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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

What’s with all the procrastination!!!!???!!!

I currently have 32 blog posts started… and unfinished. Thirty Two.

Some really good ones too….

Make Your Own Wool Felt Dryer Balls
Grow a Medicinal Herb Garden
For the Love of Coconut Oil
Homemade Fertilizers
Healthy Winter Skin
A Visit to the Market
Embrace the Mess – Hair, Braids and Headbands

You know what’s really frustrating? When you find tons of recent blog posts on the subject you started writing about months ago. Sigh…

I have this seemingly ongoing issue with starting things but not finishing them lately. (So much so that I started this post on January 31st… 29 days ago! )So, I decided to spend some time with the idea. What is it that creates this act of starting so much but not finishing all of it?

I decided to google it.
“Why do I start things and never finish them?”

And as with just about anything, there were “answers” on the internet. Hmmh. Now, trust me. I was not intending to find an end to my problem from google. But I was interested in reading the comments, ideas and stories from other people. And boy did I find some whoppers. Everything from your just lazy, seek professional help, there was a trauma in your life that needs to be addressed, to it happens to all of us, you’re afraid of failure… and my personal favorite – you are lacking vitamins.

There is a ton of talk of ADD, Social Anxiety and other mood disorders causing such things. And certainly there is great truth to this. Depression can reach in and snatch everything you have without you ever seeing it coming. As can traumatic life events.

Life. This is where most of my latest trouble lies. Things have been chaotic. There have lots of changes, unexpected events, unforseen and un-preventable craziness. But there is also the fact that I am a mother, wife, trainer, realtor, artist, writer, gardener and prehaps far too many other things to do them all well all the time.

I read this quote on one blog forum…

“My motivation works just like fireworks…
So beautiful, yet only lasts a few seconds.”
~sOdy

Does that resound with you the same it does with me? Every once in a while throughout my history I have found myself suffering weeks, perhaps months of these bursts and lulls. I make the lists, start writing the pieces, begin the projects and then the very next day, and many after can’t seem to drag myself back to them. Or I simply forget about them entirely.

What’s frustrating is that this is not my common way, but something that happens out of the blue. Leaving me knowing that this is not my habit, not how I generally perform. But seemingly unable to change it. Like waking to find you can see, you can hear, you can think, but you can’t move. You can’t speak. Trapped.

I have found a number of things that affect motivation, preclude procrastination and ensure a successful outcome. Here are a few of my favorites…

1. Be sure you want it. It’s easy to start things when they suddenly appear and seem entertaining. But by taking a moment to consciously decide you actually like and are fully enthused with what you are about to begin, you will be more apt to finish.

2. Have a plan. Treat your life a bit like you would a business. Sure you have goals, but do you have a plan to completion of that goal? Give each goal or project a timeline.

3. Be organized. Have a schedule. Prepare your days in advance. This keeps you on track, more focused and less apt to get to flustered and cause you to lose track.

Number 3 here is my favorite. Staying organized is a key factor for me when it comes to being successful. As we have discussed, I am very enthusiastic and motivated yet my gypsy ways have a tendency to distract me. Writing lists and having plans are essential when it comes to keeping me on track. I use a number of methods like a planner, reminders set on my phone, meal plans… and lists. Lists and more lists.

I found these planners I think you will love!!

Source

Source

Source

Source

All of these are FREE printables! Free. You can find lots more here and of course on Pinterest. You can find nearly everything you need on Pinterest and things you never knew you needed.

These are some of the things that… most often… help keep me from the dreaded procrastination.

What helps keep you focused and motivated?

Follow me on

Need an invitation to Pinterest? Leave a comment or email me at wholelivingwithstephanie (at)gmail (dot) com

Live Well!
~S

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Don’t have time to meet with a trainer? Is the cost too much for you to swing right now?

I have an option!personal training

I currently have openings for Long Distance Training.

What is Long Distance Training?

LDT is a way for you get most of the benefits of a trainer, wellness coach and nutrition counselor without meeting face to face multiple times per week. All of our training is done via email, phone, text, facebook and/or Skype!

How does it work?

After a very in-depth conversation regarding your current habits, likes and dislikes, goals, abilities, resources and much more, I am able to put together an in-depth, personalized plan. It is then followed up with regular guidance and encouragement, healthy recipes and workouts designed for your goals. You get unlimited questions answered, a wealth of knowledge at your finger tips and a constant reminder of your goals and help achieving them.

You get to choose your favorite form of contact, how and when we meet, when to read over your plan and when and where you workout. And you always have the information to refer back to!

How much does it cost?

Currently, I am offering unlimited coaching for just $60 per month! That includes regular friendly reminders to stay on track.

If you are ready to get started or have further questions email me at WholeLivingWithStephanie@gmail.com

Take control of your life and health today!

Live Well!
~S

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Everything is moving along perfectly. Momentum is building. Life is good. You are great!

When all of a sudden comes a blow, so hard, so unexpected. So debilitating you find yourself flat on your face. The wind knocked out of you. You are rocked and you can’t find the top from the bottom.

Life has a way of throwing a mean left hook. We never see them coming. Can’t fathom any reason in them. Try as we might, can’t determine any meaning in them. They say we are only dealt what we can handle. But you aren’t so sure.

Some turn to their Faith. Some ask their God for guidance. Not all have such Faith, for how can they? Some lose it entirely. Many never had it to begin with.

When your world is seemingly falling apart, has crashed and burned, the last thing you care about is your health. To hell with the gym and salads!

I find myself wanting to run. Not on a treadmill. I want to strap on my sneakers, go to the woods and run. Run until my chest heaves and burns. Run from the demons chasing me. Run from unjust. Run from life. Just run.

Until I simply can’t take another step. Then, well, then I crawl home, bolt the door behind me and shut out the world for a time.

Slowly, you find yourself burying deeper into a tight-fitting hole. It’s been days and you haven’t seen daylight. It’s cold in there so you sink a little further.

living healthy, fight back, natural living, whole livingBut there comes a day when you must poke your head out. Must pull yourself together. Must take on those demons and that crazy mixed up world around you. For in that hole you are no one.

Taking back your life by taking back your body and your health, both physically and emotionally, is freeing. You have control over you. When it seems no matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you fight, you can’t control all those things coming at you, you do have control over something. You.

There is power in you. Untapped. There always is. Even when you think you have drained your last drop. It’s there. You just have to get to it. Dig deep. Grow strong and determined to fight. To send those demons back to hell where they belong.

One solid step at a time. Condition your mind and body and the rest will follow.

Prize fighters often come from pain, anger, poverty, abuse. They harness that unjust. Turn it into power. Their bodies become their tool. Their strength. They condition it and their mind to fight back.

Taking care of your body, fueling it properly, conditioning it, will bring you strength and power. As your body grows strong so does your mind. Getting in the gym, hitting a heavy bag, weight training,  body weight exercises, eating good foods, meditating, yoga, all these help pull you from that hole, give you power over your demons.

Take back your life.

Fight

Live Well!
~S

Photo Credit

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Today we have our very first guest blogger!

I am excited to begin a short series where guests share their thoughts, words and experiences. We start with my dear friend Sandra. She is a twenty something writer in the midst of building a house (from scratch), a home, a healthier life and soon, a family. I’m thrilled to be on this journey with her and hope she will continue to share her experiences here with us. Please give her a warm welcome.

 

Written by guest writer, Sandra Hickey

 

“Running is horrible, the most terrible physical activity I can think of.  I will never run, I never want to run, ever.  Have you ever seen a runner with a smile?  Of course not, it’s agony!”

Hate:

This was me.  I was always sure that I would never be a runner in my entire life.  I was positive that running was the most horrible torturous form of exercise that you could possibly do.  But then a few years ago, when I was experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, I realized that exercise was one of the best ways to make myself feel better.  So I started working out, 3 days a week, and it was amazing how the change in my focus from working out so I could lose weight or look better, to working out for my mental health actually made me stick to a schedule at the gym.  I wanted to feel good, I craved the way I felt after a good sweaty workout.

The Devil:

One day, while at the gym, I thought, maybe I’ll try to run.  This treasonous thought came to mind because my little brother has always been a runner and my husband was a runner in high school, so I thought, maybe I can do it.  Maybe. And since I had been working out so much I wanted to challenge myself, just to see if I could.  So I started running and almost immediately I remembered why I hate running, why I’ve always thought of it as some kind of punishment.

After just a few laps around the small track at my gym I started breathing heavily and got the dreaded “stitch”.  It felt like the devil was stabbing me with his pitch fork or a red hot poker just under my ribs on my right side.  As I tried to continue running through the awful pain, I imagined this devil was running along beside me, taunting me, jabbing at me, laughing:  “You can’t do this, you are a failure, you are not capable of ever becoming a runner.  Loser!  Stop now!”  So I stopped.  I was frustrated.  I felt like I could run if it weren’t for that terrible agonizing pain in my side.  So I walked for a little while and then tried running again, only to be assaulted again by a pain that almost had me doubled over.   At this point in my personal challenge I didn’t want to have to quit, but I didn’t know what else to do.  I needed to find out why this was happening.

Annoyance:

I did keep running, but I couldn’t run very far without getting a stitch and I was feeling discouraged and honestly annoyed.  I felt like my legs and mind wanted to go much further while the terrible stitch was telling me I had to stop.  Why was my body doing this to me? One day I decided to try not eating anything within a few hours of running.  This seemed to help somewhat, but there were still certain days even before I started running , where I could feel something in my side, the beginning of the pain, that I knew would twist my insides into a painful knot.

Finally I decided to ask my husband’s mother who is a long time runner what she thought caused the horrible dreaded stitch.  She told me that she thought it was connected to deep breathing.  This was an interesting concept for me.  I thought I was already breathing deeply when I was running, but now I decided to really pay attention to how I was breathing.  So the next time I was in the gym, running around the track, I focused on my breathing, making sure that I was breathing in deeply, making my stomach pooch out with each inhale and not just breathing shallowly in my chest.

Insight and Meditation:

And you know what happened? After weeks of focusing on my breathing, I began to realize that it was not just breathing deeply but also steady and even breathing that kept the stitch at bay.  So I focused on it, breathing in and out, in and out, steady and even deep breaths, almost a meditation while running, zeroed in on my breathing.  And magically my stitches seemed to disappear!  And even if I felt a stitch coming on, that horrible feeling that my internal organs wanted to start cannibalizing themselves, I would say to myself, focus on the breathing and once my breathing was even and steady and deep again, the pain would start to fade away.  Suddenly I realized, with amazement, that I could be a runner.  That being a runner is simply about a mind-set, about realizing how to control your breathing and then pushing your legs forward.

Who’s a Runner?  This girl!

So I was a runner.  This lasted for about 8 months before the knee pain set in.  It started on my left side, just a teeny tiny pain in my knee while I was running.  I ignored it, hoping that it wasn’t anything serious, because I didn’t want to stop running.  But slowly and surely the pain increased as the weeks went by, until finally the pain started in my right knee as well.  I didn’t know what it was.  I scoured the internet, trying to figure out what might be wrong with me.  Was it runner’s knee?  I thought maybe it was a mistake to only focus my workouts on cardio and not strength training.  (FYI: Runner’s knee, generally speaking, is when certain muscles in your thigh are weak, while others are strong, causing your kneecap to be pulled to the side while walking or running.  Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it?)  So I thought this was the problem, but I was already too far gone to help myself.

Lame.  Literally!

Now that I was definitely injured I had to stop working out completely and focus my efforts on ice and  IBProfen.  The recovery was slow.  After about a month and a half out of commission (no gym, no running, barely able to walk around) I finally started to feel like a normal human being again.  About 2-3 weeks after that I started to slowly work out again.  Since I’m stubborn and I didn’t see a doctor right away (I don’t necessarily recommend this),when I finally did, they recommended I see a physical therapist.

Doctor with a Foot Fetish?

Now here’s the funny part…my physical therapist wanted me to take my shoes off so he could see my feet!  Whaaa?  Foot fetish?!  After looking them over, he discovered my true problem and it definitely wasn’t something I would have thought of on my own.  Apparently, I have an over-pronation problem.  For those of you who don’t know what pronation is, here’s a quick description:  Pronation refers to the feet (The term for the opposite of pronation is supination, which is also a serious problem), in a normal case when walking or running a person would walk off their heel, then the ball of the foot and finally off the tips of the toes, straight through.  Someone with over-pronation does not talk this way, they walk inwards.  The reason for this is a falling arch, which means the arch of the foot collapses whenever I take a step causing me to walk off the side of my big toe versus off the tips of all my toes (Hence why my physical therapist wanted to see my feet, I had a callous on my toe from walking/running this way!).  Running this way is very stressful on the knees.  Mostly likely I never would have realized I had this problem if I had not decided to become a runner.  So, now with the right shoes and the correct strengthening exercises for my muscles, I was on my way to running again.

Six Step Program to Devil Free Running:

So, to sum up what you should do in order to become a runner:

1.  Stop telling yourself you can’t do it.  You can do it!  Anyone can!

2.  Focus on your breathing!  Don’t focus on the way your legs feel, or how tired you are, focus on your breathing.  In and out, deep and steady.  You can do it, don’t listen to that ugly devil with the discouraging remarks!

3.  Next, make sure you have the correct shoes.  You might want to see a doctor if you aren’t sure what kind of running shoes to buy (You can buy shoes with extra support or inserts to wear in your current shoes).  Don’t get hurt like I did and have to stop working out all together and go through a long recovery period.  Make sure you have the right equipment to keep your body working properly.  Think knees, ankles and feet!

4.  Include a strength training program with your running.  (If you can’t afford to go to a gym and use their equipment, buy yourself some ankle weights  or an exercise ball and use them at home to keep your muscles strong!).

5.  Don’t forget to stretch!

6.  Just do it.  Set goals, again, don’t listen to that devil running beside you telling you that you are a failure.  Even if you can’t run far, or you run very slowly, you are still a runner if you run regularly.  There is no better way to reduce stress and anxiety and to feel great than exercise, so get out there and realize the benefits!  There is nothing more freeing than flying over the ground, moving your body, feeling that light-headed runners high.

I know whenever I see someone running on the side of the road, I think, Go Go Go!!

Become a runner!

Get out there!
~Sandra

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My quest continues.

To learn to live better. More sustainable. Greener. Healthier. More frugal.

Every year I vow to do better. I don’t always succeed. I often get in well over my head. Sometimes I have utter failures.

Two years ago I vowed to have the largest tomato harvest ever and can enough sauce to not only get us through the winter, but to give to friends as well. It was my worst tomato year ever.

But those failures are lessons. They will never keep me from trying again, trying harder.

Here are some of the things I will do in 2012 to try to live more frugal, sustainable, greener, healthier – 

All new things I will be trying for the very first time!

grow luffa, grow loopha, sustainability, live green, green living, whole living, frugalGrow Luffa!

I know what you are thinking…. Luffa (loofah) is a sponge. Sponges grow in the sea. Ah, not these. Luffa is actually a gourd.

They grow similar to cucumbers – on a vine. They require a long growing season so when attempting to grow them in colder climates like here in New Hampshire, you will probably need  to start them indoors. Or so I hear. Once they mature, the fruit, containing a very fibrous material, is dried, peeled and “milked” removing the fleshy substance inside. They can be used in the shower and in the kitchen to scrub pots and pans and vegetables too!

I won’t have to buy sponges again!

Grow Sweet Potato!

Unlike white potato, sweet potato are exceptionally good for you and are encouraged in a healthy diet rather than avoided.

They can be grown in relatively small space in these boxes and easily harvested. You could grown them on a deck or patio. Each box can have an extremely high yield too.

Build a pallet table for the garden! 

Sure, I already have a number of picnic tables, potting tables, side tables, scattered around the gardens, but who can’t use another? I love love love having friends gathered at long tables under the trees on warm summer evenings, enjoying cool wine and heavenly meals. Chatting and laughing into the night. The more tables, the more people.

Pallets can be found for free in a variety of locations. They are often simply thrown away by large companies! And although the wood is not perfect, often scarred and damaged, they can be used to build a variety of things.

I love this table with the succulent planter in the center. I’m thinking wine chillers.

What’s your Green, Frugal, Sustainable, Healthful New Year’s Resolution?

Live Well!
~S

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One of the most common complaints regarding living a healthier life and eating better that I get is “It’s too expensive”.

Next to “I hate vegetables” and “I have no will power” that is.

Well, it doesn’t have to be!
First, can  you afford not to?  Healthier people are more successful. They have more energy, get sick less often and have better emotional health and stability. Therefore, those who work out regularly, eat a healthy diet and just take better care of themselves generally have more and live better. You only have once chance at this. Let’s get it right, shall we? And you are worth it!!

First, here are some thoughts on shopping –

  • Start with a good list. Plan your meals AND snacks for the week and only buy what you need. It’s easy to start throwing things into the cart and end up with a bunch of junk food and only half of what you need to make healthy meals. Be prepared and stick to the list.
  • Check your prices! I often hear that people only shop in one place because they like that store. Well, that’s all well and good if you can afford to and want to spend more, but if you want to make this change and you want to keep as much of your precious cash as you can then check. Try this – make a short grocery list of the things you eat most often and hit your favorite store. Now, write down the price per pound of each item. It’s the smaller number on the sticker on the shelf. But look closely. Sometimes it is per pound, others quart, roll, ect. You can also use a camera phone if you like. Then, next week take the same list and go to a different store. Then compare. And always keep checking back. Stores do change prices.
  • Consider shopping at more than one store. I know this seems daunting to some, but it doesn’t have to be. You can keep track of just the items you use most often and purchase those at the store that sells it cheaper. Places like Walmart and Costco often have the best prices on paper products, toiletries and cereals, but not necessarily on other items. I seem to have this uncanny ability to remember prices from one place to the next with little effort. So, I know where I can buy one item cheaper than another. When it’s time to shop I make my lists per store. Which leads me to my next thought….
  • Plan your trips. Going to more than one store can be a hassle and take forever if you don’t plan properly. And it can end up being more expensive. Start with a good list broken down by store, then plan your week. Try to stop on your way from one place to another when you will already be close rather than making special trips out. This saves gas and time. You can do it all in one swoop by planning your route or you can stop say on your way home from work two different nights.
  • Shopping more often can lead to less waste. By purchasing a few days at a time you can avoid losing money on spoiled food. You know, those salad greens that got trapped behind the mustard that was behind the eggs and Tuesdays leftovers.
  • Start at the Farmers Market and work from there. The market will always have the freshest vegetables, in turn the healthiest. There is no time wasted on travel because the farmer picked them fresh this morning just across town. And most of the time, their prices are very competitive with the grocery store. And sometimes if you shop the end of the market they will have reduced prices rather than carting what they have left back to the farm. Now that you have whatever is in season in your area, which is also a great way to eat, you can plan the rest of your shopping trip (your meals and grocery list) around what you were able to find. This is also just a great way to spend a half hour – meeting your neighbors and supporting local business.
  • Buy in bulk. Not everything can be bought in bulk. Some will spoil. But whenever you can, buy the biggest size. And shop sales. When chicken goes on sale, stock up. Your bill for the week might be a bit higher, but you save in the long run.

Fruits and vegetables are not as expensive as you might think. If you consider price per pound, vegetables are actually cheaper than meats. And if you take a look at the photo below, you can see why when you eat nothing but meats soaked in oil you end up eating more! By eating more fruits and vegetables you end up actually eating less.

This explains why you feel fuller, longer when eating a diet full of vegetables and fruits

Here are some great ways to eat healthy on a lower budget –

  • Eat more vegetarian meals – meats can add a huge amount to your grocery bill. By eating just one vegetarian meal a week you can drastically cut grocery costs over the year. And the protein needed can be found in other sources.
  • Oatmeal – Buy the biggest container you can find. Oatmeal is a great source of nutrients and protein and it’s relatively cheap. Add honey, nuts and berries, maybe a sprinkle of protein powder and you have a great healthy meal. Mix it up. You can cook with it too. Make muffins, mix it into shakes, use it to “bread” chicken.
  • Oranges and clementines – These can be bought in bulk, are low glycemic fruits and store very well.
  • Brown rice – It’s healthy and versatile. It can be mixed with a variety of spices and vegetables (ginger and soy sauce is one of my favorites),  added to soups and stews, even warm with nuts, milk and honey for a sweet snack.
  • Quinoa – this a a bit more expensive than say brown rice, but is also rather versatile and offers a great source of protein. Mixed with veggies and spices, you can have a great healthy, vegetarian meal. Meats cost more, remember.
  • Beans and lentils – These are very inexpensive and offer a protein source. They can be added to soups and salads, used for vegetarian chili, and added to brown rice, quinoa and just mixed with sautéed vegetables.
  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables – Some, like peas and spinach are very good frozen at a reduced price. And because they are flash frozen at the peak of freshness, can contain more vitamins and nutrients than some that are “fresh”. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them going bad.
  • Nuts in the bulk aisle – Many stores have bulk nuts and grains. This reduces the cost due to packaging and you can often get them at a much better value. They sometimes have sales too. Store them in mason jars in the freezer to preserve freshness.
  • Hummus – This a great source of protein, can be used with meals and as a healthy snack. Spread on wraps, dip veggies, fill deviled eggs or mix with egg salad.
  • Water – Yes, water. Stop drinking all those sodas and such. Water is cheap, usually free and it is WAY better for you. You can add a squeeze of lemon to flavor it for those of you who claim to “need more flavor”. And even add honey and mint.
  • Eggs – Eggs are cheap. Cheaper if you know anyone with chickens, and healthier too. Eggs where getting a very bad rap for a long time, but recent studies have shown this to be less than the truth! Hooray!
  • Protein powder – The initial cost of protein powder may seem quite large, but a little goes a long way. You don’t need to follow the instruction on the package either. Many have 25 grams of protein in one scoop, meaning most women need just one per meal. And if you are combining it with another protein source like hummus, oatmeal or eggs, you need less. That package will last quite some time. It’s a great quick breakfast on the go mixed with coconut milk and fruits and veggies. Yes, veggies.
  • Buy generic – You are only paying for the name. Many store brand products are actually produced by the same companies or those equally as “good”.
  • Freeze – By freezing things that are threatening to spoil, you reduce waste. Berries are a perfect example. Often the bottom layer spoils before you get there. Spread them on a baking sheet in the freezer until solid, then put them into a container and use in shakes and on oatmeal. You can prepare meals like vegetable lasagna and chili and freeze them for quick go to meals. Bread is great kept in the freezer!
  • Don’t buy junk! – Junk food is actually MORE expensive! It’s true.
  • Make your own meals – Prepared meals and things like boxed food are not only full of preservatives and other junk, they actually end up costing more.
  • Learn to cook! – As I said, making your own food is far cheaper, but knowing how is important. If the food tastes awful you and your family won’t eat it and will resort to throwing it out and reaching for the packaged stuff. Buy a good cookbook, ask friends for recipes, search the internet, follow blogs or spend a little money on lessons. They will pay off. You can often find people who offer inexpensive in-home lessons. I offer them myself.
  • Take food with you – Eating out is expensive no matter how you slice it. You can save a small fortune over the course of a year by taking your lunch and snacks with you every day. And you get healthier food! And always keep things on hand for emergencies. Protein bars, dried fruits and nuts, these can be life savers when you forget your snack or find yourself heading to the coffee shop. Keep them in your desk, your car, your bag, everywhere.

Because it is the middle of an Arctic blast, in January, in New Hampshire, I’m not going to ramble on about how wonderful it is to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Because it is. And I love it. You can’t get much healthier than that. You learn to appreciate your food a bit more. You save money.  Ok, maybe just a short ramble.

Long story short, find ways to make it happen. It can be done.

The difference between who you are
and who you want to be –
is what you do!

Live Well!
~S

*Photo credit Food Network and Joe Cross

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Living green or frugal, homesteading, it’s not necessarily about living cheaper. It isn’t about being broke. It isn’t always about saving money. You don’t have to be a crunchy, tree hugging hippy to appreciate or even participate.

This is more a way of life. A mindset. It’s about living simple. Being happy with what ever you have. Who ever you are. Where ever you are.

It’s about appreciation. Respect.

Everywhere you look, everything you see is loaded with frivolity. Supposed “Real” housewives with big houses and plastic faces. The grocery store aisles are loaded with messages telling you you aren’t enough. Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, you are being driven to want more, expect excess.

Wellness, whole living, homesteading, living frugal, sustainability, being green, it’s about acceptance. It’s about being healthy and happy. Simplicity. Being enough. Having enough. And taking care of yourself, your family and your environment in the process.

Growing your own food, making your own cleaners, chosing smaller. None of these things make you less. You don’t have to be desperate to do these things. We do this because we are enough. Because we care enough. Because we don’t need to prove our worth with big cars, flashy jewels. Because we know that these things have prices far larger than what we pay personally.

But mostly it is about just loving a simple life. Where days are sweet and we end each knowing we have done all we can. We have done well. Not every thing we do will be perfect. We will enjoy the big screen tv, the expensive shoes. We choose our battles. And do the best we can with what we have and who we are.

“I don’t know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
~Bill Cosby

I have always said a smaller home makes for a closer family. And although there are certainly days I wish for a little more space, I am always thankful for what I do have. I won’t always do everything “right”. I will make my way by enjoying my frivolities and trying to make up for them where ever I can. I may not recycle every item that can be, but I will do my best. I WILL eat that cheeseburger and fries and will train hard and eat clean as often as I can.

At the end of every year I try to take some time to contemplate all that I have, all that I have done. Ponder my failures. Take the lessons in them. Discover ways to do and be better. But mostly I take the time to appreciate all that I have. 2011 was certainly filled with ups and downs. Lessons gained from failures. A few steps in the wrong direction. And it was filled with love and laughter. Growth. Happiness.

You may find yourself heavier than the person next to you, unhappy with who you see in the mirror. You may not drive the bigger car, make as much money or have as many things as your neighbor. But you are enough.

Never compare yourself, your life with that of another. Strive for a better you always, but never for anyone else. My life is filled with people of all walks of life. Starving artists, dirty hippies, crazy rock stars, fisherman, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs. Some of my favorite people drive old clunkers and have little. I love them because they are real. Artists are some of my favorites. They have a conviction, a sense of self.

You can do a crazy amount of things to live a little greener, cleaner, more frugal….

  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper towels
  • Grow vegetables and herbs when ever you can
  • Grow Luffa! (stay tuned for my next blog!)
  • Find a running, hiking, training or accountability partner
  • Opt for natural products and home remedies
  • Plan meals, shop with a list and use what you have first
  • Shop local at small businesses and farmers markets
  • Cut up your credit cards and choose to live by your means
  • Bring reusable bags to the store
  • Repurpose and recycle

Whatever you do, whatever you choose, strive to be the best you and know that you are enough! And never compromise your convictions for the sake of what someone else might think. Dare to be you!

What will you do in 2012 to be a better you?
How will you be greener, more frugal or live sustainably?

Live Well!
~S

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