Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better

I have been able to accomplish some fun things in my life, and I am here to tell you that you are capable of accomplishing even more than me! I believe you can!

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I am super proud to share with you today, that this morning I was able to participate in, and complete, my first sprint triathlon!!!! I am sitting here is my recliner, unable to move my legs, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to write my blog post.

Today was a sweet day because it has not been a smooth road to get here. I am going to jump back to this weekend, this time last year. Myself, my husband, John, along with some of his co-workers, were scheduled to ride our bikes in a great charity ride here in St. Louis that raises money for cancer research. Just before this fun weekend, I bulged a disc in my lower back. I went from training rides to barely walking. My back kept me off of my bike for months, also causing me to miss a full weekend ride that I had planned with some wonderful ladies. But I had a dream of participating in a triathlon so I decided that December was the time to get a pass to the local rec center, start to swim  and run and be ready for a local Triathlon in April. Hee Hee, wishful thinking! The bulged disk flared up with a vengeance in the early part of April. My dream was put on hold even longer. Finally today, one year from my original bulged disc experience, I jogged over the finish line and reached my goals.

There are a number of things that I did to reach this goal, and I believe with everything in me, that you can do the same to reach your goals and live your dreams.

I did not allow my setbacks to be permanent, and neither should you! There is going to be a weakness in the area of my bulged disc for the rest of my life. I could have seen that as a defeat and stopped. But I knew deep down that I could do something to make myself stronger. I knew this was not a stopping point, but was the start of something new. Yes, I cannot do some things that I used to do, but I have discovered so much more that I can do and want to do, and that is what I focus on. I have found ways to grow and become stronger. Whatever setbacks you have experienced in your life, don’t let them stop you. Try some new things, become creative and see what new opportunities open up for you.

I learned what I was doing wrong, made adjustments, and so can you! I was doing a lot of things wrong, and my bulged disc was a result of many of those things. I learned what I was doing wrong, and what was causing me pain. I learned the new and right ways of doing things and kept moving forward. Those same principles apply to whatever you are trying to move forward in. If what you are doing is not working or is causing mental, physical, emotional, spiritual pain, identify it and try something new. I am constantly making adjustments is my life, and so can you!

I kept doing more of the right stuff, and so can you! Once you discover the “right stuff” to help you succeed in life and your endeavors, do more of that. Fill your life with the right stuff. This will be different for each of us, but pay attention to what works for you and do it!

I prioritized it, and so can you! In the past month or so, I have talked about our essentials in life and our non-essentials. I explained that even though a triathlon is not on most people’s “essentials list” it was on mine. This is something I wanted to do for many reasons and in order for me to make it a reality, I had to prioritize it. Many times we say we want to do something, but until it is placed at a very high priority, it will probably not get the time and attention it needs. If you want to accomplish a goal or live out a dream, you will need to make it an essential and most likely remove something else to make room for it. Boy this is not easy, but it is possible. You can prioritize your essentials to make things happen.

I am celebrating a great accomplishment today. I want the same for you! Please know that whatever I can do, you can do as well, and I think, even better. It takes work, but you can do it!

Here’s to accomplishing great things, resting in our favorite chair afterwards and living our BEST life!

And…..ACTION!

Is there any area of your life where you feel fear? Is there a situation at work? Do you have a big decision to make? Have you committed to something, but feel fear as the deadline approaches? Fear is a part of our everyday lives. The question then, is how do we live with fear and still live our best?

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Fear is a part of our makeup as humans. Fear keeps us aware of things that might harm us and allows us to respond to find safety. There are a lot of things that are out of our control in the world we live in, but there is a lot of fearful things that are within our control to change. That is what I want to focus on in this post. What fear is within our control to change and what is the best strategy? I believe it is ACTION!

Conquering fear with action is not a Jen Regan original idea. I have read this concept in countless books and articles. The concept has been around and taught for so long because it works. All you have to do is try it once to experience its positive effects.

Recently I needed to discuss an issue and a potential solution with someone in my life. The person I needed to talk to is a wonderful person, but, because she is a person of authority in my life, I was not sure how she was going to respond.  I became very nervous about the discussion. Because she was very busy, I wanted to wait until the time was right, but as the time passed, I became more nervous. It seems silly, but as she became available, I knew the time had come to approach her and my heart started pounding out of my chest. As with fear, I wanted to run the other way, but I told myself “just do it, NOW!” So I called her and asked if she had a few minutes to discuss something. I was still nervous, but I dealt with my fear with action. The outcome of the conversation is not relevant here. What is relevant is that I felt a huge amount of relief when I took action. The fear was gone and I know that I took control of it instead of allowing it to take control of me.

Here are a few things that I have found helpful with regards to taking action against fear.

Take action as quickly as possible. The longer I hold off, the more stress I fee and there is a greater chance of me giving in to the fear and not taking action at all. Now, I do believe in taking time to think through things and not rushing into them, but once I have made a decision on how to proceed, I try to take action as soon as possible.

Don’t allow the fearful thoughts to take control. Take control of your mind and remind yourself that you are very capable of handling the situation. I feel fear frequently because I am trying to stretch myself in a lot of areas of my life. As you continue to take baby steps towards your goals and dreams, fears will crop up as well. Many times we question ourselves and our abilities. If I am confident in the direction I want to take, even though I may not know completely what the future holds, I have to fill my mind with motivating thoughts. I have to remind myself that I can do what I need to do. I have to take action in my mind to fill it with good thoughts, and in turn, push out the fearful thoughts.

I acknowledge the great feeling that action against my fears brings. After I had the nervous discussion mentioned above, I walked away, caught my breath, smiled and said “Good job Jen!” Celebrate your successes! Give yourself some positive reinforcement. It takes a lot of courage to take action against our fears. We deserve some kudos! Taking action against our fears is not easy. I do believe that the more successes we rack up, the more our mind remembers that we will make it out the other side. Regardless of the outcome, we can and should be proud of taking control and taking action.

Fear is a part of life, even our BEST life. Here’s to taking action, taking control, and being proud of ourselves as we continue to move forward in the areas that are most important to us.

The Experiment

This past week I had decided to take on the challenge of trying to fill my time with the essentials and remove the nonessentials from each day. I learned three important things from my experimental week.

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  1. An essential does not always need to be work. I can find myself thinking that essentials always have to involve me doing something productive or making progress in an area of my life. This week, I was reminded that this is not always the case. Fun, play and rest are all essential at times, and it felt great to prioritize those things this past week. Have you been able to fit some fun into your life this week?
  2. I found one particular area that distracts me and tended to pull me away from my essentials. That one area for me, is projects around my house. I LOVE TO HAVE A CLEAN AND TIDY HOME! Did you catch the emphasis there? The challenge with this is that housework is never done. It kills me when I just finish cleaning the floors and I look down to admire my work and find something I had missed. Because my housework is never done, I could spend all of my time on it and never get to anything else. I do love to have a clean house, but there is so much more that I want to fill my life with. This week I had to label some of my housework as a nonessential for now so that I could spend time on other important things. Do you have one area that pulls you away from your essentials?
  3. It was nice and important to spend my time on my essentials, but it did not feel earth shattering. I think I was expecting my life to feel AMAZING when I focused on my essentials, but it did not feel all that much different. You are probably asking “Jen, what’s the point then?” Don’t get me wrong, I was able to move forward on some important things this past week. I guess what I realized is that moving forward on my essential things was still hard work, and there was no applause from the crowd for that hard work. It was the right thing, but felt pretty ordinary, and that is okay. 

My experimental week was good. In my heart, I know it was the right thing for me to do in order to focus on areas that I want to move forward on in the future. This week was just the start of a lifetime of trying to fill my time with essential things and eliminate the non-essentials. I acknowledge now that it is not always going to be easy and filled with applause, but, in the long run, I will get to where I want to go because I stayed focused and eliminated distractions. I wish the same for you!

Here’s to living our BEST, one day at a time!

Give It Your Best!

Whatever you decide to do, whatever you consider to be essential, whatever makes the cut, give it your best!

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A friend of mine is a part of an organization that means a lot to him. Just recently, there was discussion about how important it is for their participants to volunteer to make the organization strong so that they can impact lives and make a difference in the world. Even though I do not have the same conviction about this particular organization as he has, he made me think. Whatever we decide to do, whatever we decide to put our heart into, let’s do it well.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about eliminating the non-essentials in our lives. Once we do that, we are left with a bunch of wonderful things. Things that are very important to us. Once we have defined our essentials and refined our lives to remove the non-essentials, then it is time to give our all to what we have defined to be our most important things.

How can we make the shift from filling our time with non-essentials to living our best life focused on what we have defined as most important? I am writing this blog post the Friday night before going into the long Labor Day weekend. There are a bunch of things that I have thought about doing this weekend, but even I am asking myself, “What is most important?” “What should get most of my time and attention this weekend?” As I sit here writing, I am changing my plans for the weekend. I want to fill it with my essentials.

This is an interesting process to go through. If you can take a short moment of time out of your busy schedule, try to think about your day a little differently. Think about what is most important to you and start to fill your time with those things. I have always heard the best way to get rid of a bad habit is to start a good habit. Well maybe the same is true here as well. Maybe the best way to stop spending time on non-essentials is to start spending more time on what is most important.

Life is an experiment right? I think I have my experiment for the next week. I am going to try to fill my time, as best I can, for the next week with what I consider to be essentials. I am going to journal as I move through my experiment and come back next week with my report. I would love for you to join me and let me know how it goes. As a subscribers, you have my email address. Send me an email with your thoughts and experiences.

Well, I can say I have started right now, because writing this blog post is one of my essentials. It warms my heart to share my heart with you. Next I am going to bed at my normal time and getting a good night’s rest so that I have a ton of energy for tomorrow. Stay tuned until next week to read the exciting saga of Jen Regan’s life of essentials!

Here’s to doing what is most important and giving life our BEST!