Hello, everyone, welcome back to the podcast. I'm going to do a little bit of an impromptu episode today. Earlier today on a group coaching call with my clients, I totally forgot to press record. And I went on this long monologue about protocols for living a good life that I just feel was so full of little nuggets of wisdom, that it was worth just popping on to the podcast and sharing it all with you as well. And the reason why I went off on this monologue to begin with is because of a little bit of serendipity. So I do a lot of reading in the self help genre. And I listened to, you know, different podcasts and lectures to to learn more tools that I can use to help my clients live their best life, lose their weight, and never let their weight be the ceiling that prevents them from living the life that they deserve to live. And over the past two weeks or so, this since the same concept just kept coming at me from many different channels, from books from other people's podcasts and things. And this whole concept is on how you choose to live your life during the hard times. So if you pick up any self help book out there, one of the common themes that continually comes up is this idea that it is a broken strategy to believe that the key to a happy life, the key to joy, the key to feeling fulfilled, is to somehow find a life where there are no difficult times where there are no challenges or where there are no obstacles. And this is unfortunately not based in reality, life is always a balance of the good and the bad. In the coaching world, we like to talk about this as being 5050, that 50% of life is going to be happy and in the flow and full of joy and confidence and health and all of the good things that we want. And 50% is going to be made up of the challenges, the struggles, the bad days, the days where we just feel off or sluggish or depleted of energy. And where joy and contentment and fulfillment comes from is not trying to design a life where it's all about the good days. But it's more about what we do. On the bad days. When I look at my own life. And when I hear my clients talk about their struggles in their hard days, what becomes very, very clear to me is that what our natural instinct as humans, is when we have these bad days is to just kind of shut down. So all of the things that we know, give us energy and make us feel good. We just stopped doing them, we tend to wallow, we tend to focus on all of the negative going on around us. And we just kind of get in a little bit of a slump, that becomes increasingly difficult to get ourselves out of when we make the decision that we want to start turning things around. And so I've been giving a lot of thought to this over recent weeks. And in our weight loss coaching, we often talk about creating food protocols for ourselves. And so rather than having a set of rules such as no carbs, no fat, you know, whatever it is for you, we create guidelines for ourselves about how we want to eat. That's based on how different foods make our bodies feel, and how different foods will help us reach the goals that we want in terms of our weight loss and our health. And why having the protocol is so helpful is because when you are having a bad day, or when your plans go completely out the window. You've already made some decisions ahead of time that you can fall back on. And so you don't have to struggle, right so like something simple for me is I just don't have bread in restaurants. And it's just it's just an easy thing for me to just decide ahead of time I just say no to the breadbasket so I can enjoy more of the food that comes with my meal. And I am in no way saying that that's what you have to do as well, I'm just giving this as an example, as you know, something that I like to do. And so when I go to a restaurant, I don't even have to think about it, I just say no to the breadbasket right off the bat and I move on, I think we can have similar protocols for life that allows us to stay, stay present, even during the bad times, and do what we can to take care of ourselves to bring us out of the slump back into the joy and contentment just a little bit easier. And so what would a protocol look like? Well, here's an exercise that I encourage you to do. Think back to Days that you've had in the recent past where you have just felt totally on when you've been in the flow, when your energy levels have been high, when you're in a good mood, when everything just seems to be working. And look at what makes those days stand out, particularly in terms of things that you know, are in your control. You know, for example, I often talk on the podcast about how important sleep is for me that if I do not get a good night's sleep, if I don't have sufficient quality and quantity of sleep, my next day is guaranteed to be off at least a little bit, right. And so I like to prioritize getting my good eight and a half hours of sleep every night. So that I can set myself up to have the best day possible the following day. And this is probably true for many of us that sleep is important. Here are some other things that I noticed for myself, movement is important. So I definitely notice a difference in my energy levels and my mood on days where I get some sort of movement in versus days where I either spend the whole day on the couch, or you know, at my desk all day, and I'm not getting up to move, I really noticed that a lack of movement really equates to less energy less feeling in the flow during the day. So getting some form of movements every day would be something that I would consider putting on my protocol for having a good day. Another thing is my meditation practice. Now, you know, to be honest, if I miss it one day, I don't necessarily notice a change in my day. But if I miss it a few days in a row, then I definitely start to notice it particularly in my mood, and my ability to focus on the things that that need to get done. So I consider my meditation practice, or at least some time spent practicing mindfulness in some way is really crucial for me to have on a date on a daily protocol to keep me in a good healthy space. For you. This may include things like spending some time alone, you know, I often have bubble baths in the evening. And you know, when I reflect on that now, I'm thinking that what I really appreciate about the baths isn't so much the bubbles or the water, it's just like 20 minutes or 30 minutes of me spending time alone and being quiet. And that's, that's probably where the real value is. For me. If you have a practice of prayer, or journaling, or just spending quiet time alone, then that might also be something important for you to take a look at to include in your protocol for for having good days. Nutrition also plays a role in this for me, and I suspect it does for a lot of you as well. And that there are definitely foods and you know, for me, fast food, processed food, junk food, if I eat too much of it, I definitely feel disgusting, right? I feel physically bloated. And I tend to be you know, low in energy. Sometimes I even get a headache from foods like this, not including foods like that and focusing more on nourishing foods that are going to give my body the nutrients that it needs to feel healthy and energetic is something that I would consider including on my protocol as well. Now I'm an introverted soul. So spending time by myself is important for extroverted souls out there connecting with others is probably something that you need to have on a daily basis to keep your energy levels where you want them. And so you know, take a look at days where you do get to have, you know, meaningful connection with someone you love, versus days that you don't. And just notice, like, is there a difference in how you approach those days? Is there a difference in your mood or your energy levels when you do have connection and when you don't? And then you know, think about whether or not prioritizing connection would be something useful for you to keep on a daily protocol for yourself. And you know, nature is another important one. For a lot of people. For me, certainly I definitely do better if I can have even just a few minutes outside in nature, sometimes even for me like it, you know, if it's, you know, I live in northern Canada where half the year is spent in, you know, really freaking freezing cold temperatures, I don't necessarily want to spend time outside. But going for a drive or even just sitting by the window, and looking outside is enough for me to just feel like a little bit more calm and peace on the inside. So, you know, that is something that I'm going to consider incorporating into my daily protocol for happy happy days as well. And so just take a look at all of the things for some of you may also be spending time with a pet, it may be music, or poetry or reading or engaging in some sort of creative activity for a little bit of time. The key though, is to really just take a look over the last, you know, couple of weeks, or maybe the last couple of months and just really notice if you if you can tease out what parts of your day make it a good day. And just like the example that I gave with the food, Think also about what are you not doing on your good days? Right? Are you not complaining? Are you not focusing on the negative? Are you not eating a bunch of junk food? Are you not spending the day on the couch binge watching Netflix? Like? What are you not doing on days that are consistently good. And so what you want to do is sort of collate all of this information that you're collecting, and write a protocol for yourself. So if you were to create an ideal day, what are the like absolute necessary components that you want to put on there. And we want to keep this as simple as possible. So I recommend no more than three things. And then what I'd like you to do is commit to making these three things, your bare minimums. So no matter how crappy your day is, no matter how low your energy or how bad your mood is, you're always going to commit to doing these three things. And so for me, like it's sleep is definitely on there, meditation is going to be on there, and eating nutritious foods are going to be on there. And now of course, the problem is that when you do have a bad day, like these are the first things that are naturally going to want to go out the window, right. And I've talked about my own experience before that, when I'm struggling with something, what tends to happen is I will like binge watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, till the wee wee hours of the morning. And what that does is it propagates the negativity and it propagates the bad days. And because I'm not getting the sleep that I need, I feel like crap the next day. And oftentimes my binge watching, Buffy also comes along with, you know, eating, eating a bunch of junk food, and then I wake up the next day, I feel terrible, I realize I have so much to do, and my energy levels are low. And so I skipped my meditation practice, to get right to the business of just getting shit done. Right. And so all of these healthy habits of mine go out the window, and then it takes a whole lot more energy for me to get back on track. So what I challenge you to do is commit to doing those 123 things that you identify every single day, no matter how challenging it may feel to do, because I guarantee you that if you do engage in these things that you know, make you feel good, it's going to help you get out of your slump and turn that bad day into a good day, or at least a tolerable day, so much faster. And so one thing that you can do to help yourself do this is again, ditch this idea of perfect and look at how you can take just tiny small actions, to get yourself to engage in these practices that you have on your protocol. So in inside ways of health, we refer to these as 1% wins. So what is just the 1% action that you can do to get you doing more of these fundamental practices in your day to day life. So, you know, for me if I am if I'm sensing that I'm heading towards the couch for a Buffy binge sort of night, a 1% thing that I can do is, you know, perhaps just watch one less episode or go to bed half an hour sooner, you know, just just one thing that's going to help me get just a little bit more sleep than I otherwise would. And if I do the same with nutrition, it's like you know what, instead of having, you know, a whole bag of chips in depth, maybe I'll just have a handful or instead of ordering
Movie theater popcorn from skip the dishes, I'll make, like my health healthier home, air popped popcorn, right, it's just taking one small step in the right direction. If you collect enough of these 1% wins, they all add up pretty quickly. And you'll get this forward momentum into doing more positive things for yourself. So just to sort of summarize all of that, what we're not looking to do is change the 5050. Right life is always going to throw the obstacles and the challenges that you, we cannot change that. But what we can do is change how we handle the obstacles and the challenges and the hard days. And how we do that is by understanding what our bodies and what our souls need during the difficult times and being very purposeful about doing those things, even when it feels hard to do. So I just, there's a quote here by Viktor Frankl that I just love. And I think it kind of speaks to this really nicely. So Viktor Frankl said, between stimulus and response, there is a space in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom, stimulus and response, there is a space, I love this idea of between stimulus and response. Because what this means is, we hit the challenge or we hit the obstacle in our life. And we have a moment where we get to decide how we're going to respond to it, how we are going to show up and be present in our own lives. And there is a moment when you choose to allow yourself to indulge in the challenge or indulge in the negativity of whatever the heck is going on. Or you can choose to commit to your protocol and do things that are going to make your body and your spirit feel good. And get you through that challenge or that obstacle in a more positive way. In between stimulus and response, there is a space. So in that space, you get to decide if you are going to grow forward. Or if you're going to allow yourself to fall back and just get stuck in the in the slog, right, you have a choice. And so I really encourage you to sit down and actually write a protocol for the things that you're going to include as your bare minimums every single day, whether it's a positive side of the 5050 equation, or the negative side of the 5050 equation. And another thing that I think is useful for this is this concept of the gap in the game. So this is a book recently published by Benjamin Hardy, Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan. And the premise of this book, it's really that we have two different ways to view our lives and judge it as a success or not success, right. And when we're focused in the gap, we are measuring ourselves against a certain set of ideals. And, you know, for many of us, it's it's this idea that life has to be easy and obstacle free all of the time, right. So if you have these very unrealistic expectations of how your life should look, and you're measuring your life and what you've accomplished, according to this unrealistic ideal, you're never going to feel like you're there, you're never going to feel like you're making progress, you're going to feel like a failure, and you're not going to see all of the amazing things that you have done for yourself in your life. So he calls that Benjamin Hardy calls that being in the gap. And what we want to do instead is to be in the game. And when we're in the game, we're not looking forward to some unlikely ideal that we're trying to reach for, we're looking back to see who we were and where we were at in the past. And looking at how far we've come now. So we want to measure backwards rather than measure forwards. And I think this is a powerful tool to include on your protocol as well is taking some time every day to look at the past day. If you're sitting in bed at night, and you look at the day that you've just lived, what were all the awesome things that happened, right, I say all of the time that Rick Hansen likes to tell us that the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive experiences. The negative stuff just tends to stick and stick and the positive stuff floats away and we forget about it. So we have to actually be intentional and build a practice on you know, focus on the positive in our lives. So this is the same as being in the game. So one practice that I like to do in the evening is I like to write a gratitude list. So we talked about this last week on the podcast is just writing down a handful of things that you're grateful for, and really feeling that gratitude. So I do this in a journal in bed, right before I fall asleep. And then I like to think about, you know, what wins? did I accomplish today? What were my 1% wins? What things did I do that were good for good for me, good for my health, good for my body, good for my life. And I don't write down, you know, the things that had to get done. Like I did minutes for a meeting, or, you know, I did a lecture in a course like, you know, something that I had to get done that day, I write down the things that I chose to do to make my life or my business, or my marriage, or my relationships, or whatever it is better. And this is, again, being in the game. This is looking at how today was just a little bit better than yesterday, because of the things that I chose to do. And then I also take a little bit of time to decide, you know, what might my wins be tomorrow. And this magical thing happens is when I start thinking about all of the things that I can start doing for myself, to make myself feel better, I almost instinctively start doing them. And so I've actually been writing down my protocol every night and saying, like tomorrow, like I'm getting a good night's sleep tonight. Tomorrow, I'm going to wake up into my, my meditation practice. And I'm going to plan to eat foods that are going to make me feel healthy and energetic all day long. And when I set that intention, before I go to bed, it just feels so much easier to do it the next day. So this is something that I am now going to include on my my daily protocol for for good living, is to remember to be in the game, rather than the gap. I just think this is such a mind blowing concept. Because if you look at at the wall behind me right now I've got all of my degrees and diplomas and the certifications that I've earned over the decades hanging on the wall behind me. And I think what these symbolizes was me being in the gap, me always thinking that I had to achieve one more thing out there in the world before I could consider myself successful. And for the longest time, I would look at this wall and I what I would see was the degrees I didn't yet have, right, I have a master's degree, but I don't have a PhD, right, that sort of thing. And it was always making me feel just a little bit less than and feeling like I had to do more to catch up to my peers. But when I look backwards when I when I like when I think of like who I was even a decade ago, heck, if I think of like who I was, even a year ago, like in this past year, I set up this whole business, I did the training to become a life coach, I went and got myself some clients and these clients are seeing tremendous changes in their lives. And I'm just focused on this wall of degrees behind me, I'm not even thinking about all of the amazing stuff that I accomplished in this past year. And so it's really been a struggle for me to start focusing on how far I've come rather than how far I still need to go. And you know, for me, this is a real mindset shift that I I really want to be working on. And so I encourage you to consider adding something like this to your daily protocol, as well as just committing to doing a little bit of thought work each day to keep your your brain focused on the positive to allow some of the positive to stick to your brain just like the negative naturally wants to do. I think what you'll notice, if you go back to the beginning of this episode, when I when I talked about really just examining your life and taking note of the behaviors that you're engaging in on days where you feel like a freaking rock star, I'm guessing that on most of those days, here you are feeling like a freaking rock star. And that's because you have your mind set in a certain way. So I do think it's important for the sleep and the movement and the nutrition and all of those things. But I think it's also important to spend a little bit of time working on putting your brain in a more positive mindset, because that's going to make it so much easier for you to get through the challenging or the more difficult days. And I think this concept of the gap or the game fits really nicely in to all of that. And if we go back to Victor Frankel's idea of this space between stimulus and response, one exercise that I would encourage you to do moving forward is to really just keep track of the moments keep track of the spaces, see if you can note where you're making the decisions to either fall into old habits of, you know, flopping on the couch for a Buffy binge, versus when you're choosing to pivot a little bit, and spend the energy doing something that is going to make you feel better, both physically and mentally and emotionally and spiritually and all of the things and just see if you can start being mindful of where those spaces are between the stimulus and the response. Because I think the more you're able to catch yourself in those moments of decision, the easier it will be to just commit to that protocol for living a happier, healthier, more joyful, more content, more positive life.
Alright, that is what I have for you today. Thank you so much for listening to this ramble. It was a totally unplanned episodes. I hope it made sense for you. And we talk a lot about these concepts in general inside the nourish yourself body and mind group coaching program. The basis of course of this program is weight loss. But weight loss requires this prerequisite of being comfortable in your life and this prerequisite of being able to turn yourself around after you have a bad day. Right success and weight loss doesn't come from how often you have a bad day or you know, fall off the wagon, you know, so to speak, the success is defined by how well you're able to pick yourself back up, straighten your crown and move on to make the very next best decision for you and your body. And so if these concepts of living a better life in general resonate with you, I really encourage you to come into the nurse your nurse yourself program and experience this more firsthand to get all the support that you need from me and the other women in the program. So if you'd like more information about that, just head on over to www dot nourish yourself body in mind.com to join us. And I want to thank you so much for being here with me and we'll talk again next week. Bye for now