The Secret To Having THE Life and Business You Want

What is the picture of your future? Have you projected where you want to be in 6 months, a year, or even three years? Does the thought of this make you puke a little??? Let me put it this way- would you hike an unknown trail without a flash light? Hell no! So why are you trying to run your business while you’re in the dark? The key to being more productive, accomplished, successful, and affluent is creating the blueprint of your dreams. Once you have your plan you’ll know what projects to put your precious time into and can strategically plan out the steps to create the life and business you really want. Here’s how:

Sit down, either with your favorite journal or in front of your computer. Lean out into the future three years. Why three years? Well, mostly because one year will fly by before you can blink a mascara-ed eye, and five years will seem like an eternity and you won’t be realistic.

Get Clear. Be very specific with what you want and cover all areas of your biz and your life: Revenue, profit, staff, how many hours a week you want work, where you will live/work, what you want the state of your body to be, how you want your relationships to work, personal finances, etc.

Don’t get hung up on the details. This is a living document which means it will change and grow. Just get a first draft down on paper and then edit yourself later. As you start to identify your passions and wants you’ll find somethings won’t make the list.

Next, using the picture of where you wanna be, take up another sheet of your journal. Open a new doc. Brainstorm all the things you want to accomplish just this year. Make sure your list has both professional and personal goals. I want to be 10,000 richer. I want to have 50 new clients. I want to have twins. You get the idea.

Now, take a black sharpie and circle 10 things you really want to do. Voila! Here’s your goals! Clarity is power. You have the power to be you want to be.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill

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Want more tips and help getting clear on where you’re going in life and in business? Join us live and in person, Friday January 17th 1-3pm at FORM Pilates USQ. First celebrity Pilates instructor, Lynda Lippin will be spilling the beans on how to get high profile clients and work abroad. Next, I’ll guide you through my process of getting more done and answer your most burning biz-nass questions. Get more info and reserve your spot today here!

 

What You Need To Survive A Hurricane

 Last week my glorious city, with its resilient souls that call it home, was rocked to the core by a bitch of a storm named after a character from “Grease.”  This isn’t my first time at the hurricane rodeo. Last year, I hunkered down for a storm slumber party when Irene threatened to blow us away. That turned out to be more bark than bite. I ended up spending the weekend drinking vino and watching reruns (I know, survival is tough). This time we heeded warnings, crossed fingers and toes, but weren’t as lucky. At home, I was fortunate to find that the worst my neighborhood fared was just a couple of downed trees. My studio however, did not have power for an entire week, which meant no clients, no renters, no income.

I was one of the lucky ones. Areas of New Jersey, Staten Island, and the Rockaways were demolished. My studio was only out of commission for only 7 days. I know that if I had a business in one of those areas I would be suffering so much more. This left me thinking about how we cope. How to remain positive when a tempest punches you in the face, literally.  Here’s what I recommend:

Remember that recovery is a process. I am always telling my clients, “just relax, you will get there. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” In this case that couldn’t be more true. Rebuilding takes time. Time indicates patience. Patience, for most of us is a process within itself. Take it one day at a time, there’s no where to be but where you are right now.

Practice not abandoning yourself. What, you say, is the good of being where you are right now when right now SUCKS? Well, that’s the thing about the present. It’s all you have. Not the past. Not the future. Just. Right. Now. The now will fluctuate, that you can count on. Today might be a great place to be and then tomorrow, like in the case of Sandy, might be nasty and unpleasant. You cannot control how the wind blows but you can choose how you respond. I am a HUGE fan of Josh Pais’s “Committed Impulse” technique. He teaches you to stay with your feelings and how they manifest in your body, without labeling things good, bad, or ugly. This process makes you stronger since you can take control where you can, within you.

Get Creative. I find that the universe brings me just what I need exactly when I need it. I might be hoping for a UPS delivery from Barney’s and instead get a pile of shit on my doorstep- but it’s exactly what I needed. The freedom you have from your regular routine creates a space you can fill with the things you have had on your “to-do” list forever. Personally, I used the week I had off to plan my entire year and to begin to break down all the projects and what I need to accomplish to make that happen. Maybe you have been wanting to make changes to how you structure things in your business. Now you have the time. Whatever IT is, take this time to be productive, creative, and positive. Most importantly move forward.

Time will heal. I have been so encouraged by the community I live in. Neighbors helping neighbors, even if it’s just helping someone who has no power charge their iPhone. We are a hardy city and will bounce, or rather, “storm” our way back. That is what New Yorkers do.

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How Multi-tasking Slows You Down

Look, I know how it is. You have a busy schedule, maybe a child (or two), an important job, or maybe your own business. The point is you have responsibilities and your to-do list is a mile long. In your best effort to stay ahead of the curve, you feel like you HAVE TO do it all, and do it all right now!!! You don’t even know how you became a multi-tasking demon or maybe you’re in denial that you are one at all? Have no fear, Lindsay’s here. Let’s s l o w down and find a present state of being that allows you to actually get things done and keep your sanity to boot.

 

  • Get real The first step in any good recovery program is to get free from denial. Yes, you heard me right, “denial my dear is NOT just a river in Egypt.” It is where you are if you think juggling ten (or even two) balls at once is productive. Once you’ve come clean, you have to sit with it and start to build your in-the-present power. Start paying attention to how you pile on your tasks. Stop, take a breath, and pick just one. Try not to get frustrated when in minutes time you find yourself piling it on again. Stop. Take a breath. Choose one task. Repeat as necessary. You build up your multi-task muscle so now it’s time to develop your strength in a different way.*extra credit for sitting and meditating

  • Bundle that shiznit I recently read an alarming statistic that says if we check out email every five minutes it’s a total of 24,000 times a year! Just put down the iPhone. Practice bundling your tasks like email, phone calls, paying bills. etc. You will save so much time AND energy focusing on one task for a predetermined time. If you’re a recovering email addict like myself, you’ll most likely go through some withdrawals. I recommend scheduling specific times to check the email, maybe once an hour (if you’re really a user;) and then slowly increase the space until you are only checking it two or three times a day! You will find that you suddenly have time to do the dishes, get a workout in, heck- write that book. You can thank me later…

 

 

 

 

  • Streamline your to-dos If you’re like me, my to-do list can overwhelm even the most organized time management ninjas. I deal with it two ways:
    • If I’m overwhelmed, I use my biz goddess of a mentor, Marie Forleo’s brilliant overwhelm exercise. Sit for 10 min and brain dump. Write down everything in your brain that you have to do, are stressed about, etc without editing. Then, take 5 min to cross off anything that you have no control over. Worried about your kid finding friends at school? Cross that off. Will your new client like you and want to continue? Criss cross. Finally, take what you have left and schedule the steps you will need to accomplish to complete said task. Remember: If it’s not scheduled it’s not real.
    • Be okay with accomplishing only 3 tasks a day. Wellness warrior, Kris Carr, says “I can only metabolize 3 tasks a day.” For the multi-tasking master this may seem like child’s play but it works. By narrowing it down to 3 do-able tasks you feel successful, not overwhelmed. Then if you have more time, you can always add on more. Follow this step with a simple affirmation: “I have done the perfect amount today”. Booyah. Productivity mojo.

Now it’s your turn. How do you keep your sanity and get more done? Pick a strategy, try it out, and leave your findings below. I want to hear from you!

AND if you want more productivity tips and top-notch business advice from someone who’s been there, >sign up for a FREE 30 min biz consult. Let’s start the business of your dreams!

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Copy-Peacock

peacock3Last month was a series of disappointments, one after the other. I was having a tough time and found myself feeling low; lower than I’d been in a long time. I’m usually a very upbeat and positive person  (slightly type A but a happy type A) but this time I would try to build myself up and something would come right up and knock me down, TKO style.

I’ve been teaching Pilates for years now, 8 years to be exact and recently I decided to give up my career as a Broadway actress and pursue my Pilates business full time. Every day, I work hard preparing my business for the anticipation of the opening of my own space here in the city. I teach my clients, write my blog, shoot workouts for youtube, and gather information for my newsletters all because I have a passion for making the Classical Pilates method accessible and modern for today’s practitioner. Like most things in life, anything worth having is worth working for, and it is work. I don’t shy away from hard work, lord knows if I learned anything from my ballet teachers with their canes beating at my bleeding point shoes, I learned to work hard. I think somewhere in my head I thought that carving a spot for myself out in the fitness world would be easier. Boy, I thought wrong.

That's me on the left back in my dancin' days!

That’s me on the left back in my dancin’ days!

When I was auditioning I always hated what I called the “peacocks” of the business. They’re the ones that push there way to the front of the dance floor, elbow you in the ribs, and have their lips permanently pursed to kiss some serious bootie, all the while preening and splaying their gigantic feathers. I could never be a peacock, even if I tried. I’m way to thoughtful and sensitive to kick anyone’s shins (although I may just be getting better at it!). I tend to be insecure and cope with it by becoming withdrawn instead of falsifying my egotism. Being Ms. Nicelady can get you in to trouble in the quest to kick up your heels on Broadway and apparently also in your path to publicly teach people to pull their abs in and up, as I learned last week.

Like they say, “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery”, but when is imitation just plain copy-ing?

A yoga and Pilates college of mine liked my blog so much that she decided to poach it’s title, merely changing one word. This isn’t the first time that this has happened to me. There’s a handful of Pilates websites created after mine that drew from my experience and design aesthetic, some that even “borrowed” text from it’s pages. This time though, it was personal. How can someone who’s already pretty successful, someone who already has celebrity clients, someone I had helped promote her own projects stab me in the back? In other words, she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, sheep’s Lululemon workout gear at that! Well, that which doesn’t kill us make us stronger, and after a half a box of Puffs and a stiff drink I was ready to take my revenge…becoming an even stronger version of me. There is only one me. The more I focus on being the best I can with all that makes me special and different and Lindsay, I will always succeed. I can prosper without stepping on and over others. I can share the success because there’s enough success to go around. I can lay my head every night knowing I’m a good person. I hope this inspires you to be more of yourself everyday and not be afraid of opening your heart. Being a thoughtful and giving person will only bring you happiness and reward. My life is full and joyous and I am blessed. Plus, it’s nice knowing karma is a bitch.

Need a pep-talk of your own? Schedule your FREE 30 minute session with yours truly and we’ll devise a plan to keep your chin up and your business.

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Don’t give up.

81489682ba2f05b13c3ce8af8d39a155Just six short months ago my life was at a standstill. Due to the wear and tear of being a professional dancer, I had seriously pulled my left hamstring. I always thought that when I had a life altering injury it would be my back or my knee. Although back and knee injuries are much worse, they often require surgery with a prescribed recovery. Hamstring injuries are much more elusive. No one really knows how long it can take to heal. In denial and jobless, I continued to dance and desperately audition on it for months. One particularly hectic morning, I forgot to pack my dance pants to wear under my skirt for an audition of West Side Story. I franticly ran around the garment district praying for a solution. Finally, I had to purchase an industrial sized pack of granny panties! By then I was too late to properly warm up for the audition (which always includes my hundred!) and dancing on it cold just made it worse. Finally, with much regret I realized I had better lay off of it or it wasn’t getting better. So, I went back to my roots. My Pilates roots that is.

At first I was unable to perform anything more than beginner Pilates exercises. I was pissed off and depressed not being able to dance for the first time in my life.  Somehow everyday I painstakingly practiced the basic Pilates repertoire. The hundred with bent knees, the 1/2 roll down, single leg circles with bent knees. Pilates was the only thing I could do to be physical and I clung to it like a girl overboard clings to her life raft. The days crept by like a death march and there was many a time during my long eight-month recovery (and my boyfriend can attest to this, he’s a saint by the way) that I was ready to throw up my hands. I was thoroughly convinced that I was never getting better, that I’d never be like I was before. I had resolved to give up my dreams. Before my injury I was an advanced Pilates student, and avid yogi, a professional dancer, a warrior. Being weak and in pain almost constantly drained my natural good nature and strength. I had no sense of who I was without my physicality. I wanted to give up and just be miserable and bitter, but I didn’t. Well at least not for long.

That’s when I started thinking, when do you know it’s time to give up? At what point do you accept where you’re at and just resign? As a Pilates instructor, I have had many a client try to convince me that they “can’t” get an exercise or “never will” progress. And although normally it’s an easy job to inspire them and convince them otherwise I was at a loss in my state. I could barely convince myself to get out of bed some mornings. I felt like a sham.  Who am I to lead others to recovery and health when I couldn’t inspire myself? My mentor overcame a serious neck injury with Pilates (and LOTS of hard work) and is now the strongest woman I know. I decided to make Mr. Pilates prove himself. It was him that said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” How do you begin to build without a single brick? Or be patient when you can’t seem to find anything worthwhile? Peter Drucker said “There is a risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take.” Giving up gets you nothing. I decided to plant the seeds and try not to get discouraged if I didn’t see immediate results. So I pulled up my boot straps and kept going.

Here’s some tips that helped me:

1-    Find a mentor. When I lived in Los Angeles I had a Pilates instructor that knew my weakness and pushed me accordingly. Now in NYC I had to really look to find someone that inspired me. Taking with a great teacher motivates me to do the exercises correctly and do my homework.

2-    Do the things you don’t want to do. In my experience, the exercises and systems I loathe are the best ones for me. If I continued to only perform the easy exercises I’d have never gotten stronger. The added benefit of doing something you hate is the self confidence that only comes with slaying the demon.

3-    Limit stinkin’ thinkin’. Negative thoughts lead you down the road to no-where. Why not believe in the impossible?

4-    Progress is personal. Comparison to others is pointless. In the studio and in life. We’re all originals. There is no one just like you, so celebrate your unique-ness. Make the most of your sessions and focus on you!

Sometimes life takes you in a different direction than you were first headed, often at an entirely slower pace (just click to tweet;) Pilates is a constant. The specificity of the order and the precision of the exercises can lend comfort and familiarity during a time when nothing else can. I’ve been practicing Pilates for over ten years now (I’m older than you think!) and it always fits in my life wherever I’m at. Pilates is for you whether you’re healthy or injured, fit or out of shape, young or old, That is it’s magic. My advice is to you, take it or leave it, is not give up on yourself five minutes before the breakthrough occurs. In the end it’s always worth the effort, whatever the outcome.

Want more business bounty? Join us this Friday June 20th for our monthly live event, the FORM Biz-nass Social. http://www.formpilates.com/the-form-biz-nass-social/ Get more info and register here today!

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What to do when you feel jealous….

jealousy

When I moved to New York City three years ago from Los Angeles, it was decided by one phone call. I had been a dancer my whole life and had always dreamed of moving to the city to perform on Broadway. As I got older, pushing 30, I realized the days of uprooting myself and sleeping on friends’ couches were pretty much over. I was too comfortable in my LA lifestyle to start all over again. This particular Friday my agent called with good news. I had booked a job, a major job, on Broadway. One catch. They wanted me there for rehearsal Monday!

I left Los Angeles for a temporary gig that ended up inspiring me to stay in New York City indefinitely. I was living my dreams in the most exciting city in America with a job on the Broadway stage. After a year though, my contract ended. I thought getting another Broadway show should be easy. Think again. Week after week I would schlep every dance shoe I own on my back to a packed train, to a packed street, only to squeeze myself into a spandex unitard and THEN be forced to wait hours in a room full of 200 dancers. And although we share painfully obvious insecurities, some of them prance around like puffed up peacocks which is ridiculous because we all have to jump through hoop after fiery hoop…..only to get cut. Despite my friend’s supportive and encouraging behavior, I was down, way down. As the unemployment turned from weeks into months, one particular friend’s six Broadway show resume started getting to me. The fact that he was still living my dream gradually made me fill with jealousy. While he dreamed – I was wide, wide, awake.

So, what do you do when you feel jealous? The definition of jealousy is: feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages. This is, by all means not a socially acceptable emotion. No one willingly admits that they’re jealous. It’s one of those icky negative emotions like anger, distrust, and contempt. We say,  “I don’t feel those!”  If any admission is made it’s often downgraded to envy, which is really just the first step on the road to jealousy. The reality is, even if we don’t admit it, we all feel it.

drake-quotes-on-JealousyI had a slap-in-the-face realization that things are very different when you move 3,000 miles away from familiarity. Twenty-nine years constructed a pretty full life. I had friends, work, and family. I had a life that was my own.  Now here, in NYC, where I’ve always wanted to be, I often felt lost, overwhelmed, unaccomplished, inexperienced, and inept. The weather is harsher than imagined. My field is more competitive. Everyone seems to be doing what I can’t. Life here is about survival of the fittest, and man am I OUT OF SHAPE!

But really, my jealousy was actually a mask. A façade to cover my fear of doing something I wanted but wasn’t brave enough to move beyond. As I examined my jealousy further, I realized that all jealousy is fear. The fear that we will not get what we want, the frustration that someone else seems to be getting it, even though we are too frightened to reach for it.

So, what to do next? When you’re at a crossroads there are only two roads to take, and one leads to nowhere.  Believe me, I was happy in my misery, and fed it with daily pitty parties that included lots of Ice cream, shoe shopping, and mojitos in the afternoon. Jealousy is the poison apple that corrodes our dreams. In the “Artist’s Way” author Julia Cameron writes: “The desire to be better than can choke off the desire to just be.” It is our intrinsic longing to be perfect, if that’s at all possible, that causes us to become paralyzed.  We, as in I, make excuses as to why things never work out for me and just stay stuck. Heading down the road to nowhere.

But what if this time we tried a different approach? Went to the mental ‘gym’, built our resolve, eliminated the ability to blame circumstances for our deficiencies? Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” The jealousy is just a distraction from ourselves and our selves are where the power lies.

It is here that I gain the lessons I need to learn through Pilates. Mr. Joseph Pilates was a brilliant man and knew “It is the mind that builds the body”. Through doing my daily Pilates workout, I gain strength both mentally and physically. Every aspect of life is affected. The way I move, the way I feel, the way I think. I start with the most basic exercises like the hundred and the roll-up. With every workout I can feel my powerhouse becoming stronger and more connected. My mind becomes clearer and more focused. Suddenly I’m sailing through more intimidating exercises like the teaser and the long spine, and as a result of my hard work I am rewarded with inner and outer strength and am satisfied. I am doing something for me, about me. My jealousy magically begins to dwindle.

Jealousy now has become a gift, as so many of life’s seemingly negative experiences are. Not just an exercise program, Pilates gave me the key to reclaiming my life. Pilates is a workout and hard work yields results on the mat and off. In Pilates as well as in life what you put into it is what you get out. Pilates inspires me to work harder and reminds me what is important in my life. Even fifty years later Joe’s advice still rings true. Only I have the power to become “the architect of my own happiness.”

Isn’t it time you became the architect of your own happiness? Schedule a session at FORM Pilates NYC and one of our amazing instructors will show you how!

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