Posts Tagged 'challenge'

Let’s Talk About Reflection

abendstimmung, ball-shaped, clouds

I hope this picture didn’t give you any false hope of green grass and sunny days. In case you missed our social media post yesterday, I’d like to remind you all that Marquette has some great indoor walking maps so you can still get your exercise in while staying dry on this rainy day! In keeping with the scheme of things, I would like to ask us all to engage in a little bit of reflection.

No matter what your wellness goals are, there is one important step in making sure that you are meeting your goals, reflecting on them and setting new ones. The thing about goals is that they are meant to be achieved, and once they are we need to set new dreams. And if we do not meet our dreams, there must be a reason. Self-improvement comes first from challenging ourselves and then from keeping track of our progress. As you may remember, my advice for keeping yourself accountable for the goals you set is by first defining them, and then keeping track of them. Write them down, keep a wellness journal, bring your goals to life! And there is a second stage to sticking to our dreams.

The next step in achieving our wellness goals is through self-reflection. There’s a saying that there is always room for improvement, and I have to agree that this saying holds true for wellness as well. Nobody is perfect, but we can always strive for better health and wellness. Taking a step, even a minor one in the right direction is worth celebrating. This is exactly why I believe reflection is so important in the wellness process. Self-reflection is not just about identifying how far you have come in meeting your goals, but how far you want to come as well. In this way, reflection is an important part of mindfulness.

Being mindful of our choices, actions, and life around us means so much for our overall wellness. Mindfulness is what keeps us in the present. Mindfulness and reflection can be achieved in any way that you want it to. You could include this as part of your wellness journal, practice mindful meditation, or discuss your progress with other positive, motivational people in your life. Having goals and finding ways to keep yourself accountable are what keeps us on the right track.

Next time you find yourself in a wellness low, keep in mind that self-reflection is a vital step in recognizing your progress and goals. If you are not keeping track of where you have been, how do you know where to go next? Have a safe, dry day, and happy reflecting, Marquette!

Alicia Diedrich

Get Your Heart Pumping

Kettle Bell Beside Adidas Pair of Shoes

I hope you have all started moving for the Go Move challenge. If not, there is still time, the challenge is taking place throughout the month of February. Get started today, and recruit your friends and colleagues to move with you! Moving is so important to our overall health, and especially necessary to keep our hearts in good shape.

And when it comes to your heart rate, just like exercising, eating right, or anything else, you need to find your sweet spot. One of those cliche sayings that actually holds so much merit is, “everything in moderation.” There is a point where we can exercise too much, there is a point where we could be exercising too little (or not at all). There is a point where we can eat too much of one thing, even if it is healthy. When it comes to all of these things, there is a target we should all be aiming for. And just like these other parallels, there is a target spot for where our heart rates should be at when resting, and when exercising. The key to all of these “sweet spots”, is that they are different for everybody. It all depends on your age, gender, and of course any health conditions. The neat part is that you can find out where your heart rate should be while resting, and exercising, and then monitor it to ensure you are reaching your targets. And with modern day gadgets, you can use a smart watch or a Fitbit, or similar tool to monitor it for you, and of course you still have the option to accomplish this the old-fashioned way as well.

So, it’s great to know what your target heart rate should be, and that you can reach it with exercise. But maybe you cannot bring yourself to exercise, or you dread every single one of your workouts, or you make excuses. Hey, if this sounds like you, I promise you are not alone. It is great to be able to say that we understand we need to get moving and get our heart rate up, but it’s a whole different story to actually want to do these things. I would like to offer some advice: find something you love to do. There are so many options to getting in some physical activity, so there is bound to be at least one workout out there for everybody. Do some experimenting to find what works for you. There are fitness studios and clubs popping up everywhere, go to a class! Register for Try It Night, February 13th from 4 pm to 6 pm, to test out 3 different classes in one night. And don’t be afraid to experiment, love your body so that your body will love you back.

And trust me when I say grab a buddy! A lot of times it is easier to stick to something new when you have someone else there to encourage you, after all, we are all in this together. Let’s all set out on a mission to get moving, find what we love, and get our heart pumping! Have a wonderful, productive, and active week, Marquette. Go move!

Alicia Diedrich

Challenge Yourself

Image result for a goal without a plan is just a wish

We are one week into the Spring 2018 semester. I am excited to be back writing for all of you for my last semester here at Marquette, and even more excited to share that a new intern will be joining us this semester. You will be hearing from her very soon. And, I have to say that I have been thinking about writing this blog post ever since winter break started. Back at the end of the fall semester, I left you off with the December Kindness post. This post, along with New Year’s gave me the idea to challenge myself, and to challenge you to challenge yourself.

With a new year, a lot of us make New Year’s resolutions that we ultimately do not end up keeping. Some of us might still be going strong, while others of us might have fallen off the train already. I want to remind you, that it doesn’t need t be the beginning of the year to set new goals, or to work on bettering yourself. This is something we should all be doing each and every day. Having a minor setback during your workout goals, or healthy eating goals is not the end of the world. I repeat, this is not the end of the world. This sort of thing happens to all of us. If you skip a day, or just happen to have the perfect excuses, that is okay. I have a solution for all of us.

Challenge yourself. How can you do this and stick to it you ask? It’s easier than you think. First, you need to define your goals. And by this, I mean you need to make your goals as specific as possible. Saying that you are going to “eat healthy” is not setting yourself up for success. Define what you mean by eating healthy. Do research, define your goals and motives behind it. If you want to “workout more,” what do you mean by that? Specify how many times a week, set a routine, stick to it. And the most important part to sticking to your goals, is KEEPING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE. I do this by keeping a journal. I write down my goals, I define them, I give them a specific time frame, and I keep track of my progress along the way. This really works, I promise! Sometimes conquering goals can be pretty tough, but working towards goals and feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride is always worth it.

One simple way to start a new goal is to challenge yourself with a one-month challenge. These can be anything from only taking the stairs, eating vegetables everyday, or starting up meditation, or writing poetry. If you have a goal, there is bound to already be a 30-day challenge out there to help you reach that goal. You can Google 30-day challenges including health challenges, hobby challenges, mindfulness challenges, spirituality challenges, anything you want to challenge yourself to, do it. I want all of us here at Marquette to challenge yourself to something new and positive in 2018, and at the end of the year, be able to say that we are happier and healthier than we were at the beginning of the year.

We take our lives one day at a time, one decision at a time, and we have the power to make those moments what we want them to be. Challenge yourself to a new, and improved self this year.

Alicia Diedrich

December Kindness

The Dalai Lama once said “be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” I find this quote to be especially inspiring because it brings light to a topic that is not often discussed. I feel as though a common view on kindness is that it is simply being polite and respectful. In fact, Oxford dictionary’s definition is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” And although I do find this definition to be true, I find there to be much more to kindness than just this.

A couple weeks ago I stumbled across the “Kindness Calendar – December 2017” and immediately shared it on our Twitter page. I loved the idea! I find it to be so creative and unique. Kindness is not often represented as something that requires much effort, and I think that’s exactly where the dictionary definition falls short. It is viewed as something that is more passive or just any basic human interaction. And this is why I say maybe there should be more thought and action behind our everyday kindness. There are so many monthly challenges out there that are great way to start up a new habit like eating healthy, working out, practicing meditation or mindfulness. And all of these actions require thought, effort, and consideration.

This calendar is great because it encompasses so many different forms of kindness. We can be kind to others: family, friends, or strangers, but we can also be kind to the earth, to animals, and even to ourselves and our bodies. Keeping in mind all of these forms of kindness, it really does become a challenge to overall treat life with kindness. It is such a fitting theme for December because it is so often seen as a month of giving and presents. But this year, let’s take our kindness to a new level. Practicing kindness is something I want to challenge all of us to do. So, this month I want all of you to follow along with this calendar with me. That means tomorrow, all of us are going to do something helpful for a family member. And on Thursday we are going to be kind to the earth, and so on.

I hope you all have a very kindness-filled week, and please share the amazing results that your kindness brings to your life with us, let’s spread kindness!

Alicia Diedrich

The season of eating

Image result for thanksgiving food

Hi everyone! We’re almost to that time of year again. The time of year when there is delicious food everywhere in sight. The time of year where it is next to impossible to resist eating tons of extra unhealthy food. I am here just as a simple reminder that it is possible to keep to a healthy diet, even during the season of social eating.

Although it is extremely difficult, it can be done! And maybe it doesn’t need to be that difficult. Now, I do like to promote healthy eating and balanced diets, but I also like to add on: everything in moderation. One of the most difficult parts about eating healthy during huge Thanksgiving feasts and holiday parties that would give any buffet a run for their money, is simply just the volume of food there is. It seems next to impossible to not load up your plate full of everything in sight. I would like to offer some advice to make conquering your cravings easier.

This past weekend, my mother and I were discussing what we wanted to do for Thanksgiving dinner. Since we try to eat healthy, we decided the easiest way to do that during the season of eating would be to just cut back on the amount of food we’re making to begin with. If you’re throwing a get together, just simplify your menu. Pick out just a few items for your menu, maybe you decide you need your turkey and mashed potatoes because they are staples to any Thanksgiving dinner! But maybe you decide instead of stuffing, cranberry sauces, green beans filled with fattening ingredients, and three different kind of pies, you opt to make a side salad. Suddenly, you only have a few options to choose from, making eating healthy and choosing good portions a much easier feat, and you have a new found sense of willpower.

Let’s say you’re not hosting, then what? There is food everywhere! And I’m sure we all feel like we have to try at least some of everything. I want to propose that the same advice works here. Simplify your personal menu, choose just a few dishes to put on your plate. I repeat again, everything in moderation. Go ahead and have a piece of pie if you want it, but then make sure you skip on the thousands of other desserts that are there. Eating healthy during the holidays doesn’t have to be depressing. In the end, when you make a healthy choice about your eating habits, you’ll feel better physically and mentally. I don’t know about you, but when I eat too much in one sitting and your stomach hurts from all the food, you end up regretting it almost immediately .

So, although it may seem incredibly difficult to eat healthier during the holidays, I want to assure you it’s easier than we make it out to be. Give yourself some credit and realize that you have the power and the option to overcome your cravings and to make good decisions for your body. In the end, you will be happier and healthier. I will leave you this week with a challenge for us all, to take control of our bodies and test out that willpower that we all have deep within us. Have a great week Marquette, I’ll talk to you next week!

Alicia Diedrich

The movement starting with 2 wheels

IMG_1510Despite the cold weather, I have always known Milwaukee to be a very bike-friendly city. Along with the bike lanes in the streets, we even have trails down by the lake for cyclists. Newer, though, to Milwaukee’s city life is the addition of Bublr Bikes, a bike rental system that involves stations at different locations throughout the city. Milwaukeeans can go to any of these bike racks, rent a bike for some time and drop it off at the Bublr station nearest to their destination. A pretty solid idea. And now Marquette is in on the game.

In the past week, Bublr installed a few new stations right around campus. The first, just off campus to the east, is on the corner of 12th Street and Wisconsin Avenue right next door to Straz Tower.The second and more obvious is located right smack in the middle campus behind the Alumni Memorial Union across the street from the corner of 15th Street and Wells Street, next to the Weasler Auditorium. This Bublr addition is due to a vote that Marquette students participated in early last semester. Marquette University Student Union arranged for the station to be put in, hopefully tying Marquette to the Milwaukee community a bit more.

Marquette staff is also involved with the National Bike Challenge starting in May. We are taking on other institutions across the country in biking as much as possible to work between May and September. As a university, we are competing against UW-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Alverno College, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Milwaukee County.

Biking to work not only helps the environment, but also helps your health. Turns out, starting your day with a quick bike ride to the office could help you stay awake and happier throughout the rest of the day. It also is just another way to keep active, which can be hard while working full time. And not to mention the best advantage of riding a bike to work – no need to worry about pesky Milwaukee parking (YES!).

Marquette now has plenty of resources at hand making biking to work a doable endeavor. With the incentive to beat the rest of Milwaukee, the new Bublr stations near or on campus and the beautiful Milwaukee summer weather (that will hopefully be coming soon), being the difference while biking the difference should be a no-brainer these next few months. Also be sure to join President Lovell by taking the new Bublr bikes for a spin around campus on April, 14!

Join the Marquette Biking the Difference movement here:  https://nationalbikechallenge.org/team/6291
Check out Bublr Bikes, their stations, memberships and more here:  http://bublrbikes.com/


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