In January, I was asked to speak on Code 321’s podcast, a podcast directed towards first responders. During the podcast, Nick Carson and I took a deep dive into negative emotions, the bad habits that often accompany the negative emotions and how they can have a massive impact on not only our life, but of the lives of the individual’s we love. Take a listen for some quick tips on how to recognize your unhealthy habits, identify the trigger attached to the unhealthy habits and how to shift them.
“I don’t know where to start. I always do this, I start something and then I quit…What’s the point?”
The point is, it CAN be better than this. You CAN be grateful for what you have, and still want more. You CAN have dreams while remaining humble. You can focus on yourself and your health when the world feels unsteady.
5-weeks to get you started. 5-weeks to kick-start your journey.
With a registered nurse and certified health coach offering you support, accountability, education and insight through workbooks and weekly meetings, you have the ability to set yourself up for success towards achieving your goals.
During this 5-week program, you will:
- explore and pursue uncharted territory; looking at triggers, limiting beliefs and overcoming these barriers that shield you from connecting with your true self.
- identify your goals, implement daily habits, and create a daily routine for success.
- identify patterns when it comes to your nutrition and physical activity and implement changes to optimize your health.
Are you ready?
The perfect moment to start is right now. Let’s step on this path towards wellness together.
I’m sure it’s easy for you to identify the bad, the unfortunate, the sad, the heartache, the stress and the anxiety that this year has stirred up. I’m sure it’s easy for you to sit in that space of negativity, because when it comes down to it, this year has been hard, really freakin’ hard. We all have faced our individual challenges and with that being said, the feelings we have felt are universal.
What I want to challenge you to do today, is to step out of the ease of identifying the bad and the hard and to look at the beauty and magical moments that have happened this year. There may not be many, but there are some. If you can hold tightly onto these magical moments as we approach 2021, maybe, at some point you can look back at this year and only remember the beautiful, magical moments that you had.
As part of my morning practice, I write… every single day. As part of my monthly practice, I do a monthly recap on all the good things that came from the previous month, one challenge and then the things I want to accomplish in the next month. This practice has offered me grounding in the fact that although we were locked down, the numbers are rising, and people are dying, in my home, in my world so many special moments happened and are still happening.
These are some of the good moments that came out of this year for me:
- My date with Ella in January to ECHO and Al’s French Fries as some 1:1 time before I went back to work after maternity leave.
- Hot cocoa dates with my loves – with ALL the whipped cream.
- Dates with a bestie to watch the Bachelorette before we both returned to work after maternity leave.
- Alex starting a new job!
- Before the pandemic hit, I was able to travel alone to Toronto for an amazing, life-changing conference.
- Sewing Mr. Fuzz, we made a teddy bear!
- SO many movie nights, always with a sweet treat.
- Virtual conferences and education!
- Reconnecting with loved ones.
- Identifying and using my voice – SO much self-discovery this year.
- Wine nights via FaceTime with a few of my besties!
- Local trip to a Lake House with friends for some amazing days, laughs and needed connection and fun!
- Our adventure with chickens – holy smokes – if you haven’t seen my instagram stories about these chickens – it’s pretty funny… check it out!
- Golfing adventure!
- All the bonfires, s’mores and, as Ella says “s’marshs’mellows”
- The smell of fresh cut grass and flowers – especially the lilacs as they start to bloom
- Pool “parties” with family and friends.
- Ella learning “One Hand in my Pocket” and singing it most days on our car rides (don’t worry, I silenced the one swear word ;-))
- A ride with my dad in his power wagon that he fixed up.
- Ice cream dates with family.
- Camping … always camping. Lake George adventures with my loves!
- Boating with my parents.
- My Sunday morning walks with a bestie.
- Sleeping in and not being so strict on my wake up time.
- Yahtzee nights with my love.
- Friday afternoon bike rides with a bestie.
- Anniversary dinner and hiking Camel’s Hump the next morning with mimosas at the top to celebrate 5 years of marriage.
- All the arts and crafts, playdoh playing, swingset swinging, learning to bike ride and do the doggy paddle.
- Watching Adalyn take her first steps.
- French vanilla coffee.
- Weekend breakfast dates with my parents.
- Quite mornings on the porch with my journal and the birds while the rest of the family slept.
- Country running – the birds, the ever-changing scenery and just me and the dirt road.
- Podcasts – thank GOD for podcasts!
- Ella hiking up snack mountain! What a trooper!
These are just a few of some very special moments that this year has brought me. Reading through these and writing them down leaves me with a feeling of satisfaction, happiness, peace and calm. There can still be so much good and so much magic during such an unsettling time.
What are some of the magical moments you’ve had this year? Write them down. Put them somewhere as a daily reminder that although this year has been challenging, it has also been beautiful.
I hope that you consider doing this practice. Sending you a big virtual hug.
Bring it On, 2021!
It may be hard for you to consider coming up with a plan for 2021 when it feels like things could change at the drop of a hat. Let’s plan for 2021 and anticipate massive change. Let’s plan for 2021 and the change you want to make. What are a few small things you want to accomplish in the upcoming year?
- Do you want learn how to cook?
- Do you want to organize the basement?
- Do you want to read 10 books?
- Do you want to train for a 5K or half marathon?
- Do you want to strengthen your marriage?
- Do you want to strengthen your relationship with your kids?
- Do you want to laugh more?
- Do you want to travel to Mexico?!
Take a minute to consider a few small things you want to achieve in the upcoming year and write them down. Now, take a minute to consider how you will achieve them. Not only is the goal important to identify, but the how is critical for success.
One thing I will achieve in 2021 is this:
I create a Fit Together Health and Wellness Workbook for my new clients!
This is super exciting for me and probably the first time I have put this out into the universe, BUT it’s something I have been thinking and dreaming about since launching the business in 2019. I think 2021 will be the perfect year to get this going!
So, I’ve clearly laid out one of my goals/intentions for 2021, this is how I’m going to do it:
Goal: Create a Fit Together Health and Wellness Workbook for new clients.
Step 3: Find manufacturer to create book / go to print!
Step 2: Put together the contents of the workbook in a user-friendly, effective layout.
Step 1: Create the contents of the workbook.
This step-by-step process was inspired by Rachel Hollis. Although these steps are big steps and there are micro-steps imbedded in each one, it gives me a clear picture of what I need to start doing and complete before moving to the next step.
So, how about you? Not a goal setter? I encourage you to give it a shot. Even if it seems trivial or like such a small goal – DO IT ANYWAY. If we aim at nothing, we will get nothing every time.
If you want help with this, I’m happy to help! Just reach out and we can develop a step-by-step plan for you to achieve your goals and intentions for 2021.
I believe in you and your ability to achieve your dreams, do you believe in you?
Negative self-talk has been a prominent topic in many discussions with my clients. Negative self-talk stems from limiting beliefs, poor confidence, unidentified or low self-worth and judgement.
Negative self-talk can take on many forms, but the way I see it the most:
- looking in the mirror and berating the body
- not celebrating efforts and success
- deeming a job well done “not good enough”
- leaving a conversation wondering if something you said was “wrong”
- questioning self-judgement and decision(s)
The thing about negative self-talk is that we weren’t born this way. We didn’t come out of the womb berating our bodies, deeming our journey through the birth canal not good enough or questioning our judgement to leave the womb. We entered into this world full of curiosity, wonderment, and a hunger for life. Through most of our early years, we live without inhibition. We inherit our negative self-talk and the voice inside our head; it was never ours to begin with. The way we speak to ourselves, likely similar, repetitive thoughts and ideas, was given to use as we grew into children and young adults.
So, my question for you is, how do you speak to yourself?
- Do you speak encouragingly or discouragingly?
- Do you celebrate your effort and success or do you think of all the ways you could have done better?
- Do you shame and guilt yourself for something you might have said wrong, when in fact there was nothing wrong about what you said?
You cannot love thy neighbor until you love thyself. You cannot pour from an empty cup until you fill your own. You cannot fully love the people you want to love and treat them with respect until you do the same for yourself.
Whatever your version of negative self-talk looks like: the mirror, the job not good enough, questioning your judgement – give yourself some grace and realize that you’re doing the best you can. And if you can do better, then do better.
TIPS and TRICKS:
- Presence and Awareness – you can’t be aware of your negative self-talk if you are not present or aware of when it happens.
- Keep track – take an entire day to write down your thoughts in real time – observe the ratio between encouraging vs. discouraging thoughts.
- “Watch Your Words” – a quick and easy statement to remind yourself that you are not the voice inside your head and you do not have to believe everything that voice tells you.
- “I hate my stomach.” Watch your words. “I love my smile, it’s bright and nice. My stomach nourished, held and developed my babies and it’s a goddamn blessing.”
- “I should have spent more time on section B of that presentation, I don’t think they understood what I was talking about, they looked confused.” Watch your words. “I spent a lot of time preparing this presentation. I presented it in a way that was clear, concise and well thought out. I gave all the employees my contact information so if they have further questions and/or didn’t understand, they have the means to reach out. I did everything I could and it was enough. Their look of confusion was not a reflection on me as an individual.”
Ultimately, watch your words. You have the ability to change your habitual thoughts and negative self-talk, it will take practice, patience and effort. The way we speak to ourselves is the most powerful tool we have. Continue to nourish your mind, heart and soul with communication that allows you to grow and flourish and not shrink into a state of smallness.
Treat yourself with the same, if not more, respect than you give to thy neighbor. You deserve it.
Watch Your Words
A series this month that will focus on the way we speak to ourselves, our children, and our partner.
Throughout this series, we’ll look at negative self-talk, the lasting impact of how we speak to our children and how our interactions with our partner can shift and alter our relationship.
According to research, repetitive negative thinking may increase a person’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. And in another study, research has found that if we can practice self-control, we can improve our brain’s ability to exercise self-control. Ultimately, our mind has the power to alter our brain!
When it comes to the way we speak and communicate to our children, childhood experiences of shame change who we are, how we think about ourselves and our sense of self-worth!
The habits we have and the relationships we foster, good or bad, are all for reasons – mostly subconscious. If you’re wondering:
- Why do I always have to be accomplishing something?
- Why do I get frustrated when my schedule is completely thrown off?
- Why do I feel like I have no control when I have something on my schedule?
- Why did I just yell at my kid like that?
- Why can’t I allow myself to rest?
- Why can’t I figure out what I want in life?
There are reasons for these thoughts and actions. There are reasons you speak poorly to yourself. There are reasons you argue with your partner over the same thing time and time again. And there are reasons you intermittently speak to your child in non-therapeutic ways.
These are learned behaviors and likely unresolved wounds that you are subconsciously acting out in the now with a compelling need to heal your own old childhood wound.
“So it is with the unconscious mind: the orderly, logical thoughts of our conscious mind are but a thin veil over the unconscious, which is active and functioning at all times. When we fall in love, this unconscious, trapped in the eternal now and having only a dim awareness of the outside world, is trying to re-create the environment of childhood. And the reason the unconscious is trying to resurrect the past is not a matter of habit or blind compulsion but of a compelling need to heal old childhood wounds.” The Unconscious Partnership, by Harville Hendrix
There is so much to explore with this seemingly simple topic. Watch your words, speak nicely to yourself, love yourself so you can love thy neighbor. But when it comes down to it, the way you speak to yourself, the way you act with your partner and the way you raise your children is happening on such an unconscious and subconscious level.
Stay tuned for insight, support in exploring the way you communicate and tips and tricks on how to better your communication to optimize your relationship with yourself, your children and your partner.
Mindful Eating – How To Make It a Priority for Optimal Health
We eat every single day, often multiple times a day. Where do you eat? In front of a tv, in front of a computer or with a phone in your hand at the counter? How do you eat? Do you eat everything on your plate within 5 minutes, or do you take more time to ignite all your senses?
Mindful eating is a practice of awareness and presence to not only enjoy the food you are consuming but to listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues. Here are some tips and tricks for mindful eating from Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, author of Fiber Fueled:
- Sit down at a table.
- Put your cellphone out of reach with the sound off or turn it off all together.
- Spend time observing your food before you start consuming it – enjoy the colors or presentation.
- Take a moment to taste your food – be mindful of the flavors you’re experiencing.
- Chew your food – it seems simple, but be mindful of taking at least 10 bites of your food before swallowing it. Rest your fork on the table while you chew.
- Observe the Japanese tradition hara hachi bu – eat until you are 80 percent full and then stop. This allows your body to catch up so you’re not overeating.
- Enjoy meals with other people when you can.
- Schedule your meal times and maintain a regular schedule that taps into your circadian rhythm.
- Avoid toxic hunger – eat before you become so hungry you start reaching for the nearest comfort food.
Simple tips and tricks that we often overlook when it comes to eating. As a society that is “on-the-go”, we often see the above as an inconvenience. It’s not an inconvenience, it’s your health and it’s your number one priority.
Food is our fuel. It is meant to be enjoyed and to nourish our body. However, when we consume as a reaction to our environment or feelings, we are ultimately compromising our health. The choice is yours, choose your health every time.
Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset
Your perspective can encourage you or discourage you. When you use your perspective to encourage you, it looks something like this: when faced with an unideal situation you ask yourself, ‘how is this for me?’ You see a perceived challenge as an opportunity for growth, knowledge and strength. A challenge becomes an opportunity to apply your knowledge while simultaneously gaining more. Yes, you may fall down; that doesn’t represent a failure, it represents another opportunity to try again.
Per Carol Dweck, a fixed mindset is this idea that your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much. Whereas a growth mindset is this idea that you can always substantially change how intelligent you are.
Growth mindset takes on this perspective of: how is this situation for me, what is it teaching me? Whereas a fixed mindset takes on this perspective of: why is this situation happening to me? Growth mindset takes on a victor standpoint whereas fixed mindset takes on a victim standpoint.
Looking back at situations, events or interactions with others in your life, where do you stand? The amazing thing about mindset is that you can change it; you have the capability to shift it. Yes, your habits and thought processes are likely very deep rooted and occur on a subconscious and unconscious level BUT you still have the ability to take control.
If you have a fixed mindset, how is it benefitting your life? If you have a growth mindset, how is it benefitting your life?
Take some time for awareness and exploration. If you want happiness and joy, you have to actively pursue it, this is a mindset. If you want growth and a perspective that encourages you, you have to pursue it.
Every day is a new opportunity to pursue your life. Don’t think that just because you’re 35, 50 or 60 years old that you’re ‘too old to change.”
You absolutely have the ability to pursue a happier, healthier life if you choose.
Do you know what brings you joy? Do you have a list of these things? A list that you can reference at any time when you need a little pick me up? A list of things guarenteed to bring a smile to your face or some warmth to your soul?
We all could use a little more joy in our life. I encourage you this week to create a list, (yes, write it down) of all the things that bring you joy; big and small. Put the list in a place where you can reference it at any time. Here are a few things that are on my joy list:
- My record player
- Grandma’s chair
- Soft lighting
- Hot cups of coffee
- A glorious glass of wine
- The sound of birds
- A good book
- Easy runs with the family
- The end of a challenging run
- Genuine laughter
- Alex snuggling with me
- Hot showers
- The smell of lilacs
- Family dance parties
- Singing at the top of my lungs
- Sitting by a bonfire
- Hearing Ella say, “I love you, Mama.”
- Kisses from Adalyn
- Date nights
- Client success
- Helping others
Some things are not attainable right now, however most of them are. I encourage you to make your own list and choose one when you need a little joy in your life. You deserve to be happy and you deserve joy, even during a pandemic.
Allow for Grace
“Understanding this, I began moving away from thinking this is as good as I am, a limiting, judgemental perspective that left me powerless, to this is as good as I am today, a statement that allowed for growth and returned my power.” Deena Kastor, Let your Mind Run.
Maybe today was an exceptionally hard day for you. Maybe your motivation and drive this morning was lacking. Maybe you could hardly get out of bed this morning. Maybe you snapped at the kids. Maybe you were irritable to your partner. Maybe breakfast was a power bar. Maybe you just couldn’t get into your work today.
It’s okay to have hard moments and hard days. These hard moments and hard days do not define who you are. These hard moments and hard days do not mean this is as good as you are. These hard moments and hard days do not mean you are not good.
It means today, this day and this moment is where you’re at and that is enough. You are innately good no matter what you accomplish or achieve.
Allow for some grace and perspective, allow it to be a hard day and try again tomorrow. This is just a moment in time and the beautiful thing is that every moment is a new opportunity to show up as your true self. Show yourself some grace, re-assess your perspective, and go again tomorrow. We can do hard things.