Curb the Chaos

During these unprecedented times in our lives, we are faced with unimaginable challenges, to no fault of our own. To overcome these challenges, we must dig deep and find the strength and courage to move forward.

Humans are social creatures, so “social” or “physical” distancing is difficult and feels abnormal. However, physical distancing is necessary as we fight this highly contagious coronavirus. As we take necessary precautions and physically distance from each other, we should not lose connection with each other. And we should not lose connection with ourselves.

To stay connected with others, we are encouraged to use technology. (If they could, our social doggy friends would definitely use technology to bark with their buddies.) To stay connected with ourselves, we are reminded to focus on our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. We need to remain strong and stick together, even though we cannot touch each other.

We had the great fortune to hear Dr. Sue Varna, CBT Psychiatry, speak about mental health during times of crisis. Below is a link to Dr. Varna’s explanation of the “4-Ms” in mental health: mindfulness, movement, mastery and meaningful engagement.

MSNBC – Dr Sue Varna

In the spirit of the 4-Ms of mental health, we will focus on calming the chaos in our lives during these uncertain times. Our goal is to provide feel-good stories through all types of online resources, all of which can be shared with your loved ones, especially your pups.

We have so much at our fingertips. And while our fingertips are prohibited from touching others, all-hands-on dog petting and loving are highly encouraged. If you have the great fortune to have a beloved pup, you are blessed to have your very own mental health therapy dog right at your fingertips. And if you don’t, now might be the best time to adopt. Dogs save lives.

~ For the Love of Dogs ~

Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper, author and certified professional dog trainer with Lucky Dog Training Asheville. Please follow us on Instagram @TrainingLuckyDogs and @KyloRenPup. Please contact us for more information at TrainingLuckyDogs@gmail.com or call us at 828-423-9635.

Insight in 2020

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020. The start of a new year is a time for reflections and resolutions. Why? Many want to make a fresh start and possibly change for the better, in some way or other. They want to improve themselves, often times seeking good health and happiness. BTW, we highly encourage including your pup in the quest for better health and happiness (see Source of Motivation below).

Hindsight is 20/20

New year resolutions often fail, which is curious. The human species is ego-centric in nature, so this should be an easy task. However, resolutions are not easy to keep. In fact, most fail at or even totally forget their resolutions. Why? The small, baby steps needed to successfully achieve a specific goal are often not part of the plan. A successful strategy is always based on taking small, baby steps.

Hindsight Foresight Insight

Successful achievement of goals requires a combination of hindsight, foresight and insight. Success is achieved when we learn from the past (Hindsight) to plan for the future (Foresight) and develop the right strategies to take appropriate action now (Insight). We live in the present – the Now. Insight is our ability to connect our past lessons to our future dreams and develop the best plan of action – a strategy for success.

Hindsight – Lessons from the Past

Hindsight is the ability to understand something only after it has occurred. You know the old adage – Hindsight is 20/20. It allows us to not only recognize past mistakes, but also learn from these mistakes. Hindsight is the ability to recognize and learn from past mistakes. Remember, mistakes are not failures; they are opportunities for growth. Recognizing and learning from mistakes allows for better decision-making strategies in the future.

Foresight – Plans for the Future

Foresight is the ability to correctly predict what will happen in the future. Foresight allows for developing plans of action needed to achieve certain goals. Hindsight allows for recognizing and understanding obstacles. It also allows for plans to overcome any future obstacles to success.

Insight – Actions in the Present

Insight is the ability to recognize and understand all the small steps needed to achieve a big goal. It allows us to piece everything together (past failures and triumphs) to successfully achieve a desired goal. Insight recognizes the small, baby steps that are the foundation to a viable plan of action.

Plan of Action – Baby Steps

Do you want to be a happier, healthier you in 2020? Do you want shed extra pounds? Build strength? Increase your cardio endurance? If so, start with little baby steps to get started and stay motivated. Break down your workout routines into something that is attainable. Recognize the baby steps you can take to be successful each and every day.

Example of Baby Step Approach

If you want to increase your cardio endurance, don’t expect to run 3-miles on the first day, especially if you do not run at all. That is a recipe for certain failure. Instead, start with small increments (baby steps) to ensure your success. For example, start with a 5-minute walk/run. You should be successful on day one and know that you can easily increase your endurance over 5 minutes. Maybe add an additional minute each day to push yourself. Use a workout app to track your progress. Continue increasing your time walking/running until you reach your own personal limit.

Recipe for Success

By using baby steps, you will allow yourself to succeed. Maybe the most you can ever do is a 15-minute cardio walk each day. If so, focus on your daily successes! At the end of the year, you can look at the big picture. Your 15-minute workout will result in exercising for over 90 hours in the 2020! That is a huge accomplishment for someone who wasn’t working out at all. And, just imagine if you exercise walk more than 15-minutes a day. Great success!

Source of Motivation

If you need some outside motivation to keep you going day after day, look no farther than your faithful doggy companion. They love and benefit from your daily, 15-minute workouts. They will be healthier and happier! Maybe that is your ultimate goal, but your dog makes your walks/runs incredibly unpleasant. They have no leash skills and yank you every which way. If so, we would love to help you turn your leash-pulling dog into your best workout partner ever. And, your dog will become an outstanding source of motivation to keep you healthier and happier each and every year.

Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper, author and certified professional dog trainer with Lucky Dog Training Asheville. Please follow us on Instagram @TrainingLuckyDogs and @KyloRenPup. Please contact us for more information at TrainingLuckyDogs@gmail.com or call us at 828-423-9635.