Want a healthier, happier life? Then sleep on it!

Sweet dreamsWhen it comes to wellness, good nutrition and regular exercise tend to be the rock stars. It’s no wonder with benefits like increased energy, better fitting clothes, bolstered self-esteem and so much more becoming apparent within a relatively short period of time. But did you know that getting enough sleep is just as important if you want a truly healthier, happier life?

Until recently, it felt like sleep was the red-headed stepchild of wellness – a necessary practice but one that often got overlooked in our 24/7 super-charged lives. I often had insomnia from my teenage years throughout my thirties, rarely grabbing more than five or six hours of shut-eye a night during the week. Sadly enough, I thought this as a good thing, giving me extra time to read, be social or work when others were still ensconced in their beds.  That changed when I hit my forties and suddenly my body started craving more sleep. At first I was annoyed.  Until I realized that my mood and concentration levels tended to be better when I caught seven hours of slumber.  Started doing research and found some really compelling reasons for getting enough sleep for optimum wellness:

1) Sleeping more can help you eat less. According to this 2012 Time Magazine story, sleep deprivation can lead to overeating. In fact, a report presented by the American Heart Association’s annual Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism conference found that study participants who were sleep deprived ate more than 500 additional calories daily. It doesn’t take a math whiz to realize that amount of calories can quickly add up into unwelcome extra pounds.

“From a physiologic perspective, we know that sleep is a very important time for the release of many physiologic hormones,” says Virend Somers in the article, lead author of the study and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic.  “It’s a time when the body repairs itself, the brain consolidates memories, and growth hormone is released. All of these important functions are impacted by less sleep time.” And that includes levels of hormones involved in appetite. Regardless of why sleep loss contributes to weight gain, Somers says in the article it’s important for people to start appreciating that the two are intertwined.

2) Sleep makes you more creative. Ever heard that when faced with an issue or question, sometimes it is best to sleep on it? In this intriguing article from BBC, researchers found that sleep helps make people more creative by building remote associations. Making the links between pieces of information that our awake minds see as separate seems to be easiest when we’re catching some shut-eye.  I’m a big believer of this practice. When I’m stuck on my writing or branding work, I will sometimes ask myself to think about the issue or challenge right before dosing off and usually wake up with great insights.

3) Lack of sleep can leave lasting damage. Feeling sluggish and looking tired aren’t the only negative physical side effects of substandard levels of sleep. In this recent article, researchers found that inconsistent sleep patterns can hurt your brain. The problem is the potential loss of neurons that impact alertness and cognitive function. Think you can catch up on sleep deprivation on the weekends and this will all remedy itself? Actually, researchers say not so much. Getting enough sleep most nights is the key to better health and wellness.

I hope this information doesn’t keep you up at night and instead, puts you to sleep (never thought I’d say those words about anything I’ve written). What are your sleep habits like? Is catching enough slumber part of your wellness strategy or a goal you are working towards in the future?

How to make the best of a fast food situation

iStock_000007141433SmallIn an ideal world, we would gravitate towards unprocessed, healthy foods in the same way that Kanye West adores Kim Kardashian…fully and completely, no matter what haters or Saturday Night Live parodies say. But even when eating clean comes to you as easily as breathing, sometimes you don’t have access to healthy choices. Like that time you were stuck in an airport, without an emergency protein bar stashed away at the bottom of your purse, or when you bolted late out of work to catch a concert with your sweetie and dinner was going to be limited to whatever the concessions booth served. Here are a couple of tips to make the best out of a fast food situation:

  • Look for the best of the bunch. the Centers for Disease Control estimates that fast food accounts for more than 15% of daily calories for people in their twenties and thirties. That’s why FITNESS Magazine put together this list of two relatively healthier options on the menus of each of the top 10 fast food chains in case you need to indulge in an occasional grab-and-go meal.  For example, they highlight the Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken and low-fat balsamic vinaigrette plus Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait; for a total of 375 calories, 9.5g fat (4g saturated) at McDonald’s.
  •  Forego the extras. Chipotle is my favorite fast food restaurant, primarily because they buy anti-biotic free chicken and beef, prepare items fresh and try to use organic and/or local items when possible. But even there, the calories and sodium content add up. So I forego a lot of the “extras” to keep things healthier – opting for a burrito bowl without the flour tortilla, asking for only one scoop of brown rice with my chicken, veggies and black beans, and saying no to the cheese and sour cream in favor of a scoop of guacamole. Whenever I have an early morning flight back home, breakfast is usually oatmeal from Starbucks, without adding any sugar. Think about how you can choose filling proteins, veggies, fruits or salads from fast food menu options without falling into the deep-fried foods trap.
  • Think small. In our supersize culture, portion sizes have gotten out of whack and a typical fast food meal way exceeds an average person’s recommended daily calorie allowance. Consider options from the kid’s meal or whatever the smallest portion sizes may be. Don’t hesitate to ask for water instead of the soda that comes with your meal or ask anything that can be custom plated to come in half the normal portion size.

How do you handle fast food situations when nothing else is available? What are some of your go-to-foods at quick service restaurants?

 

 

 

 

 

Three Lessons from the “Too Thin” Biggest Loser Winner

Biggest Loser feb 2014While The Biggest Loser inspires many viewers, I don’t watch it because there is so much focus on quick-weight loss and not enough on what it takes, psychologically and emotionally as well as with exercise and nutrition, for long-term wellness. Have to admit that even I was shocked when all of the articles ran yesterday, like this one in Entertainment Weekly, that showed the season’s winner, Rachel Frederickson, losing 155 lbs. to land at 105 lbs., which on her 5-foot 4-inches frame is well below the body mass index of a healthy range.  Her emaciated arms contrasted greatly with the joyous smile on her face and it broke my heart. That’s why I wanted to share three lessons we can learn from Rachel’s experience:

  1. Look for encouragement in other ways. When I slowly but surely took off 50 pounds over 20 years ago, getting compliments from people helped fuel that journey. I hadn’t gotten much positive attention for my appearance before and it was thrilling. After that 15-month process though, others got used to the new healthier, fit version of me and compliments slowed down to a trickle. So if you’ve come to rely on the lovely feeling of being cheered on and then it dissipates, that can be hard. Finding encouragement from other means, including yourself, is essential in maintaining a healthy balance with your weight and overall wellness.
  2. There can be too much of a good thing.  Losing pounds at some point should stop when you reach a healthy weight with strong muscle mass. Rather than continuing with behaviors that focus just on shedding pounds, consider consulting certified nutrition and exercise professionals or a physician to find the right balance for your individual body. Weight loss maintenance actually takes a different set of skills to thrive in the long-term. Many successful weight losers deal with “course corrections” along the way, in the form of gaining back a few pounds to reach a healthier, more maintainable place or having to shed extra weight that might return as habits shift in life.
  3. Get realistic role models. Rachel is a voice-over actress in Los Angeles, where many women in the entertainment industry are encouraged to be as thin as possible. If she has been working in an environment where trying to emulate runway model skinny is seen as success, then the weight she landed probably seems delightful to her.  And I know there’s a whole argument out there that Rachel could be absolutely healthy and is beaming in the media interviews when describing her experience. But given the importance of emphasizing being fit over being skinny to others looking at Biggest Loser winners as their role models, I wonder about the negative impact this could potentially have.

What are your thoughts? Does she look too skinny or should we all shut up and let her be thin in peace? Have you ever had to consciously regain a few pounds for better health?

 

Photo Image Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

 

Exercise tips to help survive a zombie-like snow apocalypse

atlanta traffic in snowYesterday I got proof that if a zombie apocalypse happens, we’re all toast. Not just because of the brain sucking zombies mind you, which is bad enough. I’m talking about the seemingly minor snow and ice event that hit Atlanta yesterday around noon. Without any coordination, the local government, businesses and schools shut down at once, releasing what felt like a million motorists on the city’s highways simultaneously. People got stuck with a capital “S”;  some friends took seven or eight hours to drive six miles, and they were the lucky ones compared to the thousands stranded on the roads overnight in icy conditions. But when the chips are down, you’ve got to get moving…literally. Here are some great exercise tips you can do when home-bound by snow, ice or any challenging weather situation.

At a time when I keep getting emails about closings and cancellations from fitness studios because of the treacherous driving conditions, what really stood out is this at-home training routine Dan FitzSimons of BodyFitz studios sent to his followers today.

“When it seems like everything is shut down, there are more than a few things we can do!” notes Dan. He created this challenging routine for his wife Tracy which can be modified however you like:

  1. Walk up and down the stairs for one minute. What? No stairs?  Grab a stool, or march in place for the same amount of time.  Then perform 20 “standing super peoples”! (alternating right arm/left leg)
  2. Get back on the stairs, up and down for one more minute…now perform 10 squats.  Perfect squats please ! Push the rear end backwards, keep the back strong and straight with your eyes elevated.
  3. Arm Circles…yup, just like sounds: standing with plenty of room around you. Straighten out your arms to the side and parallel to the floor. Make small circles with your arms for ten seconds in one direction and then ten seconds in the opposite direction..rest.
  4. Time for a Wall Sit.  Once again, just as it sounds.  Put your back against the wall and get into a sitting position.  Make sure that your feet are out front under your knees.  Meaning your knee and hip joint should be a perfect 90 degrees. (square)
  5. Back to the stairs, this time for 90 seconds,(if you can).  Jog if you want, or take two stairs at a time.  Push yourself a little bit more this time as you are getting more and more warmed up.
    Water break…Remember we can still get results…we just need to get enough intensity to work up a sweat.

In addition, Dan offered these bonus exercises to be executed at your own max potential in 20-30 second bursts, followed by 10-20 seconds of recovery:

  • Let’s do push-ups, modified push ups or maybe get into a plank and hold that position. Hands can be under the shoulders with the elbows pointing back and slightly to the sides (close stance push-up).  This position is good for the plank and the push up.  Perform 3,5, or 10 push-ups, or a 20 second plank.
  • Stand and start squatting again. 20 squats, get low and feel those quads, glutes and hamstrings working! 
  • Go right into arm circles again (hold  2lb weights or two water bottles for resistance) 20 seconds each direction.
  • 15 jumping jacks or marching in place for 20 seconds
  • Stairs for 30 seconds…
  • Repeat two more times…or more! Give it YOUR all! Finish with a good cool down and some stretching. Drink plenty of water and enjoy your next healthy meal!

You might want to check out helpful videos and tips from online resources like Fitness Blender,  Workout Nirvana, Fun And Fit and Thrive Fit for more in-home exercise moves too. Have you ever been stuck in your home by a weather event and if so, how did you handle it? What are some of your favorite exercise moves that can be done at home or anywhere?

Five Tips for Creating a Kick-Ass Vision Board

vision board 2014Ever heard the term “you’ve got to see it to believe it?” For so many people, visualizing a specific pathway, goal or dream is the first step in making it a reality. A really helpful tool in this process is the vision board, which is a visual representation of the elements you’d like to create, focus on and attract into your life. Here are five tips for creating a kick-ass vision board that helps you claim your heart’s desire:

 

1.  Determine your main themes. Is it love, financial prosperity, better health or increased fitness? Think about your main goals and interests for the year or whatever time period you are focused on for the vision board. If possible, come up with an overall theme or focus that will land in the middle of your creation too. Need an example? I’ve posted a photo of my vision board above. Nestled in the center is the phrase “Inspire…Be Inspired” which really sums up my focus for 2014, while the other themes represented in clockwise fashion are healthy eating/fitness/wellness, how writing my book inspires me, love, resourcefulness, success, financial prosperity and fun (represented by the minion from Despicable Me).

 

2.  Select images. Flip through magazines for inspiring photos and headlines that belong on your board. This year, I found most of my images online and printed them out, adding personal photos and phrases that resonated strongly. Like the photo of Sandra Bullock from her role in the movie Gravity that appears in the bottom right hand corner of my board…I chose that image because it shows that no matter what comes up, I can be resourceful (like an astronaut lost in space who saves herself – sorry for the spoiler!) and because the movie was so creative and unexpected that it redefined filmmaking this year. Make it three dimensional if you like…I’ve seen people cut out greeting cards, sentimental trinkets and adhere a light bulb on some cool vision boards. If you have natural artistic ability (which doesn’t exist in my DNA at all), consider drawing, painting or sculpting the visuals that invoke your passions. Heck, go crazy and repurpose that old “glued-on macaroni spray-painted gold technique” used so effectively in the second grade to decorate a candle holder for mom. There are no limits!  

3.  Craft a “canvas.” My vision board is simply a large white poster board with photos and images glued or taped down in different quadrants. Easy-peasy, right? But I know people who create vision boards in the form of a PowerPoint slide show, computer screen saver or another surface that beautifully hosts their vision for the year. Figure out the best home for your vision and pull it all together in that space/surface.

4.  Share with others.  It’s perfectly fine to keep your vision board to yourself. But think of all the positive energy that is churned up when you talk about it and share your enthusiasm with others. During the first weekend in January, I had a dozen super cool ladies over to make our boards together. Sure enough, we did a “show and tell” at the end that was fun and reinforced our goals.

5.  Check it out daily. The most diligently crafted vision board isn’t doing you any favors if it languishes in a dusty corner. Display your creation somewhere in which you’ll easily see it several times a day. My friend Terri hung her vision board in her walk-in closet, ensuring she engages in those positive images every morning and night. Mine is displayed at eye level across my office so I view it several times a day when leaving my desk. You can always take a photo of it for your smart phone or tablet screen saver too for easy reinforcement.

I hope you enjoy creating this art project with a purpose. Have you ever created a vision board before and if so, how did it work for you? If you were to develop one for 2014, what would some of your themes or images be?

 

The Power of Choosing Your Attitude

Mike Thompson kona Ironman world championship finish 2012No matter what obstacles appear, you still have the power to choose your attitude. Just ask Mike Thompson, a four-time cancer survivor in Austin, Texas who now competes in grueling Ironman triathlons and speaks frequently to inspire others. He offers a great perspective for how anything is possible as long as you are alive.

In 1995 at age 10, Mike was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia, an adult form of the disease rarely found in kids. Over the next five and a half years, he dealt with relapses, 75 surgeries, two bone marrow transplants, numerous complications and a 12-hour complete jaw reconstruction.  When an infection from the jaw surgery left him in constant pain, Mike fell under the spell of prescription pain meds for four years until a 2007 stint in detox broke that addiction.

“You are in charge of your destiny,” notes Mike. “I still battle with jaw pain, depression and fear, but I’ve chosen to adopt an outlook that I’m better off now than I’ve ever been. Life is worth fighting for and every day should be celebrated.”

Active living with an eye towards helping others became his driving passion. After helping to raise over $6 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with his Team in Training Group, Mike started competing in triathlons. He completed a half Ironman in 2010 and a full Ironman race the following year with a cancer-fighting platform. Then Mike entered this 90 second video into an Ironman contest seeking inspired athletes who have used triathlons to overcome obstacles.

Mike Thompson’s Inspirational Video for 2012 Ironman World Championships

He won, and got to compete in the prestigious 2012 Ironman World Championships in Kona. Today Mike inspires countless numbers of people to choose a positive attitude through his speaking engagements, writing and personal conversations.

Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to the amazing women at the http://triwivesclub.com/ website, where Mike is a guest blogger. Check out their great info for people like me who love a triathlete and Mike’s posts for additional inspiration.

How has choosing your attitude helped you overcome an obstacle or difficult situation?  What person in your life has inspired you to achieve what once seemed impossible?

Want real change? Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions and focus on supported goals instead

Ditch the New Year's Resolutions According to a recent Marist Poll, 44% of Americans are planning to make a change in the New Year. Many of the survey respondents are making New Year’s resolutions for better health or a happier life, with the largest amount aiming to lose pounds, exercise more or eat better. However – no surprise here – only 8% of people actually keep those resolutions according to a University of Scranton study.  Bummer, right? But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Here are a few steps you can take to create real, positive change in 2014:

  • Set realistic, clear goals. Let’s say that you vow to be happier in 2014. What does that actually mean? Do you crave more alone time, want less stress, desire a new job or a better relationship? Break down that big desire into a clear goal in order to make it actionable and obtainable. For example. if decreasing stress is your objective, then your action steps could include installing a smart phone app that takes you through a guided meditation three times a week and stop checking emails at least two hours before bedtime to give your mind time to rest.
  • Plan ahead. Haven’t tried to exercise since George W was in the White House but now understand that moving more will give you more energy? Awesome goal. But don’t just try to jog on the treadmill wearing flip-flops and street clothes (no lie, saw a dude in just that garb at our hotel gym in the Bahamas last week). Do some research and create your fitness plans in advance to ensure better results and minimize injuries. Many gyms offer a complimentary session with a personal trainer who can teach you the most effective ways to exercise. Search online for “how to” videos and content on running, Yoga, swimming better or just about any other activity. Tell the  Zumba instructor this is your first time in class so he/she can give you pointers and keep an eye out for you. And dress for exercise success to maximize your performance and comfort.
  • Make it real. The more you can bring a goal to life increases your chances of long-term success.  One of my big goals for 2014 is to finish writing and publish my book, which focuses on helping people get unstuck and have the life of their dreams.  I’m visual, so making this goal a reality for me includes journaling about it, having it become one of the cornerstones of the vision board I’m creating this weekend with friends, posting positive messages about it on the edge of my computer screen and more. Pick one of your goals for a moment and think about how you can bring it to life. Since weight loss tops the list of so many people, could it be motivating to take photos of your progress each month to share via social media, pick out clothes you plan to buy in advance when certain milestones are met, put a photo of yourself at your hottest on the front of the fridge as a motivator to make healthier food selections?
  • Get support. Sharing a goal with like-minded, positive souls can increase your chances of success. My husband, who is already fit as an Ironman triathlete, is about to start a 30-day Paleo eating program to clean up his nutrition. His triathlon coach is doing the same, which creates a direct connection of support, while I’m reinforcing my own clean eating habits by ensuring we won’t have any processed foods, sweets, items with gluten or dairy around that don’t meet his goals or mine either. Even this little circle of support will help us all succeed in our healthier eating objectives. Whatever you are focusing on, talking about your goals and sharing milestones, challenges and tips with others can really make a difference.

What are some of your goals for 2014? Do you set New Year’s Resolutions and if so, what makes or breaks them?

Three Lessons Holiday Movies Can Teach Us About Real Life Happiness

Movie stubs and popcornYou don’t have to look at a calendar to know the throes of the holiday season are here; over-packed shopping mall parking lots, reports of airport travel delays and incessant TV reruns of seasonal movies are always a dead giveaway. But just because your eyes might glaze over after the eighth broadcast of A Christmas Story within 24 hours, don’t write these sentimental tales off as just mindless entertainment. Here are three lessons holiday movies can teach us about real life happiness:

  1. Be true to yourself. My favorite holiday season movie is Love Actually. No matter what is going on with the nine intersecting stories, the theme of embracing and accepting who you really are rings true. From Hugh Grant’s adorable Prime Minister endearingly declaring his romantic interest on stage during a child’s Christmas pageant to Andrew Lincoln’s character admitting his unrequited love for a friend’s bride in order to move on, being true to yourself and expressing it to others frees you up for greater happiness.
  2. You get to carve your own path. Feel like others have permanently pegged you as the family’s “Debbie Downer” or as a chronic underachiever? It is not too late to change your ways if the desire is authentic and comes from within. When the Grinch abandoned his plans to steal Christmas, he transformed himself from a foe to a friend of Whoville. The appearance of three very persuasive ghosts helped  Ebenezer Scrooge discover a newfound sense of generosity. At whatever stage you may be in life, you can always take steps that lead to a happier life.
  3. Believe in something bigger. In Miracle on 34th Street, a young girl’s belief in Santa brings joy to all around her while in The Santa Clause, Tim Allen’s character becomes closer to his young son and saves the legacy of the big man in red’s worldwide gift dispersal by finally accepting that he can be Santa. Whatever your spiritual inclinations are, believing in something bigger creates hope, possibilities and a sense of community – all of which can increase your happiness.

BTW, I tried to find a Hanukkah movie to reference but the only one that came up was Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights cartoon, which was vastly inferior to his Hanukkah song in my humble opinion as a nice Jewish girl. :)

What are some of your favorite holiday-themed movies?  What are you doing this season to embrace more happiness?

Is holiday baking shaking up your healthy habits?

Trying to bake these holiday breads while minimizing temptations!

Trying to bake these holiday breads while minimizing temptations!

Forget the whole three French hens, six geese a-laying and a partridge-in-a-pear tree thing. Last December, I baked eight chocolate chip Oreo cheesecakes, about a dozen banana breads and hundreds of assorted cookies as gifts for clients and service providers. While everyone enjoyed their goodies, the process sent my healthy habits into a tailspin; I gained five pounds from rampant sampling and was exhausted by daily sugar crashes. So this year, I’ve planned ahead to create a healthier holiday baking season through these steps:

  • Minimize temptation. Rather than producing piles of cookies that can be easily misplaced – you know, in my mouth – I’m preparing three main deliverables: banana bread, pumpkin bread and chocolate chip breads that are baked directly in a foil gift loaf tin. As I explained when strategizing this plan with Certified Health & Nutrition Coach Linda Citron, taking a huge bite out of the middle of someone’s pumpkin loaf is just bad manners. Eliminating the transfer of the breads from another cooking pan means there’s no temptation to let one accidentally on purpose crumble apart and become fair game for overindulgence.

 

  • Honor my own needs. I’m done making cheesecakes. They take way too much time and it’s really hard not to dig into the Oreo cookies when crushing them for the crust. And instead of having to prepare something each day, I planned deliveries and shipping to knock out one session last night (you can see the photographic evidence above) and two more next week.

 

  • Offer healthier options. Some people I bake for are gluten-free now, while others shun sugar. Personally, I’m a whole lot nicer to be around when avoiding both of those ingredients. That’s why I’m going to share my new favorite treat, vegan sweet potato brownies that are gluten-free, with people who crave healthier options. Here’s the recipe from Deliciously Ella:

 

Makes 10 brownies

- 2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

- 2/3 of a cup of ground almond (almond flour)

- 1/2 a cup of buckwheat flour (brown rice flour will also work)

- 14 medjool pitted dates

- 4 tablespoons of raw cacao

- 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup syrup

- a pinch of salt

  •  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Steam the sweet potato chunks for 20 minutes or until really soft and add into a food processor with the pitted dates. Mix until creamy and blended.
  • Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
  • Bake in a lined baking dish for 20 minutes, until piercing with a fork comes out dry. Remove the tray and cool for at least 10 minutes to allow everything to set. Ella has a great step-by-step “how to” video on her site too!

Courtesy of http://deliciouslyella.com/

BTW, followers of my blog probably noticed that it now looks different as I’ve merged everything into one place on this site. I’m still going to write about healthy living and wellness, now adding in thoughts on the pursuit of happiness, balance, personal growth and whatever snarky pop culture moment captures my attention. If you’d like to receive this via email, please sign up here or using the form on  the right side of this page to ensure you don’t miss a post. Thanks for your support!

What is your stance on healthy habits during the holiday season? Think it is a waste of time or the compass that keeps you sane? How do you handle food temptations?

Three Ways to Identify Your Life’s Purpose

iStock_000028679544SmallFrom David Bowie to Taylor Swift, change has always been a popular song theme.  The topic has sure been on my mind lately, as I’m building on my nearly 13-year-old Branding & PR consultancy to also become a certified life coach and continue to make great progress with my book project on helping people get unstuck. A huge catalyst recently was getting focused on my purpose/mission, and now I wanted to share three tips to help you identify your life’s purpose as well:

1)      Recognize your passions.  Make a list of all of the activities and experiences that truly floats your boat.  There’s no limit here…it could be just a few items or a list that covers several pages. Whether you love zumba classes, gardening, international travel or writing “50 Shades of Grey” fan fiction (hey, I don’t judge), take note of what lights you up at this moment in your life. Now circle the three items that resonate with you most strongly. Are you seeing any patterns or themes here? 

2)      Fill in the blanks. Here’s a handy tool, courtesy of the Coaches Training Institute, the extensive program I’m currently enrolled in to become a professional life coach.

I am the (fill in the blank – metaphors are great here) that (describe your impact).

For example, I’m a rabid pop culture geek, so naturally images of super heroes come to my mind.  A couple of years ago at a dinner party, I was asked to name my super power/hero name and the first thing that popped into my mind was “The Illuminator,” based on inspiring others to maximize their potential. Okay, it doesn’t involve laser beams or sick martial arts skills, so I’m definitely not getting a part in the next “Avengers” movie. But it felt right and has been at the back of my mind ever since.  Lately it dawned on me that what all of my interests have in common is possibilities…I help create them for companies and while providing individuals the chance to recognize and claim their greatness.  Take all of that together, and here’s the life purpose statement I just finalized last weekend:

I am the Illuminator, helping people see and step fully into possibilities.

3)      Take ownership. For me, the first step has been writing this blog post and bolding the above statement. Next I’m working on how to bring all parts of me together – this blog and my current business website, into one place that encompasses what brings me joy and honors that purpose. Once you’ve identified what your purpose is, give it life. Write about it in your journal or blog, tell friends, create a vision board about it, etc. When you focus attention and love on it, great things will happen.

Have you identified your life purpose? If so, what is it? What are you most passionate about these days?