Tag archive: motivation

14

Role Models or Obstacles? Thoughts on Seasoned Gym-Goers.

Going to the gym for the first time can be a nerve wracking experience. You’re walking into a foreign world of new equipment that requires certain form and safety awareness, you’re about to get sweaty and vulnerable in a room full of people you don’t know – and worse, they might judge you.

This is an all too common scenario I hear from someone who wants to make a change in their life, but may be self conscious about doing so. Being judged by seasoned gym-goers is a huge fear, and an unfortunate reality that discourages newcomers to a healthy way of life. This is particularly evident at this time of year, when we so often year gymgoers complaining about the “New Years Resolutioners” who are clogging up the gym, with comments about how they can’t wait for the herd to thin out – and I am SO disappointed by this attitude!

I find it baffling that these people don’t seem to remember that at one point, they were a beginner too. Someone who didn’t know what they were doing, someone taking the first step towards getting where they are today. Are their memories so short?

Instead, as seasoned gymgoers, we should be encouraging newcomers (regardless of the time of year), for taking the first step towards a healthy life. We should cheer them on for what could be a definitive moment in their lives, and we should also be willing to offer help, advice, and assistance with a smile. So this is my call to the seasoned, long term gym goers to be more supportive, to stop being so judgmental, and to remember how to be a courteous human being.

When I posted my thoughts on Facebook, I got varied responses, including:
“It makes it hard to work out!” – Really? Be creative and work around them. Maybe its an indication its time to change up your routine as well, and try something new.

“Well you know they won’t stick with it!” – This gets to me. DO you know that? No you don’t. You do not know whether or not someone will stick with their goal or not, because you have no idea what that person is capable of. Whether they start January 1st, or any day of the year, whether or not they are 5 lbs overweight or 100 lbs overweight, it doesn’t matter. You cannot anticipate if that person expects immediate results, of if they’re willing to work hard day in and day out, and you are not the judge of how bad they may want it. To assume you know otherwise is incredibly self righteous. That person deserves to be treated based on their potential just like you do, and not be assumed a failure.

Worst of all, one of my fans said she saw this quote on a Fan Page, which will remain nameless:

“It would be nice if we could get together as a group and take pictures of the buffalo in the gym tackinling their NYE resolutions. We’ll call it a month long social science experiment since they should be back to Mcribbing it up in a month”

I was disgusted that anyone in an industry dedicated to helping people feel healthy, happy, fit and confident could ever be so tactless, tasteless, and just plain rude! And its disheartening, to know so many in the industry have been saying much the same…

So I’m asking you with this post, to reconsider how you’ve been treating people at the gym since the new year, and to evaluate your attitude. Are you being self-righteous? Are you acting entitled? Could you be more supportive?

Inevitably, someone is going to read this post and think, “Its not MY responsibility to help someone at the gym, I don’t work there.” You’re right, its not. Just like its not your responsibility to hold the door for someone behind you or help someone pick up something they’ve dropped,  and so on. But you still do them, because you’re a decent human being, and not a selfish jerk. No one is asking for you to completely derail your workouts either. Courtesy and a smile alone will get you a long ways.

And yes, occasionally, I judge. I judged the guy with the swastika and white power tattoos, I judged the drug addict who started jumping over benches and making karate noises, and I judged the woman sipping a Starbucks latte while walking on the treadmill. So I’m not perfect. I never said I was. But I’d like to think I do a pretty good job of supporting people when they’re trying something new.

 

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How to Set Effective Goals

It happens before every summer, and every new year: people will make resolutions to lose weight, eat right, and get healthy. Unfortunately, up to 88% of people fall through on their goals in record time. So how can we make our personal goals stick, and avoid the usual pitfalls? Here are a few tips to help with making effective goals on the way to any achievement:

Set Your Horizon:
Your journey cannot begin without a destination. A goal always starts with the driving factor which is the long term outcome you want to achieve. Whether its ”I want to change my eating habits,” ”I want to lose 50 lbs” or, “I want to quit smoking”, you must decide on the end point.

Make a Plan:
To create an outcome is the first step, but it is completely hollow unless it is followed with “I will achieve this by…” This is also the best time to do research. Research may include collecting healthy diet recipes, finding a workout plan that best suits your lifestyle and interests, or browsing the local gyms for one you would feel comfortable working out in. It may also include looking into the success stories of others, and asking questions: some of the best advice you can receive is from someone who has reached a similar goal. The planning stage is the best time to set a realistic deadline for when you want to be successful by. Not only does this keep you on track, it helps you evaluate your progress over time, to better understand how far you can go. (Research is also very useful for understanding what a reasonable timeline is for your specified goal).

Be realistic, and start with small goals:
Once you have determined an end point and a plan to follow, its time to plan a few pit stops. Progress does not happen over night, and small goals help gratify our successes while keeping us focused on the end outcome. If your overall goal is to lose 100 lbs, start with 15, and celebrate your achievement. Start with dropping a pant size, lifting 5 lbs more than you can at the moment, or switching to whole grains. The success of these small goals replenish our drive to reach our final destination, and encourage us through those long phases in between, where it may feel as if we are not getting very far.

Find a support group:
Share your goal with your friends and family, and ask someone to join you on your journey. Exercise partners are a great way to keep yourself accountable, and motivated! Support groups can help facilitate the research portion of your planning, share their own experiences, and help you when you are struggling. In many cases, people find that their immediate friends may not be the most supportive to their plans, but do not be discouraged by this! There are people everywhere who will support you, and you may gain new friends in the process.

Be accountable and honest:
One of the largest pitfalls associated with exercise, health and diet goals is denial, so do not be afraid to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Everyone is capable of making an excuse for why they didn’t make their workout, and we all know they’re usually tenuous at best. But the excuse game is in no way is beneficial towards reaching your goal. If you don’t have an excuse, don’t try and make one. Acknowledge your slip up, take responsibility, and move on. It is only through acknowledging our faults, weaknesses, failures and slip ups, that we are able to meet them head on and achieve better in the future.

Do not succumb to guilt:
Regret over an indulgence or a missed workout often leads to an entire guilt trip, causing the person to fall further and further behind on their goals, or starting all over, which we know can be so discouraging. Many people also consider their exercise to be, “all or nothing.” Slipping up once, means its just not going to happen for them. This is ridiculous! So you skipped the gym, so you had that cupcake, is it worth throwing everything away? Mistakes happen, and so do missed workouts. You may not feel good about it, but it is not the end of the world. Pick up where you left off, because lamenting gets you no closer to your goals. Those who wallow in guilt rather than face their problems head on are more likely to repeat the guilty action, or fall out of the habits entirely. Do not be a victim of your guilt!

Keep Track:
Write everything down. Your weight, what you eat, what weight you were using for your reps, everything. By having the information handy, not only can you see where you are progressing and have a better understanding of how to increase your intensity at a reasonable rate, but you can also see where your weaknesses are. Does your weight shoot up after a lazy weekend? Are you not eating as healthily as you should when you’re out of the house? Tracking your progress on a regular basis helps you evaluate your patterns, and improve upon them.

Reward yourself in the proper ways that promote your new, healthier lifestyle:
 A reward for your hard work should motivate you to move further, not act as a setback. There is something so counterproductive about treating yourself to sweats for succeeding in healthy eating, or taking a week off at the gym to celebrate six months of consistency. Try little treats that will excite you about your health and fitness – a new workout outfit or a new piece of equipment you’ve been eying, new supportive shoes, a day at the beach, a new supplement, or something that reminds you of what it took to achieve. Also, ensure that the reward match the accomplishment; losing that first ten 10lbs is a huge step in the right direction, but not quite worth that trip to Africa. Save that for your last ten lbs when you can show off your beach body with pride.

Most importantly, never stagnate!
Continue to make regular, active goals, even once you have achieved your milestone. The ceaseless drive to improve and the endless pursuit of success will always enrich your life. Once you have achieved your endpoint, strive for personal bests, better diet, harder muscles, anything that will keep you chasing happiness and health! The fulfillment of your triumphs will inspire others, and leave many memories for you to be proud of.

What do you want to achieve? What are you waiting for? You can do anything, as long as you make those first few steps.

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My Workout Playlist

Music can be a great addition to your workout. It can help you keep the pace, push you harder, or it can distract you through those last agonizing moments to your finish point.

Below, I’ve provided a sample (100 Songs) of the music I like to listen to while working out – these songs incorporate what I use for weight lifting, cardio, pole fitness, aerial silks, kickboxing and many other workouts, so you will find a great variance in music choice. My tastes range from musical scores and theme songs, to things you might hear on the radio, right into obscure bands that aren’t well known.

Where available, I’ve attempted to include Youtube links to the songs. I hope you enjoy, and perhaps find something new to add to your list!

  1. Escape the Fate – Gorgeous Nightmare
  2. Metallica – Fuel
  3. Katzenjammer – A Bar in Amsterdam
  4. Mariana’s Trench – Toy Soldiers
  5. Mariana’s Trench – Desperate Measures
  6. Mariana’s Trench – Haven’t Had Enough
  7. Mariana’s Trench – Stutter
  8. Mariana’s Trench – Shake Tramp
  9. Mariana’s Trench – September
  10. Mariana’s Trench – Vertigo
  11. Mariana’s Trench – Celebrity Status
  12. Mariana’s Trench – Sing Sing
  13. Rob Zombie – Dragula
  14. Sonata Arctica – Kingdom for a Heart
  15. Sonata Arctica – San Sebastian
  16. Sonata Arctica – Still Loving You
  17. Rev Theory – Hell Yeah
  18. Theory of A Deadman – Bad Girlfriend
  19. Saving Abel – Addicted
  20. Saving Abel – New Tattoo
  21. Jakalope – Witness
  22. Emily Osment and Josh Ramsay – Hush
  23. Hot Rod Herman – Dragula Remix
  24. Rammestein – Feuer Frei
  25. Enomine – Mitternacht
  26. My Chemical Romance – Black Parade
  27. My Chemical Romance – The Sharpest Lives
  28. Voltaire – Zombie Prostitute
  29. Voltaire – Vampire Club
  30. Voltaire – Brains
  31. Christina Aguilera – Express
  32. Christina Aguilera – Show Me How You Burlesque
  33. Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight
  34. Christina Aguilera – Vanity
  35. Pink – You and Your Hand
  36. Pink – So What
  37. Danny Fernandes and Josh Ramsay -Hit Me Up
  38. Shinedown – Sound of Madness
  39. Shinedown – Devour
  40. Shinedown – Sin With a Grin
  41. Shinedown – Cry for Help
  42. Hammerfall – Hearts on Fire
  43. Hammerfall – Blood Bound
  44. Hammerfall – Natural High
  45. Dropkick Murphys – The Gauntlet
  46. Within Temptation  – What Have You Done?
  47. Within Temptation – The Howling
  48. Within Temptation – Angels
  49. Nightwish – Amaranth
  50. Nightwish – Bye Bye Beautiful
  51. Cee Lo Green – Fuck You
  52. My Darkest Days – Porn Star Dancing
  53. Adam Lambert- For Your Entertainment
  54. Repo! The Genetic Opera - Zydrate Anatomy
  55. Paramore – Thats What You Get
  56. Paramore - Let the Flames Begin
  57. Paramore – Fences
  58. Versa Emerge – Fixed at Zero
  59. Papa Roach – I Almost Told You that I Loved You
  60. Papa Roach – Hollywood Whore
  61. Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party
  62. Oingo Boingo – No One Lives Forever
  63. Symphony X – Accolade II
  64. Symphony X – Out of the Ashes
  65. Game of Thrones – Intro Theme Song
  66. Ascetic Junkies – Dracula
  67. Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting
  68. DJ Bobo – Vampires are Alive
  69. DJ Bobo – Pirates of Dance
  70. Army of Lovers – Crucifed
  71. Dragon Force – Through the Fire and Flames
  72. Dream Evil – Fight You to the End
  73. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Paris (Ooh La La)
  74. I am Ghost - Lovers Requiem
  75. I am Ghost – Killer Likes Candy
  76. Jonathan Coulton – I Feel Fantastic
  77. Jonathan Coulton – Skullcrusher Mountain
  78. Maroon 5 – Moves like Jagger
  79. The Trews – Not Ready to Go
  80. Princess and the Frog – Friends on the Other Side
  81. Selena Gomez – Naturally
  82. Tom Jones – Sex Bomb
  83. Tom Jones – You Can Leave Your Hat On
  84. Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
  85. Young Artists for Haiti – Wavin’ Flag
  86. Drowning Pool – Bodies
  87. Rancid - Red Hot Moon
  88. Finger Eleven – Paralyzer
  89. Nine Inch Nails – Hand that Feeds
  90. Blackmore’s Night – Storm
  91. Blackmore’s Night – Rainbow Blues
  92. Bowling for Soup – The Bitch Song
  93. Christina Perri – Bang Bang Bang
  94. David Guetta - Love is Gone
  95. Flogging Molly – Black Friday Rule
  96. Freedom Call – Carry On
  97. Gackt – Vanilla
  98. Great Big Sea – Company of Fools
  99. Great Big Sea – Consequence Free
  100. Great Big Sea – Ordinary Day

 

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How to Motivate Others

This article was written for ActivewearUSA.

Motivation is the key to your success: it can make or break your diet and workout plan, encourage consistency, and help push you through to the next level. Motivation is what gets you out of bed an hour early to get in a workout before the work day, and it’s what keeps you from indulging in that disastrously tempting bowl of ice cream in the evening. Everyone knows just how important motivation is, yet some people find motivation extremely difficult to come by. Stress, time crunches and the road blocks that life throws at us are often the cause of these dips in our motivation levels, and once one falls off the motivation wagon, it can be very difficult to board again.

Similarly, we all have that one person in our lives who just isn’t motivated. They may complain about the way they feel about their bodies, yet they never seem to follow through on the initiative to start exercising or adopt a healthy diet. It can be very tough when these people are a member of our immediate family, best friend, or significant other: all you want to do is help them succeed, and realize their greatest potential, right? It is because of this, that whenever I am interviewed, I am always asked “How can I motivate my girlfriend to work out?”, “how can I convince my friend who constantly complains about their weight to eat healthy?” or “how can I get my family member to join me in the gym?” It is a concern to health-minded individuals to share their happiness with others!

However, as Steven R. Covey once said, ““Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” No truer words have been spoken on the subject – when you want to achieve something, it is not the photo on the wall that pushes you, it is that inner voice that tells you “Yes, I want this, and I want it badly.” Encouragement is intensely valuable, but if the fire’s not burning, you can’t blow on the coals!

So how then can you motivate the people in your life? Is it possible to help make a difference?

The answer is yes! And I have the secret: Set an example.

If you’re looking to encourage and motivate someone else, chances are that your own personal motivation is on track. And that is fantastic! Keep at it! By continuing on the path of health and fitness, not only will you reap the results and become happier and healthier, the people in your life are going to be aware of your successes. This is motivating! I am not suggesting that you should brag about your progress, or talk of nothing else, but if you are constantly making healthy positive choices, it will have an influence on those around you – and a bigger one than trying to convince them to do something they just don’t want to.

Setting a positive example for the people in your life is the foundation of motivating others, but it is not all you can do. Sometimes, subtle actions are paramount. Become an encouraging workout buddy! People are often more receptive to the idea of working out if they don’t have to go it alone, and if they know they’re going with someone who can make it fun! Become a great hostess! Throw parties, and serve your most delicious clean eating recipes – you’ll have people asking for them before the night is over. Be the outing planner! If you are stuck in a rut going out to eat at unhealthy restaurants with your friends, plan a picnic instead, or a day at the beach or even a fun drop in swing dancing class! Bearing these ideas in mind, not only will you help motivate those around you, you will find yourself even more fired up!

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