SMALL STEPS MATTER IN LONG JOURNEYS
I love my fitbit and I am becoming quite a sales person for the concept. What I love about it is that every day I can see an accurate account of a whole lot of small steps I have taken. On their own, each small step means very little to me. But when they are all added up at the end of the day they mean a lot to me. The record of those small steps let me know if I am on track to reaching my large goals of increasing my fitness and physical well being.
SMALL STEPS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Life is a long journey. When I was young I didn’t have any real concept about maintaining my fitness because overall my body ticked along fine as it was. But as I’ve aged I’ve grown to realise that all the tiny things I did to help or hinder my well-being in the younger years have added up to a substantial influence upon my health decades later. It is the small steps I did take that have created large strengths in later years. And it is the small steps I didn’t take that have meant aggravating weaknesses in later years.
WE ALL HAVE TIME – PLAN YOURS WELL
To take a lot of little steps over a long time requires some degree of planning. When our parents taught us to brush our teeth – they were helping us to learn to plan for our future. A little cleaning each day meant less visits to the dentist years down the track. So what are the things in your life right now that could use a little planning so that you don’t turn up to your 80’s regretting you hadn’t thought through the small steps to well being when you were younger?
WHAT ARE YOUR SMALL STEPS GOING TO BE?
I’d love to hear your feedback on this – what are the small steps you plan on doing today that will make a big difference for your life in the years ahead?
HEALTH RISKS OF EDC’s
The NZ Herald recently ran an article on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). New research is highlighting the detrimental effect of these common chemicals found in everyday objects in most people’s homes. Apparently EDC’s mimic our natural hormones and block them from working properly, thus disrupting the natural human body health system.
If a product is made from plastics in any form, it probably contains EDC’s. But many other products we don’t think of as containing plastics also contain EDC’s.
WHAT TO AVOID
Here are some ideas for lowering your intake of EDC’s:
- Store food in glass containers instead of plastic. One of the almost unavoidable ways we consume EDC’s is through the plastic packaging meat products come in. Avoid wrapping kids lunches in plastic (paper bags or waxed fabric are good alternatives) and find them a light stainless steel lunchbox instead of plastic.
- Avoid canned food, the lining of the tins usually contains EDC’s. Choose fresh, dried or frozen foods. Eat organic as far as possible and get rid of non-stick pans, the coating contains EDC’s.
- Filter your tap water, unfiltered water almost always contains EDC’s, including residue from the use of birth hormone pills. On the subject of water – wash your hands before touching food – handling products containing EDC’s leaves a residue on your hands. And use soap products for washing yourself and your dishes and clothes that state they are free of contaminants.
- Dust and vacuum often. It’s not just to impress your visitors – vacuuming removes EDC’s that have accumulated on the floor through daily use of products. Speaking of floors – try to avoid non-100% wool carpets, as these also contain EDC’s. And make sure any particle board flooring is well sealed as it lets off toxic fumes into your home.
- Avoid fragrances, including those in household cleaning products, and opt for natural skin and hair care products and makeup. Lipstick is a EDC offender that many woman consume daily.
- Tempting as it is – don’t spray your new couch with Scotch guard, it will leach toxins into your air. On the same note, avoid flame retardant clothing and goods. And put up with flies in your house rather than have it sprayed with insecticide.
- Finally – protect your kids by eliminating plastic from their worlds. Teethers may make life quieter but you are letting your child suck on EDC’s. There are good non-plastic options out there for baby products and toys. Avoid painted wooden toys as well as the paint can often contain lead.
I hope this doesn’t scare you but rather inspires you to make some choices in the future that will better protect your health. Here’s to living life well!
COACHING IN THE WORKPLACE
By Jenny Sharkey
If you are a team leader in the workplace, inevitably you will be coaching the other team members in some form or other. Important things to remember when coaching people at work:
¨ Have a plan: a clear action plan gets everyone on the same page and means the team aligns and calibrates their efforts, while allowing you to easily adjust their behaviours to meet the end goal.
¨ Make the most of “teachable moments” – those moments when something has happened with the one you are coaching that make them open to what you are trying to get across to them.
¨ Practice. People will become good at what they do repeatedly. Practicing the behaviours needed to reach the goals decided upon helps the whole team to be effective.
¨ Align people in roles that match their aptitudes. Motivation increases when you make sure goals are achievable for people
¨ Keep learning. Even though you are the coach and supposedly the expert, make sure you keep learning yourself. Learners learn best from other learners. Keep humble.
¨ Praise achievements and celebrate milestones. Let the ones you are coaching know they are valued and appreciated. Everyone performs better in a positive environment. Fun is a huge motivator.
I got married at 21 years of age and by 23 I had my first baby on the way. Life was busy. I had already squeezed in a lot – a degree, travel, work with disadvantaged youth. But once the first child was born I realized I didn’t even comprehend what busy could really look like. Add to that renovating every house we lived in, running youth groups and Bible Schools, and trying to earn enough money just to survive each week, and then a couple more kids to boot, life was full on.
It wasn’t until my youngest baby reached high school that I even started to think about my own life needs and wants. I realize that I am one of the fortunate ones. I have been able to pick and chose a little what I do to earn money. I’ve had the privilege of adding further education into my mix and having a husband who has been willing to support my journey. So many of us reach middle age and have to remember who we really are.
Reaching deep into our souls we try and rediscover the things that ignited us in the earlier days. And we must do this. Life works better on every level when we are following the path of our own choosing, rather than letting the days rush by without consideration of our innate passions and desires.
In my process I found these questions helpful to ask myself as I tried to find my purpose:
- What matters most to me?
- Who matters most to me?
- What do I like to do for fun?
- What concerns me? Why?
- What is my greatest accomplishment so far?
- Am I a night owl or an early bird?
- How do I show others I care about them?
- Am I an introvert of extrovert?
- What is my happiest memory?
- What do I do to treat myself?
Here’s to a bright future full of activities that you love!
The Five Temperaments: Which One Are You?
New Zealand has produced a world-leading longitudinal study following 1000 people from birth to adulthood over a 40 year period. This study is changing the world as it reforms the way we think about human development – and the things that cause us to become the people we become.
Without question the study is revealing that humans are influenced by both “nature and nurture”. Our genetic composition influences what we CAN become, and our family environment in the first five to ten years will determine how these genes WILL play out into our future – for good and for harm.
One thing they observed is that children can be grouped into five temperaments that tend to stay consistent through the lifetime (but are changeable). They are:
- Well adjusted: can handle novel situations, self-confident, adaptable, social, resourceful, self-controlled
- Reserved: introverted, timid, socially uncomfortable, can overcome to achieve goals
- Inhibited: socially reticent, easily upset, shy, anxious, neurotic, don’t like novelty, highly strung, depressed
- Under-controlled: sensation seekers, aggressive, irritable, highly strung, don’t like change or novelty, socially ill adjusted, negative
- Confident: presence carrying, go-getters, explorers, friendly, impulsive, independent
These traits determine how we get what we need and want and how we treat and consider those around us in the process.
The most influential skill/trait a three year old exhibited in terms of predicting a successful happy future was: SELF CONTROL. Kids can be taught this from a young age and it will make a world of difference to their adult experience.
So parents: teach your children the art of self-control by:
- Teaching them to distract themselves from focusing on what they want until they can actually have it.
- Helping them to understand the long term consequences of their behaviours.
- Highlighting to them how their behaviours impact upon others.
by Jenny Sharkey 2016
I’ve been using “myfitnesspal” recently to track my diet. I’ve been astonished at what I’m falling short in nutrition wise. I thought I ate really well. I avoid all white sugar and white flour. I eat green vegetables and fruit every day. And I don’t eat big meals. But I discovered that I was still inadequate in terms of my mineral and vitamin intake as well as protein.
Check your vitamin and mineral intake
The biggest realization I had was how low my calcium intake is. For a woman of my age low calcium is not a good thing! I don’t want to end up with osteoporosis like my grandmother did. I’d been getting muscle cramps and tingling, a common indicator of calcium deprivation, along with memory loss. I’d also found it impossible to lose stomach fat so I was interested to note that calcium is involved in the process of helping your body eliminate fat! As a consequence, I am now taking calcium and vitamin D supplements (vit D works with calcium).
Myfitnesspal has over 4.2 million users giving it an incredible database for research. Recently they tracked their users to see what the ones who lost the most weight are eating. It’s pretty simple. They ate more raw fruit and vegetables, more yoghurt and raw nuts, more cereals, and more olive oil. Also, they ate less meat. I’m trying to do the same, especially adding in a small handful of nuts each day (this helps out with giving me almost my daily recommended dose of magnesium and selenium – minerals most of us are low in).
It’s well worth taking a week to track what you are eating – it can change your life!