Beat procrastination with this tip!

Isn’t procrastination the worst? Maybe we’re stalling on a work or school assignment, running a boring/tedious errand, doing something around the house, working out, or calling someone back. When we avoid something, it festers and hangs over our head, getting bigger and scarier every minute we do something else (um like watch clips of RHONY and Watch What Happens Live) instead of what we should really be doing. Ick just thinking about procrastination makes me nauseous because I get so freaked out by the tasks that I procrastinate on that just get even more overwhelming. Gah!

Today, for example, I did some typical things: cleaning, laundry, organizing, etc. But I was avoiding working out. I kept watching clips of reality TV and doing stuff around the house instead. My body wanted to workout, but I couldn’t decide whether to take a walk, do yoga, lift weights, whatever…and I stayed in that indecisive, procrastinating place for most of the day. Then, a lesson from the amazing Gabrielle Bernstein (via Yogi Bhajan) came to me:

When the time is on you, start and the pressure will be off.

This lesson offers so much peace because it reminds us that when we have a goal or task in front of us, all we have to do is take one simple step: start. We don’t have to worry about what the “what ifs” or how things will turn out or how we’ll feel during the process. When we just start, we’ll feel a sense of relief. That task, project, or goal immediately becomes less scary and more manageable.

As soon as I thought of that message–start and the pressure will be off–I got off of my bed, put on my workout shoes, grabbed some music, and took a walk around my neighborhood. I started, didn’t worry about whether I was doing the “right” workout or what workout I would do tomorrow, and now I feel great that I accomplished something I wanted to do today!

Other ways you can start so that the pressure will be off:

  • Set your timer for 5 mins and pick up the clothes on your floor. Just getting into that mode of cleaning/decluttering can give you energy to vacuum, wash your sheets, clean your bathroom, etc.
  • Take a shower to shift your energy. Showering helps us feel refreshed, renewed–feelings that energize us to accomplish something/get started on a task or project.
  • Make a weekly master To Do list. Grab a pen and paper and write down everything you need to do this week. Just getting stuff down on paper makes you feel more organized and motivated. Then, pick one of those tasks, set a timer, and do it!
  • If you’re trying to stop binge eating, the next time you binge, take a deep breath (even if you’re in the middle of chewing), go into the kitchen, and have a glass of water. These simple actions shift you out of binge eating mode and into a more peaceful state so that you’re less likely to continue your binge.

Let procrastination ease away–just by starting.

How to accomplish your goals faster

Almost every day for the past three weeks, I’ve been hopping on the phone with a friend I made in a coaching group. At 9:30am, we do an exercise from our program to keep us on track with having a positive mindset–so that we see positive results in our lives.

If I didn’t have this phone call with my friend every morning, motivating myself to do that exercise would be much more difficult. If left on my own, I would probably skip a few days, then eventually lose motivation and not do the exercise for weeks…requiring me to build up the mental strength and discipline again to get myself back on track. Think of all of that time and energy I wasted not doing the exercise, when just doing it would’ve been a much for effective way to see the results I want in my life.

But working with my friend, aka my accountability buddy, forces me (in a gentle way) to do the exercise. She calls me every morning, and I pick up. We do the exercise, then get on with our days. Our system is great. It gives me the structure and discipline I need to help me accomplish my goals faster than I would if I didn’t have that support.

Think about one of your goals or an area of your life that you’d like to improve.

How might you incorporate an accountability buddy to help you move towards that goal/improvement faster?

Here are some ideas to help you out!

  • If your goal is to incorporate more exercise in your life, make a plan with a friend to go to a class together, or take a walk/run together. Instead of meeting there, try carpooling. If you’re responsible for picking up someone or being picked up, you’ll be more likely to go and not just bail if you’re too tired.
  • Start a group gratitude chat. Gather a few of your friends and text each other three things you’re grateful for each day. Pick different things each time. Gratitude makes you feel instantly abundant and happy!
  • Choose an inspirational/self-improvement book to read with a friend/group of friends. Get together once a week to discuss how you’re incorporating the principles into your life, cheer each other on, and get ideas for how to stay on track.

These are just some of the MANY ways you can incorporate an accountability buddy system into your life…and get the discipline you need to accomplish your goals faster!

My realization of what freedom REALLY means

This weekend, I taught an awesome Chair Yoga class and went to a Disney-themed bridal shower.

Aside from the lighter moments of my week, I also came to a sad, but life-changing realization.

For pretty much my whole life, I thought that “freedom” meant having ALL of my options open to me–in my career, romantic relationships, how I spend my money, where I move, and so on. I would feel tortured by choice paralysis (a term I learned from a lovely friend and follower) because if I made a choice in one of those areas…that meant the other options weren’t available to me anymore, and what if I got trapped or stuck in the choice I made?

Source: http://mamademics.com/the-beyonce-playlist-every-teacher-can-relate-too/

So I just wouldn’t make choices. I would date people, but keep them at arm’s length and never commit to them. I would freak out when applying to jobs because I was so scared that I would get trapped in something I didn’t like. I would refuse to consider areas in which I’d like to live, so I’d just stay where I was. I wanted all of my options open to me at all times, which in my head, was freedom.

But a few nights ago, I realized that refusing to make choices has only given me a false sense of freedom. I tweeted this:

Having all of your options open to you does NOT give you freedom. Making decisions and living life gives you freedom. FINALLY LEARNING THIS.

Not making choices isn’t allowing me to live life. Sure, I have all of my options in front of me, but that means I’m just watching my life and not living it. It’s a very empty, lonely, and exhausting space to inhabit–no deep romantic relationships, feeling stagnant, obsessing about possibilities, a lack of connection to myself and what I really want, lack of focus because there are so many choices with what to do with my time, how do I decide?

If we want to engage with life and have experiences, then we need to start making choices–knowing that we always have the ability to change our minds if a choice doesn’t feel good or really give us what we want.

I’m still figuring this out, but I think true freedom means that we live our lives, have experiences, and know that we can always make a change, and that no matter what happens, we can handle it and we’ll be okay.

Stay tuned for more on this topic–I’m still wrapping my mind around it.

Play the Question Game with me?

I’m on Pacific time right now, as I’m in Vegas on a work trip. My room has automatic shades, a red leather couch, a black toilet, and a kick-ass view. Vegas is the best-worst place ever.

In today’s blog, I’m adapting an exercise I learned from a personal retreat I attended a few days ago in San Diego.

Think about an area of your life that not going the way you want it to go. Maybe you feel frustrated, anxious, embarrassed, angry, scared, or sad about it. When you think about that area and the emotions it triggers in you, what questions do you find yourself asking?

For example, maybe if you’re feeling really chaotic around money, you’re asking yourself, Why can’t I just have more money like my friends? Why am I so poor? Why didn’t I pick a better career?

Or if romantic relationships are tripping you up, you might be asking yourself: What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just be normal in relationships? Why do I attract losers and my friends have great relationships?

Think about your area of life, then make a list of those questions that come up for you when you think about it.

Now I have a question for you. Are those questions really helping your current situation? Are those questions helping you move towards what you want? Do they make you feel excited and motivated to accomplish your goals and get what you want?

No!

That means you have to change the questions you’re asking yourself. Empowering and motivating questions include:

How have I grown in this area of my life? What can I do right now to feel more positive about this area? How can I work on myself now so that I’m the best romantic partner I can be when I meet the person of my dreams? How can I turn my skills and passions into a profitable side hustle? How can I live like I already have the money/career/romantic relationship/health of my dreams?

Notice how these questions make you feel, compared to the previous questions. These questions probably make you feel much more calm, empowered, and motivated, right? When you shift into asking yourself these questions, you put yourself into action quickly, and then you’re on your way to feeling better and accomplishing all of your goals.

Give this exercise a try and experience the shifts!

How and why to get psyched about your own life

This weekend, I spent about 40 mins scrolling through the Instagram of a stranger. I discovered this person (who is totally lovely and contributing to the world in a positive way btw) via a blogger I follow..and just got lost in her life online.

When I managed to pull myself away from the computer screen, I realized that I spent so much time experiencing some other girl’s life that I completely neglected mine. Why did I divest myself of my own life in favor of someone else’s on social media? I’m thinking it’s partially because I was trying to forget about the things in my own life that make me feel anxious, stagnant, and inferior. Sometimes it’s easier for me to get lost in a stranger’s shiny Instagram life than deal with my own reality.

But taking an Instagram vacation doesn’t actually resolve anything in my life; it just exacerbates those feelings of anxiety and inferiority. It prolongs the amount of time it will take for me to take action and experience contentment in those areas of my life that are unsettled.

What’s the answer, then?

Get psyched about what you’re doing in your own life.

Why? Because when you’re excited about your life, you feel inspired to get clear on and accomplish your goals–so that you can be the best version of yourself and contribute to the world positively.

Getting psyched about your life also helps you view your life as valuable and worthy. That means you’ll naturally move away from people and activities that drain you/make you feel stagnant and just meh. You’ll begin to spend your time, money, and energy with intention–on things that really matter to you and fill you up.

How do you get psyched about your life? Try this tips!

1. Get quiet. When you remove distractions and outside noise, you can hear your own thoughts, needs, and desires better. Get to know yourself for a few minutes each day. Journal. Take a walk. Stretch. Read. Eat your meals while listening to music instead of watching a show. When you form a closer relationship with yourself, you learn more about what your soul is truly craving (in all areas of your life), and you can take aligned action from there. You’ll realize that just like those Instagram bloggers, you too have an awesome personality, big goals, and a valuable perspective on life

2. Add more fun to your day. It’s easy to focus on the routine and drudgery of our day…which makes us think that our life isn’t exciting at all. Make the boring stuff exciting. Have a 1-minute dance party between work tasks. Listen to an audio book during your commute. Have a phone date with a friend while doing laundry. Wear a hot outfit while running errands. When you have more fun, you feel a little more psyched about your life, and you realize that you have the power to experience life however you choose.

3. Work out. Moving your body makes you feel calm, empowered, and inspired. Move in a way that feels good to you (see tip 1) and do it a few times per week.

4. Tackle your To Do list. Nothing makes us feel more lazy and inferior than procrastinating on our To Do list. Take action by choosing one thing on your list, setting a timer, and doing it. Then, choose another thing. This will make you feel like a boss, motivating you to keep accomplishing your tasks and goals, and feel totally psyched about yourself.

My #1 tip to sticking to your New Years resolutions!

Whew, it’s been a minute. How are you?

I’m still easing out of the holiday season and sloooowly releasing my tight grip on Christmas. Actually, I’m pretty excited for the new year.

How are you feeling about 2017?

The attitude I’m adopting in 2017 can be summed up by a quote from Amelia Earhart: The most effective way to do it, is to do it. (I tweeted that the other day!).

I love this quote because it reminds us that accomplishing our goals happens in the moment, not at some vague point in the future. When you take action on your goals little by little instead of putting them off or assuming that you’ll get to them some day, somehow, you make progress and get your sh*t done!

It’s so easy to create goals or resolutions for ourselves, and not actually take action on them. It’s easy to just think about our goals, maybe do a little work towards them here and there, then get distracted or go back to doing what’s comfortable. When we do this, we never actually accomplish or experience the things that we want.

It’s also easy to overthink the best way to accomplish our goals. Sometimes we get so in our heads about how to take action, what may go wrong, and what others will think of us–that we want to jump back in bed and hide from the world. This tossing and turning keeps us stuck and scared, and then we barely make any progress.

What’s the solution? How do we make consistent progress on our goals? It’s simple: just start. Take small actions on your goals on a regular basis. As you take steps forward, the next steps become clear.

Let’s say that you want to be more organized around your finances. There are a TON of finance books, blogs, and resources you can use. But instead of obsessing about choosing the “perfect” or “right” resource, you just choose one or two that resonate most with you. And instead of just thinking about getting more organized around your finances, you just take action. Maybe instead of spending 10 mins of your work break on Youtube every day, you check your account balances. Maybe instead of just telling yourself that yes, you’re going to make a budget, you set a timer for 15 mins and make a list of all of your bills.

Think about a goal that you want to accomplish in 2017, or your New Years resolution. What’s one small action that you can take right now to make progress on that goal?

Awesome resources to stay peaceful and productive in December

Like I mentioned last week, December can be such a chaotic month. There’s a lot of pressure to see a bunch of people, squeeze in all of the holiday festivities you can, and let’s not forget the amount of work and deadlines that pile up before the end of the year.

Whew. Just thinking about all of that makes my chest tighten and my thoughts spin.

But there are ways we can slow down and accomplish everything we need to accomplish with peace and ease. And actually, when we slow down, we get more done.

Below are all of the things I’ve been doing/watching/reading/listening to stay calm and productive this month. Pick the things that resonate with you and give them a try!

Listening to…
Spotify’s Acoustic Christmas. I love this playlist because it puts me in the holiday spirit and it’s mellow enough for me to enjoy while working.
Commute with LEVIS playlist by female DJ Jilly Hendrix. This one pumps you up and makes me feel like a boss.
Podcasts: Let it Out and Food Psych are my faves. I’ve also heard great things about Call Your Girlfriend and Lady Lovin‘. I get SO tempted (and give in a lot) to go on Youtube during the day when I’m taking a break from work/eating lunch/procrastinating. But that just gets me so off track and brings me no peace whatsoever. Podcasts help me stay on track, give me positive energy, and entertain me!

Reading…
Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison. OMG read this memoir from Hugh Hefner’s former main gf. She goes deep about what Playboy mansion life was really like and how she empowered herself to get out, work hard, and live an amazing life on her own terms.
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Any time you open ANY of Gabby’s books, you’ll feel happier and calmer.
Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel by Lauren Graham. LG hit it out of the park with this one.
Let it Out: A Journey Through Journaling by Katie Dalebout. Awesome book of journaling prompts that connect you to your purpose, calm you down, and help you feel awesome about yourself.

Putting on my face…
This face mask from Lush. My all-time store-bought fave.
Greek yogurt. Duh. My all-time DIY fave. Smear a few tablespoons on your face, leave for 15 mins, wash off gently.
These too: egg/honey, greek yogurt/banana, egg whites.

Rocking body confidence with the Instagrams of…
Tess Holliday
Nourish and Eat
Robin Lawley
Ashley Graham

These resources will give you energy and a sense of calm…so that you can really enjoy this month AND knock out your To Do list.

3 ways to be peaceful and productive in December

December is a crazy month for all of us. If you’re in school, you’re drowning in papers and finals. If you have a full-time job, your’e scrambling to meet all of your deadlines and complete extra projects. If you’re somewhere in between, you may be juggling a few jobs/side hustles/trying to figure out your next step amidst the holiday madness. There’s a TON going on in December, and our mental and physical health can really take a hit. We’re often exhausted by the holidays because we’ve been doing so much to finish our work and complete our holiday To Do list.

But what if there was a different way to experience December? What if you could get all of your stuff done and feel relatively peaceful? What if by the holidays rolled around, you felt relaxed and accomplished?

It’s totally possible to have a peaceful AND productive December. Use these tips to get there:

1. Block off 10 mins in the morning and night to connect with yourself.When you wake up and before you go to bed each day, do something to get out of your head, into your body, and into the present moment. Journal. Do some stretches while listening to music. Meditate. Have a cup of tea and read a book. Take a short walk. This will slow down your whirring thoughts and keep you from future tripping about everything you have to do. When you connect with yourself, you carry that sense of inner connection throughout the day, which will help you move and do your work with ease.

2. Know exactly what tasks you’re completing in the morning. Too often we just say, “Tomorrow I’ll work on x, y, z.” But that’s so vague. The next morning, we don’t know where to begin and we just end up procrastinating with Youtube, social media, etc. Then the rest of our day becomes unfocused. Every night, assign yourself 1-3 specific, concrete tasks for the next morning. Ex. Freewrite for 20 mins about my paper topic. Assign blog post topics to freelancers. Call this person and ask about this. When you have a productive morning, you’ll feel motivated to continue the productivity for the rest of the day.

3. Observe the 1-min rule. This comes from author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin. The 1-min rule requires you to pick a task that you can do in 1- minute and DO IT. Ex. Pick up your clothes from the floor. Write an email. Respond to that text. Do some squats and crunches. Meditate. Write your To Do list. This rule helps you increase your productivity in stress-free way. 1 minute is pretty easy to handle, and it makes us feel super productive, which motivates us (and gives us more time) to accomplish bigger tasks.

Let these tips guide you in December. It’s time for you to have a December that makes you feel happy, relaxed, and accomplished!

How to move forward after the election

My heart is slowly healing and my fear for our country’s future is slowly dissipating…because there is no other option except to heal and move forward, sooner rather than later.

However you feel about this election–devastated/stunned/neutral/hopeful/pissed/happy/scared–I invite you to feel inspired.

If this election has taught us anything, it’s that we have control over so few things and it’s a humbling and sobering experience any time we realize that.

What can we actually control? Ourselves. Our choices. Our reactions. Our thoughts. Let’s focus on that. That gives us a lot to work with. Remembering what we can control has given me a lot of hope this week.

Now more than ever, we need to live from that perspective, from what we can control. It’s time to take a hard look about what we’re doing in our lives now, and how we can show up more powerfully–so that these next four years are wonderful and productive, regardless of what happens in White House.

It’s time to take action on those goals–academic, personal, professional–we want to accomplish, but we keep putting off.

It’s time to drop the negative beliefs we have about ourselves (“I’m too much” or “I’m not enough”) and get to work on what we want to accomplish and experience in this life. Those beliefs keep us small, hold us back, and prevent us from doing the stuff we want to do.

It’s time to get out of our comfort zones in small and big ways.

It’s time to just do things a little differently, to just act and create instead of thinking and talking.

What does all of this look like in regular life? Maybe it means committing to going to yoga at 6am 3 times per week, and actually getting out of bed and going. Maybe it means telling people how you really feel instead of trying to make everyone happy. Maybe it means replacing the time you spend Youtubing reruns of Girls Next Door (ummm me) with an uplifting podcast. Maybe it means looking for a job that really fills you up and is more in line with your passions. Maybe it means going out on dates now, not putting your love life on hold until you lose weight/fix something about yourself.

There are so many ways we can play bigger in our lives. There are so many ways we can be active and powerful. And when we do that, we give others permission to go after their goals and dreams too. And then we awaken the whole world.

Let this election–regardless of how you feel about it–inspire you.

Two awesome and low-effort time management techniques

Sometimes (a lot of times), it’s hard for me to focus while I’m working. I tend to start a task, then shift a few moments later to something else that I remember I have to do, change the song I’m listening to, text someone, grab another glass of water, etc. You know the drill.

In our world of constant stimuli that offer immediate gratification, staying on one task for a set period of time can be pretty difficult. I recently discovered two time-management tools that really work for me. I invite you to try them for yourselves.

1. When you’re faced with a challenge (however big), take a few deep breaths. When we’re working on a task, challenges come up. We may not know how to respond to an email, proceed on an assignment, or we may have to Google around for an answer to a question. When these challenges come up, we get slightly uncomfortable/annoyed/frustrated, so our minds wander to distract ourselves from that discomfort. But that just makes us lose concentration, prolonging the time it takes for us to finish something. The next time you notice yourself switching gears right away when a challenge comes up, remove your hands from your laptop or phone and take two deep breaths.Put your focus on your breath.Then return to the task. You’ll often find that when you go back to your task, the challenge at hand is less of a pain than you thought. With just a little more concentration, you can figure it out and get your task done.

2. Set a timer for 10 mins and crank out that email. Sending emails seems like such a mind-numbing task, but it actually takes a lot of concentration. We may have to include a lot of detail and direction to our recipient or write a thoughtful response to someone’s idea. And how annoying is it when you finally send an email and realize you made a mistake!? It can take a long time to write a useful and error-free email, and it’s so easy for our minds to wander while we write. Try this technique. Set your timer for 10 mins. Get hyperfocused and try your absolute hardest to get that email written within that 10 mins. But don’t send yet. This helps you get out everything you need to say—quickly. THEN, after the 10 mins, read the email aloud to yourself and send.

Try these techniques at work or school this week. They’ll help you stay focused during your work time so that you get your work done quickly—and you avoid having to take work home or squeezing in work in other parts of your day.