HOW IT ALL STARTED
Back in the fall of 2012 my brother, Richard, and I met around my kitchen table to brainstorm on a few ideas that had developed. He had spent years in the fitness industry working with clients, patients, friends, neighbors–pretty much anyone who wanted to get healthier. I remember Richard telling me, “Helping people lose a few pounds and then watching them gain it all back after I’ve worked with them isn’t what my passion is. I want to help people transform.”. We knew immediately that whatever we created had to be built to last and we had to be committed to it for the long haul.
The table filled with ideas on post-it notes with what we needed to focus on and what factors lead to lasting transformation. We met a few more times over the next week and noticed a few concepts really sticking out:
Diet & Exercise – these fuel our energy and focus throughout the day and sustain health
Relationships – if we gain the world but lose the relationships of the ones we love, then what’s it all worth?
Mental & Spiritual – the heart and mind need to be cared for, especially since neglecting these isn’t noticed day by day–we have to be proactive about it
We thought about each of these and how people could set challenging goals. It soon developed into two parts: “BEST” and “Learn, Serve, Reflect.” BEST is an acronym that actually progresses with each letter.
B ody – People often want to begin with the BODY goals to exercise or eat healthier. These are outwardly noticeable and are easy for us to measure progress.
E motion – The next letter represents EMOTION, which involve discovering and working to provide the needs of our heart and mind.
S upport – To make the concept of quality relationships more actionable, we labeled it SUPPORT, meaning the support we give to and receive from others. Both directions are important and both provide a deep sense of satisfaction and healing to the mind and heart.
T ransformation – Once the B-E-S parts of our lives are in motion, then lasting transformation can take place that goes beyond just us–it transforms communities one individual at a time.
And for Learn, Serve, Reflect, we wanted to integrate all of these into each aspect of BEST:
Learn – Reading uplifting words from the great minds keeps our minds fresh and open to grow. We would require that participants read books from our approved reading list.
Serve – Making service a natural part of our lives keeps grateful for what we have and thoughtful to the needs of others. We believe one of the greatest cures for depression is service to others.
Reflect – If we desire to take a journey, then why not capture the memories in a journal so we can find strength and wisdom as we later reflect on our struggles, successes, and lifetime of transformation.
As these initially took shape, Richard immediately introduced me to Jenn Eardley who had brought a new and deeper dimension to the concepts. Once Heidi and Chris Powell heard about what we were creating, they jumped on board and the founding board was established.
We didn’t have all the details of the organization in place, yet knew that our focus would be to create something that all would have access to. Those who would benefit most can often afford it the least. Thus the Be Your BEST Foundation took place. We set our first round of BEST classes to kickoff January 5, 2013 and dug into preparing. Since then we’ve hosted classes, SPARK meetings, and workshops, and in the spring of 2014 we became an official nonprofit (501c3)!
An incredible community of “BESTies” grew at the classes and on our Facebook group and we have been humbled by the openness and trust everyone puts in each other. BESTies look out for other BESTies and want to help them on their transformation journey! We’re working to create a long-term platform for BESTies to share their experiences and to reach out to uplift and help others–even if they don’t live here in the Phoenix area. We’re always open to your suggestions, just head over to our Reach Out page and let us know!
We have been working with a great team of BEST volunteers to create something amazing: our BEST Blog. Our goal is to provide uplifting, informative, and actionable content that helps you learn from others and move forward with your transformation.
We’re glad you found it and hope you’ll check in often, comment and even send us suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it ever seems like the content isn’t the BEST out there, give us a shout to let us know–we’re here for you and need some pointers on occasion. Or let us know how you can help us be our BEST – we’re always looking for volunteers!
Thanks for checking out our first BEST Blog post. Here’s to a BEST future!
Derek Morris, Be Your BEST Co-Founder