The Epiphany

Image“I have an idea!” the little voice in her head shouted.

You can call me a dreamer, but I call myself a realist. I know that my dreams can become my realities if I DO what it TAKES to make them realities. Anyone can have a dream. Not everyone has what it takes to make their dream come true.  I do. 

You see, I’m your average 20-something sitting behind a desk in a small little office pushing papers, answering phones,and doing the dirty work for others. But I have a dream.  I reluctantly crawl out of bed everyday, sometimes I remember to make myself breakfast, and often times I leave the house wearing two different socks. But I have a destiny. I throw caution to the wind on weekends, take down a glass of wine (or 5 some days), and consistently complain about how things are. They don’t have to be that way.

See, like many of you, I’m sick and tired of doing this crap! I’m sick and tired of my life holding little meaning. Today I decided enough was enough. Today I drew a real line in the sand. Today I decided to take charge, and begin to change my life. Today I started out on the journey to reach my reality, to reach my destiny, and to make my dream come true.

What’s my dream? To do something I love..each and every day. To not be strapped to a job that I hate. To do something with my life that gives me meaning, and others joy. To make a difference. To help people. To be the force that drives people to THEIR dreams. To change the world…(okay, maybe a little dramatic!)

For the next 30 days I am mentally quitting my j-o-b. That’s it. I quit.  Physically I still have to be there, yes, but mentally I’m out.  I’m going to give the energy that I typically give to my job, to my Beachbody business.  I am going to turn things upside down for the next 30 days.  This job of sitting behind a desk answering phones is now going to become my secondary income, and I’m going to treat my business as though it is my first (or only) income.

See, this isn’t some experiment where I prove whether or not this whole network marketing thing works – oh, it works! I have friends who are proof that it works…I am turning this thing on its head to challenge myself. I want to see what I’m made of. In 30 days I might be Diamond..I might increase my weekly paychecks by 300%…or I might end up right where I am now. Either way, win or lose, this is going to teach me my strong points, and my weak points.  From there I plan on taking my business to the next level, focusing on my weaknesses and developing them into strengths. I’m going to take my strengths and develope them even further, and share them with others to help them succeed.

In 30 days, win or lose, things are going to be different.

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Why Me?

Why me? How many times have you had a day where you just throw your hands up in the sky and scream, “Why me?!” It happens to all of us, and for some it seems to happen constantly. Some people just can’t seem to catch a break with all of their bad luck. Often times we use this phrase to allow ourselves to feel pitty for our own situations. It gives us a way out of looking in the mirror and admitting fault for some of our “bad luck” (of course, not all bad luck is in our control).

Have you ever taken a minute and asked yourself, “Why not me?” Many of you are probably thinking, “Yeah, when I got passed up for that promotion” or something along those lines. Well I am referencing your dreams, and hopefully you have a few of those.  Why not you? Why can’t you work from home? Why can’t you run that marathon? Why can’t you have a killer closet full of shoes? Why not you? What excuse are you giving yourself now that is forbidding you from making those dreams into a reality?

The truth of the matter is, we can all have what we want. Want to be a millionaire? Go for it. Want a better relationship with your family? Work on it..work on it until you feel like you can’t work on it anymore, and then work on it some more. Want a new job? Go get it. As you can see achieving these dreams all requires three things: 1) A dedicated mindset; 2) Belief in yourself; 3) ACTION.

How are you ever going to leave the finish line if you don’t take the first step forward? How do you expect to accomplish the dreams that you have for yourself or for your family if you don’t physically DO something to get there. Don’t sit around and say, “Well I’m trying…” Well, how? If this goal is something that you really want? Are you treating it as if it is a life or death situation? Probably not, and that’s why many people don’t reach their goals.

Now obviously I’m not saying that you must treat your goals as life or death situations, but that you must give them an elevated level of importance that they deserve. This is your life. You are the only one in control of how it plays out, if you get what you want, if you are happy, and what you do with it. Now some of you are reading this and saying, “It’s not that easy..” Never once have I mentioned the word “easy”…if a goal is easy to accomplish them it should be a task on your To Do list, not a goal. Goals take time, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears which is why when you accomplish them you feel so pumped up. Goals require work; if you are not willing to put the work in to it, then you can kiss it goodbye…in fact, get used to calling it a dream. Goals are dreams being made into reality.

So here is some homework for you:

1. Think of a goal that you have for yourself. Saving money? Losing weight?

2. Make it measurable Ex: “I want to lose 5 lbs by May 1st”

3. Make it REAL Ex: “I WILL lose 5 lbs by May 1st”

4. Write down 3 objections or excuses that you often give yourself that set you back from achieving that goal Ex: I have no time, I have no energy, It hurts

5. Re-write those 3 objections and make them state the opposite: Ex: I will make time, I have more than enough energy, It will hurt less the more I dedicate myself. Post this somewhere where you can see it everyday, and read it each time you find yourself trying to make an excuse for that goal. Watch how quickly you achieve it 🙂

Give Yourself Credit!

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     A penny saved, fitting into those skinny jeans, one less cigarette/drink, one more rep, a kick ass promotion, or maybe just getting through the week; we all have our own little victories in our lives and it is important that we commemorate them appropriately.

     Too often we overwhelm ourselves with goals, hopes, and dreams to the point where we get so overwhelmed that we settle for less. How many people do you know who have set out to “lose weight” and are doing great, until one day they eat a slice of cake and, “I’m fat! I’ll never be thin! I give up! I need more cake!” Landslide! Ah! The problem with situations like these is not the person, nor is it the cake..the problem is the route that person was taking to reach their goal. They were running a marathon and thought that they could sprint the entire thing.

     Nothing in life is easy. Nothing worth accomplishing or achieving is easy. So if you think for one second that this “goal” that you have is going to be easy to accomplish then quit calling it a goal for crying out loud! Call it a task! Goals need to be something that you can really drive yourself to achieve, and they need to be challenging. Some of the greatest goals, with the biggest end rewards, are the ones you look at in the beginning and go, “Ugh.”

     It’s not easy to go from a hectic lifestyle to doing daily to do lists, just like it is not easy to quit smoking. But as I have mentioned in my previous posts, when these massive goals are broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks (there’s that word again) they can be achieved. Look at what I said earlier: If you think this “goal” that you have is going to be easy to accomplish then quit calling it a goal..call it a task. Breaking your goal into more manageable tasks makes them easier for you to accomplish! You don’t say, “That’s it! I’m quitting cold turkey!” (we all know that never works); instead, look at how many cigarettes are in that pack a day that you smoke and cut that down by 2 today. If you have to, take those 2 out and hide them somewhere, or give them away to someone who is not at all interested in quitting smoking (and then get away from that person because they are not going to be on your team for this goal attainment!). Once you get through your day with 2 less cigarettes, go reward yourself. No, not with another cigarette…treat yourself to something small that makes you feel good! Maybe a half hour to yourself to watch tv in quiet, or read, or go for a walk, or whatever you like to do. You need to reward yourself for accomplishing that small little task. One of my personal favorite rewards after either a killer workout, a pound shed, or getting through a particularly challenging day is a bubble bath. I love it, I look forward to it, and it doesn’t cost me anything (except the price of the bubble bath) or cause any guilt.

     Rewards are too often forgotten when it comes to us going for something we want. Often times, the only reward we think of or remember is the end reward, but that reward is going to involve a journey. You wouldn’t climb to the top of Mt. Everest without stopping at the rest camps, would you? So why would you go after this large goal without giving yourself little breaks to reward yourself for the hard work you have already put in?

     I want you to think about what you are working toward today. I know some of my friends are working toward better nutrition, finishing a certain fitness program, starting up a home business, or getting a new job. Look at those things and what you have already done in order to achieve them, and tonight do something special for yourself. It doesn’t have to be luxurious, or expensive; even if it is just a moment to reflect on your accomplishments thus far and telling yourself you’re kicking ass (and taking names!), take a minute to do that. You owe it to yourself to recognize your own accomplishments and once you feel that sense of accomplishment you will be ready to take on that next task by storm.

Good luck!

Having A Bad Day?

We all have them. Those days where as soon as you get out of bed you think to yourself, “I should have just called off.” And that is the first place that you went wrong that day.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, YOU are responsible for your failure or success! You can’t blame your bad day on the weather, the fact that your spouse snored the entire night, the fact that you have nothing to wear, or your hangover. The only person that you can blame your bad day on is yourself, because you allowed yourself to have that bad day.

I’m not saying wake up everyday with smile slapped on your face and go to work skipping, that’s just un-natural, but consciously making an effort to turn your bad days around is a step in the right direction. I’ll be honest, some days it is very easy..and some days it doesn’t even work! These things take practice..but the more conscious efforts you make, the easier these efforts will come to you. I, for one, do not wake up everyday singing to the birds outside of my window like I was Snow White. I am probably the WORST person to wake up before my alarm goes off, or to even ask to make a decision before I have had a minute to make a cup of coffee..but I am also the first person to admit that if I’m in a bad mood that it will be up to me to snap out of it. Bad days are only what you make them. Some bad days can be your best days!

Bad days can be like a game of Dominos. You consistently stack the odds against you throughout the day: “I have nothing to wear”, “Awesome. Traffic.”, “Naturally my boss noticed I’m late”, “Who does Bob think he is? He can’t do this himself? I swear that man shouldn’t even be employed…but naturally I will help and this will go nowhere for me!” You stack up these odds and before you know it, you have this massive maze of Dominos! Our favorite part of Dominos is knocking them down. Do you remember all of those awesome Dominos tracks you could buy as a kid? You could make your Dominos go down hills, through loops, all kinds of crazy ways..and this how we build up our negative comments on a bad day. Now, when that figurative finger comes and knocks down that first Domino it could be one of two things: If you are still thinking negatively you could think that “finger” will be the straw that breaks the camels back. Now all hell breaks loose and you go break down and cry to a stranger somewhere, Tweet your anger, and spend too much time at a happy hour…0r….you can think of those Dominos being small triumphs.  Let’s say one Domino is having nothing to wear – well in the future be better prepared. Lay your clothes out the night before, or reward yourself for changing to a more positive attitude by buying a new outfit! There’s one Domino that you can knock down so it’s not a future issue. Traffic? Get up earlier. What’s the worst that can happen-you are a little early to work for once? That’s great, use that time to say hello to your boss, or make a comment about a recent addition you made to Bob’s damn project (obviously in a way that does not make you come off as a total ass). All of these little negatives can be turned into positives.

Again, I’m not saying that everyday is going to be awesome, nor am I implying that by simply thinking positively you will immediately turn your day around…but it’s a start! Being negative is contagious. Before you know it, your spouse is pissy, your boss is pissy, your co-workers are pissy, hell even your dog is pissy! But just as being negative is contagious, so is being positive. Soon your positive attitude will catch on to those around you, and for those around you that don’t catch “the feva”, they won’t be able to stand you and leave you alone! Positive people surround themselves with other positive people, just like successful people surround themselves with other successful people. Odds are if someone can’t stand the fact that you’re being positive instead of negative, then they are probably not someone who you would benefit from hanging out with anyway 🙂

HAVE A GOOD ONE!

Top 5 Failed Resolutions

While browsing the internet this morning looking for something to entertain me throughout the day, I came across this article that listed the Top 5 Failed Resolutions. I read in disbelief because this article is basically screaming: YOU CAN’T DO IT to everyone who reads it. Awesome way to start off everyone’s “clean slate”, guys…really. You truly are the motivational source of the year. I’m here to tell you that you CAN do these things..and it is very easy to do as long as you dedicate yourself to the task, and break it down into smaller, more manageable ones:

#5  To do More:  The article states that “Doing More” takes the #5 spot for resolutions that you will fail at. They post examples such as reading more, traveling more, more time with friends and family..and then go on to ask, “Who has time??” They start on about the economy, and the demands to work more, etc. Now, I’m not saying that these are not factors. You need money to travel, you need time off to travel, so you might have to work more in order to obtain those things…or do you? Since when does traveling need to be to Bora Bora (…that’d be nice…)? Did you specify in your resolutation that you were going to travel to Bora Bora more often (which if you can travel there at all I don’t think you are in a position to complain about money..just sayin’)? No, you just said you were going to travel more. There are many National Parks  and interesting places probably within 2 hours of your home that you don’t even know about. Google it .Google wineries, parks, hiking, biking, whatever! There is plenty fun to be had with minimal travel right out your back door. You do not need to shell out a ton of cash and hop on a plane to necessarily travel. And while we are on the topic of doing more..why not do less?? Why the heck would you want to weigh yourself down with more stuff to do..and that’s all half of it is, is “stuff”. Instead, make a change to work smarter and not harder..that brings us to our next resolution…

#4 Get Organized: Do you know that they blame the economy for this one too? Okay, I understand things aren’t the best right now but what the heck does the economy have to do with you not being able to find a matching sock? I mean, really. Then they go on to blame the lack of time available…however, the ironic thing is if you get yourself organized you will find more time in the day that you didn’t even know you had! I’m not saying you have to go to Wal Mart and buy bins and boxes, file cabinets, and go around your house firing a label maker like you’re playing Call of Duty..no…start with a To Do list. What do you need to do today? Tomorrow? What things do you absolutely have to do now, and what can wait. Put these lists on your phone and they are easy to reference. If you are still having trouble (like I was) create a block schedule for yourself with your items Ex: 9-10 AM Reading Assignment for Class XYZ, or 10-10:30 Balance Checkbook.  Not only do To Do lists put your tasks right under your nose, but you will find that as you check more and more off that you get this amazing sense of accomplishment.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has looked around my house and gone, “It looks like a bomb blew up in here”..so do something about it. Take one room, one large task, at a time. Recently I was working with a friend of a friend saying that she had children, a husband, 2 at home businesses, etc. and her house was a mess and she had no idea how to go about changing it. She said that the hallway was hard to walk through and there was this dreaded box of “clutter” that just sat around. I told her to start with that box..it’s a small object, but will give you a nice feeling of accomplishment when it’s gone. What do you aboslutely need in the box, what can you get rid of? If you can get rid of it – throw it out. If you absolutely need it then you best already have a place for it…because if you are trying to find a place for it , it’s probably not something that you absolutely need. Break this large task of getting organized into smaller tasks..and don’t put a timeline on this. Just make it ongoing and by the end of 2012, you will have a better sense or organization.

#3 Save More Money: How this is not #1, I will never know. Saving money is hard. I admit that I have a hard time saving. I love to shop..but more so for others so when Christmas rolls around I go all out. Here is the thing with saving money..is usually people make these goals that are great, and are totally attainable if the stars aline..but what if they don’t? Then you feel like you failed, you go splurge on something with the money that you were able to save and you are left with $0. Typically I am an advocate for putting a solid number on something and making your goal specific..but if you are just starting out with saving I would reccomend you not do that because when unexpected expenses arise and you can’t save as much as you had hoped, I do not want you to get discouraged. For the first month, try and take a portion out of your pay and shove it somewhere..an envelope..a matress..whatever. $5, $10, $50…whatever amount that you can comfortably manage and not miss. Put it somewhere where you don’t see it often (out of sight, out of mind). Then look at your purchases: McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza, etc. all add up. For one month..try packing a lunch, or driving past that fast food restaraunt and when you do, take the money you would have spent there and put it in that envelope. See what you are left with after a month. You might have $100, you might have $25..but you saved. The minimum to open many savings accounts is $25…I think you know what to do next with that money..this will soon become a routine and a savings will grow from there

#2 Weight Loss/Exercise: According to a recent study only 1/5 adults respond as being satisfied with their weight, health, and exercise levels. That’s 20%. That’s awful, and exercise is one of the easiest, most affordable activities! I know someone reading this just went : Yeah right! Do you know how much my gym is charging a month..the answer..mmm yeah I probably do. I’m a fitness instructor as well as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach..I realize that there are programs out there, and gyms, that can try to break your bank..but only if you let them. So..why do you need a gym membership? I love gyms and I think memberships are a great way to stay accountable…if you are serious about health and fitness. If this is a resolution: don’t waste your money. Start gradually. Walk, run, skip, buy a jump rope…all of those activities cost less than $10 to start. Sure if you get into running you might need proper shoes but we are talking baby steps here, people! Do you have old workout tapes? (Buns of Steel, anyone?) Dust them off and PRESS PLAY. Look at Craigslist and see who is selling off old equipment..even gyms sell off old equipment. And when you start feeling the power of endorphins, get your body used to breathing hard and utilizing your  muscles..then go sign up at a gym. And when you get there..meet with a trainer. Have them take you around to the machines because let me tell you, those of us who go to the gym regularly do not like when someone comes in and “plays” on a machine (or sits and texts!). It’s there for a purpose..don’t be afraid to ask someone for assistance…you get more brownie points asking for assistance than you do sitting on it, fiddling with pins while other people’s heart rate begins to fall as they wait for you. Everyone at the gym is there for the same reasons; 9/10 of us will not mind you asking us how the leg press works..in fact, in might inflate our ego and make our workout even better 🙂  Final note on this: Mall skimmers are on to something. I’ve made fun of these individuals with the sweat bands, knee-high socks, and (in my day) portable CD players trekking it around the mall..but think about it: It’s free! It’s warm! It’s inside! It’s perfect for winter months!…you don’t always have to “look cool” when you work out..and think about it: those same people judging you as you work toward your bangin body are the same ones pumping globs of fat into their arteries, stomach, thighs, and ass as they sit down at Sobaro’s on their lunch break and stuff their face…who is really winning in the long run here? And do you really care what some 16 yr old working at Claire’s thinks of you? Do they matter? Walk on, people!

#1 Quit Smoking: I’m not going to lie, I used to smoke, I quit smoking, and it wasn’t that hard for me. I guess I am lucky enough that I am one of those people who can really discipline myself when it comes to quitting old habits. Not having to go through the nicotine withdrawal there is not much that I can say about this one. What I can tell you is people usually “quit” smoking 8-10 times before it finally sticks…and most relapse within their first 3 months of quitting. If this is you-you are not alone..so don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t automatically go and buy that pack at the gas station because you broke and had a cigarette with a colleague during work. It’s a slip up..not the end of the world. I’m not downplaying the difficulties of quitting an addiction of any kind; my mother is  a smoker, quit for about 20 years…and is back at it again (ugh!) and I know that you will not quit until YOU want to quit..because it is that personal drive, that personal motivation, that will get you through to the finish line whether it is your first go at quitting or your 10th. It’s all up to you and you have to want it. Do you find yourself saying: I’d love to quit..I just don’t have the motivation or the drive..then Google lung disease, gum disease, oral cancer, or results of smoking and see the photos and articles that pop up. It’s gross. Take the cost of a pack of cigarettes ( I don’t even know how much they are anymore)..if you are a pack a day person multiply that by 7…then by 52 (52 weeks in a year) and apply that number to resolution #3…there is money everywhere to be saved and I would be willing to bet that the number you just got is substantial.

Remember, resolutions don’t happen-change happens. Make a change in 2012.

Happy New Year!

Hello world!

Why do people blog? To get their ideas out there, to be heard, to voice opinions, to make others laugh…

But didn’t we all hide our journals and diaries from our parents for a reason? Why are we putting ourselves out there now? Why aren’t these things locked away and hidden in a shoebox under our bed, with a tiny key hidden in a sock drawer across the room? Why the voice? Why the publicity?

At some point in your life you start to realize that you are an individual, and that it really doesn’t matter what other people think of you as long as you think highly of yourself (cue Barney theme song now). At some point in your life you realize you are entitled to opinions, thoughts, actions, and reactions that allow you to learn and become a more well-rounded individual. At some point you realize that you  might not be the only person who is thinking a certain way on a certain topic, and at some point you learn that maybe, just maybe, your words may be inspirational to others.

That is why I blog. Love me, or hate me..praise me or put me down..it really doesn’t matter to me. You’re already reading this which means that you have some sort of interest in what I have to say. I win 🙂