motivation

How To Strengthen Your Success Mindset

Photo by  TK Hammonds  on  Unsplash

Photo by TK Hammonds on Unsplash

Your mindset can create success for you, as long as you know how to use it to your advantage.

You can’t simply think your way thin. Just like you can’t think your way rich, healthy, or into an amazing relationship.

Sure you can visualize it, and try to imagine how you’ll feel once you’ve gotten to where you want to be, achieved what you set out to achieve. That’s all well and good, but it’s not what is going to serve you best.

Even saying it out loud, sharing with others, or writing it in a journal isn’t going to do it.

Think about how many New Year’s resolutions you’ve tossed around over the years.

This is the year I’m going to get healthy and lose 20 pounds.

Or this is the year I’m going to Marie Kondo my house, my office and my kid’s bedrooms (Oh Lord, Amen for trying sista! Keeping kid’s rooms organized is no easy feat. It’s enough to drive you insane!)

You were ready to commit… until you realized how difficult it was going to be.

Whomp.

Anyone can set a goal…

Where’s the Disconnect?

The problem isn’t you, or your goals. Your goals aren’t unachievable because you’re not good enough, disciplined enough or any of the litany of reasons our inner critic may come up with.

The problem is, you can’t think your way to success.

You have to act your way to success.

You literally have to put on your Superhero cape and be the actionable heroine in your personal story. Because no one else is swooping in to save the day for you.

The Superhero Mindset

Superheroes don’t let adversity derail them. It’s in their blood to thrive in the face of a really big, friggin’ challenge.

Have you ever seen Wonder Woman shy away from a foe? Of course not! She’s a thoroughbred. She was made and designed to do righteous battle. When she’s running towards adversity, she gets in the mindset. Or as we see it, she gets her battle gear on — three turns and she’s transformed from suburbanite to an all-out badass. (Anyone else, when they were a little girl — or even now — want to be Wonder Woman?! I had the figurine, the costume and even the under-roos!)

In order for her to do battle, she had to step into the shoes of who she imagined herself to be, literally. This is no easy feat mind you. But it’s a necessary and fundamental piece to the puzzle. The puzzle being how to close the gap between wanting something and actually getting it.

Wonder Woman wants peace and diplomacy among humans. She steps into her power and gets to making sure that’s exactly what happens.

What do we do?

“The payoff of living in the past or the future is you never have to do your work in the present.” ― Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

Oftentimes we live in the past and ruminate on all the things that went wrong for us. How we disappointed ourselves, or how others let us down, hurt us, even scarred us.

Or we look to the future in a way that debilitates us. We don’t have the time, the money, the smarts, or the resources, right now. But once we do, then we’ll begin to make things happen. But not yet. We’re not there yet. Later.

That leaves us stuck, smack dab in the present moment, action-less. Living in fear. Living in pain, regret, and worry. Unable to move in any real direction. Sure we don’t necessarily want to be where we are, but we’re too busy worrying about the future or wallowing in the past to do anything about it.

Again, it’s not that our goals are unattainable. It’s that we’re not tapping into our true potential. We’re focusing on the wrong things in the wrong ways.

We need to learn to view the past as a great big learning experience. And then look to the future as a future we get to create, based on all the things we have learned.

It’s time to spin around three times and step into our power.

It’s time to be our own greatest Superheroes.

Your Future Self

Think about who your Superhero is. What does she look like? What’s her superpower? How does she play this game of life? Understand her, know her, love her, and trust her. Because she is you, and you are she.

She represents everything you strive to be, and can be.

Don the cape and be the heroine in your story. Don’t be afraid to pretend to be your Superhero. Be her without judgment. Play the part, and do what she does.

My Superhero is a prolific wordsmith and story flows from her brain and out her fingertips like a rambling brook. She’s patient with her children and believes loving discipline cultivates growing mindsets better than harsh criticism and yelling. She shops like a Frenchwoman, taking her time to pick just the right foods that compliment each other, creating a symphony of flavors at every meal. She also says no to sugar, drinks her water, and has six-pack abs! She’s a badass. And she’s my future self.

This is using the future to your advantage. You get to write your own story. You get to be your own Superhero, top to bottom. This can be such a fun exercise! You get to create who you want to be.

The trick here though is to not stop there.

Once you design your Superhero (aka your future self), you then put your battle gear on. This is where many of us stumble because we don’t know where to start. We think it will be too hard.

Stop thinking! Just do. Act.

Forget the fact that you may suck at this at first. You might be more of a Robin than a Wonder Woman fresh out of the gates, but that doesn’t mean you quit. It means you allow yourself space to grow into your Superhero. You keep showing up, not letting excuses infiltrate your Superhero mindset. Putting one foot in front of the other, each and every day, especially when you don’t feel like it, is exactly what you do.

It’s what she would do.

This takes practice, but each time you fall you get right back up and fix that cape. Adjust it, re-tie that bow if it came undone. That’s how anyone gets better at anything. They don’t sit around hoping to get better, visualizing themselves getting better.

They get off their bum and do something about it.

Superheroes don’t get to it later. If they did that, the whole of civilization would be reduced to a smoldering inferno. Planet Earth depends on them… and a few other galaxies as well.

Superheroes aren’t spared the burdens of the past either. They all have a dark and somewhat troubled past that without ever happening, wouldn’t have made them into the hero they are today. The past made them who they are today.

We all have that. There is plenty living in our own closets that could sidetrack us, mess us up, screw with our minds and keep us living in fear or regret. If left unchecked, that cluttered closet could do a world of damage in our current lives, working to create a similarly damaging future.

When you decide who you want to be a year down the road, and then behave as though you are that creative, inspired and motivated individual right now, you will soon realize that you’re making more progress than ever before. Leaps and bounds!

Act and behave as though you are your superhero NOW. Put the extra work in. Do not allow your mind the ability to entertain excuses. Take out all the internal chatter that’s been holding you back and stop living in fear, worry or regret and you start living the way you intend because girl, your Superhero needs you to walk the walk.

To help you get into your superhero mindset, I have a freebie for you that will help you to begin taking big strides towards achieving your goals! Download it here and commit to taking your first step now!


Who is your Superhero and how can you begin acting like her today? Share in the comments below, I’d LOVE to hear who you want to be!

Emotional Spring Cleaning: Strategies to Increase Your Productivity

Warning: Your Health May Be Affected As Well

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The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. ~Marie Kondo

I’m pretty sure that magical Marie Kondo speaks both literally and figuratively when speaking about feeling happiness in the environment in which you reside. Extending beyond the physical and into your mental landscape (where all sorts of hoarded up sh*t lives!)

Let’s be honest, there’s so much old, useless stuff boxed up in our mental landscape that serves no purpose. Our brains, which main focus is to make sure we survive and thrive, does not use all that boxed up information productively, so why hold onto this mental garbage?

I’m a walking well of utterly useless information which I’m certain is the reason ideas get lost, caught in the tangled web of thoughts and memories I have harbored in my brain. It’s a minefield in there, you never know what you may unearth and how that can sidetrack you for minutes, to hours, to even days. 

When it comes to physically cleaning my house, which for me isn’t on the Marie Kondo level, but it’s pretty darn close, I feel lighter on the inside. There is a physical reaction I get like I’ve carved out space for myself and I can move around with a little more freedom, almost as if I can spread my wings a little wider. I’m one of those people who after they clean a room, will keep walking back into it just so I can stand there, admiring my handiwork with a half smile glued to my face. 

It makes me feel that good. I accomplished something. I’m organized, I got things labeled, put away in nice containers, there’s no more clutter… I’d go so far as to put this on the same level of really good sex! You’re breathless, a little sweaty, happily languishing in the moment with a giddy smile on your face, maybe a high five thrown in for good measure. You feel really good ;)

The power of spring cleaning clearly cannot be denied. It also falls during a great time on the calendar. Corporately speaking, we’re in the second quarter of the calendar year and what better time to look back on the year and review what we’ve accomplished and how we can improve going forward.

Turning this process inward and doing an emotional spring cleaning is a great yearly ritual as well. Remember those resolutions you set all the way back in January? Now is a good time to go back and see how you’ve progressed. Maybe you have to re-focus to get yourself realigned to accomplish those goals. Now’s the time! Or maybe you have exceeded your expectations and you can now set even bigger goals.

Going about cleaning out your mental clutter doesn’t have to be a gross undertaking either. Sometimes you’re going to have to dig into the dark, dirty crevices and sit with a memory or thought that brings up some icky feelings, but even simply bringing it to light can help lessen its effect on you. And while you may not be able to rid yourself completely of this memory or thought, you can place it in a healthy perspective so it’s not throwing you for a loop every time it decides to untether itself from its dark and dirty corner right into your lap. 

In my past life, I had a traumatic experience when coming home from work one night only to find that my fiance had packed up all his stuff and bolted without a word to me. Three months before the wedding. 

The image of bare hangers in his closet, some hanging, some on the floor, and his empty drawers with a paper clip here and a loose button there, haunted me for years. And even now, almost 15 years later, a song on the radio can propel me back to that time in an instant. 

I’m not getting rid of those memories unless I go through some sort of mental shock therapy, and quite honestly, I don’t want to forget those memories, they’re a part of the woman I’ve grown into. They’re part of my fabric, weaved into my true self. 

But I’ve learned to not let them ruin my day anymore. They pop up, I see them, ruminate over it for maybe a minute, and then I put them back in their box, up on the shelf, and walk away.

Spring cleaning is taking the toxic junk and filing it away, instead of allowing it to run amuck, creating chaos, despair, and providing you a reason to wallow in it. (Thus creating massive un-productivity.)

We can get all tripped up in our heads which in turn can create varying levels of chaos in our physical worlds. We get caught up in our thoughts, and old limiting beliefs that serve no purpose. (Which by the way have no scientific backing proving their validity. Are you really not good enough or is that something that’s easier to hold onto than putting in the hard work required to prove otherwise?) 

Clean that thinking up and increase your ability to be more productive, if you’re looking for that. Maybe you’re as productive as you want to be and you’re in a good head space… then bravo my friend, there are a many who are jellie of your position!

Increasing your productivity can be directly correlated to cleaning up your mental clutter. 

This doesn’t have to be a dirty, mind-bending task. This is more about creating space in your day that isn’t spent last-minuting things and coming when you should be going. It’s about being more efficient so you can enjoy that satisfied feeling, like when cleaning a room. 

Get your sh*t in order so you can actually get to the things that light you on fire, and fill you with passion. I love feeling like I have a purpose when waking up, it’s those days I’m able to get out of bed filled with excitement, which is a welcome reprieve from the other days when getting out of bed is a chore. 

It’s not that difficult to take a little time to get a few minor things in place that will go a long way in helping you to get more out of your day, allowing you to accomplish goals and be more productive. 

Ways to Simplify Life and Become More Productive

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Here are a few simple and easy wins you can bring into your day to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Try them on for a change and see how well they fit into your life. 

(In an attempt to manage expectations, these tactics aren’t mind-blowing, out of the box ideas. This is about sh*t you know you should be doing that you’re not, and I’m here to keep it real. Why you’re not doing this stuff, I’m sure you have your reasons, but maybe you’d like to figure that out because it’s tripping you up and leaving you feeling less than productive.)

Plan your meals

Yes, this seems very rudimentary, but I’m telling you, to have a plan in place so you’re not eating crap for dinner is motivation enough to start flipping through all those cookbooks you’ve collected. 

If going old school with printed word is not your thing, there are about a million other ways you can go online and create a meal plan, or have one created for you. Check out Plan To Eat, PlateJoy, the Six O’Clock Scramble or many of the other services for little to no cost. It’s worth the chance to wave goodbye to the evening mad dash around your kitchen attempting to feed adamant little ones who want their dinner NOW! 

If you employ this little tactic, you seriously will feel like Mom-of-the-Year. 

Health Warning: Planning ahead will allow you to avoid the last-minute pizza dinner, the frozen waffles breakfast for dinner theme, and the boxed mac n’ cheese we’ve all fallen prey to. Veggies will be planned for, prepped and ready to eat when little monsters get hangry. And when picking at your kid's leftovers, you won’t feel so guilty because it will most likely be veggies you’re eating, not tater-tots. 

Write a daily to-do list

Now I struggle with this one, and I’ve figured out why. 

I have come to believe that if I write something down and I don’t get to it, then I’ve failed. And I’m pretty sure I’ve failed enough in my life to last twenty lifetimes, so I’m over it. Here’s how I changed that thought pattern.

When I’m not getting something done on my list, I delete it. Boom, no lingering guilt. Clearly, it’s not that important. Or if it’s something mundane like making a dentist appt for my kids, I decide right then and there to call up and get it done. Those are not the kind of things I want lingering on my list. That’s just pure laziness and I call my lazy ass on it. And it actually feels good. 

Sometimes calling yourself out is helpful. Don’t go overboard with it though, this is not a self-deprecating moment… just say, what’s up self, why can’t you do this? See what self says and then stop the conversation and make a decision. Cross it out, or get it done. Move on.

To-do lists will organize your life and allow to actually get more stuff done than if you head out the door, keys in hand, uncertain of where you’re even heading! 

Health Warning: You may become addicted to working out because it’s something you’ve placed on your to-do list every single day. It’s a mentally uplifting non-negotiable you’ve been trying to add into your life repeatedly but didn’t know how. Now you do! And if you find this to be the one thing that’s always getting crossed off your list, you need to start asking yourself some powerful questions.

Get up before everyone else

Ain’t gonna lie, this one is a toughie. I fought this one for the longest time. It didn’t work for me the few times I tried it in the past as it only gave my kids all the more reason to get out of bed at 5 am and begin playing. I realized I was starting my day as Mom that much earlier and that was not working for me. 

So there may be a chance that this isn’t the right time for you to try this, and that’s cool. Turns out this year is better for me to get up at 5:15 because my kids are a year older and sleeping a little more soundly. I get in about an hour of uninterrupted time to write and I actually love it. Me. Who’s not a morning person. Never have been. Never wanted to be. Now I really enjoy it. It can happen for you too. 

This time allows you to do some of the things you claim you have no time for during the day. Now you may get overly excited at the thought as you think of all the things you can get done in that time, but I’ll tell you one thing, it’s best to have a plan (another plan, yes!) for what you want to accomplish when you wake up. Simply waking up with no plan will put you either on a social media site, get you checking email, or have you hightailing it back into bed. 

Get a plan, get your sh*t together, and do something to help you become more productive. 

Health Warning: Creating this sacred space in the morning has the ability to open you up to new experiences. When the sun rises early you can go for a nature walk, practice meditation, start a writing practice, stretch your body… you can do the things you never get to during the day that will do wonders for your mindset. 

All of these tips center around the theme of organizing your life so you can steer your ship a little more efficiently. There is power in cleaning, planning, and organizing and it will serve you well if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with life. Dissect things, break them down and then tackle them. This philosophy works in all aspects of your life, you just have to take the time from your hectic, over-scheduled, alarmingly overwhelmed life so you can realize you have more power than you thought. 

• • •

So what’s it going to be? Are you willing to try at least one strategy, or do you think all three might be just the boost you need to become more productive in your life? Share in the comments below, I would love to know what’s working for you!

Living A More Intentional Life: How To Practice It Daily

Photo: Heather Ford - Unsplash

Photo: Heather Ford - Unsplash

Living a more intentional life means learning how to be more present and conscious while going about your day. It’s realizing that you have the power to not let life happen to you, but to consciously decide how you interpret and react to what’s happening in your external world, and your sometimes murky inner world.

All too often, and without us even realizing it, we bring into our day all the ick and upset from the day before, and go through the mental motions of continuing to “deal” with it all. We don’t jump out of bed all pumped with enthusiasm, ready to crush some serious goals.

We’re too caught up in our habitual thoughts patterns about what we have to deal with today, just like the days before. It can be grueling and uninspiring. Aren’t you tired of that? Don’t you think you deserve to wake up, full of hope and excitement for the day, like children do? (My little guys bolt around our bedroom at 6 am while I’m grumbling go back to bed. But they’re too busy rolling around laughing trying to get under our blankets to listen to my pleas. I wish that were me!)

Instead, my way of waking up is painful. Immediately my mind goes right to my to-do list. Ugh. There is no joy to be had when thinking about all the work that has to be done. And it doesn’t help that my inner voice sounds more like Eyore than Mary Poppins. Such a drag. The crazy part is that this all happens unconsciously, within seconds of waking up, and I allow it to happen… unconsciously of course. I wake up, think about what I have to do and set about doing it. I begrudgingly start my day.

Whomp.

And it’s not like I’m unhappy, but maybe if you’re my husband and I mumble a good morning as I sluggishly walked into the bathroom while shooing away the kids, you may think I’m quite the unhappy participant in this joy ride called life.

I’m happy and one morning I realized that I didn’t want to get out of bed because I didn’t want to get the day started. That is not ok!

Getting up that way, sluggish and unmotivated, bringing into my day what I went to sleep thinking about was no longer an option I decided. I didn’t want that anymore. So I set about trying to figure out what could work for me that would positively impact my life so I’m waking up wanting to create my day, instead of letting it walk all over me.

I decided to try a few different tactics, like journaling before bed, or journaling once I woke up. Reading inspiring passages from certain books after dropping the kids off to school. Meditating before getting into my work. Keeping a gratitude book and listing three things I’m grateful for every day. All good things, but nothing ever really stuck. So I continued to dig and try and experiment, and I finally came across a practice that I’m able to do, on most mornings, that make me feel like I have some say in how my day plays out. And that’s a pretty darn good feeling!

If you’re looking to be more intentional in your day, to gain control over how you want to feel, and to be clear on what you want to accomplish, this may be a good practice for you as well. Use these steps as a guide and adjust as you see fit.

Setting the tone for your day before stepping into your slippers!

Photo by  Tracey Hocking  on  Unsplash


1. Before getting out of bed, think of the exact emotions you want to feel during the day.

Create the tone of your day by focusing on how you want to feel. This challenges the brain which only wants to focus on what’s not right, what needs fixing or is insanely worrisome. (Ever notice that?)

By consciously deciding on the emotions you want to feel, your thoughts will follow suit. Say to yourself three positive feelings you want to experience that day. They may be fulfilled, courageous, and vibrant… and then sit with those emotions for a moment.

2. Next, think of three things you are grateful for.

It could be ANYTHING! The air you breathe, the warmth of the sun you will feel on your skin, the smile on your child’s face, the amazing day that is before you… and feel those emotions that pop up. Really FEEL them. Soak them up so you can carry them with you during the day.

3. Lastly, list three things you’re going to do that are going to set you on the path to achieving your goals. Make sure they align with how you want to feel, which you clarified in step #1.

It could be cooking dinner at home which will make you feel healthier if you usually order take out.

If you want to feel happier, allow yourself the ability to ignore a negative thought when one arises. Tell yourself you don’t have to dwell on that thought and that your’e going to instead think of something positive in that moment.

If you want to feel accomplished, commit to getting in 20 minutes of exercise come hell or high water! 

It may seem ridiculously simple, but that’s the point! I’m telling you, doing this before you even get out of bed can change the trajectory of your day and allow you to accomplish more than you imagined. Plus, it will help make your day that much more enjoyable. Trust me by giving it a try! 

Now tell me, is this something you can easily implement into your mornings? Do you have something you do that helps to keep you focused on the day ahead? Please share in the comments below, I would love to learn about you!

How To Stay In Shape While Traveling: The 3 Best (and Easily Packable) Pieces of Fitness Equipment You Need to Take With You

Who the hell wants to work out while on vacation? This is a terrible idea for an article because I am right there with the naysayers. Vacation is my time! I am off from all the responsibilities of life, of motherhood, of the business of being in shape and helping others get into shape. I want to be off! From it all.

But who am I kidding… we can never be off. We’re moms. We’re dads. We’re responsible adults who no longer vacation at the stud-studded Jersey Shore, or it’s cross-country equivalent (which would be??? Is there anything that can compare to the cheese of the Jersey Shore?)

We’re not in our 20’s anymore — at least I’m far from it and I no longer bounce back the way I used to after a vacation of over-indulgence.

So even though I like to break out of the routine every now and then, I also know that when I do, getting back into it is really, really difficult. Thus, there is no point. I travel, I take fitness equipment that can travel with me. (Also because I tell my clients to do that, and no one wants to be a hypocrite… right?)

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How To Workout In Your Hotel Room

Or Airbnb, or in-laws, or wherever it is you’re traveling to. These pieces of fitness equipment work the same no matter where you are.

We’re heading up to Canada for our break, and snow, along with sub-zero temperatures, I am not a fan of! It’s been years since I’ve strapped on a pair of skis… I don’t even think helmets were a requirement last time I went. But our kids have to learn (because why? I don’t know, that’s just what we think we need to be doing along with all the over-scheduling of sports, play dates, and therapy).

I’m kidding. We actually don’t over-schedule our kids, send them on play dates (have you seen how they behave in public?) or have them in therapy.

However we may want to reconsider therapy, but then again I grew up in the latchkey era and I turned out just fine… watching General Hospital and eating Fluffer-nutter sandwiches on Wonder Bread every day after school… by myself. I’m totally fine. No resentment. No anger. Just totally fine…

Anyway, back to Canada. We’ll be there while many of you will be in a tropical paradise and I would simply like to state that while in such warm weather, take a moment and send some warm vibes the way of Canada, where foolish people put metal planks on their feet and slide down big hills in freezing temperatures.

Thanks.

Back to the fitness and getting it done while on vacation. Here’s what you’re going to need…

  1. Hip & Booty Bands. Yes! The booty bands are a thing and they’re amazing at making it even more difficult to do a squat. (Not a good selling point I realize but we all want firmer booties right?) They are so light and easy to pack you may forget that they’re in your suitcase. These little booty bands work to make your bodyweight exercises that much more challenging. Step into a band and perform a squat, lunge, side skater, side step or isometric plank hold with your legs pulling away from center and you’ll understand in a flash how you just increased the intensity. Perfect for travel, and for booty firming! (And if you don’t know what these are, just go right on over to Amazon and type in “Booty bands”. You’ll be overwhelmed with options.)

  2. Jump rope What a great way to fit cardio in with your resistance training, and they take up practically no room in your suitcase. Do two resistance moves (with your booty bands) and then throw in 90 seconds of jumping rope to increase your caloric burn for one circuit. Repeat until you have done at least three circuits and you’ve got yourself a great workout that will make that sunset margarita feel all the less guilty.

  3. Running shoes. I know this one is totally obvious and somewhat of a cop-out but there really is no getting around it. Run, walk, climb the stairs… none of these can be done in flip-flops or snow boots, so you really need to pack your sneaks. Think of it as a great way to get out there and mingle with the locals!

With all the planning and preparations that go into getting ready for a vacation, it’s important to remember to pack items that will help you to keep up your fitness routine. This way, when you get back you’re not overwhelmed or feeling guilty for the time you spent away from working out. These three small and easy-to-travel pieces of fitness equipment can keep you in shape and on track. Even if the last thing you wanted to do was exercise while on vacation. (We all have to do things we don’t want to do! Mom-ism #143)


What is your exercise routine when traveling around this great big world? Or do you not have one? What’s the motivation for you to keep up with your fitness? I’d love to hear your tactics if you have any!