Tag Archives: Goals

Ready For a Change?

Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach

As we head toward the New Year, many people start to think about changing or improving their lives. January 1st starts a clean slate for us all and it is a great time for introspection and motivation. How do you want to be different in the coming year? What would you like to improve about your life? We routinely work with clients who are wanting to transition into a healthier lifestyle. They express that they want to eat healthier, feel stronger and look better. An important point that we tell them to consider is that they must prepare to change. It is difficult under the best of circumstances to change one’s habits. But one thing that will give you a shot at being successful is to prepare. How do you do this?

First, it helps to define where you are today and where, exactly, is it that you want to go? Define the gap between here and there. Writing it down will help to articulate the specifics and to get things clear in your head. Define your motivators for wanting to achieve this change. It also helps to document the challenges you may have in your way. As you list the challenges, also list several strategies to overcoming these challenges. If you get stumped, ask family and friends for help. Second, create specific steps that you are ready to do to start the process of change. Think small changes and baby steps. Visualize yourself doing the actions it will take to get you to your goal. Also, visualize what it will look like when you have achieved success. Third, measure your progress and adapt to changing life situations as you go. And don’t forget to reward yourself as you obtain your goals!

One of the most important areas in your plan should be to define your support system. This is your group of family, friends and knowledgeable professionals who have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish and want to help you get there. Also figure out if there are saboteurs in your life: those people who do NOT want you to succeed. Unfortunately, some of your closest friends and relatives can be your most daunting saboteurs. It takes courage and real commitment to realize that and decide that you are going to change anyway. Figure out how you will deal with those people NOW. Do not wait until you are actively working hard on your personal change. You must be prepared beforehand.

December is the perfect month for organizing how you will change. In the last week of the month, as the hectic schedule of the past few weeks begins to wind down, take some time to ponder what you want your life to be like in the next year. Some time invested now in planning will pay dividends down the line as you execute a well-organized, supported plan for life change.

Yesterday, You Said Tomorrow

Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach

We humans have an amazing ability to procrastinate! Sometimes we put off important tasks that have to do with our personal health and well-being. We always say, “Oh, I’ll get to that tomorrow”. Many tomorrows later, people wonder why they are still overweight, why they are still exhausted, how they could have let themselves slip from being pre-Diabetic into a diagnosis of Diabetes. I am always interested when I hear people come up with excuses as to why they cannot workout, eat healthier, lose the weight, get serious about battling a chronic health problem, make that important doctor’s appointment, etc. As a personal trainer and wellness coach, I have heard every excuse in the book. I have also seen clients make progress on their health goals despite many huge hurdles. It all comes down to motivation. How do you overcome your excuses, roadblocks and challenges and just get started on becoming healthier?

There are multiple strategies that I use while coaching clients to help them progress. First, we analyze current behaviors and self-talk. Is there self-sabotage going on and if so, what is the root cause of that? What scripts are playing and replaying in the client’s head? I often have clients actually write down all of the negative self-talk going on inside. When people see, in black and white, how they are beating themselves up internally, they are really surprised! It is important to recognize this negative self-talk, stop it and replace it with affirmations.

Second, I have clients create realistic short term and long term goals. Then we work on small steps each week so that actions are doable, but not overwhelming. As the weeks go by, and clients take small steps, they can begin to see progress. Self-talk becomes more positive. Momentum builds. Progress becomes tangible. For example, weight comes down, blood sugar decreases or a fitness milestone is reached. Doctor visits become more positive and exciting. Energy soars, as do spirits.

Third, we create steps to maintain the healthy behaviors and ways to reinforce the behavior. We examine how far the client has come and we celebrate! If you are holding yourself back from being a healthier version of yourself, ask yourself why? The “I’m too busy/too stressed/too exhausted/can’t afford it/have a bad knee/have small kids/commute up and down the hill” excuse is not valid if you are really serious about being healthy. Today, say you WILL do it. And then do it!