The Power of Potential

Potential, noun; “The latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.”

You have this. Everyone has this.

Potential is the easiest, most powerful starting point. It’s your opportunity to achieve any goal and obtain any dream. But, do you believe in your potential?running up stairs

Oprah Winfrey says: “You become what you believe.”

More often than not, our lack of belief in ourselves and our abilities is what holds us back. For goodness sake, give yourself more credit! I see so many women reluctant to go outside their comfort zone and try new things or hold back on fighting for what they believe because they focus too much on their weaknesses instead of working from their strengths.

Once you have a strong belief in yourself, the next step is to take ownership. Potential can only turn into success if we choose to take action. Don’t be concerned about being great or being better than someone else, just focus on being your best. Tony Horton taught me long ago that showing up is better than skipping out. I’m 51 years old, and believe me, there are many days that I want to skip my workout, but when I heed Tony’s advice and choose to strap on my sneakers and have no expectations about the outcome, I always feel better than before I started. Every good choice, even if it’s a small one, happening moment after moment and day after day adds up to building an amazing human being.

Finally, I strongly believe that passion and potential go hand-in-hand. If you care about something deeply, you can achieve it. Why does the underdog win the game? How does a 3rd round pick become the starter? How does the “C” student become the CEO of a successful company?  Answer: deep-rooted, unwavering, passion.

In summary: stop wasting your potential. Decide what you want and GO AFTER IT today.

Off to a Slow Start?

It’s January 15th. Have you made any progress toward this year’s goals? Yes? Great! No? Well, you’re not alone. January is a tough month for me. The fourth quarter of the year feels like a sprint. I’m racing to finish out the year well at work and get ready for the holidays and after a short break I have a tough time starting all over again. The Christmas decorations are stored away, day after day of bitter cold weather sets in, and my older kids head back to college. Let’s just say I’ve had a few false starts already.tortoise slow start

With tomorrow’s Martin Luther King holiday, some of us may have the benefit of a long weekend. Let’s use this weekend to erase the false starts between January 1st and now and start fresh.

Are you with me?

Here are some thoughts I’ve jotted down to help us:

  • Get freaky or conquer your fears to get out of the funk. Whenever I’m “in a funk” I try to shake things up. This could be something simple like getting up from your desk, blaring some music and dancing around the room or coming face-to-face with one of your biggest fears and conquering it head on. For example, if you are afraid of heights, go on a long, steep hike with some friends or take downhill skiing lessons. I often exercise in the privacy of my home, alone. This Christmas I asked for tennis lessons so I could get out of the house, interact with others and get better at a sport. My husband did a ton of research and provided several options in our area to take lessons. This week I’m going to explore those options and register.

What will you do?

  • Figure out how badly you want it. If you’ve set a goal then you have to change your behavior to have a shot at achieving it. For your behavior to change you’ve got to want to achieve that goal more than anything else and rethink your priorities. Yes, that means making sacrifices, but if those sacrifices make you a better person in the end, they’re probably worth it. When you sat down on January 1st and said: “my goal this year is to….,” had you truly thought it through? Did you prepare yourself for those moments of temptation when you knew you’d want to drift away from the goal? Sit down and ask yourself: Why is this so important? What will I gain from achieving it? Why should I make this a priority? If you can’t answer those questions honestly, then maybe you need a different goal. I’ve already started rethinking some of my goals to better align with who I want to be at the end of 2017.

How badly do you want to achieve your goals and why?

  • Just do it! If you’re like me, you may have a tendency to fall into “analysis paralysis.” I spend so much time planning, preparing and waiting for the right moment that I never start. We’ve got to just dive in! Take the first step without fear of failure, without inhibitions, without worrying what other people will think. It probably won’t be pretty, it will feel weird and awkward but good things come from EXPERIENCE, not from sitting on the sidelines. My husband says this to our teenagers all the time. Good, bad or indifferent, every calculated risk gives us a learning lesson.

What actions will take today to move you closer toward your goal?

Confidence in the New Year

A feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances.”- Merriam Webster Dictionary

If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Fordconfidence

Scene #1: Yesterday my daughter and I attended a hot Bikram yoga class together. As I stand at the front of my mat, preparing for the grueling 90-minutes in 95 degree heat and 65% humidity, hands folded, eyes closed, I set my intention: “Give your best effort, have fun and don’t judge yourself.” I’m calm but my sore body and the more experienced yogis on either side of me wane my confidence.

Scene #2: Zip lining in Montana, last summer with my husband and teenage children. During the long hike and once on the high platform, I’m shaking like a leaf. We’ve gone through all the preparation and we’ve been told several times how safe and fun flying on a line hundreds of feet above ground will be. Yet, I’m thinking I can’t go through with it and the fear of what’s about to happen is overcoming me. I have no confidence in my ability to complete this.

Scene #3. It’s a few minutes before the start of a two-day seminar I will lead for a new client. A senior executive is saying a few words to kick-off the session. I’m sitting next to him. As I listen to him and await his introduction of me I’ve got butterflies, but the good ones. Their fluttering around my stomach but flying in unison. I’m nervous and excited. I’m confident that since I’m prepared and I know the seminar content is valuable, once I begin speaking everything should proceed well from there.

Three different circumstances with three varying degrees of confidence. What gives us confidence? As a health and fitness trainer I see so many women who lack confidence. As a mother of a teenage daughter I observe her and her friends either beaming with it or doubting their capabilities.

We all want to be confident and to appear confident, especially in those situations that might make or break our career or might allow us to experience something outside our comfort zone. Confidence isn’t a skill that we learn, it’s a feeling that we can grow and develop. From my personal experience I’ve realized I’ve been more confident when certain best practices or circumstances are in place- as Merriam Webster defines above.

  1. Celebrate your successes. When leading communication skills workshops we often conduct role-plays. I always find it interesting that at the conclusion of these practices people will immediately start talking about everything they felt went wrong instead of what they did well. To build confidence you must tame the inner critic and start with a positive self-appraisal. For whatever New Year’s Resolution you’ve set, set out smaller goals or milestones and celebrate those minor successes along the way. If you want to lose 50 lbs. this year and you completed 3 workouts this week, congratulate yourself (not with junk food, of course) and feel good about your progress.
  2. Surround yourself with positive influences. I’ve been blessed. My mom instilled confidence in me on a daily basis. My mom was beautiful, intelligent and ambitious but she came into adulthood in the wrong era. Women in the late 50s and early sixties were not encouraged to pursue a career or use their brains. She took every opportunity to recognize my successes and encourage me to take advantage of all the opportunities that were not available to her. I credit my ability to exercise daily and eat right to the people in my support and accountability group that I’ve been leading for over 5 years. Without their positive comments, encouragement and the “no judgement” culture we’ve created together, I would have quit long ago. Find people whom you admire and work to nurture those relationships. For me those are people whom are credible, caring and confident themselves.
  3. Be prepared and don’t dwell on the outcome. We’re typically more confident in any situation we’ve prepared for. If I’m going to lead a workshop for a new client I learn about their challenges, business model and goals. Even If I’ve lead the workshop 10 times before, I still take time to practice my words and get mentally prepared. If you practice and prepare for any big venture whether it be a presentation, asking for a promotion or making the leap to change careers, it makes no sense to dwell on the potential bad outcomes outside your control.

How are you going to build your confidence this year? How can you feel good about who you are and the God given gifts you have? I’d love to hear your ideas.

How to Muster COURAGE TO CHANGE

It’s that time of year again. January 1st is almost upon us. We want to make changes, we need to make changes in our lives but we’ll use the next few weeks as our excuse: too many parties, deadlines to meet, too much temptation around and too busy to exercise.courage-cat-lion152680601-edited

How many of us have come to January 1st, changed our ways for the better for a few weeks or a few months only to go back to our old ways again? (My hand is raised high in the air right now.)

In another category are those of us who have given up. Perhaps we feel destined to be the person we are. Too many years of unhealthy habits and bad ways have got the best of us. We don’t even know how much better we can feel because clean eating and exercise have always felt like work. Life should be enjoyable, after all. Who wants to have to work that hard every day?

I don’t claim to be a psychotherapist, but having spoken with so many folks who want to change their health, here are my thoughts: We tend to cling to self-destructive and negative behaviors because these actions are familiar and safe to us. It’s hard for any us to understand how much our lives will be improved when we find something, some alternative way of behaving that we feel passionate about to take the place of unhealthy rituals.

This time of year is filled with traditions, some great and some destructive. Ever ask your parents and grandparents why they do what they do? I find it so crazy when the answer is:  simply because this is the way they’ve always been done. We dispel new approaches to doing even the most simple of tasks and refuse to try new things to hide and cling on to our past.

Let’s face it; change is hard because it’s scary, especially when it comes to our own health. We state publicly that we are going to lose weight, get in better shape and eat better. Oh no, now it’s out there, what if we fail? What will people think? “Oh, there she goes again on another fad diet.” “Why is she exercising? She doesn’t need to exercise, she looks great.” “He hasn’t exercised in years, how does he think he can do it now?”

Why do humans care so much about what other people think? Get all that noise out of your head. Most people don’t care about anyone but themselves.

The key word is “process.” Nothing worthwhile happens overnight.  Varying your routine is going to be difficult and there will be days when you don’t stick to your plan. But with patience, perseverance, and support change happens.

Then, more amazing thing starts to happen along with it. A small pattern kicks in. You politely say no to the bad food around the office because you begin to realize how crappy you’ll feel afterward and feeling good feels…well…really good lately. You make room in your schedule tomorrow because the workout felt pretty good today. You become one of those “weirdo health nuts” that you used to scoff at. And, people start to take notice. But, that is not what keeps you coming back. What makes you show up is your child smiling at you when you come home from a run, or the patience that you’ve gained when in a stressful situation or the unhealthy cells passed down genetically that you know you’re killing off one small cell at a time.

You can feel so much better no matter what your age, genetic make-up, medical history or lack of exercise over the years. You can feel really great and still eat tasty food. You can exercise and have fun at the same time. All you have to do are four simple things:

  1. Tell yourself that you can change. Everyone has that inside of them, everyone.
  2. You may have heard my brother Tony Horton say this and think its silly, but it works: Take the word “failure” out of your vocabulary.  Replace it with something else like: “I’m presently working on…,” Or “I am currently struggling with…”
  3. Have a plan. This is critical. You won’t succeed by winging it every day. In 2004 I found the plan that worked for me. I have stuck with variations of it to this day and I feel pretty darn terrific at the age of 51, 90% of the time. I am a big believer in having a workout plan, especially if exercise is not part of your daily routine. It has to be doable and something that won’t have you quitting on day three. I’m happy to help you select the plan that will work for both your fitness level and personality type.
  4. Get accountability partners. If change is so hard, how can you expect to go at it alone? An accountability partner is the person that is there for you when you slip up, they are the people that encourage you, support you and motivate you. They make you successful because you are in it with them and you both have the same common goal. This is another absolute necessary part of the equation. When I mess up, which I often do, my accountability partners are the people that keep me on that patient, steady climb toward success. My successful days now outnumber my not-so-successful ones because of my accountability partners. I gathered people in a private group well over 6 years ago. We call ourselves “Team Thrive.” If you’d like to join the group, message me back.

If you’d like help figuring out a plan, even it’s not with a Beachbody product, or want to be part of one of my groups, please write me back and let’s set up some time to talk.

What are YOUR ideas for changing behaviors that last?  Selfishly, I’d love to hear them. Comment below.

3 Techniques to Develop a Daily Discipline

As many of you may know, I’ve been bringing people together in an online motivation, support and accountability group for years. We help one another stay on track toward better health and fitness. A new member of the group has encouraged me to give up coffee. He spoke about what a positive impact eliminating caffeine has had on the quality his sleep and ability to stay focused on daily tasks- two aspects of my life that seem to be lacking at the moment. He asked my why I enjoy coffee. My answer: just about everything. I love the aroma, the taste, and the feeling of a warm cup in my hands. (I’m just talking about the average good ol’ cup of Joe. Nothing fancy for me, please.)3 tips to develop a daily discipline

I know there are many arguments for and against having just 1-2 cups of coffee daily. But, I thought I might give this a try and see how my overall health and well being changes.

How difficult can this be? After all I’ve developed a daily discipline in so many other aspects of my life: like exercising daily, writing a weekly blog,  and devoting time daily to my work of helping others get healthy and fit.

Who’s kidding? Of course it will be difficult. I’m attempting to change a daily behavior that I’ve been following for years. Having my morning cup of coffee or two…sometimes three… is habit. It’s a simple, immediate pleasure that requires a k-cup and a push of a button. To increase my chances of success, I’ve decided to put into practice the three simple behaviors I’ve practiced when attempting to develop other daily disciplines:

1. Reflect and set an intention. Bill Walsh, former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers says, “If your why is strong enough, you will figure out how!” I literally wrote out the reasons how removing caffeine intake could benefit me. Everything from using the money spent on k-cups on something else to the numerous health benefits I’m seeking. The purpose of evaluation is twofold. First, it gives you an objective way to look at the pluses and minuses and your pursuit of the vision you have. Secondly, it shows you where you are so you can determine where you need to go. Evaluation and purpose give you a baseline to work from.

2. Prepare a plan for success. I know the first 5-10 days will be grueling, so I’ve prepared myself for the inevitable moments of temptation I know I will have. I’ve removed our Keurig from the kitchen, put away the last few k-cups I had and purchased some decaffinated green tea and other herb teas. I know these will feel like unsuitable replacements in the beginning but it’s better than going from all to nothing.

3. Surround myself with positive influences. I can’t say enough about the people in our Team Thrive group and what they’ve done to make me show up for my workout on a daily basis and help me make better food choices. I’ll be leaning on them for support and motivation during this for sure. I’m grateful I have that positive support network in place. I know I will need this lifeline in those moments of truth.

Do you have a bad habit you’d like to change or new daily discipline you’d like to incorporate into your lifestyle? Let me know! Everyone in our Team Thrive group is happy to help you succeed. Write me back if you’d like to become a member of our Team Thrive team…free.

A Happy AND Healthy Halloween Treat

Candy Corn Smoothie

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I am crazy for candy corn this time of year. Yep, I know. There is absolutely NO nutritional value in those tiny little sugar triangles that I can pop in my mouth by the handful.

I was very excited to find this recipe. It is a yummy, healthier substitute and a great twist on your morning meal replacement shake.

Ingredients:

  • First Layer (White)
  • 1 serving Vanilla Shakeology or vanilla protein powder of your choice.
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Second Layer (Yellow)
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ Tbsp turmeric
  • Third Layer (Orange)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric

Preparation

  1. Add all ingredients in first (white) layer to blender and blend. Pour 1/3 of the smoothie mixture into the bottom of your glass.
  2. Next add in the frozen mango, water, and the half tablespoon turmeric to create a yellow layer. Pour half of the mix into a separate glass and set aside while you blend the orange layer.
  3. Add the carrot and remaining turmeric to create an orange layer. Pour the orange layer on top of the white layer. Top with the yellow layer of smoothie. Enjoy!

 

 

Progress Comes with a Push and Positive Influences

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FREE Sneak Peek Tomorrow!!

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Best Motivation Technique: The Buddy System

In a fitness slump? Lost your mo-jo? Can’t seem to string a few days together?

FIND A BUDDY! It’s likely that you have a friend or co-worker feeling the same way you are right now. Get together, set some goals, work out a plan for meeting and exercising together. You will have more fun and you will be more likely to show up because you won’t want to let the other person down :) I had the benefit of having this guy hold me accountable when he came for a visit last summer. 120 reps? NO WAY would I have tried that on the last round of this workout, but he threw down the gauntlet and I surprised myself :)

 

How Successful Entrepreneurs Stay Motivated

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I’ve certainly had my share of ups and downs, good years and bad years. I chose this life to have indepedendence, be my own boss, make my own hours and be in control of my success. Whether you are a business owner, executive, entrepreneur or front line manager, these words of wisdom will help you. I can’t say it any better than Drew Hendricks who wrote this article recently for Success Magazine.

So you’ve swerved onto the rumble strips along the road to your entrepreneurial dreams.

Welcome to the club.

The club includes just about every other member of the human race who has ever started something brave and new. In every entrepreneurial success story, there is a time, if not multiple times, when setbacks occurred, chances were taken and motivation was lost.motivate

Think about Steve Jobs getting fired from his own company. Or Mark Zuckerberg dropping out of Harvard and moving to Silicon Valley on a whim. At least you’re in good company. At moments like these, it is important to take the right steps to get yourself back on track.

Here are seven suggestions to keep yourself motivated:

  1. Be mindful and restore yourself physically.

We tend to neglect our bodies when our minds are overwhelmed by stress. But keeping and maintaining a regular health routine is critical for entrepreneurs, especially when faced with challenges. Take a yoga class. Sit in a quiet room and meditate. Go for a jog near a body of water. The point is to do something to get your endorphins flowing, to clear your mind a bit and to re-energize yourself. As the saying goes, “Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.” Take a moment for your health and it will pay dividends in the long run.

  1. Read fiction.

Step out of your world for an hour and read a good fiction book. As our society moves toward more bite-sized, digital content, the benefits of fiction for entrepreneurs are increasingly being recognized. After reading fiction, individuals tend to empathize better, demonstrate superior focus and learn to approach obstacles in new ways. Reading, similar to exercise, helps to replenish us in a seemingly counterintuitive manner. It helps us to step away for a moment, then approach our challenges more effectively. And you never know, the right reference to a client’s favorite character or novel just might close the deal one day.

  1. Hear from leaders who have been through it.

There’s nothing quite like an inspirational I-did-it-and-you-can-too story. The entrepreneurial world is full of stories of tragedy and triumph that inspired great new businesses. Latch onto those stories and learn from them. Try out a few tips that successful entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity have tried when they were struggling. This could mean checking out the biography of one of these leaders or just browsing YouTube for their inspirational speeches and interviews. Learn from others’ experiences as much as you can in this moment to better your chance of success in the future.

  1. Level up your approach with strategic reading.

If you read any two books during this time, check out What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Lincoln on Leadership. The first is a great read on retooling one’s thinking as an entrepreneur and manager who must constantly evolve in a leadership role. The author, Marshall Goldsmith, writes on personal development as the key to better management. Again, focusing internally on changing behavior patterns is crucial to finding the means to overcome trying times and ultimately improve as an entrepreneur. The book on Abraham Lincoln emphasizes the powerful lessons of leadership to be gleaned from one of the most remarkable leaders in modern history. Talk about a leader who went through tough times!

  1. Talk to your mentors.

People love giving advice, so take full advantage. Think of your network of mentors as a personal board of directors who you can consistently reach out to in search of support and guidance. Some of them might even be able to offer material support in the form of investment, referrals and key introductions to influencers. Your mentors are an opportunity to expand your reach and broaden your thinking.

  1. Write it out.

Whether it’s a blog or a personal journal, some of the most thoughtful leaders and entrepreneurs in the field keep a record of their experiences on the road to success. Many of them turn these snippets into best-selling novels when they make it big—Bill Gates and Richard Branson, to name a few. At the very least, use writing as a way to process what you are going through, to strategize, and maybe even to build a following of peers who share ideas and support each other. Although it can be hard to find time for writing, schedule it into your workday (at least 15 minutes) because, in the end, it will add value.

  1. Keep calm and do what you do.

Take this moment to recalibrate your goals and stick to them. The path to entrepreneurial success is never a straight one. It is a winding road full of thorns, thickets and all types of obstacles. That is part of the fun! But in the frenetic pace of an entrepreneur’s life, sometimes you will need to pause and reassess how you are approaching those micro-challenges.

Remember that you are where you are for a lot of good reasons. The success you seek ultimately lies within you. You’re just doing the work right now to let that even better version of yourself shine through. You’ve got this. Enjoy the ride.