Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Quick Trick for Blowing Through More of Your To-Do List

Hiking with friends and family members is one of my favorite ways
to batch exercise and social interaction.

I recently rediscovered something that I often recommend to clients but somehow seemed to forget in my own life:
The Art of "Batching."

What is "batching?" you ask.

Batching is when you cross two or more things off your to-do list by conquering them at the same time.

For example, my recent batching exploits have involved blog-writing while watching The Bachelor and The West Wing, and dancing around the kitchen while cooking dinner to get my Fitbit step count closer to 10,000.

The beauty of batching is that it's designed for people who can't seem to find enough hours in the day to accomplish everything they're hoping to do (like me—and maybe you, too).

"Isn't batching just multi-tasking?" you ask.

In a way, yes it is. But it's more deliberate. It feels to me like there's a different intention to it. There seems to be a greater intention for joy with batching than there is with straight multi-tasking.

At the end of 2013, I hosted a free call on my 5 Top Tips for Battling Overwhelm and Breaking Free from Your Funk—one of which is practicing gratitude. I remember one of my clients telling me that in her state of overwhelm, there was no way she was going to be able to find time to do a gratitude practice.

My answer to that: Batch it, sister.

Writing in a gratitude journal can be done at the breakfast table while you're eating your oatmeal. Just like catching up with a friend can be done while walking around the local high school track. Or making your daily commute to work can include listening to an informative podcast or a great audio book you want to read.

The beauty of batching is that it often makes one or both of the activities you're wanting to accomplish more fun. And the payoff is greater, too. Two birds with one stone = a total rush of achievement joy.

Where in your life do you feel you're lacking time? And where do you see opportunities to batch line items from your to-do list—to ultimately gain time and get more done?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gratituesday: Rainbows

Aren't we lucky to have rainbows?

We never know when they'll pop up. 
They're like little surprise parties in the sky. 

So grateful for them.

What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gratituesday: Fresh Guacamole

Aren't we lucky to have guacamole?

And better yet—fresh guac made on the spot!?
So delicious. And good for your heart.
It's a win win. 

So grateful for it.

What are you grateful for today?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Become the Person You Want to Be (And Stop Acting Like a Piece of Swiss Cheese)

I was chatting with a friend last week about a longtime infatuation she had with a particularly mysterious, confident, lone-wolf-esque guy when I decided to ask her a very pointed question I'd asked myself during my own dating days.

Are you attracted to him because you want to be WITH him or because you want to be LIKE him?

She thought for a moment and then her eyes widened.

"Whoa. I think I want to be like him..."

I'm not sure exactly when I noticed this tendency within myself, but realizing it launched a bit of a breakthrough in my dating life. In my 20s and early 30s I wanted to be with someone adventurous and worldly—primarily because I thought I wasn't either of those things myself. But seeking them out sort of backfired on me. I subconsciously focused too much on that aspect and ended up with guys too far over on the "adventure" spectrum who didn't have the balance of other traits I was seeking. It was only when I was finally able to see myself as worldly and adventurous that I was able to find someone who was a perfect fit for me.

When we're attracted to someone because we want to be like them, we're walking around acting as though we're human hunks of Swiss cheese. 

Like there are holes throughout our persons. We try to fill in what we think is lacking by stuffing other people into the supposed empty spots.

I don't think this only happens in love relationships either—it can happen with friendships and even among colleagues.

And it's not to say that a situation like this will never turn into a thriving love affair or business partnership, but I would bet that if someone ran the numbers, there would be a lower likelihood for success.

A higher likelihood for success: Being attracted to someone because you want to be with them and they're like YOU. 

So how to bridge the gap (or rather, fill the cheese pockets)?

Work on becoming the person you want to be rather than hoping someone else will be your catalyst for change.

If, for example, you find yourself yearning to be with someone confident because you wish you were more confident, do things that boost your own esteem (run a lap, treat yourself to a solo dinner, take a karate class) instead of seeking out someone else out who's overflowing with self assurance.

Becoming who you want to be—stepping into the shoes of your best self—will cause people to be attracted to YOU. 

And the funny thing is, you might already BE the person you want to be but you just need to learn how to give yourself credit.

Before I left my friend, I told her that next time I see her I want a full report that she's been doing all sorts of independence- and confidence-boosting things to bring herself into alignment with her crush.

She promised she would try—and not just for the sake of the possible boyfriend. 

If she and the guy work out, I think it'll only make their relationship stronger. And if they don't, she'll have a few more reasons to stop seeing herself as a slice of Swiss.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gratituesday: Tidepools

Aren't we lucky to have tidepools? 

Little microcosms of the ocean 
that we can explore
without even getting wet. 

So grateful for them.

What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Honoring the Year Gone By

I was in yoga class a couple weeks ago and before the final Namaste, my teacher asked us to take a moment to honor all that we had accomplished during 2014. I thought back over the year and felt mildly shocked by all I had done.

Just a few days before, my husband and I had been talking about how much we DIDN'T do in 2014 and what changes we wanted to make in the New Year.

Yet, sitting on my mat in the yoga studio, I felt I'd done everything right.

I'd done so much.

I'd done enough.

It's easy to get so caught up tallying our resolution failures that we forget to bask in the joy of our accomplishments.

I may not have created the ebooks I meant to write or done a juice fast every month or found new hiking trails (3 items on my 2014 goal list) but I had helped remodel two bathrooms and a kitchen, I'd helped raise four baby chicks into young lady chickens, and I'd hiked my way around two national parks and some Alaskan coastal cities.

In addition to a resolution or goal list or whatever it is you may make this New Year, why not spend some time reflecting on everything you did in 2014? Even if it wasn't part of your plan, take a minute to honor what you got done.

I'll be you did a lot more than you realize.

And I bet it made your spirit grow in different and exciting ways.