Tagged: exercise

No Resolutions

A few years back I created this post and it seems like a good time to remind you all to embrace the new year, and renew your motivation to change or meet goals you want to achieve. Set yourself up in a positive way and perhaps this time, you’ll accomplish more than any year prior!

Every year thousands of us make New Year’s resolutions that 99% of us break or don’t complete. Most prevalent are goals to lose weight and get in shape. But just like the chronic cigarette smoker who knows that smoking is bad but can’t stop because they’re addicted, losing weight and getting into shape needs more motivation than just your brain saying (along with everyone around you) that you need to do this to be healthy.

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When you’re in the thick of it, the last thing you want to do is stop doing something that seemingly makes you feel better (i.e., smoking, eating that pint of ice cream, drinking that bottle of beer). Even though you know that these choices are not in your body’s best interest, your brain is used to these comforts to deal with life’s stresses.

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This is why we fail at new years resolutions. They’re made because it’s traditional to make them not because we have complete conviction behind the need to change. So, while the concept of a resolution is good – setting goals and starting them on a pivotal date – there is clearly not enough motivation placed on these goals to sustain our focus, and motivation is key!

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So how then do you get and sustain true motivation? That, my friends, comes from within, when you are truly ready to acknowledge how unhappy you feel in the physical condition you’re in. It’s not about needing to get healthier for someone else; it’s not about wanting to feel sexier or more attractive; it’s not about wearing a different clothing size. It’s about YOU wanting to be different. YOU wanting to end the depression that follows you around because you feel unattractive or don’t have the energy to keep up with your kids or friends.

If personal changes are important enough to you, nothing will stop you.

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Once you want the change for reasons so strong that nothing can deter you, then it instantly becomes a goal you can achieve. You don’t need a date on the calendar to get your started. You don’t need an extreme diet. You don’t even need a personal trainer (did I just say that?!). All you need to keep your desire for change always in the forefront of your brain. What do you stand to gain by this change. Don’t focus on what you’ll lose (energy, clothes, life) – focus on what you’ll gain. Gaining something is actually a stronger motivator than losing something.

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So enjoy the holidays and your New Year’s celebration, but skip the resolutions. Instead contemplate what you want to gain and how badly you want it. Then go get it!

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(And of course, if you DO want a trainer, or a tailor-made workout routine created by a professional trainer, give me shout. I’m here to cheer you on and help you stay focused!)

Why Am I Still Fat?

In the last couple of weeks, at least three people (ranging from acquaintances to friends) have shared their frustrations with me about still “being fat” despite strictness of diets and/or hours of cardio and resistance-based workouts, wearing Fitbits, parking further away, taking the stairs, etc.

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I too would be frustrated if I was that diligent with my nutrition and exercise and didn’t see a difference.  But (no pun intended) what I know that they do not is that there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to successful reduction of body fat. Further, there’s more to it in many cases than just restricting and/or burning more calories. One must factor in emotional stress, sleep-deprivation, physical stress, illnesses, food allergies (that you may not be aware of), thyroid malfunctions, etc. etc. etc.

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A more important concept to me is that our society on the whole needs to look at fat differently. The World, and especially America, considers FAT unattractive. However, a huge majority of our population is visually fat and many have successful careers, happy marriages, are physically active, and live long lives despite their physical condition so what does that tell us?

Fat in foods is still widely misunderstood by most people – if avocado and peanut butter is okay, what’s wrong with butter and cheese? Sugar is still not really acknowledged as being one of the largest culprits in epidemic obesity, yet it is. Carbs are considered evil, yet I challenge you to get through a workout without them.

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Internally, there are obese people who do not have high blood pressure or diabetes. Conversely there are “skinny” people who have dangerously high cholesterol or digestive issues that cause them to not absorb essential vitamins and minerals from their nutrition.

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So in answer to everyone who has ever lamented why am I still fat I say look at your life as a whole entity, one in which every nuance plays a part in your physical health and body composition. There are so many negative “life” aspects that can affect your body:

  • High stress levels at work
  • Emotional stress at home
  • Illnesses, injuries, digestive or auto-immune disorders, cancer
  • Lack of sleep
  • Eating too fast
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Over-exercising (yes that’s a thing)
  • Not exercising enough or effectively
  • Eating out too much
  • Yo-yo dieting
  • Worries about money

and the list goes on!  Take stock of what’s going on in your life that might truly be sabotaging your efforts to be healthy inside and out. Then try to improve as many of these aspects as you can, or at least improve your perspective.

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What ultimately should be your focus is: (1) are you able to do what you want physically (strength and endurance)? and (2) are you surrounded by people who love you and find you beautiful from the inside out? If the answer to both is yes, then who gives a hoot about the fat?! If they’re no, then work on fixing that (i.e., focus on building strength and endurance, not fat loss, and surround yourself with more appreciative and quality people).

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In the end you’ll either successfully reduce your fat levels because your life isn’t fighting you on that goal, or at least you’ll realize that you’re healthy and happy so who cares about the rest.

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Mother or Martyr

Even before I became a Mother, as a personal trainer and life coach I was very passionate about helping women not be martyrs just because they had children (and spouses). Knowing from first hand experience (my childhood) that a women could be a mother and still achieve her career goals and have a personal life too, I always had the perspective that being a mother did not have to end my time as an individual who has interests, hobbies and needs.

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Clearly I had (have) a remarkable mother who demonstrated through her actions that you can be a woman and a mother, so in 2005 I wrote and published my first book: Joan of Arc Is Dead. A Wake-Up Call For Women Who Sacrifice Too Much. Now 10 years later I find myself coaching a new crop of clients regarding this same issue. The chronic complaints I hear range from “I have no time to work out,” “my spouse and I haven’t been on a romantic date in months,” “I miss hanging out with my friends or shopping without the kids in tow,” or “there’s no time for me or my needs.”

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In answer to all these complaints I say rubbish. YOU have set up your lives to place the needs of the children/spouse before your own. Many life coaches and self-help gurus utilize the analogy of airline safety instructions as an illustration of why this habit is detrimental. They say: place the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth FIRST, then assist your children. The reason for this is that if you pass out from lack of oxygen you’re no good to your children. Well it’s the same in life – if you are over-fat, over-stressed, unhealthy and/or (most-importantly) unhappy, what good are you to your family?

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More significantly, what are you teaching your kids (especially daughters)? We tell our children they can be anything, do anything they set their minds to. But our actions as martyring mothers suggest that once you become a parent, those things you had passion for take a back seat to the needs of the child. If I were that child, I would wonder why bother pursuing my goals if once I had a child I had to stop participating in things I enjoy.  Clearly there are times and situations that choices made by all parents put our needs last, but if you are consistently harried and/or angry that your needs and wishes are not being met, you must look at yourself for the responsibility.

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Now if  you’re yelling at your computer screen that there’s absolutely no room in your life for YOU, let me share my Mother’s journey (in brief).  She was abandoned by my father and left with two children in a rented house in Los Angeles, her college degree unfinished, in the 1960’s when divorced women were not often welcome in most other women’s homes (for fear she would steal their man). She went on to complete her Master’s degree at UCLA, then obtain Ph.D. from USC (on a full scholarship) all the while working two jobs. On a shoe-string budget, she fed us (healthy choices I might add), clothed us (often sewing our clothes), kept a clean house, was always on time, and still managed to go out once or twice a month on dates. Although my brother and I were “latch-key kids” I always felt my mother was there if I needed her and she taught me how to cook, sew, clean, spent time making arts and crafts with us as well as reading books with me. So I think if she can do it under those circumstances, you can do it!

The easiest and best first step is to begin (or resume) exercising. Choose a time and whether it’s a gym or at home, let the entire family know (including yourself) that this is a non-negotiable appointment for YOU. No matter how tired, you must push yourself to keep this appointment with yourself and trust when I say that after a very short period it will become easier and the rewards are huge. From fat-loss to mood-elevation and stress reduction – you and your family will gain huge benefits from these results.  I understand that many of  you juggle school-age children with a full-time job, and that you honestly can’t imagine squeezing one minute nonetheless an hour out of your jam-packed schedule.  But I promise if you stay open to the concept, and you can find ways to put your needs and wants into the family’s schedule.

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So the next time you lament that you didn’t get to do something you really wanted or needed, stop and remind yourself that the quality of YOUR life matters too and it’s all in your capable hands.

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Accept it, or Fix it.

In our ever-increasing attempts to be politically correct in this Country, we have started utilizing colorful adjectives to describe someone who is what we used to call “fat.” Over-weight, big-boned, large, hefty, heavy, full-figured, thick, heavy-set, etc. are now the less insulting ways to describe someone who has a larger percentage of body fat.

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But I think we’re wrong to do so. It’s simple, you are either proportioned evenly (regardless of your height, weight, and build) or you have too much body fat. The body (and what it weighs) consists of muscle, bone, fat, organs and water. None of us are shaped perfectly and none of us ever stay exactly the same shape as we age. There are healthy fat people and internally-fat skinny people. I only care that an individual can perform anything they wish physically (like dancing or simply walking up stairs) and that they suffer from as little stress as possible in their lives, while enjoying a mix of healthy and fun foods and experiences.

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With this said, my point today is that I hear many clients and people on social media lamenting that they are fat, over-weight, uncomfortable in their size and clothes, or worse yet, have physical limitations and/or illnesses due to their increased body fat. What irritates me about this is that a predominant amount of people complain repeatedly, yet do little to nothing about it.

Sure they’ll attempt a diet, a new exercise routine, or hiring a trainer such as myself. But within a matter of months, their willingness to do the work – and I know it’s hard work for most – dissipates. Pretty soon, they’re eating less often again, more high-caloric fattening foods, and the workouts trail off to once a week or none.

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My personal philosophy on ADULTS is that as long as you’re happy, and not achieving that happiness at the detrimental expense of someone else, then just be happy. If you’re not in imminent danger of dying, if you are okay with being less able to do certain things physically, then I say accept your condition and enjoy your life. There’s nothing wrong with being over-fat outside of your shortened life span and inability to experience certain life joys. There are plenty of people who find an over-fat mate sexy and attractive. There are plenty of over-fat people who are not suffering from health related issues, and can dance all night long. Right on, I say!

But the chronic complainers who chronically will do nothing long-term to fix their issues should – well to be blunt – fix up, or shut up. Yes it’s a huge commitment to change the way you shop, cook and eat food. Yes, it can be inconvenient to your schedule to work out for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times a week. But the results can change what you’re complaining about, and in a relatively short period of time in the grand scheme of things.

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So if you really want to change – and make it a permanent one – then do it. I have faith in all humans to achieve anything they set their minds to, and I support anyone who earnestly tries. If you prefer fast food diets and couch-potato lifestyle, do so with all the lust for life that life deserves – and enjoy!

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Which Cardio Equipment Is Best For You

Cardio – you either love it or you hate it. If you are a constant follower of this blog you’ve already learned from me that unless you enjoy the feeling like a hamster on a wheel, 20 minutes three times a week on any stationary cardio equipment is enough to be effective for most fitness goals.

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If you are an outdoor running or cycling enthusiast, then you can stop reading this blog today and go out and run/bike. But if you are like me and oblige the cardio gods with a weekly dose of walking or climbing in place, then I’ve a few tips to help you decide which cardio equipment is best for you and your goals.

Treadmill Walking with Incline

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PROS: Low impact; keeps you into the fat burning zone; great at toning and lifting the glutes.

CONS: Slower on calorie burn than other options; not good if you have balance or feet pain issues.

Treadmill Running

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PROS: Burns lots of calories (depending on length of run); great way to tone legs; indifferent to the weather outside.

CONS: High impact; hard on joints; puts you into an anaerobic heart rate level which does not burn as much fat as aerobic levels (like you’ll achieve walking at an incline).

Elliptical w/Swinging Arm Handles

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PROS: Low impact; stable; incorporates upper body toning; burns fat calories.

CONS: Can be boring with so little variety in how to use the machine; easy to not push yourself so you won’t burn fat effectively.

Stationary Bike

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PROS: Can be a great cardio workout (aerobic or anaerobic) if you alternate between hills and flats and keep the tension ramped up; great leg toner too; low impact.

CONS: Very easy to just “cruise” and burn very little fat calories; risk of thigh chaffing and numbing/irritating of the glutes.

Stepper/Stair Climber

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PROS: Low impact, easy to maintain fat burning zone.

CONS: Not easy to find proper form and hence high risk of hyper-extended elbows and excessive knee pressure (my least recommended equipment).

Step Mill (Gym Escalator)

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PROS: All the benefits of walking a flight of stairs, but you can’t stop and rest; great way to get and stay in your target heart rate zone; offers different ways to step (sideways, backwards) which tone entire lower extremities.

CONS: All the benefits of walking a flight of stairs … but you can’t stop and rest; not good for weak knees; doesn’t offer any upper body toning.

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No matter which you choose – and of course my recommendation is to choose a variety throughout the week – try to stay in your target heart rate (THR) zone for 20 minutes to gain the maximum fat burn. If you don’t know what your THR is/should be ask a trainer at the gym, or write to me.

No go burn some fat, get some tone, and get on with the rest of your day!

When Fad Diets Happen to Good People

I’m still shocked these days to find a plethora of fitness-minded individuals still placing value in fad diets. A week does not go by where I don’t hear someone dissing carbs, or talking about how drinking hot-lemon-honey-cinnamon-cayenne water helped them boost their metabolism. Facebook, Pinterest and other social media sites are littered with the next best superfood that we should O.D. on. On my Tumblr account this week I slammed the photo below for promoting the idea that a single food can burn belly fat.

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People people people, listen to me: no one food, or food combination will help you get those six pack abs – especially as a stand-alone concept. Granted, if you eat foods that build muscle and help your liver to keep sugars under control ALONG with consistent and effective exercise (resistance training and cardio), you will burn fat from your body. But let me also remind you that there is no way to spot reduce the fat from an area of your body. While you can tone specific muscle groups, where your body burns the fat from is still more random than you might think. If you radically curtail your food consumption while over-ramping your calorie burn, you will lose fat, but you will also lose muscle and more importantly, the fat may come from other areas of your body before the desired zone (i.e., your face or bosom before your belly or butt).

I know that all of this stems from society’s desire to do things quickly — see results fast with as little work or discomfort as possible.  Unfortunately life has proven repeatedly that, as trite as this personal trainer common quip sounds — NO PAIN NO GAIN is reality when it comes to changing your body.  That doesn’t mean abusive pain, but it does mean giving up a quantity of things you love and keeping your body moving despite soreness.

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Once again I want to remind all of you that fad diets do not work – or rather do not work for long. As I stated only last week (Success Comes with Consistency) diets are temporary. But fad diets are worse because they strictly restrict what you eat, forcing your body to try and obtain a full range of nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats from a very limited source. Their failure rate is even higher than a simple calorie restricting diet because most people find the limited fad-foods boring within a very quick period.

So back away from that Pinterest post that claims you can lose 5 lbs and increase your metabolism by eating grapefruits, almonds, and green tea exclusively for a week. It’s not worth it even if it were to work, because as soon as you reintroduce all the other foods you still crave, the 5 lbs will return, and your body will be pissed off at you and likely not let you lose 5 lbs the same way again.

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If you want to change your nutrition in a permanent way, I’ve given you lots of tips within this blog, and I offer a very affordable meal plan that will be customized to your lifestyle, and food tastes (Workouts247.com). Now go eat something healthy and stop starving your body!

Why Can’t I Run?

When it comes to running, there are two types of people in the world. Those that can and those that can’t.  Surprisingly it’s not always about the shape you’re in or your size that controls your ability to run. I myself, a lean fit personal trainer, find that running is agony, both physically and mentally. Yet I ask myself repeatedly why can’t I run?

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Obviously, the answer is I can run.  It’s all about my mental state.  So a few years back I focused my training on a 5K and did the work required. I was able to run a 5K.  But I hated it! There was no endorphin high, there was no elation at the finish line, there was definitely no wanting to do another.

I had, of course looked at reasons beyond my mental perspective. I have knees and feet weakened by years of being a dancer.  My muscle composition is predominately fast twitch muscles which are better suited to short quick bursts of speed and heavy lifting. (Slow twitch muscles work better for extended exertion, i.e., long distance runs.)

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But these reasons were irrelevant.  What mattered is that I felt running was an important factor to my overall fitness and it was my weak link. Now I well know that there are many other ways to burn as many or more calories than running that are low impact and even take less time. Yet there’s still something about running, and being a runner that I craved.

In talking with my friends and clients, I found I wasn’t alone in this way of thinking.  Runners (and their bodies) are highly admired in our society.  The Greeks created the marathon as a glorifying proving ground to one’s strength and stamina.  It’s no wonder we all want to run.

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But knowing what I do about physical fitness, as well as my own abilities to achieve what I set my mind to, I decided that it was simply ok for me to not be a runner. Jogging to clear one’s mind was great for Forrest Gump, but it doesn’t work for me. I can get my ya-ya’s out at the gym curling 30 lbs, I can met my aerobic needs dancing Zumba, and I can have great legs and endurance by walking on the treadmill at a steep incline while holding hand weights. Once I shared this sentiment with my clients, many enthusiastically relaxed on their own self-imposed ideals that they needed to run a marathon to prove something.

So for those of you that are runners, that enjoy running, and that can: we non-runners salute you, and will happily wave as you run by.

The Gym – Friend or Foe?

It’s almost summer, and the gym is packed. Every year gyms enjoy the “seasonal” membership cram session from March through August as everyone attempts to put their bodies into pool-side shape.

gym1Some of you clearly enjoy your daily hour spent strolling on a treadmill (at a steep incline while holding on is a stroll not a workout) while reading a magazine or catching up with friends on your cell phone. Then a quick 20-minute saunter through the resistance machines circuit and you are out the door, certain you have done your part to lean down and tone up.

Conversely, there are those who begrudgingly speed through a haphazard routine of machines and cardio equipment, all the while looking discouraged and bored. But still, you persevere because as we have all been told, and now believe, exercise is the road to body perfection, good health, and long life.

There are also a handful of dedicated “gym-rats” who love their 1-2 hours of daily assault to their muscles and challenges to their cardio-vascular system. But for the most part, the majority of gym members say they force themselves to workout, but wish they could obtain their exercise another way.

gymequip1Now depending upon where you live, there are a myriad of wonderful choices that take or keep you outside having fun while exercising (biking, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, running, etc. But for those in Cities/States where outdoor activities are limited in the 100+ heat of summer (Arizona, Nevada) or the -10 degrees of winter (Alaska, Minnesota), the gym is often the only choice. Whether you view it as friend or foe, the gym is an easy, self-contained, climate controlled environment to help you change your body, so embrace it and get it done – quickly, efficiently, and enjoyably.

Below are a few points that will hopefully make the gym a friend to you all:

1.   Exercise in your target heart rate. Everyone has a different Target Heart Rate (THR) depending on their Resting Heart Rate and their age. You may have noticed each piece of cardio equipment has a THR chart broken down by age (in increments of 10 years). These charts show percentage zones, the lower being the “fat burning zone,” the higher an “endurance zone.” Understand that these charts are very generic and only slightly helpful. Most trainers who work at your gym should be able to give you a more precise THR for you to aim to achieve proper fat burning.

If you perform cardio at a rate too low, i.e., you can carry on a conversation or easily read a magazine, you are doing nothing but burning a few calories which you will regain upon your next meal!

If you are performing cardio at too high a rate, i.e., you cannot talk without gulping for air, and are panting profusely. This means you are likely out of your fat burning zone as well, and therefore, defeating the purpose.

gymequip2.   Effective Treadmill usage. How many of you walk on a treadmill for 40-60 minutes? How many of you are noticing only slight changes to your body from this activity (or no further changes after an initial weight loss)? Consider that after 3 weeks of the same activity, your body’s progress plateaus. Also consider that you could spend half that amount of time, and be twice as effective in seeing results! Wouldn’t you prefer that? If so, here’s a tip:

Keep the treadmill on manual mode. Every 1 minute change either the speed or incline (or both). Once you have reached your THR goal, yo-yo the speed and incline to maintain that THR within 15 degrees (i.e., if your THR is 150, stay between 145 and 160). Next, most importantly: do NOT hold on! If you have balance issues, or are briefly checking your heart rate, then please grab a handle. But all other times, holding on is a huge crutch and wastes your time.

Twenty to thirty minutes of walking at a steep incline (not holding on) at a speed that is slightly challenging but comfortable, combined with moments at a much lesser incline, but a faster walk, and even throwing in a few 1-minute sprints (as fast as you can run with no incline) is the best way to make the time fly, (and be effective too). This approach also has great toning effects to the back of your legs and buttocks.

3.  Ellipticals. Aside from monitoring your THR, the only change I might suggest for your elliptical use is to alternate backwards and forwards every other minute. If there is tension or angle that can be changed, change them as well – continuing to alter something and your direction, every one minute.

4.  Stationary Bikes. Pick a different pre-programmed mode each time you ride, and try standing up while you pedal for brief periods (on an upright bike), or changing seat distance on a recumbent.

GymEquipment25.  Weight Lifting/Resistance Training. Change your routine every 3-4 weeks. Alter the order in which you perform your exercises. Make the weight lighter and perform more reps, or heavier with less reps. Increase your sets. Always, make sure you are challenging yourself to complete your reps and sets. Fifteen minutes of muscle exhausting focused work beats 30 minutes of exercises where you barely break a sweat.

If you can commit to one hour, five times a week, you may indeed see the results you crave. Needless to say, a personal trainer is a great way to get proper focus, direction, and instruction but if you are motivated enough, you can do it yourself.

Also, do not forget that your approach to exercise is only as successful as your nutritional intake (remember five meals, small quantities of good quality foods, less sugar and fat, and lots of water, etc.) Healthy nutrition (what and when you eat), management of your stress, and the proper amount of rest/sleep will also help you achieve your weight loss goals (nutrition alone plays a 70% role of body fat reduction).

If you incorporate these tips, your gym visits may be shorter and more satisfying, not to mention more effective! Once you see/feel changes to your body, it becomes easier and more satisfying to go to the gym.

(If you would like to have a customized workout routine designed for you by a trainer, visit www.workouts247.com where for a fraction of the cost of working with a trainer, you can receive a personalized routine catered to your tastes, time availability, and equipment preference, as well as a customized and easy to follow menu plan.)

Change is Good

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Change is scary.  Change is inevitable.  Change is good – when we make it happen.  Nothing ever stays the same.  Change is a fact of life that starts the minute we’re born. The question is, do we fight it, do we become victim to it, or do we grow and learn?  There are three basic types of life changes that we deal with at any given time.

Change that is thrust upon us;

Change that happens around us which we then evolve with; and

Changes that we actively create or pursue.

It is this third type that I wish to address.   Changes that we make happen.

Creating a major life change is simultaneously the most intimidating and rewarding experience.  To dream of a goal, set on out the daunting path towards it, and then, often against many odds, achieve it – there’s nothing more satisfying.  Unfortunately, more often than not, nothing comes of those dreams.  Why?  In a word, fear: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection.  Those fears manifest in excuses such as not enough time, not enough money, or lack of confidence.

As a Mom there’s an even bigger reason why you have not achieved certain dreams and goals.  There’s already too much on your plate!  Between caring for the kids, possibly working an additional full or part-time job (the kids are already a full time job), cooking, cleaning, running errands – Mom’s needs always come last.

But no matter how packed your world of responsibilities is, you must make time for yourself.  Not only because you deserve it, but because actions speak louder than words.  Showing your children that Mom’s time and needs are just as valuable as theirs, teaches them to do likewise when they are parents. (I’m not saying that it should become “all about you,” I’m simply advocating the personal growth and health of every individual in the household.)

Now, while you may know you need to make a change, you may not know what to change, or how to change.  The what and how are easier than you might think.  It starts with defining the what and then detailing the stops of the how.  Then all you have to do is take baby steps of action!

1.   Write down your top three goals or dreams.  Don’t judge them, or label them impossible.  Just word them simply, make sure they are a true goal you have passion for.  Be sure to always state them with a positive outcome (i.e., I want to run my own business instead of I want to stop working for someone else, or I want to run a 10k race instead of I wish I had more time to exercise).

2.   Now focus on one goal at a time.  Choose the one you feel is the easiest achieve at this time, or the one that you currently have the most passion for.  Then list the pros and cons of that goal.  The obstacles in your way are the cons, and the enrichments/rewards to you and your life are the pros.

3.   Next, place the pros list in a prominent location where you can see it on a daily basis when you need motivation.  Visualize these stated “rewards” happening to you.  Visualization is a powerful tool toward achievement, don’t underestimate it!

4.   Finally, take the cons list and tackle one obstacle at a time.  Baby steps. One obstacle, fear, or uncertainty, at a time.  Just commit to that one little change until it’s no longer in your way.  Then move on to the next.  Might take a few days, or months.  But it’s movement vs. stagnation, and it’s a positive approach to being in charge of your destiny.

Whether your goals are weight loss, improved relationships, or a change of job or career, attainment is within your grasp.  There is no failure in the attempt.  Failure is only in lack of trying.

If one thing that holds you back is money (or lack thereof), at the risk of sounding trite: where there’s a will there’s a way.  Being cash poor is not an acceptable excuse to keep you from your dreams.  Goals definitely take longer to accomplish without money, but it can be done.  Just look at millionaires like Oprah Winfrey or J.K. Rowling (author Harry Potter) who all started with nary a penny.

Lastly, to all you Moms out there, be sure to involve your family in this.  If your children and spouse understand your motivation behind this desired change, and see your conviction and passion, they will support you whole-heartedly.  Family and friends will rally to your corner if you just reach out and communicate.

If you need more specific help, find a mentor.  Someone who’s been there and done that.  Or take a class at the local rec center or community college.  Educate yourself.  One class in your goal subject can do a lot towards boosting self-confidence and progressing you down that list of cons.

Do not be intimidated.  This is your life, and it is yours to change.  Just one step at a time.  Make plans, set goals, take action.  Remember, change is inevitable.  Change is scary.  But change – that we make happen – is good!