Tag Archives: routine

5 Simple Ways to Develop a Fitness Habit

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Developing and sticking to a new fitness routine can feel overwhelming but it is actually much simpler than it sounds. The first step is to define your fitness goal. No matter what your reason, defining it from the start, and making it incredibly personal and relevant to you, is how to begin creating this positive habit in your life. Here are some simple ways to help you meet your personal goals: Continue reading

To Be Creative, What Are the Best Habits To Follow?

paintbrushwithcolors1-300x239This post is back by popular demand, because when I tell people that I’ve been working on Better Than Before, my book about habit change, one of the questions that people most often ask me is:“What habits are best for creativity?”They want to know what habits help people think creatively — and also, actually produce.

Often, people make the case for adopting a particular habit by pointing to a renowned figure who practiced that habit, with great success. For instance… Continue reading

Keep Your Health and Fitness Intents by Varying Your Routine

bepresenteachmomentThe most popular resolutions that are made for New Year’s relate to health and fitness. At Intent we really push the idea that you should strive not to make resolutions or physical goals like “I want to lose 30 pounds” but dig deeper in yourself and set intentions about how you want to feel for the new year – “I want to feel healthier and have a better sense of wellness.” It’s also important that to achieve your intent you set realistic smaller goals to motivate you to satisfy the intent desire in your soul. But once you have set your intent and created realistic landmarks to help you get there, how do you stay on track? According to StatisticBrain.com, 24% of people never reach their intended resolutions.

Your chances of succeeding at your intent increase as long as you keep the passion for it alive, and that means not letting yourself get bored. More than half of new exercisers quit within three to six months after starting a workout program, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). If you get bored or dread working out then you are much less likely to keep up the regimen. So how do you step out of your comfort zone? Try these tips.

  1. Try a new healthy food or recipe once a week – By expanding your food vocabulary you force yourself to learn more about the nutritional values of food, making it easier for you to make decisions about meals and snacks in the long term. Think of finding a new recipe as a new adventure. You can learn to love new foods or love your current favorites in brand new ways and this will prevent you from getting burned out on the same routine meals. “Find healthy foods you love, or learn creative ways to prepare foods so that eating is not a punishment, but a pleasant, (sometimes even spiritual) experience that involves mindfulness and togetherness,” says Sports Club/LA nutritionist Karen Sherwood.
  2. Take a group fitness class – There are so many ways to get in shape besides tying yourself to a treadmill or elliptical. It can be as simple as going for walks outside or changing your running route. Look at your local fitness center for their classes and pick something that you’ve never tried before. In September, Sports Club/LA launched their “Recess” classes, which helped adults work out by playing the games they had so much fun playing as a child.  Or you may try one of their Blitz classes which is a full body work out designed to improve your endurance, strength and power. Take a yoga class for a month and then switch to cardio dance classes. Not only do you allow yourself the chance to try new things and meet new people, but also you work out different parts of the body and you allow exercising to be something you really enjoy rather than an appointment with a machine you’ve grown to dread. You are not a hamster on a wheel, so why create a work out routine that makes you feel like one?
  3. Stay centered and in touch with your intent – Sometimes our intents evolve as time goes on and it is important to stay connected to that feeling. Trust yourself to change as your intent changes. By building a meditation or yoga practice to keep your center you can feel when a routine has started to not work and you can use your inner instincts to adapt your routine to what your body and mind are telling you it needs. “Physical activity along with peaceful practices such as yoga or meditation to help build a refreshed sense of self. This is the glue that seals in the new lifestyle as the body begins to change physically, resulting in a new stream of motivation,” Sherwood explains.

By combining these tips you not only increase your chances of reaching your intent, but you also give yourself more opportunities to grow and learn more about your health. Being adventurous with your fitness and nutrition routines not only makes the journey more interesting but you get a deeper appreciation for the journey as you go on, and that will propel you forward. We hope you take these tips to heart and that your 2014 is healthier than ever.

The Extraordinary Value of the Ordinary to Manage Extreme Stress

Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 11.30.18 PMDuring times of extraordinary stress we tend to feel that we have little or no control. At this point it would be wise to go the opposite route to get back in control: Reestablish the ordinary routine. Going through the familiar motions is comforting and helps us stabilize and return to center. And if we are merely experiencing ordinary stress, that ordinary routine will serve as a preventative for spiraling down into the throes of anxiety and grief. It is always easier to prevent than to treat.

The problem is that we have developed a profound distaste for the ordinary which includes never-ending housework, mundane chores, secure job and dependable spouse. We want to be larger than life, a celebrity. However, what we don’t realize is that the consistency and predictability of the ordinary provides the most direct route to happiness, security and love- the anchor to our flights of fancy. Small steps can lead to giant gains.

How to embrace the ordinary in your life:

* Reject perfectionism and its associated stress which actually impede reasonable accomplishment. Release the procrastination trigger of “not being good enough,” for it will simply not get done.  Instead, do your best and move on to the next project.

* Don’t beat your head against a wall of frustration. Accept how things are like being stuck in traffic, or people saying the things that they say and move your ladder of success to another wall.

* Use a mundane chore like doing laundry as a physical opportunity to serve as a metaphor for cleaning out your toxic thoughts and removing sad stains from your consciousness. Daily structure restores normalcy and stress hormones need to be moved out of the body and mind.

* Go shopping. Consumerism has gotten a bad rap, especially the love/hate relationship we have regarding materialism. Instead, feel grateful for your material purchases and enjoy them.  And every time you go to the supermarket, re-appreciate all the various foods available to you like the vast array of summer fruits and vegetables in winter.

* Get back to basic human needs with a healthy Mediterranean meal plan and daily exercise. There is no magic pill or diet regarding sustained weight loss and fitness.

Try to be kind and moderate in your speech and behavior.  Simple expressions of kindness are powerful transformers.

* Look around you for visual images of optimism and hope. Read books and watch movies which are uplifting; instead of disparaging them as overly sentimental and unreal. Reality needs the imagination to make it more tolerable. Fiction helps us learn how to solve real problems: What would the hero do?

* Maintain your natural rhythm with a daily technology-free zone. Take a walk outdoors or sit on a park bench to inhale and absorb the details of life.

Change Your Inner Voice with Positive Affirmation

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By Simona Rich

I was staying in a guesthouse room in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, Nepal. I was preparing for the night’s sleep – I switched off my laptop and was about to go to the bathroom to remove my makeup and brush teeth.

A thought came as a response to my intention to go to the bathroom – “Wait a minute, I already removed my make-up and brushed teeth! I’m so lucky!”

The last thought caught my attention. Was it really lucky to have brushed my teeth and removed make-up? It wasn’t, but the most important thing here is that my mind is so used to positive affirmations that they come out naturally, even in situations they shouldn’t.

I completely changed my self-talk. I used to put myself down a lot when I was a child and a teenager. Children always thought of me as different and thus I was alone most of the time. It was easy for me to make up imaginary reasons why I had so few friends.

When, after finishing school, I moved out of the family home and out of my country (Lithuania) to study in England, I felt more empowered to change my behavior and my life. It was as though I gifted myself a blank page of life to write whatever I wanted on it.

I started using positive affirmations to heal my mind and self-image. Although it sounded silly to tell something about myself to myself that I didn’t believe in, I continued with the practice because something in me felt it was the right thing to do.

It worked. I’m a living affirmation now. I am lucky. I’m one of those bloggers who succeeded to make a living of this art and I only need to work a few hours a week.  I live wherever I want – now in Nepal; soon I will be going back to India where I usually stay. Early next year I’ll be settling in London to organize sound therapy sessions.

I feel so blessed and happy. Yet the being that blessed me was my own self. Affirmations made me into who I am today, so my own life experience tells me not to underestimate the power of simple words said regularly and with complete focus on them.

What’s the mantra you’re going to use to empower yourself with? What is it that you really want to manifest? A change in behavior? Material riches? A loving relationship? This you can surely do if you dedicate a few minutes a day, every day, to repeating words that already embody the change you want to experience.

***

Simona Rich lives in tropical South India, rides scooter, meditates, does yoga and helps people create fulfilling and unique lives. Read her story to find out how she changed her life. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

photo by: lednichenkoolga

Do You Have A Conscious Routine?

School’s in swing, and with school and its schedules comes the need for families to create some sort of routine so that there’s order at home. Routine, on its own, can be two-edged. Conscious routine sounds like an oxymoron.

The best thing about routine is that it supports us. If we know that soccer practice is Tuesdays and Thursdays after school at the school, we know that as carpool drivers, we have two extra hours till we have to pick up the kids. Those two hours are useful — even if the driver is reading a novel.

Routine also helps families, both parents and kids, know when to connect and when to have private time. Private time is often dismissed in our hyper-busy lives as a luxury. It’s not. It’s a necessity. Too much togetherness and not enough private time make people cranky. It blurs boundaries and stops us from listening within.

Habit is a part of routine. It’s a good thing to put keys in the same place every time one walks into the house. (There’s a pretty red basket in my house for just that purpose.) That way no one ever loses her keys, and no one loses time looking for lost keys. It also goes a long way toward being on time in our lives.

At the same time as routine helps us, it can also harm us because routine, by its very nature, can be deadening. Rigidity in scheduling, meeting all our many obligations, lock-stepping to a routine, can cause life itself to feel less than alive. Strange, isn’t that?

One of the best memories of my childhood comes from school days that my mother declared hooky days for me. Once she took me to see a matinee of Zeffirelli’s movie of "Romeo & Juliet." Another time she took me out for lunch and to hear Gloria Steinem speak. As an only daughter with lots of brothers, I appreciated this girl time with my mama. It also renewed my sometimes less-than-stellar attitude toward school which bored me silly.

In fact, one way to break the monotony of routine is to change the routine. How many different ways are there to get to soccer practice? Who can do laundry and have all the socks match? How can older children feel rewarded for helping younger ones with fractions and still do their own, probably far more, homework?

The thing that cures routines of their … well, routineness, is imagination.

For parents, when you’re bored with a routine, assume your kids are, too. Ask for their suggestions. Spend a dinner brainstorming how to make a routine fun. What would change it? Will it work for everyone? How can everybody get what they need?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, therapists, coworkers, friends, pastors, doctors, you name it. Someone somewhere at some time in the past has faced this dilemma and come up with something new — I can promise you that.

Learn the blessing and the curse of routine and resolve the issue for yourself through intention. In fact, intention will keep routine conscious. Intend to let routine support you and intend to shake it up a bit by imagining something less routine. I think Albert Einstein said it perfectly, "When you examine the lives of the most influential people who have ever walked among us, you discover one thread that winds through them all. They have been aligned first with their spiritual nature and only then with their physical selves."

Bring your Divine Spark — your Spirit — to routine and watch routine become the blessing that it’s meant to be in every life.

 

For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso’s website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / applescented

Why I love this site

Funny, just before I stumbled on this site – by pure mistake, I had been thinking that I really wanted to write my thoughts down more, a blog seemed like a natural outlet, but truthfully, if I had had to do it myself I would have procrastinated a while longer. So when I discovered Intent I was fascinated and decided to give it a try. I thought it would be a fleeting thing, Fun, but I may not come back again. But now, after a few days, I realise how inspiring this site really is for me – and how helpful and healthy it is. I find myself ending the day sitting down and really thinking about 1 intent I would like to put into action for the following day. Then I find that by putting it into words and sharing it with the  community, somehow this intent becomes so much more real, more concrete, more solid than it would have been if it were floating somewhere in my consciousness – uncommitted and with no expectations of it. When I share my intent with someone it is a commitment – to myself and the people I share with – to make it part of my life for the day, or the week, or the year. Then of course, if putting it out there makes it real, getting supports on my intents makes it that much more real.  And of course the joy of getting supports and giving supports to those that resonate with me  makes me even happier. What a great idea! What a wonderful way to connect and share and grow and fulfil ideas that  may not have taken seriously  enough to fulfil before. Thank you to those who dreamt up this community and intended ito life. It is an amazing concept.

An Extra Three Hours A Day

What would you do with an extra three hours a day? When my daughter was born and my productivity dropped down to a zero I panicked and thought to myself: “How the hell does anyone ever get anything done like this?!”

But of course, people learn, they get by and they manage just fine!

I managed and my coping strategies turned inwards to my thoughts of success and that equated to: “Do as much as you can, work as much as you can, become successful above all else!”

TCSL007he problem was that I hadn’t defined what success had to meant to me. I aimed for purely financial gain and status and forgot about my family to some degree and work always came first. I should have listened when I read a quote by Walt Disney saying “A man should never put his work before his family.” So I have changed this and turned my life around. Just for the last four days, I will admit, but I have changed life around for the better and I see no reason why I should go back to my old ’success-hunting’ ways. After all, who says you have to work hard AND long hours to be successful?

For me, success IS financially driven to some degree, but it is also about spending quality time with your loved ones, having the time to be healthy and go to bed on time – something that I hope all new parents will empathise with!!

Over this past long weekend I have managed to find this balance and work smarter and not necessarily harder. I have cut out my social networking to cleanse myself of the attachment to keep up with the gossip of life on the Internet. I have eliminated my incessant reading and researching, unless something is absolutely essential for work / client purposes (after all, I do get paid by my clients!) In doing these two things I have successfully gained back approximately three hours of my day.

Imagine if I gave you an extra three hours a day. If somebody offered me three hours a day more back when my baby was born I would have bitten their hand off. Now I have given myself this same time back by prioritising my life a lot better. It is this prioritising that is the most crucial part of my ‘Time Management’ system that I offer in my downloadable E-Book: ‘Watching The Grass Grow’. My main ethos is that you cannot manage time, since we all have the same 24 hours each day, but you can manage your priorities.

I am now choosing to spend more time with my family and we have had four great days together since. I am now actually making my way through my ‘To-Do List’ very quickly, rather than stuttering through some of my tasks in a stop-start fashion.

How did I do it?

  • Well firstly I made a decision that I was going to cut out all the junk, and evaluate everything that I was doing as to how essential it was.
  • I decided that social networking was out of the question for me, but I was also in the dilemma that it is an important aspect of my marketing for my business. So I set up two plug-ins on my blogs that would allow my blog to publish a message to my FaceBook account and my Twitter account every time I published a new blog.
  • I chose to only check my E-Mails once a week and have therefore set up an AutoReply at my primary E-Mail address telling people when I will be checking my mails. These people then get the option to phone me, or send an E-Mail to my secondary account where I will receive a message on my phone, almost like a text message, and I can then choose to read it or not. This tends me to much less time-consuming than logging on to check E-Mails.
  • I always have my phone with me, partly for safety reasons in case my wife or anyone needs to contact me for emergencies, but the problem with my Google G1 phone is that I am constantly hooked up to the Internet, and constantly have Twitter and FaceBook running. So, I have disabled my applications and no longer get notifications for my social networks to my phone.
  • And lastly, away from the Internet, I have put down the books and tucked my iPod and headphones away in a draw for at least the next 28 days. This gives me 100% attention on the activities that I actually want to do – spending time with Tabitha, time with Laurie and yes, I do still work, so time spent on work is now 100% effort, and not half-hearted.

These are the simple ways that I have given myself more time. I suggest this information detox to everyone. It is hard work and I have truly found that I am addicted to learning information even when I don’t particularly need it. Even just today I had to pull myself away from the computer as I had Google open and decided to try to find out some more useless information!

What can I say? I’m a bit obsessive compulsive! :-)

Well, the moral of this story is this: Think about how much more life you could actually have if you chose to prioritise your jobs a little bit better.

What would you do with an extra three hours a day?

Tomorrow is Day Out With Daddy for Tabitha and I, so stay tuned for what we get up to on our day off!

Being Present Amidst Routine

I recently went to a local grocery to pick up a few items. As the gentleman was ringing me up, I noticed a box pop up on his screen with the words:

Thank the customer and tell them to come again.

Excited that I had glimpsed an insider’s view of the checking-out process, I waited patiently to see if he would follow-through. My clerk did thank me, in a robotic way, but he did not tell me to come again. I wondered why. Why didn’t he say those words, "come again"?

It then occurred to me. He’s at work. Performing tasks that are so routine, he could surely do them in his sleep. He probably doesn’t read the contents of that pop-up box. Actually, he might not even notice it anymore, kind of like the standard commute home. You often remember leaving work, and arriving home, but sometimes the dots in between aren’t so sharply connected.

It can become a problem when we are so busy with the demands of work and life that we aren’t present. We live in our heads, and miss opportunities to truly connect and experience the people and synchronicity around us. When I am not present, I experience a feeling of "other-bodiedness," where I don’t feel connected. When I am present, I am in sync, even anticipating and welcoming the beauty of the mundane.

I challenge all of us to find areas that are routine in our lives, and to observe how present we are as we perform them. As we learn to be present amidst routine, we will begin to see those experiences aren’t routine at all! In fact, we might find that these moments become the very fodder for the deeper spiritual growth and connectedness we seek.

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