MOMENTUM

Dear Strong Woman,

Keep your foot on the gas.

We are at the apex of 2018.  My Strong Man and I have been reflecting on the past six months, and it truly is amazing what you can create in your life once you decide it’s happening.  It’s been a bit brutal and gritty, and while I sit here having actually put on weight, I am lighter. Lighter in spirit. In stress. That cloud nine thing people talk about?  Yes. THAT.

But we’re just getting started.

That’s the tricky thing with momentum – it craves movement.  I’m feeling pretty and proud about some recent accomplishments, and yet there is danger in thinking I can take it easy now.  

You’ve done it.  You finally hit your weight loss goal, so you think you’ve earned the right to ease up on the discipline, only to find yourself struggling to button those skinny jeans that fit you like a glove just a week before.  You make a promise to yourself to read for 15 minutes a day, and it goes great for a week or so, until that one time you tell yourself you’ll do it later, and later becomes six months. Or if you’re like me, you write consistently for weeks, finally write something worthy of sharing on the blog, and then don’t come back to it until four days later. (Ahem…current situation.  Also, true story…all of those examples are me.)

You guys – don’t fall into that trap.

If you’ve hit a goal, or even a milestone towards that goal, take it as a sign that you are on the right track and keep going.  The amount of energy needed to restart the train is exponentially greater than that necessary to keep it moving. Don’t stop and ask yourself if you feel like doing it – because we all know that answer – and do it anyway. Do it long enough, and it’s no longer about the little things you’re doing to make it so…

It’s about who you’ve become.

Energy is everything.  Thoughts become things.  Emotion amplifies those things. Action brings those things to life.  So in the name of action, here are a few actionable things you can do to help you continue (or even jumpstart) your momentum towards your 2018 goals.

  1. Keep your goals at stretch distance.  You’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T goals, right?  I can get behind them, almost. The A stands for Attainable, and I truly think it’s a cop out.  If something is attainable, do you really have to work that hard to get it? Nah. Set your goals just outside of reach.  Nothing great happens from comfort zones, and if you really want some significant change, you have to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable. Why do you think so many give up on their weight loss New Year’s resolutions by the end of January? Set a goal that is just out of reach so that you have to keep growing to keep going.  Hint: If it scares you, you’re on the right track.
  2. Track everything.  Data doesn’t lie.  We can’t be surprised at the number on the scale if we document the number of breadsticks we ate at The Olive Garden last night. True story…?  We’ve started tracking our spending. No, it’s not some new age thing, but it’s also not something everyone does. After ten days, we realized we’d spent $40 alone on ice cream.  Seeing that was both shocking and sobering, and it had an impact. Do you think we think twice about indulging in that delicious goodness now? Not just from a health standpoint, but from a financial one?  You bet.
  3. Expect imperfection.  Just accept it now – you will not be perfect.  There will be days that won’t go as planned. You’ll miss a deadline, or something will take you twice as long as you thought, or you’ll come down with a nasty cold in the middle of summer.  In other words, life happens. But that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. If your plan was to go from A to Z this year, and your currently only at F, that’s still better than being back at A, right?  Baby steps are still steps, babe. Slow progress is better than no progress at all.
  4. Protect your energy.  Surround yourself with people who are going to motivate you and inspire you.  This may mean eradicating your media intake. It may also mean spending less time with people who drain your energy.  It could even mean having some tough conversations, and fighting through some unchartered waters. If you find yourself wondering if you can afford to cut some things out of your life, I encourage you to instead ask… When it comes to your dreams, can you afford not to?  I’ll share a quote with you from one of my favorite growth gurus (Cara Alwill Leyba) that has been my mantra for a few years now: You will evolve. Not everyone will. Evolve Anyway.”That’s the thing about new beginnings…they sometimes require other things to end.

In closing, know that you only fail if you stop trying.  Furthermore, if you do all of the above and then some and still don’t get to where you want to be by 11:59pm on December 31st, it’s okay. Dreams don’t have expiration dates.  

Keep going.

ABLAZE

Dear Strong Woman,

Have you ever had that moment where you’re driving alone in your car, and the song that suddenly comes on the radio feels like it was written for you?

Or maybe you find yourself at church, actually listening to the sermon your pastor is giving (for once), and find that it was exactly what you needed to hear?

What about when your sitting in a room with 30,000 other people, both exhausted an invigorated after three full days of intense training, listening to woman at the top of your organization getting praised for the positive change she has brought to the world, and feel a bizarre futuristic sense of deja vu?

“Who would’ve thought a girl from Western Pennsylvania could have done all of this.”

WAIT.  I’M a girl from Western Pennsylvania, too!

From Spark to Wild Fire

I felt it – that spark – way back when I decided it was time for me to put myself first and encourage others to do the same by becoming an advocate of self-love.  I knew it was going to be my saving grace, as I couldn’t ask others to do what I was unwilling to do for myself. The example I strived to set was the answer to the problem I avoided by constantly kneeling at the alter of my to-do list.

I just didn’t know that such a tiny spark would eventually spread like wildfire.

Self-love has played a major role in transforming me from rundown workaholic to wellness warrior, so much so that the act of saying no to the shit I hate has allowed me to say yes to the things that have always set fire within my soul.  (Hence, this blog.)  In a way, I am becoming who I was always meant to be.

However, the most profound discovery thus far on this grand adventure has not been my light, but what happens when one chooses to take their light and light the candles of others.

And then put 30,000 of them under one roof.

It’s Lit

There is something so beautiful about a person whose energy introduces them before their words do. Get enough people like that together and you’ll find the air around you buzzing.

Buzzing with hope. With opportunity. But most importantly, with intention.

And isn’t that how we should be living every day?  In fearless pursuit of what sets our souls on fire?

*click*

It was then, there…in the middle of the fire, that I decided.

There is no such thing as having enough time.  You have to MAKE time.  Life never slows down. You are never ready.  As is the case with everything, you’ll figure it out as you go, and even then you’ll never have it all figured out. (Here’s a secret: no one ever does.)

But if you find that place where you are just a little more excited than you are afraid, that’s your magic moment.

That’s when you go for it.  That’s when you go all in.

I’ll leave you with this:

When it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying in the same place your entire life.

And I don’t know about you…

But that’s not something I can do.

“Be here a year from now.”

Message received. 

Now this girl from Western Pennsylvania has some work to do.