How to create your goals so you’ll stick to them…

As you scroll through facebook on the first week of January you watch as everyone is picking themselves back up after the holiday splurges and rejoining the gym or nutrition program.  This has become standard in our fitness industry.  Everyone knows that January is the best month for new memberships because of this widespread motivational wind that takes a hold of everyone and blows them into the gym again.  According to a recent study, there are about 40% of Americans who make a resolution for the new year.  Only 8% of those actually stick to them.  Why is it so hard?  Why can’t you just make a decision and stick to it?  It all comes down to the “Power of Now”.  When we make our resolutions we are excited to know that our ultimate goal will be achieved.  Starting to work on this goal is simple.  We take the first step and join the gym or start reading that book we have bee putting off reading (whatever your goal is).  What follows after those first couple weeks is where it gets ugly.  Self satisfaction kicks in and sitting on the couch after a long days work and watching our favorite TV show seems more “comfortable” at the moment.  Or those donuts on the counter at work look so amazing you have to have one.  It’s immediate satisfaction that derails our efforts.  It takes this deep motivation, in the present moment, to counterbalance all the present-moment factors that would make people recoil from it.

*Keeping a daily journal helps keep your eye on the prize and your motivation level is renewed each day

*Write out your goal and a plan to get there so you have a blueprint of how it will be achieved.

*Celebrate small victories along the way

*Bring a friend, having a community of those with similar goals will help keep you accountable

* Don’t get too crazy, don’t make a goal too aggressive that you get frustrated trying to live up to it.   Remember it is about getting better, small steps are easier to achieve and before you realize it, you will have hit your large goals.

*When you feel that temptation to bring in your old habits, STOP and ask yourself what you are doing and realize how important it is to you to break those bad habits.  Every time you fight those urges it will get easier and easier to stay on track.  Stick with it!

Happy New Year!

~Carrie

 

Dealing with the fizzle

We have all been there at the peak of our decisions.  We are all excited and motivated to start working out and eating healthy.  Week one we roll into our workout with this new found determination that helps us get out of bed.  After week one we are super sore, but still plugging through because you have been challenged (and you refuse to back down and look like a punk).  Halfway through your 30 day challenge, you start hearing voices in your head….

“you deserve a break, you have worked so hard these past two weeks.”

“You’ve already missed Monday, so just start over next week.”

“You didn’t have time to get to the grocery store this weekend so just eat what you have in the house and you can get all the fruits and veggies tomorrow.”

Did you know all these “excuses” push your goals back further and further away?  I know it is hard to change your habits because it takes consistency.  It also requires you to think (or rewire your thinking).  We typically have a pattern of the way we do things everyday.  Changing habits require us to change our patterns.  It takes practice, but it can be done.  It starts with your brain.  If we “assume” that exercise is part of our everyday routine than it will get done.  If you give yourself the option, it most likely will be brushed off to the side because it messes with your “routine”.

Think of your new way of living like road construction.  It is a lot of work initially to construct, but once the road is paved it is so much easier to get to where you are going.  Lifestyle change is the “construction” process.  Stick through it and put the work in initially to create and easy journey when it is finished.  Know that the construction phase will be hard, expect it, push through it, and make it to the finish.  Roadblocks will come (no pun intended) but expect those and keep your eyes on the prize.   You got this!

Happy Hump Day!

Carrie

On my mind…

If you have ever started a fitness program, you know that motivation is the key to sticking with it.  Some days are easier than others when it comes to working out.  If your program calls for 3 days a week, be careful.  This can sabotage you in the long run because it allows you for too many “extra” days.   You may find yourself putting off your workouts because you can just “make it up” the next day.  Instead, aim to exercise daily so that it becomes who you are.  It is so much easier to set aside 30-60 minutes on a daily basis then have a 3 day program that is scattered all over the place.  This also helps it become established as a routine faster.  Results come faster too and we all know that will keep you motivated more than anything else.  So get out there and exercise daily!  It doesn’t matter if is a walk or a full blown boot camp workout in the gym .  Move everyday!

Happy Tuesday!

~Carrie

You’re crazy!

As I sit and design these 5am workouts starting on May 22nd thoughts are running through my head about everyone that has heard about our new program.  Some are super excited and others look at me and say “you are crazy to wake up that early!”

Let’s get real, those of us with kids and job responsibilities know what happens after work.  Nothing is consistent.  Sometimes you have practices to bring the kids too and sometimes you have a networking event.  Other times you have company that is visiting who requires your attention.  When you think of these things, a 5 am workout is the only thing that wouldn’t get interrupted by all of these things.  If you don’t have time, make it!  Create an uninterrupted hour in your day to complete your workout.  If exercising after work has worked for you and been consistent there is no need to change your routine, but if you are one of those who struggles with consistency the early morning time may be the only option for you.  We all need to exercise, we know it is god for us.  Does it take discipline?  Of course, but it can be done and you may find that it is something you should have tried a long time ago.

When I worked at large gyms in the past, there would be so many people waiting at the door before we opened.  Now that I have kids and more responsibilities, I realize why.  If you struggle with a consistent schedule, take a look at your priorities and see where you can fit this important puzzle piece in.

Happy Monday!

Carrie

Are you a snoozer?

sleep

What time do you wake up in the morning?  With everything we have going on, waking up an hour early everyday can help you achieve so much more in your day.  After all, what would you do with an extra 5-7 hours in your week?  If you find yourself running out of time on a daily basis, you may be hurting your lifestyle by hitting the snooze button.  This is something I am personally aiming to work on the next few months.  Don’t forget when you wake up early, think about trying to get to bed a little earlier so that you still get 6-8 hours of sleep per night.   I know some require more sleep than others so you may have to try out different times if you end up tired from the earlier rise time.  Also, if you start waking up earlier you will find that it is easier to fall asleep earlier as your body adapts.

Waking up earlier will automatically reduce your stress levels because you have more time to set up for your day causing you to eat better and have more time to exercise (what a concept!!)  Adding this discipline will provide you with more benefits than you know.  Try it out!

Happy Friday!

~Carrie

Do you love it?

love

This blog message is absolutely inspired by my pastors Easter message yesterday.  He talked about how we need to love God first and everything else will fall into place.  Everything we do in life is driven by love.  “You are what you love.”  We only focus our attention on the things we really enjoy when it comes down to it.  Passion drives us and if we follow our passions we end up accomplishing those things we keep focused on.  This relates so well to our goals with our health.

Do you have a passion for exercise?  If you are on and off, you most likely have not found a love for it.  You will never truly be consistent until you find that love.  For me, the love is solely based on how I feel after my workouts.  I feel so good about myself when I workout.  I know I have done something right and in order to maintain the fitness level I have achieved, I have to keep moving.  I also love to motivate others to exercise as well.  This takes being an example.

Not everyone enjoys biking, running, weight lifting, or zumba.  The reason there are so many types of workouts is that everyone has a unique drive.  What do you like to do?  We all know that exercise is good for us, so it is up to you to find something that you enjoy and stick with it.

Happy Monday! ~Carrie

Discipline

When to increase your weights

When you are training with weights, most are not quite sure how or when to increase their weights.  A few things to make sure of is:

  1.  Is your form is still correct?
  2. Is your range of motion compromised (as you increase weights you may not be able keep the same depth)?
  3. Have you’ve completed a lower weight prior to increasing?
  4. Have you done the same weight for at least two weeks in a row

Form is super important when you are working out so that you know you are targeting the right muscles.  If your form fails, that means your muscles have to recruit other muscles in the body to finish the motion.  This will lead to injuries as your body will stray from the correct posture.

Range of motion is important throughout each exercise as well in order to work the entire body of your muscle.  If you increase your weights, but are only able to lift it 75% of what you did before, it will not help you increase your strength.  Your weakest point is when your muscle is at a full extension or stretch.

A warm up set is also very important when lifting.  Have you ever went to pick up a large box thinking it is heavy and realized it didn’t weight anything?  What happens?  You’ll practically throw the box because you were expecting to use more of your muscles.  This is called muscle fiber recruitment.  As you increase your weights, more muscle fibers are recruited to help finish the task.  Light weights require a few fibers, while heavy weights require more.  This is why it is important to do a warm up set prior to your new weight.  Prepare your neuromuscular system (brain communication to the muscles) to recruit more fibers as you go along to avoid injuries.

Some days are better than others and if you are an experienced exerciser you know this very well.  Make sure you are able to complete that particular exercise two weeks in a row with the same challenging weight before you decide to increase. This will insure your muscles have adapted properly.

As always, consult with a qualified trainer in order to know if you are working out correctly with proper form and progression.

Happy Tuesday~Carrie

#truth

I saw a post from a trainer in DC this morning on Instagram that said

“Some people want to use exercise as a punishment for being overweight.  They don’t realize that their diet is delivering the real punishment.”

This can’t be further from the truth and what I preach all the time.  You can’t out exercise a bad diet.  It also makes your workouts so much harder when you do not eat to nourish your body.  Why would you want to punish yourself twice?  When you eat well, you feel well, and when you feel well you WANT to exercise.  It is so hard to motivate yourself on a bad diet.  So make sure that you keep your diet clean and energizing so your fit lifestyle will just fall into place.  Otherwise it will stay a constant mind battle.

Happy Monday!

~Carrie

Life

habits

Life happens, and everyday is not a carbon copy of the last.   I’ve owned a fitness studio for over 9 years now and seen all kinds of people come and go.  There are some that are here everyday no matter what and others that sprinkle in every once in a while.  With those that are the most consistent, what is it that keeps them coming everyday?  Do they have less going on in their lives?  Absolutely not!  Now don’t get me wrong, tragedies happen which cause our lives to come to a halt and things get put on the back burner for a minute or two.  Those that are the most consistent make fitness a part of who they are.  These people have fitness as a habit so it gets worked into what ever they have going on.  Work, family, friends, and relationships all have an effect on our schedules EVERYDAY.  It’s up to you how you let it affect your routine.  Are you going to stop brushing your teeth because your child is sick?  I would venture to say that’s a no.  Why?  Because your teeth are important and you wouldn’t even think about skipping it because it is a habit.  What other habits do you have that won’t quit in times of uncertainty?  That answer is totally up to you.  Write out your priorities today and view them (and do them) on a regular basis until they become a part of who you are.  That’s when you will become one of those people who never quits.