Are you Sleeping?

How much sleep do you need? I know that 8 hours works the best for me. Besides the time asleep, there is the quality of sleep. When I have settled the day and have put aside my mental projects for the night, I sleep through the night and wake up refreshed.  If I have too many unfinished projects or small undone things hanging around in my brain, they tend to float up at 2 am and start making a lot of noise in my head. This means I start losing my sleep time because my brain is keeping my body from what it needs for full power energy. So here are a few ideas for getting rid of pesky middle of the night brain drains.

My strategies for getting a good night sleep.

Plan on going to sleep 8 hours before the alarm goes off.

Stop doing any project or mental brainstorming two hours before bedtime.

I think of my projects as steps. Every day I only need to complete one or more step of a project, so my brain can relax about the things that are scheduled for another time.

Leave yourself notes or a text for something you need to see the next day

Spend a few minutes at the end of each day recognizing what I have accomplished for the day

Create a routine before going to sleep that your body recognizes as the slowing down and getting ready to end the day.

I like to do a few stretches, set out projects for the next day and practice gratitude for all the things in the day that I am grateful for

This year I have found a meditation tape that I am listening to as I lay in bed. It is only 10 minutes long. What I love is hearing the sound of someone telling me it is time to put the day to rest. My favorite phrase is,” Where ever you are, whatever you are doing, remember there is nothing you need to do and no place you need to go right now. Just that concept gives my body and brain the signal to let the day go and settle into a restful calm place of relaxation.

So what are your strategies that support a full night’s sleep?

Do you need a structure that helps you get full rest?  That is a lot of what I do as a coach, help people identify actions that will support what they know they need to do for health and full energy.

Gwen is a life coach that helps people find balance in health, work and play

Contact her at for information about the next healthy habits for busy people class

New Year’s Resolution Chart

Resolution List- Do you start out the New Year with a long list of things that you want to accomplish? Here are some ideas to help you feel good about your resolutions.
1. Think big
Have two or three overall themes that guide your actions all year long. Post them up where you can read them every morning and reflect on them every evening. Give yourself a gold star for everyday that you accomplish one of the big items.
Here are my personal favorites-
Speak up about the positives
Make deliberate choices
Do one hard thing every day
Set up intentions for the day before I get out of bed
Practice gratitude at the end of every day
Make quiet time for me
Be kind and honest
Before I make that snap judgment- consider I don’t know the whole story
Give myself credit for what I did accomplish
Listen more than I talk
Ask more questions
Connect with friends and family

Spend more time with fun people and less time with people who complain

The second plan I have this year is to focus on one area each month. January is energy month.

I am tracking the situations and jobs that I get excited and energized to do.

I am also paying attention to the things that I ignore or put off again and again.

I am going to let that list guide how I spend my time and what things I agree to do for others. I want to learn what things are of the highest value for me and what things I need to give away or stop doing all together.

Fitness barriers

What are your fitness barriers?


The top three reasons people fail with a fitness plan


1. Do you believe that once you reach a certain size or weight, you’ll be happy?

When you say to yourself, “I’ll be happy when I reach______pounds,” one of two outcomes will result.

The first outcome is that you never reach that weight and are, therefore, never happy. The second outcome is that you reach that magical weight and realize after a while that is has absolutely nothing to do with your happiness.

The way to reach an understanding about your weight is to identify and deal with the underlying problem or issue with you and weight. Start by paying attention to when you eat and what food means to you.

Then you can start to take care of yourself in a way that makes the weight less of a struggle. Food is not your enemy, it is a tool to give you energy and be healthy.


2. Do you frequently look for a shortcut or an easier way to achieve what you want?

Dedication, commitment, and effort are needed to accomplish anything worthwhile.

You need to make a plan and stick to it if you want to achieve success when it comes to raising your family and succeeding in your career. The same goes for maintaining a successful, loving relationship.

Persistence and taking small steps every day is required to accomplish most anything worthwhile. Losing weight and taking care of you is no exception.

When you are counting on your health, fitness, and weight loss goals to be accomplished by the latest fad, you are really looking for something to take the place of making lasting changes in your routines.

Take the time to make realistic goals and action steps that support your healthy self


3. Do you frequently use excuses to get yourself out of doing what it takes to reach your goals?

“I don’t have time.”

“I don’t like to sweat.”

“The rest of my family would never eat that.”

“Then I’d have to shower before I go to work.”

“I have to travel a lot in my line of work.”

“My shins hurt when I do that.”

“I have asthma.”

“I get a rash when I do that.”

“Then what do I do with all those sweaty clothes?”

“I’ll start Monday.”

“I’ll focus on that next year.”

So many people just want to talk about making a change. But when it comes right down to doing the hard work or making the tough decisions, they prefer to offer excuses as to why they continue living their lives just as they are. Don’t be a victim of your own excuses… If you have excuses, you’re not ready, plain and simple.

Start your list today of why it is important for you to be a healthy person. When those goals are important enough, they will override any of your past excuses.

Your three action steps for a successful fitness plan

  1. Understand your relationship with food, use food for health and energy
  2. Make a plan that you can do every day, one step at a time
  3. Throw out your excuses and focus on goals that are important to you

Gwen Pettit is a life coach who helps people feel good about the changes they make to improve health and fitness one step at a time.

Sign up for your free fitness weekly journal.

Gwen Pettit, MS, MA, ACC
Spiral Consulting
500 E Georgia Ave Gunnison, CO 81230
970-275-0323 mobile


What do you believe about your fitness level?

Are you a fit person? Are you a person who thinks you are awkward and physically challenged?

What internal messages to you give yourself every time you try something new that is physical?  What messages can you give yourself to support the pattern of being a physically fit person?

For any physical activity or skill, your mind is in charge of your body. It makes sense. First if you start a walking program, your mind has to make the decision to start the activity. Then it is your mind that places that activity on your schedule and reminds you to get moving.

When something is very important your mind will focus on it and give you positive reinforcements that this is what I want and need to be doing.

To be successful with any fitness activity you have to believe that you have the ability and resources to accomplish the activity. If you first believe you can be an active fit person you will be successful in getting there.

Now your actions need to follow that belief by setting up a realistic schedule for starting and staying on a fitness program.

For starting a walking program you need to commit to walking everyday for a specific amount of time. The biggest mistake I think people make is setting up impossible goals for the first week, then quitting because they didn’t make those goals.

For your success, take one action every day. Be consistent with that action. Pay attention to the small results and how you feel about accomplishing that one thing every day.

Give your self credit every day for the one thing you did to more you towards better health. Then repeat that action again tomorrow and build on it.

Become the fit person you want to be, one day at a time.

Keep moving and have fun with it.

Trust Yourself First

Trust yourself first

Did you know that fully 85% of you happiness will be determined by your relationships with other people? This information comes from Brian Tracy who is an expert in motivation and self development programs.

How well that you get along with others and how long they get along with you will determine your level of happiness in life. Your social relationships at work and home   both require quality time of giving people full attention to thrive and grow your relationships.

Trust is the number one important principle of any relationship.

To build trust, you must keep your word. You must do what you say you will do. Your actions need to be reliable and dependable for yourself and for the people around you.

This seems like a simple concept- just do what you say you will do every time.

What I find is that I have to start with trusting myself and my own intuition. Paying attention to matching my actions with my intuition is important for me to trust myself.

What does it take to build trust with myself?

First I need to take time and think before I act or make decisions. Only in a quiet space can I listen to my inner feelings. When I am under pressure I tend to agree to take on a task or responsibility that I really do not want or need to do. Then I am stuck keeping my word and being unhappy about it.

The second thing I have learned is to say “no” or” let me think about it”- before agreeing to take on a responsibility.  Keeping agreements is part of building trust.

So what if we made an agreement with ourselves first. My agreement is that I will give myself thinking time and space before agreeing to take on any commitment for other people.

This one agreement has done more for keeping me out of overwhelm than anything else I have done.

What agreements do you need for yourself? How will they help you manage life more easily?

Build trust with yourself first and see how that affects your relationships with others.

Don’t Think and Drive

Don’t Think and Drive at the Same Time

It was 5 am in the morning. I was on time for my drive to the airport, all packed and early with plenty of time to make my flight back home. My brain started going through my own check list. What do I need to do when I get home? What did I leave unfinished in NJ? What did I miss that was on the important to do list this trip?  Then, Bam! I realize I just drove right past the airport exit off  I 95. This is not a small exit; it has multiple lanes and many signs for anyone who is not lost inside of their own head. Panic time. I have no idea, no map and no person sitting next to me to help make decisions on how to get back to the airport in a timely manner. So, I do the next best thing and start talking to myself. You have all done this, inside of your head or out loud.

“I can’t believe you missed that exit, what where you thinking? Now what if you miss your flight?” My rationale, calm side jumps in: “Slow down. Start looking around; just take the next exit, other people must miss that exit. There will be other signs. Stop thinking so hard and start looking around.” Now I have an external focus with a clear need to pay attention. Indeed I pick an exit that seems to go in the general direction I guess the airport might be located. There it is a small picture sign of an airplane. Now there is nothing going on in my brain except looking for pictures of airplanes and following the arrows.

Wouldn’t it me nice if all of our choices in life were so clearly marked?  That we actually had physical arrows that pointed out the best choice for all important decisions. Maybe we do have more signs that help us choose and we are too busy inside our heads to look out and see them.

My thoughts for the day:  Be more aware of my surroundings.  Look around and notice what is going on outside of my head. Stay in the moment. Find a quiet place and time for my brain to do mental reviews.

Only one thing done

One thing done is a good day

I am staying with my parents this week.  What I realize is that staying with them means operating on a different time schedule. The answer to:  how long will it take to do anything?  As long as it takes.

So what I get to learn is that pick one thing to accomplish each day and only one thing. Now that is a different mind set for me.  I typically set up pages of things to accomplish each day. I find the value of working with my parents is that I learn to pick the most important thing for the day.

And that important thing for them is not always what I think is the most important thing.

That forces me to ask myself, “ who do I serve here?” I have slowly learned how to be there for them and not take over their life.  It is a gift to be able to add value to a loved ones’ life and enjoy the things that they want to do.  It is a challenge to balance my ideas of important with their needs.

I start to appreciate the value of letting the little things stay undone. I now understand how much of my do to list can be the little things.  So here is my challenge to you. What would happen if you started each day with a clear idea of your most important goal for the day?

Do you have a good method for sorting the little things out for the important things? Some days this is hard because everything feels urgent and important.

Here are a few questions to help you sort.

What would happen if I did not accomplish this today?

In the big picture of life what is the value of this thing I want to accomplish?

Who does it serve?


What is a project?  I call a project anything that takes more than one step. A project needs some thought and planning to help it run smoothly for you. I find that the reason my to do list keeps growing is because many things on there are more than one step. So I take one action and then there is always a follow up action. This ongoing list seems endless and I don’t feel like I really get anything done by just using a to do list. What has helped me is to take all the multiple step items off that list and set them up as a project. A project gets it’s own page in my notebook where I can list out all the actions needed to finish it.  Here I feel real progress when I check one off and move to the next item. When I get stuck on a project, I ask myself this question: What is the next action?

Take any project that is too big or overwhelming and break it down into steps.

Start with imagining the finish of the project. What will the final outcome look like for you? How will you feel to complete this project? How important is this to you?  All these questions help you decide what projects are the most important for you to focus on today. List every step you will need to before you even start out on one action.  Do all the thinking up front before you start taking actions. When I get in a hurry, I take any action which keeps me busy. Do I want to keep busy or make the best use of my time? Try this method to keep your next project moving forward instead of side ways.  Decide what five actions you could take to start on the big project and do those. Pick a time period between 20-40 minutes and just commit to spending that amount of time on the project every week or every day.

Brain Clutter

Your brain is not a good storage unit; too many good ideas get lost or come up as a distraction when you are in the middle of something else. What I am most bothered by is the concept that I might never get caught up or that my to-do list is endless. What I have tried in the past is to work harder, longer and faster to catch up. That strategy has not worked for me at all. I end up doing nothing because there is too much to do and I cannot imagine where to even begin. I have finally learned to try a new concept to get out of overwhelm. I slow down. I stop and sit and plan out my actions for the day or week instead of frantically doing things.
Try this first step. De-clutter your brain by writing out on paper all of the things you want to get done in a set time. Just write everything that comes into your brain. It helps to write everything on a separate piece of paper so you can organize them later. The main idea is to empty your brain.
Now the easy part is done. Next take every idea and sort by category. Now what I do is to move all the like items together and make piles, files or action lists based on everything I wrote down. It still can get messy. What I find is that getting it all out of my brain really helps me see what I have as projects and what things are easy to click off of my to do list. Try this and see what works best for you.

What is the best use of my time today?

What is the best use of my time today?

How often do we even ask ourselves that question?  If you are tired of running in circles and getting pulled by the needs of other people in your world, try this exercise for a week.

Ask your self these two questions everyday. If I only get one thing done today, what is the most important thing for today?  What is the highest value use of my talent and skills today?

Setting a clear intention and focus for one day at time will help you accomplish the most important things even in the middle of a chaotic day. The second idea is to focus on the things that you do best and create value for you. My biggest challenge in working from home is to not get caught up in doing small tasks around the house instead of productive work on my business.

It would be easy for me to stay busy all day long; my hardest question at the end of the day was my day busy and spent of high value projects or just busy?

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