personal development: self-improvement vs. self-criticism

Let’s talk about personal development. We all want to grow, improve ourselves and raise the standards for our lives – and those are admirable goals. I personally work hard to become a better version of myself each and everyday. However, there are two key points to keep in mind:

1. Make sure that whatever you are doing, you are doing it for YOU and not for the approval of others. If you’re constantly seeking the approval of others, you’re wasting your time and energy. People’s opinions of you should not and do not define your self-worth.

2. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We are all a work in progress, and when striving to better yourself and your life, it’s important to know the difference between self-improvement and self-criticism. Striving for more doesn’t mean you can’t be happy with who you are and where you are now.


Be careful with how you talk to yourself. Are you constantly putting yourself down with thoughts like “I’m stupid,” “I’m such a mess up,” or “I’m not good enough?” If so, STOP that negative talk in its tracks. Negative thoughts lead to a negative outlook on life and harsh self criticism leads to a low self-esteem.

Remind yourself that you are worthy, you are good enough, you are accepted and you are loved.


“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” ~ Song of Solomon 4:7

Be well,


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how to set yourself up for success

Happy New Year!

The start of a new year inspires many to get a fresh start. We often times will come up with resolutions and goals that we’d like to achieve. When it comes to accomplishing goals, I’ve noticed that WHY you want to achieve a goal and HOW you set that goal can be more important than WHAT the goal actually is. Here are some tips that will set you up for success!


Focus on how you want to feel. Many people will set goals without acknowledging WHY they want to accomplish them. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, your desire may be to feel more confident. If your goal is to get a promotion at work, your desire may be to feel more financially secure. If your goal is to start a family or go on more dates, you’re likely craving love. Acknowledging the feeling that you’re after will help you clarify WHY you want to accomplish your goals. So, ask yourself, ‘How do I want to feel?’

Create connections. Now that you’ve decided how you’d like to feel, it’s time to brainstorm ideas on how you can achieve those feelings. If you’d like to feel creative, your intention could be to paint more. If you’d like to feel love, your intention could be to spend more quality time with loved ones. If you’d like to feel more adventurous, think of a few activities that will accomplish that for you. Get creative as you connect the feeling you desire with a way to attain it.

Set your intentions. Now it’s time to create specific goals that will drive you towards your desired feelings. Instead of simply saying, “I will paint more,” set your intention to create one new painting a month. Instead of, “I’ll do more activities,” write down specific activities like hiking, scuba diving or rock climbing and how often you’ll do them. The key here is to set intentions that are specific and have a timeline or deadline. Here are some examples:

*My desire is to feel more creative and I will accomplish that by taking an art class once a month.

*My desire is to be more adventurous and I will accomplish that by traveling to Europe this year.

*My desire is to experience more love in my life and I will accomplish that by having a weekly date night with my significant other.

Take action by creating new habits. Our day to day habits shape our lives and can if and when we will achieve our goals. Let’s say your desire is to feel stronger and you’ve decided that you will go to the gym three times a week in order to accomplish that goal; it’s important to create new habits that will support your intention. You can get in the habit of waking up early and going to the gym before work. You make it a habit to lay out your workout clothes the night before. You can make it a habit to update your playlist so you’ll always have good music to listen to at the gym. Your habits will either help or hurt your goals, so make sure you create ones that support your intentions.

Get support and accountability. January 1st, we are all motivated, January 15th, we are still going strong, but by February…..not so much. How can you keep that motivation all year long? Easy – get help from people who will support you and hold you accountable! Share your intentions with your friends, family and your health coach. Post your intentions on your Facebook page. Keep a list of your goals visible in your house as a reminder. Send the message out to the universe that you can and WILL accomplish what you’ve set out to achieve.

This year – this day – can be however you want it to be it. Focus on how you want to feel, create connections, set your intentions, take action, create new habits, get support and you’ll create a life you love!

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Be well,


5 easy ways to avoid holiday weight gain

With the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy for your health and fitness goals to get placed on the back burner. Here are some easy tips for staying healthy, happy and fit during the holiday season so you’ll be ahead of the game come the New Year!

xmas tree

have a food strategy  – with all the holiday parties, you’ll find an abundance of food and sweet treats everywhere! You can avoid holiday weight gain without having to chew on broccoli while everyone else enjoys the meal. Play it smart at holiday dinners and choose the best and leave the rest. Pick your favorite foods that you know you’ll enjoy the most, or select the foods that look most appetizing to you, and leave the rest. Do you want a biscuit with your meal or another glass of wine? Would you prefer to have Christmas cookies or hot chocolate for dessert? This simple tool of “picking and choosing your battles” will allow you to enjoy your absolute favorite holiday foods.

However, if you’re the type that will feel deprived by picking one food over the other, than I suggest you “eat all, but eat small.” Have a few bites of everything that you want, and stop when you’re full (not stuffed like Santa). By doing so, you’ll feel satisfied that you were able to try all of the foods that you wanted, but not guilty for completely going off the rail.

give up the “I already blew it” mentality – ok, so you ate three cookies, but that doesn’t mean you should polish off the entire bag of cookies! Those three cookies won’t affect your weight, but eating the whole bag certainly might! If you’ve overindulged and are feeling guilty, forgive yourself and then MOVE ON! Enjoying delicious foods should never cause guilt, but it’s when you give up on yourself and keep the damage going that will leave you feeling not so great. So, put the cookie jar down and walk away!

stay active – go for a jog, get a weight training session in, take a spin class – the holiday season is the perfect time kick up your normal workout regime. It will help you blow off the stress that can surround the holidays, boost your mood and burn some extra calories!

take care of yourself – the holidays are often a very busy and stressful time, so it’s important to take extra good care of yourself. Get a massage, take a yoga class, spend some quiet time reading a book – make sure you do things that will keep you happy and healthy this season.

focus on the reason for the season – put the food, parties and gifts aside, and remember what truly matters this time of year: spending quality time with your friends and loved ones and creating incredible memories that will forever nourish your soul.

For more tips on how to eat healthy during holidays and dinner parties, check out this post.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Be well,