How I Overcame Failure

How I Overcame Failure

How Failing Made Me Happy

I have a story about failure to tell you. A story of me “failing” and how it actually changed my life… for the better. 

Now, why am I here to talk about my failures? Or, more specifically why should you even care? 

Because fear of failure is a huge buzzkill when trying to move forward and achieve your goals.

My hope is that through sharing my story with you perhaps you will re-think something that you have wanted to do, but have resisted because you were afraid of failing.  

My hope is that I can show you that sometimes failing is pretty effing awesome.

First, let me be totally clear with you – we don’t actually fail. Ever. Failing is a mindset I want you to get rid of. Instead, what we do is learn.

I will dive into my personal story first, and then offer you 3 tips that helped me overcome failure and allowed me to keep on learning. 

15 years ago I sold a personal training business that was the largest of its kind where I live. I had a team of 15 trainers, reception staff, we were incorporated, it was making money. Until one of my trainer’s photocopied my client list, partnered with one of my members (he was the money), enticed half of my other trainers to leave and then opened up up a studio across the street.

In the course of 60 days, our revenue plummeted by 75%.

Yup. Who knew fitness could be so cutthroat.

The stress, at the time, was unbelievable. The trainer’s that left, I thought they were my friends and this broke my heart. However, I had a support group – my husband and a coach – and I got through it, sold the business and I can report that today not one of those trainers is still in the industry. And the one who opened up the studio, across the street from mine… well his money man left him because he never hit any of the revenue targets he predicted he would, and he is also not in the industry anymore either.

But at the time people thought I was a failure. We live in a smallish community and it didn’t take a genius to deduct what had happened.

And I am glad it happened… because it started me on my journey of being online.

If I hadn’t had that experience I would not be sitting here right now chatting with you. This trainer opening across the street from me was a pivoting point in my life that changed the direction of where I was going and has taught me so much.

My next failure happened just last month.

I used to have a boutique fitness studio, called The Studio, with small group classes. It was very successful, I had a new team there, a manager and things were humming along pretty good until the pandemic hit.

Due to social distancing protocols, we were forced to close our doors and live stream our classes. 

But… since I had a business in the past (that one I just talked about) that ran low on cash flow (see, learning from my experiences) I knew that I did not want to be under that kind of stress again. So, I crunched the numbers for our business, I also talked with people who are smarter than me, took a hard look at my industry, and I decided to close the business completely.

Again, on the outside, it looked like I had failed and was forced to close. I can assure you I was not forced, it was a choice, and I can also sit here right now and tell you that I cannot remember a time in the past 4 years while owning The Studio of ever being this happy.

Yes, I liked the Studio, yes I liked the people, but it wasn’t until I shut it down that I realized that I love being online more and that trying to do both businesses for these past 4 years was killing me.

So, that is why I am so happy I “failed” with The Studio.

Of course, each of these required a few things to help me process my feelings and to help me to move on. Let me explain the three:

First, I recommend you always a support group. Have at least one person in your life that you can talk to, who is in your corner,, and who can tell it to you straight. If you don’t have someone, rent someone then. And by that, I mean a therapist or a coach. I have used both and they have been life-changing for me

Second, don’t worry about being afraid of failing, be more fearful of not trying. Don’t give your future self ammunition for a pity party because you didn’t try something. This is a big one in my playback. I do not want to have future PJ pissed off at me for not going after something because I was afraid of failing it. I’m more afraid of her than I am of failing. 

And finally, remind yourself that you going to be okay no matter how the cookie crumbles (just so long as it’s a chocolate chip cookie… just saying). When these moments that I just touched upon happened in my life my daily mantra was “I am going to be okay”. 

And as that cookie is crumbling smile, remind yourself that you’re tough and you will get through this and that tomorrow will be better. You’ve got to rev up the positive self-talk in situations like this because you will believe whatever you tell yourself.

So, tell yourself to be happy and grateful for all the good things that you do have, and all the problems you know you don’t have.

Life is filled with screw-ups, I truly believe that we are supposed to fail sometimes… so embrace those moments, learn from them, and maybe use them as pivots like I did to change the direction of your life.

Now, it’s your turn…

Have you ever been scared of failing?  Do you have any other thoughts about this video?  I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a comment on the video and share something with me. 

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Crush Your Fitness Goals

Crush Your Fitness Goals

How To Crush Your Fitness Goals

[Note: the following is a very short explanation of my tips]

Consistency.

I have 3 tips to help you nail consistency with your workouts.

 

  1. At some point, you have to let go of the excuses and just do it. You either want to do everything it takes to make it happen, or you don’t. Excuses only sound best to the person making them. And that person is only stalling their own progress.
  2. The process of consistently working out is simply doing it on a regular basis. We want a habit formed. But habits take time. Don’t expect this to be easy, or quick.
  3.  If you miss a day or two, or even a week, carry on. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t overthink it! Come on, you have to agree with me – as women we tend to overthink shit. All we’re trying to do is maintain a regular workout routine, not find the meaning of life. Get the emotion out of it and keep putting one foot in front of the other and remind yourself that it’s about progress, not perfection.
  4. Schedule your priorities.
  5. Follow 1 program, follow the advice that is helping you.

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One Dumbbell Workout

One Dumbbell Workout

40-Minute One Dumbbell Workout

At the time of writing this blog it is 13 days before Christmas and I just bought our Christmas decoration.

Christmas-Fitness-with-PJ

Yup. A bottle of Carolan’s is our decoration.

Why, you wonder? Well, it’s the only decoration I feel like buying every year.

You see, we don’t own one decoration.

Nada. Nothing.

We had a tree about 20 years ago, when we first got married, but I lost enthusiasm for the whole “decorating” for the holidays after a couple of years and gave away all our ornaments (which were hand-me-downs anyways – cause I was too cheap to buy anything and friends of ours took pity on us and gave us all of their old decorations).

Ever since I gave away the ornaments I haven’t bothered to replace them.

It’s not cause I hate Christmas, either. It’s just simply I don’t want to add anymore stuff to do to my agenda in December.

If I need to get lit up for the holidays I will do so in other ways 🙂

Fitness Christmas Gift Suggestions

A Studio membership. HAHAHAHAHA. I know, total blatant self-promotion. But… we do rock.

Foam roller – so your loved one can save some money on a massage therapist. I dig this one .

This shirt:Funny-fitness-tank-top

A subscription to a meditation app. I love Headspace.

A subscription to a local produce delivery service.

Smartphone running arm band.

Dumbbells… cause who doesn’t love some iron for the holidays.

A TRX.

A cool yoga mat sling.

Cool-yoga-bag-sling-Fitness-with-PJ

A cool workout bag.

funny-workout-bag

A little bling.

Strong-is-beautiful-necklace-Fitness-with-PJ

The coziest sweatshirt ever.

The-Studio-Sweatshirt

 

The Workout

Tools needed: a light, moderate and heavy dumbbell

40-Minute-1-Dumbell-Workout-All-Levels-Fitness-with-PJ

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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PJ ox

The Number Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

The Number One Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

Top 10 tips on how-to stay motivated to exercise all year-round.  

There are a few things that can frustrate me. Slow internet speed, no access to WiFi, sale items at grocery stores that are sold out, traffic, weeds (I hate gardening), and even Facebook frustrates me when they change their algorithms – yet again!

As I gotten older technology, and such, is frustrating me at faster pace than it used.

People, however, aren’t.

The number way to make your trainer angry

With age I am finding I actually have greater patience with clients and individuals than I ever have had before. That is until they do this:

They head out of town for a vacation, or a business trip, or because of family matters, and they leave their home and their runners behind.

They decide that because they are “away” they don’t need to maintain their fitness and health program.

I’m not quite sure why they do this.

I have heard a variety of excuses, though.

For instance: I didn’t have time, there wasn’t a gym, or my personal favourite, I never workout when I’m away.

It baffles me that people would consciously and purposely lose the strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity that they have just spent the last 9 to 10 months working so hard to get.

Fitness-with-PJ-Nikes-Quote

How fast you will lose your fitness?

Because you will lose it.

Your aerobic fitness will start to diminish in as quick as seven to fourteen days.

As for those muscles that you have been working so hard to build, in the most drastic scenario studies have shown that you can lose as much as 80% of your strength and tone in as little as two weeks.

80%!!! That’s a big loss.

For the more deconditioned individual, you will lose even more with any hiatus.

Studies have followed new exercisers as they began an exercise program and then stopped it and found that after two months of quitting their newfound fitness program they had lost all of their original gains!

They were back to square one again.

Fit people – your outcome is not as bad, but it is still worrisome.

After 2 months off of your program it is estimated that you will lose about 30% of your gains.

How quick can you get your fitness back?

The question then begs to be asked – how long will it take to get it all back then?

Researchers say that is hard to predict, but for athletes it could take as much as three months to regain your previous fitness level, and for new exercisers it might be as much as three to four months.

So, let’s do the math. Say you’re a new exerciser who started a regular fitness program in January with the rest of rush and you decide to stop exercising for the summer.

You then start up again, say after the kids go back to school in September. It will now take you until the beginning of December to gain back the fitness that you originally had in June when you stopped.

But, then guess what? It’s Christmas.

Now there are parties to go to, schedules that are busy, and the mentality of “I will start up again in January” sets in.

And then after Christmas comes winter holidays, because most people take off some time in the January to March months.

Then there is spring break and then guess what? It’s summer again.

It’s a vicious cycle, with no end in sight and absolutely no fitness gains to be seen.

That is, unless, you decide to break the habit of thinking that exercise is something that can be dropped from the schedule and put back in again when it suits you better.

Exercise is a necessity at maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It is our only proven fountain of youth, disease-fighter and “I-feel-awesome” medicine all rolled into one.

So I ask you, why would you purposely give all of that up?

Fitness with PJ quote

10 Tips to stay motivated all year-round

1/ YouTube.

There are a plethora of awesome fitness YouTube channels that will warm you up, work you out and cool you down. If you haven’t already subscribe to my channel and you will have access to workouts that you can easily do in your home, with some of them under 20-minutes.

Fitness with PJ YouTube channel

2/ Never allow more than two days without exercise.

I live by this rule. Why two days? Because once two days has gone by it’s way to easy for that to turn into three days, then four days and before you know days become weeks and months.

3/ Always pack your runners.

Where ever you are in the world if you have your runners you can get a workout in. Whether it’s a quick jog, or a series of bodyweight exercises you can maintain your fitness.

4/ Google.

Before you head out of town Google the area and see what there is available. Try a fitness class there to keep you motivated and to try something fun. I have done STEP in Hong Kong, yoga in Mexico, spinning in New York and Zumba in Hawaii.

5/ Wear a tracker.

Wear a fitness tracker and aim for the same step count and calorie expenditure as you would at home.

6/ Wake up earlier.

If your family is not keen on exercising while on vacation then set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and get your workout in before they get up.

7/ Pack it.

If you know you won’t have access to any equipment pack some exercise tubing, your iPod, a timer and a skipping rope.

8/ Track it.

Use an app, or write your workouts down, but track what you are doing. When it’s on paper it makes it more real and real will help keep you accountable.

9/ Penalize yourself.

Studies have shown that people who have to pay others when they don’t stick with their goals tend to achieve their goals. You see we hate giving away hard earned cash, so make a deal with yourself for every day you don’t exercise you owe your favourite charity $5.

10/ Make food and sleep a priority.

Eat the best you can and get a good night’s sleep and you will make it a lot easier on yourself to stay motivated with your fitness all-year around.

When I travel I eat the same way I would at home for breakfast and lunch and do my best for dinner. I still enjoy my travels, while my body continues to appreciate good healthy food.

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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PJ ox

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

 

What if you could write a letter to your younger self?

 

What would you say? What life lessons would you share?

 

Would your letter go a little like the letter I would write to my 24-year old self?

 

Dear 24-year old PJ,

 

Hey PJ! So, we just celebrated our 46th birthday a few days ago (spoiler alert: we were in Mexico), and it got me thinking about some life lessons I wished we learned earlier.

 

But, before we get into that, how are you?

 

I know! That was a ridiculous question to ask. Since you are me and I know I was doing pretty good 22 years ago, even if I didn’t think I was at the time.

 

But, 22 years ago is when we married loving husband and launched our personal training business.

 

It was a big year girlfriend.

 

In fact, our 20’s were pretty good. But, unfortunately we were pretty busy being 20-something, and taking everything for granted like 20-somethings do, that we didn’t really appreciate what the hell we had.

 

Hence this letter.

 

10 Truths I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

 

First, learn to forgive the a**holes in life.

 

It’s not easy, but you need to learn this important step.

 

You see, even if they were a jerk to you it doesn’t mean that it’s all about you. Yes, thinking that they are being an a-hole to just you means you believe life revolves only around you.

 

Huge life lesson here, it does not.

 

This a-hole could just be having a bad day. Or, someone may have been an a-hole to them earlier (which then put them in a bad mood). You just don’t know their story.

 

So please, forgive, turn the other cheek, smile and be nice (Yes, you may curse at them inside your head. We aren’t saints for crying out loud.).

 

Second, learn to love the journey as much as the destination.

 

We are very good at making goals. We have laser-like focus and will quite often narrow our vision to the finish line only.

 

What you need to start doing is paying attention to the journey as well.

 

This is where you will meet some pretty cool people (if you pay attention), as well as learn about yourself and create all the awesome memories that we can reflect on as we get older.

 

The destination is really secondary to the journey.

 

Third, learn to breathe for crying out loud.

 

Everyday take a few moments to just sit still and breathe.

 

These few moments I am asking you to take are what you are going to term “slow and useless”. They really aren’t and are quite the opposite.

 

The stillness will make us happier, rev us up and help get those creative juices running.

 

Trust me on this one*.

 

* Well, you kinda have to since I am you, and not trusting me would actually be not trusting yourself.

 

Fourth, flat abs and an inner thigh gap is not better health.

 

We were pretty overweight as kids, so I get why you are so concerned about your body image.

 

Flash forward 22 years later though, and with the loss of friends and loved ones from diseases, you will recognize that good health is actually vitality and vigour for life.

 

It is an inner glow and energy that one exudes when you are enjoying good food, a good life and doing those squats you love so much.

 

Fifth, appreciate loving husband (and those around you) more.

 

It is friends and family that will help you through some tough times ahead. You will need their support and their love, so give lots to them right now.

 

Yes, loving husband will still be eating junk food and hiding the wrappers in the garbage can when we are middle-aged. However, he puts up with a lot from us so you will learn to ignore these culinary indiscretions of his.

 

Sixth, use sunscreen.

 

This will save us both a lot of money in the future in laser treatments, exfoliates, anti-aging moisturizers and high-def make-up.

 

Seventh, quit buying the latest and greatest.

 

It is, in the end, just crap. You can live without that sweater and I promise you that owning matching dinnerware, cutlery and placements will not bring you inner peace.

 

Save our money and use it for trips and experiences. That’s the sort of thing that we will be remembering, and yearning for more of, in our middle years.

 

Eighth, be kind to yourself.

 

Love yourself and the skin that you are in. You are perfectly imperfect and embrace that.

 

Ninth, be kind to others.

 

The world runs at a really fast-pace nowadays. So fast that we can lose a bit of our humanity just because we are too damn busy to care.

 

Don’t let that happen. Don’t be an a**hole (refer back to tip #1). Care for others and be kind – however, don’t lose your attitude. That’s what makes us all unique.

 

And tenth, rely on your instincts.

 

Instincts can serve a girl well so start paying attention to yours.

 

When making the tough decisions that we have to make in life have a clear-head and trust your gut.

 

Your intuition, and that gut instinct you feel, will provide you with a very useful first step in any decision-making process.

 

However, there is one occasion that I strongly urge you NOT to trust your gut.

 

When we turn 40 we will think it’s a great idea to die our hair platinum blonde. It is not a great idea. In fact, it is an epically bad one. Blonde is not the way to go for us.

 

Trust me. We will regret that one.

PJ-blonde 

Love Me

 ps – being middle-aged is actually pretty cool.

 pps – you know how you are always cold? I got two words for you Hot. Flashes

 

 

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PJ ox

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