New Year, New You

This morning at 4:30am I started a journey with my three best friends to the most watched city in the US on December 31st, New ImageYork City. Though our eyes were sleepy, we were more than eager to reach our destination. I mean honestly what better way to ring in the New Year than with your favorite people in the Big Apple. I am currently writing to you all from my best friend’s apartment in the Lower East Side, defrosting from the chilly stroll across the city. I have been to the city before, but not during this time. I have to say there is a definitely a different feel in the brisk air today with the anticipation of the ball drop tonight. The count down to midnight is on and before we know it, the New Year and new resolutions will be here. Have you set yours yet? If not don’t worry because that is not what this post is about!

Could it be that 2014 is finally your year? Every year at this time we are bombarded with the promise of a new year and a blank slate. We all set at least 10 new years resolutions because, lets face it, one’s just not good enough and we love the “go big or go home” frame of thinking. Much to all our aspirations that we set out with and the great year deal membership that we just bought for the gym up the street, it’s week two of the new year and that new you you’ve imagined is looking further and further away. It’s not that we didn’t really want to reach all of our goals, but our lives are still equally as busy as they were in 2013 as they will be when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. If only that clock was magical and when it struck midnight could build in even just three more hours into each day to allow more time to work on the dreams that you have for yourself. Most of the time we all know what we have to be doing in order to reach our ideal life, but don’t know quite where to start. In most cases we set out to climb Mount Everest without ever setting the small goals in between to reach the “grand finale” goal.

ImagePart of my job as a health coach includes creating awareness about yourself and implementing simple behaviors over time to get you lasting results. In short, we work together to identify the Mount Everest in your life and then find the small steps in between to get you there. The last thing I ever want is to reach a goal and see it slowly fade away because I didn’t create new behaviors that I would continually do for the rest of my life. Or possibly even worse would be to set a goal for myself, but then not plan a map to get there, and inevitably fail in the end leaving me feeling defeated. These are simple things that can be avoided 99.9% of the time when you start with the right approach.

 So since at this time of year you are being overrun with new diets, workout equipment, weight loss “all natural” supplements, the list goes on that all hold the pledge that in 2014 you will be the best you with their help, I’d like to offer something different to you. Instead of rattling off some resolutions off the top of your head, take some time to reflect. Get away from the hustle and bustle of life for a small period of time, at least 20 minutes to an hour. Depending on your geography or personal preference it could include sitting outside in a park, by a fireplace with a hot cup of tea, a coffee shop, or wherever you are able to think and reflect best.

*What do you want? The sky is the limit, but be specific.Image

*If you could achieve this, what would that do for you? Think of the emotions you might feel or how your life would be different when you accomplish this.

*What has gotten in the way of you reaching your goals in the past?

*What are some of your strengths?

*What are some of your weaknesses?

*Where could you use more support in your life?

*At what point in your life did you feel your best? What was going on for you during this time?

*What is something that you have always wanted to do, but made excuses as to why it was never the right time yet?

*What did 2013 teach you?

These are just a couple questions to get your mind thinking. What if instead of the typical new years resolutions, it was to repair a relationship that has gone astray? Maybe it’s to take that trip you’ve always day dreamed of at work, to sing more and louder (I swear my car performance should be nominated for a Grammy), or dance more. New Year’s resolutions in my opinion should be all about adding more joy into your life, because nowadays no matter where you look there are stressors waiting to attack you. Plus it is easy to make excuses to keep working more and more and put off play “just for now.” However, with this mentality it is rare that the playtime actually ever comes.

PLAY NOW & WORK NOW.

It is all about balance, not one extreme or the other.

Let this New Year bless you with more health and happiness than you know what to do with!

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-S

Just in case no one has told you you’re beautiful yet today…

 

You’re beautiful, courageous,

and unique as one can be.

Specific features God designed,

and blessed the world to see.

 

You’re perfect with all your imperfection.

And you take joy in this perplexity.

You glide each day with confidence,

and complete integrity. 

 

You don’t waste time comparing yourself to models.

Nor do you envy your sister’s beauty.

You take joy in the celebration of others,

because your character is also a masterpiece. 

 

Although you appreciate receiving compliments,

and your ego may boost to some degree.

But you don’t await the validation of others,

to be assured that you’re beautiful just as thee. 

 -Mia Carey

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 Cheers to you!

 -S

Fear is a Choice

I have to be honest with you. Lately, I have been allowing fear to take over my life and paralyze me (figuratively speaking of course). I Imagehave found that fear for me presents itself as seemingly important things like: checking my email, updating social media websites, the ever ongoing ‘research’ into something without ever acting upon said research, texting, school work, working out, TV and the list just keeps going. I focus on these rudimentary steps thinking that I am making some form of progress forward. When in fact I am really that hamster running in place on a wheel. I feel like I am doing some serious work, since I am constantly tired, my schedule is always full, and I make excuses of why I am too busy to be hanging out with friends.

What it boils down to is that, I am fearful of truly making progress forward. Why? This could come with massive success that I am not prepared for, or it could just confirm my doubts by being an enormous failure. Regardless either option seems too ‘risky’ or so that evil voice in my mind tells me.

So why am I sharing this all with you?

We all feel fear in some form or fashion. Maybe it is in aspiring career decisions like mine, taking charge of your health, moving out on your own, or asking out the person that has caught your eye. However, today in class my teacher shared this quote with us,

“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” –Will Smith

 I guess I had just never thought of it like that. Fear is a choice. Yes we may feel it from time to time, but that does not mean that we have to let it paralyze us. It is a fleeting feeling that we can choose to let stay or to tell it to keep moving. Today, I decided to act upon this quote. I was tired of thinking of all the things that I wanted 

to do, but not acting on them due to the infamous ‘what if’ question. I cannot remember the last time I have been this productive and happy with myself for acting on what I want. When you decide to release fear you have the choice of freedom.

You’ll be amazed at the things you can achieve when you aren’t afraid to act. Ever heard the question,

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If you never have, or it has just been a while take a few minutes to think about it. My whole point behind this article is for you to recognize where fear presents itself in your life currently. Through doing this you will now have the choice to release it and choose freedom instead. Take a deep breath, release your fears, and now go out and conquer the world!

For it is with you that the world has a chance to be truly magnificent.

-S 

Help Me, Help You

Help Me, Help You

By filling out this survey you are letting me know what you want and need. Then from this, I will be able to tailor content so you are getting more of what you are interested in. And lets face it, when you get more information of what your interested in you are 10x more likely to reach all of those stellar goals of yours. Team up with me so we can work together to give you all the tools you need to reach your health and wellness goals!

If there is anything that you would like to add that I didn’t ask about, leave it in the comments below or email me:]

-S

It’s Hot Cocoa Season!

While today was an unseasonably warm day, it is that time a year where hot cocoa and other warm beverages are greatly welcomed. Now I am one of those odd balls that can drink something piping hot year round, but if you are not like that your season is finally here! My favorite growing up was always to go play out in the snow, get really really cold and then head inside to drink hot cocoa and defrost by the fireplace. Unfortunately though most mixes are full of sugar. So in order to still get in that chocolatey goodness, I found a fantastic superfood filled recipe from Kim Murray on mindbodygreen.com. If you want to keep the sugar content as low as possible I would also opt for unsweetened almond milk and add just a smidge of vanilla if you would like.

superfood hot cocoa

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. (heaping) raw cacao
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Heat the almond milk on the stovetop, to just under a boil and then add all the ingredients to your blender or Vitamix and blend for a minute.

The coconut oil gives it the creaminess, richness and the frothiness that make a good cup of hot cocoa. The cinnamon works together with the honey to boost the sweetness without adding sugar, and also offers the many proven benefits of cinnamon, including blood sugar regulation.

This is a much healthier version of hot cocoa AND you get added health benefits, which are pretty endless.

Let me know in the comments if you try Kim’s recipe and like it:]

-S

What’s causing the rise in ADHD?

What’s causing the rise in ADHD?

(click above for original article)

I love this article Dr. Mercola did on ADHD. He addresses many different factors that may play into this diagnosis that so many people are facing today. I thought this excerpt was really interesting, “According to some, the disorder may not even be a “real” disorder at all. Psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, hailed as the “scientific father of ADHD,” actually went on record saying that ADHD is “a prime example of a fictitious disease.” He made this stunning confession in a 2012 interview with the German paper Der Spiegel, just seven months prior to his death6 at the age of 87.”

Mercola discusses some dietary factors to also address if you or someone you know is diagnosed with ADHD.

It is worth the read and let me know what you think!

-S