Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Morning Routines That Make Your Day

We often blame people, situations or circumstances for the times when we have a bad day, but what we fail to realize is that no one has the power to ruin our day but us.  What we say and do when we wake up determines the direction that our day will take. 

I've found that I am far more productive when I have a morning ritual that sets a positive tone for the rest of my day. Each morning I wake up by 9am at the latest so that I can watch Creflo Dollar's television program, Changing Your World.  During the show I eat a healthy breakfast and after the show I read the Bible.  That entire process takes 30 minutes to an hour and it's my jump start to setting my day in the right direction.  Not only do I have the inspiration that I need to keep me going, but I've also started off with a nutritious meal that will increase my energy and metabolism.

Here are a few routines that I recommend to get your day off to the right start.  Choose one that works for you, or come up with your own and start tomorrow. :)

A Daily Affirmation

Memorize or post positive words and say them out loud.  My favorite affirmation is, "I am now open to receive."  I love this one because a lot of times we say that we want better things in life like money, joy or love...but the truth is that we are not ready or open to receive those things. 

A dear friend and colleague of mine overcame a very serious disease.  When I asked her how she did it her answer was, "Daily Affirmations".

Meditation and Prayer

Setting aside a specific time for focused meditation and prayer may be the only time of peace and quiet for most of you who I know have hectic lives and schedules.  Take this time to give thanks for all that you have, and to ask for all that you want or need.  Also, use this time to take some deep restorative breaths, because how often do you go through the entire day without taking a deep breath?  I know that I've been guilty of this offense, so let's all stop what we are doing right now and take a deep breath....Ahhhh... Now doesn't that feel good?  So make meditation, prayer and deep breathing a part of your day right from the start!


Whether it is stretching, Yoga, or a brisk walk or run, some type of movement each morning is a great way to start your day.  Believe it or not, it increases your energy throughout the day.  I also like the idea that if I get it done in the morning, I am less likely to put it off and end up skipping it all together.


So these are just a few ideas, but I encourage you to try something that works for you because ultimately, the tone, energy and flow of your day is up to you so why not make it positive! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Don't Wait for the Weight

I have so many exciting things happening in my life right now! I will be sending out a few special announcements really soon, one of them being a press release about a new anthology that's coming out which I have contributed to called, The Souls of My Young Sisters. I will send you more detailed information soon, but in the meantime I wanted to give you a sneak preview of an excerpt of the essay that I wrote that will be published in the book which will be released next month. Enjoy!

Don't Wait for the Weight

This morning I almost got discouraged when my weight had increased by 5 pounds from yesterday's reading, but then I had to catch myself and remember how the scale can be a true set up. Several factors contribute to the reasons why our weight on the scale may fluctuate from day to day and sometimes throughout the day. From my research I have found that our true weight is the weight that we see first thing in the morning when we wake up after we have used the bathroom. We also must keep in mind that different scales are calibrated differently thus giving us a different reading. Don't pay so much attention to the number. Pay attention to the gain and loss and try to stick with one scale. No matter what actual weight any scale may say, if you lose 5 pounds, you lose 5 pounds, just as 5 pounds of feathers weighs the same as 5 pounds of bricks.

I came to the conclusion that my weight had increased so rapidly due to two factors. One was that I had not used the bathroom yet as I always do when I wake up in the morning. The other factor was that, the day before, I had consumed far less water and far more sodium than I usually do, thus I was suffering from water retention.
This is another reason why we should not rely solely on the scale as a measure of our progress, because often times the change that we see is a water weight loss or gain, not fat. I like to measure my progress by keeping track of my inches, gauging how my clothes feel, and measuring my body fat percentage. This helps me because I carry weight much differently than most.
When asked to guess my weight, many guess an average of 140. When I reveal to people that I am hovering around 180 they usually don't believe me. When I was hovering around 140 I began to look too skinny and I had lost all of my womanly curves, thus I have come to the conclusion that 150 is the ideal weight for me. I believe that I tend to weigh more because of the fact that muscle weighs more than fat. I have a lot of muscle, primarily in my legs.

I have made the conscious decision to enjoy and love my body as it is in the present. I will continue to work out, eat right, and strive to increase my quality of health and level of fitness, but I will not wait until I reach a certain goal to do everything that I want to do. I hear people saying that they want to wait until they shed the pounds to take pictures, put on a swim suit or perform in a show....I used to be the same way. While using things such as this for motivation to become healthier is great, I no longer believe in putting my life on hold. Take it from me, I speak from experience.

When I was 150, I felt fat. When I was 140, I felt too skinny, missing my womanly curves and feeling like I was shaped like a little boy.Now I look back at pictures and see how beautiful I was at every moment of my life, even when I was 214....the key is believing it. When you believe that you are beautiful you exude a confidence that is magnetic. 

With all of that said, I will not wait to do a professional photo shoot, I will not wait to wear a two piece swim suit, and I will not wait to do everything I aspire to do. I will not wait for the weight!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Personal Development Has a High ROI

As we settle in to this new season, it makes me think about how seasons are so much more than just times of the year.  As a result I've decided to personalize this coming season.  We don't have to wait for a new year to set goals and make positive changes.  A new month, a birthday, an anniversary, a new week, a new day and a new hour are all perfect opportunities for new beginnings.  

I love to use new seasons as my markers for new beginnings because everything and everyone that comes into your life is for a season.  Some seasons are longer than others but most leave you with a lesson that allows you to come out better than you were before.  

This might be your season of health and wellness, your season of financial literacy, or your season of focus on family.  This is my season of personal development.  Whether we realize it or not, we invest so much in making other people's dreams come true,  that very little is left over for our own self improvement.  Think about it?   How much do you really invest in personal development?  Now when I say personal development, I don't mean getting your hair and nails done.  Don't get me wrong, that is very important too.  But that goes under self-care which is another subject.  When I say investing in personal development I mean investing time and money into books, classes, workshops,  mentors, coaches, conferences and networking opportunities that move you forward in the mission and vision that you have for your life. 

We tend to invest in high risk things where we may get little or no return, but self investment is a win- win situation.  When you invest in yourself, the return is always high.  In the financial world the acronym, ROI stands for Return On Investment.  This speaks to the amount that you get back when you invest in something.  When you invest in yourself, the return is priceless.