Next time. Tomorrow. Maybe Later. Or, how to stop avoiding your goals!

Here at Live ClareLesley we love goals and lists. That’s actually an understatement. We at Live ClareLesley LIVE for goals, and believe lists help you stay organized.

I have to admit something to you readers. I have some things on my lists that have never left. Haven’t even come close to even doing the first step towards crossing them off. In fact, a couple I thought about crossing off because I didn’t want to look at them anymore and I couldn’t see a time in my future where I would be able to tackle them.

For example, I had on my November to do list “spin class 2x a week to prepare for “Cycle for Survival“. I went one time in November. Put it on the December list….ran 6 days a week but never went to class. In January, I even told my Man “I must go twice a week!”  I had 4 weeks to prepare. I looked at two group classes schedules and never attended. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, one day I even was at the gym, and a class was about to start at 12pm.  BUT I decided to go for a run instead. My February cycling event came around, and wouldn’t you know I had only been two one class in 4 months. Don’t even feel sorry for me…I did it to myself.

I died! The class killed me. I was sucking wind. I promise you I ran 4 miles a day 4-6 days a week. But did I make the time to cycle? NOPE, no siree bob I did not. So, after 50 minutes of fantastic music, great eye candy and amazing cheer crowd energy I peeled my sweaty booty off the bike seat. I made my legs at least get me off the “saddle” and I managed to make my way into the glorious locker room showers and take way too long of a shower for any Californian aware of the drought.

I obviously survived. “The class killed me”  was more of the state of being. A mindful condescending look. That internal argument we have after we stay up too late watching “House of Cards” before work the next day. You knew you would be tired but “that tired”? Really! Oh to be 21 again. I  was catatonic most of the day and ate my weight in plant based food that night. Beating myself up for not making cycling class a priority.  Then I woke up and crossed that off my list.

I know longer was preparing for an event. I obviously didn’t care about cycling as much as running. I had hoped that practicing for the event would give me a reason to get on a cycling kick. To have something other than running be a cardio option. But I didn’t really enjoy it (if you do that is so freaking awesome by the way. This is not a knock cycling blog). Why on earth was I forcing myself to do something I didn’t want to do every week?  Seeing this goal/to do item just made me feel bad. I felt like I wasn’t living up to my goals. Also, and most importantly just because we do something once doesn’t me we want or have to do it again. So, it’s absolutely ok to have enjoyed the moment and move on to the next.

I crossed it off! Sharpied right through it. I took my 2015 goals out and check of Cycle for Survival. Then went into my calendar to list and took off “cycle 2x/ week”.  Take a look at your lists. Do any of the excuses/thoughts/frustrations below sound familiar?

  1. After several months its no longer a priority or excitement.
  2. It didn’t light your fire.
  3. You don’t feel good about yourself seeing it there day after day–in fact it feels like a chore.
  4. You’ve asked yourself Why? Why am I avoiding this goal?

That last reason I want to repeat for you. I asked myself Why? Self, why do you put off scheduling a cycling class? Self, why do you find time for everything else including extra work but not this? Self, why do you have this as a goal?

You can do this too! Try it. Look at the goals you have. Look at your to do lists. Why are those items on there? How did they get there? Did you put them there? Did someone say you should do something?  So you put it on your lists. Maybe it sounded good at the time?

It’s absolutely ok to leave a goal or task on your list. Just have a good reason why you are leaving it there. If you find yourself making excuse after excuse, re-evaluate the item. What would it take for you to get it done? Do that! Or don’t. But stop torturing yourself over what you’re putting off.

I was putting off cycling because while I LOVE the event (seriously an amazing cause) I dislike going regularly to class. I much prefer to spend my cardio time with my run buddy. We get to talk about our day, what we like, don’t like, dating and goals and best part end with an awesome iced coffee. I can’t do any of that in cycling class. Also, if I am really really honest. I like the sound of when people say they are going to class. I liked the idea of being one of those people. But, truth be told: it really isn’t me.

We are not failures for not achieving the tasks or goals we set for ourselves. We are being honest with ourselves and rocking our bliss. Not someone else’s or what we think we should do because it sounds good. Sometimes we set goals and then we grow out of them. Luckily we write goals on paper, not in stone. You can change them as needed.

Grab your lists and goals and ask yourself Why are some of these taking so long? Do I really want to achieve these?

Tell us what you’re working on. What you’re tossing out and what you’ve crossed off!

Xx~LL

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Crying Wolf On Social Media

My dog died. (Sorry, horrid way to start out a blog…but there it is). Actually, it’s not my dog he belongs to a really close friend, but I’ve known him since college, so it feels like he was mine–like a furry cousin or nephew that I used to see a lot. He was old. Lived a good life. Was loved so very much. 

When I got the call about the news, I had three reactions:
1) I can’t believe he’s gone
2) I wish I could cure the deviation being felt
3) I need to post it on social media.
Whaaaaat?  Ok. The first two are normal. The third has become the norm. But why?
Social media, like anything else, has so many positives, but it also has its negatives.  It allows us to connect and reconnect and network with so many people. I can see pictures of new babies from across the island, I can see accomplishments and exciting news of friends scattered across the country, I can see updates from the other side of the world. Instant private views and news. Unfortunately, it also allows over shares, and created co-dependence. It brings up the adage: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?  The problem is, everyone wants to make sure that they’re heard, even stranded and in a forest of our own making.
Cellphones allow the same thing. Don’t get me wrong–I couldn’t live without my smart phone–I’ll try to turn it off for a day, and only last a few hours (Candy Crush, I can’t quit you). I have a love hate relationship with my phone. With the ability and possibility to need and be needed by hundreds nee thousands of people at any given moment of the day. (Phenomenal cosmic power; itty bitty living space. Anyone?)
Let me go back to the dog…when I got the news I was talking with one best friend, and I was about to meet up with a second best friend (I believe in lots of friends and many best friends; at least for myself.) Mid phone conversation, the text came through. I started bawling. I was still talking to phone friend and meetup friend rang my buzzer. I told both friends all of my feelings and sadness. Amidst all of this I wanted, no NEEDED to tell the world via social media what happened.
Why? Why did I need to tell my 1006 “friends” when I had two right in my reach?  Two genuine people. Two people who know the responses which soothe me most. Two that would actually hug me.
I have to tell you, it itched, the need to post my sorrow. How would people know the reason I wasn’t myself?
So, are you reading this crazy thought and shaking your head at me??? I’m shaking my head re-reading it. (A little side truth…I started this blog almost 6 weeks ago and am polishing and revising now.  Seriously?!?  Why did I feel that need?). Well, I felt the need because I wanted to connect. I wanted to reach out, and be reached out to. In this fast world, we still need a human connection. Even if it’s just a “like.”  This fell under the co-dependence AND over sharing headings.
There is such comfort in knowing we are not alone. But at the same time, it’s mildly creepy we allow people to stalk us. It really is an odd phenomenon. We allow people to know details about our lives that are relative strangers, or are strangers. I still can’t get over people walking up to me on the street that I vaguely know, and asking me how some life event was…because they saw me post about it on social media.
Now, let me be clear–I love social media. I think it’s a great forum. It’s amazing to find friends again that were lost and are now found. It’s great to connect with people who were once a part of my life in different cities–my California peeps, my relatives, my semester in London. But, it’s when we become dependent, addicted, if you will to social media that it’s the issue.
My Facebook app was on the second row right hand side of my iPhone for years.  It was easily accessible. In one quick tap, I could look anyone up.  Facebook became my go to when waiting for anyone…I’d hop on when I was bored, lonely, or even just wanting to space out. I found myself rechecking Facebook five minutes after I had just checked it. Nothing new in the news feed. And it was worse when I had a crush on someone or was dating them…I was a mild stalker. (Don’t judge.  I’m sure you have some bad social media habits, too). I’d even do this to my friends when they were too delayed in texting me back–where were they, if they checked in at a movie, I’d know that why wouldn’t text back for a few hours; but if they weren’t checked in anywhere, there was no excuse for not responding. WHOA!!!!! What?  Stalker much?  I’ll admit it.  And then there was a moment I went crazy because of Facebook…A friend went AWOL for days. I checked Facebook, and a picture of him doing something silly, having a smile on his face popped up. I LOST it. He could post on Facebook but not respond to a question I had sent him via text 4 days before???  I cried. I was angry. I wanted to text him mean and angry things. Luckily, my sensible side kicked in. Who knows when that picture was taken? Maybe then. Maybe weeks ago. Maybe he, like me during my dog death time, needed to show the world how he wanted to be seen in the moment he posted. Who knows. The thing is, my overreaction came from the thought that I felt like he thought all of his Facebook friends deserved to see that he was happy more than he thought I deserved a response. He needed the attention of his 1006 friends on Facebook (I don’t know how many he really has…I just like the number 1006 to describe number of Facebook friends. Because who in real life has the time to keep up with 1006 friends?!?) In that moment he needed that attention, more than he needed the attention of one of his best friends. (Remember when I mentioned co-dependence up above…?)
We’ve sat down and dealt with all of that–but the point is that both he, and I during my dog time, felt the need to tell everyone instead of being “old fashioned” and just talking through our feelings with a nearest and dearest.
This incident, and more my overreaction to it, made me take a week off of Social media. It actually stretched to 10 days–I was quite proud. I missed a birthday party, the death of a friend, and something else that was really big at the time, but I can’t seem to remember what it was. The thing is, I found out about them through other people. Eventually. My life went on. The first few days were rough. I ended up moving the app into a folder, moved it to the fourth page of my apps, and the second page of the folder. So it took me three swipes, a tap, and another swipe to enter the realm of Facebook. Actually, it still does. And I use it less. And life goes on.
I now check maybe once a day. And it’s kind of blissful. People know how to find me. I know how to find people if I’m having a rough day.  My friend (the one who “inspired” the hiatus) and I talked out the situation. He doesn’t know the picture on Facebook was the catalyst. But it doesn’t matter. I cried. I wanted to cry about my “wolf” dying. Instead of taking it to the masses, I took it to genuine friends.
Social media is great to reach out. I’m not saying “don’t use it.”  But remember that “social” is defined as: interaction that is enjoyable. Needs, burning desires, stalkings, and the like, aren’t enjoyable. Think about how you post and browse. Is it truly social?  I have had a “posting policy” for the last few years: unless something will positively effect, I don’t post it.  How do your posts rate to that? Are you more negative or positive?  Maybe you need to take the week challenge and see how your life changes (or goes back to normal)!  Get your face out of your phone. Actually talk to people, see what happens.  If you need more convincing, read this article about relationships and social media.  Use social media for good, not evil!
–Clare
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No Waiting Dating 

He broke up with me twice before our first date. Yep, he did. The Man who I call my Love; we have a very interesting dating story.  We share our dating story often. It’s a unique. It’s totally us and  one we also hope inspires others. Someday I’ll share the whole story with you. Today I’m sharing a detail. A tidbit if you will. Something you can take with you and use.

During our transition from “the musician” and “the Pilates instructor” there was a long discussion. Well, to be honest every meeting included long discussions where we talked about our pasts, our wants, needs, desires…lives.  But there was one pivotal conversation that changed everything.  One in which took us apart for about 10 days then brought us together. Closer than ever.

Last week, Clare wrote about being Straightforward when you start dating.  This week I want to talk about moving that relationship forward in a similar way.  My Love and I were at my place on our Thursday night weekly hang. He started the conversation. I sat there and listened.  I learned all the things he liked about me. My dearest readers let me tell you. I love hearing this about me that someone likes or enjoys. However,  It’s not easy to hear things people like about you while they are also ending things with you. I mean picture this scene: My bohemian meets mid century apartment. Chai Latte’s in hand and his loveable PitBull in my lap. Hanging out on the carpet talking about the weeks thoughts. When he announced that he didn’t want to lead me on. Before I could respond he began to list in detail everything about me that he liked. Everything! From how I was a Coach but I didn’t “coach” him, how I didn’t contact him. My “love languages” are ‘touch’ and ‘words of affirmations’. Very similar to his. How he liked that. Since having similar love languages means we can understand how each other communicates love. But…

Another day I’ll tell you what happened after “But.” For now, I want to share with you how I dates.  How I acted and reacted.  What I learned though during this conversation from him I had always believed and coached my clients and friends on:

  1. Do not text, call, FB, tweet etc: if they want you they will call you. If they aren’t that’s your answer.
  2. Do not wait: for those of you sitting there shaking your head at me because someone in your life just isn’t ready. Sure, anything is possible but better for you to go on with your life and if they’re lucky you’ll still be around. But you wait for no one.
  3. Wait for commitment or at least 90 days: trust me! Think about that last time or times you didn’t. Later finding out things you didn’t like about s person. Sex makes you feel things that just are not what a relationship is based upon. Steve Harvey even compares this to jobs. No company gives you benefits without waiting 90 days. Why is it ok that we have to prove ourselves to an employer to earn the benefits but in life we just give them away?
  4. Texting does not a relationship make. My Love would call me all the time before we got together. We rarely texted only. People can copy and paste texts all day long. Conversations are unique.
  5. You’re Amazing. If someone doesn’t see that then let them be on their way.

He and I sat for a couple hours while he told me all the things he liked about me. I sat there. I listened.

Finally after some thought I said “stop liking me so much, it’s freaking you out”. The next day he called me. In that conversation I told him  “I’m amazing, hopefully I’ll still be available when you figure yourself out (I may have said. Sh*t out).  There were other things mentioned that I’ll save for another day (or you can hear from him in a podcast that’s about to air). I gave him things to think about but I never waited. Was I angry? Yes. Was I hurt? Of course, I cared about him. I always had since I met him wanted us to be something someday.  But, I didn’t wait for him before and I certainly wasn’t about to text, call, email spend hours wondering, wishing or hoping. Of course I did in the moment wish and want some things. But, I always lived my life. Followed my bliss. I couldn’t worry during those 9 months between us meeting and getting together what he was thinking. I dated and had fun doing it.

Always remember: It’s your life. When you live your life the way you want, when you love yourself for who you are that will attract the right partner for you.  My dears please do not sit around waiting for the person to call you, text you or be “ready.” No waiting dating.

xx~LL

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Dating: Straightforward From The Beginning

I meet the most interesting species of adults while dog walking—one of my many eclectic survival jobs. Anyway, yesterday at the dog park I was talking with a dog walker—who is a super nice guy, handsome, buiiilt—he’s a nutritionist and is a bulky dude. I see him often and we chat about different things. Yesterday, our conversation moved to: how to approach someone they’re interested in, and how much is too much “bluntness.” His word was “bluntness.”  I followed up with saying I think there is a big difference between “blunt” and “straightforward,” and he agreed. The trouble many of us face when attempting to date is that there is a whole pool of candidates with different desires. Some are in the shallow end, just looking to splash around and have some fun, while others are paddling around the middle of the pool kinda wanting to commit but don’t want to go all the way to the deep end, and at the far end are the invested divers and lap swimmers—the ones with commitment in mind—in the deepest part of the pool.  I told Buff Dogwalker that I think that no matter what part of the pool you’re in, no matter guy or gal—straightforward is always the best. I’m not saying walk up to someone and ask in the first thirty seconds if they’re interested in sex and only sex.

Instead what I’m saying is try to push aside your nervousness (visit my blog from two weeks ago!) And yes, everyone is nervous or has some modicum of the anticipation of rejection, especially in the dating world.

Here are some steps to get into straightforward dating:

1) Observe!  Instead of focusing on yourself, focus out and read the body language and cues of the other person. Everyone should probably know by now that if someone is leaning toward you, or coming closer they’re probably interested. If women smile or look down, or play with their hair—they’re interested. If men lean, or puff up, strut, or offer to buy you a drink—they’re interested. If none of these things happen, they’re probably not interested, so move on. When it comes to ladies, well, we will laugh, or find a way to touch you, or lean in. Eye contact, especially when it is followed by blushing or a smile is an indicator for attraction for either gender. And likewise for disinterest, if either party seems distracted, looks over your shoulder instead of at you, or finds a reason to walk away, they’re not interested. It sometimes happens that someone stops you as you’re walking away, but don’t bet on it—but if they do—stay.

2) Engage! Once initial interest is established, create easy conversation. It’s really ok to have a few topics that you always talk about—people joke about weather being a conversation topic that anyone can talk about, but its true. I’d pick a few things that you can easily converse about. Try not to talk about things that you’re a super smarty on, or political or religious topics… those can happen down the road. Music, celebrities, movies, community happenings, cheese: all are interesting starters.

3) Be Straightforward! After you’ve chatted for a bit, if you’re still interested, you can bring up that you’re interested in dating, or a casual romance (aka, just sex), or that you’re looking for something long term. I’m not saying you’ll be guaranteed any of these, but you’re welcome to throw it out there. You’re also welcome to just see what happens. A safer alternative is to ask the person on a date, if they don’t ask you first. On the first date you can always have the “this is what I want out of this relationship” conversation. I internet dated for a year, and to be honest, at some points I didn’t know where anything was going. Sometimes dudes told me flat out that they wanted a certain thing out of dating, whether it be dating, relationship, or sex. Although, at the time it was a shocking conversation (and could have been brought into the conversation more subtlety and not as pointed), I really appreciated those men who said something like, “I really like you, and I’m interested in only BLANK right now. Is that something you’re interested in?” I know you’re probably saying something like: “but that just totally pigeon holes the whole relationship into one thing.” Well, what can I say, you’re right. BUT, if its said straight forward what the other person wants, you can make your decision now and move on if you’re goals are different.

In this fast paced society where we can find information on our phones at any given moment, order food on the internet to be at our door in 30 minutes, and talk to anyone instantly, why not be straightforward with your dating desires just see what happens? I’m not saying flat out ask for sex. I’m saying state your intentions. As in, “I’m not looking to really dive into a relationship right now, but I want someone to go on fun outings with,” aka: I’m just looking to date. Or, “I’m really looking to just find someone for fun tonight,” aka: I really only want to hook up. And finally, “I’m looking for something long term to see how it goes,” aka: I want to date and possibly have a relationship. Always add on a: “And how about you?” to the end of these.

Yes, this may seem blunt, but turn it around; if you’re looking for something specific when you go out—which you probably are (its really ok, and probably best to be honest with yourself)—just be honest with the person you’re interested in. I have so many hindsight conversations with girlfriends and guyfriends that all sound like: If I had only known that he/she only wanted to date, I would have been willing to do just that, but I didn’t know. Yeah, it’s a bit brutal, but if you’re honest and lightly straight forward, you’re not leading the person on. Do you really want to keep someone around who has a different agenda?

Buff Dogwalker ended our conversation yesterday, saying that he wished he had known that the woman he approached only wanted to sleep with him. She told him at the end of their second and last date, that he could have had her, and she wondered why he waited so long—according to him, he didn’t even try to kiss her at the end of date two, even though he wanted to, he was trying to be a gentleman and prolong the romance. Hindsight, he said he would have slept with her and cut through all the baloney if only he’d known what she really wanted.

Almost three years ago, I started a relationship with a guy, and I thought that he wanted a relationship. He lived out of the city, so it was rough. One day, I invited him in for a sleepover. I realized the night of said sleepover that we were just going to be casual. Since we never talked about it, I didn’t know. He decided that he wanted a relationship. Because we didn’t talk about it, we were focused on different things, and three months later after stringing each other along, it ended poorly. I’m still beaten up about it… “if I had only done things differently” floats through my head when I see a doppelganger of his walk by me on the street…

So there you go. Agree, disagree. Try it, don’t try it. I’m all for honesty, and I’ve Duty Dated enough that I’m done—I know what I want, so from here on out, I’m going to state what I want upfront. Maybe it will work, or maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll miss out on possible opportunities. From now on out I’m going to be honest with myself and my conquests, relax, and see what happens.  Because dating should be fun. It should be treated as a hobby. No one freaks out or overthinks yarn, book club, or collecting stamps.

–Clare

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Love the Skin You’re In 

I get it! Working out is hard. Some days are easier than others. Some days you have to drag yourself to the gym or out the door for a walk. Some days you want to throw in the towel and eat a bucket of ice cream and binge watch House of Cards. Stop! Put the spoon down. Watch an episode of HOC, not the entire season. Save some for later and get moving. Why? Because you’ll feel better.

Yes, some days are tougher than others but move anyways. If you don’t it’ll just be harder the next day. You’ll just be putting off your health. It’s a fact you rest, you rust. Move it or lose it. This year I set out to “Love the Skin I’m In”. As I wrote about in Desires,  I started out setting all my goals as Desires instead.  At the end of 2014, I decided how I wanted to feel this year. The decision I made: I want to love every inch of me. Part of that decision is feeling strong and healthy. Working out is a huge part of this desire. However, some days my alarm goes off and I have no idea what day it is or why I’m getting up. I have to fall out of bed, away from my snooze button, so that I get out the door. I may drag my feet to the corner to meet my exercise buddy for our run, but 33-35min later I’m thrilled I did. Iced coffee in hand, walking home, I’m ready to take on the day!

Since the first I’ve been holding myself accountable to difference fitness modalities. I did thirty-three days of yoga at the beginning of the year. Committed to running four times a week, Pilates three times a week, and a session with my trainer. Yes, it sounds like a lot but it’s not bad. My workouts are so important in achieving my desire that they are in my calendar already.  I schedule everything else around it. After all, not only is it good for my health but it’s key to helping me to love the skin I’m in.

I so proud and blessed to say that it’s still the beginning of the year and everyday I love the skin I’m in more and more. I’m challenging my body. I’m stronger I look and feel better. I feel sexy. All because I set a goal/desire and took action towards it. As a Pilates instructor I know so many of you hate the gym, don’t like to workout. Are super busy. I hate to break it to you. You get one body. That’s it! One. You’re in it! Would you rather drive around a clunker that has squealing breaks or bad alignment? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I urge you to find a workout that makes you happy. Challenges you from your soul, outwards.

Need an inspirational workout? Check out Sean Hayes doing his moving for the day. What? You don’t have a trampoline in your home? Here are some easy tips to get your body moving and have fun while doing it:

  1. Grab a workout buddy: Ideally someone who won’t cancel on you. Someone who wants to even work harder than you a little to hold you accountable.
  2. Join a gym, yoga studio, cycling studio: having to pay for a membership puts value on it and makes it harder to just do nothing. Similar to the workout buddy the membership becomes your monetary accountability partner.
  3. Check out local teams or meetup groups for fitness and join groups or sports teams.

No funds. No gym. NO EXCUSES! You think I am going to let you work, eat, sleep and repeat? No way. You’re too awesome for that. Besides, you rest you rust! Seriously. When I think about rust I remember this old wheelbarrow out in the back yard where I grew up. Do you really want to become and old wheelbarrow? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  1. Download an app, join an online workout site: Pact is working for Clare. I love PilatesAnytime.com, yogaglo.com and the dailyburn.com or popsugar.com or just google! Google know’s everything and can help you find something that moves you.
  2. Start small and add in as needed. If you have not had a regular fitness routine pick something you like and try to do it a couple times this week. As you get used to adding things to the calendar add more movement. Slowly progressing into the schedule you need to hit the goals you have. Go on, get up and shake a tail feather and love the skin your in.

What’s your favorite way to workout? I love Pilates Yoga and Running.  Leave us a comment and let us know how you plan to Love the Skin You’re In!

Xx~LL

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!