This Single Daily Activity Will Change Your Life

When I hit rock bottom in my consulting career, I was miserable to be around.  All I did was bitch and complain – about inadequate management, lazy coworkers, my morning commute, crappy clients, my aching back, my messy house.  You name it, and I found a way to complain about it.Guess where all that got me?


I felt all alone.

Like there was no one in the world who could understand what I was going through.  Like I was working harder than everyone and no one appreciated ME.  Like I was the lynch pin holding it all together and that if I took a step away, the whole world would come crumbling down.

I hadn’t quite realized yet that my world was already crumbling.

There’s something really subtle here that was preventing me from “seeing the light”…

chronic stress
chronic stress

It wasn’t that no one was appreciating me.  IT WAS THAT I WASN’T APPRECIATING ANYONE ELSE.

By focusing on the lack and frustration in my life, I had blinders on when it came to seeing the good things around me.

Once I started to approach my day, my work, my coworkers, and my husband with gratitude, there was an instant shift.

I stopped feeling alone; I was a supported member of a team.  I realized that I wasn’t the only one effective at getting things done, but that in my blindness, I’d failed to utilize the strength in others.  All of a sudden the tightness in my back, which was likely caused by chronic stress, lessened – I felt looser and freer.

The practice of gratitude allowed me to see the world around me in a completely different way than I had previously been experiencing it.  And the world around me hadn’t really changed, but I had.

Now, I spend a few minutes each morning consciously being grateful for the opportunities that will be available to me in the day ahead – even when my mornings are hectic I find a way to get this done: in the shower, during my workout, in the car, as I’m making breakfast.   

I end my day sharing at least 3 things that I’m grateful for with my husband (usually, once the list starts, it expands way beyond just 3 things).  This has been a really beautiful thing for us to do together and has strengthened our relationship in unmeasurable ways.  Who can you share your gratitude with?

Now, it’s your turn. 

TAKE INSPIRED ACTION: How can you consciously practice gratitude every day?

A PR Wasn’t Good Enough

AKA Why are we so hard on ourselves? + Lessons on Failure

On Sunday, I ran the Broad Street run, which is the country’s biggest 10 mile race and kind of a big deal in the City of Brotherly love.

broad st 2
broad st 2

It’s a wonderful race – 10 downwardly sloped miles through the heart of Philly and some diverse neighborhoods.  It was my first long distance race ever back in 2011, so it holds an extra special place in my heart.

This year was my second time running and I had big dreams of cutting close to a minute off of my per mile pace… I know that seems absurd, but my running and recovery has vastly improved since adding Crossfit, T25, and most recently P90X3 into my training routine over the past 18 months. 

My training runs were on target to meet my goal, but about 2 weeks from race day, my training fell apart.  I got distracted, I had competing priorities, it rained a lot, and running just really wasn’t that attractive to me.

Fast forward to race day.

There are about 40,000 runners who run Broad St. (not counting any rogue runners) so it’s PACKED to say the least.  I crossed the starting line probably 25 minutes after the first heat, but I was distracted and I didn’t catch the clock time.  Instead of focusing on my time, I put my phone on airplane mode and decided to focus on the race, my feet on the pavement, the cheers, the change in neighborhoods, and the excitement of the day.

When I finished, I had NO CLUE what my finish time was like.

Of course, I obsessively checked the results page every 5 minutes for it to be posted.

When it finally was, my heart sank.

I had PR’d (set a personal record for the non-runners out there), but only by 32 seconds a mile.  Even though I’d run one of my best races ever, I was disappointed to still be so far from my goal.

Writing that now, I want to smack myself. ONLY by 32 seconds a mile.  It’s absurd. 

Cutting 32 seconds off your pace is INCREDIBLE.  I should have been jumping off the rooftops, but instead I was down in the dumps.

Here’s the thing: I expect a lot from myself, not just with my running, but in every aspect of my life.  So, when I didn’t reach my goal, it was a huge blow to my ego.

I set the bar as high as freaking possible, but sometimes I don’t give myself true freedom to fail.

It really got me thinking… it’s something I see a lot with my clients (and with myself) – not just a fear, but an apprehension, about failing.  It manifests itself in all kinds of different ways – from working around the clock to meet unrealistic deadlines to never actually starting and pretty much everywhere in between.

But, the thing is, failure is a remarkable teacher.  We learn more about ourselves through failure than through any of our successes.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” –Morihei Ueshiba

This week I learned that I need to consciously practice kindness towards myself, that sometimes the experience is more valuable than hitting a goal, and that all wins (even if they aren’t the wins I want) are worthy of celebration.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from failure?

4 Keys to Having It All

How often do we ask ourselves the question: can I have it all?

Our culture pushes us to work for the high-profile job, the big house, the fancy car, the happy marriage, the 2.5 kids, the golden retriever.  Those things will make us happy... won’t they?

having it all
having it all

If you cut through all the bull shit, having it all can actually be really simple... at the end of the day, it’s about a shift in PERSPECTIVE, not about what you have or don’t have.

Don’t get me wrong – shifting your perspective takes work.  It is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, but the process is simple – there are just 4 keys to having it all.

1. Define what ‘having it all’ means to you. 

Success, in work and in life, looks different for each of us.  What does it look like to you?  Dedicate time to answering this question. 

What will having it all look like? 

What will having it all feel like? 

Where will you be when you have it all? 

Who will be with you? 

Get REALLY clear on your vision of having it all.  Write it out as if you already have it and reflect on it often.  

Lastly, ask yourself how your vision makes you feel?  If it doesn’t get you excited, you’re not being truthful with yourself.  If that’s the case, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

2. Acknowledge that there will always be give and take. 

I’m pretty open about the fact that I think work life balance is bullshit – there is no such thing as balance.  Priorities are in a constant state of flux. 

It’s not all or nothing, but at any given moment in life, something will take priority.  Be OK with that.  Know that some days you’ll work late, some days you’ll need time off for family, some days you’ll be running to happy hour, and some days a romcom will be calling your name. 

3. Set aside time every day to do something you love. 

It is way too easy to get caught up in our to-do lists and in other people’s agendas.  Set aside time, even if just 5 minutes, to do something that makes you smile.  It could be as simple as savoring a delicious cup of tea or rocking out to your new favorite song.  Or it could be more involved – getting lost in a good book, going for a run, getting a massage.  Bottom line: treat yourself well each day.

make you happy
make you happy

4. And the absolute most important key to having it all: be grateful for what you have now.

Gratitude is a really amazing thing.  Gratitude breeds happiness.  Gratitude breeds faith – an expectation that good things fill your life and will continue to fill it each day. 

Practicing gratitude helps us to realize, every day, how much we really do have – you know, all those things we all normally take for granted.

And, if by practicing gratitude, you look frequently, closely, and carefully, you’ll learn you already do have it all.

I Lied To You

A few months, I told you that I didn’t have a weight loss story. THAT was a lie. (said in my best Maury voice)

I’m sorry!

If it’s any consolation, I was lying to myself.   The truth didn’t hit me until a stumbled on a 13 year old picture of me.  This picture:

transform your health
transform your health

That’s me my sophomore year of college.  I don’t even know how much I weighed in that picture, but I was easily 10-15 lbs more than when I first arrived on campus freshman year. 

It’s not hard to see what put me there: I lived off of hot pockets, late night pizza slices, and Natty Ice.  Exercise?  You’re kidding, right?  I’d always played sports growing up, but going to the gym was a whole new ball game – one I had no interest in playing.

I ignored the fact that I was overweight.  I STILL ignore it.

I’m not that person anymore, but it hurts me to look at that picture and to think about the person that I was then.  I like to think of myself as someone who has it all together, who has ALWAYS had it all together, but in that moment, in that time in my life, and in that picture, it’s so clear to me that I was out of control.

That picture is the culmination of many years of letting drugs and alcohol “solve” my problems, hiding who I really was, and holding closely to hurt and negativity.

It had nothing to do with college (or the Freshman 15); it had everything to do with me.

I’m so happy, thankful, and grateful that less than 1 year later I decided to take matters into my own hands and take my health back. 

I did a 7-day detox and lost almost all the weight that I put on.  But a detox wouldn’t keep the weight off. 

I’ve spent the last 10 years going deeper into this journey with my body, my mind, and my health.   All the tiny little steps – from running my first 5k, to cutting out sugar, to green smoothies, to reading dozens of “self help” books, to investing in my first coach – have led me to where I am now: the fittest, healthiest, and happiest I have ever been. 


It has been incredibly hard for me to share this, to be vulnerable and for you to know that there was a time when I didn’t have it together.  But if sharing my story helps just one person, it was worth it.  Please know that I’ve been there and I’m here to help you in any way I can.  

From near or far, I want to support you in your journey.  xo

What's Your Mission? Keys to Crafting Your Personal Mission Statement

Last week I talked about what to do when you wake up totally dreading the day.  Fueling your body right, getting plenty of sleep, surrounding yourself with good, supportive people... all that will absolutely help your cause. But what happens when you feel totally disconnected from your job?  What if you feel like you’re not making a contribution?  What then????

Insert the personal mission statement.

Companies have mission statements; have you ever considered creating one for yourself?

A personal mission statement will help you:

  • Focus on the positive aspects of your work;
  • Contribute to work that aligns with your values; and,
  • Course-correct when things are out of whack.

When crafting your personal mission statement, the goal is to answer the following questions directly and concisely:

  • What do I want to do?
  • Who do I want to help?
  • What is the result? What value will I create?

So how do you get started developing your personal mission statement?  Start by answering these questions:

  1. What activities make you lose track of time?
  2. What makes you feel great about yourself?
  3. Who inspires you most? (Anyone you know or do not know. Family, friends, authors, artists, leaders, etc.) Which qualities inspire you, in each person?
  4. What comes easily to you?  What are you amazing at?
  5. When do you feel powerful, passionate, free, incredibly useful, excited, inspired?
  6. What would you like to STOP doing?
  7. How would you like to be seen, recognized, acknowledged, awarded, praised?
  8. What do people typically ask you for help with?  What do people thank you for?
  9. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
  10. What are your biggest past successes (work, home, personal, etc.)?  Is there a common theme (or themes)?  If so, write them down.
  11. What causes do you strongly believe in? Connect with?
  12. If you could get a message across to a large group of people. Who would those people be? What would your message be?

Read through your answers from above.  Do you notice any common themes?  Combine your answers to the above questions to craft an overarching personal mission statement (1-3 sentences is ideal).


This week, develop your personal mission statement and take action on at least one of the following:

  1. What three actions can you take this week to nurture your true strengths and live your mission?
  2. What three things will you stop doing this week to live in alignment with your mission?
  3. Who can support you in living your mission?  Identify your “starters”.


5 Tips for Succeeding at Life (because resolutions suck)

Resolutions suck. For real.

Less than 8% of people actually follow through with resolutions.

Are you surprised?

Me either.

Here’s the thing: resolutions are fleeting.

How about instead of setting resolutions, we just RESOLVE to CREATE LASTING LIFESTYLE CHANGE (or revolt and eat all the jelly beans... whatever.)

new years resolution
new years resolution

Here are 5 of my best tips to always be successful at LIFE, no matter what you’re up to:

1. Be a student

The most successful people I’ve ever met (myself included, of course) seek out opportunities to learn. And not just from their daily experiences, although that’s part of it.

Become an avid reader. Attend a seminar. Take a class. Seek knowledge.

2. Limit distractions

If you’re read my eBook, you know that I think multi-tasking is a joke. It’s old news, folks!

But did you know this: according to a study conducted by Michigan State University, interruptions as short as 3 seconds DOUBLE errors.

So every time you pick up your phone to answer a text, or check in on your Twitter feed, or chat online with a coworker, your potential for success decreases dramatically.

My quick fix suggestions: turn off email notifications, log off of instant messenger, check email and social media on a fixed schedule.

3. Be accountable

We’ve all heard this before – but how often do we actually take action?

Tell someone (ANYONE!) your goals – a spouse, friend, coach, your dog... no, don’t tell your dog... tell someone who has the ability to ask: Hey, have you paid off your credit card bill yet? Have you told your boss that you want to work part-time? Have you started planning your big family vacation?

4. Start where you're at

Let’s get cliche for a second – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And the masterpiece that is you – as wonderful as you already are – wasn’t either. Growth, transformation, success... it’s a PROCESS.

It takes time to get from point A to B (or C or D or L). And no one’s jumping from D straight to L – first you go to E, then F... you get the point.

Meet yourself where you’re at – alphabetically or otherwise. Make the next logical step, from D to E, and move on from there.

5. Be generous

You know what feels GOOD? Being nice to people.

There’s something about sharing what you’ve got goin’ on that really elevates your whole mood, your whole world.

It doesn’t even need to cost anything: send a note, give a phone call, open a door – small gestures of generosity speak volumes and come back in spades.

This week’s challenge: Perform a selfless act of generosity. Tell me what you did and how you FEEL in the comments.


Have you heard of the Vacuum Law?

The Vacuum Law

The Vacuum Law states that you have to make room in your life for the new by getting rid of the old.  Whenever a space is cleared, the Universe rushes to fill that space.

Sounds simple, right?

But it can be surprisingly hard. 

Let's do a little digging... what've you got hanging around?

Are those 14 ["you can totally where this again!"] bridesmaids dresses hanging in your closet?

And, wait, is that a box of your favorite stuffed animals (from when you were 7)?

And some jewelry or - gasp - a MIX TAPE from an ex-boyfriend?  (How the hell are you even going to listen to that tape, aside from taking a time machine back to 1995?)

That pair of shoes you wore exactly ONCE; you know, the ones that aren't even remotely comfortable, but that you MIGHT wear again someday?

Jeez, it's kinda creepy... it's like I'm IN your house.  (I'm not – scouts honor!)

It's not just THINGS that we're all holding on to. What about:

A "comfortable" relationship with a guy you're just not that into?  (yep, that works BOTH ways!)

Feeling like the odd-[wo]man-out when friends and family just don't "get" you?

Negative thoughts about your "lazy" coworkers or "unsupportive" boss?

Seemingly never-ending piles of money owed to Sallie Mae (and a maxed out credit card that paid for all those bridesmaid’s dresses)?

Coulda-woulda-shoulda's from your past (all those things you wish you'd done)?

The list goes on and on… but I think you get the drift.

The Challenge

I'm fully invested in kicking some ass in 2014 - what about you? 

create space
create space

In preparation for all the things you want to bring into your life, I challenge you to create a totally suck-tastic vacuum and let something go.

Big or small - let it loose and see what comes back.  Share your liberation in the comments.

Goals with Soul: Starting 2014 Differently

Have you ever worked hard to accomplish something and then when you get it you just feel ‘blah’? So, then, you rush on to the next thing, thinking that was really what you needed all along... but, still, you feel unsatisfied, like something is missing?

“Constant racing for success creates habitual and unconscious goal-setting. We need to re-learn how to move toward our dreams — with the grace of trust, the grit of devotion, and the thrill of true presence.” -Danielle LaPorte

I often refer to myself as a classic over-achiever and that right there is me to a “T”. Once upon a time, I was pushing to prove myself in a way that caused me to completely lose track of who I was.

  • I got a Master’s degree and a professional license and then left the engineering profession 6 months later.
  • I completed a year of yoga teacher training and then decided I didn’t want to teach yoga.
  • I worked 60- 80 hours a week at a job I was miserable at because I thought I needed a flashy title to be successful.

All the while, I was miserable, disconnected, and drained – NOT how I wanted to feel.

>>> Insert Danielle LaPorte<<<

I have a major girl-crush on Danielle. Her work The Firestarter Sessions literally changed my life. It LIT ME UP, challenged my thoughts on success, and helped me zero in on the life I wanted to live.

In FSS, Danielle introduces the idea of core desired feelings – DECIDING HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL FIRST and then setting your goals around FEELING THAT WAY. FEELING GOOD. Revo-fucking-lutionary.

But it doesn’t end there. Next, Danielle created the Desire Map – a complete system to IDENTIFY and CREATE ACTION around your core desired feelings.

This January, Desire Map bookclubs will meet up all over the world to desire, dream, and create goals with soul. For those in the Philadelphia area, I invite you to join my group (limited to 12 people). For out-of-towners, you can visit this site to find a bookclub near you.

How about starting 2014 differently? "All juice. No push. Feeling good is the goal. Check." -Danielle LaPorte