How many times have you said… remember when I used to do that THING that really helped my journey or that thing that brought me joy? You know, THAT thing. Maybe it was juicing or meal prepping or talking on the phone with friends or going for long walks…
I don’t know the specifics of what came to mind for you, but I can tell you that whatever came to mind was most likely at one time a habit that has since dissipated into the long lost world of old habits both good and bad.
If we take a look at every habit we participate in throughout the day it is almost impossible to name them all because they come so automatically, as if our body is on autopilot. Simple habits like brushing out teeth to putting on our seatbelt to eating while watching a show on TV. And then there are more complex habits like answering emails after work hours or the way in which we argue with loved ones. The list goes on and on. If you aren’t sure what your habits are, just think of all of the things that you do when you are stressed, tired or overworked. THOSE things are typically the things that take up very little energy and happen without us realizing it.
The first factor in breaking, building or maintaining a habit is simply AWARENESS. Awareness without beating ourselves up or getting discouraged because after all, knowledge truly is power. The next step is being 100 percent certain of the habits we want to break vs create vs maintain (this is where a good old fashion list could come into play). Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, this clarity is truly only the first part of the equation.
Let’s break it down.
Steps to creating a new habit:
1. Identify the habit that you want to create
2. Figure out precisely how you will insert this habit into your life by asking yourself questions like WHAT will prompt this habit (is it an alarm, a visual cue or some other type of reminder), HOW often will I participate and WHY am I doing it to begin with? The more compelling the reward, the more likely it is to become a habit.
Steps to breaking a habit:
1. Identify the habit that you want to break.
2. Identify the cue/feeling/situation that prompts the habit and then have a PLAN for how to disrupt the behavior that follows that cue, every.single.time.
Steps to maintaining a habit:
1. Identify the habit that you want to maintain.
2. Deep dive into what circumstances surrounding the habit is making it possible (maybe you have your alarm set to workout at a certain time or grocery shop on Saturdays to prepare for meal prepping on Sundays) and then make a commitment to yourself to hold sacred the circumstances that are allowing the habit to continue.
Good look at being a personal detective into your own life of habits! I welcome you to join with us your discoveries at our Royal Round Table discussion on Thursday, April 22nd at 7:30pm CST/ 8:30pm EST.
What an unprecedented year!
Holy moly…what an unprecedented year (I mean honestly, such an overused word but is there even a better one to describe it?) I can only think of one other word that sums it up for me and that is grateful. Ironically, the #RoyalFitFam has been talking about this very subject lately and I can sum it up like this… the human brain simply cannot process negative information. Therefore, the more often we turn the negative to positive (que pitbull song…) the more energy we have to give to ourselves, our family, our friends and the things that we love.
That, my friends, in a nutshell has been my commitment since day one of this mess that we labeled COVID-19. I asked the tough questions; What can I learn about myself from this? Who do I want to surround myself with that fills my heart with joy? What can I do to make my life feel more whole? YOU were the answer to ALL of those questions and now that I have SHED so much negativity and gotten back to my roots (dance baby!), I will never go back to settling for less than what our community has offered each other this year.
So, my dear friends, I encourage you to ask yourselves the same questions as you catapult into the life you always imagined for yourself with people that inspire you and encourage you to be your very best. For all of the unknowns, one thing is for certain, the best is yet to come.
Cheers to shedding the a happy holiday season for you and your family and let’s do 2021 with some serious gusto <3
Wear your sweats, bring your notebook and meet me at the table as we kick off the 60 Day Commitment!
Thursday, September 17th 7:30 pm CST/ 8:30 pm EST
Progress Trumps Perfection
One of the biggest shifts from being a single worry-free adult to a mother of two crazy, energetic rugrats has been managing and allocating my time and my energy. I have been guilty of having a running checklist in my mind about all of the tasks that need to be completed before I can consider myself successful, making it almost impossible at times to end my day feeling satisfied. Can you relate?
Well a couple of wins and way more fails later I am here to tell you the biggest lesson I have learned in the last decade of my life, you will never be satisfied if your focus is on quantity or perfection. QUALITY over quantity is the best way to feel the wins of life. PROGRESS over perfection will keep momentum moving in a forward direction. On a small scale we make choices everyday that determine whether or not our focus is on quality vs quantity.
Twelve solid body squats will always win over 50 ballistic squat pulses with poor form.
Reading a book with the grandkids for ten minutes will always win over setting an Ipad in front of them for hours.
One cups of fruit and veggies will always win over 1 cup of ice cream.* One exception to this rule is chocolate. Chocolate wins every time 😉
On a larger scale, what is it that determines the quality of our lives? It is the meaning and emotion associated with the choices that we make and the things that happen to us and for us.
Throughout these 60 days you will have the tools to succeed. My ask in return is for you to stay positive as we close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. The first step is clarifying the results that you desire very specifically with a clear and compelling vision. Make it so compelling of a vision that you are driven to become LASER-FOCUSED and then we focus on the QUALITY of our actions, of our workouts, of our nutrition and the PROGRESS that comes with it as fuel to keep going in the right direction. We will do that by honoring our commitment, by having a strategy and by practicing gratitude every day for 60 days.
Before we begin, spend some time focusing on knowing your desired outcome, knowing your reasons why, getting mentally prepared to take action and staying positive on what has come before us, as our focus is now on what lies WITHIN us.
Can’t wait to be on this journey with you!
Wear your sweats, bring your notebook and meet me at the table as we kick off the 60 Day Commitment!
Thursday, September 17th 7:30 pm CST/ 8:30 pm EST
Transforming yourself from the queen of excuses to the queen of healthy aging, one squat at a time
What good is exercise anyway? I know I am preaching to choir here, but most of us in the RoyalFitFam choose FUN and FEELING GOOD first, and “exercise” is just a part of the process. We wouldn’t dance, smile, shimmey and shake it if we didn’t love that exhilarating feeling of inhaling good vibes, exhaling stress. That being said….in order to actually remove waste from your waist, it takes more than just a good solid dance party.
I used to vomit at the word burpee. I also used to think that lifting weights was for boys, or meatheads, or girls that wanted to meet the meat heads, but I was wrong. Strength training doesn’t in fact “make you bulky” or take away your femininity. Primarily the thing that supersedes the idea of a two-piece bikini in my mind is simple; build more muscle, store less fat. And what really sold me is this… our lives have changed SO much. And for many of us, myself included, our bodies changed too. And then I read that the average American gained 15 pounds in the last 3 months. At first that made me feel wrongly comforted and then I wondered, what is to keep us from gaining 15 more?
The number one answer is strength training. It has never been more important than now. A focused effort on healthy habits like sleep, water intake and nutrition will help, but if we don’t maintain or build muscle mass, we are doomed for weight gain, and even worse sarcopenia, which is a fancy way of saying “becoming frail” (and actually means “flesh wasting”- ewwww).
Maybe you are the queen of excuses like “I don’t have time” or “I don’t like to exercise” or “I don’t know how”. Let’s break that down and overcome some of those obstacles together on Thursday during our Royal Round Table discussion as well as reviewing basic strength training exercises that have been around for years and years and years because, quite simply, they work!
Wear your sweats, bring your notebook and meet me at the table! Thursday, July 23rd 8:00 pm CST/ 9:00 pm EST See you at the Royal Round Table this Thursday, July 9th at 8:00pm CST/9:00pm EST.
Reclaim Your Light
I used to be a quote girl…quotes in my home in fun little frames, quotes on magnets, quotes on pens, in fact at one point I had painted an entire wall in my home with blackboard chalk just so every person who visited me could leave me with a quote to remember them by. But at this point, during these times, in this season of my life I am “quoted out.”
I can’t quite tell if it started at work when I would receive emails from people who don’t at ALL live by the words they were spewing, or if it started on social media with the quotes that occupied the images that literally had nothing to do with the messaging they were trying to get across. Either way, it’s official. My disdain for small talk and patience for lack of substance is wearing on me.
Now before I dig myself into a hole let me explain in what ways I think this new self-awareness may actually be a good thing (que “good vibes only” quote :))…
How many times have you heard, “everything is going to be ok?” But then, it wasn’t. Well that was a confusing time wasn’t it? “Everything is going to be ok” may be one of the most traumatic sentences ever spoken against people. This lie encourages people to be happy because they should, not because they actually ARE. To that end, how many times have you found yourself lying about your feeling to avoid an awkward conversation, to put another person at ease or to fall in line with the social norm? This is something most people likely do DAILY. It is no wonder that we even lie to ourselves about how we are feeling on a daily basis.
When positive affirmations don’t quite fit the need, it is important to let yourself BE in your own feelings. One of the reasons I believe that my disdain has grown is because in focusing on the light for so long I wasn’t allowing myself to recognize the darkness, the unpleasant feelings that I was also feeling. We as humans instinctively know what to do with “good” emotions; we act compassionately, we donate something, we volunteer, we give extra hugs or a compliment. We don’t quite know what to do with “bad” emotions to be equally as productive or healthy. In order to turn our unpleasant feelings into something productive like an advocate group, a fundraiser for a meaningful cause or even a blog to open people’s eyes to something within themselves (hint hint) we must first be aware of the feelings and allow permission for even those feelings to manifest themselves naturally.
Join me on a journey in recognizing the dark so that we may validate it, clear that energy and forge ahead into the light. All you need is a journal and an open mind to participate. See you at the Royal Round Table this Thursday, July 9th at 8:00pm CST/9:00pm EST.
Guard your body, Guard your mind
There is no bigger love/hate relationship on this planet than the one that exists between a human and a calorie. As someone who works in the fitness industry and as a dancer, the relationship I have with calories is probably more tumultuous than any other long term relationship I have ever had. We have had more bad times than we have had good…until now. For the first time in my life I am understanding the value that this pesky thing can have on my life, by means of protecting me from disease. I guess you could say that calories get a bad rep, and maybe they aren’t ALL bad afterall.
Body aesthetics is top of mind for all of us, and with the influence of the media, the food guides, the marketing schemes, etc. our focus has been primarily on the quantity of food we eat as opposed to the QUALITY of food we eat. It really didn’t dawn on me until COVID and in the same week someone reminding me that technically I am “middle aged” that it was time to spend less energy thinking about my 401k and the financial aspects of retirement, and more time on making sure that my body makes it there! And if I am blessed enough to live a long life, that I can actually enjoy it once I get there.
Imagine for a moment your final days of work, your final days of debt and the day you are ready to be set free of copious amounts of responsibility. Will you be healthy enough in mind and in body to enjoy walks on the beach, push your grand kids on the swings, wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and energized? Some of these things are not in our control, but much more of our health is in our control than we realize. So, let’s talk about it!
Join me Thursday 6/25 at 8pm CST as we discuss ways to guard your body and your mind through nutrition, exercise and attitude. This will be an overview of a much more comprehensive program that will be offered in the future, but for now, let’s review the basics. See you at the Royal Round Table!
The Power of Your Voice
For as long as I can remember I have been excruciatingly challenged by having difficult conversations. If you have ever stayed in a job, a relationship or even a house party TOO DAMN LONG you know exactly what I am talking about.
The first time I really noticed it was as young as 4 years old with the standard Mom and Dad question “Are you ok?” To which my answer was always a simple “yep”. Even though the real answer was always NO. The blessing in my lack of confidence with my voice was that I learned to express myself through my body with the use of dance. This lasted until my mid 20s when I finally got nailed as a professional dancer for not being able to speak in public. DAMMIT! I wasn’t going to be able to get away with it as it turned out.
Every single time I tried to move on from a boyfriend or a job it was literally the most excruciatingly painful experience of letters that were never sent, important meetings that I never showed up for and excuse after excuse of why it would be best that I just live in misery instead of speaking my truth.
In the pursuit of trying to figure out WHY in the actual hell I would be up at night sweating for literally weeks just to gain the courage to tell someone that I was upset about something, I looked in all the wrong places for the answers. Maybe my parents didn’t model the correct behavior? Maybe the person I am trying to talk to just sucks at life and won’t understand me or will laugh at me? Maybe I am just chicken shit? Or was I simply choosing the path of least resistance? In doing so, I wasn’t just choosing silence, I was breeding resentment, I was devaluing myself and I was feeding ignorance. It wasn’t until recently that I have begun to understand how silence hasn’t just hurt me, it has created a compound of hurt around me. The answers were not around me, they were within me.
I discovered that speaking up is just plain HARD! And in doing so it may mean that you are going against the grain or people around you. I discovered that (can’t believe I am going to admit this) I cared more about keeping other people comfortable as to not rock the boat than I did about MYSELF. I discovered that I was proving to myself time after time that I MATTER LAST. Why? Because I am a woman. Because I have been conditioned to believe that. Because I am in a constant pursuit of answering the question “am I enough”? But in the meantime, I have also learned some helpful tips to navigate through tough conversations and it all starts by stopping worrying about being liked.
Join me this Thursday 6/11 at 8:00pm CST at the Royal Round Table to discuss this as well as other tips to becoming loud, proud and in control of your life.
Happiness as a skill
“We spend our lives searching for something we think we don’t have, something that will make us happy. But the key to our deepest happiness lies in changing our vision of where to seek it.” -Sharon Salzberg
In undergraduate school I had the opportunity to study abroad in Firenze, Italia otherwise knows as Florence, Italy. For three months I lived in a contemporary apartment in the heart of Florence with beautiful scenery and architecture all around me and spent my days painting and drawing portraits and landscapes between wonderful authentic Italian cuisine and sightseeing on the weekends. And yet… I was utterly unhappy. I was wise enough to know not to falsely name the source of my unhappiness as I truly didn’t know why but I knew that I wanted to be home.
The second I landed back into the hustle and bustle of the United States I was no longer unhappy. I was completely miserable. I fell into the second major depression of my life.
So what gives? I was unhappy leaving, i was unhappy being, I was unhappy coming home. What I know now that I didn’t know then is that happiness is 100 percent perception and 0 percent situational. I was destined to feel unhappy anywhere I was during that season of my life because of my mindset, not because of my location. It did not matter where my body was located on a map of my mind lived permanently in victim land.
The pursuit of happiness for me and many others is often an either/or scenario. The phenomenon usually starts with something like this …”If I only had __ THEN I’d be happy.” The idea of happiness becomes very future tense with this mentality, not allowing us to recognize the present moments and the gifts within it. Being present can be scary and certainly not something standard in American culture.
And then in those fleeting moment that we feel what we perceive as happiness, we end it abruptly by fearing that it will end or thinking about all the worst case scenarios that will take our happiness away. What’s at the root of this chase toward something that it seems like we don’t actually want after all? Guilt, shame,fear, the list goes on and on. For me, public enemy number one is not feeling “good enough” or “perfect enough” or FILL IN THE BLANK “ENOUGH” to be happy. Who can relate?
So let’s say we were to acknowledge all of the yucky feelings that keep us from embracing happiness, then would we be happy? I would argue that knowing what makes you happy isn’t what makes you happy, it’s practicing those applications as if happiness were a skill. Knowing something doesn’t make you an expert, practicing it does. But there is a catch. Taking this on as a skill means recognizing ownership for happiness.
Easier said than done, right? I don’t think so. More often than not we are in the habit of blaming others for the things we don’t for the things we do have and we don’t want. This victim mentality is not specific just to the subject of happiness, however. It rears its ugly head in practically every conversation we see in the media these days and we’ve become almost desensitized to it. Taking ownership for our own destiny is the first step toward peace in our lives. I’m the first to admit that when I can’t conceptualize something that just sucks- I have to find a reason that makes sense to me and if I can’t find a reason, I make one up. And if the reason I made up still isn’t good enough- I BLAME. Yep there I said it. Because I can’t just let shit go sometimes! Just let it go…
Join us on Thursday May 14th at 8:00 p.m. CST for the live Royal Round Table chat as we discuss these questions and practical applications to creating more happiness in your life.
Winning Starts With Beginning
It isn’t until we become truly aware of TIME that we start to truly live in a way that is purposeful. For some of us that happens with a birthday milestone. For some it happens upon the death of a loved one. Sometimes it’s a small gesture that acts like a flash of lightning and our world seems to be shook into perspective. For me, it was a quiet nagging feeling over time that got louder and louder and LOUDER.
“Dream like a child…Live your purpose…Time is the most valuable thing that we have…Never apologize for being bold and courageous..”.
These are all phrases that I would say when I was teaching. And then one day I actually heard MYSELF talking to ME; “How long are you going to ignore your goals and your gifts trying to make other people feel safe?” WOAH. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
I started to notice every time I would cut myself down, live small, and bite my tongue. It was TOO frequent and time was running out to do all of the things that I was put on this Earth to do. The most common excuse humans use for not accomplishing their goals is lack of “time”. Sound familiar?
So here we are…in a unique position due to COVID-19 that we may never see again in our lives. It is both a fearful time and one of the largest opportunities, if not THE LARGEST opportunity for personal growth we may ever know. What is the nagging voice in your head telling you to do with your time? What is that same voice urging you to learn about yourself? Allow the vulnerable YOU to come to the surface and bring with it all the lost hobbies, passions, gifts and dreams you’ve buried down deep.
It is my belief that there are no lazy people, simple people who lack the inspiration to succeed, often due to limiting thoughts and beliefs or unclear goals. The first step is to recognize or hear your own voice. Step two is to acknowledge and empower your voice by taking action, big or small. And finally, give gratitude for having come to a place of enlightenment because when we do, like the gift that never ends more and more information will come to you.
“Winning starts with beginning.” One step at a time. I am here to help and I know I’m not the only one.
Be safe, be well, be grateful.
Join us on Thursday April 30th at 8:00 p.m. CST for the live Royal Round Table chat as we discuss techniques on how to dial into your personal growth and minimize the limitations on what is possible for your life.