Small Business Saturday – November 24, 2012

 

Now that I have gone completely off the rails nutritionally with my FAVORITE holiday of the year, I’m going to go off the rails financially for Small Business Saturday.

For those purchasing coaching packages for themselves, take a 25% discount off of any package.  If you want to give nutrition coaching as a gift, take a 50% discount off of any package.

This is meant to be a small ‘taste’ of coaching so I am perfectly willing to have potential clients commit to only one month.  Typically, I ask that clients commit to three months in order to reap sustained benefits, but I also want people who are hesitant to give it a try!  If you are wanting a more long-term coaching relationship, I am capping the discount at a three-month commitment.

Coaching Packages

For more information and arranging purchase, contact me at visioninaction.mdf@gmail.com or 541-729-9687.

Tell your friends!

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The Ever Elusive Goal of Weight Loss

Borrowed from Lifestyle – News and Spirit

Weight loss.  It doesn’t matter where a person is, they are likely to hear some sort of message about weight loss.  Most of those messages are seriously unhealthy (i.e. weight loss “aids” and fad diets), but, in the U.S. at least, most of us do need to shed a few pounds for the sake of our overall health.  It’s not a matter of looking smokin’ hot, it’s a matter of reducing our risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and a number of other lifestyle diseases.  I, for one, see my own personal need to lose weight as a matter of doing what is best not only for myself, but for my family.  The struggle is: how does a person go about effectively setting and reaching this goal of weight loss?

At this point, I want to clarify that I am discussing weight loss for those that do not meet the medical definition for obesity (BMI of 30 or above/30+ pounds over “ideal weight”).  Those that are 30 pounds or more overweight should likely be working with medical professionals as there may be other health risks that need to managed while following a weight loss plan.

Now that we have cleared up the disclaimer, let’s talk goal setting.  The very first step is saying out loud or writing down your goal: I need to lose weight.  Once you have this, you’ll need to decide how much.  Without an actual number, your goal will likely feel impossible and never ending.  This leads to giving up.  In my case, I want to lose 20 pounds.  I don’t necessarily support putting a time line on losing weight so I won’t be saying that I need to have lost these 20 pounds by Valentine’s Day or anything like that.  This would set me up for failure, especially with my number two favorite holiday just around the corner: Turkey Day.  Instead, I know that losing 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy and sustainable weight loss goal.  I won’t do this each week because some weeks I’ll fall off the wagon for one reason or another, and water weight can fluctuate up to five pounds a day.  Remembering these things helps keep me from feeling bad about not seeing rapid, immediate progress.  In the case of weight loss, slow and steady really does win this race.

Now that I know how much weight I want to lose, I need to figure out how I’m going to do it.  This is going to be different for most people because everyone has a different relationship with food, different family food culture, and simply different lifestyles.  In my case, I already eat VERY healthy.  Not perfectly healthy, but to a degree that nutritionists would have little to suggest as far as diet change.  My problems are three-fold: portion control, no exercise outside my daily activities, and too much beer.  Now I have smaller goals to work on to get me toward my ultimate goal.  I will now be setting goals a week at a time that address my three problem areas.  So far, I have added some body weight exercises into my daily routine, cut snacking after dinner out (which leads to drastically reduced beer consumption), and I am exploring the philosophy of “mindful eating” (more on this concept at a later date.

Now, the ultimate marker of success with this goal is going to be my weight.  However, it is best to weigh one’s self only once a week and this change might not be immediate.  I know this because one pound of weight is equal to 3500 calories, meaning that I need to increase my exercise and decrease my caloric intake by a total of 500 calories per day if I am to lose one pound in a week.  This is likely to not be very easy at the beginning because I am working to change some pretty deeply ingrained habits.  How am I going to mark my success without fully relying on my weight?  Well, I am going to focus on the little things that I am doing and reward myself for doing those rather than just losing weight.  This is really about making a lifelong change and taking care of overall health, so only focusing on the number on the scale would be somewhat counter-productive.

There are many ways that a person can keep track of their goals and mark progress.  I am a pretty visual person when it comes to goal setting (I’m really big on keeping lists and marking tasks off as I go).  I was recently introduced to a FREE website, SlimKicker.  This site is really pretty fun because it turns your weight loss goals into a game format.  You can record various tasks and participate in challenges to earn points.  You set up what your reward will be as you reach new levels.  There are a few things that I don’t care for: there is no place to keep track of what my goals are and the nutrition tracking is cumbersome, but it still is an enjoyable way to work towards my overall goal.  If you are interested in trying it out and having some support, I can be found as MDFeats on the website.

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There are SO many ways to set goals and keep track of progress.  Care to share your method?

The Power of Intention

How often do you think about intention?  I’m guessing not very often.  Intention is very powerful and something that we should not neglect when working to make things happen in our lives.  First, the definition of intention as provided by the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary:

intention, n. 1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. 2. the end or object intended; purpose.

There are two very important words in this definition: ‘determining’ and ‘purpose.’  If a person is to reach a goal, they must focus their intention by determining their purpose.  Certainly, I can have a goal of writing a book and becoming published, but why?  What is my purpose in working toward this goal?  Without the why I will have no motivation and no drive.  This will be evident to any who encounter my writing and will not provide positive results.

There are many who believe in the power of intention itself.  The idea is that one can influence results in their lives simply by putting their intentions out into the universe.  For some this is prayer, for others magick, and can even be as simple as writing the intention on a postcard on the fridge.  One cannot take a backseat to their goals; intention is everything.

I want to say only a small amount about this concept because I know that it is best understood when experienced rather than read.  I would like all that read this post to try using intention to manifest something in their lives.  There are many ways to do this, some of which rely heavily on spiritual belief systems, but others can be completely secular.  Those that come to mind immediately: prayer, candle lighting, meditation, posting “intention reminders” throughout the house, telling another person your intention and asking them to hold you accountable to it, and journaling.  Sometimes, just saying something out loud can make it that much more real.  By verbalizing our thoughts and feelings we give them life.

Try something listed here or develop your own way of focusing your intention.  There is no limit to this exercise.  Let us know what happens!

Upcoming Series…Don’t Miss Out!

Hello everyone!  I am going to be writing a series of posts that deal with the Stages of Change (SOC) model in regard to making decisions about health and wellness.  I know, that sounds terribly boring and potentially painful.  Well, fear not my faithful followers!  I plan to write about this idea from the perspective a person needing to make a change and in the style of journal entries.  It should be much more entertaining than an academic examination of the SOC.

I want to do this series because making change is difficult, and it is important for those needing to make change to understand that it is a process that involves learning how to make the change, not just deciding what needs to be changed.  I am hoping that this series will help my readers understand where on the path they fall and what it is going to take to get them to move from one stage to the next.  Please leave comments, ask questions, and make suggestions throughout this series.  My character has a lot of work to do and will need support, motivation, and accountability to make it through!

I look forward to seeing how this exercise unfolds and hearing what everyone thinks.

Here’s to making healthful changes!

Smile So Hard Your Face Hurts

I’m feeling particularly joyful today and want to talk about successes.  There have been some small and large successes in my life lately and it has gotten me to thinking about how people celebrate successes.  Celebration of success is so very important, even when we are talking about little wins like saving a few bucks at the grocery store.  I believe that is it imperative that we find something to celebrate every day.

Now, I’m not talking an open-a-bottle-of-champagne celebration, but rather small celebrations like calling your best friend to share the news, having a sweet treat, or putting a post-it up on the fridge.  We have to feel comfortable congratulating ourselves on good things that happen in our lives if we are truly going to be successful.   Really big wins like landing a big promotion, graduating, getting married, opening a new business, and etcetera don’t happen every day.  Those things take years of planning, preparation, and hard work.  It will sometimes feel like the ultimate goal is so far off that you can’t even visualize what it will be like when you reach your destination.  By celebrating the small wins on the way to the big one, we can get a taste of what we will be feeling at the end.  It is part of our motivation and inspiration to keep plugging away so we can finally throw a big party and spend all day smiling so hard our faces hurt.

If you are having a hard time finding ways to celebrate your small wins, try celebrating another person’s win.  If your partner comes home and has had a great day at work, say , “congratulations!”  Or if your child scores well on a test at school, tack it up on the fridge.  This will start to help you see how to celebrate yourself and can start building a culture of celebration in your family.

Don’t be shy, share a win with us!  What are you celebrating today?

Mission Possible

I finally completed the mission statement for Vision In Action.  It was a pretty enjoyable exercise to help me really clarify what my goals are for this business and to more easily describe what I do to potential clients.  I thought it would be even more helpful to break down my mission statement and provide further rationale to each piece.

Mission: To positively influence the world through creative, client-driven coaching partnerships that develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence by supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable to their vision of an ideal life.

“To positively influence the world…”

This is a pretty grandiose way to start a mission statement.  It’s a pretty grandiose way to start any statement, truth be told.  However, I really mean this.  I started off by using “community” instead of “world,” but felt that I needed to use a word with a more broad reach. This statement is meant to express a philosophical idea as well as a practical one.  Philosophically, I believe that every thing we do (be it positive or negative) affects the world, even in the most miniscule of ways.  Practically, I offer my services regardless of physical location and, therefore, I may have clients that live outside of my community or even my continent.

“…creative, client-driven coaching partnerships…”

Coaching is not a step-by-step program.  The growth and success that comes from coaching are brought about through the partnership developed with a skilled coach.  Every person and their goals are unique, requiring a unique plan to fulfill those dreams.  It is important to remember that the coach does not develop the plan FOR the client, but WITH the client.  The coach may suggest an avenue of approach, but it is the client’s role to accept, reject, or modify the suggestion.  If the client’s goals change or part of the plan isn’t working as intended, the plan changes to best suit the client.

  “…develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence…”

That is really the heart of most unfulfilled goals.  Every goal we set for ourselves or dream we create, is a challenge.  A major reason that people don’t master challenges is because they let fear and self-doubt get the best of them.  Everyone has the ability to meet challenges head-on, but we sometimes forget this or just need to learn a new tool.  If a person’s self-confidence is developed, they will be better prepared to seek out what they need to succeed.

“…supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable…”

This is the very key of what I do for my clients.  They have the dream, I help them make a plan, then I support, motivate, focus, and hold accountable.  Everyone needs support, but unbiased support can be hard to come by sometimes.  A coach’s only interest is that the client is happy and successful.  It doesn’t matter what makes them happy or what they are successful doing.  We often need some outside motivation, too.  No matter how important a goal is to you, some days it is REALLY hard to not just say, “screw it, I’m tired.”  That’s where your coach comes in.  I can be that little voice that reminds you of why you are working so hard (though I might remind you that it is O.K. to take a break).  Another piece to the puzzle is that big dreams have important smaller goals that must come first.  This can be overwhelming, and a coach helps to narrow the client’s focus and make sense of everything that is vying for attention.  Lastly, accountability is another important aspect of the coaching relationship.  It is the coach’s job to help the client realize when their actions are not matching up to what they say they want.  Perhaps your goal is to be more family oriented, but you continue working late into the evening.  It is my job to remind you that your actions are not in-line with your goal and help you find a way to address them.

“…vision of an ideal life.”

This might sound a little “pie-in-the-sky,” but this is important.  Most of us will likely never have our perfectly ideal life, but by working toward it, we can craft our current situations into the most ideal possible.  Even if all seems lost, there is always something that can be done to bring you one step closer to the life you most deeply desire.  As a coach, it is my job to hold this vision for you and to help inspire you to create it.

Now that you have a better idea about my vision for my business, what do you think?

Your Bootstraps

I have been described as a “pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps” sort of person, and I can certainly come across that way.  I have very little patience for people who whine, make excuses, and blame others for their problems or hardships.  Now, that being said, I am slightly addicted to Dance Moms on Lifetime.  I’m always saying that Abby Lee’s yelling stresses me out, but I keep coming back for more.  I think I like it because it harkens back to my dance days….though our dance teacher actually wanted us to enjoy ourselves and our moms seemed to only have moments of crazy rather than every day crazy.

Dance Moms is a prime example of whining, excuse making, and blaming others.  I am not even going to address Abby Lee as a problem.  She seems to be aware of her personality and makes no excuses for it.  I may not like her, but she doesn’t care and won’t try to change that.  She is who she is and is fine with it.  My issue is with the mothers.  In almost every episode, one or several of them goes on one rant or another about how horrible Abby is, how unfair things are for their children, how mean Abby is to their children, and how their lives are negatively impacted by all the dance related tasks they must do on a daily basis.

These women act so surprised every time Abby does something that is perfectly in line with her character.  I fully realize that without all this drama no one would watch, but I can not figure out why they just don’t take their children to another studio.  Abby is not going to change her approach, behavior, or personality.  By remaining at her studio, they are giving her permission to treat their children in an incredibly reprehensible manner.

Now, sometimes we have competing desires and have to choose one over the other (i.e. I want to be healthy, but I also want to drink a bottle of wine to myself).  This is where things get tricky with Dance Moms: they want their children to have the best possible dance education, but they also want their children to experience positive development.  Their actions tell me that they care much more about their children dancing at one particular studio than about their children feeling good about themselves.  These mothers obviously love their children, but they keep failing to seize the opportunity to walk away and find something healthier.

This is where my “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” self comes out: quit whining about how terrible Abby is and go to another studio.  Abby is not going to change.  Either be OK with her berating your children or move on.  Quit complaining because you are allowing the things you say you hate to happen.

Real life, however, is much more complicated.  I may want to scream at the women on Dance Moms, but I also remember that most contradicting desires are not so simply sorted out.  There are many factors at play when faced with two competing desires.  It is SUPER counterproductive to tell someone to “Just Do It,” but it is helpful to hold individuals accountable to their stated desires by pointing out whining, excuse making, and blaming of others.  When we are aware of our behavior, it is easier to own it, change it, and reach our goals.

Maybe I should be the coach for the Dance Moms?  Yeah, I don’t think they’ll go for that….