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4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle” and Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All!

A very common struggle among women today is a lack of time. I bet you can relate.

When subscribers sign up for my newsletter, I ask them in the very first email what their #1 struggle is. One of the top 2-3 answers I receive from subscribers is, not surprisingly, “lack of time” to workout.

That’s not shocking, right? We all suffer from the busy-ness bug!

I totally understand! I’m a mom, wife, teacher, coach, business owner, church member, friend, daughter, sister, and the list goes on……

Consider this for a second:

And here’s a (very kindly spoken) tough love alert…

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

I know, I know- we are certainly all in differing circumstances in our life. We don’t all have nannies, maids, and other hired help. But, even within our own circumstances- no matter what they are- we get to choose HOW we spend our time outside of work hours.

Being “busy” is an epidemic in our rushed society. How often do we hear from a friend that she can’t (fill in the blank) because she is “too busy.” You may even find yourself saying that. I do!

It has sadly become the norm for “I’m too busy” to fly out of our mouths in response to any request or invitation. What does “I’m too busy” really say? To me it says, “That is not a priority” or “I don’t find that important to do.” (Just being honest here, and I’m GUILTY as charged!) We can all agree that we each have the same 24 hours in our day. We choose to use those hours differently based on what we determine is important to us!priorities

It’s time to think about designing your life in a way that you are in the driver’s seat of your time. Don’t sit back and let life happen to you. When you sit back and let things happen TO you, you are giving up full control and just move from one frantic “thing to do” to the next. It becomes a vicious cycle of busyness that seems to be unbreakable. In the meantime, no one is really enjoying all the busyness!

4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle”

1) Schedule your top priorities FIRST. To find out what a person deems important, take a look at their calendar! Does your calendar match what you SAY are your priorities? I’ve come to realize that I’m not “too busy” for the things I find to be important. I make time for my top priorities each day. We all do! But sometimes we haven’t thought about it deeply enough, so we end up just living moment to moment, getting through each day.

Suggestion: Carve out 10-20 minutes each week to re-prioritize your life. Write down all the things that you need to make sure happen each day of the week – the things you will do no matter what. Place your most important priorities on your calendar or in your planner FIRST. Pick a night of the week to do this, and make “scheduling” a tradition. How much better do we all feel when organized?!? Or is it just me?? 🙂

Write down a typical day or 2 and look for time slots that you could use differently or more efficiently. This could be the first step to leveraging her time better. Once you find those time slots, use them wisely. If health and fitness are important to you, schedule in 20-30 minutes a day a few times a week for working out. Schedule in a couple of hours on the weekend for food planning and prep for the week. Writing it down is the first step to GETTING IT DONE!

Also, limit your time on email, facebook, twitter, or wherever you find a time-sucking black hole in your schedule. Turn off notifications on your phone so you aren’t bombarded ALL.DAY.LONG with beeps and rings that let you know there is email to be read or facebook posts to be “liked”. Set aside 30 or so minutes a day to catch up on emails or social media. This ONE thing alone has increased my productivity by leaps and bounds!

2) Get rid of the “victim mindset” when it comes to your schedule or your circumstances. I used to be the QUEEN of this! As a new mom, 10 years ago, I would often have a pity party about how I didn’t have any time for myself because I now had a baby that required my 24/7 attention. Of course, I loved my son dearly and wouldn’t have traded caring for him for anything else in the world, but I now realize that my attitude and thoughts around my new situation were causing me to feel miserable. Looking back, I see that I was getting something out of playing the role of a martyr. I enjoyed how others would feel sorry for me when I told them how my time was no longer mine and I was “too busy” to even take a shower. They would pat me on the back and tell me what a great job I was doing. I was getting affirmation out of playing a “victim” of my circumstances. Now I realize that when I’m in the victim mindset, I’m hindering myself from taking ACTION on what I really desire.

For me, I now choose TAKING ACTION over BEING A VICTIM. 🙂

How many times do you say or hear it be said, “I’m too overwhelmed to add anything to my day. I’m just too busy.” What that is saying is that whatever the activity is that is in question isn’t currently a priority. That’s ok! Just be truthful with yourself. There’s no judgment. It just is what it is – not important at the moment.

Consider this: How many of us will JUMP when called upon to send a snack for our kid’s preschool class or sports team. It doesn’t matter if you get the call at 10 pm, you are ON IT! React the same way to the things you say are important to you! If you say it’s important to exercise, for example, you will find a way just like you found a way to make those cookies for your child’s class or team (even though you were tired, it was late at night, or you were feeling overwhelmed).

3) Don’t take on new obligations that are unnecessary. (i.e. Learn to say “NO” sometimes!)

Self-imposed busyness is a way we sabotage our own goals. It’s how we justify not eating right (don’t have time to plan or cook meals) and not exercising (who has time for that?!). An authentic “no” is much more appreciated than a resentful “yes.” Agree? Would you want someone to do something for you that they didn’t want to do? I believe we’d all agree that the answer is no.

4) Prioritize LEISURE time in your own schedule as well as your KIDS’ schedules.

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” –Lao Tzu

Our kids are scheduled down to the minute these days instead of outside running, playing, building forts, making mud pies, etc. Sports and other extra-curricular activities are important, but they don’t ALL have to be done at once. Set limits. Don’t be addicted to “BUSY.”

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And for all you ladies, make sure that at least 5-10 minutes a day you can relax and enjoy a hot bath, a good book, a leisure walk with the family, or chat with a good friend. This is important to our own psyche and our stress level. It’s not selfish to prioritize meeting your own needs from time to time. I would argue that having your needs met makes you a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, and neighbor. 🙂

What does this have to do with health and fitness?

A lot.

When you don’t prioritize your health and fitness and the health of your family, no one benefits. Don’t be “too busy” to take care of your own physical needs! If you are healthy, active, and feeling alive, you are able to help your friends and family in an even better way – without resentment or being bitter about it.

If you need help, hire a coach to help you. Ain’t no shame in that! I’ve personally had several coaches in my life that have helped me better myself. 🙂

Health and fitness aren’t at the top everyone’s priority list. I get that! For me, it wasn’t for many years. I encourage you, however, to use these same principles in your life to make sure that “busyness” isn’t getting in the way of your TOP priorities whatever they may be.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes that I love about busyness…

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ~ Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

 

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

 

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves” ~Jack Kornfield

 

“The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much further.” ~Sir Heneage Ogilvie

xo -Jill


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Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

 

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5 Lessons Learned After My Birthday Crisis

By Jill Jacobs

As I get older, my birthday becomes more of a time of reflection than celebration. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be pampered a little, but I find I reflect more on my birthday than when a new year rolls around.

Today on my 42nd birthday, I think about where I’m at in my life as a wife, a mom, a friend, a relative, a business owner and coach, and most importantly as a follower of Christ. I think about past goals, where I’m at with those, and where I want to go in the future.

I also reflect on lessons learned in the last year and how I can use them to grow and learn. This is what I want to share with you in this post because I learned so much in the last year!

Last year, literally ON my birthday, I was faced with a crisis. I was at the beach to enjoy a wedding and time with friends, but I found myself on the phone discussing my “situation” with an attorney. Not how I wanted to start our summer break.

What happened was this: I was basically forced to re-brand due to a trademark issue with the name I was using on my old website and on social media. Basically, I had to start over from scratch to rebuild my website, membership site, facebook page, Instagram account, and youtube channel.

My social media accounts, particularly facebook and Instagram, had thousands of followers that were completely lost when this company accused me of trademark infringement. My accounts were shut down without warning, and I wasn’t allowed to defend myself to them or simply change my name. I had to start completely over. It was a nightmare in progress. It took many, many woman hours, a few tears of frustration, but most of all, it took me sucking it up, putting my big girl panties on, and going deep inside myself to find determination and tenacity. I learned quite a bit going through this crisis and want to share my insights with you with hopes you’ll find them helpful. 🙂

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Here are 5 lessons I learned from this tough time:

  • Be tenacious, determined, and persistent. It’s tempting when life throws punches to just give up. In order to succeed, however, we have to be diligent, keep our goals in front of us, and resolve to move forward. It will actually make us stronger than before!
  • Choose to lean into the struggle rather than wallow in victimhood or self-pity. Another temptation when times are difficult is to play the role of the victim. For whatever reason, we humans tend to love this role. We get sympathy from others who shout with us, “I can’t believe you were treated so poorly!” Some people thrive on that sympathy and being the victim, but may I suggest an alternative. It feels so good to just lean into the struggle and take action! Action takers are people who prefer to move forward instead of dwell in the past.
  • Be willing to change and roll with the punches. The FEAR of change is much, much worse than the change itself! Plunge in, move with it, and join the dance. Change can be very hard and push our emotional limits, but the growth that occurs with change can be a positive and empowering! I’m choosing to be positive and empowered by this crisis. 🙂
  • Look for the silver lining. To be honest, this time last year I wasn’t feeling my brand anymore and had strongly considered re-branding. I looked at how much work it would take and resisted. My silver lining in this situation was that I was forced to do what I *really* wanted to do in the first place! Funny how that worked out. 😉
  • Practice gratitude. This tool has been a game-changer in my life. As humans, we all know how easy it is to get caught up in negativity, blaming, and other unflattering behaviors. That’s why I like having a few tools in my back pocket when these negative things come my way! Gratitude is a tool that has helped me when things don’t go “my way” or when negative things happen. Gratitude gives us all the ability to find the good in any situation and see the positive aspects in other people even when they mistreat us.
My 42nd Birthday :)

My 42nd birthday – headed to a family reunion 🙂

There you have it…. my top lessons learned from this past year! Having a proper perspective, I was able to change a major crisis for me personally and my business into something positive. I look forward to this coming year and what it has in store. 🙂

Feel free to share with me some of your top lessons you’ve learned recently over on my facebook page! Be sure to sign up for email updates below to receive some really great freebies and regular emails from me with tips on living a healthy lifestyle! I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

xo -Jill

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Getting CLEAR About Clutter {+ Giveaway}

By Jill Jacobs

“Your environment is a reflection of your life.” -Annick Magac

Maybe you find it a little curious or strange that I would blog about clutter on a site that is primarily focused on health, nutrition, and fitness topics. Well, surprisingly, clutter impacts your health and success WAY more than you may realize.

Author, health coach, and design expert, Annick Magac, explains in her book Clear: How to Simplify Your Life & Live More Fearlessly how your habitats (home, office, car, etc.) may help or hinder your personal or professional successes and even your success at body change. She further teaches you *how* to transform your habitat to make living a life of freedom and success possible!

“Like life, just because you find yourself in a particular situation, thought pattern, job, health, fitness, or relationship that isn’t serving you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change it at any point. The first thing is to recognize that there can be something to change. The second part is to know you have the strength and power to make the changes necessary to create the life you want and envision. The third part is to take the steps to make those changes. Like anything new, the hardest part is getting started, but once you’re on a roll it gets easier and easier. Clear will help you with all these steps.” – Chapter 1 p.24

When your physical environment is cluttered, often your mind will be as well. This makes it difficult to wind down, de-stress, and sleep well which are all so important for optimal health. When we develop healthy surroundings, full of beauty and peace, living the life we desire becomes more natural and effortless.

My Story

No change is an island. In other words, multiple things tend to influence a lasting change in our lives.  So let’s go back in time before I read Clear: How to Simplify Your Life & Live More Fearlessly.

I’ve always kept a tidy home. However, I am known to have many “Jill-piles” as my husband lovingly (ha!) calls them. I also let things like filing papers and new recipe finds accumulate to the point that I’m too overwhelmed to deal with them. This got a bit worse a couple of years back….

After not working (besides at home of course!) since 2002, I decided that I wanted to work as an online coach on top of homeschooling my boys. This was an added commitment on my plate but one I felt passionate about pursuing. At first glance, running an online business may seem easy, but I can tell ya, it’s way more time consuming than most people would believe- especially in the beginning.

I had a friend once tell me how nice it must be that my job is to simply hop on the computer for a while each day and check in with clients (as if that’s the only thing I do in her mind). What my friend didn’t realize is that in order to have any clients at all, there are some minimums when it comes to running an online business. These include having a website for clients to find me, having a social media presence, creating my one on one client programs, creating my group programs, having a streamlined way for clients to check in regularly, creating documents that my one on one clients complete, creating coaching emails, blogging, marketing, relationship building, trying out new fat-loss friendly recipes, and much, much more! She didn’t know what she didn’t know, and that’s cool! It certainly didn’t offend me, rather it made me chuckle!

With all this added responsibility, some things around the house began to be left undone. Oops! Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who picked up some of the home responsibilities like laundry (yes, he’s a keeper!!), but we still decided that we need to revamp some things so that we could have the life we desire.

The first thing we did was to hire a house cleaner. Personally, I hate cleaning! Setting aside hours each weekend to clean became less of a priority for me. Not because I didn’t want a clean, sparkling house but because I had so many other things I was spending my time doing. This decision has been the best gift to myself!

Secondly, during 2014 I wanted to change up our main living space. I hired an interior designer, Kristen Haynes of Reimagine at Home, to help me make my living room and kitchen bright and enjoyable to live in. We switched from earth tones (my default that I totally have to fight against – lol!) to lighter colors, less drab, and lot of brightness. You can see some of the color choices we used in the image below. We went with orange, several shades of blue, a lot of white, super fun fabrics, and lightened up the furniture. My husband created us a sweet piece for over our sofa as well (see image below)! We are really loving the space so much more than before. 😀

getting clear about clutter

After Christmas, while packing up all the decor and putting my home back in order, I was inspired to clean up a couple of areas that have been bugging me. About the same time, I began reading Clear.

I don’t think that those two things coinciding was an accident at all! Although my process of de-cluttering and beautifying my home had already begun, following the exercises in the book supercharged my motivation and efforts. Since reading the book and I’ve been on a MISSION!

Annick makes it clear (pun intended 😉 ) in her book that your physical environment affects your health and well being. You know the terrible feeling when you’re house has piles of clutter and needs a good cleaning, right? When my house is like that I feel down, depressed, and frozen. I don’t even know where to start. The solution is to just start with one spot! Just do something! Action will beget action!

Once the house is cleaned, smelling great, and full of sparkle, isn’t that the BEST feeling in the world!? For me it is, and it motivates me to do more for my home and myself. When my home to-do list is short and manageable, I’m able to tackle other things that often are put on the back burner like self-care.

I still have areas in my home to work on like my going through my clothes, shoes, and recipes, but I’m feeling really great about my progress since starting this process on January 1st. 🙂

“We only accept our circumstances when we believe there is no other way.” -Chapter 2 p.26

But there IS another way! Below are some way you can take action today to clear your clutter!

Your Action Steps to Clear Your Clutter:

1. Start small. It’s easy to allow clutter to overwhelm you and cause you to freeze and take no action at all. I suggest setting a timer for 15 minutes and tackle one pile of clutter. That’s it! Anyone can set aside 15 minutes and get a small job done. You can start with a drawer, the top of your desk, your shoes, your make up, or a cabinet space that’s messy.

2. Donate items on the regular. Have a system in place (a box in the garage will do!) to place unwanted items or clothes that are too small for a monthly trip to a donation center.

3. Sell valuable items that you no longer need. If you have valuable items that need a new home, have a yard sale, post them on Craig’s List, or list them on eBay. I’ve personally found that this isn’t worth my time unless it’s something is worth over $75. We typically donate, but if you’re just beginning this process, it may be worth selling some of the more valuable items. Use the money to reinvest in your home environment!

4. Be willing to throw away things you don’t need that you can’t give away or sell. This is tough for so many. It’s hard to let go of that item we *might* use some day or *might* wear again. If you haven’t used it in the last year, it’s likely you won’t use it ever again.

5. Refurbish items and make them delightful again so they serve to beautify your home rather than clutter it.

Consider this piece by Kristen from Reimagine At Home. She took this old dresser and repurposed it into a television stand. It is fresh, light, and fun not to mention the drawer space that will help with the clutter in the room. These drawers can hold remote controls, dvd cases, books, games, and other items you use in the living space.

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6. Establish systems for items that typically clutter the home. This includes clothing, shoes, mail, bills, book bags, and school work.

My husband is a pro at this when it comes to mail! He has a rule to only touch a piece of mail once. It gets trashed or put in its’ home (bills go to the bill basket, invites are written on the calendar and placed on the refrigerator *if* we need to keep them, and junk mail goes to recycling).

When you have systems in place, you’ll never have to worry about your house looking like “what my mom sees” below!

The Challenge and Signed Book Giveaway!

(This giveaway is CLOSED. Thanks to all who participated! xo)

Follow these steps to participate in the #ClearBookGiveaway and enter the drawing for a FREE, SIGNED copy of Annick’s book:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post or on this facebook post telling me why you would want to win this book.

2. For a bonus entry, post a before picture of the space that you desire to de-clutter (it can be your car, a drawer, your bathroom cabinet, a desk, anything as small or large you would like to tackle with Annick’s guidance). Post the photo on facebook and/or Instagram. It needs to be a public post so that I can see it. Use the hashtag #ClearBookGiveaway. Each post I can see will give you an entry. 🙂 Tag me if you post on Instagram!

3. For a second bonus entry, publicly share this blog post with your friends and family using the hashtag #ClearBookGiveaway. If it’s not public, I will not be able to see the post or give you credit for the entry.

I will draw a name from the entries on Tuesday night, 1/27/2015 at 9 p.m. EST to announce the winner of the book!

clutter.before.after

What do you feel when you look at the before picture? What about the after picture? To me, it’s stress vs. peace.

 

Annick Magac is an author, entrepreneur, health coach and design expert. She knows first-hand that an often overlooked aspect of our lives may contribute to our inability to succeed. In Clear, Magac explains how the physical environment is a reflection of your inner self. This environment can cause you to become stagnant or propel you toward living a fearless life surrounded by beauty. Using Magac’s tried and true techniques, you will also learn how to rehab your environment so it reflects and releases your true inner self. And when your true inner self is free you will find that anything is possible.

Are you ready to get Clear?

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Follow along as many are starting to get their hands on this book and clear their clutter! The hashtag for this book is #ClearBook, so check that out on Instagram and facebook.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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How to Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All

Meet my friend, Maryalice. 🙂

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Maryalice Goldsmith, Founder of InsideOut Wellness

Maryalice, over the past couple of years, has become a great friend of mine. We me in Winston-Salem, NC at a photo shoot for fitness professionals that was hosted by our mutual business coach, Jill Coleman.  I was immediately drawn to Maryalice’s lively personality and energetic presence. Plus, she’s hilarious and makes me laugh out loud constantly when we are together-  and who doesn’t love laughter?!? It’s healing for the soul! We had a fun weekend getting to know each other and have been friends ever since!

 

Maryalice is a leader when it comes to working with clients to lower stress, set priorities in order, and pursue a fulfilled life! This is a journey she knows very well herself (as you will read below), so she’s the perfect person to offer her perspective on how to go about pursuing your own purpose. Maryalice a person who sets out to help others every single day!

 

I was chatting with Maryalice recently, and she mentioned that she had a “Finding Your Purpose” program she’d been using with her own clients. This was an exciting revelation since I’m often asked by busy women about how to stay motivated and how to keep health and fitness a priority.   I asked Maryalice if she’d make an appearance on my blog to share some ideas about how she navigated this journey and offer you some tips on getting started with setting priorities in line with your goals and purpose!

 

Enjoy this journey with Maryalice… 🙂

Hey everyone, I am thrilled to be here on Jill’s blog and even more excited to share a bit about my journey. So thank you for being here!

A few years ago I had one of those revelations, you know the kind that people talk about that changes their whole life…puts things into perspective – that kind. But, unlike many people who have those ‘A-HA’ moments, mine was more of an ‘A-HA’ journey.

I think many of you can relate to those times in your life when you are driving along and you think ‘There must be something more ~ this can’t be it!’ I have to tell you while having these thoughts there was no way I wanted to share it with anyone. I actually felt a bit guilty as I had a pretty awesome life. I was married to my high school sweetheart for 16-years, we had 3-awesome boys, and at the time a beautiful fur-baby (our Yellow-Lab – Abby, now we have 2!). Life was good and there was no way I should be feeling sorry for myself and looking for more. But, in all honestly, I was.

I had this ‘Ho-Hum’ feeling. Every day seemed the same and in one word I was bored. It sounds ridiculous now, but at that time it was what it was. I was a stay-at-home mom, a dream of my husband and mine and I loved being a mom for my boys, there is no greater blessing. I think that is why I was even more dumbfounded. Here I had anything I could have ever wanted and still wasn’t satisfied, I wasn’t 100% happy. This was a struggle because I was ashamed.

Then the journey began…

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One day a friend of mine introduced me to this book called the Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. I hadn’t read a book in I don’t know how long so I was excited to have a book that came highly recommended. I began to read this book and I was having those ‘A-HA’ moments non-stop! There was so much he was speaking about that was resonating.

  • Lacking focus
  • Feeling bored with life
  • Lacking energy – depression and frustration
  • The yearning for something more.

He spoke about how many of us struggle with lack of direction and focus…(Hello – I can so relate!) how we allow ourselves to get caught up in the chaos of life without taking the time to touch base with our soul. We let stress, anxiety, and frustration to build up and we block ourselves from true happiness.

I decided that I was not going to take these ‘A-HA’ moments and do nothing with them – I was going to start my process ~ my journey inward. I began to meditate every morning – I would wake before the entire house and I would sit in complete stillness. This was REALLY hard to get used to, but once I did, it became a highlight of my day. I would then journal and express what was on my heart and mind.

4-Key elements we all need to focus on…

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There were 4-key elements I would address at the end of my journal entry – how was I going to address my spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs of that day? I would dedicate part of my day to address these 4-area’s because in that I was honoring my soul. When we honor our soul ~ when we give our soul a voice we are then able to be the very best version of ourselves, we are able to thrive.

This journey was an amazing experience. It made me realize that I wasn’t lacking in anything except the connection to myself. I had lost myself. I was undefined – lacking focus, energy, and my purpose. I had entrenched myself in my role of a wife and a mother, which is a great thing, but as the kids got older and needed me less I became more and more lost.

It takes more than an ‘A-HA’ moment to reveal your true purpose!

Self-discovery of any kind takes time and commitment. The more I practiced stillness the better I got at it. The more I addressed my physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs the more I discovered who I was, what I loved, who inspired me, and who I inspired. I began to live my life with purpose and everything changed – Everything!

I remember waiting for my youngest son to come home after school one day, he was 8-years old at the time. I saw the bus come through the neighborhood, so I jumped up to meet him outside. He came running up the hill to our house and I said: “Hey buddy, how was your day!?” He looked up at me with a quizzical stare and simply said: “Why are you so happy!?

Now someone might have taken offense to this, but for me, it was so affirming. I was not happy the way I was living. I wasn’t miserable either but there is a difference between a person who is grateful and aware and one who is always in search of something more. When you look at someone who is lost and confused versus someone who is confidently clear about his or her life – there is a HUGE difference. This was a profound moment for me. I knew I had revealed my purpose through my practice and the work I had put in. Even more importantly, I knew just how important it was to live with purpose and how it can have a profound impact on one’s life and the people in it.

It doesn’t take a miracle, just respecting your process…

There is no miracle here, by any means. Like I said, there was no one ‘A-HA’ moment that changed my life forever, there is a process and a journey that led me back to me. This process has given me clarity, direction, inspiration, and passion for living my best life yet. If it weren’t for this process I wouldn’t be typing this right now. It allowed me to take risks to design the life of my dreams from the inside out!

I am a believer that when you discover or learn something it is our obligation to share it with as many people as we possibly can. In fact, I have discovered that one of my main reasons I am on this earth is to help others – to bring people to a better understanding of themselves. Doesn’t necessarily matter how I do that, but I know that when I am doing it, I get fired up in a really good way! I am living with purpose. Are you living with purpose?

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There is no need to rush your process. This is your journey and should be respected as such.

People who live with purpose are more focused, grateful, happy, and successful. Their success comes from, not so much in what they are doing but more from the fact that no matter what it is they do, they do it well. They are fulfilled and they embrace life 100%. Their priorities are in order and they go to great lengths to address them daily. They know themselves to the core and they live their life based on their values and morals. They are ‘doers’, risk takers, and they live a passionate life. We all deserve that!

If you have any questions you can reach me here: info@insideout-wellness.net

In Health & Fitness,
Maryalice

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14 Female Fit Pros Spill Their Secrets for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

How awesome would it be to comfortably wear that little black dress hanging in your closet on New Year’s Eve? How would it feel to slip into your jeans on January 1st and find that they still button just as they do now!?!

 

Read on to find out the secrets of these lovely female fitness professionals who are graciously sharing how they avoid holiday weight gain. Soak in their tips and put them into practice TODAY! Be sure to download all the yummy, fat-loss friendly recipes that are linked as well.

 

Without further ado, meet all the gals… xo-Jill

Kate Horney

Kate Horney

 Postpartum Fat Loss Expert from BeyondFit Mom

This season of Christmas cookies is tough for me. Reindeer mix (have you tried that? White chocolate, m&m’s, pretzels, etc), 7 layer bars and fudge… oh heaven help me!! (I have a major sweet tooth)

Thankfully, after years of living the fat loss lifestyle, I have come to find some great tips for navigating the holidays, keeping my waistline in check, AND still enjoying myself …

Here are two of my favs:

1) Go Guilt Free. If you overeat at one meal, no big deal. Ditch the guilt and simply go light on your next meal. Fill up on fiber and protein and you’ll be just fine. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from ONE piece of pie!

2) Pitch In. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering or offer to help with parties, meals, etc. and share some of your favorite fat loss friendly versions of traditional holiday favorites. Who knows, you may be able to inspire friends and family to get on board and join you in your healthy lifestyle! And even if you don’t, at least you know you’ll have a few dishes that you can enjoy freely.

Here is a link to Kate’s very FAV fat loss friendly holiday dessert; the crustless pumpkin pie! Be sure to check out Kate’s Fat Loss Friend(lier) Treats Pinterest board HERE as well!

 

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Kristy Agan from KristyAgan.com

Wife, Mother of 2, and Trainer at Pro Performance in Rome, GA

I avoid the extra holiday pounds by looking by marking important dates on my calendar like parties, etc. My birthday, as well as Christmas and New Years, all fall within weeks of each other and they all bring along with them treats that I love. So I make those days something to look forward too by eating clean between those special dates. And by eating “clean”, I mean that I avoid eating out as much as possible, avoid processed foods, and I try to prepare the majority of my meals at home using whole foods. Lots of lean proteins and veggies. And of course, I make sure to avoid “drinking” my calories. Holidays also come with social events where “fun” beverages can KILL a fat-loss plan. Whether it’s a glass of wine, tea, pumpkin spiced latte, egg nog……you get the idea…..I have to make sure that I want my “cheats” to be what I REALLY want. And I love a good dessert on occasion so I try to avoid the high calorie drinks whenever possible.

Probably one of my favorite ways to get around a sweet tooth and not go overboard is to eat dark chocolate covered strawberries. They are easy to make and I get best of both worlds!! I find that if I prepare a dessert (cookies, cakes, etc) I end up being the one eating the majority of it so I avoid that pitfall by not baking when I can.

Maryalice Goldsmith

Maryalice Goldsmith
Owner of InsideOut Wellness

Surviving the Holidays without damaging the waistline requires balance, awareness, and choices. So what is one to do? For me, it is all about the mindset. For years, it was about the food, especially the dessert ~ I used to LOVE all those holiday cookies. Today in my healthy lifestyle I choose to put my energy on the people I am with. I allow the love I feel, the laughter I enjoy, and the stories told from years past to fulfill me. This takes awareness. Food is for fuel and it brings us to the table and yes it tastes really good but today in my life, choosing not to have things that leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable and just simply enjoying those I love truly works for me. This holiday season, sit back and take in all the blessings you have, this is incredible fuel for the mind, body, & soul! If after that you still want a cookie then I say enjoy every bite 🙂 Depriving leads to over indulgence ~ find your healthy balance. Happy Holidays!”

In Health & Fitness ~ Maryalice xo

Check out Maryalice’s “holiday recipe” for enjoying the holiday season. 🙂

Abby Fratzke

  Abbie Fratzke

Owner of Absolutely Strong

I don’t cheat; I plan. Rather than over-estimating my willpower to swear off Christmas cookies for the season, I make a plan to enjoy the holidays and stay fit based on: when my parties/events are, what I truly want to indulge in–rather than eating errrrythang in sight–and how can I support myself before, during and after an indulgence. For example, I know my family always celebrates on Christmas Day at my uncle’s farm so then I won’t indulge on Christmas Eve too–I prepare to enjoy the following day by eating, training and sleeping as usual. Then on Christmas I know I want to indulge in eating my Grandma’s pie and lefse so during meals I load my plate with veg and protein rather than anything unhealthy/tempting so I can enjoy dessert. The following day I work out and/or fast to rid myself of any bloat–because let’s be honest one day of indulgence might cause some water retention, but it won’t ruin your smokin bod! So if you want a glass of champagne on New Years Eve then drink and be merry, but prepare before, pick your indulgence, enjoy and then return to your regular habits.

Inkeri Young

 Inkeri Young

Founder of Ink Young Life

During the holiday season, I keep my eating pretty much just like it is usually. I will enjoy foods that are not typically part of my meals IF they are something that I really want. Store bought cookies, pies and regularly available treats etc. do not appeal to me. As far as holiday treats; I don’t like egg nog and I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie (even I LOOOOVE pumpkin prepared in other ways), but give me some Finnish chocolate that my mom mails us and yes, I will enjoy some 🙂

I always bring something to the parties that I know will be yummy to share and will not make me feel “blah” the next day. Examples of the type of things I might bring are almond and/or coconut flour baked goods, salads and vegetable or cheese & meat platters. And I always drink a ton of water!

When we attend parties with our children, we’ll decide ahead of time how many treats we’ll enjoy and the boys know to look for their protein, veggies and fruit from the offerings to get some of the better choices along with their treats.

think that maintaining fat loss is a great goal for the holiday season. It’s also important to remember that even the food is a big part of the holidays, we don’t need to involve all the activities around it. I love finding non-food and active ways to connect with the family and friends, such as hikes and bowling.

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 Rae Anne Mullins

Owner/Trainer at RAM Fitness for Women

The “old ” me used to fill up on every morsel of food I could get my hands on because “ it’ s the Holidays! ” Well, I no longer look at the Holidays as an excuse to eat. Now I actually challenge myself to lose fat during this time of year. Planning ahead is key to facing the holiday eating frenzy. I take a protein-based dish to every party I go to so that I know there will be at least one thing I can eat that is fat loss friendly. I drink a lot of water and always limit myself to just one alcoholic drink. I find that the conversation is much better when I don’ t drink too much. I love desserts so I have come up healthier versions of holiday classics such as pumpkin pie, cake, and nutty apple crisp. I believe the thing that helps me the most during the holidays is finding time to relax. The stress of getting everything done and making everyone happy is my biggest challenge. I combat the stress with plenty of sleep every night and I enjoy taking a hot bath with a big cup of decaffeinated green tea.

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Sabrina Sarabella

 Clinical Nutritionist and Fitness Expert at Sabrina Sarabella Fitness and Nutrition

Since I am very social I have a ton of holiday parties to go to over the holidays that eating and drinking can sometimes get out of control if I was to let it. Since my weekends can get very busy during the holidays I commit to getting my workouts in M-F, I also keep my diet clean all week long. On Friday and Saturday nights, I allow myself to indulge in dessert or a glass or two of wine but like to focus around spending time with family and friends and not the food involved in the gatherings. I allow myself to enjoy my indulgence but get back to eating clean the rest of the time.

Lisa Gee

(not pictured)

Blogs about all things health and fitness for moms at Workout Mommy

I maintain my weight by only allowing myself to eat the things that are REALLY worth it. Before I have a bite of something indulgent, I always think “is this worth it?”. It’s easy for me to resist things I’m not thrilled with (like mashed potatoes or stuffing) because they just aren’t my “it” food. Brownies, however, get me every single time and I just factor that into my plan. I allow myself to eat one (ok, 3!) and then I know the next day it is back on plan with lots of veggies, lean proteins, and water! It’s okay to splurge every now and then but just make sure it is something that is worth every single bite!

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Lori Musselman

 Owner/Trainer at MusselFit

Oh the holiday parties … so much food! In the past, I would’ve indulged in a little bit of everything. Then I gave myself permission to be a food snob. Yes, a food snob! While it is a time to celebrate, I’ve learned to ask two big questions before I swallow a bite of food that doesn’t fall in line with my health and fitness philosophy:

1. Do I really L-O-V-E what I ’m about to put in my mouth? If the answer is yes, I eat it and feel no remorse. I love pumpkin and cheesecake; even pumpkin cheesecake, so if that is available, I’ m going to allow myself a small piece at a party.

2. Does what I ’m chewing taste good enough to put in my body? Let’s take Buckeyes for example. Chocolate and peanut, what is not to love? Well, my taste buds don ’t care for the powdered sugar taste… so I no longer eat those.

Check out Lori’s Easy CrockPot Chicken BBQ for an easy, delicious, filling option to take to a holiday gathering. 🙂

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 Darcy Knoblich

Health and Wellness Coach at DarcyKnoblich.com

Borrowing from an Eastern medicine philosophy, winter is the time to conserve our energy and practice restorative activities. Unfortunately, the holidays can feel like the exact opposite of this! To stay balanced and keep my butt in my skinny jeans (and out of sweat pants with forgiving-but necessary-waistbands) I focus on self-care activities: daily leisure walks, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and prioritizing consistent meals high in fibrous vegetables and protein. Soups and stews are my favorite! When I take care of myself, I don’t feel depleted. I have the energy to attend all of the holiday parties and eat a few bites of pie without it triggering me to eat the ENTIRE dessert table… subsequently keeping me in my skinny jeans well into the New Year!

Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown

Owner and Coach at Beautiful U Fitness University

Hi, everyone, this is Amanda Brown from B.U.F.U. With the holidays coming, there are lots of tempting situations so I have a three-part survival plan that I use during this time to avoid the holiday weight gain.

1) I focus on eating veggies first and protein second, then fats and avoid sugar/starch during the week.

2) When at a party, I only indulge in my favorites desserts. I do not just eat sweets because they are they. I strategically survey the desserts and only pick a favorite or two (like homemade pumpkin pie with homemade whip cream) and I ALWAYS use a small plate. Then I savor every bite by eating it slowly. On the nights I do indulge with sweets, I don’ t eat fats – only protein and veggies.

3) I don’ t starve myself before a big family dinner, I eat normally during the day, and I bring healthy substitutes to some of my favorites, like mashed potatoes. Plus, I always bring an extra veggie dish I made because my family doesn’t always cook the way I do. Then I focus on maintaining where I am versus trying to lose fat. Lastly, I do a couple extra fat burning workouts.

Happy Holidays 🙂

Erica MacArthur

Erica MacArthur

Founder of Curvy Healthy Girl

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! My whole family gets together and we have a wonderful meal. Yes, it can be challenging to stay away from some of the goodies presented, so I try to just indulge in a couple bites of things that I normally wouldn’t have like cheesecake. Filling my dinner plate with mostly protein and veggies and a couple bites of starch, then my next meal is right back on track. The trick that I have learned in the past couple of years to not packing on the pounds for me is to make sure I get a hard and heavy weights workout that morning and after dinner take a nice walk. Exercising that day is mentally soothing to me and makes me happier about indulging a little bit. 🙂

Julie Stubblefield

Julie Stubblefield

Founder of Fit Mom Revolution

When I was 70 pounds heavier, the holiday season was a complete free-for-all when it came to food. The end result was not only added weight, but I also felt poorly during the entire season. I didn’t sleep well, I felt bloated, and my clothes were less than flattering. The added stress of the holiday season just contributed to how I felt as well. Since changing how I care for my body, I am much more mindful around food. Instead of having a full-on cheat meal each week, I allow myself little indulgences (2 or 3) throughout the week. If I’m baking cookies with my kids, I’ll allow myself to eat one. If we go to a special event, I select one food item that really appeals to me and eat one serving of it. This allows me to participate in all the family and holiday traditions without feeling deprived and keeps me from bingeing. Another key component to managing my mindfulness around food is sleep. When I’m tired, I don’t make the best food choices. And if I’m surrounded by less than ideal choices constantly during the holidays, being tired (or exhausted) makes it even harder to resist. I make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly, and aim for 8 or more when I can. Holidays are busy, but making sleep a priority helps me to fend off the less than ideal foods and also feel better as I’m navigating the crazy schedule. Now that I’ve changed how I handle food during the holiday season, I feel much better, my clothes look better, and I’m in a better frame of mind to spend time with my family…which is what the holidays are really about!

Check out Julie’s YUMMY Pumpkin Protein Treat. (I can’t wait to try it myself! ~Jill)

 

The 14th and final tip comes from me. 🙂 One of MY favorite ways to avoid overeating at a holiday gathering is to have a quick and convenient protein smoothie before I go. It leaves me satisfied rather than famished which helps me make much better choices. I want YOU to have my favorite protein smoothie recipes!  SIGN UP at the very bottom of this post to receive my “Lean Lifestyle Guide for Busy Moms” as well as my TOP 9 quick, easy, and convenient protein smoothie recipes!

 

Are you ready to take the holiday season HEAD ON? If you need support this year, if you want to learn how to navigate parties, if you want to have strategies in place that set you up for success, and if you want  accountability available through working with me, apply for my One-on-One Training and Nutrition Coaching Program today. You will get the support and tools you need to THRIVE through the holidays without the bloat and seemingly inevitable weight gain!

 

I hope you enjoyed these fit pro secrets for avoiding holiday weight gain. Don’t forget to sign up for your free gifts below! Happy Holidays! ~Jill

 

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What a difference a year makes!

Today I celebrate 1 year of Jill Jacobs – Lifestyle Coach! To be more specific, one year ago today, I launched my business facebook page. I took a leap. I spread my wings. I soared into this great adventure…

What an experience it has been so far!! An exciting journey indeed!

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There have been ups and downs and everything in between! Most people have been supportive and have cheered me on as I took on being a momprenuer. And of course, there have been a few naysayers. However, I’ve learned to turn off these negative voices and “just do my thing!”

I’ve had to make a major mindset shift to just be myself and ignore any negativity that arose throughout this year. I discovered that this mindset shift is similar to what it takes to achieve body change. Both take putting one foot in front of the other, making one choice at a time, and simply TAKING ACTION on what I know to do. That has helped me tremendously in my transition from being a stay-at-home-mom to a work-at-home-mom.

I’ve learned so much over the past year and have gotten to know some really neat people. I’d like to take a moment to reflect…

  1. Thankfully, when I started my business, helping others meet their goals was a passion of mine. Had it not been, I wouldn’t have made it a year! Starting a company is a LOT of work and takes so much precious TIME!
  2. Along the same line, time management has been something that I’ve gotten pretty good at this year. It was my weakness starting out but is becoming manageable. It’s still a work in progress as I juggle my biz, my home, homeschooling, being a wife, being a mom, and my personal interests like working out. 😉 It’s getting better each month.
  3. My family is super supportive! We’ve certainly had “growing pains” as we have adjusted to mommy working from home. Thankfully, their love and support of my venture have been above and beyond what I could hope for!
  4. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being in a Mind, Body, and Business Mentorship program with Jill Coleman of JillFit Physiques! Not only have I benefited from her coaching online and via phone, but I’ve met a lot of super AWESOME girls in the group that share similar goals as myself. It’s great to have a top-notch support network! As a group, we’ve chatted on facebook about business, fat loss, mindset, and collaboration. On top of these great discussions, I had the privilege to attend an awesome fat loss seminar, I had an incredible photo shoot, and I just finished up a really informative business retreat in Asheville, NC.
  5. Mindset is EVERYTHING! This applies to business and to body change. This is HUGE!!
  6. The most important aspect of what I do is HELPING others meet their goals. I wouldn’t be a business without my clients. Let me take a moment to express how I feel about them… 🙂

clients

Yes, I LOVE my clients! They make my job worth doing!! They are such wonderful women who work hard, alongside me as their coach, to figure out their own fat-loss formula. Allow me to share a few things they are saying about their experience…

  • “Jill, you have given me a lifetime’s worth of knowledge on fat loss, muscle gain, and a positive body image. You are my mentor in nutrition.” ~Dr. Erin Kalb
  • “Having the accountability of the group is great…nice to have somewhere to be vulnerable and share successes and weaknesses.”
  • “Most days I’m stuffed but still losing weight! How great is that?”
  • “Short workouts are awesome!”
  • “I can say I’m not hungry at all. I eat 5-6 meals a day and I haven’t gotten the 3 pm crash I use to get. My workouts seem quick and effective but I sweat and I’m sore the next day. That tells me I’m doing something right. I look forward to the next few weeks to see the outcome of my efforts. ~Angie Stone”
  • “Little changes over time make a BIG difference.”
  • “Since starting with Jill and learning a whole new approach to eating.. Like good healthy food.. It’s totally broke my habit of sugar! I now can just get the smallest nibble of anything with real sugar in it and instantly I have the worst headache! So now knowing this, that nibble is not worth it, so it’s finally easy to walk away!”
  • “Lots of protein is awesome and make you feel better! Protein and veggies satisfy blunting the need for so many treats and cheats!”
  • “I am looking tighter and my clothes are fitting me better. People are starting to notice my “arms looking more toned”. Workouts are going great. I am getting stronger, I have been upping all my weights in both kettlebells and cross fit classes. I can do push-ups on my toes and I am deadlifting 200lbs!”
  • “With proper nutrition, hormones and cravings are under control which leads to fat loss.”
  • “Water intake is important.”
  • “I can enjoy meals and feel satisfied! No starvation diets here!”
  • “The next meal can be a fat loss meal…no need to wait til “Monday” ;)”
  • “A good night’s sleep is a great help in living the fat-loss lifestyle (Decreases hunger and cravings, increases energy and motivation!)”
  • You can see more client testimonies HERE and HERE.

On top of feeling better, having more energy, and eating plenty of food, my clients are losing body fat, getting stronger, adding muscle (looking more “toned”), losing inches, and fitting better into their clothes!! This lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. 🙂

As I reflect on the successes of my clients and the success I’ve had at Jill Jacobs – Lifestyle Coaching, I can’t help but feel so much gratitude in my heart! I love what I do. I have a passion for helping others and spread the truth that fat loss does not have to be complex. I look forward to another wonderful and productive year. 😀

Thank YOU so much for being a part of my journey. Thank you for reading my blog. If you are a client, THANK YOU for trusting me to guide you in this aspect of your life. I’m sincerely honored and grateful for everyone (family, friends, clients, coaches, trainers, and all my mentors) who is a part of who I am today. I’m truly blessed!!

xoxo ~Jill


If you’re interested in information about coaching service that I recommend, here is my top suggestion to help you reach your goals! I’ve currently stepped away from coaching clients but love to recommend the best programs I find!

FASTer Way to Fat Loss is an 8 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


 

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