We are in an exciting time in life. Just as we had the beginning of the digital revolution at the end of the last century, we are now experiencing a personal transformation revolution. It’s about becoming healthier, happier and living your own life with purpose. But better health and positive change won’t come unless you know what you’re doing.
Here are five steps to help you begin your own journey on the road to personal development:
- Set goals: The first step to living the way you want is to set goals for each part of your life. Those would be your health, career, finances, spirituality and family, but not necessary in that order. Setting separate goals in each area of your life allows you to prioritize what you want to achieve so you can increase your chances of doing so.
However, if you are like most people, you set goals but fail to achieve them because they are too vague. When I work with my health coaching clients, one of the things we work on is setting SMART goals. So what is a SMART goal?
S — Specific: If you want to lose weight, for example, you need to specify how much.
M — Measurable: The easier it is to track your progress, the better your chance of attaining it. “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” said Lord Kelvin. Tracking your food intake is one way to do this and makes it less difficult to determine if extra efforts are in order in case you experience a setback or come up short on the progress you desire.
A — Achievable: Although you should aim high, make sure your goals are still achievable and action-oriented.
R — Realistic: While some goals are achievable, they might not be realistic for this moment in time. An example might be you have decided to do a marathon but you have not even run a mile yet. Running is realistic, but you might want to start by building up to running a marathon by completing a 5k (3.1 miles) or a 10k (6.2 miles) race first.
T — Time-based: Setting a deadline will help you remain focused and ensure you stay on track. Using the same example above, you might say, “starting June 1 I will begin jogging and complete a 5k race by Sept. 1, 2017.”
- Create an action plan: Once you’ve set your goals and have written them down, create an action plan on how to achieve them. What activities do you need to do to achieve your goals? If you have a long-term goal, break it down into small steps to make it manageable. Don’t forget to track your progress so you can look back and pat yourself on the back every time you move one step closer to your goal.
- Make time for growth activities: Even though life is very busy, it’s vital that you make time for yourself and your own personal growth. Take 15 minutes to read, learn, or listen to a podcast. Wake up 15 minutes earlier to read or write in your journal. If mornings are tough for you, block out 15 minutes during the day or before you go to bed at night. Whenever you chose is up to you but make sure to try and do it daily.
- Adopt a positive mindset: Optimists are more likely to enjoy and succeed in life than people who always see the negative in a situation. Fill your head with positive information and people. Before long you too will have a sunnier disposition and all the health benefits that come with it.
- Keep a journal: Journaling allows you to keep a record of your progress. It helps you learn from the challenges you face and your triumphs and everything in between. I personally like to have two journals going at all times, a gratitude and goal journal. Writing everything down gives me a chance to reflect on my journey, embrace the challenges and savor the joyful moments along the way to the destination.
If you have already set your goals and accomplished them you are in good shape. Give yourself a pat on the back. Even though there is no special prize, if you have managed to do it by yourself, you’ve learned it takes longer and with more mistakes.
However, have you tried to succeed alone and failed? Health coaching can help you dive a little deeper. I know the reason that people lose weight but never seem to keep it off. People THINK that the reason they give up exercise is that they’re lazy but there’s a surprising reason they don’t stick with it. Meditation is something one can use to relieve stress; I know what it takes to cultivate a daily practice with little effort. People feel they should be restricting calories and avoiding certain foods to eat a healthy diet and are shocked when that’s not the case. Would you like to have a wellness breakthrough session with me? You’ll discover the top 5 things that can get in the way of your health goals, and the #1 thing you need to move forward.
I recently read an article by designer Tory Burch about how growing up playing sports, in particular tennis, helped her develop her successful fashion career. As an entrepreneur myself, I appreciated her analogy since I too grew up playing tennis, swimming and running.
Now that we are in the holiday season, many of us resign ourselves to the weight gain that typically follows. Indeed, it is very hard to pass up holiday sweets that seem to be everywhere as well as extra servings of a traditional family dish. That’s why so many weight loss books are published at this time promising a “New Year, New You.”
So it’s no surprise that the No. 1 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. But this year consider a broader approach to resolving the problem for more lasting success. Here are 10 points that my health-coaching clients have incorporated into their weight-management programs that you may want to consider:
1. Sleep better.
2. Work out more, whether it is outside, at the gym or home.
3. Begin a daily mindfulness or meditation practice.
4. Drink more water and get rid of diet sodas.
5. Eat more vegetables and less meat.
6. Organize your home, workspace or both.
7. Make new friends and/or spend more time with those you already have.
8. Improve work/life balance to allow more time to take better care of yourself.
9. Quit tolerating an uncomfortable situation at home or work out of fear. Define the problem and fix it.
10. Find an app or person to hold you accountable to whatever goal you are trying to achieve so you will create a lasting new habit.
There is a lot of help available, so take advantage of it now so 2017 can be your best year yet!
Summer has arrived in South Carolina, and between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. it’s hard to rustle up enough energy to take on the smothering heat. So don’t, unless you have to. There’s plenty exercise to be done at home.
No matter how old you are now, it’s never too late to learn. Think about it. You know you need to increase your heart rate for at least 30 minutes a day, so start you day with an early walk at 8 a.m.
You also know that you should eat well-rounded meals, so have a good breakfast after your morning walk. And you know you need at least seven hours of solid sleep, so eat supper no later than dark, and hit the sack by 10 p.m.
But do you know the best time to exercise your brain?
Most folks say the best time to read is when you go to bed, but I disagree. A good book might help you get to sleep, but that’s really not the point. Reading is supposed to stimulate your brain, not wind it down, right? So why sleep on it? An hour or so in the morning makes more sense to me. So, when your brain is energized with knowledge, you’re ready to do whatever you have on your agenda.
And remember, reading is a skill, a lot like riding a bike. Both of which take practice. Reading also strengthens your vocabulary, your comprehension and your imagination. So make reading a part of your daily routine.
Just the thought of another South Carolina summer wears me out. It may be debatable about what is causing more and more heat year after year, but there is no doubt in my mind that climate change is real.
My husband and I are rejuvenated every summer when we take a short up I-26 to the mountains. Not only do we have fun together, traveling also is healthy — physically and spiritually. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits:
Studies show that people — especially men — are less likely to have a heart attack if they take at least one vacation per year. One nine-year study of 12,000 men found that those who took a well-planned trip were 30 percent less likely to have major heart problems.
Leaving town on a pleasant vacation is also a great way to kick the blues, and women appear to benefit most for this, studies show. There are several ways to fight depression, and travel is one of the most effective. I like to think of the mountains as one of only a few “thin places” on earth. A slow hike up a mountain obviously exercises my heart, and it is at the top where I feel closest to God.
Vacation travel reduces stress on you as well as your mate, not only during the trip, but well after you get back home. Studies of regular travelers show most are less bothered by stress hormones. (But not at airports, I might add.) Other studies show that workers who take pleasant trips have lower rates of absenteeism and burn out, plus higher productivity levels.
Travel is a learning experience, too, which is not only enjoyable but an excellent way to exercise your brain. New cultures, cuisines, sights and sounds combine to keep my memory sharp. How about you?
It’s always the “bug season” down at the gym, so beware!
There’s a cliché out there about staying out of hospitals because germs gather there. It’s misleading, of course, because hospitals typically take extra care to clean everything thoroughly. But it’s also true. Most hospital executives steer clear of questions about staph infections, for instance.
Same goes for gymnasiums. There was an interesting item in Parade magazine recently by Leslie Goldman tagged “Gym Germs” that should be noted by everyone who enjoys a good workout in public facilities.
“Muscles aren’t the only things you can get at the gym,” the writer notes. “The close quarters, plus the prevalence of sweat, leaves you vulnerable to germs and infections. In fact, a University of California, Irvine, study found that staphylococcus bacteria easily survives on gym equipment and locker room benches even after being sanitized.”
These bacteria are commonly found on human skin, and can cause problems when they enter the bloodstream through cuts and blisters especially in the nose area.
Also prevalent on gym equipment including free weights and machines are traces of rhinovirus, which is responsible for common colds. This germ typically enters the body through the eyes, nose and mouth. So practice swabbing down all gym equipment with a disinfectant before and after use. Hand sanitizer is OK if used abundantly.
And the showers area is another place to visit with care. Foot fungus and plantar warts just thrive in warm, moist environments. So don’t forget to wear your flip-flops. Gym bags and towels are also havens for nasty germs. So bring some clean plastic bags for used towels and an anti-germ spray for your backpack. Mold spores multiply rapidly, so don’t delay doing your cleaning once you get back home.
We all worry that the people we love are not getting the care they need, and even if they are, we always think it could be better. It comes from your mother, and even if you are not a mother, we all have that protective instinct in us. That’s why leaving the care of your elderly loved one to professional caregivers can be stressful, especially if the agency uses multiple caregivers, or you need respite care (temporary caregiving). There are a multitude of things that could go wrong and that is why having a Home Health Care Check List For Professional Caregivers is so important. It can outline what to do in an emergency, what special quirks a senior has, and of course the necessary procedures that the senior requires. Below you will find some suggestions, but in no way is this list exhaustive. Every senior is different, with different needs, so the checklist should vary accordingly.
- Keep a list of medications and allergies on the wall dictating what time medications are taken, how many, how they are administered, and where the medications are located. Here is a helpful article on managing your medication.
- Everyone has a routine and we all get upset when it is compromised, so try your best to explain their sleeping patterns, TV shows, eating time, weird quirks and semantics and habits.
- It is also suggested you have a list of snacks available as well as meals that the senior likes. Many professional businesses can cook to appease your elderly loved one, so don’t forget to mention this.
- Emergency Contacts should also be plainly visible in worst-case scenario. This should also include the doctor or primary care physician of elderly loved one. Your preferred hospital should also be listed.
- Plan of Action– It is also not a bad idea to have a detailed list of what to do if something should go wrong. Even if they have your contact information, what happens if they are unable to get a hold of you, or someone else? There should be a plan for what to do in case of emergency. Advanced directives and the necessary documentation should be able to be found, as well as medical orders for life sustaining situations which should be given to any paramedics or doctors should the need arise.
- Previous Medical History/Bodily Injuries– The professional caregiver should already have this information, but it never hurts to provide it, especially if things change. Also, we all have aches and pains some days and it is best to not agitate those.
- Logbook- It is never a bad idea to keep a logbook so that the caregivers can communicate with each other before each visit. That way if anything does change or seem strange, not only is it documented but it is also easier for a caregiver to provide adequate service.
If you are looking for Home Care or Respite Care in the Charleston area there are a number of great resources to help make your search easier including the Charleston Senior Directory.
Article written by Senior Directory
OK, you’ve made your resolutions for the New Year and you have been following through for almost four weeks. Some of you are sticking to the program. Most of you, for one reason or another, are not. What’s next?
First and foremost: Start a conversation with someone else. Tell them about your goals and how you intend to achieve them. By vocalizing these things, you are not only getting a better picture of what’s required, but you’re also publicly committing yourself to see it through. You want to lose 10 pounds by exercising more and consuming less sugars and fats? Then formulate a reasonable weight-loss plan, make sure it’s a good one, run it by your doctor, tell your partner or your best friend or your wellness coach — AND STICK TO IT!
Remember, some healthy competition — even if it’s with yourself — is a very good thing. But you need someone else who cares to talk to. We’re not talking about a drill sergeant here — someone to harass you into shape. We are talking about someone who understands your goals and the proper methods that will help you hold yourself accountable.
The following tips are some things you need to include in your plan, and to share with your “accountant”:
- Exercise first thing in the morning. You’ll have too many excuses not to the longer you wait each day.
- Be optimistic. Focus on the good things you receive by sticking to your program. And make sure your expectations are not set too high too soon. For example, it’s not about losing weight too quickly. It is about exercising wisely while boosting your mood and achieving lasting results.
- Stay active. Starting early every day with a proper warm ups, stretching, strength training and aerobic exercises is great. But strive to stay active throughout your day. Get outside as often as possible. Take a walk, use the stairs, stretch often, focus on your breathing, help others with little things. All of this adds up.
- Invest for the future. Picture yourself years from now as healthy, happy and feeling stronger every day. What you do in the present moment will help you the “present moments” to follow. Nothing stays the same. So get busy now and stick to it. You’ll feel better about yourself in the process.
- Enjoy yourself. Eating right, exercising, staying active throughout the day all require that you like what you’re doing. Don’t look at it as “work,” consider it “fun.”
Now that all of the holiday décor has been packed away, the holiday remnants have been thrown away and we have said goodbye to 2015. It’s time to welcome the year 2016 with open arms and all of the changes it will bring.
The New Year serves as a stimulus for changing old behaviors. Individuals reflect on the past year’s behaviors and make resolutions to turn their bad habits into better ones. How many resolutions have you made in the past and not exactly stuck to them? Chances are you have made plenty of resolutions, but you have not followed through with them.
How many of those resolutions involved losing weight or getting fit? When the new year rolls around many people make it a resolution to shed those few extra pounds, take fewer trips to the dessert table and blow the dust off the old stationary bike. Although they seem simple, they become hard to stick to and not worth the time.
So, why are resolutions hard to stick to?
The most common obstacles individuals run into during the new year is that they create long-term goals that are carried out throughout the course of the year. Many try to change all of their unhealthy habits at one time rather than focusing on one habit individually. Another obstacle arises when resolutions are not being achieved or no one seems to be showing support for the effort being made.
New year’s resolutions have been given a bad connotation over the years because people do not stick to them. January 17 is commonly known as the day resolutions are ditched, but it is time to fix that. Here are a few tips for sticking to this year’s resolutions.
- Start with something small. If you want to eat healthy, try replacing dessert with a healthier alternative. If you want to exercise, schedule three days out of your schedule to do some type of physical activity.
- Change one behavior at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change unhealthy behaviors all at once. Focus on one unhealthy habit individually until you feel it is time to move onto another.
- Remind yourself of your goals every day. It can be hard to stick to change behaviors, but it can also be difficult to remember what you are trying change. Write them down in a noticeable place or store them in your phone.
- Keep track of your progress. Write down your goals and check them off when you have reached them.
As you reflect on last year’s behaviors and start planning your resolutions, be sure to keep those few tips in mind. It can be hard to change those old habits because they have become a part of our daily lives and the presence of temptation seems to always be lingering around. Rather than making your resolutions a statistic, make them a success story for you and for your peers. A new year means a new start and the possibilities are endless. This year make your resolution a solution.