So. You made a fitness related resolution this year.
How is it going so far? Easily adapted into your schedule? Tracking progress carefully? Enjoying your new behaviors? Feeling better and more confident in your ability to smash your goals each and everyday?
Change is tough. Psychologically and physically. Making life changes are even more difficult. Making life changes to adapt to reaching a specific goal based on your resolutions, very difficult.
About a year ago Scott Scanlon of the Buffalo News wrote an article about resolutions, and in the article I mentioned that using the SMART principle is a great way to help set goals and start thinking about change. You should make goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. S.M.A.R.T. So instead of saying you want to lose 30 pounds...you should say that you want to lose 30 pounds by July for your wedding. The more precise of a goal, the more likely you are to stay motivated.
All well and good.
Except maybe you don't know how to lose the pounds in the first place. Life is hectic. Work is stressful. You have a wedding to plan for. Lots of expenses coming up so you're working even more hours at your already stressful job leaving less time to cook, prep food, eat, and workout...BUT you still want to lose 30 pounds by July...
Now just switch the variables around to fit your life story. Kids, spouse, career, stress, eating habits, health concerns, physical limitations, and medical history... Yes, you have a resolution, and now you have set a goal, but how do you account for all of the obstacles that could be a limiting factor to your success.
Take note... January 19th, 2017
I, Nick Bendixen was wrong. The SMART principle is stupid...I know why I said it and I know why I believed in it at the time. I can see where it helps. I can see how it CORRELATES to successful goal setting and helping people reach their goals. What I can't see is how it CAUSED someone to be successful. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION.
The real answer to achieve your resolution or goals. Simplify.
Simplify whatever the problem may be, anyone who has ever successfully reached a goal at some point had to simplify the dilemma at hand and start with a simple solution, a baby step, the formation of a positive habit, the replacement of a bad habit to a good habit...something simple had to be done to start moving in the right direction. The SMART principle works, but only because someone was intelligent enough to simplify and start the process of change.
People's resolutions tend to be focused simply on the wrong thing. Don't go to the gym to lose weight. Go to the gym to learn how to move better. Move better to feel better. Feel better and then continue to do the things that made you feel better to begin with. Exercise! Then, once you've developed this healthy relationship and habit of working out you've probably already attained your goal along the way. EXCEPT it wasn't arduous and painful. You developed a healthy habit and supported it with other positive experiences to keep you motivated and accountable. You don't have to step on a scale to see results, being able to breathe and having a healthy heart is pretty awesome. You don't have to measure your body fat every week, looking better in all of your clothing is a great feeling. You know what else is great, not being in pain...teaching your body to move without compensating and managing pain is pretty great. The ability to not have to dread moving because of chronic pain is amazing when you take care of yourself. Work hard, worry less. That is a great resolution. Move better and move consistently , also great goals. I have clients that say they "just don't want to hurt." Great! We can do that, that's an important goal. We will organize thoughts, plan workouts, prioritize movements, and knock that goal out the park. Because I know that if you are pain free you will show up to workout with a clear and focused mind, if you show up you will get results, if you get results you will be even more motivated, and if you are motivated you will form habits and skills, and then you will thrive. (That same client lost 50 pounds and has now completed two(2) Tough Mudders)
The problems with resolutions are the steps that are skipped along the way. Reverse that course. Don't get frustrated while trying a new healthy behavior. Enjoy the little victories along the way...let those little victories and feelings snowball into greater things. Don't get bogged down by "progression markers" that are not linear to your healthy habits and hard work. Progress will not always be linear. Practice patience, form habits, build foundations, grow, and enjoy yourself.
I love quotes, these are the two that I have posted at the studio so far this year;
"There are two ways to do something, the correct way, and again." and,
"While intensity is scalable, every person on this planet needs to be relentlessly pursuing improvement."
neither quote is about goals or resolutions, both are better, farther reaching, and easily adapted to your everyday happenings.
Simplify your goals, accomplish more.
This post is meant to be a quick call to action, Thomas Paine style, and would have been better titled "Common Sense" or "Conscious, Mindful, and Purposeful" but I would like to save those titles for a later time. The theme however will remain throughout with this quick talk about sleeping, breathing, and walking.
There are many things in life that we get to hit the "Re-Do" button on. In hindsight we can clearly see a mistake or flaw in our thoughts or approach on something and simply "Re-Do" the effort. This learning and experience saves us lots of pain, time, and probably anxiety down the road.
We LIVE, we LEARN, we PROGRESS...hopefully.
So quickly I would like to cover three simple behaviors that we can leverage to make a huge impact on the well being of our day and lives.
1) LEARN TO SLEEP- I know, you do this every night, you have what works for you, and you've mastered the art of comfort. You know your body and habits better than I do but some simple advice in this department can go a long way. With the current trend of society turning into technology zombies and the dependency of our phones being attached to our hip, our sleep patterns are taking the brunt of the abuse. I know this is going to seem crazy but try using phones and tv's less as the night goes on and your bedtime approaches. Research is really pointing to the detriment of lights and the ability of our brains to "shut down" for the night, which is essential for quality sleep. Another recent study showed that the benefits of sleep can actually be "stored" by our bodies. the study found that athletes who were consciously getting plenty of sleep leading up to an event were not as phased by the anxious or restless sleep anxiety induces as their events approached. Applying that to the modern world, if you know you have a stressful event at the end of the week start preparing for it by getting as much sleep as possible for up to nine days prior. Our bodies are capable of amazing things if we CONSCIOUSLY PROVIDE THE MEANS TO BE SUCCESSFUL. We can actually store the benefits of sleep to perform at our best at a later event or time! Keep your room cool, dark, quiet, and aim for eight(8) hours. Find a way to relax at night and develop a conscious routine to "shut it down." Which brings me to my next point.
2) LEARN TO BREATHE- I know, I know. You do this naturally without ever having to think about it. That's also a terrible reason to not think about how you are doing it. "I've always done it this way" is not a logical or sound argument. Wrong is wrong- even if you've gotten away with it for your lifespan. Breathing should be emphasized and prioritized everyday. Again, we are amazing creatures that can adapt and survive without any thought to what is keeping us alive. But, we can thrive if we become CONSCIOUS of how to maximize our potential. MINDFUL of our actions. and PURPOSEFUL with our decisions. You should constantly be checking in with your body and taking notes of adaptations. Yes, we should BREATHE with an attempt TO HEAL. I'm not trying to sound like a hippy, but if you were to start reading this whole blog over again while trying to inhale slowly and as deep as possible for for 3- 5 seconds, hold your lungs for full for a moment, and then exhale slowly for 4- 8 seconds, you will find yourself back at these words in a completely different mental state. I don't think that as creatures we have completely evolved, (or regressed if you will) so far that we cannot heal ourselves. Breathing is the first step to recovery, as well as improved performance. Try that same exercise of conscious breathing before bed for a couple of minutes...or for better focus during your morning commute to work, and again on your way home as a way to debrief your stress from the day. TRY to be MINDFUL, TRY to be CONSCIOUS, TRY to be PURPOSEFUL...you will never be disappointed with the results as everything around you slows down. And while on the topic of slowing down...
3) LEARN TO WALK- I know, I know...since babies right, and the fact that you do this everyday, no problem. You got it! BUT...chances are your posture would tell another story. Your movement quality might reallllly tell another story. The pain physically and mentally from moving could be the worst story. Unfortunately movement quality has rapidly deteriorated as work and technology has rapidly been growing. Who still moves well? The CONSCIOUS/ MINDFUL/ PURPOSEFUL call to action changes dramatically at this level. Our bodies are super intricate and complicated. which is why we need to break things down to simple levels. Balance, stability, coordination, core strength, and flexibility all have to be considered when talking about human movement. Which just gives us more appreciation of our capabilities. Do not take for granted simple things that our bodies do naturally. Pay attention to your walking stride or gait, feel your feet connect to the ground, don't let the shoes do the work for you. Enjoy the grass or sand between your toes. These senses become dull when unused, keep your proprioception high! Align you spine and hips with every step. Enjoy the recovering of posture as you move and breathe better. Slow down. Walk graciously. Smile while moving, and be courteous to nature and your surroundings.
For all 3 of these behaviors it is important to start small, track progress, take mental notes, and check in with yourself regularly. Enjoy your individual capabilities. Slow down. Pay attention. Form positive habits. Be honest with yourself about what you find. Enjoy discovery.
So this post is meant to be constructive, not sarcastic. Think open minded here. I'm not trying to talk AT anyone specific, but more towards everyone, eyes and ears please...
I'm about to solve a ton of fitness and nutrition problems/frustrations here with one piece of advice.
Want to see results???
That's it, that is all you have to do. PAY ATTENTION.
You really can not solve any problems until you've identified what the real issue is...so PAY ATTENTION.
Let's say your goal is weight loss...
How many calories a day do you eat? What times of the day do you eat? are you stressed? how often do you workout? what exercises do you do? how long do you workout for? how intense are your workouts? what kinds of foods are you eating? What are you drinking? How frequently do you consume alcohol? How long have you been trying to lose weight? Have you always struggled with weight gain/loss? have you had success in the past with losing weight? How much do you sleep? How are your energy levels?
Every single question from above can be spun into an hour conversation with more back and forth and poking and prodding to try and find answers...
but do you really not know how to lose weight? seriously? no, seriously? If you can answer those questions you can lose weight, you just have to PAY ATTENTION.
The real question isn't how to lose weight at all... the real question is how do you adapt a lifestyle that allows you to achieve weight loss that you can mindfully stay consistent to. NOW the details matter. NOW we've identified the real issue. NOW we can attack the underlying motivation. Athletes have an ideal body composition that gives them a competitive edge. Brides have an image of how they want to look on the wedding day of their dreams. Grandparents want to keep up with their grandchildren.
Results are not just some physical thing you attain by eating less, or working out more. Yes, there is a science behind it but in all honesty it is not complicated.
What is complicated is the art of PAYING ATTENTION. Attaching the psychological part to the equation. Prioritizing your life so that what matters most can be achieved. For parents that might mean finding the work/parenting/self time balance...because if you say your kids are your priority, you are doing them a disservice by not providing the best form of you. PAY ATTENTION...the life balance is not simple...its really complicated. Seriously. No, seriously. Balancing everything is not simple. Life, health, fitness, love, finances, everything is seriously complicated, PAY ATTENTION. That is the only way to start simplifying the equation.
I went to make a cup of tea for myself last night and on the box was a great quote, "There is no greatness where there is not simplicity." Leo Tolstoy
I love this quote, and it really is a great piece of advice. When things get complicated we just need to simplify. Life gets hectic, simplify. Sometimes the only thing we need to be successful is to PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS.
a less endearing quote "keep it simple, stupid." Neil Bendixen
still gets the point across.
Pay attention, simplify all the details...results will follow
Real random blog entry today...but its on my brain so I want to share.
I had a conversation a couple days ago with a mother during a session about encouraging her children to make their decisions based on what is best for them, not what they think is expected. One child is a senior in high school, the other is a sophomore in college, so they have a lot of life altering decisions coming up. My two cents was just not to make a decision based on what is expected, or what others are doing. Just like how we cater every movement in their workouts, they should cater every decision to their specific needs, regardless of how other people are moving around them. You don't need to bench press on Monday just because every other meathead is bench pressing on Monday.
I love when fitness examples apply to life's larger tasks.
I also love when fitness becomes part of life's larger tasks.
I had a client text me the other day to let me know he wasn't going to be able to make our regular Saturday appointment. No Problem. He had just gotten back into town from dropping his son of at college 10 hours away the day before and was going to turn his brain off and play in a golf tournament. I completely understand and support that decision. Freshman years are also tough on parents. So I sent him a comic about being a hack of a golfer, and wished him luck in the tournament. Saturday was going to be beautiful so I was actually a bit envious.
But then Saturday at 9am rolled around and my client surprised me and was at the gym. He wasn't going to skip the session. The tournament was at 1pm so he had enough time squeeze in a session then run home, eat, and head to the course. We worked on some mobility and restoration, mainly focusing on getting him moving again from being in the car so much the last couple of days. At the end of the workout he said that was "perfect and exactly what he needed." Boom, another satisfied customer.
I didn't make him a better golfer, human- yes, golfer- no.
But that wasn't really his goal for our Saturday session. His goal was to move better, feel better, keep his routine, and stay injury free. He's not a professional golfer. He's a professional husband, a professional father, and a professional lawyer. Golf is a fun hobby, everything else mentioned is a priority. I didn't see anyone else from the tournament at the gym that morning though.
Our conversation on Monday morning went like this:
Me: How did you golf on Saturday?
Client: terrible (laughing)
Me: Great! Did you have fun?
Client: Yeah it was fun
Me: Is anything sore?
Client: Nope, everything is good
Me: Great, lets get after it!
If he had shot a 68 or a 98 it wouldn't have mattered. What mattered is that he enjoyed himself and could do it everyday without experiencing an ounce of pain. Our priorities are aligned so that he can enjoy every and any activity he partakes in. Successfully or not.
Availability of an athlete or client is the first key to success.
Enjoyment then tends to not be to far behind.
Your goals do not have to be milestones. Goals can be the small things that sometimes get overlooked. Those goals then tend to snowball real quick into milestones.
Keep your fitness goals simple.
Every fitness professional is going to tell you that you need to set goals to be successful...I agree with that and highly encourage goal setting. This blog isn't going to be about applying the S.M.A.R.T principle and achieving your goals in an organized and timely fashion...In fact this isn't even going to be about achieving your goals at all, because truthfully, sometimes they won't actually matter. The PROCESS of how you go about the business to achieve your goal(s) matters.
I'm not saying goals don't matter, I'm saying when all is said and done you will reflect on the PROCESS and remember those details, so pay attention along the way and enjoy where you are going. Mindfulness will help keep you laser focused on the goals and stay the course when your body is slow to adapt. Slow adaptation does not mean your body is not transforming. It means we are painting the background of your portrait first.
Typically, if you do not achieve your desired result there is a very logical and sound explanation.
Fun Mom story.
During one of our family vacations (dad's work convention) my mom decided that she was going to take us kids out and explore the National Treasure that is Daniel Boone's cave. Yes you read that last sentence correctly, contain yourself from excitement . So we set out in our minivan one summer in Kentucky to find Daniel Boone's cave. No map. No real plan. But if you know how everyone in my family operates we never really plan, we just adapt along the way. The logic kind of went like this...there are these minute men road signs that point you in the right direction so we just have to follow the signs like a map and we will arrive at our destination. The suspense is really just part of the "fun" said my mom.
Its all part of "making a memory" she is now (in)famously quoted for saying . I love my mom.
After hours of driving in circles and following the same signs all over the state of Kentucky, we never found the cave...after hours of driving my poor mother had no clue where she was going, and had 3 kids asking every 15 seconds "are we there yet?"
We were "making a memory," she would reply in answer to every question. We laugh about that story at every family gathering. My mom will never live it down. We had fun driving around that day, and that event has provided material to pick on my mom now for years. I think us kids can actually say we're glad we didn't find the cave.
When I reflect on past events I really cannot remember all the final outcomes. I remember things along the way though. I can tell you that I drove my mom to church every Sunday once I got my license, but I cannot recollect a single sermon. I can remember grocery shopping with her every Sunday night, but cannot remember a single thing we ever bought. I remember watching her favorite show "friends" with her at night, but couldn't repeat a single line from years of episodes. I cannot remember any of my times from track events, but I remember she made me "power bread" for every track meet.
We remember the PROCESS. The PROCESS is what we learn from, how we form habits, AND what we appreciate and remember in reflection.
The PROCESS in fitness is what is worth the drive to the gym every time you are tired after work. The PROCESS gets us to our goals, and sets the standards that we strive for in every session. Skip parts of the PROCESS and you will more than likely fall short of your goal. Try to shorten the PROCESS and you will be more likely to start collecting injuries further setting you back. Most importantly, by not reflecting along the way and taking self awareness notes you will miss the true value of fitness. Don't let goals consume you, lots of external factors can play into your results, but stay the course. If you are doing everything right and developing a great work ethic and habits, stay the course. How you get to your goal really can be more important than achieving your goal.
This is shown by those people that can then go out time and time again and achieve their goals.
The PROCESS of replication.
The PROCESS of diligence.
The PROCESS of growth.
The PROCESS of self awareness.
The PROCESS of self fulfillment.
Successful people have learned the PROCESS of success.
The enjoyment of knowing they work hard, and have something to show for it.
Fitness is meant to be fun, enjoyable, and most importantly purposeful.
Enjoy the process of your purpose!
So, as it turns out my parents did know a thing a two about what was best for me while growing up. I didn't always see it then, and their plans might not have always matched to my desires, but they got a couple of things right!
Growing up, the weights that we had in our basement consisted of some cement filled plastic molds, an easy curl bar, a couple of adjustable cast iron dumbbells, and a bench that could hold the bar, but would tip over if you didn't balance the bar while loading weights. The set was given to my brother and I from our neighbor sometime before we moved from Detroit to New York, and probably maxed out at 85 pounds. A couple of years passed, and as I got into middle school I started to really enjoy working out. I remember BEGGING my dad for a new weight set. Real barbells, more weights, something more advanced than pushups, pull-ups from the rafters, and whatever movements were possible with our "weight set."
My Father heard something different.
I asked for something I "wanted." He would provide something I "needed"
Years later I would come across a sermon or speech that says:
"I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brains to work.
I asked courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for patience and God gave me situations where I was forced to wait.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I asked for everything I could enjoy in life. Instead, he gave me life so I could enjoy everything.
I received nothing I wanted, I received everything I needed."
Now, this could have been one of those nice learning moments where my dad explains this type of perspective to me since he is a minister. BUT...he's also the guy that would take notes, literally, during my Pop Warner games and hand me a spiral notebook of mistakes after every game. So like I said, I would find that passage years later!
So my dad did hear what I was asking for, he understood the purpose of "equipment," and he got me to commit to using whatever "equipment" he would provide for me. I WAS ALL IN!!! So he came home from work, told me to get in the car to help go pick up my "equipment" and we were off.
****Side note, my father grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin****
We didn't drive to a gym or sporting goods store. We drove to the town auto-mechanic shop. He had called ahead and had them set 16 tires next to the dumpster for us. Not what I had expected or asked for, but he provided what I needed. Super Disappointed.
Until we got home.
After spending 60 minutes running through tires, throwing tires, sledge hammering tires, flipping tires, and anything else he could think of, I was whooped. Pretty savvy old man I have.
That's a fun story about my father. Smart guy, thinks ahead, sees the whole picture. Not impressed with fancy things, only worried about getting things done. I didn't need new equipment, I needed a new work ethic. I just had to put in work, consistently. Equipment didn't matter, time under tension did. I needed to learn how to move better, not just lift more weight. I would learn to move efficiently, learn to produce force and power, and learn all about muscle synergy. All in the comforts of my back yard with a set of tires.
Consistency is what leads to results. Not your equipment, not your gym, not your trainer, not anything you can buy or admire...just plain old fashioned consistency. Show up to work out, show up to work hard, but most importantly show up. Everything else will fall into place if you are doing the right things consistently. Stay the course, good things will happen.
Lastly, I love this quote From Brian Mackenzie. He says "When it comes to training, more is not better. More is a byproduct of better."
Consistency will allow use to achieve more. We will get better as we learn. We will learn when we show up.
Thank you Pop.
Here's two more articles for some food for thought:
The title to this blog might seem a little counter-intuitive so let me explain.
In the entrance of my girlfriends house there is a hanging frame that reads,
"Don't think of the things you didn't get after praying. Think of the countless blessings God gave you without asking."
We tend to take things for granted. Simple things, little things, things others do for us, things we are capable of, things we expect from others, and things we expect from our own body...
Until something breaks (literally or metaphorically)
Broken things get noticed... you can walk by a window in your house a million times without really noticing it. Walk by that window during a Buffalo winter after putting a football through it, I bet you notice it...like an injury. We ignore all the signs of overuse and poor or faulty movement patterns, until we get hurt. We don't really care about all the steps we take on a daily basis, unless you have a ruptured Achilles tendon, then we pay attention. Americans have an absolutely ridiculous high incidence rate of lower back pain, what were we doing before we hurt? How many body awareness cues were ignored before people became hospitalized and prescribed pain meds?
Why can't being pain free and mobile become an aspiration to MAINTAIN, rather than an abnormality we strive to reclaim?
From a fitness standpoint we take for granted what our bodies are actually capable of. We gravitate to the exercises we enjoy and can complete with confidence. We disassociate with the exercises that are difficult and can cause frustration. "If I don't have injuries currently why should I train differently," people ask? "Why do boring exercises when we can be doing fun stuff?"..."why exercise at all actually when we can be out having fun?"
I GET IT!!! Training to avoid getting injured isn't fun or sexy...but it beats getting injured! We will never have to strong of a core stabilization system. Our balance can always improve and will need constant challenging. Programming the basics and focusing on the foundations of fitness will never be the wrong move in training and planning sessions for clients or yourself. Focus of core strength and stability, improve mobility and flexibility, dedicate time for balance, work to improve on coordination.
What if we listened to our bodies and adapted our training modules before injuries occurred?
What if we fine tuned the details of training so that we produced even greater results?
What if we became so acutely aware of how our body operates and we never worried about pain?
What if we paid attention to details that have been ignored because of success?
What if we were forced to step back and take time off?
What if we learned from injuries?
What if we just did what was right?
The value and blessing of being injured is it gives you time to reflect on all those questions. Without any doubt or argument you got hurt for a reason...there HAS TO BE A SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION...let's figure it out and correct it.
VALUE OF INJURIES... FEEDBACK
VALUE OF FAILURE... KNOWLEDGE
VALUE OF FATIGUE... EXPERIENCE
VALUE OF PAIN... GROWTH
VALUE OF CRITICISM... HUMILITY
With Mother's Day approaching and my business about to launch I want to make reference to the two most amazing women in my life. My mom Lynnea, and my girlfriend Kim. Both are the quintessential examples of a motherly figure and I'm very blessed to be able to learn from them both everyday.
The real story behind this blog is going to be about my moms advice. Her advice came during a track meet when I was in high school competing over the summer at the Empire State Games. I was running the 400 meters (my strongest event) as the fifth event of the day during day 1 of the decathlon. Knowing that day 2 was filled with my weaker events, I felt as though I needed to really put up a good effort on day 1 and try to hold onto whatever lead I could maintain for the rest of the competition. If your not familiar with the scoring system or track events in the decathlon that doesn't matter, what matters is that I put pressure on myself to perform at a very high level and didn't succeed to the standard I set for myself.
So back to the story...I finished my race and ran over to the officials to check my time so that I could calculate my score and BOOM, punch to the gut. Even though I won the race, my time was way slower than I was hoping for so winning doesn't matter. Being competitive by nature I am furious at myself. I didn't deliver the result I wanted because I was distracted at managing the scores of previous events... I was distracted by the performance of previous events... I probably didn't plan appropriately for the fifth event of the day...lots of wondering thoughts, not enough micromanaging of the moment. I was prepared for the moment, but let so many other factors influence the outcome. I made COMPLEX what should have been SIMPLE. My mind was everywhere else, except on the strength of my favorite event. I. WAS. PISSED.
Enter my mom, with my little sister in tow, they made the hour drive to then watch me compete all day. In her angelic tone of voice she asks,
"Whats wrong Nick?"
"Mom did you see the race, that was terrible!" in a pissed off, hot tempered, sarcastic tone
"I thought you ran very well" she replied encouragingly
"Worse time of the year and you think that was good?" I'm an ass at this point and taking it out on her
and then she hits me with the best piece of life advice I've ever received
"YOU WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER IF YOU JUST RAN FASTER" (still in an angelic tone)
She was absolutely correct.
Now my face and body language probably didn't describe how appreciative today I am for this golden nugget of wisdom, and I'm not even sure how I immaturely responded at the time, but she was right. The lesson was that simple. All the excuses I have made did not matter, I ran poorly and I could have done better. I let other things get in the way of something I had prepared for and set out to do. I needed to clear my head and I should have simplified.
So as unhelpful as her words post race were, they really could not be more applicable to every day life. We get distracted, we have obstacles, we can make excuses, but the goals we set still remain and they are independent of everything else. Yes I understand life happens to all of us, but in business, fitness, and life whatever our goal(s) are still remains the focus. Simple and realistic, the goal(s) we set are easily attained if we do not over-complicate the issues. Know when to micro manage and when not to. You will run faster, lose weight, get stronger, look better, rehab quicker, grow your business, etc, etc, etc when you don't lose sight of what is in front of you from all of life's distractions.
Keep things simple.
Say thank you to those who help you.
One simple sentence at a time when I was furious is now the first thought I have when I hear the word "mom." It keeps me in check when things get complicated. It also humbles me when I think Ive got everything figured out. Happy Mother's day to you both, thank you, and I love you.