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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The New People at the Gym

They started rolling in a couple of weeks ago.  The new people at the gym.  I don't dislike the surge in the crowd. I think about what motivated them to get there. I wish they didn't look so nervous and intimated because most of us don't know what we're doing with all those machines either. I'd like to host a "new people" meet and greet and hear their stories. 

Change is hard. 

Change is misunderstood.

I'm still trying to stick to my fitness goals.  Everyday. 

Here's what I want to say to the new people at the gym, it's not about how to use the equipment or the best sports bra.  It's about how to maintain changes in behavior.

My thoughts and ideas about change were majorly challenged in May of 2005 when I read an article in Fast Company magazine called Change or Die.  This was a study of heart-bypass patients. Even at the risk of dying, 90% of these patients couldn't change their behavior.

Some of the new people at the gym might have been given that kind of news. Change your health or you will die.  That won't be enough.

So what will work? 

Find that deep in your gut emotional tie to wanting to be healthier.  What kind of joy will being healthier bring?  A joyful outcome is more powerful than fear of dying.  This framing in your brain has to fit with your paradigms and perspectives. 

Go crazy all in.  Big sweeping changes inspire you to keep going.  That dramatic cleanse might be a better catalyst for change than easing into it.  Get inspired by feeling better quickly.

Find a tribe and love them hard.  You've likely seen this meme somewhere in your Facebook feed.  You might need a radical shift in your gym partner too.  Your friend that is half committed to this change but reluctantly agreed to a membership with you might not be your most reliable source.  You might want to courageously friend that person you see at your new gym that seems really committed and also approachable.  Changes that stick are supported. 

Whatever you're trying to accomplish this year, I wish you the kind of sweeping change that motivates you to keep going and the tribe that will love you hard back.  There's a lot more joy to be had out there, sometimes we have to be the change we seek.

I'm launching into 2018 with my eye on epic opportunities and experiences. 

Would love to have you follow along here: 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Who Am I? A Story About Identity Wine and Elephants

On March 20, 2017 I worked my last day as a full time Client Partner for FranklinCovey.  An end to a richly rewarding 17 year career with a company and people that I love like family.  I continue to work as a contract consultant a few days a month. However, I requested my full time ties be cut to launch into new projects and new adventures.  I knew this would mean leaving some of the security I had enjoyed ....I wasn't prepared for some other jarring realities.

You raise kids to adults in about 17 years, some marriages don't last that long.  Dogs don't always live that long. Seventeen years is a long time by most people's standards. I had done great work with my clients and colleagues, built lasting relationships, received heavy glass awards and been paid abundantly in money and affirmation of my talents.

At 6pm on Friday March 30th I cleared my last email, filled out my last form and closed my laptop.  Then I sat and I stared.  Alone in my home office, unsure of what to feel.  I had given a 6 month notice, this was not a sudden departure.  I had received many messages of gratitude and praise for my work from colleagues and clients.  Most knew I would be sticking around to deliver training days and keynote speeches a few days a month. It wasn't like I was moving to Bangladesh.

Yet the more I sat, the more frustrated I became.  There was no parade in my honor, there was no cake in the break room, there was just me sitting alone with my decision to become an entrepreneur.

A decision I had prayed over for a solid year until the Voice of God in a somewhat frustrated tone said to me, "Rebecca, I've told you yes enough times now.... not doing it is your biggest disobedience."  Then I pictured the good Lord rolling his eyes at me.  I think He does that a lot actually.

I had chosen this.  So what was I frustrated about?

I roamed around the house aimlessly looking for my composure and my purpose.  Finally, I did what Friday nights are for and I sat down at my kitchen counter and I poured a glass of wine and just let myself stew and think and feel.

What had I expected this last day to be?  Did I really think there would be more fanfare?  For what?  I had received my accolades and my rewards along the way both intrinsically and financially.  I was owed nothing else.  I had left a job. Okay call it a career if that's more meaningful but the company would go on successfully without me.

And there it was. 

The huge elephant sitting on the bar stool beside me in my kitchen.  I had placed far too much of my personal identity with a job.  With a company.  With an external force that I had very little control over.

Now.  Here I was.

Me and my elephant, sitting at the kitchen counter.  In that moment I released all of the pity party. My elephant and I would not dine on my retirement cake.  I looked at that elephant and said, "Look, if I'm here on my own without a safety net, I can't afford to take you with me.  Your gonna need to drink your wine and go."

And then I smiled to myself and sipped my wine and let myself relish in the courageous decision I had made.

We do that don't we?

We attach ourselves to things and places and jobs and people for our own sense of identity.  We attach it to being the mom of a talented kid, or the child of a famous father, or the employee of a great company.  Or the owner of a beautiful home or a cool car.

And while those things should be celebrated for the relationship or the reward that they are, they are not who we are.

When we walk tall in our own purpose and talents and truth we are more in control of the choices we make and the futures we hold.  We don't have to quit our jobs or sell our cars to find this freedom.  We have the power to own our own place in the world.  We can simply look in the mirror and say, "I am enough.  I am in control of my choices and my responses." And then we ask the elephant to leave and we sip our wine in peace.

What's Rebecca up to next?

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Gifts

It's the holiday season.

 Just reading those words evokes varying emotions.

 I left a holiday shopping trip tonight stressed and overwhelmed.

 Today's holidays leave me feeling inadequate and frustrated.  So many people's expectations conflicting and overlapping.

 I spend 30 days trying to detangle it all to find a space I can live in. I get bits and pieces of what I want my holidays to be. They come in feelings and ideas and emotions, rarely in things you wrap or consume.

 Yet I make the lists and tell people what I "want". I make up things that I think they can easily pick up at the store. Pleasing, detangling. Untying one knot and tangling another.

In a few tiny moments in between, I find a place that feels like me. An unexpected belly laugh between brother and sister. Snoring puppies at my feet in the glow of twinkling lights. An unseasonably sunny day to roll the windows down like a secret only you can keep. A cold and rainy day to bury deep into ideas and feelings. Looking at my daughters photos and seeing the world through her eyes. Listening to the music that lives inside my son that he works diligently to bring to the world.

 These are my gifts. These are the gifts I can't put on the list. These are the gifts that don't meet other people's expectations. Personal. Life giving. The gifts that feed my soul. Money is scarce and dreams are infinite. I crave gifts that feed my dreams. Gifts of time. Gifts of peace. Gifts of acceptance and patience and appreciation of my passions.

Tonight the kids and I went to the movies.  We go to the movies to leave our own stories and get lost.  It's in that place that my heart is on fire.  For all the inadequacy I feel in todays holiday, at the movies I feel infinite.  The dreams,  the stories and the possibilities go on and on.

I wish you an artists holiday.  I wish you the place where the story is the gift and the dreams feel infinite.