It is so easy to get stuck in a routine or find a habit that you absolutely love. When it works well for you, there’s no reason to add variety or change. We are creatures of habit, and our brains dwell on efficiency. Whether we realize it or not, the minute we walk into a room our brains are familiarizing and comforting ourselves to gain our bearings. This is an incredible God given ability!

But it also can be dangerous, and I am eager to tell you why. Because our brains strive and work for efficiency daily, they thrive off of comfortable surroundings and the ability to work without adjustment. We tend to love this on a conscious level too. It could be a familiar order at the same restaurant you always go to, the same gym, the same group of friends, the same workouts, the same meal plan, the same clothing get the point. We love the confidence that comes with predictability.

This is not entirely bad; however, it prevents us from experiencing so much more in life. It could be the little difference in meeting the one person that would have opened the door to a business idea. It could be the different perspective through observation that would have helped us grow in our career. Whatever it may be, let us leave complacency, and familiarity behind in 2021. Let us focus on opening our eyes, taking the blinders off and stretching the areas we don’t want to be stretched. Let me give you tangible ways that you can do so.

Write down your normal daily routine. Be aware of the things you are unconsciously intentional about. Now take the time to think about each thing and how you can add or take away from it in a positive way. How can you add more content, value, and growth to your day? Or maybe, it’s how can you take away this habit to give yourself more time, relief, or freedom from addiction? Writing things down keeps you in reality with how you spend your time and your awareness in connection with reality.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Let’s use an example. You find yourself jittery, having trouble sleeping at night, and eating less meals to lose weight. You also find yourself dehydrated daily which has been affecting your workouts. You drink an insane amount of coffee a day, but you LOVE the energy it gives you, the personality, and the fact that it curbs your appetite. Are you willing to give up a few cups a day to get your caffeine intake down and replace it with nutrient dense foods that are high in energy and fuel?

Here is another example, you just moved to a new town, you have your own personal training business and finally found a smoothie/coffee place where you are able to get some work in and leave in peace. You’re struggling with finding clients and overhear some of the employees talk about her struggle with losing weight. Afraid to say anything and not wanting to overstep boundaries, you say nothing. You keep typing away on your computer and mind your business. I think we all know the obvious answer with how we could change this situation. Speak up, be genuine, tell her your experience and before you offer her services, ask what she would like to change in her schedule.

Maybe it’s only the exchange of advice, and not a gained client, however, you are now on her radar. You have marketed yourself without having to do much besides be kind which in exchange could lead to more clients. Do something you normally wouldn’t do. Find the area of your life you want to grow in or know you need to grow in and saturate yourself with awareness of how you can make subtle changes.

Be okay with not always being right. Fitness and health is one of those things where everyone swears they have the right answer but no one is entirely right or wrong. Being a fitness professional, I have to be aware that, what I once would have given my life on, will change with more research, knowledge, and experience. There are very few things in life that are indefinitely true no matter how much time goes by. It is also important though, to recognize different styles and give them each value. Whether that’s believing in a keto diet, a low-fat diet, strength training, or becoming a cardio bunny.

Everyone finds the thing that works for them and suddenly derails every other lifestyle. This isn’t okay. There are a lot of “Yes, but...” in health awareness. If it held to be true, or has data backing it up, there is some aspect to truth depending upon: the goal and the statement of validity. God made us all unique, which to me is my favorite part about being a health coach and fitness trainer. Every person isn’t a plugged formula. There are certain styles of fitness and health tips that I promote more than others, but I also realize that it is not definite. My goal and my mission with myself and all my clients is to actively seek the best way to take care of the need and goal on a day to day basis.

With a plan behind the madness, my intentions aren’t random but are directed in custom care. This has come with experience and knowledge, which has humbled me and defied my once “This is it” attitude. I have been wrong before, I have learned, I have adjusted, and I will CONTINUE to learn as long as I live. I will not grow complacent or definite in my business, health journey, or style of training. I encourage you to reflect on your absolutes. How can you change it up? How can you be better at taking in different styles of health habits? How can you filter truth from perspective?

What are some areas you resist change in? How can you open your eyes for opportunity and growth? Take the little steps each day to become more aware; don’t be someone else in order to see those opportunities either. Use your natural capabilities to increase your circle, broaden your vision and invite more LIFE in your world. Do not go crazy and try to change everything at once either! We still need the comfort of some familiarity, work on one thing at a time and watch how your interactions change. Humble yourself, open your eyes and see the world for what it is.

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Do your methods match your mantra? Does your life reflect what you preach? In any profession, there are rules and codes of conduct to follow. A lot of businesses have a motto, and a mission statement that reflects their character. But does it really? I am sure we can all think of someone who has personally wronged us or a business that has breached some sort of promise.

Does this rock your trust? Of course! As it should. However, it’s easy to understand that it’s hard at times to follow through with the phrases we press upon others. So how can we ensure that we are walking the walk? Keep reading to find out some major ways to ensure your lifestyle matches your words in your business.

Make sure you are doing things to protect your time and energy.

-As the Snickers bar commercials say, “You aren’t you when you’re hungry.” But this can be anything, you aren’t you when you’re upset, you aren’t you when you’re angry, hungry, cold, tired, hot etc.

When your energy and time is compromised with an essential need, you’re mentally imbalanced and can compromise your work. Make sure you take care of yourself first before taking care of your clients. Get your sleep, hydrate, fuel yourself and keep your attitude in check so you can give more of yourself to your work.

Love people and be sincere,

-Sincerity goes a long way, and is the most transparent quality to have. Your clients will be able to tell pretty quickly if you truly care about them, their goals, and their success in your program. The quicker you become real with your clients and try to love them where they are, the more they will believe in your system; whatever that may be! It also will give you a clearer idea if you and your client are a good fit.

Practice what you preach.

- It is not in your best interest to be telling your clients cardio is the key to weight loss but then post on your social media that you have never done cardio in your weight loss journey. Make sure before you deliver workouts with your clients, they make sense and you have done some version of it before.

If you’re googling exercises and telling your clients to do hang cleans, but have never done Olympic lifts before, it probably is not in your best interest to be having your clients do so. Understand that as a professional, you must be one; take the time to curate your style of workouts and try them out for yourself!

Activate your mind and body, daily.

- A great way to stay connected with your mission statement is to keep your mind and body alert every day. Prioritize your health, keep your mind sharp, and your body moving. Your health is a gift and when you live every day with gratitude through how you treat your mind and body, it becomes easier to stay connected with your character.

I hope these four ways help you channel your energy and connect with your character. How we represent ourselves is a huge aspect in our business. Stay more in checked with who you are by being intentional. Walk it like you talk it!

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A brand-new month, a brand new year, a turn of a leaf, and a much needed fresh outlook. New year resolutions have been made, goals have been set, and minds are narrowed in on the 378 things they want to accomplish in the next thirty days. Here’s the thing, it is in our human nature to want to give everything to every area of our lives. Our personal lives, our work lives, and our spiritual lives are constantly in a battle to assert dominance and we give them each a part of ourselves. The problem with this is, we will never make leeway with the areas we want to grow in if we don’t put some blinders on and give one area our prime attention. The principle of giving our greatest priority, our first fruit is much overlooked in today’s society. The person that does it all and gives their full basket of fruit away is over praised for their ability to divide attention. In reality, this practice stirs distraction and confusion. Today, I want to discuss some practices I do to ensure I am giving my first to my best, creating clear vision, and preparing myself for a focused year.

January is always one of the toughest, isolated, sacrificial YET rewarding months of my year. Every year I do a twenty-one days to a month of fasting alongside my church. Fasting is temporarily cutting something out of your life so you can focus more on prayer and drawing closer to God. Despite what your beliefs are, this is a great practice to help you de-clutter your mind from the hundreds of things you have to do every day. Fasting can be giving up anything you want it to be, but I usually pick something that I am distracted by or have a hard time going without. Years before I have given up social media, processed food, meat, alcohol and so on. Now, take a moment to think about the things that consume your time and write down a list of your biggest distractions and strongest desires.

Okay, you’ve written down your list. Now, on your list which would be the MOST difficult to go without? Do you think you could go without it for a month? How would this give you more time to focus on the area you want to grow? Now I know I have thrown a lot of hypothetical questions at you, but this isn’t where it ends. The hard part isn’t just sacrificing your distraction; the hard part is USING that extra time you have to spend doing something that will benefit you. Maybe it’s going to bed earlier, maybe it’s reading a book on a specific topic of interest, maybe it’s praying, maybe it’s exercising, maybe it’s spending time with your loved ones. At first it may be difficult but give it a month and see how your mindset, clarity, and perspective changes. Make the most of 2021; give your first fruits up in exchange for increased awareness and peace! I CAN do it; you CAN do it. Focus on what matters most to you and watch the energy you create affect the rest of your year!