How are your Resolutions Going?

So it’s February…how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  Now is a good time to reevaluate them.  How consistent have you been?  Are you meeting your goals?  And maybe, most of all, are you set up to succeed?

If you’re not preparing your New Years Resolutions around your Tendency, you might be setting yourself up for failure.  Some people will resist internally a resolution, so it’s actually better not to have one at all.

Gretchen Rubins new book, The Four Tendencies, has been a major help in our home and lives to help us meet any goal, not just health and fitness goals.  I strongly recommend it, especially if you’re not doing well committing to your New Years Resolutions.

You can take this short online quiz to discover your tendency.  Once you know your tendency, then you can set yourself up for success so that you can meet your goal.  For example, I’m an Upholder.  That means I’m intrinsically and extrinsically motivated.  I love goals, challenges, and charts.  I give myself a gold star when I do my Pilates workout each day.  Watching the gold stars increase and grow makes me happy.  I want to workout so I can see the list of gold stars grow bigger.  I do Pilates every day (even holidays and vacations).  That’s my rule. I set up the rule so I can succeed (it has no specified amount of time, so 10 minutes counts).  That way I can meet my goal, my success pattern increases, which helps me keep doing Pilates.

That rule would not work, however, for my son, who is a Rebel.  He is the opposite of me - he is neither intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.  My husband and I are trying to encourage him to practice piano.  However, the more we encourage him, the more he resists us.  Stickers don’t work.  He needs to feel like he has the freedom to choose to practice.  So, he now chooses when he practices.  He still needs to practice each day, he just gets to choose when. That little bit of flexibility helps him to feel like he has some control over his goal, and when Rebels decide they want to do something, they can be very successful. 

So for Rebels, resolutions sometimes just don’t work.  If you’re a Rebel, like my son, they have the opposite effect.  Maybe that’s why you can’t meet your goals.  It’s not an internal fault that lies within you.  It’s better to try to match your resolution to your Tendency. 

This is the perfect book to read before you give up on your New Years Resolutions.  It’s full of great ideas how to motivate yourself or the people in your life to make healthy changes.  It’s helped all of us in my home relate to each other better.  Now I know when my son is trying to negotiate a rule, it’s just his tendency.  He’s more likely to follow the rule if I give him some control.  As an Upholder, that’s hard for me.  In my head, a rule is a rule.  But now I’ve learned that a little bit of flexibility on my part can give him some control, and then the task will be accomplished.  More peace insures, more practicing happens.  

How about you?  Do you know your tendency?  What tricks have helped you to know yourself better so you can motivate yourself to meet your goals?  And don’t forget, you can always have a Non New Years Resolution.

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How to Drop a Few

My clients often ask me how to drop a few pounds right before a big event, and I've found a simple formula that works, so I'd love to share it with you today.  It's perfect before a big event like a wedding or reunion.

So my secret is simple (Don't you like simple?  No books to buy or complicated lists of "yes" and "no" foods).  Only eat foods that start with a "S" - smoothie, salad, and simple super.

Check out my Mama Morning Shake Recipie to see what I put in my morning smoothie.  I've been digging this protein powder lately.  It has no added sugar, and doesn't have such a "protein powder" taste that I can't taste the fruits and veggies.  I want my smoothie to taste like food, not like chalk.

For lunch, have a salad.  I'm a protein girl, so I usually have salmon on mine, but you could do hard boiled eggs, chicken, or keep it vegan. 

A "simple supper" for me is meat and unlimited vegetables.  Namely, try to avoid carbs late in the day.  Learn how yummy and filling fruit can be.  Add rice or quinoa if you still feel hungry, but add vegetables before that.

And that's it.  Here's why I love this plan:  It's simple, you can repeat it without thinking (sometimes my leftover dinner meat is my salad for the next day), and you can customize it to your budget.  I love a cleanse as much as the next girl, but sometimes those get ridiculously expensive.  Flexibility for me is key - make it vegan, make it organic, make it local, whatever works for you.  Just eat the 3 "S"s!**

 

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Heal Inflammation from the Inside Out

Do you often treat muscle soreness with pain medicine or creams?  Why not try to make your own tea with healing properties?  It's made with food, so it will nourish your body without any side effects, and it only takes about 5 minutes to make.

I love to make a healing tea with lemon, ginger, and tumeric. 

Lemon is a alkalinzing fruit.  Most Americans have a high acid content to their diets (from eating dairy, meat, sweets, and caffeine).  Lemon can help balance pH levels in the body which has been linked to better digestion, mood, and less pain.  More information on alkaline diets can be found here.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, and can also help to aid digestion.  It's also an antioxidant.  It's ability to help with nausea is well documented as well.

Finally, the active ingredient in tumeric** (what gives curry it's yellow color) is curcumin.  It has strong anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties. 

So, to make the tea:

1.  Heat some water (I usually just make a single cup for myself)

2.  Squeeze half the juice of one lemon into the water (don't worry about the seeds, you'll strain it later)

3.  Grate about 2 teaspoons fresh ginger into the water

4.  Grate about 2 teaspoons fresh tumeric into the water (peel and grate the tumeric as you would the ginger)

5. Wait about 5-7 minutes, then strain out the ginger, tumeric, and lemon seeds

6.  Enjoy a glass!  If you want to add some sweetness, I recommend honey.

** Tumeric can be found in most health food stores in the produce section, usually by the ginger

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You Are More than Your Body

I was reading this blog today and this line really struck a chord with me:

"Stress trumps all.   Even when the diet and movement are right, you can be undermined by a mind that's bearing a heavy load." 

Isn't that true?  Every time I've had a major injury, it's been during a very stressful period in my life.  I've taken to preemptively doing energy work before a stressful event because my body manifests stress so strongly physically.  When I last sprained my ankle, I was a Graduate Teaching Assitant, was completing my Masters, was teaching full time, and completing the highest level of Pilates certification.  So was it the movement in the ballet class that injured me?  No, it was the heavy load I was carrying in my brain and in my heart.

So, how are you planning on taking care of your mind this year?  How can we lessen the load for each other? 

This may be my New Years Non Resolution .

What are you Giving Yourself this year?

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Before we even get into New Years Resolutions, can we talk about what gifts we're giving this year?  Not to each other, but to ourselves?  No matter what Winter Festival of Your Choice you are celebrating, why not give yourself a gift this year instead of giving something up for New Years?  Why not add instead of subtract? 

Just. Add. Pilates.

Or yoga.  Or breakfast smoothies.  Or an earlier bedtime.  And see what else changes. 

Make your life one of plenty and abundance.

See also What If?

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