Cleaning out the Clutter

First of all, it’s been a long time in between posts so I feel like I should re-introduce myself again :p

But that’s just the way life works sometimes, right? We get on a roll and then we get busy in other areas and our priorities align in what we are putting our attention towards most. The past 3 months have been a whirlwind for sure; my hubby was laid off so I picked up a few (or it feels more like a thousand) more shifts and clients to make up the difference, our home had some issues that have now been resolved, we made it through the summer season and now getting set up for Fall. Is it that time already?

I find it so rewarding to clear out all the “stuff” from the past few months when I’m entering a new stage or creating a new schedule again. I don’t know if it comes mostly from my OCD tendencies but I seriously feel like the biggest badass after I clean anything up!

I know I’m not alone since I’ve had this conversation with many friends and some family members who can relate with me on every level.

  • When I clean, I don’t like to ‘cut corners’, I prefer to get every nook and cranny finished to my high standards so that I know it was done ‘right’. If you just rolled your eyes or think I’m crazy then you’re probably going to disagree with most of what comes next. 🙂
  • I don’t just “clean and go”; I complete each task and then stand back t admire my work. This is what I work for! This is my reward! If you’ve ever done this, you are nodding your head like a mad-person right now because you understand how exciting this clean and fresh feeling is that you were responsible for! #strangebuttrue
  • I get a high from shredding old papers, sweeping off the porches and indoor floors, vacuuming the carpets, wiping crud from walls, etc. It feels like I’m purging the old, icky stuff and making room for awesomeness that is CLEAN, organized and tidy as can be!
  • When working on a task, like cooking for example, I cannot leave a ginormous mess to clean “later” all at once. This drives me insane!! I actually do “mini” cleanings in between my steps of work. For instance, if I am chopping veggies and sauteeing them for a recipe, I’ll complete all the chopping and put the veggies into the sautee pan while I’m washing down the dirty knives, chopping boards, sink, etc before moving to the next step. How does one just ‘put the dirty dishes in the sink’ to clean later ‘all at once’??? I cannot even imagine it and even now, it’s giving me a bit of a panic attack. lol

These are a few of my happy practices. I’m definitely not encouraging anyone to follow these steps if you cannot relate with the feelings I shared above. We all work and complete tasks at different levels and with different patterns but what matters most to the task at hand – is completing it!

So in honor of Fall season; back to school season and just getting back to where my heart lies (in writing and entertaining you, my dear friend and reader!); I challenge you this week to take on at least 3 or more of the following tasks to clean out the clutter and make room for something new and lasting this season!

  • Have too many emails? Start by clicking “unsubscribe” from all of the useless marketing lists that provide zero value (their purpose is to distract you from what you should be doing anyway)
  • Need some reconnecting? This week, call someone that you care about but haven’t spoken to in awhile. Tell them hello and how much they mean to you and just catch up.
  • Take 100% responsibility for everything in your life and stop making excuses for not being where you want to be. Decide what needs to go and what you will start to implement in order to move you closer to your goals. If you don’t make changes, those goals are just “ideas” and not as important to you as you think.
  • Focus on making better nutrition choices. Throw away foods that are not from nature and stick to vegetables, fruits, whole grain carbohydrates and lean protein sources. Drink water and get your rest each night for more energy and better long term health.
  • Do something physical each day this week that breaks a sweat. It doesn’t have to be a marathon workout, just get 10 minutes (minimum) of an activity that brings you joy! (remember that feeling?)
  • Write down 3 things you are most grateful for and truly appreciate these today.
  • Clean out your inbox until it’s at “0”. If you have too many old messages, start with 10-20 per day until they are cleaned out completely. Zero messages feels good 😉

What are you waiting for? Choose the 3 areas you will complete this week and get to it now! There is no need to wait for a new month, a new year or a Monday to start again. Time is ticking every second of every minute in every day. You can decide to take control or it will control you.

Are you ready to clean?

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Are you emotionally tied to your goals?

It’s funny how many of us have goals we hope to reach one day (such as; losing weight, earning more money, having better relationships, etc) but end up repeating patterns endlessly that never quite add up to more in the long run. What are we doing wrong?

I had someone ask me recently about my panic disorder. If you have read my story, you know that I suffered (quite debilitating) panic disorder for over 20 years. It started at the age of 19 after a devastating break of a relationship that was unhealthy in many ways. I was young and I was quite naive, so I allowed stresses and unhappiness to pile up in my body to the point of near break down. My heart would start to pound out of my chest; I’d be unable to catch my next breath; I’d have pains shooting through my body and I was certain that I was near death. These episodes would come on suddenly and without warning. I never knew how long they would last and each time it was unclear if I would survive. I ended up in the emergency room more times than I can count and to anyone who has never experienced a panic attack; I cannot explain the enormity of the feeling during an episode. I became more and more fearful of being in public because of the sudden outbreaks; to which I had no control over. Who wants to be seen by others when they are experiencing a life or death situation in their minds and bodies?

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This went on for many years; some more mild over time and some periods of immense attacks. I researched what to do and why they would come about but it was never quite clear on how to handle it the best before, during or after. I remember one doctor visit (which my sister in law drove me to because I wouldn’t allow myself behind the wheel) when I couldn’t even speak since I was trying to catch my breath and relax as much as possible. She told the doctor what had been happening and asked him what to do and what could happen. I remember his callous and uncaring remark, “Nothing will happen. She’s just panicking and she’ll either stop eventually or pass out.”

This was probably the worst thing he could have said in front of me. He didn’t even speak to me but was looking at me, quite disapproving. It was cruel and made me feel as though I was crazy. What could he have said that would have helped me better? Anything in terms of acting like he actually cared and then stating some facts that could help me begin a healing process.

Which it truly was, in the long run. I ended up seeing a psychiatrist in order to figure out how to sleep through the night. He confirmed that I was doing well on my studies into mental issues that plagued my issues and needed to relax my mind in order to sleep. I was prescribed a low dosage tricyclic antidepressant to help alleviate the anxiety and allow me to sleep through the night. I am so scared of medications that I only took half the prescribed dosage and still thought I was having a bad reaction in the first dosage.

In any case, it did help me begin to relax. I started to sleep through the night but didn’t like how it would knock me out at a certain hour every night. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be how I’d live the rest of my life but decided it was a step forward from feeling out of control. There were many times I realized I would have gone into a full blown panic attack but nothing happened and it was due to being on the medication. I dove into studying about mindfulness, becoming happier and having more clarity in the goals I wanted to achieve. Through my studies I began to realize my shift in how I believed about myself and my capabilities. I began to let go of stresses that would have plagued me in the past; trying to be ‘perfect’ in all areas, caring what others thought about me and thinking I’d have to live up to anyone else’s standards besides my own. I started to focus on the areas that were the most important to me; my well being, my family and my faith. These areas of focus began to increase and the lesser important areas began to decrease. I literally felt the shift happening within my body. After three full years of taking my medication daily, I decided I didn’t want to be tied to a drug any longer and stopped taking it.

I won’t lie and say it was an easy decision. I was scared out of my mind and kept the bottle of leftover pills in case I started to suffer anxiety issues again. But nothing happened. After a point, I then celebrated by tossing the pills into the trash and listening to my body and my mind’s cues in how I was feeling at specific times of more stress and busyness. I simply changed the way my mind and body worked and believed were ‘normal’ and in doing so, I stopped having my panic.

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I’m not saying this is typical and I’m not saying everyone who suffers anxiety should take this on. I am simply stating that when we have more mental focus, more clarity and a deeper desire to create a new reality; we can do just that. It takes time and it takes patience but I am a firm believer that if we want something badly enough, there is a way to reach it. Start with knowing exactly what that goal is and how to measure it when you’ve arrived.

I hope this helps you set up your goals in any area. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight” or “I want more money”; you need to have a clear definition of the specific goal. For example, if you lose 1 lb, then you’ve technically lost weight; so is that acceptable to you? And if you earn $1.00, you now have more money so is that enough? I wouldn’t think so and if that was your goal then you’re going to realize it much easier than anyone else! 🙂 If you are looking to lose more weight or earn more money or achieve any other goal; you have to be specific about the desired outcome. It must be something you can measure and track along the way, until you actually attain what you’ve been working towards.

It will happen if you stick with it and stop making excuses about why it’s not happening if you’re repeating the same cycles. I cured my anxiety; what do you want to do?

10 Commitments you MUST make to reach your goals

I am learning more in this decade of my life than in any other. It’s crazy how I could have lived over 40 years, been married over 20 of these years and have 3 grown children and actually have this epiphany that I’m finally freaking LEARNING things that matter.

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Like really deep, right?

Maybe it’s cuz I finally have the time to do so! 🙂 In any case, this year I looked at my life in it’s entirety and measured what I was doing in my day to day that was making me truly happy. When I say “happy”, I mean that feeling you get when you are just HIGH on life. When you can’t sit still because you are jumping out of your own skin. That kind of happy. Do you even feel that feeling any more?

I realized that I wasn’t and it made me reconsider everything, for the first time in my life. Yes, I am blessed. I am so thankful for everything God has blessed me with and I have zero regrets because I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through all that I have been through. I’ve lived the life that I was given and I very much love most, if not ALL of it. Ups and downs are inevitable but unless we embrace these too, we won’t truly understand the value and the lessons that the challenges brought us. I’ll save these stories for another time…

Maybe 😉

So as I sat and truly reflected on everything at the end of last year, I found myself at the crossroads that I’ve been before…at just wanting to freaking DUMP everything I was doing that didn’t make me want to jump out of bed every morning, and start over. You know…like pressing “CTRL + ALT + DELETE”? That’s the feeling that usually plagues me every few years and other than feeling overwhelmed (which is a word I’ve come to despise) I never understood that it was simply because I wasn’t getting enough pleasure and happiness from my daily tasks and work.

So here are the tips I have for you if you are needing to PURGE (or at least refocus) on the areas that are SUCKING life’s happiness and meaning from your bones and spirit. I wrote down every commitment that I was holding onto and how important each of these commitments were to  me and my happiness and future. The one thing that stood out to me was that I needed to cut back on trying to juggle too many roles in my world. I knew in my heart of heart that I needed to let go of my hours of teaching fitness classes, in order to create more time in growing myself and in growing my at home business. It was much like the day I decided I needed to quit my job as a personal trainer.

I knew how hard this would be for me. Here was a position that I held since I was just 18 years of age. That’s almost 30 years of teaching. That’s a part of me that I have known longer than before I was both a wife and a mother. This role always seemed to define me, for some reason. I felt valued, I felt needed and I knew I was helping others find their energy to do more.

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When I made the decision to give notice for my classes, I sat in my car in the gym’s parking lot and sobbed like a baby. This was a part of me. It may sound ridiculous but it was a LOSS. In order for me to grow into my next level of happiness and life’s roles that I knew would ultimately create more success and happiness for me and my family, I had no other choice. But it hurt so deeply.

Whether you’re deeply invested in your career or starting a business, I’ve learned that successful people commit to certain decisions that help shape them into becoming the elite. 

Choose to make every moment count. Every day is an opportunity and a gift to master new skills and further our goals. Success comes down to having the right attitude and making smart decisions. I know I made a smart decision because my heart is happier and I can’t explain it more simply and fully than that.

Here are 10 tips to help you find your own inner happiness again.

1. See the good in your life/job/work or find it again.
Find ways to love the life you’re in. If you aren’t getting the happiness you once had, do some research on where you are being drawn to instead.

2. Always risk failures
Commit to letting fear be your motivator but don’t let it become your master when you approach a new opportunity or change in your life. Fear only shrinks our success.

3. Work hard.

Measure your success by your work ethic. If all you are looking for is to simply make money, be careful as the need to make money can become a feeling of “needing to always create more of it”. It’s a feeling of LACK versus REWARD and this does not make for a happy life.

 

4. Be willing to grow
Be committed to thinking bigger than you have ever allowed yourself. Always be grateful for the accomplishments but never satisfied to stop. Continue creating bigger goals along the way.

We are always just beginning the next phase. I know that in my making these changes; I’m not “done” and I will always continue to ask “What’s next?”

 

5. Consistency is the key to success.
It will take commitment to working consistently without breaks and interruptions. It’s only through consistent and diligent work, along with having patience and understanding, that we can continue to climb higher towards more success.

6. Be in love with what you’re doing.
Decide to be passionate about what you do. Passion is the fire that ignites our desire to work harder. Just like a car can’t run without gas, our businesses cannot succeed if we aren’t passionate, focused, and hardworking.

7. Have self-respect.
Having self-respect gives us pride in ourselves; brings more confidence in every area of our lives and brings about the feeling of true happiness through and through. It’s also important to treat others with respect and having integrity in all that we do in order to keep that self-respect.

 

8. It’s a balancing game.
You cannot get where you want to go all by yourself. Learn to delegate activities and jobs. Knowing when to delegate means knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

9. Grow and nurture relationships.
Be choosy when adding others to your team or business. When you find the right team mates and members, nurture them along their goals of success in order to keep morale high and infusing them with your passion, vision and purpose.

10. Always ask for feedback.
Take it from me, don’t be a “know it all”. Professionals actively seek out feedback in order to grow. Every piece of feedback is a seed of knowledge, which is capable of furthering to expand both you and your business. Feedback forces you to keep an open mind and being available to new opportunities that may never have even been an option before.

In order to be happier and more successful in business and in life, commit to making wise and self-aware choices. Our success is a direct reflection of our decisions, our attitudes and our thinking. It’s important to ask ourselves when our business isn’t where we want it to be, we must start making new decisions. In order to grow our work, our happiness; we must first grow ourselves.

I believe this is exactly the next natural step for me too.

 

Choose to live a happy life!

How would you describe yourself to others?

Would you be complimentary with your words about yourself?

Would you describe yourself as you would a best friend?

Or would you describe yourself  “less than” average and apologize for your shortcomings?

Most of us would fit the latter personalities. Why do we have such low self esteem and acceptance of ourselves?

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It can be a challenge to love ourselves and to to be our own biggest cheerleaders, right? It took me years to finally be proud of the person I am and take care of myself as I know I deserve. The more that I accept myself and think kindly of myself; the better I become at setting the time aside to workout and eat right! The standards are set much higher if we believe in our best selves.

I used to compare myself to everyone around me. People I knew; people I saw but didn’t know; people in magazines and on t.v, friends, family and just anyone who I could conjure up at any given moment.

The problem with what I was doing was that I compared myself unfairly and in unrealistic terms. These comparisons were always unattainable and only served to make me feel “less than” and “not quite good enough”. Not surprisingly, this left me with low self confidence and self worth.

When we feel this low about ourselves, our abilities and our accomplishments; it’s not uncommon to self sabotage.

Overeating, anxiety, depression; are just a few examples of what happens when we put extreme levels of pressure on being someone or something that is never possible.

We all know that “perfect” doesn’t exist and yet we are guilty of beating ourselves up constantly for NOT being “perfect”.

What?

Before I started my at-home business as a Beachbody coach, I fought to find time and balance in my life. As a busy, working mother; I was always running from one task to the next. Getting everything done in the time I had set for myself was nearly impossible but for whatever reason, I felt it my duty to complete or else beat myself up for failing to do so.

I had three young children, a husband and too many items on my “to do” list. Even with an assistant, these unreasonable tasks I had placed on myself could not be done in the time expected from myself. I would not put this much pressure on my best friend…and yet, like most of the women I know who suffer from these same issues; we expect we are super-human.

In response to dealing with the strains and expectations (which ultimately fed my “failure” mentality), I would then have a food-binge to deal with the stress. I then would fall into the cycle of feeling depressed about my lack of self control and willpower which lead to believing I was a complete loser. Depression, anxiety and negative body images were some of the results of this self-defeating process. Can you relate?

It helps to know that we are not alone and there is always a way. Finding support and balance is key. Staying on track and learning how to pick back up again when we fall down (which will happen along the way); is key to overcoming the issues of our past. There are so many things that we have no control over in life; yet, we allow them to affect us negatively anyway. What gives?

Have you ever been guilty of one or more of these issues:

Wondering what other people think of you? Wondering how other people get to live like they do and believing you have “less than” everyone around you? Wondering why you are “stuck” in a situation when others seem to be living so much “happier” and with less stress than you do? Wonder why others can look and feel so good about themselves; when you feel completely exhausted and unable to keep up with the demands of day to day life? Wonder why you can’t get yourself “together”? Wish you had a job as successful and joyous as “others” do? Wish you made as much money as others? Wish that your cars were as nice as others you are watching? Wish that your home or the location of your home was as nice as someone else? Wish you had better education or success as someone else?

and on and on this list can go.

There are no end to comparisons. What we do not realize, however, is that while we sit and wonder about all of these “happier and more successful” people we are comparing our lives to…there are many others who are doing the same with us.

Don’t think it’s true? Well, you’d be wrong! There will always be someone who feels less valuable than you do. There will always be others who feel like they have less than you do. There will be others who wonder what you have and how you do what you do for your life.

Comparing ourselves to anyone else only makes us feel insecure, miserable, frustrated, depressed, “not good enough” and we feel that we cannot be happy with the things that we have right now. We feel we can’t be “happy” until we reach some magical goal or milestone. This is definitely not the way to life our best lives.

Since I work on my own now, I have to work on myself too. I read books, listen to audio, watch videos, listen to trainings…and what I’ve learned is that we are all very much alike in most ways. We deal with similar issues. We struggle in similar ways. No matter where we are or who we are; we will not be satisfied unless we learn to be thankful for all that we have.

Life is a journey and it has many ups and downs and it’s a process. I believe it’s important to learn how to be happy and be grateful for everything we have right now even if we haven’t reached our ultimate “goal” yet.

Striving to be like someone else or look like someone else is never attainable. Striving to be our best and using others as motivation is fine as long as they’re someone who has done something similar to you, or has a similar body to you.

We need to be responsible for ourselves; how we choose to live, what we choose to do and who we choose to use as “inspiration”, “motivation” or as a “role model”.

There will always be external influences that have the potential to destroy our self worth if we allow them to. This is why I believe that many issues we have are internal. If someone or something is making you feel bad or causes you to have low self esteem then it’s important to have a look at what could be causing it – most of the time it is coming from within.

My goal for my life now as a role model in my family; a leader in my team and an inspiration to others whom I don’t even know yet, is to be positive and reach as many people as possible so that I can help deliver this message of hope and acceptance to everyone. I also want my team and my family to do the same for others in their lives. It starts with us. We can empower others and we can help them to share the same message with others. It’s not an easy task but it’s what has become my passion and I know it’s worth the efforts indeed.

The biggest accomplishment in my life is self love and if I can somehow help others achieve this then I’m going to do it and I won’t stop no matter what!

Self worth and self love can only be achieved from within, it can’t be gained from others.

Everything we choose to do should be from a place of LOVE, not hate. I love myself and my body so I choose to exercise and eat healthy so I can be my best and feel my best. I want others to feel this way too – however that’s achieved because we’re all different and what makes me happy is different for someone else.

Love who you are now and realize that this is a process and the goal is to ultimately be HAPPY – whether you exercise and eat healthy food or not…. you should always do things that make you happy, not what you think will please others.

It’s not about “perfection”, it’s not about comparison, it’s not about being ‘the best” – it’s about doing my best and being “my best”, and loving everything that I am – flaws and all. – This is what makes us human and unique after all!

Who’s with me? Share this message if you care ❤

xoxo

Feeling the Fear; and Loving it!!!

Change can be scary, it can be uncertain and it can be paralyzing at times. What’s the saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway?”

How often has this rang true in your life? I know that it’s been almost a constant and some of the decisions were my own; but many were just where God wanted me to go.

Fear is something we all experience. You may look at someone who is very successful and think they are completely fearless, but I guarantee you they have their own share of fear.

I have fear all the time. What if I fail? What will someone think of me? What if I’m not good enough? The past few years were full of fears and experiences that were not guaranteed to turn out the way I wanted. In fact, many of the experiences didn’t go how I would have chosen; but I have faith that God lead me exactly where I needed to be and where I am today. How can anyone argue with that?

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I competed in my first fitness competition and received many negative remarks that I went into it as an “un-Godly” woman and that really shook my life. I had to question my motives and if I was truly looking at it for my ego or something else. And you know what? Once I did it, it felt amazing.   I then decided to run my very first marathon…that’s 26.2 miles, in case you weren’t paying attention! That’s a LOT of miles for someone who doesn’t even enjoy running. True story.  But I did it. And the feeling of accomplishment overrode all of the sacrifices I had made to reach both of these achievements. Our family sold everything and moved overseas to another country. Talk about fear!!! It was scary, it was hard, it was awesome and it was ultimately a blessing.

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My whole life is full of blessings. Some were tough to go through but what came out later was something I could never have accomplished or experienced without it.

 

This year, I have taken on another huge and super scary goal. You know the kind of goals that make you a little weak in the knees and kind of wanting to throw up?

Ya, that’s the type of goal I set for this year. I don’t believe if I hadn’t gone through all the challenges before, that I would even consider working towards this type of commitment. Whatever brings you passion and yet keeps your top priorities in place, is the key to your success and happiness.

 

A key difference between being successful and not, is either letting the fear stop you from reaching your goals or feeling the fear and going for it anyway. The moment we can learn to embrace fear then we open ourselves up to so many opportunities. The moment you let fear take hold and stop you from doing things, then you shut yourself off from reaching your true potential.

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What will this year bring? Stay tuned….I’m just getting warmed up!

Lemons Can Be Your Best Friends!!

Is today one of those days?  I find it amazing how we can find ups and downs within a month, week, day and hour to hour.  Why is this so?  Is life this flippant?  946926_464147313660287_447013758_n  I don’t think so.

In fact, I believe it’s mostly our mindset and how we react to specific triggers.

Think about it for a moment; is there a time in your life where everything is perfect?

Of course not!!!

But even in the midst of challenges and setbacks, we can find joy and pleasure in the simple things too.  Crisis’ are major issues and yet you can find a time within these difficult areas of stress where you can fit in a smile or a happy thought.

What is going on in your life today that is causing you stress?  Are you allowing it to consume you; or do you plan accordingly how to deal with it and keep a happy medium in your mind?

I’m constantly amazed at stories I hear regarding people I know (and quite well!) that are going through major life strains and yet I would never have guessed it by their demeanor and attitude.  Do you think this plays a part on the outcome?

Possibly not but why risk all that stress and negativity building up in your life and your mind when it’s clearly something out of your control (or you’d have blown right past it by now!)  Am I right?  Or am I right?

Wise answer 🙂

253368_460129127395439_534013659_n   So when life hands you lemons (and this saying always makes me smile because it’s ridiculous at best!); don’t allow it to sour your mood!  Make good of it…which obviously is to make lemonade…or whatever else you enjoy lemons for!

 

Make a list of all the things that are stressing you today.  You know; the issues that make your body cringe at the thought of them?  List them down and then one by one; cross them off.  If you have no control over them; let them go.  Do what you can and move along.  Take the mindset that it is what it is and whatever materializes won’t mess with your awesome attitude!

Never give up.  Ever ever.  And when you want to reach a goal or milestone; stop second guessing your chances and just get out and do it!