Monthly Archives: April 2016
Monthly Archives: April 2016
We all have goals. In fact, goal setting is an important process. If you have a strong commitment, then your goal is the map to your success. When we have goals, and are then able to meet those goals, we experience a great sense of accomplishment. This often pushes us forward to wanting to meet an even greater goal. But how do we set goals to maximize our opportunity for success?
First, you need to look at your life in a more strategic way. Think about what you really want out of life. If your goals are not congruent with what you want, then achieving that goal won’t have much meaning for you. And what would be the point of that? If your goal doesn’t fit your life, you’re not going to be passionate about it and are less likely to follow through.
A strong goal is a SMART one. Goals should be:
Specific – The goal should have a direct link to something you want to accomplish. It’s clear cut and finite.
Measurable – The goals should have a metric or milestone so that it’s clear when you have reached the goal.
Achievable or Attainable – The goal needs to be something that is within your capacity, though it should certainly be something that stretches you.
Relevant – The goal has to matter or make a difference to you. This will cause you to be motivated to stick with it.
Time-bound – The goal should include a specific amount of time within which you’re aiming to achieve it.
Do your goals have all five SMART elements? If not, what’s missing? If you need help fine tuning your goals, visit www.older.fitness/goal to sign in and receive a free worksheet to assist you in your goal setting.
We know we need to eat good food, but how do we shop for good food? First, we must examine what exactly is good food, as there are many different definitions. Perhaps the most important criteria is the food’s nutrient density. This refers to how much minerals and vitamins are in that food. Find foods that have good nutrient density, or a good ratio of micronutrients relative to the amount of calories.
You should also consume a good mix of food. This includes different types of food having a varied mix of nutrients. This will include foods of different colors, shapes, and tastes. Be knowledgeable about the source of your food. Often times, the further the food has to travel to get to you, the more artificial protection it may need. It also may not be grown to maturity. The soil in which the food is grown is also important. A healthy soil with little to no fertilizer content will positively impact the nutrient density of its food. Similarly, animals that are cared for in a positive manner will yield a high quality of meat, milk, and eggs.
The appearance, smell, texture, and taste of the food are all important markers. You want to be sure the food is free of chemicals or any toxins. Read the labels and look at the ingredients. This will help you make an informed decision about which products to consume.
Now that we know what good food is, how do we shop for good food? Remember that very little food in a box is actual food. Recognize real food as something that was picked. Look for organic food, or having no hormones, fertilizers, or insecticides. Look for local sourcing. Farmer’s markets and farms are wonderful places to find locally grown food. Have a conversation with the farmer and find out how they’re managing their crops. You can even try growing your own food. By having the knowledge of what foods to consume, you can take appropriate action in finding those foods, thereby setting yourself up for success with healthy eating.
Should you do 30-day challenges? If you have an interest, there are quite a few to choose from. Just hop on the internet briefly to see the wide range of options. Challenges for crunches, sit-ups, pushups, and lunges—the list goes on and on.
These challenges may sound intriguing. There’s no doubt that they have the potential to be beneficial. After all, anything that gets you moving, working, and focused on getting something done can do wonders for your health and mindset. There’s also an interesting accountability aspect to these challenges. You’ve committed to 30 days and theoretically, you’d like to complete this manageable goal. It’s especially beneficial if you can participate with a friend. This gives you a partner to hold you accountable. Your motivation to complete the challenge, coupled with consistent, daily activity, has the potential to build a positive habit.
However, you must be clear on your health and fitness goals to determine whether one of these challenges really makes sense. If you’re interested in improving your kayaking, participating in a push-up challenge may not correlate directly with your goals and may not be worth your time and effort. You must also consider your plans for the conclusion of the 30-day challenge. Are you looking to make it an ongoing habit? If not, then it may not be worth pursuing. What happens if you miss a day? Some people may just quit the challenge entirely. If you tend to give up easily after a slip, again, the challenge may not be worth your while.
So, should you do 30-day challenges? If you’re committed to health and fitness and have a challenge in mind that is aligned with your goals, then a 30-day challenge might be a good fit. It may help you build positive fitness habits and can put you in a better health position over time. However, if the challenge is not aligned with your goals, you may want to pass.
Today we talk with Deborah K. Heisz, author of Live Happy, Ten Practices for Choosing Joy. She, along with founder Jeff Olson, leads the company that produces Live Happy, an award-winning bi-monthly print and digital magazine, Livehappy.com and Live Happy products.
We discuss with Deborah how we normally approach happiness as a destination or an end point. Conventional thinking is that if we are successful, we will be happy. It is the search for that destination, and when we finally arrive there, we believe that end point will make us happy. However, we should flip our thinking and approach life with the attitude that we should be happy now, as it is happy people that then find success.
Deborah’s book outlines ten practices to live happy along with stories that parallel those practices. One of her favorites is to reflect at the end of the day by writing down three positive things from your day. By making this practice a habit it positively changes our attitude.
The great thing about happiness is that it also correlates to our health. If we don’t make our health a priority really cheats ourselves and everyone around us, but it is usually what busy working parents do. By not doing that, it affects both our mental and physical health. Small, incremental changes to the way we think and approach both happiness and fitness leads to positive attitudes and adoption of positive habits.
Learn more about Debra Heisz through her website, books, blog and podcast. Debra is featured on Live Happy Now, a weekly podcast featuring uplifting and unique interviews with researchers in the field of positive psychology, practitioners and experts on their own personal happiness journeys. Join her in the movement to make the world a happier place, and let’s live happy!
It’s inspiring to see people having success in their weight loss and fitness journeys. However, it can be deflating upon realizing that what works for them doesn’t always work for you. Why is this? Truthfully, you may never get the same exact results as someone else, even if you follow the same plan. However, that’s no reason to quit or stop before you’ve even started. You simply need to readjust.
Genetics can play a role in this scenario. However, it’s the way that the genes are expressed that causes the differences in results among different individuals. The way you react will be different from the way someone else reacts. Most of the diets out there don’t work for the majority. Have you ever seen the fine print that says, “Results are not typical”? This is their disclaimer.
Your gut biome also plays a role, and again, everyone has a different one. Realize that you are essentially a chemical reactor made up of hormones and chemicals. The food you eat is the fuel that ignites these reactions, and the quality of that food will make a difference. It most certainly can impact how you feel, as well as your overall health. One good idea is to get a blood test before starting a diet plan. This will give you a good baseline understanding as to how your body is currently functioning.
Trying an elimination diet is another good technique. This will allow you to eliminate all foods that are causing you problems. Start by removing sugar, then gluten, and so on, until you are only consuming the bare essentials—meat, fish, and vegetables. See how your body is feeling and then slowly begin to reintroduce the other foods into your diet, one food at a time.
While it’s true that what works for them may not work for you, you can find what does work for you. Try different options, focus on what you can control, and stop comparing yourself to others.