Turning The Tide On Your Healthy Routines

Kids provide such great illustrations!

September is the month to get back to our healthy routines. School is back in session for many who have kids, but even for those of us who don’t, it feels like a time to get refocused. Do you have some healthy habits that went by the wayside over the summer months? Are you ready to turn the tide back in the right direction?

Over Labor Day weekend, I was relaxing around the hotel pool with family watching the kids create a whirlpool in the water. They were having a ton of fun getting the water to move in one direction and feel the current start to pull them along without much effort. What was really fun for us adults who were watching was to see them try to stop and turn in the direction of the current. Their eyes would get really big and the look of surprise came across their faces when they realized how difficult it was going to be, pushing against the tide.

That is exactly how we feel when it is time to get back on track with our healthy habits. We have allowed them to slip a little bit, we have gone along with the current of life, allowing it to pull us long. Now it is time to get back on track, so we turn into the tide.

We have the same reaction my nieces and nephew had in the pool:

  • Their eyes opened up real wide in surprise! I don’t know about you, but when I go back to the gym after a period of time off, I think that I should be able to start right where I left off. Hee Hee! NOPE! Every single time I am surprised by the fact that it feels like I have to start from scratch. Yes, you will probably be surprised when you step back into your healthy habit if you have taken a break for a while, but don’t let that stop you!
  • They actually place one foot behind them to brace themselves against the oncoming current. Because we are starting fresh, it takes a little bit to brace ourselves as we try to get going in a new direction. There will be a time of adjustment, and that is okay! The key is that you are standing firm and not allowing the current to push you backwards. You’ve got this!
  • They leaned forward into the tide. Because you know you can accomplish great things, you lean forward in determination. You look straight ahead with you eye on your goal and you go against the feelings of un-motivation or laziness. You are determined to move forward.
  • They took one difficult step at a time. Your starting to move forward! It is not easy, but you do it! The work is hard, but you feel a sense of accomplishment when you are done!
  • The tide started to turn. Before you know it, your routine becomes easier and easier! You feel the momentum going in the right direction!
  • Watch for tide busters! One of my nephews decided that he wanted to have fun and disrupt the tide the other kids were working so hard to create. They were all having a ton of fun, but it reminded me that there are many things that can stop your momentum. Some are within our control like laziness and excuses. Others are out of our control, like illness. Whatever the tide buster is, the key to success is to get moving back in the right direction as quickly as you can.
  • They turned the tide and so can you! Whatever healthy routine you want to get refocused on, get out there and get going! It might be challenging at first, but you will get back into a great routine and be back on track in no time!

Here’s to having fun splashing around in the tide, but ultimately taking charge of it and turning the tide in the direction you want!

 

Photo by Juan Salamanca from Pexels

How To Get Off The Starting Line

Remove four obstacles that can stop you before you get started.

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. It’s the time of year that we experience new-found energy. We are ready to start new things or get back on track in areas of our lives that were put on the back burner over the winter months. Getting going again should be simple, right?

I would love to tell you getting started will be easy and simple, but I have found that very few things that are important and good in our lives, are easy and simple. Getting started has its challenges, but these challenges can be overcome. When you are aware of the obstacles, you can push through them and move on to accomplish what is important to you.

Obstacle #1: It’s easy to look back at how things used to be and get discouraged with where you are today. You were younger in the past. As you grow older your body changes, which can bring discouragement. At the end of last summer you were in great shape. How is it possible that all of that progress was lost? I have found that looking back is good for the sake of learning from our past, but not good when we compare where we were to where we are today. Stand proud on the starting line today and be proud of yourself. You are starting fresh and moving forward in an area that is important to you! I am proud of you for that!

Obstacle #2: It’s hard to find the time in your busy calendars to prioritize starting fresh in this area of life that is important to you. Isn’t’ it crazy how our calendars fill up? If there is an open time slot, it is quickly filled with something. If you want to start fresh and move off of the starting line, blocking out time right now on your calendar is essential. It is always hard to hear, but if you don’t fill your time with what is most important to you, someone else will fill it with things that are important to them. Figure out a plan, block off time and make it happen!

Obstacle #3: The first few steps off the starting line can require the most amount of energy. Sometimes we want to jump right up to the line and speed off only to stumble and fall. Starting fresh on what is important to you might require some thought and planning. Do you need to plan out a menu and do some grocery shopping? Do you need to plan out and prepare the clothing or equipment you need to get started? A little bit of planning and prep will allow you to jump off of the starting line and keep moving forward more smoothly.

Obstacle #4: There will be hurdles in your path. Deal with them and keep moving. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but just when you get started, something happens to stop you in your tracks. This past week I got out on my bike for my first ride of the season. It felt great and I had a great plan to keep going. One day into my plan I came down with a cold that put me out of commission for a week. How frustrating! The reality is, it happens. Some things we have control over, some things we do not. They might keep us down for a short period of time, but don’t let them stop you for long. Get back up and get going!

Is it time for you to get started on something that is important to you? If so, push past the obstacles that get in your path and keep moving forward towards the results you desire. You can do it, and I will be right here with you, pushing ahead one step at a time! I am proud of you for getting up and getting going!

Here’s to a great week ahead and being proud of starting fresh!

UGHHH! It’s Been One Of Those Days!

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you failed those around you? Your boss is not happy with your report, your loved ones are displeased with your selection for dinner, your friend or family members are disappointed that you could not make it to their get-together. It’s a day where you feel like you have let everyone down.

I don’t wish these kind of days on anyone. They drag us down to the point where it is hard to pick ourselves back up. Here are a few things I want you to remember on days like these.

Remember, you are very talented! You have many talents that you have worked hard through the years to grow and foster. Remember, you are a very talented and capable person.

Remember, you have wonderful strengths! You have many strengths that are unique to you. Your strengths make the world a better place every single day.

Remember, Making mistakes are a part of the process of becoming even more amazing! As hard as it is  to make mistakes, it is through that process that we become, better, stronger, smarter. Any mistakes you have made today, are stepping-stones to a better you!

Remember, you have done a lot of things very well! It is on these hard days that we focus in on all of the things that have not gone right. I am here to tell you, you have done many things very well! Take a minute or two to remember and acknowledge those great things.

Hang in there if you are having a rough day. Remember, you are amazing! You are beautiful! You are the perfect you! Celebrate those things today!

How to Have a Great Year!

Regardless of How it Started

How did you ring in the New Year? With happiness and celebration? With concern and apprehension? With joyous anticipation? With sadness and heartbreak? These are real life emotions, and every single one of them is okay. My question for you to ponder is, no matter how your new year began, what do you want the rest of the year to look like?

My year started with sadness. My dad peacefully passed away in his sleep after an amazing life of 88 years. My new year was filled with family and friends, of many years, coming together to celebrate an amazing life, yet mourn the empty spot we now have in our lives. My new year started out a little rough, but I have many things to look forward to and work towards in the year ahead.

How did your new year begin? What do you want for the year ahead? You want the best, right? The best for ourselves and for our loved ones. I believe, with everything in me, that you can work towards a great year regardless of how it started. Here are a few things to remember in the days, weeks and year to come.

  • Know that you have it within your control to have a great year. Make it a point each morning as you wake up and transition out of bed, to decide it is going to be the best day you can make it. As you get ready and drive to your first destination of the day, remember what is most important in your life. Take a few short breaks in your day and dream about the life you want to be living. When we fill our minds with the right stuff, we automatically start to gravitate towards those right things. You have a ton of control! Use that control to live many great days this year.
  • Know that your intentionality this year will positively affect the people around you. Our lives are filled with amazing people, and even though we do not always see how our actions affect others, they truly do. This is especially true the closer someone is to you. The positive direction you make in your life makes their lives more positive too.
  • Know that your example this year will show others that making positive changes in their lives is possible too. Living intentionally is rare. The more you live an intentional life, the more you will stand out from the crowd. There are many people who don’t yet know that taking control of their life and living intentionally is possible. Your example will show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that the life they desire is possible.

No matter what state your life was in as you stepped into the new year, decide what you want for yourself and your loved ones and work towards that a little bit each day this year. You can make 2018 exactly what you want it to be.

Here’s to embracing where we are today, dreaming of what we want for tomorrow, and taking one step at a time to move towards a great year!


Summary of Simple Actions Steps:

  • Make it a point each morning as you wake up and transition out of bed to decide it is going to be the best day you can make it.
  • As you get ready and drive to your first destination of the day, remember what is most important in your life.
  • Take a few short breaks in your day and dream about the life you want to be living.
  • Notice how your positive changes and intentionality affect those around you.

 

I’m Thankful For You!

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is one day set aside each year to focus on being thankful. It is hard, at times, in the midst of our busy lives to remember to stop, count our blessings and express our thankfulness. As Thanksgiving approached, one thing that has come to my mind time and time again, is how thankful I am for you. Yes, I am thrilled and thankful that you read my blogs, but I am mostly thankful for the amazing individual you are and all that you bring to the world we live in.


I am thankful for the wonderful strengths you share with all of us! Each of us have amazing strength that contributes to those around us. Many have the eye for details. These are the individuals that love crunching numbers and working on spreadsheets. Many have the gift of hospitality. You walk into their home and you instantly feel welcomed. Some people have the gift of keeping things moving forward…fast, and others have the strength of being slow and steady. The amazing thing is that we all possess amazing strengths that our world cannot do without. We all come together with these strengths to make a pretty amazing place to live, work and play! Thank you for living out your strengths to make our world a better place!

I am thankful for your “Can Do” attitude! Keeping a “Can Do” attitude is hard at times, but at the end of the day, we cannot settle for less than the best. We know in our hearts that life is good, therefore, we keep pushing forward towards amazing things knowing that we can always do better! Sometimes it takes time to figure out how to make it happen, but we keep striving for our best.Thank you for your great attitude!

I am thankful for your serving heart! Everyday you take care of others. It may be co-workers, your kiddos, significant other, parents, or even a complete stranger. Your heart to take care of others makes a difference and makes the world a better place every moment of every day. Your serving heart makes a difference! Thank you for your amazing heart!

Thank you for sharing your life with me! Thank you for sharing your life with our world! You make it a better place every single day!

I am thankful for you!

They Have Gotten Me Through

I have had a week filled with systems at work that failed and needed updating immediately, the health decline of an immediate family member, not prioritizing a loved one and letting them down, and I topped off the week today by catching a cold. With each of these came a multitude of tasks with urgent deadlines, except for getting sick, then everything halted to a stop!  In addition to all of these things, laundry still needed to be done, bills still needed to be paid, I still want to eat right, exercise and keep going. The one thing that got me through this week were baby steps. I kept asking myself “what is the next thing I need to do?” then the next, then the next, then the next.


I started this year out with a set of videos on the topic of baby steps. I never imagined that I would have utilized this concept as much as I have this last year. Baby steps have gotten me through the ups and downs of life. Even though it was stressful at times, knowing I could take small steps to move forward brought me some level of peace and comfort.

I also shared with you that many small steps over a long period of time bring us to great places. I now look back over 2017 and I am thrilled with how far I have come. For me,  it has not been a year of great task achievement, but it has been a year of essential learning that will propel me into a great future. I hope you can look back over this past year and say the same as well.

Whatever it is you need to do, even if it is get through the next 24 hours, take it one baby step at a time. Ask yourself “what is the next thing I need to do to move forward?” and do it…then repeat. Baby steps keep us inching forward even when we don’t feel like it is possible.

Whatever it is that life throws at you this week, keep striving for your best! You are doing great things, one small step at a time!

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!

woman-jogger-jogging-sport

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.

It Can Be Life Changing!

Do you know that it is never too late to learn? Seriously! We can learn new amazing facts and statistics, but we can also learn a new way of living. If something we are doing in our lives is not working well, we can learn a new way of doing it. We are not limited to what we know today, the sky’s the limit! Learning new things can be life changing!

learn

I have the dream of one day publishing a book, even many books. As I began dreaming a few years ago, I started to look into what it would take for me to do such a thing. Soon, my dream spawned into the idea of owning my own business, enabling me to better encourage others to live their best lives. Suddenly though, I found myself overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge. I started looking at resources to help me in my pursuits, but again, I found that there was SO MUCH I NEEDED TO LEARN! I had a decision to make. Keep moving forward, or be content with where I was in my life at that point. I love my life right now, but I want to go after my dreams, so learning became a priority.

I am going to keep this blog post short and sweet as we move into the holiday weekend, but I want to encourage you to never give up, keep making the changes you want to make in your life. It might be taking control of your “out of control” schedules. It might be getting a good night’s rest. It might be going back to school. Or it might be saving more money for the future. I don’t think it takes much time and effort for us each to list at least one or two areas that we want to improve in our lives. Just remember that you are capable to making those changes a reality. Let me repeat that. You are capable of making those changes, and I believe learning something new is an essential step in the process.

Have a great weekend! Here’s to never giving up, and learning new things to live our best!

I want to…but it’s just too hard!

One of the challenges we face as we want to make improvements in our lives is the feeling of “I want to….but it’s just too hard!” We live busy, full lives that require a lot of energy. Sometimes we are excited and motivated to get going with a new project or goal, but we soon find ourselves hitting a wall because we never imagined it could be so hard.

Too hard

This is exactly where I am right now with the running part of my training for my triathlon. I feel like I am in pretty good shape. Biking and swimming come pretty easily for me. I cross train two times a week, I should be able to pick up this running stuff relatively easily, right? Wrong! I am not fooling myself into thinking I can do this overnight, but I have had to take my baby steps down so small that I don’t think I can make them much smaller. I have asked myself a number of times this week, if it’s time to throw in the towel and realize this was not meant for me, but deep down I don’t want to give up.  I will not continue if I feel like I am at the point where I am hurting my body, but that is not the case. How than do you and I keep going when things are so hard?

  • We keep showing up. In other words, keep doing something, because doing nothing will set us back even farther. Take your baby step down to an even smaller step. There is nothing wrong with it because you are still moving forward. For me, I get out to walk and I throw in some jogging here and there. I do as much as my body can handle, then I do it again in a few days. Triathletes that are reading this post may think that I will never make it at this rate, but I will surely not make it if I give up. The same goes for you. Show up. Keep doing something.
  • Set a goal date. I want you to know right up front that my first goal date was April of this year, then June, then July, now it’s September. Many people might ask “what’s the point in a goal date if you don’t meet your goal?” Well, what it has done for me is kept me moving. I keep the picture in my mind of me participating in a triathlon and it keeps me going. With this being as hard as it is, I can guarantee I would have done nothing if I had not committed to these dates. One of these days I will hit my goal date. What date can you set to help you keep moving forward?
  • Change things up a little. If one thing is not working for you, try something else. Yesterday I spent some time thinking about the areas of my body that are not happy with me when I run. I then decided that I was going to start a new set of stretches to see if I could loosen them up and get them moving better. For you, it might be changing up what you eat, or what you are trying to cut out. Think a little bit about what is not working and see what you can tweak to see if it will work better. Life is one big experiment. Let’s learn from what works and change what does not. We will get to our goal if we don’t give up.
  • Try not to get discouraged. It is hard when we are not seeing the results we expected. Keep reminding yourself that you have not given up and that you are doing something small to continue to move forward. If you have given up, pick back up and do something small. We see all around us those who “did it” and it was “so easy”. That is a lie! Sure, some things are easier for some people than others, but everything in life that is worth doing is going to have it’s challenges. Keep going and know that whatever you are doing is great. I am proud of you for it!

I am proud of you for working hard every day to live your BEST! It is hard work, but you keep going! Know that you are not alone, we are in this together! Keep going, keep showing up, keep moving forward towards great things!

Here’s to showing up even when things are hard!