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don't procrastinate

5 Smart Steps to take at the beginning of a new year

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

Happy New Year everybody!!! 

The first week of the year is already gone, so have you decided how will you set yourself for success? Have you created a list of your New Year Resolutions you would like to achieve in this brand new year? If you have taken it slowly after the Holidays, it’s OK.

It’s a new day, so let’s set you up for success with these 5 smart steps to follow.

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The first thing you need to do is to set your mindset for success. Whatever you desire to accomplish over the next year, whether it would be finding a new job, having a baby, improving your diet, sticking to your workout routine once and for all, losing weight your baby weight, changing career…You’ve got to decide and commit to achieving those things. If you haven’t changed your mindset the chances for you to achieve your goals are (let’s face it) tiny. Decide to go ALL IN today!

  • Find a quiet and peaceful place in your house where you can start to clear your mind of negative thoughts, limiting belief you may have. Then, you can start to reflect on the things you want most to accomplish this year.
  • Take a sheet of paper and a pen and start writing down how you want to feel every single day when you awake and allow your actions to support that feeling.

You’re no longer going to say ”I’ll try to…”, this sentence will no longer be a part of your vocabulary. You’re focused on your goals and you’re not going to stop until you succeed!

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When you are writing your goals, each and every single one of them need to be written positively and in the present tense. Using positive statement in a direct way to affirm your commitment to completing your goals has a major impact!

  • Break down your goals into small steps so you won’t feel overwhelmed by them. If you would like to lose 100 pounds over the year. It should look like this: 100lbs divided by 12 = 8lbs/month divided by 4 = 2. So you will write your statement like so: ”My big goal is to lose 100 pounds this year, so I am going to lose 2 pounds each week so that way I can feel beautiful and confident again!”

Always remember how YOU want to feel at the end of your achievement!

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One of the biggest mistakes people tend to do is not attaching a deadline to their goals or resolutions. You can have the best intentions to accomplish it but unless you put a plan in place with an impending deadline, how can you stay on track?

  • Once you have your list of positive goals written on a sheet of paper or in your journal, grab your calendar and start to assign each goal to the month you want to accomplish it in.
  • It’s one thing to have your goals set on your calendar, but you need your small steps (tasks) that will lead you to them in order for you to succeed. Start to brake down your goals into daily action plan. Start to think what you need to do each day, each week to achieve your goals. If you are not sure how to get there, I am always here to help!
  • Now it’s time to schedule those tasks! Ensure you’re doing this at the same time every week so it becomes a habit! Sunday evenings are my time to plan out my week which includes: workouts, meal plans, work and personal stuff.

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Journaling is a great way to keep track of both personal and professional progress. Checking in with yourself and acknowledging the progress made towards a certain goal is key to staying motivated and accountable. 

  • When losing weight, keeping a record of our progress is very important and motivating. It helps you see that your body is changing (it takes time) even though sometimes you feel like nothing is ”actually changing”. Start by taking your ”Before” picture, which I call it your ”Goodbye picture”, every 30 days take progression pictures and stick them in your journal with the previous ones. You will be SHOCKED (in a good way) to notice the progress you have made thus far. Also, keep track of your measurements of day 1 and of every 2 weeks.
  • This principle can be applied to everything, not only to health and fitness. Always record your progress.

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With busy schedules and hectic lifestyles it’s easy to put our own health and well-being on the back-burner.

BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

You’re no longer going to “try” to fit exercise and healthy eating into your schedule. It’s time to implement a workout & nutrition plan that is realistic for your lifestyle and has strong support & accountability from the very beginning (the piece you’re probably missing)! I’m here to help with that! It’s my passion & purpose to show you HOW to make this work.

“I know what I need to do, I just don’t know how to do it…consistently!”

If this is you, I invite you to join my “New Year, New You: Find Your Strength in 2015” accountability group to kick-start your goal of creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself!

It’s a chance to work with me personally in a small group of like-minded people all working towards the same goal! We’re close to filling up but if you COMMIT by this Sunday, I’ll squeeze you in and get you started!

Click HERE to learn what it’s all about and exactly how it’s designed to help you successfully transition to better health, energy & confidence!

How to master self-discipline

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

A craftsperson masters her or his trade through repeated practice, care and continuous learning, and devotion to her or his purpose. 

The same elements are needed to master the craft of discipline:

  • Repeated practice
  • Single-minded devotion to the purpose
  • Continuous learning
  • Care

Here are some extremely useful tips:

  1. Do the task even when you’re not in the mood. Procrastination is such a common problem that I believe it to be universal. How often have you told yourself, "I’m not in the mood to do this"? The task is probably difficult or confusing. It’s uncomfortable and you’d rather do things that are easier, that you’re good at. You’d rather clean your house or trim your nails or check your email than start a task that could have had the biggest impact on your business/life. But if we wait until we’re in the mood, we’ll never master anything.

    Instead, practice this: Plan to finish the most important tasks first, write them down in your agenda, and start doing them, no matter what. Don’t check email or social media, or go clean something, or do a quick chore or errand. Sit down, and do it. It will be uncomfortable. You can still do it even if it’s uncomfortable.

  2. Exercise even when you really don’t want to. Yes, this is the same thing as procrastinating — we put off exercise for many reasons, usually because it’s hard, because we ‘don’t have time’, and because we’d rather do something easier. Change your perspective. View exercise not as punishment, but as an act of self-care. You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth for a week, would you? Your teeth would rot. Similarly, skipping exercise for a week rots your body.

    Instead, practice this: Tell yourself you’re going to do a workout/run at a certain time, always plan your workouts ahead of time (I could never stress this enough, it is crucial). I tell all my clients to do this: plan. Take your agenda out, as you write your tasks, write down your workouts by blocking 20-30mins or even 1h of that day ONLY for your fitness. And then show up. Do it even if you’re tired or feeling lazy. Ignore the lazy feeling, the distractedness, and suck it up. You’ll find that you feel great for having done it. Either way, you’ll start to master doing things that are uncomfortable

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  3. Sit with a little hunger. We tend to panic when we get hungry, and run for whatever piece of junk food is closest to us. What I’ve learned is that you can be hungry and it’s not the end of the world. We don’t always need to be stuffed and satisfied with crazy delicious food. 

    Instead, practice this: Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. When you get hungry, sit there for a moment and turn to the hunger, and see how it really feels. It’s not so bad. This practice isn’t to make you starve yourself (not great), but to show you that a little discomfort won’t ruin your life, and that you can make conscious choices about when and how much to eat.

  4. Talk to someone about something uncomfortable. We avoid difficult conversations, because they’re not fun. They’re scary, uncomfortable. But that leads to all kinds of problems, including resentment, a worse relationship, worsening the situation, and more.

    Instead, practice this: When you have a problem with someone, instead of replaying the problem in your head, talk to the person in a gentle, compassionate way. Try to see the situation from their point of view, not just yours. Bring it up with a simple, “Hey, can we talk about ___?” And tell them how you feel, without accusing them or making them feel defensive. Ask them how they feel about it. Approach it with the attitude of finding a solution that works for both of you, that preserves your relationship. What you learn from this is that pushing through an uncomfortable situation will resolve a lot of difficult problems.

  5. Stick to a habit. One of the hardest things people face when changing their habits is that it’s difficult commit after the initial enthusiasm dies down. It’s easy to stick to a habit for a week — but what about pushing through the second and third weeks? It gets a lot easier afterward, but a lot of people drop the habit too early.

    Instead, do this: Commit to one small habit for two months. Reserve just 5 minutes a day for that habit, and do it at the same time each day. Set as many reminders as you can so that you don’t forget. Track the habit on a calendar or log it, so you see your progress. Show up every day and do it. You’ll start to master the formation of new habits, which will open up all kinds of opportunities.

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  6. Turn toward the problem. When we have a problem, we avoid even thinking about it. Think about whether you have one of these problems: you’ve been avoiding exercise, you’re overweight, you’ve been avoiding a major project, you put off dealing with your finances, you’re unhappy about some situation in your life. Often these are uncomfortable situations, and we’d rather not face them.

    Instead, practice this: See the obstacle as the path. Don’t avoid the obstacle (the difficult situation, or the problem you fear), don’t go around it, don’t ignore it. Turn toward it. See it. Acknowledge it. Figure out what’s going on. Find out how to navigate within the problem. You’ll find that it’s not easy, but not as bad as you thought, and you’ll be happy you did it. And more importantly: you’ll get stronger from facing the problem.

  7. See good in the activity. Discipline really derives from learning that you don’t need some incredible reward — there’s inherent good in just doing the activity. For example, if you’re going to eat healthy food, you don’t need to make it taste like your favourite dessert or fried food— you can just enjoy the act of eating fresh, healthy food in itself. If you’re going to exercise, it doesn’t need to give you a flat stomach or nice arms immediately— you can just enjoy the activity.

    Practice this: No matter what the activity, find the good in doing it, and the activity becomes the reward.

  8. Meditate. People think meditation is difficult or mystical, but it’s fairly simple.

    Practice this: Take 2 minutes to sit still, and focus on your breath, noticing when your mind wanders and gently returning to the breath. There are lots of other ways to meditate, but this is the simplest, and it shows you how to watch the urges that come up, and see that you don’t need to act on those urges. As the days go by, add more minutes to your meditation session. With time it will get easier to keep your mind clear of thoughts.

You might not be good at these at first, but that’s why you practice.

You’ll learn to get comfortable with discomfort, to show up even when you don’t feel like it, to stick to something even when the enthusiasm wanes, to not act on your urges right away, to enjoy any activity as a reward in and of itself.

Does life need to be pure discipline and no fun? Of course not. But if you can enjoy any activity, in the moment, why not learn to master something that will pay off for you in the long run?

Follow Melissa on PumpUp @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

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Your No Excuse Workout Plan

This is a guest post by Danielle Shoom, Personal Trainer. Visit Danielle’s website here

Some weeks are busier than others and some times you just feel lazy! However getting in your workout can make that busy, stressful week seem not as bad or your lazy day can turn around with just 30-60 minutes of exercise. Here are 4 tips on how to get your workouts in, no matter what!

Get Into A Routine

On Sunday nights I will sit down and think about what I want to do for the upcoming week. I always change it up but I’ve made a pact for myself to work out every day between Monday and Friday. This way, I have a routine. I like to workout first thing in the morning, so this is how I schedule it: running on Mondays, Barre class on Tuesdays, and so on. This really keeps me motived all week long!

Schedule Ahead of Time

Schedule yourself into a class and be committed to it! Most gyms have a 12-hour cancelation period (once you’re in you’re stuck!)   Whether or not you’re in the mood to exercise, I promise you that you will never leave a workout feeling worse than before.

Buy A Gym Package

Buying a package at a gym is not cheap! They usually start at $100, and that’s normally just for  a 5-pack! By investing in a package, that means you have to use it! Buy a 5 pack at one gym, then find another place to exercise next month.  Changing up your workout will keep your mind and body guessing.

Grab A Friend

Schedule to meet up with a friend at the gym or at the park, and work out together. This will make you both accountable and force you not to bail on each other. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone (metaphorically of course) by catching up with each other and staying fit together!

Danielle Shoom is a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition enthusiast based in Toronto, Ontario. Visit Danielle’s website at danielleshoomfitness.com

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This clever photo shared by PumpUp’s tcabe2386 is giving us a bit of motivation this Monday.

He says, “Don’t be one of those ‘tomorrow’ people. Change your life today!” What’s inspiring you on Motivation Monday?