Live With Intention

Live With Intention

What is your intention for today? What is your intention for the coming month or season? 

Is it just to survive and get through this season of life? Or would you like to move the needle a little closer on a goal, hobby, or project that you’ve been putting on the back burner for too long?

If you have found yourself living on autopilot or feeling caught in a hamster wheel and want to be living life differently, then it’s time to set your intention for the living the life you imagine. 

This was the focus of small group discussions I led this past weekend at a wellness event my good friend and owner of Solei & Co, Jenni Shires, hosted for our community. 

Hearing each persons desire and helping them to create a plan to take action, was so inspiring to witness. As I guided them through a series of questions to answer, each uncovered a plan to take action upon leaving.

For some it was to consider ways to make time for meditation, for others it was about being more mindful for how they spend their time each day. For one, it was affirming their dream to write a book, another acknowleged it was time to change careers, and other realized it was time to get back to feeling healthy and happy.

As I have reflected on this experience this week, it helped to remind me that I also need to be checking in and asking myself this same question, “What are my intentions for today, tomorrow, this month, this season?” 

I asked myself this question some time ago but this exercise reminded me how important it is to revisit this on a regular basis – and not just one moment in time.

If it’s been a while since you’ve asked yourself this question, I challenge you to take 5-minutes and ponder this question.

Once you gain clarity on what that is, then ask yourself “What needs to happen for me to live in alignment with my intentions?” It might mean big changes need to happen, or it might mean you need to find 10-minutes in your day to “do the thing”. 

But what comes next is the most important part. What can you take action on today to move you closer?

This is where the magic happens. 

Creating a plan and taking action – even in a small step each day – will lead to greater results than taking no action at all or continuing to stay in autopilot waiting for the right time.

So friend, what is your intention today? What is your intention for the coming month or this season you are entering? And what action will you take and when? Will you start now, or tomorrow? And how will you hold yourself accountable?

If those questions are hard for you answer or you are unsure how to begin creating a plan, I can help. I don’t have all the answers and my journey will look different than yours, but as a coach I will listen, support, and guide you to find the solutions that work for YOU. If you’d like to explore working together, contact me to schedule a complimentary 20-minute discovery call. 

Let this be the year you break free from the proverbial hamster wheel and start living in alignment with the life you imagine. 

You’ve got this,  

New Year, Same Me!

New Year, Same Me!

Whether you are reading this in January or later in the year, Happy New Year!

When you embark on a new year are you one to lunge into it with zest and fire for a “new you” or do you tiptoe to test the waters of what the coming year is about to bring?

As I reflect on previous years, I was someone who lunged. I can vividly remember finding myself around early November wishing away the remainder of the year in hopes January would bring a magical new year and new me. I’d have big bold goals like lose 50+ pounds or save $10,000, but soon the magic wore off and back to reality I found myself. Often feeling frustrated and like a failure.

But this year, it’s different.

This year, I have tiptoed into it with a slowness and appreciation for who I am, where I am, and where I am going.
I am taking this month to reflect on the highs and lows from the previous few years and considering what I want to focus on most in the coming year. As part of this process, I am paying particular attention to the moments that brought me joy and calm, as well as the ones that raised my stress and caused me angst.

What I’ve learned so far is it might be a new year but I’m the same person with the same goals I had last year. I just have a little more clarity for what I want out of this one beautiful life I have to live and little more determination to focus on that in the year ahead.

If you’re finding yourself a few weeks (or months) into the new year and not feeling much different than you did last year, I feel you. And, if you lunged into the new year with gusto only to feel like you’re already fizzling out, I see you. Either way, we are here at the start of a new year. 

It might be a new year but with a little appreciation for who we are today and some extra reflection and intention for what we really want, I believe we can more clearly finetune who it is we want to become all the while enjoying who we are today – flaws and all.

For me – I want to be the happiest and healthiest person I can be so that’s where I’ll be leaning in. What about you? I’d love to hear what’s on your heart for this year and how this resonates with you.

Are you on team New Year, New Me!? Or, New Year, Same Me?! Either way, let’s make this year one to remember and end it appreciating all the ups and downs we may encounter along the way. For that is where we find joy in the journey.

Happy New Year and best wishes,

A Different Perspective to Goal Setting

A Different Perspective to Goal Setting

“Fall in love with the process and the results will follow.” – Unknown

When I first heard this saying, I didn’t quite understand it. The reason I didn’t understand it was because I only had one definition and understanding of what it meant to set and achieve goals.

My understanding stemmed from years in non-profit leadership roles where we primarily focused on setting SMART goals. My guess is you know what SMART goals are but if you need a refresher, SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. While this framework worked for setting performance and service goals, I found it to be particularly unhelpful when applying the same framework to my personal health goals.

I have since realized that SMART goals are not the only way to set goals – much like there can be many ways to get from A to B.

Hear me out…

Anyone can set a goal to run a half-marathon or lose 20 pounds and set corresponding measures that are specific, attainable, and time bound. But, those measures can quickly become arbitrary when life throws you a curveball.

And, once that first curveball throws you off track – the next comes even faster and harder – and before we know it, we feel like a failure, and we lose focus and desire for the goal we set out to achieve.

If this hasn’t been your experience – then I envy you.

Personally, it was mine for many years, until I shifted my focus away from the actual goal result and instead focused on who I needed to become and what I needed to do differently along the way to achieving my goals and dreams.

It was in this process that I realized I had to unlearn many previous held beliefs about what it meant to be successful. Beliefs like “I’m just not motivated.” And “If I can’t do it perfectly on the first try, why bother trying again?” Or “The cards just aren’t stacked in my favor.” Or my favorite, “I’ll focus on me when life isn’t so hectic.”

Somewhere along the way I let these thoughts become huge barriers to my belief, confidence, and commitment. That was, until I thought a different belief.

And, that thought was – “What if I could fall in love with the process of becoming someone who accomplishes what they set out to achieve?”

This thought opened my mind to new beliefs and allowed me to dig into what it would take to become someone who is willing to learn and adopt new habits and create new routines, regardless of how long it might take to achieve the specific goal.

I’ll share an example of how this worked for me around a specific health goal.

For many years I set a goal to lose 50 pounds by my birthday. Each birthday would come and go, and I still found myself 50 pounds from my goal. And, with each passing year, the weight of feeling like a failure climbed even higher.

Then a couple years ago, I decided to scrap the goal of losing 50 pounds by my birthday and instead, focused on why that was important and what about it was so meaningful. That helped me shift my focus from seeing a number on the scale to what it would mean to feel healthy and be within a healthy weight range for the first time in my life. That’s when I made the shift to focusing my goal to be “Fit for Life”.

Choosing “Fit for Life” as a goal helped me start to see more concretely what I needed to do to create and embody a fit lifestyle. “Fit for Life” also helped me lessen the attachment of a specific due date and instead allowed me flexibility to see my health as a journey – with twists and turns along the way.

These shifts allowed me to find joy in the journey of becoming someone who sets out to develop discipline and consistency without the pressure of perfectionism. These shifts also allowed me to learn that falling down is part of the process but what matters most is that the times we get up outnumber the times we fall down.

What was most surprising in all of this was as I made this shift and began implementing the actions that aligned with being “Fit for Life”, I found myself reaching the goal I tried to achieve for so many years before!

This is what finally helped me to understand what it means to “fall in love with the process and the results will follow.”

If you are struggling with hitting a goal that you’ve worked years to achieve, I offer this as a suggestion. Loosen your attachment to the goal being a SMART goal and instead, look for a deeper meaning for why that goal is important. Making a subtle shift like this and then starting to take small steps each day might get you closer to your goal than you ever imagined was possible.

Your friend and coach,

Borrow Belief

Borrow Belief

One of my favorite quotes is “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” by Henry Ford.

After first hearing this quote, I started to become aware of the internal dialogue I was having with myself about what I could and could not do. Truth be told, the things I was saying I couldn’t do far outweighed the things I told myself I could do.

Once I realized this, I became more cognizant of how I was speaking to myself when trying new things or changing old ways. Each time a defeating or negative comment entered my mind or rolled off my tongue, I would shift my thinking to say, “But what if I could – if even for just one day?”

Making this shift helped me break free from the many limiting beliefs I had been telling myself for years. Limiting beliefs like “I can’t quit drinking.” Or “I can’t do that job.” Or most recently, “I can’t do a plank jumping jack or jump lunge.”

Yes, believe it or not – that last thought just went through my head earlier this week.

Since I have increased my awareness for when I tell myself I can’t do something, I immediately flip the script to say, “I can try.” And try again. Especially when it’s something I want badly enough or know that I need to change or improve.

It pleases me to say that I did both plank jumping jacks and jump lunges this week! I have also quit drinking and celebrated 3 years of sobriety this past January 1.

I share this not for applause but to say that when we have belief in ourselves and want something bad enough, anything is possible.

If I were to ask you, “Is there a change you want to make? Or a new hobby or job you want to try?” How would you answer?

Would you say you can, or you can’t?

Think about that.

If you find yourself coming up with reasons for why you can’t or why it won’t work, stop, and breathe belief into what’s possible. When you believe that you can, you are half the way there.

And if you are finding it tough to get started, borrow belief from me that you can. Then try. And try again.

I would love to hear how this practice works for you and what it helps you overcome and achieve. Reach out anytime to share your success or any other areas where you might struggle in achieving your goals.

You’ve got this!

With Gratitude

With Gratitude

It is the week of Thanksgiving and it felt appropriate to highlight one of my favorite tools in my wellness toolbox. That is having a daily gratitude practice.

I learned about practicing gratitude early in my wellness journey when I was searching for tools and strategies to bring me closer to living a happier and healthier lifestyle.

In this search I learned that there are many benefits to practicing gratitude – from being more positive and compassionate, to having better sleep and feeling less stressed. I also learned that it is not possible to simultaneously hold gratitude and negativity. This principle fascinated me, so I decided to commit to developing a daily gratitude practice.

Heck, what did I have to lose?

After researching different ways to practice gratitude, one of the common principles shared was to look for things each day to be grateful for beyond the obvious – like food, shelter, and family. Then, it was suggested to write 3 – 5 things down each day in a notebook or journal. I sat down to start writing 3 – 5 things I was grateful for but truthfully, it did not come easily. So, I went on another search for learning how to find things to be grateful for. In that search, I discovered a few common tips that proved to be game changers. They are:
• Look for unexpected surprises.
• Focus more on people than things.
• Be detailed about what you are grateful for.
• Set a focused time to journal.
• Write as often as you can and when it works for you.

When we ground ourselves in gratitude, we are more likely to find the beauty in the everyday activities and happenings. And when we start our day by looking for things to be grateful for, we are more likely to pay forward compassion, kindness and in turn, feel less stressed and find more joy in the journey.

If practicing gratitude is new for you, I encourage you to give it a try and what better week than this week of Thanksgiving to begin. Then, repeat day after day until it becomes a routine.

With gratitude,

Make A Shift

Make A Shift

When I let go of obsessing about reaching a number on the scale, or getting into a certain dress size, by a specific date I started to see results.

Results that were not measured by hard data but instead by how I wanted to feel.

This shift has allowed me to respect my body for where it is at this moment in time. This shift also allowed me to move from beating myself up for decades of unhealthy choices and instead focus on how I want to feel in the days, months, and years ahead.

When I made this shift, I started to experience feelings of relief, excitement, and joy. It was in this process I finally started feeling and living in ways that aligned to being happier and healthier.

Relief came when I let go of the obsession of feeling I had to be perfect in all my choices each day.

Excitement came when I found a community of people who shared this belief and inspired me to show up even on the days I didn’t want to because I wasn’t perfect.

Joy came when I started to see the compound effect of the actions I had been taking.

Moving away from feelings of obsession and perfection made way for slow and steady progress in ways I never thought could be possible. Making this shift helped me see that taking care of myself is an honor and a gift, not a dreadful chore.

If you’ve struggled in similar ways, know that you are not alone. If you are ready to make a shift but are not sure where to begin, follow these simples steps:

1. Get clear and specific on how you want to feel.
2. Visualize and write down the actions that align to those feelings.
3. Create a plan to take action.
4. Now, take action!

If this feels like too much to manage on your own and you need support or accountability, click on Life Coaching to learn more about how I can help.

Your coach,