Celebrity life coach Lauren Zander was recently quoted in the Experience Life magazine in her response to the question, “What are the biggest barriers to change?” Her response,

“I think being human is an amazing privilege”
and I think we are often really bad at it. People don’t know how to get unstuck.
They don’t understand that they’re a creation and a mystery, and that they can evolve and develop. It’s just not something we’re taught.”

So where does one start? With a vision, a dream, a goal, and tangible arrival point. So often we limit ourselves to what we think we can do rather than focusing on the possibilities of what might be if we just allow ourselves the freedom to go beyond our limits.

From a young age, we define ourselves as good or bad at certain characteristics. We label ourselves as intelligent if we are good at reading or we label ourselves as athletic if we are fast runners. Based on our experiences and how others describe us, we begin to set boundaries and limits for ourselves.

I see this most often in everyday women who come to me with the goal of losing weight. They see themselves as overweight, undisciplined, and inactive.

These women, however, get stuck in the thought process. They either assume they “are” or they “are not.”

But, being healthy and fit is merely a direct result of daily choices just as being unhealthy and unfit is a direct result of daily choices. It’s that simple.

Those who are flexible, stretch. Those who are strong, lift weights. Those who are full of energy, eat healthy food. Those who are hydrated, drink water. Anyone can stretch, lift, drink water or eat healthy. Change, therefore, is simply taking action in the same direction. Here’s a small exercise to help make my point.

  1. Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns.

  2. In the far right, make a list of characteristics you consider required of your “best self.” They may include a thin waist, firm thighs, pretty skin, etc.

  3. In the middle column, write the equivalent action required. For example, you might write: lift weights with Sandy 3 times per week, follow nutrition plan, or do cardio 5 times per week.

  4. Then, in the left column, write behaviors and choices the directly impact the action in the middle column. For example, schedule other appointments around workouts with Sandy, pack the entire week’s meals in advance, or wake up at 6:00 am an exercise before work.

You see, your "BEST SELF" is simply including daily choices and actions that magnifying those characteristics you like. If you start doing the activities in the first column you automatically get the results in the last column. It’s inevitable.

I’d love your comments about thoughts that “get you stuck” or “hold you back” as well as the simple action that can set you free to become your best self.

Ultimately -- 
That is the first secret.

If you make the right choice, you can look forward to a younger, more confident, and happier you

The Importance of Personal Assessment

Staying fit and healthy is not easy sometimes. In this fast-paced world where we’re often overwhelmed with work and other never-ending responsibilities, staying fit and maintaining a strong physique can be rather challenging. It’s one of those things we neglect frequently. And we shouldn’t. 

Being healthy is essential for many other aspects of our life and the way to achieve that is to take care of our bodies and work out regularly. However, there are many strategies that can be applied in order to stay fit, and personal assessment is one of them. A pretty good one, actually! 

Step One: The Present
Sometimes, in order to find the motivation and be able to take a step forward, we have to be realistic about the present. About where we are right now at this very moment. Motivating yourself is not as easy as it might seem and doing a personal assessment at some point in your life can be helpful for the long term. So, for example, a very good strategy would be to ask yourself a few very basic questions in order to determine your current stage in life. Take a moment and ask yourself about your own life. Are you happy with your life right now? How do you feel emotionally and physically? Is there anything you would like to change? And if there is, how would you do that? How do you feel about your health? Are you satisfied with your appearance or would you change it? 

Step Two: Making a Fitness Journal and Creating Motivation
Now it’s time to be honest. Brutally honest. In order to get you motivated, I would recommend starting a fitness journal and track all the changes that happen over time. Start with adding a photo of your current self. Write down how you feel about your current fitness situation, your mood, how you look, what it makes to feel like, etc. This is a great motivation technique as you progress because if you ever feel like you need extra motivation re-reading this will give you motivation to push through. I know you don't want to look or feel this way anymore, and as the time passes, you’ll be able to reflect and see the progress you’ve made along the way. Every beginning can be difficult, so take it a day at a time and do what is necessary for that day. Before you know it nothing will stop you in reaching your final goal and keeping it. 

A little tip: Make sure to write down all your current feelings now so they can be a reminder as you make certain progress over time. 

Step Three: The Future
Let’s focus on the next phase of the process. Now, when you’ve established your current stage in life and set your primary goal, it’s time to get imaginative! Think about your future self. Picture EXACTLY how you want to look and feel. Feel free to visualize and imagine who you want to be in the foreseeable future. Don’t be afraid to idealize your future self. If you stick to the plan, there’s no way you can fail. You just have to be persistent!

So, in order to get the whole picture of your future self, you have to ask yourself some basic questions again. Imagine it’s been a few months or even years since you’ve started writing your journal and set your goal. How have you changed? What feelings have you experienced along the way? What do you think of your physical appearance now? Do you like your life? How do you feel?

Again, it’s time for being brutally honest. Visualize your future self and write down the answers in your fitness journal. It will enable you to imagine your physical appearance in the future and help you boost your motivation to an even bigger level. It’s also a good idea to put some pictures of yourself as you are making progress, so you can check before and after photos every now and then. Nothing will motivate you better than seeing results in the form of pictures of the new and improved self!

Finding motivation for regular workout sessions can be difficult sometimes. It’s not easy to embrace another workout routine when so many failed to work prior to that. But, with little planning ahead and strategies such as personal assessment, it’s completely manageable. Just remember to always be honest with yourself and if you are persistent and consistent, the results will speak for themselves. 

Ultimately -- 
That is the first secret.

If you make the right choice, you can look forward to a younger, more confident, and happier you