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.

However.

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,

xoxo

Liza

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.

Sleep.

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.

Exercise.

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,

xoxo

Liza

 

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.

THE PROBLEM WITH TOOLS

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.

FIND THE RIGHT PERSON, NOT THE RIGHT TOOL

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!

xoxo

Liza

Today Is The Day

Sunrise

Sunrise (Photo credit: mathstop)

As it always is when I see the very real possibilities of death come into focus, I have become even more aware of my time. Things that seemed so important and crushing no longer matter. My goals, which I’ve always imagined would wait for me, I’m now pursuing with a near-desperation.

It’s sad that my renewed motivation came from someone else’s bad news, but I refuse to squander this drive that my new awareness has given me. I will be giving myself an assessment and re-evaluating my goals and the path I need to take to get there, and I’ll be making changes to impact those goals sooner rather than later.

TODAY IS THE DAY will be my theme for this next year (my new year starts in September, because that’s when new years start of course). Essentially, I’ll be focusing on the ONE thing that I can do that day to make an impact on my life goals. I’ll be working on creating actionable plans before I get into it full force, but I’m already feeling more empowered and optimistic. Perhaps you’d like to join me? It’s OK if you don’t. We can still be friends. 🙂

For today, my One Thing will be a crushing leg work out that I’ve been too afraid to do, but I know would be a huge return on investment once I get it into my normal routine.

So, what ONE thing will you do today to get you closer to where you want to be?

That Moment

I love that moment when my eyes open to a new day. My consciousness is still part of the unhindered world of dreams and imagination, and has not yet encountered the limiting beliefs of the outside world’s version of “reality,” which is just a lump sum of different kinds of excuses.

While in bed, before my feet touch the floor, I am still part of the infinite. Until I make a choice, I am the potential of millions of possibilities that can happen throughout the day, a part of a million worlds. For every world that has me going with the tide, and mindlessly going through the motions of what looks like “life” thinking that “this is as good as it gets,” an alternate world exists where I accomplish the goals I set for myself, where I live my dreams simply because I have decided to make them real.

That’s the world I want to live in. That is my version of reality. I hope to live in that world every day, and I hope to see you there, too.