Guest blog from my good friend, colleague and college classmate Todd Durkin, CSCS - owner of Fitness Quest 10 (San Diego, CA)
It's September 2009 and there's change in the air. We could say this everyday, but the month of September symbolizes change for so many American families. Kids are going back to school, and with the new school year comes new schedules and routines, new goals and new dreams. Even though summer may not technically be over for a few more days, Fall is on its way. The weather will start to cool, football and other fall sports have started and for those of us with school-aged children, we have a moment to take a deep breath and look around us.
Change. It's a fact of life. You've heard the saying, change or die... well, it's true for all parts of our lives - personal and professional. This anonymous abridgement of Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer is a real favorite of mine, "God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me." So, take a deep breath, look around you and then look straight in the mirror. What are your goals? What are your dreams?
My goal this month is to help you to get started on your future by choosing change before it chooses you! If it is true that change comes in two forms, evolutionary and revolutionary, maybe now is the time to START YOUR OWN REVOLUTION. Revolutionary change is planned change. Change you choose. Change you lead. Change you celebrate. Here's how you can become an agent of change in your life.
Choose a healthier you. Now is a great time to get back into your routine and focus on making steady progress toward a healthier you! Hire a trainer, get back to your favorite classes, get outside and enjoy the beauty of autumn while walking, running, biking or hiking. Re-establish healthy fitness and nutrition routines NOW! September and October are the "teetering" months. On the one hand, we are still anchored in 2009 and hanging on to the goals we set earlier this year. But, on the other hand, we teeter toward the chaos of the holiday season, as it draws us closer to the fresh start of a new year. It's tempting to put our goals on hold and wait to renew them in January. Don't fall for this annual temptation! Jump in hard and jump in fast to close 2009 stronger and healthier than ever! Lock into fitness and nutrition routines NOW! Wait too long, and you'll be climbing a steep hill in January!
Choose a lower stress you. The first ingredients of a lower stress lifestyle begin with a healthier you, and this means proper exercise, nutrition and sleep. But, you can't lower your stress without supportive relationships - spouse, partner, family, friends, coworkers, classmates, teammates, etc. For years, research has shown that a lower stress you means a more social you. One positive outcome of these more challenging economic times is the increase in casual social gatherings among families and friends, without having to go out and needlessly spend money. Make the effort to be more social. Seek out healthy relationships. Take care of yourself by taking care of and enjoying those who love you. Turn off your cell phones, CHILL out and don't be afraid to smell the roses.
Choose a successful you. Are you passionate about what you do? Do you love going to work everyday? I can tell you that as a personal trainer and massage therapist, I love what I do and can't imagine doing anything else. I deeply believe that when you find your true purpose in life and aren't afraid to live what you love, true happiness is found. It doesn't mean it will be easy, but it will be right, and it will feel right. Follow your passion and live your purpose. If you are not, it's time for change.
Choose a positive you. Now, as always, it is absolutely critical that you keep your mindset positive. Nothing bothers me more than people who whine and complain about how bad everything is. GET OVER IT! Start a gratitude journal - it's one of the most powerful ways to keep life in perspective. Each night, simply write down 5 or 10things for which you are grateful for that day. This keeps things in perspective and allows you to be more centered and balanced in all aspects of your life. Additionally, I recommend you read great books, listen to motivational tapes, surround yourself with positive people and laugh often. Shut down your internal critic. Remember - it really is about attitude, not platitude. That is why the old saying says, "Your attitude determines your altitude."
Notice that I never said that change is easy or comfortable. Many times, it isn't. Many of us resist change because we fear losing control. At Fitness Quest 10, I often encourage our clients to try new trainers, therapists, or instructors. My message to them is to experiment with change - play with it and see what happens. Whether it's a new trainer, a new class, a new project or a new friend, there's something in it for you - something new you get to discover. Life is a series of discoveries and events, some bigger than others. Take it one day at a time. Keep change in perspective and realize that sometimes it isn't as hard as we make it out to be. Laugh, smile and rid yourself of the need to be always in control. Live in the present and stay focused on positive change and the future you desire.
Here's a little test to win you over. Name the three happiest days of your life. Maybe your list includes your wedding day, or the birth of a child, a graduation, a goal accomplished or an honor received. Now, of this list of three, how many caused change? You got it - all of them. Change - it's around every corner. It's attached to everyday, everyone and everything. Choose change. Seek it. Embrace it. START A REVOLUTION IN YOUR LIFE TODAY!