Category Archives: walking

Sharing Habits and Daily Ideas with You

After my last post about Habits, two people asked what sorts of things I say/repeat/do each day.

IN honor of my daughter’s birthday, I also wanted to dedicate this to her. She is one of those people who just plug away at things and never seem to complain. She may have a bunch of homework that is daunting and difficult. She just starts the work and keeps on moving until done. She has a great work ethic. I often try to emulate her work ethic in regards to my habits….just face the day, go through all the good habits, affirmations, exercises, be consistent and keep moving ahead. We can learn a lot from our kids! Happy Birthday!

First, I think different things work for different people. Second, my stuff evolves and changes all the time.

I have a little notebook that I carry around. Too often I don’t open it. But more and more I do open it and I must confess, there have been some days that have not been going well and I’m upset, tense, negative, whatever – I open it up and I take the time and I almost always feel better. The world doesn’t change and my problems are still there but I face them in a better state of mind.

The first thing I read in that notebook is a vision – thinking from the end. In the vision I’m sitting on the veranda of a beach house. Inside the beach house are loved ones. We’re there to have a good time. I am reflecting by myself on the veranda how fast things have changed for the better in my life. I am happy, I have lots of friends, I’ve laughed a lot, I have much more income each month, I have much more income than expenses, I am creatively fulfilled, and I am grateful for all of the above, etc. etc. (I have 2 other versions available that I sometimes use – one at my desk, one traveling with my family on one of our roadtrips)

Then there is a list of things that I found by Harv Eker. He wrote the Millionaire Mind stuff. Nothing earthshaking but they are quick thoughts on ways millionaires think differently than others. Frankly, I don’t even think it has to be millionaires – it is more of a mindset whether you want to be responsible, accountable and take action in life or blame others/circumstances, and sit back and wait/complain. A few examples : “rich people are committed to be rich, poor people want to be rich. Rich people believe “I create my life”, poor people believe “life happens to me.””

I try to review a list of things for which I am grateful for. Gratitude really helps anytime!

Then I have a bunch of affirmations and ideas that I’ve written down. As I mentioned, two people asked me to share these thoughts, so here are some. I hope they help you.

  • The world is out to help me and do me good. I see little and big things that fall in my lap, that bring me good luck, each and every day.
  • I celebrate that I am alive and well.
  • I am so very thankful for being employed, receiving income, and earning lots more money than I spend.
  • I am so grateful for the opportunity to go out each day, help people, earn more and more money, share ideas, contribute, and be creatively fulfilled.
  • I take time each day to meditate, reflect, and pray.
  • I am so grateful for my wife, for my two daughters, for my good health, and for all the loved ones in my life. I am grateful for our safety, the laughter we share, the support and love that I feel each day. I am thankful for our home, the beauty that surrounds us, and the people in our lives. I am grateful for all the surprises and new people I run into each and everyday. New things bring fun, opportunity, and good luck.
  • I ask myself, what would the person that I most want to be like do in this moment? How would that person act/think/feel?
  • There is always a way. I always find a way. There’s a lot I can do to make more money/
  • The world is conspiring to bring me good things each day!
  • What can I do or say to make people in my life feel special? To feel more important? To feel loved or cared for?
  • Things have already begun to change for the better. I can see that my past and current actions are compounding and results are beginning to show for the better now!
  • I enjoy the moment, I live in the present and I live life each day, right now. I engage others and I dig for what is important to them.
  • I control my destiny. My self worth is based on my and my own thoughts. My future is unwritten, the past means nothing. I control and use my emotions.
  • Good things often happen in my life that seem magical – like miracles. I am blessed with little miracles and big magic in my career, with my family and with my loved ones. I enjoy seeing what is coming today!
  • I focus on what works. I focus on what I want and what actions I can take today.
  • How can things get any better? What else is going right for me?

(the key to all of the above is to infuse emotion with it! Try it while exercising or just after exercise. AND/OR put on some upbeat music and get pumped!)

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Daily Habits

I just got done reading the book, “the Power of Habit.” It is quite good and I recommend it. The subject matter coincides with a discussion I was having about daily habits and being consistent.

I have all sorts of lists, note cards, things posted on my bathroom mirror, and other devices to help make positive thinking, affirmations, and the right state of mind a habit.

Yet, I still struggle with it each day. I have often carried my notebook full of affirmations, note cards, visualizations and visions, and lists to and from work without even opening it. I think how often I shave and look in the mirror, leaning slightly left so that I don’t need to look at my Questions of Power, which are there to start my mind correctly each morning. Below that list is a short version of a visualization exercise, one that I shared on one of the first blogs on this site.

I confess that I am not consistent and I don’t have a great habit of doing it all each day. I know that I need to wake up and generate positive, upbeat emotions. I should do pushups, jog, stretch, meditate or exercise. Sometimes I do.

All we can do is try, right? True.

We need to build a habit. From reading the book mentioned above, I have learned how some things help and hurt habit building. A habit starts with a cue. Something may trigger or cue us. We then move into the habit or whatever it is that we do/eat/avoid/etc. We then get the reward. If we eat a few cookies each day around 2pm, the reward is the craving and the sweet taste of the sugary snack, and the fat and tasty stuff there. Or is it? Maybe you get bored. Maybe you crave other people’s company and you wander into the cafeteria where you see others and have a quick chat. Make sure you really know what the reward is.

What is the cue? This is key. If you can discover what the cue is – what triggers your craving/desire/addiction, then this is a huge step. When you realize the cue, you can replace the behavior. The book suggests that it is much harder to simply remove the behavior or habit. It also suggests that it is almost impossible to remove a habit if you try to simply remove a reward.

So let’s take the cookie example. You need to replace the cookie with something instead. Let’s say you get that 2pm cue – from whatever. Can you take a walk outside? Write in a journal? Eat an apple? Eat a protein bar? Go chat with friends without a cookie? The book suggests that you actually try different things to replace the cookie eating. Try all things over a period of time and see what works. You need to replace the behavior or action with something else. You need to still have that reward there – maybe it is the interaction with others, maybe it is some kind of snack. Often we won’t know until we try and it may take a little testing or experimenting.

Good news, the book suggests that once you can ‘replace’ or rebuild a habit once, it seems that we can all gain momentum and rebuild other things well. Once we learn that we can cut back on the cookies and replace that with something else – and we still feel fine and get some kind of reward, then it is often easy for us to move on to other habits. The book talks about how people have had successes, often small at first, compound and move into other aspects of their lives.

So start small. Look for the cue, the behavior/habit, and the reward. Remember the reward may not always be what you think. Test a replacement. When the cue comes up again, try different behaviors that produce some sort of reward. The awareness alone helps, the replacement behavior helps, and the replacement reward should help you keep going ahead. (Focus on what you have here now what you’re missing out on…)

Tell me about your habits and your successes.

How standing and/or walking for 20 minutes can help!

I was listening to NPR and heard this interesting segment about how a little bit of walking, standing can really help you.

from npr.org “Stand Up, Walk Around, Even Just For ’20 Minutes’ 5/9/12

If you’re sitting at a desk reading this article, take a minute and stand up. That’s the latest advice from New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. In her new book, The First 20 Minutes, Reynolds details some of the surprisingly simple ways you can combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

Federal health guidelines recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise — such as walking or jogging — every single day. But new research shows that even regular exercisers may not be doing enough to counteract the health hazards of sitting down at a desk all day long.

More Health And Exercise Tips

How Revving Up Your Heart Rate, Even A Bit, Pays Off

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Lighter Weights Can Still Make A Big Fitness Difference

You don’t have to lift heavy weights to build muscles. More reps with lighter weights works.

How To Eat Out Without Putting On The Pounds

A researcher says one secret to keeping the pounds off is eating slowly and savoring each bite.

Even A Little Exercise Can Help Your Heart

Even modest amounts of physical activity reduce the dangers of heart disease, a new study finds.

“Sitting for long periods of time — when you don’t stand up, don’t move at all — tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles,” says Reynolds. “You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat … in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you’re moving.”

Reynolds recommends standing for two minutes every 20 minutes while desk-bound — even if you can’t move around your office. “That sounds so simple,” she tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “But that actually has profound consequences. If you can stand up every 20 minutes — even if you do nothing else — you change how your body responds physiologically.”

Studies have shown that frequent standing breaks significantly decrease your chances of getting diabetes, she says. “If you can also walk around your office, you get even more benefits. You will lose weight, you lessen your chance of heart disease, and you will improve your brain. But if you can do nothing else, stand up!”

Reynolds says she’s started standing up every time she answers the telephone. “I bought a music stand, which costs next to nothing, and I can put papers on it,” she explains. “I read standing up. I try and walk down the hall once an hour. I walk outside and turn around and walk back in. That’s enough to break up the physiological changes that sitting otherwise causes.”

Reynolds’ book also details the latest scientific research on running, stretching and hydration techniques. Here are some of the findings:

The First 20 Minutes

The First 20 Minutes

Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer

by Gretchen Reynolds

To Stretch Or Not To Stretch?:

    Research now suggests that stretching before a workout isn’t necessarily a good thing, because it causes the brain to think you’re about to tear those muscles, says Reynolds. “When you stretch and hold a pose, the brain thinks you are about to damage yourself and it then sends out nerve impulses that actually tighten the muscles,” she explains. “… The result is, you’re less ready for activity, not more ready for activity.”

Don’t Skip The Warm-Up: Science suggests that a very easy warmup — a light jog, for example — may be all that most of us need. “What you want to do when you warm up is warm up the tissues,” she says. “You want to get the muscles, the tendons — all of the parts of your body — warm, and the best way to do that is to use those tissues.” Reynolds recommends jogging before a run or an intense sports match.

Running’s Rewards And Risks: Running reduces the risks of heart disease and diabetes, helps maintain your weight and improves brain health. “There’s very good science that running for even 30 minutes or so doubles the number of brain cells in certain portions of the brain related to memory,” says Reynolds. “Running is wonderful for the health of your body.” But the injury rate among runners, she cautions, is extremely high — with as many as 75 percent of runners getting one injury a year. “So running can be very hard on the body at the same time it’s very good for the body,” she says.

Humans Were Made For Walking: Walking may be the single best exercise that exists on the planet, Reynolds says. It’s low-impact and has a relatively low risk for injury. “Walking appears to be what the human body was built for,” she explains. Even 15 minutes will reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Gretchen Reynolds writes the Phys Ed column for the New York Times.

 Becoming fit and becoming healthier are two different things. “You can become healthy with a much lower amount and a much lower intensity of exercise,” says Reynolds. “A nice easy walk will improve your health. If you make it a little … harder or a little more difficult for you to walk, you will become more fit and you will get more benefits. But even if you just walk lightly, you will be healthier than if you don’t do anything.”

 

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