Mindful Happiness


How to find contentment in everyday life that leads to mindful happiness

 

Pursuing Happiness

In order to pursue happiness it is important to understand that each and every day is going to have a different focus as we grow and develop. During our lifetime we are faced with many goals and reasons behind them such as graduating college, getting a good job, completing a big project for work, etc. These goals tend to come with a taxing mental element known as psychic entropy. Psychic entropy occurs when we experience a decision overload along with many tasks in front of us with little to no organization behind them. As we approach our daily routines and what it looks like to have full awareness and consciousness of the responsibilities and tasks at hand, it is important to have a system in place for how we’re going to go about these duties. As you read this blog you will find useful tips on how to manage your time, control your consciousness/awareness and draw attention towards tasks and duties that align with your goals that keep you on track for success. This recipe for mindfulness will help aid in a natural byproduct of happiness as your mind and body reach a state of flow that helps you become awesome.

Before we get started, let’s review a few key terms that we will help us gain as much knowledge as possible from the information below.

 

Psychic Entropy – Mental loss of energy

Entropy – to be understood as a measure of disorder

Negentropy – When information that keeps coming into awareness is congruent with our goals, psychic energy flows effortlessly. And those who attain it develop a stronger, more confident self, because more of their psychic energy has been invested successfully in goals they themselves had chosen to pursue.

Flow – Being in flow brings purpose to the task at hand. In Order to obtain flow, one must become fully immersed in the task through full physical and mental capacity. In conjunction we may then use our awareness and mindfulness to fully engage in tiny achievements that lead to our goal.

What is Purpose?

It isn’t incredibly naive to expect that life has a coherent overall meaning. It is natural to see individuals with outstanding talents become very bored of daily mundane tasks that simply breech the potential of their being. As indirect tasks begin to consume one’s life we see that their conscious and awareness begins to fade as they no longer find use of their maximum mental and physical capacity that is required to be in a state of flow. As we set tasks that align with our goals then we will see an immediate correlation between a conscious state of flow and purpose. However, this takes time and effort to find our goals and then be able to set tasks in front of us that align with what we want to achieve. The meaning of the word meaning stands for identifying different words. That being said, to find “our” meaning of purpose one must evaluate the most important values around them and surround ourselves with tasks aligning with those values that will essentially lead to achieving our goals.

 

How can we control our consciousness/awareness and practice mindfulness?

  • Having the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.
  • Having capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse
  • Having the ability to employ a “cool” cognitive system of behavior rather than a “hot” emotional system.
  • Conscious, effortful regulation of the self by the self (Ex: Organization, Timeline Daily Goals)
  • Focus on external factors instead of factors that benefit the self directly

 

Goal Setting

Always take time to make sure that your daily tasks and duties align with your goals. To maximize the direction of your tasks and goals always find a way to correlate them to 3 main goals in your life at that time. These can be a personal goal, professional or business goal and your great pumpkin goal. Your great pumpkin goal can be an event that you are training for or an audition in a play that you are trying to qualify for. This is something outside of your daily “job life” that you can find a passionate connection in which you can achieve flow.

 

The concentration of the flow experience

Clear goals and daily timeline duties can provide immediate feedback. This leads order to consciousness, including the enjoyable condition of psychic negentropy.

 

The Battle

The battle is not against the self, but against the entropy that brings disorder to consciousness. This is not to say that you will not struggle to achieve the things you want in life because that is not the case. However, when we can take a step back and appreciate the struggle of what is leading us to success then we can experience flow to an even higher standard.

 

Increasing Willpower

According to the physiology of fitness, temporarily exhausting a muscle should lead to increased muscle size or improved ability to use fuel. The same is true for willpower. Try controlling one thing that you aren’t used to controlling, and aim to do it every day. Like physical exercise, this act of self-control can be uncomfortable at first, but over time it is no longer a struggle. The willpower muscle has learned a new skill, and with practice, the act of self-control is less likely to deplete willpower. If all acts of willpower reflect a single strength, then training any individual act of self-control should strengthen all acts of self-control.

 

Strengthening your Willpower/Awareness

Tell yourself, “I am the type of person that ___________”

  • Strengthen your “ I won’t” Power
  • Strengthen your “I will” power
  • Strengthen your self-monitoring

 

The Limits of Willpower

Research shows that willpower is inherently limited. No matter how physically fit we are, exerting ourselves inevitably leads to exhaustion. The same is true of inner strength: self-control depletes willpower in much the same way that exercise temporarily depletes physical power.

Because willpower is limited, each act of self-control is a win-lose effort, helping in the immediate situation but making us more likely to lose control later. Refraining from gossiping at work makes it more difficult to hit the gym after work. Resisting the impulse to splurge at your favorite store makes it more difficult to turn down dessert. This means that it’s important to set priorities and to give ourselves a break on the things that aren’t at the top of the list.

 

Conserving Willpower

How can you make healthy choices without depleting willpower? “You don’t want to be standing in front of the fridge saying you don’t have a clue what to eat. The weakest moment of self-control is when you’re hungry and tired. Too much choice tends to overwhelm us. If you have to make a lot of choices, you’ll deplete your self-control.”

Likewise with exercise, when you’re feeling strong, set up a weekly date to meet a friend at the gym. Commit and just show up—no choice and no willpower needed.

 

Willpower Basics

The idea that willpower is inherently limited doesn’t mean you’re doomed to self-control failure. A strength model of willpower gives you a realistic way to plan for success. Try the following:

  • Because willpower is limited, it’s important to set reasonable goals and priorities. Conserve your willpower for what really matters.
  • Forgive temporary setbacks. A single mistake doesn’t mean you are weak. It may just mean you’ve already succeeded to the limits of your current ability, and now you deserve a rest or reward to restore your strength.
  • Recognize that willpower is not “all in the mind,” and supply your mind-body with the fuel it needs to face life’s challenges. This fuel includes rest, a healthy diet and a steady supply of positive experiences.
  • Understand how the demands of your job, family and other relationships may interfere with your ability to stick with a health or fitness program. Look for ways to reduce stress to support any major life change.
  • Conserve or bypass willpower by focusing on other strengths: planning, commitment and positive motivation.

 

Good Luck!

Shawn Reece BS, EP-C, USAW1

Creating Habit Blog


By: Allison Caswell

Research shows that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. What better time to
dive into a new habit than right now?! The spread of Covid-19 has changed
each of our lives in one-way or another. For many of us we are starting to workout
at home, working from home for the first time and cooking or eating in more than
we have in the past. Our routines have shifted and challenges are bound to present
themselves. Take this time to slow down and work towards creating a new habit
that supports your well-being and health.

Habits are best described as a regular tendency or practice that are repeated over
and over. There are a sequence of events that occur in developing a habit which
include a trigger, a routine and finally a habit forming.
First, a trigger or cue occurs. This could be an emotion, time, thought or location.
Then a routine occurs which is followed by a habit developing over time.
Habits are often very difficult to change or create. Below are some strategies to help
you in creating or changing a particular habit that you have.

1. Identify the habit you would like to create or change: Take time to think
about the habit you would like to tackle over the next 30 days. Think about
the different aspects of your life and how creating this habit will help your
overall well-being.

2. Make the habit something you are able to do daily: Consistency is key and
the more you are able to carry out and practice the habit, the more successful
you will be.

3. Start simple and build upon that foundation: It is very easy to get over-
motivated and take on too much as once. Choose a habit that is measurable.
For example: if you want to develop a habit of stretching for 20 minutes each
day, start with 5 minutes and progress from there.

4. Remind yourself: Place reminders throughout your home to keep you on
track in creating your new habit. Write it in your planner, put a reminder on
your phone, or write it on a sticky note.

5. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key. In order to create a successful habit, it
needs to become part of your routine and daily lifestyle.

6. Be Accountable: Being accountable will help with developing consistency.
Tell a friend of family member what you are working towards. Post in the
Rise Fitness Members Facebook group about how you are doing with your
new habit. Ask for help if you are struggling.

7. Be Imperfect: Nobody is perfect. Always remember to extend grace and be
patient with yourself as habits are not easy to develop or change. Be kind to
yourself and take this time to intently work towards the habit you are
learning to create.

Contact us today to receive your free habit tracker to help keep you accountable during the next thirty days.
Please reach out if you have any questions or need guidance on creating or
maintaining a new habit. Here’s to learning and growing in this difficult time along
side an amazing community of Rise Fitness Studio members!

Is Functinoal Fitness Right for Me?


If you’re ready for results it’s time to ditch the health club…

There was a time when we got all the exercise we require from our daily activities. But as hunting and gathering lead to farming and eventually the industrialized world we live in today the need for human “labor” has been nearly eradicated. Now that we work desk jobs, eat our meals from the hot bar at Whole Foods, and enjoy a generally sedentary lifestyle we are required to reintroduce this missing physical activity. For some reason, the question of how to add physical activity, or work, back into our lives is one that has proven to be puzzling, controversial, and difficult terrain to navigate.

 

In response to the demands of the market the fitness industry has grown tremendously, particularly in North America where an estimated $28 billion was spent in 2015. Much of this industry is dominated by health clubs and large gym franchises that offer a sampling of strength equipment, cardio machines, TV’s, massage chairs and minimal staffing. Granted  how many staff members do you need when your members don’t actually attend the club? In a study done by students at UC Berkeley found 67% of gym memberships are never used in the population they surveyed.

 

“If you are not going to the gym, you are actually the gym’s best customer.” -Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR

 

The savvy marketers at big box gyms know how to target their marketing towards individuals who won’t actually come to the facility. As humans we often get a rush of excitement by a new fitness undertaking. “This is it, the time I actually change, no looking back,” you say. The challenge is that the health club has made zero commitment to you. They don’t care if you show up or not. Luckily there is someone out there who does.

 

Boutique fitness is the alternative to the traditional health club model. Boutique gyms offer specialized classes based on the expertise of the owners, teachers, or coaches. CrossFit boxes, Barre studios, Bikram yoga, parkour facilities, spin classes  are all great examples of the boutique fitness model.

 

These communities succeed when the all parts are working together; the owner, staff, and clientele all succeed when they each meet their goals. This synergistic effect leads to faster results and more satisfaction from all parties. As a client you have a team of coaches and fellow members who are all rooting for you, teaching you, and most importantly holding you accountable. Becoming fit doesn’t have to be a chore, a challenge, or a pain point. In fact, it can even be fun 😉

 

Boutique gyms have been seen rapid growth in the past decade as clients recognize that when it comes to fitness, not all gyms are created equal. Some of the most common excuses sound like:

  • “I have a hard time sticking to a routine”
  • “I’m just too busy to exercise”
  • “I get bored with going to the gym, it always feels like work”
  • “I don’t know how to lift weights/choose a routine/eat the right food”

 

These are great excuses, but since you’re ready to make a change it’s time to ditch the excuses and focus on RESULTS. By implementing a system that counters your excuses you’ll be left with the only option, the results that you want to achieve.

 

If you struggle with sticking to a routine you will benefit from the coaches, friends, and community members that you’ll meet at each class. A group of people that will ask you about your day, learn about your goals and life, and most importantly encourage you to show up consistently to your workouts.

 

If you claim to be too busy then you should sign up for classes ahead of time. The wide variety of classes that are available each day at time frames that are consistent with your schedule make it easy to squeeze in an hour long workout.

 

If boredom is your challenge then a workout that changes every day is exactly what you need. Not only that but the different coaching styles and friends you’ll make at different times of the day make each class a totally unique experience.

 

If information is the enemy then relax, because that’s already been taken care of for you. Your coach has put a lot of thought into a training program that will improve your fitness and will be by your side to instruct you on form, breathing, and what weights to use. Keep an eye out for group nutrition challenges to boot!

 

To get the results you want sometimes you need to try a new approach. If that trip to the gym feels more daunting than Frodo walking the ring to Mordor then it’s time to see what a boutique gym has in store for you!

The Power of Choice


Most of us have an area in our life we wish we were performing better in. That part of us that doesn’t quite fit into our own skin. It could be a touchy subject that our spouse and friends know to steer clear of, the elephant in the room. It could be the promotion you still haven’t received, the credit card you haven’t paid off, or the weight you were supposed to lose by the beginning of  summer… in 2012.

 

And because you’re wearing this very uncomfortable skin that’s not quite your size I am happy to tell you that you are exactly where you chose to be today.

 

I can already hear the objections rising up so let me explain why.

 

You see I totally understand your story. I understand because it’s yours, mine, and everyone else’s. Sometimes having a new baby, a busy time at work, or the worst timing for a medical emergency/broken down car/economic depression can happen. There are a million and one events in life that can derail us. They are not always fair and can seem impossible to overcome when they show up knocking at our door.

 

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

At that point we do an admirable thing. We give up on our dream. We set it aside to go fix the problem. We change our identity and become the superhero who knows exactly how to work overtime and take care of a sick parent. We do it because we want to make sure the story has a happy ending. We do it out of love.

 

And life goes on.

 

And sometimes the situation gets better. And sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the situation that called for a superhero 6 months ago no longer needs a hero to save it. But there you stand in cape and tights committed to action. Except now it’s time to go home. Time to write a new story.

 

Where you stand today is a result of many choices. Some of your hero moments were the big decisions that shaped your trajectory. Like I said, I’m proud of you for doing that. But now it’s time to get back on the path. Your path. The one you stopped telling yourself that you wanted because it hurt too bad to think that it may never come true.

 

You might think it’s too late (it’s not).

 

You might want to try, but feel that you strayed too far (you haven’t).

 

You have to remember you have the power of choice. And it’s a good thing that you do. It gives you the power to turn your greatest adversity into your greatest strength. You always have the option to shy away or to stand and fight.

 

It’s time for a new story. You’re the hero and you’re at the turning point in the movie of your life. So what are you going to do next?You’ve endured hardship, learned tough lessons, and fallen time and time again. Wouldn’t this be a great time for everything to turn around?

 

Maybe you can recruit someone to help you get there, a long lost friend or a wise old mentor. Maybe you need to crank up “Eye of the Tiger” and experience the training it will take to achieve your success.

 

The time to act is now. Don’t slip back into your old story. You are the hero. The power of choice brought you here. Your choice decides what happens next.

 

So what are you going to do?

 

[GYM OWNER:] Add a call to action here, like: “Schedule your Free Consult here” with a link.

5 Reasons to get STRONG


Fitness trends come and go and most fall to the wayside for good reason.

Most programs fail to produce consistent results. It’s a wonder why so many folks stray away from what is tried and true when it comes to exercise programs?

“The rule is: the basics are the basic, and you can’t beat the basics.” -Charles Poliquin

Despite what your goals may be, every individual can benefit from physical resistance training. Not only that, but the health benefits extend far beyond your short term fitness goals. Regardless of why you train, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen.

1. Training for strength produces results.

Whatever your goals, muscle will help you get there. Some companies in the fitness industry has made a fortune around buzzwords like “tone”, “lift”, and “sculpt.” The problem is there’s no way to measure those loose terms. If you want to change your body composition there is only the ability to gain or lose muscle while simultaneously gaining or losing fat. If you are looking for the most efficient way to do make a change then strength training is your best option.

Strength training, or physical resistance training, can be defined as a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. When you gain muscle you increase your bodies basal metabolism (the amount of calories you burn each day before factoring in physical activity). It’s kind of like putting a bigger engine in a car. The car is capable of moving faster or pulling a heavier load (more muscle), but it also uses more fuel (fat) whether it’s cruising down the freeway or idling in the driveway. Strength training helps us “tone” through this muscle gain/fat loss trade.

2. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” -Peter Drucker

Training for strength provides a clear path for success. You can set training goals that are specific, measurable, and produce desired outcomes. A good coach will help you design a plan towards these goals with checkpoints along the way. Your strength training program is a road map to success with clear directions. Sets, reps, and weights lifted safely through the full range of motion are the signals that you’re on track. Many people find that a more detailed plan helps them stay motivated as they experience progress.

3. Age gracefully with more muscle mass.

As we get older strength training is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Physical independence is a key factor in a great quality of life.

A comprehensive study of strength training has been proven to:

  • Improve motor function
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Increase stamina
  • Prevent sarcopenia (age related muscle loss)
  • Improve bone mineral density
  • Prevent and help rehab injuries

Functional strength training will be an asset in daily life too. From picking up grandchildren or bags of groceries to climbing stairs with confidence.

4. You’ll experience epic brain gains.

Did you know that lifting weights can strengthen your brain just as much as it does your body?
Dr. Yorgi Mavros from the University of Sydney has found that high‐intensity physical resistance training (PRT) results in significant improvements in cognitive function, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Adults who followed a resistance training routine in addition to cognitive training performed significantly better than control groups on a series of mental tests. A couple key factors to note:

The participants exercised 2x/ week working to at least 80% of their peak strength.
The benefits lasted one year after the exercise prescription had ended.

What does that mean? According to Yorgi, “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.” Let that sink in for a minute. You actually grow your brain by training to become stronger! It makes me wonder if Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity in between heavy sets of back squats…

5. Strong moms have healthy babies.

During pregnancy, the question always arises of what does fitness look like for this stage of life? With so much on the line, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any fitness routine. Luckily, there is a tremendous amount to be gained by incorporating a strength training routine under normal circumstances. Resistance training can help alleviate symptoms and improve health outcomes for the mother and child. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who follow a consistent strength training routine during pregnancy can experience:

  • Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Boosted mood and energy levels
  • Better sleep
  • Prevent excess weight gain
  • Maintain levels of muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced incidence of gestational diabetes

Not only that but women who train during pregnancy report enhanced body image and better psychological well-being!

We would love to help you live a healthy strong life. Schedule a Free Consult to learn more.