Howdy Partner, A new year is about to happen, and when a year is new everyone feels like they are too.  In celebration of that newness a lot of folks make resolutions.  The top 5 resolutions are: 1) To lose weight, 2) Getting organized, 3) Spend less, save more, 4) Enjoy life to the fullest, and 5) Staying fit and healthy.  (If you want to read 6-10 follow the link at the end of this blog)  My biggest concern is that staying fit and healthy is number 5… though spending more time with family is number 10, which I am sure has to do with the fact that resolutions come a week after Christmas and other winter holidays that push family time as the thing to do.

My second biggest concern is that while 45% of the US population makes New Year's Resolutions only 8% are successful while 24% of peeps who make resolutions never succeed and fail on their resolutions each year.  Then you have age as a factor with younger folks being more successful than older (over 50) folks.  Maybe as we age we have had too many failures around resolutions/goals so it is easier to get discouraged and give up than when we are young and still have a few shreds of hope.  :)  It seems that resolutions aren't really effective when you look at all of these stats.  Is there a point then?  Shall we just stop and let it all go?

Well, not so fast.  Resolution, or goal setting has success.  It is a fact that someone without goals never reaches their goals 100% of the time.  So setting a goal gives you a chance to reach them.  Direction leads you somewhere, at least, and usually leads you in the direction you desire.  So, giving up on goal setting may not be he way to avoid failing, instead changing the goals we set or how we set them could be the answer.

Inspiration is a beautiful thing.  Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something (Webster's Dictionary).  If we feel inspired we are more likely to act.  Your goals need to be inspired and inspirational… and the steps you take to reach them need to be inspired and inspirational as well.  So instead of losing weight this year, what is your inspiration?  Is it to wear certain brands, run a number of miles, do jumping jacks for a number of minutes, get your blood pressure down to a certain number, or feel good?  Maybe your inspiration is something else.  When your goals have meaning, a meaning you have thought out and delineated you may have a better chance of actually sticking to the steps necessary to reach them.  You may also do well to be honest, at least with yourself, about why you really want to reach a certain goal.  Know this:  whatever reason you have for setting a goal is valid.  Period.

When you put your heart into what you want to change, why you want to change it and what you will do to make it so… or rather, when you commit to a goal you no longer view it as something you can get out of.  You are in it.  You are dedicated.  You set up your world so that your goal is priority.  Maybe you have friends that encourage and hold you accountable, maybe you hire someone to help you reach your goals, maybe you stop making excuses.  However it is done, it is doable when you commit to it.

Good luck figuring out the direction you want your life to take in 2013.  It is yours to create, this future you dream of.  It starts with you, your vision, your motivation, your inspiration.




Dreams of a Child

Hello there, When I was younger I dreamt of things like children do.  I saw myself in the home of my dreams, with the love of my life, with the career that I wanted.  At no point, as a child, did I ever decide that I was asking for too much or believe that my dreams were too grandiose.  I wanted these things and I thought about them as if they would happen.  Life was exciting when I was a child (and luckily for me it still is) and part of that excitement was dreaming, the possibility.  As I grew up and learned the 'truth' about various things in life (money being scarce (ha!) and true love being rare) my dreams changed to fit what I now knew.  I stopped thinking about owning a home as a given, I changed what I wanted in a partner and I changed my mind about my career once or twice.

Still I grew older and things changed even more.  Though I am an optimistic person and tend to dream and desire more than many more "realistic" or "pessimistic" folks, I became discouraged in various ways that I never would have as a child.  I decided that relationships had to be 'work' and that jobs had to include parts that you possibly hated because you can't get everything, right?  You had to take the good with the bad, right?  Those were the 'Facts of Life' were they not?  I mean, everywhere I looked people were compromising their dreams to live a life that didn't quite fit, but did the job.  And for those who weren't compromising or settling, they were considered immature, needing to grow up.  "You can't always get what you want" after all.  We are trained to believe that settling is just growing up.

I question these ideas of grown-ups regularly.  Why wear an ill fitted life?  Why not hold out for your dreams?  Why not work hard to realize what you always wanted.  Why settle?

When you consciously choose your life you have to face the reality that some of what is currently happening in it may not work for you anymore.  Recently I have chosen not to settle in any aspect of my life.  From the time that this decision was made things fell away.  Loss happened.  I ended relationships and began new ones.  I approached work differently and still do on a daily basis.  At the same time, things began falling into my lap.  Struggle became joy, life became love.  Things weren't so 'hard.'  The biggest thing is being honest every day with how I am where I am because I choose to be, and, if I want my life to be different than it is I can choose differently.  I am remembering what I wanted as a child and not judging it as fantasy only.  It is a goal, the foundation for reality.  When you stop compromising your dreams you have to start living your life differently.  You are responsible for making your dreams a reality.

If you knew that you could have it all, would you work for it?  Would you open yourself to it?  What if that meant closing yourself off to what you are currently doing, who you are currently with, how you presently view the world?  What would you do to live the life of your dreams?

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."  ~Walt Disney



Don't Stop, Get It, Get It

Howdy, Whatever it is that you are doing in order to reach some goal or another you will need one thing: discipline.  You will need to keep doing whatever it is that you are doing and not stop when you feel like the results aren't coming.  My favorite line from anyone is, "I have tried everything."  I want to complete the sentence with, "and stuck with nothing."  How can you wonder why you haven't gotten where you wanted when you give up on everything?

Getting somewhere you haven't been isn't some glamorous event.  At the end of your journey, when you have reached your goal, others may see it as some overnight transformation.  You are the only one that really knows (besides your partner, therapist and maybe a friend or two) what you went through to get to where you are, starting from where you were.  Reaching your dreams is a lot of work, a lot of struggle, a lot of letting go and a whole lot of holding on.

People ask me on a regular basis if I get sleep.  I do get sleep, but it comes around my getting my dreams accomplished.  I know what I want and where I am going and sleep sometimes gets in the way if it is hours long.  So two hours here, 3 or 4 there sprinkled with the 20-45 minute snoozes I do while waiting to do something else.  I get my rest, just not in the way most do.  I have a goal, several, and that requires me to do things differently than others may want me to do… or understand.  My goals aren't about others so why would how I reach them be about anyone else's idea either?  I also have to remind myself that I set this goal and why (especially when I am exhausted).  Discipline.  Doing it.  Making it happen.  Even when I don't want to.  In all honesty, I always want to do what works for my goals.  Do I always?  No.  But 98% of the time I am working in a way that will and is fostering my reaching my goals.

What goals are you currently wanting to reach?  How have you sabotaged, if at all, your goals?  What scares you about reaching your dreams?  How long have  you had them and how many times have you given up on your dreams?  Sticking with something is hard when you don't know the outcome.  Well, you never know the outcome of anything, save for life.  Death is always the outcome.  So what we do between the birth and the death is always the unknown.  You aren't actually sure of anything and risk things on a daily basis regardless.  So what exactly is the issue with doing something and not letting it go just because your goals haven't been reached in a month.  You will need to take steps.  We are, all of us, trying to be somewhere we aren't instead of embracing where we are and looking forward to the inevitable change that we are heading towards.  So maybe the first step is small and seemingly insignificant.  Do it anyway.  Who cares what and how you judge it, just do it.  Then do it again.  Then again.  Until it is just what you do, you see change, and then it will be off to the next dream.



Catching Feelings

Hello there! I have very strong feelings about most things.  I write every day about how I feel about one thing or another.  I enjoy feeling good, fit, strong, happy, etc.  I even enjoy feeling pissed, angry and sometimes sad.  I embrace it all, no judgements.  I work on being conscious of my feelings every step of the way.  I question them all of the time and have, at this point, learned how to interpret my feelings pretty well.  Feelings are a language that most of us have not mastered in the least.  Many of us treat our feelings as the ultimate truth whether we actually would classify them as valid, honest or would be in agreement with them if we spent some time looking at them objectively.

I teach indoor cycling, spinning is what most people call it.  My classes have been described as 'hard' and I would have to say that they are designed to be challenging.  During these classes I know that participants can sometimes become desperate.  They express emotions that resemble fear and have told me that they literally thought they were going to die.  Now, they aren't about to die, they are simply just pushed to what they feel is their max.  They feel their heart race, they feel out of breath, they feel like they don't have enough energy, strength, chutzpa, to continue.  Their feelings are not the truth.  They are fine, they do have more, they won't die (in that moment).  However, when they have these feelings it determines how they react to the work that is before them.  Many back off, some stop, others keep pushing but feel like they may not be able to for long.  We take our feelings at face value without thinking critically.  We put the judgements of right & wrong or good & bad on them, when feelings, honestly, are just information.

Feelings are great when we learn how to use them, when we are able to discern the ones that are giving information to move forward on and ones that are simply getting in the way.  Feelings can help you reach a goal or keep you from it.    Feelings can bring you to love or take you away from it.  Feelings can get you up in the morning to complete a workout or give you a reason to stay in bed.  Basically, feelings aren't to be trusted at face value.  They are, instead, to be questioned.  Ask yourself if you actually want what they are implying.  Ask yourself if you would agree with the feeling's accompanying thoughts.  Do the feelings you are having actually make sense?  Maybe you are feeling anxious because someone isn't behaving how you expected.  Does your feeling anxiety actually mean that something is wrong?  If not, what do your feelings mean?

Awareness that feelings are to be interpreted and not just taken at face value can be helpful, if you take the concept in.  Recognizing feelings as information doesn't mean you don't cry, don't get angry or sad.  On the contrary, that awareness gives you space to do what your feelings urge you to if you choose that direction to go.  Being aware of feelings as information gives you an opportunity to detach from behaviors that don't align with your highest goals/potential.  Because you are not reacting to your feelings without awareness you are able to choose your actions clearer.  You are able to make decisions that support who you want to be instead of repeating who you have been.  When you become an observer of your feelings instead of the victim, you are able to decide how your feelings can actually help lift you instead of bring you down.

"The best way of forgetting how you think you feel is to concentrate on what you know you know."  ~Mary Stewart



Pot O' Gold

Top o' The Morning/Afternoon/Evenin' To Ya! When things are just right, just where they need to be, there is a click.  It may be heard, it may be felt.  Either way you have a sense of knowing.  You know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  Everything is exactly how it needs to be.  That feeling is amazing.  Have you had it?

When you are striving to reach a goal that isn't lined up with your highest self the journey is arduous.  It is like you are working against nature because you are.  Have you felt that way?

So often we are concerned with our end goal.  We have a number that we want to see on a scale.  We have an amount we want to see on our paycheck.  We want to own a home.  We want to have a car.  Much of the time we are unhappy or unsatisfied while we are working towards those goals.  Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is the idea of the end, the attainment of the goal.  As a coach, I know this method of training, growing, moving forward.  It works, surely it does.  There are a lot of things that work that could work better, that could make the goal less distant and easier to attain.

What if the feeling of it being hard is because we are approaching it incorrectly?  I am not saying that there won't be moments where you won't want to do something or that you won't nod off while writing a blog post .;) What if the joy in the journey is what was felt the most?

When the goal is lined up with the universe, the journey to it turns out to be the point.  One needn't push and shove to reach it.  On the contrary, the urgency ends up being the desire to do what needs doing now, in this moment.  There ends up being a sense of rightness in life, that things are lined up and ready for the taking.  When your goals match the universe, working towards them is no longer hard. The awareness around your goals changes and synchronicity becomes a way of life.  You understand that the steps you are taking to reach your goals are necessary instead of you 'having to do them.'  You see the journey as the gift(s).  You are left with the enjoyment of the moments, all of them, and know that the goal is just one of those moments as well.  The destination stops being so important because you have found the gold that most think is at the end of the rainbow.  When you are on the path the universe intended (higher self, etc) the gold is waiting for you at the beginning and throughout.  There is no wait, there is no end.  You are there, everyday in every way.



What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!! :) This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Vitamin C. Coldcalm by Boiron. My brother, Oba. Sleep. Dates and Cashews being chewed up together!

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Do you write down your goals? Have you tried? Do you dare?? :) See what happens when you put them down on paper like a "To Do" list instead of an "I want" list. You just might be surprised.

Food for thought!

Here is an exercise to help connect you strengthen your weakest link. Try it. You are your work. Learning about yourself is your first task.

Any difficulty we have encountered in life involves a weakness in body, mind or emotions. Recall one or more difficulties you have faced in your life. For each one consider whether that difficulty relates more to body, mind , or emotions. Do you notice a pattern? (Taken from Dan Millman's Book, No Ordinary Moments)

Have a fantastic day!!!

xoxoxo a