Category Archives: Motivation for Change

Secrets to Living Longer

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TIME Magazine ran an article last year about a 115 year old woman and asked her, before her death in 2010, what her secrets were for living such a long life. Keep in mind that genetics play a part but there are so many other factors as well. She was asked her secrets and she gave her top NINE keys to long life. Her response is as follows…

1. Diet matters. A Lot! A largely Mediterranean diet — which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy fats like olive oil — gets a lot of attention and has been linked to a healthier older age, lower risk for heart disease, and even protection against memory loss.
2. Getting educated will add a few years. Educated people are more likely to land better jobs, plan for their future, and make healthier lifestyle choices.
3. Stress isn’t bad for you, necessarily. Productive, hardworking people (even in old age) are not stressed and miserable, but tend to be happier, healthier, and more socially connected than their less productive peers.
4. Above all else, be mindful. The mind does have influence on the body. Meditation teaches the mind to let go and therefore allows the body to let go as well. Self awareness takes the place of the exterior environment and increases the body and mind’s ability to function.
5. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna. Thinking positive” isn’t necessarily healthy. If you’re very optimistic, especially in the face of illness and recovery, if you don’t consider the possibility that you might have setbacks, then those setbacks are harder to deal with. Better to plan for every contingency.
6. Social inclusion is critical. Having a strong social network not only provides you with the support you need in bad times but also provides you with cohorts during the good times. A strong family and friend network is vital to good health.
7. Sitting a lot is the worst thing you can do. You sit, you become stagnant. You stop moving, you die. Being active, moving, stretching, walking is the key to a healthy body and long lasting health. And it’s fun too.
8. Your personality says it all. Conscientiousness beats out all other personality type when it comes to life expectancy. The qualities of a prudent, persistent, well-organized person, like a scientist-professor — somewhat obsessive and not at all carefree are the qualities that help lead to a long life. A carefree person takes needless chances. A conscientious person makes smart choices.
9. Sometimes, it’s all about the genes. Even though the lifestyle you lead and the outlook you have on life makes a world of difference, you can’t overlook that good genes help play a part in living a long, healthy life.

Hendrikje Van Andel-Schipper lived to be 115 and passed away peacefully in her sleep in her home in Denmark.She was active up until the time of her death. She had to have known something of importance. Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, 113 years

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Psychological Barriers to Action – and How to Deal with Them

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Let’s face it; weight loss and keeping it off is hard. We’ve all heard the statistics about weight regain and the grim numbers about the obesity epidemic we’re facing in this country. But what really makes it so difficult to lose weight and then maintain? Well, let’s first take a look at what we know. What we know to be true is that those individuals who do adhere to their weight loss and maintenance regimens achieve and sustain weight loss; pretty simple, right? If you stick to the plan, it works! However, many people struggle to do this. Now, the problem can present itself as being about lack of knowledge or lack of motivation or a lack of willpower but what it really comes down to is non-adherence to the plan; i.e. simply not sticking to it.

Now, if setting goals and trying hard to achieve them were enough to ensure success, the task of achieving Optimal Health would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, when it comes to making positive life changes many people will encounter psychological barriers to sticking to the plan. The most common are summarized, most appropriately, by the acronym FEAR:

F = Fusion with Unhelpful Thoughts. This basically means that we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we aren’t even aware that we’re thinking and then those thoughts dictate our behavior. It’s like we’re being pushed around by our thoughts or allowing our thoughts to tell us what to do. When a person sets out to make a change, it’s normal for their mind to generate “unhelpful” thoughts like: I’m too busy, I can’t do it, I’ll fail, It’s too hard, and so on which can prevent them from moving forward. It’s a common misconception that our thoughts control our behaviors. They certainly influence our behaviors but ultimately we have a choice. However, when we get all entangled, caught up, or carried off by these thoughts they dominate our attention and we can’t focus on what is truly important to us. Becoming ‘fused’ with unhelpful thoughts throws us off-track.

E = Excessive Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources, they’ll either give up or fail. Necessary resources could include a person’s skills, ability, social support, time, money, and physical health. Setting goals that are too difficult or impossible will only result in frustration and abandonment of their weight loss and maintenance plans.

A = Avoidance of Discomfort. The practice of new way of eating and living can be difficult and tedious for some; and the pursuit of goals that pull us out of the “comfort zone” almost always generates significant anxiety. This discomfort is inevitable when it comes to lifestyle changes. So, if we are unwilling to make room for that discomfort, then we will not take action.

R = Remoteness from Values. If a person loses touch with their values that underlie their goals – if it doesn’t seem meaningful or important to them – then they will lose motivation. Values can provide a deep motivation that helps to sustain the practice of new skills, or the pursuit of challenging goals, even when it’s difficult, tedious or anxiety-provoking. The practice of using Structural Tension Charts can be a big help to realize and set goals with Primary and Secondary Choices and action steps to follow. This is found in the first few chapters in “Dr. A’s Habits of Health” as well as “Discover Your Optimal health” and the Workbook.

So, how do we address these barriers? Well, the antidote to FEAR is DARE:

D = Defusion from Unhelpful Thoughts. The mind is a reason-giving machine, and as soon as we think about doing something that pulls us out of our comfort zone, it cranks out all the reasons why we can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or shouldn’t have to do it. And if we wait until the day when our mind stops reason-giving before we do the things that really matter in life… we’ll never get started. So, if fusion with reason-giving is a major barrier to action, then naturally we target it with defusion. This means separating or distancing ourselves from unhelpful thoughts, letting them come and go instead of being caught up in them. In other words, defusion means looking at thoughts, rather than from thoughts; noticing thoughts rather than being caught up in thoughts; and letting thoughts come and go rather than holding on to them. One of the simplest ways of separating from thoughts is to write them down. This helps a person to take a step back and see the thoughts for what they are: a string of words. Nothing more, nothing less.

A = Acceptance of Discomfort. This means making room for painful thoughts and feelings, not because they like them or want them, but so they can do what matters. So, we can ask ourselves “Am I willing to feel some discomfort, in order to do what matters most to me?” If a person is unwilling to make room for the inevitable discomfort, they may need to clarify and connect with their values or set easier goals. Both of which we will discuss next.

R = Realistic Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources then they need to create a new goal to acquire those resources if possible, or accept the limitations of their reality and change their goal to adapt in the best way possible. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So, if a goal seems to big, make it smaller. If walking for 30 minutes is too much, cut it back to ten. If doing it daily is unrealistic, do it every other day. Ask yourself: “On a scale from zero to ten, where ten is ‘I’ll definitely do this no matter what’ and zero is ‘There is absolutely no change I’ll ever do this’ – then how likely are you to actually do this?” If you score less than seven, best change the goal to something smaller and easier.

E = Embracing Values. If a person is lacking motivation, then they need to reflect on why they’re doing this. What’s important and meaningful about this action? Does it truly matter? If so, why? Ask yourself: “Is this really important to me? Which of my values underlie this action? How would doing this make a positive difference in my life and the lives of others?” If we can link our new behaviors to something personally meaningful, we’re far more likely to do it!

So, there you go. Those are the most common psychological barriers to someone taking action to change their lifestyle and the most effective ways to target and overcome those barriers.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Nick Frye, Behavioral Therapist

 

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Relationships: How Do I Get These?

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Stressors are anything that threaten or adversely affect your health. These may include issues at work, poor eating habits, anything that allows negative or potentially hazardous substances into your body. These stressors can be internal or external in nature and sadly, many of them can’t be avoided. We do have lives to live and jobs to work, after all.
However, do not be discouraged (another bad stressor that will adversely affect your overall health). While you can’t avoid stressors, there are ways to combat them. Below are some Rx for various stressors (this is by no means a complete list):

Body

Migraines, recurring illnesses, lowered immune systems, rashes, headaches, aches and pains, sluggishness, poor sleep patterns, etc.

1. Avoid foods with preservatives, dyes, and basically any type of unnatural sugar or processing.

2. Avoid carrying around excess weight. There are some great weight loss programs out there.  While I have found great success with Take Shape For Life (and coach for other TSFL clients), find a program that works best for you.

3. Avoid seemingly healthy foods that are modified (GMO). There’s been a lot of debate over GMO lately but the truth of the matter is natural and unaltered is always best (that includes dehydrated which is easily returned to it’s natural state with the addition of water).

4. Avoid over the counter and prescription remedies as often as possible.  Most ailments were treated effectively LONG before science stepped in and began creating drugs.  Look for natural remedies such as essential oils, vitamins, minerals, fresh foods and herbs, or techniques such as massage to combat most ailments. These natural remedies are non-invasive, non-addictive, and work with the body to help it heal itself.

5. Exercise properly and safely. Over exercising is just as harmful and not exercising at all.

Mind

Stress, anger, depression, anxiety, etc.

1. Learn to quiet your mind and refocus. Mediation is a great tool as is learning the art of relaxation and release. A healthy regime allows for a period of quiet or mediation each day.

2. Exercise is as good for the mind as it is for the body.  It releases those happy endorphins which aid in healing and have an uplifting and calming affect on our minds.

3. Learn to prioritize. People who work off of lists are naturally healthier than those who do not. Why? Because they are less stressed and changes do not throw them. They have learned to prioritize so they always have a plan of execution.

4. Learn to say NO. Those who take on too much often find that they can’t do anything effectively.

5. Find coping mechanisms. Take time out, use essential oils to help clear your mind or calm you down in stressful situations, step away from highly volatile or stressful events until you are relaxed and better able to address the concern.

Relationships

Marriage, lovers, work, children, parents, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

1. Avoid relationships where you are giving 100% all the time and the other person is doing all the taking.

2. Cultivate relationships based on mutual respect and trust and avoid those that offer only distrust, selfishness, and criticism.

3. Make God or a Higher Power your first priority. Doing so will help you see the best in others.

4. Remove people who are toxic or only bring drama into your life.  It is less likely that you will be able to lift them up and more likely that they will bring you down to their level.

5. Communicate.  I can’t stress this enough.  The key to every great relationship, be it romantic, work or other, is the ability to communicate effectively and listen even better.

Did You Hit A Bump In The Road?

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Psychological Barriers to Action – and How to Deal with Them

(I am gearing this towards weight loss but the concept applies to anything you are struggling with in your life… Relationships, career, education, mental well being, etc.)

Let’s face it; weight loss and keeping it off is hard. We’ve all heard the statistics about weight regain and the grim numbers about the obesity epidemic we’re facing in this country. But what really makes it so difficult to lose weight and then maintain? Well, let’s first take a look at what we know. What we know to be true is that those individuals who do adhere to their weight loss and maintenance regimens achieve and sustain weight loss; pretty simple, right? If you stick to the plan, it works! However, many people struggle to do this. Now, the problem can present itself as being about lack of knowledge or lack of motivation or a lack of willpower but what it really comes down to is non-adherence to the plan; i.e. simply not sticking to it.

Now, if setting goals and trying hard to achieve them were enough to ensure success, the task of achieving Optimal Health would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, when it comes to making positive life changes many people will encounter psychological barriers to sticking to the plan. The most common are summarized, most appropriately, by the acronym FEAR:

F = Fusion with Unhelpful Thoughts. This basically means that we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we aren’t even aware that we’re thinking and then those thoughts dictate our behavior. It’s like we’re being pushed around by our thoughts or allowing our thoughts to tell us what to do. When a person sets out to make a change, it’s normal for their mind to generate “unhelpful” thoughts like: I’m too busy, I can’t do it, I’ll fail, It’s too hard, and so on which can prevent them from moving forward. It’s a common misconception that our thoughts control our behaviors. They certainly influence our behaviors but ultimately we have a choice. However, when we get all entangled, caught up, or carried off by these thoughts they dominate our attention and we can’t focus on what is truly important to us. Becoming ‘fused’ with unhelpful thoughts throws us off-track.

E = Excessive Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources, they’ll either give up or fail. Necessary resources could include a person’s skills, ability, social support, time, money, and physical health. Setting goals that are too difficult or impossible will only result in frustration and abandonment of their weight loss and maintenance plans.

A = Avoidance of Discomfort. The practice of new way of eating and living can be difficult and tedious for some; and the pursuit of goals that pull us out of the “comfort zone” almost always generates significant anxiety. This discomfort is inevitable when it comes to lifestyle changes. So, if we are unwilling to make room for that discomfort, then we will not take action.

R = Remoteness from Values. If a person loses touch with their values that underlie their goals – if it doesn’t seem meaningful or important to them – then they will lose motivation. Values can provide a deep motivation that helps to sustain the practice of new skills, or the pursuit of challenging goals, even when it’s difficult, tedious or anxiety-provoking. The practice of using Structural Tension Charts can be a big help to realize and set goals with Primary and Secondary Choices and action steps to follow. This is found in the first few chapters in “Dr. A’s Habits of Health” as well as “Discover Your Optimal health” and the Workbook.

So, how do we address these barriers? Well, the antidote to FEAR is DARE:

D = Defusion from Unhelpful Thoughts. The mind is a reason-giving machine, and as soon as we think about doing something that pulls us out of our comfort zone, it cranks out all the reasons why we can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or shouldn’t have to do it. And if we wait until the day when our mind stops reason-giving before we do the things that really matter in life… we’ll never get started. So, if fusion with reason-giving is a major barrier to action, then naturally we target it with defusion. This means separating or distancing ourselves from unhelpful thoughts, letting them come and go instead of being caught up in them. In other words, defusion means looking at thoughts, rather than from thoughts; noticing thoughts rather than being caught up in thoughts; and letting thoughts come and go rather than holding on to them. One of the simplest ways of separating from thoughts is to write them down. This helps a person to take a step back and see the thoughts for what they are: a string of words. Nothing more, nothing less.

A = Acceptance of Discomfort. This means making room for painful thoughts and feelings, not because they like them or want them, but so they can do what matters. So, we can ask ourselves “Am I willing to feel some discomfort, in order to do what matters most to me?” If a person is unwilling to make room for the inevitable discomfort, they may need to clarify and connect with their values or set easier goals. Both of which we will discuss next.

R = Realistic Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources then they need to create a new goal to acquire those resources if possible, or accept the limitations of their reality and change their goal to adapt in the best way possible. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So, if a goal seems to big, make it smaller. If walking for 30 minutes is too much, cut it back to ten. If doing it daily is unrealistic, do it every other day. Ask yourself: “On a scale from zero to ten, where ten is ‘I’ll definitely do this no matter what’ and zero is ‘There is absolutely no change I’ll ever do this’ – then how likely are you to actually do this?” If you score less than seven, best change the goal to something smaller and easier.

E = Embracing Values. If a person is lacking motivation, then they need to reflect on why they’re doing this. What’s important and meaningful about this action? Does it truly matter? If so, why? Ask yourself: “Is this really important to me? Which of my values underlie this action? How would doing this make a positive difference in my life and the lives of others?” If we can link our new behaviors to something personally meaningful, we’re far more likely to do it!

So, there you go. Those are the most common psychological barriers to someone taking action to change their lifestyle and the most effective ways to target and overcome those barriers.

Contributed by: Nick Frye

 

 

Important Habits of Happy, Healthy, and Successful Individuals

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Why are some people better at life than others? they seem to have it all, wealth, healthy, and a bounty of other blessings.  What’s their secret?
It’s no secret. These individuals simply follow a set of habits that positively affect their lives in all areas.   Want to know what those habits are?
Happy, Healthy, Successful people:
1. Don’t hold grudges.
2. Think outside of the box.
3. Go by a routine and make exercise a part of it. It takes practice to develop healthy habits and stick with them. Once you do, your internal foundation will be strong.
4. Have a support system, thereby not wasting time with negative or toxic people.
5. Don’t care about what other people think. Does a tiger lose sleep over the opinion of sheep?
6. Don’t people please.
7. See difficult and challenging situations as opportunities for personal growth.
8. Consider handling rejection a skill and are resilient.
9. Make time for themselves. Whether it’s getting eight hours of sleep every night, finding 15 minutes to read the newspaper in peace or an hour to go to the gym, they make it a priority — just like everything else. When you take care of yourself, you have a bigger impact on others.
10. Are spiritual. They set aside time each day for reflection through yoga or meditation.
11. Practice deep breathing.
12. Know there isn’t such a thing as “having it all,” and they’re happy about that. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place for them otherwise?
13. Don’t permit Fear to hold them back. They’re ready to take risks.
14. Know how to say “NO,” and don’t hold back. These people have learned to set boundaries. Plenty of them.
15. Learned a great deal from other people whom they admire. Either they had a great mentor, or they took note of how those they aspired to be like handled various situations.
16. Follow their inner guidance. Not only do they have a vision, but they follow it.
17. Give without expecting anything in return.
18. Aren’t pretentious or conceited.
19. Authentically believe in what they’re doing. Passion is what drives them.
20. Don’t complain.
21. Live by their core values in both their professional and personal lives.
22. Are happy to swim against the tide.
23. Finish what they start.
24. Don’t compare themselves to other people.
25. Make health a priority. This includes physical, mental, emotional health and how they treat their bodies.
26. Advocate for their own health.
27. Put God or a higher power first in their lives.
28. Focus on relationships. If you aren’t right with those you love and who love you, then nothing else will compensate for that lack.
29. Spend time enjoying nature.
30. Want everyone to succeed, too.

 

6 Weeks to Summer Melt Down Challenge

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Incredible!!!!!!!!!!!! The winners pool is over $31,000! Join us today!

Why do it:
http://bit.ly/PPt8JE
To Sign Up:

http://goo.gl/OTMVqk

(look on the right for Health Coach information and put my name Leisa Watkins in as coach)

 

 

What do I get for $20?

What can $20 Buy You?

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What if it could buy you better health? Or a body you aren’t ashamed to take to the beach? Or just a body that feels better?  Interested? Join our $20 Summer Weight Loss Challenge where, if you participate, YOU WILL WIN cash and prizes and you’ll get healthy.