Monday, January 03, 2011
Stop for a minute and ask yourself this question, how do I see myself? When I close my eyes and focus the picture, what do I see? Be honest. Most of us donít have a very positive picture, do we? Oh we have a list of readymade wonderful things about ourselves that we tell people when they ask, but when we start to look closer, we start to see all the flaws and imperfections and then our shoulders start to sag a little bit. We see a coworker, or a next door neighbor or a really successful Spark friend and we begin to compare ourselves to them and our shoulders sag a bit more. Maybe we get a bit jealous. We hear ourselves say ďWhy canít I be like them?Ē Did you ever think they are saying the same thing when they look at you.
Everyone is full of vim and vigor and gusto and oh my goodness my email inbox is exploding with people joining the 28 Day boot camp. We convince ourselves that if we pile enough activity on top of our current vision that somehow, some way it will become more positive. I have to work harder, be smarter, and push, push, push. How many times have I run out of steam and enthusiasm somewhere around January 15? How many times have I just given up or created a bunch of excuses because it all got to be just too much?
We are asked today to create a vision. We are asked to post our goals and objectives where we can view them. I think thereís something else we need to do. I think we need to ask ourselves how much worth and value we place on ourselves and what this journey is worth. I sat down yesterday and asked myself a question. If I never wrote another blog, lost another pound, ran another race, won another reward or was recognized for my accomplishments in life would I still believe I was loved, I was valuable and I a good human being? Honestly, I got scared when I saw my answer. I got a bit of a chill inside of me. Itís become a goal. The goal is to sit next to John and accept him and see him just as he is, a bit overweight, a bit clumsy at times, a bit awkward in his speech and writing and put my arm around him and embrace him and be his best friend, just as he is. It means I must learn to love him when he fails as well as when he succeeds. Thatís a hard thing to do.
Everything around us suggests we become quicker, prettier and sleeker. You and I both know weíve lost weight before, styled and profiled for the camera and our friends only to look up six months later and ask what went wrong. No amount of activity, no matter how healthy or well intentioned can make up for a negative perception I may have of me. Join all the Spark teams you want, hire all the personal trainers, and receive all the most popular blog awards God can imagine. Until I believe about me what you believe about me I wonít ever reach my goals and objective. You may see me as wonderful but until I do, then itís all just an exercise in futility.
I was going to take a picture of my goals and objective hanging in my office and post them with this blog. But the more I though about it the more I decided this is what I'd post and print out.
When I can look at that picture and really believe I am whole, happy and loved, just as I am, then I KNOW I'll reach all my other goals.
Day 3.......... My vision.
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
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