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I am the project - walking the work talk at home

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

One of my daily work activity in the past years have been project management. It's about creating a plan about something to reach, and then follow that plan until it is reached. Often the plan needs update, and the goal changes, but at the core, I see it as this planning-doing the plan.

However, it seemed difficult to use some of those "work skills" in my personal life. Because it's personal, so it's free, finally I don't have to focus, finally I want to do something that is not "work".

I have many friends, who implement a lot of planning and structure in their work life. Dealing with budgets, sticking to deadlines, figuring out ways on how to overcome obstacles. But to use these same skills in personal life - I don't know many friends who do.

For myself, it took some time until I discovered that I can use the same approach for myself in my healthy lifestyle that I use at work. To benefit from all the knowledge I acquired at work for my personal life. Set a goal, create a plan, and just go with the plan until I reach the goal to be healthy. In fact, the change started to happen when I first spent time, about a month planning how I will be healthy, instead of starting it right away. It was rather accidental, not intentional. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I used something I already have, but in a new way, reinventing the path.

Last week I was in Leuven, Belgium. One of my healthy habits is 10 min exercise, no matter what. My colleague was not able to run, so we made a loooong walk together to move some calories.

Now, in maintenance mode, I intentionally channel many of my R&D project manager "work skills" to be healthy, like:
- look up research articles on healthy living
- understand food labels in depth
- write constructive feedback/complaint to food manufacturers (either to give praise or request change)
- coach others for being healthy to keep my energy around healthy living and motivation
- use tracking and data analysis to understand what's happening
- explore new healthy technology/gadgets/ideas to give motivation (as an R&D engineer, I explore a lot of new technology and ideas)
- use Gestalt OD approach for my own process
- and so on

These are all things that are easy to use for me, because they are already in my skill-set. A discovery for me is that it doesn't feel "work" at all, it's fun.

I was wondering, what do you use from your "work skills" in your personal healthy lifestyle?

Small update 21 Nov 23:02 Paris Time
Thank you for all the comments! You make me really happy! :-) :-)
I will be travelling this weekend for an MMFC event in Germany, I can come back to you to reply only on Monday and onwards.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERSYLPH 7/7/2013 11:01AM

    That's great! What useful work skills!

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NASFKAB 1/5/2013 5:32AM

  great job

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ADELCASALE 1/4/2013 1:48PM

    Nice going!

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NLYR20 12/18/2012 9:55AM

  Wonderful approach....

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LETHANIA 12/5/2012 5:08AM

    Great blog! Ten minutes each and every day is my new goal. ..... also sort of interesting is my father and I just had a long talk about planning and I was thinking exactly that, what if I applied those principals to this part of my life. It is crazy the way are and you'll hear a repeated theme over and over sometimes... its like.. hey are you getting it yet LOL.

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/3/2012 9:12AM


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BEAUTY_WITHIN 11/27/2012 11:17PM

    Pretty awesome idea! Thanks :)

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WHITEANGEL4 11/26/2012 8:55PM

    Great blog, thanks for sharting

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SERASARA 11/26/2012 1:05PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HZGLORY 11/26/2012 12:54AM

    Really great Idea and I see it worked. I will have to think on all this a bit more. I am sure you are right and now I need to think how I can use my skills to bring myself success in my own personal journey, Thank you for getting me thinking. Susan

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1DRWOMAN 11/25/2012 5:22AM

    Great blog!

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SATCHMO99 11/24/2012 5:23AM

    A friend at work, who is a dance instructor in her spare time, got everyone at an All Staff meeting active and engaged by starting with swaying their hands side to side, then split us into 3 groups and got us Mexican waving. Sit down, stand up, sit down.

It sure got the blood pumping, and was so much fun.

Another time, in a team meeting, she got us to do a salsa dance before our meeting.

It boosts engagement, and creates a buzz, so everyone feels chatty and happy.

Gotta love Charlotte!

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TDWANDD2MYK9 11/24/2012 3:34AM


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LYDIASPURPLE 11/24/2012 1:07AM


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REENIE131 11/23/2012 11:31PM


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TERRIJ7 11/23/2012 1:05PM

    That is a great way to look at my health journey. Thanks for sharing the insights

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KIMBOLEAN 11/23/2012 12:32PM


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TDWANDD2MYK9 11/23/2012 8:39AM


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THEIS58 11/23/2012 8:12AM

    Still like it!

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TINAJANE76 11/23/2012 12:41AM

    Super blog, Oliver! It's pretty ironic that many of us have had so much professional success but often have a hard time transferring those skills over to our personal lives to help us along with our weight loss and maintenance. Staying healthy sure feels like a job sometimes so maybe we need to become more serious about treating it like one!

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JIBBIE49 11/23/2012 12:09AM

    emoticon Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor. emoticon

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STUFFNEARTABOR 11/22/2012 11:42PM

    Great Blog - I'm loving the application of the planning process @ home!

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KIMBERTA99 11/22/2012 11:39PM

    You continue to amaze me with your hard work and dedication!! emoticon

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5KYOURWAY 11/22/2012 11:10PM

    yes little reminders through the day.

making it a little slot like a fast break 10 minute focus on healthy me.

simple but effective.

i am going to get the spark book to study.

consider 10 minutes exercise with staff during my shift.

something fun to generate some humour.

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J2740LOU 11/22/2012 9:35PM

    emoticon Great idea. Apply work skills to your personal life. Thanks for sharing a great approach to addressing and solving a life style change. emoticon

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HDHAWK 11/22/2012 8:25PM

    Great blog! I have many skills I use at work. I will think about using them to get healthy!

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SUSHMASH 11/22/2012 8:17PM

  Great blog Oliver . I like the title too . Cheers emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/22/2012 5:33PM

    Great blog, makes one think

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HEIDIE6 11/22/2012 5:19PM


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MYBULLDOGS 11/22/2012 2:32PM


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WALLINMW 11/22/2012 1:10PM

  stay motivated

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TRISHMO1 11/22/2012 1:08PM

  Great blog emoticon

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CRAZYGYMGIRL 11/22/2012 12:52PM

    Until I read this, I hadn't realized that I'm doing the same thing. Worked in several areas and have skills including budget, project management, research and negotiations. I have a very detailed plan for a healthy lifestyle which includes budget, tools, timelines, checkpoints and I evaluate on a regular basis to determine if I need to modify the plan. I keep track of the various components of my plan on a series of spreadsheets. Interesting way of looking at this journey of ours... I am the project. And at the end, when the goal is completed, you can't just drop the whole thing. The product requires continued monitoring and maintenance.... brilliant.

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NASFKAB 11/22/2012 9:53AM

  great ideas thanks

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TWNOMWE 11/22/2012 9:47AM

    emoticon great blog and wonderful ideas.

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JOANNHUNT 11/22/2012 9:36AM

    emoticon Blog. Very interesting and educational. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THEIS58 11/22/2012 6:34AM

    Just great- thanks!

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LEANMEAN2 11/22/2012 6:30AM

    Thanks for sharing.

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BLUEJEAN99 11/22/2012 1:55AM


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MOMFAN 11/22/2012 1:15AM


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JAMER123 11/22/2012 12:27AM

    emoticon blog that is emoticon !! emoticon

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PRAIRIECROCUS 11/21/2012 11:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 11/21/2012 11:48PM

  emoticon emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 11/21/2012 11:42PM

    What a fantastic idea. I kind of was on this wave length, and blogged something similar as you - but you put it very eloquently! I think that this is a GREAT idea to use your skills in other areas, and apply them to weight loss! Thanks for a great blog!

~ Christa

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LIVELYGIRL2 11/21/2012 11:15PM

  Excellent thoughts. Also, enjoyed seeing your views! emoticon emoticon

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PYNETREE 11/21/2012 11:08PM

    Great way to implement your talents!

Loved that you shared the picture from your travels! You really get around! emoticon Do you always travel so much?

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SHOAPIE 11/21/2012 10:18PM


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NOTSOFLUFFYDAD 11/21/2012 9:57PM

    Fabulous blog!

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LIBBYL1 11/21/2012 9:51PM


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TIMDEB 11/21/2012 9:41PM


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Lowering resistance: Percieved difficulty and the stairs of Stockholm

Saturday, November 03, 2012

There's an interesting phenomenon that I observed during my healthy lifestyle journey. I name it perceived difficulty. Maybe you also noticed it.

I am here in this conference on Gestalt Organisational Development, and one concept we use in our work is dealing with resistance in organisations. I also work with resistance in my own transformation on becoming healthy. And one feature that I noticed that gets developed during living a healthy lifestyle is the ability to distinguish between difficulty that is really big, and difficulty that is in fact OK.

What is this? Let me explain.

It's raining. Do I want to go out to run? I picture myself being out there, running in the wind and cold, and sounds like a task for a Navy Seal.
I am in the conference room. We have coffee break in a few minutes. I imagine all the cakes and sweets waiting for me. There might be fruits, but how will I be able to resist, and make a healthy choice? Sounds like a willpower-blackbelt task.
Shall I take the stairs, or the elevator? I imagine being tired and sweaty on the stairs, arriving with heavy breathing, and no way I would do that.
And I could go on with this for long.

However, I noticed, that after practice, although it feels so difficult before, actually, when I'm in the course of action, it's not that difficult. Of course, it needs some effort, but somehow it's much less then I imagined before. There is resistance in the system about the difficulty, but way much less then I thought there will be. So, I focus on taking the first step, and see what happens.

Did you ever run in the rain? I did, and although from inside, it looked as it would be a terrible experience. However It was not that cold, it was not that wet, and although it needed some effort, in fact it was fun.

Did you go for fruits at the buffet table? It turned out, that the grapes, apples, and all the other fruits are very tasty at this conference (for sure they come from some Southern country), and when I tasted the cakes in the very last minute of the coffee break, they were nice, but rather felt just the usual sweet stuff.

How was it taking the stairs? Actually, I enjoyed the exercise, and I met some colleagues on the way up, and said a a smiley hello.

Two days ago, in the underground of Stockholm, I met this set up: stairs, and escalator. As you can see, most people take the escalator. I had luggage on me, two bags, and a handbag. I was not in a rush, but I had to be on time. After some hesitation, I took the stairs. I imagined it will be tough with the luggage, and "that's not the easy way".

I knew from my previous experience that this difficulty that I feel big actually is not correct. The stairs are not high, I am fit, my luggage is not that heavy, and there are other people also taking the stairs, so it should be OK. So, I just focused on the first step, which was about choice. Let's start, and see what happens.
But when I was on the stairs, it turned out it's not that difficult at all, and in the end I was up sooner vs. the people on the escalator.

To my personal experience, getting over resistance, through acknowledging a difficulty to be low, although perceived high, needs training, or coaching.

Either I learn trough training myself that what I sense as the amount of difficulty is not correct, and it is lower, and it is OK to go for it, and when it is not OK to, because it is really a big difficulty. Or, I have someone with me, whom I trust, and guides on the way to distinguish between what is in reality little effort, and what is big effort.
I'm learning the POSE method of running, and for this, I follow the advice of my coach, how much is a good distance to run. Last time we had interval training, and I was running 4 K/min. I never run that fast ever in my life. And in fact, it was not difficult at all. However, I thought it would be that difficult, and therefore I never experimented with it. Following his advice on how, and when to do it, I got into it. And now I know, it is something I can do, and even if it seems to be a difficult task, I know this is just my perceived difficulty to it, in fact I can do it. This way, I overcome my own resistance thanks to the experiential learning I had before with his help.

So the other experience I have that trough training, the resistance that was big before, becomes tolerable, or even disappears.
When I started to develop the habit to run, I had to organize techniques to trick myself into running. I did ZERO exercise those times in my life. I started with 10 min per day, and it was quite an effort to make it happen. After 1.5 years of running, I enjoy going out to run, and look forward to it. Gradually trough training myself, I can lower the resistance. However, from the outside, when just starting, this could look like as a hero willpower act. Running for an hour looked like a great hero achievement when I just started. Today, it's fun, and I don't consider it as 'big'.

Now, I use this technique consciously, both for myself, and supporting others. I identify where is my resistance in doing something healthy. Then I check that difficulty, and alter the system, either myself or the environment, to make that difficulty as low that it happens by itself, or that I have experience about the real difficulty vs. my perceived difficulty. This is a good strategy to overcome my resistance.

So, which way do you take? Stairs or escalator?

Update (03 Nov 2012): I changed from "perceived resistance" to "resistance, and real vs. perceived difficulty".

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CELIAMINER 11/30/2012 8:17AM

    I'm glad Kaliswalker pointed me to your blog! Right now I'm at the point of needing to rekindle that inner spark into a flame before it dies, and reading experiences like yours helps. Thanks! And, like Zellazm, I walk up the escalator, and woe to the unwary tourist who does not heed the unwritten rule to stand on the right. :-D

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CHARITY1973 11/24/2012 4:38PM

    I like your thinking, Oliver! I have the same experience with perceived versus real difficulty. I will give you an unusual example. I am divorced. It took me 1.5 years to actually make the decision to leave. It was exactly like looking out into the rain and thinking it would be difficult to run in that weather. I looked at divorce and I thought I couldn't do it. I thought I was trapped by difficulty. But those people whom I trust most of all said things to me about how strong I was, that it wasn't impossible, that it wouldn't be as bad as it seemed. They said to trust myself and give it a go. And when I made the decision, it was not that hard. It required planning and perseverance but not in the way my mind had pictured it. I am still amazed that I could say, "I'm leaving" to my ex-husband but I did. I am still amazed that I could return to the house and continue living there until I could move out. Yet each time I got past the internal resistance, the imagination of horribleness, I found I was more capable than I knew. And that has allowed me so much more freedom in myself. It has helped to create self-trust, self-care, and more internal peace.

And I run like you. I run faster than I ever imagined. I run further than I ever imagined. My body is changing in ways I never imagined. And I enjoy certain foods (brown rice!) I never imagined. I believe that it is the 'trying' that breaks the spell that my internal resistance creates. Nothing is ever as bad as I imagine. And those truly terrible thing that happen in life, I have never actually imagined before they happen so, my not just give it a go!!

Since you are a techy, how do you rate the Garmin910? My partner wants to buy one for our trail running in the mountains.

I'm so glad I found your page on SP.

I hope you get some movement in your day.

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GERMANIRISHGIRL 11/13/2012 12:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

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POPSY190 11/11/2012 5:21PM

    emoticon blog. It's all in the mind!

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MOTLEM 11/10/2012 10:32PM

    Where we have escalators, there are no stairs. But where we have elevators, I usually opt for the stairs.

Great blog! emoticon

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KALISWALKER 11/10/2012 6:34PM

    Oliver I really enjoyed your blog and read it a few times.

'So, I just focused on the first step, which was about choice. Let's start, and see what happens.' I really need to make that my first thought about trying new exercises and being more active.

I hope you have good weather this weekend wherever you are.


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    Well said!!

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MOBYCARP 11/3/2012 8:43PM

    Stairs instead of escalator, because I am impatient and it's faster to walk up the stairs than to wait on the escalator. It would be faster to take the escalator and walk up as well, but in an airport setting I can count on being stuck behind someone who doesn't want to walk.

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THEADMIRAL 11/3/2012 2:22PM

    I'll take the stairs, thank you! I take them because I want to conquer them, because I want to keep my middle-aged muscles working and strong, because I want to show that young people that middle-aged people can be strong and fit and - by the way - beat them to the top of the escalator. I only take the escalator or elevator when I'm truly ill. Period.


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KRISZTA11 11/3/2012 12:24PM

I take the stairs up to 4-5 floors, and elevators if I go higher.
In my previous exercise-less years I usually took the elevator because I felt tired.
My perceived resistance decreased : )

A strange example of resistance is the one I often feel against going to bed early...
I stay up late, surfing and tapping on my laptop, even if I know I need the sleep - and what is easier and less heroic than going to bed.

And running in the rain is fun really... I never regretted it : )

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SHOOPETTE 11/3/2012 7:57AM

    Excellent blog! and I do also love running in the rain

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SWEDE_SU 11/3/2012 6:20AM

    good blog - we've been talking about this, as well, just how much harder it seems to get out to run (or even walk) when it is gray, dreary, and rainy out than when bright sunshine seems to invite you to tie on your running shoes. but once we get out, it is never as bad. though somehow, when shopping, we always look for the closest parking place - even though we count every mile we walk toward the goal, we seem to forget that when out in the car! enjoy stockholm!

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ZELLAZM 11/3/2012 5:56AM

    I usually take the escalator to save time but walk on the way up!

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NUOVAELLE 11/3/2012 4:37AM

    Stairs, of course! I never use escalators or lifts unless I'm injured or sick.
But, to get to the point of your blog, I perfectly agree with training perceived resistance. It needs constant focus and trying but it really helps with making the right choices. The more we try, the more the resistance is reduced and the will-power gets stronger. It's not that some people have will-power and some don't. We all have it and the more we train it, the stronger it becomes. Just like a muscle!
Well said!

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Getting inspired back

Thursday, November 01, 2012

So here I am in Stoccholm, Sweden, for an organization development conference. Tonight I slept at a friend, with whom I studied coaching/OD together in the last 1.5 years. In the program, we used to run together in the mornings, before the classes, so I asked her how about a run in the morning, as we used to do.

I was hesitating a lot to get up or to sleep. Last night I had only 5 h sleep, and now only 6h. Usually, I prioritize sleep first. But then, I woke up anyway, so it was not much effort anyway to get up.

And we had such a fascinating run together! She showed me downtown Stockholm, around the lake, the famous hall where the Nobel prize winners get their special celebration dinner, the city hall. This place just looks gorgeous.

During the run, we talked about POSE running, what it takes to learn it, challenges, advantages.

For breakfast, she had a powerful surprise for me.

On the program, I kept proactively asking the faculty to organize fruits and vegetables for the coffee breaks. Each time we had the next week of courses coming, a few weeks before I wrote them to please don't forget the fruits for the coffee breaks. As a result, we had fruits all the time, and we enjoyed it so much.
And funnily, people attending other programs in the same hotel/building were envy to us, how that we have fruits and they don't.

So, she remembered how much I like to have fruits, even when I'm travelling, and she bought this whole basket of fruits to have it for the breakfast when I'm here.

I'm touched!

And I am just amazed, how this circle works. I work on changing myself, step-by-step. Others get inspired around me, slowly. And then, it comes back to me, they inspire me back.

My take away?
It does matter with whom I choose to get surrounded by. Since I run, I have friends who also happen to run, and put effort into living healthy.

Now both of us feel great and energized, and happy for this perfect start of the day.

Whom do you inspire around you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 11/3/2012 5:58AM

    Must remember to bring that up again for our next teachers' meeting. I have volunteered to get the snacks and make sure to get fruit, but the secretary who usually does it always buys junk. Thanks for the reminder!

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KRISZTA11 11/1/2012 10:08AM

    I'm so glad to hear from you!
Your trick asking the organizers to provide fruits during coffee breaks is my favorite...
Normally they serve candies, biscuits, chocolate, crackers and so on, something you don't need sitting all day, and having had some nice breakfast&lunch at the hotel - unless you want to fall asleep during the presentation. Fruits make the difference!

It is amazing how motivation spreads...

Try to catch up on your sleep!


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SWEDE_SU 11/1/2012 4:58AM

    oh my, stockholm!! one of my favorite places to run:-) and i love the fruit bowl! and the inspiration - isn't it great when others also start to see health around them! emoticon

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TCANNO 11/1/2012 4:54AM


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Fastest Ever

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yesterday, I had a business meeting in Vienna and I used the opportunity to stay for the weekly POSE-running workshop. Every Wednesday night there is a possibility to train with coach Andy.

I did the POSE training in June, and then the triathlon training with dr. Romanov himself in September (which I want to cover in a blog, too). I am practicing since then almost every day, but somehow, my technique didn't click, and I needed the trained eye.

Stretching, warm up run, drills, and then interval training. Strangely, I loved the drills, especially the SpeedRope ones, they give variety to my running exercise.

Intervals were 4 times:
1_lap of 400m at near top speed, pause until heart rate drops below 120 bpm (2 min)

When I need more than 3-4 min to settle back below 120 bpm, then I know my aerobic capacity for that day is over. :-)

I did all laps with focus on executing the technique well, pull, pull, pull.
I had a good rythm, had my cadence high enough, and kept my stride length short enough. My heart rate was going up to 185, but it didn't feel extreme, just high.

I had to correct was the pull of my ankles too high. Andy told me I pulled so high as I would run with 3 min/K.

After the 4th lap, I was thinking about how much I enjoy this company, ambiance, the feedback, the run itself. And on top of it, even just with and hour of training, my technique improved a lot.

Then I glanced on endomondo on my phone, and boy I was surprised.

I was running with 4 min/K, and I didn't even feel it to be fast!

Key learning?
This pose technique works, I just have to keep on training.
As most things in the healthy life, this doesn't bring results from just overnight (as many people wish), but it works.

As for maintenance, an advantage I see on learning this technique that it has already shifted my focus from "just running" to "run well".
So it's not about whether I run or not, it's about getting better. It was intentional for me shift my focus by going for the POSE technique, but I never expected it to work so well.

What is your strategy for keeping up motivation?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IGSBETH 9/29/2012 2:17PM

    Way to go!

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CLAIREINPARIS 9/28/2012 1:47AM

    emoticon So encouraging! Keep up the great work!

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STRIVERONE 9/27/2012 5:36PM

    "Yupppiduppidoooo!" Indeed!
That's impressive.

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KFQUILTER 9/27/2012 4:54PM

    AWESOME JOB. Keep up the training. emoticon

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My Motivation Paradox

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Last time I wrote about the habits that keep me strong, or those that I want to improve on.

However, there's one habit that has an even more powerful effect on me.
Not on just my healthy lifestyle, but on my whole life in general.

I have read in several articles that a new approach is needed when one reaches the Target Weight. It requires setting goals that are different from before, as the challenges are now different.

And the main challenge is motivation.

Instead of setting my focus on target weight, develop daily exercise, update nutrition routine or regularize sleep hours, my objective should be about something that has the healthy lifestyle as a "side effect". If I pursue my goal, the healthy life happens on the way.

I give it a lot of thought first, but surprisingly, it just emerged naturally.

In the past two years, as my friends saw the success of my healthy lifestyle, they come more and more for advice, tips, encouragement. And sometimes they asked me to join in on the way to give support on a consistent way.

This is not new to me, as I study coaching with Gestalt for the past two years, and I am involved in several coaching relationships myself. I enjoy coaching a lot, it gives so much results with little energy, and it is so much fun.

So the goal I set is to get engaged with others to support their healthy lifestyle development.

And this habit of supporting others seems to have the strongest effect on my healthy lifestyle. It gives me consistency, energy, fun. The paradox is that usually my target is to help someone to improve, but I noticed that it comes back, and I get changed during the process.

As I support someone to get in the daily dose of exercise, naturally, my exercise happens consistently in the same time.
When I listen to someone with active listening about the struggles to eat better, or to fit in exercise minutes, I discover that in fact I have those struggles, too.
When we brainstorm about how to organize healthy eating on business trips, the same practices happen on my own trips.
When we have a debate on how much calories are in a meal, and which one has more valuable ingredients, I pay more attention on those.

And when a friend reaches a healthy lifestyle goal, s/he gets motivated.
But what I observe is that in fact I get motivated in the same time.

Somehow, this became my most interesting healthy lifestyle habit.

I motivate others = I get motivated

And after sending a motivating message, I tend to scratch my head and just wonder:

So then, who's motivating who?

This is from Thursday, a powerwalk I made in Graz, next to the river Mur.

Whom do you help around you with healthy lifestyle development?
What effect has it on you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRIVERONE 9/18/2012 7:39PM

    That's a great philosophy. Where I might let myself down, my perceived obligation to others who might see me as an example keeps me moving forward. There is a Karmic reward in giving of yourself.

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WATERMELLEN 9/7/2012 8:41PM

    Great blog: motivating returns motivation, for sure.

And: thanks for your kind comment on my "grit" blog!

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PRAIRIECROCUS 8/20/2012 3:51PM

    Lovely blog !
emoticon for posting !

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EDELWEISS33 8/19/2012 10:11PM

    my fave motivator is my daughter. she was on track in high school and in the rotc. she has lots of good advice and invites me to exercise with her even though I am way out of shape and never have been in shape. she doesn't judge me. she just gets me to get doing some kind of exercise.

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ALDEBARANIAN 8/19/2012 7:20PM

    They always say that the teacher learns more than the student. Starr Daily used to say, "You're always 'inin' what you're 'outin'." Someplace back there I noticed that the one who anoints someone else with oil gets oil on themselves too.

It's good to be connected to a live wire like you.

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DESIDERATA~GIRL 8/19/2012 9:02AM

    That's very inspirational - I wish I could motivate others as you do! I don't like saying 'i wish' because it always sounds so empty because I could do it if I tried. But I don't really know how to motivate others tbh. There are several people in my family who are obese but would complain like hell if I tried to suggest they did x activity or should be eating more of y. Some people don't wanna be helped until they want themselves and ask for it. All I can do is to keep on my healthy eating and being active whislt allowing them to join in, but nothing deliberate or formal helping.

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SWEDE_SU 8/19/2012 6:21AM

    as another "newbie" to maintenance, i have been trying to figure out what comes next - your blog is wonderfully insightful, gives much food for thought. though i have not had as much weight to lose as many others have faced, it still was a challenge, and like many others, i have gained the same pounds back many times. trying to motivate others is a wonderful suggestion for staying on track to stay motivated.

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TINAJANE76 8/19/2012 6:04AM

    I think motivation is a reciprocal relationship. I love the idea that what I do inspires and helps other people for its own sake, but it also helps me to stay focused on reaching my own goals and keeps me accountable. I sure don't want to let down the people I've inspired by gaining all the weight back! As a maintainer who's lost a significant amounts of weight, I get friends, family, SparkFriends and sometimes even relative strangers asking for advice all the time. I know I don't have all the answers for everyone but am happy that I'm setting a positive example and inspiring others to live healthier lives.

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/19/2012 5:32AM

    This is so true and really interesting! Thank you.
I think for me, what I share the most (with my colleagues, friends, and Sparkfriends of course) is that exercise doesn't have to feel like exercise. A long hike feels more like discovery and fun to me, and yet it is exercise! This is what I share the most. That, and the need to understand oneself.

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GREENGENES 8/18/2012 2:42PM

    Great insight. Thanks for sharing. Very much in line with how I think about teaching. It sounds like a contradiction but my philosophy has evolved into "I teach, therefore I learn".

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LILY_SPARK 8/18/2012 11:15AM


I always say the best compliments I ever get are when somebody says that I inspired them or motivate them. BEST!

And you're right, they in turn motivate me, not only because it's a great compliment but if I'm having an "off" day or if I'm feeling "useless" or dejected about where I am one week, one of those coworkers or friends can share something they're working on (unrelated convo) and it fires me up again. Love it!

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BEATLETOT 8/18/2012 10:36AM

    Oliver, I love what you wrote...your friends and family are so lucky to have you!

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SUNSET09 8/18/2012 9:49AM

  This is a great reflection on motivation and what you can do to get motivated and to help others. We cannot stay where we are and expect things to change. When the weight is lost, we are no longer fat, when we run a few marathons we are now runners. and have to work harder to become faster and/or stronger. This is an eye opener for some. Thanx for sharing and being the coach that you are . emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAPTHAMMER 8/18/2012 8:52AM

    Life is like a boomerang;
what you give, you get back!

For those of us that were able to watch you blossom as a Daisy, this seems a perfect progression of your abilities. You've always been a great motivator to all of us and I hope you continue to share your thoughts in frequent blogs. I learn so much from you (and you know I love your photos).

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WILSON1926 8/18/2012 7:04AM

    What a great post. Thank you so much

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    What a wonderful blog! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wisdom. I'm new to Maintenance and have been really thinking about my new 'strategy' and have come to find that I don't really need to change all that much. The healthy habits I formed to reach my goal weight are the same habits I can apply for my healthy lifestyle going forward - some 'tweaking' here and there will be needed but it's not that far of a stretch.

I feel very strongly about living a life that sets an example for my children - all adults in their 20s - 3 married, 1 with a baby. I keep telling them to do their "future selves" a favor and take care of their young bodies now.

I'll be subscribing to your blog - thank you again, Pat emoticon

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EOWYN2424 8/18/2012 6:34AM

    Some people just won't admit they are overweight and need to lose weight. I've learnt to keep my mouth shut when it comes to them.

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