Back to the Future

Time and space have always presented a particular challenge for me. In theory I know I’ve made several trips around the sun, but depending upon the day or the circumstance, I can feel anywhere from age 9  to 90.
When I’m feeling older and wiser, I want to travel back in time to tell my younger self to stay curious and to allow the answers come in their own time.  I want to reassure her that she will find what she’s looking for in the most unlikely places and what is meant for her will not elude her.
Lately, however, my younger self wants to tell my mature self a few things. Specifically, my past self who spent the majority of her time teaching fitness classes in gyms, studios, and corporate fitness facilities wants to remind my present self how to be at home in my body.
A couple of years ago, I decided that in order to do my best work, I had to be my best self. This meant getting myself in shape – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, you name it. I was determined to get my groove back and set out to do just that.
Because I had lost my groove gradually through a series of habitual, unconscious choices over the course of a decade or two, I had to get it back through a series of intentional, deliberate actions on a daily basis.
I spent half of 2014 and all of 2015 educating myself about nutrition and how to properly nourish myself and others.  I became a certified eating psychology coach and guided a few friends through a purification process that left us all feeling fabulous.
But feelings are fleeting.  Taking it to the next level in 2016 for me is about embodying.  It’s about getting out of my head and fully inhabiting and listening to my body.
A brief glance at a photo of me in legwarmers and tights back in the day made a new approach to getting physical necessary.
I found my motivation in Erin Stutland’s  Shrink Sessions.  She has combined the words of wisdom it has taken me a lifetime to master with physical actions and movements that ground these concepts in muscle memory.
Her workouts, Soul Strolls, and meditations are incredibly empowering.  One day it occurred to me that Erin is who I wanted to be when I grew up. Or at least who I wanted to be when I was her age.
As I reflected on my early fitness career, I realized I had been very much like her.
In a surreal Back to the Future moment, I marveled at the perfection of finding this soul sister across time and space and allowing her to train me (without even knowing I exist) in the present for the future that awaits.
Listening to Erin’s mantras on my iPod as my dog and I stroll along the snow covered trail, I think about the technology and infinite intelligence that connects us and delivers perfect messages at precise moments to the people who are poised to act on them.
The kicker is we may never know the positive impact we have on each other. That’s why it’s both courageous and imperative to put our work out in the world for its own sake.
We live in incredible times and the abundance of information, education, and inspiration at our fingertips is staggering.  There are experts ready, willing, and able to guide us through any transformation we care to experience.
The amazing thing is when we look outside ourselves for help, we often get to see own brilliance mirrored back to us in others whose future or past resembles our own.  It’s easy to project greatness and success onto someone else, declaring we would never have the discipline, the talent, the chutzpah, or the support to do what they have done.  But we can’t recognize something in others we don’t also have in ourselves.
This year don’t hesitate to call on your past self, your future self, or your alter ego to help you evolve into your best self.  Then stay tuned as to who shows up to collaborate with you.
What words of wisdom might you have for your time traveling self?  Share if you dare in the comments below.

Resolve to Evolve

Active woman walking away from the camera through winter snow

My walks this week have been considerably different than last week. Six inches of snow can certainly up the intensity.
It reminds me that it’s often the little things that make the biggest difference over time.
As we launch into a new year, I’ve decided to give up the big goals and stick to the smaller, saner ones. They are easier to commit to, be held accountable for, and correct immediately if I veer off course.
In other words, the perennial goal of writing a NY Times best seller has been “right-sized” to writing at least one blog post each week and growing my subscriber list by 50 readers a month.
Getting in shape specifically means adding a Shrink Session three times a week along with the daily dog walk. It also means learning how to do more than one exercise on my Total Gym.
Losing the need to lose weight becomes maintaining a healthy weight by eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables every day. And chocolate every other day. 🙂
These small substitutions can be made for any big, hairy audacious goals you may have. Like compound interest, if you stick with them, you will experience exponential results by the end of the year.
That’s what happened for me in 2015. I took a series of small risks month after month that paid off in unexpected ways.
In January I attended a Live Your Message workshop in Los Angeles where I met some truly inspiring entrepreneurs as well as fellow coach Jillian Pearce who I later collaborated with on the No Matter What Game.
In February Bob and I went to Tucson where we did a photo shoot for my website with the folks from Purple Nickle. My friend and fellow Lost Lady Kerry Milligan offered up her beautiful home for the shoot. And I finally got to visit the funky little art town of Bisbee, Arizona.
In March I facilitated my first How to Get Your Groove Back class and connected with a fantastic nutritionist, Karla Schmidt, and Dr. Richard Betts, an acupuncturist and functional medicine doctor. These two have provided immense support throughout the year along with the brave souls who joined me for the first class.
In April I coached four friends through a 21-day purification process that changed us all physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Together with the eight-month Eating Psychology Coach certification program I completed in May, these experiences were game changers for my health and the health of my friends.
In June I was practicing the KonMari Method of getting rid of clutter and made enough headway to facilitate a 31 day challenge in July called Get Stuff Done 1 x31. 
The small stuff I got done led to an incredible opportunity in August to go to Miami Beach and write some cards for Cardthartic. Once there I was offered the job of my dreams. Ironically, I realized I am already living the dream. In Iowa. I didn’t see that coming.
In September my staff and I successfully orchestrated an event at our center which took equal parts planning and praying to pull off without a hitch.
In October my friend Barbi and I did our second 21-Day purification. When we finished I coached another friend through the purification in preparation for her wedding.
In November I got to speak to a great group of women at the American Business Women’s Association meeting.
In December I upped my technological abilities by experimenting in audio adventures and upgrading my phone. I also tested my organizational and attitudinal skills by hosting two holiday events.
I share my year in review in hope that you will reflect on all you’ve done and become in the last year.  I hope you will recall all the risks you took and the things you experienced that led to new and different people, places, perspectives, and things.
Sometimes we’re so focused on what we didn’t do or accomplish that we overlook all the things we did do, all the lives we did touch, or all the random acts of kindness, cruelty, or twists of fate that shaped our lives.
For me it’s more about who I become as I resolve to evolve – at New Year’s or anytime – than when I arrive.
I think Miley Cyrus might have been on to something when she sang these words:
There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb
Here’s to an evolutionary new year!
I’d love to hear about your Year in Review or New Year’s Resolutions in the comments below.