Time: A Reflection

Time….

Time, it’s what most of us wish we had more of.  More time.

We often tell ourselves….

There is never enough time in a day.

I don’t have time for that.

I wish I had more time to do the things I love.

Time is of essence.

Time is running out.

And before we die, we think of time.  Some of us know it is our time, some of us will pray for more time and some of us will simply reflect on the value of time and the meaning of time.

How many times in a day or week or year did you wish you simply had more time?  

And then let me ask you this, what do you wish you had more time for?

When I coach clients, I often have them visualize what their ideal schedule would look like – hour by hour for an “ideal” week.  And then I have them compare that ideal schedule to what their current schedule actually is.  You can guess that in most cases those two schedules are very different extremes.

So, how can you manage your time more effectively?  How can you feel like time doesn’t control you?  How can you simply make more time?

It seems complicated, but then again, as humans we have the tendency to overcomplicate everything, don’t we?

We also overestimate how much time it actually takes to get something done.  Let me say that one again, we overestimate how much time it takes to do something.  So if you want to work out, if you want to spend more quality time with your kids, if you want to cook healthier meals, or write a book, or tackle that growing to-do list, what you think will take hours, days or weeks, can possibly take less than 10 minutes a day.

We also don’t make time to build the lives we want.  We all have priorities – work, kids, spouse, house, bills etc.  But, each of us has a desire to do something more with our time, beyond our everyday commitments.

Time is a choice.  If you’ve ever said, “I don’t have time” consider that perhaps you meant “it’s not really a priority”.  There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours every single week available to you to make time for the things you choose.

Right now, what is it time for in your life?  Write down 3-5 things.  And then start taking action every single day towards those things.

A coaching session may help you clarify where you can gain more time, keep you accountable and start taking control of your life.  Find out more information by emailing info@jencote.com.

Do you feel stuck in your life?

Do you crave change but don’t know how to get it?

Do you even know what it is you really want?

I think sometimes as mothers we tend to forget about our own needs.  Our lives are revolved around taking care of others all day long to the point of exhaustion that we actually never have the time to think about what it is that we want for ourselves.  We tend to think in terms of our kids or our spouse – what do they like and what do they want?  What do they need?

We go through our lives living on autopilot when our kids are young and we don’t even realize that we aren’t thinking about our own needs.  And we wake up feeling stressed out, resentful and exhausted.

I was there!  There was a period of almost 2 years where I just felt stuck and I didn’t know what to do about it.  I started getting depressed, I started feeling really confused about my career, my relationships were suffering, I wasn’t having fun anymore.  I didn’t like the person I was becoming.

I had this great career.  I had two healthy kids and a supportive husband.  I had great friends and family.  I had everything to be grateful for but I couldn’t manage to feel grateful, no matter how hard I tried.  I didn’t even realize at the time that it had anything to do with me not knowing what I wanted for myself.

I wasn’t taking the time to eat right.  I wasn’t exercising in a way that revived me.  I wasn’t taking the time for self care routines.  I wasn’t filling my own bucket.  I was waking up in a rush trying to get the kids out the door and myself to work.  It was lunch time before I realized I forgot to eat breakfast.  Coffee was my best friend.  It was the first thing I looked for when I stumbled out of bed and then it was my afternoon pick me up.  When I got home after an intense day at work, I had to make dinner, do homework, get the kids bathed and then there was bedtime routines.  And there was of course, wine too.  That was my routine for years and over time, it started affecting my health – not only physically, but mentally and spiritually too.

I became this angry mom – I was yelling at my kids and I couldn’t even control it sometimes.  I was lashing out at my husband because I had too much on my plate and I was completely overwhelmed.  I thought that there was something wrong with me.  I compared myself to other mothers that seemed to have it all together.  They seemed so patient, they were working full time and still had time to go to the gym – what?  They always had their nails done, were dressed nice all the time and still had time to do crafts with their kids – what?  So, naturally, I blamed myself for everything and I felt guilty all the time.

I’m here to tell you mama, it’s okay.  There is nothing wrong with you.  Breathe.  Yes, take a deep breath right now.  Doesn’t that feel good?!  Just to take a soul soothing deep breath in and a long sigh of an exhale letting all of that stress go.  You just did something – for you!  And it felt amazing, right?

So, how do you get out of that rut you are stuck in?  There are a few things you can do.

First, get clear on what it is you really want – for you.  This might be a process.  You might not know what that is and chances are, as a mother, you might not give yourself permission to want it.  But ask yourself:  What do YOU want?   I guarantee most of you will have automatically thought, I want to be a better mother.  I think no matter who we are, we will always want to strive to be better mothers.  But in order to be the best mother we can be, we need to know who we are and what our own needs, wants, goals and dreams are too.

Second, what are the things you can do to fill your own bucket?  Maybe it’s going for a walk in nature without screaming kids tugging on your leg.  Maybe it’s taking a bath or shower without any interruptions.  Maybe it’s going out for dinner with a friend, reading a book or watching a chick flick.  What do you love to do?  What lights you up?  What makes you feel really good?  Find out what those things are.  If you can even take 20 minutes out of your day to do something that feels really good for you, it can make an amazing difference.

Third, no more skipping breakfast or living on coffee.  You have to start taking control of your health and the first thing you can do is to start eating well.  How can you feel good if you aren’t eating good?  Get those energizing green smoothies in your diet, swap that afternoon coffee with a herbal tea, get up 10 minutes earlier and eat a good breakfast.  Drink water!!  You get the idea.

Fourth, stop comparing yourself to other mothers.  With the constant bombarding of social media, it looks as if everyone has a perfect life.  No one posts pictures of their kids fighting or that frozen pizza going in the oven because they just don’t feel like cooking.  No one posts pictures of the stacks of laundry piling up, the dishes in the sink or the homework that didn’t get done.  No one has it all together all the time.

Fifth, ask for help!  I know that most of us are amazing at multi-tasking and we deserve way more credit then we ever give ourselves, but there is nothing wrong with asking for help.  If you want 20 minutes in the bath without kids barging in, ask your husband to help you out.  If you want to have a date night with your spouse because it’s been a year since you’ve gone out but don’t have a babysitter, ask a friend.  People love helping people.  All you have to do is ask.

And finally, know that you are worth it.  If you feel stuck in your life, the only person that has the power to change that is you.  Know that you deserve to take a “time-out” to care for yourself and to get to know yourself.  You will be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better co-worker, and a better person overall.

If you just don’t know where to start, feel completely overwhelmed, or keep questioning what you really want, let’s set up a clarity session to get you living a life you love!  Email me at info@jencote.com.

5 Things You Need To Do Right Now To Change A Bad Habit

Bad habits.  We all have them.  We all know which habits are bad for us but somehow we have a really hard time trying to change them.  I think every single one of us has some bad habit that we instinctively know we should avoid, but don’t.  We also know which habits we should be creating for ourselves to live better lives, but yet, year after year, we fail to make new, healthier habits stick.  And that’s because we are human, life gets messy and changing a habit is not an easy thing – but it is possible for those that are willing to do the work.

It’s easy to create bad habits, but it’s hard to create good habits.

A habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice.  Notice the key word “practice”.  Because practice doesn’t mean perfect and I think a lot of us give up on something good when we screw up or give in to temptation temporarily, instead of starting fresh that next hour or that next day or that next week.

“Bad habits are our enemies because they hinder us from being the person we want to be.”

-Joyce Meyer

So, if you are ready to tackle a bad habit, here are 5 things that you need to do to set yourself up for success:

#1 – You need to believe in yourself FIRST.  Whatever you want to create for yourself, you have to know in your heart, body and mind that you can achieve it. If you think you can, you will.

#2 – You need to hold yourself accountable by letting someone else know what you are trying to do.  By holding yourself accountable, it helps you stop making excuses and start taking action.  It also helps on those days where you feel resistance or when giving in to temptation just seems so much easier.  You have someone you can call.  Everyone needs a phone a friend in their lives.

#3 – You need to schedule it.  Putting it on your schedule makes it concrete and non-negotiable.  For example, if the habit you want to create is going to the gym, then put those workout classes in your calendar.  Or if you want to cut down on alcohol, then make sure that specific days are marked no alcohol days on your calendar.  Then don’t book any social engagements on those days.

#4 – You need to monitor your progress.  Yes, we all slip up from time to time.  You had to work late, got sick, or your babysitter cancelled.  There are always things that may get in the way of your progress.  But if you aren’t monitoring it, how do you know if you are progressing toward your new habit or away from it?  It’s also incentive.  By seeing how good you are doing at something, it gives you the motivation to continue.

#5 – You need to reward yourself and give yourself a pat on the back.  It’s so easy for us to focus on our failures, but this time, I’m asking you to acknowledge every great thing you’ve done, no matter how small or trivial it may seem.  Changing habits is a very hard thing to do.  Don’t get caught up on your failures, focus on your progress.

Adding better habits to your life will enhance it in so many ways.  We all have value.  We all have value to bring to ourselves and the people around us.  However, to be a person of value, we have to make sure that our bad habits aren’t keeping us from being the person we want to be.

What’s The Hype About Cleansing Anyways?

Cleansing and detoxing is all the rage right now.  It seems everyone has some sort of detox or cleansing program you can buy into.  But why?  Why is cleansing so important?  Why do we need to do a cleanse?  Should everyone do a cleanse?  So what’s the hype about cleansing anyways?

We cleanse the outside of our bodies but we often don’t think about having to cleanse on the inside.  In fact, hardly any of us think about how the internal processes of our bodies work, unless we start having an issue.

Our bodies accumulate waste and toxins.  Exposure to toxins comes from the food we eat, the air we breathe and even our thoughts!  Making poor food choices, overeating, improper digestion, chemical exposure, pollution, prescriptions – you name it, and our bodies have to try and detoxify it.  The organs that can become overloaded with toxicity are the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and skin.

So how do you know if you are suffering from an overload of toxins?

Here are some signs:

  • constantly tired and lack energy
  • skin issues, like eczema or psoriasis
  • headaches
  • achy joints or muscles
  • sinus issues
  • gas, bloating, constipation or IBS
  • mood swings or anxiety
  • cellulite

But cleansing is not for everyone.  Pregnant women, diabetics, people with hypoglycaemia, candida or ulcers should not do a cleanse.  Very sick people should also avoid cleansing.

Why?  Because it’s normal to experience mild symptoms when cleansing like weakness, lightheadedness or mild headaches initially.  However people with very high levels of toxicity will often feel much worse, so it’s important to gradually ease into cleansing.

Now at this point cleansing probably sounds awful, so let me tell you what can cleansing do for you.

  • improved mental clarity
  • increased energy
  • clearer skin
  • can help break bad eating habits or other toxic dependencies
  • helps reduce stress and anxiety
  • improved sleep
  • can help purify the liver, kidneys and blood
  • digestive system will be flushed of waste and bacteria
  • can even aid in weight loss

People often feel more relaxed, creative, energetic and are able to handle stress better after detoxification.

There are all different types of cleanses out there for different lengths of time.  My advice:  start small.  If you’ve never done a cleanse before, don’t sign up for a 30 day detox.  Sometimes cleansing can be as simple as drinking water with lemon in the morning.  Sometimes it can be complex – like avoiding coffee, alcohol, sugar, gluten, dairy.  And if you cheat one day, don’t consider it a failure.  Every little improvement helps!

Change – It’s Possible

Many people want to change and have a true desire to become healthier but just don’t know where to start. To many, their ideal weight or health goal seems impossible so they don’t even make an effort. Some of the more “motivated” individuals go a few weeks strictly following an unrealistic diet or workout plan that only has them crashing and reverting to old ways.

“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”

— James Belasco and Ralph Stayer
Flight of the Buffalo (1994)

Why is change so hard for people?  The majority of people who start something never finish it.  I always thought it was because I didn’t have enough motivation.  Sometimes I knew I was setting myself up for failure trying to take on too much at once, and other times, I didn’t realize it until after I had given up.  Sometimes I wanted something, but quite frankly, wasn’t willing to make the effort for it.

Change is meant to be hard – I think it tests us to see how bad we really want something.

It’s important to be clear about WHY you want to change.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when you are considering change:

  • What are your health goals and are they realistic for YOU considering your lifestyle?
  • What obstacles are standing in your way? If you’ve tried a new health plan or workout routine and it didn’t last, what happened?
  • What do you fall back on when things get hard?  Maybe it’s coffee, chocolate, chips or alcohol…. When do you reach for that crutch? Are you tired, upset, bored?
  • What are the negative voices in your head telling you?
  • Why do you really want this change?  Is it really for you? Or is it for someone else?  Is it because someone told you that you should?

Becoming aware of your thoughts and triggers is one of the first steps to change.  Understanding yourself and being honest with yourself is another.  Then setting up a realistic game plan for your lifestyle, not someone else’s is also another key to success.

When you become clear about why you want to change and break down your goals into small, actionable steps suddenly the impossible becomes possible.

 

You can do it, it is possible.  You are strong, you are beautiful and you deserve to feel good. Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone could just tell us that everyday?!  Well someone can – and it’s you!

Remove the negative voices, have a back up plan when things get tough and don’t compare yourself to someone else because we really are all biochemically unique.   And remember, small changes make big results in the end.

Questions To Ask Yourself In Any Relationship

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of your relationships.”
― Anthony Robbins

Relationships can get messy.  It seems they are never really simple.  Whether it’s with a co-worker, friend, spouse, parent, child – relationships are the very essence of our lives and yet, when one relationship is flourishing, another can be completely knocking you down.

I’ve recently been going through some relationship messes of my own and it’s been making me question my values and who I am.  The old me would have stuck with the thought of “something must be wrong with me” or  “I’m not enough” anytime a relationship would suffer.

But as I continue to work on myself, I get more in touch with who I really am and the I’m not enough speech doesn’t work for me anymore.  Even though sometimes it’s easy to go there, I don’t want to put myself down or be in any kind of relationship that doesn’t align with the person I want to become.

I know I’m a nice person that gets taken advantage of sometimes.  I’m super sensitive which doesn’t help matters but it’s also what makes me so compassionate.  I’m constantly trying to evolve and grow and sometimes that makes me selfish because I’m focused on my own path.  I’m an introvert so I’m not always the social, lets get out of the house kind of person.  I can admit these things without shame.  It’s part of who I am.

The great thing about relationships is that they make us feel connected.  A good relationship can help us be more productive, feel more fulfilled, feel happy and improve our health.  But relationships are almost like a living thing.  They need attention, energy and time.  A relationship also needs to be built on trust, communication and respect to be healthy.

Sometimes in a relationship, we have the choice to continue to battle or we can choose to let it go.  We also have the choice to give up the fight when it’s really not worth it in order to keep a relationship that is good for us.  So how do you know when it’s time to move on?  Or time to put down the swords?

Well here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Does being in the relationship improve you?  Is it helping you become the person you want to be?  Is it adding value to your life?  Does that person support you and want to see you grow?  Is the relationship built on trust and respect?  Are you willing to put time, effort and energy into the relationship?

Or does the relationship add toxicity to your life?  Is it mentally, emotionally or physically draining all the time?  Does it harm you?  Is it full of criticism and lack of respect?  Are you fighting constantly?  Do you have to “play small” in order to keep the relationship?  Do you dread putting effort into the relationship?

No two people are ever going to see eye to eye on all issues.  There will always be turbulence in any relationship, but knowing if the relationship is a healthy one may help you realize that fighting is not worth it or its time to move on.  Sometimes we outgrow people.  Sometimes when we try to better ourselves the people around us want to hold us down.  Sometimes we get into a relationship to fill a void or fulfill selfish reasons.   Sometimes our anger or hurt can mask how much we really care about that person.  Sometimes boundaries just need to be set or seeing a situation from their perspective may help us become more aware.

I know relationships are never black and white but I think with a lot of self reflection and putting feelings aside, we instinctively know whether or not we should be staying in any kind of relationship.

5 Life Changing Questions

What did you do today to live full out?  What moment did you seize today?  To play with your kids, hold hands with your husband, smile at a stranger, tackle something on your to do list, or to let your light shine.

What moment did you own today to add a little sparkle to the every day ordinary?  What moment will you remember 5 years down the road?

We often don’t think like this – but we should.  We all know that life is short and that life is a gift but we get so caught up in our every day routines that we take it for granted, we forget about how special it is and we let stress lead the way.

I’m asking you to try and start thinking this way – to set an intention for each day.  Without intention we get lost in the every day, but with an intention we have a goal, an aim and a focus.  My intention for every day is simply to be aware, to be grateful, and to make it the best day I possibly can given whatever circumstances I’m dealing with at the time.

Life is here for us.  It doesn’t happen to us, we are responsible for creating our own lives.  Materially, we may not have what we want – the bigger house, fast car, name brand clothes.  Physically, we may not have what we want – almond shaped eyes, a size 4 body, a smaller nose.  But emotionally, we can control how we see the world and that’s the greatest thing.  We might not have that big house or weren’t born with some physical feature that we want but those things aren’t what really matter.  At the end of the day, it’s about appreciating what you have and creating more of what you love.

The more I practice gratitude, the more I appreciate my life.

The fact that I’m aware of what’s happening during the day and not on auto-pilot, allows me to be present for the every day moments I may otherwise take for granted.  Like the time I fist bumped my son, trying to act like the cool mom, as he was getting on the bus for school.  He giggled and his smile lit up his face, it was adorable!  That’s a moment I want to remember.  Or the night I had to work late and my 7 year old daughter drew random pictures, I love you notes and snowflakes on several pieces of paper and slid them under my office door.  How cute and precious!

It doesn’t have to be an earth shattering event – think small and appreciate the little things.

One way to help capture these moments is in a journal.  At the end of the day, I make a point to take 2 minutes and write 1 positive thing that happened that day or one moment I want to remember. This very simple thing has given me huge payback.  I appreciate the people I love more, I feel more satisfied with life, and I do things I ordinarily may not do just because I’m focused on making every day special in some little way.

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”

-Brene Brown

So ask yourself these 5 questions every day:

1 – What did I do today to make this day special?

2 – What moment did I seize today that might have otherwise slipped by me?

3 – What moment do I want to remember 5 years from now?

4 – What did I do for someone else today?

5 – What is 1 thing I could have done better?

It doesn’t take any effort or time, just by simply becoming aware you can dramatically change your life.

“Awareness is like the sun.  When it shines on things they are transformed.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh