Loving The Lizard

I have a confession- I struggle (I know BIG surprise!). I struggle with going to bed on time, choosing salad over nachos, not having just-one-more-drink, and especially getting my sweat on daily. This is particularly shameful since my job as a Pilates Instructor is to teach people how to be fit and healthy. The thing is- I am human, and I’m realizing that so are my clients. Change is NOT something we welcome and as it turns out- it’s actually all in our heads.

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In our most primitive part of ourselves, or our Lizard Brain, we are just concerned with staying alive, chowing down, and making babies. While this primal part of ourselves comes in handy if you’re stranded on a desert island, it can create roadblocks for our modern lifestyle. This reptile brain sits at the top of our spine and responds, instead of reasons using instinct to keep us keeping on. Change is not good for survival, so the lizard will tell you to stay home in your p.j’s and eat that second bowl of cereal. We are safe here, we have grub- what more could we possibly want?

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So how can smart, motivated, type A personalities like myself get past this prehistoric monkey wrench? My game plan is to reward the lizard (what do lizards like as treats? Bugs?). Instead of setting useless goals and plans that the reptile will just shoot down anyway, I’m gonna catch more flies with honey- so to speak. Check out my plan below:

  • Change my “have-to’s” to “want-to’s” Instead of planning a workout schedule or eating plan, which could cause resistance I will just do one thing, at least, everyday that is good for me. It could be hitting that yoga class, doing a 10 min meditation, or eating kale. Just one single thing that I’m drawn to that day, depending on my mood.
  • Implement a rewards program Instead of punishing myself for not doing as much good as I should, I’m going to reward myself everyday- just because I can. It could be a bubble bath, mani/pedi, massage, that new top I saw in the window, or even squares of good quality dark chocolate. The idea is that I don’t have to do something to get perks. I get them just for being alive and surviving.
  • Let the lizard have it’s way At least once (maybe twice) a week I aim to let the lizard lay around and be lazy. No plans, no goals, no to-do list. I will give myself permission to feel safe and sheltered on my couch, in my bed, in my den. We didn’t survive for centuries without doing something right.

What is your reptile mind telling you? How do you motivate yourself without alienating the most primitive, instinctual part of your self? I want to hear from you! Leave your comments below…

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Ask Lindsay- Marketing Spells You Can Cast

0How do I get more clients through the doors of my studio? My studio is fairly new; we opened in February and while I’m excited by the growth that we’ve seen already, I want more! Can you please share how you’ve made your studio a success?! What were some of the pivotal decisions you made that helped to drive up your clientele? My retention rate has been good, and I am confident in my skills as an instructor, but I need your help on how to infiltrate my market and create a strong community of lifers!  ~Anonymous, New York

Getting people in your doors (or on your mat) can be tough when you’re just starting out. Over the past 10 years of my practice I’ve built (and re-built after various moves), from just a handful of loyal clients to today’s bustling studio with a wait list for new clients. Sadly, there’s no magic to my process, just hard work, consistency, faith, and LOADS of patience. Allow me to be your fairy princess of marketing. Here are four spells you can cast on your market to drum up some interest in your Pilates practice:

  1.  Do That Voodoo That You Do So Well The first step is to concentrate on the clients you already have. What can you do to make them absolutely fall in love with you? How can you make their experience like none other so that they gush to their friends and family about how ah-maz-ing you are? Check up on them after your session together. Make them a little homework video. Throw them a party in appreciation and ask them to bring their friends. Offer them a free TY session for referring you to their sister. I’ve gotten 75% of my own clients that way, which proves word of mouth is powerful. Either that or I’m damn good at casting love spells….
  2. Look Into the Crystal Ball Do you even know who you’re marketing to? Casting a wide net may get you a few little fish, but aren’t you going for the big catch? The only way to do that is to identify who your ideal client is and market accordingly. Look into the future…who do you see sharing your space two or three times a week?  Which clients do you just jump for joy over teaching? Write out this fantasy client. Give them a name, a specific job. Know where they live, what they read, even their favorite meal. Then look into the ball and see what their fears are, and how you can solve them. Put that knowledge into your marketing and they’ll come running to you saying, ”Wow, you must be psychic.”
  3. Do a Fly By Get on your broomstick and get out of your studio space! Go to where these ideal clients are hanging out. Concerts, readings, plays, restaurants, clubs. Go there and bring your best self (oh and some biz cards). Chat up everyone and if it feels right share what you do (chances are they’ll ask you anyway). This is a great way to get clients. I once found a lifelong client in the cosmetics department at Barney’s!!! Make sure you have an email sign-up list prominently displayed on your homepage so people can sign up for correspondence with you, which brings me to my final tip….
  4. Spellbind Them Often Send regular correspondence, email newsletters, blogs, and/or video blogs (aka vlogs:) will keep you in the forefront of prospective minds. Don’t be afraid to be a little pesky. Research has shown it takes at least 5 interactions before a potential client actually makes an appointment. Shorten that time by offering new email subscribers a free consult with you or a discounted intro session. Remember that you have to be able to “look” into their eyes often to astonish them!

How do you get clients in your doors? I want to hear from you! Leave your comments below and share with your friends!

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The Truth About Your Sunscreen

 Post by Lauren Gralton

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When it comes to pricey purchases, like a TV or refrigerator, I always do my research prior to buying anything, but with sunscreen I’ll admit to letting my wallet decide. Little did I know, that many claims of protection displayed on the bottle were as baseless as the substance inside. 

Upon reading the almighty Consumer Reports’ sunscreen stats, I was relieved to find out that “the least effective sunscreens were among the priciest.” It turns out that the top three, actually include two generic brands. Said rankings placed Equate from Walmart in first, then Up & Up from Target, and Coppertone took the bronze (no pun intended).

 Can’t find any of the above options? Here’s a couple tips on how to choose your shield from the hot, glowing star-

– Always purchase sunscreen with a broad-spectrum label. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends this because, “SPF ratings found on sunscreen packages apply mainly to UVB rays [so] many sunscreen manufacturers include ingredients that protect the skin from some UVA rays as well.”

-When it comes to SPF, any number lower than 30 is providing less than 96% protection. Please note, the Environmental Working Group states that “higher SPF products require a greater concentration of chemicals but fail to reduce skin damage.” In my opinion, it is better to use SPF 30 or SPF 40 and be more conscious of application.

So, how often do you really need to apply? 

The EPA advises to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun that way it has time to absorb into your skin.

Amid my researching, I found that many websites give a formula to figure out how long the SPF will last on your individual skin type. They said to take the number of minutes it would take for your skin to burn without any protection, then multiply that number by the SPF number. This means that if my pasty coloring starts to fry after 10 minutes, then a SPF of 30 would keep me safe for 5 hours. A recent experience in Orlando gives me more than permission to say, “I beg to differ.” Granted swimming, inevitable perspiration, and any contact with clothing will cause the sunscreen to rub off sooner. I’ll side with the experts that encourage application every 1-2 hours, depending on your natural skin coloring.

 Protect and Educate your Children 

If you are a parent or in charge of any little ones, make sure to slather that sunscreen on. According to SunWise, a program created by the EPA to educate kids about sun safety, between the ages of 0-18 is when sunscreen is the most vital. Skin damage and sunburns earlier in life can have dangerous long-term effects. They note that it is important to educate children at a young age about taking care of their skin. What better way to do this than by playing a game. Test your sun safety knowledge here.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a few random facts that I learned: 

  • Hippos naturally secrete an oily, pink sunscreen (tweet this!)
  • The black rings around a meerkat’s eyes act like built-in sunglasses!
  • UV rays are the strongest between 10am and 4pm

So, whether you plan to be outside for 30 minutes or 3 hours, make sure to cover yourself and your loved ones in sunscreen first. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 and apply liberally. Now go soak up some rays!

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