A Few Notes on Essentialism (The art of doing less but gaining more)

A Few Notes on Essentialism (The art of doing less but gaining more)

Let’s Talk About Essentialism

I have been practicing Essentialism for many years now, but didn’t know it had a name. You see, Essentialism is a mindset and approach that emphasizes focusing on the most important things and eliminating non-essential elements. It involves identifying and prioritizing what truly matters to you and making deliberate choices to allocate your time, energy, and resources accordingly. 

By embracing essentialism, you can streamline your life, reduce stress, and create more meaningful and fulfilling experiences. It’s about simplifying and aligning your actions with your core values and goals.

So here are five things that I find interesting about Essentialism:

🌟 The Importance of Focusing on What You Can Control 🌟

When you constantly worry about things you cannot control, disappointment and frustration can quickly creep in. Instead, shift your focus to the things within your control and take action to improve them. 

By doing so, you empower yourself to make positive changes and avoid unnecessary stress. 

Remember, your energy is best spent on what you can influence!

✨ Overcoming the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) ✨

FOMO can create anxiety and stress, but you have the power to overcome it. 

Redirect your attention to your own life and pursuits. 

Remind yourself that everyone has their own unique journey, and what truly matters is aligning with your own aspirations. 

Don’t worry about missing out on what isn’t meant for you or what you can’t pursue.

 Embrace your path, and incredible opportunities will unfold!

🔑 The Role of Essentialism in Decision-Making 🔑

Essentialism is a powerful approach to decision-making. 

By focusing on what truly matters and eliminating the rest, you gain clarity and enhance your ability to make effective choices. 

When faced with decisions, identify what is truly essential and what is not. 

By removing non-essential elements, you free up your time and energy to invest in what brings you the most value and fulfillment.

🌱 Creating a Culture of Essentialism in Your Life 🌱

To foster a culture of essentialism in your life, start by establishing clear priorities. 

Ensure that everyone understands what is truly important. Get your family, friends, and co-workers to understand your new priorities and boundaries.

Next, eliminate anything that does not align with those priorities. 

This may involve scaling back projects at home or work and reevaluating work processes and home systems. 

Finally, celebrate successes and learn from failures, creating an environment for yourself that encourages focus, productivity, and growth.

💫 The Benefits of Living an Essentialist Life 💫

Living an essentialist life can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling existence. 

By focusing on what truly matters to you and discarding the rest, you create space for what brings you joy and purpose. 

With increased time and energy, you can fully invest in the people, activities, and goals that align with your values. 

Embrace essentialism, and watch your stress diminish as your satisfaction and fulfillment soar!

If you want to talk more about the benefits of Essentialism, set up a self-discovery call with me. I coach utilizing these practices, they have changed my life, the life of my clients, and they can change yours too. 

How to Make a Change (The Transtheoretical Model)

How to Make a Change (The Transtheoretical Model)

Change is inevitable

An old slogan for my business was, “Change is inevitable. Transformation is optional. Choose wisely.”

I used this because, yes, change is inevitable, but also because we can either resist it, and suffer the consequences, or we can allow it to transform us more and more into the person we want to be with every opportunity change brings.

If we’re going to be forced to change, then understanding how it works, seems like a good idea.

I remember teaching the Transtheoretical model years ago when I was doing some training for a former employer. The Transtheoretical Model, aka The Stages of Change, is one interpretation to how change occurs in our lives. Although there are many different takes on the different stages, five stages seem to occur in every explanation.

Stages of Change

The five agreed upon Stages of Change include:

1. Precontemplation – starting to have an awareness that something needs to change.

2. Contemplation – beginning to really think about what life might look like if a change is made, but resistant because, well, change can be hard.

3. Preparation – actually trying out the change, testing strategies, fortitude, mindset, but not yet actually making a change – although one is on the horizon in the next six months.

4. Action – making THE change and having sustained it for at least 30 days. This one is interesting because technically all of the stages of change include some form of action, but social scientists seem to agree on the 30 days of action being the “Action” stage.

5. Maintenance- one continues the action stage into an ongoing pattern or habit of transformation.

Limitations of the Stages of Change

Like all theories, the Transtheoretical Model has its limitations. The most glaring is that we are constantly changing although mostly subconsciously because we’re not really thinking about it. Another is that the process of change isn’t quite so linear and the timeframes for the stages can be quite arbitrary.

That being said, it’s interesting to look at a change through this lens. If you’re starting to recognize a bad habit (smoking, worrying, poor eating or drinking habits, lack of daily movement, whatever), it’s interesting to hold the possibility of change up to this model.

Processing through the Stages of Change

What would change look like for you in the precontemplation stage? Would you recognize it? How would you know if it’s something that needs to change or not?

What about during the contemplation stage? Do you like a good “pros and cons” list? Or do you like to weigh the good habits against the bad?

What does action really look like for you? Is 30 days enough for you to say that you are taking positive action?

Or maintenance, how do you prevent yourself from going backwards and returning to the former misaligned habit?

You don’t have to have this all figured out, because I can help you to take on change with courage and presence of mind.

Seek Help

See, if you’re really interested in changing something (a job, your relationship status, your mindset, the options are limitless), and yet you don’t know how you’ll go about it, or how you’ll continue, or how you’ll overcome the challenges along the way, that’s where I come in.

I’m happy to help you work through your change and turn it from a begrudgingly difficult task to an opportunity for transformation. If you’re interested in getting help for any kind of transformation, book your free Discovery Call today.

Self-Care for the Women Sick of Hearing about Self-Care

Self-Care for the Women Sick of Hearing about Self-Care

Okay, hear me out.

I know that everyone and their cousin is touting the importance of self-care.

You’re probably thinking if one more person talks to me about bath bombs or girls nights, I’m going to puke.

You’re a busy, self-starter, career driven (and killing it) lady, and you do deserve to take some self-care time.

But what if self-care wasn’t literally caring directly for yourself?

Dr. Laurie Santos, Yale professor and host of the Happiness Lab podcast, says, “Self-care doesn’t have to be selfish.” I just started listening to her podcast thanks to an amazing interview Dr. Santos did with Jenna Kutcher, the Goaldigger herself, and it really made me realize that maybe we’re missing the true point of self-care.

Dr. Santos says about improving our well-being, “One of the most shocking ones for me is a study looking at how simple interactions with strangers positively affect your well-being,” she said, adding that, even for introverts, “a simple chat with a stranger can make people feel great.”

You can learn more about this here (Association for Psychological Science) or here (this links you to the New York Times).

So self-care may have more positive benefits for us when it involves other people.

In the interview with Jenna Kutcher, Dr. Santos noted (and I’ll strongly paraphrase here) that doing small acts of kindness for others or volunteering helped improve well-being more than doing things just for ourselves.

I’ve started to test this for myself. For me, self-care has been buying dinner for a good friend and getting caught up post-COVID. Also, self-care has been going with a friend to do volunteer work.

That being said, if you’re sick of the same ol’ self-care, then it’s time to shake it up. Find a friend and go volunteer. Help out a neighbor (meet your neighbors, now there’s a challenge). Tell a stranger you like her blouse or hair or smile. Take care of yourself by taking care of others.

And if relationships of any kind are hard for you, book your 30 minute Discovery Call. I’m not just a life transformation coach for women, I can help you in all kinds of relationships or with dating. I’d love to chat with you, as you now know, taking to a stranger can make you feel wonderful.

How to Find Community: 5 Friendly Suggestions

How to Find Community: 5 Friendly Suggestions

Every day on Facebook in Women Living Without Limits and other Facebook groups that I’m a part of I find women that are struggling with loneliness and with making friends in adulthood.

There’s no doubt that as we age, community can be harder to find. And that’s why I have 1:1 coaching programs that challenge my clients to find community and to discover ways to end their loneliness.

However, before we embark on finding community, first let’s define it. What is community?

There are three definitions of community in the American Heritage Online Dictionary:
1. A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government.
Examples include Americans, Hondurans, Japanese, etc.

2. The district or locality in which such a group lives
Examples include Arizonans, neighbors, specific tribal affiliations

3. A group of people having common interests
Examples include:
Fans of a Sports Team
Star Wars fans
People who love books
Happy Hours
Moms of teenagers

We will be using community in the third sense. A group of people having common interests.

Why do we need community?

Ever since COVID (or in some cases our early 20’s) community has seemed more elusive.

We have fears. Fears of getting sick. Fears of getting in arguments with people of different political beliefs. Fear of rejection. Fear of wasting our time or energy. And so instead of engaging those fears, we disassociate, and remain in our small worlds.

Also building community is a muscle, talking to strangers takes some practice. Putting yourself out there takes courage, motivation, and skills.

But we know from extensive study on the topic, that community/friendships are vitally important to our mental health and wellness. As part of the human race, each of us needs a space to belong. We need to feel connections. We are already members of communities whether we know it or not: your family, your neighborhood, your work colleagues all make up various communities in your life.

It’s important to note that communities constantly change. We move in and out of a particular community depending on varying circumstances from changing jobs, moving, death, differences of opinion, changing stages of life, changing needs, and growing interests in other areas, etc.

Community is THE PLACE to find comfort during difficult times.

When things aren’t going well in one community, we always have the option to try a different community. Connection with others helps us to stay balanced and find neutral or positive mental health outcomes.

I can tell you that at varying times I’ve felt very lonely.

I remember before COVID and when I initially started working for myself, a number of my closest friends moved away from Phoenix. I didn’t have a work community anymore, and my friends were moving across the country (literally). I had just become a mom, and I lacked the connections I once had.

And to know me, you know that my teens, 20’s, and early 30’s were times of so much community.

* I loved going to happy hour with my gal friends,
* I stayed in touch with my friends from college,
* I went to church,
* I was in the Peace Corps, to name some examples.

All of those communities shaped me, but during that season where I watched my communities dissipate, I struggled. My mental health deteriorated. And I hit an unexpected season of loneliness.

Luckily, I had the tools and knew the strategies for finding new communities. I literally built them around me, and now I have multiple communities where I feel supported, loved, and involved.

And that’s what I hope to teach you today. Here are five strategies for building community.

1. Talk to strangers. One of my closest friends from college who I am still friends with today, I met by picking up her pen cap and giving it back to her. It really is that easy. I’ve met people at parties, in lines to movies, at the bar, and all because I had the courage to say hello, make a connection, and introduce myself. You never know who you will connect with.

2. Search for people that have commonalities with you. When I didn’t know where else to go for friends, I went to places where people shared the same ideas. So church, the gym, meetup groups, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, book clubs, etc. have all been places where I’ve found friends and other communities to be a part of.

3. Join Facebook groups. I may be a little biased as I facilitate Women Living Without Limits, but from my own experience I have met all kinds of amazing people in Facebook groups. Also, I’ve specifically held events to build community like the Virtual Happy Hour, Vision Boarding Made Easy, and now the Virtual Book Club. Outside of this group, there are groups for people from your states like Arizona Girl Gang, Age Groups, and even people who love Peloton or Costco.

4. Do good. Become part of a board or community service group. Walk dogs at the shelter, serve food to the homeless, or organize clothes closets for foster children. Whatever makes you happy. One of my best friends I met because I volunteered to serve on a board in my church. It was actually not the world’s greatest experience EXCEPT that I got to meet a life long friend and so that made it the world’s greatest experience.

5. Get to Know the Friends of Your Friends. I have made several friends thanks to attending parties of friends or through “being set up” by friends. Again, some of my closest friends to this day I met hanging out with other friends. I guess that old saying, “Birds of a feather…” is quite accurate.

I’d love to hear if you have other suggestions for finding community in the comments.

And I encourage you to take the first steps. You’re lucky if you’ve had a community find you. It’s usually the other way around. You’re probably going to have to make some effort.

Also, if you really don’t know how to start or where to find them, coaching is a great way to start taking steps.

We all know the importance of finding your community, and a coach can be there to help you brainstorm, set a goal, take action steps, and hold you accountable to taking steps to meet your community. I have coached on this very topic several times.

So, schedule a Discovery Call today to see if working together is right for you to help you find the communities you deserve.

Where is your Life Feeling Out of Control?

Where is your Life Feeling Out of Control?

My husband and I have driven one car for over a year now. With us both working from home and not going out a whole ton, we haven’t found a need to buy a new one.

However, recently we needed to take it into the shop for a break check up.

We borrowed a car from my mom and drove them both to our favorite mechanic shop which is a good 30 minutes away, plus traffic, where we used to live.

The drop off went fine, but the pick up was something else. We tried to leave with enough time to pick up our daughter, get the car, and get our daughter to her swimming lessons. Yet, I had a scheduled phone call for work, I had to switch over to my cell and I was feeling super unprofessional.

So once we arrived at the shop, I tried to get my daughter dressed in her swimming suit. She hates public restrooms (did I mention we’re potty training) and she was not having any of it. By the time we had received the update from the mechanic (everything was fine), my husband came to get us in the bathroom and we got her loaded up in the car.

Let me tell you, my stress level was starting to climb. I don’t normally feel like my life is out of my control, but the time crunch plus the daughter’s unwillingness had made my blood pressure start to rise and my annoyance factor climb.

My husband managed to get out of the parking lot and on the way. I on the other hand got stuck with some old guy slowly trying to get in his car which was parked in such a way that I can’t back out and exit the parking lot.

And now I’m super annoyed. I’m trying to make it to the scheduled swim lesson, and I can’t move!

Finally, I figure out I can go back into the mechanic’s area and do a loop to get out. By the time I get to the exit, the car is gone, and I’m even more upset. I just want to get to my daughter’s swim lesson on time.

As I’m driving down the streets of my former stomping grounds, fuming about the circumstances of the afternoon, my husband calls (hands free, no worries) and I tell him about getting trapped by the slow, old guy. He says to me, “Oh, the one with the cane? I rescheduled our daughter’s swim lesson for another 40 minutes, we have plenty of time.)

And now I feel bad. I feel bad that I wanted to rush someone who needed the time. I feel bad that I didn’t think to problem-solve the timing of the swim lesson, but very grateful that I had a husband who did. I feel bad that my life got out of control, and I spiraled out with it.

See, we all do it. We all have those days when everything spins out of control, and we get so upset. For some of us, that can be day after endless day, week after endless week, month after month, etc. But it doesn’t have to be. For the next few weeks I want to talk about the different areas where our life can feel out of control (at home, at work, in our love lives) and give some tips for regaining a sense of calm.

If you could use some calm in the midst of one of life’s storms, contact me. Let’s connect.