Get Dirty

“I can say the willingness to get dirty has always defined us as an nation, and it’s a hallmark of hard work and a hallmark of fun, and dirt is not the enemy.” -Mike Rowe
“Opportunity is missed by most people because its dressed in overalls and looks like work” -Thomas Edison
“Learn young about hard work and manners-and you’ll be through the dirty mess and dead again before you know it” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m noticing, almost daily, how there is a lack of work ethic amongst people.  While I am not perfect, I value and understand hard work.  I have been a part of the work force for 10 years.  I have worked in several industries and varying capacities.  One practice I have had all the way through is to do my very best.  I make a point to do everything I can- prepare, serve others, problem solve, get rejected, learn and study more- to complete my work.  Again, my work isn’t always on point or close to perfect.  But, I put my best foot forward each time.

We are afraid to get dirty.  We are afraid to look bad or make a mistake.  This is a viral issue.  It pops up wherever hard work is required to have progress- a diet, a workout program, the workplace, relationships.  We are insecure about putting in the effort without having all the answers.  We want a sure outcome before going in.  We don’t feel ready so we wouldn’t try.  But you know what?  Life is messy.  It’s not clean and efficient all the time.  Sometimes, to get what we desire, we need to get dirty to some degree.  Yes, I am talking about sweat, pain, and effort in the gym.  But, it goes deeper than that.  In order to progress, we need to be willing dive into the “gunk of life”- scary emotions, scary situations, tough decisions, taking risks.  Life becomes more meaningful when we accomplish things through effort and sweat.

What examples do you have of getting dirty??  Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Gear Up

“Organize, don’t agonize.”  ― Nancy Pelosi
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Be willing to take the first step, no matter how small it is. Concentrate on the fact that you are willing to learn. Absolute miracles will happen.” -Louise Hay

To me, getting ready is an odd concept.  It’s an essential part of our lives.  We get ready for work, get ready for school, get ready for a party, and so on.  Each person has their own definition and routine of “getting ready”. Here, I will focus on getting ready to make a health/ lifestyle change.  But, you can apply this to anything in your life.

Getting ready occurs once we acknowledge something needs to be done.  We realize that our mood has been off, we could lose a few pounds, or ate too much dessert recently.  There is something about our health we want to change.  The first step of any change is “preparing.”  Once you take the first steps, change becomes easier!  Therefore, we need to consider how to get the ball rolling in order to make these changes stick!  Consider these questions when looking to make a change:

-What resources will I need?
-Do I have said resources?
-How much time will I commit to this change?
-Who can I count on for support?
-What are my goals?
-How will I keep motivated during this change?
-What happens if I hit obstacles?

Take, for example, that you want to start running more often.  You realize you need running shoes and workout clothes.  You decide you will commit 1 month to making it a new habit.  You want to run for 30 minutes straight after that month.  You will count on your trainer friend to encourage you and help you with any unseen troubles along your way.
Obviously, this is one hypothetical situation to illustrate how to being making a lasting change.  What other questions would you ask yourself as you “gear up” for a change? Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Why I Workout

“I’ve always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life. When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks. You’ll feel more confident to ask for the promotion. You’ll have more energy to be a better mom. You’ll feel more deserving of love” -Jillian Michaels
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” -John F. Kennedy

I am by no means in my top physical form currently.  I’ve never been a top athlete or have the sexist body.  It’s important to know that your body does not have to be perfect.  You do not have to be a perfect 10 or be featured in a fitness mag to reap the benefits of exercise.

Currently, people will come up with LOADS of reasons why not to do something.  It’s easy.  We can dismiss the activity or person with one tiny excuse.  We stay in our comfort zone and keep going on our merry way.  If it’s inconvenient, it’s not going to happen. Thats what occurs often in society now.  Some typical excuses include: “I don’t have the time”, “It’s too inconvenient”,” it’s too difficult”, or my personal favorite- “why would I get sweaty on purpose?”

We’ve all been there.  We know it’s important. We know we should be doing it.  But, we comfort ourselves by rationalizing why it wouldn’t work.  We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or others.  But, life is not supposed to be 100% comfortable.  It’s CRITICAL to do something you would not normally do to get the results you want.

Instead of making reasons why not to workout, think of some reasons why it IS a good idea.
-It feels good to get moving
-You think more clear after working out
-You get a sense of accomplishment by doing something difficult
-You have a better mood from working out
Of course, your body, mind, and emotions will become more healthy!
Are there other reasons you exercise?  Share below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Excuses Excuses

“When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” ~ Ken Blanchard

“Put all your excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable.” ~ Zig Ziglar

At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets. ― Steve Maraboli

If you read any book about success or speak with someone who has done amazing feats, they will al tell you” do not make excuses”.  Just go to work and do it despite your mind telling you not to.  Your mind will play tricks on you and give you every reason not to do the work.  And we listen.  We allow ourselves to get in the way of ourselves.  We limit our potential because of perceived risks/ downfalls.

I’ll tell you what.  I make excuses.  I sleep in.  I miss workouts.  I don’t cook sometimes.  I talk myself out of being disciplined and doing what is best for me.  I can tell you something for sure. I have rarely regretted waking up early/ on time.  Or going to the gym. Or cooking a healthy nutritious meal.  It gives me a humble confidence knowing I did something despite “obstacles”. I feel better after a workout and solid nights rest.  Also, being disciplined creates mental toughness.  When we do something we do not think we can, we become more willing to do it.  It becomes a habit.  We become stronger physically, mentally, and psychologically.

Think about areas where you know you need to improve, but always reason yourself out of it.  Is it going to the gym?  Eating right?  Limiting sugary drinks?  What excuses do you use to legitimize your choices?  How can you discipline yourself to make a change?  I know.  It’s tough starting out.  That is the tough test part.  After that, it gets easier and becomes part of your routine.  Where will you make a positive change and stop making excuses?  As Always, East, Move, and Improve!

“P”ower Words

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” -Roy E. Disney

“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” -Michelle Obama

“Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out”
“Words” by Hawk Nelson

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”-George Orwell, 1984

I have been thinking about values and words lately.  Most people underestimate their power.  They speak words without a second thought.  We act outside of our values.  No wonder people are miserable and not where they want to be.

Values and words are unusual things.  They are constant, but ever changing.  Values are those foundations we have built within us.  They drive our beliefs and behaviors.  However, they can be shaped, formed, changed, and even ignored.  Words and language are very similar.  Words are constant, but can change when combined with other words.  The words we choose can drive our beliefs and behaviors.  They also can be shaped, formed, changed, or ignored.

At the same time, the meanings of values and words remain the same.  They appear in our lives constantly in different times, situations, and quantities.  I encourage you to value certain words in your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.  These “P” Phrases will help you make better decisions and in effect a better outcome in your life.

People: We tend to underestimate how much we need good people and relationships in our lives..  Surround yourself and focus your time and effort on good people.
Persistence:  Nothing amazing was ever accomplished on the first try.  Consistent effort on something will improve your skill set and allow you to do the amazing.
Positivity:  Not many people like negativity.  Positive thinking has the power to improve situations, conversation, your day, and even your outlook on life  Cultivate your positive attitude daily.
Peace: We lead busy, non stop lives.  It an become exhausting. We don’t get many breaks and it never seems to stop.  Strive to find peace in your day and yourself and your life will have much more meaning.
Patience: Great things take time.  We live in a culture that promises instant gratification.  Choose to be patient in the moment while waiting for what you want.
Priorities: We have thousands of things pulling us all the time- work, family, extracurriculars, chores, errands.  Don’t even think about doing everything that falls into your lap.  Focus on the activities that bring the most joy and results.  You will be more focused and attentive to those fewer activities.

Remember, words and values have meanings.  Choose to live by strong values and speak positive, constructive words.  Watch as your interactions and life improve.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Celebrate You

“This is real
This is me
I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be now
Gonna let the light shine on me
Now I’ve found who I am
There’s no way to hold it in
No more hiding who I wanna be
This is me”
-“This is Me” by Demi Lovato
“I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me”
-“This is Me” by Keala Settle
“Be yourself because an original is worth than a copy” -Unknown
“My life will not be an apology. It will be a statement.” -The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews

Society today pressures us in so many ways.  It wants us to conform.  It wants us to stay the same.  It wants us to be a part of a group.  What’s worse, it makes us feel bad if we stand out.
For any of you who are “different”, you know what I mean.  You may be different in one way or another.  Society makes you feel bad about that.  We’re not supposed to celebrate what makes us different, right?  Society would say so.
I recently saw the movie The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman.  It is loosely based on the origins of the world famous “Barnum and Bailey Circus.”  The movie uniquely showcases how being special can have such an impact in society.  In fact, the character PT Barnum says at one point “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”  The story is quite heartwarming as he and his circus make an impact on society’s preconception on “special” or “different”.
I urge you.  Wherever you are in your journey.  Whatever you think.  Consider yourself uniquely amazing.  You are one of a kind.  Love yourself for all you are, good and bad. Celebrate what makes you different and don’t hide it.   You will feel so much better about yourself in your current position in your journey.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Make Peace

“Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”   Spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.” -Marianne Williamson
“Peace begins with a smile..” -Mother Teresa
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” -Jimi Hendrix

Peace.  We all search for it.  We all want everything to be ok.  We all want our problems to go away.  We want that feeling of total bliss and lack of worry.  We think peace as an outcome.  “Once I lose the weight, I will find peace”.  “Once I achieve my gals, I will feel better about myself.  Peace has always been this enigma everyone wants, but only the select few can attain.

I struggle with finding peace a lot!  Throughout my childhood, I developed a sense of low self esteem and mild anxiety.  These feelings of inadequacy and worry put me in defensive mode most of the time. It hurt my confidence and trust in people.  The good news is that I am aware of these gaps now.  I strive each day to find peaceful moments in my day and work to build back up my confidence and trust in people.   I have learned so much about mindset, feelings, and peace lately.  Truthfully, peace is a choice that we can make TODAY.  Peace allows our minds to be at ease even in the hardest circumstances.  It allows us to treat people better and have a positive outlook.  Here are some ways to develop a more peaceful way of life:

-forgive others and yourself
-let go of negative thoughts and habits
-look for joy in your daily tasks or around you
-listen to peaceful music
-come to terms wth the past
Give these strategies a shot and see how they make you feel.  You may find a new favorite practice that keeps you cool all day long!  Which ways do you find peace?  Let me know below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!