Energize: 2) Partner with those who value health
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Energize: 3) Progress in decreasing stress

As a coach I work with clients who enter stressful situations causing them to slow or stop their progress towards achieving their health goals. I’ve seen these “Stress Storms” prevent someone from achieving their goal temporarily or completely.  Unfortunately most who are unprepared to weather the “storms” will head back down the mountain back to their comfort cave or old habits.

Personally I’ve learned storms are part of life and it’s best to deal with them vs. wait for better weather.  There have definitely been seasons where I climbed towards bigger and loftier goals and other times when I rested and maintained my position but based on my experience and from the testimonials of others we’re either going into a storm, we’re in a storm or we’re just coming out of the storm so it’s best if we learn how to climb and cope inside stormy weather.

There are many types of Stress Storms that cause us pain in our life such Physical Stress Storms (i.e. general pain, injury, disease, inflammation, or other trauma) causing us to decrease our activity levels in order to rehabilitate or it changes our desire for food as a coping mechanism.

Mental Stress Storms (emotional, relational, spiritual, etc.) can be some of the most challenging as they can last decades if we don’t climb beyond them.  Some storms will blow by in the changing of the seasons and some storms are just always there at a certain altitude that we must climb beyond. 

Financial Stress Storms such as looming debt(s), reduced income/cashflow issues, career or business transitions or the general lack of financial security due to the volatility of the stock market.  Financial storms are something many Americans are well aware of in today’s tough economic times. The heat has been turned up on many families forcing both spouses to do double duty and work full time. This causes mental stress on relationships and when you add to it a loss of income or job it can be disastrous to a family or marriage relationship. 

So how do you deal with the storms?  You make progress every day on the situation.  As a coach if I have a climber who’s not climbing my first question is “why”?  What’s the storm that’s preventing them from climbing and how bad is it.  If it’s really bad than we make the progress steps really small to help the person not be overwhelmed.  I don’t want to abandon them to deal with it on their own as I’ve seldom seen anyone who does better in a storm alone.

What can you do to improve your situation right now?  What kinds of storms are you dealing with or what storms are on the horizon ready to set in and make your climb up the mountain a little more challenging?  If you can see the storm for what it is (a simple storm or season of life) you can usually deal with it as most storms don’t stay around forever.  Time passes and life gets a little easier.   But we get stronger inside a storm if we continue to stay focused on where we’re going and we make progress towards the top.  This requires we measure our success.

WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS DONE 

By taking time to reflect on your progress and your accomplishments, you will learn more about what you are truly capable of achieving with the time, talents, skills and abilities you’ve been given.  Don’t let another month, week, or day go by without measuring your progress on your health goals.

Just as a mountain climber reviews the map frequently to make sure he’s hitting the mark, you must take time once a month or so to review what you’re actually achieving.  You want to find out what’s working, so you can ramp that up! If you’re not making any progress in accomplishing your Action Plan, you must take the time to find out why that is and do whatever it takes to resolve the problem sooner rather than later. 

Measuring the outcomes you generate is where a lot of people start losing steam on their journey to success. That’s a shame, because knowing what you’re measuring and how often you want to measure it is a great way to motivate yourself!

Here’s What We Want to Measure

  • Our dreams or desired outcomes – are they clearly defined?  Are they really ours, or are they someone else’s?
  • Our action plans – do we have a clear plan of action with attainable goals and specific action steps to take?
  • Our progress – are we seeing measurable progress on the plans we’ve established? Are we headed in the right direction?
  • Our use of time – are we squandering valuable time on activities that are unrelated to our goals and dreams?

Here’s How Often We Should Measure

  • End of the day – did we do what we needed to do?
  • End of the week – was our week productive?
  • End of the month – were our monthly goals accomplished?
  • End of the quarter – are there achievements to celebrate?
  • End of the year – was the past year successful? How do we know? And by the way, what’s the reward?

By measuring our growth and development we can re-energize, re-vitalize and re-focus ourselves and focus on what matters most right now.

Consider Using These Tools to Measure Your Progress

Health Assessments – you can get a complimentary online health assessment at http://ehealth.tsfl.com/questionnaire

Time Tracking - Track every activity you do for a one week. See where you’re really spending your time.

Coaching - Hire a personal health coach to help you track your progress over a period of time and use the free on-line coaching resources I’ve given you at the end of this book to monitor your progress!

"What you measure is what you get. What you reward is what you get. By not aligning measurements and rewards, you often get what you're not looking for." – Jack Welch

THE MOTIVATING MESSAGE

Life doesn't always go according to plan, and sometimes we veer off course.  When this happens, we need to have a motto or message we can repeat out loud that helps us get back on track.  

My favorite example of a motivating message comes from the U.S. military.  As you may know, the NAVY SEALS are legendary for their commitment to their mission, sometimes in the face of hardships most of us cannot imagine.  A former NAVY SEALS trainer was once speaking in front of a large audience on the topic of commitment.  When he had concluded his remarks, he asked his listeners whether they had any questions.  A member of the audience stood up and said, “Yes, I have a question.  What happens in the SEALS training that prepares your people to endure such dire circumstances in battle or while in captivity?”

The trainer responded, "We teach them to NEVER QUIT.”

The questioner wouldn't accept answer.  "Come on!” he persisted.  “You must use some sort of special program to train them to endure things like emotional abuse, isolation, deprivation, torture and life-threatening injuries – without ever losing their commitment to the mission.”

The NAVY SEALS trainer responded quite firmly, "We train them to NEVER QUIT."

The reason why the NAVY SEALS are so highly regarded in their field is because they NEVER QUIT.  They are legendary for their self-discipline – and endlessly repeated motivating message of theirs, NEVER QUIT, is the reason why. 

Now let me ask you a question.  What if you decided NEVER TO QUIT on your plans, dreams and goals, and to make that message part of your personal identity?   How high would you climb if you made a personal commitment to make “NEVER QUIT” your motivating message whenever you hit an obstacle?  Where would you be in your life one year from now if you made a habit of repeating that message to yourself, out loud, each and every day?

Make NEVER QUIT your motivating message – the message you repeat to yourself whenever you veer off course and focus this final week on energizing your body using the recommended strategies listed above.

 

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