Pick 5 Little Things To Change Your Life Today

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from TIME MANAGEMENT NINJA

Do you have big goals?

Big things that you want to change in your life?

If so, I want to shift your thinking today. Because, often we get caught up in the big changes.

We lose sight of the little things and don’t consider the impact that even small steps can make in our lives.

Today, I want you to change 5 little things in your day.

Change… Just a Little Bit

Change is hard.

In fact, most people don’t change.

Have you ever run into someone after several years of not seeing them?

They are usually the exact same person.

Appearance, dress, personality, and behavior. Maybe a little older, a little rounder, or less hair. Yet, the same as when you saw them last.

That is why we are impressed when we see someone who has made dramatic change in their life.

“The most powerful people are those who can change themselves.” (Tweet this Quote)

So, how do you make change?

Bit by bit. Step by step. And little by little.

Make Little Changes

We get so caught up in the big picture that we fail to see the small things we need to change.

Change is not usually done in big jumps, but rather little-by-little.

(Note: I am not saying that you shouldn’t set your goals high.)

I am saying to concentrate on the little things each and every day.

What are some small things that you could change in your life?

Here are a few little suggestions of things that you could change today:

  • Read 20 pages of a book
  • Exercise, even if it is just to take a quick walk
  • Floss
  • Take your vitamins
  • Learn 1 new thing 
  • Write a few sentences in your journal
  • Don’t complain
  • Compliment someone who is deserving
  • Tell someone you love them (this little thing is often overlooked)
  • Introduce yourself to someone you have encountered multiple times but yet still don’t know their name
  • Take a different route to work… even if it is just the stairs vs. the elevator
  • Bite your tongue when you shouldn’t be speaking
  • Smile, even during tough situations
  • Have a positive attitude, no matter the circumstances
  • Be on time
  • Drink water
  • Get up early… or go to bed before it is too late
  • Prepare for tomorrow today
  • Take 1 step to make your goals closer

Don’t think big… think about something small that you can change today.

Take 5 Small Steps Today

It is good to aim high and stretch your limits.

But life is not always about changing the big things, but rather the little ones along the way.

It is about continuously makings small adjustments. Always course correcting.

I challenge you to pick 5 small changes to make in your life today.

Question: What 5 little things could you change today? Share yours below.

Summer Schedule Announced!

A few minor changes to our usual schedule!  Listed below are the recurring classes, but be sure to check out the online registration site for special events like “Spin at the Movies”, Couples Spin, Theme Rides, and Boot Camps!

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Bob Dylan Themed Spin Playlist

Bob Dylan Themed Spin Playlist

A few weeks ago it was Bob Dylan’s birthday.  If you follow this blog you know I love me a good themed playlist so I decided to see if it would work.  This playlist worked surprisingly well for a nice chill endurance and hill based ride.  I threw in a few Dylan covers too to keep it fun!

The Skinny on Training for a Triathlon / Duathlon with Spin Classes

Wondering if triathletes and duathletes should use spin bikes, or if spin bikes give you as good (or better) a workout as riding your bike outdoors? Here’s the skinny…

Spin Bikes Are Different6ef16836dbebce7096bf3f7c0de89862

The majority of spin bikes are different than normal road, mountain or triathlon bikes because they have a “fly wheel”, which is a 30-40 pound wheel that provides the resistance as you pedal (and which is also the reason that the pedals on a spin bike keep moving after you stop pedaling). Because of this fly wheel, your hamstrings work harder to slow the pedals as they come around. But when you’re outdoors, you’re pedaling against the friction of road resistance and wind resistance, and this motion requires more work from your hip flexors and quadriceps. That fly wheel keeps the pedals spinning after you get the pedals moving, so it’s also very easy to let a spin bike do the majority of the work for you, which is why many people in a spin class appear to be pedaling very fast when they’re actually not doing much work at all.

So, now that you understand the difference between spin bikes and regular bikes, let’s look at whether triathletes/ duathletes will get a bang for their buck actually use spin bikes.

Spinning vs. Cycling – Overall Fitness

Spinning: A study by the American Council On Exercise (ACE) found that indoor spinning on a regular spin bike can keep you at around 75-95% of your maximum heart rate, which is more than adequate for a triathlete to build cardiovascular fitness. Of course, a big part of this heart rate boost could be the heat of an indoor spin room, the peer pressure of spinning classmates, and the motivation of an instructor barking orders in your face. However, as you’ve just learned, spinning tends to use primarily your hamstring muscles because of that fly-wheel, which A) means more help from the spin bike and fewer overall calories burned or muscles strengthened and B) you using far different muscle groups in a different way compared to what you’d experience with outdoor cycling.

Cycling: As you know if you’re a serious triathlete or cyclist, you can easily get your heart rate as high and higher as those in a spin class. But if you’re new to the sport and have a hard time pedaling that fast while balancing the bike, navigating, and not having the motivation of a crowd and an instructor, you may find it easier to build skills on the bike, and then build your cardiovascular fitness in a spin class. But in contrast to a spin bike, you use your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, shins and calves more when you’re on a bike outside – so your muscular fitness will likely be higher (as long as you don’t spend much of your time “cruising”). But once again, you need to be working hard enough to hit those muscles with adequate force to make them stronger and to burn significant calories, and some people just have a hard time riding a bike that hard unless they’re racing.

Fitness Summary: The average triathlete, and especially the beginner triathlete, can get pretty fit in a spin class. But they shouldn’t neglect outdoor riding skills, and if you can get your heart rate high with outdoor rides, you’ll be better served keeping things on the road, or throwing your tri or road bike on an indoor trainer (which doesn’t have a fly wheel like a spin bike does).

Spinning vs. Cycling – Perceived Difficulty
Spinning: When you’re riding a bike indoors, spinning can get boring (this does not apply to Ashland’s fun spin instructors), and it can also use the same muscles over and over again (no ascents and no descents). This can certainly make spinning seem more difficult than cycling. But the pounding music and group/instructor motivation can help with this. Plus, note that a spin class can make time go by much faster compared to just throwing your bike on an indoor trainer.

Cycling: Unless you’re in a race or training with a fast group, cycling goes by much faster and generally feels much easier from an effort standpoint compared to a spin class. But as you take your cycling to the next level, there are technical skills required that can quickly make cycling become more difficult than spinning.

Summing it UP! :

You’re going to get a great workout with both spinning and cycling. But if you’re a triathlete, you’re going to want to be primarily training the muscles you’ll be using during the race, and also getting used to handling your road bike. Especially if you’re a beginner triathlete/duathlete, a spin class is going to give you great motivation and improve your fitness – but unless you’re just doing spin classes because you enjoy the heck out of them (and really WHO DOESN’T?!) – you’ll get more bang for your triathlete buck by riding your bike outdoors the 3 months a year that you are able to in northern Wisconsin!

Thanks to http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com for most of the above information!

Come Punch and Kick Your Way to Sanity

ANOTHER NEW CLASS? Heck yes!

Beginner spinners and entry level ninjas welcome!

Come join me for 30 minutes of spin and 30 minutes of kickboxing circuit work! The kickboxing circuit will be a unique & fun workout that combines “old school” boxing and kickboxing with functional, interval, & cardiovascular exercises. Class size is limited to 12 and you must pre-register online. Course fee is $8 per class and payable upon arrival. Registration for this class will open on March 19th at 8am and will be via the web. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

CLASSES ARE FROM 5:15 – 6:30 (there is time allocated for switching groups & instruction)

** YOU MUST REGISTER FOR EACH WEEK SEPARATELY**

What to bring?
* boxing gloves if you have them (no worries if you do not, there are some at CHF)
* water
* sweat towel
* tri shorts or cycling shorts are nice but not necessary

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Long time coming… New Trek Express Class

I have been wanting to teach a treadmill interval class forever! Our small town gym is limited in treadmill capacity, so it has been a challenge finding a way to do this. I AM SO EXCITED to announce the new Trek Express class starts April 4th and space is limited, but it will be great! Registration for this class will open on March 19th at 8AM. I will post the link SOON on Facebook and posters will go up Chequamegon Health & Fitness on the 18th. If you want to do Trek Express at home or are looking to prep yourself check out my treadmill workout board on Pinterest!

What is Trek Express? A treadmill training class for runners done at YOUR pace. This class will provide a new challenge each time ranging from hill workouts, endurance training and even speed work. Classes are either 35 or 40 minutes and are an effective way to burn fat fast and great for all fitness levels!

Class cost is $6.00 per class and payable to Northern Grrrls LLC. Class size is limited to 5 students per week so please remember to sign up each week and for only the classes you will attend and give others a chance to sign up too.

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Hearts on Fire Event a HUGE Success

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Participants and instructors from the Hearts on Fire event show their love!

On Sunday I celebrated Valentine’s Day and showed my love of fitness by hosting a fundraiser for the Chequamegon Health & Fitness Center. A few other AMAZING instructors donated their time and energy to the Hearts on Fire fundraiser which included Zumba, Intro to CrossFit, Spinning, and a Kickboxing Circuit. The event was designed to not only raise funds for the gym, but also to expose women to fitness options other than the standard treadmill and elliptical. We rotated the group through the various workouts and it was a huge success as 24 women participated in 120 minutes of frantic fitness FUN!  I ran the kickboxing circuit portion of the evening and even though the physical space and available equipment limited the possible stations, we had a great time! The ladies loved being able to punch and kick their way through the evening!  Below is the workout, which you will see had adaptations for plyo and conditioning stations as well so that we could accommodate the number of people who participated!

Hearts on Fire Kickboxing Circuit:   = 24 minutes plus instruction and cool down…= 30 min

1 minute at each station – use tabata timer

Station 1: Heavy Bag (N) Round Jab Cross Combo (rounds 1 & 3) Hooks on round 2
Station 1a: Jump Rope
Station 2: Heavy Bag (S) Roundhouse rapid fire kicks (1 minute each leg, or 30 seconds x 2)** on these kicks work on power and exhale with every kick making sure to pivot and rotate your hips for full contact.
Station 2a: Burpees
Station 3: Speedbag Speedbag play – slow and steady and increasing as coordination improves
Station 3a: Push ups
Station 4: Maize/ heavy bag Rapid Fire Uppercuts (round 1 & 3)
Station 4a: Alternating punches in a sitting/horse stance

Can also add in a jumping jack station, bicep curls, squat bar, shoulder press, weighted v-sits,

Stumbling is Not Falling! AKA Sh*t Happens.

Okay so I’ll admit it… I am not always the perfect example of health and disciplined eating.  No matter how hard I try and how strict I am about my eating and exercising habits- slip-ups happen. I skipped two workouts last week and ate and drank my way into a caloric coma  with my very best girlfriend. Whoops- but it was completely worth it and we had a great time!

What I DID NOT next do was go off the deep end and eat everything in sight!  I got my butt back in the gym and scheduled an extra Saturday workout for myself and my boot camp participants.  However, this experience got me thinking about the minor setbacks and mistakes that we all make in our “fitness” habits.  We can learn a lot about ourselves from the manner in which we choose to learn from our errors and move forward.  A bad choice is not the end of the world.  Just “grrrl up” and track that piece of cake and glass of wine and move on…

Here are some tips from an article about what to do when you fall off the diet wagon by Connie Bennett as published in the Huffington Post.

“Stumbling is not falling.” ~Portuguese Proverb  

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1. Be sweetly accepting.

If you ate those no-no foods and ignored your good intentions, now is not the time to beat up on yourself. Instead, use your “falling down” to shower yourself with warmth, sympathy and compassion. Yes, you turned to junk food. Now, graciously accept that reality and get ready to move on.

2. Embrace your humanity.

People who are addicted to sugar or junk food or who often overeat tend to expect themselves to be perfect. Of course, that’s simply not possible. In fact, planning for perfection instead paves the way for a big letdown. So, now that you’ve “fallen,” use this as an opportunity to accept and welcome the fact that you’re human. That means you’ll make “mistakes” or slip from time to time. So what? Admitting your humanity can be quite freeing.

3. Give thanks for your “failure.”

This tip may seem counter intuitive, but I invite you to try to be grateful for your slip. Be thankful that you ate junk foods or fell off the healthy-food wagon. Be appreciative that you behaved in an unloving manner to yourself. Now turn your “failure” into something positive. In other words, take your slip and turn it into a transformational teaching moment.

4. Commit to grow.

Now that you realize the value of your “failure” and how it can become an amazing learning experience, accept that this may be the impetus you needed to finally pick healthy foods on a regular basis or to finally lick your bad habit (what I call a babit™). Now, search inside and commit to do whatever it takes so you can grow to reach your goal.

5. Get going with gusto.

It’s now time to slip on those sneakers (metaphorically and in reality) so you can begin again. After all, don’t you get more excited, impassioned and committed when you begin a project?

6. Watch the horrible outcome of your slip.

At this point, I invite you to study how bad you feel because of your sugar or carb spree or other counter-productive pursuits. For at least four days, keep a diary in which you write down the results of your binge, whether your reactions are emotional, physical or spiritual. Admit how your unhealthy habit is leading to horrible headaches, excessive exhaustion, embarrassing irritability, blowing up at co-workers or annoying “brain fog.” When you dispassionately study yourself in this manner, you’ll easily call to mind these horrible outcomes the next time you’re tempted to veer off the track. In fact, remembering how bad you felt can help you to stay on course next time and conquer your sugar temptation or other bad habit.

7. Dwell on what you really, really, really want.

Now that you’ve accepted your humanity, thanked your failure and observed how your sugar slip harmed you, think about what you want. As fitness instructor Patricia Moreno likes to say likes to recommend, think about what you really want in the depths of your being. (Patricia talks about this concept in her s exciting new book, The IntenSati Method: The Seven Secret Principles to Thinner Peace.) In other words, do you really, really, really want to be sugar-free, full of energy, slim, trim, toned, sexy, happier and more enticing to yourself and others? Kicking sugar and eating real food — the kind that grows on trees, pops out of the ground or swims in the ocean — can give you all of that and more. So zero in on the many physical, emotional and spiritual benefits that eating healthy will give you.

8. Create a vision board.

Now that you’ve decided you really, really, really want to go sugar-free or eat healthier foods because of the many benefits, I invite you to actually illustrate your goal. By this, I mean, create a vision board where you paste on photos, words and images that capture what your new, healthier life will look like. You can learn how to do this by reading The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life by Joyce Schwarz. Look at your vision board every day and make sure when you look at it that you also relish the glorious feelings that your new, healthier life would give you. Even better, do powerful “feelingizations,” as Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret: Manifest the Love of Your Life With the Law of Attraction, puts it. (Ford coined this appropriate word to convey that when you visualize, you really feel them.)

9. Proclaim your freedom.

Now that you’re getting back on track, create one powerful affirmation or mantra and repeat it over and over all day long. You can clean your house or work out while you repeat your affirmation. (Of course, the power and effectiveness of affirmations are discussed in the bestselling film and book,The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.)

10. Make a pleasing plan.

When starting a healthy diet or new way of eating, it’s always wise to figure out in advance what, when and where you’ll eat. It’s a good idea to choose ample, modest amounts of protein, healthy fats and high-fiber carbs such as vegetables and low-sugar fruits at every snack or meal. So I encourage you now to decide what, when and where you’ll dine or snack tomorrow. Put it in writing. As you begin anew, remind yourself why you’re doing this. You may want to lose weight. You may want to get more energy. You want to have better relationships with your loved ones. You may want to be sexy and svelte. Or you may want to be more productive.

Always remember, by giving up sugar or junk food, choosing healthier foods and/or dumping other bad habits, you will instead live a happier, healthier, more meaningful life.

 

Testimonials

This week in preparation to take Northern Grrrls to the next level (more to come 🙂 ) I asked some of the current grrrls e91ad4fcde303b8cc02ec64679255640to give testimonials and their thoughts on what the Northern Grrrls group means to them and to describe what they have accomplished due to participation in the group. The testimonials I received back were heart warming, uplifting, and inspiring. Most of their comments had similar themes – They could now do things they never thought possible and the support of a peer group of women has kept them inspired and on track. I know that everyone seeks a little inspiration now and then and for me all these testimonials remind and affirm the importance of the group and our little fitness family. I have so MANY other testimonials other than these that I am saving for future motivation and support of our Grrrls!  Read on and find your inspiration!

“…my entire attitude and outlook on physical fitness was changed. I went from believing everything was beyond my ability, to believing no goal is beyond my reach. Her attitude and motivation filtered through to all aspects of my life and I couldn’t be more grateful!” – L. G., Ashland
 

“I want to get up and go to boot camp and spin class. I have never liked working out before, but now I cant wait to go. Mari shows each and everyone of us how great we all are, and what we are capable of doing.” – K. P., Ashland

 

“…bootcamp has changed my life. I am stronger person both body and soul. Mari motivates, inspires, and brings everyone together as a team and works her hardest to help everyone achieve their personal goals.” – A. A., Ashland

 

“I am learning how to make lifetime changes to my health and fitness goals. Mari is always well informed and will stress the importance of not only exercise but also proper nutrition. The Northern Grrrrls bootcamp has had a huge impact on so many women in our community, for me personally Mari leaves me feeling like there is nothing I can’t achieve!” – J. O., Ashland 

“I have been working out with Mari for about eight months now through Bootcamp, Running and Bike training and soon to be training for a triathlon! Mari is always a positive source of inspiration, reinforcement and a great source of health and fitness information! In this short time, I have seen positive changes in the shape of my body and I have improved times on my running and endurance. I look forward to my own continued successes, as well as others in our group!” – J. M., Ashland

Mash-Up It Up! This Playlist Gets Em’ Moving!

I love mash-ups. It is probably the only reason I still watch Glee from time to time…?

This week’s playlist incorporated some great new songs by The White Panda. I was personally pretty jazzed about this week’s music since I incorporated Thrift Shop into the playlist and it was completely worth the endless singing of the catchy bridge for the next 6 hours…

I wear your granddad’s clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big ass coat
From that thrift shop down the road

You can’t help but bounce along to the infectious beat!

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