The question that got me out of my funk

Last week I shared with you guys that I haven’t been feeling too great this month. Unfortunately this week is no different 😦 What I’ve since learned is that I’ve been prolonging my cold because I was being stubborn. I had refused to take a break from my exercise regiment and wasn’t giving my body the rest that it needed.

I honestly didn’t realize how attached I had grown to my workouts and my physical results I was getting from them. Of course, I learned this the hard way because I’ve finally stopped doing them. I’ve also learned the hard way that I’m not very nice to myself when this happens. I allow that negative voice to chime in…

“You don’t look as good as you did before.”

“You realize that if you don’t workout, you’re going to look ugly.” 

“You should just let yourself go and eat like crap too. There’s no reason to pretend that you’re going to keep your results in the meantime.” 

All this negative chatter has been chiming in. There was a good 24 hour period where I listened to every word and believed it to be true. (It wasn’t pretty. Ask Beaker.) 

Fortunately I’ve had some helpful people chime some reason into my head. Coaches such as Wendy Braun and Courtney Rioux in particular. In fact, it was Courtney’s words that chimed into my head that finally started to put me in a better mood. 

I credit Courtney for a lot of my breakthroughs. What was really cool about this one was that I actually haven’t even shared this specific struggle with her yet. I simply remembered something she had said to someone else in a recent My Big Year call. They were going  through something completely different and expressed it to Courtney. She followed with this question: 

“Are you willing to see things differently?”

I love this question. We easily can spend time and energy listening to negative voices and asking ourselves why we’re not better. Yet we often don’t stop and ask if we’re willing to see our situation in a different light. I realized the entire time I had been kicking myself and listening to that negative voice that I wasn’t willing to see things differently. I wanted to feel better, resume my workouts, and then have a big cheat night while I watched one of the Cubs games….and then resume my workouts so I could get my results back again. (True story.) I was so frustrated, I wasn’t willing to see any other outcome. But once that question popped into my head, I realized, okay…..I am wiling to see things differently.

Now….what can I do?

The next tie you find yourself in the midst of a setback, stop and see if you’re willing to see things differently. There’s an answer for every problem. But we won’t take the necessary next steps if we’re not open to seeing things differently.

1025160740a

And if all else fails, take this advice from Preston Smiles. This was from his book “33 Ways to Love Louder.” I’m a little obsessed and it’s such an easy read.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

Advertisements

Some positive thoughts and quotes to get you through next week

I like to think I’m productive. (You can see where this is going…)

But seriously, the past two years since working with a life coach, taking better care of my health, and training to be a coach for others who want to improve their own health and lifestyle has taught me a lot of skills. I’ve even reframed my mindset around my goals. I’ve gotten damn good at getting things done – even to the point where I don’t take breaks or sleep as much!

….and now I’ve been fighting a cold for the past couple of weeks. (Shocker.)

1015162236b.jpg

I tweeted this photo to all who were wondering how I was enjoying the Cubs game on Saturday night from Wrigleyville. (You can tell by my spelling that I was a little sleepy…

 

The biggest challenge? My energy is nowhere near what I’m used to. I don’t like being low energy. (Who does?) But more than that, I LOVE the feeling of adrenaline from new thoughts or inspiring ideas. So while I might not be able to do all the burpees and chin ups that I’m used to (it’s driving me crazy), I have been taking furious notes from my favorite books, youtube videos, and training videos.

Below are just a few of my favorite thoughts or quotes I wrote down from within the past week. Most are paraphrased. (If you’re reading this and are a lawyer, please schedule an appointment at your convenience to discuss anything legal. I’m free if there’s coffee.)

 

Marie Forleo and Grace Bonnie – Marie TV

Grace Bonnie discusses how she encountered a drastic change after new information about her health.

Favorite quote: “My health became my work for a while”

 

#MyBigYear2016 with Courtney Rioux

Courtney tells us in one of her training modules regarding that negative voice in our head that it’s really our ego.

Favorite quote: “It’s not you, and it’s not true.”

 

Favorites quotes from “33 Ways to Love Louder” by Preston Smiles

-Honor what is. Be inspired by what’s in the way

-Hurt people are the ones who go out of their way to hurt people.

-Be conscious with your words. They make up your reality. 

 

Favorites from “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins:

-There’s a difference between reaching one’s goals and living ones values.

-Be committed to who you want to become – even if it all goes wrong

-Most people don’t take control and make decisions. They get caught up in the “currents” of life and let it control them. 

 

I hope you check out some of the links if any of them resonated with you so you can start to get more of these thoughts ingrained in your head without waiting for a guy from Chicago to shoot you an email with a free blog 😉

Above all – I thought this would be an example of some cool things that have happened in the midst of a setback. I’m not used to being lower energy or skipping workouts. It’s been challenging. But all those notes? I like those.

Go get ’em, friends.

What being #notperfect is really all about

One of the reason I came up with the term #notperfect is because I frequently over analyze anything and everything in my head. Whether it’s scheduling out my week or just planning an efficient trip to the grocery, I’m pretty on top of things most days. On paper this might not sound like such a bad thing. The problem comes once you’re stressing out to the point where it would actually save you stress and energy to just wing it.

Sometimes winging it is okay. If I do it too much – it’s not good, my friends. But here’s what I learned: Sometimes it’s not about being perfect. Sometimes it’s just about being happy.

Earlier this week I had just helped out one of my favorite Chicago storefront theatres with their auditions. Despite battling a mild cold, I was running off adrenaline and was in a great mood. I wanted to do something fun. With a bare schedule the following day and the Cubs in the middle of a playoff game, I was tempted – Do I give myself a fun, late night with some #notperfect food?

1011162159.jpg

I auditioned myself at the end of the night. This was my powerpose for the #auditionchallenge. 

….I didn’t do it.

I knew that body needed rest. I also realized that it was late. By the time I picked up food (and most likely some beer), the game would be pretty much over. Or if I went to a bar, I’d be there for all of an inning or two. Besides, the Cubs weren’t winning…

Cubs Rally foxsportsdotcom.jpg

…the score changed slightly from when I made my decision. Photo by foxsports.com.

As I listened to the game in my apartment (because having cable would just be too perfect), I listened in awe as the Cubs rallied and advanced to the National League Championship Series. What was I doing during, you ask? Oh, I was in the middle of a sink full of dishes after a fine half hour or so of meal prep. (I had some damn good oatmeal waiting for me the following morning, if you were wondering.)

And that was it. Chapman struck out Belt. The Cubs had won.

I lowered the radio, opened my window, and stuck my head out. I heard sounds of cheering throughout Wrigleyville.

It. Was. Awesome.

1011161335_HDR.jpg

This city likes their Cubbies 🙂 

Let’s recap: I heard the Cubs advance to the championship series while doing dishes by myself in my studio apartment.

Was it perfect? No.

….but I was happy.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the whole reason we strive for perfection is because we want to be happy. The beautiful thing is when we discover how being #notperfect can also make us happy. It’s going to depend on things like your personality and what you’re doing. I encourage you all to start finding areas where you’ve been not perfect and still felt good. (Keep a tally or a notebook if it helps!)

Let’s go get ‘em this weekend by being #notperfect, friends**

 

**The Chicago Cubs are allowed to be #notperfect by sweeping the NLCS, should they so choose.

How to make life easier

I’m guessing you’re a busy person, so I’ll just give you the answer here: Stop making it harder.

Okay, obviously we don’t intentionally want life to be harder. But I’ve found there are two areas where we might be taking action towards a goal or emotion hoping it will make us happier, only to learn it actually makes the job harder.

Allow me to share two of my own examples….

I wanted abs.

Up until a few months ago, I thought the answer to getting abs was simple: Cut out a serving of carbs from my nutrition plan and add in an extra ten minute ab routine. When I started a new workout program, I opted to just follow the workout calendar and eat the recommended amount of food – carbs at all.

The result – Less time exercising, more food consumed….and better abs.

Have you ever tried to customize a plan? Maybe it was something created by an expert. Or maybe it was something that’s been shown to work from other successful people in your field. When we recreate the wheel, we end up putting our own take it on based on ideas in our head based on assumptions – not facts.

Make things easier on yourself. Trust the pros, following the plan, and avoiding any extra work.(Again, you’re busy. No need to be busier.)

Also – if you’re like me and like your carbs, these meals were some of my favorites I enjoyed while getting my raging six pack (not really raging…but still….)

0830160822a.jpg

Toasted avocado and tofu sandwich with Ezekiel bread. Side of blueberries. Obviously not plated yet…

0919161116c.jpg

Quinoa omelette! Side of apples, peanuts, and peanut butter. 

 

0928160925b.jpg

Eggs, veggies, and sweet potato crips. I cut up a few slices, throw some paprika on them, and throw them in my air fryer for 5 or 6 minutes. (If you don’t have an air fryer, I’m sure an oven will do the trick.) 

I wanted answers

A few months ago I was venting in the #MyBigYear2016 facebook group  about an uncomfortable situation I was in. It was a time set aside for our coach Courtney Rioux to answer some of our questions. She quickly pointed out that I was focusing on problems and that instead we should focus on solutions.

Another way we make things harder on ourselves is by complaining. We often think we’re sharing ways to find an answer to a problem, when really we’re just expressing thoughts about how unhappy we are. Venting does not lead to answers –and  I’ve had to learn this the hard way.

Many personal development leaders emphasize the importance of asking the right question. If we ask the question, “Why am I always so unhappy?” we’ll come up with a laundry list of reasons to be unhappy. On the flip side, if we ask,” What are some activities I can start doing more of that will make me happier?” we’re leading our brains toward the things we actually want.

Start making things easier by asking better questions and focusing on solutions versus problems.

0914160713.jpg

From “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” – John C Maxwell

 

Do you have any ideas that help with making life easier? Or some areas where you’ve caught yourself making life harder than it needs to be? Share ‘em below….I could probably benefit from it (and I’m sure my friends could to).

Until next week, my friends.

Let’s go get ‘em.