I used to struggle trying to make everything I did fit into some perfect little box.
I worked my ass off to make my life check all the boxes. I tried to make my relationships look picture perfect. When I started my business, I tried to set mine up like other successful businesses.
What did I get for all that effort?
A life filled with things I didn't care about doing and a bunch of stuff I didn't like. Relationships that looked good on paper, but were all about the other person. And a business that was in a constant state of struggle because I was forcing myself to fit in someone else's mold.
One of the biggest challenges when you're starting something new is letting go of how it should be done.
You should definitely look at people with similar ideas or who have what you want for inspiration. See what works for others. Ask yourself what it is about their way that speaks to you.
Notice what in their process you don't want. And remember you don't have to do it. If it's a key piece, like accounting, you not doing it could look like hiring someone to take care of that piece.
I work with a girl who loves making videos, but hates editing them. Instead of forcing herself to struggle through the editing process (which would probably result in her making less videos) she hired an assistant to take care of the editing.
I can't tell you how many times I tried to force myself to do things that didn't align with my style. Or set goals based on priorities that belonged to someone else.
I'd end up procrastinating the things I was forcing & I never cared when I reached the goal. Honestly reaching the goal usually felt like I was creating more work for myself. I got the bigger house, which meant more cleaning. More rooms to furnish (I did like that part). A lawn to take care of (not my thing). More bills. For what, so people I didn't care about could come by and tell me how beautiful my house was?
Everything you want is a reflection of your core self. It only makes sense that your version of what you want would be unique to you.
It's natural to look at how it's previously been done, but you have to remember that it's not the only way.
I like to use what I call the Frankenstein method. Look at all the ideas, techniques, and processes that other people use. Figure out how they fit together for your version. Picture the finished product, what pieces do you need to make it work? Take what aligns with you and you leave the rest.
You're not reinventing the wheel, you're just getting the right wheel for the job.
It's one thing to stay home by choice, but staying home because you HAVE to is a whole other animal entirely.
What makes it even harder is you have no idea how long you'll be doing this for. At least when you got grounded growing up you knew how long you were grounded for. You had that internal countdown keeping track of how long until your life would go back to normal.
Quarantine isn't the total isolation that it used to be. You can use technology to help feel connected. FaceTime, InstaStories, Videos, social media, texting & phone calls are great ways to connect with people when you can't do it in person. But what do you do?
There's only so much Netflix binging, napping, and day drinking a person can do before it gets old.
Have you gotten there yet? I just watched a video of Ellen trying to talk to a telemarketer because she was so bored.
So how do you make self-quarantine work for you?
Most people start with time fillers. Social media, videos, games, reading, naps and things that give you an escape. These are great, but most people get bored with them.
Next are the project tasks. These are the things that have been on your to-do list. They may not be the most fun, but you would have done them eventually. These include cleaning, organizing closets, decluttering, hanging pictures, cleaning out the fridge, organizing your photos and other projects you've wanted to do.
Finally you can set quarantine goals.
This is where people really start to differentiate from each other. Quarantine goals are things you've always wanted to do but haven't had time, they can be things that move you closer to a larger primary goal, or it can be stepping into your upgraded life to see how it feels. These are great ways to find your path & some fit into multiple categories.
Things you've wanted to do, but haven't had time. These are often things you've had on your list for months or maybe even years. Many times it's something with a learning curve. A language. A new skill like knitting, yoga, photography, or cooking. Upgrading a skillset also falls into this category. Finally finishing a course you bought or learning how to use more than just the basic features of something. Great examples are Quickbooks, Lightroom, or your instapot. They usually take some time & can't be completed in one session.
I like to call these supporting goals. They move you closer to a primary goal. Learning Italian for a trip you're planning to Italy. Writing chapters for the book you've dreamed of publishing. Setting up a website so you can sell your product. Taking a course so you check the boxes for an upcoming promotion. Starting an exercise routine so you're prepared for an upcoming hiking trip, marathon, or just you have enough energy to chase toddlers around all day.
Finally, and this is the most fun in my opinion. Try on your dream life. Maybe you dream of working from home. Here's your chance to step into that. How have you pictured your life when that happened? Do you make breakfast every morning or sit on your porch with a cup of coffee? Maybe you saw yourself going for a run and watching the sunrise. Do those things. See if you really like it or if it's something that just looked good on paper.
Have you been picturing what life would be like if you weren't constantly running from one practice or game to another and there was time to actually sit down and eat dinner? Now's the time. Have an everyone sits at the table dinner. Cook together. Order in. Do it how you pictured it.
It doesn't matter how much or how little you do as long as it feels right for you.
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
― Lewis Carroll
I can't tell you how many times I've heard you shouldn't retake personality quizzes because the first result will be the most accurate. That's true and it's not.
You have a core personality that is pretty solid, but there's so much of you that changes.
You're not the same person you were when you were 20(do you remember all the dumb decisions). You might be an entirely different version of you 6 months from now.
Every time my life has fallen apart & I've rebuilt it, I've also rebuilt myself. I've figured out what wasn't working for me. I reprioritize. I become a stronger version of me.
Throughout your life, different parts of you will take the lead.
If a family member is sick, your caregiver side might take over. Or it could be the assertive take no shit side(because sometimes that's the only way to get doctors or stubborn patients to listen).
After a loss, your rebellious side might come out. Or the planner.
When you're in a new relationship, your passive side might come out for a while (because you don't have to take care of everything on your own). Maybe the curious or explorer side decides to be front and center.
I take a money archetype quiz once a year to see what my top 3 qualities are. Then I adjust my actions to fit. They're usually similar, but the order shifts.
You are constantly evolving. Acknowledge the present version of you. Use her strengths. Pay attention to her priorities. She is the key to success at this stage of your life.
You never really know until you start doing.
Clarity can be tricky. It can make you feel stuck because you're unclear on what to do next. You might know what you want, but have no idea how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Worse, you might get exactly what you thought you wanted & realize it's all wrong.
There are a lot of things that "look good on paper."
I've had a lot of ideas about how my life should look. I worked my ass off, got those things & realized they weren't for me. They weren't what I actually wanted. I used to look at it as I wasted years. In a way, I did. Once I knew it wasn't what I wanted, I didn't change anything because I already had so much time invested.
I've spent a lot of time doing things that weren't making me happy. I stuck with them because I didn't want to start over. They were familiar. I was too scared to try something different because what if I failed & had to come crawling back????
I did not want to hear, "I told you so."
Maybe you've experienced this too.
That is why I prefer not to have a complete plan. We're taught you have to push through. You started it, you have to finish it. That goes away when you don't go into it think you have it all figured out.
When you're not sure exactly what you want or you don't have a complete plan, it frees you up to make adjustments.
Take any goal. Figure out what it looks like to you. Start taking action to create that goal the way you see it.
Next, (this is the most important advice I can give you) if you don't like it change it!
Stop forcing things because you think that's how it should look. The biggest reason is because it makes you miserable. Second reason, you won't do it. You'll procrastinate, organize your sock drawer, binge Netflix, or anything else you can think of to not do it.
Let's say you want to get healthier. You decide you're going to get up every morning & go to the gym. You're going to prep all your meals for the week on Sunday. You're only going to eat Keto or Paleo or one of the ohs.
The first week you force yourself out of bed twice and go to the gym. But, you're not a morning person, you feel crazy uncomfortable at the gym with all the super motivated morning people. Who says you have to go to the gym? Who says it has to be in the morning? Maybe you prefer the gym in the middle of the night when there's only a handful of people. Or you prefer kayaking in the morning, walks in the afternoon, weekend days hiking on local trails. DO THAT INSTEAD!
You don't have to change your goals, just change the details.
What do you want?
I hate that question. I spent years stuck because I was trying to figure that out. I knew what I didn't want. (That was easy) But, what did I want???
We put a lot of pressure on that question. You feel like you have one chance to come up with the "right answer." There's this feeling that you need to have it all figured out.
Trying to get your answer just right is a huge reason people get stuck. I like to start somewhere different.
When I work with someone and they're not sure what they want, I ask them "How do you want to feel?" That question brings in all kinds of possibility.
Behind all the things you want is a feeling.
Sometimes you discover the thing you believe will give you that feeling isn't actually what you want at all.
If you have something on your want list, but all the details are missing, it could be because you don't want that thing. This is much different that having some of the big details & not knowing how to make it all come together.
I've worked with a bunch of people who come to me and say they want to start a business. Truth is they don't want to run a business. They want to feel more creative. They want more flexibility with their schedule. They want to be able to travel more. Or they want a different career path. Starting a business is not the only way to get those things.
Choose the area of your life where you want change. What feelings do you want in that area?
Write down all the things you want to feel. Confidence. To feel loved. Excitement. Predictability. Stability. Connection. Creative. Playful. Focused. Feeling successful.
It doesn't have to be one word. It's even better when you can focus in on what's attracting you to that feeling. It can be getting rid of the doing the exact same thing day after day. Exploring new places. Having people you can depend on. Spending more time outside. Being the fun aunt. Having your house filled with people.
Take your direction from these answers. What things give you those feelings?
Spending more time outside could be weekend road trips. Daily walks in your local park. A job guiding walking tours.
Connection can be done by working in a group atmosphere. Hanging out with people that get you. A new relationship. A spiritual practice. Joining a class.
Stability can be created by getting a promotion. Starting a savings plan. Having a schedule.
There is never only one way to do anything. Start with the feelings you want to experience and figure out which path you want to take to get there.
The past few weeks I've been seeing "New Year New You!" and I get it, but to me that message screams, "You're not enough!!!!"
You don't need to become someone else to get what you want. You need to keep growing. We're always growing. You don't tell a kid that in order to learn to walk they need to be someone else. Same goes for you.
You have a new goal. You want something new. Great! Those wants, those ideas, they are now yours because you've grown. It's the same reason why your bedroom walls are no longer covered with NKOB posters. This growth is the same reason why one day you realize you're excited when you get socks, a new appliance, or you have your heart set on a specific vacuum (Yep. I've been way too excited about getting a new vacuum. Joys of adulting).
You are enough right now.
Now let's get you that goal. Let's figure out what that dream looks like for you. Try it on.
Start by answering these questions....
How does having (insert goal here) change your life?
Does it give you more money? Let you travel more? Give you a partner? Get rid of stress? Give you status/validation/support? Location freedom? Are you healthier? Have more energy? Have someone to take to family events & weddings?
If there were no rules, what would having _____ look like in your life?
What does it look like in your head? If you have a career goal. Are you spending your days in a beautiful office or does the location change? Do you work for yourself or a company with an expense account? How do you spend your days? How much do you work? Who's around you?
For relationship goals. In your version, are you eating at great restaurants with friends or having people over to your house? Is it about lazy Sunday mornings or finding unexpected treasures at farmers markets? Are they a support system or a partner?
Health goals. What do you look like/feel like? Are you doing goat yoga or going to a gym with rock climbing walls? What are you eating? How much time are you spending outside? Are you doing a Tough Mudder race or hiking to see waterfalls?
What feelings does that goal give you?
Is it excitement? Confidence? Connection? Love? Stability? Security? Warm Fuzzies? Pride?
What can you do today that will bring your goal closer?
A first step.
Sometimes you don't want the thing, you want what you think the thing is going to give you.
Don't get overly attached to the initial goal. You know the saying, "Looks good on paper." Sometimes the idea of a goal sounds great, but the reality sucks. Don't be afraid to change your goal.
Maybe you wanted to start a business because of the location freedom. But you realize that you hate being a boss. You don't like all the things that go with being a business owner. No problem. Go back to the questions & ask yourself what other ways can that happen. You wanted location freedom. Maybe for you that's getting a telecommute job. Working for a cruise line. Become a travel writer for a magazine.
Here's to the New Year & what the Same You is making happen.
My clients love me because I call them on their bullshit. They know this is done from a place of love & with the intent of helping them reach their next level. This post is written with that same intention.
When you're a kid, you have very limited power. You live where you're told. You go to school where you're told. Your whole environment is chosen by other people. They make the rules.
Those experiences help create who you are. Sometimes they're good & sometimes it was shit. It was never 100% of either. As a child, you should have been loved and protected. Maybe that didn't happen. If that's the case, I am truly sorry & I am in no way discounting what you went through or your pain.
As an adult, YOU HAVE ALL THE POWER. You make the rules.
Your childhood experiences can hold you back, but there comes a time when you can't blame a shit life on your childhood. You either work on healing yourself & moving forward or you stay stuck & get to hold on to blame.
Healing & moving forward isn't easy & it takes time, but it's sooooo worth it.
I find the most powerful places to start are with forgiveness, cord cutting & belief work. You can do these things on your own or you can get help. These are all google-able.
Forgiveness can be the hardest. The more pain you're holding onto, the harder it is to let go. Forgive the situation & yourself. I find there's always some self blame or feeling that you were stupid for allowing it. Let that shit go.
Picture the situation & the people, let all the emotions come up, then imagine all the color & emotion draining from the picture until it's black & white. Then picture it disappear, turn to ash, float away or whatever way you want to get rid of it.
Do cord-cutting. You can find all kinds of YouTube videos that walk you through it.
Belief work is where you start moving forward. Think about what you want. Then list all the reasons You can't have it. Those are your current beliefs. Start looking for how they're not true. How can you change them to support what you want? Start looking for evidence that proves your new beliefs are correct.
My physical clutter game is on point, but digitally I'm a hoarder.
It's probably because I don't really see it. If I had almost 2,000 magazines in my living room, I'd freak out, but 2,000 emails and I hardly bat an eye... Until there's an email I need to find.
I will give myself credit, a few years ago I easily had over 7,000 emails. I feel like it was closer to 10,000 but either way it's too much.
I don't know about you, but I have a bad habit of thinking, "I'll read that later."
Truth is, there's only about 5 people I ever go back & read later. The rest just sit there. Piling up. There are people I've subscribed to that I don't think I've ever read anything they sent me, but I keep them because....
What if I need that specific information in some future mystery scenario!?!?!
Even if I did need that specific information I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know where to look for it in my email.
So, I started on my decluttering.
This is my decluttering strategy. I like it because you don't have to do it all at once & it gets rid of big chunks.
I like to start by sender. I search the sender. If I don't ever open their emails, I unsubscribe them delete them all and move on. If it's someone I read, I delete everything over 1 month old. Logins, receipts, and other important emails get sorted into folders.
The first time I did this I learned that I subscribed to a lot of people who weren't aligned with me (a big reason I never opened an email from them). I found out my inbox was filled with emails from people I had forgotten I ever subscribed to. I had saved a ton of replays that promised to let me in on "the secret" for something or another.
Second step in email decluttering is getting rid of all the starting soon and replay emails. If you're like me, that could be substantial.
Third I get rid of any sale or specials emails.
Finally, I get rid of all the emails that are more than 3 months old. This might bring up some anxiety, but honestly if you haven't read it by now you're not going to. You can always start with this step, but personally I have a harder time letting go if I start here.
So what has all this decluttering taught me??
I change a lot Every Year. You're with yourself all the time. Sometimes it's hard to notice, but each new level of you seeks out different things, people, messages. That's 100% normal.
I was resisting unsubscribing from Big Names. People who had, or claimed to have, the results I wanted, even though their messages or strategies felt off to me.
I am NOT going to go back and read it later.
I go through webinar phases. I sign up for them, then I don't watch 90% of them.
I'd love to know what decluttering your inbox teaches you.
Do you notice a theme? Is there a Big name you were afraid to unsubscribe? Was it easy for you? What did you keep? Leave a comment or send me an email about your decluttering experience.
We put off having the things we want because we always give ourselves a good reason why it can wait.
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty amazing at coming up with reasons why it can wait. I'll do it when I have more time. When I have more money. When I lose 15 pounds. When the weather's better. After I move. When I'm more stable. On my next birthday. After Christmas. Next month. When things calm down. After I pay off this debt. After I finish redoing this room. Once the snow melts.
As I go back and read those, they're not even good excuses. But they do the trick, because you still don't have or aren't doing the thing you want.
The magical thing about those reasons for not doing can go on forever, because there'll always be another reason to wait.
Christmas turns into New Years then it's someone's birthday, throw in a couple more holidays, anniversaries, someone having a baby or getting married and next thing you know we're back to Christmas.
I did that for years. I kept putting off quitting a job I hated. I literally fantasized about quitting & telling them what horrible people they were to work for. Oh, and there would be back up dancers complete with jazz hands. I talked about getting regular massages. I suppose you could argue a few times a year is regular. I talked about moving. Getting more tattoos. Traveling more. Hiring a cleaning lady, because I don't want to do it, but I want it to get done & so far the cleaning fairies haven't come to visit.
I talked about doing a lot of things, but I never got past talking.
The secret to getting what you want is stupidly simple. You have to decide you really want it, THEN....do something about it.
Granted, sometimes the Universe will give you a push. I got fired from the job I hated (because I asked for a day off. True story). I moved back to Minnesota, after my relationship fell apart. Did not see that coming.
When the Universe gives you a push, it doesn't always feel great. I prefer to do things on my terms. I have the most fantastic cleaning lady. I get monthly massages. I have an apartment that feels like me. Complete with all new stuff.
I didn't finally get those things by magic. I hired a cleaning lady. I schedule the massage appointments. I looked at a ton of apartments. I DID SOMETHING.
What have you been saying you want? What's something you can do to get that thing?
When I feel like I'm losing control, my instincts tell me to hold on to what I can salvage.
That lesson was made super clear during my move 2 years ago. In 2017 I went through a soul crushing breakup. I had been so sure he was my person. We had our future planned out, but in my head I had all the details. What my days would look like. The way I wanted my business to grow. Where we would live. The trips we'd take. Our kids. He was a huge part of every piece of my future.
Then, the person who I had planned my entire life with, cheated on me. I stood by him through A LOT, but cheating is my deal-breaker. There's no coming back from that, so I sold most of my things and moved in with my mom.
It was hard. I've had break-ups before, but never one where I couldn't support myself anymore.
I knew I couldn't stay where I was, and leaving meant I couldn't bring all my stuff. There wasn't room. I loved my stuff. I fucking worked hard for my things and this was the first time I wasn't just losing a person, I was losing my home.
I didn't even have time to mourn 1 loss before I had to get rid of my things(which felt like I was losing my identity).
I rented a container that could hold about a room and a half. A LOT less than what I had. My mom came down and helped me pack. In under a month, I found out my relationship was over, decided to move & had to have the majority of my stuff gone.
I went from, knowing things were stressed to feeling like I was losing everything that mattered to me.
I knew I was keeping my kitchen stuff. Cooking is my thing, it makes me feel like me (I have a ton of kitchen stuff). I also kept my office stuff, tvs, and most of my bedroom furniture. These were non-negotiable.
I had limited space. Living room furniture, guest room everything, bookshelves, books, movies, art, shoes, purses, clothes and a bunch of things I can't even remember anymore were sold, donated, or given away.
Some of it was easy to get rid of. SOME. Most of it I was desperately clinging to.
I have to give my mom credit, I was a bitch during this process. Pretty sure that's not strong enough of a word. I fought tooth & nail to keep things that now I wonder what the fuck I was thinking.
When things get scary, unsure or begin to fall apart most people's reaction is to cling tightly to something that gives them security.
We cling to jobs, relationships, things, and stories in an effort to create a feeling of safety. When everything is unknown, having the familiar makes you feel better.
Next time you feel yourself working your ass off to hold onto something ask yourself this one question....
What does keeping ____ in my life do for ME?
If the answer doesn't have something to do with the thing making you happy, it's time to let it go!
A lot of answers, and feelings, might come up. This is more a probably than a might.
It can feel hard to let things go in the moment, but it won't matter to you as much later on. If you're not ready, you can start by putting the item away & getting rid of it when you're ready.
Now I'm in a new place & I've replaced most of the things I fought so hard to bring with me. They don't feel like me anymore.
I've let go and I realized I was holding on because I was scared to start over from nothing. But sometimes that's exactly what you need.
Intuitive clairaudient healer with a gift for getting to the point & making things seem doable.