How Bullet Journaling turned Busy to ProductiveAF

May of last year I was slowly losing my mind.

I’m a mom, wife, coach, business owner, blogger, and (less than stellar) home maker.  Those are a lot of hats to wear and for a long time I was able to keep my life on track simply from memory.

As business and responsibilities have grown, I’ve attempted to get my world together using all sorts of fancy apps and calendars.   Nothing I downloaded or bought ever felt like it could truly handle the COMPLEXITY of my life so they were quickly abandoned.

As I searched for organizational tools last year, I came across bullet journaling but honestly, it was never something I seriously considered doing because it looked extremely intimidating and unhelpful.

Go ahead… go to www.bulletjournal.com and watch the 5 minute how-to video.

It’s brilliantly done, but they lost me on the whole “analog” thing.

I was all… WTF do I need to speak to myself in code?  That seems like more stuff I gotta keep in my head and I’m having trouble as it is!  No thanks.

However, May of 2016 was my “come to Jesus moment.”

That month, I forgot to do 3 very important things, but honestly, I don’t remember the first two.

I just know that the 3rd, forgetting my son’s birthday party, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Like who DOES THAT, RIGHT?  That’s the stuff movies are made of, right?

Uhm… nope… apparently it happens in real damn life cause when I got a message on Facebook from a mom asking for my address to drop off their child to my son’s spend the night party, I about had a nervous breakdown.

The good news is that my son was turning 11, which means X-Box, a giant bowl of chips, candy galore, and pizza and they’re happy as can be.  They don’t need coordinated games and balloons and THANK THE LORD, I don’t have to entertain parents anymore for a birthday party.

Just drop your babies off for some free babysitting, please!  It’s a friggin’ win/win for all.

My son’s birthday party went well, but there is no way one forgets their child’s birthday without realizing that my organizational framework was BROKEN.

That Monday swim team started and wouldn’t you know it a fellow momma, neighbor, and bullet journaler sat next to me.  It took me about 3 seconds to strike a conversation and get the momma low down on why she had chosen this bizarre looking method to organize her life.

Low and behold… she too had been totally intimidated by the whole bullet journal thing before starting.

She sent me to read the article that helped her get going… “WTF is A Bullet Journal and Why Should I Start One”  and since it spoke my WTF style language, I skeptically gave it a go.

  •  I went to Barnes and Nobles and bought me a super cheap Bargain Buy journal for $5.98.  I saw all the expensive ones the experts were bragging about online but I wasn’t convinced this thing was actually going to stick.  I wasn’t willing to invest $20-$30 yet so I went (and still do) go off brand.

 

  • I re-watched the official bulletjournal.com video and set things up just like they suggested except I ditched the analog stuff.  I didn’t have use or patience for special, secret code language about what I needed to do, what was important for me to do, what had gotten done, and what didn’t get done.  I’ll stick to crossing stuff out, please and thank you.

For about the first month it was just an awesome daily to do list where I could just DUMP my daily demands and even jot down fun little random events like “Emery lost her first tooth!”

No more post it notes all over the place.

No more lists that I’d forget at home or in the car.

No more trying to keep 10 different tasks in my head at the same time.

I felt IMMEDIATE RELIEF and darn it… I was getting so much more done without being MORE TIRED.

THAT was the biggest win of all!

Because we could all DO more and be busier but the cost to our sanity is huge.

And let’s be real…

busy is not the same damn thing as PRODUCTIVE.

I could feel my days becoming more efficient, my tasks getting done faster, decisions came easier, and I was LESS tired.

By month two I began to morph, tweak, and adjust my bullet journal so it was customized for a mom, trainer, business owner, blogger, and book worm.

If you were to open my bullet journal, it would probably look like a hot mess to you.

It certainly doesn’t look like the fancy ones you see on Instagram.

My bullet journal does not have fun doodles or colors.

It does however have business product ideas, conference notes, grocery lists, favorite quotes, my social media editorial calendar, my kids’ activities, appointments, and a million other random things.

I am doing more than before, better than before.

Quite frankly, I don’t know how I ever lived without a bullet jouranal before.

That’s why I put together an informal Nerd Out/Meet Up on Saturday at 11a.m. at Mellow Mushroom on Cecil Ashburn… next door to Sweat.  If you’re interested in coming just click the link above and let me know.

There’s no cost.  You are welcome to order food, drinks, or just chill and listen or start your journal.

I’ve sung the praises of bullet journaling enough that I’ve gotten some folks addicted and many others curious but they feel a bit intimidated… just like I did.

So, my goal on Saturday is to bring this bullet journal thing out of the fancy, intimidating Instagram accounts and make it accessible to you.

I’m happy to help you set yours up and answer your questions as to why you may or may not want certain things in your journal.  I’ll be sharing my own favorite strategies and giving you guys other resources so that you can adjust the journal to your very specific needs.

If you’re feeling anywhere close to overload and melt down the way I was last year, this low tech tool might be exactly what your busy life has been needing!

 

 

Short, Simple, Sweaty- How to exercise when you kinda don’t wanna

Yes… I love my gym time… most of the time.

But, of course, there are days that I don’t look forward to working out.

Now, listen…I always allow for 1-2 days of rest during the week and that gives me a good bit of freedom to step away if I’m traveling, really sore, tired, or over scheduled.

I’m not talking about THOSE days… I’m talking about the days you are supposed to crush it, know you have the time and energy, but damn it… WTF- Happened-To-My-Motivation-Days!?!? 

How do you get yourself to the gym when you kinda sorta just don’t wanna?  Here’s what I do… Continue reading “Short, Simple, Sweaty- How to exercise when you kinda don’t wanna”

{Diet Rebellion} Why I require you to CHEAT and RE-FEED on #ShredMode

“I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!!”

“I’m so over feeling like I’m out of control.”

“Help me get back to where IT’S EASY TO FEEL GOOD about myself again.”

Those are probably the 3 most common cries for help that I get at Sweat, in my inbox, and even out on the street.

So for the next 4 days, I’m opening up DIET REBELLION  – my 6 week fat loss program.

One of the major concepts we cover in Diet Rebellion is one that folks are extremely anxious about so I want to help take some of the mystique out of the words re-feed and cheat, and differentiate them from the oh so toxic BINGE…

 

Continue reading “{Diet Rebellion} Why I require you to CHEAT and RE-FEED on #ShredMode”

“YES” to New Year’s Resolutions and Here’s How to Write Them

I am 100% a fan of making New Year’s Resolutions!!!

I know many people don’t meet them, but I don’t find that to be a flaw in WHAT New Year’s Resolutions are.   I simply think most folks just SUCK at writing long term goals and could use some kick ass “How To” coaching on goal setting.

So that’s what I intend to do today in this blog and on January 7th in a very hands on way (Register here:  “How to Create Goals You Actually Accomplish”

My goal is to elevate your New Year’s Resolutions so that they go from lofty OUTCOMES written on a sheet of paper to manageable TASKS you are ACTING on throughout the year.

This blog post will show you my exact process, however I highly encourage you to attend the workshop on January 7th.  This is the kind of self development work that has the biggest impact in real time, when it’s hands on, and when you’re AWAY from all of your important but very distracting responsibilities (work, kids, laundry, groceries etc!.)

STEPS TO YOUR “LET’S CRUSH 2018 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS”

  • Find some quiet time and space in your day and get as comfy as possible.  Wine, coffee, tea, pjs, prayer or mediation… do whatever you have to do so that you are not feeling stressed.  You are in a frame of mind to think BIG thoughts and BIG dreams.

 

  • You need paper and pen because this is a PROCESS you are about to undergo.  This is NOT a 2018 “to-do” list.  Grab your diary, bullet journal, or several sheets of paper and your favorite pen or pencil.

 

  • * On a sheet of paper, create 3 -5 life categories where you want to experience change.  Each category must be broad and not have any or much overlap with the other one.  For example, Fitness, Career, Family. 
  •  Under each category just free write  ideas you’d like to happen.  Don’t worry about any timelines or barriers right now.  It’s important that you begin your thoughts by saying… “If time, money, education, expectations, and fear of failure were not an issue…” and write those dreams down.  Take all the barriers out when setting your vision!!!!  You will address fears in just a sec.

 

  • By the way, if you feel hesitant to write anything down because you feel a bit exposed, vulnerable, or like it’s impossible… you’re on the right track!!  This document is YOURS and you need to give yourself PERMISSION to be AUTHENTIC.

 

  • You can acknowledge fears or mindset barriers on a different sheet of paper to keep you aware of things you DON’T want to attract in your life or as a reference point for future self development.  You don’t have to shove fears and pain away in a little box.  Give them a voice.  Write them down.  As Brene Brown brilliantly exposed… “Shame cannot withstand being spoken.” so just looking at them in the face provides you the reference point of GROWTH.  

 

  •  ** Time to REVERSE ENGINEER your goals.  You will want a sheet of paper for each life category you created.  Title each one.  For example:  Fitness Goals 2018, Career Goals 2018, Family Goals 2018.

 

  • For each life category break up 2018 into quarters starting from the END of the year!
    1. October -December,
    2. July- September,
    3. April- June, and
    4. January -March.
  • Look at your free writing sheet, if you stated that a 2018 goal is to lose 15 pounds then your job is to state IN THE PRESENT TENSE (not the future tense) what you are DOING CONSISTENTLY (not perfectly) by the last quarter of the year that get you to that goal.
    • I strength train 4 times per week.
    • I order grilled or sauteed foods when I go out to eat.
    • I drink 2 glasses of wine on Fridays and Saturdays with friends.
    • I drink 2-4 liters of water daily.

 

  • If you are consistently doing these things by October, November, or December of 2017, what is it reasonable for you to do July- September, April- June, January – March?

 

  • BAM!!!! You now have your task list for the first quarter of this year!!!!  OMG… your goal doesn’t seem so big and scary anymore does it?  If you’ve done this with healthy expectations, you are looking at January – March like … hell yeah… I got this!!!!

 

  • Repeat this process for all the other categories you’ve picked.

 

  • CAUTION:   If you focus on everything, you’re focused on NOTHING!!!

 

  • The hardest part if you’re not careful is revisiting your plan.  Out of sight, out of mind.  In sight, in mind.  If you respond well to technology, set reminders on your phone every two weeks.  Make them fun or uniquely yours so that they propel you to either look at your list, modify your list, or continue on the path you’re on.  I’m a bullet journal girl now so my 2018 vision and goals travel will be traveling with me every day.

 

  • #MindsetCheck:  FORWARD PROGRESS is success – Not landmark dates and pounds and numbers you set arbitrarily months prior!!  Your plan can shift and move WITH you and keep you in motion.  It’s not meant to hold you down.  LET YOUR DREAMS EVOLVE.  

(You ready to sign up for the workshop??? – Register here)  

 * CREATING GOAL CATEGORIES TO FIX THE PROBLEM OF MOTIVATION

This is what I want you to know about motivation… it naturally comes in WAVES… with highs and lows.

So when you catch a wave on high… congrats!… it’s time to get to WORK.  This is the easiest time to harness focus, tenacity, resilience, and grit so it’s an awesome time to begin doing the hard things it takes to get you to your goals.

Here’s the thing… that wave will inevitably come to shore and THAT’S fine and completely natural!  You can expect to hit a low about every to 30-60 days.

The problem I see people make most often is that they get stuck on the brilliance of what being on that wave was like and STAY on shore waiting for that SAME wave to come back and scoop them up on another wild ride so they can finish their right all at once!

Uhm… nope… that wave is gone and trying to re-create it and force it to the finish line gets you STUCK and in a rut.

What you need to do is be excited for all the steps closer you are now than you were before.  Be self aware enough to understand that maybe your whole system and life needs to do nothing more than to work on KEEPING that goal for now.

And if you’re lucky one of your other goals might catch your eye.  It might speak to you and say, “hey… you ready… let’s ride.”

2.  ** REVERSE ENGINEERING GOALS

This is NOT a new concept… maybe a new term you haven’t heard before.

If you’re a teacher, you know exactly what this looks like.

You identify the vision and goals from the course of study, you break that down into your year’s course syllabus, you break that down further to create your units, you chop that down further to create your tests, you shave that down to even further to create your week’s lesson plans where each day has it’s own tasks to be completed.

You take a MACRO look and REVERSE the learning process from there.

Not a teacher?  Do you grocery shop?  Betting your best food weeks are when you can take a MACRO look at your life, month, weeks and plan accordingly?

If the objective is… I want the family to eat their proteins and veggies then you are forced to ask questions like… What days are we at home?  What days are the kids activities?  When is that board meeting again?  What days am I cooking?  What days are take out days?

I’m betting most of what’s on your agenda repeats itself for at least a season so you begin to see patterns like:

Monday is a crock pot day so you google a recipe for that, Tuesdays kids have activities so it’s take out so what restaurants have the best proteins and veggies, Wednesdays it’s church so sandwiches and salads are easy, Thursday all the best shows are on so we’re all at home and try a new recipe etc.

You build your menu, then your grocery list by REVERSE ENGINEERING your week, month, or season.

*** 3.  LIFE IS MESSY

Life doesn’t happen in a neat and tidy list or calendar.  

Despite your best efforts, you may NEED TO CHOOSE which goal speaks to you.  Which wave do you want to catch?  Where do you most want your initial focus to be?

It is inefficient to try to do ALL the categories at once.  Then again, I don’t know you and I don’t know your exact goals either.

Some may be as “easy” as organize my house so you’ve literally picked one room in the house to tackle each month.

If that’s the case then yeah… I think you could totally organize your bedroom a little each day in January and also hit your fitness January – March goals at the same time.

Also, don’t get all bent out of shape if your fitness wave only gets you through the first 6 weeks of the year.  No biggie.  Totally natural!  Put that goal to rest… doing your best just to maintain… and simply go to another category.  I bet you’ll be crazy excited to tackle that one.

Register for our workshop here:  “How to Create Goals that You Actually Accomplish Workshop”

What’s your “good enough?”- 4 ways to find it.

GOOD ENOUGH… it’s a term that most people dislike because they automatically let their brains go to “settling for less.”

And while that can be one interpretation, I believe there’s another more positive side to “good enough.”

The recognition that the NOW, the here, the what is right in front of you has TREMENDOUS value already!!!!

Continue reading “What’s your “good enough?”- 4 ways to find it.”

If not food guilt, then what?

Food guilt… super common… and super annoying to live with.

I could write a novel about the topic as it was once upon a time, not only a daily occurrence for me, but a continuous every-single-time-I-ate battle.

I’d feel guilty if I ate a bit of extra food and, of course, feel like a complete loser if I over ate.

I’d feel damned to huge weight gain if I splurged on a holiday, at a party, or just for the hell of it.

I’d wrestle with my body image if I made any decision that deferred from what I deemed acceptable which, when it came down to it, was damn near on the verge of absolute daily perfection.

Continue reading “If not food guilt, then what?”

4 COMPARISON traps and how to flip them

 

By nature, I am not a competitive person… with other people.

With myself… well, that was a hard battle fought and won through a lot of introspection.

You see… for a long time the main driver I used to fuel my health and fitness goals was “getting my pre-baby body back.”

I needed to run as fast as before.

I needed to run as long as before.

I needed to eat the exact same foods as before.

I needed to lift the same weight in the same amount of time as before.

I needed to fit in the exact same clothes and those clothes needed to fall on my body the exact same way.

Anything short of THE SAME as before was ugly, bad, a let down, and could NOT be celebrated.

Continue reading “4 COMPARISON traps and how to flip them”

Maintenance Mode, it’s just a “Rest Stop”

The mental struggle to always KEEP GOING on our fitness goals is real!!!

Just 5 more pounds-

because 6 weeks or 10 weeks or 12 weeks of hard core focus and results is just not enough to pat oneself on the back and take a moment to just ENJOY.

Ooooh, I’ll try that too-

because never mind that what you’re doing is making you feel better and creating strength and tone, if you do just ONE MORE THING that will speed things up faster and then maybe you’ll be done (except just 5 more pounds.)

But if I just had more will power-

because years of failing at elimination isn’t enough to demonstrate the research is right… that method sucks.  It’s really your internal weaknesses that’s preventing change.  It’s me.  I’m just mentally weak.

I understand all this so well… because at some point in time all these were versions of my past self.

Always striving for a new number, eliminating one more thing, or feeling angry at herself after 1/2 starving throughout the day only to find herself in the midst of another epic binge.

A year round preoccupation with “what’s next?” or how do I get there faster? birthed either an all deprivation or all out binge cycle that left my metabolism confused and damaged and made results fleeting.

Over the past several years, I’ve moved from someone who was always trying to shred to accepting the natural flow of my year… from important events to the change of weather.

What I’ve found is that I’m able to more easily harness my focus to do the MENTALLY HARD THINGS like lose fat (#shredmode) or PHYSICALLY TAXING THINGS like gain muscle (#gainsmode), if I’ve allowed myself a REST STOP, where I settle in with where I’m at and LET MYSELF enjoy a plateau.

I call this wonderful time, #MAINTENANCEMODE!

The time of year where I am neither wanting or planning to gain or lose a damn thing.

Gah! The mental and physical release is cathartic and appreciated and allows for me to take my energy, time, and creativity and INVEST it in other places.

I am NOT bothered by macros, calories, carbs, fats, proteins, measuring because I am NOT on a mission to practice anything new.

I practice what I already know COMES EASY, fall into a routine OF WHAT IS, and most importantly APPRECIATE my body AS IS!!!

I am WELL AWARE of how “far out” this can all sound to someone who ONLY KNOWS how to be on a regimen, on a program, or on a mission, and doesn’t want to stop until they are 100% happy with their reflection in the mirror.

There is a FEAR that if one is not moving forward then one is REGRESSING.

The anxiety in possibility of gaining (more) weight simply because there is not a manual or a number dictating our next step.

The constant self doubt in every decision no matter how big or small.

In fact, I remember just being terrified in the beginning, but I was so EXHAUSTED of being “on a mission” all the time, that I moved forward anyways.

And by forward, I mean that the first 2 weeks were probably a series of hiccups and ooopsies and false starts.

What is evident at the beginning of leaving a life of constant dieting are the GAPS OF TRUST in our own decision making.

We are so used to being “followers of instructions” and being told what to do that we forget how to LEAD ourselves.

Once I rebuilt trust (which is what I will show you in “On The Verge”) I RELAXED into the process and the process began to show up for me in terms of my motivation, focus, and readiness for change.

In a few weeks, I was down right excited to tackle a bit of fat loss again.  And guess what?  My BODY was ready too!!!!  It RESPONDED because I gave it time to rest.

So as I began to listen to all the heightened Holiday food guilt, I created a free, high access to coaching program called “On the Verge” because my goal is to KEEP you on the verge of your resolutions.

I want to coach you through the principles of #MaintenanceMode so you quit gaining but you also quit worrying so much!!

I want to HELP YOU BUILD TRUST now so that come January your  motivation for change is so high you’re able to CAPITALIZE on CONSISTENT EFFORT vs A BURNED OUT stop and go series.

We start Dec. 5 and here’s a quick look at what’s happening…

  1.  I’ll be coaching you inside my secret Facebook group, Diet Rebellion.
  2.  We’ll be tackling 2 big topics per week.
  3.  Weekly check-ins (no pictures!)
  4. You’ll have access to an online community that I’ve been working closely with and is ready to support you.
  5. A 5 day workout split with a #TrackWhatYouRack tutorial that will show you how to simplify and intensify strength training.
  6. Daily access to me to ask questions or get support

“Getting back on track” in December is NOT where I want your energy spent.  All that overeating, stop and over exercise band-aids will not provide you the energy and focus you will need in January.

Chillax!  You gotta settle into #MaitenanceMode first!!!

 

 

Why Two-a-day workouts DON’T work!

Here I am on Black Friday weekend selling class packages at 25% off (code Turkey) AND telling you NOT to double up on workouts.

I understand a smarter money making strategy would be to entice you to use up all those classes as fast as you can in order to make even more money later on.

Except, I don’t believe I’m in the workout business… I’m in the coaching business.

And that means my job is to get you strong and healthy physically and mentally. (And I’m not afraid to serve that up with a side of super sexy as well!!)

In order to do that I can’t just create killer workouts, I have to educate you on how these workouts will get you to your end goal so it’s time to talk you out of those 2-a-days you are wanting to PUNISH yourself with as a result of too much dressing.

Continue reading “Why Two-a-day workouts DON’T work!”

4 Non-Traditional Lifting Cues

I was once the adult female brand spankin’ new to lifting so I am well aware of what gymtimidation looks and feels like.

Uneasy, scared of looking stupid, lost, unsure… it’s more than enough to keep the curious caged to cardio machines.

As a personal trainer and a studio owner it’s a HUGE passion of mine to make sure the fun and the benefits of weight lifting are ACCESSIBLE to EVERY ONE no matter their starting point.

So it’s in that spirit that I am narrowing down all the coaching cues possible to just 4 MAJOR NON-NEGOTIABLES we practice at Sweat that create big injury free results. Continue reading “4 Non-Traditional Lifting Cues”