In the article As Not Seen on TV:The Softer Side of Jillian Michaels, Jillian shares her 7 Steps to success. She starts by sharing that "People think 'maximize your life' means 'get your sh*t together.' But it means appreciating that you are worthy and capable of having more." This was important for me to hear this week...I am capable of more. I will share more about my personal new challenge at the end of this blog, but I want to briefly outline her seven steps first (I switched the order around a little):
- Specifically define and detail your goals: don't be wishy-washy or vague. What is it that you want? In one of Jillian's podcasts she had a woman that was changing careers and all she could share was that her goal was to love her work. Jillian helped her to see that the reason many people don't meet their goals is that, "...most people don't stop to think in detail about why they pursue a goal, or what achieving it might look like in their life, or how it makes them feel." Decide what your specific goal is, how you are going to measure that success, and then make tiny goals along the way to keep you motivated.
- Develop small goals that lead to your long term goal: Jillian suggests a goal pyramid with your long term goal at the top. All the layers (steps) below would allow you to move slowly and methodically toward the big end goal. For me the completion of a sprint triathlon, an olympic length one, and then a half-Ironman all gave me the confidence and training I needed for successful completion of my full Ironman.
- Do your research before jumping in: whatever it is that you want for your life, research methods for achieving that goal, people who have been successful, and then use the specific methods they suggest and adjust them to your lifestyle and needs. When I wanted to do an Ironman, I read every book I could find on the subject and then developed a training plan that I felt would help me be successful. I honestly think that was the key to my successful completion of the Vineman triathlon.
- Take responsibility--you are the one that controls your destiny: Bad stuff occurs, set-backs are inevitable, but don't let those keep you from moving forward. Jillian states it best, "Accept that yes, bad stuff happens and there are times when we are victims--it's how you respond and move forward that matters." I admit that I am struggling right now and not making the healthy choices I should be, But I accept that I can have control and I am putting my steps into place to get back on the road to flabulous.
- Address your fears right from the start: She suggests that you formally tackle these three questions-1) What if I make a change and I succeed? 2) What if I make a change and I fail? 3) What if I don't change anything? Face your fears head-on because, as Michaels shares, " Ninety-nine percent of what happens other than death is recoverable." Don't let fear of failure, or success, keep you from taking risks.
- Use your mistakes as learning experiences: The only way to grow is to change and refine your practices, and remember that we often learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. The important thing is to identify what needs to be changed and what changes need to be made to be successful. I had one triathlon, my first one at Oceanside, where I had not trained enough and I came close to not finishing the swim portion because I was not a strong enough swimmer. I learned from that and I continued to add more swimming sessions so I could gain the strength needed to finish my 2.4 mile swim for Vineman.
- Look for patterns in the choices you are making: It is important that we look at our bad decisions and see that there are often patterns in the choices we make. My pattern is that I tend to try to solve my problems through food. I love that new Weight Watchers commercial where they show that no matter what emotions we are feeling, in our society we tend to respond by eating. When I am happy, I snack. When I am sad, I snack. No matter what emotion I am feeling I snack, and I really need to put this pattern at the front of my mind and remind myself that food is not the answer.
I am hoping that you can take whatever you are struggling with right now and use these steps to start making some healthy choices in your life. I am continuing to try to get my eating under control, and I am setting a new goal in hopes that this will keep me motivated. I know that when I have something challenging on my race calendar, I tend to have an easier time making healthy choices.
So today I signed up for the Nanny Goat Ultra marathon. Over the next five months I will be training to complete a 100-miler. I know this sounds crazy, but I am going to need support and encouragement over the next few months. When you see me, congratulate me, volunteer to train with me, remind me to never give up, because I am going to need all the positive support I can get! Game on!
This week with all the holiday tasks that needed to be completed, there was not a lot of time to play with the items in my box. But this morning I decided that it was time to use up some of our pears and apples, and I used them to make a rustic apple/pearsauce. I peeled the pears and apples, cut them into small chunks, and then boiled them with some leftover apple cider I had in the refrigerator (you can use plain apple juice as well). I let them cook until they were tender and then just roughly smashed them with a potato masher. I topped it with a little cinnamon and the kids absolutely loved this treat. Easy to make and a fairly healthy snack as well!