Not negotiable…so why do I let it be??

To me, my morning routine is not negotiable.

So why has it become negotiable lately?

I like to rise at 5am.  I start my day with exercise – which is currently yoga, for anywhere up to 30 minutes, an average of 15.  I then like to take my herbal remedy and supplements and make my lemon/ginger/turmeric/pepper water.  I am then supposed to sit down and have some reflection (journalling) time for up to 30 minutes before I make my pot of coffee and start to study.

The past few weeks I have been waking and/or rising later and later.  It bugs me that I am letting myself stay in bed that little bit longer as my morning routine is the key part of making me remain focussed for the rest of the day.

So why am I letting it happen??

I could come up with all sorts of excuses –

  • I go to bed too late;
  • it’s dark outside at 5am now;
  • I’m tired;
  • the kids disturbed my sleep;
  • an extra few minutes won’t hurt…

None of those excuses are valid though.

I am making the choice with how I start my day.  And for some reason I am not making the choice to start it the way I need to.  If I woke in time to do my journalling I would probably have the answer as to why that is…

So this has to stop now.  I need to remember that my morning routine is not negotiable.  My morning routine is the key to me having a productive and successful day.  My morning routine is one part of my self-care that can not be considered negotiable!

Without my morning routine, my days are longer.  I don’t feel energised and everything seems to take longer or just doesn’t get done.  Without my morning routine I am left feeling like I need to stay up longer to get in more self care.

So tomorrow is going to be the first day to re-commit to myself.  My morning routine is no longer negotiable!  And to make sure that I am more committed and accountable I have put a call out in a fb group I am in to find some accountability buddies…and have some lovely volunteers to be my accountability buddies 🙂

Planning to take action already makes me feel much better!

xx

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Reflection..

I’ve just finished another 12 weeks of working one and one with my personal life coach, Emma, and I feel the need for some reflection.

Working with Emma this time around was different.  The first time I worked with her my life (well my view of it) was in a mess!  I was feeling lost.  I was feeling stressed. And I was feeling like I was going through the motions of what life was meant to be.  By the end of that first 15 weeks I felt like a new person!  My life seemed so much easier.  I was managing to do more by doing less and I was feeling truly happy again.

This time round was definitely different.  My life was in order.  Everything was still good.  But there was a shift inside of me.  A deep need to discover my greater purpose in this world.  A need to discover what it is that I need to do with my life.  I’m sure that there are many people that would think that I have it all already.  But when you have that niggling desire to be more and to do more, then it can’t be ignored.

Working with Emma this time round has helped me to refine some of my life and bring some clarity to it.  I can’t say for sure that I know exactly what it is I want in my life, but I can say that for the first time ever I am actually open to opportunities and I’m ready to start stepping up and out into the world that bit further.  I know that what I am doing now is not the end of my story.  I know that I am still destined to make big things happen in my life and in the lives of people around me.

I’m a leader.  Emma has made that very clear to me.  And leaders don’t just sit back and let things happen.  Leaders take a stand.  Leaders make things happen.  And for me to truly become the leader that I need to be, some things needed to change.

I needed to stop obsessing about my body and my eating habits once and for all.  I have finally managed to do that.  I no longer spend most of my day wondering what next to eat or arguing with myself over whether or not I should have a biscuit or wine.  I no longer crave any of that.  I no longer think about it.  I’m gluten free.  I’m dairy free.  I eat whole foods as much as possible.  End of story.  I no longer worry about whether or not I am thin enough or toned enough.  I am happy.  I am whole.  I am healthy.  And I am no longer in an inner conflict with myself.

My finances is another area of my life that needed some work.  I needed to learn that earning more money was not going to make my problems go away.  Instead I learned to take ownership of my past expenditures and make changes to my current spending habits.  I am now on the right road to achieving financial freedom so that my income does not tie me to my future choices and direction in life.

I have also learned that my calling doesn’t need to be in my every day working life.  My working life is what is supporting me in my true calling.  Who knows, maybe one day they will be the same thing.  But for now I know that there are steps I have taken outside of my work life that are taking me that little bit closer to what my future will be.

Sometimes now I feel like I am drifting.  But I have learned that this is ok.  While I am drifting it means that my life is in order.  While I am drifting it means that I am being aware of the world that is around me.  I am observing what is and isn’t working for me and I am making the necessary adjustments.  Drifting doesn’t mean that I am stuck or floundering.  Drifting means that I am stepping back and taking a more holistic view of my life.

Without working with Emma I would not be where I am today.  I would not be one third of the way through my MBA.  Heck!  I wouldn’t have even started it!  Emma gave me back my life the first time round.  This time round, Emma has given me a growing sense of purpose and a growing sense of clarity of my life.

I know that I will never stop learning and improving.  And I know that there will be a time once more in the future when I will need to call upon Emma again to help me along in my journey…and I know that she will be able to take me up that next step…

How do I feel??

I am finding more and more lately that the key to change for me is asking myself “how does it make me feel?”

I’ve been frustrated with myself for quite a while over my habits around nutrition.  My work previously with a nutritionist worked wonders for me.  I ate well, I felt better and I didn’t eat or crave junk food or drink wine.   It was self-rewarding to eat well.  What didn’t work was the long term commitment.  It was a bit too prescriptive and long term it did not work in well with how I fed my family – and it was becoming too expensive.  This lead me to gradually over time creep back into some “bad” habits and the focus drifted from how much better it was making me feel to having no focus or direction at all.

Then in the last fortnight I have joined a Facebook group on focusing on thyroid health and I made the time to watch a series of documentaries called The Thyroid Secret.  This was an eye opener for me and has lead me to focus once more on how my food and my environment makes me feel.

Too often lately I have been feeling tired and lacking in energy. I have been drinking more wine than I wanted to and having my “occasional” treats daily. This impacts on both my well-being and my financial freedom and was overall occupying my mind and draining me of energy.  I made the change to start thinking about how food makes me feel.  I identified that along with dairy (of which I am intolerant), gluten also impacts how I feel.  I feel more tired when I eat more gluten.  I feel crap about myself when I don’t make healthy choices over food.

So I made a big change.  I have put my health to the forefront again.  I know that when I feel well I perform better.  The first step was to remove gluten as much as possible from my diet.  The second step was to attend an appointment with a Naturopath.  Together we are working to make some changes to my eating habits and to investigate to see what my current thyroid health is.  And the third step is to start educating myself more.  I want to learn how to eat a low carbohydrate diet the healthy way.  I want vegetables to be a bigger part of my daily life.  I want to eat more whole foods and less processed foods.  But I don’t want to feel “locked in” to a set of rules.

And one of the biggest changes…I removed wine from my every day.  I even took the wine rack away so that I no longer feel “obligated” to fill it which makes me feel “obligated” to drink it.

All these changes are because I am asking myself “how does it make me feel?”  It makes me feel lighter when I make healthy choices.  It makes me feel less tired when I eat healthily.  I feel better about myself when I make healthy food choices.

So knowing this, I now need to come up with a “food” lifestyle that works for me long term.  Saying that I am dairy and gluten free is a huge step for this.  It’s simple to say to myself’ that food makes me feel unwell” and I accept it and leave it without issue.   To this end I plan on educating myself better so that I can set some additional guidelines that work for me.  I know that an eating regime that is higher in protein and fat works for me, but I also like to include vegetables and some fruits.  I will find a way to make this work that also suits the whole family.

I also need to remember that the only outcome I need to focus on is “how does it make me feel?”  If this is my guide then I know that I will, more often than not, make the right choice for me.

Acknowledge, accept, move on…

Acknowledge, accept, move on…

These words have  gotten me through the past week and saw me gain back my motivation towards soooo many things.

I was getting annoyed with myself because I had tasks to do – study, rewrite processes at work, finish crochet projects, declutter parts of the house – but I just could not focus on the task at hand.  It was frustrating because I knew I had to just get on with them, I would schedule in the time and start on them, but my mind kept wandering, I would take up other distractions and I would then get annoyed at myself and nothing would get done.  It was a vicious cycle.

And then I talked with my coach.  And she made me realise that I needed to stop beating myself up over my behaviour.  I needed to acknowledge it, accept it and move on.  So those words became the mantra in my head. And I managed it!  I acknowledged, I accepted and I moved on.  I also put in a couple of strategies to keep me at task (timer for 25 minutes & hid distracting apps on my phone), and I got more done in the last week than I have in months!

It was freeing to know that I can do it!  I can focus.  And I can get shit done!

Now I need to apply the same strategy to my body.

I am getting annoyed and frustrated because I still get caught up in negative talk/thoughts about my physique.  I am honestly happy with my body right now.  I spent years being hung up on getting to a certain size as I thought that would make me happy.  It didn’t.  No matter what size I was I felt “fat”.  I don’t feel fat anymore.  I have focussed on my habits.  I do moderate exercise 30 minutes 5-6 days a week.  I eat well.  I don’t over indulge any more and I treat myself often, but not too often. And by doing that I have achieved the body I always wanted.  It’s toned, it’s fit, it lets me move freely every day.  But it’s not as small as it was when I was young.

And that’s the part that keeps holding me back.  I know that I don’t need to be that small to be happy.  I wasn’t happy then, so it most definitely isn’t going to make me happy now!  What I do need is to be able to express my confidence and competence in the clothes that I wear.  I need to accentuate the parts that I find attractive and wear clothes that make me look on the outside the way I feel on the inside.  I look in the mirror when I am naked and I love the body that I see.  I don’t always feel that way when I get dressed now as a lot of the clothes that I used to wear don’t fit me the same way and don’t accentuate my “best bits”.

So that is what I need to address now.  I need to go through my wardrobe properly and discard what does not make me feel good.  I need to keep what does, and I need to replace what is then missing.  And I need to stop keeping hold of clothes that “might fit me again one day”.  I need to live for the now.  I need to dress for the now.  I need to let go.

I have worked towards some of that already.  I recently went through my wardrobe and did a big cull of clothes that I knew did not fit or flatter any more.  I now need to actually try on what is left and decide if it still makes me feel good.  And if it doesn’t then it needs to go.  And from my recent cull, I already know two things.  One – I need two new bras.  I am currently living in sports bras and not the good kind.  I need properly fitting bras that support and flatter my larger bust.  And two – I need new pants.  I have none that fit me comfortably any more.  I need pants that I can wear with the tops that I already have and that make me feel confident and good about myself.

So that is my mission this week.  Shop for bras and shop for pants.  And go through my wardrobe and try everything on and ditch or keep.  No more excuses.  No more holding on to the size I was in the past.  I am fit.  I am healthy.  I have the body that I was always working for.  I’m toned.  I have definition. I am 42 years old and I look damned good!

I need to acknowledge, accept, and move on.

The year that will be…

2017…

I’m seeing a lot of posts on facebook and instagram about how awesome 2017 is going to be and it’s made me wonder…how is everyone planning on making it awesome?

I see a lot of excitement. A new year. A new beginning. Lots of cheer and happiness. But I’m not seeing any plans to action. I’m not seeing posts about why it’s going to be awesome. 

So why is 2017 going to be awesome for you?

I have no idea why or how it’s going to be awesome for me…

I don’t make new years resolutions. I prefer to work on me and my life all of the time. While it’s nice to be able to use the beginning of a new year as a line in the stand, a chance to start things fresh, and a chance to set the tone for the new year…if you don’t have a game plan, then the year is just going to go to waste! 

What has me stumped on day 1 of 2017 is that I don’t feel like I have an intent or focus for the year. I have some things I have already set to achieve, but I’ve not really figured out where they will lead me.

Looking back at my memories on facebook I haven’t set resolutions, but I have set an intent each year. Usually it’s about making myself more healthy and more fit. That just doesn’t seem to fit this year. I am fit. I am healthy. I have finally mastered the habits for fitness that I have always yearned for. I could certainly make some more effort with my health – eat more salad, drink more water, eat less chocolate, drink less wine – but I’m happy with my current health. I don’t have a great desire to change any of that this year beyond the odd tweak here ot there.

That leaves me at a bit of a loss. That makes me have to delve a little deeper…

There are only two things left that I need to focus on to make my life more successful…and to be honest, it kind of scares the bejeezers out of me! It’s so much easier for me to focus on health and fitness. They’re just habits to change and there is a magic formula for those that just takes time and persistance. I’ve pretty much mastered those!

All that is left that feels right to me now is to work on getting my family greater financial security and to develop myself more into the leader I was born to be. This is also going to require me to figure out where I really want to take myself in my career. I’ve never really done that before. I’ve been successful so far without a plan, but deep, deep down I know that I can’t just keep going ahead with the status quo of where I am now. 

I know I need more. I know I need to be more. 

I just need to figure out what that means to me… 

So this year is going to be the year that I set the foundation for my future or continued career. This is going to be the year that I focus on getting my MBA. This is going to be the year that I develop myself further as a leader. This is going to be the year that sets the foundation and helps me to determine my future.

 This is also the year that we start to work on removing as much debt in our life as possible – or at least stop increasing it! One of the scariest parts of considering making a change in where I work and what I do, is potentially losing the financial security that my current job brings. Maybe I am meant to continue where I am and develop and grow with this company? The potential is certainly there. But what if it’s not where I need to be in the future? If it’s not, then I need to make plans to make any potential change that little bit less scary for me. I also need to be sure that my family continues to have all of their needs and future successes met too. That is important to me.

I have no doubt that 2017 can be awesome, but it is up to me to make it that way for me!

So today is the first day of embracing 2017…and I’ve embraced it by acknowledging what I need to focus on…and a step towards that was to open my leadership journals to work on me…

The next step is working on the bigger picture of what I want my future to really be…and that I’m going to need more time and help with…

The year that was…

2016…

It seemed like nothing much happened this year. But thinking back it seems like maybe a lot happened!

Our kids switched taekwondo clubs. This was probably the biggest change of all. And most definitely the most rewarding. No more stress. No more mind games. No more late nights. 

I finished my 15 weeks with my life coach and felt on top of the world! I continue to work with her in various programs and life has never felt better! I am achieving so much more while doing so much less!

My second son, Blake, turned 18 and finished year 12! The world is now his to take…

I became a peaceful parent…well mostly! I still have my moments, but parenting has certainly become a lot calmer now and a lot more rewarding. It only took 21 years!

I bought a sewing machine and started sewing again! This lead to a shopping frenzy for fabric, zips, buttons, poly filler and all sorts of crafty bits and pieces. It also lead to me decluttering the linen press to make room for it all! And I made so many things that made me proud.

I learned to crochet! This is one of my newest favourite things to do! And it has me addicted…addicted to yarn, addicted to creating new and wonderful things…and opened me to a whole new world of people online….So many projects and it can be done anywhere. All learned in honour of my grannie and can be followed under #crochetinginhonourofgrannie.

And my home projects! I set myself 10 projects and managed to complete almost all of them. Feature walls in our house finally painted! Pantry and kitchen cupboards decluttered and organised (& still tidy 9 months later!). Front garden cleared and now maintained by a gardener. Ugly curtains in the kids rooms replaced. Garden bed under the patio cleared and replanted.

I stopped weighing and measuring myself. I no longer track calories or macros. I’m still a work in progress, but I am learning to love the body I am in! I’m fit. I’m healthy. And I look pretty damned good for 42! Hell, I look pretty damned good regardless my age!

I started my MBA. Never ever would I have thought I would find myself studying again. But I am LOVING IT! A twelve month course. One new subject each month with an assignment and open book exam. Two subjects down, nine more and a project to go!

I learned to embrace mornings! I now get up at 5am weekday mornings and 7am on weekends. It’s my favourite time of day. It’s quiet. It’s calm. It’s when I get shit done and sets the tone for the rest of my day. Right now it’s study time before exercise, but even without study it will be my time.

I got in the habit of exercising 30 minutes 5-6 days a week! It was a slow process, but over time I managed to tweek my routine to make it a consistant habit. Starting from “just get up and exercise no matter how long” and now it’s routine, 30 minutes Monday to Saturday.

My two eldest boys got their licence! Who knew how much easier life would be with older children that can drive themselves and their siblings places.

We made amends with our eldest son. After a shitty time near my birthday last year, we have worked on our relationship. He has moved back home and everything is a lot calmer and peaceful now. I have never felt prouder of him either. 

I read 16 books this year! That is the most I have read in a long time

Olivia finally cleaned her room up! We can now see carpet! 

And to round it all up. I feel calm now. I have a very busy life, but it never seems that way. I’m rarely stressed, but when I am I handle it with a lot more control and calm now. Life doesn’t feel so overwhelming and I no longer get as depressed as I once did.

Who’d of thought so much could happen in one year??! There are probably things I’ve forgotten too…I wonder what 2017 will have in store for me…

I need to learn to love my body…

There are so many things that make me happy with myself right now.  Which is why I am totally annoyed that I am letting my weight and how I look sabotage all of that.

I’m even more annoyed with myself because a few months ago I said good bye to daily weighing, I said good bye to all my “super skinny” clothes by packing them out of sight and I decided to accept my body the way it was.  The plan was that I would focus on my daily exercise routine, be mindful of what I ate and just let my body be.  If I got smaller (as was hoped) or stayed the same, then all would be wonderful.  I didn’t however plan for what would happen if I followed the plan but my body decided to get bigger.

Bigger is where I find myself now.  I know that I still look great and there are probably lots of people that would love to have a body like mine.  But when I step on the scales on a Wednesday morning and see the number higher than the previous week, then my mind goes all topsy turvy on me and the negative self-talk comes in.  I suddenly hate my body, or at least parts of it.  If I’m thinking a little bit positive, then I’ll take measurements as well and if they are smaller then I feel a little bit happier.  But if they’re the same or bigger, then the negative self-talk just gets worse.

And the negative self-talk starts to impact on other areas of my life.  I start to rethink my exercise, even though I love the exercise that I am doing and I’m doing it 6-7 days a week every week.  I start to think of what foods I need to cut out or eat more of, even though I eat a well rounded diet.  I start to think that I need to cut out that glass of wine that I have every couple of nights or so, even though I enjoy the glass when I have it.  I start thinking that I need to track my food and count my calories, even though I vowed that I would never do that again!

Why can’t I just accept that I am ok??  Why can’t I just accept my body for what it is?  I don’t look at other people and think of what it is they need to change, so why do I do that to myself?  I can see the beauty in everyone else’s body, so why can I not see the beauty in my own?

I have a body that is quite fit.  I have some joint issues, but I am quite mobile and active.  I am next to never sick.  I feel strong.  I feel healthy.

So why then do I not feel like I am good enough?  Why do I feel like I need to change anything?  Why can I not just accept my body and love it the way it is?

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