How to Keep a New Resolution

It’s been one week since we turned the page on 2020. How are your resolutions going? Maybe you thought about making a resolution for 2021 but never actually got around to it. If your old treadmill still looks like a clothes tree or you’ve already eaten more carbs this week than you care to admit, this post is for you: the procrastinators, the slow starters, and the still hopefuls. Here are three steps to make a new resolution and keep it… for good!

At the end of 2019, I was talking with a health coach about a plateau in my workouts. Her advice was to define my bigger why. Your bigger why is the driving force behind your goal. I wanted to lose weight‒ but why? To look better, sure. To feel better, definitely. But if those were the only reasons, then I would abandon my healthy eating plans as soon as I wanted a doughnut. She challenged me to define my bigger why in a single word. I chose FIT.

Fit meant I was prepared to handle whatever came my way. It meant I was willing to do the work mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to get fit. It also meant that I was committed to continually learning, growing, preparing, adapting, and calibrating to stay fit. I made a graphic (I’m a visual learner.) And for 6 weeks, I used that word as a gauge. A benchmark. When I wanted to sleep in, I told myself “This won’t help me get fit” so I got out of bed and worked out. When I wanted to eat junk food, I knew it wouldn’t help me stay fit, so I ate a salad instead. It worked.

Finding my bigger why helped me reach my goal! But as 2020 came to an end, I didn’t really know what to do. Fit was a successful mantra; should I just stick with it? As I brought mindfulness to my goal, I realized that becoming fit had opened the door for a new goal: listening. Over the last year, I have found a deeper appreciation for the art of listening. Being present. Thinking on what you notice in your body, your environment, and those around you. Who are you listening to? It matters.

So here are my big three for keeping a new resolution.

  1. Define your bigger why. What is motivating you? A career change? A luxurious dream vacation? More time with your family? Writing a book? Playing more golf? Be honest with yourself. What do you want to change, and most of all WHY? Write it down. Come back to it. Make daily reminders on your phone, or frame a picture of your last vacation, your next set of golf clubs… whatever it is. Keep it at the forefront of your mind and your plans. Think on it.
  2. Make a Plan. Now it’s time to align your actions with your bigger why. Make an incremental plan to achieve your goal. It’s not hard! First, sit down and write out how you would budget your time for a single day– from the time you wake up until the time you go go sleep. Look at your habits. Where can you trim the fat? Maybe you need to wake up 1 hour earlier (maybe you need to go to sleep an hour earlier!) Maybe it’s time to hand over some of your commitments. The first habits to change are often omitting the time wasters: social media, video websites, texting, and repeatedly checking email. Set some boundaries for yourself. Omitting time wasters may seem hard, but when you do, you are making time for the life you want. Once you’ve written down your ideal day, try doing it.
  3. Stick To It. It may take a week to tweak your routine and find a realistic groove. But once you do something for one day, then you have proven to yourself that you have what it takes to budget every day. So do it! A lifetime is just a series of days, and you can build the life you want through intentional habits each and every day. Consider what’s at stake if you don’t. If you get off track, it’s okay. Start over right where you are and go from there. We’re only 1 week in to 2021; this year can still be the year that you start to construct the life you want!

Learn how to develop habits to build the life you want. Let’s get started!

How to Bloom Where You are Planted

Years ago, a friend and I were standing in the kitchen transferring hors d’oeuvres to platters when she shared a disappointment in her work. She had been overlooked for a role for which she was clearly the better candidate. I was surprised by her optimism when she joyfully concluded, “I’m good, though. I’ve always believed you should bloom where you are planted.”

After the party, I continued to think about my friend’s situation. The fact that she had joy in spite of her futile circumstances really perplexed me. Where was her drive, her determination, her resolve to make lemonade from lemons? Why didn’t she defend herself? I didn’t like her analogy or the idea of being planted. It implied that someone else was in charge of her future. How could someone whose life was marked by pioneering new courses and notable achievements say that this passive philosophy was something she had always believed?

I concluded that I must have missed something. I thought about the context of the analogy and how my friend had used it in relation to moving from disappointment to acceptance to joy. In the analogy, she was a seed or bulb. Her motivation was to bloom. Conditions were not favorable, and it was not probable that she would bloom. To me, it seemed like she should move on. But how could a seed will to move? That is when I began to understand.

She had the self-awareness to discern that she had a finite amount of energy. Even if she was not promoted by her boss, it was more profitable to spend her time on what she could do: grow. Although her position was not ideal at the moment, ultimately, she believed it could be better in the future if she was willing to adapt and be faithful in what she could do today. She didn’t gossip, grumble, or complain, neither did she try to prove to the boss that he made a mistake. Getting the promotion was outside of her locus of control, but personal development wasn’t. She chose to focus inward and believed that her boss would either see her differently, or she would appeal to someone else who could appreciate her. Who could resist the desire to pick a radiant flower in full bloom? So she bloomed. And in that way, she did move herself.

She began to spend more time doing things she loved. She became pretty good at one of her hobbies and took a step of faith by starting a small side business. Through connections she made there, she was offered a different day job. Her side business never grew. She didn’t make a million dollars or become famous. In fact, a few years later, she closed her side business, but it had been the catalyst that opened the door for her to ditch her dead end job and step into a new vocation. Through mindfulness, she shifted her focus and so can you.

Through mindfulness meditation and yoga, you can learn how to increase your self-awareness and move toward balance. Let’s get started!

Yoga & Mindful Meditation Class

I just can’t seem to think straight today.
I have too many irons in the fire.
I’m sorry I forgot; I was burning the midnight oil.
Her name is on the tip of my tongue; it’s there. Give me a second.
I can’t handle that right now; I have too many tabs opened in my brain.

Sound familiar? Your body runs involuntary processes all day long. These include memory, digestion, respiration, hormone regulation, and other processes that you don’t really see or think about unless something seems out of balance. But your body can also fall into “auto-pilot” with processes that you do see, such as waking up and walking straight to the sink to brush your teeth, walking in the front door and tossing your keys in the basket, or petting your dog when she brushes against your leg.

When our body experiences stress, it is designed to fight, flee, or freeze. The sympathetic nervous system takes the reigns. Our heartbeat might increase, our breathing might be come more rapid. Suddenly our mouth is dry, we may experience stomach discomfort or tense muscles in our jaw, neck, and shoulders. Practicing yoga can help us take notice of how our body feels, what it senses, what it needs, or what it is not welcoming. Through journaling, we can begin to see patterns between stimuli, what we think, and how we feel. We can recognize the things that trigger stress and equip ourselves to appropriately respond to them rather than give in and react.

When we develop a habit of consistently functioning in the sympathetic nervous system, our bodies recalibrate to keep us alive. Signs that a person might be operating from the sympathetic nervous system can include:

  • abundance of cortisol production, adrenal fatigue, and weight gain
  • inability to down-regulate and fall asleep or stay asleep (insomnia)
  • fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, or decreased ability to recall facts

Fortunately, our bodies are remarkable! They are often able to respond rapidly, within a matter of days, weeks, months or just a few years. A few years may not seem rapid, but to think on the fact that some people have been able to rebuild liver tissue or lung tissue that was damaged by decades of smoking or alcohol abuse in just a few years is remarkable.

Practicing yoga methods for just 8 weeks can help you achieve better sleep.  Better sleep can help your body achieve the restoration it needs to move closer toward functioning from the parasympathetic nervous system.

The focus of this class is three-fold:

  • To begin the practice of journaling and meditation
  • To commit to going to bed at the same time every night, hydration, and meal planning
  • To practice yoga asanas and breathing to promote relaxation

This transformative 9-week class begins January 1, 2021 and features:

  • Daily 20 – 30 minute yoga class instruction
  • Daily 10 minute guided mindfulness meditation instruction
  • Daily encouragment and downloadable journaling prompts
  • Cost is $139

Let’s Get Started!

The ideas expressed on this website are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult with your primary care providers before beginning any new health practices.

THE BIG SALE!

If your New Year’s resolution includes a renewed commitment to your health and wellness, then you don’t want to miss our biggest sale of the year! HURRY! It only lasts for 2 days.

I want first dibs! Email me when the sale starts!

3 Reasons Why You Need Work Boundaries

Boundaries are an important part of every role you fill. Knowing your limits and having the confidence to stick to your boundaries are keys to avoiding burnout. But often, for those who have found a way to make a living at their hobbies, the lines between work and leisure become blurred. The lines are even further smudged when the nature of our work is serving or helping others. Here are three reasons why work is not a hobby, and why you need to sit down and define your work boundaries today.

Your time is limited. Your work can be an extension of your favorite hobby; it’s true. But if you are going to avoid workaholism, you must learn the habit of separating work time from rest time. Work time is the portion of your day, week, or month that you devote to making a living. Rest time is the portion that you devote to your other core values—including things like family time, time with friends, and time off (aka taking a vacation.) Every person only has a certain number of days to live, and that includes you. Being intentional about how you want to spend the time you are given is the first key to finding balance between work and hobbies.

Your bandwidth is limited. You are not a robot. Mentally and physically, you need down time to recharge. Work is the daily grind. Hobbies are things that take us away from the daily grind. In fact, when we take a step away from the usual, rote, monotonous work tasks, we force our brains to shift into a different gear. When we begin to take joy in experiencing life through our hobbies, we are actually nourishing our brains!

Sadly, our culture has become so engrossed with work, that humans can even feel guilty about taking time off. What’s interesting is that working non-stop does not open doors to innovation— it locks them. However, when we take a step outside the 9-5 routines, we often find that we are able to more clearly see the solutions to professional hurdles. Prioritizing time to step away from work to put things in perspective is the second key in finding balance between hobbies and work.

Your abilities are limited. Let’s face it, very few successful organizations are a one-woman show. And if she does find success, it is short lived. Teams help lighten the load. Accepting help from co-workers does not mean that you are incompetent. It means that you are wise enough to see that many hands make light work, and that you believe there is more to life than working. Set reasonable expectations for what you can accomplish during work hours and work to the best of your ability. Then, practice the self-control to walk away from anything that goes beyond that, and start again tomorrow. Putting first things first is the third way you can move toward balance personally and professionally.

Recognize the Warning Signs of a Stroke

A stroke occurs when your brain is not receiving the blood that it needs. When a person is having a stroke, s/he may or may not be aware that something is off. If the person experiencing a stroke receives proper medical care fast enough, then their chances increase for recuperating from or surviving this event. For this reason, it is important that everyone knows how to recognize the warning signs of a stroke so that they can act F.A.S.T.

F – is for FACE. Ask the person to smile, and see if their face is symmetrical or if one side droops.

A – is for ARMS. Ask the person to raise their arms. Is one arm weak? Are they unable to lift it, or does it sag?

S – is for SPEECH. Ask the person to say a simple phrase like “My name is Mike.” Is their speech slurred, slow, strange, or altered in any way that is unusual for them?

T– is for TIME. If you suspect that you or someone around you is having a stroke, don’t wait. Call 9-1-1 immediately so that medical professionals can get the person to a hospital right away.

For further reading, check out this article.
If you think that you or someone around you is experiencing an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
The opinions stated in this blog post are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your physicians before incorporating new foods into your diet or making any lifestyle changes.

Beets 3 Ways

Beets are a nutritional powerhouse. They are mostly water, which means that they can help you feel full without being loaded with calories—there are only around 60 calories in an entire cup of raw beet roots. Beets contain antioxidants, fiber, iron, and potassium, as well as vitamins B and C. They could help to improve your blood flow (leaving you feeling more energized) and they could even help lower your blood pressure. Their leaves, stems, and roots are all edible. The leaves are gentler and less bitter than kale, which makes them more palatable for many people. The stalks can be fibrous. If you’re gardening, go ahead and trim greens early, or look for smaller stalks if you’re shopping at the market. Here are three delicious ways to enjoy beets.


Raw Try grating beet root right on top of your salad. Another favorite is juicing beet root with red and purple fruits including cherries, berries, and grapes. Short on time? Bottled beet juice is also readily available in most health food stores.


Sautéed Beet leaves are a great substitution for recipes that call for kale, spinach, collard or turnip greens. Try steaming the stalks and leaves for around 8 minutes. When they’re tender, throw them in a sauté pan with a little balsamic vinegar. When the vinegar has reduced, transfer the vegetables to a serving dish. Sprinkle with raisins and walnuts.


Roasted Roasted, chopped beet root is a great addition to almost any sheet pan recipe that calls for sweet potatoes, carrots, or gold potatoes. Roasted beets taste earthy and slightly sweet without being starchy, and their purple color brings visual interest to any plate.


The opinions stated in this blog post are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your physicians before incorporating new foods into your diet.

Walking for Mindful Awareness

Autumn weather is usually pleasant and mild— making it a great time to practice yoga outdoors. After your asana, taking a walk is one way that you can welcome mindful awareness. It’s no secret that when our thoughts are racing, we can feel stressed. Walking outdoors can help you restore balance between your mind and body. The rhythm of walking can help you clear your mind, order your thoughts, and bring awareness to the present. It can even aid in unlocking creativity or helping you see how to overcome obstacles.

In addition to helping balance the connection between your mind, body, and spirit (in Sanskrit: the purusha and prakriti) here are 10 physical benefits of walking.

  1. It can help improve your mood, help you feel relaxed, or lower your blood pressure.
  2. You may experience better sleep.
  3. It could help your immunity.
  4. When you walk, the cadence between your right- and left-body can benefit your brain.
  5. You could feel less hungry, which may be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.
  6. Walking has been proven to be good for your heart.
  7. It may help you maintain bone density.
  8. As you age, walking can help you keep a broader range of motion than if you are sedentary.
  9. It may help you avoid developing varicose veins.
  10. Walking and sharing thoughts with a friend (4-legged or 2-legged!) can also help us feel more connected to those we love!

Essential Oils for Your Body Type

New to essential oils? You may be wondering where to begin. I always tell people to think of Christmas: start with smells that bring you “comfort and joy!”

Smells are powerful. They can transform you– taking you to a memory from the past, helping you relax, and invigorating your senses. That’s because essential oils stimulate the limbic system (the part of your brain that controls emotions and memories.) Smells can affect your mood, helping you to feel energized or more relaxed. In Ayurveda, oils can be used to help balance our natural constitution (or doshas.)

Vata doshas: take a look at earthy, woodsy notes like cinnamon, patchouli, orange, geranium, myrrh, and sandalwood.
Pitta doshas: consider mints like peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen. For floral notes, consider trying Ylang Ylang, gardenia, and jasmine.
Kapha doshas: introduce yourself to ginger, clove, juniper, angelica, or marjoram. When my kapha is low, I enjoy a blend of eucalyptus and tea tree.

Always consult with your health care providers before beginning any new healthcare regimen, including the use of essential oils. The above is a personal opinion and should not be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Autumn Ayurvedic Spices

Autumn is a Vatta season! It is cool, crisp, windy, and filled with prana—that’s why we recognize that we can smell the autumn air. Here is a list of spices that pair perfectly with this season’s bountiful fruits and vegetables.

Allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg are great for baking. Their warmth and spice bring out the sweetness in baked goods, especially with pumpkin and apple. They can be sprinkled over root vegetables or blended into your coffee.

Saffron brings brightness to any dish. It easily lends flavor to rice, cous cous, or risotto. It pairs well with dill, and my favorite way to use saffron is to stir it into yogurt or crema. It is the perfect touch to Mediterranean recipes.

Turmeric is the earthiest spice. Since autumn is the best time ayurvedically to enjoy fatty proteins, turmeric’s rich, deep yellow color is a welcome addition to egg salad. It also lends color to soups and stews with vegetable stock as their base. My favorite way to incorporate turmeric is in a big bowl of vegetarian chili!

Consult with your physicians before beginning any new healthcare practices or changes to your diet.

Sign me up for seasonal recipes!