Stop endless to do lists. Create a MAP to your goals.

Hello, and welcome back!

Today is Day 2 of the 7-Day “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind” Challenge, and I’m so happy you’re here with me!

Yesterday, I talked about the first step of creating goals you will actually accomplish, and that was: Outcome. Specifically, we said to ask yourself “What is the Outcome I want?”

This question is then followed by asking “Why?” Why do you want this goal? Why now?

So, now that you know what you want and why you want it, let’s talk about the next step: How? Easy! We create a MAP!


Now, this is where you might be tempted to break out your planners and bullet journals and go to town scheduling tasks and activities that could potentially overwhelm us. We won’t do that yet, but when we do, we will feel a lot more in control over our day.

Creating our MAP: Massive Action Plan

Instead of figuring out where you can fit tasks into your overloaded days, do a brain dump of all the stuff that’s cluttering your head. Write out all the tasks that you think you’ll need to get done or the activities that you know you need to do on a piece of paper.

(One piece of paper per project is best!)

Don’t censor your thoughts. If it’s a phone call to the doctor or writing a marketing campaign or going to the office supply store, whatever to-do’s that need to get done today, this week, this month, etc, write them out.

It may seem like I just created more stress for you because you just vomited out 30 activities that need to happen before the end of the day, but this step is important because your Why changes your How.

First, look at all the stuff you just vomited up, and look at it through the lens, “What is the outcome I want?” or “What outcome is more important to me?” (In case there’s a situation where two projects may be vying for your time and attention.)

Then, go through the brain vomit and group together activities and tasks. Maybe they can be grouped together by location, time, deadlines, or they could even be delegated out. And some could be crossed off your list altogether because you realize that you don’t need to do that activity after all.

So now, instead of 30 tasks staring back at you, you actually only have 3 or 4 activities because they have been grouped together.

After you do that, you calendarize the activities, complete with assigning a time budget to the activity as you would a monetary budget.

How is this easier?

Perception around the degree of difficulty of a project or goal circles around how many steps it takes to complete a task. When we complain about a new goal, like working out or cooking whole foods, we go through an elaborate story about all the intricate steps that need to happen in order to complete our routine.

For example, if working out is too difficult we may say something like: Driving to the gym is tough during rush hour; the parking is a mess; then I have to fumble for my scan card; the lockers are a hassle; the changing room is gross; the exercise equipment needs to be cleaned; I have to wait for my favorite treadmill; then I have to wait for the showers…

You get the drill. It becomes lengthy and intricate. Yet, we think nothing of going to an event or activity that we like to do, like the movies or going out to eat. When describing those activities, we’d probably wrap it up in 2-3 steps max. “I get in the car, and drive to the theatre, and boom, I’m there having a good time.”

MAP-ing as a Skill

Creating a MAP like this make take a lot longer than scheduling appointments and tasks into your favorite planner, but what you get out of it is a system that tells you if you even need those appointments or tasks in the first place.

Maybe you realize that the way you were told to do a project is actually not efficient, and you could probably cut a lot of steps in the middle and still come to the same outcome. Or, maybe you realize that the project that seemed to be the Hot Project, should actually be delayed and traded up with another project that could give you better leads or return on your investment.

When you are guided by your Why, the How to get to your outcome will feel freer and dynamic. You’ll feel more in control over your time and decisions, instead of feeling like the day is running you.

When you know your Outcome and Why you’re doing it, you can easily filter all the white noise of your life into manageable groups of activities. Your processes will become more efficient, and you will eventually make quicker progress toward your goals.

Your Turn: Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!


I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂



For those of you who wanted daily workout inspiration, here is the workout + smoothie for tomorrow’s 15-Minute Fix.


(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)


Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or you could also fill out this form!

Thank you and I’ll see you again tomorrow!

How to stick to your goals

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first day of the 7-Day “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind” Challenge! I’m happy you’re here with me!

New Year’s Day is the perfect day to tackle something new and life-changing. The air is filled with such hope and optimism, it’s like free energy and motivation. So, let’s ride the euphoria with a little dreaming and goal-setting!

Today, we’ll focus on the very first step of really productive, life-changing, stick-to-it goals: Outcome.


It may sound strange to start with the last step, but without knowing your target, you will waste time, energy, and precious motivation on tasks that get you nowhere.

The Peer Pressure of New Year’s Resolutions

Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals, especially New Year’s resolutions. They love the idea of them, but hate making them because they know, deep down or otherwise, that nothing will really change.

There’s a feeling of newness and universality when it comes to goals this time of year, and it’s easy to be swept away by the outpouring of goal-setting.

“Yeah, I need to lose weight, too.”

“I definitely need to get more organized.”

“I’m gonna start eating healthy.”

“I want to lose weight” is a common enough goal, but what does that even mean? Will you lose fat? Will you lose a limb? Legs are heavy, right?

And what if you gain muscle? Muscle weighs more than fat, will you feel bad about gaining muscle weight?

“I want to be healthy” is also a common goal, but what does healthy mean? What does healthy look like?

I know that we’ve heard or said other goals that were similarly vague. It’s no wonder that New Year’s Resolutions have a 90% failure rate. There’s no way you’d be set up for success with goals like that.

The problem is, that most goals don’t stick because they were made randomly or superficially, usually on the heels of hearing another person’s goal or resolution. And, they were made knowing full well that they weren’t going to be kept.

What’s worse: we usually make the goals because honestly? We really, really, really want to make those positive changes in our lives.

Making Goals That Stick: The First Step

When we make goals just to make them, it’s like we’re throwing spaghetti on the wall, wondering if anything will stick.

Instead of trying to make goals that everyone else is doing, or goals that you think you ought to have, try using these best practices as a guide:

Begin with the end in mind. The best way to find goals that stick, would be to think about the outcome you want. The more specific and detailed you can be, the better. I mean, you should be able to see, feel, hear, smell what your outcome will be.

For example, if you want to lose weight, you need to know what you want to look and feel like. You’ll need to think about what it takes to achieve and maintain that weight. You’ll need to envision what your new everyday will look like.

Write this all out on a piece of paper. Draw it out if you have the inclination.

Find your Why. Then, after you know the outcome you seek, you’ll need to find your reason. Why did you choose this outcome. Dig deep. The more it resonates with your core values the better. Why do you want this goal? Why now?

Write it out as detailed as you can. The more real your language, the more it sounds like you, the better! Use those visceral, gritty, juicy, delicious words that will excite you and get you going.

If this feels a little too frou-frou for you, here’s a little illustration. If I were to have a weight loss goal, which goal would have more staying power? This one:

“I need to be healthy, so I need to lose weight.”


“The body I want is strong and healthy and never gets sick. I do this by giving it what it needs: good, whole foods and movement. I lift weights safely and effectively to meet the needs of my everyday life–like when I shop at the grocery store or process shipment for work or shovel snow in the driveway. I keep my body strong and healthy in order to serve my family, community, and world at a higher level. When I transform myself, I can transform my world.”

I think it’s clear that the second one has a more relevant Why that speaks to me in my language.

The more your Why resonates with your values, the more you can focus on your goal. Your Why will also dictate How you will achieve your goals. With a deeper emotional connection, the idea of “What should I do?” will start to take care of itself.

With a big enough Why, your How will fall in place.

Tomorrow, we will dive deeper into creating better task lists. For now, I want you to ask yourself: “What is the outcome I want?” 

The more you ask yourself this question every day for any project or goal that comes your way, the more productive you will become in things that matter most to you.

Your Turn: Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!




I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂


If you wanted to follow along with my daily workouts, I’ve attached tomorrow’s workout below!


I chose to do body weight exercises for this week so that you will have no excuses to start right away! From warm up to smoothie, this should take about 15 minutes!

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)


Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or you could also fill out this form!

Thank you and I’ll see you again tomorrow!





Transform your body. Transform your mind.

I believe that dreams are worth pursuing.

Whether it’s becoming a best-selling author, owning your own business, or living your best body now, your dreams can become your reality.

The trick, if there is one, is acting on it.

Action Eliminates Anxiety

Two years ago, Operation Freedom was just a desperate scribble in a notebook. I never once thought I was crazy for wanting all the stuff I wrote down, I just knew I wanted it.

I wanted Change.

I wanted Freedom.

And if I worked hard enough, I knew I would earn both.

Instead of hemming and hawing like I usually would have, I just acted. I pushed myself to act as if I already had those things, and never looked back.

Inspiration starts the action. Momentum finishes it.

I don’t know about you, but I love newness and beginnings. I can start new projects all day long. What I was very aware of, though, is that I only finish half of the projects I start. And most just die after a few days or weeks. The ones I finished were done so with Herculean effort toward the end.

(I tried to trick my brain into looking at the old, forgotten projects as if it were a new project. No go. Restarting old projects didn’t have that same glow and new love like starting brand new projects. I would rather ignore it and start something new or work on a current project than revive an old project left to rot.)

Daily action was how I gained momentum on the dreams that were just scribbles in a notepad two years ago. I’m still a long way from accomplishing what is a 5-year plan, but I am already a year ahead of schedule.

I have learned to lean into any fear or anxiety I felt along the way with action. I would brain dump onto paper any of my thoughts or anxiety. I would create systems and plans from the word vomit. I would tap a trusted friend for feedback, advice, and encouragement.

Whatever I did, I didn’t stay idle. I stayed in action, and through it, gained progress, however small the steps were.

With each bit of progress, I gained confidence and belief in myself that I was going in the right direction. Every time I felt resistance, I leaned into it. Every single time, I pushed through the other side and was rewarded with deeper clarity and heightened courage to keep going for my goals.

Everyday Efforts

I noticed a theme in my journals, though. The projects I finished, I worked on nearly every day. When there weren’t long gaps, I was able to push through and finish the projects with a manic glee.

That’s when I started really embracing the idea of everyday efforts. It’s so much easier, and feels so much more rewarding, to devote little bits to a Hot Project daily than it was to return to it whenever I had a three-hour block in a day.

Not only have I been able to embrace my process, it also became the name of my new program and brand.

{It’s not quite ready to launch yet, but you can sneak peek it here: Everyday Efforts}

The 7-Day Challenge

I know how rewarding it was for me to start 2015 with a bang. So, I thought to invite anyone who wanted to join me for my planning session this year.

Starting Jan 1-Jan 7, I’ll be posting my fitness and planning tips here on the blog and on my facebook page. I would love to hear from you each day if you choose to follow along!


Until then, enjoy your New Year’s celebrations!




Failure is a stepping stone not a stopping point.

“Obstacles are put in your way not to stop you, but to call out your courage and strength.”

In my quest for mentors and role models to guide me in this new realm of entrepreneurship, the ones who seem to resonate with me the most are the ones who have failed the most on their journey. They are the ones who seem to have lost everything on their road to success but still kept going. In fact, their failures seem to pivot them toward another path that eventually would propel them to a higher level of success.

How a failure launched another dream.

For example, Dave Ramsey is a name brand in the finance coach arena, but his past isn’t perfect nor does he hide it. He used to be in real estate, and at one point needed to file for bankruptcy relief. Around that time, he started coaching small groups around money matters, and soon, Financial Peace was born.

I don’t know how he found the grace and grit to rise, but I’m thankful he did. Because of his teachings, I am free of credit card debt, and am on to the third baby step of his process (save 3-6 months of expenses in savings).

What may have seemed like a huge failure at a time, actually became a new beginning and calling. I have been blessed by his financial coaching, and I know millions more have been as well.

The Success Halo

There’s this halo, at least in my mind, that if someone is successful then they did the right thing all the time perfectly. In the process, I automatically disqualify myself from anything because of my perceived failures. I would hit an obstacle, and assume it meant “Go no farther.”

What has taken me too long to understand is that an obstacle simply means: “Go a different way.”

(Or, it may even mean, “Not now, come back later.”)

The word success has such a positive connotation to it that we immediately equate it with: easy, done, perfect. The reality is that behind every success story is a string of struggles, obstacles, and failure.

Failing is part of success, not the opposite of it. The ones who have reached a modicum of success are just those who have learned to fail fast, and keep moving toward their goal.

How to Fail Well

I think part of success is developing your mental resilience like you would any muscle. In sports and fitness, you learn how to fall safely in order to prevent injuries. The same can be applied to our other non-physical goals.

Here are four practices to strengthen your mental resilience

  1. What did I learn from this? Re-align yourself with your outcomes. Are your activities aligned with your purpose? If not, then let go and feel good about it.
  2. What’s the next step? So often we look to our Big Goal and it seems like this immovable point in the distance always out of reach. Focus instead on the next step that you need to do, and gain momentum there.
  3. Remember your Why. Meditate and reflect on your Why so that you can be re-energized for your work and better serve those around you. Even the most menial or tedious task can be transformed into something joyful and rewarding simply by remembering Why you’re doing it.
  4. Gratitude. When you reflect on all the things you’re grateful for, you will feel better mentally and physically. You become more others-focused rather than self-focused. It will help you focus on the positive things in life that you want to protect and enable others to have as well.

Just like any exercise, the more intentional and consistent you are, the easier these practices will be.

I know it’s hard to see in the moment, but failures aren’t meant to stop you. Failures just show you that you need a different perspective both on your goal and of the failure itself. It gives you the chance to pause, reflect, and strengthen your vision for what you hope to accomplish.

I hope that wherever you are in your journey, that you’re still pushing toward your goals, whether you’re already in action or are still dreaming.

And, if you’re stuck, let me know. I can be a sounding board, accountability partner, or cheerleader. 🙂

Thanks for reading!




I’ll eventually be moving this blog to a self-hosted site. I think I’ll be able to move my readers/subscribers with me via Jet Pack, but if not, I’ll make sure to add your email addresses to keep you in the loop!


I was thinking about doing a simple fitness and planning challenge to start off the new year. Like a “Transform your body, Transform your mind” challenge. I’ll be hosting it here for the first week of January. I’ll post details tomorrow–lemme know what you think!

Simple is not easy: The first step to get unstuck and moving toward your goals

I can understand how people can feel duped when marketers sell them something. Most of the time, what really sells is the idea of simple and convenient.

I’m the prime audience for marketers. When I see a food commercial, I’m immediately hungry and want to eat. When I see a campaign for a new makeup release, I’ll immediately want it. When I see a new exercise program, I want to jump on board.

Then of course my rational mind comes in and brings me back in line with my financial and health goals and tells me that just because something is pretty doesn’t mean I need it in my life. And just because something looks simple to use, doesn’t mean it will be easy to get the results I want.

For example…

If simple were easy, everyone would be at their ideal health and fitness goals because the answer is scattered everywhere: eat real food and move more. Everyone I know from all health levels knows that they ought to be eating more greens and fruits; they just don’t.

But simple choices are rarely easy to make. It’s not easy to choose the healthy option when it’s more expensive than the dollar burger. It’s not easy to choose water when your friends are drinking beer. It’s not easy to cook a meal when you pass five fast food joints between work and home and you still have a million errands to run. It’s not easy to get up before dawn to work a body that just wants to sleep.

It’s especially not easy to continue to make those healthy choices when you don’t see results.


We’re not doomed to being stuck.

We’re already past the first hurdle: awareness. At least we are aware that we are trying. We are aware of our goals. We are aware of our obstacles. We are aware of our excuses. We are aware that this new process we are embarking upon is hard.

So we accept it. Not the excuses. The awareness. The reality that this new process is hard. Only then can we really tackle the goal and treat it with the mindfulness it deserves. Only then can we decide if it’s truly worth it to us to continue.

I think I really like this topic, so I’ll continue my train of thought tomorrow…

How about you? Do you have any goals that are constantly on your To Do Lists, but never seem to gain traction on? I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading,



A few of my favorite things

Whenever my life creeps into overwhelm, I find that I am quick to drop everything non-essential and focus on my one true foundation: my health.

One of my highest values is freedom. Having a strong body and mind is essential for me to create the freedom that I need in my life. This is why I am able to make the decisions that I make without guilt or apology.

For example, if something or someone is consistently negative, I excuse myself from that situation or learn to avoid that person. If I’m feeling under the weather, I make sure to sleep more and drink more water, tea, and green juices. I exercise regardless of my mood, and avoid foods that would stress out my body.

I don’t eat a perfect diet or always get 8 hours of sleep in. I have just learned to listen to my body and react quickly to biofeedback. Because I value freedom, I don’t want anything slowing me down, including a sick or dis-eased body. Also, when you believe that you deserve the best life, you treat yourself accordingly.

This method and philosophy has served me well. I’m rarely sick (last time was in May 2007); I have not missed a day of work in nearly ten years; I can go for long stretches with barely any sleep (not that I advocate forgoing sleep any longer); and, I have an iron stomach.

There are times, though, like during the holiday season, when I’m stretched just a little too thin and I start to feel a bit off. Thankfully, I’m quick to react to it. But instead of trying to cut corners to fill in all the extra stuff that creeps in to the holidays (longer work hours, more annoying phone calls, more demands on my time and attention), I become even more diligent about maintaining my health and boundaries.

Here are the things I focus on even more during times of overwhelm:

Real Food.

Junk food is a temporary fix with long-reaching consequences. So rather than reach for a stomach-cramping-and-bloat-inducing non-food, I turn to whole foods. I love soups of all kinds. I love grass-fed meats. Basically, food closest to its natural form.

Juice Feasting.

I own an Omega juicer and love juicing greens for a quick nutrient-dense shot of super foods. My favorite combo is spinach, kale, celery, carrots, ginger, lemon, apple.


This is usually the area of most temptation for me, but I have learned that I am more nimble and quick when I am well-rested (8 hours), so I get the best return on time investment with sleep.

Plus, sleep is the only time your brain has to release all the bad juju that builds up inside it all day. I know that doesn’t sound all that science-y, but google it and feel better about honoring your sleepy time.

Morning Pages/Evening Review.

Yet another place where there’s a temptation to skip because it doesn’t seem productive. However, these 10 minutes at the start and finish of each day are vital to setting me up for success.

At night, I do a brain dump of all the stuff that happened that day.I also make a to-do list for the next day, and I’m mentally preparing myself for the time I need to wake up the next day in order to get it all accomplished.

Then, in the morning, I clear out the junk from my head during morning pages, and ready to clarify my tasks and ensure they are aligned with my big picture goals. I always leave my house feeling in control of my day.


This is basically the best cure-all for overwhelm or stress. Strength training raises all the good-vibe hormones, increases immune system, increases muscle growth which in turn, makes you overall stronger and more equipped to face life.

It takes less than fifteen minutes to incorporate an effective strength training workout into my morning, and gives me the ability to serve at a high level every day. This is yet another habit that has given me an infinite return on such a minimal time investment.

So those are my favorite things! Feel free to share any of yours!

Thanks for reading,




Why coaches are necessary

One of the most impressive things my husband has ever done was take apart his old 300ZX and put it back together again. And when I mean take apart, I mean every little nut and bolt that comprised the underbelly of his car–and what essentially made a car, a car–was all spread out on his parent’s garage floor like a jigsaw puzzle pieces. Two days later, after he fixed whatever it was he needed to fix, it was all put back together and running. Minus a handful of bolts.

All of the bits and pieces boggled my mind. (And I’m sure boggled his parents, who were hopeful to get their garage back sometime soon.) But what was most impressive was that he didn’t use any special tools. Just the same old lifts and toolbox tools he and his dad owned.

The husband isn’t just car-handy, but everything handy. He doubled the value of our house and land with all the upgrades and renovations that he installed himself. And I’m not talking the stuff you see on HGTV. I’m talking all the dirty, grimey, tedious behind-the-scenes stuff that they cut out of the shows, like installing an HVAC system, creating a proprietary whole house water filter, rebuilding an entire bathroom from the 2X4s up…all with the same simple tools that anyone else would own.


I have access to all my husband’s tools. They’re racked neatly in my basement on industrial shelves. They make a great backdrop while I workout next to them.

Yet, I would not have the first idea how to build a car or build our house. I know their intended purpose, of course. I’ve been able to function OK following DIY manuals. But to have the vision to know what other potential the tools have and use them to fill that purpose? Uh, no.

This same kind of ambiguity plagues me when I see people or businesses selling tools. Instead of screwdrivers or wrenches, they’re selling software and automation systems for businesses. They’re all there to help the business professional and entrepreneurs create simple and intuitive processes.

But there is a missing component to many of these sales pitches and that’s the how. How do I use these products in my business? How does this fit my specific gap and need?

I’m looking at it all and I’m seeing the gap. I own and can competently use all the common business tools out there from email marketing to social media to web design. But at the moment it’s very much how I’m looking at the tools that are in my basement: I know how each tool works. I don’t know how to use them to build a house.

For that I need a house-building expert.


It turns out that I’ve been seeking information from the wrong side. I didn’t need the developers to tell me how to use their tools or ask them how this will help my business. I needed to ask a business professional how they used the tools in their business. What are their best practices, how do they unleash the tool’s potential?

That’s exactly how I came to realize that I needed a business coach, even though I’ve been in business for years. I know how to run a corporate business, but I’m a new entrepreneur. I have always used a system already working. I need to be able to design the actual system I need for my own business.

(This is probably the frustration people feel when they see all the food choices and workout choices available. They see it all, and have the information in front of them, but don’t know how to put it together to create a lifestyle and system that works for them. Enter Certified Personal Trainers and Coaches!)

This is also the plot twist in Tools of Titans–yes, they are awesome interviews and life stories about different successful people. It also shows you that ANYONE can become successful given the right mix of tools and drive. But the one thing they also ALL had in common (but were referred to more subtly) were mentors, coaches, and guides to make them effective. They all had someone whom they admired, who had walked the path ahead of them a bit, and helped steer them in the right direction.

Do you have a coach or mentor that you use and admire? If so, why? Or how have they impacted your life? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Thank you for reading!