A few of my Favourite Things

Last year around this time I picked up a book called the Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferris. The book is phenomenal, sharing a series of 100 interviews with high achievers (some known to me, some not). Each interviewee was asked the same questions, and a selection of answers from each person were published. One of the questions asked was “what purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?” This question prompted me to think about my own answer to this question. Below I share some purchases that brought the most ease to my life and has had the biggest impact.

 
  • I mention this to many people, particularly as the days get shorter and darker. The Philips Sun Alarm Clock not only wakes you with a gentle increase of “daylight”, but the audio alarm also increases slowly as to not wake you with a startle. I found when using this for a period of time, my internal wake cycle adjusted and I found it easier to get out of bed even on those cold, dark mornings where it is much easier to stay cozy in bed.

 
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  • Rumina Natural’s Totally Tallow. I am lucky enough to work with one of the brains behind the amazing Rumina line. One particular product produced is “Totally Tallow”, a clean multi-purpose moisturizer. I had heard great things about this product for months and it was only this past month I decided to give it a try and I quickly fell in love. The Fall and Winter months here in Calgary are very dry and I have struggled to find a product over the years that offers moisture without being waxy, greasy or too heavy. Warming the product in your hands allows it to apply smoothly and leaves skin feeling soft. It smells great too! *Apply discount code drkaren10 to receive 10% off your order!

 
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  • Podcasts! I was trying to pick just one to put here but I couldn’t choose, so below I list my favourites at the moment. I started listening to podcasts 5 years ago when I had a long commute to work. I was tired of listening to the radio, and was lucky enough to come across “The School of Greatness”. From there I’ve listened to a variety of other uplifting podcasts offering perspective on everything from business, life, goals, relationships, health to finances. The best part? Its free. You can download them to your phone when in wifi so you can listen on-the-road and save on data. The information we feed ourselves is just as (if not more) important than the food we eat. Choose wisely, and expand what you know. Seeing the world through another point of view can be eye-opening and may just offer a simple solution to a problem you’ve been facing. Of course, sometimes I just crave entertainment and something less introspective and there are podcasts for that too! In addition to Lewis Howes’ podcast above, Some of my regularly played podcasts include: The Ed Mylett Show (growth, business, mindset), Oprah’s Masterclass (life, overcoming failure, growth), Heavyweight (life, regret, righting wrongs, undone and unsaid, revisiting the past, entertaining), Without Fail (life, reality, failure and success, entertaining).

 
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  • I used to run as an outlet. It was my activity of choice and it had few barriers to get out the door. All I needed was a pair of shoes. Over the years, my pull to run has been replaced with a desire to swim. Sometimes my motivation to get to the pool is the hot tub soak afterward, sometimes its the meditation that comes with the swim itself. other times though (and here comes an item that was worth every penny), it is a new playlist on my underwater mp3 player. There are far more sleek versions that I see out now, but I actually purchased this a few years ago and it has been great. It holds my ipod nano and slides onto my goggles strap without being overly bulky. Music has always been a staple in my life, and has the power to change your state in tremendous ways. If you swim and struggle to stay motivated or get bored with lanes, I encourage you to order some underwater tunes.

 
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  • Through the years I have gone back and forth between digital and good old fashioned paper planning. I think I have found my happy medium, with keeping all things needing a reminder, or simple daily tasks I need to get done and can’t forget in my phone (i.e. bills, appointments, etc) and the big goals, and long-term to-do’s in a paper daytimer (i.e. work tasks, long term plans, etc). Last year I found the daytimer to rule all daytimers (for me anyway) and even better, it was made by a local Calgary company. I’m talking about Wrinkle and Crease and their yearly planner. With ample space for weekly planning, monthly snapshots and lots of space in the back for collecting ideas and jotting down info you want to keep nearby. I have yet to pick up my planner for 2019 yet, but I will be ASAP because I love love love this one!

 
  • Last and certainly not least, another Calgary-based company The Gut Lab and their superfood shakers! I have only tried a couple and am so pumped to try more of their product, but I was blown away by the flavour of the Super Q shaker. Plus I loved the name…super…Q? You know, because my last name starts with Q? Anyway, this one had an amazing BBQ flavour and paired perfectly over popcorn. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a popcorn nut, and after trying this product, this will be a new staple for me. Most importantly, their products contain “sustainably sourced natural ingredients, no sweeteners, preservatives, fillers or artificial flavours”. Cheers to that!

 

There you have it! A snapshot to some of my favourite things that keep me moving, motivated and organized. Here’s to a strong end to 2018 and a fresh start to continue the momentum!

Choice Paralysis

A year from now you will wish you had started today.
— Karen Lamb
 

I don't recall if it was a podcast or an article I was reading, but I remember the message. The topic being discussed was stress and overwhelm. The idea being presented was that more choice equates to more stress - that too much choice becomes an opportunity for procrastination. Within more choice lies an inherent comparison of "what choice would be better" and the more options, the greater chance we will feel the potential of making the "wrong" decision.  In a world where we face multiple choices on career, companies, cities to live in, vacations to take, choices are abundant daily. The problem occurs when we become paralyzed by the many choices in front of us that we end up not making a choice at all.

Recently, I noticed that I have been getting "stuck" with my physical activity. I typically don't lack motivation to get moving but my problem is that I like doing everything. I like yoga, swimming, pilates, weight lifting, running (sometimes), cycling, spinning, I enjoy climbing, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and even just walking. I have class passes at minimum 5 studios and have held a gym membership for as long as I can remember. Even if I decide on doing yoga, then I'm stuck on what studio I feel like going to that day. This choice paralysis has often resulted in me missing class altogether because I haven't made up my mind. 

Last week I was contemplating this and it was then that I remembered the discussion about having too many choice. I could see this was keeping me stuck. And so I made a decision to limit my choice. I cancelled my gym membership, decided to use up my remaining passes, and for the foreseeable future, focus on cycling, swimming and yoga. I felt a weight off my shoulders. I gave myself permission to "not do it all". I decided to trust that I would benefit from focusing on the activities that I most enjoyed and stop pushing myself to do things I felt I "should". 

I am a better human when I'm active. I'm a better human when I'm eating well and I'm a better human when I'm getting adjusted. These are facts. I do no favours by skipping that workout or by using indecision as an excuse to be lazy. In reality,  indecision is actually a decision to do nothing and that serves no one.

In your life, what are you not taking action on? Where can you simplify? What are the building blocks for creating the best version of you? Figure that out and then go do those things.  Do it for you (most importantly), for those you care about, those that rely on you and even for the coworker or stranger you may be inspiring without knowing. Take action. Do the work and get sh*t done. Move your body, eat well and get adjusted. It really can be as simple as that. 

Juggling

I just had a great conversation with one of my practice members. She was stressed (with a smile) about always running late and taking too much on. It's not a rare story, in fact I'm sure all of us have felt that way at one time or another. The truth is, if we do not make and take the time for self care, our body will create a reason for us to slow down. OK, so what do we do when we have 25 hrs of "stuff" to cram into 24 hours? I don't know that there is one easy answer. Everyone is different, so what works for one person, won't necessarily work for another. And like any new habits, it can take time to get used to any new system. 

 If you have a smart phone, there are a number of different organizational apps you could try. I've checked out a few, and often they remained a pretty icon on my phone and didn't get much use. Recently however, I found one that works for me. It was free (even better!), and synced with my iphone calendar, so if events got added to one, they would show up in the other. My favourite feature though, was the "healthy habits" section. I could decide how many times a week I wanted to do a given habit, and then schedule it to track if I'm doing what I intended to. If I don't have a specific time to schedule, the app will suggest different times that do not have anything currently scheduled. Any time in the week I can have a quick look to see the progress I've made through the week. What I like about this, is not only in the tracking, but that the habits are set by the user. So you could set weights/ yoga/ run frequencies, but you could also put in "daily vitamin", or "8 glasses of water/ day" to track how closely you are actually following a healthy plan. The app is called "Timeful", but like I said, for it to be effective it has to be something you will work with. 

 Aside from finding systems to organize you, one of the most powerful tools to use is our own mind....sometimes our worst enemy. How we perceive our schedule and demands of the day can affect how we prioritize things. Often we feel like we are scrambling for time, because we have prioritized things that can wait. Tony Robbins has a system he uses called RPM. If you are willing to complete the exercises in the program, it can highlight not only where you are spending your time, but where you may be able to find extra time. 

 These are just two of many things you can do to reduce stress around time. If any point is worth making, it is likely that our health is worth prioritizing. Small, incremental steps go a long way!