2016 Goals–Lesley #28

This is a big week. HUGE week. A week I have been waiting for since May but probably since I started having stomach issues in 2007. Not that I am excited to do what I have to do. This week I have 2 procedures with my stomach. I am told I will have the results after I wake up.

One of my goals for this year was to have a loving relationship with my stomach. I know a strange goal but after 8ish years of avoiding foods and trying out different theories I have thrown myself into the search. This is the year I find out what in the heck is the problem.

So, this Wednesday is a big day. I am nervous. I actually do not want to go through with it. Sounds terrible. But, I am hoping that they find something. Finding something would mean we can make a plan and move on.

No pressure right?! I hope to finally be able to move on to other goals for this year and my health next week.

That’s all the update for now. I have decided this week is just to focus on preparing for the test. Sometimes you just have to focus on one thing.

Wish me luck!

xx~LL

2016 Goals update #3 LL

Life is back in full swing. A wedding, work and my birthday are here. In the schedule and asking for attention. It’s easy to drop new habits to quickly handle the opportunities that arise. But, my goal is to use these opportunities to strengthen my new habits. So, a few schedule changes here and there and wah-lah. All is well and now I can enjoy the nuptials of my friend and have my birthday cake too!

Health: my yoga teacher is out of town. I took advantage of his absence by going to my friends classes.

Personal: Operation consolidation is in full swing. I am free of an extra checking account.

JobLove: Filming a workshop and submitting applications for these workshops to offer continue education credits.

If you take a look ahead you can pretty much make room for anything extra that comes your way.

xx~LL

Goals 2016 update #1 LL

Hey Hey, we are officially into the New Year! Here’s what I have been up to so that 2016 will be the year of living with fierce and fabulous strength.

Health: I took my calendar and put my yoga and Pilates classes and even self practice in and on repeat for the whole year. I know that in March I will be traveling and I have a few conferences that will take me out of town. I’ll deal with those when they arise. For now, I can sit back and know that I won’t double book myself.

Personal: I have a bank account that is solely for this one student loan on autopay. I have never changed it because I couldn’t login to my account. I finally took the time (and yes it was a lot) to log in and change it’s auto pay to the bank account I actually use!

JobLove: I wrote out several workshops I want to film. I submitted them for approval for continuing education credits. I scheduled their filming dates. Next, I have to put in my tasks to make the filming dates happen.

I would like to share that I use a couple amazing apps to make my 2016 happen. 1) I do use a calendar. I even have a shared calendar so those who need to know are. 2) I use omnifocus to help me organize my projects and tasks. I can set due dates, defer dates (so I don’t have to see things that are not on the docket) and I can repeat things after I completed them. 3) https://basecamp.com/ allows me to assign some of my tasks to others. For example I need to update things on my website. I put it in Basecamp assign it to my web deb team and they get an email. They do it, check it off and I get an email. This takes the task off my mind and allows me time to do other things. PS my husband I used Basecamp to plan our wedding in 4 months. There were no fusses, fights or issues.

Stay tuned for next weeks update! Please share yours. We would love to hear what you did this week to rock your 2016 plan.

xx~LL

2016 Goals Plan- LL

I am really excited to share with all of you my 2016 plan. As I mentioned in “How not to make resolutions” I do not make any resolutions for the year. Instead I use the new year to reflect on what I enjoyed about the year before. Then make a clearer map for the year ahead.

I do not cling to goals. If a goal isn’t working, I simply ask it if it wants to work or if it needs a new plan. So, my readers, here is what I am working towards for 2016 and even beyond:

This year I will remind myself that I want a Fierce and Fabulous Life!

Health: Stay Consistent, Stay Positive and put myself first

Sure I want a handstand in yoga…still (I am so much closer). But I don’t want to put some arbitrary date on this said handstand. I will get handstand and so much more if I continue to do my yoga regularly.

It’s easy for me to beat myself up for not being able to do something. I am a perfectionist and a creative. A perfect combo for negative thinking. As I approach a challenge and I hear the neg self talk begin to whisper I smile, I literally say to myself “live fierce and fabulously” and that gives me the strength to squash that self talk that serves no purpose.

Personal: Consolidate and Organize

I happen to have a few things that do the same thing. Bank accounts, sweatshirts, email addresses, and some social channels. It’s time my minimalist living takes over a little bit more of my lifestyle not just my apartment style.

Job Love: Plan, Produce and Grow

I quit my salaried job at the end of last year. It’s the second time in less than a decade that I left the security of a salary to live my dream. I am super excited and of course happily scared. There’s a lot I have to do today to make the rest of the year even exist. I want my website to be full of workshops for instructors and blogs of inspiration. However, I can’t do a years worth of anything in one day. So, I set up a plan for January, February and March. I will take a moment end of march to see what’s working and what’s not. For their to be growth I must produce my product. For their to be product I must plan.

There are my three major themes my loves. Stay tuned for next week to hear what I did towards these goals. Don’t forget we want to hear from you. Share your goals with us!

xx~LL

Celebrate National Girlfriend’s Day! 5 tips on how to be a great friend

A friend sent Clare a National Girlfriend’s Day card last year, and to be honest, we hadn’t heard of it before that. A few people have reached out to us through this blog to ask us our viewpoint on friendship and on National Girlfriend’s Day. So here it is:   WE LOVE IT!

LL and Clare have now been friends for 14 years. We celebrate not only own crazy partnership, but all that we have in our lives! We do our best to have a weekly phone conversation, partially to discuss this blog and our future, and partially to get updates on each other’s lives! We have written some Blog posts about friends, to keep them or to leave them, making goals that include friends, and about taking care of each other. We both value health and loving yourself.

These are our 5 favorite tips for great friendships:

–reach out to your friend(s).  Relationships take tending.  So make sure you give it attention to help it grow! True friendships take time to grow. If you don’t water them or get the weeds out they’ll die out.

–listen.  The most important thing in any relationship is keeping your ears open.  Everyone needs support.

–don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions–yes, friends might be sore that you’re asking them, but things like life choices and health are nothing to take lightly.  We posted a health checklist below to start that conversation.

— be honest—even if you think it might hurt their feelings. If they find out you lied later it’s actually worse.

–have fun–friends help us let loose, try a new activity. Share your favorite thing to do with your friends today

Go out and celebrate all of your friends and friendships!  As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

-Clare and 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.

Below, check out an infographic made by Oscar Health Insurance Company!

Oscar Women's CheckupsLRG

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!

Making the Bed and Other Daily Habits That Matter

I’m a Gemini, for better or for worse. I don’t religiously believe in astrology, but there are some irrefutable traits that I have that are totally and completely “Gemini:” I’m fun, out going, happy, creative. But I’m also fickle and I don’t always finish things—I can’t begin to tell you how many projects I have laying around waiting to be finished.

It is really frustrating to me that I don’t finish things. It’s even more frustrating that I seem to not be able to keep healthy habits going. I regularly berate myself for not doing some sort of physical fitness. However, I do have two daily habits: coffee every morning—and an hour of quiet time to myself, when possible; making my bed—every day, without fail. This sounds like something that is just a daily task, without a moral. But its not. I didn’t start making my bed daily until about 8 years ago when I was in my late 20s. I’d love to tell you that there was some lovely dramatic story to this, but there really isn’t. As a kid, my parents encouraged a clean room, but it didn’t always happen, and wasn’t enforced. As a teenager, I just didn’t care if my bed was made or not. In college, I was convinced I could only sleep well if I configured my blankets and pillows in a certain way. This configuration was not to be disturbed, so I NEVER made my bed. After college, I moved into an apartment, got a grown up job while still pursuing my dream on the side. I dated, and had men over. I still didn’t make my bed. It just didn’t matter.

Then one day, it just did. I read something that said if you’re stressed out in your life, you need to organize your living space. To try to channel this, I think I did everything BUT make my bed. I cleaned out my closet, organizing my shoes and putting all items by type, season, and color. I went through my drawers, and organized and refolded everything. I cleaned and organized all surfaces, my desk, my nightstand, the top of my dresser. This overhaul took a few days, and I still didn’t think about making my bed—I think I pulled up the sheets to make a flat surface for organizing, but I didn’t actually make it. Now, in my terms, “making the bed” is straightening sheets and blankets and any flat to be straight and pulled to the edges, sometimes tucked. Pillows are fluffed a bit and sat straightened. Any extraneous blankets are folded neatly at the end of the bed. I have a queen bed. This activity generally takes me no more than five minutes. I rarely do it right when waking up, its usually after I’ve been awake for a bit.

The first week I started to make my bed daily, something interesting started to happen: I was happier. Not from making the bed, but instead from randomly entering my room and seeing that my sleeping space was just waiting for me. And the opposite is very true as well: if I don’t make my bed and I walk back into my room, I’m grumpy and frustrated until I make my bed. Its so bizarre. I’ve also figured out that if I leave things on my bed, taking up its space, I am frustrated when I come back and see the mess on it. I’ve also learned that if I need to remember things, I write myself a note and leave it on my pillow—those things ALWAYS get done. And, if I need to take anything with me for the day, I put it on my bed, I never fail to remember those things.

I wish I had better daily habits. I wish I got up and did yoga, Pilates, stretching, meditation, vocal warm-ups, eating healthily, writing, even brushing my hair, regularly without fail (yeah, sometimes I walk out of the house and haven’t brushed my hair… I’ll confess that. It happens. After having super short hair for over 10 years, I forget to deal with long hair some days. But I digress…) Instead, I have my coffee and bed making. Both make me happy. Both make my day go more smoothly, and thereby make me a better person.

The point I’m trying to make here is that daily habits you have should make you healthier in some way. The gym isn’t a healthy habit, if you find you can’t live without being there for at least three hours daily and aren’t getting paid for it. The coffee intake isn’t the healthiest choice, but the time I spend with those cups (and ultimately myself) is. Taking five minutes to make my bed isn’t a lot of time, but ensures happiness. Yes, I do other things for health and wellness, but nothing else is a daily priority. Truly, I’m ok with it. So, yes, I’m a Gemini. Yes, I’m a creative. Yes, I’m a coffee drinker. Yes, I’m a bed maker. I often bemuse that I don’t have better consistency, but I’m consistent for the things that matter to me; when I need to be consistent with something, I am. What makes you happy, and how can you make it into a habit? Do you have good daily habits? Are they as good for you as you think they are?

-Clare