Life Hacks

Life Lessons from My Toddler

My girl decided to start taking steps the day before her first birthday. It was just about the coolest thing (right next to her first coo, babble, roll, crawl, laugh, etc. etc. … you get it - #parenthood). Yet, I find I’ve been awestruck more by her continued practice in the couple of weeks since. The resilience. The curiosity. The perseverance. The progress. It’s just all so incredible to watch.

And this morning was eye-opening. She was just toddling back and forth, back and forth … and I was sitting at the kitchen table, throwing back coffee and learning life lessons from my toddler. Watch the video and read on …

Four Tips From My Toddler On Doing New/Hard Things:

  1. Do it in a safe space. Notice the baby gates on either side. She knows I’m close. As a result, she’s able to give it her all. It’s always smart to do hard and risky things in safer places (or, with knowledge that you have safe people to process with or turn toward).

  2. Be okay with falling. I don’t think she enjoyed falling, but she seems to accept it. How we view our inevitable falls, failures or mistakes as we explore new things can make all the difference in our ability to move forward.

  3. Allow yourself to take a break. I love when she just lays down. We have to allow ourselves to rest and reset when we’ve been doing a hard thing - whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.

  4. Reach for support when you need it. There are points when she just reaches for the stability of the couch. The touch is just enough to give her confidence to let go. It is WISE to reach for help when we’re feeling off balance or stuck or lost. 

PONDER: When’s the last time you chose to do a new or hard thing? What helped you succeed?

3 Ways to Fight Post-Vacation Depression

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don’t need to escape from.
— Seth Godin

While I don't necessarily agree with any theory that assumes vacation is simply an attempt at escaping normal life, I get Godin's point: live a life you love, 24/7, 365 — not just whilst on vacay. And I like that point. I agree with that point. Part of any therapy is pursuing that point. So, props to Seth.

But I'm also pro-vacation. I believe in the rejuvenation that comes from getting away from routine. I'm a major proponent of any opportunity for healthy adventure. And I can't help but think (and know, from personal experience) that travel makes for a transformative journey and a wonderful life story. So, vacation? Yes, please.

However, I know it can be hard to reenter "normal" life after those enjoyable periods of heightened experience, memory making and/or relaxation. In fact, post-depression blues are a pretty universal experience. Attempting to re-acclimate to life at home and work, we often experience a sense of letdown and disenchantment. It's normal for a minor depression to set in for a few days or weeks.

So, what do we do about it? How do you move through the inevitable post-vacation funk? Slowly and purposefully:

Ease back in (or, float on the funk). Give yourself a day or two of grace on the back end of your vacation. Use that time to unpack, grocery shop and do laundry at an unhurried and leisurely pace. Take an hour to look out at the month ahead — what's important, what's not? Put a line through an event or duty or two. Just back from a break and feeling the benefits, you should use that momentum to ban busy from your future schedule by allotting time for self-care and play in your day to day life!

Use the funk to reflect. As you transfer your vacation photos from your camera to your computer, go ahead and reminisce. Sit and soak in the memories and ask yourself some questions: What did your vacation awaken within you? What did your time away teach you about who you are, what you enjoy and what's NOT working in your non-vacation life?

Let the funk propel you toward change. Depression can feel immobilizing, but one of the best ways to fight the funk fast is to mobilize. Do something. Better yet, do something GOOD ... for your body, for someone else, for your future. Exercise. Sign up for that online course you've been thinking about. Cook dinner for a group of friends. Make your ordinary life a little bit more extraordinary by doing one new thing every day.

Of course, if you're up for a little extra help in creating the kind of day-to-day life you won't feel the need to escape from, I'm here to listen ... and to help you write a better life story. GET IN TOUCH and we'll get started

Stop Wishing and Start Doing

I read once that it takes just as much energy to wish or dream as it takes to plan. Do you think that’s true?

If you wish for a better marriage or dream about a new career, what stops you from planning for it?

If you dream about traveling or wish for happiness, why would you avoid planning to make it a reality?

Something holds you back. That something needs conquering.

A year from now you’ll wish you’d started today.
— Karen Lamb

I’d like to help you grab hold of what you’ve been wishing for and dreaming about. So, take a step toward realizing a worthy goal in 2016 — MAKE AN APPOINTMENT and we’ll make a plan together.

In the meantime, download something like the Everest app and start goal setting and step strategizing. "Everyone's got their Everest. Climb yours."

Redefining Failure for Success

The path to success involves a lot of how you deal with failure.

Do you believe failure to be a (by)product or do you view failure as an indictment on identity? A simple litmus test:

When something you've been working on/betting on doesn't work out as you planned/hoped, what is your internal monologue?

1) Well, that failed.

2) Well, I failed.

Think about it. The former perspective assumes grace and possibility and leads to a motivation to try again. The latter perspective blinds us to possibility and keeps us from confidence and hope.

Where do you land?

What Moves You?

My dad recently e-mailed me the following challenge:

"In 2 paragraphs or less define what moves you forward. Using as few words as possible, using tangible concepts, argue why you get out of bed every day, and what moves you toward the future …

Because what moves you forward may be what’s missing from the lives of those around you and they are idling in place or wasting away life’s opportunities. Motivation is personal, not universal, but is there within your paradigm/story a way to use what passion God's given you and impart it to another?

“Just do it” doesn’t work when you’re running on empty."

What fuel can you offer your friends, co-workers and neighbors today?

Not sure? Coming up empty yourself? Let's talk about it — dig in and figure out what's got you stunted. Let's get you hopeful again! (MAKE AN APPOINTMENT)