Guest Post: Burning Out is Not an Option

The bright lights lured me here to make a name for myself. I wanted to make it big and what better place than New York City. I did what most people do when starting a new career; I went the safe route and joined a big health and fitness club.



While I enjoyed the comforts of working for a company, I have always had the desire to start my own business. With that dream I took the leap and I started my own personal training business. I left the comfort of the big brother and went out on my own. It was cool, it was exhilarating, and it was scary!

It was great at first, the money was piling in, I was my own boss, and I was making a name for myself.  The more money I made the more work I took on and before I knew it I was exhausted. Soon after I started I was completely burnt out. Trying to do so much was killing me, or to be less dramatic it was aging me. I started to look like a vampire with bags under my eyes. I had to fix this. How could I be helping people better their lives while neglecting my own? I was making people happy and healthy but I was looking and feeling like crap!

The solution was to take care of myself first so I can take care of others. What did I do? I didn’t have time to go to the Himalayas and hang with Buddhist monks, however, I made the time to sit quietly, plan, relax, breathe and have fun.

Here is my routine to success (or sanity) 

  • Start the day with YOU

Scarfing down breakfast while responding to emails and rushing out of the house is so unproductive. Instead, wake up a little earlier and give yourself time to jumpstart the day. During this time don’t allow emails, texts, social media, or any other distractions. This time is solely about you and your thoughts.

  • Write it out and give gratitude

While sipping my coffee I write down all my thoughts and worries. This might seem daunting but writing down your worries actually makes them seem more manageable. This process is a great form of release and most times it helps you come up with a solution. After I am done I write a short gratitude entry. This includes everything I am happy or grateful for. Seriously folks, this really changes your attitude. This is so therapeutic and has changed my life forever.  When you try this you will be forever grateful. (see what I did there?)

  • Plan, plan and plan again

Planning everything in a business is a must. After your morning notes take time to look at your schedule for the day. Fail to plan and plan to fail kind of thing. This will help resolve conflicts and organize your day. I do this with my personal life and business since they always overlap. I plan my free time. This might sound silly but if I have learned anything from being a workaholic it is that you have to PLAN TO HAVE FUN.

  • Take the day off

There will be days that your body or mind just needs a break. Listen to your body. You’re a business owner and you will always have work to do, its inevitable. Your task list isn’t going anywhere but there are times when you are running on empty and need to recharge. When I am feeling like I am getting run down I clear my day. I rather sleep and rest a day then be sick for an entire week. Take the time for yourself when you need it.

  • Practice what you preach

We like telling our clients to get their rest, stay hydrated, eat healthy, sleep 8 hours a night, and exercise regularly but it is astonishing how many health practitioners don’t take their own advice. My health and wellness is my priority and it should be yours. My energy and focus have been amazing since I make sure my meals are healthy, my sleep is adequate and I am moving and recovering daily. Practice what you preach.

  • Hard Stop—“Work Hours” 

This is something I have been culminating over the years. I have an end of the workday hard stop. Usually it’s at 7pm and sometimes 9pm if there is a particular time sensitive project I am working on. I stop, put my phone away and just unwind. I have employees, customers, friends, and colleagues that all know that I do not respond to emails or phone calls after 7 pm. Once you set those boundaries your quality of life will improve dramatically. Put your mobile device in the other room, turn off alerts, and unplug from the matrix. Spend time with a loved one, even if that loved one is you. If you respect your time so will everyone else.

These are some of the tools and practices that have given me sanity through the craziest of times. We are entrepreneurs, employers, leaders, and coaches. We need to take action in our own lives so we can lead by example. Learn to take care of your health and well-being so everything else can follow. Give yourself as much as you do to your business and clients.




Joe Barbagallo is the owner of Joe Barbagallo Fitness training systems; a New York City based coaching service that focuses on fat loss, performance, and strength. His clients include professional athletes, actors, models, and mixed martial artists. Joe also is the co-owner of the film production company Planet Nerd Rage Productions. He is currently in production working with his comic book idol Larry Hama of GI Joe shooting their latest film “Ghost Source Zero!”

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Guest Post- Your Niche Engineered


I can’t remember the first time I saw Top Gun, but I can say I cried when Goose died. I can also say that I wanted to be Maverick, soaring through the sky in the Grumman F-14 Tomcat at Mach 2.2, writing checks my body couldn’t cash. Cheesy? Yeah, but true. It wasn’t the speed, the “glamour”, the aviator sunglasses, or the bike. It was because fighter jets are fascinating, inspiring, and just downright awesome. The thought of flying around in one gave me goose bumps – I was seven. Meet Regina Arras, Aerospace Engineer.

I can’t remember the first time I did the hundred on the Reformer, but I can say that I probably silently cursed my teacher. I can also say that I was hooked from the start. Simple, yet complex movements accomplished with maximum effort and the minimum number of repetitions for maximum results. Genius? Absolutely!  It wasn’t about getting skinny or ripped. It was about making connections and finding equilibrium through corrective exercise The thought of using specially designed apparatus to help people find answers to questions about their bodies that they’d had for years put a huge smile on my face. – I was much, much older than seven.  Meet Regina Arras, Pilates Instructor.

What seven year old gets chills watching fighter jets soar above the clouds in a corny 80s action-adventure love story and then grows up to geek out about metal machines, springs and wheels, and how they can change people’s lives? Meet Regina Arras, Pilates Engineer.

I never chose to be an Aerospace Engineer or a Pilates Instructor.  They picked me.

What I did choose was to become the Pilates Engineer. I found my niche in fact I created it.

What’s the equation?

Niche= (2 x Passion) + (Support group + Mentor)


Simply, find two things you love to do (anything – promise), add in a support group and a mentor, and give it some time.

For me it looks like this:

Pilates (Instructor + Aerospace) Engineer

Life has a funny way of working out sometimes doesn’t it?

Regina's headshot smallAerospace Engineer and certified Pilates Instructor, Regina Arras, has a unique take on body mechanics and a very real passion for the “nuts and bolts” of Pilates. Regina approaches Pilates from an engineer’s perspective, dissecting the mechanics of each exercise, and from the artistic perspective of a dancer, always pursuing and appreciating the beauty and elegance of each movement. Regina’s distinctive approach has given rise to whole new business model as she tackles the service and maintenance side of the industry to redefine what studio upkeep really means. Learn more about Regina here



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It’s Your Mind That Builds Your Money



An interviewer recently asked me, “What’s the biggest issue you see when it comes to people and their money goals?” and without skipping a beat, I replied, “Resistance.”

I know with Pilates and other forms of fitness, resistance is often a good thing — it helps to strengthen, burn calories and build muscle.  Bring it on! However, when it comes to money matters, resistance translates to procrastination, avoidance or just plain denial

In many ways, having a money goal (like getting out of debt, sticking to a budget, saving more, or raising your rates) is not that much different than starting a new exercise plan or diet.  We start with good intentions and lots of motivation. But before we know it, we fall back into old habits and resist making any real changes.

We may know, deep inside, that we need to get out of debt, stick to a budget, save more, raise our rates, etc.– just like we know that we need to exercise regularly and eat kale.  If we could just get ourselves to do it…but, much to Oprah’s dismay, when we know better, we don’t always do better.

The interviewer was surprised by my answer. She thought that I would have said something more obvious like personal debt or underearning, but in my opinion, those are just symptoms of the real issue.

The real issue is that people don’t have the right money mindset.  When it comes to money, more often than not it’s we’ve inherited an underlying money story from our parents or other authority figures in our lives that have caused us to look at money in a negative light. Rather than view money as something that comes naturally to us and something we want to take care of, people tend to see money from a perspective of lack and scarcity, or use it to mask deeper feelings of fear or inadequacy.  We see finances as too overwhelming, complex, over our heads, boring, etc. that we want nothing to do with them, and would gladly hand the responsibility over to someone else.  Hence, the resistance.

But the question is what can you do about it? 

Developing a healthier money mindset is similar to training a new muscle.  But in this case, the muscle you are flexing is your brain.

Here are a few tips to get you to think about your finances differently so you can begin to tackle all those money goals, break through your resistance, and create the life and business you’ve been dreaming about:

  • Look at Money Story. Begin by noticing what you are telling yourself about money and identifying the stories or belief systems you might have you inherited as a child about money (and work). Did you always hear that there was “never enough money?”  Was money is your household tied to work that was stressful or unappealing? Or was it something that easily flowed in and out of your household?
  • Find alternate evidence.  Whatever negative story you might have inherited, start looking for evidence that proves otherwise.  For example, if you were always told that one could only make a decent living by working a 9-5 corporate job or becoming a lawyer or doctor, find examples of people who became successful by other means, say, through entrepreneurship or creative pursuits. If you were always given the impression that women were not good with money, find examples of females who rocked their finances or career, like Jean Chatsky or Amanda Steinberg.  By finding alternate evidence, you can start to create a new money story that works better for you and brings you closer to the goals you want to accomplish.
  • Change your language. There’s power in words.  Catch yourself whenever you find yourself using negative language when saying things like “should” “have to” “can’t.”  Instead, practice replacing those words with “choose” and “decide” (e.g., I should save more > I chose to save more; I have to keep my rates where they are > I decide to keep my rates where they are) etc. Recognizing that you always have choices will help you start seeing your money goals as empowering rather than as a sacrifice.

And remember, be patient!  Joseph Pilates once said, “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”  Our money stories run deep, so be patient with yourself and trust that a new money mindset is something you too can achieve.



Jennifer Faherty is a Martha Beck Life Coach and Certified Financial Planner who loves helping people save and spend freely.  Sign up for more money tips at and you’ll also receive a free copy of ‘The Mindful Money Tracker” — the one step you need BEFORE you start budgeting.  


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My Dirty Little Secret

body collage

My 20 something self. My 30 something self.

 The dirtiest little secret a professional Pilates instructor can have is well, they aren’t doing Pilates themselves. I am supremely guilty of this. It has been months since my last workout, and  I’ve been playing what feels like a charade with my clients acting as if I’ve been putting myself through the same paces I put them through. I watch idly by as the other teachers in my studio (yes, I own my own studio) get in their required 55 minutes. Sweating, stretching, strengthening immersed in their own practice like it was more than a habit, it was a necessity. I wasn’t always like this. As a young instructor I took lessons with more experienced teachers like my life depended on it. I was hungry for knowledge and wanted to “feel” the work in my body before I could relay it to someone else. So what the heck happened then?

 It’s easy to simply say I got lazy, bored, or busy, and then force myself back into practice, but that plan never lasts. I get resentful and bitter, and no one likes a Pilates instructor who sits at the back of the studio on a stool smoking a cigarette, drinking a martini, and lamenting about how back in the day we did this and that. In midst of my uncertainty I took spinning in lieu of my Pilates sessions, touting the “Doubt means don’t” adage. Doubt as I may, I do know for sure there is no replacement for Pilates. It’s either Pilates or no Pilates.

 Last week after a session, I confessed to a particularly wise client. Her reaction was more concern than critique, which is when her words hit me. “You’re avoiding it aren’t you?” I was avoiding it, but why? A little introspection yielded unexpected results. I am heavier than I’d ever been, by 20 pounds and (duh) it’s no surprise that I’m reluctant to watch myself stuffed into my Lululemon in the studio mirrors. I was out of Pilates shape and nothing felt like it used to. My body had changed but I hadn’t changed my Pilates practice. I was dodging what used to feel easy and fluid in my tiny dancer body since  it now felt awkward and uncompromising. Why should I do something that makes me feel like a stiff plump sloth? I felt more at home hiding under my regular clothes and in the dimness of the spin studio.


So, while it’s easy to blame the Pilates: “I’ve done it all”, “It’s boring”, “it’s expensive”, “I’m too busy when I’m in the studio to get a workout in”, and the all time fav, “I just don’t feel like it”. It’s much more effective to take the responsibility on myself. I had changed and hadn’t allowed myself to reshape the work to look good on me. Here are three things I did to get my shapely body back into the studio:

Look Good to Feel Good.

There is no rocket science here. When you feel good in what you’re clad in you just feel better. My drawers were filled with size 4 workout pants and tops that didn’t support my bountiful bosoms. Everyone always says “Don’t buy larger sizes, work to get back into the small ones”, but I call bullshit on that. My size 4 body wasn’t normal on my 5’8” frame. Yeah, I could stand to loose a few lb.’s but it’s a little cray cray to try and get back to my 23 year old self. I went out and got a couple new pieces that made me feel like a million bucks. Now I was not only motivated to sweat but I alleviated the fear of bursting into tears when I glanced in the studio mirrors.

Distract Thy Self

Now, now Pilates fanatics don’t freak. I’m all about Joe’s principle of mind building body, but sometimes too much focus (especially on what you don’t want) isn’t such a good thing. Part of motivating myself to get back in the studio and do some damn Pilates was to distract myself from the fact that I’m doing it. I would pull another teacher in for an impromptu duet. I would put on some kickin’ beats so I couldn’t hear my negative thoughts. I took a session from my peers to prevent being left to my own lax devices. You may have been taught that Joe would roll over in his urn at something less than the traditional ways of working out, but if it’s broke y’all got to fix it!

Make It Fun

As a young teacher Pilates reminded me a lot of dance class. Not because the moves were similar but because I was poked, prodded, and put down for not being good enough. I desperately wanted to be better, stronger, and get the praise of my instructor just like back in my ballet days. This slowly tainted the work for me and it’s not surprising that over time I got a sour taste in my mouth. Katherine Hepburn said, “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” I finally decided to practice what I preach and make my time on the apparatus or mat fun time. If I wasn’t having fun it wasn’t worth it.

Want to help distracting yourself from a tough workout? We know just how to motivate you and get you closer to your fitness goals. Email us studio [at] formpilates [dot] com to schedule a quick consult with our expert concierge to help you find your Pilates match.

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GUEST POST: When Your Nest Moves…

IMG_0358While I crave experiencing new places or relaxing changes in scenery, all the planes, trains and automobiles can be a total drag. When I was packing for a recent trip, I wondered, “What do other people pack to take care of themselves when they go all Road Warrior?”

So, I thought I’d share. Here’s what I take with me when I head out of town:

  • A backpack – While my idea of camping is an outdoor fireplace at a spa, I bring along my little old backpack. I love its comfy, padded straps. especially when there is going to be a lot of walking or standing. Why un-do all that fabulous Pilates work that you’ve doing all year?
  • A 32 oz. water bottle – Staying hydrated while in transit can be a challenge, but it’s SO important. With this size bottle, it helps me keep track of how much water I’ve been drinking (or, sadly, sometimes not) drinking. I shoot for emptying this bottle twice each day.
  • Probiotics – Each of our guts plays hotel to trillions of microbial cells. Some are friendly; some are not so much. Probiotic foods (or supplements) can help those friendly microbes crowd out the pesty ones. The result: we have smoother digestion and better immune response. Both are totally important when you’re traveling and likely encountering lots of new germs and bacteria. While I pack a probiotic supplement, I also try to enjoy some of my favorite probiotic foods like miso, tempeh, kombucha, coconut kefir, kimchi and other fermented pickles & veggies. Mmmmm!
  • A stash of herbal teas & healthy snacks –Gas stations and airports are getting somewhat better, but healthy choices are usually limited. However, you can always get hot water. Having a cup of tea just feels like home to me, so I always carry an herbal assortment with me. Depending on my mode of transportation, I usually have some fruit, dried fruit and nuts with me. Montmorency cherries, for example, can even help with jetlag. It does require a little planning, but it’s way better than stressing to find something that won’t make you feel gross when you’re already starving. (My husband would probably add “and a pain in the @$$” to the end of the last sentence.) All natural meal replacement bars have also saved me when I’m off my normal meal schedule. Just read the ingredients first. If you can’t speak or spell them, please don’t eat them.
  • A can-do Pilates attitude – One of the first things that I fell in love with is how damn portable the method is. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve done a challenging mat workout with nothing more than a towel on a carpeted floor. Let your teacher know that you’ll be traveling. Ask what exercises you can take with you and about their favorite resources. Like a DVD or an audio classHint, hint.
  • A yoga strap – I love to walk, especially when I’m touring some new place. My hamstrings quiver with joy (or resistance) when I pack my yoga strap. Lying on my back, I hook the strap around my heel and gently open up the back of my legs and do a couple of hip stretches. I also can also use it to bind my legs and settle into a constructive rest position to unwind after a long day. The strap is light and rolls up into a fist-sized ball for ease of packing.
  • A hot water bottle – My hot water bottle is bright red, so I’ve named it Ruby. Before you think I’m about 150 years old, I challenge you to try it. Remember all the walking that I mentioned? Well, it’s great for applying heat to soothing sore, tired muscles. (Use cold water/ice for bumps and bruises.) I tend to get cold when I’m tired, so I’ll rest it on my center when I first settle into bed. It’s so relaxing.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a little lady who loves lots of options. These are just a few that work for me personally. Like I tell my clients, play and experiment with these; or create some new options that work even better for you. Just remember: You CAN get out of town without feeling run-down. Safe and happy travels!

Be (s)well.








027_130425_MARTINSYNDER-(ZF-3036-76899-1-001)Kara Martin Snyder, CHHC is the Owner & Chief Coach over at vital corps, a health and wellness studio located at the intersection of strategic action and self-care. Kara’s not your run of the mill, woo-woo wellness coach, though. Sure, she’s got the classroom and professional creds that many health coaches have but she’s also got an arsenal of bad-assery stemming from her boardroom, kitchen, and street savvy. Devotedly serving whipsmart, Type A, professional women, Kara deconstructs the broken processes in her clients’ lives and together they co-create actionable, manageable steps to creating healthy, more fulfilling lives slathered with joy. Forget frazzled and famished, it’s time to get focused and downright fierce… without starvation, deprivation, or tribulation. Visit Kara’s little slice of digital Shangri-La at and scoop up your free copy of Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness today.


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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.


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?


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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How To Detox Your Life of Negative People And Not Feel Bad About It

This week I welcome Chin Pham. Chin and I met at our mentor Marie Forleo’s Rich, Happy, Hot Live last year in NYC. We sat next to each other all weekend, experiencing all the wicked speakers, Marie’s brilliance, and shaking our booties every time someone spun the  wheel of dance (that’s right- wheel o’dance!). This girl could MOVE and I fell in love with her energy and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and her calling as a life coach. We vowed to stay in touch and I thought she would be a perfect addition to our little blog. This week she’s written this handy post about detoxing negative peeps from your life. Take this girls advice people- it will help you not just with your life but also in your business! Now on with her post….

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain


Firstly: my definition of a toxic person- Someone who complains and dumps their problems on you but doesn’t do anything to change their situation. Someone who is not supportive. Someone who makes you feel bad. Someone who shoots down your bright ideas, big goals, or bold (and risky) decisions that you need to make in order to be successful.

Secondly, this article isn’t intended to reprimand or paint toxic people in a negative light. Toxic people are usually in a place in their life where they are not open to constructive feedback or changing, so they are stuck in their current situation and don’t have the insight to see beyond their own struggles. And that’s okay. This article is meant to advocate for you so you don’t allow their negativity to impact your life.

First, why it’s important to detox your life of negative people:

  • Negative people slow you down towards achieving your goals. Whether they know it or not, they end up discouraging you from being ambitious or following your dreams by questioning what you’re doing and planting doubts into your head.
  • Negative energy from toxic people affect your energy level, not to mention your stress and anxiety. Ultimately, it’s your health and well-being, so you are responsible for taking care of it!
  • You need to create space for positive change to happen. Being in toxic relationships with people and allowing their negative energy into your life will hold you back from manifesting opportunities for success. Also, releasing negative people will create space for the positive people to enter, who will encourage, support, and help you grow as a person.

How to detox negative people from your life:

Step 1: Decide that you’re worth it

  • You need to feel as if you’re worthy of achieving your goals and changing into the person you want to be. Letting go of any negativity in your life will help you get there faster. You’ve got to be committed to doing this for yourself otherwise your guilt for letting go of these relationships will prevent you from moving forward (more in Step 3).
  • How to realize you’re worth it: Decide. Simply make the choice and decide that it’s time you committed to yourself, your goals, and your dreams and you won’t let anything or anyone slow you down.
  • Think about the negative side effects of holding onto these relationships. Ask yourself:
    • What effect are these relationships having on my life?
    • What are my goals and how badly do I want to achieve them? Are these people supporting my goals or slowing me down?


Step 2: Identify the toxic people

  • Toxic people make you feel worse than when you started talking to them. They bring your energy level down. They leave you feeling bummed out. Notice how your body feels after talking to them, particularly your chest and stomach which are areas where most of us carry stress and anxiety.
  • There is a difference between someone sharing with you their struggles/challenges vs someone who constantly complains. The difference is the prior is willing to listen to constructive feedback and is open to change (and does change). Conversely, the latter (i.e. whiners and complainers) don’t want to change and just want you to feel sorry for them.
  • They shoot down your ideas. e.g., They question what you’re doing. They may say something like, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t change careers because you have so much job security here. What about your benefits? Or your retirement?” This is pretty common and sometimes subtle and harder to notice. Even though it may sound like they’re giving you advice, in the end they’re just putting more doubts into your head because your actions may bring up their own fears and insecurity.
  • Toxic people can fall within the spectrum of being subtly draining to all around toxic and poisonous. Even if they fall on the less severe end of the “toxic people spectrum”, it’s important to identify this and work towards letting them go as they will still affect you negatively.


Step 3: Let them go

  • Just start. Use whatever method you think is appropriate. Avoid them. Don’t pick up their calls. Apologize for being distant but you do not need to explain why or defend your actions.
  • You don’t have to explain anything to them unless you feel like you need to because they’re being persistent and pushy. Avoid explanation because they are probably in a state of mind where they won’t listen to what you have to say, take it personally that you are letting them go, will probably get on the defensive if you try to justify your reasons.
  • Do it gracefully and with love. Send them off with love and a prayer. Be open to the possibility that if and when they are ready to change and be more positive/supportive, then you would be open to rekindling the relationship.


Step 4: Don’t feel guilty

  • Again, you are worth it. You must be your own BEST FRIEND. If you don’t take charge of your life and well-being, nobody will do it for you!
  • You are not abandoning them even though you may feel like that. There is a distinction between abandoning someone vs letting them go so they can find their own way. If you’ve already tried giving them advice, encouragement, or even a wake-up call and nothing happened, then no amount of wise words from you will change their thinking or behavior.
  • It’s not your obligation. You may keep these people in your life because you feel like you have to or you’re obligated to. Maybe they’ve been your closest friend since grade school. Or maybe they’re your cousin and you feel obligated through your blood ties. Whatever the reason, people grow and change and it’s normal for relationships to evolve.


Step 5: Bring in the positivity!  Surround yourself with positive people. These are people who:

  • Support your ambitions
  • Encourage your ideas no matter how scary, risky, or seemingly unknown the outcome could be because they know how important it is for you.
  • Are up to big things. They are people you admire because you think they kick ass in life!

You are worth it and you can do this. It begins with an intention to change your life and a commitment to yourself.

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Chinh small FINALChinh Pham is a fear conqueror and life revolutionizer helping people embrace their inner badass so they can create a bigger vision for their biz and life!

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Proactive vs Reactive

Believe me, I know how it feels. A new year rolls around and while you’re supposed to be full of hope and promise, instead you’re full of dread. Your to-do list is swallowing you whole, you have no idea how to make your dreams and goals a reality, and you can’t remember not feeling overwhelmed running your business. In the past weeks, I’ve been sharing what I’ve learned from one of the most productive and successful business women I know. This system has changed my business and my life. Being in control of your efficiency is THE key to having the life and business of your dreams. It’s time to step up your game. Check out this video where I break down my process:

As promised below are is the step by step process I use to make my magic, including links to my templates and PDF worksheets:

Step One. Create a Painted Picture.

Step Two. Define your goals and plug them into your year

Step Three. Create Task Lists. (Here’s mine to help you get an idea of what I do;)

Step Four. Schedule them immediately!

Finally, I challenge you to do at least ONE of these steps in the next week. Leave your insights, comments, and questions below. I want to hear from you!

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It’s Just Pilates- Signs You’re Taking Your Workout Too Seriously

Killer Workout- The Movie

We’ve all heard that Pilates is “good” for us. Experts spout a myriad of benefits to getting your sweat on. They range from disease prevention to weight management, with the added bonus that it will make you look good in skinny jeans. So, while we know that we “should” get our weekly workouts in- when does something good for you go bad? Here are my signs that you are working too hard:

  1. You are so sore you can’t _______(bend, sit, pee, or tie your shoes) the next day. Soreness happens, butbalance and consistency take work. The pain you feel after killing yourself at the gym, comes from your body trying to repair tiny tears in the muscles fibers. While some soreness will be normal especially after vigorous exercise, too much can indicate injury. Plus- being incapacitated will make it almost impossible to make your workout the next day, and then maybe the next, and the next. You get the idea.
  2. You aren’t having a good time. I don’t know about you, but getting to the Pilates studio or the yoga mat is challenging enough as it is. If I’m forcing myself towards an activity that I absolutely loathe, then I’m more likely to skip it. I believe fitness should be fun. Walk the dog because you get so much joy from Fido. Put on some tunes and dance until you can barely speak. Do it because it makes you happy and feel magnificent.
  3. You’re should-ing on yourself. Most of my life I’ve battled a case of the should-s. I  should have my leg higher on that battement (dancer speak for a big ole’ kick.) I should be 5-10lbs thinner. I should be more muscular, flexible, proficient, etc. When you feel like working out and being fit becomes a measure of how loved and accepted you are by yourself, it’s time to change that record. Like food, exercise can get obsessive and destructive if you let it. Consider it a practice in self acceptance and just cool it.

 One of my mentors, a life-long Pilates instructor and master teacher Bob Leikens, told me one day in a particular grueling workout, while I was gritting and scrunching my face, “ Lindsay relax- it’s only Pilates”. When you find yourself making faces and gritting your teeth stop and ask yourself, “Am I  making this a big deal?” Remember- it’s just Pilates.

If working out, feeling great, and being healthy without killing yourself is just your style come and visit us in NYC! FORM Pilates is a gorgeous boutique studio in the heart of Manhattan. First-time guests can try us out in style for a steal. Click here for more info. We hope to see you on the mat soon!

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Balance is an Illusion


You see it everywhere- “Find balance in your life” “Balance work and play” even the “balanced diet”. Well honey, I have some news for you that you may not like…balance is just an illusion. Yes, that’s right, like a shiny oasis in the middle of a desert, balance is a place you never seem to reach, simply because it doesn’t exist. I feel duped just like you. I’ve read every article on the subject, poured over many a self-help book, watched every Oprah episode that claimed to help me regain the balance I had lost, but nothing changed. I was still chasing balance like it was a sample sale at Barney’s. The thing is- you can’t regain what you never had. Balance is ever-changing and in the rare moments that the scales sync up- they tip yet again.

I propose a new way to view life’s equilibrium, a paradigm shift in steadiness. Life guru Danielle LaPorte has a new program all about goal setting and the disappointments that come from not meeting yourself where you had planned to be. The rigidity of goals and balance don’t allow you to be in the moment and follow how you feel day to day. For this very reason, I stopped putting my workout schedule on my calendar. Gone are the days of forcing myself into my skinny spin pants when the previous day was a particularly tough one filled with lots of cookies, too much Cava, and too little sleep. Instead, I’ve learned to bend my knees, kneel down, and meet my inner child right where she is. I look her square in the eyes and sweetly ask her, “What is it you need today, sweetheart?” If that’s a nap, a little walk, or a snuggle with my dog- I honor that.

Turns out that when I stopped hammering myself on what I “should” be doing or chastising myself for who I “should” be instead of who I am…everything got balanced ok on its own. So, I opened a fresh page of my journal and wrote out my new credo. I want to share it with you:

  • Lead with your heart not your head. I like to think I’m a pretty smart gal, but when it comes to knowing what’s best for me my brain can get me all tripped up. When I can turn off my endless stream of thoughts and breathe, I can open to what my soul knows . This takes time- heck, I’m still working on it. My bossy brain spent its whole life notifying me what I’m required to feel, believe, or be.  Unfolding into yourself takes time and patience, but I promise if you follow your heart you’ll always be exactly where you need to be.
  • Catch more flies with honey. Kindness is key here. I know. I’m guilty of more than one occasion of emotionally thrashing myself for some mis-step or mistake. Then afterwards I waste time licking my wounds and trying to rebuild what was broken. Showing yourself the affection and care you would for a child will get you where you want to be much faster and much easier. Not to mention with much less scarring…
  • Just be. We live in a culture of smart phones, constant buzzing, rushing with time flying us by. Especially in my city, New York, we’ve lost the ability to s l o w things to a roll and enjoy the scenery. My yoga practice and meditation help me steady my frantic pace and bring me back to the moment. The present is just that- a present. It’s not about the 5 lbs you want to lose or the 5 lbs you gained, because it’s just what it is right now. So, if all we have is this moment why not just be here with whatever it brings.

So, stand up, steady yourself and find the “balance” of the moment, because in the next one, you’ll just have to find it again. Knowing that my dear, is true balance.

At FORM we know how the struggle for the illusive balance can get you down. Our expert instructors can get you as balanced as you can be. Email our Pilates Concierge and let her set you up with your first session today!

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