Is Your Mindset Holding You Back?

 Your mindset is either your greatest strength… or your biggest weakness. It determines how you view life, your attitude towards what happens, and how you will react. Those who have a positive, growth mindset are much more likely to succeed at what they set out to accomplish. The mindset we have can hold us back or take us to our highest level. It all depends on how we think, what we think, and the actions we take thereafter. What are some ways you can ensure your mindset is geared for success? What are some characteristics that sets one person apart from another?

No Limitations – A person with a growth mindset doesn’t allow themselves to have limitations. They believe they deserve to succeed in life and will do what it takes to get there. They don’t go moping around, claiming to be a victim of the economy believing that they are stuck where they are at. They prepare, they plan, and they take action. They don’t believe the naysayers and follow through with what they start. These people see their potential and don’t limit themselves based on the fear that they are not good enough or smart enough. They make things happen.

Facing Fear – Just because someone has a mindset that is geared for success doesn’t mean they never feel fear. It just means they face it head on. They don’t let the “what if’s” stand in their way and they use obstacles as stepping-stones on their journey. Fear is the biggest thing that holds people back from their best potential. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, or fear of success itself there are an endless amount of reasons they can use to stay where they are at in life. It’s the ones who don’t let that mounting fear stop them that become the most successful, best versions of themselves. They make it a goal to step out of their comfort zone and do things that most people do not.

Focused Purpose – Those that understand why they do what they do and have an idea of where they are going in life have the strongest mindset. Having a focused purpose in life makes it so much simpler to overcome obstacles because you know what you are ultimately working for. This is the starting point to success. You must figure out what you want to work towards. This can only be done through a growth mindset and someone who thinks outside the box. Finding your purpose in life will not only allow you to focus on what’s important but it will be much easier to follow through and truly go for what you want.

Your mindset can be your greatest tool for a successful life. It will hold you down for a lifetime if you let it. Having a growth mindset allows the world to be at your fingertips because you don’t close your mind to anything. Everyday there is a new possibility for success for someone with this type of mindset. Don’t hold yourself back with senseless limitations and fear just because you don’t know what the future holds. Taking that first step outside your comfort zone could be the breath of fresh air you need in your life.

Beachbody

Health Benefits of Breakfast: 3 Reasons Not To Skip Your Morning Meal

Photo credit: Matt @ PEK from Taipei, Taiwan [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you woke up in a hurry, got ready, and rushed out the door without a second thought to eating breakfast? We’ve all been there and have suffered the consequences when mid-morning hits and we are starving and ready to eat the first unhealthy thing we come across. Avoiding this trap and making breakfast a part of your daily routine can not only add to the success and productivity of your day, but also begin your path to a healthier lifestyle. Here are just a few benefits of this important daily meal.

Increased energy level – You will find that by eating a healthy breakfast your energy level is much higher throughout the day. You will be more productive and less inclined to eat that unhealthy bag of chips calling your name. Breakfast provides the right kind of nutrients our body needs to get through the day and be the best version of ourselves. We will be much more likely to focus on productivity when we routinely give our bodies the fuel it needs to carry on.

Weight Control – It’s been said that those who tend to eat breakfast in the mornings are more likely to lose weight or simply not weigh as much. That being said, it makes sense because we don’t find ourselves bogged down with those nasty cravings that come with not eating anything in the morning. We tend to make healthier choices throughout the day when we aren’t starving and looking for anything to satisfy us. You need breakfast to get give your metabolism a boost so you can burn more calories throughout the day.

Happier and Healthier – Eating breakfast routinely every morning will not only start you on the path to a healthier life but also cause you to have a better, happier attitude. We are mentally and physically able to focus on things that matter when we give our bodies the right kind of nutrition. This means staying away from sugar and caffeine and consuming more whole grains, dairy, and fruit. Studies have shown that people who skip breakfast tend to be grouchier throughout the day. When you deprive your body of the fuel it needs, it affects all aspects of your life.

There are huge benefits to getting into a routine each morning and eating a healthy breakfast. This one meal sets the tone for the entire day and our mood and physical well-being is affected by it. You will not only be more productive but your overall health will improve by just making a few changes to your daily routine. Rather than rushing through those early morning hours give yourself a little more time in the morning to plan a healthy meal. The success of your day depends on how you start it out.

Beachbody

 

How to Make Fitness A Permanent Part of Your Life

Photo credit: Linda Bartlett (Photographer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In order for a fitness routine to become part of daily life, you have to make certain changes in the way you live, the foods you eat, and the activities you are involved in. It’s necessary for the whole family to commit themselves to living healthier and making individual fitness goals that they can both meet and exceed. The majority of people make resolutions to do this every single year, and most of them fall short of meeting this goal. If that’s you, there are a few things you can do to make this transition easier and view fitness as the new normal in your life.

Change your Schedule – make time to workout during the morning hours rather than waiting until after work. Getting in the habit of doing this may be tough at first, especially if you are used to sleeping in. You will find, however, that this routine is easier to stick to because you have no distractions to sway you from working out. Not only will your metabolism get a huge boost, but also, you will have more energy to start the workday. Take a look at your current schedule and see what can be changed. It may be as simple as going to bed a little earlier in order to get a jump-start on the day.

Plan your meals – a true fitness plan would not be complete without eliminating bad eating habits and making healthier choices for you and your family. Working out is a huge component of fitness, but eating the right foods is just as important. One without the other doesn’t work and your plan will most likely fail.

Busy families are tempted to eat out on a regular occurrence mostly because of convenience and ease. Planning your meals a week or two in advance will take away the temptation to do this and will save you some money in the long run. A meal plan should be a compilation of suggestions from the whole family. It’s important to get everyone involved and on the same page in order to ensure success.

Set Goals – Anytime you want to change your life and eliminate bad habits from your daily routine, it’s important to set goals. Have a family meeting and go over what everyone wants and needs to achieve from a new fitness plan. Create some goals that are reachable and some that truly push your limits. Write them down and refer to your goals often. Keep track of your daily activity in a journal or notebook so you are able to see how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to reaching your fitness goals.

The important thing to making fitness a normal part of your life is that you have a plan. You can’t just hope to live healthier and expect it to happen. You must take control of the situation and take small daily steps in the right direction. Refer often to the goals you hope to achieve as a family and be consistent with your actions. Pretty soon a fitness routine and healthier way of life will be second nature.

Having a family, a career, and a hectic schedule leaves little time for a fitness routine. However, the benefits to being physically fit are numerous and should be a priority in any family. Choosing to make fitness a permanent part of your life takes a good amount of willpower, determination, and hard work from everyone. There are many ways you can incorporate fitness to fit your busy schedule. It may take some planning and you might have to be creative at times, just remember to stay active. Making small, positive changes to your daily routine can help rid your family of bad habits and have you on your way to a physically fit life.

Beachbody

Beat the Winter Blues with Family-Friendly Indoor Fitness Activities

Photo credit: Matheusreich (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

During those freezing cold winter months when you aren’t able to get outside and it’s hard to muster up the motivation to get out and hit the gym, it can seem nearly impossible to get any exercise in. Activity levels fall to one step above couch potato and we often wonder where the excess weight is coming from. However, not all is lost. You do still have a chance to maintain some form of an exercise routine even when the snow is falling and temps are ridiculously low.

Get moving with video games – this is not a suggestion to sit on the couch and stare at the television all day with a controller in your hand. Systems such as the Wii offer games where you can be up and moving while you are playing. Bowling, tennis, Wii Fit, and Wii Sports are a few games that will not only get your whole family laughing, but also keep everyone active while the snow blows outside.

Create an indoor obstacle course – use your furniture and everyday items around the house to create a fun, unique obstacle course that you all can enjoy. Make it an event the whole family gets involved in, and time how long it takes each person to complete it. The winner gets a prize or gets to choose how the next course will be set up.   Use your imagination and be as creative as you want.

Crank up the music – This may be the one and only time that you don’t yell at the kids to turn the music down. Blast some tunes as loud as you want and make room for a dance floor in the living room. Your whole family will enjoy showing off their moves and will get a workout while they are at it. Step it up a level and have each person create their own unique dance that they perform in front of the whole family.

Indoor bowling competition – turn a hallway into a bowling alley with a few simple steps. Empty soda or water bottles make great pins, and any ball will do. Keep score and see who is the bowling champion. This type of bowling is cheaper AND you don’t have to wear those awful bowling shoes while you play.

Scavenger hunt craziness – This is a perfect indoor activity to keep the kids busy, and it’s a great way to be creative and keep the imaginative juices flowing. Hide a variety of items all through the house and leave clues that the kids have to follow to find them. Whoever finds all items gets to choose a prize or decide what the family will watch on television that night.

Just because it’s cold and nasty outside doesn’t mean you have to give up all forms of exercise. There are many creative ways to stay active indoors and make memorable moments with your family as well. It’s one way to get your family looking forward to those cold, winter days rather than dreading them.

Beachbody

 

3 Healthy & Delicious Fruit Desserts That Will Have Your Kids Begging For More

Photo credit: Vegan Feast Catering [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

When you think of the word “dessert” what comes to mind?

More than likely you immediately think of pies, cakes, cookies – all the unhealthy things that most people associate with the word desserts. But did you know there are healthier versions available? And healthier doesn’t mean boring and bland! Things like fruit desserts can be healthy, full of flavor and a great way to help ensure that you and your family are getting more fruits in your daily diet!

What exactly do these desserts have to do with getting more fruits into your daily diet?

First, if you have a hard time getting picky eaters to snack on plain fruit, these desserts offer a delicious flavorful alternative to eating it plain. Sometimes all it takes to get a picky kid to eat fruit is to add it to something else and label it a dessert. After all, what kid doesn’t like dessert? And two, sometimes eating fruit is just plain ole boring and fruit desserts add enough variety and more flavor to ‘spice’ things up.

Want to try it on your own kids? Here are three quick and easy fruit desserts that are healthy and packed full of flavor and are sure to have your family asking for more! And best of all, you can give them more knowing it’s healthy and helping them get more of the vitamins and minerals they need that fruit provides.

Fruit Dessert Recipes

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
(Makes about 4 servings)

1/2 cup sugar
1 package (16 ounces) unsweetened strawberries
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

In a food processor, add the sugar and strawberries. Pulse until chopped coarsely. Slowly add the yogurt and lemon juice with the food processor still running. Process until smooth and serve immediately.

Banana Bites

1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 large bananas
Coconut flakes

Tear a decent sized peace of wax paper off and put on counter top (or working surface). Cut bananas into bit sized chunks. Heat the peanut butter and chocolate chips in microwave (about 1 minute). Dip banana pieces until well coated. Sprinkle coconut flakes on them and let harden (about 1 hour).

Broiled Pineapple

1/2 lb. pineapple
Nonstick cooking spray

While preheating oven, coat broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Core pineapple and cut wedges lengthwise to make 8 spears. Put pineapple spears on broiler pan and cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. You can even serve this with a dollop of vanilla ice cream if you wish.

As you can see, from the three recipes shared, fruit desserts are a quick and easy way to ensure that you and your family are adding more fruits to your diet. Another way, not mentioned in the recipes above, to make a fruit dessert is as simple as putting some berries in a bowl and adding some cool whip on top.

Beachbody

5 Ways to Get Motivated and Stay Motivated to Exercise

Photo credit: “Mike” Michael L. Baird [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are like many other people, when it comes to exercise, you start out fired up and then fizzle out. Getting motivated is often the easy part. You know you should be exercising more, so why are you sitting on the sofa eating chips and watching television? Exercising often feels like work and sometimes the rewards may be slow in coming, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a long time or if you are trying to lose weight. Getting and staying motivated requires changing how you think about exercise. Change the way you think about exercise and you will see changes in your body and your health.

  1. Do It for You

You may need to lose a few pounds, just want to tighten and tone your muscles, or you are concerned about your heart health. Whatever your reasons for wanting to exercise more, do it for you. If you start exercising to lose weight because your partner commented on your weight, you may not be able to maintain your motivation momentum and may even become resentful and lose your motivation when you don’t see the results you expect – or your partner expects. The benefits of being more physically active include losing or maintaining your weight, stronger and leaner muscles, stronger bones, and reducing your risk of diseases associated with being overweight. The physical benefits of exercise can be a great starting point, but over time you may lose interest unless you have an emotional or psychological reason to keep going. For example, exercise and getting fit may help you feel more confident or help you feel less stressed at the end of the day. Find the internal motivation that keeps you active and focus on that. Soon you will be looking forward to walking for 30 minutes after work to relieve stress or swimming 20 laps to feel energized.

  1. Have Fun

Exercise can be hard work, but if it feels like work you probably aren’t going to stick with it for very long. Find an activity that you love and do that. You don’t even have to have a regular schedule of exercise to get fit and stay healthy. You can find easy ways to exercise every day. Consider it a challenge. Park one block from your work and walk the rest of the way to work 2 or 3 days each week. Instead of driving the half mile to the convenience store, ride your bicycle. Walk the dog or walk your neighbor’s dog. Play games with your kids in the park. Challenge yourself by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Join a group of friends and walk, jog or ride bikes each weekend. There are innumerable opportunities to exercise and have fun doing it.

  1. Make Time for Fitness

Most of us have busy schedules. Going to the gym takes time and costs money. Between work and family, we have little time left for ourselves. Make fitness your YOU time. It’s your special time that you take for yourself. Even as little as 15 minutes each day can have beneficial effects on your body and on your mind. You can resolve to do yoga, or walk, or do some calisthenics or 15 to 20 minutes each day between the time you get home from work and time to cook dinner. Your fitness program doesn’t have to be set in stone either. Be flexible with your schedule. If you simply cannot find a full 30 minutes in any day to exercise, do it in 10 minute sets. You may also consider adding exercise to things you are already committed to doing. If you have to attend a parent-teacher meeting after school, ride bikes to the school with your kids or walk. You can pedal on a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill while reading the report your boss handed you at the end of the day to prepare for a staff meeting.

  1. Set Attainable Goals

One sure way to lose your motivation and simply give up is to set unattainable goals. It isn’t possible, and potentially dangerous to try, to lose 20 pounds in 10 days. It simply isn’t realistic to think you can achieve such a goal. No matter what the television infomercials claim, you are not going to have the muscles of a body builder in a mere 4 weeks of lifting weights or using an exercise machine. Set realistic and attainable goals for yourself. Start small and reward yourself each time you reach your goal. For example, if you want to be more active and have been sedentary for years, set a goal of walking for 5 minutes every other day at lunch time or after work. Once you have been walking for 5 minutes, bump up your goal to 10 minutes every other day and then 15 minutes every other day for a week. Add 5 minutes of walking time each week. Before long you will be walking for a full 30 minutes three days each week with little or no effort.

  1. Adjust Your Attitude

Be prepared for setbacks by changing the way you think about not reaching your goals. Do you beat yourself up with negative self-talk? Do you think, “I’m such a loser” or “I’m never going to get in shape”? Stop. Just because you didn’t exercise today does not mean you are lazy or a loser or that you are never going to reach your ultimate fitness goals. A thunderstorm or snowy, cold weather may prevent you from walking around the block like you do every day after dinner, but you don’t have to sit down and eat a bag of chips because you can’t go walking. Put on a dance video and dance in your living room for 20 minutes. Run up and down the stairs for 5 minutes or get on your treadmill instead. Walk or jog for an extra 5 minutes tomorrow. Stepping on the bathroom scale may result in disappointment, especially if you set weight loss goals that are too high or unrealistic. One setback does not have to mean you lose your motivation. Adjust your goals and keep going. Are you fitter and more active than you were a month ago? Three months ago? You are already a winner if you are getting more exercise. Think of yourself as a fit, active person, and soon you will be.

Beachbody

7 Tasty Snacks That Are Healthy Too

The word “snack” often conjures up images of potato chips, candy bars, soda, and other high-calorie snacks. Snacks don’t have to be filled with fat and sugar to satisfy your hunger. Fruit, nuts and grains are nature’s delicious, healthy snacks. Natural snacks travel just as well as convenience foods, such as a bag of chips. Take them to the office, on your walk and keep some in your car for those long waits in rush-hour traffic.

Trail mix isn’t just for hikers and campers! It’s a delicious mix of fruit, seeds and nuts filled with energy-restoring nutrients and natural sugars. You can mix your own or buy ready-to-eat mixes. Try to find dried fruits and nuts that are free from preservatives. Select natural seeds and nuts instead of the roasted, flavored variety. You can mix almonds, walnuts, cashews, dried banana slices, apricots, raisins, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries for a healthy, snack flavor explosion.

Cheese is a great snack to take the edge off your hunger without adding too many extra calories to your diet. Try a slice of brie on a fresh slice of apple for a deliciously sweet, healthy snack. Try a variety of cheeses to find your favorite. Cut small cubes of different cheeses, such as cheddar, muenster, and Swiss, and place them in a plastic bag. Enjoy with whole grain baked crackers. Avoid processed cheese, such as the individually wrapped slices.

Fresh berries are loaded with nutrients and beneficial antioxidants. Antioxidants attach to and remove harmful free radicals that can cause cell damage. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are delicious alone or mixed with natural fruit juice for a tasty, healthy fruit salad. Bananas travel well in your purse, briefcase or backpack for a quick snack on the run or at your desk.

If you want a more substantial snack between lunch and dinner, try apple slices (or celery sticks) with peanut butter. Pack some apple slices and a travel-size container of peanut butter or place some peanut butter into a small plastic container. Spread the peanut butter on the apple slices or scoop up the tasty, protein rich peanut butter using the apple slice. Apples are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Peanut butter provides extra fiber.

Eating healthier snacks does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor and texture. Create a delicious dip by layering black beans, guacamole and low-fat or fat-free sour cream for a low-fat, healthy snack filled with flavor. Shred some low-fat cheddar cheese on top for extra taste without adding too many extra calories. Scoop the dip with low-fat baked tortilla chips.

Potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Baked potato skins can be a healthy, tasty snack if you avoid loading them up with high-calorie, high-fat toppings. Top baked potato skins with low-fat cheese, low-fat or fat-free sour cream, tomatoes, chives or even olives. Three or four potato skins will satisfy your snack craving and hold you over until dinner time.

Even potato chips can be a healthy snack. You can make your own healthy potato chips by frying thinly sliced potatoes in olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and you have a delicious, healthy snack. If you don’t have time to make your own, select baked, not fried, potato chips. Your local health food store probably carries a natural potato chip without preservatives or additives.

Beachbody

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