Take Baby Steps

One reason people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is that they try to change too much at once and quickly become frustrated and overwhelmed. I have certainly been guilty of this. In addition to losing a few hibernation pounds before heading off on vacation, a quick glance at my vision board will show that this year I am hoping to add strength training, meditate, do yoga, take up running, declutter, work on my finances, manage stress, eat healthier, get more sleep…. Whew! Even thinking about trying to do all of these at once is so intimidating that I might give up before I even start. Instead, I have learned to break my goals down into manageable, baby steps.

This is a simple and effective strategy. The success I feel when I achieve one, small goal gives me the motivation to add another. I already shared how making your bed every morning may lead you to tidy out your sock drawer. Replacing one can of soda a day with a glass of water may lead to other steps to reduce sugar in your diet. Give it a go, and if you find you need help to break your goals down, please contact me.

Eat More Fish

This week, I have been focusing on decluttering my pantry. Who knew that I had so many packages of rice noodles? I have been inspired to use up my pantry ingredients, along with what I find in the fridge and freezer, in an effort not only to declutter, but also to save some money on my ever increasing grocery bill. All I needed to pick up for this delicious Weeknight Red Curry from Bon Appetit was a pound of firm white fish. I chose cod. I will definitely be adding this to my monthly menu!

Tonight, I will be making another Asian inspired fish dish that we have enjoyed before: Spicy Miso Ramen with Chili Roasted Salmon from feasting at home. You guessed it. I have salmon in the freezer and ramen in the cupboard.

There are many health benefits to including more fish in your diet:

  • It is high in important nutrients
  • It may lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
  • It may help with depression.
  • It’s a good dietary source of vitamin D.
  • It’s delicious, as you will soon discover when you try the recipes I have shared.

Enjoy!

Make Your Bed

You may be wondering why I have included a picture of my made bed today. Well, that’s just it. My bed is MADE. One of the things I am focusing on this year is relieving stress in healthy ways. Believe it or not, something as simple as making your bed in the morning can help.

  • It sets the tone for the rest of the day, giving you a feeling of accomplishment that you take with you as you head out the door.
  • It is an infectious act, which might lead you to tidy up other areas, like the top of your dresser.
  • All that tidying up will mean less clutter, and a tidy space is very calming.
  • Finally, there is nothing quite so blissful as ending a long day by climbing into a freshly made bed.

This one little thing can make a big difference. Give it a try!

One Big Domino

I have just come across the One Big Domino theory, and it makes a lot of sense to me. It suggests that we identify the one big thing we can do, or big change that we can make, that will make everything else easier. By knocking down this Big Domino first, you will open up possibilities in 2019 that will amaze you!

A Big Domino could be reducing your sugar intake. The many benefits you would receive from making this change could include…

 

  • less inflammation and joint pain
  • less bloating and gas
  • weight loss
  • reduced cravings
  • decreased appetite
  • high and stable energy
  • improved mood (more focus, less depression)
  • removal of stubborn belly fat
  • clearer skin and less wrinkles
  • decreased risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attack

What could your Big Domino be?

Vision Boards and Goal Setting

Yesterday, I had the pleasure (along with talented art teacher Lisa Chase) of hosting my first group workshop around Vision Boarding. I usually work with individual clients, so this was a new experience for me.

What is a vision board? It is a collage of images (photographs, magazine cutouts, pictures from the internet, drawings…) and words (inspirational quotes, thoughts…) that represent your goals. Once created, it should be put somewhere you can see it every day: on the bathroom mirror, the fridge door, the nightstand….

I believe that every goal has four different parts: the what (goal), the why (reasons for wanting to achieve the goal), the how, and the finish line. For me, it is the why behind the goal that is most important.

I work on goal setting with my clients at our first meeting. It can take some time to figure out exactly what you want to accomplish in the next 3, 6, 9 months or year. There are a number of tools I use to help my clients get clear on what they want.

We then spend some time focusing on the whys around those goals. If the reason why is not strong enough, it is less likely that you will follow through. Knowing your why helps you to stay motivated.

From there we can create the how (an individualized plan that fits your lifestyle – with resources and support) to get you to the finish line

As part of the process I use, a vision board could be made before we explore the what – as a visual brainstorm, or after we have determined the how – to act as an anchor: something to help keep your goals in mind and motivate you.

Want to get started? Recently, as part of my professional reading, I came across this acronym from Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of Mindful Living and The Stress Institute, that I just love.

Serenity – Exercise – Love – Food

I used this as an idea generator at the beginning of the workshop. What do you need to take good care of your self? Here’s what I came up with:

The Importance of Self-Care

What is self-care?

It is anything that we purposely do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is something that replenishes us… something we enjoy doing. It isn’t something we do just once. It is consistent use of many tiny self-care activities.

It is really easy to put ourselves at the bottom of our priority lists. We either feel selfish for wanting to take time for self-care, or we believe that there just aren’t enough minutes in the day. But it is important for us to take time to do the things we enjoy. It allows us to relax, refocus and recharge, so we can live our best lives and be our best for others.

While we can’t add hours to the day, we can re-evaluate our priorities and practice time management. For example, I used to visit the grocery store daily. Now I plan meals a few days in advance, shop once, and do some meal preparation on the weekend so that things come together quickly. This has not only saved me time, but also money.

Decide how you want to spend your “Me” time. Remember, it should be something you enjoy doing, not feel you should do. So while getting up early to fit in exercise is something that I love because it puts me in a great mood and gives me energy for the rest of my day, that might not be your choice.

Once you have created a self-care list for yourself, commit to spending at least 15 minutes a day on you. YOU are worth it!