Happy New You

As we look ahead to the New Year, we look at setting goals for ourselves. It is important to choose goals that suit you and that are achievable with a little hard work and determination. Be realistic. The easiest way to fail at your resolution to a new you, is to make a goal unattainable. Strive for a goal that is attainable. For example, deciding to lose 30 pounds may be attainable for some, but choosing to take better care of you and get healthier may be a better resolution to choose.

Plan ahead. Think about what your resolution should be well before that stroke of midnight. Do not choose a resolution last minute – especially if you want to stick to it.

Outline your plan. Start thinking about how you will deal with those desires to skip out on your resolution or if you get temptations – what will you do when you want to skip that spin class or workout or indulge in an extra piece of cake.

Make a Pros and Cons list. It may help to see a list of items written down to keep your motivation strong. Develop the list while you go along and keep it with you and refer back to it when you need that extra push to keep your resolve.

Talk about your resolution. Don’t keep it a secret. Tell your friends and family who can help support you and your new you. You may also find someone who shares the same or similar resolution that can help keep you on track and motivate you all year long.

Reward yourself each time you have success. Treat yourself to something that will not contradict your resolution. Buy yourself that dress you wanted, or head to a movie with a friend.

Track your progress through the year. Having short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing five pounds at a time. At the end of the year, you will also see how far you have come.

Don’t beat yourself up if you slip off course of your goal. Just realize what has happened and get yourself back on track. Tomorrow is a new day. Just try to work hard on keeping your goals each day.

Keep trying. If you find you run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start again. Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. All the24 hour increments will soon build up to something.

It’s a New Year and time to look towards the new you that you want to be. Forget about 2014 resolutions that may have been made and broken. This year, you have some tips to get you going on your path and keep you on it. Be patient, change will not happen overnight. Plus, you’ve got a whole year to get to the NEW YOU.

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Gratitude – Positivity in Your Life

Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. Gratitude is the feeling you have when you realize that you have so much in your life. No matter what is going wrong or what you still want in your life, be grateful for what you already have. Showing gratitude is one of the fastest ways to turn your life around.

Scientists have discovered that there is a link between gratitude and well being. Grateful people have more enthusiasm, are more satisfied with their life, have more vitality, are more optimistic and have lower levels of depression and stress. Gratitude is reciprocal. One act of gratitude encourages another. Your act of gratitude can trigger a chain reaction.

How do you create a life of gratitude?

  • Take pleasure in the small things of life.
  • Reach beyond yourself and do good to other people.
  • Give with no strings attached.
  • Be appreciative – tell people what you appreciate about them, you’ll make their day.
  • Remember to say thank you.
  • Give praise.
  • Focus on what you have and what’s going right in your life.
  • Start a gratitude journal – record small things that make you smile, add photos of people you are grateful for.
  • Write at least 5 things each day for which you are grateful.
  • Show your gratitude by giving a card or small gift.
  • Concentrate on solutions rather than problems.
  • Look for the good in people and situations.
  • Spend time helping people who are worse off than you.
  • Do small kindnesses and bring joy to someone’s heart.
  • Write a thank you letter for all the good things in your life.

Think of all the little things that cause joy in your life that you have to be grateful for. The more you focus on the good, the more joy you will experience.

Gratitude opens doors for you, enriches your life and overflows into other people’s lives. Create an atmosphere of gratitude and watch it change your life and maybe even those around you. Let’s make the whole world smile.

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Take Charge

It’s time to stop dreaming of what could be and take charge of your life. Success will not come to you automatically; you need to do something about it. When we take charge of our lives it frees us up to prosper. Take charge of your life and make the things that you want and your goals happen.

Taking charge is a mindset of positivity. It means that you believe in yourself and your vision and you are committed to taking the steps that will make your vision a reality. There are times when we may actually be unaware that we are not in charge or realize that we can do something about what is not okay with our life. It takes self-awareness to care for self. We have to learn to listen to what we are feeling and then think about how we want to handle the situation.

The ability to have a “can-do, positive attitude” stems from the construct that your thoughts determine your feelings and your behavior. For example, if you think that creating a successful career is hopeless, you probably feel apathetic and scared. Build up your confidence and attitude and you will see the positive flow through all the aspects of your life.

How do you take charge? Here is a strategy you could use.

Firstly, you need to identify what you want to accomplish in your future. Think and visualize your life in 5 to 10 years. You need to have a vision of what you want so that you can start planning and making the decision to move to the destination you desire. You need to have a clear target, know exactly what you want.

Secondly, you need to take actions to make your goals and dreams come true. This may require some extreme changes to your life. Set your sights on your goals and make the changes and take the actions that are required to get you there.

Finally, it is important that you review your goals and dreams constantly while making these changes. This will allow you to stay focused and remind you of the outcome you desire.

To be fully in charge of our life is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It is worth the lifelong investment to put effort into making it happen. We have the ability to consciously grow so that we can be the person we are capable of being. The result for us will be that we can truly prosper.

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Positive Pets

A pet can bring many benefits to their owner. Being a pet owner will give you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, that is why having a pet around you at home can be a wonderful addition to one’s life. Pets are truly one of the most wonderful friends you will ever ask. They can instantly light up a room and turn a foul mood to a cheery one.

Pets can uplift a person’s mood. No matter how sad, angry, depressed or lonely you may be, spending some time with your pet will help you forget your problems. Studies show that having your favorite pet around you can reduce stress. You can count on your pets to be there for you in many ways that other people can’t. They can give you love and friendship, and can also enjoy comfortable silences. Animals can be the best antidote to loneliness. Pets can be the best companion one can ask for. They help in creating a positive environment and relieve stress. After a hard day’s work, a few moments with a pet can ease a lot of tension. Biologically, it has been shown that playing with a pet dog or cat can help in increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body – two chemicals that have a calming and pleasure inducing properties. Studies have shown that people with pets are routinely less depressed than those that don’t.

Pet owners experience significant physical benefits from walking their dogs. Not only do these walks give owners daily physical activity, but the act of going outside and getting some fresh air can improve pet owners’ moods. For owners who spend a good deal of time alone, walks and trips to the dog park can provide great opportunities for social interaction.

How can pets help make healthy lifestyle changes:

  • Increasing exercise – Taking a dog for a walk, or simply chasing a kitten around are fun ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners, for example, are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements than non-owners.
  • Providing companionship – isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most pet owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. Nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail or purring cat.
  • Helping meet new people – pets can be a great social ice breaker for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop to talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
  • Reducing anxiety – the companionship of an animal such as a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.
  • Providing sensory stress relief – touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat or taking a dog for a walk.

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that most pets fulfill the basic human need to touch. Stroking, holding, cuddling, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and some pets are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost mood. If you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, instead of heading to the local pet shop, visit the local SPCA or shelter and adopt an abandoned or homeless cat or dog.

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Coping with Workplace Disappointment

Disappointment is something we all deal with at different times in our lives. When your vision for the future doesn’t seem reachable, it is easy to be disillusioned. Nevertheless, there is a way to create your world and to get your internal reality to manifest outwardly. Be encouraged! Your present reality is not your destiny.

Secrets to Overcome Career Disappointment

  1. See the big picture. Hold to your inward vision despite that which you see going on around you. If you can see it, you can conceive it. Your vision is your ultimate mission. Though your job description may be minuscule and confining, your vision should be magnificent, liberating and invigorating.
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t let trivial irritants obscure your vision and thwart your progression toward your future. Sometimes it is the small stuff that can be most aggravating. It’s easier to dodge a rock than if someone were to come up and throw sand in your eyes. Avoid unnecessary conversations and complaining sessions among your coworkers. Be productive and avoid conversations that are corrosive. Focus on the future and stay on track in your journey to get there.
  3. Go where you are celebrated not merely tolerated. The majority of people will not acknowledge or see your gifts, talents and unique abilities. You must be planted in an environment and climate conducive to your personal growth and enrichment.
  4. See problems as opportunities. Contrary to popular belief, a problem is an opportunity. You wouldn’t think so by the way people murmur and complain. Consider problems as opportunities for you to shine. Rise above the mediocrity and manifest your creativity. Problems therefore are a pathway to your next promotion.
  5. Be a peacemaker and an encourager. Workplace strife fills and floods the lives of many. Have no part is such negative counterproductive energy. Be a peacemaker and bridge builder. By doing so you will make friends, feel better and find new ways to overcome organizational obstacles.
  6. Go the extra mile. Don’t be like everyone else. Break the mold. Arrive at work early and leave late. Manage your emotions and martial your energies. In doing so your productivity, creativity and resourcefulness will increase. By going the extra mile and exceeding your job description you will show yourself to be a true asset to the company and someone they can count on.
  7. Replace anxiety with creativity. Don’t be overly anxious. Anxiety drains you of your energy and immobilizes your resourcefulness.
  8. Be a lifelong learner. There are two types of growth, inward and outward. Most look for outward growth, profitability and expansion. Yet inward growth is equally if not more important. For without inner growth outward growth never occurs, neither can it be sustained. Commit to be a lifelong learner. Continually listen, learn and explore new bodies of knowledge.
  9. Serve selflessly. Everybody wants to lead but few want to serve. You can’t always be the top dog. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. When you serve people you show them you care and that you recognize they are important. When you make people feel important, they pour gratitude back into you. Those you honour will assuredly honour you.
  10. Remember the future is in you, not the job. Contrary to popular belief, the future is not in the job. The future is in you. With or without the job you can excel and come into your dreams. Your inner world once acknowledged and embraced can be made to manifest in any place. So should your current employer and coworkers be clueless, you can still come into your destiny. When you are firm and solid in your identity, you can bring about your destiny.
  11. Set your intent and follow your instincts. You don’t always have to know how it is going to happen. Just set your intent as to that which you want to happen.

    Career success is not something that is given on a golden platter. It takes a lot of hard work, patience and determination to achieve success. Don’t let the disappointments get you down. Continue to be positive and work hard to reach your goals.

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Healthy Thoughts

Positive thinking can have a positive influence on your health. It is currently believed that one of the main advantages of positive thinking may be an increased life span. Other possible benefits may include: lower rates of depression, improved resistance to illness, increased overall physical well-being, and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular causes. Positive thinking can help improve self-esteem, raise confidence, suppress illogical fears, give the strength to face difficulties and not be overwhelmed by them – instead show an individual ways in which to tackle problems though positive action after visualizing being able to remove obstacles and emerging victorious.

For example, if one is keen on losing weight and needs to fit in a regular physical exercise regime in their daily plan, the power of positive thinking can be harnessed to motivate and help one to stick to the fitness program if one focuses on how energetic one will feel on shedding those extra pounds and probably even imagine how the new wardrobe will make one look.

The essential first step is to identify your negative thinking streams and reduce and remove this kind of head-talk from your repertoire. Once you are more aware of your habits, you can then consciously work to putting a positive spin on your thinking. If you allow the mind to sift out the negative thoughts and only hold on to the positive, it will help you move closer towards the happiness you deserve.

Use these tips to help stay positive:

  • Infuse your life with a sense of humor. Being able to laugh away the negativity is a great tactic.
  • Exercise regularly. Besides improving your physical and cardiac shape, this can bring up your endorphin levels to a better-feeling mood fairly instantaneously.
  • Follow a Healthy Eating Lifestyle.
  • Learn techniques to minimize stress in your everyday life.
  • Spend quality time with close, understanding, upbeat friends. Filling your life with positive people.
  • Volunteer for a charitable organization. Helping others will make you feel good about yourself.

Experts aren’t completely sure why individuals who practice positive thinking tips also encounter countless health benefits. One idea is those with a positive outlook often have better ways to cope. They can handle the stressful situation in a healthier manner, reducing the harmful effects on the body. An optimistic person also tends to live a better lifestyle, as they follow a healthy diet, get regular exercise, stay away from smoking and consume limited amounts of alcohol. When all of this comes together, those who are positive usually stay healthier and can manage the negative self-talk. Start today, use positive thinking to becoming a more healthier you.

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Get Out of A Work Slump

Are you in a work slump and need help clawing your way out? Being in any kind of slump is not something enjoyable. But, when it is a work slump this can affect your life much more because it is your livelihood. Here are some ways to try and get yourself out of the dreaded work slump. Reward Yourself
Sometimes the slump is just based on motivation. Working day to day doing the same thing can become exhausting, especially if you are not getting praise from anybody. Well, praise yourself. Make goals for yourself and when they are complete treat yourself to something you really want, but never get. For example, go to the spa and get pampered or have an extra-long weekend with the family or the girls/guys. Sometimes you just need to be told you are doing a good job and that you matter in what you are doing every day. If someone isn’t there to tell you, then just tell yourself. You do not need anybody but you to get through the day.

Take a Vacation
Perhaps you are just so worked that you cannot focus anymore. Work can become a stressful place and take its toll on the brain and your energy. Then you go home and work some more with the family or on the house. Life is just never ending. Work is what you have to do to survive though, so it makes you more miserable. Taking a vacation can clear your head and rejuvenate your mind. We all get stressed with work and home so a little bit of relaxing time could be just what you need. When taking a vacation make sure to go somewhere you have always wanted to go, a place that makes you happy. Once you are done with the vacation you can go back to work and feel ready for the day and work ahead of you. When you get down at work again just think back to the vacation and work for the next one.

Find Something New
Maybe it is simply time to try and find another job. When you have done everything there is to do and climbed your way to the top already, go achieve something else. If you are not inspired anymore work can become a chore that is dreaded every day. You may not even want to get up in the morning to go. That is a sure sign you are unhappy with what you do and a change needs to be made. Ask yourself what you care about and what you want to achieve in your life. Maybe you were headed down the wrong road all along. If you are financially stable already, then simply look for what you want and what makes you happy. Not everyone can be in a financial place in their life to do this, but if you are, than it is what you should do.

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Do You Need a Workout Makeover?

The responsibility for your workout plan rests squarely on your shoulders. Unless you have hired a personal trainer, there is nobody there to give you advice on whether you need to have a complete workout makeover or not. It is therefore up to you to spot the signs. In this article I am going to run through some of the most common signs that you’re in an exercise slump. If you notice any of these, change your workout, and fast.

Firstly, there is no denying that at the start of your workout plan you are going to be sore. That is the nature of the beast. However, as you continue this pain should start to disappear and you should hopefully end up feeling fantastic. However, if you are waking up sore each and every day, then this is as good indication that the plan is having an adverse effect on your body. Perhaps you are pushing yourself too hard. In this instance you are going to need to change your plan sooner rather than later. The pain can be in the muscles, joints, or pretty much anywhere else. In addition to this, if you have an injury which isn’t healing, despite your workout plan then it is likely you will need to change to something less strenuous.

Another problem is when people stick to the same workout plan. Every single day, they do the same thing time and time again. This is going to get boring, very boring. If you feel that you are bored, perhaps you are skipping workouts then it is time to change to something that is fun. Working out is meant to be a healthy activity but it also has to be enjoyable. If you find it boring, you will give up.

In addition to this, you may get bored quickly if the workout is far too comfortable for you. If you feel as though you don’t really need to put any effort into working out then you will need to push yourself even further. Don’t push yourself too hard though, this will lead to you giving up in your workout because it’s too hard.

Perhaps the biggest indicator that could result in you needing a workout makeover is the fact that you aren’t seeing results. This could mean not achieving the fitness levels that you crave, or simply not losing weight. What you need to realize is that everybody’s body is different. Some may benefit from one thing, another may not. Therefore you will need to be willing to change should you not notice any results. Don’t leave it too long. Especially if you have goals to reach.

Remember, it is important that you give yourself a workout makeover sooner rather than later. After all, if you continue doing something which is causing you pain, or perhaps not allowing you to reach your goals then you will lose motivation. Once the motivation is gone it will be more difficult to get it back to reach your fitness goals.

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San Jose Fitness Expert Shares Tips to Greater Happiness

Exercise can  improve your feeling of happinessGetting to a state of happiness and contentment can prove to be challenging for some people. Remaining in that state for any length of time sometimes feels near impossible. While many people happily cite that they are content with themselves and their stations in life, a vast number of us are seemingly on a never ending journey to do better, be better and have more.

There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement and being the best you can be.  But by always focusing on obtaining and acquiring more, we are unable to truly appreciate what we already have; and let’s face it: keeping up with the Joneses is exhausting.  I think it’s important for our well-being that we appreciate who we are and where we are in life right now.

While some of the responsibility of wanting bigger and better resides within us, we aren’t solely to blame. In a time where the media outlets constantly and aggressively shower us with celebrities who have mega-million dollar mansions, model like partners and ridiculously toned physiques, unless you don’t own a television, ever turn on the radio or submit to not looking at any magazine cover, you are subjected to a daily dose of ‘perfection’ whether you like it or not.

Couple that with the social media and stigmas attached to it and the words “epic fail” will inevitably come to mind from time to time. We constantly subject ourselves to a barrage of friends, family and co-workers’ status updates which include engagements, job promotions and Caribbean getaways (complete with magical pictures)all of which may cause us to step back and examine our own lives. Then the questioning begins. Am I in a good place? Is my job good enough? Will I ever get that promotion? How does he or she stay so thin? When will I find the perfect partner?

Soon enough the panic can set in and the inferiority complex begins. This is damaging not only to one’s physical health but also influences our emotional states.  It promotes depression and stress not to mention it may elicit an unhealthy and unnatural need to engage in unhealthy behaviors and unrealistic expectations.

What we need to be focusing on and developing is the fine art of self-worth and reframe the entire idea of the pursuit of happiness. Set aside for a moment the idea of the “American dream” and let go of any and all preconceptions of what brings us happiness. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to improve in areas of one’s life, balance must occur. After all, in order to achieve more, you first have to be content with what you already have.

Stop the Comparisons
The first exercise anyone will need to practice to be happier with themselves and appreciate what they have is to stop negative behaviors.  One of those behaviors is stacking yourself and your assets up to those around you. There will always be someone better looking. There will always be someone wealthier. This is a fact of  life.  Trying to change this will only bring about exhaustion and frustration. This is especially true when we compare our lives to those of celebrities.

Believe it or not, celebrities do not wake up looking any more fabulous than you do. However, they do have a lot of resources to help them look amazing. Surrounding themselves with a flurry of nutritionists, trainers, beauticians and stylists, it may appear that they step on to the red carpet in a flawless manner. The truth is, they spend a lot of money and time to attain that ‘flawless perfection.’ This is time and money the general population doesn’t have.

The time spent comparing what you look like or how much you have to others should be spent focusing on what you have and how you can possibly improve or build upon your individual foundation. If you aren’t happy with your weight, work towards changing it. Join a San Jose health club, or  consider joining our boot camps in Campbell, San Jose and Los Gatos. Write your own script and amass your own goals that are not based on anyone else.

Create Abundance
Choosing to concentrate on the abundance in your life will help  shift your focus and  make you happier.  Keep in mind that it also comes in many forms–it’s not just about money or good looks. Abundance takes many forms.  What are you grateful for in your life? Write down what you are thankful for.  Perhaps it’s friends, your children, your job, your health or your significant other. There’s YOUR abundance right there.

Work on Yourself from the Inside Out
A solid foundation is key to happiness.  Instead of focusing on others, focus on yourself. Take whatever talents you have and emphasize them or use them in a different capacity than you are currently using them. Using your talents to benefit or help others is one of the best ways to increase your happiness.  Most of us get joy out of helping others.

Are you a great dancer? Volunteer to teach the elderly a few steps or work in an impoverished community. Perhaps you have artistic skills? Volunteer those skills and a few hours of your time to others who wish to learn how to draw. While you are teaching others, you are also empowering yourself and this is important when beginning your journey in the pursuit of happiness.

Feeling happier and more fulfilled in your life is within your reach!

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New Year, New You

The end of the year is once again upon us. After the alcohol and food fueled holiday season, it is finally time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish in the year ahead. Almost everybody makes New Year’s Resolutions, but very few people actually stick to them.The main reason why they don’t stick to their resolutions is down to the fact that they don’t make the right ones. So now we are going to take a little look at exactly how to make the right resolutions for next year.

The first thing you are going to need to do is choose your resolutions. This is something that is much harder than many people think. For a start you need to choose something that is actually going to be exciting enough for you to achieve. After all, if you become bored throughout the year with your resolution then it simply will not be achievable i.e. if you absolutely loathe reading then don’t make it a goal to read one book a week! You will probably fail by February.

The best resolutions are going to be those that allow you to make positive changes to your life for a long time to come. This is perhaps why the main resolutions are to lose weight or even to stop smoking. These resolutions are much easier to stick to as you will be able to see positive changes in your life. Of course, you could also make resolutions that enable you to advance your career. They may not be as obvious as resolutions (for example going to more meetings at work) but they may actually pay off in the long run.

Of course, you want to be able to stick to your resolutions. Therefore you will need to ensure that you have the support you need in order to achieve the resolution. Remember, nobody has accomplished anything of value without the help from others. In an ideal world you would find a friend who has the same resolution as you who will be able to help you through the process. If not, just find somebody that understands what your resolutions are and also how to help you succeed.

Finally, you need to ensure that your resolutions are actually achievable over the next year or so. After all, what is the point in making New Year’s Resolutions if you can’t stick to them? When planning resolutions, break them down into much smaller tasks and see what you need to do in order to achieve your goal. This allows you to see whether what you want to achieve is actually realistic or not.

Hopefully this has given you an idea on how you can make the right resolutions for the year ahead. Make a list of everything that you want to achieve, and then pick a couple that follow the guidelines above. Of course, there is no limit on the amount of resolutions that you can have, but try to choose a manageable amount to make it easier on yourself.

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