I knew I needed to turn to a guided meditation...
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Somewhere between rebranding her studio, teaching classes, and enjoying a good glass of Cabernet, Ashley Yandle has become much more than just a business owner. Yes, running Studio Lifted (formerly Ashley Lane Fitness) is her number one priority, but as a motivating force to her crew—also known as her family—an inspiration to her students, and an advocate for her community, she represents something greater: what a woman can achieve when she embraces evolution and puts her mind (and yoga pants) to it.
Continually hands-on in the fitness and wellness space, Ashley has her finger on the pulse of the industry. “It’s becoming integrated into everyone’s lives. Fitness has found a new and exciting way to break into all these different types of industries and businesses,” she says. “Fitness is more fun now than ever.”
As we embark on a new year with new goals, we sat down with Ashley to discuss her real-life lessons and tips on how we can stay honest to our intentions and take 2018 to the next level.
1. Make It a Social Thing
OK, we like friends!
“Fitness is evolving into something even more social,” says Ashley. “Classes are replacing happy hour. Attend fitness events. Group classes. And bring a friend. By integrating these types of socially-based fitness experiences, you will be more likely to stick to your goals and have a good time while doing it!”
2. Map It Out
Be a goal getter.
“The key to a lifestyle change is to have a plan. Create a roadmap. The map should illustrate attainable goals. Having goals in your roadmap is the best thing you can do when trying something new or conquering something you failed at,” says Ashley. “Who wants to fail for a whole month? Make it about small wins. Weekly wins. Daily wins. Your roadmap should show something that is attainable in a short period of time, giving you measurable victories. And it’s really important to give yourself a non-food related reward for hitting those victories—like new fitness gear.”
3. All About Accountability
Get a buddy.
“When you are setting goals, find someone who is serious about doing it with you. An accountability partner. Figure out what you both want,” says Ashley. “By setting smart goals you can hold yourself—and your partner—accountable and make it past February!”
4. Define What You Want
You’ve got this!
“When you are trying to task yourself with a huge goal, like ‘I’m going to get healthy,’ that’s really big. It can seem daunting and impossible,” says Ashley. “What does ‘healthy’ mean? Eight hours of sleep? Run a five-minute mile? For every person it’s different. You need to define what your goal means to you and how you want to achieve it through small, realistic steps that you can be held accountable for.”
5. It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
“When you set this unrealistic expectation around the idea of perfect and hitting these ‘perfect’ goals, it can lead to defeat,” says Ashley. “Personally, it’s hard for me not to do things perfectly. I had to learn to let other people help me.
6. Remember to Start Small
Personal attention can get you moving.
“Starting at a small studio is key. If you have never tried something or are beginning something new, getting proper attention is important,” says Ashley. “There a many ways you can try different studios and book individual classes to see if it’s the right fit for you. And remember to ask the studio for help! Call ahead or come in early before class.We (studio staff and owners) want to make sure you enjoy your experience, so you are comfortable. Going to a new studio or walking into a new class can be awkward, and we want to lessen that feeling for you.”
7. Sometimes You Need a Total Restart
It’s not always easy to press the reset button.
“Ashley Lane Fitness was me. But the studio became its own thing. It became bigger than me. I had to reflect on that. That’s when Studio Lifted was born out of a collective effort. I not only rebranded my business... I did a rebrand on myself,” says Ashley. “When you decide to do a rebrand, a restart, it’s a huge step and a truly humbling experience because you put your whole heart into what you are changing—whether it’s yourself or something greater. It’s a total re-do. Prepare to regroup numerous times. You must feel confident. It’s hard work, but you’ll feel liberated and excited!”
8. The Good Stuff Takes Time
Big things don’t happen overnight.
“Whatever you are working for and on can be a daily struggle. A daily give and take. It takes patience,” says Ashley. “Trial and error is part of hitting your goals. You’ll have to adjust, remember that. Regrouping doesn't mean failure. But when you achieve what you are striving for, it’s the most rewarding experience.”
9. It’s a Balancing Act
Real talk: what about those guilty pleasures?
“It’s OK to have guilty pleasures! In moderation of course,” says Ashley. “I am a huge wine fan. Workout then wine. We’ll go for a hike and meet up for wine. It’s all about balance. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great meal, but a very nice Cabernet is my go-to.”
10. Making a Mantra
Everyone needs a theme song, right?
“'Take a breath and enjoy the moment’ is my mantra for 2018,” says Ashley. “My playlist? It’s all about that Taylor Swift and Tom Petty. And my hashtag? #makingithappen.”
...we can get behind that.
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.