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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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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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Three Quick Tips to Spring Clean Your Life!

With spring in the air, do you start spring cleaning projects? What if you did the same thing with your habits? Time to clean out that pantry and fridge to make room for clean eating! Dust off the old exercise equipment and bicycle to start getting after it! Here are three quick tips to help you spring clean your habits for a fresh start and healthier, happier months ahead.

1. Take an inventory.

It’s not uncommon for less desirable habits to creep in over the winter months. After all, we spend a lot of time inside, it’s cold, and there’s less daylight. This can lead to more sedentary time, more screen time, more comfort food, and more…wine! Become more aware of your habits for a few days and make a list of those routines you might like to kick to the curb.

When you’re done with your list, prioritize based on what’s most important to you. Then, set goals to tackle one at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once!

2. Save the wine for the weekend.

Ever since the holidays, I found myself enjoying a glass of wine every evening. When thinking of habits I wanted to “spring clean,” this one came up for me. For most of us, the one glass of wine turns to two…or more. And then we need some extra snacks to go with the wine. Then our sleep isn’t as good as it could be…and then we wake up feeling tired (and maybe even with a headache).

Now, imagine if you just have wine on the weekend, and you are able to stick with your healthy eating habits most evenings, can get a good night’s sleep, and therefore wake up refreshed and ready to start the day. Feels better, doesn’t it?

To make this one easier, try having some sparkling water or other beverage you enjoy on-hand when you would normally reach for the wine. You can even pour it into a wine glass to drink it!

3. Clean out your pantry and re-stock with healthy staples.

While you’re cleaning out your pantry as part of your spring cleaning schedule, make sure to re-stock it with healthy staples. If you have only desirable foods on-hand, it makes it much easier to make the healthy choice.

Here’s another tip: put the foods you want to eat more often in the front and at eye level. If you have snacks for your kiddos that tempt you, put those behind the other items or above eye level (this also prevents mini pantry raiders)!

Keep it simple.

If you’ve got other habits you’d like to spring clean, make sure to keep it simple. Starting new habits or breaking old ones can be hard work! Pick one thing to focus on at a time, and think about how you can set up your environment to support you (aka pantry re-stocking idea above). Enjoy the fresh start you are creating for yourself in time for the sunnier weather.

Want more info on spring cleaning your life? Join me for a free workshop on Sunday, April 28 from 9:45-10:45am at Athleta in the Park Meadows Mall. In addition to more tips, you’ll receive a discount to use on some new workout clothes in the store. Contact me to sign up!

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Find Comfort Outside of Your Comfort Zone with Self Care Rituals

Find Comfort Outside of Your Comfort Zone

I hear a lot from women that they want to get outside of their comfort zone.  In fact, research has shown that if you are completely comfortable you aren’t growing.  I love to witness this ambition and drive to make a difference and succeed.

But, here’s the thing: staying at this level of performance all of the time leads to stress, overwhelm, and burnout.  Certainly not the intended consequence.

The key is learning to find and create comfort outside of your comfort zone…to sustain your glow-getter status with self care rituals incorporated on a regular basis.  

Mindful Living

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Hudson of Mindful Haus, an online shop created with the intention to inspire others to live and give with more light and presence through artisan beauty, sacred self-care rituals and mindful living.  

Julie shared that, for her, a self care ritual can be taking even five minutes every day to honor yourself, slow down, and be a little bit more present.

Establish Your Own Self Care Rituals

Not sure how or where to start?  Here are six easy ideas to try in order to inspire comfort and help you find more joy even in the simplest of things:

1. Savor your morning coffee.  

Pick out a favorite mug. Smell the aroma as it brews and enjoy the sounds that mean the warm cup is almost ready.  Enjoy the flavor slowly and while setting your intention for the day ahead.

2. Treat yourself to fresh flowers.  

Select flowers that elicit a warm and pleasant feeling or that bring up a fond memory.  Place them in a handcrafted vase that suits your style in an area you’ll see often.

3. Light a candle.  

This can be a great addition to other self care rituals or can be one on its own.  Choose an artisan-crafted candle with a look, fragrance, and even crackle that makes you feel warm inside.

4. Take a warm bath with natural bath products.  

Read a book and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of hot tea.  Enjoy the warmth of the water, the fragrance of the products, and the taste of the drink.

5. Take a mindful walk without your phone.  

Establish a regular path that allows you to connect with the outdoors and causes you to leave your thoughts and worries alone for awhile.  Feel your feet hitting the ground, the sound of your breath, and even the beating of your heart in your chest.

6. Sit in stillness and reflection for five minute, do some deep breathing, or meditate.  

Taking even a few minutes to tune into your body’s cues and letting your mind relax does wonders for your soul.

Increase Your Awareness

Take a moment right now and ask yourself, “Am I showing up the way I want for myself? My family? My friends? My life?”  If you’re answer is no, consider investing some time and energy in establishing self care rituals.

I often say, the real secret to feeling energized and thriving is to find that space where your comfort zone and the discomfort of growth intersect…and then learning how to live there.  

Based on my own experience, self care rituals are essential to the “learning how to live there” part.

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Lose Weight Without the Black-Eye and Battle Scars

Lose weight without the black-eye and battle scars

You know how it feels when your favorite jeans fit just right?  When all of the clothes in your closet are comfortable and flattering?  I do, too…and I’ve found that after this holiday season my jeans a little tighter in the waistband and hips. I’ve also been avoiding wearing certain items in my closet because they don’t fit quite like I want them to.  I’m really not surprised because I’ve indulged food-wise (and enjoyed it) and havent had quite the same intensity with my exercise.  But let’s face it: I don’t know anyone who gets excited to lose weight. However, I am excited to share my tips to lose weight without the black-eye and battle scars with you.  We’re in this together!

The Number on the Scale Is Just “Data”

In years past, I would have absolutely freaked out.  Realizing I’d gained weight would have sent me into a downward spiral of feeling unworthy and beating myself up.  In fact, I’m still used to that old reaction, so I check to make sure I’m in a good mood before I step on the scale and sometimes I don’t weigh myself at all (my clothes tell me what I need to know).

But, I’ve realized that things are different now.  I have confidence in my ability to lose weight, and I know the number on the scale (or the way my clothes fit) is just “data.” Data about behaviors and choices I’m making consistently or not. Not data that defines who I am as a person or data that means I’m a failure for gaining some weight.

I’ve had enough experience with my own weight and the desires of clients to lose weight that I know what works for weight loss.  It’s been my experience also that most of us (including me) gain weight two times of year – (1) over the holidays and (2) over the summer.  The reason: our consistently healthy habits get thrown off and there are more temptations to resist.  But, there’s no need to despair. I know I can lose the summer or holiday weight, and I know you can, too!  Here is my proven method to lose weight without the black-eye and battle scars:

#1 – Accept where you’re at.  

Yep. That’s the first step.  Accept the number on the scale or the way your clothes fit and the data it provides.  Accept that you want to lose weight and aren’t satisfied with your weight right now.  Here’s the thing: you are still the same amazing person you were yesterday and the day before.  Now, you just want to make some changes to decrease your weight. Your IQ isn’t different. You are no less smart, attractive, athletic, worthy, beautiful, or amazing than you were yesterday.  You just want to make some changes in your lifestyle that result in weight loss. And – the numbers won’t change on their own – it will take some work on your part.  But – you absolutely can do it and will do it. So, make peace with this information.

#2 – Gather more data.  

Your weight is an outcome measure – an outcome of your energy balance. You’ve got excess weight, and in most cases, that means you consumed more energy than you burned over a given period of time.  So, it’s time to figure out how to change the imbalance. The most helpful data in this situation for me is to track my energy and body’s cues.  I track my own data: energy-generating activities/food as well as energy-draining activities/food, and I usually start to witness a trend over a few days that gives me some answers.  Notice this is focused on the bigger picture: my energy and habits vs. each individual food or calorie I’m consuming.

#3 – Resist the temptation to starve yourself.  

For many of us, the natural reaction to needing to lose weight is eating less. Way less. That can work, but here’s the problem: you are doing your metabolism a disservice.  When you don’t eat enough calories and go long periods of time without eating, your brain tells your body it’s starving.  It signals hormones to hold onto fat – especially in our fat storage areas (stomach and hips/thighs for most of us, depending on your body type).  So, you might lose “weight,” but it’s muscle and water weight.

#4 – Eat real food and be active daily.  

Feeding yourself regularly will rev up your metabolism and also keep your blood sugar stable (read: no hangry Godzilla mom). Ensuring that your small meals include protein, healthy fat, and fiber keeps you fuller longer and fills your body with healthy nutrients. Also, choose foods that have little to no ingredients on the label (or no label at all…fruits and vegetables) to help your body detoxify and lose weight naturally.

This turns your body into a calorie and fat-burning machine when coupled with regular exercise.  Exercise can be so many different things – but do what makes sense for you and aim to get at least 150 min/week if you aren’t currently active at all. And – all of your exercise doesn’t have to be done at once – you can add it up between different sessions each day. Don’t forget that tracking your energy-generating and energy draining activities/food will help you see the bigger picture and trends.

#5 – Remember “progress not perfection.”  

Most of us will admit to some perfectionistic tendencies.  The trouble with perfectionists and weight loss: when you don’t do everything exactly as planned, you tend to throw in the towel.  The key here is to remember that progress is more important than perfection. Consistency is key – not perfectionism. So, if you’re able to make healthy food choices 80% of the time and work-out four days per week consistently, you’ll see results.  And, even if the scale isn’t moving as quickly as you hoped, you’re more than likely feeling better as a result of your healthy choices.

You CAN Lose Weight Without the Black-Eye and Battle Scars!

So, there you have it.  My plan for losing weight.  It won’t help you lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks, but chances are, it will help you learn more about your own habits and what works (and doesn’t work) for you.  And, don’t let me undervalue the hard work that goes into weight loss EVERY. STEP. OF. THE. WAY. Weight loss is hard, and I’m here to help you.

I’m launching a new program, Do Less, Be More: New Year’s Edition, on January 28.  Over time, I’ve seen that it’s most people’s tendency to start doing more when they want to lose weight…new apps, calorie tracking, signing up for a new gym, taking supplements, subscribing to meal services. 

I’ve also seen that you can lose weight by doing less.  Sound good?  Receive my free guide, 5 Ways to Achieve Your Goals by Doing Less, delivered right to your inbox.  I’m excited to support you in your weight loss journey!

You CAN lose weight without the black-eye and battle scars!

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How Kelly Got Unstuck…Her Confidence…and a 20% Raise

how kelly got unstuck

Kelly first came to me as a consulting client.  She was so overwhelmed and knew something had to give.  She thought that hiring a consultant to take some of the extra work off her plate would take the pressure off and allow her to perform like she used to. And it helped a little, but as we continued to work together, it became clear that what Kelly really wanted was help to get unstuck.

She felt overloaded with the amount of work she had to get done every day.  She loved her team and the idea of her job, but what it had become was unsustainable.  Kelly felt like a failure for feeling like she needed to ask for help.  And she didn’t believe that things would really change if she did.  Plus – she wasn’t sure where to start.  It all seemed impossible.  Kelly was tired of feeling helpless to change her situation and figured the only way to improve things was to look for a new job.  But, that had challenges of its own.  So, she continued to struggle through things and hope that something would happen to make things different.

What It Means to Be Stuck

What Kelly was experiencing happens to a lot of us and causes us to get stuck in the first place.  We start to experience the discomfort that comes from a change in our lives or our routines or even a mindset shift.  In Kelly’s case, it was an increase in demands of her job and the size of her team without a change in compensation or even input into how things were done.  When trying to talk to others about her challenges, she was only able to talk about what was going wrong and how she felt.  Her ability to come up with a path forward was clouded by her fear of being a failure or letting others down.

How Coaching Helped

I approached Kelly with the idea of giving coaching a try to help her get unstuck and see new possibilities.  Like many others, she wasn’t sure how coaching worked or how a health coach would help her job situation change.  But – she felt like it was worth a try.  I started with Kelly as I do with my other clients – establishing a vision for the ideal situation.  She resisted at first because it seemed worthless to envision something that seemed impossible.  However, she was able to bring herself to do it.

Just gaining clarity around what she really wanted – to keep her current job but with credit and compensation for her increase in responsibilities as well as better work/life balance – brought a sigh of relief.

Our next steps together included mapping out the top priorities for attaining this vision and action-oriented goals she could accomplish in order to move closer to it.  This part of the process helped her see how much control she actually had over the outcome and made her feel less helpless in her current situation.  And – by setting deadlines for the goals – she was being held accountable to completing them but also knew there was a timeframe to re-evaluate the situation if the outcome wasn’t what she hoped.

Confidence As An Unexpected Outcome

It took several months, but eventually Kelly devised a new way to tell her story to a leader who would listen.  And, then things started to change for her.  It’s possible that Kelly could have done this on her own over time.  But like many of my clients, she felt that having a coach listen and help her see things from a different and sometimes more objective perspective expedited the process.  It also helped her increase her confidence to a higher level than it was before.

Kelly was also able to use her new skills to tackle some additional areas where she felt stuck.  With her confidence at a new level, she decided she would start exercising more.  She also started a new meditation practice.  It turned out that getting unstuck in one area opened up the opportunity to more easily change in other areas.

You Can Get Unstuck, Too

Where would you like to get unstuck in your current life?  Is it your job like Kelly?  Or maybe it’s losing weight.  Or finding more balance. Whatever the reason, I’d love to help you get started.

It’s never too early or too late to begin working on the best version of yourself.  Your dreams can be achieved…let’s get started!

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5 Steps to Achieve Your Goals: Tips to Organize Your Ambition From A Project Manager Turned Health Coach

5 Steps to Achieve Your Goals

Learn how to meditate.  Volunteer more at my kids’ school.  Join the chamber for more networking.  Plan a monthly lunch date with my husband.  Achieve my goals of training for a half marathon and eating less fast food.  Drink less coffee (and maybe wine, too). Listen to a daily self-improvement podcast.  Create a new family budget to allow for more vacations. Plan and book family vacations.  Learn how to make zucchini noodles. Get a promotion at work. Start my own business…

Sound familiar?  If you’re like many successful women, you are not lacking when it comes to ambition.  You have goals and aspirations. Your track record shows that you are able to accomplish what put your mind to.  Yet, you continue to struggle to find time for those “nice-to-have” goals. Things that would contribute to your health and wellbeing.  Things that you’ve always wanted to try…but never seem to have the time or energy to bring to fruition.

5 Steps To Achieve Your Goals

Plan for Success

When an organization wants to ensure success for an important initiative, leaders generally assign a project manager (or several if it’s big enough).  Why? Project managers are skilled at breaking down initiatives into measurable tasks; tracking dependencies, risks, and issues; keeping the team accountable to success; and influencing members of the organization when they are holding things up.  You can use these same concepts to ensure success for your own important initiatives.

5 Steps to Achieve Your Goals

Five Steps to Organize Your Ambition

As a project manager for over ten years, I find these same skills to be quite handy when working as a health coach. I’m excited to help you achieve your goals in five simple steps:

  1. Write all of your goals and ambitions down.

    Put everything you aspire to do on this list.  This is more or less a brain-dump. It’s an opportunity to get everything down on paper.  TIP: Some of my clients have preferred to do this exercise on a computer in an excel spreadsheet so they can organize it more easily later.

  2. Create categories.  

    Next, take a high-level look at the list.  First, notice any similarities.  Are there some items that can be grouped together into a category?  For example, if you have “learn to meditate,” “take a regular yoga class,” “journal daily,” and “listen to a daily self-improvement podcast on your list,” you could list each of these items under one header such as “Personal Self Care.”  Try to create three to five broad categories so that each task has a larger category it belongs to. Write the category name, then list each of the items that belong to the category under the header. TIP: Most frequently used categories include self care, work/career/purpose, family/spouse/romance, finances/money, health, self improvement, fun/recreation, and physical environment (i.e. home).

  3. Consider dependencies.

     Once you’ve finished your categories, it’s time to consider dependencies.  These are items that depend upon one another in order to be completed. For example, if you have “eat less pre-packaged and fast food” as well as “learn to make zucchini noodles” on your list, you might feel that eating less pre-packaged and fast food is dependent upon you learning new cooking techniques…such as making zucchini noodles.  Consider any dependencies for the items on your list and write them down in a column to the right of the corresponding item.  TIP: Common dependencies include time, money, skills, and personal permission (giving yourself the permission to make this a priority).

  4. Assign support to complete the tasks.

     Now that you’ve considered your dependencies, it’s important to think of a strategy to manage them.  This might be a person reminding you of your commitment, finances to get started, or learning new skills.  Create a new column labeled “support” to the right of each item, and fill in the strategy or support for managing the dependencies. TIP: Outsourcing or delegating can be a helpful support mechanism.  For example, to make more time for tasks, the support you need might be someone to clean your house periodically or a personal chef to help you make healthier meals while you are still learning.

  5. Determine a timeline.  

    Now it’s time to add your final column: timeline.  The most important thing here is not to pick too many items to complete at one time…or you’ll be right back where you started.  When I work with clients, we pick two to three overarching goals per three month period. In this instance, you would pick two to three of your larger categories to work on for the next three months.  Then, determine which of the smaller tasks in each category you’ll complete in order.  Assign a date to have each item completed. When you are doing this, you might notice that some of your items need to be broken down into smaller tasks to make them manageable. TIP: This step can be really helpful in calming your overwhelm.  If you’d like to learn more about how designating a timeline can reduce stress, check out my blog on “creating a when to do list.”

Support is Key

Now that you’ve organized your ambition into a manageable plan and set a timeline to complete your goals, make sure to share them with someone.  Telling someone about your plans will make you more likely to complete them. 

Want more tips on achieving your goals? 

Join my Facebook group for women where I share free tips to be healthy, feel happy, and live well.  Plus – you’ll have the support of others who are striving to do the same!

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“Busy-ness” = More Stress, Less Happiness

Busyness Does Not Equal Happiness

Let’s say you somehow got granted two extra hours in a day.  No one else knows about these extra two hours, so you get to spend them however YOU want.  What would you spend them doing?  I have asked this question of clients who would like to have more balance or less stress.  None of them answered “work more,” “check my email” or “watch tv.”  The most frequent answers are: sleep, exercise, or spend time doing something fun with family (kids) or friends.

This is your mind and body trying to tell you something.

The Busy-ness Cycle

The last time you asked someone how they were doing, what did they say?  9 times out of 10, people say “busy.”  Do you answer this way? So many of us – especially women – feel we need to be busy as a badge of honor.  If we are not busy, we are not proving our worth.  But, this constant “busy-ness” is a fast road to burnout, chronic stress, and missing the best of what our lives have to offer.

Busyness Does Not Equal Happiness

Your Body is Telling You Something

I have had many successful female clients tell me about their “wake-up” calls as it relates to their stress and busy-ness.  Some had some serious health scares themselves or ended up with symptoms of illnesses that have no real explanation.  Others find themselves turning to food or more to do in order to stay awake or make it through their day.  So many of us have stopped listening to our body’s cues to slow down.  We just keep pushing forward until our body makes us stop.  This is not a healthy or happy way to go through life.  But you already know this.

It Starts with What You Say

In her book You are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life, Jen Sincero writes “Stop talking about how busy you are.  Focus on what you enjoy about what you do and the spaces in between the doing instead of feeling weighed down by it all.”  Reading this allowed me to change my own perspective and increased my awareness.  If I stopped talking about being busy, what would I say?  It turns out that the simple act of changing this perspective allowed me to reexamine my priorities. Give it a try the next time somehow asks you how you are.

Busyness Does Not Equal Happiness

What Are Your Priorities?

In her book The Sweet Spot: How To Find Your Groove At Home and Work, Christine Carter suggests that we aim to spend 95% of our time on our top priorities and saying “no” to virtually everything else.  She writes “Spending 95% of my time on my top priorities left only about 5 hours a week for other things.   Something often had to give; for me, it was my health.  Like many working mothers, I had put my own well-being on the back-burner, never exercising and rarely getting enough sleep.  I was sick all the time.”  But once she started looking at her time from a place of sufficiency (there is enough time), understanding that “more is not better,” and realizing her power to change things, she was able to shift her time and focus.

So, get really clear about your priorities.  YOUR priorities based on YOUR values.  Not the ones you think you should have or that someone else thinks you should have.  Try picking three to five top priorities and use them as deciphers when starting or stopping an activity.

Listen To Your Body

Our bodies are pretty amazing if you consider all they do (and all we do TO them).  It’s important to honor this and start listening to your body’s cues.  For example, do you find yourself in a mid-afternoon slump – having to push yourself to finish one more thing?  Or – maybe you reach for things like food (or wine or coffee) to help you feel comfort or even to push through the day.  I’m not saying all of this is bad.  I’m just asking you to take a deep breath and decide if your body is trying to ask for what it needs.  For example, maybe you’re actually dehydrated in the mid-afternoon.  Research shows that many people feel much more alert after drinking 8-12 ounces of cold water when this happens.  And, if you couple this with a quick walk around the block, researchers have found that many people come back to their work or tasks more productive and with a new perspective.

Time for You

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our routines and forget about the priorities and goals you’ve set for yourself.  Sometimes the best place to start is to stop doing something.  Take a good look at your time spent on different activities each day.  It might even be helpful to keep a running tally for a week.  You can create different categories: taking care of kids, work, housework, self-care, sleep, social media/email, cooking meals, driving. Keep a running tab of how much time you spend in each category.  If you have new goals, like starting to exercise, cooking more meals at home, or even finding more time to rest, take a look at the different categories and decide what you can stop doing to make time for your goal.  This might require that you outsource, ask someone else to help you, or stop doing it altogether for a period of time.  Creating systems to group certain activities for efficiency (like meal-prepping) can also help.  The trick is – once you’ve created the extra time for your new goal – you have to make sure to not fill it with something else.  Use it as time for you!!!

Fall Into Healthy Habits

Happiness Instead of Busy-ness

Let’s all make a decision to start focusing on our happiness or productivity instead of our “busy-ness.”  It starts with each of us deciding to do things differently to shift this new norm.  And – maybe you’ll even end up with the extra two hours to spend the way you want without having to call upon your fairy godmother. 🙂

If  you’d like more tips on how to make the time and energy for your goals, follow me on Facebook or Instagram!

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My Journey to a Life with More Intention

My journey to a more intentional life

Summer break with my kids has been full of joy. I feel like I’ve really embraced the idea of living with intention and mindfulness. I had a mix of time with each of my children individually, as well as together.  We also spent time with friends. I even had some time for myself to work, exercise, and rest. Today, I reflect on this accomplishment and how far our family has come. It hasn’t been perfect (and sometimes downright unpleasant).  I am really proud that we have started living out our values and putting time and energy into the things that truly matter to us.

Spinning Out of Control

I’d like to say that I woke up one morning and just decided to embrace the idea of living with intention. But – that is not the case. Almost three years ago, things in our life felt like they were more than I could handle. My son had been hospitalized and in the ICU for almost a week due to RSV at the age of 10 months. Then a couple of months later, we learned that my daughter had celiac disease. This diagnosis caused us to re-look at everything we consumed and change the way we experienced food. All while we were both trying to manage two full-time careers in the corporate world. Weekends were being spent trying to run a household – groceries, yard work, laundry, and hopefully a little time to spend having fun. It was a very difficult time for our family.

Something Had to Change

It was at that moment that I realized something had to change. I felt like life was “happening to me” instead of me making my life happen. I had fallen victim to our routine. I was stuck.  Not to mention – it just seemed like something was missing.  I knew it was time to step up and make some changes. But I was scared. I had thoughts of changing my career to something that fueled my passion years before. I also knew I wanted something that was flexible so I could do more of what mattered to me as a mom and wife. And I knew that I needed the time and energy to devote to our family’s health.  This was not sustainable in our current situation.

Trust the Process

The process I went through required me to look at different aspects of our life and get really clear about what I wanted for myself and my family. I had some tough conversations with my husband, and our ideas of health and happiness were not always the same. However, we stuck with it in pursuit of something different for our lives. As I’ve embarked on my journey to have my own health coaching practice, I get to witness inspiring stories about others who are embracing the opportunity to do things with intention.

Impact on My Health

My Journey to a More Intentional Life

My change to living with more intention had another result. Slowing down and taking stock of what was important really impacted my health.  Reprioritizing my time and energy towards my values allowed me to take care of myself. I no longer felt so anxious each evening when I put my kids to bed. My evenings spent eating bowlfuls of cereal or sleeves of cookies in front of the tv to ease my anxiety started to dwindle. I reconnected with fitness in a way that was really rejuvenating. And the weight I’d been trying to lose for years finally started coming off. I realized the “weight” was a lot more than I ever imagined it was.

Brave, Afraid, and Alive

My Journey to a More Intentional Life

I am truly grateful that things are coming together as we hoped they would. It hasn’t all been easy or even fun, but I feel like we are shaping the life we want. I still get scared of what is to come or if I’ll rethink my decisions in the future. However, I think Brene Brown sums it up best in her book The Gifts of Imperfection:

“One minute you’ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that’s how I feel most of the time…brave, afraid, and very, very alive.”

What’s In Store For You?

Are you ready to take that step into something different but aren’t sure where to start?  I’d love to help.  Schedule a free discovery session to learn more.  Sometimes feeling more alive means being brave enough to take that first step toward the life you’ve been dreaming of.