Social Media Overload: How to Manage Your Social Media Addiction

o-SMARTPHONE-facebook

With the latest social media addiction called Periscope, I have already seen the downside of how social media can cause some negative habits creep into my life, personally. I actually did “scope” about it on Monday. Oh the irony! But people said it helped them. And even just talking about it helped me immediately. So let me give you some pointers.

A quick word about Periscope: It’s basically Twitter with video but you have more than 140 characters to deliver your message. Think YouTube video with live comments. Or like a Google+ Hangout but only one person’s face is visible. Some say Persicope won’t last or that it’s not THAT big of a deal but I have heard differently. I can see firsthand how this will change the way we watch TV actually. Some TV shows, like home improvement and makeover shows, are starting to broadcast from Periscope. Yeah the video quality isn’t as great as your HD TV, but it’s LIVE. And we love LIVE content. It’s like we are right there with them. And we can TALK BACK to our “TV” this way! Very interactive and fun…and, yes, addictive.

But here are some things I’ve learned from just being a “Scopeaholic” after one week. And these tips can be applied to FB and Twitter as well.

1. Be selective with your following/friends. Good old Facebook gave us the gift of “unfriending” people but they also added that lovely feature, “Unfollow” and “Hide from timeline.” Ahhhhh, relief. We no longer have to see that friend of ours vent about the latest candidate running for office or Aunt Sally posting pictures of her latest crocheting project (Isn’t that what pinterest is for anyways?) or look at all our high school friends become engaged/married/pregnant/divorced. Best of all, we can unfollow that “guy who always posts every detail of his life.”  With Twitter, you can “Mute” people and “turn off Retweets.” That’s one of my favorite features. Some of my tweeps just RT all day and it really clogs up my timeline making it hard for me to seek out those that I really want to see.

As for Periscope, the big thing is “Sharing.” We are constantly bombarded with requests from our followers to “Watch this scope!” when the last thing we want to do is get back on our phone and sit through a boring broadcast just because the broadcaster told you to share it! Unfortunately, the only answer to this problem on Periscope is to turn off notifications all together. But I found the next best thing which brings me to point #2.

2. The Do Not Disturb Button is your friend. I don’t know what Android users have but iOS devices have this lovely feature that puts your phone essentially asleep. YAY! No more sound effects altering us that someone is “scoping.” Or someone replied to one of our status updates or some replied to one of our tweets. Relief! The downside is that now you won’t know when anyone calls or texts you until you check your phone. Bummer.

3. Schedule Your Social Media time. Put it in the calendar if you must. For someone like me who depends on a lot of the internet to drive my business and get me some new clients, I can’t afford to just deactivate all my accounts. One of the perks of cross-pollenating on all major social media networks is that I am highly accessible. So I have learned to schedule my scoping time. I also have my Tweets from my blog match up with my Facebook Personal Trainer page so no worries on having to double up on that. My “personal” Facebook page is a whole other story. It’s touch to schedule something like Facebook when that’s where I get a lot of my news. But, I resolved this problem by subscribing to The Skimm. They send out an early morning newsletter daily that literally is just the headlines and a few sentences so you can sound intelligent when someone asks you “Whats the latest news with Yemen?”

5. Stop Getting Sidetracked. I was noticing that during my short time of being addicted, that I neglected my usual morning routine. I had it down pat for practically 2 years and then this darn thing came along and I was totally thrown off my game! I have a usual routine that consists of reading the Daily Scripture Readings (oh there I go talking about my faith again, sorry) and thanking God for a list of things I’m grateful for and then I end with a prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas. Well…I forgot to do these things for just 2 days in a row and boy was I a mess. It would be like if you had gotten on a fitness kick for 2 years and then one day you woke up and the gym you used to go to every morning was replaced with a diner that served all your favorite foods. “Oh…well I can find another gym. Everyone needs to eat breakfast and it’s not so bad! Oh yummy, is that French toast?”

And how many of us check our phones first thing in the morning? How awful is that? Or what about the radio station we put on when we get in our car? The songs you listen to can definitely have an effect on your mood: “Damnit if I hear Sam Smith whine one more time about Staying with Me I’m gonna puke!”

What about if we check social media first thing in the morning? Ugh. Talk about setting the tone for the day, yikes! Don’t let what someone posted on FB interfere in your life and ruin your day. Don’t let a tweet you saw this morning bring you down. Of course, checking your phone first thing in the morning can also set your mood in a good way if you read or hear something uplifting. It all goes back to rule #1: Be careful who you follow.

Sidenote: I ended up creating a secondary Twitter account where I only follow positive tweeters. I check that more often and my day is immediately brightened. And no I will not reveal the name of my screen name. My little secret happy world, get your own. 😉

4. Is this a waste of your data? Before you comment, tweet, post, or scope, ask yourself if this is going to be a good use of your time. Pretty sad it has come to this right? But I always think, “Would this be something I would be able to say to someone’s face?” If you don’t have the guts to post something because you think it will offend someone or cause a conflict, and you’re legit concerned you could get fired or get reprimanded for it, by all means don’t post it.  But if you’re posting or sharing something to generate a discussion, I’m all for it! Educate, spread positivity, but try and keep it brief. Time is something we don’t get back and you don’t want to waste it by being on an electronic device all day.

Scope Safely, Tweet Wisely and Post Smart Everyone!

-Michelle

Pray for Those Who Won’t, Those Who Can’t and Those Who Don’t

Spend time praying for 10 things that don’t benefit you. – Dale Partridge

Dale Partridge of The Daily Positive posted this status update on his Facebook page the other day.

I shared it on my own Facebook page with the subtitle  – “A great 2015 resolution!”

Quite the challenge for all of us. Not only to pray for others but to pray for things that will aren’t necessarily going to benefit us. Of course, any type of prayer is always good for us but Dale’s point was for us to see that prayer doesn’t always have to be all about us. It’s quite selfish to always pray for circumstances to benefit ourselves, although that’s what prayer is sometimes – a request for help.

But I think Dale’s point was to get us to stop thinking of ourselves for more than a few minutes a day. Think of others. Think about ways to help someone else for a change.

I admit it was challenging for me to think of 10 different things to pray for that don’t involve me. At first, the first few were easy to write down and pray (a friend of a friend who is ill, a family member looking for a job, a parishioner who recently had surgery) but then I really had to stop and think about more people and events that did not directly affect me. Of course there are always people out there who need our prayers. But do we really stop and think about them? These complete strangers?  These unknowns?

I thought of 3 categories of the people who need prayers:

Those that don’t pray: Non-believers, or just anyone who makes it a point to tell you that they just don’t pray. They might even believe in God and maybe go to church regularly. But, these people just don’t pray. Maybe it’s just not their thing. Maybe they don’t think prayer works.

Those who won’t pray: The people who refuse to acknowledge a higher power. The ones who perhaps believed in something or someone at one point but have left the church or had a bad experience with faith. Maybe they think God hurt them in the past.

Those who can’t pray: Those who are physically or mentally unable to pray; someone with a debilitating disease or condition who can’t speak or communicate in any way; those who have passed on (yes they need our prayers too!).

So those are the people and their unfortunate circumstances that I’m praying for currently. And of course, this challenge isn’t just a one-and-done type of endeavor. I plan on trying to do this everyday. Let this be a challenge for all of us in this new year. To give and to think about others. To cease our selfish ways for a moment and pray for others.

Fit in Your Faith Today: Challenge yourself and pray for 10 things that don’t directly benefit you. Write them down and pray for all 10 things every day for a week. Then start a new list the following week and continue for the whole year. What a tremendous accomplishment and what an amazing number of answered prayers to be thankful for at the end of one year.

 

Just a Taste…

Ahh sorry, this post has nothing to do with food as the title so blatantly suggests.  I know, I know, I just continue to disappoint.

No, when I say “Just a Taste” I mean getting a taste of Personal Training. One of my very intelligent clients (hello Lisa!) suggested that just one complimentary consultation and workout is sometimes not enough to get someone to truly appreciate the benefits of having a personal trainer.

They need a little more..just a taste…right?

I tended to agree with Lisa. After all, training is a big investment for most people. Some might say it’s a luxury to have a Personal Trainer. Although I wouldn’t like to classify myself as being something only luxurious or lucky or well-to-do people have, I suppose it’s true that I’m not exactly cheap. I wouldn’t WANT to be seen as cheap!

When I think of cheap in terms of fat loss or nutrition, I think of Slim Fast or Raspberry Ketones or those body wraps. Ya know, garbage. And I am most definitely not garbage. At least I don’t think I am. I might smell like garbage sometimes when I don’t shower right after a workout. But I swear that’s only for a couple hours and it’s only when I know I’m not going anywhere in public afterwards.

I digress…

So in an effort to promote this taste of me (ew, please don’t taste me) I’m offering a Try Me Before You Buy Me type of promo.

Alas, it’s only for people who train with me in person so sorry to my online friends. However, as I have mentioned previously, I offer a variety of affordable packages for Online Training that you can read about here if you’d like to still train with me virtually.

So for my Cleveland friends, here’s a little deal for the month of January for newbies: Buy 2 Sessions get 1 FREE! 

A 3-bie if you will. Three-bie. Like Freebie, get it?

So if you’d like to purchase this awesome deal, click this link and then click the link in there where it says “Buy Now.”  (Sorry I’m not savvy enough to put the HTML code in here directly.  Deal with it.)

So 3 sessions PLUS you still get a complimentary consultation so technically, it’s like 4 sessions for the price of 2.  Like a Four-bie.  4-bie. Okay no, that wordplay doesn’t work so well, does it?

Anyways, if you’re still not convinced that training with me would be a totally life changing experience, just read some nifty reviews about me on Thumbtack or Trainerize. And of course, if you want more information, I’m always available via email at FromFitToFigure@gmail.com, I’m all over Twitter and Facebook. And YouTube.

I am everywhere.

You cannot escape me.

See you in 2015, slim!

 

It never gets easier, but it does get better.

It Never Gets Easier

Truer words have never been spoken, especially when it comes to a large obstacle to overcome.

After being on a nutrition/cardio plan from my online coach for almost 3 months, I will say that it has most definitely not been easy.  But it most definitely has gotten better.  So today I celebrate the small victories:

  • I’m getting better at prepping my food; it’s actually a process I enjoy.  I guess I’m strange like that but I really like ORGANIZING everything, especially because most other things in my life are very DISorganized.
  • Getting better at posting and looking at the progress pics.  This was the hardest thing to get past.  At first I really did not like the idea of even having a blog let alone posting pics of myself in the state that I was in.  But after sucking it up, it doesn’t seem so bad.  And I wouldn’t say it’s better because I look better; it’s gotten better because I’m more comfortable with putting myself out there. Big difference.
  • Getting better at enjoying the process and not obsessing over “What time is it?? Is it time for me to eat?”  Case in point, I’m “overdue” to eat my next meal by 10 minutes.  And I’m sitting here typing all this out NOT worrying about it.
  • Getting better at managing my time.  When you are on a set schedule to eat and workout, you really find time management to be a key asset.  I’m probably better at planning out my day better than I have before.  And I refuse to let social media be the time waster that it can be.  I’ve definitely cut back on that, although if you follow me on twitter you know I still have some work to do in THAT area…. 🙂 But Facebook is getting easier and easier to avoid.
  • Getting better with patience with people who do not have the same fitness goals as myself.  Also getting better at becoming patient with people who have ZERO health and fitness goals.  This is a big one for me because I want to help everyone.  But I’m learning to accept that not everyone wants the help.  However, I will say the people who HAVE reached out to me for help are very grateful for the advice and do see me as doing something positive and inspiring.  So if I’m able to help at least ONE person, then it’s worth it.

 

On a side note:  Happy Valentines Day!  Echoing the words of some other bloggers, I will say I LOVE ALL MY FOLLOWERS! 🙂  Thanks for “Liking” “Retweeting” and “Following” my little journey, your support is appreciated and LOVED in return!

 

-Michelle

Hurry up and Wait

ImageThere’s a little saying in the production world where I used to work that if you were on the crew you would say to one another as a joke: “Hurry up and wait.”  I have no idea where this saying came from, perhaps it’s applicable to your job. 

The reason behind it is the rush of trying to get things done, only to have to wait for certain things to happen first.  When I worked as a production coordinator, you would hurry up and get everyone in place ready to shoot a scene, only to have to wait for someone else to make things happen.   Maybe the actor that was hired is still in wardrobe or makeup, maybe the lighting still isn’t quite right, maybe the teleprompter won’t start up (that last one is from personal experience).  Talk about a panic attack as everyone sits there and just waits and stares at you to solve the problem so they can get through the day.  Glad those days are behind me!

I thought of this saying today as I was frantically emailing and messaging various people online asking all kinds of questions about my figure competition goal.  I recently opened up and sent some pictures of myself to a very well known trainer who told me I was way too thin to even think about competing this year.  Granted she made it clear it was her own opinion and she is just looking at pictures of me but it threw me off a little bit. 

I did ask for her advice so I brought that on myself.  And I knew she would be honest.  After thinking about it for awhile I realized she’s only saying I need to train 3 months longer than I had originally planned.  No big deal right? 

See the problem with being surrounded by other trainers and being a trainer myself as well as having a fair amount of knowledge about nutrition, I am constantly researching what the best method is for training for this competition.  At the same time I’m getting all kinds of advice.  So with this advice and research, the self-doubt kicks in. 

All of a sudden I thought to myself “Maybe I’m doing too much cardio.  Maybe I should do what that woman is doing…maybe I should eat like that guy is telling people.  Shouldn’t I be seeing muscle gains by now?  How come I’m not losing the fat quicker?  How long is this going to take?!”

I worked my brain into a frenzy.  But worst of all, I didn’t trust my coach.  I hired this man for a reason and I realized I need to stick with the plan.  There is no rushing this process.  It’s going to take time.  A year?  Well, maybe.  But after I got some great advice from two competitors that I contacted, I understand that I can still do my show as intended in October this year as a “warm-up.”  Then, if I choose to, do another show as the “real deal” in the Spring of 2014.

I also took a step back this week to remind myself why I started this whole thing:  For myself; to change my body; to see how far I could take this body and my fitness level and to essentially show off all my hard work.  I’m not doing this for a trophy, for a prize, for anything more than to say “I did this.”  So back to the drawing board, although I never really left the board.  I just took a temporary leave to get my mind straight.

Now that it’s on straight, I can say this:

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop.”

I’m not stopping.  I will keep going.  I can do this.

-Michelle