Making a Decision That Really Changes Your Life

You’re at your favorite coffee shop deciding whether you’re going to order a cappuccino or an espresso. You like them both and you know either one will be made and delivered right away. Ahhh--immediate gratification. So the decision here really boils down to which one you're in the mood for.

Other decisions, like deciding to lose weight, get in shape, and build your self- confidence, can’t be dependent on whether you’re in the mood or not. They are going to take time. And dedication. And commitment. Alas, your coffee will be long gone.

Here’s the difference between a coffee decision and a life-changer--with a life- changer aka a change in habits--you need to return to the core of the decision over and over again as you feel yourself wavering/faltering. You need to decide to really change your life and stick with that decision over time. Deciding something, truly deciding is a profound act--it’s your promise to yourself. It sets your intent for what’s to come and holds you in that intent.

Wanting to change something about your life means you are yearning for the life transformation it will bring you. What’s required is that you give yourself the opportunity for that transformation to take place. If you can’t do this as the first key step, you will sabotage yourself.

There are four steps you'll need to take to avoid the trap of self-sabotage. They are:

  • Be willing to take action.
  • Be willing to suspend judgement of yourself and whatever process you're using to make the change.
  • Be willing to give the process the time required for change to take place.
  • Be willing to ask for and receive help when you need it.

I won’t insult you by telling you change is easy if you're "really committed". Commitment is a big component of making a lasting change but it's certainly not the whole picture. To succeed you need to open your life to the entire opportunity for true change. Go into the experience open-hearted and open-minded and willing to practice the four steps I just mentioned. By doing so, you give yourself the gifts of time, energy, and curiosity that will create the changes you yearn for and so richly deserve. Most of us self-sabotage because we simply don't give change all of the resources it needs: time, energy, curiosity, and our willingness. And please, please ask for help! Going it alone is a sure way to fail!

Think seriously about the following questions when you are considering making a change in your life. These questions are a great way of testing your readiness and commitment to the change you want. Ask yourself:

  • Am I truly ready to take action?
  • Am I truly ready to suspend judgment of myself and this process?
  • Am I truly ready to give this change the time it requires?
  • Am I truly ready to ask for and receive help when I need it?

If you can answer yes to these questions then you're ready to change and ready for your change to succeed. True change requires a decision that you make over and over again during the change process. Back your decision up with appropriate action and thinking during the time required and make sure you get the help you need when you need it. Then and only then will you realize the change you want. 

Let's get changing!

Walking Old Paths and Finding New Joy

I've been away for most of the month of June. I was house sitting for my amazing mom while she was in Alaska for three weeks. Mom lives in Hudson, Wisconsin, which is just twenty minutes from Stillwater, Minnesota--the town I lived in for the better part of the last twenty-five years.

During my time in the Upper Midwest I reveled in the springtime weather--warm days, cool nights and long nights by the way. Sunsets lingered well toward 9 PM, which felt wonderfully indulgent when spent out walking or on the screened porch with a glass of wine.

I walked many times in Stillwater, daily in Hudson, and I took one big hike in Afton State Park to film an episode of Wander on Purpose. Here's the link: Wander on Purpose, Episode 11.

On all my walks I had that wonderful sense of having been there before but at the same time, seeing it anew because of my time away. What a wonderful way to time travel inside one's own life. I strongly encourage revisiting old paths with new eyes--it's a bit of magic!

I'll leave you with a few highlights from my time away--the bear in the neighbor's yard, the summer solstice sunset, and my geeky walking companions on Brown's Creek State Trail. I hope your summer finds you walking and smiling on paths both old and new.

 A very large bear. He was quite thrilled to find the neighbor's bird feeder. That's it in pieces at his feet--down there by his claws.

A very large bear. He was quite thrilled to find the neighbor's bird feeder. That's it in pieces at his feet--down there by his claws.

 Oh what a gorgeous way to mark the solstice. I was out walking when I took this photo! So happy to share it with you!

Oh what a gorgeous way to mark the solstice. I was out walking when I took this photo! So happy to share it with you!

 These two youngsters were doing their best to figure out the meaning of the yellow line on Brown's Creek State Trail. Shortly after I took this pic they jumped the fence and headed for the woods. Some folks just aren't meant for pavement. I completely understand . . .

These two youngsters were doing their best to figure out the meaning of the yellow line on Brown's Creek State Trail. Shortly after I took this pic they jumped the fence and headed for the woods. Some folks just aren't meant for pavement. I completely understand . . .

The Secret To Fixing, "I Want To Workout But I Don't Have Time!"

You want to workout but you don't have the time. Your 8-5 job eats up your days and the few hours you have before and after work are gobbled up and gone before you blink. But you know working out will help you feel better--mentally and physically--and you want to take care of yourself every day. You want to look and feel your best, you want to be the YOU you dream of--but your job, which keeps you sitting but earns the money you need--is the thing that's in your way. This problem is shared by millions of women every day in this country.

The secret to fixing the not enough time problem is to move more during your 8-5 work day. And no, I'm not talking about getting a standing or treadmill desk, I'm talking about doing 3 things at-work to create a rock solid foundation of health for you, starting today.

The secret to fixing, _I want to workout but I don't have the time!_.png

Research has shown that moving more throughout your day is the key to being and staying truly healthy. That’s why I created the Move More program--because I want you to be healthy and stay healthy. This is the workout for women who work 8-5 and don’t have time to workout.

I’d love to help you become the YOU you dream of; get your Move More program and let’s start working together today! Learn all about it here: Move More! The Wellness Breakthrough for 8-5 Working Women Who Want to Workout But Don’t Have the Time.

P.S. Between now and Friday, May 25 you can get $20 off your Move More program by entering the savings code MM20 when you checkout!

It's National Women's Health Week!

National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day every year. It’s a reminder for us to take care of ourselves ladies, and to make our health care a priority.

My belief is that health is not a static point we somehow arrive at. Health is a series of thoughts, choices, and actions throughout each day across all the days of our life.


As women it’s very easy to say we know we should make our health care a priority but it’s another thing entirely to actually do that. We take care of our family, our friends, our work, our home and our other responsibilities before we care for ourselves. Frequently that means there’s very little time, energy, or money left for self care.

This is why I want you to start where you are today and take just a few baby steps in the direction of your health care. Today, choose to move more throughout your day. If your work mostly involves sitting at a desk, get up every 30 minutes and go for a brisk 5-minute walk. This simple action stops the damage caused by excessive sitting and will create a rock solid foundation for your health. Experts have shown that moving more throughout the day, (aka organic movement), is what humans are designed to do to be healthy. It’s that simple!

Once you’re moving more, add a 25-minute walk on your lunch break to up-level your health exponentially. This simple action can save your life. Walking lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and obesity. And walking increases creativity, self-esteem and adds up to 7 years to your life.

Over time--just a few months--you’ll begin to see and feel changes in your body, your thinking, and your emotions.

To prioritize your health move more throughout your day and go for a 25-minute walk at lunch. Simple small steps that add up to a happy, healthy, long life.

Happy Women’s Health Week Ladies!

Move More!

Ladies, if you work 8-5 or if you run your own business, I bet this sounds familiar:


  • Gaining weight
  • Bigger in the bottom
  • Bigger in the waist
  • Bloated
  • Constipated

And you’re feeling:

  • Frumpy
  • Exhausted
  • Overwhelmed
  • Foggy in the head
  • Depressed

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, guess what--excessive sitting is the culprit.


Excessive sitting has been linked to:

  • Heart Disease (The #1 killer of women in the United States, more than all cancers combined!)
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Muscle and joint problems plus neck and shoulder problems as well

That’s the short list and that’s enough for now except for this rather horrifying fact: after 30 minutes of sitting your metabolism has slowed 90%. (Ew, I know.)

So the reason you feel frumpy, overwhelmed, exhausted, and worried about your health and your expanding rear end is because you sit too much and you sit too much because you work 8-5 or more!

Excessive sitting is the problem! So what’s the solution? Most women believe that a hard daily workout is the solution but it’s not. Science has shown us that even a grueling workout isn’t enough to fully compensate for excessive, prolonged sitting. What is?

Moving More!

Moving more throughout your day reduces the health risks of excessive sitting. Moving more is your friend!

Science shows us:

  • Humans were not designed to sit at a desk all day hunched over a computer, even though that’s what most of us are doing!
  • Sitting all day is incredibly unnatural to our biology and our genetics.
  • Organic movement throughout our day is our natural pattern. It’s what we were designed to do.
  • Taking walking breaks (5-minute brisk walks for every 30 minutes of sitting) is the best way to offset the damage caused by sitting.
  • The first time you take a walking break, the positive effects are immediate.
  • This one small shift in your work day could save your life.

Some of the health benefits you’ll get from moving more throughout the day are:

  • Less pain
  • Less fatigue
  • Lowered risk of developing chronic diseases
  • Lowered risk of dying early
  • Reduced back pain
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mood

Moving more throughout your day is as simple as taking a 5-minute walking break after you’ve been sitting for 30 minutes. Researchers have proven that this simple shift from prolonged sitting to moving more can offset the damage caused by sitting because it returns us to a pattern of organic movement, which is what we’re designed to do!

Moving more throughout your day is the rock solid foundation for a healthy, happy, long life. The easiest way to start moving more is to set a timer to go off after 30 minutes of sitting. The timer on your phone will do nicely. Then when the timer goes off, get up and go for a brisk 5 minute walk around your office to reset your metabolism, refresh your thinking, and renew your spirit.

Do this one simple shift for just a couple of weeks and you will begin to feel and see a difference--one you will love. Move more, look and feel better, establish a foundation of health to build on--what could be better?

Winter Walking Inside

It's true that sometimes the weather is just not user friendly when it comes to walking outside. Dangerously cold temperatures, blizzard conditions, or icy walking routes can make it almost impossible to walk outside safely. And why risk your health to workout? 

The best solution is to have a go-to indoor walking route in the location where you spend the most time. If you're a work-at-home person like me, that route can be as simple as up and down the stairs for 25 minutes--that's a workout, trust me. Or if your home is one story, the hallway and routes through connected rooms does just fine.

If you go to the office every day, look for long halls, stairs, and empty conference rooms to get in your laps.

The other great solution is your local mall. Many open their doors to walkers prior to retailers opening for business. This creates wide open walking areas that you might really enjoy. Granted you'll have to brave the weather to get there but once there you're in a heated location with facilities. That's not bad for a bad weather day!

If you know you'll have days when the weather is just too dangerous to be outside, prepare in advance by sleuthing out your best indoor routes--at home, at work, or at your local mall. Come springtime you'll be so glad you've been walking and you will welcome the warmer temps and better conditions with open arms and happy feet.

I'm A Solivagant, Are You?

Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, said, “I like good strong words that mean something.”

Those particular good strong words of hers are one of my favorite quotes. I’m a lover of words and one good strong word I’ve recently learned and fallen head over heels in love with is: solivagant. I fell in love with solivagant when I realized that it explicitly describes who I am–both my inner Self and my outer Self!

A solivagant is a solitary wanderer. A person who revels in the act of wandering alone–preferably in destinations and locations they have not previously visited.

As a writer, I am most definitely a solivagant. Writing is a journey into the unknown–to destinations and locations we’ve not previously visited. As writers we journey to take an idea and pull it from the unseen into the seen by putting words to it. Then we put the words together in a way that not only conveys our idea but also makes sense to our potential reader. Then we do it all over again. Our solitary wandering into ideas that become words that become stories that become our work makes us solivagants.

So if you are a writer, you are a solivagant. We must revel in the act of wandering alone–otherwise we’d never write anything! Personally I hold writing to be mythic in its essence. It’s the hero’s journey every time we pick up the pen.

As for my outer solivagant–I am a daily walker. I walk alone and I frequently wander. I delight in visiting a new park, a new trail, a new river walk or neighborhood or city. On my walks I find inspiration, solutions to problems, a sense of calm and peace and empowerment and always a return to myself in the rhythmic, simple movement of walking.

I’m often asked why I prefer walking alone and it’s because of that sense of returning to self. While I enjoy (and prefer) walk and talk meetings to “sit down” meetings, and I love hiking with family members (that’s a tradition), my daily walks are a time for me to re-center, recalibrate, refresh, and renew. I can only do that in silence, and the awareness delivered through my five senses, my feet on a trail, a view in site, and a curiosity for what’s around the next bend.

We women who want to grow and change are all solivagants in terms of the inner journey to destinations and locations not previously visited. And if you were to take up wandering by yourself in the physical world as well, you’d be a twofold solivagant–like me.

J. R. R. Tolkien famously said, “Not all those who wander are lost”, and solivagant or not, I never feel lost, rather I wander to find myself–in both the inner and outer journey.

So embrace your solivagant and go for a wee wander. You might like it. You might just find yourSelf.

2018: My Wish For You This New Year

The new year is upon us and we’ve resolved to change, to create new life-altering habits, to reach hitherto unattained goals. This is all well and good and is one of our most beloved traditions–to turn a new leaf with the turn of the year, thus we make New Year’s resolutions in the most sincere, well-meaning way possible.

I truly hope you achieve each and every one of your resolutions this year. I hope 2018 is your year–your breakthrough, breakout, yell-it-from-the-mountaintops year that blasts you into the life you’ve always dreamed of–the life you desire and deserve.

And while you’re putting action to your resolutions, I wanted to share my 2018 wish for you. It starts with a bit of knowledge that (when put to action) will change and possibly save your life. The knowledge is that 25 minutes of brisk walking on a daily basis can add up to 7 years to your life. Let me repeat this another way: if you walk for 25 minutes every day, you can extend your life by 7 years. That’s 7 more New Years, 7 more year’s worth of resolutions. That’s quite excellent really.

Here’s the life-saving part, which I consider a very big bonus: walking is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, increases creativity 60%, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia. Walking also prevents or treats over 40 diseases and walking halves the risk of dying from a heart attack for those of us in our fifties or sixties. Walking truly is the magic pill to health and happiness.

The other great news is that walking brings benefits at whatever age you start. The more active you are, no matter when you start, the more benefit you are going to have.

Wondering how this knowledge is connected to my wish for you for 2018?

I know that walking is the easiest way to create happy, healthy, long lives on a daily basis. And I believe that if more of us are living happy, healthy, long lives we’ll become a force that changes the world for the better. I am all about changing the world for the better. And you are too.

So for you to be happy, healthy, and creative, which enables you to realize your dreams and help the world in the way you intend, I wish you would use your newfound knowledge and take up a 25 minute daily walking practice. It will change your life and every step will bring you closer to the life you desire and deserve, the life that will bring your gifts to a world that is ready for them right now.

I wish your feet on the street, the sidewalk, the hallway, the stairway, the path, the road, the trail.

Get your walk on in 2018! We’ll all be glad you did.

My Favorite Walk

Radnor Lake in Winter.png

I am an avid outdoors woman. Outdoors is where I feel my truest Self, my most authentic Me. I was born in Tennessee, went to college in Utah, traveled and lived in several western states and then lived in Minnesota for 25 years. Despite the brutal temperatures, I spent many hours of my Minnesota winters cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, skating, slipping on ice, swearing at ice, shoveling snow, hauling in firewood, scraping windshields. Minnesota winters are accompanied by many outdoor activities–not all of them pleasant and not all of them the exercise you had planned on.

Radnor Lake in Spring.png

Now I live about 15 minutes south of downtown Nashville. Middle Tennessee, where Nashville is located, is blessed with a temperate climate, which means being outside is pretty comfortable year round. (I mention this in contrast to the 25 years I lived in Minnesota.) Here, outdoor activities are much simpler, much easier to access, and much kinder in many ways. We rarely face frostbite or hypothermia. We just don’t do that here. For me this means that my daily walks are dictated more by time than weather. Obviously I dress for the weather–rain, snow, wind, sun, heat and humidity–but I do so knowing that exposed skin is not going to freeze in 10 seconds. This gives me a certain confidence that some (notably my Minnesota friends) might interpret as smugness. To this I say perception is reality.

My favorite walking spot here in temperate Nashville,Tennessee, is Radnor Lake. Radnor Lake is a 1,300+ acre State Natural Area with over 6 miles of walking trails. I have several walking routes based on the time I’ve made for the day’s walk but my favorite walk is to combine the Lake Trail with Otter Creek Road, thus walking all the way around the lake. It’s a walk of about 2.5 miles with stunning views and lots of wildlife. The Lake Trail is mulch and Otter Creek Road, which was at one time a road for vehicles, is paved. Both are easy to walk briskly and a delight on all levels.

Radnor Lake in Autumn.png

Walking is my daily sanctuary, my refilling time, my workout, and my moving meditation. I am an addicted walker and I am blessed to have my favorite walk be less than 3 minutes away. I walk through the woods listening deeply to the squirrels scolding, to the barred owls calling across the lake, to the geese flying overhead, to the turkeys gobbling on the hillside. I watch the silent deer pick their way to the lake for a drink and am captivated by the wind through the trees on the ridges. The lake smells of algae and time in the summer, leaves and dust in the autumn, countless blossoms in the spring, and smells of cold and patience in the winter. Radnor Lake is a place I can absolutely count on to return me to my center, to help me solve my problems, to ease my mind and settle my soul. The walk around Radnor Lake is my favorite walk because in that now familiar 45 minute moving meditation, I know that I am walking myself full circle–from who I was when I started to who I will be when I’m done.