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I consider myself a lucky girl to have received the new Fitbit Charge for Christmas. I see so many people wearing one or a similar device, and of course I was intrigued! And as a personal leadership and wellbeing coach I have to admit I was experiencing a some FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)!

So how has this magical device helped me, and how can it help you? Here’s what I’ve learned and loved so far:

1. Say goodbye to being sedentary! Did you know that the majority of Americans are considered sedentary? One of my favorite wellness books, Eat. Move. Sleep. by Tom Rath details this very clearly for us. Pay attention folks! People who walk fewer than 5,500 steps are considered sedentary, and the average American falls below this sedentary line!!! Being sedentary brings on a host of health issues which we won’t get into today, but 10,000 steps are considered a good target for overall activity and equates to about 5 miles. With Fitbit you can set a daily steps goal, and the minimum recommended to get us above and beyond that sedentary line is 10,000. In comparison to Americans, Australians average 9,695 steps per day. Their obesity rate is just 16% compared to our 34%! I don’t know about you, but I want to beat those Aussie’s!!

2. Say hello to accountability! The online Fitbit Dashboard and App gives you a multitude of ways to hold yourself accountable. First, you can find friends who also own one and challenge yourself to take more steps than they do daily! With the Fitbit you also can set alarms to remind you to get up and move. Also according to Tom Rath, and as I have learned as well, you can easily achieve 3,000 steps by just taking a daily lunch break and walking/climbing steps. Since I work on a beautiful campus, this allows me to not only walk, but achieve my mindful goal, which I love to do via walking and sensing the world around me. Oh, and, I just love that Fitbit sends me all these badges when I’ve achieved something super cool! (I love recognition!!)5 ways the Fitbit has rocked my world!

 

3. Here comes motivation! Let me be really clear. Achieving 10,000 steps daily is no easy feat. You have to want to do it, and you have to strategize how you’re going to do it. If you spend a lot of time in your office and on the computer, it’s almost impossible to achieve! Without a tool like Fitbit to be an ever-present reminder you’d need to create another source of accountability. As you begin to use it and visit your dashboard daily, you begin to understand the best way to achieve 10,000 steps or more each day. For me, if I’m not able to get out for lunch, I know that I need to get across campus for some reason, like visiting a colleague. Or, perhaps I will need to fit in an evening walk around my neighborhood, or a Zumba class. I also know that I have to take a break from sitting every hour, even if it means just getting up for a stretch, glass of water, or a short walk across the hall. Anything to not sit for so long. Bottom line, once you understand how you can reach 10,000 each day, and how very critical it is for your health, your motivation skyrockets!

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4. Wellness as a whole increases! We know that there are other strategies that we can use to help keep us healthy, like logging what we eat, our daily exercise, and how much water we drink. You also can do this on Fitbit’s dashboard. It’s a one stop shop! As the saying goes, what you focus on becomes a reality! Entering and looking at this data daily definitely helps you achieve a sense of wellbeing in a variety of areas.Screenshot 2015-01-12 10.48.11

5. Bring on the Zzzzs! One of the main reasons why I was interested in the Fitbit was it’s ability to track my sleeping patterns. As some of you know, over the summer I blogged about Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive. In the book she identifies sleep as one of the metrics for success and wellbeing. In it she states that just 30 more minutes of sleep will immediately improve your health, creativity, productivity and sense of well-being. (I agree!!) She recommends to either go to bed earlier, get up later, or take 2 short naps a day. In the book, Bill Clinton admitted, “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.”

I believe that each of us intuitively knows what those health levers are for us. Over the years I have realized that for me, sleep is critical. It is also one of the areas most challenging for me to improve. The Fitbit tracks the number of times I am restless or awakened while I sleep, therefore giving me a true picture of the total number of hours I am actually at rest. Well, it’s kind of scary! With this information, I’m able to better understand my sleep patterns and continue to make adjustments to help me figure out the very best way for me to get a minimum of 7 hours of true sleep each night.

And just to throw in one extra PLUS… for those of you who have been trying not to sleep with your phone next to you, but have to because your alarm is your phone, well the Fitbit takes care of that! I no longer rely on my phone to wake me. My Fitbit gently buzzes me when it’s time to wake, and it also notifies me when I receive a call. So, I’m no longer a hostage to my cell! BONUS!!!

I don’t sell Fitbits and I don’t make a commission off of them! I simply love sharing products or resources for busy people who want to make their wellbeing a priority.

How has Fitbit or another tool help you achieve your wellbeing goals? I’d love to hear from you.

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Monique

 

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Welcome Back to our Summer of Well-Being awareness program! We are nearly half-way through the program, and already I’ve received feedback on how so many of you are enjoying the blogs/vlogs and choosing to make your well-being a priority through small, attainable steps. If you’ve missed any of the blogs, you will find them here.

ChiaLynn

Have you heard this popular new expression, “Shut the front door!”? It’s so catchy that I find myself using it often instead of saying something like, “No way!”, or “You must be kidding me!” In the context of my blog today, however, as well as in preparation for Sheena’s blog on Thursday, I’m thinking of it in this way…

  • Our minds are so darn busy that we consciously have to “shut the door” to our mind to intentionally focus it toward something meaningful, And…
  • Life sometimes feels like we are on warp speed that we have very little consistency and change is ever-present, keeping us from achieving a sense of balance. Our plans keep escaping out that front door and we want to shut it!

Is is realistic to keep shutting the door, or should we proactively keep it ajar doing a little dance with it?

I am a fan of Kabbalah wisdom, and today’s message couldn’t have been more spot on for me in thinking of this door in my mind’s eye. It says:

When the Israelites were in the desert, they were given food one day at a time. They were told not to create a stockpile; the manna would fall from the sky everyday.

The message in this is actually quite simple and clear: Today is the day that counts. The Creator will provide for us each day. There is no such thing right now as “tomorrow.”

If we aren’t capable of giving of ourselves today, if we aren’t able to establish a connection to the Divine love that each of us has within, then we have yet to understand this important lesson—that each day is in itself the fulfillment.

No person on earth has a guarantee that tomorrow will happen.

The simplicity of this message excites me! All the planning in the world won’t matter if we cannot connect with what’s important, purposeful, and divine in this moment. When all of our wellness plans go flying out the door, how do we achieve a state of well-being in this moment? If you happen to be very excited about achieving a greater sense of well-being, but are having difficulty being consistent, why not try dancing in the moment?

This morning was one of those mornings when my door flew open! We just brought home a new puppy, and as joyful as it’s been, it’s also been exhausting and unpredictable! I found myself struggling with trying to control this little ball of energy (yeah, right!), as well as making plans–all of which flew out the door as well! Just like having a new-born baby, my sleep has come and gone. If you’ve been following my blog and read those I wrote about Arianna Huffington’s, Thrive, you know that one of my critical wellness levers is sleep! Not only was my “front door” open, I was sleep walking out of it!

The truth is that our path to well-being will be most solid, I believe, when we have the capacity to make the appropriate “well” decisions moment-by-moment, leaving behind the complaints and excuses. On this more hectic day, some of my moment-to-moment decisions were:

  • 5 am: Drink warm water with lemon to detox while I play with the puppy!

  • Grab another glass of water to drink while driving my daughter to camp.

  • Starving by 7 am, but no great options at home! I chose to wait until 9 for breakfast with a friend so I could choose a healthy snack and small cup of coffee (instead of large!).

  • Pick up a salad on the way to the office so my exhaustion doesn’t cause me to pick something “easy” or “quick”.

  • Run up the stairs to the office to get my heart moving.

  • And the dance continued!

I am a planner by nature, but I have to admit that leaving the door ajar and dancing in the moment sometimes just feels right. The stress of planning it all and knowing it all can also hinder us from feeling well. And, as the message above indicates, there is a divinity to trusting in the moment–what is revealed or given to us, or what we choose to make happen today. In the same, if our wellness plans failed yesterday, we still have today!!! When it’s not empowering, this dance certainly provides us with a great opportunity to learn and to forgive ourselves if we happen to not choose wisely.

When it comes to your well-being, is dancing in the moment hard for you, or do you thrive on it?

Do you want to shut the front door? How can you benefit from leaving it ajar?

Wishing you an amazing week of wellness!

Namaste,

Monique

Photo courtesy of ChiaLynn