Lingering Laundry Syndrome (LLS)

My clients have major issues with laundry. My friends have major issues with laundry. Almost everyone I know except myself and my mom suffers from lingering laundry syndrome.

What is lingering laundry syndrome? LLS is a condition of perpetual laundry. It’s where laundry always lingers around. There is always some form of laundry task beckoning you.

Symptoms of lingering laundry syndrome might be clothes in the washer, clothes in the dryer, clothes in the laundry basket, clothes on the couch, clothes on the bed and/or clothes on the floor. Other symptoms include finding clean clothes not in your dresser or closet but in one of the aforementioned areas that laundry is lingering. You might also find yourself wondering why you own dressers or hangars. Some people have reported never having finished a single load of laundry.

That’s LLS. What is the prescription?

  1. Have fewer clothes. Yes, fewer clothes mean less laundry. Simple math. Fewer clothes mean it’s easier for you to put clothes away. Fewer clothes mean smaller loads. Fewer clothes mean being able to find the right stuff. Fewer clothes mean less trying on and flinging perfectly good clothing only to never have it properly reinstated to it’s upright or putaway position.
  2. Don’t make it complicated. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I gave up sorting laundry when I left my mom’s house. (Sorry mom). I chose to not own white clothes. It was a lifestyle decision. And I love my non-white-clothes life. I wash whatever I want, however I want, whenever I want. You can choose to do the same! Then you’ll have fewer mini-steps in doing laundry and you’ll make it easier and more likely you’ll do it. 61758608_10157147314159223_4941302927076622336_n
  3. 5 minute rule. It only takes five minutes to do laundry. At a time. Dump a load = 5 minutes. Switch a load = 5 minutes. Fold and put away a load in supersonic speed so you can finish fast = 5 minutes. Yep, it’s true. Stop trying to do 3 loads at once. Keep up with the loads, one load at a time. It’s five minutes. In fact, you can pick a favorite song that’s five minutes, plug in the headphones and go, go, go! You MUST focus until you finish. That means phone down, tv off, no cooking, etc. Just devote the five minutes and you’re in & out.
  4. Make the kids help. Since it’s like a dump cake and it only takes five minutes, make your kids do their own laundry. If they’re, let’s say, 7 or older they can completely do laundry on their own if you invest time teaching them the first 2-3 times. If they’re older, you’ll still have to invest the first few times in teaching them. This is a serious investment. Like, teach, give all the information, the whys, the hows, the scenarios. It will be worth it in the future! If you don’t take the time now though, they’ll do it wrong and make more work for you. If they’re younger, you will have to help but not too much. If you have older and younger, you’re done son. My kids wash a load each on Sunday and that generally lasts them for the week. They are totally capable, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The only thing it requires is your undivided discipline for the first few times and then you’re golden. I recommend you go in stages: first, let them bring it to the wash & start it. Next, bring, start & switch. Next bring, start & switch & put away. Finally, when they’re ready, bring, start, switch, FOLD and put away.img_1073

There you have it. What do you think? If you need a coach to help you pare down the wardrobe and help you walk through this process, I’m here. You might find it funny to think you need a laundry coach. It is kind of funny, I suppose. But then again, what else plagues you as much as laundry!? In all seriousness, I coach women how to be more productive and happier and this is just a small part of that. I’d love to help you. Click the work with me button above!

It’s Monday Again

I bet you read that headline like Eeyore:

Yeah, it’s Monday. Again.

But I wrote it like

Yay! It’s Monday again!!!

You see, I love Mondays. They’re a chance to reset. They’re a chance to get it right!

The weekends can sometimes mean doing things that weren’t on the plan we have to become the person we want to be. Maybe that means relationally, maybe that means nutritionally or maybe that means laundryally. Whatever it means for you, Monday is your chance!

You see, all it takes to be “back on track” is ONE day. All it takes to be the kind of person you want to be is ONE day. Do you want to be a healthy person? Make healthy choices today. Boom. You’re a healthy person.  Do you want to be the kind of person who doesn’t battle the lingering laundry monster? Finish that laundry today. Boom, you’re the kind of person who has clean clothes put away.

Yes, it only takes one day but Monday is special. That’s because it sets the tone of the week. If you make some great choices today, you’re setting up some positive momentum for the week. There is something very human about a starting and stopping point. Humans respond better to tasks and actions when they have a clear starting point and a clear ending point. The work week, for most of us, is just that. If we don’t start making these great decisions today, we’re much less likely to start on Tuesday.

The other reason Monday works so well is because you probably are at least partly refreshed and ready to tackle some of these decisions thanks to the weekend. I mean that both emotionally and physically. I am recharged after relaxing so getting to work it easy! I am carb-loaded because of pizza so running is easier. 😉

Okay, so how can you be back on track today? Is it in your finances? Is it in your home organization? Is it fitness? Nutrition? Mindset? Parenting?

Determine two things you’ll do today that will get you “back on track.” I believe in you. I believe you’re the kind of person you want to be. Now act like it! 😉

Happy Monday!

 

Which way are you heading?

I am so pumped! Today I purchased a ticket for a business conference I’ve been wanting to go to for some time now. I was so excited! It made me think back to the other times I’ve invested in ME.

Every. Single. Time. I’ve. Invested. In. Myself. It’s. Been. Worth. It.

Examples are a really healthy shake, high quality running shoes, coaching, a $500 running stroller, books, an expensive planner/journal, FPU, conferences, trainings and certifications.

Each time I’ve done these things it’s been a wee bit like:

I don’t know. Do I really need it? Do I really want to spend the money?

There’s been trepidation. However, looking back I know it was 100% worth it each time. It was like telling myself:

Girl, you’re worth it. I believe in you and the reason you want to buy it. I know you can do it and I’m willing to BET MONEY on it.

I’m not saying I had that thought specifically, but I certainly felt that feeling. That feeling of showing up and believing in yourself. It doesn’t matter how much other people believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself, right?

Each of these things I’ve invested in was like a stepping stone to my best self.

I want you to imagine your best self. What’s she like? I bet she’s happy, glowing, carefree. She glows, she loves life. She wakes up excited and goes to bed satisfied. She has healthy, loving relationships and she has a daily routine that she enjoys. Her home is in order, her money is not stressing her out, she’s proud of her fitness and she’s healthy. You know that girl? She’s awesome.

The stepping stones to that girl are investments like the ones I mentioned above, though they’ll be unique to you.

Now, there’s also a shadow version of you. Your shadow self. She’s the person who, rather than investing in herself, keeps herself too busy and too numb to make any decisions that get her closer to ideal. She’s burdened with overwhelm, unhappiness, unrest. She eats, drinks, Facebooks and binge watches shows to keep hidden. While your best self is hopping up stones toward her best self, this is a downward journey.

So, which way are you headed?

I hope it’s up. I hope you’ll take a minute to answer this question:

What is the next best thing I need to do to get closer to my ideal self?

That’s a simple question. And notice next best = small. Don’t let overwhelm win. Maybe it’s a walk. Maybe it’s that book you’ve been eyeballing (Or my book, coming out next month ;)). Maybe it’s a decent workout outfit so you feel confident. Maybe it’s a healthy vitamin-filled Shake. MAYBE it’s coaching with me to help you figure it out.

Either way, onward and upward friend. Cheers!

 

House of Faith

This post will be a testimony. I want to share with you some stories about my God and my faith. First thing’s first. I read Circle Maker by Mark Batterson in 2017. It prompted me to really level-up my prayer life.

The situation was that we were moving in December. We’d moved before in December so we knew there were many challenges with it. We also had unique circumstances. First of all, we were concerned we might lose money on the house. Next, we were going to be putting the house on the market in October. Not only was that not optimal, if the buyer wasn’t willing to lease it back to us, we’d be “homeless” around Christmas.

So we were in a season of considering what needed to be done about this home sale. I found myself at the beach reading the aforementioned book.  Here’s some of Mark’s words I was reading that day:

God does not answer vague prayers…The more faith you have, the more specific your prayers will be. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives.

I’ve had a few epiphanies like the one I was about to have in my life. One was in November 2014. At that point in time, I would be saying goodbye to my husband for a year in 2 months and I was 8 months pregnant with child #3. Up until that moment, I was very, very sad and very much believing our year would be awful. God made it known to me that he had more for me. That my family was not just to survive, but that we would thrive. And we did. It was a big epiphany. This was going to be one as well

So, I found myself reading the book at the beach. In this moment at the beach I went for it. I consulted with my husband about what his goals were. Then I decided what I would pray for and what I would praise God for in advance. I went very literal and very not literal. So I was praying and praising. I was also literally writing my prayers down and circling them. I was also walking around the house while praying each morning because:

No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

Listen, God made me silly so I know he appreciates it when I go all in like this. Either way, I prayed very specifically, very much leaning into my faith, every day. I circled it on paper and I walked around my house. What did I pray for?

Home 1

  • Make $X from the sale
    • I don’t want to get into that too much but once I realized that “not losing money” wasn’t a prayer that required much faith and I consulted with my husband, I settled on a number. This number would allow us to pay off our vehicles and be debt free!
  • Sell quickly
    • I know myself. I try to give it to God but I can be very anxious. So can my husband. I didn’t want the opportunity to be anxious. I asked God to have the sale go quickly.
  • Buyer lease back
    • I was hoping that the buyer would be able to lease our home back to us until we left in Virginia. In this way, we’d only have to move once, the kids would have less school transition, we wouldn’t have to find a place to rent, we would spend Christmas in our home. Etc.

So, what happened?

  • We made that amount plus a little. A few months before, we’d been concerned we would lose money. Now we were able to fully give God glory and tithe and give and pay off debt. Just wow.
  • Y’all. The home was on the market for 4 days. Only two families looked at it. The first family that looked at it made an offer and we accepted. Like, there was no market for our house except for the family that God delivered right on time and right in place.
  • Here’s the kicker. This family had a lease they were locked into until later the next year so each month we could rent the house back from them was a blessing to us and to them. ONLY GOD. 

Home #1 was an incredible faith journey and I just glowed in awe for my God who loves me and who is looking out for me. I was exhilarated, as I always am, to live in the lane of faith.

Fast forward 18 months and we are moving again! But, let me start at the beginning. My husband gets to retire from military service and we get to move on with our lives. Is that incredible or what? Right about when we finished up the above home sale was two years out from the retirement date. So, we began casually talking about this retirement plan.

I won’t take a long time to tell you his ideas for where to retire did not make my heart happy. That’s a nice way to put it. In fact, I was despairing a bit. I happened to be in an Elevation Church eGroup at the time and we all had to proclaim something that we were worried and anxious about that we could surrender to God.


*Side note: It’s hard to give these things away sometimes. It’s hard because we want to worry about them, we want to control them, we don’t want to lean on God for them. There are many reasons why, but those facts remain and they were true for me and for my girlfriends at the time.*


 

The only thing I could come up with, even though I didn’t want to, was to give up the retirement plan. I’d been pros and conning, having these rollercoaster conversations and rollercoaster emotions. I’d been mentioning it in every conversation, agonizing over all the choices (Wyoming and West Virginia for a few examples). I was really quite over it. What I realized is God had never failed me yet. Moreover, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be able to change my husband’s mind anyway. At least not in a way that we both “won.” So, I gave it away. I surrendered it to God. I lifted it up each morning but mostly didn’t think about it. Really. It was quite weird that I was able to do that.

About two months after that decision, the unthinkable happened: My husband made the right decision. Okay, that was a joke. Please forgive me. Seriously though, one day he casually mentioned that “Maybe we should just move back to Florida.” I caught my breath. I could not believe he’d said that! Of course that was what I’d wanted but I never thought it was on the table. At all. Had I known, I might’ve campaigned for it! Visiting Florida was on my 2019 vision board! Well, moving there is way better!

In hindsight, it was kind of funny. When we left Florida I had a moment. A little fit. It really was little because right about the time we found out we’d be leaving, Elevation put out the song Do It Again. I decided that was my Virginia song. God had never failed me yet so this was going to be great too. I had to do some work to get my heart in alignment with that belief, but I did it. The joke is that God always knew he was going to bring me back. He always knew he had me covered. I didn’t know, but he did. So here I was worried about living in Wyoming and He knew the entire time he was sending me back to Florida. You’re so funny God. And, new meaning for Do It Again.

Okay, so that was hurdle one. Hurdle number one that I didn’t even know was there. It would be the set up for the rest of this story. Here were some more hurdles:

  • Finding the right house
  • Moving timeline
  • Husband’s future
  • Loan

When we began to look at real estate in Florida, my husband was disheartened. Nothing he saw inspired him and as this will likely be our last home, he wanted to do it as smartly as we could. However, because of that, we decided to go on a trip to Florida to hunt for our home. Remember my vision board? I’d put a trip to Florida on there. Now I got that trip and we were moving there.  Thanks God.

So, knowing how picky my husband was, how stressed out he was (career change, move, retirement, nbd) I knew I had to bring this one up to God. Hubs was due to arrive 1.5 days before me. I prayed that God would lead him to a home that felt perfect, that felt like a total win for him. That it was effortless and that me arriving would just entail signing paperwork and then going to the beach.

And so it was. Hubs called me while at this place. He mentioned some of the good things about it. His voice was optimistic (this is a lot for my “realist” husband). I was expecting it from God, but still shocked to hear from hubs. Can you relate? Anyway, he had to go because it just so happened that the builder showed up right then and was able to give hubs a personal tour and talk to him all about their company and so forth. Okay God, just showing off at this point.

We get there, things are great. The house is great for so many reasons and I’m just so sure God picked it out for us. There’s a lot to unpack here, a lot God did, but we must move on!

One of the other things I’d been praying to God about was to help my husband with his career change. I know it is really hard for someone who has done something for 20 years to suddenly have freedom of choice. It’s harder than it sounds. So he was wrestling with what decisions to make: passion or paycheck, school or j-o-b, etc. I mentioned earlier the hurdles I didn’t even know about and this is another. We found out about this new program Career Skills Bridge. Long story short, it’s an internship program the Air Force allows their Active Duty to participate in. What did that mean for us?

We could move in August not December. The kids could start the school year where they’d end it. We’d be able to be home that much sooner. My husband could pursue passion while receiving a paycheck. Now, this program has been around for a few years but it is very hush hush. So, when we found out about it, it was all but impossible to take advantage of it. What would it require?

  • The house would have to be available FOUR months earlier. When we’d planned to move in December, we shopped for a house that would be ready in November. And we got it.
  • Hubs’ leadership would have to approve the program.
  • Our current landlords would have to let us out of the lease early.

All of these things are kind of huge and monumental. Dare I say impossible all at once. So, let’s check in with God.

Hey God, there is this wonderful opportunity that seems hand made for us. We’re so grateful but we have to send you in because this is literally impossible for us.

So what happened?

  • The first step was finding out about the home. You know construction almost always goes much slower than projected. This seemed like an impossible proposition. And yet, we went to God and to the builder asking for a timeline. After a week of suspense, they responded it would actually be ready early. Late July/early August as a matter of fact. JAW DROP.
  • Alrighty. My husband prepared this long speech about this apprenticeship for his leadership. They are all working very hard on specific stuff right now and letting him go is probably going to hurt. So, the speech and facts and numbers and whatever else were ready. So were my prayers. It’s almost laughable how the conversation went. Hubs didn’t get in five words before everyone was like 100% yes, do it, go for it. HAHA. God, you’re so good. And so funny.
  • Our lease was another story. It’s a weird situation that I won’t get into for privacy reasons. Long story short, we prayed and found a way to get out of it and everybody won. That’s great because that’s thousands of dollars we won’t have to pay in rent for a home we aren’t living in.

In the middle of all of this it, quite shockingly, became possible that my best friend might be able to move to the EXACT SAME TOWN as me. In military terms, this is unheard of and hilariously God. She and I got to praying and it’s happening! This was truly just God showing off. This was another hurdle I didn’t know about. We went from not even thinking it was possible (she was going to Germany, Japan or maybe DC?!) to now it’s happening!

God, you’re so good to me. How do you have time for anyone else?

The last and most recent issue was with our loan approval. The bible isn’t joking when it says

The borrower is slave to the lender. -Prov 22:7

Let’s make another really long story short. Dealing with lenders isn’t easy. I believe they’re nice, they mean well and so forth. It’s still awful. This is especially true with a VA Loan because there are many extra requirements. We did have an issue come up where we unexpectedly might not be able to qualify for this loan. That meant we’d either have to go through it all over again with another company or give the house up, both excruciating options from my perspective.

At first, for some reason, I tried to outsmart things. I got very nerdy, researchy, documenty and so forth. Although that probably didn’t hurt, the way it was leading clearly showed me that God was showing me I needed to rely on Him for this win as well. Everything lined up in such a way that I could only give credit to God (I did give our lender a well-deserved thank you). As you can imagine with all of this moving/planning/retiring/etc, I’ve been very stressed. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had a really rough few days. After I saw the situation for what it was, one that I had to turn over to God, things improved. I prayed, I meditated, I praise music’d. I went all in. I turned it over and I got peace back.

Then, today, I woke up and knew I’d get a call from them this afternoon with the good news. I also knew I’d give God the glory.

So, when I saw that number on my phone, I got on my knees and thanked God for the good news first. I heard it with my faith first. Then I answered the call and heard it with my ears.

These two home stories are a few of my testimonies. God is so good. I love having a relationship with Him and, as counterintuitive as it may seem, I love relying on Him. There just is no better way to live fully in my opinion. These big moments have helped me rely on Him habitually in the small moments. This isn’t exactly a call to action type of message. I do hope that you get the joy and satisfaction of depending on God. Of praying and being changed inside out.

Happy Fierce Faith Friday!

Weeding the garden: a method for anxiety

I’ve battled anxiety for most of my adult life. Most of you have too. I’m just sayin’. Science says 33 percent of us ladies have had an anxiety disorder in our lives. I say I don’t know a woman who doesn’t battle anxiety daily. Some days might shine brighter than others, but it’s something we all have in common. So, what do we do?

I want to give you my battle plan for anxiety. It’s called Weeding the Garden. Let’s imagine your brain is a beautiful garden. Accepting that your brain can be a beautiful garden is probably the first step. You see, I believe we can all be at peace. That we don’t have to walk around worried or scared or having a pit in our stomach. That doesn’t mean we’re always happy, but it does mean we can feel more settled, more peaceful, even when we’re not “happy.”

DOWNLOAD YOUR WEEDING THE GARDEN WORKSHEET

So, if your mind is a beautiful, peaceful garden, you have to maintain it, right? It doesn’t just stay beautiful! If you don’t work, weeds will take it over. I don’t know much about gardening, but I feel it’s safe to advise you should immediately pluck a weed as soon as you see it. Anxiety pops up into our lives like little weeds. It starts off small. Just a little nagging feeling. You might not even sense it. However, if you do not take care of it right away, it will grow. And it will get more and more out of control. Eventually, it will take over entirely. Weeding the garden simply means being intentional about noticing those small, nagging feelings and taking action against them. Quickly.

For example, I remember a day when I was feeling really heavy. Burdened. Anxious. I had several weeds sprout up at once: taxes, running a church group and not working out. (By the way, working out is a super-charged, mega weedkiller).

I’d started my own business the year before and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do my own taxes this year. But I’d procrastinated calling someone because I was dreading getting all my files together and seeing the potential tax damage.

I was excited to lead another church group, but this one was a couple’s group. I’d never led men before and I was feeling anxious about it. Intimidated even.

I’d not worked out yet so it was just sitting there on my to-do list. Our bodies are designed to expend energy. When we don’t, it’s like bottled up energy which, in my view, manifests in anxiety.

With all of these things looming, all of a sudden I felt very anxious. Like I wanted to curl into a ball. And this was small, everyday stuff. I mean, it has been worse and it will be again. But I know you can relate. Sometimes little things just add up and make you feel ugh. Like needing to call a friend back, getting to the post office, making a teacher appreciation gift or whether the pants you need to wear next week are going to fit. Of course, there are bigger things too. Like your mom’s test results, a kid getting hurt while on a trip away, debt looming, funding a new roof, layoffs at work.

There’s a lot of weeds out there y’all.

Here’s how you weed the garden. The moment you start feeling this way, get out your journal or a piece of paper. Divide the paper into three columns. In the first column, make a list of everything that is bothering you, of anything that is making you feel anxious. This will help you all by itself. Getting it out of your head will make you feel better. (In fact, I recommend brain dumping these things every night before bed.) Brain imaging research has shown that calling out and labeling negative emotions can help decrease those emotions and give your brain a jumpstart on solving them.

In the middle column, you’re going to write why the thing is bothering you. You will name the emotion while you’re at it. What is the root emotion that you’re feeling about the thing? In my examples, shame and fear were certainly in place.

In the third column of your paper, write down things you can actually do. In my examples, I could call the tax lady. I could gather my files. I could call back my community group leader that I’d been avoiding. I could read up about leading a couple’s group. I could talk to my husband and learn from him. I could work out for at least five minutes.
Sometimes it might seem like there is nothing you can do in a situation that is causing you anxiety. In those instances, pray (we talked about that earlier). Yet, in many situations, there are small actions we can take. Even if it’s texting your kid a message about how much you love them because you’re anxious they’re on a bus traveling for sports. Even if it’s a call to your sister to talk about how you’re feeling. Even if it’s researching the job market just in case. There’s probably something small you can do that will make you feel a little better. Why? Because:

Action is the antidote to anxiety. 

Action puts you in control. It puts you in charge. Another benefit to writing out these two lists is that it helps you see what you have control over and what you do not have control over. In our heads, it’s easy to get worked up. Looking at words on paper helps us to get a little more rational. Because we know it’s irrational to let things we cannot control our mood and therefore our lives. So, let’s get rational. Let’s get weeding.

Relationship generosity challenge

Yesterday and today I’ve been editing my chapter on generosity. Overall, the idea I’m trying to convey is that generosity is good for everyone, that it is something we can do regardless of any externalities and that it can be small or big.

As I was journaling this morning thinking about things I’d researched and the things going on in my life, I thought of an idea, a challenge for you if you will. Before we get to that, let’s establish some facts:

  • In a study about generosity and marriage, couples who reported a high amount of generosity in their relationship were five times more likely to say their marriage was “very happy.”
  • Long time marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman can predict whether a couple will get divorced with a 90 percent accuracy rate. In his research, Gottman found that successful couples should ensure a balance of positive interactions over negative ones. For him, that ratio is 5 to 1.  That means couple should say or do five positive things for each negative experience with their partner. I call this building the love bank. We want more positive deposits than negative withdraws.
  • Researcher Dr. Terri Orbuch went so far as to call acts of generosity “marital life insurance policies.”
  • One of the easiest ways get and stay in the positive zone is to practice gratitude.
  • Pastor Steven Furtick says that we stop complimenting things when they become consistent. So, you stop complimenting your toddler on their amazing ability to go potty when they start doing it all the time. Or, you might stop complimenting your friend on her new found workout habit once she’s been doing it for a year. In order to find easy access to gratitude, especially when it comes to our spouses that we can take for granted, is to compliment the consistent.

Alrighty. With all of these brilliant ideas from brilliant people, I have a small challenge for you. I want you to compose a dozen or so emails that show gratitude to your partner. Almost all email providers have a way to schedule things. (If yours doesn’t or you don’t know how to use that feature, compose the emails anyway. Then set an alarm on your phone for the next dozen or so days that is labeled “Send love email” and do it!)

So, I composed five emails and schedule them out for the next dozen or so days. All of the emails say thanks. All of them say thanks for different things. Over the next two work weeks, my husband will get an email that is thanking him for something consistent or, in a few cases, special and recent. By doing so, I’ve systemized these positive interactions we want to ensure there are many of if we want to have a happy marriage. Of course, that cannot stand alone but it is a fun way to be proactively generous to the one you love. Give it a try! How many will you do?

 

Choose what’s best, not what’s next!

I’ve always coached about the importance of meal planning and meal prepping. It saves you time, money and calories. Since becoming a life coach and doing a lot of studying, it’s clear there’s even more reason for it. When we make a plan we make a lot of pre-decisions. We know that that makes our day-to-day routine easier right? But it’s not just because it saves time during a busy work week. It’s not just because it saves you decisions during a busy work week.

It’s also because you get to use the smart part of your brain to make good decisions. Those are the kind of decisions you make when you’re not only concerned about right now & instant gratification. Those are the kind of decisions you make when you’re looking out for what’s best, not for what’s next (easy/available). What’s next is what your toddler brain wants. It’s what wants instant gratification.

What’s next: Cake in conference room

What’s best: Meal prepped meal in lunchbox

What’s next: Wine & cookies

What’s best: Evening walk

What’s next: Starbucks

What’s best: Shake

The more we are using that smart part of our brain (prefrontal cortex), the more we are stepping into the best versions of ourselves, the most evolved versions of ourselves. It’s a habit that will positively effect all parts of our lives.

Cheers!

Test Group

  • Who: Women who want to get to the bottom of weight loss issues and make long lasting changes.
  • What: Online coaching group where I give you a plan, a journal and we go through it all together.
  • When: April 29 – May 18.
  • Where: Your home.
  • Why: Losing weight is hard. I want to help you using what I’ve learned and everything I teach when it comes to habits, nutrition and fitness.
  • How: We will do some prework that establishes your why, some really good PERSONALIZED hows with regard to food choices, working out, habits, triggers, emotions and more. Then we will set goals and get going! You’ll use my journal and be in my coaching group and we will walk through 21 days of real life and get you results.

Here are some of the things I believe that we’ll learn about and implement:

  • Negative emotion is real and it’s okay. Most of our bad habits are a result of trying to avoid the emotion that leads to bad binging behaviors or avoiding good habits. Instead, let’s tackle it. Let’s deal with it on purpose and as well as we can.
  • The best workout is the one you’ll actually do. So, with this group that might be walking but it also might be P90X. I don’t care. I will help you if you need it. Otherwise, it’s about picking something you find least resistance with and doing it.
  • My main healthy eating philosophies are: DON’T EAT FOOD YOU HATE and EAT LIKE A HUMAN. 
  • We need to get in touch with emotion, get in touch with our bodies and what’s working.
  • We need to figure out how to make good habits easier and bad habits harder.
  • We need to come up with personal formulas on how to deal with emotion.

 

What this looks like macro:

  • Create an overall goal based on self-love not self-hate.
  • Come up with options based on food and workouts you enjoy.
  • Pre-plan how to deal with emotions.

What this looks like daily:

  • Plan your day.
  • Stick to your plan.
  • Be aware when you don’t want to and investigate it.
  • Journal. Learn about yourself.
  • Receive coaching in my Facebook group based on your specific challenges.
  • Engage & support others in group doing the same thing you are!

 

The cost will be $25 plus $7 for the journal (Amazon link).

If you’re in, let me know by filling out the form below. Then head to Paypal and pay. I’ll invite you to the group and we will get started April 28!

Create your own domino effect: Part 2

My first post on the idea of creating your own domino effect was a wee bit more hippy dippy than this post will be. Whereas the first part focussed on your thoughts, this part will focus on your actions. I believe you need to manage your mind and thoughts in order to be successful but I also believe some practical adaptations here will help you be even more successful.

The first thing to investigate when you want to create your own domino effect is the idea of triggers. Triggers are simply things that cause you to think or act in a certain way. In medical terms, it might be something like pollen that cause your allergies to act. Or, in the case of a migraine, it might be caffeine or a low pressure system.

In our work today we’ll focus on environmental triggers. For example, seeing a box of cookies might cause you to think, “I really want to eat those cookies.” That’s a simple, and very personal, example. Other triggers might be the hustle and bustle of dinner time. Does that cause you to think or act in a certain way?

Triggers can also be positive. For example, seeing flowers can make you smile. Smelling lavender can make you feel more relaxed. Seeing your running shoes can cause you to go for a run.

So, if we can understand our triggers we can began to change our domino effects. We can work backwards here. First, identify a behavior/result you have that you don’t like. Let’s use our above examples.

See cookies > binge cookies > feel shame

See running shoes > go for run > feel proud and healthy

Dinner time is loud and busy > shout at kids > feel guilty > drink wine

Let’s not belabor this point. I think that you can see exactly what’s going on. You can set up your triggers to help you get TO or AWAY from your desired results. Here’s a few ideas:

See fruit > eat apple > feel refreshed

Print Sunday planning sheet > plan meals > get food > meal prep > serve dinner quickly during weeknights > enjoy family dinner at table.

So, do your homework now and think of maybe one desired habit you want to stop and one desired habit you want to start. Work backwards and see what your domino effect looks like. How can you change the initial trigger? Can you put the workout clothes out? Can you replace the bad snacks with healthy ones you’ll see? Can you keep your water bottle full and ready to go? Can you put your journal by your bed with a favorite pen?

Now, let’s create an action plan. Here’s the formula: Trigger, Action, Result.

When I wanted to start reading my bible more, I put it in my closet so I see it right when I brush my teeth in the morning. Next to it is a journal, pens, prayer cards and other things that trigger my habit to read and journal about what I read each morning. So:

Bible > Read, Write & Pray > Improved relationship with God

Another example that is much simpler is what I’ve done to improve the transition for the kids getting home:

Bus stop notification > Wrap up work ritual > Ready to receive kids when they get home > Folders, chores, hugs > Present with kids & things that needed to get done got done

That above example is quite a bit more complicated which I’m sure you noticed. In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear calls it “Habit Stacking.” Pairing a habit with a habit can help you stack habits and truly create an awesome domino effect. I found that me wrapping up work the way I needed to and me not being present with the kids and not enforcing the standards I have for them.

I found wrapping up work when the kids GOT HOME was too late. It resulted in me not really wrapping work I needed to and trying to multitask homework, folders, dishes, etc in a way that was not empowering any of us to be successful. So, I paired the habit of stopping work and keeping the kids on track as they transition into the home. In this way, it’s a really awesome, productive hour.

Likewise, the first habit I mentioned was also stacked. It started with just praying. Then eventually I added reading. Then eventually I added journaling. The habits began to stack on one another to create one awesome chain of events.

Here are some other examples from Clear’s book that involve both the concept of trigger and creating your own domino effect:

  • After I pour my morning cup of coffee, I will meditate for 60 seconds.
  • After I meditate for 60 seconds, I will write my to-do list for the day.
  • After I write my to-do list for the day, I will immediately begin my first task.

AND

  • After I finish eating dinner, I will put my plate directly into the dishwasher.
  • After I put my dishes away, I will immediately wipe down the counter.
  • After I wipe down the counter, I will set out my coffee mug for tomorrow morning.

That’s a lot of awesomeness stacked in a few minutes! Do you see how you can totally set yourself up for success and set up your own domino effect?

So, let’s go back to the idea of maybe one habit you want to stop and one you want to create. What are the triggers? What are the desired results? Are there ways to stack (or unstack) them with other habits in your life? Journal about this and see what you can come up with. Then, use the power of your thoughts from part 1 and see what you can do!

Fierce Faith Friday: Build your house

Did you know there are 31 chapters of Proverbs in the Bible? That means throughout any given month you can read one a day to keep the….foolishness away?

A line from the proverb I read yesterday has been playing over and over again in my head and I wanted to share it with you. Proverbs 14: 1:

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.

Now, I know scholars will read more into this, the metaphors, etc. God tends to speak to me on a more practically. As a woman with a home, I was intrigued.

I began to wonder: Well, how does a wise woman build her home? In what ways can she tear it down?

As a coach of women (and myself), I think of very practical ways a woman can build her home.

  • Keep it tidy. Believe me, I understand most of us don’t want to do this one. But, once we lean into it, tidying and cleaning the home is actually therapeutic (take that anger out on the dirt y’all). Moreover, a relatively (as in not OCD) clean and tidy home brings peace to it. For the wise woman and her family. So, at that point she has built a peaceful home for her family. Even though she may not have wanted to.
  • Keep the peace. Later on in this proverb, an inspired Solomon tells us that a hot temper shows great foolishness and that us wise women should be able to control out anger. In this way, the wise woman builds her house by keeping her wits about her and leading her family with patience, discipline and love as well as without yelling, criticism and negativity. Not coincidentally, this is almost impossible without God’s help.
  • Build the financial house. I also think that a wise woman is a good steward with her money. She takes care of all the assets inside her home as well as the big asset of the home. She builds her financial house by saving money, paying off debt and budgeting for the future.

I think the most important caveat here is the word builds. As in it’s not done yet, it’s a work in progress. I think that if you’re trying, that is totally winning in this situation. No one is perfect and all of these things aren’t going to come together at the same time every time. I just think it’s an interesting concept to meditate on.

Another important caveat is that this verse focuses on the wise woman. So many times we want to look outward at what others can do or aren’t doing. Instead, this advice is telling us to focus on what we’re doing to build or tear down our own homes.

This verse also says to me that the wise woman chooses to build or tear down. Each action she takes is a choice to build or tear down. (Including naps, I think naps are in favor of building up). To yell or not to yell. To laundry or not to laundry. To encourage or criticize. To bite the tongue or have the last word.

I’m just wondering today. What does that line mean to you? In what ways can you build your house? In what ways unique to you might you avoid tearing it down?

Happy FRIYAY!