To Do: The Done List

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your To-Do list and have too much to do at work ? Like - no matter what you do, it just keeps growing and growing and you just can't get ahead.Well, I've got a solution for you! Watch this week's quick video tip to learn a 5-minute strategy to help you stress less and celebrate more.

After you watch the video, comment below and share how this practice will help you stress less and CELEBRATE MORE.

12 Steps for Recovering Workaholics

Hi, I'm Stephanie, and I'm a workaholic.  It's been 6 months since my last workaholic episode. I'm actually a recovering workaholic. 

I will always work hard and create work that I'm proud to put my name on, but what I've learned is that if I work all the time, the quality of my work suffers, I have a "baditude", I'm tough to be around, and I neglect everything else in my life that's important to me.  In my recovery, I focus on creating space for work AND for my relationships and health.

Here are 12 steps every recovering workaholic should follow:

1. Schedule Time for Family & Friends

If you don't schedule it, it isn't real and you probably won't make time for it.  Make this time quality time - put down the phone and savor the experiences with the people you love.

2. Do What You Say You're Going to Do

Follow through on your commitments, both work and personal.  If you make a date with a friend, don't bail to "work late".  If you have a deadline, see it through.  Enough said.  (Note: Over committing yourself goes hand in hand with this - see #9 below)

3. Take Care of Yourself

Take time to recharge your batteries.  Get a massage, spend 10 minutes in meditation, grab coffee with a friend - whatever feeds your soul, make a habit of doing it often.

4. Sleep Tight

Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night and stick to a consistent bedtime and wake time schedule.

5. Learn to Prioritize

Identify the roles in your life that are important to you (example: employee, wife, mother, student, volunteer, mentor, etc.) - select no more than 5 roles.  Create a role statement for each role: As (role), I will (extraordinary/high impact outcome) through (activities).  Align your day-to-day with these role statements so you're always doing the things that are important to you.

6. Take Time Off

Working 24/7 only leads to you being drained and ineffective.  Take at least 1 day a week off, every week.  Disconnecting at night is really valuable too - commit to several nights a week off, if you can't do every night.

7. Redefine Success

What does success REALLY mean to you?  Get really specific - what does it feel like?  What does it look like?  It’s okay to want a prestigious job, a family, a white-picket fence around a big house, and a flashy car.  It’s also okay to NOT want those things.  Put your time and energy toward what’s important TO YOU.

8. Take Breaks

Research suggests that working long hours DECREASES productivity.  Schedule time away from your desk during the workday.  Even 5 or 10 minute breaks work wonders to refresh and provide renewed mental clarity, making your work even better.

9. Set Clear Expectations

Stepping back may require a heart to heart with your boss, coworkers, and the important people in your life.  Set clear work hours, reasonable deadlines, and realistic commitments. Don't overcommit yourself.  If these conversations are tough, reiterate that burnt out = ineffective, and you are still committed to doing a kick ass job.

10. Delegate!

Remember you don't have to do it all yourself.  Ask for help from coworkers or hire out tasks to free up your time.

11. Find hobbies

Fill the gaps that you used to spend working with fun hobbies - take up running, read a novel, become a wine aficionado - whatever keeps you happy and engaged.

12. Laugh

Stop being so gosh-darn serious all the time.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  It makes you pretty dull, too.

Are you a recovering workaholic?  What step SCREAMS at you to implement?

Feel Refreshed (not drained) this Holiday Season

So, how many photos of Starbucks holiday cups have you seen on Facebook and Instagram this week? I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen about 20.

Starbucks, I’ve seen your cups and hear your message loud and clear: The holiday season is here.

So many of us use the holiday season to kick back and indulge because, HELL, we’ve worked hard this year.  And you know what, you DO deserve to indulge and have a blast (not JUST during the holidays, but that’s a discussion for another day...).

But, what you don’t deserve is packing on a couple pounds in as many months OR completely overloading your body on sugar and booze OR day-long holiday shopping sessions fueled by Diet Coke and Annie’s pretzels. 

Let’s make this year different.  What do you say?

Join me for my 5 day Holiday Refresh from December 2nd to December 6th

(conveniently scheduled right after Thanksgiving, so you can kick that post-turkey bloat to the curb!)

You’ll get all the support you need to help you:

  • Slash cravings for sugar and carbs
  • Reduce bloating
  • Lose a few pounds
  • Have more energy and wake up REFRESHED every day

So you look and FEEL outstanding this holiday season (and rock that hot little black dress you bought for office holiday party!)

Here’s what’s included in the Refresh:

  • 5 days of done-for-you Refresh meal plans & a companion Shopping List ($199 value)
  • 5 days of Shakeology ($25 value)
  • Daily email support from me, your coach and cheerleader ($50 value)
  • Access to an exclusive, members only, online support group ($99 value)
  • PLUS a personal 50-minute Breakthrough session ($175 value)

The cost? Only $49 USD!

Ready to get started? You must register by 4 pm EST on 11/22! Click below to register!

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Any questions?  Email me (I promise to respond within 2 business days)

The Fine Print

  • Registration closes Friday, November 15th at 5pm EST
  • All purchases are final; No refunds or exchanges
  • All Breakthrough Sessions must be scheduled by 4/1/2014

Time Management with The Time Matrix

Do you find yourself saying "I'd cook healthy meals at home if I had time" or "I wish I had time to exercise" or "I know how to live a healthy life, I just don't have the time to implement everything I know"?  Well, unfortunately, I can't give you more time...we've only got 24 hours in a day and *hopefully* only 15-16 of those hours are waking hours (remember: consistently getting at least 8 hours of sleep is important for brain health).  But, what I can give you, are tools to help you be more PRODUCTIVE in those hours through effective time management.  Check out this quick video on the Time Matrix:

This video is just a snippet of a 5-week self-study/group coaching program that I'm rolling out in a few weeks - stay tuned for those details!  Make sure to enter your name and email down below this post to be the first to get the details on the Lifestyle Design Bootcamp.

Are you ready to Lean In? (A Lean In Review)

A few weeks ago, at the recommendation of a friend, and after viewing her TedTalk, I picked up a copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead I’ll be honest: I was not expecting to like this book.  A long time ago, I gave up aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder to the top, instead settling for a work-life balance that supported my outside endeavors and interests, but I found Sheryl’s arguments both compelling and supported by data and I learned that her philosophy on corporate (err… life) engagement is very similar to my own.

Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from the book:

1. Go All In

The way I see it, as a woman, you’ve got three choices:

  1. Have a family
  2. Have a career
  3. Have a family and a career

Seems like a no-brainer, right?  The trick, and the thing we all try to avoid telling ourselves, is that all three of these choices involve some level of inherent sacrifice.  In fact, every job will demand some sacrifice.”  (Lean In, page 155)

There’s no wrong answer here, but when you make a choice, you need to make sure that you are willing to accept all the sacrifices that go along it. 

Make your choice, let go of the guilt, go all in, and don’t look back.

2. It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder

I realize this may not seem applicable to a lot of people… YET… but for me, I absolutely needed to hear this.  Every so often, I start to beat myself up about the career leaps that I’ve made (if you don't know what I'm talking about check out My Story).  And I think the jabs from family and friends are even worse than the pressure that I put on myself. Why can’t I just pick one thing and stick with it? 

All I needed was to read this:

“Ladders are limiting – people can move up or down, on or off.  Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration.  There’s only one way to get to the top of a ladder, but there are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym… The ability to forge a unique path with occasional dips, detours, and even dead ends present a better chance for fulfillment.” (Lean In, pg. 55)

In truth, I’ve learned way more from my job hopping than any one job could teach me in even double the time.  I’ve experienced several different industries (environmental consulting, public education, public works, and information technology) – I’ve learned the ins and out of each one and I have a better understanding of the pitfalls and demands placed on workers, which is invaluable when it comes to providing lifestyle coaching to a varied group of professionals. 

Along the way, I’ve learned what I’m really good at (learning quickly, teaching, planning, analyzing, etc.), what I really dislike doing (classroom management…), and what my work non-negotiables are.  In these respects, I feel leaps and bounds ahead of my peers, even if they might have the best understanding of what it’s like to work for Company Y and Client Z.

3. Make Your Partner a Real Partner

This says it all:

“Whenever a married woman asks me for advice on co-parenting with a husband, I tell her to let him put the diaper on the baby any way he wants as long as he’s doing it himself… Over time, if he does things his way, he’ll find the correct end.  But if he’s forced to do things her way, pretty soon she’ll be doing them herself.” (Lean In, pg 109)

I don’t think you need to be a parent to appreciate this sentiment and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m probably not the only woman who has a habit of telling her significant other what the “best” way to do something is.  This has been a good reminder for me that when I need help, domestic or not, I need to give my helper the freedom to do things his (or her) way and remember that sometimes done is better than perfect.

4. Seek Out a Growth Partner – Not a Mentor

If you want someone to “show you the ropes” be willing to give something back. 

“Mentorship is often a more reciprocal relationship than it may appear, especially in situations where people are already working at the same company.” (Lean In, page 69)

 It doesn’t matter if this person has more career experience or a better title than you, there is still something that you can contribute to the relationship.  Seek ways to help first, ways to learn second.

 5. Own Your Success

I see it time and time again, and not just at work, but also in personal relationships.  Women downplay their accomplishments – whether it’s successfully leading a big project, placing in a triathlon (yes…I have a friend who downplays this!), or losing weight, women are quick to shy away from singing their own praises and REALLY acknowledging their own accomplishments. 

“Owning one’s success is key to achieving more success.”(Lean In, page 44)

STOP!  Right here, right now, name one thing that you totally knocked out of the park and tell someone about it.



I know there is a lot of criticism about the fact that Sheryl can afford to have “help” to manage her career successfully – if you’re stuck on that, I encourage you to pick up Lean In and read it from YOUR perspective.  Based on my Lean In review, this book is not about having money, it’s about establishing your priorities, being honest with yourself about what you want out of your life, and setting yourself on a course to get there.

You don’t have to want a successful career, or a family, or a big fancy house.  Accept that you want what you want and Lean In.  Are you ready?

Take a Vacation Without Going Anywhere

It’s the Fourth of July – a day when most of us get the opportunity to kick back, relax, and celebrate our independence. This got me thinking... about independence, about vacations, and about giving ourselves a BREAK.

take a vacation alaska cruise
take a vacation alaska cruise

Did you know that a 2012 report commissioned by indicates that most employees take even LESS time off than they are allotted through their company?   Worse still, 28% of those polled said they didn’t take vacation for work-related reasons.  And for those lucky ones who actually did get some time off?  34% of them reported checking work email regularly or constantly while on vacation (note: I have definitely been one of the 34%).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am ALL for having a career you love and putting your best feet forward, but you have to balance hard work with downtime.  Your body needs time to recuperate, regenerate, and refresh in order for you to be the best employee possible. 

take a vacation sunset beach philippines
take a vacation sunset beach philippines

Let’s think about this another way.  In ten years, will your company say, “Wow, we’re so happy Ms. X didn’t take that weeklong vacation to Peru.  This place would have just CRUMBLED.”  Nope, they won’t.But in ten years, you’ll say “I wish I’d taken that trip to Peru when I’d had the chance.”  You never know what obligations you’ll have THEN.

That all being said, maybe you just can’t take a real vacation this year.  That’s OK. 


You can take a vacation any where, any time. 

Here are three suggestions for taking a vacation without (really) going anywhere.

Take a Media Break

We are all absolutely BOMBARDED every hour of every day with information – whether from TV, radio, online news sources, or social media – it can be hard to escape.  I challenge you to UNPLUG for just ONE DAY.  It’s amazing how relaxed you’ll feel.

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Whether you live in the big city or a small town, chances are there are parts of your area that you’ve never seen.  Spend a day exploring where you live.

This could mean hiking a new trail, walking through a new neighborhood, going on a guided tour, or checking out a new restaurant.  Notice that keyword ‘new’ here – the trick is to do something DIFFERENT than you normally do.

Give Yourself the Spa Treatment

 Can’t afford a fancy spa weekend?  Instead, spread out spa-like appointments over the course of a week.

Go to a yoga class on Monday, get a mani/pedi on Tuesday, get your hair done on Wednesday, visit a juice bar on Thursday, and treat yourself to a massage on Friday.  Enjoy the spa aspect of each day for what each individually gives to you.  If even this is a stretch for you, take just a couple hours at home and give yourself the spa treatment there.  Take a bubble bath, paint your toes, put on a face mask – whatever it is you enjoy doing... Just do it.

I, myself, won’t have the opportunity to take a ‘real’ vacation this year, but I will definitely be implementing all three of these strategies to take me to that vacation mindset

What about you?  What can you do to enjoy a vacation without going anywhere?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.