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“Set yourself up for success!” With Ariel Hoffman

Set yourself up for success! This directly correlates to getting rid of excuses. An example is acquiring some basic equipment for fitting in exercise. I actually provide clients with a recommended list of equipment for just this purpose, things that don’t take up much space or that can easily be stored away, and it includes […]

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Set yourself up for success! This directly correlates to getting rid of excuses. An example is acquiring some basic equipment for fitting in exercise. I actually provide clients with a recommended list of equipment for just this purpose, things that don’t take up much space or that can easily be stored away, and it includes some basics like a set of weights, bands, a jump rope, and a yoga mat. Or with nutrition, remove your temptations. Don’t keep the bad things in the house that will tempt you that will tempt you in the house. Out of sight out of mind.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewingAriel Hoffman.

Ariel Hoffman is the founder of Ariel Hoffman Wellness, which is on a mission to change the way people view and treat their bodies and themselves. Her company helps high achievers in business and working mothers struggling with chronic stress, fatigue and burnout, create a personalized wellness practice that fits into their busy schedule so they can feel attractive, focused, and energized to do their best in work and in life.

With over a decade of experience designing customized programs, Ariel is a master in transforming clients to becoming their healthiest selves and keeping them on top of their game. She has been a top instructor & health coach among the most influential and ground-breaking fitness methods in NYC & LA. A recognized expert in the field of fitness and wellness, Ariel’s roster of clientele includes Emmy award winners, Oscar award winners, Grammy award winning artists, and elite athletes.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2F_O1T9wTnWvI%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D_O1T9wTnWvI&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2F_O1T9wTnWvI%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=d04bfffea46d4aeda930ec88cc64b87c&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in the Bay Area, CA, as a competitive figure skater and classically trained dancer. From a very young age in high level competition and performance, I had to develop a strong sense of discipline and a mindset to pursue excellence with purpose. After years of dedicated training for the Olympics, I decided to move on from the sport because despite the lessons I learned from it, I lost the true joy of it, and joy mattered more to me.

A lot of people don’t know I’m naturally shy and that I actually had to learn how to step out of my comfort zone from an early age to pursue what I wanted in life. My mother was a scientist and an immigrant who had lots of grit. She was bold and had no problem asking for what she wanted, and she wouldn’t let me give in to my shyness. So, if I wanted something, she’d make me step up and ask for it, if I wanted to do something, she’d make me figure out how to do it. It was extremely uncomfortable, but I did it anyway, and it didn’t really get easier, but I got more practiced at it.

This lesson stuck with me, and I actually ended up graduating from UC Berkeley with a BA in architecture, and then right away moved to New York City to pursue a professional career in dance because of the freedom, joy and expression that it returned to me. It was fuel for my soul, my passion. The excitement of moving across the country to pursue a dream was also accompanied by the paralyzing fear of singing and auditioning (i.e. rejection) which terrified me. Though it was difficult, I did what it took, waitressed and bartended so that I could afford to pay for rent, voice lessons and dance classes, and I showed up over and over at auditions. Eventually I landed an agent and some gigs like regional theater productions of Beauty and the BeastWest Side StoryContact, and Swing!, dance contracts on Celebrity Cruises, as well as small appearances in film and TV. Having to stay fit, focused, and healthy as a professional dancer led me to other opportunities in fitness, including roles in Shaun T’s video workout series, INSANITY and ASYLUM, as well as promotional commercials for Hip Hop Abs and Rockin’ Body.

Then one day, an audition called for dancers who could also lead fitness classes, and I went for it, even though it was my 3rd audition of the day, and I wasn’t even going to go. But something told me to just do it anyway since it was on my way home, so why not? What did I have to lose? I ended up getting hired and that was the catalyst job for me because it truly joined my love of dance with fitness, and in a way that I had never experienced, nor did I have a real idea of the impact that possessing those two skills could have on others.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I would have to say Shaun T. Working with him was uniquely inspiring because he himself is probably the most genuine guy you will ever meet. He is extremely encouraging, somehow always finds ways to push people outside their comfort zone but with nothing but love and positivity. When we were working on Insanity, he would bring me up to the front of the group and tell everyone to follow me! I was completely shocked because I had never led a group before, nor had I ever even thought about leading a group class before. As a performer, I was used to being cast in the ensemble, which was perfectly comfortable for me. His asking an entire room of people to follow me was crazy to me, and a major change , and when everyone came up to me afterwards and said that the class was great, a light bulb went off, and I thought ok, maybe I can lead a group workout. But then again, I have always done well when just thrown into the ocean to sink or swim.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

For me, help and encouragement has come in different forms. There are the teachers and choreographers who I have learned from and who have become mentors for life, their words and advice staying with me as I work with others. Then there are the clients whom I have worked with over the many years who also provided me with support along the way. They have shared their feedback on how they feel after working with me and that keeps me motivated to keep going when times get tough.

A really good teacher, instructor, and coach is actually really difficult to come by, and I didn’t really understand this until I had to lead a group of trainers myself and actually teach them how to teach. That’s when I realized that I had had a few really great dance teachers who not only taught me fun choreography, and how to perform, but they taught me how to teach just by osmosis, and my being in the room with them.

When I lived in New York, waiting tables to support my dancing, I remember running over to Broadway Dance Center in between my double shift at the restaurant (10am-1am with maybe a 2 hr break in the middle), doing whatever it took to get to class with world famous choreographers like Josh Bergasse (Emmy winner of the TV show Smash) and Andy Blankenbueler (choreographer of Hamilton). When I think back to why I would run 15 blocks to take class, take a two hour dance class, then run 15 blocks back to the restaurant to finish off a night shift, it was because they were so wonderful not only as choreographers but as teachers, and I just had to go. You learn so much from people like that when you are just in the room with them. I can’t even describe the joy I felt when I would take class from them, that it made all of that effort completely worth it, so much so that it didn’t feel like much effort.

Now, because of my business, I realize that my favorite mentors stand out not just because of what they teach, but how they teach, how they lead a room, and what they do to show encouragement along the way. I have simply just done my best to emulate them by observing and copying them with my own spin and my own personality. And when it comes to clients, whenever I hear a client say to me after a session or a class “you have something so unique” or “nobody has ever taught me that before”, that’s encouragement in itself, so even now, when I hit a wall in my business, I use their feedback as motivation to continue.

It’s so important to have mentors who truly believe in you when you are going through a period of doubting yourself especially while growing your own business, and I have been extremely fortunate in having those people supporting me both personally and professionally along the way.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I think the most interesting mistake I made was not speaking up in ways that I was truly advocating for myself. My shyness got in the way, and I was the person who never wanted to ask for things because I always thought it was bothering my bosses and peers, or putting them out, or I felt that if I worked hard enough for them that they would see my true value and reward me for it. But if you don’t ask, you don’t receive. By not advocating for myself, I ended up stuck in a box where I neither wanted to be nor enjoyed. The lesson I learned was that you have to ask for what you need, not just for what you want.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I think the best advice I could give to a young person is to always try new things, especially when things don’t work out. Failure is inevitable, and there are going to be moments where you feel like you have failed a lot, but it’s the getting back up and trying something new again and again that will ultimately lead you to land on something that results in success, on your terms, and in a way that truly matters and has meaning for you.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

There are several books that have made an impact on me, but the most recent one that stands out is Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. Her story alone is simply awe inspiring, as someone who came from an underprivileged background, worked extremely hard, checked all of the boxes that culture and society dictates us to satisfy, but then realized that wasn’t what she wanted. The decisions she made to pivot her life’s work while also staying true to her values as a mother are impressive. She knew the impact she could really make in ways that are life changing for others.

She also talks about the delicate balance of motherhood and the choices we are faced with as women, to work or not to work. I can strongly relate to that as I am a mother myself and building my own business. It is such a delicate balance to be a good parent, a present parent, while also staying true to your own needs as a human wanting to make an impact in the world. We all have to find our own way and her story inspires me to keep on my path.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the end”- CS Lewis

This quote resonates with me a lot because so many of us are constantly comparing our new and current self to our old self, which really isn’t a useful comparison. When you are able to check yourself and take a moment to understand where you are in life right now without that comparison, it becomes a bit easier to see a clear path forward. This allows you to then make new goals with a new set of expectations, and ones that are actually realistic and achievable.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

The most interesting project that I am working on is a group coaching program that is a hybrid of fitness, nutrition, and self-care with a focus on habitual change, and follows my layered approach to achieving optimal wellness.

This program will help people because it will provide them with a unique set of tools and a strategy for what to do when they “fall off the wagon”. It is so important to give people tools so that they can actually make the changes on their own so that when unforeseen circumstances arise, they are properly equipped to get and stay healthy. Falling off the wagon is inevitable, just as is failure, but I think that we can use that as feedback to start anew and try again. This program will give people a blueprint to follow by telling them how and what they need to do to get back on track and to restart no matter how many times they slip.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits?

Of course. — I truly believe that by changing our habits, we have the power to change our life, including longevity and happiness. Here are my top reasons:

  • You can think of good habits as building your foundation of health. Because when life hands you adversity, the foundation is what gets rocked and people can feel completely shattered by this. But if you have developed a family of good habits, it can be enough to carry you through that shake, providing you with some solid ground to stand on, making it feel less shaky and easier to handle each time you get rocked.
  • Developing good habits is key to stopping the yoyo effect and when it comes to weight loss and mental wellbeing. Good habits can completely alter your genetic expression, meaning just because your family has a history of being overweight, doesn’t mean that you are destined to follow the same path. You have more control over your genes than you think you do. Science shows this.
  • Developing good habits builds new awareness of what your mind and body actually need rather than always frantically reaching to fill a void. By learning to listen to your body’s signals and understand what it is telling you, there will be less of a pull to satisfy unhealthy cravings, and in fact those cravings can shift entirely to craving good things, which most of my clients find very surprising!
  • By developing good habits, you are fundamentally changing the root causes of problems rather than just fixing them temporarily with a band aid.

Can you share a story or give some examples?

Sure. I actually just shared this example the other day with a private client. It happened to be right after Halloween, and we were talking about our favorite candy. I had come to the realization of just how much my habits have changed over the years since my professional dancing days in my 20’s.

I mentioned that back in the day when I would dance and rehearse 5–8 hours a day, one of my habits was this: the first thing I would do when I reached the subway was buy myself some peanut M&M’s, and a Gatorade from a news stand, because I thought I had earned it. I actually thought the Gatorade was good for me, but now it’s a whole different story. My idea back then of how I could reward myself after hard physical work was that I could do whatever I wanted. But now my perspective is completely different, and it comes from years of practice, learning, and understanding the science of food, what my cravings actually mean, and what constitutes a reward for my body. That’s definitely not how I fuel myself anymore. I no longer feel the need to reward myself in that way after a long week. I will find another more beneficial source of fuel, and that comes from the new habits that I have developed since then, the hurdles and injuries that I went through, and the latest one, having a baby. I have such profound respect for my body now, and I no longer feel the need to “reward” it in that way anymore, so naturally, the M & M’s and Gatorade haven’t been purchased in a very long time. Of course, I still have indulgences, (did someone say wine?) and believe me, I can eat like a horse, and enjoy it guilt free, but that has come out of the work I have put in and the complete overhaul in how I view food and what it does for me and how I want to feel each day.

How have habits played a role in your success?

The biggest role my habits play in my success is that I practice what I preach. I actually live the lifestyle that I help my clients achieve. I think we all ultimately want similar things, and when it comes to our health, we want to eat well, but also find a balance with life enjoyment. I try my best not to recommend new strategies or products unless I have tried them myself and see their benefit.

Establishing good habits has made me perform better in business and in my personal life. I have a sharper mind, clearer communication skills, and I can recognize whenever I might need a tune up in this area and what I need to do to get back in it. As someone who is so used to performing at a high level physically, (which is my go-to), learning how to perform mentally is just as important and something that I am working on as I grow. But I will say that I am much more efficient with my time, and present when I am with my family. I am also much happier and relaxed knowing that I have good habits to fall back on when I am not feeling 100%. By trusting my good habits, I am trusting myself, and my body. It’s also quite easy for me to pass up the unhealthy things when they are in front of me as well as activities that won’t serve me positively. The best thing is that it no longer feels like deprivation. It’s simply a decision I make for my well-being, and that feels great.

Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Sure, here is my list:

  1. Meditating: In the morning when I wake up, I do a 10–15 minute meditation. I realized how much this helps me when I stopped doing it for many months after having my son. But since incorporating it into my routine again, I realize how much it centers me and increases my clarity. There was a period of time during the first year of my son’s life when sleep was my focus. Sleep deprivation is no joke ,and it prevented from operating at my optimum level. However, I always knew that I would be able to return to meditation one day, and now that I have, I feel less anxious and at greater peace.
  2. Staying on top of current science. Reading and staying on top of the most recent research when it comes to health, nutritional studies, exercise studies, and the effects that different diets have on the system, as well as new and innovative self-care methods.
  3. General Reading: I have a different set of things that I read in the morning vs the pm. In the morning, I like to read things that will get my brain thinking and motivated for the day. In the evening I like to read something fiction, light, and fun, so that I don’t have a racing mind as I go to sleep.
  4. Exercise: for me has been and is always a constant. I feel the effects immediately afterwards no matter how long or short the workout is. I am someone who just needs to move! (I think my background explains that one)
  5. Listening to my body is key, it gives me feedback constantly. If my stomach hurts after I eat something I know that maybe that wasn’t the best choice. If my hip or knee hurts after a workout, it means I need to back off or make adjustments to my workouts. As a dancer and performer I always pushed through pain, to the point that I severely injured myself. Now I know that that pain needs to be heard. My body speaks to me, and I listen.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits?

I think that one of the best ways to develop good habits is to try new things and then take a step back and look at it in a non-judgmental way, where you can see whether or not something is or is not working for you.

Another way is by connecting your actions with a feeling. For example, when you decide to eat pizza for lunch, take note on how you feel afterwards? When you answer that question with “bad” or “tired” or “low energy”, enough times, you will learn a new association: pizza = not feeling good. This helps create a new awareness which leads to better choices.

Lastly, practice! Whenever you are creating change in a lifestyle that has been dominant in a particular way for a long period of time (i.e. years and years), it will take practice for you to get out of it. You are going to have to try, then try again, then try again. So many people try one thing, and then when it doesn’t work for them, they completely give up and go back in their ways. To get good at anything in life requires practice, so set that mastery as an expectation for yourself.

Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I believe that one of the only ways to stop bad habits is to really dive deep and find out a few things:

1. Identifying your current patterns can help you see what your bad habits are which inform you how to fix them. For example, I usually require my clients to log their food for a period of time, so that the patterns start to reveal themselves. This informs me of their current actions (i.e. habits). Then we start implementing new habits one at a time to see how they change over time. Ultimately what I am trying to do is help them create a new awareness.

An easy way to think about it is like this: identification of patterns + awareness = new action = habit change.

2. Understand why you make the decisions that you do. Understanding the why behind the bad ones leads you to understand the why behind the good ones. I think this is one of the most important exercises to do because connecting to a why gives you purpose and can motivate you when things are not going great. Always come back to your why.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

Achieving optimal wellness to me means habits that involve self-care. Here are a few ideas:

  1. List areas of wellness to improve on. I suggest focusing on one item at a time So start tackling your list in small pieces. For example, say you want to focus on replacing all oils in your house. If you have canola oil, throw it out, and replace it with avocado oil. If you need to focus on better sleep (after all, that helps with energy) then commit to getting to bed at a decent time for a couple of weeks consistently, and set an alarm in your device as a reminder to shut the tv off and go to bed. If you need to focus on nutrition, again as an example, you can start by taking a probiotic supplement regularly to start regulating your gut. (I recommend Primal Blueprint Probiotics.) Too many diets and workouts take an “all or nothing” approach, and by implementing a more realistic and layered approach, it allows you to transform and change habits in a more sustainable way. The more you see value out of the new habits you are adopting, the more likely you are to keep going
  2. Adapt and adapt quickly: We all know how schedules work. Things come up, plans change, and often times we have to reschedule on the fly and/or in the moment while other things get put on hold like exercise and nutrition which often time takes a backseat. This is where most people get derailed with their health and wellness, and stop exercising or eating healthy, only to leave them feeling like they just can’t find the time or that they quite their program entirely. The goal here is that when you get to this moment, don’t give up, simply adapt. Take another action step instead, even if it might not be ideal. As an example: you have to take your child to the doctor instead of your workout. Figure out if you can squeeze it in later that day or if you need to turn that day into a rest day, replace your rest day with a workout. There is always something you can do!
  3. Play! Try to add an active hobby or sport that gives you great joy. Whether you want to take up tennis or beach volleyball (like I plan to) or basketball, or you just want to incorporate more long hikes in the wilderness, do it. Whatever new thing you end up choosing that brings you joy, you will most likely do it! Joy and happiness are part of optimal wellness so we should all find ways to do achieve these things.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

The practice is practice! Ok, I know that sounds strange, but you have to practice new habits consistently in order to develop them sustainably. It’s like anything else you try in life that’s new. Can you learn a new language over night? No, it takes practice, and consistent practice at that, to learn an entirely new vocabulary, to rewire your brain to think in that language. The same goes for a dietary change for example. If you have been eating a certain way for many years, it is going to take consistent retraining and relearning over time to incorporate the changes into your life.

A good exercise to practice is what I call the 3 question rule which follows: When you are reaching for an unhealthy food, ask yourself this question 3 times in a row before you eat it: “Am I really hungry?” If the answer is no or not really by the third time, then move on.That’s a sign that you are reaching for food out of boredom. If you answer yes by the third time, then ask yourself if you have eaten something real or healthy that day. If the answer to that question is no, then you should go grab a salad or something healthy first.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

Achieving optimal performance in work and sport requires a person to level up, and here is what I mean by that:

  1. Schedule it in: Treat your own health like a business. And by that I mean, just like you schedule everything else for: work, projects, kids’ schedules, meetings, trips, doctor appointments, you need to schedule in the time for your exercise, and you need to get specific in the amount of time that you can do each week. Example: make a calendar (a google sheet works nicely, and you can access from anywhere) and schedule in the amount of time for each workout and assign them to which days. If you only have 15–30min, 3x per week, then schedule that in to your week. Same thing goes if you have more or less time. Think about it in terms of what your baseline is- a baseline that you can always return to no matter what circumstances come up, because they inevitably will. Remember that achieving this level of consistency increases cognitive function as well as enabling you to be a high performer at work and in business.
  2. Intensity: For this one, I am referring more to sport. To achieve optimal performance in this area, it’s important to incorporate a certain level of intensity that can help create a metabolic shift in your body. You can do this by getting a HR monitor and making sure you are hitting your heart rate zones and with a specific intensity in mind. For example, getting into the red zone 3–5 minutes per workout, and 1–2 x per week is a great way to give your body the metabolic kick that it needs to jump start your body’s ability to burn fuel (calories and macronutrients) efficiently (metabolism). Implement this for several weeks in a row.
  3. Identify your excuses: I often hear a lot of excuses when it comes to why clients are not fitting in workouts or eating well or neglecting to taking care of themselves, and you have to realize that if you are making an excuse like: “I can’t because.. (fill in the blank)” or “I didn’t do it because….. (fill in the blank)” you are only hindering yourself from moving forward. You can change that to “I will because….” And see how that changes your mindset. Getting healthier might require you to do things that you might not love to do or want to do at first. But that is part of the process. I was explaining to a client the other day that we also have to parent ourselves, and do our homework, even at times when we don’t want to. The more you catch yourself in that excuses mindset, the easier it will become to switch it off and to switch it off quickly. Conquering this skill leads to action, and good habits come out of consistent action. This is where I like to implement the Nike motto: “Just do it!”

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Absolutely.

  • Practice commitment: This can come in the form of goal setting, or just simply writing down what you will commit to over a short-term or long-term period. Put in a place where you will be reminded of what you wanted in the first place. This is part of holding yourself accountable and will keep you motivated.
  • Set yourself up for success! This directly correlates to getting rid of excuses. An example is acquiring some basic equipment for fitting in exercise. I actually provide clients with a recommended list of equipment for just this purpose, things that don’t take up much space or that can easily be stored away, and it includes some basics like a set of weights, bands, a jump rope, and a yoga mat. With nutrition, remove your temptations. Don’t keep the bad things that will tempt you in the house. Out of sight out of mind.
  • Track your progress: Similar to heart rate tracking, I recommend tracking measurements, and tracking strength progress via some sort of fit test because seeing your progress is validating, especially when you reach a point where you are not sure whether or not things are changing. And if they are not, then it’s a good way to inform you that it’s time to make some adjustments.
  • Accountability: Find someone or a group of people to hold you accountable for your actions or your non actions. We all need a bit of hand holding when it comes to creating change, especially if it’s challenging for us, so start your own little group in person or virtually, or find a peer who is already seeing results and implementing some of the habits that you are developing, or get a professional coach who can help you implement a strategy that will work for you.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Exercise your brain! Your brain is a muscle and just like the body, it must be exercised and challenged to keep you sharp and focused. There are many studies out there regarding the correlation between a person who does regular activities to stimulate the brain and decreasing their risk of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. You can make this fun, too, by finding fun games to play. I like to play games that involve memory, or games that involve puzzle solving. Another great way to create new pathways in your brain is by taking a dance class! I am biased in that one, though dance has proven to help memory by learning new steps and in new combinations which is a game of memory in itself.
  2. Meditate: find an app like Headspace to get you going in a regular meditation practice. Meditation isn’t about ignoring thoughts or trying to get rid of them, or even about doing it right or wrong. It’s about how to recognize thoughts, good or bad, without judgement and calming the mind so you can focus on what matters to you in a way that allows you to work with your thoughts rather than against them.
  3. Set time limits: setting time limits for a project or create your own deadline before the actual deadline. For example, if you have a project due in 3 days, drastically cut that time and only give yourself 4–5 hours to complete it. This automatically forces you to focus more efficiently and is always fun to try. You might be surprised at how productive you can actually be. I have actually had clients, successful executives, who have purposefully scheduled a crazy important deadline for themselves, right before a vacation so that they could prove how efficient they can be. It worked, and they were surprised at how efficient they could be with their time.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Set daily intentions. Especially when it comes to achieving optimal focus. Having an intention behind your actions will help lead you in the right direction because whenever there is purpose behind an action, the action will be more likely to stick.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

When I think about the Flow state, I often associate this with perfect alignment between the mind and the body. When your body feels light (both mentally and physically), like energy can easily flow through without tension, then that is when mental clarity and focus can kick into high gear.

The mind and body fuel each other, so getting oneself in line in this manner is the key to achieving a flow state. That means that you have to feel physically strong, physically healthy, so then your mind can be free from tension or pain and can really focus on whatever is at hand you are trying to achieve. Even now, when I am not as physical as I used to be, getting into a flow state means that I have to feel free of pain in my body, and only then do I have the capacity to focus very intensely on work and to produce work efficiently. The thing to remember is that the body works symbiotically with the mind. You can’t have one without the other. Everything you choose to do for your mind and body should be aiming towards this homeostatic state.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Just dance and be kind. The world needs more love, laughter, and kindness. In my experience, dancing almost always brings out a smile for people and when people are kind to one another, there is more empathy and more peace.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Well, I already mentioned her name above: Michelle Obama. Simply because she is real and relatable. I respect and appreciate her value system as a family woman and a woman in business with great influence. I think she genuinely cares and does good things for people and I will always want to have lunch with someone like that. I think we have a lot in common and would get along great, so Michelle, let me know when you can fit me into your schedule. ☺

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can go to my website: www.arielhoffman.com where you can see what I offer, and see how I help people achieve their own true greatness. My newsletter offers up tips and tricks to creating new effective & sustainable habits.

On Linked In under Ariel Hoffman

and Instagram @trainxarielhoffman

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