The Beginning

Here it is, the beginning of a new and better version of myself. I started this blog, this site, and this transformation to help inspire (and perhaps teach) anybody interested in having more happiness and freedom in the one life that we have. How fitting that it is the beginning of a New Year. When that clock strikes midnight and we awake the first day of a New Year, it seems to be human nature to reflect on the past, the present, and have a fresh mind looking ahead. It doesn’t have to be January 1 – I often feel this way on my birthday too – and for me, the decision for a transformation began before the New Year, but I decided to put my commitment into full force when the New Year arrived. It helps that I went through a tough time, read a few motivational books, and met some new people who inspire me to be more successful. Even if you are not interested in transformation, or feel you already are living the life that is perfect for you, I encourage you to join me in my journey, share this blog with others, follow my Instagram, and please keep me accountable through your comments.

So what do I mean by transformation?

A lot of people roll their eyes when they hear of New Years resolutions so commonly expressed: “go to the gym more”, “eat healthier”, “drink more water”, “make more money” etc. Most people, including myself, start off each year thinking either “yes, I will do this!” and then lose motivation within a few months, OR thinking “I’m not making any resolutions because I never keep them anyway”. Sure, if that’s your mindset than you won’t be successful. If you hit a tough spot and give up saying “meh, I’ve already slowed down my exercise and eaten poorly a few days this year so I might as well eat this donut…and stop exercising…and maybe bake a cake and eat it after I consume this entire pizza”, you will never be a better version of yourself than you are right now. What I mean by transformation (wow that took a long time to get to the point, didn’t it), is I am on a journey to hit the tough spots and get over them. This is not just a New Year’s resolution but a conscious choice to make a lifetime change. When I start to fail I will continue to be grateful for the journey, push through, and remind myself of the end point. This end point can be so different for everybody but the common denominator is – Happiness. Are you the happiest you could be with your life? Have you made the healthiest choices with no regrets? Happiness and health go hand in hand, hence the title of this blog. Health to me is more than just how we look or what food or drinks we put into our bodies. Health is mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial. Yes, financial. A world can not function without money, and we can not enjoy what we love without money. If you don’t believe me, read You are a Badass at Making Money : it is one of the books I’ve read (okay, listened to on Audible) that has helped me jump into my new life with both feet and no life jacket. The point is: I will transform my way of thinking so that I will achieve my goals, finish the plans I set out to finish, have more freedom, and be healthier in every aspect of the word.

Baby steps.

In case I haven’t made myself clear this blog is going to be about my transformation. Since this is so broad a term, I’ll break it down into sections (as you may have noticed the categories of blogs you can search through on this site):

Healthy Body – having a body that I can still work with when I’m 80; that I can use to do things that I love such as hiking and biking; and that I can continue to strengthen and push to achieving my goals

Healthy Eating – putting things in my body that will help me live a long, good quality life; teaching my future children by example so that they may live without illness or injury; supporting the environment by eating sustainable foods

Healthy Mind – Maintaining a positive outlook on life so that I can overcome any challenges I am faced with; practicing daily gratitude so the universe works for me; getting over any fears I have about success and going for it – no matter how long or how hard it takes

Healthy Finances – Maintaining my freedom through money; Spending more time with family and friends thanks to money; having enough money saved to feel comfortable spending whenever I desire; Giving my money only to the things that give me the most happiness such as travel, my home, my family, my friends, and my health.

A part of this journey will be continuing to update this blog. Something I haven’t been successful with in the past, but plan to achieve success this time around. It might be daily, it might be weekly, but at MINIMUM it will be monthly. The rest of these posts will be about my transformation – the lessons I’ve learned, the gratitude I’ve felt, the struggles I’ve come across, and the changes I can already see taking shape. I hope to inspire others to start their own transformation through my journey, and eventually, to pay it forward to even more people. We only have one life. Why are we constantly making excuses for why we are not happy and successful yet? Why are we sitting back and watching our life pass by when we can be actively engaged in it?

Hopefully, I’ll soon have an answer for you.

 

 

Summer – Goals and Distractions

img_20180205_213253_786It is now the middle of July, and we have been blessed here in the Canadian north with a hotter, longer, summer than past years. Sure, we’ve had our thundershowers and days of cooler weather here and there (namely June), but I feel like climate change really does show its face up here at times. Not that I’m complaining. The down side to this lovely weather is that all I want to do is go to a large body of water and swim, climb mountains, or cycle. These things are also not bad but they remind me that I need to focus on my goals so that I CAN have summers where I can do all of that AND make money. I’ve talked about the whole person and health in different meanings of the word – right now I am talking about decreasing the time spent working for someone else, increasing my financial health, and time freedom (which allows me to focus on ALL areas of health). Notice how when you are distracted or unhappy you don’t eat as well? Notice how when you don’t eat well you aren’t likely to have energy to exercise or do much at all? If you don’t have the money to eat well or take the time off to get out in the sun, socialize, or try out new activities that also impacts how you feel and how close you are to achieving your goals. It all ties together. I know this, in theory. I even know this in practice (looking back) but right now I struggle with seeing the end-game and avoiding distractions.

What’s helping me avoid the negative cycle above is A – having someone/multiple people to keep me accountable, and B – getting a routine! I am human. It is the middle of July and I am not where I thought I would be when I started this blog in January.. but I am still trying and I am celebrating that! The big thing for me is constantly reminding myself of my vision – work hard now to celebrate EARLIER.

 

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I keep photos like this in my vision to remind myself of where I want to be. 10 years used to sound like a long time, but then I read a book that went something like this “You’re going to be living those 10 years anyway. Instead of just watching each day pass by, doing the same thing, why not work on something while life passes you by?!” I admit. I have forgotten.  I have gotten distracted, discouraged, and unmotivated.. as the title suggests, I am human. However, with goals clear and in my vision at all times I can bring myself back. There’s no shame in starting over multiple times. It’s giving up that won’t get you anywhere. I came close, in my business and my goals. I almost fell into the oh so common ‘well I am not extraordinary like Oprah, so why bother having dreams that will only disappoint?’ – then I was reminded, it is up to me to achieve my goals and work toward them.  It will take hard work, sacrifices, and getting out of my comfort zone. It will take CONSISTENCY and perserverance. Also, I am learning to not be so hard on myself because sometimes that makes it worse.

While I’m here I want to set out my goals in public again – specific goals with TIMELY deadlines. (I won’t get too specific on here just for personal privacy reasons, but you can guarantee I am getting even more specific with myself in writing)

3 Months – 1. To work for myself DAILY – 20 minutes minimum – so that I achieve the next promotion available BEFORE END OF 3 MONTHS and make a positive impact on more individuals’ health and lives. To ensure I achieve this, I will put a reminder in my calendar and set aside the time like a very important appointment with someone else (because I should be that important) 2. By the end of the 3 months, will be re-evaluating my goal and setting 30 day baby steps

6 Months – 1. To achieve the next step in my business, making my minimum 20 minutes a habit and taking more initiative weekly. 2. Have ALL DEBT paid off & celebrate with a dinner/weekend away – have budgets set and follow them

12 Months – 1.  Be in a Leadership position, making enough money to pay for my bills. 2. Achieve one thing on my bucket list – re-evaluate my goals and vision boards.

I must be honest, I’m struggling to come up with short term goals, but I’ll continue to work on them. Also, you may have noticed these goals are primarily financial. Of course, I have healthy body, mind, and soul goals as well but haven’t thought of anything specific or timely (in the way of months). I would like to be better at meal planning weekly, exercising AT LEAST 2-3 times per week (45 min – 1 hr) plus 30 minutes of activity a day. I would also like to set aside time to my mind as mentioned in my last post – doing a NON-SCREEN activity such as writing, reading, playing guitar, or simply being present. Lastly (for now) I’d like to be more present for my family and friends – timely with birthday wishes and other special occasions, planning activities they want to do, listening and asking more questions.

Well, I’m enjoying this lovely weather and working on my goals with the sun shining hot, reminding myself that nice weather and goals can still go hand in hand. In future summers I’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of my labors – spend all summer in nature and with the people I love. (so here’s a repeated poster – because it’s still important):

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6 months

Well, here it is. It has been more than 6 months than I started this little piece of writing. I have slowed down on the writing but I have not forgotten. I have learned a lot in these last 6 months, and yet I feel the same in some ways. I feel the intention of this blog has changed a little as well. I wanted to have very inspiring bits of text, showing my transformation in a huge way, encouraging comments and assisting everyone that happens upon this page in their own journey towards health. Instead, I feel this has been more of a therapy for myself, a reminder that nobody is perfect and that we are all constantly working on personal development. I started with categories, but as I have written I realize that it’s difficult to separate my transformation towards a better, healthier, life because everything truly is entangled. I guess that’s why it’s called “holistic”. I still believe that a transformation is different for everyone but I have also begun to realize that there are specific ways to be healthy that apply to everyone. For example: increasing whole foods in your diet, decreasing processed foods; increasing exercise (the type varies for everyone) to a minimum of 30 minutes a day beyond normal; Finding a positive mental health activity to do daily (whether that’s meditation, yoga, socializing, gratitude journal, or simply taking time to yourself for at least 30 minutes a day); budgeting and putting money in investments of some type (the time is NOW), as WELL as paying down debt in an organized plan; and LASTLY enjoy the journey and don’t compare to others because only you know what works for you and everyone has their own timeline.

That being said, I want to start by acknowledging the positive changes I have made that have helped contribute to my success in becoming healthier. I have mentioned it before, but consistency in exercising has been HUGE for me. Not only have I noticed positive changes when I look in the mirror, but I feel happier and more energized when I do intense workouts at least 2x a week and focus more on keeping active on my days off. I admit that the last month I have slipped a little, I have fallen into the trap of “I’m too tired”, “I’m working too much”, and “I really just want to sit down and spend time with my husband so I’ll watch this movie/TV show etc” – but then I remind myself that I don’t feel good when this happens and so I am more motivated to get up and get active. It helps that the weather has been so nice and I’ve been able to get back on my bicycle!

A contribution to falling off the horse is recognizing where my bad habits stem from – and I view this as a positive too because it’s important to know your faults in order to change. For example, when I come home from doing something (whether that’s work, an exercise class, or a visit with someone) I make myself a lunch and that triggers me to sit down and watch “an episode” of TV while I’m eating, which sometimes turns into an entire afternoon/evening of sitting on the couch. Being conscious of this, I’m trying to make it more of a habit to make my lunch and leave the room where the TV is visible – go outside and sit on the patio, go into the office and eat by the computer (at least this way I can be productive in other ways), sit at the kitchen table with a notebook and write down the things I want to accomplish: long term and short term goals.

In the past 6 months I have also become a lot more confident in my future success. I have learned a lot through listening to many motivational books, hanging out with successful people, and practicing gratitude. I strongly believe that if I continue to visualize my goals, write them down, listen and observe for ways to achieve them, and continue to evaluate my progress I will be living a life that past me would envy – or be proud of. I have noticed that when my faith strays, so does the positive energy coming to me and my view of the world. Here are some key things I have picked up in the research I have done that I feel the need to share: You get more out of life by listening than by talking; Simply smiling and giving yourself a pep talk can make your day better – ESPECIALLY when you don’t feel like it; Using a calendar and a notebook to continue to review progress and follow-through on goals is ESSENTIAL (and something I’m still working on, but have improved); Celebrating success (especially small wins) is ESSENTIAL to achieving positive habits; lastly, getting out of our comfort zones is HARD but also NECESSARY to achieve change. People can laugh at the “cliche” of everything here, mock the advice in self-help books and eye roll at others who say/post cheesy quotes such as “if you are able to imagine it, it is not unrealistic”, BUT what do their lives look like? Chances are they are not living a life that Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey are. Chances are they are not a CEO or the head of a department or a leader of any type, but an average Joe that is bitter at life and continues to tell themselves that “This is just the way it is for me. These are the cards I have been handed and I just have to live with it. I just need to be realistic and be happy in the life I’ve been given”.. etc.

My birthday is in 2 days. Every year on my birthday I reflect on the past year, celebrate my accomplishments and the adventures I have had, look back at the goals I have set and see if I have achieved them and if I have not, make a new plan for the coming year. Even though I started this blog in the new year, it makes more sense to me to revise my goals and make new ones at the start of MY new year, since this is MY life and I only have one.

I look forward to going over my goals again, setting more stepping stones to achieving mini-goals and looking long term into the next 5-10-15 years. I am hard on myself sometimes, for I am only human. However I KNOW this year is different. This year and every year following I will continue to work on me, continue to take the advice of successful people who have found their healthiest version of themselves and who don’t stop there, but continue to redefine success and health.

So to end, here’s another “cheesy” life quote:

Life Equals Learning

The last I posted, I was chatting about the frustrations I have encountered in life. It was more of a rant than a continuation of my journey towards self improvement. It has been over a month since that post and I stand in a slightly different place than then. I have been more busy, clearly (as I have taken more of a break here than I planned when I started this domain), but have also been able to reflect more on myself and my goals. Nobody is perfect, and although I will continue to set goals (and achieve them!) In small increments, I have realized I will always be learning new things about myself, and my journey will change. If I just aimed for the top of the mountain, put my head down and climbed, I would get to the top…but what would I miss along the way? More importantly, where would I go next? I am current sitting on a plane and wanting to be productive rather than just watch the screen 10 inches in front of me (no joke, it feels like these seats are that tight, and my butt is getting numb too..). I wanted to share my last month and half in all of the points of view of health, with the overall shadow of lessons learned (and to stay positive and grateful, where I am now because of these lessons). Physically, I am proud to say have noticed a positive difference from staying focused on my goal of becoming more fit on the outside and feeling better on the inside. This, as mentioned in previous posts, is my easiest point of health to work on. Partly because it is measurable (ie amount of weight lifted, number of push-ups/sit-ups, time holding the plank), and partly because it makes me feel good so it’s easier to commute to (mental health: see, it’s all connected). When I put on my clothes in the morning, without sounding narcissistic, I take an extra minute to admire what I see. What I’ve learned though, is that as easy as I find it to get the routine of exercise, it is just as easy to fall out of that with one bad week. I’ve signed up for classes which I liked, and committed to at least 2 a week. Then, I worked 5 12 hour shifts and told myself I was too tired. Then, I worked 4 night shifts and instead of following my plans of forcing myself to go to the gym at least half of those shifts, I went to one and convinced myself it wouldn’t have been effective the other nights and watched TV on my break instead. This is not to downgrade my progress, but now that I see this pattern I have learned, to continue in my physical health, it is important to get good exercise every day so that when I feel like saying no I can remember my commitment to myself. Wake up, do 10 minutes of heart racing workout, then get on with my day AND continue to sign up for classes at least 2 days a week. Also, summer will be easier because I’ll have my bicycle, and mountains to hike! Healthy eating is the next most logical aspect of my health, and probably where I have made the most progress. The last few months I have learned so much about eating better, and cravings for bad food have become less and less..except maybe when I’m on vacation Or.. night shift Anyway, this is my life and my business and I have met so many amazing people teaching about healthy nutrition and fruits and vegetables so I have learned a lot in this area of health. Additionally, I have found a very simple way to get FRESH produce in my living room ALL YEAR and have all sorts of fun health parties such as “salad in a jar” and “smoothie prep” that make it easier to eat well. However, once again, I’m human. I have learned I have a weakness for coffee. I never used to drink it, but now I subconsciously grab for it every morning and every time I’m at work. It’s not that coffee is bad for you in small amounts, but for me it leads to other unhealthy eating. It’s like the exercise, once I give in once it’s a lot easier to give in again. I am also learning that life is about balance. If I restrict myself from all unhealthy eating for too long, one indugance and all rules go out the window.

As for my financial health my progress hasn’t been as high as the previous areas of health, but the learning has been exponential. I think this area of health is most important to lay a solid foundation before seeing much progress and I can see my seedlings sprouting. The greatest help to my financial health was going to an amazing uplifting conference where I was inspired to set goals, change my negative thoughts to positive, and practice visualization. Visualization can be hard, but that leads me to my fourth corner of healthy: mental and spiritual.

I realize now that these two go hand in hand. It’s difficult to have a healthy mind without faith in the unknown. The universe. A higher being. Whatever you choose to call it, it is important to believe in something greater than yourself and I am still learning this. I thought I would finish this lengthy post with the area of health that I struggle with most, and that I have gained the most learning. This journey began because of a trying time that I went through that started physical but has been challenging me mentally since it happened. I have maintained a positive attitude throughout but I have also learned there is a time to grieve and feel sorry for myself too.. it’s okay to not be happy all the time, and that’s hard for me to own up to.. as long as its not for too long.

That said, I’m excited to be travelling again, escape which I thrive in, in all aspects (except maybe eating)

See you after China! ❤

Some Days are Hard

**I wrote the first half of this 5 days ago, and have continued on today**

Today I just want to talk about my feelings. Things I have learned about myself through the feelings nobody really likes to feel, but which are very necessary in life. I came back from a wonderful vacation, refreshed and ready to hit my goals again. I also felt that I needed to work as much as possible to make up for the money spent in Hawaii, so I have been working full time hours and even considering picking up extra hours on my days off.

At the end of the last three 12 hour day shifts, I was reminded why I am doing this. Why I am working to be more financially healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do. I love taking care of entire families, responding to emergencies, listening to concerns, and providing comfort. Just a small piece of what I do, but I do love my job. The parts I don’t love are the parts I don’t have control over. I don’t love that I can’t choose a better lifestyle for these families or help them get to a safer place. I don’t love that I am arguing with people above me to provide the best care I can, to get the best equipment possible, and to provide the best and safest staff for all of my patients. I love that when I go to work I am supported by my colleagues, I get to socialize, and I get to help people. I don’t love that I can’t choose my hours, that too many people are working sick or burnt out because we love the job, the families, and feel obligated to be there for them ALL the time. I finished the long weekend, which I thought might be more relaxing because on weekends, though health care is 24/7, it tends to be less busy because there are no managers, less staff overall, and less tests etc. Well, that’s not always true, and of course, that is what I signed up for. Still, wouldn’t the world be a better place if health care workers could meet families in places they are comfortable in? Wouldn’t it be better if we could catch diseases before they happened? Wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t need extra units, extra staff, and extra equipment because people were just HEALTHIER?

Celebrate

As I feel the year going forward, the minutes and the days passing by, I can feel my inspiration and motivation falling away. I am beginning to feel like my positive attitude about life and my gratitude and confidence in my transformation are fading in the background of day to day life. The reason I highlighted beginning is because I know by being conscious of this feeling, and catching it before it grows, I can STOP. I know it’s normal to slip back into my comfort zone, to justify reasons why my great life is great enough and to not move forward. Yes, I do have a great life, and I have lots going for me so it’s easy to be convinced that I don’t need more. The point is, I know I can be better. I CAN live a life that I wake up every day with no complaints. I CAN live a life where the problems I encounter daily are problems I enjoy solving, and help me learn. Sometimes our social norms and the people I encounter daily make me believe that there is nothing better, that I am doing what I always do and that is good enough. More than society – I am my worst critic and when I notice the feeling of failure creeping up I feed into those feelings and tell myself that I don’t need more, that I can fit into the norm and be happy – UNTIL I reflect. That’s what this post is really about. It’s about looking at those negative feelings and thoughts, the fears that this is just another phase in my life that will pass and I will go on living like the majority of the world sees… and saying to them “NO”, I will not give in to negative thoughts, and I will not give up. Every time I feel overwhelmed, I will instead CELEBRATE.

I am so happy and grateful that I have started a blog, continue to write in it, and post pictures. I am putting my thoughts and my life and my journey out there for the world to see, and I am not stopping. I will continue to learn how to improve this blog so that others may benefit from the knowledge I am gaining throughout this journey. I will continue to help other people find the healthiness within themselves and find ways to wake up every day in their lives and say “thank you, universe, for the life I get to live every day”.

I am celebrating that every time I look in the mirror now, I see myself getting stronger. I know strength doesn’t happen overnight, but even after only a month and a half I can visibly see a difference. I am still exercising daily, even if only minimally. I have begun using an app that I really enjoy, that helps build daily habits and reminds me to do just a small amount of exercise each day. Today I felt disappointment creep up when I hit the “snooze” button on the app’s question “did you exercise”, but I am celebrating that even though I didn’t do a workout first thing this morning, I made it to the gym and got sweaty and felt stronger! I can see my body changing for the better and am excited to continue this part of my journey.

My expression of gratitude has also increased. Sometimes I hear the little voice of doubt in my mind saying “how can I be grateful for this situation? Why can’t I just be negative for once. It feels good, and I am only human after all”. I am celebrating that when I hear this voice, I turn it around and find something to be grateful for.  Even days that I am feeling tired and less motivated I pick up my gratitude journal and write in it. It takes only one thing to get the juices flowing and remind me of everything else I am grateful for. I am grateful for the knowledge I continue to gain about myself, about the life I am living, about the profession that I have and how to become the happiest, healthiest, version of myself.

I would like to celebrate that I have stepped outside of my comfort zone more, even if just a little. Each little step outside of my comfort zone brings me closer to a life without complaint, with only happiness and joy and freedom.  I am using the 5 second rule even more. If I haven’t explained this before, I read it in a magazine so I can’t take credit for it, but here it is: it takes 5 seconds for your mind to change, so if you count down 5-4-3-2-1 while you are taking action, you won’t convince yourself not to do the good habit you want to do. For example, when you want to exercise, and think about it while you’re sitting on the couch, count down 5-4- stand up 3-2 put on your workout clothing – 1 begin exercising at home or head to the gym. When you really want to watch TV but know you should do something productive instead, count 5-4 step away from the TV – 3 – turn on motivating music – 2-1 – start cleaning the house (or start writing your blog, or your book, or pick up a motivational book etc). I will continue to work on this area too, stepping outside of my comfort zone by counting down every time I’m scared to contact someone about my business or learn something new or make new friends etc.

Finally, I’m celebrating that I am continuing to take steps toward becoming independent and learning about living the healthiest, best, life I can live. I am taking steps to go to more exercise classes, stock my pantry and my fridge with healthy food, read (and listen) to many motivational books that are teaching me how to step outside of my comfort zone and be successful, and write down things that I am learning.

I just want to end this post with another positive note. I am confident that each time I hear a little voice telling me that “I’m just dreaming and this isn’t reality”, “This is tough, and I’m not sure I can do it”or “I’m worried and nervous that I’ll fail. I fear I’ll lose people in my life because I am changing”, I will recognize the voice, thank it for motivating me and reminding me it is false, and push it away.

I am still not entirely sure what I will be doing in 5 years, or maybe exactly where I will be living, but I know I will have enough money and time to be heading towards living a life where I wake up excited to be me, and continue that excitement and motivation every day. Health is a big part of this journey, and I’m excited to look ahead and continue.

Vacation mode

I realize I have been absent for a little while and I am sorry. I know I have few followers and it may seem like I’m just the “little blog hidden behind a lot of big ones”, but what’s important is that I tenderly love and care for this little piece of art, and help it flower like my goals.

I have taken a lovely trip to the Big Island, Hawaii. I brought along my little laptop, I have the app on my phone (which I’m using right now), and I had every intention of writing more often while here. The point is, while focusing on exercising and eating well is important to my overall transformation, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture when distracted by things such as palm trees, tropical fish, and volcanoes. Not to say one shouldn’t enjoy a vacation, time off to relax away from technology. I also didn’t want to spend my vacation staring through a screen. So, I have two points: while on vacation don’t let your goals get swept under the carpet and remember the big picture, AND take time to enjoy where you are, every moment, every day.

Now, I’d like to share a bit of my time here, since we booked this vacation mainly for a “mental health break”. We knew a trip somewhere warm and free was necessary to get back on track to feeling good in body, mind, and soul and let me tell you: it has been!

We have now been here for 7 days and though we weren’t hopping on tour buses or planning something adventurous and spectacular every day, we have had a great vacation so far. We started out on the sunny side, in Kailua Kona, drove around the entire coast of this Western side over the following few days, getting in some snorkel, some swimming, and some sand of all colors (even green!). We hoped to go diving, but due to the high surf were unable for safety reasons. Yes, I was a little sad about that but then I remembered to be grateful. So grateful we can still experience the beautiful sea of Kona, get sunshine (aka the happy vitamin), meet amazing people at the air bnb places we booked, and eat amazing fresh Hawaiian food. We headed to the highlight of the island for the next 3 days, the more rainy ‘cooler’ side – Volcano. Yes, the actual thing that spurts lava, only more of a slow slug-slime like crawl, and hard, sharp, crusted black lava we walked on. We did A LOT of hiking. I did 28,000 steps on my fitbit one day, and over 30,000 the next! I am so grateful I can still get exercise while seeing amazing sites! I must say, Mother Nature is quite impressive and the entire time were exploring all I could think was how grateful I am to be able to appreciate this wonderful phenomenon created by Mother Nature herself, and the great amount of respect I have for her and her creations.

Of course, we still enjoyed sunshine even at high altitude, and had begun to enjoy more than just one scoop of ice cream. Just a few days ago, I confess, I indulged in more gluttony than my new me would approve of, but wow did we experience the culture. I found a community of people calling out to me with their multicolored and tye-dyed shirts, their dread locks and flowy sarongs with loose hair and no makeup. I was reminded of the days when I cared less and I wouldn’t have even considered bringing my hair straightener or makeup – both of which I actually did bring and never used. I also packed too many clothes. I didn’t wear 2 shirts, a dress, or any of the warm clothes I brought for the one day we had planned on the top of the volcano (which does have snow on it btw, but which we didn’t go to because we didn’t feel it was worth it after exploring reviews and prices a little deeper).

Now I sit here, our last night, appreciating the cool breeze, the sound of crickets and birds and the experiences we have had this past week. We booked a last minute night dive with Manta Rays that was, sadly, cancelled due to a sudden shift of winds that caused a high swell and dangerous sea. I was sad, which is okay. I mourned the loss of that experience but then I thought, what gratitude can I get out of this. I admit I am still practicing so it was hard to squeeze out the positive at first – grateful the company values our safety, grateful I remained safe on land and the wind switched before the boat left… then we decided to walk around town, visit the local beach and watch the sunset.. Now I am truly grateful we didn’t squeeze in too much activity, we could relax on our last night, enjoy each others company. I’m so grateful we still have tomorrow morning to enjoy here and we can afford, and will, return to dive when the time is right.

So much went well about this trip, and we saw so many sites I couldn’t fit it on an hour long page, so I will leave you with a few photos.

I really got in touch with my spiritual healthiness, and my healthy mind, even if the healthy diet didn’t continue 100% after the first few days. I feel a positive change in my journey, I feel the energy changing and I’m so excited.

Thoughts

comfot zone.jpgHello everyone. I know it’s been a little longer than usual since I’ve been on here. I’ve been thinking about it for days, without taking action. I have been inspired and motivated to change throughout this time, while continuing to recognize my old habits sneak through. I have now finished 4 motivational books on Audible – the last which only took me 2 days (due to a 6 hour car ride and my 20-30 minute commute to work thanks to the snow). I have been practicing gratitude in my mind, and my soul, but inconsistently on paper. I wanted to make this post about my thoughts throughout this journey so far. I want to point out that this is the area I have struggled with most and also have been so grateful for.

Listening to different perspectives on improving the life I am living has reached into my subconscious and pulled things out that have made me terrified, confused, and exhilarated all in one. Sometimes I have so many thoughts at once that I feel the need to sit down and review everything I’ve learned and take notes on the points that struck the closest to me. I suppose this is a huge reason to meditate – to hear those thoughts, acknowledge them, thank them for arriving, and push away the ones that are not contributing to my ultimate happiness. Something I am still practicing, like a child with a violin. The noise is still loud, disconnected, and not quite musical, but I know if I practice long enough that eventually I will be playing in the orchestra of life. Speaking of musical instruments – I would like to rediscover my joy for playing guitar, singing, and creating my own songs – but more on that later.

I’m going to give you the raw, naked, vulnerable and exposed thoughts that are helping me transform from extraordinary to genius. I am going to write down all of the things that I have been thinking that are going to contribute to my success in living a life I am so thrilled to be waking up to day after day, even if I have yet to discover the how. So here it is, strings of connected thoughts that I hope people can relate to, or at least follow, and so I can reflect on to bring more clarity to my goals and my why.

I am hitting a speed bump in my healthy body and healthy eating: I am exercising more consistently than before and I am celebrating that. I feel good about my body when I look in the mirror and can see a transformation physically. I still feel I can push myself further when I go to the gym. I think a classroom, organized exercise session is more suited to me. I am debating hiring a personal trainer again to force me to stay committed to consistent and progressive exercise. What is stopping me? Money. Why? I feel I can achieve similar results with organized classes rather than 1 on 1 sessions. No. I am afraid I am spending money frivolously. What is my goal with my healthy body? To be strong enough to do ANYTHING I want to do for as long as I want to do it. I can afford a trainer, and will evaluate my budget to determine what I can cut back on that is not contributing to my ultimate holistic version of myself. I do enjoy the pain the next day – it tells me that I did something. I enjoy the pain when I push through barriers and do the plank for the extra 10 seconds, do that extra rep, add an extra 10lb etc. To end on a positive note: when I went to the gym last night, during my night shift, I actually felt stronger while holding a plank for 30 seconds, and while doing my ab exercises. This feeling is something I will reflect on when I hesitate going to the gym, or signing up for an exercise class.

plank

I am finding it hard to sustain a true belief that I am financially free: Finances is not something I really struggle with, but feeling I deserve to be rich is a belief I still need to practice at. I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I have recently become a part business owner but I find it difficult to believe. I watched a video recently which explained all of the great reasons and struggles I will encounter with network marketing.  In it are many successful individuals that I’m sure most (if not all) of you will recognize, and it helps to contribute to my rising belief that I have entered the right business. So why am I still struggling with this? I am stepping out of my comfort zone.  I feel like a fraud. I feel like I am another person asking people close to me to buy, buy, buy and I’m afraid my passion will taint the relationships I have already built. But I am building new relationships. I feel I am not yet a part of the community, despite the warm welcome by my mentors and the people I have met. once again, I am afraid this business will be difficult, will change my relationships, and will fail. I keep reminding myself that I need to take risks. I am not expecting to become rich from this one entrepreneurial adventure, but perhaps it is not because I don’t believe in the product or the business but because it’s more comfortable to believe I won’t be good so the failure is easier. I recently learned of the 5 second rule – this is how long it takes for your mind to change, to convince yourself not to do something. If you start to take action within 5 seconds of your initial motivational thought, your mind won’t change and you will achieve your goals. For example, every time I think: I will contact this person about my passion for healthier living, I will count down from 5 as I’m taking action, I will open up my phone, and send a text message, or a facebook message. Once again, to end this string of thoughts on a positive note I am so thankful for the money I already have. I am thankful that I can afford to eat well, to fill basic needs such as housing and transportation, and still afford luxuries such as travel, gifts for loved ones, coffee dates, and dinners out. I am so thankful to be mindful of my spending and to welcome wealth into my life with open arms. Here’s a reminder of all I have done with money. A reminder that money continues to flow toward me with ease and provide me with freedom:

freedomcollage

Upon writing these thoughts I have already gained clarity into some barriers that I can break through. Having recently read The Big Leap I can say, I recognize some of my “upper limit problems” and can now break through those barriers. I am so grateful for this journey, for the knowledge and insight I am gaining daily about myself and the universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working on Gratitude

As I continue along the days, the weeks, and soon the month of January I am realizing how much work I will need to focus on certain areas of my health and learning about who I am and who I am working to become. Like many of you, probably, I can focus on a small goal and think back to when I was able to enhance my will power, push past the tough spots, and achieve my goal. I’m not sure if it feels more difficult now because I am in a different place in life (more responsibilities etc), I am comfortable with what I have achieved so far, or simply because I have lost a little bit of motivation and willpower and can’t remember how to get it back. This post is not one to say that “this is hard. how did I do it back then? How will I do it now?”. No. I am feeling so positive today, and so good about achieving my goals BECAUSE I have hit tough spots already, and BECAUSE I know it’s different and the reward will still be just as sweet (or sweeter) because I have matured. I am feeling good about reflecting on the past with more insight. Why? Gratitude. It has been written in so many self-help books, preached across every social media platform and talked about in many social circles. If you ask the universe, and truly believe it is out there, you will get it.

Enough fluff. What am I talking about? Well, it has been a week since I stopped the detox I was invited to by an acquaintance that I am happy to be making a friend. I have posted about it this week – and maybe I’m seeming less positive – but because I don’t have accountability I have been falling back into old habits. The point its, I am so grateful that I have been introduced to the detox, and that I am noticing which bad habits are beginning to emerge. Because of this new state of mind I can begin to hone in on those habits I find most difficult to change and put more effort and willpower into those. I thought it would be exercising 30 minutes a day, but this is something I have always loved to do. Though I fall back and am not always consistent week to week, because I love to exercise, I know I will always push through the little voice telling me to be lazy and get out and do it. For me, signing up for classes has kept me accountable (not to mention the $15 cancellation fee if I don’t show up) and I am so grateful to have found classes that I really enjoy going to with people who motivate me and push me to go past my limits. Going to the gym when I haven’t signed up for classes is doable when I bring my gym stuff with me, and I push through the little voice as I drive to my destination. Once I’m out of the car and in the gym, the endorphin’s have already begun to surge through me with the visual stimulation of others exercising and the anticipation of feeling good at the end. In this aspect – Healthy Body – getting there is not where I fall, but pushing myself once I’m there. Visualizing the beach body and the endurance and the definition of my muscles helps me push myself that much further and I am so grateful to have the strength the continue to push through and push myself further.

This week I have also fallen into habits of watching TV (or a movie) when I don’t know what else to do (Okay, being honest with myself I can come up with a list of other things to do but procrastinate and delay and tell myself it’s not as entertaining as TV). Before we moved into a house, the television was the center of our focus, because the space was so small and there was no where else to go to sit and relax, except in front of the TV, and naturally, the remote was nearby and it felt like sometimes I was not even controlling my own body as I sat in lounge position, turned on the TV, and found something I liked. I am so grateful that I am able to recognize this habit, even when I acknowledge it and still give in. Even though I decided to put the TV in the basement so it wasn’t visually there, the habit is still the same. This is something that now I can recognize and find a different habit to replace it with. This is my mini goal for the coming weeks. Every time I feel the urge to sit in front of the television and watch unlimited episodes of whatever show I can find (to understand this perhaps it’s helpful to mention that I don’t pay for cable or netflix, but instead have an android box with an unlimited stream of TV shows and movies), I will replace it with something else. It’s not to say watching TV or having a nice movie night is a bad thing – but it doesn’t have to make me who I am. I’d like to go back to when I mentioned how I remember achieving goals in the past. When I was in university, in my early 20’s, I watched maybe 1 show a week – as a social activity – with friends. It helped that I enjoyed studying and had the university as a place to go and ignore the urge to sit around and watch television. This was before sitting on a park bench staring at a cell phone was popular. This was before Facebook existed and my main form of communication was email and phone calls. Okay, I’m not that old, but it hadn’t become ‘the norm’. My point is, I can look back on this time, when I felt most productive and like anything was possible, and hone in on the feelings that allowed me to achieve my goals – even if my goals were completely different then. My mini goal for the next few weeks is to remember how I was easily able to distract myself with my guitar, making plans with friends, agreeing to volunteer when I had less to study, or picking up a book to read, instead of being sedentary in front of a TV just for the sake of entertainment – or procrastination. I know this isn’t as easy as it sounds, because it has become a habit, drilled into me over years – even though it’s a bad habit. When I feel the urge to sit around and waste 2-3 hours in the middle of a day watching television, instead, I will go to the library, read an old textbook, or visit the internet and find an article, to learn something new. Part of a Healthy Mind is always learning. Part of achieving this happiness I felt when I was young and living at home and not worrying about things like paying for bills or becoming successful, is feeling grateful that I have the opportunity to learn new things every day and that I have room to grow.

Another area that I am focusing on gratitude is being Healthy Financially. As mentioned in my previous posts, an unexpected benefit to doing a 10 day detox was my ability to resist fast food and coffee shops. Okay, yes, as I’m writing this I am sitting in a Starbucks, drinking a $6 latte, but as I will continue to say over and over again my transformation is not about 100% control and resisting things good in life – but limiting things in life that are unhealthy for me and engaging more in things that are healthy for me. Sitting at Starbucks instead of home with my own coffee is a way for me to resist the distractions of my home, achieve my goal of updating my blog frequently, and feeling happy and accomplished – part of a Healthy Mind. As long as I am spending more time at home (or at a library – free yay!) than I am at Starbucks, my finances will still be okay. Going back to previous habits, when I was a student working at Costco, or Claire’s and making $10-$11/hr I was still able to pay for bills, eat every night, and occasionally go out for drinks or food with friends. I wasn’t feeling much more tight on cash back then, and had money saved up for travel. Now that I’m making significantly more I find my expenditures have also significantly increased. I am so grateful that I have a stable job that allows me to do things that I love, but I am also so grateful that I can now be more aware of the extra spending that I refrained from before so that I can save more with the money I make, so that I can eventually be free to not only spend what I want but have time to do what I want to do.

Thanks to my sister for sending me this

So, as this post has become a little lengthy, I will conclude. As I continue to transform my life so that I am saying every day “wow, I am so happy to be me. How lucky am I, that I get to live this life. How wonderful it is to be healthy in all aspects of the word and to continue to grow and learn as long as I live.”, I am continuing to learn more about myself – who I was, who I am, who I will be. I am positive that things are changing for the better and I am so grateful for the journey.

I had a few tough days in the past week but keeping this blog has made me accountable to staying positive and pushing through. I’m not sure what step will make the biggest difference, or when I will turn the corner, or even what I will be doing that will make me feel free but I have confidence in the universe and I know that over the next 5 years I will be closer to the simple, happy, healthy person that I already am. Remember, even 5 things to be grateful for a day can change your life for the better.

gratitude

Feel Good

Every time I feel myself falling from my goals, I take action. Every time a mini goal is achieved I create another! On Thursday I completed my latest body goal – the Shred 10. I feel great about my body and don’t want to fall back into old habits, as mentioned in my last post, so I decided that I would sign up for another Barre class today, on my first day off. I continue the habit of making a smoothie in the morning (although to the annoyance of my husband on the weekend – when he was trying to sleep), packing healthy lunches and keeping positive.

There are still many exercises I struggle through in these Barre classes. Even through the motivating chant of the instructor to “keep going, feel the shake and keep holding” I find myself taking a mini break before going back to whichever pose I was previously in. When I take these little breaks I feel like I’ve cheated when the other women in the class (I have yet to see a man join..) hold strong, legs (or arms) shaking until told to release. Each time I do a class though, I hold a little longer, I push my limits a little further, and I focus on the goal. I will continue to go to these classes because afterward I still FEEL GOOD. After the class I tell myself “Next time, I will push through the pain and hold it that extra 5 seconds” and when I get home, I sign up for another class on my Mind Body App, and am excited for another day. As soon as the Shred ended I drank coffee, ate pizza (just a piece) and had a chocolate from my advent calendar (that I didn’t finish before because I left it at home when going to visit family). In order to not feel defeated though, I have learned to push past the negative thoughts and see the end goal. I praise myself for the little accomplishments (“well I made a smoothie today and drank a bottle of water BEFORE I drank coffee, so that’s a change”). I continue to build my will power muscle and form change. I said “no thank you” to the sweets offered at work, instead of “oh I can’t because I’m on a detox”. I should always be on a detox. I am so much less bloated, have more energy, and instead of automatically reaching for an unhealthy snack when I am hungry I find something healthy and satisfying: lately it’s been apple and peanut butter (all natural, crunchy, yum!).

An unexpected positive side effect of doing the Shred, and not being able to drink coffee (or caffeinated drinks), was my budget! Since the new year I have only bought TWO coffees. Previously, it’s been about 2-3 a week (minimum). More when I’m working night shift. Another win. I have also refrained from eating out or buying fast food. It’s tempting, now, to continue my old habits. After all, 10 days is a short amount of time, so I’ll continue to post on here when I feel weak, make my smoothies in the morning, say no to unhealthy foods when I’ve had my share for the week, and sign up for exercises (or, you know, just go to the gym).

I am posting today, because I am continuing to feel good about this transformation. I don’t yet know the end goal. I know that I will be strong. I know that I will be successful. I know that I am living a life where every day I am saying “I am thankful to be here. I am so grateful to be living my life”. I feel so loved and supported by the people in my life, and so grateful to be constantly meeting new positive and inspiring personalities. Today I have focused on both a healthy mind and a healthy body (as the category indicates), because both are hurdles I have overcome today. Everything does connect, and the more good habits I form in one area, I am sure, the more that will naturally occur in others. The more exercise I do, the healthier I want to eat, the happier I am, the more friendships I form, the closer I get to financial freedom where I am achieving what I want AND making money doing what I love.

This is only the beginning. Keep feeling good.

Staying motivated

So, yesterday was my final day of the Shred 10. The whole week I thought my last day was today, but as I saw the post “day 10!” My brain automatically wanted to go back to old habits. My first thought was “yes! That means I can have coffee tomorrow! And finish my Christmas chocolate!”. Then, consciously, I listened to those thoughts and remembered my goal. After 10 days of eating whole foods, drinking plenty of water, and exercising (nearly) every day I feel so great, so why would I ruin this good feeling? I am constantly reminding myself that change is not easy, but it is a decision I am making every minute of every day. I did wake up today, debating whether to have my decaf coffee or herbal tea, as I have the last 10 days, or indulge. I convinced myself to indulge in a cup of black tea with cream and I am totally okay with that decision.

The point here isn’t about feeling like a failure every time I have something bad. It’s about consciously realizing what I’m choosing, and consistently choosing things that bring me closer to being a holistically healthier person. When I tell people I know that I’m working on becoming healthier, the common response is always “but you are healthy!”. Sure, compared to a lot of people I eat healthy, I exercise fairly regularly, and I am a pretty positive happy person overall. I’ve been through this before but the point is how I feel about myself, not how I am perceived. I believe that small change is a catalyst for larger change and getting over the mental battle is my biggest challenge. I can choose to listen to everyone and go on living my pretty good life, or I can change my mindset, stop making excuses, and live a pretty AMAZING life!

Getting to the point, I’ve realized to stay motivated I need to do a few things: form a routine (ex. having a smoothie and exercising when I wake up – no matter what shift I’m on), visualize my goal every time I feel myself falling back into old habits (ex. feeling strong when I look in the mirror, imagining my energy as I hike up a mountain or bike up a steep hill), and find supportive people to share my journey with. Now that I am already beginning to feel great about my body, my next goal to add is to work on a healthy mind: More than just positivity in bad situations.

My goal: By the end of 2018 I will be meditating at least 5 minutes a day. I will do this whenever I feel myself falling and have the urge to give in to old habits – such as indulging in a lot of chocolate or cookies, saying to myself ‘the days wasted anyway so I’ll just sit here and do nothing until I go to bed’, or feeling bad about myself. I will also continue to meditate before bed (no matter what shift I am on).

Cheers to a healthier mind. Namaste

(This photo was taken in early December at an inspiring event – a representation of my healthier mind)