Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Reflections of 2016

I don't know about you but this year flew by fast!  So much went on around the world it's hard to think what to cover in this post....

2016 in Review



  • Group Exercise Instructor and Wellness Coach certifications
  • Soft launch of the Brand New Me Wellness Coaching Programs
  • Announcing the launch of Fit Indy Parties 
  • Hired on at the Baxter YMCA as a Wellness Coach on Wednesday nights (stop by and say hi!)
  • Purchased a tablet and laptop
  • Enjoyed Fitbloggin'
  • Walked in The Great Pumpkin Run


  • Finding the elusive first paying client (the only goal I did NOT accomplish this year)
  • Gaining back ~30 lbs
  • Making the decision to quit Beachbody since I had no clients 


Looking Ahead to 2017



For 2017 my focus is on relationships.  According to Jennifer Dunham's Happiness Quiz I crave improved relationships, with both family and friends.  There are two aspects of this for me.
  1. Heart Happiness (aka romantic love):  Greater relationship satisfaction, feeling Benny is there for me.
  2. Family/Friend Happiness:  The fundamental need to belong.
Relationships with potential and actual clients will also come into play.




I shared my main business goals on Instagram during The Recharge Challenge.

To work on these goals I could use your help.  Please share this little video clip with your networks.
Now that the presents are bought for everyone else it's time to invest in something for yourself. I'm looking for 5 women in the US aged 40-60, who are looking to kick off the new year on a journey to discover their brand new healthier selves. 

Please complete this form to schedule a Wellness Strategy Session.  Together we can find your path through exercise, healthy eating, personal development, and self care.


At my physical earlier this month my doctor said he's OK with my weight being up but my clothes are too tight.  So one of my goals is to lose the ~30 lbs I've gained back.

As you may or may not know Benny doesn't work and hasn't since he came here from Germany to marry me.  He tried to run a flea market type shop early on in the marriage but that failed miserably.  He has not tried to work or find employment since and, as far as I can tell, has no legitimate reason why.  On top of that Benny's not supportive of this whole coaching business, thinking it's a fad and not my passion/purpose, telling me I have to quit.  This has created much tension that occasionally bubbles to the surface, greatly decreasing my heart happiness.

Normally for improving heart happiness Jennifer recommends things like
  • Hug your spouse when they get home every day.
  • Go to bed together each night at the same time, even if you aren’t tired.
  • Set aside 10 minutes each day to simply sit and have a conversation with your spouse.
  • When you feel angry at your partner, practice the habit of breathing and counting to 10 before speaking. 
  • Actively replace critical comments with supportive, loving words.

Some of the things she has recommended for me:
  • Start happy every morning.  What the heck does this mean?  Starting out your day with a positive attitude sets the tone of the rest of your day.  So while you brush your teeth or shower, set your intention for the day.
  • Create a safety net.  A safety net is used so you can bounce back faster when negativity or difficult situations arise throughout your day.  I call this your “Recovery Plan”.  You can re-program negative thoughts by actively thinking ahead of time of how you will react. 
    By reacting differently to and handling the situation with your planned reaction it will deflate the situation before it turns negative. So plan ahead to all the things your hubby might say when you ask him to do something and attempt a different reaction.
  • Learn a new language.  I don’t mean that you will literally go learn German, Spanish, or Russian.  The language you need to learn is what you tell yourself.  Nine times out of ten, we tell ourselves things that just aren’t true.  We only speak them to ourselves because it’s been a habit for too long.
  • Every night, while you brush your teeth or put your PJs on, practice appreciation.  While writing down gratitude or appreciation is suggested, it’s not necessary.  So long as you make it part of your happiness practice as part of your nightly routine, you will end happy.
  • Plan 1x per month do a day trip 

Family & Friends Happiness is the necessity for people to belong and feel happy together. We don't have any local friends to hang out with since the Bible study I was involved in disbanded.  I did sign up for my first book club but am waiting to find out where it'll be held before I commit.

Examples of what to do to improve family & friends happiness:

  • Leave a note for a loved one to surprise them each week.
  • Smile and give direct eye contact when talking to your family and friends.
  • Make a habit of thanking someone with a hand written card as soon as possible after they give you a gift or do something for you.
  • Choose to stay in regular contact with your family/friends and to see them frequently. 
  • Create special traditions that involve your friends or include them in family

How was 2016 for you?  What are some of your goals for 2017?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Wear A Posture Brace and Make Your Back Worse?

With so many people sitting in front of a computer all day, it makes sense that they will spend a good amount of time seeking out ways to improve posture. They usually start off the same way, trying to remember to have good posture.

When that doesn’t work, they start scouring the internet looking for gadgets that will make them have better posture – and the posture brace will soon look like a tempting option. But don’t make that mistake!

Here’s why a posture brace can’t possibly give you better posture…

Wearing a brace for extended periods of time won’t make your muscles stronger, it will only make them weaker. Sitting in front of a computer all day makes the muscles in the front of your body short and tight, while making the muscles in your back long and weak.

The only way to really make positive posture changes is to stretch the front of the body and strengthen the back, but what do most people do? They pull their heads down and then they bend over to stretch out their back.

They are stretching areas that are already too long!

Then you add in the posture brace. Let’s say your back is functioning at 100% strength and then you add in a support like a brace. It increases the “strength” of your back to 110% and you feel immediately better, so you start wearing the brace all day every day.

Your muscles will begin to weaken at a pace of about 1% each day. Just a week later, you need the brace just to feel like your back is okay. Soon after, you’re fully dependent on the brace just to get through your day and you’re back to the internet to seek other options.

Here’s what you should do instead…

Start working on improving your posture through posture exercises. Not sure where to start? Try doing the opposite of what you do all day. Do you sit hunched and rounded in front of a computer? Then you’ll need to spend time stretching your chest and the front of your body.

A simple and effective exercise is one commonly referred to as the “superman” exercise. That’s when you’re lying face down on the floor with your arms extended in front of you. Then you slowly lift up both arms, both legs, and your head as high as you can go.

Initially, it won’t go well. Your muscles are likely very weak! You’ll be doing great to just get in about ten repetitions of each movement. After a week or so, you should be able to feel that your muscles are getting stronger as you are able to do more reps without taking a break.

The key is to go slowly and build up over time. Doing a little each day is better than trying to do 100 repetitions and then not doing the exercises anymore. It took a while for you to notice that your posture was getting bad because it didn’t happen overnight.

It won’t take years to fix your bad posture, but it will take more than a day!

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, TX and a 1997 graduate of Parker College of Chiropractic. He is a speaker on health and wellness topics with a focus on spinal care and posture. He grew up in Glendale, Arizona and practices with his wife, Dr. Natalie Cordova at CORE Chiropractic. Click Here to Read Dr. Cordova's Full Bio

Monday, December 12, 2016

4 Ways to Increase Your Confidence

One of the most powerful assets in your mental arsenal is to increase your confidence – to feel good about yourself so that you can attract the things you want and so that you can give off an aura of being in charge and being passionate about what you’re saying.
But if you’re naturally someone who struggles with self-confidence, how can you simply ‘switch off’ that self-doubt and become more confident. Confidence is what turns thought into action – which is kind of what we’re all about. 

Understand What Confidence Is 

Confidence is a very broad term that gets thrown about a lot with careless abandon. This is a bit damaging because we tend to think of it as a single term that encompasses so much about who we are. We either have ‘good confidence’ or we have ‘bad confidence’.
In reality though, confidence is much more contextual than that. You can be confident in one domain and you can lack confidence in another. Maybe you think you’re ugly but you know you’re a fantastic writer – does that make you confident or not?
So you can make yourself confident simply by focusing more on the things you’re good at in order to spend more time ‘at the top of your game’. At the same time though, you should also make sure you remember that your ability can improve in most areas. If you think you’re ‘bad’ at something, then remember that you’ll get better with practice and that everyone is bad to begin with. We’ve seen how neuronal connections strengthen as they fire and this is how you can become great at any given sport or activity over time.
What about your looks? Well, you can improve those in a lot of ways too. But it’s also useful to remember that everyone is different and that beauty is a very subjective matter. If you focus on your good qualities and own what you’ve got, you’ll be attractive to a lot of people. 

Take Challenges 

As mentioned, it’s useful to learn and to develop the things you’re not good at. This is why the hypothesis testing to become socially bulletproof is so useful – you’re exercising your social skills, just like you exercise a muscle.
As you get better in these areas, you’ll find that your confidence naturally improves because you have more strings to your bow and fewer areas that you consider to be flaws. But more important than this even is the psychology of simply trying new things and taking on new challenges. Each little ‘win’ will flood your brain with positive hormones and reward you and that will make you more inclined to try again. Try learning small things like juggling or learning to count in another language, each time you have a little victory it will improve your confidence and help you become better at taking on newer challenges.
Meanwhile, the failures you encounter will help to make you more accustomed to sometimes picking yourself back up and more desensitized to the feeling of failing at something. Again, this builds confidence.
If you’re looking to increase social confidence and self-worth, one of the very best things to do is to throw yourself into a challenging and outward-facing job. You’ll then have no choice but to make calls, great clients and learn new things and each time you do, your esteem will grow. 

Visualize Success 

Before trying something new, visualize yourself succeeding. This can help you to activate brain areas as though you really had succeeded and that will help to quash any doubt and boost your confidence. You can enhance this further by listening to some empowering music and reminding yourself that it’s a challenge and not an obstacle.
Better yet, if you keep practicing this it can eventually become habit – meaning that you’ll automatically visualize yourself succeeding in future when taking on any new challenge! 

Power Poses 

Power poses are positions you hold that have been shown to boost testosterone and thereby confidence. Try standing up and holding your arms over your head in a ‘V’ shape as though you had just crossed the finish line in a race. This is a universal stance that symbolizes success and it can really help to increase your drive and determination. 

Invest in You 

Finally, invest in yourself. If you treat yourself well for long enough, you will feel as though you deserve to be treated well. What’s more, wearing nice clothes, maintaining good health and having a great home all help to build that internal picture of who you are and give you more self-esteem. It’s not a waste of time and money to buy a good suit – it’s an investment.
Next week we'll talk about staying positive.

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.