Tag Archives: goals

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!

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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

“When I lose weight, I will…”

29 Sep
Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson

Have you ever said, “When I lose weight, I will…”

  • ask for a raise
  • leave my unhealthy relationship
  • buy new clothes
  • socialize more

Or maybe you’ve said, “When I have more money, I will…”

  • join a gym
  • eat healthier
  • travel more
  • pursue my dream job

Whatever it is, we’ve all said the “When I’m…” statements before. We think there is something wrong with our physical being (not attractive enough, not thin enough, not wealthy enough) or our mental and emotional being (not smart enough, not talented enough). We believe we need to be a photoshopped version of ourselves to achieve happiness. Well, that is just a brown paper bag of poo set ablaze and left at our feet by the negative voice in our head.

We aren’t that voice.

I use to think that if I was prettier, smarter, wealthier, life would be better. I’d travel more, meet a wonderful man, pursue my dream job and have a life full of butterfly-colored unicorns dancing on rainbows. I finally realized the list I made about all the things I’d do if I were prettier, smarter or had more money was the root to my happiness. If I wanted to pursue my dream job, then I better start doing what I love and if I wanted to be in a loving relationship with an amazing man, I better get off my couch and get out there. I finally realized that waiting to be those things was costing me those exact things I wanted—it was costing me happiness NOW. And what if (*gasp*) I already was enough? How freeing would it be to believe you are enough?

Guess what my hot-to-trot friend? You are enough. We all are. It’s time for all of us to re-write our message and kick that negative Nancy or Ned out of our head. What is more true: (1) Losing weight will turn your significant other into the person of your dreams who treats you with love and kindness or (2) Leaving your unhealthy relationship will free you to meet other people who bring joy and support to your life so you find yourself stressing less, choosing to treat yourself better and the pounds begin to fall off? I encourage you to insert your own personal scenario into that statement. Change is difficult and it’s okay to be scared of the unknown. It’s okay to have real, human feelings. But realize this, you have the choice to change your life and be happy NOW. You don’t have to wait to live. What if you asked for that raise you deserve? You joined that gym? You decided you’d rather be single and happy than dating and miserable? Ooooh!!! I get goosebumps just thinking about all of the amazing talents you bring to the world and the joy you can create for yourself if you choose to believe and take action. I know from experience that the first step always takes the most courage, but it offers the most growth as well.

So, what’s buzzing in that beautiful brain of yours? What is it costing you to hold on to things/relationships that bring unhappiness? How is it serving you? What is one thing you can do to step into your happiness? I ask you these questions, because these are the questions I needed to answer myself… and it ain’t always pretty. My rock bottom was illness and a controlling environment… and while the journey isn’t always easy, the opportunity to reinvent yourself and step into happiness is worth it. Is that a butterfly-colored unicorn salsa dancing on a rainbow? Yes. Yes it is.

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