All Entries For goals

Set Realistic Goals for Success

When someone sets a weight-loss goal (or any goal), it needs to be realistic because that is what sets us up to succeed. If we set some wild and crazy goals for ourselves that is too difficult or that we know cannot be achieved, we are setting ourselves up to fail and that doesn't get us any closer to where we want to be.
When it comes to weight-loss, many people have a certain number in their mind of what they want to weigh, whether it is because we remember being that weight at a certain time in our life, it is what we think is ideal, or any other number of reasons. For me, I had a number in mind, but I honestly don't know where that number came from. So I had my goal weight in my mind and like many others, I wanted to get to that number fast. But after reading some articles on SparkPeople, I realized quickly that the weight wasn't going to be lost as fast as I would like. I was still feeling ambitious though and set the maximum weight-loss goal of 2 pounds per week. Was that a realistic goal for me? No. Was I defeated? No way! Although, most of the time I was lucky to lose a half pound per week. Even though I did everything right (eating healthy and exercising), I never had a week with a 2 pound loss.
Posted 10/4/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 10 comments   28,594 views
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Healthy Choices Aren't Always Easy, No Matter Who You Are

I don’t watch much T.V., but I have to admit I’m a big fan of the Olympics.  I love seeing people push themselves to their limits (which is probably why I like running marathons) and reach goals they’ve been working so hard to achieve.  I’m totally in awe of how in-shape these athletes are, and it inspires me to become a little more disciplined and focus on my own goals related to health and fitness.
Olympic athletes don’t get these bodies without a lot of hard work, which includes a strict fitness and nutrition plan.  They are closely monitored by nutritionists who make sure they are eating the right amounts of food at the right times for optimum performance.  It’s easy to assume that because they are being told what to eat and when to eat, it’s not as hard for them to stick to the plan.  But is it really that much easier?  Do you think that having access to someone like this would make your weight loss journey that much smoother?  My guess is “no.”
Posted 9/4/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 28 comments   14,477 views
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Join Coach Nicole in the SELF Diet Club!

Big news! I'm beyond excited to announce that I have created a brand-new workout plan exclusively for SELF magazine's September issue, which is on newsstands now! This workout features a fat-blasting cardio plan, heart-pumping plyometrics, and muscle-toning strengthening moves to tone you from head to toe. All you need is a mat and a pair of dumbbells. It's one of my toughest workout plans ever, and I guarantee it will make you sweat--and torch major calories to help you lose two pounds per week! Sounds pretty good, right?

One great thing about this challenge (dubbed the SELF Diet Club) is that it builds in social support, and provides step-by-step workout instruction along with delicious meal ideas--the perfect combo to take your weight-loss to the next level this fall. You can follow along with the magazine alone--but I encourage you to sign up online. Why? It's FREE, it sends you email reminders, you'll get a special video I created demonstrating all the exercises, you'll be entered to win tons of cool prizes--and well, because it would just mean a lot to me (and SparkPeople)!
Posted 8/15/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 56 comments   26,784 views
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Plan Ahead for Success

Planning ahead is a common key ingredient to a successful story, no matter what the goal may be. Having a plan will not only help you reach your goal(s), but it can help you stay on track with your goal(s) a lot easier. Something that I have experienced and greatly believe in is having a plan, along with having alternative plans for those times of "just in case." Similarly, Coach Nicole has blogged about developing a Plan B, which has helped numerous people, including myself when times get busy or tough. I'm sure many of you have experienced those times when unexpected things come up and catch you completely off guard. When you have a plan, plan B, and maybe even a plan C, you are more likely to stick with your goal(s), which will make you happier in the end and you will have given yourself a perfect recipe for success.
Posted 6/7/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 31 comments   25,406 views
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One-Bite Steps

Do you ever find yourself wondering why you should keep trying?  Are you considering giving up because your progress is slow or nonexistent?  I'm specifically talking about continuing to get and stay healthy, but the thoughts I am sharing could also be used in other areas of your life.

Getting out of a rut can be hard work.  You get tired of fighting to change yourself or the ''thing'' in your life that needs changing, and you just want to lay down in the rut and give up.  Accepting "what is" becomes easier than struggling to get to "what could be."  The vision or dream becomes lost in the midst of everyday life.

I’ve seen hundreds of posts during my time on SparkPeople where people ask variations of the same question: "Why should I keep trying?"  Hope has faded and they’ve lost their way momentarily.  We all go through that.  How do you gather the energy to suit up and get back in the game?  Why should you?  One of the things that has kept me pushing forward is the opportunity to experience more in life.  When I was heavier, it took all of my energy to get through the general tasks of each day.  There wasn’t anything left for finding the "what could be" in my life.
Posted 5/24/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Michelene Cleary : 46 comments   19,515 views
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Poll: How Are You Challenging Yourself?

A couple of weeks ago,  I blogged about how I normally work out alone, whether I'm at the gym or at home. I also shared my concerns that I had about taking fitness classes and asked for recommendations for getting over those concerns. I was impressed by the amazing amount of positive and supportive comments, along with the fitness class recommendations that were made on that blog and I truly thank each and every one of you that left a comment! In response to those wonderful comments that you all left on that blog, I wanted to write another blog to let you know what I have done since then.
Posted 5/3/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 54 comments   15,781 views
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Confession: My Motivation Just Isn't What It Used to Be

I used to feel like running was a big part of who I was.  I was always looking forward to the next race and training for something.  Even though I had days where the run was rough, I didn’t feel good or I was tired and didn’t want to go, I always felt good when it was over.  That feeling is what kept me going and what kept me motivated to continue challenging myself through the sport.
Recently, I’ve been struggling to remember what it was like to love running.  I’m still a regular runner, but going out for a run just isn’t what it used to be.  I’m currently training for a half-marathon so I feel like I need to stick to the schedule.  But most of the time I don’t really want to go, which is unusual for me.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m so busy, I’m tired (3 young kids will do that to you), or because I miss training for events with a group (which I just haven’t had time to do since baby #3 arrived.)  Maybe it’s a combination of those things. 
Posted 4/24/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 51 comments   19,574 views
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Are You Ready for the Battle?

Have you ever seen any of the X-Men movies? During an action-packed scene in the latest movie, the Captain of a naval vessel shouted out a line that really spoke to me. As things heightened to a climax in the standoff he turned and yelled to someone else in the room, ''Gun Boss, prepare to fire!'' Why on earth would that ''speak'' to me, you wonder?

For almost four years, I have been personally engaged in a battle to fight my way healthy from a state of morbid obesity. I embrace the idea of having lots of weapons at my disposal to aid me in the battle. (I mean no offense to anyone by using a military example of a battle. It’s just something that is very clear to me in my mind.) What if that Gun Boss had been unprepared to engage in the battle?  What if he had forgotten to load the missiles onto the ship when it was in harbor?  What if he had failed to prepare his staff to know how to maintain them, and load them when the time came?  That crew wouldn’t have stood a chance to defend themselves. There wasn’t time in that moment to go back and do any of those things.  Either he was ready or he was going to lose. 

The position of Gun Boss was critical in that scenario, and it reminds me that I am in a similar position in my own struggle to health.  If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know that I consider preparedness to be critical to success. Using all that is available to us to be prepared in that moment when you need to be your own Gun Boss. What can you do to be prepared on a day to day basis to fight the battle against the bulge?
Posted 4/19/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Michelene Cleary : 36 comments   21,631 views
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Reaching Your Goals = Confidence & Endless Possibilities

Throughout the years of being a member and employee of SparkPeople, I have seen many success stories on the site. While a lot of those success stories started out being weight-loss related, they turned into so much more. As many of those members lost weight, they also gained much more than that: confidence. Confidence is not always something that comes easy for many, including myself.
When I embarked on my weight-loss journey back in 2004, I never imagined that I would get so much more out of reaching my goals. For me, I gained confidence in myself and the ability to do whatever I set my mind on. After reaching some of my goals with SparkPeople, I started doing Tae Kwon Do and stuck with that for several years (until I moved to a new state where there isn't a place to train nearby). That was a huge step for me as I could never imagine all the things that I actually did when I was training in martial arts.
Posted 4/12/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Denise Tausig : 17 comments   11,574 views
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Spring: The Perfect Season for New Fitness Goals

One of the reasons I have managed to work out consistently for many years is that I always keep my routines fresh and interesting. For me, it's not enough to just change up my strength-training routine or running route (although I do both). I also like to set new goals to give myself something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement.
With winter behind us and the spring in full swing, now is a great time to revisit your fitness goals and try something new—especially if it involves the great outdoors. Here's what I'm doing this spring, plus a few more fitness ideas that are perfect for the season of rebirth.
Posted 4/6/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 22 comments   17,734 views
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Challenge Central: One Stop to Help You Meet Your Goals

Are you looking for something to give you an extra push in the right direction to help you reach your goals? Or maybe you just want to join a team that can help you find that motivation you are looking for. Many of you may already belong to SparkTeams that might help you with motivation and accountability, but some of you may not know that SparkPeople actually has a Challenge Central page that has Challenges that are geared toward specific goals.

SparkPeople’s Challenge Central offers various “official” challenges that “give you a specific plan to follow and all the information you need to reach a new goal or make a new personal breakthrough.” So not only do you get to be a part of a challenge that is offered by SparkPeople and led by SparkPeople Coaches (along with the help of co-leaders who are experienced SparkPeople members), but you also get detailed information on how to complete the Challenge and you can earn a SparkTrophy for each of the Challenges from the Challenge Central page that you complete!
Posted 3/22/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 9 comments   7,527 views
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A Message from Your Future Self

Have you ever seen an episode of StarGate? The series is no longer being produced, but a few years ago, I watched it faithfully. Yes, I am a Sci-Fi geek!  In the show, the people had a ''StarGate'' that they could step through and travel to another planet within a matter of minutes. They were explorers traveling from earth to various locations in the universe.  Periodically – okay, in most episodes – they would stumble across bad guys intent on destroying life as we know it and they would have to protect the earth or face certain disaster. On a few occasions, they would write themselves notes telling them not to go to Planet XYZ and throw it back into the Star Gate to their past self. The past self could then decide the note was a warning and take Planet XYZ off the gate system so no one would ever travel there, thereby averting the disaster in the first place. They would then go on their merry way exploring other new worlds.

Can you imagine what it would be like if we had the power to send ourselves a note into the past? When I thought about this I knew exactly where in my past I would have sent it and what I would have said. When I was in high school I swam for two teams (school and city league), but after my senior year I just stopped. The junior college I started out at didn’t have a team. I quickly gained the freshman 15-20lbs. That started the yo-yo cycle that became a substantial part of my adult life. It progressed from the 15-20 all the way up to the 90-100 lb mark.
Posted 3/22/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Michelene Cleary : 54 comments   16,972 views
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Do You Live An Accountable Life?

Deciding to change your lifestyle for improved health or to reach weight goals requires commitment. Because the crazy journey often includes successful motivational boosts with trying setbacks and plateaus, people frequently give up on the marathon necessary to reach desired goals. For those that remain focused on the prize and are willing to do the hard work, additional benefits are typically realized especially through personal development in other areas of life.
Being an accountable person means being responsible or answerable to someone for something. Self-accountability forces us to be honest with ourselves and to take responsibility for our actions and can be one of the keys to successful personal development and goal achievement. Failing to be accountable for the food we choose to eat or the lack of effort we put into our workouts can be a major pitfall and obstacle to successfully reaching goals that also limits personal development. However, with conscious decisions and intentional effort you can live an accountable life that helps you reach your personal goals while also improving other areas of your life. Here are some tips and tools that might help you begin living a more accountable life.
Posted 3/12/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 32 comments   20,986 views
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How Hopes and Dreams Keep Me Going

I used to think most goals were out of my reach. I live life more day by day as my journey to health continues. Instead of looking at how far I have to go, I rejoice at how far I’ve come. Every extra effort to get where we are going counts as a success in this journey of ours.  Even if we fall, we tried. We are like babies learning a new lifestyle of walking, and we should always get up and try again. Wouldn’t it be sad if a baby just decided it was too much effort and never tried to walk? We would weep for the hopes and dreams we would have for him or her.
Hopes and dreams keep me going now. I shop looking at clothes with a “Someday I will wear that” attitude, as opposed to just envying those who can wear it now. No, I probably will never be a size 5, but I’ll have more choices of clothes that I like better. It’s already happening.  I never realized I had an active wear side before. Usually, I’m a girly girl. I think new sides of you start to surface as you remove the layers.  My husband is sometimes surprised by how drastically my taste in clothing has changed. I have a few shorter skirts and tighter tops and have given up the baggy, frumpy look. I dream of the day of picking anything I want off of the rack at any store I want.
Posted 3/9/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Beth Donovan : 39 comments   10,219 views
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How to Lose 100 Pounds on a Crazy Schedule*

I do not live in a perfect world where everything falls into place inside the boxes and lines of my day planner. Few of us do. So many of us can relate to the day-to-day chaos that requires quick decisions made in the heat of battle. I don’t keep the same schedule for more than 7 days at a time. Just as soon as I adjust to day shift, I rotate to midnight shift, then afternoons, then back again. It seems like I am always scrambling to adjust, to regain my balance only to have to adapt again.

Many of us can tell a similar story. Maybe you are someone constantly devoting your time to the care and nurture of others. Maybe you are on the road a lot. Every person has a unique set of challenges that seems to get in the way of their goals.

So how did I do it? How did I manage to overcome all of that, lose 100 pounds and train for a marathon? These are my top must-dos to gain traction on a demanding schedule.
Posted 2/25/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Robert Wadhams : 103 comments   41,686 views
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