Balance Your Life With Routines And Rituals…

With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many people are concerned about their health and are eager to eat right and exercise more. Unfortunately, for many of us this is easier said than done. People today lead busy lives. Many people are running from work to a child’s sporting event, or this meeting or that meeting and don’t feel they have time to breathe, let alone follow a normal routine or hit the gym. Yet, a routine can be just what you need. Many people break their regular routines when they are busy, thinking they will get more done and feel better about themselves. This thinking however, often backfires and may leave you feeling and out of sorts. In reality, you can feel more alive when you balance your life with routines and rituals.

exercise

Routines and rituals keep us grounded and help us perform better. Routines are habits that give structure to our daily lives—brushing your teeth, a morning cup of coffee, organizing your calendar, a daily walk, visiting the gym, or eating dinner at the same time. Routines help keep us organized and on track, although they do require discipline and will power. Rituals, on the other hand, are a little different. They are more celebratory in nature and include, going to church, praying, meditating, attending a wedding, or celebrating a birthday. “Rituals connects us to community and to society in general. Routine reinforces our sense of control over our every-day lives.”¹ The bottom line is we need them both to feel balanced. When one or another is missing, we can feel off and feel like something is wrong.

meditating

For years, I’ve had a morning routine that included a walk outside. Well for some reason the other winter, I became little lax with my walking. Walking is  part of who I am, so when I miss going a few days in a row, I really feel off. Walking is uplifting to me and gives me energy for the day. I find the sounds of nature soothing too, so it is no wonder I wasn’t like myself. Funny how simple routines can keep us in balance.

walking in nature

In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self-care and how important it is in our lives. Routines and rituals are a from of self-care, and are something we all need. They can help re-energize your body, provide activities for enjoyment and feed your spirit.

Hal Elrod, in his great book, The Miracle Morning, gives us a set of daily practices that he calls S.A.V.E.R.S. When done daily, he claims they will change your life. Give these routines and rituals a try to help balance your life and feel more alive.

Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S:

S= Silence: Take at least 10 minutes to be silent. You can just sit still, pray, or meditate. This time is important and gives you some time to just be.

A= Affirmations: Use positive phrases to affirm your goals and aspirations. (e.g. I am positive, I am a hard worker, I am a caring person, I am loving, etc.)

V= Visualization: See yourself as having already achieved a goal. Picture yourself already having accomplished a task. You can use a vision board with drawings, or pictures of certain items, or can just envision them in your mind.

E= Exercise: Set aside a minimum of 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of exercise, whether it is walking, yoga, biking, stretching, etc.

R= Reading: Set aside at least 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of reading, preferably read some thing that is inspirational. This helps set the tone for the day and establishes a positive mind-set.

S= Scribing: (Journaling) Set aside at least 10 minutes to record some positive thoughts that came to you from reading, meditating, praying, etc. This allows you to record your thoughts and generate ideas, etc.4

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Reference:

¹ https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rhoda-p-curtis/routine-and-ritual-two-pi_b_1113845.html

² Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning. ©Hal Elrod International.2014. pg. 53-81

A Change Will Do You Good!

With the fall season upon us, it is hard not to think about change—A change in the weather, a change in the colors, a change in your schedule and more. In fact, I noticed a bunch more leaves changing on the trees this morning, as I was out walking. They sure are pretty. I don’t know about you, but I really do love the fall. Sure it’s always hard to say good bye to summer, but fall has a unique appeal—the crisp, cool morning air, a beautiful array of vibrant colors, warm afternoons and the plentiful fall harvest. I know not everyone may agree. Many people do not like change and often try and fight it. Change however is something that is a constant and expected, so why not adopt the attitude of a change will do you good instead?

change is good
change is good

Seasons will come and go and each one brings their own beauty, expectations and gifts of opportunity. Why not take advantage of the new season and commit to some changes of your own? If you are interested in making some changes to your health that involve better eating and more exercise, fall is great time to get going and change up your routine and develop some rituals.

fall tree leaves
fall tree leaves

With the days getting shorter, why not commit to joining a gym to get a little exercise in instead of sitting front of the TV and dwelling on the early, dark evenings. You can also buy some sessions at a yoga studio, get a group of friends together for basketball at your local community center or join a fall bowling league. There are many choices. The point is to find some activity you enjoy and commit to it. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little bit about the importance of finding appetizing activities you enjoy. Taking care of your body includes not only eating the right foods, but also activity and exercise. Your body was meant to move and not be sedentary, so make sure you get in plenty of activity in your day.

yoga
yoga

Fall is also a great time to experiment with some new foods. Many people are inside more and may have some extra time on their hands. Why not pull out one of your cookbooks and dust it off? You can also look for some healthy recipes on the internet or look on Pinterest. They have thousands of recipes to choose from. Maybe you can find a recipe that includes some seasonal vegetable, such as zucchini, from the fall harvest or some other vegetable you like. You can also look for a new recipe to try for a fall get together with friends or look for something new to try for dinner one evening with the family. There are many options and you might just discover a whole new way of eating that you enjoy. Yes indeed change can be good!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. If you want to preview my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, you can grab a FREE Chapter here.

Why Put Off Tomorrow What You Can Do Today?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” but how many of you really live by it? My guess is that while we all may have good intentions, we are all prone to procrastination at times— some more than others. Why, you may ask, is that? We are all complex human beings. Often times, our daily activities can seem overwhelming and get in the way of what we truly would like to accomplish. When this happens, our feelings often take over and can stop us from doing what we truly desire. So how can get around this? The answer is actually pretty simple…take one step at a time.

walking-with-one-foot-in-front-of-another

In fact, Brian Tracy, Professional Speaker, Best Selling Author, & Entrepreneur explains the concept with a metaphor. He asks, “‘How do you eat an elelphant?’ The answer is, ‘one bite at a time.’ This can be applied to any goal. You accomplish it one step, one task, one measure at a time. He also talks about eating your frog, which is about tackling your most important, daunting tasks, and getting them done. Brian’s main point is that you eat your most ugliest frog first, the next ugliest, and so on, until all your frogs are done. When you ‘eat your frog,’ you feel empowered, happier, energized and are more productive.”¹

frog

Robert Emmons, in his book, Thanks, tells us “to go through the motions and do it now, and the feeling will come.” ² Have you ever felt overwhelmed by doing a task, but went ahead with it anyway and then felt a sense of relief after, even if you didn’t complete it? Brian Tracy explains this as “‘Slice and Dice.’ You can cut a big task down to size with the ‘Salami slice’ method. Basically you lay out the task in detail and resolve to just one slice of the job for the time being.”³

slicing-pepper

What have you been putting off that you want to do?  Perhaps you want to clean up your garage, so you can park your car inside during the winter months? So take that first step. Fold up that ladder. Get some boxes to organize your garden tools or other stuff. Hang up your bike and keep going until your space is uncluttered.

If you want to start eating better, again take that first step. Go to the grocery store and try shopping the perimeter of the store only. There you will find most things that you need to incorporate a healthier diet including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Shopping this way will help you avoid processed foods, which are often loaded with artificial ingredients, additives and sugar. When you get home, go to your pantry and get rid of any processed foods that you know are unhealthy and want to avoid.

produce

If you want to add more exercise to  your day, vow to take a walk after work. Change into those sweats and tennis shows and get yourself out the door. If you like going to a gym, pack your gym bag ahead and take it with you to work. That way you will be prepared and less likely to make an excuse for not going.

healthy-light-woman-legs

So what are you waiting for? Make sure you take that first action step and keep going.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Tracy, Brian. Eat That Frog. A book Summary. http://www.super-super.com/hpe152/page11/page16/page17/files/frog2P.pdf

Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—Thanks. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/Thanks, pg. 5

²Tracy, Brian. Slice and Dice The Task. http://www.briantracy.com/blog/leadership-success/slice-and-dice-the-task/

Jump For Joy!

When it comes to optimal health, most of us know that it is important to eat healthy foods, as they supply our bodies with plenty of nutrients. Exercise however, also plays an important role in the quest for good health, as our bodies were made to move and not be sedentary. Unfortunately, many people today, have a hard time making exercise a priority, as much of their day is spent working and for many people that includes sitting at a desk, which makes it even more important to get out and move about.

We can add exercise to our life by incorporating some sort of activity into our daily routines whether it is walking, biking, running, yoga, weight training, or something else. The point is that we need to be active. While I know that not everyone likes running, going to the gym, etc., there are are plenty of other options.  If you are one of those people that haven’t found an exercise you like to do regularly, you might want to think back to your childhood. What activities did you enjoy? Maybe it is swimming, karate, running around a play ground, or hula hooping.

While I personally love to exercise and have always incorporated a variety of activities into my day, like going to the gym, walking, biking and yoga, I also like to add in some non-traditional activities into my exercise regimen from time to time like… jumping on a trampoline. We never had one growing up, but I bought one when my kids were younger and always enjoyed jumping on it with them.

The other year, when our daughter was staying with us after college and looking for a job, she suggested I buy one again, so we could both get a little fun exercise in outside. I have to admit, it was one of my favorite purchases I’ve made.

I don’t know why it is, but it just makes me smile and laugh.

trampoline

Jumping up and down makes you feel so alive, and energized. I just love it!

trampolin2

Speaking of being energized, I recently watched Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru, a documentary about Tony Robbins “Date With Destiny Seminar,” and was happy to see that Tony is also a fan of the trampoline! He apparently gets up in the mornings and jumps on an mini-exercise trampoline to help get some good vibes going for the day. He also jumps on a mini-exercise trampoline behind the stage at his seminars before heading out on the stage to greet everyone. What an awesome way to get pumped up and get that positivity flowing!

I know not everyone has a full size trampoline, but the mini-exercise trampolines are affordable and work well too. In fact, my husband just bought us one for our exercise room. He beat me to it, as I planned to get one for the winter months, so I can jump even when the snow is flying.

mini-trampoline

If you are looking for an alternative form of exercise, you might want to give the trampoline a try. I guarantee it will not only give you a boost of energy, but also make you smile, so why not? Go ahead, get some joy on!

Thanks for reading and happy jumping!

Barb