You are the author of your own story, the director of your play and the CEO of your life!! To set yourself up for success and a happy, fulfilled life you need to integrate strategies that support both your personal and professional success...it is not really a “balance” as people often refer to it, but more of an “integration”/a “harmonious dance” between the two.
PLAY FULL OUT AND HAVE A PLAN
Have a plan for the next six months, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years - and be specific about your goals and dreams! Write them down as if they are already in play and you have already achieved them or are living them and how you will make all you want happen.
YOU ARE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT WORK
Investing in “You, Inc.” is the single most important investment you can ever make! Successful people know where they want to go and do whatever it takes to get there. They have a very clear vision and when obstacles or roadblocks come up, they make the necessary tweaks so that they are always moving in the direction of their goal.
THEY DO WHAT OTHERS WON’T
Successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t. They do what is required, they keep on going even when they may not feel like it. They do the hard things. So...when it comes to your dreams, don’t ever let anyone tell you how big they should be or that you cannot possibly achieve it. Don’t compromise EVER and know what your non-negotiables are and don’t ever back down or give in!!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN YOU
Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed and who challenge you to be more. Pay attention to your inner circle. Identify those you trust and who will be honest and truthful with you - not “energy sucking vampires”. Get people around you who make you better.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
Get out of your comfort zone, test your resilience and your capabilities. No one else can create success for you. You have to consciously plan your life and have a growth plan in place. You need to stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone. You have to take a shot, go for broke and take the swing! You have to live at the edge of your capabilities.
The truly successful people have failed way more times than they’ve succeeded but they’ve taken the lessons from the failures and learned from them. Failure is a huge part of being able to be successful. You should never have a negative association with failure. Get comfortable with failure. Failure is where all of the lessons usually are. For example, when you go to the gym and lift weights you are actually trying to achieve muscle failure because that is actually where the growth happens. So never be afraid to embrace failure…”Fail early, fail often and fail forward”!
All your dreams can come to be! Never stop dreaming or give up hope...Please believe, with the faith of a child, that something bigger, brighter and better is always possible.
What brings you passion? What do you love to do? Get a vision board or a dream board and put all your dreams on it so you can see it in front of you every day..where you want to live, what does your house look like, what kind of car are you driving, where do you vacation, what would you look like, what would your relationships be like, what would you be doing. Turn off your phone and all of the outside noise. Get silent with your thoughts when you are doing this...maybe go outside and take a hike, ride a bicycle, go for a walk, whatever will put you in the emotional state you need to be in to dream your biggest dreams of the crazy, amazing life you want.
Let your thoughts run wild and Dream BIG!! Envision the most amazing best possible future vision of you and your life. Don’t put any restrictions on your thoughts. Write them down as if you are already living and breathing them. You are driving your dream car, you are pursuing your passion, running an amazing business, living in the house of your wildest dreams - Visualize it! How does it feel?, what do you look like, who is with you...what does the best day you can imagine look like.
You may ask why is it important to write it down if I can see it in my mind...when you write it down, it’s putting action behind it. It is important for us to not stop dreaming.
Chasing your dreams, realizing your “WHY”, will develop courage and courage is the fuel it takes to achieve amazing success in life.
The secret of LIVING is GIVING and if you follow your dreams you will be able to share with others - what it means to hope, inspire and have a truer meaning to the life we have been given.
Having big dreams can help distract us from all of the negative things that we are bombarded with and all of the drama people create. Drama becomes obsolete if you are passionate and focused on your dreams or the “WHY”.
Through accomplishing your dreams you will come to appreciate the failures you had to experience and you will know, and be able to share with others, that failure is just a necessary part of success.
It is always fun and extremely satisfying to prove people the world wrong, so why would you even think to follow the status quo?
Regret is a terrible thing and a dream is most certainly powerful enough to bring you regret, if you do not take the chance.
Your dreams have no limits! You are the creator of your dreams, no matter how big or audacious they may seem. You are able to design your plan for accomplishing your end goal. You just have to remain committed and focused NO MATTER WHAT!!
A dream is strong enough to define you and once accomplished, you prove to others that they have absolutely no say in who you can and can’t be! Remember, other people’s opinions are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS…
Never ever give up on your dreams and don’t stop until every last one of them is achieved!!!! Here’s to your crazy, amazing, phenomenal beyond your wildest dreams life that awaits….
Every one of us is trying to become the best version of ourselves, (at least hopefully), so why is it that some people exude more confidence than others? How do you become more confident?
You have to build up your inner confidence and claim the life that you deserve!
STOP GIVING POWER TO YOUR INNER “PEANUT GALLERY”
This is the little voice (critic) inside our head that gives you a very distorted play by play commentary of your life based on subconscious beliefs. It attacks your inner confidence by having you compare yourself to other people, question your ability & capabilities, and believe a false narrative.
BE AWARE OF YOUR THOUGHTS
Our thoughts control our reality and reality is limited by our thoughts, so we must be conscious of the thoughts that we are thinking. Thoughts become emotions, beliefs, patterns and your “personal reality”. Thoughts affect the energy of your confidence by attaching to the patterns and programming of your “unconscious” mind. Ask yourself the following questions:
*Do my thoughts hurt me and affect my inner confidence? Do they serve me?
*Are my thoughts and emotions clouding my vision for the future i wish to create?
*What type of automatic programming are my thoughts producing?
The same thoughts lead to the same choices, and the same choices lead to the same actions and behaviors (often referred to as the “definition of insanity”). The same behaviors shape our same experiences. Put another way, Your current thinking has gotten you your current results.
Challenge yourself to move beyond the status quo and that which you are familiar with. When you move past what is familiar you become unconsciously skilled and are creating a new reality with much more confidence. Use these newly acquired skills to create an inner confidence where you can claim the life that you deserve and desire for yourself, unlearn the crap from the past and align yourself with who you are now.
This is just a little reminder about something that we easily forget...DRINK MORE WATER! Water is one of the most crucial elements of survival and , now that summer is approaching, being hydrated is critical for optimal health, and an efficient workout. About seventy five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated and are not even aware of it.
If you are dehydrated, you simply cannot perform at an optimal level. Your body uses water for digestion, lubricating joints, excrete and transport nutrients to maintain energy. It is also important to note that when you are dehydrated your body produces higher levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Many people have cravings for sugary sweets and think they are hungry when they are actually dehydrated...they are more than likely just thirsty!
Drink at the very least, half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 130 pound woman should start with a minimum of 60 ounces of water. Add 20 ounces, or more, daily if you exercise. Some people do not like to drink water so there are some ways to make it more fun and enjoyable:
Infuse plain water with strawberries, cucumber, mint, lemon or lime
Track your water intake with an app like My Water Balance or Aqua.
Hydrate before, during and after your workouts, as hydration prevents fatigue and helps keep energy levels up during exercise.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with getting started drinking more water, track a few days to see how much you are actually getting. Then just start slowly, with additional ounces and add more every few days until you have created the habit (which is a whole other blog for another day:).
The more you drink, the more you, your body and even your skin, will love it - and it will show in your glow!!
Our bodies are simply a vehicle for spiritual growth and healing, and what I mean by this is that I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience and, therefore, we must treat our bodies like the temple they are.
First and foremost, you cannot take care of anyone properly, or show up as the best version of yourself if you don’t take care of you FIRST!! Most of where we spend our time doesn’t make people feel fulfilled and that is why the average person is not fit and healthy and the average person is not in a relationship where they have tremendous passion. To me, there is nothing more important to ensure success than feeling great physically and emotionally.
It makes it much harder than it needs to be to achieve a goal and pursue your dreams when you aren’t operating at the highest level. Let’s put it this way...If your car is running on empty it is a lot harder to reach your destination, if you know what i mean :)
Look at your body - without that everything else is out the door! If there is energy, vitality and strength, it’s going to show up in your relationships, it’s going to show up in your business, it’s going to show up in all areas of your life! Your health and well being should be your highest priority when it comes to trying to become the best you that you can be!! It’s something you need to master - it’s way too important!
You have to feel good on the inside so you can be centered, grounded and feel at peace with yourself so you can’t be knocked off balance when the inevitable storms of life and chaos strike.
These are just a few of the “non-negotiables” in being the healthiest version of yourself, feeling your best and performing at the highest level, whether you are trying to lose weight, train harder, run faster, etc.:
1. STOP DYING OF THIRST - HYDRATE!!
You are not a camel! You have to drink more water. End of story,,,we all do!! Our bodies are made up of mostly water (up to 60%) and nine out of ten times when we are craving sugary sweets or hungry, it’s because we are actually dehydrated! Strive to drink eight 8-oz glasses per day minimum (half a gallon) ...Our brains cannot differentiate between hunger and thirst, and when I work with clients who are trying to get healthier, or lose weight, I always tell them to drink 8-12 ounces of water prior to them eating. Staying hydrated also helps our skin, - you look younger, and it gives us more energy too!
2. SLEEP 7-8 HOURS & WAKE UP EARLIER
It is crucial that we get adequate sleep to function at our best and contrary to some believing you can get 5 or 6 and that is all you need, I call Bull@#$T!!!! We need 7-8...that’s right - SEVEN (7) to EIGHT (8)...
Now, with that out of the way and you getting enough sleep...then, and only then, wake up earlier! Use this time for you...Read a book, pray, meditate (all of the above, if you choose) but it is YOUR TIME to pursue what is in your heart. It’s never a question of time...it’s a question of how we choose to use the time we have, so, if you prioritize carving time in your schedule for you and what’s important, you will show up for the rest of your day energized and empowered! I GUARANTEE it!!, so I dare you to do it for two weeks, consistently- every single day - and prove me wrong! I know for a fact that you will feel better, have more energy, be more productive than you have ever been and you will be able to tackle all the curveballs that you get thrown at you!
3. EXERCISE/MOVE YOUR BODY!!
Walk, swim, lift weights, yoga - whatever you want, but studies show the highest performers ALL work out a minimum of five days a week because they all know that their health and well being is the most important thing that they are in control of. Energy brings more energy and they know that. You want to make sure that your body is ready to act on the vision and dream that you have for your life! It doesn’t matter what activity you decide to engage in...you just want to be able to play life “Full Out”!!
4. EAT RIGHT..MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES
Make wise choices when it comes to what you are putting in your body. The key to healthy eating is moderation and managing what you eat every day. One of the toughest things about exercising and eating right is that immediate payoff seems so small. The key to success in this area is consistency! Be consistent every single day! Celebrate the small, incremental wins or improvements. Maybe you can lift 5-10more pounds, maybe you ran a little farther without getting completely winded, maybe you didn’t crave any sugary sweets, maybe you aren’t as sore as you were the last time...it’s about giving yourself credit for the baby steps along the way!
5. PRACTICE BEING GRATEFUL EACH & EVERY DAY
Focus on all the blessings in your life and all that you have. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. The one thing you can control today are your thoughts and actions. ALWAYS be grateful for all that you have been blessed with. Choose to appreciate where you are, how far you have come and believe in how much more you can do and be.
6. LOVE YOUR LOOKS - No More Negative Garbage!!
Learn to love the way you look, your body and how amazing it is and stop putting yourself down...Paying attention to, appreciating and enhancing your skin, hair and smile over time does not mean that you are vain. This is all part of creating healthy habits that lay the foundation for a lifetime of health. By learning to know, and love, your body as it changes and matures and seeing how your beauty is changing (not diminishing, but transforming!) over time, you will learn to take better care of yourself. Making your body beautiful is not about searching for a fountain of youth, it’s about being healthy, and loving yourself for your whole life!
Remember, you only have one body and one life...ROCK THIS LIFE NOW!!! If not now, when?? It’s never too late to be the best version of you that you can be...the world is waiting...
Andy and I have been together twelve years and married, HAPPILY, I might add, for just shy of ten years. And, by no means, are we the be all, end all marriage/relationship gurus, but we DO have some really great foundational “best practices” which have kept us super happily married and still as crazy in love as we were when we first met.
I know there are all sorts of books on relationships and relationship advice and what to do to have the best, etc. but if you ask us, these seven steps are at the heart of a great relationship, no matter how long you have been together.
Commitment to God/Core Values
Our faith comes first in our lives! Nothing else would be of value if we neglected or compromised that.
We are best friends...we started out that way and still to this day there is no one I would rather hang out with or share my excitement, news, or cry with. Friendships are fun and mischievous, exciting and energetic and when you treat your partner like your best friend it’s fun and playful. This also keeps us making out like high school kids and our sex life is amazing and awesome!
Communication is Key!! One of the best books on love and relationships is The Five Love Languagesby Gary Chapman. You have to know how your partner/significant other gives, and receives, love. How do you tell your partner what you need? How do you tell them that they hurt your feelings? How do you learn to listen to one another’s hopes and dreams? You always have to have an open line of communication. Be willing to listen with both ears!
Working Together as a Team
Walking through tough, trying seasons can make or break a relationship and I can promise there will be storms and major turbulence. A great relationship is a team at heart and we are stuck like glue, in it together to see it through. You support and empower one another, pick one another up and take on your hopes and dreams together.
When we come to the end of our life, we want to look back knowing we played the game of life “full out” and lived life to the fullest. Working on yourself personally is a key component to showing up for your partner. We are completely dedicated to growing as a couple by supporting one another as individual’s in eating right, working out or exercising, self care, time with friends, etc.
The greatest bonds between people come as the result of their experiences together, good and bad. We try to create as many positive experiences as possible and weather the storms of negative ones together.
We still date one another...I like to look good and dress well and try to show Andy it is important for me to take care of myself and try to look the best I can. He is important to me and by me making the effort to look my best I show him that he is important as well. We make a conscious effort to send texts throughout the day or leave notes...little reminders that we love and appreciate one another. Andy has given me roses just about every single week since we have been together except for holidays when we both agree the prices are way too jacked up :)
We plan our schedules so that we ensure that we have time for one another, and, as individuals. You have to be intentional about the things and people that matter most if you want your relationships and life to thrive
Our bodies are simply a vehicle for spiritual growth and healing but we must treat them like the temple that they are. What I mean by this is that I believe , our spiritual beings having a human experience. First, and foremost, you cannot take care of anyone properly, or show up as the best version of yourself, if you don’t take care of yourself first!
Look at your body ...without that, everything else is out the door! If there is vitality, energy and strength, it is going to show up in your relationships, it’s going to show up in your business, it’s going to show up in your life. It is something you need to master - it is WAY TOO IMPORTANT NOT TO!!
Your health and well being should be your biggest priority when it comes to trying to become the best you that you can be! You have to feel good on the inside so you can be centered, grounded and feel at peace with yourself so that you cannot be knocked off balance when storms and chaos strike, or the everyday curveball is thrown your way. Most of where we spend our time does not make people feel fulfilled and that is why the average person is not fit and healthy. The average person is not in a passionate or fulfilling relationship.
To me, there is nothing more important to ensure success than feeling great, physically, emotionally and mentally. It is much more challenging to achieve a goal and pursue your dreams when you are not operating at the highest level. If your car is running on empty, for example, it is a lot harder to reach your destination, if you know what i mean :)
I would like to throw in a few things that I believe are the non-negotiables in being healthy, trying to lose weight, feeling your best and operating on all cylinders:
1. HYDRATE - We have to drink more water!! Our bodies are made up of water and nine out of ten times when we are hungry or craving sugar, it’s because we are dehydrated. Our brain does not differentiate between hunger & thirst and when i work with clients who are trying to lose weight or get healthier, I always start with water intake! Drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day (half your body weight at the VERY MINIMUM) and get 7-8hours of sleep each and every night. To be at your highest performance level you must have adequate rest and be hydrated.
2. WAKE UP EARLIER - Use this time for you!! Read a book, meditate, exercise (all of the above, as in my case)..but it is your private time to pursue what is on your heart. It is NEVER a question of time, it is a question of how we CHOOSE TO SPEND the time we have...so if you prioritize carving time out of your schedule for you and what’s important, you will show up for the rest of your day energized and empowered! I guarantee it, so I DARE YOU TO DO IT for 2 weeks CONSISTENTLY, and prove me wrong!! I know for a fact that you will feel better, have more energy and be able to tackle all the things you have thrown at you!
3. MOVE!!! EVERY DAY - Walk, swim , yoga, whatever it is, but studies show the highest performers all work out (exercise and move in some way) at the minimum 5 days per week because they know their health and well being is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing and they are in control of that. Energy creates more energy and they are well aware of that fact. You want to make sure that your body is ready to act on the vision and dreams that you have for your life!
4. FUEL YOUR FIRE - Eat right!! Make wise choices...fruits, veggies, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, high quality protein, etc. The key to healthy eating is moderation and managing what you eat every day. Just like gas to a car, your body needs the best nutrition so it can function at its highest. One of the toughest things about eating right and exercising is that the immediate payoff seems so incremental and small. The key to success in this area is consistency. Be consistent EVERY SINGLE DAY! Celebrate the small wins or improvements. Maybe it is that you are not as sore as you were the last time, maybe you were able to run a little farther without getting winded, maybe you were able to lift 5-10 pounds more or kick out more reps. Whatever it may be, give yourself credit for the small improvements because it means that you are getting better!!
5. PRACTICE GRATITUDE - Practice being grateful each and every day! Focus on all the blessings in your life and all that you have. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. The one thing you can control today are your thoughts and actions, so always be grateful for all you have and the lessons that can be learned from mistakes made, etc. Choose to appreciate where you are, how far you have come, and believe in how much more you can do and be!!
6. LEARN TO LOVE YOU!!! - Love yourself, your body and the way you look! Be proud of who you are and what makes you unique! Paying attention, appreciating and enhancing your hair, skin and smile does not mean that you are vain. This is all part of creating healthy habits that lay a foundation for a lifetime of health. By learning how to know your body as it changes and matures and seeing how your body is changing (NOT DIMINISHING But Transforming!) over time, you will learn to take better care of yourself. Making your body beautiful is not about searching for a fountain of youth. It is about being healthy, and loving yourself, for your whole entire life. You only have one, so ROCK THIS LIFE NOW!!!!
Don’t ever get so focused on what you want that you take for granted all that you have. Learn to enjoy the season that you are in. Being frustrated, unhappy and anxious is not going to make something happen any sooner. Being content does not mean that we settle where we are or give up on our dreams. It just means that we are grateful for all the blessings that we do have and we are not fighting everything. We are trusting God’s timing and we know that he is working behind the scenes and his plans are much greater than those we have for ourselves.
Sometimes some situations will not change until WE change. Often we are in a situation because we need to be there...we need to grow, we need to build character, we need to strengthen our FAITH. You usually do not grow as much when things are good and everything is going your way. You grow when there is pressure, the same way diamonds come from the intense pressure and heat. Maybe all of your dreams haven’t come to pass but you enjoy the season you are in and you remain thankful and grateful for all the blessings in your life.
If you are not content in the season that you are in, while you are waiting for things to change, then even if your dreams do come true, you are still not going to be satisfied. You may be happy for a little while, but discontentment will follow you everywhere you go. You have to discipline your mind to see the good and be grateful and appreciate what you have. Maybe your situation is going to change when you change. Just be satisfied with where God has you right now. Like i said before, it doesn’t mean that you are settling and never expecting anything better, it just means that you are not living life frustrated and unhappy, always wanting something more.
You cannot let your contentment be based on what you have or don’t have, who likes you or who doesn’t. You have to be content when you are blessed with a little or a lot, content when dreams are coming to be or you are in a waiting period, content in a small house with bills needing to be paid or content in your dream house with money in the bank.
This is the reason that so many people are unhappy. They are waiting and always wishing for something different, something better. You have to realize that happiness is a choice! You choose whether to be happy where you are or not. There is nothing wrong with improving, being your best, and showing your style but you should not always be wishing you were something different. Be content with who God made you to be, right where you are. It is an absolute tragedy to go through life always dissatisfied, wishing you had more, wanting to look like someone else, in order to be happy.
Every season is not rainbows and roses, and you are not going to grow if you stay in harvest. There have to be planting seasons, watering seasons and maintaining seasons, where you are pulling out the weeds and tending to the soil. Without going through that process, you are not going to come into a new season of harvest, so instead of being frustrated by the difficulties and challenges, look at the season you are in as getting you prepared for what’s coming. Remember, God is at work and at the right time the season will change. Winter always turns to spring. It takes character and maturity to be content in the planting season and the “pulling weeds” seasons and when you are content, you see each and every day as a gift. You appreciate the people in your life and you are grateful for all that God has blessed you with.
Embrace the place that you are and the season you are in. See all the miracles, all the good. Be grateful for what you have. Remember, there is a blessing and a burden for every season. Don’t focus on the burden, focus on the blessing and BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED!!