Are You “Off Balance”?

Ginny's 7 core habits

Ginny’s 7 core habits

“We seem more interested in how we want to live than we are in discovering the best way to live. Likewise, we are much more interested in developing self-expression than we are in developing selves that are worth expressing. Personal preference has triumphed over the pursuit of excellence. We want what we want, and we feel entitled to what we want.”

-Matthew Kelly, Off Balance

I read this book with my mentor while I was working as a Director for Discovery Education. I was overwhelmed with how to “balance” everything. My family, my career, exercise, grad school, etc . This book was a gold mine of information.

In his book, Kelly begins by explaining that “work-life balance” is a myth. It’s impossible to balance the amount of time spent on your personal life if you are working full-time. Instead, he talks about striving for personal and professional SATISFACTION.

This week I’m basing the presentation portion of the iMoveU bootcamps on this book. Here is my Haiku Deck.

Here are a few points he makes:

  1. Satisfaction is different from pleasure. Satisfaction can be sustained beyond the activity producing it. Pleasure is immediate and short-lived. We have become addicted to pleasure, and the cost is genuine satisfaction
  2. Time Management vs. Energy Management: People, places, food and things can give you energy or take energy away. It’s important to manage our daily energy flow.
  3. Systems drive behaviors. We often times approach our work strategically, but our personal lives randomly. Identify your desired outcomes, identify the right behaviors that will lead to these outcomes, and create a system so that it flows.
  4. What are your CORE Habits? Write them down, look at them every day, and add new ones to the list as needed.

This book is worth every penny. It’s evident through his writing that Matthew Kelly is a compassionate individual. If you are interested in learning more, there is a free work-life balance assessment you can take HERE.

 

Give Yourself The Gift of Time

DSCN1538“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can NEVER get it back.”

- Harvey Mackay (Found in the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson)

 

In my first week of iMoveU bootcamps, the presentation portion focused on “The Gift of Time”.

Here is the presentation deck

As you scroll through the Haiku Deck, you will see my notes that give context to the information on each slide.

The mission of iMoveU is to empower heart centered change in motion.

Essentially, that means I want to empower (NOT enable) you to make positive changes in your life to improve your physical, nutritional, motional and spiritual wellness. Changes that come from YOUR heart. Don’t base your changes on societal norms, peer pressure, your ego or money. Those types of changes, at least for me, have led me in the wrong direction.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it hard to listen to what’s in my heart. All of the “white noise” of the world makes it difficult to listen to our intuition. All of the noise is YELLING at us through TV, radio and social media, telling us we have to look, behave and think a certain way.

Over the past 2 months, I’ve tried to tune out the noise. I’ve given myself the Gift of Time to discover what’s in my heart. I’ve spent time reading, thinking, writing, and listening to that inner voice. I’m striving to live my best life. I still have a long way to go. Some days are better than others. My ego still likes to pop in and say hello and remind me of all the reasons why I will fail at what I’m doing. I try to ignore it, but sometimes it gets the best of me. In those moments, I rely on my family and friends to lift me up and remind me that I’m on the right path.

Here’s the thing about living your best life. What works for YOU may not work for others. What works for others may not work for YOU. The goal is to figure out what’s in YOUR heart.

Turn off the noise. Get to know yourself. What gives you energy? What brings you joy? How can you do more of those things each day? Stop going through the motions.

Give yourself The Gift of Time and see what kind of positive changes you can make in your life.

If you need help, ask for help. Find an accountability partner. If you want to be brave, if you want to get better, if you want to be HAPPY, don’t go it alone.

How Do You FEEL?

DSC07132I’m not a morning person. I don’t love getting up at 5 a.m. It doesn’t feel great to wake up that early, especially if I haven’t gotten my 7-8 hours of sleep (yes, I am a sleep diva).

What I do love, however, is how I FEEL after I’ve gotten up, exercised, and spent time reading/reflecting/writing/praying , all before 6:30 am. When my kids wake up, I’ve already taken time for myself. I love how I feel and know that whatever comes my way that day, I started off on the right foot.

I also love sleeping in. What I don’t love, however, is how I FEEL when I start my day waking up at 6:30 with the kids, who are demanding to be fed along with the dog who needs to eat and be let out. Once 6:3o am hits, chaos starts. And on the days where I haven’t taken time for myself first, I quickly become crabby, overwhelmed, and I tend to have less patience for the madness that ensues.

It’s been a long winter. This beautiful weather won’t last forever. Neither will my physical health. There may come a day where I’m no longer able to run or exercise. Today is not that day. There are people who would give anything to spend a day in my shoes and have the physical ability to exercise. I choose not to waste my mornings sleeping in an extra hour. I choose to get up early, 3-4 days a week, and take time to better myself. Because I love how it FEELS.

Whatever your goals are, don’t think about what you have to do, think about how you will FEEL when you achieve them. 

Here are a few helpful tips that have worked for me:

  1. Spend some time experimenting with your mornings. Find a routine that works for you. Ask yourself “What is the best way to start my day”? Try a variety of exercises until you find one that works. I’ve spend the last 6-7 years trying every type of exercise under the sun (hot yoga, spin class, running clubs, exercise DVD’s, etc.). I like to change it up, so my current routine includes a mix of P90x3 workouts (all 30 minutes long), running, and hot yoga. I can’t wait to wake up early because I’ve found exercises that I LOVE to do.
  2. Give yourself a “reward” for waking up early. I love music, so my reward is listening to my favorite new songs. When I find new songs that I love, I only allow myself to listen to them when I’m exercising. If it comes on while I’m driving or listening to music, I turn it off. That way it becomes a treat to listen to it during my runs. If you like to bike or spin and need some motivation to push yourself, make sure you check out Laura’s Indoor Cycling HQ site! She gives you spin workouts AND amazing sound tracks to listen to. It is AWESOME! (PS-My newest favorite song- I Wanna Get Better by The Bleachers).
  3. Give your exercise a purpose. Some of my best thinking comes when I’m in motion. It helps me think through things clearly and rationally. On my long runs, I will focus my thoughts on something specific. As soon as my run is over, I’ll write down everything I thought about.

I sometimes exercise in the afternoon or evenings. It depends on my day and when I can fit it in. But here’s the thing- the longer I wait to exercise, the less likely I am to do it. Kids get sick. Projects come up. Laundry doesn’t fold itself. Things get in the way. And once 9 pm hits, I’m ready to lay in bed.

Stop saying “I’m not a morning person”. Don’t waste the summer getting a few extra minutes of sleep. Wake up early, and focus on how you will FEEL once you’ve taken the first hour of your day for yourself. If you are anything like me, you’ll find that you are a better parent, spouse and friend on those days.

 

 

Living Legacy

"BETTER is better than more. " Seth Godin

“BETTER is better than more. ” Seth Godin

3 years ago I started this blog.

That means 3 years ago I was sitting in my hotel room in Montreal, having just gone out for a run after a long but rewarding day running an education consultant certification training, and was contemplating starting my own blog. As soon as the thought popped into my head, the song “Right Now” by Van Halen came on.

I took that as a sign, so I went back to my hotel room and wrote this post.

I look back now and laugh. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was writing about, all I knew is that I wanted to share.

I remember clicking the “publish” button. I immediately felt sick to my stomach. What if people don’t like it? What if no one comments? Who really wants to read what I have to say?

3 years later, I don’t think too much about the “publish” button. I just write. I’m still learning. Some day I’ll look back at this post and laugh. The more you do something, the better you become. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make you BETTER.

The way I felt about the blog 3 years ago is now how I feel with iMoveU. I’m anxious, nervous and afraid of failing. But I keep on pushing.

I KNOW that in time, I’ll look back and remember this time in my life and wonder why I was so afraid.

I consider this blog my living legacy. I’m not writing this for anyone but myself and my children. If something were to happen to me, I want them to have a place to turn to where they can get to know their mom and understand what she went through, the good and the bad, to build the life she wanted for her family. I want to put my very best work online so I can model for anyone who wants to know more about what it looks like to live your truth and drown out the noise of the world. Because it’s not easy. It’s taken me 35 years to understand how to love and lead myself. It’s been a roller coaster of highs and lows these past few months. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog, thank you for all your likes and comments, and thank you for sharing this with others when the messages I share resonate with you.

Happy 3rd birthday, Blog. Here’s to many more.

Gin

 

Make Believe

make believeMake-Believe. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

Sing it with me. You know you want to. Belt it out. Right here, right now.

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor. Could you be mine? Would you be mine?…. I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So let’s make the most of this beautiful day. Since we’re together, we might as well say: Would you be mine, could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor.”

Hello, neighbor.

Here’s the thing.

In this hyper-connected world, we are all neighbors. We have access to one another, like it or not.

And it’s not going away.

We have a choice to make in how we interact with one another as “neighbors”.

I choose to be the best neighbor I can. I choose to wake up each day and make you think, smile, move and laugh. I’m like Wilson, and you’re Tim the Toolman Taylor.

I want to make you believe in yourself.

You become what you believe.

You know that saying “fake it until you make it”? Sometimes as adults we need to play a little make believe. We need to MAKE ourselves BELIEVE we can do something. When we believe we can, we WILL.

Here’s a perfect example.

My best friend from high school ran cross country with me. She hated it, and she wasn’t very fast. She did it more for the social aspect.

A little over a year ago, she made herself believe she was a runner.

She ran a few shorter races, gained some confidence and ran Dam to Dam (just short of a half marathon) last summer, ran her first marathon, and then ran the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon just a few weeks ago.

She pushed through an injury and 10 mile an hour winds she endured for 6+ miles.

Kiley, mother of 3, runner and Boston qualifier.

Kiley, mother of 3, runner and Boston qualifier.

And she qualified for Boston. 

Don’t think for a second that Make Believe is just for kids.

Find something you want to do (especially something that scares you). Something that will make you a better version of yourself.

And MAKE yourself BELIEVE you can do it.

#iMoveU

How iMoveU Starts a Movement

post iMoveU bootcamp selfie

post iMoveU bootcamp selfie

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can NEVER get it back.”

Harvey Mackay

 

My first official iMoveU bootcamp is in the books! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect morning to host this in my backyard. My foursome included 2 great mommy friends I met when we enrolled our kids in daycare several years ago, and a new friend who tagged along with one of them. It was the perfect crew to start.

You might think it’s weird, different or not for you. All I ask is that you don’t judge until you try it. What I’m starting is a movement. I want to spend the rest of my life doing this. It gives me the freedom to work where I want, when I want, how I want to help those I love the most. I’m helping people to be Brave, Better and Happy.


As many of you know, I’m the lone nut. I’m out there dancing my butt off like Elaine on Seinfeld. And I’m LOVING it. Never in the history of my life have I ever known, with ever fiber of my being, that iMoveU is what I was put here on this earth to do. Never in my life have I been happier, more excited, more motivated or more scared. Never have I received more signs from God that this is what he had planned for me.

This is not about me, it’s about YOU. Help me help you. If you are brave enough to join me (the shirtless dancing guy- except I’m not a guy, so I won’t be shirtless. That would be weird.), I will nurture you as an equal. I will help you in any way I can to live your best life. I will make it so much fun you will LOVE waking up early.

I’ll be offering the same bootcamp again Thursday morning (5:45 am in my backyard), Saturday morning at 8 am in Iowa City, IA (where I went to college)  and Sunday morning at 7 am in Gilbert, IA (where I grew up).  Below is the format. Any and all are welcome to join me.

At some point, when more people are attending iMoveU bootcamps, I may need to put a limit who can come. I may have to turn people away. As much as that breaks my heart, it’s a reality. It might happen in 3 months, it might happen in 3 years. But here’s the thing, I will NEVER turn away those who were brave enough to follow me from the start. These 3 ladies have a free iMoveU membership for life.

I can’t even begin to put into words how incredibly grateful and blessed I feel to be able to do this. For me, exercising, nutrition, humor, music, and personal growth are as important to me as the air I breathe. It’s who I am. It’s been a long journey for me. I didn’t always eat healthy. In college I gained the “freshman 15″ TWICE with a steady diet of Natty Light and Gumby’s Pokey Sticks. I had terrible stomach issues all through college and though maybe I had IBS.

I began eating better about 6 years ago. After having my first child I wanted to lose the baby weight, and I also just wanted to feel better. Over those 6 years I have learned a lot about how to cook and snack healthy. My cousin Jen has been a goldmine of information. Her BLOG is amazing and full of awesome recipes, many of them I used for my Happier Hour last week.

Around the same time, I also began reading for my own personal growth. I read the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve gobbled up hundreds of books that have taught me invaluable lessons on leadership, creativity, innovation, neuroscience, time management, wellness, etc….

I WANT TO SHARE ALL OF THIS WITH YOU. FOR FREE. Just show up. I’ll take it from there. Stop saying “I’m not a morning person” or “I don’t have time”. I’m not a morning person either! I hate the alarm. But I LOVE the feeling of accomplishing something alongside good friends early in the morning before my family has even opened their eyes. The rest of my day is better when I start out with exercise, learning, reflection and a healthy breakfast. So join me. I don’t want to do it alone. That would be boring. Find a friend, pressure them in to joining you, pick them up and get moving. It doesn’t matter what your activity level is. There will be modifications for EVERYONE.

Here’s the format for the 1 hour iMoveU Bootcamp:

30 Minute P90x3 video 

  • I chose this program because I’ve gone through about 30 exercise video programs over the past 6 years. P90X 3 is BY FAR the best in my opinion. Third times a charm. Tony finally got it right.
  • I also choose this because the AMA recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes a day 5 times a week for adults.
  • Exercise comes first because it helps prepare the brain to learn.

20 Minute presentation (The Gift of Time)

    • According to Eric Jensen’s book, Teaching With The Brain In Mind, adult learners should only receive 15-18 minutes of direct instruction when learning NEW CONTENT. Anything beyond that and it’s information overload. These are very focused talks. I will make a slide deck for each talk and share it on Haiku Deck (which is an AMAZING resource) and share them online. A new talk will be created each week and repeated at each iMoveU bootcamp throughout the week. (CLICK HERE to view the presentation for The Gift of Time.)

10 Minute reflection

  • One of the best ways to retain new information is to immediately reflect and put it in your own words. I use the 3-2-1 approach: Share 3 things you learned, 2 things you are going to DO, and 1 person you are going to share the message with (the best way to learn is to TEACH someone else. This also allows you to pay it forward, which is a big part of what iMoveU is all about. )
Overnight oats with fresh berries. Recipe courtesy of my cousin Jen.

Overnight oats with fresh berries. Recipe courtesy of my cousin Jen.

Healthy Food and Juice Options 

During and after the presentation, there will be healthy food and juice options. This week, since it is my first week, I’m giving the food away FOR FREE. In the future however, the food will be available for purchase. This morning I had overnight oats, recipe courtesy of my cousin Jen mentioned above.

 

So- that’s it. 1 hour of exercising, learning, laughing, talking and eating. All focused on making you better. This is a movement in wellness. Please join me. I’m tired of being the lone nut.

 

JUST MOVE

shoesThis past week I “launched” iMoveU. Mother’s Day was more of a symbolic launch with family and friends. Tuesday I hosted a Happier Hour with some amazing women where I talked a little bit about the free bootcamps I’ll be hosting over the summer.

I’m really excited about this new journey. But I’m sick and tired of just talking about it.

So- let’s move.

iMoveU Summer kick-off bootcamps:

 

DETAILS:

Dates/Times:

  • Tuesday, May 20, 5:45 -6:45 a.m.
  • Thursday, May 22, 5:45-6:45 a.m.

Location: My backyard (if you need my address- send me a note) I may have a Google Hangout option for Thursday if anyone is interested in joining remotely.

Cost: FREE- JUST FILL OUT THIS FORM

Bring: We will be exercising outside, so dress appropriately and bring a large towel or mat and water. If it is pouring down rain or there is lightning, I’ll reschedule. Bring a notebook and pen for the presentation portion. I’ll be delivering the same workout for both kick-off sessions. Come to one or come to both. Bring a friend. Bring your green hat. I don’t care- just come.

Format:

  • 30 minutes of exercise (P90x3 Isometrics)
  • 20 minute presentation on The Gift of Time (based on the books The Slight Edge, Off Balance, and Steal Like an Artist)
  • 10 minute reflection/discussion/goal setting
  • Bring cash if you want to purchase any of the food/juice options

 

iMoveU: Be Brave. Be Better. BE HAPPY.