Find Your Mantra

As we roll into the Holiday season it is easy to get caught up in the perfectionism of the season. Worrying about how Insta worthy our holiday pics are. Letting judgements of our relatives get the better of us. Allowing stress take our joy. Behaving in immature ways we don’t do any other time of year. We let food and drink be our crutch to “survive the holidays” and derail goals we have worked on all year.

Most of us have Mantras we rely on daily or some we pull out just when we need that extra push or moment of patience. This morning I took an online quiz to see what mine was and it was correct, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I live by this most days but it got me thinking, what if I broke it down further. What if I was the change I wanted in my loved ones lives. That I showed more compassion, more understanding and stepped back before I took a comment personal. That I embraced all the things I wish for my family and friends everyday. Show my daughter that connecting with your family is the most important thing and not getting a perfect picture and missing the moment in the process.

Now this Thanksgiving I do have an advantage. I am traveling to spend time with my daughter her first year as a mother. We are staying with her and her in-laws and space will be limited. I also am unable to prepare the meal I usually would because it won’t make the 7 hour drive. So we have planned a scaled down, simplier meal to prepare. There will be favorites my kids have requested but let’s just say that I am going to accept the shortcuts this year as needed and if something is not from scratch, its okay. I am even going to do paper plates. This is the 1st year my daughter will look at this holiday through the eyes of being a mother. She will be looking to me as the example of how she now brings holidays to life for her family. Instead of nagging her to stay off her phone or question why she is not helping in the kitchen, be the example and set my phone aside. Let her enjoy a little peace as a new mom, let her relax and take notes on recipes she may want to pass down. Soon enough it will be her turn. My being calm, keeping it simple, putting the focus on spending time with each other will help her create peaceful, meaningful holidays for her and my grandbaby. When I was a new mom I stressed about everything being perfect, but as I know now, the holidays with the best memories and stories are not the perfect ones. I have had those Holidays where everything finished at the same time and looked beautiful, but more often, nope not even close. There has been family drama and broken reindeers. Even a fried turkey that never made it into the house and was eaten in the garage. Fortunately, I had a back-up turkey in the oven. Then the holidays we didn’t even get out of our jammies and watched movies and ate all day.

When things start to derail, we need to pull out that favorite mantra and remember why what we are doing is important to us. We need to focus on what we will gain. Anytime in life we focus on all that can go wrong, we miss the moment right in front of us. Sometimes a simple “thank you” repeated over and over is enough to remind us. Maybe with certain family members “I am enough” is the mantra you will need. My other favorite “You can do anything for 10 seconds” might be enough time to stop an eye roll or sarcastic comment.  Some of you shared your favorites with me as I posted this was today’s topic. “Do your best with what you have at each moment.” “Own who you are.” “Unapologetically me.” What mantra will you choose?

Find Your “Why”

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Last week I got off track. I let worry and anxiety get the better of me. I made food choices I have not made in a couple years (hello Halloween candy) and did not work on my pull-up goal. I share this because I saw several of my friends were struggling as well. this morning my SHINE text introduced me to the term “Autotelic”. From the Greek Autos (self) and Telos (goal). The definition is: having a purpose in and not apart from itself. Meaning we need to be internally driven, not external. We set goals, we post them online, then see how many likes or amount of praise we get. We set a weight loss goal and let the scale decided our success. What if we lived our lives so that we did not wait for a future benefit, but made our choices based on doing them was the reward . What if feeling better was enough, being independent and providing for our families was enough, being there for people that depend on us or making their lives easier, was enough. What if we stopped chasing happy and embraced our “why” in the work we have today. All though I talk about this all the time, I lost sight last week that I had a choice. A choice in what I read, how I let it affect me, and how I let my emotions affect others. Friday is a good example, my husband and I went out and had a great time at a festival, walking distance from our house and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. It was an unplanned, super fun night. I came home and went online into a group page to see several parents got phone calls from their kids. All our boys are in Boot Camp together and I knew this meant my son’s Platoon did not win a challenge that they were hoping and my son had been working hard to get that phone call home. My whole mood changed and my poor husband reminded me “we had a great night”. A lot of you will say I am a mom and I deserve to be upset, but I let something I have no control over take over my “why”. I had my phone on me waiting for his call, I already knew that he was not going to call that night. I let it take my “why” of my food choices this weekend and I let it take my “why” I need to be a strong support for my son and my whole family.  When faced with a challenge, we can step back and remember we choose what affects us and how we choose how to respond. There is meaning in everything we do, everyday. What we choose is up to us. So my “whys”:  I choose to eat in a way that makes me feel strong and healthy, I choose to continue on my goals to make my body stronger to feel energized and tackle any goal I set for myself. I choose to be a positive light for my family, friends and clients in my classes because I love that I have that opportunity everyday. I do not need a scale, social media likes or pats on the back. I need to remember that every “why” I have, I choose. I am going to honor it by being the best version of myself. What is your “why”?

10 Seconds

You Can Do Anything for For 10 seconds

This is a saying I use a lot in my fitness classes. I usually get a groin or an eye roll, but as a group we push through and finish. The depth of these words never truly hit home with me until I wrote them to my son in the 1st letter he will receive at Boot Camp. “Tell yourself you can do anything for 10 seconds and if you need 10 more seconds, say it again”.  We all have times we need to push through those 10 seconds to reach a goal. Small things: I can do push-ups 10 more seconds. I can walk away from that cookie. I can focus on this project. Then there will be moments that it will take all your inner strength to get through. Those 10 seconds will be the most challenging of your life. Knowing my son is facing that repeatedly over the next several weeks means I have been relying on this phrase heavily.

Sometimes, you need those 10 seconds to breath. Throughout the day we all face challenges that can cause us to react in a way we may regret later. Traffic, a screaming toddler, an unreasonable client, a salty teenager or a situation we have no idea how to handle. We need to take 10 seconds, to not cut someone off or make a gesture. To see the tiny, hungry, tired person in front of us. Or most important, to not say things we can’t back. Sometimes 10 seconds to breath is what will help look at the situation from the outside. The person in the other car doesn’t know me, they clearly are having a bad day. Does it really matter what strangers in this store think of my child’s behavior. Does this client understand what they want from this project? Is this battle worth picking? You are not going to be able to solve every problem in 10 seconds but it can help you connect with your inner self so in the next 10 seconds, you are expressing who you want be.

We can use 10 seconds to be kind. We often say we want to do more but we don’t have time. You can roll your eyes when you see a shopping left in the parking lot or push it as you walk up to the store. You can send a text to a friend having a rough time. You can hold a door open for someone. You can tell someone thank you. You can tell someone I love you.  Now, with a fresh perspective, you can do anything for 10 seconds.

Be Unstoppable

Today as I was writing in my gratitude journal and reflecting on my goals, I began to question, am I in tune with what I really want? Do I really have plan in place that is setting me on the path to success? Are my goals still in line with what I value the most right now? We all experience burn out and doubt. Sometimes those nagging feelings are our true self calling us to re-evaluate what we really want. Is the goal we are working toward really going to bring the success that helps us find fulfillment and happiness. Sometimes we need to slow down to speed up. Write a mission statement for your life, set goals that reflect that mission, put a plan with each step you need to achieve that goal. Wishes are nice, but a goal with a plan makes you unstoppable.

If You Are At Peace

Todays motivation Monday quote come from our book club book, You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. In our online discussion this weekend, one of our readers shared that this quote spoke to her. I woke up this morning wanting to take on a 14 day challenge that I have attempted before and have not been successful. I immediately began to think about my past failure and what temptations might side track me. This quote made me recognize that I am derailing myself by not just staying in the moment, enjoying the present and actually creating anxiety that does not need to exist. Letting our past attempts define what we can accomplish in the present sets us up for another perceived failure from the beginning. We need to start with our head high.  If we must look back, remember a time you felt like your best self, focus on your personal strengths and use that to work towards your goal. More important, changing the goal to self improvement through positive change and not just running to a finish line, helps us connect to our true purpose and express our true selves.

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future.