Category: Business Development

Mid-Life Crisis Re-examined

I believe the idea of a “mid-life crises” first came into prominence in the 1970’s, stereotyped by men in their 40’s buying sports cars and/or leaving their wives for younger women. Soon women too displayed their versions, having plastic surgery on faces or breasts, and/or having affairs with younger men. This was brought about in such large numbers due to baby-boomers realizing that they had been pigeonholed by the fiercely established routines of the post-depression era generation into living lives of college, marriage, career, and retirement, whether they wanted that life or not.

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Throughout the decades this concept has changed slightly by progressing to different ages/decades – for a while people in their 50’s – now 30-something’s. I think the reason for these “crises” occurring earlier now is due to the tangential nature of our current generation.

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To me the idea of a mid-life crisis is simply the realization by someone at any age that they’re not living the life they really wanted or intended. For some, they feel unable or unwilling to manifest a significant change so they simply partake in a small “acting out” in one area of their lives. Whether it’s purchasing a sports car, obsessively picking up a new hobby, or dating multiple partners, these little actions shake things up but don’t necessarily rattle one’s entire cage. For others, a complete left turn occurs. Some go back to school, switch jobs/careers, move to new Cities or States, get divorced, etc.

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Why I’m examining this concept is that what I see since mid-life crisis became a coined term is people letting life lead them until they finally snap and decide that they want to lead their lives. Unfortunately, many people do not do this in a well-thought out manner. They react to their emotions and roll the dice taking any new direction as better than where they had been. Sadly, the new direction, while different, may be no better a fit.

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As a life coach I counsel my clients to always change what is truly not working for them (or to use a trendy buzz term “not living an authentic life”), but to do so with a plan. Soul-search and come up with what is the better choice for you and your life. Be it a new career, or a new place to live – come up with an idea and then sit with it for a little while. Mull it over, review the pros and cons. Once you’re certain, then outline the most direct path to achieving that change.

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Rocking your boat too quickly often results in too many aspects of your life spiraling out of your control. While you may want to get off the ship you’re on, you should do so in a way that doesn’t drown you.

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If any of this resonates with you, and you’d like more help in facilitating major changes in your life, please feel free to contact me.

One Week at a Time

Depending upon how jam-packed your life is, the old adage of take things one day at a time would be great advice to follow. However, for those of you whom time-management is not your best trait, I have found it a better practice to approach things one week at a time.

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Whether you’re a person who likes to schedule and plan every nuance of your life, or fly by the seat of your pants, laying out an outline of each upcoming week is essential to achieving your goals (whether fitness or life-changing). A 7-day time chunk with a guideline of plans will help those of you whose focus is normally too scattered, while not overly-restraining those who can’t handle anything but a spontaneous, go with the flow, life.

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Without some planning, fitness goals go out the window. You cannot eat right, you consistently drop workouts for other, supposedly more important priorities, and you do not get enough rest. Without a plan for steps A-Z, directing your career path (i.e., getting a new/better job), improving your financial state, and/or strengthening relationships do not have a chance of truly changing.

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The best part is that seven days is a small enough chunk that you’re likely to not be intimidated or overwhelmed by the task of planning. I’m not talking about every single hour of every day planned either. You’re simply going to place a few non-negotiable key tasks for each day. Keep your perspective that these tasks are commitments/ appointments that you’ve paid for (money is always a great motivator) and only under dire circumstances can you cancel them. By the end of one week, you’ll be pleased and amazed at how much progress you’ve made towards your goals. The next week will be easier, and soon you can fill the days with even more goal-achieving steps.  (This is a great practice for kids and teens as well.)

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So take a deep breath, and pull up a digital calendar on your computer or smart-phone and prepare to place 1-3 of these firm appointments on each of the upcoming seven days. If you’re wondering what qualifies as a “firm appointment” here’s a random, yet specific, list:

  • Workout (in home or at gym)
  • Grocery shopping (with a deliberate healthy list in hand)
  • Food prep (meals and snacks for several days)
  • Outdoor activities (exercise disguised as a play time)
  • Play time (down time where you enjoy a passion like movies or reading)
  • Connection Dates (time to re-connect with significant other and/or children)
  • Work enhancement (time spent on furthering your career via networking or studies)
  • Rest/Sleep (don’t disregard this one, it’s key to your mental and physical well-being)

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Once again I remind you that you only need to schedule 1-2 of these per day. In a 7-day period you should workout 2-4 times, while others things like grocery shopping and food prep might only need once a week.

You’ve nothing to lose except stress if you give this a try for the next seven days. I look forward to hearing your results, so be sure to schedule time to write me with your report!

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Will 2016 be YOUR year?

I posted the following article last year at this time and I dare say it bears repeating.  I made some updates to the original, but the message is still the same.  Do not let another year go by where you don’t achieve your goals and be all that you can be!  So read on, then take the bull by the horns and make 2016 YOUR year!

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The door on 2015 is closing tomorrow night and a brand new shiny hope-filled door called 2016 awaits you. Once again you face another opportunity to set goals, make “resolutions” and attempt to achieve them. Unfortunately every year many people fail at those goals within the first three months (for one reason or another), and then resign themselves to trying once more in the next new year. Well this is the year that cycle can stop for you. It’s easier than you think – here are three tips to help you achieve your goals whether they be getting in better shape (fat loss), career enhancement, or better relationships.

WORK IN INCREMENTS.

Having a big picture goal is important (losing a % of fat or scale weight, finishing courses that will enhance your career, etc.) but success is easier to achieve if you work in increments – 10 lbs. at a time, one class per quarter. Set a realistic time line for achieving each increment, make sure you have someone keeping an eye on your progress (holds you accountable), and use your phone or calendar so schedule daily time increments where you work on said goals.

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Seeing and feeling the completion of each increment and it’s furtherance of you toward your goals keeps your motivation fresh. Also, by making sure that each day you attend to those goals (daily workout, time spent on homework) it sets you into a routine that will soon be hard to ditch.

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FIND A FRIEND.

All goals in life that are worth pursuing are worth sharing. Support systems are the key to success in everything in life. As long as your goals are realistic and attainable, and cause no harm to those around you – everyone will be in your court and gladly help you. – you just have to ask! Buddy up with a friend to share weekly updates on your nutrition and exercise achievements AND set backs. Put together a group of people who are seeking to enhance their careers and have a weekly “mastermind” meeting where you help each other think outside the box and network. Schedule a weekly “catch up hour” where you and your significant other, child, or friend talk, share and reconnect.

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TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK IS OK.

Set backs are NOT failures. Life for most of us is a series of a few steps forward combined with one or two steps back. If you give up every time you have a set back, your life will stay stagnant and unmoving. Embrace the set backs, learn from them, and make sure the next set back is something different. In my experience, failures cut a path to success if you allow yourself to learn from them.

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So take a deep breath and open the door to 2015 with the knowledge that you can achieve ANYTHING you want if you simplify and stay focused. I’m here, as always, to offer my support, guidance and expertise. Happy healthy new year to you all!

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Happy or Bah-Humbug?

As the year winds down and the holidays rear their busy, caloric, stressful heads I want to take a moment to remind you to be accepting and compassionate – OF YOURSELF! Clearly all of us should be accepting and compassionate of others, but I find that so many people can give love and compassion to others but NOT to themselves. Therefore, this time of year that type of person is even tougher on themselves which leads to more stress and less enjoyment of what should be a wonderful time of year. Is that you?

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The most typical topics that we you might beat yourself up about are:

  • I didn’t reach my goals
  • I didn’t get in shape
  • I’m still at the same dead-end job or relationship
  • I have to buy so many gifts and have no money

So listen what I am yelling at you right now: STOP IT!

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If you didn’t reach your goals because you didn’t try, okay, so now you must see that inactivity and/or indecisiveness clearly doesn’t work. So find stronger motivation and perhaps an easier goal to reach (i.e., the first step towards the total end goal) and come January, get off your ass and start moving towards that goal!

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If you didn’t get in shape because you didn’t stick with healthier nutrition and an exercise regiment, again, nothing will change until you do. But you are human and not alone in this – so stop beating yourself up about it. Just follow this blog, join a gym, find a trainer, or whatever it is that will MOVE you (pun intended) toward your fitness goals in the new year.

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If your job still sucks the life out of you, and/or a relationship has run itself into the ground with no hope of revival, then decide if you’d rather be exactly where you are NOW one year from now, or somewhere else. If you can’t bear the thought of still being STUCK this time next year, then again, get off your ass and do something about it. There’s ALWAYS a choice that can be made and implemented.

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Lastly, as for the dreaded cost and stress of holiday shopping – I know for a fact that most of us would really rather spend quality time with our friends just sitting around being together, drinking wine, playing cards, watching a movie, having a meal, etc. Same goes for fun or funny homemade or gag gifts that break no one’s bank. A token present or little joke gift to remind someone that they’ve got a friend who cares is really the best gift of all. No one wants a gift when the giver has stressed themselves out over it or incurred debt. The only person who truly demands a certain amount of money spent or certain high quality of gift is usually YOU, the giver. Otherwise, they’re not a person you should be hanging with anyway.

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So do what you can to be happy and not bah-humbug this holiday season, and get your ducks in a row to hit the ground running come January. Remember, you’ve got me in your corner – I’m always happy to help keep you motivated!

 

 

 

The Benefits Of A Good Work Ethic

13 years ago when I got my first job as a personal trainer at a local 24-Hour Fitness, I was almost 20 years older than most of the other “new” trainers. Now while it may seem advantageous to be a young, fit, 20-something in the fitness industry, a huge issue quickly appeared that differentiated these “youngsters” from this “seasoned broad.” That difference was work ethic – I had one – they didn’t.

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Having no clients initially, I walked the floor, re-racked weights, chatted with people offering tips on better lifting form, spotting heaving lifters (the term for helping keep a person safe and the weights stable when power-lifting), or just introducing myself. I even took protein bars, cut them into bite size pieces and offered them as free samples – helping me to make “supplement” sales which was part of my job requirement.

All the while, my co-workers continued to stand and flirt and gawk at my attempts to garner clients. However, within a month I had a full training schedule, while others did not. My required training and supplement sales were on target too. I remember talking at length with the Fitness Manager (a man in his 50’s) who regularly wished he had five more of me.

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I was taught (as was a most of my generation and those before me) to work before play. It was instilled in me that if I finished a job-at-hand and there was more time on the “work” clock, then I better go get something else to do before something was assigned to me, or worse, that I would be let go for slacking.  Coming off of the Depression, Americans embraced working.  They were thankful for jobs and worked hard to keep them and get ahead.  But somewhere between the 1960-1980’s our society’s work ethic softened. Perhaps it was the what about me decade of the 70’s, perhaps it was the evolution of values and family structure that lead to this, but I definitely see a difference in how generations born after the 80’s view work.

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I see this lack of work ethic still in many kids, teens, and young adults. School age children are receiving more and more homework these days – and without a proper work ethic getting all that work done is bleeding into long nights and weekends. Turn-over rates on jobs from fast-food to offices are high as well because these kids are easily distracted, have poor time management skills, and are often just plain lazy (not my term, this is what business owners tell me).

With this said, I feel it is an important aspect of parenting to teach our children good work ethics, to hold them accountable for their responsibilities (homework and a few household chores), and that once they enter the work-force (no matter how young) they must be on-time, reliable, and diligent.

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With unemployment high, there’s huge competition for jobs – not just from our peers – but from other countries as well. When resumes are apples-to-apples, what can set you apart is your work ethic. Letting our youth know that it’s a matter of pride to have a strong work ethic could go far in helping all of the U.S. stay productive and competitive, or at the very least, make one individual’s career more successful.

Making The Most Of Q4

We are officially in the last quarter (Q4) of the year and like many I tend to take stock of what I have achieved throughout the year, or more importantly, what I have not.  Not everyone is as goal based as I am (more than one goal for growth and achievement always on my plate) – and that’s neither good nor bad. However, almost everyone has at least one goal nagging at the back of their head be it to get into shape or get out of a dead-end job or relationship. Year after year slips past and still you do not achieve your goal.

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Since we are in the final quarter of the year, today I’m sharing with you some easy tips to break out of the stagnation or back-peddling that has kept you from that one desire for the last nine months (or longer).

Re-Define The Goal.

People change, things happen, and we often forget to adapt our goals to the newer circumstances. So be clear on what it is you want and how it is you’ll achieve it. (For some the steps needed are what keeps them stuck as they have no clue how to define those steps. If this is you, read my other blog entries about this subject, or simply email me with your questions.)

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Simplify.

Often my clients will tell me their goals in a very long detailed sentence that can convolute the true end goal. I say slice away the fluff and get down to the nitty-gritty. Here’s an example using my career: instead of I want to stop working at a corporate gym and start working for myself with private clients where I train them in their homes, try the simpler and more accurate goal of: I will launch my private practice and secure at least 2 clients by X date.

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State in the Positive and the Now.

Using the above example, rather than stating: I want to go into private practice which still sounds like a dream more than a reality, and is future based with no time specified… I say: I WILL launch my private practice and secure at least 2 clients by x date. This way is positive (will vs. want), has a proactive goal built in (2 clients) and has a specified date (x date). I know that placing a specific date is not always achievable, but I prefer to aim with specificity than the throw things at the wall and see what sticks approach.  Also, remember when there’s a choice, always choose the path of least resistance. which is often either the most direct or the one with the fewest obstacles.

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Choreograph Your Steps.

Much like creating a dance, if you want to succeed at goal planning and achievement, you must “choreograph” (outline) your steps A through Z. Remember to keep the newly defined goal in mind, and keep each step simple and proactive. Be results driven and before you know it you will have a slew of results behind you (the steps) and be that much closer to – or actually AT – your goal.

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I welcome any of you to reach out to me should you desire a bit more advice and sage direction. Now go get your life on and enjoy Q4 of 2015. It’ll be over before you know it! (Q4, not your life! Wink.)

Deal With It Or Dump It

Who’s got baggage – and I’m not talking about luggage as you head out on a trip – I’m talking about unresolved issues or relationships that you tote around for days, weeks, and even years?  You know, those feelings of anger, depression or disappointment about something or someone that you just haven’t gotten over?

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Do you chronically complain to your friends, family, and co-workers about said issue, while never do anything to resolve it? Do you re-hash conversations and actions, constantly poking at the internal scabs? Are you in a relationship or friendship that drags you down, yet you remain intent on fixing what probably cannot be fixed?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. But the more important question is what do you do about that baggage? It’s simple my friends – deal with it, or dump it.

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Staying stuck on hurt feelings or problems results in only one thing – staying stuck. By choosing to deal with your feelings or a problem (i.e., face them, find a solution, and take action) you will bring a slice of peace to your life which reduces stress and puts you in a healthier state of being. If the situation or person is something/someone that simply can’t be dealt with – then just dump it or them. As harsh as that sounds sometimes the best solution is to walk away and remove yourself from the detrimental situation or relationship.

The excuses that will blast into your brain at the thought are normal fears because change is scary, and finances, when involved, are always a valid concern. But ultimately (forgive the trite adage) where there’s a will there’s a way.

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Start slowly if you need to; take small situations and just deal with them or dump them. Have a heartfelt conversation to clear the air, or start saying NO when facing something negative that you tend to involve yourself with out of habit. Stop being afraid to simply state your feelings and needs.

As for “dumping” a person, obviously that’s tricky but with positive motivation behind you it’s not as hard as you think. I’m not taking about simple evading tactics (not answering calls, texts, or emails), I’m talking about letting a person know that your relationship/friendship is not functioning on a healthy level, and if they’re not willing to meet you half way to fix it, then you are no longer going to participate in that relationship.

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A lot of this comes down to your willingness to just LET GO. So many of us are “control-freaks” who simply refuse to let anything go even when it’s not working. We’re certain that somehow someway we can get it right. We don’t want to be quitters after all. Yet sometimes the best choice is to quit, to walk away, let it go but not see that action as a failure. It took me many years to learn that, and now I just let the crap go and/or walk away when I realize I’m swimming against an unrelenting current.

For those of you who find it hard to not focus on the problem – work on shifting your focus onto something positive that you can control, like exercise, nutrition, or just filling your time with only people and environments that have a positive affect on your life. I am well aware that all of this is easy to say and not necessarily easy to do. But nothing worthwhile is, and I can attest first hand that with practice it gets much easier.

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So take stock, and if there’s something dragging you down – deal with it or dump it.

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2015 Will Be The Year You Succeed!

The door on 2014 is closing tonight and a brand new shiny hope-filled door called 2015 awaits you. Once again you face another opportunity to set goals, make “resolutions” and attempt to achieve them. Unfortunately every year many people fail at those goals within the first three months (for one reason or another), and then resign themselves to trying once more in the next new year. Well this is the year that cycle can stop for you. It’s easier than you think – here are three tips to help you achieve your goals whether they be getting in better shape (fat loss), career enhancement, or better relationships.

WORK IN INCREMENTS.

Having a big picture goal is important (losing a % of fat or scale weight, finishing courses that will enhance your career, etc.) but success is easier to achieve if you work in increments – 10 lbs. at a time, one class per quarter. Set a realistic time line for achieving each increment, make sure you have someone keeping an eye on your progress (holds you accountable), and use your phone or calendar so schedule daily time increments where you work on said goals.

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Seeing and feeling the completion of each increment and it’s furtherance of you toward your goals keeps your motivation fresh. Also, by making sure that each day you attend to those goals (daily workout, time spent on homework) it sets you into a routine that will soon be hard to ditch.

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FIND A FRIEND.

All goals in life that are worth pursuing are worth sharing. Support systems are the key to success in everything in life. As long as your goals are realistic and attainable, and cause no harm to those around you – everyone will be in your court and gladly help you. – you just have to ask! Buddy up with a friend to share weekly updates on your nutrition and exercise achievements AND set backs. Put together a group of people who are seeking to enhance their careers and have a weekly “mastermind” meeting where you help each other think outside the box and network. Schedule a weekly “catch up hour” where you and your significant other, child, or friend talk, share and reconnect.

bigstock-Hiker-woman-helps-her-friend-c-27176396-copy

TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK IS OK.

Set backs are NOT failures. Life for most of us is a series of a few steps forward combined with one or two steps back. If you give up every time you have a set back, your life will stay stagnant and unmoving. Embrace the set backs, learn from them, and make sure the next set back is something different. In my experience, failures cut a path to success if you allow yourself to learn from them.

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So take a deep breath and open the door to 2015 with the knowledge that you can achieve ANYTHING you want if you simplify and stay focused. I’m here, as always, to offer my support, guidance and expertise. Happy healthy new year to you all!

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