Depending upon how happy your holidays were, you may be feeling sluggish and fatigued. Even if you were good, January is a great month to get serious about your flexibility. So many of us grew up without being taught the importance of proper stretching, and it may be catching up with us. The good news is our bodies are amazing and can respond positively.
Yoga is more popular with each passing year, and I believe it is because people are seeing the results: flexibility, strength, core stability, and less pain. When our muscles are tight, they shorten up and pull, causing us to get out of balance. When we aren’t aligned, we hurt. When our muscle is more pliable, we can move easier without pain. My words of caution:
- If you are new to yoga, don’t attend an advanced class. Look for Hatha or gentle yoga.
- Don’t attend a hot yoga class unless you are in top condition. The heat can be extremely dangerous, causing nausea, and you are more likely to pull a muscle.
Each yoga pose is designed to stretch something while at the same time strengthening something else. It’s a great way to create balance and stability, too.
Here are some poses and how they can help you:
- Tree pose – You stand on one foot with the other either on your ankle, calf, or thigh…knee out to the side. This stretches your hips and knees while strengthening your quad and working on your balance.
- Forward bend – With your feet close together, you bend at the waist, bringing your chest toward your thighs/knees. Your goal is to reach as far down as you can, ultimately placing your hands on the floor. This is an excellent stretch of the lower back and hamstring.
- Butterfly – Take a seat and bring the bottom of your feet together. The goal here is to drop the knees down to the floor. Most folks can’t do it because of tight muscles. Keep at this one because it relaxes and opens up your hip flexors. Be sure to sit up straight, and you will strengthen your back muscles at the same time.
Remember, I have a great yoga DVD that you can watch from the privacy of your own home. Here’s to less pain and more flexibility this year!
When we get our eyes examined, we stare at a chart with letters on it. The small print line is 2020 or perfect focus. As we age, we unfortunately lose the ability to see that clearly, but the good news is we can create sharp goals. Just like our vision, if our goals are fuzzy and out of focus, we can’t see. If we can’t see them, we will forget them.
Since this year is 2020, I thought what better time to get clarity with our goals. The way we do that is to understand our “why.” Saying you want to lose weight to fit into your cloths better isn’t a strong enough why. If it were, everyone’s weight would just melt off. You must figure out what is truly motivating you. This can take some time because we need to look into our hearts and sort through all the voices in our heads (the media, family, friends, spouses, co-workers…all who have an opinion!) to decide what OUR desire is and what OUR voice is telling us. Set aside some quiet, reflective time to contemplate your why. Seek God as to what He may have in mind for you.
Our desire to avoid pain and gain pleasure is one of the most powerful driving forces in our lives. We can create incredible leverage that will propel us into action if we simply link enough pain to inaction and enough pleasure to action and achievement. Create a list of compelling reasons why you must achieve your goals. You then can access that leverage in a way that will literally drive you into action. To do this, your goals must be personally rewarding.
Write a paragraph listing as many benefits you will receive by achieving your goal. How will you feel? Who will you become? What will you be able to do? Will you be able to have? What will you be able to contribute? What are the long-term benefits of reaching your goal? Be sure to go back and review this list over and over again, adding to it any additional benefits you can think of. Consider these as you create your goal list:
- Start out with what matters to you.
- Create correlating categories (health, relationships, career, hobby, etc.)
- Place goals in appropriate category.
- Prioritize goals.
- Chunk down goals to smaller, short-term goals.
- Review goals weekly.
- Adjust and adapt accordingly.
The stronger and more powerful your why, the greater the chances of success!
Keep in mind as you walk your path in life that success is not measured by whom we are or what we accomplish compared to other people. True success is measured by who we become or what we accomplish compared to who we might have become or what we might have accomplished given our resources and abilities at the time.
Most importantly, remember you are a special person with your own unique talents and abilities. There is no other person on this earth just like you, and you are deserving of all of the wonderful things that this world has to offer. Make the commitment to yourself that you will never, ever, ever give up in your quest for excellence. Here’s to perfect focus in 2020!
Oh boy. This year is the presidential election year. That means we are going to be bombarded with political ads from all parties. As tempting as it might be to share your political beliefs with co-workers, I encourage you to keep those to yourself. Nothing stirs the pot and ignites heated debates like politics.
Perhaps we would benefit from applying the same rules we often use with our families. You know – all those holiday manner tips about keeping the peace? They might serve us well in the workplace.
- Take the high road and avoid the topic all together.
- Know yourself and keep your emotions in check when the conversation takes a turn in the political direction. Exit yourself if you need to.
- Be respectful. If you feel you must engage, debating gets you no where fast. Calmly state your points.
- Listen more and talk less. Just because we have an opinion doesn’t mean we have to share it.
- Stay positive! It will all be over in 11 months…maybe.
Looking for some accountability with your health, fitness, and nutritional goals but don’t have the money for a personal trainer? I have the solution: The Fitness DISCovery System, daily activity & nutrition tracker. This journal helps you focus on doing the right things on a daily basis to get the results you seek. It is educational, informative, and easy to use!