All Entries For goals
Don’t worry -- I’m not talking about that kind of streaking (keep your clothes on). I’m talking about a consistency streak to help you reach your goals (health and non-health-related). Something that I have said in the past, and still believe, is that "Consistency is the key to success! If you are consistent in reaching smaller goals, that leads to bigger goals, and you'll be successful no matter how you look at it."
I recently looked at my SparkStreaks page and noticed that I currently have a streak of 854 days (over 2 years) since my last drink of soda. WOW! That’s a long streak and I am proudly keeping it going. Not only am I keeping track of that goal as a streak though, I’m also keeping track of other various goals on my SparkStreaks page. Some of those include doing a minimum of 4 days of cardio, doing a minimum of 2 strength training session days, drinking at least 8 cups of water daily, and many more. While I am doing great with those streaks, my longest streak is my “don’t drink soda” goal. Now, while that may not seem like a big deal to others, that was a hard habit for me to break. I admit though, the first couple weeks were the hardest for me, but once I got past the first month, it did get easier. The longer I went without soda, it got even easier to not drink it. Today I don’t think a soda sounds appealing at all.
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For me, this is so much more than simply losing weight. I didn’t get to be 170 pounds overweight because all was right in my world. What pushed me to the point where I woke up one day and found a 385-pound man staring back in the mirror?
I sometimes think that the continued popularity of fad diets, quick-fix weight solutions in spite of their dismal track record is simply because it focuses on the symptoms rather than the root cause. These quick-fix, knee-jerk solutions exploit the panic that people feel when they are confronted by their condition. Dealing with the root causes requires digging deep and peeling back painful layers of truth until an answer is unearthed. Unraveling knots is a tedious process.
I believe the path to ultimate success for me isn’t in some mystic root or berry found in a remote part of the world or some new fad fitness routine that will magically melt off pounds. How about the latest gizmo that will flatten your problem areas with just a few minutes a day? If the diet and gizmo industry had the solution, why would obesity still be such an issue?
Before I continue, let's focus on the word ultimate, which I used when describing success. Let me define. The word ultimate can be used in a sense that states that the success that you experience will be unparalleled in its greatness, but that is not the application here. ‘Ultimate’ defined in my statement “ultimate success” is the sum total of all your efforts, the final outcome, where you will finally wind up. In my journey I have lost a lot of skirmishes with my eating addictions yet I have managed to lose more than 100 pounds and keep it off in spite of my failings. My success was ultimately determined by my overall commitment to the ultimate end of reclaiming my life, not in day to day perfection in routine.
So where does the path to ultimate success lie? For me, I found it in identifying the hotspots in my life. Like a firefighter, I have put out a wildfire that threatened to consume my very existence. I have endured, fought and continued to fight the good fight; however, underneath the ashes lie hotspots. Hotspots that threaten to re-ignite with a vengeance. The fire could burn again and all my hard work would be lost.
I have found that if I do not address the forces that influenced me to get to such an unhealthy place, I will soon find myself back there again.
My hotspot. Read More ›
Sam Pisenti, known to his students as Coach Sam, is the beloved Physical Education teacher at Village and Whited Elementary schools in Northern California. He is also my Dad. Recently, NBC Bay Area News featured him in a segment called “A Force of Nurture” about how he’s inspired tens of thousands of students to live healthy and happy lives. When I was a teenager, my Dad decided to lose weight and get healthy, and 20 years later I see the affects in my family and in my community. I can’t think of anyone who epitomizes the values of SparkPeople—the power of one decision, one goal, one belief that the hard work is worth it--than my Dad, Coach Sam. Read More ›
When it comes to goal-setting, I’ve been around the block. I’ve been setting all kinds of goals since I was just a kid. But these days, most of my goals are health and fitness related: Run a half marathon (did three last year), score first place in a race (so proud of that one!), cross experiences on my bucket list (like the Krispy Kreme Challenge and hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon), grow more of my own food each year (my garden continues to expand), etc. I also set a lot of career goals, and I’ve had a lot of fun and interesting successes in that area, too (hello self-on-a-shelf in Target stores!). I figure I’m a goal-setting, goal-getting machine. When I set my mind to something, I work hard and I make it happen.
In late December last year, I still hadn’t decided on any new goals for the 2012, so I went to a free goal-setting workshop hosted at my local Lululemon store for some ideas (I know, I know as if I needed more reason to bask in their delicious clothes). I didn’t expect to have any epiphanies during this hour I spent writing down ideas and talking with strangers about my goals. But sometimes, inspiration hits you in the face when you least expect it. Read More ›
It’s that time of year again, the time when people make resolutions, or in my case, goals. I’ve never been known to make resolutions, but I do like to make a list of goals for myself for things that I want to accomplish throughout the year. However, the start of a new year is not the only time I make goals for myself – I actually do this at least a few times a year. When I do make my goal list, I like to look at what I have accomplished so far and see if I need to make any adjustments to my current goals or add new ones. I see this as a list that evolves with me and what I feel is important.
Of course though, my list always includes goals that are health-related. Actually, that is what most of my goals have been in the last few years, but this year I am trying something a little different. While I do have some health goals on my list and will continue to work towards those, this year I want to put a little more focus on some goals that are not health-related.
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One of the most difficult things to do is change. Some people thrive on it; I’m not one of those people. A little here and there is good enough for me. When it comes to changing your body, we all want it fast and now, including me. Now where was that genie in a bottle infomercial number I took down last night?
The number one advice I have for people is to embrace your change and your journey. Make your changes slowly and for real. If you’re the type who cleans out the kitchen, gets rid of all the food, swears to exercise an hour a day, and starve the fat off no matter what it takes, you too will burn with passion and have some success... that is until the burnout hits hard.
One of my mantras is "Aim for better every day, never perfect right away." We can all achieve better, but not one of us will achieve perfect. So quit holding yourself up to perfect standards. Better standards are worth aiming for--always challenge yourself. Read More ›
If you are someone who has struggled with weight issues for a while, you know how frustrating it can be. You start the year with lots of motivation and great intentions to change your habits and become a healthier person. Things go great at first, but as the weeks and months go by, you find yourself slipping back into old habits. The diet and exercise "thing" becomes a drag, and eventually you decide it’s not worth it and you’d rather indulge in the hot fudge sundae than get all sweaty on the treadmill at the gym.
Ask yourself this question: What is going to make this year different? Whether your goal is to lose 100 pounds and be on the cover of a magazine, or you want to become more fit so that you can keep up with your kids at the park, how are you going to make that happen? When do you say that enough is enough and you’re tired of living a life that’s not your ideal? Read More ›
If you're like most people, you've been reflecting on your life as of late and looking forward, setting new goals and envisioning where you want to be in the future. If you've set some goals for 2012, great! That is the first step to making your dreams become a reality. But you may not be sure just how you're going to take the steps necessary to bring those goals to fruition. That's OK. I've got some help for you.
Behavior experts say that it takes about one month to form a new habit, and many people try to create (or break) habits at the start of each year. With the right attitude and focus, you can stick to your New Year's resolutions and achieve long-term success.
Here are 31 smart goal-setting tips that will help you do exactly that. Read More ›
A new year brings new opportunities to set new goals and try new things. Trying new things brings new opportunities to face difficulty that might cause you to fail. Failing brings new opportunities to decide if you will continue and try again or if you will simply quit.
It seems a little strange talking about yearly goal setting and failing doesn't it? Well, this year I think it may be helpful to start with the end of the year in mind. Ask yourself this question. How do you want to finish this statement this time next year?
"In January I set three goals and throughout the year I ________________________."
- Was committed to them and worked hard to make healthy choices a part of my day-to-day life. Although there were difficulties and times when I did not do as well as I thought I might, I stuck to my commitment toward my goals and I reached them.
- Quit on all of them because when things got tough I gave up and went back to the old habits I started the year with because it was easier than following through on my commitment to myself.
- Found the process to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I was surprised by how tough it was some days to follow through on things but I stuck with it through the difficulties and I am 50 percent closer to my goals than I was a year ago.
Last year I had you rate your commitment to weight loss and to evaluate if it was the right level to reach your goals. As you begin to think about the goals you will set for 2012, start by re-evaluating your level of commitment to yourself and to reaching the goals you will set. Answer this question about why you are even setting goals.
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Five easy steps to perfection. if I could really do that and teach you how to do that, then we would live in a perfect world wouldn’t we? If perfection is rarely if ever attainable, why do we berate ourselves so much when we make a “mistake” in our healthy lifestyle journey?
As we rush toward the end of the year and start thinking about our goals for 2012, I’d like to talk to you about reframing your expectations so that you are liberated to make it the best year ever. Let’s consider some of the world’s top athletes for a moment, and how they think in order to be successful. Read More ›
I Can’t is a cloak that failure wears. It’s actually one of failure's favorite outfits, as a matter of fact. It’s the first thing failure pulls out in the morning when the alarm goes off. It starts something like this:
"I can’t get up! I’m too tired, it’s too cold, too dark, too early! I’m too sore, too old for this! I don’t have energy. I didn’t sleep enough. The blankets are so warm, the pillow so soft. I Can’t do this!" So you hit the snooze button and skip another workout. Failure wins that battle.
Once you do get up, the war begins anew with reminders of how you messed up on things already. Failure whispers, “You didn’t eat well yesterday – what’s one more day? You can always start over tomorrow, or next week. You don’t have time to fix a healthy breakfast. You can drive thru XYZ and pick up that cinnamon roll you love.”
Failure lies and tells you this will make you feel better. Read More ›
I’ve never been someone who likes a lot of “stuff”. If you look in my closet, you’ll see most of the same clothes and shoes year after year. If I have things I don’t need or don’t use, I try to give them away. I don’t keep two of something just in case I might need it someday. But I still have a lot of work to do. If you look around my house, you’ll see that it’s not as simple and clutter-free as it could be. This is something I plan to focus on over the next year. Read More ›
I was one of those people who spent over half my life dieting. Depending on what was going on in my life I was either 'on' a diet or 'off' a diet. Sadly dieting was a way of life for me. But that all changed on February 9, 2005, the day I began my final journey to a healthier me. I was determined to make this a lifestyle and not just a quick means to get the weight off only to find myself back to square one in just a few short months.
I often said that losing weight was the easy part for me as I had done so a number of times in the past and had become quite the expert of famine, soon followed by feasting once I reached my weight loss destination. However when it came to keeping the weight off, that was the bigger of the two challenges and one that I failed at for well over 30 years. I used to tell my girlfriends that when it came to losing weight I was the Queen of Weight Loss, but the Joker in Weight Maintenance.
In the past once I reached my goal weight it did not take me long to return to my old ways. It was amazing how quickly I fell back so easily to my old ways. In my frustration I would throw in the towel only to vow to do it the 'right' way the next time. I may be a slow learner, but one thing I can say, I vowed to never give up my quest to conquer the diet beast. For me taking the focus off my weight and placing it on my health was the catalyst that changed my whole perspective. I had to realize that my weight alone did not determine my health or fitness, nor did it measure my self-worth. So by giving up the power the scale held over me for more than half my life I was finally able to break away from the constraints of living by a number. Read More ›
It’s been almost a month now since I started back to exercising (and blogging about it) after having my third child. As you’d expect (and I’m sure you can relate to if you’ve ever struggled to maintain a fitness routine), I’ve had good days and bad days. Some workouts have gone very smoothly and given me the confidence to feel like I can get back to the fitness level I once had. Other workouts have been a little more difficult- either because I’m tired, I get interrupted or for whatever reason they just don’t work out like I’d planned. I’m trying to learn to “go with the flow” a little better (which is TOUGH for a personality like mine) and look at the bigger picture, that I’m living a physically active life, even if I’m not ready to run my next marathon tomorrow. That will come in time. Read More ›
So last week when I bought my 2012 planner for work, I suddenly realized that counting this week, we have just eight weeks left in 2011. I can hardly believe it myself!
This is the slow time of year for health clubs, where the parking lots are suddenly empty and you can practically see tumbleweeds blowing across the fitness floor. I know from experience that many people feel like it's just too hard to stick to a fitness or weight-loss plan over the holidays. It's not just the delicious food that's a challenge—it's the overall hustle and bustle that often gets in the way of your good intentions, as do the shorter, darker, colder days of winter.
But just as people are giving up on their goals or planning to re-start in January, many are staying committed. It's certainly not impossible to lose weight over the holidays! I have known and met several people who stay committed to their programs year-round and continue to see fitness gains and pounds lost in November and December.
The worst thing you can do right now is tell yourself that that last two months won't matter, or that you'll wait until next year to get back on track with your healthy lifestyle. So how about you pledge right here, right now to stick with your plan or—even better—reach a new goal! Read More ›