All the Energy You Need…And Then Some

boulderLast week I had a tough night sleep. You know the nights where no matter what position you find yourself in, it just doesn’t seem comfortable? My first session began at 5:30 am, and so the few hours I managed to spend in bed didn’t really add up to much energy in the morning. However, as soon as the first clients came in the door, my energy shot way up and we had a great session.

Has this ever happened to you?

And have you ever wondered why you are able to go from such low energy to such high energy in a matter of minutes?

My answer is that energy can come from two sources – Willpower and Purpose.

Willpower requires sheer determination. It requires that you put your head down and gut it out. Willpower allows us to achieve many things. With enough of it, we can reach a goal and feel successful. However, willpower requires an inordinate amount of energy. It is like pushing a boulder uphill. Can it be done? Absolutely! But how much effort, force and energy does it take to get there?

We can take that a step further and say that willpower is the reason that many people begin and then fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions. They start off with a high level of energy and commitment toward their goal. The first few weeks they are ‘all in’, but as the proverbial ‘boulder’ gets heavy, their energy starts to wane. It becomes harder to push and eventually they give up and go back to their old ways.

Ultimately, willpower is an inefficient method of reaching a goal because it requires such a high amount of energy to maintain. It will take us a certain amount of the way, but if we really want to use our energy efficiently, we have to look toward Purpose.

Like willpower, Purpose can help us achieve many things. It can lead us to our goals and make us feel successful. The difference is that purpose requires little to no effort. Purpose means aligning with your passion and doing the thing you love to do. Purpose also requires an understanding that the reason you are doing something exists somewhere outside of you. Purpose gives us meaning, and when we tap into that inner drive it requires a significantly smaller amount of energy output on our part.

In comparison to pushing a boulder uphill with willpower, purpose is like a having a winch hauling the boulder up the hill. The winch is our purpose, and when it’s connected, all we need to do is gently guide the boulder as the winch does the work. Purpose requires little effort or output of energy and propels you quickly and easily toward your goal.
Connecting back to New Year’s Resolutions, you can probably think of examples where those who have a Purpose stay with it. If someone wants to be healthy so they can see their grandchildren grow, they will be more likely to lose the weight and keep it off. If someone wants to exercise more regularly so they can spend more time doing activities with their spouse, it will be easier for them to stay on track.

Bringing this back to you — just ask yourself the question:

Do you want more ENERGY?

Then connect with your Purpose. Find your WHY! Align with the inner drive that creates the meaning in your life. When you do, you will have all the energy you need….and then some!

It is about BREAST CANCER!!

I don’t often have the reaction that I am going to share with you today. Most of the time I am easy-going and can ‘roll with the punches’ that come. However, I cannot keep my mouth shut on this issue because it is really bothering me!

This week I saw SEVERAL (not just ONE) people posting about fitness events they are hosting to help support BREAST CANCER. I LOVE that people are onboard with raising funds for research and to help those who have been afflicted by this terrible disease. I LOVE that people are hosting events to help raise awareness and to give support to people and families who have been impacted by breast cancer. What I CAN’T STAND is that they are diminishing it by titling their programs “Burpees for Boobies” or “Barbells for Boobs” or any other combination of words like that! Honestly, even as I write those words I have a visceral reaction to them. Those words are so offensive!

I have thought about this for a few days before responding because I want my words to be heard. BREAST CANCER is a SERIOUS disease. This year alone, more than 230,000 people will find out they have it. In fact, it affects 1 in 8 women, and is the 2nd leading cause of death in the female population! It doesn’t just impact women, however. More than 2300 men will be diagnosed with it this year as well. I will guess that almost every one of you reading this has been affected by this disease because you have had it or know someone who has. That is SERIOUS!

And yet, as a culture, we are diminishing and degrading the problem by using a word that is infantile at best and derogatory at the worst. The word, ‘boob’ or ‘boobies’ is demeaning! It is a way of describing a body part that is silly and ridiculous. It has NOTHING to do with breast cancer, and using that word diminishes the suffering and anguish that those with this illness experience.

Words are POWERFUL. The way we say something and the vocabulary we use makes a difference in the way the message is received. We are talking about BREAST CANCER, not about boobs! There is a SIGNIFICANT difference between the two!

Think about it — if we wanted to do “Dips for Dicks” to raise funds for testicular cancer, would there be an outcry? What about “Crunches for Cocks?”

The truth is that it wouldn’t happen! No one would stand for it because it is NOT OKAY to use those words! So why, then, is it okay to use “boobies?”

As I was thinking about writing this blog, I decided to ask some of the women I know about how they feel about this word and how it is being used to help raise awareness of about the disease of breast cancer. EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I spoke with said that they feel completely offended by this trend. They talked about the “I love boobies” bracelets that are being sold by organizations and companies. Although the underlying purpose is to raise money and awareness, the message is skewed. We use the word, “boobies” to make fun of a body part. We use the word ‘boob’ to laugh at someone or some thing. In many cases, they are simply marketing ploys that have NOTHING TO DO WITH BREAST CANCER!!

I could make a strong feminist case for this if I wanted to continue here. I could talk about how we have made so many strides forward in our country to make sure that women are taken seriously and seen as worthwhile individuals. I could argue that women are not just the sum of their body parts. But what I really want to do is raise YOUR awareness so that you begin to question the practice – to help YOU understand that words are important and consider that just because it’s happening doesn’t mean that it’s okay- and ultimately, I hope I make YOU think twice before using those words again.

breast-cancerIf you have comments about this, or want to raise your voice along with me or against me, please feel free to comment below.

Lessons From My Puppy

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Even at 10 months old, my dog, Cody,  is a creature of habit. Every day we take a morning stroll up the street. Every day he walks up the left side of the street and comes down on the right. Every day he goes the bathroom in the same yard and we come back home to get his breakfast which he sits and waits for expectantly.  In the afternoon we take another walk – this time to the park. He knows we are going even before I tell him, and he waits patiently for me at the back door. When you think about it, it’s really incredible that he has established these routines and patterns at such a young age.

Then again, maybe it isn’t.

We are all creatures of habit. We all have established routines that we conduct every day. Think about the way you brush your teeth, the route you take to work or the way you get your table set for dinner. We have created patterns and rituals that help us get things done more efficiently and once they are ingrained in our mind, we don’t even think about them. We just do them.

The habits we have created tell alot about the kind of person we are, and also help to determine whether we are successful in our endeavors….or not. Successful people have different daily rituals than those who are not. Productive people have different daily rituals than those who are not. People who are content and happy in their lives have a different set of daily rituals than those who do not.

Consider the daily habits of a person who is overweight and unhealthy, for example. Don’t you think they have a different set of daily behaviors than someone who is fit, healthy and active?

This morning Cody reminded me of the importance of creating and maintaining daily rituals that allow you to live the life you want to lead. Let me share with you some of my best practices right now:

1. Meditate for 10-15 minutes every morning.

2.Spend 10-15 minutes stretching in the morning.

3. Write in my journal for 10-15 minutes a day (right now that is a gratitude journal)

4. Exercise for 30-45 minutes every day.

5. Have 1 hour of time in the evening where the kids and I turn off our phones.

6. Spend focused time with each of my 3 kids helping them with homework and talking with them each night.

7. Walk and play with my dog every morning and afternoon.

8. Get my work done in 25 minute segments to help me keep focused and on task.

These are some of my current best practices. What are yours?  Feel free to share them in the comments below.

In the meantime, I am going to go and hug Cody and thank him for being my inspiration today! 🙂

Little Things Matter

little-things-matterLast week I was in San Diego at a Mentorship Program hosted by Todd Durkin. Approximately 70 fitness professionals gathered from all over the world to learn about themselves, about their business and about life. As I left the conference, I was struck by the thought that ‘little things matter’. I had opportunities over the weekend where I noticed that something as small as buying someone a cup of coffee, taking time to listen and really focus on someone or simply giving someone a hug have made a difference. I am encouraging each of you to do some little things this week. Impact as many people as you can by doing small things, and watch what a difference it makes.