Archive | challenges

The Roller Coasters in Life

Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful its ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary, life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.

You’ve finally got it figured out.  You feel good, you look good, things are going well.  You’ve read books on self-improvement, health, happiness and can check those off.  You are becoming who you want and life is wonderful, beautiful and amazing.  Then an emotional event or something occurs that throws you off and out of routine.  Pretty soon you are two steps back, the guilt seeps in, frustration takes over and you’re flooded with feelings of failure because you have done this over and over.  You are back on the roller coaster that seems to be a regular ride.

Why does this happen like a rollercoaster in life?  Up, down, all around.  Emotions, thoughts and feelings all over the place.  I know it’s not just me, although I often feel that way.  I’ve met with many woman who go through the same eating roller coaster.  On the up we are doing well and feeling great; in control and making healthy choices and feel peaceful.  On the down, there’s more sugar, more portions, less control = more guilt, frustration and less patience.

I’ve been on this roller coaster for most of my life but recently I thought I had it figured out.  I’ve transformed in many aspects and KNOW HOW and WHAT to do.  I have tools, not just mental and spiritual tools but tools to provide success with my eating- which I use regularly.  For some reason I jumped back on the ride and the roller coaster continues.  You know what I’m talking about right?  When you worry a lot about what you can and can’t eat, how it will or won’t affect your body and that seems to consume your thoughts?  Yeah, that’s where I’ve been AGAIN and I really don’t like it.  Do you enjoy the ride?  I can’t say that I do so here are a few things that I do to get me on solid ground again.

Call it what it is.

I know what is happening, it’s what has happened all along but unlit the past two months I didn’t recognize what it REALLY is.  It’s the cunning devil.  Seriously.  Who else know knows how to make me frustrated, upset, insecure, think unkind things about myself and to think that food will make me happy.  He does and he loves it because it takes away focus from happiness and good.  If he can get me to ride the coaster and feel down about myself, stumble and fall then he is successful- misery loves company.  So I call him out and change my focus.

Choose your ride.

To become grounded again these are a few tips that may help:

*Enjoy the moment.  What is going on RIGHT NOW that I am loving and excited about?  It may be that I got a killer work out in, maybe I had a great hair day or HOORAY I get to watch my kids in their athletics today and see how they have improved.  Maybe it is the WHOLE bag of Cadbury Eggs that I somehow just ate…enjoy it and move on.  Whatever it is, enjoy what is going on at that moment and be grateful.

*Recognize what is happening.  I notice that I am thinking about myself, my body, food, how my clothes fit way too much and not in a positive way.  I feel more emotional, stressed and frustrated.  Is this me?  Do I enjoy this?  Is this happiness and what I want?

*Share your fall or frustrations with others. You’ll be amazed at the support you will get and the support you are to others.

*Relax and focus your attention on others.    At this frustrating moment I realize that I am too focused on me.  Once I begin serving others, focus on my kids, family, neighbors and less on my frustrations, I begin to forget myself and my problems.  The coaster is coming to a stop for me to get off.

As a woman who craves balance, peace, “perfection”- the ups and downs drive me crazy so I seek solid ground as soon as I can.  Life is a journey and I am working on enjoying it with more rides I choose and will enjoy.

What are some things you do when you find yourself out of balance?

 

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Battles We Fight That Change Us Forever.

My Story

Everybody has a story, a battle to fight that changes us forever, inspires others and transforms who we are.  I love hearing them. There is so much to learn from someone who has had a trial and becomes stronger; it explains who they really are and why they believe the way they do. I love connecting with people who will open their heart to me, share their story so I can become a better person. Through these stories we can find hope, peace, knowledge and the fight we didn’t know we had to get through our own trials. I want to share my story so I can be reminded of my fight but more importantly I want to help someone else who needs strength to get through their battle.

Let me give you a little background: I have played sports my entire life. I thrive on working out and working hard. I am competitive. I am fit but I have always struggled with what I wanted my weight to be and my body to look like which has caused some self perception distortions as well as an emotional relationship with food.
I played college volleyball then got my BA in Physical Education and Health, taught high school and coached for years in Utah. I got married and had 3 kids during the span of 8 years then in August of 2008 we moved to WI from Utah and this is where I will begin…

Although I don’t remember when “it” started I do remember approximately one year after living in WI, I noticed a dramatic drop in energy. I remember laying on my living room floor feeling so exhausted I wanted to do nothing; no ambition, no motivation and no energy which was very unusual for me. I would lay there and think, “What is wrong with me? This is not normal. I don’t like this; I’ve got to get up and get going!” so I did. Every day I would go to the gym even if I was tired because I thought if I didn’t work out I would gain weight. If I gained weight I would get fat and I dreaded the thought of that and what came with getting fat.

I had three kids and knew that being a mother was tiring but this exhaustion seemed different yet I didn’t have any reason to think that anything was really wrong. The bouts would come every month for 5-6 days then I would go back to normal for 3 weeks. Life continued, I got pregnant with my 4th child and I continued being very active, working out daily and going 24-7 despite my lack of energy or my bummed left knee that would always hurt. I wasn’t going to let the exhaustion or my knee hold me back from who I wanted to be.

Changes Ahead

When my baby was 18 months old we moved to a new house and new neighborhood and I found myself on the floor more often, more random aches and I noticed that my period was different- which was very unusual.  I was working out and eating healthy but  could not get rid of 5-7 lbs that I typically could release when I focused on my eating and working out a little more. I brought it up to my OB during a visit but he didn’t seem to think it was anything to be concerned about. Once again I brushed it off but deep down I knew something was wrong. Around this time (October) I was introduced by a friend and neighbor to Nutritional Cleansing. I noticed she lost her baby weight and some, looked healthy and energetic and I wanted to know what she was doing. Isagenix and Nutritional Cleansing was something I hadn’t heard before and although I was very curious and I trusted her I was VERY skeptical so I began to ask a lot of questions and do a lot of research on my own. I was desperately looking for answers: more energy, better control with my eating, weight loss, SOMETHING…but not just anything. This was my answer.

After 2 months of research I was ready. I ordered my first cleanse and did the 11 days over Christmas break, talk about discipline! On my first cleanse day I actually threw up and didn’t have a lot of energy so when I called my friend to ask if this was normal she was a bit surprised and told me throwing up wasn’t. I chalked it up to catching a bug from the kids and continued to push through my cleanse. I actually loved it. I loved the discipline although it was challenging. I loved how lean I felt and even more I loved what I was learning about toxicity in our food, air, environment and how it is affecting our body. I loved the ingredients in the products and was BLOWN AWAY when I listened to a Product Analysis Podcast by Peter Greenlaw. He discussed key ingredients in the products, why they are in there, what they do for the body and why our body needs it. After my 11 days I lost 8 lbs and 13″ and I knew this was an answer to my prayers for NUMEROUS reasons; it was more than weight loss

I continued cleansing regularly, taking a shake every day and telling everyone I could about Nutritional Cleansing because it was making such a big difference in my life. I felt fulfillment educating myself and others about what I was learning everyday as I studied nutrition, toxicity, Isagenix and our bodies. I was able to help people reach their health goals and be more confident with themselves. I was happy but I still couldn’t figure out why I continued to have my week of exhaustion every month. I soon realized it occurred when my hormones were at their highest every month. Little did I know that Nutritional Cleansing was going to be more of a blessing than I realized.

A Turn For the Worst

Close to 1 year after I started Isagenix, in September of 2012 things took a turn for the worst. My exhaustion turned to CHRONIC FATIGUE, migraines and pain (which I had never had before) from my shoulders through my neck to the top of my head. I couldn’t sleep because my neck was so sensitive that it kept me awake, tossing and turning. My back and hip began to hurt, I was extremely nauseous and had GI issues and even more frustrating my vision was getting blurry and I kept forgetting things which wasn’t like me at all. I was internally torn knowing that I should be feeling so good because I was taking such good care of my body, making huge changes to my diet as well as my family’s yet I was worse than I had ever felt in my life. Frustrated, being challenged mentally, physically and emotionally I didn’t know what was going on but I knew I had to figure it out, this was NOT okay!

I started with my OBGYN since I knew symptoms were related to my hormones. I got blood work, ultrasounds, more blood work and all of them came back perfect. My OB sent me to a Family Dr and I knew the moment he sat down and started talking that he wasn’t going to help me. He looked at my chart, asked me a few questions and told me he thought it would be a good idea to get on depression medication. He even told me a story about a woman who thought she didn’t need them and ended up back in his office a few months later, tried them and felt so much better. I told him, “I have worked hard to balance my pH, cleanse my body and this is not what I am going to do when you don’t even know what is wrong with me. Thank you.” I left and called my OB for another suggestion. Over the course of 3 months I went to my OB 3 times for more tests all which came back normal; his last suggestion before I gave up on him was that maybe I had Seasonal Depression Disorder…I am not going to lie, I may have, WI has LONG, dreary winters and I love and need the sun but nice try Dr. that wasn’t it and I knew it. It was at that moment that I felt he along with the other doctors I had seen didn’t believe me. He sent me to another family physician who I actually liked and she took the time to listen to me, do more blood work on different panels and realized that my ANA panel was positive. That means that my autoimmune disease test was positive. She called me and told me not to freak out but look up Lupus because that is what I may have according to my symptoms and I need to make an appointment with a Rheumatologist. I was a little freaked out but at least had some relief that we knew what it was so we could work on fixing it. I called the Rheumatologist… and the chase continued. I sat on the table, he looked at my joints, my neck, my head and checked my chart over and over. It was very obvious by his body language and observing him that he was puzzled and didn’t know what was wrong with me. He finally told me that I don’t have Lupus nor MS nor Rheumatoid Arthritis so he didn’t know what was wrong but that he felt I should get a cat scan and go see a GI Dr. I refused the scan and made an appointment with the GI Dr. for the following week.

By this time I was so frustrated, tired, mad and starting to feel a little depression from the lack of help I had received. NOBODY understood what I was going through: I felt like a 90 year old woman on her death bed and I didn’t know how long I wanted to hang on. I don’t remember ever feeling that way before in my life and I didn’t like it. I had no control and couldn’t do anything about it. I was sick and nobody believed me. I wondered if my husband, my friends, my family believed me because the doctors weren’t and they couldn’t find anything wrong. I would get up and try to go to the gym to get myself going but it only made it worse. It took everything I had to get up, take care of the kids and try to live a “normal” life. I put on my happy face because I didn’t want people to know how bad I was suffering on the inside because on the outside I looked fine. On my couch, on my floor, on my bed I would cry and pray that someone/something would help me.

Answers

My prayers unknown to me were being answered. I had a friend suggest that I see her natural path Sue as I was going through this but I pushed it aside, continued seeing doctors who I thought were going to do a test, find out what was wrong and get me on my healthy way. I was skeptical of Sue and her ability to help me, it sounded a little hocus pocus when my friend would say, “she works on you through energy, she can read your energy and tell you everything that is going on inside of your body!” Really? Well after 3 months of getting nowhere with doctors, feeling alone and that nobody believed the pain I was going through and that I REALLY WAS sick I decided to make an appointment with Sue. I had nothing to lose. In the meantime I did make an appointment with a GI Dr which was just as pointless as the rest. The only “good” thing that came of that is a couple days after my appt. with him I had blood in my stool so he got me in for a colonoscopy…awesome. I had had one before when I was first married for some bad stomach issues but the results were fine, so I knew what I was in for. Let me just say that NO a colonoscopy prep and Nutritional Cleansing have NOTHING in common. The Dr. did find a pre-cancerous polyp which he removed and advised I get a colonoscopy every 3 years. Ugh.

The November day arrived for me to meet with Sue and I was nervous but more sick than anything. I needed help and I didn’t know that I was going to get it immediately from her. I found a babysitter for my little girls and was with Sue for 4.5 hours!! Her Quantum biofeedback was the COOLEST thing I have EVER done. Our bodies are made of energy and this machine reads that energy and can look through every panel of your body and tell you what is going on. She told me things about my body (like I am lactose intolerant) that I didn’t tell her. She is not an MD and does not diagnose but she did tell me that it was showing I had Lyme bacteria all over my body and as we went through the panels it was the cause for all of my issues. Late stage Lyme and I was affected neurologically. My body was a mess but at the same time she said my environmental toxin levels were lower than she had ever seen and she could tell that I was giving my body good nutrition…THANK YOU ISAGENIX! I knew it was awesome but what I didn’t know was how I got Lyme? I never saw a tick, nor a bulls eye rash.

Long story short, my vagus nerve was severely damaged by the Lyme which was causing my neck and head to hurt and since it is the source of all automatic responses it is also the source of my blurry vision, plugged ears, memory loss and digestive issues. Before I even left her office I felt better and I knew this was the answer to my MANY prayers. My next concern was how I was going to pay for all the treatments since insurance didn’t.

My symptoms returned a week later and I went back to see Sue. My husband wasn’t sold on the idea of me having to pay so much for an undetermined amount of time and questioned if I was sure this was the right thing to do. I knew people thought I was crazy and they were concerned for my health and wellness but what they didn’t know is what I was feeling inside and how I KNEW without a doubt that is what I needed to do. Once again Sue helped me feel better, educated me, gave me some supplements and we discussed a plan… antibiotics came up. I was hesitant to take antibiotics and Sue wasn’t sold either, but I knew I wanted to do everything I could to get rid of this hell inside me.

I began researching Lyme Disease, hours on end. I wanted to know everything about it, how to treat it, what it does and I wanted to talk to others who have gone through it so I could be prepared to fight this. I was able to get in contact with numerous people all over the US who have Late Stage Lyme and the symptoms and experiences with doctors all seemed the same. I learned that the natural healing route was the most successful; nutrition, rest and cleansing were a must. I had a new appreciation for Isagenix and knew it has been placed in my life for a reason. Every doctor, nurse, person who had experience with illness and natural healing all focused on cleansing. I would continue cleansing but I needed antibiotics.

Sue wasn’t able to give me a prescription for antibiotics because she was not an MD so I had to find someone who could. I went back to my GI Dr and without telling him I knew I had Lyme I asked him to test for it. He reluctantly agreed to test for that as well as Celiac Disease but was certain the Lyme could not be the cause of my problems. My test showed up negative (which 50% of tests do- they are considered “false negative”); the Dr. would not write me an Rx for antibiotics so I went to my next option. I was referred to Dr. Whitcomb in Brookfield who was a practicing physician turned homeopath who specializes in Lyme Disease from a woman whose son had Lyme. It made me sick to think of spending $300 for 1 hour with him but I knew it had to be done. I was able to be diagnosed by him from my symptoms and was told to go gluten, dairy and sugar free. He gave me a plan, talked about the need to cleanse (I had taken in all my Isagenix products to show him and he was very impressed and told me to keep doing it) and said he wanted to see me in 1 month.

I felt a flood of emotions regularly: frustration that this disease is so controversial yet so detrimental to the body. MAD that insurance won’t pay for natural medicine when that’s what works best for some (most) people. Guilty for spending so much money on me. Sad for the people who had been suffering for years with no relief. Worry that I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life but happy I found what was wrong so I could work on getting better.

Healing

For the next year I would have good days and bad days but I learned many life lessons along the way. I took a month off the gym and rested my body, eventually I was able to get back 1-3 times a week. It was during this time that my obsession of the gym was thrown out the window. I realized I would be okay if I didn’t make it daily. I couldn’t go daily, and I knew it wasn’t because I was lazy but because my body was telling me it needed rest, from working hard to fight. My feeling toward my body changed, I was more appreciative and felt blessed for the good days I had and took advantage of those days. I had my bad days, bad weeks and I would struggle to find peace that I was ever going to get over this. Would I ever be able to work out as intense as I’d like again? Would I have energy to play with my kids, go hiking, biking, play volleyball, work in the yard even half of what I did before? I felt a lot of discouragement at times but I knew with the support of my family (thank goodness they believed me and did everything they could to help) and my knowledge that my God would help me, I could get through this.

In May 1, 2014 which is 1.5 years after I found out I had Lyme and I was doing well…not 100%, I still have my days of fatigue but instead of 5-6 days a month it is down to 3-4. Well enough that I wake up in the morning ready to go to the gym instead of dreading to get up just wanting to sleep longer. I am able to go to the gym or exercise 5 days a week, play volleyball, play with kids, coach volleyball, and be a wife and mom without feeling like I need to go to bed by 7 pm. I have energy, I have motivation and ambition, I feel like there is hope and that I can overcome this battle as I continue to eat clean, cleanse, exercise but rest when I need to.
I have the energy, motivation and passion to help others achieve their health goals and I feel extremely blessed to have the knowledge, experience and tools to do so. Life is good. Life is hard and challenging but my challenge has made me a better person. I am strong. I am a fighter. I am blessed tremendously to have Isagenix and my natural path as tools to help my body and mind heal. Health is a battle worth fighting for and I am winning the fight.

 

What is YOUR story that has changed your life?

 

Here is more of My Story and journey.

 

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This 1 thing will change your life: Hour of Power

Have you been feeling like something in life is missing and you just aren’t sure what? I know I have! Last year for my New Years’ resolution—and for the first time in my life—I only had 1 thing on my list—to have a real relationship with God! No more unrealistic expectations and no more guilt or shame for not having reached those goals!

Bright Sun Coming over the mountains near the lake

Let Spiritual Struggles Bring You Closer to God

But let’s back up a little…you might be wondering why it was so important to me to just do one simple resolution…and why I chose what I chose. Let’s just say, 2013 and 2014 were the most spiritually challenging years of my life! Mostly because of stupid choices I made, but also because I was feeling lost in my heart and even though I went through the motions of praying, reading the Word, and going to church—I was mostly checking the boxes and not truly soaking in the love and life that He offers. I was physically spent trying to be there for our then 6 kids, emotionally exhausted supporting my stressed out husband, and honestly—I was just plain unhappy with life. I went to a lot of counselling—I even dragged my hubby along! HA! I read lots of books! I learned some helpful things during that time, but after pondering, doing some real praying, and knowing everything I’d already tried still left me wanting, I realized there had been times when I felt so complete and satisfied with my life. During those times, I was leaning upon the Lord for everything. I had been consistently close to God in the past and knew getting back there would do the trick.

 3 simple ways to Draw Nearer unto God; Hour of Power

Fast Forward to 2015: Once I was super clear on what I wanted, it all came together beautifully! I got up early at the same time every day (that I got up—which was fairly consistent) and I practiced doing the same 3 things:

  1. Sincerely Pray
  2. Read Scriptures with purpose
  3. Journal about It

The Most Important Hour of Your Day

I call it my hour of power! I have to admit, for the first few months I struggled! I would fall asleep while praying, get distracted, have to refocus my thoughts, reread passages, and I felt like it wasn’t working. I really, really wanted to do this though and I stuck with it. I began to see that when I took the time to spiritually create my day, I could handle the physical part of it so much easier. My heart began to heal and I began to start my mornings with a feeling of peaceful ambition. On the days I slept in, I missed having that great start and the lack of sticking to my goal showed in the quality of my day. It was good motivation for me to get back to it. After about 4 months of doing this, something finally clicked! I began to feel a deep connection with God. I had a greater desire to feel His love every day. I started to see my life as one that needed to become spiritually self-reliant by becoming completely reliant upon God. David O. McKay once said, “Spirituality is the highest acquisition of the soul, the divine in man; the supreme, crowning gift that makes him King of all created things. It is the consciousness of victory over self and of communion with the infinite. It is spirituality alone which gives one the best in life.” Doesn’t he just put it so well? I truly feel this way! My life is exponentially better since starting my mornings with God and they just keep getting better!

Bring more power to your day by taking the 30 Day Challenge!
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The first and greatest commandment

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:38-39)

Blessings of Keeping a Journal

Today I read through a journal I’ve kept over the last few years and noticed something that really made an impact on me. I marked each day I had prayed and studied the scriptures and noticed the periods in my life that I had done these things consistently were the times I wrote about deep contentment and serenity.  My marriage was rock solid, and I seemed to have more patience with the kids.  It’s not that my life was free of trials during these times, but I seemed to have a greater resolve and strength to get through those trials – a strength beyond my own.

Make time for the Lord

Prayer and scripture study are gospel basics that I KNOW I need to do. But the challenge is in the DOING and doing it consistently and doing it right. Admittedly, I’ve done it all wrong too often. There are days when I’m completely sleep deprived. I’ve been up with an infant or a sick child, so I wake up with just enough time to scramble to get myself and everyone else ready. So in other words, I make time for everyone… except the Lord.  The rush of the day begins, and I have every intention of praying and reading scriptures during the day, but sometimes, somehow I get distracted or pulled in so many directions that it just doesn’t happen.  “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:4) My intentions are good but I just don’t always have the discipline to follow through.  But the truth is…  “If you can’t find time to pray or read scriptures, you’re busier than God ever intended you to be.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Communicate with Him more sincerely

Another mistake I’ve made is to be too casual with prayer and use “vain repetitions”. Or I’ll start a prayer, and allow my mind to wander off onto something else, or on occasion, if it’s a bedtime prayer, I’ve even fallen asleep in the middle of it. Although I believe the Lord is pleased with any sincere effort we make to communicate with Him, I think He expects more from us. He asks us to be sincere and penitent. Thankfully, He is eternally patient and kind with me and with all of His children. He wants to bless us! And He already knows what we need but we must ask Him in prayer. I love this quote from the Bible dictionary, “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” and ” … your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8).

I think as mothers in particular, we have a great need to renew ourselves spiritually each day. As much as I adore my children and LOVE what I do, motherhood and homemaking can be exhausting. So we especially need to draw upon the power of God so we can best serve our families. To let Him pour his love into us, so we can pour it into our loved ones.  They deserve nothing less than a balanced wife and mother who has made time to commune with the Lord.

Make God your priority

So I made a decision to be more consistent in prayer and it has been a great blessing in my life. Sometimes all it takes is ONE small choice, we just have to make up our minds, and choose to put Him first. The change came about as I asked myself, what is the single MOST important thing in my life? And the answer came, it is truly my relationship with God and my love for Him. So who then should get first priority in my life? Not my husband, not my kids, not even myself… God should! So I decided the very first thing in the morning– every morning– my knees will hit the floor, to show my love and devotion to Him each day. It’s a simple ritual, but it makes a tremendous difference in my life.

I know there is power in prayer. When I sincerely pour out my heart to Him… I literally feel the burdens lift. Sometimes the problems remain, but I can let go of the negative and worrisome thoughts, and choose to be happy and trust in the Lord.

I even put a pillow down beside my bed, as a symbol and a reminder of my desire to keep the first and great commandment.  It is now a permanent fixture beside our bed.

“Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can” Pres. Benson declared. “He willJesus Christ Knocking deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life” (Teachings, p. 361).

He truly does make more out of us than we could ever make of ourselves. And that is what I noticed in my journal I discovered me without Him… and me with Him. And I definitely prefer the latter! And I think my family does too. 🙂

So we have a choice. We can choose to go it alone in life, relying on our own strength, our own intellect, and our own abilities, or we can trust in Him to walk us through this life and compensate for what we lack. He wants to bless us and fulfill the petitions of our hearts but we must take the initiative and let him in.

What do you do to make God a priority and improve your communication with him?

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Simplify Your Life: A 30 Day Challenge

Simplify Your Life: A 30 Day Challenge

Simplify Your Life Text written on notebook pageThis challenge is all about getting yourself to the next level spiritually by slowing down, taking a look at what is most important and focusing on organizing our lives for 30 days so we can truly enjoy and do what we really want to do! I’m excited to share something I learned in the last couple weeks because it is AMAZING!! I have always been a little too unrealistic when it comes to setting and reaching goals. I’d have all these great ideas of how I wanted to change and what I wanted to accomplish. I’d comb the internet, ask others for tips and tools, try to get my goals organized and implement them, but undoubtedly, I’d find too many great things to fill my time with, waaay more tips than I could digest, and afterwards, my calendar would be so ambitious and full that just looking at my monthly plans was overwhelming! I felt like I needed to do all these great things to be a wonderful Mother, but at the same time didn’t know how I possibly could! Mind you, every gal needs to have direction and things that stretch us to reach for something greater, but at what cost? Dallin H. Oaks, teaches, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” So, be mindful of what goes on your calendar—make sure those things are truly worthy of your time and are the BEST things for you and yours right now.

Now for the amazing new (to me) way of thinking about your goals!! A mentor of mine, Carolyn Cooper, asked back in December what word(s) I would choose for 2016. I’d never thought of doing that, but instantly two words popped into my mind—“peace” and “empowerment”. That surprised me! I usually have to think and think and go back and forth finding just the right ones…but this time I was blessed to just have that clarity. After that, I decided I truly wanted to see how those words show up for me this year. The more I thought of my goals, the more I realized; my goals really do fit with these two words! Then I had a flood of information and motivation and my plans for taking action for the month just came together so easily. It felt a little unreal and I am super grateful!

I hope you find this Challenge to be of as much value as I do and that you can find a balance between what is most important and what is best for you and your family. Just remember, we are ever growing, rising, and becoming. So keep at it! After 30 days, you’ll be amazed at how just by simplifying, your life will be so much more full.

  1. Take some time to be still: Find a quiet spot with minimal distractions (What’s a quiet spot, right? ha-ha) and just take some time to breathe, listen, feel gratitude, say a prayer if you like, and then ask the question, “What is/are my word(s)for this year?”
  2. Once you get your word(s) grab a pen and get going on the worksheet! It’ll help you identify the things you most want right now and help you figure out how to get that organized! It’s simple and I know that as you truly strive to put the pieces together, they will come! Have faith and be open to those around you that can lend support or be hired to help you make things happen!
  3. Comment on our Facebook or Instagram! We’d love to know what words come up for you and how your experience with using the worksheet goes!

 

Background Words Worksheet

Woo-Hoo! You’ve figured out your background words! Congrats for being open and willing to try something a little different! So I’ve put this handy little worksheet together using my own goals and thought process as examples. You gals can help me stay accountable now! 😉 Okay, time to start filling this thing out! Just remember, “To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify.” –Russell M Ballard

My background word(s) is/are________________________________________________________________________________.

Examples:

  • Peace
  • Empowerment

1. What is/are my goal(s)?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • Keep my priorities in order.
  • Go out with the Hubbs once a week/learn to ask better questions! (Can I get an Amen?!)
  • Complete certification for Simply Healed.)

2. What does that feel like to you?

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • I feel peace and empowerment when I diligently get up early so I can spend time with God through prayer, studying His word, and journaling about it.
  • I feel empowered when I take time to learn about what my husband likes so I can ask about it later. (and not feel like a fool!) 😉
  • I feel empowered when I make time and block it out for my personal development goals.

Okay, so now you’ve identified your words, your goals, and how those words relate to how you feel about your goals. Pretty cool, right?! Doesn’t it take on a whole new level of importance to accomplish these goals now that we can see how they would actually create the feelings of our inspired words and affect us for the better? So NOW WHAT???

3. GRAB your CALENDAR!!!!

Here’s a clean and empty one for ya! Now it’s time to take the opportunity to plan and implement your goals!

Ask yourself about your goals and figure out what times and days they need to be on the calendar.

Examples:

  • How am I going to keep my priorities in order? For me that means getting up earlier than the rest of my clan for a certain amt. of time so it will be ideally quiet and I can focus on taking time with God. So, on my calendar I put “Priorities” at 4:30 am. (Seriously, I am a recovering night owl! This is a HUGE sacrifice for me!! But SO very worth it!
  • My husband and I figured we could take turns planning our dates and we’d go the same night and time each week. Once I planned these out for 3 months I emailed our sitter with the days and times to get a confirmation that she would be available.
  • I have classwork and phone calls and energy work sessions that all need time to happen. So I blocked off certain days and times, the same every week, to support that and labeled it “Simply Healed”.

I have to say, doing this has seriously changed how smoothly the last couple weeks have run! My mornings start fresh on a serene and motivated note, I look forward to Fridays with new excitement because I KNOW I’ll be going out with my handsome hubby and he’ll be dazzled with my sudden interest in politics, and I am excited and confident I will reach my deadlines for my certification because the time is blocked and ready for me to work! I am SO grateful for this way of planning. It works for me and I hope it works for you too!!


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