Top 20 Motivation Tips

top 20 motivation tipsGuest Post By Leo Babauta

This article is a list of tips and tricks that, if used in combination, are a nearly sure way to achieve your goals.

Achieving goals is not a matter of having “discipline”. It’s a matter of motivating yourself, and keeping your focus on your goal. Follow these tips, or any combination of them that works for you, and you should have the motivation and focus you need.

Here are the top 20 Motivation Tips:

1. Chart Your Progress. Recently I posted about how I created a chart to track my progress with each of my goals. This chart is not just for information purposes, for me to look back and see how I’m doing. It’s to motivate me to keep up with my goals. If I’m diligent about checking my chart every day, and marking dots or “x”s, then I will want to make sure I fill it with dots. I will think to myself, “I better do this today if I want to mark a dot.” Well, that’s a small motivation, but it helps, trust me. Some people prefer to use gold stars. Others have a training log, which works just as well. Or try Joe’s Goals. However you do it, track your progress, and allow yourself a bit of pride each time you give yourself a good mark.

Now, you will have some bad marks on your chart. That’s OK. Don’t let a few bad marks stop you from continuing. Strive instead to get the good marks next time.

2. Hold Yourself Back. When I start with a new exercise program, or any new goal really, I am rarin’ to go. I am full of excitement, and my enthusiasm knows no boundaries. Nor does my sense of self-limitation. I think I can do anything. It’s not long before I learn that I do have limitations, and my enthusiasm begins to wane.

Well, a great motivator that I’ve learned is that when you have so much energy at the beginning of a program, and want to go all out — HOLD BACK. Don’t let yourself do everything you want to do. Only let yourself do 50-75 percent of what you want to do. And plan out a course of action where you slowly increase over time. For example, if I want to go running, I might think I can run 3 miles at first. But instead of letting myself do that, I start by only running a mile. When I’m doing that mile, I’ll be telling myself that I can do more! But I don’t let myself. After that workout, I’ll be looking forward to the next workout, when I’ll let myself do 1.5 miles. I keep that energy reined in, harness it, so that I can ride it even further.

3. Join an online (or off-line) group to help keep you focused and motivated.  Editor’s note, join an online community by searching for what you love near you.  If it is daily motivation you are searching for with an online community and a closed group, check this link here and click on “I Need Support”.

Each time I joined a forum, it helped keep me on track. Not only did I meet a bunch of other people who were either going through what I was going through or who had already been through it, I would report my progress (and failures) as I went along. They were there for great advice, for moral support, to help keep me going when I wanted to stop.

4. Post a picture of your goal someplace visible — near your desk or on your refrigerator, for example. Visualizing your goal, exactly how you think it will be when you’ve achieved it, whether it’s financial goals like traveling to Rome or building a dream house, or physical goals like finishing a marathon or getting a flat stomach, is a great motivator and one of the best ways of actualizing your goals.

Find a magazine photo or a picture online and post it somewhere where you can see it not only daily, but hourly if possible. Put it as your desktop photo, or your home page. Use the power of your visual sense to keep you focused on your goal. Because that focus is what will keep you motivated over the long-term — once you lose focus, you lose motivation, so having something to keep bringing your focus back to your goal will help keep that motivation.

5. Get a workout partner or goal buddy. Staying motivated on your own is tough. But if you find someone with similar goals (running, dieting, finances, etc.), see if they’d like to partner with you. Or partner with your spouse, sibling or best friend on whatever goals they’re trying to achieve. You don’t have to be going after the same goals — as long as you are both pushing and encouraging each other to succeed.

6. Just get started. There are some days when you don’t feel like heading out the door for a run, or figuring out your budget, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do that day for your goal. Well, instead of thinking about how hard it is, and how long it will take, tell yourself that you just have to start.

I have a rule (not an original one) that I just have to put on my running shoes and close the door behind me. After that, it all flows naturally. It’s when you’re sitting in your house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems hard. Once you start, it is never as hard as you thought it would be. This tip works for me every time.

7. Make it a pleasure. One reason we might put off something that will help us achieve our goal, such as exercise for example, is because it seems like hard work. Well, this might be true, but the key is to find a way to make it fun or pleasurable. If your goal activity becomes a treat, you actually look forward to it. And that’s a good thing.

8. Give it time, be patient. I know, this is easier said than done. But the problem with many of us is that we expect quick results. When you think about your goals, think long term. If you want to lose weight, you may see some quick initial losses, but it will take a long time to lose the rest. If you want to run a marathon, you won’t be able to do it overnight. If you don’t see the results you want soon, don’t give up … give it time. In the meantime, be happy with your progress so far, and with your ability to stick with your goals. The results will come if you give it time.

9. Break it into smaller, mini goals. Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple of weeks, we may lose motivation, because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time. Solution: have smaller goals along the way.

10. Reward yourself. Often. And not just for longer-term goals, either. Above, I talked about breaking larger goals into smaller, mini goals. Well, each of those mini goals should have a reward attached to it. Make a list of your goals, with mini goals, and next to each, write down an appropriate reward. By appropriate, I mean 1) it’s proportionate to the size of the goal (don’t reward going on a 1-mile run with a luxury cruise in the Bahamas); and 2) it doesn’t ruin your goal — if you are trying to lose weight, don’t reward a day of healthy eating with a dessert binge. It’s self-defeating.

11. Find inspiration, on a daily basis. Inspiration is one of the best motivators, and it can be found everywhere. Every day, seek inspiration, and it will help sustain motivation over the long-term. Sources of inspiration can include: blogs, online success stories, forums, friends and family, magazines, books, quotes, music, photos, people you meet.

12. Get a coach or take a class. These will motivate you to at least show up, and to take action. It can be applied to any goal. This might be one of the more expensive ways of motivating yourself, but it works. And if you do some research, you might find some cheap classes in your area, or you might know a friend who will provide coaching or counseling for free.

13. Have powerful reasons. Write them down. Know your reasons. Give them some thought … and write them down. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for yourself is good too, but you should do it for something that you REALLY REALLY want to happen, for really good reasons.

14. Become aware of your urges to quit, and be prepared for them. We all have urges to stop, but they are mostly unconscious. One of the most powerful things you can do is to start being more conscious of those urges. A good exercise is to go through the day with a little piece of paper and put a tally mark for each time you get an urge. It simply makes you aware of the urges. Then have a plan for when those urges hit, and plan for it beforehand, and write down your plan, because once those urges hit, you will not feel like coming up with a plan.

15. Make it a rule never to skip two days in a row. This rule takes into account our natural tendency to miss days now and then. We are not perfect. So, you missed one day … now the second day is upon you and you are feeling lazy … tell yourself NO! You will not miss two days in a row! Zen Habits says so! And just get started. You’ll thank yourself later.

16. Visualize your goal clearly, on a daily basis, for at least 5-10 minutes. Visualize your successful outcome in great detail. Close your eyes, and think about exactly how your successful outcome will look, will feel, will smell and taste and sound like. Where are you when you become successful? How do you look? What are you wearing? Form as clear a mental picture as possible. Now here’s the next key: do it every day. For at least a few minutes each day. This is the only way to keep that motivation going over a long period of time.

17. Keep a daily journal of your goal. If you are consistent about keeping a journal, it can be a great motivator. A journal should have not only what you did for the day, but your thoughts about how it went, how you felt, what mistakes you made, what you could do to improve. To be consistent about keeping a journal, do it right after you do your goal task each day. Make keeping a journal a sensory pleasure.

18. Create a friendly, mutually-supportive competition. We are all competitive in nature, at least a little. Some more than others. Take advantage of this part of our human nature by using it to fuel your goals. If you have a workout partner or goal buddy, you’ve got all you need for a friendly competition. See who can log more miles, or save more dollars, each week or month. See who can do more pushups or pullups. See who can lose the most weight or have the best abs or lose the most inches on their waist. Make sure the goals are weighted so that the competition is fairly equal. And mutually support each other in your goals.

19. Make a big public commitment. Be fully committed. This will do the trick every time. Create a blog and announce to the world that you are going to achieve a certain goal by a certain date. Commit yourself to the hilt.

20. Always think positive. Monitor your thoughts. Be aware of your self-talk. We all talk to ourselves, a lot, but we are not always aware of these thoughts. Start listening. If you hear negative thoughts, stop them, push them out, and replace them with positive thoughts. Positive thinking can be amazingly powerful.

Motivation Tips

3 Signs You Are in a Fake “Textual Relationship”

textual

Oh.  You have another message.  Should you look at it right now?  You ignore it.  He or she knows you have your phone on you.  Something just doesn’t feel right anymore and you are really tired of this “textual relationship” nonsense.

For starters, what is a textual relationship anyway?  It is a “relationship” based in online messaging, private messages, Snapchat, or anything where you actually never talk in real life.  If you do talk in real life, it is not quite the same.

In a scary online world, where quite literally anyone can be behind the computer, are you sharing too much of yourself in these private messages?  How are you getting to know this person in real life?  Would you say the same things to them in the real world that you do online?  If the answer is no…maybe you should consider what you want out of this “textual relationship”?

What are some bad signs you should look out for?

  1. They use fake looking profile photos and have only had their account up for a few months.  Okay, I get it.  The photo looks great.  Unless it’s a fake photo or a photo of their cat.  Which never ever changes no matter what.  Also, were they living under a rock?  Why are they suddenly online, but have not been prior to 3 months ago?  Are they tagged in any family photos?  Any mutual friends?  Is their name even real?  Not if warning bells are going off and many excuses are made.  Oh yeah, and never send money.  <<< huge sign they are a scammer.
  2. They use a real photo…without their spouse.  They are sending you messages about meeting up…but you know they are married.  Why would people do this?  What are they hoping to achieve?  They are hiding something plain and simple no matter what excuse they use.  They say they are happily married, then that’s great.  Why hide behind a private message?  Does their wife know?  Probably not…oh and they won’t be leaving anyone anytime soon.  You can bet on that.
  3. They like everything you post…all the time.  Even that stuff from 5 years ago.  Red flag.  Why are they going through your old photos on every account you have?  Does it come up casually in conversation?  Does it seem like they are stalking you to find out where you hang out?  What if they are there, just watching you, because you know, you have never met them?  Better yet, what if they actually know you and this is a fake profile they are using to follow you around.  Yup.  Warning.  Warning.  Warning.

Nice try blogging lady, but this hasn’t happened to me…yet.

Is texting your sole point of communication?  If so, read on.  Do you feel like you know this person and could call them up?  Then try that idea on for size.  Ask them to Skype with you one night and casually bring up things only you two have chatted about.  See what happens.

After the chatting on-screen, don’t forget to make a date to really chat in person.  Once you feel comfortable…and of course, take the back-up friend to plant in the restaurant or coffee shop just in case things go wrong.

Texting relationships allow you lots of easy ways out, but they also have many downfalls.  You can read into the texts, dwell on why they haven’t sent you a text, but you see the read receipt, and it also allows you to only send them the best photos…perhaps with some touching up done.  This is so not like real life.  There are no filters for bed hair, morning breath, and real body functions.  Just saying.  In a world where you can be anything, be real my friend. 

Coping When a Dysfunctional Friendship Ends

 dys·func·tion·al

The friendship started innocently enough.  We had lots of things in common so small talk led to drinks after work, outings, and even group adventures.  I was so happy that I had found a friend who really listened to me and supported me.  As time went on, I started feeling heard less and less.  I tried to make adjustments in the conversation, but it always circled back to whatever new and terrible thing had happened to her.  Some nights, I would be on the computer for hours consoling her and helping her through something.  I would go to bed mentally and physically drained.  The “friendship” was not reciprocal.

My husband had enough and told me to just ignore the messages that always started out the same way.  It seemed she wanted to catch up and “talk”, but we never did anything anymore.  She didn’t call me on the phone, didn’t answer my text messages, and didn’t want to see me.  She just wanted to use messenger as her personal dumping ground all night long.

I felt alone and isolated in the friendship.  I was not important enough to make time for.  There were other examples as well.  An event we were going to go to together that she said we would plan…weeks later, photos of her with someone else at the event.  Exercise class no show…and excuses on nights I asked her to do something with me, or just come over and chat.  However, throughout this process, when she needed me or wanted to come over to see a mutual friend, I made the time.  I was always making time because trust is something I value.

That’s when it finally hit me.  I didn’t trust her anymore due to the lies and excuses.  I was nurturing a friendship that was crumbling because I believed she would wake up and see what she was doing to me.  It wasn’t going to happen because I was not the only one she lied to.  She lied to her husband, to her work, to mutual friends, and most of all, to herself.  I could not fix this.  She had to get back to seeing a weekly counselor and nothing I did or said would ever be enough until she was ready to work on herself.

How to cope when a friendship ends?

  • Make a plan. What would you do if you were to run into this person again?  What would happen if this person wanted back in your life?  I know the answers seem hard to think about, but it’s best to run through that now while you are fresh to whatever happened in the relationship.  The main question is does the relationship empower me or deflate me?  Is there capacity for an authentic, honest relationship or not?  Honestly, you already know the answers to these questions.
  • Write your feelings down. I know that this is not like a funeral…but in a way, it is.  You are dealing with the stages of grief, and it is a serious thing.  You have loved that friend, cared for that friend, and despite your best efforts, the friendship ended.  I haven’t forgotten the moments of happiness the friendship brought me, and despite the fact that for the better part of a year I saw the friendship going down a steep hill into a black abyss that sucked all the joy out of it, I still regret the way it ended.  But I also know it takes two working together to save a relationship.  Not one.  The primary emotion that comes to me is anger because of the way it ended.  Anger that I was made to be in the middle of something that was never about me anyway. 
  • Think about the qualities you really want in a friend.  I was in a bad place when we met, but as I started to get better, it seemed to make my friendship worse.  That doesn’t even sound okay to me now.  How could a friend not be happy for me?  I wanted someone who could talk to me in person and not make excuses because they were mad that I was doing better.  I am not sure why I didn’t notice it before.
  • That brings me to “Don’t take it personally.” Everyone is dealing with their own demons.  If the friendship ends, there is a good chance that it is freeing you up for something new.  It will hurt for a long time, but eventually you will realize that you have broken the cycle and moved on.  New friends await you, and this time, as soon as you see something that doesn’t sit well with you, be brave and have that conversation on what is important to you in a friendship.  If this person is meant to be in your life, they will understand, value you, and most importantly, make time for you.

As your self-esteem and self-worth improves, these old friends WILL fall away if they are not meant to be in your life.  You are making room for so much more my friend.  In my closed group, the Head|Heart|Health Club, we are working on exactly what we want to attract in our lives and that includes new boundaries for ourselves and realizing that it truly is okay to feel worthy.

Shedding Guilt and Regret in 3 Steps.

Wow.  Look at that post.  Shedding guilt and regret in 3 steps.  I bet that’s a really hard thing to pull off…says you.  It is actually, but it can be done if we repeatedly practice.  Practice?  Yes.  practice.

So the other night, I was at my yoga class.  I was waiting for some more students to come through the door, and the thing of it was, I had to check my social media for a minute as that’s how they reach me if they are going to be late.  A mom made a comment on my status that gave me a little pause in my head.  Should I feel guilty for being at my yoga class?  No.  That’s ridiculous.  This is not only what I do, it’s what I love.

Years ago, I had my girls 18 months apart and I took time off to raise them, breast feed them 24/7 (it felt like it), put my Master’s Degree plans on hold because I wanted to be there with my girls, and more.  Not once did I regret it…but other people seemed to think I should.  I went to college you know and I was “wasting” my education.

Other people sure do like to be in your business if you know what I mean.  Even family.  So fast forward through the years of health problems, pain, my return to my career only to leave it again, and then my new-found love of being healthy and creating a new identity for myself after going through what I thought was an early mid-life crisis.  <<< You might have been there, and no judgement.  Who are you after having kids, or your career changes, etc.  It happens.

Which brings me back around full circle to the deal my husband made me when I wanted to stop the 24 hour chronic pain in 2013.  He said for me to keep trying and he would fully support whatever direction I went in.  In 2014, I went to yoga.  I could barely hold myself up.  In 2015, I made it through 200 hours of Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training.  I felt invincible.

Now, take a wild guess when most people need yoga?  After work.  So I only taught one night a week and my husband knew that wasn’t really enough.  He encouraged me to teach and do what I needed to do and he would take care of driving the girls where they needed to be.  They are now middle school and high school.

I am only one person.  I can’t be everywhere and I have to accept this.  So if I had told people I was going to my “medically necessary” treatment, maybe it would have been better…for them.  So here’s the deal and the real way out of guilt and regret that you might be facing when you make certain decisions.

Try These Thoughts:

  1. Did you make the best decision you could at the time when presented with all the information?  The answer is yes.  I know that you did, just like I did.  When presented with information, whether you are thinking of something in the past or something right now you are dealing with, we can only choose from the facts at hand.  The mind distorts as we look back…so don’t do that.  You probably have said “If I only knew…” 100 times in your head.  The thing is, you didn’t.  I didn’t.  I can’t go back and change anything, and the truth is, you had all the information at the time and you did your best.  So we have to start with where we are now and move forward.
  2. Can you identify what the guilt or regret is prompting you to do differently now?  Okay, you did or didn’t do the thing.  You feel like crap.  OR someone else is trying to make you feel guilty and you really don’t.  Recognize where the guilt or regret is coming from.  Is it from you?  An outside source?  The past?  If it is from you and it is a healthy guilt that is prompting you to change an action, then you have learned your lesson and can move on.  Make a decision right now to make amends like leaving work on time.  Not missing a dinner date that has been on your calendar and calling the person back to apologize if you missed it.  Healthy guilt likes you to take care of yourself and your relationships.  Now, unhealthy type of guilt might come from some outside source.  You should feel bad because this person does everything and can be everywhere at once…but you need help.  That is unhealthy and not helping you to move forward.  No two people have the same circumstances, the same support system, the same exact thoughts and feelings.  This is actually your life.  So if it is unhealthy guilt, recognize it.  Perfection is a mask.
  3. Are you able to practice mindfulness and compassion…even with your own thoughts?  Want to know a secret?  The top answer all people tell me is that they are harder on themselves than others.  Why?  Because they don’t realize that others are doing the exact same thing in their heads as well.  I am not kidding.  I do anonymous surveys with my Club members, my newsletter list and poll the audience on my page to gather information about what problems we all face and how we feel we are handling them.  If we step back, snap into our bodies for a second and be mindful of our thoughts, we start to realize that others are having a hard time as well.  So someone made a comment…it’s because they wish they could put their health first right now and are actually struggling too.  Later, they might ask you for advice on how you make sure you put self-care first.  The guilty thoughts and regrets come because we think others might be doing things differently, or we could have changed things if we had known x, y, z, but the thing is, they were also doing the best at the time, and in order to forgive them, we have to realize this.  It’s a really hard concept, I know, but suffering through regret can be optional.

Each and every month, we work through these concepts in new ways in the Head|Heart|Health Club We work on being more present, connecting with our hearts and inner desires, protecting ourselves, and growing through the practice of self-compassion and awareness.  We learn to accept ourselves as we are and encourage non-judgement.  We are working each month to develop that “observing mind” that unlocks us from the pain of regret and guilt.  We would love to see you there if you would like to learn more!

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Own Luck!

Have you ever thought about luck?  Looking over at that guy in the corner office, with the view, while you are stuck in the cubicle, have you ever thought to yourself “Some guys have all the luck.”  Well, what if he didn’t just have all the luck.  What if he created it for himself?

For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  ~Steve Jobs

I know that I often ask you some really hard questions on the fan page…or even during my live chats.  However, that being said, I have noticed a really great pattern.  There are some people who really appreciate thinking outside of the box.  These are the people who I can see changing their lives starting right now.  Today.  Going forth and using these 10 easy ways to make their own luck.

What are they doing that is different?

For starters, they are saying yes to things that they want to do…and aren’t just closing the door on opportunity because it doesn’t look exactly like they expected.  Sometimes opportunity is, in fact, disguised as hard work.  I borrowed that from Thomas Edison, who actually said: Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Own Luck:

  1. Reach out…and network.  I am going to be honest, as someone who works from home and has dachshunds as my office staff, when I need to reach out, I go through the interwebs usually or I message a friend who knows the answer.  I do admit that I have a hard time with this one and can count 5 people who are my go-to people.  If this one is hard for you, write down your go-to people right now.  See how many you can come up with!
  2. Is the glass half-full, half-empty, or are you missing the point?  It’s refillable.  Sometimes, the answer is one you haven’t even thought of.  Where is your optimism?  I love the question above because the first time I saw that quote, I laughed.  Why hasn’t anyone pointed that out before?  Duh.  So as you are looking at something new, think optimistically and out-of-the-box about what is going on.
  3. Do you spend time visualizing the outcome for success?  Let’s say you grew up in a household where ohhh I don’t know, let’s say your dad, thought that everything was going to turn out awfully.  There was always only one way it could turn out.  One way things were going to happen, and it was sure to be a natural disaster.  It is now up to you, and only you, to reprogram this kind of thinking by replacing this “programming” with better visualization techniques.  Start with the end result you want to achieve and work backward.  I talked about this last week, but that’s exactly what Jim Carrey did before he landed his first big movie role.  He wrote himself the check for acting services rendered, and he visualized every detail.  It is a powerful practice.
  4. Give freely of your wisdom to others.  If I have learned something that is working for me, I quite simply share it.  As you can read, I have tons of content on this blog shared with you guys about how to improve your life.  I believe in helping others by what I have learned…thus the title for this blog:)
  5. Trust your gut feelings.  This one also sometimes feels a lot like work to me…and sometimes it’s hard work.  I have to make calls in my business daily about what is working and not working.  Things that don’t feel right for me usually aren’t.  If something is bugging me enough that it is sending me a signal of my intuition to change something, well, I have to listen.  That is where the luck is.
  6. The uptight people are the luckiest…wait.  Hmm.  The truth is, the people who stay in their comfort zone, who only follow the same path, who have to do things this way and this way only, well.  Those are not the people I have seen creating their own luck.  I have seen the creative people going out on a limb and saying I wonder what will happen is I tweak this here.  I wonder what will happen if I put this large sum of money into this account or this investment or this new thing.  Trust me, it is hard to change old patterns of thought, but if you do, that is where the magic lies.
  7. Luck is going to jump out and find you…if you know where to look.  This is partly true.  I go with my hunches and call people up who I think might want to partner with me in my cool yoga adventures.  I have a wish list of people to call…and by doing so, I have created a really cool opportunity for me locally.  If I hadn’t done that, it wouldn’t have jumped out and found me.  I put it on my list and said, what if she said yes to this idea?  What have I got to lose?  Fear.  Okay.  I am calling.  And you know what?  She loves my plan and asked me to come back monthly.
  8. Take a big chance and push through the scary stuff.  Just like above, I have a “This is going to be scary, but what the heck.” list.  On that list is lots of ideas about things I see happening in the future for me.  One idea is for when I “retire”.  I already have ideas that far out, yes.  And it is so freaking wild that I love it.  Madly love this idea and want to do it now actually.  But, to be honest, I have kids at home still, so no Aimee, you can’t up and move to the mountains yet.  And have this cool yoga society of hippies.  But one day you will.  So if you need a 5 year list, or a 10 year list, create one.
  9. Don’t go back to that one time in the past when you failed miserably.  So, not everything always works out.  I have lost money.  Lots of it actually, and I have gained money, lots of it actually.  One of my dumbest things that seemed truly brilliant was my timeshare in Las Vegas.  HAHAHA.  No.  Just say no to timeshares.  They are like drugs.  Say no.  Anyway, for a while I thought about that mistake and then realized it was a learning experience…a costly one.  On where NOT to invest your money.  But hey, for a minute it was cool.
  10. Woo-hoo!  You have done it.  You created your own luck and are lucky forever now, so you can take a break.  Nope!  Not happening.  You will always be thinking so you will have to constantly realign your thoughts to the present moment and to what you are doing.  How are you viewing things?  How are you being?  What is your relationship with money like?  Do you think in the negative and live from a scarcity point of view?  Does one bill throw you over the edge like my dad this acquaintance I know?

Improving your relationship with your thoughts around luck and creating your own luck is what we are talking about in the Head|Heart|Health Club. <<< over there is how to enroll for less than $10 a month.  I teach people how to activate their gifts through daily practices in mindfulness and connection with the heart.  It truly changes your outlook on things and I would love to have you join my group!  If this article made you think, feel free to share it with others or use the pin button.

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Put Down Your Phone…and Other Tips for a Relationship.

Put down your phoneListen, I am not trying to get everyone mad at me right now, but I remember when texting first came out.  I thought to myself “This is so dumb.  I can just call you and scrolling through every letter takes forever.”  Seriously, it did.  Or I could page someone.  I am totally laughing at that because we used to think only doctors or drug dealers ran out of the room after getting a page.

If I have already lost you, perhaps you are a wee bit younger than I am.  For those willing to listen to my advice, I want to describe a whole new world.

In college, we met our friends at a lunch area that had an open table area.  We would sit on tables, chairs, the wall whatever to get closer to people and chat.  We would laugh so loud and so long about inside jokes that we dreaded getting up from the tables and drifting off to class.  We would meet later, the brothers, and the sisters, at one of the grills on the campus and cook up some food.  I can see, hear and smell it right now.  It was called engagement with your fellow people and it was life. 

Whether one fraternity was putting on a show on the great lawn for the girls or whether the soccer dudes were out there, it didn’t matter.  We walked around with our heads held high…making eye contact.  Laughing with the friend next to us.  I don’t think we knew how good we had it.

When I met my husband, he was not in a fraternity.  He had been staring at me when I went to the computer center.  That’s right, we had a place to use computers since we didn’t really have laptops back then.  Anyway, I went to print out my paper for English, one of a bazillion on Tolkien, Grendel, Vonnegut, Shakespeare or possibly Don Quixote, who knows, and the printer didn’t work.  He yelled over his shoulder it wouldn’t work and kept walking.  The rudeness.  Little did I know that we would start dating.

When we ended up across from each other in class that fall, I almost went through the floor.  It was that dude who I thought liked me, yet didn’t really know how to speak to me.  Luckily, his wing-man did.  He helped him chat with me as he ran cable in the English tutoring center I worked in.  We met face to face and chatted for hours after the initial shy period was over.  Then we would chat on the phone for hours.  Then we would go out and chat.  But the entire time, if I hadn’t been able to read his eyes or if he had been looking down or away from me during this time, I would have thought he didn’t like me, and that would have been wrong.  

The culture has changed so much now that I feel like people need to remember what it used to be like just 20 years ago…which really wasn’t that long in the past.

Put down your phone so you can…

  • Make eye contact.
  • Read the person’s body language.
  • Be fully present with the experience.
  • Know that they are interested by HOW they are being.
  • Not texting other people to already meet up while you are on a date.
  • Not using the phone as an escape.
  • Ask each other important questions.
  • Pay attention to little cues on how they treat others…like the waiter or waitress.
  • Allowing things to just be.  Can you be okay in stillness?
  • Be genuine with each other and not have a mask in place.
  • Ask about their day…and listen.
  • Go on a walk…and put phones in glove box.
  • Plan small outings to learn more about the other person.  The real person.
  • The highlights are on the phone…but what happens during bad times?  Are they there for you?
  • Can you cook together?
  • Think about the pet peeves together and plan ways to overcome the conflicts.
  • Don’t forget to say out loud, I like you.  Just liking the photos isn’t enough or proclaiming your undying love on the social feeds.
  • Meet the family…and really pay attention to what the dynamic is like.
  • Do you eat at the table or in front of the T.V.?  Where are the phones?
  • Laugh with each other.  Long and loud and free.
  • Be silly.  It’s okay.
  • Date like you just met…even if it’s been 20 years.
  • Let anything go from the past, and start today, to live in the present.

The truth is, these tips can be for friends, partners, or spouses, it doesn’t matter.  I love that my husband’s friend jokingly named everything “horrible” about our relationship the other night.  It was that we aren’t like other married people, and that we are both secure in our relationship of almost 21 years…enough so that when my brothers call me, and they still do, I can go out and hang with them and chat about the old times.

I enjoy the face-to-face time and the just being.  The bonds of friendship can be a beautiful thing when they are built on trust and love, just like the beginning of a relationship.  But one thing is for sure, you have to cultivate it, care for it, and nurture it too.  You also have to admit when you are just going through the motions.  So, I hope this inspired you to have a tech free date night…or a tech free family night.  Live like it’s the 90’s…or earlier.

 

7 Signs that Your Relationship is the Right One

I remember the feeling of relationships just not quite clicking.  I would possibly ignore the signs that they were not going to work out, and I can look back now and think, why did I ignore that??

I should have been looking for signs that the relationship was actually the right one, and not ignoring the signs that it was, in fact, the wrong one for me.

Years have passed since then, and I have seen my girlfriends struggle through people using them, hurting them, and talking to them like they are not worthy.  The last one is what always pisses me off.  The first thing I am here to tell you is that you, whoever you are reading this right now, are worthy of Love. 

Here are 7 Signs that your Relationship is the Right One:

  1. Your partner is your best friend.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your best friend from high school still.  No, but what it does mean, is that if you needed someone to be there for you, he/she would drop everything and be there.  THIS is a true sign.  I remember being in a relationship with a narcissist, and realizing that I needed to get the hell out of there, and fast.  He had the most excuses in the universe for never being there when I needed him…and if he could fit me in, I had to drive to him.
  2. You only have eyes for this person, and they only have eyes for you.  To this day, my husband and I can joke around about people we think are attractive in movies, but in real life, my mom said that was how she knew it was not just some passing romance.  And, to be honest, I wasn’t sure at first as both of us had ended long relationships right before we met.  However, after 2 months, I no longer thought it was a rebound relationship.  I no longer thought about anyone else at all.  It was quite scary at first because I had spent years with someone else and so had he.  I also never, seriously, ever, believed in the “You’ll just know” saying until this point.
  3. You can be you.  With the ermmmm more narcissistic folks I had previously attracted, I felt like I had to make an effort to look good, and that included when I didn’t feel like it.  Some people enjoy putting on make-up, doing their hair daily, and dressing up.  And that is fine, as long as it is what you like to do.  The first time my husband, then college boyfriend, and I traveled to a hiking spot and campground with some friends, I didn’t feel like packing a hair dryer or anything.  It was camping.  I needed my hiking shoes, and warm stuff.  It was much colder than expected at that time of year.  I didn’t care about the hair, but after using the camp showers, I was freezing.  We dried my hair using his heat vents in his beat up car.  Boom.  He kept staring at me.  No effort needed.
  4. You can be weird together.  So.  Fancy a game of Dungeon and Dragons?  Well, my husband did.  Again, think college, but it was quite an honor to be taught D & D as the only girl in a secret-ish society of geek boys.  I know you are thinking of Big Bang Theory right now…and it’s true.  The difference is, I had previously kept my love of fantasy things somewhat close to the vest.  Not anymore.  Wooo-hoooo.  Dice.  All the dice.  I can be an elf?  Sweet.  I can have a bow?  Why not.  Accepting all the parts of who they are includes a little bit of weirdness at times…but it might not be weird to them.  If you have something you are afraid to share about you, see what happens.  You might end up with a new D & D partner.
  5. When you think about them, you get a little rush.  Maybe it feels like butterflies in your stomach, or maybe it’s just that anticipation of them holding you, but whatever it is, you still feel it.  After 2 months, 2 years, or 21.  Yup…21 years of a rush.  Woosh. They don’t spend time thinking about what’s wrong with you…like perhaps others did.  Or if you would only lose a few more pounds, drop that person by the way, they love you for who you are.  Right now.  Now future you.  Past you.  Present day, in all your glorious mess, you.
  6. You can work through your problems.  So you had a fight.  It is okay.  It is not all your fault.  If someone makes you think it is entirely your fault…well, arguments are part of life.  You both have to own up to whatever it is without throwing in the kitchen sink as well.  Or that other person you dated gets thrown in your face, or whatever it was that is past.  You don’t resort to low blows if possible because guess what?  They aren’t needed.  You learn to work on your open communication and that really does mean facing problems together.  Not secretly.  Not avoiding.  Not hiding.
  7. You can’t imagine your life without them.  I do still need my alone time, don’t get me wrong, but this is different.  I don’t want to do too much without him because I actually miss him.  I can’t sleep right, think fully, or operate well when we are apart.  I know that it is the same way with him.  The difference is, if you would rather be with friends or another interesting possible new flame, then it’s definitely time to think about what you are looking for in a partner.  Luckily, my soul knew long before my head caught up.  Things felt like they were missing with other people, but I thought it was me.  It was actually just my soul trying to guide me out of those relationships, and into the “One” that was meant for me.

Nothing is perfect my friends.  Love is messy, complicated, and it makes you want to scream at times; however, nothing is worse than staying in the wrong relationship thinking it is you.  You are worthy of true love and stepping out of that narcissistic or failing relationship, will really give you the space you need to be true to you.  This month, I invite you to do the work within.  Come join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club.

5 Things People Who Value Their Self-Worth Do Differently

As you drift off to sleep each night, you begin to dread the next day and it hasn’t even happened yet.  You wonder if anyone would even notice if you didn’t show up for work.  You are tired of going through the motions when it seems other people are out there living.  What are they doing differently??  You ask yourself this question for the hundredth time.  How are they making it look so damn easy when each and every day is a struggle just to get out of bed…

5 Things People Who Value Their Self-Worth Are Doing:

  1. Secure people are making time for their self-care routines.  That doesn’t mean they are ignoring everyone else, it just means they know how important it is to put the oxygen mask on first in order to help others.  This is a huge block for most people.  You feel selfish.  The opposite of that is actually caring.  you are caring for yourself like no one else will, and you better believe you have every right to feel good.
  2. Confident people set firm boundariesNo means no.  They don’t say things like “I’m sorry, but…” and then explain why because that might leave a hole for some wiggle room.  I said no to someone recently based on my own self-care and then got a but what if.  Umm.  No.  I said no, I mean no.  Don’t let the other person make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself.  If this were reversed surely they wouldn’t feel guilty, right?  So don’t feel the need to explain yourself.  Again, only you can set your limits.
  3. Courageous people accept responsibility for their own lives.  In my talk today, I used a quote from Brené Brown “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”  When we stand in our own glorious mess, we don’t project or deflect the blame.  We step up and say here I am.  This is my life and I am entirely responsible for HOW I am being.  How I am showing up, and what I am throwing down.  Can I get an amen or a right on sister here?  This is such a vital lesson that many don’t learn their whole lives.
  4. Brave people let go of past guilt.  This is so hard.  Everything up until this moment has been a choice and just like I said today in my talk, if you could have done better back then, you really would have.  You were doing the best that you could, so let that shit go.  Yup (pooh doesn’t have the same effect).  Guilt is just another block on the path to accepting yourself so you can use it as a paver or stepping stone.  See it, acknowledge it, but lay it on down.
  5. Positive people don’t stay around negative influences.  They know when it’s time to move on.  This can be at work, avoiding those gossiping ladies, or even in a relationship that just isn’t working out for you anymore.  Whatever it is, know when it’s time to move on down the road.  Sing the song “Moving On Up” in your head as you get away from these situations.  Seriously.  The Jefferson’s approve.  Higher vibrations are much better for you anyway.

If you are interested in the whole FB Live chat, see this link here.  Next month, in the Head|Heart|Health Club we are going to be removing the blocks to worthiness, letting go of guilt, and working on replacing these old patterns of thought with new ones.  I am super excited about the content and can’t wait to have you join us!!  We will be diving really deep into the cycle of negative thoughts, setting up new boundaries and testing for weaknesses, and creating affirmations on self-love which will lead us to a more confident outlook on life.

Head|Heart|Health Club members area

You Can Get Through This.

Dear readers,

Do you ever feel like you could use the easy button in life?  Yes!!  YES!  So do I.  Alas, it has not fallen out of the sky to land anywhere near me as of yet.  I feel like I have always done things the hard way…or at least I used to.  The crazy thing is that it took me so many years to realize I just had to tweak a few things in my life to refocus my thoughts and actually get through the bad times.

I will never forget feeling like I was at the end of my rope, and the knot was slipping.  It’s a terrible place to be.

Head

Have you ever noticed the harder you try to stop thinking about something, the more it comes up in your life?  I have.  Trying to control the thoughts then makes way for anxiety and feelings of helplessness.  Sometimes, it just takes talking to a friend or someone on the outside of the entire situation to make things feel better.  We push down our own intuition and just keep obsessing.

I realized I had to get my head under control first in order to move forward in life.  I had to be the one to take back control of my thoughts…and not let them run from I am okay, to the end of the world is coming.

I started a small group after I saw massive results with my own style of coaching.  I started helping people in my home town, and started journaling to help others in my circle get clarity on what was actually causing them to be stuck in their thoughts.

Heart

Later on, as my work continued with clients trying to lose weight, I realized they were not addressing their own inner worth.  I felt like they were so focused on losing weight, or trying to overcome this obstacle, that they forgot who they were.  They had been mom, or caregiver, friend, or family member, but had turned off their own heart centered thoughts.  I started giving “worthiness” pep talks to some of my clients…addressing the physical or mental pain associated with these feelings.  I realized that people suffering from fibromyalgia actually had forgotten what it feels like to live.  I started thinking about how it feels to actually get up and get dressed for the day and how little things can turn your whole world around.

What if we left love notes to ourselves to make us feel better?  Would it work?  Yes, yes it would.  I was living proof that positive affirmations were helping me get through my days again and get back to me.  REAL me.  Not sick me.  Not flare-up me.  Not the me who I didn’t recognize anymore in the mirror.  From the plan I formed to heal myself, came my heart aspect to my coaching.  Because I was in dire need of learning to love me again.  All of me.

Health

Lastly, one of the most difficult transformations to get through was my health transformation.  This was the Mac Daddy of the whole thing.  In order to complete my physical, mental and spiritual transformation, I had to change the way I ate, the way I lived, the excuses I made, and the way I did ermmmmmm NOT like to think of exercise.  At the time, moving hurt.  So honestly, if my very skin hurt, my bones ached deep down to the core, and the thought of actually leaving the house to go somewhere where normal people were exercising like they actually liked it, well let’s just say it was too much for me.  I wished I had a coach years before this…years.  I could have improved so much earlier, but there was nothing like it for me out there.  Nothing but pain, misery and more negativity.  I had to be the change I wanted to see in my health care and damn if I was going to keep doing the same thing and producing the same results…because that’s what my doctors were doing…and Einstein had a saying for them:  “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

After researching, speaking to others Globally, presenting wellness workshops, and private coaching others, I am honored to be able to present to you my online coaching club full of new material each month!   Please join me in the Head|Heart|Health Club as we launch a new way to take back our lives.   ^^ See the tab at the top or click the linked word to learn more.

For the price of 2 cups of coffee.  The coolest thing is…I added a donate more feature so I can give a few away each month.  Feel free to check it out.

5 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Life

There are many times we get in our own way.  Each of us has our own stories to tell and our own problems; however does that make it any easier to deal with in the moment?

Finances, frustration at your job, feeling powerless over losing weight, blaming yourself for not going to the gym, replaying that argument over and over, procrastinating and then agonizing at last-minute woes…the list goes on and on.  Truly.  Think for just a second at something you need help with in your life right now.  Now think to yourself, how have I tried to solve this problem lately?  And how have I made it worse?

No blame.   No judgment.  Just be honest with yourself right now.  Take a deep breath.  Have you made a plan to help yourself out of this situation or are you stuck in a loop?  Chances are, you are mid-loop right this very minute.  I was once there as well.  Note, if you suffer from health issues, here is my note about the time I was stuck.  << you can circle back around to this. 

As I found my way out of my loop, I would like to help you make your way out as well.  But I can only be your guide.  I know that you have thought to yourself at least once before that you might be your own worst enemy, so let’s get you to be your own best advocate for change.

5 Ways to Stop the Sabotage:

  1. Identify the habit and the trigger that causes it to continue.  Do you have a behavior you are trying to change?  Mine was dropping the need for sugar, gluten and inflammatory foods as well as not putting yoga on the back burner.  If I woke up and it was cold, I had a habit of shutting down because I knew that cold made my joints hurt.  If I had a bad day, I wanted cookies.  None of this was serving the new me.  I was trapped in the pattern of “comfort food” which did NOT comfort.  Where did it come from?  The women in my family cooked and used food as a way to help themselves.  Only it never actually helped.  NOT a single person had ever used exercise, getting outside or doing something different to heal.  Hmm.
  2. After you have found your why, work on your HOW!  I knew why I did this.  It was evident that I had surrounded myself with people who literally loved to complain and not change a damn thing.  Excuses were the preferred method of “change”.  If you take an inventory around you, who do you spend most of your time with?   That might need to change.  If you answered yourself, that still might need to change.  But tread carefully.  The energy of others truly has the power to propel you forward or drag you down.  I let go of people who didn’t have the capacity to change.
  3. Create the boundaries you need right now.  Finances.  What are you spending your money on?  What is a non-negotiable in that area?  Food.  What are you eating like currently?  What can you change?  What can you let go of?  People.  Who lifts you up?  Who drags you down?  What things can be put on your list of keep, and what can put on your list of I need some boundaries over here <<< like pronto!  Refer to linked word later to help you with boundaries.  Get paper and pen or your journal and write this down.  It is not enough to say it out loud.
  4. Keep goals in front of you…on your planner or calendar.  One way to get to the gym or yoga is to put it in front of you.  Make a date.  Schedule the event.  Enact change in your life.  Get serious about this.  Put a list on your fridge if you want to plan out meals, and clear away what you don’t need.  Be purposeful in your thoughts and deeds.
  5. Stay in the present!  Lastly, if you made a mistake yesterday, please, please let it go.  As I read once, if you get a flat tire, you fix it.  You don’t slash the other four.  So don’t say to yourself, damn.  That cupcake jumped in my mouth.  I might as well eat one daily now.  I will start over next week.  Cheat days do not work…seriously.  They turn into cheat weeks, which turn into cheat months.  You get my drift because you have done this.  Journal it out.  Let it go.  Stay in the present.  Make a I forgive myself list nightly and wake up to your affirmation of “I will have a great day today.”  Then proceed to act as if the best news ever will be heard today.  You can do this.  I believe in you because I was once where you are.

For more about me, click on the linked word About Me.

Always check out the linked words for more information:)

 

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