8 Tips To Stay Committed To Your Goals

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Setting the goals has never been the problem. It is easy to think about what we want and write it down on a piece of paper. 

The real challenge comes with staying committed to a goal. When life gets in the way or old thought patterns creep in, it is easy to fall off and let go of what you were once so excited about accomplishing.

A big misconception — one that I find might trip you up the most — is believing that it is all about inner motivation and willpower to get you through. Those might work for the short term and when the going is easy, but when life throws an obstacle or the sweetness of that goal isn’t so sweet, inner motivation and willpower lose their muscle strength. 

Creating real consistency and commitment goes much deeper — I mean to the depths of your soul deep. And if those uncharted territories are not ready (and willing) for the challenge, then you might just find yourself asking once again, “What went wrong.”

Or maybe you tell yourself that you are not strong enough, good enough, capable enough, worthy enough to have what you really want. The cycle begins…

Staying committed to what you say you are going to do way longer than the excitement lasts comes down to a simple concept that is the foundation of all the tips I have for you today. 

This simple concept is so simple indeed, yet it can be one of the most challenging concepts you step into — if you don’t know how to navigate it, that is.

Brain rewiring.

What is brain rewiring? The brain is made up of neural pathways that connect and bind to each other. As you begin to perform a behavior or a skill or are learning something new, those neural pathways begin to deepen. And as they deepen, they also connect to each other, creating a network of communication. This is how habits, ways of being, and belief systems are formed. Essentially, rewiring the brain is when the connections between neurons in your brain are changing. To create lasting change in anything that you do, a level of brain rewiring is necessary to occur. This could be something as simple as daily affirmations done the right way or changing the circle of friends that you spend most of your time with. Or, this could go much deeper into working through inner child trauma and shadow work. 

Staying committed to a new habit or goal requires brain rewiring and changing up the status quo. 

Regardless of where you need to start, the best thing to do is just start. Taking any step of action creates forward momentum, allowing you to begin believing in yourself and that you have the power to create change. And just the belief in yourself that you are creating is a powerful form of brain rewiring. 

You have all that power within you!

8 Tips To Help You Rewire Your Brain

  1. Start (or end) your day with visualizations. The first 20 minutes after waking up and those moments right before you fall asleep are some of the most powerful times to create change. At these two points, your brain is in a Theta brain wave state, the time that is best to connect into your subconscious and really crack into those deeply stored (and often forgotten) beliefs and stories that you have been gathering over the years. These are part of what creates who we are and how we behave. They are also part of what can hold us back and create a disconnect to staying committed to what we say we want to do. For example, if you really want to stay committed to a workout program, but you have the deep belief that taking time for yourself is selfish or it takes time away from your family, then you may struggle with staying committed to that hour of workout time that you promised you were going to do to help you in your healthy goals. Start with 5-10 minutes of quiet time, away from any distractions, and begin visualizing what you want, how you want to look doing it, how you want to feel while doing it, how you want to feel afterwards, and that you are capable of being successful at it. Do this everyday until you start seeing some shifts in your commitment level and your inner motivation.
  2. Positive affirmations spoken daily. When you give yourself  the gift of support and become your inner cheerleader, something incredible starts to happen — you begin to believe and act in ways that align to what you are telling yourself. The key with affirmations actually working is that they have to be statements that excite you, spoken with excitement and belief that it is possible, and spoken regularly. Create an affirmation statement that really pumps you up and is exciting. For example:  “Abundance and love come to me so easily and effortlessly. It is so awesome that I am working out 3 days a week and living in a strong, healthy body. I am confident, vibrant, and full of abundance. Can you believe how easily the weight just melts off of me? I am strong and powerful and full of energy. I can do anything I put my heart and mind into!” Say your affirmation statement out loud at least 10x a day. You can even record it and play it back to yourself throughout your day so that you constantly are hearing your words of empowerment.
  3. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Surrounding yourself with other like-minded folks gives you an energy boost. When your energy is elevated, so is your motivation and inner confidence. Creating that support team is critical for brain rewiring. Sometimes the most positive and supportive people are not the closest people in our vicinity. We can not pick the family that we are born into and we can not control all the negativity that may surround you at work, but you can seek out positive reinforcement. Google search or check out your local newspaper for activities or groups that may share the same interests as you and/or are looking to create change in their own lives. When you have that support from like-minded people, you are going to be more likely to stay committed to your own goals.
  4. Journal goals and track progress. Writing down your goals solidifies them into your reality. Getting them out of your head and onto paper makes them real and workable. But, it doesn’t stop here. Tracking your goals is an important part of the  process. Like driving to a far away destination, you can not get there without a road map and without tracking where you are along that road map. Start by writing one or two goals (i.e., ” I want to lose 20 lbs) and then brainstorming on how to do that and what your timeline looks like. As you progress, regularly track your progress and see what is working and what is not. It is a great way to keep you visually motivated and remind how awesome you are doing. It is also a way to visualize what you want to see happen and how you can make that happen. 
  5. Limit time around those that bring you down.  Those that bring you down can literally suck the energy out of you. They can create an energy shift within yourself that decreases motivation. Even worse, they can continually feed you thoughts that keep you stuck in old, unproductive patterns and habits. This deepens the neural pathways and brain rewiring that you are trying to change. This could be your family, friends, coworkers, or people where you hang out. It could even be your spouse. It may not always be feasible to completely sever ties, but you still can take action. Limit your time as much as possible and, when that seems impossible, arm yourself with other tactics that preserve your energy and new thought patterns to get you through the interaction.
  6. Break down goals into small daily obtainable action steps. When creating habit change, it can feel daunting and overwhelming. Especially the deeper brain rewiring work it is that you have to do. Overwhelm causes stress, irrational thinking, and thoughts that you are not capable of reaching your goal. To rewire your brain, small action steps can set you up for success and belief in yourself. If you have a goal to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, start by breaking that down into monthly goals (i.e., 7 lbs or so per month), then into weekly goals (i.e., 4-5 days of exercise), then into daily goals (i.e., eat 2 extra servings of vegetables each day). 
  7. Create a vision board. Humans are visual creators. Vision boards are enhancing that visual need to help you focus on exactly what you are working to obtain. You can do a life vision board and put on stimulating and colorful pictures of what you would like to achieve in this life and/or you can do a specific vision board for a certain area of your life. For example, if you are looking to feel more energy and vitality, your vision board could revolve around your nutrition plans, exercise programs you want to try, how you want to look, what kind of clothing you want to buy, how your feel inside, and what your spirituality looks like – all the little things that will fulfill what having “more energy and vitality” means to you. Where does the brain rewiring come in to effect? Everyday, take a few moments to look at your vision board and picture yourself doing or being that person — What does it look like? What does it feel like? What would it mean for you? — Get excited about it coming. Day by day, you are rewiring and becoming exactly that person!
  8. Learn self-love and acceptance of yourself.  This is really what it all comes down to. When you do not believe in yourself and accept who you truly are – the unique and empowered you – it becomes almost impossible to make healthy, permanent change. Looking outside of yourself for validation and acceptance will never truly allow yourself long-term commitment to your goals. Start by focusing on what is inside you. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? What are your fears and what is holding you back? How do you support yourself and how do you self-sabotage? What blocks your flow and your energy? All of these are keys to working through so you can get to know, accept, and trust yourself and your intuition. This is where the deeper work comes in — the shadow work, the inner child healing, the trauma repair. To get started, you could journal on inner child work, talk to trusted friends for support and advice, go to a counselor, meditate, learn how to be mindful and grounded, or search out knowledge to help you grow and learn as a person. The process is really your creation and you can go how fast or slow you feel that you need. 

Rewiring your brain is the foundation of any goal commitment. Especially the more challenging ones! Start the process. You can choose one or many from the list above or you can use this as inspiration to explore other avenues that resonate and excite you. Just remember — you have all the power lying within you!

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Do these 7 Simple Steps to (Actually) Stick To Your Goals

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Ahhhh, setting goals…

Excitement fills you as you put pen to paper and dream of plentiful visions dancing in your head. Seriously, this time, you are sticking with your goals!

You set off excitedly proclaiming, “Monday, I am starting.” You have a twinkle in your eye, a fire in your heart, and a perfect plan percolating like the morning coffee that is going to fuel your start. Nothing is going to stop you this time.

Nothing!

You believe yourself fully and completely.

Monday comes and is filled with firey awesomeness. You get out of bed and you are excited to get started. Day 1? DONE! You feel like Super Woman.

Tuesday rolls in with motivation and heart. That [meditation, workout, healthy breakfast, etc] feels needed and refreshing. Day 2? DONE!

As Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday begin, you notice that something happens. 

Life.

Life happens.

You may stick with your plan, but that raging fire within begins to die down. **Is it the weekend yet?

Last minute errands to run and looming work deadlines consume your days (and your focus).  **And, why did little Johnny wait until 10 pm to tell me that he needed 3 dozen cookies for school tomorrow?!

In 4 weeks, that raging fire turns to a mere smoldering ash of broken self-commitments and long lost dreams.

Life happens and it can happen in a serious way. But, life happens to everyone. How is it possible that some rise from the ashes like a phoenix, pushing through and still having copious amounts of day end energy? Yet others struggle with getting lost in life’s chaos and never really accomplishing their deepest dreams.

The first step before any of the sticky goal steps is that you have to create a plan — write it down and refer to it often. Make it as easy and detailed of a plan as possible so that it feels like a walk in the park to implement and it feels super doable!

After the actual creation of the goals, there are a few key concepts to keep in mind to help you stay engaged with those goals. Here are 7 steps essential for being a master of your domain and making your goals stick-able:

Step 1

Know your core values. Core values are those non-negotiables. Those parts of life that fire you up and that bring you joy and happiness. When you know your core values and you can create dreams that revolve around them, life is honey-sweet and your dreams become sticky. Create a list of 3-5 core values and see how you can set visions to enhance each of them. For example, one of my core values is adventure and travel, making skydiving a perfect goal. When you learn to live in your core values, you feel less depleted and stressed and you are more likely to be motivated to stay on your goal bandwagon for a longer ride.

Step 2

Create a ritual. Some call it a routine, but routines can be seriously boring. You need a ritual for excellence, something you do everyday that gets you one step closer to your end goal. A ritual not only respects you, but it also takes out the guess work of when you are going to get stuff done. Want to eat healthier? Pack your lunch at night with focus on what you need to eat to honor your body the next day. Need to fizzle out some of your daily stress? Start your morning off with a refreshing walk outside. Which then leads into…

Step 3

Know your boundaries (and use them). Most of us think we set boundaries, but really most of us live in a low boundary world. Knowing your core values and setting your rituals are events to help you stay on track, but if something continuously pulls you from them, then they don’t do much for you. Life happens and schedules change. That’s inevitable, but that is not constant, unless you allow it to be. Stating and enforcing clear boundaries to keep you on track is key. For example, if you want to read more before bedtime, then an appropriate boundary might be to turn off your phone, text messages, or incoming updates and let everyone you know that you will not respond after a certain time at night. Honor yourself and your needs and watch your dreams flourish.

Step 4

Talk to yourself. Positive mantras are super powerful! They can shift your mindset instantly, bring more focus and clarity, and silence that little inner voice that speaks from emotion rather than rational thinking. And they can help keep you on track. For example, “My willpower is strong” and “I take care of myself and I am worth it.” Create a positive mantra paragraph of 3-5 sentences and repeat that, out loud, 10 times daily.

Step 5

Pull the trigger word. Trigger words are a fun little tool to help reign your runaway thoughts in and recenter your focus. They also get your mindset re-centered around success and possibility becoming reality. If your goal is to workout 3 mornings a week before work, a trigger word example could be “Dedicated.” It’s purpose is to reignite the fire when it isn’t burning so bright. Incredibly simple and incredibly effective! Remember, you have to recite your trigger word and say it with passion for trigger words to be effective.

Step 6

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Go! The mind can play all kinds of crazy little tricks on you when you are trying to change habits. Sometimes you need a simple mental interruption to take your focus away from fear or negative thoughts. This simple tip of counting from 5 to 1 and then saying GO! (or replacing GO with your trigger word) is a mental interruption that is just enough time to allow action to replace fear. Next time you have to make a decision or push through to stick with your dream, try this tip and then, like Nike says, just do it!

Step 7 

Reevaluate. Sometimes you just got to step away and reevaluate if what you are working on is working for you. It’s easy to stick with something that you think you really wanted to do (or what someone else wants for you), just to discover that it just doesn’t motivate you anymore.  Or maybe it never did. And that is ok! What is important is that you are spending your life working towards what feels fulfilling and exciting and pushing you towards your higher purpose. What serves you. So, reevaluate regularly and stay motivated by giving yourself permission to push yourself when you really want to and walk away when it no longer serves you.

What are you currently working towards? I would love to know! Leave a comment below and tell me what goal you are working on and/or which step above is your favorite.

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The 3 Truths For Stressed, Busy Women Who Want Happiness

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Here I go again…

You plop yourself down on the couch and the feelings of overwhelm and fatigue rush to the surface. Your eyes are so heavy and your body tired — your patience is running on empty, yet there is just one more task to do. There is always one more task to do.

Tonight it is packing your lunch for tomorrow. But there is nothing in the fridge ready to be easily set aside. You can feel even more energy drain from your body. 

“I will just buy lunch tomorrow.”

As the sense of defeat flows over you and penetrates every cell in your body, you can’t help to think, “Is this how it will always be? Is this what being successful feels like?” 

Feeling the motivation slipping away moment by moment, you pull out your phone and open your social media. Time to check out. Disconnect. Forget your worries. 

Time to relax.

As a busy woman, you probably know this feeling all to well. Each day seems like a repeat of the past many days and sometimes it can feel like your train is running off it’s tracks.

You want to feel healthier. Slimmer. Happier. Lighter. More alive. 

But you have so many obligations — work, a booming career, kid’s schedules, household chores, quality time with your mate — that makes it feel impossible to implement all you know that you should do.

Your schedule is so jam-packed that your friends joke that you are single-handedly saving the world, in and out of the office, all while wearing heels and speeding to your kid’s next soccer game.

On the outside, you look like you have it all together, but on the inside you feel the disconnect and the discontent. 

And as you stare at your phone, scrolling mindlessly, you mutter silently to yourself “Something needs to change.”

Does this sound familiar? Even if it is not exactly as it plays out for you, does it ring true on a certain level? 

Recent research has shown that many women just like you often become so caught up in their fast-paced lives and careers that they struggle to find time for proper nutrition, exercise, and maintaining the healthy relationships and mindsets to bring more fulfillment to their lives. According to NPD, 13% of women aged 35-54 skip breakfast. And the CDC states that “More than 60 percent of U.S. women do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity” and “More than 25 percent of U.S. women are not active at all.” You are not alone!

Finding real fulfillment and still taking care of the core responsibilities on your plate can appear to be like oil and water — they just don’t mix — but there couldn’t be anything further from the truth. Even slight improvements can make a difference; They can alleviate chronic pain, decrease depression, increase energy, and even help with addiction. It really takes 3 main approaches for you to begin feeling higher levels of fulfillment in your life. But you don’t have to make huge changes. Even small little baby steps in each of these categories can quickly lead to huge gains in the long run! 

1. Healthy Body

Eating healthy and having the right foods on hand can be super simple for the busy lifestyle. It is all about planning and prepping. This is a game changer. Designate one day out of the week when you will prepare healthy meals for the upcoming work week. Make 2-3 main meals and either store them in the refrigerator or freeze them for when you are ready. 

Prep your veggies and fruit too! Wash the fruit and chop up the veggies — you can even make a big bowl of salad to dish out as you fill your lunches. Just make sure not to add dressing until you are ready to eat the individual serving size. 

Smoothies are another quick, easy and healthy option. Make your smoothie the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator so you can pull it out before leaving the house.

A healthy body is also about body movement. And busy lifestyles need exercise more than ever — it helps to increase energy, decrease stress, and power the brain. If you don’t have time for a full workout or even a 15-20 minute power workout, you can get sneaky. Walk on your lunch breaks, do a simple body weight workout in your office, take the steps instead of the elevator, or park far away from the front door and walk those extra steps. All of it counts and all of it gets your body moving!

2. Healthy Relationships

It’s no secret that being an overly busy bee can lead to relationship issues. According to life coach and couples therapist, Connie Milligan LCSW, a relationship is like a fire. If you don’t tend to the flame, it will burn out.

But here is the secret to healthy relationships: It isn’t just about your relationship with others, it is also about your relationship with yourself.

Learning how to love yourself and give yourself the respect you deserve will automatically help you understand how to love and respect others. 

When creating healthy relationships with others, there must be a harmonious balance between setting boundaries, communication, and respect. You need to understand what your boundaries are with the people and situations in your life and learn how to communicate that openly and honestly. And then learning to respect the other person or situation by honoring who they are, what their needs are, and letting go of what does not serve that relationship.

When creating a healthy relationship with yourself, the same applies, but defined slightly different. Learning to set boundaries with yourself and other people creates the respect for you and your core values/needs. You must also learn communication with yourself — communicating power and love for yourself (i.e., “I am” statements or positive reinforcing self-love statements), but also communicating with your shadows and the parts of yourself that need work (i.e., Carl Jung’s shadow work, addressing insecurities and behaviors that no longer serve you). 

Regardless if you are working to improve the relationship with yourself or with someone else, it is important to carve out that time to spend building that relationship and nurturing it with love. 

3. Healthy Mind

You can do all the things to make yourself healthier, but it starts with your mindset and how you are thinking throughout your day. We spend the majority of our day with random thoughts floating through our brains and often, we are not even aware of how much we are thinking. It is estimated that the average person has over 6,000 thoughts per day. That is a lot of thoughts! Which then leads me to wonder, how many of those thoughts are serving you and how many are not?

Learning to reframe your mind and your thoughts in ways that build you up will ultimately create more fulfillment. This sounds very hypothetical, but it’s as simple as this: More thoughts that are empowering and positive in nature help to nurture your self-esteem and your confidence. A raised self-esteem and a higher level of confidence create an outlook that is more empowered and full of possibilities. And, in the long run, this can help create more happiness and fulfillment.

Learning to reframe your mind is NOT all about just thinking more positive. It is about acknowledging your strength and your incredible qualities. It is about talking to yourself with more kindness and giving yourself grace. It is also about facing your faults and having the inner strength to walk through some of your shadows and those behaviors that are not so healthy. 

Journaling is a powerful tool to all of this! If you are curious about journaling, but not sure where to start, read this past blog to get the pen moving! And if you are interested in learning how to start diving into your shadow work, here is an excellent question prompt journal to get you started. 

I was a version of that woman up above. I lived the struggle. I was the struggle. And, I struggled so badly with overwhelm and fatigue that I would spend many nights pulling away and questioning what it was all for. I knew there was more and I knew that I had all the power to change it. These 3 steps were my personal saving grace and what allowed me to pull myself out of the trenches. I joke and say that I am a recovering addict to chaos. If I can do it, so can you!

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I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.

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Vulnerability: How To Embrace It And Better Your Relationships

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Vulnerability.

That pit of black mush that seems scary and unknown but glimmers your reflection back at you when you allow your eyes to glimpse into the depth of it.

It is what sets apart those who talk the talk from those who walk the walk.

It is what creates real growth and change and allows you to move forward in every single aspect of your life.

Vulnerability.

It is exactly what you numb out and shove deep down within yourself — using other methods of self-soothing behaviors to help you find happiness just so that you don’t have to feel the fear of being vulnerable.

Vulnerability.

The silencing of your vulnerability is sneaky and not always presenting itself in grandiose ways. Instead, it tip-toes silently and shows up in other ways — by overly focusing on perfecting yourself, making the uncertainties in life certain, and pretending what you do does not affect others. 

And with the tip-toeing of silencing vulnerability, comes the numbing of your joy, happiness, gratitude, authenticity, and contentment.

Within each of us is a certain level of desire to grow and feel strong and empowered and less self-conscious. Yet, there is a layer of shame that continues to thicken because we don’t allow ourselves to step outside of our comfort zone.

The shame continues to grow and the more you tuck yourself into your own ball of comfort and ease, rarely stepping out in big ways. Maybe a toe. Maybe a peek. But quickly you jump back in and repeat the same old cycles of past broken habits and dreams. 

Yet, not everyone lives life like this. You see those people all around you — maybe they are your heros, your friends, your parents, or someone you look up to. Regardless of who they are, they spark an emotion within you. They spark an inspiration or motivation, or maybe even jealously. They create a physical change of your energy. 

These emotion-provoking people have a few things in common: 

  • They have courage to be themselves and to be authentic 
  • They have compassion for others and for forces that are bigger than themselves
  • They have healthy relationships and are connected to others in a deeper way
  • They allow themselves to be vulnerable because they know that being vulnerable makes them even more beautiful

It all boils down to this — To break the vulnerability-shame trap, you MUST learn to love and allow yourself to be worthy of being vulnerable.  Here are 5 ways you can allow yourself to be more vulnerable:

  1. Ask for what you need. When we’re hurting, it’s easy to dismiss our pain or try to protect ourselves and the people around us by closing off. Be open and ask for what you need or what you really want. 
  2. Be willing to expose your feelings. I learned that the one true way of being more vulnerable and healing my inner shadows was to say how I was feeling and not feel bad for having my feelings. If you feel sick, then say it. If you feel disappointed, let that person know. This begins cultivating authenticity and feelings of inner worthiness of yourself.
  3. Say what you want. The gift of having a choice is so precious — unfortunately not everyone has that luxury. Yet it is super easy to stuff down our desires thinking that we don’t deserve what we want. This creates shame and feelings of unworthiness. Speak up and say what you want. If this is scary, start small by making decisions about where you want to go to eat or what brand of cereal you want to buy. 
  4. Express what you really think. It is easy to stay silent and not express your real opinions, especially in situations that feel threatening. But having a voice and being able to express your opinion is a gift and it creates a sense of unshakeable confidence. Again, start small if this is scary — for example, if your friend asks if you like her shirt but you clearly don’t, be kind, but tell her what your thoughts are. 
  5. Slow down and be present. This is one of the most important ways to open up to being more vulnerable. When you are in a rush or disconnected from your surroundings, it is easy to fall prey to habit or to not want to “rock the boat.” It is also easy to allow yourself to feel disempowered and not enough. Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy the little moments in life. This allows you to think through situations more clearly, learn how to listen to the small whispers inside you, rationally think through situations with strength and empowerment, and keep your stress levels low.  

Learning to be more vulnerable in life creates a sense of peace and empowerment. Once you muck through the fear and insecurities, there lives a place of freedom and relief. It is all about addressing the shadows of yourself and learning how to let them go, safely and completely. This may be a lifelong process but it is well worth it!

Want more?

Join my Patreon and become part of my garden of wild flowers! Not only will you be part of the exclusive content that I ONLY share with my Patreon members, but you will also be helping a community of holistic health like-minded people push forward!

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I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.

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