Nutrition

What Does "Growth" Mean? (And How to Have a Growth Spurt)

Progress. Evolution. Change.

No matter what you call it, it’s something we all struggle with.

Why is that?

We acknowledge that being stagnant prevents us from getting anywhere, yet we refuse to take the steps (consciously or unconsciously) to do anything about it. We can blame our fear of discomfort, our fear of being our true selves, or simply the failure to take personal responsibility, but it’s more than that.

We know that if we repeat the same actions, we get the same results. But our problem isn’t in our actions, it’s in our approach. We focus on what we’re giving up rather than what we’re getting.

So what do you do?

Stop focusing on the behavior you’re avoiding! For example, if you’re trying to abstain from alcohol, biting your nails, or yelling at your spouse, the solution is the same: focus on what you’re adding in, not what you’re taking out.

What are the self-care activities that connect you with your best self? Instead of counting days off something you don’t want, count days that you maintain behaviors that promote health, happiness, and love. It’s much easier to replace an unhealthy behavior with a healthy one, rather than leaving a void with nothing to fill it.

Some of the positive behaviors I’ve used to crowd things that don’t serve me include:

  • Meditating daily
  • Exercising (at least 5x per week)
  • Engaging in one small act of self-care each day (making a cup of tea & lighting a candle, going for a walk, reading a book, etc.)
  • Reaching out to a friend everyday
  • Cuddling with my dog

Growth isn’t about changing who you are, it’s about embracing who you were meant to be by shedding the layers that held you back and embracing the behaviors that propel you forward.

What does growth mean to you? Share your story in the Comments section below! 

“Keep it Simple, Stupid”

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Leonardo Da Vinci once said,

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Nothing makes me happier than simplifying things. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy the Container Store, iPhone apps, and label makers.

While that’s true for many of us, we also seem to crave MORE. More friends, more possessions, and more work.

Yet what makes us happy is never those things that fall into the “more” category. The over-indulgence is what blocks us from seeing ourselves as we truly are or dealing with situations are they currently are.

Instead, we project, we futurize, and we distract.

For many, the thought of cutting back may send us into an instant panic, thinking, “I don’t want to live like a monk!” But, when we dig a little deeper we see that simplicity is where we find our true happiness and peace. 

The good news is that we don’t have to continue to keep our minds and lives overly cluttered!

 

Here are 3 Tips to Simplify Your Life and Realign with Peace:

1. Give the world the silent treatment.

It’s amazing how much we stress ourselves out by being overly connected.  Try 24 hours off the grid. If that’s unreasonable, try 1 hour: No phone, no email, no Facebook. Personally, I stopped bringing my cell phone when I walk my dog. It forces me to connect with nature and be fully present. (which, with Ollie, can be a blessing and a curse!)

2. Clean out your closet.

Seriously, when’s the last time you wore that old T-shirt? I kept a lot of things for “sentimental” reasons, until I realized it was keeping me connected to things I needed to let go of. It’s freeing to let go of things that don’t serve us so that we can create a future filled with the things we want. Besides, how many sleep T-shirts do you really need?

3. Choose quality over quantity.

Whether it’s food, friends, or clothes. It’s all about investing your time and resources in what you love. If you accept whatever comes your way, you’re telling the Universe, “Meh, I’ll just take what I can get.” Your time is a precious commodity. Valuing yourself means choosing what’s right for you over what’s convenient.

What are your strategies for simplifying your life? Share them with the Community!

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Morning

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Productivity isn’t about doing more. It’s about making the most of the time that you do have. And, if you missed my post on how much money you’re losing by not working to your potential, I urge you to check it out here.

Our morning routine sets the tone for the entire day. Make the most of your morning with these

5 simple tricks:

  1. 7 Minutes of movement. That’s less time than it takes for your iPhone to snooze. Why only 7? It’s short enough that you may actually do it, but long enough to wake you up and get shit moving. What do you do? Try yoga or check out the 7 Minute Workout App. (Extra credit if your cool down involves meditation!)
     
  2. Eat a Green Breakfast. I get it, you’re out the door and it’s easier to get coffee and a bagel than it is to make something. And while that’s fine once in a while, juicing or making a smoothie takes less time than toasting a bagel. It’s cheap & easy. So what’s your excuse? For some yummy recipes by Kris Carr, click here.
     
  3. Pick 3 big wins. While you’re waiting for that smoothie from Tip #2 to blend, you can easily think ahead to the question your significant other or mother will ask you that evening: “How was your day?” What are the 3 accomplishments you will want to share? Even if they are small, planning will help you to set yourself up for success. Why? Because without a plan you’re at the mercy of your inbox, doomed to let 8 hours pass without accomplishing what truly matters.
     
  4. Block out your calendar. For each of those 3 things. Block out the time it will take and add in at least 25% more time as a buffer. If it’s a multi-day project, break it into smaller tasks and block out time so that unexpected meetings don’t get in your way.
     
  5. Take a power break. Take 15 minutes after lunch to refocus by meditating, going for a walk, or anything else that gets you away from your computer. After that, decide how you want to use the rest of your day. Are you ahead of schedule with your 3 tasks? Behind? What needs to be done to ensure your success? These 15 minutes will allow you to see where you got derailed and learn from your mistakes.

Give this morning plan a try for one week. You’ll see a huge spike in your productivity, health, and happiness! 

What's your morning ritual? How does it impact your day?

Dedicated to Chrissie, a great friend and “cubie” who brightened my morning and made my office job more tolerable and significantly less productive.