Life lessons that Crossfit has taught me

As anyone reading this probably already knows, but I’ve been drinking the Crossfit koolaid pretty heavy. As a coach and an athlete for the last almost 4 years, CF has changed my life in ways I’ll be stuck with forever. I can’t say enough good things about what it’s done for me, mentally and physically. Here’s why. 🙂

1. Support system is everything

What keeps most of us coming back to Crossfit, is the community. There’s nothing like the bond that you build with people at your gym. Whether it’s before work, during a lunch break, or after work, that hour at the gym you get with your buddies is most likely the highlight of your day. We get to let off some steam, chat it up, laugh, get some competition going, and do some fitness. There’s a sacred sort of bond formed between all the athletes doing a workout together. In the middle of it, when your heart rate is jacked, your lungs are burning and you feel like you can’t keep going, it’s all of your buddies around you that motivate you to keep going. To pick up the bar. To not stop. Everyone’s rooting for eachother to keep going, there’s nothing like it!

2. There will always be an excuse

There will always, always, always, be a reason why you can’t. I’m tired- I have homework to do- My favorite show is on tonight- I have such a long day today- My head hurts.

The list can go on and on. Same goes for performance during a Crossfit workout: My legs are sore- My nose is running- I didn’t sleep much last night- I didn’t get a big enough breakfast.

The point is, to hell with the excuses. You either show up and do the work, to the best of your ability…or you don’t. It’s pretty simple. There doesn’t need to be an excuse for everything. The people who excel in the Crossfit world (and in life) are those who realize that excuses mean absolutely nothing and will get you nowhere, fast.

3. Success isn’t linear

There seems to be this misconception that success is a linear process- that someone keeps excelling over and over again until they reach their definition of “success.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The road to success is always UNDER CONSTRUCTION- it’s bumpy, frustrating, exhausting, and paved with failures.

It’s how you deal with the obstacles that hit you on your road to success that will determine when/if you get there! CF couldn’t be more of a testament to this. Even the top athletes’s lives have not been lacking of setbacks, obstacles, failures, injuries. Struggles are inevitable. Bad things will happen to you. Sometimes you’ll find a skill or task that seems so daunting, it’s almost impossible. Sometimes life and emotions will get in the way. And that’s OKAY. It’s part of the process. It’s part of the magic. It’s part of your path to success.

4. Ego won’t get you far

Ego… it is the NUMBER ONE reason why Crossfit gets a bad reputation in the fitness community. Crossfit, when prescribed correctly, is an amazing tool to create functional fitness accessible to everyone. And yes, I mean everyone. It is scalable and modifiable. When it is modified correctly based on the person, ALL levels should get the same stimulus from any given workout. Loads and volumes are chosen based on the person, so ALL can get the same intensity from the workout.

The problem arises when people don’t scale correctly. Everyone wants to do the workout Rx (as prescribed), even if they may not be ready to do so. This is how people either 1. get hurt or 2. are not progressing in the way that they should be. While the ultimate goal for most people is to be able to do workouts as prescribed, they often forget how important all the stuff in between is. Learning new skills, doing them the right way, becoming efficient at them, being able to do them under fatigue- these are things for the Crossfitter to be worried about… not doing the workout as prescribed.

If you want to be a successful Crossfitter, your ego needs to be left at the door when you walk into the gym. If you come in eager to learn, to listen to the coaches, to do things correctly, to scale appropriately… that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you begin to grow as an athlete, and as a person. In life, you will get so much farther if you can admit when you don’t know something and are OK with asking for help. Ego is really the biggest enemy here. As Albert Einstein said, “More the knowledge, lesser the ego. Lesser the knowledge, more the ego.”

 

5. Stay in your lane

Going right along with the ego- another big issue in Crossfit gyms is people becoming obsessive with comparison. People get too worried about what others are doing and how they’re performing. To feel better about themselves, they need to beat this person. It’s just more of feeding the ego. Instead, athletes should be focused on themselves, and their weaknesses. Instead of worrying about who to beat, what can they do everyday to get ahead of the pack? What skill needs some extra attention? How can they move faster in a certain kind of workout? These are questions to be asking, not “Oh, well what did he get?”

In every day life, your own path is the only one that needs to be focused on. Everyone’s is different, and everyone’s timing is different. Be so honed in on what’s going on in your life that you don’t even have time to worry about another’s. Be so busy working on your own grass that you haven’t even noticed if theirs is greener.

 

6. What’s going on in between your ears is most important

Positive self-talk. Inner coaching. Mental toughness. These are CRUCIAL, day in and day out, in a Crossfit athlete’s life. There are so many things that can go wrong in a workout. How you overcome, adapt, keep moving, and keep talking to yourself, are key to getting through it. Getting mad at yourself for having to drop the bar, getting visibly upset or frustrating for breaking your jump ropes, or silently cursing and freaking out in your brain when you miss a weight, are all ways that a workout can go downhill for you.

Learning how to control your thoughts- changing them from negative to positive, can be a game changer. If you can learn to talk to yourself in a positive manner, you will adapt and overcome almost anything that happens to you. Keep in mind, this doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years to develop a mentality that will give you the edge over other athletes, and other people.

7. There is no substitute for hard work

Basically, you get what you give. If you half-ass anything, it will show. If you’ve been neglecting a skill all year, it will show. If you choose to skip things you suck at, it will eventually show.

Nothing in this world beats hard work, consistency, patience. They are necessary for a successful Crossfit career and for a fulfilling life. If you’re going to do something, whether it be for work, your family, your athletic career- why not do it fully? Why not seek to be the best you can possibly be? Why not take all the steps necessary to ensure success?

There’s never a quick fix, a magic pill, a #1 program that will get you all the results you’re looking for. How you’re going to achieve it (whatever it is), is solely up to you. If you want to work hard, that’s your choice. If you don’t want to work hard, that’s your choice as well.

The Future of the Strong Girl

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. On this day we celebrate the empowerment of women all around the globe. Young and old, all shapes and color and sizes, women come together for the idea of the constant push of women’s rights and equality.

I’m not here to talk about feminism or to get political. But, I do believe that all people, no matter your sex, heritage, skin color, or sexual orientation should be denied any opportunity. Fortunately, I believe we’re well on our way to that.

As a culture we are always growing and evolving and over time the things we wish to change can happen. But what I feel is most important to this issue is how we raise, shape the minds, and educate those younger than us, those looking for guidance, those whose minds are so impressionable.

Building and growing the minds of our children and the next generation of girls is so, so imperative. A young girl should know she can grow up and do whatever she wants, be whatever she wants- and demand nothing less.

We need more bold, courageous, strong, relentless women in this world. The only way to make sure this happens, is to raise them this way.

So this is my open letter to all the young girls, the next generation of STRONG girls.

I want you to know that you are beautiful in your own skin. I’m tired of hearing girls say “I look ugly with no makeup on.” Your face without makeup on, is your face. It’s not ugly, and wearing makeup shouldn’t have to be necessary for you to feel good about yourself. If you CHOOSE to doll yourself up, that’s your choice! Some girls enjoy it, some girls don’t. But it should never be something you need to do in order to feel worthy. There’s this notion that a woman has to make herself super-presentable whenever she leaves the house. Bottom line, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You should feel comfortable in your own skin and self-confident even when you’re not dressed, hair done, and makeup done.

I want you to know that patience will lead you to your passion. Don’t listen to your parents, your friends, your teachers, anyone around you if they try to make you take that job that you don’t actually want. Follow your heart. Find that thing that keeps you up at night, that makes you wake up early. Everyone in this world has something they are passionate about and if you want to live a fulfilling life you had better make those dreams into reality. Forget the naysayers, forget how much time it will take, forget about money, it will all be worth it, I promise.

I want you to know that there is a different path for everyone. You do not have to go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, and retire by a certain age, if at all! Your choices are your own, and nobody else’s. What is right timing for someone else, is not right in comparison to yours. You can be happy for your friend’s accomplishments without being jealous, and with knowing your time to shine will come.

I want you to know that you’re allowed to have emotions. Handle them, and use them. You don’t have to bottle them up. You don’t have to pretend like you’re okay all the time. It’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to take time to heal. Life will take you through ups and downs, test you, and make you question everything. Your sensitivity is not weakness, it is strength. You can withstand far more pain than you think. Processs and feel everything that comes to you- and come out stronger because of it.

I want you know that it’s okay to say no. One day in the future you may be taking on lots of roles– a sister, a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, a wife, a mother. As women, we like to take others’ problems and make them our own. I want you to know, you don’t have to always say yes. You don’t  have to take on the weight of the world. Sometimes it’s so essential to say no, to use your time as your own, to practice self-care in the most simplest of ways. It’s okay to put yourself first.

I want you to know that you don’t have to live by anyone’s else’s standards. There’s this idea of what women are supposed to look like, do, and act, and honestly, it’s all crap. You can have muscles, or you can be skinny. You can have long hair, or a buzz-cut. You can ask someone out on a date, and you call/text them first. You don’t have to order a salad on this first date. You can curse, and you sure as hell don’t have to keep a smile on your face all the time. Just be YOU, and do it unapologetically.

Lastly, I want you to know that you will never be ready. “Ready” is not really a thing. Ready for that new job, that new relationship, that trip of a lifetime, that big move across the country… being “ready” never actually happens. What you need to do, is be brave. Be courageous. Know that everything happens as it should- if you work hard you’ll find that luck and good opportunities will fall into place for you. Be relentless in the pursuit of challenges, tedious tasks, and endeavors that will bring about personal growth. This will make you feel almost “ready” for anything life tries to throw at you.

The power of kind words and encouragement to the younger generation is more important than we will ever know. You never know what kind of thought will resonate with a kid for the rest of their lives. If we instill these notions on young girls, it can only bring them confidence and bravery in the future. I hope anyone reading this will pass it along to someone they think about while reading it.

Happy International Women’s day to all the badass women out there, keep fighting and inspiring, and never settle. ❤

 

Having a restless heart- a blessing and a curse.

Hey all! Haven’t done this in a long time! Sorry for the hiatus, I just got back from backpacking in Central America for 3 weeks, which has led me to this blog post.

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My mind has been buzzing since I’ve been home. I had the BEST time. Met some insane, hilarious, amazing people. Saw some of the most beautiful views. Checked some things off the bucket list. Partied hard. Laughed my ass off. And soaked up all the sun.

But it’s all bittersweet.

Eventually it’s time to come back to reality, to leave the beautiful scenery behind.

While traveling, especially staying in hostels, you meet a ton of young people, from all over the world. No matter how many hours, days, or weeks you spend with them, eventually it’s time to say goodbye. Most of the time you know you’re never gonna see them again. That’s the hardest part.

Every time I talk to travelers and hear their stories, or take in a magnificent view, or do something crazy I’ve never done before, it makes me realize how big and vast this world is. I think about how much of it I haven’t seen. I think about how many people out there, all over the world, just like me, thinking the same thing. I itch to meet these people and do all these things I’ve never done.

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I’m pretty sure every person on this planet has heard the term “wanderlust.” It basically means a strong desire to travel. While I definitely think I have a big-time case of wanderlust, I think for me it goes a little beyond that.

Some may not have heard of this term, but I believe I have what is called “restless heart syndrome.” Basically, in my heart and soul, I am always restless. There is always more out there… I always want more. 

Don’t get me wrong, my life’s not bad! I have never thought that. While I am always thankful and appreciative for what I have and the opportunities I’ve been given, I am always curious about what’s out there. Picture this: I’m in my car. A song that I love comes on. What do I do? I check all the other radio stations to see what else is on, before coming back to the song I love. WHY?

To me, it always feels like something is missing. It’s a constant search for bigger and better.

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Honestly, this scares me a bit. I’m afraid I will never grow out of it. I’m afraid of the uncertainty. I’m afraid I will never be in a healthy relationship. I’m afraid I will never stop being curious. I’m afraid I will never settle in one place.

I could be wrong. Maybe one day I’ll meet a man so great and I’ll realize there’s a reason why I never settled for anyone else. Maybe one day I’ll travel to place and think to myself that this is the place where I want to live the rest of my life.

But, the whole point is, I don’t know. I don’t know anything, really. But I plan to find out. Most people go their whole lives and never truly find out who they are, what they love, what their true passion is. I don’t want to be one of those people.

I may be restless, but at least at the end of my days I’ll be able to look back on my life and say that I did the things I wanted to do. I want to look back and know that I never settled for anything that wasn’t meant for me. Even if I spent my whole life searching for it, whatever “it” may be, I want to be able to say I TRIED.

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Sometimes I think to myself, “What’s wrong with me?” Why can’t I be happy with what’s around me? Why can’t I do what’s expected of me? Why can’t I be like my friends and my family?

Sometimes I wish more than anything that I would be OK with staying in my hometown forever. I could move out, meet a guy, get married, buy a house, have kids. I could get up and go to work every day, come home, make dinner, spend time with my kids, then go to bed, and do it all again. That’s the goal, right? That’s what most of us strive for? Sometimes I wish that’s what I wanted. But all of that to me, sounds unbearable.

The restless heart in me knows better. How could I possibly think this is where I want to stay, when I’ve only seen a fraction of this world? This big, vast, beautiful world.

Sometimes when I’ve been traveling, and I see something beautiful… like a sunset/sunrise, or a volcano, or a waterfall, or a beautiful beach, or some other strange sight I’ve never seen before, I get this overwhelming feeling. It’s a happy, and sad, bittersweet type of feeling. I always feel grateful for being able to see what I’m seeing. But then, I get sad, because it doesn’t matter if I take a picture, or if I post it on Instagram, I feel as though not many people will get to see it. Like, really see it, and experience it. Obviously, the people I’m with are seeing it. And there are a ton of people traveling and seeing the same sight as me, but I’m talking about the majority of the world. The majority of people that will never leave their hometown. The majority of people that will never get to this place. The majority of people that will never get to experience the magical feelings that come with traveling and seeing new places.

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In these moments, I am grateful for how restless I am, and what I have been able to see. My constant curiosity has taken me to all these beautiful and amazing places, and there will only be more!

So, while I am scared for what’s in store in the future for me, I am always hopeful. I am confident that my ways (even though they scare the shit out of me) will never lead me wrong. Even though my heart is restless, I believe you should always follow your heart, wherever it may take you.

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Intention, Implementation, Effort: Holding Yourself Accountable.

Before I begin, I just wanna say, I truly believe that most people want the best for themselves. Most of us have some sort of plan or idea of building a successful life, whatever that entails for each of us specifically.  We want to do well in all aspects of life… our career, the gym, our love lives, etc. But, the same time, lots of people are OK with just coasting by and doing the bare minimum. My writing today is for both of these kinds of people.

You might be saying to yourself, “I’m not one of those people.” And you could be right. You say things, you set goals, you talk about plans. But unfortunately, what we plan for does not always happen. What we say does not always mean what we do. We sometimes fall short, and we don’t always follow up.

To find and keep success in life, you need to be able to hold yourself accountable. Basically, you need to be able to call yourself on your own shit. This is way easier said, than done. Most people are completely and utterly incapable of admitting they’re wrong, admitting they’re not doing enough, or admitting they’re just straight up lazy.

Being accountable is literally as simple as this: say what you’re going to do, and then do it.

Keep in mind, I said simple, not easy. 

You should be holding yourself to the highest standard of all.

You should realize that a long-term change or goal requires small, meticulous details that are required every day!!!

Successful people, in my eyes, are those that choose excellence, work hard, and pay attention to detail, in every aspect of life. They want to excel in all areas, not just one. They don’t take the easy way out. They do the work when it needs to be done, they don’t make excuses, and they call themselves on their own shit.

At the end of the day, you are accountable for your own success. You are in control of your actions and decisions, therefore you need to be responsible for them.

First, you need to be clear with yourself of your intentions. Your intentions for yourself should be reasonable, but high! Do you want that promotion at your job? Do you want to buy a house by the end of the year? Do you want to lose 20 pounds?

Then, how are you going to implement it?

At your job, are you going to keep learning new skills? Continue your education? Make your intentions known to your superiors?

For your upcoming home ownership, how much money are you going to save? Are you going to come up with a budget? How are you going to strengthen your credit score? Do you have ideas of areas you would like to live in?

To lose weight, do you have a deadline? Are you going to do weekly weigh-ins? Measurements? Food logs? Workout plans?

Now comes the hardest part, effort. Effort, is in fact, a choice. You make a decision every work day, every meal, every workout, every dollar spent, if you’re working towards that goal, or taking a step back from it. And realizing that can be very difficult.

It’s hard to take a step back and realize how many conscious decisions we make. There are a ton of things in life we cannot control, but it’s in fact quite scary to fully realize how much we do have control over. It’s all about taking ownership of your choices and their  consequences.

Your alarm goes off, and you hit that snooze button twice, rush to get out of bed, get stuck in five extra minutes of traffic, and end up being fifteen minutes late to work. When the alarm went off, you had two choices: get out of bed, or hit the snooze. You consciously chose to hit the snooze. But of course, if this is the situation, most would blame it on the traffic. Right?

Every time you buy something you don’t need, you are making a conscious choice to do so. Dinners out with friends and family, unnecessary snacks at the grocery store, another pair of sweatpants or a sweatshirt… every time you purchase something outside of your intended budget, you are taking money away from what you really need it for. Point blank period.

If there is food in front of you, good or bad, you make a decision whether to put it in your mouth or not. Every bite (or no bite) is either getting you closer to your weight loss goals, or farther away. The choice is YOURS. If you take that bite of cake, you’re basically saying to yourself, “This temporary satisfaction is more important than my long-term goals.”

Just let all that sink in for a sec.

I don’t try to be a hard-ass, I just want everyone reading this to realize how truly simple it is. It’s so easy to put the blame on others. It’s really hard to come to terms with the fact that the only person responsible, is yourself.

That’s what accountability is. And this is where your effort matters.

Once you make your intentions clear, and execute a plan, it needs to be followed through. This is the part where you actually do what you say you’re going to do. This is where it comes down to the daily, small changes in your habits.

I’ll just go ahead and keep using the examples I’ve been using: a job promotion, home ownership, and weight loss.

At work, know that you are going to have to bring a positive attitude. Every day. Get there early. Stay late. Willingly look for more responsibilities. Ask for what you want. Every day do something that makes you stand out from the rest of the pack.

When it comes to your money, stick to your budget, don’t stray far off from it. Notice things you use are unnecessary , that can be reused or recycled, or that you can temporarily do without. Limit expenses like heat, electric, cell use… anything that can reduce the size of your bills.

To shed those extra pounds, get help from a professional, that you can check in with pretty often. Track your calories and macros. Don’t skip a workout. Don’t have unnecessary snack foods and treats around. Stick to the plan. Opt for the stairs and stay active as much as you can.

Get the jist here? Every thing I just listed, for each situation, are things that need to be done daily. That’s the key. Small changes, every day, over time, leading to huge results. That’s how we get what we want out of life. This can be applied to any situation.

Intention, Implementation, Effort. YOU GOT THIS!

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness: What it is & how to practice it

Hi all! We are a little over one week into the new year, I hope it’s treating you nicely so far. A lot of us are taking this fresh start and using this motivation and momentum to hopefully make some positive changes in our daily lives.

I feel like I’ve become sort of a self-growth junkie, I’m always looking for ways to continue growing as a person. It’s very addicting!! There is always more you can be doing… honing down on your eating habits a little more. Putting down the phone, and picking up a book. Stop hitting the snooze, and getting up for your alarm every single day. And for me, most recently, being present in the moment.

Being present.

Sounds easy, right? Not really. Chances are, unless you are doing it purposely, you are never really being fully present in the moment that is happening. Our brains wander sporadically; we have no control over it. You could be thinking about what happened last night, what’s going to happen on the next episode of this show, how you’re going to do in your workout competition next month…. basically anything else. It is very, very hard to be still, calm, and focused on the moment that’s happening, right this second.

Mindfulness is defined as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” (credit to http://www.mindful.org)

The purpose of mindfulness practices are to help relieve stress and anxiety, and bring more focus and attention into our every day lives. It helps you stop worrying about the future and regretting about the past. It helps you build more meaningful relationships. It’s also suuuuuper relaxing, leading to better sleep and more feelings of well-being, But just like anything in life, it takes practice– and the more you practice, the more benefits you will reap in your daily life.

There is a ton of literature on mindfulness, its purposes, its benefits, and how to get started. Believe me, I am no expert. I have only just begun my journey into attempting to be more mindful. What I don’t know a ton about, I try to read and learn as much as I can.

Probably the most popular mindfulness technique, and my newest obsession, is meditation. I’ve dabbled in meditation practice before but it never really stuck with me until now. I’ve been looking forward to it every single day since I’ve started! They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. I hope this becomes a habit for life for me!

Here’s a beginners meditation practice, that only takes a few minutes:

  1. Sit on a couch, chair, or the floor, with a straight back, and legs crossed in front of you.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe naturally, don’t try to force it or control it.
  4. Focus on each inhalation and exhalation and how your body feels with each. You can focus on the air coming in and out of the nostrils, how the air fills and leaves your chest, or how your abdomen rises and falls… whichever you choose.
  5. Continue to focus on each breath. If you feel your mind start to wander, just gently bring it back.
  6. Start this practice for a few minutes at a time, and eventually for longer time periods.

 

There are a ton of resources out there for you if you wish to learn more, like myself. Meditation can be done on your own, practiced through yoga, or even through a mindfulness app. I recently have been loving this app, Calm, for my meditation. It tracks your progress- how many days in a row you’ve meditated, how many total hours you’ve meditated, and can send you a daily reminder to meditate.

It has all sorts of different programs: for beginners, for focus, for anxiety, for sleep, for gratitude, etc. (pictured below)! It even has sleep stories. Yes… bedtime stories for adults. It’s AMAZING! The guided meditations break down mindfulness, meditation, how and why to do it, and then continually expand your knowledge and hone in on the skills from there. I’m loving it so much and for only $5 a month, I’d say it’s worth it.

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As always friends, if anyone has any questions (but again, I’m no expert!) or comments, I’d love to hear them. If you are on a mindfulness journey as well I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Don’t ever forget- we can all pick up a daily habit that can help us grow and develop into our highest selves! What’s your’s going to be?

Your New Years “resolution”– making it sustainable.

It’s about that time of year again… that weird time in between Christmas & New Years when we don’t really know what’s going on or even what day it is.

Maybe your eating habits went to shit in the past week.

Maybe you’re exhausted from driving all over to visit your family or your significant other’s family.

Maybe you’re stressing about all the money you spent on Christmas gifts.

Maybe you’ve been binge-watching Netflix and become more anxious as it gets closer and closer to the day you have to go back to work.

We spend this time getting out all of our bad habits. Come January 1st, it’s a new year, 2018. New year, new you, right? This magic day comes and all of the sudden we’ve become experts on how to change our lives. Because it happens in one day, right?

Not quite. If you want to make a change in your life– whatever it may be, if you want it, and I mean really want it– you’re not going to wait. You’re going to do it right now. Not tomorrow, not Monday, not January 1st.

Why do you need a new year to be a better person? To change your diet? To start working out? To make more time for your boyfriend/girlfriend? To start meditating? To disconnect from social media? To limit your spending? If you want to do it, quite frankly, just do it.

Often times when we come up with a “goal” for our New Years resolution, it’s going to fail. I put the word goal in quotation marks because it’s actually not a goal. It’s just a person saying they’re going to do something. Unless you sit down and plan out the small, daily changes you are going to take to make this plan happen… it’s not a goal. Point, blank, period. (If you haven’t read my previous blog about goal-setting, you should).

Chances are, last year you had a resolution that didn’t go quite as planned. And the year before. And the year before. See the pattern? It all sounds well and good in our mind… maybe it works for a few weeks, or a few months. But it almost always never lasts. As soon as we lose motivation, it’s over with. Let me tell you- motivation will come, and it will go. Some days you will want to complete that task, some days you won’t. What comes, and stays, always, is discipline.

People who are disciplined don’t wait until a Monday to start a fitness program. People who are disciplined don’t let the holidays throw their diet into the garbage. People who are disciplined get the work done when they feel like it, and they also get the work done when they don’t feel like it. They make time for the things they want to make time for. They don’t do things that aren’t necessary. Every thing that they are in control of, they handle.

What I suggest you should do, instead of coming up with a New Years resolution, is to sit down and reflect on your actions and behaviors this past year.

What kind of person are you?

What kind of person do you want to be?

What bad things happened to you that you could have prevented?

How could you have reacted differently to things that were out of your control?

What do you do when you don’t feel like doing something?

How do you motivate yourself?

What drives you?

What do you wish you made more time for?

Are you willing to do something differently, every single day?

What is it that you want to change?

What bad habits do you want to get rid of?

From here, you probably have a good idea of what you would like to change about yourself. Now, it’s time to come up with a plan.  A real, sustainable plan needs to include DAILY changes (again, please refer to my goal-setting post!). Every single day you will have to do something differently, until the point where it becomes habit. That’s where the discipline kicks in– you’ve been doing it for so long you don’t even have to think about it anymore.

What we fail to understand over and over and over again, is how much power we have over our own lives. Your dream body, your dream job, your mentality, a great relationship, a bigger savings account. What it takes, is real, hard, effort, and discipline. The question is, are you willing?

Nobody can change your life, except for you. If you want something, you have to make it happen, for yourself.

 

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday and New Years 🙂 friendssss, please contact me if you need help with goal-setting, ever!!! I would love to help.

 

❤ Rachel

 

 

Self-care is NOT selfish!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

You can’t keep giving, giving, giving… and never taking anything for yourself.

We have this idea that putting our selves, our needs, our wants, before other things in our lives is selfish. There seems to be a misconception in our world: there’s no way that we can take care of others, while simultaneously taking care of ourselves. Most of us think we have to choose between the two.

You shouldn’t have that voice in your head that stops you every time you get the idea to do something for yourself. You’re not being a hero by being self-less all the time. What you’re actually doing, is burning yourself out.

When I say “self-care”… I don’t necessarily mean taking yourself on a shopping spree, or getting your nails done, or going on a vacation, or rewarding yourself with your favorite food. I’m talking about mental self-care: things that make your soul happy, give you purpose, get you in touch with your feelings.

Have you ever found yourself getting angry or upset and lashing out on someone, and realizing later that it wasn’t them that upset you, that you were actually angry about something else? Have you ever felt so stressed out and started crying about something insignificant, then to realize it’s because you were absolutely exhausted?

When you aren’t in touch with our feelings, you tend to project them on others. This can obviously cause problems in relationships and cause you to lash out at those around you. Self-care, real self-care, begins with opening up to yourself about your feelings, your wants, and your needs. What do you want? What do you need? What calms you down? What keeps you sane?

I want to train 6x a week. I need to cook all my meals. Stretching and drinking wine calms me down. Relaxing on the couch, with my dog, catching up on some TV keeps me sane. These are the things I do to take care of myself.

Answer these questions, honestly. Now… are you making time for the answers to those questions? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that’s what you should be doing.

Yes I get it, it’s easy for me to say. I’m a single 25-year old with no kids or anything like that. But listen to me… “I don’t have time” is not an excuse. There is someone out there, with a busier schedule than you, who is “making time.” If it is important to you, you will make time. And I hope I’m convincing to you right now, that it should be important to you.

I work 2 jobs, 50+ hours a week… nights, some early mornings, and weekends. I’m not complaining about my schedule, but every free second I get, I use. I use any free few hours to get the things done that keep me sane. I prep all my meals on Monday morning, it’s therapeutic and relaxing and makes me happy because I know it’s helping me towards my goals. When I can, I sit down and write because I enjoy getting my thoughts and ramblings on paper. If I have any downtime or a night off, I’m usually curling up on the couch and catching up on a TV show, only if it’s for an hour before I go to bed. After a long, hectic double at work, I love to come home, whip out a yoga mat, stretch and drink wine while watching a TV show.

Self-care also means learning how to say no. You don’t have to pick up that shift for that person. You don’t have to take on that extra project. You don’t have to keep making other people’s wishes and requests priorities over other things in your life.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your priorities. If you are not properly taking care of yourself, it means that you are not considering yourself a priority. How f*cked up is that?

So I challenge you, to prioritize. Make self-care one of your goals going into the new year. Put yourself first… FOR ONCE! Get rid of that nasty voice in your head telling you to stop being selfish. Because you’re not being selfish, you’re being smart. Your mind, your body, your soul… it’s the only one ya got. So take care of it. And you will reap benefits in all other aspects of your life. ❤