Life is Like the Hokey Pokey

You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in, and you shake it all about! Just writing that reminded me of all the family weddings and roller skating parties I went to in my life where we boogied to the Hokey Pokey. But you are probably wondering, where in the world are you going with this post Jen? That’s a good question…

Sea Ocean Sand Beach Vacation Coast Chill Bare Concept

One of the areas that I wanted to change in 2017 was to enjoy life more. 2016 was great, but it was hard. It was filled with great things, but many times, at the end of the day, I felt very “Meh!” The question was, how could I change that this year? I spent a lot of time out of my comfort zone last year. One things I wanted to try this year was to keep one foot out of my comfort zone and one foot in my comfort zone. That sounds great theoretically, but the implementation of it looks a lot more like the Hokey Pokey.

This past week I have been nudged out of my comfort zone and it is a good thing, but uncomfortable. The question is, how can I keep that one foot in my comfort zone? How can I still enjoy this time even though it is uncomfortable? How can you too?

The first thing I had to do was identify the things that I enjoy. These can be big things or little things. I believe it is important to fill our lives with both. I took time to think about this and wrote some things down. I know many of you simply don’t have the time to do that, but I think we all instinctively know some of the things we enjoy. Here are some of my simple daily enjoyments.

    • I love to get outside, to be in the sunshine most of all.
    • I love to rest my mind and body, which for me means sitting, relaxing and not looking at my smart phone.
    • I also love being physically active, like taking a short walk.
    • I love doing things for others, small simple gestures.
    • I love being at home.
    • I love feeling productive and organized. A 15 minute house pick-up does me good.
    • I love a hot cup of coffee!

What are some small things that bring you enjoyment? If they don’t instantly come to mind, keep it at the forefront of your mind this week and notice the small things that bring you joy.

Secondly, try to fit a few of them into your day. This is important every day, but essential when we are living outside of our comfort zone. When we are outside of our comfort zone, these small things will bring life to our day, a spring to our step, enjoyment instead of “meh!”

All of us are pursuing our best life, and I am very proud of you as you continue to push forward in your life. Let’s not forget to enjoy it, too. You deserve the simple pleasures of life.
Here’s to dancing the Hokey Pokey, stepping one foot forward while having a blast!

Have I Failed?

I am not going to be able to accomplish one of my first goals of 2017. Because of this, my week had been filled with feelings of disappointment, denial, frustration, but, ultimately acceptance. The big question I have had to answer for myself is “Have I Failed?”

fail runner cropped

Many of my goals are unclear this year, but the one that I felt was crystal clear and where I felt I had a clear plan, is the one goal where I have been stopped in my tracks. I am registered for my first triathlon in April. I started training on December first which gave me plenty of time to be ready for the big event. Even though my plan is in place, and I know in my mind that I can do it, my body has decided not to cooperate. I will spare you of the detailed descriptions of my aches and pains, but because of them I have fallen behind on my training to the point where I will not be ready in time. The one goal I was ready to tackle this spring is now out of my reach. I ask myself, what did I do wrong? I am the one writing a blog to encourage us all to live our best. Did I ignore my own advice? What happened?

In order to answer that last question I went back and read all of my blogs from the beginning of the year. What did I fail to do? What did I do wrong? Here is what I found.

  • I have been taking one small baby step at a time.
  • I have taken care of myself and stayed rested.
  • I have been disciplined.
  • I have hushed the fears that crop up in my mind.
  • I have stayed connected to people.
  • I have pushed through the pain and “just did it” even when I did not feel like it.
  • I have said “I don’t wanna” but did it anyway.
  • I have visualized what the accomplishment of the goal would look like.
  • I have had something to look forward to.
  • I have believed “I CAN!”

But after doing all of these things right, I am still not able to accomplish my goal.

I am here to tell you today that I am not a failure and if you are struggling with one of your goals, you are not a failure either. These are just bumps in the road and are just a part of the amazing long-term journey we have ahead of us.

Interestingly enough, I am reading a book about the fear of failure right now. I know in my mind that failure is a part of the growth process as long as we learn something to help us in the future.  But there are companies and individuals who believe that failure is essential. Here are a few quotes from Robert Kelsey’s book What’s Stopping You?

“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe,” wrote Sumner Redstone, majority owner of MTV, CBS, Dreamworks, Paramount Pictures.

Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor Company said: “Success is 99% failure.”

I do not know where you are today in the process of moving forward on your desired changes, but let’s keep going! I have not given up on my dream of participating in a triathlon. I do not know the exact timing, but I am going to keep putting one foot in front of the other to move towards my goals and dreams. I hope you will do the same.

Here’s to failing, learning and continuing to move forward!

I Want To But…It Just Too Hard!

There are days when I simply can’t handle one more “hard” thing. Life is stressful and busy and I don’t feel like I have the energy to keep pushing forward in the areas I wanted to improve on in 2017. I’m tired and I want to throw in the towel. If you are feeling the same way, let’s stop for a second and ask ourselves a few questions.

too hard cropped

Do I need to adjust my goal? Sometimes in the beginning of year excitement, I set really lofty plans. I feel really motivated and I am ready to conquer the world! It is about a month into the process when I start to realize I may have bitten off more than I can chew. If you have found that you have done the same thing, take a deep breath, grab a cup of something refreshing and take a few minutes to think. What has worked so far, what has not, and adjust your plans accordingly. It’s ok!

Did I take too big of a bite of that HUGE plate of spaghetti? After evaluation, you may be fine with your overall goal, but you may realize that instead of taking the first few baby steps, you tried to jump the Grand Canyon. The cool part about all of this is that it is a learning process and we can make adjustments. Take a few minutes again, and think about how you can make your next step a little smaller and more realistic for your life. Remember, we are in this for the long haul. A bunch of small baby steps are going to bring us to amazing places.

Do I need some rest? I do not know how many of you do all that you do in a 24 hour period. I do know many times it is sleep and rest that gets the short end of the stick. Rest is an essential part of good health for you and your loved ones. As you try to fill your life with amazing things, remember that the gift of rest will do everyone some good. It is amazing what a good night’s rest can do. When we get one, we are ready to start fresh in the morning, but when we don’t, well, you know the rest of that story.

I do have some uncomfortable news for you. When we tackle the BIG, MOST IMPORTANT areas of our lives, it is not going to be easy, but we can make them manageable. I appreciate all of the hard work you are putting in to live your best! Hang in there! Keep going one little step at a time and you will move to where you want to go!

Here’s to swinging the towel over our shoulders and taking the next small step forward!

Free Resources: It’s time for our next month’s “Something To Look Forward To Planning Calendar! Spring is right around the corner, so let’s plan some fun stuff for ourselves and those we care about! (Click on the image below)

March 2017 STLFT Planning Calendar

Life Can Be Blurry

Do you have any areas in your life that you simply don’t know where they are headed? One of the exercises I go through when I am trying to set a goal is to think about what I want that area of my life to look like in the future. It’s very helpful to have a picture or a vision of my future. But sometimes that picture is not clear. Sometimes we have to make one move, assess our situation, then make another move. Sometimes the roadmap of the future is not clear.

hands-way-guide-tourist cropped

My life is in a state of “weird” right now. I am someone who usually knows exactly where I want to go and has a 10 page plan on how to get there. That is not the case for me so far this year. I knew there were a few areas of uncertainty, but one area that I felt like I had a set goal and a plan is not working out that way. Every area that I want to move forward in this year is blurry and down right weird for me. So here is my plan, since I don’t have a plan! Hee Hee, that even made me giggle!

Take one step. Assess. Take another step. Assess. Take another step. Assess. Take another step….

At the beginning of the year I provided some resources to help us move forward one baby step at a time. Holy Cow! I never imagined the level I was going to have to depend on that philosophy. Quite frankly though, if it were not for the concept of baby steps, I would be stopped in my tracks at this point.

Here are a few things that I have to do to find success in this weird, new and unorganized stage of life.

  • I have to be more disciplined than ever before. It is really easy to get up in the morning and do nothing to move forward. I continually have to ask myself what do I feel the next step should be? I then have to be disciplined to do it, and that’s not easy.
  • I have to hush the fears that crop up in my mind. The fear of failure is ever-present when the future is uncertain.
  • I have to take care of myself. Moving forward into uncharted territory takes a lot of mental, emotional and physical energy. I have to do all I can to feel good and stay sharp.
  • I need to stay connected to people. It is very easy to pull in and isolate myself. I’ll be honest with you, it is hard to talk to my friends right now.  I don’t even know what to talk about, but spending time with those most important to me is vital.
  • I need to push through the pain and never stop asking “what can I do to move forward?” All change has it’s challenges. I have to push through those challenges and keep moving forward.

If the future is not clear for you right now, hang in there and keep moving forward. You have so much to offer this world, even when the road is a little bit blurry. Keep taking one small step at a time. I’m right here alongside of you!

Here’s to moving forward, no matter what!