Look-alike Skin Conditions Only a Dermatologist Should Treat

Not all skin conditions are as they seem. While some may be obvious to the untrained eye…others can be a reason for much more concern and attention.

Common skin conditions like acne and rosacea, different viral rashes, and even poison oak versus poison ivy can all be confused for one another—and some are worse than others.

To help us correctly identify these commonly mistaken skin conditions is Apex Skin’s Marlise Fletter, CNP.

About Marlise Fletter
As a board certified family nurse practitioner, Marlise began her career in family practice in 1997 with St. Joseph Medical Group in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She enjoyed 10 years building a firm foundation in family medicine while obtaining additional training in dermatology.

Marlise’s interests include cosmetic dermatology and general adult and pediatric dermatology, particularly skin cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment of common skin ailments we’ll touch on in this blog post, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Acne vs. Rosacea

Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea are two common skin conditions that resemble each other and can affect adults.

What do acne and rosacea look like?

Both acne and rosacea are characterized by inflammation, papules and pustules (skin bumps). Acne occurs when hair follicles and skin pores become clogged with oil, dead skin and environmental debris.

What is acne?   

Additionally, acne usually presents with comedones, either open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads). Acne may cause scarring if left untreated. The causes of acne can be genetic or familial, hormonal, or bacterial, and it often presents heavily on the forehead, cheeks, and jawline. The chest and back may also be affected.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea differs from acne because inflammation, intense reddening of the skin, is the predominating symptom. The redness is caused by the dilation of superficial blood vessels in the face. There may still be papules and pustules, however, comedones are not present with rosacea.

Dry skin and itching are more common with rosacea. Also, rosacea usually presents over the central face (forehead, medial cheeks, nose, and chin). Specific triggers like sunlight, heat, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and strong emotions have been identified, which cause rosacea to flare. Controlling exposure to these triggers can improve the symptoms.

How are acne and rosacea treated?

Now that you’ve identified these skin conditions correctly, they must be treated uniquely, as they can’t always be treated the same way.

There are some treatments that will work with both acne and rosacea. However, some acne treatments will make rosacea worse. It’s important to see your dermatology provider to determine the best regimen for your condition.

Sources: Stanford Medicine, stanfordmedicine25.stanford.edu, National rosacea Society, rosacea.org

To learn more about look-alike skin conditions check out Apex Skin blog post at https://www.apexskin.com/2019/04/09/look-alike-skin-conditions/.

The Heart/ Mouth Connection in Reverse

By Dr. Scott L. Rose

When I thought about what I was going to write about this topic, I wanted to share some personal experiences rather than spew out some boring facts. So let’s get the classroom stuff out of the way first. Yes, there is a connection between oral health and heart health. And yes, poor oral hygiene and oral disease can adversely affect the function and health of your heart. But that street runs both ways. Taking care of your oral health is no guarantee that you won’t develop heart disease. You can have great hygiene, no decay, healthy gums, and still develop heart disease. I was one of those people.

Having suffered and survived a massive heart attack, having good oral health was one thing I did not have to worry about in my ongoing recovery. I see many patients who have had all kinds of heart conditions and this can complicate dental treatments and long term oral stability. So while it is important to take care of your mouth as a preventive action, it also serves to help eliminate problems and complications should something happen to your health in another area.

Recovery from acute heart problems (or any other major illness) can be a long and complicated process. We all personally have been through something or know someone who has been through something. And during that process, one little thing can often tip the scales in a bad way and stop or reverse the recovery process. Taking care of your oral health with regular dental examinations, cleanings, and doing necessary dental work can help you on both lanes of that health road. This is a bonus double effect. Recovering from any major medical issue is hard enough; take away some of that risk. Do the right thing. See your dentist.

Best Foods for Healthy Skin

We’ve said it time and time again: what you put into your body has a major impact on what appears on the outside.

“Skin is the largest organ in our body and reflects our overall well-being”, says Ringaile Sirvaitis, Certified Nurse Practitioner at Apex Dermatology in Concord. “The foods and drinks we consume directly impact what our skin looks like on a day-to-day basis. Nutrition has a very strong correlation with various skin conditions such as acne, premature aging, and other inflammatory skin conditions.”

This is why it’s not always wise to only rely on external medicines in order to aid skin conditions, but rather to use them in unison with foods that can support healthy skin from the inside out.

About Ringaile Sirvaitis, CNP

Born in Lithuania, she has resided in the United States since 1999. In addition to English, she is fluent in Lithuanian and Russian. For many years, her passion and interests were focused on health, and more specifically, on beautiful skin.

Ringaile says, “It gives me huge satisfaction to see my patients looking and feeling better.”

During her advanced nursing training she studied in the dermatology department of Cleveland Clinic. Her diverse background and expertise in skin care gives her an excellent platform for sharing her knowledge and educating patients about the preservation, nurture, and well being of the skin.

And that includes which foods and drinks can help your skin in the long run.

What foods are good for skin overall?

Your skin is comprised of many layers and in order to properly care for them, they need nutrients that supports them.

When you want to buy foods and drinks that are good for your skin look for:

  • Fatty fish – such as salmon (wild-caught better than farm-raised to avoid hormones and antibiotics), mackerel, herring, sardines. These fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids that act as building blocks for healthy skin cells and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
  • Eggs – are protein rich and contain biotin, a B vitamin that is essential for healthy hair, skin and nails
  • Grass-fed meat that does not contain hormones or antibiotics
  • Vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, green beans, peppers, sweet potato, tomato, carrots, squash, pumpkin – contain antioxidants, minerals and vitamins as well as fiber.
  • Fruits – lemon, papaya, avocado, orange, watermelon, honeydew, mango, pomegranate, apple, kiwi, apricot, banana, organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, acai berries, cranberries, strawberries, bilberries) – contain antioxidants, are rich in vitamins and minerals, are anti-inflammatory and high in fiber.
  • Mushrooms – rich in vitamin D
  • Whole grains, beans and legumes – high in B-group vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Good source of folate. Low in saturated fat.
  • Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds – contain natural fatty acids and vitamin E that helps to increase skin hydration and keeps away wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Green tea contains antioxidant EGCG that fights DNA damage from UV rays to prevent skin cancer. Also has anti-inflammatory effect improving skin tone and reducing acne.
  • Water has ability to flush toxins from our system, keeps our skin clean, well hydrated and more youthful.

What foods and drinks are bad for your skin?

It’s just as, if not more, important to understand which foods and drinks can also hurt you in your quest for perfect skin.

These are foods and beverages you should consume in moderation if you want to maintain healthy skin:

  • Refined carbohydrates – white flour foods such as white bread, pasta and white rice have a high glycemic index. This causes an insulin surge after consumption and leads to production of androgen hormones that cause sebaceous glands to produce more oil and cause acne.
  • Sugar/corn syrup – soda, juices, sport drinks, protein-granola bars cause inflammation and destruction of collagen and elastin in the skin that leads to wrinkles and premature aging and also same mechanism as with refined carbs, where an increase in serum insulin leads to more oil production by sebaceous glands and the overproduction of oil leads to clogged pores and acne.
  • Dairy products – high inflammatory food that will contribute to skin conditions such as acne, eczema and wrinkles.
  • Overconsumption of alcohol – pro-inflammatory, causes dehydration, increases likelihood of broken capillaries due to skin vasodilation, increases skin dullness and wrinkle formation.

To read more about the Best Foods for Healthy Skin click here to check out the Apex Skin Blog.

Hormones Protect Our Heart

By Tara D. Scott, MD, FACOG, FAAFM, ABOIM, CNMP

My struggle with hormones and infertility prompted me to start studying a holistic approach and eventually led to me completing a fellowship in functional medicine and getting another board certification in Integrative Medicine.

When people hear that we specialize in hormones we usually get mixed reviews. One camp still believes that hormones cause cancer, which stems from a study in 2002 called the Women’s Health Initiative that studied a synthetic form of hormone replacement (HRT) and found that in women over 65 there was an increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer. Since then, other studies have proven that the risk of blood clots is only with oral estrogen, so we never prescribe estrogen in an oral form. Furthermore, another study in Europe in 2008 observed that there was no increased risk of breast cancer in women aged 40-64 who took estrogen through the skin in a patch or a cream form, and a bio-identical form of progesterone. They compared this group to a group of women who took no hormones at all. So, the type of hormone and the way you take it, and the dose, all come into play. So you need someone who is an expert to manage your hormone replacement if you choose to take it.

Aside from the confusing data about the risks of HRT, we need to remember that the #1 killer in women is heart disease. Also, the studies are pretty clear that estrogen is protective of heart disease, that’s why we don’t see women dying of sudden heart attacks before 50 as often as we see that with men. Moreover, let’s not forget that the DEATH rate two years after a hip fracture is higher than TEN years after breast cancer diagnosis, so osteoporosis is very serious. Estrogen has been shown in many studies to slow bone loss and help osteoporosis.

However, aside from risks & benefits of HRT, I would advocate for everyone to KNOW their hormones. That means you should be aware before and after menopause what your levels are. I see many women that have much too high of estrogen levels that are at increased risk for cancers of the breast or uterus. Knowing their levels, we can craft a plan for prevention.

There are many ways to test hormone levels. Traditional blood testing helps us see what your ovaries are producing, but saliva levels are best to test the stress hormone cortisol or to see what your tissues are exposed to. For example, a blood test is like your balance for your checking account at that very moment. It doesn’t take into account if you are getting deposits or withdrawals. So if I’m an accountant, I won’t just look at your balance, I will look at your checkbook, your receipts, and how much you have been paid to make an assessment. Urine testing lets us see how your body is processing hormones and make sure you aren’t stockpiling estrogen, which would be bad. So, even if you don’t think you need hormones, you should get tested to make sure you are in balance!

We can help you get your life back too.

Preventive Care is Essential for Women

Medina County Health Department offers health services, screenings, and treatments to live a longer, healthier life so you can be there for your family.

AN ESTIMATED 66% OF CAREGIVERS ARE FEMALE.

Women provide the majority of informal care to spouses, parents, parents-in-law, friends and neighbors, and they play many roles while caregiving—hands-on health provider, care manager, friend, companion, surrogate decision-maker and advocate. We need to care for ourselves to care for others! Source: caregiver.org

Provided By Medina County Health Department

Our mission at the Medina County Health Department is to prevent disease, assure a healthful environment, prolong life, and promote the well-being of the citizens of Medina County. Many of our services and programs focus on educating all citizens, but we also recognize that women experience unique health issues and conditions.

The Health Department has a full-time family practice physician, a full-time family nurse practitioner, and a certified nurse midwife who are all trained to provide complete services for women. General physicals, breast and cervical cancer screenings, low cost reproductive health care, and consultation for gynecological issues are just some of the services available.

Regular health exams and tests can help and problems before they start. Some health issues that are common to both men and women affect women differently, so it is important to work with a provider who recognizes this and works with you as an individual. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments you are taking steps for living a longer, healthier life. For women of reproductive age it is especially important to address issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and substance abuse, which may affect future fertility, pregnancies, and birth outcomes.

The Health Center at the Medina County Health Department accepts private insurance, Medicare plans and all Medicaid plans. Our staff is committed to your health.

Hours of Service: Same day appointments available. 
8:00am to 4:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
8:00am to 7:00pm on Tuesday 
8:00am to 2:00pm on Friday

 

You Can Be Your Best You with Laser Acupuncture

By Luciana McCartney

Laser acupuncture, a non-invasive alternative therapy, uses low-level lasers (LLLT) on specific pressure points across the body similar to traditional needle acupuncture. As a form of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s “qi” or energy flow. Issues like tobacco and food addictions or chronic stress are believed to be caused by blockages in energy flow. By stimulating pressure points located in specific areas of the body, new channels can open allowing energy to be redirected, thus encouraging the natural meridians to flow properly.

How can laser acupuncture help the smoker, the person who is trying to lose weight or someone who suffers from stress?

For the smoker, LLLT reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms by stimulating pressure points that encourage better energy flow and endorphin production that reduce stress and anxiety.

For the person who is addicted to food, LLLT focuses on addiction, sugar detoxing, and weight health pressure points. AcuLaser Treatment Center has a number of programs designed to help specific needs. AcuLaser Treatment Center also offers The Cryo T-Shock for added support to help eliminate stubborn fat while dieting. You can see changes in just a few treatments.

For someone who suffers from stress, LLLT helps reduce cortisol levels in the body, which trigger high levels of stress and anxiety.

If you want to experience the benefits of laser acupuncture for yourself, turn to the professionals at AcuLaser Treatment Center. Visit our website at www.theyquit.com to learn more, or call 440.740.1020 to make an appointment today.

What is Eczema and How Can it Affect You

As winter enters its harshest months yet, everyone’s skin is susceptible to the drying affects of the weather. Whether you realize it or not, the weather can play a large role in your skin and its ailments – including eczema.

Those of you who have experienced eczema are very aware of just how much worse it can get during the hard winter months.

To learn how to manage this chronic condition in winter months, we teamed up with our very own Dr. Shannon McKeen who answers some of your most asked questions about eczema and how it works against your skin.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a medical condition that affects the skin in various ways. It can result in rough, dry patches that may produce intense itching, blisters and bleeding skin if left untreated.

Occasionally, eczema is a reaction to various substances, known as eczematous dermatitis, but most often has no known cause.

Who gets eczema?

Did you know that eczema is actually a very common skin condition? It affects about 1 in every 10 people. Odds are, you know someone in your life struggling with it.

Dr. Shannon McKeen says, “Eczema can affect any age, ranging from newborns to elderly patients. It has a higher prevalence in patients that have a personal history of asthma or allergic rhinitis, as well as a family history of eczema.”

Basically, eczema doesn’t discriminate and can affect a wide range of individuals.

What causes eczema to flare up?

One of the most widely asked questions has to do with the cause of eczema and its flare-ups. Dr. McKeen dives deep to answer the cause for you.

“There are many different factors that can contribute to a flare of eczema. Anything that worsens the dryness of the skin can, in turn, worsen eczema. Therefore, the winter months can be very difficult for eczema patients due to the low humidity, hot showers and heaters running in the house.

Fragrances in soaps, lotions, laundry detergents and other personal care products can also aggravate eczematous skin. In rare cases, food allergens can contribute to severe and recalcitrant cases.”

In order to reduce the symptoms of eczema, pay close attention to your body and what substances you come into contact with prior to a flare up. This will help regulate your condition better.

What does eczema look like?

It’s important to understand what eczema looks like so you can accurately identify and treat it. However, as always, we recommend visiting your dermatologist to confirm before self-treating.

“Eczema can present as one small scaly patch or a diffuse itchy rash that covers the entire body. The distribution of eczema can vary with the age of the patient and the appearance can be different depending on how long the rash has been present.

Due to the wide variety of presentations and the fact that eczema can mimic other skin conditions, it is important to have the rash evaluated by a Dermatologist.”

Are eczema and psoriasis related?

Although eczema and psoriasis can, at times,  have a similar clinical appearance, they are unrelated and also treated differently.

As noted above, there are numerous skin conditions that can have a similar clinical appearance to eczema, therefore an accurate diagnosis is essential for proper management.

How can you best treat eczema?

There are a few different ways in which eczema can be treated. First and foremost, always confirm your diagnosis with a dermatologist and listen to their expert advice in treating this condition.

Dr. Shannon McKeen has more tips for treating eczema:
“Healthy bathing habits are of the utmost importance in patients that have eczema. Historically, topical corticosteroids were the mainstay of therapy. In recent years, there have been new exciting therapies that do not contain steroids which can be used topically.

There is also a new injectable biologic medication that can help for severe cases of eczema that are difficult to treat with topical medications alone.”

Not all cases of eczema are the same, therefore patients should work with their Dermatologist to formulate a unique treatment plan for their specific needs.

Can eczema be cured?

Unfortunately there is no cure for eczema. However, there are many steps that can be taken to improve the overall health of the skin and reduce the frequency of flares.

With the variety of treatment options available, allowing a patient to be in control of eczema is now a therapeutic reality.

Eczema is a skin condition that can be both painful physically and emotionally. Always book an appointment with a trusted dermatologist to understand how it works so you can utilize a treatment plan that’s best for you.

About Dr. Shannon McKeen

Dr. McKeen is originally from South Bend, Indiana. She completed her undergraduate years at Ball State University, and as a chemistry/pre-medicine double major, won awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Performance in Chemistry.

Dr. McKeen attended medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she was one of two students in her graduating class to receive the Academic Achievement Award.

She spent her clinical years at University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center, and after medical school, stayed to complete a Dermatology-focused Traditional Rotating Internship. She completed her Dermatology residency at Lakeland Health in Saint Joseph, Michigan where she was appointed chief resident. After completion of her dermatology residency, she became board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology and gained Fellowship status from the American College of Osteopathic Dermatology.

Source: ApexSkin.com

Holiday Survival Guide: How to Get Through the Holidays with No Regrets

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

Let’s face it: it is hard to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan during the holidays. Everywhere we turn there are tempting foods and drinks—from treats at office parties to our own traditional family favorites. When you add in a busy schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers that make it tough to squeeze in exercise, you have a recipe for disaster as far as our scales are concerned.

The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight. It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1 rolls around and you have no regrets!

Your Goal:  Maintenance

In order to greet the New Year without tipping the scale, it is wise to try to maintain your weight during the next few months instead of trying to lose. Remember:  you want to enjoy the holidays, not be miserable from deprivation. This means that you will allow yourself occasional treats and splurges and keep the scale where it is rather than trying to actually decrease your weight.

There are several ways to accomplish this:

• Don’t skip your workouts. To get the biggest bang for your exercise-buck, do regular strength training moves. Even after your strength training session has ended, your metabolism and calorie-burn remains high when you do strength training! You need this calorie-burn to keep up with the richer food that you will be eating. You will also be less likely to overeat if you have just pushed through a hard workout!

• Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip this important meal.

• Keep a food diary. Write down every single thing you eat—even if it is only one bite of shrimp cocktail. It is a proven fact that keeping a food journal results in better weight control than not keeping one. (Tip: don’t want to write it down? Snap a picture!)

• Monitor your hunger. Never show up at a party or buffet ravenous—you will most certainly overeat. Drink water and have a protein-filled snack (such as nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese, or cheese) before arriving. This will help you have more self-control around the temptations.

• Weigh yourself twice each week. Normally it is not a good idea to step on the scale too often, but during the holidays it’s a great way to stay on track with your goals. If you see the scale start to creep, you can immediately take steps to correct it, such as backing off your calories for a day or two, drinking more water, and adding in a little more exercise.

• Watch your portion size. If you have an idea of how much food you are putting on your plate, you will be less likely to overdo it.

• Deal quickly with leftovers. If you have unhealthy leftovers in your home, you are likely to indulge. Don’t leave them sitting around. Freeze them, give them away or toss them. It’s not worth the temptation!

• Check in with your future self. Every day, speak to yourself from the future—say, from January 1. Thank yourself for doing the tough work of self-discipline during these holiday weeks. You might say something like this: Thank you! I feel great! I’m no heavier than I was in November, I’ve stayed on track with my exercise, my energy is incredible, and I’ve got the momentum to spend the rest of the winter getting in even better shape before spring gets here!

• Go public. Sound scary? It’s supposed to! Let others know what your current weight is and check in with them each time you weigh yourself. That kind of intense accountability will give you will power when the cheesecake and fudge starts showing up at the office!

You can survive the holidays with no added weight gain. Remember these tips and keep a vision of what you want to feel like on January 1 in mind. It’s going to be a great holiday season!

Be strong, eat clean, and live well—BONUS: Download our FREE Holiday Survival Guide at www.maxstrengthfitness.com/holiday.

Do You Have Questions About Medicare?

By Roni Bell

You are NOT alone! I have seen much change so I stay current and informed so I can give you a choice, convenience and counsel is important to me.   Choosing insurance plans can be difficult. I have listed several of the most frequently asked questions below.

WHAT AGE DO I NEED TO BE TO SIGN UP FOR MEDICARE?

  1. Original Medicare is a federal health insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for those who are:
  2. 65 and older
  3. Any age and disabled (after 25 months)
  4. Diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (Kidney disease requiring dialysis)
  5. IF I RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY, AM I AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN MEDICARE?
  • If you are collecting social security, you will automatically be signed up for Original Medicare and receive your Medicare card in the mail 3 to 4 months before you turn 65.
  • Otherwise, you need to go to www.medicare.gov and formally enroll in Medicare Parts A & B in order to be signed up and get your Medicare Card. You may also call or visit your local Social Security office for help or to sign up for Medicare.
  • If you are covered under your (or your spouse’s) CURRENT employer group health plan, you may delay enrollment into Medicare Part B.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN vs. THE MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN?

  1. Original Medicare never intended to pay 100% of health care costs. You have two options in Medicare if you want additional coverage, either a Medicare Supplement or an Advantage plan.

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (Medigap) help with the coverage gaps in Original Medicare. (You will need to add a separate prescription drug plan – Part D.) Original Medicare is still the primary payer of claims; you choose an insurance company that helps fill in some/all of the costs that Original Medicare does not cover. (deductible, co-insurance)

With a Medicare Supplement Plan or Medigap, you pay little or NO out of pocket cost when used (for medical). These plans have NO network. They are accepted nationwide by all doctors/hospitals who accept Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plan:

You still pay your Part B premium. You choose a plan with a private health insurance company, and they will pay your doctors and hospitals. You will be charged out-of-pocket costs when the plan is used. That means you will pay copays at the doctor, hospital, outpatient surgery, labs, etc.

You will need to be willing to use network providers, as these plans can be HMOs or PPOs. They have a maximum out-of-pocket cost for medical (prescriptions not included). Most Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage. They may also offer some added benefits such as vision, dental, hearing, fitness, etc. These plans can have a lower cost or no additional cost to you, in addition to your Part B premium.

HOW DO I SELECT THE BEST PLAN TO FIT OUR NEEDS?

  1. I highly recommend meeting with a licensed insurance agent. HealthMarkets and my team are here to help, and there is no charge or fee to meet with an agent. You will pay the same rate that you would if you trudge through it on your own.   There are many things to take into consideration in choosing the most appropriate plan for you. There is no BEST plan in Medicare; it is really determining the plan that fits with your lifestyle, your medications, and your individual situation.

I do like to make sure that clients know that they are eligible to purchase a Medicare supplement with no health questions asked, in your guarantee issue period. (This is 6 months beginning with turning 65 or enrolling in Part B, whichever is later.) There are some other special circumstances, typically 63 days after loss of coverage.   After your guaranteed enrolment period ends, you will be asked medical questions to determine if you are eligible for a Medicare Supplement. They can either decline or charge a higher rate based on health.

Please reach out if you have questions. We will work to find the plan that best fits you and your family. ~Roni

Here’s How to Achieve Your Goals Once and For All!

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

Do you have unmet goals? If so, you aren’t alone. Most people live with unfulfilled aspirations.

Unfortunately, many widely used self-help techniques fail to deliver results. Case in point: You’ve probably heard of the “Yale Goal Study” where researchers interviewed Yale’s 1953 graduating class, asking whether or not the students had written down specific goals that they wanted to achieve. Then 20 years down the road the researchers looked up each student and discovered that the 3% of the class who had written down their goals had accumulated more personal wealth than the other 97% combined. Very compelling story, but complete fiction.

The “Yale Goal Study” never happened, though motivational speakers and self-help books have quoted it for years. Best-selling author and psychologist, Richard Wiseman, went on a mission to craft a no-nonsense response to the bogus self-help techniques. Using a diverse range of scientific data, he uncovered a proven approach to achieve any goal. The following 5 successful techniques (Do This) and 5 unsuccessful techniques (Not That) are from Wiseman’s book, 59 Seconds Change Your Life in Under a Minute.

1) Do This: Make a Step-by-Step Plan.

If you are serious about achieving your goal, then you need to create a step-by-step plan on how to do it. Successful goal-achievers break down their overall goal into sub-goals. Each sub-goal needs to be concrete, measurable and time-based.

• Not That: Motivate yourself by focusing on someone that you admire. Studies show that focusing on someone you admire is not a strong enough motivator to see you through your goal.

2) Do This: Tell Other People About Your Goal.

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? If you want it bad enough, you’ll tell your friends and family. This technique works on two levels. First, you’ve put yourself on the spot by letting the world in on your goal, so it’s all-eyes-on-you. Failure would be public. Second, your friends and family are there to offer support and encouragement. Don’t underestimate the psychological power of having someone in your corner.

• Not That: Think about the bad things. When you focus on the negative it becomes your reality.

3) Do This: Focus on the Good Things When Achieving Your Goal.

Remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goal. Make a checklist of how life will be better once you have achieved your aim. This gets your focus on a positive future, one that’s worth the effort.

• Not That: Try to suppress unhelpful thoughts. Rather than trying to erase that image of chocolate cake from your mind, learn to deal with the reality of temptation head-on.

4) Do This: Reward Your Progress.

Studies show that attaching rewards to each of your sub-goals encourages success. Your rewards should never conflict with your major goal. When aiming to lose weight, never use food as a reward.

• Not That: Rely on willpower. Willpower alone rarely gets anyone to their goal.

5) Do This: Record Your Progress.

Make your plans, progress, benefits and rewards concrete by expressing them in writing. Use a hand-written journal, your computer or a bulletin board to chart your progress. This process is priceless for maintaining motivation.

• Not That: Just fantasize about life after achieving your goal. Daydreaming is fun, but simply fantasizing about your new life will not make it a reality.

Are you ready to achieve your fitness and weight loss goal once and for all? Request your free initial consultation and demo workout at www.maxstrengthfitness.com now to get started on your spectacular health and fitness transformation. Now is your time to get into the best shape of your life in only 20 minutes 2 X week at MaxStrength Fitness.