Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love Group Fitness? You'll love these sites.

Earlier in the week I shared the new site Go Recess -- and I've used it everyday since. 

If I want to do yoga at lunchtime, I simply click "Yoga" and choose "afternoon" from the drop down menu and -- Wha La! -- 17 classes to choose from appear, along with the instructor and distance from my home.

And today I've found another new site that I love!   Rate Your Burn allows students to rate and review their favorite instructors.  Yoga, cycling, bootcamps -- all kinds of classes!

Though it's only for Boston, New York and LA, it's still very interesting. (Since I visit those cities frequently, I will be using the site!)

I know the celebrity-esque of it will turn off some fitness professionals, but I love that the talented, hard-working instructors have a place to shine.  Click here to see where the site features the top trending instructors in NYC right now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

9 Beliefs of Highly Successful People

Stephen Covey taught us so much about pursuing success.  And today, on a happier note, Marissa Mayer's move to CEO of Yahoo (at six months pregnant!) has me thinking about what successful people do.

I tend to re-define success every five years or so -- important titles, salary, travel, perks, business revenues -- they've all been on my Goals list at some point.   (This post is about professional success, that in itself is broad enough to think about.)

Regardless of how you define it, those who've achieved it do have a few commonalities we can learn from.

Here's a mash-up from Fast Company, INC, and Forbes on how successful people tend to think. 

1. Time doesn't fill me. I fill time.

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.
Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.
Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.

2. The people around me are the people I chose.

Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.
You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy it's not their fault. It's your fault. They're in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you--and you let them remain.
Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have.
Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people.
Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues.

Dues aren't paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis.
Remarkably successful women don't typically feel entitled--except to the fruits of their labor.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.

You have "10 years in the Web design business." Whoopee. I don't care how long you've been doing what you do. Years of service indicate nothing; you could be the worst 10-year programmer in the world.
What matters is what you've done: how many sites you've created, how many back-end systems you've installed, how many customer-specific applications you've developed (and what kind)... all that matters is what you've done.
Successful women don't use hyperbolic adjectives -like passionate, innovative, driven - to describe themselves. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they've done.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn't just happen to me.

Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we.
Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, "My toy got broken..." instead of, "I broke my toy."
They'll say the economy tanked. They'll say the market wasn't ready. They'll say their suppliers couldn't keep up.
They'll say it was someone or something else.
And by distancing themselves, they don't learn from their failures.
Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail. Most of the time, though, it's you. And that's okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That's why they're successful now.
Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.

6. Volunteers always win.

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.
That's great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships--to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.
Success is based on action. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.
Remarkably successful people sprint forward.

7. As long as I'm paid well, it's all good.

Specialization is good. Focus is good. Finding a niche is good.
Generating revenue is great.
Only do what you want to do and you might build an okay business. Be willing to do what customers want you to do and you can build a successful business.
Be willing to do even more and you can build a remarkable business.
And speaking of customers...

8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do.

Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-my-individuality self. Be that way on your own time.
The people who pay you, whether customers or employers, earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it--sometimes down to the last detail.
Instead of complaining, work to align what you like to do with what the people who pay you want you to do.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.

Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does.
The extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.
Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don't wait to be asked; offer. Don't just tell employees what to do--show them what to do and work beside them.
Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do--especially if other people aren't doing that one thing.  And over time, that's what will make you incredibly successful.

Now, off to "fill my time!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

9 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day

Had a lousy morning?  Things going wrong everywhere?   Someone was a jerk to you?

I've had my share of these recently.  Bad news, family in trouble, work chaos, fill in the "Oh No" blank.  And I will admit, sometimes it's easier than others to turn a day around.

Typically, starting the day with exercise will set me on the right path.  But sometimes I choose to snuggle with my little girl instead of get up and hit the treadmill.  

We've all had those rough starts.  Not to worry. The rest of your day need not be a disaster. It can in fact become one of your best.  Here's some possible solutions:

1. Remember that the past does not equal the future.
There is no such thing as a "run of bad luck." The reason people believe such nonsense is that the human brain creates patterns out of random events and remembers the events that fit the pattern.

2. Refuse to believe the whole day will be bad.
If you believe the rest of your day will be as challenging as what's already happened, then rest assured: You'll end up doing something (or saying) something that will make sure that your prediction comes true.

3. Get a sense of proportion.
Think about the big picture: Unless something life-changing has happened (like the death of a loved one), chances are that in two weeks, you'll have forgotten completely about whatever it was that has your shorts in a twist today.  My grandma says "they'll never know it a hundred years from now."

4. Change your threshold for "good" and "bad."
Decide that a good day is any day that you're above ground. Similarly, decide that a bad day is when somebody steals your car and drives it into the ocean. Those types of definitions make it easy to be happy–and difficult to be sad.

Someone told me recently that "I can't feed my family" is a gripe.  

"The rosebushes in the median are way too tall" is also a gripe.  The first one is legitimate, the second is not, but they will sound the same!

5.  Feed your brain some positive inputs
Your body and brain are in a feedback loop: A bad mood makes you tired, which makes your mood worse, and so forth. Interrupt the pattern with positive inputs.  Who always makes you happy?  Call them.   Who is an incredibly funny writer?  Read something.   Who inspires you?  Find them.

6. Be grateful - in writing.
The primary reason you're convinced it's a bad day is that you're focusing on whatever went wrong. However, for everything going badly, there are probably dozens of things going well. Grab a pen, and write down everything you are HAPPY about.  This sounds so corny, but it works!

I read some stats awhile back that if the world were a village of 100 people, then:
  • one person would have HIV/AIDS
  • one person would have a college education
  • 67 people would be hungry.
I always come back to this.  How come I am the ONE with a college education? I am not hungry.   I need to pull it together and do what one of those hungry people would do if they could be me for a day.

7. Retail therapy.
Go to Target and see what you can buy for under $7.   Do not blow your budget or believe for a minute that you can spend your way to happiness. But the fact is, people overspend because it tends to give us a moment of feel-good.   Retailers know this.   It won't make you geniunely happy, but it can get you over a bad-mood-hump.  Only take $7 cash in the store with you.  Now pretend it's your allowance and go crazy.
NOTE: this advice is sure to ruffle some feathers, so please read it again -- do not blow your budget and only take $7 cash in the store.

8.  Extreme nutrition
Go get an organic green smoothie.  Or a fresh carrot juice.  It works.

9. Extreme exercise.
If you are a walker, go run your guts out.  Even if you only last 30 seconds, tear it up for until you can't any more.  Rinse and repeat.

If you work a 9 - 5 office job, I realize number 8 and 9 may require a really early, long lunch.  Take it.  Your productivity in the end will be worth it.  Tell your co-workers you have an important health appointment and get going.

Happy Day~

10 Ways You Do NOT Want to Describe Yourself

A recent Forbes post lists some words that are great when used by other people to describe you, but you should never use to describe yourself.  Here they are, with a few subtle edits by Angela (verified by the "school of hard knocks"):


If you have to say you're an authority, you aren't.

Show your expertise instead. "Presenter at SXSW" or "Delivered TED Talk at Long Beach 2010" indicates a level of authority. Unless you can prove it, "social media marketing authority" just means you spend a ton of time on Twitter.


The vast majority of businesses can sell goods or services worldwide; the ones that can't--like restaurants--are obvious. Only use "global" if that capability is not assumed or obvious; otherwise you just sound like a really small company trying to appear really big.


Most people claim to be innovative. Most are not. That's okay, because innovation isn't a requirement for success.

If you are innovative, don't say it. Prove it. Describe the products you've developed. Describe the processes you've modified. Give us something real so your innovation is unspoken but evident... which is always the best kind of evident to be.


See particular words often enough and they no longer make an impact. "Creative" is one of them. (Go to LinkedIn and check out some profiles; "creative" will appear in the majority.)
"Creative" is just one example. Others include extensive, effective, proven, dynamic, influential, team player, collaborative... some of those terms truly may describe you, but since they're also being used to describe everyone else they've lost their impact.

Museums have curators. Libraries have curators. Tweeting links to stuff you find interesting doesn't make you a curator... or an authority or a guru.

Say you're incredibly passionate about incorporating an elegant design aesthetic in everyday objects and--to me at least--you sound a little scary. Same if you're passionate about developing long-term customer solutions. Try focus, concentration, or specialization instead. Save the passion for your loved one.

Fingerprints are unique. Snowflakes are unique.   "Better" matters more than "unique."  Show how you're better than the competition and in the minds of customers you will be unique.

People who try to be clever for the sake of being clever are anything but. Don't be a self-proclaimed ninja, sage, connoisseur, guerilla, wonk, egghead... it's awesome when your customers affectionately describe you in that way, but when you do it it's apparent you're trying way too hard.

Check out some random bios and you'll find plenty of further-modified descriptors: "Incredibly passionate," "profoundly insightful," "extremely captivating..." isn't it enough to be insightful or captivating? Do you have to be incredibly passionate?
If you must use over-the-top adjectives to describe yourself, at least spare us the further modification. Trust us; we already get it.

Good information, Forbes, but that is the easy part.  It's always simpler to know what NOT to do.

But what DO you say?

Here are a couple ideas:

"Curious."    It sounds like you will seek out solutions.

"Healthy".   Taking care of yourself is en vogue (FINALLY!).

"A Dreamer."   Sounds like you want good things for yourself and your projects.  (And yes, this could just be an Angela thing.)

Angela Broderick Bedell

Thursday, July 12, 2012

multi-class website

Have you seen

My dream site!   I don't have to check seven websites to see who has lunch hour yoga and who is teaching!

You simply choose the class you want, type in your zip code and WOWZA -- a complete list!

Today, a Republican woman

This is why I have no friends in politics.

I think there are men and women in both parties who are doing very good work.   (Yes, there are screwballs too, but I choose to focus on the ones doing good work.)

Hillary Clinton is incredibly smart.  (I guess that thinking was clear in my earlier post sharing the Tumblr photo.)

I also love the work that Mary Bono Mack has done, particularly in sponsoring legislation to combat obesity.  According to her website, she has also encouraged improved nutrition programs nationwide, expanded autism research, and provided funding under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Act.
Mary Bono Mack
I have always thought it was interesting the way Mary got her job.   She was elected in 1998 to fill the seat of her late husband Sonny Bono after he was killed in a skiing accident.  

Odd, yet it makes sense.   Your spouse knows your values like your spouse, even on the rare occasions that you disagree.  Do you think your significant other knows your professional practices and values?  better than your colleagues?