Negotiations With Myself; 10 Tactics to Stay the Course

It seems like the hardest negotiations I have to have are with myself. This realization came tonight while I was having a conversation with Adventure Sister, Emy. We are great at talking ourselves out of doing things, but talking ourselves into doing things is a whole nother story. What can we do to be successful in negotiations with ourselves?

I am a world champion justifier. If you are not good at justifying something let me take a swing at it. Maybe this gift is a part of my Susie Sunshine Personality, where I can find the good in anything. But like the grinch, it doesn’t matter if this is because my shoes are too tight or my head is not screwed on just right. Being able to justify my way out of everything down not help me embrace healthy habits. Right now I am busy justifying that I don’t need to get my 10,000 steps a day because it is cold outside.

I have negotiated things with others through out my life. Many of these negotiations have been quite successful. How can I use these techniques to negotiate healthy habits with myself?

1. Be firm and set the expectations. That inner couch potato will want to have it their own way. Having a firm line and setting the expectation with yourself will help when your mind starts making up excuses.

2. Have a prepared response. Since we are talking about negotiations with yourself, you probably have a pretty good idea what excuses you will come up with. Be prepared with reasons why these excuses are just not good enough to set your healthy habits aside

3. Keep the goal in mind. Having a clear picture of where you are heading makes it easier to stay the course. This is true no matter if the goal is weight, career, financial, romantic, or whatever.

4. Stay excited! Having a goal can be very exciting, especially when you see progress. Celebrate small successes along the way to help keep the excitement flowing.

5. Ask for a little bit more time. Your inner critic may try and tell you this isn’t working or that you aren’t benefitting from this initiative. Convince that inner critic to keep trying, just a little bit longer. A break through may be just around the corner.

6. Remind yourself that you are worth it. This is such an epidemic of people not feeling worthy. Remind yourself your are worthy have having what you are working toward. You are good enough, you are strong enough, and you deserve success.

7. Ask yourself for advise. When you start hearing the we don’t have to do this anymore voice in your head ask it what it needs to keep going. Sometime just acknowledging the voice will be enough to help you push on. Other times a little inner dialog about what inspiration is needed will give you the power to get over the hump.

8. Use logic. Remind yourself of all the good reasons why sticking with this will help you in the long run

9. Be aware of your emotions. Emotions can pop up when we least expect them. Especially when we are working toward a seemingly difficult goal. (Most goals are achievable with persistence). When those emotions pop up, acknowledge them. Do not try to minimize them. Once you have acknowledged them, allow them to move through you. Release them, do not hold onto them.

10. Push past objections. Sometimes there is no convincing the inner Negative Nelly. Sometimes you will just have to ignore that part of yourself and just keep going. You can do it!

Good luck winning those negotiations with yourself. I believe in you! You can achieve your goals and live the life of your dreams. Keep going.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you effortlessly continue to move in the direction of you dreams, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in Zagreb, Croatia

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A Little Something to Reflect On

Before you speak, listen.

Before you write, think.

Before you spend, earn.

Before you invest, investigate.

Before you criticize, wait.

Before you pray, forgive.

Before you quit, try.

Before you retire, save.

Before you die, give.

       ~William Arthur Ward

I saw some version of this quote in a high school class room tonight. In a world where so much is available instantly, there are a lot of radical ideas in this quote. How many of these things do we just go through the motions of and do not even consider?

Before you speak, listen. This first line of the quote is so very profound. How often are we so busy telling everyone all the wonderful stuff that we know or have seen, that we never take the time to listen to what they have to share with us. Speaking without listening hinders learning. The people around us are full of interesting tidbits to share but if we are so busy talking and not listening, how can we learn from them?

Before you write, think. In a world where what we write, can be seen by others instantly, this is even more important. This goes for notes, emails, posts, and texts. So often, in the heat of a moment, we can hit the button and send words out into the world that we never really wanted there.

Before you spend, earn. Today credit cards are a way of life. They are a trap that I have fallen into over and over again. Living within your means is an important step to overall wellness. If you don’t have the cash, don’t do it. Taking a good hard look at “our” finances has taught us a lot about how to have a better overall financial health.

Before you criticize, wait. Judging someone is easy but not always accurate. Waiting will give the ‘other’ time to reveal themselves to you. You may learn the rest of the story which may change your viewpoint. That thing, that seemed worthy of you criticism, may turn out to have been a heroic and selfless act. It’s amazing what a little bit of time and distance from an event can teach us.

Before you quit, try. I can’t even count how many times people have said they are not going to try something because it won’t work out them anyway. They are assuming an outcome and quitting before they even get started.

Before you die, give. What does this one mean to you? What is the legacy you leave the world? How can you give? It may not be money or things that you are giving. It may be sharing information. Giving the gift of your time. So many wonderful organizations really need volunteers. Did you know hospices are required to have a certain percentage of volunteer hours? Children’s sports teams, pet rescues, shelters, community initiatives, and so many other groups would not be able to do the good work they do with out the gift of loving people’s time.

I felt like the words in this quote have so much to say to us as autumn turns to winter. Winter is a perfect time to reflect, learn, and grow. How can you better embrace these principles in your life? How can reflecting on these lines help you be the best version of yourself?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your mark on the world send ripples of hope to every corner, as if by magic.

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Keeping Up With Healthy Initiatives When the Seasons Change

Healthy initiatives can seem energizing when you first start them. They give you hope of a better tomorrow and the good feeling in your heart of really doing something important for yourself. When Mother Nature sees fit to make changes in the seasons, it can throw a curve in your plans. Also seasonal holidays can seem like an excuse to no longer stay the course. Having a plan to combat these changes is the best way to not let them derail your progress.

If you follow my blog you probably know I have a number of healthy initiative all going at once. Taking Care of Me; Step By Step, is the blog that lays them all out if you are interested. My husband and I have been doing an excellent job getting our 10,000 steps in a day. We’re getting up and walking before work, then after work and again before bed, if we still need some more steps. This week we got snow here in MN. I wasn’t expecting it and upon waking discovered 3 inches of the pristine white stuff covering everything. I found it hard to want to get out an walk. I did eventually bundle up and head to the grocery store. I could have driven and it would have been quicker and warmer, but why not take care of 2 things at once. It was a nice sunny day. The bright sun reflected off the snow and I reflected on how to keep up with all that we are working on, despite time marching on.

I am a wonderful “justifier” and snow seems like a great reason to justify skipping a walk. Having a plan in place helps keep you on task. Just like with the intermittent fasting that we are working on. There is always a justified reason to not stay the course; family in town, a special gathering, or an appointment that throws a kink in things. Recently, when my brother visited, we met him early each morning for breakfast. I always look forward to this annual visit and our early morning breakfast and conversation. As his visit neared, I started to fret about what to do about the intermittent fasting and the fact the fact that I wait until 10am before I break my fast. In the end I had a conversation with my brother, who was gracious and understanding. I still met him for breakfast and I enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea, while we had our usual time together and great conversation. Having a plan helped me stay the course. I have so far lost 15.4 pounds by sticking to the intermittent fasting.

Finances is another healthy initiative we are working on. The holiday season is fast approaching. This is the time of year when people often try to spend money to show someone how much they love them. Buying someone a gift, that they may not need or want, will not necessarily communicate your love and appreciation of them. I encourage you to come up with a plan on how to handle this time of year. Start a savings account that you add to throughout the year. Set a budget for gifts and holiday groceries and stick to it. Find innovated ways to show your love and appreciation for those you care so dearly about. Start a conversation with your friends and family about other ways to celebrate your love and appreciation like agreeing to volunteer together as a family. Make an understanding about gifts and a cost limit. Give homemade gifts infused with good intentions and lots of love. There are so many options.

As soon as you decide to focus on a healthy initiative, something will come up to throw you off course. Try to think about what these things may be. Make a plan for them. Remember that healthy initiates are not things we do just for today or tomorrow. These are things we incorporate into our life an become our new standard of living. To ensure success at improving our life, we need to think about how to remain faithful to ourselves. We need to make ourselves a priority by having a plan to keep our momentum moving forward.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May all your plans come easily, so that you stay the course, and reach the goals you set for yourself, as if by magic.

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How Are You Improving Yourself?

I am always trying different things to improve myself. Are you also obsessed with becoming the very best version of you? I have multiple ways that I am working on myself at any given time. Some are very successful; others take more effort and require that I try again and again. I often think about the goals I have set for myself. Which ones are realistic and which ones are more grandiose ideas.

Currently I am working on going 21 days complaint free. Despite the fact that I have been working on this for several weeks I am still on day one. But with this I am finding that I am becoming more aware of my complaining. I am finding that, depending on who I am around and what I am talking about, makes a huge difference in how many times I need to change my bracelet. To learn more about this, please read my blogs: Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining? and OMG! Read This Book! It will take you places you didn’t know you need to go. (An update on my Complaint Free Adventure)

It is the first of October as I write this and I am thinking of writing a blog every day in October, sounds like a great idea, right?! This maybe one of my more grandiose ideas for a couple reasons. Blogging everyday takes time and that is not always a luxury I possess. Another is that, Adventure Sister Emy and I make sure not to post blogs on the same day. This avoids overwhelming our readers and helps make sure both of our important messages are heard. But what would be realistic number for me? To write 20 blogs in October? That certainly seems reasonable and I can write them without posting them. Just save them for a day when I don’t have as much time but need a blog. Okay – that is “now” my goal for October.

Continuing to improve my health with intermittent fasting is another. Somedays I do better with this than others. It remains my goal to start eating somewhere between 10 and noon and complete my caloric intake for the day by 6pm. It is a worthwhile goal to me and I have lost somewhere between 10-20 lbs. doing so.  I remain horrible about keeping track of my weight but maybe that is not such a bad thing.

I’m also trying 28 days without having an alcoholic drink. I feel this is also a worthwhile goal. I like the way a glass of wine helps me relax and causes the stress of the day to role off my shoulders. I like the way I can decompress and the stress seems to melt away after a glass. Specifically, because of the way wine helps me not have to deal with my things, is precisely why 28 days without it is a great goal. To remind me that I don’t really need it and by working through the lessons of my day is really better for me.

Another goal I have is to start running again. I cannot say I am currently really working towards this goal… unless you count reading How to a Lose  Marathon by Joel Cohen. I keep planning to start training again but so far it is all just talk. I need to overcome the fear that my knee injury is permanent.

Doing a really great job at work is always a goal for me too. I want to continue to improve my skills at my job, learn more, and be more of an asset to my co-workers and boss. Sounds like a lofty goal perhaps but one I feel strongly about.

With all of these goals, I move forward little by little, step by step. I can make big strides in one, while the others may stay stagnate for a time. At other times I move all goals forward in someways. Of course I have many more goals than those listed here. I wanted to convey to you that it is “okay” when goals do not go according to our plan and that when it comes to being the best version of ourselves, we can work on several things at once.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you make progress on all you goals, as if by magic.

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Always Reaching

As I watched my 6 month old grandson play on the floor, I noticed that, even when other some toys maybe closer to him, he was always reaching for the ones that were further away. This got me thinking. We see things that are just out of our reach and we decide we want them. What we don’t have seems to be better than what we do have. Although the grass is seldom actually greener on the otherwise of the the fence, I believe this aspect of the human condition keeps us moving forward.

How does wanting what we don’t have keep us moving forward? Well, if go back to the analogy of babies, that is why they learn to crawl and eventually walk. They want what is out of reach. It is what has driven me to complete various degrees and keep learning new skills; so I can get to that next level of my contributions to society. It is what inspired Adventure Sister, Emy, to run for the MN House of Representatives. She wanted our beautiful BWCA to remain safe and protected. It is what has driven Emy and I to write 3 books and continue to submit them to different publishers; we want to be able to help a larger number of people. Wanting what is currently out of reach pushes us to do what we haven’t done before.

As we have discussed, reaching can be very good for us, but it can become unhealthy when it is done in a competitive fashion. Often referred to as keeping up with the Jones. For example, if you never wanted a fishing boat but then your neighbor gets a brand new shiny bass boat and suddenly you find yourself wanting a fishing boat also. Another example: you have never really been into designer handbags, until you notice all of your friends are carrying a certain designer bag, suddenly you feel like you need one as well. This is when reaching can become unhealthy. Remember to stay true to who you really are. Make sure the things you are spending your energy and resources to reach toward, are things that are in line with your life goals.

Keep reaching for the stars! Strive to be better, learn more, and live the life of your dreams! Just be sure it is your dream life and not the dream life of someone else or what society says you should want. Staying true to yourself helps ensure that when you do reach that next level or goal, that you are satisfied and proud of your accomplishment. By doing so you will be living in line with your truest, deepest self. You then can set the next goal and began reaching again. Reach on my friends!

Thank you or reading my blog today. May your life be filled with dreams fulfilled. I love you!

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Do You Have Goals?

Goals, I have been told, are essential for getting ahead. When I was younger I didn’t really understand this because my life has a way of magically just all falling into place. I guess as I look back, I was probably setting some sort of goals but they may not have been as detailed as other goal setters would like. Have you ever thought about why you are setting the goals that you are? Do you set goals for any part of your life? For all parts of your life? If you practice manifestation, that is goal setting.
Danielle LaPort speaks to, not only setting goals, but also attaching an emotion to the goal. In her book, The Desire Map Experience, she walks you through the process of setting goals that are in line with how you want to feel. I love the idea of really thinking about how you want to feel and what is most important to you before setting goals.
I think it is easy to set goals because that is what your mother may have wanted for you or because you think it would impress the neighbors. How much time do we spend in life chasing other peoples dreams? It is import that we are able to discern what we want because that is what’s important to us, instead of others. What are your dreams? What are your goals? How do you want to feel once you’ve achieve them?

Dreams become regrets when left in the mind,
never planted in the soil of action.

~Auliq-Ice

We do goal setting in many different ways, even some ways we may not equate to goals. New years resolutions, manifestations, dreams, bucket lists, these are all types of goal setting. Do you have a bucket list? Mine is full of travel. I work in healthcare and there, we are taught to write SMART goals. SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result focused, and Time bound, is a great way to think about goals when writing care plans for patients. In my humble opinion, SMART goals are not the perfect way to set goals for your life though. You do want to be specific about what you want but not about how it comes to you. You want your goals to be measurable; I can agree with that part. My friend’s husband, when manifesting wealth, says he wants to be Private Jet Rich. That is measurable. I can think about what that looks like. Achievable is meant to be realistic. I think for life goals realistic is not necessarily important. Dream big! My current dream is to be a published author! Some may not say that is realistic but I say it is still achievable! Result focused, we set goals so that we can see the results we wish to attain. Time bound means that you say you want to achieve it by such and such date. I am a Pisces and happy to go with the flow but others may want to see results by a specific date. I will leave this up to the individual.
Happy goal setting! May all of your dreams (and goals) come true!
How do you feel about goals? How have goals helped you? Do you have a good process for working to achieve your goals for life?

Thank you for reading my blog today!

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The Story of the Stone Buffalo

Emy and my adventures are mostly based in the BWCA (Boundary Water Canoe Area) but there was an earlier adventure. It also started with a Groupon, curiously. It was a kayak trip down the Mississippi. This was not a daunting journey that took days and multiple supplies. This was a leisurely paddle with the current for a few hours.
It was a beautiful sunny day. We were excited to get out and do something new together. I had done some canoeing and kayaking but this was our first joint voyage. We paddled along, enjoying the scenery and each others company. We talked about the environment and even sent some healing energy to the Mississippi. We wanted to help combat some of the pollution we feared was there. There was a little island in the middle of the river at one point. Feeling free and quite adventurous we decided to stop and explore. It was a small bit of land covered with trees. There was a little dirt path through the forest. Hiking on the path was a great way to stretch our legs after a couple hours in the kayaks. We came across a picnic table. We walked past it not thinking much about it. Emy wondered further into the woods but I felt drawn to the picnic table. On the table there was a small stone bison. I felt intuitively that the fairies had left it there for me. I excitedly told Emy about it and showed it to her.
When I got home I looked up the spiritual meaning of bison. I believe that when we notice animals (especially animals we don’t typically see) they come with a message for us. It is a way Spirit talks to us. When I look up the messages animal totems have for me, I trust my gut to guide me to the reason the animal showed up. Nothing about the stone bison really seemed like a strong message for me at the time. I kept it in a special place; I had a sense that it was a powerful gift.
Tonight as Emy and I were messaging back and forth about steps we are taking to get our books published, my phone autocorrected “vision” to “bison”. I was immediately reminded of the stone bison from all those years ago. I looked it up again to see what meaning or message it had for us now. The following list of words came up acquainted with the bison.

Abundance      Blessing      Community      Consistency      Goals
Gratitude      Manifestation      Prayer      Prosperity      Provision
Sacrifice      Service      Stability      Strength      Surrender

Since this evening had been focused on our efforts to get our books published, I feel that the message of the stone bison was about steps we could take to move our books forward. I find it so interesting that this gift was given to me so many years before the idea of the book or even the concept of the Adventure Sisters was born. Life is magical, if you trust it.
Do you have any similar stories? What magic have you noticed in your life?

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