Hanging in Kauai, December 2011

I am writing this between Christmas and New Years, while I am traveling alone in Kauai.  Not sure if its because of our society or just this time of the year, but I always get very reflective and always crave alone time to reflect on my life over the course of the year past, look at my accomplishments, successes, and struggles.

I don’t know what kind of a year 2011 was for you, but this has been a year of dramatic change in my life, both good and bad.  Watching Be Fit Boot Camps keep exploding in popularity, and growing our team with the coolest people I’ve ever met has been mind boggling.  Watching my online nutrition company have it’s first year of expansive growth was amazing, too.  Traveling extensively this year for the sole purpose of networking and learning from other amazing entrepreneurs who also own fitness businesses has been a game changer for my businesses.

I also had a 7-year relationship to an amazing man end.  This was both profound and heart breaking.  While I am taking the necessary time to heal and am finally seeing a “light at the end of the tunnel”, this year felt like I’d taken 5 steps forward, then got knocked down and pushed 10 steps back… over… and over… and over again. : )

Which is why I decided to spend this holiday season on a tropical island alone.  There is nothing more healing than daily outdoor yoga sessions, followed by a “Be Fit Boot Camp style workout”, then paddling around the ocean attempting to catch waves (one day I might call myself a surfer!).

From my travels, to the 20+books I’ve read this year, to countless hours of audio-programs, to my own personal journey, I will share with you some of the biggest takeaways I’ve gotten from this year.  I do this for a few reasons:  one, it gives me profound clarity and reflection for my own life, and two, maybe you can learn something for your own life, and I challenge you to do so.

1.  Overcoming fear:  Your biggest obstabcle to living a fulfilled life.

It absolutely breaks my heart when I see people who want to change their life, health, or weight, but they are too embarrassed to come out to our Be Fit Boot Camps.  Or they won’t even tell their friends what they are doing because of fear of failure.  So many people make so many excuses so they don’t have to be responsible for their health and life, and the big driver behind it is always fear.  My question to you is this:  Would you rather feel a little out of place in an exercise class or deal with the inevitable devastation of corroded health, prescription drugs, medical bills, and the burden that puts on your entire family?  Look, part of life is fear itself.  Everyone has it and feels it.  The only difference between the person who perseveres and finds success is that they felt just as scared as you… but they went ahead and did it anyway.  (and oh.. BTW… there is NO way you could EVER feel embarrassed at our Be Fit Boot Camps or other Training Programs.  That is one of the SAFEST and most encouraging places you’ll ever find to take control of your health.

2.  Your relationships are everything.  Friends, family, and community are your lifeblood.

This also made my list from last year, and it gets truer and truer with each passing year.  After spending 7 years in a relationship, obviously our lives were completely intertwined.  So reconnecting with my family in Texas and building good friendships into great one’s has been a huge priority for me this year.  The growth I’ve experienced just from nurturing and spending time on meaningful relationships, from my mentors to my close friends, to my clients, has taught me what matters most in life.

3.  Success breeds success:  You become like those you hang around with most.

I figured this was a great lead in from number two, and because I’ve talked about this so much in the past, I know you’ve heard it before.  If you want to change your life, surround yourself with people who can help you get there.  This might mean hanging out with supportive friends, or hiring a coach to help you get to the next level.  And it most definitely also means steering clear of those people who will sabotage your success.  I have overcome more fear and progressed farther than I ever though possible because I surround myself with people who are doing it better than me.  Everytime.  If you want to make more money, surround yourself with people who do it better than you.  If you feel spiritually empty, surround yourself with people who are filled up.

4.  You have more control in your life than you think.

The mind is powerful. It can keep you stuck right where you are, or it can free you from the tyranny of your situation.  While there are many things you have no control over (we’ll get to that in #5), your health, fitness, and waistline are totally and completely within your control.  And it is a powerful feeling when you decide to take the bull by the horns, commit, and follow through knowing that you have a choice, and you have control.  I like to use my own health and fitness goals as a catalyst for all my other endeavors.  Once you realize you are in the drivers seat, it’s like providence moves and your paradigm shifts.  Taking control equals freedom from the inside out.

5.  Except for when you have no control…

This blog post was supposed to get out to you, Thursday.  But that was before someone broke into my apartment and stole my computer!  It was surreal.  I’ve traveled to 3rd world countries in sketchy situations and never had anything stolen from me.  But it happened here, in Kauai, in my apartment, with many people around, in broad daylight, while I was home!  After being a little shaken up, I called the front desk, security, and 911.  When security and the cops got here (I swear to God, they are all on island time… it took them forever to get here), I was in a weird space of feeling violated, but also not really knowing how to function without my computer!  (While yes, I came here to heal and relax…I also came to get some work done!)  The cops were very helpful, but the security guard annoyed me and I could feel myself snapping at him.  At that moment I had a stark realization:  He doesn’t know what emotions I’m feeling right now, and there’s no need to bring him into my internal drama.  So I immediately changed my demeanor, and instead of focusing on what had already happened (now in the past… can’t change it…), I focused on what needed to be done now, and how I would be able to accomplish it.

It was a profound shift.  In fact, when I was on the phone an hour later with my best friend Kristen, she couldn’t believe how calm I was and how well I was taking it.  I took that as a huge compliment to the way I purposefully and concsiously choose to live my life.  I can always choose reactions, thoughts, and feelings to any given situation that I may not have control over.  So from that perspective, you technically always have control.

6.  And this brings me to my final profound realization:

The only thing that really ever matters is what’s happening right now.  Taking your life moment my moment, not getting so caught up in the regrets of the past, or the anxiety of the future.  So when you are taking care of your health, exercising your body, or choosing life-giving foods… you are doing it NOW.  Pay attention.  When you are spending your time with the ones you care the most about… you are doing it NOW.  Pay attention.  And when you are in the throws of a situation that feels as if you have no control… you are doing it NOW.  pay attention.  You’ll never ever again have that experience, so the best gift you could ever give yourself (and those around you) is your presence.

I hope you have enjoyed a little slice of my life.  I hope you are also reflecting back upon your 2011 and making strong choices for yourself that will further you toward living a more fulfilled life.

And oh yeah… in case you were wondering, as if by fate, the cops recovered my computer in less than 24 hours.  I took that as a lesson from the Universe… to unplug!  And that’s exactly what I was “forced” to do, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing as a New Years Gift to myself!

I would love to hear from you below:  What lessons have you learned in 2011?  Share them below!

Cheers to an amazing 2012!!!