Viewing entries tagged
dreams

3 Comments

Old Habits Die Hard

Old-Habits-Die-Hard-Photo-e1469595971469.jpg

Old habits die hard.  What does that even mean anyway?  A quick google search tells me that this expression originates a long time ago, but not many can pinpoint the answer outside the fact that habits are hard, and we're going to die try to defeat them.  Pretty positive stuff! So how do we rid ourselves of these pesky old habits? It's not easy.  There is research that supports that our habits are so deeply ingrained in our being, that any stress that creates a deviation away from the creation of a new, alternate habit (let's say losing weight or quitting smoking) will put us right back where we used to be in those comfortable, predictable, and often detrimental old ways.

I say detrimental because often these habits stop us from being the true version of ourselves.  That self we want to be, who is a better person for those around us, and contributing more in the life that we love and want to create for ourselves and others.

I know those old habits the same way you do.  It can be overeating, under exercising, having a short fuse, not being attentive to others, not focused, complacent and just plain 'blah'.  Those areas of our life that leave us feeling not so great about ourselves, that we hope to find a way to propel ourselves and lead our way up and away from those old patterns of behaviour.

I think we've all experienced that it's not easy getting over our bad habits and creating new ones, but there are some things we can do to help us succeed in stopping those old patterns that aren't serving us, and evolve into new habits that get us closer to being that person we are meant to be.

Focus on what you want and WHY you want it.

So what do you want? To be healthier. Why? To be there for my kids as they get older. Why? To help them turn into good humans who can live their dreams and the best life they possibly can. Why? Why? Why? WHY is this important to you?  Keep asking yourself that question until you cannot possibly go any further with the question why.  Think 5-year-old you nagging yourself the same way you would nag your Mom about all the "Why's" that existed in your world back then.  It may even feel that uncomfortable and irritating to have to keep searching for that answer to "Why", but believe me,  it's worth it.

Surround yourself with supportive people.

Stay in touch. Be available. Make this a priority! No matter how uncomfortable it is to the introvert in you, no matter how impossible it seems to the mother parenting full-time, no matter how much work there is to do, or other priorities that come up.  MAKE TIME FOR THESE PEOPLE!  You cannot underestimate the value of talking out those areas that you want to be better and do better with people that love you and support you.  I wish I could say I learned this by doing--but I learned it by not doing and realized how much time I'd wasted and how many friendships and relationships I had let fade that shouldn't have.

Let go of the past.

This is a big one, and it's not easily done.  We like to punish ourselves for all the times that we didn't measure up, do our best or live up to the standards that we, or others, set for us.  But just let it go.  You are not that person.  Every stumble, every failure, every time you reverted back to those old habits that you swore up and down and prayed that you wouldn't go back to.  Just let it go. You are here right now, in this moment.  Moving forward to who and what you want to be. Which leads me to my next point...

Be kind to yourself.

Loving yourself is easier said then done.  For the hyper personal critic out there who has felt their fair share of shame and guilt, this is a very tall order.  Maybe first it just starts with cutting yourself some slack? So you're not perfect. So you fall back into old patterns of behaviour and unhealthy habits.  I know one thing, and that is that beating yourself up to the point that you convince yourself you're no good, worthless and can't do it, is not going to propel you forward.  It's going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  So take some time to say some nice things about yourself.   Ideally having a daily or weekly ritual where you can have some "you" time: a cup of coffee in the morning, an evening walk, journaling time, time set aside for meditation,  but the important part is that you have positive energy and words directed toward yourself.

And lastly...

CELEBRATE! 

People really underestimate the power of a good pat on the back--but I'm starting to realize why they made us do it so much in elementary school.  This part really helps with the ability to be kind to yourself, so it is important to recognize and really CELEBRATE those times and days when you make progress that means something to you.  Whether that be sharing kind, empowering words with yourself, gloating and expressing your pride to others, or making a big event and going out to dinner, drinks or any social outing to celebrate!  In it's most basic form it is asking yourself 'What did I do that was good today?', and 'What do I want to do better next time?'  Work in moments, not events. We can only walk before we run, and before that we couldn't walk at all.  As daunting as Point A to Point B seems, celebrating every single small step along the way will create a momentum and a motivation toward the creation of that new habit and lifestyle you're looking to put in place.

Just because the expression "old habits die hard" is as well known as it is does not mean that we are completely helpless to change them.   It just takes some work, and an awareness to know that we are not defined by what we have done in our past and up to now. We are defined by what we continue to do, and how we show up each and every day.  So if we're moving forward and focusing on what it is we really want, surrounding ourselves with good people, being kind to ourselves, and celebrating the progress and success that we do have, I would say that we are showing up pretty well.

Our old habits only make us older.  Our new habits make us who we are meant to be.

 

3 Comments

Comment

How Do We Choose

Pathway-edit-e1467689098420.jpg

We’ve all been given a lecture about “making good choices” at some point in our lives.  It may have came in the way of a conversation from our concerned parents to our teenage self.  Or perhaps a teacher or boss who had some higher expectations for us than we did for ourselves.  During our younger years there wasn’t much to weigh when it came to making choices besides how we felt about them. But as we get older, we realize how important our choices are.  We figure out that "living in the moment" is all fine and good, as long as that moment includes choices that aren't, well, poor.  I think it's fair to say that sometimes us humans, even in our older and wiser years, still don't make the best choices. In the super connected world we've been living in over the last decade, we get to see other’s choices every single day: their choice of words, choice of consumption, but mostly their choice of how they spend their time and how they feel about it (for the avid snapchatters out there).  All of this connection can give us a pretty good idea about who people are.  We are more accountable, more aware, (or at least we should be) of what our choices say about us.

We are our choices. But it is the poor choices that take up so much of our time, energy, emotions with the consequences of poor choices spreading to all the other areas of our lives: how we perform in our job and at home, how we interact with our spouse, kids, family, coworkers. Everyone.  Poor choices and the resulting consequences can intertwine into our lives and amplify any negativity or challenging situation that is lurking.

But do you know what the best thing is about poor choices?  There’s still a choice.  We can decide, and choose, to make a new starting point.  A point from which we can make the choices that will lead our life in a direction and a way that will truly serve us, and then ultimately serve others.  Sure, the consequences of previous choices might still be lurking around, but with every step forward—every good choice—we are leading our way to that life and that person we are meant to be.

But there’s so much to choose from? How do we choose? 

Those choices that lead us on our path to a life that brings us the most joy, happiness and purpose are almost the easiest choices to make, because they are entirely personal.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about us and what we choose.  It only matters that we are doing what is important to ourselves.  That we make ourselves proud.

What is important to you? What do you want more of, and why do you want more of it?  What do you value in your life?

When we can answer those questions to ourselves, it is much easier to set an intention of what we want our life to be.  And when you set that intention, it’s so much easier to make those choices that keep you moving forward, leading your way to creating a life you love.

Comment

Comment

Leader Profile: Jacqueline Tuffs

Get-Jacqued.jpg

My first “Leader Profile” is of Jacqueline Tuffs who owns fitness studio, Get Jacqued (Jacqueline Tuffs Fitness). I remember hearing the story that when she first started out there was 1 person who showed up to her first class. Now as a wife, Mom, and full-time fitness professional, she is filling classes with clients. She’s has expanded her career as a fitness educator, being one of 6 Beachbody LIVE Master Trainers in Canada. But she had to start somewhere. Check out her story below to learn more about how Jacqueline created and is living this life that she loves.

"Creating the life I love was really about deciding what is important, looking ahead and filtering out the things that are going to come along the way. It was important to me to create a secure environment that felt inclusive for everyone, and that is one of the things I’m most proud of. I believed if people felt safe, they would buy into that, and then in return would buy into themselves. It’s easy to get lost in what you think you should be doing versus what’s important to do, but I have always lead with the heart and not with the business, and that’s why the business has continued to build. I want each person to feel successful, supported and trusting, and if they didn’t feel that, I don’t think they would come.

When I’m living the life that I love, I feel like I am making positive contributions of myself and my time in my family, business and community, and it is just a good flow. You have to put yourself first, and that is sometimes hard for women--Mom’s especially. If you fill yourself up first, you have just that much more to give to everyone else, and when you’re happy, everyone feels that positive effect, and that effect just keeps trickling down the line.

If I were to give advice to someone about creating a life that they love it would be to ask yourself, what is important to you? What are your core values? What do you envision for yourself in your life? If what you’re doing doesn’t excite or inspire you to continue to learn and do better and to encourage the next person to continue to learn and be better, then what can you do to make a change? The people that you choose to surround yourself with have a big impact on how you perceive yourself and your life. You need to surround yourself with people who have the same values as you, who are positive, and are happy for you when you are happy and are sad for you when you are sad. It’s about connection. When you can connect with people, there are endless possibilities for you.

Whatever you decide to do there’s always challenges, but the challenges are good. They help you decide “is this really worth it?”. It has to be something that you desire for yourself, I think everyone has that little fire inside, and it’s up to you to decide whether you tap in on that or not. Someone very wise once told me, if you don’t buy into yourself, how are you going to make anybody else buy into you? If you’re open to education, knowledge, feedback, guidance, then you can just keep going and going. Be open-minded, be willing to listen to others and to learn from them. You can learn something from every single person that you cross paths with. I know I have."

Do you know someone who is leading their way? Someone that is inspiring to you or others because they are living a life that they love? Please send your nominations or ideas for future profiles to [email protected] The only criteria is that they are living a life they love.

Comment

2 Comments

Making Ourselves Proud

MOP-Photo-Dam-e1467690567686.jpg
Let's clear one thing up here: creating a life you love is not just about achieving your dreams.

It certainly CAN be about achieving your dreams, but there are some people who are content with who they are, where they are at, and comfortable and happy with that contentment in their life.  For others it takes a little bit more work (and soul-searching!) to feel like we're delivering on that purpose-filled life.  Now that's not to say those content individuals don't have dreams, but they have found a peace and place that they feel truly happy in the lives that they live.  Think of that person you know that is just happy and joyful to be taking care of their family, their community,  and going to work everyday and contributing to the world around them in their daily tasks.  We all know at least one!

It is those steadfast people that are inspiring to all of us.  If they can be that happy, joyful, peaceful, content, kind, etc., then why can't I?  Well...why can't you?

Sometimes it's about attitude, but sometimes it's not.  Sometimes we just aren't doing the things that fill us up, or we're spending our time around people or doing things that are standing in the way of us reaching that point.  We're stuck.

Creating and living a live you love isn't about reaching for the moon or the stars, becoming rich and famous, changing the world or believing we can do anything if we just put our mind to it (although, I think a version of that last part is true).

It's about making ourselves proud.  That is something the contented experience already--they have that pride in themselves from their daily successes, and the secure, happy feeling they get from their day-to-day life.    I have a fantastic example of this that I came across on Facebook in the last week.  There is a local woman I know of whose son was in an accident and she has been by his bedside in the hospital completely immersed in what most of us can only imagine to be a very challenging time, but she has this incredible positive attitude that others notice.

This was her response to someone at the hospital who recently asked her how she stays so positive:
I think I find it easy to be positive because I like myself a lot! I'm a good person with a good heart and am always here to help out in any way! When I lay my head down at night I know I've been the best "me" I can be, and once you're truly comfortable with who you are, everything else comes easy! I no longer waste time on what others think of me! That alone frees up a lot of time to be happy!!
That's real life people.  When I came across it, it took my breath away.  She makes herself proud each and every day by being "the best me" she can, and also spoke to all the things that can happen to you once you find that space and place in your life.  Making yourself proud frees you up to be a person who isn't affected by what others might think about you, and frees you of the need to try and make others proud or think more highly of you.  It's truly all about how you feel about yourself.  And making yourself proud leads the way to loving who you are and what you are doing in your life.

We can all make ourselves proud.  Some of us are there already, but for those of us that aren't, it's important to take a look at what it is that you want in your life, what is truly important, what values that stands for, and then deliver on those values.

Once we get there, making ourselves proud is easy.

2 Comments

11 Comments

Creating the Life You Love

site-hero02_882x253.jpg

Creating the life you love.  When you hear me say that, or say it to yourself, you might experience a guttural reaction where more than few thoughts pop into your head about how it's not possible, and there's just too much in the way.  What we then resign ourselves to doing is looking at those that we admire that are living the life or have something that we want, and we try and figure out how they do it.  We think that obviously they have it all together, and because of that, they are so happy, content, calm, peaceful, joyful...(insert positive adjective here). There's a secret here. Ok, not so much a secret. But there is something we fail to realize.  No one has it all together. We all have chaos, stress, busy work, family and personal lives, with challenges that sideswipe us wherever we go.

So you're now probably asking, if they have the same chaos that I do, how can they possibly be so happy and content?

Because they have found the one thing that makes the chaos bearable, tolerable, and really in their eyes, beautiful.  They found themselves, and pushed themselves to be living their life's purpose. They live in all of those dreams they have, those heart-fluttering thoughts that we have all experienced, but a lot of us have had squashed by our own perceptions that the chaos and "practical reality" of our lives shapes what we can and cannot do.

Maybe some of you have had or have people in your lives that have told you to be realistic and that your dreams are just that: a picture or thought in your head.  I think it's fair to say that the people that say that to us have never had someone telling them to go out and achieve their dreams.  But you do!

I'm here to tell you that it is all possible, and it starts with identifying and saying out loud what it is you truly want for your life. 

What do you want for you? For your family, your community, and everything that you touch in your life.  That dream might not have something concrete in it just yet, or be some grand master plan, but before you can run you need to walk.  Your first baby step is to set an intention of what you want to bring in to your life, and as that intention grows in your mind and your heart, those things that you dream of will begin to materialize in ways that you could never imagine.

So what do you want?  Sometimes there is not an answer that is readily available to us.  Sometimes we just know the answer in terms of what we don't want.  It is important that you take that answer of what you don't want, and flip around in a way to state what it is that you DO want.  To do this you will have to ask some questions and have conversations with yourself that you don't normally have, digging really deep down for the answers.

So try it today.  Set that intention.   Instead of looking at the people you admire and wishing you could have what they have, take that brainpower and set it toward how you want to create that life your yourself. Even if your intention is to figure out how to bring that happiness and contentment to your life, that one step is better than standing still in a life you're not completely sold on.  It's one step closer to creating the life you love.

11 Comments