Encouraging Health and Happiness

Posts tagged “Motivation

Top 10: Fitness Goals

50 pushups or a 5-second, 40-yard dash? Why not try both?

By Shannon Clark,

In order to keep yourself motivated to stick with your active lifestyle, setting regular goals is important. By taking a look at what you’re working toward every so often, and making sure that those goals are still applicable to your current situation, you can ensure that you stay on track and get the results that you’re looking for.

If you don’t have a goal that you’re currently working towards, we have 10 ideas for you to consider.

 Run Your First Full Or Half-Marathon (more…)

Theme Song

Remember  the show Ally McBeal ?  And she had a theme song?  I think she had Barry White.  If I had a theme song – that sort of defines my outlook and personality, and it carried a message straight to my soul – it would be Michael Jackson’s  – Man in the Mirror.

Everyone know is – but do you know the lyrics:  They’re great when you really read them


Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success

Steve Jobs’ impact on your life cannot be overestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.


A Little Deception Helps Push Athletes to the Limit

Tom Boland/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press
Published: September 19, 2011

The trained bicyclists thought they had ridden as fast as they possibly could. But Kevin Thompson, head of sport and exercise science at Northumbrian University in England, wondered if they go could even faster.

So, in an unusual experiment, he tricked them.

In their laboratory, Dr. Thompson and his assistant Mark Stone had had the cyclists pedal as hard as they could on a stationary bicycle for the equivalent of 4,000 meters, about 2.5 miles. After they had done this on several occasions, the cyclists thought they knew what their limits were.

Then Dr. Thompson asked the cyclists to race against an avatar, a figure of a cyclist on a computer screen in front them. Each rider was shown two avatars. One was himself, moving along a virtual course at the rate he was actually pedaling the stationary bicycle. The other figure was moving at the pace of the cyclist’s own best effort — or so the cyclists were told.

In fact, the second avatar was programmed to ride faster than the cyclist ever had — using 2 percent more power, which translates into a 1 percent increase in speed.


The Exercise That Makes You Smarter

By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men’s Health
Jul 11, 2011

I don’t run. More specifically, I don’t run pointlessly—that is, up the street, around the block, on a treadmill, or anywhere else for the sake of a cardio workout. If I wanted to expend all my energy going in circles, I’ll argue politics with my inlaws.

No, when it comes to running, I require a purpose. Someone just passed me a basketball. My opponent just rocketed a backhand down the line. The building’s on fire. These are all great cardio workouts. So is this quick body-weight workoutthat every guy should try.

My coworkers at Men’s Health have come to accept this about me. We’ve agreed to disagree. It was all very amicable.

And now, I regret to admit, I may be wrong.

According to a new study, running—with a destination in mind or not—does have a point after all. It makes you smarter. In a recent study, researchers at UCLA monitored learning-related brain waves in mice, and found that the waves got stronger as the mice ran faster.

Granted, we’re not mice. But this is more evidence on what’s become a towering stack of research suggesting that regular aerobic exercise boosts your brainpower and lowers your risk for age-related dementia. To wit:

  • A study in Neurobiology of Memory and Learning found that participants were able to learn vocabulary words 20 percent faster after high-intensity exercise.
  • In a University of Illinois study, college-age men and women given a mental test after running on a treadmill for 30 minutes were able to work more quickly while making more accurate decisions.
  • Several studies have found that running for 30 minutes three times a week can improve your decision-making proficiency, bolster your memory, and lengthen your attention span.
  • A U.K. study discovered that employees work 15 percent more efficiently on days they exercise. In other words, you can pack 8 hours of work into 6 hours and 48 minutes. In other words, you can run your way to your next promotion.

With efficiency gains like that, who says you don’t have time to work out during the day? Still not convinced? A few years ago, Fitness Director Adam Campbell talked to dozens of successful, time-crunched men who are dedicated aerobic exercisers. Steal their simple strategies:

1. Wake up early. “Once you form the habit, it just becomes ingrained in your lifestyle,” says Joe Hogan, CEO of GE Healthcare. He’s been waking up at 5 a.m. for 30 minutes of cardio, 4 days a week, for 20 years. A 2005 study published in Health Psychologyreports that it took new exercisers about five weeks to make their sessions a habit. And hitting the road at dawn doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on sleep. Researchers at Northwestern University found that men who started exercising in the morning slept better than they had before they began working out.

2. Prioritize your life. Calculate the average time you spend daily doing everything from analyzing spreadsheets to watching TV. “Once I counted up the wasted hours, it was easy to see that I could fit exercise in by deciding what’s most important,” says Joe Blesse, a pilot for Continental Express who lost 150 pounds after initiating a cardio program two years ago. Blesse’s advice: Always give priority to activities that serve the greatest purpose—those involving work, family, and exercise. For example, a 30-minute run trumps a 30-minute sitcom, every time. It’s that simple.

3. Call it multitasking. “I work on my most challenging business issues while running, cycling, or skiing,” says David Varwig, CEO of the Citadel Group, a global investment firm. Exercise isn’t work time lost; it’s an opportunity to focus on problems without distraction. At home, exercising with your spouse or kids is quality time. “Whether it’s a hike with my wife or hitting the streets with the baby jogger, I make exercise a family event whenever possible,” says David Daggett, an Ironman triathlete and a managing partner at Lewis and Daggett, a North Carolina law firm.

57 Tips To Create An Exceptional Life

How do you craft an exceptional life? Ultimately, life goes by in a blink. And too many people live the same year 80 times. To avoid getting to the end and feeling flooded with regret over a live half-lived, read (and then apply) these tips:

  1. Exercise daily.
  2. Get serious about gratitude.
  3. See your work as a craft.
  4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst.
  5. Keep a journal.
  6. Plan a schedule for your week.
  7. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life.
  8. Say no to distractions.
  9. Drink a lot of water.
  10. Improve your work every single day.
  11. Get a mentor.
  12. Hire a coach.
  13. Get up at 5 am each day.
  14. Eat less food.
  15. Find more heroes.
  16. Be a hero to someone.
  17. Smile at strangers.
  18. Be the most ethical person you know.
  19. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence.
  20. Savor life’s simplest pleasures.
  21. Save 10% of your income each month.
  22. Spend time at art galleries.
  23. Walk in the woods.
  24. Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you.
  25. Forgive those who’ve wronged you.
  26. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades.
  27. Create unforgettable moments with those you love.
  28. Have 5 great friends.
  29. Become stunningly polite.
  30. Unplug your TV.
  31. Read daily.
  32. Avoid the news.
  33. Be content with what you have.
  34. Pursue your dreams.
  35. Be authentic.
  36. Be passionate.
  37. Say sorry when you know you should.
  38. Never miss a moment to celebrate another.
  39. Have a vision for your life.
  40. Know your strengths.
  41. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack.
  42. Be patient.
  43. Don’t give up.
  44. Clean up your messes.
  45. Use impeccable words.
  46. Travel more.
  47. Honor your parents.
  48. Tip taxi drivers well.
  49. Be a great teammate.
  50. Give no energy to critics.
  51. Spent time in the mountains.
  52. Know your top 5 values.
  53. Shift from being busy to achieving results.
  54. Innovate and iterate.
  55. Speak less. Listen more.
  56. Be the best person you know.
  57. Make your life matter.

What is Mental Toughness?


Mental toughness is the psychological attribute that separates greatness from mediocrity. Although it is most commonly mentioned in connection with athletic performance, it can be used to advantage in almost every area of life. No one is born with mental toughness–it is a quality that can and must be developed through training.


Although most people have an intuitive notion of what mental toughness is, no generally accepted definition has emerged. Football coach Vince Lombardi understood mental toughness as “a perfectly disciplined state of mind that refuses to give in”. Researcher David Yukelson defines it as a psychological edge that allows you to cope better than your competition with the demands that are placed on you, as well as the ability to perform consistently better than your competition.

Dig Deeper

MAC – Make A Connection

By KIM STERN for Magnuson Athletic Club

People connect. It’s a natural state of being. And it is personal. Connection can be a simple “hello” and “good bye.” Or it can be an intense, life-changing experience. In fitness, connection happens most commonly in three areas — ourselves, the Club and with other members.


People join clubs with a specific intention. This intention may fall into the category of “healthy lifestyle” or it may be more specific to an event such as running a marathon. While good intentions usually get us moving, they do not always carry us through. Connection can be a powerful motivator. How do you feel- – physically, mentally, emotionally–when you start your workout? At the end? Compare the two. Take note of what you can do at the beginning of the month, then at the end. Has you your body changed? Your mood? Has your positivity increased? How? Ultimately it is about looking for the link between where you started and where you intend to be.
Read More…

From the Trainers – Exercise Motivation

By TRAVIS MOTLEY for Magnuson Athletic Club

1. Set a quantitative goal – Base your goals on numbers, such as “I want to weigh 185 lbs. by August 1st” or “I want to run one mile in 11 minutes.” Having a non-specific goal, such as “to lose weight” isn’t good enough.

2. Find and use a support system – Tell some close friends and/or family members about your goals so you have people to encourage you and hold you accountable to the goals you’ve set.

3. Sign up for an event – Events have a time and place that you must be ready for and can be a big motivator in keeping you accountable. Bonus points for signing up with a friend!

4. Have a workout partner – Find a friend or another fellow gym member with similar goals and interests as you. Not only will it make coming to the gym easier, it’ll be twice the fun!

5. Just get up and do it! – Most of the time it’s not going to be easy and it’s going to be work. But the sooner you figure that out and stop feeling sorry for yourself the better. You know what is fun? RESULTS and results can only be found at the gym!

Motivation – Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University Commencement Speech

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself — at the Stanford’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.