Friday, September 01, 2006

Lose the WAIT -- plan a healthy fall

I have loads of good info to share this week, especially in the "feel good about your life" arena (my favorite!)

The learning-junkie that I am, I just returned from a conference in Boston. I heard Jim Collins of business book fame talk about differences between Good and Great. Jim is from the social sciences world, but has published bestsellers on how businesses and non-profits can apply social science research results to move their organization from Good to Great.
Funny how many of his principles also apply to moving our personal lives from Good to Great. Here are my favorites:
1. "Who's on the bus is more important than where the bus is going"
2. The "Don't Do" list
3. The signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.

First, "Who's on the bus." In this world of goal setting, strategic planning, forecasting, and Outlook-ing our progress, it's interesting to me that WHO we work with, WHO we hang out with, and WHO we collaborate with will make more of a difference in our success than what we plan.

Think about how many people you are around on a daily basis that are a positive influence on your health. As I've told most of you "You live in one of the fattest cities in America. You're going to have to be unique in your habits and decisions or you're going to be fat too."
Still believe that. More than ever. Make a list of your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. How many of them have you shared fattening meals, Bunko binges or happy hours with? How many of them have you taken a walk or exercised or played a game of tennis with? There's your proof. It's simply not in our Midwestern culture to socialize in a healthy way.

Which leads to another Angela-ism about exercise class: you simply have to surround yourself with healthy people if you want to be healthy. And realistically, we will always have a number of people we love who choose unhealthy lifestyles, so it becomes critical to spend time with people with healthier mindsets.
So here's my plug: fall sessions of Equilibrium start soon, have you registered? The walking club this Saturday -- is it on your calendar? Who's on the bus that shapes your personal life? Put some inspirational, happy-to-be-healthy riders in a few of those seats.

The "Don't Do" List
I'm a child of the late eighties & nineties, of goal-setting and day planners and To Do Lists. And several lightbulbs went on this week when I realized that I need a different list. A "Don't Do" list. Things I need to learn to automatically say "NO" to.
We know women aren't good at saying no. And if we were to be really honest, the real confession is, we think we are more loving and more caring if we are one of those women who can't say no. I mean really, what kind of heartless witch can tell the PTA "no?" It's just pat on our own back to say that we can't say no.

Here's the kicker: the person you really need to say NO to is yourself. Yes, you.
Yikes. Discipline. Reality.
But it's true. Say no to ice cream at 9:00pm. Say no to that urge to turn on the TV and veg for a couple hours. Say no to a Saturday of retail therapy. Go for a long walk instead and feel better financially and physically. What you don't do is as critical as what you do.

The signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.
You just have to show up. And keep showing up. Over and over again. And it might be that you drop 20 pounds in three months, but it will probably be that two years later you'll be eight pounds lighter. But that's eight pounds lighter, instead of the five pounds you had been putting on each year. And the alternative? The alternative is to keep getting more tired, more depressed and yes, more fat.
And be careful not to take this idea out of context -- you're going to miss exercise. Maybe for a couple days, maybe for a couple months. The key is to start again. That's how you create consistency. Just show up.

The other important thing I learned at this Boston conference was how procrastination can kill our best intentions. Do you know the basis of procrastination? Procrastination has it's roots in one of four things:
Fear of not knowing what to do.
Fear of success.
Fear of failure.
Fear of being uncomfortable in the short term.
See a pattern here?

Put fear in it's place: make a plan, make a choice, follow through. Action is the perfect antidote to fear.
Remember the title of this email and Lose the WAIT.

A couple announcements:
1) There is a complete list of Equilibrium class times & locations available on the website. (Note to new readers: anything underlined or in color can be clicked on and you'll be linked to more information.) The popular Equlibrium times fill up first, so please check them out and get registered.
2) Next Wednesday, August 30th, I will be doing a workshop "Lean Legs & Core." This is a strength training workshop from 6:30 - 8:00pm and includes a CD of all the 100 exercises we will learn. If you need some variety, this is a great place to get it. Contact me for more information.
3) To better accomodate those involved in Liberty's Fall Festival, we are changing our faux half-marathon to Saturday, Sept 30th at 6:00am. Still could use some water volunteers!
Create a healthy day~
Angela Broderick, MA