On Goal Setting

I received a message from a friend that made me think on the topic of Goal Setting.  She has read Miracle Morning and asked how I set up my goals, especially if my personal goals may not align with another within my circle of influence.

I’ve always operated under the idea “You do You, I do Me”. All that means to me, is the only person I can control within my life, is myself. I have zero control over anyone else’s actions and reactions.

My choices, actions, dreams, belief systems are mine alone. I find that knowledge empowering, rather than defeating. It allows me to let go of control within my environment and set up what works for me.

Would it be nice if everyone around me just naturally aligned with my value system and thought process? I have come to the conclusion, it’s quite the opposite.

I have learned more about what works for me from having opposing beliefs around me, than with like-minded people who share similar beliefs and goals.  While it’s important to create a circle of influence/support network with like-minded people, don’t underestimate the power of those who challenge your values/goals/and beliefs. Look at that as a way to further strengthen your self-efficacy and authenticity.

My goals have changed over the years, and I’m so grateful for that. I’ve had years of focus/hard work/diligence within my health and wellness followed by years of balance/gentleness/slow-it-down.

For every yin there’s a yang. And it’s important to not only foster that balance within myself, but to appreciate the opposing side within other’s who challenge my ideas. It takes me out of my comfort zone and then brings me back to centre.

This is a learning process, always. What has worked for me yesterday, may not hold true today. The body and mind adapt quickly and settles into a new normal.  Just like strength training, you can’t just do the same thing over and over and expect new results.

So look around your life, what areas do you feel out of control within? That’s where you know there’s work to be done.

Focus your mind everyday on intentions: thoughts which becomes things. Dreams manifest into action. And when those seeds of doubt creep into your mind, know you have the power to stop them before they grow and multiply. You have control there.

What are you going to do differently today to challenge yourself?

How can you live outside of your comfort zone today so you can grow?

If your environment is full of chaos, what can you do to centre yourself and bring a little zen joy into your heart?

For me, that’s what my gym time is for. It’s like uncomfortable meditation. 😉  But oh my, the joy and pride I feel after is unmatched.

I also spend an hour each morning reading, journalling, and focussing my thoughts on gratitude, positivity, and contribution; along with the knowledge that not only do I have enough and I am enough right in this moment; but that will also stand true in my future.

Shift your perspective and you will always feel wealthy and rich in spirit. By doing so, it puts me on a different frequency of abundance and grateful/whole-hearted living and amazing experiences/people/opportunities have come my way out of nowhere. It’s true!

Happy goal setting my friends.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

For Every Person Who has Ever Stood in Tears in a Change Room

Last week my daughter and I had a shopping date for a swimsuit. As we were going through styles, I could see she was already getting anxious. I tried my best to lighten the mood and make it a fun experience.

We found one I knew would look beautiful on her, and I waited outside the change room. It became evident after a while, she was having a hard time. She finally said I could see and opened the change room doors.

My brilliant, kind-hearted, creative girl looked stunning in her new swimsuit and then I realized she had tears in her eyes. My heart dropped, but this was the time for strength & uplifting. 

When we got to the car after, I asked her why she was sad. She told me she didn’t like how she looked in a swimsuit. I said a prayer in my head to find the right words. We sat together in the parking lot and we talked about body image and to be proud of our bodies for all it can do. It does not define us. It is a miraculous vehicle to enjoy life.

To jump on the trampoline with friends through laughter.

Legs that can run with reckless abandon.

Strong arms to hug those she loves.

But most importantly, I needed my sweet brave girl to know what I appreciate most about her is her kind heart, willful witty spirit, and the most creative brain I’ve ever met.

She is perfect just as she is.

We talked about how health is about loving yourself, not about shame over not fitting into a mould. We sat tall and proud in the car, shoulders back, chin up, proud of who we are as little/big ladies.

Now that I’m sitting here thinking, I need to be responsible for my role in her self-esteem; especially being that I work in the fitness industry. And this is WHY I chose this career. This is a journey of self-love.

Yes, I wish I loved myself more back when I was at my heaviest. I was worthy then, I’m worthy now. It has nothing to do with what a facking scale says.

This is for every person who stood in a change room in tears (I’ve been there), and can collect themselves after and regroup their thoughts away from aesthetics and onto who we are as people.

Choose your words wisely around your kids, but also to yourself.

This has been a call to me to be more loving and intentional with my words.

And to end this, when we got home, she put on her swimsuit and walked across the house with confidence. Her head was up and she walked with sass. ha! love it.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Weight Loss is a Byproduct of Self-Love

I had an epiphany this morning as I was journalling.

Taking good care of myself, and in turn others, is the highest form of self-love.  Long-term weight loss has been possible for me, not because I have attempted to fit into a certain size clothing nor because I was striving to achieve societal standards of what a woman “should” look like. It truly is a byproduct of Love…simplifying the way I am intended to live.

~Within Love~

This is how we are designed right from the moment we were but one single cell.

To ignite the fire of change within your lifestyle, all it takes is a shift of your perspective away from the pressure of aesthetics and instead onto love. 

I’m going to attempt to explain my thought pattern here; however, it’s tricky to articulate a feeling.

I show respect for my body by eating foods high in nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, nutrients) so I have the most energy for my life and my kids as possible. I understand there are certain foods that trigger emotional eating for me, so I create a no-fail environment. If I’m tempted to eat my trigger food, I actually put myself in the emotional state that I feel after I eat them. Sluggish, self-deprecation, loss of control.  Those are not the thoughts I want to live within, so no thank you 🙂

I have the ability to pick my fuel, and so why would I pick low-quality fuel such as simple carbohydrates which quickly convert into sugar and have me on a roller coaster of temporary energy only to crash moments later? My goal is to feel my best physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So I will choose foods that come from the earth and have an expiration date. 🙂

I am thankful for my health and the ability to move freely.  Think about the times when you are sick with the flu and bed-ridden, how grateful are you when you feel better? You have this new lease on life, and you breathe deeply with gratitude. Those feelings can fade quickly however, and we fall back into complacency and forget that our health is a gift.

I will always be reminded of this as my sister is confined to a wheel chair because of MS. She would give ANYTHING to get up and run again.  To take that for granted would not only be selfish of me; but a huge disrespect and disservice to my sister. I know exactly how she would be living today if MS had not robbed her physical health. She would run circles around me with her characteristic Janice laugh. So I will run because I’m able. And I’m so very grateful for the ability to run, jump, move, and grow in strength.

The human body is a miraculous machine, the more you challenge it with new movements within your abilities, the stronger and more agile you become. How amazing is that?!

I will drink lots of water as we are made of water. Common sense tells me it’s essential for optimal health. And truly, what an easy way to maintain health. Just march right up to your tap and pour yourself a glass. Further to that, I am blessed that I have running water and a fridge stocked with food. Many are not afforded that luxury.  I remind myself of that often when the most ridiculous excuses creep into my mind and out of my mouth “I don’t have time to eat right and I don’t like the taste of water.”  I can’t imagine saying that to someone who does not have access to clean water nor a grocery store down the street (and money to buy a weeks worth of groceries).

And finally, I will strive everyday to live a life of purpose, gratitude, pride and love. Invest in my spirit so that I can love others wholeheartedly. Give of my time and abilities to those who need it most; just as I have needed it so many times in my life when I was unsure about my future and overwhelmed with sadness.

Listen more, talk less. Connection with others lies within meaningful communication which is a two-way street. How many conversations have I had that are ego based, formulating my response without listening to the words of another? Be aware.

This is a my journey to love myself because I need my kids to love themselves too.

This is a call to be the best version of myself because I have this one precious life, and time is valuable. Use it wisely.

What kind of life do I want to live? Even during times when I’m not exactly where I would hope to be at certain stages, I still had the luxury of time and the ability to turn another’s day around with a little uplifting and kindness. Giving is so good for the heart and soul.  It connects us to one another.

Spread a little positivity.

Laugh freely.

Smile for no other reason than the fact I have my health today when another maybe living in a hospital bed. My happiness does not come from others; but rather from within and a higher power.

Run or go for a walk today because you are able.

Eat healthy foods today because you have the ability to make a choice in the fuel you put into your body.

Living in gratitude and love is a choice. Today (and everyday) I choose a life of wholehearted living. How ridiculously amazing is that my friends?!!? ha!

I hope this post made sense, I had quite the morning of thinking. I wish for you a life full of pride, joy, and purpose.

From my grateful heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

10 tips on Staying Sane Through a Divorce

Further to my last post (which was pretty heavy, I promise this one is back on track with the uplifting), I was thinking about all the helpful tips and advice I received from others who have traveled this path as well.

So if you are on this road too, here’s some tips that just may help you too.

1: Put on lipstick everyday.  This is just an euphemism for getting up out of that comfy bed, getting dressed in whatever clothes make you feel awesome, and walking out the door with your head held high. There’s a saying to dress for the job you want. It’s kinda like that, but it will make you feel put together. Trust me, it helps. This tip came from a very dear friend courtesy of her divorce attorney. lol

2: Watch this: http://www.littlethings.com/truth-bomb-mom-good-enough/  So good.

3: Listen to amazing music, the kind that lifts your spirit and you can’t sit still. Your shoulders dance on their own. Music is pretty healing to the soul.

4: Surround yourself with uplifting people.  I have the most supportive, uplifting circle of friends and family. And believe me, when you go through this, you won’t have to wonder who your true friends are. It will naturally evolve. The ones who want to walk out of your life will, and let them. Wish them well. Never chase anyone.  Aaaaand you will make new friends…like-minded ones because you are finding yourself and becoming more authentic. I recently had coffee with a new friend who reached out to me, once a stranger, simply because he wanted to surround himself with uplifting people. He told me I carried that positive vibe, and that’s how our friendship started. Though the power of positive. And we only talk about positive uplifting thingies every now and then when we need a pick-me-up. So go find those people who make you feel awesome, and make them feel awesome too.

5: Give Zero Fucks what anyone thinks of you. Seriously, that time has past…there is nothing more humbling than going through a divorce and the stigma that goes along with it. lol Spend time every. single. day. on your goals and aspirations for your future. And then trust your inner instinct. The haters are going to hate. That’s just how it is. This was a fact before you got divorced. So let it go…
toodalooo

6: Give it a year. Oh man, I heard this from so many people, and at the beginning a year sounded like 10 years. It’s so true though! Trust that within one year’s time, you will feel better. You will have a confident handle on your new normal. And you will have fought to etch out your very own life built the way you want it. You may not be there now, but you will be. You will be OK. Better than OK.

7: Give yourself permission to nap. This was a hard one for me, because I felt like I was failing and couldn’t understand why I was so tired all the time. But you have to understand that this process is the most emotional draining process I have ever met. So be gentle with yourself. Rest when you can. Don’t feel guilty about it. And then get up and put on lipstick 😉

8: There’s a time to hermit, and there’s a time to get out and have fun. You’ll know when it’s best to do either one. Trust what you need. But whatever you do, weave some fun into your life. You need to laugh just as much as you need solace. Remember there’s a season for both.

9: Reach out to others, ask for help when needed, and talk about it. Your loved ones want to be there, and if they haven’t reached out in the way you thought, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Many people don’t know what to say, or what you need. So be blunt about what you need. Talk. Talk. Talk.

10: Start saying No. You are in a different season of life, you can’t give to others like you used to. It feels selfish, but think about your energy reserves like a gas tank. You only have so much of it for the day. Use it up on where you NEED to. Your kids, your career, life tasks, the essentials in life. And whatever you have left, make sure you give to yourself too. Staying on track with my fitness was essential in this process. It empowered me. Made me feel alive, even when I was numb.  You will get back to a place where you are able to give again, but give it time. And everyone around you will just have to deal. lol

I wish you much healing, self-love and discovery through your journey! Be kind to you. You got this. 🙂

From my heart to yours,

Christine

The Disconnect within Connection

We all crave connection. It’s a fundamental human need. That’s why there’s so much time spent online. Facebook, twitter, instagram. It’s a virtual world of human connection. We spend more time on our phone virtually talking to others than we do actually connecting with another person face-to-face. What’s ironic is by searching for connection in this way, it creates a disconnect in life.

I hear this a lot and I’ve also convinced myself of this from time to time. I’m too busy to workout and eat right. It’s not that we don’t have time, it’s that we don’t use our time wisely.

I used to think that I used food as a tool to numb. I think it’s more accurate to say that I used food to feed a feeling of emptiness. One that could have been fed by healthy elements.

I took some time to truly think about the ways I feel full and content within mind and spirit.

Connection

How often have you tried to have a real conversation with someone who is looking down at their phone while you talk? It’s impossible. It makes the other person feel undervalued. Through that disconnect, it sends a message that their time is more precious than yours.

Put down the phone, you will not find true connection there. One thing I’ve learned through getting to know others at the gym, is that if I take the time to listen to others within authentic conversation, there’s no end to the life lessons that can be learned. I love going to the gym at the time when older people are there, because through every conversation I’ve had with them, I’ve learned something. They could be falling into the trap of sedentary life if they choose, but they don’t. They show up, work hard, and slow the hands of the aging clock with heart-healthy activity. They are not distracted by the binging of notifications from their phones. When they talk to me, they look me in the eye. They listen. They understand that time is fleeting and precious and they use that time to their advantage. They understand what it is to be connected to another person through being truly present within conversation.

Exercise

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I realized one day on my run that I have never felt more alive than within that uncomfortable moment. My lungs were screaming for air, my legs felt like they had weights attached to them, the cold air whipped at my face making my eyes water. Yet within the physical discomfort, I was never more aware of my strengths and abilities of my body. I’m certainly not aware of that as my body sinks into the indentations of a couch. 😉

Our bodies are designed to move, run, jump, lift. If we challenge our muscles they will grow. If we exercise our heart, it will beat more efficiently with strength and determination. What’s more alive than that? There is nothing “alive” about losing muscle mass as we age, and clogging our arteries with fried foods. We are betraying our bodies if we give into complacency. Get moving. Feel alive!

Eat foods that transform into energy. Isn’t that amazing: that you can fuel your body to perform at its peak. It’s within our power to choose our fuel. It takes just as much time to eat crappy food void of nutrients and vitamins as it does to choose vibrantly coloured food full of life.

The Uplifting

You know what feels amazing? To uplift another person through genuine appreciation. To truly recognize the light within another’s spirit. To ignite a fire within their soul through recognition. To see their worth and celebrate it. To give more than you take. To make others laugh and feel amazing about who they are as people. THAT is gold. You want to feel uplifted? It starts in giving. Not receiving.

Positive Out, Positive In

I say that phrase an annoying amount, because I believe in it with my whole heart.  Negativity is exhausting. It’s soul crushing. Nothing grows within a negative environment. It’s an energy sucker.  Maybe you are searching for positivity right now. Well let me be a little source of positivity within your day and tell you that to attract positive you have to put it out. Every time a seed of negativity tries to implant within your mind, cover it with positive. It takes practice especially during times of adversity; but there is always something to be grateful for in life. Something good to see through wounded eyes. A little ray of sunshine within darkness. If you focus there, on the good…it will grow and spread.  Whatever positive you put into this beautiful world, it will come back ten fold.

Spirituality

I have found my worth within God’s grace. There is no one I need to seek validation from, because He’s the only one I need to seek. I have turned my back from my faith from time to time, but I have found so much peace and joy through the power of prayer. His grace is sufficient for me.

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Authenticity

One good thing that has come from my life falling apart, is that I have gained a sense of confidence and clarity of purpose within rebuilding my life. I wore a mask for a long time, and as it crumbled away, I had no choice but to stand within vulnerability and own my life. Yup, here I am… scars and all. Perfectly imperfect. I no longer care what others think about me. I can’t begin to describe the freedom I have felt as I leaned broken but wholeheartedly right into authenticity. I know exactly who I am. I will not judge you. I will stand beside you with empathy, understanding, and compassion. If you judge me, that’s on you. It doesn’t make me feel bad about myself. Not one bit. Peace 🙂

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This year, one of my goals was to experience true joy again. Now it’s a tough goal to pinpoint when I’ve actually reached it. I can confidently say that I’m well on my way. I have realized that joy can be found within life’s ordinary moments if I become present in the right now.

Joy lives…

Within my children’s laughter.

Within the trails of amber on a fall day as I run to clear my mind.

Within embarrassing awkward moments that naturally fall into my lap as I am in fact awkward (which I’ve learned to own).

Within the pride I see in another’s eyes as they persevere through a tough workout.

Joy is present and abundant within a conversation over coffee with a good and pure friend.

Joy in the little things. Joy in the everyday. Joy in the anticipation of a tomorrow full of promise.

I smile a little more freely each and every day. Laughter comes right out of nowhere. And that’s ridiculously amazing my friends.

I hope today you find some time to truly connect with another person and feel alive in all you do.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

A Challenge for You ~ Dream a Little Today

Good Morning! I have a challenge for you today. It’s about dreaming and aspiring.

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I want you to write absolutely everything you dream, want and hope for your children. If you don’t have kids, pick someone you love a ridiculous amount. If you could wish for success in every facet of their lives, what would that look like?

Break it down into the core needs of every person. Physical, emotional and spiritual.

What would you want your kids to know as they embark into a life of independence?

What I want for my kids:

Physical: To stay active in body which also filters into the spirit. To take care of themselves out of respect and love for who they are as amazing people. To push outside of their comfort zone a little each day, to the best of their abilities. To never fear the uncomfortable; but rather embrace it so they can get stronger. To run because they have legs that allows them to. To fully experience the strength of the human body if you just challenge it. I hope they enjoy their rest days too, balance is key.

Emotional: I want my kids to truly understand their worth so they will only ever accept respect from others. I know they are raised with a great value system and place importance on how they treat others. So I wish that they not only accept the same in return but expect it (because they lead by example). And further to that, I hope they will put up boundaries where they need to or let go of friendships/relationships that don’t align with who they are as people. You can let go of people and still be respectful. I hope they have high self-efficacy…that core belief in their abilities to reach any goal they set their mind to. I hope their self-esteem is ridiculously high; yet they stay humble and modest. I dream for their happiness. The kind of happiness that they exude in every action and reaction. That they will have an authentic positive energy that is infectious to others.

Spiritual: I hope my kids will always look to God for their strength and understand that they are a very tiny speck in this universe. They have been given one life to live so do so with purpose and direction. I hope they take time to be grateful daily for every blessing in their lives and pay it forward.

So what do you dream for those you love? Write it down now and then before reading further, come back to this post. I’m patient I’ll wait 😉  (insert elevator music here…actually I’ll go find a song)

 


Now here’s your last challenge: After you write it all out, read it again but reframe it within your mind…What if these are also the hopes and dreams for yourself? Have you quit dreaming for yourself too? I hope not.

We put so much of our hearts and souls into those we love; and we lose ourselves within dreaming for others.

It’s not only OK to dream for yourself (it’s not selfish), it’s necessary.

How do we expect our children/loved ones to learn from us if we have checked out of life? One foot in front of the other…day after day. Settling for comfort zones, the uninspired, the average.

If your kids approached you and said “I’m really looking forward to a life of mediocrity where everyday is like ground hogs day. I will live in complacency. I will fear challenge. Maybe I’ll live with you forever because it sure is comfy here and you have a well-stocked fridge.”   Would that be Ok with you? Of course not…so don’t settle for that in YOUR life too.

Read those dreams daily. Take action for not only those you love, but for yourself too. Because you are ridiculously amazing and worthy of an amazing life rich in purpose and happiness.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

The One Book You Need to Read ~ “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod

Three months ago, I started my Personal Training/Motivational Coach position at Your Body Your Weigh Fitness. There aren’t words quite adequate to describe how much I love my career and working with all the amazing, strong, dedicated clients there. It’s my job (I need a new word, because “job” isn’t right…I love this area) to motivate and inspire them to push themselves to their full potential; but honestly…they do the same for me. It’s been a true gift to my soul.

At my 3 month meeting with my boss Karla, she asked me what my personal and professional goals are.  Huh, I’ve been so focussed on everyone else’s goals that I hadn’t put a lot of thought into my own! She challenged me to put tangible timelines/action onto my goals. One of my goals is to commit to lifelong learning. But what does that mean really…how often will I commit to that? I decided daily.

A few days later she gave me a book to read “The Morning Miracle ~ The not-so obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8 AM” by Hal Elrod.  If you haven’t read this book, please stop what you are doing right now and download it or go buy it. I highly recommend it, thank you Karla! It’s a quick powerful read that will transform your life if you put the practices to action.

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The book challenges you to be the best version of yourself in all facets of life (physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual) by working on your own personal development each and every morning. I have always committed to life-long learning; however, I never framed it within my mind that I actually settle for mediocrity daily. Could I be doing more? Of course, and why am I complacent within average? Oh no my dear…I am not average or mediocre. And you aren’t either.

One thing I’m blessed with daily is time, if I just make it. Yes life is busy, but that’s no excuse…I have the ability to get up a little earlier. Aaaand, I can also convince myself that I want to get up an hour earlier because I’m driven to do so by my purpose. That’s the key right there my friends, to figure out your purpose in life and use that emotional response within your purpose to drive you to action.

So I woke up an hour earlier the last two days excited to get started on action which I know will be life changing for me.

Yesterday I went for a run in the sun and discovered more peace, energy & clarity than I have in many months. I cleared my mind of anything negative that was rooted in my past, and focussed on not only the right now, but the future. I took a different route than usual and as I rounded the corner, this fitting landmark came into view.

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You see, we all have these big goals and dreams for our life. A visual idea within the mind of what our ideal life looks like. Great! But are we truly working daily on our dreams? A dream is just a dream without action. Are we maximizing our full potential to be the best version of ourselves?

One of the quotes I read within the book really resonated with me in a different way. Now…I’ve read this quote before, but today I understand it on a deeper level.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  Marianne Williamson

I encourage you today to put time into thinking about Your Purpose in life. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Are you settling for daily mediocrity…one foot in front of the other. If so, why? We have one life! What is that one (or more) thing(s) that gets you out of bed in the morning with passion and direction?  When you are driven by purpose, there’s no stopping you.

Have a great purpose-inspiring day, and read this book so we can talk about it. 🙂

From my heart to yours,

Christine