another one for new year’s: what are you saying hello to?

Goodbye 2014, hello 2015.

At the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to look back on the past year and to ask ourselves what is working for us and what isn’t. When it comes to what isn’t, it’s also the perfect time to make a commitment to ourselves to let go in the coming year. Letting go can be tough, and I think part of what trips us up is that we commit to saying goodbye to our bad habits without thinking about what will take their place. It’s that new thing that we want to cultivate that we need to focus on—not what we’re trying to stamp out, but what we want to create—to pull us forward and to keep us growing.

change and focus

What are you saying goodbye to? And hello?

If you’re not sure, I can offer some food for thought. Here are three big shifts I’m going to focus on in 2015:

Goodbye personal training, hello coaching.
Teaching people to squat is fun. Being at the gym is fun, but it’s less so when it’s 6:00am and you’re not the one working out. I know that some people love being a personal trainer and working one-on-one with people to work towards their goals. I sure love the part where you get to talk to people, help them figure out what they want for themselves, and then come up with a plan to make it happen. But that part sounds strangely similar to what I get to do as a life coach: talk to people, work on goals, make plans. I’m not leaving the fitness world—I love teaching spin and bootcamp and the occasional yoga class—but I am going to cease personal training in favour of sleeping in working on my thesis and building my coaching roster*. I love health, but the biggest shifts, even for people who want to change their bodies and work on their physical health, come in the way we think–and coaching is the perfect way to work on our thoughts, beliefs, and thus the way we live our lives.

Goodbye should, hello would.
I have a bad track record when it comes to falling into the trap of “shoulding all over myself.” I know I’m not alone when it comes to feeling like I ought to be doing this or that and then beating myself up if I’m not. For instance, I should have a career by now; I should have this much money by now; I should be this good at CrossFit. But it feel a lot better to ask myself what I would like to do, or to think about what I would do if I didn’t feel so caught up in my shoulds. I should go to college so that I can get a job quickly, but if this weren’t the case I would go to teacher’s college and wait it out on the supply list, trusting that I can support myself with my freelance writing and my coaching in the meantime.
do more

Goodbye sort-of-friends, hello people who brighten my world.
When I feel busy, I can forget to stay in touch with the people who matter to me: old friends who live far away, my family, or the people who are equally as busy and hard to track down. All it takes to remind me that I need to put in the effort to build strong relationships with people who inspire me and fill me up is one visit with one of those gems.
walk with the dreamers

2015 is coming whether you’re ready or not–you might as well ask yourself what you’d like this year. You deserve only the best, but it’s you who needs to make it happen!

respect

What are you ready to let go of from 2014, and what are you going to welcome in its place in 2015? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

 *If you’re interested in coaching, you can check out my services, comment, or send me an email at cherylmadliger@gmail.com to set up a (free) sesh to discuss coaching and to see whether or not we’ll be a good fit for one another!  

Advertisements

Christmas cookies: the struggle

Today is my favourite day of the year—Christmas Eve! I start to get sad when the holidays are over, mostly because I don’t feel like my habit of putting sparkles on everything is as socially acceptable post-December. This Christmas Eve, my mother and sister and I are going to get messy and bake Christmas cookies: think chocolate chip, peanut butter, snowballs, thumbprint, and some fudge too! Now, that’s a lot of cookies, and while I’m a big giver when it comes to baked goods, it’s still a lot of temptation, don’t you think? I’d lie to you and say that this is more than we normally throw together, but it’s actually missing the pizelles, no-bake cookies, and gingerbread bad boys we normally throw into the mix.

Our cookies are sadly not quite this pretty.

Our cookies are sadly not quite this pretty.

Even in the midst of all that deliciousness, I’ve been the girl who has sworn off cookies in the past. No desserts for me this year, I’d think. I’m too big to be eating those.

But the same thing almost always happened: I’d inevitably smell my mom’s chocolate chip cookies and want one realllll bad. I’d see a broken cookie and tell myself it didn’t count since it wasn’t a whole one. By bedtime, you can be certain I’d have eaten my fill of cookies, probably in hiding, ashamed of my lack of willpower.

One thing I’m learning when it comes to special treats, especially seasonal ones, is that it is mentally a heck of a lot healthier to just make room for a cookie here or a piece of cake there. I can’t say I’ve perfected this, but I do know I go to sleep a lot happier if I’ve decided to go into a holiday or event with a game plan and some room for a treat or two.

If you’re like me, you stress a bit about all the goodies around this time of year. I think that’s okay, but you might as well think productively about it and come up with a game plan. I took a vacation with my boyfriend to Mexico earlier this month (part of my blog hiatus) and I was admittedly a little nervous about the all-inclusive nature of our travel. But I took smart advice and decided to go in knowing that I’d be having treats, but with a plan so it wouldn’t be a free for all. I decided to go for a treat each day—and some days I even found myself grabbing a dessert and deciding against it not out of guilt, but because I really didn’t want or need what I’d taken. It was a pretty empowering feeling for someone who used to feel like she couldn’t even keep cocoa powder in her pantry for fear of figuring out some way to overeat it.

Putting the desserts to good use.

Putting the vacay desserts to good use.

Just like with vacations, holidays can be filled with foods that we don’t normally have around. Unlike vacations, holidays can be stressful and busy and there are obligations to eat your grandma’s pie or your sister’s turkey. Do your best to anticipate this, go in with a game plan that says it’s okay to have some foods that might not be top notch nutritionally, and to truly enjoy them.

I think a quote is a great way to wrap up this post, along with a challenge. Start to think about how you want to feel when 2015 rolls around and you look back on this set of holidays. It’s up to you to decide. Do you want to feel like you were in control of your choices? Do you want to prove to yourself that you aren’t out of control around goodies? Do you want to show yourself that you can keep exercising through the most wonderful time of the year? Have a plan and remember that you’re in charge. Then..give yourself the gift of experiencing what you want, where you are, and what you’ve decided to do (or eat, or buy, or whatever) this Christmas. No apologies. I hope it’s merry!

“You will never stop wanting more until you allow yourself to have what you already have. To take it in. Savor it. Now is a good time to do that . . .” 
Geneen Roth

 

A Christmas Comeback

I’m sure that you’ve missed me the past two months, but never fear: I’m back.

I took a little break from my blog, largely to get right on what I want it to do in the world. At times, my blog has served as a diary, a spot to get some encouragement from people in the same boat as me, or as a place to try to spark discussion. I’ve entertained the notion of using it as a space to build my coaching business. I’ve thought that I could use it as a way to archive my writing (which I currently keep up to date in a separate online portfolio). So what do I want it to be?

I have spent a lot of time being coached, coaching, and working on myself. My life purpose statement has evolved from being a renegade to a warrior to a light that leads people on the adventure of their lives. I know that I feel the most alive when I am communicating—talking, but also writing and sharing with people. I love health and fitness and see emotional and mental health as a huge component of our overall well-being. I read self-help books for fun and am a sucker for all kinds of workshops and coaching groups because I feel so much more on track when I am taking the time to work on myself.

My blog is my place to express that. It’s my spot to be creative, to dream a little, and to talk about the things that I think are important. It’s my hope that the things I write about will help you think about things in a new way, will ask you questions that you might not have asked yourself, and will lead you on your own journey to happy and healthy. That’s clarity enough for me to make my comeback, just in time for the holidays.

Happiest of holidays to you and yours!

magic

This is a card from my absolute favourite, Curly Girl. You should probably send these on the regular…http://www.curlygirldesign.com/