The More the Merrier

We often isolate ourselves in the pursuit of our goals. They are personal goals, after all.

While the tendency is to go it alone; possibly for the sense of accomplishment; possibly to keep from burdening others; the reality is that it is easier to achieve what you want to achieve by getting help.

Try to enlist friends and like-minded individuals to join a team effort. Help keep each other on point and moving forward, and you all will achieve your goals faster. Sure, you could do it on your own, but time is your most limited resource. The more efficiently you achieve what you set out to do, the more you can do with the time that you have. And the rewards are even greater when they can be shared.

Body Language

Your body is always communicating with you.

You could say that your body speaks the language of feeling. It speaks to you through sensations, through nerve endings that constantly register everything happening around you and inside your body. It tells you when you do things right and when you do things wrong, but are you listening?

More often than not, we pay attention when we are training and practicing movement. But that is a small fraction of the time for anyone that is not a professional athlete. Stiff legs from sitting for long periods of time, neck tension from viewing a monitor from an off angle, or a sore lower back after spring cleaning are all times when your body is trying to tell you that its position or movement was incorrect.

There is a lesson that can be learned from any post-activity discomfort, but you have to pay attention to the language that your body is using to communicate.

A Tale of Two Feelings

There is a difference between eating for enjoyment and eating for sustenance; just as there is a difference between playing for fun and exercising for health.

Simply put, it is a difference between want and need; between “would like to” and “should”.

We get in trouble when we combine the two into one feeling. Taken to the extreme, it looks like this: I enjoy eating chocolate cake. I am hungry and have to eat. Therefore, I have to eat chocolate cake.

As long as we recognize the difference, we can make the best decision for the circumstances; both for wellness and enjoyment.

Back To It

Things come up. Life gets in the way. What was a daily practice is now something that never quite makes it off the to-do list.

It happens to everyone. While it can be frustrating, here are three things you can do to get back to it.

Schedule it. Whether it is the first thing in the morning, or stacked next to a part of your daily routine that gets accomplished every day; commit to it and make sure that you budget the time you will need.

Give yourself a reward. If there is a guilty pleasure that does not derail your goals, reward getting it done with something that hits the pleasure receptors in your brain. After a few weeks you will form an association between your practice and the joy of the reward that will make it much easier to continue.

Get rid of your excuses. Just stop accepting them as a reason to not practice. Those things will happen, getting in your daily work does not have to be impacted by them.

Time Well Spent

Every one of us has responsibilities that demand our attention. We also have goals that we desire to achieve which we also need to time to pursue. Add on sleeping, eating, body maintenance and a little time for enjoyment and relaxation; and what you end up with is more hours than there are in a day.

If you feel like you are spread too thin; that you cannot possibly get everything done because days are too short; then it will help to consider how well you are spending your time.

Do you feel engaged in an activity, or are you coasting through it on autopilot? Furthermore, is it physically or mentally demanding? Can you combine two activities because one is physically demanding and the other is mental? I.e. Could you work on flexibility while listening to a podcast?

Do you treat time as a finite resource? Are you efficient in your endeavors? Using television as an example; set your DVR to record a program and then start it late so that you can skip the commercials (which usually take up nearly one-third of the viewing time).

Become more efficient in your day-to-day life for more productivity without needing to sacrifice things you enjoy. Revisit this theme every few months and you will gradually refine your activities, enabling you to get more out of the time you spend.

Feel Better Every Day

You had to learn to crawl; to stand up; to walk and then run.

Use it or lose it. It’s not just getting old; it’s getting worse.

Movement is a skill that gets better with practice. It gets worse with misuse (incorrect form) and inactivity. Pain is a signal that your body is being damaged. If you experience pain during or after movement – even up to 2 days later, then you are not moving correctly and need to retrain the technique.

Practice, practice, practice. The bad news is that you will never be done training your body. The good news is that the better you practice, the better you feel. Not just today, but every day.

Finding Your Way

Every one of us has a road to travel, but we cannot perfectly follow in the footsteps of another.

Look for teachers. Look for individuals who have succeeded as both an inspiration and a guide that can help you with part of your journey. Keep your eyes open for ideas that can be applied to your endeavors; but there is no blue print that tells you everything that you need to do, because no one else is exactly like you.

When you succeed, remember that your experiences may help others, if you share them.

Make Your Dreams Come True

“Think before you act.” We’ve all heard it before, and we’ve heard it for a reason. And whatever your dream, you need to think it through.

A well-thought plan will often succeed where nothing else can. But time and again, we become paralyzed by the thought process. We try to create perfect scenarios for success. But those scenarios only happen in dreams, the real world is far from perfect.

If you wait for the ideal moment, you’ll wait forever. Remember to follow your thoughts, your plans, with action. Take step after step, it gets easier as you get going.

DREAM big. THINK critically. PLAN well. Then ACT accordingly.

Stand Up for Yourself

How much time do you spend sitting?

How often do you stand up?

There has been a cultural shift to a sedentary lifestyle. We live in a time where the majority spends a greater amount of time sitting rather than actively moving. Unfortunately, this puts a lasting strain on our bodies that makes it harder to move in a correct manner; and can lead to pain or stiffness in the legs, back, shoulders, or neck.

Make a point to stand up and move around regularly throughout the day. With just a few minutes spent standing out of every hour; you can impact the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time, and your body will thank you for it.

Ready for Spring?

The weather has been getting warmer and spring is approaching. Many people are already out running and biking, on court and field, or at the driving range. Are you ready for Spring?

Whatever the sport, your body will thank you if you gradually ramp up your activity level from its current level. Start with drills that remind your body of what it will have to do when you compete. Make sure to take a rest day if your body gets really sore from the movements that it is not used to.

If you took the winter off and have just started to be more active, or you are about to start, take ten minutes a day to work on basic exercises.
You can focus on the motions that mimic your sport; just make sure to cover all of the basic movements of your body – push, pull, bend, twist, squat, and lunge.