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Find Your Archetype, Reach Your Goal

Written on February 15, 2013 at 3:11 am , by

Picking a gym buddy is not an act of randomness. Chances are, your archetypes are drawn to each other! (Photo courtesy James Michelfelder and Therese Sommerseth)

Want to know what makes you tick? Just find your archetype and the rest will follow. It may sound like the name of a fancy artifact (or something out of Legends of the Hidden Temple–remember that TV gem?) but really, an archetype is your personality and behavior type. That’s what Caroline Myss describes in her new book, Archetypes: Who Are You? by establishing what kind of person you are–for example a Visionary, Caregiver, or my personal favorite, Queen. Myss will help you recognize your hidden strengths, potential weaknesses and help you get an all around understanding of you.

And for those of us who are sick of perusing the Internet to read a bunch of stuff that frankly, just doesn’t interest us, visit archetypeme.com to take a personality quiz and set up a profile on the site that will deliver content you actually care about. I took a stab at the quiz and discovered I am made up of 30 percent Athlete, 28 percent Fashionista, 23 percent Caregiver and 19 percent Other (I’m going to assume by “Other” they mean “Queen”). My page is full of health content, New York Fashion Week news and DIY at-home spa recipes–score! In addition to your site, which is updated daily, you can create a “Me” board, with anything you think is a representation of your archetype, or the archetype you strive to be. And for all of you resolution droppers, figuring out exactly how you tick might just be the thing that helps you pick up your healthy habits again for good.

Pick up Archetypes: Who Are You? for $15.61 on www.amazon.com (or download it to your Amazon Kindle for $11.99!). To take a personality quiz and start getting personalized content toward your archetype, visit www.archetypeme.com.

Now Tell Us: What kind of archetype do you consider yourself?

#140Wednesdays: What Is Your Proudest Fitness Milestone?

Written on June 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm , by

Some goals are easier to reach with some friendly help! (Photo courtesy Amy Postle)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Goals. Everyone’s got one (or three!) and no two are ever the same. Maybe you’ve always wanted to finish a half-marathon or maybe you’re looking to nail fifty push-ups at the gym–and if you happen to catch the eye of your Monday night gym crush, even better! Whatever yours is, there’s nothing like that feeling you get once you’ve reached it. It’s proof of all the hard work you’ve put in, so brag about it a little! This week we checked in with our Twitter followers to see what fitness milestone they’re most proud of. Check out some of their impressive achievements to get a little inspiration for your next goal.

@laura267n: Running a half-marathon, twice!

@theamotinada: Losing 50 pounds by simply introducing myself to a healthy, active lifestyle!

@mntnbnd: I have two moments that are my proudest: Doing 22 pull-ups in the gym (today!) and my first place female finish in a 5K.

@RxBethOntheRun: Finishing the NYC Half-Marathon in March, my first half!

@TreeStand_Wife: I ran and completed my first 5K a couple weeks ago.

@MsRuncredible: Running my first marathon, the Cincinnati @RunFlyingPig in 4:10:25.

@stretchjean: Running a 5K in under 30 minutes.

@mixtapemusings: I ran a half-marathon last year. I won’t take the tag off my shoes as it is a constant motivator.

Now you tell us: What’s your proudest fitness milestone?

More from FITNESS: 9 Steps to Reach Any Goal

#140Wednesdays: This Week I’m Going to Work On…

Written on February 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm , by

The first step to any goal is to lace up and get moving. (Photo courtesy of Alexa Miller)

Setting goals is one of the keys to living a fit and healthy life. Whether you are a big picture goal setter or prefer little milestones along the way, having something to focus on can keep your priorities straight and help you stick to your weekly workout schedule. This week we want to know what you’re working on! Read below to see what our Twitter followers have on their to do list, you might even find a new goal to add to your own.

@LAcutieonduty: This week I’m going to work on my abs. (FIT TIP: Working on the same body part? Try these exercises to sculpt your core.)

@misschoclatrain: This week I’m going to work on my 5K training! (FIT TIP: This training plan will help get you started!)

@kristy_joy: This week I’m going to work on my miles. I’m trying to rack them up!

@Leslie_Wallace: This week I’m going to work on relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep. I think it will help with my morning workouts.

@HungryRunner: This week I’m going to work on running faster by running smarter! (Better technique, longer strides)

@ONeener: This week I’m going to work on PORTION CONTROL.

Read more

3 QuickieChick Tricks for Resolution Rehab

Written on January 11, 2012 at 11:09 am , by

QuickieChick will be offering even more bites of advice in her new book.(Photo courtesy of Laurel House)

So you ate a cookie for dessert last night after swearing off sweets. Or you bought a latte on the way to work this morning after vowing to save cash my making your own java. It’s OK! Dust off the disappointment and think of now as a fresh start. It’s never to early (or too late) to make a healthy choice.

Laurel House, aka QuickieChick, says we should refresh our new year’s plans and set wellness “intentions,” which feel less daunting and offer a little more leniency, rather than “resolutions,” which she claims are often too rigid to last. Here are three tips from House, who has a book coming out this May that offers advice to “fast-paced chicks” to stay positive and motivated.

  1. Create an intention board. “Make a collage of images and words cut from magazines that illustrate the energy behind your intentions for the year,” House says. Then, each morning, spend five minutes looking over your board and remembering why the values included are important to you. This will keep you focused on your end goal.
  2. Invest in your health. “Deposit a dollar into your ‘Fit Bank’ every time you really don’t want to work out, but do anyway, or every time you so badly want a brownie but make a cup of tea instead,” House recommends. When it begins to add up, splurge on something that will remind you of how hard you’ve worked each time you see, use or wear them (a new pair of heels, a cute manicure or workout DVD you’ve been wanting to try).
  3. Box away bad feelings. Having a downer kind of day? Sneak away to an empty office or find a chair in your home and take a seat. Quickly and forcefully punch the air in front of you. “Imagine that you are literally punching out negativity and pulling in positivity,” House says. “Punch out negative words cluttering your head, like ‘sadness,’ ‘anger,’ ‘resentment,’ or ‘deadlines.’ And while you’re pulling your arms back, fill your head with words that represent what you want more of in your life, like ‘balance,’ ‘passion,’ ‘success,’ or ‘kindness.’” This will get your blood pumping while getting your mindset focused on your blessing and goals, rather than your burdens. (See House demonstrate here.)

Now tell us: How long do your resolutions usually last? And what have you found helps you stick with them?

Motivation Makeovers: Mind Games You Must Stop Playing

Written on October 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm , by

Food temptation and mind games

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Motivation is like cold hard cash: You can never have too much! And when you’re trying to lose weight, it’s nice to have a wealth of motivational strategies. But, with so many motivational tips and tricks to sift through, why do we lose our motivation rather than reap the rewards? It could be because the mind game you’re playing with yourself won’t always work in the long run…

Mind Game:  Starting Out Super Strong
It’s Sunday evening and you realize that you spent the weekend indulging on brews, barbeques, and binges. A twinge of guilt has you psyched to start speeding down the road to wellness first thing Monday and you figure that going full throttle is the way to reach your weight-loss goals as quickly as possible. You’re excited for it! But pretty soon, your muscles are too sore to roll out of bed, you’re sick of salads, and you’re already thinking about throwing in the towel.

     Motivation Makeover: Maintaining motivation is like running a marathon. Instead of starting at full speed and running out of steam, it is better to focus on simply putting one foot in front of the other. Set small, achievable goals so that you can build momentum and feel successful in the beginning, and pat yourself on the back when you conquer each one.

Mind Game:  Being Inspired by “As Seen on TV”
There will always be a new diet or exercise program that promises fast progress and fantastic results. Reading about the latest food fad or watching a perky personal trainer push sweat-drenched clients through an infomercial workout can definitely spark your motivation. But trying every new fad that comes on the market may leave you broke and brokenhearted…

     Motivation Makeover: If you want a plan that works long term, stick with the tried and true. Keep your eating close to the earth with whole fruits, veggies, grains and lean meats. Get up and moving with whatever activity suits your style and schedule. Remind yourself that following through with real nutrition and fitness habits is a process: It takes the proper planning and commitment that can’t be found in a book, a box or a bottle.

Mind Game:  Flying Under the Radar
You’re already feeling self-conscious about losing weight, so you certainly don’t want your friends and family making more of a fuss. Besides, you’re confident that you can do this all on your own! Going it alone may seem like a good idea, but it is actually counterproductive. Soon enough, you’ll be feeling lonely and left out of social merriment.

     Motivation Makeover: Call in the recruits! Whether it’s a neighbor down the street, a fellow play group parent or a Facebook friend, get someone to join you on your weight-loss journey. Studies in behavior science show that changes that you make in the public eye have a much better chance of sticking in the real world.

Continued: Should you look at that scale?

More from SparkPeople:

25 Ways to Get Back on Track

Goals That Help vs. Goals That Hurt

Get a Free Fitness and Weight-Loss Plan

Reality Check: Resolution Check In

Written on July 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm , by

Are you on course with your fitness resolution?

Are you on course with your fitness resolution? (Photo courtesy of Ericka McConnell)

Somehow, we are already well into the beginning of July (sniff, sniff!). This means great beach weather, barbecues, and a scary fact – we’re  already at the halfway mark of the New Year’s resolutions we  made way back in January.

I always set a reminder on my phone at the beginning of the month to take a look and see if A.) I even remember what the heck my resolution was and B.) how close (or far) I am to reaching it.

This year, I decided to focus on my fitness safety. Though it might sound silly, when it comes to running in NYC I tend to have the mentality that with so many people living in the area, it’s safe to run whenever and wherever, right? Wrong. To play it safe, I’m taking a few tips from the New York Road Runners to run a little smarter:

  • Run with others, especially after dark.
  • Leave your headphones at home.
  • Never acknowledge verbal harassment.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel threatened, change course.
  • Avoid unpopulated areas.
  • Run against traffic.
  • Carry ID and a MetroCard or cab fare.

Checking off the list, I’m not doing too shabby.  I’ve picked up a buddy for night runs and only jog  in populated areas. Still on the to do list? Make sure I’ve got ID on me, a few bucks for a cab or water, plus a cell phone in case of emergencies.

Tell us: What’s your fitness resolution? How are you getting back on track to reach it?

Give Yourself a Reality Checkup

Written on May 19, 2011 at 9:15 am , by

check list of goals

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Perhaps the biggest reason that permanent weight loss is so difficult is that it is stressful—for your mind and your body. And when you’re stressed out, you just don’t function at your best, mentally, emotionally, or physically.

The best way to minimize the negative effects of these responses to your weight loss efforts is to minimize the degree to which your diet stresses you out.

5-Point Reality Checkup
The following reality checkup can help you determine whether your expectations and your attention-focusing habits are realistic, or if you need to work on them to stop unnecessary stress from hurting your weight loss efforts.

Decide whether you agree (True) or disagree (False) with each of the following five statements. At the end, you’ll find out if you’re guilty of the most common (but unrealistic) expectations associated with weight loss stress.

  1. True or False: Weight loss is all about the numbers. You lose weight when you eat fewer calories than you burn.
  2. True or False: Will power is the foundation of weight loss success. You have to force yourself to do the things you don’t like doing until you do like them or until you lose weight, whichever happens first.
  3. True or False: The best motivation for losing weight is being unhappy about your present weight and appearance.
  4. True or False: Being brutally honest with yourself about your problems, bad habits, and character flaws is the best way to overcome these problems.
  5. True or False: Your own body is your worst weight-loss enemy. To lose weight, you have to constantly fight cravings, urges, and desires that are biologically based.

Keep reading: Find out what’s true and what’s false…

More From Spark People:

6 Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid

Pave the Way for Persistence

The Proven Weight-Loss Program That Isn’t a Diet

What Your Bad Habits Say About You

Written on April 7, 2011 at 9:30 am , by

A note from FITNESS: We are proud to partner with SparkPeople to provide our readers with even more helpful content.


Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

How does your personality affect your ability to live a healthier lifestyle? Perhaps you have your diet under control, but exercise in fits and starts, unable to maintain consistency. Or perhaps you are exceedingly disciplined in working out regularly, but are too impatient to keep the food journal that would help you rein in your habitual overeating. Analyzing your personality—appreciating your strengths while honestly acknowledging and balancing your weaknesses—may give you the self-knowledge you need to get and stay fit.

You can’t really change your basic personality, nor do you need to. A particular personality trait is two-sided—useful in some situations, not so helpful in others. By analyzing how your innate traits affect your health and well-being, you can come up with strategies to channel your tendencies—so they’re always strengths, never weaknesses.

Here are some personality traits that might make a difference, and then check out Spark for tips to help you use them to meet your health and fitness goals:  

Are you an extrovert or an introvert? While it’s perfectly natural to lean one way or the other, it’s probably helpful to look for ways to balance your dominant tendency.

Are you a careful planner or an impulsive improviser? Both have their virtues. The planner faithfully counts calories and miles walked, while the improviser doesn’t stress out when an unexpected menu change at his favorite restaurant requires adaptability.

Are you intuitive or analytical? Both approaches can likely lead to success. Being honest about which way you lean will help you find the middle road that’s effective.

Keep Reading: Decipher how your different styles affect your habits…

More From Spark People:

5 Things You Can Learn from Your Mistakes

Try a New Healthy Habit Each Day!

The Web’s Best Free Weight-Loss Plan

What’s Your (Six-Word) Story?

Written on February 15, 2011 at 11:53 am , by

Photo by flickr user Goynang

Photo by flickr user Goynang

The New York Times Well blog yesterday reminded me about Six-Word Memoirs on the website Smith Magazine. The idea: sum up your life in just six words. It’s hard to do but a lot of fun. And if boiling down your entire existence into a super short sentence is too daunting, you can focus it around a topic, like these great examples from the readers/contributors of Smith Magazine:

Love: “E-harmony rejects found love on Facebook.”

Resolutions: “Knit, guitar, gym and be kind.”

Food: “Full of pie, full of happy.”

Tell us, what’s your Six-Word Memoir? It could be about fitness, food, love, anything! (Check out Smith Magazine and the NYT post for inspiration—and laughs.)

When I went to a Six-Word Memoirs book launch a couple of years ago and had to write a memoir on my name tag, I came up with: “So far, so good. More TK.” (TK means “to come” in journalist-speak, which would be seven words. So, technically, I was cheating.) I’m working on a better one. Hey, that was six words!

Image via.

Easy Motivation Trick to Reach Your Goal

Written on January 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm , by

Photo by Amy Postle

Photo by Amy Postle

Here’s a simple mind trick to help you reach your goal: shoot for round numbers. You’ll be more motivated and work harder when your performance is just shy of a round number, according to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science. Here’s what researchers found when looking at…

  • SAT scores: Students retake the test more often when their scores are just below, rather than just above, a round number.
  • Batting averages: Players change up their moves near the end of the season in order to finish just above, rather than just below, .300.
  • Hypothetical situations: People say they’ll run one more lap around a track when they’re close to 20.

It’s good to know that my habit of jogging around the block a few times at the end of a run just so I’ll have a nice round mile number to put into my training log is just human nature.

How about you? Do you go the extra mile—or lap, or minute—when you’re thisclose to a round number in your workout?

What’s your current fitness, health, nutrition or life goal?

More from FITNESS: 7 Goals You Can Meet This Year