I Love TO Learn…But Not The Hard Way!

One way to live our best is to be lifelong learners, which will look different for each of us. Some individuals love to read, some love to listen to talk radio, some love to watch and observe people. There are so many ways to grow and learn in our lives, but there is one way that we all try to avoid; learning the hard way.

mistakes

This past week I started my new job. The first few weeks of any new job is riddled with awkwardness, confusion, and yes, a lot of mistakes. Thursday was a particularly mistake filled day for me. Not only did I miss a few important things, I down right forgot a very important task that I am responsible for on a daily basis. I was sitting at dinner that night listening to John as he shared his day with me and suddenly it hit me out of the blue, I had completely forgotten to do this important task. I knew that it was going to cause inconvenience with my co-workers in the morning, but there was nothing I could do about it until I got to work the next day. I tried not to beat myself up about it, after all I am always writing about how mistakes are not failures if we learn something from them. It was much harder putting the concept into practice, but I kept reminding myself that this was a learning process and it was ok. I probably told myself that one hundred times that night.

I, like you, would much prefer a different means of learning. We really dislike the pain and discomfort of learning the hard way.

I recently read a blog post from one of my favorite bloggers, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. He cited an article from The Washington Post called “Americans Use Far More Opioids Than Anyone Else in the World.” I know, what does that have to do with learning the hard way? He shared the very interesting insight that I think is very important for all of us to learn from.

One significant reason, the author Keith Humphreys, identifies for America’s addiction to pain-relieving medication is

“relative to Europeans, Americans have more faith that life is perfectible (e.g., all pain can be avoided).”

He goes on to say that we think we can avoid pain in our jobs which

“may send us jumping from one career to another constantly looking for that one job with no bad days.”

We want to avoid pain in relationships

“causing us to give up too quickly on other people.”

We want to avoid pain in our homes. We don’t want the pain involved in sore muscles after exercising. We want to avoid the discomfort of having to stop eating certain food to get our blood sugar under control. Like me, we want to avoid the pain of making any mistakes even though it is going to make me more knowledgeable and stronger in the long run.

I still do not like pain and I do not like to make mistakes, but through this process I am trying to retrain my mind to remember that some pain and discomfort is a part of life and is a part of living our best.

I encourage you today to identify the areas that you want to learn, grow and move forward. Then ask yourself “am I holding myself back in this area because I am trying to avoid pain or discomfort?” Remember the Hokey Pokey, it is fine to have one foot in our comfort zone, but let’s not neglect that foot outside of our comfort zone. Both play an important part in the process of moving forward!
Here’s to learning, growing, and moving forward even when it is uncomfortable.

Be Aware!

Awareness is a starting point for change. Becoming aware of our posture allows us to sit and stand taller reducing back pain. Becoming aware of how our bodies utilize the food we eat allows us to lose weight, lower your cholesterol or feel more energized. Becoming aware of our stress level and how it affects others can help us make adjustments that will benefit us and those we care about.

Doggy Love

This past week I ran around quite a bit more than usual. I accepted a job offer and suddenly found myself having a ton of things to get done before my first day of work. My daily schedule instantly had little routine and with appointments that were changed at the last-minute, my days were packed to the gills. Through all of it I knew there was some elevated stress, but I was doing pretty good, I was handling it. About half way through the week, my dog started to show symptoms of being sick, and within a few days it was apparent that I would have to get her into the vet. They checked her over and did not find anything wrong with her. Then the vet asked me if there are any major changes happening in our lives or our schedule? I shared with her that I would be starting a new job and this week had been unusually busy. She indicated that there was a good possibility that her symptoms could be related to anxiety. Suddenly I became aware of the fact that between the interview prep, interviews, waiting to hear about the job and then the sprint to get ready for starting day, my stress was elevated and this had a negative effect on my sweet dog.

It suddenly dawned on me that we all deal with stressful things on a daily and weekly basis. We deal with them as best we can, but like me, many times we forget to realize that our stress does have an impact on those around us, most importantly, the ones we love.

Becoming aware helped me in three important ways:

  1. My awareness helped me slow down, breath, and intentionally reduce my stress. I was reminded of a book a I read years ago called Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, And It’s All Small Stuff. One of the things I took away from the book was that my “To Do” list will still be here tomorrow. Our chores never end and I needed to remind myself that stressing myself out and trying to get everything done was not good for anyone.
  2. My awareness prompted me to make sure I continued to prioritize those I love. The greatest gift we can give is the gift of our time. I made sure I stopped and distributed as much love as I could. Low and behold, it made me feel much better too!
  3. My awareness reminded me that it’s ok to ask for help. Many times we feel we need to take care of things ourselves, but that is a lie. There are times we simply need help. I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to ask for help.  In order for me to prioritize my most important things, I had to ask for help.

If your stress level is on the high side right now, take a moment to think about how your stress is affecting those you love. Did a late night project keep you from snuggling and tucking your kiddo into bed last night? Did your lack of rest cause you to snap at your spouse or co-worker? Are you always thinking about work, and not asked your loved ones about their day?

Life involves stress, but becoming aware of it, how it impacts our lives, and the lives of others is the first step in making a change for a better future.
Here’s to taking care of ourselves, then passing that onto others!

What’s the Big Deal About “Keeping Things Simple” These Days?

Think of some of the sweetest moments in your life. It might be a time with a loved one, or it might be a time all by yourself. As you think back to a special occasion, was it filled with busyness and chaos? Even if your special moment was in Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve surrounded by people, noise and celebration, I would venture to say that the special moment you had was very sweet, and simple. In most cases, the simplest times in life are the most precious.

simple and importantI go through times in my life where my mind is filled with so many things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with thinking about numerous things, but I have found that my mind can get consumed and start to spiral out of control. Just recently I noticed the mental clutter that was starting to accumulate in my mind. As I traveled through my day I felt weighed down by all of this “stuff” I was carrying around with me. I realized it was time, once again, to do some mental and physical housekeeping.

Here are some of the benefits I have found for keeping my life simple.

 

  • I can focus better. Our minds are very capable to working fast and furious, but they do not work well for long periods of time in that state. I find my mind spinning at times,  jumping from one area of my life to the next. I have found that I need to be very intentional about keeping the clutter out of my mind, and as I do, I am able to focus and think clearer. I have a number of friends and loved ones who have started the process of meditation to clear their minds. Every single one of them have reported positive results. I have not personally studied the practice of meditation, but I have learned techniques to clear my mind of the clutter and keep things simple. Find what works for you, but be intentional about calming your mind and you will find yourself able to focus better.

 

  • I can stay focused on the most important things. There are so many “good” things in our lives, but we want to have time and energy to focus on the “best” things. In addition, we want those “best” things to receive our best, not just our leftovers. I don’t know about you, but I do not have much leftover at the end of my day. Keeping our minds and our lives simple allows us to give our most important things the focus, time, and attention  that they deserve.

 

  • I can focus on generosity and say goodbye to some Rubbermaid totes. A few years back, I read some interesting books on the concept of minimalism. Minimalism, to me, is about getting rid of the clutter in all areas of our lives. One of  topics I learned about, that struck a chord with me, was that there are people in our community and world who cannot afford the simplest things, the things that I take for granted on a daily basis. The benefits of minimalism are numerous, but I love the fact that I can give away or donate the things that I have stashed away in Rubbermaid totes and impact lives right here and now. One example was that I had a portable room heater that was sitting in my closet not being used. When I got into this mindset of being generous to others, I decided to ask someone I knew who lived on a very low-income, if she could use the heater. To find out, she desperately needed that heater to heat part of her trailer. We simply never know how we can help others until we look at the things we are not using through a different pair of glasses. Ask yourself, could someone else benefit from this stuff that I have stored and am not using? Focusing on generosity in our lives has so many benefits.

 

  • My focus lightens my load and brings silliness back into my life. When I am bogged down with mental and physical clutter, I find myself with an intense mindset. I have to stay serious and focused to make sure I am on top of everything. When I an intentional about lightening my load in all areas of my life, I suddenly find myself more light-hearted, silly and able to have more fun. During my most recent job search, I found myself in this intense serious mindset, but at various time when I was able to chill out and let things go, I found myself more relaxed and goofy. I know it is hard in our busy lives, but life is so much more fun when our load is lifted and we can be a little silly.

There are so many benefits to keeping life simple. Our loved ones, coworkers, and even our own health will benefit from simplicity. You are needed and I know you want to be your best and give your best. Take some time today to think about one small baby step you can take to bring simplicity into your life.

Here’s to bringing some silliness into your day today!

Job update: I have been offered a job and have accepted it! I am super excited! But don’t you worry, encouraging you to Live Your Best is one of my “most important” things in life!  My “Weekly Encouragement” and blog posts will continue to be delivered to you each week!

What’s Your Speed Limit?

What is your pace of life? What pace of life stresses you out? What pace of life makes you feel great? I believe we all have a Personal Speed Limit and when we live our lives according to that speed limit we think clearer, are more productive, make fewer mistakes, feel more creative, and can live our best.

speed limit

Within the past year, I have been asking myself why I like to take things slow, steady, and methodical. Why is it that I don’t enjoy moving at a fast pace? A somewhat silly example of this is when I purchased my road bicycle this time last year. I was told that I would go so much faster on this bike and that I would love it. It’s true that I have the capability to go much faster, especially in comparison to my very heavy mountain bike, but I quickly realized I have no desire to go faster. I will never forget the first time I was able to get it out on a ride by myself. I thought to myself; I am going to go as fast and hard as I can to experience this new fast pace. What I found out was that even though I had the capability to go faster, I still did not have the desire to ride faster. I thought “this fast stuff is not what it is all cracked up to be.” I then slowed down, found a pace I enjoyed and I felt great. My speed on my bike and in my life is a slower steady speed, and since I have discovered this, my life has changed in some important ways.

  • My pace in life feels right. I have known for a while that I do not like to be rushed in the morning. When I am rushed, my stress rises, and I cannot think straight. I usually end up walking out the door without my coffee, lunch or cell phone. Ever been there? I have learned that if I get up a little earlier, give myself plenty of time for my morning routine, I start my day with much more peace and calm. Now, that is what works for me. The question is, what works for you? What makes you feel good? Do you love to hit the ground running? Do you feel energized by getting out the door quickly and on with your day? My husband gets up and is ready to go, and that’s how he loves it. When you discover your personal speed limit, it will feel right.
  • My pace in life gives me energy and does not drain me. I was just recently working in my yard and I had a good amount of work to do in a relatively short period of time. My tendency was to push myself to go faster, but the moment I did, I started to feel worn out. I decided I was going to work at my personal speed limit, which is slow and steady, and see if I could still get the task completed in the time allowed. What I found was; I got it done, felt great and had energy left over. As you try to discover your personal speed limit, try working both physically and mentally at different speeds and find what gives you energy, what feels great.
  • My pace in life allows my mind to be more creative and make fewer mistakes. I enjoy quilting. Well, certain aspects of quilting. As I was working on my most recent project, I again decided to be intentional about working at my perfect speed. I impressed myself! I felt more creative in how I was going to sew all of the pieces together and I finished it without having to use my seam ripper once. You have to realize that there have been some quilts that I have taken apart more because of my mistakes than I had sewn together. This time I worked at my perfect speed. When we work at our perfect pace, I believe our mind is working at the speed that comes natural. Therefore, we will come up with new creative ways of doing things and make fewer mistakes.
  • I have learned to love myself more, appreciate the fact that I have a Personal Speed Limit and that my pace of life is perfect for me. I used to think that I needed to be like everyone else. Certainly our culture tells us that we need to go faster and faster every day. Well, faster and faster does not work for me, in fact it just stresses me out. I have learned what pace is right for me and I have learned that my pace is what is best for my life. I have more peace, calm, creativity and energy and that is what I want for you as well.

I hope someday I can put together an assessment tool for you to be able to easily identify your Personal Speed Limit, but for now I encourage you to pay attention to the times you feel good and the times you feel stress. Ask yourself if you are moving at the Speed Limit that is best for you. Experiment, learn and start to live at the pace that is perfect for you. Here’s to living our best, going the Speed Limit!

How Do We Stay Encouraged When Change Takes Time?

You have probably heard the saying that “the best things in life are never free!” Well, I am going to change it up a little and share an additional truth.  “The best things in life take time.” Healthy relationships are grown and enriched over time. The health of our bodies requires a lifelong commitment. Financial investments take time to mature. The question is, how can we keep going for the long haul, and how can we stay encouraged?

long haul

I am shaking my head at myself as I think back to something that happened yesterday. Last week I shared in my blog that I was starting the process of looking for a full-time job in addition to my Life Coaching and writing. Over the weekend, I put my job search plan together and hit the ground running on Monday. I felt like I had a pretty productive day, both on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday arrived with a cloud looming over my head. I woke up that morning starting to get discouraged and dead-end after dead-end that same day brought me spiraling down hill. At one point in the day, I just started to laugh at myself. I was on DAY THREE of my job search and I was already discouraged. DAY THREE!

After I picked myself up off the floor, I asked myself, what am I going to have to do to keep myself going for the long haul? How am I going to stay encouraged when the process is so long? Here are some of the things I thought about.

I had to adjust my expectation of the time it was going to take me. Going into this job search I was told that if I worked hard I might have a job in five months. Why then did I expect immediate results? Why is it that I thought it should go faster for me? I think we all fall into this trap, don’t we? We think we should be able to lose weight faster, save up money faster, quit smoking faster. Part of this comes from the fast paced and instant gratification culture that we live in. We are used to having everything right now. I had to adjust my expectation by:

  • Stepping back to reset my thinking.
  • Removing the thought that this was going to happen fast and be at peace with the fact that the process is going to take time.
  • I will have to re-commit and remind myself of this every single day.

I fell into the trap of “I will be happy when…” I don’t know how it happened, but my mind shifted to “I will be happy when I get this new job.” On day number three when I felt down in the dumps, I remembered that I want to be happy right now. Yes, I am really excited about going back to work outside of my work at home, but the only thing that was stopping me from enjoying life right now was me. That night I picked up one of my craft projects and enjoyed my evening. I guess it also goes back to my blog on the Hokey Pokey. I want to keep pushing forward with one foot out of my comfort zone, but also enjoy life while keeping one foot in my comfort zone. Have you ever fallen over while trying to dance the Hokey Pokey? Well I figuratively got off-balance this week and toppled over.

I have to do what it takes to keep myself focused on the positives. I just got off the phone with a loved one and they said to me “I am just trying to stay positive.” This is extremely important because our lives are filled with negative things. It is unfortunate that positive feedback or a complement is a rare thing in our lives. Why is it that it is so easy for coworkers, and even loved ones, to point out everything we are not getting done or not doing things in the way they want us to. I have always said that I love to encourage others because it is so rare in our world today. Let’s ask ourselves “what do I need to do to keep myself positive?”

These are just a few things to keep in mind as we tackle the big, long changes in our lives. Remember, you and I are doing great! We are running a marathon and we will get to the point where we will win the prize as we make our desired change a reality in our life. Let’s keep taking one baby step at a time, take our eyes off the road, look up to enjoy the sunshine and keep going. You can not begin to imagine how proud I am of each of you!

Here’s to the long haul!

Don’t forget this month’s Something To Look Forward To Planning Calendar! Click the image below to get your copy.

April 2017 STLFT Planning Calendar

The Secret to Fitting More In

As we move forward in our baby steps in 2017, what happens when those steps lead us to a big change in our lives that we didn’t expect?  We already have a full and packed life, how is it possible to add more? How is it possible to adjust? How is it possible to make this new, important change a reality in our lives?

wool-knit-knitting-needles-basket-48199

I am asking myself the same question at this very moment in my life. I have shared with all of you that I was not sure where my baby steps are going to lead me this year and, I have found that to be an understatement. As I have taken one step at a time, I have come to the realization that in addition to my Life Coaching and writing, it is time for me to step back out into working full-time outside of my home. I have made this decision for many amazing reasons, and I wish I could share them all with you, but in order to keep this post to a manageable length, I am going to stay focus on the topic at hand. How in the world am I going to do it all? How am I going to fit this new amazing thing into an already full life?

Over the past few weeks since I made the decision to work outside of my home again, I have been asking myself that very question and have started the process of making some adjustments. I hope you will find these beneficial to you if your baby steps have led to what may feel like a new larger than life adventure in your life. Here are some things I have been trying out and working through.

  • I have reconnected with the things that are most important in my life and recommitted myself to those things. There are many “good” things that we can fill our lives with. But what are the BEST things? We only have 24 hours in a day and we need to rest at some point, right? How are we going to spend our time? Above everything else, I want to give my best to those people and things that are most important to me. I want to be intentional about giving them my best and not just my left overs.

An added note; make sure that the new addition or change that you are making in your life falls in line with what is most important to you. When I decided to go back to work full-time outside of my home, I had a number of close friends and accountability partners ask me some really hard questions to make sure I was going back to work for the right reasons. Make sure it lines up with what is most important to you.

  • I have cut out the non-essential things, at least for now. I can always add them back in later. Remember those “good” things I mentioned above? This is the category for them. They are wonderful things, but in order to keep my most important things a priority, I have to cut some of the “good” things. An example of this for me is my formal training for a triathlon. I mentioned in a previous post that I am not going to reach my initial goal for participating in a triathlon, but I still aspire to complete one. I love to bike, I love to swim, and I am trying to learn to love to run, but I cannot prioritize a formal training program at this time. It’s a good thing but not essential right now.
  • I have started to create systems that will help me as more duties are added to my plate. As I get busier and busier, I do not want to allow important things to fall to the wayside. One simple example is I want to make sure that I continue to take my nutrition supplements and not allow that to slip. What I have done, therefore, is utilize a different system/pill organizer so that I can easily bring my supplements with me wherever I go during my busy day. This is one small example, but I have been asking myself what simple systems can I put in place that will help me perform those tasks that are important to me.
  • I am finding ways that I can be more efficient. HUGE CAUTION! Today I am going to share something with you that I have not shared with you before. Articles and books on efficiency and productivity anger me! There! I got that off my chest! Now let me explain. The reason I do not like the subject of being more efficient or more productive is because the goal of most of them is for you to create more “space” in your day so that you can fill it with more stuff/work. Do more, get more done, produce more, go, go, go, never stop! My goal in life, and reason for becoming more efficient, is to add more space in my live for what is most important, for the BEST things. Not for the sake of cramming more in.

With that focus in mind, there are many great resources out there that can help us make simple changes to be more efficient. One little one that I have reinstituted this week is the “one touch” method. The concept is that when we “touch” things multiple times it takes more time. The one area I implement this concept is with snail mail. I used to bring it in the house and lay it down, later I would sort out the junk and put it in the recycle bin, make a pile for things that needed to be shredded and another pile for important mail. Then later I would shred that pile. Then later I would bring the important papers back to my office. Then even later, I would deal with those papers. With the “one touch” method I bring the mail in from the box, immediately throw the junk in the recycle bin, open and shred what needs to be shredded and I walk the important stuff back to my office. It took me a few minutes more, but it is done and I no longer have the looming pile of mail on the counter. These small areas of efficiency will add up and bring more space in our lives for more important things.

  • I have learned to continue to take a deep breath, relax my shoulders and given myself some grace. This past week I have found myself all ramped up trying to do all of the above. I realized I need to chill, do what I can, but at the end of the day realize that my “To Do” list will be there tomorrow and that’s ok. Let’s give ourselves some love and grace knowing we are doing great and amazing things. Tomorrow is another day to live our best again!

I would love to hear how your baby steps are going and where they are taking you this year. Feel free to reply below, we all would love to hear from you!
Here’s to tackling the big changes in our lives with love, grace and yes, even some efficiency!

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!