Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Agree to Disagree

One of the things that I've found is a huge contributor to the downturn in the "Happiness & Success" factors in marriage are problems with yourself; especially when solutions cannot be found to ongoing issues between you and your partner. I, like many other people, have time and time again "HAD TO BE RIGHT!".. and in the end it's really done nothing to help the situation.

My husband is stubborn, and like anyone else enjoys the sound of his own voice. I of course try to be a little more diplomatic and tend to remain calm... that is.. to a certain extent. I've found that there is nothing worse then the shouting that follows. It's a battle of wills, an outcry in regards to who's right and who's wrong, yet in the end, we're arguing over the most ridiculous things in the world.

It is unrealistic to think that you and your spouse will always find a solution or compromise that you both find acceptable; there's just no way I can see that happening on a regular basis... But believe it or not, this doesn’t have to create problems in your relationship. You don’t need to have a consensus on everything. In fact, you can agree to disagree peacefully; I'm learning this the hard way.

In order to agree to disagree and to have this agreement feel acceptable, usually both spouses must feel heard. I tend to leave the room when things start getting tense, write down my thoughts, and then instead of reading them aloud, I store them away.. My husband and I usually sit down and talk about the "issue" and each come to a conclusion...

But listen, it's not ALWAYS that easy.. sometimes you have to know what your spouse thinks and vice versa. You really have to make an effort to acknowledge your spouse’s point of view. You have to be respectful, and this is what I tend to really screw up on! You don’t have to see eye-to-eye, but you have to tell your spouse that from his or her perspective, you can understand why s/he feels the way s/he does. One of the best ways to reach this sort of understanding is through active listening.

When couples practice this skill, they often have great difficulty at first. They want to stop their spouses and say, “Hey! You were wrong about that,” or “I can’t believe you see it that way!” or “If I just repeat back what you’re saying you’ll think I’m agreeing with you when nothing could be further from the truth.” However, when they force themselves to quiet their minds and listen and reflect back, their spouses feel heard. And when people feel heard, they don’t feel the need to keep repeating themselves, or attacking their partner.

It’s a breath of fresh air, trust me on this - your marriage will last longer if you practice this!

Plus, the listener is comforted by the fact that soon will be his or her time to have the floor. Even if this seems awkward to you, try it. You may be surprised how much you like it. The next time you find yourselves falling head-first into your relationship abyss, grab your lifeline.

Agree to do active listening!

On a side Note: A girlfriend of mine suggested something the other day, "Next time you're fighting or having an argument, hold your husband's hand." I can honestly say that we just stopped shouting at each other the point our hands came together. It was so hard to scream or even try to be argumentative, as immediately each of our hands were tied in a sense of intimacy... it was a bit of a shock - and it worked!

Spirituality, Wellness And Healthy Outcomes

Why the Interest?
Research is consistently showing a positive relationship between spiritual practices and health outcomes. And there is growing scientific evidence showing that individuals’ spiritual practices and beliefs provide them with hope, optimism, meaning, comfort, and peace when coping with stressors, diseases and challenges in life.

So what exactly is spirituality?
Spirituality is a concept without an agreed upon definition, due to the subjective, multidimensional, and personal nature of the construct. However, many scholars and researchers describe spirituality as a two-dimensional concept encompassing: religiosity, such as one’s involvement in organized religion with shared practices and beliefs, and one’s search for meaning, purpose, and meaningful relationships in life. One need not be religious to consider oneself spiritual. Non-religious individuals can still be very spiritual, and be connected to a higher purpose in life besides religious values.

The Concepts of Religiosity and Spirituality
The concepts of spirituality and religiosity can be confusing, although they are clearly different. Spirituality is more of a broader concept, which encompasses the existential aspects of life, including but not limited to: meaning and purpose in life, meaningful relationships with God/Higher Power and fellow humans, ability to forgive, seek meaningful solutions and endeavors in life. On the other hand, religiosity can be limiting, as it encompasses rituals and practices for individuals to adhere to. Some individuals express their spirituality through religiosity such as regular church attendance, etc. All humans are spiritual beings, but not all humans are religious.

Spiritual Practices & the relationship to disease prevention
Existential spiritual practices such as believing in a Higher Power/God, having meaningful relationships and a clear purpose and meaning in life have been shown to calm the release of deleterious stress hormones, such as cortisol. In addition, spiritual practices have been shown to improve immune function, decreased heart rate, blood pressure, heart disease, and decrease the overall stress response, thereby preventing diseases and improving wellness.

How Spiritual Practices can Prevent Diseases
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is linked to the major brain structures, and it regulates heart rate, blood pressure, emotions, etc. The ANS has two components: sympathetic (fight or flight), which is activated during stressful events, and the parasympathetic, which maintains balance, regulates sleep, induces mediation and other soothing spiritual activities, promotes cell growth, etc. During spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation, etc, we induce the parasympathetic system and slow down the sympathetic system, hence preventing the release of stress hormones and its effects on bodily organs. Much more, during spiritual practices, the brain releases neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate our mood thus preventing diseases such as major depression and anxiety.

In fact, research shows that those who frequently meditate, pray and have meaningful relationships have higher levels of dopamine, which is associated with increased energy, motor function, happiness, and less depression.

This is definietely s
omething to think about the next time you're stressed, face extreme challenges in life, or have physical illnesses that don't seem to go away - even with medical attention.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Love Push-Ups!
So Should You!
Now Get Pumping!

Got 5 Minutes to Spare?!?!

When you don’t have time for a full workout but you have a few minutes to spare, make push-ups your go-to exercise; Yes, I'm serious!  Push-ups specifically target your chest muscles, but they also do an amazing job of defining your triceps, shoulders and core muscles; boy do I love those key words.... defining, couldn't we all use a little definition, no?
But listen, the most common mistake people make when attempting the exercise is choosing a variation that’s too difficult.  Don't get too crazy, there's no need to be HARDCORE about It!  Most people should start with a basic version and gradually work up to the challenging hands-and-toes version. Excellent technique is your ticket to the increased strength, improved posture and bragging rights that come with conquering any type of push-up.

Here are instructions for several of the most popular versions:

Standard version: Position yourself face down on the floor, balancing on your hands and toes. Your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders and your body in a straight line. Engage your core muscles (by pressing your navel toward your spine) so you don't sag at the waist or chest, and don't stick your bum up into the air. Lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about 90 degrees. Exhale, and push back up.

Easier version: Perform the standard version but with your knees on the ground.

Easiest version: From a standing position, step back three or four foot lengths from a wall. Place your hands on the wall letting your heels lift slightly. Bend your elbows, and lower your forehead toward the wall.

Harder version: Perform the standard version but with your feet elevated on a step, or place the toes of one foot on the heel of your other foot.
Whichever version you choose, try two or three sets of 10 repetitions on alternating days gradually increasing the number of repetitions.  I've been doing this about everyday in the morning and just before bed, and I can feel/see results already!  Trust me on This... get up off the couch, out of that chair, and down from wherever you are.... Start Pumping!

Ps. This article is also thanks to Chatelaine for making everyday Beautiful!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Little Encouragement for the Worn & Weary

When Things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

when the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

when the funds are low and the debts are high,

and you want to smile , but you have to sigh,

when care is pressing you down a bit.....

Rest if you must, but DON'T YOU QUIT!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

as every one of us sometimes learns,

and many a fellow turns about

when he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don;t give up though the pace seems slow....

you may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out...

the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are,

it may be near when it seems afar,

so stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,

it's when things seem worst that you


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Add Exercise into Your Everyday Routines

Many people say that they simply don't have the time to exercise. While this may be perfectly true in a fast paced world, there are certain things you can do to incorporate exercise into your daily life without allotting much time for it.

When it comes to exercise, it all starts with a good attitude and a little bit of action each day. It's a common misconception to believe that you need to engage in strict dieting or lengthy and vigorous exercise routines in order to stay in shape. It simply isn't true!
Try some of these tips in order to slip exercise into your daily routine:

1.    Take the Stairs. No matter where you are, there are many times when you can opt to take the stairs instead of an elevator. Whether you're attending an important business meeting, or just going to the mall, take the stairs.

2.    Go for a Walk. Walking is a great way to get extra exercise and most of the time it doesn't feel like exercise at all. If you were planning to meet with a friend, ask them if they'd like to go for a walk while you talk. Alternatively, you can go for walk when you just need to sort some of your thoughts. Besides, getting some extra blood to the brain will actually help you think clearer.

3.    Play with Your Children. If you have children, it's likely that you have at least a part of your day dedicated to their care. Decide that you're going to engage in active games like outdoor sports. You can even do this with pets too. It'll be a fun and relaxing source of exercise!
4.    Jog in Place. Jogging in place might seem like a boring activity, but when you combine it with something else that you're doing, it can be quite invigorating. There are bound to be short bursts of time that you can use to relieve tension and get the blood pumping.

5.    Ride Your Bike. If you're traveling a short distance, it's a good idea to take your bike, instead of the car or bus. While it may add some time to your overall travel time, it's a great way to stay in shape if you can spare a few extra minutes.

6.    Active Dates. Whether you'd like to schedule a date with a partner, friend, or family member, you can definitely choose an activity with exercise. Instead of going to a movie, go dancing. You could even try something like rock climbing or attending the batting cages. Get creative and have a blast!

7.    Lift Weights. You can multitask while lifting weights as well. Lift while you're brainstorming, watching TV, or talking on the phone. You may also want to keep the weights at your desk as a reminder to use them.

8.    Park Far Away. You don't need the stress of fighting for the closest parking spot. Instead, travel a little further and walk! There's little stress involved with this decision and it'll probably save you some time, too.

9.    Try Outdoor Chores. If you don't already participate in outdoor chores, you could be helping your house and yourself by engaging in them. You might even be saving your family some money if you've previously hired the neighbor's kids. Mow your lawn, do some weeding, or take up gardening - it's a simple way to stay fit!

Keep Moving!! It doesn't take long to realize that, with the proper attitude, you can still remain active while you're busy with other things. Sometimes you may end up taking a little extra time to do routine tasks, but your body will thank you for it.
Just take these simple, small actions each day and you'll soon reap the rewards!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Act Now - Why You Should Never Wait To Follow Your Dreams

Sometimes you feel like you've got all the time in the world to accomplish your dreams. Yet there are reminders every day that our time on Earth is short. Unfortunately, there's no way to predict how much time you've got left, which is exactly why there's no time like the present to make your dreams come true!
1. Concentrate On The Positive
It's vital to start with positive thoughts. When you think positively about yourself and your dreams, you'll begin to believe that you can achieve anything. These initial positive emotions can lead to a dedicated drive and enthusiasm that'll help build lasting momentum. Remember that nearly everyone feels overwhelmed when you're about to embark on a long journey. That's exactly why it's so easy to fall into negative patterns of thinking, but you must fight these thoughts. It can be hard to imagine that so much can be achieved simply by having positive thoughts, but it's true!  The truth is, when you think about something as scary as "I could die tomorrow," it's hard not to be drawn into a panic. But instead of worrying about how much time you and your loved ones have left, concentrate on making the present moment as productive as it can be towards your true calling.

2. Careful Planning
Once you've decided to take action, and you've battled your negative thoughts, it's time to make some feasible plans to get you where you want to be.

3. Keep these tips in mind as you go through your planning phase:

a.    Set realistic goals. If your goal is going to take years, give yourself years. You can't expect everything to happen overnight.

b.    Be specific. Include all the details in your plans. If you stumble along the way, you'll be comforted in knowing that you have your detailed plans to help you stay the course.

c.    Reward yourself. When you've made progress towards your goal, give yourself a reward. Even if your ultimate goal is far off, it's fun and motivating to enjoy rewards as you complete steps toward your goal.

4.Action In Small Steps
One of the biggest tips when it comes to following your dream is to break down your actions into small, manageable steps.   For example, your goal could be to become an airline pilot or you might want to start your own business. Both of these goals are hefty and have the potential to take years of work and training.  When you first think about these goals, it's easy to be scared of how daunting they seem. Instead of resorting to fear, try breaking down these goals into dozens or even hundreds of small steps. Chances are that each small step is not nearly as overwhelming as the big picture.  At the same time, always keep the big picture in mind. When you visualize yourself reaching your end goal, it can be an image that gives you the drive to keep going during tough times.

5. Inspiring Others
Once you've achieved your goal, consider inspiring others to reach their goals, too. Perhaps you have some friends or family members who say things like, "I've always wanted to do that," but they remain working at their dead end job.  Help them take action!  You'll know from experience that, while it may be a risk, the reward is more than worth it.  Yes, following your dreams is even a reward in itself! It brings you joy in the present and hope for the future.  So Carpe Diem - seize the day!

Getting A Handle on Making Lifestyle Changes.

Most people are quite uncomfortable making major changes in their lives. We are, by nature, very good at settling into certain routines. We often feel unsettled whenever these routines are disrupted or changed in any way. People find comfort in familiar, manageable things.

Despite all that, there are certain methods that are helpful when making changes that will better your life. These techniques are quite useful whenever you find yourself facing new and unfamiliar things.

Listed below are three techniques that will make changing your daily habits that much easier:

Determine the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Change 
If there some changes you know you should make in your life, but you feel you are not quite ready to enact them yet, follow this simple activity to make things easier for yourself.

On separate sheets of paper, make two lists. One of the advantages a change will bring. And the other the disadvantages of that same change. This will facilitate objective comparison of whether a change would be good or bad for you in the long-run.

This way, if a change really is good for you, then its benefits become undeniable. This gives you one less reason to oppose the change in your mind.

Make Changes one Step at a Time 
Changes in your daily routine are best made gradually. For example, the change you need to make might be to deal with an addiction. Going cold turkey is perhaps not the best way to make this change.

Make the change gradually. This will ensure that you do not become discouraged quickly and revert right back to your old ways. Moving forward slowly gives you the sense of being in control of yourself, and will therefore make enacting the change fully much easier.
Charge up with Affirmations 
Positive affirmations are extremely useful in these situations. They encompass the very ideas that you should integrate into your life to make yourself a better person.

Whether you make use of affirmations that originated with other people or something you have come up with yourself makes no difference. The main point is to ascertain what it is that is missing in your life and then look for an affirmation that will help you to overcome that handicap.

If you are constantly worrying about a change, you should stop. Keep telling yourself why the change is good for you and why you should make this change. After some time, you might find that this is your natural reaction to any form of anxiety, making it that much easier to deal with.

While some lifestyle changes are certainly much more difficult to adjust to than others, these tips can help you make change and feel at ease about the change. Sometimes, a single tip will suffice to put you at ease. Other times, many more are needed before you feel up to making a change.

First, make that list of advantages and disadvantages so the potential benefits are very clear to you. Next, gradually make changes while using positive affirmations to see you through. This can help you to feel confident, allowing you to truly enjoy the benefits that come with your lifestyle change.

Please share your insights with us by adding comments!

Talking About the Faux-Pas


That's right, you've heard the word, and now we're going to talk about it.

Many of us have no idea that little things in our lives can become addictions. I know what you’re thinking, an addiction is related to drug and alcohol abuse; not true! In reality it means a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it.  Pleasure and enjoyment would have originally been part of the experience, however over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal.  Even housework and cleanliness can be an addiction.  Many other forms can include such things as gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, work, exercise, idolizing, shopping, Yes... even Shopping! 

For those of us that have said time and time again, I will not go buy that new shirt, just to make me feel better; I’m there with you!  Or those pretty earrings you saw last week and knew you couldn’t afford, but now you just have to have them; did I mention you also had a big fight with your husband last night?... Sound familiar?

You may also wonder, well, why am I talking about this when this group is supposed to be about Health & Wellness?  Well that’s because addiction is a major player in offsetting any mental & physical wellbeing that you are trying to achieve.  90% of your goal to reach your target weight, follow-through on a goal, or truly make a lifestyle change is inhibited by your mental well-being.

Think About it!

We are constantly surrounded in our day-day lives with advertising & media, or something vividly in print, telling us that buying something or looking a certain way will make us happy.  Soon we begin to believe that materialism & physical beauty is the only way we will sustain the happy life we are looking for.  For those completed obsessed with magazines, refrain from picking up Cosmo again this month; you do not need to learn another sexual position!

We suffer, yes, many of us have suffer; we tend to lose control or just cannot seem to refrain from making choices that are not conducive to our lives.  We battle with our thoughts, our actions, or our words in trying to overcome our problems and yet we feel helpless under their control.  And yet the truth of it is that, addiction is not the lack of willpower, or the lack of moral integrity… it is our mental & emotional positioning in the situation.
Addiction is the very disease of self-esteem.  Now, that looks a little odd just standing there by itself, I'll admit, but here it is in a nutshell: an addict has at his or her core an absolutely inviolable belief that he or she is not worthy of love & respect.  In those cases of addiction that I have been privy to hear of or run across  -- the addict has known, without question and usually since their earliest memories, that they are somehow less of a person, less of a human being, less worthy, less attractive and less lovable than everyone else around them. Remember this. It's important.
You may very well be someone that has felt that lack of love, support, emotional uplifting in your life and it is so important to remember that there is hope, and that you can change.  This applies to everyone in life, whether faced with severe issues, or just slight obstacles in their way, we can overcome our deepest obsessions and simply live the life we were created for.

A great woman once said: 

Remember, we can all overcome life’s tumbles and pitfalls, we can fight through the wrongs that have been done to us in childhood or as adults, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I know that if you set your mind to it, you will achieve just about anything…. this is the very core of 90Days2Life, and in it you will find your light. You will find the love, the support, the admiration, the quest for your own infinite success...

I challenge you to make a stand today!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Some Awesome Health & Wellness Tips for 2011

I’ve had a handy set of Health & Wellness tips that I’ve been reviewing daily, trying to implement them into my lifestyle and I thought that I’d share them with you.  Before I do, I just want to reflect on them and let you know that, I struggle to keep them.  Like anyone else, I set goals and at times I cannot get myself geared up to following them.  I get side-tracked with life, I use excuses, and I just don’t force myself enough to really lead the life I want because of my own lack of motivation.  Yes, I admit it, it’s not easy to stick to goals, neither is it easy to change eating habits you’ve had for the last 8 years; or practice restraint and self-control, when you’ve allowed yourself to get away with just about anything! 

That being said, there is hope and I truly believe that when you make a decision for a conscious change, through choice and faith, and stick to your goals; you’ll get there!  Nothing is impossible; it is simply a matter of self-discipline and allowing yourself to stumble a few times before you learn to walk.  Think about it, as a baby it takes us months to finally learn to use those legs, that lesson still applies in every aspect of our lives.  It doesn’t just happen; we need to make the effort in order to see the results!

Here are the tips:

Eat a whole plant food diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. “Eat Rainbows.” Remember that even the color of the plants have healing power. Such as the red pigment in tomatoes known as lycopene can help preventing prostate cancer. Also a plant-based diet is highly alkaline. Acid foods like meat, dairy, and sugar will make you more vulnerable to disease and cancer.
2. Avoid eating animal foods. Animal food is high in protein and fat that increases one’s chance of getting cancer and other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Animal food is void of all fiber making it a major cause of colorectal cancer. It is also high in cholesterol and therefore a contributor of heart disease. Cultures that eat the highest amounts of animal foods have the highest amounts of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other diseases.
3. Avoid Dairy when you can. Dairy is liquid meat, and any disease in the animal is most likely also in its secretions. Milk is the number-one cause of childhood anemia and allergy. Many of us just sit back and listen to what everyone else says “Milk Does A Body Good”…. Stop, get the facts and instead, drink water or fresh juices when thirsty.
4. Avoid refined white sugar, white flour, and ordinary salt. Sugar is acid forming and weakens the immune system. It contributes to diabetes and obesity. When using salt, use Celtic Salt or Real Salt instead, for they contain all the minerals from the ocean instead of just sodium and chloride. 
5. Avoid artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, Splenda, Aspartame, Sucralose, that causes lesions in the brain, MS symptoms, diabetes, and painful joints to name a few.  Instead try using Fructose which is a simple sugar found in many foods and one of the three most important blood sugars along with glucose and galactose. Honey; tree fruits; berries; melons; and some root vegetables, such as beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips and onions, contain fructose, usually in combination with sucrose and glucose.  You can find it at any health foods store, or simply use a really good Honey.
6. Exercise at least four or five days a week.  We need all the oxygen we can get. Exercise is wonderful for fighting depression and increasing longevity.  Perfect health comes with perfect circulation, so if you already have a routine, try and sneak in as many 20-30min sessions a day and achieve the optimal health you’re looking for!
7. Increase your consumption of water and drink 6 to 8 glasses a day (sip throughout the day). Water is one of the best tools for weight loss, first of all because it often replaces high-calorie drinks like soda and juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn't have any calories. But it's also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we're hungry, we're actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, no sugar. Drink plenty of it in order to re-energize your body, stimulate a healthy heart, cure headaches, and give you that beautiful healthy skin you’ve always wanted.
8. Cleanse your elimination organs on a seasonal basis. Cleanse the colon, liver, kidney, lung, blood, lymph and skin using organic herbal formulas, saunas, skin brushing, etc. The importance of colon cleansing can be summed up as: reduction of constipation, elimination of diarrhea, avoiding of colon cancer and the experience of significant weight loss.  So one can very well estimate the importance of colon cleansing from the above mentioned points!
9. Have a positive attitude and get moving if you feel depressed. Doing something for someone else that has a need will help heal your own discouragement. My #1 recommendation for depression is exercise!
10. Breathe deeply several times a day of fresh air. Take a walk in the open air. Walking outside or through a forest is always nice and refreshing. Exercise in the open air is a blessing.
11. Get 30 minutes of sunshine every day on your front and back if possible, but do not burn. The best times are before 11 AM or after 4 PM.
12. Exercise self control and practice temperance. Temperance means to abstain entirely from things that are harmful and use judiciously the things that are good; “moderation in action, thought, or feeling; restraint.”  This is going to have a huge affect on your life, especially if you struggle with forms of addictions, however, no matter what the problem you will overcome it… just remember (1) forgiveness and mercy, (2) modesty and humility, (3) prudence, and (4) self-regulation.  That means towards yourself and towards others!

Does Anyone Have Time?

In 2011, our goals are to be so organized and emotionally balanced that daily life feels like one big yoga class: Full of deep, calm breaths. Last year, we spent too long being so busy that we couldn't keep up...............

This year, Zen. Here's how.

Death To Post-It Notes And Lists.

Put each of your work and personal tasks on your calendar, no matter how small. Appraise your time honestly—taking your blouse to the dry cleaner may seem like a five-minute errand, but is it, really? People tend to ditch their schedules in frustration after they fall behind on more than a task or two, so err on the side of overestimating. There's lots of stuff you'd like to do, but ask yourself if your energy is going to give out between creating a costume for your son's school play, editing your upcoming job end report, and making a bit pot roast. Be totally, no-holds-barred honest with yourself.

Rules Of Thumb for Crafting a Successful and Stress-Free Calendar:
  • Estimate how long each task will take and then add at least fifteen minutes to that number.
  • Schedule a short break for yourself every hour and a half, no matter what you're doing.
  • Build in 30 minutes to go over your calendar at the beginning of each month. At the beginning of each week, spend 15 minutes reviewing it. Spend no more than five minutes on your calendar each day.
  • One month ahead is as far out as you need to think. If you're big into planning ahead, it's okay to chart out the whole year (when you'll buy gifts for friends' summer weddings, when to choose Thanksgiving plane tickets, etc.). Otherwise, don't sweat it.
I know this sounds nuts, as many of us are parents, busy career buffs or stressed out students, but it is possible to keep yourself on track!  Many-a-times we just get soo carried away with wanting to achieve everything, that we don't quite achieve anything. 

Think of this, quite often we are faced with people who were praised and admired for their talents and their achievements… According to prevailing attitudes, these people--the pride and joy of society--should have had a strong and stable sense of self-assurance. But the case is exactly the opposite... Whenever they suddenly get the feeling they have failed to live up to some ideal image or have not measured up to some standard, then they are plagued by anxiety or deep feelings of guilt and shame. Don't be one of these people!!!

Start now, and start right; create the "stable" life you'd like for yourself and stop overachieving, or over-booking yourself, YOU CANNOT CONQUER the world on your own... So as with everyday, handle what you can today, and let the rest worry about itself tomorrow.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Few Little Resolution Solutions

It's that time of year again. Time to vow that you'll never miss another workout, always eat healthy, save a mountain of money, and lose every single pound you've gained since you were 15. In other words, it's time to make gigantic, far-reaching resolutions that you suspect (and rightly so) are destined to fail, just as they did last year, and the year before that.  Here's a better way: Ease into 2011 with a reality check. "The smaller and more exact the actions involved in achieving your resolutions, the greater the chance that you will actually see them through and reach the goal," says Keri Gans, RD, author of the forthcoming book The Small Change Diet. Your path to better health starts with these seven easy changes that you can truly achieve. Let's ring in a happy new you!

I resolve to...dress for fitness success.
Maybe Stacy and Clinton are on to something on their show What Not to Wear when they tell bedraggled, sweats-clad ragamuffins that they'll feel better about themselves once they step up their style. "Wearing clothes that you feel good in can boost your body image, simply because you like your new look," says psychologist and fitness instructor Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. Despite what you may think, covering up the parts you're trying to whittle down isn't doing your self-esteem any favors. "Baggy clothes can actually perpetuate low body image," Lombardo adds. So kick-start your motivation with retail therapy; you'll be in style -- and in the mood to work out -- in figure-flattering black yoga pants, a bright fitted tank or tee, and a cute patterned headband.

I resolve to...take a 30-second time-out.
To lower your blood pressure, stress levels, and risk for heart disease, you could take up kickboxing, make over your diet, and start training for your first half-marathon. Or you could simply learn to breathe better by meditating. When you're stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol, which raises heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and muscle tension as part of a temporary reaction preparing you to tackle whatever it is that's stressing you out. Trouble is, the perpetual pressure that most of us feel means that the stuff is coursing through our bodies continuously. But meditation induces physiological changes in your body, telling it to calm down and stop churning out cortisol, in turn improving circulation, relaxing muscles, and allowing tension to dissipate. In fact, a study of college students found that those who regularly meditated reduced their long-term risk of high blood pressure by 52 percent. 

You don't have to get all Eat Pray Love to reap the benefits of meditation. While many experts recommend 20 to 30 minutes a day, even a mini session will help when you're feeling overwhelmed, says psychologist Alice D. Domar, PhD, director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Boston. Simply take a deep breath in through your nose (so deep that both your chest and your abdomen expand), slowly counting to four as you inhale. Pause for a few seconds, then exhale through your mouth, slowly counting backward from four to one. Repeat this a few times, then return to what you were doing. "This breathing exercise can make you feel better in 30 seconds," Domar says. Plus, it teaches your body a better way to respond to high-pressure situations so stress can take less of a toll in the future.

I resolve to...spend a minute a day doing the plank.
Your core muscles -- those in the neighborhood of your back, belly, hips, and pelvis -- provide stability and balance for your entire body. Having a strong core makes it easier and safer to do just about everything, from lifting a toddler to skiing moguls. Ignore your core and you're setting yourself up for back pain, neck pain, and poor posture as well as accidental trips and slips. Fortunately, one simple move once a day is all you need. "During a plank, the core muscles all work in harmony to protect your spine," says FITNESS advisory board member Michele Olson, PhD, professor of exercise science at the Human Performance Laboratory at Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama.
The best time to rock the plank is at the end of your workout. "It forces your abdominal muscles to kick in when you're getting tired, which is the time you need core stability the most," Olson says. Even if you think you're a pro, follow these steps to fine-tune your form: (1) Start by lying facedown with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your forearms and palms flat on the floor. (2) Tighten your abs, press your forearms into the floor and squeeze your glutes as you pop up onto your toes, forming a straight line from your head to your feet. (3) Don't let your glutes stick up or sag -- and don't forget to breathe -- as you hold this position for up to a minute.

I resolve to...learn to take a compliment.
Too many women swat away compliments by rejecting or disagreeing with them ("This old thing? I got it on sale!" or "You like my hair today? I didn't even wash it!"). But dismissing kind words can gradually chip away at your self-esteem, making it harder for you to face challenges, says psychologist Ellen Langer, PhD, professor of psychology at Harvard. Accepting accolades, on the other hand, may boost your confidence, giving you the guts to tackle just about anything, whether it's a job interview or even a marathon.  When someone compliments you, assume that it's sincere unless you have ample evidence to the contrary, and take a second to think about it. "If you reflect on why it may be true, you bring to mind positive aspects of who you are, which will help build your confidence," Langer says. Then simply say thank you and enjoy the moment. P.S.: Get ready for many more compliments in 2011, now that you're fitter, happier, and healthier than ever.
Thank You Fitness Magazine for these amazing insights!!!! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Waste Time, Waste Money:
How Much Does Procrastination Cost?

What do you put off most often?

I know that for myself, I am the biggest procrastinator around (in my personal life that is).  Whether it’s waking up on time…without hitting the snooze button, getting to the gym, cleaning the closet, house, car, Grocery Shopping, or just updating my budget and paying bills; I do what everyone else tends to do, wait until the last minute!

Sound familiar? How many stories do you make up to put off doing necessary work? We all seem to procrastinate at some level. In extreme cases our procrastination can be debilitating. Most of us lose some freedom and choice.

Which of the reasons below resonate for you?

·         Perfectionism: waiting until you can get it just right.

·         Poor time management: feeling overwhelmed and worrying about getting
the task done rather than actually doing it.

·         Self-sabotage: when you don’t feel comfortable with success you can take
steps to sabotage yourself in order to become less successful and less

·         Fear and anxiety: someone may find out you don’t really know what you’re

·         Finding the task boring: just not wanting to do something you don’t like

·         Working better under pressure: when you get positive feedback about your
work, the habit of doing things last minute is reinforced, along with your
high level of anxiety.

·         Manipulating others: gaining a sense of power and control in knowing that
no one else can move forward while they wait on you completing a task.
Whatever your reasons, practicing procrastination can lead you to feel weak, useless, or helpless. Like any habit, the more you do it the easier it gets, creating a downward spiral of negative feelings.

So, how to beat the procrastination bug? Behavior modification! You don’t procrastinate about everything right? You make sure to get to your weekly soccer game on time. You check your email daily. You brush your teeth before bed. These are behaviors you have developed based on your values.

Here are some tricks for beating procrastination:

Look at how you procrastinate: What stories are you making up? What reasons do you give yourself for not doing something today? Now make up the counter argument. What are some good reasons for doing it now? You be the judge – which argument to you prefer?

Get started: Take 5 minutes and start the miserable task you’re avoiding. I always chuckle when the whole task actually only takes these 5 minutes to complete. How many minutes or hours did I worry before doing something? Often once you’re engaged you will be able to continue to work and get the task finished.

Do a small part of the task: Maybe this really is going to take a few hours. Break the task down. Do some today. Reward yourself and continue the work tomorrow.

Set priorities in accordance with your values: What is important to you about getting your work done in a timely fashion?

Tell on yourself: Let some colleagues know the shameful way you have ignored a file and let peer pressure work on you.

Set a meeting: Nothing like promising the senior partner or a client that you’ll have a task done for discussion at an upcoming meeting. A good way to train yourself out of procrastination is to always schedule the next meeting or phone call before the current one ends. Try some “false” deadlines to get things moving.

Create a buddy system: Work with a friend to power through some overdue work. Call each other every hour to share your progress and take a rewarding break.

Expect some back sliding: Remember, you’re trying to break a habit.  Don’t beat yourself up if the change doesn’t happen overnight. Imagine the possibilities of feeling in control and on top of things more.

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