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GOALS!  Where to start when setting your 2019 Goals

GOALS! Where to start when setting your 2019 Goals

We are already 1 week into 2019!  The new year is usually a time to reflect (which we did last week, feel free to take a peek for some coach’s deep thoughts!) and adjust.  That usually means setting some goals.

I am going to go through the first few steps of setting goals, that often surprising get overlooked.  The steps for setting and crushing goals is very similar to completing a college paper, or high school paper, or whatever assignment you may have been given in years past.  Just bear with me on this.

Step 1: WRITE IT DOWN!

For our example today, how would you start with your assignment?  You would outline it!  Or at least do a rough draft.  Or maybe just sit down, pound some red bull and go wild on the keyboard.  In all scenarios you are WRITING IT DOWN!  You would never go into your class on the due date and say “well I thought about the paper” and then not hand anything in.  Or maybe you would…but you’d get a 0 which no one wants. If you wrote something down, worst case you at least had an outline or a rough draft to prove you at least started said paper.

If you don’t write it down, you can’t get a grade.  If you don’t write it down, you can’t create a plan to meet your goal. Period.

Step 2: GET REAL: Is what you wrote for YOU, or because you felt obligated to write it.

Now for the college paper, yes you were probably delegated a topic you may not be crazy about, but is there a way to spin it to use your own lense and perspective to make it more interesting? Maybe, maybe not but it’s worth the thought!

But we aren’t talking about assignments here. The reason we are setting goals should be because we WANT to get better FOR OURSELVES.  The goals we set should be ones we set because WE WANT TO, not because our mother in law, or old friend made some comment about our weight, or whatever other personal thing that has nothing to do with them when we went home to visit over the holidays.  If your goal is to loose weight because you want to feel better, or fit into a smaller size, or be able to run faster, or keep up with your kids, or whatever YOUR reason then hell yeah that’s a great goal! If you feel great, other then when so and so said something mean or passive aggressive, then skip that one. You won’t be excited about it because you are only doing it out of obligation to fit into someone else’s vision for you.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Once you have a list of 3-5 goals you actually want to work on you can move on to step 3.

Step 3: MAKE IT SPECIFIC

Goals that are super vague make creating a plan to accomplish said goals really really difficult if not impossible.  Here are a few common ones I see:

  • I want to lose weight – Cool! Do you want to loose body fat or just weight overall?  How much?  By When?
  • I want to PR my (Insert lift/workout here):  Hell yeah let’s get strong! How much would you like to increase by?  When do you want to hit that goal?
  • I want to work on my mental health! Two thumbs up for selfcare!  What does this actually mean for you? Do you want to start therapy?  How often? Meditation/Journaling?  When can you start, how often will you do those things?
  • Read more.  AWESOME!  How many books do you want to read this year?

We basically want these goals to be SMART Goals, which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Time Bound.  So once you’ve made them specific/measurable like our examples above make sure they are actually relevant to you (which we talked about in step 2) and well as having a deal line/or a timeline so you have an idea of when you’d like to accomplish them by.

This is basically they first draft of your paper that you’ll write based on your Step 1 Outline in the College Paper Scenario.

Step 4: MAKE A PLAN

From here you have a goal that is specific.  AKA the final draft of your college paper.

The next step is break it down into smaller steps.  Maybe loosing 20 lbs is your goal, let’s say we want to loose 1 lb per week.  To start maybe we will do meal prep and cut back on eating out to 1 time per week.  Maybe you will hire a nutrition coach to help you with this plan (shameless plug: have we mentioned our coach Anna@crossfiticehouse.com is legit?! Hit her up!)

Want to PR a lift?  Maybe you will go to OLY classes 1x/week.  Want to PR a workout? You could go from doing 3 workouts a week to 4 for the first month, then maybe up it to 5 the next month.  You could stay 5 minutes after class to work on a skill keeping you from getting better at that workout.  I commonly prescribe a 5 minute buy our of double unders, handstand holds, pull up progressions and other movements to just chip away at these goals in 5 minute increments.

Maybe to read 1 book per month.  First step may be to simply buy book 1. Step 2 schedule yourself 20 mins a day to read said book.  Then begin a list of the next 3 books that are on deck and have book 2 on it’s way in time for February.

When you make this plan, schedule the time you plan to work on these things into your calendar during your weekly time blocking, and make those times non negotiable like you would a meeting for work, or happy hour with a friend. (Peep Coach Mo’s Time Blocking Blog for more on that HERE.

Give it a try!  What goals did you end up with for 2019?!

Coach Mo’s 2018 in Review

Coach Mo’s 2018 in Review

2018 has been the most rewarding and challenging year to date.  As with the theme since moving to Fargo I have experienced a lot of growth. The first half of the year was surrounded by major life events happening to and for the people around me.  Some of which were amazing accomplishments (so many babies) and some were tragedies that rocked me to my core.

From the Beginning to Summer

Early 2018 was really great, Ashely moved to Fargo and we found our tiny apt on the North side. The amount of support she provides is a major reason I can achieve so many of my goals. There were so many babies born at Icehouse during this time of year, it was fun to watch and coach all the Moms as they crushed workout after workout. FNL is also a favorite time of year for me, ya’ll know how to make this place electric.

There was also a time of reflection as several OG’s of Icehouse moved from the Fargo area, yet it has been really fun to see where their adventures are taking them. Summer also brought a chance to head to the lakes and take some much-needed relaxation time.

Summer to Now

Although summer brought the lakes it also brought some very challenging times for me. There was an honest moment sitting with Ashley reflecting and asking myself “can I do this, do I want to do this anymore?” After a few visits to my therapist, she handed me a book that has forever changed the way I look at myself and the things around me. It has allowed me to change the trajectory of 2019 and really dive into who I am and where I want to go.

It takes a village and I have been amazed by the people around me, they keep me accountable and are not afraid to dive into the weird with me. Coaching is a part of what I love most about life, getting to help people see themselves differently is truly rewarding. I look forward to continuing to make Icehouse the best place to be in Fargo.

Moving into 2019

Each quarter I sit down and write goals for the quarter, so far I’m 1 for 3 on accomplishing them for this final quarter. I don’t always get it right and I have a lot of room to develop into those as 2019 kicks off.  I have hired a coach because coaches need coaches too. Not a workout coach but a life coach and I will continue to make this a trend into 2019.

I’m learning a lot about filling my cup first and also creating the life I want to live. Language is a huge part of this and so is writing things down, I journal now more than ever (this is a practice I started in 6thgrade). I want to continue to be the best coach I can and to elevate everyone that walks into Icehouse, to help them find the best version of themselves. I’m looking forward to 2019 and continuing the dive into the weird, to live fully, and share openly with all around.

Thank you for being a part of my journey

“I’ll Start Monday”

“I’ll Start Monday”

How many times have you told yourself that you’ll start something on Monday? I’d bet it’s more than one. I’m here to tell you that sometimes, you don’t need to wait until Monday. Start today. It’s like the old saying goes, “the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, the second-best time is today.”  You might be wondering what I’m talking about so hang in there and I’ll explain. (more…)

Confessions of a Recovering Robot

Confessions of a Recovering Robot

“Breath in, breathe out.  Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in.”

A couple of my favorite songs play during a super tough workout are “Machinehead” by Bush and “I am Machine” by Three Days Grace.  It’s this singularly focused mindset that I slip into, for four to nine minutes, where nothing matters but efficient movement and the prescribed work.

Four to nine minutes… for a few days as week, at most, that’s the “optimal” time to become a machine on the training floor.  What if that bleeds into your everyday life? What if you think and prepare and execute as though you were a machine, all the time?  Is it really that bad?

Routine

I’m a big fan of routine; in fact, I thrive on routine.  There’s a lot of science out there that suggests that the more we can automate our daily tasks, the more energy and brain power we’ll have to give to novel (not daily) tasks.  It takes extra energy that you have to spare in the present moment to pay forward to your future self when you either don’t have time or brain power to spare. So what kinds of things do I “automate”?  

  • Meal prep – I have batch cooked the exact same breakfast (pumpkin baked oatmeal) since august, and generally eat it 5 times a week.  For reference, I ate the same lunch for 75% of my 4 years of high school (turkey sandwich with mustard and pickles)
  • Prep for the day – Before I go to bed, I lay my clothes out for the following day and pack my gym bag.
  • Prep for the week – Sunday evenings I make sure to review my calendar for the following week and make note cards for all of my classes.

Perfection

Truth be told, as much as I automate to make my daily life seamless and predictable, I automate to make my life as ideal as possible.  I try to be prepared in order to be of service to the people in my life, and I find it real hard to ask for and accept help when I need it.  I have learned that being an “ideal friend” who doesn’t have needs, isn’t ideal. Help, support, love needs to bounce between people like an electrical current.  People need to feel needed and useful, all people. Being able to help is as much for the helper as it is for the person receiving help. Allowing myself some grace for having bad days, and having needing help is still a work in progress, but I understand why it’s so valuable and worth breaking the habit.  

Predictability versus Novelty

As big a fan of predictability  as I am, I have learned that there are limits to the effectiveness of it for life.  I err’d on the side of routine for a long time; I could automate, pre-load, and prepare for just about every part of my day.  Everything turned into a boxes to check and “to do” lists to clear; becoming really good at checking boxes is where I derived my value.  That mindset resulted, for better or worse, in me becoming far less capable of dealing with change and appreciating the novelty of life.

There’s the kicker…life, real, wholehearted life, is nothing but change and novelty.  

I got real good at checking boxes, I was really good at being EFFICIENT in my day to day life.  I wasn’t any better, and go so far as to say that I was worse, at ENGAGING in life.

The Way Ahead

I still have a fair number of robotic tendencies.  I am being more mindful to keep the ones that serve me (meal prep, preparing for the day…), and letting go of the ones that do not (seeking perfection, never asking for help…).  It is challenging work, but absolutely worth it.

‘Real isn’t how you are made.  It’s a thing that happens to you.  Sometimes it hurts, but when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.  It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept.  Generally by the time are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and are very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.  Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.’ – Margery Williams “The Velveteen Rabbit”

 

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule

Like most human beings, my family has an obnoxious amount of unhealthy food ready and waiting during the holidays.  All the starch, sugar, and cream-based goodness you could ask for is just sitting there, staring you in the face.  How do you, someone with fitness and health goals on the brain, survive the temptation, especially when grandmas and aunts are personally offended if you don’t eat what they have provided?

Enter the 80/20 approach to food.  This is not a diet.  It’s a lifestyle guideline designed to focus on balance, but allow some indulgence, in your intake.  Let’s be honest, a hyper-restrictive diet that allows for no deviation is difficult/impossible to maintain.  You can’t be perfect 100% of the time.  You just can’t.  And if you attempt that 100% perfection and slip up by having one sip of soda or a nibble of chocolate, it’s very common for a person to feel guilty about what they have done.  A lot of people feel like a failure if they indulge slightly.  This can wear on a person’s mental health as well as their self worth.  

Food is delicious!  We shouldn’t feel bad for being humans and enjoying it.  On the other hand, indulging too much can have the same effect as being too restrictive: a loss of self-worth and feeling out of control.

The beauty of the 80/20 rule is it allows you to satiate your cravings for salty chips or sweet candies every now and then without compromising your entire diet.  80% of the time, (and this can be per day, week, month, what have you), consume clean food.  Clean food means unprocessed munchables.  Stuff you can pull off a plant and eat or meat, (for you herbivores, some protein substitute that’s naturally produced).  Cook this with healthy fats, spices, and herbs.  Essentially, follow Greg Glassman’s credo to eating.  We’ll discuss that further down the line.  Food for fuel!  

The other 20%, feel free to eat whatever you want.  Within reason. 

Always a catch.

Sure, nom on the good stuff, the things you have cravings for during the other 80% of the time.  However, since you are part of the community that is focusing on self-betterment, challenge yourself to select “treat food” that is on the healthier end of the spectrum.  Instead of ice cream, try mashed frozen bananas with a little vanilla extract.  No, it’s not the same, but your body will thank you later.  Instead of four slices of cheese pizza, try two slices of veggie or meat pizza.  Homemade sweet potato chips instead of Doritos.  The list goes on and on.

Spread out your 20%, too.  Instead of being healthy and consistent through the week then gorging on the weekend, allow yourself a small treat each day.  Small.  Did I say small?  A SMALL treat each day.  And while you’re enjoying a SMALL indulgence every day, make healthy, clean meals that taste good.  Do your research.  Find recipes that include foods that you know you like.  Take time to prep them for the future so you don’t deviate from the 80/20 world into the 50/50 world.  

Other than the 80/20 allowing for little bits of happiness each day, it is also sustainable.  This is a highly functional method of thinking about food consumption.  When you eat primarily healthy food, you will see improvements in athletic performance, brain function, and bodily function, such as digestion and respiration.  At the same time, acknowledging your cravings and being in control of them keeps you from going crazy with said cravings.  Guilt will be less and less of an issue because you know you are fueling your body more than you are spoiling it. 

Take the time.  Prep your food, prep your snacks, prep your treats, and don’t worry.  You got you.  

The B Word

The B Word

I’m just so BUSY!  I’m too BUSY!
Yeah…we all are.
Have you ever caught yourself responding the the “Hey how are you?” with “Good, but so busy!”  or just “Really busy”?  🙋‍♀️Then following up by a conversation complaining with all of the things that are overwhelming you, and maybe even apologizing for all of the things you haven’t gotten to yet, or for not making those plans you were going to months ago? (I know I’ve been guilty of this!)
This is even more prevalent during the holiday season when you throw in holiday parties, events, shopping, decorating and all of those other little things that we add to our already overwhelmed “busy” selves.
BUSY is a Bad Word
We use the B word to justify our actions and feelings, but in all reality it is just a result of poor time management. If you find yourself complaining about being too B-Word to people who are important to you, then you need to apply some time management tricks to your schedule, not just your work schedule but to EVERYTHING you add to your plate.
I know this is easier said that done, so here are a few tips to get started.
Step 1: Remove the B-Word from your Vocabulary
For some reason, we wear the B-Word like a badge of honor.  We feel better for being busy, even if it’s not at all productive.  We feel super important that so many things are requiring our attention, so dropping a few balls is totally fine because at least you have all those extra balls your were juggling!  If one of your friends or family members is one of those dropped balls, it doesn’t feel so good…. so stop hiding behind that B-Word!
Step 2: Time Block Weekly
This topic comes up in our blogs over and over and over again because it is so important to being successful at anything we do.  Basic time management can start with a once a week time blocking session.  Pick a time of the week where you sit down for 20-30 min to plan out your entire week.  If you plan to do it, write it down or enter it into your calendar app (I’m a big fan of google calendar personally). As you say yes to more things make sure to add them in to the calendar.  If you said you’d bake cookies for your kids class, block the time to do it so you can see what you had to displace (if anything) to make it happen. I schedule everything from Meal prep, reading, workouts, eating, shopping, project work (I name the project I will be working on at that time so I don’t forget or get distracted), commuting, tv watching, and even downtime.  Once it is in my calendar it is all treated as an appointment, even if it is an appointment with myself.
Step 3: Prioritize
Once you have everything in your calendar, you may notice that you do not have enough hours in the day to get it all done.  Here is where we have to have those tough conversations with ourselves about what is truly important to us.  Be HONEST & REALISTIC with your commitments.  Don’t stack 2 tasks/appointments on top of each other in your calendar, odds are neither gets done that way.  Workouts/Wellness seem to be the first things that get the cut from calendars (which we for obvious reasons think is problematic with us being a gym and all 🤓).
When you see that you do not have time for whatever it is you need to add, simply

say to yourself out loud “I will not insert activity herebecause it is not a priority to me.” Now sit with that and see how it feels. If you feel ok about it, cool maybe you didn’t need it in your schedule to begin with!  If saying that feels crappy and you know you need to do that in order to feel better, take care of yourself, or whatever other reason then you will need to find a space for it in your calendar, which might mean displacing something else.  Maybe it was your 4 workouts a week, you said “I will not workout this week because it is not a priority” and that didn’t sit well.  Ok then where are 4 hours you can displace?  Do you need to go to that Happy Hour?  Do you need to make that Target run? Do you need to watch show on netflix? When you find items that really don’t serve you at all, take them out of the schedule!
Pro Tip: Most of us can find a few free hours if we take out the Netflix and Social Media Mindless Scrolling out of our days.  
So there you have the first steps to using your time more efficiently, and feeling good about how you spend your time.  Feel productive is so much more satisfying that just feeling B-Word!
So go ahead and apply these tips and let us know how it goes! And when Aunt Melicent asks how you are doing, you can say “I’ve had a lot of exciting things going on this year, let me tell you about on or two of them…”
Look at that! You are not to B-Word for meaningful conversation!