All Entries For motivation

An Easy Step to Reach Big Breakthroughs


Editor's Note: This blog is part of our "Hello from SparkGuy" series--a weekly post where SparkGuy himself stops by to motivate, inspire and share a bit about what's going on at SparkPeople. 

Hello, SparkPeople Members!

The crisp autumn weather is here (at least where I am in California). I hope everyone had a great week, taking one positive step at a time to reach your goals. As a warning, I'm about to brag about one of my kids, but hopefully you'll agree it's for a good reason :). I love sharing growth they experience with you.

Motivation in a Minute

This quick story about one of my boys demonstrates how taking small steps one at a time can lead to fun breakthroughs in life. 
Posted 10/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 0 comments   234 views
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How to Get Back Up When You're Down


Editor's Note: This blog is part of our "Hello from SparkGuy" series--a weekly post where SparkGuy himself stops by to motivate, inspire and share a bit about what's going on at SparkPeople. 

Hello, SparkPeople Members!

I hope last week went well and you are ready for another good week ahead! With the holidays quickly approaching, life can get very busy. Let's all keep taking small steps one at a time to reach our goals for the last 70 days (or so) left this year. Don't give up on reaching goals this year. Instead, make every day count!

Motivation in a Minute

I read this great quote on Quora yesterday:

"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to our greatest change." (From the TV show Avatar.)

This is a brilliant quote that illustrates a major point I make in the free 10+ Fitness Minutes Mini-Book: all it takes is a few small positive steps when we are down (which happens to all of us) to start building a virtuous cycle back up. It also clearly demonstrates how mistakes can be great learning experiences. (This is coming from someone with a history of anxiety who doesn't like making mistakes, but now values the process when it inevitably happens :)). Any time you are down for any reason, make a mistake, or somehow stray from your goals, just keep this quote in mind and immediately start thinking about one positive step you can take. Examples would be: eating one healthy food, doing 10 or more fitness minutes at home, calling a friend, or even posting in the SparkPeople Community to receive support. 
Posted 10/19/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 2 comments   4,184 views
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Michael Strahan's Top 5 Motivational Tips


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, ''A Minute with Michael.'' 

Getting and staying motivated to reach goals, whether health-focused or otherwise, is a struggle for almost everyone. It can be all too easy to choose instant gratification and immediate comfort (like relaxing on the couch) over the choice that will make us happier in the long run (like hitting the gym). But guess what? You're not alone! Even the people who seem to have it all figured out have difficulty mustering up the motivation to stick to their long-term goals. The only difference is that they've found a system that works for them—and they make it a priority to stick to their own rules. Michael Strahan, television star and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, knows all about keeping the eye on the prize in the face of temptation. Read on for Michael's advice on how to stay motivated when life has every intention of getting in the way. 
Posted 10/10/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 11,918 views
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20 Ways to Eat Better On the Go


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, "A Minute with Michael." 

At SparkPeople, we believe that it's important to keep healthy eating a priority, especially if you're constantly on the go. Healthy food helps give you the boost of energy you need to help you feel your best and get through a demanding day. You might think you're too busy to consistently eat well, but it really is possible to fit in positive, impactful habits in minimal time. Take it from Michael Strahan, who always tries to make nutrition a priority--even in between endless travel and television appearances. When it comes to eating right, Michael says, "Preparation is key. Don’t let yourself get caught without a healthy snack on hand. You never know when you might be stuck in traffic or held up at a meeting. When you’re hungry, your mind is not in the mood to make good decisions. It wants to make the easy decision—and a lot of times, it ends up being something that’s not great for you."

So, how do you avoid making that "easy" decision? Simple: Make eating healthy the easy decision! When you arm yourself with good-for-you snacks at all times, there's never an excuse to hit the drive-thru or office vending machine. 
Posted 9/25/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 48,516 views
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5 Ways Health Insurance Companies Can Reward Your Healthy Habits


You know how health insurance works: You pay a premium, you pay a deductible and sometimes you also pay a copay. It can feel like a lot of paying, all told. But health insurance doesn’t just have to cost you money. Health insurance companies have an interest in you staying healthy and preventing chronic illness, too. After all, someone who is healthy will end up living a longer, happier life--and spending much less on medical expenses.
 
While yesterday’s insurers took a here-and-now approach, today’s companies are offering a host of health-promoting incentive programs to help their members prevent and manage health conditions. These programs are painless and powerful motivators to keep up healthy habits. Every insurance company is different, but most of the time, all it takes is a quick, baseline assessment in which you create personal, measurable goals (like getting a check-up or tracking workouts), and you’ll soon be earning rewards. These rewards most often consist of discounts or points toward the purchase of items or services (like exercise equipment, movie tickets, hotel stays and more) simply for doing basic health-related tasks. Here are some of the ways you could reap rewards from your insurance company (many of which you would probably do anyway!). 
Posted 9/22/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 14,353 views
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The Best Health & Motivation Resources You Aren't Using


Getting motivated is tough, and staying motivated is health’s million dollar question. You might be able to muster up the will to get to the gym a few times a week for a few weeks and then… nothing. Working out starts to feel like a slog. You fall back into your old TV habit and the next thing you know, you’re back on the couch instead of taking that after-dinner walk or meeting a friend for tennis. Inspiration can be especially sparse if you’re balancing a crazy work schedule, kids, aging parents, and everyday chores. But the good news is, there are now more motivational tools out there than ever to help you get (and stay) inspired to live a healthier life. One of the following helpful resources is bound to help you stick with your goals for the long haul! 
Posted 9/15/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 19,718 views
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10 Ways to Fit in Fitness When There's No Time


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, "A Minute with Michael."

Between television appearances, media events, constant travel and time with his kids, Michael Strahan has a lot going on (to put it lightly!). But despite a jam-packed daily schedule, Michael knows that it's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep up with it all. When we asked Michael how he manages to fit exercise into his full days, he had some great advice for us. 
Posted 9/10/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 39,496 views
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Back On Track: A Consistency Challenge for August!


It's almost August, and whether we like it or not, the days of summer are dwindling. Bathing suit season may be mostly behind you, but that doesn't mean it's time to abandon your healthy efforts now that autumn is in sight! Plus, maybe all those barbecues you've attended this summer are starting to show on the scale. Maybe your vacations and kids' activity schedules have taken precedence over your exercise routine. Maybe, now that the wild ride of the season is coming to an end, it's time to get back on track and consciously recommit to your healthy lifestyle. And we're here to help you do it with a brand new challenge!  
Posted 7/29/2014  6:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 449 comments   104,291 views
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13 Inspiring Instrumental Workout Songs


Editor's Note (Nicole Nichols): Here at SparkPeople, we know just how powerful music can be as a motivator for your workouts, which is why we try to share new music ideas often. My friend Susie (who is an amazing Spinning instructor) uses a lot of instrumental songs in her classes, and I'm always surprised at how motivating and upbeat they are even though they have little to no words—and are often songs I've never heard before. If you are looking for some new fitness music that will push you, inspire you, and help you focus in your next workout (or race), this list is for you! Here are 15 of her favorite instrumental songs that are great for exercise!
Posted 7/14/2014  5:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   32,174 views
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'After Losing 100 Pounds, I View the Entire World Differently'


Seeing her 275-pound self on TV at a football game motivated Jan-Marie to get serious about her health. Read on to learn about her journey to an amazing 100-pound loss!
 
Name: Jan-Marie Ruminski
Username: BOBCATGIRL76              
Amount of weight lost: 100 lbs
Hometown: Beavercreek, Ohio
Occupation: Academic Advisor
Age: 24
 
What was life like before your weight loss?
Looking back, I was never really an unhappy person. I loved life and had a ton of friends. But I was always aware that I was bigger than the majority of people in my life. I was involved in a ton of things in high school and college, like sports and theater, but I now realize how much my weight held me back in those areas.

What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
Posted 5/18/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 36 comments   40,175 views
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Step into May with a New Challenge


When it comes to building healthy habits, consistency is the key. It's a great idea to get in the habit of flexing your consistency muscle as much as possible, across as many parts of your life as you can. When you're consistent in one area of your life, it makes it even easier to start and stick with other, bigger challenges. An easy way to do this is to commit to a small, doable act every day that will get your healthy momentum going. That's why we're starting a month-long challenge that's possible for almost everyone: "A Mile a Day in May"! Simply walk, run, bike, or do any other sort of activity to accumulate at least one mile every day in May on top of your regular daily physical activity. You can do your mile in small bursts or all at once; however you get it done is up to you. The important thing is that you do it! 
Posted 4/29/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 52 comments   32,633 views
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9 Body-Positive Quotes to Boost Your Self-Esteem


No matter how much time you put in at the gym or how thoughtfully you nourish your body, everyone suffers from body-image issues from time to time. When you need a little boost of self-esteem (and who doesn't), here are 9 of our favorite quotes and mantras. (Each quote is a separate image so, if you find one you really like, you can right click it to open in a new window and print it out.) Be sure to "Pin" this page to revisit when you need to be reminded that you're good enough as you are (right now) no matter what!
Posted 4/15/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 39 comments   105,845 views
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10 Motivational Twitter Feeds to Follow Today


If you enjoy inspirational and motivational messages in your Twitter stream you probably already follow heavyweights like @Deepak_Chopra, @DrWayneWDyer and @Oprah. But Twitter is full of many lesser-known, but just-as-amazing thinkers, who share inspirational quotes, thoughts, questions and messages every single day. Here are the top 10 motivational Twitter streams you should be following right now:
Posted 4/4/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 7 comments   16,303 views
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18 Upbeat Songs to Pump Up Your Workouts


We thought it would never happen, but it's true: spring is finally here! If you've experienced some serious cabin fever over the long winter, you're definitely not alone. We're beyond ready to pound the pavement out in the sunshine while listening to some upbeat tunes. Here are 18 of our favorite feel-good songs to sweat to right now. Take them for a spin during your spring workouts! 
Posted 4/2/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 22 comments   95,374 views
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3 Ways to Get Back on Track During an Off Day


We’ve all been there. We had a few fabulous days of eating healthy and exercising and then—BANG—all of a sudden life happens. A late night out with friends, a last-minute business trip, a sick child at home. You’ve either missed your designated time for fitness or you simply don’t have the energy to prepare a healthy meal. Either way, you’ve hit a wall and are having an off day. Sometimes it can take several days before you find yourself inspired enough to give your nutrition and exercise program another shot. It’s the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting at its best, but it can be stopped.
 
As an expert of sport and exercise psychology, one of my objectives is to help my clients work through the off days we all inevitably experience from time to time. Here are three techniques you can use right now to not only get switched back on during an off day, but also to limit the amount of off days you have altogether. The end result is that you’ll give yourself the greatest opportunity to follow through on your daily goals and achieve your personal best mind, body and overall spirit. 
Posted 3/27/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 14 comments   20,071 views
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