Monthly Archives: December 2013

10 Tips to Help you Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Congratulations, you’ve survived another year! 🙂

That’s the best news ever because that means that if you weren’t able to keep your New Year’s resolutions in 2013, you have all of 2014 to do so (provided that you follow the tips below).

Are you tired of making New Year’s resolutions every year only to have them fall by the wayside mid February or earlier? If yes, then keep on reading!

If you weren’t able to keep your resolutions, you’re not the only one. In fact, some studies have shown that a huge 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them. Other studies have shown that the resolutions only have an 8% success rate. Personally, I’m tired of watching people become another statistic which is why I sat down to write this article.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome the New Year. If 2013 did not go the way you wanted it to go, now is a good time to reflect on what happened and how to make improvements in the new year.

A moment of reflection of the past year is an opportunity for all of us to learn from past mistakes, celebrate past successes and reflect upon what worked and what didn’t.

Believe it or not, I stopped making resolutions a long time ago because I realized that I too would abandon them before February 1st. So, I’ve crossed out the word “resolutions” and replaced it with “goals”. Then, I created an action plan on how to get there. After that, I followed the steps as defined in the action plan. Sometimes, there were some challenges along the way, but I’ve noticed a huge increase in overall success rate.

I hope that as you read, you will realize that you too can achieve your goals in 2014!

1. Don’t make too many at once. The problem with picking too many resolutions is that you may find yourself overwhelmed and not know where to start. Try picking the top 3-5 that are most important to you and that you want to stick to throughout the whole year.

When you have 3-5, it makes it a lot easier for you to develop an action plan for yourself, as opposed to having 10 of them.

Also, rather than calling them “resolutions”, turn them into “goals”. Yes, there is a difference between the two. Yes, your chance of success increases when you replace resolutions with “goals”.

2. Make them specific. If your resolutions are too vague, like “I want to save money” or “I want to get in shape”, then it’s very hard to keep them. A vague goal is not really a goal that you can shoot for because you are not 100% sure of where you truly want to go.

When you don’t have a clearly defined destination, how can you get there? It’s like if you’re driving somewhere you’ve never been before and all you have is the name of the city or street but not the entire address. Sure, you might get to your destination, or you might just get frustrated, turn around and go back. Sound familiar? I think so.

So, if you want to save money, find out how much you want to save and how long it should take you as well as why you’re saving. If you want to get in shape, be more specific like lose 5% body fat in 3 months or gain 10 lbs of muscle over the year. Also, ask yourself why you want to lose the weight.

3. Write them down. When you write down a goal, it’s a lot easier for you to remember it and to clarify what it is you want. Also, when you write down a goal, you are able to clear up some space in your head so that you can start to take your goal to the completion stage as opposed to wondering what it is.

4. Be accountable to others. A goal is always more easily reached when you have people around you who support you in it. So, tell a supportive friend or family member about your goal and what you’re going to do to get there. Better yet, if you have a friend who has similar goals to yours because then you can motivate each other, discuss your successes and talk about areas for improvement.

If you have to, make your goal public (declare it on social media) because studies show that your chances of reaching that goal increase by 10% if you have supportive people around you.

5. Have an action plan. If your goal is fairly large and requires multiple steps, it’s best to write out all the steps and not just the goal itself. When entrepreneurs start a business, for example, they create a business plan which is supposed to guide them in the right direction. An action plan that you will use to reach your goals will help guide you to success.

6. Document your progress.  It’s always good to be able to measure how far along you are. Seeing progress is very motivating. For example, if your goal is to make it to the gym at least 3 times per week, then get a calendar and put a check mark on each day that you went to the gym. Also, if you’re trying to lose weight, take progress pictures and post those in an area where you always see them.

7. Make them realistic.  If your goal is to save $1 million in one year and yet your income is only $30,000 per year, short of winning the lottery, such a goal is very unrealistic. Same as losing 100 lbs in one month. Pick a goal can achieve or choose a resolution that you know you can keep, while at the same time ensure that you will challenge yourself in the process.

8. Make them attainable.  Setting an attainable goal sets you up for success. After you succeed in achieving your initial smaller goals, you will gain more confidence in yourself. Once you’re confident, you will be able to set more challenging goals.

9. Evaluate last year. Recall what your goals/resolutions were at the beginning of 2013 (since we’re entering 2014 now). Check off any goals that you achieved and resolutions that you’ve kept. Recall the process and the work that it took for you to get there. Find out what inspired you to keep going. Recall any challenges that you’ve faced and how you dealt with them.

You can reward yourself for the goals you’ve reached and learn from the challenges that you’ve faced. What was effective and could be applied to the next goal? What was not and thus should not be repeated?

10. Talk to people. Think of people you know (or friends of friends) who have succeeded in what they set out to do, especially if it’s something that you want to accomplish as well. Talk to them, ask them questions about what they did and how they did it. Most successful people who have “been there, done that” are willing to spend a few minutes to talk to someone about their successes, failures, and challenges. This can help you with your new year’s resolutions too.

ON YOUR MARK! GET SET! GO!

I hope that you found this article helpful. I would be thrilled if you shared it 🙂

My Top 10 Moments of 2013

Since this is the time for “best of 2013” lists, I’ve decided to come up with my own list. 🙂

Some of the things on the list are fitness related, while others-not so much. However, all of them relate to achieving goals that were set anywhere between 1-3 years ago and I’m extremely happy to have been able to achieve. 

Three years ago, if I told someone I was going to run a marathon, I’m sure they would just laugh at me because honestly,  I couldn’t run one block (about 400m) without feeling like I just ran 100km.

The marathon has always been a distant goal of mine (no pun intended), even when I was younger, but I never thought that 1.I could finish one 2. that I could finish in the top 10% of all finishers and 3. that I would qualify for Boston on my first try. 

I feel that 2013 has truly been amazing! Honestly, I could not have predicted or asked for a better year (apart from winning the lottery, which would have allowed me to afford all the race entries and travel to all the marathons on my bucket list…haha).

Seriously though, I have to do a ton of work in 2014 to match what happened in 2013. I’m ready for that challenge.

Overall, I feel extremely thankful and fortunate for the opportunities that I’ve had in 2013 and for the people that came into my life. I’m so happy to have experienced these top 10 moments this past year.

1. Run For Their Lives Vancouver Island 2013. Starting in Port Hardy and finishing in Victoria, it was 500km of running for great local charities, including the Mustard Seed Food Bank, Recreation Integration Victoria and BC SPCA. We met a lot of awesome people along the way and it was fun.

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A huge thank you to everyone who supported this endeavor:  sponsors, media and event co-ordinator/good friend Ian Simpson.  I enjoyed every kilometer of the run from start to finish and would gladly do something like this again if the opportunity arose.

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2. Receiving my Bachelor of Commerce Degree. Having been in school for more than half my life, the fact that I finished it was a huge relief.  School work is a lot like marathon training because you get out exactly what you put in.

Also, just because I’m finished school, does not mean that I’m finished learning. Learning is a lifelong pursuit and now it’s time to go out there, learn more, embrace new challenges, do more, make a difference in other people’s lives, set bigger goals and reach the full potential.

3. Getting fully certified as a personal trainer. I’ve always had the passion for fitness and there is nothing more rewarding than helping clients achieve their fitness goals. I’m thrilled to be working in this industry.

I believe in my clients and I know that with the right guidance they are destined to achieve their goals, no matter how big those goals may be.

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4.  Breaking 20 minutes in the 5k (19:25). The 5k is a unique distance in a sense that demands more from you as a runner than just logging in hundreds of miles or sprinting like crazy. I find it to be a very tough race, just like the 8k because it’s neither long distance nor short distance. In order to run a perfect 5k, a perfect 5k specific training plan has to be completed.

It’s just as challenging to design the perfect 5k plan as it is to run one, especially for someone like me, who is a long distance runner. Previously to breaking 20 minutes in a 5k, I would always finish the race in around 21-22 minutes, which I admit is not that fast. That day though, it went extremely well and I’m hoping to improve even more in my next 5k that I do.

5.  Paying off my student loan. I had to take out about a $4,500 student loan when I was in my 3rd year of university because of the order in which I decided to do my academic terms. It just so happened that instead of doing a co-op work term and making some money, I decided to do an academic term, which meant that I had to borrow money.

I’m fortunate enough to have been able to pay it back within 6 months after graduation so that I could focus my efforts on building my business rather than worrying about my loan. For that, I’m thankful!

6. Competing in my first fitness competition. I believe that training for a fitness competition is as challenging as training for a marathon both mentally and physically. Both marathons and fitness competitions require a lot of commitment and dedication.

I had a lot of fun at the competition and met some great people who share my passion for fitness. Also, a photo of me alongside the other fitness competitors made it into Inside Fitness Magazine.

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7. Running a personal best and finishing 2nd in my age group in the TC 10k. The TC 10k is a big race with thousands of runners. Whenever I do a race, I’m always looking to beat my previous time in that distance. Whether or not I place is not as important to me as continuous self-improvement. With that being said, I like to finish closer the front and will always do my best.

TC10K medal

8.  Personal best in the Victoria Marathon. Given that I was sick the weekend of the race, I honestly didn’t have a lot of expectations and I certainly didn’t expect to run a personal best. At one point, I was even concerned that I wasn’t going  to start the race, but I did anyways.

When I reached the 36km mark and still felt good, I knew that I was going to finish and do well. I crossed the line in 3:25:45, which is a 2+ minute improvement from my previous personal best. My average pace was 4:53 per km. I placed 2nd in my age group and 217th/1726.

MarathonPlaque2013

9. Being around awesome people. I love to be around positive people who support each other. Having people around you who support each other and who support your goals is very important. I’m glad I found that.

10. Studio 4 Athletics became my main place of business as a personal trainer. The owners of Studio 4 and I share the same values with regards to helping people, which is why I believe it’s a good fit for me.

Also, the Studio 4 team genuinely cares about helping the customers improve their lives as opposed to just making sales. After all, the well-being of my clients is my priority and I’m happy to have found a place where we all share that same priority.

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I have set some new goals for 2014 and I look forward to achieving them. 🙂

 

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