Digital Detox – We Could all Use it

Big SurI am returning from a bit of a “blogging hiatus.”  It is good to be back!  During my absence I have enjoyed graduation, a much needed getaway, and some good old quality time with family and friends.  I am feeling refreshed and ready to tackle new projects!  Why am I telling you this?  Well, because I learned something extremely important during my getaway that will help my well-being, and I want to share!

While visiting an awesome camping resort (called Treebones Resort.  Check it out here http://www.treebonesresort.com/), I learned the term “Digital Detox.”  Now, I am sure we have heard about something like this over one million times, but I like their term.  While visiting the resort there is not even cell phone service available.  Therefore, visitors do not have a choice.  They will tell you this ahead of time, and I think they keep it that way for a reason. My point is: Everyone can benefit from a digital detox every once in while.

We are all so connected to our digital devices, and I almost had a mini-panic attack when I heard that we would not have any cell phone service whatsoever during our stay (toddler back at home, so it was tough to have no phone).  Needless to say, It was the best thing I have done for my brain in a long time.  Three things you can expect from a legitimate digital detox:

  1. Feeling truly refreshed- The brain simply needs a break sometimes.  when we are connected 100% of the time, it never gets one.
  2. Noticing and appreciating things you would normally miss- We often take the simple things in life for granted, and do not pay attention to our current surroundings.  It is hard to accomplish when the mind is always somewhere else.
  3. Engaging with people like we all should anyway- Enjoy your company!  The emails and texts can wait.  We have all seen that awkward dinner date where two people are enjoying a lovely meal with their cell phones.  Do not be those people!

My challenge to you is to take a digital detox day in the next 30 days, and notice how refreshed you feel!  You may even be extra productive that day.  Try it, even if you need to go camp on the coast to do so!  Please share!

Crossing the Finish Line – 3 ways to Stay Motivated.

finish line blogWhether you are talking about an actual race of some sort, completing a project at work, or just accomplishing something in your personal life, finishing can be challenging.  Sometimes, we may even give up.

Following through with a task or a goal is highly important in life, and in order to grow and improve, we must complete things that we start.  There are several obstacles you may have to overcome, such as: unforeseen setbacks, negative self-talk, other people sabotaging your process (purposefully and not), becoming side-tracked, loss of motivation, and feeling burnt out.  Keep in mind that these feelings or obstacles are all very normal.  If you start to talk to others who may be on a similar path as you, they will share their struggle as well.

What is most important is that you choose to never give up.  The feeling of finishing is far more enjoyable than the feeling of regret or disappointment you may feel for not finishing. Here are 3 ways to stay motivated when finishing becomes tough.

  1. Keep your eye on the prize…BUT break it down to micro-goals.  If you are anything like me, it is easy to get distracted or begin too many projects.  Focus on one or two, and break the end goal into several mini goals.  For example: a two year grad program.  Break it down into one week at a time.
  2. Re-visit the reason why you are doing what you are doing, often.  It is hard to remain focused on something when we forget the importance of it.  Any time you are feeling discouraged, re-visit WHY you started to begin with.  Focus on the positives.
  3. Learn from your challenges along the way.  Sometimes mistakes or challenges will be our best learning opportunities.  Take away a piece of knowledge with every bump in the road.  It will not always be pretty, but you will be a wiser, stronger person after you finish.

This is a fitting topic as my two year, MBA journey is coming to an end.  I am almost to the finish line!  What is your current race?  Please share!

Image credit: http://www.eventwithtcq.com

Stagnant Stinks!

stagnantI had a very important person who I am very close to tell me once, “Do not ever become stagnant because stagnant stinks.”  This statement has stuck with me, and I have to whole heartedly agree!  I do feel there is a fine line between not being stagnant and then simply not ever being satisfied.

stagnantmotivateblogWhen I am talking about not becoming stagnant, I am talking about never settling just because it seems easier than an alternative route.  I am talking about going outside of your comfort zone every now and then.  I am talking about actually going after that goal that you have had for 5 years now, but have never even attempted to reach it.

There is a bit of a problem in our world with people not being satisfied or always feeling that they should have something bigger and better.  There is nothing wrong with always wanting more, but just as long as you are embracing the process along the way and accepting when things really are ok just the way they are.  My main point today is that stagnant really does stink, but it is important to understand there are some really simple ways to not become stagnant in life!  Here are a few examples:

  • Go out of your way to try new places and do new things.
  • Start a bucket list-and actually live by it by adding items and crossing off.
  • Pick a day where you will not follow your “daily routine” and just enjoy being sporadic.
  • Join a club or a group of some sort.
  • If you do have a BIG goal that seems unattainable, start a plan.  Map out how you will get there, and start the process.  Who knows where that process will take you.

Just remember, stagnant stinks!  Get out and do some new things.  Tell me about a recent experience where you tried something new, and please share this with your friends!

Image credit http://www.antiquark.com and http://www.ragtagriot.com

Tabata Training! ~Sample workout

Tabata training is an excellent way to get an effective workout in within a short amount of time.  This makes Tabata training perfect for extra busy people who tend to be limited.  A Tabata workout can be done in the gym or at your house, with little or no equipment required.

The training method consists of 20 seconds of an intense exercise or movement, followed by 10 seconds of rest.  This is then repeated until 8 rounds have been completed, totaling 4 minutes.  The sample workout provided below does include some equipment.  The equipment required: dumbbells, a Bosu balance trainer, a kettle bell, and a mat (optional).

First Tabata consists of Kettle bell squat to high pull (4 of the 8 rounds), and push ups (4 of the 8 rounds)

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The next Tabata will consist of a lunge bicep curl (4 of the 8 rounds), and a double bent over row (4 of the 8 rounds).

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The final Tabata will consist of a kettle bell swing (4 of the 8 rounds), and Bosu plank toe taps (4 of the 8 rounds)

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These Tabata sets make up a full body, high intensity conditioning workout, and will only take about 20 minutes with set up and a quick recovery between each Tabata.  If you have some extra time, throw in some 5 minute cardio bouts in between these sets for a bonus!

There are numerous free Tabata timer apps available to download onto your phone, so you will always have a quick effective workout planned.  Let me know how it goes.  Enjoy and please share!

Smile more, laugh more, live longer

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Chronic stress can take a serious toll on your mental, physical and emotional well-being.  Most of the time, when people are stressed with the daily grind, we are not smiling, especially not laughing.  Well, a little bit of smiling and some laughs can really have a positive effect on your overall wellness.  Here is a fun-fact for you:

The average 4 year old laughs 300 times per day.  The average 40 year old…a whopping 4 times per day. 

Do you see a problem here?  Do we have to be so serious as we age?  Have you seen people with a perm-a-scowl on their face?  (sometimes I feel like I have that).  No one wants a perm-a-scowl!  After reading this, make a vow to smile more, laugh more, scowl less, and feel happier!

  • Make time to enjoy the moment that you are in without thinking of what you did yesterday or what needs to be done tomorrow.
  • Get silly!  Go do a fun, slightly goofy activity with someone you enjoy.  Drive some go-karts, go miniature golfing, hang out with the kids or grandkids and play a board game, watch a funny movie, go play in park, dance like you don’t care!  For a little bit, act like a kid.
  • Try not take life so seriously all the time.  This can be difficult, but make an attempt to LET GO.  Life is way too short to be stressed to your max at all times.  Take a laughing Yoga class (yes, this does exist).
  • Smile when interacting with other people.  Make eye contact, and smile.  Maybe even say hello.  You will probably make someone’s day simply by doing that.  Maybe you will even get a smile back.

Over time, if you practice these little tips, you really will be smiling and laughing more.  You will probably feel a little less stressed, and happier too.  In the long run, more happiness and less stress equals an overall healthier you!

Smiling and laughing will not only brighten your day, but everyone else around you as well.  Get out and smile some more!  Tell me what you do to add some fun and laughter in your life.

Image credit eatingbender.com

work sited: http://www.phsychologytoday.com

3 Things NOT to do when Trying to Lose Weight and Get Fit

Losing and weight and getting in shape are two things that I see people struggle with on a daily basis.  I also see people succeed at these two things!  It takes dedication, determination, commitment, perseverance, consistency, and desire.  These are just a few words to describe what it takes to reach a personal goal.  Unfortunately, we often get wrapped up in the end result, lose focus, and sometimes end up on a road we would be better off not following.  I am here to point out 3 things you should NOT be doing while working toward your fitness goals.

dietblog1.  Eating an extremely limited diet or doing some extreme cleanse.  Food is your body’s fuel.  If you are exercising, your body needs the proper fuel to function properly.  Yes, by depriving your body of this fuel, you will lose weight.  That is the problem.  We lose patience and want instant gratification.  Long term, this is not good for you, and most of the time, not sustainable.  Focus on putting enough good, clean fuel into your body.  Just like a car, it will not run on empty.

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2.  Taking that magic pill or hormone shots/drops.  This is an absolute no-no.  Call me old fashioned, but taking diet pills, or getting a hormone injected into your body for weight loss is downright dangerous.  Everyone has different reactions to supplements, and anything synthetic for “weight loss” is not your answer.  Most products designed for rapid weight loss will do more harm than good in the long run.

overcommitblog3.  Diving in head first.  There is nothing wrong with deciding to do something, and just going for it.  Just be completely aware of what you are getting in to.  It is a common mistake; people start a routine or program that is simply too much to handle at that time, and often give up altogether.  Be realistic with yourself, and if you do have a bit of a setback, never throw in the towel.

Please share what has helped you with weight loss and fitness goals in the past!

Image credit livelifebeactive.com, dietpillswatchdog.com, wanderlusting.info

Get Your Family Moving! – 5 Ideas to Keep the Family Active

11250930_1002515046434384_6455572018558655562_n[1]There is some serious truth in the statement “those who train together, stay together.”  Being active with friends, co-workers, significant others, and other family members really creates a bond that is unique.  That is why running, hiking, and cycling buddies can end up being some of your best friends.  During these types of activities, people really get to know one another by sharing stories, and communicating in an atmosphere that is away from work, household chores or running errands.  It is simply some good old quality time spent with your people of choice.

Just to be clear, this time does not have to be spent training for some type of endurance event.  The most important factor is that you are doing something active with the people that you love, and enjoy spending time with.  Instead of hanging out, get moving together as a family!  Here are 5 ideas for active family time:

  1. Find a hiking trail that is not too difficult, and not too far from where you live.  Take the family out for a hike! Make it a half day of a family hike and lunch.
  2. Depending on ages of children; complete a workout together as a family.  This can be in a gym or fitness center, at a park or in the back yard!
  3. Geocaching!  If you have not heard of this, Google it!  It is basically a GIANT scavenger hunt.  Download the App, and begin to discover little hidden caches.  These are hidden all over the world!
  4. Train for an event together.  Whether it is a 5k, triathlon relay team, or different type of event, training for something like this brings out the best and the worst in everyone.  It is an excellent way to support one another, and share the feeling of accomplishment.
  5. Build activity into your daily or weekly family routine.  Go for walk after dinner or before dinner every night, or go for a family bike ride once a week.

The most important thing is that whatever activity you choose, you do it together!  Family time and staying healthy all in one!  What is your favorite family activity?  Please share!