It’s Day 3 of our Here to the New Year in Good Cheer Challenge.
I love the letter “C” because there are so many compelling action verbs beginning with “c” competing for today’s tip. We have create, collaborate, communicate, connect, catalyze, curate, caress, consider, commit, coach, consult, conspire, cook, coax, comfort, cuddle, climb, compose, craft, complete, continue, conquer, concede, compliment, contribute, calibrate, cushion, chill, celebrate, chuckle, change, challenge, chant, choose, captivate….
Since it’s complicated to pick just one action, I decided to go with an idea that will inspire continuous action. That idea is curiosity.
Just as this picture captures this sweet little pup’s curiosity, you, too, can benefit from cocking your head to the side and considering something you’ve never thought of before. Or at least not in this context.
The trouble with getting all cranky and crabby at this time of year is that need your sense of curiosity, wonder, and humor now more than ever. It’s the connective tissue that keeps you compassionate and civil when your instinct may be more combative.
So try this.
Every day from Here to the New Year, write down at least one thing you are curious about. Just thinking about it won’t do. Please write it down somewhere every day.
By the end of the year, you’ll have 35 conversation starters should you happen to be stuck at the DMV or cousin Carol’s Christmas concert. Instead of complaining, connect with a complete stranger and see if you can curtail any criticism or cynicism by starting a captivating conversation about any of the things you are curious about.
I’d love to hear where your conversations lead in the comments below. And if you haven’t officially registered for the challenge, please do so here so I can send you your free Holiday Survival Guide and enter your name for the goodies I’ll be giving away.
“What could those clever concoctions be?” you ask.
Stay curious and continue to check in daily. I’ll leave clues that will allow you to connect the Christmas cookie crumbs to some sweet surprises coming soon.
It’s Day 2 of our Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge. Leading the charge for today is the letter B.
Today’s tip comes from Dan Pink’s book To Sell Is Human. It was also inspired by my trip to the pool for a swim on Wednesday.
Buoyancy is the quality that allows you to stay afloat amidst a sea of negativity, rejection, discouragement, heavy traffic, crowds, or whatever brings you down.
Reciting the work of a leading researcher on positivity, Pink describes buoyancy as the “calibration between two competing pulls: levity and gravity.”
“Levity is that unseen force that lifts you skyward, whereas gravity is the opposing force that pulls you earthward. Unchecked levity leaves you flighty, ungrounded, and unreal. Unchecked gravity leaves you collapsed in a heap of misery. Yet when properly combined, these two opposing forces leave you buoyant,” says Barbara Frederickson of the University of North Carolina.
I don’t know about you, but I span the emotional spectrum from levity to gravity every day. Sometimes every hour. Calibrating these pulls can take some practice. Pink suggests three things to help cultivate buoyancy.
The first is to practice interrogating self-talk such as “Can I figure this out?” as opposed to emphatically affirming self-talk like “I’ve got this!” Questioning if something is possible or doable opens you up to more creative options as to how to get it done.
The second is to allow yourself a proper ratio of positive to negative thoughts or comments (3 positive to 1 negative is where people seem to flourish) as you attempt to figure it out. Reality checks keep your dreams grounded. Humor does wonders as well.
And finally, an optimistic explanation of your results – no matter what they are – prevents you from playing the victim or taking rejection personally. That will help you get up and do it again. Amen.
Today as your emotions bubble up, remember Casey Kasem’s tagline, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
Be sure you don’t miss a day of our Here to the New Year In Good Cheer challenge by signing up here. This allows you to pick up your Holiday Survival Guide and other goodies as we go.
I’d love to hear your comments below.
Welcome to the Here to the New Year Challenge in Good Cheer Challenge. From now until December 31st I’ll be sharing some short tips to keep you humming through the holidays.
Because I can easily get distracted by shiny and/or stressful objects, I’m sticking with the full alphabet plan as our guide.
Today we start with Plan A.
I did a search on verbs that started with the letter”A” and assembled a few of them here. I used WordClouds to help me create a visual that allows various verbs to capture your attention, depending on where you look. Notice how the words are shaped to form the letter A?
Today’s tip is all about attitude. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to select a handful of these verbs and act on them today. Let them amplify your awareness and align your actions.
For example, some of my favorites are articulate, amuse, awaken, astound, and anchor.
By writing this blog post I’m articulating my thoughts as well as anchoring my intentions for our time together, awakening my curiosity as to how best to convey these concepts, and possibly amusing you and astounding all of us when you share your responses in the comments below as to how this small change in awareness impacts your day.
Make sure to sign up for the challenge here in order to get your free Holiday Survival Guide. You’ll also earn points and get in on other free stuff only available by registering.
This might just be the most outrageous challenge I’ve put together to date.
I am not a holiday person. I do not go gleefully into the “holi-daze”. The most wonderful time of the year is when all the hullabaloo is behind me. Not when I’m facing six weeks of seasonal stress disorder starting with Black Friday.
A year of surprises on several fronts have left me with the belief that anything is possible. With that in mind, I will attempt to abandon my inner Grinch and walk fearlessly toward the New Year in Good Cheer.
But it will take a village.
So if you are up to the challenge, I invite you to join me for some adventures in living well.
Instead of postponing all resolutions until the New Year at the first sign of subtle or not-so-subtle sabotage, I say we start stringing together several small successes from here to the end of the year. This way we have the habits in place that we’ll need to reach the reasonably radical resolutions that will redefine our reality in the New Year.
Here’s the plan.
Starting on Friday, November 25th, I’ll email you a quick tip, subtle suggestion, perspective changing practice, or mindful moment that you can easily implement into your day to keep you humming through the holidays.
Since Plan A and even Plan B are seldom fail proof, I’m implementing a whole alphabet plan.
Starting with A and working our way through Z, each letter will get its day and have the opportunity to be the inspiration for the action of the day.
So, my surly Scrooges and grumpy Grinches, shall we give this thing a try?
If you are in, please click here to join the fun. Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a free Holiday Survival Guide you can download and refer to throughout the holiday season.
Thanksgiving is my favorite Thursday of the year because it’s all about grace, gratitude, delicious food, and compelling conversations.
I am so grateful to you for allowing me into your reading space and letting me share the ideas that refuse to let go of me until they find their way to you.
This Thanksgiving, keep calm and gobble on, my friends.
And by all means, join me in the Here to The New Year in Good Cheer challenge. Signing up gives you access to bonuses and other surprises not available by just reading the blog.
It’s that time of year when the holidays have a way of hijacking our attempts at remaining calm and practicing healthy habits. Today I’ll be sharing some tips to avoid overeating and over-stressing over the holidays on Paula Sands Live.
Here are a few strategies to get you from here to the New Year in good cheer.
HALT and Plan Ahead
Making decisions when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired usually leads to poor choices. Planning ahead when you have time to calmly think through your options and prepare healthy snacks will save your sanity by eliminating the emotional frenzy that comes with feeling famished.
Nourish Yourself Regularly
Contrary to popular belief, skipping meals or eating them on the run does not help you lose weight. In fact, it can lead to weight gain. Fueling yourself with whole, nutritious foods at regular intervals will help regulate your appetite, clear your mind, and keep you energized throughout the day.
Treat the holidays like an endurance event and train accordingly. Eating, drinking, or otherwise consuming your way through the holidays will only compound your stress. Take it one day at a time. If you blow it one day, don’t resign yourself to giving up until the New Year. Just begin again. Six weeks of bad habits is hard to overcome. Especially when you can simply start over whenever you slip up. A new perspective is always one thought away.
Move Through Your Stress
Working out does wonders to help alleviate the stress that can accumulate at the mere thought of attending a party or preparing a family feast. Find a way to move that’s fun for you. It doesn’t need to look like exercise. Fire up your Wii Fit. Get out your bowling ball. Break out the ice skates. Rake up the leaves and then jump around in them. Recruit your family or a few friends to make it more likely you’ll stick to it.
Unplug and Get Enough Sleep
So much to do. So little time. Skimping on sleep will not only add to your stress but add to your waistline. Your body needs downtime to rest and repair. Unplug from your electronic devices in plenty of time to wind down so you have the energy to get up and face another day refreshed and rejuvenated. Never unplugging leaves you in an endless cycle of feeling wired and tired.
Although the focus of Thanksgiving tends to be all about the food, it also includes the many people, things, and opportunities you have to be grateful for. If this is the one day of the year you look forward to feasting, by all means savor the flavor of your favorite foods. Do not obsess over calories. Feeling guilt or shame around food robs it of its pleasure. Take the time to be present and aware of what you are eating. Get curious about where it came from, who prepared it, and the love that went into sharing it. Ironically, when you give a meal the time and attention it deserves, you end up feeling more nourished by less food.
When you reflect on how much you already have, you can resist the urge to fill yourself up with food, shopping, and other distractions. In other words, stuff your turkey, not yourself.
Join my Here to the New Year in Good Cheer Challenge starting on Black Friday and running right up to December 31st. Details to follow later in the week. Or email me at email@example.com for updates.
For now, keep calm and gobble on!
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.
Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
At the end of every year I spend a couple of weeks trying to capture the essence of the previous twelve months. After that, I name and claim what I hope to create in the following twelve.
Every year definitely has its own flavor, but without some kind of summary that can easily bring the challenges and breakthroughs to mind, I can lose sight of how far I’m come, how much I’ve been able to contribute, or the overarching themes of any given decade.
I can also lose sight of how much time is passing without any progress towards the big, hairy, audacious goals I claim to equate with the meaning of life – at least my life.
This year I thought it would be fun to create an infographic of 2014. Doing so each year can keep me on track as well as eternally grateful and often humbled.
The talented designer Amanda Burton at LIttle Miss Mrs creates these cards and newsletters. Because I could only use a limited number of words and events, I had to choose them wisely and strategically, sometimes as code for something else.
For example, I never say “what not“, but it’s the favorite word of the youngsters in my life. Including it includes them. “It’s good to be Queen” refers to a significant shift I experienced participating in my Eating Psychology coaching program.
There are still a few edits left to make on this version but I wanted to share it with you before the first month of the New Year escaped. Maybe it will inspire you to create one for yourself or your family?