Category Archives: Meditation

The Funny Thing About Time…

Around 10 am this morning I was sitting on my couch, enjoying an iced coffee, and feeling very grateful for a relaxing Sunday morning. As I reflected on the morning I thought about all I had accomplished, yet felt very calm and content throughout the whole morning.

hourglassBy this time I had meditated, cuddled with my daughter for a bit, fed my daughter breakfast and two snacks, ate breakfast, got my daughter and myself dressed and ready for the day, went on a hike and took photos, did a few sun salutations and yoga poses, read 2 chapters in Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East, changed a few diapers, drove through a car wash, vacuumed and cleaned the inside of my car, went grocery shopping, fed the dogs, completed some households tasks (washing and putting away dishes, washed a load of laundry, picked up toys, etc.), and sat and read to my daughter.

Considering that I can easily remember a time when I wasn’t even out of bed by this time, I would count this as a very productive morning. I also can remember many mornings when I did much less and felt stressed, rushed and frustrated. So what was the difference with this morning, when I did quite a bit, but felt relaxed and calm?

My state of mind.

Time is a tricky thing. Often we feel it is limited and probably use it as one reason we can’t get to things we want to do. When we look at our long to-do list, and focus too much on the past or future, time seems to shrink. It moves quickly, keeping us hurried and scattered, trying desperately to get as much crammed in as possible.

In today’s world we often feel hurried and overwhelmed by all that we “have to do”. This perspective leaves us moving through minutes, hours, days, month and years at a rapid pace. The tragedy in this is that we miss truly experiencing so much and never seem to do what we want to do.

However, we can make time expand by changing the way we think. When we focus on this current moment and simply glide from one activity to the next without looking too far ahead or letting our mind get too focused on the past, time seems to move much slower. We can accomplish more than we ever thought we could and truly enjoy it.

Time also feels different when we prioritize the things we want to do. While we may have to clean the house, we can take a moment to do something we find enjoyable like reading, creating or sitting with those we love. Many hobbies or activities we truly enjoy can be done around the things that are our responsibility but not our favorites. Even if it is just a few moments, sprinkling in the activities that inspire us can truly pull us back into the moment and make time move a little slower.

The way we perceive and approach time makes a difference in how it feels to us. Using a practice of present moment awareness can create a feeling of endlessness to the moment we are in. This will ultimately lead to being more productive and can give room to add in the things we love.

Advertisements

How Can I Serve?

Like everyone, I sometimes see certain aspects of my life very challenging. When I am in a circumstance that I don’t enjoy or feel isn’t necessarily aligned with what I want to be doing I can feel frustrated or even angry. The little kid inside me wants to kick and scream like those days when I didn’t want to go to school or the dentist (no offense to the incredibly valuable dentists out there). The resistance is sometimes a sign that I need to make changes in my life, however often those changes often can’t be made immediately. Patience is required and that can be one of the toughest things to practice in these situations.

In these moments, I have found it helpful to reflect back to something I have heard Wayne Dyer say many times “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Situations are only as bad as our perception is and in actuality, every experience invites us to learn and grow in different ways. I do truly believe in the divinity of every second so even those things that I want to run screaming from are openings to spiritual growth or guidance. As I have come to realize this I have found one particular question really grounds me and brings me back to a place of peace and excitement…

How Can I Serve?

This simple questions encompasses all of who I want to be, a person that supports and loves others and myself. Looking at the any situation, whether I like it or not, and asking this one question often opens up a world of possibility I didn’t see. Taking the focus off my dislike for something and shifting it to the benefit I can bring is not only empowering but also liberating. In looking at the world this way, everything becomes an adventure of kindness. It may be serving myself with a deeper level of love or it may be serving others with an act of kindness; either way is a gentle and fulfilling way to approach everything I do. This does not take away from the steps I need to make to remove the things I know don’t align with me, but it makes patience incredibly easier and I can enjoy the journey of growth instead of the suffering of circumstance.

This has now become my daily practice every morning, simply sending that question out and waiting for life to give me opportunities in response. I encourage you to try this question and see how it supports you on your path. If it isn’t this one, play with other questions that bring you back to who you truly want to be and you will be amazed on the shift this can bring to your life. Please share any questions you come up with below so my other followers can benefit from your wisdom.

With gratitude and service  -April

Change

Practicing Mindfulness

12414_530099740365046_943005075_nHave you ever not been able to recall what you did in a day? How about realizing after driving a familiar route that you were on “auto pilot”? Each of us has moments where our thoughts run amuck and we miss out on experiencing what we are actually doing. It is very common, especially in today’s world when we are often run by our calendars and live by the clock. Living this way, however, is what causes us to feel like we lose time. Days pass by, months vanish and before we know it, it is the next year and we didn’t even feel it coming. This has become the norm for most of us and in the process, we are losing precious moments and experiences we will never get back.

Practicing mindfulness helps us truly live this moment, without allowing ourselves to be distracted by the past or the future. When we truly embrace all this moment has to offer, our senses can truly take in all that is around us. This creates a feeling of freedom and pure enjoyment that we rarely allow ourselves to experience. Whether it is eating dinner with a friend, playing with your children or even working on a project at work, by giving yourself the gift of being in that moment you will have more fulfilling relationships and be more effective.

Being mindful is an ongoing practice that takes constant awareness. To begin, there are a few techniques you can use. Give some of these a try and see how you can continue to expand your practice into all areas of your life.

  • Take a moment and look around the room you are in and absorb every detail. Close your eyes and see how much you remember. Do this once a day and you will see it eventually become a habit to take in all around you.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath, releasing any thought that comes your way gently. Doing this for a few minutes every day will bring you into the moment and create a stillness that will carry into anything you do next.
  • The next time you are in a conversation with your spouse, partner or child truly listen to every word. Don’t allow yourself to think about what you want to say next or what you have to do later. Simply listen to them and be present.
  • Sit outside for a moment everyday and look at the sky. Take in the beauty, releasing any thoughts that try to distract you.

All any of us really has is this moment. Don’t allow yourself to miss out on it!

_______________________________________________________

Just a few announcements…

Reach Your Potential Community Calls have moved!  They will now be held on the first Wednesday of every month at 8pm AZ time.  This is a free call created to come together and support each other in reaching our potential.  This is a space to experience a judgement-free, supportive environment to share ideas, experiences and gain some inspiration to reach your goals.  Bring your positive energy and love for the success of others! Register here! 

The next Reiki I training is 3/14.  The first degree  is open to everyone and provides the basic techniques for hands on treatments to provide self healing and healing to others.  The class will include a history of Reiki, the Gassho Meditation technique, and multiple attunements (Reiju).  After this training you will be able to conduct effective healing sessions. Space is limited so please register ASAP if you are interested.  

With immense gratitude – April

10 Tips for Meditating

As most people have heard by now, meditating is extremely beneficial for your health and overall happiness.  In today’s world, our body and minds are constantly over stimulated.  We are busy, we are distracted and we are constantly thinking, even when we are trying to sleep.  Learning to focus and control your mind will allow you to manage your thoughts and give yourself a much-needed break.  Because it also helps with stress management, meditation has been proven to help your health from lowering blood pressure to losing weight.

One of the common reactions I get when I purpose meditating to someone is “I can’t do that” or “I would go crazy just sitting in silence.”  If either of these are your first thoughts, you probably need this more than you think.  It will allow yourself the space to listen to yourself, detach a little bit from your chaotic life, and give you the gift of doing something just for yourself.  The peace that comes once you get the hang of it is undeniable and addictive (in a good way 🙂 ).

Below are 10 useful tips for those that want to start meditating but aren’t sure how.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, just give yourself some time to be alone and in quiet.  The rest will flow naturally.

  1. Find A Quiet Space – When a person is just starting to meditate it is sometimes difficult to not get distracted by noises.  Find a place that is as quiet as possible and has a great energy.
  2. Be Comfortable – Sit in a way that will not cause any pain or tension.  Also, be sure to meditate in loose and comfortable clothing.
  3. Create A Sacred Space – As meditation becomes a routine it is useful to have a space that your body and mind learn to relax in.  If you can’t create an alter or a place that you can consistently meditate, just get in a habit of lighting a particular candle or incense.
  4. Set A Timer – Many people have trouble not watching the clock in fear that they may fall asleep or meditate for too long.  A simple solution to this is to set a timer that has a nice sound to gently bring you out of meditation.  There are many phone applications that are meditation timers and awake you with a nice chime. You can also use a radio alarm clock and set it to a relaxing station.
  5. Stretch Beforehand – Stretching your shoulder and leg muscles before you sit can help you release tension.  This is a great way to relax your muscles and allow your body to get comfortable.
  6. Start Out With Guided Meditations – If you find sitting in silence too hard then chose some guided meditations or mantras to begin with.  They help you focus and give your body the time to relax.  They are found on ITunes, Amazon, or with a simple web search.
  7. Don’t Have Expectations – Sometimes people have certain expectations of meditation that aren’t always true or accessible at all times.  You may fall asleep, you may see colors, you may not have anything happen…it is all okay. Go in with an open mind and spend the time observing your practice instead of judging it.
  8. Don’t Try To Shut Off Your Thoughts – It is impossible, that simple.  Thoughts will come and go, don’t get frustrated with them or yourself.  Just gently release them when they come.
  9. Look For The Results Outside of Your Practice – Meditation brings many benefits.  Once your start getting in touch with yourself miraculous things can come into your life.  You may also find you are having new perspectives and responses in certain situations.  Observe these changes to see the effectiveness rather than what is or is not happening in meditation.
  10. Build It Into Your Routine – Setting a time to meditate generally isn’t successful in maintaining a daily practice.  Building it into a routine (i.e. after I brush my teeth before bed or in the morning, etc.) can be more effective.  It takes 21 days to form a habit so keep at it!

It is best to meditate for 30 minutes twice a day but if that is too much, start smaller.  Even 10 minutes every day will greatly shift your moods and stress levels.  The key is to give yourself this time and give you mind and body a break.  Enjoy!

Imagine yourself sitting somewhere peaceful and beautiful.

Imagine yourself sitting somewhere peaceful and beautiful.

 

Who Are You?

I want to know who you are.  I don’t want your name or any particular labels that have been given to you (unless they resonate), but what your soul would say if it were asked.

Why?  I want to know simply because I want you to know those things about yourself. 546699_488339164510904_704481975_n If you don’t take time to think about it and if no one ever asks, you may never truly find those answers.

We often hide parts of who we are.  We grow up putting on label after label so we can describe ourselves in a way others understand.  As we go through this process, we often start eliminating those that don’t seem appealing or acceptable to others.  For example, we may hear a child say “I am beautiful” but it is far less common to hear an adult say it.  This is something many take out as they begin to judge themselves or are judged by others.  It all starts when we are really young and before we know it, we forget what some of these things are.

We begin to define ourselves by what we do or who we are in relation to others.  Very few people start a conversation with a complete stranger with anything other than what we have chosen as circumstances in our lives such as a job, our marital status and if we have kids.  A few other “likes” or “dislikes” may come up but that is as deep as it often gets.  Sometimes we make lifelong friends with people who know everything about what has happened to us or things we have done, but we never disclose who we are.  It just never comes up.

The reason this is a challenge is it is impossible to honor, respect and love yourself if you have no idea who that is.  How can you pursue things that serve you, serve your soul and your ultimate happiness if you don’t know what they are?  One reason that people sometimes struggle to find happiness is they are living a life that doesn’t serve their happiness.  Getting perspective is sometimes all we need to know what changes to make and get closer to happiness, even if it as simple as starting a new hobby.  Going through the motions of life you may never take the time to ask yourself so I am doing it for you.

Sit alone, with no one providing their input and opinion and write on the top of the paper Who am I?  Start the next line with I am… and list out everything that comes to mind.  Don’t judge what you write or feel guilty about those that you leave off that “should” be on it.  You may find things start to list out that are things you always wanted to do but hid from out of fear or judgment.  You are already all those things; you just haven’t lived the experience yet, accept them as truth.

If you find harmful or hurtful words come up then you can uncover areas that need your compassion and love.  These are beliefs you have that can be holding you back from your dreams.  Working through them so they are no longer on this list is critical in moving forward and uncovering self-love.

Allow the words to just come to you and don’t force them, you may be amazed at what you learn about yourself.  Below are pieces of my list, my husbands and other people I know who have done this exercise.

I am a writer.  I am a healer.  I am divine light.  I am a friend.  I am a musician.  I am full of energy.  I am peaceful.  I am joy.  I am a spiritual guide.  I am awesome.  I am a mother.  I am a husband.  I am an animal lover.  I am a student of life.  I am a teacher.  I am an artist.  I am crafty.  I am love.  I am a leader.  I am a speaker.  I am blessed.  I am living gratitude.  I am a dancer.  I am a dreamer.  I am a gypsy.  I am beautiful.  

Who are you? I would love if anyone wants to share some of theirs here; I promise you will be met with only unconditional love and support.  If not here, than share with someone you are close to.  The more you vocalize these, the more they become part of your daily life and you will be astonished on how amazing that can be.

Finding Balance

We are busy people.  Regardless of who I speak to, very few people don’t respond to “How are things?” with the some form of the answer “Good but busy”.  It almost seems as if there is a competition out there to see who can get the busiest.  The winner will win a slew of stress related health problems and regrets of not spending enough time on the important things in life.  It’s not a great prize and we don’t really want it, yet we all continue to compete.  Regardless of the stress or the amount of time it will take that we don’t have, we keep piling on things until one day, we completely break.  Why do we do this?  For each person it is a little different but the range of reasons can include the inability to say no, feeling obligated to do more, not feeling as if we are as important as the things we have to do, etc.   It is a vicious and dangerous cycle that we thrive on until we are exhausted and burnt out.

The solution is fairly simple but hard to enforce.  We need to put ourselves first and demand that we remain balanced in our lives.  We need to start running our calendars rather than have them run us.  When we are out of balance and spending too much time in areas that don’t serve us, we are not the best us.  We cannot give 100% to anything we are doing if 100% of us isn’t available.

Not providing time to relax, center and focus is a common spiral that can be broken if we are aware of it.  Once you become aware and implement strategies to keep it under control, the rewards are worth far more than the difficulty it might cause. Living a balanced life we have the energy to spend on our passions, our families, and our purpose.  We have a sense of calm and peacefulness.  Every moment is enjoyable and effortless instead of stressful and hard.

Here are some steps you can take to integrate more balance in your life:

  • Learn to say no – You don’t have to do everything for everyone.  It is a hard lesson to learn, but if you aren’t realistic with your time then you are unable to give the proper attention to the things you want to commit to.
  • Ask for help – It is a hard thing for many, but asking for help is critical.  Your friends and family want to see you happy and helping can also give them a sense of joy.
  • Build in relaxation time – You have to have time that is dedicated to you.  Something to look forward to and that helps your soul feel nurtured.  It isn’t about the amount of time; it is more about the effectiveness of it.  List out things that you wish you had time for and would relax you.  Pick from them, rotate through them or do all of them.  Whatever works, just make sure there is a routine in place to give you frequent YOU time.
  • List it out – List out everything that you are spending your time on.  Narrow down the list to the things that aren’t critical or making you happy.  Of those items, what can you remove?  What can you let go of?
  • Practice – It is important to build a practice of balancing our minds and energy.  It can be a meditation routine, long baths, or simply taking deep breaths with our eyes closed throughout the day.  Find what speaks to you and makes you feel calm and relaxed.  Make sure to make it something you can integrate easily into your daily life. This will help reinforce the changes you are making and keep you balanced in stressful situations.

These are just a few steps to start with, but critical ones.  Start small then build up as you get more comfortable.  You and your happiness is worth every bit of effort it takes to achieve balance in your life.

Managing Stress

You know the feeling, we all do.  When your muscles ache with tightness, your brain can’t stop thinking and you feel like there is so much to do you can’t stop for a second.  Stress is something that we all deal with from time to time.  It often creeps up on us and then suddenly we are at a breaking point.  Stress is a perception of situations.  It isn’t actually a real tangible thing, however it does create real and tangible symptoms if we let it.  Many people end up with pain, some become overweight from emotional eating, others sluggish from drinking too much, etc.  These are all things that we do when we get into this state when we let stress become real in our life.

Another symptom when we are feeling stressed is our lack of compassion for others.  We begin getting short tempered or just tuning out to others because we already have too much to think about.  Next thing we know we hurt someone unintentionally because we became more focused on us and whatever is causing our stress, rather than the people that matter most to us.  If we do this long enough or often enough we can seriously damage meaningful relationships in our lives.

The good news is stress that is something you can mitigate in your life.  It would be unrealistic to think you can instantly remove it however there are things you can integrate in your life to minimize the chances of stress getting out of hand and causing an impact.  Doing these things all the time will also help you from being venerable to stress.

Eating well – When we are stressed often we change our eating habits and become less concerned with that we are choosing to eat.  We gravitate to what is quick and easy or what gives us comfort.  Often these are things like sugars, unhealthy carbs, alcohol, etc.  All of these things cause inflammation in the body and will deplete your energy levels.  It will cause you to feel worse, therefore more sensitive to stress and you eat more of it.  It is a vicious cycle and your body pays dearly for it.  Think about what your patterns are when you are stressed and try to come up with healthy options to eat/drink instead of your normal defaults.  This will help relieve some of the effects stress has on the body.

Stretch – Although a complete exercise routine would be ideal, when people are so busy adding an hour of exercising every day may seem overwhelming.  Integrating stretching a couple times a day for a couple minutes does wonders for helping with stress.  It helps relieve the tight muscles and gives you a couple minutes to break from everything to get re-centered.

Sleep – Often when we get busy the first thing we cut out is time to sleep.  It is either because we keep completing tasks past our bedtime, or we want to squeeze in relaxation time before we sleep and didn’t give enough time for it.  Either way, the more sleep you steal from your body, the more stressed you will become and the less productive.  Sleepy bodies and brains don’t work nearly as well as rested ones.  This is one thing you shouldn’t ever compromise.

Meditate – Meditation helps you train your brain to make space for quiet.  This allows you to stop constantly thinking about the running to-do list.  You can’t force these thoughts to quit in meditating but focusing on something else, like a mantra, your breathing or a prayer, helps your brain rest from the thoughts.  This calmness will become more natural and occur in a non-meditative state as well.  This will help you sleep better and focus on one task at a time.

Ask for support – Support may be someone just listening so you can get emotional stress out or it may be asking someone to help do things for you.  Whatever the case may be, it is important to recognize when your plate is too full and you need help.  Friends and family want to see you healthy and happy.  Helping you get there is a key part of these relationships and I am sure the day will come when you can help them.

Find a beautiful place – Find somewhere close to your home where you can go and look at something beautiful often.  It can be nature, art, watching kids play, amazing architecture, etc.  Whatever it may mean to you, seeing beauty helps you focus on the good in life and remove the focus from the stress.  Taking a few breaths and enjoying a moment of beauty can help you feel calmer instantly.

Never forget, stress isn’t real.  It is a perception and allowing that perception to bring havoc to your life isn’t necessary or healthy.

Let go of what doesn’t matter, focus on what does, and honor your health and wellbeing always.

The sky is one of my close by Beautiful Places 🙂

Finding Patience

Often it is challenging to be patient. We live in a world that is very fast paced and we want to get everything done now. This creates a sense of urgency that filters into many areas of our lives, whether we want it to or not. It seems we are less and less patient standing in lines, waiting in traffic or even waiting for commercials to end and get back to the show we are watching. When this occurs, we loose some of the beauty that can be found in observations of that moment. We are looking forward and feeling an eagerness that sometimes overrides any benefits we could gain from practicing patience.

This can extend to our larger life as well. We are often feeling like we want to skip ahead to a “better” time. It may be finishing school, losing weight, or getting to the next vacation. We can get in the cycle of wanting to reach our goal so badly that the current moment seems useless and perhaps unbearable. This is especially prevalent when we are trying to transition to something that we believe will give us more fulfillment or happiness in our lives.

The problem in this cycle is that once we get there, we will most likely want to go somewhere else. If we feel we “need” something in our lives to change in order to achieve happiness or have our lives really start, then it is likely we will never arrive. Some other stage of our life will always look better than our current circumstances. The process of getting to our goal and the events that occur between now and then IS your life. Your life doesn’t start once you get there.

Here are a few things you can do become more patient in your life:

• Be Present- Any time you are feeling like you need to get on to the next thing or need something to go faster close your eyes and take a deep breath. When you open them again look around and observe what is going on around you. Being anxious and impatient won’t make anything happen faster. Being present and observing will make it feel more enjoyable.

• Be Grateful- Gratitude is a key in creating patience. Once you stop focusing on what isn’t going right or what you don’t have and shift to what is wonderful in your life, you will be more patient in allowing things to flow versus trying to speed them up.

• Remember Your Past- How many times have you thought you wish you could go back in time when it was “easier”? Well, when it was “easier” you probably couldn’t wait to speed ahead into another time in your life. How many people want to grow up when they are young then want to be young again once they are grown up? Reflecting on this and where your mindset has been throughout your life can help remind you to enjoy this moment, as there will most likely be a time when you wish you had it back.

Patience is often the hardest lesson to learn but once you do, there will be happiness no matter what you are working towards or wanting.

Be You.

In today’s world it is often difficult to know who we really are.  Every day we are being told what we should like, what we should want and who we should be.  We are pulled in many different directions and try to live up to many different expectations, whether we put them on ourselves or are from those around us.  Society as a whole has created molds of what a successful life should look like and many of us struggle to fit into this mold.  Even when we do, often times we are not content with it.  Because of these various influences, we can lose ourselves and have a hard time understanding who we actually are.

Many of us do not take the time to question if the life we are living is true to who we are rather than a manifestation of expectations and fears.  When we do take a moment to reflect on this, often it is after many years of unhappiness and frustration.  The reasons for this vary but ultimately fear surrounds most of them.  It takes a large amount of courage and confidence to decide that you are not what others would like you to be and to live your truth.  However, the risk is worth it.  The only way to true purpose and happiness is to be who you truly are, not what you believe you should be.

If you feel that this applies to your life, that maybe you are not living your whole truth, than there are steps you can take to move in that direction.

1-   Stop Judging.  This applies to judging yourself as well as those around you.  When we judge others it is generally because there is insecurity within us.  Also, the simple act of judging others causes us to fear being judged.  It is extremely difficult to stand up for who you are if you are afraid of others judgments and if you are not accepting of who you are.  Next time you catch your thoughts drifting to judgments quickly assess the root cause and replace the judgment with acceptance and love.

2-   Listen to yourself.  If you don’t ask yourself who you really are, what you really want and who you would like to become than you will never know.  The key here is to be completely honest with yourself and listen to your gut.  If you head says “I want to be a doctor” but your gut cringes, it is most likely someone else’s dream for you that you are repeating.  Remove everyone’s expectations and just listen.

3-   Meditate or Journal regularly.  Getting in touch with who you are requires you to spend time alone getting to know yourself.  When you meet a new friend you have to spend time with them to know what they like, what they don’t like, what their values are, etc.  If you are disconnected to who you are then you have to reintroduce yourself.  Meditation or journaling is the best way to be completely honest with yourself without fear and judgment.

These are three steps to start with.  Although they may sound simple, they are not easy and take time and dedication. You will never find true peace or happiness if you are not living your truth.   So go ahead, take some time to get to know yourself and start being the beautiful person you truly are.

Keeping Your Resolutions #3

We are now officially one month into 2012.  How are you doing with your resolutions so far?  In the last post I addressed one of the most common pitfalls we make.  Here are some others and simple solutions.

2. We struggle to keep it positive and can’t sustain the initial motivation.

Often when we look at changing something in our lives it is because we see a negative behavior and an outcome we don’t like.  Naturally, this causes us to set our intention of change in that tone.  For example we will say “I need to loose weight” versus “I am going to be thinner”.  Doing this starts us off with a negative mindset and it isn’t sustainable motivation.  Making changes to run away from something instead of running towards something will not give you as much long-term drive.  This negative energy we create with these phrases fuel our inner critic and we will eventually give up.  Look at your resolution.  Is there a way you can reword it so it is more positive?  Make it uplifting and motivating instead of critical and negative.  You should avoid words like don’t, can’t, won’t, stop, etc.  Rephrase it now and repeat it every day- it will help keep your focus and your mind in a positive space.

3. We try to make gigantic changes with one big leap and they should really be taken in small steps.

We want everything yesterday.  It is a product of our times that we are constantly looking for a way to get somewhere quicker.  With this in mind, we usually decide to make he changes in one giant leap instead of easing ourselves into it.  We cut ourselves off from our old habit instantly then wonder why it is so hard to maintain.  Human nature is habitual.  Trying to make a big change usually involves multiple habits so it will take time to adjust.  It is believed that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  That is a long time to sustain changing multiple habits so start small.  For example, if your goal is to get healthier and be thinner then start with your eating habits.  Take one thing out at a time, or add in one good thing.  Then look at your exercise.  Add in one day versus going 5 days immediately.  Although the progress will be slower it will be easier and more sustainable.

4. We build up to “the day” and the minute we stumble after that we give up hope and let go.

We put so much pressure on January 1st.  We expect that day to make everything different when in actuality it is as hard to make changes that day as any other day.  We think about it and talk about it for weeks and months leading up to it.  Then we expect to switch things instantly at 12:01 am.  It is not only unrealistic; it is setting you up subconsciously to decide any failure after that is a waste.  Any time you make changes understand it is normal and expected that you will deviate here and there.  Don’t believe you can only change at the beginning of the year, month or week coming up.  Change now.  You ate something bad for breakfast; so what?  Eat good for lunch and going forward.  You don’t need to make a particular time the “right time”.  Start with the next available opportunity!

Hopefully these tips will help, or at least give you a new perspective when you are looking to change something in your life.  Good luck! J