Creating Lasting Change


It’s resolution time!! January of every year most of us make resolutions about how to change our lives to make them better or to get into a better place  allowing us to do the things we really want to be doing.

The problem is after about six weeks we give up. We might drag it out for another two weeks, but ultimately the changes don’t hold, so how do we create lasting change?

First, start with your language. Resolution just has a negative connotation, even if it’s a positive word, it carries some heavy baggage because so many people give up. I use the word goal.

Second, don’t go into things at full throttle. If you are new to swimming, you don’t jump in the deep end. It’s the same with any other exercise program you begin as well as other areas of life. Go slow.

Third, don’t set the bar too high. Change takes time. You can’t expect to go from novice to expert overnight. That type of approach results in injury. Slow and steady wins the race. Learning to do something properly is more important than learning quickly.

Fourth, Forgive yourself for set backs, but hold your self accountable too. Beating yourself up for mistakes is not going to help you move forward. If you miss a day, it’s not the end of the line. Start fresh each day. You also know when you are making excuses. Excuses to not do something, are a dime a dozen. Find reasons to follow through.

Fifth, track your progress. Keep a chart and check off days that you have followed through. You can take it a step further by tracking improvements such as weigh lifted, pace, distance, or whatever it is you are working toward.

Sixth, celebrate success. Don’t go all crazy and eat a cake or something silly that could set you back in your goals. Try little rewards, like new socks, new shoe laces, a new headband. Anything to make you feel good about what you are doing.

Having a support person who has the same goal and is committed to reaching it, is very helpful in maintaining a commitment to change your life style.

It’s that time of year…

new years resolution 1

New Year’s resolution time! Woot!

It’s been one week, have you stuck to yours?

I think it is wonderful that we begin the year with so much desire to better our lives and optimism. It’s really a shame that many people are not able to stick to their goals. About fifty percent of people who do make resolutions stick to them through the six month mark and then through the end of the year.

A major part of sticking to your goals is making them achievable. Be reasonable with yourself. Look at where you are currently in your life. Be honest with yourself not judgmental. Facts only no emotion behind it and no labels. Achieving a small goal is better than failing at a big goal. Resolve to change one or two things at a time. Trying to make major life overhauls all at once is overwhelming.

new years resolution 2

Your resolution must also be specific. Such as lose five pounds a month, save 100 dollars a month, exercise 30 minutes five days a week, eat a salad every day, or spend fifteen minutes a day meditating. Whatever it is, make it as specific as possible.

Part of the reason you want to be specific is measurability. You need to be able to track progress. Nothing inspires a person like seeing the changes. Buy a notebook where you can write your progress down. Make it detailed and include how you feel. Sometimes we don’t anticipate how a change will impact our lives so in the beginning especially the more information you can write down the better. How is your mood? How is your relationship with others? How is your productivity? These are important factors to consider in addition to the numbers of weight loss, miles, speed, or money in the bank.

Once you have decided on an achievable goal TELL OTHER PEOPLE. By involving other people, you gain a support system and accountability. Make sure you tell people who are going to support you and advocate for you. Resolutions are hard enough to keep, having someone who doesn’t believe in your ability to accomplish it is definitely not going to help you. Voicing your goals makes them more concrete too. There is something about hearing them out loud rather than just inside your head. Write them down and post it where you can see it each day. Try multiple places: on the dashboard of your car, on your calendar, and next to the mirror in the bathroom.  Create a goal collage by cutting out pictures or printing them off the internet that show your goal tack them up on a pin board where it reminds you visually of what you are striving toward.

new years resolution

Be positive about the changes you want to see. Try to frame them in the most positive light you can. Use words and pictures that are positive and inspire you. Don’t use words that trigger bad experiences or failures in the past. For many people the words diet and exercise are loaded with negative feelings and pictures. Choose other words, fuel and training or gymtime and energy. It doesn’t matter, just something that doesn’t make your stomach turn into a pretzel every time you thing about it.

The final thing is to celebrate your success. Choose ways to celebrate that do not compromise your goal. If you have a goal of losing weight cookies and ice cream are probably not a good way to celebrate. But you could buy yourself a new outfit or have a manicure and pedicure done. Go for a massage if you would like. Think outside the usual reward box.

Best of Luck! I hope you all succeed in your goals.


Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

invent the wheel

Just about every life path has been walked by someone at some point in time. Of course, some walk the path well while other stumble along and then discover a new route more suited to their character. They may return to finish, or they may follow the new route to its conclusion.

I’m not saying that you can’t put a new spin on how you do something, what I’m getting at is that other people have gone before you. Find them, look at the mistakes and successes they made. Itt will make your journey better.

Mentors act as trusted guides along this journey we call life, where the goal is not to reach the finish line, but to make the most of time we take getting there. Finding a mentor can be a challenge and because we all have different goals and dreams, we may need many mentors. It’s practically a miracle to find someone who has achieved success in all the areas of life that you feel passionate about.

Ideally your mentor will be someone involved in your life, that you have direct access to, because you can ask them face to face (or email) for guidance along the way, and they make goals seem more achievable, more real.

A mentor doesn’t have to be right in front of you. They don’t even have to continue to suck air. They may have lived a hundred years ago. Many times, they don’t even know you think so highly of them and are using their life as an example for your own.

Mentors are a source of inspiration. We all hit roadblocks in our chosen path, and mentors stand out there like a beacon in the night, cheering us on and urging us forward when things become difficult. They are proof that what we desire is achievable, if we want it bad enough.

Being able to look to another and say, “If he/she can do it, so can I,” when taking on difficult goals, whether it be in running, education, or overcoming any other challenge can make the difference in success or failure.


Buckle Down to Buckle Up


Well it’s that time again, time to really buckle down on my training, so I can buckle up in my next 100 mile race. I finished Pony Express 100 in October and have spent the last six weeks reconnecting with friends and enjoying social activities, which interfere with training for ultra-events.

I recently posted this on my Facebook page:

“I’m going to apologize in advance to all my friends and family for being “Lame.” The Ultra Iron Training is now in full swing, which means no more late nights. So, I’m sorry for declining all your invitations on Friday and Saturday nights that go later than 9:00 p.m. Thanks for your understanding. You are all welcome to watch me torture myself at any of my races.”


Participating in sports requires a certain amount of dedication and setting of priorities. Staying up until midnight (or later) on a Friday or Saturday night and then getting up at four in the morning (or earlier) to run twenty miles (or more), eventually results in injury or burnout.

Rest is an essential component of performing at your best. It is just as important as speed work or a long run. Your body has to have time to build and heal from the damage caused by training.

Of course, all work and no play, makes Jack a very dull boy. Balance and understanding is key. Your friends and family have to understand and respect your goals. You have to find balance between your relationships and personal goals.

It is much easier to find this balance when your friends and family have similar goals as you, but even when they don’t there are other ways they can support you and you can make sure that you remain connected with them.

Plan social events earlier in the day, rather than starting the board game party or wine and cheese social at 8:00 pm start it at 5:00 pm or even 4:00. If preparing dinner is the issue of needing to go later, add a potluck to your gathering. If childcare is the issue, everyone can chip in for the cost of a sitter for all the kids.

Learn to love lunch dates, it is much easier for me to get away for lunch with my friends than it is to go out to dinner. Depending on the hours you work, breakfast may be a better choice. Matinee movies/shows are usually less crowded and less expensive.

Encourage others to participate in your training and races. Many races need volunteers or have shorter distances for beginners. You can also get couples massages, which are great for recovery and spending time with one another.

If your goals are important to you, you will buckle down to buckle up, and your friends and family will be there when you finish.


Very inspiring Blogger Award


The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is here, thanks to Vik Tory Arch.

The rules are:

The nominee shall display the Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo on her/his blog, and link to the blog they got nominated from. The nominee shall nominate fifteen (15) bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

Write three things that inspired you the most this week.

My nominees:



Three things that inspired me most

  1. My children
  2. People struggling to achieve their greatness
  3. nature

Keeping It Up

I think the number one question I get about my running is how do you keep it up? Whether they mean the distance 100 miles or the daily commitment to training doesn’t matter the answer is the same. Motivation.  A person’s ability to achieve any long-term goal or change in lifestyle is determined by their level of sustained motivation.

Will power may get you a short-term goal, but it won’t help you much when it comes to long-term goals or long-term lifestyle changes. The bottom line is you have to find a reason to do keep going day after day. Everyone’s motivation is different. Some people are motivated by outward appearance, love, sex, money, status, power, benefit another, fear, attention, happiness, or some other internal benefit you receive from participating in an activity.

I have a close friend who encourages me to run all types of races from the extremely difficult to the insanely challenging. He will tell me how he is going to get into shape and be ready to race alongside me or at least do the fifty mile. He goes full boar into training and burns out his flame every single time.  I have racked my brain about different ways to help motivate him, but I know deep down it is up to him to find his motivation. When he does, I’ll be there to support him through his first marathon, 50 miler, and 100 miler.

I talk about motivation quite a bit because it’s what gets us through the tough days. It gets you out of bed when it is below zero or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people have to begin with an external motivation when taking on a new adventure. In the beginning, the excitement of starting something new is enough to get you going for maybe a week. After that, you may need to move to something tangible. Small tangible goals over short intervals will likely sustain you until you can reach that point where you find internal motivation.

I run because I love the way I feel when I do. I go to work because I feel like I make a difference. I parent with tenacious compassion because my children learn best that way. I write because I want to encourage and support others on their path to greatness.

If an activity or goal never becomes desirable just because of what’s inside of you, you will not be able to sustain it. This is an issue with your own perception of self. The value you place upon yourself as a person or member of society can undermine or strengthen your motivation.  If your goals never reach the point of

I’m doing (insert goal here) because I am worth it.

I’m doing (insert lifestyle change here) because I deserve to be (insert desire result here).

You should probably reflect on how you see yourself.

After all, “Person is a person, no matter how small,” Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who.