Category Archives for "planning"

Are you exhausted?

are you exhausted

I’ve had three or four conversations in the last week with people feeling completely overwhelmed with life and utterly exhausted. The story I heard goes something like this: “I’m working more than 40 hours a week, and I have to get the kids to/from school, and I have this big project at work, and my rec softball league is in a tournament next weekend, and I have to walk the dog twice a day, and grocery shop, and make dinner, etc. And then I got really sick last weekend. And I think I’m depressed. Sigh.”

They’re exhausted. Sound familiar?

I’m still not sure WHY we do it, but as a society we seem hell-bent on driving ourselves into the ground. We over-schedule like we think we can add hours to the day; take on projects and volunteer opportunities to add to our “resume” like a high-school senior trying to get into an Ivy League school. And then we are flabbergasted when we get the latest cold, flu or virus. It seems like we are actually TRYING to be exhausted.

Would you like a solution? Because there is one.

But I have to tell you, you may not gonna like it…at first.

Let’s start with an obvious example. Toddlers get kinda crazy when they’re over-tired, right? Everything gets over-blown, nothing makes them happy, they start to scream, and then cry, and the next thing you know, they’re throwing a full-blown temper-tantrum. Why? Because they’re exhausted.

Good times.

I’ll try to deliver this softly. We’re not that much different as adults. Truly.

Over-scheduling and over-committing leads us to become overtired. We start to blow things out of proportion, nothing makes us happy (not the triple espressos, not the afternoon donuts, not the mani-pedi, not the date at a nice place), we get short-tempered (with our co-workers, friends and family), we may even cry, and the next thing you know, we’re having a major melt-down. Why? Because we’re exhausted.

So how do we solve this problem?

You may think you know where this is going. But, I’m NOT going to say you should find 3-5 things to cancel or drop. I think it’s WAY more fun to look at things to ADD than take away. I know that sounds a little counter-intuitive, but stay with me.

Write it down!

First, write down the things that are truly important to you. Like in your calendar. And start with the basics. Like sleep. Yep. Sleep. None of us functions well or rationally without adequate sleep. So, start there. Your list is probably a little different than mine, but here are some initial areas to consider:

  • Sleep: research shows adults need 7-9 hours. Yes. Every night. Every. Night. Decide on your bedtime and stick to it like your life depends on it. Because it kind of does.
  • Meditation: Get on the meditation bandwagon! If you haven’t yet, you are honestly missing out on a complete game-changer. No more excuses. Start today and do it for the rest of your life. You will be SO glad you did. Not sure where to start? Try this app, or this one, or maybe this one.
  • Nutrition: Decide what kind of meals are important to you. And eat them somewhere other than in front of your computer. Or iPad. Or phone. I’m serious. Give yourself enough time to eat and actually enjoy your meal. A good 30 minutes for each one. Write it in!
  • Movement: What’s your jam here? Yoga, Group Fitness Class, Hiking, Biking, Walking, Martial Arts. Whatever it is, schedule in time for yourself to do this a few times each week. And keep this commitment to your sanity and well-being. We all thank you!
  • Necessary Tasks: Ok. Add in the mandatory tasks that MUST be done every day/week. Work, carpool, grocery shopping, etc. Just don’t do it UNTIL you have the other things scheduled.

Now that you have the framework for your week, add in the extras. If it turns out that there’s not enough time for that extra project or activity, let it go. It WILL be ok! When you start to guard your time and energy and decide AHEAD OF TIME what you are willing to spend it on, the rest will fall into place, or fall off the schedule.

Here’s what’s cool…

When I have done this in the past, what I have found is that I may let a couple things go here and there, but a lot of things stay the same. Yet, somehow I FEEL completely different about it all. During the process of doing this activity, I realize *I* am in control of my life and I can choose at any moment to add or subtract things from my life. I realize how powerful “No” can be in protecting my sanity, and I also realize how powerful “Yes” can be when I say it to something I REALLY want to do! And the best part? I don’t feel exhausted anymore! I feel energized to live the life I created!

So, are you ready to take your life back? Tell me, what are the three most important things in your day/week?

Terrible Night’s Sleep?

Sadly it happens to all of us. For whatever reason, you didn’t sleep well last night.

This happened to me not long ago.

I found myself at the airport having hardly slept at all. I was on a trip and REALLY needed to sleep well. But no. Hardly a wink. The air conditioning was out in my hotel room and they were booked solid so I couldn’t just switch to another room. The nearest hotel was several miles away and it was already 2:00am when I realized what the issue was. Ugh.

What to do?

Because I travel a lot, I’ve developed a few ways to make it through this situation with as little disruption to my day as possible. I can even function at a pretty normal level! In this short video I share with you my tips for getting through the day when I haven’t had any sleep to speak of.

 

Jenn’s list of things to do when you haven’t had any sleep:

  • Wear your glasses! Your eyes will thank you for it!
  • Get a nourishing breakfast – this is not the day for a sugary danish. Nope. Eat something real!
  • Go ahead and have a creature comfort – for me it’s a yummy latte!
  • Create time in your day for a Yoga Nidra meditation – enjoy the equivalent of an hour’s sleep for every 15 minutes of Nidra!
  • Here’s a link to my favorite meditation app these days

It’s certainly a drag when this happens, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day! Enjoy these simple tips to help you make it through the day when you’ve had your sleep hijacked.

I’d love to hear from you! What are some things you have discovered that help you navigate the day after a night of poor sleep? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Give yourself the gift of a bedtime

Do you have a bedtime? Like a time when you know you will actually turn out the lights (and not have the tv on in the background)?

Last week I was talking with my son and he was feeling under the weather and asking what he could do boost his immune system. Like most college kids, he burns the candle at both ends – going to classes all day, working through the afternoon and evening and then staying up studying (or playing video games, or whatever) really late into the night. Anyway, as we talked about how important rest is I said, “give yourself the gift of a bedtime.” To which he promptly rolled his eyes at me. “The gift of a bedtime? Seriously, mom?”

Ok. I admit it. It was a cheesy thing to say. Especially to my 18 year old son. But it IS true. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to establish a bedtime and wake-up routine. When our bodies got to sleep and get up at the same time everyday, everything works better. And not only that, it makes a difference HOW we go to bed. For example, there’s a big difference between tumbling into bed with our clothes still on and teeth feeling all furry OR taking care of our personal hygiene and changing into pjs before we turn out the lights. Right?

How we prepare ourselves for bed really does matter. We are creatures of habit. Those habits can help us improve our lives when we choose them wisely! When we work all day and fill our evenings with activities, it can be hard to rest well. We need a bridge between the busy-ness of the day and the restfulness of the night.

Introducing: The Bedtime Routine!

Ok. So it doesn’t sound fancy or even exciting. But if you haven’t tried a bedtime routine, I highly encourage you to give it a go for a couple weeks and see what you think. You may be pleasantly surprised! It can be whatever you like. Not everyone will enjoy the same routine.  And that’s ok!

Here are some ideas to try:

  • set an alarm for 1 hour before your bedtime so that you know when it’s time to start winding down whatever you have going on
  • play some relaxing music
  • light candles
  • do a foot massage
  • meditate
  • read something light and enjoyable for a few minutes
  • have a nice conversation with a family member or friend
  • have a warm drink – herbal tea or warm milk
  • turn off the screens for an hour before bed

I’d love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite bedtime routines? What helps you get ready for a restful night’s sleep? Let me know in the comments below!

Resolution Advice: Get your yoga pants on and go to class!

It’s January, people!

You know what that means. Yep, lots of people are making New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions range from productivity goals, to weight loss goals, to new-and-improved bedtimes. Other people are wholeheartedly against the whole Resolution business.

And honestly, I don’t feel too strongly about it one way or another.

Here’s what I do think about it all though. Any time we feel the trigger to make changes that affect us in a positive way, good things can happen! It doesn’t matter to me if you make these changes and commitments to yourself because it’s January, or because your doctor said so, or for the simple reason that you got a super-cute pair of yoga pants as a gift and you simply MUST find a class so you can wear them! What matters is that you are doing something for yourself.

So, get your yoga pants on and go to class!

Or whatever the equivalent is for you. Maybe your new Resolution or goal is something more like:

  • Setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier so you can start the day in meditation
  • Choosing veggies over desserts
  • Finding a good task list or planning calendar
  • Creating a couple hours a week for rest and relaxation
  • Downloading one of those apps that locks you out of social media during times you want to focus on work

Most of the time our biggest hurdles are in our head. If that rings true for you, put your new goal in your calendar and treat it as important as a meeting with your boss. Then, when the time comes, get your yoga pants on (or whatever is appropriate), and make it happen!

And, just in case you really do want to go to yoga class, check out this little video I made with some nice things to know before you walk into your first class.

Let’s make this actionable! Tell me what you are working to implement right now in the comments below. Why are you excited to do it? What’s the hardest (or scariest) thing about getting started?

It’s not over yet! 6 Ways to celebrate the rest of 2016.

It’s not over, ’til it’s over!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had so many people already asking me what my word for 2017 will be, what my New Year’s Resolution is going to be, etc., etc. And the thought that keeps going through my head is:

WAIT! 2016 isn’t over yet!

Why are we in such a hurry to get to the next year? What’s wrong with the 30 glorious days we have left in THIS year?

So I, for one, am waiting. And while I wait, I will enjoy this month as much as I possibly can!

How will I do it?

Well, the answer is pretty simple. Although, it won’t be easy every day. I will enjoy. On purpose. I will continue to work through each day as though it matters.

Because it does.

Here’s my game plan:

See? Super simple. While some days, it won’t be so easy – I may have a busy schedule, or not feel well, or something. Truth be told, I’ll probably miss some of these on any given day. But I’m committed anyway. Because I know it works. Making a plan, doing my absolute best to stick with it, and getting back on the wagon if I fall off.

There’s still 30 wonderful days! Let’s LIVE them!

I’d love to hear from you – how do YOU live your days on purpose? Leave a comment below:

What’s the most important item on your schedule today?

What’s the most important item on your schedule today?

I hope it’s YOU.

Yep.

You.

You know that feeling when your schedule is too busy and you feel like you’re running all over the place and there’s no time for yourself?

Guess what?

The only person who has control over the busy-ness of your schedule is….yep…YOU!

So, whataya say? Are you willing to make yourself a priority? It really isn’t that hard, it just takes a little planning. If you haven’t already, how about trying one of these today:

  • 10 minute walk by yourself
  • mindfully make a cup of tea and enjoy it while simply noticing the beauty around you
  • make a gratitude list – thoughtfully write down 3-5 things you are truly grateful for

These things are so simple, but can absolutely change the trajectory of your whole day!

Have you seen Kung Fu Panda? It’s amazing to me the life lessons that you can learn in a cartoon movie! In the movie, the wise teacher is a turtle named Oogway. In a critical moment of the movie, one of the cahracters, Shifu tells Oogway that he has “very bad news!”

Shifu: Master! I have… it’s very bad news!
Oogway: Ah, Shifu. There is just news. There is no good or bad.

I love this moment in the movie! I recall it often when I want to jump to conclusions and immediately assign the label of “good” or “bad” to a situation. How can I truly know if something is good or bad? Some things that I thought were just awful in the moment have turned out to be the biggest blessings of my life, while other situations that seemed grand at the outset have nearly sunk me in the end. When we receive news, let’s pause for a moment and realize that it is only news. It is not good news or bad news. We have the choice of how we will respond.

It’s most important to take care of ourselves.

Even in the middle of an intense situation, we can choose to care for ourselves. I have seen this in action and it is POWERFUL! Even when the situations of  life are not what you had hoped or planned, and it seems like “very bad news,” we can make the conscious choice to take care of ourselves and make that care our top priority of the day. We all “know” it’s true, but we simply MUST take care of ourselves if we are to take care of anyone else.

So, Dragonfly, please share. What will you do to take care of YOU today?

7 tips to start your day with love!

On Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the OM Wisdom Summit 2016! In that interview I talk about Absolute Lifestyle Revolution and many ways you can find true transformation in your life today! (Watch the replay!)

In the interview I also discuss several ways to start your morning off with love. But before I get ahead of myself – have you ever had a morning like this…

The alarm goes off. Your first thought is not, “Good morning, bright and beautiful world!” but something closer to, “Seriously? I can’t do it. I’m EXHAUSTED.” You roll over and grab your phone and start scrolling through Facebook with bleary eyes. After you get “caught up” on what’s happening, you stumble out of bed and start rushing to get ready. So many things to do and not nearly enough time! Maybe you forgot to get the stuff for the kids’ lunches at the store, or you left your own lunchbox at the office. Argh. Now you’re behind and need to squeeze in a stop at the grocery to grab something quick and easy. Or not. Is it really THAT bad to eat out of the vending machine? Again? In your rush out of the kitchen, you grab your coffee mug and head out the door. You set it in top of the car while you throw your stuff in (like always), and then it tips over and you now have coffee all over the clothes you have to wear for your first meeting or appointment of the day. Sigh. Why does this ALWAYS happen???

Why DOES this always happen? start your day with loveThat’s a great question. It can be hard to chase down the exact cause sometimes, but regardless of what got you here, I have some great tips to start the morning a whole different way. With love. And peace. And calm.

Doesn’t that sounds good? I know I like to mornings that start with intention and peace.

Check out my great tips for starting YOUR morning off with love.

“Take 10” and take care of yourself

Whatcha been doin’ lately? Have you been running around like crazy trying to get everything done? Sacrificing your own needs to take care of people around you? Yep. Me too. Sometimes we just need to pull back and take 10 – like a 10 minute break to get it back together!

So, earlier this week I decided to re-group a bit and revitalize my daily routines that nourish my mind, body and soul. Even the great routines can start to feel tired if we keep on doing the same ol’ thing without keeping it fresh, right? So, here’s a few of the things I changed up.

Meditation

I like to use a mantra or positive affirmation when I meditate. When I evaluated, I realized that I have gotten into a habit of just repeating it without REALLY paying attention to what it means. So, I purposed to pay attention and consider my affirmation with each repetition. AMAZING the difference this one simply step can make! Ready to meditate? Check this one out – I made it for you!

Morning Routine

There are a few things I like to do to take care of myself each morning, you know, besides brushing my teeth and applying deodorant! Lately, I’ve been kinda lazy about my routine though. I really like to begin the morning with my tongue-scraper, and then move on to dry-brushing before my shower and then finish up with applying sesame oil to moisturize. I ran out of oil a couple weeks ago and hadn’t replaced it. I was using regular lotion, which is fine, I guess, but something about using the oil makes me feel like I am really taking care of myself, so I got a new bottle for myself. It’s so great!

Daily Breaks – aka Take 10!

It’s true – sometimes I waste time scrolling through FaceBook when I could be taking a nice break from screen time and general busy-ness. I know I’m not alone here. So, this week, I reminded myself to put my phone down when I realized I was using it to fill up mind-space. It’s amazing how much more beautiful real life is than keeping your head in cyber-world! If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a screen break, I highly recommend it!

The Art of Extreme Self-Care, Cheryl RichardsonThe Art of Extreme Self-Care

While completing my yearly workbooks from Leonie Dawson, I came across Leonie’s recommendation to read The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson. It’s great! Some of the things I already do, and some I have decided to try. If you are looking for some ways to bring more love from yourself into your life, this is a great read!

What I’ve realized over the years is that taking care of myself isn’t hard. It’s just that it takes some thought and planning and an intention to follow-through with it. If you’d like to hear more about this, catch my interview with Renee Li on the OM Wisdom Summit 2016. It’s coming up in just a couple weeks. Click here to see the full schedule of interviews. There are several wonderful speakers this year! Here are some things you can expect:

OM Wisdom SummitDevelop stronger intuition to access peace and clarity
Power up your body with healthy aging and preventative care
Adopt healthy habits that offer you perfect health
Clear blocks to create full color transformation
Utilize Crystal Magic for well-being
Align with your Greater purpose for fulfillment
Awaken your inner Healer

So, tell me, what is your favorite way to “take 10” and take care of yourself?

How’s 2016 going so far?

Hey there Dragonflies! It’s great to be back in action! In case you are just joining us, I took a few weeks off over the holidays and into the new year to rest, rejuvenate, see family and do some planning for 2016. It as been a wonderful few weeks! If you have the freedom to take some time away from work (even work that you LOVE, like me), I HIGHLY suggest you do so! The way your mind, body and soul relax over a longer vacation is far different than just a week here and there.

We are almost a full month into this new year, and I am wondering – how’s it going so far? Are you still on track to realize goals that you set just four weeks ago? Or maybe a better question – are you still thinking that you’d like to set some goals for 2016, but wondering if it’s too late? Well, IT’S NOT! No way! We can set goals at any time and gather the resources to get them done whether it’s January or December.

One of the things that speaks to me deeply is having things that I do on a daily basis that keep me grounded and feeling well-cared-for. Here’s my list:

  1. meditate daily
  2. yoga sun salutations
  3. tidy one room
  4. set my tasks for the day
  5. read 30 minutes
  6. eat ayurvedically
  7. be thankful
  8. “phone off” time
  9. foot massage

Do I complete every single one every day – nope. BUT, I do complete most of them AND way more of them than I did before I made my list and placed it in my planner so I could see it everyday!

I made a template for YOU! So you can create your own daily routine list!

Get Your Daily Routines Template!

So, what are your big dreams for this year? What areas of your life do you want to see completely TRANSFORMED???

  • relationships (family, kids, friends)
  • taking care of yourself (fitness, food, relaxation)
  • biz or job
  • finances
  • expressing creativity
  • travel
  • something else?

I would really like to hear from you which areas of life are either your biggest challenge or top priority so that the topics we cover this year make the most impact. We will get after it in the next couple of weeks facilitating YOUR transformation. You can email me or comment below to let me know!

If basic planning is high on your list, I found an AMAZING tool that I have used the past couple of years to both help me close and release the previous year AND plan for and create all my hopes and dreams for the next. This set of workbooks and planner are my daily guide to staying on track and making sure I hit my goals. I cannot recommend them enough!

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 10.13.22 AM

The workbooks guide you through every aspect of life including relationships, finances, caring for yourself, and more. The daily planner provides a beautiful place to keep track of the daily, weekly and monthly steps you need to take to ensure that all your plans come to pass.

If you are sitting there wondering how to take your Biz or Life to the next level and be INTENTIONAL about how YOUR 2016 turns out, you simply must order these books today!

What’s your schedule like?

What’s your schedule like?

I ask this question at least once a week when trying to schedule a phone call or meeting. It’s a nuts-and-bolts sort of question. It helps get things done and establishes a routine that (hopefully) makes things run like a well-oiled machine.

Schedules are great. We can set them up, and then they just keep going. It’s super easy to get comfortable with the way things are. We establish our routine. We have our friends. We shop at our favorite grocery store. We go to our favorite class at the gym. And it all works.

Until it doesn’t.

And when we realize it’s not working anymore, we have a choice. We can shrug our shoulders and just keep on, keepin’ on OR we can make some changes.

I recently realized that something needed to change in my life. Last year after I quit my job, one of my biggest desires was to not have such a strict schedule. I had lived on a VERY tight schedule for several years and I was exhausted. So, after I quit my job, I decided to let things be more free-form. I let each day unfold as it wanted to.

I scheduled as little as possible.

Then somewhere in the last few weeks, I realized that this way of moving through my days and weeks wasn’t really working for me anymore. I was starting to feel adrift and directionless. Even though that space and freedom was exactly what I needed this time last year, it’s wasn’t working anymore.

In my wandering and wondering, I was scrolling through social media. As you do. But this time, it was exactly what I needed! I came across something in Instagram posted by my long-time friend and mentor, Ron Martoia (@ronmartoia, wildlybetter.com) that quickly and simply put it together for me.

rhythms and rituals

 

 

Rhythms and Rituals are
containers for
Patterns and Practices.

What are your “Rs” & “Ps”?

#wildlybetter

 

That’s it! That’s what’s been missing! In my effort to give myself some space and freedom, I had thrown the baby out with the bathwater! I had thrown out even the great parts of having a routine. I was still meditating and reading and writing and taking care of myself and all those things that are important to me, but because I had let go of the rhythms of my life, I ended up feeling like a blob with no form.

Because I was.

So, I spent some time listing out what is important to me and then I sat down with my calendar and decided when to do each of those things. I also put relaxation and reflection time in the schedule. This is super important for me right now. Otherwise, I will let something take that place and it won’t happen. I will find something else to do:  something urgent, or something fun, or possibly even something mundane.

The first week of my new rhythm and rituals felt so. . .liberating! Isn’t that interesting? I had been all anti-schedule in fear of feeling trapped. But when I re-established a rhythm to life, everything inside that had been feeling all out-of-sorts calmed down. I knew what I was doing and when I was doing it and

I could breathe again.

So, Dragonfly – I’d like to encourage you to spend some time with your schedule and see if there are any changes that you would enjoy and find rewarding. Is your schedule working for you? If not, why not? Spend some time with that one and figure out what would work for you.

Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear about your transformed rhythms and rituals!