This week I’m taking a little extra time for some self reflection as I’m sure you may be doing as well. We’re a few days into the New Year and, hopefully, we’re feeling some optimism about what the months ahead have in store for us. If you’re not gung ho just yet, don’t feel bad. You have plenty of company. Last year was a tough one on all of us. The good news is that a new year gives us a chance to turn the page and reset our mindset so we can make positive changes in our lives if needed. The trick is to pace ourselves. In our zeal to take advantage of the fresh start that January 1 brings, we take on too much and end up accomplishing very little by December 31. You know what I mean. You draw up a list of great resolutions then life gets in the way. Slowly but surely, you end up crossing off less items on that list and by year’s end you realize your list of resolutions looks pretty much the same year after year. I find it easier to accomplish more when you set your sights on doing less. Rather than defining your happiness by a list of specific “to-dos,” why not take a simpler approach to life that makes every day an opportunity for achievement?
I try to follow four guidelines to maintain a positive mental outlook and nourish my quality of life.
#1: Make time to appreciate something positive in your life. It doesn’t have to be a life-changing event or possession you’ve just acquired. Maybe it’s that friend who always has your back and gives you the best advice. Surrounding yourself with positive people is a great thing.
#2: Give yourself a small indulgence. Need a new shade of lipstick or a cute new bra? Go for it! A few little treats for yourself add up to brighten your outlook on life.
#3: Move your body. If you can’t afford that gym membership just yet, take time to get moving at least three times a week, outdoors, if possible. I love to take a brisk walk on a sunny day.
#4: If you can’t fix something right away, let it be. Here’s where I think we do ourselves the most harm since it’s easy to get frustrated when things aren’t going our way. However, if you take a moment to think about how much effort you put into making something happen and somehow it seems like it takes longer to achieve your goal. Slow down and, within reason, go with the flow until things fall into place.
I recently spoke with Kelly Dooley, a woman who knows a lot about motivation and achieving life goals. She founded the hip sports bra and coordinates line BodyRock Sport despite the daunting odds of launching a brand in the heart of the recession. We just added BodyRock Sport to our offerings at ThePinkSlip.com and asked Kelly how she has stayed motivated on her personal journey to success.
Margo Andros: Kelly, how did you find your passion for fitness?
Kelly Dooley: My passion for fitness has always been innate, which I definitely attribute to growing up in the ‘burbs with an older brother. We had a huge backyard with a pool, soccer field, basketball, tetherball and much more, so all we ever did was play outside. When I turned 16, I joined our local gym and have never looked back. Fitness doesn’t have to be dreadful. There are so many ways to make being healthy fun. And most importantly, the endorphins are addictive. Whenever I am in a bad mood, it’s because I didn’t get a work out in! As an entrepreneur, it’s really important to look and feel good. Living an active lifestyle makes me feel invincible.
Margo: What obstacles did you face starting BodyRock Sport?
Kelly: The hardest part in starting BodyRock was finding manufacturers. My first collection was made in New York City, just a few blocks from my apartment. But what people don’t realize is that producing in the United States is not all that it’s cracked up to be. In the past month alone, I have met with four local manufacturers, and NONE of them have the right sewing machines needed to create my garments. I do produce some goods locally but the vast majority has to be completed abroad. The other major challenge in starting BodyRock was doing so during a recession. This may sound predictable but it’s very true and is especially relevant when it comes to increasing wholesale distribution, since so many buyers don’t have the budget to bring on new brands. As a result, we’ve decided to grow slowly, steadily, and strategically rather than over-leveraging ourselves, which has proven to be an effective method for us because we really get to choose where we want to be rather than the other way around, which is nice.
Margo: How can a woman focus on her life goals and attain them?
Kelly: Seriously, it’s really easy. Women ask me all the time and I always say, “Get started by getting started.” Zen philosophy encourages us to “leap and the net will appear.” This is so true. Whenever I am afraid to do something, the end result is always the best result. For example, when I decided to create a floral sports bra in 2010, I was so afraid. I thought, “Will anyone wear this print?” Needless to say, I went for it and The Sophie Bra was born, and this pink ditsy floral is hands down our most popular bra. I really encourage women to listen to their instincts because they are right every time! I achieve the most success when I actually listen to myself and don’t allow outside influences to impact my decisions. If I wanted to be the same as everyone else, if I wanted BodyRock Sport to be like every other brand, I never would have started my company. So, don’t be afraid to be authentic and true to your vision. Find your niche and stick to it! You don’t have to please everyone. I am sure that many women detest both my brand and me. Who cares? You can’t allow other people to dominate your thoughts because you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.
Margo: I totally agree with you. What do you think is the secret to maintaining an upbeat, positive mental attitude?
Kelly: The key is surrounding yourself with positivity. Misery loves company and positivity is more powerful than you could ever imagine.
Margo: That’s a great way to look at life! Thanks, Kelly, and Happy New Year to you!
Kelly: You’re very welcome! Happy New Year to you and all your readers!
So there you have it from a woman who knows how to take chances, have faith in herself and make her dreams a reality. I hope you all will surround yourselves with positive energy this year and in some small way can bring yourselves closer to achieving the things you most desire!