Why We Don’t Reach Our Goals

Some immediate happiness or instant gratification is easy to see, such as: eating more food when we’re not hungry, but we’re working on a goal to lose weight; staying in bed instead of getting up to study the scriptures as we had planned; or watching a movie instead of working on a project we’re stuck on, but we want to get done.

Other instant gratification is trickier to see, such as: yelling at our kids instead of taking a breath and waiting until we’re calm to talk to them; gossiping about someone instead of staying silent or deciding to focus on the positive; or believing all of the thoughts that come to our brain instead of sifting through and deciding what we want to believe on purpose.

Long-term happiness or delayed gratification looks just the opposite. It’s not just doing what feels good and easy right now. It’s how we achieve our goals. It’s doing what might be hard and uncomfortable right now so that we can have it easier or better in the future.

Let’s not tell ourselves that we’re lazy or have something morally wrong with us when we choose immediate happiness over long-term happiness.

Remember we all have a lower human brain whose job it is to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and expend the least amount of energy possible. We also have a higher human brain whose job it is to delay pleasure and gratification for a more desirable result, lean into uncomfortable emotions and pain, and expend whatever energy is necessary to get what we really want.

There’s nothing wrong with us when we do what’s easy now instead of what’s hard. We’re just listening and following our lower brain instead of our higher brain. It’s totally fine. Let’s just like our reason, and make the decision consciously of whether to go for the immediate gratification or delayed gratification.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

One Thought Does Not Fit All

Thoughts are like clothes. They fit differently for different people. You know that friend that dresses so cute, and then you try on her clothes, and even if they fit your body, you don’t feel very good in them?

Thoughts are like that. I may share a thought here that sounds so nice, and really works for me, or for one of my clients. You may try it on, but every time you think it you feel not quite right.

I want you to know that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It just means that thought isn’t for you. That doesn’t mean thought work isn’t for you; it just means it’s not a helpful thought…for you.

So how do you know if a thought fits? Notice how it makes you feel. Remember: circumstances trigger thoughts, which create feelings that drive our actions, which give us our results.

You know a thought is helpful when it creates a feeling in you that drives actions or behaviours that get you the results that you want.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

When Is It My Thoughts, And When Is It The Spirit?

Have you ever heard someone say, “That was my depression talking,” or “That’s my anxiety talking,”? These phrases can be really helpful if we’re feeling like there’s something wrong with us because we feel depression or anxiety.

The other day, when the boys were in school, I was driving home from shopping, and I had the thought, “Something terrible is going to happen at 2pm. I need to go pick up the boys early from school.”

Have you ever had a thought like this and wondered if it was just your thoughts, or if it was the Spirit warning you to take action? This day, the more and more I thought this thought, the more frightened I felt. I could feel my heart racing, and my palms even started to get sweaty. I prayed, wondering if I was just freaking myself out, or if this was something I really needed to pay attention to.

The thought came to me, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace“. That’s not how I was feeling. I was feeling very afraid and urgent.

Of course, we all figure out how the Spirit speaks to us for ourselves. But I’ve had this question myself, and I’ve had others ask me, “How do I know when it’s my anxiety or depression speaking, and when it’s the Spirit?” I would ask you, “How does it make you feel?” Watch for this coming Thursday’s post for my go-to thought in this situation.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

One Way We Add to Our Suffering

During my darkest days, I remember distinctly an evening when I was having an argument with my husband and he said to me, “I’m not going to talk to you if you keep talking the way you are. You’re being disrespectful.” I honestly was shocked by what he had said. I didn’t think I was being disrespectful at all. I felt like I was just stating the facts. I thought and thought on this for a few days. Finally, I tried to see it from his point of view. It was quite humbling. I realized, I thought that because I had thoughts and feelings, it was fine for me to tell them all to him without editing.

I realized that I hadn’t even thought of how he was feeling. I was so engulfed and overwhelmed by my own thoughts and feelings, that I couldn’t even consider his.

I know I was just being human when I was so engulfed in my own problems, but I’m grateful that my husband was willing to say something to me. It must have taken great courage, as I know he loved me and was concerned for me.

I love this quote by the apostle, Elder David A. Bednar, when talking about the character of Christ:

Perhaps the greatest indicator of character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering…

https://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/ReligionSymposium/2003_01_25_Bednar.htm

It can be tricky to know how to take care of ourselves while still recognizing we are not the only ones suffering. But I wanted to share this with you in case you are increasing your suffering by blaming others for not taking it away. When we blame others, we are disconnecting from them, which increases our own suffering.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

How To Mess Up

Have you ever watched professional basketball and wondered how the players could miss a free-throw? I mean, how many times do you think a professional basketball player has made a basket? I would say probably in the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. And yet, even when they’re standing at the line, with nobody even guarding them, they still miss it sometimes.

So…you’re working on something…let’s say not losing your cool with your kids. How many times have you felt like losing your cool, but you haven’t? Hundreds, maybe? And then you lose your cool and you think, “I’m such a failure. I’ll never get this. I shouldn’t have been a mom.”

Do you think when a professional basketball player misses a free throw that they think, “I’ll never be able to make a basket 100% of the time. I’m such a failure.” Of course, not! Are they disappointed? Maybe even a little frustrated with themselves? Probably. But they don’t stay there. They expect they’ll miss sometimes. EVEN after all of their practice.

When you’re working on something, losing weight, getting into shape, loving someone, using kinder language, expect that you’ll make progress, and then you’ll mess up. Expect that you’ll get it wrong, even when you “know better”. Even when you’ve been working at it for years. Even when you’re really good at it. That’s just part of being a human.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help working on your goals. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Free House Cleaning Anyone?

Very often, people equate positive thinking with mental wellness. Positive thinking is a very important aspect of mental wellness, but they are not synonymous.

I like to think of a house that has a lot of rooms with closets and furnishings. Positive thinking is like decorating these rooms and straightening them up so they look pretty. It’s making the bed, closing the closet doors, opening the blinds, putting up a nice picture or putting a pretty plant on the table. It really makes the room pleasant to look at and be in.

On the other hand, thought work pulls everything out of the closets, from under the bed, the piles of papers on the desk and the countertop and puts them in the middle of the room. Has anyone seen Marie Kondo? Then it goes through each item and decides if that item needs to go into garbage, recycling, donated, or if you want to keep it and put it back in the closet, or put it on display. It decides whether an item is useful or not useful.

All of the things in our proverbial house are thoughts. Learning to have positive thoughts is really helpful and nice. But it’s not enough if you never go through everything stuffed into closets and under beds. A room can be beautifully decorated, and still not pleasant to be in if there is stuff all over the floor, or spilling out from under the bed or out of the closet.

A coach is like a house cleaner or home organizer who comes in and helps you go through everything. She tells you all of her tips and tricks to getting things cleaned and organized. She doesn’t decide which things you should keep. She just listens and helps you recognize what is useful and what isn’t. You know what you want the environment of your home and mind to be like.

You can do it yourself. But it’s more fun, efficient, and sometimes more effective with a coach. Above all, though, mental wellness isn’t a one-time job. It’s a continuous work. You don’t do the whole house in one day. You work on it little-by-little. Along the way you’ll create some lasting and helpful routines that help you keep up on it.

P.S. If you’re curious what it would be like to work with a coach, be sure to sign-up for a free coaching session with me. It’s like having a house cleaner come to your house for free! It can feel very vulnerable at first, but know that I do this all of the time. There’s nothing in your house I haven’t seen. And I LOVE when it’s a mess.

Love Is Not Blind

My friend shared this quote with me:

Love is not blind

It sees more, not less

But because it sees more

It is willing to see less

-Julius Gordon

Isn’t that how it is with people when we really feel love for them? Sometimes we don’t feel love with the people most important to us. We start to nit-pick. We see everything they’re doing wrong. We FOCUS on the 20% we don’t like, and DIMINISH the 80% we do like.

My mom told me another quote: Have your eyes fully open before marriage, and half-closed after marriage.

Of course, this can be applied to any important relationship. Just be sure when you’re eyes are half-closed that you direct your gaze at the positive. You can see it all and you know it’s all there, just choose to focus on what you do like. There are more steps to this. But this one step can make a huge difference.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Parental Teaching Gone Wrong??

To go off of last week’s post…I taught my kids this song that I heard on a video somewhere:

Make it a good day, make this one glow

Fill it with learning, there’s so much to know

Make it a good day, look in your heart

Build on your heritage, and do your part

See, I really do believe in the concept that good doesn’t just happen to us, we choose it. But apparently, my son had the same kind of attitude I did back in University. One morning, on the way to school, I sang this song to the boys, and D says to me,”You know you can’t choose if you have a good day, Mom. God decides whether you have a good day or not.”

Parental teaching gone wrong? Quite possibly. 🙂 You can teach all day long, but the message doesn’t always get received the way it’s intended. Am I right?

He’s right, in that sometimes we can’t choose our circumstances. But we DO decide how we think and feel about those circumstances (sometimes unconsciously). It’s our choice how we choose to look at our lives. Again, that doesn’t mean we need to be PollyAnna, or that that’s even the best way to be positive about everything.

Just know that if you’re having a hard day, it has everything to do with your thoughts. That doesn’t mean you should change them. It just means the option is there. Your efforts, though, may be better spent some place else.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Make It a Good Day…Or Don’t

When I was in University, I had a boyfriend that instead of saying, “Have a good day!” would say, “Make it a good day!” I understood he was trying to say something like, “Good days don’t just happen, you make them happen.” Which, of course, is a concept that I really believe. However, whenever he would say this, I would think to myself, in a snarky voice, “YOU make it a good day yourself!”

Why did I feel so uptight when he would say this to me? I had this idea that it was kind of like a judgement. I had the ability to make it a good day, and if I didn’t there was something wrong with me.

Have you ever felt that way? Like, “good people are happy, and I’m not happy, so I must not be good”. Or maybe it sounds like this, “Good moms are happy, and I’m not happy, so I must not be a good mom, or at least the best mom I could be for my kids.”

One day I said to my coach, “It’s just so exhausting trying to be happy all of the time.” She said to me, “What if you didn’t HAVE to be happy all of the time?” What? Why wouldn’t I want to be happy?

Well, it’s a skill. With any other skill, it takes practice and effort. Sometimes we may want to put our effort into being happy when we’re having lots of negative thoughts and need to look at them and change them. Sometimes we may want to put our effort into making dinner, or taking care of our kids, or working on another goal.

Of course, those things are easier when we’re happy, BUT if you had to always be happy to do those things, you’d be spending a lot of your time and effort on being happy, and may not have time and effort left over.

So…make it a good day….or don’t. It doesn’t make you better or worse whatever choice you make. You’re still a worthwhile and very loved and treasured daughter of God EVEN if you choose to feel grumpy, or worried, or scared, overwhelmed all day.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

How We Talk to Ourselves

Sometimes we are so mean to ourselves.

We say things like, “Why does your hair look so bad today?”

Or, “Why can’t you be thinner?”

Or “I hate that you yelled at the kids, they’re going to be so traumatized.”

It doesn’t necessarily sound like that in our heads.

It sounds like, “I don’t like my hair.” or “I look fat.” or “I’m a failure.”

If someone else talked to us like that, we wouldn’t want to spend much time with them, if any at all.

What would it look like if you talked to yourself the way you talk to someone you love.

“You look cute today.” or “Thanks for being so nice to me today.”

“Thanks for taking care of my kids today.”

“I know you were tired and irritated, so it means even more that you would stick with it.”

“I know they complained all through dinner, so I wanted you to know that I really appreciate you feeding them.”

“I hope you won’t be too hard on yourself that you lost your temper with the kids. I still love you. I know you’re working on it, and I really appreciate that.”

Notice when you talk to someone you love, you diminish the negative and accentuate the positive.

Speaking kindly to ourselves takes practice. Notice what you wish someone else would say to you, then try saying it to yourself.

I, for one, am glad you are in the world.

P.S. Sign-up for a free one-on-one session and I’ll show you what it looks like to speak kindly to yourself in your specific situation.