Monday, January 06, 2014

Smart Goal Setting --Striving For Success

By Brian Dumont
Welcome to 2014.  It’s a brand new year with a clean slate just waiting for you make some resolutions.  And while technically anyone can resolve to change anytime of the year, for some reason it seems a little easier to make a fresh start when the calendar page turns.  Smile FM DJ’s are no different.  Here are some of the resolutions they have pledged for 2014:

My new year’s resolution is to continue my journey to health and become my healthiest self ever in terms of physical fitness and healthy eating. I’m finally learning to take care of my body before it falls apart. – Jenn

I want to start a weekly blog this year with a working title of “Music To Live By.”  Each entry will be about a specific song and how it has impacted me on a personal level. – Brian

My Goal is to eat healthier and be more consistently active. – Amanda

I want to see EVERY relative on all sides of my family who live in Michigan at least once, which means treks between Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Traverse City… and a lot of money in Speedway's pockets. – Mike

Okay, mine is weird. You probably know that Notre Dame football players always touch a sign before they go on the football field.  I have this plaque at my house that I often forget. I've decided in the new year that I'm going to touch it every time I walk by it, to help me remember it more, and live it out more. – Faron

Making resolutions and setting goals for positive change is a good thing, however there are a few tips that might help you achieve your goals more effectively.  Several leadership experts offered their opinion in this area.  One theory some use for goal setting is the SMART method.  SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.  If a goal is set and it meets all of these criteria there’s a higher chance the goal will be met with success. 

Specific – It’s important to be specific when setting a goal.  If you’re not specific, how will you know when you’ve achieved it?  How will you know how to achieve it?  For example, you can say you want to lose weight this year and leave it at that, but then what are you going to do?  Where do you start?  How do you know when you’ve finished?  But if instead you say you want to lose 30 lbs. in the next 3 months and you’re going to do it by eating smaller portions, eliminating sugar from your diet, drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day and exercising at least 5 times week for 30 minutes, then you have something to work with and you can tell whether or not you’re actually meeting your goal.

Measurable – If your goal is specific then it should be easy to measure.  Continuing with our weight loss example, if you know your starting weight than you can easily measure your progress.  Just step on the scale and you’ll be able to tell right away if you’re headed in the right direction.  However, if your goal lacks definition how will you know if it has been met?  If you were to say you want to eat healthier, what does that actually mean?  Is “healthier” based on calories?  Ingredients?  Portion size?  If you don’t specify, you can’t measure.

Attainable – You’re goal has to be within reason otherwise it’s not worth setting in the first place.  For example, if your goal is to loose 100 lbs. in one month, that would be unrealistic, if not impossible (and if it were possible it probably wouldn’t be healthy).  An attainable goal might stretch you a bit, but not to the extreme that it will likely result in failure.

Relevant – Your goal should also pertain to your situation.  You can set a goal of weight loss, but if you’re already at or under the ideal body weight for your height and age, then doesn’t make sense to shed any additional pounds.

Time-Bound – It’s helpful to give your goal a deadline, again so you’ll know if you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.  If the goal is indefinite and ongoing, then it’s more difficult to measure your progress.  You can say your goal is to loose 30 lbs. but if you don’t specify by when, it could go on and on forever and you may never get around to accomplishing your goal.

One additional consideration when using this theory of goal setting is to understand it will hold you accountable and there is a risk that you won’t meet your goals.  If this happens, it’s okay.  Part of the process is evaluating the original goal and setting a new goal if necessary.  If you don’t loose 30 lbs. in 3 months, maybe you need to change your approach.  Maybe you need to exercise more or change your diet or seek assistance from a professional.  The point is, don’t give up.  The fact that you’re setting goals in the first place proves you’re on the pathway to success.

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Friday, January 03, 2014

Live Life Better - 2014

Smile FM Challenges You To Shape Up in 2014
By Jenn Czelada & Brian Dumont

Sometimes it seems like New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap, perhaps because more than 25% of people fail in the very first week.  The good news is people who do make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.  As we start 2014, we’re excited to come alongside and help you reach your goals with the 2014 Smile FM Shape Up Challenge.  To help you “live life better,” we have created resources to help you grow in both physical and spiritual health.  

When it comes to physical health, one thing many misunderstand is that losing weight and becoming physically fit are two different goals.  While they compliment each other quite nicely and often support one another, they each take a substantial amount of effort on their own.  When a person eats healthy and follows a successful weight loss diet, their size changes.  When a person exercises, tones up and builds muscle, their shape changes.  

For exercise, fitness expert Bryan Beaune, owner of Building Your Temple Crossfit in Oxford, MI recommends High Intensity Interval Training like PX90 or Crossfit.  “HIIT training is the only proven way to exercise away stored body fat,” he explains.  It confuses your body to use the fat because it creates such a high demand for energy.”

Coach Bryan suggests, “Group classes are a great place to start.  They will help you push yourself and learn new skills.  It’s more affordable than hiring a personal trainer, although that’s a great option if you can afford one.  Often times people will go to the gym and do 20 minutes on the treadmill and think they’ve worked out.  However they aren’t going to see results from that, they will get defeated and possibly even hurt.  The goal with all fitness efforts should be to push your body to the next level, the more results you see the more you will enjoy what you are doing.”

For diet, Beaune explains one of the most common mistakes people make is trying to eat “healthy” food that is not really healthy.  “People use diet products or shakes thinking they are healthy, but they are really just increasing processed foods and chemical in their body,” he explains.  “They switch to low fat versions of products which really are just loaded with extra sugars.”

”Deprivation is another mistake people often make,” Beaune continues.  “They find a website that tells them if they eat 900 calories a day they’ll lose 30 lbs in a month.  Then they end up sending their body into starvation mode and become severely nutrient deficient.”

Beaune says cutting out processed foods is an excellent start.  “If you can pick it or kill it, then eat it,” he recommends.  If it is a plant, eat it.  If it comes from a (processing) plant, don’t eat it.”   You can eat meat, vegetables, fruit and simple carbs all day long without gaining weight.  If in one meal you eat no more than the size of two fists, you’ll lose weight.  By eating smaller meals more often you will keep your blood sugar consistent and keep your body using its fuel rather than storing fuel.

When it comes to spiritual health, the staples of Christian living include daily exercise through prayer and a healthy diet of reading the Bible. 

Smile FM has fostered daily Bible reading for several years with Brian’s Bible Brain Busters and 2014 is no exception.  Morning Espresso host
Brian Dumont started the feature for personal reasons.  “I’ve always struggled with disciplining myself to read the Bible every day,” he explains.  “By incorporating a daily trivia question it forces me to be consistent, not only for myself, but for others as well.  And I know reading or hearing even one verse a day can make a difference.  As the prophet Isaiah states, ‘My word… shall not return to me void, but shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ (Isaiah 55:11).”

If you’d like to read through the entire Bible in a year, you can follow the daily reading schedule at or visit another site like for suggested passages.

Prayer is another essential component of one’s spiritual journey.  As with any relationship, communication is necessary for continued growth.  Prayer is how we communicate with God.  Whether it’s a prayer of petition or simple thanksgiving, regular prayer results in strengthening our relationship with Him.  In Matthew 6, Jesus provides an easy example of how we should pray.  This month Smile FM DJ’s are continuing that effort with the Shape Up Challenge.  When you register you will receive an email message from one of our on-air announcers each day with a brief devotional and a short prayer you can pray to get 2014 off to the right start.

To find out more about the Smile FM Shape Up Challenge and sign up to receive daily encouragement to help you live life better, both physically and spiritually, visit

Enjoy this article and many others on your tablet or smart phone with Smile FM's I Believe Digital Magazine.  Download it today!  

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Surfing with Switchfoot Offers Lessons For Life

 By Jenn Czelada

When I got a call asking if I'd like to come to Jacksonville and take some surfing lessons with Switchfoot, it didn't take a split second for me to accept and pack my bags. Learning to surf was something that has been on my bucket list for years.  Learning to surf with Switchfoot was nothing short of a dream come true.

I arrived in Jacksonville and surfing day began joining some colleagues the band for a delicious breakfast.  Then it was out to the beach to get fitted for our wet suits (and I thought Spanx were tough!).  What seemed like an hour later we waddled out of the changing room in our skin tight suits and headed for the beach. Our surf instructors met us there with a long line of surf boards.  First they demonstrated how to do a pop up. The idea is to do a push up on the board, swing your legs underneath yourself and pop up!  Then the trick was learning how to stay on the board once we caught our wave.  My pop ups were pretty awful, plus I had the added challenge that I couldn't bend my knees in that dreaded wet suit! 

"Oh well," I thought. “It will get easier once we get in the ocean.” We grabbed our boards and got into the water… the freezing cold water.  I was really beginning to appreciate my wet suit at that point.  I paddled with all my might, battling what seemed like 40 foot swells (really just 4 foot "starter" waves).  I finally reached our desired surfing spot, hopped on my board, got flipped off my board and dragged under water by my board and washed up and spit out on the beach!  I felt very close to God, kind of like I was going see Him any moment!  The ocean is a cruel teacher. As I began to assess the damage to my body and ego, l saw the face of Switchfoot's Tim Foreman hovering above me.  "Ready to try that again?" he asked.  How could I say no to an offer like that? 

Tim picked up my board, I picked up myself and we walked almost a mile down the beach. Tim taught me how to duck under the waves as I paddle out.  I was making great time, thinking I was getting the hang of it, until I realized he was he was pushing my board for me. We got to our perfect spot, he spun my board around and said, "Catch that wave."  I tried my fancy pop up move.  Nope, not any easier in the water!  I fell off the board was dragged hundreds of feet by the current.  We repeated that same series of events several more times. Finally on one last attempt, Tim suggested that I may just want to ride it in on my belly with a goal to stay on the board.  I caught the wave… or it caught me.  I slowly started raising myself up to a push up position, then I brought one knee forward and firmly planted my front foot on the board and before I knew it I was riding the wave all the way to the beach.  Success!  The feeling of riding the wave was exhilarating!  I was feeling one with nature, feeling so close to God, but not in the sense of coming to see Him in just a few minutes.  In that moment, I got it.  I understood why surfers do what surfers do…  the challenge, the passion, the thrill of the ride.  

Recently, the guys in Switchfoot took a camera crew along with them as they toured and surfed around the world.  The result of that effort is the "Fading West" documentary they have been showing at their concerts.  If you get a chance to see the movie, you will be treated by some of the most beautiful scenery and enormous waves in the world.  While they were on this world wide road trip they spent time writing the songs for the "Fading West" album, which releases January 14.

John Maxwell once said, "You can't do what I do, until you've done what I've done."  I think that is what makes Swichfoot's music so unique.  They create songs as they create experiences.  They write music while under the influence of the beauty and grandeur of God's creation from a level that few of us will ever see. I had a rare opportunity to surf with Swichfoot, check off an experience from my bucket list and see God's glory from a different angle.  It was all worth squeezing into that wet suit! 

Enjoy this article and many others on your tablet or smart phone with Smile FM's I Believe Digital Magazine.  Download it today!