Walk the talk: conditioning your mind, body for success

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This past Sunday, I woke up conflicted: workout, yoga or hike? My response: When in doubt, hike it out. The moderate-to-difficult trail proved to be exactly what I needed as endurance training for an upcoming trek of mine categorized as “hard.” And, it afforded me three hours of solitude in which I mentally sketched out revisions for a book I wrote earlier this year, as well as prefaced my next work of fiction. The time I spent strategizing in the mountains served as an effective tool to condition myself for this approaching season jam-packed with writing commitments—including two back-to-back online workshops, as well as NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month)—carrying me well into the new year. Because whether it’s a hike, or a writing workshop, training and planning go hand in hand. If I’m willing to condition and equip myself on the trail, then I should do the same for my vocational aspirations. In other words: walk—or hike—the talk.

How do you “train” for success?

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Mixed messages: how to make sense of it all

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Mixed messages play havoc with logic. Just when you think you understand a simple concept, doubt creeps in and you begin to question your sanity, your ability to reason—everything you thought to be true. In the publishing world, there is frequent interaction between publisher and advertisers, authors, sales reps, subscribers and so on. As concise as one can be through email, there is often room for interpretation on both sides, which may lead to miscommunication, lost time and, not uncommon, bruised feelings. With the majority of business and social communique handled via digital means, it might require an old-fashioned phone call to right a wrong or lend clarity to a situation in order to move forward. It isn’t necessarily about the mistake or misunderstanding, because we are human and they happen. It’s how we react in the moment, mindful that relationships—business or otherwise—are always hanging in the balance. And that pride goes before a fall every time.

How do you make sense of mixed messages?

Photo courtesy of Pansa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

What’s ‘in’ this season: new outlook, new you

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This past weekend, I joined another hiker for a six-mile trek through new-to-me desert terrain. As the two of us navigated the dusty trails, we discovered common interests and beliefs despite the decade that separates our birthdays. Recently, my friend quit her job because it interfered with her hikes, her yoga. Her sanity. Although she resides in a different season of her life than me—where her plans lean toward retirement—the outlook she embraces is one I strive for daily. My friend lives and breathes the old adage that there are seven days in a week and Someday isn’t one of them; that we need to do what we can [enjoy] now, so we can do it for years to come. I knew I couldn’t move the mountains ahead of me, but I could kick aside the bad habits and negative chatter that clutters my path and replace them with stepping stones—small, manageable changes—toward success. Regardless of the season.

What does your makeover look like?

 

From the ground up: a foundation built to last

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building-a-foundation

 

Guilty of sabotaging progress you’re making in life? Maybe you’ve ditched the prose you’re halfway through writing, the deadline only days away, because binge-watching Netflix appeals more. Or you wish every day was Friday pizza, wine and movie night instead of the yoga, ab or glute challenge you committed to last week. Once we fall from our carefully crafted plans, it’s challenging to get back on track. After a few of those days, however, I showed up for Bikram yoga practice but, instead of ditching my glasses, I donned them to better analyze my postures. Surprising (to me), I noticed toned muscles and, any “damage” I thought I’d done by eating poorly, was negated by a foundation of regular exercise and healthy eating I began building years ago. Same idea with my writing: a lifetime of dreaming, preparing for, educating myself and practicing the craft allows me to pick up where I leave off. A solid foundation is key to lasting success.

Where can you build a (better) foundation?

Image courtesy of Worakit Sirijinda at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

What the mind conceives: a good luck talisman for success

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Talisman

 

The other night at the gym, the women’s workout room was packed full of all ages, sizes and shapes. It can be a challenge, but I try to avoid comparison making. However, I must admit I struggled with envy over one woman. Not the way her hair remained perfect during her workout while my ponytail stuck to the back of my neck. Or how she didn’t break a sweat while she lifted yet I smelled, coincidentally, like an onion. Or how her outfit was color coordinated while I sported the throw-it-together-and-hope-I-match look. It was her pink workout gloves I couldn’t stop looking at. Seriously: pink workout gloves. In the past, I’ve attributed more focused yoga practices to a new mat or fun new shorts. So why not a stronger workout session with pretty workout gloves? Yes, I bought new ones. And yes, I lifted better. What the mind conceives, the body achieves. At least that’s the story I’m sticking to.

What is your good luck talisman for success?

Bringing about a breakthrough

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Breakthrough

In “Setting goals isn’t brain surgery,” I whittle down the process into manageable, bite-size pieces. Three weeks ago I committed to writing daily and I’ve stuck to it. There have been days when I’m “stuck,” or I don’t feel particularly writerly. But it’s a priority of mine to carve time into each day to type into my keyboard or jot in my pretty ‘cest la vie’ (that’s life) notebook a thought or phrase I want to remember. Whether you seek a breakthrough in the writing process, in your career aspirations, your relationships or education, remember to 1) take yourself seriously if you want others to do the same; 2) don’t take yourself too seriously—it’s a practice (not perfect) and 3) keep the dialogue open—talk less, listen more, journal, pray or meditate and learn something new every day. No matter the breakthrough you desire in your life, it requires two things: commitment and follow through. After that, it’s about celebrating your successes.

What breakthrough do you desire?

Image courtesy of bulldogza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Be the change

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Be the change

Many of us are familiar with the saying: Be the change you wish to see in your world. It coincides with my Dress for success post because, if you want (more of) something, you seek to attract that very thing. Consequently, if you want more love in your life, be more loving. If you want more peace, be more peaceful. If you want to see more compassion from others, you’ll be more compassionate. Feeling misunderstood? Be more understanding. So often it is another person we wish to change, but we may as well beat our heads against a brick wall for the good that will do. If we can only change ourselves and our circumstances, then it is up to each of us to become magnets for the change we desire within our small frames of influence. The more we focus on being what we want, the more we’ll bring about lasting, positive transformation in and around us.

What change do you wish to experience in your life?

[Image credit Stuart Miles and freedigitalphotos.net]

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