Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Living in a culture so distracted by the thin/fit/cis/white/able-bodied ideal leads many to a disconnected relationship with the body, instead of one of reverence,”

@Benourished (instagram)
Girl with fork and knife ready to eat an elegant meal. Father nest to her, passing our carved meat.
Photo by Any Lane on Girl with fork and knife ready to eat an elegant meal. Father nest to her, passing our carved meat.

When I read this post, I immediately replayed tons of comments about holiday weight gain, not enjoying favorite dishes, or eating quantities of comfort foods that would starve a bird. I get it. In my full-time career I work in a YMCA. I constantly reflect on the sheer depth of diet culture and how it has permeated the fabric that is woven into the tapestry of health and, subsequently, of one’s self-image. Honestly, I am so grateful for the exposure. It was the catalyst that pushed me to liberate myself from the entanglement with this culture through education, self-discovery, and lots of effort. You have no idea. Old thought and behavior patterns are hard-not impossible-to unlearn.  It is also why I am hopeful that others can too.

To that end, I hope that you will enjoy this season with a true zest for life! If that means eating your favorite foods, eat them. If you are binge baking to compensate for distance from family, mourning a loss, or for sheer pleasure, enjoy! Let this holiday season be the beginning of you learning to listen and trust your body again. Let this be the beginning of you committing to live more fully-on a full stomach! Let this be the beginning of knowing that there is so much more to life than dieting and feeling bad about your (AWESOME) body. I am here! I have club, and my dear soul, you are accepted 100% as you are right now. If you change your body in anyway, you are accepted. If you don’t, you are accepted. And honored. Truly and completely.

Wishing you the best that humanity and the universe has to offer this season and every day!

Moving Towards Oneness

“Othering” is a term that not only encompasses the many expressions of prejudice on the basis of group identities, but we argue that it provides a clarifying frame that reveals a set of common processes and conditions that propagate group-based inequality and marginality.
A photo of a hand of a person of medium brown skin touching the hand of a person of white  skin. Together the hands create a heart shape. The photo conveys the ideal that differences can be overcame to create an accepting, diverse society with all.
A photo of a hand of a person of medium brown skin touching the hand of a person of white skin. Together the hands create a heart shape.

A Complex Challenge

This concept of othering extends beyond mere recognition that we are individuals. Being an unique person means difference. That is not only ok but necessary for a enriching, challenging, and interesting social relationships. It is the expressions of prejudice aspect that is problematic. I am not really here to peel that onion. I merely want to acknowledge that expressions of acceptance and respect of those differences should be the goal of the global society. I am hopeful that we can move towards a society where we are able to care for each other. My work of faith in this regard is compassion for all and a much softened disposition than the days of my more militant youth.

To that end, I would like to invite you to listen to a podcast about Yoga and Removing the Concept of Other, in which, along with two of my colleagues and friends, and I was privileged to be included.

My hope is that the podcast will be a catalyst of reflection and conversation. As I endeavor to continue to move in front and behind the scenes to ensure that all people are able to live a life free to pursue happiness, I look forward to your thoughts, questions, comments, and experiences. Please like and share the podcast which is available on all the major platforms. For your convenience, listen on Spotify here and on iTunes here.

The Socials:

@fiercefitness.atx @innerexploreryoga @dexcellentfitness.

Gratitude: The Single Most Important Emotion

The one thing that holds people back from having their dream lifestyle and connect with other people in meaningful ways, is, in my opinion, a lack of gratitude.

Ingratitude, its polar opposite, leads all of your blessings down a black hole and you are left in a perpetual state of discontent. And the tell-tale signs are all there because genuine gratitude

This feeling of emptiness is one of the reasons why we strive for more- more friends, more money, more status. Because how can you ever have enough if you don’t appreciate what you have?

Most of us, particularly in the “Western” culture, should be grateful for our lives and what is in them in a way that’s borders being apologetic. We, as animals, adapt. We become accustomed to things too easily. This phenomenon even has a name! Psychologists call this concept ‘hedonic adaptation’. We take our basics and our luxuries for granted (especially those we think are basic!). We take the paved streets, cars, public transportation, food and variety of food–all of it–for granted. We take the company and love of our families for granted.

This hedonic adaptation creates something even more dangerous–the false sense that these things will always be here at our disposal or for our enjoyment.

If you have ever lost something you valued, or worse, a loved one you treasured, then you know the truth in how truly fleeting the things and people that enrich our lives are.

Bring grateful is the anecdote!

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson offers a helpful introduction into what practicing gratitude can look like, and I, a reformed ingratiating fool, can attest that while it can feel forced in the beginning, it is like a muscle that builds endurance and ease as it is worked out.

Gratitude is an emotion similar to appreciation, and positive psychology research has found neurological reasons why so many people can benefit from this general practice of expressing thanks for our lives, even in times of challenge and change.

Science Says…

Check out the above link when you a little time to read. There is a growing body of research that is finding ties to mental, emotional, social, and physical health and wellness outcomes when expressing gratitude occurs for the both the person expressing thanks and to the person being appreciated. Endorphins, decreased stress, and increased positivity and happiness to name a few of the recorded benefits. So practice gratitude. Really.

A short list of science-backed benefits are:

  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced blood pressure and inflammation
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Decreased anxiety and depression

Isn’t that cool? In this day and age, all of those are big revenue streams for Big Pharma or expenses for folks. Consider that the power to improve them can be influenced by your and a practice of being grateful! (Please do not stop taking any prescribed medications!)

Positive psychologists have found evidence that practicing gratitude in the midst of grief, troubled times, and traumatic events, decrease pain and increase recovery/coping windows and improves resiliency.

Leslie Says…

What I suspect is that you will see how rich your life is, even in these trying and uncertain times, and you will stop looking at what is missing and began nurturing what you do have.

That is what happened to me. I started to add a few moments to my morning stretch and meditation to think of things I was grateful for in my life. At first, my health, job, and family were those things I mentioned moved on. Then I decided to say one unique them about each of them. Then I found myself driving mindfully and could often think of small details or events that made me smile. I took this with me everywhere I went! I felt better and more positive, even in the face of difficult situations.

I deepened my relationship with y husband and my teenager, my 8 year old seems cuter and less nerve-racking (I assure you-she has not changed AT ALL!) Overall, I feel happier and more optimistic and oddly enough, I sleep better and have keep my workouts sacred (and look forward to them). Funny how it all works out. It started with my sincere effort at being grateful for 2 minutes a day.

Most importantly, I found that practicing gratitude helps develop an abundance mindset and that feeling of contentment brings other things that make you happy into your life! It is the loveliest of cycles! Law of attraction at is finest !

Practicing Gratitude

If you are looking for a way to get started, try the following family-friendly activity. You can start now and to it on Thanksgiving Day, which should be every day. Get you some gratitude NOW!

The Gratitude Jar Activity

The gratitude jar is a stunningly simple exercise that can have profound effects on your well-being and outlook. It only requires a few ingredients: a jar (a box can also work); a ribbon, stickers, glitter, or whatever else you like to decorate the jar; paper and a pen or pencil for writing your gratitude notes; and gratitude!

Step 1: Find a jar or box.

Step 2: Decorate the jar however you wish. You can tie a ribbon around the jar’s neck, put stickers on the sides, use clear glue and glitter to make it sparkle, paint it, keep it simple, or do whatever else you can think of to make it a pleasing sight.

Step 3: This is the most important step, which will be repeated every day. Think of at least three things throughout your day that you are grateful for. It can be something as benign as a coffee at your favorite place, or as grand as the love of your significant other or dear friend. Do this every day, write down what you are grateful for on little slips of paper and fill the jar.

Over time, you will find that you have a jar full of a myriad of reasons to be thankful for what you have and enjoy the life you are living. It also will cultivate a practice of expressing thanks.

If you are ever feeling especially down and need a quick pick-me-up, take a few notes out of the jar to remind yourself of who, and what, is good in your life!

Kindness Challenge for November

Another way to try your hand at gratitude is starting with its sister, kindness. Kindness goes hand in hand with gratitude! At times, being grateful can be tough but you can always be kind–even if just with your self. Try it! People will or won’t appreciate it, but you will feel better and when you do receive thanks, you will grateful that you were able to make someone’s day! Click HERE for the challenge calendar!

Where is Your Passion?

Eeeek! It is almost National Novel Writing Month! #NaNoWriMo

Living a Life that is Passion-Filled and FUN!

What are activities or things that you enjoy that are purely for fun? In this day and age where folks are hustling and monetizing their hobbies, it can be a challenge to simply enjoy something for enjoyment’s sake.

For me, that activity is writing! I have written a romance novel and have started the editing, but I do not like that part, lol. I plan to write the sequel this November during the #NaNoWriMo challenge. So, I would like to challenge you to 30 days of participating in your passion projects or activities! Yay for you!

The Benefits of Passion Projects

There are a few reasons why you should indulge in a passion project or passion activity.

  • Passion projects can help develop character and relationships. As you get involved in your project, you will become more positive and this will run over into all areas of your life.
  • Cultivating passion can help you cultivate success. Time for your passion project is a built in reward system that can encourage to tame time-sinks and become more productive and focused so that you can get to what you love.
  • Passion is a pusher; it is an emotional catalyst that fuels drive and intrinsic motivation. It can sustain you through rough times and dips in progress.
  • It will make you happier. “Happiness is about learning how to cultivate the mindset and behaviors that have been empirically proven to fuel greater success and fulfillment,: says leading Positive psychology researcher Dr. Shawn Achor. He explains that even a quick shot of happiness can go a long way. Passion projects should be fun and have a happiness factor for you.
  • Add creativity and broaden the way you express yourself.
  • It is a way to express your talents or to develop them!

I have a friend who loves to write. Not novels, poems. His goal is to write a two poems a day during #NaNoWriMo. You can a children’s book or series. A cartoon. A memoir. Stories from family elders. Or not write at all. But jump in to the challenge to live a little more fully this month!

Passion projects should encourage and motivate you daily! They can add a challenge, but should be fun. After all, this is not a work assignment or school; you are choosing the project, scope, deadlines, timelines, all of it!

You need only decide what you want to get out of the project, what kind of project or activity you are going to participate in, commit, and start on November 1st! See you on other side–happier, no doubt!

Please comment about your passions! Will you do the challenge? Have you joined the #NaNoWriMo challenge? If interested, it is here!

To your increased happiness!

My Daughter is a Blessing…Plain and Simple

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Technically, they both are. But today, I am writing specifically about the youngest one, Yani.

As October and all of the observances that were shoved into these 31 days draw to an end, I want to talk about the fact (increasingly becoming wide spread) that October is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Not to be confused with World Down Syndrome Day (3-21).

Our Yani boo has Down Syndrome. It was an undiagnosed surprise so that is all I can say about that. She was born healthy and then we brought her home. At her one week checkup, her pediatrician said she wanted to have her chromosomes analyzed and I was like, thank goodness. She seemed surprised. I told her I suspected but no one in the hospital said anything but I stayed for three days and I could not figure out why I had needed to–no c-section, all-natural delivery. I did not press the issue because I was resting! No housework, etc. She informed me that the notes from my ob/gyn indicated I stayed due to my severe anemia! The baby had been free to go but my ob/gyn thought I would not stay if she had left, so he did not say anything, just came by to pretend to look in one the baby while checking on me! Smart doctor!

Admittedly, I think I had already worked it all out in my head so the diagnosis was merely a confirmation. After all, this was the second child I had birthed that had down syndrome. My son, who died suddenly at age two years, had broken down all ego or judgements or any need to grieve. I understand all of that intimately. I am frequently questioned about it and will cheerfully answer any questions if you reach out.

People with Down Syndrome have some general characteristics and those are only generalizations. The same amount of variety and individuality abound in them. After all, they are just people. They are stereotyped for being sweet, friendly, gentle, and cognitively delayed to varying degrees. My little girl is all of that. She is also a genius at getting out of trouble unscathed, inciting her sister to fits, has the heaviest hands on a little person if she is hitting you, and is functions in both English and Spanish (although her expressive skills in English are much stronger). She is sturdy and strong and very flexible. She loves dancing but is lazy when it comes to walking.

It was a new experience for my husband, who was not my son’s father. He had not known any one with this chromosomal arrangement and was terrified he mess her up. Fast-forward eight years. She let’s us know daily the things we did right and wrong with her. DAILY.

She is full of spunk and fire (right – although I am not sure how much we had to do with it!) She is loved and she knows it (right). As a result, she is confident and lives free from fear that punishment for writing on the walls or pouring out the soap into toilet (wrong!). Don’t get me wrong; we have tried to correct these displays or missteps, but no method we know of is effective. For real, folks, REACH OUT! She is social and accepted by peers and adults whom she views as extended family (right) and may leave with any one of them (WRONG!) if they meant her harm. She is playful and humorous (right) curses a lot (wrong-but she is contextually accurate and creative). Most importantly, she confirms how much of an blessing she is through teaching us about ourselves. We get daily lessons on forgiveness, why boundaries are important, having fun, the joys of family, what real hugs are like, the uselessness of pride, and unconditional love.

We adore our Yani boo. She is learning and teaching us every day. And of all the fears and doubts, the only one we have is whether or not we deserve her.

3 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immune System This Winter

What We All Should Know…I hope!

Good Hand Hygiene is Your Best Line of Defense Against Cold and Flu (and COVID-19) and Avoid Getting Sick by Keeping Your Distance

Hopefully, you and your family have mastered these two basics of health. But running a three-way tie behind them are easy and just as important!

Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

All systems of your body work best when they are properly fed. This includes your immune system. Stick to a mainly whole foods based diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you feel like you might be a little under the weather or suspect that you may have come into contact with someone sick, increasing your intake of Vitamin C may help as well. Eat a few citrus fruits. Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are other great options.

Avoid eating processed foods. It takes a lot of time and effort to digest them and you don’t want to weigh your body down with extra work when that energy could be used to boost your immune system, keep you from getting sick, or help you get well sooner.

Get Some Exercise

In addition to eating well, get out there and get regular exercise. For best results, work out in the fresh air. Something as simple as a daily quick walk can help you stay well and strengthen your body. It has the added benefit of helping you to de-stress. I don’t have to tell you that you’re more likely to get sick when you are stressed out. Use daily exercise to destress and stay well. It will also help you with the last way to boost your immune system.

Make Time for Sleep

This last tip is easy to skip over, yet it is the most important one for most of us and the one that can give your immune system a great boost. It’s getting enough sleep. Make the time to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Practice good sleep hygiene. Don’t let the word scare you. It means turning off your phone and other screens a few hours before bed. Keep your bedroom calm, quiet, and at a temperature that encourages sleep. It also includes establishing and sticking to a bedtime routine. As an added bonus, you’ll feel more energized for everything else you have to do all day.

We all have times when we could use a little extra boost to our immune system. Cold and flu season are certainly part of that time, or the long winter weeks when we’re stuck inside in close quarters, our hygiene gives way to comfort and we are more likely to catch something. It’s also important anytime you board a plane for holiday travel or when your kids start school. The above are three simple things you can do daily to strengthen your immune system.

Stay tuned! I will share some easy recipes that will boost your immune system and satisfy!

Goal Challenge Check In

So, How is Going…REALLY?

I am doing great, thanks for asking!

For me, and the folks I coach, I find that weeks 1 and 2 are fueled by sheer excitement and potential! Which is great! Experience has shown that when motivation starts to wane it is discovered that the either 1) the goals are too big and a sense of overwhelm and panic at the time horizon sets in or, 2) the lack of rituals fail to get one over the hump of important/mandatory, but tedious tasks.

Today, let’s tackle the first pitfall before we get there.

One of the biggest issues regarding setting goals is to keep them at a high level. We all want to accomplish things in life. But setting goals that are too general (read BIG) is going to make it difficult to accomplish them. It’s also going to be difficult to measure how you are doing. The best approach is to break big goals into chunks. Give your smaller goals a second look and see if the scope exceeds the 12 week framework. If so, break it down so that each week you are moving the needle. Also, make sure that your goals are not too small and you are spinning your wheels. Just right-sized goals take time and can change based on weekly accomplishments and RITUALS. This is where the 12WY really shines. It helps you with this hard part so much!

Think of the chunks as action items. These actions are measurable units that you put to milestones. You need to set them up in a way that holds you accountable. Otherwise, they won’t get accomplished.

Write your goals and action steps down on paper. Put it in a place where you can view it every single day. It’s okay to record them electronically as well, although some people find it difficult to keep both the paper version and electronic version in sync. It’s personal preference. If you feel you can succeed with just one or the other, that is the way to go.

It’s okay to dream big with your goals but be realistic about accomplishing them. When you break your goals down into action steps and find they are not within your ability or skill set to accomplish within the specified periods, rework them until you find the right mix of actions. Making the goals and actions too difficult will set yourself up for frustration when not being able to accomplish them. Also, a the scoring practice of the 12WY helps you with this other hard part!

For me, I scored a 95% on Goal One, which was great because mid-week I realized one of my smaller goals was too vague to really measure progress. So I clarified it by making it into two smaller defined goals, but rated myself 0. I have four little goals that roll up into the one big goal and the average was 95%. The second goal, which was a weight loss goal of 1 pound a week was 80.25%. I did lose the pound but most likely due to increased workout intensity and length. The late night dinners got a 4 got me out of the 7 days. I am still in it to win it!

We will be back next week and I will share my tracking system and talk about rituals as an effective tool for building habits and persevering when motivation dips, which it will!

Flex Your Productivity Muscle

End Procrastination with the October Goal Challenge

We’re all guilty of doing it, more often than we’d like to admit. Procrastination may not be just about turning in your work project at the last minute. It can be putting off important life decisions like whether or not you should ask your boss for that raise he promised last month, or whether you should join a gym, leave your boyfriend, have a baby, etc. Choices are endless, therefore, the opportunities for procrastination are endless, too. The up side? The opportunities to choose action are endless as well so let’s get to the tips to help you develop action-based muscle so you can progress in the accomplishment of your goals!

1. Turn Redundant, Non-Urgent Tasks into Habits

We all have enough willpower to get about 3 or 4 tasks done each day. Habits use other parts of our brain rather than the prefrontal cortex which is associated with rational thinking. So, when you train yourself to do something out of habit, rather than look at it as a mundane task, you think about it less which means you’re using less willpower and you won’t fall into the procrastination rut.

Things like brushing your teeth or making your bed have all become daily habits which you automatically perform without even considering putting them off. Why not turn healthy eating, daily exercise, or turning in reports ahead of time into daily habits as well?

After that it becomes easier, but you still have to keep yourself motivated and inspired. Procrastination is all about taking that dreaded first step. So why not ease into it with the knowledge that after a certain amount of time, or once I’ve finished X, I can watch videos on YouTube or go get a cup of coffee. Make it pleasant for yourself because the reward is the part that the brain assimilates to gauge your enjoyment level. If you’re happy, then your brain slowly turns this task into a habit which you look forward to, instead of something you dread on a daily basis.

2. Break work tasks into chunks.

Instead of cleaning out the entire garage, do the right side first, take a break, then do the left side, take a break, then finish off the rest. At work, big tasks may seem daunting when you look at them as a whole. The answer? Break it down into smaller tasks. Make an outline of the entire project, and then divide it up into smaller tasks.

Working in 30-minute increments also helps break down tasks into smaller chunks which are manageable and not so intimidating. After the 30 minutes, take a break and assess your work. Seeing how much you’ve accomplished will give you that boost of confidence you need to keep at it.

3. Remove distractions.

Checking your email every 5 minutes isn’t doing you any good. So, once you’ve committed to doing the job, limit distractions by putting your away. You can find apps that help you stay on track, but some will say that’s completely missing the point.

The important thing is that you set up a certain time for checking emails or your social media, and once you’ve started your task, you avoid the urge to take a sneak peak.

Another serious distraction is multi-tasking. Even though it may seem that you’re being productive, the truth is it’s a complete waste of time and energy. Think about it, it takes your brain about 20 minutes to completely focus on one task and give it 100%, and then you bring in another task which means you decrease your focus level by half, bring in a third task and the focus drops even lower. So even though you’re working more, your end results will be below average.

4. Work during your peak hours.

We all have certain times during the day when we’re most alert. Some of us are morning people, some are night owls, and some have more energy during the afternoon hours. Find out what your peak hours are and tackle your most difficult tasks then. You’ll be more of a powerhouse then with your brain working at its maximum capacity.

We all have the ability and power to make positive incremental steps–build those daily habits! After all, Coaching Legend Vince Lombardi once said “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” Get into gear this week with the October Goal Challenge!

Make the Plan, Plan to Work

Hey, there! Is your vision clarified? Milestones identified? Great! But, if not, start here. If so, then let’s get into firming up the plan and the plan of attack!

Bye-Bye, Comfort Zone

In digesting and implementing the 12 Week Year by Moran and Lennington, I found the next steps to be the hardest to do but they made the biggest difference. They were a challenge for me as they spoke directly to my comfort zone. I had done relatively OK in my life with minimal effort. I had not grown because when I set a goal, especially an annual goal (New Year’s Resolutions ring a bell?), I stalled due to lack of urgency and the mindset that there was always enough time to “get it together”. When the time horizon was upon me, and I could accomplish what I set out to do, then I did. When it was not going to happen without some type of discomfort, it didn’t. And subconsciously, I made the requisite excuses (to myself in 99% of the occurrences) and vowed to do better. But make no mistake. There was no Vanessa Williams singing to me. It was clear that my comfort zone was too small to accommodate my desired progress. We humans do not generally like discomfort. But once I decided to build that muscle, some real grit, things shifted. Hopefully, you are comfortable with accountability; this method for goal setting accomplishment forces you to embrace it. And you will like it.

Step 3: Defining Goal Metrics and Controlling Time

Note: The book discusses these concepts as tactics and process control.

Picking up where we left off, we have our lofty vision clarified and some milestone goals that serve as stepping stones. For me, I am going to tackle two goals, to build my email marketing list and to lose a 12 pounds (1 pound per week). Looking at the first goal, it needs some refinement. Goals need to be SMART: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. For the 12WY, they should also be positively stated and assigned to some one for accountability (personal goals are ALL on you. If you have a professional goal or want to apply this methodology at work, then teammates would be assigned a specific sets of tasks.)

So, to correct my goal of building my list, it will now read: Grow subscriber list from 17 to 75 in the period beginning October 5 and ending Sunday, December 27th. For the weight loss goal: Lose 12 pounds during the next twelve weeks. Both are written in action-oriented verbiage, are specific, measurable, attainable (although not comfortably but I won’t DIE), realistic, and time-bound. Let’s GOOOOOO!

Time Control

This is where we develop the time management and process control piece. 12WY teaches three time blocking strategies and I use them in the way described! 1) Strategic, or deep work, blocks for at least two or three hours daily. Covid-19 has changed my work so much that I have a one two hour block there and one 90 minute at home. This is the nose-to-the-grindstone, only interrupt me if I am on fire, concentrated highly-productive work block; 2) the buffer block, where you deal specifically with flow interrupters like, emails, calls, sticky notes, and little fires that pop up. I have one of these 60 minute blocks at my job, and one 30 minute one at home as I work on my business. I typically sit to do light tasks as my family waits until then to interrupt. Then I give them the block and get the little to bed and then have my deep work block late; and 3) the breakout block, where you step completely away from all work. HA! This is the family time block where I help with school work, dance with the little, cook and workout! My husband works long hours so and the big girl is a ghost 19 years old, so it is usually me and the little and this works for us.

Within the blocks, you have your tactics or daily tasks and activities that prioritize and drive the movement of the goals. So for my weight loss goal, my tactics could be a) weekly weigh in, b) eating a salad lunch daily to decrease calorie intake, c) 3 cardio and 2 strength workouts weekly. The premise of the 12WY is that if I do my tactics at a rate of 85% or better, I can reach my goal by the end of my 12 week period. For the list-building goal, tactics could be a) create opt-in content to gather emails, b) create and sell ads for the opt-in landing page or website , c) create email sequence to welcome and nurture those new subscribers, and d) track engagement analytics.

Here are SEVEN free resources that you can use to help you track progress. I am using only two and they are enough. I am using the Asian Efficiency Scorecard and the Weekly Road Map! The last post will talk about taking score and the weekly accountability meeting! And, then we are ready for the 5th and a full launch! If want to know what you can do next may I suggest, calendarizing your time blocks and checking out the weekly roadmap. It has proven to be instrumental in moving me in the right direction with the least discomfort!

For both goals, I know what I will be doing on a weekly basis to reach the goal. Those deep work blocks could be used for development of the opt-in content, or for a workout session. It is tougher to get the time for personal goals but not impossible. Do you binge Netflix? Are all the teams your teams and you can’t miss a game? What comfort would you have to give up to move closer to your vision? Like, Follow, Comment!

It’s Fall, Y’all! – Goal Challenge!

The Autumn Equinox debuted on September 22 at 10:21 a.m. ushering in the official beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. One of two days with 12 hours daylight and dark, National Geographic tells us that even split in the day is linked to the reason that the Earth has different seasons and cycles of weather. I really enjoy learning about the lore and actual influences of nature’s cycles in our lives and energies. As I have gotten older, I try to rely more on the wisdoms that have stood the tests of time and Mother Nature reigns supreme.

Whether you prefer the Southern sun all year round, or find solace in the huge snow drifts of Wyoming or Vermont, the seasons do change. I’m one who has learned to find peace in the changing of the seasons. In Texas, I grow tired of triple-digit heat ALL DAY, with air that has a palpable weight. Autumn brings crisp air (AIR!) and a rejuvenates my mind and body. The transitions and energies of each season is unique and special, but to be clear, Fall is my favorite season–hands down.

As creatures of nature, not just habit, we can tap into both the subtle and striking energy changes brought on by all of nature’s cycles, particularly at the onset of Fall. The second half, moving closer to winter has it own energy!

With fall, comes a time where usually parents are sending kids back to school and the comfortable routines resume. It is a time that can bring energy to tackle projects before winter sets in and can be a natural catalyst to accomplishment. I am going with this energy full throttle this year! Come along!

The Challenge!

If you have not read the 12 Week Year by Brian Moran, please do! He says a lot but my take-aways and I use it are simply:

“the number-one thing that you will have to sacrifice to be great, to achieve what you are capable of, and to execute your plans, is your comfort.”

Brian Moran

“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” —Henry David Thoreau”

Brian Moran

So, I have been plagued with being busy but stagnant and I wanted to change it. A deeper look at why lead me to the realization that it was simply comfortable made me angry with myself for wasting the one resource I could ever get back-time. That, naturally, highlighted the first quote for me and I made the conscious decision to move out of my comfort zone by expanding it to a new level, a level that included productivity over busyness.

The book is awesome, lots of resources abound on the web and on the author’s website. This is not a sponsored post nor am I an affiliate so moving on. READ: I will be talking about my take and how I use it to increase my personal and professional productivity only.

In talking about this book to friends who have not read it (but BOTH read my blog!), I decided to try my hand at breaking it down for them.

Steps 1 and 2: Clarify Your Vision and Goal Setting (Milestone)

This week our task will be two-fold: 1) to clarify our visions for the next three to five years. The uncertainty of life (i.e. PANDEMIC) has undoubtedly got you thinking about what you want from life. This week, write those visions in specific terms like, “I want to scale my business to $10k monthly” or more intentionally aspirational like, “I want to live comfortably enough to not worry about income and also give back”.

Then 2) chose only one milestone goal that will take about 12 weeks to complete. This was by far the hardest part to get the hang of. Babies have a vision of walking. You can see it in their eyes as the stare at your expensive or irreplaceable items on tabletops and shelves. Being on two feet is where the action is. But, alas. First, they have to sit, then crawl, then stand. These are milestone goals that are necessary to accomplish before they are able to actualize their vision. Identify your milestones to your vision. We are going to tackle the first one in this 12 week year.

For me, my vision is to replace my work-for-somebody else with income from my online coaching business (which I launched about three months go. Short story long–not a clear plan, spinning wheels, ready to progress). Milestone goals include creating a suite of courses, creating digital content for residual sales, build email marketing list, monetizing my Youtube channel, and recreating the process for another person. Whew…chile. The only goal I can actually accomplish is to build my list. The other goals all have some other milestone goals within them. Building my list can be accomplished with some weekly tasks and metrics for success. And the great thing is, doing it will help the other goals. For giggles, I am going to tackle a second goal. I would like to lose a pound a week for 12 weeks. Next time (two days), I am going to talk about good goals and we will set the weekly tactics. Then we will be ready to start our 12 week year on October 5th!

Are you feeling frisky this fall? What would you like to accomplish this quarter?