Recently, I had an amazing conversation with Julie. She has been training with Get Fit NH for over 8 years. Julie works in the financial career path but some of our work actually overlaps. Who knew?
Julie had such incredible things to say about goal setting. I am sharing our dialog here!
Julie: I love reading your posts. I always get a lot out of all your informational pieces….The only other thing I would say is to emphasize the SMART goal format for people’s monthly goals. As a sales coach, I always used SMART goal setting with my clients and I love the idea that it’s all their ideas so they are already sold on the actions it will take to reach there goal.
Me: Great idea Julie. Thank you for your input. Can you tell me a bit more about SMART goals? Do you have a specific format you use for the SMART goals?
Julie: I would have them on a piece of paper write down the left side of it S. M. A. R. T. S is for specifically what are you going to do. M= measure, how are you going to measure it? A= actions, what actions are you going to take to reach this goal? R = result, what is the result? Finally, T = time frame, what is the length of time you are going to do this in?
So here is an example of SMART goal setting:
S: I want to be a size 6 for my 10th wedding Anniversary in September
M: I will measure my waist using the FIT 3D scan each Monday. I will track my weight each Monday as well.
A: I am going to train a minimum of 4 days at Get Fit NH, I am going to use my food log everyday to track my food intake, I will drink 96 oz of water a day, I will consume nothing white (flour, sugar, breads, rice, or pasta).
R: I will be able to wear a dress I feel good in for dinner at our Anniversary dinner.
T: My timeframe is to weekly off check each one of my actions are being completed and 9/25/17 is the dinner date.
Now that is what I call goal setting!
It is important that we acknowledge our hard work for taking the actions necessary to reach our goal just as much if not more than reaching the goal itself. We can control the process more than we can control the outcome. Put a priority on the action steps you laid out for yourself and then be proud of the work you did when the end time comes.
Many thanks to Julie for helping me set goals.
Are you ready to be SMART?
To your best health,
Many people have started a diet or a new eating plan only to quit days later. Now that you have decided that eating healthy may be worth your time after all, ensure your success with the following tips:
1. Make a Commitment
You know the meaning and value of a solid commitment. It’s in your blood. So don’t view eating healthy as something you will merely try. You will only reap the true benefits when you stick with it. By sticking with it I don’t mean you have to be perfect, but your eating will become more known for the healthy choices instead of those you might be making now. A great way to reinforce your commitment is to solicit the support of your friends and family. Tell them how you plan to improve your health and quality of life through nutrition – who knows, they may join you.
2. Set Reachable Goals
This is an immensely important ingredient to your success. Don’t start your healthy eating program with unreasonable expectations. If you expect to lose ALL of your unwanted pounds, DROP your blood pressure and CURE your joint pain all in one week then you will be sorely disappointed. In fact, I wouldn’t say I was on a diet but my goal is to change the style of my current eating. The key to unlocking all of the benefits of fantastic nutrition lies in one word: consistency. Only then will your body be transformed.
3. Rearrange Your Schedule
They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This may be because his schedule simply didn’t allow for it. The truth is that as we age there is a tendency to become ‘stuck in our ways.’ The thought of rearranging your schedule may leave you a bit squeamish. Remind yourself that health starts in the kitchen. It is worth your time and energy and also rearranging your plans to make better eating happen. If you don’t currently plan your meals, you’ll need to carve out time on a regular basis to get the first step done. Of course if you are used to eating out every night because you don’t have food at home, you’ll need to take time to shop too. The actual making of your food will have to be worked into your day too. The fact is that you do have time to lend toward better eating and health – you simply need to find it. Your time in the kitchen is an appointment – keep your appointments.
4. Increase the Challenge
You should start your better eating program with the thought of easing into it. Since you haven’t mastered nutrition you will need to build up strength and endurance just like we do in the gym. Think of building your kitchen muscle, gaining strength in the planning phase, using your coordination to balance your schedule to get all the shopping done and finally putting it all together can be known as a sprint to the table.
Consider a car that has been sitting in your garage for years. You wouldn’t turn it on and instantly slam down on the gas, would you? You need to warm it up. However, this warm up period should not last forever. Maybe working on your breakfast meals Monday - Friday is just the right amount of a challenge for you now. Once you feel secure with that routine, you’ll want to bump it up a notch. Maybe your weekends are where you need to start that planning and eating better. No matter where you start - START. When your routine begins to feel easy take that as a hint to increase the challenge.
I want to help you achieve all of the benefits that consistent healthy nutrition can bring you.
To your best health,
Fun facts to know and tell about water. These are absolutely worth sharing.
We’ve talked about the importance of drinking enough water and how it affects muscle soreness and fat loss.
Here’s some more good reasons to keep that water bottle handy…
Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?
To your best health,
The last two hours of a yard sale are boring. All the good stuff is gone and you are dreading what to do with all the things left on your lawn. I sort of feel like that right now. Half the year is gone and I am not sure what is in store for the rest of the year. It all goes like a yard sale. The good stuff is gone and what is left is not quite what I was expecting to see. Or is it?
At this point of the year, I always ask myself and reflect on the answers to the following 3 questions:
Did I accomplish or am I on the way to accomplishing my goals that I set out for myself?
Did I have any unexpected wins or failures?
Have I worked on myself?
Personally and professionally, I have a long term goal of being able to ski-dive at 90 years old when my grandchildren ask me to go with them. They are going to know that I could do it if I want to. I also want to change the world. Working at Get Fit NH, (insert link) I know that if you become healthier you’ll automagically become happier. The world needs more happy, and I want to be a part of that for many people.
The great news is, if I’m on track with my business and personal goals, I still have another 6 months to continue to grow and develop. And if I’m not where I want to be with business, I still have 6 months to refocus and/or to make adjustments.
Please don’t wait until a new year to write out your goals for the year. Do that today. Take the next step and break apart your goals into what you are going to do monthly, weekly, and daily to help you reach them. Mark your calendar with dates you wish to reach your goals. Finally, post your goals. Keep them in a prominent place. Who cares if others see your goals? In fact, invite people to read them. This will be a huge factor in reaching your goals.
So don’t feel like everything is going like a yard sale. Take charge of your life. So the yard sale has happened. Now you have a clean slate.
To your best health,
It may seem simple, but most of us want to be known as grateful people but we don’t act like it. Showing appreciation is different than thinking it in your head. Being thankful has been shown to:
How can you practice being more grateful?
1. Write it all down!
Yes, just thinking about your daily gratitude can help but there is something very powerful about putting pen to paper and getting those grateful thoughts out of your head and into the open. It makes them more real and allows you to really gain a better perspective.
2. Make them authentic.
Just writing down three things as quick as you can isn't going to give you great results. They have to be something real and authentic to your daily life to give you the most benefit. They don't need to be some profound revelation. For example, I am grateful for the chair I am sitting on. It sure beats sitting on the floor.
3. Do it daily.
Being grateful once in awhile won't make the changes you are looking for. Working yourself up towards daily practice will help you to get the amazing benefits. It doesn't have to take you a long time every day, but this can be a skill that impacts not only your life but the lives of people close to you.
Bonus: Find a common theme.
This is a tip that you don't have to follow, but I have found to be helpful. Instead of writing down three random gratitudes every day, I try to find a common theme. It might be the relationships I have in my life, something to do with nature, or even my overall health. The theme does not matter, but it does help me focus on one area of my life for that day (or week) and get a much deeper appreciation.
Executing your gratitude does not need to be a difficult task. Use these tips to help make it a daily practice!
To your best health,
Some people talk about continuing education as if it’s an option. Especially when you are talking nutrition and your own health, you have to keep on learning.
Let’s face it, our lives are very different than when we were kids. The time my kids spend playing is astounding to me. I wish it wouldn’t change but I know it will. Think back to when you were just driving. The amount of freedom it afforded you also cascaded to other choices and options. For me, I had the freedom to drive myself to work and therefore stop at any convenience store I wanted to buy what my paycheck could afford to feed me. That meant a lot of Little Debbie’s snack cakes.
Life has changed again. I am now the mother of 6 and Gigi (grandmother) to 3. I work full time. I rarely just ‘play’ and I certainly don’t have a whole lot of use for Little Debbie’s. While they still might taste good, I have learned what a diet of those can do to a teenager, and I don’t want to experiment with a 50-year-old body.
! am constantly learning about new hormones my body is not producing as well or hormones that are raging that I didn’t know effected sleep so much. I am glad there is someone out there who is knows all this medical stuff to help me out.
Don’t stop learning. While your circumstances are different from person to person and your life is constantly shifting gears, you have to match your nutritional needs to you.
I can help you do that. There are far too many barriers in health, but once you’ve started to make changes to your system (it could be the system of how you think about food, how you look at each meal, how you put portion sizes on your plate, etc), the opportunity to level up is largely driven by you. Level up the field by what you choose, by how much your chose, how often you chose to go outside of the plan and by who you choose to learn from.
To your best health,
Thinning out carrot beds is similar to what I need to do in my own life. In order to be the best version of me, in order to support my own growth and success, I need to get rid of everything/everyone who isn't helping. I’m wondering if you have some thinning out to do, too.
Some things SLOW me down. I find when I am over tired I drink way too much coffee and I tend to crave sweets. Since I am tired I give in to those cravings too often. It’s not the cravings I have to address as much as the sleep. So I might need to get rid of what is keeping me up late (a favorite TV show, a movie started way too late to fully enjoy, or maybe that coffee needs to stop at a certain point in the day so it doesn’t keep me up). Do you do something that can slow you down?
Energy Zappers steal my strength. There are a few people in my life who always seem to be down. Just listening to their conversations leaves me tired. I work hard to leave them in a better state mentally than when I first started chatting with them. BUT I am drained, not from expelling physical energy, but these people have left me drained emotionally. Naysayers also bring me down. Those that seem to see the half glass empty in my life and want me to fix it. As much as I try to keep an open mind to their thoughts, it tires me out to know others see such a gap in the goodness of what I am doing/trying to do. Do you also have those in your life who unknowingly take some of the positive energy you need to be successful and flourish?
As I’m gardening it's hard to cut out so many little carrot or bean plants. It’s my least favorite part of gardening, because I always feel bad that I didn't let them grow up. I know in the long run, those that are left will grow up bigger, better, and tastier than if I'd left all of them bunched together. While you might not enjoy it, think about who/what needs to be thinned from your own life in order to be the strongest, healthiest, best version of you. And yank them out without mercy. 🙂
To your best health,
1. Always have a water bottle in your hand.
2. Fill a gallon jug with water and only pour water from that. Empty it each day.
3. Leave a water bottle in your purse.
4. Bring a water bottle with you when you go grocery shopping. Drink every time you see something you want to buy that is not on your list.
5. Drink a water bottle on your way to work. Of course, only when your vehicle is stopped.
6. Drink a full cup of water each time you brush your teeth.
7. Have a cup of water near your bed. Drink some before you get up each morning.
8. When talking on the phone, sip water while you are listening to your friend gossip.
9. Add lemon or lime to your water.
10. Drink 8 ounces of water before breakfast.
11. For each glass of liquid you drink besides water, challenge yourself to have an equal amount of water.
12. Bring a water bottle with you to any appointments you have.
13. Always bring water to a business meeting. It might be the only way to stay awake.
14. Add a sprig of mint to infuse your water.
15. Drink 8 ounces of water before dinner.
16. Finish all the water in your glass when taking your multivitamin.
17. After dinner have 8 ounces of water for dessert.
18. As you walk out of the door, bring a water bottle with you to drink in the car.
19. Sip water while walking your dog.
20. Drink 8 ounces of water before lunch.
21. Always drink water while resting during your physical training.
22. Freeze a water bottle or two, it can keep your packed lunch cold while it thaws. Then drink it for lunch.
23. Always have a water glass on your desk.
24. If you watch your favorite TV show, drink 8 ounces before it is over.
25. At the beach, drink water.
26. At your son’s baseball game, drink water.
27. Drink water at dance lessons.
28. Add a few apple slices and a cinnamon stick to your water.
29. Place the number of filled water bottles you want to drink in a day on your kitchen counter. As you drink them they become their own check mark on your to do list.
30. When eating out, ask the server to leave a water pitcher on the table.
31. When you order your coffee, also ask for a glass of water.
32. Buy a special water bottle that shouts out your personality.
33. Remember to fill your water glass during your meals.
34. Strawberries and raspberries make beautiful infused water that tastes amazing.
35. Never leave home without your water bottle.
When it comes to health and nutrition, what are you afraid of?
- I'm afraid that eating healthy won't work, that my will power is not strong enough, that I won't look like myself anymore.
- I'm afraid it will work and I'll have to live a life of restriction forever in order to keep the weight off.
- I'm afraid if I lose the weight I want to, my relationship with my partner will change.
- Sometimes I think I wear my weight as a suit of armor, if I don't have the weight anymore, how will I protect myself?
- I'm a perfectionist, I'm certainly afraid of failure - failing to lose weight or keep it off or make the right eating choices, etc.
Being afraid is normal. Not knowing what is going to happen can be unraveling. Focusing on the ‘What If’s’ can be paralyzing.
Pick ONE small thing you could do today to confront your fear.
- The biggest thing I do to confront my fears daily is to stay with others who are in the same place physically and mentally as I am. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I think to myself, "I thought I was alone in that thought/feeling/fear."
-Daily I fear this isn't going to work, but I still work on eating one healthy meal at a time. I don’t have to make or eat all my meals at once so why focus on them all at one time?
- Notice when I am feeding myself negative self-talk and then combat it with some affirmation - sounds a bit woo-woo, but it keeps me from staying still. I can move forward and plan my next meal.
-I know these "head fears” are in fact a way to sabotage myself. If I keep listening to the ‘What if’s?’ my fear is reinforced. Instead, I’m addressing fear, “Fear, I see right through you! And I'm determined to make it through.”
Fear is real. But like the monster under our beds as a child, find a way to turn the light on to diminish your fears. Then keep the lights on.
To your best health,
Lately, I have spent time paying attention to the personal productivity concept. You know the things I am talking about. Those small changes to what you do on a daily basis or a technique that can save you anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
A personal eye opening example of a Productivity Hack is when you're filling your dishwasher at home, put all of the forks in the same cutlery compartment, so when it comes time to empty the dishwasher, you can simply grab them all in one go. You won’t have to spend time sorting the knives from the forks.
Now, these sorts of small tweaks to your day can play a role in getting more done in the same amount of times.
But in my opinion, the biggest productivity wins come from something else entirely: having the right productivity mindset.
For example, I hear from students that they would love to change how they are eating BUT they have this and that as a challenge in front of them.
Essentially what they are saying is: “That is great for you, but it is impossible for me.”
And that might just be the case, BUT what if it wasn’t the case? What if you could do such and such and succeed?
Having a mind frame that allows for the possibility will also allow for challenges to not become impassable obstacles but just a hurdle to overcome.
I recently read an article that was expressing this thought when it came to planning for retirement. They had developed a catch phrase: Dwell on Do, not Done.
Truth be told, I can get caught up in the fact that life is busy and stressful and doesn’t seem to run perfectly smooth for very long if much at all. I get impatient. I want to be DONE.
You see, I take my work very seriously, so does Dean, my husband. Working alongside of Dean we can dive into a problem, and honestly assess what was going wrong.
Usually we discover the core issue isn’t a problem that a "productivity hack" could solve.
Instead, what was required was a change in mindset for how the challenge was perceived.
If we had to be at 'done' on day one, it would require a whole lot of fixing.
The breakthrough comes when you view it in an entirely new way. When you take a problem and break it done into do-able pieces. And then Dwelling on the Do.
How can this help you?
If your problem is that you want to lose 50 pounds, dwell on what it would take to lose one pound. Then DO that until it doesn’t work anymore.
If your challenge is drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated, dwell on drinking more water than you currently are even if that is just 4 ounces more. Then DO that until you reach your goal.
If your challenge is to eat foods that will support your physical needs, dwell on knowing what those foods are and do what it takes to eat those foods.
Dwell on Do is the power of small, targeted productivity changes.
Now, of course, finding the right practices, habits, and routines that will work best for you is a personal journey, but it helps to have good teachers and guides along the way.
That is where I come in. I’ve helped hundreds of people find that next step. The one thing that will make productivity increase in their health and fitness.
I won’t toot my own horn more than just to say that I’ve been where you are, I’ve found a way out and I can help you like I’ve helped others.
If you're looking to find the right practices, habits and routines that will work for you, The Grateful Plate is the best place to start.
I'm here for you.
To your best health,