One of the things I talk about pretty often is not believing in Happy Endings. While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking and why I’ve chosen to be a Student 4 Life.
I don’t believe in happy endings.
First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all. All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point. It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending. Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background. Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle, after all.
Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending. I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now. If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point? This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might never come.
Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving. I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending. I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination. Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement. He wants to enjoy life in the here and now. I like that idea.
If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us?
If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point? There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about. (Yes, I’m pretty sure that was a PollyAnna moment right there.)
Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life. I always want to be striving for and learning new things. I want to be in a constant state of becoming. At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and have become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there.
I want to add more color to my wings.
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By Lauri Mackey — 3 weeks ago
This is the last post of my Goal Post Series and I am grateful you have taken this journey with me! I’ve liked having a theme for the month. Do you? If so, let me know in the comments so I can plan more themed parties for us!
The last piece of the puzzle is Accountability. This is a new one for me, but I have so many goals that I wanted to report to someone so my goals wouldn’t get lost in the melee of my big, beautiful life. At the end of my list of Promises I added one more new category: Giddy-Up Goal Celebrations.
I wanted to be able to celebrate all of my small wins and be encouraged in my journey. I ended up with 4 accountabilities (of course, you can have as many or as little as you like). I have a Podcast Accountability group with two other awesome women that keep me on track with my podcasting goals. We meet via Skype every Tuesday. I have a Book-Writing Accountability team member who we simply email each other every Wednesday on our progress and encourage each other. I have a Speech accountability that I do every Thursday with guess who? Myself! And last, but definitely not least, I “hired” my best friend, Lizzie to check in with me monthly and then quarterly on my entire goal list.
And guess what? She is making me a gold star chart! How cool is that? She is most definitely a mom and wanted to make some sort of chart to show my progress and we giggled about gold stars, but then thought…why the heck not? It will be fun and you can bet I’ll be fighting for each of those earned gold stars!!
Goals are great. Goals written down are in a much higher percentile to actually happen and get accomplished. Goals that you have to report back to someone?? Over 90%, baby! I’m adding this element to rock my Promises this year!
And there you have it…4 blog posts on Dreaming Big, Reflection, Bite-Size Chunks, and Accountability. Now get out there and get ‘er done! I believe in you!
By Lauri Mackey — 12 months ago
3 foolproof ways to make healthy eating really work for you
by: Samantha Russell with LiveTheWhole.com
Healthy eating is hard to stick to. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, with birthday parties, food-centered holidays, and potluck parties every second weekend.
I recently did a bunch of interviews with hard-working and accomplished women who all struggle to eat in a way that feels good to them. The number 1 thing they identified as getting in their way the most was consistency.
They all have so much knowledge about health, nutrition, and the way the want to be eating – but feel like life just constantly throws them curve balls and encourages them to eat more cake, buy more ice cream, and make exceptions to their plan all the time.
So, how can you make healthy eating actually work for you in a consistent way? Here are 3 foolproof ways to make healthy food choices your automatic ‘go to’ every day.
Step 1: Set SMART goals
Goals are great – you probably have them for your career, and maybe even your relationship, but have you stopped to formulate some great food and eating goals as well?
Just like any other goals in your life, healthy eating goals need to be SMART, or
Resonates with you, and
This means you have to think hard about exactly what you want to do, how you’ll measure your success, how to make the goal realistic for you and fit into your life, and when you’re going to pause and assess how things are going.
The problem with most healthy eating goals is that they go something like “I’m going to start eating better”, or “I’m going to cut down on carbs”, or even “I’m quitting sugar from now on”. There’s nothing wrong with trying any of these, but you’re going to need a better plan if you want to succeed.
For example, a SMART goal for “I’m quitting sugar” is:
“For the next 2 weeks (time managed), I am not going to eat or drink any sugar or added sweetener (specific + measurable). Instead, I’ll have a piece of fruit and drink green tea if I feel I need a little something extra (resonates + attainable).”
Step 2: Plan your meals the night before
Meal planning is the most helpful action step you can take to make healthy food choices easy – because you’ve already made them.
Simply sit down for 5 minutes before you go to bed and write down exactly what you’re going to eat the next day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.
Yes, even if it involves looking up the menu of a restaurant. By making food decisions when you’re relaxed, not hungry, and can give them your full attention, you’ll make way better decisions that are more in-line with your goals.
Now, with the food decisions already made, all you have to do is stick with them. If you feel like you’re going to struggle with that, this is where step 3 comes in.
Step 3: Have an emergency recovery plan
No matter how SMART your goals are, or how much planning you do, there are definitely going to be times when it’s still hard to make healthy choices. Consistency is really key when you’re habit building, so I like to use the superpowers of
- The bigger picture,
- Meditation, and
- Switching gears
To help stay on track.
No matter how dedicated you are to changing your eating, stress, tiredness, and social pressure (to name just a couple of things!) can all make some really convincing sounding arguments as to why you should choose fast food tonight and “start eating healthy again in the morning”. Sometimes that’s ok, but when it’s happening multiple times a week, you’re not going to reach your goals.
So, when you can feel temptation or stress getting the better of you, take a moment to think about the bigger picture of why you want to eat healthier. Is it to be a good role model for you kids? Feel better in your body and be confident you trust yourself with food? Or to avoid carrying on the family history of type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure? Thinking about this bigger picture helps keep you motivated and on-track.
Some Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Podcast episodes that are great for this:
Interview with Katie Arms – take a moment out of your day to find out how Katie took a massive life-curveball and made it work for her on every level.
Interview with me – learn more about my struggle with change, eating, and consistency and how I personally made lasting change.
Interview with Makeda Pennycooke – learn how to transform you fear and make yourself feel safe.
The second secret weapon is meditation. You’re not going to want to do it – but trust me, put an app like headspace on your phone and when you feel yourself going off track in a way you don’t like, pop in your earphones and take a 5 minute timeout. Sometimes that’s all you need to refocus and get on with your day (and stick to the food plan you made the night before).
And finally, when you feel cravings creeping up on you, try mentally switching gears. Research shows that taking a break and doing something totally different with your brain reduces the intensity of cravings. In fact, the research was done using the game ‘Tetris’, which you can put on your phone right now. Fun, and helps you stay healthy.
The process of making healthy eating a habit is really all about practice, but it’s also about being prepared. Don’t expect (or even aim for) perfection, but you can definitely make healthy eating easy and automatic if you follow the 3 steps outlined above. Every great choice you make creates a positive cycle of self-trust, momentum, and motivation that can move your forward each day – towards a happier, healthier you.
About The Author:
Samantha runs Live the Whole and is certified by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in the US, has a certificate in clinical and pastoral counseling from the University of Glasgow in the UK, and has a degree in psychology from Massey University in New Zealand.
Sam specializes in helping clients manage and heal their relationship with food, body, and self. She uses a blend of positive psychology and mind-body-nutrition connections, along with traditional coaching and counseling methodologies. She works together with clients to uncover the root causes of unwanted eating so they can feel happy, free, and in control.
We would love to hear your feedback so drop us a comment below – we read them ALL!
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
In April of 2015 I wrote the following article on Negative Self-Talk:
Listen to Your Best Friend
It took some practice to put this theory into motion for me, but like I always say, “if I can do it, anyone can do it!” I have issues with negative self-talk about my weight. I am not overweight, but I am hyper-conscious about my body shape. I am a grandmother after all and body parts that were once perky are now sadly stretching for the ground and have declared gravity as their best friend. As a friend of mine used to say, (who has since passed on, losing her battle with cancer), “I used to be a 36D, but now I’m just a 36Long”. Once I applied the “best friend advice” theory – it made me see myself as my Heavenly Father sees me. As a daughter of God who is beautiful. Let’s try it out, shall we?
Take the first thing that pops into your head when it comes to your own personal negative self-talk. It could be anything, but usually you are able to think about it right away because it has been your constant companion for as long as you can remember. Now I want you to imagine that you’ve graciously gifted this negative thing or idea to your best friend. She is now you. (This works great if you do this in front of your mirror). Your best friend is now telling you that she hates the shape of her body and that dimples are only cute on baby bums, and that rolls are meant to be eaten not worn. What do you tell her?
I recently did this exercise in a group of about 40 women and I had the leader of the group play the part of “best friend”. She was telling me how she was overweight and hated the way she fit in her clothes. I then asked the audience what advice should I give her? I panicked as the silence dragged on for just a little bit longer than anticipated. I worried that people would actually start giving advice on weight loss ideas, diets that never really work, to fast, or to exercise like a maniac. One woman in the front row saved me with the perfect answer: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!! There have not been a lot of perfect moments in my speaking career, but this one I will always remember. She said the answer that I had written down in my notes and she said it out loud and clear: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Ladies, try it out right this second. Take that negative self-talk and hand it over to yourself as your own best friend. What advice would you give that best friend? It changed the way I view myself forever. I am beautiful. And not in some egotistical way, but truly beautiful inside and out. Why? Because that is how my Heavenly Father sees me, how my husband sees me, how my children see me, and how my best friend sees me. My best friends would all come and tell me the same thing – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Reminder of Negative Self-Talk
The Power to Change
I had two reminders this week from gals that are awesome! My friend, Allie Steele holds periodic bootcamps that run for 4 weeks, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and I usually cannot attend, but this one worked in my schedule! So this last week I have sweat like crazy and walked around like I had a corncob up my butt with how sore I was on more than one occasion. But I digress…the point is that during one of the workouts I let out a jokingly, “I suck” and was immediately told by my friend and another participant in the class to not think that way! I was capable of hard things, I was strong.
I was a bit taken aback when that happened and realized that I indeed needed to change my self-talk to more positive words. And then something else happened! I was having lunch with a friend of mine from out of state, a surprise visit! She was asking about how my business was going, speaking gigs, my writing and I must have been on overwhelm because she said, “I’ve never seen you so down about your work.” What?? I’m the positivity queen! I don’t get down about my work! Hogwash!
Why was I having a poor attitude or negative self-talk? I really thought about it quite a bit and realized that I was comparing. Comparison is damaging. If I compare myself to one out of the fifteen women attending bootcamp and focus on her doing things better than I did I create negative thoughts. When I compare myself to other people who were already accomplished authors, writers, speakers, podcasters, I create negative thoughts.
How had that little bugger of negative self-talk sneak into my way of thinking? I don’t know, but it’s about to get a swift boot along with an immediate eviction notice. Now, I know that it will not be that simple, but awareness is the key. I am practicing daily mantra’s that will bring a more positive light into my life. Here’s two from Rebekah “Bex” Borucki (Check out her interview on my podcast here.) that I really like:
I say “no” when I don’t want to. I say “yes” when it feels good. I take care of myself through movement that makes me feel wonderful. I eat foods that make me feel fulfilled. I have relationships with people who love me as I am.
It is not my job to be in control. My purpose is to be at peace and to be happy with who I am in this moment, to be loved, and to inspire love.
Want to learn more? Bex has a 21-day Mantra Challenge that is Free! Just click here and enjoy more positivity in your life, a break from the negative self-talk, a relief from stress, and experience more gratitude. Listen to your self-talk this week…what is it saying?