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The 3-2-1 Method For Tackling Life’s Challenges and Winning

By RAMONA BRAGANZA

As a successful celebrity trainer based in Los Angeles, California, I have built my reputation on shaping some of Hollywood's fittest bodies, including those of Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Kate Beckinsale, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes and many more. Using my 3-2-1 method, I was able to get them in exactly the shape they required for on-screen close-ups or strutting down the red carpet — sometimes within a few months after having a baby!

Our success always depended on the client's personal determination to accomplish goals, even when faced with major challenges. No matter who you are or the circumstances in which you find yourself, it takes hard work and an open mind to think differently and move beyond your personal status quo to make positive changes happen.

Happy woman vitality on spring park

It's as Simple as 3-2-1
The 3-2-1 countdown has become my philosophy for everything in life, and it goes much deeper than whipping celebrities into shape. While I was working on a film set, I watched the director give a countdown with silent hand signals: 3, 2, 1, action! I realized that is exactly how I prepare my clients for their "scenes" too: Get ready, get set and go! This attitude can help you successfully tackle any challenges you face in life. The process begins with a mental decision, followed by physical action and completes with an emotional commitment.

3. Get Mentally Prepared
Think about the times you've decided to make a significant change in your life, such as starting a new business or creating the ultimate wedding day. If you succeeded, it was because you first clearly defined your goal. My own road to becoming a celebrity trainer began with the desire to move from a small town to Los Angeles. I climbed the ladder from being a competitive gymnast to a professional cheerleader while training hard at Gold's Gym in Venice for my modeling and fitness-competition career. I finally became Jessica Alba's personal trainer, which continued for more than a decade. This journey began in my brain.

To get mentally prepared, define your goal in your mind. Visualize the goal in as much detail as possible, write it down and set a realistic time frame with both short-term goals and the ultimate goal. Assemble a support system of positive people (or at least one person) who keep you on track. To guarantee success, find the meaningful motivation behind your goal. When your goal is really important to you, you will stick with it.

As the Buddha said: "The mind is everything. What you think, you become."

2. Get Set Physically
You're probably familiar with the phrase "Use it or lose it." Your body is an amazing vessel that houses both your mind and your spirit, so it is important to keep it in working order. To take action on goals or in facing challenges, you need to prepare your body to rise to the occasion. That means connecting your mind to your body and creating a healthy relationship between the two. Getting your body in shape helps you think clearly, make better decisions and respond to life's challenges more effectively.

To prepare physically, schedule a minimum exercise time of 30 minutes per day at least five days a week. An hour is even better. I recommend balancing workouts to include cardiovascular aerobic exercise, core workouts and weight training. You can turn regular daily activities into exercise by choosing the stairs rather than the elevator, taking a walk at lunch rather than sitting for an hour or walking to the convenience store instead of driving. Pick activities you really enjoy, such as dancing, hiking, tennis, bowling or yoga. Whether your workout time is 30 minutes straight or an accumulation during the course of the day, getting your body moving is essential to being physically set.

1. Go Forward Emotionally
Emotions can wreak havoc on the best of intentions. It is essential that as we jump into action, we are emotionally ready to handle what happens next.

To go forward emotionally, create a quiet time each day to be with yourself. This time doesn't necessarily need to include meditation, but should simply allow you to connect to your inner spirit and your feelings. Loving yourself is at the heart of positive self-esteem, courage and tenacity. Practice believing in yourself. In your quiet time and throughout the day, say, "I love me" and "Yes, I can." These words will always come true. Wisely choose the people with whom you associate. Honor your feelings to make the best decisions that support your goals and your success.

-- Ramona

Readers -- What are your goals and challenges? Has positive visualization helped you achieve a goal? Do you have an example of how your mindset helped you overcome a difficult situation? How do you create space in your busy day for quiet time or workouts? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Ramona Braganza is a Gold's Gym celebrity trainer and global fitness expert who leads by example. At 52, she has championed exercise and healthy eating for most of her life. Her true passion is to guide all types of people toward a better life in body, mind and spirit.

Connect with Ramona on Facebook and Twitter.

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