Opening The Hood on 2018
So, here we, are we’re knocking on the door 2019. I just can’t believe it, like where did the year go? I wanted to create a lifestyle audit, this is the time of year where we look back and ahead. Let’s check in to see if you’re looking at the right things. It’s time to do an audit, no one ever wants to be audited by the IRS, but the audit basically is the IRS’ way of saying, “You’re telling us you make a dollar, yet you’re living in a mansion, those things don’t line up. So, clearly there’s more going on, so we need to open up the hood and see what’s up.”
The first place to start when you conduct an audit is do you want, that’s the biggest step. I remember years ago when I was working with a coach and I was trying to create my business and be this awesome person, and her first question to me was, “What do you want?” And I was like, “What?” That question stopped me in the tracks. She quickly followed up with another gut punching question “How do you define success?” “Wow, those are two really powerful questions.”
Define Your Own Success
I find that most people don’t ask themselves those questions. They think about all the things that they want but not to this level that it says, “This is what I really want.” Some people think of, “This is what I should want.” We should want to grow up, get married, buy a house, 2.2 kids, a cat, a dog and a squirrel. But what if that’s not what you really want? I remember when I was younger, I never really wanted to have children, it just never was like a thought for me. And I remember I would tell people this, and they would look at me like I said I worshiped the devil. It just wasn’t what I wanted. How many people sleep walk through their life, going towards things they don’t want? It doesn’t have to necessarily be kids, but it could be your dad told you to be a doctor, so you’re a doctor and you freaking hate it, or someone told you to be whatever and you hate it. I want you to take the time and say, “What it is that I want?”
This is probably not be an overnight thing. Give it some serious thought. You may have never took the time to sit down and think is this is what I want out of my life.” Because guess what? We only get one turn around the planet before we’re done. Now, some of you might be like, “Oh, I got past lives.” That’s great, wonderful, rock out with your bad self. What are you doing with your current life now?
What are you doing with this life? I’ve recently started following a guy named, Jesse Itzler. His claim to fame he owns the Atlanta Hawks now. He was talking on a podcast and he just turned 50. He told the interviewer , “I only have X amount of time left on this earth, and I want to make it count.” Now, some people might think about that as being morbid, or some people might look at that and go like, “It’s time to get to work, start to get some stuff done.”
So that’s why you should take this lifestyle audit. I want you to like think to yourself, “The past is the past, the future is now, and it’s time for me to start taking some inventory so that I can live my best life versus just sleepwalking, trudging through my life.”
First question, “What’s working?” What’s working in your life? What’s working in your health? What’s working in your work life? What’s working with your relationships? What’s working in your spirituality? What’s working with your money? Think about the big buckets in your life and just say, “What’s working?”
My husband and I were talking about the five love languages, (here is the link https://amzn.to/2S7oSpq) and I kind of straddle two love languages and one of mine is tokens of appreciation. If that man unloads the dishwasher, giddy as a schoolgirl. And so, I want you to think, even if it’s stuff like that, the little things, I want you to think of every little thing in those buckets that is going well. My husband knows that it makes me happy when he unloads the dishwasher, so he does it. And if I get him to go to the grocery store, he would be like a picture in the dictionary of good marriage, but I digress. So, what’s going right?
Of all the things that are going right, is there anything that can be modified? Is there something that you could add a little tweak to? Think of it like this – if you’re already eating really well, take a quick review and ask yourself “could probably eat a little bit more protein.” So, that’s what I’m talking about for modification. Or if you’re going to the gym you might be like, “You know what needs to be modified? Could you add in a 15-minute stretch at the end of your workouts.” Do you see what where I’m going with this? So, the modifications aren’t these huge, big sweeping things, they’re just a little turns of the dial, little tweaks of what’s currently working well in your life.
It’s An Inside Job
Now you have your lists of things that need to be tweaked. The next step is “Why do I want it?” And I’ve talked about this several times, why? Because when you know why, that’s your motivation. Because so many people say to me, “Oh, I’m waiting to be motivated, I’m waiting to be motivated.” Well, you have a better shot of the number one bus driving by than the motivation bus. That motivation bus and the willpower bus, they’re on the same track, they ain’t coming or at least not on a frequent schedule. So, I find that when you define what your why is, that’s your motivation, that’s what’s going to get you up and over any obstacle, any hurdle when you’re not feeling motivated.
So, I want you to think about why do you want it and what needs to happen in order for you to make this change. This is it where I’d say don’t beat yourself, no telling yourself, “Oh I got to be a better person.” “Oh, I got to stop stuffing my face.” “Oh, I got to stop doing this.” No. This is where you do a brainstorm. If you’ve ever been in a corporate environment and you try to come up with new products or new ideas, it’s silly idea time and you just starting throwing out random things out, nothing is off-limits. It could be like, “Hey, I need a personal chef.” “Hey, I need a personal trainer to come to my house every day.” It could be all of that, silly idea time, just throw it out there, don’t worry about the feasibility of it just yet, we’re just trying to get our mind just empty of what’s possible to make this happen. Do you need a gym membership? Do you need a peloton bike? What do you need in order to make this happen? Do you need a new planner? Do you need to learn to cook? Do you need to sleep more? What are the things you need?
And once you exhaust your brain of all the things you need, then I want you to kind of break it down into A, B and C, where A, “This is totally possible, this is totally doable.” B, “This could be a stretch, but possible.” C, “It’s far-fetched. I need a unicorn to show up on my doorstep, and I’m going to ride that unicorn to the gym.” That’s C. But still put it down there because what I find is that sometimes even the craziest things get your brain thinking about ways to make it possible. I don’t know about the unicorn, but hey, if you see one take a picture, holla at your girl.
And then now that we’ve kind of put it in a basket of, “This is what we want, this is what’s possible”, then ask yourself what do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? What is it? Take the time to be as specific as possible so that – I’m going to get a little woo-woo right here – the universe likes specificity, the universe wants you to slap it upside the head and say, “I want it to be a purple unicorn coming down the street.” It wants you to be specific so that way you start to visualize, you start to see it happening and unfolding in your mind and so that you’re bringing and drawing these options into your world. Now, I know for some people you’re like, “Girl.” Trust me, three years ago if you would have said the same thing to me, I would have said, “So you have a medical marijuana card, don’t you?” I totally get it.
I’m going to give you an example of how my mind went in a complete 360 and I started really believing in this. My mindset was in the crapper three/four years ago. I was working with a coach and she was helping me to adjust my mindset. And so, she had me read this book, called E-Cubed, (here is the link to the book https://amzn.to/2EzTQn4) In the book it gives you little examples of how to test that what you think about you can bring it to your existence.
So, it’s February and I’m reading the book and it says, “Over the next several days I want you to focus on seeing cars the color of the sun, and purple feathers and butterflies.” As I’m reading it I’m rolling my eyes. Cars the color of the sun, I got that.” But I’m like, “Butterflies? It’s February in Boston; good luck with that.” So, I’m like, “All right, I’m going to put it out there.” I’m looking for butterflies, I’m looking for cars the color of the sun and I’m looking for purple feathers.” I’m going on with my days and not giving much thought to this mindset test. About four days later I’m watching TV, and what floats across the screen in a movie that I’m watching? BUTTERFLIES. I was speechless, and to get me to be speechless, that’s a lot.
I let go of the how. I was expecting to see a physical butterfly fly in front of my face, but what I did see was a butterfly on TV. So, I was specific, I needed to see a butterfly, so it happened. I tell you this story because I want you to be open to that type of possibility.
Break It Down
One big take away from that book is what you think about you can bring about. Yes, at times it can feel daunting, so can runing a marathon you’re like, “Oh my god, 26.2 miles, 26.2 miles is so far, that’s so far. Instead of thinking about the full marathon, break it down mile by mile by mile. If I want to run a marathon in six months, I’m going to take my mileage and I’m going to back it up, and so each month I’m going to increase my mileage till I’m at the point where I’m going to be running 26 miles.” So, let’s just say the first month I want to get to a point where I’m running five miles, and then I’m running 10 miles. So, the first month I’m running a total of five miles, that five miles will be my longest run. Then the following month I’m working up to running 10 miles, then the following month I’m working up to running 15 miles. And then following month I’m working up to running 20 miles. So, you see, I’m doing incremental work, but I’ve broken down my goal into six phases of running. And so, then from there I’m like if it’s five miles, then I take that five miles and say, “What do I need to do each week?” And I just focus on the week, and then just say, “This is my goal for the week.”
Approaching your goals like this gives you small wins. Small wins make me feel so motivated. Here is the motivation that we just talked about. You’re waiting for this big bucket of motivation to fall on you like the ice bucket challenge. Motivation, I want you to think of it as an annoying leak that just keeps drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. You don’t know where it’s coming from, you just hear it all the time, that’s what I want motivation to be, because I want you to think about motivation as a layer, it just layers and it just keeps building, keeps building, keeps building upon itself. And then the more you win, the more you’ll want to try new things, so that you get in the game and stay in the game.
Specific Is Key
You want your goals to be very specific. What I said is a marathon, we know a marathon is 26.2 miles. A lot of times I find clients, they’ll set these wishy-washy goals, and they’ll say, “I want to be toned.” Well, I don’t know what toned is, toned is soap from the 80’s, that’s all I know of toned. I don’t know what toned looks like. When you set a goal, I want it to be so specific that any random person walking down the street says, “Oh, that’s exactly what you want to do? I know what that is.” I want you think of it as if I was driving somewhere, I wouldn’t say, “Oh I’m heading to Boston.” Boston is a big flipping city. I want to drop a pin on Boylston Street in front of the Apple store on Boylston Street, that’s where I’m going. That’s what I want you to think about, that’s where I’m going. How do you know how far you are going? And how do you know how far you’ve come? I want you to look back sometimes at how far you’ve come as a way to say to yourself, “Holy, moly, I’m doing this, I’m getting some stuff done up in here.” And I also want you to have that pin to know how far you have to go as a way determine if you may need to adjust your goal, but sometimes you might have to look at yourself and say, “Do I got a little bit more gas in the tank?” And then you can either stomp on the gas or reassess where you are.
I’m okay with making adjustments. Adjustments are necessary, but what I don’t like is this imaginary measuring stick of feeling that you’re behind. I don’t know how many times I hear people say, “I’m behind.” And I’m like, “Behind what? Who are you racing?” If you’re in a marathon maybe you’re racing somebody, maybe you’re racing yourself, I don’t know. But in life who are you racing? Who are you racing in life that makes you say you’re behind?
I go to spin class at Flywheel. I’ve been taking the class for five years, and for five years I go, and they have what they call the torque board. Basically, everyone in the class, if you choose to participate, you go up on this board and it shows how you’re doing compared to everyone else in the class. And I don’t use that board as comparison, I use that board as my personal benchmarks. Over the last five years I haven’t made it on the board very much. Riding a bike is just not my thing. I go because my husband enjoys it and it’s one of our things we do together, it’s like one of our dates, so we spin. We ride next to each other, we don’t talk to each other, that’s a date. So, last week I go, and I don’t know, perhaps you should have tested my pee, I don’t know, but I was like lights out on that day. I was top eight in the overall class of 30 bikes including men and women, and I won six out of the seven races, like who am I?
Five years ago, if I would have said to myself,
“I suck at spinning, I’m never coming to class” and I put out my
crazy imaginary measuring stick, I would have totally taken myself out of the
game. But I just kept trying, I kept going. Eventually I saw that even though
I’m not on the board regularly, I’ve seen how my consistency in showing up has
helped to improve my spinning.
It reminds me that had I put up that imaginary measuring stick that says, “Oh my god, I don’t get 500 points every class, so I shouldn’t even go.” Or, “Hey, I’m going to go but I’m not even going to go on the board.”
Most people will take themselves out of the game before they even get a shot at the play.
And I think it’s Michael Jordan that says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So, if you don’t know anything about sports, I know you know who Michael Jordan is. He’s one of the greatest; he’s going to go down as probably in the top five of basketball players of all time. He claims the reason why he was so successful, he just took the shot his mindset was I can’t score unless I shoot the ball.
Please break free of that imaginary measuring stick that you’re behind. You’re only behind if you don’t go, you’re only behind if you don’t try, you’re only behind if you stop. So, keep going my loves, keep going.
What does your routine look like? So, we’ve come through, we’ve got all these goals, we’ve got everything that we want. What does the routine look like? And the big thing is – and I will say this until I’m blue in the face – routines create habits, habits create consistency, consistency creates results. Now, I’m going to say that again: routines create habits, habits create consistency, consistency creates results. Now, through that equation, did you see anything about perfection? No. It was routine. So, I want you when you’re going through, what can (you I’m going to make this word up) routinize? What can you turn into a routine?
For me, getting up in the morning, I need to work out in the morning, that’s just what I need to do, it needs to happen in the morning before I get derailed with my day. But in order for me to work out in the morning, I have to lay out my clothes the night before. When I was a kid my mom used to make me lay out my clothes every night before I went to bed, and I HATED IT. Now, that’s what I do so I can get up and out.
If you’re getting up at 5:00am the last thing on your mind is wanting to pick out what you’re going to wear to go to the gym. I pick out my clothes, down to my underwear so, that all I need to do in the morning is just focus on brushing my teeth, washing my face and putting those clothes on. I’ve heard of some folks actually sleeping in their clothes in order to get to the gym on time, it’s totally up to you, I’m going to leave that in your hands.
Acknowledge The Obstacles
I’m going to leave you with, “What is your biggest obstacle?”
What’s some thing that could jam you up, trip you up? Because here is where I want you to start to think about your plan B’s, maybe even your plan C’s. So, how are you going to go over, under or push right through those obstacles?
Shit is going to happen, so I’d rather be forearmed for that. So, think about the Boy Scouts, always be prepared. And then who is going to support you?
I help women to have the courage to break free of the rules that keep them from living the life of infinite possibilities. These are the types of strategies I share in my Facebook Group.