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December 31st is No Interruptions Day

   
Calendar 12-31-13_mini
© Alicen Ronan

The end of the year is quickly coming and to celebrate it’s passing the Carnival of Well-Being is focusing on the last day of the year: December 31st is No Interruptions Day. No Interruptions Day can take on many different meanings, but to me, I see this as a time to take the last day of the year to focus on yourself uninterrupted. This is a great day to reflect on how you have progressed the last year. It’s also a perfect time to decide what you want to focus on in the next year to improve your health, fitness and well-being. By focusing on what you want to do in the coming year and making a plan you’ll be all ready to face the year with without letting interruptions get in your way.

       

Taking time to review your progress during the last year on No Interruptions Day is a perfect way to decide how you want to proceed in the new year. Have you met your personal goals for this past year? Did you lose the weight you wanted to? Did you participate in more exercise? Did you run that 5K you promised yourself you were going to enter? Make a list of the things you wanted to accomplish – whether you accomplished them or not. Check off the things you did complete. Be sure to add any extra accomplishments to your list too. For those items that you didn’t achieve reflect on why they are incomplete. Did you lose focus? Did that thing become less important for some reason? Did you simply neglect to do what would have been necessary to achieve it? Don’t beat yourself up about the things that remain undone, this is just a time to reflect and think about why you took the path you ended up on.

Now that you’ve evaluated the past year it’s time to think about what do you want for yourself in the coming year. Do you still want to do those things you didn’t accomplish last year or have you moved on to different objectives? Make a new list, this time focusing on the things you want to do for yourself in the coming year. Do you want to lose weight? Maybe try a new fitness class? Commit to a steady exercise regimen? Make your list as long as you want, but in the next step be forewarned that we are going to chop your list down to a manageable size.

Once you have listed out everything you think you want to accomplish we have to re-evaluate for importance. Every item on your list is important, but there are going to be things on that list that will make a bigger difference in the long run to your health, happiness and wellness. Look over every item on your list and highlight 3-5 of the most important items on that list. Highlight the ones you know will make the biggest change or lasting difference in your life. Don’t worry if you think they are hard to accomplish, just identify them and in the next step we will start working on your plan for how to manage each item you have highlighted.

Now that you have identified 3-5 important things that you want to accomplish the next thing to consider is how you are going to achieve them. For each of your 3-5 important items I want you to list 4-5 things you need to do in order to achieve that thing.

Examples

If you want to run in a 5K this year you need to:
1) Make an appointment and visit with your doctor to get clearance to participate in exercise/running.
2) Find an appropriate race, sign up and pay the entry fee.
3) Find a trainer/coach/adviser for support and guidance.
4) Set up a training schedule for the event.

If you want to lose 25 pounds this year you need to:
1) Make an appointment and visit with your doctor to get clearance to participate in a weight loss program.
2) Find a personal trainer for fitness support and guidance.
3) Find a registered dietitian to help coach you on your nutrition.
4) Set up a fitness and eating plan with your chosen professionals.

Now that you’ve listed out the things you need to do in order to achieve your most important goals you have an easy to follow checklist of exactly what you need to do to make your goals a reality. You have given thought to the process, written down the steps you know you need to take to make it happen and you’ve created your checklist for the whole year. Making a plan really helps you think about how you are going to reach your goal.

The final step I suggest is to re-write you goals along with the steps in a nice format so you can print them out and post them in an easy to see place. Posting your list on your bathroom mirror, closest door or another high traffic area will help keep your goals and the steps you know you need to take to reach them in the forefront of your thoughts.

Make this December 31st all about you with No Interruptions Day. Take the time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go. Make your plan and stick with it for a successful and happy 2014.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness consultant and fitness writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training session 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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November 1st is National Give Up Your “Shoulds” Day

   
photo credit: Casa Velas Hotel via photopin cc
photo credit: Casa Velas Hotel via photopin cc

The Kansas City Carnival of Well-Being is taking on a topic for November that plagues many people trying to make lifestyle or other changes: dealing with the things you should be doing to make change. With November 1st being National Give Up Your “Shoulds” Day it’s a great time to explore some of the “shoulds” you may want to consider giving up. Contrary to popular belief, the “shoulds” related to your fitness may be the very things that are holding you back.  Oxford Dictionaries says the word should is “used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness”.  It already sounds like a bummer.

       

Depending on who you talk to fitness comes with many “shoulds”:
You should work out X times a week
You should be X weight
You should eat X calories per day
You should lift X weight to get ripped
You should look like X to be fit
You should go to the gym every day
…and the list goes on and on

Most of these ideas aren’t necessarily bad per se, but the obligation created by throwing should in there is the exact thing that causes rebellion and revolt in many people. When you feel obligated to do something or you feel like you can’t achieve any results if you don’t do things a certain way how do you feel? Lots of clients have told me they feel terrible. When they can’t commit to working out or eating the way they’ve been told they should, then they’re ready to give up before they start because the don’t feel like they’ll get the results they are looking for.  Should becomes an evil roadblock because every person is going to find fitness in their own way but the obligation created by thinking there are things you should do to get results makes it seem like there’s only one way to go about it.

I say let’s give up these fitness related “shoulds” so we can stop feeling pressured by the obligation it creates.  Let’s turn some of these fitness directives into positive ideas:

The Should ApproachThe Positive Approach
You should work out X times a weekWorking out X times per week can yield the benefits you are looking to achieve
You should be X weightX weight would be appropriate for your health and fitness goals
You should eat X calories per dayX calories per day would be appropriate for your weight and fitness goals
You should lift X weight to get rippedLifting X weight will help you increase your muscle mass in time
You should look like X to be fitYour body is unique and trying to look like X is not the best way to improve your health or fitness
You should go to the gym every dayGoing to the gym every day may help you get the specific fitness results you desire

A simple change in the way you look at these ideas is all it takes to change these obligation creating directives into simple suggestions for making changes.  When you can shift your thinking you can process these ideas without the guilt associated with things you should be doing.  What are some of the fitness related “shoulds” you want to give up?  Feel free to post them in a comment below.  Be sure to stop back by on November 1st to read the November edition of The Carnival of Well-Being too for more insight on other “shoulds” you may want to toss out the window.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness consultant and fitness
writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that
she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for
personal training session 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons
at the top or bottom of this article to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or
Pinterest.

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What Lights Your Inner Fitness Fire?

   
photo credit: Wildcat Dunny via photopin cc
photo credit: Wildcat Dunny via photopin cc

Fall is just around the corner and with that comes the glowing light of pumpkins.  Kansas City’s very own Carnival of Well-Being focuses in on the topic of “light” this month – whether it be your own light or some other aspect of the flame, fire or passion in your life.  This topic got me thinking about the inner fitness fire in all of us.  Some people’s definitely burns brighter than others so how do you see your inner fitness fire?

       

Inner fitness fire, or fitness passion to put it another way, really does vary by person.  It’s evident by how much stock people put in exercise and fitness and how much they care about making sure those things are a part of their life.

For me, my inner fitness fire is stoked by my past experiences being overweight.  There were specific instances where my weight held me back from doing things I wanted to do.  I could not participate in certain activities or I couldn’t use a certain birth control because I was tipping the scales.  I had a general feeling of being unhappy with how I looked and how I felt about myself.   Life in general was not as satisfying as I knew it could or should be.  To this day those experiences fuel my desire to never go back to that place.

Everyone will have different reasons for being passionate about fitness and physical activity.  Perhaps it’s just always been something that has been a part of your life.  You’ve always enjoyed it and made time for it.  Or maybe your fire is barely lit.  You want to make it a part of your life but you just haven’t done it yet.

Hear are a few ideas to help stoke your inner fitness fire or keep the flames burning bright:

  • Think about what motivates you to participate in physical exercise and activities.  Make a list and refer to it if you get off track.
  • Make time for some type of physical activity every single day because some is always better than none!
  • Don’t take your body for granted.  Treat your body kindly by stretching and participating in activities that allow for soothing of your mind and body.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you get off track.  Simply take the soonest opportunity to resume your fitness routine and go from there.
  • Don’t be too serious or rigid.  Rigidity motivates a very few.  Know that fitness is a process and nothing happens overnight.
  • Stick with your program as much as possible but make concessions if necessary.  While being too rigid may not help, slacking off will never get you anywhere either.  Avoid falling off the wagon all together by compromising if needed.
  • Work at a comfortable level.  Too hard, too fast or too heavy only serve to burn you out quickly.

Your inner fitness fire may come and go, but the importance of making fitness a part of your life will never dwindle.  Use the suggestions provided to help get your fitness fire aglow or feel free to post other ideas for fanning your flames in the comments below.

 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a personal trainer, fitness consultant and fitness writer based out
of the Kansas City metro area. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009
when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes.
She is available for personal training session 7 days a week both in the Kansas City
metro and virtually.

Like this Post? Check Out These Posts too:

September is National Self-Improvement Month

   
Calender Colors 1
©stock.xchng/dropowtt

September is National Self-Improvement Month which is a perfect time to focus on your health and fitness.

       

For September I would like to offer a hand to anyone who has wanted to improve their fitness but hasn’t taken any steps yet.  Whether you were too scared, too busy or just didn’t know what to do with yourself, let’s work on making fitness a priority in your life this month.  I am not asking you to run a marathon, join a gym or do anything too crazy.  The point is to begin making fitness activities a part of your everyday life.  Follow the easy steps below to get start on your own self-improvement journey and make fitness a part of your daily routine.  

First, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your health and fitness.  Your doctor should give you the okay to participate in a fitness program prior to starting for your health and safety.

Next, commit to doing “something” fitness related every single day of the month of September.  You can follow the easy plan I have put together below or you can come up with your own plan.  Whatever you decide to do – write down exactly what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and for how long (if applicable).  Make yourself a checklist or calendar to go along with your plan so that you can record/check off every successful day.  Again, I am not asking for you to get crazy, I just want you to commit to moving a little bit every single day.  We are taking baby steps so that you can learn that incorporating exercise into your life is easy and can even be fun.  Self-improvement is a journey and when making lasting fitness changes it’s often best to work into it slowly.

Next, get your friends and family on board.  A good support network is often the difference between making lasting changes or letting your good intentions fly out the door.  Tell your friends and family about your plan and ask them if them want to join you on your new adventure during National Self-Improvement Month.  Because you aren’t jumping into an intensive program you may find that it’s easy to get people to join you.  Even if they don’t want to join you ask that they support and encourage you during this month.

Finally, start the month off right by engaging in fitness activities from day one and then stick with your plan.  Check off or record every day that you participate in a fitness activity.  If you miss a day don’t give up on the rest of the month, just jump right back on schedule and keep going.  Because little changes can add up to big results over time never discount any of the benefits (big or small) of making fitness activities a part of your lifestyle.

For National Self-Improvement Month I have put together an activity plan formatted as a calendar of activities to do every day of September.  This plan was created for those that are very new to fitness and exercising activities.  It’s primarily geared towards getting you used to adding an extra dose of movement or activity to your day.  If you are a more advanced exerciser feel free to use this calendar as a guide to create your own month of fitness improvements.  No matter what plan you choose to follow be sure to get your doctor’s approval before beginning this or any other exercise program.

To save a printable pdf version of the calendar right click on the link below and select “Save link as”:

National Self-Improvement Month Fitness Plan

September Improvement Calendar

If you need guidance with how to perform any of the exercise activities listed please feel free to contact me and I will help you out!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a personal trainer, fitness consultant and fitness writer based out
of the Kansas City metro area. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009
when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes.
She is available for personal training session 7 days a week both in the Kansas City
metro and virtually.

Like this Post? Check Out These Posts too:

What Will be Your Fitness Legacy?

   

©iStockphoto.com/Nicole Weiss
©iStockphoto.com/Nicole Weiss
Our Carnival of Well-Being for August focuses on the topic of legacy.  Merriam Webster defines legacy as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past”.  When thinking about my own legacy my thoughts naturally drifted towards my passion for the field of fitness.  What will I leave for the future?  What will be my fitness legacy?  I thought long and hard about what I could do to pass on my passion and knowledge so that it would better the lives of those who come after me.  In the end I realized that I have less of a need to worry about what I pass on to the future and more of a need to pass my knowledge to others now so that they can create a legacy of fitness in their own lives.

       

Teach your kids
Your kids will probably be most influenced by your life and legacy – so what are you teaching them? Fitness is a lifelong pursuit and if it isn’t something that is taught and practiced in your home then you are shortchanging yourself and your kids. Show your kids that enjoying the outdoors is fun. Take them hiking, biking, walking, swimming, skating or on any other activity that gets them moving in the great outdoors. Show them that participation in sports can be fun (but don’t push them!!). Instead of sitting on the couch with your family in the evenings get up and get out of the house. Go to the gym, go to the park or just get out in your own backyard. Fitness starts at home.

Do what you love
Fitness is sometimes disregarded because it’s seen as a burden rather than a privilege. Don’t do stuff you hate – do what you love. I hate jogging. Really… I hate it. So as far as my fitness program goes, jogging has been eliminated from my routine. You’ll never create a legacy of fitness if you can’t find something you love to do or at least eliminate the things you really don’t like. There are so many activities that can help perpetuate your fitness that are fun. Do you love dancing, Zumba, swimming, yoga or something else? Find that one fitness thing you really enjoy and get really good at it.

Don’t give up
Being fit doesn’t come naturally to everyone and that’s okay, but don’t give up on it. You need to make a focused effort to participate in activities that promote fitness and help you achieve your fitness goals. Not every moment in your pursuit of fitness is going to be fun, but find fitness activities that you love (see above) and it will be a lot easier. Set fitness goals that are realistic and break big goals into smaller steps. Your fitness legacy depends, in part, on your tenacity.

Get help when needed
If you don’t know what you’re doing with yourself then get help. You can’t create a positive fitness legacy if you’re running around in circles. Get support when needed in the form of friends, family or professional guidance. If you are unfamiliar with how to do something then learn how to do it. Find a coach or personal trainer to create a fitness program for you. Find a teacher or coach who can help guide you on your fitness journey Don’t let your lack of knowledge hold you back from being fit or creating a lasting legacy of fitness. The more you learn the more you can pass onto others.

Devoting yourself to fitness creates a positive outcome physically. In the long run it also creates a legacy of fitness that you can share with others. Your dedication to fitness can serve as a positive message and inspiration to others now or for those that come after you.
 
Check back here on August 1st for the full Carnival of Well-Being and all the great posts by the dedicated contributors that make it possible!
 
 
About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a personal trainer, fitness consultant and fitness writer based out
of the Kansas City metro area. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009
when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes.
She is available for personal training session 7 days a week both in the Kansas City
metro and virtually.
 
 

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