Sunday, January 02, 2011
Donít be offended, Iím not questioning your intelligence. Many years ago, when I worked for a Fortune Five I was lucky enough to teach an ongoing goal setting class. The method or process we used to teach people in setting goals was called the SMART process, which is Specific, Meaningful, Agreed Upon, Reachable and Trackable. Iím sure you have heard of this or a variation there of before. It crossed my mind when I looked at Day 2 of the thirty one days. We are asked to be ďspecific and positive,Ē in the goals we set.
When I begin working with a new coaching client I help them set goals. Most folks start with something like ďI want to be a better personÖ..Ē Me also!!! Thatís what I call a ďworld peaceĒ goal. Everyone wants world peace. How the heck do you get it? I ask people this question: If you were taking a car trip to a place youíd never been to before wouldnít you use some sort of map or GPS to navigate your way there or would you just hop in the car and drive? Be specific.Ē John wants to lose 68 pounds by the December 15, 2011.Ē Thatís specific. It allows me to create a vision. I can see the calendar and I can see skinny John. Itís specific.
Is the goal meaningful to me? I love my son Paul, heís my running coach, but his timetable for me is not realistic. I will not be running a half marathon by April 1, 2011. It sounds nice, but I need to run a few more 5Kís, then some 10kís, etc. I need to train. Right now I am focused on running a 5K the end of February. The half marathon goal means a lot to Paul. Heís been running them for close to ten years. To me it has no meaning, not today at least. Be careful that you donít get all caught up in someone elseís enthusiasm until you are ready to commit to it. Choose goals that will really MEAN something to you when you accomplish them. It will get you through the gray patches. This is where a healthy dose of high self-esteem helps. Remember they are YOUR goals and they make you valuable and worthwhile. Do not compare yourself to other folks.
Does everyone involved in you reaching your goal agree on your course of action? A good friend, who has several younger children, decided to train for a marathon. He neglected one small detail. He didnít let his wife know he was upping his training regimen. Sheíd wake up mornings and find him gone. Early evenings found him in the gym or the pool. His family wasnít very happy. Itís not that they didnít want him to reach his goals, itís just that he never shared them or got agreement from them. The kids had activities, his wife had her own goals and objectives and what he managed to accomplish was creating a lot of tension and ultimately not reach his goal. When you sit down to write out your goals ask yourself if the journey to reach them impacts anyone else in your life. If so, get agreement. The bonus is you may also get a good cheerleader to help you out and hold you accountable.
Can I reach my goals? This is my Achilles heel. I get all amped up about a goal early on and I see myself flying with the wind, wearing Armani suits, being ever so buff, and Iím like a puppy drooling all over the place aaaaaaaaaaaaaand I usually crash and burn. One of my clients recently left the military. He was stationed in Kuwait and had lots of time to exercise, so he started running. When he returned home he got out of the habit of running. When we started working together he told me one of his goals was to get back into running and ultimately run a marathon. I noticed every time weíd take a break heíd go outside and smoke a few cigarettes. As gently as I could I asked him if that habit might hold him back from reaching his ultimate goal. When he agreed with me I suggested that he first set a goal to quit smoking with the motivation being to run the marathon one day. He ultimately accomplished both goals!!!
Finally, can you track your progress? This goes back to wanting to be a better person. How do you track it? Weight loss is easy, thereís the scale. Exercise can be charted in time and distance. I want to lose 68 pounds by December 15, 2011. That is track able. I get on the scale, record my weight and look at the calendar. I want to run fifteen miles per week. I log my time and my distance. Be careful not to get caught up in goals that donít allow you the challenge of tracking them. After a while you lose enthusiasm or motivation because you canít see real and tangible progress. When you can look at the calendar and see that progress it motivates you to move forward. And you are a much happier person.
See ya tomorrow.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Iím good at many things. Being accountable to me isnít always one of them. I have the best of intentions and then something or someone gets in the way and I get derailed. I got up this morning and was trying to figure out a fun way to get myself back on track and stay there. Thatís when I read my Spark Mail. ď31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions.Ē I printed it out. Nothing new here, just a great calendar loaded with common sense.
Iím going to blog daily on each suggestion or topic. Itís going to help me stay focused and I am really hoping that some of you who have been successful will chime in with tips and suggestions of your own.
ďIf you haven't yet settled on your top goals for the year, do so today. Writing down your goals (in specific terms) means youíre more likely to achieve them.Ē
I joined the 28 Day Boot Camp which asked me to set some short term goals. I want to jazz up my exercise and use the time I have available to do meaningful exercise. Iím a bit burnt out right now and I want some spice in my exercise routine. Itís winter here in Kentucky and I canít run outside as much as Iíd like and some days the track and the dread mill are more than I can take. Our gym is having an open house today and they are offering mini sessions in a lot of things, from spinning to cycling, to throwing around kettle bells. They are offering 15 minute sessions in each new class. Iím going to check it out.
Iím committing to not going overboard. I know none of you have ever done that, putting ten pounds of sugar in a five pound sack , but I am going to be careful not to get healthy all at once. Iím going to track my food, be careful of my limits and make sure I balance my input with my output. I'm going to enjoy the journey and not worry too much about who is on my left or my right.
Joan is a very good money manager, I am not. I know how to pay bills and the like and we are not in danger of being evicted but I realized, with some of your help, that it was a control issue. As of this month, Joan is in charge of our finances and I had to promise to super glue my lips closed as they relate to that issue. So I took a deep breath and handed everything over to her. Itís one less thing for me to stress over and worry about and create an excuse to eat emotionally. It gives me the time and space to work on my health. She almost had a heart attack when I suggested she handle this, LOL
I hope you werenít looking for the glamorous. I been there and have done that and found it doesnít work. Just plain old meat and potatoes here.
See ya tommrow.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
If you read my blogs you know I have a daily meditation I read ... "God Calling." I have read this daily devotional since roughly 1989 and it's always seemed to speak to where I was at on that given day. Rather than ramble on and on I thought I'd share todays meditation with you. Hope you enjoy, take what you need and leave the rest for someone else.
Happiest New Year
"I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come - the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorry and disappointment.
Dwell not on the past - only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.
Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thought of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your sense of failure, your disappointment in others and in yourselves, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.
Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands - in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.
Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.
And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength."
From God Calling
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thank you Miley Cyrus.
I strained my left knee on December 6 and since then my workouts have been halfhearted and inconsistent. There was a part of me that was angry for getting hurt. I rushed my work out that day. I had been sitting in a certification class for four hours and I had to pick Joan up at work and go to an early Christmas reception her employer was hosting. I was in a hurry. I didnít warm up properly, didnít stretch correctly. It was one of those letís get this over with sort of runs. I created a perfect storm for the injury which occurred about a mile into my run. The doctor said I stepped wrong. Rest, heat, cold and more rest. It kept running through my head that I would have been better off not working out that day. It would have saved me a lot of misery. While I was healing I used the elliptical, walked, road a spinning cycle and a recumbent cycle. Nothing felt right. Iíd finish a workout and Iíd feel ďoff.Ē I tried running a few times but the pain would stop me after a half mile or so. The doctor said I was fine, no swelling, no inflammation; everything appeared to be in order. ďRun like the wind,Ē he said with a grin. Only I couldnít. I felt like I weighed a thousand pounds
No matter how I prepared, physically or emotionally my runs were not going well at all. I didnít feel motivated, I felt like I was existing in another universe and nothing seemed right. Everything hurt, my thighs, my ankles, my shoulders my back. I was running but I didnít know where I was running to, for, or with. Iíd run for a mile and quit and then feel terrible emotionally. It was like a dog chasing its tail.
Yesterday Joan asked me to walk with her. We went up to the gym and walked for two miles. Everything felt fine. After we go home Joan started taking down the Christmas decorations and I spent time with a client. Truth be told I was a bit bored. I decided to go back to the gym. I took my running shoes. I was in no hurry. I warmed up and made sure my muscles were not going to cramp and I started to run. My knee had a slight twinge but no pain. I was impatient. I wanted to get it over with. I was flipping through songs on my IPod.
ďEvery step Iím taking, every move I make feels lost without direction, my faith is shaking.
But I gotta keep trying, gotta keep my head held high.
Thereís always gonna be another mountain, Iím always gonna wanna make it move.
Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes Iím gonna have to lose.
Aint about how fast I get there
Aint about whats waiting on the other side
Itís the climbĒ
The clouds parted and I saw a small ray of sunshine. My focus had been distorted. I had been training for perfection and no matter what I did I fell short. As she sung, ďIt aint about how fast I get there, it aint about whatís waiting on the other side. Itís the climb.Ē
Lately the climb has had a lot of rocks in the way. I went from my personal best of five miles to not being able to go a mile. I lost my focus and mostly I lost faith in me. I heard the voices, the ones that tell me ďI cant do this.Ē And I was afraid they were right.
Itís not about medals and ribbons and personal bests. Itís about the goals and the hard work needed to get there. I ran a pain free mile and Iíll run another one today. Next week Iíll start training again for a 5K I want to run in February. I need to have a goal.
ďThereís always gonna be another mountain, Iím always gonna wanna make it move.
Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes Iím gonna have to lose.
Aint about how fast I get there
Aint about whatís waiting on the other side
Itís the climbĒ
Thank you Miley Cyrus
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Long before they put him on the federal no fly list, back in the days when I had hair and Joan and I used to sit on the bed and pool our change to order KFC, Cat Stevens wrote a song called ďOh Very Young.Ē It crossed my mind this past week, it being Christmas and all. All of our babies are grown, the youngest being twenty four and the oldest going on thirty six. Christmas has become a sedate affair, with wives, fiancťs and the like sitting in the living room and having a civilized exchange of gift cards while everyone sips a latte and smiles at each other. I miss the bedlam, the wrapping paper flying all over the living room, people hollering they needed AAA or AA or 9 Volt batteries, brothers fighting with each other because one of them thought the present the other one got should have been theirs. Dearest daughters looking at their mother and holding up a shirt or a skirt and saying ďReally, mom. Do you know big Iíd look wearing this?Ē I miss Joan staying up super late on Christmas Eve making sure theyíd all gone to bed so she could put little surprises in their stockings. I miss filling a whole row at church on Christmas morning and murmuring a prayer that said ďOkay Lord I got them here the rest is up to you!!Ē
They are ghosts now, those days. With each passing year the laughter gets a bit dimmer and the noise muffled. With six of them in one house I never quite knew how we afforded to not disappoint anyone. Their mother always knew where to go, what to get and how to stretch twenty five dollars into a hundred. There were two Christmases I was out of work and I was amazed how Joan took what we had and made them believe they had gotten the Hope Diamond for Christmas. The house is quiet now. They are off beginning their own traditions and that is as it should be. Part of me sits back very proudly and watches them grown and become aware and mature and all those wonderful things about being an adult. We donít teach them any of that. We talk about the hard work, the sacrifice, the painÖÖ.. We never share the joy of adult hood. I count myself as one very happy adult and I am glad my kids are starting to feel that in their lives. Part of me still wishes there was a mess that took forever to clean up, and yelling and shouting and wanting to go down the block still in their night clothes to show friends what they got.
Savor those moments if they are available to you right now. Savor them like you would something valuable and precious. They are a very priceless commodity. My kids are aghast when I let the DGD run all over the place, leaving a mess hither and yon. They complain I never let them do it. They are right. There are some things we just learn with age and sometimes wisdom can be learned from someone who doesnít even reach your knee. Next Christmas, birthday or great family celebration, grab your beverage of choice find a comfortable chair that allows you a good view and inhale the insanity. If you have to let loose, let loose. If you have to fight the urge to pick up each piece of wrapping paper as it touches the ground, then handcuff yourself to the chair. Drink in every second of it and burn it in your memory. Soon enough, as I am finding out, it will all be quiet, and you will only have that blessed memory to make you smile.
Today I am grateful for those pleasant memories.
I hope there is hot water at the gym.
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