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As we enter April and welcome Spring, the longer days, better weather, and the energy of new beginnings has me feeling lighter and more motivated than the first part of this year. March passed quickly for me, and I believe it's partially because I was on auto-pilot for a large part of it.

Now that we have began to spread the news of my second pregnancy, and my work projects seem to be ramping up, I can feel the stagnant energy moving out and making way for creativity and execution. I'm looking forward to the next few months!

As I look back on last month, I am reminding myself what these commitments are about. What other larger-picture thing are they rooted in? What goals are they helping me work towards? Above all else: how are these commitments making me feel? Let's dig in to it.

  • One weight training session per week - This commitment is an important one, and perhaps the one I have struggled with the most. My training routine had fallen off in late 2018, and my goal for 2019 was to get back to 3 days per week in the gym, and a couple days of other activities in the week. And I'm still working my way back up to 3 and that is okay. More than anything, this commitment was about carving out time for myself, and trying to claim back some of my identity from before I had a baby. In March, I did train at least once per week, and it's important to note that I took more intentional time for self-care and for slowing down to check-in with myself. 
  • Get outside with the fam on Saturdays - I had wanted to commit to getting outside on Saturdays to ensure that we got some fresh air and did some activities throughout the winter. Now that it's nicer out, this is just something we do on Saturdays as a family, which I love!
  • 1 video per week - I really wanted to start sharing more openly and candidly and have experienced a lot of resonance with watching/listening to certain people I follow through videos. I'm still practicing, and trusting that eventually there will be some good moments of wisdom to share with you.
  • Bring lunch to work Tues-Thurs - The intention of this commitment was twofold: 1) to cook more of the healthy meals I enjoy in my beautiful new kitchen 2) to eat more consciously throughout the week (ie. less snacking on whatever is at or near my office). I've had better weeks than others, and overall, the commitment itself has led to better food choices overall.

For now, these commitments are helping guide my daily decisions in positive ways, so I'll stick with them. And I hold them lightly knowing they may need to shift and evolve throughout the year. Life, especially pregnancy, and work can be unpredictable, so I want to be solid enough in my values to weather storms, and also have room to go with the flow.

I hope you have an incredible month of April, I'm spending my first weekend of the month in beautiful Banff for the first MAVEN Retreat and I'm so excited!

Onward,

xo Syd

    It's March already! I feel like February flew by and was a month of routine and lots of time spent at home, which I did not mind at all. Although we would have loved to spend more time outside last month, it was a nice cozy time to play with my little one, cook, and host friends at our new home. Here's how it went with my 2019 commitments in February:
    • One weight training session per week in February (anything above that is gravy!) - much better this month! I really committed to taking workout gear to my office so that I could get a 30-45 minute workout in on my lunch break. I even had a couple weeks where I did 2 weight workouts!
    • Get outside with the fam on Saturdays - Most Saturdays we geared up and at least went out for a short walk. We were in the mountains for a weekend with friends which helped. Looking forward to the rising temps to get to out more in March!
    • Post 1 video per week - This is still a tough one for me and after a coaching call with my mentor, Ally Mazerolle, I decided to practice filming with no agenda for posting it anywhere, or for anyone seeing it. The pressure I put on myself to make it great or something that adds value paralyzes me and I don't end up doing it at all. So I have been practicing and filming myself more casually, getting thoughts out, kind of like a video journal, and it's been cathartic and is helping build confidence for when I do want to put something out for you all that is a valuable piece of knowledge or discussion! For now, no video posting, just practice, practice, practice!
    • Bring lunch to work Tues-Thurs - Killing it :)

    I also wanted to share that I have been working on practicing TRUST. I have posted about this a few times on my Instagram feed, and I cannot stress it enough how powerful it has been to drop into trusting as the antidote for anxiety or pressure that I have been putting on myself. I am a person who wants to do everything like, RIGHT NOW, and I have a hard time not rushing. I am trusting that the things I can't control that are "slowing" things down are hinting that maybe I need to take pause and move through things with a bit more intention. So I'm trusting a slower pace (scary for me), and let's see how it plays out.

    Onward,

    xo Syd

    You may be wondering why I haven't written or posted too much about my own fitness for a while. To be honest, it's because I haven't really had that much of a routine lately.

    Last year I was so focused on my family, financial, and lifestyle goals that my health and fitness goals took a bit of a back seat. It has taken time for me to shake the shame I was feeling with not training as much and to recognize that life has different seasons.

    2018's focus areas were important and will continue to be in 2019 and beyond. My word for 2019 is embodiment. For me, this means fully living through my values and beliefs and taking great care to stay true to myself. It means bringing back some things that are really important to me that I had let slip, and leading by example. It means diving in to doing things I have been saying I want to do for years. It means practicing what I preach.

    My monthly commitment check-ins have served to keep me accountable and made the larger goals they support much more manageable. This year, I'm bringing fitness and nutrition back to the centre of my goals and look forward to sharing more with you along the way. Here are some of the commitments I am making to support my goals in 2019:

    • One weight training session per week in January (anything above that is gravy!)
    • Get outside with the fam on Saturdays
    • Post 1 video per week
    • Bring lunch to work Tues-Thurs

    I'm excited for all that 2019 has in store and can't wait to share some big news with you about my next project!

    Make moves,

    xo Syd

    Hello 2019! December can tend to be a whirlwind month that has lots of potential for throwing us off our game. More social engagements, less routine, treats galore - it can be a trying time to stay true to yourself.

    I'm happy to say that because of the commitments I made (and stuck to) earlier in the year, I lad a strong foundation for navigating the month of December without feeling too overwhelmed or doing things that were in conflict with my own belief system. Here's how it went with my 2018 commitments in December:

    No new clothing purchased in 2018 - I am proud to say I made it through the entire year without spending any money on new clothes for myself! Now that we are in a new year, I still feel so used to not shopping that I don't feel compelled to run out and buy something, which is an incredible thing for a girl who used to really enjoy it! This one was such a powerful commitment that I'm working on something for 2019 around this same thing, stay tuned.

    Live debt-free - Yeesh it's a challenge to not go crazy with spending on gifts during the holidays! Not because I wanted to buy a ton of gifts, but because I felt somewhat obligated to do so. To help mitigate this pull, we got very intentional leading into the holidays and set up secret Santa's at all of our family gift exchanges which really helped to stay within budget and spend less time shopping and more time together.

    Plan ahead for family time - We were well planned in December with a long weekend away just the three of us before getting into the very full calendar we had for our trip to Montreal for the holidays. My "bucket list" helped me focus on doing fun things with my family throughout too!

    Do one crossword and read for 10 minutes every night - Did not stick with this one very well in December, however I did finish an entire book in December (one of my "bucket list" items).

    This past year has been one filled with learning new perspective, challenging status quo, and making big bold steps to lay a strong foundation for our lives moving forward. I feel armed with a real sense of purpose and a deeper understanding of who I am heading in to 2019. It's going to be a big year!

    Thank you so much for reading my words, showing up, and supporting me through this work. I am humbled and grateful to have the opportunities I do.

    Much love,

    Sydney

    In 2018 my word for the year was "sufficiency", brought on mostly by educating myself more on minimalism and its philosophies and practices.

    It was a year of learning new perspectives as I listened to a lot of podcasts and read books on related topics like slowing down, simple living, and budgeting. As a family we really steeped ourselves in the conversation of how we want to live our lives and began to lay plans for the future that align with who we are at our core. 

    This has meant a lot of reflection on some of my own biases and expectations, and examination of whether or not they fit with who I want to be and what I want to do in this life. I was on maternity leave from my day job for most of the year so there was lots of transition periods and plenty of time for reflection.

    It has been interesting and challenging to start to shake some of the expectations that I may have adopted through my family system, the city we live in and the people we surround ourselves with. And I feel more grounded than ever for having begun the work to really establish our own ways of being as a family.

    Here are some of the major events and milestones I am celebrating and appreciating for 2018:

    • I committed to a few things and wrote about them honestly each month (I'll share more on this in my next blog!)
    • One of the commitments was not spending money on new clothing items for myself in 2018 and I'm proud to say I stayed 100% true to that! In fact;
    • I donated, consigned, and gave away more physical items this year than ever
    • We travelled a lot and I took my little guy just about everywhere I went (Mexico, Montreal, Croatia, Vancouver, Vernon, Fernie to name a few)
    • I collaborated with many of my incredible peers to create some impactful and fun events 
    • I stayed consistent with coaching my classes and impacted lots of women through training 
    • I did year one of parenthood - yeah I did!

    This year was so different than 2017 and possibly the biggest difference was dealing with the anxieties associated with being a new parent. So much shifts in such a small period of time and I'm so freaking thankful I have a strong group of women to get me through some of the tougher moments and to celebrate all the small wins along the way. I have really been learning to ask for help and support and it's absolutely been a struggle at times. Even though it had it's challenges, I am proud of who I have been through this last year for myself, my family, friends, and community.

    I am still settling in to our life with a kid since returning to my day job, and am more committed than ever to continuing to build a foundation to create life on our terms. I have some big and very exciting things coming in 2019 with MAVEN that I know will add immense value to a lot of lives, and I'm really looking forward to sharing them with you!

    With that, I put it out to you:

    In 2018, what experiences shaped your life? What intentions did you set out with and honour? What felt really good? What are the moments of joy that stand out? What challenges did you overcome? What are you most proud of?

    Take the time, write it down, tell someone. Feel the accomplishment of this year in your life. Acknowledge it as a stone on the path of your journey. Know that it is leading somewhere. Your legacy is happening right now, always.

    Make moves in 2019,

    xo Syd

     

    I've been off social media now for 15 days and it's been an interesting experiment. And the itch is real.

    I don't believe I was reliant on social media, but I also didn't realize how unconsciously (and frequently) I was reaching for my phone to check my Instagram.

    Here are some of the things I have noticed so far:

    • I wanted to know how many people liked or commented on my post about going on a social media detox (ironic, right?)
    • I have worried that if I don't post consistently my business would suffer - this is a potential risk since I did discover that a lot of people got their information on my class times and offerings exclusively through social media
    • I realized I was using it to avoid conversation and connection - for example, if I didn't want to make small talk in a public setting, I would pull out my phone and scroll
    • I wanted to creep people - I discovered this when I recognized someone in a coffee shop and wanted to find out if they were who I thought they were (when I really didn't have a reason or need to know)
    • I have missed knowing what my friends are up to - and I also realized I can always give them a call or send them a text (the "old fashioned way") and it ends up being a much more fulfilling experience
    • It has freed up time for me to focus on other things for MAVEN - new training ideas, writing more blogs etc.
    • It has freed up more time for connecting and being present with my family
    • Perhaps the most eye-opening thing: I very quickly started to waste time on other apps - I have been checking my email way more, scrolling through old photos, checking my bank account multiple times a day etc. Maybe the habits I want to change aren't entirely about social media, but rather about an addiction to my devices?

    I may just hop back on social media ahead of my 30-day timeline so that I can communicate important information to my community. And I will be armed with more intentionality around my use of social media. I will likely shift this "Social Media Detox" to creating some boundaries with my phone! Stay tuned!

    Always learning.

    xo Syd 

    Use Your Tools

    November 14, 2018

    Coaching   Goal Setting   Goals   habits   lifestyle   potential  

    I'm lucky that I have learned many tools and resources in my life that help support me living my fullest life and developing and growing along the way.

    I have been thinking about all the tools in my toolkit that can go for stretches without being used. I have seen many people seek out a new skill or tool. Often, they learn something new, fail to integrate it into their behaviour, and point the finger of blame at the resource or tool for not getting the job done.

    That's like going to Home Depot, buying a shovel, bringing it home and putting it in your garage to collect dust and then blaming Home Depot when your drive way is still covered in snow. You have to actually put the thing to use to experience to desired result. The provider of the resource isn't necessarily where you need to be looking. 

    We all have life tool kits. Some have more tools than others, but what use are any of them if they never get utilized? When I'm feeling in a rut or complacent, I often seek out a new and flashy thing instead of looking right under my nose at my existing tools. There are some tried and true strategies that I know can support me and bring me back on course with what I want to create in my life.

    Doing the actual work is where the magic happens. USE your tools.

    Onward,

    Syd

     

    Training My Mind

    November 12, 2018

    Goals   habits   Health   lifestyle   perspective   Reflection  

    I was reading this post on Leo Babauta's site zenhabits.net and this part really resonated with me:

    If you normally have to have your comforts (coffee, sugary foods, soda, TV, alcohol, pot, cigarettes), you’ll spend a lot of money on them, and in many cases worsen your health and your bank account. You might avoid going places where you can’t get these things, and spend a lot of energy to make sure you could have them every day. But what if you trained your mind to not rely on them for comfort and relaxation? You could slowly get the mind used to not needing these, one at a time, so that it would be free.

    Creature comforts? Guilty as charged. It got me thinking about where I have trained my mind to do the things I don't want, instead of sitting with the feeling. Like, how if I am feeling anxious, I will drive way out of my way to spend money on that chai latte when I could have made a tea at home. Or how I know that I could better use my time in the evenings, but I feel tired and put on Netflix instead. Or how just now, I went and browsed other blogs instead of sitting down to write my own. Luckily that last one actually helped inspire me to write, but could have easily been a rabbit hole of distractions.

    So for the rest of this week (small doses), my target is to do one task in the evening to better set myself up for the next day (ex. pack a healthy lunch, lay my clothes out for the next day, put the dishes away). Once I have completed the behaviour, I will have some of my favourite dark chocolate (reward).

    I invite you to pick one thing for yourself to focus on!

    xo Syd