It Will Be Alright Tomorrow!

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It will be alright! 

Recently we were talking with some of my husband’s old friends from high school when my husband shared an inside laugh about “it will be alright tomorrow” with his old buddy. Then his wife said “is that where that comes from?!? He says that all the time when I’m upset about something!” We all laughed

It will be alright tomorrow! I love this! What a great perspective. What a great reminder. It WILL be alright tomorrow!

Or probably even in just a few short minutes for that matter. Sometimes we let the smallest of things that don’t even really matter steal our joy and thus get caught in a round about of anxiety and irritation.
I wish I was saying this from simply observing the world around me and others’ reactions to everyday circumstances. But I am probably one of the worst offenders I know.
Somehow I have a database of idealistic layouts of days in the life of me (and everyone around me) and when things don’t go according to the vivid pictures in my head I start surrendering my joy, one frustrating moment at a time.

So, let’s spin this and do a re-frame….what if those interruptions are meant to give me a fresh perspective instead and actually restore some joy? Maybe “meant to” isn’t always appropriate but I’m confident that most of these moments have the potential to do so if I would let them. Or perhaps they may give me an idea to share in writing or in speaking to someone. Maybe sometimes they are a slap in the face way to show me the precious moments I miss as I blaze through life attempting to check all the boxes on the relentless to do list of life that is never fully satisfied.

I believe in order to see these interruptions or plans gone amiss in this light though, we really have to look for the possible lesson or positive spin and purposely “re-frame” the situation using a different thought process.

As a mom, some days feel as if they are predominantly characterized by cleaning up messes and re-doing or simply getting back to ground zero, as I refer to it….meaning I only had time for the every day mundane tasks that never seem to end like laundry & dishes and feel like not much true progression was made since so many little unexpected things came up. I was having one of these such days the other day when I decided to go in the bathroom to take a few deep breaths, wash my face and re-fix my hair and feel a little more put together, when I opened the drawer to find it full of a half a tube of toothpaste that had somehow mysteriously (no one seemed to know what happened😳) squeezed out😂 And then I remembered something I once heard in a leadership talk: PPPP Pause, Ponder, Pray, Proceed. I love this reminder. Most of these small little issues aren’t worth the drama we create about them or the emotional energy spent on them. And, it will totally be alight tomorrow!😉

It WILL be alright tomorrow. It always is. The sun rises every day and mercy is new every morning. There’s always another chance to make better decisions.

Just like the girl’s husband in my story example; what a blessing it is to have someone around us to remind us that it will be alright tomorrow and bring fresh perspective when we can’t seem to find it ourselves. Recall the popular lingo, “don’t sweat the small stuff?” So true. It’s never worth it and life is too short & precious to be freely giving our time away to useless joy robbers. So, when mistakes are made, life is interrupted, and things don’t go as planned, remind yourself: it will be alright tomorrow!!

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Habitual Snowballs

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Ever noticed how bad habits tend to gravitate to one another? And how there’s a momentum associated with habits in the positive or the negative direction?

This is why, especially if you are struggling in building positive habits, it is a great idea to recognize any positive pattern/habit that you have established and been even moderately disciplined in throughout your life and hone it and build upon it. Then, subsequently you will build momentum and aquire other good habits more easily.

For example, in my life I have always been disciplined in the area of exercise. I was involved in many sports and physical activities most of my life, regular exercise naturally became a part of my routine and thus my life.

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There’s my exercise snowball; rolling downhill picking up speed!😉

I have always struggled in the discipline of organizational skills & time management and I once had a mentor tell me that if I was half as disciplined in this area as I am with exercise I would have great success in this area. She suggested that I apply the same principles just in a different area. Essentially she was simply telling me to develop the habit in my life the same way I had with exercise.

Developing a habit is simply repeating something until it becomes an automatic part of our life that we do without question or conscious decision. Once you make the decision consistently enough, it sticks.

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This was me trying to push my organizational/time management snowball uphill. Ugh😁

I’m happy to say that I am now working on developing small disciplined positive habits in this area and let it roll downhill naturally. No more pushing!! Even if I was a Mario super brother lol!

Another mentor of mine once said it is a wonder that developing the positive habit of flossing is just as tough as quitting the negative habit of smoking. Lol. Seems like a drastic analogy but it we give it truthful thought, we can see how this makes sense. Most of the daily actions we engage in are brought on by habits we create and have become unconscious. We are, in fact, creatures of habit and the trick is to develop our unconscious mind to engage in positive habits we create over time. Our unconscious mind is insanely more powerful and influential of our actions than our conscious mind!

Just like a snowball rolling downhill, habits build upon each other and create great momentum in our life. A ball of negative habits can be likened to an avalanche as they will definitely lead to utter chaos once compiled. However, creating positive habits that build upon each other creates a positive momentum that leads to peaceful functionality, productivity, and ultimately a lot more freedom! Don’t forget that you have to pack that initial little snowball and get the ball rolling!

Tear In My Heart

You know how paper cuts can be the absolute worst offenders on our skin? Strange really. And probably the exact opposite of what we would be prone to think.

Ironically, as I was already pondering this thought & the possible analogies, I guess I unconsciously decided to prove it to myself lol. My son broke one of my coffee mugs the other day and when I went to pick up the pieces, one of the sharp edges cut the palm of my hand. A seemingly teeny cut has produced a constant annoyance of blood and a surprisingly consistent irritating pain. Of course it could be the precarious location of the cut and it’s interference with daily tasks.

The interesting thing is that life is so much like this. It is often the seemingly insignificant tiny matters that are the culprits of the biggest irritants and distractions on a consistent basis; the little weeds that choke the life right out of us if we allow it.

I feel like I could go a so many different directions with this analogy. BUT… I started out with the thought of speaking about the relation to a tear in our heart. Even with the heart tear analogy I feel like it could have different meanings: A tear caused by a small offense or a linage of small offenses over time. Or, even worse, a heart tear from the infectious spread of heartache that happens due to unmet expectations. However, I believe the worst offender yet to be the seemingly smallest tear in your heart that happens as a result of an unconscious letdown of your guard because hope and desire finally overcame fear and reservation.

You know what I’m talking about. You unconsciously hung your heart out on your sleeve for just a short time and BAM it got clobbered! Then it moves straight into gut wrenching pain and heart ache.

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So, what’s the moral here…..Keep your heart on lock down? I would love to explore possible answers and explanations to the old adage: “is it better to have loved and lost or to have never loved at all?” But….I believe that is a stand alone topic for a separate writing. So…lets go this route:

Since we were young we’ve heard that common little phrase…. don’t get your hopes up. How sad. Hope is everything! You should always get your hopes up!! And keep them up! Even if it is sometimes accompanied by gut wrenching pain. At least then you know that you’re alive and passionate!

Here’s a great line from the song that inspired and provoked this writing:

“Sometimes you gotta bleed to know that you’re alive and have a soul” 21 Pilots

I love that line. Action is the only thing that cures fear. Unfortunetly, all too often we tend to shoot only for mediocrity, mostly due to our fears and focus on past failures. We let our past and present circumstances define us, and we listen to our own limiting beliefs that shout that what we have become is all we will ever be.

That is never true and is always subject to change. It is always a choice though and the Bible says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick”

So, I’ve been walking around over the last few days with this little bitty cut, most of the time forgetting it’s even there. Then I go to do something, just an average everyday task, and I am reminded of the little cut over and over again; yet no one even notices this teeny thing unless I show it to them.

I feel like this is exactly the way that our heart is. We often walk around with what we dismiss as just a tear in our heart but it is in turn affected by every day matters. Vice versa, it affects our every day actions and decisions and the choice to love with all of our heart or to put that self imposed armor back on, or worse case: build or rebuild an impenetrable wall.

We only live this life one time. No do overs. Choose to live passionately. Choose to have courage. Choose to make a positive difference. Choose to love. You will be stronger for it.

This will be a “loose” closing. Truthfully, because I don’t know exactly how the story ends;) A lot of my writing is inspired by music. So, I will close this with a few more song quotes that I love that seem fitting for this topic:

“I’ve been restless on the inside, wondering about this heart of mine. I’ve been desperately trying to find a way to prove that I’m still alive.” ~Big Daddy Weave

“When everything feels like the movies. Yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive.” Goo Goo Dolls

“…and maybe someday we will live our lives out loud, try to find a way to make things better now” ~Rob Thomas

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Slight Edge Your Way to Better Health & Fitness!

In our culture we tend to think it’s all about the quantum leap; an abrupt, extreme change. You know what I’m talking about…it goes something like this: one day when I have…..or, when such and such is over…or as soon as I get a different schedule, more time, different shoes, when the baby is older, etc. The truth is that the perfect circumstances never come and we seem to commonly believe that “one day when” will come and suddenly some big break will happen. It really just isn’t so.

Contrary to these popular beliefs, it is always way more about the little decisions that we make and the little things that we do that all add up to BIG positive results! Real progress and success in anything we do come through a principle coined “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson in his best-selling book. Research and countless examples have proven that little things over time add up!

You may have heard this old Oriental Proverb:

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step!

It’s true!! Then you just keep taking more steps, keep showing up, keep making the positive healthier choices consistently and you will achieve the results you want! Remember the old movie, What About Bob? Baby Steps!!

Little things make a big difference and showing up is often half the battle!

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to get great!

The best part is that your efforts will begin to multiply by an amazing force called momentum. It’s kind of like a domino effect, but in a positive direction! There is a plant called the water hyacinth that has baffled scientists for years with it’s amazing ability to duplicate itself. You find it floating on ponds in warm climates across the world. The crazy mind-boggling thing about this plant is that on day one of the month you may not even notice it, on day 15 it may cover about a square foot, and even on day 29 half the pond is still open water, but on day 30 the entire pond is entirely covered by the Water Hyacinth’s phenomenal ability to double itself and you will not see any water at all!!

So, do not be discouraged when you don’t always physically see the results right away! They are coming I promise! Keep baby-stepping and slight-edging your way to better health with the right decisions consistently over time!

Remember that these little things are usually easy to do, but very easy not to do!

Maximize the time and energy that you do have!

Here are some practical ways that you can put these principles to work:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park further out in the parking lot
  • Make an appointment with yourself 2-5x/week to exercise
  • Get a fitness tracker to track your steps
  • Choose healthier options at meal time, even if it’s just part of the meal
  • Decide before! (In the moment we tend to make more emotional based decisions)
  • Tell Somebody!! (Letting others in on your goals brings accountability and encouragement)
  • Mentally go over your reasons why you are striving for these results every day!

**The Slight Edge principle isn’t just for fitness!! You can apply the slight edge to any endeavor to ensure consistent, lastly success!**

 

Lisa M. Jones

Exercise Physiologist

Certified ACSM Health Fitness Instructor & AFFA Personal Trainer

BS in Exercise Physiology, BS in Coaching

 

 

 

 

 

My Passion Got Buried Under a Pile of Laundry

A Pile? More like a mountain. It’s kinda like when people in the south say there are “mountains” in Alabama. “Um, no honey child, that is just a hill! (Yes, mom…I said honey child…maybe I’ve been converted to     a southerner after all😉) Parallel this with the mole hills in our life that we make in to mountains every day! It is totally a matter of perspective I tell ya!

 Can you relate? Life sure has a way of “piling” up on us! It is easy to get buried in the here and now responsibilities (always say responsibility with your best English accent btw😉) and allow the urgent to steal all of our valuable time and attention. When the urgent wins out over the important and successfully steals all of our time and energy, the passion is drained like an hour glass mocking you while you are trying desperately to come up with a solution: to buy more time, to use the time more efficiently, to somehow just cram it all in. Or….to give up. Too many people choose the latter. Two quotes that stand out so vividly in my mind are:

Most men (people) live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them

~Henry David Thoreau

and

Many people die at the age of 25 and wait until 75 to be buried 

~Benjamin Franklin

I don’t love these quotes. I mean I think they are marvelous, genius quotes, showing the brilliant thinking of great minds. It’s more like a love/hate relationship with these quotes. I hate (I actually am opposed to using this strong word in most cases and in my house it is almost a curse word but sometimes it is warranted) I hate, I detest them (these two quotes) for the truth that they so blatantly state. I hate them for the fact that they represent the truthful state of the human race as a whole, that we have so succumbed to mediocrity and complacency. Why do we allow the small, insignificant little weeds of life and the leaning tower of responsibility (don’t forget to use the accent) to rob us of joy and passion? Who told us that we couldn’t be whatever we wanted to be when we grow up after the age of 25? And more profoundly…..why in the world do we believe them?  Well, DON’T. Just don’t. In most cases Nike has it all right and we should definitely “just do it” but sometimes life calls for the opposing strategy: “Just Don’t Do It!!” So, today and every day forward, choose: Just don’t let the little stuff steal your joy and don’t believe those lies that you can’t be anything you want to be. Because you can.

While I am typing this, my 5 year old adorable son walks in the room and I show him the laundry picture at the top of the post and tell him that’s me. He giggles and says “how did you get ‘tuck (we still have some issues with s’s) in there??” I say, “I don’t know sweetie but I am determined to find my way out”…..I’m bringing passion back!!! (to the beat of bringing sexy back of course….sing it with me now)

And you can too.

Let’s Do It

THE BIGGEST LOSER WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST REASON WHY!

W.H.Y. = What Helps You to succeed            

Why? Why not? Why do anything? Might seem silly to some but these are very important, fundamental questions in any endeavor. Why did you get out of bed this morning? Why did you brush your teeth? Why did you come to work? Why are you reading this? Why do we do anything? Most likely the answers to most of these questions are the result of habits that you have formed in your life. The same is true in fitness and making positive changes in our health. Conscious or not, we all make decisions based on our different “whys” or our personal philosophy about the particular area we are making a decision in. For example, you probably came to work today for a combination of reasons: you have bills to pay, you are a loyal employee, etc. However, you probably didn’t give much, if any, thought to the reasons why. You just sprang into action based on a habit that you have created. But, that habit stems from an initial reason why, which developed into the daily habit of going to work. Nerd Alert: It is a scientific fact that a conscious thought requires only 2,000 neurons, whereas a subconscious thought requires 4 billion neurons!! Translation?? Comparing our subconscious and conscious mind is like comparing an elephant to an ant, respectively, as Vince Poscenti (Olymic Ski Coach) puts it.  Therefore, in terms of power, which one would you want working on your behalf? The 4 billion of course! You must enlist the action of your subconscious mind in order to get the results that you want. Ok, I know what you are thinking….”this is weird and I will just do the actions…forget the why! Yes, of course we can always muscle our way through most tasks with our conscious decisions however,  it becomes a much easier and faster process when we learn the art of training our subconscious to work habitually on our behalf. Your success rate and result of making something a lifestyle habit goes up tremendously!

Success in anything stems from the belief that we can succeed!

So, you must find your reasons why and believe in those reasons and believe in yourself accomplishing them! According to Dr. David Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big, here are

3 ways we can develop the power of belief:

1.)  “Think Success, Don’t think failure” (Have a vison for where you are going!)

2.)  Remind Yourself Regularly that You are Better than You Think You Are” (Consider all forward progress a victory and be encouraged that small steps add up over time!)

3.)  “Believe BIG! The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief” (See yourself as you want to be and you will move toward that vision!)

*Knowing your Why and Having Belief go together like two peas in a pod*

If you don’t know WHY, then the “what” always becomes a burden. For this reason people often start something new, such as a workout program, with much vigor and zeal, only to fade out and wonder what they were thinking in the first place. One of the real dangers of this happening, is the belief in oneself decreases as the result of every failed attempt.  If the reason WHY was big enough, strong enough, and clear enough this would likely not happen. On the days you are tired, busy, or just don’t feel like it you will need your reason why to push through.

In The Phychology of Winning, Dr. Denis Waitley exclaims: “Lasting change is effected only when the need for change is both understood and internalized. Until the reward or incentive has been interpreted and internalized, it has no motivating power.”

So, the secret to change is: if we want to and we know why, we will!

According to cybernetic theory, there are two types of change:

 First-order change– doing things differently  If you’re trying to lose weight, eating less and exercising more are steps in the right direction and are needed to help you hit your goal. This is incremental change that happens little by little. But, what about what is happening in our mind while it is hard to see this little by little change? Ever tried watching your own hair grow? Losing weight and becoming more fit are the same way! So, make a shift in your thinking and get the results of this second type of change behind the scenes:

Second-order change-quantum change that happens all at once 

It’s seeing things differently!

First-order change is matter over mind.

Second-order change is mind over matter.

You must have a vision for the end result you want. And vision always starts with visualization. See yourself as succeeding and belief it!

Athletes have been proving this theory for decades, if not centuries. This practice is not just for highly competitive athletes and can be used in any endeavor. So, put belief and the power of having a WHY to work for you. I can only encourage you that it works. Your job is to find your reason(s) WHY!!

Most of our issues are perceptual. The solution isn’t doing something different. It’s thinking about the problem or situation differently.

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were on when we created them. “  Albert Einstein

According to the research of Rolf Smith, children ask 125 probing questions per day!(If you have children you have no trouble believing this!:)) In contrast, Adults ask only six probing questions per day! So, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, 119 questions per day are lost, representing an alarming decline of learning and growing and the death of our imagination.  According to this research, at some point we stop asking questions and start making assumptions, excuses, and justifications. Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

In order to find our “WHY behind the what” we must be in the habit of asking questions. To whom might I ask these questions, you may be wondering?  To find your why, have a conversation with yourself! No worries! I know what you are thinking! Contrary to popular belief, talking to one self is actually very healthy. So, ask yourself some questions to find out your why. Dig deep!

For example:

Initial QuestionWhy am I participating in an exercise program or hiring a personal trainer to help me? Why do I want to get certain results?

Possible Answers: I want to lose weight. Dig Deep: Why do I want to lose weight? To be healthier, have more energy, feel better about myself, look good for my significant other, etc. Why do I want to accomplish those things? I believe these things will help improve my attitude, my self-esteem, and my overall well-being, etc.

And so I challenge you…..find your reasons WHY and write them down where you can see them often or if you want to get really serious find some pictures in magazines or on the internet that represent your reasons why and put them where you can see them!

Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can. ~Wally Amos

In addition to finding our WHY behind the accomplishment that we are striving for, we must find the reasons why we CAN do something. They always exist!! They are usually hiding behind the reasons why we think we can’t though, so we have to look for them! You may not be on national TV competing as the Biggest Loser, but guaranteed if you find some whys, set some serious goals, and engage in a consistent exercise routine you will have the results of the ultimate champion! Stay tuned for the next article of encouragement and tips to help you on your journey of fitness and beyond!

 

LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF PUZZLE PIECES

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Life is Like a Box of Puzzle Pieces

  A friend of mine is a really great soccer coach. He receives compliments about his great coaching skills from people all the time! With impressive humility, he consistently responds by attributing all of the credit to the players’ perseverance, skill, and determination! Whether he knows it or not, this is an extremely important quality of all truly great leaders and coaches.

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit”

I’m actually not sure who gets the credit for that quote lol but I have heard it many times along the way and I love it because it has so much truth!

Recognition is one of the greatest motivators of human action. However, nothing can compare to the elation that is found in synergistic relationship in which pride is suppressed, humility shines, and momentum flourishes!

A common thread that runs through the human mind is the probing question: does who we are and what we do personally really matter? Does our perspective really count? In this search for affirmation and assurance we tend to shift our focus from
results as a whole, to comparison with others’ gifts & talents. If we are busy comparing, how then will we be sharpening our own? Or allowing iron to sharpen iron, as the Bible speaks of? As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

I have heard it said that…..

There is no more noble occupation than to assist someone to succeed.
God desires to do so much through divine relationships and matching people’s gifts, temperaments and destiny together to form a common purpose to bring glory & honor to His kingdom on this earth.

~The root of all conflict is pride~
Imagine we are all like puzzle pieces. If you throw us all in the box and shake it up we become intertwined, our edges jagged, causing abrasion as opposed to edification. However, when we discover the right puzzle pieces that fit together it becomes a beautiful picture whose beauty influences its spectators.
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The other day I was reading some of the stories on Pandora about the forming of different bands and their journey to becoming what the public eye knows them as. Reading between the lines, some of them were nothing short of miraculous!
Mercy Me has an incredible story of how circumstances moved the lead singer around until God formed all the connections necessary to make them what they are today. An amazing story and such an incredible platform of influence for God’s kingdom that they have been given due to their obedience and sensitivity to the prompting of God’s lead!
The Afters band was formed from four Starbucks employees who worked together!!! That one floored me. I would imagine that the average Starbucks probably doesn’t run more than four employees on a single shift yet these guys somehow developed a relationship that unified their gifts to bring glory to God and influence others. I don’t believe for a second that coincidence (if there is such a thing) landed all four of them at the same Starbucks.

As long as we allow the enemy to put jealousy and a critical spirit on the front lines of our interactions with others we will never truly see the God connections that we have been divinely appointed to have.

Insist upon yourself; be original -Ralph Waldo Emerson      Image result for images for puzzle pieces

How Smart Are Your Goals?

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How Smart Are Your Goals?  

When the clock strikes midnight and the confetti falls on New Years is not the only time to set goals for your life! Conversely, goal setting should be a consistent part of the growth and development of your life. To make dreams a reality in your life, you should always engage in setting and attaining goals. It is not about where you are; rather it is all about where you are going!

Goal Setting is about planning ahead and taking charge of your future. Because, let’s face it; no one else will. Or, as the saying goes: you either plan your life, or someone else will. You will, at the very least, fall into the plans of those around you. Don’t believe this to be true? I challenge you to observe your actions for a week and ask yourself if these are plans that you designed or if you just “fell into” the plans of those around you. It actually happens easier than we would think.

The Need For Planning:

A Ten year reunion study of Harvard graduates found:

83% had no goals

14% had unwritten goals

3% had written goals

The study concluded that the 3% with written goals earned TEN times the income the other 97% of the graduates combined!!

The obvious morale of this study is that you hit what you aim for. It has been said that if you aim at nothing, you will hit it with amazing accuracy.

Goals Need to Be SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Time Implemented

 

Three Action Steps Towards Goal Achievement:

  • Identify any Current or Anticipated Obstacles: This helps in the realistic implementation and also eliminates the element of surprise. When you expect to push through some adversity, you will be more mentally prepared to deal with it.
  • Consider Who May Be Involved as well as the Surrounding Circumstances: How can you share your vision and make it adaptable and cohesive with the surrounding circumstances and environment?
  • Plan For and Expect Accomplishment: Write down an effective game plan for the execution of your goals. Expect them to happen! We always get what we expect! Henry Ford said “whether you think you CAN, or you think you can’t—you’re right”
  • Inspect Your Progress: Check on your results throughout the process. Don’t wait until the end. When in flight, an airplane can land in an entirely different city if it just gradually gets off course a few unnoticeable degrees at a time. You can’t expect what you aren’t willing to inspect!

Below is an acronym  I designed for GOALS that I hope will help sum up some of these principles and serve as a good reminder:

Gallently

Observing

Acheivable

Landmarks

Successfully

 

Gallantly means bravely! For, truly it takes courage to pursue your goals and dreams. But, you are worth it and the world is waiting to observe the landmark achievements that you successfully earn in this life!

 

Toughen Up!!

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TOUGHEN UP!

A Book Review

When I looked up “Tough” in the dictionary one of the definitions I found was this:   “strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough or careless handling” Well, I don’t know about you but I have definitely had some adverse conditions in my life, as well as some rough or careless handling of my life and my feelings by people in my life. Many times by the people closest to me. That’s tough. I personally believe that being truly tough is finding the balance of having tough skin and a soft heart at the same time in order to navigate the battle field of life and the bullets that come what may, yet still love at the same time.

I have heard it said that relationship pain is the hardest pain to deal with and if you are breathing then you are dealing with adverse conditions periodically.

So, regardless of what particular situation each of us is dealing with currently the ability to toughen up to withstand, persevere, and strive for excellence in our life is essential and this book is a wonderful tool to put in your arsenal on that journey!

Who wouldn’t want to be inspired and motivated to do more in life and to learn success principles and tools to apply to move forward in any endeavor? If you do, then Toughen Up by Claude Hamilton is a must read for you! For mental toughness is a necessity for true success on any path.

To say this is a “good read”……or even a great read, would be cliche at best. For if you merely read the pages and skim the words of a book of this caliber; you have truly missed the specific intent. Rather, to give it the appropriate praise, it is a thought provoking journey through the lessons learned and reapplied of one very courageous man’s life, that invokes a desire to toughen up and be courageous. Written in an uncanny, conversational style that can be perceived as a heart to heart from a friend who cares enough to provide a mirror to your soul to hopefully awaken a desire to live the life you were designed for, passionately pursuing it with excellence and a focus on true priorities instead of merely existing to meet your obligations. Thank you Claude for blazing a trail that others can be proud to follow if they so dare to Toughen Up!

To get a copy of Toughen Up:

http://www.lifeleadership.com/Shopping.aspx?Search=Toughen+Up#.VBCgVPldWyt

http://www.lifeleadership.com/Shopping.aspx?Search=toughen+up

 

Stability in Fitness? …..Have a Ball!!

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How is the stability of your fitness? Stability is defined as the state of being stable and is synonymous with security, safety, steadiness, & strength. It implies a foundation of something firm on which to build upon. When we think of the different areas of our life, stability may represent being able to pay our bills and being financially secure or having peaceful, fulfilling relationships and being emotionally secure. What does stability mean in the fitness realm and how often do we hear the importance of it? Too often it is overlooked or mauled over by all the rage of the newest workout routine. Regardless of its popularity, stability is a very important concept and a staple of a solid fitness foundation.

Statistically, up to 80 percent of the population will suffer some type of back issue or injury. Being more informed on the subject of stability, and how it relates to fitness can be a drastic preventative measure of this epidemic when applied. Stability relates to posture, which comes from your spinal cord.  Our spinal cord is dependent on the surrounding muscles that support it. A focus on strengthening the core muscle groups of our body is a foundational principle of fitness. Two of the major muscle groups that play a critical role in supporting the back and spinal cord are the gluteal and abdominal muscles. A great way to work these muscles groups, as well as the back muscles is with the stability ball.

In the past decade, the stability ball has become a very popular tool in the fitness world. Originating as the Swedish ball, it has become a well-known fitness icon in today’s society. A stability ball is a very inexpensive piece of fitness equipment that can easily be used daily, offers a plethora of exercises, and can be mobile. Some suggestions in building the stability ball into your daily routine are:

  • Have a stability ball easily assessable for use in your home. Practice engaging stability promoting muscles by simply sitting on the ball with good posture while at your desk doing office work, watching a movie, or even eating. This will promote balance as well.
  • Purchase a small inflation tool to take with you when you travel so that you can take your stability ball with you and always have a ready to go workout routine wherever you are.
  • Keep it interesting! There are so many exercise options with the stability ball. Check out the chart below to kick start your stability ball exercise library and continue to add to it! Add in some jumping jacks and jump rope in between sets and you have a complete workout for home or on the go!

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Before engaging in these exercises, ensure the proper positioning of your body on the ball. Make sure to stay tuned for follow up articles on the topics of improving posture, and the importance of building stabilizer muscle focus into your workouts!