April 2017


 

 

“I have never met a single human being that has made a lifelong, meaningful change that came from shame or guilt….I have seen so much positive change that results from self-care, self-love, self-esteem and self-respect.” – Taryn Brumfitt, body-image activist

If your own personal goals have nothing to do with your weight or physical shape, please don’t stop reading today’s topic.  I believe it applies to any Big Goal, and I hope it will inspire you to adopt the right mindset that will enable you to succeed at reaching your own goals, be they health, financial, career, creative, romantic – whatever is most important to you.

My wonderful husband and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary on May 5th – Cinco de Champagne, as Rick likes to call it.  We want to celebrate in style, so we are going to Hawaii for eight days and nights.  We have both been before, but never as a couple.

The first four nights, including our anniversary, will be spent on Oahu at the Aulani, a Disney resort I have dreamed of since it was built several years ago.  (If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that Rick and I love all things Disney, AND the resort itself is fabulous.)  The second four days/nights will be spent on Kauai, the Garden Isle, which is the loveliest of the Hawaiian Islands.

When New Year’s Day 2017 rolled around, we already had our reservations and all the details taken care of.  The only thing I wasn’t looking forward to was getting into my bathing suit.  Yeah.  The usual Holiday weight gain had piled on top of the Holiday weight from the year before and the year before that.  I was feeling pretty resigned about it, to tell you the truth.  I just tried to avoid full length mirrors as much as possible.

My husband thinks I’m hot, no matter what.  So my self-esteem wasn’t really suffering.  But I didn’t feel good in my clothes, and I knew my energy level had taken a nose dive.

I have struggled with trying to lose 10 or 15 pounds just about all my life.  I had some success with keeping it off for a few years, but whenever I hit a rough patch in life, I often turned to food for comfort and stress relief.  During the Great Recession and its aftermath, I pretty much gave in to the chips and cookies for good.

When I thought back to our wedding 10 years ago, I remembered how proud and happy I felt that day about everything – the event itself, finding the Man of My Dreams, and working my butt off (literally) to fit into my wedding dress!

Fittingly, I found my one-of-a-kind Dress of My Dreams on sale on a solo trip I took to Hawaii to attend a workshop about six months before our wedding.  It was exactly what I wanted, but it was a size smaller than I was at the time.  So, I took on the project like my life depended on it.  I hired a personal trainer, worked out consistently, ate carefully and voila! A critical short-term Big Goal got me to my ideal weight for the dress.  (OK, Spanx helped a little, too!)

This January, facing a similar Big Goal of fitting into my bathing suit again and not feeling old and tired on my second honeymoon, I wondered, “How can I find some of that drive and commitment that carried me to my Big Goal 10 years ago?” I was just not feeling I had it in me to do it again.

That’s when I had two key insights about what was REALLY holding me back from finally achieving a healthy weight that I could maintain permanently.   

First, with my wedding dress Big Goal, I had to admit that what truly motivated me then was FEAR.  I was terrified of risking public humiliation by having to buy another dress, after showing off my Dream Dress to my closest friends, who were also my Bridesmaids! This time, I definitely wanted to look good for Rick and to feel good in my own body, but I didn’t have the same compelling OUTER-directed fear of “What will others think if I fail?” about looking good on the beach!

I realized that what Taryn says in her quote is absolutely true.  I was able to make a short-term change for the wedding, but when that temporary goal was reached, I began to undo it almost immediately.  I ate and drank like there was no tomorrow at our reception and fell so far off the wagon that within a month, I had regained 10 pounds, which kept compounding over the next ten years.

TAKE-AWAY #1: If you want long-term success, you need a substantial, POSITIVE “Why” for pursuing your Big Goal.

My second insight was that I remembered my earlier journey to weight loss success as being really HARD.  Ten years older, I just didn’t feel physically or mentally up to “suffering” through deprivation and hard workouts for months on end. And since my temporary triumph had all come undone very quickly, my Inner Doubter kept whispering, “You know it’s just going to fall apart again! So why bother?”

That’s when I saw clearly that I had been living the last 10 years of my life out of these two powerful  Limiting Beliefs – That only FEAR can motivate me, and that I just don’t have the self-discipline to make lasting changes.

TAKE –AWAY #2:  I created a new Empowering Belief possibility for myself: Positive change can be EASY and PERMANENT.  

Very soon, the most amazing solution to my weight loss dilemma appeared.  As often happens, when you are truly ready to RECEIVE a better How, God/the Universe directs you to fulfill your desire in a way that is easier and more satisfying than anything your own Ego could come up with.

Last year, Rick was diagnosed as being on the cusp of developing Type II diabetes, which his doctor tried to treat with conventional medicine and conventional nutrition, with little success.  Rick had several relatives suffer and die from this disease and he was determined to beat it.  Unbeknownst to me, he went to a presentation by a wellness clinic that uses cutting-edge nutrition and supplements to control blood sugar and reverse the effects of Type II diabetes.  Before I knew it, he had embarked on a radical lifestyle change.

I am a lucky woman because Rick does ALL of the shopping and cooking.  He began following his new program to a T, buying only organic, drinking more water than ever before, and taking a lot of supplements. We both learned a lot of eye-opening information about common foods that have a bad effect on blood sugar, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, the mold in coffee and peanut butter and the inflammatory properties of tomatoes, dairy and some kinds of cooking oil.

As Rick stuck to a strict list of healthy fruits, salads, vegetables, chicken and seafood, I just ate whatever he prepared for dinner because I wanted to support him. It was no hardship, because the food was really delicious and we both learned to be satisfied with smaller portions. In a few weeks, I had effortlessly dropped 10 pounds.

After I realized what was happening, I decided to be a little more focused in my own habits, keeping up my daily one hour walks and cutting out desserts, except for grapes and strawberries.  The “raging” sweet tooth I had always claimed to have seemed to disappear on its own.  So much for fear and hardship!

As of today, I have lost 15 pounds and Rick has lost 23. Most importantly, his blood work is excellent and he looks and feels amazing. And, one week before our trip, I am happy to say that my bathing suit fits just fine.  In fact, I had to buy some smaller-size clothes for the trip.

Now, I am truly committed to my Big Goal of reaching and maintaining my ideal healthy weight. (Just 10 more pounds to go!)  Yes, I know that I will enjoy a few Mai Tais and some great food in Hawaii, but I have an internal knowing that I won’t fall off the wagon again because for the first time, I am doing it for the RIGHT reasons: Self-love, Self-care, Self-esteem and Self-respect!

The blog will be taking the next two Sundays off to prepare for and enjoy our trip to Hawaii.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, May 14.  Aloha!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.

“If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.” – Mel Robbins

What important task are you dragging your feet about doing right now because you just don’t “feel” like it?

I have to be honest, for me today, Number One is writing this blog. I love to write, but I have a lot of things I’d prefer to do on a beautiful Spring day, rather than sit in front of my computer trying to come up with a topic that can inspire my readers to be more efficient, successful and fulfilled in their lives.

No matter how much you value keeping your word to yourself and others, I am sure you, too, know exactly what it’s like to want to avoid doing something that you know will benefit you or someone else.

The human Ego much prefers sitting on the couch, safe and comfy, avoiding anything that will challenge the status quo in your life.  Pursuing your Big Goals usually requires sustained effort, self-discipline, risk and emotional or physical discomfort.

Of course, Life Coach Mel Robbins is 100% right. Instead of sharpening pencils, cleaning out the junk drawer, procrastisnacking, re-arranging your lists, perusing (and envying) others’ Facebook posts and binge-watching just one more episode of your favorite show –  consider where you could be if you had just plunged in and finished the very task you DON’T want to do: Make the call, go to the gym, update your resume, apply for the job you really want, apply for a business loan, join an online dating service, call your loved one and apologize for the fight you had?

What would your life look like right now?

One of my clients recently made me laugh the when she blurted out, “I didn’t read your blog this week.  I HATE reading blogs.”

Really?  You “hate” getting tips that can help you succeed?  Being challenged and inspired?  Developing your character?  Learning how others have overcome the same challenges you are facing? Stretching your belief in what is possible for you?

I was tempted to reply, “Well, sometimes I hate WRITING the blog!”  But that’s not true.  I actually love writing – or I would not have put in the thousands of hours of effort over my lifetime in order to develop that skill.

But do I love being 100% accountable for producing a blog that consumes half of my Saturday three times a month?  Heck NO! I would much prefer to be in my backyard right now, stretched out on the chaise lounge with an iced tea and a good book.  That would be nice for ME, but what about my readers, who read the blog and write comments such as, “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.”  Or “I felt so relieved to read that – Now I know I’m not alone.” They are what keeps me accountable.

Not everything we do is for someone else’s benefit, of course.  Many of the tasks we avoid doing are uncomfortable things we don’t want to do but which we know will bring us the results we say we want to have.

In her wonderful, tell-it-like-it-is book, Get Over Your Damn Self, direct sales Superstar Romi Neustadt admits that even SHE doesn’t want to be accountable for doing the daily activities that have made her a multi-millionaire in a few short years.

According to Romi, “You’ve got to figure out what it is you really want that you don’t already have.  Whatever it is, it’s got to be important enough to get you to do something with commitment and consistency.  It’s got to be important enough to get you up, to make one more phone call, to reach out to one more person….even when you are bone-ass weary.  Because if we want something bad enough in this life, we make it happen.  It’s just that simple.”

Here’s Romi’s great method for overcoming the Ego’s natural preference for avoiding all uncomfortable tasks: At the start of her business, she wrote down her WHY in vivid detail, including both the carrot and the stick. She listed all the great things having a successful direct sales business could produce for her and her family AND all the tragic disappointments that would occur if she didn’t do the things necessary to succeed.

She kept that piece of paper by her bed and read it first thing every morning before her feet hit the floor. She used it as leverage to make herself get up every day and do the tasks she didn’t want to do, but knew she must do, in order to get her WHY.

Mel Robbins has her own simple, foolproof method to counteract the Ego’s desire for inertia. She calls it “The Five Second Rule.”  Most of my coaching clients have watched Mel’s short TED Talk about this.

I urge you to spend 20 memorable minutes being entertained and confronted with the reality that you have just five seconds to do what you promised yourself to do when the time comes to do it.  If you wait longer than five seconds, like a skilled courtroom litigator, your wily Ego will make a compelling argument for why it would be better to “wait until tomorrow” to carry out the task.

Guess what the outcome will be if you listen to that voice inside your head instead of keeping your promise and taking action right NOW?

That’s right. You will never get your WHY. Instead, you will earn a comfortable seat on the sidelines, watching as others get their WHYs.

So what’s it going to be for YOU?  You have five seconds to decide.

Here’s Mel Robbins TED talk “Stop Screwing Yourself Over” about the Five Second Rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

Next Sunday the blog will be taking the day off so that I can spend Easter with my family.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, April 23.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

 

 

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Steven Covey

Last week’s blog drew a BIG response from my readers!  It seems just about everyone recognized that they can use some “lightening up” in their life.  Several commented that they crave more time each week to enjoy family activities or just some relaxing “me” time.  But the challenge is HOW to carve out more free time in an already packed schedule? So I decided to share this lightly-edited blog from one year ago that answers that question:

When one of my clients didn’t call at our appointed time this week, I texted her, thinking she might be absorbed in some task and had lost track of the time. Instead, her reply text confessed that she was sitting in the doctor’s office and had completely forgotten our appointment.

Just the day before, much to my chagrin, I double-booked a coaching slot.  Fortunately, I discovered my mistake well in advance and one client was gracious enough to switch times. Nevertheless, I was quite annoyed because I take pride in being well-organized and detail-oriented.  (My husband and friends have less-flattering terms for this tendency, I’m sure!)

When I notice a recurring pattern among several clients, it’s a signal to me that the issue they are dealing with should be the theme of my blog.  This week, it was not only my clients’ behavior, but also my OWN that clearly signaled what I need to discuss.

Living an “abundant” life doesn’t depend on how much money you have in the bank, although money is certainly a good resource to have.  Abundant living depends on how much you are enjoying your life.  All of my clients are very busy people.  Some run a full-time business from home, while juggling a full-time family life.  Others have a day job AND are working hard to build a thriving business on the side, often with families to look after, as well.

It’s understandable that they sometimes feel exhausted and overwhelmed, so I share tips and techniques I have learned to help them take control of their schedules. Here are seven keys to mastering your own busy schedule and living an abundant, easeful life:

  • Write it down. The only way you can remember all of the “To Dos” that come up daily is to write them down in ONE place. You can break the list into categories if you like, under the headings “Work” “Family” and “Personal.”  Keep ONE list in a notepad that you carry with you and review it at least weekly. Trying to keep the list in your head will tax your brain and make you feel stressed.  Once it is written down, your mind can relax and focus on what needs doing NOW.
  • Schedule it. The items on your To Do list are not going to get done unless you transfer them onto your scheduling calendar. You must keep ONE scheduling calendar that has EVERY appointment and action item from all categories on it – work, family and personal. If you keep multiple calendars for your work and family events, you are inevitably going to double-book yourself or miss some important meeting.  The reason I double-booked my two clients was that I noted the appointment change in one client’s file, but must have gotten distracted and forgot to change it on my actual appointment calendar.  You MUST write appointments on your calendar the minute you make them.  Don’t rely on scraps of paper or sticky notes to remind you.
  • Plan your week. I recommend taking a quiet 30 minutes each weekend to sit with your To Do list and appointment calendar and plan the upcoming week. Schedule up to THREE of your To Dos each day AROUND the appointments you already have.  Recurring appointments include your morning personal development time, exercise time, kids’ sports schedules, etc.  If you don’t write all of these down, you will think you have time for your three To Dos, but will quickly discover that your day is actually already full of unwritten items that you can overlook until you have to do them. If you have blocked time in advance for them, you will accomplish at least 15 important To Dos each week.
  • Think ahead. Years ago, one of my dear friends had to wait by the side of the road for AAA to rescue him when his car ran out of gas on several occasions. When I asked him why this kept happening, he said, “I was late for work and didn’t have time to stop at the gas station. I thought I could make it.”Haste truly does make waste, so instead of flying by the seat of your pants, practice looking ahead 24 hours on your calendar to see what you are going to be doing TOMORROW. Make sure you have everything you will need: Gas in the car, clean clothes, cash, meeting supplies, etc. This habit will de-stress your life tremendously.
  • Focus. Men are designed to be single-focused, while women are born multi-taskers.  I know how easy it is to go into a room for one thing, and end up doing three other things while I’m there.  Many of my clients use social media as a vital tool to market their business and make new connections. Most of them confess that they plan to spend just 10 minutes posting something, and they end up mesmerized reading others’ posts for hours.
  • Discipline yourself. If you have your schedule blocked out in detail each week, you should know how much time you plan to spend on a particular task.  Set a timer for doing the task and when it goes off, STOP and proceed to the next item on your schedule, even if you didn’t finish the first task.  That “stick” will teach your brain to FOCUS next time so you can have the “carrot” of proudly accomplishing everything you planned for the day.
  • Do it NOW. Most of us are born procrastinators.  If we don’t want to do something we must do, we often postpone it until the last minute. But more often than not, our well-laid plans for tomorrow get interrupted by unexpected “fires” to put out that may cause us to miss the deadline.  One of my clients declared her New Year’s Resolution to be “Don’t delay; do it NOW.”  She has stuck with it and it has made her days much more calm and productive.  One of my favorite quotes from life coach Mel Robbins’ great book, Stop Saying You’re Fine, is “If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.”   

Here’s a final piece of hard-won wisdom from this recovering People-Pleaser: If you can easily fulfill another’s request, by all means, do so. But if it will suck up your time or resources so that your own dreams, family or personal well-being are likely to suffer, just say “NO!”  Many things we are invited to attend, join, buy or facilitate aren’t something we truly want and keep us from our own purposeful pursuits. If you respectfully decline, the requestor/inviter will appreciate your honesty and will ask someone else for whom it will be a purposeful opportunity.

If you will implement one or more of these tips, I am confident that you will soon experience more ease, productivity and time freedom in your life!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.