Choose Happy

Here's to living your Best Day Ever. Every day.

Choose Happy

Here's to living your Best Day Ever. Every day.

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Make fitness a routine

I know you’re busy, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in a project at work or with your kids, your dog, your never-ending list of to-dos, that things that ought to be priority are put on the back burner. A biggie? Fitness. Getting regular exercise may feel like a Herculean task even to those of us who enjoy it – I often hear people say they wish they could get to the gym more often. So why don’t they? It’s likely because going to the gym isn’t part of their routine. Routines are so incredibly helpful in making sure we do the things we might not want to take time to do otherwise – like brushing our teeth or walking the dog. Routine doesn’t allow busy to get in your way of doing the right thing – it becomes rock-solid part of your schedule. When you know you go to the gym Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, go swimming on Friday and attend a yoga class on Saturday, it’s a set part of your week. You plan around your workouts, not desperately searching for a way to shoehorn them in. I know I don’t need to convince you that exercise is good for you, but I may need to convince you to make it a routine. Here a three good reasons: The energy boost from your workout will carry over into the rest of your day. You’ll save time in the long run when you’re not out sick. People who exercise regularly have 40-45% reduction in sick days. You no longer need willpower. Since fitness is a regularly scheduled, no-excuses part of your day, it’s just something you do without an internal debate about whether you should exercise or not. Still not convinced you can make a fitness routine happen? Here are some ways to make the routine stick. Stick it to the pocketbook. If you hate to waste your hard-earned money, then joining a gym, yoga studio or fitness class where you’ve prepaid for the workouts is a great motivator. If that isn’t enough, “fine” yourself a certain dollar amount each time you skip a workout. Enlist a friend. People who work out with a buddy or in a group fitness setting are more likely to stick with it. No one wants to be the jerk who stands up a friend, which gives you the motivation to stay the course. Get an app. Several apps provide a way to track your workouts and your progress, which can be a great motivator in and of itself. These apps often have a social sharing feature, which means you can keep yourself accountable when you know you’ll be sharing your results with your tribe. Photo by Francesco Gallarotti Resource links: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sns-rt-us-meditationbre86h114-20120718-story.htmlhttps://best-day-ever-2.myshopify.com/blogs/news/apps-we-love

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Make fitness a routine

I know you’re busy, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in a project at work or with your kids, yo...

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Healthy choices today equal a healthy you for many tomorrows

I’ve been leading a 30-day healthy eating and living accountability group, which means I’m on the hot seat to walk the talk. It’s been a good thing ­– I would not have re-started my meditation practice and many more glasses of wine would have been indulged in than were. And I'm pretty sure there are a few more wedges of cheese left in the world because of this challenge. Interestingly enough, I haven't lost any weight – and that's okay. I'm studying for midterms and I'm in the Anatomy & Physiology part of the review. The review brings up an important point: Our cells make up our organs, and in order for those organs to be healthy and function correctly, our individual cells need to be healthy and built correctly. Good nutritional choices are not just about weight loss; it's about the quality of cells in our body, making up our organs.  Appropriate nutrition is what builds those cells correctly. So we are laying the foundation – right now, at this moment – for health for the next seven years to come. That's right: our bodies rebuild from the inside out. Even more amazingly, according to Deepak Chopra, 98% of the cells that made up our body last year are no longer there. Every six months, new bones Every 10 days, new stomach lining Every three months, new blood cells So the changes we make today may have lasting effects 10 days from now, three months from now, six months from now and into next year. We are literally laying new foundation in all of our cellular function and metabolic processes every single day. Every cookie you don't eat, every ice cream scoop you pass up and every extra 20 minutes of movement you say “yes” to is you making an investment in yourself not just today, not just in your pants size, but you and your insides down the road. When we change the quality of the nutrients that go into our body, we change our immune system and literally recreate ourselves from the inside out. When you reach for a snack today, make it a healthy one!

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Healthy choices today equal a healthy you for many tomorrows

I’ve been leading a 30-day healthy eating and living accountability group, which means I’m on the...

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Happiness is an inside job

I love the saying “Happiness is an inside job.” It means only I can create happiness in my life. It’s my definition of happy; it’s my rules on how to get there. But what if you’re feeling stuck? What if your happy up and flew out the window? Well then, it’s time to turn back inside and create that feeling once again. Create a solid foundation Abraham Maslow developed what he called the “Hierarchy of Needs,” which essentially says we must take care of our basic needs to live and be safe before we can begin to work on love and belonging, self esteem and, finally, self-actualization. With his hierarchy in mind, it may be you need to look lower down the pyramid to make sure your basic needs are being met, and build from there. If your health is not as robust as you’d like it to be, that’s a good place to start. Simply making better nutritional choices, getting movement daily and getting enough sleep can have an amazing positive effect on your health, well-being and energy levels. I’ve seen friends turn their dreary outlook into a sunny attitude by focusing on their health. They literally turned their frown upside down with regular exercise and a focus on good nutrition. Give yourself a project Perhaps you want to tackle happiness on the home front. Happiness maven Gretchen Rubin started her “Happiness Project” as a way to better appreciate her life with a loving family and a career she enjoys. Finding a way to improve on what she called her “faults and limitations” (like snapping at the cable guy or not flossing), she created a year of “happiness-boosting resolutions” with focuses such as “Boost Energy,” “Make Time for Play” and “Pursue a Passion.” She documents her happiness project in her book, as well as online, where you can download five different 21-day happiness projects (such as Quit Yelling at Your Kids and De-Clutter Your Home & Your Life) for a small cost, along with a number of free resources to help you get started on your own happiness project. Follow your gut Remember, happiness is an inside job, so let your intuition help guide you. Deep down inside, you probably know what makes you happy. Take a minute to list the things that light you up, and see what items you can do now. It can be as simple a listening to your favorite music and singing along at the top of your lungs. Action often makes us feel more energized. How will you find your happy today?   One final note: Lack of “happy” – not being quite satisfied with your life or feeling temporarily out of sorts – is very different from clinical depression. If you think you may be suffering from depression, take the courageous step to ask for help.   Photo: Trend'N Female Magazine Links http://gretchenrubin.com/books/the-happiness-project/about-the-book/ http://gretchenrubin.com/get-started/want-to-be-happier-try-one-of-these-21-day-happiness-projects/

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Happiness is an inside job

I love the saying “Happiness is an inside job.” It means only I can create happiness in my life. ...

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Get accountable and get fabulous results for your health & fitness

I’ve been using accountability groups for a long time – especially to accomplish my business goals as part of a Mastermind group. I figured I could apply the same accountability practices in other parts of my life, and started a fitness accountability group about 5 years ago. Because I have a small group of people holding me accountable, I find myself less likely to let others down and more likely be buoyed by others' successes. It’s not an accident that even after two kids I can still fit into my clothes from high school! =) My results are backed up by research. A 2005 study by the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that individuals with an exercise buddy who successfully lost weight were more successful as well. The benefits don’t stop there. When you say yes to accountability you: Get off the procrastination roller coaster – When you’re held accountable, it’s great motivation to stop putting things off. Get more done – You will not only stop procrastinating but you’ll be propelled to do more and do it well. Get solutions – You have the benefit of some else’s perspective to give you ideas and brainstorm solutions that get you over a hump. Get motivated – You and your partner will be creating synergy, which means you’ll be inspired to do even more! Accountability is a useful tool because we are essentially hardwired to seek the “easy way out” whenever we can. Who hasn’t been tempted to skip a workout or pick up takeout for dinner? That’s where having an accountability partner or group comes in. When you know you have to publicly report on your progress, you are much more likely to come to the table with good news. Groups such as Weight Watchers work for so many people for this reason. But you don’t have to join a formalized group to get accountability. It can be as easy as finding just one or two friends or acquaintances – a woman from your mom’s group or your neighbor down the street – and forming your own group. What to look for in an accountability partner/group When you’re seeking a partner or group, you want to be sure it’s a good fit Availability & Reliability: You’re looking for support, so you want someone who is willing to be there to tell you to put down that Oreo and who won’t forget your workout date. Honesty: You want someone who will be honest with you and call you on your “stuff” when you’re not staying true to your goals. Similar goals: If you want to run a half marathon and your partner is trying to lose 50 pounds, do you have enough commonality in your goals to actively support each other? Once you’ve got your accountability partner or group, then it’s time to get to work! Set expectations: What kind of support do you want? What don’t you want? Create consequences: What happens when you skip a workout? Do you owe your partner a latte? $20? Mark your calendar: Set regular times to check in with each other, either in person or online. Motivated? Good! Now go out there and find yourself an accountability buddy! Sources: (linked above) http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/choosing-weight-loss-buddy?page=1

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Get accountable and get fabulous results for your health & fitness

I’ve been using accountability groups for a long time – especially to accomplish my business goal...

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Apps we love

Track goals, stay accountable Apps have become an important part of tracking my life goals, especially when it comes to fitness, meditation and healthy eating. I love the convenience of these apps for not only tracking my progress but also keeping me accountable toward my goals. Here are six of my favorite apps right now. Calm Mindfulness meditation delivered to your mobile device. Choose from soothing scenes and sounds such as a summer meadow or a mountain lake to contemplate as you breathe and unwind. Timed meditation or open-ended, and guided meditation programs such as 21 days of calm and 7 days managing stress. iOS and Andriod. Pay $39.99 for the year – that’s $3.33 per month. calm.com Habit Share Schedule reminders to make your habits stick. Its social sharing feature means you can bring accountability to your new habits. iOS and Andriod. Free. habitshareapp.com Cronometer Track your nutrition, fitness and health information in one place. Track vitamin, mineral and protein intakes accurately and easily, along with logging your exercise, biometrics and favorite recipes. The Cronometer blog provides good info on topics from marconutrients to using the apps newest features. iOS and Andriod. Free. cronometer.com Meditation Experience Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra have teamed up to present a 21-day Meditation Experience. Each day features a guided meditation on topics such as “Journey to Perfect Health.” iOS and Andriod. Free. chopracentermeditation.com Charity Miles Make your daily run or walk with the dog count in a bigger way: Log your miles and earn money for your favorite charities. iOs and Andriod. Free. Charitymiles.org Nike Training Club Get audio workouts from Nike master trainers and pro athletes, create playlists to go with your workouts, and track your progress. Social sharing allows you to stay accountable with your fitness accountability group. ) iOS and Andriod. Free. Nike.com Photo by William Iven

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Apps we love

Track goals, stay accountable Apps have become an important part of tracking my life goals, espec...

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