My Wishes for You

Christmas_Presents

Today I want to say, “Thank You!”

Thank you for reading, commenting, and allowing me to be your partner in creating the body you want. Thank you for your friendship, support, and love. Thank you for sharing who you are, and allowing me to share who I am.

I honor and appreciate each of you more than you can possibly imagine. You are at the top of my list of appreciation!

No matter what holiday you celebrate or beliefs you hold, I want to wish you and yours a day filled with hope, contentment, excitement, happiness, appreciation, joy, and most importantly, love.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Much love and appreciation,

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Hanna Goss

Take Five to Transform Holiday Stress

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“Stress isn’t something that happens to someone. It’s something someone feels about what’s happening. Your capacity to deal with any outer situation is based on your inner perspective. . . How we see ourselves determines everything.”

Bruce D. Schneider

There is a lot about the holidays that can impact people’s wellness. One of the biggest culprits is stress.

Holiday stress can come from overeating, or feelings of depression or overwhelment, or challenging relationships, or just too much on your to-do list.

Now I’m going to be perfectly honest and authentic with you.

I’ve been stressed the last couple of weeks.

Oh, it wasn’t the holidays. I’ve learned how to manage getting ready for the holidays in a healthy and balanced way.

None-the-less, for the first time in two years, I found myself stressed and I didn’t listen to my body when it was telling me to slow down. As a result, I’m just now getting over a cold that I had for weeks.

Believe me, the irony of that was not lost on me every day when I was writing my blogs!

The thing is, your wellness and finding balance in your life is never done. You’re not likely get to a place where you can slap your hands together and say, “Woo hoo! I can check wellness off my list of things to do. Thank goodness I’ll never have any more stress again.”

New things will come along that you have to make adjustments for and that require re-finding your balance. That is part of the evolution of life.

So what threw me into serious stress mode?

It was taking my business to the next level by launching my new brand and website last week, getting ready to launch a new coaching program on January 7, and planning my first ever Love Your Way Slim beach-side retreat in April.

What I forgot is that stress is not created by the situation I am in. What I forgot is how powerful I am.

We are the creators of the limitations—and the success—that we experience. When we are stressed, we are not accurately seeing ourselves, what we are capable of, what we deserve, and the support we are receiving from the Universe.

When I was seeing myself as overworked, limited, tired, and overwhelmed, I was not seeing myself accurately.

My coach was able to help me shift my perspective slightly so that I could see myself as capable, confident, energetic, and empowered. She reminded me to ask for the support I needed, and to see the support I already had. And that slight change in perspective made all the difference in the world.

Not only did I immediately feel emotionally better, but I began feeling physically better, too. All of a sudden, I was able to see how to work in the rest and self-care I had been neglecting, and my to-do list didn’t seem so overwhelming.

The only thing that was different was my perception of who I was in relationship to what was happening.

We are all so much more powerful than most of us realize. Huge changes can be made with just a slight shift in how we see ourselves.

While it took my body reminding me of this—and to practice what I preach—the great news is I have the tools and have been able to get my body back in balance.

And even better news is I didn’t fall back into old patterns of reaching for comfort food or overeating.That is a huge win!

Now, I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with stress the last few weeks.

You may be having a really hard time right now. And the idea that your stress is a result of limited self-thinking and faulty beliefs may sound like tosh.

But the Truth is, Who you really are is capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. The key is shifting your perspective just enough so that you can begin to believe it.

One way to reach for a new thought and perspective is to quiet your mind. Even taking a 5-minute mental break can make a huge difference in how easily you can see solutions to your situation.

Make quieting your mind—even for 5 minutes—a priority over the next few days. 

Do this by:

  • Meditating
  • Going for a walk
  • Taking a nap
  • Enjoying a stress-relieving bath
  • Sitting down with a cup of tea and a good book
  • Taking 3 deep breathes

Even if all you can manage is shutting the door and actually going to the bathroom by yourself, that can be enough to help clear your mind.

Then remind yourself that you are capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. Harness the power of your self-perception.

I know 5 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but consistently quieting your mind for even just a few minutes a day—and then reminding yourself of Who you really are—can have a profound impact on your physical and emotional health.

When you feel better, you’re better able to take care of your family—and be the version of you that your family actually wants to be around!

Make it a priority today to take a few minutes to quiet your mind and remember Who you really are. What difference does that make in your stress-level? What difference does that make in how much you enjoy your holidays?

Together we can do it!

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My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Are You Being Selfish if You Take Care of You?

christmas-meditatorAre you taking care of you?

Often women are reluctant to make caring for themselves a priority. This is particularly true during the holidays.

You may feel like there is just too much to do.

All the shopping, decorating, socializing, cooking, sending out holiday cards—the list goes on and on. Plus, you may be focused on creating a magical holiday experience for your kids and family.

You may feel that taking care of you is being selfish.

The Truth is that you have to take care of yourself first to have the stamina and energy to take care of others.

Ask yourself, “Are you the best partner, mom, daughter, friend you can be if you’re over-tired? How much harder is it to get everything on your to-do list done if you don’t feel physically well?”

A common response to the idea of establishing a routine of self-care that includes getting enough sleep, exercise, healthy foods, and quiet time for self-reflection or meditation is, “I don’t have time to do those things.”

The Truth is you don’t have time NOT to do them.

Making your self-care your highest priority—even if it’s only 15 minutes a day—will give you extra energy and vitality that will enable you to be the partner, mom, daughter, and friend you want to be.

And it helps you “do” more in the time you do have.

If you only have 10 to 15 minutes a day to take care of you, what should be highest priority?

If you can do just one thing, figure out how to move your body in some wayeven if it’s just 10 minutes a day.

Exercise is powerful medicine. The list of its benefits is long and incredible. Study after study shows that exercise plays an important role in promoting sound physical and mental-health, as well as emotional well-being  If the effects of exercise could be put in a pill, everyone would want to take it.

This doesn’t have to be a long, full-blown workout. Even going for a walk around the block makes a difference and provides stress relief. It could even be vigorous vacuuming! Get creative and count everything you do.

Other simple but powerful things you can do are:

  • Take 3 deep breaths. It sounds simple, but you’ll be amazed at the shift in energy it provides. And you can do this anytime, anywhere.
  • Meditate or sit quietly or take a bubble bath for 5 to 15 minutes. Quieting your mind for just a few minutes boosts physical energy, and also makes solutions easier to see.
  • Focus on appreciating not only the blessings in your life—but also of the people in your life. This is like blazing a mental trail for how you want your life and relationships to be.
  • Take a nap! Even 10 minutes can rev up your energy and help quiet the mental strain for the rest of the day.
  • Be picky about the treats you eat. Is it really calorie-worthy? Choose healthier foods or smaller portions—most of the time—and then really enjoy the treat you do eat.

These small actions boost your wellness and well-being—and your ability to be there for the people you love. 

Establish a simple and doable routine of self-care. Actually schedule it in your calendar and do your best to work everything else around it.

Make taking care of yourself your highest priority so you have the energy and vitality to take care of others.

Together we can do it!

The 3 Keys to My Personal Transformation

From August 1, 2008 to August 1, 2009, I went from wearing a size 8 and running and working out regularly to busting out of size 14 pants and not working out at all.

After years of consistent exercise, I couldn’t believe I was starting over from scratch–again.

I was really struggling with getting back on track.

“Before” photo taken October 2009

While I hated where I was, I just couldn’t seem to find the energy to pull myself out of bed in the morning and move.

Three things were key to my turning around that situation.

  1. Accountability. Support is vital. Having a friend, coach, or group to turn to is huge!
  2. Progress not perfection. Counting every single thing you do during the day that could even be remotely considered part of a healthy lifestyle builds positive momentum.
  3. Mindset training. Shifting your thoughts from hating where you are to focusing on why you want to be fit, strong, and slim is the true secret to long-term weight-loss success. 

Here’s how I did it.

My friend, Julia, was my first accountability partner and we checked in with each other every day to cheer each tiny success and reframe any “stumble.” (Thank you, Julia! I couldn’t have done it without you!)

I set small, attainable goals for how much time I would move my body. Starting with a goal of just 10 minutes a day, I counted walking the dogs, vigorous vacuuming, and even a long walk across a parking lot to my car. I literally counted anything and everything that involved moving. A few weeks of meeting that minimal goal and I bumped it up to 20 minutes, and so on.

And I wrote out all the reasons I wanted to be fit, strong, and slim on index cards—and I read them everyday to retrain my brain while I was retraining my body.

Changing my mindset, focusing on my success, and having a supportive person to report my successes to made all the difference in the world.

Today, I love my body and life more than I thought possible!

I regularly work out vigorously for 25 to 60 minutes, six mornings a week. I eat healthy foods most of the time, and I wear between a size 4 and 6. And I’ve kept the weight off now for more than two years!

“After: photo taken November 10, 2012. Photo by Lindsay A. Miller

I didn’t get here overnight. But by slowly and steadily making those small decisions towards a healthier me, I built momentum and achieved my goals.

And you can do it, too.

If you are already working out regularly, awesome! How can you push yourself just a little bit further?

If you are changing your energetic momentum towards a healthier you:

  • What is the minimum you can do today that will make you feel like you are making progress?
  • What are the reasons you want to be fit, strong, and slim?
  • Who can you turn to get the necessary support and accountability?

Just consistently making those small decisions to move in the direction of who you want to be will help you achieve the body—and life—you want.

Together we can do it!

Getting Back on Track After Thanksgiving

Nothing else in your experience responds as quickly as your own physical body to your patterns of thought.

Abraham-Hicks

For the first time in two years, my body let me know just before Thanksgiving that I was not following my own advice about loving myself for optimal wellness.

In other words, I was sick over the holiday.

The reminder to tend to my own self-care was actually a message I’d been getting for several weeks.

But I had exciting things underway with travel for a business mastermind retreat, professional photo session, and VIP day with my coach where we created plans for me to launch a new website on December 13, start a new Love Your Way Slim coaching program on January 7, and hold a beachside retreat for 8 women in Charleston, South Carolina, in April. Plus my folks were arriving for five days to celebrate Thanksgiving.

I was focused on “doing.” And it felt like “too much” happening at once.

There is so much more to wellness than checking your workout off your “to-do” list and eating relatively healthy foods.

A significant part of optimal wellness is believing in your wellness and your capacity to deal with any outer situation.

The purpose of life is to give you a chance to be the

grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held

about Who You Are. When challenges arrive, then,

move straight to clarity: This is what you came for.

Now rise to this occasion, and know that you have

every resource with which to create the right and

perfect outcome.

Neale Donald Walsch

The good news is not feeling well forced me to take some time to “Be.” I used the time to rest, meditate, spend quality time with my family, and read a book that felt like the next logical step in my own spiritual development.

And I focused on what I know.

  • Almost all illness and injury is evidence of being out of balance and is temporary. Wellness is your natural state of being.
  • You are unique, powerful, gifted, resourceful, and loved. A great part of optimal wellness is seeing yourself that way.
  • You are never, ever, given a challenge you cannot overcome.

I am grateful that my body gave me a great reminder to take the time to rest and reflect on my beliefs about myself, what I am capable of, and what I deserve, and to tap into what is really important to me.

How are your current beliefs impacting your optimal wellness? Are they helping you be the “the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are?”

If not, how do you need to change how you think about you?

Together we can do it!

Create the Holidays You Want

I was thinking that I would blog today about getting back on track with food after the big Thanksgiving meal most of us Americans ate yesterday. But as I sat down to write, I realized that for many people, it’s their emotional wellness that is more strained today then their waistbands.

There’s a lot about the holidays that can impact people’s wellness—whether it’s gaining weight, or having your emotional wellness impacted by depression, overwhelment, and stress, as well as challenging relationships.

The typical things that can throw people out of balance–and have them reaching for extra helpings of their favorite comfort food–during the holidays include:

  • Unmet expectations—you might be trying to live up to a romanticized notion of how the holidays should be, either from your memories of when you were a kid or from how the holidays are portrayed in the movies. Or you may be trying to make everything perfect—for yourself or for others. This is something Mom’s can really struggle with because they want to make things perfect for their kids.
  • Other people’s expectations—you can be dealing with expectations of how you should act, or your perception of other people’s expectations. You may really struggle with feeling like you’re disappointing people, or feel like they have a negative perception of you that you can use as a reason to feel bad about yourself.
  • Dwelling on negative things—you might have previous holiday-related disappointments or difficult times that haunt you this time of year.
  • Challenging relationships—tensions often run high during the holidays and there may be family misunderstandings and conflicts, particularly if you’re spending a lot more time together than usual. Or you may be facing the holidays without a loved one, which can also leave you feeling lonely and sad.
  • Extra physical demands—all the shopping, decorating, socializing, cooking, sending out holiday cards—the list goes on and on—can leave you wiped out. Particularly if you feel like you have to do it all yourself. Being exhausted increases stress. Exercise and sleep—those good solutions for stress and fatigue—may take a back seat to chores and errands.

Having a different experience over the holidays is really about making different choices.

Here are some tips for creating the holidays you want:

  • Define what the holidays really mean to you and how you want to feel. Then make that vision your priority. Let go of anything that doesn’t create that vision and feeling.
  • Take care of you! Take the time to meditate, exercise, and get enough rest so that you have mental clarity and physical energy. Taking care of you enables you to take care of others–and be the version of you that others actually want to be around!
  • Focus on the best qualities of everyone you love and forgive them for not being perfect. And most importantly, forgive yourself for not being perfect!
  • Let go of the responsibility for anyone else’s happiness. I know it’s hard to hear and even harder to believe, but this includes your kids!
  • Release the need to do everything yourself and either ask for help or let things go. That means not criticizing your partner when they do things differently then how you would have done them. Done equals beautiful!
  • Focus on all the things you appreciate. If you can only do one thing, do this!
  • Focus on all the reasons you want to start the New Year feeling great. Write down the reminders and read them when you start to feel stressed.
  • Celebrate each tiny thing that you do that creates your balanced and fulfilled holiday experience. Taking a stress-relieving bath, going for a walk, not snapping at your kids–all wins!
  • Reach out for support to help you get through the challenges you are facing. It can be hard to ask for what you need, but this is not the time to go it alone. Seek the support of a friend, hire a coach, or reach out to a free on-line support community, like http://www.transformation.com/.

Ultimately, getting through the holidays feeling healthy and happy is about letting go of the need to be perfect. It’s reaching for the hope and belief that life can get better and better.

Yesterday was just one day in your hopefully very long life. If it didn’t go as well as you hoped, for whatever reason, what can you do today to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep making progress toward the body–and life–you want?

Together we can do it!

Thankful for You!

Today is the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

And one of the things I am most thankful for is . . . You!

Thank you for being readers, commenters, clients, friends, and family. Thank you for your trust, time, energy, and support. Thank you for your friendship and love.

These are gifts that I do not take for granted.

Each of you means more to me than you can possibly imagine. I count you as a blessing in my life.

May you and yours have a joy-filled day.

With much love and appreciation,

Hanna