Fighting For What You Want

woman boxerFighting For What You Want

Are you ready to put up a fight for what you want? What are your personal standards of excellence that you desire to live up to? As cliché as it is, at the turn of the year, we are all making plans for how we are going to make our upcoming year better than the previous year. It is not wishful thinking, rather good planning. If you plan your dream out in full and vivid detail, you are well on your way to achieving your desired outcomes. Here are some techniques that I use when it comes to the turn of the year goal planning.

1. Make your goal something that is important to you. 
If you don’t care all that much about achieving your goal, when the road gets difficult, it is unlikely that you are going to stick it out. Dig deep and ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish for yourself? Not for anyone else, but for you? That is where we are going to get our driving power.

2. Make sure that your goal lines up with your values.
Know what you value. Living a life of values is an important part of the goal planning process. When you make goals that you care about at the deepest level, when you need to dig deep to find your inner drive, it will be there waiting to be revved up.

3. Don’t compare your goal to other people’s goals or what you think your goal should be.
It is easy to make goals based on what other people are doing. Sometimes what is right for someone else is not the best for you. Use others as a source of motivation and inspiration, then ask yourself this question. What is the goal that is true and right for me, that is in this same area of achievement?

4. Make a detailed plan of action. 
A goal is a great start, a detailed plan of action with short term, medium and long term goals along the way is a great way to stay connected and moving forward toward your goal.
 
5. Create a supportive environment.
It takes an army of a support team to help me with my goal of becoming pain-free. I work with a chiropractor, go to Cryotherapy, work with a sport psychologist, nutrition coach and I make sure that my family and friends are at least neutral about my goals. I don’t need constant cheerleading every single day, but I want people around me that believe in me and support my efforts. Make sure you surround yourself with a support team that moves you in the direction of your goals.

6. Don’t give up.
It is possible you won’t reach your goal in the timeframe you have set out. That does not mean you have failed; it just means you need to readjust the plan of attack. Get rested, and then reset your new plan with a new target date. Develop mental toughness by being flexible with how you go about achieving your goal.
 
7. Make sure that you are in control of making your goal happen. 
It is great to have goals such as winning, but we also want to make sure that we set goals that are within our control. We want to have behavioral goals as well as outcome goals.Life is not going to just hand you what you want; you have to fight for it! What are you willing to fight for today? Pick goals that are worth your time and effort.

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

Mental Skills with IFBB Pro Susan Graham

susan2Once in a while an athlete comes along that inspires me and makes me sad that my competition days are over. Susan Graham is one of the hardest working athletes I know. It is no surprise that her body is a fortress of perfection. Working with Susan was a delight and a challenge in every way that I enjoy. Thank you Susan for the opportunity to help you with mental skills for the 2016 competition season. You are an incredible athlete! I respect your commitment and dedication to the sport. Enjoy the break. I hope to see you on stage again in 2017. Here is Susan’s story…

Susan’s Story

“Working on mental coaching with Nancy during my last contest prep was truly beneficial. I am a IFBB pro and compete in Women’s Physique. I’m dedicated to the process of getting to the stage, but I felt I could step up my game mentally. Since so much of what we do as competitors is mental, I knew with Nancy’s knowledge and experience she could help me step up my game. Each week we would talk and sometime I would not have obvious problems, but with Nancy’s intuitive questions we would find issues that needed to be addressed. After talking, I would feel empowered and motivated to keep moving forward towards my goals. Nancy is a veteran to the stage and understands any issue a competitor faces. She helps work through issues without judgement no matter how big or small.”

Susan Graham
IFBB Pro Physique Athlete

For more information about contest prep and mental training for figure, physique, bikini and bodybuilding, contact Nancy at http://www.nancygeorges.com or nnancypro@aol.com

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

 

Mood Manipulation for Peak Performance

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Mood Manipulation for Peak Performance:
I needed a little mood manipulation this morning. I have been having such a great week bumping up my workouts and cardio sessions, since I am getting ready to be on vacation from school for the next month. Everything was going amazing. I felt great all week, super focused, and then, I got some personal news that really distracted me and brought me down. My morning cardio in the beginning was dragging and I had to really do some work to talk myself into a good mood. And that is exactly what I did. I manipulated myself into a good mood.

Sometimes we need to take a break, but sometimes we can talk ourselves back into the zone and back into a great workout. Here is an outline of how I talked myself into a good mood.

First: Identify your current mood. Don’t be afraid of how you feel, go ahead and name it. You may feel tired, sad, irritable, bored, just go ahead and name the feeling that is getting in your way of your workout.

Second:Recognize that your feelings are present for a reason. Thank yourself for the way you feel. Say: Thank you self. I appreciate this feeling very much, I am sure it makes sense.

Third: Time for some negotiation via internal dialog. Ask the part of you that created the feeling if it would be willing to subside temporarily until you get through your workout. Check in to see if you get a yes response. Once you get a yes response, negotiate for a time that you will tend to this feeling. Commit to checking back in for example, 20 minutes after your workout, or when you get home for the evening. Whatever it is, make sure it is within the next 24 hours or so.

Fourth: Recall a time in your recent past that you had an amazing workout. What was going on in your mind’s eye? What were you saying to yourself? What pictures were you making? And how did all of this make you feel? Really see this out in front of you clear and big and bright. Now step into this feeling and put it on like a coat, basking in all the wonderful feelings that were present for a time that you had an amazing workout.

Fifth: Go workout. Have an amazing, energized, fantastic workout!

I hope you enjoyed that quick mental exercise to help you manipulate your mood.

Remember last newsletter, where I talked about getting in the zone? Well, It was such a popular topic of conversation, that I created an MP3 hypnosis session to help you eliminate distractions. Also based on feedback, I kept the session to 10 minutes. It is a great session to help you quickly get to what you want to focus on in the moment and throughout the day. See the link below to grab your copy.

http://www.nancygeorges.com/mp3-downloads.html

Until next time,

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

Time to Get in the Zone

Getting in the zone; in the fitness world we call that flipping the switch. Which is ironic since so much prep work needs to really happen ahead of time it seems like a switch is being flipped. In reality we are going over in our head all the ways in which said switch should be flipped. It is a mental game and a major struggle. Why? Often times we can’t seem to find the switch to flip.

Today I posted a short video in my private Facebook group a little mental exercise on flipping the switch. By the way, if you are not a part of my group and you are interested in taking your mind and body to the next level, you will want to add yourself to the group. Here is that link:

Step 1: How do you know you are not in the zone? The way you know you are not in the zone is that you have been there before, so we do have something to compare it to. Write out all the ways in which you know you are not in the zone:

a. What are you saying to yourself in regards to your workouts, your food prep, your cardio, your body, etc?

b. What pictures are you making in your mind’s-eye? Do you have an image in your mind of looking shredded? Or are you picturing yourself sleeping in and getting a little bit more rest?

c. How do you feel? How is your posture, is it upright or slouched over? How much energy do you have? How fast are you walking? Do you have a spring in your step?

Step 2: Recall a time that you knew you were in the zone.

a. What were you saying to yourself in regards to your workouts, your food prep, your cardio, your body, etc?

b. What pictures were you making in your mind’s-eye? Did you have an image in your mind of looking shredded? Or were you picturing yourself sleeping in and getting a little bit more rest?

c. How did you feel? How was your posture, was it upright or slouched over? How much energy did you have? How fast were you walking? Did you have a spring in your step?

Step 3: Try on a sample from your zone experience right now. The easiest is to try on the auditory. What were you saying to yourself when you were in the zone? Say that now. Now change your posture. Now change the images to match the type of images you had when you were in the zone.

I hope you enjoy this technique and find it helpful. Remember to join my private group for more videos and updates on mental skills.

Until next time,

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

Mindfulness Practice Sunday 11 am

Calling all athletes: My next Mindfulness for Athletes session is quickly approaching. Join us this Sunday the 20th at 11am at my office in Sacramento for an hour of mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness for Athletes Mindfulness Practice Session

Sunday, Nov 20, 2016, 11:00 AM

Nancy’s office in Sacramento
2740 Fulton Ave Sacramento, CA

3 Mindful Athletes Attending

Mindfulness for Athletes Mindfulness Practice SessionThis is a brand new mindfulness community for self-defined athletes of all types. Whether you are a swimmer, dancer, runner, volley ball player, or gym rat, the aim of the Mindfulness Practice is to help us to become more present in our day to day lives and as a result, become better athletes.T…

Check out this Meetup →

mind healty lifestyle hand gesture

Mindfulness

Using Cue Words to Stay Motivated

Woman Doing Yoga Exercises In Gym, Sport Fitness Girl Sitting Lotus PoseUsing Cue Words to Stay Motivated
Lately I have been playing around with the voices in my head. OK, I admit, that sounds rather strange, but follow me for a minute. We all talk to ourselves. I think I probably talk to myself non-stop throughout the day when I am not engaged in an actual conversation with another person. I would love to have a transcript of all the things I say to myself throughout the day. I am guessing I am not alone on this.

Do you talk to yourself? What does the voice sound like? Is it generally pleasant, or it is mean and critical? One way we have a positive effect on our goals is by changing up the way we talk to ourselves, using cue words. I will admit, I won’t be able to change all the negative voices in your head in one article, however, cue words are a very effective way to easily help us stay on track with our goals.

Here is an example of how the process of developing cue words can work. This week I have been rather busy studying for finals. When I study, I feel extra snacky. I want snacks!!! The café cookies and brownies were looking extra good this day. I took a moment to check in with my body and really connect with my cravings. Urge surfing is a technique that I walk through with my clients in session that have challenges with snacking. So I checked in with my body and I said to my body, what is this feeling? Then I noticed I said to myself: “I feel unsettled.” I took a deep breath and did some brief mindfulness and I said to myself “Settle in.” Ahhhhh!! Instantly I relaxed and felt better. I repeated settle in a few times and the craving went away.

Now you can use this technique to help with cravings, to motivate yourself for a workout, or any other behavior that you are wanting a little extra motivation with. Cue words are usually used in a performance context, but I tweaked it, because those of us on a fitness journey of sculpting our bodies have additional challenges with our sport or lifestyle when it comes to hunger.
 

Step 1: Identify an area that you want to have more motivation with. It could be to workout, to eat healthy.

Step 2: Connect with the feeling. It is good to do this in real time. For example, if you are not wanting to go to the gym, do this right then on the spot. Check in with your feeling and ask yourself: “What is this feeling about?” Or something like that. Take a few moments to connect with it.

Step 3: Take a few nice deep breaths and you wait for the communication from your body. Relax into whatever the feeling is.

Step 4: Identify a cue word based on how you feel. For example, I was feeling unsettled, so I said to myself settle in.

Step 5: Repeat your cue word several times to test the effectiveness. If it is not very strong, repeat the steps and create a new cue word.

Step 6: Write your cue word down and use it as often as you like for similar situations.

That’s it, that’s all there is to it. I hope you enjoy this technique and find it helpful especially now at a very tempting time of the year. I like to say, if you can eat healthy this time of year, you can do it anytime.

Also be sure to visit my audios if you are wanting some extra motivation in this potentially challenging time of the year. Here is the link:

And if you are interested in some personalized attention, check out my customized programs. I would be happy to offer you a complete custom nutrition plan along with all the mental tricks custom to your situation. 

Until next time,

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

What gives athletes their power?

What gives athletes their power?

Focusing on what is in their control. We can’t control people and environment, we can control our attitude, or effort, or passion, our mindset and our joy for sport. When we do that, we win every time! Trophies are icing on the cake!

Female model with muscular body

It’s a mental game! Play with passion!

How To Win Every Competition

 

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The Mental Game of Winning

Fitness, Figure, Bodybuilding, Bikini Competitors
(applicable to other sports as well)

Every competitor has the goal of winning a competition. The problem is, only one athlete walks away with the overall title. So how do you make sure that every competition you enter, you win? One way to make sure you win is to set up a variety of goals. I like to have the goal of winning, obviously, but I also like to include goals that are within my control.

One of the greatest boosts to self-confidence for sport is feeling like you have control over your process. I like to set goals for my level of conditioning, communication with others during contest prep, mental skill that I want to work on, level of focus in my workouts, feeling joyful about the process, eating my meals on schedule daily, weekly and monthly and more. All of these goals we have control over.

When we feel in control of our process, we get to win every day! The outcome of the competition is almost irrelevant, but I have never had a good journey that did not have a good ending. Creating goals throughout the competition process, whether that be for three months or six months, is a great way to enjoy and win every step of the way. At the end of the day, we are challenging ourselves to become a better version of who we are. That does not get measured for twelve weeks, it only gets measured one time, on one day. Here are some ideas for setting winning goals

Setting Winning Goals

1. Set Outcome Goals: An outcome goal is the result of your efforts. The most popular outcome goal for competitors is to win. I like to make other outcome goals such as surpassing the level of conditioning I was at in previous competitions. Sometimes I like to make outcome goals of meeting a certain amount of competitors at the show that I connect with. Outcome goals are the easiest to set, but keep in mind there are other outcomes to measure besides winning. Shorter range outcome goals include hitting target weight, measurement and body fat markers, being able to do a certain amount of cardio, having a specific amount of strength and endurance for your workout. Most outcome goals can be measured by, you guessed it, the outcome.

2. Set Performance Goals: Much of our performance is in the gym, therefore our pre-performance is very important. Eating our food on schedule, taking our supplements, and drinking the proper amount of water each day are all performance goals so to speak. We have an interesting sport that unlike many others, needs to be thought about throughout the day in order to create success. When we set and meet goals of eating our food on schedule, not skipping meals or snacking, this is the foundation for creating the physique of a champion. We will not get to our outcome if we do not have this setup. I like to make daily and weekly goals for how many workouts I will do, how many cardio sessions, as well as when or if I will have a treat meal. Other performance goals include contest day, how you will do on stage, which can also be broken down into smaller daily and weekly goals.

3. Set Procedural Goals: Procedural goals are perhaps the most overlooked goals. In our sport it is important for our shape to have a certain look to it, for that reason, it is important to create goals within our training that change the process of the workout in order to hit the muscle more effectively. I spend a lot of time with my clients viewing videos of their form, to make sure that not just the exercise is being done, but it is also being done in such a way as to maximize the look of the muscle. This is one example of a procedural goal. There is also a most effective breathing that goes with the workout depending on what you are doing, you can set goals very specific in this way to improve your effectiveness in the gym. It seems micromanaging, but it really is the difference that makes a difference. Everybody works out, but at the end of the day it is how you go about doing it, that matters.

4. Set Short, Medium and Long-Term Goals: When goal setting, many athletes focus simply on the outcome of getting to the stage and winning, but they don’t consider the wins they can be creating every week and every day. Break your goals down into short, medium and long-term goals. For our sport, I find it useful to have daily goals, weekly goals and a long term competition goal. My daily goals will often include for example: 5 minutes of mindfulness, 40 minutes of AM cardio, weight workout, eating my meals on schedule, having a positive attitude, feeling grateful for the process. Those might be my goals for the day. When I nail down the mindfulness for example, I may add the next day 5 minutes of visualization and have different behavioral goals depending on how my day was before that. When I lay my head on my pillow at night and I know I have had a successful day based on my goals; that is a win! I get a trophy. Do that over and over each and every day and I can’t guarantee you will win, but I can guarantee, you will feel like a winner!

5. Visit Your Goals Often and Be Open to Change Them: Having the flexibility to change goals is as important as setting the goal itself. Most often I find we think that something will take less time than it actually does. Be open and flexible to change your show date, increase or decrease performance and process goals and to in general be flexible to re-assess to see if you are still on target for the date you have selected. Many athletes feel like a failure if they change the date of their show. Nonsense! If you need more time, create more time by re-adjusting your goals. There will always be another show, so why not move forward toward your goals with success every step of the way? Win every day!

I am sure you have thought of other goals to include. If you want, create a list of short, medium and long-term outcome, performance and process goals. Then pick the most important one to work on. Once you have mastered that, move on to the next goal, while keeping the previous goal in check. This is a fun way to have a good contest prep, not just for the day of the show, but for the entire journey.

Nancy
http://www.nancygeorges.com

References:

Hanton, S., Mellalieu, S., & Williams, J. (2013). Understanding and managing stress in sport. In   J.M. Williams & V. Krane (Eds.), Applied sport psychology: Personal growth to peak performance (p. 207-234). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Pope-Rhodius, A. (2016, October 25). Lecture. JFKU

Robinson, S. (2016, October 25). Lecture. JFKU

 

 

The Mental Game of Dieting for Competition

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Transforming Hunger
The Mental Game of Dieting for Competition  

What I am about to talk about is a very controversial subject. I want to approach this subject with extreme care. I am going to talk about hunger, and how to accept it as part of the dieting process. I am sure you can already see why this is controversial, since hunger is our body telling us that we need food and it is mandatory for our survival.

So, I will issue a warning, that is, I am assuming that your diet is enough food to sustain you but you are still hungry. If you are having problems with memory, concentration and focus, extreme headaches, and lack of motivation, or if your diet is under 1200 calories, then the probability that you are not eating enough is higher. Each person will be on a case by case basis but, I want you to be responsible enough to gauge whether or not you need to change you plan of action (i.e.: the diet) or change the way you are thinking about it. If you feel you are eating enough calories and you trust your support team, then please read on. If you are having any concerns then please consider a second opinion to your procedure.

The subject of hunger came up because of several athletes that have mentioned to me they are struggling with hunger. In addition, I was having a conversation with my sport psychologist recently about the sport and we were talking about hunger, and he was asking what I do when I get hungry. And I said, well you are going to be hungry, there is no way around that. He seemed pretty surprised by that. I just accept hunger as part of the process. I told him that I reframe hunger into my hunger for how I want to look. And the better you look, the easier it is to live with the hunger. He really did seem shocked. He said, so hunger is inevitable? I said, of course, it is a diet. I said most people (non-competitors) eat at the smallest discomfort, they don’t even wait to be hungry. So the reality is, most people never feel real hunger. This got me thinking and wondering if people really think that they are going to diet and not feel hungry, seriously? We are reducing our calories, so of course there will be hunger. Which got me to wondering what other misnomers are out there about dieting and the competition journey. I always claim for things to be easy and I stand by that. However, I do feel hunger. It is the way I perceive it that is what makes the process easy for me. Here are some other common threads that we have as competitors. Now, this is not a license to complain, rather an awareness to reframe and use some mental techniques to help make the journey you are on easy and fun.

Normalizing the Dieting Journey

1. You will feel hungry. I think that we all are in agreement that we will feel hungry. However, stating it as such that everyone feels it, really puts it into perspective. There is nothing wrong with your hunger signals, they are real and we all feel them. We are used to grazing. So, when we set up a plan to eat every three hours and not snack in between, it is difficult. The sooner you make peace with hunger, the sooner you get shredded.

2. You will sometimes have lower energy. This also surprises some people. I am going to be upfront, we all feel this too. Some of us hide it better than others, some of us drink more coffee than others, but we all go through periods during dieting where we feel tired and we don’t want to go to the gym, or fold our clothes or wash our hair. Seriously, sometimes washing my hair during contest prep is just a hassle. Now you know, we are all feeling it, even if we don’t say so.

3. You will sometimes get irritated about things that normally don’t bother you. When I am dieting and I hear someone complain about something that seems trivial to me I am thinking… seriously? Do you realize that I did an hour of cardio, spend an hour packing my food, and had a weight workout before you even woke up this morning? I like to pretend that I am stoned. (not that I have ever been stoned) but if I had been, I would want to feel stoned when someone was saying something annoying so it would just roll off my back like no big deal. Realize we are a little hypersensitive and give others the benefit of the doubt that their behavior would probably not be that annoying if we had just ate an entire pizza.

4. Some people will comment on how you look in a negative way. This is probably the hardest one to deal with, feeling fantastic about how you look and then someone saying, you look tired, are you OK? Or you look sick, you really should eat. Or, are you still doing that diet thing? People don’t get it. I stopped trying to force them to get it. I don’t let it bother me.

5. You may feel lonely or isolated. This is probably the most difficult. We so want people to understand and appreciate what we do. As it gets closer, we do limit our social activities, but that does not mean we need to be or feel isolated. We usually connect through food, but we don’t have to. Find other ways to connect with people. It is challenging but it can be done. Make peace with many people not getting what you are doing, this will also be very beneficial in helping make the process easy.

6. You will wonder if this is worth it, or if you should quit. This may not come into play until a few weeks out. But, most athletes at some point in the contest prep will have an emotional meltdown (or two) wondering if it is all worth it. I remember one time having a meltdown and crying over nothing as I recall it. I was sincerely and honestly upset. I finished my rant to my boyfriend, then lifted up my shirt and said, and look at my abs, my abs are shredded! And I continued to cry. No joke. Doesn’t happen daily but it happens. Make sure you have a strong support team that will be there for you when you need it.

I hope you found this list helpful, there are of course many many other things I could have selected, but in the 20 years that I have been competing and coaching, those are the ones that stand out to me most. My thought process around all of these subjects is to find ways to make them a normal part of your process. Not everyone is going to understand what we do, personally I don’t care. I want what I want for me, not for anyone else anyway. So if I don’t get the approval, I don’t try to force it down people’s throat like a religion, but if they want to ask me questions about what I am doing, then I will share, and of course I hope they join in on the healthy eating bandwagon, because that is one less stressor in my life, however, I don’t need other’s approval in order to move forward to achieve my goals. I move from the passion of my heart, that is my guiding force. I hope that it is yours also. At the end of the day, very few will really get what we are doing, and that is OK. That is what the fitness community is for.

Mental Game Tools: Hunger Resources
Hypnosis Download: Appetite Control
Visualization Exercise: Nutrition Compliance
Nutrition and Life Balance: Inner Athlete Coaching