Well, my friends, it happened.
The day came that I became a paid writer.
(Insert millions of happy face emoticons here.)
As I take a peek into my future and think about what I really desire out of my life, that desire leads me to teaching and writing. Writing and teaching. Writing books, writing articles, writing reviews, writing interviews, and teaching yoga, philosophy, etc.
All my life, I have been artistic, and creative, and a little bit out there. But writing has been my jam since day one. Similar to running, and yoga, writing is a minimalist sport. You need not much to write a beautiful poem – not a lot of space, certainly not the “right” materials, or the right medium. You just need an open mind and inspiration.
Similarly, I have always been drawn to minimalist forms of activity. Running appealed to me because of its ability to do it anywhere. You need to fancy attire – heck, you don’t even need the right shoes, although it helps – all you need is to get out and go. Yoga, again, is the same. You can yoga in little space, with no equipment. And that is my jam.
So despite the fact that I studied painting in college (at the insistence of all of my friends, family, and peers, who, when I told them I was going to study English, said, “But you’re so good at art!”), writing is really where my heart lies. Even now, as an entrepreneur, I invest myself at writing at least weekly here. This year I plan on expanding that by getting my work in more places – and that has started with the amazing team at Front Door Fitness.
I have worked at Front Door Fitness for over a year and a half now, providing yoga classes primarily in various country clubs around the area. They asked me to write for them, when, in a moment of smartass clarification, I emailed one of the full time employees to clarify a point I had made at a recent workshop about yoga and breathing. I was thinking they would fire me, or at the very least be annoyed at my need to insert my opinion. Instead, they asked me to write for them.
And not just write for them – write for them to get paid.
So, without further adieu, here is my first blog post for Front Door Fitness, and my first blog post as a paid writer. (See the original article here.)
The New Year has arrived! If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution. And, if you’re like the majority of those who make resolutions, yours is likely health-related. I’ve been a fitness professional for over ten years and every year, on January 1st, people everywhere flock in droves to the fitness centers and dedicate themselves to finally losing those 20 pounds they first resolved to lose ten years ago.
So, you’ve had some time to practice your resolution now…how’s it going? Are you resolute? People’s dedication is usually fierce for the first month. But if you’ve already fallen off the wagon, know that it’s not too late to re-work your goal to make it “SMART” and can lead you to success. A “SMART” goal is:
- Specific: What are you trying to achieve, specifically?
- Measurable: How will you know if you’re successful?
- Attainable: Is this goal realistic? Be honest.
- Relevant: Why do you want this? (Vanity is a hard sell when you’re stressed and the drive-thru is tempting.)
- Timely: What’s the date by which you wish to have achieved your goals?
For many years, I coached clients using this framework. It is effective and follows the SMART model, but with a caveat. Almost all of my clients choose to focus on results-oriented goals. A results-oriented goal is one that is driven first and foremost by the outcome of your actions. “I want to lose 20 pounds by summer,” and “I want to bench 250 pounds” are both results-oriented. The goal is deemed successful or not successful at the end of your time frame by looking at the outcome of your work.
Why is this a problem?
There are several reasons why this doesn’t work. We can only control our actions, and oftentimes it’s the circumstances that prevent us from achieving our goals.
For example: you want to run a PR at your next 5K. You’ve trained according to your schedule and worked with some incredible coaches. You are so ready to crush your goal. Yet, on the day of the race, there’s a super strong headwind that makes you feel like you’re running against resistance. You don’t meet your goal and you feel disheartened.
In terms of weight loss, we can do all the right things and still not have success. Everyone’s thyroid works at a different rate, and our hormones have incredible clout when it comes to changes in our bodies. We might eat right, exercise and do all of the “right things,” but if our hormonal imbalance is off, we may not lose weight at the rate we had expected. All of this leads to feelings of failure and despair at the end of the year.
So what’s the solution?
Make your goals SMART, but make them process-oriented rather than results-oriented. Meaning: make the measurement part of your goal linked to the actions you will take, rather than the results you’ll receive.
For example: A results-oriented goal, “I want to lose 20 pounds by summer,” becomes a process-oriented goal, “I will eat three healthy meals per day with only vegetables for snacks, with one cheat meal per week, and I vow to walk at least 150 minutes per week.” The results may end up being the same, but – just in case some external factor affects your progress – you know you’ve done everything in your power to achieve your success. And that’s worth a celebration, even if the outcomes aren’t what you expected.
You can take this even further by foreseeing any obstacles that might come up and have a backup plan for them. If you know you’re going on a work trip where you might not have a lot of time or access to healthy foods, make a game plan for how you’ll navigate the week. By focusing on these little tweaks to your resolution setting, you’ll be crushing your resolutions in no time!