Tag Archives: inspiration

Good or BEST?

11 May


I read a quote this morning by Steven Covey [you know- the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People] and the last line of it REALLY REALLY struck me.  Here’s the quote:

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’

 I read the last line over and over: The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”  and realized how absolutely true it is.  I can’t tell you how many times I have encountered people who are satisfied with being just “good.”  They have come to terms with the (false) belief that they can’t feel their “best”, so they convince themselves that settling for the “good” is okay.  This kind of defeatist attitude is more prevalent than you’d first guess.  Take a minute and think about how many people you encounter that respond to the question “How are you today” with “I’m excellent” or “I feel fabulous” or even “Best I’ve felt in years” 9 times out of 10.  Not many!!!!  Okay, okay it might be a bit cheesy to respond like that but you know what I mean.  Most people have an automatic hum-drum response that indicates they aren’t great but that “good enough” will do.

WAY too many people are okay with being less than their best. WAY too many people are okay with just getting by and being good enough.  WAY too many people are letting days slip by that they will never get back and will never have a chance to re-live.  WAY too many people will go through their entire lifetime in a dysthymic [that’s the clinician in me coming out!] state; never experiencing the full sense of being happy.

  This is really scary to me because if YOU don’t believe that you can be your best, how can you expect anyone else to truly believe it?! I’m not saying you need to wake up every day and have your BEST workout or get a PR.  You don’t need to eat absolutely 100% clean each and every single day.  You definitely do not need to go through life mistake and worry free.  $h!t happens, I sure know that; we are all human and nobody can be their BEST every day.  But we all have to try & reach to FEEL our best every day when we get out of bed.  Waking up and starting anew with a positive mental attitude is what separates the champions from the people who never see the play-offs.  Having the skill to do something is half the battle, but having the focus, drive & mental determination  is what makes goals happen.  Believing that you CAN achieve what you want is going to keep you in the game long after your body thinks its time to give up.

Have you been settling for being “good”?? Or are you someone who is after being the BEST you can be every day??  As we say here at Lucky13Fitness: To BE your best, you gotta BRING your best!!!

Have an AWESOME Friday, everyone!!!!!!


The 4 P’s

1 May

Sometimes it’s hard to juggle all the things life throws our way; work, school, relationships, family, friends, extracurricular commitments, volunteering, eating well, exercise, training for an event, and SLEEP! It can be overwhelming and frustrating. 

I’ve been feeling a bit this way lately and it sure puts a damper on my mood.  Just as my family and friends predicted, working a full-time job, trying to open a personal training studio and training for a triathlon simultaneously has been an ENORMOUS challenge.  Lately, it seems that there’s just not enough hours in the day to get the items on my “To Do” list done.  And the list just keeps growing!  If I feel on top of things in one area, it is almost always at the expense of something else.  So, when I examine the greater picture I’m almost always disappointed with myself and what I didn’t get done.  This is a recipe for a downward spiral disaster.

Today, I decided that I’d had enough feeling badly for myself and that, come hell or high water, I was going to pull myself OUT of this mental funk I’d gotten into.  I reminded myself of  The 4 P’s and tried to put them into action.  Taking a moment to think about The 4 P’s has helped me in times of high stress before, and this morning it didn’t fail!  I thought I’d share:

The 4 P’s

Prepare:  This is a huge theme in my life.  Preparing food for the week, packing it in Tupperware ahead of time and having it set to go is something that saves me 20-30 minutes a day.  Preparing my work/gym/overnight bag(s) the night before also helps me too.  I often need to bring several changes of clothes and need outfits for biking, running, swim, etc so packing it all the night before decreases my chances of forgetting something!

Plan: This goes hand in hand with preparation.  Having a plan or structure to each day/week/month can help give an idea of how best to maximize time.  When I open my planner and see each client, workout, appointment, social engagement, etc blocked off, it helps me to see the “holes” and where I could fit things in.  “Seeing” a random half hour block between two clients reminds me that I can use that time for emails, blogging, or making sure to eat lunch!

Practice: Something I’ve learned lately is that it takes a LOT of practice to get used to a new schedule, setup or habit.  Juggling a full-time job, opening my Lucky13Fitness studio & training for my triathlon requires exquisite time management and self-discipline.  I haven’t been perfect but am learning that with time and practice, I’m getting better at prioritizing what’s most important and what can wait until the next day or week. 

*This last one has been super important to me the past few days*

Patience: They say patience is a virtue, and I’m starting to realize that statement is true!!!  Even after all the preparation, planning and practice in the world, sometimes things don’t go EXACTLY as I’d like.  I have to adjust to fit unexpected bumps in the road.  I’ve had to remind myself a LOT lately that this is part of triathlon training, part of opening a new business, and part of life.  There’s always the X-factor of the unexpected and unplanned and I can’t let it throw off my whole groove.  I’m practicing my patience by reminding myself that my schedule will change soon and that I’ll have more time for the things I need to accomplish.  Until then, I just gotta do the best I can with the time I’m given!

I hope The 4 P’s help you get through a stressful moment!  Life isn’t perfect, and as they say: Take It One Day At A Time!

Things to keep in mind…

21 Apr

Once you’ve established a goal- of any kind- your job is to STICK to it, no matter what.  At the start, the goal (as well as the process getting there) always seems new, sexy, and exciting.  However, after things stop being easy, and you are forced outside your comfort zone, many people start to second guess whether or not the goal is worth it.  When it STOPS being easy & it starts being WORK; that’s when results happen; that’s when transformation begins; that’s when faith, patience, trust & commitment are tested.

So read these wise words over and over…. at the start, when it gets a little tougher & most importantly- when you don’t think you can go on any longer.  Read these words and push through!!



“It’s not where you are, but who you’re with that matters”

20 Mar


This quote has always been a great reminder of all the wonderful people I have surrounding me in life on an everyday basis.  I don’t need to be on a tropical beach with perfect weather to be happy (though that’d be great!) & I could be caught in the rain on a crummy day instead and be perfectly content.  The difference is in the folks I have surrounding me.  The tropical beach would suck if I were with cranky, mean, selfish people.  But the rainstorm would end up being a fun adventure full of laughter if I were with friends or family members whom I love.  I’ve always tried to keep this quote at the forefront of my mind, so that when I find myself in a less-than-desirable situation, I can still find the positive in it.

This morning I came along a quote that struck a similar chord:

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly, be that kind of a friend for your friends.”
– Mark Twain

I read the quote a few times and realized what a deep connection it has to achieving goals of everyday life.  Whether the goals are related to fitness, healthy living, career, relationships, hobbies or anything else, this quote absolutely applies.  I think we all, at times, underestimate or disregard how much influence those around us have on our everyday decisions and goal achievement.  At first thought, you might think your friends’ unhealthy eating habits, frequent partying or disregard to their career won’t affect you and your journey.  You may have the willpower and resolve to politely decline invitations to party or hit up happy hour after work in favor of putting in extra time at the office or getting to the gym.  But, truthfully, how long can that endure?  When you DO see these friends, will you have much to talk about?  I believe that friends truly bond through shared experience.  Some of my best friends are such because we have shared many funny/scary/crazy/difficult experiences together. Additionally, will the peer pressure eventually wear you down and encourage you to make decisions that counter the progress made toward your goals?  Will you forever be able to say “no, thank you” to a table full of nachos, beer, and buffalo wings every time you go out?  Or will you eventually give in?  Will you take smart risks in your career which may involve travel, relocating, or spending many more hours at work to get ahead when you’re surrounded by folks who aren’t career-driven and have no interest in becoming successful?

Most importantly, the people in my life (friends, family, colleagues) offer me support that helps me on the days I’m just not feelin’ it.  My friends are there to remind me that I need to keep taking steps toward my career goals, personal goals, and more.  They do so by exhibiting the same drive, persistence and positive mindset I try to maintain every day.  When one of us is feeling down, the others are there in support.  I can not imagine my life without my friends and family being there for me.  They also do so by applauding me in my successes and helping me to see the lessons in the setbacks.  Simply being in their presence helps me to stay focused, driven and on track with my goals.

Mark Twain was onto something BIG when he said that quote….I think one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is the presence of amazing people in our lives.  Family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, teammates; each person you associate with should bring a bit of positive energy into your life.  So go ahead, read Mark Twain’s quote a few more times and let it sink in.  Think about the people you have the most face-time with: are they supportive and motivating?


1 Feb

No, no no….. not the kind you find in your pocket or under the couch cushions!  I’m talking about the kind of change that produces a DIFFERENT result from what you otherwise experience in day-to-day life.  The thing that happens when you decide to set goals and go about life (or a certain part of life) in a new and different way, hoping for new and different (read: better) results…

Most of us talk a lot about change at the New Year; we vow to make resolutions and decide what we want and don’t want in our lives.  We aim for our dreams, shoot for the moon & hope for the best.  But inevitably, obstacles present themselves, motivation wanes & it becomes more difficult to keep our eyes on the prize every day.  Here are some motivational quotes about lasting change in life, and how to achieve it.  They are from an amazing email I get every morning, called The Daily Love.  I thought I’d share this morning’s quotes with you, and spread the Love!  Keep On Keepin’ On toward change.  Dream it, then DO it!!!


“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

– Maya Angelou, icon & poet.

“What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us.”

– Julia Cameron, author of ‘The Artist’s Way’.

“If you believe that you must work hard in order to deserve the money that comes to you, then money cannot come to you unless you do work hard. Financial success, or any other kind of success, does not require hard work. It does require alignment of thought. You simply cannot offer negative thought about things that you desire and then make up for it with action or hard work. When you learn to direct your own thoughts, you will discover the true leverage of Energy alignment.”

– Esther Abraham-Hicks, best-selling author, speaker and OG teacher of the Law of Attraction.

“If all you focus on is money you will have a hard time getting any. Focusing on the money only is like focusing on the apple, but forgetting the seed. The seed of TRUE abundance is not money, but doing what you love. Love is the strongest energy in the Universe and if you step away from the life that you know and begin to step towards a life of doing what you love, you will be planting very powerful seeds. After enough time and care the seeds you plant will begin to blossom and bare amazing fruit. Money and many other forms of abundance will literally chase you. Focus on what makes you happy, take risks in that direction and don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t possible. Look to those who inspire you and ask yourself what would they do? These folks know about true abundance, take note.”

– Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath.






You Made the Resolution….Now What??

24 Jan

goal setting


About 3 weeks ago, we all rang in the New Year with a renewed energy, promises of committing (or re-committing) to goals &  a gung-ho, “HELL YEAH!” attitude toward it all.  Well, “they” say it takes approximately 3 weeks to make a behavior (or lack of behavior) a habit.  So by now, everyone should be well on their way to achieving their New Years Resolutions, right?!?!?!  If it were only that simple.

I have talked to friends, family members and clients that have already fallen off their plan and away from their goals.  We aren’t even into the month of February and people are already saying “I just don’t have as much time as I thought I would”; “I’m going to start fresh next month, I’m just too busy this month”; “It got so COLD and by the time I get home from work I’m so tired and I don’t want to go back out”; “Nobody really keeps their New Years Resolutions anyway!”; and the most defeatist of all “There’s always next year!”.  What gives?  WHY are people just giving up and walking away?  Why don’t people believe that they can achieve their goals and then some!?  Here’s my guess…


1) They aren’t serious when they make the resolution in the first place.  It has become something that everyone does and talks about during the holidays.  I would guess that more than 70% of people who list resolutions actually do not have any serious intention on MAKING it happen.

2) They do not put measures in place to GET IT DONE.  Anyone can think up a resolution or goal.  Anyone can tell their family and friends their resolution(s)…New Years Resolutions are almost taken with a grain of salt by others.  But how many folks actually sit down to write them out and then plan the roadmap on HOW to get there.  Saying you want to lose 10 pounds or be able to run an 8 minute mile is one thing.  Figuring out how to CHANGE your current schedule to fit in time to make it happen is quite another.

3) Their goals are not S.M.A.R.T.  (This is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).  Goals/resolutions can’t be vague, and without specific measurable components.  In order to be achieved they must have some sense of realness to them, or they will be an automatic setup for failure.

4) They follow the crowd when choosing a goal.  Many folks do not stop and take a little time to think about what THEY want to personally/professionally achieve in the upcoming year.  Instead of thinking back and reviewing what has happened in their own lives, they follow what the masses are after.  I want to lose 10 lbs; I want to eat better; I want to be more fit; I want to tone up…the list goes on and on.  Not only are these vague but they are without personal connection.  A Huuuuuge part of staying on track toward goal achievement is constantly reminding yourself WHY you want it.

5) They do not truly BELIEVE they can change their lives.  In order to achieve a goal- ANY goal- you must first have total, 100% belief in yourself.  You must be able to close your eyes and envision yourself achieving this goal.  You must SEE it in your mind’s eye, feel it in your bones, and want it with every fiber of your being.  You must mentally make it a non-negotiable; You don’t stop until its yours.  Having others around to support and motivate you can be an enormous help, but if you don’t believe in yourself their words will be meaningless.

If you relate with any (or all) of the above 5 points, fear not, there’s still time to turn it all around!  Here are some suggestions on how you can get back on track and move toward your goals/resolutions.


1)  Make sure your goal is something you WANT.  Do not jump on board with your roommate, best friend, partner, or sibling just because.  Take some time to sit down and figure out what change(s) you’d like to see in your life.  Derive your goals from there.

2)  Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.  Remember the acronym from above: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  Do not make a vague goal such as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to tone up”.  Instead have a goal of “I want to lose 1 lb a week for 10 weeks by exercising for X mins a day for X days per week,  eating more fruits, veggies, lean proteins & cutting out soda and fried food”….Or “I want to be able to do 10 push ups on the floor by May…I will do so by signing up with a personal trainer at my gym and getting a personalized strength training program made for me”

3)  Make room for changes.  Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is “Nothing changes if nothing changes”.  It couldn’t be more true.  If you do not make changes in your daily routine, food intake, exercise regimen, interactions with people, etc… then you can’t expect any changes to happen to the bottom line.  Your day-to-day will need to feel a bit different, because it will need to BE a bit different.

4)  Believe you can get it done.  Think about the goal you want so badly that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there.  Close your eyes and picture getting it done.  Picture being there, at the “finish line”.  Think about how you feel both physically and mentally.  Channel those thoughts and that energy into your efforts in the journey.  You must truly believe in your ability to get to the finish.

5)  WRITE IT DOWN.  This point definitely gets wrapped up in a few other points above, but deserves its own.  I can not emphasize enough the power of the written word.  It doesn’t take much to think about or even talk about doing something.  But it takes a higher level of dedication to sit and write it out on paper.  It makes it more real, it puts it right there in front of your face.  Write down your goal (In INK or MARKER) and hang it somewhere you can see it.  Also write down WHY you want to achieve the goal.  Seeing these statements day in and day out will keep it fresh in your brain.  It will help to keep your fire burning!


So what now?  Go. Get. It. Done.  If you’ve fallen off the Resolution wagon, review these points and get back on!!!! If you’re chugging along full force but know someone who could use a hand, send them this blog post and offer to help them out.  There’s no reason an entire year of hopeful change should be sacrificed before the first month is over.  Dream it then DO it!

Motivation you can SEE

30 Nov

I blog/talk/write a lot about motivation.  Regardless of a person’s goal, motivation is what keeps you moving toward it. It is a significant part of my job as a personal trainer; it’s what keeps my clients coming back week after week [even when I make them do lots of Burpees!].  However, words written in lengthy blog form don’t always have the same “kick-in-the-ass” factor that a short-but-sweet visual does.  They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and I believe this to be true when it comes to motivation.  I think that a few words in bright font [perhaps with a picture] that can be posted up as a reminder are a very valuable source of motivation.  So, I have decided to share with you some pictures/posters that I have downloaded and posted in my home, & used as my computer background and screen saver.  The simplicity in the message is key for me; I take one quick look and get that instant boost in mood.  Enjoy!

exercise motivation


motivational quote



motivation to work out


fitness motivation



reason to work out


motivation to exercise



fitness inspiration and motivation

I hope these photos/posters serve as a source of positive energy for you!  If you like them, let me know and I will post more!!

** Special thanks to MotivateHopeStrength for serving as the source for these inspiring photos!