Tag Archives: change

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

12 Jan

ghost-crab_w725_h476Have you ever heard of the Crab Theory? It’s pretty interesting. Here it goes: if you place one crab in a pot, it will easily crawl out, but if you put multiple crabs in a pot, they will pull anyone down who tries to escape to ensure they all meet the same fate.

There are many theories on the why: jealousy, resentment, equal the playing field, feel better about themselves… kinda sounds like human nature, huh? Have you ever attempted to make a positive change, like cutting down on cookie consumption, only to have your spouse restock the cookie stash (after you asked him/her not to) or your best friend telling you you’re “no fun” since you don’t want to go to the coffee shop that sells your favorite cookies? Yep, that sucks and makes doing something good for yourself feel like a drag.

Social support is critical when making positive change. So until your new change has become a habit, try spending a bit more time with people who build you up and a little less time with those that tear you down. While you build your new power posse (the friends and family that will go on a walk with you and enjoy eating healthier foods), try communicating the importance of why you are changing to your other friends and family and how much you’d appreciate their support. You can even assure them that while you want to be healthier for your grandkids, you will not guilt or pressure them to do the same. Who knows, if they don’t feel judged or feel scared that you’ll leave them behind, they may even warm up to ditching those cookies too.

Thrive During Change: The 5-Step Anti-New Year’s Resolution Plan

29 Dec
Set your sails and avoid the rocks along the way.

Set your sails and avoid the rocks along the way.

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. It isn’t because I don’t believe in growth and bettering one’s self–I’m totally down with that. It’s because the “New Year’s Resolution” thought process that we’ve known sets us up for failure. Too lofty (“I know I haven’t exercised in 15 years, but I’m going to start going to the gym…”), too much (“… every single day at 5am…”), too dependent on societal cues  (“…because losing weight will help me get that date!”). So let’s thrive in 2015 and look a little differently at how we can start our positive lifestyle changes on a path of success!

1. How Do You Want to Feel? Danielle LaPorte writes in her phenomenal book, The Desire Map, that we spend a great deal of our time seeking goals or things to make us feel a certain way. For example, do you think having the perfect body will help you ditch your toxic partner and find a better job? It won’t because the perfect body doesn’t exist (without Photoshop)… but doing things that make you feel happy, sexy and courageous will help you realize your inner awesomeness, build confidence and you will become aware that you DESERVE (yes, you darling!) to be in a healthy relationship and a job you enjoy.

Action Step 1: Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” and make a list of words that resonate with you. Then, write down simple things (aka wearing my favorite perfume makes me feel sexy) you can do on a daily basis to feel that way.

2. Expect Challenges. Going through the transition of change can be painful. Anyone remember puberty? I know my awkwardness shined brightly throughout all those middle school pictures. Todd Herman, sports psychology coach, has the answer to stick to your changes. He says that the reason why we start off like a rock star during our New Year’s resolutions is because our brain temporarily floods our body with feel-good neurotransmitters to tell us good job and that it loves the fact we are treating our body awesome with exercise and healthy foods.

After about a week, we feel the resistance, the un-motivation. This is because our neurotransmitter levels went back to normal (and good thing, otherwise we’d literally go crazy). We think we’re just lazy and that it’s too hard to change; however, our cells are having a party transforming into healthier cells for us! They just need a little bit more time to reshape themselves (longer than our neurotransmitter support can give us).

Action Step 2: Celebrate when you feel resistance because it means you are making positive changes and your body is LOVING it! Push through the awkward puberty of change by: 1) breathing, 2) reminding yourself why what you are doing is important, 3) say it out loud, “I’m changing.” and 4) read the next step…

3. Make Small Corrections. So you missed a workout. It’s cool. Our life isn’t a typewriter. We don’t have to throw it all away just because we made a mistake. We are on a journey and can course correct, making small adjustments so we don’t hit that huge rock in our path again.

Action Step 3: What do you need to make this change successful? Is it packing your workout bag at night and having it in the car? Is it keeping almonds in portioned bags at work for emergency snacks? Whatever it is, do it. And if it doesn’t work, change it.

4. Start Small. You’ve decided you want to be healthier and exercising more is how you want to get there–hooray! Rather than going from zero to seven days per week of gym time, start slowly and build your confidence that this new positive change is easy peasy.

Action Step 4: Choose a number that sounds too easy. Maybe it is exercising one day per week for 30 minutes or focusing on swapping out one non-healthy snack with 25 almonds. Whatever it is, practice it. If it doesn’t work, re-read Step 3 and change it.

5. Think Outside the Box. Anyone who wishes to better themselves is a stellar human being in my book. So, as stellar human beings go, make the transition as enjoyable as possible. If you want to move your body, dislike running and love dancing, then for the love of guacamole dance–don’t run–to your mp3 player and “Shake It Off.”

Action Step 5: Okay, you know how you want to feel and what will help you get there. Now, make a list of the most enjoyable things you can do to achieve it. So, if you want to feel energetic and exercising is how you want to feel that way, but you dislike gyms, then make a list of everything you can do that you like outside of a gym (bodyweight exercises at home, yoga dvd, hike, dance, etc.). Choose your favorite, start small and rock out!

What Are You Going to Choose?

9 Jun

Do you ever feel like you’re a deflating balloon? Not a slow deflate, but a just-let-go-of-a-fully-blown-balloon-spinning-out-of-control-and-helplessly-flailing-about sort of deflating balloon? Yeah, me too. But there is one key word that simply isn’t true: we aren’t helpless.

 

I tend to forget that. Maybe you do too. It is so easy to let the negative self talk win. It is so easy to believe we aren’t good enough, that we have nothing valuable to share. In fact, I just spent this entire last week binge watching three Jane Austin movies and feeling sick to my stomach because I’m so afraid to fail at something I really want to do. Something I really believe in.

 

It is scary to put ourselves out there… but far scarier to never try. And the thought of never trying and therefore never knowing terrifies me.

 

We have a say in our life. We have every right to feel deflated, upset, scared, disappointed, angry… and we have every right to feel excited, joyful, loving and happy.

 

So, what are you going to choose? Are you going to helplessly flail about as though you have no choice? Or are you going to acknowledge you’re deflating, give your balloon a few deep breaths and enjoy floating among the stars?

 

I would love to hear from you in the comments below. What helps or inspires you to keep moving forward during times of self-doubt?

That Good, Good Feeling

23 Dec
Silly Things + People You Love (like my awesome niece!) = Happiness

Silly Things + People You Love (like my awesome niece!) = Dancing on Rainbows Happiness

Holidays are tough on those of us that have the self-proclaimed sweet tooth (or fat tooth, alcohol tooth… maybe they are more like sweet teeth… really, doesn’t matter). Cookies are tucked in every nook and cranny, wine flows like water and the full-o-meter of our stomachs takes a holiday too because we are either 1) so dang happy being surrounded by family and friends that we don’t realize what and how much we are consuming or 2) so dang stressed being around family and co-workers that we don’t realize what and how much we are consuming (FYI: if friends stress you out, choose new ones). Is there anything wrong or bad about eating a few pieces of fudge or enjoying a slice of pecan pie? No, there isn’t. You better believe I’m going to be cherishing every inch of my mom’s cream cheese shrimp dip. What is unproductive is when we eat ourselves sick or worse yet, eat ourselves into an ugly, self-loathing, guilt trip stupor because we fell off the “diet” wagon. For the love of all that is sane in this world, I strongly dislike the word “diet.” Live a life of nourishing food, activity and self-love. Screw the quick fixes and fad diets and embrace how you want and deserve to FEEL.

When you think about your body and your health, what do you want to feel? Write down every word that comes to mind–there are no wrong answers. Then, choose two or three feelings that really speak to you. For example, maybe you chose the words sexy, confident, strong, healthy and connected. Well, sexy comes from confidence and strong is a version of healthy, so maybe your main feelings are confident, healthy and connected. Choose one of those words and ask yourself, what is one thing I can do today to feel (insert feeling)? And do it. I don’t care if the first thing that pops in your mind is to dance around in your kitchen singing “Kiss” by Prince at the top of your lungs while wearing neon green slouch socks and a personalized puffy paint sweatshirt. Do it and do it with passion, self-permission and abandonment…. and invite me, because I’m awesome with puffy paint and have some killer dance moves.

Wishing all of you a beautiful Christmas!

Steph