New year, new you, new goals. Did last year’s goals become reality for you or were they quickly forgotten a month later? Was the towel thrown in after a week of picking up the kids here, there and everywhere? Did you say “I’ll start over tomorrow” a few times and then simply felt like you failed?
As a wellness coach, probably the most common goals people have had include:
- Lose weight
- More energy
- Get my kids to eat healthier
- Exercise more
- Stop eating sugar
It’s an episode of the movie “Groundhog Day”. The goals are set in their mind, they go full blast for a couple weeks, become overwhelmed, quit, and come to me frustrated and defeated. They have no answers why other than excuses of how busy their life is and that it’s simply too hard. They want to try, they verbalize it, and they truly believe this time will be different. But how come year after year, it’s NEVER different?
Tony Robbins has a statistic of the amount of time it takes for a goal to be forgotten and on the pile and it’s less than 30 days.
So what is the missing spark when it comes to achieving your New Year’s resolution or any goal for that matter? The answer: You’re not going deep enough to your true reasons for change. All the sample goals I list above are simply side effects of something bigger. That something bigger is THE key to you achieving your goal. Your inspiration. The FEELING you’re going after. The source to your HAPPINESS. The nourishment for your confidence & excitement for life.
If you simply write down “I want to eat more vegetables”, “I want to work out at least 3 times this week”, “I want to cook more and eat less processed foods”… your goals will not be achieved. At least not for the long-term. What do you write down instead? Here are some of mine that I’ve had the past 6 months to give you some help:
- I want mental clarity and excitement when I am with my daughter. I actually want to play with her, to run after her, to laugh, be creative and inspirational so we both have amazing memories of this time.
- I want to avoid disease as much as I can. With cancer in both my mother and father’s lives, I vow to only put things that will nourish my body and to avoid cancer and disease as much as I can.
- I want to sleep well so my body can recover, heal, and energize. I want to sleep at least 7 hours of quality sleep so I can wake up with my family happy, full of life, and excited to start a new day.
There are no formulas for the above such as drink more green smoothies, exercise for 30 minutes 5 days a week, avoid gluten, reduce sugar, or meal plan for the week. Many of us know what it means to make healthy choices. We have information in front of us constantly. Ironically the formula for health is whole & real foods, movement, happiness, stress-reduction, and creativity. But what will get us to make choices in each area so we, as an entire family, achieve total wellness? It’s figuring out YOUR reason, your why, your feeling, what YOU see YOUR life being. What you want for your family. What will make your time on this earth full of quality? Let’s brainstorm for a bit and I want you to let me know what matters to you. What truly matters to your family?
This week brings me to the importance of mindfulness and how to teach your child empathy in this world. Many of our children are over-scheduled, over-stimulated, rely on other things to entertain themselves, & aren’t connected to their true self and what they can give to this world. This is the area that will create a leader. An influence. A philanthropist. Teacher. Mentor. This is a neglected area in education and we need to change this.
Below are my top 5 ways you can teach your child mindfulness and empathy. You can learn more on what is being done and how you can make the difference after you read my top 5.
1. Have your child write about their day and what they noticed. Consider this part of their “homework”. Get them connected to events in their day and how they may have influenced them. Grab those teaching opportunities when they share with you.
2. Let the quiet and the calm create the colors of their mind. These are necessary to ignite creativity. Let their brains do some magic without relying on other things to give them information. It doesn’t have to be long but let them sit in quiet with nothing else but their brains for 20-30 minutes a day.
3. Allow your child to tell you how they would solve their problem. And how they would do it differently the next time. We are so quick to jump in and solve our children’s problems. Telling them what to do. Then they rely on everyone but themselves to make decisions and problem-solve. They may not have the 100% right answer but give them the opportunity to grow and become confident that they can handle their world.
4. Focus: The key to connection. The doorway to mindfulness. The pathway to the present. The light to the world around us. Before bedtime, Brooklyn focuses on a candle flame for 2-5 minutes (she chooses the time) where a chime starts the exercise and a second chime ends it. During that time she is to focus on the flame. The colors she sees, the movement, and anything else that her eyes sees in that flame. It’s a calming exercise full of connection to her brain.
5. Stop and teach your child to observe situations and others around them. When you see a situation around you, let’s say how a person is being treated right by you, take the time to observe with your child and then talk about it together. Don’t tell them what you saw, ask them what they saw and their feelings about it. Would they treat that person the same way? Why? What would they do differently and why? Make sure there is a balance between positive and negative situations you encounter.
Learn more from Goldie Hawn’s mission and organization: www.mindup.org where her goal has been putting actual CURRICULUM into the classroom for your children. Watch her 30 minute video all about this and WHY it is her mission here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7VSkCp7xoE
It doesn’t have to be all math, science, testing, ranking, and always looking to what the future holds academically. We desperately need to teach our children how to grow their spirit, their connection to their feelings, the confidence to express them, the unique gift of helping others, the desire to give, and the strength to open the doors of compassion towards others.
There are so many tools out there for us to use to “better” our health. Online exercise programs, super inexpensive gym memberships, childcare at these gyms, blogs, television programs, social media support groups, documentaries, news features, super foods, super supplements, shakes that will “transform” you, health coaches, personal trainers, online programs, meal kits, you name it, it’s out there. Why with so many transformation tools, support, and things promising to make your life easier… is it more difficult than ever to achieve wellness? To not only start our goals- but to actually continue them and make them a part of our everyday? Why are we the unhealthiest we’ve EVER been, and continue down this path? Our stress actually has INCREASED as the conveniences have increased. So are they really that convenient? Or work?
I’ve done so many of the above… actually most… and this past year I’ve really honed in on what works for me, my clients, and my family. What is it?
Laura Ingalls Wilder says it all right here: “It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
Stay tuned for how I make our lives simple which allows us to achieve the wellness goals and values we have. For now, I want you to think about things that are clogging your vision, your values, your goals… what you can say goodbye to and what you can hit the pause button on. We are not meant to multi-task and do-it-all. We are truly meant to be simple, and do it right. Let’s talk more the next time.
Starting today I will be doing a 7-week count down of ways to get both you and your family closer to your wellness goals. Today at week 7, we have 7 simple changes you can start THIS WEEK to get your family started. You don’t have to do all 7 of these this week but they are great reminders you can print and place on your fridge to spark some motivation. To ignite a decision that you haven’t made before. To step out of your comfort zone one time that day. Here we go… some things you can put on that wellness bookshelf for when you are ready for change:
- Feed your family the right carbohydrates- avoiding refined or overly processed foods. What are the right carbohydrates? The slow burning ones that actually have nutritional value: fruits, whole grains, and VEGGIES.
- Eat foods that will keep you full- full of protein, fat, fiber, and the right carbohydrates that is!
- Focus on the foods that will make your children grow, along with you & your family having energy, strong immunity (cold & flu season is among us), quality brain function, and positive mood (yes, your foods affect your mood!) and make your bodies function at their best.
- Mindful versus mindless eating- know when you’re hungry and when you’re full. Teach your children to have a 2-way conversation with their body. Don’t make them clean their plate – they know when they are full. And you do too!
- Get moving and be active as a family. If you don’t have time to exercise, make time as a family so you don’t feel you’re taking away from them. That time will actually be higher quality then just sitting around. You can take a walk, play a game outside, do an online yoga session as a family, or even put some music on and dance.
- Teach your children how to shop & make wise decisions for themselves- boost their nutritional confidence! They need to have the knowledge of what certain foods give us, or don’t. It’s not just about things tasting good or stopping a growling tummy.
- Fat is not the enemy- choose the best fats for your brains, metabolism, concentration & mood. Yes, fat is good for you. The right fat. Your child’s brain is growing up until age 8 so they need healthy, full fats, to fuel their brain. Olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed dairy, ghee, avocado, and raw nuts are wonderful examples. Fat is consumed in moderation- like many foods- even though they are beneficial to our health.
Next week is week 6 where I’ll have 6 new tips to get you and your family on the right path to your family wellness. Don’t overwhelm yourself with these tips. One change today is a HUGE accomplishment. What change will YOU make today and what example will you teach your family? Comment below!
My good friend and partner of Powering Through Perimenopause, Carrie Koziol (http://www.pilatesbycarrie.com), just posted an amazing piece on how the exercises you’re finding online could actually be doing more harm than good in the peri and menopausal stages of your life. Carrie is THE expert and I agree with all she teaches & preaches where her education & experience support her passion. Here is some great information from her recent blog:
Fallacy #3: Menopause and Sprinting:
One site recommends introducing interval training which they describe as sprinting alternated with a moderate pace. Now I am a former runner so no judgement.
But I’m also a 40 year old woman so…..”Judgy Wudgy was a Bear.” I do not think that sprinting belongs in a fitness program designed for menopausal women.
High intensity? Yes! But more important is the low impact.
Here’s what I mean- watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTQjcucjFaU
Having the right information for the stage your body is at- what it will respond to and what will actually harm it- is critical. That’s why Dr. Google can be not only overwhelming, but incorrect. There are too many people out there giving information without the education behind them. What YOU need are experts to help you through this time- to embrace it and not be afraid of it. How? To have all the tools in your hands- the correct ones. Because in all honesty, these are the best years of your life. Join me, Carrie Koziol, and Dr. Katie Johnson as we give you these tools. Live and in person along with a group of amazing women around you to support you. Registration began 8/28 and the course starts 9/13 so don’t wait too long- only 10 spots are saved!
POWERING THROUGH PERIMENOPAUSE (& MENOPAUSE) BEGINS SOON!
Where: Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center in Downers Grove
When: Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 AM from Sept 13-Nov 1, 2017
Register Here: http://atyourschool.youritdept.com/ahc/jsp/ViewEvent.jsp?eventId=212575