Monday, January 14, 2013
Yesterday I shared about ATTITUDE. Today I want to talk about YOU!
I was talking with a friend the other day whom I've known since high school. She is the most loving, kind, giving person I know. She has several physical challenges to deal with everyday because she has fibromyalgia. I asked her how she was feeling and she responded about aching in several places, a nearly sleepless night and waking up with a headache. Pretty typical for a person with this chronic illness. Then I asked her what she had planned for the day. HOLY COW, the President of the United States doesn't have as much on his plate as this woman takes on every day.
She had her work (as a teacher), lunch with a friend, grocery shopping and 10 other errands, pick up her daughter at school for events, something at her church, a fund raiser meeting after that, dinner to prepare, a parent meeting at school, housework to do, and probably 5 other things for other people to do.
This is a typical day for her. She runs around all day on almost no sleep and does this until her body shuts down. I'm willing to bet many of you do nearly the same thing. You give and give and give until there is nothing left to give. You are worn out and you don't know where the day went. I know it's true because I read it everyday in your postings. If you happen to be an accountant right now, fer-git-a-boud-it. The next 3 months are going to be filled with long hours and no time off.
Think about this for a moment... when are you at your best? When are you at your most productive? Are you doing your best for your family and your job when you are exhausted and frazzeled? Or are you at your best when you are rested, relaxed and have piece of mind? I believe the answer is obvious.
This is why you need to take a couple of hours every day just for you. Studies done at the National Institute for Health (I can't believe I'm using this agency because I rip them all the time as a bunch of quacks, but people put stock in what they say) show that people who take a one hour lunch break away from work are more productive than those who work through lunch! That's right. Over the course of the work day, people who take a lunch break get more work done in 8 hours than those who work through lunch get done in 9 hours.
While the study doesn't reveal this, I'm betting productivity is linked to increased blood sugar and a more relaxed state of mind in the people who take a lunch break. It gives us a chance to relax our brains, think about something other than work, then organize and prioritize the remainder of our day while we re-energize our bodies with nutritious foods. All of these things add to our daily productivity.
Other studies show that vast majority of Americans are both exercise and sleep deprived. Watching TV you would think all we do all day is go to the gym and lay on the couch or in bed. But it's true. The National Sleep Foundation reports the average person needs 7-9 hours of basal (REM) sleep each day. They also report sustained sleep deprivation leads to lower productivity, increased risk of car accidents, increased BODY MASS INDEX, increased DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE, and several other unpleasant things.
Let me tell you what I told my friend, YOU NEED TO TAKE TIME EVERYDAY FOR YOU! I know you are all the kind of people who put your personal needs below the needs of everyone else in your life, but I'm telling you, if you put yourself FIRST you can do so much more for everyone else.
I would like a pledge from each one of you to try the following EVERY DAY for one week to see if it makes a difference.
1. Take lunch away from work (even if it's just to the cafeteria or a break room away from phones, paper, customers, whatever) for at least 30 minutes but preferably 1 hour and have a healthy lunch.
2. Exercise every day for 1 hour. Take a class, do a video, walk around your neighborhood for an hour, I don't care what you do, but take a minimum of 60 minutes for yourself.
3. Sleep for at least 7 hours. That may mean putting some things off until tomorrow, but for a week that's okay. Take your wake-up time, back that up 7 hours, then add one hour for getting ready to sleep by relaxing, brushing your teeth, whatever. This is the time you stop EVERYTHING for the day. I want you to get a MINIMUM of 7 uninterrupted hours of solid REM sleep.
Do this every day for 7 days and I'll bet you dollars-to-rice cakes (notice I didn't say donuts) you will get more done than you ever have.
Let me know how you're doing.
Until next time, GET WET and JUICE to you all!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I wanted to share with you some of the tools I use to be a POSITIVE person and to combat negativity in my life. Choose what works for you and share with me anything you have found that works. I'm always looking for feedback.
1. Eliminate negative language from your vocabulary. Stop swearing, stop any sarcastic remarks and look for something POSITIVE to say. Remember the old adage: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
2. Take care in your tone of voice. Negativity not only comes from what we say but from our tone of voice. Eliminate a harsh "tone" from your voice. If you must criticize do it with a soft tone.
3. Remove yourself from a negative atmosphere. Simply don't participate in negative activities.
4. Correct negative behavior (this is one of my favorites). If you see someone yelling at someone else or belittling them, step in and correct the behavior. This works especially well with children. In a soft voice, be calm, be firm and stop the negativity. Don't accept negative behavior from anyone.
5. Delete bad habits one at a time. Make a list of behavior traits you want to correct. They could be anything from smoking or biting your nails to being rude or yelling at people. One of mine was interrupting people when they were talking because something popped into my head. (I'm still working on this one)
6. Use POSITIVE OR MOTIVATIONAL words and phrases when talking with people. Most people respond better, psychologically, when statements are made using positive references.
7. Praise often and do it in public. If someone is doing a good job or showing improvement let them know it. It doesn't have to be lavish, just noticable.
8. Acknowlege every person you meet. I use a 10-foot rule. I greet every person I come within 10 feet of with a warm smile and a cheerful hello. Be GENUINE. You will be amazed at what this simple act will do for your reputation.
9. Follow a greeting with SINCERE praise. "Hello, that's a good looking tie." "Nice to see you. You look very happy today."
10. Be kind to everyone you interact with every day.
11. Convert or cut them loose. This can be the hardest tool to use because it deals with people in your life. CONVERT is to help those around you change their attitudes into more positive ones. This can take a lot of time and energy on your part sometimes. Other times it just takes a kind word in private to turn someone around. If the person is someone you have to deal with every day because they are family or work related, keep at it. Eventually some of your positive attitude will rub off on them.
The other part, CUT THEM LOOSE can be even more difficult. As a positive person it is hard for us to give up on people. We want to help them. But some people you just can't help. Those are the people you want to remove from your life or at least reduce your exposure to them.
12. Be a role model. Lead by example. Be the sunshine in everyone's life. BE POSITIVE.
There are so many tools, but you get the idea. Create some of your own. Once you start using these, achievement will come much easier to you because you will have INTERNALIZED a positive you.
Until next time, JUICE to YOU!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Last time I wrote about ATTITUDE I discussed NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how choosing the words you use to express yourself can lead to a change in how you think. What I failed to mention is this is only one tool in changing your attitude on life.
A NEGATIVE attitude is learned. I believe as humans we are naturally optimistic beings. We strive for goodness and look for that in our environment. We LEARN how to be negative. It starts when we are young and get yelled at for spilling the milk, then we go to school and the other kids are mean to us and we are laughed at. Then we might have a negative home environment full of sarcasm because our parent(s) are overwhelmed and don't know how to deal with their pain. Then there is the media, full of negative messages about body image and self-centered greed. A media that thrives on class envy and "keeping up with the Jones'." Maybe we work in an environment where it seems everyone is griping about one thing or another, and complaining is the normal way of communication.
It doesn't matter where it comes from, negativity is all around us. It's up to us as individuals what we do with it.
Years ago I was the most miserable person to be around. My life was going great, but it was never good enough. Looking back, I still can't believe I had any friends. But you know the old saying... "Misery loves company." I was even told by several of my employers over the years that I had a bad attitude, but they couldn't fire me because my performance was so high. I just didn't get it. Then, I started reading books that motivated me and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.
You can "reprogram" your brain to look for the POSITIVE. If you look around you today the people with the most success have at least one thing in common, they are POSITIVE people. The most successful athletes, have a positive "CAN-DO" frame of mind. They are the first one's to practice everyday and the last ones to leave. They put in the extra effort required to be successful. They are what I like to call "Extra-milers." They are willing to go the extra mile to achieve their goal. It's the same in business and other walks of life. If you dedicate yourself and go the extra mile eventually you will achieve SUCCESS.
But it all starts with a POSITIVE ATTITUDE or a POSITIVE STATE OF MIND. Only you can make the change for yourself. No one can do it for you. We can support you by reminding you to look for the positive, but ultimately it is up to you. Decide for yourself, are you going to be a better person with a positive outlook or a negative one.
Think about it.
JUICE to you all!
Saturday, January 12, 2013
What a great day! I was reading several postings on message boards today and invited a few newbies to our little band of fitness devotees.
As I read through the posts a common theme started to emerge. "Where do I start?" I'll bet I read this at least 10 times a week. I send a question back, "Where are you now?" I told my new friend "Tim" the road to health is like a road map. You can't get to where you want to go if you don't know where you are now. Have you ever seen one of those maps at the mall that read "You are here" with the red box and arrow? That's what we need to create for ourselves, a red box and arrow.
If you've been on the program for a while and you're getting frustrated with a PERCEIVED lack of success, start over! Create a new base-line and make NEW goals. If you need ideas on creating a base-line read my posting from October 2nd on "Point of Origin" it should get you started.
One of my main goals is to be healthier. So I track many things most people don't think of and I don't track one thing everyone else seems to track, MY WEIGHT. I believe weight is just a number, and I don't care what that number is. If I get healthy, that number will go down on it's own without me thinking about it or worrying about it.
"So, Jonny Mac, what so you measure and track?"
I'm glad you asked. I measure MY HEALTH and PHYSICAL FITNESS.
1. I take my body measurements starting at the top: neck, chest, waist (across the naval), hips (across the biggest part of my butt), thighs (L & R), arms (while loosely making a muscle).
2. I take my Blood Pressure (BP), resting heart rate (pulse), and my cholesterol (I donate blood every 8 weeks and the donation center does it for free).
3. I also measure and track BODY FAT. I am also fortunate to belong to a gym with a pool where I can do underwater weighing to determine my body fat. If all you have are the calipers then use them. They aren't very accurate, but they are better than nothing.
So there you have it. I believe it is more important to concentrate on improving each of these areas than to concentrate on some number you can't control. If you are healthy, exercising and reducing your inches, the weight will come off automatically.
Join the team. Invite your friends. Leave a comment on any of my posts. If you have a topic you would like me to research for you or you just want some support or feed-back on what you're doing for your program, send me an e-mail. I love those the most.
Until next time, GET WET and JUICE TO YOU ALL!
Friday, January 11, 2013
Sing it with me! I'M SOOOOOOOOOOOO MO-TI-VAT-ED, MO-TI-VAT-ED, MO-TI-VAT-ED! I'M SOOOOOO MO-TI-VAT-ED MO-TI-VAT-ED MO-TI-VAT-ED.
Now get off your seat and on your feet and CHEER it with me! M-O-T-I-V-A-T-E-D I am so MOTIVATED! M-O-T-I-V-A-T-E-D! I am so MOTIVATED!
I know it sounds silly some times, but little things like singing aloud to yourself or moving around and giving yourself a little cheer can really help to get you in the right frame of mind to be motivated.
"Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal and elicits and sustains certain goal directed behaviors." Thanks Wikipedia. A pretty powerful statement.
"Arouses an organism to action" I like that. Ask yourself a question... What motivates me? The answers are going to be different for everyone. Personally, I am motivated by my environment. As a journalist I am a trained observer and reporter. I am motivated by the people around me, the things I read, things I hear, etc... I see someone doing something I wish I could do and I am instantly motivated.
Motivation has also been described as "a driving force." (thanks again Wikipedia) Now THAT'S powerful. I think that "driving force" is inside each one of us. We just need to learn how to tap into it. Frequently I do it by reading. I have some favorite motivating personalities who have written books that I read in rotation daily. Dr. Bob Arnot wrote a book many years ago "Guide to Turning Back the Clock." Lots of great stuff in there. I also read self-help guru Anthony Robbins' books "Unlimited, Power", "Awaken the Giant Within" and "Notes from a Friend" several times each. The last one is on my nightstand next to the bed. It's the first thing I read in the morning and the last thing I read at night. Although I have read them each at least 5 times cover-to-cover I pick up something new or apply something I've learned in a new way every time I read them.
But, I'm not here to sell books. I'm here today to give you some tips on tapping the Optimist within each of us. I think it's easier to tap the Internal Optimistic Energy in each of us when our internal chemistry is in balance. So, get rid of the junk food and start eating those fruits and vegetables. Getting your vitamins gets your blood chemistry and consequently your brain chemistry in balance. This in turn evens out your mood and allows you to tap into the Optimistic/Motivated side of the brain.
See where I'm going with this? If you don't that's okay, I'm going to lead you there now. By stimulating the resourceful parts of the brain people are motivated to do what they know they should do. But how do we tap that part of the brain?
1. Read something motivational.
2. Listen to some motivational music.
3. Think of someone who motivates you, A teacher, parent, inspirational person from history, Rocky Balboa.
4. Remember a time when you were motivated and achieved something great, then return to that state-of-mind
5. Create a motivational collage and post it somewhere you will see it several time every day (I tacked a pair of shorts with a 33-inch waist to the wall in my office).
6. Leave yourself motivational messages around the house and work (my house has Post-it notes everywhere).
7. Send yourself motivating emails (I send them at night from my personal email account to my work email account).
8. Get a workout buddy and text each other several times everyday ( I have several buddies, one for weight lifting, one for swimming, one for yoga, etc.. we text several times a day to discuss workouts we want to do).
9. Eat something good for you (I like apples. I bring two to the office everyday so I don't go to the snack machine).
10. Write down your goals with a detailed plan then post a copy in different places where you will see it throughout the day.
11. Go to the HEALTHY LIFESTYLE tab on Sparkpeople, hit the MOTIVATION tab in the drop-down menu and read about someone who is motivated.
12. Track everything on Sparkpeople. Make a game of it and try to improve a little every day.
13. Be an inspirational person. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
14. Pass on what you have learned to others AND learn from them (I never know where a good idea is going to come from).
I could go on and on. Basically, you need to find what works for you. I use most of these everyday.
Good luck, GET WET and JUICE to you all.
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