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Aligning the actions we take today with the goals we have for tomorrow.


The success we want is not in the once-in-awhile stuff. The success WE want is in the every-freaking-day stuff. It comes from the habits we do and how they compound over time through our repetition. They are our habits and we believe that they have a purpose. We don't change our health with one salad and we don't give away all the work we have done by having one ice cream sandwich. It comes down to what we do most of the time and making sure our actions align with what we say we want.


Here are three common goals and ways to do a self-check if our actions are aligned with them.


Take one step today that leads to what you want tomorrow

GOAL: More confidence/self-love

Did you talk to/about yourself today like you believe in yourself?

The words we say today will lead to the actions we take tomorrow. If we speak like we believe, then we act like we believe. If we remind ourselves of our strengths, then we take actions that support them. If we speak as if what we want is already true, then we act like it's true too. Your body will not take any action if the mind tells it not to bother.


GOAL: Weight loss/better nutrition

Did your plates reflect your goals today?

Change our plates, change our fates. What we put on the plate (most of the time) should reflect the nutrition we seek. Sure, we can have a treat (this is for life and life is not perfect -- I am not even sure what perfect looks like???) but think about the patterns of our meals, the groceries we buy, the effort we put into our prepping and planning for the week. Those repetitive actions lead to the changes we want.


GOAL: Better health/more strength/more energy

Did you incorporate movement today?

Lifting our bodies can lift our moods and raise our vibes. Sure, we are all busy and feel like we are moving all day with errands and kids, etc. However, purposeful movement looks and feels different than daily activities. If we want to feel different than we do most days, then we need to move different than we do most days. Even dedicating 15 daily minutes (dancing, walking at lunch, yoga, HIIT, etc.) can get the endorphins going and motivate us for more movement tomorrow.


We have the power to change our lives in any way we want! It begins with what we think and is followed by what we do. It is found in our daily routines and can be built by repeating over and over and over. On the good days, the tough days and all the days in between. We need to create the life that we say we want through the work. And even once we reach those goals, we continue to repeat in order to keep them.


Interesting thing about this type of work though, once we begin to do it and see the changes become reality - we WANT to keep them. The habits we put so much time into building eventually become just parts of our days (and we feel the difference if they are ever absent). What seemed like work becomes routine that we can lean on when other parts of our worlds feel turned around.


Good habits are tough to break too. And they all begin with taking action.





Ever regret a quick judgment? I created an opinion about an entire genre of books without actually reading one. I felt that I barely had the time to read anything for myself, so if I did choose a book, it was NOT going to be anything surrounding self-help, self-improvement or self-reflection. I was totally content with everything, so why read about making my life better?


Um, maybe that perspective should have been my first hint not to judge it?


I knew I wanted to make changes to the outside of my body, but did not think there was anything that needed to be changed on the inside (hint #2). I considered myself a generally positive person and was not seeking to change anything about how I saw things (hint #3) because the path I was on couldn't really change much (seriously....the hints were everywhere!). I just wanted the answers to feeling better without doing the digging or the work (hint #5 and perhaps the reason no attempts lasted long term).


I kept hearing certain titles recommended in my online accountability group and decided I would try one just to see the hype. It didn't take long before I felt like the authors were speaking directly to me and the "A-HA!" moments flooded my mind!


For the first time, I was thinking about the WHY behind my mindset.

Why did I always have self-doubt?

Why did I think everything had to be one way?

Why did I have to stay on the sidelines?


A few years and dozens of books later - I am hooked! I listen while I run, while I unload the groceries, drive on my own, etc. or read a chapter each night (because there is something about holding a book in my hands that I just love). There's so many strategies, tips, suggestions, thought prompts, ideas and connections in these gems that can spark a new fire inside anyone willing to be open to the flame.



Here's what I have learned and why I can't get enough of the personal development genre:


1. We need to think about our thinking.


As an educator, I tried to foster a love of learning in my students and do the same now for my son. Why not practice the same passion for myself? Our lives are too busy to pause and reflect on our own, but when prompted, we can finally touch upon the realizations of why we cycle through the same habits, repeat negative self-talk and make assumptions about ourselves that we would NEVER even think about someone else. Instead of accepting the automatic routines & responses, perhaps we can roll up our sleeves and find out why we repeat the ones that no longer serve us? Maybe we can find ways to start new trends that can make us feel more empowered?


2. It's important to know we are not alone.


I assumed I was the only one struggling to find a set of health habits that worked. I thought I must be busier than most or less equipped to succeed. I thought I was the only one that doubted myself or wanted to make changes. I thought I was the only one who doubted her role as a mom or who struggled to find the new version of myself in motherhood. I thought I was alone because I was not entering the conversations where people were discussing them. I was avoiding what I didn't want to do the work to change. However, in reading more, I began to take comfort in hearing other women share their stories and solutions for rising up to make a change.


3. Outside change comes from inside change.


We repeat when we don't reflect. Remember how I said I just wanted the answers? Someone to just tell me what I should do to feel better and fit in my jeans again. Well, that was working under the assumption that there would be only one answer for everyone. There is not. Navigating our own paths to health is an active process - you cannot be the bystander. It involves us being a part of our own journeys and doing the work. It's the reflections and the questions that we are asked that allow us to build the solutions that will work for us and stop the patterns of the past. They repeat for a reason. When I began to pinpoint the emotional food triggers, the standard set of automatic behaviors, the food culture that surrounded me, the self-talk that cycled (whether true or false) in my head, etc. I began to reprogram my life. What had always been did not have to continue if I didn't want it to do so.


I never wanted to spend reading time on me because I felt guilty - like I should be using it to be a better teacher or be a better mom or fill the time to check off a to-do list. But, now it's easier to see, that had I started this work earlier, it could have led to teaching my students some of the same strategies I learned or further helping them reframe the words they use about themselves. I have actually improved my parenting through spending the time improving myself. Starting sooner would have helped me explore my own thinking, strengths and habits earlier in my career...which would have allowed me to use those skills to be even stronger for all my people.


I was living in an automatic state, rather than a purposeful one, because it seemed easier that way. But easy doesn't change lives. I think I read that somewhere. xo



I hear from the most amount of people on Mondays. I started to study the trend of what they would share and what they were reaching out to me to change, so I could better understand why this was happening. There seemed to be a pattern emerging in their messages to me - though from various backgrounds, locations, age groups and levels of fitness. Mondays have become the New Year's Day of every week and here's my take on why this is happening based on what I hear.


1. Monday is a clear start line.


You can actually start to make a change ANY day, but Monday always seems clear and definitive to people. It sits at the beginning of a new week filled with hope and possibility that the changes she wants to see and feel can begin before the next weekend (Ahh, the weekend, this will lead to reason #2). I will often hear her say that she wants to use the week ahead to set up for success. She wants to schedule time for herself, learn the tools and go into the week with a positive mindset surrounding her actions.


2. The weekends are spiraling.


She is usually in between weekends away, birthday parties, company arriving, or general kids' sports schedule nightmare. Monday is her chance to breathe and think about what she wants for herself. In that pause, she realizes that she is on the go, but not GOING where she wants for her health. She comes up for air from the planning and the doing to reach out for help and can already feel the relief when I tell her she CAN make changes while doing all the things for all the people.


Want to use Monday to make a change? Email tracy@preppedandplanned.com

3. She is tired of waking up tired.


Monday has a reputation for being Fun Sunday's boring cousin. The routine and predictability starts again with her hearing that alarm and the deep exhale needed to rise up out of bed. She will share that she is tired of feeling like she needs to constantly fuel with caffeine to manage the week. Her food choices are catching up to her energy levels and she is feeling the changes. She will say how she is done waiting for another week of alarms to pass and ready to start taking action instead.


4. Someone shared hope.


This is what did it for me and I have heard it do the same for many other women. She came across something on the weekend - a social media post, a news story, a chat with a friend, an excerpt from a book (....or even a blog post) that inspires her to believe in the possibility that habits CAN change. She heard another "real life" woman share struggles that sounded familiar to her own or explain an approach to health that is working and could do the same for her busy life. She saw a friend who is feeling better and doing more and wants to feel the same way. Something spoke to her and sparked the idea that comfort is not the only option. She is feeling inspired by what she saw/read/heard, but is not quite sure how to make it work. But, she believes, that this Monday will be the one where she begins to change her life.




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