The Morning Mindset Routine: Set Your Tone

How do you set the tone for your day? If you’re like the average American, you throw off the covers and rush out of bed. Whether you are greeting your day with enthusiasm or are moving at light speed because you have sooooooo much to do, things can get lost in your day. You miss the mark on getting things done or you may regret that you didn’t perform them in a better mood. Imagine if you thoughtfully began your day, setting a tone for what you desire your day to be like rather than letting the day dictate your tone.

Before you begin your day, and I mean from the very beginning, when your alarm has just gone off and you are frantically waving your hand in the direction of the clock hoping to hit the snooze button, take a moment to pause to set your tone and your mindset.

Here are three strategies to do everyday before you get out of bed,

  1. Take a breath. You just woke up and your body deserves a deep, cleansing breath. A deep breath will physically benefit you from oxygenating your blood, to engaging respiratory and core muscles, to stretching lung tissue to increase capacity.
  2. Think one thought of gratitude. There’s so much research on how just thinking of what you are grateful for improves your mood. Think of what you DO have and bring a smile to your face.
  3. Set one intention. What’s one thing you want to have happen today? It could be a task or specific action like exercising or cleaning the bathroom. But it could also be a general state of being you wish to manifest such as patience or compassion. Focus on what you want from the day and go get it!

Music Matters

There is a detail to your workout program that is so important and has so much force behind it that it can emotionally impact you.  It can inspire you so much that you feel strong enough to  move mountains. It may elicit pure joy and provoke an impromptu dance move. It can even move us to tears.  Can you guess what it is?  ….MUSIC! 

We can’t deny that music impacts us emotionally.  Furthermore, emotions can impact our physical efforts.  Think about a time when music has helped you physically.  I dread sweeping and mopping my house.  But when I put on a good feeling, dancey tune, I don’t mind sweeping and mopping because the song makes me want to move.  Well, I don’t mind it as much.  LOL!

When planning your workouts, keep in mind that the music you play impacts your performance. Not only the style of music, but also the tempo, or pace, of the the music. Tempo is represented by the beats per minute (bpm). Generally speaking, the faster the tempo, the more intense the workout.

Here’s are some guidelines when choosing your playlist:

  • Cool Down, Stretching, and Relaxation based exercises: below 100 bpm
  • Warm-Up or lower intensity exercises like Yoga and Pilates: 100-120 bpm
  • Zumba, Barre, Dance Workouts or Moderate Intensity exercise: 120-160 bpm
  • Cross Fit, Power Lifting, Weight Lifting: 120-150 bpm
  • Running and Cycling or High Intensity exercise: 160-180 plus bpm

Wondering what the bpms are for a certain song? Check out these online calculators: Simply type in the name of the song and find the beats per minute. Here you can find the beats per minute for any track by using the mouse pad to input the tempo. This is great for tracks that are not popular songs.

If you are a fitness professional and want to know more about how you can use music during client sessions, check out my podcast Episode #8 Music Matters.

Your Coach Approach

There are a lot of theories about coaching out there.  The ones who are successful have their eye on the outcome that is driven by the process. We can focus on the goal, but we should really pay attention to the WAY that we get there and the things we do day in and day out to achieve that goal.  This looks like daily practice in athletics or the workout plan in fitness.  In nutrition, it’s the eating plan.  Even more so, the character of the individual or team drives HOW the process will go.  This is where YOU as their coach have the biggest impact on their outcomes.

HOW you coach makes an impact on the success of your clients as well as the relationship developed between you and your client.  Coaching can be categorized into HOW you approach the client.  In essence, your COACH APPROACH.  Are you an expert coach or a Partner coach?  Wellcoaches has a great description of the difference between an Expert Coach and a Partner Coach. 

Now, look at these two lists.  Put a star next to anything that you experience when working with your clients.  Do you see a trend?

Why am I sharing this with you and how does this fit into being an FPOP (Fitness Professional On Point)?  Well, the research shows that successful outcomes  are driven by the Partner approach. 

The Partner Approach allows the client to choose their desired outcome with guidance and listen and learn to foster a possible plan. The coach becomes a partner in ultimately what is the client’s responsibility.  Energy is not spent trying to control every bit of activity or every drop of food the client puts in their mouth.  How many coaches do you see  coming off of the bench, grabbing the ball out of the player’s hands, shooting the ball, and scoring the points for the team?  If you did, you’d think they were crazy?  So, why do we as fitness professionals think that we need to be doing the work for our clients?  We give them the tools and resources, and allow them to make their own decisions about how they use them when they are on the court. Partner coaching implies that you do your “part”.  It’s a team effort, and isn’t that what a coach does…coaches a team?


Sforzo, GA et al. (2015) Delivering change that lasts:  health and wellness coaching competencies for exercise professionals.  American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal, Volume 19, pp 20-26.

Wellcoaches Research. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2020, from

What’s Your Niche?

Being a fitness professional is a competitive field. Even though fitness career related occupations are projected to grow by 13% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than other occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, WHAT you do, HOW you do it, and WHY you do it is going to set you apart from the rest of the fitness professionals.

Today we will be exploring what is your WHY and how do you use that to find your niche.

What is a niche?  If you look at a dictionary definition, it is “a specialization, an interest that appeals to pockets of the population.”  But another definition that stands our to me is “a comfortable position in life.”  It means you have settled into YOU, your more authentic self.  When you are more true to yourself, you deliver your services fully and without apprehension.  Clients get that and like that!  Having a niche will make you more focused in the training programs you deliver and provide a better and more efficient match to clients.  If your niche is weight loss, you will stand out to clients whose goal is weight loss.   

To help you find your niche, let’s explore what is your WHY, WHAT does that look like, and HOW will you make your niche a reality.  So, get ready to do some work and answer some questions.

  1. WHY are you a personal trainer? (Insert your fitness profession here.) It could be “Yoga Instructor”, “Athletic Trainer”, “Corporate Wellness Coordinator”. You get the picture.  Some top reasons might be: you believe in a healthy, physically active lifestyle; you want to help others; this is a calling or a vocation; or you may have deeper reasons that are more personal.

Activity:  Write down your WHY and read it out loud. See it, read it, hear it, own it.  

2. WHAT does that look like in terms of your program or product offerings? Maybe one of your reasons is instilling a lifelong pursuit of activity, so working with youth is where you feel you can make the most impact. Or another reason is older adults and maintaining physical independence.  Link what you do to why you do it.

Activity:  List all the ways you can communicate your WHY into the programs and products you deliver.

3. Bridge the gap between your WHY and WHAT with HOW: How do I do that and how do I get good at it?  Are there any skills/traits/characteristics I need to acquire or learn? Then, go out and get them.  Attend workshops, study for the certification, find a mentor.  Practice, practice, practice.  Take on clients that may be out of your comfort zone.  Ask to observe other trainers in your desired niche.  See what they do.

Activity:  List at least five skills, education, or characteristics you need to acquire and practice to be considered an expert in your niche.  Then, for each one, identify one thing you can do TODAY to move forward in acquiring it.  Example:  You want to be able to teach your clients yoga.  Search online the available training in your area.

If you are unsure about your WHY, WHAT or HOW, get out there and experience all the fitness industry has to offer. Take every opportunity that comes your way. Teach a class. Work in a gym. Volunteer at a PT clinic. You don’t know what your niche will be until you give it a try!


Labor of Bureau Statistic.“Fitness Trainers and Instructors : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10 Apr. 2020,

What is a Fitness Professional On Point (FPOP)?

I am so excited to share with you the launch of my career and self-development series for health and fitness professionals. Having worked in the industry for over 25 years (Yes, really, it’s been that long!), I am ready to share with you what I have learned that will take you from an ordinary instructor/coach/trainer to an EXTRAORDINARY one…or one that is On Point!

So, what is an FPOP?  There are three main areas they stand out in: 

  1. Knowledge of their field.
  2. Above and beyond service.
  3. Know their WHY.

Through this series we will explore each of these areas in depth bringing you usable information in an efficient way that you can implement today to give you a one up. Now, this is interactive.  I’m going to ask you some questions.  So, grab your journal, pull your laptop out, or take mental note of your responses and come back later to write them down.  This is self-development, so ya gotta do the work and think about what you can truly do and offer to your clients, to this industry, and more importantly, to yourself.

This information is available via podcast and on my blog. However, you like to learn, it’s there for you.

Check out my trailer and listen to Episode 1 NOW! Follow Me on Spotify so you don’t miss an episode or miss out on all your potential awesomeness!

Episode #1: What’s Your Niche?

“The only person you are destined to become is the the person you decide to be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

10 Minute Mat For a Healthy Back

Strengthen your core, stretch your back. Fire up the glutes and relax overactive muscles. Restore balance and relieve pain. Feel strong and calm! NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED!

This practice is designed to relieve low back pain safely and strengthen the muscles needed to support the spine and pelvis. Perform these exercises when you are experiencing lower back tightness and need a quick remedy. Grab a mat and carve out 10 minutes for you!

Click Here for 10 Minute Mat For a Healthy Back!!!!

Below are the list of the exercises performed in the video. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing any pain or have a health condition that could be aggravated with exercise.

  • Pelvic Curl
  • Shoulder Bridge
  • Toe Touches
  • Dead Bug
  • Isolated Abs
  • Sidelying Hydrant
  • Sidelying See Saw
  • Sidelying Clam
  • Cat and Cow
  • Shell Stretch

Working Out From Home, Optimally

How’s the saying go? “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much.” This is especially true today. There is no more important time to stay healthy and fit.

“But what about….. (insert challenge here)?” You may have doubts about how you are supposed to keep continuing your workout routine. “I don’t have the equipment.” “I don’t have space.” “I don’t have motivation.” While it is a challenging time right now, taking your fitness routine from the gym to home is one thing that is possible, and it’s easier than you think!

There are so many “what abouts” that it can get overwhelming. However, I have found that when we focus on what we can do optimally within the constraints we are experiencing, we have more comfort and satisfaction. When we do things optimally, we are doing them in the best or most favorable way.

When transitioning your workouts to home, take these three things into consideration. It’s all you optimally need to keep your fitness plan on point.

Create a sacred space. Having a dedicated space for fitness will entice you to use it. Your space can be as large as a vacant room to as small as the size of your yoga mat. But you have to set it up! Organize any equipment you have for easy access. Set the tone. If music motivates you, have your blue tooth speaker nearby. Light candles for yoga. Create a space you want to be in.

Use what you got. This is not a time to purchase new equipment, especially if you don’t have space or funds. Body resistance exercises provide an effective workout. Weights are easily substituted with cans of soups and milk gallon jugs. Towels and ties can be used as stretching straps. Learn to thrive with what you already have and anything is possible!

Join an online community. There’s a reason we go to classes and workout at a gym: to connect with others. Whether you chat away with your gym buddies or keep to yourself, there’s no doubt that the presence of others motivates us and keeps us accountable. Sign up for an online class or join a social media board to share and post workouts. Remember, we are all in this together. 🙂