Sleepwalking, Sidelines, and Stupors Oh My!

sleepwalking_again_911465Sleepwalking is so interesting to me. It’s amazing that someone (I have done it too) can walk up stairs without tripping, speak full sentences, even go outside, and still be asleep! My sister-in-law, Naomi, has some great childhood stories and one of my favorites involves sleepwalking. Unfortunate for Naomi – the youngest sibling of three older and merciless brothers – this situation happened in front of her older brothers. The boys were sitting at the kitchen table when Naomi entered the room and began turning the light off and on, over and over, as she claimed that she was searching for gold.

Roughly six years ago I was doing another kind of sleepwalking. I was “sleepwalking” through my own life, but I didn’t even know it. The reality was that life and ministry were busy, we had three small kids, I was tired and I had been struggling with depression. Life was overwhelming and without realizing it I disengaged emotionally. I was still physically showing up (most of the time), but really just going through the motions of life.

My awareness came when I attended a Personal Mastery weekend with Klemmer and Associates. I had no interest in going, but my parents offered to pay and told me it would help grow my business. That sounded safe to me, so I went. It did help grow my business, but it also radically transformed my thinking, my relationships and my life.

Over that weekend, I became aware of how I was sitting on the sidelines of my own life. Often I wasn’t even showing up at all, sitting through meetings, church, homework time, even family dinner in a stupor. I was missing out. My kids and husband were missing out. My business teammates were missing out. I was not living to my full potential – I was hardly engaged at all! That weekend I chose to wake up and get in the game. I remember coming home, hugging Joe (and really feeling it) and sitting on the floor with the kids (and really being with them). It was incredible and positively overwhelming. I realized in those moments all I had been missing out on. I woke up and I could see what was really happening all around me. I was changed!

That was not the end of the journey. I had so much more to learn and so much more room for growth, but it was an extraordinary start. I challenge you to step into the extraordinary and start living the life you were designed to live. As I often remind myself . . the extraordinary life is worth it! I would love to hear about your journey.

Be Extraordinary!

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30 Day Strong Ab Challenge

1234767_10201086160730462_232045701_nI love goal-setting and challenges. It can be difficult to stay the course over the long haul, therefore, I find it more motivating to set up small, short-term challenges that are in alignment with my bigger goals. Other important factors in accomplishing goals are accountability, camaraderie and fun.

Setting goals and being challenged is part of living an extraordinary life. Without goals, I would just do the things that I FEEL like doing and I would end up having what I already, comfortably, have (not my dreams!).

In line with all of these things, and with the final 30 days of my 90 day challenge approaching, I’ve enlisted the help of my friend and business teammate Lisa to set up a 30 Day Strong Ab Challenge. My hope is that you will want to join us – accountability, camaraderie, fun and prizes – in the quest for bigger goals and dreams in the area of health and fitness.

Here are the details for the upcoming challenge.
Date: October 1 – 30
The Strong Ab Challenge was created for the purpose of accountability, camaraderie, and fun while releasing inches around the waist, building Strong Abs and earning prizes!

Requirements to qualify for prizes:

1) Order 3 bags of USANA Nutrimeal and 2 boxes of Protein Snack Bars.
** Replace one meal with a Nutrimeal Shake each day
** Replace one snack with a Protein Snack Bar each day
** Purchases must be made through Lisa, www.lconnaghan.usana.com or Traci,www.traci.usana.com
(current USANA associates contact Traci for participation requirements)

2) Complete daily Ab Challenge
** Even if you are unable to complete the entire Challenge for the day, push yourself to do as much as possible. You are worth it!
** Print a copy of the Ab Challenge from photos

3) Post 5 or more times each week on the Strong Ab Challenge Facebook page.

4) Post your favorite plank pose photo on the Strong Ab Challenge Facebook page.
** This can be done any time during the Challenge.

5) Have fun!

PRIZES:
– Bag of Nutrimeal Shake Mix
– Box of Protein Snack Bars
** Number of prizes awarded will depend on number of participants. Winners must meet the above mentioned requirements in order to qualify for prizes.

Even if you are not looking to have the strongest abs, I hope you will join in the Strong Ab Challenge. This type of challenge brings out opportunities for growth in many areas of life (perseverance, character, healthy habits, positive example to others, belief in yourself) if you are on a quest to live extraordinary. My goal in this is not simply to have extraordinary abs (although that would be nice), but to develop extraordinary character and to encourage myself and others to live an extraordinary life. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it! Will you join me?

Be Extraordinary!

Traci’s Test Kitchen: Nut Butter Muffins

I love cookbooks, especially ones with beautiful photos. In fact, I actually love cookbooks more than I love cooking. If I could look through wonderful food photos and simply pin them in the kitchen for my personal chef that would be a dream come true.
Since the personal chef is not yet in the kitchen, I am making attempts at some beautiful, healthy, new recipes. I made one the other day that met my criteria:

1. Simple
2. Tastes good
3. Contains ingredients I usually have on hand
4. Turns out reasonably close to how it should

Bonus: Gluten and dairy free for the many who choose to avoid those ingredients.

This recipe is from a new cookbook of mine, Raw Food Chef, by Dr. Libby Weaver. I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Libby speak at USANA’s 2013 International Convention. Dr. Libby is super knowledgable about how our bodies work and I am inspired to eat healthier and take my USANA supplements every time I hear her speak. She also has a fantastic Australian accent – so jealous!
Recipe: Nut Butter Muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup nut butter (we love peanut butter!)
2 bananas, peeled and smashed
2 eggs, well beaten1175000_10151797156384362_87162544_n
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
Blend nut butter until smooth
Add banans and eggs and mix until combined
Add baking powder and apple cider vinegar until well mixed
Fold in the blueberries
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups and bake for 10 minutes (took my oven 12-13 min.)

I hope you will give this recipe a try and share similar (healthy muffin) recipes in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

Be Extraordinary!

Dream it. Wish it. Do it.

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Dreaming energizes me. I am not talking about the dreams I have in my sleep but the dreams and goals I have for my life. Some of these current dreams include paying off 100% of our debts, taking a family trip to Chicago, taking the kids to our favorite places in Hawaii, flying first class, a trip to Sanoviv, a new high-tech refrigerator, money to help our families come visit us in Michigan, release 10 pounds, attain USANA‘s Growth 25, and I could literally go on and on.

I really want these things, and as part of my effort to achieve these goals I began a 90 day challenge over a month ago. I set two goals that require work in health and business, goals that will move me closer to the above mentioned dreams.

Enter: awareness, aha, conviction.

I can dream and wish all I want, but if I never do – take action – then I greatly decrease my chances of achieving my dreams. Not only I, but my family and friends will also miss out on the benefits of these dreams. I have been doing a lot of dreaming, wishing, hoping, planning, but now I humbly realize I have not been taking enough of the right kind of action. Ouch!

The biggest ouch in this aha is my big “why” (The Reason Why). “I want my kids to see and know that dreams are possible. I want my kids to set goals, go after them and see them accomplished. I choose to be a living example for my kids that dreams can and do become a reality.” If I don’t get aggressive and go after my dreams with persistence then I will not accomplish my why. What will my kids believe about setting goals and pursuing dreams? My kids and their dreams are worth the effort it takes to make change and do the work necessary to achieve my dreams. They deserve to see this visual example of what is possible.

What dreams are you hoping will come true, but in reality you are sitting by watching them slip away? Are you ready to DO something about it? Please share in the chat box what action you will take today to move in the direction of your dreams.

Be Extraordinary!

The Reason Why

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 6.40.48 PM“Give your heart a reason to keep beating.”

This piece of advice was part of ‘three tips for life’ given by Dr. Oz at USANA Health Science’s International Convention this past year. I love the imagery. When someone, myself included, joins USANA they are asked to consider and articulate their why. Why do they want to do this business? What do they hope to gain – improved health? Financial Independence? Time Freedom?

Over the years I have fine-tuned, expanded, reworded and adjusted my why. Every goal I set, in any area of my life, is more easily achieved when I clearly understand why I am working towards that goal.

A solid why is deep.

A solid why moves you to tears – it touches your heart.

A solid why gets you out of bed in the morning.

A solid why will “give your heart a reason to keep beating.”

Why do I work with USANA? I am thankful for the improved health USANA products offer. I am pursuing financial independence. I love the freedom of time to travel and to be with my husband and kids. All of these things are great, but there is something deeper that gets me up in the morning, something stronger that helps me make phone calls, invest in my team, and grow my business.

My solid why.

I want my kids to see and know that dreams are possible. I want my kids to set goals, go after them and see them accomplished. I choose to be the living example for my kids that dreams can and do become a reality. Does it take hard work? Yes! Does it require sacrifice? Yes! Is it worth it? Yes!

I would love to hear from you in the chat box. Do you have a goal? What moves you to accomplish that goal? What inspires you to do the work, step out of your comfort zone and create change in your life? What gives your heart reason to keep beating?

Be Extraordinary!

I Have a Seasonal Craving . . Routine

Calvin shows the importance of a routine.

Calvin shows the importance of a routine.

I love summer – sunshine, long days, late nights, campfires, kids riding bikes and, now that we live in Michigan, thunderstorms. One thing that does not seem to exist, in the beautiful and lazy days of summer, is routine. I wouldn’t trade these summer days, but there does come a time when I start to crave routine. Our family has always lived in an area where school begins the day or two after Labor Day and by the start of school, I have a heavy dose of routine-cravings going on.

One of the challenges of having a home-based business is maintaining a consistent routine. Recently, I realized that the spontaneity I enjoy in having my own business is both a blessing and a curse. For years I have run my business more like a hobby, fitting it in where and when I can. However, running a business like a hobby produces the results of a hobby. I make a good income, but have plateaued as I became complacent, even lazy, about my business routines. Now that I want more – the full results of the powerful, residual, life-changing business that I have – I must take on the routines necessary to achieve those results.

These realities bring me back to the value of setting goal-driven, intentional routines. As school gets underway so do the routines, habits and disciplines that move me closer to my extraordinary dreams. Will it be challenging? Absolutely! Will it be worth it? Most definitely!

What routines will you embrace that will move you closer to your extraordinary dreams? List them in the comments.

Be Extraordinary!