Your Circle

Your Circle

Your circle of friends should want to see you win.

Your circle of friends should not be joyful when you are struggling.

Your circle should be quietly supporting and not critical of your life decisions.

Your circle should not spend their time trying to change you to be more like them.

Your circle of friends should recognize that you are unique and that in reality they are better for knowing you.

Those that are part of your circle should be helping build you up and not constantly breaking you down.

Who is in your circle?

Your circle belongs to you. You don’t have to let everyone in–you don’t have to let ANYONE in–that does not fit in with your goals, your lifestyle, your values and your priorities.

Life is challenging enough without having to surround ourselves with people who are not going in the same direction.

Others will define you based on who you surround yourself with.

And it is never too late to create your circle, modify your circle or remove yourself from a circle that is not aligned to your true self.

For those that don’t belong in your circle, that use their energy to being you down, or that only want to use you, wish them well and let them go.

No hard feelings are necessary, they just don’t belong with you.

Create your circle with people that will encourage you to be your best as you encourage them to be their best–those are the people that belong in your circle.

Liberation Day

Liberation Day

Some of the most important things I have learned in life I learned from my parents.

I have been very fortunate to have parents that were always present, involved and encouraging .

They taught me to depend on them while I grew into my own independence.

Likewise, it was my goal, as a parent, to be present and guiding but to make sure my children could stand on their own two feet.

And like my parents, we did a good job because just like I became stubbornly independent in my 20s, so too have the girls become independent.

My dad calls it Liberation Day! It truly was liberating for all of us.

The girls now liberated were taking those first scary steps into adulthood and we, the parents, are also liberated to continue with our lives, goals and dreams outside of parenthood.

But it does not end there. My father in declaring Liberation Day shows his pride in the passing of the torch to the next generation.

So today I celebrate that we have made it to this point in time, with gratitude and high hopes for the future!

Happy Liberation Day!

Solutions to Starting Healthy Eating Habits

Solutions to Starting Healthy Eating Habits

Everything we do effects us for the good or the bad. When it comes to our health many times we ignore or overlook these “effects” because they can be subtle.

After all, we don’t eat a fast food meal today and suddenly have clogged arteries and an extra pound around the middle…but over time and many fast food meals later–well you get the picture.

When we decide to change our habits the effects to our bodies will also be subtle and slow to show.

We should not expect to see solutions or magic immediately.  There is no magic shake, or pill or cleanse that will take the pounds off and make us look beach body ready.

Also, you cannot think of this change for your life as a one time diet or exercise routine until you are where you want. It will be an ongoing process–one that takes commitment.

That may sound hard, but it is really a beautiful thing to commit to oneself.

When we commit to change our habits and make this life change it is a sign of the self care and self love we all deserve.

And I do have some solutions that are not difficult and that everyone can do to get started, so let’s keep it simple:

  1. Eat the right foods in the right quantities
  2. Drink Water
  3. Move
  4. Get good sleep
  5. Repeat

Eat the right foods in the right quantities. What are the right foods? The closer to nature you can get the better.  Fruits and vegetables and salads should be a staple at every meal. If you eat meats–then try to get the best meat that is available to you.

The bigger part of the eating the right foods is to stay away as much as you can from processed foods.  That can be hard–especially after years and years of eating these things.

But it can be much easier–even if you cannot give up processed foods–if you watch the portion size.

The serving size of most foods are on the packages. Yes–the serving sizes seem very small when you start looking at them. But in reality they are just right. And your body will adjust very quickly!

So do you have to give up your favorite foods? Of course not! You just have to eat LESS of them.

Drink Water. Our bodies are made up of a lot of water and in order to function properly our cells need water. Simply said one of the easiest self care actions we can take for ourselves is to drink more water.

Move. In order to burn calories and keep our bodies in the best of shape we do have to move. You do not have to do a 4 hour work out each day. But you do need to get off the couch.  

If you don’t like to exercise–go for a walk. Anywhere. Get outside into the fresh air. Or add activities to your regular routine that can ramp up your movement. For example, folding clothes while standing up instead of sitting down will burn twice the calories. Activities such as gardening or cleaning the house also counts as movement–don’t underestimate yourself. Once you get your body moving it is easier to keep it moving.

Get good sleep.  Believe it or not if we are not sleeping well then our bodies are not performing at optimal levels. And it is causing our bodies to not burn calories the way it is meant to. Getting good sleep is essential to having good health.

Create a ritual and routine to getting to sleep at night. Turn off all the distracting images and sounds that keep our brain “awake” at least 30 minutes before you go to bed to help your body unwind.

Repeat.  When one day is done…start over the next day. Each day we complete these steps is one day closer to making it a habit. And as your body changes you will actually feel it. You will feel lighter, and less hungry, and better!.

What if you fall off the healthy wagon? Start fresh the next day. No need to give up or beat ourselves up for it. We are human and this is hard work. But we are worth it.

IF you have tried everything and it still does not work get someone to help you. There are doctors and nutritionists that can suggest different regimens for you and there are health coaches that can help you create the healthy habits you are looking for.

I enlisted the help of a health coach and it truly was a wonderful experience. Not only am I healthier but I have strengthened other parts of my life as well.  I believe in her work so much that I have gone back to school to become a health coach myself, so I can help people the way she helped me!

Creating healthy habits is a life change–not because it is difficult and challenging but because it will change your life for the better. There are many people around us that would discourage us from bettering ourselves–I’ll talk about them in my next post.

Remember whatever you choose to do–choose it for yourself and have fun with it!

Comment below:  What is the biggest hurdle holding you back from committing to this self-care?

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall

I mean this in a good way–everything cannot be roses all the time. Into each life a little rain must fall.  And the rain has a purpose:

The rain washes us.  Sometimes we make really bad decisions and it causes a storm in our life.  

Sometimes it seems like the storm will never end–but when it does we realize that the storm and the rain that was falling was washing us.  It was taking away the dirt we had on us. It was making us shiny and new and getting us ready for the sunshine.

The rain feeds us. Many times we are running through life so fast and so hard trying to do and be everything for everyone that we forget about ourselves.

The rain is there to feed us–to give us that moment to stop, breathe and take in the nourishment that only the rain can give. The rain feeds us with hope and energy so we can keep going in this fast paced world and be able to keep doing and keep being–for ourselves.

The rain helps us break ground.  There are times in our lives when we are dormant. No matter how hard we try we just are not moving forward or getting ahead. We are stuck.

Just like with the seeds down in the ground during winter–we are sleeping.  The rain comes and softens the ground for us so that we can stretch and grow. Soon we’ll be breaking through the surface and reaching for the sky just like the plants do.

I am learning a great deal about myself this year and how I have arrived at this place. There have been rain showers in my life–sometimes drizzle, sometimes howling, blowing, tear down thunderstorms. All have been necessary, although at the time I thought I could have done without the rain.

Each storm has taught me a lesson and it has made me the perfect imperfect person that I am–searching to do things better.

Most of all I have learned that I would not be who I am without the rain.

So into each life a little rain must fall and fall it will. Let it.

 

Comment below and have a great Monday!

 

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

In my last post, I shared with you how much I am enjoying using my calendar to schedule the events and tasks that are important to my life, my goals and my priorities.

I’ve received a few questions since then about how to set your priorities and how I know if they are the right ones!  Wow! Huge questions and tough ones, but I decided to tackle them.

Setting priorities can be a very difficult task–depending on what your priorities are and if they match your values and your goals.

So first you really need to decide what you really want in your life.  Do you want a job, career or calling that you are excited to get up for each morning? Or just a means to make some money to obtain the OTHER things you really want in your life?

Do you want the romantic relationship of your dreams? Do you want to travel more or have more interesting experiences? Or do you want just more TIME to do all of these things?

You see, as we get older–the things we want change and that will change our goals and the methods we use to reach them.  This happens–not because we are getting older–but because we continue to grow as long as we are still breathing!

As we grow, we have to keep examining what it is we want so we can shift–you got it–our PRIORITIES!

How do you set your priorities? The right priorities for each person will be different depending on what they value.  

If you value family, like I do, then your tasks and the events you choose to attend will revolve around family–because that is what makes you happy and so you have internalized this as a priority for you.

How do you know if your priorities are the right ones? Well…this is easier to answer and harder to answer.

I am not going to say: “if it feels good make this a priority in your life”  because sometimes we pursue or do things that feel good in the moment–but that are really bad for us.

What I will say is if something is important to you, like traveling and seeing new places, and you have to work all year to save and earn your two weeks off in order to be able to enjoy it–but you do it because you really get joy from the traveling then this is a priority for you!

So the right priorities are the ones that feel right to you and that match up with the things you values.

As I continue growing and enjoying this journey, I have done a lot of self inspection.  I have found that my life’s passions include my personal growth, my family, traveling and writing or being creative in some form of expression. I also realized that I am a fixer–or as I prefer to think of it–a helper.

I was happy to realize that most of my life I have been reaching and obtaining these experiences, even through the years that had brought hardship, confusion and disasters into my life.

Getting older and continuing to grow just means for me that I will be putting more focus on my passions–my priorities–because it is what makes me happy and what is leading me to my purpose.

So knowing your priorities is very important! Examining what your heart is telling you makes you happy is very important! And then prioritizing your life so that you are going towards those goals is what makes this life so worth living!

Never stop growing! And do not be afraid to treat yourself well by honoring the things that are important to you!  We only live one life, folks, have fun!

Comment below and share some of the things that you have made priorities in your life!

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The Joy of Living by My Calendar

The Joy of Living by My Calendar

One thing I have implemented for myself this year that has helped me grow–is my calendar.

 

I’ve gotten a new calendar every year and usually by February I have stopped putting “important” dates and “to dos by” dates on it.  But this year, I’ve taken a new approach and it has been working extremely well.

As I have been making plans for building the life I really want I realized that I cannot live the life I would like to live if I do not honor my time.

Time after all is that one commodity that no one seems to have enough of yet some people seem to get a great deal of important things done and these are things they truly love to do. And we have to realize that all of us have the same 24 hours each day.

Please understand that I am not suggesting that you fill your calendar with more events and tasks so that you are busy all the time. What I am suggesting is that you only put things in your calendar that have true meaning to you.

What distinguishes the importance of our time is defining what those things are that are important to you. Those are the things that go in your calendar.

One of my favorite quotes by Franklin Covey is:

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

What are your priorities?  This can be a very difficult question to answer. Depending on where you are in your life, your priorities may be very different.  There really is no right or wrong answer for this.

Priorities, also, are hard to define because we feel “selfish” when expressing what we really want for ourselves–often it is not what other people want for us.  If we only do things that is expected of us by others it will not necessarily make us happy or move us closer to our own goals.

Making the other people in our lives happy is important–especially if it brings you joy. But your calendar should not be filled with tasks and events of or for other people.

So, I sat down and made a list of my priorities.  This was not an easy task. But I was able to narrow it down to 6 things. Then I noted them on the first page of my calendar.  It serves as a reminder of what I want more of in my life.

And since then, before I add things to my calendar–I think about whether the task, event, invitation or effort is going to serve me and my priorities, my goals, and my happiness.

I know–it sounds totally selfish! But guess what?  I have not attended events I did not want to attend, I have not spent time with people I did not want to spend time with and I did not waste time completing tasks that have no real importance in my life.

The results is that I have had more time to spend with the people I really want to be with and I have been more relaxed and happy when with them. (I think they are enjoying the happier me! Or they might think I’m on medication!) I have not had to pretend to enjoy being somewhere I did not want to be and those useless tasks did not have to get done anyway!

Another plus is that I am learning to say no. No to things that waste time, no to experiences I do not want to have and no to people that are not part of my priorities.

Now when I look at my calendar–which I do each morning–I find the things that I really enjoy staring back at me. It helps me clearly plan what is needed to complete necessary tasks and it allows me to look forward to the events coming up because I am so excited about them.

And although it is only February, I have already planned many things well into the summer. Things that match my priorities and that bring me joy. Things I am looking forward to.

What kind of tasks or events that align with your priorities are you most excited about? Do you take the time to schedule these things in your calendar for yourself?  Comment below! And as always have fun!

 

On Turning 50

On Turning 50

Yesterday was my 50th birthday. So today I am officially 50 years and 1 day old!

I really don’t feel any different that a few days ago…but I do feel a lot different from a few years ago…or was it 20 years ago?

Some people may say that I am over the hill.  Lucky for me I’m not a fast climber–so I don’t feel I have actually reached the top yet!

For the next 50 years I think I am going to continue enjoying the climb and not worry too much about getting there or what the hill will look like on the other side.

I think another 50 years should be enough to decide whether I go down the hill slowly or continue to enjoy it a while longer.

There are some good things about the climb–at least that I have learned over the first 50 years–that I can pack into my backpack for the next 50 years:

  1. Things that were important to me when I was 20–well I can’t even remember what those things were so…NOT IMPORTANT now!
  2. Money comes and goes…work hard, pay your bills and enjoy your life.
  3. Once you have kids your life will be different forever! And it is a wonderful forever to be a part of their lives.
  4. You may not always be with God, but God will always be with you. Once you figure this out stick with Him–it makes life much easier.
  5. The real necessities of life are few–food, shelter, love and strawberries!
  6. Education is essential! Never stop learning and understand that the most important learning does not come from a book.
  7. Learn to be yourself and don’t worry about what other people think about WHO you are!
  8. Young people are stupid.  We were stupid once too.  Enjoy the show, help them if they ask, stand back and let them figure it out. We did!
  9. Leave the toxic people at the bottom of the hill–you do not need them on your climb.
  10. Drink a lot of water!
  11. Appreciate nature more! Sunshine, Wind, Snow, Trees, Rain, Blue Skies, plants and animals. Their energy gives you energy.
  12. There is no need to take yourself so seriously–no one else does!
  13. Wear comfortable shoes.
  14. Pay attention to all that is around you–you never know if you are being too busy to notice the important stuff.
  15. Take the time to thank the people that are helping you climb this hill–you didn’t get here all by yourself.
  16. A few wrinkles really don’t matter.
  17. Ignore the people who say change is hard–it really isn’t once you’ve made up your mind.
  18. Accept that you cannot change the world but you can be kind to all you meet.

That’s it. Sage wisdom if you ask me…or not, see #12.

My big take away this birthday is that we should all enjoy our lives and where it leads us, there is a purpose and a reason. We may not always know what those are but it’s there.  And even through the bad times–find a way to have fun, we only climb this hill once!

Comment below to share your thoughts on getting older, enjoying your life or if you have a tip on enjoying life to the fullest!

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