You Say It’s Not Your Birthday?  Who cares?  It’s Party Time!

You Say It’s Not Your Birthday? Who cares? It’s Party Time!

Hey!  There’s a 1/365 chance that if you’re reading this, it’s your birthday! Okay, maybe the odds are less than that since the math only works if you read this IME Blog at least once a day for a year.  Oh, I hope so, but not likely.  Hopefully, you don’t have time to read an IME Blog every day because you’re too busy celebrating! Celebrating all your wins, that is!

What do I mean by celebrating all your wins?  Isn’t that like getting a participation trophy or most improved award? Sounds cheesy and a bit unreasonable.

I get it.  It almost sounds uncomfortable to celebrate all of our wins when we’re not used to celebrating any of them.  Our society is so focused on external achievements, we think it’s achieving the achievement that’s the celebration.  Hey, if you keep talking like that, I’m going to fall asleep. Dang, our society can be boring. 

Oh no, you didn’t. Yep, I said it.  If we’re always on the external achievement train and we put our success on the end game, that works only for a while. I’ve said this literally like 1,000 times already and we’re just getting IME Community started. Think it’s a bit of an important concept? 

Let me get this straight.  So, we know that life isn’t always a party, but when we aren’t aware of the present moment, we miss out on a lot of parties and parties we can create for ourselves.  One of the ways to have more of a fun life and to want to keep taking action is to CELEBRATE YOUR WINS!  After a test, an achievement, a project, an activity completion, whatever it is, you get the natural reward and pleasure that gives you a stronger sense of confidence and well-being.  In other words, you just feel better and you are creating self-trust that you can do the darn thing which makes it easier to start and to accomplish the darn thing the next time.  That’s great, but I’m suggesting we can do even better. 

Another thing that makes taking action easier and creates more self-trust is celebrating your wins and by wins, I mean action.  We are always putting off celebrations or not celebrating at all.  Plus, if we are only celebrating when or if we get a good grade, we are only celebrating the outcome of our action when we can’t always control the outcome.  So, why don’t we learn to celebrate what we can control and what we can control is how we show up and if we take action at all. 

Taking action means taking risk.  When we take action we are putting ourselves out there, knowing we can’t fully control the outcome, so why not celebrate what it takes to be successful- taking action or as I like to put it, taking risk.  The other cool thing is you get to choose however you want to celebrate your action taking win. 

Literally learning the skill to plan ahead of time how you will celebrate your action taking win is the key.  So, you decide!  Do you want to have a nice lunch, hang out with friends, do some on-line shopping you’ve been wanting to do, watch something on Netflix, get outside, make some yummy food by trying a new recipe, playing some new music, read a chapter in a book you’ve been wanting to read? One teen I was recently coaching said he likes to clean his room for a reward after taking a test or turning in a paper.  Um, okay.  Sure.

I recently took a test I had studied a lot for.  You think it’s tough to sit and study at your age, try being my age. Don’t worry.  The tests only come once in a blue moon, so it does get better.  I decided the day before the exam that I had studied enough and it wasn’t going to serve me to keep shoveling and skimming and cramming information into my brain.  Plus, I hadn’t managed my mind enough to remain calm when I was studying and came upon information I HAD NEVER SEEN THE DAY BEFORE THE TEST!  What I decided would be better and would serve me is to study a bit and then have a nice day and get my mind to a calmer space which would serve me while I was taking the test compared to a wild monkey mind that can’t concentrate.  I really liked my reasons, which when you make a decision is a really good thing.

So, I’m glad I decided to focus on having a calmer head space for my test because the next morning as I was signing on and since I was taking the test at home, it was remote proctored which meant I had to do a video of my space showing the desk, a 360 view around the desk, the ceiling, under the keyboard, under the desk, up my sleeves.  I was, of course, fine with the video, but I was using our super heavy Mac to take the test, which is definitely not a laptop and has a very short cord.  I was sweating up a storm trying to get this thing turned 360, show the ceiling and under the keyboard and desk.  Total struggle, but worked out and I got through the test just fine. 

My celebration party for taking the test (I have no idea yet how I actually did) was to go to the coolest local bookshop and find a special book.  Guess what? I was too tired.  I decided to veg out, take a nap, and I went to the bookshop the next day instead.  You don’t have to celebrate that day.  You may be needing some rest and recovery time, which is great and very important.  Don’t be hard on yourself for this.  But, don’t forget to celebrate the next day after you’re rested up! 

You get to create your fun life!

Ignore the Haters on TikTok!  Let them be wrong about you!

Ignore the Haters on TikTok! Let them be wrong about you!

I recently joined TikTok (@imecommunity) and started posting about IME Community, life coaching, the difference between life coaching and therapy, my meet in the middle philosophy and my personal weight loss journey.  I’m pretty hooked and find myself getting caught up in a TikTok trance a lot.  Like, A LOT!  I’m not going to tell you how many times a day.  Too embarrassing!

My family is super annoyed with me because I’m always chasing them around the house showing them a cute little baby or toddler, middle-aged humans who still have moves (there’s hope for me), Grannies gone viral, TikTok docs, and on and on and on.  Basically, I feel like I have a new community and sometimes these new TikTok friends feel like my family, especially when the ones I actually live with are driving me nuts (not watching my TikTok friends).  Stay tuned for some dance moves coming up.

One of the things I’m noticing is there are a lot of courageous TikTokers’ who are willing to put themselves out there as they launch their health transformation journeys.  Especially as 2021 is just getting going.  It’s a time of New Year’s resolutions after all.  I show major support by liking and posting, “You go!”, “You’ve got this!” “That goal’s in the mail!”

TikTok is a great platform for sharing and gives some accountability and self-monitoring which, research shows, works.  There’s power in putting yourself out there and sharing your seemingly impossible goal, celebrating your success (slay that goal) that keeps you accountable to yourself.  These TikTokers’ are creating their own measures of success, they have a plan for how they’re going to do it, and just by being open about their challenges, struggles, and journey, each of them is shining a light into their darkness, busting shame and stigma and saying, “I aM mE,” and I am not my weight.  It’s automatic full self-acceptance.  I think it’s beautiful.  Self-love is your superpower to achieve weight and life goals and make your mark in the world!  Sound familiar?

So, that’s all great, but what’s the fall-out for putting yourself out there?  What I have been noticing recently is all my new TikTok friends who are slaying their weight, fitness and health goals are also catching some hate in the comments and it’s usually about their health.  Haters throw them crap about diabetes and heart attacks and so on and so on.  Health privacy alert!!!!  Your health is no one’s business ever.  Your health is 100% your business.  Cyberbullying and shaming for health conditions someone may or may not have is a type of bullying I am noticing more of and we need to be intentional about ignoring it and not engaging.  When you are being cyberbullied for your weight and someone is making an assumption about your health, you can let them know that your personal health is private and you would never discuss it with them, especially online, and you have no right to theirs.  Or, block them and move on.

It’s always okay to defend yourself, but I’m going to make some suggestions that you may find helpful as you move forward with any goal.  Because, what seems to be happening a lot is the hate comment gets posted and then the TikTok goal slayer doing their amazing seemingly impossible goal defends themselves.  Basically, it’s a TikTok post that talks about how the hater doesn’t know them or anything about their health and then they list all of the things they are doing in their lives.  It’s defending and again, is a beautiful thing. It just may not be effective and also may not be where you want to spend your time.

When we say haters gonna hate, what does that even mean?  It lines up with a life coaching principle and a great life lesson, which is to let people be who they are (believe them when they’ve shown you) and my all-time favorite thing I’ve learned from life coaching over the last four years, to let them be wrong about you.  I love this.  I’m totally fine with people being wrong about me.  It keeps me out of convince and control and defend mode.  I know myself and I have full confidence and trust in myself and I now refuse to continue to give my power away by defending or convincing anyone about me. 

It’s also really a beautiful thing to love yourself enough to set the record straight.  I’m going to suggest deciding how you want to show up and where you want to put your attentional focus in 2021.  We don’t have control over how other people respond to our bold goal slaying.  Take the great comments and leave the others.  When you take massive action in your life, you will get judgment from those who are actually judging themselves.  If you want or feel like you need to respond, try a benign response like a funny emoji, or you can try, “I aM mE.  UBU.”

So, let’s get after our seemingly impossible goals, keep showing up on TikTok and IME Community where you’ll find a supportive community of teens showing up and slaying their goals and chasing their dreams!  Remember, I always have your back!

Reframe 2020

Reframe 2020

Can you imagine how cringe it is for my three kids, who are 20, 17 and 14 to watch my Reframe 2020 YouTube video?  I’m wearing cool 80’s shades, a fuschia dress with shoulder pads, my hair is an ode to the 80’s, sans the sky-high bangs, and I start out by singing Corey Hart’s hit “I wear my sunglasses at night”. After the first few lines I forget the words. I usually know about 2/3 of the words.  I’m sure my kids are stoked I forgot the rest of the words and stopped singing. 

I’m wearing cool shades because, well, I can, and why wouldn’t I? I’m also wearing them because we’re talking about reframing 2020. Reframing means “place in a new frame” or “frame or express differently”. Basically, reframing 2020 means let’s look back at this year in a different way and see what’s good and what we want to leave in the dumpster.

I can tell you, reframing 2020 is something we all need to do, but most of us, myself included, don’t want to talk about it.  Plus, what’s up with everyone acting like the very second 2020 is over everything will suddenly be amazing? We’re already in 2021 and that hasn’t panned out so far, has it?  We’re still in the middle of a pandemic and there are many other things causing unrest.  You all are still remote or hybrid learning and no matter how well you’re hanging in there we all have to admit that this pandemic has sucked the fun out of a lot of things.  But, there have been some positive things. For one thing, there’s all of the family time and family meals which I’m sure you have loved, loved, loved (just kidding). On a positive note, maybe rolling over and flipping on your laptop, hitting stop video after the teacher catches your face, then rolling back over makes life easier and is funny to look back on.  

So, let’s talk about how we can reframe 2020, and I don’t mean putting a fake layer of sugary denial frosting on it to cover it up. What I mean is taking the time for self-reflection or to think about 2020 and what the year was like for you, what was great and what was awful, and in what ways you showed up and surprised yourself.  

Let’s acknowledge that 2020 was a bad year in many ways. Instead of focusing on 2020, focus on reframing your view of yourself, so like applauding yourself for how you handled 2020 and adversity. Like applauding the ‘lemonade’ that was already there, and maybe 2020 helped you see it (BUT DON’T GIVE 2020 CREDIT), and how you can implement it in the future, rather than how 2020 strengthened you.

Your past self is just your thoughts about yourself.  Isn’t that interesting?  We know that there is always uncertainty in the world and things we don’t cause and are out of our control.  So, we aren’t in control of COVID or a lot of things, but we are in control of how we decide to think about 2020 and what we want to take with us moving forward.  Because, let me tell you, my whole goal for 2021 for every single thing I do is to have FUN!  I’m so ready for it and the reason I know I will deliver on that FUN is because I have been so intentional, thinking a lot, self-reflecting, and deciding on purpose what I want.  That doesn’t mean everything is going to be fun.  That’s too cheesy.  Life is 50/50, meaning we typically have 50% positive emotions and 50% negative emotions.  We can create fun on purpose and with intention.  One thing living in a pandemic has taught us is that we have to be intentional and create experiences on purpose.  

Take a look back at the happenings of 2020 and understand what you were in control of – your work ethic, your perseverance, your adaptability – and what you were not in control of and therefore should not blame yourself for. Ditch the sentiment of your 2020 self not showing any strength, and ditch the notion that you’re incapable of this reflection. 

So, your early 2021 challenge is to get some cool shades and reframe your 2020.

Ask yourself: 

  • In what ways did I show up in 2020 that surprised me?
  • What do I want to take with me?  What are the gold nuggets I’ve sifted out I don’t want to leave behind?
  • What did I learn about myself that’s valuable?
  • What do I want to leave behind?  
  • In what ways is 2021 the same as 2020?
  • In what ways is 2021 different?  Hint:  2021 is different when your thoughts about 2021 are different. 

Now, you get to move into 2021 and own it!  Next up is how to create community in 2021!