New year, New book!

Dear Readers,

Every blog I have read today is talking about taking stock, changing, and resolving to do better or newer or slimmer or something of an -er nature for the New Year.

I want to ask a different question.

What will you say goodbye to in 2015? More importantly what will you say hello to in 2016?

I can’t answer that for you, only you can. Only you know what you are truly ready to say goodbye to.. and what you still really want to hold on to.

For me, I have already said goodbye to a few things.

Debt- We became debt-free this year and will whatever necessary to stay that way.

Self-doubt- Okay, I can’t really claim to say goodbye to it but I am sure going to do all I can to kill self-doubt moving into this next year.

Discounting myself- This is a bit tough to explain but basically any time I decided someone else’s feelings were more important than my beliefs, that ends tonight at midnight.

I called this post, new year, new book.. this is because I saw a great image that said… “this year is a 365 page book that hasn’t been written yet – Make yours a good book.. I like that.. I also like the fact that every day is a page to write on…. which means each new day, while a cumulative effort, is also a brand new blank page.

Every day is chance to start over, but I invite you, take stock, figure out what you are ready to say goodbye to and what you want to say hello to in 2016.



Think about it…..

What did you DO in 2015?

Dear Readers,

I know its not even Christmas yet and I am already bugging you about goals.. well not really. I am telling you to stop and take stock of what you have done. It may surprise you how much you have actually accomplished. A picture truly is worth a thousand words… 🙂


A short but certainly not comprehensive list for me-

  1. We got out of debt (three year goal)
  2. We got a dog (five year goal)
  3. Helped 3 people get jobs as a result of my coaching business
  4. Developed professional development training and hosted an interactive seminar for over 130 people
  5. Completed Advanced Manual for Toastmasters (two year goal)
  6. Chartered the Toastmasters club at HomeAway (three year goal)

I give you this list not to brag.. Okay, cards on the table time…..

I am bragging, but I also tell you this to inspire YOU to pat yourself on the back for what you have done and stop beating yourself up for what you have NOT done.. and remember that ever important word.. YET.

Hey, Jennifer, have you run a half marathon?

Not yet. but I will

Hey Jennifer, have you gotten on NBC’s The Voice as a contestant on Adam Levine’s team for the 2016 Season?


Not yet, but I will (stay tuned for a future blog)

Hey Jennifer, have you gone skydiving?

Not yet. But I will.

Hey Jennifer, have you run a half marathon?

Not Yet… but I will..

You get the drift– What have you done in 2015? Take stock and think about all the things that went well and don’t wallow in what did not happen.

A good friend reminded me, whilst setting goals for 2016, don’t forget to take stock of what you got DONE in 2015. Take a minute to breathe that in, and THEN make your to do list for 2016.

What is your “not yet”…?

Think about it!

Be Brave!

Dear Readers,5Kbefore

See that face? ^^^^^^^^^^^That was the face of the person who lost approximately 50 pounds in preparation of a totally awesome photo shoot– for more on that.. see here-

But that was a while ago now— On Cyber Monday, I tried on some jeans and got pretty depressed when they didn’t fit.. so I ate some ice cream. I didn’t work out the next day because I was sad. Then I got sad about the fact that I was disappointed in myself. (pretty vicious cycle, no?)

Last week, I had some Taco Bell because it was convenient and it actually made me sick which I am really grateful for because that means I am giving up fast food. I got to thinking about it and truly fast food hasn’t ever made me satisfied.. it’s just fast and easy. Yesterday, I was eating at the Toastmasters Potluck and I had a second plate and then a third.. this morning I woke up and said.. enough is enough.. No more diets, but a lifestyle change. I will change the way I view food and up my exercise and give up soda. I have done it before, I can do it again. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Today I reached out to a friend of mine who does fitness training to admit that I have bit by little bit stopped losing weight and in fact gained a lot of it back. To clarify for you and to record the truth and point out the numbers for measurement sake….

I have gone from a size 14-16 to 20-22 which makes me really unhappy.

I had setbacks.. My back needing help (May-August) and me exercising less (just didn’t FEEL like it some days) did add to the problem but really its been bit by little bit, too much chocolate, too much pizza, just too much food in general that is tasty and good but not good for you.

I HATE that this is true. But beating myself up about it doesn’t help. It NEVER does. I tell my clients this all the time.. make a plan and follow it, if you don’t succeed, reframe and begin again.

Its easy advice to give, but oh so hard to follow- I am taking my own advice and being transparent with you, my reader in hopes that it helps you to face something you need to be brave about today.

So here is my plan, I have signed up for the 1020 race that happens in March. I did it last March and mostly slow trudged that bad boy but by golly I did it. As the Schmidt’s say ( who got me into running ) “if you don’t have a race to train for, you aren’t going to run.” How true!

Secondly, I have a plan to work out more than once a week, and I am working on scheduling another fabulous photo shoot in March which I feel gives me some time to really work on getting back into shape. We are debt-free now (Its sexy when you say it so I will say it again) We are DEBT FREE NOW…. so I will have to budget for it, but I am really excited about having it in to look forward to!

Thirdly, I am telling you about it, accountability partners matter in this game we call life and asking for help. Help can take many forms, the one I find most helpful, is not negative which is “You shouldn’t eat that” but something like, “You know, I read your blog and does this short-term action (eating a cookie) match up to your long-term goal (healthy heart, body and mind) ? Even easier? when you see me post about working out or moving towards that goal of the 10 mile walk/run. hit like or comment some encouragement. I really thrive on encouragement.

Caveat—There will be moments of indulgence. I still think the cheat one day on paleo works.. but you have to stick to just one day.. and that is the plan.

What do you need to be brave about sharing, doing or feeling?

Think About It…..



Allow yourself to feel sad

Dear Readers,

Last week I wrote about the need to really see/feel/hear/examine the bad things when they happen to you and others. I talked to my good friend, Rachel about how mindfulness is not the “Pollyanna approach” = This is someone who says.. “The sun is shining! (when you are in the middle of a tornado) not really realistic but positive..not to mention rather foolish to insist the sun is shining when a tornado is imminent.

It is vital to feel what you REALLY feel and not squash it down. This is HARD. It’s far easier to paint over how you feel and make allowances for how it could be worse. I spend a lot of time doing that, and only recently realized that while an serviceable coping mechanism it does not always work to resolve the issue I am facing.

Last night, I found myself feeling sad and needing to cry so I did. There are a multitude of things to feel sad about which I won’t share here, as they are still being processed, but I also knew I needed to feel sad. I usually reach for the phone to call my Mom or my husband for comfort but yesterday, last night in that moment, I needed to feel sad and NOT ask for comfort. It was a new experience for me. I cried a little, I wrote some of those thoughts and feelings in a journal and felt better. I also sent a letter to myself in the future so I could remember how I feel today and project into the future a time when I will NOT be sad.

If you want to do that too.. here is the address-

I guess you could say I comforted myself by allowing myself to feel bad. I did have my mom in my head saying, “When was the last time you cried, maybe you need to cry?” and you know, as usual she was right.

So I come to you today, and ask.. Is there something you NEED to cry over, gnash your teeth, scream to the heavens about? Go ahead and do it.. FEEL what you FEEL—– another piece of sage advice from my mom.. “Go ahead and go to the pity party.. just don’t stay there”–

In a nutshell, give yourself permission to FEEL how you FEEL and then DECIDE what you want to DO about it. I think the tendency in life is to not share that you feel bad, everyone wants to look good and show they have it all figured out… but I am going to say just the opposite:

So go ahead, feel what you are really feeling, I give you permission.



Sometimes Life is Hard, and saying “it could be worse” isn’t a comfort, its a cover

Dear Readers!

If it sucks say so, don’t try to color it with “it could be worse” or “well at least…”

I have been going back and forth about this for a few days and I finally decided to to just tell it like it is and say this sucks. Period.. No qualifiers, no positive spin. I am very much a fan of spin but now is not that time.

First, I found out this week that I have to get dental work done… after having a great check up and feeling GREAT about things. I could easily say, at least its two teeth not four.. but I don’t want to. I want to wallow and be hacked off (and I AM) that even though I put in all that work brushing and flossing and paid rapt attention to my teeth, I still have to get them worked on because I have inherited bad teeth and try as I might this still plagues me, I am in charge of what I can do about it, but it allows me limited control which for those who know me is also something I LOVE. (insert heavy sarcasm here)

Second, we just PAID off our car which is awesome, and we had a great time with family and friends over Thanksgiving but on the way home we hit a deer (we are 100% fine) but it really damaged the car. We don’t know what will happen not sure how much the repairs will cost but right now I just want to be frustrated.

Third- A friend of mine is having a really rough time with her family at the moment and I have no good advice. All the words in the world will not bring comfort. It sucks OUT LOUD. I can’t help. I can pray for her and send her good vibes and hug her and cry with her but that is all I can do.

I usually use this blog to post about how life can be hard, but keep your chin up and how there is always a silver lining if you look for it.. but sometimes life sucks and you have to cry, scream or curse to get to what is next and that process can be days, weeks, months or even years.

I want to always be real with you and I have seen that kind of authenticity create magic and connection where there was none, people are much more willing to share with you when you share with them.

So what is my point? When someone tells you that they are upset, listen- Don’t just jump in with advice. Or if someone is crying, let them cry, don’t try to stop them. A song I have deep emotional connection to is “Sad Songs Say So Much” by Elton John – The lyrics speak for themselves

“The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you and it feels so good to hurt so bad, or suffer just enough to sing the blues”

So be a gift to someone else today and listen to them or if there is someone you have been “meaning to call” pick up the phone and even if its just a text, let them know you are there.

Think about it…..