Graduated Success


Hello Everyone! It seems like forever since I have written. You will be hearing from me much more now that I have GRADUATED! I am so excited to announce that all my work can now be put to great use…YOU! Many who graduated before me talked about how overwhelming it can be immediately post-grad. My head nodded in acknowledgement, but little did I know how tough it would really be. As a proactive person it can be disheartening to hear “So do you have a job lined up yet?” Being a mother of two, working a part-time job, and being a full-time student there was not a lot of time for me to court potential employers or seek employment for postgrad. So immediately I applied for 50+ jobs online. It has been over a month and no word. As a go-getter sitting still is not my strength. My decision is now to focus on what I can do to gain experience in the meantime. There are still people who need my help even if it is not a company employing me. So down this foggy path of trust I go, pursuing my own business. It is exciting and scary.

Thinking about the path of this new change and challenge before me, it reminds me a lot of how people feel starting a new wellness program. Whether you are trying to eat better, get fit, attain a fitness goal, failure is a possibility. No one wants to fail. It is a reason many do not take the leap. We come up with barriers and put ourselves in boxes with excuses we falsely see as truth. It is time for us to wake up and see the facts. Yes we may fail. No failure is too big that we cannot learn and grow better from. Failure could be the key to our success. It tells you your limitations and focuses your attention on what you can actually do now.

When we can look at a big picture and are flexible to changes in that vision, failure seems much less stressful. Make a plan with graduated steps towards that vision. Refine your goals to 3 priorities and then break it down into more and more tangible steps. Look often at your progress and goals. Do you need to revise the plan? Revisions may be due to an evolved vision or complete change. It is okay to change and grow. If something doesn’t work out, use it as information and not an attack on your potential. Flexibility allows you to use failures and success as supporting steps towards ultimate success.

The toughest aspect for me is the patience. Understanding that things take time. For some reason I can extend more grace to others than to myself. We need to be fair and kind to ourselves. Getting down or frustrated doesn’t really make us more productive. Identifying complications, flaws, and strengths along with a positive attitude does. Be passionate about what you do and do the best you can. At the end of the day you can at least walk away knowing where you stand when you test your limits. If you never test and try to grow, you never can achieve your potential.


Get Your Head in the Game

Get Your Head in the Game

One of my favorite classes at Miami is Sport and Exercise Psychology. It is incredible how much information you gain about life, business, mental disorders, team-building, and coaching to victory. One piece of clear truth is your outcome is derived from what is inside your head. Everyone needs different mental preparation to motivate them through the finish line and different approaches work for different people. There are professionals that work with teams to improve their performance. You could be Peyton Manning, but if you have a catastrophe it could make you a JaMarcus Russell. It is all on how you prepare, face obstacles, and what you choose to do after. Confidence is key.

Here are a few tips for building the right confidence from scratch:

1. If you are currently a couch potato, walk at a slow pace. You heard me. Start slow to build the brain’s ability to know where you are in space. This gives you confidence with each step. You program the body to know where you are and it boosts your confidence to take another step and go faster. Think about a baby learning to walk. He or she slowly gains confidence to let go and take more and more steps. Then they run!

2. Eat well. When you eat well you are more likely to make other healthy choices. Who feels like running after scarfing down a Big Mac? When you make small good choices, you are teaching your body to enjoy it and it begins to crave good choices.

3. Visualization. As silly as this may sound, you can motivate yourself by imagining yourself exercising or doing some physical activity. If you cannot honestly picture yourself, think of someone who you know can. Maybe even imagine someone whose physical fitness you admire. Understand that it is a possible feat for even you. The 4 minute mile was thought to be impossible until someone did it. Then several people were able to do it.

4. Tell yourself that you can! List reasons why you need to and ways you can start small and build up. Squeeze in small bouts at first and then soon you will find ways to make more time, if schedule is the problem.

5. When you fall short, do not beat yourself up. (Preaching to the choir here.) Some people use failure to fuel their need to succeed. For others it can keep you from even trying. You cannot succeed if you never try. It gives you a place to improve and a goal to reach. Failure is an option. Not trying should not be.

6. When you do something good, reward yourself. Take a moment when you complete a task to soak in the good feeling. Absolutely enjoy and revel in the moment as big or small as it may be. Some may need a physical reward, like new gear or new music. Take in praise from others and allow their words of affirmation to sink in.

7. Keep it up. Catch yourself when you start to make excuses and dispel them. You can do it as long as you have reasonable but challenging expectations.

With all of this in your mental toolbox, you can be unstoppable! Go from where you are to where you want to be. The only thing keeping you from your goal is your mindset. Success is just around the corner. Go get it!

What motivates you to be healthy? Any tricks you use to stay motivated?

Here are a few related research articles and literature to check out for more information:
1. Impact of Treadmill Exercise on Efficacy Expectations, Physical Activity, and Stroke Recovery by: Marianne Shaughnessy, PhD, CRNP,1,2 Kathleen Michael, PhD,2 and Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP2 (study)
2.Promoting walking as an adjunct intervention to group cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders—A pilot group randomized trial by: Dafna Meroma, Philayrath Phongsavana, Renate Wagnerb, Tien Cheya, c, Claire Marnaneb, c, Zachary Steelc, Derrick Silovec, Adrian Baumana (study)
3. Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. by: Bandura, Albert
New York, NY, US: W H Freeman/Times Books/ Henry Holt & Co. (1997). ix 604 pp.