So we are well into the month of January - and your intentions for the new year may seem like a distant memory.
Or you may be doing Dry January and feeling GREAT - wondering how long you can go without alcohol in your system.
Or like me, you maybe taking the whole month to reflect on what you want to create for the year, listening and pausing and acting from a place of stillness as opposed to being rushed to have it all figured out.
As I think about the new year and the direction I want to take, I am not only reflecting on moving forward but also looking at how far I have come. This is a practice I coach my clients on regularly; call it reflection, gratitude or something else, it is the ability to celebrate your wins, recognize your strengths and move forward from a place of power.
In 2020, my business is slightly changing it’s focus as I start to incorporate more leadership development work and working directly with companies, offering leadership training, exec coaching and corporate offsites.
Don’t worry, I will still be offering the same personal insights, mindfulness tips and life coaching but I will also be touching on how powerful these tools can be when applied to business.
It’s a funny process to build your vision and I am certainly not immune to the rollercoaster ride that plagues many entrepreneurs. Practically to prepare for this addition, I completed a 9 month training program through SIYLI - the leadership development program that started at Google, and have started reaching out to my network to see who can benefit from these services. Emotionally, the shift was not linear, as it never is. It has been through my own personal work of believing that I could do it that is making this vision come to life.
I had to look inward to ignore the deeply ingrained story I tell myself that I am not enough. I know you can relate.
But the truth is, I AM ENOUGH. I am smart enough, good enough, innovative enough, powerful enough and have a TON to offer.
So as Bill Campbell, dubbed the Trillion Dollar Coach says, “The top priority of any manager is the well-being and success of her people”, I know what he means. Because I am in the people business, whether that is working one on one with person, leading a team or dealing with my own inner critic, and there is always work to be done.
Manifesting takes time.
I have had a lot of you ask me about manifesting lately. Maybe because it is January of the new year and you want to create a SHIFT. Attract new things into your life and take bold action.
The online definition of manifesting is: display or show (a quality or feeling) by one's acts or appearance; demonstrate.
Broken down, to me, this means you have to get clear on what you want to attract and then embody the feeling, the knowing that it is possible.
What do I mean by this? Well I can share a story through my lens about the power of manifesting.
My whole life I wanted to live in LA. I used to come visit as a little girl, because both of my dad’s brothers lived here. I started by coming out with my parents and as soon as I was old enough, I would come out by myself or with friends. I remember on my first trip to LA alone at 16 years, I bought a candle on Venice beach and thought to myself, one day I am going to live here.
Cut to 15 years later, I am living in Toronto, rooted in my work and community, newly purchased a condo, building a business and content with my life. The whispers of California were still there but I didn’t really know how I could act on them. All the doubt came up; am I too old, how will I make friends, how will I get a proper visa to work and on and on and on. For the full story check out here.
Spoiler alert; I ended up taking the plunge even though rationally it did not make sense. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen in the timeline that I originally thought but the vision I held of myself since I was a little girl came true. I have never been happier and I am so grateful for the life that I intentionally created for myself.
Morale of the story. Get clear on what you want. Don’t be afraid to fail. Let go of your timelines. Take bold action.
So, what’s something you are currently manifesting?
As we embark on this new year (and new decade), it feels like anything is possible, am I right?
But why is that? Why do we need a media push in order to believe that we are capable of reaching our highest potential? Why do we need the world, society or other people outside of ourselves to remind us of our power?
Complacency is real and I do understand the value of segmenting time into 365 days however the idea that we have to do better, feel better and act better on January 1st is something that I believe sets you up for failure.
What if you took an alternate approach?
What if you looked at goal setting not as a destination but rather as a vehicle for something greater, like happiness, fulfillment and inner peace.
Something I advise my clients on regularly as the #1 productivity hack is breaking things down. This means removing obstacles in order to see clearly rather than adding to your already full plate.
Instead of trying to losing 10 lbs, change jobs, start your side hustle, move AND learn a new language I suggest breaking your year down into quarters and asking yourself what you can realistically achieve by the end of Q1. It could be small progress in each category or a big move in one, breaking it down will make it feel less overwhelming and more actionable.
Studies show that when we commit to less we actually end up doing more because we come from the perspective that we are enough rather than not good enough.
So, where can you do less to achieve more this year?
I am committed to doing the same - although you have been used to seeing weekly content from me for a while, we are thinking about slowing things down in order to provide you more quality content less frequently. We are still working out the details so stay tuned!
Energy is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I think that our ENERGY is a language that we all understand we just can not put into words.
You know that feeling when you walk into a room with someone and just get a bad vibe?
Or when you meet someone for the first time but feel like you have known them forever?
Even places have energy; a spa can be calm and soothing while a nightclub can be exciting and energetic.
Energy can change as well; an experience, person or place can give us energy or can drain our energy.
I recently had a reading with Vanessa, an amazing intuitive and energy worker and she told me that my personal energy feels most aligned when I am in the flow, don't force things and allow things to come to me. Those of you who know (both personally and through my social platforms) know this is ABSOLUTELY true.
So - I have committed to being in this energy more. When I start to worry about timing, force things or go down a negative spiral, I remind myself of one of my favorite mantras 'What if it were easy"... Not always the easiest thing to do but a practice I am continually honing.
So, when do you feel most aligned? What is your personal energy saying?
As we go into this holiday season, start listening.
Here are some journaling prompts to ask yourself:
- What type of energy do you emit when you are feeling your best?
- What does it look like, smell like, feel like?
- If it had a name, what would it be called?
Let’s be real, at one point we’ve all made a messy mistake. Whether it’s missing a deadline, forgetting an important call — or something entirely different— it can be hard to swallow your pride and admit you’re in the wrong.
What if instead of punishing yourself, replaying the situation like a broken record in your head or doing/saying something you might regret - you used this as an opportunity for growth and and occasion to make the situation better for everyone involved?
Humility not only releases you from the negative thought pattern, it also connects you deeper to the person or people who were on the receiving end of the error. When you can admit that you are not perfect (newsflash - no in is) it allows for a level of vulnerability in a relationship that otherwise may have not been there.
The resistance behind the ability to forgive yourself, apologize, and move on is really just our ego — and often the more it gets in the way, the more we separate ourselves from other people.
So whether it’s in business, your relationship with yourself, or your loved ones, here are my top tips to help you swallow your pride, apologize, and move on.
1. Watch for signs of ego
We love the feeling of being right. But what does being right really do for you? It creates more separation between you and the person who is wrong. Instead, see if you could put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see their perspective. At a foundational level we all want to be seen and loved, so remember that when looking for a resolution.
Meditating allows you to quiet all of the noise. When in a challenging situation there are 3 levels, what happened, your emotions as well as what is at stake for you. Getting quiet allows you to access your intuition and see yourself more clearly. From this place you can be guided towards a clearer action plan.
3. Let go of the BS
Let go of the feelings and thoughts that are weighing you down. That includes resentment, taking things personally, and being harsh with yourself. Remind yourself that when you swallow your pride, you can make more space in your life for positive emotions to take over.
This time of year is an interesting one. It can be filled with excitement and glee as you gear up for the holiday season or it can be filled with dread and deep feelings of loneliness.
In North America, we just turned back the clocks giving us an extra hour of darkness and as the weather turns colder, more time inside.
It is the start of winter, the introspective season, a time where we have to face what is underneath the surface as opposed to running from it. Some of us may want to ‘throw in the proverbial towel’ and put things on cruise control until the end of the year while others may kick it up into high gear to reach those end of year goals.
So, where do you fall on that spectrum? Far to the left or right or somewhere in the middle? Wherever you are know that it is OK and I am here to support you in ending the year with a bang.
Are you still stuck in that job you hate? Dreaming of living in another city or looking for your soulmate? You don’t have to wait until 2020 to do that. You can start now and here is how.
1. Reflect on everything that you HAVE achieved up until this point
Our minds have a funny way of focusing on what didn’t go well, what we haven’t yet achieved or what didn’t go according to plan. However, there is A LOT that you have achieved so shift your focus there. Write out a list of all the things you are proud of that happened in 2019. Continue daily until the end of the year. This will surely help you see your value and motivate you for what is next.
2. Skim the fat
Often when we want to get a lot of things done in a short amount of time it can feel really overwhelming so we actually don’t do anything at all, leaving us more frustrated than when we started. Cut down on what you would like to achieve before the end of the year and focus on the ONE thing that is the most important to you, within the given time frame. You can add things to that list for the new year but for now, use the time that you have wisely.
3. Get support
You know that saying 2 heads are better than one? Well that’s because it is the truth. When working towards a goal it is always best to enrol other people in your vision because they can likely help. People are altruistic by nature - meaning that they want to help so if you share what you are working towards that may have resources that will get you closer to your goal.
4. Work with a coach
Working with a coach is a fast track way to reaching your goals and creating an important shift in your life. The reason for this is because your coach will recognize patterns and blind spots that you are not able to see and will hold you accountable in shifting them. The strong support system will propel you into seeing yourself in a different light, gaining momentum and changing patterns of behaviour that have previously gotten in your way.
Let me help!
Once a year I discount my one-on-one coaching program and the time is NOW! If you want to create a major shift by the end of the year sign up for a FREE intro call to hear more about it.
This is a $1000 discount! See what people who have worked with me are saying.
We all have that one friend that always replies to “how are you” with “soo busy” or “things are just so busy right now!” (or maybe we are that person ourselves). Admittedly, I’ve been there. As an entrepreneur, there have been so many times when I felt like as long as I had X number of clients then “I truly made it”. Which in hindsight, doesn’t make any sense.
I would cram my schedule with work, projects, meetings, events and so much more without taking the time to reflect on my accomplishments or even celebrate my wins. I was just “too busy” to make any time to slow down.
The truth is, I’m not alone. Being “busy” has become a badge of honor in our modern day lives. It makes us feel important, accomplished, on the ball — all the things we want to share with others. But it’s also exhausting to occupy yourself with being busy, especially if you are busy with the wrong things. If you are busy with negative thoughts, acting in a way you think you “should” or doing something you despise, this business will block you from being the best version of yourself and truly being productive and efficient with your time.
Being busy is not inherently a bad thing if we're busy with things that are most important to us and support or well being. But being busy without real time to rest and reflect only leads to burnout and exhaustion. Here are three tips to help you get out of the “busy” trap and find more enjoyment and fulfillment in your life.
Top 3 Ways to Stop Being So “Busy”
1. Reexamine your to-do list
I love a good to-do list to keep me on track to hit all of my goals. But one trick I use with clients is to dive into the “why” behind each item on your list. Before you add it to your to-do-list, ask yourself is it necessary? Does it get me closer to my goal? Do I actually enjoy this?
This will help you recognize the important tasks from the not so important tasks and make sure you’re focusing your time/effort on items that are 100% necessary and in alignment.
2. Set up a solid morning routine
You must find 10 minutes for yourself each morning. It’s an important foundational element to start your day off right. Whether it’s journalling, a gratitude list, a meditation, or just taking some time to mindfully sip your coffee, this time with yourself should be non-negotiable and can really put you in the right headspace for the rest of your day.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
So often we take on way too much and become exhausted and ineffective. You can shift the pattern by examining areas in your life where you can ask for help.
Whether its business, love, fitness, etc. where you could use some help? A great coach can help bring out the best in you and take things to the next level. This could be the greatest gift you give to yourself to help you supercharge your progress.
Remember, being busy is not a badge of honor and you can escape the trap of missing out on life and becoming the greatest version of yourself. I’m cheering for you!
For so many people, Halloween is the designated day to day to dress up, overindulge in sugar, and get your fright on. It emphasizes the spooky parts of death and hones in on fears related to the afterlife. However, Halloween in other parts of the world, is actually viewed as a celebration. It is recognized as a traditional celebration with a deep connection to the supernatural and the dead.
This is referred to Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. A Mexican holiday with 3,000 years of incredible tradition. Over 2 days, families remember and honor the spirits of the unliving. There’s face painting, stories, food, and festivals greeting the spirits from the other side. Sure, the theme is death, but the tone is commemoration - undoubtedly different than the Halloween I grew up on.
So, this got me thinking...rather than fearing death, what if we used the thought of dying as a portal to
recognize the things that are still in us to create?
In addition it can be used as a tool to identify what has died within us and is ready to be released?
Death can provide us with valuable information for deeper insight due to the finality of it’s nature. Are there any limiting beliefs holding you back from realizing your dreams? What a perfect opportunity to go inward and figure out what we hope to get out of life and living.
So, if you died tomorrow, what unrealized dreams would you have?
Is it a relationship, traveling more, launching a business, or just more meaningful connections — that’s information on how you should move forward and what you should spend time cultivating.
By taking a moment to pause and step out of our regular routines, we can cut through the noise and realign to what matters most. And sure, it might be uncomfortable at first, but reflecting on death has a unique way of making what we want to do with the limited time we have left crystal clear.
Q4 is in full swing, and for me, that means taking a step back to see how I’m measuring up to reach my 2019 goals —and setting new ones for the quarter ahead, both personal and professional.
Maybe you had a vision for what you planned to achieve at this point in the year. Whether it was a promotion, a new relationship, launching a business, or better health—can you take a moment to check in and be honest with yourself with your progress? If you’re exactly where you planned to be, amazing! But if you’ve slipped behind, then this is the perfect time to reset. By asking yourself a few important questions, you can change the trajectory of the next 2.5 months and make 2019 your biggest, most successful year yet.
The truth is, if you’ve fallen behind, it’s really NO big deal. Instead of making yourself feel bad, what if you adopted a kinder mindset? This is not a failure, but an incredible opportunity to recommit to the goals you really want to hit to make true progress.
Here are 4 steps to help you reset, reconnect, and get on the path to crushing your goals for 2019.
1. Ask yourself the hard questions
Instead of being hard on yourself, sit down and reflect. Take some time to answer the following questions:
- Is this something I still want?
- Is this important and exciting to me?
- Does timing make sense?
2. Get tactical
After setting your goal(s), break them down into manageable bite-sized pieces. What three things can you do that’ll help you reach each of your goals? Get as specific as possible, and don’t forget to assign deadlines to them
3. Stay accountable
Whether it’s a manager, a best friend, or a coach, get someone to help keep you on track. Don’t be afraid to share your goals with others—having a support system is key to making the future you see for yourself.
Practicing surrender actually helps you meet your goals, because it makes you more relaxed and open. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to put in the work, but trusting the timing of your life and knowing that it’s not all up to you helps to take some of the pressure off and make this an enjoyable experience!
What goals are you setting this quarter? Do you need some guidance to get clear and back on track? I’d love to help you make real goals with real potential. Book your clarity call here to get started.
In our society, being busy, constantly on the go, and straight up burnt out is often seen as a badge of honor. We tend to think being “productive” is the only way to be and even feel guilty for declining invites or taking vacations. And while I’m all for juggling projects, making time for friends, and maximizing my output, deep down I know that sometimes I just need to chill.
With social media, it seems the pressure is even higher with a never ending competition of who can achieve more, share more, take better pictures, and hit up all the workout classes and brunches. If we really take a beat though, deep down we know that our bodies NEED rest to function at peak performance—and sometimes taking a break is the most productive thing we can do for ourselves.
But how exactly do you know if you’re just being lazy or if you really need to shut it down early and sleep in? To what kinds of feelings should you tune in to? Maybe physical like fatigue and sore muscles? Or emotional feelings like doubt and anxiety? The truth is, your body is constantly sending you important messages. You don’t need to understand them, you just need to tune in and act on them.
Here are 3 Ways to Learn to Listen to Your Body by Cultivating a
Stronger Mind-Body Connection
1. Slow down + Journal
How can you tune in to your body if you’re constantly distracted, on social media, and running from one appointment to the next? Intentionally remind yourself to slow down, even if it’s bookended at the beginning or end of your day. A great way to do this is to write out your daily intentions in the morning (for the day ahead) or before going to bed (for the next day). The simple act of writing these down will bring you clarity on what you (and your body) needs and unconsciously make what you desire more likely to happen.
2. Breathe Deep
Most of us are shallow breathers, meaning we don’t maximize the full benefit from taking regular breaths. If your breath is shallow, you can be left feeling anxious or in fight/flight mode. By taking deep belly breaths that reach all the way down to your diaphragm you will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system - the system in your body that is responsible for rest and digest.
The empowering part is that deep breaths can be trained since breathing is one of the only systems in our bodies that is both automatic and can be controlled. For training your breath, I recommend the box breath. You inhale for one, hold for one, exhale for one, hold for one and continue doing this all the way up to 5 (for each count). Doing this daily will ensure that your unconscious breaths becoming longer throughout the day creating a more relaxed sensation in your body.
3. Take Action
Your body is sending you messages ALL the time and it is up to you to listen to it.
Does your neck hurt? That means you have probably been looking at a screen for too long.
Are your hamstrings tight? Stand up, go for a walk or run.
Is your belly upset? Place your hands on your belly as a self-soothing mechanism.
When certain feelings arise, allow the action to come from that place inside of you that intuitively knows what you need.
So while you may have planned to work out before work, or go for happy hour drinks, plans can always change. If your body is telling you it’s exhausted, listen to it. Take rest. Be honest with yourself and the benefits will flow out to every aspect of your life.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.