Category: Blog

Why Your Goals Aren’t Important, and What Really Is…

Hi my darlings!

Back in the day, I worked at Lululemon, and for anyone who isn’t in the know, Lululemon has a culture among its employees of fostering personal development. We had a library (i.e. bookshelf) in the break room full of books like “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” and “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t.”

We had team meetings and were encouraged to take “ownership” of certain tasks from dressing the mannequins to in-store events. We had weekend retreats that you got to go to if you were an A+ employee and workout challenges every month with a score board.

At the heart of everything we did were goals. If you have any experience with retail or commision-based jobs then you are familiar with goals: monthly goals, quarterly goals, yearly goals, mostly set by the higher-ups and placed on the employees shoulders to achieve.

At Lulu, we had sales goals like any other clothing store, but we were also encouraged to set our own goals. Well, not so much encouraged as expected to. Someone decided that it was imperative for everyone working at Lulu to set goals in a Personal, Work, and Health category and to have 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals for each. We were also made to date these goals and display them on a shelf visible to the entire store.

…No doubt this exercise came from one of the personal-development books on our library’s shelf.

Now I’m not knocking Lulu’s efforts to foster a certain culture. I’m all for personal growth and development. I read the books. I’m a fan of leadership, ownership and all the other ships. I just chose to cherry-pick the practices that resonate with me personally and leave the rest.

The problem I found at Lulu was that there was a certain underlying tension in the store. It felt like a need to do everything perfectly and to be 100% on-board with every method of achieving “Success”.

I went along with it because I thought I was supposed to. I made my 1, 5, and 10 year goals just like everyone else did. Some of those goals were real goals that felt important to me, but some of them I just filled in because I felt I had to.

I still have my framed goals in my childhood bedroom and I laugh at how silly some of them seem, like the one that says “I will be able to do 5 pull-ups by August 2011″…I wrote it because I couldn’t think of a health goal I wanted to achieve in one year and that seemed like a good one to fill in the blank line.

For some people it might be cool to be able to do 5 pull-ups, but it’s not really something important to me, so spoiler alert, I didn’t end up achieving that one.

Here is what I have since learned:

Goals are important. But the “why” behind those goals is absolutely essential. Without the “why”, goals have no meaning. The “why” is the fuel, it’s the spark, the gas in the engine of your goals.

Why do you want to achieve (________)?

Why is it important to you?

What will happen if you don’t go after this goal?

What will happen if you do?

If you want to achieve your goals, figure out the “why” behind them. Without the “why” your goals are like a car with an empty gas tank.

Since discovering the power of “why”, I’ve tweaked the questions I ask my clients. Before, I used to ask them to list 3 main fitness goals and I developed their workout program based on their answers, but I was only asking for half of the information I needed. Now, after I ask them their goals, I ask them why they want to achieve these goals.

That simple question has been a total game-changer.

I can see my clients go inside of themselves and dig deep for the answers, and what comes to the surface is much more honest than “tone up my arms” or “get a beach-body for summer”. Now I hear, “I want to feel confident for once in my body”, “I want to feel proud of myself.” “I want to live a long, healthy life.” “I want to see what I am capable of.”

So much juicier, right!?

Not only does this help me get a real, meaningful sense of what they want out of our sessions, it gets them to vocalize what is really driving them to make these changes.

Whatever your goals are, they are goals because they are just out of reach. If they were easy you would already have achieved them. It’s imperative to remind yourself when it feels hard and the motivation isn’t there, why you are going after these goals in the first place.

It becomes way to easy to let yourself off the hook if you don’t have a compelling reason to put in the effort, so please don’t short-change yourself. Give your goals power by figuring out the “why” behind them.

Write down however many goals you want to achieve right now. (None of this: You must have 1 health, 1 personal, 1 work for 1/5/10 years or it doesn’t count bullshit.) Write down what feels right to you and screw the rest.

After you have your goals written down, write all the reasons you want to achieve these goals. Use the questions above if you want as a guideline, but really think about why these goals are important to you and give them power by writing them down.

Put the paper someplace you will see it every day. You could tape it to your mirror if you want, or fold it up and put it between the sheets of your daily planner. You don’t need to take out a full-page add in the paper, or a freakin billboard for all the world to see.

This is for you and you alone. Do what feels right for you. These are your goals after all. They are your dreams and no one else will take care of them the way you will.

This is my favorite Ted Talk and the first place I heard of the power of why. I got so many “Ah-ha’s” from this video and I’m excited to hear if you do to. Tell me in the comments below!

It finally feels like Spring is here! Yay! Have a beautiful week!

With so much love,

Sam

 

 

 

 

Three Ways to Know for Sure if You are Living Your Purpose

I’ve learned throughout my relatively short time on earth that life likes to leave us clues. It’s constantly leaving breadcrumbs on our path that, if paid attention to, will lead every one of us to what we are meant to do in this world.

If you hate flying then your purpose is not going to be becoming a pilot. It sounds incredibly obvious and maybe even a little bit dumb, but I use this example because I heard a woman voice this fear and it struck me so much that I never forgot it. She was scared that what the universe has in store for her isn’t going to be what she wants for herself. She was really conflicted and I can bet that if she has this fear then others do to.

Here’s the deal: The universe’s plan for you will specifically match up with your passions and talents. That’s why God gave you certain passions and talents in the first place. The exciting and beautiful thing about living your purpose is that when you discover it, it feels like everything is in alignment, because it is.

Paying attention during something that lights you up is one of the clues to look out for. Does the time fly? Do you find that ideas or actions flow effortlessly, almost as if they are coming through you and not from you? When you find yourself in “flow” you are synced up to the Universe. You are the filter through which genius flows. It’s like a holy download. It’s a natural alignment between your talents and God’s plan for you.DeathtoStock_SlowDown3

Even right now, writing this blog post I feel totally in my flow. I usually need to keep a few hours open in my day if I plan to write because I know once I start, time flies and there is no way I am paying attention to the clock. If I schedule an appointment too close to writing time I will totally miss it!

Here’s another clue to look out for:

After you finish something of value to you, do you feel even more energy then before you started? When I was in college, the majority of my classes were dance, so while other students were sitting at a desk for 5-6 classes a day, I was dancing for those 5-6 hours with rehearsals in the evenings and shows at the end of every semester. Looking back, I’m amazed that I had enough energy to study for my academics and bar tend on the weekends! That’s what happens when you are living in flow though. Your purpose feeds you and generates even more energy than you knew was possible.

These days my schedule is packed. I wake up early in the morning and am at Equinox by 8am. All day I am learning and taking on new challenges. I have classes, meetings, sessions and workouts. It’s a lot, but it’s fascinating. I love the field I’m in and I leave feeling great. After Equinox I often go to my restaurant job and whereas before, I felt tired and bored, lately I’ve noticed I’m in a great mood. I have tons of energy and I don’t feel nearly as run-down as I used to. It baffles me because my workload is at least double what it used to be. I’m doing things I love and that makes all the difference.

Another way to know if you are in alignment with your purpose is to pay attention to how you feel after you finish something. Do you feel a sense of peace, or even elation? After I write I often feel like everything is right with the world (or at least with my world). I feel a sense of peace and after I hit “publish” I feel like I’ve reached the top of a mountain. It feels like all of my effort lead me to this moment and my heart is lighter for having followed it.

Paying attention to your heart is a pretty good way to live. These days I try to stay away from things that my heart says ‘no’ to. More often than not, they end up being things that take my focus away from what I love to do. My heart saying ‘no’ feels like a heavy burden or a contraction instead of an expansion. I also pay attention to my energy. If I feel tired, sad, bored or lost for too long I take a look at what I am doing and if it is bringing me closer to my purpose or farther away from it. It’s usually the later.

I challenge you, as you go about your usual day, to ask yourself whether you feel your heart expanding or contracting. Are you using your inherent unique set of gifts in your work? If not, it’s your job to ask yourself these questions and discover what makes you light up. And then go do it. Because living your life on your terms, with joy, inspires others to do the same. And I will tell you a little secret. That’s my purpose.

What’s yours?

 

Happy discovering!

With so much love,

Sam

 

 

What Will Your Word of the Year Be!?

Lemon Sorbet Champagne CocktailHiiiii!

Happy New Year’s Eve everybody!

I feel like this year everyone is particularly excited for 2015. I see all over Facebook, people declaring they are going to make it the best year ever! There are lots of resolutions being made too.

I love the new year, but I don’t really ever make resolutions. In my own experience, resolutions set me up to fail. I get hyped up and excited imagining this amazing brand new “me” and then January 1st comes and it’s just another day with the same to-do’s, habits and such. Maybe it’s all the sparkles and glitter of New Year’s Eve that makes resolutions seem so alluring, but really they are just goals. I’m all for goals. Love them! But I make goals throughout the year. Why save them for one specific day?

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail 4

So, instead of making New Years resolutions, I like to pick a word for the year ahead. The word I pick reflects how I want to feel. I love this tradition because it has nothing to do with succeeding or failing, like resolutions do. It’s really about aligning with what is important to you and reminding yourself how you want to feel on the daily.

Last year my word was courage.

~I started my website last year

~I began to share my thoughts and writing with all of you (hella scary for me, btw!)

~ I got my personal training certification

All of these things, plus many more, were acts of courage for me. They were all scary, but  I’m so glad I made them happen.

This year I have decided that my word is going to be Authentic.

I want to step into my authentic self even more in 2015. I’ve discovered that being authentic feels really good. I’m going to commit to embracing who I am with no apologies and no censors. (Well, maybe a few censors when I’m around children, ha!) I believe that when we fully embrace who we are, we give permission, and inspire others to do the same.

I’m leaving you, this final day of 2014, with a cocktail my sister created. It’s fresh, light and sparkly. (Coincidentally also how I want to feel in the new year!)

Cheers!

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail 2

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail

1 oz vodka

lemon sorbet

your favorite champagne or prosecco

mint leafs

Pour vodka into a champagne flute. Add bubbly leaving 1 inch at the top. Add a scoop of sorbet. Put a mint leaf in the palm of one hand and smack it with the other hand. Yes, that’s right. *Smack the leaf! Garnish your cocktail with beaten mint leaf. Drink up!

*Smacking is a bartender trick to release the oils and fragrance of your herbs. Try it! One good smack will do the trick and it’s kinda fun :)

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail 1I’d love to hear what your word of 2015 will be. Tell me in the comments below!

Have a fabulous and safe New Years Eve!

See you next year!

xoxo,

Sam

Holiday Coconut Nog Protein Pancakes

Eggnog protein pancakesHi there my loves!

As you all know Thursday is Christmas and it’s a hectic time of year. I’ve been running my little (okay, big) tush around buying presents for all of my family including the newest addition, my sweet baby nephew. It’ll be his first Christmas and I can hardly wait. I have my camera charged and ready to capture every moment. Christmas is always special, but having children around really makes it magical.

Eggnog protein pancake 1

We always have a huge feast on Christmas and I look forward to it every year. I try to eat light during the day to make room for all of the yummy food, but I’m never one to skip meals, so I like to have a healthy breakfast to hold me over for the feast ahead. This recipe works double duty. If you remember last week I made a Chocolate Eggnog Crumb Cake. If you ventured to make it yourself, you would now have leftover nog sitting in your fridge. I was looking for a way to use mine up and I came up with these pancakes. They are perfect for Christmas morning, or any holiday you celebrate, when you want a special breakfast to kick off the festivities. They’re also the perfect healthy treat to curb your hunger until dinnertime.

Share them with your loved ones and no matter what you celebrate, here’s wishing your holiday is filled with warmth, joy and coconut flake snow ;D

Eggnog Protein Pancakes 2

(adapted from Ultimate Protein Pancakes)

Makes 4-6

1 medium banana

2 tbsp ground flax

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 tbsp oat flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

5 tbsp nondairy eggnog (I use So Delicious Coconut Nog)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup egg whites

In a medium size bowl mash the banana with a fork. Add in the next 8 ingredients (everything but egg whites) and mix to combine. In a separate bowl (or in a stand mixer) whisk egg whites until they develop stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add half of the whipped egg whites to the pancake mixture and stir. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. Be careful not to over mix.

Heat a non-stick pan to medium and coat with cooking spray or coconut oil. Pour in batter and flip when you see bubbles. Only flip once for really fluffy pancakes.

Top with shredded coconut and a drizzle of coconut nog.

 

Wishing you a happy, magical holiday!

xoxo,

Sam

 

Live Your Life…Like a BOSS!!!

We all want a fabulous life, right? I know I do and I can guess that you do too. You have everything you need to make it happen. You have a unique gift that you were born to share with the world and when you do, amazing things will come to you! I truly believe that. It wasn’t an accident that you were put here at this specific time, in this specific place. There will never be another you and if you don’t share what you have to give, listen now, this is important- you are STEALING from those who need you the most. Ya heard!?

STEALING!!!

So let’s all start living life with and on purpose! And doing our thang…like a BOSS!

This little kiddo says it best. If you get nothing from this post, just watch this video. It will make your day. I think it made my life.

Mack-Lovin

“I  have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more Love.” Mother Teresa

“A  loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” Thomas Carlyle

Hey peeps!

This weekend was my 25th birthday! I’m a quarter-of-a-century old and I’ve been inundated with so much overwhelming love lately that I thought, what a perfect subject to write about. Love is such an infinite topic, but I just want to focus on one aspect today. So what this post is not about: being single, relationship troubles, sex, waking up next to your room-mate’s ex-boyfriend with a nasty hang-over and a possible STD…forget all the boy-girl messy stuff for now. I’m sure I’ll get to that in another post…Eh, except the room-mate/STD thing. Don’t think I wanna touch that subject :/…What I want to delve into here is pure Love. Love in its most simple capacity.

I was listening to a podcast by self-transformation leader, Mastin Kipp (if you don’t know him you need to check him out at TheDailyLove.com) and he was interviewing Robert Holden, best-selling author and expert on self-acceptance. At one point Holden threw out this gem that stuck with me-”The way I feel is that the only way you’re ever going to love someone is if you’re willing to love everyone. If you’re not going to love everyone, you will not be able to love someone.” Blew. My. Mind. People.

Love is all-inclusive and we are all connected so it only makes sense that we need to Love each other.
Love is acceptance and Love is compassion and I don’t know about you, but I think we could use a hell of a lot more of those two things in our world right now.

Lov-ing is something we definitely need to do more of.

It seems so simple, but if you consider it, Loving is really a daring thing! To Love means being completely vulnerable. And to Love all the time is hella-scary! That’s why there’s such a natural tendency to keep our hearts guarded. We feel we are protecting something. Occasionally we open our hearts to those we believe deserve it and to those we believe we can trust not to hurt us. Then we close right back up again when we are the least bit unsure. Think about how often you have truly opened your heart to someone. How many people? If you can count how many, that’s too few. What would happen if you opened your heart to everyone? What if you Love a person who has hurt you? What if you Love a complete stranger? Radical idea? Maybe.

The thing is, when you keep your heart in a constant state of openness, love, abundance and positive energy are free to flow into your life. The most exciting thing to me is this idea of abundance. Why do we “save” our love? What is this idea that we need to save our love for one person? Who sold us that idea!? Our Love isn’t on reserve! We don’t have a certain amount of Love in us and once it’s gone we can’t get any more. Just the opposite. Give all your Love away! Whore your Love out to everyone and see what happens. I promise you, extraordinary things will happen!

I, personally don’t want my heart to have a lock and key. I want my heart to be a giant fabulous party where everyone is welcome and the champagne is free-flowing!

I want to begin a project. I like to experiment on myself to see what works so I am going to practice this and if others want to join me I would be thrilled. I am going to practice loving EVERYONE I come in contact with. I am going to love my friends, co-workers, strangers I pass on the street, the lady invading my space on the subway…and I’m going to observe what happens. I’ve been playing with this a little bit lately and it’s already yielded some awesome results so I’m crazy excited to see what happens when I commit fully to it. I’m going to give it a year and I’m going to periodically take inventory and see what changes in my life.

The worst that could happen is nothing. People go on living their lives oblivious to my love for them, the world keeps spinning at the rate it’s always spun and I’ve wasted a year loving a whole lot of people. Doesn’t sound like much to lose. But, the amount there is to gain!? Well, that’s as infinite as the topic of Love.

Till next time!

Luv ya ;)
Sam

Quit Fearing Fear

“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

-Emerson

That quote got me thinking about fear. How scary is it to do your own thing!? You think, “who am I to do things differently?”

“What if I try something new and I fail?”

“People will think I’m foolish or stupid!”

I’m dealing with it right now. For me, starting this blog was an enormous fear! I toyed with the idea for years, but I was too scared to do it.

“What if it’s stupid?”

“What if I don’t get any readers?”

“What if it ends up being a ginormous failure!?”

That’s me, out there, on the internet, exposed for the world to judge. Scary!

But the thing is, our fears are glaring signs for us to stretch our boundaries; To get out of our comfortable safe little boxes and take a leap of faith. And it’s thrilling because when you exercise your muscle against fear, you open up possibilities that weren’t there before.

It’s a concept that has to do with yoga-you pause in these challenging, sometimes god-awful poses (chair pose, ahem!) and you breathe through it. It’s horrible and overwhelming and you start to shake, but you get familiar with being uncomfortable. You immerse yourself in it because once you come out of it, you understand that the pose hasn’t done you in. You’re still here, and you’re stronger for getting through it. Then a challenge comes up that has nothing to do with yoga, but you know know how to handle it. You breathe and you get through it and you recognize that it’s not going to do you in.

The kicker? Fear never goes away. It will be by your side through every decision you face, every day you are alive. Might as well get to know it, right? You can’t run away from it. It’ll follow you like Creepy Apartment Guy. No? Just me? Maybe it’s time to move…

It’s always going to be scary. That’s what fear is, duh, but it’s also incredibly empowering when you face it head on and give fear the finger. This blog is me giving fear the finger. So I hope you will join me and raise your finger to fear, whatever that means for you. I think this little blog is going to be an incredible, scary, exciting, sexy and fun journey ;)

Keep it Passionate Peeps!

Sam