Simplify Your Life

Over the 4th of July holiday, I dug out my copy of the book, Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter (by Elaine St. James).  While I chuckled my way through the comments about “planners” and “yuppies” (the book was written in 1994), the book’s message remains true.

“Wise men and women in every major culture throughout history have found that the secret to happiness is not in getting more but in wanting less.”

As a personal trainer and life coach, I speak with and work with many people whose pursuit of happiness is a strong, healthy, and lean body.  Yet they struggle in fitting fitness into their already busy and somewhat overcrowded lives.

They find it complicated to find the time and the energy to take care of themselves.  There are so many responsibilities, obligations, and obstacles to navigate. Their calendars are so full but not that fulfilling. I wonder what their lives may be like if they approached their time with a “less is more” mantra.  I suspect they would be happier, not to mention more fit! 

Find your rocks and organize your life around them!

Precision Nutrition recently published an article on this topic. In the article 7 Effective Ways to Make Time for Exercise and Nutrition, the reader is asked to think of their time as a jar.  First, fill the jar with rocks, the things that are necessary to feel fulfilled in life.  Then add pebbles, those things that add extra fun and satisfaction, but are not a necessity.  Finally, add the sand which represents the bonus activities that are enjoyable, but not crucial to survival or fulfillment. 

During the transition to our “middle years,” our rocks shift.  It is an important time to reevaluate what is important and where to invest our time and energy.   

As we get older, being a stronger, healthier and leaner version of ourselves tends to be a more vital element of life. It is up to us to decide how important that version of ourselves is.

Photo Modified from Precision Nutrition

Maybe fitness is one of your new rocks. If so, it’s time to arrange, or re-arrange, your time around what it takes to be fit. Maybe fitness is more like the pebble or the sand in the jar analogy. Just be sure to adjust accordingly. 

The more we hang on to the past, the less we have for what matters today!

Back in 2003, I took fairly draconian steps to redesign my life around what was most important to me. Sometimes I lose track of that and revert back to “how things used to be.” I slip into viewing my body as a 40 year old rather than the 59 year old that I am. There is no way I can workout like I did, accomplish the same physical goals and look the same way. Age makes a difference. But that doesn’t mean fitness is any less important. It just needs to look different (which is why I created Strand Fitness, by the way!). Fitness still is a fulfilling part of my life!

By learning to let go of former expectations, the more energy we will have for making a difference in our lives today – in this moment!  It is also not just physical expectations. As we get older, we want different things emotionally and spiritually.  Arranging our lives around those needs is also important. 

Start loving and trusting yourself more!

Most of the clutter around us is just noise that distracts us from making our lives less complicated and more meaningful. And nothing distracts us more than our internal critic. As we begin to arrange our lives around what is most important, our internal critic becomes very vocal – telling us why we can’t. Listen carefully, and then do it anyway.

I firmly believe that our self-loathing and self-censoring point to the personal growth that is necessary at this time in our lives. Breaking through these self-imposed obstacles is crucial to tending to what matters most.

If we can quiet our internal critic long enough, we can begin to hear our intuition speak to us. That’s the guiding force we want to love and trust. 

We can help you get started and then keep going toward what matters most!

If a stronger, healthier and leaner you is on your path to a more active and fulfilling life, give me a call! 630-653-8152 or send me an email! ( 

Our complimentary fitness consultations are the first step towards a healthier and more fit life!

Strand Fitness is a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs. To learn more about how Strand Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact Pam (630-653-8152) and schedule your free fitness consultation.

You can learn more about our fitness solutions here: Fitness Solutions



About Pam Strand

Pam Strand is the owner of Strand Fitness, a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs. To learn more about how Strand Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact Pam (630 653 8152) and schedule your free fitness consultation. You can also learn more about our fitness solutions here:

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