"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
What about when life gives you two amazing opportunities at the same time that you were planning a relaxing weekend getaway?
What do you do?
My husband and I have been planning a trip to Florida to see his family. The tickets are bought, rooms are arranged, and we are set to leave for the last few days of July.
Then we were approved for our new condo. Our move-in date? First weekend of August.
The same day we were approved I was told that Beachbody is offering a challenge; all I have to do is log my Shift Shop workouts, my shakes, and take some pictures of myself. Grand prize? $1,000 Start date? July 24th, 2017.
I could have said no to the challenge. I could have said that I have too much going on in my life to start a new workout program. But I didn't.
Because what I plan to throw at life is more important then what life throws at me.
I have already packed some provisions for the trip to Florida, and my Beachbody on Demand workouts are loaded on to my phone.
I have already mapped out space in our new condo where all our exercise equipment can go. As soon as we unload the truck I can move into my workout space and pick up where I left off.
When is the last time you chose to rearrange some major life events so that you could accomplish a goal, or complete a challenge? That choice is a powerful one... your goal means something.
In order for me to have a chance of winning, I have to document my progress every step of the way. And because my goals are bigger then my obstacles...#stephfindsaway
This is going to be a crazy three weeks.
Imagine this: you and your best friend are hanging out, watching Netflix and you both get the munchies. You go to raid their kitchen, and find the bag of Shakeology out on the counter.
“Oh! That’s my superfood shake! It’s really good! You want to try it?”
Your mind reels… your best friend, your partner in crime, the person who was scarfing Potatchos with you just a few months ago is now… a Beachbody Coach?
You’ve seen the sweaty selfies. You must know at least two or three Beachbody coaches on your Friends list. The happy faces with their huge cups of “Superfoods”... it’s a meal shake, right? You remember your Mom drinking Slim Fast (a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and then a sensible dinner), and how those cans smelled.
“No thanks… Got any chips?”
You see their face fall… you know you just disappointed them, but… really? It’s all the same stuff anyway.
Having your best friend become a Beachbody Coach is a big challenge for any friendship. Here are five easy things your can do to encourage your friend’s new venture without risking your lifestyle.
Beachbody is not cheap… it’s an investment. Expect your friend to have less time for binge watching, less inclination to eat fast food, and become more conscious of their time and energy. They are still your friend, but they are going through a metamorphosis that they think they need to lead a happier life. Accept this about them, and be the outside voice of encouragement they might need. Your friendship will survive... and may even be better then what is was before.
All throughout school we are taught that if you have goals you can achieve them. That if you work smart and work hard, that anything is within your reach.
What they never taught us was about time.
Sure, we are taught patience, and how it's a virtue. And we are taught about seizing the moment and not letting opportunities slip by; both of which are key to making, attaining, and beating goals; but there is this whole planning portion that was never really discussed. The exact "how" to create SMART goals (something I only learned in college because I was getting a business degree).
I am going to say something right now that most people are going to flinch at because as soon as I say it, the words "excuse" and "failure" and lazy" are going to float through your head. Are you ready?
Goals can change.
Last month, I set out with my goal list fully intent on having another month of goal setting and goal attaining.
Then my goals changed. Not the long term ones; the five-year, ten-year, twenty-year plans... those are the ones that should be steadfast throughout the whole process... but the monthly ones. I had a month to find a job in PA or my husband and I were scraping the idea of moving.
I had been job searching for months with no results. No interviews, few if any person-to-person interactions, and I was starting to feel incredibly down on myself, my abilities, and my educational choices. On top of all that, I realized I a had a month left before my I danced in front of an audience and didn't feel prepared at all! I had goals for my performance and I was not hitting them fast enough.
Plus, I had my goals for June... getting clients, saving money, reading four books... none of which were really going anywhere because I was so distracted by the other upcoming deadlines!
I had to change my goals or run the risk of not meeting any of them.
The new June Goals:
With the new goals and deadlines, I threw myself into the job search as much as I could. Five applications, cover letters, and resume tweaks a week, pouring through LinkedIn job posting, asking friends who were happy at their jobs for referrals. I dug into every network I knew to find my next long term position.
At night I threw myself into my dance class, going three or four times per week. Not shying away from anything that could make me better or stronger for my routine.
And food, usually what I turn too when I am stressed out, now became this game of "find the deals". I used a combination of iBotta, Stop 'N Shop and Target coupons, monthly allowances for coffee at Wawa, Starbucks, and Dunkin' Donuts, and being a Beachbody Coach also saved us a good chunk of change on our two monthly bags of Shakeology.
Now we are a solid week into July, the holiday is over, and it's time to set some new goals. Remember, those long term goals don't change... the short term goals to get there might.
Goals for July:
As always, I will look back on the post everyday to remind myself of my goals. It is too easy to get distracted by life, Facebook, the news... staying on track is half the battle of getting what you want.
And I am going to end every one of these goal posts (because they are definitely sticking around) with my favorite quote from Supergirl:
"Far too many women burn out trying to do too much before they're ready."
"So you can have it all?"
"Of course. Just not all at once, and not right away."
(Thanks to Forever Dreaming Transcripts)
Last night was the 2017 Dakini Movement Showcase at Roxy and Duke's. It was the first time the showcase was outside the studio, the first time it was free, and it was my first showcase... no pressure, right?
I was worried. Not about my 40/60 routine (40% choreographed, 60% wing-it), and not about getting stage fright. I was worried that the audience, my audience for the 3 minutes and 20 seconds I was up there would not get what I was trying to do.
Pole Dancing has a stigma. It is a style of dance that started among sex workers as a new way of enticing and exciting their clientele.
(Yes, I know that Mallakamba is a Indian Pole acrobatic spot, but the intent is vastly different)
When I tell people I pole dance, I immediately get the eyebrow raise... and I'm very aware of the multitude of questions that probably run through the person's mind...
"You don't look like a stripper/sex worker..."
"But you're educated!"
"What does your husband think?"
etc. etc. etc.
However, pole dance is also dance. It's expression, it's movement, it's a work out, it's really fucking fun, and it's helped me over come body dysmorphia, self-esteem issues, and self-limiting beliefs.
When I got up on stage last night, I wanted to express the other side of pole. The side that could tell a story, that could express emotion, that anybody and any body could do. A simple, elegant, sweet story of a girl who's found the love of her life.
I did my dance, I had an amazing time. I heard the cheers from the audience, and I thought I must have looked pretty good.
Afterwards, as I was looking for my husband in the audience (see? story telling from experience), I had some girls come up to me and rave about my performance. They wanted to know where I got my outfit (plus size pole fashion is *hard*), and they told me about what they saw in my dance; Peter Pan and Disney Princesses.
That's when I knew that my message was received. People *got it*.
Pole dance is fluid. It can be savagely sexy, it can be empowering and athletic, it can be high-energy fun, or it can be soft and sweet. Like all things in life, what you want out of it depends on what you put into it.
I am so proud by how far I've come in my three years at the studio, that my fear of not being understood was unfounded. This was akin to my first open reading at a Poetry Festival, and realizing that I had some talent with words.
The other girls who performed were uniquely amazing; each had their own style, their own bag of tricks, their own message to convey about what pole dancing meant to them. It was a cornucopia of talent, and I could not be more proud to be part of this community.
There is nothing like the thrill of being so completely understood.
Stephanie Cansian is a rebelliously positive Central Jersey citizen with her husband and their dog.