This Is Getting Me Through Right Now

It’s been quite a month! We found an apartment on Prince Edward Island (remotely of course, with an on-the-ground generous friend touring for us), applied for our visas, have (almost) finished mapping out our travel plans back to NH and booking a few campgrounds, and of course we’ve continued coaching, teaching, and supporting clients.

I’ve been thrilled to see clients making progress in their lives. And I’ve been thrilled to see my own progress! But it’s been very, very easy to get overwhelmed.

The way I’m getting through that overwhelm feeling each day is to ask myself “What’s the one thing I could do today to move the needle? What’s the one thing I could do in the next hour to help us get to Canada?” Usually, the answer is obvious. And if it isn’t, considering that helps me to keep sight of what is NOT as important right now.

My main priorities?

Get to Canada.This is the one I pray about and focus on each day and throughout the day. We are getting to Canada in August.

Keep food on the table, aka support my existing clients.

Make time for my own daily self-care. It’s easy to let this slide, but I am absolutely firm on it, and I think it’s the number one reason I’m feeling happy every day (even on the tough days, there is happiness in the mix).

Spend time (usually virtually) talking to family and friends.

Check in occasionally in my Facebook groups, on social media, and via email so people know I’m alive.

You may not be about to move to another country. You may just be trying to get through the work day or through the night, or trying to stay safe or get healthy.

Take this as your sign that you aren’t alone. And focus on the one thing you can do to support yourself and your goals best.

Thanks for reading! And if you’re ready for some one on one support in reaching your goals, please reach out to me today.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Using Habits To Uplevel Your Life

Woman in shades of pink walks forward into a canopy of trees

Lately I’ve been thinking about the role of habits in my life. Without habits, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Back at the start of 2016, after extraordinary frustrations with my health, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands. If doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on, and I was still exhausted and uncomfortable, it was time to make a change.

I knew that the one area where I was, without a doubt, not maintaining a healthy lifestyle, was my exercise routine. I loved to dance, and I loved to walk, and I even loved yoga, but between financial limitations, a busy schedule, and just kinda being lazy about it, I never seemed to stick with an exercise routine with any regularity.

I knew that for me to stick with it, for good, I needed to make exercising super simple. So in mid-January, I woke up a half hour earlier than usual, and I did yoga poses and stretches for five minutes. I’d told myself that as long as I did something that qualified as exercising or stretching, it would count.

The next day, I did the same, for five minutes.

The pattern held. Perhaps five days in, on a weekend, I decided I could afford a longer workout. But I kept that five minute minimum in place.

With this simple habit in place, I started experimenting. I’d go for seven minutes, or ten minutes. Over time, since I was already showing up and dressed to exercises, I’d exercise for 15 minutes, and soon a half hour was more of the norm.

Eventually I raised the bar to 15 minutes. And I began waking up even earlier, so that most days, I’d exercise for at least a half hour. I started a Beachbody trial and began experimenting with different workout programs. Later I purchased a favorite one, with strength training, and as I hit the road in an RV, I started a daily walking habit. It stuck. I’ve been doing it ever since.

In early December, after realizing I didn’t even average 5,000 steps anymore (thanks, pandemic!), I decided I wanted to average at least 5,000 steps daily over the course of a week. With that knowledge and a bit of accountability in our Facebook group, I was there, and then averaging 7,500.

Now, in mid-March, I’m averaging more than 10,000 steps a day. I never would have thought it was possible, but the power of habits made it come to life. I made it easy, built on my existing walking habit, and I used a tracker and the accountability of my social media feed and my Facebook group.

Have you ever done this before? Have you successfully established a new habit? It’s something I’ve repeated many times.

I created a habit of batch cooking to help me successfully adapt the auto-immune protocol diet and lifestyle back in 2016, even living in an RV. I used habits to build a morning routine that lights me up in 2018, and over time used habit stacking to make it more and more fun and aligned for me. I’ve used habits to develop an evening routine too. And of course, my habit of making healthy eating choices the majority of the time continues to serve me well – established when I was a kid but improved upon many, many times over my life. (And yes, there’s a place for ice cream in a healthy diet!)

We talk habits in my group, where we focus on a different healthy habit each month. So far this year we’ve tackled “More Steps”, “Decluttering”, and are currently drinking less, or in a dry month, like me.

And in my new course, habits are a very important part of what we study, with an entire week of the eight week course devoted to habits exclusively.

Are you aware of the habits you have? Which ones serve you, and which habits would you like to get rid of? Are you working on any new habits this year?

Leave a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear any tips and support you in any struggles you’re having.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

P.S. If your habits include boondocking (staying in an RV without hookups), now is the time to purchase a Harvest Hosts membership! Support this blog by purchasing yours here, and you’ll enjoy a year full of stays at wineries, farms, museums, and other amazing sites across the U.S. and even into Canada. Some of our favorite stays have been at Harvest Hosts. It’s fun to meet new people, enjoy delicious food and drink or fun things like alpaca farms or ice cream and live music. Harvest Hosts NEW member prices are going up to $99/yr in April, 2021. If you buy a membership now, it’s only $67.15 a year after a 15% discount. This link will lock in this rate forever, regardless of how much the prices increase in the future. Save over $30 off the new price on a whole year of unlimited overnight stays!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

How to Break Out of a Funk

Woman at table, looking out window, bored

Okay, I’ll just be honest. I’m sitting here, feeling bleh. I don’t want to write a blog, I don’t want to be creative, and I don’t want to work. I don’t know what I want, but I wouldn’t say no to junk food, hugs, or a warm bed right now. Motivation is far away right now, that’s for sure.

So what do you do when you aren’t motivated, but you have obligations to keep? What do you do when you know you should get some work done, but you’re just not feeling it?

It’s honestly an experiment. Different moods and different people will find different things help them to break out of the funk.

Here are a few ideas to try when you’re stuck:
Talk to an accountability buddy
Talk to a loved one
Journal about what’s going on
Meditate
Get outside
Take a walk/run
Dance to a favorite song
Take a nap
Splash your face with cold water
Have a cup of tea or coffee
Eat a comforting meal
Play with your pet
Turn on an inspiring podcast
Make some art
Color
Try some aromatherapy
Play an instrument
Sing
Try a couple of yoga postures
Talk to a cricket

Ha! Gotcha. Made up that last one. Just wanted to see if you were still reading.

Can you relate to this feeling? I feel like it’s such a pandemic thing. Stress is running HIGH and sometimes we just aren’t in a patient mood.

What do you recommend to break out of a funk?

P.S. To break my funk tonight, it took my husband talking to me, venting to each other, being mopey, and then seeing that he needed to get some work done. Ultimately it was the idea of sitting doing nothing by myself that made me get a little more work done. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what works for you!

P.P.S. The wait list for my new course is up. I can’t WAIT to tell you all about it. Get on the list and you’ll be the first to get the details when they’re announced!

The Four Steps To Your Dream Life

Happy New Year! I’m so glad you’re here. This year has been a lot.

Are you feeling tired? Frustrated? Eager for a clean slate and a chance to start again?

This year has been especially challenging. Exhausting, honestly. So many stresses, so much more to navigate than I think any of us anticipated, whether due to job losses, sickness and death, racial justice struggles and politics, and of course the isolation imposed by COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions to keep us safe.

If you’re feeling disappointed that this year wasn’t what you hoped it would be, I feel you. I’ve been there too. I’ve had many years when I didn’t hit my goals or when I didn’t bother making resolutions, because progress didn’t seem realistic.

Thankfully, I’m in a much better place now. I’ve spent many years of work to get me here. I’m living the dream life I’ve created for myself – and though it may not seem possible yet, I believe you can create and manifest your dream life too!

Whether you’d like to establish new habits or find a new career, take charge of your personal life or get financial security, there’s a way to achieve it.

If that feels daunting or impossible, I’d like to help you. I’ve documented my own process and created a blueprint with the four steps to your dream life. I’d be honored to support you along the way.

You can head here for your free copy of the blueprint. It’s the roadmap to get you to the life of your dreams.

If you’re ready for the next step in your journey, head here.

P.S. I’ve started a new Facebook group, and we’ll be doing monthly challenges in 2021 to help us achieve our goals. January will be a “More Steps” challenge, so if you’d like to get more walking/outdoor time in your schedule, this one is for you. If you’re ready to work on consistency, supported by me and others on a similar journey, come join us!

Hello Childhood, My Old Friend

A mistake that I used to make, prior to my personal development journey and even early within it, was to think that I had a “normal”childhood, without much to complain about, so didn’t need to bother examining my childhood for “childhood wounds”, “limiting beliefs” or issues from my past that might explain my current struggles. (Quotes to note my discomfort with the idea.)

Oh my goodness – how wrong I was! SO MUCH of what I struggle with today is related to my childhood. Does that mean I had bad parents? Nope! On the contrary, I think I had great parents, and I’m super lucky for all of the blessings I had and have, and for how supportive and attentive they were while also fostering my independence.

But the deeper I go in my personal development, the more I see issues popping up that make MUCH more sense when I put them in the context of my childhood.

Issues around food insecurity, where I get oddly possessive about my food? The recipe was a passion for food + seeing emotional food eating modeled + a few episodes of a family member eating my leftovers. Hello, food obsession!

Over the top anger when someone doesn’t suffer the consequences of their actions? Oh, of course, I remember, that’s something I saw play out as a kid.

Some of my struggles and personality quirks can’t be as directly tied to one incident, but it’s easy to find examples of the behavior that contributed to my mindset on that issue.

It is 100% normal for our childhood experiences to shape how we interact with the world. And we can’t change the past. But it is our choice how we choose to move forward and act today.

Personal development is the super power that gives us the tools to act more deliberately.

Does this resonate for you? Join my new Facebook group or contact me for a free exploratory coaching session, and let’s dive more deeply into this!

P.S. Two HUGE things in our world this past week. Ross’ new holiday ukulele album (it’s gorgeous!) is available for pre-order (you’ll pay half price if you purchase before it drops on December 7th, and you get a few tunes on the spot), and Ross’ online ukulele course is now available for purchase! Both are just in time for the holidays, whether as a gift for a friend or yourself. Please take a look and consider purchasing and/or sharing with your friends and family!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

Please Be Careful With Yes

“You can’t have yes without no…if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it.” – Shauna Niequist

Are you careful with your yeses?

I used to give out my yeses with ease, but the problem is it can really burn you out. As I’ve tried to cut back on stress and live a more intentional life, I’ve had to become more intentional with my yes.

It’s so easy to say yes to please someone, to avoid an awkward conversation or to believe we have time for all of the things.

News flash: We do not have time for all of the things.

When you say yes to everything, you’re saying no to other things. If you agree to volunteer at one event this weekend, it might mean missing date night with your partner. If you agree to babysit your sister’s kids, you might not have time to get your homework done or write your book or get your home renovation project complete on time. If you clean your son’s room before your party, will you have time to cook everything on your list?

Supply your own examples and it will quickly become obvious how true this is. We’ve got 24 hours a day, and most people need 8 of those to be asleep. Even if you can walk through life as a zombie, you’ve still got the same 24 hours as everyone else. So let’s get more intentional about how we use that time.

Say no and see what the universe allows you to say yes to. (Hint: sometimes it’s conscious – if I say no to x, I’m saying yes to y. Other times, you’ll find you say no without knowing what’s next, just because it feels right. And sometimes life delivers a big and beautiful surprise, soon or not so soon, when we do that.)

Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect is brilliant, and when I first read it, I felt like I could have written it – it resonated so much. I’m now on read number two (after many months away from it) and it’s just as brilliant. If this resonates with you, or if you just want a book that encourages you to slow down and savor things a bit more you’ll definitely want to read this.

Practice saying no this week. What can you say no to?

Please comment here with a story of saying no, whether it’s a plan for the future or an anecdote of how it served you in the past. I’d love to hear how this is inspiring you or making you think!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Using Frustration as Fuel for the Future

I’ve been dealing with some challenging situations in my work lately. One of my clients has been particularly disorganized, and for the first time in a long time I’m finding it hard not to carry their own stress into my life.

It’s not the scenario I hoped for when I took on this client, but it’s a scenario that many aspiring adventurers know well.

Do you find yourself carrying the stress of your 9 to 5 into your nights and weekends?

Do you find it tough to turn off the worry when you turn off the laptop?

Is it hard for you to devote time to working on your goals and dreams because you’re too stressed about the here and now?

I can certainly relate, and my best piece of advice is this: use your frustration as fuel for the future.

When you catch yourself dwelling on anger or frustration, reframe the situation by saying (out loud, in a journal or in your head) “I’m so thankful for work that allows me to pay my bills. I’m so thankful for work that allows me to save for my future goals. This situation is helping me to build my future dream life.”

Remember that this frustration is fueling your future in multiple ways:

  • Financially – this money supports you while you dream and scheme and plan, and it may let you save enough for funding future too.
  • Emotionally – this experience is giving you visceral lessons that will stick with you moving forward. You’ll remember this feeling and when you lose momentum or focus on the work of dream life creation, remembering how much you don’t want to experience this again will get you that fire under your butt that’s needed for change.

Rewriting our stories is truly important for growth. It’s essential that I keep rewriting my frustration so that instead of a thing that’s happening to me, I put myself in a position of power.

I choose to do this job to support my future life.

I do this work to feed my family.

I’m learning lessons that will help me in the future.

Choose a story of empowerment. Choose to use your frustration as future fuel.

Have you been in this situation?

How did you handle it?

How are you rewriting your story today?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com