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How My First Homerun Lead to Striking Out: A Lesson on Being Consistent.

How My First Homerun Lead to Striking Out: A Lesson on Being Consistent.

My first experience playing organized sports was playing baseball. It was my first time playing anything competitively.

Now, I was never the best player on the team, but I was pretty athletic.

Though at the time, I did not understand how unique the sport of baseball was..

And I’ll never forget my first home run.

It was one of the best feelings but at the time one of the worst things that could have happened to me.

Why?

Because from then on, every time I was at bat I would always try to hit a home run.

And ended up hitting a serious slump for almost an entire season.

At the time I wasn’t able to process the strategies behind baseball, which was..

While it’s good to knock balls out of the park, it is even better just to be able to hit the ball and get on base consistently.

I wasn’t going to have a big hit every bat. But if I could just hit a grounder or line drive every game consistently, then those little accomplishments would add up and not only increase my confidence and efficiency as a player, but as a teammate.

To this day I find myself in similar situations, procrastinating doing projects because I want them to be perfect the first time. Be a home run essentially jabbing at my confidence, when instead I should just be focusing on getting done one thing at a time until I accomplish what I want to do as a whole.

The process is not always glorious but you get things done and move forward consistently by getting the small things done.

The same holds true for your fitness, athletic, even professional goals.

EVERYONE wants to shed that fat but wants it immediately overnight not realizing that it is a process that requires doing the small things right like dieting and training consistently to make it happen.

Athletes want to make it to that next level not realizing it’s about doing the small things consistently that will get you there.

You have to be consistent in doing the SMALL things right for the BIG dream to come into fruition.

In baseball, yea home runs are great. But consistent hitters make great players.

Be consistent in what you want to accomplish and they will all add up to your ultimate success.

Just get on base every game.

-Coach


Corona Virus: 4 Preventative Health Steps to Reduce Chances

Corona Virus: 4 Preventative Health Steps to Reduce Chances

Well, as we all know at this point, much of the world is on edge about the Corona virus that, according to the media, seems to be spreading like wild fire.

The fact of the matter, it is spreading quickly.

However, I don’t believe it is any reason to panic, BUT that does not mean you shouldn’t be cautious.

Aside from the common sense practices like washing your hands, staying home when you are sick, using disinfectant, and when possible avoiding contact with other sick individuals, what else is it that you can do to reduce your chances of becoming sick?

1.) Get adequate sleep.

You want to aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep, but I know for a lot of you that is tough to do consistently. Just keep in mind that sleep is when the body repairs itself from the daily stressors and your immune system gets stronger. Sleep is when the body cleanses itself of toxins. When you reduce your sleep, then you are cutting the recovery process short, setting your body up to carry a weaker immune response to sickness. Try to get sleep.

2.) Stay hydrated.

This is a pretty basic principle that should be a goal day in and day out anyway. Your body is around 70% water. We need water for the basic bodily functions like transporting nutrients and regulating body temperature. When we are not hydrated enough, fatigue kicks in and muscle function, including the brain, start to slow down. Dehydration opens opportunities to get exhausted more quickly, have no energy, and hinder the process of flushing toxins from your system.

3.) Eat more whole, mineral rich foods.

Having a diverse plate with colorful foods means you are getting the minerals and nutrients your body needs to stay strong. From reducing inflammation to fighting off free radicals, nourishing your body with more nutrients helps the immune system stay strong and fight off viruses and sickness to keep you out of the bed.

4.) Exercise when you can.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just get moving. Being strong means stronger joints, stronger muscles, and lower stress levels. Chronic stress is known to keep you in a negative, catabolic state, making your immune system more vulnerable to getting attacked. Working out boost your energy levels and releases hormones that enhance mood and put you in an anabolic state. So make time for exercise.

These are 4 simple steps that you can take to help keep your immune system strong and reduce your chances of getting sick (again don’t forget the extreme basics like washing hands of course)

Try making these a normal habit Corona Virus or not, and just be overall better!

Oh yea and avoid watching too much news, and check your sources. Facebook and Instagram probably aren’t the most reliable.

Also, for those of you who made the choice to stay home and don’t want to stay in the house until this thing passes, here is a home training program that you can do right from your living room.

>>>>GET THE “I’M HIDING FROM THE VIRUS” TRAINING PLAN HERE<<<<<<<

STAY HEALTHY!

-Coach Willis


Fun in The Sun: Getting Vitamin D

Fun in The Sun: Getting Vitamin D

The cold winter weather and increased cloudy days might keep us inside. Maybe you work in an office where you have little to no chance to get outside. Perhaps you are a student at a school that doesn’t have PE outside regularly.

I want to encourage you to get outside as much as you can. Vitamin D deficiency has gotten recent attention due to its importance in overall health. While Vitamin D is essential for immune function, heart, cardiovascular and brain function, I want to highlight the role of Vitamin D in athletic performance to motivate you to stop avoiding the sun and start embracing it.

Vitamin D plays a key role in the body by improving skeletal muscle development and muscle strength.

If you are looking to be the BEST athlete, you want to make sure that your Vitamin D status is optimal. Research shows that jump velocity and jump height are improved with adequate levels of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D status is also associated with muscle power and force in adolescent girls. Inadequate vitamin D status may result in fatigue which can negatively affect muscle strength and cause weakness. This means that without enough Vitamin D your performance is suffering.

It is estimated that 66% of North Americans are not receiving enough Vitamin D. In order to make sure you are not part of the 66%, make sure you get at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily by exposing your arms and legs.

If you have dark skin, you need more than 15 minutes of sun in order to generate adequate Vitamin D. Sunscreen also plays a role in preventing Vitamin D production, but most people do not apply it completely, so adequate Vitamin D production is still feasible.

When it isn’t possible to get the required amount of sun, a supplement is beneficial for reaching optimal status. Supplemental Vitamin D should be in the form of D3, but dosing can vary based on your current level and a practitioner can help you decide which dose is right for you.

If you want to set yourself up for success on the field, court or in the gym, make sure your Vitamin D status is optimal. This is a simple blood test that can be ordered by your doctor. For more information on Vitamin D, help interpreting your results or information on other vitamins or minerals of interest feel free to reach out to me to schedule a chat! Send me an email if you think you might be deficient. Joanna.Amstelveen.1@gmail.com

JOANNA AMSTELVEEN

MS,RD,CSSD,LDN


The SIX Traits Necessary to Become a Successful Collegiate Athlete

The SIX Traits Necessary to Become a Successful Collegiate Athlete

There are a good amount of athletes at the high school level who may have what it takes physically to play at a higher level, whether that be Division 1 or Division 3.

However, there are a good majority of athletes who might lack the intangible assets necessary to excel at a higher level and need time and effort to develop them.

The bottom line, college sports are not for everyone.

The physical and mental demand of athletics at the collegiate level have proven to be enough to put a halt to the careers of athletes transitioning out of high school, and cause them to drop sports altogether.

However, for those who succeed in the transition, they developed the traits necessary and persevered through it all.

The successful ones share characteristics that help them to advance at a higher level.

Here are 6 traits that reveal if you are ready compete collegiately as an athlete coming out of high school:

1. You Hate to Lose.

People may often get this confused with Loving to Win. If you sincerely hate to lose, then when you do, it will motivate you to self reflect and find ways to get better the next time.

Athletes who hate to lose have a vigor and don’t like to be outdone, whether that’s because you lost to someone else, or competing with yourself.

You can like winning. But you like NOT losing more.

2.) You Are Constantly Finding Ways to Get Better.

Competitors are never satisfied with the status quo. They know there is always room for improvement.

Whether you are finding ways to improve on the court, field, weight room, or class room, you find the gaps in your performances, and you get them closed.

To stay at the same level as you were yesterday is not acceptable.

3.) You Are Coachable.

You are always learning the game and are receptive to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, and understand it’s necessary to develop.

You have an ear to listening to good coaching and know that YOUR way is not always the best way.

4.) You Lead By Example.

Leaders don’t always have to be vocal, but they always lead by showing.

You’re actions say “follow me” more than your words do. Even when losing in a game and things aren’t working in your team’s favor, you don’t complain and deliver all you’ve got on the field.

5.) You Leverage Your Time Wisely

You are all about your athletic career, but you also are good at keeping balance between school, family, and your social life.

Most college coaches will tell you outright that most athletes in transition from high school struggle when in comes to time management.

You understand there is a time for everything. Spending too much time on sport disrupts the psychological equilibrium.

Despite the demands of sport, you still MAKE the time for other important parts of life, and remain productive.

6.) Your Preparation is on Point

The great competitors know that how you perform during the season is a direct result of the work you put in during the offseason.

There is no such thing as waiting until training camp, or preseason to start developing.

You understand the it is about the long game, and the time you invest in the long run creates better success during the season.

******

While these traits are not necessarily the easiest to execute, none of these require exceptional talent.

They are skills that can be developed like anything else.

It’s just about want to.

If you haven’t been the best on time, then start now.

If you have been slacking during your off season and not where you say you want to be, then get better.

It’s on you.

If you want to play at a competitive level collegiately, focus on these 6 things to help transform you into a more well rounded, solid competitor.


Are You Building The Right Way?

Are You Building The Right Way?

I shared this post a few years ago exclusively to my email list as part of the weekly motivational series that I send out.
It had one of the best responses and the message still holds true today. In fact, its timeless.
It’s about the power of your daily decisions.
Enjoy
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There is a story about a man who lived in Japan as a contractor building houses…

He was one of the company’s best and hardest and most diligent workers..

Always the first one in the office and the last one to leave.

He treated every home that he built as if it were his home, paying the most attention to the minute details and the small subtleties to bring the homes to life.

After 30 years he told his boss that he wanted to retire.

But his boss informed him that they had just one more contract for a home for a very important client and they really wanted him to do it.

Reluctantly, the worker accepted. And even though he was very skilled at what he did, his heart just was not in this one.

He did not put in the care and detail that he normally did. He built homes before that were much better. But sure enough, his last project passed inspection.

After the last project was done, his boss asked him to come in for one more meeting.

At this point he was pretty upset as he thought they were going to ask him to build another house. But instead, his boss hands him over a box with a red ribbon and says “We have been so grateful for you and everything you have done for us,”

The worker opens the box and discovers a set of keys.

His boss smiles and says “The house is yours! You deserve it”

Instantly the former employee’s heart sank, because unbeknownst to him, he had been building his own house the whole time. And he of all people knew what that meant.

*****

Every decision that you make, you are building your own house. But most people don’t operate this way. In terms health, fitness, professional, and personal life.

Most people lack the patience and want to play the short game instead of the long game.

People want quick results now instead of the long term transformation that takes consistent efforts on a daily basis.

I see young athletes (parents not excluded) wanting to play at the highest levels but want to cut corners and not address the essentials of what it really takes to become not just a better athlete but a person who develops true grit.

Everyday you are laying the bricks down of your own house.

When you lack the patience and consistent drive that will get you there in the long run, it comes at an expense.

Build wisely.

-Coach


Guaranteeing Your Own Success Through Daily Mini-Habit Strategy

Guaranteeing Your Own Success Through Daily Mini-Habit Strategy

Bare Minimum: Why You Are Guaranteed Success Creating Mini Habits [4 Part Mini-Course]

A few weeks ago I spoke about the importance of setting mini-habits.

In sum, it’s all about breaking down the big goal into actionable smaller steps that can be done daily.

But these are more than just words. There is a science.

Knowing how your brain works will literally give you an edge on “tricking” it, at least initially, in getting you towards your goals, even on days you don’t feel like doing it.

There are three big obstacles typically that get in people’s way when setting out to start a goal when it comes to the initial “actions”:

Perceived Difficulty

The Amount of Effort

Subjective Fatigue

I’m going to give you some insight on how using small mini habits and creating what I call Bare Minimums, will set you on the right track to creating the momentum you need to outright achieve your goals.

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Perceived Difficulty

Newton’s First Law States that an Object at rest will stay at rest unless an outside force acts upon it.

The toughest part about starting anything is starting. At some point, we are all guilty of putting something off over and over because just the thought of beginning mentally drains us.

It’s getting the initial inertia that takes the greatest effort.

If you have been wanting to start up at the gym, but constantly think about the time it takes to get there, and imagine that your workout has to be at least an hour long, then imagine yourself nearly passing out from the workout because you haven’t worked out in so long, you are increasing the level of perceived difficulty in doing the task.

Here is how to defeat your Perceived Difficulty:

Set a ridiculously small Bare Minimum tasks related to that goal that takes any difficulty out of doing it.

Let’s say in terms of your exercising, you didn’t make it to the gym that day, so you set a mini habit of doing just 5 squats, 5 pushups, and just 10 sit ups.

It doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s not supposed to, but what you are doing is reducing the perceived difficulty of working out, and creating the momentum to increase the amount of work you will eventually be willing to do.

In addition, you will gain a mental sense of accomplishment because even though you didn’t feel like it, you STILL got something done. In most cases, it will cause you to want to do even more than you Bare Minimum.

You gain momentum overtime.

Newton’s Seconds Law?

An object in motion will stay in motion unless an external force acts on it.

So, once you are in motion, you will stay in motion.

The Bare Minimums kickstarts the motion, and reduces the perceived difficulty, and sets the track for you to KEEP GOING.

Set your Bare Minimum.

Would you like help setting a Bare Minimum for your fitness goals?

Message me, I’d be happy to help.

The next part of the series, I will share how Bare Minimums will reduce your Subjective Fatigue.!

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How Bare Minimums Will Help You Overcome Mental Fatigue:

Has this ever happened to you?

You have a decent amount of energy, and you start thinking of task that you need to do.

You start to think about the amount of time it will take to get done, then you literally begin to get exhausted from just THINKING about what it will take to get it done.

This is called Subjective Fatigue.

We have all at some point experienced this.

“I know I need to start looking over these reports, and I’m gonna do it. But first, let me take a nap.”

Oftentimes, the larger the task is, the greater the mental “pre-fatigue” is.

There are studies that have shown how powerful our imaginations are. If you imagine something hard enough, it can change what you hear and see in the physical world.

That’s how powerful our mind can be.

How you perceive your strength relative to the task will impact the amount of energy you are willing to expend to start.

How setting Bare Minimum goals help

While you can never really eliminate ALL the subjective fatigue, setting ridiculously small mini-habits will mitigate the amount of perceived stress you get over a tasks.

This is why they are effective.

Here is an example.

Let’s say your goal is to “get a six pack (I cringe when I type this, but for simplicity’s sake), but you don’t think doing 200 crunches per day is realistic in life right now.

Some days you might have the energy to do all of them, but others days you might have a draining day at work, and by the time you get home, you have ZERO energy by the end of the day.

200 ain’t gonna happen!

However, let’s say we set your Bare Minimum to be just 5 Sit Ups.

Yes only 5.

It sounds ridiculous but doing just 5 sit ups eliminates the anxiety of doing 200, and can be done more easily on a consistent basis.

You might be thinking “How am I really supposed to make real progress doing this little amount?”

Well chances are, you will feel a sense of empowerment. You will the majority of the time do more than the Bare Minimum you set.

Even when you feel exhausted, it’s easy enough that you will get it done.

This is how Bare Minimums will help you overcome that subjective.

Set yours.

-Coach Willis

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So far, we have talked about how setting Bare Minimum’s can help you overcome task with great perceived difficulty, and subjective fatigue.

How about your physical energy levels?

We have all seen the snicker’s commercials. You know, the ones where you are not yourself when you are hungry.

It’s true. And it’s mainly in part because of blood glucose.

Glucose is the body’s primary energy source. When blood sugar is low, so is your energy.

It will affect everything from your mood, your focus, and if low enough, can even cause you to pass out.

But what does this have to creating mini habits, or consistently sticking to Bare Minimums?

Well one of the most common reasons for people not sticking to the process of carrying out their goals is because of having no energy.

Yes, this could be ameliorated from simply making sure you eat enough food throughout the day.

However, the other way is to ensure that you have some solid mini habits in place.

Whatever mini habit that you have, should be designed to expend the least amount of energy possible. Like I mentioned in the previous email, they should be ridiculously small.

This is important because even during those times that you are extremely hungry, have low energy, your Bare Minimum is small enough that despite this, you can still complete it.

You’re famished, but still are able to tap into your will power reserves and hit 5 sit ups, 5 push ups, and 5 squats.

It’s a victory.

It’s self-empowering. And it boosts self-efficacy.

So, if you have not already, think about what your big goal is, whether is has something to do with fitness, learning and instrument, starting a business, it doesn’t matter.

Break it down to miniscule pieces that you can do consistently.

If you want to write a business plan, and have been procrastinating, then set your Bare Minimum to just write only 20 words per day towards your plan.

It’s small. It’s bitesize, but it is still productive, and can definitely be done even when your glucose levels are low, and you are hungry.

Get it going!

-Coach

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Obliterate Your Effort Boundaries and Expand You Comfort Zones

Imagine you are in a clear box.

Everything that you have ever wanted to achieve resides just outside of the box.

The more fit you.

The successful you who started that business that is thriving.

The you who is fluent in a different language and flowing effortlessly.

Every single one of these better versions of you belie outside of your glass comfort box because they require discomfort to achieve.

The only thing that could be separating you from really hitting your fullest potential are doing things differently than you have been.

Unfortunately, the way most people go about trying to achieve this change is through trying to jump too much outside of their normal comfort zone, and diving in to change.

Now the principle of it is not bad, but the way your brain is wires subconsciously is to try to keep you out of uncomfortable situations by any means possible.

Think of New Years Resolutioners. People MEAN well when they say, “I gonna work out 4 days per week this year until I drop 15 pounds.”

GREAT!

But what does this require?

Well, if you haven’t been working out like this consistently beforehand, then suddenly forcing yourself to go to the gym 4 days out of the week is an extreme stretch outside of the comfort zone.

Chances are, you will start strong, then fall back like 85 percent of people with resolutions involving fitness goals.

Bit here is how setting Bare Minimums help.

Because they require minima effort, yet still conducive to your goals, there is less resistance.

Rather than jumping headfirst into new territory, biting into it piece by piece slowly expands your comfort zone.

Setting a mini habit that you can do is like walking to the edge of your comfort box and slowly creeping out. It’s “scary”, but because you aren’t going that far, you can always take a minor step back in.

The more of those small steps you take to the outer edge, the more your subconscious will tolerate your comfort box expanding, until eventually, you are in new territory.

You are setting the foundation for a new behavior conducive for hitting your goals.

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So as you can see, setting your Bare Minimum require little effort to do, but have significant long term gains.

No this is not your traditional, just do 10 push ups type of fitness series, but more so aims at achieving the behaviors that create the foundation for you success.

Think about what it is you want to achieve or change, then find out what the smallest component of it that you can do daily as a bare minimum, despite having the energy or motivation that day to do, that will keep you moving forward.

-Coach Willis


Are Recruiting Services Worth It For Athletes? My 2 Cents.

Are Recruiting Services Worth It For Athletes? My 2 Cents.

My thoughts on Recruiting Services for High School Athletes

One evening as I sat down in my office finishing up a consult with a parent and her son who was a football player, the mother asked me what my opinion was on hiring recruiting services to help her kid get more looks from schools.

My answer:

They definitely could be beneficial; however, they aren’t always necessary.

Some recruiting services are outstanding. The reality of it is, the premise of success is based upon the recruiter’s cultivated relationships with college coaches, universities and the gamut.

A downside to using the services for some families is the investment. Determining if it is worthwhile depends on how much you value what they offer, and how much faith you have in your child’s ability to earn a scholarship at the next level.

But here is the reality, if you and your child have a computer, a phone, an email, a social media account, and are persistent, you will not need hire a recruiter.

At the end of the day, it is about marketing, putting the athlete in front of coaches as much as possible, and consistently.

Pretty simple.

It does not take that much time make a list of school, go on their respective websites, collect the contact information to the coaches, and shoot over an email.

Making a list of 40 schools and reaching out to each, you will for sure get feedback from at least 5 of those schools, and begin cultivating a recruiting relationship.

In addition, some of those schools will probably have a few camps where your kid can actually be able to work with the coaches on a more intimate basis where they can get truly evaluated, and begin communicating.

No it is not the prettiest way to begin the recruiting process, but it is way to learn how to really “sell” the athlete, and also develop the networking skill and resilience necessary to build character.

Again, this is not to disregard recruiting services in any way, because there really are some great companies with great people who strive to get your child an opportunity. However, if you can not afford one, then learning and teaching your child how to create his or her own opportunity can have just as much of a return with less of a financial investment.


Training vs. Working Out: Which One Are You Doing?

Training vs. Working Out: Which One Are You Doing?

Is there a Difference Between Exercise and Training?

Most people have their idea or version of getting fit.

You basically go to the gym, or roll out your exercise mat and perform a compilation of exercises that typically are enough to get your heart rate up and potentially make you sweat.

It’s physical activity.

Despite the physical benefits of exercise, there is most certainly a difference between getting exercise and training. And the two are often used interchangeably, creating a confusion about what they really are, and the intentions behind them both.

The main difference between the two is having an actual plan.

For example, ask yourself this:

When you go to your gym, do you have an idea of what you are going to do before going in?

Are you just winging the workouts so you can feel a burn, elevate your heart rate, and break a sweat?

Or are you following a multiple week training plan where each workout is designed to move you closer to a long term, in some cases, short term goal?

Exercise is physical activity performed for the effect it immediately produces.

Each workout is done to create a stress that satisfies an immediate need of the doer.

Burn calories.

Getting a bicep pump.

Doing some light stretches.

You can be doing the same routine every single time you go to the gym, as long as you feel like you got some work in.

And the good news?

ANY activity is better than none at all.

However, when someone is training, there is a long term end goal in mind.

For athletes, the goal is better performance.

Training for a specific goal involves a series of workouts that are calculated so that each and everyone moves the athlete forward.

It’s is more about the collective process verses the individual workouts during the process.

Each session creates an intended stress and adaptation the will increase performance and function.

Training plans are calculated, quantified, objectively measured, and backed by sound principle over just winging it every time you go to the gym.

Now, while this is tantamount for any serious athlete to train, verses just workout during their athletic journey, this is also useful for the very active adult who wants more out of their program.

If you are really trying to make a shift from just winging it every time you go into the gym, then do some research and outline a real training plan that will really help you to break barriers.

If time is a constraint, then hire a coach.

******

While exercise is CERTAINLY better than doing nothing, training is what will elevate you to higher levels, and create for you long term results.

Exercise can be just movement.

Training involves a plan for a specific purpose.

Which of these do you feel like you have been doing the most?

If you need help creating a real training program to help you take your fitness to the next level, let’s set up a free call and see how I can help.


24 Life Lessons Inspired by the Departure of Kobe Bryant

24 Life Lessons Inspired by the Departure of Kobe Bryant

It’s been just over a week since basketball great Kobe Bryant tragically passed along with 8 other people along with his daughter aboard a helicopter crash.

As extremely unfortunate as that ordeal has been, it definitely puts things into perspective for me personally about how fragile life is, what’s really important for a meaningful life, and how we are not guaranteed our next breath.

As great as Kobe was, this tragedy highlights the fact that no matter what our status is, we are all human subject to our ultimate fate at any time.

However, during his time on earth, Kobe did some special things, accomplishing some great feats. His mentality and approach to challenge was inspiring for people across the world, and inspired this post containing 24 things to focus on to create a more fulfilling life:

  • Stop wasting time doing things that don’t fuel your real happiness. Because life is NOT guaranteed, it is a waste of time to be doing hollow things. Do what makes you happy.
  • Family is everything. It’s easy to take those you love for granted as if they will always be there. But the reality is that any one can be taken away at any second. Appreciate and make the most of the time you do get with them.
  • Stop sitting on your dreams. If there is something that you have been wanting to do, then go for it. You have the potential. Just plan and take action. Not to be too candid, but either your dreams will come true first, or your last moment on earth will happen first.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone. You will never be able to grow and reach your fullest potential if you don’t.
  • Embrace challenge. You will inevitably get tested in life, and there is no way around it. Use them as opportunities to learn and become better.
  • Minimize procrastination and prioritize. Start working on things that you want to do now rather than continuing to put them off. Once again, there is no guarantee that you will be here tomorrow.
  • Invest in yourself and never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing. Read a book. Watch national geographic. Learn a language. Keep nurturing the hardest working organ in your body. The brain.
  • Take care of your body. It is your temple. Exercise and prolong life as best as you can. You don’t have to train strenuously daily, but do something. Don’t succumb.
  • Encourage other people and be a positive light in their life. Pass on good energy to others. Make others feel good about themselves.
  • Travel and take trips outside of your everyday circles when possible. That can be a weekend drive somewhere, or a 2 week getaway. When you step outside of your bubble, you can gain clarity on where you are, and come back refreshed with stress alleviated.
  • Minimize screen time and social media. “Dark news” is more fluidly dispersed because of technology and can literally rewire your brain and cause depression. Step away from it every now and then and be present.
  • Just smile. Studies show that the simple act of smiling will trigger happy feelings, and can alter the emotional landscape of the day. Smiling is the gateway to being happy.
  • Invest in your sleep. Good sleep means better production and a better mood. Something as simple as being in bed just 30 minutes earlier can change how effective you are throughout the day. Essentially, being well rested will allow you to be more present and available.
  • Make an effort to NOT keep your feelings in. Good or bad. This will turn out to be one of the most compounding, emotionally burdensome things you can do. Talk to your partner, your friend, or safe person. Let it out.
  • Set goals and work towards something. Don’t float around. Be intentional about accomplishment. Why float aimlessly in this sea we call life. Open the sail and add some direction.
  • Be intentional about your day. Fuse your day with purpose. Be present. Complete what you do. Go to sleep knowing you made the most out of your day.
  • Social Media whether we like it or not is today’s way of getting and spreading the news. Well, use this as an opportunity to share positivity rather than negativity. Let this be the way you contribute your 1 cent to making a small positive impact on someone else’s day when they scroll their timeline. It compounds over time.
  • It takes so much more mental and emotional energy to harbor anger towards someone. Whenever possible, forgive and forget over the small things. Why take up compartment space in your mind and heart fostering anger? Use that energy to produce.
  • Hang on to your real friends. It seems like the older you get, the more difficult it is to find people who will always have your best interests at heart. Keep the good ones close.
  • Don’t just tell your wife, your husband that you love them every day. Show them. We can say “I love you” and mean it every single time, but show it to. It doesn’t have to be a major action. A small gesture like a hug, a date, cooking dinner can go a long way.
  • Be appreciative. Say thank you. Rid yourself of entitlement. Let people know that you appreciate everything they do for you.
  • Don’t feel guilty about rewarding yourself. You do something good, then treat yourself. Being thankful also includes thanking yourself. You deserve recognition for what you do too. Don’t let the self-appreciation wells go dry.
  • Pray and meditate. Isolate yourself every now and then and just be present with you. We talked about taking getaways to get clarity and perspective, well meditating and withdrawing to the self is a different way of doing the same. You can calm the senses, shift out of a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic one, and become at ease and gain just as much clarity.
  • LAUGH AND HAVE FUN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE !! Laughing and enjoying your time is proven to alter the hormonal landscape within you. Not every moment calls for a laugh, but seeing humor in things will create more joy.

New Year, New You...But With Specific Goals.

New Year, New You…But With Specific Goals.

The New Year marks a time for reflection on the past and goal setting for the future. Many of us strive to make this year better than the last. While others around you are making unrealistic and outlandish goals, I want to take the time to set SMART goals. This type of goal allows you to achieve the most success. You might be familiar with the acronym, but it’s worth repeating.

S-  Small

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R-  Realistic

T-  Time-Oriented

Using this acronym to set goals allows you clarity on whether you are meeting or falling short of your desired outcomes. It is easy to say “I want to lose weight”, but without a SMART goal it is difficult to determine what defines success.

Instead try, “I want to lose 20 pounds in 3 months”. Not only are you able to determine if you have met this goal, you can also think about if this goal is realistic. Losing 1-2 pounds per week in 12 weeks means that with hard work, determination and behavior changes this goal could be achieved. Without including behavior change in goal setting makes it almost impossible to lose weight.

Additionally, try “I want to eliminate soda and fast food from my diet and include 2 vegetables a day for the next 3 months”. A goal like this will likely result in weight loss. Continue to set health goals instead of weight goals and you are likely to see the results you want. Using this technique, you are able to implement changes that have long-term health benefits.

For more help with setting SMART goals, or for setting individual goals that fit your lifestyle email me at Joanna.Amstelveen.1@gmail.com

I can’t wait to see and hear about all of your success this year!

JOANNA AMSTELVEEN

MS,RD,CSSD,LDN

904.472.4279