Win Through the Power of Positivity

It’s pay-it-forward week at Exercising WELL and we are running a Win/Win Special.  From now until April 22nd, 2019, when you donate $45 to the Enjoy Life Education scholarship fund, you get your first month of the Exercising WELL Coaching Program FREE.  

Research shows positivity broadens your perspective, so you notice more opportunities, and helps you build long term resiliency1. When you take advantage of the Win/Win special, you help a teen build positive self-worth and inner confidence through the Enjoy Life Leadership Academy and strengthen your own positive approach to self-care while growing your inner confidence  that you know how to be Exercising WELL.

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Enjoy Life Leadership Academy

From the moment you walk into the Leadership Academy, you are overwhelmed by the energy of positivity—it’s contagious! Every moment is filled with this positive perspective and support for each other.  Check out this brief video to see for yourself. This is not a Pollyanna-type positivity, where talking about negative experiences is taboo. This is the place where life’s challenging experiences are embraced head-on, through activities like group challenges and leaders sharing their stories of resiliency. Life’s challenges are transformed through positivity and help students build resiliency through positive qualities like curiosity, creativity, and empathy.

Exercising WELL Coaching Program

Because our brain is designed to keep us safe by looking for problems, it’s easy to get stuck in the muck of life and stray from your best intentions to exercise regularly. This is normal but not helpful when it comes to building habits for well-being. Health coaching uses research from positive psychology to guide you to get yourself unstuck and avoid the swamp of self-doubt and frustration of life getting in the way. As your coach, I help you sort through your experiences with exercise each week in a way that you lets you use life’s challenges as a tool for learning how to exercise through the ups and downs of life. Research on habits shows that when something is a positive experience, it becomes a lasting habit. Making exercise a positive experience requires both an understanding of brain science and exercise science. This powerful combination is what makes Exercising WELL unique.

  1. Research from The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Win through Mindfulness

It’s pay-it-forward week at Exercising WELL and we are running a Win/Win Special.   From now until April 22nd, 2019, when you donate $45 to the Enjoy Life Education scholarship fund, you get your first month of the Exercising WELL Coaching Program FREE.  

The research on the benefits of mindfulness is wide-reaching and overwhelmingly convincing. We all can benefit from more mindfulness skills1. Teens growing up in this distractible world need it more than ever. As adults, we need mindfulness to adapt to this age of technology and distractions.

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Enjoy Life Leadership Academy

A major component of the leadership academy is reminding students to live in the now. Students are constantly reminded to be present and encouraged to adopt strategies in their daily life to remember to make the most of each moment. The best part is that it’s done in a way that is fun, lighthearted, and enjoyable so students genuinely embrace living with more mindful presence.

Exercising WELL Coaching Program

Since your body only operates in the present moment, exercising with mindfulness is the only way to know how to exercise. Because so many of the reasons we exercise are for future rewards, such as weight loss, it is easy to think that exercise is just something to ‘get through’ so you can check it off the to do list. Yet, this how we miss the most valuable tool—the wisdom of our own Inner Trainer. Check out how one Exercising WELL member describes her newfound enjoyment of exercise with mindfulness: “I had a sense of joy while walking up a hill this week. I just felt strong and right and totally absorbed in the great walk, no distraction trying to take the hill. It was almost an exhilarating feeling. Definitely well-being.” Through Exercising WELL ,you learn how to use your Inner Trainer to be self-guided through mindful-presence and exercise becomes a whole new, more enjoyable, AND more motivating experience.

  1. The Science of Mindfulness by Dainel Siegel, Mindful

It’s Pay It Forward Week and YOU WIN!

The summer before my oldest son entered high school, I pulled a serious mom-card. I told him he had to attend The Leadership Academy, a week-long program by Enjoy Life Education (ELE). He, of course, resisted. But I trusted my mom-instincts, held up the “mom-card”, and he went. On the last day, I watched as he hugged the leaders, high fived newfound friends, and walked out with more confidence and joy than I had ever seen in him before. On the way home he said “Mom, thank you for making me go. This changed my life!”

You don’t have to have a teen to know the struggles of teens today are more complex than ever before. The Leadership Academy gives teens the skills and confidence they need to be the best version of themselves. I have witnessed it in two of my children, it has rippled out into our family, our community and the world! My son’s experience is echoed in the sentiments of both academy alumni and their parents.   Now, I am paying it forward!

 

From April 15 to April 22, 2019,  you have a chance to help ELE reach its goal of providing this experience to students who need it most through their scholarship fund. At the same time, you are helping yourself create the best version of you through Exercising WELL. Many of the same principles of ELE, such as positivity, mindfulness, and self-discovery, are woven into Exercising WELL. This is a chance for a Win/Win you don’t want to miss.

  1. Make a $45 tax deductible donation to the Enjoy Life Scholarship Fund between April 15 and April 22, 2019.
  2. Email me the receipt at janet@ExercisingWELL.com.
  3. I will send you a coupon code to receive your first month of Exercising WELL coaching program FREE

This is your chance to try Exercising WELL now
and impact the positive leadership of the future!

How to drop the ‘should’ in exercise

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If we know we should exercise, why do we struggle with it? The answer is complex, but as I said in my last blog series there is one word in that statement that changes everything. ‘Should’ makes exercise an externally-imposed activity with future results. Why does that matter so much? Your brain’s job is to pay attention to what is most important to you right now, what will keep you well right now.

Yet those of us in the healthy-person business keep telling you all the great reasons why you should get more exercise.

Exercise regularly to reduce your risk of

  • colon cancer by over 60%
  • recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%
  • Alzheimer’s disease by approximately 40%
  • heart disease by approximately 40%
  • type II diabetes by 50%
  • death from any cause (overall mortality) by 40% 1

No matter how powerful these statements are, they are not enough to keep you motivated now. When you are feeling tired at the end of a long day or overwhelmed by too many things on your to do list or comfortable in your bed when the alarm goes off, what you ‘should’ do does not hold much power. What is ‘good for you’ at some point in the future just does not get top billing compared to these more immediate challenges to your well-being.

In the last blog, I simplified all the science-based factors for self-motivation into the Exercise Motivation Equation.

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What is important right now and doable right now will be most motivating right now. The trick is keeping exercise important and doable in the present moment.

Step one: Importance. When businesses are clear about the company’s core values, know their ‘why’, and communicate it well, they are more successful at motivating you to buy what they are selling.2  This not only works for successful companies, it works for successful individuals. This is why a personal coaching call is the first step in my Exercising WELL program. When we use a coaching conversation to clarify your well-being Vision and uncover your most value-driven Why for exercise, you’ll find your self-motivation for exercise ramps up.  In the coaching conversation, we transform exercise from a ‘should’ to a ‘want to’.

Once you know your Why for exercise, you are ready to discover what is most doable for your body and life now.

Step two: Doable. When your brain knows exercise will leave you feeling better now, it will want to do it. But knowing how to exercise in the way that is right for your body right now, rather than for the body you want in the future is not so easy. Many of the marketable future-based results like melting fat, having long lean muscles, and enjoying toned arms are not even doable because they ignore the natural laws of the body. Other results like six pack abs, reaching a goal weight, or completing a fitness challenge only distract from your Why.

Once you know how to move in the way your body was designed and are focused on what you can do now, exercise will immediately make you feel better right now.

In my next blog series, I’ll talk about the Real-time Results of exercise. When you know what is happening in your body with exercise now, you have the best chance of knowing how to get the results that are most important for you now, and leave you feeling better now.

Rethink this Week: Take a moment to explore your Why for exercise. Ask yourself ‘why is exercise important to me?’ Now, ask yourself ‘why is that important to me right now’ four more times. This seems a bit silly—repeating the question—but it is based on the well-established process of Motivational Interviewing3. Asking the question repeatedly, and answering it thoughtfully, will get you closer to the most value-driven reason for exercising. This is your Why. It is the deepest source of energy for your motivation in the present moment. With this motivation energy, you will be ready to use the Real-time Results of exercise that are most important to you to stay out of the ‘shoulds’ and in the ‘want tos’ for exercise. This process is more effective in a coaching conversation but doing this for yourself is a great way to get started with getting to your Why.

Enjoy Exercising WELL,

Janet

 

  1. Exercise is Medicine 
  2. Simon Sinek TED talk
  3. Instant Influence, by Michael Pantelon, PhD 

Does your exercise motivation burn out too easily?

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As I wrap up this series on building self-motivation for exercise, I hope you have learned some things about motivation and why you may have struggled in the past to keep exercising.

To review:

  • Motivation from external sources, (the scale, activity monitors, trainers, groups, exercise partners, challenges), are like the flame when you strike a match. It starts strong, but burns out quickly. When that flame connects with ingredients like the wick and wax of a candle, that flame will be sustained. You have the ingredients for motivation, but they are found only on the inside.
  • Neuroscience has found in the Habit Loop that our brain gravitates toward positive experiences like a magnet. Exercise science gives us simple solutions to making exercise a consistently positive experience.

But because we have become so skilled at outsourcing our motivation, building confidence in your internal motivation takes a new way of thinking about motivation.  And making exercise a consistently positive experience in today’s world is not simple at all. Between conflicting messages about exercise, the constant weight of guilt about not doing ‘enough’, and the ever-changing nature of your body and your life, positive experiences with exercise are like a carnival game where you try to hit a fast-moving target. Avoiding exercise can easily become a more positive experience than actually doing it!

So how do you make exercise a consistently positive and internally motivating experience? Let’s look at the two key ingredients from brain and body science covered in this blog series.

Importance:

  • When something is important to you, you will find the energy and a way to do it. What is most important to you about exercise is the flame that makes it a rewarding experience. However, when your reasons for exercising are too ‘surface’, like losing weight, or getting in shape, or being healthy, they lack that sustaining energy. Taking time to get below the surface to your Why is at the heart of making exercise a personally rewarding experience for you.
  • When exercise connects you with others, especially the people who are most important to you, it is a hugely positive experience. However, this can backfire when
    • you rely solely on groups or teams to keep you motivated
    • you are exercising because someone said you ‘should’
    • you are embarrassed about how your body looks
    • you can’t keep up with others and feel more isolated than connected

Do-ability:

  • Knowing you can get the results you want from exercise makes it a positive experience. The way to do this is to combine mindfulness—being aware of your body as it is right now—and knowledge of how to work with the natural laws of the body. This is tricky because the natural laws of the body are not very marketable. Fitness marketing often ignores them to make exercise appealing, and in the end, those fabricated results leave you less confident you can get what you really want from exercise.
  • Instant gratification makes something a positive experience (e.g., comfort foods). Exercising in a way that instantly makes you feel better, and being aware of that feeling, helps your brain learn and remember that exercise is a positive, not a negative. Yet, all of our ‘no pain no gain’, ‘just do it’, go-for-the-gold-type messages about exercise promote the delayed rewards of exercise. Delayed rewards take more energy and thus are a negative experience for your brain. Only when you focus on the Real-time Rewards of exercise is it going to be a consistently positive experience.

Importance plus Do-ability is what I call the Exercise Motivation Equation™. Using this equation gives you what you need to make exercise motivating amid the noise and confusion in the media and the dynamic nature of life.

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The next step is to learn how to exercise in a way that puts you in control of getting the results that are most important to you, that make you feel better now, and that give what you want from exercise in the future.

All of these ingredients are integrated into my coaching program, Exercising WELL. From our initial coaching call, throughout the online programs and our weekly coaching emails, you gain a working knowledge of how to put this all into action in your own life.

In the next blog series, I will share excerpts from Exercising WELL, so you can see how user-friendly, positive, and motivating this information is. With this real-life integration of exercise and motivation science, you gain confidence in your ability to keep your flame of motivation alive.

Enjoy Exercising WELL,

Janet