Just a little gift from me to you to guide you through 2017.
Sitting here in 70-degree weather it's hard to believe we had a skiff of snow just over a week ago. It has come and gone already, but the inspiration I gained from it still lingers. I was happy we were able to go out and play in it for a bit before the earth reclaimed it. This is the first snow for my son, which was an exciting thing to experience because I grew up playing in snow and loving it. My heart warmed to see him romping around in it happy, but also confused as to what it was. Even my dog is a snow bunny. My wife, not so much, but she enjoyed it none the less.
I often get asked how my process works. How I set my intentions, come up with my WOY, or even get new ideas for projects. It looks very much like this. I simply go outside and play. But I have to admit, I don't do it enough, and I was reminded of that fact as I lay there in the snow, attempting to make a snow angel. I was bursting with joy, my blood was pumping, and I felt like I could finally breath. Every unconscious idea bubbles to the surface when I'm in this state of play. I'm holding on to that inspiration and so I am posting these photos for accountability. Go out and play.
Maybe the snow will return, maybe it won't, but either way I'd think we all got a little something out of it.
What does your process look like?
A: Like you, many people are thinking about fitness goals for the new year, and it can be challenging when there is so much information out there. First you need to listen to your compass versus your culture. Many people fail at achieving their goals, because it’s not really want they want to do. They listen to the culture tell them what might be best for them. We’ll discuss your compass in a minute, but it’s always exciting to be motivated and I applaud you for wanting to better yourself physically. Here are a few ideas that will help you sort through all those techniques to find what works best for you.
First of all, your compass is your gut, and your gut is like the mothership that disseminates information based on what is best for your true self. So, what does your gut say about the new fitness tips and tricks? Do any spark joy and motivation, and do any sound down right excruciating? Keep that in mind as you do the following.
GET ORGANIZED - Make a list of all the techniques in the book.
USE YOUR COMPASS - Go through each technique, envisioning yourself doing that activity. Really think about how your body looks doing it, where will you do it, what you are wearing, etc. The point is to try and experience it as much as possible. Then circle it if seems exciting and cross it out if you just aren’t feeling it. There is no right or wrong answer, but I have a feeling that you will know. Your compass is never wrong.
IDENTIFY FEELING STATES - Relying on your gut is all about feeling states. When you are in touch with your body, you are in touch with how you feel, and that can be a useful guide when trying something new. When you think about your fit body…
1. How does it/would it feel when you are in shape? (i.e. strong, confident, energetic, etc.)
2. How would the feelings from question 1 affect your relationships, work, spiritual life, and community? (more positive, empowered, helpful, etc.)
PRIORITIZE - After identifying how “fit” feels to you and how it will affect your life, go back through your list of circled techniques and prioritize them with the first technique on your list being the one that will bring you the closest to your feeling states.
TRY IT FOR FOUR DAYS - Studies show that the first three days of anything new are always the hardest. However, on day four, your brain starts to rewire itself to reflect the “new normal.” That's neurology working in your favor. Starting with only technique #1, try it for four days in a row. Make time for it, do it. On day five, reward yourself with something that is of value to you, but doesn’t cost more than your lunch. Then, up the ante and add technique #2 for the next four days. If you reached your goal, reward yourself again with the same parameters.
With this method you should be able to get through about 8 techniques in the next 32 days, which is a great amount of time to start a habit. If you find that one doesn’t work for you, trust your gut and scratch it from you new routine. Just keep building one by one. Slow and steady leads to success.
Keep me posted!
Have a question for me? Drop me a line. As you can see, your question will always be anonymous.
There are numerous methods out there to help you set your goals or make resolutions for the new year. You may have tried several of them. Today, I’m telling you to throw them all out the window. To truly set yourself up for success this year, you need to set intentions, not resolutions.
Resolutions and intentions start off the same way. You have an idea of what you want. For example you may have a resolution to lose 50 pounds and you also intend to lose 50 pounds. But immediately look at the language. Say out loud, “I resolve to lose 50 pounds,” now say, “I intend to lose 50 pounds.” Which one sounds kinder, easier to manage, better? I hope you said the intention.
A resolution is a rigid goal. A one way street to losing 50 pounds through diet, exercise or any other method you choose to do it. An intention is softer, merely bringing attention to what you want to achieve. You have no idea how you will get there, but you know you will. You have faith in life giving you the how.
This approach may seem blasé faire especially to those type A personalities out there. But driving yourself down a one way street doesn’t allow for fluidity or flexibility. Which, if you really think about it, is exactly how life happens. We create a plan, something happens, plan changes. We either get the same end result or we don’t. A one way street with no flexibility sets yourself up for failure and that isn’t exactly the path to happiness when it comes to bettering yourself. When you bring your attention, clear direct attention, to what you want, and are open and flexible to the process, you are more likely to achieve the results you desire.
Now of course that doesn’t mean set your intention and forget it. Most of the time the universe is kind of enough to grant us such things, but continual attention is necessary. That may look like thinking about your intentions during meditation, writing them down in your day planner so you see them everyday, or coming up with a word/theme that encompasses them and posting it all over. And of course, when an idea of how to achieve your intention is presented, you take it.
The key to success, which is getting what we want and being happy, lies in directing our mental energy in that direction. Overthinking it does not work, which is why intentions do. Don’t misread this, goals have their place. They are great if you have business deadlines, or you are planning to expand or take a large trip. But for general I want to live a happier life kind of rules, opt for intentions. Here’s how.
- CLEAR YOUR MENTAL CLUTTER - Do this by determining one area in your home that you don’t like. Then clean, clear, or change that space to match the area in your home that you love. Clearing physical clutter clears mental clutter.
- DETERMINE HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL - Most of the time we do things because we think we have to or other people tell us it’s what we are supposed to do. Spend time making a list of the emotions you want to feel. Start with this worksheet.
- SET INTENTIONS - After determining how you want to feel, set your intentions for the year to match those feelings by using this worksheet.
- CREATE REMINDERS - Find a method to be visually reminded of your intentions; post-it notes, vision board, lists, creation of a mantra, etc.
Now sit back, and watch what unfolds and your interns are manifested in your life.
I offer intention setting sessions that help you take a deeper look at what you want, and identify what is getting in your way. If you are interested, let’s connect.
January is one of my favorite times of year: the new year. It’s full of hope and promise. A chance to start over, and reinvent oneself. Inspired by others’ intentions and goals for 2017, I’ve created a little list of my own.
Since I don’t set resolutions, I rely on a word of the year to guide me. I start the process in December while I’m meditating. I ask for words that will serve me in the new year and then I wait, and listen. I also spend time taking stock of the past year. Going over all the lessons I’ve learned and taking note of what needs to change. This process takes time, but eventually, the right word surfaces. This year, I chose light as my guidance. There are many reasons I chose it, but the biggest reason being, I simply need more light in my life both literally and metaphorically. Here are 12 things I want to read, listen to, and experience this year that have inspired me to bring more light into my life.
Raise Your Vibration - by Kyle Gray. I'm searching to see the light on a spiritual level so I'm looking forward to diving into this "how-to" book.
In The Dark - by Jason Bawden-Smith. EMF radiation has been on my mind for a quite some time, especially because my son is so interested in mobile technology. While I feel it's important for him to learn, it is more important for me to keep him safe. This is another "how-to" book of ways to limit blue light.
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks - by Terry Tempest Williams. I received this book for Christmas. It invokes my desire to see the world in my backyard. One day I will take my son to all the national parks, but until he is old enough, I'll be dreaming while reading about them in this book.
Raising Human Beings - by Ross W. Greene, PhD. Raising kids is hard work, but I typically like to navigate the muddy waters by intuition rather than jump on trendy parenting bandwagons. However, when I picked up this book it seemed to summarize exactly what I am trying to do on my own. Perhaps it will shed my light on my parenting process.
This American Life - I don't even know how to explain this amazing podcast. I will start by saying I believe in the power of story telling. Stories can move people emotionally and this podcast has me in regular fits of tears and belly laughs. I listen in the car from here to there about profound American stories.
Cohesive Home - I'm always keeping an eye out for members of my tribe. When I stumbled upon Kate and Melissa on IG, I knew I wanted to be a part of their mission. Their podcasts are short, sweet and down to earth. They have plenty of advice to help me "lighten" my load this year.
On Being with Krista Tippett - I was just introduced to the remarkable body of work by Krista. Her podcasts on spirituality date back to 2001! I have a lot of listening to do, but I have no doubt this will bring more light to my life.
Levison Wood - Wood's recent book Walking the Nile, tells of his trek along the Nile river in Africa. I am inspired by explorers like himself that give me a glimpse of the world I may never see. Thanks to the Dallas Museum of Art, I have the pleasure of hearing him tell stories about his 4,000 mile journey in person.
Creativity - It's an essential part of who I am, and yet I haven't created anything with my hands in months. This year I intend to get back to art journaling. Some of my best ideas come out of my art.
Dance parties - Long before I had a son, got married and became a responsible adult, I would host dance parties...for one. I would turn up the music, loud, and dance as if my life depended on it. My son loves music so much and I think it's time to reinstate dance parties...for two. Dancing brings me so much joy.
Travel - I want to take my travels beyond the pages this year. I'm not sure what is in store for 2017, but I know I'll find it when I arrive there!
Music - In order to have dance parties, there has to be music, but I want to experience more than the private moments at home. I'm looking forward to concerts and discovering new music. Please share you music favorites with me.
What is inspiring you this year? What will you read, listen to and experience. Leave me a comment below.