Tag Archives: motivation

New year, new you

Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

(Photo by Adam Baker)

What I love about the new year is that it is a time to reflect on the past, savour the present with friends (hello champagne!), and look forward to the future. A new year can feel like a fresh start which in itself can be a catalyst for positive change. But – I have a little bone to pick with New Year’s resolutions.
So you made your list of goals for the coming year: start working out, save more money, find more work-life balance. Yes! Love it! But there’s an important step that is missing and that is the why: the core, underlying feeling that you want to experience.
Some might be obvious, and some might take a little more unpacking to get there, so channel your inner two-year-old and keep asking yourself “why?” until you uncover your core, desired feeling.
Here’s an example: “I want to start working out.”
Why? So that I can get into shape.
Why? Because I want to look good on the beach at my cousin’s destination wedding.
Why? Because I want to feel confident.
OK! So now we know that the core desired feeling in this case is to feel confident. Your core desired feeling can be any feeling you can imagine, but let’s use confidence for example’s sake. Working out may help you get there, but it is not working out itself that is the true goal. The true goal is to achieve your core desired feeling of confidence.
Identifying this is helpful for two reasons. One is that it can help you to more strategically choose actions that directly align with the feelings you are seeking to achieve. Working out and getting into shape are great action steps toward gaining confidence, but there may be other things you can do that can attribute to your goal of feeling confident, such as saying affirmations or doing something outside your comfort zone like joining a Toastmasters group for public speaking.
You may also find that once you have identified the underlying desired feeling, the action step that you originally had in mind might not line up so well after all. It’s like when you’ve had a really bad morning so, hell yeah, you’re going to have three doughnuts for lunch because obviously that will make everything better.
But if you sat with the feeling of your crappy morning for a minute, you might come up with other more effective actions like re-arranging your afternoon to make it less stressful or problem solving the morning’s stressors directly (although, sometimes three doughnuts totally is the best solution – let’s be real.).
The other reason for identifying the underlying desire is that it is a powerful tool for motivation. You know how when you were a kid, it was near impossible to save your allowance unless you had something specific that you were saving for? The thought of those brand new rollerblades (what’s up ‘90s kids?) – or better yet, the feeling of freedom gained from having them (“I can get to 7-Eleven way faster on these”) – made it easier to fill that piggy bank instead of spending it all on Slurpees and Spice Girls stickers.
When you’re making your resolutions this year, consider challenging yourself to identify the “why” for each of them and then rewrite your resolutions to reflect your answers. This can help you get clear on what you truly want and stay on track to get there. When there’s a “why,” there’s a way!
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.

It’s good to be bad (sometimes)

Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

I just got back from a little Vegas vacay – my first time in Sin City – and I can certainly see where it got its nickname from. But omigosh it was fun!
Sometimes we just need to let loose, ya know? With a little help from the seven deadly sins, here are a few ways that you can get down with your bad self – without being so bad after all.
C’mon – all the cool kids are doing it!
Lust
According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, sex has plenty of benefits – besides the obvious ones. A 30-minute steamy session can burn 70 calories. Plus, sex releases DHEA, a hormone that has anti-aging properties, and oxytocin, which helps reduce stress.
Oh, and sorry ladies, but that headache excuse is old news: sex also releases endorphins which have a similar effect to morphine, so having sex may actually help cure your aches and pains.
Gluttony
Have a peek at Pinterest and you’ll find a bevy of healthy but equally tasty swaps for your favourite comfort foods. Or pay a visit to Winnipeg’s own Ashley Rae at http://www.raeofsunshinelife.com for tons of wholesome, vegan, and totally delish recipes (Cameron Diaz raves about her). With a little creativity, you’ll feel like you’re indulging every day while still nourishing that bod.
Greed
Common beliefs about riches like “money is the root of all evil” can be self-limiting. If you believe that money is evil (subconsciously or not), it will be difficult to align yourself with accumulating wealth.
Financial wellness can give you the tools and freedom to do what you want with your life. Money is a part of life, so don’t feel guilty about setting realistic goals relative to your finances.
Sloth
Sometimes you just need a solid day of laziness. Why time-shame yourself? If you’re going to do it, really let yourself do it, minus the “I should be doing something productive” commentary in the back of your mind.
Want to spend Sunday Funday binge-watching Netflix? Go for it. The to-do list can wait and your mind and body will appreciate the break. Can’t justify a whole day of blissful nothingness? Clocking just one extra hour of sleep a night can help improve memory, productivity and physical health.
Wrath
We’re equipped with a full range of emotions for a reason. Think of your emotions like a scale or spectrum. When we are on one side of the spectrum (content, ecstatic), our energy vibrates at a higher frequency, which in turn attunes us to other high-vibrating (positive) energies.
And the opposite is so for the other side (annoyed, hella pissed). Your emotions give you insight into what frequency your energy is emitting – and in turn, what you are attracting. If you’re in a crappy mood, simply bringing your awareness to it can help you take steps to improve your state and frequency. And if you just feel like staying mad, the adrenaline that anger pumps out can be a great motivator to help you go for that run, clean the house, or get creative.
Envy
They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. If you’ve been jonesing to keep up with the Joneses, let it be a motivator instead of letting your jealousy bring you down. Focus on those things you want with positive feelings instead of negative ones.
Make a vision board or write in a journal about the objects of your affection and then get in the mindset of having them – not just wishing you did. Believing that it’s possible is the first step to making it happen.
Pride
Maybe it’s just because I’m a Leo but, I dunno guys, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being proud of your fine self. Give yourself a pat on the back and give yourself some gratitude for your accomplishments and how far you’ve come.
Was that really so bad?
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.