My Favorite 11 Letter Word

Good morning guys! Happy Monday! :)

So here’s a quick little story for you. I remember back around the time when I was graduating high school, at the last minute I decided to go to our Baccalaureate ceremony. Right before the ceremony, I was asked to be one of the students who went up on stage and read a randomly selected inspirational quote to our graduating class.

The quote that I randomly selected was:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act – but a habit.” – Aristotle.

If you’ve known me since then, or been friends with me on facebook since then, you’ve probably noticed (and been annoyed) that I constantly refer back to this quote. It changed the very nature of the way I looked at my goals and my dreams and it has impacted me in a very positive way.

I think I have recently undergone a lot of change in my life – for the better. I won’t go into anything too lengthy on here but I know for a fact that I am enjoying my life so much more and reaching goals that I have once struggled with in the past.

So to get to the point…my favorite 11 letter word? Consistency.

This has become my absolute favorite word lately because it has such a powerful ability to cause change in our life. A lot of times we look at the word consistency and associate it with things like diet and exercise (I do, too, obviously…considering my job haha). But think for a moment about things we consistently do on a daily basis!

I consistently brush my teeth ( I bet you were dying to know that)

I consistently prep my meals on Sundays.

I consistently devote time to my workouts.

I consistently devote time to my family.

I consistently devote time to reading enlightening books.

You get the point.

Aristotle said that we are what we repeatedly do. It makes complete sense.

If I repeatedly allow my surroundings to influence me negatively, I will constantly be in a bad mood.

If I repeatedly skip the gym, I’ll create a life that is no longer centered around my health.

If I constantly skip church, I’ll stray away from my spiritual values.

If I constantly neglect my friendships, I’ll find myself alone.

Consistency is the very essence of who we are. But the cool thing is that we can create new consistencies. We can create new habits that bring about positive change in our lives.

I encourage you to make a list of things that you consistently do. Start with all of the obvious ones (eating, showering, etc). Then go into the not so obvious ones – do you have a habit of talking down to yourself? Do you have a habit of complaining? Do you have a habit of cutting corners at work? Do you have a habit of watching T.V.? Can you change those habits into more productive “consistencies”?

xo Jacquelyn

How to keep a fitness routine when routine goes out the window

Life happens. Whether you’re travelling or weighed down with extra work, there always comes a time when fitness takes the back burner. As hard as we try, these phases will always be a part of our lives. So how do we stay active?

My schedule has been far from routine lately. Ill plan something out and end up stuck on a subway for an hour due to construction. Or I’ll be exhausted from the 2mile walk to the grocery store carrying everything. Some days we go into work early and other days we go in late. I’m all out of whack!

But I’ve found a few tricks that have helped me immenslely!

1. Short & sweet: honestly I’m one of those people who loves working out so much that i get excited when i can devote an hour and a half to my workout. But that’s not always the case! I’m falling in love with tabata style training. Basically doing full body movements for 20s and 10s rest. This style of training is extremely effective and can be done in 30min or less. I’ll be doing a detailed post on tabata training this week! Another thing? Sprints. Gets the job done quick so you can go about your day!

2. First thing: have you ever heard that quote about swallowing the frog? Getting the hardest thing done first will make the rest of the day go by smoother! Wake up and get your sweat in first thing in the morning so none of life’s surprises can keep you from your goals!

3. Incorporate it into your day: have to take the dog out? Play a quick game of tag with them. Walk through the park when sightseeing on vacation. Take the stairs. Do physical activities for your planned excursions.

Remember that these phases are usually only temporary. We don’t have to be world star athletes year round, but incorporating fitness whenever we can will keep us from falling down that slippery slope!

What do you do to stay active

Xo Jacquelyn

Tough Love

I had a client tell me the other day “Man, Jacquelyn. You sure know how to deal out some tough love. You make people strive to do better by coaching them through the pain. You don’t baby the pain, but you teach us how to deal with it.”

I was stopped in my tracks.

I’ve been told this before…that I’m more of a tough love type of person.

At first I was a little defensive. Am I really that tough? Do people think I’m mean? Do I come off too “hard”?

No, I don’t think I do.

I think I demand the best that anyone has to offer. I see people and I see their potential and I always feel like it’s my job to pull that out of them.

I know that sometimes even my friends get irritated with me because I tend to tell it like it is. I’ll help you identify your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. It’s what I do!

I know that my mentors and coaching figures have all been the same way, so perhaps that’s how I developed this attitude. When it comes down to it, I always feel like I’m a coach first and foremost. Maybe not in the traditional sense of the word when dealing with athletic teams. I just feel like it’s my job to help people be better at whatever it is they’re doing. I’m not going to do it for them, but I’ll push them to do it on their own.

I’ve grown up as an only child. All my life I was required to give myself affection through positive self talk. I was required to entertain myself. So although I may not be “loving” like some people would prefer me to be, I choose to express my love and respect through helping you be able to do that for yourself.

I don’t know if this even makes sense to other people lol. I feel like the best gift I can give someone is the ability to rely on themselves, the ability to be their own best friend, the ability to trust in themselves. I do this through gentle coaxing, educating them, uplifting them, and quite frankly: pushing them.

Yes, of course I’m encouraging. Of course I’m understanding. Of course I’m empathetic. But I’m not an enabler. I’m not going to go easy on anyone (who is that really benefiting, anyway?) – I’m going to make them stronger to get past it.

It was a moment of self reflection inspired by this client that helped me realize these things about myself. After truly thinking about it, I think I have to agree. I am a tough love type of person. It’s not a lack of love…it’s just that you have to show me toughness in order for me to express it ;)

Am I the only “tough love” person?

xo Jacquelyn

A New Concept for Me: Building My Lifelong Work

I heard the term “lifelong work” a couple of weeks ago. I started writing a draft post about it and couldn’t find the right words and couldn’t put direction to my feelings, so I saved it for a later date. The amazing thing about your mentality though, is that certain things get into your brain and get stuck. Those things are sensitive to stimulus around you that you may not have been sensitive before. It’s like buying a new mustang and all of the sudden you see mustangs everywhere. I started hearing all about this concept about lifelong work and intuition and going with the flow.

Little miss “type A” over here…

For me, my life has always had a step by step path. A step by step plan. A check list. A to do list. A structure.

I’ve heard over and over that life isn’t meant to be lived that way, or that it’s impossible. But I was never confronted with a situation that knocked me off my predetermined path.

Consider me knocked off.

For the last 8 (ish?) years, my plan has been to go to school. Get my degrees. Get my certifications. Get solid internships. Experience. Resume. Recommendation letters. Black. White. Black. White. You get it.

Well this year I started grad school! And you know what? I hated it. A girl who has always loved school hated her first semester of graduate school. It wasn’t the work load – hard work keeps me sane. It wasn’t the subjects, all of my classes were topics I was avidly interested in. It was a lack of correspondence with teachers. It was being treated a certain way because I wasn’t a graduate assistant. It was me sending 4 emails to my counselor/professor before he ever replied (months later) about my internship…when a guy in my group project told me he always responded to him within 5 min (I’ll let you take a wild guess whether or not he was a graduate assistant…). It was all of my peers giving lectures, having my professors critique the lectures for wrong material, and then TEST US on those lectures. Um what?

Needless to say, it wasn’t the idea of school (which I still love), it was the experience.

So that had me thinking about all the other things I could be doing with my life.

I could get my lifestyle coaching certification. I could start that blog I’d been wanting to start for so long (oh, hey!), I could really research what I was interested in with exercise physiology, I could throw myself into my work as a trainer. I could pay of student loans, get my nutrition and wellness certification, write my book.

All of these things that build up to a lifetime of work and research with things I’m passionate about. None of them are cut and dry, they’re pretty much all things that go outside of my typical “structure.”

At first, when I realized I might not be finishing my graduate degree at my current school, I was terrified. I was knocked off my path. But now? I’m realizing the lifelong journey I have a head of me. The opportunities I have to do what I love without the crutch of school leading me down that path. I have the choice to go back to school when I find another University that I can identify with (and that’s my plan). But for now? I’m building my lifelong work. I’m getting experience in what I’m passionate with to build my reputation so that somewhere down the line I will have a strong foundation to help others do the same.

Once I came to that realization, it was like a light clicked on. If it’s not making you happy, why do it? Life is too short to be doing things that make you miserable if you have a choice not to. Every success story has a million different paths that lead to the finish line…it’s okay to switch it up.

What’s your lifetime work? Have you ever switched paths in order to pursue something you were passionate about?

xo Jacquelyn

Gratitude

I think that practicing gratitude is such an important thing. We go through our days and pick everything apart. The traffic frustrates us. Our coworkers. The weather. Its so easy to get caught up In the negativity.

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Lately I’ve been trying to end my days thinking about all the things I am thankful for. My family. My friends. My dogs. My home. My education. And you know what I realized? How often do we express gratitude for ourselves? Who we are. Who we were. I’ve found myself being continuously and overwhelmingly grateful for the human body lately. My body.

I can run, play, breathe, laugh, and play with no pain. Not everyone can say that. I’m passionate about fitness and I get to exercise on a daily basis. I put more demands on my body on a daily basis than some people can in their whole lifetime. I’m grateful. I could never take this for granted. Its what drives me on those days where I feel too lazy. The fact that i can use my body to its full capacity…I’m at a loss of words.

The human machine is so amazing. The things it does day in and day out to keep us alive…things we are completely unaware of!

As a personal trainer I hear every single day about how people wish their body would look a certain way. Its a shame. I try to help people appreciate things about themselves that maybe they didn’t realize before. Balance. Feeling. Touch. Range of motion. Flexibility.  Strength. Endurance. Less emphasis on appearance and more on function. Its funny because sometimes people don’t realize that the two go hand in hand. Anyway…this isn’t a post about body image.

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I’ve noticed that practicing gratitude more often has made me so much more aware of the blessings I receive daily. Its helped my frame of mind. And its helped me appreciate and covet what I’ve been given. I think we all have a choice each day: look for the positive things or dwell on the negative. Whichever we choose will only replicate and breed to create more. So which will it be?

Do you practice gratitude?