The Joy of Running in the Back of the Pack.

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.

I ran a half marathon on Memorial Day. It was my third half marathon.

One thing that has been the same in all my half marathons is that I am a solid back of the pack runner. I start my races in the back and I finish my races in the back. I am well acquainted with waving at the front runners as they pass me on the other side of the road. I can see their faces. I see the focus. I see the determination. I see the drive.

I have never been in the front of the race so I can’t really speak to what it’s like up there. I’m sure it is so exciting. Hearing the cheers as you achieve some incredible time must be enough to keep you floating for days. Seeing all that training pay off must be a reward like no other.

What I can do, though, is tell you what it’s like running in the back. I can tell you about what I see and what I experience. I can tell you what a joy it is to run in the back. 

I can tell you about the focus, determination, and drive.

It takes a ton of hard work on and off the road to finish a half marathon (13.1 miles) in just over an hour.

It takes a lot of focus and determination to run the same distance in 3 or more hours. While the front-runners are eating their bananas and rehydrating, My peeps and I are just starting to hit our sweet spot. We’ve only done a third of the race.

I remember talking to a fast runner after one of my previous half marathons about how much respect I had for how fast he is. I told I couldn’t imagine being that fast. He responded with, “No, I have so much respect for YOU. I can’t imagine being out there for so long and never giving up. We need more of that.”

I can tell you about the stories.

One of the benefits of being a slower runner and hanging out in the back of the pack is that you have ample time to get to know each other.

There are plenty of people who want to be alone and zone out to their music and that’s okay. And there are others who are more than happy to engage. If you are willing to engage with them you can hear some pretty awesome stories.

I have heard stories of incredible weight loss, overcoming cancer, grieving the loss of a loved one, coming out of depression and anxiety, and health scares that can jerk anyone into healthier living.

These are the stories that will get you wondering why you didn’t start earlier.

They make you think about how small your seemingly big obstacles really are now.

These are the stories that tell you that you really can do anything and now is the time to things done.

It is an absolute honor to run in the back.

It is an honor to be in the presence of real-life superheroes.

I could tell you my own story of overcoming depression and making the choice every single day that I am worth the effort to get up and go running even if just for today. But, let me tell you. Those other stories in the back of the pack will bring you to your knees.

I can tell you about the community.

It is like a family in the back.

Just like we tell our stories to each other we also take care of each other. We all know the struggle of being out there for so long.

We know the pain and the frustration. We also know the determination to not quit.

If you are in the back you will hear plenty of, “Come on. It’s only X miles to the end. You’ve already gone Y miles.” Or, “Give me one more mile. I know you’ve got one more mile in you.”

You’ll see strangers wait on the side of the road while someone they just met that day is throwing up or just needing a break.

Finishing times aren’t quite as important in the back. It’s more about just finishing the race.

Isn’t that what life is all about? It’s more about the journey than the finish?

We help each other have the best experience possible.

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.

I will tell you about the competition

In the back of the pack, the competition is with no one but yourself.

The pressure is off.

No one is trying to be the first, second, or 50th place. It is all about finishing and overcoming something.

You are pushing past the leg cramps, labored breathing, and dehydration and accepting nothing less than a finish.

And everyone around you is in the same place as you.

This is when the personal mantras come out to play and you hope and pray that TODAY mind WILL overcome body.

And since the back of the pack is a community, we help each other because we all have that same goal. We aren’t competing with each other. We are competing with ourselves and helping each other.

There is so much HEART in the back of the race. Click To Tweet

I can tell you about the finish line.

Goodness. That finish line. It is amazing.

You have been thinking and dreaming of that finish line for 2.5+ hours.

That moment when the finish line of your imagination that propelled you forward becomes the finish line in front of you is indescribable.

The big crowds are probably not there because many have gone home already. And that’s okay because you can hear your family cheering you on. You also have the new family that has been with you every step of the way that day. You celebrate the journey together. You high five, fist bump, sweaty hug, and celebrate. It has been an awesome day of mind over body.

When the race is over you go home to rest and recuperate. In moments of incoherence, you dream of your next big challenge and you think about the awesome people you’ll meet at that next race.

And you smile.

Because we back of the packers have got to stick together. The true spirit of the race happens at the back of the race. And who would bring that if we didn’t?

 

 

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.

 

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.

The One Word Holding You Back From Your Dreams

I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?

I remember the scene all too well.

I remember it so well because it has happened probably a thousand times in my adult life.

I am going along in my daily life and some awesome idea comes to mind. I get all excited about the awesome idea and allow myself to go down the rabbit trail of dreaming.

There is this book I want to write.

I can name at least 10 marathons and trail races I want to conquer.

And then something brings me back to reality.

I remember everything else that is going on all around me.

Children
House
Marriage
Not-so Perfect Health or…..Weight
Other Obligations

I think to myself, “Oh, I will write that awesome book when my son is older and doesn’t need my help so much.” Or, “I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. I’m sure I can do that when I have lost about 20 pounds. “

Do you see that pesky word?

WHEN

I have grown to hate that word.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “WHEN?”

WHEN has come to represent putting things off until circumstances are seemingly better.
WHEN is an excuse.
WHEN means choosing to leave goals and dreams lying dormant.
WHEN is telling myself I am not worthy enough of good things right now.

I have removed the power that the word WHEN has on me.

When thinking about my dreams and I catch myself saying, “Well, when I….I will….” I stop myself and turn it around with “Why not now?”

Now hear me. There are legitimate reasons for not going after certain dreams and goals. There are seasons of life that just don’t allow for big projects. And that is perfectly okay.

I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?

That is why I turn WHEN into WHY NOT NOW?

Think through the reasons why you can or can not chase after this particular dream and then make an educated decision of why or why not you should do this. If the evidence points to the world being your oyster then, by all means, chase after that dream with reckless abandon. Don’t let the excuse of WHEN hold you down.

If NOW just is not the time for various reasons then give yourself grace and a timeline for when you will revisit this goal and decide again if you should pursue it or not in that new season.

Let me give you two specific examples in my own life.

I turned WHEN into NOW. Click To Tweet

I have wanted to run a full marathon for pretty much my entire adult life.

Well, I think it actually goes all the way back to college or possibly even high school. It is hard to actually pinpoint the reason why I want to cross that finish line after running 26.2 miles but the urge is strong despite the pain and suffering that goes into getting ready for it.

For probably 20 years I have longed to run that marathon but always said, “Well, I will run that marathon WHEN I have lost 20+ pounds.”

Guess where that has gotten me? Not running a marathon.

And then late in 2017, I was out on a run and I was thinking about running a marathon AGAIN. The typical “WHEN I lose 20+ pounds, I’ll….”

Wait, NO! “Why not now?” I considered everything on my plate and it was amazingly doable. I talked to my husband about the training load this will require. He was completely on board. Yep, I had no excuses. I registered for my first full marathon on November 3rd and got started in my training.

I will run a marathon before I turn 40.

Second, I have always wanted to be a writer and to ultimately, write a book.

Just like running a marathon writing has been a big part of the background of my mind for the better part of 20+ years. The road has been full of excuses and a whole lot of WHEN’s.

I’ll write my book when my son is older.
I’ll write my book when we are settled in our new home.
So on and so forth.

Guess what. That WHEN kept me from writing my book AND it kept me from even writing on a daily basis. Why write daily if you aren’t actually pursuing a book, right?

And then, as I was in tears after considering the question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”, and knowing my deep heart’s desire was to be a writer, my husband helped me ask myself, “Why not now?”

Guess what? There was no reason why not now?

And now I am writing on a daily basis in my personal journal and for my blog. I am constantly swirling around ideas for my book and making plans.

I turned my WHEN into WHY NOT and it has made all the difference. Click To Tweet

Where are you saying WHEN?

WHY NOT NOW?

 

 

 

 

 
 

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?
I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?

What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

It all happened in a weekend. I went to a conference seeking help and I got asked a question. It was a question that completely changed the trajectory of my life. A brave soul asked me, "What would YOU do if you knew you couldn't FAIL?

I remember the day like it was yesterday.

I was sitting at a conference in a state of uncertainty. I felt completely lost. I had no idea who I was or where I was going. I felt lost and completely defeated.

Failure was the word that kept swirling around in my mind.

Stuck.

I came to this conference based on the suggestion of a friend. This friend had been to a few of these conferences and had been changed by them. Changed for the better….way better. The evidence was there and could not be denied. So, there I sat, listening, wondering, second-guessing.

Why was I there? Seriously? Could I really gain anything from what this speaker was saying from the stage?

Honestly, I did not think so. I was a lost cause.

Failure was my middle name.

I promised my friend I would go to the conference with an open heart, willing to listen and learn. Since I am not one to ever break promises I found myself in that conference with my notebook and pen and ready to take notes.

I started out rather slumped in my chair and arms crossed. I was in protection mode. I didn’t want to open myself up to yet another crazy notion.

Then the conference got underway.

And then,….ever so slowly, I noticed myself sitting up straighter and leaning in to hear every word the speaker said. I was taking tons of notes. Something was really resonating with me. 

And then the speaker asked one question.

I will always remember that question because it completely changed the trajectory of my life.

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Click To Tweet

What? Excuse me?

If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?
If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?
If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?

It was like time stood still for a few moments.

What would I do if I knew I COULDN’T FAIL?!

I had grown so accustomed to failing and giving up that I stopped dreaming.

In my mind failure equals pain and I hate pain. So, I stopped dreaming and trying because I didn’t want to feel that pain.

It all happened in a weekend. I went to a conference seeking help and I got asked a question. It was a question that completely changed the trajectory of my life. A brave soul asked me, "What would YOU do if you knew you couldn't FAIL?

But, what if? What IF I I knew I couldn’t fail? What would I DO?!

Tears started to run down my cheek.

I knew what I would do but I was still too afraid to give it life by putting it into words.

I snapped out of my stupor and heard the speaker say, “Do you know what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Great. Now write it down.”

With a shaky hand, I wrote it down. I unburied a dream (two dreams, actually) that I had dug so deep down that it felt unretrievable prior to this weekend conference.

Then I heard the speaker say, “Did you write it down? Okay. Now GO DO THAT THING!”

I spent the rest of the conference with a new fire under my butt. I discovered my ability to dream again and my brain was on fire. I could barely sit still. I filled an entire notebook with notes.

I left that conference with plans to go after my dreams with reckless abandon.

I did not know HOW?
I did not know exactly WHEN?
But, I did know WHAT?

The complete trajectory of my life was changed that weekend with a single question.

Before that fateful Saturday morning, I was heading down the road of defeat.

And then with one question, I came to a hard stop and switched directions and headed down the road of dreams and victory.

With one question I went from victim to victor. Click To Tweet

I still have days when I feel like a failure. And on those days I just take special care of myself and then ask, “If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Now go do it!”

So, what about you?

What would YOU do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
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Got it? Write it down. Go tell someone.
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Now, go do it.

 

 

 

Note: Curious about what conference I’m talking about? Sure! It’s First Steps to Success with Dani Johnson. Go sign up.

 

 

 
 

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

It all happened in a weekend. I went to a conference seeking help and I got asked a question. It was a question that completely changed the trajectory of my life. A brave soul asked me, "What would YOU do if you knew you couldn't FAIL?

Successful Blogging Is Built On Habits

What does it really take to run a successful blog? There is a ton of things that come into play but it all boils down to one thing: Habits

Looking out into the blogging world I see a wide range of blogs.

I see blogs that were started and forgotten a long time ago and blogs that run in fits and starts with a good bit of apologizing from the blogger saying life got in the way. I see blogs that are steady and run well in the background but not necessarily considered big and then I see blogs that obviously carry a large readership and with that a nice income for the blogger.

When I was starting this blog I asked myself where I ultimately wanted to go with this creation of mine.

Did I want to start it and then eventually let it die like the three other blogs I’ve started in the past? Did I want to have space for my thoughts with no goal for readership or income? Or, did I want to build a blog and ultimately, a business?

I concluded that the last thing I wanted was for another blog to become victim to the internet cobwebs. Yes, I wanted to build a blog and a business and I wanted to build a platform for my writing. Writing is my happy place and the dream of my heart.

So, I want to build a blog, a business, and a platform? How am I going to do that?

I have always been told that if you want something you go out and find the people who have what you want and you do what they do. You follow directions. Click To Tweet

I looked around and studied the bigger and successful blogs that are similar in niche to my own. I looked into what those bloggers and writers did that I was not.

Habits.

I read countless articles on productivity, mindset, and daily living of these successful bloggers. While each one is as different as their blogs I see that each and every one has habits in place that are rock solid.

Looking back to my previous blogs I can see that there were absolutely no habits whatsoever in place. I lived in the misconception that I could run my blog purely on inspiration and I was never writing on a consistent basis. I became the blogger who would go months or even a year between posts and I would start the new post with “Hey everyone! I’m so sorry it has been X months since I last wrote. Life has been so crazy lately.”

I got so frustrated with my blogs and then I got frustrated with my writing. How in the world were these people managing to be successful when I couldn’t get anything right? What was I missing?

A Successful Blog is Built on Habits and those habits are developed consistently over time.

A Successful Blog is Built on Habits Click To Tweet

You can do a simple search and learn what habits other bloggers are building their blogs on. I invite you to do that and be inspired.

Here is a peek into my habits on which I am building my blog.

What does it really take to run a successful blog? There is a ton of things that come into play but it all boils down to one thing: Habits

Daily Writing

I write every day for at least an hour or until I have written at least 1000 words. This is non-negotiable. This is not based on inspiration or motivation. Writing will be done every day with the exception of our Sabbath/ Family Day

My daily writing consists of a combination of personal journaling and material for the blog. I write in one monthly Word Document so the personal journaling and blog material blend together. I find that often times personal journaling turns into good material for the blog and I pull my posts from there.

The key here, though, is that I am writing every single day and that provides ample material. Rarely do I groan because I have nothing to post on the blog. Why? Because it has already been written through the daily habit of writing.

Time Management

I block off time for certain tasks throughout the day. And I am strict with those time slots. IF I am not done with a task when my time is up I still move on to the next task and make a note of where I left off. I will take care of the previous task tomorrow.

For example, I allow for one hour to be spent on social media engagement. I do this to prevent me from going down all the bunny trails social media creates. In the past, it was not uncommon for me to spend three or more hours on social media marketing of my blog because I was allowing myself to be distracted.

I set a timer and because I know that time is ticking I am focused and I get it done. The awesome thing is that I find that my quality of engagement is higher when I am strict with my time.

There are time slots for blog tasks, house tasks, family tasks, and self-care (exercise, etc.)

If I am loose on the time management everything blends into everything else and ultimately nothing actually gets done.I am able to get far more done and allow for more space in my brain for creativity.

Education

I set aside time each week for continuing education.

How in the world could I ever expect my blog or writing to improve and grow if I did not set aside time to learn more?

This education can be reading ebooks, leadership books, going through blogging e-courses, or watching webinars or videos.

Just like everything I mentioned above, my education time is an appointment in my calendar. I keep that appointment like I would a doctor’s appointment. It is that important.

Here is a key point. While I am educating myself I am also making a point to implement what I am learning. IT’s one thing to absorb information. It’s another thing to absorb information and then do something with it.

Successful Bloggers Are Always Learning and Following Directions Click To Tweet

Keeping Systems

It has taken me some time to create my own systems but it has happened and I am so thankful.

In time past I would be rather willy nilly about how I created posts for my blog. Because I had nothing concrete to follow it was way too easy to forget things. This lack of organization really affected the quality of the whole blog experience.

I learned that successful bloggers run their blogs like a business and running a good business means having systems in place.

I have chosen create my systems in Trello. Within Trello I have created checklists with everything that needs to be done each day and each week to keep the blog running smoothly. For example, I have checklists for each blog post and I don’t hit Schedule until every item in that list has been checked. The checklists are my accountability.

This system keeps me on top of things and I don’t forget anything. And since I am often working on more than one post at a time I know exactly what needs to be done for each one before it goes live.

Boundaries

One thing that makes blogging or writing unattractive is how all-consuming it can be. If you are not mindful of yourself blogging can completely take over your life to the point that you are working on it or at least thinking about it all day and all night.

While it is hard to figure out sometimes, boundaries are so important in a work-from-home gig like blogging. There are no natural boundaries in place because you live in the same space as your work.

These boundaries keep my work in its proper place so that I can be fully me.

If I allow blogging to take over my life then the very essence of my writing is lost and so is my effectiveness. Keep Boundaries. Click To Tweet

When the block for family time arrives, there is a hard stop on blogging and writing. The family is always the first priority. Blogging can wait if needed.

Keeping these boundaries also allows me to focus on my two favorite types of self-care: Reading and Running. If I can’t read or go for a run several times a week then slowly die on the inside and lose all productivity. It is for the best for my family, my blog and writing, and myself to keep good boundaries and maintain a great work-life balance.

What kind of habits do you have in place to help your blog be successful?


 

 
 

What does it really take to run a successful blog? There is a ton of things that come into play but it all boils down to one thing: Habits

How To Not Quit: 5 Tips

Are you having a hard time and wanting to quit? Don't quit yet!! Here are five tips to help you not quit and crush that awesome goal.

Do you ever have those feelings of wanting to quit?

There was a time when you were so passionate about your current project. The vision and the why were strong enough to get you up in the morning and to get you working with reckless abandon till the wee hours of the night.

Then the Honeymoon period passed.

The zing is gone. It starts getting hard. There are new roadblocks and dead ends. Your desire to work on this project is going away, just like the wind.

And then the thought pops into your head. What thought, you ask?

What if I just quit?

How things would be simpler and easier then!! What a wonderful thought!

But, you’ve worked too hard to quit and yet, you just can’t shake those feelings. What should you do now?

How do you fight off the feeling of wanting to quit?

Give Yourself Five Seconds

Running away from our feelings or denying that we are having negative feelings is not the solution to anything. We need to acknowledge that we are having these feelings so that we can work through them and figure out why they are happening to begin with.

So, you want to quit. Nothing seems to be working and you want to give up on this thing and move on to the next shiny thing.

I hear you. It totally stinks.

Give yourself FIVE seconds to wallow and whimper and whine. It’s okay. Go ahead. Feel ALL the feelings.

5…..4….3…..2…..1…..

DONE!

Some problems may be big enough that five seconds just doesn’t cut it. That’s okay. Allow yourself that time. But, put a time limit on the wallowing and stick to that time limit. You can’t wallow forever and get anywhere good.

Do you want to quit? Things not going well? Wallow. Stop. Move on. Click To Tweet

Go Exercise

Exercising is my go-to method of clearing my mind of all the junk and seeing things more clearly.

I especially love to go for really long runs and the length of the runs is often determined by how much junk needs to be cleared out. I never regret a run. (Well, there was that one time when I severely rolled my ankle about three miles from home and I had to start hobbling home while I waited for my husband to pick me up.) I also enjoy a good cleansing yoga workout for mind clearing and mood lifting.

Do something that is physically challenging. Run farther than you thought possible, do a yoga flow you thought way too hard, or lift weights you didn’t think you were ready for.

Whatever your preconceived limits are, go after them like a tiger, and prove to yourself that those limits were actually all in your head.

And guess what?

So are the limits you have in your head for whatever you ware wanting to quit.

Clear your head and prove you can push past your limits with exercise. Click To Tweet

Be Inspired By Someone Else

I am a visual learner and I love to watch all kinds of videos on YouTube. I love TED Talks, coaching videos, motivational videos, etc.

When I’m feeling like I want to quit I almost always go to YouTube and find a video about someone who pushed past her limits and did something amazing. It can be just about anything. It can be someone climbing Mt. Everest or completing some crazy ultramarathon or even refusing to accept the life the world was dealing her and pulling herself up by her bootstraps.

Watching regular people do seemingly impossible things proves to me that it’s not actually impossible. It’s just a matter of solving problems.

Are you having a hard time and wanting to quit? Don't quit yet!! Here are five tips to help you not quit and crush that awesome goal.

Tap Into Your WHY

If you haven’t already, use the FIVE WHYS Exercise to figure the deepest reason of why you took on this project, to begin with.

Find the Why That Makes You Cry. Click To Tweet

It is that reason that will keep you moving forward no matter how hard it gets.

That WHY is much bigger than you and it transcends everything that could go wrong.

That WHY has the strength and the courage to take on any obstacle with reckless abandon.

It is normal to tuck the why away when the work gets overwhelming. Don’t feel bad if you forget your Why. That’s why you have to remind yourself of the WHY and tap into the power you find there.

Refuse to Quit…Today

There are days when the feeling of wanting to quit is so overwhelming that it seems like the only option. Deep down you don’t want to really quit but what else is there to do?

Refuse to quit….Today. Click To Tweet

Promise yourself that TODAY, you will NOT quit.

Tomorrow, maybe you’ll quit. But, not today.

This is similar to a mind trick or game I play with myself when I’m on a particularly long run. There are almost always times when I feel like I need to quit and stop running. My legs burn, I’m tired, I can’t breathe, whatever the reason may be. The desire to stop running is really REALLY strong. I know there is always more in the tank than what my mind is telling me.

I promise myself that if I run to a certain tree or street lamp in the distance then I can stop running and walk home. That is always just enough to keep me powered up and moving forward because I know there is an end in sight.

Once I get to the blessed promised tree, I repeat the process. Run that that next tree and THEN you can stop running and walk home.

Rinse and repeat. It works every time.

Today is your tree in the distance.

Refuse to quit until you get to the end of the day or tree and then walk home. You did what you promised yourself.

Tomorrow, repeat. Your next tree is at the end of that day. Refuse to quit until you get there.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over. Next thing you know you never quit after all and you did far more than you ever thought possible.

Count Your Blessings And Wins

Remind yourself that you GET to do this!!

Remember that most people in the world don’t have the opportunities that YOU have.

Start a Gratitude and Wins Journal and write in it every single day, morning and night.

Keep a record of all your WINS no matter how small to remind yourself that you really ARE making progress even if seemingly minuscule. Forward is forward.

Use your Gratitude and Wins Journal for an attitude check.

Things may seem bad but when you are reminded of all the things you are doing right then your eyes are more open to the future and how you will get there.

Ready to not quit and tackle your goal?!

Let’s do this!

 

 

 

 
 

Photo by Kyle Szegedi on Unsplash

 

Are you having a hard time and wanting to quit? Don't quit yet!! Here are five tips to help you not quit and crush that awesome goal.

Personal Responsibility Changes Everything

What happens when you take responsibility for our own actions and success?

When something wrong happens in our lives what is the first thing we usually do?

Other than yelling, “PLOT TWIST!” (What? You don’t do that??)

I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to find someone or something to blame for what went wrong.  I put sole responsibility on someone or something else.That is my natural tendency and I feel pretty safe in saying that is your natural tendency too.

If I fail at something it is because someone else blocked my success or circumstances just weren’t right or Jupiter wasn’t in line with Mars.

But, that never works. I feel just as miserable as I did before and maybe even more miserable. I find myself stuck in a world that I cannot control and there is no way out. Despair is the only path. Then I find myself going from problem to problem because nothing ever gets solved.

What happens when you take responsibility for our own actions and success?

You enter a world that you can control.

You can control your actions and you can control your own thoughts.

The level of your happiness is directly proportional to how much personal responsibility you accept. Click To Tweet

You control what goes into your mouth. I am pretty confident no one tied you to chair and shoved that piece of cake or bag of chips down your throat. You made the decision to eat it and then you ate it. Simple.

It is the same with your exercise. I do know this can be a bit more tricky than food because circumstances really do come up that are out of your control but real situations like that are rarer than you think. You may not be able to get to the gym due to sickness or whatever but you can still exercise at home. You make the choice to exercise or not. Other people do not.

I don’t want to come across as being mean or in your face about it. I am not pointing my finger at you. After all, that would mean I have three fingers pointing back at me.

What happens when you take responsibility for our own actions and success?

I am just saying that YOU control YOU. And when YOU control YOU, you can change how you do things.

So, you ate that cake. Was it yummy? Good. Now acknowledge that you did something you didn’t want to do. Pinpoint what happened. Take notes for the future and move on. Learn from the mistake and then walk away.

Did you miss your workout yesterday? Why? What events lead up to you making that decision? Could you have done it differently? 

How did your writing go yesterday? Oh, you didn’t write anything? Why? What happened that caused you to not write a single word even though you knew you really needed to get that done? 

What about that huge mountain of laundry that keeps haunting you? Why hasn’t it been folded yet? 

Learn from what didn’t happen and do it differently tomorrow. 

Personal responsibility.

It really will make your life easier and happier.

To improve yourself you need to learn from your mistakes. To learn from your mistakes you have to acknowledge the mistakes and take responsibility for them.

You are in charge of YOU.

And don’t forget!!  It’s not Failure. It’s Feedback!

Enjoy LIFE!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Natalie Collins on Unsplash

What happens when you take responsibility for our own actions and success?

Women’s Fitness and How It Must Change

Women's Fitness is not doing us any favors. There is a better way to take on the awesome world of personal fitness. Join me!

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I look at fitness and how I want to train myself. I’ve been thinking about the whole fitness world and our society as a whole. And I have allowed myself to dream.

Will you come along with me as we dream together??

Let’s dream together of a world where women are confident in themselves and their bodies.

I know it is really hard to think about because we have all been trained by our society to think of the ideal female form as really thin, almost waif-like. This ‘ideal’ woman has a body that is near impossible to achieve without constant dieting and sadistic amounts of exercise. And then since it is nearly impossible to achieve women get stuck in a downward spiral of trying to achieve this body and then constantly failing. Eventually, women just quit trying all the while still yearning for that perfect body.

What if…

What if we gave up on what society was trying to tell us?

What if we acknowledged that our bodies are amazing and strong?

What IF we ate well and exercised because we LOVED our bodies, not because we hated them??

That raises a few questions, doesn’t it?

How can we move from believing our bodies are horrible and hating them to believing our bodies are amazing and loving them?

I have a few ideas….

Women's Fitness is not doing us any favors. There is a better way to take on the awesome world of personal fitness. Join me!

“She is Clothed With STRENGTH and DIGNITY…” (Proberbs 31:25)

That is what our Creator said about our bodies. That is not what society says.

Which one do you think we should believe?

I, for one, CHOOSE to believe what my Creator has to say about His handiwork.

I am STRONG.

I am SPECIAL.

I am DIGNIFIED.

I am LOVED.

Keep repeating that to yourself as many times as it takes for you to believe it.

Forget about the scale.

I would say at some point we have all been slaves to the scale.

How often do you weigh yourself? Bi-Weekly? Weekly? Daily? Morning and Evening?

How do you feel when you weigh yourself? Awesome or Defeated? And how is your mood after you weigh yourself?

Goodness, it is crazy how much we allow that crazy piece of equipment to determine our moods and emotions.

Do we find our worth in a scale or elsewhere?

If you are following along with Number One above you know that scale has absolutely ZERO authority over your worth.

Z…E…R…O…!!!

There are also all kinds of factors that go into your weight. The scale does not differentiate between fat, muscle, and essential organs.

You could actually carry a lot of muscle, therefore registering a high number on the scale, and assume you need to lose a ton of weight. The reality could be that you don’t need to lose that much FAT after all.

Forget the scale.

It is not your friend.

Chunk it.

Focus on Goals

You’ve ditched the scale, right?

So, how can you track your progress?

GOALS.

Tangible, quantifiable goals.

And, a certain number on the scale does not count.

Pick fitness goals. Run a 5K. Run a marathon. Finish an obstacle race or mud run. Set strength/lifting goals.

Pick something awesome.

Pick something that seems impossible. Break it down into achievable steps. And dive into achieving those goals.

And as you achieve more and more goals you will realize how awesome you really are. Your confidence will go up. You will realize that your body is pretty awesome too.

You are strong.

You are fast.

You are an athlete.

You will love your body for what it can do. 

You will eat to fuel it and exercise it to keep it in tip-top shape.

Here is where I share my specific dream…

I Dream Women Will Acknowledge Their Epicness.

I am mad at society for lying to women by saying they should be thin and weak.

I am also mad that society has been lying to women about their strength and that lifting anything over a 10-pound dumbbell will make them “big and bulky” like men.

I am mad at society for saying women have to be thin to run long distances and be considered “runners.” 

Guess what?

Women are STRONG and women can go far. 

 It has nothing to do with our shape or size. 

We are holding ourselves back and not realizing how amazing our bodies are because we believe all the insane myths circulating on the internet and in mainstream ‘fitness’ magazines.

There is no reason why we can’t squat, bench press, and deadlift with the men. There is no reason why we can’t go after those insane races and show them who’s boss. 

Don’t EVER let other people tell you what you can and cannot do. Only YOU make that choice. 

Now go do something epic. Click To Tweet

Do it again….

And again….

And again….

 

 

 
 

 

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

 

 

Women's Fitness is not doing us any favors. There is a better way to take on the awesome world of personal fitness. Join me!

Journal Entry: I Have A Unique Voice

 An honest discussion about not being discouraged about the vast magnitude of information out there. Your awesome idea has already been written about by lots of people. That's okay because YOU have a Unique Voice.

Let me know if you have ever been in this situation:

  • You have this awesome idea for a post and you are super excited about it.
  • You get to writing and create one of your best posts yet.
  • And then, all of a sudden, you notice at least ten other people have written on the exact same topic. 
  • Ouch, it hurts!

Oh, I’ve been there many times.

What do I do in this situation?

First, I remind myself that there really is nothing new out there.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. ~Ecclesiastes 1:9 ESV Click To Tweet

Yes, it’s true that someone else has probably written about the same topics I want to write about. Of course, it has happened because there really is nothing new under the sun. This helps me keep my ego in check and humility in the forefront.

What does this tell me?

One thing it tells me is that since someone has already written about it then that just means I need to get out of my own butt and start writing.

If I wrote half as much as I spent whimpering about not writing then I would already have a book. Click To Tweet

The only reason there are articles on the same topics as my ideas is that those people got to work and wrote those articles.

It has nothing to do with ability but it has everything to do with initiative.

All that time I spend whining about other people getting to the good ideas first is time that I could have spent writing and getting content out there.

It is my fault there is a ton of content already out there that is not mine. The more I write and get content out there the more exposure I gain and the more likely I am the one who is the “first” to write something.

Perspective.

The truth is that there is nothing new under the sun. And honestly, to believe my idea is BRAND NEW INFORMATION is full of ego.

It isn’t new. And guess what? That’s absolutely okay.

An honest discussion about not being discouraged about the vast magnitude of information out there. Your awesome idea has already been written about by lots of people. That's okay because YOU have a Unique Voice.

There is one thing, though, that is absolutely unique and new.

That is YOU or ME!!

Every person and every writer is 100% unique. Our DNA proves that we are unique. And that means that our perspective on a particular seemingly worn out topic is still brand new and unique. You breathe fresh air into something that is tired.

I have a unique voice.

My voice is built on my experiences and my personality.

And just like how unique my DNA is so is my voice. And to not use my voice is to deprive the world of hearing MY story. My story is absolutely worthy to be told. Click To Tweet

Not only is your voice unique, but your readers are also all unique.

While you are using your unique voice to write on a topic that has already been written on there is a person out there who may very well be touched by YOUR writing.

Have you ever read a bunch of articles on a particular subject and then there is that one article that just helps it all make sense much better than the others? For whatever reason, that particular writer’s voice clicked in your mind and soul in a way the other writers couldn’t.

You were touched by that writer.

That moment of connection between writer and reader absolutely won’t happen if the writer isn’t writing. It’s that simple.

The more time you spend whimpering and whining about writer’s block the more time your voice is not heard by that person whose life is potentially changed by your writing.

You have missed out on leaving your mark in someone’s life and in the world.

What’s the lesson here?

Drop the ego.

Stop complaining.

And start writing.

It’s not all about YOU.

Got it?

 

 

 

 

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

An honest discussion about not being discouraged about the vast magnitude of information out there. Your awesome idea has already been written about by lots of people. That's okay because YOU have a Unique Voice.

How To Not Fear Failure

Fear of Failure holding you down? There is a way to break it's grip on you.

Failure

We’ve all been there. Failure is just a part of life whether we like it or not.

Failure is such a monster.

It can steal our confidence and breed self-doubt.

It can rid us of our desire to keep going or to even start.

Failure stings.

And our natural, human reaction is to avoid anything that causes pain. Survival mode prompts us to see the thing that hurts and to run in the opposite direction.

On the flip side, we also know deep down inside our souls that to completely avoid failure means to remain stagnant. Remaining stagnant means zero growth. And zero growth means a life full of sameness. How boring is that?

Here’s the thing….

We are human and we were created for adventure. We were created with purpose and vision.

So, how do you live a life of adventure when failure seems to be a constant companion?

You change the script of Failure. 

You turn Failure on its head and rid it of its power over your life.

How in the world do you do that?

Fear of Failure holding you down? There is a way to break it's grip on you.

Repeat to yourself, “There is no such thing as Failure. It is just Feedback.”

You see, there are two ways to look at failure.

1) “Well, that was a great idea but it’s not going to work after all. Oh well. I guess it’s better to just keep doing what seems to be working. That way I don’t risk anything.” Or, …

2) “Well, this IS a great idea and I want this to work. Nothing good in this world comes easily. The way I am doing this is not working well. How can I learn from this? What can I do differently to make it work next time?”

Do you see the difference in mindset?

Do you see how the script is changed?

The first option sees failure as the end.

It feels the sting and shrinks back from it. The first option prefers to stay safe and ultimately, stagnant.

The second option does not see failure as the end.

Failure is just evidence that how you are doing things is not working and it is time to receive that feedback with humility, learn from it, and then act accordingly.

It is not Failure. It is Feedback. 

Make that your new mantra.

Whenever something does not go as expected remind yourself, “It is not Failure. It is feedback.”

It will take time and lots of practice. But, the more you train your mind to think this way the easier it will become.

There WILL be a time when you do NOT fear failure anymore. In fact, you will embrace failure and even celebrate it. With every failure, you are one step closer to success. And by refusing to allow failure to hold you back you are already experiencing success. 

Feedback, not Failure. Click To Tweet

 

 

 


Note:  I will forever be grateful to my personal Coach, Dani Johnson, for pounding this into my head and helping me to strip Failure of its power over my life.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

 
 

Fear of Failure holding you down? There is a way to break it's grip on you.

How to Change Your Script: A Story

A story about the power of changing your inner dialogue or script and how you can do the same and experience success as a result.

 

Let me tell you a story.

There was once a girl named Natalie. Well, she wasn’t really a girl. She was a woman. In fact, she was staring down the impending arrival of her 40th birthday. Natalie was married to her wonderful husband of fifteen years and together they had two children, aged 12 and 8. Natalie’s husband worked as a developer while Natalie stayed home with their two children. She homeschooled them and made sure they were well connected through swim team and other extra-curricular activities. 

In her previous life (a.k.a. before kids), Natalie was college educated preschool teacher. She got her degree in Early Childhood Education at the same University where she met her husband. She loved her career very much but she loved being home with her kids even more.

Overall, Natalie would say she is happy.

She knows that she lives a very blessed life and that always brings a smile to her face. But, if she were 100% honest with herself she is also living an unfulfilled life. You could almost say she is living lie. Or at least that’s how Natalie feels.

You see, there are some things that Natalie has always wanted to do with her life. I guess you could call them dreams that she has kept hidden deep in her soul for a very long time.

Why would Natalie keep these dreams hidden for so long? Why not just go after them?

Natalie has another secret that she doesn’t really like to talk about.

She struggles with keeping a positive outlook, self-doubt and feeling worthy of success. She often feels dumb for even entertaining going after these dreams because of all the other things she’s done that have failed. What? Natalie is no stranger to awesome new projects that she’s convinced will be the ticket to bringing her entrepreneurial bent to the home. She’s done this and she’s done that and she’s done the other. What makes them all similar? Natalie quits all of them as soon as they get hard. It’s true. She knows it and she’s not proud of it. And with each given up project, she loses a bit of herself. She loses more of her confidence and her once happy-go-lucky attitude.

It is so frustrating because these dreams that Natalie has just won’t leave her alone. No matter how hard she may try, she can’t shake the dream of being a writer. Wait, did she just say that out loud? Oh Geez! Was anyone listening?

One rainy morning, Natalie had the opportunity to meet a dear friend at a coffee shop for a couple hours while her kids were at a homeschool activity. What a treat! These dates really fill her soul.
 

 

Natalie wasn’t planning to break down and share her frustrations with her friend.

She planned to just shoot the breeze, laugh, and get caught up with her friend.

“I want to be a writer more than anything, Lisa, but I can’t bring myself to share my writing. I write all the time. But, I have failed so many times. Why wouldn’t this be any different? I’m not sure I could actually do this.”

“Natalie, I have one question for you?”

“What would happen if you completely changed your script?”

“I don’t understand. What in the world are you saying?”

“What would happen if you completely changed how you talk to yourself? What would happen if you changed the way you see the world? Instead of speaking words of self-doubt and failure to yourself, what if you spoke words of triumph and gratitude and joy and success? What if instead of assuming the world is out to ruin you, you take responsibility for your own actions and not worry about the rest? What if instead of always saying ‘woe is me’ you said ‘watch me’?” What would happen?”

What if instead of always saying ‘woe is me’ you said ‘watch me’? What would happen? Click To Tweet

“Ummmm….well….I guess that would change just about everything.”
 
A story about the power of changing your inner dialogue or script and how you can do the same and experience success as a result.
 

“Okay, Do that then.”
*
*
*
And that was the turning point in Natalie’s life.

It was then that Natalie stopped the Why Me’s and replaced them with the Why Not Me’s.

It was then that Natalie started looking at failure as mere feedback instead of the destruction of a dream. Instead of thinking, “The world hates me!” she thought, “Okay, what could I have done differently?”

Instead of looking at successful people as people who were lucky enough to find the golden ticket, she learned how they created their own golden ticket. Click To Tweet

It was then that Natalie only allowed herself three seconds to whimper and whine about a setback and then got to work.

She stopped seeing her dreams as mere pipe dreams, but as something worthy of pursuing with reckless abandon.
*
*
And now Natalie wants to know…

What about you?

What would happen if YOU completely changed your script?

What?
*
*
*
It’s time to get to work.

 

 

 

 

 

A story about the power of changing your inner dialogue or script and how you can do the same and experience success as a result.

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