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How to make huge changes in your life

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

If you want to make huge changes to your life but are not sure how then start by making tiny changes, one at a time.

In 2003, Sir Dave Brailsford took over the British Cycling Team. He wasn’t a professional coach, and he’d only been an amateur cyclist.

Instead of trying to rebuild the perennially weak cycling team from scratch, Brailsford implemented a business strategy called the aggregation of marginal gains. He simply tried to improve every aspect of the cyclists’ lives - training, nutrition, sleep, and equipment - by 1%.

He didn’t go out looking for new sponsors; some bike companies even refused to sell to the team because they were so bad. Instead, he first improved their seats to make them more comfortable. And he didn’t implement a radical diet change or workout regime; he simply improved each by 1% at a time. When a tiny new gain had been realised, he asked himself, “How do I improve this feature by 1% now?”

In 2008, the British Cycling team won eight gold medals, four silver, and two bronze: More medals than in its entire history combined. Then Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, two members of the team, won the Tour de France four times combined over the next decade.

Aggregating small wins works.

You don’t need a radical new diet. You don’t need a “detox” (they’re fake anyway). You don’t need to start jogging five kilometres every morning. You just need to take one tiny step.

My training has been very focused on running for the last six months, and I’m training hard. But my nutrition has left a lot to be desired: Working and studying long hours from home most of the time means every food is available all the time, and it’s all amazing, coupled with often too much caffeine. I knew I needed to get my nutrition back in line for my brain’s sake … and my body’s. But recently, I didn’t jump right back into counting macros or anything too fancy. I just started writing it down.

I downloaded the MyFitnessPal App because it integrates with the other Apps we use at Activate. I started recording my food. Guess what? I immediately started thinking more before each meal. I didn’t track calories or make use of the macro balancing feature. I literally just started entering my food into the App. That’s it.

If your diet is already solid, you can start by just doing 10 squats. Call it a day. Try for 11 or 10 push-ups the next day. But don’t think about that yet: just move.

I love having a coach. I just have to show up, and the coach tells me what to do. Maybe that’s your first small step: Sign up for a free No-Sweat Intro and let Angela tell you what you should do first. Or just do one squat and start tracking your food. After 365 days, if you improve by 1% each day, you’ll be over 30 times more fit!

Book your free no-sweat intro today at www.activate.ie/free-intro.

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Do facial treatments hurt?

It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it […]

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It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it an easy process.

One of the most asked questions I get asked is do facials hurt? The short answer is no, but I have to admit it depends on your skin type and what is required. Squeezing black heads isn’t the most comfortable moment during a facial, but we always have the skin well prepared, exfoliated and softened, and use steam to open the pores. Mostly a facial is super relaxing and comfortable.

Summer weather tends to bring with it oily skin and breakouts, but it’s often less acne prone in the winter. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting regular facials throughout the year however. The best way to see the benefits of a facial is to get them consistently. A good facial will have the products tailored to your skin type.

You have nothing to loose but excess oil and dead skin cells. I have a feeling men are more sensitive than women as they always ask about the pain involved first!

Give me a call to book in or if you’ve any other questions ring 064 6632966.

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Plan ahead for College Open Days

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
 

The College Open Day season for 2023 entrants starts in earnest in early October.

From then on, the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Agricultural colleges will showcase what they have to offer to potential students. Further Education Colleges tend to host their open days from January onwards. Thankfully HEIs are back to hosting in-person open days but many are offering more specific information sessions on particular courses and departments virtually. College Open Days give students and parents a great chance to find out lots of interesting and detailed information about courses of interest and the many supports available, as well as giving the opportunity to get a feel for the college by availing of campus tours. You will find a complete list of the open days in the events sections of www.qualifax.ie and on www.careersportal.ie so take some time to make a list of the ones you want to attend.

Prepare and plan 

Do some basic research on the courses on offer. Check the entry requirements for each course of interest as you will need to meet these to be eligible to compete for a place on the course. Check out the modules and whether Erasmus or travel abroad options are available, as well as work placement. Don’t ignore a course or open day because you don’t expect to get enough points. You may do far better than you anticipate.
Have a good look at the college website – register for the open day in advance, download the schedule of talks and make note of the ones you want to attend. Make sure to download a map of the campus so you know exactly where to find the talks and presentations of interest. Jot down any questions you have as you will hopefully get a chance to talk to college staff and/or current students. Plan to arrive in plenty time as there are likely to be very large crowds attending. On the day, try to gather information about accommodation, clubs and societies and student supports. Many HEIs run talks for parents and on grants, HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) so check them out. Make sure to get contact details for any staff members which may be important later for follow-up questions.

Atmosphere

There is nothing like a College Open Day to give you a sense of what the campus feels like. Soak up the atmosphere and consider if the size of the campus is the best fit for you. Larger campuses can be intimidating for some students while exciting for others. Smaller campuses can feel more comfortable and manageable. You will know what feels right for you. Bear in mind that open days have a festival feel to them and regular college days are not always like that. This may be your only chance to visit the campus before you register there as a student so make the most of your day and enjoy it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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