How To Stay Motivated

The magic question…

Naturally, I was born a little more driven than the average bear. I was taught to work hard as a child and placed value in self achievement.

It takes the same energy to procrastinate that it does to put your head down and do the work. Did you know that?

It happens though, that naturally I’m not filled with an excessive amount of joy and drive for practicing good habits.

Let’s use an example of exercising because this is super common and happens to us all from time to time:

First, I check my schedule. Have I been super busy with work or personal obligations lately? Have I been running on exhaustion and wearing my body out? If yes- I take a day or two off.

Then, I check my nutrition. Have I been eating enough vitamins and minerals lately? There are a few meals I can 100% fall back on with all the micronutrients to make me feel full again.

Finally, I examine my sleep. Have I been getting enough?

If all of those things are doing fairly well and I cant pinpoint a reason for feeling this way, I get my feet moving before my brain talks me out of it!

When you’re feeling unmotivated,  dedicate a small chunk of time to said activity. I follow this rule with writing, exercising, cleaning, and other mundane tasks.

Forcing too much time and energy on an activity when you dont feel motivated to do it can ruin your relationship with the activity or hobby and take alonnnng time to get back to a healthy place.

Also, like everything else, I tie an intention to every activity.

When you’re truly in touch with your intuition, you’ll know when it’s time to call it a rest day. It’s most important to know when to push yourself out of your comfort zone (more often than not) and know when to be gentle with yourself. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum and have found the middle to be the hardest, yet the most rewarding. Getting to know yourself inside and out will help minimize fatigue, burn out, exhaustion, and all of the feelings in between.

Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review if you took value away from this episode. 🙂

How To Set A Daily Intention

If I had a dollar for every time I saw the headline “Set Your Intention,” but didn’t actually tell you how, I’d be rich enough to never work another day in my life…

I’ve dedicated an entire episode to it as this topic is a FAQ in my community!

If I had to guess, you probably stare at that blank box every morning and feel overwhelmed. You write phrases like “get to bed early” or “get the stuff done that needs to get done.” In reality, those things only *sometimes)* get done, so you write it the next day and the next day and then you get frustrated and maybe even give up.

I want to lay some ground work before we unpack intention setting:

A goal is what you plan to achieve. Examples are a college degree, a position at a job, opening your own business, having kids, a certain financial status, etc.

An intention is who you are and how you want to live your life. Examples are to be more calm in traffic, more patient at work, or a healthy eater. They’re more character traits, if you will.

An intention is how you want to be and how you would like the world to perceive you. A personal intention for me is to be a hard worker. I don’t have to tell people that’s who I am because it speaks for itself in the quality of my well-being and in my work.

A way that I check in with myself while setting intentions (usually quarterly works best every 3 months), is I envision the ideal version of myself 5 years from now (which is hard at times).

I imagine what traits someone would need to be able to do intention that goal requires, does that make sense? Begin with the personal achievement (the goal). Then, decide what kind of traits the person will need to achieve them (the intention)

In my One Ray Journals, the intention setting box can be used for intention. Or if you struggle with that right away, you can also use it for a to do list.

Examples of intention (some include goals tied to mindfulness):

To take a deep breath when last minute changes arise

Don’t judge don’t compare – contributed from a customer

Stick to my habit plan today

View my priorities and responsibilities of “I get to” instead of “I have to”

I will do one small thing outside of my comfort zone today.

Pay attention to a world beyond my phone.

Fill my plate rich in produce today.

Reach out to someone I’ve been thinking about lately

Put my best foot forward at work today

Let my life path naturally unfold

Meditate for 5 minutes on my lunch hour

Answer my top 4 emails today

Tie up the loose end of this project than relax with my family

Not get so angry in traffic today

Clean my home and declutter what I no longer need to create space

Go for a walk outside when I get home from work

Schedule a lunch date with a family member or friend

Who and where would I be if I didnt have this fear of self doubt or unworth?

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Healthy Habits From Home

I know you’re struggling finding the motivation to practice wellness during this season. So, I’m excited to share with you how possible it actually is to practice healthy habits from home!

Take a personality test (Enneagram) to figure out how best you learn, grow, and love to figure out who you are as a person. I’m a type 3: High Achiever.

Tip #1: Get mentally in the zone before you actually begin the workout. While its preferable, you don’t actually *need* the gym as much as you think you do to get something done. I use music and my clothes as external motivational tools to get me started.

“50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.” Not working out from home because you think you’ll half a$$ it? An excuse, I hate to break it to you.

Tip #2: Your home should be a calming environment, not a stressor. If you have kids and chaos at the house, find somewhere behind 4 walls, alone, to find your grounding.

Tip #3: Tweak the way you think about the food in your cabinets. Buy food at the grocery stores that’s natural and wholesome to help you stay focused. Eat food that helps you feel energized and full of life!

Also, pack your meal in a lunchbox when working from home. Resist the urge to wait until the last minute because you’ll be home. Keep yourself structured to walk over to the table to eat vs giving into the urge to work through lunch.

Tip #4: Organize your home, yo! A decluttered environment helps the brain to feel at peace with room to grow and formulate new ideas. There is power in cleaning and reorganizing the physical space you exist in.

Tip #5: Stop trying to calculate your “chance” of achieving your goals. Instead, spend the precious time doing the thing you’re avoiding because that’s the work you need to do to achieve it.

A Pep Talk To Worry Less

The coolest part about my job is I can write from anywhere. currently I’m sitting in one of my favorite cafes called Inca Tea, typing on my phone (which I normally hate) with a phone battery of 22%… Game on. 

The quality of my day depends on how strong my morning cup of coffee is. Right now I’m drinking a pour over with oat milk- hellllllo happiness! This past year I’ve made it a goal to not run myself rampant and take a little more time to sit back, doing what I enjoy. 

Time to do things I enjoy means cherishing a drive to drop off journals to a few life / health coaches who live in beautiful areas by me with hills and farms and gorgeous homes, as well as dropping them off when they sell out at a small bookstore called Fireside Book Shop in Chagrin Falls- which is like a charming fairytale storybook town. It means spending time chatting with people who tell me their life story while purchasing one of my journals. it means sitting in cute healthy cafes that make me feel inspired. it means staying awhile when I go home and chat with my parents. it means enjoying a good book without feeling rushed to do something productive. it also means creating things when it feels good and getting into the more technical sides when it feels good- a balance of both. 

What if you saw 10 years into the future that you, in fact, WERE strong enough to achieve every hope and dream you have for yourself? If you could see that everything you want is going to happen as a result of you doing the right work and meeting the right people? Would you relax a little into the confidence of your being? Would you spend more time doing things you enjoyed with the confidence that it’s all going to work out? 

Honestly right now, I want you to picture yourself reaching your goals in the next 10 years (or being the ideal version of yourself, your relationship, your home, your career). What would you do differently?

I encourage you to live as though it will happen. Make up your mind that the work you put in over the next few years is going to manifest into the version of you that is meant to work out. There’s no point in wondering if it will or not because chances are, when you try your best and show up and practice your art you WILL get better by default. I’m happy to reassure you that it’s going to be super hard and grueling at times, but those are only seasons. Those types of scenarios come and go and, in the end, things always work out. Small detours and challenges in your life have continued to push you further here. 

Why rush the process when, and this is my own personal belief, things happen at the right time and in the right way when they’re supposed to? Remember that the universe, God, spirit IS looking out for you. And if that’s hard to recognize, I suggest you start reading books that confirm that belief. I’m not trying to sway your opinion because I think I’m right, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to get through the day with this mindset, sleep well at night, and the more I sink into this mindset, the more positive things happen to and for me with less work and struggle and effort on my part. 

We waste so much time stressing and worrying about things that *usually* don’t end up happening or being as bad as we anticipate them to be. When my dog passed away, I was trying to process what was happening. The weeks leading to her passing we’re getting worse and worse. I decided I just wasn’t going to let worry or fear prevent me from present to enjoy every moment with her. I was well aware of the fact that she was going to pass either way whether I worried or not. Even though I tried to bargain with God and thought of every case scenario where maybe she was an alien and didn’t have to pass, I know crazy right- so might as well enjoy the last few memories I had with her. and you know what?

When she did pass, sure it was tough to say goodbye, but I had no regrets. Nothing to wish I did or didn’t do. No “I should have or what it’s” just a chapter closing and looking at the situation for what it was and not for what my emotions were projecting onto it. Every so often I hear a song, have a dream, or completely blank on in the fact that it happened, but it was a lifesaver to have this mindset. I want that for you when hard things happen. I want that for you when you don’t feel like you can go on any longer. When you struggle to find the meaning in the chaos or pain of what’s on your plate. 

So, my goals for 2020: Take more time to slow down and let inspiration flow, and remember that worrying doesn’t make the outcome different, it only steals the joy from the moment. 

We don’t have a super long amount of time left here, and honestly it’d be such a waste to the higher power that you were created from to waste it. You don’t have to be productive 24/7 but you DO have to include more things that bring you joy into your life.

Welcome To The One Ray Podcast!

For those listening for the first time, I’d like to introduce who I am and what I do! I’m a wellness blogger who helps women achieve their health goals and enjoy the journey. I share through through 3 different venues- social media/blog/podcast, motivational public speaking, & guided wellness journals

My mission: is to provide women (and a few good men) a weekly dose of wellness tools + motivation. Also, to improve your self confidence through a solid foundation of taking the best possible care of yourself!

The three main topics this podcast will cover is motivational pep talks, healthy habit building tools, and *true* self care. I’ll share tips on how to use my journal and through personal experience, stories, and recommendations.

It will mostly be solo episodes because my favorite podcasts are the ones where the hosts talk about their own habits and thoughts. 

Now, for the love letter in the beginning of One Ray to each of my customers…

A little background info on my journey.

I’m new here so make sure to subscribe and write a review to spread the word!

What It *Actually* Takes To Achieve A Goal

So last week, we discussed goal setting for the beginner. This week, we’re talking action plan to get those feet up and moving toward reaching it!

It’s just not enough to want something. To set a goal, make a plan, and then leave it on paper and never look at it again. This is the step most people miss- they mean well in their approach, but can’t get past that resistance to change their thoughts to action. Listen carefully what I’m about to tell you… this, my friend, is how people do great things in the world. This is the single most important- yes, having a solid target and plan are important- the single most important step because a plan without action is meaningless.

This is also the hardest part. This is where most of us grow tired, bored, defeated when we aren’t successful the first or hundredth time. Have you ever heard of the ten thousand hour rule? If not, it states that a person must put in at LEAST 10,000 hours to be a master; and with that, I think mastery is something that requires ongoing and continuous self awareness and growth. I’m going to break some tough news to you- you’re probably going to suck and fall short working toward your goal most of the time. 

A personal example is that I’m currently taking self defense classes from a professional ju-jitsu fighter. I’ve never fought in my life and fighting isn’t something that comes naturally. The entire hour I spend with him every week I can’t stop thinking about how bad I am. Sure I practice and have gotten the basics down, but it’s really hard for me feeling new and unconfident as the techniques take awhile to learn. Do I put in less effort because I suck? No. Do I still take it serious? Of course because that’s how I get better. 

You come to me every week for motivation, yes? Ok, well here’s your cold splash in the face for this week- shut your mouth, quit complaining, stop telling people what you’re going to do, and actually do it. You wrote down the step you need to do to achieve that goal last week, now if you want to be respected in your craft, do it. This isn’t a sugar coated “You’ve got to have XYZ requirement, certification, knowledge, experience, or confidence” to do the thing. This is a show up even when you’re sick, when you’re emotionally off, when you’re tired. 

4 years ago in physical therapy assistant school, I had a sinus infection that lasted for a month. Migraines, dizziness, puking, stuffy nose, everyday for 31 days in December. I missed the opportunity to meet my favorite band, Timeflies, something I very much so regret. Sure I was uncomfortably sick, but that was a once in a lifetime experience. I also dragged myself to school everyday of that horrible illness because I would have gotten kicked out of school had I not. I’m aware that many of you reading this may be thinking “Take a break when you need to” and to some extent, I agree. But at the same time, I want you to learn from my regret and stay hungry for it. Success in any area (health, career, personal, etc.) isn’t for the faint of heart and doesn’t given out last place trophies. It’s incredibly possible to reach high for a goal and not lose yourself in the process. This is something I literally practice everyday. This is something that comes from meditation and knowing yourself really powerfully well. 

I need you to stop watching people on the internet making success look easy. I need you to unfollow the bloggers who look glamorous at every hour of the day, motivational speakers who blow smoke, and athletes who make it rain in the club every weekend in their off season. That’s 10% of the story- they don’t show the other 90%, which is the hard work that sucks.

You wanted motivation to make you excited to get started? Well… here it is- success in any goal looks like you doing the work that you don’t actually want to do. In the same time you spend complaining about not having what you want, you could have put in the energy needed to accomplish the hard work to getting there.

3 Tips For Successful Goal Setting

I’m going to keep this simple- goal setting is an important way to continue building and reaching for a stronger, better version of YOU. Yes, you need a plan, we don’t just naturally continue to progress and improve throughout our lives unless we’re aiming at a solid target. Things may change along the way, but generally those who set goals and work to achieve them feel happier and more fulfilled in the habits and motions of their day. There’s many different ways to do this, but I realize I’m speaking to those new at this or who need a fresh perspective, so we’re starting from the basics. Do me a favor and please don’t overthink this part. It’s so easy to get technical, but I want you to resist the urge to be perfect and just try your best. 🙂

1. Start with the categories in which you want to reach toward something. A few that I use: health (physical and mental are two different categories), professional, relationship, personal, and adventure. If you’re in school or planning a wedding, most certainly include those, as well!

2. Develop the 1-3 goals for each category. Be careful not to bite off more than you can chew, it’s better to focus deeply on just a few goals than just to throw a bunch out there and half-a$$ the effort.

3. Develop a solid plan of a few bullet points of what you can do to work toward it. For example, under mental health, I’m putting together a list of books I want to read:

  • Category: Mental Health
    • Goal: Books I want to read in 2020
      • Action Plan:
      • The War of Art – Jan
      • 10% Happier – Feb
      • The Founders Dilemma – March
      • Blink – April
      • The One Thing – May
      • The Power of Now – June

I’m keeping it at six for now until I hear of other books I want to add to the list, but my goal is the read 1 book per month at minimum. I love to read as it activates the parts of my brain that create ideas and inspiration! This is the most simple, basic version of goal setting. A lot of people like to set a time limit, but I’m iffy on that. I know there will be months that are busier than others and I won’t have a ton of time to read, so if I read 10 I’ll be just as happy as if I read 12. The point is the effort is there, and I can’t predict how many yes’s I’ll get on the career front so the goal setting for that is different than what I do have control over (like health: moving my body to sweat 5x every week). Things happen, people get sick, work gets busy, but point is to set the goal so that when you feel off or stressed from life getting hectic, you fall back into the practices that you set in January to continue on the path to your goal!

That’s all for now. Try not to stress yourself over it, but I encourage you to set aside some time today or this week to really and honestly look at your life now and where you want to be, and practice the “category, goal, action plan” to get there.

New Year New MOOD!

So it’s January… and you’re probably feeling the pressure to get a gym membership, get a better job, and get your entire life together because “new year new me” is all over social media at the moment.

And yes, we will get to that later this month. But for now, I want to project an overall theme for myself, my platform, and my community this year… meaning YOU!

A lot of us struggle to set goals. Especially goals tied to feelings, like for example improving a negative mindset. That’s a very broad goal that has no real tactile plan tied to it, which is why most fail. I believe goal setting is an art in and of itself- to set goals that are achievable, realistic, and that actually matter to the growth of your well-being. So to kick off 2020, I’ve already picked an goal for you to get the ball rolling before you feel comfortable setting goals for yourself.

In 2020, I will not worry about people and situations that do not involve myself.

Examples:

Traffic patterns and idiots on the road

The opinion of others about me

The career, family, life choices of others that I may not agree with

Political views of others who differ from mine

How other people chose to spend their time, money, and energy

I believe that inserting your opinion where it’s not warranted nor is it needed brings nothing but disruption of inner joy. I’m not saying turn a blind eye to issues going on in the world, but if we listened and watched more people and situations without getting emotionally involved, we’d be sooo much more at peace. We wouldn’t feel as drained interacting with the public everyday. We’d be in control of our emotions and not let the opinions and actions of others dictate our decisions, as long as there’s no direct harm to living beings.

Do you remember the email a few months ago about the lady who told me I looked like I got hit by a train? Yeah, because I’ve decided life is too precious to waste it on the opinions of others, I literally laughed about it to her face and was not offended. I know who I am and have had my inner joy shaken one too many times in the past that I’ve gotten strong. I’m no longer afraid to say what needs to be said to people I love even if it’s uncomfortable because I care about others too much to keep sweeping things under the rug… And for what? Bigger issues arise when things get swept anyways.

I challenge you to write this goal down somewhere like a post it on your mirror, in your journal, in your car, somewhere you will see it everyday. I have it on a post it on my spin bike so I can remember everyday my inner strength and that some things just aren’t worth getting hot and bothered by when they don’t even concern me in the first place. I challenge you to look at it everyday and say it outloud in hopes to bring you a bit more peace. When faced with a situation that could get you worked up, say it loud, decide if it’s going to matter in 3 years, and if not, move along and don’t even give it your attention. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

I’m usually that guy justifying other people’s stupidity, such as “he probably had childhood trauma” or “maybe they lost a loved on recently which is why she’s being such a biotch” but I’ve lost my cool in situations and think back like- yeaaaah that probably wasn’t even a big deal and had I waited a moment for it to pass, I could have stayed more calm.

The most precious thing in the world, in conjunction with time, is attention. Why give your attention to something that literally serves no purpose and doesn’t benefit the growth of your well-being? Let’s make this a goal in the new year to remember everyday and use in small and big moments the needed. 🙂
#letigo2020

NEW JOURNAL RELEASE 1.8.19

The navy journal cover release offers a different look and feel to the traditional guided wellness journal with a more minimalist, gender neutral feel. The navy journal is composed of brand new quotes submitted by many different members of our community- how cool!

For those of you not into journaling or who just don’t think it’s for you, listen up…

Many people create guided journals (meaning each page is lined with prompts vs just a blank page) for the customer base of people who love to journal- simply put, I do not. That’s what sets the One Ray Journal apart from the rest. I took on the more challenging task of bridging the gap between traditional journaling and the kind of journaling I believe actually works in helping people achieve their health and happiness goals from the past 8 years of experience.

Traditional journaling includes writing down your feelings everyday. It takes time to put your thoughts into words and can include quotes, memories, emotions, and different quote- “girly” things like that. One Ray is not that at all- unless you fit the small group of customers I have who truly are into that kind of thing. And by all means, do what feels right for you.

One Ray is a daily habit planner / tracker that focuses on the 5 most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle with fulfillment and enjoyment. It takes less than 3-4 minutes to jot down a plan in the morning or a reflection in the evening. It’s designed to pull you away from your phone and be mindful / present of your habits. For example, it can be SO easy, especially coming off the holidays, to forget that you accidentally ate 5 Snickers bars during a stressful phone call at work today. This journal is designed to get you in the habit of being present when faced with temptation. To focus on what brings you actual clarity and joy instead of quantitative numbers that may bring you down (such as weighing yourself everyday).

Each day we focus on 5 elements of physical and mental health that will hold you accountable for the steps it takes to reach your goal. Each Sunday, we both reflect on the past week and plan for the week ahead to feel strong heading into a busy Monday. What I love most about this formula is that you don’t have to be philosopher or super in touch with your emotions to find it useful- I have 6 men out of 150 current customers. All you have to do to find meaning and purpose in this method is to put the effort in every day. Often I get asked why I have such a positive and optimistic demeanor and I tell it like it is, I find deep meaning in the small things I do everyday. 

Journals will be available on my website www.mariafitnezz.com beginning @ 8 am on Wed, 1/8/20. 

Goal Setting… Where Do I Begin?

This time of year can be super overwhelming. Trying to clean up the financial and physical messes of the holidays while simultaneously trying to get your life on track… yeah that makes sense. I’ve found that often we get overwhelmed because there was no plan going in, just last minute Christmas parties, gifts, and stress then a quick and messy transition to somehow magically feeling motivated to eat salads and go to the gym. 

What if, instead of the unnecessary pressure we feel obligated to carry, we just let ourselves experiment? What if, instead of figuring it all out, we gave ourselves the grace to set a goal like “I will find an exercise I enjoy” instead of it being tied to an insecurity like losing weight? From my experience in communicating with many different people on an everyday basis, much of the reason we aren’t in the confidence or place we want is because we take life way way too seriously. I don’t doubt you have the willpower and discipline to get in shape, it just might be a shift in perspective to take the first step.

Instead of focusing on what you hate (maybe physical appearance, mean thoughts about yourself, lack of energy, brain fog…) what if you focused on being light? Having a bit more fun with yourself? 

As many of you know, I work as a physical therapist assistant in an outpatient clinic with my boyfriend and some really awesome co workers/boss. For those of you who’ve never been to our clinic, picture the Cleveland Clinic and then change literally every single thing about the environment… there’s plants, salt lamps, coffee, snacks, music or a Disney+ movie playing, and we know everyone’s name and usually the names of their spouse, kids, and pets. We share stories, pictures, and laugh pretty much the whole day. We keep therapy light when its needed and listen to tough conversation that often end in emotional hugs when that’s needed, as well. Moral to the story, we keep it fun. I’ve been to clinics where things are serious and patients are treated like the number of range of motion their doctor wants. We achieve the same results and get patients better, but the overall experience is rich in long lasting relationships as to try and make their visits more than just a doctor requirement. That’s been a metaphor I’ve taken as a way I want to live my life- doing good and hard work while also having fun and realizing what’s important.

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re looking to change and improve something about your health… like you know what you need to do but have a hard time actually doing it or being successful at it over and over again. Currently, I’m facing the same hurdles in growing my business. Sometimes I get frustrated and take things personally after hearing no so many times, until my boyfriend reminds me that this is something I completely created and choose to pursue, so why be so hard on myself? It’s the very thing that fulfills my purpose, so why do I stew over stupid things that won’t matter in a year? I guess a benefit to having a bad memory is usually I forget about them anyway lol.

Bottom line is: I am incredibly proud of your intention of trying to better the outcome of your choices. I’m proud of you for recognizing you could be more intentional about what you do each day to improve the quality of your mind, body, and spirit. It’s hard to imagine the version of yourself that you want to achieve, and even harder to actually work toward it. But I believe you have what it takes. Members of our community share stories with me sometimes of the hard things they’ve gone through and let me tell you… this crew is made of steel. These women inspire me every single day in the diversity and strength of standing back up again over and over and over again, even through the pain of defeat. Keep this in mind over the new few days heading into the new year.