Step five to creating a life that you love covers the need to monitor your process and progress and respond to obstacles that will inevitably arise in order to create the change you desire. Here’s a quick review to see how these steps are flowing together. In step one, you created self-awareness through self-reflection and looking deeply inward. Step two was about aligning with your sense of purpose through creating a vision for what you want. Step three allowed you to create a plan of action in order to create the possibility for the changes to occur through goals and action steps executed consistently. Step four encouraged evaluating your current life and lifestyle to assess and assure that you are keeping your body and mind well. That leads us to step five, monitoring your process and progress and responding to obstacles as the arise. We all know that it’s one thing to create a plan, it’s another to execute it consistently over time! Step five allows you to explore your inner resistance to change and learn how to build your resilience to ensure that the change you desire shifts from a wish into reality-based action.
Resistance to change is generally the number one reason we don’t follow through consistently. Resistance dampens motivation, zaps inspiration and keeps us stuck in the discomfort of our comfort zone. Resistance convinces us that we are better off in the discomfort of our comfort zones and creates fear to stretching into change. This step will help you build resilience as an anecdote to resistance and offer some serious reality checks to keep you moving forward.
In order to overcome resistance and create the change you desire; you need to build resilience. Resilience is only created through difficulty, struggle and the need to get up, dust yourself off, and begin again…sometimes, but not always, right back at the beginning. This can be frustrating and sad and allows the resistance to settle in strong. Resilience is the ability to recover and the ability to feel your fear and persevere anyway. There is no way to hack the process of becoming resilient. The only way is to grow your resilience is through experience. People who are resilient have been through a lot, have developed grit, learned from their struggles and have the desire to create change that is stronger than the fear of failure, rejection and disappointment.
When you review your vision, goals and the action steps that will allow it to happen, are you executing your plan of action consistently? If not, what are the excuses that you are telling yourself? Where is your primary resistance to making the changes you desire? Resistance can look like a lot like procrastination, and uses pretty much any excuse, for example, “I don’t have enough time, I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll start tomorrow, I’m too tired, I don’t know where to start, I forgot, I’m worried it’ll be too hard, I got pulled away by something else, if only, I want to but…” and on and on. If this sounds like what might be churning in your head, take a moment and challenge the resistance that is showing up for you. Ask yourself the following questions if you find you are resisting getting started on or sticking with your goals and actions steps consistently:
-Why am I avoiding this?
-What am I most afraid of, and why?
-Is there something small I can do to test it out and see how it feels to take action?
-Am I ready for this change?
-How badly do I want to live my vision?
-What am I choosing over my vision?
-What is the cost to me to not live my vision and make this change?
-Where can I find inspiration to make this change?
We all have an inner need to grow, to pursue, to create and to evolve. If we are not, that is where true stress, discomfort and challenge will show up in our lives. The trouble is that we are usually the ones that get in our own way of creating the change we say we want. Fear is self-doubt and an inner belief of either we aren’t worthy or deserving of this change, or on the other side of that, that we will be successful and worry how will that will impact our current lives, relationships and way of living. I can tell you that you are deserving and worthy of what you want, however, it is up to you to create this inner belief. I can also tell you that as you create change in your life, it may impact and disrupt your life, but those that support you and care about you will be there for you, and if they don’t, maybe they’re not your people.
Self-sabotage can show up easily and it can feel like an increase of excuses that may hum in the background of your mind. Change requires that you stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and this process is uncomfortable. No one likes to be uncomfortable. When you persevere, the discomfort is temporary—just while you are in the stretching process—yet the payoff will create feelings of accomplishment, hope, determination, worthiness and joy.
Approaching change will benefit from some solid problem-solving through monitoring your process. If this is a change you’ve attempted in the past, where do you usually bail out? Where do you foresee self-sabotage to occur? If you can manage to preempt some foreseeable struggles, you create a plan for managing those struggles. I recommend that you create your plan of action weekly and check in with your plan of action daily. Where did you execute and where did you not execute? Why did you or did you not complete your action steps? How can you keep it going (if you did!) or make some shifts to motivate yourself if you didn’t. Get deeply curious about why you did execute or why you didn’t. You might be able to borrow from where you did execute to help support the areas where you did not.
Check in with any internal resistance daily as well. Notice any fear that is there and get curious about that. Why is it here? What happened to create this fear? Does it relate to the past? What is worst that can really happen? Resistance usually shows up in the form of internal (not true and certainly not useful) stories we create and we believe those stories. This is not an effective game plan! It can be helpful to sit with the opposites, if that potential fear-based story is true, couldn’t the opposite be true as well? For example, if you find you are resistant because you don’t trust yourself to follow through for the long term, couldn’t it also be true that you have made changes and now have the support to follow through for the long term? Both are not yet reality, however if a negative belief is true couldn’t a neutral or positive belief also be true? The only person we all have any control over in the world is our future self.
Today, attempt to do your future self a favor and commit, stick with your goals and take action. Practice taking action to cure your fears and allow your vision to become your life. A helpful mantra to remind yourself in any moments of resistance is, feel the fear and do it anyway! When you do, notice how you feel about yourself, notice your self-worth increasing. That is how you will continue to manage obstacles, build resilience, determination and a new way to focus on you!
“The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.”--Greg Anderson
Step 4 to creating a life you love is all about evaluating how well you currently care for yourself in mind, body and spirit. Through this step you will learn about the foundations of wellbeing. You will have opportunities to evaluate how you are currently functioning in each of these foundations in order to assess how you feel you are doing in terms of living well, feeling well and being well. Through self-evaluation you can determine if there are any shifts and changes you would like to create. There will be opportunities to reflect and notice where you can create more fluidity in your lifestyle that will help lead you to the changes you desire.
No matter what your vision for your life may be, when you are taking care of yourself in mind, body and spirit, you will be more likely to have the energy, mental clarity and the necessary inner spark and desire to work towards your goals. If your goals fall within the foundations of wellbeing, then you will really enjoy this step. If they don’t, this step will be important for you too as this foundation creates more freedom for you to create whatever you desire within your life. The foundations of wellbeing are movement, nutrition, sleep and intentional relaxation. When your foundation is strong and your wellbeing becomes a priority, you will be unstoppable as you propel towards pursuit of your life’s vision.
Take a moment and assess your current state of wellbeing. Ask yourself the following questions.
-Do you move your body regularly in a way that keeps it feeling mobile, strong and healthy?
-Do you eat vegetables daily and pay attention to how what you eat makes you feel?
-Do you eat mindfully, meaning pay attention to the process of eating without distraction?
-Do you get adequate and quality sleep?
-Do you take time to relax in an intentional way? Meaning, do you give yourself space to calm and center yourself in mind, body and spirit?
-Is your current lifestyle reflective of your vision and purpose?
-Does your current lifestyle reflect your personal values?
Any wellness routine and way of integrating wellbeing practices into your life will look and feel different from person to person as we all have individual preferences, needs and ways of being. One person might find that within the movement foundation, gentle yoga is what suits their body best while someone else might find that preparing for a half marathon is more fulfilling. With nutrition, we all have different needs. When you assess if you get adequate vegetables, what does that look like for you? No matter what you are eating, paying attention and noticing how what you eat makes you feel is one of the most important elements of being nourished by food. The same is true for sleep, although this tends to be something many people let slide out of focus easily. Intentional relaxation is different than Netflix and chill. While this might be how you unwind or have fun, it is not a true state of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual relaxation. Examples of intentional relaxation include meditation, creating art, reading, taking a bath, having lunch with friends, praying, spending time in nature… Intentional relaxation provides fulfillment, rejuvenation, vitality and pleasure in your life that feels good to you and creates inner peace.
Creating a strong state of true wellness is a journey. Most of us are stressed, tired and live in an overall imbalanced way. When the foundations of wellbeing become a priority, your ability to cope with stress, solve problems and feel mentally and physically well enough to take on much of what life delivers will be far more available. When you create a strong foundation for your physical body, your mental and emotional world can become more available to explore and you can continue to grow and expand mentally and spiritually.
The process of focusing on your own wellbeing requires commitment. When you have a vision for your life and a sense of purpose—and a plan to make it happen—your focus can shift to your wellbeing. When you create true mind, body, spirit wellness within your life, you set the groundwork to live your best life. Begin by choosing ONE area that may be out of balance for you and start with ONE element that you can incorporate in a positive way. Continue building slowly. Once your body is vital and healthy you can dive deeper into mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. This is where personal growth becomes a daily process and daily opportunity. As you move through these steps to leading yourself to living your best life, be sure to offer yourself ample time to creating a solid foundation for wellness and overall wellbeing.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Today I am talking about Step three to Creating a Life You Love: Creating a Plan of Action. Creating a plan of action allows you to take your vision and purpose and make them a reality. Without a plan, your vision will remain only a dream. This step will help you outline your specific plan through goal setting and use it to create consistent action towards what you desire. Once you have a sense of purpose and a clear vision, you will focus with a new mindset so that you can execute effectively in order to create a life that you love.
When you create and use a clear, specific plan, you will create an opportunity to live your vision in action and this is an essential step to creating change. Creating a vision is fun and creative, while formulating a plan is practical and action focused. Your specific plan will allow you to move into a space of action, a space of change that you desire where you will live your vision and purpose.
This time of year, we often have a vision of a better version of ourselves, a hope that we will make better choices and set a resolution of sorts to move in that direction. How many people still remember or are actively working towards a new year’s resolution by February? Unfortunately, not so many. This is most likely because they did not have a plan, they got stuck in the wishing and hoping phase. The process to create a plan of action is this: 1. Set specific doable and desirable goals, 2. Create 3-5 specific action steps that will allow you meet that goal 3. Write in your planner/calendar when you will complete the action steps each week 4. Execute your plan! 5. Reward yourself.
These steps are the essential formula to living your vision and creating a life that you love. These steps create order and opportunity to put your vision into action. If your vision for your life is to live a long, healthy, happy, vibrant life, without a starting point of a goal or any action steps to take, it most likely will remain a hope, a wish for it to happen one day... When you put this system into place, change will have to happen. When you begin to make the changes, no matter how uncomfortable that may be in the beginning of the process (the execution/sticking to the plan) you will feel good about yourself. We all know that it feels good to feel good, so you will want more of that, which is positive motivation to keep executing your action plan.
So let’s get started on formulating your goals, action steps and a plan of action today. First, review your vision for your life that you created during step 2: Aligning with Your Sense of Purpose. When you review it, what stands out the most? What do you truly want and why do you want it? How does what you want align with your greater sense of purpose and personal values? As you review these elements of your vision, what is ONE goal you can set that will help you create your vision? Write this down. Now ask yourself, is this goal specific, meaning is it measurable? How will you know when you’ve reached this goal? Ask yourself if this is doable, meaning will you be able to put it into action within your current life, schedule and routines? And lastly, ask yourself, is this goal desirable, meaning do you really want it? Read your goal out loud to yourself. Now let’s work on the steps you will take to make this goal accessible within your life by creating the specific action steps.
Write down 3-5 action steps that will make this goal a reality. Let’s say your overall vision is living a long healthy, happy, vibrant life. For example, one goal to support this vision could be to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times/week. It is this specific? Yes, it describes what: exercise for at least 30 minutes and when: 3-5 days each week. Now let’s create the supportive action steps it will take to make this happen, where you will get even more specific. Some examples of action steps that support this goal are: 1. To hit your 10,000 steps at least 2x’s/week 2. To take a movement class weekly that you enjoy (yoga, dance, something at the gym…) 3. To take the stairs anytime they are a reasonable option 4. Take a hike in nature 1x/month 5. Break a sweat at least 2x’s/week (jog, HIIT, brisk walking, vigorous yoga, barre class, strength training…) These are all specific and you want to ensure that whatever action steps you develop, they are also doable and desirable within your current life.
Now it’s time create your plan. When you pre-plan exactly when you will do these action steps you will be 90% more likely to make it happen. So get out your planner/calendar and write down specifically when you will do each of the action steps that you created, including the day and the time. If you’d prefer to focus on 1 or 2 action steps to begin, then do that. When you integrate change slowly and consistently you will be more likely to sustain the changes. Create this as a weekly practice, planning what, when, where etc…to ensure that it becomes a habit within your life. This is how your vision becomes a reality, by taking consistent action.
This brings us to execution, meaning actually doing what you planned to do in the first place. It’s one thing to make a plan, it’s a whole other thing to execute it consistently. This is where mindset is super valuable. Visualize yourself taking action, allow it to become nonnegotiable (no excuses!) When you create a sense of alignment with your vision and purpose and remain connected to why you want what you want, you will be motivated to execute your plan consistently. Do something that allows you to stay connected to your vision in some form each day to increase your motivation and commitment to take consistent action.
The last element of creating your plan of action is to reward yourself when you meet your goals. As humans, we are driven by rewards. For something such as an exercise goal, you might set a monthly reward if you stick to your plan of action and consistently execute your plan 3 out of 4 weeks. What reward feels motivating and equal to the work you will do towards creating this change? Maybe it’s a new pair of shoes or clothing for a specific exercise routine, maybe it’s a class at a favorite yoga center, or a new water bottle—anything connected to supporting your goal. If that doesn’t feel motivating, then it’s not the right reward for you. Maybe you would feel more motivated by a spa treatment, a nice dinner out or anything else you find enjoyable and worth the work you are doing to create this change. Celebrate your accomplishment and recognize the work you do to create the change you want.
Once your goal has become a part of your routine and it’s no longer something you have to think about and something you no longer resist, it will be deeply integrated into your lifestyle. This is when you know it is time to move into the next goal, where you will start at the beginning of the process, reviewing your vision and determining where to go next. I hope you have fun with this step of creating a plan of action. This step is about committing to yourself, your vision and your purpose so you can bring your vision into reality, starting today!
“If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.” ―Jack Canfield
Do you feel that you are living in alignment with your life’s purpose? If not, or if you don’t even have an inkling what your purpose might be, you are not alone. Many people feel that having a purpose means that you need to be working/living/sleeping/breathing that purpose every second of every day. This is not this case. If you think your purpose has to be on par with saving the world, something magnificent and deeply meaningful, that may keep you stuck from actually aligning with it. Your purpose is your own and cannot be created by anyone else or diminished in any way. It may or may not have anything to do with your work, but more with how you approach your work and how you live your life.
Knowing what you want in life, why you want it and having a vision for your life—a vision that aligns with your personal values and brings you joy—that is living your purpose! This brings us to the heart of step two, which is creating a vision for your life based on your values and desires and then beginning to make a series of choices (through goal setting/action steps) in order to create the opportunity to live a life that you love. This opens you up to your purpose, which is the continual process of growing into a better, more whole, more evolved version of you.
The process of visioning is inspiring, motivating and fun. I love visioning. I love creating an image in my mind’s eye of what I want and feeling the inspiration that comes from believing in myself and having a dream that is expansive. When I first created a vision board, I discovered it was about so much more than just wishing for nice things to have one day in the future. I discovered the process of setting intentions to align how I live with what I want and how it is imperative to remain connected to the WHY behind the desire. When I connected with why I wanted certain elements or things in my life I could connect with my purpose. The why creates constant inspiration, and inspiration allows me to express myself and feel authentic and in alignment with my sense of purpose. The vision board process was a part of that alignment because through creating my vision for my life, I grew in self-awareness. Through this process, I was able to see that if there is something I want in my life; I am responsible for making it happen.
I created that first vision board at least ten years ago, and when I periodically look back on it, I see how much I have created within my life because of the intention behind it. I have since used visioning as a regular practice, I use a list now (although I still collect images that I will one day make into a new vision board!) and I connect with my list often by reading it, visualizing it and asking myself what I am doing or what action am I taking to allow these desires to enter my life.
Practicing mindfulness and visualization consistently helps to create a sense of being centered and allows me to recognize any internal resistance (any internal naysayers) so that I can clear those blocks and stay focused on what I want and why I want it. This process is connected to the self-awareness we built through step one. The energy that is created through visioning, visualizing and staying in alignment with the WHY driving what I want helps to generate momentum. When I have momentum I am more likely to take action to create the changes necessary to live my vision. Only then can I truly connect with my vision and sense of purpose from a non-ego-based space (this is not necessarily easy!) My vision, and a reminder of it daily, is a consistent reminder to take action. When I am feeling a little lazy, or when I am listening to my internal negative naysayers, it’s so helpful to pull out my list, do some visualization, connect with the action steps that will lead me to creating my vision and feel motivated to do the work…but I’m getting ahead of myself—we’ll cover more of that in future steps! For now, let’s focus on the vision and its connection to aligning with your purpose.
This step will offer you continued inspiration as well as direction to take your broader vision and bring it into your daily life in a realistic, useful and meaningful way. In step two you will connect to why you want what you want and (spoiler alert!) in step three you will create a plan of action through goals and action steps. The process of visioning and creating self-awareness is about so much more than fantasy or imaginary desire, it’s a creative connection to what you want at your core, what lights you up and brings you joy. Visioning creates a spark within, a hope and need for growth, change and fulfillment. Your vision inspires a greater version of yourself to become a possibility. As you bring this step into your focus this week, I hope you begin to feel that spark and let it continue to light you up every single day. What you want is possible, but it’s up to you to create it, to build it and to grow it all throughout your life. And this is how you align with your purpose.
So now it’s time to put step two to work. Pull out your favorite journal—or anything to write with and on—and get ready to tap into your sense of purpose through your vision for your life. Let yourself take this time to connect deeply with what you want and why you want it. Answer the following questions with the first answers that come to mind, try not to overthink it and definitely DO NOT judge what comes up for you, just write!
1. What do I want? Be as specific and detailed as possible. DO NOT let your fears, limiting beliefs or any internal naysayers get in your way! There is nothing too small or large, too crazy or sane, too perfect or messy…just write it allllll out!
2. How would it make me feel emotionally if I had this?
3. How would it feel in my body to have this?
4. Why do I want this?
5. What do I value the most and why?
6. What do I find myself most often searching for/reading/researching on the internet?
7. What do I daydream about?
8. What does a perfect “work” day look like for me?
9. What does a perfect “off” day look like for me?
10. If I was living my purpose and vision six months from now what would my life look like? (Be as specific as possible.)
11. How do I want to feel?
Take time to read back everything you wrote and write out your vision for what you want now. If you notice any internal resistance, judgments or ego superiority/inferiority trying to jump in your way, pause, remind yourself of how what you want makes you feel and keep writing. Be as detailed and positive as possible. Believe in the possibility that you can create a life you love through aligning with your vision and purpose.
Every day this week connect with your vision, what you want and why you want it. Read and re-read your vision, give yourself time to sit with the good feelings that come up along with the hope that your vision will become your reality. Stay in a space of self-awareness, knowing that this is your vision and there is a deeper reason as to why you want it, why it is important to you and how you can begin to connect with it as a possibility on a daily basis. Take time to examine where your purpose shows itself to you within your vision, your values and why you want what you want. Take time to enjoy the process and fully experience the joy in aligning with your vision and your purpose without having to try to control or know exactly what comes next.
Next week we will explore step three, Creating a Plan of ACTION! Until then, happy visioning!
“Self awareness is the honest ability to take a look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” –Debbie Ford
Last week I introduced ten steps to creating a life that you love and over the next ten posts I’ll be diving deeper into each step. When I think about any of the changes I have made in life, usually the first time I attempted the change it didn’t stick. Things like exercising consistently, eating well, self-care, meditation, reducing stress and anxiety, all did not integrate so easily. When I was able to examine why I couldn’t seem to be consistent, I realized a lot about myself and how I operate. I need structure, support, accountability—and I have to need and want the change for a reason bigger than “I should” do this. It was through the process of self-reflection and self-awareness I could see where I was getting in my own way of making the changes I claimed I wanted in my life. That leads me to step one, which is self-awareness. This step encourages a process and specific practices to become deeply self-aware.
In order to know yourself fully and understand your patterns—whether they are positive (encourage change and consistency) or negative (self-sabotage and fear based)—and get comfortable with the discomfort of change, you MUST have self-awareness. This first step to creating a life that you love offers you the ultimate foundation for change. The process of becoming more self-aware allows you to explore and examine your internal emotional world, how you respond to life, what motivates and inspires you as well as the often self-created blocks to change that are standing in your way.
Mindfulness is a major part of this step, as is self-compassion. Having a deeper understanding why you have not yet made the changes you set out to make more than once is key to knowing yourself and building your Inner Strength to make it happen. When you are living mindfully you create opportunities to know yourself and accept yourself completely with a nonjudgmental awareness. When you can remove the judgment you remove pain and shame. This step presents opportunities to create practices to live a truly mindful life. As you become more self-aware, present and accepting, you will begin to tune into and listen to your inner wisdom.
Understanding how to be mindful and practicing mindfulness have been big time game changers in my life. I have learned that I am indeed my own worst enemy—or my greatest ally. If you have had a desire to make a specific change in your life, possibly in relation to your relationship with food, understanding yourself and why you have not stepped into a space of change will create the opportunity to open yourself up to the possibilities on the other side of your limiting beliefs and fears.
When it comes to emotional and stress eating, the difficult part about change can be not understanding how it became a negative pattern, and then not knowing what else to do with stress and uncomfortable emotions besides soothe them with food (or fill in food with whatever your self sabotage patterns may be). That is why self-awareness is where we start. When you become self-aware, you understand and see clearly where your patterns have arisen from so that you can begin to create change through self-awareness, self-reflection and self-compassion.
While self-awareness is understanding that the patterns exist, self-reflection allows you to understand how these unhealthy patterns originated and become “stuck” and then self-compassion creates internal peace and acceptance. All of these elements require that you are mindful, that you are fully present and that you engage with what is true right now without judging it. This vital piece of mindfulness—the nonjudgment—is the kicker! You might feel really adept at being present, however, your ego might have a WHOLE LOT to say about the present moment as it is being presented to you—this is right, this wrong, this your fault, this is their fault, you are superior, you are inferior—the poor ego is where we usually hold much of our internal messiness. Being nonjudgmental and compassionate recognizes that we all are a mess to some degree and that is not good or bad, it’s just what is true right now.
Below are some questions that allow you tap into what you want in a reflective way. These questions offer an opportunity to understand your limiting beliefs, your internal “mess” and begin to not only challenge them, but understand that they are a part of your past and you no longer need them as you move forward. Couple this self-reflection with self-awareness and a daily dose of mindfulness and you will be well immersed in step one!
Pull out your favorite journal or any pen and paper and as you read each question just begin to “free write” whatever comes to mind. Don’t overthink this and definitely do not judge what comes up and out. Just write…
1. What do I think when I hear the word change?
2. How does it feel in my body when I think about the word change?
3. What do I want?
4. What limiting beliefs do I have about what you want?
5. Do I believe it is possible for me to have this, why or why not?
6. Is any of what I want coming from a space of ego, meaning what others will think if I had this, or having this makes me a better or worse person in the eyes of others?
7. Are there any internal judgments coming up inside of me because I want this?
8. How much do I want this, how long have I wanted this, what have I done so far to get this?
9. What is the reason I have not pursued what I want?
10. Where did this reason come from?
11. What motivates me when I do pursue what I want?
12. What is my biggest fear?
Now read back over your answers and notice how it feels to be in a space of self-reflection and self-awareness. I recommend that you follow up with some free writing from a space of self-compassion. The three steps to self-compassion are: 1. mindfulness, recognizing how you are feeling in this moment without judging it; 2. creating a sense of connection, recognizing that at times everyone feels this way; and 3. kindness, speaking to yourself as you would a friend about why you have not moved forward towards what you want as well as offering yourself kind reassurance. Write down your biggest insights that you have created through self-reflection.
I encourage you to practice a mindful minute every day for this next week (and beyond!) where you set a timer and begin to connect to the rhythm of your breath. Any time you notice that you are attending to a distraction, such as a thought, a sound, an emotion or a body sensation, release the distraction and return your focus to your breath. Your mind may get distracted every second, that’s ok! Just return your focus to your breath every second! Mindfulness is called a practice for a reason! Remember that in life you get good at what you practice…
So that’s first step towards creating a life that you love, self-awareness. When you know yourself and stop judging yourself—and you open yourself to understanding your own blocks and doing the work to move forward—you set yourself up to create a life that you love.
I will be back next week with step two, aligning with your sense of purpose. This step will be fun and engaging, however, it will be most helpful to move forward when you understand why you have been standing still, so do the work this week to reflect to prepare yourself to tap into your vision and purpose!
If you are ready to make 2020 a year of clarity and purpose—and you know you want this year to matter— stay tuned here as I will be covering ten essential steps to leading yourself towards a life that you love. Today I will give you an overview and then for the next ten weeks I’ll be diving a little deeper into each of the steps. If you have a dream for your year, these steps will help you make your dream a reality! My work is geared towards those who struggle with emotional and stress eating, so going forward these steps will offer guidance specific to those needs, however, they fit well with anything you’d like to achieve and will offer everyone inspiration and motivation along the way!
Step 1: Self-Awareness
This first step is all about becoming deeply self-aware. In order to know yourself fully and understand your patterns and get comfortable with the discomfort of change, you must have self-awareness. This step creates the ultimate foundation for change. When you become self-aware you will explore and examine your internal emotional world, how you respond to life and any potential blocks to change that are standing in your way. Mindfulness allows you to create opportunities to know yourself and accept yourself completely. This step presents opportunities to create practices to live a truly mindful life. As you become more self-aware, present and accepting, you will begin to be able to tune into and listen to your inner wisdom.
Step 2: Aligning with a Sense of Purpose
Step two is about creating a sense of purpose that drives your motivation towards the change you’re seeking. When you can align consistently with your purpose you will be able to explore why change is important to you and why it is necessary. When you understand the change process and create a vision that supports your why, you will live in that alignment and remain motivated and inspired towards the change you desire. There’s a lot of talk about finding your purpose out there, which can feel daunting. This step allows you to break it down and offer a way to explore your sense of purpose if it isn’t clear—and how to work within why you want the change you desire and aligning that with your personal values. If your sense of purpose is clear to you, you will access that consistently to remain in alignment with your vision.
Step 3: Creating a Plan of Action
Without a plan your vision will remain only a dream. Step 3 will help you outline your specific plan and use it to create consistent action towards what you desire. Once you have a sense of purpose and a clear vision, you will focus with a new mindset on how to execute effectively in order to create a life that you love. Having a plan offers an opportunity to do just this and is an essential step to creating change. Creating a vision is fun and creative. Formulating a plan is practical and action focused. Your specific plan will allow you to move into a space of action, a space of change and is specific, doable and desirable.
Step 4: Evaluating Your Current Life and Lifestyle
Step 4 is all about evaluating how you are currently functioning in terms of living well, feeling well and being well. This step will help you understand and evaluate how you are integrating the foundations of wellness into your current lifestyle. You will have opportunities in this step to create greater wellbeing within your current life. There will be opportunities for self-reflection and to assess your current wellbeing within this step and where you might create more fluidity in your lifestyle that will help lead to the changes you desire.
Step 5: Monitor Your Process and Respond to Obstacles Along the Way
Step five outlines the need to monitor your progress in order to create the change you desire. It’s one thing to create a plan, it’s another to execute it! This step allows you to explore your inner resistance to change and learn how to build your resilience to ensure that change you desire shifts from a fantasy into reality based action. Resistance to change is the number one reason we don’t follow through. Resistance dampens motivation and zaps inspiration and keeps us stuck in this discomfort of our comfort zone and convinces us that that is better than the discomfort of stepping out of our comfort zone and into change. There will be opportunities in this step to build resilience as an anecdote to resistance and some serious reality checks to keep you moving forward!
Step 6: Create a Support Network
Step 6 emphasizes the need to have a strong support network on your side in order to make the changes you desire in your life. Without support change is way more difficult. Without support, life can be difficult and lonely. With support, you can reach out, stay motivated and feel inspired to move forward even when it’s difficult. You will evaluate the nature of your relationships, acknowledge the ones you’d like to improve, explore how to continue to develop new healthy partnerships all while improving your ability to communicate assertively, compassionately and effectively.
Step 7: Moving Forward with a Steady Pace to Create True Self-Leadership
Step 7 helps you create an understanding of how to continue to lead yourself through the change process at a steady, manageable pace. This step offers opportunities to evaluate and adjust your plan as needed, to continue to forge through any residual resistance and personalize your change process. Understanding leadership skills and becoming a strong leader for yourself is emphasized. We are often used to either being led or leading others, however, leading yourself is where your true internal power lies.
Step 8: Building on the Change Process
Step 8 is about celebrating your change process and nurturing it as it develops. With this step you will focus on the good, the wins you are achieving, and the positive shifts that are occurring. You will have opportunities to make adjustments when your motivation needs some tweaking. Developing a consistent gratitude and appreciation practice will be outlined and encouraged to integrate into daily self-awareness positivity practice. When you focus on what’s going well you tend to create more of it!
Step 9: Create Adjustments Through Self-Reflection and Acknowledging Change
Step 9 is about understanding how new learning can be integrated throughout your personal change process and how you can apply it to all areas of your life. Fine tuning your change process will be discussed which allows you to continue to deepen your self-reflection and self-awareness. This ensures that you continue to feel good about the person you are growing into on a daily basis. Celebrating any changes that have occurred is encouraged!
Step 10: Self-Reflection and Re-Evaluation
The 10th and final step is about graceful living and self-compassion through the growth process—which really is a lifelong process! With this step, you may find that your goals shift and maybe even majorly change. There will be opportunities for evaluating your personal change process and ensuring that you create a life-long dedication to being Wholistically, Unapologetically and Authentically You!
So consider something you’d like to shift, change or create within your life and join me over the next ten posts to lead yourself towards the change you desire!
When you have 2020 vision, you have clarity, direction, purpose and this creates a strong focused mindset. If you are ready to see what you want clearly and prepare yourself to remain motivated, inspired and truly live your vision, stay tuned all throughout this year! We are going to get motivated and stay motivated with a constant search for and connection to clarity.
This post today will walk you through three basic steps to create 2020 vision for your year ahead—the year 2020! First you will use clarity questions to dive deep within yourself and get super clear on where you’ve come from through reflecting on this past year. Then you will set specific goals to set you up to move towards what you want. Lastly you will create a life you love through consistent action and maintaining a determined mindset. Ready to get started? Here we go!
Step One: How to Get Clear
Clarity requires self-reflection. Inner reflection can be painful, or at least uncomfortable…so we tend to either avoid it through procrastination, busyness or through plain old denial. If you can reframe the process of self-reflection from painful or uncomfortable to a process of getting super clear on what hasn’t worked so far, so that you can make adjustments and create a plan for change, you might actually enjoy the process!
Getting clear is not about regret, self-deprecation, self-punishment or anything else that feels negative. Self-reflection and getting super clear in order to allow yourself to problem solve and use those solutions to move forward in a way that creates feelings of empowerment and deep self-awareness. Take time with these self-reflection questions to dive deep and GET CLEAR! Get out your journal, set your ego and fear aside and gain the clarity through self-reflection that you can learn and grow from to make 2020 your most purpose driven and powerful year yet.
1. What was the most memorable part of this past year? Why?
2. What is the biggest lesson you learned this past year? How can you apply that lesson to the year ahead?
3. In what ways have you changed over this past year? Are you satisfied with that change, why or why not?
4. If you did not create the change you desire in the past year, why? What held you back?
5. What were your biggest distractions in this past year? How can you adjust those in the year ahead?
6. What did you prioritize over the past year? Did you prioritize yourself and your personal goals?
7. When you reflect on this past year, what are you most grateful for?
8. What is one area of your life that you’d most like to improve upon in the year ahead?
9. How will you ensure that you make these improvements that you desire?
10. What are the challenges that may present themselves as you attempt to create these improvements?
Spend time reflecting on your answers and then move into the next step.
Step Two: Setting Goals
When you set goals, you want them to be measurable, doable and desirable. If you can measure your progress you will know when you’ve achieved your goal. When your goal is doable, it will be something that you can fit into your current schedule and lifestyle without any major disruption. And the big kicker is, your goal has to be desirable—meaning you have to actually want it. When you know what you want (goal) and begin to create a plan for making it happen (doable) you can remain focused on why you want it (desirable) to ensure that you make it happen.
The biggest element of follow through is creating small action steps. When you have the baby steps outlined that will lead you to the bigger outcome of achieving your goal, you can get there. This leads us to step three!
Step Three: Create a Life You Love Through Consistent Action and a Determined Mindset
Taking action consistently is how you will ensure that you meet your goals and live out your vision for your life. Without a plan to take action it will most likely remain a dream, a fantasy, a simple wish. With a plan that you commit to taking action on consistently, your vision will fall into place with time. When you have a determined mindset that you have to do these action steps daily, you can do these action steps, that you WILL do these action steps NO MATTER WHAT, you will make it happen.
I know this is all easy to talk about however putting the plan together and creating consistent action is not always so simple...Over the next ten blogs, I’ll be outlining TEN steps to help create the change you desire over time and through a series of supportive suggestions that will help you create a life that you love. When it comes to living your vision, it is ultimately YOU that has to make the choice and the daily consistent work to make it happen. The 10-steps will offer the support to help get you where you want to go and continue to create clear vision for 2020!
I hope these three steps are helpful in your search for greatness this year. If you struggle to stay motivated feel free to reach out, having support is an essential element to growth!
Do the holidays totally stress you out? If so, you are not alone. Many people say that the holiday season is the most stressful time of the year. While this time of year can be filled with aspects of fun, sharing and joy, they can also wreak havoc on your wellness routine and cause some old patterns to trickle back in or, even worse, you might completely neglect self-care. This is not good and can leave you feeling burned out, tired and may even leave your more susceptible to illness.
Today I am offering this survival guide to the holidays as a reminder to focus on your health and wellbeing while covering the most stressful elements of the season: disruption in wellness routines, financial strain and travel anxiety.
DISRUPTION IN WELLNESS ROUTINES
The foundations of wellness are nutrition, sleep, movement and relaxation. When you have a routine that balances each of these, infused with some intentional self-care, you most likely feel well, live well and create inner and outer wellbeing. The holidays tend to disrupt each of these routines! We all know it can be something of a domino effect where if one piece is disrupted all of the others are consequently negatively impacted. An example would be, if I am over tired from not getting enough sleep I may skip my AM exercise in order to get a few extra zzz’s. Because I’m still tired I may go for that extra cup (or two) of coffee—increasing my sugar intake and now disrupting my nutrition. With all the extra sugar and caffeine I can’t focus during my daily meditation and it is hard to fall asleep at night… So that’s the domino effect. Here’s how you can catch it before it completely derails!
· Create a meal plan for each week and be sure to highlight where the vegetables and fruits exist within this plan. Even if you indulge in some holiday treats, you will still be well nourished!
· Make your bedtime consistent, aim for 7-8 hours per night.
· Maintain a simple exercise routine, even 10 minutes of stretching, taking the stairs or anything at all is better than nothing!
· Do a 1-5 minute meditation before bed. Insight timer is a great app has a TON of free guided meditations, or you can use their timer to stay on track! If meditation is not how you decompress, give yourself some form of intentional relaxation in any way that you can, an epsom salt bath, reading, taking a walk, sipping chamomile tea…
Use the tools that work best for you and keep it simple, but whatever you do, don’t give up on your wellness routines, this is the time of year you need these routines the most!!
FINANCIAL STRESS & STRAIN
There is a reason the commercials start getting us in the holiday spirit super early. They want us to buy stuff, and a lot of it. Which is totally fine so long as it does not come along with financial strain, debt and regret. While yes it is fun to give and receive, there is no need to do it out of guilt and without the financial means to make it feel good. Here are some suggestions to reduce your financial stress and strain this holiday season.
· Set a realistic budget and STICK TO IT.
· Get creative. Making gifts such as ornaments, bookmarks, writing letters, creating playlists, getting crafty, baking or anything handmade with love is a great way to give! Who doesn’t love something handmade?
· Choose thoughtfulness over extravagance. Consider what might be a meaningful gift over a bunch of smaller items to open. While lots of packages might look fun to open, the gifts that are most meaningful will be remembered and used throughout the year. (You can click HERE for suggestions on how to give the gift of wellness.)
· Choose experiences over gifts. Enjoy a holiday dinner out or take a trip to a holiday show rather than exchange gifts. Maybe volunteer with friends and family somewhere where you can make a difference, this will take your mind off of wanting and get you into a space of serious gratitude. Spending time together is more memorable than a new shirt and other random items. This can create fun traditions that focus on quality time over financial expense.
Whether or not the financial means are there, you might enjoy getting creative and experiences over going shopping!
Traveling during the holidays can be tremendously anxiety provoking as we all have busy schedules and traveling can become one more thing on the to-do list. Here are some travel strategies that can help to ease your anxious mind.
· Practice deep breathing to help keep your nervous system in balance. If you need a resource, you can follow my 5-minute guided diaphragmatic breathing practice HERE! This is useful on a plane, train, in a car or even at the dinner table! Deep breathing is free, calming and always available.
· Pack light, book your plans early and take the extra day off of work.
· Travel with healthy snacks that give you sustained energy like fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds. If you become hangry while traveling, you will feel just that much more unpleasant.
· If traveling is too much, create a time other than the specific holiday to travel when the fares are lower, and the days are less hectic.
· Don’t skimp on your wellness routines. While traveling you might over-eat, under-exercise, under-sleep or skip your relaxation altogether. This will make it that much more difficult to bounce back from any traveling exhaustion. Even if there is one area you can maintain, that will set up you for feeling better than if it all goes away!
Whatever your plans are for this hectic holiday season, I hope you remain, healthy, happy and full of gratitude. Whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe!
So the holiday season is in full force, did it sneak up on you too?! When it comes to the holidays, do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to surviving them all? Do you worry about overeating, over spending and in general just over doing it all? If so, you are not alone. This time of year, with the shorter daylight hours and brisk temperatures, it’s natural to want to do less and relax more. However, the nature of this season often gets us out and about, leaving us over tired and over stressed. When this happens, we often over-do-it with sugar, caffeine and possibly the alcohol.
Some of the primary challenges when it comes to over-doing-it during the holidays are, well, the big holiday meals, alcohol, candy dishes and sweet treats everywhere, food as gifts, cocktail parties… That’s a lot of challenges. If you already struggle with emotional and stress eating, the holidays are often too overpowering with that LONG list of challenges to stay in a mindset of health and wellbeing.
Here are some helpful suggestions to help survive each of these scenarios with a mindful eating approach to the holiday-all-the-things-food-season.
BIG HOLIDAY MEALS
Let’s start with the big holiday meals. Here are some suggestions to remain mindful and comfortable throughout each meal:
· Start with vegetables—fill your plate with at least 50% colorful veggies.
· Add proteins to your plate—when you eat protein and fiber (from the veggies) together it will create a feeling of satiation more quickly and stay with you longer.
· Don’t overload your plate—if you want to eat more after your first serving, notice if you are truly hungry (mindful & intuitive eating practice) and if not, ask yourself if you can have the food you’d still like to eat as leftovers another time to receive that satisfaction later.
· Don’t restrict what you choose to eat—on the other side of overloading is not letting yourself eat something you really want; this will only lead to cravings and resentful feelings of deprivation. Try a little of everything you want and TASTE it, enjoy it, eat it mindfully.
· Eat dessert if you want it and if you aren’t stuffed but if you are full, don’t. Have a statement prepared for the “food pushers” in your life if you are choosing to not eat dessert (or anything else at the meal!) An example could be, “That looks amazing, can I take some to go so I can eat it when I’m not full and I can actually enjoy it.” If you do want dessert, eat it and do so mindfully.
So let’s be clear, alcohol is not a health food and if you struggle with over doing it with alcohol, it’s best to avoid it altogether. If you don’t have a problem with alcohol but tend to over-indulge during the holidays, here are my suggestions to remain more mindful in relation to your alcohol consumption:
· Set a mental limit for yourself. Do this before you go to a cocktail party or holiday meal, know (and remember!) your set desired limits and stick to it.
· Be sure you are not using alcohol as a coping skill. If cocktail parties or big get togethers create feelings of anxiety, discomfort or tension, you might end up over doing it to cope with those feelings. Make sure you check in with your emotions and manage them before hitting the alcohol.
· Start any party or meal with water and be sure to stay hydrated
· Have a glass of water between drinks
· Choose a creative “mocktail” like seltzer, pomegranate juice and lime, no one needs to know there’s no booze!
· Check in with your inner strength monitor to assess your “tipsy level” from time to time! You are way more likely to regret over-doing-it to under doing it!
You know how during the holidays there are candy dishes seemingly everywhere? Here are some suggestions to help manage the dreaded candy dishes:
· Give yourself a “sugar quota” for the day—maybe it’s 1-3 pieces of candy. Pay attention and be sure to stay in mindful eating-mode when you do enjoy a piece, when you eat it, savor it!
· Be intentional about your choices. Do you even like those red and green M&M’s? Maybe so, but if they aren’t your fav, leave them in the dish.
· Avoid the candy dishes. If you struggle with over-doing-it with sugar, it’s best to avoid the candy dishes and make intentional choices about what sweets you will have this season.
· Avoid the mindless eating trap. With all of the candy around it can become easy to mindlessly have a few pieces here and there and not really enjoy and savor them.
FOOD AS GIFTS
Another big food challenge during the holidays is being given food as a gift. Here are some suggestions for dealing with this one:
· Mange your feelings of guilt if you choose not to eat the food you are gifted. Guilt is appropriate if you have actually done something wrong, it is our conscience in action. However, if someone gives you a box of candy and you know it will be painful for you to just try one piece and you end up eating the entire box all at once, it’s best not to put yourself in a position you might feel upset about later.
· Take the food gifts to work and share with others.
· Take the food gifts to a holiday gathering.
· Determine if you even like the food, then decide if it’s what you truly want to eat.
· Save a portion of the food and give the rest away.
· Create a sugar quota for yourself for the day and stick to it. If you’ve hit your quota, remember, you can always try something the next day.
Cocktail parties are a challenge during the holidays. They tend have a lot of snacks and of course drinks—and they may come with a side of awkwardness. Usually they are not offering a full meal so it can be tough not to over-do-it. Here are some suggestions to manage cocktail parties with ease:
· Give yourself a drink limit (review alcohol above!) and space them out well throughout the party. This is a mindset you create before even walking in the door.
· Start with one drink. Then switch to water or a “mocktail” in the same glass.
· Be aware of sugar content in any fancy mixed drinks.
· Eat something healthy before you go so you are not hungry when you arrive.
· Focus on the veggie options first with the available snacks.
· Stay mindful as you do eat so you don’t graze. Sometimes when nervous we might nibble mindlessly.
A few last tips to help reduce incidents of stress and emotional eating holiday season:
· Try to stick to meal planning and preparation throughout the season. It’s super tempting and easy to order take out or go out when you are feeling over-run during this season. This can add up in dollars and unhealthy meals.
· Focus on vegetables and fruits. You may still choose to indulge in other holiday treats, just be sure to be well nourished along the way!
· Make slow cooker meals that are ready to go and easy to freeze so you can have leftovers available.
· Practice mindful eating at least one meal per day every day.
· Use the emotional cravings protocol any time you need it.
I’ll leave you with this last reminder of the process of mindful eating so you can stay empowered, mindful and content with your choices this holiday season!
Mindful Eating is…
· Eating without distraction.
· Being in tune with what you are eating and your body, noticing how what you eat makes you feel.
· Focusing on your senses, especially smelling and tasting.
· Savoring and enjoying your food.
· Staying tuned into to your hunger and full cues, eating when you are hungry, stopping when you are full.
· Eating in a relaxed, calm and neutral emotional state.
· Deriving pleasure from eating without judgment.
I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Have you ever heard the sayings “good food, good mood” or “junk food, junk mood?” These are not just cute catch phrases; they are indeed true!
The food you eat literally makes up your cells, tissues and organs and if you are taking in nutrient dense, whole, healthy foods you are creating a foundation for the building blocks of healthy cells, tissues and organs. If you feel that you have not been nourishing your body like it might prefer to be nourished, no need to panic. Luckily, our bodies are amazing and usually respond super well to healing when given half a chance. So today, I’ll try to inspire you to eat well in order to feel well, in body and mind. Consider foods you can add that create these positive feelings, not what you have to restrict or take away.
There is a lot of disconnect in modern healthcare. One practitioner might say that food does not impact health or wellbeing mentally or physically, and yet there is a ton of research out there demonstrates that it does—in a seriously significant and tremendously impactful way.
The nutrients we take in through our food (and possibly supplements) are responsible for the development and flow of hormones, neurotransmitters, and our organs. Doesn’t that make it only logical that when we take in mostly whole, healthy foods that we will have a mostly whole, healthy body and mind?
Refined grains, sugars and artificial colors and flavors have been shown to have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels, health of your cells and tissues which can increase anxiety and cause a negative mood. When you eat, your body anticipates that its nourishment needs will be met through the foods you eat. When your body does not get the nutrients that it needs to create healthy cells, tissues and organs it may begin a cycle of cravings to attempt to get what it needs or to return to balance.
You have the power—on a daily basis—to choose your health over what’s convenient, what’s cheap and what may seem to have tasty “flavor.” When you cleanse your palate from the refined foods, artificial sugars and flavors, they no longer really taste quite so good! When you readjust your taste buds to natural sweeteners that live in fresh fruit and whole foods, those other sweets often taste way too sweet. One of my most favorite moments as a wholistic food therapist was when I had someone agree to stop diet soda for two weeks and switch to water for a variety of health reasons. When she tasted the diet drink after two weeks, she was revolted by how terrible it tasted to her after this simple shift!
Many of those I work with to create more balance in mind and body notice an improvement in their energy levels, mood and sleep—which are always welcomed improvement and shifts within their lives. They also notice that they get fewer colds and other illnesses throughout the year! They notice that they have more inner strength (because they are listening to their bodies and feel strong and empowered by their choices) and they even report improved skin and a shift into a more positive body image (and not just because of any weight loss, but because they are treating their body with more respect through their choices!) These all occur incidentally on the journey towards improved mental and physical welling. By making small changes over time (that do not have to be radical or restrictive) in what they choose to eat, they get a huge payoff in the long run.
One positive shift often encourages another. Most people find that when they are eating better, they feel better mentally and physically and their energy improves making it more desirable to move their bodies, to spend more time engaged socially and enjoying hobbies and things that bring fulfillment. Just by intending to improve mood through food has a positive domino effect into all other areas of wellbeing!
Below are some nutrients required for mental wellbeing with whole food sources you can eat to obtain these nutrients. When possible, choose local, organic and closest to the land sources you can find. Local farmer’s markets and health food stores are a great place to shop for staples that you love!
When I first work with people, I do not encourage any reduction or restriction in these changes. I always begin by focusing on what to add that supplies the body with nutrients and creates the positive desired changes over time. Once you continue to add in the good stuff, often there is not so much room for the not-so-good-for-you stuff. Once you feel better, you most likely will want to continue to make choices that help to maintain this because we all know, it feels good to feel good!
Choose one area to start, one food to add and once you find that you are enjoying it, in a week or so, add another. Let me know what foods you choose, I’d love to hear!
Nutrients + Food Sources to Improve Your Food + Mood
Folic Acid: Found in leafy greens and cruciferous veggies (kale, broccoli, arugula, spinach, swiss chard…) asparagus, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, okra, brussel sprouts, nuts and seed, beets, celery, carrots and squash, eggs, avocado
B-6: Whole grains, herbs, spices, pistachios, garlic, liver, tuna, salmon, cod, sunflower and sesame seeds
B-12: Grass-fed beef, liver and chicken, fish such as trout, salmon, tuna and clams, sardines, yogurt, cheese, eggs
Omega 3’s or Essential fatty acids: Fish such as Mackerel, Sardines, Anchovy, Salmon, Trout, Herring, Kippers, Tuna, Ground Flax seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds, Walnuts (they even look like a brain!)
Vitamin C: Berries, red peppers, black currants, hot chili peppers, guavas, fresh herbs, dark leafy greens, kiwis, papayas
Tryptophan: Chicken, turkey, cheese, tuna, tofu, eggs, nuts, seeds, bananas, egg yolks
Vitamin K: Leafy greens such as broccoli, spinach, kale, collards, chard, brussels sprouts
Protein: Meat, seafood, dairy, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds
More Brain Foods: Blueberries, Tomatoes, Sage, Olive oil, Dark Chocolate (Yes!), Garlic, Fermented foods such as Kefir, yogurt, fermented vegetables, kombucha
Water: And lastly, stay hydrated! When we are dehydrated the brain tissue actually shrinks. Several studies have shown that dehydration can affect cognitive function. It can also impair short-term memory, focus and decision making. This will help you stay healthy mentally and emotionally!
Brain Power Smoothie Recipe:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (you may want to add ice if using fresh)
1 teaspoon powdered dark chocolate or raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1-2 cups loosely pack fresh leafy green such as spinach, chard and kale
1 cup plain unsweetened coconut milk (or kefir)
Blend and enjoy!