I Don’t Wanna!

The day that I am writing this post is January 18th. I have made it 18 days into the New Year. 18 days after my “fresh start” and I am unmotivated, tired, and lazy and I simply DON’T WANNA! I don’t want to exercise, I don’t want to work, I don’t want to learn; I don’t want to do anything! I hope, for your sake, you are not feeling the same way I am, but if you are, we have to find a way to keep moving forward.

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I have signed up for my first ever triathlon. I have to be ready to swim, bike and run by the end of April. I have three months to come up to speed and this forty-four year old body is going to need every second of that time to get ready. After a week of travel and a week of being sick, yesterday was my day to get back to the Rec Center to train. I felt like I had a split personality because I had two voices competing inside of my head. One was one of the “parent” trying to convince myself that going to work out was the right thing to do, and the other voice was the “two-year-old” screaming “I don’t wanna!” After the battle continued for some time, thankfully the “parent” won the battle and I got to the Rec Center to swim and ride on the stationary bike.

You see, I am training and running in this triathlon for myself. I do not have a boss, I am not getting paid, I will not get reprimanded and no one will know any difference if I don’t train, work hard and complete this race. That is where the challenge lies when it comes to so many of the things we want to accomplish for ourselves. No one is there to push us, but we know we want to make it a reality. No one will know if we don’t succeed, but we desperately want to make things happen in our life and taste victory.

If you have followed my blog for long, you will know it is my heart’s desire to encourage you and help you live your absolute best. I tell you today that overcoming the “I don’t wannas” is not easy, but you can do it and you will! Here are a few things I did to help me keep moving forward.

  • I thought about the future. I thought about the day of my triathlon. I thought about getting out of the swim pool with that leg of the race behind me. I thought about the bike ride and how much I will enjoy it. Then I thought about crossing the finish line after the run and feeling the amazing feeling of accomplishment. When we are feeling unmotivated, let’s think about what it will be like when we accomplish our desired change or goal. It gives us a little boost to keep going.
  • I had to stop my mind from giving me reasons not to go. A few times that morning my mind reminded me of how cold it was to swim during the winter. How cold it was going to be getting out of the pool and walking into the locker rooms. My mind wanted to remind me of all of the negative, uncomfortable things involved in my training. We have to stop those thoughts right when they start. If we let them float around in our minds too long, they will convince us that it is ok to skip out just this one time.
  • I had to tell myself to “just do it!” I don’t use the words “shut-up” very often, but I had to tell myself to “shut-up and just do it!” I had to be frank with myself by telling myself to “quick complaining and go!” Folks, I can be a big baby at times. I love things to be easy, but that is not how life works, especially if you are working towards amazing things. We know what we need to do, so let’s just do it!

That was my story from yesterday. Today I have a day where I need to get some work done, and lo and behold I started in on the “I don’t wannas” again. We are going to have days when we feel like this, but we must keep moving forward, making good choices, one small step at a time.

Oh, by the way, when I was done swimming and biking yesterday, I felt amazing! And today, when I finish the work that I need to get done, I will be thankful that I pushed through the “I don’t wannas!” You will feel great too; just keep taking small steps forward! You got this!

Here’s to throwing our “I don’t wanna” tantrums and moving forward anyway!

Are you Prepared to Profit from the Insightful Words of Others?

Have you ever had an individual say just the right thing at just the right time? Their simple words can bring instant clarity, direction, and excitement. They feel great! How can we recognize the significance of these moments and put our new-found insights into action?

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Just recently I went in to see my Chiropractor, Dr. Matt, followed by rehab with Dr. John. I have had back problems for years and these two guys have been dedicated to helping me find the problem and solution. Over the past year that they have been seeing me, we have slowly built a level of trust to the point where we can be pretty candid with each other. During my appointments, we talk a lot about my back stuff, but we chat about life stuff too. Dr. Matt and I were talking about goal setting, something that I have a good amount of experience with, and I was explaining to him that I wanted to find a way to have one foot out of my comfort zone and one foot in my comfort zone. Out of curiosity, he asked me the simple questions “What does your comfort zone look like?” and I could not answer his question. I did not know. His simple question inspired me. I wanted to dig deeper and find the answer.

The story is not over yet. As I left his office, I walked back to the training room to meet with John to work on some new exercises to build strength in the areas that I am weak. I get a little gung-ho when it comes to exercise, so he has learned that he has to reign me in a little bit at times. John has been telling me since day one that it is not about how many reps I can do and how much weight I can lift, but it’s about being aware and doing things right. As we were finishing up this particular day, he looked me in the eyes and said “Jen, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality!” I don’t know if I was just in an insightful mood that day, but the light bulb finally went on in my head. How important quality is over quantity finally clicked and now I see the same principle repeated in all areas of my life.

These are examples of two moments where the right words were spoken at the right time and they have the potential to propel me in a great direction. The question is, what happens now? Do I do something with these insights, or do I let them drift away? I think all of us would agree that doing something with the amazing insights that come our way is the answer. Here are some things to help us do just that.

  • Recognize the insight as something special. We have all seen the light bulb go on in others. It happens with our children, our co-workers, and our friends. I have been across the table many times when I saw a thought strike a chord with a friend. The insights strike a chord for a reason. Recognize them as special, first and foremost.
  • Document them. If we are not careful, the busyness of life will swoop in and steal that insight from us. We need to do whatever it takes to remember it. I have a friend who carries a small notepad with her, mostly for things she needs to remember throughout her day. A notebook or note on our phones would work. Write a note on a napkin. I have even had someone call and leave themselves a voicemail. Do whatever it takes to remember that great insight.
  • Figure out how to put it into action. Most insights don’t mean anything if they are not acted upon. I can think all day about how quality is more important than quantity, but it means nothing until I apply it. Ask yourself how you can apply your newfound wisdom, and do it!
  • I’ll say it again, “DO IT!” These special insights are gifts. Let’s unwrap them, enjoy them and make our lives better because of them!

I admire your tenacity in life. You are determined to Live Your Best, and I commend you for it! Let’s fill our lives with amazing people who will encourage us with life changing insights!

Here’s to embracing insights and make our lives even better!

Here’s a Quick Way to Add Pizzazz to Your Life!

We sit here in January with an entire year in front of us. We are also coming off one of the most event filled times of the year. I don’t know about you, but I am asking myself “What is next?” Life is filled to the brim with work, family, friends, school activities, maybe church functions, and keeping up with household chores. You know I love routine, but we can easily fall into a rut of busyness and life can begin to lose it’s Pizzazz.  One remedy that brings some life back into our busy world is to always have something on your calendar to look forward to.

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I have a dear friend who modeled this for me in past years. Early in the year she started to plan, and she made sure her and her family had something on the calendar to look forward to. In the middle of one summer, her work schedule became crazy busy, but she did not falter on her plans to get away and have fun. At one point, we discussed how she was better able to deal with the stress of life and work because she always had something to look forward to on her calendar. Her and her family would get home from one activity and keep an eye on their next planned adventure.

Having something to look forward to provides three things.

  • It provides a reward to work towards. We all love a reward. Having something planned and on our calendar is like being a child having a big yummy lollipop to look forward to. We can keep an eye on it and know that it is just a matter of time before we get to enjoy it!
  • It provides a life-preserver when life get’s really stressful. We have all been under loads of stress. When we have something on our calendar to look forward to, we see that relief is in sight.
  • It provides much needed fun and joy. When the planned activity arrives, it adds an immense amount of fun and joy to our lives and the lives of those we care about.

Each month, I am going to include a Bonus Resource for you. It is a “Something To Look Forward To” Planning Calendar. I will include it with the blog post that is closest to the middle of the month allowing us to make sure we plan some fun stuff for the next month. There are many activities that we will need to plan further ahead than this, but it will be a good reminder for all of us to make sure we have some fun stuff planned.

On the “Something To Look Forward To” Planning Calendar, I encourage you to, at a minimum, add something for:

  • You and your loved ones.
  • You and your co-workers.
  • Something just for you.

Click below for your “Something To Look Forward To” February Planning Calendar

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Here’s to a year of fun times with those we care about!

Are You Ever Stopped Before You Get Started?

Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Do you believe that the power of your thoughts dictates your actions, and therefore the outcome? Do you believe that if you think you can, then you can? And do you believe that if you have the mindset that you can’t, then that mindset will sabotage your success and you will not succeed?

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This is a deep concept to grasp, at least it was for me. I have Mr. Ford’s quote in my office and I had to chew on that quote for quite some time. It took me a while to buy into his words, but I now understand them to be very true. When I believe I can, I start to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. When I think, deep down in my soul, that there is no way I can accomplish something, it stops me in my tracks. Action is key in this. If we believe we can, we start to move forward. When we believe something is impossible, we stay put in our current reality.  

It was a process for me to get to the point of believing I could succeed, specifically with my writing. I have struggled with grammar, vocabulary, spelling and writing all my life. I have felt like a failure many times. I have been told that my writing was not good and that my thoughts did not flow well. But I know I can do this and I know that I want to help you live your best life, so I keep going.

Remember, I am walking through this journey with you in real-time. I write about things that I have learned through the years, but I also continue to work through these concepts myself, literally,  as you read about them. Just this morning I was reading a book that was originally published in 1959 called The Magic Of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. He was talking about his experiences with individuals who found success when they believed that “they could.” I instantly asked myself, “do I believe that I can do what it takes to make my desired changes a reality in 2017?”  I really had to chew on that for a while and I got fearful that I don’t have what it takes to succeed.

Do you feel that way sometimes when it comes to the area of change you want to make in your life? Fears start to crop up and memories of past failures rear their head. It is a normal feeling, but we have to put those fears in their place, stand tall and believe with everything we can muster, that WE CAN! Once we are in the mindset of “we can!” we start to put one foot in front of the other and move forward towards success!

I believe that I can make the desired changes that I want to make in 2017! Do you believe you can? Let’s do it together, one step at a time!