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

Box of Dreams…

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Have you ever wished for something or had a dream about doing something and wondered if it would ever happen or come true? Everyone has dreams and aspirations, but unfortunately not everyone puts forth the effort to make them happen. What most people don’t realize is that in order for any dream to come true, you must take action. You can hope all you want, but unless you take the necessary steps to move forward, you most likely won’t get anywhere and will probably be left feeling drained and unfulfilled.

Maybe one of your dreams is to get a new job, but have you taken the time to update your resume and send it out? If not, what are you waiting for? If one of your dreams is to change careers, you can take action by going back to school to learn something else that interests you. It may take some time, but the end result will move you in a new direction. How about your health? Are you interested in losing weight and becoming healthier? Instead of talking about it, you need to make a plan and commit to it. One place to start is to ditch the junk food and sugar-filled drinks and start buying more wholesome foods. You can also look for healthy recipes to make and find some sort of exercise you like, whether it is walking, swimming, basketball or tennis. Whatever it is, just do it and do it frequently.

walking
walking

Many people are in the same boat and get stuck in those rapids of life, instead of taking action to move themselves forward. In the book, Spiritual Economics, author Eric Butterworth, mentions the Quaker says, “When you pray, move your feet.”¹ In other words, you can hope and pray, but you also need to take steps to get you moving on the path to your goals and dreams. If you don’t, most likely you will feel frustrated and disappointed. David J. Schwartz, in his book, The Magic of Thinking Big,” tells us, “A good idea if not acted upon, produces terrible psychological pain. But a good idea acted upon brings enormous mental satisfaction. Actions feed and strengthen confidence; inaction in all forms feed fear.”² Now those are some words of wisdom we can all use.

A few years ago, I was invited to a friends home for a dinner party along with a few other ladies. After we ate, my friend who is a life coach, gave each of us a box that looked like a book that opened, along with a few pieces of paper and a pen.

box of dreams

She asked us to take a few minutes to write down a few dreams we would like to see happen in our lives along with the date of the get together and place them in the box. While she didn’t really say why, I believe the idea was for us to examine where we were in our life with where we wanted to go. Anyway— It took me a little time to ponder what I wanted to record, but finally I came up with a few ideas.

When I got home, I took my box and put it on a book shelf in my office, where it blended in with the other books and I forgot about it.

box of dreams on shelf
box of dreams on shelf

Fast forward 3-1/2 years later…

I recently was decluttering my office space and low and behold, there was the box on the shelf just where I had placed it. As I opened the box and read one of the notes, I smiled and felt a warm feeling come over me.

box of dreams with note
box of dreams with note

I had been thinking of taking some nutrition classes and after the dinner party, I decided to take action and enrolled the next week at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®, (IIN) to become a certified health coach. At that time, I had no idea that IIN also offered a Launch Your Dream Book program, which I enrolled in after I graduated as a certified health coach.  While this may all sound easy and straight-forward, let me assure you the process was not easy. Writing a book can be scary and over-whelming, which is one of the reasons it took me some time to complete it. I had to keep pushing myself forward to push through the fear of it all.

I am happy to say that with some strong determination and many action steps, I completed the task and made my dream true.

Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living

The final result is a simple guide that anyone can follow for healthy eating and living. You can find my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, on Amazon. If you would like to take a quick preview, you can grab a FREE Chapter here.

How are you doing with your goals and dreams? Make sure you take that first step and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Butterworth, Eric. Spiritual Economics. Unity Books, 2001. Page 21. Print

²Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Magic of Thinking Big. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Magic Of Thinking Big. pg. 6

 

 

Less Is More When It Comes To Your Health…

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Less is More,” but how many of you really believe in this concept or practice it?

Less Is More!
Less Is More!

Sadly, many people don’t and may not understand the benefits. It is easy to see why. We live in a fast-paced society that promotes working hard, gaining wealth and buying, buying, buying. While there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things and working hard for them, over time all of these things tend to accumulate and can actually block your energy. As a matter of fact, having too many things can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information, as it competes for your attention. It can also promote stress and cause anxiety. That is why it is important to practice the concept of less is more from time to time.

One way to practice a little of the less is more concept is to declutter your work space and home periodically. Some people do this now and again, but others tend to let stuff build up. I have always been more of a neat freak then a person who collects or hoards things, but over the years, we’ve definitely collected way more than we need. Last week, however, it was time to get a little decluttering on and open my mind to some new possibilities.

Open your mind
Open your mind

We are in the process of down-sizing and will be moving sometime this fall and this was the week to list our house.  I knew I would have to get rid of some things for the move, but after meeting with the staging person our realtor sent over, it was time to get to work. I started boxing up pictures, personal items and lots of books to make the house look less personal. By the end of the week, I made at least 5 trips to the Goodwill and I have to admit, it felt good. Who knew letting go of some stuff could produce such good feelings?

packing
packing

In reality, practicing the less is more concept can be freeing and can help contribute to living a healthy life-style. What’s more, the less is more concept can be applied in other areas of your life besides decluttering. You can also apply it towards making conscious choices in your diet.

Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables

In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how less is more in regards to eating. These days, sugar is included in almost everything processed. We all could stand to eat less foods filled with sugar, eat less processed foods and sip less sugar-filled drinks to stay healthy. Instead of choosing that sugary donut for breakfast, why not choose something a little more wholesome, like an omelette with fresh vegetables? Instead of choosing a sugar-filled coffee drink from your local coffee shop, why not opt for a black coffee with a little cream and then add your own sweetener? You can make healthy choices with your snacks too. Why not grab a handful of nuts for an afternoon snack versus a bag of Doritos? Nuts contain protein, fiber and good fats your body needs and are way better for you than a bag of chips, which typically contains a lot of ingredients, that aren’t good for you. The bottom line is we can all make better choices in our daily living to create a healthier life-style.

Following are a few ways you can practice the less is more concept in your life.

  1. Downsize your wardrobe:
    Take an inventory of your closet. How many of your clothes have you actually worn over the last year. Get rid of any items you haven’t worn in that time-frame.
  2. Get rid of some shoes:
    Many people have way more shoes than they really need. Again—get rid of any shoes you haven’t worn in the last year, just like your clothes.
  3. Clean up the garage:
    The garage is another place that quickly accumulates stuff. Organize the stuff you use on a regular basis and get rid of the stuff that is sitting in the corner, or on that bench that you haven’t used in years, such as an old tent, or camping gear.
  4. Get rid of old paint:
    Many people save paint cans thinking they may need that left-over paint again. Old paint is great for touching up nail holes, or knicks in a wall, but if you’re never going to use it again, get rid of it!
  5. Down-grade your kitchen items:
    It is funny how kitchen items, such as lids for containers can accumulate. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to end up with extra lids that don’t match up to any bowl. Go through your lid drawer or cupboard from time to time and get rid of any unmatched lids. The same holds true to other kitchen items. If you have something that doesn’t match, or you haven’t used the item in forever, get rid of it.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Unplug And Unwind For A Healthy Lifestyle…

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take a camping trip near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) to unplug and unwind and enjoy some beautiful, pristine country with my family. With our pop-up camper in tow, vehicle stuffed with camping gear and the dogs, we left to meet our daughter and her family for a long weekend of fun and relaxation.

It had been years, since I was up this way and I somehow forgot how breath-taking and peaceful this area in Northern Minnesota really is. If you’ve never visited and enjoy the great outdoors, I would highly recommend it. It is a great place to get back to nature, unplug from technology and the media, get away from the busyness of daily life and feed your spirit to create balance.

Speaking of unplugging from technology and the media, did you know that “we are exposed to more stimuli in one week than our ancient ancestors were exposed to in their entire lifetime?”¹ That’s a little scary. Many people today have a hard time breaking away from all of the news and media, which is unfortunate and unhealthy. In fact, “one of the most powerful things you can do as a human being in our hyper-connected, 24/7 media world is say: ‘I don’t know, or I don’t care in regards to what’s happening all over the world all of the time.'”² If you missed a little more news you would probably feel less anxious, sleep better and over-all feel a whole lot better.

That was one good thing about this camping trip, we were all forced to unplug and be more present with each other, which is something we all can work on.  In this area, even if you bring your cell phone, you can’t really use it a whole lot. It is hard to get service, so forget about catching up on the latest social media posts. I brought my cell phone along on the hiking trails and down by the lake, but only to capture some of the gorgeous scenery.

We all need time away from technology to unplug and unwind and reconnect with ourselves to rejuvenate our mind and body. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self care and how renewing your energy is a necessity. We all need time to get away from our daily routines and work life. Even if you can’t get away from work, or don’t have the time built-up for a vacation, there are plenty of other ways you can unplug and unwind in your daily life. After a long day at work, why not get outside and enjoy a nice, long walk? You can also take in a yoga class or get a massage to relax your mind and body. If you live by a lake, why not go for a boat ride, take out your paddle board, go for a bike ride around it, or just sit quietly and take in the calming affects of the water? There are many options. The important thing is to get away and out of your regular routine. Oh—and make sure you leave your cell phone behind, or at least turn it on silent!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 4

²¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 3

Wake Up To Your Purpose And Live!

“Follow your passion. It will lead to your purpose.”
—Oprah Winfrey

At one time or another, you’ve probably had someone tell you, or maybe you at least heard, that we all have a purpose in life. But what does that really mean and how do you find it if you don’t know what it is? That’s a good question, but can be hard to answer. Some people seem to be born knowing what they want to do, as they have a gift for music, are artistic, love math, or have some other calling. Other people however, have a harder time pin-pointing their purpose, but over time may figure it out by trying different things, or having different life experiences. Still others may keep searching and wondering, while working and living their life.

guitar music
guitar music

Last year, my husband and I sold our granite countertop business of 20 years. I can’t tell you how many people have asked us, “How’s retirement going?” Retirement? This to me is an odd question. What is retirement anyway? I know it means different things to different people, but most people associate it with not working and really living the life.  I don’t know about you, but that seems contradictory to me. Can you have a happy life not doing anything anymore? I know there are plenty of retired people who are happy because they keep busy doing things they enjoy. There are others however, who retire and are miserable because they feel they no longer have a purpose.

happy
happy

Dan Buettner, in his book, The Blue Zones, describes regions around the world where people live to 100 years of age and beyond. These people live a healthy life-style with plenty of activity and incorporate a diet of healthy whole food. “In one such region, located in Okinawa, there is no such thing as retirement. In fact, there isn’t even a word for it. Instead, there is one word Okinawans live their life by: Ikigai, (icky guy) which when translated means the reason for which you wake up in the morning.”¹ You’ll find some of these Centarians fishing, teaching karate cooking for the family, etc. They really are living their life, by living their passions.

So back to the question…

Retirement? We made a conscious choice to sell our business, so we could do other things. I am too young to retire anyway and don’t believe in the concept. I am a Certified Health Coach and recently wrote a book titled, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living.

Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living
Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living

I like to cook, bake muffins, exercise, write and inspire others. I am currently working on offering programs to help others to live a healthy life-style.

What is the reason you wake up in the morning?

If you don’t know, start by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. What do you really enjoy? Do you like music, entertaining, cooking, reading, connecting with others? Think about the things that really make you come alive?
  2. What can you do to live more authentically? Be yourself and don’t be swayed by what others like or do. You are unique and important. Make your own decisions.
  3. What is your intuition telling you. We all have an inner knowing. Trust in that wisdom.
  4. What are you waiting for? Take the first step to move forward by taking action. Whatever it is, just begin.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:
¹”Black Hole Focus.” Optimize. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2017.

5 Ways To Feed Your Spirit To Feel Balanced…

It is hard to believe that the Fourth of July has already come and gone. Hope you are enjoying your summer and finding ways to feed your spirit. Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy things you like to do, which help you feel balanced such as swimming, boating, biking, golfing, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Over the Fourth, I had plenty of time to experience some of these things, especially family time. We had a family gathering at our lake home that included 27 people total with 2 babies, 2 toddlers and 9 dogs! Crazy, huh? Thankfully some people came at different times, so it was more manageable. Everyone pitched in and helped out with food and clean up too. Thankfully, one of my daughters made a meal plan using a spreadsheet to help make things easier, so we could all enjoy ourselves more. I have to say, overall it was a good weekend and everyone had a great time! There were plenty of good conversations, and lots of great memories were made. Hope you created some good memories of your own with your family and loved ones.

Having healthy relationships is important and help us feel balanced in our lives. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about primary foods and secondary foods. Primary foods include relationships, physical activity, career and spirituality. Secondary foods are the foods we eat.¹ While both are important, primary foods feed us at a different level. They feed our soul and help us to feel balanced, feel joy and help make us happy.

Following are 5 ways to help you feed your spirit and feel balanced:

  1. Have Healthy Relationships—
    Relationships play a big part in our day to day lives. Make sure you are including enough of them in your life. You can join a church group, bowling league, health club, tennis team, etc. If you have family near by, make an attempt to get together from time to time.

    relationships
    relationships
  2. Stay Active—
    Your body was meant to move. Make sure you find ways to stay active. Go on a walk, run, or a bike ride. If that doesn’t interest you, find some other activity that does. You can join a gym, lift weights, do yoga, kick boxing, etc. You can also look back at your childhood and find something you used to like to do such as play basketball, swing, jump rope, or hula hoop.

    running
    running
  3. Find Work Your Enjoy—
    We spend a big part of our day and our lives working. It is important to find something that you like to do, or a job that has a fair amount of duties you enjoy. If you don’t have enough tasks you enjoy, maybe you want to consider finding a different job. If that’s not an option, maybe you can find something outside of work that fulfills some of your needs, or find a hobby you enjoy.

    working
    working
  4. Spend Some Time Embracing Your Spirituality—
    Many people like going to church and enjoy the community and worship that it offers. Other people however, are more spiritual in nature and may prefer less structure. No matter which one fits your practice and beliefs, it is important to take some time to reflect and be alone. You can also practice meditating, spending some time out in nature, doing yoga, or taking a meditative walk.

    Spiritual
    Spiritual
  5. Take Time For Self Care—
    Many people are good at taking care of others, but when it comes to taking care of themselves, it might be another story. Make sure you take some time to practice a little self care. You can have a massage, go shopping, have a pedicure, go to a concert, go to the golf range, etc.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹”Primary Food.” Institute for Integrative Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 July 2017.

 

Invest In Some Affordable Health Care…

Affordable health care is something we all want. While many people are counting on the government to help out, it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes time, money, research and a lot of planning to find something that really works and is affordable to many.

In the meantime, why not take matters in your own hands and invest in yourself? We all have choices, when it comes to health and well-being and eating more whole foods is one way to help you stay healthy.

Did you know that over 65% of Americans are over weight and almost half the population has a chronic disease?¹

That is alarming and something we should all be concerned about! People often look for a quick-fix to a growing waistline, or medical problem. The truth is there is no quick-fix. Most people don’t gain a bunch of weight over night, so why would you expect to lose it so dramatically? Weight gain is typically the result of over consumption and eating a poor diet, which often includes eating a lot of processed and fast foods over a period of time. Many processed foods contain added sugar, hydrogenated oils and other preservatives and chemicals that can pack on the pounds. If you continually feed your body these types of foods, health issues can also arise over time.

In my new book, Wholey Cow a Simple Guide To Eating And Living,” which is available on Amazon, I talk a little about this and how a life-style change incorporating better eating habits and staying active is a better solution to dieting. Why not be proactive and choose more foods that provide the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat? While you don’t have to eliminate processed foods altogether, you can look for ones that are better for you and have fewer ingredients. You can also try and incorporate some sort of exercise into daily routine. You don’t need to necessarily visit the gym, but it is important to find some sort of activity you enjoy.

I am passionate about helping people take control of how they eat and what they eat. That is why I am happy to say that my book is now available on Kindle for only $2.99! I wanted to offer a promotion to make it affordable for many of you.

Wholey Cow!

I hope you invest in yourself. Here’s the link to Amazon if you want to check it out!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹“Overweight and Obesity Statistics.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

Create A Wabi Sabi Life…

While we all have heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” isn’t it funny how many of us look for perfection in so many things? From finding that perfect home, perfect car, perfect mate, or perfect job, people always seem to be striving for perfection, especially in our Western culture. The Japanese however, have a different concept in regards to beauty and perfection—wabi sabi, or “imperfect beauty.” So what exactly is wabi sabi?

According to the article, The Wabi-Sabi Self, by Jessie Sholl, “Wabi Sabi has its roots in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and is sometimes explained by using the example of a well-loved teacup, made by artist’s hands, cracked or chipped by use.

Such traces remind the observer that nothing is permanent—even fixed objects are subject to change.”¹ The cracks and chips are seen as an asset and are prized, instead of making the cup seem, old and broken. Author, Leonard Koren, tells us that “wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental. Some examples would be an asymmetrical heirloom vegetable, crow’s feet, frayed sleeves of a favorite sweater, exposed brick, variations in the grain of wood or stone, or a first draft of a book.”²

In the United States, most of us have grown up in a world of ideals with the media constantly influencing our thoughts of perfection. We strive for the best job, ideal body, perfect weight, etc., and often times, if we don’t have them, or can’t achieve them, we beat ourselves up, sabotage our well-being, or cause ourselves and others, unnecessary stress. While we all have things that we don’t like about ourselves, many of them are things that we can’t change, like big feet, curly hair, a large framed body, or wrinkles. We need to remember instead what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art,”³ so embrace your laugh lines! They are a snapshot of joy!

I recently finished writing a book. This was a new endeavor, so while I was excited and inspired, I also felt a little overwhelmed at times and had some anxiety during the undertaking. After the editing process, I still noticed some errors and kept beating myself up, trying to get the book and layout just right. After awhile, I realized I could make changes forever, but even some of the best books out there aren’t perfect and contain mistakes. While oversights can happen, it doesn’t make the whole book or project bad. It just shows our human side. So I sent my book off to print, realizing it was my first book and probably wasn’t perfect and probably never would be. I reminded myself that it had a lot of useful information and a good message for us all, which is why I wrote it in the first place. It’s called Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living and can be found on Amazon. I hope you check it out.

Here is the link.

Maybe we should all embrace a little Japanese wisdom and let some of our desires for perfection go. After all, what is wrong with being more authentic and accepting ourselves and the things the way they are? Choosing a wabi sabi life might just make us all a little happier.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Reference:

¹ Sholl, Jessie. “The Wabi-Sabo Self.” Experience Life. January/February 2014.

² Roberts, Gretchen. “Wabi Sabi Your Life: 6 Strategies for Embracing Imperction,” Whole Living. October 2010.

³ Sholl, Jessie. “The Wabi-Sabo Self.” Experience Life. January/February 2014.

Live For Today, Take Strides For Tomorrow…

Happy February!

It is hard to believe that we are already into the second month of the new year. How are you doing with those new year’s resolutions? I know not everyone makes resolutions, but many people like to set goals for themselves to keep on track especially for a new year, month, or week. While goal  setting is  a common practice, I recently read an article that gave an interesting spin on the topic.

In “Forget Setting Goals. Focus On This Instead, James Clear, Writer, Entrepreneur and Behavior Science Expert, talks about focusing on systems instead of goals, which I found interesting. He states that “we should commit to a process, not a goal. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”¹ For example, let’s say you are interested in losing 20 pounds. If you focus on the goal of losing weight, you can easily get off track and stress yourself out. If you focus instead, on the process of incorporating more healthy food in your diet, such as vegetables, fruit and whole grains each day, it is much less stressful and easier to achieve.

In business, sales people often have a monthly goal to achieve. If they focus on the number, again they may easily stress themselves out. If instead however, they focus on the process of making sales calls and stick to it, they will have taken the rights steps towards achieving making sales and signed agreements will follow.

Although I think it is good to have goals, I do agree that it is better to focus on the process, no matter what that may be. We must all remember the saying, “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” and make sure we take it.

Following are 3 reasons why we should focus on systems instead of goals from the article:

  1. Goals reduce your current happiness. When working towards a goal, we often say we are not good enough yet, but will be when we reach the goal. In doing this, we are postponing our happiness. Again—We need to commit to a process, not a goal.
  2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress. (e.g. Someone who is training for a marathon, may be committed for months, but when it is over, often times they stop. This is also true with many fad-diets. While some people may lose some weight while on a diet, when they go off, there is often times a “yo-yo effect,” as people tend to go back to their old way of eating, instead of choosing healthy foods. It is better to eat healthy and not be concerned about immediate results. Results will come with a life-style change of eating.
  3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over. We can’t predict the future, nor is it guaranteed. We often try to plan out where we will be and when we will get there, but have no idea what circumstances will rise in the mean time. It is better to build feedback loops. Feedback loops help build good systems. They allow us to track certain variables that show where we are at a certain points in time. (e.g. Food journals, Website stats, etc.)²

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Clear, James. “Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.” Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230333

²Clear, James. “Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.” Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230333

New Year, New Beginnings!

Happy New Year!

Hope you enjoyed your holidays and had some quality time with family and friends. I sure did. It was nice to enjoy the down time and relax and think ahead. Although some people like to reflect and reminisce about the year gone by, others look forward to the new year and new beginnings. The start of a new year is a great time to commit to making changes in your life, whether it eating healthier, exercising more,  changing jobs, joining a church group, or getting involved in a new group to build some new relationships. You have plenty of choices and decisions to make. Why is it with all these good intentions,  so many people fall short, especially over time?

Unfortunately, our society often expects change to happen over night. This however, is not always possible or realistic. Change takes will power, commitment, and the formation of a new habit. In fact, according to the January/February 2016, Experience Life article, Build Better Habits, by Brian Johnson, “Good habits are the key to success, because when you have them in place, you don’t need to negotiate with yourself all day long about whether you’ll work out or eat right. The most successful among us have figured out how to use willpower to create habits that work so well that we practice them without ever having to exert our will.”¹

What new habits would you like to put in place for the new year? Now is the perfect time to commit to them. Make sure you write them down and the benefits you will receive. Keep your list in a place where you will see it often, such as your refrigerator, your desk, or night stand. That way it will remind you of the new habit you are working to establish.

Following are some Key Points to Establishing a New Habit from the article to help you out:

  • Unlock Your Keystone Habit—Identify one habit that will have the greatest impact in your life and master it whether it is exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables, organizing, etc.
  • Know Your Why—Make a list of benefits you will receive from installing your new habit (this is the WHY). If you remember the why, you should be able to endure how to get there.
  • Make a 100% Commitment—When you decide to do something, you need to really commit to it and make it non-negotiable. This way you will stay on track.
  • Practice Daily—You need to practice your new habit daily. Track your progress on a calendar and stick to it. Obviously there will be days when you have to miss. (i.e. If you are sick, or have some special event you have to go to, etc., but just start back in with it the next day to keep on track.)
  • Make it Easy—Start out small and build from there. (i.e. If your goal is to walk every day, start with 1 mile versus 5 miles.)
  • Embrace the Process—It takes 30 days to establish a new habit. At first it might be hard, but as you get further along, the task gets easier and easier. After awhile, you most likely will be looking forward to doing your new habit instead of regretting it.²

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:
¹ Johnson, Brian. “Build Better Habits.” January/February 2015 Experience Life magazine.
² Johnson, Brian. “Build Better Habits.” January/February 2015 Experience Life magazine.