The Five Best Tips I’ve Heard For Living Well This Year

I always feel a bit guilty after giving one of my wellness workshops. In spite of my painstaking efforts to prepare and deliver my best material, I often feel like I learn more from my students than they learn from me.

IMG_5033Just look around my office and you’ll see that I have enough wellness books to open a small library dedicated to fixing whatever ails you. But week after week, I find that the most valuable wellness advice I hear doesn’t come from the experts. It comes from the real people in my workshops who share how they stay in their WELLNESS ZONE while juggling cranky kids, horrible bosses, and stressful, overstuffed lives.

Their stuff works for one reason. It’s simple! And simple means that it’s doable and repeatable even when life gets crazy—which is most of the time. Although their results are anecdotal, they are real and tangible: pounds lost, races won, and feelings of wellness achieved against all odds. It’s obvious from listening to them that they’ve found a wellness groove that works.

That’s why I’m sharing these flashes of wellness brilliance with you today along with some insight into why they might work for you. Though I can’t remember their names, I give them full credit and thank them for sharing:

“I lost 38 pounds with one simple change. I cleared out my pantry and loaded up my fridge.”
Eating foods with a shorter shelf life will add years to your own life. Lean meats, and colorful fresh fruits and vegetables also have fewer calories, allowing you to EAT MORE and WEIGH LESS. What a concept!

“I start each day with a healthy breakfast. It makes all the difference.”
I second that! According to the National Weight Control Registry, people who eat breakfast weigh less that breakfast skippers. Eating a healthy breakfast puts you in a wellness mindset and ensures that you won’t hit the pastries when you get the late morning munchies.

“I finished my first 5K race with a supportive group of friends and lost 20 pounds in the process!”
The single best thing we can do for our wellness is to move more! Having a tangible goal and the support of our BFF’s can be a great way to overcome the inertia of the holidays. I love this tip because it’s empowering, achievable, and FUN!

“The first thing I do when I open my computer in the morning is go straight to the comics. I like to start every day with a smile.”
We all know how good it feels to laugh. Doesn’t it make perfect sense that starting the day on a positive note would only lead to more of the same? After all, laughter IS good medicine. Schedule some into your day.

“Don’t say MAYBE when you want to say NO!”
I think I might have seen this one on Facebook, but who doesn’t relate? Saying no to things that no longer serve us—activities, destructive actions and thought patterns, people who drag us down—can free up precious time and energy to spend on our wellness. Try saying NO more often in the new year and see how good it makes you feel.

If our New Year’s Resolutions have any hope of sticking beyond the first week in February, we need real life solutions that can stand up to even the most challenging days. Simple, doable, repeatable—it’s what I call a SIMPLE ACT OF WELLNESS!

Hit me with your best one in the comments below!

WELLNESS PROMPT: Do any of these tips resonate with you? What are your best wellness practices to get through this crazy busy life? 10-minute write . . . go!

Feel Good. Be Well. Meg

How to Achieve Your Goals for 2015 in Three Easy Steps

I finally have a website. Welcome!

I set out on this journey over two years ago. I know because I wrote it down like the goal setting gurus say you should when you have a big, important, life-changing goal in mind. But I didn’t reach the finish line until now. And there were times when I thought I never would. So much for taking advice from goal-setting gurus.

For many months, I felt frustrated and stuck for the same reasons we all stumble when we set out to make big, pivotal changes in our lives–like getting in better shape, losing weight, switching jobs, or charting a different course for ourselves.

The project felt huge, scary, and overwhelming.

connectWhenever I thought about creating a website, my mind became cluttered with questions and doubt. Where do I begin? How much will it cost? What happens if no one reads it? Do I really need one? Will I have to trade my late night reality TV for last minute blogging sessions that run into the wee hours of the morning?

It was paralyzing and painful for many long months. Until, suddenly it wasn’t. In a single moment, the path to from blank page to completed website became clear, easy, and attainable. No joke! A few short months later, I reached my goal and launched Wellness Feels Good!

So, What Got Me Unstuck?

It started with a light bulb moment in a workshop I attended last summer. During the daylong seminar titled “A Day of Impact,” veteran fitness pro and motivational speaker Todd Durkin asked us to get our pens ready to write down the answer to this question:

“What is the single most important thing you can do right now that would have the biggest IMPACT on your business?”

I didn’t even need to think about it. I dashed off, “CREATE A WEBSITE” in big, bold letters across the page.IMG_4089

And then he urged us in a commanding voice, “Now, go out and DO IT!

The words were his, but the voice was my own, and I heard it loud and clear. In that moment, I was certain I could make it happen. I finally had the clarity, drive, and commitment to take real action. I also knew that I had the perfect system for doing it right at my fingertips:

Connect. Choose. Celebrate!

Why couldn’t the same process I share week after week in my wellness workshops, work for my business too? My quest for a website became as easy as the Three C’s of Wellness:

CONNECT. The next morning, I asked myself how I would feel when I had my website up and was able to reach out to more wellness seekers. Passionate. Purposeful. Empowered. Accomplished. I wrote these words down with my bright colorful pens, and they became my wellness words for this task.

CHOOSE. I began each day with the question, “What can I do next to feel like these words?” Then I chose simple, doable, actions to feel that way.

  • Get out my ideas folder and review the work I’ve done. (Now where did I file that?)
  • Call my web guy and set up a meeting. (Beg him to work with me even though I fell off the radar for a year.)
  • Call a friend and tell her my plans so she can help me stay accountable. (Bribe her with Starbucks coffee.)
  • Go for a walk to get refocused. (You’ll be hearing a lot about my magical 10-minute walks.)

CELEBRATE! With each step forward, I celebrated. No victory was too small—a meeting, an idea, a section completed. Good job! “Do more of that,” I told myself. When I procrastinated on Facebook and felt lazy and scattered, I reminded myself, “Do less of that.”

Day in and day out, I repeated “Connect. Choose. Celebrate!” until all my actions added up to a finished product.

Of course, that’s the simplified version of the story. There were stumbling blocks along the way—including writer’s block, indecision about templates and design, and lack of gorgeous headshots. But when I encountered these, I simply broke the task down even further until there was something I could do to keep the energy moving.

My website is up and running now, and guess what? I feel PASSIONATE, PURPOSEFUL, EMPOWERED, and ACCOMPLISHED just like I thought I would.

I’ll bet with the new year ahead, you have a few ideas of your own about what you’d like to accomplish. Maybe it’s related to your wellness—losing weight, moving more, getting healthy. Maybe you’re looking to change the course of your life with a brand new exciting direction. Feeling overwhelmed? It doesn’t have to be that way.

You CAN get there—and it can feel good!

To help you achieve your goals in the new year, I’ll nudge the process along a bit by asking you the same life changing, light bulb illuminating question Todd Durkin asked me six months ago:

WELLNESS PROMPT: What is the single most important thing you could do right now that would have the biggest IMPACT on you living your best life? 10-minute write . . . go!

Now, go out and DO IT!

Feel Good. Be Well. Meg

P.S. I’m here to help!