Category Archives for "Baby Steps"

Aug 29

One Thing To Do When You Need A Little Motivation

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps , Planning

Are you feeling a little unmotivated? You know “you should” be doing something, but it is hard to pull the energy together to do it? Feeling unmotivated is draining, but the opposite is true, too. When we have a plan of attack and we are moving forward, it feels great! How then can we boost our motivation? I know one thing that can help.

I recently had the blahs. Along with my blahs, I had unexpected aches and pains, veterinarian appointments for my dog, car repairs and computer issues that popped up. I felt like everything was fighting against me and my motivation. My energy was plummeting. There was one area that I felt like I was on track, and that was my training for an upcoming bike ride. Even though it was hard to keep going, I was able to. I asked myself what it was that was keeping me going, in the hopes that I could do the same in other areas of my life. 

My motivation came from the commitment to a deadline. Eight months ago to the day, I signed up for this bike ride. A few months after that I announced it to friends and family as I start to fundraise. Every time I do not want to go for a ride, I know I have to. I have committed and my deadline is fast approaching.

It is easy for us to think of deadlines when it comes to work, but it is more challenging to think of them when it comes to our personal lives. Setting deadlines is a matter of being intentional about moving forward and setting ourselves up to succeed.

If you need to get moving in an area of your life, here are some baby steps to take and their benefits:

  1. Decide on one area to move forward in. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. We all tend to have multiple areas that we “feel” we need to move forward in. The problem with focusing on all of them is, we can become paralyzed by the sheer volume of the things we need to do. That does not mean you have to ignore all of the other areas of your life. Let’s simply focus on one area of your life today and we can add more in the future when the timing feels right. What is the one thing you want to move forward on today? Write out a simple statement. Some examples may be:

    • I want to sell my house in the next year.

    • I want to start walking every day.

    • I want to go through every closet in my home.

    • I want to quit smoking.

    • I want to lower my blood sugar to ____.

  2. Decide on a realistic date of completion. Setting a deadline is key. If you do not set a deadline, the item goes back into the category of “I should”. Setting a deadline moves it into the category of “I am doing it!”. It is important to push yourselves a little with your deadline. We don’t want much room for procrastination. We don’t want to set an unrealistic goal either. I don’t know about you, but if I get off course, I can tend to give up completely. What is your deadline?

  3. Figure out your first few baby steps, or line out the entire project. Whatever feels right to you. Sometimes it helps to write out your “must dos” and your “wanna dos”. Our “must dos” are the things that are essential for your success. Your “wanna dos” are not essential, but things you would like to do. Putting a list together can direct your baby steps and it can dump everything out of your brain. Sometimes we carry so many things around in our brains, it can be overwhelming. What are your first few baby steps?

  4. Start moving. You have a plan, now it’s time to work your plan. Now it’s time to put one foot in front of the other and start to make things a reality. 

  5. Share your commitment with someone you do not want to let down. Life is so much better when we do it together. Sharing your plan with someone adds a little boost to our motivation. It is also great to have someone you can share your progress with. Someone who will be excited for you and someone who might even join you. I share my plans with a few close friends as well as my counselor. I also love to hear what they are up to so that I can check in on them and cheer them on. Who can you share your plans with? Who can you cheer on today?

We want to live energized life, and there is nothing that zaps our energy more than lack of motivation and lethargy. Today’s the day to add some energy to your life by setting a deadline, committing, taking a step forward and having fun doing it with someone close to you!

Here’s to finding that motivation we need to make things happen and ROCKIN’ OUT some goals!

Aug 22

How To Adjust, When Your Body Tells You A Change Must Be Made

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps , Overcoming Obstacles , Prioritizing Yourself

Has your body been telling you to slow down, get moving, or it’s time to make some other needed changes? We can cruise along in life for quite some time feeling good, bet inevitably an adjustment needs to be made. Life might be dishing out a little extra stress. You may have received a medical diagnosis, or your work has had you sitting a lot and your body is craving some movements. Is your body asking you to make some adjustments today?

I have tornado dreams. I live in the midwest, and even though I don’t have an extreme fear of tornadoes, I certainly have a fearful respect for them. I have found when life starts to get a little bit too stressful, my body communicates that I need to make some adjustments, My body does that through tornado dreams. There have been many times when I have felt like I was holding life together just fine, but my body was telling me differently. There have been times when I have been surprised to have a tornado dream, but once I sit back and think about it, I can usually see that something has been causing me stress. 

If your body (or doctor) is asking you to make some adjustments today, chances are it is a little bit stressful. We all live very busy lives and adjustments take extra time and energy we do not have. How do we move forward to a place of feeling better?

  • Take a deep breath, take a moment to yourself and even allow yourself to cry. It is important to love yourself and take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your body may need a release when stress hits and I have found the above to be helpful.

  • Gather information. This may be as simple as recognizing stress and asking yourself what you need to do to make adjustments. This could also be learning about the medical condition you have been diagnosed with. Maybe meeting with a nutritionist to help guide you. Taking a little bit of time to learn and see what others have done to succeed is a great start. Take small chunks of time if you need to. Try not to let your lack of time keep you from this step. Something might have to give for this week to allow you to focus on you. 

  • Break it down into small action steps. Once you have started to gather your information, it’s time for action. Decide what actions step you need to take first, and maybe a few more steps after that. Write them down, or put them on your calendar. Keeping them inside your mind, which already has a lot to keep track of, might not work the best. Once you start moving forward, it is a great idea to keep a journal right from the start. Document what is working and what is not. Over time it is hard to remember all of the details and it can be helpful to look back, sometimes just to see how far you have come.

  • Move forward slowly and steadily. Remember, sprinting off the starting line feels great, but we can also fizzle out quickly. Slow and steady is a great philosophy and has shown to work in situations that require effort over time. 

  • Shift your mindset to self care. It is your heart to serve and take care of others, but many times this means we get the leftovers if there are any. Start to think about self care and its importance. When you take care of yourself, you can take care of others with more energy and vitality. Try to shift your mind to love yourself and love taking care of yourself. 

  • Celebrate each small accomplishments. One of the things that stinks about taking care of yourself is that you do not get many accolades for doing it. Like it or not, we all like to be told we are doing well. Learn to build celebration into your life for yourself. 

You are an amazing woman, but life does throw you some curveballs at times. Adjustments need to be made and your body needs to be taken care of. Keep moving forward one small step at a time and before you know it, you will be well on your way to feeling better.

Here’s to moving forward the best we can, even when adjustments need to be made!

Aug 08

How To Increase Your Enjoyment And Be Present In All You Do

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps , Keep It Simple , Planning

You are an amazing woman, working hard each day to take care of those you love, give your all to the work you perform and do your best to take care of yourself in the process. Your day is packed to the gills and sometimes as the day comes to a close, you are simply glad the day is over. Your day was not characterized by enjoyment and being present. The questions is, how can you change that in the midst of your already busy life?

I want to live the best possible life I can live. For some reason, I feel that everything in life should go smoothly all of the time. As you may suspect, this belief has caused me a lot of grief, because, that is simply not how life works. There is something deep inside of me that strives for it every single day though. It is a blessing and a curse all at the same time. But because of it, I am always asking myself “what can I do to make my day and life better?”

Like many of you, I am a planner and kind of addicted to checking things off my “to do” list. This is great, but it does cause some other issues. When my focus is on the completion of a task, my focus is not on enjoying the process and being present in the moment. Can you relate? So, as I always do, I ask myself if this is something I want to change, and it is. Then I start to figure out how to make it happen. Here is what I have found:

  • Start with a plan. Start your day with a well formed, realistic plan, which includes your “to do” list. This may require some organization and planning ahead of time. At the end of each day, I take a few minutes to plan out my next day. What this plan does is it allows me to “work my plan” the next day.

  • Focus solely on each of your tasks or appointments. While you are doing dishes, train your mind to think only about that. It’s a great time to be grateful for the food you have been blessed with. When you are at an appointment, give the other person all of your attention. Really listen and engage. If you are like me, this takes some training, because my mind likes to wander on to what is next. Keep bringing your mind back to what you are doing right then.

  • Increase enjoyment by recognizing the positive things in each moment and task. We all have a choice whether to focus on the positive things or the negative ones. I understand, there are some days when it feels like EVERYTHING has gone wrong. On most days though, we can find some positive things to focus on. The beautiful sunrise when we are stuck in traffic. Reminding yourself that you are getting stronger when you are sore after a workout. Spending a little extra time at home with your little one when they are not feeling well.

Once you invest in these principles, you can apply them to your every day and every moment. Enjoyment and being present usually doesn’t “just happen”. We can add more into our lives by thinking and planning ahead, working our plan, then enjoying one project at a time.

Here’s to focusing on one thing at a time to increase our enjoyment and presents.

Photo by Jopwell from Pexels
Aug 01

Is It Possible To Take A Break In August?

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps

In the Midwest, August is a time to head back to school. The store shelves are filled with school supplies, doctor appointments are made for school physicals, and new schedules are figured out to accommodate school activities, transportation needs on top of your work schedule. It is a great time of getting back into a routine, but it can be a lot added to your already busy schedule.

A friend of mine recently bought me a book about enjoying the journey of life. One area it discussed that challenged me was the concept of pushing less in life and easing through life more. It’s kind of ironic, but it takes some effort for me to be intentional about easing myself through life, but I have to say that it has been quite a nice experience.

Here in the busy time of year, I want to challenge you to be easy on yourself, and ease through life a little. 

Most of “easing” is a mindset. When I get up in the morning and start to get all ramped up about my day and all I need to get done, I…

  • Stop myself, take a few deep breaths.

  • I make sure I write down the tasks I need to complete. This frees up my mind.

  • I focus on only one thing. I ask myself “what is the first thing I need to get done?’

  • When I am done, I ask myself what is next?

Instead of getting ramped up about all I have to do, I take it easy focusing only on one thing at a time.

It takes some practice and constant reminders because, if you are like me, we get ramped up really easily. The more you ease through life though, the more addictive it is. It feels great! 

One Warning: Watch out for the feeling of guilt. When you start to ease through life, guilt wants to make you feel like you “should” be moving faster. You will hear the voice in your head say “Only busy people are productive and get things done.” Well I will tell you, I have gotten a ton done during my “easing” experiment. I simply feel more relaxed, focused and purposeful. I will trade in guilt any day for those feelings.

I challenge you this August, as life tries to start ramping back up after summer, to be intentional about staying in the summer mode of “easing through life”. You will still get a great amount of things done, but feel great while you are doing them.

Here’s to an awesome August and saying “no” to the hustle and bustle it has brought in the past.

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Jul 13

It’s Kept Me On Course Through The Twists And Turns Of Life

By Jen Regan | Accomplishing Goals , Baby Steps , Overcoming Obstacles , Perseverance , Planning , What's Most Important

In the spring of 2011 I decided to change the direction of my career. Since then, life has been anything but a straight line or an easy path. I have had health issues, the decline and passing of my Dad, business starts and stops and a lot of physical pain. Through everything, there has been one thing that has kept me focused on my career goal and prevented me from getting off course. Here’s my story.

It all started when I picked up a book about Life Coaching. I had never heard of such a thing, but it was more common on the East and West Coast. I knew immediately it was what I wanted to do. I love encouraging others to move forward towards whatever life they want to live or goals they want to accomplish. I researched different certifications and quickly had a phone call set up with an organization out of Oregon. I took my first step which was to be coached myself. I could not give what I had not experienced for myself. I loved it and as part of the Life Coaching process, I created a Life Plan. 

My Life Plan forced me to think about the future in detail, which was not something I was used to doing. I had to decide what was most important to me and what I wanted my life to look like many years in the future. This process was very eye opening to me because the current reality of my life was that I was very unhealthy in a lot of ways. If I continued on the road that I was on, my future did not look very rosey. Basically, if I didn’t want that to be my future reality, A LOT WAS GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE!.

I had back issues, I ate horribly, I did not exercise like I should and my stress management was not that great. At my current rate, I was not going to make it to live a long life, and if I did, I would not be active and vibrant. There was so much I had to change that I quickly felt OVERWHELMED! And I wanted to change careers on top of this?

My Life Coach, Joy, introduced me to the idea of Baby Steps. She taught me that there was ALWAYS something I could do to move forward, even if it was in the smallest of ways. That is what I did, but along with all of these changes, the twists and turns of life made things even more challenging.

Within the next year I changed jobs, lost my job, studied for and finished my Life Coaching Certification, had a major surgery (which appears to have triggered autoimmune issues in my body), started a business with my husband, John, and set out on my goal to become a Life Coach. Through the twists and turns, I kept my Life Plan in front of me and it kept me moving forward.

I spent the next few years coaching a handful of amazing women. It was great to be a part of the changes they experienced in their life. Overall though, most busy women were not interested in having a Life Coach. This made me sad for them and made me question whether this was a viable career. I did not meet a woman who did not love the concept and they all agreed that they could benefit from it, but I ran into two walls. 

The first obstacle was that they were already crazy busy, they simply did not have the time to add in Life Coaching Sessions or the time to make the changes they wanted in their lives. The second obstacle was one of finances. It is my heart to help what I call “us normal women”, but us normal chicks don’t have a lot of extra cash. It was also hard to spend money on something they felt they should be able to do on their own. I Completely understood.

The question for me was, what do I do next? I still had a heart to help women focus on what is most important in their lives and not get pulled off course with the busyness of life. I decided to take my obstacles head on. I decided to write a book because I figured everyone could afford a book. HeeHee, this makes me laugh! I have never been good at proper english, grammar or spelling. I had NO EXPERIENCE with writing anything much less a book. What was I thinking? 

Baby Steps were my answer. I had to take one Baby Step at a time to move forward. It suddenly became clear that this is how all of us, with busy lives and overwhelming tasks, need to move forward. Baby Steps was the answer to the second obstacle.

Let’s fast forward A FEW YEARS! Yes, A few years and more of life’s twists and turns. I was not making the money I needed to with Life Coaching and it was time for me to go back to work full time as a bookkeeper. My dreams and my book were put on hold for one full year. At my year mark, I decided I was going to get back to working on my book, but life’s twists and turns decided differently. Finally I started getting up crazy early every Sunday morning to take baby steps towards writing my book. It was still my heart’s passion to help very busy women live the best life they can, focused on the best things. 

In November of last year (2018) I talked to my husband about taking a year off of work to concentrate on my book and that is what I did, but the twists and turns of life continue. This year I have been diagnosed with another autoimmune condition. My body decided it did not like food so I had to go on an elimination diet. At one point I could eat 15 things total. To put that in perspective, if you go out to eat, had a hamburger with everything on it, french fries and an unsweet iced tea, that totals about 15 things. My body decided to have reactions to food, one that caused severe back pain for almost 3 months. 

Why am I sharing all of this? It is because through the past 8 years my Life Plan has kept me on track. Today, I am still moving toward the future that I defined 8 years ago. I am still focused on what I have defined as most important to me. I am still learning, growing and taking baby steps toward my goal every single day. I have a picture of my future that I want to make a reality. That picture is my Life Plan.

This is why I have created my Life Planning Class that I am now making an Online Course. 

  • I know one of the obstacles that you face is time. With this in mind, I am giving participants access for 4 months so that you can work through the 4 lessons at your own pace.

  • I also know that money is tight, but I felt $69.00 per participant was doable and a great investment in your future. 

It is my heart’s desire that you know what you want your future to look like and that you keep moving towards that future no matter what life throws your way!

Registration is only open for one week - So Mark Your Calendars!

(Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - Tuesday, July 30, 2019)

A Work At Your Own Pace Online Course: How To Achieve Your Ideal Life!

This online course will:

  • Provide direction and more focus in the areas of life that are most important to you.

  • Help you define what you want your future to look like, not allowing others to define it for you.

  • Create a plan that will get you from here to there, even when the twists and turns of life try to get you off course.

  • Establish Small Action Steps that will fit into your busy day and keep you moving in the right direction.

The Details:

  • This online course contains 4 time released Lessons, one published each Thursday, on the first four Thursday of August 2019. (1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd)

  • Each Lesson will contain a quick Video Lesson with Action Step Instructions and Worksheets for you to work on before you move on to the next lesson.

  • You will have access to the course for 4 MONTHS which will allow you to work at your own pace! I believe in a NO STRESS ZONE! (Access from August 1, 2019 - November 30, 2019)

Work Towards Your Ideal Life for $69.00 per participant!

  • Registration is only open for one week! Wednesday July 24, 2019 - Tuesday, July 30, 2019 so mark your calendar!

  • There are only 25 "Seats" Available for the course. First come first serve!

  • Please note that this course is non-refundable.

August is a great time to pull out the school supplies and invest in an amazing future! Register at JenRegan.info starting July 24, 2019!

Jun 28

How To Keep Going, When It Is The Last Thing You Feel Like Doing

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps , Perseverance

Summer is such a fun time filled with so many great activities. Those activities can be pretty exhausting and sometimes make us fall behind in other important areas of life. How do we continue to move forward with what is important to us when it is the last thing we feel like doing?

I don’t know about you, but I have felt like that sweet puppy this week. I came off of a great trip with family and knew I had to get back on track in a number of areas of my life. I soon found myself tired and really unmotivated. Moving forward felt like the last thing I wanted to do, but I knew I had to. UGGGHHH!

Here are a few quick things I had to do for myself this week, and I hope you will do the same for you.

Be easy on yourself. I really thought I was going to hit the ground running, but that did not happen. I had a plan for my week, which was very ambitious, and threw that out the window very quickly. I moved forward in small ways and gave myself grace in the other areas. Beating ourselves up does not accomplish much. Do what you can and love yourself for taking small steps forward!

Allow yourself to rest. I don’t know about you, but the fun eventually catches up with me and I need some rest. Summer is a great time for fun, but it is a great time for rest too. Enter the NO GUILT ZONE and enjoy a nap, sleeping in or going to bed early. Your body will thank you and you will wake up more energized!

Don’t get overwhelmed by ALL THAT YOU HAVE TO DO, but ask yourself “what one small thing I can do to move forward?” It’s a mental game, I know, but it works. When you wake up not feeling like doing anything, deciding on one small thing to do is much easier than thinking about the full laundry list of things that MUST GET DONE. I don’t know about you, but I can muster up the energy to tackle one small baby step and before I know it, I am ready for another.

Think about how you will feel when you have finished your small steps or goal. This week I needed to get back to training for a big bike ride I have in September. The last thing I felt like doing was getting out to ride. I had to intentionally stop all of the thoughts that kept reminding me of how tired I was and how I really didn’t feel like riding. I had to fill my mind with thoughts of how good I would feel when I had accomplished my goal for that day. Thoughts of being tired can make us more tired. Thoughts of accomplishment can give us a little boost, and it worked!

If you are tired and unmotivated this week, love yourself, get some rest, take things one at a time and think good thoughts. You got this!

Encourage a friend this week:


If you know someone who needs a reminder to take care of themselves, rest and take baby steps, touch base with them and encourage them to do so.


Life is so much better when we live it together and encourage each other.

I would love to send my weekly blog directly to your email inbox. All you have to do is sign up right here! - Jen

May 30

Life Is Good… But I Wish It Was Better

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps

I don’t know about you, but my life has been pretty good. I’ve had great people in my life, a safe comfortable place to live and overall pretty good health. Life was good, but I wanted it to be better. I had an underlying discontentedness that I could not shake. I knew I wanted to live a fulfilled life, but I wasn’t sure how to get myself there.

I love to plan. The reason I love to plan is because it takes all of the miscellaneous thoughts rumbling around in my mind and sorts them out on paper. Getting a plan on paper, from a grocery list to a long term financial plan, calms my mind and brings a level of peace.

Seven years ago I came across the concept of life planning for the first time. It was an intriguing concept. I thought about what I wanted my life to look like when I turn 70 years of age. The idea was to look at the gap between where I was today, at 40 years of age, and where I wanted to be at 70 and figure out how I wanted to fill that gap of 30 years.

If you are starting to hyperventilate at that grandiose thought, you are not alone. Even though life planning is a great thing, you are more than likely so busy that:

  1. You just want to get through today in one piece.

  2. You do not have time to add any big task to your already loaded schedule.

I agree 100%!

Do we have any hope to remove that underlying feeling of discontentment?

Absolutely!

I have wrestled with life for the last seven years in the quest for BETTER. I have failed so many times, I don’t know how I kept going. The reality is:

I could not settle for my current reality!

If I gave up, I was stuck with my life the way it was. I couldn’t do it.

Do you feel the same way today?

Today I can look back and see that I have made a lot of progress. I want the same for you!

I have been asking myself “How can I help very busy women remove the feeling of discontentment in their life?” “How can I help you feel like you are living on the right track for your life?”

Whatever tools I created, I knew 3 things:

  1. They had to be something you could work on and finish in your own timing. I do not want to add any more stress to your life.

  2. They had to be broken down into really small steps that would take just minutes each day.

  3. They needed to bring some instant relief.

With you in mind, I have been building a series of resources called Live Your Life On Track, and the first one is ready for you RIGHT NOW!

Sign up and be one of the first to receive:

Module 1. The Busy Woman’s Way To Happiness PDF Guidebook!

Are you tired of settling and ready to feel like you are living on the right track?

May 09

5 Familiar Steps To Deal With Pain – How Do You Need To Move Forward?

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps

Life is a beautiful thing, filled with loved ones, gorgeous spring days and challenging adventures we can conquer. Life can also be very hard, filled with disappointment, hail storms and challenges that are not easy to overcome. Physical pain is one of those challenges that can drain you and have you wondering what to do next. What can you start to do today to feel better?

The last seven years of my life have been filled with physical pain. I have dealt with irritable bowel pain, back and hip pain as well as overall achiness. I have made many changes over the past seven years, but I still find myself in pain. I know this is not very encouraging, but somehow I still have hope. With every change I have made in diet, stress management and exercise, I have learned something that has moved me forward. I no longer deal with some of the issues I once dealt with because a lot has worked. I continue to learn, grow and change in order to continue to get better. My life has revolved around baby steps in this area of my life and that is why I am so passionate about it. I would have lost hope a long time ago if it weren’t for improving my life through baby steps.

There are many of you reading this today that do not deal with pain and discomfort, but there are many of you who struggle with it every single day. I want to share with you some of the core things I have learned over the last few years in the hopes of encouraging you to keep going.

I encourage you to:

  • Work to find a medical professional that listens and really cares about your success. Chances are, if you have long term pain and discomfort, you may not find a quick fix. Finding a solution will be a process. Finding someone who will patiently listen to you to find the core issue causing your pain is so important. If someone is not working well for you, know it is okay to find someone else. This is all a part of the process. When you find the right medical professional to help you, you will feel like a team as you move forward. You will work together to feel better.
  • Learn, learn and learn. Medical professionals can only spend a short period of time with you during your appointments. Take the time to learn and read as much as you can on your own. As you already know, there is good and bad information on the internet. The approach I have taken is to read as much as I can from different points of view. I read information from sites that I consider to be reputable, but I also read what others have posted. Through this process I have found many sites that I now trust both in conventional medicine as well as natural medicine. I have learned not to accept the first thing that I read. I continue to hear other’s experiences and perspectives. Learning has helped me move forward and encourages me when I am in pain.
  • Move forward, literally! Of course always follow the instructions given to you from your medical professional. What I have learned with my pain and discomfort is it only gets worse when I stop moving. Literally, get out of the recliner and off of the hot pad and move. It is amazing how quickly hospitals have people up and moving after surgery these days. In many instances, they have found that moving is so much better than staying in bed. I know it is so hard when you are not feeling well. Sometimes it takes everything in you to keep moving, but you will feel the positive benefits when you do.
  • Do something positive for yourself. It might be eating the right food. It might be spending time with friends and family. It might be working on a hobby you enjoy. Whatever it is, it helps to be intentional about adding positive things into our lives when we are not feeling well. Note that I said positive things. Sometimes we crave comfort, but sometimes those comfortable things are not actually good for us in the long run.
  • Know that you can take the smallest of baby steps to move forward. You can call to make an appointment. You can read one article. You can walk around the house. You can find one healthy alternative to eat. You can meet up with a friend who will love and encourage you. Even on the most painful days, you can do something to move forward, even if it is to say a short prayer. The only way I have found the relief I have is through baby steps.

Yes, I still deal with pain, but I have come so far and so can you. Years back I wrote down in my Life Plan that I wanted to be active and vibrant as I grew older. The only way I can do that is to keep going, keep growing and keep move forward one baby step at a time.

What baby step can you take right now to help with the pain and discomfort in your life?

Here’s to a beautiful life, even in the midst of pain and discomfort.

Do you know someone who deals with pain and could use an encouraging word? If you do, give them a call and encourage them today. If you feel like this blog post will help, then by all means forward it their way. We all need each other!

If you have not yet signed up for my personal email list, click here to sign up! I love sending out my weekly blogI I also have some free stuff coming soon and that Life Planning Workshop that you won’t want to miss out on. Signing up is super easy. I can’t wait to see your name on my list!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Apr 25

Stress Relief…Coming Up!

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps , Uncategorized

Regardless of whether you work outside of your home or work as a stay-at-home wife or mom, your day can be filled with stress. You have deadlines and constant demands of your time from your boss, co-workers, students, and family. Is it possible to find stress relief in the middle of your busy day?

Overloaded “to-do” list, cut-throat deadlines and challenging co-workers created a very stressful work environment for me. I enjoyed my job and what I did, but the fear of not meeting deadlines, getting called on the carpet for forgetting something or having to make-up for underperforming coworkers made my days very stressful. I needed relief!

My situation did not have an easy solution, and I suspect that your stressful challenges today don’t either. Two great questions to ask ourselves today are: What do I have control over? What can I change that would bring some stress relief?

One thing I have found to be immensely helpful is to take my “big project”, the challenge with my coworker/loved one, or overloaded “to-do” list and break it down into smaller pieces.

Breaking BIG things down into smaller pieces reduces stress by:

  1. Allowing you to look at and focus on a few “must do” items instead of feeling overwhelmed looking at ALL you have to do or get done. This allows you to give your full focus to a few items and not get distracted by the looming whole.
  2. I have especially found that taking a few minutes at the end of each day to line out my few “must do” tasks for the next day brings more peace and less stress. This allows me to leave work behind, enjoy my evening, helps me sleep better and allows me to hit the ground running first thing in the morning.
  3. Breaking things into smaller pieces, in a well thought out plan, also allows you to better negotiate when more tasks are sent your way. When more tasks are sent your way you can share your game plan with your boss/loved one and work with them to decide what is highest priority, knowing your limited time. Sometimes, they have no clue what is all on your plate. Sharing your game plan shows you are organized, very busy and ultimately allows them to give input on what needs to get done and what does not. I understand this is not easy for us perfectionist control minded individuals, but keeping others aware of our limits is important.
  4. Breaking our tasks down into smaller pieces also shows us the items that we could delegate or even eliminate. As deadlines get closer, we have to be realistic. Sometimes we find a few things that can get chopped or passed on.
  5. Breaking things down also helps us to see how much we really do accomplish in a day. When we are under stress, we need all of the “wins” we can get. Checking a bunch of items off the list feels great!
  6. If you are dealing with a challenging individual, try to take one small step to find out more about them or put yourself in their shoes. I will never forget what I was told a long time ago. “Hurt people, hurt people.” One of my previous co-workers would not trust anyone, including me. This drove me crazy because I work really hard to gain people’s trust. She never shared the stories of her past with me, but after working with her, I realized that she most likely was hurt badly in her past. She no longer felt as though she could trust anyone. This allowed me to give her space to be who she was and not take her lack of trust personally.

Our lives are filled with stress. Let’s take back the control we do have, make the changes we can make, and relieve some of our stress by breaking things down into smaller pieces (a.k.a baby steps).

Here’s to more peace ahead and lots of small baby steps to keep you moving! Never forget, you are UNSTOPPABLE!

Do you have a friend or a co-worker that could use some stress relief? If so, I would love for you to send this blog post their way. We are all in this together!

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Mar 14

I’m Worn Down! How Can I Possibly Take On More?

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps

Are you going through a particularly challenging time in life right now? Are you dealing with pain in your body or a discouraging diagnosis, wondering why you don’t feel like a twenty something any more? Are finances putting stress on you and your significant other’s relationship? Is someone important in your life needing more time and energy that you just don’t have time to give? These are all stressors that pile on top of our already full calendar. What are we to do?

A few years back, my family started to realize that my dad was forgetting to pay bills that he had always been well on top of. As we dug a little deeper, we realized that dad was starting to develop dementia. Mom and dad had taken care of their own needs up until this point, but it was clear that they were going to need more help. All seven of us kids chipped in and did our part and for that I am very thankful. Since I live close to them, and mom had never had to deal with their finances before, I jumped in to partner with her on that. Dad’s decline was slow, which allowed us all to enjoy quality time with him and my mom, but I soon found myself having to take on a new job with very set hours. Within a short time of my schedule filling to the point of overflowing, my dad started to decline faster and my parents needed more support than ever. I, as well as my siblings, felt overwhelmed at times, not knowing how to juggle everything. We were focusing on one of the important things in our lives, but how were we to take care of everyone and everything that needed our attention?

Ever since I became a Life Coach back in 2011, and continued to deal with the ups and downs that life dished out, I have been determined to find an answer to help each of us manage all of the areas that are most important to us. Through a lot of trial and error, I have come across only one answer, baby steps.

There is no possible way for us to fit a big step into our already full schedule, and there are simply some things that we cannot say “no” to. If we have identified our new challenge as something that is most important to us, the only answer is baby steps.

If you are finding yourself overwhelmed by something today, and you have determined with all of your heart that this is something you cannot say “no” to, here is where to start.

  • Your first baby step is to do some real soul searching to see if there is anything you can remove from your calendar to make room for this new important area. If your child was studying for a “do or die” test in school, would you not require her to eliminate other things from her schedule until the test was over? When we grow up and have kids, we suddenly feel like we have to handle everything. YOU CAN’T! Talk to those you love and see if you can come up with a solution to take a few things off of your plate for now. Eliminating sleep is not an option here, we will discuss that next. This is a very important first baby step.
  • Your second baby step is to take care of your basic needs. You will only be at your best, to take care of others, when you first take care of yourself. Like baby step #1, you know this to be true, and you would give the same advice to someone you love. Remember, these are not big steps, these are baby steps. It does not mean going for a full grocery shopping trip. It may mean making a healthy decision for lunch on the go instead of a eating a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It might mean leaving the pile of laundry to be folded later so you can go to bed. Please take care of your basic needs!
  • Baby step number three is: When you feel overwhelmed by the enormity of your tasks, break it down. In your day planner, a journal or a scratch piece of paper, break it down into your next few baby steps and focus on those. Do this to whatever degree you need to. If it would be a relief to do a brain dump and write out all of the things that come to your mind, do it, but then choose just the next few baby steps to focus on. This brings us to our last baby step for each day.
  • When you are laying in bed each night, walk through your day and remember all that you accomplished. If you spent the entire day sitting in a hospital waiting room with someone you loved, that was exactly what you were supposed to be doing. Remembering what you accomplished reminds you that you did focus on what’s most important in your life. It allows you to be grateful for the opportunities you had and to sends you to sleep on a positive note. Celebrate what you accomplished today!

This is not an easy subject, and baby steps is not an easy answer, but it is the right answer. If life is really tough right now, take care of yourself and do what you can, even if your baby steps are (as my friend calls them) as small as a gnat’s a%#. Keep going. You can get through this to the other side.

I really want to hear from you, even if you disagree with me completely. I am going to post this blog out on our Facebook Group and I would love to hear your thoughts on baby steps. Have they worked for you? Do you have another solution that has worked for you? Click here to join the conversation on our FaceBook Group. If you have not joined us yet, please do! We would love to hear from you.

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