Why This Word Can Be a Game Changer for You

One word?  Yes one word is all it takes to make even the smallest of changes in your life.  For Shondra Rhimes, her word was Yes.  She stopped saying no to things and starting saying Yes for an entire year!  It worked so well she even wrote a book about it.

Believe me I was the original skeptic about this but it turns out it works.  I know this because I have been using it for probably 10 years now and it has made a huge difference in my life.

So what’s your word?  I cannot tell you because that is for you to decide.  Wait don’t stop reading…it seriously is not that hard and I am here to get you started.

First let me tell what works for me…it may or may not work for you and that is more than okay.  It is ,however, a jumping off point.

Every year I choose one word that I am going to use, lean on, question, stomp on and ultimately come to know that truly IS my word.

I am always surprised  how the word I chose 352 days prior turns out to be the best word for me.  Every year I wonder if it will work and every year it does.

Last year my word was Grace.  Little did I know how much Grace I would need in 2020, not only for the pandemic but for my whole life.  My elderly mother had a stroke that left her in the throes of dementia with one foot in the present and the rest of her in the past.   Add Covid quarantine into the mix and I needed all the Grace I could muster.  Even though 2020 is over and we are well into 2021 I keep Grace in my back pocket to pair it with my current word to help me along.

So how do you find your word.? Well sometimes you choose and sometimes it chooses you . Actually I must admit most of the time the word chooses me.  Let me explain. A dear friend has  “faith” for her word this year.  She noticed how much it kept showing up for her in every part of her life.  Faith that it was the right decision, faith that things will work out, faith that she would find the right job.  It was like the word was just sitting in front of her saying “Pick Me, Pick me” as it waved it hands frantically trying to be noticed.

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For me it wasn’t so much the word as the action.  I like to run.  It keeps me centered.  I noticed on my runs there were times when I would struggle and other runs it would seem like I could go on forever.  It was all in the rhythm and coordination of my pace, my breath and my thoughts.  Thoughts?  Yes..it is almost impossible for me to run while thinking negative things.  “Stinking thinking” and running do not mix well.  Then I noticed the different rhythms of my day..the ups and downs, the ever changing cadence of daily living.  It soon became obvious late last year that rhythm was meant to be my word of the year.  As we entered 2021 I embraced the word ” Rhythm ” with Grace as a back up to be my best guide in 2021.

Is February too late to have a word of the year? Absolutely not.  Actually it is the best time as things aren’t as crazy as they are in late December.  The shorter, chillier days lend to slowing down and a little more time to do things for ourselves.

Here are few tips:

  •  It doesn’t have to be “perfect” .  There is no such thing.
  • It can be something you want to achieve as in a goal but sometimes that gets to be a little cumbersome.
  • Often it is more about an essence. Something you want more of in your life.
  • It can be a theme for your year
  • It can be something that motivates you, makes you smile or grounds you.

To help you along here are a few examples of past words of the year..some are mine, some I borrowed from friends.

     Wonder:  remembering to have that spirit of wonder at all that is around you

    Inspire:  finding inspriration in the big and small things

     Flow:   finding a peaceful flow to each day, to your life

    Celebrate:  This friend wanted to remember the phrase:

” Until Further Notice Celebrate  Everything”!

    Joy: Finding joy right where you are in the present moment.

A few other have been  inspire, spark, momentum, bloom, and sparkle.  The list is endless.

So are you ready to jump in and have a word of the year?  It truly is a gift you can give yourself that doesn’t cost anything.  All you have to do is get quiet and it will come to you.  Or just keep the idea in mind and see what pops up for you.

It always surprises me when I focus on something how many times it appears to me.  When we were looking for a new front door suddenly I noticed EVERYONE’s front door.  The same can happen here and yet…do not stress if  it doesn’t happen right away.  It will happen when you least expect..like most things.

Need help?  I’m only an email away at Jennifer@healthcoachingforwomen.com

As always, today is YOUR day!  Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Powerful Words I ever Heard…

Happy New Year!  No I am not confused.  Today is the start of my 2021.  I always give myself grace and time as the previous year ends and new one begins.  Time to rest and recuperate from the hectic holidays, enjoy our many January birthdays and basically get my ducks in a row for the new year.  I am on my own timetable by my own choosing.

It is not too late for you to do the same.  You can reboot 2021 and make it whatever you want.  Sometimes I reboot several times in the same year.  There is energy around a reboot.  Plus while there are a lot of rules in this life that need to be followed there ARE some that we can control and starting the new year when we want to and doing a reboot are two of them.

Lots of people are rehashing 2020 and already lamenting 2021.  I am not one of them.  I am a possibility thinker and at heart an optimist.  I also like to plan.  AND I like to have a safety net for those plans so often there is Plan A quickly followed by Plan B, C and D.  If I have to fall back on Plan D you can be assured a whole of something hit the fan quickly.

All that being said I am not married to any of my to do lists or calendars or action lists.  I leave room for flexibility although I have learned that too much flexibility like too much chocolate can wreak havoc on my life.

If you live where it is the dead of winter it may be hard to stay motivated.  The weather can make us want to hunker down under a blanket and wait for spring.  What motivates me?  Honestly since 2017 it is the most powerful words I ever heard.

The words came from my parents.  Actually my Mom but let me give you a little back story.  For years, actually about 3 decades, my parents always told us kids the same thing at the beginning of the year:

” We have a plan.  We have a two year plan to get this house cleaned out and sold.  If you want anything, let us know now, otherwise it is all going.  And if you left anything here, come and get it.”

This “plan” started before my Dad retired.  It was a good plan and yet it was flawed.  My parents did not have a plan, they had an intention.  They had no action plotted out with the plan, no real deadline.  Yes they said two years but two years is a really really long time.  They never broke it up into doable segments and 30 years after the infamous two year plan intentions were declared they were in the same house, more stuff and no real progress had been made.

In the end they were right.  It took me and my siblings and our spouses two years to clean out the house and get it updated to sell after my father died and my mother moved to assisted living.

Honestly it made me sad.  There were so many things they never got to do or kept themselves from doing because of this two year plan.  On top of all this when my father died my mother was utterly clueless to paperwork, documents, and all the items that need to be pulled together to get an estate settled and get her into assisted living.  It required many hours  of detective work on our part and a lot of time spent digging through piles of papers.

So those powerful words came the week after my Dad died as my husband and Mom headed to the bank to start the process of settling my Dad’s estate.  She looked at Paul and said ”  I kept asking you father in law to explain things to me so I could be knowledgeable about all the paperwork and our finances.  He always said ” Great idea, we can do that next week”  And then she said the words I will never forget:

                           IT”S NEXT WEEK 🙁

And she softly began to cry.

Not only are those words powerful but for me they are also a bit painful.  Still it was one of those moments my husband and I have never forgotten.

So as I begin this new year I think of those words often.  I can plan all I want but if I don’t take action the plan is worthless.  I fight against procrastination ALL THE TIME.  I often joke I have a PhD in it  but I know if I just take one tiny step forward in the things I really don’t want to do I will keep going and get it done.

I do have a plan for 2021 with action steps to go with it.  It is constantly evolving.  I have learned to be present, to not wait on the fun things I really want to do, and do the stuff I really don’t want to so I can do those fun things.  I try not to wallow in the negative, and cherish my friends and family.  Do I get off track? Of course.  I am human. Things get to me, I get mad or sad and sometimes stuck.  And then I remember those three powerful words and how I hope I never say them.

Your SOMEDAY is TODAY…it is not next week or the week after.  You CAN take steps ( even baby ones) toward your dreams, your goals, whatever it is you want.

It is a New Year…whether you started 19 days ago or today.  We think next week will always be there for us and for most of us it will be but I am not taking that chance.  I hope you don’t either.

Here is to 2021..may it be full of all that  you want it to be NOW !

Cheers,  Jennifer

P.S.  Want help getting started?  Contact me at my email: Jennifer@healthcoachingforwomen.com for a 30 minute intro to coaching session.  I would love to work together to get your year going and make your someday TODAY!

 

Hanging in there despite the odds…

I am being taught many lessons in perseverance for some unknown reason.  Well the reason is unknown to me but I did take notice.

The latest lesson came from a call to our cell phone company that will remain nameless unless you are familiar with the one that goes by three initials. 🙂

We have been customers forever, faithfully paying our bills on time and recieving reasonable service until this past month.  Despite our stellar good customer record they were threatening to cut off our service.  Why?  We returned a non working cell phone booster after they replaced it and they claimed it was never received sooo we owed them for it. My husband refused to pay and the threats, phone calls and even texts started.  By the way we sent it back in June.  We had no tracking number or photo of the package using their label ( our mistake).  AND we could never seem to get away from the call center in India where they read from a script.  After 3 phone calls by my hubby I gave it a shot.  90 minutes later, tons of hold music, 3 or 4 different people and it was resolved.  They HAD received it.  It was their error…and to be honest we were almost to the point of paying for it since we had no proof that we had sent it and chalking it up to our stupidity.  After all we were dealing with the phone company AND the post office.. a terrible combo.

Paul was so frustrated during those 90 minutes he kept telling me to hang up but I refused and I kept my cool.  I did one thing that made the difference and got me transferred to the right people.  Surprisingly it was a simple question.  “Do you know what a micro cell phone booster is?”  Please get me someone who does.”   I actually did not plan that, it just happened.  Oh we did have to make a 5th phone call to get the late charge on money we never owed removed but that is another story.

So here is my question.  What are you giving up on, throwing in the towel on that maybe you just need to give a little more time or ask the right questions?  Who is supporting you?  Do you believe you can do it?

Many of you know we spent the last year plus cleaning out my parents house.  One box at a time.  I thought it was never going to end.  Obviously it did but it was only because we persevered and kept going.

Sometimes that is all it takes.  Just keep going but also make sure you are giving yourself breaks and also credit. Credit for even the littlest things AND give yourself permission to be kind and gentle with yourself.

As I have said many times before, your health is more than your physical health..it is also mental, spiritual, and emotional health.  They are inter-related and all need nurturing.

Give yourself a pajama day like I did recently.

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It was soooo awesome and the best part is an amazing movie found me..it FOUND ME and I don’t think it was an accident that it suddenly popped up on my ipad.  It is called St. Ralph and it is all about perseverance.  Here is a link to the trailer: https://youtu.be/Rj-DDQQ0Vp8

This kid really believed in himself when everyone else just scoffed at him and his dreams.

What are your dreams, ambitions, goals?  Can you support yourself and move forward despite the naysayers.  It is not easy but doable. Give yourself credit for any forward movement. Baby steps ARE moving forward.

Need help with the next step? I am here for you !  Give me a shout out and we will get together via phone.

Now go take the next step no matter how small and make it a healthy one..in every way!

Jennifer

 

 

 

 

Changing things up!

What is life without change?  My life has changed in big ways lately.  Inevitable ways but life goes on and so do I.

That being said I am changing things up a little here.

As soon as I figure out how to do it technically ( isn’t technology great most of the time..emphasis on most!)  I am changing the tagline and the focus  on my coaching and this website.

Not a lot..but just enough.

Love my tagline: Your life, Your Health, Your Way  ….BUT  it is too right side up.

Time to shake things up a bit.  So the new tagline will be…drum roll please:

Someday is TODAY!

Seriously…It is time to do this….truth be told most of us are overdue for this truth much like the library books sitting in front of me.

And if not now then when?

This all came to me yesterday because for some reason when I get in the car, ride my bike or I’m in the shower I get the best ideas.  Of course as you can guess I have no where to write these ideas down.    Sometimes I remember them..sometimes they fly out of my brain as fast as the came in.

Surprisingly when these ideas came to me yesterday they stayed in my brain! Yay me!  Not only was I driving but I was also listening to an audio book and yet my mind still wandered.  I started to think about the next ten years and what I want my goals to be for this next decade of my life. Like a shooting star of brilliance  I suddenly questioned myself  “Ten years?”  “TEN YEARS?”  Why not the next ten seconds, ten minutes, or ten hours?”

Yes ,why not?  Long term goals are great unless we give ourselves so much time we actually never get started.  Stephen Covey coined the phrase “Begin with the end in mind”    The key word in that is begin.  If we look at the end goal it might be too daunting.  Time to break it down into tiny pieces that eventually make up the whole.

Personally I have a great but sad example of this.  My parents had a two year plan to clean out their house, declutter and maybe move to a smaller place.  My Dad always joked that they were going to buy a mobile home and visit each of us for four months at a time.  The two year plan was a great idea except….they talked about it for the last 30 years and never quite got around to taking that first step.  My Dad passed away and now it is my Mom and the four of us sorting and organizing a house that has years of stuff in it. Not fun and it made me realize while they gave themselves an end date they never gave themselves a start date.

If you find yourself saying frequently “Someday I will travel, move, live by the water, read these books, write a book, exercise, change jobs, write more letters, get organized, take a course, finish my degree etc. please know you are not alone.

I’ll bet you often say those things and then give yourself a million reasons why you can’t start today or any day and  then before you know it you are facing some sort of deadline that life has handed you.

One of the best movie lines I have ever heard came from the movie “Funny Girl” when Fanny Brice asks Nick Arnstein what he does for a living and he replies; : “I live” and she says : “Well everyone does that”  His response?

Hardly anyone does!

Take a minute and think about the truth in that statement.

Life can certainly hand us a shit load of sorrows.  Do we roll around it it or do we spread it in our garden and let it fertilize our awesomeness?

[bctt tweet=”Life can hand us a shit load of sorrows. Roll in it or use it as life’s fertilizer?” username=”jenniferbross”]

I think you know the answer  but just can’t get going.  It seems overwhelming..kinda like heading into the bedroom to go to sleep when you are exhausted and you discover that you stripped the bed to wash the sheets and you can either not make the bed up and just wrap yourself in the sheets or take the 5-10 minutes to actually make the bed.  It is one of those “Oh shit” moments.  I’ve actually argued with myself that I am way to tired to make up the bed but in reality if I don’t then I know won’t sleep well so I do it and it takes all of 5 minutes.

Take a look at those “someday” wants and desire.  I’m here to work with you to find a starting point , send you off to the gas station to put fuel in your tank and encourage you to rev up your engine.

Are you ready?

Want to do something in the next 10 seconds??

In the next ten seconds you can send me a quick email to schedule a complimentary coaching session to see if this is for you.

Send it to  yourupsidedownlife@gmail.com  and you’ve done that ONE thing toward your goal.

Can’t wait to hear from you!  In the meantime I am going to my own powering up, making someday today, kicking ass and turning things upside down.  I have no idea where I’ll be in the next 10 years but it’s time to start moving forward.

 

A stranger saved my life, I really hope I can pay it forward.

A stranger saved my life on Valentines Day.   I mean a real stranger.  I don’t know if this person is male or female, young or old, black, white or green with pink polka dots.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is this person made it possible for me to still be here, to not make my husband a widower.  God willing I will continue to watch my grandchildren grow and maybe have the joy of great grandkids one day.

This person did it in a very simple way.  They paid attention when I did not.  They were disconnected from the many distractions we have nowadays when we are driving and for that I will be forever grateful.

I am a recovering multi tasker.  I would use any little bits of time to get lots done.  Television commercials are a great time to run around the house and do things and quite honestly the way things are going there will be 25 minutes of commercials and 5 minutes of the program.  Wait I think we are already close to that point.

So it is no surprise that I consider waiting at stoplights a perfect time to clean up the passenger seat, rummage through my purse, open the mail I picked up or check my phone.  Pretty sure I am not alone in this.

I was in an amazing mood after a lovely birthday breakfast for my daughter and her family.  I drove away and smiled thinking of the nice time we had together.  I heard the familiar ding of a text message on my phone and was grateful the stop light ahead was red so I could read it.

And I did..a beautiful thank-you text from my daughter.  I glanced up quickly since I was first in line and saw the light had turned green. I started through the intersection and then I heard someone honking their horn.  It was polite honk, not a long angry one but just one long enough to get my attention. Out of my peripheral vision I saw a car to my left that could have broadsided me and honestly I thought “Dumb ass, why are you honking?  I have the right of way with a green light”

Except I didn’t.

In a heart wrenching moment my sanctimonious self glanced in my rear view mirror and all the cars behind me  were still stopped at the stop light.

I wanted to throw up.

I hadn’t seen a green light.  Not only did I go through a red light, but I put myself and that erectile dysfunction other car in extreme danger.  I could have been broadsided, my car totaled and my life taken.  I immediately thanked the driver and my guardian angel for looking out for me and then I cried, turned off my phone and threw it to the back of the car.

I drove the 75 miles home in silence and prayer.

Nothing…and I do mean NOTHING on my phone, tablet or laptop is worth losing my life over or endangering someone else.  So I made a promise to disconnect and I did.  Oh I still have my phone and all my other gadgets but I now control them.  I thought it would be hard to not only break the addiction to my phone and social media and multi tasking but it was not.  I discovered when I limited myself  that I had more time for things I always said I had no time for..reading, decluttering, photography, writing.

I won’t be the one at lunch looking at my phone and I will politely ask you to put it away so we can visit.  Not an unreasonable request.

Ironically sitting at home on my bedside table was a book I have been wanting to read titled:

“The Joy of Missing Out”  Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina CookFullSizeRender (5)

The title alone says it all and it is a wonderful book.  I now have time to read it.

I still post and read face book and check my e-mail.  I am just not obsessed over it.  I am now embracing “The Joy of Missing Out”  rather than FOMO..the “Fear of Missing Out”

The people who really need me can find me without texting, email or face book.   Call my phone or landline, leave a message.  As my mother says “bad news travels fast” and as a nurse I will tell you there are very few “true” emergencies.

When we visited Italy in 2014  (a dream trip I waited a long time for) I learned to look up everywhere we went. The ceilings, the bell towers..oh my gosh there was so much to take in when I looked up.

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And that is my message to you..Look up, pay attention, be with the people who are with you.   We have this amazing privilege called LIFE.  Let us live it looking up and enjoying the things and people around us.

Looking down almost killed me.  Every time I look up I remember and whisper “Thank-you for paying attention”

Be healthy today in every way!

 

It’s about time..or not! Living without a clock for a day…what I discovered!

As promised I am posting about my day without all the time keepers in my life.  And as promised I am posting it “soonish” which has become my new favorite word.

So in my previous post ( find it here) I had a new awareness about time and what a hold it has on me.  I promised to go a whole day without using my watch  ( I’m addicted to the point that I wear it to bed) or any other of device that displays the time.

Before anyone says “Who has the time for this?”  I will share that it is such an anomaly that I would have a day free to do this and it was a luxury.   I even started to back out on Sunday night ( because seriously who has the time for this!) but since I coach people on how to get out of their comfort zones and since I am always hearing how people don’t have time to eat well, exercise, journal, meditate, or even just take some time for themselves I KNEW I needed to make good on my promise.

I reluctantly gave up my watch when I went to bed and wondered what the day would bring.  Oh I also covered up the most obvious time displays ( oven, microwave, computer, phone).

I actually didn’t officially start until 12:30 am thanks to my cat who woke me up because she got trapped in the garage and I had to disengage the alarm system to get to her…and there was the time shining at me on the wall display…I was half asleep so it wasn’t really my fault.

So in  nutshell here is what I discovered:

  • It was surprisingly easy to NOT know what time it was.  I was aware and careful and as the day progressed I REALLY didn’t care or want to know the time.
  • Couldn’t use the sun to gauge  it since it was raining and cloudy..oh well.
  • I was very focused and got a lot done ( this was a surprise)!
  • Without the clock and all those little voices in  my head telling me I was wasting hair loss time, I actually DID NOT waste time.
  • It was relaxing with no pressure to hurry up.
  • Some of what I think about time is habit and some of it is lies I tell myself ( no time for this, I can do this later etc).
  • With no clock to tell me what to do or how long to spend on things I found my own rhythm for the day.
  • I try to control it all the time but it really controls me.
  • I try to cram way too many things into one day which frustrates me and makes me feel unaccomplished.
  • Eating when I was hungry and not because it was lunch or dinner time was much more satisfying although my body went from “a little bit hungry” to “I am starving” in a very short period of time.

To be honest I thought I would hate this kind of day.  I thought I would be unproductive and frustrated and go through withdrawals without my watch or some other form of time keeping and it ended up being just the opposite.

I thought I would be all upside down without it and what it did was really turn me back to right side up!

I actually miss not keeping time and I quit wearing my watch to bed.  I don’t think I cured my procrastination habit but I certainly have some new awareness of how focused or unfocused I am…for some reason not looking at the time quieted all those “squirrel” moments that distract me from my intended tasks.

And in the end it was not about the clocks, watches or any other displays of time in my life.  It was and is about my perception of how much time I need, how I spend it and how I value or don’t value it.

So how about you?  Are you ready for a timeless day?  Want a little coaching about it?  Let me know here and we can get started.

And here is my favorite clock of all in my  house that loudly reminds me to “Go out and have some fun with your time”  Don’t you just  love it?

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It’s About Time!

I am having a new awareness about time.  All about time, where I spend it and most importantly why it seems to have  this hold on me all the time! ( pun intended)

Yesterday was a beautiful, unusually warm day here on the East Coast.  I decided to just take the day off and enjoy it.  Trying to ignore all the little thoughts that told me I shouldn’t do this was quite a task but I managed.  Still it made me think about what I do with my time, how I measure it and what would it be like IF I didn’t look at the clock at all for one WHOLE day.

Would I:

  • eat only when I was hungry?
  • pay attention to where the sun was in the sky?
  • use my time better if I wasn’t constantly aware of how much time I had left ?
  • not try and cram so many things into an impossibly short amount of time?
  • go a little crazy because I didn’t know what time it is?
  • get up when I was well rested and not to an alarm?

I suddenly became aware of how many different places the time is displayed besides my watch ( which I wear 24/7) and this is the list I came up with:

  • the oven
  • the microwave
  • my ipad, kindle, phone, computer
  • the car
  • the cable box
  • my home phone
  • decorative wall clocks
  • my coffee maker

Wow it is everywhere which leads me to ask “Why do people always ask me what time it is?” This happens often because many people do not wear a watch and it’s much easier to ask me than skin care pull out their phone..arghhh.  My husband is so guilty of this and when I am feeling snarky I often tell him when he asks the time “Time to get a watch” !  It never works.IMG_2402

So I am going to walk my talk, step out of my comfort zone, be really upside down and go timeless on Monday.  Since I have to change all the clocks on Sunday anyways it will be the perfect opportunity  for me to put that removable blue painters tape over all visible time pieces in my house, on my gadgets and in my cars.

I am already twitching a little.

Often in coaching I am told that there isn’t time to eat healthy, exercise, or do the things that really matter to the client.

I get it.  I mean I really get it.  So this should be really interesting on Monday.

I’m not sure if its a coincidence or just one of those things where the stars align that I happen to have Monday free to do this.

So who wants to join me ?  I realize it’s a luxury to have the “time” to do this so even if it’s for a small part of the day please hop on the timeless train.

I’ll be on Twitter  @jenniferbross, my facebook page and instagram ( your upside down life)

Want to coach or try coaching?  Go here and we’ll schedule a free mini coaching session!

As always…take some time, step out of your comfort zone and enjoy life a little upside down!