Are you a self-help junkie?! 7 tips to move beyond just reading & get the life you really want

Are you a self-help junkie? Look, there’s nothing wrong with self-help. I bet it’s been beneficial in your life. And this question is not about how many Louise Hay books you own or how many Tony Robbins videos you’ve watched. Rather it’s about asking if you’re a bit stuck in a cycle of reading and watching self-development content. Or are you moving beyond that to implement what you’re consuming?

If you’re stuck it’s likely that you don't need any more information, you need lasting habit change to finally create the life you want.

Here are seven ways to end the cycle of learning but never doing. 

 

How to move beyond just reading about self-help tip #1

1. Start small, leap less. 
Small hinges swing big doors! Self-improvement content can be overwhelming because it contains so many good ideas. Trying them all at once is difficult so just pick a tiny one and get going. My pro tip is to make the thing you start with a very pleasurable thing because your brain will always choose pleasure over pain and your brain needs pleasure to create habit loops.

Another way of starting small is to start a micro-habit (for example three push-ups a day) rather than committing to something that’s going to involve a lot of time and effort. You’ll always have time for at least three push-ups and once you’re down there, you’ll probably do more. 

 

How to move beyond just reading about self-help tip #2

2. Act before you're ready. 
More specifically fast, messy and imperfect action. If we don’t act quickly on an idea, we can easily forget it or allow our brain to crush it with feelings of self-doubt. Remind yourself that we don’t learn effectively through simply consuming content. We learn by putting it into practice. 

It’s ideal to take action as soon as you get an idea because that is when you are feeling most excited about it. Motivation has a half-life so when we don’t act quickly on something, we lose our motivation.

 

How to move beyond just reading about self-help tip #3

3. Measure to sniff test your honesty. 
What gets measured gets improved, so record your results. For example, some people lose weight simply by committing to keeping a food diary or wearing a Fitbit. Recording your progress is in part an honesty test that removes biases and forces you to face the truth about where you’re starting from. Remember that you can’t get to where you want to go without being clear about where you are so it’s important to know exactly where that is. 

And ultimately the point of self-improvement is to improve your life so you need to measure that by deciding on some benchmarks or goals and checking in with them on a regular basis.

 

How to move beyond just reading about self-help tip #4

4. Go for "good enough".
There is no perfect solution or magic bullet to the problems that you’re facing. Part of you might be searching for the perfect book, the perfect guru or the perfect system, but the important thing is to just commit to something that resonates. The more you look, the more criteria you place on finding the right thing. Essentially it’s a self-sabotage tactic. Waiting for the perfect solution is like waiting for the right time to start a journey of change. Instead you should choose a time and make it the right time.

 

How to move beyond just reading about self-help tip #5

5. Count on someone that counts on you.
There are many places to seek accountability. You could hire a coach, join a group of people seeking to make a similar change, or partner up with a friend. Unless you are accountable to someone else, you won’t follow through all the time. My dog is a great accountability partner because he loves to be walked. It lights him up! That joy gives me extra motivation to walk nearly every day.

 

How to move beyond just reading about self-help tip #6

6. Invest in yourself. 
People who are serious about change allocate serious time and money to it. What do your current investments of time and money tell you about what is important to you right now? When you stretch yourself by investing larger amounts of time and money than you have invested before, you push yourself to create a return on that investment. The amount that you invest represents your faith in yourself and your commitment to create change. You want to invest like you have never invested before to change like you never have before. 

 

How to move beyond just reading about self-help tip #7

7. Go deeper, not wider. 
Sometimes people accumulate a lot of self-help knowledge, but don’t put the real energy where it’s most needed - into investigating themselves. For real results you need to find out what drives you, what serves you, and what your blocks are. For many people there is just one missing piece that is stopping them achieving what they really want. To find that missing piece you’ll need to go deep inside yourself. 

If you’d like to know more secrets to successfully forming new habits, get your free video training by filling out your details below.

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The secret to forming new habits

Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain unless it’s done with play, in which it takes between 10 to 20 repetitions.
— Dr. Karyn Purvis

What gets in the way of us forming new habits? And what creates lasting habit change?

There are four misconceptions about success and habit change.

Number one can be summed up with the phrase, short term pain, long term gain. Have you heard this phrase before? Sacrifice, pain and struggle can actually serve us in a lot of ways. But here's the catch. When you are creating a painful process and you are saying short term pain, long term gain, you are going to keep it painful. You're actually teaching yourself that you need the pain, that this is part of the success. You're training yourself to have pain in your life. And if that works for you, that's okay. But if you are now interested in something different, when you can actually play for the fastest and lasting gain, let’s talk about the power of play. When you bring play into the mix, you can create change in a fraction of the time. The brain actually needs pleasure to create habit loops.

Number two, never let them see you sweat. Let's think about this. Is this something that you've experienced in your corporate environment, or in your community or even in your family, where you don't want to show people that you're hurting? Or that you're lonely or that you're fearful or that you are struggling? Do you have this belief that you are not to show yourself until you're successful, that you should go about the journey alone? If you are not sharing while you're going on your journey, it can create this lonely leader syndrome where people are not honest. They don't feel like they can be honest. And so the new paradigm I want to invite you to is what if you could be fully seen, fully heard and loved no matter where you are at on your journey, and this is the key to having you thrive. Let that sink in. What if that were possible?

I want to share with you a study. Scientists in the ‘70s and ‘80s took rats and put them into small cages. They put a single rats into their own little cages and added two bottles, one with water, and one with heroin-infused water. The rats started drinking the heroin-infused water and got addicted. They got hooked and they overdosed on heroin. What did the scientists conclude? Extreme pleasure is addictive and it can create self destruction. But another scientist came along and said, you know what? I don’t know about stopping at those results. I'm going to take a cage and I'm actually going to increase it by 200 times. I'm going to put food in there. I'm to put balls in there for the rats to play with. I'm going to put 20 more rats in there with both genders. I'm going to now put those two bottles in the cage, the water and the heroin-infused water. What do you think happened? The rats completely ignored the heroin. They were much more interested in the communal rat activities, like playing, fighting, eating, mating than sucking on the heroin-infused water. Isn't that interesting? So what they did was they took the isolated, heroin-addicted rats and they put them into this rat park.

And what do you think happened? The rats got themselves off of heroin. They did not go back to the heroin-infused water. Isn't that amazing? So what's key in this study is that, while we want to recognize that rats are not human, rats and humans do have some things that are in common. They are social creatures. They need simulation, they need company. They need play, drama, sex and interaction in order to stay happy. Now what is different about rats and humans is that humans need something else. They need trust and they need attachment in order to be able to thrive in their environment. And that means that when we were younger, as infants, we needed really safe, reliable caregivers to help us be well adjusted, connecting, trusting adults. And I don't know about you, but not everyone has had that background. Sometimes childhood trauma gets in the way of us having that full attachment and trust.

So it's not about not letting them see you sweat. It's about being fully seen and heard and loved no matter where you are at on the journey with this deep connection and trust. That is so key.

Misconception number three. Knowledge is power. If knowledge is power, then why is it that we have all the information in the world right now via the internet but record numbers of lifestyle-based critical and chronic illnesses? What you need to be successful in forming new habits is to follow through on consistent action that is in alignment with your deepest needs.

The fourth misconception is that you must be an expert to impact change. Some people think that they need to get to a higher place before they can change themselves and contribute to other people forming new habits. But what I love about a playful, interactive approach to forming new habits is that while you are learning, even if you are a beginner, you can actually change lives as you go.

I work a lot with self-sacrificing leaders. I see so many people that have these huge hearts that are giving so much of themselves, but it's like they're scraping from the bottom of the bucket, and really depleting themselves while they're trying to make this impact on their world. And what I would love to see is for people who have these big hearts to finally have a way to fill their bucket and to be able to give from a place of abundant overflow.

If you’d like to learn more about forming new habits, access your free video training by filling out the form below.

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How to set goals and create the life that you want

Let’s start by asking what is one goal that you love creating for yourself so much that you have created it multiple times? Do you have a goal you have made more than three times? 

Sometimes we set goals, fail to meet them and end up feeling discouraged.

You're in the right place if you are finally ready to make goals work for you and step into being the most passionate version of yourself. 

In this article I’ll cover:

1. How to discover your unique vision for your most passionate self

2. Three hidden challenges in goal setting 

3. Seven ways to create energy-filled goals that makes passion-filled living easy

Would you like a free workbook to help you discover your unique vision for your most passionate self? Fill in your details below.

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How to discover your unique vision for your most passionate self

Think back, when was a specific time that you noticed your passion coming out? This was a time where you felt most deeply about something, and easily moved forward. You were focused and determined, regardless of the challenges that came up. 

Now take yourself back there, and notice what you looked like, how you stood, your posture, the look on your face, and any other details that feel important. Jot that down. How close is this to what you would like to feel now? 

Ok, now imagine you are already having what you want. How does this feel? 

What difference would this make in your life if this was you now? 

What feels most important about that?

What would unfold as a result?

What else would open up for you?

What would you be able to do?

What is the best part about that?

Summarize your vision. As my most passionate self, I am ................ I feel ............... I have ............ I am surrounded by ...................

The most important part about me stepping into this person is .................... What else is important? What about this is important? What about this is important? Keep going until you find a why that contributes to others and hits you emotionally.

 Three hidden challenges to goal setting.

Which of these feels most like it gets in your way?

Goal Setting Challenge #1
Not enough emotion. As business people, we tend to talk about goal setting in terms of SMART goals. Are you familiar with this? SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Even if you follow this to the T, the journey can end up feeling flat and emotionless, which makes it feel like slow torture and a recipe for disengagement. 

Goal Setting Challenge #2
Too much fearful emotion. When we get attached to the goal, rather than the steps to get there, we can set ourselves up to feel unhappy. For example, if you think, "only when I get to this, will I be happy", what happens to the journey? How likely are you to feel motivated to do all that work that is needed to get to your leadership goal? Most of us can use this gap and that pressure to give ourselves a kick in the ass for a while but eventually that falls apart. Feeling that gap, feeling that unpleasant pressure, is not sustainable. Some don't even set goals because it makes them feel this lack, the gap that just is too much, that pressure to fill the gap. Why is that? Because the brain needs pleasure to create habit loops! 

Goal Setting Challenge #3.
You haven't given yourself permission to feel that good. It’s really common for people to feel that life doesn't work that way, you can't feel that good.  Why does this happen to good people? At some point in your life, the fact is, that someone important to you told you this, or a similar version of this. It may have sounded like: "life is full of sacrifice," "you can't have it all" or "it has to feel hard to be worthwhile." This has rooted you in a belief that there is a limit to how good you can feel.

7 ways to create energy-filled goals that makes passion-filled living easy

  1. Create space systematically and structurally. When you bring something new in, you must have space for it. It’s like furnishing a house. You don't bring in a new living room set before removing your existing one! Imagine how silly that would look and how crowded that would feel. When you make space for the new, you get to enjoy the full benefit of what it brings.

  2. Sensory based outcomes. This is about connecting, with all of your senses, what the experience will be like to already be achieving your ideal state. Feel the emotion of the final product right now.  For example, if you want to be promoted to a higher-level position, get vividly aware of what you would see in yourself and others. Do you see yourself dressed differently? Carrying yourself differently with others? Continue imagining through all your senses. What do you feel? Calm? Confident? Sharp? What do you hear? Your voice lower pitched? Steady? When you are radiating at the "vibrational state" of your new reality, it becomes easy to attract it and stay there.

  3. A why that will make you cry. Your motivating factor, when stronger than the fear, will be what will keep you passionate, focused and on your path when life gets in the way. For example, losing weight or making more money rarely has to do with simply looking better or buying more, when you uncover the deeper layers, there is always a reason that wells emotion. Perhaps it is so you can feel more confident, be noticed by your spouse again, feel that deep connection that you used to feel, or fall in love again. Or perhaps money will give you a sense of accomplishment, will garner respect from your parents, and finally feel the approval and love that you have been craving all of your life. 

  4. Anchors. These are frequent every day to remind you why all this work is so worth it! For example … a family photo on your nightstand reminds you why you want to live a long and healthy life with those you love. The scent of your dad's aftershave might remind you of the integrity that you dad lived by. Your favorite high school song might remind you of the unstoppable feeling you want to get back to. 

  5. Focus on systems and actions rather than the goal itself. 100% commitment to the goal by following through on the actions with 0% attachment to the goal. For example if your goal is to attain a certain skillset, focus on studying or practicing for a certain period of time each day. For example, when you are looking to grow your reach to the world to 100,000 people, you want to focus on 10 genuine and authentic impactful weekly connections one person at a time. If you focused on the 100,000 people goal, the person across of you may end up just feeling like a number on your path, which would actually end up decreasing your impact.

  6. Ensure the actions are within your control. For example, as tempting as it is to create actions like this one - "I will secure 1 referral partner each month" - that leaves you frustrated if you don't have the result and doesn't let you focus on the action at hand, it is better to create actions like this one "I will invite five potential referral partners each week". This goal is entirely within your control and has a clear metric of success.

  7. Reframe mindset to being happy right now, relaxing into the knowing that if we desire it, we believe that what we want already exists within ourselves and we are simply fattening that part of us up. We can enjoy that right now. How do you feel when you think, "My desire is there waiting for me, and I can enjoy being happy on the journey to getting there every step of the way." Feels pretty good doesn't it? Choose that mindset, and you will not only enjoy the ride, but you will get there far more quickly.  

My Goal Setting Story

I would consider myself a super goal setter! I have actually followed through quite consistently on lots of my goals. For example, I've gone from hating running to running my first marathon in a year. I had a traumatic experience with water, leading to a fear of water and slight claustrophobia. ButI stepped into that fear, got my diving certification and had an incredible experience in Bahamas diving with sharks and caving. I also completed my MBA after dropping out of my Bachelor of Commerce program. I have had success with achieving some big goals. 

However if I'm really honest with myself, I have had FAR MORE experiences failing to follow through. There are some big ones like not completing my Bachelor of Commerce program, and a whole lot of nagging little ones - getting those important photos in photobooks, getting back my strength, cleaning out the garage, finally getting my file system in order, consistent meal planning, keeping things clean, making my mark on this world. Every time I was reminded of these things, I became even more deflated and spiraled to thinking I am just not good enough to follow through. Can you relate?

Or do you regularly achieve your goals but feel empty afterwards? I remember that moment when I got my MBA. After 18 months of 45 hours of study time on top of my full-time job. I was ready to feel accomplished and get that promotion and earn a ton of money. YET, all I felt was emptiness, and realization that this was exactly what I didn’t want - to be an executive of a corporation. 

The journey had felt hard and full of sacrifice because it was so much time away from my kids and a $50,000 investment. Having completed the MBA, I felt even worse about myself because I got what I wanted, but somehow, I was not happy. 

This led me to wonder, how am I going to make enough progress if I'm only following through on a fraction of my goals and I feel empty and still unhappy even when I do complete them?

That's when I found discovered a radically different way of setting goals and achieving them. I began working with a coach, and, in a matter of weeks, I felt massive clarity, energy and momentum. I was working from the inside out through my beliefs and feelings to unlock the exact path that I needed to take and that felt authentically me. 

Now decisions feel easier, actions flow, and I follow through in a more connected way, knowing that it is true to my authentic self. I feel like I can see my life's purpose in front of me, and I feel more confident and happy taking consistent action towards that purpose. That means, less wasted energy and emotional drain! That means more energy to put towards the actual work, the time for self care, fun with my loved ones, and building the life I want, which keeps my passion amp'd up!

Could I have moved forward without coaching? Sure, probably, but at a fraction of the pace and satisfaction, and to be honest, I'm not sure if I would have connected to my deep passions the way I have with coaching.

Do you feel 100% confident to use this radically effective goal setting to step into your most passionate self right now?

If that would be a bit of a struggle, it’s because we've actually left out three key ingredients that put all of this together. Without these three ingredients, we stay in the same patterns and repeat the same old behaviours that keep us stuck. Some will do really well for a little while, get some new information, renew our commitment to follow through, take consistent action for a week or two, convince ourselves, this time is going to be different, then what happens? Motivation fizzles and we fall off track. 

How many of you know what to do but don't always do it? Because knowing is not enough, it doesn't motivate us into action. We don't need more information, we do need to make this time different, The three key ingredients that bring this all together are the right system, support and accountability.

I would like to invite you to a free initial BEST YOU Discovery Call with me where we expand on building your crystal-clear vision for your BEST YOU. This 60-minute private consultation will also get you clear on hidden obstacles that are holding you back. 

Would you like to hear some real client stories?

I had a client who came to me feeling stuck in a rut, her brain felt foggy, she was becoming less and less active, and feeling increasingly overwhelmed with all her responsibilities at work, family life, and her volunteer work. Most disappointing was that her big dreams felt like they were slipping away." After only four weeks her brain cleared up, and she started running and gardening again. After six weeks she ran her best 10km time ever. 

Another client came to me as an overwhelmed mother of an autistic child. She felt lost and wondering what to do next. She was stuck in a rut and dreaded going to the gym, even though she knew she would feel better if she did. She spent hundreds on programs that she didn't follow through on, and her confidence was taking a hit after her divorce and being off of work. Most disappointingly, her big dreams of being a successful professional started to feel more and more out of reach. 

She got sick of the back and forth struggle. She knew that she could not do it on her own and she reached out to me. After each session, she reported feeling a surge of possibility and energy. She was amazed that she could free herself from blocks that she had lived with for more than 15 years. And she is thrilled that she could show up ready to accept a position at her dream company at WestJet. She said it would not have been possible without this program. She was most amazed at the impact on her relationship, son, and her career. 

When we completed her journey she said, "Two months ago, I would have said, ‘That's crazy, it's impossible.’ Having these results really does feel like winning a lottery."

What makes my program unique is that we focus on what you get to have rather than what you don't. Suffering to get to your goals doesn't make sense. I want to inspire to reclaim your body, your thoughts, and your life in a way that is sustainable, natural and fun.

Clients tell me I am an intuitive empathetic coach that brings practical solutions to real everyday struggles, so they can feel massive momentum to move forward with their goals. 

If you're ready for the system, support and accountability that is going to make this work like nothing else you've tried, then I invite you to a free BEST YOU Discovery session.

If you say yes to experiencing at least one major aha to break out of the run and get into action, book your free discovery call here.

Three Easy Steps to Self Love

Whether you are just starting your journey of self discovery, a regular self lover, or if you consider yourself an expert in this area, open yourself up to the possibility of loving yourself on a whole new level to see what other brilliance opens up in your life.

Before I dive into the steps to self love, I’d like you to consider two questions.

1. What does self love FEEL like to you? 

2. And if you felt this every day, what would you be able to do that you couldn't do now?

I love myself enough to ride out the highs and lows while keeping the faith that it is exactly as it meant to be. A few years ago I learned (and am still learning) an important lesson about self love. If you don't give yourself love by responding to what your heart and soul wants each day, it will find a way to get it, usually in less than healthy ways.

Know that self love is there for you too, all of it. You simply need to choose it for yourself.

 This article will cover the three simple but powerful steps that make loving yourself easy and the biggest obstacles that get in the way of loving yourself.

Want the free workbook to guide you through these steps? Fill in your details below.

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Steps to self love

Self love step #1 - Know thyself

This is so important because everyone is made to express self love in their own unique way. So the better you know yourself, the more you will be able to give yourself the authentic expression of love that truly lights your heart. Finding your most authentic expressions of self love is easy.

Here's how. Reflect on these three questions for yourself. 

1) Think back to your childhood. What were the ways your parents showed you love that felt best? 

2) Think back to moments with others you love. What ways do you most enjoy showing love to others? 

3) Think back to your most joyful moments by yourself. What ways do you love to express love to yourself?  

Trust what comes up, and jot down everything that comes up, big and small. Notice, are there are any patterns? For example, I love having focused quality time together. I remember feeling so loved by my dad in the moments where he poured his complete attention, enthusiasm and passion into playing silly and scary games like monster hide and seek (he would dress up and jump out and scare us) with me and my sister. He was completely present, and he put all his emotion into us. 

Now that quality time is how I most love expressing love to those I care about too. It is in the deep connection time over coffee or being fully engaged in an activity together. 

And for the joyful moments by myself, I love journaling, hiking solo and other activities that let me connect deeply with my feelings. 

TIP: It can be helpful to see what your authentic expression of self love is by looking at Gary Chapman's five love languages: 

Love language #1- Words of affirmation (compliments, words of affirmation) 

Love language #2 - Quality time (sharing, listening, participating jointly and meaningfully)

Love language #3 - Receiving gifts (symbols of love given, demonstrating care and value) 

Love language #4 - Acts of service (doing something for the good of another) 

Love language #5 - Physical touch (gesture of love through forms of touch) 

Knowing your most loving self is about knowing how you love to give and receive love. Which one or two love languages you relate to the most? 

Self love step #2 - Be thyself
What does it feel like to embody your most loving self? What are the feelings, the thoughts, the sensations?

It is so powerful to know what authentically feels loving to you. It's like being introduced to yourself :). At the stage of knowing yourself, it's almost like the information lives in your brain. For it to start making its way into your real life, it needs to live in your body. Which brings us to the next step, be yourself. Being yourself means to allow yourself to fully relish in the whole sensory experience of your most loving self. 

Here's how. Bring back a specific moment from childhood that made you feel most loved. Almost watch the moment like you would a movie. Describe what you are seeing. What do you look like when you are feeling most loved? For example, your eyes are wide, your smile is big. Now imagine stepping into that body of yourself as a child. What does it feel like? Is it exciting? Do you feel tingles in your shoulders? Now, is there anything you notice about the sounds around you in that moment? For example, when I was playing hide and seek with my dad - it was quiet (as we waited for him to find us) and then loud (as we screamed in delight). What about in your intuition, or what you are sensing? For example when you felt most loved, it could have felt like your senses are heightened and you were feeling very present.

Notice how you feel, even just reflecting back. Good, right? You're building self love already :)

Self love step #3 - Do as thy most loving self does as a practice every day

Note that practicing self care on a daily basis likely means taking radically different actions and making different decisions than you are doing now. 

Once you know your most loving self and have connected wholly to the sensory experience of your most loving self, the natural next step is to express it. That brings us to the final step in learning how to love yourself - doing as your most loving self does, as a practice. Have you heard the saying, "use it or lose it"? Building a practice of self love is like building a muscle. If you know the mechanics of what it takes to build a muscle, and you connect to what it feels like to build a muscle, that will start your journey, but what really lets it grow is by actually doing the reps. 

Here's how to build a practice of self love. Ask yourself, what am I inspired to do more of for myself? What is important about that for me? What would get to happen as a result of doing this consistently? 

Choose one tiny thing you would love to do for yourself that lights your heart, that supports your authentic expression of love. For example I journal three things I love about myself each night before I go to bed, and this satisfies my self love need for expression of quality time. 

Add some detail to your plan. When and where will you do this for yourself? When you add in when and where you can increase the chance of follow through from around 30% to over 80%! As an example, you could commit to journaling for two minutes each night, right before you go to bed for five of the next seven days. Ask, what is one thing you can do to make this inevitable? For example, you could ask your spouse to remind you or set a reminder on your phone.

TIP: Small hinges swing big doors. Small is better than large when it comes to sustainable habit change! As inspired as you are right now to try 10 things all at once, don't do it! Some criteria for a powerful action are as follows: you look forward to doing it, it is small enough where it feels relatively easy and it is just large enough where you still feel proud of yourself. Detail out when and where, and opt for something you can easily repeat consistently (rather than bigger tasks you do less often).

That’s the three steps. It’s that simple.

But there are many obstacles that get in the way of self love, so let’s have a look at what the most common ones are.  

What stops us from loving ourselves 

Have you ever found yourself spending more time thinking about what you would love to do for yourself rather than actually doing it? Where you're chatting with a friend that is going on about the fabulous massage they had, or an amazing social event they attended, maybe a new dish they tried out for themselves. You get all inspired to do something like that for yourself, then find yourself having all the good intentions, but not doing it. 

Believing that you have to stay late at work or that your family needs you, or that you have to clean the house, or whatever other reason.

Or maybe you've been at this so long that you are secretly resenting the people that do practice self love. You start telling yourself stories. For example they can't possibly have the demands that you do, they must not be taking their other responsibilities seriously, they can't possibly have the stresses that you do. Is that you?

Well, me too. I remember one of my pivotal moments of me realizing that I was denying myself self love. I was working with my HR Manager on a training program, and I was, as I have always done, trying to take it another step further, pouring out my passion. Abruptly he said, "Crystal, it's not like we're trying to change the world or anything."

That comment tore into my heart like a knife. I remember part of me being angry, and the stories started. How dare he? He doesn't care as much as I do. He doesn't understand what it really takes to go to the next level. Then it hit me. I was angry because he showed me what was actually true that I did not want to admit to. I remember uncontrollably sobbing that night, realizing he was right, the organization I worked for was not trying to change the world. Then a harsher realization, that I actually did want to change the world, but the work I was doing wasn’t aligned with that. 

Today I am listening to the whispers more. I am making more decisions based on what my heart and soul actually want, even if it is as crazy as me wanting to change the world. I give myself that respect to honor that, even if I don't know how yet. And some funny little things have been happening. I lost weight, and didn't gain it back, I hike almost every day, and I look forward to it. I started this business that is now my life's work, and it is growing its reach – a big achievement for me, I nearly doubled my revenue last year while lowering my expenses. The big kicker - I did this while spending more time with my family than I have ever done before. The best part is, the more I show love to myself, the more success I enjoy and the more fully I am able to love others.

It hasn't always been this way. In fact, I look at my life today and I have a hard time believing it’s mine because for much of it, it couldn't have been more of the opposite.

As a child I didn’t want to embarrass my family so I didn't ask my friends for the comfort I desperately needed when I lay in bed choking back tears as I listened to my parents fight night after night. As a mother of two young children, I didn't give myself the grace I desperately needed as I tried to be the perfect mother, and instead put myself into post-partum depression. I didn't leave my job when I knew there were other pursuits more important to my purpose. And I kept denying that part of me until it screamed out. All were ways I was betraying myself and keeping myself from the bliss of true self love. 

One of my clients, a mother of an autistic son, after years of pouring into her family, at first felt guilty about giving to herself. How could she possibly make time for herself when she had his therapy appointments, soccer lessons, duties as a partner, etc.? She did so anyway and after three months found herself actually having more time. Her clothes were neatly put away, she was meal planning and doing everything she wanted in life.

If practicing self love is so powerful, what stops people from doing it? There are two big blocks I find get in the way.

  1. They don't think it is possible. Can we just dispel that now? I'm here to tell you, it absolutely is. It was possible for me to find a way to love myself, and I’m actually still doing it. For the clients I work with, self love is helping them reach their goals. 100% of them say that they love themselves more after our work together. 

  2. They can't handle being that happy. What a thought. Can you believe that we are the ones holding ourselves back because it's scarier to go somewhere we are unfamiliar with? Who are you without that hurt? Can you handle that?

Which obstacle applies to you the most?

How to act now to start loving yourself more

I believe that every individual has the right to a healthy, happy, hella successful and fully expressed life no matter where they might find themselves now. And deep unapologetic self love is the foundation of that.

I am committed to helping as many people as I can to step into their most loving selves so they can live the life of their dreams. 

To start making self love into a daily practice and a lifestyle, it is imperative that you do something now, not six months from now. Whatever vision you saw when you considered what self love would like for you and what would your life be like if you felt that every day, think of one tiny step you can do to take yourself a little bit closer to that. 

As powerful as this information is, the statistics show that the great majority of people who plan to do something to improve their lives will not take consistent action. That is why it is so powerful to seek assistance. When you have someone giving you the system (right steps in the right order) support (encouragement when you're feeling stuck) and accountability (holding you to the highest version of yourself so you are following through and constantly dreaming up) you can live a powerfully aligned life where you are knowing, being and doing as your BEST YOU does. The foundation of your best self is YOU, AS YOUR MOST LOVING SELF.

I'd like to invite you to a free initial BEST YOU discovery session. It is a one-hour phone call where we'll look at where you are stuck and how to get unstuck and what your plan of action is to experience a total transformation. You will walk away with at least one major aha about how to break out of some lingering habits and get you on the path to your BEST YOU. Book your call here.  

How to Quit Sugar: 7 Ways to Stop Cravings

Have you ever tried to stop eating so much sugar and failed? Or it something you’d like to do, but you’re not sure how to start? Whether you’re aiming to quit sugar to lose weight, increase your energy or improve your mood, quitting sugar isn’t easy because it’s so addictive. 

Note, I don’t advocate cutting sugar completely out of your diet. I still eat some sugar and so do many of my clients, but I don’t crave it like I did before and I’m not using it to fulfil other needs. 

Read on to find my best tips for avoiding the cravings that make quitting the sugar habit so hard. 

How to quit sugar tip 1: Check your bevvies!
It sounds crazy, but sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. So pound a glass of water, wait five minutes and then see if you still have the craving.

Also, be careful how much coffee or tea you’re consuming. Too much caffeine mimics a blood sugar crash - you’re high for a bit but then you come crashing down and crave...SUGAR, of course. 

How to quit sugar tip 2: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Sweet Veggies, Fruit & Spices.
Your tongue has sweet taste buds that demand to be satisfied, so don’t hold out on ‘em! Add naturally sweet foods and spices to your diet like squash, yams, carrots, beets, berries, figs, apples, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, and cloves.

How to quit sugar tip 3: Get More Sleep!
For many of us, this is easier said than done. But if you’re constantly tired, your body is going to look for energy, usually in the form or sugar or caffeine. Power down an hour earlier than usual and notice how your cravings disappear. 

How to quit sugar tip #4Check Your Protein.
This is a fun, cool fact - watch how much protein and what kind of protein you’re eating, especially animal protein. Eating too little animal protein can lead to massive sweet cravings. Eating too much animal protein can also lead to sweet cravings. When I work with clients, we find just the right sweet spot for protein intake so they feel satisfied. 

How to quit sugar tip #5: Avoid Low-Fat and Fat Free Foods.
When food manufacturers take the fat out of foods, what do they put in? Yep, sugar. 

How to quit sugar tip #6: Move Yo’self.
Movement is another kind of food for your body. It releases stress, makes you feel great and look great. When you don’t get enough, the body starts to look for other ways to blow off steam, like binging on Snickers bars. 

How to quit sugar tip #7: Create New Post-Meal Rituals.
If you’re a “dessert after your meal” person, one of things you might love about that is the ritual of it. What are other possibilities for post-meal rituals? 

Would you like these tips in a printable PDF? Fill out your details below. 

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Why I Quit Sugar

In 2016 I quit the sugar habit and introduced breath and mindset work into my life. All the mindset work I was doing enabled me to make consistent conscious choices that led to me being able to create more results about my health habits and sustain my results easily and joyfully. As a result, I lost weight, dropped a dress size, and gained more clarity than I had had in years. Most important, I began to love my body.

I now get many more compliments. My husband says that he enjoys being with me more. Hope, my 10-year-old, says I am the nicest person in the world. This is huge for me since I have always been more defined by my drive, discipline, and focus, not my niceness. 

I am at a point now in my life where I eat all the chocolate that I want without ever gaining a pound. And I have the energy I need to do what I want without the afternoon slumps or constant energy ups and downs. In fact, I have enough more than energy to support my life with my husband, two girls, a full-time coaching practice, weekly family adventures, daily hiking with my dog, lots of time for hobbies and travel,acreage and a house that needs constant love. I have the fullest life than I have had in years, and I feel calmer, happier, and more fulfilled than I have ever felt before.

It wasn't always like this. Sure, in my early years I lived it up by working hard and playing hard. I found I bounced back easily and lived life to the fullest. It felt like life couldn't get any better. Then suddenly, I noticed that my energy kept fading. I was starting to become more and more irritable and tense, and even was admitted to the hospital because of fainting spells. After kids, I struggled with post-partum depression, I found it hard to get out of bed to take care of my kids and regular life became a grinding chore I dreaded. I put on a brave face but deep inside, instead of feeling full of life, I was rundown, moody and felt like crap most of the time.  

Quitting the sugar habit made a huge positive change in my life, and I’d love for you to consider how it could change things for you. 

Sometimes the physical addiction to sugar is not the only issue. One of my clients came to her session after going to a 3-year-old's birthday party and inhalingthree platefuls of high-sugar foods without even thinking. After some unpacking, we uncovered the real cause was that social occasions like that were one of the most stressful activities for her and eating a lot of sweet food was her way of dealing with the anxiety and stress. Once we uncovered this, she never had this happen again.

When you are not happy with an area of your life, like your career, relationship, finances, workout, sex life, family, weather, it is so much easier to reach for sugar than deal with what is going on. 

One of my clients with a relatively healthy and active lifestyle, but a regular craving for simple carbs (another quick form of sugar), uncovered her cravings for more intimacy with her husband. 

Cravings may seem like a pain in the ass, but what if cravings are a messenger to help you step into the best version of who you are? That would be pretty amazing!

If you’ve tried to quit sugar before, you’ll know that information is not the only thing you need. You need something to make this time different, someone to encourage your progress and guide you if you slip into making the wrong choices again.

For lasting transformation, peopleneed the right system, support and accountability.

I'd like to invite you to a free initial BEST YOU discovery session. It is a one-hour phone call where we'll look at where you are stuck and how to get unstuck, what your plan of action is to experience a total transformation. You will walk away with at least one major aha about how to break out of some lingering habits and get you on the path to your BEST YOU. 

I want to invite you to the possibility, that this time really can be different and that you haven't tried everything. That even those of you who are quite healthy already might be missing something that could make it all better. This is an opportunity to get curious about how healthy you can be.

I had a client that came with what she thought were unexciting health goals. She was relatively healthy already, and just wanted to put more focus into her health. She was blown away by how in one month her body felt tighter and she uncovered really important underlying reasons for decisions she was making. In two months, she was already making healthy choices unconsciously and becoming a strong role model for her family. She was so amazed at how easy it was, and she now has a new baseline, setting her path for things she never thought possible. Her business is booming, people are amazed at her progress, and she is unstoppable.

What makes my program UNIQUE is: 

We get to focus on what you GET TO HAVE rather than what you don't. Suffering to heal doesn't make sense. When I work with a client, I want to inspire you to reclaim your health in a way that is sustainable, natural and fun.

Clients tell me I'm intuitive, empathetic, and gently push exactly where they need.

If you're ready for accountability, the systems and the support that is going to make this work like nothing else you've tried, then I invite you to a free initial session to discover your BEST YOU. Again, this will look at where you are stuck, how to get unstuck and what your plan of action is to experience total transformation. To get at least one major aha, book a free discovery call with me now.

Is Capturing the Moment Taking You Out of the Moment?

Our bodies were all touching gently and easily in a relaxed family hump like a bowl of noodles, even Bounty, our dog lay his head on one of Hope's legs that was sprawled out connected to Mark. She shared her story about her Water Dragon, Splash, that she was working on. I loved this moment. My body leaning on her, Brooke leaning on me, us all enraptured together giving our hearts, minds and souls to her.

Until...my thought of I love this moment, turned into ah, I would love to capture this moment. I'll grab my phone in the other room and come back, to capture the way the sun is hitting the cream rug so warmly, Hope's loose braids in my foreground view while I look over her shoulder to the penciled words and illustrations on pages she has stapled together. I was out of the moment. Pause. "Stay in the moment," a voice said. I listened.

I love that she chooses to express her imagination in words and in stories. I notice her underlined words - those she knows are not correctly spelled - are throughout the book and I love that she chooses to write her book, noticing what is not quite correct, while still moving forward to tell the story. The story reminds me of the story that we must all tell. (I hesitate after I type the word "must", I don't like the words of absolutes, but "must" feels best for now) Our story is the truth of what burns within us, longing to be expressed.

What is my lesson here? How is this happening for me? I have come accustomed to asking these questions to myself. This comes to me now, as I write this. It tells me now, to move forward, stay in action, tell my story, notice the not quite correct, the parts still in the process of being learned, and to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

This is my lesson today, it is for me as I prepare to expand my coaching to touch more people. It has felt so safe and comfortable. I love my clients. I will honour them while I am expanding to honour the corporate history that I have. (I turned away from it for a while to explore the other parts of me). I am ready now to give it the attention it calls for. It is not just a part of my past, it is an important part of who I am now. It is calling to be embraced once again, as a productive part of me (being upgraded to let go of some of the blocks that it once created. I honour the blocks now, it has led me closer to my truth). I'm giving myself permission to let all of me shape my future, while also discovering the not yet discovered. It will be a gradual process of unfolding and I am peacefully excited about it.

For a few seconds, I was out of present moment, thinking about capturing the moment. Instead of getting my phone, I chose to come back to the moment. I breathed fully. I took it in more deeply. I noticed exactly what I was appreciating. Staying present led me to my lesson. Minutes spent sharing in a family moment in full and deep appreciation is sparking me with energy to move forward on my next steps to my business - Mmmm, I'm feeling thankful and relaxed - I have been seeking my next step for the last few weeks. It feels aligned.

I want to remember: This moment is happening for me. It always is. Be present.

Do you get out of the moment, trying to capture the moment? What might you be missing in the meantime? Breathe, notice what you love, and ask yourself, "How is this moment happening for me?"

My Story

Before I found health coaching...

Food confusion and stress

I surrendered myself to different plans, worked through conflicting advice, struggled with self punishment and pushed myself through stressful expectations. It was a grind. I was determined to figure it all out. I used my strengths of planning, discipline and execution to experiment with many different approaches. I had well meaning parents that passionately followed the latest trending diet plan. I recall forced bean curd drinks and carrot juices. The journey was stressful with must do's and don'ts, constantly changing extremes, and well-meaning but often conflicting advice. I struggled for years with energy spikes and crashes, even to the point of fainting spells.

My lifestyle left me exhausted and tense

I was always working long hours and taking on intense development and projects. A few years ago I took on an intense MBA which left me burnt out. Slowly, I started clawing my way back to the life I wanted for myself. I commuted for two hours a day in order to support an acreage lifestyle. Still, I felt myself endlessly working on tasks rather than enjoying quality moments in life. Treasured moments with myself, family, and friends were few and far between, and even started feeling like too much effort because I didn't have the energy to give to them. I got sick often and it would extend for days leaving me completely spent. It was normal for me to be impatient, snappy and frustrated on a daily basis.

I was starting to accept the common complaints of life

Afternoon energy slumps are normal. It's normal to lose interest as you get older. Baby weight just can't be lost. As you get older more things hurt, metabolism slows down, and libido drops. PMS mood swings are just part of life. Kids drive us crazy. Deep wounds are too hard to heal. You can't really have it all.

The moment everything changed...

Actually, there were a few moments that culminated together over the years. Here is one that stuck out in my memory. One day I was passionately working on an Human Resources project with a coworker and he responded to one of my ideas with, "Crystal, it's not like we are trying to change the world or anything." I felt that comment like a dagger to my heart. I remember uncontrollably sobbing that night, because I knew he was right. I was not going to change the world, not because of the project, or the job, or the company, but because I was not living my best life. It was a painful reminder of the life un-lived. I am so grateful to that coworker for that comment he made years ago.

From that moment, I had a renewed commitment to only move towards what would honour the best version of me so that I could have the biggest impact on this world. I am thankful every day that I found Health Coaching. This program is more progressive than I have ever seen, and truly takes the most important curated nutrition information that can heal 90% of the most common behaviour based conditions, and most cutting edge brain science to create a wonderfully supportive program for people to FINALLY master habit change.

How I live my best self now

Life looks and feels incredibly different now. Actions, beliefs, and feelings are shaping into a life that is more fully expressed with endless possibilities. Food and activity choices are deliberate and keep me in my most energized and positive state. I lost that last stubborn 10 pounds. Energy spikes are rare, instead calm energy nourishes me throughout the day. I rarely get sick anymore and when I do, the joy of life nourishes and heals me more quickly. I pace myself for sustainable excellence. I am overflowing with gratitude.

Self care delivers greater care for others. I have a surplus that I enjoy giving to my family and community. I look forward to connecting with people, looking into their eyes, and sharing the love I have at every opportunity. Libido is up, yup, my husband is much happier! Camping trips and holidays are easier on the family, I don't stress the small stuff! I hear criticism, and I'm genuinely thankful for the feedback, and truly move forward stronger. Long time wounds are starting to heal, and my capacity to love and forgive is growing.

Are there still slow downs, obstacles, and unexpected detours? Absolutely! Do I still get grumpy and low at times? Yes. I am human and my journey towards mastery is filled with constant adjustments to what life brings. But I am happy in a way I have never been before, and I am forever grateful for that.

The best part

I'm actually falling in love with myself again. Where I can move and simply enjoy what my body can do. Where I feel gratitude as my body embraces another; what a gift to fully be able to accept love from others. I feel a deeper connection to nature, myself, my husband, my girls, my animals and all the wonderful souls that I am fortunate enough to cross paths with.  

It blows my mind what this has done to all areas of my life and I am excited to explore how much more I can contribute to this world as I continue to step into this higher version of myself. It is a lifelong journey. It nourishes me every step of the way. It nourishes others.

If my dream comes true, health coaching will be as common as the home computer and the world will shift just a little, as people become more empowered through a deeper connection to their truth. They will let their light shine because they won't be able to contain it. They will be so full, that they will need to contribute more to those around them - all of this because they finally gave themselves permission to be their absolute best. Ah, the thought of it gives me tingles. Let's do this.

Which part of my journey do you most relate to? Please comment below.