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Why It’s So Hard to Achieve Personal Success in Isolation

Three members of the award-winning Pilobolus Dance Theater, which began as a group of students 40 years ago at Dartmouth, Jun Kuribyashi, Jordan Kriston and Eriko Jimbo,demonstrated their unique style of physical performance for 100 university dance and movement students, followed by a 90-minute workshop. During the workshop the dancers taught the students new techniques for balancing and using each other’s weight to perform complex moves. The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance students enthusiastically joined in when Pilobolus dancers invited them to try exercises that encourage mutual trust and taught them to become “predictable moving partners.” They also told the students that if the audience doesn’t “either love or hate the performance, then you’re not doing your job.” The Pilobolus dancers’ teaching ability and their personal magnetism ensured that the workshop connected with the students within minutes and kept them rapt until the end of the session. *** Local Caption *** Kuribyashi

Spring is almost ready to launch but are you?  Is your house winter-worn and your body still hiding under a sweater?  Do you and your home need a spring makeover but don’t know where to start? I understand.

In a perfect world, we all want to eat healthy, be fit, and live a balanced and well-organized life.  We certainly don’t opt for overweight bodies or messy and cluttered homes. But when busy meets up with the lack of discipline, it easily impedes on being our best selves.

Here’s the truth.  Not everyone is self-motivated.  In fact, most of us are not. When we get stuck, we beat ourselves up with “why can’t I do it by myself ?” This negative self-chatter simply paralyzes us. As a result, we often do nothing at all but just continue to feel bad about it.

But here’s another truth.  No matter how small the task or goal,  it’s often hard to complete without support, accountability, or praise.

The good news is that help is not a dirty word. Support comes in many forms. Being accountable fosters motivation and drives us to succeed.

  • Individual– Sometimes it’s just one person that’s all you need.  It’s that one person who’s not walking in your shoes or feeling your angst that can bring objectivity.  It could be a friend or a colleague that can provide you with the motivation you are lacking. Consider them your accountability partner.
  • Team- Sometimes it takes a village. Surrounding yourself with a network of support may be a great source of relief and/or just a great source in general. Feeling part of a team can be empowering.  The “better together than apart” motto is validating.  Consider them your accountability partner.
  • Professional Sometimes it’s a professional that has the skillset you may not have to guide you through the process.  Consider them your accountability partner.

Make no mistake about it, there’s a valid reason why people hire personal trainers and nutritionists.  They understand they cannot go it alone. It’s OK to enlist a cheerleader to elevate one’s self-esteem.  Ditto to the client who has tried multiple times to organize their home by themselves.  This is not easy to initiate, albeit schedule routinely. Being consistent and facing the challenges by yourself is the hardest task of all. Isolation is not your friend.

Group fitness classes like Soul Cycle, Spin, Pilates, Yoga, etc. are not merely trendy.  They inspire like-minded individuals to get fit together and feed off each other’s energy to satisfy a common goal.  It’s about being part of something intentional, connecting and committing to a scheduled class. There’s something to be said about the financial commitment as well, which also promotes huge accountability and drives the motivation.

It’s no surprise that annual membership for fitness centers has escalated as health and wellness have become an integral part of our culture, specifically for the millennial demographic. I’ve noticed that it’s commonplace for them to build it into their day- to -day scheduling. It’s more their normal than it is a chore.

The simple truth is that investing in help is investing in yourself.

When you are part of the process, you will be super prideful with the results.  Mutual support, accountability, and praise, will undeniably yield positive rewards.

So embrace the Spring season with a new energy. You can do it. Whether it’s your health or your home, it’s time to get fit and set new goals. Do you need to:

  1. Re-organize your spaces?
  2. Clear the counters and closets?
  3. Make room for your car in the garage?
  4. Eat healthier?
  5. Lose weight?
  6. Get to the gym?

If you’re struggling with how to get started, you are not alone. Wondering where to begin? Just pick up the phone. Start the conversation. Find your person, team, or professional. It can be a game changer.

And everyone could use a good cheerleader 🙂


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Restoring Balance: It’s About Time

balance and clockIt always come down to time, doesn’t it? Everything we do has a time component.  From the minute our alarm wakes us in the morning until we lay our weary heads down at night, we are governed by time.

In fact, we depend on our watches to “watch” the time for us.  It is fundamentally our universal tool to measure a given day; our personal alert system to remind us when we have to do just about anything. Time doesn’t only punctuate our mealtimes, appointments, or travel;  it organizes all of our life activities.  Essentially, it is our ultimate “life tracker.” Unfortunately, it is not a flawless system.

The simple truth is that we all regard time differently.  Some of us adhere to it fastidiously, while others not so much.  Regardless, whether or not you have the more nonchalant attitude or actually struggle with time-management, you are still at risk of losing your daily balance.

We must remember that time is measurable.  And when we lose track of it, it can disturb our balance.  Think about how many costly consequences there are as a result of time not being on our side.  There are appointments to make, schedules to meet, planes to catch, time zones to calculate, and if there is one small glitch in the system, it can all go very wrong.

Things happen.  There are unforeseen circumstances that are clearly out of our hands.  It can be as minimal as oversleeping, unpredictable as traffic, or as serious as an unfortunate accident, personal health, or family crisis.  Any one of these scenarios can spill into late appointments, missed plane connections, or even worse.

In a perfect world, when we can control time, it is precisely what connects us to one another, isn’t it? “I’ll meet you @ 1:00 for lunch” or “Conference call at 3:00,” or “Dinner’s at 8:00pm.”  It’s our frame of reference, both casually and professionally.  It’s what makes the world go ’round.  It’s a universal language that keeps us on schedule, at least most of the time.

But all too often, we take time for granted or are too busy to realize its rapid passing.  Hence, we lose control of the day and beyond.  Managing one’s time is a common challenge but for many, this is a daily struggle.  “If we cannot feel the sweep of time, we cannot manage it,”  is one of my sustaining take-aways from a recent NAPO Conference I attended.

The good news is that there are solutions.  I don’t typically promote products on my blog but it’s an opportune time to give this one a shout out, simply because it works.  It’s one of my favorite time-manager tools, called the Time Timer.  It’s a super effective product I recommend to clients that battle with time-management issues.

For me, it’s about old school thinking.  I can still remember the big analog classroom clocks ticking away one second-hand at a time, being able to watch time pass and waiting for the bell to ring.  In today’s digital world, it is far more difficult to conceptualize the passage of time.  Think about it, can you really “feel” the time sweep from 1:27 pm to 1:42 pm?  With this timer, you can visually watch time elapse, without the dreaded ticking. You will actually “see” time pass. Every time I use it, it still surprises me that the set time had expired so rapidly. In fact, this tool is actually a great time “teacher.”  I learned these three lessons;

1) When you’re immersed in a task, you can easily lose track of time and control.

2) Everything takes longer than you think.

3) Being more mindful of time, significantly heightens focus and increases productivity. (helps to manage those obsessive time robbers too)

Exploring effective methods to track time will likely raise awareness of how you use time and can instigate a shift in mindset.  Essentially, it plugs you into “self” and connects your actions to an accountable timeline.

Being more mindful can arguably change the relationship we have with time. If we can regard time more efficiently, perhaps we can make it work for us, not against us. Relying on time as our life-manager can restore the balance we might be lacking.

What’s your relationship with time? Are you in control? If you pay attention with a more critical eye, I bet time will tell.

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