SMART Goal Setting for 2017

GoalsA lot of people take time off over the holidays. If you do, secure at least a few of those precious days off to devote to yourself and your well-being. A few moments spent assessing where you are—and where you want to be—can make a big difference when the new year arrives.

It helps to remember the “SMART” rule for setting the bar for things you can achieve in the year ahead. Your goals should be…

S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Attainable
R: Realistic
T: Time sensitive 
Say, for instance, you want better fitness for yourself—the kind that comes from regular exercise. Perhaps you’ve never been active before, but you want to make this essential habit of health part of your life. So you start SMART! Here are some examples
S: Specific
Instead of “I’m going to get in shape,” maybe you could say, “I am going to be able to walk a mile in 15 minutes by February 1, 2017.”
M: Measurable
Instead of “I’m going to walk regularly,” try something like “I am going to walk for 20 minutes, at least three days a week.”
A: Attainable 
Can you really smoke 500 calories on the stair machine your first day in the gym? Maybe, but if you tire out (or worse—hurt yourself) it’s all too easy to decide exercising is too hard. Start with baby steps, and build on them. (Example: I am going to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes, 3 days a week.)
R: Realistic
You can tell yourself, “I’m not going to miss a workout. Ever.” But get real: Kids gets sick, bosses call emergency meetings, and tires go flat. Instead, make yourself a promise you can keep, like: “Beginning January 2, 2017, I will go on the elliptical for 30 minutes, 5 days or more per week at my local gym. I will allow up to 2 days of rest per week.”
T: Time sensitive
“Someday” is not a word for health goals. Set a date, and write it on your calendar. Schedule those workouts, and honor your commitment to your body. (Example: By January 2, 2017, I will sign up to join my local neighborhood fitness center)
Why shouldn’t 2017 be the year that you start seriously transforming your health, your attitude, and your financial security? Your new life starts when YOU say it does. Picture in your mind what your ideal life would look like. Jot down some visions for yourself in a new diary : How would you spend a typical day when your life is truly your own? Collect pictures from magazines that represent what you want for yourself, your family, and your future.
These exercises are more than just wishful thinking. They bring you joy and purpose, motivate your hard work, and help you make your dreams into plans.

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Fail Your Way Forward to a Healthier You

FailYou are mastering healthy lifestyle habits in an unhealthy environment. You’re likely to slip up and fall backwards now and then and feel like you're losing the fight but don’t let your temporary lapse in judgement define you. You can still win the battle. Let your slip up refine you. Work through it and learn from it. Here are 7 tips to use that failure to move your forward towards success...  

  1. Manage expectations.  It is unrealistic to expect a child to learn to walk without ever falling.  Falling is not a failure.  It is how the child learns to balance.  It is also unrealistic to expect a 20, 30, or 40 year old person to make healthy choices 100% of the time, after decades of practicing unhealthy choices.   If you will take the time to reflect and change your perspective on failure, success is within your grasp.  

  2. Suspend judgment.  Thoughts like “I”ll never get this right!” Or even “I can’t believe I blew it again!” Convey a lack of confidence in our ability to succeed.  Positive or negative, we often live up to our expectations!  We would never think to belittle a child that falls when they are learning to walk.  We understand that building up their confidence is an important part of their process of eventually walking successfully. Our thoughts and words can either empower or crush our confidence, and ultimately our will to try again.  If we are to learn from our mistakes and pick up the courage to try again, we need to suspend judgment.

  3. Review your performance. Top athletes often review film of their performances to identify what they did right and what they did wrong. The purpose of the review is to improve their performance.  Will you pursue the goal of achieving the optimal health with the same passion as an elite athlete who’s pursuing their life-long dreams and goals? Think of the last time you felt you failed.  Review the facts without judging them.  Ask yourself the following questions:  What happened?  What day did it happen?  What time of the day was it?  Where were you when it happened?  Who were you with?  Why did it happen?  Where you Bored, Lonely, Angry, Sad, Tired, Eager, Distressed or Something Else?

  4. Identify the road blocks.  As you reviewed your performance, you identified some barriers to successful performance that are specific to you.  Maybe it was a birthday celebration, or the friends you were with.  Maybe you were hungry as you drove past a favorite fast food place.  Understanding which physical, mental, and financial barriers stand in the way of your successful performance can help you create a plan for success.  

  5. Define the win.  The next time you are faced with a situation similar to the one you described above, what would make you feel successful?  What do you want to create? What do you want to be, do and have?

  6. Remember why.  In the daily grind of life we can lose our motivation if we don’t remind ourselves about why we started this journey to begin with.  Remind yourself daily why you are willing to face the challenges and conquer the obstacles.
  7. Create a map to success.  Write out your plan.  Include your goals, why they are important, a list of potential barriers, and the action steps you will take to get around the barriers.  Having a written plan that you implement and updating that plan as needed will eliminate detours and accelerate your progress to the summit of success.    

We can allow our failures to limit our potential, or we can use them as stepping stones on our climb to Extraordinary health.  How will you choose to use your mistakes?  

I hope you found this list helpful and wish you the best in success and optimal health in the days, weeks, months and year to come! 

Are your friends and co-workers making you UNHEALTHY or HEALTHY? 

Support-bottleStudies show you become like the five people you spend the most time with.  The power of association is too strong to ignore on your journey to the top of Extraordinary Health Mountain. If you want to achieve your health goals, you’ll need to spend time with others who value the same goals.

Who are the five people you spend the most time with?  Whether you realize it or not, they are influencing your health decisions.  Do those 5 people live a healthier or unhealthier lifestyle than you?  Do the things you do together help move you closer to the top of Extraordinary Health Mountain or further away from it?

To improve the number of your healthy relationships, you don’t have to eliminate friends and family from your inner circle. Simply  identify people you may already have in your life who value healthy choices and become intentional about building relationships with them.  Engage them in conversations regarding health goals.  If you share your goals and updates to your progress, others will most likely share theirs. This allows you to begin a formal or informal accountability partnership.

You can also become intentional making sure the positive health influences outweigh the negative ones by about surrounding yourself with them in online health discussion boards, formal support groups or health education classes, and partnering with a personal health coach, trainer, or mentor.  

A good coach often makes the difference between an athlete winning or losing.  The same principle applies to our health.  Having a good coach can mean the difference between an ordinary life and an extraordinary one.

Most people are resistant to change, not because they don’t want better, but because it is not comfortable to change.  It is easy to get cozy inside the Comfort Cave.  A coach can help a person to break out of their cave and move towards excellence.  They do this by helping us see beyond the comfort to the benefits of fulfilling our dreams.  By reminding us of our dreams and what we truly want, they offer us accountability and perspective.  We all face distractions that tempt us to stay comfortable, but by reminding us of our dreams, they help us refocus on what is really important.  When we stay focused on what we want, we can’t help but move towards it, which gives us direction in our actions.  Coaches move us toward an extraordinary life by offering accountability, perspective, focus, and direction.    

Often we think of a coach as a person who works face-to-face to teach or inspire an individual or team toward a championship. This is just one example of coaching. Coaching can come in a variety of forms including:

  • Personal or professional growth books, DVDs, or audio programs
  • Interactive websites, podcasts, blogs, or other virtual resources
  • Live training courses or workshops
  • Mentor or accountability partner
  • Mastermind group of individuals who challenge one another
  • Personal coach who works with you one-on-one

I hope you found this list helpful and wish you the best in success and optimal health in the days, weeks, months and year to come! For more tips, please visit

Why friends don't let friends exercise alone

Exercise-stretchingYou, as an individual, are completely responsible for your own choices, but making the healthy choice is far easier if the people around you are doing the same. Surrounding yourself with people working toward similar goals takes your Stone Age programming and leverages it in your favor. You build each other up, and you help to move each other forward.

Building your health bubble from your family outward can have a profound impact on you and the people that you love, but getting that bubble started can be challenged. Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Find each other’s unique motivations. Your interest in health may not be driven by the same goal as your spouse’s, and that’s okay. Perhaps you want to be more active, and he or she wants to look better in a suit. Talking about your goals ahead of time can make it easier to coach and support each other down the road.
  2. Take small steps. Tackle your changing routine one piece at a time. Trying to upend your entire life in one day leads to yo-yo-ing. If you can agree to each start taking the stairs and going for a walk after work together, you are making valuable progress that you can build upon.
  3. Be forgiving and supportive. Everyone makes mistakes on the road to Optimal Health. Try to avoid shaming each other and to instead focus on learning from the misstep to prevent it from happening in the future. Identify the source of the problem and discuss strategies for overcoming it.
  4. Hold each other accountable. You can still be supportive while also keeping each other accountable. Checking in with each other throughout the day with an encouraging word is a good place to start, and scheduling time to exercise together can keep you on track even on the days that you feel like quitting.
  5. Find a larger community to join. As you build your health bubble at home, look for opportunities to expand it beyond your family to a larger support network. Working with a health coach can help you do this. You could also join a pick-up basketball league or a yoga class to surround yourself with other people passionate about health.

If you take the time to build your health bubble, you can discover a new shared passion with the people you care about, and you can set yourself with a support network geared toward success. See more health tips at

How a Coach Can Improve Your Personal & Professional Results

Coaching-WhistleThe word “coach” comes from a town called Kocs in Hungary.  Back in 1556 the people of Kocs began to make large carriages that would take people from wherever they were to where they wanted to be.  This large carriage was the beginning of what we know as the stagecoach.  

A personal coach is similar to a stagecoach.  The primary aim of the coach is to help the leader get from where they are to wherever they want to be.  Helping the leader make this trip successfully is the only agenda of the coach and their success depends on their ability to close this gap.

Without a coach in one’s life, leaders can experience:

  •         Lack of Accountability
  •         Lack of Focus
  •         Lack of Direction
  •         Lack of Perspective
  •         Lack of Systems
  •         Lack of Balance

These symptoms can often lead to an ordinary life producing ordinary results in the life and work of a leader.  Complacency in a leader’s life can also set in after a certain level of success has been accomplished because of a general resistance to change.  This leads to the leader never breaking out of the successes of yesterday.

A coach can help challenge a leader to break out of this rut by bringing their dream(s) back to them and holding them in front of them.  Leaders are constantly challenged by the elements around them and it becomes tiring to continue to climb the mountain of success.  Extraordinary coaches understand this and know where to go to help the leader dig deep within to bring out the courage to continue to journey to excellence.

Often, we think of a coach as the person who works face-to-face to inspire an individual or team to win a championship. This is just one example of coaching. Coaching can come in a variety of forms, including:

o        A personal or professional growth book, DVD or audio program

o        Interactive websites, podcasts, blogs or other virtual resources

o        Live training courses or workshops

o        A mentor or accountability partner

o        A mastermind group of individuals who challenge one another

o        A personal coach who works with you one-on-one

To live an extraordinary life, we all need some form of coaching to go beyond what’s usual, regular and customary in our lives. Coaches give us the EXTRA edge we need to make our lives “exceptional to a marked extent.” Resolve to find a coach and/or the coaching resources that will take you to the next level!

Extraordinary athletes have coaches to help them get extraordinary results. Leaders who want to achieve their goals and go beyond what is usual, regular and customary in their lives also need coaches who can take them farther than they can take themselves.

Why is having a coach so important?  

Stephen Covey, a New York Times Best Selling Author says “Accountability breeds response-ability.”

A coach brings some critical pieces to the success puzzle you won’t find anywhere else:

  • strategic perspective, insights and knowledge different from your own
  • resources, tools and tactics to help one accomplish the mission in less time with less effort and mistakes
  • accountability, motivation and encouragement to help us go beyond what is comfortable

Once someone has reached the peak of success with the help of a coach, you will find that person rarely takes on a major project, dream or mission without one ever again. Invest in your success. Find a coach and listen to them.

Looking for a personal health coach to help you take your game to the next level? Visit

How do you measure success & progress?

MeasureBy taking time to reflect on our progress and accomplishments, we learn more about what we’re capable of achieving given our time, talents, skills, and abilities. It is important not to let another month, week, or day go by without measuring our progress toward our health goals.

Just as mountain climbers review their maps to make sure they are hitting their mark, so too must we review what we’re actually achieving. We need to know what’s working and ramp that up. In areas where we’re not making progress, we need to find out why in order to resolve the cause of the problem.

What to Measure

Our dreams or desired outcomes—are they clearly defined? Are they realistic or do they need to be revised?

  • 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?

How Often to 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? Is there a reward?

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

“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