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Five Tips to Ease Into a Morning Routine

morning routine

Does the start of the school year drive you to drink? Since we’ve had the world’s longest Spring Break (seriously, that’s the last time my kids went to in-person school), the idea of starting school feels even more daunting than usual. As a coach who helps busy adults own their time and energy to achieve their goals, I’m quite fond of routines (you might even say I’m the queen of routines…haha). And – a morning routine will keep you from reaching for that morning Prosecco before you’ve finished your cup of coffee. Keep reading for my five favorite tips to ease into your morning routine.

1. Give yourself an adjustment week.

The whole idea behind easing into a morning routine vs. ripping off the band-aid on the first day of school is preventing Godzilla mom from making an appearance (and then feeling guilty about the way the morning went after it’s over). By giving yourself a week to adjust, everyone can get used to getting out of their pjs before noon. Even if you’re not leaving the house for in-person school, the morning still requires everyone to be ready to learn on-time.

The week before school officially starts, plan to integrate essential parts of your routine each day. For example, have your kids get up at a certain time (which requires going to bed earlier) each day the week before. You might even decide to incorporate just ONE part of the routine that you deem the hardest to conquer the week before (for me, that’s getting everyone up and dressed)!

2. Choose the path of least resistance.

If you haven’t been exercising, journaling, and preparing a five-course meal in the mornings before the start of the school year, the week they go back is not the time to start. Adding too much pressure to have the “perfect” morning routine only causes more overwhelm. Think about the basic tasks that have to be accomplished to get everyone ready on-time. Stick to those at first. You’ll have time to incorporate the other habits (if you so desire) at a later date. For now – make it as easy as you can on yourself!

3. Reverse engineer the process.

Something I’ve gotten used to doing from my healthcare project management days is reverse engineering my desired outcome. So, if I know my kids have to be ready to learn at 8:20, I work backwards to determine all the steps that need to occur for that to happen. I don’t make a schedule or anything (no offense to anyone who does), but I do make a mental note of milestones (project manager talk for reference points). Things like “we need to be in the car ready to pull out of the driveway by 8:05” or “the kids need to be brushing their teeth by 7:55” so I have a way to keep us on track. If that sounds a little type A for you, just completing the exercise of walking through the steps to get your final destination on time is so valuable!

4. Start the night before.

Complete as many parts of your morning routine the night before as you can! Packing lunches, setting out clothes, putting folders in book bags, and prepping some breakfast items are all things that can be done the night before. This makes the mornings run much more smoothly. Even with virtual school, my husband and I packed lunches for our kids the night before. This allowed us to actually sit down and eat OUR OWN lunch for a change. It made such a difference in our day! Involve your kids in the prep, too – it doesn’t all have to fall on your shoulders!

5. Be prepared to make tweaks.

Some mornings are harder than others, so keep that in-mind. Try to keep that in perspective before making a change to your routine. However, if parts of the routine just don’t seem to be working day after day, make a tweak! I recommend making small tweaks to the process vs. overhauling the whole thing. Take a step back and look for what might be causing the routine to fall apart objectively. Try something different for that ONE part of the routine. And try the new tweak for awhile before changing again – it might take some time to catch on!

You’ve Got This

Successful morning routines are different from household to household! What works for your neighbor might not work for you. I’ve helped tons of adults engineer the right routine for them, and I’d be happy to be a sounding board for you, too. Reach out if you’d like to talk through your routine before it starts or if you want some help on the hot spots once it’s begun. I’d love to help! I hope these tips help you ease into your morning routine and your school year is a healthy one.

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What are YOU training for?

What are You training for

We were about a month into quarantine when my friend Michelle sent me a message that said “Need!” and included a link to a workout top. Not just any old tank, though…it said “What Am I Training For? Life, mother fu%#er.” I couldn’t have personally agreed more with the sentiment these days. So, naturally, I have to ask: What are YOU training for?

It might seem like a straightforward question for some, but my guess is that others haven’t considered it. Yet, it’s key to staying consistent, maintaining motivation, and actually enjoying exercise both short- and long-term. Knowing what you’re ultimately training for gives you a reason to get up early, squeeze in five more minutes, or even get started exercising in the first place.

If you aren’t sure how to answer this question for yourself – and you’re finding it difficult to stick with exercise or usually loathe every minute of it – here are some training goals to consider.

Training For Weight Loss or Maintenance

I’ve heard from so many that it’s been super tough to stick with healthier eating during this stressful quarantine period (not like it can’t be tough ALL THE TIME). If you’re in this category and have gained a bit of weight – or you want to maintain the weight you’re at – exercise is an important part of the equation. Training for weight loss or maintenance includes ensuring a certain intensity and length of time are reached as well as both cardiovascular and strength training are included.

Training for An Event

This is the reason I often stick to a training schedule…I’m training for an event. I like to run, so I sign up for races occasionally so that I’ll have a reason to log a certain number of miles. I also frequently sign up for these events with friends. I’m not a competitive person AT ALL, but there’s nothing fun about not being able to keep up with your running buddies during an event! There’s more than running events, too. Cycling, triathlon, walking, obstacle races – heck, you can even come up with your own event and complete it. The important part is that you decide what you’re training for, pick a date, and then stick to a schedule to get ready for it.

Training for A Good Cause

Many races or events go to benefit a good cause. This provides additional motivation to stick with it. However, there are also events that aren’t races but still raise funds for a cause. With our current situation, many of these larger events won’t be held in person but will instead be held virtually which means you can participate from anywhere. And – the more laps or greater distance you complete in many of these events – the more money you raise. You can even create your own fundraiser and use it to motivate you to exercise daily while raising money for a cause dear to your heart.

Training For Your Kids

I’ve heard from some moms and dads who train to be good role models for their kids. Our kiddos are watching our every move. If we eat healthily and exercise, chances are greater that our kids will, too. Also, some parents train alongside their kids for different sports or as a way to be active as a family. Another reason some people start to exercise is that they want to be able to keep up with their grandkids as they age.

Training for Camaraderie

In our busy lives, it can be hard to fit in both social time AND exercise. Plus, sometimes it can be difficult to meet people with shared interests. Fitness can break down both of these barriers by providing a reason to get together as well as a common interest that is shared by two people. I have a client who loves playing basketball with a group twice per week. It’s what keeps him consistent and also pushes him to stay fit even outside of the games (he doesn’t want to be sucking air on the sidelines). Group exercise classes provide this for others.

Training For Life

As I mentioned, I find myself in this category more and more these days. Exercise for me is more than just checking off my active minutes for the day. It helps me clear my mind, work on my mental endurance and toughness, and shows me that I CAN accomplish something within my own control each day. It’s also often time for ME – something I get less of now than before. Finally, it allows me to stay in shape so that I can say “yes” to any activity that might come up. Want to hike a 14er? Sure! Try SUP? Yep! Bike the wine country? Let’s go. I don’t want my fitness level to hold me back from enjoying all that life has to offer. What about you?

Set Yourself Up for Success

What you are training for – you’re “why” – determines the type, frequency, and duration of your exercise. Having some type of plan to help you be successful at your training goals is essential to sticking with it. Plus, having some type of accountability to maintain consistency is key.

If you have trouble exercising regularly, loathe every minute of your workout, or find that quarantine has thrown your exercise habits for a loop – I’m here to help. As a Healthy LIVING Coach, I’ve helped tons of clients find the right exercise routine for them…and stick with it!

Even if you’ve had a workout routine in the past, times have changed dramatically. It can be helpful to talk things out or consider new options for staying fit. I know my routine looks a lot different than it used to. The good news, though – I’ve been able to be MORE ACTIVE during this unprecedented time – and it’s only helped me to cope better!

I’d love to support you in developing the right exercise program, moving through any barriers, and finding ways to stick with it over the long-term. Reach out and let’s chat. It could be as simple as that to get on the right track!

I also have a free Inspirator Workout Windows Guide if you’d like to start training for life right now. Grab your copy!

Photo credit: Fellow Flowers

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How A Health Coach Can Change Your Life

“I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

If you’re like many go-getters I know (glow-getters, I call them), you have no shortage of ideas, goals, and aspirations.  And, you have a long track record of achieving big things. However, there’s a part of you that feels like you need to achieve more and do more.  Or – you achieve all of that at the sacrifice of your own health. Sound familiar? If this sounds like you, a health coach might be just what you need to get unstuck.

With so many coaches out there now, it can be hard to understand the true value of coaching. My goal for this article is to answer some common questions to better explain how a coach can change your life.

What Can A Coach Do For You?

Although our areas of focus might differ, all certified health coaches help individuals move forward with their goals.  They listen to your goals and are skilled at helping you make shifts in your behavior that add-up to larger, lasting habits.  By using special techniques, health coaches allow you to view your goals from a different perspective yielding positive results.

How Does Coaching Work?

Many of us are used to being told what it is we need to fix, or being asked questions about what it is we could do better next time.  Part of the reason I love coaching so much is it’s focus on the positive. For example, one of my first discussions with a new client will center around other times the client has been successful. We also discuss the strengths that he or she brought into play that contributed.  I’m always so excited to hear the energy shift in someone’s voice when they remember their success and realize they can do it again!

How is a Health Coach Different From a Trainer or Dietitian?

One question I get asked often is “So, are you a dietitian or a personal trainer?”.  These fields are more well-known and more people have experienced personal training or diet counseling before.  While some dietitians and personal trainers might also be trained as coaches, the approach taken by these practitioners is different than that of a coach.  All three – health coaches, dietitians, and personal trainers – provide accountability to reach your goals. But the difference lies in how the client achieves their goals.  Personal trainers and dietitians typically come up with the “how” or provide a specific “plan” to help someone reach their goals.

This works great for many people. For others, it’s not so much the knowledge or plan they need. It’s help fitting it into their lives and creating routines out of the behaviors so they’ll stick.  Or – it’s sorting out how to be successful at implementing their plans amidst so many other to-do items.

How Do You Find the Health Coach That’s Right For You?

It’s important to know who you are working with.  While many people have successfully implemented healthy changes or achieved success in their lives (yay!), this experience doesn’t necessarily make them qualified to be a coach.  Most well-known health coaching programs require a basic understanding of health in order to ensure any advice given or goals set with clients is safe. 

In my case, I was certified through Wellcoaches School of Coaching.  In order to be accepted into the program, I was required to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a health-related field.  Something that sets me apart is my graduate degree in public health.  When you are dealing with complex habits and behaviors built over years and years, it takes education and experience to be able to navigate changing them.

Additionally, it’s crucial to connect with the focus of your coach.  I help individuals with their health and productivity to own their time and love the life they are living right now.  I emphasize doing less to be more by stopping the cycle of busy-ness. And, because of my background in project management and process improvement, I also emphasize priority and boundary setting to help clients be successful without burn out.

What Are Reasons To Hire a Health Coach?  

The reasons are endless, but people have come to me for help to:

And – some clients have started with one goal in mind and have later realized that there is something different driving the way they’ve been feeling. 

It’s the opportunity to talk openly with someone who has the right background and skillset to help you get unstuck and keep moving you forward that makes a huge difference, in my experience.

The good news is – sometimes it only takes a few sessions with a health coach to get on the right path.  Once you’ve learned some key steps for your own success, you can apply them across many different goals to help you in the future.  

Let’s Get To Know Each OtherI’d love to help you prioritize yourself and achieve your goals for good.  Whether it’s me or another coach, I believe health coaches are a great asset for getting the most out of what life has to offer.

I’d love to hear more about your goals and have three easy ways we can get to know each other better:

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Slow Down and Enjoy Life with Hygge

slow down and enjoy life with hygge

Do you ever wish you could slow down?  Enjoy the simple things in life more? I know I do.  I was just speaking with some other moms yesterday who feel they are always hurrying their kiddos (and themselves!) along.  Hearing this, I was reminded of a chat I had with a friend last year around the concept of hygge.  Since that conversation, I’ve learned to recognize hygge and make space for it in my life by slowing down and enjoying the moment more often.  So, I’m excited to share the highlights from our conversation and how you can slow down and enjoy life more with hygge.

When I wanted to learn more about hygge last year, I went straight to the source and spoke to a friend of mine who was born and raised in Denmark. Malte Pendergast-Fischer, in addition to being Danish, is the CEO and owner of the Green Ridge Group specializing in Human Resources, Business and Professional Coaching, and Business Expansion, amongst other things. He really helped me understand the concept of hygge.

Hygge just happens.

The first big ah-ha I experienced during our conversation came when I asked him to define hygge.  Malte explained that it is “something that naturally occurs by being together: finding opportunities to sit down, drink coffee or tea, and just chat.  Sitting on a couch, reading alongside each other. You don’t have to be in an intense conversation about life…it’s about gearing down. Hygge is finding motivation and opportunities to get together and be together.  You can hygge with yourself. It’s about slowing down and enjoying life.”

In the US, we are trained to seek and to achieve.  We want to see the bullet-points and guidelines for how to do something…then we set a goal around it and work hard to achieve it.  This work ethic helps us be successful at our goals, but there’s a downside to this. We miss some of life’s most amazing moments because we’re always looking to the next thing.

So, when I asked how to “practice hygge,” I realized it’s more about slowing down and making the time and space for hygge to happen naturally.  It’s not something to “seek” or to “achieve” at all. It happens if we allow it. However, this can be hard to do until you are better able to recognize when hygge is happening – and once you do – you’ll want to incorporate more and more of it.

Learn to recognize hygge.

With this said, here are some examples Malte shared so I could recognize when it’s happening:

  • Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the ultimate example of hygge.  Everybody slows down, gathers around a meal, and there is no pressure around presents.  It’s about being around family together. 
  • Inside during winter or rainy nights with a candle lit or a fire in fireplace.  (Malte also shared the Netflix fireplace feature with me…genius!)
  • Playing games, cards, or puzzles as a family.  There’s no real “end goal” or pressure… just chit-chatting about the day and enjoying each other’s company.
  • Turning off technology and reading alongside each other on the couch.
  • Taking a lunch break with work colleagues, leaving the office, and learning more about each other.
  • Having tea with neighbors or friends after a day at work.

Work to live.

Another important distinction we discussed that allows hygge to happen more regularly in Denmark is their point of reference for work.  There, they “work to live.”  In the US, we can be characterized as “living to work.”  In Denmark, you would never work longer just because your boss is still there.  There, you leave work by a certain time because you have things to do…yoga, being together, soccer, hygge.  

So, as we move into the busy season of the holidays and year-end deadlines, I encourage you to make time and space to slow down and enjoy life more…to hygge.  By learning to recognize it in my life over the past year, I’ve embraced a slower way of doing things but have enjoyed special moments with family and friends so much more.

Here’s a free resource for you.

If you are looking for some additional inspiration to slow down and enjoy the moment throughout the holidays, I invite you to take advantage of a free gift I’ve created to do just that.  It’s a Wholesome Holidays 2019 calendar that includes daily tips to choose joy and prevent stress all season long. Visit for your copy.

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What’s the Cost of Busy-ness

Busyness Does Not Equal Happiness

Busy-ness has become a badge of honor. Besides turning us into Godzilla mom (or dad or friend), there is a definite cost to all this busy-ness. Have you ever stopped to think of the consequences of being busy? I did some research on the subject, and I here’s what I learned. Busy-ness costs us…

1. Connection.

When you are stuck in the cycle of busy-ness, you:

  • have less time for family and friends.
  • experience a lack of presence (even when you do make time for others).
  • find yourself unable to enjoy the time because of too much to do
  • turn to social media for numbing and to escape the stress.

In fact, in a study conducted by Princeton University on seminary students found that 90% of those who felt extreme time-urgency and pressure to meet a deadline walked right past someone who was in desperate need of help. The take-away: busy-ness and stress rob us of connection and the very things that make our lives meaningful.

2. Money.

In the more literal sense of the word “cost,” there is a true financial cost to being busy, too. When you are busy, you are more likely to:

  • Miss payments, be charged late fees, forget to cancel extra subscriptions, and have limited time for bill review.
  • Eat out or purchase convenience foods which are 5x more expensive than eating meals at home or food you prepared yourself.
  • Let that gym membership go unused.

For example, have you signed up for that “special deal” on cable or internet that requires you call every 6 months to keep the payments at a manageable level? You can quickly spend an extra $50/month on your tv if you don’t have the time to do a bill review or call to update your subscription (that’s $300 every 6 months or $600 per year!).

Also, the subscriptions you put in place to outsource things or make your life easier also require attention and management. That Blue Apron membership or milk delivery is great…until you forget to cancel them and you’re on a two-week business trip.

3. Health.

When it comes to your health, busy-ness is certainly not in your favor. Busy-ness causes chronic stress and leads to:

  • Increased cortisol levels. Excess cortisol in the body has been linked to acne, abdominal fat and weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, and more.
  • Limited or no time for exercise, healthy eating, or self care.
  • Eating excess calories. You are more likely to eat out and reach for comfort foods when you are busy leading to up to 1,000 excess calories per week (that’s 10 lbs. of weight gain/year).

As a health & productivity coach, I’ve found that busy-ness and stress are the root (or underlying) cause of many health and lifestyle issues my clients are trying to improve. Once we tackle the busy-ness and stress, the ability to lose weight, exercise, be more present, prepare healthy meals, and just plain enjoy life becomes much easier. This was even the case for me!

4. Productivity.

Finally, busy-ness impedes our productivity. Here’s the irony: we are often staying busy because we associate it with being productive. This is not the case. Busy-ness causes:

  • An inability to focus on tasks. With so much swirling in your brain and no time for transition, you aren’t able to give the task-at-hand your full attention, limiting your creativity, problem-solving, and relationship skills.
  • You to be a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” By spreading yourself thin, you’re doing a lot of things with mediocrity instead of doing a few things exceptionally.
  • Rushing as well as being late to meetings and appointments. Talk about high cortisol levels!
  • Missed deadlines. You are more forgetful when you are busy and rushing, so deadlines fly out the window! Plus, the busiest people also tend to be the most over-committed people.

How Do You Stop the Cycle of Busy-ness?

The habit of being busy can be tricky to break, but certainly not impossible. It requires:

  • identification of your patterns and increased awareness on how you are spending your time and energy.
  • shifts to your mindset and habits towards doing less.
  • focusing on the vital few items that must be in place to feel present as well as to maximize your time and energy. 

I’ve seen this system work time and time again for my clients (and even in my own life), and now I can share it with you!

Do Less, Be More Coaching Program

My Do Less, Be More program is a 6-week group coaching program where I take you through my “busy-ness cleanse” so you can take back your time, energy, and joy.

The next round ofstarts October 23 and will be held on Wednesday’s through November 27. Space is limited, and I won’t be offering this discounted price again in the future. Don’t miss your chance to Do Less and Be More!

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Health & Productivity: My Favorite Tips

Do you put off healthy habits because you want to get more done? No time to exercise because you work so many hours? Skip lunch because you have a looming deadline? Stay up late catching up on email? What if I told you focusing on healthy habits is good for your productivity? It’s true. Here’s a list of my favorite ways to boost productivity…in a healthy way.

1. Incorporate healthy habits into your day.

The best way to do this is to set reminders for the healthy habits you want to include. Great options include getting up to walk around every hour (my Apple Watch is a great reminder for this one), packing a healthy lunch (and eating it before 3pm!), and taking deep breaths throughout the day. If you set a reminder to go off when you need to do these things, you’ll be much less likely to keep plowing through work without them.

2. Pad your schedule to allow for social time.

Did you know that many countries have more than one word for “time?” For example, in Greece, they have the word “chronos” which is more in line with how we think of time here in the US. It’s measure in seconds, minutes, and hours.

They also have the word “kairos” which is more qualitative and measured in moments, opportunities, and possibilities. It is more permanent and less fleeting than chronos.

When working with clients to maximize their time and energy, I encourage them to include both chronos and kairos in their day. For example, you can pad your schedule a bit to allow extra time for those lingering, life-changing conversations.

3. Slow down and change your mindset.

Have you ever noticed that things take longer when you’re rushing? That you get less done when you have more on your to-do list? It’s true. Your mind is not able to work effectively or efficiently when you are rushing around or have too much on your list.

So, next time you catch yourself rushing around or feeling like there’s not enough time in the day, stop. Take three deep breaths. Then tell yourself “There’s plenty of time for all that’s important.” Notice how it changes how you approach your day.

4. Practice gratitude.

Stress zaps your energy, and your brain is not capable of experiencing stress and gratitude at the same time. There are so many benefits to practicing gratitude with intention and on a regular basis. So, when you’re in need of a quick productivity and energy boost, stop what you’re doing, and write down five-to-ten things you’re grateful for. Or – send someone a thank you note. The healthiest and happiest people practice gratitude on a regular basis!

5. Create a work-time ritual.

Ever sit down to work and have thoughts like this pop into your head:
”I don’t feel like doing this.”
“Do I REALLY have to work today?”

Yep. It happens to me, too, and I love what I do. Good news! There are productivity tricks for days like this. One of my favorites is to create a work-time ritual.

For me, this means:

This helps prepare my mind for work and allows me to enjoy the process more. Try creating your own work-time ritual that you can look forward to. Notice how it helps your productivity!

I’d Love To Help!

As a Health and Productivity Coach, I love coming to groups or worksites to help individuals and teams maximize their time and energy. Could your workgroup use some tips in this area? Check out my workshop topics (I’m available for in-person workshops or virtual ones), and let’s get one scheduled!

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Getting Back on Track with Health & Productivity

back on track

There are times of the year that make you naturally more prone to “getting off track,” especially when it comes to your health and productivity. The two that come to mind for me immediately are the summer and the holidays. There’s no need to beat yourself up, though. I’ll share the most common goals I hear related to “getting back on track” with health & productivity…and how you can make it happen.

1. Get back into a purposeful routine.

Have you thought this before? While it can be tempting to try to force yourself to get up early, journal, do your workout, make spinach and eggs, start the workday with meditation, and…see where I’m headed? This all seems like a lot if you try to start it all at one time. So, in this case, your best bet is to break your “purposeful routine” into smaller steps and integrate them at different time intervals. I’d even recommend starting with the one that seems the easiest for a quick win.

2. Keep up healthy habits even when things get busy.

I hear this one a lot. The New Year, August when the kids go back to school…these are both times when we refocus and get back on track. However, then things at work and with our kids’ activities ramp up…and the wheels fall off. In this case, I recommend establishing some non-negotiables and scheduling those in your calendar like you would your work or kids’ activities. For example, if you know you must exercise to be your healthy, productive best, make it a non-negotiable in your calendar. If other commitments have to give (aka Bachelor in Paradise, sorry!) in order for you to make time for the non-negotiable, so be it!

3. Clean up my diet.

Meal planning and prepping is a game-changer when it comes to healthy eating. The majority of people don’t even claim to be able to resist temptations on a menu! So, by meal planning and prepping, you’re setting yourself up for success by removing the temptation. If you’re new to this, a subscription service like Green Chef or Sun Basket can be helpful. Alternatively, set a goal to plan and prep at least two of each meal for the week. Once you’re successful with that, increase the number of meals you plan and prep (don’t forget snacks).

4. Start exercising again.

For me, this goal is all about building momentum. Plan to do some type of exercise for at least ten minutes every day one week. Schedule it in your calendar so you know you have time allotted for it. If you can do just ten minutes every day, you’ll gain momentum and know you can keep going. It doesn’t matter what you do…the goal is just to get re-started. Once you’re in the habit again, you can lengthen your exercise time and become more specific around the type of exercise you do.

5. Better manage time.

When it comes to productivity and using your time wisely, I think it’s important to plan for your distractions. For example, if you get de-railed by social media, schedule time to browse it and get caught up. BUT…make sure you designate a certain amount of time to browse AND set a timer!!! When the timer goes off, so does the phone. The same can be said for office conversations…plan certain times of the day to be social in the office, but keep to your designated timeframe so you don’t get off track. The important thing here is to acknowledge your natural tendencies and distractions but plan for them so they don’t eat up your time.

Some of these goals can be easier said than done. I’ve helped tons of clients get back on track after they’ve strayed from the path a bit. In fact, when it comes to using time more wisely…enlisting the support of a coach to help you with your goals fast tracks your progress (it’s kind of like hiring a professional painter to get the job done quickly and with less spills and paint splatters).

I offer a free thirty-minute planning call to get you started. Schedule yours today so you can get back on track in a flash!

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Five Signs You’re In Need of Some Time-Away

This scene from Bad Moms is hilarious.  However, you’d be surprised how many moms I’ve talked to who actually agree with it!  Being mom is a full-time job – and one that comes with limited PTO.  Taking time away from family and kids is sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself.

Here are five signs this could be the case for you.

1. You often hear yourself saying (outloud or to yourself) “I just need a break.” 

Girlfriend – Listen to what you are telling yourself.  If you think you need a break: you do!  Things don’t have to be at catastrophic levels to warrant a retreat or mom-cation. Even low amounts of stress on a regular basis can keep you from being your best. 

2. You’ve started to resent certain things (or people). 

Are there some days where you feel that if you have to answer one more question, respond to one more email, fix one more meal, or fold one more load of laundry you will absolutely lose it?  You’re not alone.  Adulting is hard work! Psychologists have proved that time outside of your normal routine to connect with other women helps wonders!

3. You’ve stopped doing things you love.  

Have you found yourself bowing out of chances to hang with friends?  Ditching the morning workout you normally can’t live without? Hitting the snooze button instead of getting up for your beloved morning “me time?”  When you’re in need of some time away, even the things you love doing can lose their luster.    

4. You have lost motivation for pursuing your goals.  

You were on-fire a few months ago: Reading self-improvement books.  Listening to podcasts.  Checking goals off left and right.  But now, you seem to have forgotten why you started them in the first place.  You can get your motivation back with some intentionally planned time away.

5. You just want some time away. 

Have you heard friends talk about time they’ve taken away and want this for yourself?  Are you craving the opportunity to take care of “just yourself and yourself alone?”  You deserve it!  You don’t need to have any other reasons to need time away other than wanting more for yourself.

Did you find yourself in any of the scenarios above?  If you’re a driven, dynamic, hard-working mom, chances are you’re up there somewhere.

That’s okay.  Many of us feel this way from time-to-time.  Regular time away from your regular routine to take care of yourself, relieve tension, and return home ready to take on the world again is so beneficial.  So, give yourself the permission to take some time away…and then schedule it!

And…Here’s What You Can Do About It!

I’ve decided to start offering retreats because I’ve heard loud and clear the need for busy moms to take time away.  A girls’ weekend of drinking wine, sleeping ’til 10, and laying by the pool for hours is great, but in order to come back home ready to take on the world, you need something more.

This is exactly the reason I’ve put together a weekend retreat to provide you with the time, space, tools, and inspiration to do less and be more in your everyday life.
With the backdrop of the beautiful town of Crested Butte and fresh mountain air along with peaceful, luxurious accommodations, I’ll lead you through an intentionally planned weekend where you will:

↠Hit the pause button on life’s demands and commitments with time carved out especially for you

↠Nourish your body with healthy food and learn tips for optimizing your nutrition even amidst the busiest of schedules

↠Feel invigorated through fitness adventures – hiking, stand-up paddle boarding (no experience required), yoga, and plenty of time outdoors

↠Connect with other women for laughter and support in making these new commitments to ourselves

↠Enjoy an opportunity to give back to others through a special art-inspired project 

Save $500…sign up by July 30!

This retreat is a girls’ weekend you don’t have to plan and doesn’t leave you needing a vacation from your vacation!  You’ll be able to reset and recharge to return home an even better version of yourself. Plus, you’ll have new tools, new friends, and new experiences to supercharge your ability to make your intentions come to life.

Valued at over $3,000 per person, you can join me for just $997 if you sign up by July 30 (the price increases to $1,499 on August 1).  Plus – then you’ll have your much-needed time away in the books!

Ready to sign up?  Contact me with any questions or go ahead and reserve your spot now!

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Spend Less Time Stressing & More Time Enjoying Yourself This Summer

Less Stress

Did you have goals to slow things down this summer?  To spend more time enjoying yourself and your family?  To let go a little and take things easy? Summer is a great time to lighten your load and to experience more fun. However, sometimes taking things easy or enjoying yourself all weekend leads to more stress during the week. What will we eat?  When will we get groceries? What do we have planned? I’ve got a simple structure to spend less time stressing and more time enjoying yourself this summer.

It just takes a little planning

I’ve learned over time that with a little structure, I’m able to be more present and less stressed throughout the week.  For me, too much structure takes the fun out of things, but “structure” is pretty subjective depending on your personality type.  Whether you like a lot of structure or a little, some planning before the week starts allows you time to devise a game plan and not get overwhelmed with the basics.  It can also help you stay focused on healthy nutrition and activities that bring you energy vs. drain you. Finally, even a little planning allows you to be more present so you feel less like a “chicken with your head cut off.”

Find a time to do your planning

The first step is to find about 30 minutes each week to do your you planning.  I like to end my week this way, so I reserve 30 minutes on Friday afternoon (or Thursday afternoon if I’m taking Friday off).  I used to do this on Sunday morning, but I found I was missing time to enjoy my weekend this way. Also – when we had something planned on Sunday morning, I missed my planning time and then had a hectic week.  Either way, try out some different days and times during the week that you can commit to planning and see what works for you.

Have a centralized calendar or schedule

It’s hard to do your planning if you don’t have everything on one calendar. This also leads to more chaos when it comes to your week as it’s hard to know what is going on.  So, if you don’t have a place where you keep all of your and your family’s activities and commitments, now is a great time to start.  You can use a paper calendar, the calendar function on your phone, or a calendar-sharing app like cozi. Just find something that appeals to you.

Start with an overview of the week

When you sit down to do your planning, the first step is to take a big picture look at what’s going on each day.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • What do you have going on personally?  
  • Your spouse/partner?  
  • Your kids?
  • Which activities are already planned for the week?  
  • What would you like to get accomplished?  
  • How would you like to feel each day?

You have to eat

What you eat during the week has a big impact on how you feel, so it is important to have a plan for it.  Also, scrambling around to find something for dinner when everyone at your house (including you) is already hangry is the worst.  So, now that you have an idea of what’s going on for the week, decide what you’ll need to eat. If you aren’t currently doing any meal planning, I recommend starting small with a goal of 2-3 dinners at home. And – don’t forget to plan for the other meals, too. Here are some things to consider when planning your meals:

  • What nights will we be home?
  • How long will we have to cook before events/activities?
  • Would it be helpful to have a crockpot meal on busier evenings?
  • What will we eat for breakfast?
  • How many days will I need to pack lunches?
  • What nutrition goals do I want to strive for this week?

Don’t forget the groceries

Now that you have a plan for the week’s meals (I recommend writing down the plan on your calendar, too), pick a time to buy your groceries.  I absolutely LOVE grocery pick-up because it saves me time, and I’m less likely to buy items that are not on my list. You can create your grocery list based on the number of meals you need.  Try to keep your meals as simple as possible – especially if this is new for you. Think in terms of a protein, starch, and green vegetable for dinner. For breakfast and lunch, consider staples that are easily put together or that can be assembled on one day and then eaten all week.  If you have time, go ahead and place your grocery order during your planning time!

Schedule your workouts

You’ve got a plan for your meals, and now it’s time to make sure you will get your workouts in, as well.  If you’re not currently exercising regularly, schedule in 2-3 days of workouts the first few weeks. Although tempting, getting up early to workout is not always the best option.  It takes tons of willpower! Find some ways you can incorporate activity into your normal routine. Take a walk at lunch, go for a stroll around the block with your kids after work, take a quick exercise class on your way home from work, find a free yoga class to try online before bed…these are all ways you can do some exercise without having to get up super early.  Make sure to put them in your calendar like any other appointment.

Find some time to prep

Even the smallest amount of food prep goes a long way.  When it comes to productivity, it is a much more efficient use of your time to group similar activities together.  For example – if you are going to be make something for lunch anyway, go ahead and make a week’s worth of lunches at one time.    

If you are making some crockpot meals, go ahead and get everything ready at least the night before so all you have to do is dump it in to your slowcooker in the morning.  The more you have prepped, the more likely you will be to eat what you have planned and not make emotional (hangry) food choices throughout the week.

Schedule time for yourself

Part of the reason you feel stressed or frazzled is because you need some more time for yourself!  Most women I talk to take little – if any – time for themself. This can be as little as 15 minutes per day, but it will allow you time to decompress and re-energize.  This might be a better option for getting up early so you can enjoy your cup of coffee in peace. Or – maybe you take a relaxing bath 1-2 times per week. Whatever it is, make sure you have a plan for it, as well, or your time will get gobbled up!

Stay persistent

If you’re not someone who currently does weekly planning, the first few times you do this might feel a little rough.  And – even though it will help you feel less stressed – planning time might not ever be something you enjoy. However, you WILL enjoy the ability to be more present, to feel energized instead of frazzled, to meet your nutrition and exercise goals, and to have more fun.  The key is to stay persistent and dedicated to this process until it gets easier for you!

I’m more than happy to help you get started and stick with it, so please reach out for support. Heck – we can even accomplish your planning time together to make sure it gets done.  I’ve got lot’s of tricks up my sleeve!

I’d love to hear how this goes for you.  Now, go spend less time stressing and more time enjoying yourself this summer!

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How to “Kill it”…Without “It” Killing You!

BJB Coaching Contact

I get the pleasure of being friends with and meeting women who are super ambitious. I am inspired daily by the accomplishments of those around me. And…I hear a lot about “the hustle” and “being too busy.” It’s a fine balance between “killing it” and letting “it” kill you! Here are five tips to help you find that flow for yourself.

1. Schedule regular connection.

According to research, “our social interactions and meaningful connection with others are more important to our health than not smoking, not drinking alcohol excessively, or being a healthy weight.” Other research has shown that each hour spent being social decreases stress by at least 10%!

But, when you already feel strapped for time, it’s hard to make the time. The best way to handle this is to schedule regularly occurring social connections with those who matter. Even if you have to cancel some, it’s likely you’ll prioritize social connection more often than if you left it to chance.

2. Find your flow in nature.

A zen saying states “Spend 20 minutes in nature every day…unless you’re busy. Then you should spend an hour.” In addition to getting Vitamin D, stepping outside for some fresh air allows you to step back and get a new perspective. It allows you to reset, and it does wonders for your stress-level. So, make sure to take a break and step outside to help you find your flow.

3. Put on something you love.

This might seem silly, but you’re more confident and productive when you like the way you look. There’s even evidence that you’re more likely to go exercise if you like your workout clothes!

I’ve read in some books to minimize your wardrobe to make it easy to get dressed in the morning and ease overwhelm. In this case, just make sure you love the items you keep! Plus, if you’re starting to feel worn-down or insignificant amidst all that’s in your busy schedule, taking a few extra minutes to like the way you look is sure to give you some extra pep in your step!

4. Show your body some love.

I recently took a class called the “Fascianation Method.” It was an hour spent rolling out my muscles (aka fascia). I felt AMAZING afterwards! When you’re working hard every day – whether in an office, at home, or in the gym – it’s important to show your body some love. Stress and tension build up in our muscles causing aches, pains, and the build-up of toxins. In order to stay happy and healthy, take some time at least weekly (it’s better if it’s daily!) to stretch, roll-out your muscles, or even get a massage. Thanks to what’s known as “the mind-body connection,” you’ll feel great from head-to-toe!

5. Do something different.

Most of us are creatures of habit and routine for the most part – especially if kiddos are in the picture. While it’s true that we thrive in routines, it’s also true that stepping outside of your norm is good for you. Challenge yourself to try something different on a regular basis. Whether a retreat or adventure, new workout class, or finding different ways to be creative, look for ways to mix it up now and then to establish a flow that works for you.

Take Action to Find Your Flow Today!

So, there you have it…five tips to “kill it” without “it” killing you! Before moving on to something else, take action on at least one thing from this list. And – if you’re looking for an idea – check out my upcoming Fitness and Empowerment Retreats. They are sure to check off most (if not all) of these boxes!