Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
by Jennifer J.
If you have been thinking of something fun to do on the weekends why not get out and start riding your bike. In just three weeks from now you could be joining the masses and participating in a good cause. On May 16th Westwood Cycles will be running an incredible event in the tri-cities area called WHEEL TO HEAL. It is a charity ride to benefit Eagle Ridge Hospital.
Not sure how far you could ride- no problem! This event offers something for everyone; there is an 80 k ride a 40 k ride and a 10k loop. This is the second year for this event and during the inaugural ride of Wheel to Heal over 50.000 dollars was raised for this fantastic cause. This year they are hoping to beat that amount.
The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green
Bike riding is something that is not only great for the environment but also it is a great activity for to do with family and friends. It allows us to see so many amazing things in our city that we sometimes miss when we spend all our time in cars or on transit. Biking rates up there on the exercise scale as you can burn up to 1000 calories an hour if you are working hard. Riding a bike is a proven stress releaser. Regardless of if you are riding purely for pleasure or for a specific purpose, you will arrive at your destination feeling relaxed, energized and happier about the world and yourself. Plus, being out on your bike is just downright fun.
Innovative Fitness will have a large group participating in this fundraising event. The staff at Innovative Fitness has been working with two motivated individuals Brian and Marianne as they train towards the 80k ride on May 16th. The local paper has been tracking their progress with weekly write-ups. Why not join us and get out for an incredible ride for a great cause. Check it out www.wheeltoheal.caWhen man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle. ~Elizabeth West, Hovel in the Hills
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Have you ever wondered why you aren't yet where you want to be career, family, or otherwise?
Conversely, have you ever looked back after a goal you set scared you and thought "well that wasn't so bad"?
Other than mental fortitude and work ethic, 2 key components of achievement that we'll discuss today are 1) how you set goals in the first place and 2) the skill and discipline of accountability and adjustments along the way.
1) Setting The Goal(s) Bullet Points
A) Chicken Before the Egg: Triathletes don't start swimming and reach a certain point before they say "I'm ready for Ironman". They get up at 4am and wait in line to register a YEAR in advance, pay for it, and when their butt is now on the line (especially because they had to plan on it seriously enough to commute to Penticton which means they've probably shared their goal) - they now must do something about it for fear of open public and personal failure.
B) Astronauts don't do your taxes: That is, you can't be all things to all people. Astronauts go into space, accountants do your taxes, chefs cook your dinner, and you do what you do best. It is one thing to have many skills, and even many formal roles, but if you are the jack of all trades, you are the master of none which means you aren't getting great at anything and you're not maximizing your natural talents. Start planning on getting great at one thing. Once you have Perfected the medium rare New York Striploin, you can cook while entertaining. Once you've done that, you can cook while entertaining and closing a business deal at the same time. The point is, trying to emulate someone like Richard Branson who has a multi-faceted business and personal life is not how you get there. Get there by being successful enough at one thing that you open up opportunities in parallel and even unrelated possibilities. That's how he and everyone else like him did it.
C) Rome wasn't built in a day: A deadline is crucial because it places a fire under our rears... however it should be a fire not massive amounts of C4. The accountability has to be realistic in that the goal must be achievable with hard work and smart planning. If even the most skilled of us with the best plan has no hopes of finishing in the time allotted or with the resources allocated, it's like we're asking Caeser to build the Colosseum out of popsicle sticks and to do so in 24 hours.
D) Vegetarians don't eat meat: Make sure the goal you are setting is your own. If your spouse, parents, teachers, or employer set firm expectations on you, but in your (properly informed) heart of hearts you know it's against who you are or what you want - work with them to come up with a mutually beneficial alternate, or have a solid plan B where you can do what you love that makes you happy and helps others.
E) You can't measure what you can't see: If there's no timeline, set of metrics, or a tangible method of assessing progress and whether or not you have achieved or are achieving your goal; it's not specific enough.
2) Reviewing and (if necessary) adjusting the plan.
You may have lots of experience in the goal setting process (and may have even better systems and methods than laid out above); yet if you don't come back to the plan often enough and at the right times - it's still easy to miss your mark.
You may have the right goal and the right plan, but circumstances, the economy, your own reality, and many other things can change, especially in the pursuit of long term goals.
The triathlete may break their leg 4 months before Ironman and have to change their plan.
The economy may tank in say, oh - late 2008 - and force business leaders to review their financial, growth, employment, and many other strategies.
The point is, in long term plans, you should have strategies broken into years, quarters, and months that flow logically and are well aligned. You should review at least quarterly for bigger ticket items, and weekly if not daily for shorter term goals.
It's all about engagement: be engaged in your own life and keep engaged in the process of making what you want your life to be a reality.
It doesn't happen over night, but it should occupy some of your time, energy, talent, and resources every night.
In retrospect, you may have already followed this in the past which is why some big undertakings felt easy; and times you didn't follow the system led to harder work than it needed to be or just plain failure.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Letting go of fear..... by Jennifer J.
This was one thing I had to learn to do this past weekend. On Saturday morning a large group of us participated in an adventure race called SUBURBAN RUSH. We smiled through the torrential downpour of rain as we set out on our 30+ K journey running up a side of a mountain carrying our camel packs full of water and mandatory gear including a whistle and an emergency blanket. We then rode further up the mountain before we came racing down on our bikes weaving our way through a muddy single track and bumpy switchbacks. Then there was a mystery challenge of naming different countries flags before we hopped back on our bikes for more of the challenging mountain biking. Being a novice mountain biker there were many points within the course that I felt like saying "there is no way I can do this" and wanted to give up. However that not being an option I found that the only way to make it through was to dig deep and tell myself I could do it and let go of my fears. The more I let down my guard the better I rode which in turn made my confidence increase. The race was challenging, exhilarating and took me well outside my comfort zone.
We ended the race with scaling over a wall through a tire run then crawling on our bellies in a bunch of mud. The feeling as my partner and I crossed the finish line was incredible and made me take a long hard look at what other things I am willing to try if I just let go of fear.
The possibilities of what we can accomplish are endless if we are just willing to put ourselves out there and try new things. Some of us may not try new things because we are afraid of failing or because we may not be the best at them, but the only way to know or to gain an experience is to set your goal, design a plan, execute your plan and go for it.
What would you try if you had no fear?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
So, I have some suggestions:
- Tax fast and processed food. A lot. If I'm going to eat a Big Mac, take some extra money from me.
- But then, use that money to off-set the cost of fresh meat and produce, so that it's not cheaper to go to Burger King than it is to cook up a healthy and fresh meal at home.
- Gym memberships, sports-team registrations, athletic competitions - these should be tax-free. Or, at the very least, they should be tax-deductible. Sure, someone may not actually use the memberships, but do the losses on tax actually outweigh the potential gains by removing the obstacles that prevent people from exercising?
"Act Now" indeed.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Remember that losing weight requires a change in thought and behavior, so set goals for your emotions and weight.
Don't just set vague goals like, "I want to lose some weight." Be specific: How much weight do you want to lose? How do you want to feel? Close your eyes and visualize yourself after you've reached those goals. Use this visualization to feel commitment and inner strength.
2. Get a plan.
Work out a detailed strategy because willpower doesn't work! To lose weight and keep it off, you must have a strategy.
Plan ahead: Get rid of your expandable clothes, stay away from fast food, and keep healthy food in your pantry.
3. Identify small, measurable steps.
Implement steps that will fit your lifestyle, not somebody else's.
Be sure to move toward a positive goal, not just away from being fat. Every step you take will bring you closer to being who you want to be.
4. Create a healthy, realistic timeline.
Where will you be in a month? Six months? A year? Fit your goals to your calendar, and stick to it.
Don't expect to see huge results overnight; take the time to change your lifestyle, and you'll change your weight.
5. Create meaningful monitoring and accountability.
If you know you have to report your progress to someone, you'll be more likely to stick with your plan.
"Go public" with somebody you trust. Find support when you need it, and celebrate your victories!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I love that quote and find it very true very often. What amazes me is that google search will turn up 26 million plus for 'parenting books' and 61 million for 'leadership books'. I'm not talking about the disparity and that there should be more research on parenting than on leadership (though perhaps there should).
What amazes me is that with 87 million hits on books geared towards leading others, we take for granted what we can teach others. I see it all the time... the parent is forced to work at 14; has to work there way through high school and University (including jobs they hate that team them the value of a dollar and planning for your future so you have a choice as to where you work); they get an education and put in their time. They work from the ground floor up, putting in unclocked overtime and doing whatever they can/ should to get ahead. They finally achieve the house/ the car/ the salary/ the marriage/ the kids...
and then they buy their kid a Mercedes at 16, don't force them to work, replace the car when the kid isn't responsible enough to care for it; ship them away to University (if they somehow have the grades) and then get them a 50K job to start with the family business...
...and then they wonder "with all the advantages you have, why are you so spoiled?"
or "why don't you care about the family business the way I do; you have had everything given to you" or other comments that denote the lack of appreciation, or acquisition of skills or values along the way.
Does anybody else see a disconnect here?
I am not saying don't try to give your kids advantages you never had. Every good parent wants to give their kids the best life possible. The disconnect arises in that the best lessons you've learned; the ones that have shaped your values and principals... shouldn't we see to it that our kids have similar experiences (or even better ones) that lead to the formation of their own values?
If experience is truly the best teacher, than coddling kids and protecting them at every turn, or replacing your time or your love with your money, simply won't cut it.
Give your kids the best you have to offer; patience, life experience, and an ear and advice after the fact when they go through the tough spells they inevitably will and should go through.
if experience truly is the best teacher - pass it on (the experiences not just your words).
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Good day on the court by Cory M
It’s great to see the sun coming out again around Vancouver. This past weekend it was great to hear how so many people were able to take advantage of the clear skies and get outside to be active. Personally I love getting out and getting lost in a long run or jumping on the bike for a couple of hours, but I know that not everyone will immediately share my same passion. Some people have come out and simply stated that they hate running, and get bored too easy while doing it. An alternative motivator could be a team sport such as touch football, or hockey, or basketball.
Getting involved in a rec sports team is an excellent destination for a lot of people. A lot of time it provides the competitive motivation that some need. It provides their purpose to be faster in the game or to have more endurance in the last few minutes of play, which then segues nicely into promoting their cardio training. Team sports provides an awesome social network that some people consider very important, and not letting the team down is another reason to stay in shape for the games. A typical 90 minutes of basketball for an adult male weighing 175-190 pounds can burn anywhere from 800 to 1500 calories, and all without realising how hard you’ve been working. Two games a week plus workouts and a day of cardio... that sounds like a pretty stellar training program to me.
This weekend Innovative Fitness did it’s part by putting together a pick-up basketball game in Kitsilano. 13 people, coaches and customers alike showed up to Vancouver College Sunday morning and strutted their stuff on the court. We split up and played some 5 on 5 full court and rotated teams every 11 points. Kevin and Gary were trying to nail the outside game all day, while Raj and Jeevan were showing off their impressive lane driving skills. JD had several opportunities to show he could still dunk which he unfortunately wasn’t able to confirm, and me.... well I took pride in stuffing a 67 year old man. A real low moment for McDonalds everywhere I know.
But the hour and a half that we were out on the court we were all laughing, joking around and I burned over 1300 calories!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Just a few short weeks from now, the HST is scheduled to "go into action"... and I resent it. Not, though, for the reasons many people would think.
You see, it's not the tax that chafes me - truth is, I figure we're going to pay more tax sooner or later, in one way or another. Nor is this an "anti-Liberal" or "pro-NDP" position piece - I'm not interested is writing something that inflames the reader because of their political loyalties or leanings.
Nope. I'm just pissed off about how it's being brought in.
See, the government is supposed to represent it's people, speaking on their behalf because direct representation on all policies is impossible. Therefore, we elect individuals to represent us after finding someone that most reflects our beliefs and ideals, fiscally and socially. The problem is, when the individuals are voted into office based on misdirection and hidden agendas... well, then it invalidates the whole process. And this, quite frankly, makes me furious.
Firstly, let me be clear: I am 100% sure, despite what they say, that the Liberals not only knew they were going to bring in the HST but that they already had the plan in the works... and I'm pretty sure that they didn't let the voting public know about this because that would have seriously impacted their chance at winning. Why do I say this? Because when they were questioned about it point blank before the election, they answered "...a harmonized GST is not something that is contemplated in the BC Liberal platform..." - which, if you read it carefully, suggests that they wouldn't bring in an HST, but never actually says so. So now, when people angrily claim "You said you wouldn't bring in a harmonized sales tax!!" they can respond "No, we never said that...". Which is true. Smoke and mirrors, twisting words, political double-speak, and completely lacking in moral integrity - but true.
To make matters worse, I'm seeing an incredible swelling of anti-HST sentiment, and it's growing exponentially - which makes the situation even worse. Because clearly, the people who voted this governement into office are unhappy with this tax... and, as their representatives, this same government should at least be putting this question to a referendum before implementing it. Instead, they fall back on the plausible deniability of their statements and, with an exceeding arrogance, push through a policy that has polarized a province-wide movement of discontent. If the Liberals are so sure of themselves, what are they afraid of? Why not hold the referendum? Oh, right - because it costs too much. And they know better than we do. And - most importantly - because I'm pretty sure they fear that they'd lose.
I hope the recall goes through, and then I hope they listen.
Because in this day and age of policital apathy, the only thing that could lower our voter turnout even more is for a government to show that, in the end, our voices really don't matter.
So hold this government accountable - force them to do this properly. You know what? I may, in the end, vote "Yes" in a well publicized and properly educated process... or I may vote against it only to see it come into effect anyway because the "Yes" side wins.
Either way - I just want the chance to make the choice. For right or wrong, it's time for us to take the power back into our hands and remind the politicians that they work for us... not the other way around.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
It's hump day.
Have you steered out of the rat race yet this week?
Today I am sending out an invitation; an invitation to defy the backwards logic that often dictates our actions and experiences.
The average person in Canada will live for 80.7 years according to CBC News (Feb 2010 stats). If the average Canadian goes on 1 holiday a year, and we (according to many sources) begin our earliest memories from 3-4 years old; we have potentially 76 holidays to maximize in our lifetime; many of which the destination, itinerary, and hotels are decided for us (at least until we're 18; and then, for many of us; again when we get married!)
The point is, many of us work through our days to save up enough money to 'feel alive' for a week at a time and then feel worse when we return to work.
Who is going to experience something for the first time today? I had less than an hour to work out this morning, but was still able to discover some mountain bike trails that I had never ridden (and I have lived in Calgary for most of my 33 years).
It doesn't take much... below are some tips you can incorporate every day to shake up the routine and open yourself and your mind to new people, new places, new experiences, and new perspectives...
1. Take a different way home
2. Bike to/ from work instead of driving
3. Go to a museum
4. Visit your city's tourism website; make a list of the activities listed that you've never tried but would like to, and plan 1 a week for the next several weeks (be sure to grab a few ideas appropriate for each season so we don't return to hibernation mode next winter)
5. Go to a different restaurant or coffee shop than you are used to; somewhere local, off the beaten path, that isn't a huge chain or advertised on tv.
6. If you have children, pack up the kids to Grandma's or their aunts house; and stay at a local hotel, including spa treatments, a massage, and a romantic dinner out just the two of you
7. Call that friend you keep meaning to but never get around to and plan some time together
8. Go on a small shopping spree. Decide on an amount you are comfortable spending, but that you don't normally allow yourself... go nuts and spend time making yourself happy.
9. make a list of all sorts of fun, free activities, that you can do as a family or with friends. Make a day of spending time with great people, getting fresh air, expending energy, and saving money.
10. Help others. Whether it's at a drop-in shelter, donating your time, energy, money, talents, or even your ear... do something to give to others and see how much you get in return.
... or you could let 4,208 Wednesdays come and go as you prepare for (maybe) 62 trips you call the shots on. Go on vacation, but remember to be alive the other 51 weeks of the year, and the 28,890 days you are not on vacation.
Play your odds and learn to love life while you are at home everybody. Go on a staycation soon!
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Regardless, I went over to her house that day and we had the usual overly-dramatic conversation that accompanies the break-up of a relatively short relationship... no yelling, mind you, just the morose (and at times pathetic) back-and-forth when one person doesn't want to end it, and the other person doesn't have the nerve to just cut it off. I had to leave for a few hours at that point - I was working that night, in a mock-casino for charity in the character of Louie (a 1920's gangster, right down to the spats and fedora).
Now, none of the customers there would have cared less about my problems - so, of course, I put on the smile and forced myself to be funny, and charming, and above all else - entertaining. And while I drove home that night, I realized that pretending to be in a good mood had an unexpected effect... I actually was in a good mood. In that moment, I hit on a truth, something that has stuck with me ever since and which was summed up by a line from the 1999 movie "The Iron Giant": You are who you choose to be...
Life doesn't dictate to you - you dictate to life. The moment you start feeling like a victim, the moment you start allowing everything around you to direct how you feel/act/believe - that's the moment you begin to lose out on who you are.
You are who you choose to be.
Oh - and on a side note, I went back to the girl's house and we had a very, very ugly and break-up, full of groveling (mine) and loss of dignity (still mine)... so while, yes, I had a huge epiphany that day, it took a little time for the lesson to sink in. Don't beat yourself up too badly if you aren't able to make the change right away - but never stop trying.