As 2015 approaches I’ve been looking back at what I’ve accomplished over the last year. It’s sad to say that it’s taken me so many years to get focused on improving my life. This has been the first year that I have been so purposeful to grow and develop my skills. I have spent half a century being satisfied with being average. Well, no more!
Over the last year I have read more non-fiction books than ever before. I got addicted to reading books that make me a better mom, wife, employee and entrepreneur. First and foremost on my list of books I got serious with my Bible studying. Some of my other favorite reading was The Compound Effect, Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World and Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There.
This year I have blogged more than previous years. I have written 65 blog posts. In the month of October I challenged myself to write a post for every day for the #write31days challenge. I faced some difficulties that month but I successfully blogged 27 out of 31 days. That challenge showed me that I can do more that I thought I could. I focused my October posts on nutrition to help make this site a better resource for my readers.
I got more focused with my coaching business this year. I connected with my own coach, Traci Morrow which has been a huge blessing for me. She is a great example of passion and wisdom and how to run a business on love. I started learning to stop worrying about being “sales-y” and started learning that I have something to offer that changed my life and offering to share it with others is the least I can do. The next year with Traci will push me farther than ever before. She has arranged for leadership expert John Maxwell to coach our team. 2015 is going to be an amazing year of growth for me! I also have to thank my success partner, Becky Caldwell who has been there month after month sharing her own experiences and wisdom with me and nudging me farther than I would have gone on my own. Through her encouragement and my efforts I have been able to help more people than ever before.
My own personal fitness has had it’s ups and downs this year. I have been consistent in getting into the workout room and moving, but my effort has waned over the last couple of months. Some days were better than others but I wasn’t pushing myself like I should have. I recently “found my mojo” again and I will save the details of that for another post. But I am thankful that even through the times where I just didn’t feel like it, I still got in there and put in the work.
My husband and I have made a focused effort this year to eat less processed food and to grow more of our own. Bill grew 3 garden beds full of veggies and has plans to expand even more next year. He also started raising 6 chickens (the maximum number allowed in the city limits). Starting in May we should have fresh eggs from our own back yard. We started dreaming about having a small farm someday and providing even more of our own food.
All in all it’s been a year of growth and stretching. I am now waiting for the clock to strike midnight and a new year to begin. I am looking forward to 2015 and the lessons it will bring for me.
It has been shown that having an accountability partner when you are reaching for any type of goal can increase your odds of successfully reaching that goal.
This post is Day 3 of 31 Days to Better Nutrition. One key that helps me stay on track with my eating plan is to have people around me who can help me stay strong in the face of temptation.
For some things I have an official accountability partner and other times it’s not so official. For example, I try to steer clear of processed sugar. Once I get started with “just one piece” or “just one bite” it starts a vicious cycle for me. It happened to me a couple of days ago. One little piece of Halloween candy out of an innocent looking pumpkin bucket at work and before I knew it I had eaten 5. I only stopped because I finally realized what I was doing. I announced to my group of coworkers that the next day I would eat NO candy and they could hold me accountable. They not only held me accountable but one of them joined me in the challenge to avoid the candy. Sometimes I have to put a safety net of accountability in place for times when my willpower peters out.
The Accountability Partner
Other times we need a more official accountability partner for a level of accountability that goes deeper than the example above. What exactly is expected of an accountability partner? Is it just another glorified word for a cheerleader? Is it someone in your corner cheering you on? For real success it needs to be more than that. There are some specific things that are needed when you are choosing your accountability partner.
You need someone who’s not afraid to ask the tough questions.
There’s always a place for the cheerleading and high-fiving in an accountability partnership, but to be effective it needs to go deeper than that. Have a conversation with your partner early on about how you would like them to handle it when you slack off. We usually start strong when we’re excited and everything seems possible. But when real life creeps in, your partner needs to have permission to help push you beyond the obstacles and excuses. Have a conversation ahead of time about what that would look like. Talk about what barriers you might face and about how you want them to call you on it if you aren’t doing what you committed to.
We walk a fine line when we push someone out of their comfort zone. Start off with ensuring that the partner you choose is someone you respect and someone who respects you. You want them to ask the tough questions but you don’t need them to police your every move and make you feel bad about your progress.
You can’t use your accountability partner as your excuse for why you didn’t achieve your goals. Your partner can be a powerful asset to keeping you headed in the right direction but you can’t afford to allow them to derail you either. If your partner goes on a two-week vacation, you should not take that as your excuse for eating pizza and bon bons every night. Stay on track and have a great report to give your partner when they return.
You may need more than one
Depending on your goals you may need more than one accountability partner. You may have a friend coaching you on your fitness but they may not be the best person to help you with your nutrition. It’s a beautiful thing where we can find someone who
This post is day 3 of 31 Days to Better Nutrition. You can see a listing of all the posts so far by clicking here.
A Facebook friend and fellow Dreamers & Builders member, Kevin Buchanan challenged our group recently to jot down what we would like to accomplish in the next 5 years. I thought about it a bit but I tried not to spend too much time on it to be honest. I was afraid that if I sat and analyzed my goals for too long I would never get around to actually doing the challenge. So here are some of my goals and a rare #selfie.
1. Be debt free. I almost wrote (except for mortgage) but then I decided to dream big.
2. 3 Star Diamond Beachbody coach – this goal scares me. Just sayin’.
3. Professional speaker (oh, yea…terrified)
4. Visit The Living Room in Kenya. The Living Room is a hospice for those with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other conditions. It is an amazing place doing an amazing work. You can learn more about them here.
I’d leave to hear about what you’re going to do in the #Next5. Post in the comments and also commit to it by posting on social media. Check out this video of other folks taking the #Next5 challenge. I can’t wait to see yours. Be sure to use the hashtag #next5.
I would love to share with you what I do as a coach. Yes, it is a business and yes I love building an extra income by coaching. But the real reason I do it is to inspire and encourage others. There is nothing like having someone thank you for helping them make a breakthrough in their health journey. Another reason I love coaching and helping other coaches is that it helps me stay accountable to continue healthy living. I lead by example and as I watch all of you work hard it helps me to work hard too.
I am not a dietitian or a personal trainer or a salesperson, I don’t hold a business degree and I have not always been the perfect picture of health and fitness. So what qualifies me to be a Beachbody coach? One main ingredient you need to be a successful coach is the desire to be better than you were the day before.
The week long coaching sneak peek involves a small private Facebook group. Each day I will give you a different glimpse into the business opportunity with posts and short videos to watch. Coaching is not a get rich quick deal. To be successful in any business you have to build relationships and that just takes time. But if you take it seriously and make consistent efforts you will have success. If you decide that coaching is for you I will provide free training, encouragement and support along the way.
Don’t forget to shoot me a friend request on Facebook if you aren’t my “friend” already. I’m looking forward to giving you a ‘Sneak Peak’ into what I love to do!
Are you looking for a quick fix in your weight loss journey? I’m going to get a little real in this post today. I love coaching people, educating people and cheering them on along the way. But there are limitations. I am a great listener and I do a darned good job encouraging people. However, I can’t drag you across the finish line. It’s something you have to do for yourself. You have to dig down deep and do the work.
I spent two glorious summers working at a private fishing resort called Rainbow Falls in Woodland Park, CO. I was a teenager who had grown up on the beach in California and I found myself at age 13 transplanted into the middle of the woods in Colorado. This is the third post in a series titled 5 Random Things About Me. I hope you enjoy this one. It’s bringing back lots of great memories.
We moved to Colorado after my freshman year of high school. It was like moving to another country. I grew up in Southern California near the beach. From a very large high school, traffic, tract houses, plenty of restaurants and stores to a log house in the middle of the woods 10 miles outside of the nearest small town (1 stop light in town). It was wonderful. I made several new friends right away. I’m not an extrovert but this happened because they came and found me and I’m thankful for that. I had spent the last year in a big high school and suddenly I was surrounded by new friends.
Within a short time, my new friends introduced me to a wonderful place several miles down the highway called Rainbow Falls. It was a private fishing resort with trout ponds and several lakes where you could pay to fish. The lakes were all stocked and when you bought a pass to fish there you were guaranteed to get your limit. I fell in love with this place and the people who owned it. I can’t even remember how it happened but one of my new found friends and I got summer jobs there and worked there for two summers. They were some of the best times of my life.
My friend Todd and I worked for almost nothing. We worked for the pure joy of what we were doing. It felt like being paid to have fun. We cleaned fish for the guests, we sorted and fed trout, we stocked the ponds and lakes and we helped run the store. Every day seemed like a new adventure. Some days I would come home. stinking like fish and my mom would have a bath already drawn up for me. I’d collapse into the tub, exhausted and happy. I don’t eat fish (ironic, I know) but I would bring fresh fish home for my parents and sometimes I would bring a bag of fish guts home to feed a raccoon family that would come up onto our porch. Every day we had lunch cooked for us by a German lady who fed us huge amounts and insisted that we ate every bite.
Having this opportunity as a kid was a great experience. I was also able to volunteer at a Lion’s camp for handicapped children one summer. These early work experiences set the tone for my future career. I learned that you could be fulfilled by working in a job that you love. I learned that working hard was a reward in itself. I learned that I loved working with people. Even though these jobs were very different from my eventual career as a nurse, they built a solid foundation.
When I was getting ready to write this post I looked to see if Rainbow Falls had a website. I found that they are now called Rainbow Falls Mountain Trout, Inc. and they are now a limited membership resort. You can find them at http://www.rainbowfallsmt.com/index.php/about_our_club/fishing_at_rainbow/
Did you have summer jobs as a kid?
So, as I promised yesterday, here is the story of my first day in the Marine Corps. This is the first post in a series of 5 random things about me. I thought it would be fun for you to get to know me better. I’d love for you to tell me 5 random things about you in the comments so I can get to know you better as well.
It was Fall 1984 when I stepped off the bus with my eyes wide and my heart pounding. I was exhausted and bewildered and wondering how I had gotten myself here. What was I thinking? I was barely 20 years old and I had joined because I had been working two part time fast food jobs after quitting my first attempt at college and we just weren’t making it. I had been married about 10 months when I went to boot camp. Both my parents had been Marines and I was proud to be a part of that legacy. But on that first day I was seriously doubting the glory of my bright idea.
The drill instructors were yelling and the bus full of women were milling around like confused cattle. It was about 2 a.m. and we had been awake since the previous morning. I’m sure some had been able to sleep on the plane but not me. They made us grab our luggage and had us walk to a big concrete building where we had to open our suitcases. We could retrieve things like our toiletries but everything else got zipped up into the suitcase and put in storage. It felt like saying goodbye to my life. They gave us a pen and some paper and made us write a quick letter to our loved ones letting them know we arrived safely. We didn’t have a choice. It wasn’t a nicety. We were to do it. All the while they were yelling, yelling, yelling. We were walked to the barracks and received some instruction and then were allowed to get into bed, or “the rack” as it’s called in the military.
Once the lights went out you could hear sniffles and sobs all throughout the squad bay. I don’t remember if I cried or not that night but I knew I felt horribly out of place. What the heck was I doing here?
I’m not sure exactly what time it was when they woke us up but I know it wasn’t fully light yet. They woke us up with yelling and banging on lockers. The drill instructors gave us a few minutes to go to the bathroom. I vaulted out of bed, startled, and headed for the restroom. I heard girls being yelled at when they passed by a drill instructor. Apparently that was somehow rude. When I passed by I said, “excuse me,” as a lame attempt to escape notice. Bad choice. “WHAT DID YOU DO? FART?” Wow, I was completely at a loss for how to respond and I felt humiliated in front of this room full of strangers. Apparently the right answer is, “By your leave, Ma’am.” I never forgot that lesson again.
The day was filled with learning how to march, getting our uniforms, doing PT (physical training), and learning the routine at the chow hall (eat fast). There was much yelling and many punishments. We got in trouble for strings hanging off our uniforms, talking at the wrong times, standing with our feet at the wrong angle and many more minor infractions. It was constant confusion.
Over the next two months the drill instructors groomed us from a bunch of young individuals to a platoon of Marines who were proud to follow leadership. Joining the Marine Corps was one of the best decisions I ever made. On that first day I wasn’t so sure though. Actually I doubted it many of the days over the eight weeks that I was there. My four years in the Marine Corps helped me to grow up. That time reinforced many of the values that I had grown up with: integrity, initiative, and loyalty. It gave me a sense of pride in my work, introduced me to many amazing people, started building in me some leadership skills, a sense of belonging and much more.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me some random facts about you.
I decided to do a fun blog post series to let you get to know a little bit more about me and to inspire me to write more consistently. I will tell each of these 5 stories in a blog post. I hope to be consistent and post them over the next 5 days so I hope you will return to read them.
5 Random Things about Me
1. I was a U.S. Marine (a mechanic).
2. I love cheese a bit too much.
3. I spent two summers as a teenager cleaning fish.
4. I delivered my third child 2 weeks before nursing school graduation and I carried her across the stage to receive my diploma.
5. I enjoy playing World of Warcraft to chill out.
5 Random Things About You
I would love to get to know you better. Post in the comments 5 random things about you.
Do you have a bucket list?
A bucket list is generally known as a list of things you want to do before you die. It’s called a bucket list in reference to the idiom “kicking the bucket” which is used as another way to say to die.
I never had a bucket list until recently. Some people wait until they have a terminal diagnosis before creating their list. Kind of like a Make a Wish for adults. No, I have not been diagnosed with anything horrible. I have been listening to a highly motivating podcast called “Live Your List.” Ryan Eller and Jerrod Murr are the hosts and I’d love for you to check them out. In episode 10 they discuss the bucket list but I recommend you start with episode 1 so you can hear where they are coming from.
The idea of learning to live your list for me is to change the focus of my day to day life. Instead of waiting for “someday” I want to begin to see ways to move towards items on my list. This is a key to living intentionally.
Building your own list
When building a bucket list, Ryan and Jerrod mention starting with some common categories to spur your imagination. Not all bucket list items need to be big or expensive. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to knit so you can make cute little booties for your grandbabies – put it on your list! I’m going to post the categories along with one or two items in each category to inspire you and maybe give you ideas for your own list.
I would love to hear some of your bucket list items in the comments.
Travel – Kenya and visit Living Room International, vacataion in the Caribbean
Adventure – see an elephant in the wild, hold the hand of a Kenyan hospice patient at Living Room International
Education – obtain my Personal Trainer certification, learn Swahili
Family – family reunion, visit family in Kentucky and Ohio
Volunteer – donate my time to teach CPR and/or a diabetes class
Financial – be debt free!
Life Goals – donate high quality foods to the hungry (nuts are a great option – see this post)
Physical – do a pull up (my nemesis exercise), hike Castle Crags
Lucky – meet a Dodger player
Random – I don’t have anything in this category but it’s kind of a catch all for items you can’t fit into any of the other categories.