Four Letter Words

To me
Coming from you
Friend is a four letter word
End is the only part of the word
That I heard
Call me morbid or absurd

I was obsessed with Cake when I was in high school. I wanted to be that girl in a short skirt and a long jacket–in fact, I think my friend and I tried that look and then realized it was way to ’90s fashion and not enough early 2000’s fashion and we gave up and just belted the music from my 1988 Grand Marquis as we drove around our small N. Michigan town. It wasn’t until she and I got into a fight that I really started finding meaning in some of the brilliant lyrics they were putting out there.

When I realized what “friend is a four letter word” meant it hit home, mostly because my best friend since I was 14 had just ditched me for a guy and I was left calling her four letter words alone in my car. And it clicked–friend is a bad word, coming from her, to me… it hurt.

WHY am I talking about Cake when it’s New Years Resolution time? Or four letter words when ‘friend’, F-R-I-E-N-D is clearly a 6 letter word–Yeesh, Sloan, get with it–amiright?

Well, I want to blow your mind–I have news for you–D-I-E-T is a four letter word. Both literally and in the message I want to convey to you and your friends.

“Wait, wait, wait. Sloan–you are a personal trainer, a health coach AND know more about nutrition that most people I know… Aren’t I supposed to go on a diet January 1st? Well, January 2nd actually–I’ll be too hungover and needing carbs on the 1st. But all the magazines tell me to do a juice cleanse, a raw vegan, sober, high protein, with the lunar moons and my hormonal cycle DIET. This is what we do EVERY YEAR!!!”

I get you. Most people’s New Years Resolutions made every year have to do with losing weight, getting into shape and making this year the best year EVA! However, how often do we fall off the wagon, only to get super down on ourselves by mid February, drown our sorrows in post Valentines Day candy sales and say “next year”?

Image result for resolutions calvin hobbes

Here’s what I propose: Don’t make resolutions. Make a commitment to one or two small health changes in your day to day. Here’s what that can look like:

-Get a skim latte instead of a full fat one.
-Get off a stop earlier and walk a little bit more.
-Wake up 20 minutes earlier so you have time to do some yoga or gentle stretching.
-Pass on that hump day glass of wine.
-Swap brown rice for white rice.
-Order the fish instead of the steak.
-Try a new class at the gym.
-Do research on hiring a personal trainer or a health coach. Ask questions about who they are and what they do.
-Set an alarm for once an hour to get up from your desk and walk around, do 10 squats and stretch your arms in the air, (this feels really good, I promise!)

DIET’s set us up to fail. They set us up to do xyz for XX amount of time and then when cabbage soup is falling out of our ears it’s over. The 30 day cleanse is no longer a constant after February 1st and guess what? We lose everything, errr or we gain everything back. By making small manageable changes we develop habits. Life long skills that don’t encourage an end point. There is no end point to a balanced lifestyle.

Resolutions give us the idea that we accomplish this one thing and then we’re done. But guess what? Living a healthy life, walking your daughter down the isle at her wedding this summer, playing with Legos on the floor with your grandson, keeping up with your marathon running significant other–these are all things that will not happen with a ‘resolution’. They will happen when you make sustainable, maintainable changes in your life. 

One. Step. At. A. Time.

So. As we kiss 2016 goodbye (FINALLY), let’s start 2017 not with a list of huge resolutions. Let’s break that habit and start small. Start with manageable. Start with a 20 minute walk and some extra stretching at our desks. Let me help. Email me. Leave a comment. I want to hear what you’re doing in 2017 and beyond. I want to know how I can help you!

Advertisements

What Is Your Time?

I wish all day was the morning time, until it was dinner time and bed time and then it would be morning again. I don’t wish it was morning so that I could drink coffee all day, though that would be a perk! But the am hours are the hours that I am most productive.

Things Sloan is good at in the morning:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Working out/running/swimming
  • Opportunity hunting
  • Training clients
  • Writing workouts for said clients
  • Working at work
  • Meditating

So, pretty much everything. My brain power starts at about 5am and gets a little foggy mid morning, I power up with a snack and I do pretty well until about 2:30pm. It’s not to say that I don’t get things done later in the day–I have to, it’s life. But I definitely prefer and produce better work early.

With that said I obviously can’t fit everything in in those hours. So I have started assigning hours. I take each day individually–Lord knows no day is the same–I approach the day with a list of things that absolutely need to get done. And I start filling in time slots:

Wednesday:
630am: Client
7:40am: Client
8:40am: Find coffee shop and write this post
10am: Be on time for work
10-1145am: Emails, client work outs, check in with boss
12-12:45pm: Teach a kick ass class (this is my work out for the day)

So at this point my morning is gone and I’ve yet to have more than 45 minutes to myself. I’m literally at said coffee shop writing this. Feeling like I’m racing against the clock because I have 36 minutes until I have to clock in at work. Then POOF, my morning is gone and I won’t be home with my own time until 7:45pm with a 4am wake up call. So what is a girl to do when mornings are reserved for other people? The time that I’m most productive is literally bought every week.

This is something I’m working on currently. I know that at 8pm I’m not going to want to work on my personal writing, or this website, or stage some beautiful instagram photo. I’m going to want to veg in front of the couch with a jar of peanut butter and turn my brain off.

I think there’s a lot to be said for finding your most productive time, however, I also know that we don’t all live the life of leisure to be able to do what we want when we want. We have to work around our jobs, kids, partners and other life obligations.

So, new goals for these coming weeks. I’m going to resist the TV brain mush urge. I’m going to play music and read instead. Or maybe I’ll do the dishes that have been piling up for three days. I’m going use myself as an experiment to shift my productivity hours to the afternoon or evening.

This may take a lot of coffee and will power–I would love any tips you have. Have you done this? How did you succeed? Will I be sad that I’m missing my favorite Netflix original series premier?

thesolesearch

Good morning Chicago

 

Reassign Time

What are you going to do today to make yourself better? 

I stole the weekend. I moved my clients around, I adjusted my schedule, I threw down some money and ultimately actually gave my weekend away–to myself. I spent Saturday and Sunday at a writer’s retreat. I made the decision, followed the necessary steps to make it happen, cleared my schedule and spent an incredible weekend surrounded by smart, talented and interesting women.

There is always room for improvement within ourselves. There will always be a desire to do more and be more and learn more. The question is HOW do we do this? And how do we do this with out feeling guilty. It’s an internal choice we have to make, most of deep down we can spare a few minutes here an there, right?

I want you to decide to take back 15 minutes a day. No, no, no. Not all at once, spread it out.

5 minutes at a time. At home, you may have kids buzzing around, a spouse that isn’t helping to pack lunches or clean the kitchen, you may feel like 5 minutes just won’t happen. Make it happen. Spend five more minutes in the shower and meditate, take your coffee for a walk around the block. Instead of instantly opening emails, open a word document or grab a notebook. 5 minutes.

You can apply this at work too. Spend a few minutes stretching at your desk. This is will do wonders for your neck, back and stress levels–I promise. Once you start finding a few minutes here and there, you can start expanding that time. Figure out what you want to do with these new found moments. 

Here’s a secret: you’re not actually stealing them, you’re reassigning them to yourself. And if you start to feel guilty about this, don’t. Because you are bettering yourself. You are committing to yourself. You are making yourself in every single aspect of your life: home, parent, partner, employee. A happier you means everyone gets to reap the benefits.

Image result for be better

Give this a try and let me know how it goes! Or email me and ask for some tips for your particular situation–I want to help!