The Escape Room and Resolution Tips

Today is a solo podcast, Nathan is down for the count.  I talk about the Bear Towne Escape Room and give some tips for keeping your goals and resolutions on your mind.

Have a great weekend!

The Bear Towne Escape Room

The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield

Adulting

1029151915a_HDRToday was a new day.  If you read yesterday’s blog you know that I had a temporary meltdown.  I think that’s par for the course, that everyone has days like that.  I was tired, hungry, and spent the day trying to look busy.  So the follow-up of a dead battery and a car that wouldn’t start pushed me over the edge.  I’m pretty sure everyone has days like this every once in a while.

Today was a much different kind of day and it’s the reason I can tell that all of the hard work I’ve been doing over the years is working.  Rewind back just 7 years and this type of incident might have set off days or weeks of feeling down.  For me that usually looks just fine, maybe slightly frazzled or a little tired at work.  I would hold it in and put on a happy face for my professional colleagues and then I would drive straight home to crash.  I would watch tv, read a book, or just sleep.  I would definitely eat like crap and isolate myself.

Today it’s a different story.  This morning I knew that I was going to wake up feeling junky.  That’s expected after a day like yesterday.  Especially since I replayed the incident over and over in my head over night instead of getting a good night’s rest.  But, I’ve been here before, and I know what to expect.  So this morning my alarm went off and I angrily jumped out of bed to silence it.  I got straight into the shower, then turned on all of the lights, turned on some music and made coffee.  I took the time to sit in my sunroom to meditate this morning.  I listened to the crickets chirp, the jets flying over head and the birds.  I took the time to center myself for the day.

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When I got to work I wrote down my Core Desired Feelings.  If you’ve never heard of Danielle Laporte and her Core Desired Feelings, you’re missing out.  The very, very basic of it is to identify not what you want to do, but how you want to feel.  I put “supported, connected, joy, freedom.”  I took the time to seek out friendly faces, to smile and chat for a moment.  And as the morning went on I started to feel very good.  This afternoon I texted my friend to go for a walk around the track.  We did 2 miles, talked, and then did some random plyometric moves and had a good laugh about it.

When I got home I decided to take this thing all the way, so I made dinner on an actual plate (courtesy of my in-laws) and set the table for myself.  I ate looking out the window at my front yard and listened to the crickets chirp again.

This wasn’t easy.  It took a lot of work to continue to take actions to make myself feel better and dig myself out of the hole.  But it was worth it.  Tomorrow I know I’m going to wake up in a better mood and hopefully I can enjoy my weekend instead of curling up in my jammies.

Now that I’ve adulted all day I’m going to search for last night’s Criminal Minds episode, and hit the sack early.

30 Day Blog Challenge

 

unicorn-accountant

Hello my dear friends! As a member of the Easily Distracted crowd, I have probably mentioned before that I have a tendency to get an idea, start an activity, and then forget about it before I finish.  That is why, even though I love crafting, I have to pick projects that can be finished in a few hours, otherwise it might end up incomplete in the Land of Unfinished Toys.  When I moved from Hawaii to North Carolina I was forced to finish or give away many eyeless and earless elephants, unstuffed monster pillows, and cut, but not sewn bags.  The vault of half-finished ventures includes a list of about 20 blog post drafts, carefully thought out, started and abandoned.

Other than limiting myself to projects that can be complete in one day, it helps if I can find a group of folks that can motivate me.  So, in the name of those abandoned posts, my friends and I have begun a 30 day blog challenge.  I am hoping that this will light a fire under me to get in the habit of completing posts and publishing them rather than banishing them.

This post counts as Day Number 1.

My goal for this challenge is to create habits.  Hopefully along the way you will be entertained and informed.  My hope as always is for you to feel empowered, brave, and free.

I’m not sure what’s in store for tomorrow!

P.S.  If you’d like to join our facebook group and get motivated to blog with us, comment here or message me on my facebook page.

Do what you love for money.

valentine heart shape made by dollars isolatedThis evening I am running my very first Meditation for the Easily Distracted class.  This is super exciting for me, because like most of us, I have had always had this vision in my head that work has to somehow be work.  It has to be difficult and unpleasant and you have to be able to complain about Mondays and be excited about Hump Day and celebrate Aloha Fridays as a huge relief that you can escape work for 48 hours.  For the last couple of years I have been practicing what I preach, getting closer and closer to a job that I actually love.  And I’m close.  I love Life Coaching.  That, to me, is heaven.  Why then do I have a 40 hour a week side job working for the government?  It’s a counseling job, I love working with the children, I love working with the staff, and I enjoy the freedom of the job.  But I work for the man.  Truthfully, the only problem I have with this job at all is that they tell me when I’m supposed to be there and give me guidelines on what I am supposed to be doing.  Ew.  I don’t like people telling me what to do.

What does this have to do with my Meditation Course you might ask?  Well, I freaking love meditating and reading about meditation and mindfulness.  It’s something I love to do in my free time.  So the question is, why did it take so long for me to put a course together about something I love?  The answer, as it is to most questions about hesitation, is fear.

Ask yourself, how would you feel about getting paid to do something you love?  How would you feel about asking people to give you money to do or teach the thing you do for fun in your free time?  It feels weird, right?  There’s this thought that if this is something I am doing for fun, I should have to pay money for it.  And if someone wants to do it with me, that it should be free.  But why?  What if the thing you love is running?  And you know people who want to get into running shape.  What if you started a weekly gathering of people who run together that you are in charge of?  I can hear the thousands of protests that your brain is coming up with right now.  I’m not trained, I’m not a teacher, I only do it for fun.  This is just an example, but as a culture we have, for some reason, divided our lives into “work” and “fun.”  There are the horrible, nasty things we do for work and the freeing, lovely, energizing things we do for fun.

Ask yourself, what if you started to blur those lines?  What if you started to look for work that is fun?  What if you took a minute to dream about getting paid to do the thing you do in your free time?  Do you hike, do you garden, do you drink, do you create excel spreadsheets?  There is somebody else in this world that could use what you know.  In fact, there are people in this world who need you.

Today, take a few minutes to picture yourself doing the thing you look forward to doing when your job is done for the day.  The thing you daydream about during your breaks.  And then picture yourself doing that as a full-time job.  Your brain will protest.  For just today, ignore everything it says about it.  Today, it is okay to imagine that you could make a living lying on the beach in paradise reading steamy novels.

 

What comes up for you, what are the arguments that your brain makes when you think about getting paid to do what you love?  Share below!

 

The Experimental LIfe

According to Wikipedia “An experiment is an orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Controlled experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Controlled experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results.”

Love this graphic from HD Wallpaper

As a species, us human beings have come quite far from the hunter-gatherer caveman.  Technology today makes it possible that a person could live out there entire lives without moving more than a few feet throughout the entire day.  You can work from home, over the phone or internet, you can call someone to deliver your food, you can pay with a credit card number instead of cash, entertain yourself through TV and the internet, date online, chat with friends, go to school, you can basically do everything.  Right now, the only thing I can think of that you would have to move for, is to use the bathroom.  And that’s only because robot-automatic-bed-toilets haven’t been made popular yet.

How did we get to such a point?  How have our inventions come so far?  In order to continue to advance our technology, we must begin with previous knowledge and inventions.  An app creator today doesn’t first have to invent a computer and the internet and he doesn’t have to be fluent in code.  That pool of knowledge already exists.  Someone else, with their hard work and toil has lay the groundwork for the next person to build upon.

This goes for any how-to these days.  We have to accept a certain amount of knowledge that we build on.  This is awesome in many cases.  Cell phones, facebook, medical technology- these wouldn’t exist unless we could build on something that was already there.

Up until a few years ago, I wouldn’t have said there was anything to worry about.  But then I started to realize that in some areas of my life I was trusting too much to the “experts” that had done the legwork for me in previous years.  As a child I was very trusting.  A rule was a rule.  If an adult said it out loud, then it had to be true.  What I didn’t realize as a child was that adults are just leaning on what they learned from the adults in their life and on and on and on.  The problem comes in when a generally accepted piece of information is actually not true.  When that groundwork is not stable, everything built on it can come crashing down.  And it was making me sick and fat.

For the longest time I relied on conventional wisdom to get me through.  It was after dieting for my wedding in 2007 that I started to realize that conventional wisdom might be wrong.  For a full year I had restricted calories and fat and exercised 6-7 days a week like the Heart Association recommended.  I ultimately lost the weight I wanted to- and I looked great in my dress.  But I didn’t feel healthy.  I should have been the healthiest I had ever been.  I should have been strong and have tons of energy and feel great.  But I didn’t.  I was exhausted.  The ADD I have struggled with all my life was full force.  My already thin hair was falling out.  I was unhappy at work and I had depression and anxiety constantly creeping in.  I had injuries that wouldn’t really go away.

I knew that this was not the way it was supposed to be, but I didn’t know what to do about it.  I was following the mainstream advice on how to be healthy.  It wasn’t until years later that I finally went to a therapist, and started to really do the mental work that I needed to.  At first, I just started to google my symptoms.  And more and more the answers that made the most sense were popping up in unconventional sites.  People like Mark Sisson and Dr. Mercola, which the mainstream would laugh at, were giving me answers that given a try would actually work.  Those sites started to really intrigue me.  They might not have been popular or followed in the circles that I was used to, but they were very popular according to the number of followers they had.

Take notes. Journal. You’ll be surprised.

Cautiously I allowed the thought that these oddballs might be on to something.  And I started to test things out on my own.  And I found that a lot of things I had been taught were just wrong.  Some were just a little off, like how much red meat you should include in your diet and some were just plain backwards, like how much fat and calories and grains you need to eat.  At the time I was focused mainly on nutrition/exercise information.  I had always thought that I was knowledgeable in this area and I was intrigued that maybe some of the adults in my life had been wrong.  I certainly took my time before I started living what I now call “an experimental life,” but finally, in January 2010 I started my first Paleo challenge.  Paleo really went against a lot of the conventional wisdom on diets.  There was NO SUGAR allowed.  It wasn’t about everything in moderation.  It was adding in fats.  Cutting out all grains, even the brown stuff.  No soy.  No corn.  Previous to this challenge I wouldn’t believe that this could be healthy for me.  But I was floored.  I lost weight fast.  And I was so energetic and strong.

Ever since I figured out that it was possible that the experts I had been listening to might be wrong, I started to research everything. I decided that I will no longer rely solely on someone else’s opinion for advice.  I will research multiple sources and then I will do an “n=1 experiment” (just means that I am the only research test subject).  I will no longer trust commercials or my local news to tell me how to be healthy.  Instead I will try things that I research and I will listen to my body.

Running, running, running!
Running, running, running!

Some recent examples in the physical health part of my life include eating way more fats.  I used to think this would kill me.  Turns out it does not make me fat and my arteries are doing well.  I don’t eat very much dairy at all.  Sometimes I have grassfed mozzarella cheese on my omelettes, because it’s something I love.  Do I get enough calcium?  Yes.  There is plenty of calcium and other wonderful minerals in green leafy vegetables it turns out.  My bones have yet to snap and crumble into dust.  I do not eat grains most of the time (for health reasons, man do I love bread, so I have it sometimes).  According the USDAs guidelines I should be quite undernourished since I never eat brown rice or pasta.  I don’t eat quinoa, I don’t eat crackers, I don’t even eat beans.  Removing grains and beans for me reduces the amount of bloat I carry around my belly line and the best part is how my mind- my actual clarity of thinking- has improved.  I also don’t try to work out for an hour every day.  I do crossfit 3 times a week and I walk my dogs.  My dogs don’t walk very far, so it’s mostly just crossfit.  It’s intense, but there’s very little cardio, except on random days when the WOD includes running.  Has my body become a puddle of fat?  Have my muscles withered away?  Or do I have massive man muscles from all of the lifting?  None of that.  If I do say so myself, I look pretty darn good.

In my career life, the experimental life has also helped me immensely.  For many years I spent a lot of time thinking that if I did certain things, then surely I would be immediately tarred and feathered and then promptly terminated.  The past couple of years I tested out the theory that if I did my job really well, and then blurred the other lines a bit, maybe no one would care.  The truth is, they don’t.  I made sure I showed up for the important stuff.  I did therapy, made sure the important paperwork was done well.  I helped kids get better and I helped families feel better and healthier.  And I often went in late and left early.  Unless there was an early meeting or a late one.  I would be on point and on time for those.  I didn’t want to be lazy, I just didn’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s by sitting around in the office when there was nothing to do.  So I tested it out.  Not one complaint.  Ever.  If there had been a complaint, if it had been rubbing somebody the wrong way or something wasn’t getting done because of my behavior, I would have changed back to being promptly on time immediately.  But it turns out, people like it when you do your job well and are super happy.

And there’s so many more examples in my life, where being brave enough to test out “common knowledge” in my own life has freed me from unnecessary guilt, and work, and pain.

Tell me, are you willing to experiment in your own life?  If you discovered you didn’t have to do it, what is one thing that you would stop doing today?  Comment below!  I would love to hear it!

Preparing for New Year’s Goals

December is my second favorite month of the year.  July wins out because that is my birthday month, so it is full of celebration.  But December is close on its heels.  I love December for many reasons: there’s the holiday celebrations, the holiday food, the holiday music, and the gracious attitude that people seem to adopt as they count the days to Christmas.  But my favorite part of the month is its representation of the end of the year.  Over the last few years it has become a time for me to reflect on the past year and think about the next.  It gives me a chance to look at all of the challenges that I went through and to congratulate myself for the successes.  And it is a time for me to prepare for my New Year’s Goals.

How many New Year’s Goals have you successfully made and kept throughout the year?  For the majority of the population most goals are dropped by February and completely forgotten about by March.  Health clubs go through a ginormous spike in memberships during December and January.  And more than half of those people stop showing up a few months later.  Why is this?  People are usually VERY motivated at first.  They get the membership.  They buy the outfits.  They research the diets.  They get the nicotine patch.  They bite the bullet and look at their finances.  They stop buying things they don’t need.  They buy the Spanish Rosetta Stone.  They spend more time with family and friends.  But soon enough the motivation goes out the door.

I believe that we do not spend the time we should on figuring out WHY we want to reach the goals we choose.  We pick lofty goals that sound great, but when our desired outcome is superficial, or we’re trying to please someone else, we tend to lose motivation.  Want to lose weight?  Why?  Want to get out of debt? Why?  Want to stop smoking? Why?

 

If you can’t answer the question, you are likely to be one of the millions of people who drop their New Year’s Goals.  And if you answered that you just want to stop smoking because other people tell you it’s a good idea, your chances of following through are pretty slim.  But if you desire to stop smoking because you have a new baby in the house and you want to feel energetic enough to play with her, or you want to protect him by keeping second hand smoke away, now those are more likely to push you through the year.

So what if you can’t answer the why or you’ve just figured out you have no motivation past pleasing your spouse?  Journaling is my first recommendation for most problems.  The process of writing helps you get clear on what you perceive the problem to be, and helps slow down your thinking when it comes to solutions.  You can also go back and look at your writing if you lose motivation or need to remember something you’ve forgotten.  For those who don’t like writing, drawing a picture, cutting out pictures, or recording voice memos can be helpful as well.  Here’s some journal exercises that I have done over the years to get really focused on my goals and helped me follow through.

  •  Write down what you think your goals should be.  Then ask yourself the question, “Why?”  and write the answer.  Continue to ask yourself a few times until you feel like you’ve really gotten to the answer.  An example-  “I want to stop drinking.”  Why?  “Because I have gained weight and been less motivated to do work.”  Why? “Because I feel unhealthy.”  Why? “My wife is unhappy with me.” Why? “Because I feel unhealthy and I’m not taking care of myself.” Why?  “I want to feel healthy and take care of myself.”  Why? “Because I want to be healthy enough to take care of myself and take care of my wife.”-  Now there’s motivation to stop drinking.
  • Write down previous goals that you have made in the past.  Free write about any challenges or successes you had while meeting those goals.
  • Write out your fantasy life.  Write how everything would be different if you met your goal. All of the things you would be able to do, places you’d be able to go, or things you’d be able to have.  Get precise and specific.

Now that you’ve gone a little deeper with your goals, it’s time to evaluate if they need to be rewritten.  Continuing with the example above, wanting to stop smoking because of the new baby in the house, maybe you realize that it’s not just about cigarettes.  You want to feel energetic enough to play with your baby and keep both of you healthy.  Quitting smoking might only be a part of this goal.  Writing your goal in a more positive frame will help keep you on the right track, even when things get hard.  Your new goal might be “By February I will be able to have the energy to spend at least 8 hours with the baby.”  Framing your goal in this way might help you make decisions not just about smoking, but about exercise and healthy eating as well.  And if you give in and have a cigarette, you have not “failed your goal.”  You don’t have to give up.  You have the motivation of spending time with your baby to keep trying.

What goals do you have for the New Year?  What is the motivation behind it?  How will you keep the motivation to make it all the way through to December 2014?  Comment below!

Life Coach Client Goals

Wondering what a life coach can do for you?  Here are just a few examples of what you can achieve working with the right person.

Life Coach Client Goals

  • Be able to listen to your intuition
  • Be able to value your time
  • Be able to list your strengths, talents, and achievements
  • Be able to accept money without guilt
  • Change your attitude from that will never happen to how can I make it happen
  • Be able to question your thoughts
  • Have a clear vision of your desired future
  • Be able to list your Core Desired Feelings- Danielle Laporte
  • Be able to tell people what you do, not what you do for employment
  • Be able to see your 9-5 as your side job, your investor, your bridge job (unless you love it)
  • Be able to give without looking for anything in return
  • Be able to love yourself and all of your quirks
  • Be able to show up as your complete authentic self with others
  • Be able to physically touch others with love and caring
  • Be able to create and give away value knowing that you will get more back in return
  • To never use money as an excuse
  • Be able to look at money as an energy and commodity, a tool for your use, not an end goal
  • Be your own best friend
  • Be able to love your body fully in any shape or form it’s in
  • Be able to look yourself in the mirror and feel love and pride
  • Be able to create
  • Be able to have a healthy relationship with food
  • Be able to have a healthy relationship with exercise
  • Be able to have a healthy relationship with drugs and alcohol
  • Be able to identify your fears and challenges
  • Be able to act with courage when afraid
  • Be able to find tools to help you stay organized
  • Be able to forgive yourself for being too (insert put down of choice)
  • Be able to love yourself for being too (insert put down of choice)
  • Be able to list at least 5 people who are true supporters in your life
  • Be able to set boundaries with people in your life that drain your energy in some way

Are you working on any of these goals?  What resources do you use?  Share with us in the comments section, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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