Big Girl Panties Academy

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I AM SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THIS!

I’ve spent the last year putting together all the tools and tricks of what has worked for me, my clients and my mentors into a book. I also spent last year getting my certification as a Life Coach. The next step is what this post is all about!

This year I’m refining my content and process in a new way that’s open to you. It’s called the Big Girl Panties Academy. Here’s how it will work. 12 months. You & me and other like-minded folks. There will be monthly audio files (so you can listen while driving or folding laundry), a monthly workbook and then ONE group coaching call. Yes, we will all get on together and work through the material together. We’re going to hit a new topic each month and really do the deep work to improving every area of our lives.

So, that goal for 2019 to find balance? To do some personal development? Let’s do that. Let’s do it together. Let’s become better versions of ourselves. Together. It’s one thing to read a book or do something by yourself. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to do it with a group of like-minded folks who are having similar struggles! It’s so important to be heard. It’s so important to feel like you belong. It’s so nice to know you’re not the only crazy person.

Okay, so the idea behind Big Girl Panties is that we all have the power within to make our lives exactly what we want them to be. We don’t have to rely on external sources, we can put our big girl panties on and take charge of life. We can do the hard things.

This year, I’d like to tackle the following topics each month. I know I need CONTINUAL work in all of these areas. I need continual REFLECTION and GROWTH in all of these areas. Personally, I am addicted to self-improvement and especially to those deep conversations they trigger with others who feel the same. However, I know personally reading a book doesn’t always cut it. So, we’ll listen, write and then chat together. Here’s what I’m proposing.

  • January: Life by Design
  • February: Love, Expectations & Marriage
  • March: Home Reset (Declutter & Organize)
  • April: Get Your Mind Right
  • May: 4Es of Love (Embrace, Encourage, Empower, Enjoy)
  • June: Rituals & Self Care
  • July: Every Body has a Challenge (Food, Fitness & Body Image)
  • August: Productivity & Organization
  • September: Home Economics (Finances, Budget, Savings, Goals, Etc)
  • October: Tribe & Relationships
  • November: Mental Health
  • December: Generosity

So, what do you think? Would you be excited to work on these things together? We’re talking about going to the University of YOU! If you’re committed this year to really bettering yourself, this is the moment. Let’s do it together.

I’m not going to overload you with information or with appointments or even host this on social media. I’m going to make this as easy as possible. I’m going to send you 1 email with links for the audio chats to listen to each month along with an accompanying workbook for you to work through. Then we’re going to have one online group coaching session the third week of the month and talk it all through. There is power in community y’all!

If you’re in, sign up below! Pricing will be a really easy to swallow $25 / month. It’s my intention to WAY over deliver on the value of this Academy so that you get way more than $25 worth! Pay here. Fill your info out below and you’ll receive an email from me!

Let’s do this. Together.

 

Visualization exercise to…let it go!

As a coach, my job is to point you to the future. To point you to hope and possibilities. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in the past for one reason or another. That can be because they had some emotional trauma or a limiting belief they developed as a youngin’. For example, let’s say dad left you as a kid. Or, let’s say your parents were too busy to spend time with you as a kid. Even though you’re grown, those things can still be affecting you and your current relationships. The past is not in the past. It’s in the future.

Likewise, many people keep limiting beliefs they develop from the past. From the examples above, it might be that people leave you. It might be that you’re not good enough, that’s why people don’t give you their time. It might be that you have to achieve X, Y & Z before people will like you.

From a more recent past, it might be that you can’t lose weight. You haven’t been able to until now, so you won’t in the future.

It might be that you aren’t a good mom. I mean, you’ve been overwhelmed, tired and yelling for the last five years. That’s proof enough, isn’t it?

All of these things from our past often hold us back from our future.

I imagine a whole world unburdened by their past.

Let’s dive into the exercise.

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First of all, let’s identify it. What is this thing in your past that’s holding you back? What is this thing in your past that is weighing you down? Many of you will know this immediately. There might be a big hurt in your past that lingers. It’s always there, never too far away.

If you don’t know, I want you to think about a big goal you have. Maybe one you haven’t even said out loud to someone else. Think about it. In a second, I want you to close your eyes and think about it some more. Go.

What came to mind? Did any phrase come to mind when you were thinking about that goal? These phrases typically start with, “I can’t because ______.” “I’ll never be able to ____.” “I’m not _____ enough.”

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So now you’ve identified your past. Let’s examine it a bit. Think about how your past is like the first photo. How is it weighing you down? How is it keeping you from moving toward what you want? How is it keeping you in one place, rather than progressing? How are you bringing it into everything you do? Every relationship?

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Now that we’ve examined it a little bit, now that we’ve called it out, we’re seeing it for what it really is, it might seem a little lighter.

Now, let’s look at whatever this thing is is serving you.

Let’s say it’s the idea that you’re not good enough. Think now about how that idea serves you. Does it serve you at work? Does it help you perform better? Does it serve you as a parent? Does it make you a better parent?

Now, consider if it is even true? I mean, what is good enough? Aren’t you a decent person? Don’t you try hard? Don’t people love you for you who are? Aren’t you honest? Caring? Loving? Isn’t that enough?

If it’s someone who hurt you in the past, think carefully how holding on to that hurt is really helping you. Is it making the hurt go away? Does it change the fact that you were hurt? Is it healing the relationship? Is it hurting anything else in your life? Is it teaching that person a lesson? Is the energy you’re using to hold on to that hurt energy you’d rather invest in something you love and care about?

Let’s say it’s the idea that you’ve been overweight for so long that you’ll never lose weight. Tell me, does holding on to that belief help you lose weight? Does holding on to that belief make you feel better? Does holding on to that belief motivate you to make changes? Is that belief even true? Just because something hasn’t happened in the past, does that mean it can’t happen in the future? Just because a baby can’t walk the first time, doesn’t he keep trying? Doesn’t he eventually get the hang of it?

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Now it’s time for a big decision. What would your life be like if you let go of this thing? If you examined it, picked it up and realized it wasn’t worth hanging onto? What if you your ball and chain became a balloon? What if you simply decided to let it go?

Did you know you can make that choice? I know it’s hard. We get comfortable with our problems. We find our identity in our problems. But, we are not our problems. We are not our past. We can choose to simply let it go. We don’t have to wallow in it, we don’t have to spend a long time analyzing it. We can choose to simply let it go.

What if you let go of the idea that you’re not good enough? How would that feel? Maybe you’d become a person that reconsidered the meaning of enough. Maybe you’d become a person who was okay with being enough. That was okay with her own definition of enough which meant honest, loving, caring…or whatever it means to you. Maybe you let go of the need to strive, to try so hard to prove to others and yourself that you’re enough. Maybe you just give yourself a little hug and accept that you’re enough as you watch that balloon drift off, taking that past belief away.

What if you decided to take that hurt from the past and simply let it go? What if, when you let it go, you decided it was no longer going to control you? What if you decided to let it exist in that balloon, floating out in the universe. That means sure, it happened, but it no longer affects you. It is no longer something that will weigh you down.

What if you decided to let go of the idea that you can’t lose weight? What if you just let go of that person, of that past history? What if you let go of the past identity of someone who couldn’t lose weight? Maybe now you reach out and grab a new balloon. Maybe now you reach out and grab a balloon that says you’re the kind of person who is learning to love her body, to make it strong and healthy. That balloon sounds way more fun to me!

So, go through this visualization. Name your past. Name the thing that’s weighing you down. Examine it. Examine how it serves you, whether it’s really true. Then, make the choice to let it float off, no longer weighing you down.

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How to not turn into the running-late-monster

There are two things that make me sooooo much less of a nice human. One is having to repeat myself. MUCH, much worse though is when I’m running late.

It is not a pretty picture. It is behaviour unbecoming. I’m not proud of how it changes me as a mom, as a wife, even as a driver on the road.

Knowing that it’s like the Mr. Hyde juice to my Dr. Jekyll, the Hulk serum to my Bruce Banner, I’ve made some modifications in our lives so I can stay away from the dark side.

These modifications might seem too simplistic to even repeat. And yet, they definitely took me until I was in my 30s to really put them into decisive, consistent action. And I’m still working on it if the mad dash from today’s birthday-party-deposit-making to preschool-playdate-pickup is any indication. So what are they?

Countdown

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First thing’s first. When it comes to time, we start with what time we want to be there. Are you like military folk with the 15-minutes-early-is-on-time shenanigans? Or is on time on time? Or is fashionably late the cool vibe you’re going for? Whatever it is, what time is the goal?

As an example, I’ll use our church time because that’s one that takes a freaking symphony orchestra to happen. We want to be there 15 minutes early so we can 1) check the kids in 2) have a small cup of coffee and 3) use the potty before service. That’s 10:45. Take note here, this is a special step. When we think about how we want this to go, we know that few extra minutes is so we can enjoy a few moments of fellowship and such. It’s purposeful and in alignment with our other goals.

Next, what all needs to be counted down are all the things it takes to get there. What things do we need to do in order to leave? How long do they take?

For us, that means 1) get dressed 2) do hair 3) straighten up a bit 4) get jackets / get in car. For five people. So, we’d say that takes about 15 minutes right? And it take ten minutes to get to church. That would mean we need to be getting ready for our 11am service at 10:15. Theoretically.

Add 50%

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We’re going to add to our no-stress strategies here. In one of my hall-of-fame-favorite books, Essentialist, Greg McKeown explains that we consistently underestimate the amount of time it takes us to do pretty much everything. It doesn’t take five minutes to get kids to bed, it doesn’t take one hour to go shopping and it doesn’t take ten minutes to get there! Not only do we consistently underestimate the amount of time it takes us to do stuff, we typically underestimate by half! McKeown suggests adding a 50 percent buffer to keep things more realistic. So, if you think it’ll take 10 minutes, plan for 15. If you think it’ll take 30, plan for 45. This simple change of adding margin can reduce a lot of stress in your life.

So, in our church example, I’m estimating that it will take us 15 minutes to get read and 10 minutes to drive to church. I’ll add 50% of that 25 minutes, round it off to 40 minutes. In this way, I know that 5 minutes after 10, everyone needs to be getting ready. This will give us plenty of stress free, yell free, worry free, goal-getting time to get ready.

This is one of the most profound tools for time management we can use. You have to be willing to trust the math and not your own opinion. But it will create a sense of spare time in your life that will feel very luxurious.

Work first, play last.

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This last step my mama taught me. Again, it’s common sense but maybe not so common.

The idea here is to do everything you need to do to be ready to go first and then sit down and relax or do whatever else it is you were going to do. Doing so alleviates the last minute hustle that finds us frantically searching for shoes and car keys.

In our church example, we’d all get 100% ready after breakfast and then folks could lounge around playing, reading, devicing until it was time to go. You more the leisure time to after everything is done. It’s important to note that you don’t lose it, you’re just swapping it. What you do lose is that stress. Walking out the door is so much smoother.

Where this is most apparent is for my kiddos getting ready for school. They are to get 100% ready to go with shoes and lunches and hair and teeth and etc. Then if they have any leftover time they can play or whatever until it’s time to walk out the door.

The same goes for me the adult. In the mornings before I leave for work or whatever the day calls for, I get all the dishes done, the house straightened up and whatever I need packed. Then, I usually have time for a few quiet moments with a cup of coffee. And it’s amazing! I’m not stressed over what still needs to be done. Time is on my side. It’s such a better way to do things!

These three strategies help me not turn into Dr. Evil Mom. I hope they help you too. Remember:

    • Countdown

    • 50%

    • Work first, play last

 

Let me know if this helps you!

If you need help with this, with getting your schedule and routine in order, I’m here for you. Schedule a session with me now!

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It only takes one day to get back on track

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You know what’s really cool? It doesn’t matter how “far” off the wagon you’ve fallen, it only takes ONE day to get back on track.

Listen, whatever happened over the weekend stays on the weekend. Today is the day that you get to decide to get back on track.

Whatever that means to you, make it happen! It might be in the realm of fitness, of nutrition, of parenting, of marriage, of anything you want it to be!

It only takes one day to get back on track. If you focus your effort on TODAY then you’re already back in the game. You’re already back on track, on the trajectory that leads to you hitting your goals.

It doesn’t take a month to get back on track or even a month. It takes just one day.

One day tells yourself that you’re committed! It reminds your body, mind and spirit that you’re in it to win it. One day in a row of honoring your commitment to yourself and doing the things that you have pre-decided you want to do to make your life better.

Don’t wait until tomorrow, get started today! TODAY is the one day. The one day you’re back on track!

Sunday planning: How + Worksheet

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a great day! On Sunday’s, I like to do alllll the planning for the week while I’m calm, relaxed and happy.

Before I sit down with my hubby for our marriage meeting, I get my own things in line. Want to take a peek at my plan? Maybe it will inspire your plan?


Schedule for the week:

  • 5am Wake, Bible, Pray, Journal
  • 6 – 6:30 Breakfast with hubby
  • 6:30 – 7:30 Breakfast / Kid prep / Clean house
  • 7:30 – 8:30 Coffee & relaxing time
  • 8:30 – 9:30 Kid bus / preschool drop off
  • 9:30 – 11 Workout / Shower
  • 11 – 12 Work
  • 12 – 1 Preschool pick up / errands
  • 1 – 4 Work
  • 4 – 4:30 Bus / Folders
  • 4:30 – 5 Dinner prep / House reset
  • 5 – 6 Family dinner / dishes

My schedule varies week to week quite often. And my evenings are always different based on clients / classes but I like to have a good base. This is what I call “mom blocking.” When I have the basics blocked like when I will get quiet time, workouts, housework, kiddo time and my work done then I can breathe and relax and get excited for the week!

When I’m doing my schedule, I also set the priorities for the week.

  • This week I have to get my vision board workshops completely planned out and I need to file business stuff at the county court.
  • I also need to get December’s budget completed.
  • I need to get my girl’s birthday party planned.

Whew! So, I’ve got those things scheduled in on my planner so they’ll actually GET DONE.


Food for the week:

This week’s food is brought to you by leftover turkey and end of the month creativity.

  • Monday everyone will eat turkey sandwiches for lunch and I’ll have a shake. For dinner, I’ll have zoodles and they’ll have turkey & dumplings.
  • Tuesday they will have leftover dumplings for lunch and I’ll have a shake. For dinner, I’ll make chicken fried (cauliflower) rice.
  • Wednesday I’ll have a shake and they’ll have leftover dumplings for lunch. For dinner, I’ll make salmon & spinach.
  • Thursday they’ll turkey cranberry salad and I’ll have a shake. Then we’ll all have leftover chicken fried rice for dinner (it’s a busy night).
  • Finally, Friday will bring wraps for lunch and pizza for dinner!

Workouts for the week:

Another thing I plan is my workouts. You may be following a program but I’m just following my heart. Right now that heart says:

  • Monday / Legs: 5k + 4 rounds of 25 squats, 25 squat jumps, 25 walking lunges, 25 lunge jumps, 25 deadlifts, 25 skater jumps + 21 Day Fix abs.
  • Tuesday / Arms: 5k + 10 inchworms + 3 Supersets + 21 day fix Abs.  3 rounds each superset, 20 reps each move. SS1: Plank push-ups & Curls. SS2: Side planks & Skullcrushers. SS3: Pike pushups & Curl to press.
  • Wednesday / Full body: 5K + PIYO.
  • Thursday / Chest, Back & Booty: 5k + 10 inchworms + 4 tabatas.  T1: Chest Press w/ Leg Raise & Snow Angels. T2: Superman w/ band & Push-ups w/ chest bump. T3: Pullovers in bridge & Banded bridge w/ butterfly. T4: Fire hydrant R & FH L w/ hold.
  • Friday / Full body: 5K + Ladder workout. 100 squats, 90 lunges, 70 Everests, 50 Pushups, 30 Triceps dips, 10 burpees, 30 Triceps dips, 50 Pushups, 70 Everests, 90 Lunges, 100 squats.

I want to give you a free tool to help you plan to have a FABULOUSLY FIT week! It’s my Sunday Planning sheet that focuses on your fitness journey.

Get the printable Sunday Planner here!


Join me!

How about you? I hope this post just inspires you to plan your own week. If not, just copy mine as best you can! =D

Fill out the form below if you’re interested in:

  • Vision board workshop. I will have one vision board class in person and one online.
  • Online health & fitness groups.
  • 1 on 1 coaching to help you achieve your goals!
  • You can also check out my How To Have An Awesome Marriage Meeting course for $5!

 

 

5 strategies to win the holiday food wars

Are you sitting there reading this slightly stressed over upcoming holiday eating opportunities?

I want to offer you two things today. First, four strategies to use at your next party and one other post-holiday season strategy.

Before we begin, I want you to do a small little exercise. Imagine you at your ideal weight. You’re happy, you’re content, you laugh when you pass fast food restaurants. What would that version of you do be thinking when it comes to holiday eating opportunities? Think about that for a moment. She’s content, she’s happy. What do these parties do to her brain?

Maybe the answer is nothing. Maybe food doesn’t control her life anymore. Maybe her life isn’t centered around food anymore. Maybe she doesn’t try to control it and it doesn’t try to control her.

Why not practice being that person now? Why not try on those thoughts? “Food doesn’t control me.” “I have more important, exciting things going on in my life other than food.” Just an idea.

On to our strategies.

  1. Half veggies. I’m starting super simple and practical here. When you go up to the buffet or when you sit around the table filling your plate you have one guideline: fill it halfway with veggies first. Then put whatever fun things on there you’d like. Firstly veggies, mostly veggies. Then added fun.
  2. One and done. What if you just accept that you get to put whatever things make your heart skip a beat on your plate? But only once. Yes, you can fill your plate once. With whatever you fancy. Just make the commitment to yourself that you’re only going to do one plate. Just one. This will be a favor to yourself. You and I both know that if you go back for that second plate, you’re just going to regret it. You’re going to be way too full and your stomach is going to be talking to you all day. You’re going to get a carb coma. So, limit it to one plate. One plate is indulgence, but not too much! *Bonus points if you combine strategy 1 & 2!
  3. Before and after. Before your holiday party, fill up on as much water as you can. Seriously, chug it if you have to. I want you to go into your event with your daily intake (half your body weight in ounces) of water already down the gullet. Plus, I want you to eat clean (as in all whole, God-made foods–lots of veggies!). That’s your before. The next day, you’re going to do the same thing. Then I recommend you add in a tough workout the day after. The way I like to think about it is I was like Michael Phelps at the holiday party. Carb loading, ingesting those extra calories because I had a KILLER workout to get fueled up for. Totally sense making.
  4. Change it up. Here’s an idea! What if you had an apple cider party instead of a whole potluck? What if you and your family went to feed the homeless instead of only gathering around the dinner table? You could start a tradition of your
    family having its own turkey trot the morning of Thanksgiving or a walk after eating, maybe during halftime? Add in more games and activities at get togethers so there’s less focus around eating and drinking and more focus on fun and memories!

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Okay, here’s your 5th strategy! I will be hosting an online health & fitness group starting in 2019. Join me! If you know you’re going to hit it hard beginning in the new year, that will ease some of the anxiety for the season. I can help you get results and reset the nutrition and workouts so you can get back on track! Just fill the form out below!

Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! And the most awesome New Year ever!

A fun little goal exercise

Today let’s do a fun little goal exercise. I’m not sure about you, but my art skills are about on par with my first grader, so don’t judge me. This exercise will take you about five minutes. Grab a piece of paper and a pen.

1a. First, I want you to draw you on the left side of the paper. This is you right now. Think about where you stand right now in terms of ONE area in life. Draw yourself accordingly. So, if you’re thinking about you as a mom, you might draw yourself in yoga pants with a worried wrinkle on your forehead. If you’re overweight, you might draw yourself with a cupcake. I mean, have a little fun with it. Where do you stand right now?

1b. Right underneath of your beautiful self-portrait, draw 3 to 5 bullet points. Write out where you stand (for clarity, I know your art says it all). For your weight, it might say no energy, overweight, clothes don’t fit. For finances it might say in debt, paycheck to paycheck and worried about Christmas. For parenting maybe she’s yelling at the kids, always late and doesn’t feel like she gets in quality time. You get the point.

2a. Next, I want you to take your pen to the right side of the page. Think about where you want to be in this area of your life. How do you want to feel, be, look, act? What is the goal? What’s the ideal you look like in this area of your life? Maybe her smile is bigger and her worry wrinkle is gone. Maybe she has muscles, maybe she has a full heart.

2b. Just like you did with current you, future you needs 3 to 5 bullet points. Get really specific on what future you has, is, does, feels with your bullet points. Back to our earlier example, maybe she is at an ideal weight, everything in her closet fits and she has more energy these days. For finances, maybe she is on a budget, saving money and has a plan for Christmas. For parenting, maybe she’s speaking positivity, she’s got a schedule written out and she has a playdate with her kids once a week where they play games and eat popcorn.

3. The final part is that empty space in the middle. Draw a big box and again, give yourself 3 to 5 bullet points. Here, you can take the time to identify what is stopping you RIGHT now from getting to that ideal self, that version of you who is and feels and does things the way you desire. Your big box will show you exactly what’s standing in your way. For example, it might be eating out, not exercising and drinking too much wine. Or it might be not having a budget or shopping because you’re sad. In parenting example, maybe it’s because she is overbooked or she doesn’t have a routine. Maybe she doesn’t even know how to enjoy time with her kids because other things are stressing her out.

Self-awareness is the biggest and most important step to achieving the life we want and the goals we desire. So, first you have to get clear on where you are now. Own it. Don’t run away from it. Be present with your feelings and your thoughts. Next, you need to get really clear on what exactly you want. If you don’t it’s like hopping in a taxi and not telling them where you want to go. You’re just driving around wasting time and energy. Once you do know exactly what you want, it gets really exciting. Vision and progress and goals are human happiness factors.

But you also have to get super clear on what’s blocking you. That box in the middle is like the things they break through in football to run out on the field. It’s like a hurdle you have to jump over to get to what you want. It’s like a wall you have to climb over. Again, identifying it and being aware of what’s blocking us is a crucial step in actually achieving our desires.

Once you’re aware of all these things, you can journal about it. You can let your brain begin to solve those problems. This is the beginning and it’s a really fun little exercise. It’s also just where the work begins.

If you need help with this, with breaking through your box, I’m here for you. Schedule a session with me now!

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Fix your brain

Your life is moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts.

That’s what Pastor Craig Groeschel says. Before I convince you of that, pause and take a moment to think about what you think about. What are your strongest thoughts in life right now?

  • I’m too busy.
  • I’m unhappy.
  • My job sucks.
  • My kids never listen.
  • My marriage is in a rut.
  • I’ll never lose weight.

Now, I don’t know what thoughts YOU have but those are all things that I’ve thought before. The thing is, what does that thinking get us? Well, as I’ve done more and more studying and coaching on this issue, I’ve discovered exactly where it gets you.

As Pastor Craig says, your thoughts determine where you’re going. Well, I want to show you how, specifically, using the model I’ve learned from my Life Coach mentor Brooke Castillo.

  • C is for circumstance. These are the indisputable facts of the situation. This is what everyone would agree on.
  • T is for thoughts. Brooke says they are like sentences in your mind.
  • F is for feelings. This is how your thoughts make you feel INSIDE your body and brain.
  • A is for action. What happens when you have a certain feeling?
  • R is for result. What result does that repetitive action get you?

So, let’s take a few of my examples to get warmed up.

  • C = I have 24 hours in a day.
  • T = I am too busy.
  • F = Anxious. Frustrated. Overwhelm.
  • A = Look around at all there is to do and instead binge eat, drink or Netflix to avoid the feeling of overwhelm, which adds to the feeling of having too much to do.
  • R = Perpetually busy.

But, when we change our thoughts, we can change our results. This doesn’t mean we live in hippy dippy baloney make believe land. No, it just means we choose how to interpret a situation that serves us. Here is the example:

  • C = I have 24 hours in a day.
  • T = I get to choose what I spend my time on today.
  • F = Peace. Freedom. Hope.
  • A = Take a time inventory. Look at schedule, remove things that are not in alignment with priorities. Choose things that you want and need to accomplish. Say no thanks to everything else.
  • R = Accomplish what’s necessary and important to me.

One simple thought change completely changes the feeling and the action you will take. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to change that thought pattern since it is so well ingrained in your brain. But you can, with practice!

Let’s look at another example.

  • C = I have a job.
  • T = My job sucks.
  • F = Annoyed. Hopeless.
  • A = Show up to work in a funk. Don’t perform well. Slug through each day, barely making it.
  • R = Continue being unhappy at job.

Changing your thoughts doesn’t mean you have to lie to yourself. But you can choose what to focus on. Your brain likes an assignment. If you tell it to focus on the positive and start taking inventory of any smidgens of good/hope you can find in a circumstance you find negative, it will get to work overtime on proving you right.

  • C = I have a job.
  • T = My job provides for myself and my family. OR I like my coworkers. OR My work schedule allows me to do the things I enjoy on my time off. OR I can’t control everything about my job, but I CAN control what I do. I can make my small part enjoyable and be proud of my work.
  • F = Grateful.
  • A = Show up to work grateful, do a good job.
  • R = Peace with job.

How about one more?

  • C = I have kids.
  • T = My kids never listen.
  • F = Helpless. Frustrated. Angry. Stressed.
  • A = Yell at kids. Do it myself anyway.
  • R = Negative relationship with kiddos.

Your brain wants to agree with itself. So if you say something in your brain, it will look for evidence to prove it true. Scientists call it confirmation bias. If you’re thinking negative things, it will find evidence. If you’re thinking positive things, it will find evidence.

Confirmation-Bias
Confirmation Bias.
  • C = I have kids.
  • T = My kids are learning to listen better.
  • F = Empowered.
  • A = Devise and implement plan with rewards and consequences on how to get kids to listen better.
  • R = Kids listen better, less stressed parenting.

You can’t control everything, but you can learn to control your thoughts. And then you can get your life moving in the direction you want it to! Let’s go back to the first question. What are the strongest thoughts you’re having these days? What do you find yourself repeating over and over in your head? Now, do you like the direction those thoughts will take you?

If you need help in this area, I can help you! My coaching format is 2 half an hour calls a week where we discuss your situation, your thoughts and we devise plans to get you where you want to be in life. Contact me for more info!

 

How to eat like a human

For some of us, learning to feed ourselves well is like learning a foreign language. First, you have to get rid of what you think you know. Then you have to completely relearn about food, nutrition and habits.

Eat food God made. Don’t eat food humans made.

My philosophy on eating well comes from the idea that you should eat what God made, what nature provides. You should not eat what humans made. Humans can’t improve on nature when it comes to health and nutrition. Sure, we can improve on an oreo by deep frying it (or so I’m told). But when it comes to the basics of fueling our human bodies, nature’s got us beat.

For example, nature provides the whole grain. But by the time it gets to us in the form of oatmeal, we’ve lost the most nutritious parts in processing. They cut it up and heat it so we lose the bran and germ most of the time. That means we lose most of the nutrition too! That’s just the way we humans do things, in this case with flour, oatmeal, bread and other grains.

grain

Natural food comes with instruction manuals for your body (digestive enzymes, etc) on exactly how to break the food down, what to use, how to use and and how to get rid of the excess. Man made food is usually devoid of all of that, therefore making it really hard on your body.

That’s why I say stay away from foods made by humans as much as possible. We can’t improve nutritionally on nature. I’m not saying we can’t make it taste better by making it really unhealthy. But then we also get to be really unhealthy.

grapes are like skittles without diabetes.

Eat when you’re hungry.

So much of the time we eat because it’s time to eat. Or we eat because food is around. But our human bodies were made to give us clues about when we should eat. Those stomach growls tell you when to eat. So listen for them. The catch is, when we eat crap food the digestion system goes into panic mode trying to figure out what to do with all that junk. How to break it down, how to process it, how to eliminate it. That’s a bit of havoc for your tummy so hunger signals might not process like normal. Stick to natural foods (most of the time) and that takes care of the issue. Eat when you’re hungry because you want to and because you enjoy eating. But don’t let food become the sole focus of the say or conversation. We humans have even better things to do. 😉

Don’t eat food made for three humans.

Portion sizes are a big problem as we all know. When you go out to eat or even when you eat things proportioned for you, odds are they’re going to be way over your particular caloric needs. Overeating isn’t the way to eat like a human. If we can get really in touch with our bodies, we’ll notice how it makes us feel unwell. Eat the right portions and you’ll be eating like a human!

Eating like a human is simpler.

Here’s the main reason I think we know that eating real food is the way to go is it really is more simple. I remember when I was trying to learn how to cook I’d look at all of these recipes and think, “Wow this is complicated.” The steps were many and the ingredients were too. These days, I chop up fruits and veggies. I grill, roast or saute them with EVOO, garlic, salt & pepper. The recipes are three steps entirely, and that’s with one step being heating the oven up.

Eating like a human is just a matter of having lots of real, whole foods available and around. A salad doesn’t even require cooking! You can simplify your budget, your palate, your pantry and your life by eating like a human.

Don’t eat food you hate.

God made food to be colorful, interesting and to smell good. Don’t settle for boring food you hate. Instead, what I have my clients do is go through this food list and choose their favorite foods. What natural foods do you most enjoy, which would you look forward to eating every week or every day? We make that list, then we make sure to stock the pantry and fridge with those foods so they’re always available. By choosing our favorite healthy foods, we don’t have to feel like we’re depriving ourselves.

broc

No diet needed.

When we start eating the amount and the type of foods we’re naturally supposed to be eating (with a few fun treats here and there), you’ll find you don’t need to diet. The natural human condition is to be a healthy weight. If we focus on eating like a human, your body will naturally shed the excess because it can function properly and it recognizes it’s getting what it needs.

I coach my clients on nutrition using the 21 Day Fix. If you’d like help, message me and we can work together.

Going solo

This weekend I checked myself into rehab. Not that kind of rehab. No, I checked myself into a hotel room where I’d spend the next 48 hours alone if I chose. I’d spend time quiet, contemplative. Mostly, I’d spend time doing what I want.

I’ve got a line in my book that says:

Moms fantasize about being admitted to the hospital just so they can get some downtime.

Oh, it’s true. I’ve heard it from too many women for it not to be. And it doesn’t even have to be moms necessarily. In today’s age, we’re all overstimulated, never alone. One thing moms might have a little less of is the (perceived) freedom to do what they want.

You see, self care is simply the act of taking care of yourself. And many times that just means doing what you want to do. Self care doesn’t have to be a massage or a bubble bath. It’s just doing something you want to do. Not doing what everyone else wants to do. Not doing what has to be done.

That’s a lost art in modern motherhood. In fact, I’ve longed dreamed about starting a retreat that I’d advertise with the concept:

Rehab before you need rehab.

I felt myself in a funk. It’s been a high stress year with our move and also with our pending retirement. I’m working on accepting that those things are stressful while also managing my thoughts so it doesn’t get out of control. Big life changes are tough. But I’m tougher. Right? Wrong, at least at this point. So, off to the hotel I went.

img_5479
This looks like a place anyone could spend some quality alone time, doesn’t it?

When I checked in, I just sat there and stared at the beautiful, clean and quiet room. Yes. This will do nicely.

My friend asked me what I was going to do while I was in Raleigh. Yes, we both love traveling and exploring. This time though, solitude is what the doctor ordered. Stillness. I actually had the vision of a teenage style slumber party with myself. I read books, I watched tv shows, I took long showers, I journaled and I slept in. It was glorious.

img_5483
My shower didn’t have a full door. Not sure why. But it didn’t. 

It’s probably not a coincidence that I’d been reading (and now have finished) Lead Yourself First which is a book about solitude for leaders. Being a mom, I read most things from that perspective. And, I always steal John Maxwell’s quote:

Everything rises and falls on mom’s leadership.

Moms set the tone for the home, they do so much and have so many things required of them. The book spent a lot of time recounting military tales of leaderships and solitude with some business and even a mom or two story sprinkled in. The business and military world recognize the need for solitude for their leaders. The book explains how solitude generates clarity, spawns creativity, restores emotional balance, and in it we find the moral courage necessary to overcome adversity and criticism (Hat tip: WSJ). 

What about in the home? If you’re a mom (or if you know one, ask them) tell me when the last time you were alone was? When was the last time you took the time to reflect and restore “emotional balance?”

In the book, they mention how leaders become overwhelmed by a tangled mass of goals, obstacles, inputs and interruptions. If that isn’t a perfect description of the challenges of motherhood, I don’t know what is. Due to that overwhelm, moms become burned out, anxious, depressed, they over eat, they over drink, they over Netflix and they over Facebook. It’s an epidemic. Modern motherhood is pure crazy.

Is it so interesting to think about what you’d do with a day or a few hours to yourself? I know many moms would say they’d go grocery shopping by themselves. #facepalm. I’m talking about time with no responsibilities, no requirements. Imagine doing that, then imagine how it would make you feel. How would you show up in the world after some time like that? 

If solitude is good enough for our military and business leaders, it’s good enough for moms. Equally valuable and necessary.

Though I’ve been a leader in former careers, jobs and as an entrepreneur, I still read these quotes with the eyes of a mom:
~
“A leader takes on larger forces (toddlers? after school activities?) than himself. When a leader has clarity and conviction about how to deal with those forces, he feels himself a match for them.”
~
“An effective leader is the person who can maintain their balance and reflect, when a lot of people around them are reacting.” (yelling & hurrying versus guiding and margin?)
~
“The point is that every leader has her emotional limits, and there is no shame in exceeding them. What distinguishes effective leaders from inferior ones, rather, is their ability to restore their emotional balance.” (Limits are real & okay, to be effective you need to restore balance. How do you do that? When?)

 

So there you have it, my argument that you need to go solo. Your turn, answer the prompts in your journal or in the comments:

  • How can you find solitude?
  • How often can take time for yourself?
  • Do you believe it’s necessary?
  • Do you believe you deserve that?
  • How do you think a few hours or a day solo would change your current attitude / state of being?
  • How would you return after time solo?