also so very much the same. I fear my letter to my son will be tainted by the other letter’s content. And I’m also grateful for it. Life becomes much more meaningful when you lose someone out of the order of life. It’s impossible to completely accept Bill is gone. He should be here. The song says it. Every beautiful day. Every biker I pass on the road in Boulder. Every new little league at-bat or in-field play. Every birthday. Every Easter egg hunt. Every just little moment when supper has to get on the table and there aren’t a second pair of hands to grill or clean spills. When three little bodies all need showers, baths and pajamas. When there is math homework to help with and the walk to the bus that used to be Bill’s pleasure before work.
Realizing that hope does happen after such a loss is helpful. It may not be constant but it begins to show up more regularly. These serious little messages go far beyond, “Congratulations on your graduation, yah, you!” cards that I couldn’t bring myself to glance at more than once.
Then there were the cards that messaged… May life always be kind to you.
I put that one back immediately. That, is full of silly unrealistic wishes. I was looking for one that comes closer to You’re stronger than you think. My hope is that no matter what comes you feel strength to handle it. May you know that you have a net. There is always a net. In even the worst of situations, there is love. We’ve got your back.
I indoor skydived last week. Heading to the venue once we knew what was happening, I was filled simultaneously with anticipation and apprehension. I found out some of us were eating dinner before our turn in the “tube.” I thought that was definitely a bad idea. After my first turn however, I was in love. What happens when you fall forward in trust is amazing.
So what I’d tell him, and you if you need to hear it, is go ahead and feel the risk. Lean in, chin up, and fall forward. You can fly.
*If you’re not sure you know what placebo is or what research is currently revealing about it, check out Prevention Magazine’s May 2017 issue. There is a great article about it and the power. YOU can change your life with the power of your thoughts.
New Year’s Resolutions or not, a fresh start is always an opportunity to set goals, and get clear on what you want. Walk through the steps of choosing your goal, setting the actions and determine the big why behind your goal. You know, the thing that gets you out of bed early in the morning.
The link you want for playing Flipping 50’s Wellness Game! (join our community and your first email will give you the link!)
At one point in time “lifting weights” was full of benefits and there was really one protocol we all followed. Does three sets of 10 repetitions sound familiar? Then came choreographed workouts when you added a “pulse” to the set because it fit with the music, if for no other scientific reason.
It’s time to take a closer look at what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and if it’s getting results for you. If you want the most results in the least time your goals should determine your exercise. However, there are many unique-to-you considerations:
This video will help you see how one exercise demonstrated with three different goals in mind might open up a world of better results for you. You can have it all. Don’t panic! For my clients as for myself I focus on each goal within each workout. It’s a time saver, keeps me from being a slave to weight training whether at the gym or where ever I may need to fit it in. As long as I hit it twice a week I’ve covered all my bases.
Prioritize your goals.
Then divide your workout into your highest priorities. Primary goal first. Say, that’s weight loss. You would perform heavy sets of compound (multi-joint exercises like squats, lunges, pushes and pulls) first. You might have a secondary goal of improving your posture. You’d use 30-40% of your exercise time using smaller weights with more repetitions focused on key areas of say your rear shoulders, upper back and core.
I’d love to hear from you. Did you discover a connection between your routine and your goals here? Leave a comment or question below!