If you’re daydreaming you’re not working hard enough!

Get out of your head for a minute.

So says my highly motivational spin instructor (who might not have known that gem was working till now…). What I get from that—my spin on it, if you will—is “be in the moment.” That also happens to be one of my resolutions this year.

It’s so simple, really, the idea of just being. Being present. Focusing on what is happening right where you are. Yet we are a multitasking society, so we sort of forget how to just focus on one thing. Now going back to one thing at a time has become my resolution; I bet at one point I resolved to get more things done at once! Oh well….

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Spotlight on a Fitness Girl

Jeanee’s fitness story.

At a brunch date in 2005, I listened to Karen’s stories about training clients and teaching classes in her neighbor’s loft. At the time I had a membership at the Y I rarely used, and before that, I belonged to an “artsy” gym where I exercised in spurts. Most of my workouts felt directionless, and no one cared whether I pushed myself or slithered off the elliptical machine a little early. I realized I was missing two elements that are now crucial to my exercise routine: accountability and socializing! I signed up for weekly personal training and group Pilates with Karen, because I knew she would care about me showing up, working hard, and enjoying myself.

I have plenty of body hang-ups and areas I’d like to improve, but envisioning a better figure doesn’t motivate me. The fulfilling relationships with the ladies I work out with are what get me off the couch. I have many good reasons not to blow off my scheduled workout with Karen: I know that she’s hired a sitter, that her free time is precious, and that we’re going to swap stories and laugh while I plank. I also like to attend the same yoga classes each week with teachers who take a spiritual approach. They’re almost like my gurus, so if I ditch, I miss out on wisdom I can use on and off the mat.

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Word on a Wall

Put your goals where you can see them.

Think this one through, because the answer you choose might be staring you in the face every day for a year or more. What one word or phrase should you write on a piece of paper and place on a wall at eye level so that you will have no choice but to see it every single day?

Mine: Be responsible for the energy you bring into the room. 

It’s on a small, pretty piece of paper on a cork board about 2 inches above the screen where I am currently typing. I don’t just see it, I read it, every day, actually multiple times a day, and it helps.

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My Mid-Morning Green Juice

My basic recipe for a little something green in a glass.

Throw these things in a blender, and you’ll feel amazing! Not to mention it will curb your hunger for pre-lunch snacks you shouldn’t be getting into.

  • 8 oz light/diet cranberry, grapefruit, or other juice–but make sure it’s VERY low sugar (maybe 5g). Better yet, mix a little water in with less juice.
  • A generous handful or 2 of spinach or kale (I use baby spinach or baby kale for a little sweeter flavor)
  • 4 or 5 baby carrots
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Arden’s Garden Power Fuel (or other green powder of your choice)
  • Handful of frozen blueberries, mangoes, strawberries, or other fruit
  • 1/2 to a whole banana (to your taste!)

If you leave out the frozen fruit, just make sure to add some ice for texture. Play with the ingredients a little and you’ll find a blend that tastes just right to you. Enjoy!

Aim High, but Be Realistic

When the fear of “things staying the same” surpasses the fear of “failure,” stuff happens. 

So what are you afraid of? I’m hoping it’s more of the same. What IF you register for a 5K three months from now even though you are not currently in shape? What IF you commit to a workout class once a week by pre-paying even though you’re “uncoordinated”? What IF you decide to finally let the youthful, energetic person buried deep inside you out to shine? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

It’s so easy to let your life slide into auto-pilot. Every morning, coffee, cereal, grab your bag, go to work. What’s the point? Have you heard this: Try something once every day that scares you. That means give your life purpose. Reach for new heights. Stop letting fear hold you back.

After all, if you think about the reasons why you haven’t yet made the call to the personal trainer, or signed up for that 5K, they really are pretty silly. They probably go something like this: I don’t know how we’ll coordinate a time with my busy schedule. Or, I’m so out of shape, where would I begin? Or, What if I can’t finish the race? I have answers for all of those, as I’m sure you expected. A) There’s always time for exercise, even if you have to get creative. B) If you’re out of shape, there’s only one way to get in shape, and that’s to get started (we all started somewhere…). C) Who cares? Walk if you can’t run. Do your best. You will never regret having tried. And how fun will it be next year when you look back at that first 5K and laugh at how hard it was back then?

So I say aim high. Set goals for yourself. Real ones you can measure. But go for it—don’t be easy on yourself. Working toward big goals gives us a reason to get up in the morning. It makes the routine bearable because there are bigger things going on that are yours alone to hold close. Ask yourself what accomplishment you’d like to be able to say you achieved this year, and then let it be known that that’s what you’re working toward. Set your fears aside and watch what you can do!