(Updated) 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge

(Updated) 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge

“You probably have a lot of room for improvement, everyone does. But, there’s also a lot to be proud of this year! Let’s celebrate that!”

 

(UPDATED 12/31/2017)

Okay everyone, I got 5 responses to my Instagram challenge. I know, that doesn’t seem like a lot but honestly, I was worried with such short notice and not a huge following yet…no one would participate. So I am EXTREMELY excited about these five glorious people who chose to play along. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your years have been amazing and I can’t wait to see what 2018 looks like for each of you! Each of you get to be featured on my updated post here with your linked sites and shared with my social media followers. I am forever grateful and I can’t wait to do the same challenge next year and compare how many I get then vs. now.

Each of these women are amazing and so are their blogs. So please take the time to read them and get some awesome tips about life!

 

Empowered Living with Nicole

I’ve got to give some extra love to Nicole from Empowered Living with Nicole!  It’s pretty hard to top her year. Nicole is a quadriplegic and this year she stood! Wow! You are an inspiration! There’s no telling what you can do in 2018! She also has some other pretty amazing things going on in her life. Check out her collage:

Challenge accepted @thewiserlifeblog ! This is my 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge collage! Each picture represents a different part of my 2017. ♥️ 1. My favorite quote for the year; “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” I love this quote because 2017 has been a year of personal growth for me and realizing I have the power to create my life and myself exactly how I want. ♥️ 2. A picture that represents one of my greatest accomplishments. This year I graduated from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts with a degree in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology and a certificate as a hypnotherapist. ♥️ 3. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of. This is a picture of a coworker and I. I’m so thankful for this relationship as Chelsea is someone I know I can talk to and she’s not going to tell me what I want to hear, but rather she’s going to keep it real and tell me what I need to hear. Our relationship is exactly what I expect a friendship to be. LOVE YOU, CHELS! ♥️ 4. One of my favorite memories from 2017. Standing. I’m a quadriplegic, so to be able to stand with such little assistance was so freeing. I can’t wait to see what I’m able to tackle in 2018 when it comes to my recovery. The little things. ♥️ 5. A picture of me in 2017 ♥️ 6. My intention for 2018, which is to be brave!

A post shared by Nicole Johnson (@empoweredlivingwithnicole) on

 

 

Live Like a Butterfly

This next awesome lady is Heather from Live Like a Butterfly. She’s been super busy this year getting promotions, hanging out with her awesome mom, and taking fun trips! I really love her intention for 2018. Check it out:

Striving for Balance 

This lady is totally living life to the fullest and always getting her work-out on! Check out her journey and awesome tips on Striving for Balance. Her collage makes her 2017 look pretty amazing:

I did The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge with @thewiserlifeblog! Each picture represents a different piece of my 2017 (In order, left to right, top to bottom). 1. My favorite quote for the year: I love this one because it reminds me hat the biggest obstacle is usually yourself! 2. A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: This year I completed my first bike/Run portion of IronGirl. My only goal was to finish which I didn’t think I could but I did it! 3. A picture of me: well me and my bestie! She is on the left and I’m on the right. It’s from my trip to Colorado for my 40th Birthday (Yay me!!!) 4. My favorite memory this year: and my second product accomplishment – making it through not one but 3 haunted houses – the first time since I was about 7 years old! 5. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: my husband and my children (who are now young adults) I love them all with all of my being – my favorite people!!! 7. My intention for 2018, which is to keep crushing my goals!!!! www.strivingforbalance.com @strivingforbalance1 #strivingforbalance #thewiserlife #2017yearinreview #goodbye2017 #hello2018

A post shared by Striving For Balance (@strivingforbalance1) on

Kayla B. Collection

Kayla is going to be a mommy this year and she’s still being awesome and doing things out of her comfort zone! I love the way she looks at life. Check her out on Kayla B. Collection!  Check out her year in review:

I did “The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge” with @thewiserlifeblog ⬅️ check it out to join in too! Each picture represents a piece of my 2017 (in order, left to right, top to bottom) 🖤 1. My favorite quote for the year: I love this quote because it really makes you take a step back and look at your life & ENJOY! In today’s society we’re always looking ahead at what’s next, what’s better, & planning for the future. What we’re not doing, is enjoying life as it’s happening – being present – and enjoying each step along the way. 🖤 2. A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone, and not only created my entire website/blog by myself -but went live! 🖤 3. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: This is a picture of my lil’ man at our last ultrasound appointment earlier this month. I’m so proud of this relationship because I’m becoming a first time Mommy, & my relationship with him has grown SO much as well. Just back in May of this year he was just a hope/prayer inside my head, & now I’m not only physically seeing him grow, but feeling him stretching, jumping, tumbling, and kicking inside my tummy ALL day long! It is absolutely incredible. 🖤 4. My favorite memory of the year: The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen (the picture does not do it justice) while on my Babymoon in San Diego, CA with my husband. The entire trip was my favorite memory this year. 🖤 5. A picture of me in 2017. Taken just two months ago at my cousins wedding. 🖤 6. My intention for 2018: I feel I have SO many aspirations for the coming year! I recently have felt overwhelmed just thinking of everything I want to do, be, and accomplish. This quote sums up how I feel I need to work through these aspirations. If I remember to be the best version of myself everyday, I’ll be just fine! Loved this Challenge! 🖤 You can do the challenge too, just follow ➡️ Ashley @thewiserlifeblog & get all the info! #thewiserlife

A post shared by Kayla B. ❤︎ (@kaylabcollection) on

40 and Up Health and Fitness

And last, but certainly not least, check out MJ on 40 and Up Health and Fitness. She’s been busy gaining more education, stepping out of her comfort zone to be more awesome, and getting her health on! I love how relaxed she looks here:

 

Again, thank you all so much for taking the challenge. I hope you play a long again next year!

 

(ORIGINAL POST)

Hey, friends! I wanted to do something kind of fun as a way for us to give a little review to our lives in 2017. That’s why I created The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge as a way for us to share and remember the awesome things that happened in 2017.

SO many things have happened to me in 2017. I had a baby, I completed grad school, and I started my new business/life change adventure! I decided a fun way for us to celebrate the awesomeness of 2017, is to create a collage, made up of specific pictures to represent a different piece of our 2017. Something that might look like this:

 

 

Each picture represents a different piece of my 2017 (In order, left to right, top to bottom).

  1. My favorite quote for the year: I love this one because it has really helped me jump over some hurdles in my life and understand the best way to make life choices.
  2. A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: This year I graduated with a Masters in English and an emphasis in Pedagogy. Pedagogy is just a fancy word meaning the art of teaching. This picture was the day I did my portfolio defense. I was so confident and just relieved for it to be nearly done.
  3. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: This one is a picture of me and my newest baby, A. I’m proud of this relationship and it has grown. Being a mother for the third time has been a struggle for me as I dealt with postpartum depression and adjusting to having a baby after 7 years from the birth of my last child. But she has helped me discover a new level of strength and love.
  4. My favorite memory of the year: This is baby A’s first Halloween. She had just started smiling and gave us a great big ol’ smile for the picture!
  5. A picture of me in 2017.
  6. My intention for 2018, which is to be a #GirlBoss!

What I would LOVE is for you to create a similar collage image using the criteria I used in mine. Then I will pick a few of my favorites and share them on my blog as a testament to the awesome year we both had!

 

Why Do this Challenge?

Well, for one, it’s just a great idea to look back on your year and really focus on the GOOD things. You probably have a lot of room for improvement, everyone does. But, there’s also a lot to be proud of this year! Let’s celebrate that!

Also, it’s free promotion for your blog or website. If I choose your image (how many I choose just depends on how many are submitted), then I’ll post it here on New Year’s Eve and link it back to your blog, website, Facebook page, or wherever you want me to link it! I’ll promote this updated post again on all my social media sites. I can tell you, I want to post as many as possible because I’m just so excited to see how everyone’s year went and to share that experience with others.

If you don’t have anything to promote, no worries! Just do it to celebrate yourself and share with everyone the good things that happened in 2017!

Okay, so what should you do now?

 

First, Gather Your Images

  1. Find a picture of your favorite quote or make your own (see how to do this below).
  2. Find a picture that represents your proudest accomplishment. This can be absolutely anything you are proud of for the year.
  3. Find a picture that represents a relationship from 2017 that you’re proud of or that has grown. Maybe you had a baby like I did, maybe your marriage got stronger, maybe you made a new bestie, or maybe you just really love your dog!
  4. Find a picture that represents your favorite memory from the year.
  5. Find a picture of you. Whether you love pictures of yourself or hate them, it’s important that we don’t exclude ourselves from memories. If you don’t like what you see then part of your 2018 journey can be to change it or learn to accept and love it. You are beautiful!
  6. Create an image that states your main intention for 2018. If you’re not sure how to create this, keep reading!

 

Next, Make Your Collage

The images can be in any order you want.  If you’re not sure how to create the collage, just use Layout from Instagram  on your phone, like I did. Download the app, and then choose the images from your camera-roll for the collage. Easy-peasy!

If you’re not sure how to create a text graphic, like the ones in my collage with the quote and 2018 intentions, just download any old free text-editing app from the app store. Personally, I like to use Canva or Fontmania. Super easy apps, and free! Create the text image, save it to your camera roll and add it to your collage!

 

Finally, Share on Instagram with Me!

Once you’re all finished I would love, Love, LOVE to see this tiny, but awesome glimpse of your 2017 Year in Review!

  1. Be sure you are following me on Instagram. I’ll follow you back. You can look at my 2017 Year in Review as an example.
  2. Post your collage on Instagram with a brief description of each image to explain your 2017.
  3. Include @thewiserlifeblog, AND #thewiserlife somewhere in your message so I will see your collage and we have a place to go and see them all together.
  4. Invite your friends in on the fun as well! You can do this by just including any simple statement like, “I did The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge with @thewiserlifeblog!
  5. Comment on your image with the url you want to promote if I choose your image. If you don’t do this then I will just assume you don’t want to promote a site.
  6. Do this by Midnight, on December 30th! 

If I choose your image, I will post it as an update to this blog post on New Year’s Eve, link it to your blog or website (if you have one), and share the updated posts on all my social media pages. How many I choose depends on how many participate.

Again, the deadline to complete this challenge is Midnight, on December 30th. Don’t hesitate to email me or comment below with any questions.

 

Okay, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

Don’t forget to subscribe for freebies, discounts on future courses, and tips on how to live The Wiser Life!

 

Discover Your Purpose…10 Day Journaling Challenge

Discover your life's purpose with my new 10 Day Journaling Challenge! What should you be doing in your life? I can help you find out!

 

10 Physical and Digital Areas of Your Life to Organize so You’re Ready for The New Year

10 Physical and Digital Areas of Your Life to Organize so You’re Ready for The New Year

“Clutter in our life leads to clutter in our mind.”

 

2018 is nearly here! There’s no better way to start the New Year than with a clutter-free space. Clutter can build up in many spaces like our closets, work desks, and cars.  And I don’t just mean physical clutter. Our files get cluttered, our photos, and even our phones! All this clutter, clutters our mind. Don’t you feel so much better when a space is cleaned out so that what’s left is important and in its place? Clutter in our life leads to clutter in our mind. Clearing it all out can make room in our brains to handle the New Year with focus and ease.

To help you out…and honestly, to help me out, I’ve made a list of 10 areas to clear the clutter in your life so that you can have room for what’s to come in 2018. I chose the 10 most important physical and digital places to begin with. I think clearing these spaces will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to handle new adventures!

 

Physical Spaces

 

Your Kitchen Cabinets

Woah! Why start off so strong? Well, your kitchen cabinets are a great place to start because the kitchen is often the place where families spend the most time. If you’re like me, you’ve got an under-sink cabinet full of unorganized Tupperware or old cleaning product, 2-3 junk drawers of random crap, appliances you don’t use (such as that juicer you bought on a strict health-kick), plus coffee mugs and plastic cups galore! Organizing this space may take more time than the others, BUT it is so worth it. Finally, you’ll be able to find the exact Tupperware lid you need for lunch, and you won’t have to wonder if the screw-driver or scotch tape is in the junk drawer.

Your To-Do List

You might be a digital or physical list maker, but I have found many of us still love to use pen and paper. Recently, I have discovered the perfect way to make To-Do Lists thanks to this blogger. She suggests making long and short lists! Your short list is the list of things that need done relatively soon. And your long list is a list of things that are not so urgent but on your mind to get done. This is a great way to prioritize your time and effort,  and keep track of goals. If you do have a list, organize it this way, and if you don’t have a list make one for the sake of organizing your priorities. You can go ahead and make one now to prioritize the spaces you need to clear of clutter!

Your Workspace

Oh me, oh my. Are you one of those people who have a desk drawer FULL of working and not-working pens? Is your calendar still on last month? Do you have papers, books, reports, and magazines strewn about and find yourself looking through piles to find that email you printed last week? A cluttered work-space is no way to live. You are so much more productive if you take time to organize the chaos that is your career. You will feel so much better if you tidy the top drawer of writing utensils, throw away or destroy old papers, and give away some of those company stationery gifts or coffee mugs. I LOVE this pin that links to a post on Inspiring Work Spaces. Start 2018 with a clear work path!

Your Closet

Okay, maybe I was wrong when I said the kitchen cabinets would be your biggest job. But, don’t fret! You don’t have to do a total closet re-haul overnight if you don’t want to. The best suggestion I ever heard was to start putting the clothes you do wear away in a designated place for the next six months, say, after you wash them. Then, when the six months is up, whatever isn’t in that area gets donated! For example, start hanging the shirts you wear on the right side of your closet after they come out of the laundry. If your closet is really full, you may have to mark a line between right and left. After six months, whatever is left on the left side gets donated because you haven’t bothered to wear it for that long. There are also a lot of great Pinterest ideas about minimizing your wardrobe and still having a variety of options to wear. Check out this pin on wardrobe essentials!

Your Car

If you have kids, this area of your life is most definitely a mess. I don’t even want to think about what is in between my back seats. Between all the chicken nuggets, goldfish crackers, candy and Elmer’s slime, I’m sure it isn’t  good. When’s the last time you had the inside of your car detailed? I spent the money on that once and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. Doing it once a year is probably a great idea. But if you don’t have the cash, it just takes a little more time to do it yourself. Do the easy thing first and get all the trash out. Then, have your kids take all the toys except a couple, out of the side door. Or, you can always look up fun creative ways to organize their car activities! The behind-the-seat organizers are actually pretty nifty. Vacuum to pick up all the dirt and debris from foot traffic, and wipe down with some Armor All. Make sure you get under and in-between those seats but do it with caution! And again, there are a ton of fun ideas on Pinterest!

 

Digital Spaces

Your Photos and Videos

Is your smart phone running out of space? Getting photos and videos off your phone and to someplace permanent can free up a LOT of memory, plus make you feel a lot better. I use Shutterfly to save and organize my photos,  and a private Youtube channel to organize my phone videos. Does anyone use an actual camcorder anymore? But there are various free storage plans you can research and use to store and organize your memories. I like Shutterfly because I can create photo books and gifts. And I like Youtube because I can log in on my TV to watch home videos when I feel like it. Getting these off your phone and into a storage space will gain you a sigh of relief.

Your Computer Files

Every time I go to find a file on my laptop I think, “Man, I’ve got to organize these!” Organizing your digital documents is great because it frees up space on your hard drive or file storage program. Personally, I don’t like to save files directly to my hard drive anymore. I use OneDrive from Microsoft because it’s free and online. If I ever get a new computer, all I have to do is sync it to OneDrive, so I never have to worry about anything important being lost. Get rid of old documents, move over any stray photos to the place the want to store them, combine folders and reminisce about your old college essay.

Your Pinterest Boards

Depending on how long you’ve been on Pinterest, this could also be a big task. But have you seen the new board organizing option? Now, you can go to your boards and organize them into sections! For example, my Being Healthy board is now split into Healthy Food, Movement, Smoothies and Weight Loss! I think this is awesome! However, I do wish there was a way to combine boards and organize them into sections from our home page because I feel like I have several that could fit into a one category. Get rid of boards you don’t pin to, and make new ones for projects you want to work on in the new year!

Your Social Media Friends

Do you ever see a Like on one of your posts and think, “Who the hell is that?” Then, it might be time to clean out your friend’s list. If your goal is to be ” friends” with whoever you come across in life, then great, leave your list alone. BUT, if you want your social media accounts to be more personal and include those you care and are curious most about, go ahead and delete stray people. Don’t feel guilty about it either. You can can always claim technical difficulties, or just be honest and say you simply narrowed your list to include only close friends and family.

Your Phone Apps

My phone actually looks like this. Is that  weird?  I go through every once in a while and delete apps I don’t use. I also like to keep them organized together with similar apps. I’ve set up a folder for media, blogging tools, games, retail, social media etc. This helps me to easily find apps when I need them. And, I think it’s a lot more appealing to the eyes. I also think it’s great that they all fit on the first screen so I’m not always scrolling right and trying to search for the app I want. If you’re not sure how to do folders like this on the iPhone, just hold an app until it jiggles and put it on-top of another app. This will combine them into a folder. It’s a good idea to delete unused apps, organize them together, and clear up some space.

 

What other spaces do you like to clean up for the New Year? How does it help you prepare for what’s to come?

Remember to check out my Getting Organized board on Pinterest. It’s full of super cute and easy organizing ideas for all your spaces!

Comment below to let me know how you get organized for the New Year!

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays: #7 Resolutions are Dead, Write Your New Year’s Mission Statement Instead

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays: #7 Resolutions are Dead, Write Your New Year’s Mission Statement Instead

New Year’s resolutions are dead.

 

Thank you for continuing to read Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

If you’re not familiar with the Journal for Wisdom Wednesday’s series, every week I post a new prompt to help you on your journey of self-discovery.  Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual and self-help hoo-ha too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you.

Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done! Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!

P.S. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my Discover Your Purpose… 10 Day Journaling Challenge. It’s written by me, for you, to help you find your purpose in life! If you still don’t find it, I promise you’ll be a lot closer! And don’t worry. You get the entire challenge all at once. It’s up to you to follow the rules. Plus, read page 3 for a fun extra! Just subscribe to my email list and I’ll send it now!

 

Getting Started

The Assignment: Writing Your New Year’s Mission Statement

Can you believe it’s nearly the NEW YEAR? What have you done this year? What haven’t you done? Have you made a New Year’s Resolution this year? Well, don’t. New Year’s resolutions are dead. I like to refer to New Year’s resolutions as negative intentions. This year I’m going to ask that you to NOT punish yourself with some wishy-washy goal that you probably won’t accomplish because it was ill-planned and subconsciously focused on something you don’t really want in the first place. This year you’re going to do something different and better! You’re going to write a positive intention along with a mission statement, and powerful mantra to increase your chances of success!

 

How to Write the New Year’s Mission Statement

First, I want you to write the main positive intention you have for this coming year…the one that’s most important. Maybe you want to lose weight, improve your marriage, or go to school. Pick your MAIN goal.

Let me give you an example of a negative intention, or resolution, so you better understand what a positive one looks like.

I’m going to lose weight” is a popular negative intention.

It’s an intention, or resolution, I’ve had probably every year until now, and it’s one I’ve failed every year. Why is this considered negative? Because it’s vague, it implies there’s something wrong with me, and there’s no power behind it. Don’t write your intention to look like this.

A positive intention, then, would be something specific, kind to you, and empowering! Let’s turn the negative intention above, into a positive one:

“I’m going to get healthier this year by taking a healthy cooking class, trying new kinds of movement, and working on my emotional relationship to food.” 

This intention is so much better! It addresses the real goal (getting healthy as opposed to losing weight), and it implements three specific actions to help accomplish this goal. Also, it leaves little room for failure because the goal is simple: getting healthier.

Yes, this intention is so much better! But it still won’t help you all by itself. You’ve got to put a plan behind those positive words! How will you accomplish this goal? Who can help you? What will determine your success? All of these questions should be answered before you can set out to accomplish your intentions. That’s why I created these questions to help you create your New Year’s Mission Statement.

Once you’ve decided on your intention, and answered the above questions, you can put it all together in a Mission Statement and keep it in a place you can return to for inspiration later.

Answer these questions:

What is your main positive intention for the year? 

This is what we discussed above. Something like, “I’m going to get healthier this year by taking a healthy cooking class, trying new kinds of movement, and working on my emotional relationship to food.” 

How can you accomplish this intention?

This is asking, what is in your power to do, to make sure you are successful? You’re getting more specific.

For example, “I’m going to take a monthly healthy cooking class at the YMCA, I’m going to hire a personal trainer, and I’m going to read 5 books about improving my relationship to food.” (It would be even better if you could name the books, but this is still great). 

Notice how I was more specific by stating when and where the cooking class would take place, and what I would do to implement more movement and research on relationships with food.

Where can I get support?

This means, who are some people you know will help and encourage you?

For example, “My spouse will check in with me weekly and discuss my progress along the way, and I can research healthy-living Facebook groups for support.” 

When you use a specific person for support be sure to explain exactly what you need from them, otherwise it can harm your relationship. You don’t want a person to nag you or make you feel down when you didn’t do something you meant to do. The more people or areas of support you have, the better!

How can I measure my success?

How you do this is completely up to you. What determines to you, that you have been successful? Is it a number? Is it how you’re feeling? Is it lab tests from your doctor? Is it a completed program or task?

For example, “I will measure my success based on a blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight check at my doctor’s office at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year.” 

What is my mantra?

This goes at the end of your mission statement. It’s a powerful key phrase that’s short and easy to remember. It’s something you can repeat to yourself to help keep you on track. You want to keep your mission statement somewhere you can access and read it time and again but you probably won’t memorize it. Your mantra is your intention’s slogan. You may choose it based on a fear that’s been blocking you from your previous failed intentions.

For example, I have discovered I am afraid to lose weight because it protects me from something, so I chose my mantra to be, “Guts over fear.” Take some time to think of yours. Look at other mantras online for inspiration.

Put it Together and Say it Out Loud

Now, you want to put it all together into one cohesive statement, in the order of the questions above. It may feel awkward if you leave it worded as is, so feel free to revise it so that it looks better to you.

Example: I’m going to get healthier this year by taking a healthy cooking class, trying new kinds of movement, and working on my emotional relationship to food. I will accomplish this by taking a monthly healthy-cooking class at the YMCA, working with a personal trainer, and reading 5 books about improving my relationship with food. I can find support and encouragement from my spouse, who will discuss my progress along the way, and in a healthy-living Facebook group. I will measure my success based on my improvement of numbers from a blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight check at my doctor’s office at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year. When I am having a hard day, or when I want to remind myself that I can do this, I will repeat the phrase, “Guts over fear.” 

When it looks good, say it out loud 2 or 3 times just to sink it in. Save this statement somewhere you can access it when you need a reminder of your full intention. Also, repeat your mantra 2 or 3 times on its own so that you can memorize it and say it to yourself later.

 

Reflect

Write or think about how you feel about your new mission statement. Do you feel like your intention this year is more specific and easily achievable? Is this better than setting a resolution like you may have done in the past? Do you feel more confident and ready to get started?

 

Consider This

You might be thinking this is a lot of work to put into your New Year’s intention when before, all you had to do was think up a simple resolution. But I ask you, did you take that resolution seriously? Did you achieve it? If yes, then awesome! You probably don’t need this prompt. But if you’re like me and didn’t, and actually want to accomplish something you set out to do this year because you’ve failed most other years, then you have to put a little more mental work into the process of setting goals.

 

Extra Credit

Don’t just write your mission statement and then forget all about it. Take this week to get plans in place for your success. If the above example was my new positive intention, then I would set up a doctor’s appointment, ask for recommendations on personal trainers, and be on the lookout for food-relationship books on Amazon.

Also, use this week to repeat your mantra several times so that you start to really believe it. Do it in the shower, before you go to sleep, while you’re driving to work, or when you’re waiting in line at Chipotle! Repeat it and repeat it again. Guts over fear. Guts over fear. Guts over fear. Guts over fear. Guts over fear.

Maybe even take a picture of yourself and edit it with your mantra!

Write me in the comments below and let me know how it went. What’s your intention? How did it make you feel to write the statement? Do you have a plan in place? Like The Wiser Life on Facebook and Subscribe to our email list for notification of the next Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

 

If you loved this journal exercise, you’ll love all the ones before it!

Plus don’t forget to download your copy of the Discover Your Purpose…10 Day Journaling Challenge! It might change your life.

The Mindful Way I Lost The Hardest 10 lbs of My Life (Hint: It Has Nothing to do with Food or Exercise

The Mindful Way I Lost The Hardest 10 lbs of My Life (Hint: It Has Nothing to do with Food or Exercise

“Your attitude about food affects the way the food affects your body.”

 

I feel like the title of this blog post does not portray the gravity of those 10 lbs. They were the most stubborn 10 pounds in the history of my weight loss! they finally came off  just as I was about to give up…again.

 

My Stubborn Weight Story

I don’t mind talking numbers so I’m just going to be straight with you. I was a comfortable 170 pounds before my first child. I gained 30 with pregnancy and I immediately lost 20 after birth. My next child was a very large baby (9lbs 10oz. Natural. I should get an award, right?). I gained about 40 pounds. I also lost about 20 with him after birth, and then managed to take off another 10. There was a big gap between my 2nd and 3rd child (7 years). I gained weight, I lost weight. But in the end, I gained weight.

My third child, born almost 6 months ago, was a girl and I gained about 25 pounds, which put me at 235. And oh boy was I excited to immediately lose that first 20 pounds like I did with the other two babies. However, that’s not what my now 30-year-old body exactly had in mind. Somehow this baby, the smallest of all three, did not require as much blood and tissue as the other two. Maybe that’s why she was the most painful to carry.

The day after I arrived home I stepped on the scale. You know what it said? 2-2-6. That’s right, folks. 2——2——6! Seriously?! 9 pounds? WTF? My child weighed 7lbs 6oz. Did I really eat the rest of that weight?

To my body’s defense, the next 6 pounds steadily fell off. But when I hit 220, probably 3 months ago, my body decided that’s where it wanted to be and that’s where it shall stay.

I, however, knew otherwise.

 

What Didn’t Work

I tried like hell after baby #3 to lose weight. Now, when I say, “like hell”, what I mean is I tried in my own way- ways that worked for me before my body’s metabolism shut down. I’m not a fan of exercise but I will incorporate walking and stretching or beginners yoga. I focus more on my diet. I really wanted to get back under 200 just for the simple fact my clothes would fit again. I restricted calories, I limited carbs, I ate clean, and I incorporated movement. But a week after every new tactic started, I weighed myself and observed no change. So, I felt sorry for myself and then I tried a new tactic the next week.

I didn’t know what I was going to do. These tactics always worked for me before. I knew I could always go hardcore with diet and exercise. I completely understand that food and exercise are a huge part of weight loss. If I maintained a strict, clean diet and went to the YMCA an hour every day, I would absolutely lose weight. But I also understand that I will not realistically maintain an intense diet and workout routine in my daily life for the rest of my life. It is so important for me to do something that I can consider a lifestyle change and not a temporary fix.

What I’m Learning

The most important information I’m learning in my health coaching courses is that health is not as simple as what you eat and how much you move. Health is your overall well-being. It’s how the physical, mental and spiritual parts of you connect to make a whole. One of them affects all of them. Your mental and spiritual health can, therefore, influence what is manifesting in you physically.

If I’m holding onto something physically (my weight), it’s possible that I’m holding onto something emotionally or spiritually. If I want to release the weight, I’ve got to find and release my emotional or spiritual burden.

 

What Finally Did Work

Once I realized that the parts of me you can’t see are affecting the parts me you can see, I decided to change the way I approached my weight loss. It’s no longer about hating the weight and punishing myself for not getting it off; it’s about exploring myself and focusing on the mental work of healthy living as well as the physical. It’s being mindful of my whole being. And it’s being mindful of how I feel about food and my body.

Here is a list things I do now, in addition to the diet changes and movements that work in my life.

 

1. I Think About It

I began with the mental/emotional work. I ask myself why I have this problem. For me, this meant journaling about my fears. For you, it could be as easy as just asking yourself a question and spending the week chewing on the answer.

Through a helpful journal exercise, I realized I may be subconsciously trying to keep my weight on. The pounds are protecting me from my fear of succeeding in something completely out of my realm (business ownership). By keeping the weight on, I get the great excuse that my future clients won’t take me seriously. Analyzing your thoughts helps you get in touch with the real obstacles you may have not even considered yet.

 

2. I Visualize the Negativity Leaving My Body

Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you move mountains in your life. Visualization is one of the things I do now when I’m not feeling well, or in this case, when there’s something about my body I’m wishing to improve…such as the ability to lose weight. Here’s how it works for me:

* First I relax and close my eyes.

* I Take a deep breath, in and out, and imagine an outline of my body in my mind.

* I visualize the negative energy or particles in my body that I want to be rid of. For me, it looks like my body is filled with tiny black dots. And for me, these dots either represent negative emotions, a sickness, or a system in my body that’s not working properly. Remember, your vision may look very different.

* I visualize the black dots leaving my body for good.

* I visualize a very bright light entering my body, reenergizing me, and replacing the negative energy or particles that were there before.

That’s it! I do this once or several times depending on how long I’ve had the problem. I honestly feel like it helps me to heal issues much faster. Visualization exercises help your mind to accept and believe in what you want to be true.

 

3. I Take Deep Breaths and Repeat Affirmations

Affirmations are specific phrases you repeat to yourself to help change your mindset and energy around a specific issue in your life. I will often do this in the shower while I’m washing my hair or at night before I fall asleep.

Since I’m struggling with weight loss I might take a deep breath and then say, My body is healthy, my body is clean, my body is light. To me, this represents the systems in my body working properly, making it easier for the weight to fall off, and easier for it to absorb nutrients. Repeating affirmations is your way of letting the Universe know what you want and the action you’re taking to get it.

 

4. I Am Grateful For and Have a Better Attitude Towards ALL My Food

This goes back to how our mental state affects our physical state. If we believe the food we are putting in our bodies is bad for us, then it will be. If we have a better attitude about the food we eat, are thankful for it, and believe it is nourishing us, it will be better for us.

I either make a mental note of how thankful I am for my meal or in some cases say it out loud with family. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating a Big Mac or a Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad. Your attitude about food affects the way the food affects your body.

I have a great new Journal for Wisdom Wednesday discussing this very topic.

 

5. I Don’t Look at the Scale (As Much)

This one is big and requires more paragraphs.

I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty caught up in that number on the scale. It was the only way I knew to measure my success. Sure, we all want to lose weight because we want to be smaller, and we want to be smaller because we think it will make us look better. But who the hell cares if you look better when you’re suffering from Type 2 Diabetes or Heart Disease? Looking better isn’t the REAL reason we want to lose weight. What we want is to stick around longer, travel after we retire, play ball with our kids, and not die of a completely preventable disease!

Once I realized this, I stopped making the scale a part of my routine. I stopped torturing myself with watching the numbers go up and down and letting the entire emotional fate of my week rest on that number. Weight isn’t the end goal. Health is the end goal. It’s time we learn to measure our health success in other ways. The number on the scale is just a perk. The pounds will inevitably fall off as long as you allow yourself to sink into your new healthy mindset, and stop focusing so hard on the negative ideas.

Yes, I did eventually look at the scale. I had to, to write this post. But I didn’t do it until my body felt better. I waited until my clothes were feeling lose, my appetite and cravings weren’t so strong, and I noticed a change in my reflection. I used the number on the scale as a point of reference, and not as a goal.

 

Mindfulness has turned into a huge concept for me and the way I view healthy living. Our belief systems play into EVERY aspect of our lives. Are you having trouble taking that next step in weight loss, or are you trying to set other health goals but always seem to fail? Spend a week focusing on being mindful of it. Try the exercises above and let me know how it plays out in your life.

Don’t forget to visit me on Social Media, chat with me in the comments, and subscribe to my email list for future health tips! I love, love, love to hear from you!

Journal for Wisdom Wednesday #6: Understanding Your Relationship with Food

Journal for Wisdom Wednesday #6: Understanding Your Relationship with Food

Thank you for returning to Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

 

Every week I will continue to post a journal prompt on Wednesday to help guide us towards our deeper wisdom. These prompts are always written by me and inspired by my life. Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done!

Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!

 

Getting Started

The Assignment: Understanding Your Relationship With Food

This week is about food. Don’t you love it already? No, I don’t have any double chocolate cookies to pass around but I do want you to better understand your relationship to those cookies and other food you eat…or maybe don’t eat. Why is this important? Because so many of us have issues with how we think about food. It doesn’t matter if your overweight, underweight, or “just right”, you probably have some unhealthy and unresolved issues with your meals.

 

Write

First, imagine this: 

Let’s pretend for dinner last night you were super busy so you just grabbed a burger on your way home. You also grabbed some fries and a Coke. If you hate this particular meal, imagine something equally “unhealthy” that you might eat.

Write down how you usually feel before, during, and after such a meal. Don’t hold back. Talk about all the thoughts and emotions that go into your mindset of being hungry, deciding what to eat, what you feel while you’re eating and then how you feel after your meal. My response might look like this:

I hate being hungry and I especially hate being hungry and running late. I don’t want to pick fast food but I often will if the evening is just too stressful to cook. I would love for there to be a healthier fast food option. I could go to Subway but it seems a little more expensive. I’m usually excited to eat the meal but I always notice that it smells better than it actually tastes and I end up disappointed. After, I usually feel really full and mad at myself for eating something so bad for me. 

Now, imagine this: 

Tonight you are more relaxed. You want to eat something healthier because you feel bad about your last dinner. You spend time preparing a salad with grilled chicken and a light dressing. Again, if you hate this meal, imagine something as equally “healthy” that you might eat if you had the time to prepare it.

Now do the same you did with the first meal and write a response about how you normally feel in this scenario. How do you feel when you’re hungry? What are your thoughts about deciding to eat a “healthier” meal? How do you feel while you’re eating it? How do you feel after? My response might look like this:

Again, I hate being hungry which will often cause me to buy something or make a quick meal. I usually feel good about deciding to eat healthier but feel frustrated trying to make food I don’t normally make, especially if the ingredients are different, and then I feel disappointed that it doesn’t leave me as full or satisfied. I feel light and good while I’m eating it. I’m usually not hungry when I’m done, but I’m also not 100% full which is what I am used to. 

 

Reflect

What is similar about your thoughts and emotions for each meal? What is different? Think about it or write it out.

For me, I noticed in all cases that I hate being hungry. It makes me feel angry and encourages me to make rash meal decisions. This probably means I’m not snacking enough to keep it from getting to that point. I also noticed that I have negative feelings towards both the “unhealthy” food and “healthy” food.

 

Consider This

Why is it so important to understand your relationship with food. Because food is one of the BIGGEST parts of our health. It’s part of our survival, but it’s turned into entertainment and frustration. It’s not just about what you eat, it’s about how you eat, it’s about what you think about what you eat, it’s about how you feel about what you eat! I’ll talk about more in my next post, but your attitude about food affects the way the food affects your body. Healthy food is unhealthy if our attitude about it is negative. The same goes for junk food. Junk food is better for you if your attitude about it is positive.

I am not advocating eating a lot of junk food. I’m just saying having a positive attitude and grateful mindset about ALL the food you eat makes the food healthier for your body. Your mindset towards food is a huge part in healthy eating and it may be the part your missing if you’re feeling stuck now.

 

Extra Credit

Every time you have a meal this week, notice your thoughts and feelings about the food. Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after. What would you like to change about your current attitude about food? What is working for you at mealtime? What’s not?

Write me in the comments below and let me know how it went. How did it make you feel? What did you uncover?

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I Was Nominated for The Liebster Award!

I Was Nominated for The Liebster Award!

So a really cool thing happened…I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Heather from Live Like a Butterfly! Thank you, Heather!

 

Please check out her blog. She is a beautiful soul who embraces life with love and light!

 

What is The Liebster Award?

The purpose of The Liebster Award is to give the opportunity for a blogger to recognize the work of an up-and-coming fellow blogger. It’s a great way to celebrate each other!

Here are the Liebster Award rules:

*Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
*Write a post to showcase your award
*Share who your favorite blogger/blog is
*Tell 10 random facts about yourself (optional)
*Answer the questions you were asked by the blogger who nominated you
*Select 5 other bloggers you want to give this award to and ask them 10 other questions
*Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created

 

My Favorite Blog

This is tough. There are so many wonderful blogs out there. I’m going to have to choose the one that’s helped me get this far into the blogging journey. It’s a Lovely Life is wonderful family, travel, and food blog run by a couple who is living life to the fullest and following their dreams!

They have been a very important piece of my blogging puzzle. Their Facebook group and blogging challenges have helped me grow tremendously. They also sell awesome courses that teach you how to start and maintain a successful blog. Take the time to check them out, especially if you’re thinking about taking the blogging leap!

 

10 Nomination Questions from Heather

What made you start your blog?

A few months ago I became super-focused on figuring out how I wanted to spend my life. I became sick and tired of working jobs that seemed to lead me no where and I wanted to be one of those people who is confident in making their own success. I realized that I had been successful in everything else that I decided I would be successful in (like getting my Masters degree), so why I couldn’t I be a successful blogger and life coach? We manifest our lives based on what we believe. If I changed my beliefs then I could manifest my dream life.

What’s the best advice you can offer fellow bloggers?

If this is really what you love to do, don’t go in half-ass. Make the decision before you start that you’re going to see it through. Don’t say, I’ll just give it a try and see how it goes. That kind of attitude will only help you fail. Believe in yourself. Treat it like your career until it pays you like one.

What’s the number 1 way you prefer to market your blog?

I’m still just testing the waters but social media is definitely a huge part of marketing. I know Pinterest is supposed to be a big driver of traffic so one of my goals is to figure out exactly how that works.

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

My superpower would be the ability to show people what the reality of their best possible life looks like, and to help them understand it’s possible if only they believe it is.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford.

Where’s your favorite place you ever traveled and why?

Part of the reason I want to make my life awesome is so I can travel more. I’m lame and haven’t been too far. We went to Disney in CA once as a teenager, but it was actually a bad experience. A couple of years ago my husband and I took the kids to Branson. It was our first family vacation and super fun!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in life?

The secret to life is loving yourself. No joke. It makes all things possible.

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

I am proud of so many things. I just finished my Master’s degree- something I thought I could never do.

What’s your favorite concerted you ever attended?

Again. I’m lame. Once I went to a free Blake Shelton concert and I was pretty excited that Miranda Lambert showed up.

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Definitely Eminem. I know he’s had some lyrics in the past that don’t jive with my world view but being a fan of his music for so long has allowed me to watch his journey come full circle. I relate to his struggle, I love how talented he is at crafting words, and while he seldom admits it, he’s from my home town St. Joseph, Missouri.

 

10 Random Facts About Me

I’m only 30 but I’ve been married for 11 years!
I’m weirdly calm in most situations
My favorite color is purple (if you couldn’t already tell)
I’m an English Teacher
I don’t have cable but love to watch The Walking Dead on Netflix
I think me and my cat Abby are soulmates
I hate wearing coats and will not do it until I absolutely have to
I don’t enjoy watching sports
I have 3 children-my youngest and middle child are 7 years apart
Fall is my favorite season

 

My Nominations

Novel Blondes www.novelblondes.com 

Making Moments Last www.makingmomentslast.com

Soulful Seeds www.soulfulseedsblog.com

The Everyday Dreamer www.theeverydaydreamer.com 

Mom Be Strong www.mombestrong.com

 

Questions for My Nominations

What is the biggest lesson you have learned about blogging so far?
What motivates you to keep going?
What are you most proud of in your blogging experience so far?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in life?
What would you tell yourself 5 years ago?
Who is your hero and why?
What advice would you give a brand new blogger?
What is your best source of blog traffic?
What is your favorite meal?
Where does your inspiration come from?

I can’t wait to read your answers!

 

The Number One Question To Ask Yourself When You Want to Discover Your Life’s Purpose and Five Things I learned To Help You Get There

The Number One Question To Ask Yourself When You Want to Discover Your Life’s Purpose and Five Things I learned To Help You Get There

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

“Stop telling yourself you’ll do something “someday”. Everyday you say that is a day wasted because you can absolutely do something today.”

My Story:

My life today, though not very far into my new journey, is completely different then it was even 3 months ago. Why? Because I finally figured out what I want to do in this crazy ass world! I finally discovered my life’s purpose.

The funny thing is, I always had a basic knowing… but I didn’t develop it because I convinced myself it wasn’t possible. I spent years filling out applications and working various jobs, plus thousands of dollars in education, trying different avenues to satisfy my desire for personal growth and life satisfaction.

And none of those avenues ever led to a place where I felt even 50% satisfied with my life. My husband, Universe love him, must have decided I was a job-switching and education pursuing lifer. But why spend so much time, effort, and money on jobs, and education when I knew deep down it wasn’t quite right for me?

Because every decision I made was a result of some underlying fear.

“Fear is a powerful motivator. It can and it will control your life if you allow it.”

My education was decided in fear. Originally I wanted to be some kind of creative writer, but I feared not making money and ended up pursuing technical writing instead for my B.A. Recently I finished my Master’s degree, which I began 2 years ago. I started that program because I feared not getting a full-time teaching position.

My career paths were decided in fear. I took my first corporate job right out of college because I feared not making money fast enough. I ended up hating it and took another one less than 2 years later even though it wasn’t much different from the first. I needed a change but I was afraid of not making enough money or losing great benefits. I took a third job after that which allowed me a little more creative freedom, but the place operated like a high school drama club. I took as much as I could stand before walking out on a lunch-break one day and never returning.

The career moves I made were not a result of my passions. They had little to do with what I REALLY wanted to accomplish. None of my choices were actions meant to bring me even one step closer to my dreams.

Then, about three years ago, I got a little braver and finally decided to pursue teaching. I never had the guts before because I feared not being smart enough, looking like a fraud, disappointing my husband, and standing up everyday in front of tiny judgmental eyes. But I started facing my fears. I got my substitute certification, studied to be fully certified in my state, worked as an assistant teacher and finally landed a certified teaching job. It was part-time but it was the beginning of being on the right life path.

 

Fast Forward to Now

A few months ago, I read a book that changed my perspective and gave me the guts and the grit to move forward with my dream of writing and coaching. I’m still teaching but I’m actively pursuing my goals to be my own boss of my own coaching and writing business.

I’m more satisfied with my job now. I LOVE inspiring young people to make good life choices. I LOVE reading their journal entries about their weekend adventures. And I LOVE knowing I have the power to motivate one or two of them to take their lives in a positive direction.

But like all jobs, I work for someone else and have very little control over my financial future. I know my work matters but I also know my effort is worth more than I’m paid.

“I don’t want to work for the system anymore. I want to create a system and let it work for me.”

I became so tired of trying to make myself look exceptional on a piece of paper, spending months interviewing for teaching positions, and waiting and hoping someone would hire me full-time. And even if someone had hired me full-time, I was putting so much effort into making an entry-level salary with little room to grow.

I heard of a new personal development book called You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and decided to listen to the audio version to and from my way to work. I’m not sure what it was, but while listening to it, something magically clicked into place.

 

Ask Yourself the Number One Question

My first realization was that I had to stop making decisions in fear. I finally understood that we have to have faith that our dreams will happen and meet that faith with action. This is hard for a lot of people. It was hard for me. But think about it: what you want IS possible because someone else has already done it. And how did they do it? Without excuses.

“Okay,” you say. “I’m dropping the fear. I’m ready to take action! But…wait. What action should I take? What do I want to do? What is my purpose?”

Jen talked about this in her book also. There’s one big question that helped me decide I wanted to be a professional blogger, author, and life coach. And I wasn’t going to just “try” it this time. I imagined the life I could create, invested money in necessary tools, and became hell bent on achieving it. The one important question you can ask yourself right now if you want to discover your life’s purpose is this:

“If time, obligations, and money were no obstacle…how would you design your life?”

If you didn’t have a judgmental spouse/parent/friend to worry about or disappoint, if you had a nanny to help with the little monsters, if you have money coming out of your ears, if you had all the time and freedom in the world…what would YOU do? It’s like having a magic wand. Empty your brain of guilt and worry. What would you put into place so your life would be full to the brim with joy and purpose?

The answer to this question may or may not be completely obvious to you right now. That’s okay. If it’s not obvious, it will be, but you have to give yourself time to really soak in the question and let your brain explore the possibilities. It’s almost too much for some people to handle. It’s like dreaming about the lottery because your initial reaction is that it will never happen.

Would you work? Travel? Volunteer? Start a business? Move to Europe? Build a house? Hire a chef to make healthy meals? Get plastic surgery? Send your children to private school? Start a clothing line? Write novels? Design websites? Be a famous singer?

It doesn’t have to be an extreme lifestyle. You may not want to open orphanages in Africa or own a mansion. It’s just whatever you think your best life looks like. Think about what this means for you and then come back here.

 

Consider the Dream Life Is Possible

So what’s this say about your purpose? Your purpose is to create this dream life. It’s to do whatever it is you love to do. Believe this life is possible, take the necessary actions, and use your passions to create cash. Basically, get over your shit and just do it already.

If you don’t believe this dream life of yours is possible, it’s almost always because you’re afraid of something. Are you afraid you can’t make money? Don’t think you’re talented enough? Pretty sure you’re not brave enough? Maybe you’ll disappoint someone? Scared to put yourself out there? Don’t want to like a fool? Can’t risk being ridiculed by family and friends?

These are all completely reasonable and understandable fears. We all have these fears, especially when we decide to do something new.

“Here’s the thing. The life you designed, it’s pretty awesome. You deserve to live it. And it is possible if you could just get over yourself and stop ignoring the fact that you want it. What’s the point of living this life if you can’t truly enjoy it or follow a purpose that’s exciting for you?”

I mean, you can go on and on about how grateful you are to have a job, a roof over your head, amazing children… and that’s great. Gratitude is wonderful. But you don’t have to settle because you think you have “enough”. You don’t have to feel guilty about wanting more because there’s more than enough to go around. By more, I don’t necessarily mean more money. I mean more joy, more love, more fun, more excitement, more purpose in your life!

 

Getting Started on Your Purpose-Full and Joy-Filled Life

Discovering your life’s purpose isn’t a simple thing, but actually deciding to go for it, now that’s WAY huge! If it wasn’t terrifying, then everyone would do it. Unfortunately, most of the human population lives their entire lives in a state of mediocrity.

“Let’s face it. Most people settle for basic. Not because they’re not capable of being awesome, but because they’re scared of being awesome.”

If you’ve decided basic isn’t enough anymore and you’ve got the grit to chase after your purpose-full and joy-filled life, then here are five lessons I’ve learned to get you started on your way:

 

1. Regrets Are Not Allowed

Don’t bother spending time in regret. Many people simply decide they can’t pursue their best life because they’ve screwed up so royally in the past. Yes, I spent a lot of time in jobs I didn’t like. Yes, I spent a ridiculous amount of money in college education that I may very well have to pay back for the next 50 years. But I do not regret it. Those experiences add to your overall life experience. They shape who you are. They teach you something valuable. They give you wisdom that you will inevitably use in your new life. Don’t spend another second wishing you did something different because your old life has laid the foundation for your new life. And don’t let your next regret be that you didn’t start sooner.

2. Fear Will Guide You

If you need to make a decision, the best way to make it is to pick the answer that isn’t fear based. Here’s an example. Say you really want to back to college and study graphic design. But it’s a hard decision because you’re afraid it’s too much money and you won’t have enough time with your family. The answer is clear. Go back to college. The reasons you might decide not to are rooted in fear which automatically means they are the WRONG answers. Are your fears valid? Of course! But if going back to school is what you want, then instead of just not going, spend time and energy resolving the fears around going, rather than accepting it can’t be done. Are you willing to do what it takes or are you going to roll over and give up?

3. Action is Faith’s Best Friend

You may have faith that your dreams can become a reality and spend hours daydreaming about it, but are you actually doing something about it? You have to meet your faith with action. You have to do something…anything…to move you in the right direction. It may not necessarily be the perfect thing and you may not be sure it’s even the right thing…but it will take you somewhere better than here. You may not be able to quit the job you have now, or pay for an online course you really need to get going just yet, but there is probably something smaller you can do until you can do those bigger things. Give yourself tiny tasks and slowly move up to something bigger. But don’t let even a single day go by without do something that moves you closer to your new life.

4. Excuses Are Just Excuses

We’ve all heard the saying, “You’ll find a way or you’ll find an excuse”. I’m here to tell you – that’s no joke! You can find your way or you can find your excuse but actively make the decision to find one or the other. Be honest with yourself. Stop telling yourself you’ll do something “someday”. Everyday you say that is a day wasted because you can absolutely do something today. You can set goals and make plans. You can prepare. You can write down action steps. You can checkout books at the library and look up free online resources. You can Google. You can create a vision board. The point is…your excuses are just excuses no matter how big or how small. Having an excuse is just your way of protecting yourself from the fear of failure. But the only real failure is never trying or giving up.

5. Your Purpose Will Be Done

While finding your life’s purpose is a big burning question for a lot of people, and you may feel like you’re just never going to figure it out, just try to relax about it already. Everyone on this planet has the same #1 purpose…that is just to live. Live life and let life be. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, follow my advice and just do something. Doing something will lead to you doing the thing you are supposed to be doing a lot faster. But your #2 purpose is already written. That’s why it’s called your purpose. It’s been pre-decided. You can’t stop it from happening so just relax your muscles and allow it to flow.

 

If you need help answering some other questions in your life, don’t forget to check out this post!

 

I’m so excited I got to share with you the question that helped me find my life’s purpose! Did it help you? Be honest! Let me know in the comments. If you love this information, share it with your friends! Feel free to connect with me for a bigger discussion.

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays #5: Discovering the Why Underneath Your Why

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays #5: Discovering the Why Underneath Your Why

Thank you for continuing to read Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

Every week I will continue to post a journal prompt on Wednesday to help guide us towards our deeper wisdom. Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual and self-help hoo-haa too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you. Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done!

Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!

Getting Started

The Assignment: Discover the Why Underneath Your Why!

This week we’re diving deep again. We’re going to practice a little exercise I learned in my health certification course. It’s called Discovering the Why Underneath Your Why.

What does that mean exactly? Well, it basically means uncovering your real reasons and motivations underneath all your superficial bullshit. It’s a fantastic way to answers your own questions and then really get down to the REAL answers.

Write

Here’s what you do:

Step One: Ask yourself a question, and write it down. Be specific, rather than asking a broad question. It can be anything that’s burning you up right now. Why can’t I lose weight? Why am I not happy in my relationship? Why can’t I find the right person for me? Why  can’t I commit to going back to school?

Example from my journal: Why can’t I lose weight?

 

Step Two: Turn your question into a want. Why you can’t lose weight is one thing…but what’s more important is discovering why this is something you want in the first place.

Example: Why do I want to lose weight?

Step Three: Answer your question. I know, the reason it’s a question is because you don’t know the answer. But go ahead and answer it anyway. Give it your best shot.

Example: I want to lose weight because I want to be healthier. I want to feel better. I want to look better.

Step Four: Explain why the answer to your question is so important to you. What’s so important about being healthier, feeling better, and looking better?

Example: If I was healthier, if felt better and looked better then I would be more confident and happy with myself.

Step Five: Explain why the answer to Step Four is so important to you. Why is it important for you be more confident and happy with yourself?

Example: Being confident and happy with myself will improve my ability to work with people and make me less afraid to start my own business.

**WHOA! Did you see what just happened here? I uncovered my fear. Why do I want to lose weight? Because I think it will improve my people skills and make me less AFRAID to start my own business.

Step Six: Repeat the process, if necessary (of answering why your previous answer is important to you), until you feel you’ve discovered your underlying fear.

Step Seven: Once you’ve discovered your fear…take it just one step further. Why is it important for you to improve your people skills and be less afraid of starting your own business?

Example:  It’s important for me to improve my ability to work with people and start my own business because it means I will have the necessary skills to be my own boss and control my own financial future.

So there you have it. Through this process I have discovered I want to lose weight because I feel it’s keeping me from having control over my financial future. It has nothing to do with my first initial surface answer about being healthy and looking better. I have discovered the Why Underneath My Why. Deep shit, people.

Reflect

Did this process work for you? If not, I’m happy to help so please comment or message me and I’ll help you figure out how to reframe it. If it did work for you, did your final answer surprise you? Did you have an ah-ha! moment?

Consider This

Why is it so important to uncover your deepest Why? Because, friends, your deepest Why is your deepest truth. It’s your purest motivation. It’s the answer to what may be stopping you from finding the solutions to your own problems.

Now that I understand why I really want to lose weight, I can better understand my initial question of why I feel I can’t lose weight. I understand now that I fear being out of control and I must think subconsciously that my weight is a representation of that.

So it’s not that I can’t lose weight, it’s just that I don’t truly want to for the reasons I thought.  Subconsciously speaking, losing weight suddenly equates being responsible for making more money!

I’ve obviously been putting way too much pressure on myself.

Extra Credit

Write about how your deepest Why uncovered the truth of your truest motivation. What is your superficial reason vs. your deeper subconscious reasons? Are you subconscious beliefs unhealthy like mine? Now that you’ve discovered this, how can you use it to help you? What does it change about how you approach solving this problem?

Write me in the comments below and let me know how it went. How did it make you feel? What did you uncover?

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Journal For Wisdom Wednesdays #4: Your Favorite Things

Journal For Wisdom Wednesdays #4: Your Favorite Things

“You can love others the best only when you’re at your best.”

Thank you for continuing to read Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

I know, it’s not Wednesday. If you’ve been keeping up with me on Facebook, or popped in on the website the last few days, you might know that things have been a little messy. But we’re back on track now and I’m ready to get back to journaling!

Every week I will continue to post a journal prompt on Wednesday to help guide us towards our deeper wisdom. Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual and self help hoo-haa too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you. Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done!

Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!

 

Getting Started

The Assignment: Your Favorite Things!

 

The last three journal prompts have been pretty intense, so this week, in the spirit of love and the holidays, let’s make it lighter.

The holidays are the time of year we give, give, give and give some more. It can be exhausting. I think we often forget that it’s also a time of year to really give to ourselves. That’s right. Love is infinite. Give as much as you want to other people but the secret is not to forget about #1!

 

Write

This week I want you to write a list of things you love. It can be simple things like a specific book, or things you love to do like horse-back riding, or places you love to be like the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons, or even things you love to look at like a picture your grandfather painted. Basically, write a list of things that bring you joy. Real joy. The joy that makes you feel rejuvenated. And be specific. Here’s what part of my list might look like:

Things I Love:

  • Being alone on Thursday mornings so that I can take a nap or read a book 
  • Holding my infant daughter on the couch when she’s calm 
  • Good conversation with my husband
  • Taking warm bubble baths 
  • Drinking cold vanilla capichino
  • Drinking wine and talking with my close friend on a Saturday evening
  • Shopping at Michaels
  • Long hugs with my kids

 

Reflect

As parents, or women, or just general good human beings, we give and give a lot of love and support to other people every day. How often do you find yourself wishing you felt that kind of support? The crappier you feel, the more you need to put the focus on YOU. When is the last time you did any of the things on your list? Do you do any of them on a regular basis? If you haven’t, why? You can write about your feelings or just take a few minutes to think on it.

 

Consider This

Is it possible that you feel selfish for taking time away from others to do something you love? I used to feel the same way. But I ask you to consider this: you can love others the best only when you’re at your best. When we’re feeling emotionally and physically drained it’s impossible to show up for other people.

You may think you’re doing a really great job at putting on your brave face but people can feel it, especially your children. If you truly desire to be the best parent, spouse, friend or co-worker, then you have to show up for yourself first. The people around you will be able to feel how good you feel. You’ll make there lives better just by hanging around.

 

Extra Credit

Choose at least one item one your list and make it happen in the next seven days. Don’t just say you’ll try to do. That’s not showing up for yourself. You wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment for your child and you shouldn’t skip this either.

Make a plan. Schedule it. It should probably be something where you get to get away from your responsibilities, like having wine with a friend. If giving hugs to your children is one of your items, great, but we can work on that any time.

Make yourself a priority even if it’s only for 1 hour the entire week. If you have alone time, great! Set aside a block  that of time where you can be fully devoted to enjoying this one thing. If you don’t get alone time because you have little monsters running around the house then you’ve got to ask for reinforcement. Tell your husband he’s got the kids for one evening. Ask your parents or siblings to watch the kids. Pay someone.  If you’re convinced that you have absolutely zero options, then I might even suggest playing hooky for a day (And I would spend part of that day evaluating why you have no options).

Write me in the comments below and let me know how it went. What did you do? How did it make you feel? Will you continue to do something for yourself every week?

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I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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