Can You Learn To Love Exercise?

This is a guest post from Clint Barr, Raising the Barr Fitness. As a personal coach with additional training in health and wellness coaching supporting your physical well-being as part of your total well-being is important to me. I found exercises I love and hope you do too. We know that exercise is great for reducing stress and clearing your mind. Those both position you to get more out of your life, including your work.

You know you need to exercise, but you just can’t stand the idea of getting into a boring, grueling routine. If you’re really ready to get into shape, you can make it happen by taking a different approach to working out. The simple truth is you don’t need to slave away on a treadmill to enjoy results. Exercise is often what you make it. Be creative and you can even learn to love it!

So, how can you get the results you want without chaining yourself to a treadmill or doing 200 sit-ups a day?

The first thing you need to do is change your thinking about working out. Working out doesn’t have to be a dirty verb in your vocabulary. Consider this term to mean simply being active. A “workout” can technically involve any activity that gets you up and moving around. You can even “workout” and have fun, too. Really!

Here’s how!

Ask yourself these things:

  • What do you like doing? – Are there physical activities that you actually enjoy? Perhaps you love to play ball with your kids. Maybe swimming is a favorite pastime? It might be that you really enjoy taking brisk walks with your dog. Whatever it is, build your “workout” routine around that activity.
  • What are your goals? – Set very realistic, attainable goals to lead yourself down the path to weight loss and exercise success. Reaching even the smallest of goals can boost your esteem and encourage you to go even farther.
  • Do I have 30 minutes a few days a week? – Exercising effectively doesn’t call for setting aside hours a day, every day in a week to make real changes happen. All you really need is about 30 minutes, five days a week to put yourself on the right path. If you’re having fun playing ball, swimming or doing something else enjoyable, you will stick with the program.

A good “workout” doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration. The fact of the matter is there are many different activities that can help you get into shape and lose weight, too. Getting the best and most consistent results often calls for thinking out of the box and finding activities that you truly enjoy. Remember, you can even mix things up and still get results. You might, for example, play ball on a Monday, go swimming on Wednesday, take part in a kick boxing class at a local gym on Friday and so on.

If it’s time to change the way you think about exercise, explore the real possibilities. They are not as boring as you’ve been led to believe! Check with a Jackson personal trainer or the professionals at your local gym for some ideas and even classes that fit your need to get active while satisfying your appetite for fun.

Clint Barr is the owner of Raising The Barr Fitness, Ridgeland’s premier private and small group fitness training studio, and the best-selling author of 3 Steps To Your Best Body.  Contact him right now to receive a complimentary nutrition and fitness consultation (valued at $87).


How to be Better at Anything You Do

Vicky and I, grazed on lunches of huge salads while talking about the eternal questions of  “How do I get better at what I do?“ and “How do I know I’m doing the right things?” Vicky and I met in a Leadership program. She’s savvy, ambitious, smart an“what it takes  to be a successd willing to put in what it takes to be a success. She’s got it all going on and is together.  Yet, she is like so many people, trying to put together the puzzle pieces of her life to figure out what comes next.

She had applied for an exciting position. Based on the encouragement and the feedback she had, it seemed like the pieces were falling into place for her. Turns out she did not“trying to put the puzzle together” Ver2 make in into the pool of finalists. Bewildered. Frustrated. Smarting like someone yanked the chair out from underneath her.  “ I just can’t believe I didn’t get it. Something is coming, I can feel it. I’m restless.  But I am not sure what.”, said Vicky.

Reflex for Reflection

The natural response is  “Well how about spending some time reflecting on the situation?”  But taking time to reflect when you are too busy to get through your emails feels like an  “time to reflect feels like an extravagance you can’t afford Ver3  If you don’t that puzzle might just always remain unfinished and take up room.

So we say “If I spent more time thinking about my plans, actions, how did I end up here, why I made this mistake, how we got those amazing results so the team can do it again….(insert your favorite topic) the list could go on… We are all faced with the challenge of reflecting in a world where ‘unproductive’, non-doing time is not valued.

Time Matters

If you agree reflection is an important skill for growing and be better at what you do, (or to figure out what you would be better at doing) then you have to find time for it.  There is no“finding time does not mean changing your routine” way around it. But finding time doesn’t mean you need to change your routine.

Use your travel time. A 10-minute commute is terrific time for reflecting. Do that twice a day and you get 20 minutes.

Working out is a great time to reflect, especially if you need to reflect about something that pushes your buttons. Burn it off and work it out at once.

Be bold. Schedule a meeting with yourself for reflecting. A mere 30-minutes can go a long way.

Topics Make Productive Time

Reflecting for the sake of reflecting is nice, but not likely to help you put the pieces in place. It’s better to have one or two questions, so you can look deeply and see if you are 1 or 2 questions make time well spentdoing the right thing.  Questions like: “I am still heading the right direction?” “What helped me get here?” “Where I am lying to myself?” and  “How can this be easier?”

Your questions may be different, and the answers you seek may not always be what you like to find but the time is well spent.

Reflection As Reflex

The more you reflect, the easier it is and it becomes a reflex one that without youYou'llbe better at everything you do Ver 2 can’t be better at what you do.  As you use the skill you’ll more quickly spot good routes, challenges and alternatives to take, before someone pulls the chair out from under you.

To help you build this skill, I invite you to take a couple of minutes to identify three topics where more reflection would benefit you, and share these with me in the comments below.

As for Vicky, she  is taking time during her commute to look at the puzzle pieces more closely.

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Deirdre Danahar helps busy, creative, professionals do their best work without sacrificing their quality of life.  She is the owner of InMotion Consulting & Coaching, LLC, based in Jackson, MS. Reach her at or 601-362-8288.

THE Task of Leadership, Outgrowing Problems

“The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble…. They can never be solved, but only outgrown…. This ‘outgrowing’, as I formerly called it, on further experience was seen to consist in a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through this widening of view, the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out when confronted with a new and stronger life-tendency.” (Carl Jung, 1931)

Over the past three years I have been working with several groups of professionals in several States to infuse some core Coaching skills and approaches to their work facilitating change and being leaders in their organizations. One of the areas we explore is Appreciative Inquiry. David Cooperrider and his colleagues in the Department of Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, developed Appreciative Inquiry as a transformational change process for organizations and groups.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) does not focus on weaknesses and problems to fix. Instead clients are encouraged to acknowledge strengths and imagine possibilities in order to rise above and outgrow their problems.

AI does not hide from the negative but instead asks:

  • What is working?
  • What is missing?
  • What do you want more of?
  • What are you most proud of regarding your work?
  • What is your image of what topic at hand ought to be that is creating the gap between present and what is wanted?
  • What do you know to be true when your work is at its finest and most effective level?

I love the idea of transcending and out growing problems, by working through strengths. To strategically consider what strengths are already in place within both the organization, (business or whole system), and how to best leverage them to make things even better.

Here is some of what I have seen happen by infusing this deliberate attention on what is working:

  • Staff are better able to apply their existing skills and more quickly incorporate new information in a rapidly changing environment.
  • The quality of interactions with colleagues and employees, especially ones my clients supervise, are improved and result in more effective actions.
  • The degree of accountability and follow through by all stakeholders has increased.
  • More quickly able to target areas of concerns and think through them in order to solve them before they become problems.

To be part of helping others develop their ability to effectively lead others by helping to improve the quality of everyone’s thinking is absolutely inspiring. Because I can see Peter Drucker’s statement “…the task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make a system’s weaknesses irrelevant” come to life.

All rights reserved@2013

Deirdre Danahar works with busy, creative, professionals who are looking to shift from what feels chaotic, disjointed or frustrating to a calm productive, spirited life.  People she works with come away knowing how to do their best work without sacrificing their quality of life. She is the owner of InMotion Consulting & Coaching, LLC, based in Jackson, MS. Reach her at or 601-362-8288.