October 19, 2012 is a milestone event in our lives. It's the day that my husband Steve retired from his corporate career. His company hosted a wonderful party for him last night, and it was rewarding to meet his ex-colleagues and staff and hear them recount stories of their time working with him.
Steve always said he wanted to start his first day of "freedom" at St. George's Heights, sipping champagne and watching the sunrise. Frankly, the last thing I wanted to do after a very late night, was get up after only four hours sleep to watch the sunrise ... but I am so glad I did. Yes, when the alarm went off at 5.15am, it was a rude awakening, but dutifully I got up, dressed and ready to go. I didn't want to spoil this day for him.
Driving there was so easy. No other mad people were up at that time, and for the first time ever, all the traffic lights were green! We parked up, and walked to our favourite spot, and marvelled at the beauty of the calm water, the red sky and the lights of all the homes and offices around us and the surrounding area.
Apart from the pop of the champagne cork, the only other sound was that of the birds. Three or four rabbits came out and ran around the grass, and we sat, deep in our own thoughts, and watched the sun rise. "This is the best part of the day", Steve told me, and I had to agree - it was spectacular. He has seen it regularly on his early morning walks, and I suspect he will spend a little more time enjoying it in the future, without the need to get to the office hanging over his head!
During the lead up to this day, many people have asked me what impact having Steve at home is going to have on me, particularly as I work from home, and what is Steve going to do? When I respond that I am honestly looking forward to having him around more, and that as he has no idea yet of what he will do, I really don't know, they express surprise, concern, and sometimes their counsel!
The reactions have been interesting. Some have said that Steve has taken a brave decision. To me, this is just a new beginning - the start of a new chapter in our lives - and we are looking forward to the opportunity to shape it into something meaningful for us. And it got me thinking. Are you about to embark on a new beginning? Are you feeling excited about it, or slightly anxious? Or perhaps you have to make some decisions and you just can't see the wood for the trees? I've been in that situation many times. I understand how it feels. I know that deep down you have the knowledge and resources to move forward - and I can help you find that answer within yourself. If you'd like to find out more about how my Wellness & Performance Coaching can help you, contact me by email: email@example.com. And while you are waiting for a response, my weekly wellness tips and hints newsletter is a tremendous resource - just pop your details into the contact form and start receiving them straight away.
Do you have difficulty saying “no”? Are you always trying to be nice to others at the expense of yourself? Perhaps you don't want to hurt the other person's feelings?
The reality is that when we don't say "no" to others, we say "no" to ourselves.
The reasons we find it hard to say no vary. It could be our desire to help, to avoid conflict, to avoid appearing rude. We might be afraid that if we say no, it might spoil a relationship or we might lose out on an opportunity.
Whatever excuse you give yourself, when you don't say no to something you really don't want to do, you are in fact not respecting and valuing your own time and space.
Let's look at this from a different perspective. What if you stop saying NO to what you don't want to do, and start saying YES to what you DO want? What if you put yourself and your own priorities first, and start saying yes to your family, your health, your sense of self?
Perhaps saying Yes to you can help you feel more positive about your choice, and enable you to say no with good grace.
Need help to get started? Call me: +612 8006 9224 or drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BANG!! We all turned around in the gym to the direction from which the noise had come, and there was one of our group members, lying flat on his back, glasses having flown through the air and landed some distance away. No one is sure what happened - we were getting ready to do our end-of class stretches, chatting amongst ourselves, and all we know is he was talking one minute, and on the floor the next.
The staff were fantastic. Instantly, they appeared from all corners of the room. Monte, the owner, took control, grabbing the telephone on his way so it was ready to hand if he needed to call an ambulance. Monte knelt on the floor next to the guy, started talking to him, while checking vital signs, all the time reassuring him and telling him to lie still and not get up. He was asking him questions - such as “do you know what day it is?” and “roughly what time is it?” - to see if his condition was getting worse or improving.
Some of the members were suggesting an ambulance be called. When Monte didn’t respond (although he still had the phone in his hand), the members looked at Howard, who responded “he’s got it” - meaning, it’s under control, and if Monte feels he needs an ambulance, he’ll call for it.
Seeing that Monte was able to cope, Howard moved us to a different part of the gym, and took us through our stretches. As our class disbanded, the next class was coming in. There was no verbal exchange between Monte and Howard, they’ve just worked together long enough to have that level of trust between them, and to each do what was required.
With Howard in charge of the room, Monte asked Hayden, a student in his first hour of student placement, to assist by locating and photocopying the member’s file. This meant personal details and exercise history was available to the ambulance crew should they need it.
Next, Monte wanted the area coned off, and the first aid box and gloves brought to him. Having spent about 15 minutes with the guy, observing and communicating with him, Monte felt it appropriate to ring for an ambulance. The member wanted to sit up - Monte stayed calm, gently, reassuring him and still telling him to lie still. As he stayed on the phone to the emergency services control room, Monte asked a member of the class that had just finished if they could please wait on the street to meet and direct the ambulance crew.
When they arrived, the ambulance crew immediately went to work, checking vital signs, asking questions, getting as much detail as possible.
A gym incident report was filled out, and a list of all the members who had been in the class that day was attached to it, with their contact numbers for future reference if required.
Finally, before the ambulance crew took the member to hospital, Monte spoke to his doctor and wife to advise them what had happened.
What criteria do you have for choosing the gym you want to exercise in? Perhaps you want state-of-the-art equipment, or a personal trainer to work one-on-one with you? I wanted somewhere close to home with great equipment AND with qualified, friendly, professional staff who showed me that it was as important to them that I achieve my goals as it is to me. It never occurred to me that I might be taken ill at the gym ... but how reassuring to know that in the event I am, the staff will remain calm and work together to take care not just of me, but of everyone else in the room.
It's 7.25am - five minutes before my gym opens - and there's me plus four other members already lined up at the front door. One lady is banging on the door to gain entry, despite the rest of us telling her that the gym doors won't open until exactly 7.30am.
"I just want to get in there and get on with it", she said. "Wow", I thought. "She's keen!" I hadn't seen her at the gym before - obviously new - and clearly raring to go! As we filed inside and each got started on our workouts, as I could hear her telling another member "I've already read all my emails and written and posted a birthday card this morning. I have such a busy schedule!"
And suddenly, I understood. You see, I got the distinct impression that this lady was really enjoying her state of busy-ness. That it energized her. That hanging around outside the gym when she could be inside exercising was just a waste of her time. I was like that once - running from one thing to another, on a complete high - thoroughly enjoying the challenges along the way. The lady this morning was animated as she described her life - for her, being busy was Fun!!
For some, however, maintaining this fast pace is tiring, challenging and far from enjoyable. Even the language and tone of voice is different - the words are negative, the voice is slow, everything looks and sounds heavy.
If what you are doing does not satisfy your needs, if you are stuck in a job you don't like, for example, you will probably find yourself experiencing health issues, having trouble sleeping and stagnating. If left unchecked, it may lead to serious health issues, and ultimately, burnout.
Making a change can be simple, if you tap into your creative force. Bringing a playful attitude to your situation may help you get a more positive perspective on it. No matter what your situation, it is possible to transform the way you perceive it into something more enjoyable for you. It's possible to discover your real needs and fulfilling them, of discovering your real talents and using them, of discovering your many options and trying them out.
It really is possible to enjoy life - whether you want to be more energised, have less stress, more time for yourself - whatever it might be. And maybe you will be the one banging on the gym door minutes before it is due to open in anticipation of a fun workout!! I hop
I've always believed in "walking the talk" - that you shouldn't ask someone to do something you won't do yourself - and as an Executive Wellness and Life Coach, I'm promoting the importance of exercise ... but i have a confession to make - apart from long walks at the weekends, I've not been following my own advice.
I've never been a gym junkie. Even during my school days, during breaks and lunch times, you would find me in the music room, practicing the piano, rather than out in the playground.
Over the years, I've 'failed', over and over, to take up and maintain a regular exercise regime. I've lost count of how many times I've joined a gym and not used it, or started a fitness class and lost interest or found an 'excuse' not to go - week after week - until, unconsciously, I'd created a new habit - one of not going!
I went through a phase where I worked one-on-one with a personal trainer. She was a lot of fun - worked me hard, made it fun, but after a while, even that lost it's appeal, and I stopped.
The really interesting thing is that I am not alone in this cycle of setting my resolve, taking action, and not maintaining momentum. I have clients who tell me that they are thinking about starting a diet, or quitting smoking, or giving up alcohol ... several times ... and done nothing about it. Or that they started a new regime, were all excited at the beginning, but lapsed back into bad habits as soon as things got a little tough. If this sounds familiar, it might also make you give out a sigh of relief, as it's normal!!
So, over the past month, I've done some research into local gyms, and found one that interests me. I've joined. My commitment is to go three times a week, to follow a personalised program, with the aim of getting fitter, feeling better about myself, losing weight, toning up. I recognise it took me all my life to get to where I am today, so the improvements will not happen overnight. But I know that long before I see the results externally, they will be happening internally. Already my body gives me little messages - after a workout, I am reminded by my muscles that they have been used after a long period of inactivity - and I get a little "feel good" feeling. That's quite good payment. But this gym is clever. You pay up front for 13 weeks at a time. You get a receipt at the end of the 13 weeks for the sessions you've attended, which you can then submit to your private health company for a rebate. Don't attend all the sessions you've paid for and you can't claim it back! Good incentive, heh! Secondly, you have to book in for the hour(s) you want to work out. They limit the number of clients in the gym at any one time, which means the trainers can give you individual attention - they are constantly checking that you are doing the exercise correctly, as well as ensuring that the level of difficulty is gradually increased, so you are constantly stretching yourself ever so gently a little bit more each time. This requirement to book in advance was initially a negative in my mind - after all, I run my own business - I need to be able to be flexible. My version of flexible, if I am honest, probably means not turning up and skipping sessions if I don't make a specific time in my diary. So my exercise appointments are in the diary before anything else, and I fit my business in around something for me. Of course, I can change those times if I need to, but it is so good to have them already scheduled. And because I go to the same sessions every week, I am getting to meet and make friends with the other clients - which is a clever way of "locking me in" without me feeling duped!!
So, I'll let you know how I am getting on, and what insights I have along the way. And I'd love to know your thoughts/experiences - are you one of those sporty types who love exercising and feel on top of the world when you participate? Or are you more like me, having to drag yourself along?