Monday, December 5, 2016

Know What You Want & Go After It



In the last couple of chapters, we’ve focused on using CBT to reduce stress. And we’ve seen how this can indirectly lead to advancements in your career thanks to things like the law of attraction.
But what about motivating yourself toward something? What if you’re not frozen by fear and stress but simply by tiredness and indifference? What if you don’t know what it is you want out of life, or how to structure a goal so that you can get there? You can’t very well work toward what you want when you don’t know what that is! 
The first thing we’re going to do is to introduce just a very subtle shift in the way you approach these ideas. And specifically, this will mean having a vision and not a goal.

What is the difference between a vision and a goal?

A vision is much more abstract but at the same time, more tangible.
A goal is to lose 15 lbs in 10 weeks. A vision is to be the same you, but fitter, healthier and more attractive – running outdoors with a healthy looking tan and waking up every morning with tons of energy to get up and attack the day.
Which of those things is more motivating? For most people, the answer will be the vision.
The other great thing about visions is that most of us already have them, even if we don’t know it. If I ask you what your goal in life is, then you might not be able to answer. But if I ask you to just imagine your perfect life, then you might find it easier to do. Perhaps you’re sitting on a beautiful beach somewhere? Perhaps you’re living in a massive mansion? Maybe you’re rich in a skyscraper somewhere?
If you’re still struggling to come up with a vision that you can work toward, then some other questions to ask are things like: who are your role models (and what do they have in common)? When was the last time you were truly happy? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
It doesn’t have to be super concrete – wanting to be rich, wanting more time with your family or wishing you weren’t at work is fine! And if you do have something really concrete – wishing you were a famous rock star – then that’s fine too.
From here, the next thing to do is to take that vision and break it down into steps. This is another important point and it’s once again something that a lot of people get wrong. If you are working toward a goal rather than a vision, then you might, as per our previous example, be working toward losing X amount of weight in N amount of time.
This is a fine aim but it’s far too distant and too outside your control to be useful. When it comes to the crunch and you need to force yourself out the door to exercise, it’s all too easy to just tell yourself you’ll catch up on what you’ve missed later. You end up putting it off or making excuses and by the time that amount of time has passed and you haven’t achieved what you were hoping, you just feel disappointed, disheartened and possibly depressed. Eventually, this leads to you giving up entirely!
So instead, we make steps toward our vision. This means coming up with a plan first and often you’ll find it’s easier than you think to accomplish the impossible – it just requires a bit of creative thought. For example, if you want to be a rock star you might take a less obvious route such as creating your own YouTube channel and posting your music regularly. If you build up a big enough following and you have enough obvious skill, then eventually this is highly likely to lead to an offer for a recording contract!
In other scenarios it might be a very easy set of steps – in order to lose weight you might eat no more than 1800 calories every day and workout five times a week for 30 minutes. If you want to write a best selling novel, your goal might be to wake up one hour early and write for 40 minutes before work.
These are now incredibly simple steps that are highly within your control. You either fail or pass but it’s entirely down to you. And if you do fail? You can simply try again the next day. Each day is a fresh challenge and there is no putting things off. Ultimately, this makes a goal much easier to stick to – especially if you use the chain technique a lot of people use: creating a string of X’s in a calendar so that you will find yourself not wanting to break the sequence by missing a workout or writing session!
This will seem detached from the goal at times but if the steps are good, then taking them every single day, week or month on a consistent basis will mean you’re getting gradually closer to your aim.
Now all that’s left is to motivate yourself and to get yourself in a mind set where you’re willing to put in the time and work to get to where you want to be. How do you get yourself to get out of bed to go for a run at 5am when it’s pouring with rain outside?
The answer is that you need to use a slightly altered form of CBT by focusing on the emotional reasons behind what you’re doing. In other words, you need to think about the vision and you need to feel the vision. This is what will give you the release of the correct neurotransmitters to have the motivation to do it. You can also focus on what it is you’re trying to avoid.
So if you’re thinking about running in the morning and you can’t find the willpower to do it, the answer is just to make the connection in your mind so that you link that step to the outcome you want. Visualize that version of yourself who is fit, healthy and ripped and picture yourself running in the sun during the summer. Think about how it feels to never have this low energy and think about the alternative – getting gradually less and less fit and feeling gradually worse and worse with nothing that you can do to fix it.
And if you try this a few mornings and you find it doesn’t work, then another consideration is to try setting yourself up some kind of video or script that you can read or watch when you wake up to do that for you. Feel the emotion, know that the step you’re considering is what can get you there and then take the next step!
Next week we'll talk about increasing your confidence.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for Fitpreneurs




Fitpreneur n A person who is growing or has grown a business out of their passion for healthy living, fitness, and/or wellness. 


If there's a Fitpreneur in your life you might want to create a gift basket for the holidays.  This allows you the freedom of choosing any items you want for the basket instead of just buying a single gift.  Here are some different items that are $50 or less you can include in a gift basket.


General Fitness Gifts


Cooling Towel


When someone goes to workout, they usually need to bring along a towel. They will need a towel at home, on a hike or a long walk, and when going to the gym. You can provide them with a new towel that is soft, absorbing, and even cooling. There are some excellent towels out there made from microfiber that also contain cooling fibers to help them cool off if getting hot and sweaty from their workout. It is an excellent addition to any fitness gift basket.

Gift Cards



Remember when you are putting together a gift basket, there is nothing wrong with including some relevant gift cards or gift certificates. These can each be a smaller dollar amount, such as one for a local spa where they can get a massage after a marathon, or to local sports supply stores where they might want to buy fitness equipment. You can also get a gift card to a local fitness store that sells clothing, supplements, and protein powder.


Armband



Fitpreneurs that do outdoor workouts, such as hiking, running, or cycling, might need a good way to carry personal items. An armband really is a great purchase. There are now armbands that can hold smaller items they might need, but don’t want to keep in their pockets, such as a cellphone, ear buds, credit card, ID, and some cash. They can also put their house or car key inside the arm band and always have it right there.


Blender/Shaker Bottle



If your Fitpreneur often drinks protein shakes, then they will love getting a blender/shaker bottle in their gift basket. These bottles have a small blending blade or ball inside, so that they can add the powder, water, and other ingredients right to the bottle, close the lid, and shake it up. The blades and balls will blend up the ingredients without using electricity or having to use their home blender. It is so easy, perfect for travel, and small enough to fit in a gift basket with other items.




Gifts for Hikers


Collapsible Water Bottle



Hikers need to drink plenty of water when they are out, but they can’t always bring big bulky water bottles that are going to add extra weight to their pack. A better option is to get a collapsible water bottle. These bottles are really lightweight, BPA-free, and better for the environment. As long as the hiker also has something with them to get clean water from lakes and streams, they can add the clean water to the collapsible water bottle. When they are done with it, it folds up and fits easily into their pack without added weight.


Hiking Bell



For Fitpreneurs that hike in mountains and heavily forested areas, one of the main dangers is bears and other wildlife. You might want to include some safety items in their hiking gift basket, such as a bell. These are bells that have a unique sound to scare off bears specifically, one of the more serious wildlife dangers to a hiker who is out without protection. The bell can be put in their pack or on a string around their neck so that it is available in a hurry.


Foldable Wine Bottle



Not only are there collapsible water bottles, but the same thing with wine bottles. If your Fitpreneur is someone that likes more casual hikes just to catch the scenery, they might decide to set up picnic with a loved one or close friend. The foldable wine bottle lets them pour wine into this bottle, bring it on the hike, then fold up the bottle when they are done and put it in their pack. When the hike is over, they are saving some weight in the pack, which is always welcomed.


Backpack



You can get a really good quality hiking backpack for the gift basket to put all of the different items in. This turns the ‘gift basket’ into one where items are actually in the backpack itself. The recipient now has a fun gift that shows you understand what their interests are, and they also have a new hiking backpack to try out. Plus, these are large bags so you can fit quite a few items inside.


Gifts for Runners


Massage Items



One thing most runners have in common is having sore and tired muscles. Whether this gift basket is for someone who regularly runs marathons or they just started a new running workout routine, they are going to have quite a bit of body soreness. There are a few different types of massage gifts you can put in the gift basket. The first is to simply get them a gift certificate to a local massage place you know they like to go to, or something like SpaFinder.com where it works for different spas. Another option is to add items they can use for home massages, such as muscle rub or a handheld massager for their neck and back.


Ear Buds & Headphone Accessories



Your Fitpreneur who is a runner probably likes to listen to music or another type of audio while running, such as an audio book or podcast. The problem is that regular headphones or ear buds fall out once they start running fast. You can include some ear buds meant specifically for the active lifestyle, which have a unique design to remain inside the ear and wrap around the ear to be held into place. With these, you can also include some other audio accessories, such as an armband that holds the phone in place.


Running Belt



Something every runner should have is a high-quality running belt. These are definitely gaining in popularity more recently as people want to carry more with them while they run, such as their cell phone and other accessories. You don’t want to go running with your car keys and wallet in your pocket, but putting these small items in a running belt definitely helps. It isn’t like a big bulky fanny pack that slides around and bounces up and down while running. Running belts are designed to remain in place, be lightweight, and not get in the way of the run.



Glow-in-the-Dark Accessories



For someone running at night, the main danger is that others can’t see them. Aside from wearing reflective clothing, they should also wear something on their body that glows. A good idea is to include some LED armbands that will glow in the dark. These are lightweight and just go around their ankles or wrists, making it so others on the road can see them running at night.




Gifts for Swimmers


Shampoo



This might seem like a weird item to put in a gift basket, but it is actually really helpful to a swimmer! They often need to wash the chlorine out of their hair, so by adding a chlorine-removal shampoo to the basket along with other things, you are saving them a small purchase and an extra trip to the store. This can turn into a swimming basics gift basket with things like water-resistant sunscreen, towel, flip flops, and other swimming essentials.


Swim Bag



For the basket itself, consider instead using a swim bag to put items in. Not only will it be large enough to fit all kinds of swimming essentials and gifts inside, but the bag itself doubles as an extra gift. Plus, when you use an actual swim bag as the basket for a gift basket, you know what items are going to fit inside, so they make good gifts for a swimmer.


Underwater Camera



This is another excellent idea for a Fitpreneur who swims, particularly people who also like to swim for fun. If you know someone who swims in the ocean or swimming pools, they might want to bring along a camera for underwater selfies and to take pictures of fish when swimming in the ocean. There are plenty of disposable cameras that are waterproof and can go under the water. You can also get a digital camera or case for a camera that can handle water. Plus, some Go Pro and similar devices have waterproof cases.


Custom Towel



Another thing every swimmer needs is a really good towel. You can include a towel in the gift basket, but instead of just choosing any generic towel, buy a really high-quality one and personalize it. Choose an oversized, soft, and plush towel that will get them dry but also be warm if it is cold when they get out of the pool. You can personalize it with anything from pictures to their name or even a quote they are often repeating. There are a lot of different directions you can go here.



Gifts for Pilates Pals


Socks



Start out your gift basket by including something every Pilates enthusiast needs; sticky socks! These are often used by people who do Pilates and yoga, as well as any other floor work exercises. Since Pilates is usually done on hard floors or tile, it gets slippery. This can make it difficult for them to gain their composure, causing them to slide around when trying to focus on a movement. With the socks, they keep their feet warm, but they also have sticky bottoms so their feet grip the bottom of the ground a little better. They are usually inexpensive so a good option for gift basket.


Back Bag



Your Fitpreneur that likes Pilates might not do the workouts at home, but actually head to a local gym that has classes or a Pilates studio. This means they need a good way to bring their mat and other items needed for the class. Instead of getting them a gym bag, you can get them a back bag. This type of bag fits better with the natural curvature of the spine, so it keeps strain from their back and shoulders. Instead of putting the items into a basket, you can actually put all the little gifts inside the bag for the ‘gift basket’.


Clothing



If the Pilates gift basket is for a Fitpreneur you are close to and you know their size, some clothing is a great option for the gift. It gets expensive when you keep buying new pants, shirts, and other clothing items, so if you can help them out, that’s great! Even simple items like yoga pants or tank tops are really good. Just remember with the tops that they move around a lot, so get criss-cross straps that won’t keep falling down.


Foam Roller



This is a type of roller that is often used in Pilates classes. You can usually find the foam rollers in fitness sections of most retailers, especially those that sell yoga or Pilates accessories. Foam rollers are moderately-priced and should fit into a larger basket or inside a Pilates bag if that is what you are using as a basket.




Gifts for Yogis


Yoga Mat



Naturally, one of the best gifts you can include in your gift basket is a yoga mat. However, if your Fitpreneur participates in yoga on a regular basis, they probably already have a yoga mat. Instead of just choosing a generic one, try to make it special. One way is to have one personalized, such as with one of their favorite images, or by personalizing it with their name or a saying they often repeat. Another option is to get them a travel yoga mat, which is great for when they are traveling.


Sling Sandals



An item that tends to be popular for people who enjoy yoga and sling sandals, often referred to as yoga mat sandals. These aren’t just any style of sling sandals, but labeled for yoga because they are actually made from the same material that yoga mats are made from. People can walk around in these sandals and feel the support and comfort of a yoga mat underneath their feet at all times. It is an excellent gift to include.


Headband



Another thing that yogis often need are headbands, and they can never have too many of them, so no need to worry if they already have one. You want to look for a soft and stretchy fabric headband that he or she can wear on their head to keep hair out of their eyes and sweet away from their face while doing yoga. There are a lot of great ones out there, from solid colors to vibrant patterns. You can get one really nice one or add a few of them into the gift basket with some other small items.


Clothing



As far as yoga clothes go, there are a few things you can buy for a Fitpreneur and include them in the gift basket. You might not buy yoga pants since you don’t know their exact size, but it is usually easy to find a sweater that would be their size. Choose a loose-fitting and flowing sweater they can wear over their yoga clothes when heading into class.




Gluten Free Gifts



It can be hard following a gluten-free lifestyle, especially when so many holiday gifts are filled with treats that person is unable to eat. When your Fitpreneur is gluten-free, it helps to create a gluten-free basket with things they can actually use or consume for this type of lifestyle.


Pasta & Sauce



One good idea for a gift basket for a gluten-free Fitpreneur is to put together an entire meal for them. This can be the theme of the basket, where you provide a box of gluten-free pasta, some gluten-free pastasauce, and even bread or rolls that you made yourself and also don’t contain any gluten. You can stop there or add in a bottle of wine or other beverage without any gluten in it, some plates and cutlery, and wine glasses of course. It is a really fun and unique idea.


Reusable Food Containers



Something most gluten-free individuals have in common is that they have to cook more meals at home. This often means being left with leftovers and wanting to prepare meals ahead of time for lunches and traveling snacks. Reusable food containers really come in handy, whether making lunch for the next week or just putting away leftovers and having the meal another night of the week. You can get an entire set for a big gift basket or just throw a few small ones in that they can use.


Cookbook



For someone who might be new to the gluten-free lifestyle and was just diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or allergies, you can get them a cookbook. They might not know much about this diet or what they can have, so get a cookbook or two and add it to the gift basket. It is not only a fun gift, but practical and helpful as well.


Loaf Pan



Another thing that people on the gluten-free diet have in common is often making their own bread. Most store-bought bread contains gluten from wheat and other grains, and the gluten-free bread is limited and doesn’t always taste great. They might be making their own sandwich bread and other bread at home, which requires the use of a loaf pan.


Food Delivery Service



You can get your Fitpreneur a membership to a delivery service that offers a gluten-free menu, or just give them a gift certificate for one so they can choose the service they prefer. This is good when the recipient has a night where they don’t want to cook and aren’t sure what to do about a gluten-free meal.




Low Carb Gifts


Putting together a gift basket with low-carb goodies is the perfect gift for a Fitpreneur who follows this type of lifestyle. The holidays can be difficult because a lot of gift baskets and stocking stuffers contain chocolate and other treats that someone on a low-carb diet is not supposed to have. 


Don’t forget to add some low-carb goodies to the basket, whether they are store-bought or homemade. Put in some beef sticks and cheese, or make them sweet treats that are also low in carbohydrates.


Fruit Preserves



When a Fitpreneur is on a low-carb diet, it is not quite as limited as some of the other diets, like paleo or keto, but it does require watching their carbohydrate intake. A good option for a treat that is low in carbs but also delicious is to provide them with some homemade fruit preserves. You just don’t want to use sugar or artificial sweetener when making it to make it healthier, but instead rely on the natural sweetness from the fruit itself. Jam and preserves is great on some low-carb biscuits, which you can also make for the basket.


Bakeware



If your Fitpreneur is fairly new to the low-carb diet, then they might not have everything they need in the kitchen in order to make homemade meals. You can help out by putting a large gift basket together with tools, cookware, and smaller gadgets that can be used for preparing meals. A good option is to get some smaller bakeware items and put them in the basket. The silicone bakeware is great because it is flexible, lightweight, and easy to use. If they want to make healthy low-carb donuts, a silicone donut baking pan is an excellent product for the gift basket.


Immersion Blender



Another small appliance that your low-carb Fitpreneur might like added to their gift basket is an immersion blender. This is a small, handheld blender that does a lot of the same work a blender and food processor can do. Plus, it is lightweight and very easy to travel with. If they don’t have a large kitchen and no room for a big food processor, then the immersion blender will be perfect. Think about some foods that someone on a low-carb diet might want to make, such as their own mayonnaise or salad dressing. The immersion blender is perfect for these types of things.




Paleo Friendly Gifts


When someone is on the paleo diet, it can help to give them cooking accessories, tools, and even food items that they are able to eat. One option is to put together a gift basket for them that includes items they could use and/or eat. 

 

Fun Cooking Tools



If your Fitpreneur is following the paleo lifestyle, they are probably doing a lot more cooking. With the paleo diet, it requires avoiding pre-packaged, processed, and fast foods, and trying to eat clean and whole foods as much as possible. This allows them to know exactly what is in their food and be sure they are sticking to the paleo lifestyle. With this comes a need for cooking tools. You can always add some fun and colorful cooking tools to their gift basket, such as the brightly-colored silicone tools that are becoming very popular.


Prepared or Homemade Treats



Since it is a holiday gift basket, they might be missing out on treats others are enjoying during the Christmas season. You can provide them with some treats you either made yourself or that you purchased. You just need to look up the rules of the paleo diet so you know which ones they can have. Many foods will now say if they are paleo-friendly, or you can find some recipes online. For example, you can prepare some candied nuts that don’t contain sugar, but are made with healthier ingredients.


Seasonings



Another good addition for the gift basket is a pack of seasonings. Since the paleo diet relies on a lot of meat and vegetables, try to choose some seasonings that will work for these types of meals. This might include chili seasonings, jerk chicken seasonings, or different types of Italian or spicy seasoning blends. It allows them to have blends of seasonings that work with different types of foods, whether roasting vegetables or making steak.





Selection of Nuts



A really popular snack for paleo Fitpreneurs to enjoy is nuts, provided they aren't allergic. They are allowed on this diet, healthy, high in protein, and low in fat. Nuts are also great as travel snacks, so if someone you know travels often and is also on the paleo diet, this can be perfect. Put together a nice mix of nuts, such as cashews, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans. Most on this diet leave out regular peanuts, so decide against those.


Whole 30 Gifts


Baked Goods




The first thing you can include in a Whole30 gift basket is some type of baked goodies or treats you have prepared. Try to use a Whole30 cookbook or a website specifically for whole food recipes. This ensures the recipe you are using is completely Whole30-approved. The reason you should include a good item or treat is because when on this type of diet, the recipient might get bummed by not having a lot of treats they can enjoy. It gives them something delicious they can actually have. There are lots of alternative variations of favorites, from ‘fudge’ to whole foods cookies.


Cookbook





You will find a lot of excellent cookbooks for people on a whole foods diet. There are a handful of official Whole30 cookbooks, including The30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom and The Whole30 Cookbook both by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, the creators behind this diet. Then you can find cookbooks on general whole foods diet, such as 30 Day Whole Foods Cookbook by Olivia Starr. These books are all on Amazon, but you can also find books at other retailers as well.


Fitness Tracker



If you don’t mind spending a little more on the gift basket, you could always include a fitness tracker, such as a Fitbit. It doesn’t have to be this brand or this cost either; you will find a lot of excellent fitness trackers of various price ranges. Someone on the Whole30 diet might also be trying to lose weight and get healthy, so a fitness tracker is a good way for them to get started.

 

Thermos



An item you might not have thought of for a Whole3- gift basket is a thermos. The reason this is a good idea is because in the colder months, your friend or relative probably drinks quite a bit of broth or whole foods-approved soup. They can drink it on the go with the nice thermos you include in their gift basket. You can also add in some seasonings they can use to make their soup, such as little jars of pure flake salt or smoked chili pepper.

 

💃🎅 Anything catch your eye to give to your favorite Fitpreneurs?