Key Ingredients For Your Workout Routine

By Susan Vernicek

We are in the middle of summer and I know I may be late to the game on summer fitness articles, but guess what? This isn’t a “get fit for summer” type of article or a “how to have your summer body” article. This is about motivation for your daily life.

Do you ever wonder how fitness enthusiasts motivate themselves to stay fit and continue to be active?

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Self-Judgment: It’s Still Controlling

This month I want to work on our self-judgement. At the age of 31, I hear many younger women compare and judge themselves against others and I hear older women judge themselves against others.

To judge is the ability to make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; I always thought when I was a young-adult that  self-judgment would go away as I became a woman. 

I’m lucky. I have learned to love and appreciate my physical self and my intelligence, BUT many of our female peers still struggle to be confident and continue to think harshly of themselves by constantly comparing their looks, smarts, families, life, and the list goes on.

I’m sure you have experienced many of these feelings as well…If you haven’t, I want to know your secret!

I’ve heard it all (well most), I’ve been put down, picked up, spit out, and swallowed with nasty words from others and the horrible inside chatter with my own self-judgment.

How do we stop the self-judgment?

I’m going to share with you a few ways I’ve found helpful dealing with my self-judgment. For the record, I’m not perfect and I don’t feel 100% confident everyday.

I like to have a down day here and there because how else would I know when I have a great day?  We experience these feelings for a reason, so embrace them all and learn from them.

Be Free of Self-Judgment

The biggest challenge I had was to tear myself away from the mirror. I was spending so much time starring at my features in the mirror and picking myself apart it was destroying my happiness and self-confidence.

To overcome this I would look in the mirror as I needed and move on out. No lingering around to stare and perfect the direction of my eyebrows or cover up that tiny pimple.

If this is one of your bad habits, then set a timer.  Set a timer for a time it normally takes you to get ready in the morning or whenever you go out.  Get dressed, put your makeup on, brush your hair, and move on.

Another trick you can do to minimize the self-judgment is to force yourself to write all the great things about yourself and your life.  Start paying attention to the good and not the bad.

The grass is never greener, trust me. It’s funny because I was reading a story to my nephew and it was about a chameleon who wanted to be like all the other animals, but by the time he stepped foot in their worlds, he missed his world and wanted to go back to being a chameleon. We all have our own struggles, so stop thinking the girl next door’s life is better.

Another most important factor in minimizing the judgment that goes on in your head is to be aware of it. Are you? It’s important to become aware and slowly work to improve those thoughts.

Cut the judgment short as soon as you realize it’s happening. Change the subject or finish it and then apologize and state something positive right after you’ve discovered you’ve said something negative towards yourself or towards somebody else.

Take these small steps towards having less self-judgment.

* Less time in the mirror – the longer you stare and pick, the more you will find the negative.

* Journal all the good about yourself and your life, see the good vs. the bad.

* Become aware of the judgment that goes on in your head, and comes out of your mouth as well as the judgment that goes on around you from your friends and family.

Get rid of the judgment! Stop judging yourself and stop judging others. Take it one day at a time and you will become happier, more confident in yourself, and more successful overall.

~Susan Vernicek

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Susan Vernicek is known as the Identity Energizer. Her purpose and passion is to empower women to get all A’s in the game of life, within themselves and their lives.


Leap to Love Yourself

February is the month of love; to yourself and others in your life. I believe it’s important to embrace this love month for our own unconditional self-love, don’t you agree?

 Being an aunt of over eight kids and being the youngest of seven, I understand how difficult it is making your identity a priority being a mother. Not only do I pay attention to my sister’s lifestyles, I have a ton of friends that have children. I know that your inner well-being, your looks, your physical health, your passions and simply your interests come after you have taken care of your children’s needs and if you’re married, even after your husbands needs.

I may not be a mother, but I know that you must find time in your day to love yourself and take care of yourself just as much as your family.  And I know you can do it! If you don’t, everyone suffers. So, the question is, how much do you want to love yourself? How much do you want to feel confidence, feel secure, happy, vibrant and alive?

For the past few years, my online magazine, Identity, has been the go-to resource for women to find and embrace their true identity.  I have a set of five questions that we call The Identity 5. I want to share question number 5 with you because it will give you a great starting point to take the leap in loving yourself.

How would you complete the sentence “I Love My…?” I want you to write down the first thing that comes to your mind.  Do not over think this at first.  So say to yourself now, ” I Love My…” and fill in the blank.

Now, I know from hundreds of women answering this question that 9 out of 10 of you will have said that you love your family, life, husband, sister, and everything but anything about yourself. Am I right? Go ahead, nod yes, it’s OK.

If you are that one who answered about yourself, whether it was physically or mentally about yourself, well done. You are ahead of the game, but can you take it further and deeper? Can you take it more frequently? Answer this question daily until you find more and more on what you love about yourself.

Now, if you were one of the 9 that didn’t answer about yourself, then this is your homework.  Answer “I Love My…” about you and only you! It can be anything because there is no right or wrong answer and most importantly, no judgment.

Start now and finish the sentence each day.  If you can’t find anything to love, then you better start writing down what you want to love about yourself and make that your mission to be able to complete the sentence with at least one feature or quality about you.

You deserve to feel self-love. Make it happen.

~Susan Vernicek

Follow Susan on Twitter!

Susan Vernicek is known as the Identity Energizer. Her purpose and passion is to empower women to get all A’s in the game of life, within themselves and their lives.


Infuse Your Soul With What You Crave

What if you could be INFUSED with any feeling, emotion, and attitude that you wanted; what would it be?

 Being INFUSED to me means to be injected, lit up, electrified, or filled.

I love this word because it struck a chord inside of me when I read it some time ago. INFUSED, I feel INFUSED simply just saying it.  How do you feel when you say it?  Go a head, say it out loud, “I want to be INFUSED with “fill in blank”.”

I know you’re thinking, “Susan, what do I want to be INFUSED with?” The answer is anything.

We have the power, but do we have the mindset to want it, feel it and live it? 

The mind game we are challenged with is much more difficult to conquer. I challenge my mind mostly everyday with eating healthy, working out, making the bed, etc. Sometimes I fail and other times I succeed, but the more we focus and practice, the more we will succeed consistently.

Here are some 3 ways to Be INFUSED:

1. Be INFUSED with Tenacity: Tenacity is the quality of being determined to do or achieve anything within yourself or within your life. Do you have tenacity within you? What will give you the tenacity you need? Do you dare to challenge yourself?

2. Be INFUSED with Friends: This doesn’t necessarily mean quantity over quality, but definitely infused with love and support. I can’t even tell you how many times I call my friends and annoy them with the obstacles I am currently facing. Do you have the friendships that provide love and support? Do you have the trust and respect? All of these will have you feeling INFUSED with your friendships.

3. Be INFUSED with Hope: Hope for today, hope tomorrow, and hope for your future.  I never knew I had hope until recently, to be quite frank.  I use hope as my prayer since I’m more of a spiritual believer.  I hope and believe each day that my passions, my goals, and my dreams come to fruition. What gives you hope?

~Susan Vernicek

Follow Susan on Twitter!

Susan Vernicek is known as the Identity Energizer. Her purpose and passion is to empower women to get all A’s in the game of life, within themselves and their lives.



3 Tips to Accept Yourself RIGHT NOW

You don’t need to look for greener grass.

Three out of four women are unhappy with the way they look or feel and nine out of ten women that answer our “I Love My” question without us guiding them, answer with a loving “family, kids, life,” etc. It is clear that women tie the way they feel to their circumstances and image. That’s why diet and self-help books are best sellers, and is the number one category for book retailers. Many of us women think we need to change ourselves in order to be happier. But, self-help programs aren’t the answer, at least not at first.

We must start with acceptance. Women can be happy with who they are without feeling the need to constantly change themselves and it begins with recognizing the traits that create our unique identities. I have mentored thousands of women to increase their confidence as the editor of Identity Magazine, and I suggest writing in a journal as the entry point to happiness. I believe writing is not only therapeutic, but a key to self discovery and becoming happier.

Here are three simple tips to accept yourself through journal writing, even for those who are not writers.

1. Acknowledge Your Qualities: You must know who you are in order to accept yourself. Most self-esteem experts suggest listing out your best traits and the things you love. However, this can be a stumbling block for women who struggle with self-esteem. Instead, I advise you to dump it all out on paper , aka braindumping– the good, the bad, and the ugly. Self-love is not about perfection or success. Your qualities make up the overall package of the things you are proud of, your failures, your personality traits, your quirks, and imperfections—mentally and physically. Knowing yourself inside and out is the first step to acceptance and I challenge you to start now.

2. Release and Let Go: Each of us has had an experience that can affect the way we feel about ourselves, and deeply impact our self-esteem: harmful relationships, unhappy bosses, competitive friendships, a family at war, or even going up or down a size in jeans. I suggest you release and let go of these experiences, and remember, our experiences do not make up who we are. We can learn from them, but they shouldn’t define our identities. Simply releasing opens us up to accepting ourselves and our past situations.

3. Use what works: Journaling doesn’t require a pen and paper or traditional journal at all. Find what works for you. If you are a computer person, sit with your laptop, if you are an extrovert, speak it out loud and make video of yourself (Vlog)! For talkers, buddy up with a close friend and chat it out. For those that are angst-filled and need to actively release, do something liberating like using lipstick to mark up your mirror with your thoughts.

Remember, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to accepting who you are.  

Try this simple exercise: Close your eyes, take a deep breathe, and visualize waking up with a smile of simple happiness, pure bliss without an ounce of a negative thought. Create this vision a few times a day, especially while your are lying in bed just before you are about to pull yourself up.

I hope you find these first three steps valuable and consider taking action right now.

~Susan Vernicek

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