Book Review: You Are a Badass Every Day – Jen Sincero’s Latest Badass Book

My Latest Read

One of my 2019 goals is to read at least 24 books during the year. This seems like a pretty reasonable goal as two books a month is not unrealistic.

With a Chapters gift card, I purchased five new books to get me started. One of those books was Jen Sincero‘s newest book “You Are a Badass Every Day: How To Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable”.

When the book arrived I was admittedly surprised. It was not what I expected. The book was much smaller in both size and amount of writing than the other books from her which I have read.

Once I had a chance to sit down with the book, I flipped it open and was again surprised by the content. Surprised not in a negative sense just surprised with how the book was structured. I was expecting a format much like her other books where she discusses her thoughts on a variety of topics in a chapter by chapter format.

Quick Hits

This book is more of a quick hit daily motivational kick in the butt. She refers to the book as a “spiritual gym workout”. It does not go deep into explaining concepts or ideas. It provides prompts of various things to think about and then put into action.

She suggests that the reader walk through what she is talking about (for example, a quick meditation, repeating intentions or writing in a journal) and that the book does not need to be read for long periods of time.

I sat down and read the book cover to cover in about an hour and a half. The thoughts are often short and very easy to read. Her advice and motivation are always on point and very beneficial to anyone who wants to become a baddass.

Since I read it, I have flipped it open on a daily basis to reread a page or two. This is where I think the major benefit of the book is. The daily affirmation or kick in the ass is very helpful for anyone who needs that extra little boost.

I have read Jen Sincero’s other “badass” books and really enjoyed them. I recommend this book for sure as I think it will provide some helpful ques in your day to day life and a kick in the butt on those days which are tougher.

For other books written by Jen Sincero, see the following links. If you haven’t read them, I think you will gain some insightful knowledge in how to bring out your inner badass!

Other books to read

Don’t Complain If You Aren’t Willing To Work For It!

don't complain about it

Pretty simple right?

There are so many people who complain about not having this or that and yet when you look at their situation, they are doing nothing about it.

I know I used to complain about feeling crappy.  About feeling sleepy and tired all the time.  About not liking my job. Etc. Etc. Etc.  And heck to a point I still do sometimes.  We all complain a little more than maybe we should.

But one thing I don’t do now is complain about that stuff and do nothing about it.  I recognized that I needed to change some things in my life if I wanted to change the outcomes.  And it was going to take some work on my part.

Is it easy to make change?  NOPE!  Is it going to be a struggle at times? YUP!

Sitting back and just hoping you get better or get what you want isn’t going to work.  Complaining that you don’t feel good isn’t going to help.  I can say this because I have experienced it.  I know what you are feeling and going through.  It is hard!

Change how you think

Instead of wasting your time and energy on complaining about what you don’t have or how bad you feel, use that energy to think about what you do want.  Think about what you need to do to get what you want.  It can be anything from feeling healthier to a new car.

If you want to feel healthier for example, what do you need to do in order to feel that way?  Switching your negative thoughts into more positive thoughts about how you will get to your goal makes such a big difference.

Make a plan.  Write down some goals and the steps you need to take to achieve those goals.  Your mind will then start to focus on what you need to do instead of complaining about what you aren’t doing.

Here is a simple example.  Instead of spending energy complaining that you have to exercise, why not think about why you want to exercise.  Think about how you will feel better in the long run.  Think about your body starting to look better.  These thoughts are so much better than the negative complaining thoughts.

And if you say screw it to exercising, don’t go whining to people that you are so out of shape and hate how you look.  At the end of the day, you don’t really hate how you look because if you did, you would do something about it.

Sounds harsh

Yea, maybe it does.  But I know it works because I have been through it.  I recognized I needed to make changes just as some of you have.  And I have busted my ass to put in the work to get some of the things I wanted.  Now instead of complaining, I enjoy what I have accomplished.

You can do the same.  You can get what you want as long as you are willing to put in the work and change the way you think!

RESOURCES

 

Continuous Effort Is Key

If I had to choose one reason why I was able to get through my struggles with sever depression and anxiety it would be continuous effort.

I started small and stayed small until I was ready to be in a position to put in more effort.  I have talked about it in other posts but it is so important.  Small steps work!!!  You don’t need to take giant leaps right away you just need EFFORT!

effort work potential

For me it was starting small with exercise.  I started with a short walk every couple of days and I stuck with it.  I started to eat a little bit better and stuck with it.  The pattern and habits start to click.

Whatever you decide to do, stay with it.  Be focused on doing the little things continuously and your efforts will start to build.  You will start to see changes and you will start to see you have the potential to get yourself healthy again!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

How Exercise Helps My Mental Health

We have all heard that exercise is important for our overall health.  If you struggle with mental health issues, you have also heard exercise can play a major part in overcoming these issues.

I grew up being very athletic.  I loved sports.  I loved being outside running around all over town with my friends.  Being active was just something I did so I never really thought of it as “exercise”.

Once I got into college/university my activity levels dropped significantly.  School was my main focus so studying took up most of my time.  This is also when my anxieties started to really impact my life.  Not sure if there is correlation there or just the different situations I was in but it is interesting to note.

Fast forward several years and I find myself struggling with sever depression and anxiety.  If you have experienced this you know that energy levels are often at zero.  Not only do you lack the energy but you also have no desire to do much of anything.

Then you hear people state that you need to exercise more.  If you do, your body will produce all kinds of wonderful hormones that help put you in a better frame of mind.  This sounds great but if you feel like you haven’t slept in a week, where are you supposed to get the energy to muster up a workout?!

mental health

 

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

 

This situation is basically that questions.  If I workout, I will have more energy but I don’t have the energy to workout.

This was something I really struggled with when I started my recovery process.  I knew I needed to be more active again but it was so hard to find the energy to do it.

My solution was start small.  And by small I mean SMALL!  It was literally a walk around the block a few times a week.  It took me about 5 minutes but that didn’t matter.  I was outside and moving.

After a couple weeks of that I started to add a couple more blocks to the walk.  It wasn’t heart pounding exercise but it was something and I was making sure I stayed committed to it.

Slowly, I started to develop a bit more of a routine.  There were days when I didn’t want to get out but I forced myself to go.  Over time, the distance increased.  I started to add a section of my walk that included a hill which really was a challenge at first but eventually I started to look forward to that walk.

The best part about this was that I was simply walking.  No crazy gym routine.  No pressure from others around you being in great shape.  Just you and some fresh air.

 

Progress

Over the course of a couple months I started to feel better about these walks.  By now I was going further and further.  Often I wouldn’t even think about the distance I would just walk through the city until I felt I should head back home.

Fast forward a year or two and I am full on exercising.  It started small and grew to where I love to push my body to the point of exhaustion.  My condo complex has a small gym where I can do weights but I have found that cardio works best for me.

 

I live in an area where there are a lot of steep hills and mountains.  Beside my condo one such steep hill that I walk up and down repeatedly.  It only takes about 25 minutes to go up and down five times but in that time, my heart feels like it will explode from my chest.

Since I started doing this more extreme cardio, I have noticed an even bigger improvement in my mood and energy levels.  It feels amazing to push my body that way again.  It reminds me of the training camps at the start of hockey season.

Experimenting with cardio and weights I found that cardio does more for me than weight training.  My heart rate gets up quicker and I just find I am able to push myself more.  I still do lift weights but cardio is what I fall back on.

 

 

Feeling Anxiety Creep In?

I am much better now at dealing with depression and anxiety.  I will state that I feel as though I have recovered from these issues but they still creep in from time to time.  What do I do?  I put on my trainers and I work up a sweat.

The other day I was feeling stressed and tired after a busy day at work.  I could have come home and relaxed on the couch for the evening but I know my mind would have stayed in that negative state.

So instead of that, got my workout gear on and did a solid cardio session.  The result?  I felt so much better and I enjoyed the rest of my evening.

 

What Do I Want You To Take Away From This?

JUST START.  Start small.  Work your way up to more intense exercise.  If you go hard at the beginning you will be sore and you will hate it.  In most cases you will probably stop like I did countless times.

Instead of self harm, drinking, sleeping or whatever else you do when you are feeling down, go for a walk.  Get outside.  Get some fresh air.

Eventually you will get to the point where you can push your body to see what it is capable of.  The pain and struggle of that hard exercise is such a better struggle than any other pain you may want to inflict on yourself. run

Over time that pain starts to become addictive.  I love pushing myself.  It takes my mind from whatever is going on around me to what I am feeling right then and there.  I am present in the moment.

Start small and work your way through some different activities to find what works best to help your kind of crazy (I say that in the best way possible….we are all a little crazy and I embrace that).  Maybe its weight training, or yoga, or spin class, or hiking or whatever.  Just start and you will find that it can make a world of difference in how you feel!

 

 

Update: Long Time No See

Time for an update!

So I have not updated this blog for quite awhile now.  I had hoped to keep up with this more often but lately I have had a lot going on.  In many regards, getting out and being active was a goal this year so not having the time to update this isn’t a bad thing.

 

Work

Work has been pretty busy.  Since I didn’t get the manager position, I have been doing some work to train the new manager (yea, go figure) and taking on some different work.  I had a long chat with the manager I report to discussing the fact that I still want to get experience with managerial type work.  Should things change, I want to position myself in a position that I have a great chance to move into the opening.  Other than that, it has just been work as usual but a lot on my plate.

Volunteering

As I have mentioned before, I volunteer for Burnaby MoreSports as a board member.  I was on the hiring committee tasked with hiring a new Executive Director for the organization.  After a loooooong process, we finally found a good candidate and they start tomorrow.  It has been a good learning process and attending one of the events to see the kids playing sports was awesome.

Projects

I have been really busy working on a couple projects that I have on the go.  One is getting close to launching and I will provide more detail about it when I do.  It has been such a great experience learning about something new and challenging myself to be more creative.  One goal I set was to be more creative in some way.  I think it has helped keep me busy and really done a lot for my mental health.  There is something very rewarding about making something or creating something from scratch.  I had always wanted to in the past, but my anxiety would hold me back.

Phoenix

Holiday

I spent two weeks down in Phoenix in late Feb and early March.  This was an awesome trip.  The first week I was with some old friends who are scattered across Canada and the second week I was with my family from back home in Manitoba.  Lots of laughs, drinks, golf, play time with my nieces and relaxing by the pool.  It was good to get some sun and enjoy a bit of heat as well.  Summer cannot come quick enough!

 

Purchased a condo

This is something I have been wanting to do for awhile but I wanted to make sure I was in the right frame of mind first.  Unfortunately this waiting cost me a significant amount of money but I think it was important to be focusing on me health first.  Ensuring I was ready for what comes next in life was important to me.  I feel like I am there now and I am excited to move forward.

Personal

I have been feeling great over the last few months.  There are always days or periods of a day that are not great but that is life and I think we all deal with that kind of thing.  Since my real ah hah moment back in January, I have really worked on my thought process and stopping myself when I catch myself over thinking or over analyzing situations.  I am going with the flow more and just letting things be.  Realizing my thinking patterns were more of a habit is something I will expand on in a different post.  There are a few things I would like to be better but I think in time they will be.  My confidence in myself and what I am doing is so much better than it ever was.

little steps

 

 

Those Light Bulb Moments

You know those moments when something just clicks?  Something that has been a problem for awhile just comes to you and you finally get it? You have a light bulb moment in your head!

This happened to me a few weeks ago and I have to say, I am so thankful it finally clicked.  Over the last two and a half years I was in counselling to help with sever depression and anxiety.  I went on average about every week for an hour.  I had a lot of stuff that I needed to talk through and I am grateful for all the work my counselor put in with me.

During that two and half year stretch, I analyzed every part of my life.  I talked and talked and talked.  Explaining why I felt a certain way in different situations, why my marriage had fallen apart, getting to the root of my anxiety, why I think people felt a certain way towards me and other issues.  These sessions were much needed and I am 100% in a better place because of it.

What was the problem then?

I didn’t notice it when I finally stopped going to counselling, but in the last year I have continued to over analyze everything and over communicate everything.  It is almost like it became a habit.  I was so used to sharing everything and breaking down every situation piece by piece.

Late nights in bed dwelling on things that happened at work, buying a new condo, studying, applying for a new job, relationships.  All of it.  All the time. Think think think.

It wasn’t until about a month ago that I had a catch up conversation with my counselor.  I was calling to thank her for helping me with my anxiety issues and then we got to talking about some other topics.  I asked about this over analyzing and over communicating concern and our discussion really cleared my head.  She basically reinforced that I no longer need to worry about doing that.  That was for counselling session, not every day life.

Of course there are times when you need to think something through or have a good deep conversation about whatever with somebody but constantly doing it is actually detrimental.

A friend of mind even pointed it out to me.  I needed to hear the strong words she shared with me.  I was dragging on issues that were not even that big a deal but I was in such a habit of analyzing everything, I created problems were none really existed.  And in doing so, I kept bring them up over and over.  Needless to say, this totally exhausted her patience with me.

aha

AHA!

When it all kind of hit me, it became so very clear.  Sometimes I just need to let things go and carry on.  I don’t need to break down every situation like I am in a session.  I don’t need to keep trying to explain myself to people…chances are they understood what I meant the first time.

Since that day, I feel so much better.  If something has happened (like not getting a job I hoped I would get), I debriefed that night to see where I might do better next time, and left it.

Breaking a habit will take some time but it is so much better recognizing a weakness and being able to fix it.  I have been able to catch myself and shift my thoughts to something else.

I am accountable for my actions and I may have ruined a good friendship(s) because of them.  In the end though, I can only continue to work on myself and get better each day.

Anxiety and depression are no longer a major issue for me.  The counselling and other areas of work paid off.  It is a great feeling when life becomes just that much more clear.

 

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins – Buy This Book!

5 SECOND RULE

So I was looking for a new book to read and I came across this one – The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

I posted it on my Instagram asking if anyone had read it and what their thoughts were.  A few people gave some really good positive feedback so I decided to give it a read.  Check out the link for more info (description).

The book isn’t very long either.  The hardcover is only about 240 pages.  I read the kindle version but I will be going out to buy a hard copy so I can have it as a reference whenever I need it.

I read about 30 pages yesterday afternoon and really liked her style of writing. She was able to articulate her message in a way that was very easy to understand.

Later on in the evening I got into bed and started to read it again.  A few hours later I finished the book.  I couldn’t put it down.  The message was so on point.

books

How to enrich your life and destroy doubt in 5 seconds. 

Without getting into it in detail, she talks about finding the courage to go after all the things you want in life.  How most of our actions are based around feelings.  For example, I think I want to exercise and I know I should so I can be in better shape.  But what prevents me from getting off my ass and doing it?  That feeling at the time that I don’t really want to.  It feels better chilling on the couch.  As a result, I will do it tomorrow. We all know what happens tomorrow!

She has created a rule or trigger that she calls the 5 Second Rule.  The idea is that instead of thinking about something you count down backwards from 5 and then go do it (5-4-3-2-1-GO).  Otherwise, our brain will start think of excuses to avoid doing the action.

This rule was created to help her get out of bed in the morning instead of hitting the snooze button.  I’m very guilty of that and when I read all the info she provides on the negative aspects of the snooze button, I know I need to change my habit.  Over the next week, I am going to be employing the rule to see how it starts to change my life.  I will include an update in my next weekly journal update.

I will admit I am not the best at explaining something I have just read.  I am still processing the information she provides but I am very very excited to try what she has suggested.  Decision anxiety or analysis anxiety has always been something I struggled with.  I am better now but I think this rule/tool will be something that can really help me.

OTHER BOOKS

For some other book suggestions, check out my books page.  Let me know what you think!

 

 

 

Depression and To Do List

The Good Ol’ To Do List!

Everyone has one either physically written out or mentally written in their mind.  We all have things we need to do from basic daily chores to house reno’s, mowing the lawn, going to the dentist etc.

Personally, I am a big fan of lists.  They have helped me keep tabs on what I need to do and the feeling of crossing off something is satisfying.  I get a sense of accomplishment when I am able to have a productive day getting “stuff” done.

Enter depression and my enjoyment of lists disappeared.  As many of you reading may be aware, depression sucks the life right out of you.  Just getting out of bed each day can feel like a chore.  There are many days when you know you need to get some things done but your energy/desire/ability to do so is not there.

For people who enjoy being productive, this can lead to a great sense of failure.  You beat yourself up for being lazy and feel like you “should” be doing more.  This abuse on yourself leads to you feeling even worse.  That daily cycle beats you up and the depression worsens.

Counselor’s Advice

When I started going to therapy, I was living on my own again and basically had to fend for myself.  I didn’t have family or friends near by to help me with the daily chores like getting groceries, cleaning or cooking.  I had to do everything on my own.  This was a huge challenge on those days when I was really really down.

My counselor and I talked about this and I explained that I would have this list of things I needed to get done but there were days when I couldn’t do them all….or even a few of them.  I felt like I was completely useless and I beat myself up about it.

She started to explain to me how this kind of list was a negative for somebody in my position.  When we see a long list of things we need to do we often become overwhelmed if we can’t get to them all.  That sense of being overwhelmed can often lead to doing nothing.

Her advice – write out one or two things that you want to accomplish each day.  Given the debilitating effect of depression, focusing on one thing can often take all your effort.  So don’t worry about ALL the things you need to get done, instead focus on ONE thing you need to get done.

Say it is getting groceries.  Prepare yourself to go out and get what you need.  When you are back, relax.  Take the rest of the day off.  Treat yourself to something.  If you happen to find the energy to do something else, BONUS!  If you don’t, who cares, you had a productive day.

As time goes by, and you keep progressing with your recovery, you will find you can start doing more each day.  If you have a bit of a set back, go back to small steps again for a few days.  Don’t beat yourself up.  You are not being lazy.  You are doing what you need to do to get better.

Small Steps

Don’t feel like you have to recover in one day/week/month.  It is a process that will take time.  This strategy for taking on the to do list helped me so much.

I started focusing on one thing a day and after awhile I realized I was doing a couple things.  Some days I would be extra productive and get a few things done.  But if I didn’t, I accepted that it was OK.

little steps

Life is busy and it can feel like we have so much to do.  A lot of things we do need to do but most things can wait until tomorrow.  As long as you are focused on small steps, and you are determined to get better, good things will start to happen.

 

 

 

Weekly Journal – February 5, 2018

Finally into February.  January seemed to go by pretty quickly.  Quite a bit happened this week so it also went by fast.  Staying busy with different activities has been good.

WORK

Work was busy this week as I have been pulled into several different projects.  Keeps me from getting to my own stuff which has been overwhelming at times but I enjoy the variety of work.  Seems my managers understand other work gets pushed back if I am doing priority work.  Not much news on this front but I am enjoying work a lot more than I ever have.

INTERVIEW PROCESS

I didn’t get the news I was hoping for this week with regards to the job application with the airport.  Unfortunately I was the runner up yet again.  I was told that I was an “extremely strong candidate” and was truly the runner up to an internal applicant.  Interesting to hear that there was an internal candidate in the running.  It is often pretty hard to beat out somebody they already know.

I can honestly say I was pretty disappointed about this result.  I had a good feeling about it and was hoping to land the position.  The HR contact stated that if anything changed or if another position was to open up in the near future they would contact me.  Although disappointed, the experience was great and I was able to do the interviews without extra anxiety getting to me.  I plan to email the lady who was in both interviews to ask for areas I can improve on so I know for next time.  All in all, I am happy I applied and went through the process.

HOLIDAY

Really looking forward to my 2 week vacation in Phoenix at the end of the month.  One week with my buddies and then a week with my family.  So excited.  Only concern is my ribs.  I have a slight tear in a rib muscle from when I had the flu (coughing) and it hasn’t healed.  It hurts when I sleep on it, exercise, take deep breathes and twist.  As I need to twist my body when I am golfing, it needs to heal!  I am staying positive that it will though.  Been taking it as easy as I can.

desert golf

PERSONAL STUFF

Feeling at peace with myself this past week.  For whatever reason, the last couple weeks have been big “ah hah” weeks.  I feel as though I recognized the mistakes I had been making in different areas and I understand how I need to act going forward.  It’s a good feeling to be able to self correct like that.  Granted I had to go through the process of messing up to get to that point but still confident I can be better going forward.  Still hopeful I can repair a couple of the relationships I have messed up but I have to accept that I might now.

I have also started this meditation experiment which has been interesting.  I haven’t had the chance to finish the book I am reading about it but I have started doing at least 5 minutes each morning before I start my day.  My brain has always been very active so this has been a challenge.  Trying to focus on the present and not a multitude of other “things” has been hard.  The jury is still out on the whole process though.

Watching the Super Bowl tonight and cooking some slow beer braised beef ribs tonight.  Also have another project that I started this weekend that I will share at a later date.  Need to get back to studying for my CIA exam but since I am off on holidays in a few weeks, I doubt I will get too into it just yet.

Mark Manson

Looking forward to reading some more tonight.  Love getting stuck in a great book.  Check out my “books you should read” page to see what I have finished.  Highly recommend them!

Hope you have a great week!

Meditation Experiment – Follow My Journey

So I have decided to give this meditation thing a try!  From what I understand, there are a lot of successful people doing it now and the reviews have been positive.  I believe I have become a lot more mindful through my counselling and other talk therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy but I want to improve on that.

I will update this blog as I work through the journey to keep anyone who may follow it up to date.  Honestly, I have no expectations.  I have always thought the process or the idea of meditating was for those hippy type people who live in vans out in the woods.

meditation
Yea, not my idea of meditation!

Currently I am reading a book by Dan Harris.  From what I understand, it will walk me through the process in a more, dare I say it, normal way.  None of the over the top spiritual stuff that is normally associated with meditation.  Just clear easy to understand instructions on how to get started and what to expect.

If you are curious about the book its called “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book“.  The title defines me perfectly which is why I am hoping it will help.  I really enjoyed his other book called “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story“.  I found the way he wrote to be funny and informative.  He went into a skeptic and has now fully embraced the process.  Check out the my “Books You Should Read” page for more books I highly recommend.

Meditation Goal for Week #1:

My goal is to finish the book this week.  In the meantime, I will start with 5-10 minutes a day each morning when I wake up.  We shall see how it goes!

DAY 1:  Quick update on my first day today.  I did 5 minutes this morning which went by pretty quickly but I have to say my brain was all over the place.  I spent a lot of time refocusing back on my breath as my mind would go from thinking about the book to this blog to the car horn outside etc.  From what I understand, this is quite common.