You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!-Dr. Seuss
The new year is upon us. Where will you go in 2018? While many people are focused on “new years resolutions,” I suggest you focus on painting a picture of what your life looks like if you “had it all.” Begin by asking, “What do I want for my life?” Instead of resolutions, this exercise is about exploring your dreams. It’s about being your best possible self. “Possible selves encompass all of our imaginable futures for ourselves” (King, 2001). Remove all the barriers you are facing and write out your vision in first person as if it’s happening now. A sample sentence might be, “I exercise daily and choose foods that nourish my body.” Another example, “I travel to places I’ve never been before and feel the excitement every time I step off the plane.”
How would your journey unfold if nothing was standing in the way? A clear and consise vision “enhances well-being and increases hope” (King, 2001). A vision that is internally linked to your desires will help to connect your goals with internal vs external motivators… setting you up for success in achieving future goals. Vision’s can be done in writing or with imagery on a vision board.
There was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do, determined to save the only life you could save. -Excerpt from The Journey by Mary Oliver
Lets remember, January 1 is nothing but another day. You get to choose when and where you will begin to change. Don’t fall into the trap that you can only change your life on New Years Day. Today is your day. Tomorrow can be your day. Regardless of the day, you have to determine you’re ready and willing to live out the vision you have for your life. Once you’ve determined you’re ready, post the vision where you will read it daily, gather your most positive supporters, share your vision with them, and start with small steps… SMART weekly goals. Little by little you’ll get there!
So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains. -Dr. Seuss
If you need help writing a Wellness Vision, please let me know. Feel free to email me a firstname.lastname@example.org.
King, L. (2001). The health benefits of writing about life goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 798-807.
In case you missed days 5-9 of the Connection Challenge, I wanted to wrap it up here. Days 1-4 included:
These were all ways of connecting deeper with those you love. You can read them in more detail under “Latest Wellness Articles.”
Days 5-9 included:
Details on Days 5-9 can be found on my social media platforms. On Instagram @inspireonewellness and on Facebook at InspireOneWellness.
Incorporating each of these ideas into your relationships will help you deepen the connection with those you love and cherish. Try it today!
#connectionchallenge Day 4: Listen and Restate
To connect deeply in your relationships you have to really listen. In order to listen well, use eye contact (see previous post). Don’t think about what you want to say in your response. Focus instead on the words the person is saying. See and feel their emotion. Once they are done speaking, pause, and restate what they said.
For example, you might say, “so, I heard you say this has been difficult for you.” Or, “Wow, it sounds like you are really excited about this new venture you’re talking about.” Try slightly reframing what the person said. This makes sure you understood what they said and they feel heard.
I challenge you to make someone feel special today. Really listen to them by restating what you heard.
#livewell #connect #connection #relationships #kindness #listenwell #mindfulness #tryittoday #connecttoday
#connectionchallenge Day 3: Handwrite a Thank You Card
To connect on a deeper level, people need to feel they are appreciated. A handwritten thank you note to someone you care about is a great way to show you are grateful for their presence in your life.
You never know how such simple words can impact the person on the receiving end. It can also impact you more than you think. Researchers at Indiana University found people who wrote letters expressing thanks to someone “had more gratitude-related brain activity” than those who hadn’t practiced being grateful.
Research has shown people who express their gratitude are happier, healthier and have more energy. People who say thank you are more resilient and show signs of more impulse control. Therefore, I challenge you to put pen to paper and with honesty and sincerity, write out the words you’ve been meaning to tell someone.
For more times when you should say “Thank You” check out James Clear’s article:
#livewell #relationships #connection #thankyou #gratitude
#connectionchallege Day 2: To connect with someone today offer a light touch on the arm or shoulder. Or offer a hug. Kiss or hold hands with your significant other.
From the moment we are born we experience touch. Touch connects the newborn to his mother. Touch can soothe a crying child. Touch can create intimacy between a couple. There is an actual physiological response that goes on inside the body when touched.
Research has shown that we are wired to communicate emotions through touch. We are more compassionate and non-violent when we experience appropriate touch. Touch can decrease stress. Hugs have been shown to lower blood pressure. There is an actual physiological response to touch.
Remember personal space and boundaries when offering a light touch. Think about who you are connecting with and whether or not the touch is appropriate.
Connect with someone today you care about by offering a light touch. Whether it’s kissing your spouse goodbye, holding your child’s hand or touching a friends hand to offer your support.
#livewell #connect #connection #relationships #kindness #thepoweroftouch #reachoutandtouchsomeone #peace #tryittoday #nonviolentcommunication #connecttoday
For the next 12 days, I’ll be offering tips to help you connect on a deeper level with those you are close to. We should practice connection daily, but the holidays highlight our need to feel close to those in our inner circle. December 12, marks the first day of the challenge. See below.
Day 1: Today, practice looking people in the eye during conversation, giving the other person your complete attention.
Dr. Furnham notes, “Where, when, and how we look at others are all part of the phenomenon of eye gaze, one of our most important and primitive means of communication.” Eye contact allows you to see the other persons reactions, gestures, and emotional state. Carol Gonman says, “As a general rule, direct eye contact ranging from 30% to 60% of the time during conversation- more when you are listening, less when you are speaking – should make for a more comfortable, productive atmosphere.”
Eye contact also allows the other person to feel seen and feel as though they have your attention. Studies tend to show the greater the eye contact the closer the relationship. Connect today by practicing eye contact.
I recently listened to my daughter’s soccer coach discuss the upcoming tryouts for the fall season. As he spoke, his words resonated with me. As a Personal Trainer, who has dealt with many weight loss clients over the years, I found that losing weight is a tough journey to tackle. It’s not just hitting the gym, but exploring the struggles with food and learning to live in a completely different way. Coach Mark’s words connected with me because they are precisely what a weight loss individual needs to take on their journey ahead.
“One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.”
“If you’re any kind of person who wishes to grow, learn, improve, excel or peak perform, you should care about whether or not you’re coachable. In other words, being coachable relates to a happy, productive life. It means you’re ready to do what it takes to change, transform, improve or excel, whatever that means for you and your situation.
Laura’s words hit the nail on the head. To lose weight, you have to do what it takes to “change, transform, improve and excel.”
The weight loss journey is just that… it’s a lifelong journey. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, habits aren’t formed overnight and progress is slow. But, the journey is worth it. You can look forward to a life where you have energy, move well, have confidence and experience excitement to try new things. With a lighter load, life becomes more livable. I hope you’ll explore these qualities and work on building them into our life as you take that first step to losing weight!
Please let me know how your journey is going or what qualities you think should be added to this list.
Life is HARD… Let me say that again, Life is H-A-R-D! When we are children, life is littered with toys, cartoons, sweetness, dreams and fun. As we get older, we began to see that bad things can happen to us and not everyone is nice and looking out for our best interest. We have to struggle to maintain our identities, our health, our relationships, our physical fitness…to be honest, we have to work hard at just about everything as the years go on. Ok, so this post is starting to sound bleak, but this is not about the scary parts of life, but more of how to get through them. I think HOPE may be the answer.
I recently came across this quote by Rob Bell.
Ultimately our gift to the world around us is hope. Not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are. But the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe that this is all there is. It is what we all need…HOPE that comes not from going around suffering but from going through it.
Wow! The last line kind of blew me away. “HOPE that comes not from going around suffering but from going through it.” We tend to want to avoid the bad and that’s okay, when we’re talking about running out into traffic or driving without a seat belt. But often times we just need to face what’s ahead with hope.
Dictionary.com defines Hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” Brene Brown said, “Hope happens when we can set goals, have the tenacity and perseverance to pursue those goals, and believe in our own abilities to act.”
As kids we are full of hope. We truly believe anything is possible. But, we lose that belief at some point in adulthood. What if we could take off our adult blinders and sprinkle hope throughout our day, our months, our lives? What if we believed in our own abilities and what we wanted would turn out for the best? Wouldn’t life be a lot easier? I think so. I hope so!
Take some time this week to journal or meditate on the following questions to help you bring hope back into your life:
Take time to reflect after you complete this activity. My hope is you’ll find the way to add those “sprinkles” back into your life!
NOTE: This is a recent post I did for Emmanuel Church at www.eclife.org
I once had a therapist tell me I needed to lower my expectations if I wanted to find peace in a work situation. I’ve pondered this thought for quite sometime. Aren’t we taught to have high expectations in everything we do in life? How could we possibility dare to lower our expectations? Was this guy crazy?
Google defines expectation as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.” From the time we are born, our parents place expectations upon us. Soon, expectations arrive from our teachers, our friends, our spouse, our church, ourselves…The list can go on and on. Every expectation, asking us to do more or reach a ceiling we may never be able to, setting us up for failure, sadness, frustration, guilt and shame. Anne Lamott said, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” Have you ever felt resentment in your life because of an unmet expectation? I know I have.
It’s not that I feel expectations are bad. Expectations can motivate us and inspire us to do better. But, if we don’t look at them with a realistic eye, they can shatter our hopes and dreams. Brene Brown describes expectations this way:
The way to address this is to be up-front about our expectations by taking the time to reality-check what we’re expecting and why. Expectations often coast along under our radar, making themselves known only after they have bombed something we had high hopes for into the rubble.
We’ve all seen relationships crumble after expectations weren’t met. We’ve seen children fall into despair when they felt they couldn’t reach their parents expectations. Expectations can be a dangerous threat to our happiness if we don’t rein them in. Jen Hatmaker described her busy life colliding with expectation in her book, “For the Love.” She notes,
This is beyond unreasonable. It is destructive. We no longer assess our lives with accuracy. We have lost the ability to declare a job well-done. We measure our performance against an invented standard and come up wanting, and it is destroying our joy. No matter how hard we work or excel in an area or two, it never feels like enough.
I truly believe God would not want us to live our life this way. Proverbs 19:20 states, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails.”
I challenge you to move forward with close examination of your current expectations. I’m not asking you to live a life without goals or dreams. But to live a life where expectations don’t control the way you love others or yourself. I challenge you to pray to God to release you from past expectations that went unmet. Start today fresh, with a clean slate. Feel bold and bright knowing that God’s purpose will be your life guide not the expectations placed upon you.
*This is Part III of the Series “Your Path to Wellness”
You’ve decided to get healthy! You’ve decided to make a change! So, you’ve explored your inner desires, you’ve done your vision board, you’ve written out your Wellness Vision and now we’re going to make sure there is a path to get there. I want to make sure you’re stepping on stones, not randomly walking in the dirt. Now is the time to move into Goal Setting! If you haven’t already read Part I and Part II of this series, please do so before moving on.
Train yourself to begin the habit of prioritizing the replenishing streams that breathe life into your soul and leave your bucket filled. ~Bill Hybels
Goal setting allow us to set a guiding path to our destination. Goals direct our attention, help us measure progress, energize the push in a positive direction and give us momentum to move forward.
In Wellness Coaching, I would typically help you set 3 month goals, but for this article, we’ll discuss weekly goal setting. Click Here for a goal setting sheet you can utilize each week.
To begin with, review your Wellness Vision. Ask yourself, “Where would I like to focus?” or “What specific changes to I want to see?” Start by setting 2-4 goals per week. This is a manageable range. Follow these steps:
As you complete your goals for the week, post them with your Wellness Vision. Each morning, spend a few minutes reviewing them and visualizing their completion. If you don’t complete a goal 100% by the end of the week, regroup and reset. Invoke self-compassion and move forward the next week.
A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life. ~Dr. Christopher Germer
Repeat this process of goal setting weekly. Always keep your Wellness Vision at the forefront. You can revise your goals or set brand new ones as long as you remain connected to the process and zoned in on where you’re headed. Have an awesome week! I’ll be rooting for your success!
Any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
*This is Part II to my series “Your Path to Wellness”
So, we’re a week or two into the new year. For some, those New Year’s goals may have already ended. Statistically, less than half of you will reach them by the 6 month mark (Norcross, Mrykalo, & Blagys, 2002) Excitement wains quickly once life gets back to normal. And all of the sudden, there goes your motivation. You may be exhausted, work and kids may seem to be overwhelming you, or you’re simply not sure how to get there. Well, let’s get you there this year. We’re doing things differently by switching off the goals…for now. And starting with your vision.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” ~unknown
If you haven’t read Part I, please do so. This will help you create your Wellness Vision more vividly. You can read it by clicking here.
For those of you who have read Part I, you will now move on to creating your actual Wellness Vision. Your Wellness Vision, is similar to a business’ mission statement. It will be your guiding light to where you want to go on your wellness journey. Your vision will describe the person you will be.
Looking back your journaling exercise (Part I) and your vision board, I now want you to compile your thoughts and pictures into your vision statement, which should be a few paragraphs.
“Wellness is not the absence of disease or the opposite of illness; wellness is rather the presence of well-being and the culmination of life and health-giving practices.” ~Wellcoaches Manual
As you write your vision, write in the present tense including statements starting with “I am.” Some examples:
Building on your notes and vision board from Part I, your vision should include the picture of who you want to be, your motivators and values, your challenges and how you might get past them, your support system and your determination to succeed. Your vision is a summary statement that you are deeply connected with.
Some traps to avoid when writing out your vision, is to not include goals in it. Avoid sentences that get too specific like:
Once you have your Wellness Vision complete, print it off and post with your Vision Board. If you have questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To recap (Part I), you’ve journaled and created a vision board. Now (Part II), you’ve completed your Wellness Vision.
In Part III of this series, we’ll focus on setting behavior goals to reach your Wellness Vision.
We’ll get this done together! See you for Part III (Goal Setting) on Your Path to Wellness! And, if you want more in-depth coaching, more guidance, feel free to get in touch with me on individual wellness coaching plans.
*This is Part I of the Series “Your Path to Wellness”
I’m not going to lie. I’ve struggled over the last several years with career and family issues, often times because they were so intertwined. I’ve also worked with people who choose to only see one side of every issue. As I worked through the Wellcoaches program, motivated to help others, I was also dealing with people who refused to allow forgiveness in their life. I’ve seen how depression and negativity can eat a hole in a person’s soul. This is not the life I want for anyone. Living in the dark leaves you stuck and full of sadness…
In 2016, I’m taking the light with me. If you look back at the times you’ve struggle in life, often times they are surrounded by hurt, ego, revenge, hate, negativity and gloom. When those types of emotions are with us, we don’t have a chance to move forward. And, I want you to move forward with me. I want you to take a chance on yourself and really see what the possibilities are ahead of you. Allow yourself to shine!
“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.” ~Sonia Ricotti
When you surround yourself with light, you can see where you need and want to go. If you could switch out those negative emotions with joy, gratitude, laughter, kindness, compassion, empathy and love, life could and would be an amazing journey.
So, where do you start? You start by looking inward. Get out a journal or a simply a scrap piece of paper. Release the emotions that are driving you down for just a moment. Begin by answering the following questions to discover more about your motivation for a positive life. Think about your whole wellness including career, family, friendships, physical, spiritual and emotional health.
Once you’ve completed these steps, review your answers. Are you beginning to see what you really want from your life? Is this coming alive in your mind. Think through your answers to make sure you’ve added all your thoughts into this document.
“As long as you keep letting life ask you another question and reveal that there is always more for you to be and do, you are unstoppable.” ~Jennifer Krause
Step two, I want you to create a vision board. Take what you’ve learned from these questions and put together your board. Have fun with this project. Allow yourself to be a kid again, with no inhibitions to what might look right or wrong. There is no wrong answer or bad board. Include pictures (but not limited to) of the people who bring you joy, magazine photos of the activities that bring you joy, a picture of a time you were truly happy, quotes that motivate you, pictures of what you want in the future.
Post this board in a place where you will see it every morning. When you wake up, review it, speak to it, believe in it. You are taking the steps to improving your wellness. Celebrate each and every step!
Keep an eye for the next post, Part II, on creating your wellness vision to go with your vision board.
I wish you the best in 2016! Cheers to what’s ahead.
We need to be brave enough to want to know more. ~Brené Brown