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Ways to go for

6 V

your gold

See it. Live it.

Article by Christina Kunkle n Life and Wellness Coach

isualization is a technique many top athletes use to prepare for competition, and a tool I find incredibly effective. Research shows that the brain reacts similarly when processing both real experiences and those imagined. Mental practice produces small muscle contractions, called muscle-memory — the same process involved in physical activity. Giving our full attention to what we want to happen creates energy and focused action — while, of course, worrying about what we don’t overwhelms and causes confusion. So, many sports psychologists teach the art of visualization to help pro athletes gain a competitive edge. But anyone can use this concept. Whether developing a vision for your life, an effective presentation at work, or your next wellness goal, first ... “Make your mental blueprint and begin.”

— Robert Collier

Are you ready to see the big picture and grab the gold in your own life? These “6 simple success tips” are sure to help you to create unstoppable momentum.

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Fall 2012

1. COMPLETE THE PAST

Are you letting yesterday use up too much of today? If so, you’re in good company. But the past can only define you and dictate your future if you let it. Clean out the cobwebs by dealing with any old business so you can be free to create something new.

Take Action: What are you giving your attention to? Are you focused on past failures and disappointments? If so, do yourself a big favor! Deflect drama by letting go of previous negative experiences. You’ll get a fresh start and a new opportunity. “Live out of your imagination, not your history.”

— Stephen Covey

2. DEFINE “YOUR GOLD”

Close your eyes and form a crystalclear picture in your mind: Imagine every detail of exactly what you want to accomplish. To keep that picture in mind, you must first know what is deeply important

to you. Make sure the goal is realistic, but a bit of a stretch.

Take Action: Do a quick self-check: Is this vision yours? If it’s not something you passionately desire, or is not aligned with your core values, you may be striving for someone else’s dream. Clearly define what “Going for gold means to you — with no apologies. Now share this vision with someone you trust who will support, encourage and celebrate each step forward.

3. REHEARSE FOR SUCCESS

Review your goal first thing in the morning and again at bedtime: Your mind is most impressionable then. Walk through it in your mind, one detailed step at a time, until it feels natural, believable and achievable ... almost inevitable.

Take Action: Close your eyes, bringing all your senses into play. Can you see it? What does it feel like? Sound like? Taste like? Write everything down as you brainstorm; no detail is too small! Use visual reminders, such as words or pictures, that describe what you want to experience and post them in key locations to view them often. »See GOLD, Page 27


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Thornton says those who lead a sedentary lifestyle — whether from a long commute or a computer screen — can especially benefit from strengthening and lengthening the smaller, often overlooked muscles. Pilates offers that core training, along with a focus on controlling the body and breathing at the same time. In Pilates, “all the movements are done with control: centering, breathing, every movement has a distinct way and precision in how you move,” according to Thornton. In some cases, yoga or Pilates may even be able to re-

Who should try it?

lieve pain. Suzanne McCahill Perrine, owner of The Center Yoga and Pilates Studio, has seen students come in with physical, as well as emotional,

hurt. “It’s been wonderful to watch them, through movement, get out of pain,” she says, “to be stronger, more flexible and vibrant.”

Ruh can attest to the physical pain-relieving benefits. After being a yoga student and teacher, she gave Pilates a try with Thornton to strengthen her core. Chronic muscle pains, as well as twinges in her back and hips, were alleviated through practice. “That feeling of more well being and doing something that’s good for my body, but not wrecking my body,” she says makes her come back for every session, “especially since I’m probably in better shape now than all my life.” Ruh, who directs educational programming at her

Spirituality also addressed

“Centering, breathing, every movement [requires] precision.” Catherine Thornton, fitness coordinator and Pilates instructor

Gold from page 24 4. MOVE YOUR FEET

Knowing what you want is an important first step, but meeting that desire half way with action is the next. Most success comes from preparation, hard work and small victories.

Take Action: Make sure your actions meet, or exceed, your desire. In other words, show up and do the work. Success is a two-way street and is a result of being fully engaged in the process. So what are you prepared to do?

“Do not ask God to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your feet.”

— Unknown

5. EXPECT OBSTACLES

If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that when you set a clear vision, and form expectations, your commitment will be tested! So don’t get stuck 3 feet from gold! Frustrations, old habits, patterns and beliefs will rise to the surface to be released. It’s not pleasant, but it is helpful. You’ll be reminded of what was in the way so you can break through to a new level.

Take Action: Take charge of your progress and responsibility for every decision you make. Stay connected to people and events when things get tough. Consider getting help from a friend or a professional if you find yourself struggling with self-doubt. Give yourself permission to release “naysayers” from your life.

6. EXPRESS GRATITUDE EARLY

Give thanks in advance for a successful outcome. You’ll sustain your passion and enthusiasm, staying motivated on your journey to the winners’ circle.

Take Action: Write or say “I am so happy and grateful that I _________ (have been promoted, finished my advanced degree, reached my goal weight, etc. Fill in the blank with your successful achievement.) Allow yourself to feel the boost of self-confidence, the excitement and the pride for what you have/will accomplish!

Christina Kunkle, R.N. and CTA Certified Life and Wellness Coach, is founder of Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, LLC and creator of the Synergy Success Circle. She helps busy women prevent burnout by promoting bounce-back resilience to stay focused, positive and excited about the challenges of work and life. To learn more, visit her website www.synergylifeandwellnesscoaching.com or call (540) 7465206.

Six Ways to go for Your Gold  

Spring Bloom

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