Give the gift of financial coaching

Hey friend!

This year, you can give your friend another scarf.

Or, you can give your son & daughter in law another movie.

You can even give your brother another video game.

OR!

This year you can give them a totally unique gift. You can give them a gift that will help them dream again, stop stressing about money and have some major financial wins next year. Yes, you can give them a gift certificate that CAN ACTUALLY CHANGE THEIR LIFE.

Yes, I know that sounds dramatic. But, I’m just thinking about what my clients have said:

  • “I am finally sleeping all the way through the night again.”
  • “I literally felt the weight lift off my shoulders when I paid those two credit cards off.”
  • “I have never had a savings account before in my life.”

And that’s just in the last month y’all. You see, most people are stressing about money. It’s just a fact. In fact, it’s the fact that made me want to start coaching others and helping them. I’m here to help folks stop stressing and start dreaming about their financial future again by using a proven plan that works!

So, do you know someone who could use a little encouragement? A little help? Grab a gift certificate for them this holiday season! It’ll give them a 1-hour session with me. I’ll understand their situation, provide information and their next steps and–MOST IMPORTANTLY– inject hope into their situation!

Merry Christmas!

1 Hour Coaching Session Gift Certificate

This gift certificate is good for 1 free financial coaching session with Shana Roberson, Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach & Preferred Coach.

$99.00

Your step-by-step path to financial freedom

As a Preferred Ramsey Coach, I happily coach my clients through the baby steps. Even after helping hundreds of folks, it never gets more complicated or less simple than these magical steps. If you think it is, that’s when you need to reach out to me for 1-on-1 coaching and I’ll help you.

Step 1: $1000 in EMERGENCY fund.

  • As you embark on this journey, you need a cushion for whatever life is going to throw your way. That’s your emergency fund.
  • 67% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency. Almost 40% of American adults wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency without going further into debt.
  • Gather $1,000 as quickly as possible and set it aside in an account that you can access quickly. Use if for emergencies. What are emergencies? Things like flat tires, plane tickets for funerals and more. DO NOT touch this money unless it meets three criteria: the need is urgent, the need is necessary and the need is unexpected. If those don’t match, it’s not an emergency.
  • The peace of mind you’ll have knowing you have a cushion set aside will be amazing! You also MUST take this step first or else you risk going further into debt when an emergency happens. You’re now going to be ready for the little things that could happen and now you can charge forward with Baby Step 2.

Step 2: Pay off all non-mortgage debt.

  • Debt is a thief. It steals your money. You need to pay it all off and be able to control your single greatest wealth building tool: Your Income!
  • 78% of workers live paycheck to paycheck. 66% of Americans are in debt and their average load is $34,055. 35% of adults with debt have debt in collections.
  • List every debt you have, smallest to largest. Tackle each one, one at a time, fully focused. As you pay off one, roll the minimum from it to the next debt on the list. Gain momentum! Crush debt!
  • Add up how much you send out in monthly debt minimums. Imagine what you could be doing with that money each month? It’s kind of mind blowing, isn’t it? When you pay off all your debt, you’ll owe no one anything except for a smile. 😉 That’s FREEDOM. And it gives you back the power of your paycheck.

Step 3: Set aside 3-6 months of expenses.

  • Now that you’re out of debt, we’re going to help you stay that way. You’re going to set aside a larger savings account so that you have peace of mind and your future is covered.
  • 59% of workers worry about their future financial state. 34% of workers cite current financial concerns as negatively affecting their lives.
  • Add up your monthly expenses and multiply it times 3 (married/steady income/stable situation) or 6 (single/unstable/self-employed). Then set aside that money before you do anything else. This isn’t an investment, it’s a chunk of money for a specific purpose. This step is easy to skip or try to do in tandem with the next step. Don’t do that. Don’t split your focus.
  • If you have a medical emergency, you’ll be ready. If your job starts getting shaky, you have the confidence you can do without for a while. You’re not going to have to go back into debt come what may.

Step 4: Invest 15% of your income.

  • You’re going to take 15% of your gross income and invest it in your employer-matched (hopefully) 401K and/or Roth IRA. When saving for retirement, you it doesn’t need to be complex, just consistent.
  • Only 22% of Americans have saved at least $50,000 for retirement, and 27% have empty nest eggs.
  • Just like most everyday millionaires, you’re going to be super smart and invest in stuff you understand like mutual funds. Set aside 15% every time you get paid.
  • The earlier you start, the better! You’re goign to use the power of time and compound interest to build wealth.

Step 5: Start saving for kids’ college.

  • Now that you’ve got your financial house in order, you can help your kiddos. Remember, on the airplane you have to put your own oxygen mask on first! Then you can help those around you. Helping your kids by teaching them not to use student loans is the best help you can give. If you want to offer monetary help too, that’s awesome!
  • Americans now owe more than $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.
  • Discuss this big life decision with your kids. If college is a fit, set up a 529 College Savings Plan and teach your kids about the woes of Student Loans.
  • I don’t have to convince you to do this, your heart already wants to I’m sure! You might be tempted to help your kids in a different order. But, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you’ll wind up being a burden on them later. So, help them, yes, help them! But help yourself first.

Step 6: Pay off your mortgage!

  • The American Dream: To own a home. This is going to be you! You’re now going to get super focused and pay that bad boy off!
  • The average American owes over $171,000 on their home, and the average monthly mortgage payment is more than $1,000. But there’s hope–more than 20 million Americans actually own their homes.
  • Get really focused and send all of your non-budgeted, non-Baby Step 4 & 5 money to your mortgage.
  • When you own your home, you don’t have to pay a mortgage. That’s obvious isn’t it? But imagine what you’re going to do with NO DEBT WHATSOEVER. I’ll tell you what you’re going to do-you’re going to move onto Baby Step 7.

Step 7: Live & give like no one else.

  • Being generous is a natural human desire and joy. Now you get to be generous and live your best life.
  • Researchers say there’s a connection between happiness and the performance of selfless acts. Giving to others activates and area of the brain that has to do with contentment and the dopamine reward cycle. These researchers say there’s a strong link between being generous and being happy.
  • Be a good steward of your finances. Be generous. Enjoy the wealth you’ve built. Teach others maybe. Leave an inheritance, build your family legacy!

Alright, that’s the long and short of it. Here’s the deal: I can lay this out for you but it doesn’t make it easy TO DO. I mean, the REAL first step is a zero-based budget and that’s always a bit tough to begin! That’s where a coach comes in. I can work with you 1-on-1 until you’re confident in carrying out this plan. FIll the form out below and we’ll see if we’re a good fit.

5 tips to stop feeling meh & finally get fit

Take a minute and listen to your body. How is it feeling today? Maybe it’s feeling energized. Maybe it’s feeling tingly, excited! Or, more likely, it may be feeling tired. Maybe it’s feeling sluggish. Maybe you & your body are just feeling meh.

I’m here to tell you that your one and only life is precious to me. I desire for you to be feeling like this (minus the sugar):

You work too hard, love too much and God has way too much planned for you to feel meh. It’s just not good enough. You & your body were meant for more.

But maybe you can’t remember the last time got dressed and felt confident. Maybe you’ve noticed every time you go up the stairs or chase after the kids you’re a bit out of breath.

I understand friend.

Let’s look together at 5 tips for you to stop feeling meh and finally get fit.

1. Get REAL clear.

Many times I’ll have clients who come in and “want to lose weight.” Or maybe they’re here to see me “because their doctor told them to.” Then again, sometimes it’s just about to be bathing suit season or they’ve got a wedding coming up.

Those are all okay goals, I guess. They’re a good way to get an inkling of motivation. But we need to get REALLY clear. We need to really see the vision of what you’re going to look like, feel like and be like when you’re the ideal version of yourself.

You see, there are two versions of you. The one you’re living as right now and the IDEAL version of you. This ideal version of you has a lot going on. She’s pretty incredible, actually. She doesn’t have time to be bogged down by unnecessary weight or bad nutrition. She’s got hopes, dreams, goals and plans. She’s living life to the fullest. You need to get really clear on what her life is like. You need to get so clear that you can taste it!

You see fitness is a gateway to good things. Through this gateway you finally admit to yourself that you want something. You finally set aside the time to get it. You finally get the discipline to do what you need to do. Because of that, you’re going to find those skills ready and available in other areas of your life. It’s going to be incredible.

BUT FIRST! Let’s taste it. Let’s look at all the whys, the desires, the goals, the dreams of what getting fit really means to you. Guess what? It’s way more deep than “losing a few inches.” It’s OKAY to have desire. It’s OKAY to dream. It’s OKAY to want to feel and look good. It’s more than okay. It’s freaking awesome. Our world is going to be SO MUCH better when you’re on fire.

2. Come up with a plan.

You may have “accidentally” gained a few pounds or gotten out of shape. But it’s not going to be an accident to lose them and get in shape. It’s going to be according to a plan. You need a plan for your nutrition and you need a plan for your fitness. The good news is we can make this plan according to YOU. It doesn’t have to be someone else’s running / keto plan. Unless you like running and don’t like carbs. No, we can come up with a REALISTIC plan that you’ll actually stick to and enjoy.

How to make a plan:

  1. Establish your current level of fitness & your weight / inches / body fat. Establish your realistic goals.
  2. Pick or let me help you design a workout plan that has you moving at least five times a week doing something you enjoy. We can start slow and small, but we need consistency at all costs!
  3. Figure out what you’re going to eat and when. We are going to stick 80% to food God made. Man made stuff like bread, soda, etc is not on our plan.
  4. Figure out how you’re going to stay accountable to your plan & track your progress.
  5. Reflect & redo the plan each week or month. Understand it’s a new habit that will take time to get good at and find your sweet spot.

3. Track, track, track.

There’s a quote out there:

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure. 

It’s true. Imagine your personal financial budget. You can’t manage your spending if you don’t track it. Think about your kids’ attendance in school. Think about how much coffee is left in the pot!

Seriously though, you’ll never know if your plan is working if you’re not measuring your progress. You need to measure how often and how effective your workouts are. That can be as simple as an x on a calendar and making sure every few weeks you can do more squats, add heavier weights, hold Warrior II longer or run a little faster. Track what you’re eating, whether you liked it, how it made you feel. Whatever it is, let’s measure it. Get a little obsessed with this. It will help you stay focused.

We’re also going to measure your body metrics. We need to measure your weight, your inches and your body fat percentage. Listen, measuring that many things helps you have lots of ways to win! That’s a good thing. I know some of you have a “bad relationship” with the scale. I understand that. I have enough experience to tell you it’s not the scales fault. Yes, sometimes the scale is a bit stubborn or late with math. But it’s just math. What I DO know is that if you’re NOT tracking we won’t know if your plan is working or not. Listen, if your plan has pizza and beer every Friday night and your scale says it’s working, we’re going to STICK TO THE PLAN. If your scale says the plan isn’t working then we need to adjust something. And we won’t know that if we aren’t tracking. Got it?

4. Deal with the emotion.

Part of the reason #3 is so hard is because of our emotion. Most of the time when we’ve gotten ourselves into and overweight our out of shape state, there are some underlying emotions we aren’t aware of or are trying to numb.

You’re bored, so you eat. We need to deal with why you’re bored more than we need to deal with the food.

You’re upset, so you drink. We need to deal with why you’re upset more than we need to deal with the alcohol.

The best part of your week is eating out at the restaurant. We need to create different best parts of the day.

Most of the time when we’re snacking or eating, it’s to literally NUMB some of the feelings we don’t want to face. It may or may not be a conscious decision.

Then we have the other emotions. The dread of failing at yet another goal. The shame of letting it go so far. The embarrassment that you need help. The feeling, deep down, that you don’t deserve to be happy. As you read those, I know you 1) understand them and 2) know they aren’t right. They’re not right in that you shouldn’t feel that way but they’re not right also in that THEY ARE UNHELPFUL. They are time wasters. However, if we don’t deal with them–and I mean REALLY deal with them, your getting fit journey won’t work or it won’t last.

We have to deal with the emotion. So, get a journal out or schedule a session with me.

5. Don’t half ass it.

If you want to get half-ass results, then go at this at about a 5 MPH pace. If you’re READY, then treat this like a second job. This is your new hobby. This is what you’re totally focused on right now and you’re going all in.

When I teach folks how to get out of debt, we tell them get SUPER INTENSELY focused. Like nothing else matters until the debt is gone! That’s what I need you to do with this little journey. The more you focus, the faster your wins will come and the faster you’ll see progress. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be a self-obsessed gym rat forever. This means until this new lifestyle becomes habit and automated, you’re going to give it your full ass. Got it?

Okay friends, those are 5 of my tips to stop feeling meh and finally get fit. To review they were:

  1. Get REAL clear.
  2. Come up with a plan.
  3. Track, track, track.
  4. Face the emotion.
  5. Don’t half-ass it.

Now you know I’m a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In fact, I’ve also got a specialty in nutrition. If you want help, you need to fill out the form below. It’s a fairly simple.

  1. You’ll talk. I’ll listen.
  2. We’ll come up with a plan that includes your dreams, your budget and your debt-payoff date.
  3. We’ll work the plan together until you’re ready to do it on your own.

I’m here to help. You’ve just got to fill that form out below.

5 tips to stop feeling broke & fighting about money

I bet you work hard but you’re been living paycheck to paycheck. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you talked about money with your spouse without it turning into a fight. Maybe you’ve noticed every time you get a raise your bills do too.

I understand friend.

Let’s look together at 5 tips.

1. Put all the cards out on the table.

Yes, I know you don’t want to really face everything, especially all at once. How do I know? Because I’ve been there. I thought it felt better to have my head in the sand than to face the full truth of my financial reality. But you know what?

I was wrong. Actually, once I got every last bill, every last debt, every last dumb decision out of my head and onto the table…I felt instantly better. No longer were all the bills and worries pinging around in my brain like a pinball machine of anxiety. No, things were where I could see them. Sure they we’re pretty, but at least they were all in one place. That was a start.

How to get it all out on the table:

  1. Schedule a meeting with your spouse.
  2. Get a blank piece of paper and brain dump everything about your finances that you’ve been worried about. Write out all the facts, thoughts and emotions.
  3. Now, get a fresh new sheet of paper. Go through your brain dump and find the things that you can make sense of. List them in order of priority.
  4. Talk with your spouse at the meeting about everything that you’ve come up with. Own your part of the mistakes. Be humble. But get it all out. No more skeletons in the closet.
  5. Reflect on how you feel.

2. Come up with a plan.

You need a plan for your money. We call this a budget. According to John Maxwell, a budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. You see, sometimes people watch their money go where it’s supposed to go-like to the bills. But that’s not the same as using a budget. If you don’t know how to use a budget, don’t feel bad. Only about 32% of households use a budget according to a Gallup poll. That’s where financial coaches come in. We walk you through the process below.

How to make a budget:

  1. Establish your total household take-home income.
  2. Assign your very first dollars to the most important expenses: food, shelter & transportation.
  3. List out all outgoing expenses. Get clear on needs vs. wants.
  4. Review expenses, percentages and see where you can/should cut.
  5. Communicate & redo the budget each month. Understand it’s a new habit that will take time to get good at.

3. Dream again.

Living in the daily hustle and bustle can cause you to lose sight of any dreams you once had. Now you’re spending every last dollar on Netflix, Target and Amazon. If your goals were more clear, you’d be happy to put that money into a vacation fund for Ireland next year.

No, really.

We stop dreaming because we get bogged down with the daily burdens. But you, your spouse and your family have a fun, exciting future in front of you. Learn to dream again. Then use that dream to motivate using that budget and sticking to it.

How to dream again:

  • Try to remember what your dreams were when you were younger.
  • Think about what you would do if money wasn’t a factor.
  • If you have $5,000 to spend, what would you do other than pay bills?
  • What is one thing you’ve wanted to do/see your entire life?
  • What is something you always wanted to take your family to do/see?

4. Get out of debt.

I know culture has taught us to think debt is normal. Did you know 3 or 4 generations ago debt wasn’t a thing? Yeah. It’s a new normal-and not a good one. Think about how much debt you have. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Add up the car payments, student loan payments, furniture payments, credit card payments and whatever else is lurking behind that credit score. What could you do with that money every month? What if that money was paying for your future instead of your past?

Debt is a thief as Chris Hogan says. It steals your income. It steals your wealth. You don’t need debt. You don’t. You need to save up and pay for things. Here’s a game changer:

If you can’t pay for it in cash, you can’t afford it.

Oh dang. Yeah. Getting out of debt will make your monthly financial situation so much lighter and less stressful. You’re not going to fight as much because there simply won’t be as much to fight about.

5. Focus on the positive.

I know, this is annoying. “Sure Shana, I’ll focus on the rainbows and butterflies and all my stress will float away.” Hear me out!

I want you to get another piece of paper. I want you to fill it with things you have to be grateful about. Fill the entire page. Get real specific…like the fact that your football team isn’t looking as bad as my beloved Cowboys right now. Or the fact that your favorite shirt still fits. Think about your friends, family, health, job, car, house…whatever you can think of. I really want you to do this so I’ll wait. Go ahead now, go on.

Now, when you look at all you have to be grateful for, doesn’t it make you feel less stressed? This is what we call contentment. If I had nothing else but I had the health of my three kids, I would be content. Right? If I had nothing else but I had a roof over my head, I would be content. So, what if I get to combine so many things like that? It makes my finances not seem like such a big deal. Furthermore, it makes my desire for Amazon shopping seem a little less severe.

Another trick to this exercise is to walk around your home and think about all the things you used to want that you now have. Think of younger you. 5 years younger you. What did he want? A home? A new car? A new surround sound system? A table saw? Think of 20 years younger you. What did she want? To be married? A new phone? A career? Friends? A good relationship with her mother?

You see how powerful this exercise is? Yes, yes you do. Share it with someone you love. Try not to get choked up. Oh, and realize how not stressed you feel.

Okay friends, those are 5 of my tips to stop being stressed about money. To review they were:

  1. Put all the cards out on the table.
  2. Come up with a plan.
  3. Dream again.
  4. Get out of debt.
  5. Focus on the positive.

Now you know I’m a certified financial coach through Dave Ramsey. In fact, I’m a preferred Ramsey Coach. If you want help, you need to fill out the form below. It’s a fairly simple.

  1. You’ll talk. I’ll listen.
  2. We’ll come up with a plan that includes your dreams, your budget and your debt-payoff date.
  3. We’ll work the plan together until you’re ready to do it on your own.

I’m here to help. You’ve just got to fill that form out below.

Thought download today!

I love Mondays, they’re my favorite! (Did you picture Will Ferrell from the Elf?)

One of my favorite exercises on a Monday is what we call a thought download or a brain dump. Here’s what you do:

  1. Get a blank piece of paper. 
  2. Set a 10 minute timer. 
  3. Dump all your thoughts onto that paper!
  4. Don’t stop until the page is full!

Don’t discriminate, just write. If you can think of anything, just start writing “I’m writing because Shana said so.” Fill the page. 

This exercise is a gift to your brain. It’s a moment for yourself, a moment to check in, to clear your head. I promise it’s worth it. 

Have a wonderful week!

Stop stressing & fighting about money.

Communication contract

Let’s talk about communication today.

A survey of 100 marriage counselors revealed that the #1 cause for divorce is poor communication. That’s not surprising to you, is it?

In fact, I’d venture to say your own relationship struggles also stem from poor communication, be it a spouse, a teenager or a coworker. Am I right?

So, if communication is such a problem, why don’t we tackle it head-on? Why don’t we be proactive with our communication?

The more you know, the better you’ll communicate. Do you know if you’re an over-communicator or an under-communicator? I learned about this from Alli Worthington’s book Breaking Busy.

YOU MIGHT BE AN OVERCOMMUNICATOR IF:

  • You’re always thinking of the next thing you’ll say in a conversation
  • If you say goodbye several times in a phone call
  • You’ve been accused of hijacking a conversation or meeting.
  • Sometimes talk a lot without saying anythings

YOU MIGHT BE AN UNDERCOMMUNICATOR IF:

  • You think people don’t follow your directions well
  • People often fail to live up to your expectations
  • You find yourself doing things you don’t want to do because you don’t want to speak up
  • Your spouse often complains, “I’m not a mind reader you know!”

Well, which one do you tend toward? Are there any small steps you can take to be a better communicator based on your tendencies?

Let’s keep learning. Have you heard of:

THE FOUR STAGES OF COMMUNICATION

Have you ever said something but it came out wrong? Or said something you didn’t mean? Maybe you’ve misinterpreted something someone else said? These problems are due to what we call the ladder of inference or the four stages of communication. They are:

  • What someone means to say
  • What someone says
  • What the other person hears
  • What they make it mean

Refer to my video here for more detailed explanation.

So, as you can imagine, we can easily mean to say something but the words don’t actually end up reflecting what we mean. Between the mind and the mouth, things get jumbled around or we’re in a hurry or distracted. Right? That’s just the beginning though.

Then, the person listening hears what you say, adds in their bias and your tone. Then once they think about it, they might make it mean something else. It’s like a game of telephone ON STEROIDS. Here’s an example:

Husband gets home early.

What I mean: Yay, he’s home!

What I say: I didn’t know you were getting off early!

What he hears: She doesn’t want me home early.

What he makes it mean: She doesn’t love me.

Sure that’s dramatic, but you get the point. What’s more is you are rarely aware of this entire process. Your brain and thoughts march along without your approval. If you were to stop and think about all of these things, you might come to a different conclusion.

I’ve created a communication contract for you for just that reason! This contract is so you and the person you’re having communication troubles with can actually DO THE WORK that it’s going to require to improve your communication. I promise you, it’s not going to fix itself.

I also advocate for marriage meetings and family meetings. This is time you and your family take to communicate on purpose. It’s time when you know you’ll be able to share and be heard as well as address things that might have come up during the week.

Since money stress is one of the leading causes of divorce, I specifically teach about BUDGET meetings and MONEY TALK in my membership community. For $20 a month, you can learn all about budgeting, communicating, eliminating debt and savings for emergencies along with so much more. You’ll even get individualized coaching plans for your financial situation along with two coaching calls a month where we answer questions and teach on topics. Sign up today, we close the doors tomorrow until next month!

Make it fun!

One of the first sounds of my day today was an excited screaming voice memo from a client who is now credit card debt free. I was as excited as she was and it made me pause and think…

Paying off debt isn’t fun for most people.

Yes. Paying off debt isn’t fun. Most people wouldn’t consider the run I went on this morning fun either.

But my rule is to make it fun! In my book, Put Your Big Girl Panties On, I specifically talk about this with your workout. The most important rule is that you enjoy it. If you don’t, you won’t stick to it and it can have negative effects for your fitness. I even talk about ways to make laundry fun. It’s just the way I think.

Deciding to have fun is a choice. It’s an action. You can make anything fun. Likewise, in your mind, you can decide you’re not going to have fun. And then you know what? You don’t have any fun.

If you can look at it through a different lens, you can purposefully turn up the fun. Many times we think that AFTER we finish something, that’s the time we can have fun. But you don’t have to wait. You don’t have to wait UNTIL you’re debt free to have fun. You don’t have to wait UNTIL you’ve lost weight to have fun. You don’t have to wait UNTIL your home is in order to have fun. You don’t have to wait UNTIL the semester is over to have fun.

What we want is a life where we have fun DURING THE JOURNEY. Everytime you pay off a little debt, do a little dance, make a little love and get down that night. Every workout, play your favorite music, dress in cute clothes and do an activity you love. Every meal you eat, have something that makes you smile for it’s natural goodness. Celebrate every shelf or drawer you organize and make pretty. Go to Starbucks or the beach to study, get pretty highlighters and notebooks. Do whatever you can do to make the JOURNEY fun.

It’s kind of like how I got a glass of wine on the airplane on the way to Las Vegas. This was going to be my first vacation with my husband alone since having kids. In fact, it was going to be my first vacation ever. And my first time in Vegas. I didn’t have to wait until I got there to have fun. NOPE. I settled in that seat, ordered the wine and had SO much fun for an hour.

It’s also the way I coach. We’re going to make this fun. Whatever it is, you’re going to enjoy it. You’re going to enjoy our time together and you’ll even enjoy the task at hand. Life is too short to not have fun!

So, here is your challenge:

I want you to think this thought & act out the answer today at least three times:

How can I make this more fun?

So, you’re doing laundry: How can I make this more fun?

You’re cooking dinner: How can I make this more fun?

You’re driving home from work: How can I make this more fun?

You’re doing taxes: How can I make this more fun?

I have a reminder set on my phone that asks this very question every morning at 10am. Here are some ways I make things more fun:

  • Friends
  • Sunshine
  • Get organized
  • Lists (I’m a nerd)
  • Racing/Challenging myself/others
  • Talk on the phone with a friend while __
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Countdown calendar/timer
  • Make it more beautiful
  • Dancing
  • Track progress
  • Celebrate success

How about you? What can you do to make things more fun today? Trust me, you deserve it!

Outside in or inside out ?

It occurred to me on my run this morning that so many of us are trying to cure things from the outside in rather than the inside out.

  • We’re trying to change what we eat. Outside in.
  • We’re trying to change what we spend money on. Outside in.
  • We’re trying to change a loved one’s behaviour. Outside in.
  • We’re trying to watch Netflix so we don’t have to feel the anxiety. Outside in.
  • We’re trying to run off the weekend’s calories (was that just me?). Outside in.

I was thinking about this because I realized earlier this morning that I’ve felt like I was inside a tornado for the last several months. While I’ve been reaching out to the things that usually sustain me, I feel that I’m not totally connected with them. This goes for my faith, my fitness and even my relationships. So, I told God all about it (as if he didn’t know) this morning and I’m ready to feel differently.

So, why is the inside out better? Because when we heal from the inside out, the external things become extraneous. They become byproducts.

  • Practice solitude, thinking about thoughts. Less anxiety, more peace. Inside out.
  • Practice gratitude, feel content, no need for binge spending. Inside out.
  • Do things that bring you joy, less desire to find it in food. Filled with joy, not with sugar. Inside out.
  • Practice self-love & focus on self-improvement. Increased compassion, less trying to control others. Inside out.

I mean, the truth is we can’t control the external things anyway. So, today, let’s make sure that our actions are helping us reach our goals from the inside out. Have a great week!

Why & How I wake up at 5am + my 3 secret weapons to do it!

I get a lot of comments about my 5am wake ups. Some are negative, some are positive. So, today let’s talk about the why & the how. And then I’ll tell you the 3 secret strategies I use to make it happen.

Okay, so why do I get up so early?

A long time ago I realized that while relaxing at night and staying up a little late made me FEEL like I was finally getting time to myself, it was actually sabotaging me. Staying up late meant I would wake up late or wake up early (kiddos!) and be cranky. Then I’d start a daily cycle of not-so-greatness. Which, of course, would require the desperate need to have that time at the end of the day.

So, what was I doing during that time? Probably watching shows, playing games. At best, taking a bath and reading. Definitely drinking some of that time and sometimes snacking.

When I decided to try and get up early, I realized I was trading my “me” time in for an upgraded version.

So, when I get up early it does require I go to bed earlier. However, when I get up, I start the day with me time. That proves to myself that I’m worth it. It also means I’m not starting the day reactive. My kids used to be my alarm clock. That made me cranky and even kind of resentful.

So, I start the day with some me time. That means that by the time the DAY requires me, I’ve done something nice for myself and the day is now on my terms.

Energy at night is restorative. So, we definitely need to do something relaxing and restoring. Interestingly enough, most of our evening activities don’t fit that bill (we are just checking out most of the time). While we need the relaxing time at night, I find the morning time to be better for my soul and my overall mood. Morning energy is productive. That goes for you “non-morning-people” too.

Getting up early and doing what you want to do is being productive, intentional and owning your day. That’s opposed to being cranky, late and reactive. It’s like a present to yourself. The soft, quiet, still time in the morning is so amazing and contrasts our busy, hectic world beautifully.

Okay, so what are my secret weapons?

  1. The sun. When we lived in Alaska we had room darkening curtains. Nowadays I don’t use curtains at all in my bedroom (backed up to woods). The sun will wake you up (this requires a bit of habit building) naturally. This is what we refer to when we talk about the circadian rhythm. Your body is designed to rise with the sun. Unfortunately, the way we live now doesn’t allow for that as well. If you live in a place that isn’t ambushed by fake lights (street lights, night lights), try using the sun and moonlight to help you rise and shine. During the winter I had to struggle bus out of bed sometimes because I didn’t have the sun on my side. Nowadays, the sun is waking me (naturally and slowly) before 5 because we live so close to the EST timeline.
  2. The alarm clock. Okay, so I actually don’t use an alarm clock. I’ve always had this weird ability to tell myself when to wake up. And as long as I wasn’t hungover or sick, it worked. However, I do advise my clients to put their alarm clock across the room. Yes, that old trick that you have to get out of bed in order to turn it off. Well, you’re up, might as well stay up! Now, I have three caveats to that! First, I want you to have a mantra ready to say during that long trek from your bed to your dresser. Examples I use are “I am going to feel so great in an hour” “I won’t be so sleepy in ten minutes” “It’s totally worth it to stay up.” Whatever you think will work for you, practice it now. Then have it ready for repeat when the alarm goes off. My second caveat is that if you use your phone for an alarm, download an app that lets you record your own alarm sound. Then record your mantra a few times in a row and set it as your alarm sound. My last caveat–whatever you’re hoping to accomplish when you get up, make it super easy for when you do get up. My husband programs the coffee to be ready by the time he gets up so he can have it asap. My bible and journal are steps away from where I brush my teeth. My friends have their tennis shoes and clothes set out at the foot of the bed so they can roll right into them. Make it easy!
  3. Energize. This last one is kind of a cheat. Since moving to Virginia, sometimes I need a little boost in the morning. Now, I’ve never taken a pre-workout before. I’m naturally, annoyingly energetic. But the friends of mine who have tried it have told me they loved it and loved that it didn’t make them jittery at all. In fact, to me, it gives you a kind-of giddy motivation high. People are nice when they have energize-including me. So, if it’s rough day I do take energize before my workout and it really helps me out.

In case you’re wondering, my morning routine looks like this:

  • Read, journal & pray @ 5:15
  • Music / Meditation / Plan day @ 5:30
  • Workout @ 6

If you’d like any help, you know we can work together until you find your sweet spot! I’m here to help. Click that button, top right, work with me!

Why you shouldn’t pay all of your debt off at once

When a former fitness client of mine (and friend) signed up for financial coaching I was ECSTATIC! I love her, I’ve always loved working with her. I knew it was going to be great.

On our first session, she showed up and had some great news!

She’d put $50 extra on a credit card and $50 extra on student loans! She looked at me expectantly.

At first, on the inside, this was my reaction.

As a coach, though, I knew that this was super important! It showed how motivated she was, which is absolutely priceless.

BUT!

What I explained to her is that we want to always put extra on the smallest debt. Why? Because that allows us get the most bang for our buck (literally). You see, if we can knock out that first little debt, then we have more to put toward the next largest debt. And then the next one and the next one. That’s the snowball effect.

When we spread our money around, we make slow progress which is bound to cause us to fail. Why? Because we’re human! Seeing progress is what motivates us! When it’s a little here, a little there, you not only keep paying interest on each different type of debt, you never can throw larger sums at any one debt.

Becoming debt free is more about your behavior than your knowledge. It’s kind of like how you already know that you need to stop eating so much Chick Fil A. It’s kind of like you already know you should be exercising. It’s not about what you know, it’s about what you’re doing.

And what you’re doing needs to be strategic.

My client now has a strategic, month-by-month plan to be debt free by next September! That’s $12,710 in debt and she’s making just over double that. Yes, we have a plan! That’s what coaching can do for you.

I help you create a realistic budget (I know you’re still going to eat at chick fil a) and debt payoff plan. We look at the numbers together. Then, I help you until you are totally able and confident to do it on your own.

It’s that simple. Want to get started? Click up top right: work with me!