On creating lasting change.

On creating lasting change.

I know what it feels like to gain clarity on an issue only to find that the change doesn't follow. Shouldn't I see change once I understand that the change needs to exist? The trouble is that we have built habits and ways of thinking that support our old ways.  

I have worked out a foolproof system for creating change in your life. If you follow these steps, you will have the tools you need to drastically alter the way you live. I'm going to spend the next few weeks breaking these down for you. But, first, I want to introduce you to the 5 step system itself! I'm not promising that you will make positive changes just by reading this. Apply it and I promise your being will be altered! 

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Sticking to a Schedule: A Guest Essay from Lily Calfee

I am thrilled to introduce you to Lily Calfee of Ideal Nourishment. She is a vibrant soul that has meant a lot to me and my progression of self-care. If you've ever struggled with tending to your body and mind with an open heart and gentle adjustments, well, you really need to be talking with her ASAP.  For now, enjoy this lovely piece all about maintaining a schedule that supports your self-care! You're gonna love it!

Common questions that I get from entrepreneurs or “side-hustlers” are ones of self discipline: How do I stick to a schedule? I want to take a lunch break but not a two-hour lunch break… Should I work on evenings and weekends or stuck to nine to five?

I’ll let you in on a tip: when I was first figuring out how to be an entrepreneur, the best thing that I did for myself was to get my sleep schedule on lock. When I started out, it was very tempting to stay up late working (or watching movies). I’d tell myself, “Well, I'll just start work at eleven tomorrow, and work until eight PM.”

Eventually, I figured out that I actually get my best work done in the morning. It became obvious that I needed to get myself in bed early enough to wake up, do my morning routine, and start working by nine AM. I only have about three or four hours of super-focused creative time in me before I need to switch to tasks like networking or meeting with clients.
A trick I discovered was to wake up at the same time every day, no matter what time I went to bed. This was a real struggle for a while because I wanted to wake up every day at 6:30, but some nights I’d go to bed at ten and others at 11:30—and I never felt well rested when I woke up. After a week or so of getting up at the same time every day, I started to also get tired at the same time every day, and eventually my body got on a pretty standard sleep schedule of 10:30 PM to 7 AM.

The other important change I made was to create a bedtime routine. As a solo-preneur who lived alone, I would often go back to work after dinner and stare at my computer right up until the moment I was about to pass out. Obviously, this didn't make for very restful sleep.

These days, I take about forty-five minutes before I want to be asleep to make my to-do list for the next day, get into my pajamas, wash my face, and then lay in bed and read. (Actually, I very rarely read. I just open my book and stare at the same paragraph until I realize I need to turn the light off before I pass out.)

Taking taking time to unwind before I fall asleep has been such a godsend. It allows me to transition more smoothly into a restful head space, and I no longer have busy, stressful, anxious dreams. In fact, I recently had a dream about sitting on a dock and staring at the sunset with two old friends. The dream felt like it lasted for hours, but nothing ever really happened—it was just this peaceful, warm experience.

To get my sleep schedule on lock, I also needed to look at my relationship with sugar and caffeine. I am a self-identified health nut and used to say that I lived a “low-sugar lifestyle.” However, when I looked at what I was eating or drinking over the course of the day, I realized that I used sugar and caffeine to get me through the dull moments.

I actually gave up sugar entirely—cold-turkey, none, not even fruit—for about nine months, and have never slept better. I realized what an impact my blood sugar was having on my sleep, and now I'm very conscious of what I eat and drink, especially when I'm feeling sleepy. It seemed natural to feel tired at two or three in the afternoon and reach for some crunchy carbs or a little coffee or tea to get me through the last bit of the day. I realized that I was mostly looking for a distraction in those moments and if I was hungry, I was actually hungry for protein and fat, not for carbs and sugar. I started snacking on a carrot and almond butter, or a little piece of beef jerky, or a handful of walnuts. This practice not only truly satisfies my cravings, but also helps keep my blood sugar balanced.

Energy is key for anyone starting out in the freelance or entrepreneurial world. If you don't have consistent energy and focus, your plans just don't happen. If you’re struggling to stick to a schedule or get yourself up in the morning, I encourage you to look at your sleep routines and blood sugar. If you want to have an in-depth conversation about food and your energy, focus, and productivity, you can find me at idealnourishment.com

Get more from Lily over at Idealnourishment.com You wont' regret it! 

How to Kick Ass at New Years Resolutions!

I know that there's a lot of stigma around 2016. Y'all people hated this past year. But, if I'm being honest with you, it was a really really good year for me. I've done so much subtle work and made so many life altering decisions. I started two businesses and got engaged in Iceland. I learned to let go of control more often. I learned that stillness opens me up to my best work and self. I started to love money and worked through the belief that money is evil. I've become more kind to myself, more honest about what I want and a lot less attached to the outcome of things. It's been good! 

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you my process of evaluating each year and setting intentions for moving forward. I'm a super nerd and I put aside a LARGE chunk of time for this process each year. Maybe you find that you just take a few bits of this process away with you and that's totally fine too! But, here we go! 

1. I separate myself from the ordinary. 

I find it incredibly helpful to have a change of scenery. It opens me up to new ideas and possibilities and prevents me from running into people that I know. I always try to get out of town, that's usually Greenville, SC for me or sometimes Knoxville. Both of those are less than 2-hours away and easily done in a day. If you don't want to travel, maybe you sit down at a cafe' that you don't normally go to or somewhere else that would be inspiring for you. 

2. I look deeply at my quadrants. 

If you've done work with me in the past, then you probably know what I mean when I say 'quadrants' if you haven't then what I'm talking about are the four major areas of your life that need attention, in the work that I do that includes: relationships, work, self and health. I ask myself what worked, what didn't and what's next. 

For my upcoming Business Bliss Course I've created a worksheet specifically for this process. But, you can totally do this on your own too! 

3. I set my plans for the year at this point. 

What do I want to accomplish? How much  money do I want to make? What would feel fun for me to do this year? What do each of those quadrants need to move forward? 

4. I determine how I want to feel. 

This is a new one that I added on this year. After finishing Danielle Laporte's Desire Map last year, I have completely re-framed the way I approach goal setting. Determining the feelings that I desire is the perfect way to evaluate if I'm actually setting the right goals for me. So, I determine how I want to feel this year and then I check back in with those goals that I set and I see if they will really make me feel that way. If they won't make me feel that way I replace them with a goal that will, if they will, then awesome, we're on the right track! 

5. I ask myself, what do I need to do to meet those goals that I've set for myself.

Here's the thing, we set the goals and then we don't ever really ask what needs to happen before that goal can even be met. If I want to feel abundant and I want to leave the country twice this year, then I'm going to have to start prioritizing my savings account. If I want to feel free and I want to make $100,000 this year then I'm going to have to prioritize passive income. Does that make sense? 

6. Then, I chart a plan for the next 6-months. 

What part of those goals do I think can be accomplished in 6-months? How can I break that down into smaller pieces and schedule that in throughout that time? What's my first step? 

7. I celebrate. 

Shower yourself with gratitude for the year ahead. Celebrate that you are going to have another great year! Toast someone, toast yourself, sit quietly with a cup of herbal tea. Whatever feels the most celebratory to you. But, acknowledge that you will have a great year this year and go ahead and toss out a few thank you's to yourself, to your community and to the universe. 

If this work sounds great to you but, you just aren't quite sure how to implement it or where it will fit into your already crammed schedule. Then, the Business Bliss Course is probably a great fit for you. Join me and revolutionize the way you approach work. You deserve the right to chase your dreams and still enjoy your life. Read more about Business Bliss HERE.