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  • 13th June 2013 Instructor Newsletter

    After the last 2 newsletters being all about community and class numbers, I wanted to get everyone to do a little check in with YOURSELF. It’s June and half way through the year, the perfect time to revisit your goals and to do list and also check in to see how productivity is going and even to have a look at your own self-belief and confidence levels. As always, I would love to hear from, you so please check in with me via social media.
    Fitness Pilates Focus Tour with Kelly Reed-Bank this tour is having amazing feedback and almost all dates are full now. She will be in Bristol & Woking 22/23 June if you would like to grab a place Click here to book

    Seize the moment…or it will be gone.

    Goal Setting

    As it’s half way through the year it’s a great time to revisit your goals and your plans. You may need to back up and change course, or you may need to give yourself a kick up the backside to make sure you are on track.

    Revisit your 12 month Goals list, recheck what you have accomplished so far this year, and check the additional goals that you want to get though by the end of the year.
    Write your Goals list in YOUR PHONE.  I’ve said this so many times and this has been a revelation for me since I started doing it over a year ago. We all have our phones in our hands a huge percentage of the time. We are always checking it, so make sure you write your goals there so you can see them every time you look at your phone. This keeps you focused like a laser beam.
    REWRITE your goals if they don’t feel right now. You MUST be flexible enough to change course if necessary. A goal may need to be tweaked, changed and updated, which is why I suggest you revisit your 12 month’s goals on a weekly basis.

    Action Points

    If you have an iphone use the Reminders app, it’s awesome. You can have multiple lists here. I have a 12 month’s goals list, home List, weekly lists and daily to-do list. This little tool is a lifesaver for me. I know it will work for you to.
    Decide which of your 12 month goals you are going to do in order of priority.
    Create an action steps of how you are going to achieve 3 of your 12 month goals.


    Time Management

    Since I have been working with Fitpros on coaching and helping push their fitness businesses further, I realise the biggest and most humungous obstacle is TIME MANAGEMENT.

    “I have all of these amazing ideas for product development, employing other Instructors, becoming a speaker, creating a new brand, but I don’t have the time to work on it”  I probably hear that nearly every day.

    When Instructors say this to me I am so sad.  Sad because I think we have so much potential, so much to give, so much to offer and so many opportunities. But in order to make time in your life to develop your ideas you are going to have to make space somewhere, or get rid of unfulfilling tasks in the week to really drive your idea through. There have been times over the last few weeks I’ve been working well into the early hours because I have to get a project finished that I’ve been working on, so I have to make and find the time to complete it. I think it comes down to how much you really want something. If you keep piling on more and more work on top of what you are already doing you will get burnt out and so resentful. Have a think what you need to let go of, change or outsource and schedule in time to plan your new project.

    For busy fitness professionals who are juggling classes, one-on-one sessions and families, marketing, social media, keeping the learning going to keep pace with the ever shifting trends of the fitness industry, can be challenging if you aren’t organised.

    This means that structuring the way you work is vital if you are going to have time to learn, work, and have a life. The following are quick tips to aid you in getting across everything in your day, week, month and year so that you may get more done in less time. I wrote an article similar to this last year and so I have updated it now to make it even more relevant.

    1. Decide you want to be massively productive and CRACK ON!

    Do what you need to do to get massively productive! Self-discipline is the key, make yourself do something that you need to do, whether you want to or not. Get on with it. If you want to be top in your field decide that you are willing to pay the price and roll your sleeves up and get stuck in. Eat that frog…Every day. Successful people do the things other people can’t be bothered to do.

    Rachel’s Tip – Whenever I sit at my desk I tackle the biggest job first. I don’t answer emails or phone calls until I have made substantial progress on a project.

    Is this the most effective use of your time?

    I ask myself this question whenever I am doing something. I check my master list and my master goal list and whatever I’m doing I ask myself if this the best possible use of my time and will this get me closer to my goals.

    Whenever you embark on a task ask yourself this question “Is this the best possible use of my time right now?”

    3. Strategy breaks

    Take two days a year, one day a quarter, half a day a month, one hour a week, and 10 minutes at each end of the day to plan and intend your day. Only do what you deem is important, and only work from a list. As new things come in, add them to the appropriate list as long as it links to your goals, and cross them off as they get done.
    Rachel’s Tip – Make a to do list at the end of every day so your brain gets time to absorb it all while you are sleeping. Often you wake up with the answer to a problem or can make a decision if you write it down the night before. Have a masterlist then make a daily to do list that drives you closer to your master goals.

    4.Believe in YOURSELF!!!!!!

    You have to behave as if you have already achieved your goals. I am astounded that so many confident FITPROS who can get up and stand in front of a huge group of people yet underneath they are unconfident and insecure and have little self-esteem….This can easily be addressed and changed with a mindset shift

    Please remember everyone has the same fear!!!! We all feel this, everyone thinks secretly “What if people think I’m a fake” or “I don’t my stuff” or “People will find out…”

    The sooner you can get over this and start acting, behaving and believing that you are the true professional you ARE things will change. You have to shift your mindset and then everything starts to fall into place.

    If you REALLY in your heart of hearts don’t believe in what you are doing and saying then it will show subconsciously.

    Believe in yourself and what you are doing & saying – This has to be one of my top tips. Whenever I talk to Fitpros about falling numbers or ideas that haven’t worked out I have to ask them in your heart or hearts do you really believe in this? Have faith in your abilities and what you are doing and saying.

    Rachel’s Tip – Put 100% into any venture you go after. Live and breathe it with your heart and soul for maximum success. If your confidence gets a knock have some inspiring music on your ipod or listen to a good self-development audio. I love Brian Tracey Audios; his business ideas are so logical and straight I always feel back on track when listening to any of these.

    5. Get Outside and Change your Environment

    Think about where you get your best ideas. It’s hardly ever sitting at your desk, so set up rituals that get you away from your work environment to access different parts of the brain.

    Rachel’s Tip: If you are a social/people person like me, I can only work for about 4 hours at my desk productively, then I have to see another human being! Get out, take a quick walk, go to the super market,  post office and break up your office time, you will still get as much done. I get my best ideas when I’m teaching class or in the shower.

    6. Chunk your time

    Put things together so you can get things done. This means making all your phone calls in one hit, putting sessions back-to-back, then having administration time, then planning time. Plan to get things done in one sitting without distraction.
    Do and work things only once; don’t read mail twice, open mail twice, choose what to do and don’t stop until 100% complete. Don’t chop and change! Focus until over the line, don’t get distracted. Doing this can decrease the time it takes to do a task by up to 80%.

    Rachel’s Tip I write my Blog posts all in one go, film 4 downloads in a time, write 3/4 articles  etc. Batch your time.

    7. Clearing
    Get stuff out of the way that is in the way. Clear thinking, clear relationships,  get things off your mind, don’t carry it around with you. The reasoning behind this is you don’t need unresolved issues filling your creative mind. Your mind needs to be clear to be creative, so if a relationship, or situation is bothering you clear it up and get on with it.

    9.  Use travel time effectively
    Travel time can take up many hours each week. If you add up all the hours across a year it can add up to a university semester.  Why not use travel time efficiently and use this time for learning.  There are great books and audio programmes that can be read and listened to while travelling to and from work.  Use your travel time as learning time.

    Rachel’s Tip I’ve listened to hundreds of audio books while I’m driving or flying. I then arrive at my destination motivated and inspired and have learnt new information.

    I’m listening to Michael Heppell, The Edge and Neil Strauss, The Game; both are really different and very good and inspiring.

    10.Do Something that Scares you – Take a Risk/Get Uncomfortable

    Pushing yourself into the unknown or to an uncomfortable situation is great for growth and personal development. Start a new class, organise a talk, set up a new online programme…go on make a move and get things done.

    How do you get more confidence about your abilities – My Top List to gaining greater confidence and hitting your goals faster

    1. Confidence comes from gaining more knowledge – keep reading, listening to audios, going to courses.
    Create a daily to do list so you have a daily plan and you know what you are doing, this will stop you wasting time and not achieving your true potential.
    Start behaving and acting as if you have already achieved your goals.
    Hang out with confident, successful people even if it’s online. We all know you become like the people you spend most of your time with.
    If your confidence takes a knock or someone says something to you that hurts, remember it’s often not personal, it’s not about you, it’s about how they are feeling. Bounce it away from you and concentrate on being the best version of you.

    Remember – You chose this profession to help others achieve their fitness and health goals. You want to share your passion so you are doing yourself and others a disservice by not fulfilling your full potential and being confident and believing in yourself, because that my friends is the key to all of our success.

    I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback on this article. I have written it from the heart and hope it inspires you to check in on your own goals, ambitions, self-belief and confidence.

    Jayne Nicholls

    Opinions while subjective, should be very personal and special things to share. A totally objective conversation or article where no one really knows which side of the fence we stand on can be slightly boring, but I guess also from experience as no one is or has been more opinionated than I over my 25 year career, an obvious and forceful view, can be irritating especially if we think the polar opposite. 2 very different opinions shared = debate and debate is where we really learn to appreciate ”the other side”. I suppose that if by debating articulately and with a genuine understanding of your subject, you can change someone else’s opinion then this is wonderful conversation and a career in politics could be on the cards.
    Where would we be without the opinion of experts to substantiate our views, especially when infant or forming and in need of some further content to help them grow. This is where the term ”evidence based” comes from and is the very back bone of any science or medical based research. The fitness industry has long benefitted from both evidence and opinion from people who have dedicated years to formulating their content with a genuine passion and prolonged interest.
    With these people we can have the very best debates and learn to change what we think and the actions we take, on the flip side of this, my advice would be these 2 things:

    Never argue with a fool, as you will both inevitably end up looking stupid
    Never follow a fool as you will inevitably GET LOST.

    Jayne Nicholls

    Marvin Burton – Tip #8 Use slow tempo training to improve strength and technique
    Lifting a weight fast will give a false representation of technique and ability. Momentum must start off slow and increase in speed when correct technique is established. To use cars as example, you wouldn’t drive a car that doesn’t have any breaks. The same rule apples when lifting weights. You first off all need to train stabilizing muscles and be able to control the movement before you start to accelerate. Accelerating too fast is often criticized when beginners train in a cross fit style.

    Are You Easy Jet of Virgin? by Katie Bulmer Cook

    In our world outside of fitness, as customers ourselves, we have come to expect different things from different companies and brands.

    We know that if we book a flight with Easy Jet, we can expect the orange, budget service…minimal leg room, no freebies…more of a wham bam thank you mam experience. In contrast, if we opt to fly with Virgin, we have higher expectations. We expect outstanding customer service, complimentary drinks and snacks and all the other trimmings that go alongside the indulgent red branding.

    This doesn’t mean that Virgin is better than Easy Jet, they are just different. Both are equally brilliant and successful because what they deliver and how they brand themselves matches their customer’s expectations.

    As fitness professionals, to a certain extent, it doesn’t matter whether we are the cheapest, the most expensive, offer basic good customer service or outstanding ‘go the extra 3 miles’ service. The key is that the message we send out to potential customers, whether it be in person, with branding or online, is consistent not just over time, but with the service we offer.

    Next time you launch a product, programme or class, ask yourself, ‘does it match my message?’

    Here’s to successful branding and marketing,

    Have a great week,


    Tweet me your thoughts @KatieBulmer

    DanceLady and Jimmy Spices

    The Dance Lady went to Jimmy Spices the Restaurant chain for the first time. I have to admit I don’t “do” chain style restaurants !. I’m more of a country pub kinda girl. BUT trying out new experiences is important and my 2013 resolution was adopt a Flip it reaction to situations.
    Arriving at Jimmy Spices, Bath, I was immediately aware of the “eating experience” atmosphere within the canteen style layout. And this is where the worlds of Fitness and moreover Kids fitness merge!
    The environment was very friendly, spacious, well lit but with quirky decoration and branding. If possible try to make your teaching space child friendly, remove/store “adult”  fitness equipment  (this also prevents accidents or interfering ! ) if using circuit cards brand them in a kid like way ie Spiderman Press Ups, Iron Man Lunges , etc.

    The first thing to strike me was the “mass eating ” or in the fitness concept, mass participation, everyone there for the same outcome. There were all shapes and sizes and ages in one environment,  something that we in the fitness world should embrace . Fitness should be much more about Family Fitness and should be much more about the experience and the feel good factor.  At the same time I was in the restaurant there was a family unit of Grandparents and grandchildren, which I thought was lovely. Wouldn’t it be great to see more mixed family units participating in health and fitness activities? Could you offer a regular Family Fitness session ?  “Dads n Lads ” circuits , or Mum and Me megamix ??.

    The eating choice was fast, simple and easy. We should encourage the choices of fitness to be simple and easy to participate in. In class offer several different exercises, using different equipment if possible

    And now for the food !! There was a carousel of dishes, some more simple ie Pizza and some more complex several Curry choices with different styles of rice and side dishes. There was something there for everyone. Within my party we had a vegetarian, a conformist and me a traditionalist ! We were all encouraged out of our comfort zones with different tastes, yet made to feel comfortable with our choices. I chose to try out different foods, rather than just choose what I know.
    Again, all of this is the message we should be delivering in our Dance/Fitness activity sessions with kids. Allow your students to come out of their comfort zones, but encourage them, challenge themselves to new experiences. Within sessions for kids try to offer traditional Games activities that they know ie Duck Duck Goose, but spice it up with different rules and levels. Here is a link to some simple different activities
    The final reward for new experience is a fun, light-hearted taste delight! For me this was a combination of Jelly Beans, Marshmallows dipped in the chocolate fountain and waffles!  In fitness always finish on a high, a fun quirky dance routine or game.
    So taking a leaf out of the Jimmy Spices book, let’s make our dance & fitness activities for kids a carousel of activities, with challenges and new experiences, but with always a physical reward or a treat at the end!
    Have fun. Caroline DanceLady

    For Better Or Worse…For Richer For Poorer…!!!
    By Andrew Crawford

    For all those readers who will soon get ‘hitched’ and say those famous words (…for better for worse, for richer or poorer…) whilst looking lovingly in their partners eyes and to those who are already settled in a loving relationship known as marriage this article is especially for you.

    After a fun filled alcohol driven few days away, I landed early this morning whilst some of you were still curled up under those warm duvets with Terence the Teddy huggled against your chests.
    My mind became occupied with a recent case which will fundamentally change the whole dynamics concerning the protection that a company will give it’s assets and their ownership.

    Here’s a summary of what happened…..

    A British oil tycoon lost his landmark divorce battle against his ex-wife in the Supreme Court yesterday and was ordered to pay her a substantial amount of money.
    The most successful businessmen, argued that he could not pay his former wife as his assets were owned by his companies, not by him.
    But the court ruled that property worth £11million was held ‘in trust’ for him by companies he controlled and owned and ordered their transfer to the ex wife.
    Yesterday’s ruling sets a precedent because it reverses a previous judgment that had barred the wife from obtaining the properties as they were separate legal entities under corporate law.
    That decision had raised the prospect of wealthy husbands being able to ‘bury’ their assets in companies they own to protect them from generous divorce settlements.

    So Andrew……
    What has ‘For better or worse, for richer or poorer’ got to do with Accountancy and Tax?

    Well folks… the ramifications of this Supreme Court ruling could have an impact on divorcing couples of far more modest means. For example, could legitimate family businesses be at risk if one of the owners splits from his wife? And are there legitimate ways to protect your investments or property if your marriage hits the rocks?
    The questions and answers by Emma Simon below will give you more details as it’s impact has in my opinion has wider implications other than in a divorce case.

    I own a business. Is this now at risk if I get divorced?

    There has been a lot of talk about whether this Supreme Court ruling gives family law judges the power to “pierce the corporate veil” and include business assets in a divorce settlement. Until now such assets had generally not be taken into consideration.

    However, this ruling has not giving divorce lawyers carte blanche to grab any business assets. These can only be included in a divorce settlement is a judge rules there has been a deliberate attempt to “hide” assets owned by the couple in the company to reduce a divorce settlement. In such cases the Judge can order that this transaction be set aside, and be include the value of such assets in a settlement.

    However, if this is a viable trading company, with other owners and creditors that has been running for years this won’t be included in a divorce settlement. Although of course any share you own in it could be taken into consideration.

    Is it worth setting myself up as a company to protect certain assets?

    No. If a company has been set up just a couple of months before divorce proceedings started this is likely to raise suspicions. There may be perfectly legitimate tax reasons to set yourself up as a company, and pay corporation tax at 20pc rather than top rate tax at 45pc. However, if it is deemed that this has been done solely to shift income, property or investments into a “company” structure, you may be ordered to simply hand over the shares as part of a settlement, effectively giving your ex ownership of these assets.

    Even if this has been done years in advance, if you are the sole owner, sole shareholder and sole beneficiary of this company the shares you own are likely to be included in a divorce settlement.

    Can I sell assets to family or friends to keep them out of my ex’s hands?

    No. If the house is suddenly owned by your mother, or shares are transferred to a friend or business associate a judge can still order that the value of these assets be taken into account.

    I have a secret bank account. What happens if I don’t declare it?

    Divorcing couples are legally required to make a full and frank disclose of all their assets, income, property and pension – both in UK and abroad.

    Both parties will be required to complete a document known as “Form E” – which asks questions about all aspects of their finances and requires them to provide documentation such as tax returns, a year’s bank statement etc.

    Spouses are required to sign a legally binding statement that this includes all relevant financial information. If at a later date it is shown they have deliberately omitted information this is treated as contempt of court, and could result in the individual being fined, or even imprisoned. It is unlikely to put you in a particularly good light with the judge, who will be deciding how these assets are split. You may also be landed with additional costs, if you ex has had to employ a forensic accountant or specialist lawyer to track down these assets.

    But it is an offshore account. How is anyone going to find out about this?

    You may think you will be able to outsmart your ex, but are you confident you can outsmart his or her lawyers? Specialist divorce lawyers are used to couples trying to conceal assets and are well practised at uncovering “overlooked” accounts. Business accounts, bank statement and savings balances will be added up and if there is money unaccounted for questions will be asked. Family law courts have the power to compel accountants, and even bank manager to appear and be questioned about your finances.

    What about my pension?

    Both company pensions and personal pensions are taken into account. If you have a final salary pension you may have to pay a lump sum equivalent to the pension your other half could have expected to receive, had you stayed married. If this is difficult to pay, from the assets you have, then you may not be financially separated – but the spouse will be able to claim a portion of your pension when you retire. (If they remarry this will be cancelled).

    A recent report suggested that over the past decade many divorce settlements have undervalued these pensions. In some cases an ex may be able to go back to the courts, and appeal their settlement to get a higher payout.

    The ruling confirms that, if someone is the sole owner of a company, then if the court is satisfied that those assets are held by that company on trust for one party, they can be used as part of a divorce.
    It means that business people cannot deliberately “hide” their assets in businesses and corporate structures to protect them in future in the event of a divorce.’
    The Supreme Court has handed down a landmark decision in which, for the first time since at least the end of the19th century, it has accepted a general exception to the rule against ‘piercing the corporate veil’.
    “….This is an extraordinary decision and the implications for corporate governance are potentially huge……”

    For better or worse for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, I thank you for the marriage between my words written in this article to your mind, conscience and occasional smile…… now it’s time to consecrate this marriage….wahey…!!

    Vikki Scovell

    In the last 2 hours whilst contemplating a BLANK Word doc which should be crammed with amusing and thoughtful anecdotes, I have eaten 2 peaches, taken the bread out of the croc to make cheese sandwiches, put the bread away because one thing my middle section  REALLY does not need right now is a cheese sandwich, tried on a new pair of socks even though it was obvious what they would look like, eaten 2 more peaches, watched a squirrel………. FOR AGES, written a list of things to buy on the internet (which I cannot afford and will not buy anyway), called the dog STOOPID in an attempt to feel intellectually superior (the dog turned his snout away and sighed in latin) and I have huffed and puffed artistically, and run my fingers through my hair distractedly, picturing myself as a tortured creative type.

    Still nothing.

    Every now and then, the computer pings softly as a Face Book update comes through.  I resist, remind myself that I am not important, it will not be a friend request from the PM or a private message about a new TV contract: it will merely be a request for me to LIKE someone’s re-cycled underpants business page.  After three or four pings, my resistance nips out to the loo, and I quickly peek at FB before it gets back.  Nothing of any world-stopping interest, a few people have ‘liked’ my picture of Babs Windsor just after her bra has flown off in ‘Carry on Camping’ which I posted as a bikini Bootcamp advert this morning.  I inwardly shiver at the word BIKINI and am glad that I didn’t eat that cheese sandwich.  Thinking of the cheese sandwich makes me hungry, and I feel exasperated at  always being hungry, always wanting to look OK in my bikini, and always being sure that I want the sandwich more than the bikini, right up until the last mouthful, when suddenly the bikini seems like a better option.
    Still nada……
    I picture myself smoking a pipe contemplatively wearing a flowing smock, like some loony poet, but that doesn’t work.  A car arrives and the doorbell clangs.  A man is at the door with a PARCEL; oooh exciting.  On the parcel in block capitals it says TO MY AWESOME DAUGHTER.   ‘Been using your credit card again has she?’  Says the man.  ‘Ha ha’ I laugh wincingly before RACING back to the computer to look at my bank account to see how much financial damage Child 1 could have caused in the window of craziness when I allowed her limited use of the card.  It’s not so bad.
    I decide the only way forward is to get out and walk.  I stand up and the dog gets up and walks to the door.  I look at him suspiciously: he will not meet my gaze.  I wonder if he has placed the idea in my mind through thought transference, he simply looks blank.  We strike out into the lane leading to the fields.  It is still, overcast and moody.  The hedges are a riot of tumbling may flower and cow parsley and everywhere is plush green leaves and creamy blossom.  The dog trots on with purpose, and my feet hit the ground with a rhythm as steady as a heartbeat.  My brain gradually relaxes with the meditative foot fall, the clean grass smells and muted bird song.  All of the countryside is calmly going about its business: growing, feeding young, resting and just being.  I am almost unaware of how far I have come, and am suddenly in the bottom field where 3 young ponies t rot over for some affection.  I stroke their warm noses and chat nonsensically about how beautiful they are, how clever and good.  They are of course blissfully ignorant about cleverness, beauty or goodness, and are simply being ponies in a field who would rather like a scratch and a loud an exuberant fart.  In the near distance is my house with my computer in it, facebook still softly pinging, a blank word screen, an on-line banking tab which makes for dismal reading, and a crock full of bread and a fridge full of cheese.  I plod back up the hill noticing each wild flower and bird call, and even though I can’t ignore modern life forever, I have escaped for a while into a wi-fi and mobile-free world, which may make some people sweat with panic, but which heals my soul and lifts my heat.  Back at the house, I sit back down, refreshed in a wistful way, and ready to work.
    Have a great week all, and don’t forget to take some time out to do something lovely to refresh yourself and stimulate your creative juices.  As I am signing off, Mr. Blue is rolling down the drive, and I remember I had promised to make him a cheese sandwich for lunch.  I can feel my resolve weakening and my tummy grumbling: oh well, how important is a bikini anyway?…………

    Have a wonderful Thursday

    Love Always

    Rachel x

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