Ready. Set. GOAL!

I had promised that I would share my goals for the new year with you, and I hate to break promises :)

Ambitious goals are what keep life quite interesting in my opinion. These are the goals that begin as just a fleeting thought in the corner of one’s mind, but over time the thought becomes bigger and , in my case, flashier. I do love sparkle and believe everybody’s life could benefit from a bit more.

So, in the spirit of keeping it flashy I will share some of my 2013 GOALS with you:

  1. I am working towards a physical space of my very own. A gym to call my own :) THIS will actually not be as flashy as one may expect since I truly LOVE the feel of a good old garage gym.
  2. I do have physical goals to accomplish this year, but most fall in the realm of strength and endurance, not jean size or numbers.
  3. I have entered and will COMPETE in my very first fitness show this May! I’ll be sharing that journey with you as well.
  4. I will travel to Moldova this month, but have set a goal to travel to Africa this year as well…as often as I can :) I am partnered with Hopechest ministries and will continue to go where I am called, without questioning.
  5. I will finish 2 books this year: 1 is on weight loss and my specific specialty (keeping the skin tight!) and the other will cover my mission trips and tell the stories of the girls who have been caught up in sex trafficking. I will give a voice to those who feel as though theirs has been taken.
  6. In light of #5, one of my final goals is a publishing deal. Why? Publishers get the words to more people.

So, there are the majority of my goals. I always set goals for my personal life as well, working on relationships and growing in my faith daily.

The question I pose to you is “How big are your goals?” Do you stick to the “safe” goals? Maybe you hang around the ones that are a bit easier. Or perhaps you park over the same ones you’ve had for years, knowing if you don’t make it all will not be lost. Friends, those kind of goals keep you simply existing. What would happen if you believed that great things can happen through you? What if you set out to leave a few footprints through this life? What would happen if you decided to stop existing and truly LIVE life as loud as you could? Who might be affected? I’ll be honest, once you change your mindset to make a change, YOU will be the one to benefit the most.

Live out loud this year!

Michelle

When Letting Go is Necessary

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Funny thoughts and conversations have been taking place in my head recently. There seems to be an overwhelming majority of people who commit to the all or nothing principle.

All or nothing is simply the belief that we must be doing our absolute ALL to get what we desire, no matter the cost. I have seen many athletes give up good health for the sake of a particular physique.

Why is there such an obsession with all or nothing? Well, take a look at what is downloaded into our psyche each day. Posters that berate quitters and praise those that bring the pain are plastered all over Facebook. I have been guilty of some of the plastering in my past :-) Trainers and gym enthusiasts remind those who have not yet achieved a perfect physique (btw, has anybody ever actually seen one of those?) that they are simply not committed enough. It becomes a cycle that can eat you alive, literally.

I fell victim years ago, and most know my story. I also told you about doing nothing but yoga recently and how my health and my physique changed drastically. The funny thing is old habits die hard. After 1 month of nothing but yoga I felt awesome! But I had a nagging feeling that it wasn’t “enough”. Did you get that? My health improved, I went down 1 size, but I was unsure as to how it would actually “work”. Weird how the mind works….

So, in an effort to fix what I thought was broken, I popped in some tae Bo and finished that with a Tracy Anderson muscle routine. Um, yeah. I ended up with a serious inflammation backlash and was bed ridden for 3 days :-( .

Now, I’m not advising everybody to stop what they’re doing and take up nothing but yoga as we all have preferences to our fitness regimes. The point I am trying to get across is that we go through seasons in life and we must learn to adapt to the seasons rather than fight to stay in the old ones. We are not all blessed with the ability to perform the way we did in high school or stay the same size ( for some of us, we’re in much better shape than high school!) and yet there is an influx of people desperately hanging on. It’s ok to let go.

Life tends to open up a lot more for those who learn to let go of things. Certain things such as the pain of the past and the unrealistic expectations of the future can be set aside to make room for the joys of today. We must simply learn to loosen our grip and accept the freedom offered us.

So, what will tomorrow hold for you? A new day to experience the season of life you are in now, or just another day of trying to fix what you perceive as broken? Living is a choice we make. Actively engage in your life and make the choice to live!

Be healthy, inside and out :-)
Michelle

Do not adjust your screen…just your attitude

Happy Monday Progress-full People! Name not working? We’ll try a different one later.

So, how are you feeling today? Over in my area it’s getting quite rainy and when it rains here, everything gets super slick! It’s a little chilly too which makes for perfect nap conditions as well. There’s no napping here though! Well, there is, but not today! I feel compelled to spread a great secret for not only reaching your health and fitness goal, but for reaching ANY goal AND living a fullfilling life. Are you ready for it?

BE POSITIVE!

Wait a minute, that’s it? You bet. And don’t try to sell me that optimist/pessimist bullarky (real word!) because I am a firm believer that we choose our tudes! If your attitude is negative and dumpy then guess what? You’re outer appearance will follow suit. That’s whay I’m always telling my classes to hold their heads high, put their chest out, and head up. Your attitude affects everything from your workout to your eating habits, to your general effectiveness in life. So, since you’re online right now I want you to do an experiment. If you have Facebook (if you don’t I have to ask REALLY?!?) go to your wall and look at your posts over the past months. It has to be your own personal wall and get there fast before you get sucked into looking at baby and vacation pics of people you don’t even know! Now, scroll through and honestly assess what you sound like to the whole world… BTW, if you don’t have FB go through your texts, yikes!

 

 

 

I gave you a minute. How did that go? Before we delve much deeper, I think it is important to note that we are called to build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:10-12 ) So, how do you fare as a builder? You see, the problem with this much freedom (hello internet!) is that we tend to spew negativity out like we’re barfing up last night’s bad chinese. Yeah, I went there! That’s how it sounds. AND to make matters worse, once it’s out there, man is it out there. Even if you delete a post, people can still find it. I like to think that the people who can still track down my posts don’t really care about little me, but still. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEW! I’m totally making that into a bumper sticker…

So, why do I care what you say? I’m sure some of you are wondering right now what you said to offend me and the truth is: nothing. This isn’t about me, it’s about helping you. I made loads of spewing mistakes for years, but I learned the great things that can happen if you just take a little extra time. If you put out negativity, that IS what will come back to you. I like to think of it as the boomerang principle. If all you do is talk poorly about your job, spouse, kids, fitness class, food, diet, day to day activities, in-laws, body, capabilities, finances,  etc. you will NOT make any of that any better, period. Let’s see, if you had a lot of negative talk in the above experiment can you honestly say things just got better? Of course not! That’s one of those facts of life friend. So how do you FIX IT? I’m so glad you asked, let’s get on it:

  1. Slow down before you speak, text, post, etc. Take a fraction of a second and think about the implications of where you might go with this. If you need to blow off steam, do so with a TRUSTED confidant and make sure it’s not gossip; you aren’t tacky like that.
  2. Reread before you post/send. I have to do this because I mispell since I try to type so fast! It’s also an opportunity to make sure this is not a “Hey world, look at me feeling all sorry for myself and trying to ruin your day too” moment.
  3. Let go. This can be super hard and you may find that once you let go, you chase that hurtful feeling down again and try to grab it. If that happens, let go again. It will take time, but I assure you the freedom you gain from no longer allowing negativity to rule is totally worth it.

Now, in class I always tell my peeps to talk positively to themselves. Why? Your mind is the most powerful thing you have! Your mind can be your strongest asset, or it can be the cause of your downfall. You have to decide what you will say and focus on. Things like “I jiggle when I jump”, “pushups are hard for me”, I’m tired”, “I hate sweating”, “this workout is too much”, “I can’t keep up” must stop invading your thoughts. YOU CONTROL THAT! Say, “I am getting stronger”, “This is hard, but I can do it”, “I am more than this”, “What is hard today will be easier tomorrow”. Flip your switch and be a bright light to the rest of the world.

Shine on,

Michelle

 

http://beachbodycoach.com/MichelleCFIT

 

Quiet Reflection

Quiet time is an essential part of our self care. I’m not talking about meditating or even the all important quiet Bible reading times (we’ll get to that too). I’m talking about time to disconnect and be completely still and quiet. If you are automatically thinking that you don’t have time for such frivolous non-activity, you may want to rethink your priorities just a bit. Quiet times are the most effective way to bring about wholeness and healing within our minds, emotions, and spirits.

Quiet times do not have to be very long. There actually is no required length of time for them and they can take place any day of the week. Quiet times are a means by which we unplug and decompress. You see, in the modern age we live in we are bombarded with facts and news 24/7. There is no break. You can log onto social networks anywhere and begin to express anxiety over situations that come up in other people’s lives. There is an over abundance of stimulation information and we must take heed and rest. My quiet times days happen to be Sundays since those are the easiest for me. I leave my phone at home and I give my email and social networking sites the day off. It helps me to be fully present and relax a little.

Often times when we are inundated with emails, texts, and the occasional call we feel it is our civic duty to respond right away. This is why many people spend more time on their smart phones and less time with their smart kids. The first step to an efficient quiet time is to give yourself permission NOT to get back with people right away. Is the situation life threatening? If the answer is no, then it can wait. You can even tell them you were going phone free that day (or hour) and they will eventually understand. Time with your own thoughts is very powerful, but not if it is spent worrying about others trivial requests and drama.

During a few minutes of peace, try to be still. Don’t fidget or try to distract yourself. This can be very difficult, but with time you can master it. Let whatever is coming up just come up. Notice what is happening in your head. We live at a lightening fast pace and don’t realize we even need help until we are truly at a breaking point. Regular quiet times tune us in to these little things before they grow out of our control. As things come up, notice what they are. If you find that you are harboring some deep seeded anger, deal with it. The Bible specifically tells us in Ephesians 4 that we are to deal with anger immediately and not dwell on it. Things like that can eat your spirit alive and make you feel as though your purpose has escaped you. What if intense joy is what comes up? FEEL IT! In our society we are expected to constantly live on an even keel so to speak. Too much joy and we must need medication. Too much anger and we must need more. I think these problems are due to too little time set aside to actually deal with the issues that arise.

So make it a point within this next week to just give quiet time a try. Just a moment or two when you can shut off the drama and focus on your own mind and spirit. This is not selfish, it’s survival. When we do not take the time to notice what is building then we become creatures who react all the time. We snap at the kids, get frustrated at work projects, and begrudge making dinner. Quiet times help to refresh so that we can live, truly free.

Michelle