Category Archives: Goals

5 Things I Learned From Russell Wilson

In the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about finding my passion.  Figuring out who God created me to be.  And what that means to my life. Things did not happen the way I thought they would.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t be happier with where I am and where God has placed me, in the right moments at the right time. Unfortunately for me, I learned this later in my life than some.  At 40 years old, I know my purpose.  I wish I had known back in my 20’s what I was doing.  But again, that was all part of God’s plan for me.

There is someone I admire who, I’m sure, doesn’t have it all figured out, but has let God take control of his life.  At the young age of 26, Russell Wilson knows what he wants and how to get it.  So, I’ve taken some cues from him, and applied it to some of my own life experiences and want to share some of his words, with mine.  I hope you can find some things that you can add to your own life.

rw

1.  How do you promote positive self talk?  This is a big one for me because, as a woman, my negative voice is usually louder than my positive voice.  I hear things from back in my childhood and teenage years.  Usually from myself, but still things that resonate.  Why are my jeans too tight?  Why can’t I get that promotion?  So, how do you overcome these things?  Speaking positive thoughts to yourself, sometimes audibly.  Russell (because I’m on a first name basis with him now) continues to publicly promote positive self talk.  I didn’t get that play?  Well, next year I will. I wasn’t a first round draft pick?  I’m going to make other teams regret that.  Russell has said publicly, “What you say, will change what you see.”  This doesn’t mean you will always get what you want.  But speaking positively will change how you view yourself and your situations.

2.  How do you ignore the noise?  This one kind of goes hand in hand, with my previous point.  Promoting a positive self-image, while ignoring the negative public image.  Few people know what it is like to be viewed publicly and then hear people from all over the world giving their 2 cents about you.  Imagine having the worst day of your career and then knowing the entire country saw what you did.  How do you ignore that?  One of my favorite speakers, Eileen Hunter Wolf , used Philippians 3:2 as a reference, “Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil.” Ignore the barking noise.  Those people who yap and bark.  Do they even really know you, anyway?  NO!  So ignore them.

3.  How do you recover from a loss?  In RW’s (yeah, I call him that sometimes, too) case, the loss is public.  In our cases, it’s usually not. But how do you recover from wanting something so badly, and then having it taken away in the blink of an eye?  This is something I continually learn from my daughter.  She is a budding actress and has had more losses than wins.  She goes on countless auditions, just hoping to gain one role, just a tiny bit of exposure.  She has experienced more loss in her young 15 years than I have in my entire life.  Yet she presses on.  How? Because she knows that the win is so much sweeter when you  have had the failures.  When your end goal is something that few people achieve and you’ve worked as hard as you can to get it, you keep pushing.  Even when it hurts and you feel like you have nothing left, you keep pushing.

4.  Who do you have in your life that’s pushing you toward greatness?  We all need a cheerleader.  For me and Russ (because I have nicknames for him, too), our cheerleaders have gone onto eternity.  My mom, my cheerleader, is not here anymore.  So who else do I have?  My husband.  My sister.  My kids.  My mentor.  Surround yourself with people who only want the best for you.  I have let go of anyone that does not support me, and some of them hurt to let go of.  But by surrounding yourself with like-minded people, who will make you a better person, you will become better and greater.  The bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Be around people who will sharpen you, not make you dull. Or as Russell says, “Eagles never fly with pigeons.”

5.  What are your next steps?  You have your goal, but do you have your plan?  I’m a visual learner, so I like to write my goals down then mark them off when I’ve achieved them.  Prepare for what steps you are willing to take. “The separation is in the preparation.  Chances are what you make of them.” Philippians 3:12 says, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.  But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”  Find YOUR perfection.  And prepare for it. You were given a dream.  Figure out and plan for your dream.

How to not be a Stage Mom. (This is for me, too)

A little background about my younger self.  When I was about 18, I told my mom that I wanted to act.  Yes, I was scared about what to expect, but that’s normal, right?  After several conversations, my mom, bless her heart, decided that I probably shouldn’t pursue acting.  Nerves, cost, failure were all reasons for her decisions.  And being the obedient daughter that I was, I concurred.  After all, my mom knew what was best for me.  So, I put my dreams on hold.

Fast forward 6 years.

At 24, I married my husband.  Not only did he encourage me to pursue my dreams, but pushed me onstage.  Although only performing in church productions for 3 years (OK, they were huge church productions involving audiences of nearly a thousand per show), I decided to take the plunge into community theatre.  GASP!  Yes, I was nervous.  “But if I didn’t do it now, when would I?  I mean, I’m already 28 years old!  I’m getting up there!”  (Now, at almost 40, this makes me chuckle.)  After several workshops, auditions, and call backs, I decided that acting wasn’t really my thing.  Yes, I loved it, but it was more work and less glamour than I thought.  My dreams of acting turned into merely day dreams.  But I was OK with it!  I tried.  I liked it for a minute.  Moving on.

Fast forward 8 years.

My oldest daughter, Audrey, was cast in her school’s production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as Charlie Bucket.  We were so excited for her!  Audrey had tried out for a few things at her new Jr. High and had not yet been successful.  But Audrey has a never-give up attitude.  Don’t ask me where she gets it.  People say it’s because of good parenting, but I’m not so sure.  I typically want to hide under my down comforter in my dark room if someone looks at me the wrong way at the gym.  But Audrey doesn’t stop.  She auditioned for this play hoping to get just a few minutes of stage time.  Her director saw something in her that, as of yet, no one had.

Of course, Audrey was a natural on stage.  She has a petite figure and a voice that hits the back of the theatre.  She was born BIG!  The stage is where Audrey wanted to be.  Forever. So, my husband and I decided that if this is what she wanted, we would support her.  A short 9 months later, she was on her way!

We did everything right.  We got head shots for her, an agent, and drove her to countless auditions, call backs, and performances.  Yes, we were the perfect stage parents!

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  What you don’t know is that because I had a desire to once perform at a young age, I carry a lot of regret.  Yes, I did say that I was ready to move on from acting.  But what if I had started when I was only 12, like Audrey?  What if my mom let me get head shots and an agent.  Where would I be today?  Probably exactly where I am.  You see, Audrey has something that I didn’t have.

She carries a desire to perform.  She loves her craft.  The head shots and agent bookings are fun. But Audrey really doesn’t care about that.  She loves stepping into a role.  Becoming something that she isn’t.  Creating a whole world for a character.  Me?  I like the red carpet.  The cheers and flowers during final bows.  The glamour.

So, how do I not become a stage mom?  By being a mom.  By letting my daughter be what she was created to be.  If she decided to be a veterinarian, a gardener, or a lawyer, would I treat her any different?  My job is to support her, her dreams, and her goals.  Not mine.

I’m certainly not a perfect parent.  No one is.  But by being her mom, and not trying to live vicariously through her, Audrey can do whatever she wants.  It’s my job to love her, support her, keep believing in her, even when she doesn’t believe in herself.  That’s what moms do.

Image

My beautiful daughter, Audrey Montague

I just like to remind her that she promised me that first guest spot when she makes it to the Academy Awards.  Yes, I still like the glamour.

Looking good vs. feeling good.

In my never-ending pursuit to have a body like Brooke Burke, I do a lot of daydreaming followed by endless planning.  What if I had a killer bod?  Would my life be easier?  Would I feel better?  And how would such a feat even begin to take place?  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m thankful for the many people in my life that let me off the hook with various excuses. I have 4 kids.  I’m very busy.  As I get older, my metabolism decreases.  I have a sweet tooth.  OK, that last one was my own excuse.  But when does my attitude go from wanting to look good to just being happy about feeling good?

About a year ago, I decided my family needed a change in our lifestyle habits.  We starting eating a primarily whole diet.  Basically what this means is, nothing comes out of a box or a package.  I started looking at ingredients in everything and tried to cut out a lot of unnecessary preservatives.  We eat more fruits and veggies than we used to.  Snack on high protein foods.  It’s been a fairly easy transition, mostly by me and my 2 youngest kids.  My husband and older kids really liked the unhealthy me, but are learning to adjust to our new eating habits.  So here I am, asking my family to live a healthier lifestyle so that we can all feel better.  But am I doing it for me or them?  Looking good vs. feeling good.  But eating is just the beginning of my planning and dreaming of a Hollywood body.

Enter, the gym.  2 years ago, I joined a local gym.  I love it.  I really love it when I have a vacation coming up and I have something to work for.  I don’t love it when it’s pouring down rain and my house is a disaster and it would be easier just to stay at home, in my jammies, and clean.  Since I live in Seattle, you can guess which happens more often than not.  So again, I’m faced with the dilemma of looking good vs. feeling good.  Fortunately, going to the gym results in the same thing.  Feeling good and looking good, right?

Here’s where things really start to irritate me.  I eat healthy.  Really healthy.  Healthier than I ever have.  I work out.  A lot.  I try to be active everyday.  Luckily, I have a job that allows me to be on my feet most of the time.  When I’m not at work, I’m pretty restless either in or outside my home.  And guess what happens?  Nothing.  I’m still my same size jeans that I was 2 years ago.  I still break into a steady sweat after being on my feet for 10 minutes.  So nothing’s changed, right?  Not quite.

I may not look any different, but I feel different.  I have more energy and confidence.  I have less tummy aches and muscle pain.  I sleep better at night and wake up easier in the morning.  I may not have the toned and tight body that I want, but what I do have is a body that I feel good about.  So here’s where feeling good wins.  And don’t get me wrong, if I had a choice, the bikini body of my dreams would be my preference.  But for now, I’ll stick with being happy and feeling good and strive to keep making it look better, while feeling great.

 

 

525, 600 minutes.

I realize this has been a day of reflection for most of the world. As we look back on 2011 and remember things that were accomplished and memories that were made. Good and bad habits that may have just begun or happily ended. I look back on 2011 as an uneventful year.

Not uneventful in the way most people would think. Uneventful because my family didn’t have a lot of big change. In the 14 years that Duane and I have been married, we usually have some kind of a show-stopping, life-changing thing that happens. New job. New house. New car. Not are all good. We’ve been though job losses. My mom passing away. And losing an unborn baby. Good or bad, we’ve pretty much run the gamut.

This year however, was uneventful because of the lack of change that happened in our marriage. But 2011 held some huge changes for me, personally. I had a lot of “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” moments. Here they are in no particular order.

1. I went to LA by myself! Twice! This may not be super huge for some people, but for someone with a huge fear of flying and the never-ending thought of my plane plunging to the ground resulting in my demise, this was a really big step for me. Both trips resulted in me feeling a little more confident about who I am and where I want my life to go.

2. I started a blog. Again, not huge for some people, but for a non-writer, non-creative like myself, my blog has been a huge turning point for me. I realized that I am comfortable stepping out of my happy homemaker box and finding a creative outlet that doesn’t seem very mom-ish. Thank you to everyone who reads and subscribes. You make me feel like I have something important to say that isn’t aimed at the stylings of a preschooler.

3. I went back to work. Another huge step in the life of a stay at home mom. I took the plunge to find something more than scrubbing toilets and wiping noses. Granted, I still do both of those and more, but I feel like I have found something for myself that I enjoy, my husband likes to brag about, and my kids take pride in. To me, a huge win.

4. I grew back my green-thumb. My garden was happily restarted, a little late in the season, however, but still flourished to my happiness. I also managed to can and freeze most of my crops. Yes, little Suzy Homemaker still exists and thrives in her suburban home.

So, how do you measure a year in the life? 525, 600 minutes doesn’t seem like much time, but in this last year of my life, I have accomplished much. And much happiness has been had during this season. I hope and pray that this next year will welcome such change as 2011.

Start small.

As I have previously stated in other blogs, I’m not the best at keeping with my goals.  I love setting them, but when it comes to crunch time, I’ve usually checked out 3 days prior. So as 2011 nears its end, I have been putting a lot of thought into what my New Years goals might be.

I usually go with the old standard goal of “Get in Shape.”  You know, cut out sugar and carbs, daily trips to the gym, and that sort of crap.  I usually do great with it until, like most Americans, 2 weeks into it and time gets ahead of me and I lose interest.  Next up?

I know, I’ll organize my house!  Clean out everything.  From top to bottom.  Everyday adding new and more chores to my list.  Except, even as I write this, the thought becomes overwhelming with 4 kids, a part-time job, and a house that I, for the most part, maintain by myself.  I guess it’s a good thing I got caught up on laundry this morning because now, I don’t want to touch it for days.

What’s a super busy mother of 4 in her 30’s to do?  Simply, start small.  One new-ish thing a day.  Yesterday, I tackled a project that I have been putting of for about 2 years.  I cleaned and organized my spice and baking cabinet.  It felt so good to accomplish something.  As small as it may be, it’s done.  And it feels great.  Today I will try something else small, like cleaning the baseboards in my bathroom.  Small yes, but it’s something that gets neglected.  Slowly, but surely, tackling things that I’ve been putting off.

And of course the “Get in Shape” goal is still on my list.  But I have a feeling that as I’m doing a cleanse of my home, my body and soul cleanse will come naturally.  It will also follow my mantra of my New Year’s goal – Start small. Maybe even with a trip to buy a new pair of cross-trainers.  Small, but oh, so satisfying!

 

Proscratination is not in my vocabulary.

OK, that’s not entirely true. Maybe I am a bit of a procrastinator.  I still wait until the last-minute to get most things done. But I’m way better than I used to be.  I’ve found that working outside my home gives me more of a desire to get things done around my home when I am home.

The definition of procrastination is putting off or delaying or deferring an action to a later time.

Having 4 kids and a very busy husband, often I would feel so overwhelmed with things that I needed to get done, that I would either wait until it was necessary or not do it at all.  Now that I have a job, I don’t have the luxury of waiting.  If I have the time, I do it.

It’s amazing to me how much “stuff” I can get done when I’m at home now.  My days “off” are more limited.  I have a certain amount of hours in the week and I have to cram as much into those hours as I can.  But the best part is, I don’t feel like I’m cramming anything.  I’m simply making the best use of my time.

Here’s a perfect example:  Today is my one day this week where I don’t have anything scheduled.  So I made the most of it. I actually made breakfast for my kids. Did a load of laundry before they left for school.  Husked and canned 6 stalks (now cans) of corn.  Baked and bagged 2 dozen cookies for school lunches.  Blogged.  And it’s not even noon yet.  I have the whole day ahead of me to clean, work out, prep for dinner, do more laundry, or just veg with a cup of coffee while Gus is napping.  Oops,  that’s the procrastinator in me.

What I’m trying to say is, how much can you get done in a short amount of time?  For procrastinators like me, it’s probably more than you think.  So go ahead, set the timer, and go.  Let’s leave the procrastinating to later tonight when we can relax with a glass of wine knowing we filled our day with good stuff for ourselves and our family!

Healthy tips from a consumer just like you.

I’m so excited to have a guest blogger this week.  One of my dearest friends, Cindy Sorenson. Cindy’s passion of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen lead her to earn her Bachelors Degree from Bastyr University in Nutrition/Dietetics. She has been teaching and volunteering with the PCC Cooks program for the past four years. Since becoming registered as a dietitian she has been working at Bayview Retirement Community as the staff dietitian. She also is beginning her second year serving on the Greater Seattle Dietetic Association (GSDA) board as the Public Relations Co-chair. For more information, please visit Cindy’s website.

Healthy tips from a consumer just like you.
By: Cindy Sorensen, R.D.

1. Don’t Trust Labels
Labels have a lot of “claims”. Remember to be smart and read ingredient
lists and nutrition facts!

2. Learn what adds flavor without adding calories, fat or sodium
My trick is adding lemon juice or vinegar to almost anything I cook.
Scientifically it enhances the salty/savory flavor of the food! Also, don’t be
shy adding spices and herbs to anything.

3. Sweeten Food items yourself
Go ahead, buy the yogurt that you love, just buy the plain version and
add your own fruit and a little honey. Or buy plain popcorn and drizzle
it with honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.

4. Roast Vegetables
When you roast vegetables you cook them at high temp in oven (at least
400), it allow the natural sugars to caramelize and the veggie tastes
delicious without having to add much to it!

5. Buy Frozen, not Canned
Canned vegetables and fruit have high levels of sodium and sweeteners to
preserve them.  Frozen produce usually do not have added preservatives
and have a higher nutritional value.

6. Avoid frozen or pre-made dinners
Even though those healthy choice dinners are low in fat, be careful of higher
sodium and/or sugar levels.

7. Limit Juices and blended beverages
The smoothies and blended coffees often have a lot of sugar and calories.
Most have ice cream or frozen yogurt added to them!  Whenever you
can, eat fruit instead of drinking the juice.

8. Increase fiber in diet
Whenever possible eat food in its most whole form. You will get the most
nutrition and feel more satisfied! Also, switching to whole grains will
add some fiber, among other things!

9. Drink more water
Optimally, you should drink 8 glasses per day. But, to be most effective
bring a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE and refill and refill!! We
need water to function! We don’t have reserves.

10.  Eat Slowly
Honestly, it’s easier said than done! But if you simply chew thoroughly
more nutrition is absorbed! Also, try to wait 20 minutes after eating
before getting dessert or another snack. If you still are hungry have a
glass of water… and if your still hungry try sharing a dessert!