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83 How to Declutter Everything with Allie Casazza

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

Are you ready to declutter everything? Today’s guest is going to help you do just that.

Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

How to Declutter Everything with Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza is the host of The Purpose Show and the creator of Your Uncluttered Home, an online decluttering course that earned national attention for her philosophy of simple motherhood.

In today’s episode we’re talking all things decluttering, and how to make it work in real life.

This episode is the third in a three part mini-series all about decluttering for a calm mind and an organized home.

Listen now!


Are you ready to declutter everything?

Today’s guest is going to help you do just that.

Allie Casazza is from Southern California; she married her junior high-school sweetheart and is a mom of four young children.

She inspires and encourages her audience at, and is the host of The Purpose Show.

She is also the creator of Your Uncluttered Home, an online decluttering course that earned her national attention for her philosophy of simple motherhood.

Her business is built on minimalism and how we can all live a more purposeful life if we cut out all the unnecessary stuff to create space for enjoying the life that we’re living.

This is the third in a three part mini-series all about decluttering; we have a great one with Gretchen Rubin and one all about decluttering your fridge and pantry so you can eat well and feel really good.

Today’s episode is brought to you by our free guide to decluttering your fridge and pantry.

In that guide we walk you step by step through decluttering those problem areas in the kitchen so you can eat well and feel good.

Grab the guide here!

Allie is the mama of four little ones, and her perspective on decluttering from a mother and wife’s point of view is so valuable.

It’s one thing to try to simplify and declutter on your own, and it’s another if you’re trying to navigate it while living with other people.

Even though she uses examples specific to moms, it’s still tactical if you have roommates or a partner or just live with people who are not on the same page as you when it comes to decluttering.

She will give you some nuggets of knowledge and a great philosophy to follow.

Allie is all about simplifying, decluttering, and getting down to the heart of what matters in order to live your life in a way that is true to yourself and true to your values.

On Allie’s story + getting to where she is today:

It all really started with Allie’s mom-journey.

She kind of just got thrown into motherhood-- she was told it would be incredibly difficult and maybe not even possible for her to conceive.

She met her husband in junior high and they got married pretty much right out of high school, not really weren’t worried about starting a family at that point in their lives.

She struggled to find a birth control that didn't make her violently ill.

Being allergic to latex, and unable to take pills, they were thinking if they can’t get pregnant, forget it.

So Allie stopped everything and eight months into their marriage she found out that she was pregnant.

She felt guilty, but she got a little depressed because they just were not ready for that.

They were told that basically this was an anomaly, but it seemed to be working right then so if they wanted kids of their own they should have them quickly.

Soon enough, they had four children.

However, Allie was in this weird place feeling lucky with how the struggle of fertility, which is so many people’s story, was not her story, but that she was struggling so hard with her kids.

She was very young, and at this point in her story they had three under three, which she assumed she was overwhelmed because of.

Her husband worked very long hours, she was at home with the kids, and they were just kind of doing the American house that’s too big and way too expensive for what they could afford, but that’s what people do-- they get into debt, they go way overboard.

They had these kids and just tried to make ends meet.

She was in a very thick overwhelm and in that time she really just started to question herself: Is this motherhood? Is this it?

She was hearing it from everyone, “Good moms have sticky floors and happy kids”, “You’re supposed to self-serve and let everything else go, just to just be there”, but it just didn’t sit right for Allie.

She felt like this was such a huge joy and a huge blessing, but here she was hating it.

So she began to seek out the source of the stress and the source of the depression that she kept coming in and out of.

Everyone told her it was because she was insane and had three young kids, but she really refused to believe that their circumstances needed to define them like that and that you “just get through it”, that it is what it is.

She ended up having a moment when she got the kids busy, went upstairs, locked herself in the bathroom, and sat on the floor in tears; she was just kind of crying out to God.

“This is the worst. What am I missing? I believe I am here for a reason, I believe I am supposed to live well and full and abundantly and to have joy and I’m trying so hard and nothing is working. I get organized and it comes undone in a second, what am I missing?”

She had an epiphany, and she’s never had anything else like that since.

In a moment, she felt a surge of energy in her body and a knowing.

She realized that all the stuff she was spending time cleaning up isn’t even stuff she needed.

That night Allie started letting things go, and started asking herself “what is worthy of this really sweet season of my life, that is currently not so sweet because I’m burdened and I’m giving too much time to my stuff?”

Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

As she filled trash bags with things to donate, she realized how many moments were spent dusting, picking up and putting back, the kids ripping things off the shelves and putting them back, cleaning up for guests, and reorganizing an overstuffed toy room that wasn’t even serving its purpose because the kids were overstimulated.

Over the course of the following few months she went through the entirety of her home and immediately, even within a day, there was a difference.

She was lighter, the kids played better, she had more time, more energy, more mental space, she became a better wife, a better mother, she was able to become a better woman and actually pursue what she wanted, aside from being a mom.

Allie loves to write so she started her blog, which now employs like twelve families, and her husband was able to leave his job and now they work together.

It changed her life, just by letting go of excess.

She’s found that people are really resonating with her story right now.

Moms are told to basically do it all, even in the curated imperfection that’s trending on social media right now, it’s still fake it’s still kind of perfectly imperfect, even in the messages of “it’s okay momma, you don’t have to do it all”, we’re still being told in a lot of other ways that yeah, we do, or we’re told the opposite, that we can’t, that it’s all downhill from here and it’s so overwhelming and “don’t worry you’ll get through it”.

She thinks both of those messages are lies.

And Allie’s message isn’t that you can have it all, it’s that,

“you can have less for the sake of having more of what matters to you and creating that life that you want that’s actually joyful”.

Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

Allie has done an amazing job of creating a step by step for people while also talking about all of the mental baggage that goes along with decluttering.

Because it’s one thing to do a sweep of your house, put a bunch of stuff in bags, and get rid of it, but it’s another thing to maintain that loop.

The challenges are making sure excess does not come back in and getting people in the loop of being careful about what comes in and also making sure that these leave that are weighing you down.

Perfectionism and all or nothing syndrome.

For those who are totally on board with this decluttering message: when it comes down to getting it done, people still run into barriers.

You hear an episode of something like this or you read something inspiring, get really gung-ho and ready to dive in.

But then life happens, and your toddler spills cereal all over the floor, or you have to go to work and you kind of forget, and feel like you don’t have time for this.

The shame about that is that this is one of the only things you can really do with this level of impact that will take more time from you initially but literally add minutes to your day, and hours to your week.

You don’t realize how much time is being taken up by your stuff until it’s gone.

You have to see the shift from version A with all the things to version B when you got rid of things that aren’t worthy of your precious time.

Decide: Is this something that’s resonating with you?

Then decide what you’re going to do: Write out your schedule.

If this is worth it to you, if this return on investment with your time is worth it to you, then how can you make this happen and fit it in?

Maybe decide on two separate hours a week that you can do this for.

When Allie used to lose momentum, she would do Monday mornings and Saturday mornings for an hour, and she’d finish and make progress.

Even if it’s 15 minutes, do something.

Don’t let yourself get trapped in that all or nothing syndrome, because it’s totally a version of perfectionism.

These mindset blocks are validated through the research, we have these great intentions but it’s not about a lack of motivation or a lack of discipline, it’s often these mindset blocks: “if I can’t do it perfectly then I’m not going to do it”, or “if I can’t spend the entire weekend on it then I’m not going to do it”, or “my version doesn’t look exactly like Allie’s, so I must be doing it wrong”.

A 15 minute way to get the ball rolling:

Let’s say you’re listening to this in the morning and you’re about to go have your coffee.

While your coffee is brewing, open up your junk drawer-- you don’t even have to finish it, just get rid of some stuff you see in there, like old rubber bands, a broken tape dispenser, things you won’t use, pens that don’t work, just do something.

Or open up your pots and pans cupboard and go through there.

There are always things that are big that we feel like “this was money and it equals a lot of value”, even though it’s destroyed and you never use it; it feels weird to make a decision like that.

Just while you’re doing stuff, while your water is boiling for pasta, go through your cups, get rid of the mugs you always avoid giving people when they come over for coffee, when you’re getting ready in the morning and you’re waiting for your curling iron to heat up, go through a drawer and get rid of old makeup.

A lot of “while I do this, I do that” type of stuff is really effective, and what’s cool about it is that you’re going to feel a difference right away.

Allie usually says if you’re going all in, you need to start in the bathroom.

If you’re going to do a full room, start in the bathroom first because it’s an easy yes or no area, there aren’t a lot of sentimental items kept in the bathroom.

What will happen almost every single time, people will declutter their bathroom and it feels so good.

You feel that difference immediately.

There aren’t a lot of other things like that, if you’re changing your eating, it takes months for you to really see something from that.

It’s a little discouraging, you want to feel that progress, and with decluttering, it’s immediate.

Be encouraged by that and start somewhere.

We might be drawn to the closet of baby clothes first or the thing that feels the biggest, but it can be so incredible to gain momentum with the stuff that doesn’t have as much personal value to begin with.

We might be drawn to some of those things because we know they’re bothering us.

Getting rid of little things like outfits that used to fit but don’t anymore just make you feel lighter-- you create that white space, and you remove those things that were just weighing you down; it’s so powerful.

You have to face it a little bit, but it feels so much better, you’re not being held captive by your old jeans (or whatever it is).

But this idea of starting in the bathroom is wonderful-- don’t make it harder than it has to be.

And when it comes to items of emotional significance, it can be really hard to get rid of and it means more than a purge.

After dealing with secondary infertility, for Robyn, getting rid of her daughter’s baby stuff meant the end of something.

While it doesn’t seem like having a baby is going to happen in the future, she knows how expensive all of that stuff would be to buy again.

She had all of the stuff in her garage and after getting rid of it she noticed that she also got rid of the constant reminder of being in the middle of not knowing what’s going to happen.

It made some space for what she does have.

And although she felt lighter, it didn’t mean she wasn’t sad; it just didn’t have stuff on top of it.

It’s getting rid of that constant reminder of something very difficult that you’re going through, or have gone through, or that you’re unhappy with, whether those are jeans or baby stuff.

And Allie works a lot with widows, and that is also so heavy.

Whatever it is, it can be big or small but it really does weight you down and it can feel wasteful to let those things go when you may need them.

The emotional attachment is probably 50% of the struggle, but the other 50% of it is just feeling like you’re going to need it later.

“I’m going to shrink back down, this baby is going to happen, I’m going to need this later”.

Even just saying that, you can feel the weight that you’re holding onto.

It kind of makes you live life with your breath held and then you’re unable to relax and enjoy what you do have and create space for what matters to you right now.

Even if you’re on a budget, you can always get more stuff if you need it: is it really worth the mental weight that you’re carrying around?

But there’s another side to this: you use something, for example with your child, and you hold onto it for the future.

But it has already served its purpose, and now it’s not, it’s actually hurting you, bothering you, making it harder for you to enjoy.

It has served its purpose, and you let it go.

Ask yourself: Did something already serve its purpose for me? Is it overused and I need to replace it with a new one? Did it work for me for a time but now it doesn’t?

That’s not waste.

You purchase things so that they can serve a purpose for you, and it did.

It’s okay to let it go, you’re not wasting, you spent money on something and it served the purpose you purchased it for.

Especially if you can donate it to someone else who needs it, they might be getting an amazing discount and they might really need that, how is that waste?

Side note: if you have the time and space to think outside of the Goodwill or Salvation Army box, it is so much better and more fulfilling if you were to give those items to a women and children’s shelter or even churches.

Think about that, you purchased it, it served its purpose, and now you’re giving it to somebody else who is actually going to be able to use it and is going to be hugely blessed by that because they may not have the resources to get.

But if going and finding the perfect donation spot gets in the way, just get it out.

Bringing your unwilling family on board:

It’s one thing for us to change our own behavior and start to declutter in our own homes, but it is another thing when you constantly have children bringing things into the house, your partner bringing stuff in, and your family members aren’t on board with decluttering.

It can feel like you’re just in an uphill battle, you have to deal with the incoming flow of stuff, and that is a big topic.

Part of dealing with that incoming flow is related to family, like gifts from grandparents, or paperwork from school.

One problem that Allie really has with some of the popular minimalist teachers is that there’s this rule that if you have to declutter again after the first time, you’re doing it wrong.

First of all, you’re not doing it wrong.

But also, kids change everything.

Especially for all the moms listening, it is normal and okay to have a constant wave of incoming stuff.

How can you even control that?

The thing that we need to do is figure out a solution.

One practical thing that Allie likes to do for paper-clutter is ask: where does that paper clutter collect in your home?

For her, it’s a ledge by her front door and the stairs.

Paperwork would constantly collect there, mail, schoolwork, stuff just collects.

Wherever clutter collects, that is a place to put storage.

She noticed that everyone was throwing their stuff there, their shoes, backpacks, and toys because they didn’t want to carry it all the way upstairs.

So she put a cute, rectangle basket with a lid at the bottom of the stairs and they clean it out every night as part of their evening pick-up routine.

And then for paper and mail, she put a cute little wooden tier from Target with a slot for mail, a slot for school papers, and then a slot for anything outgoing.

In the minimalist world, it feels like storage is a no-no, but that’s kind of ridiculous for moms; we have stuff to store and we need to make it work.

So notice where you’re feeling that incoming stuff that really puts clutter-pressure on you, even if it’s stuff that you already own that’s coming out to your car and then back in again and gets put down somewhere.

Find out where that pressure is and put storage there that works for you.

We don’t want to enable junk, though, and start to go back to our old ways of organizing things we needed to let go of.

But the fact is, life is life and there’s stuff that comes in and you still need to be happy to come home.

Even if you’re busy and you come home to a bunch of people and papers, it can still feel neat and make you happy to be there instead of super overwhelmed.

And then circling back to the other side of incoming things, talking to your family and dealing with that side of incoming flow:

People tend to, again, get into the all or nothing syndrome and they’ll tell Allie that their husband isn’t on board or that their kids are really pushing back.

How are you communicating what decluttering looks like?

You’re probably telling your kids “we need to get rid of these toys, this is ridiculous”, and they come at it almost like it’s an undeserved punishment.

And a husband is probably like, “whoa, we paid money for this why are you getting rid of everything”, and it’s just a miscommunication.

Allie always tells people that it’s okay, because you don’t need your husband to be on board for you to clean some of your own things and make the house flow better.

“You don’t need everyone on board for you to simplify”.

Do what you can, practice what you preach, lead by example, and let everyone come around.

Especially for little ones.

Around ages 4-6 kids go through this regular development where inanimate objects come to life and become really special for them; it’s hard to let go.

It’s important to take a deep breath and step back.

Realize that there are so many other areas that you can work on that are going to give you a lot of your time and mental space back.

Those other parts and other people, if you’re living this way, they will come around and catch on eventually.

They just don’t really understand what you mean and it can seem really alarming and overwhelming to say, “let’s change everything we’ve been doing so far and go the opposite way and get rid of stuff”.

It can just feel alarming.

Building in a rhythm:

Truthfully, Allie just has it on her checklist to just go through the mail and papers everyday, but that never happens.

She knows that for her household, it’s really important to have set times to do things, otherwise it just gets jumbled.

She has one day a week that is set aside for home love, when she goes through the mail, pays the bills, sends back whatever she needs to send back, and goes through the kids’ schoolwork-- a home/personal-life day when there’s no work and she can go through those things.

And she has it on her calendar, even though it’s every week.

Doing things like that, for Allie and her lifestyle, that’s what she needed to do.

When she was a stay at home mom without her business, she didn’t really need to have that set in.

It was just different, and now it needs scheduling.

Ask yourself: What do I need? What is my lifestyle? What kinds of rhythms do I need?

Taking the next step:

It’s one thing to listen to a podcast, it’s another to take action.

On her website, Allie always makes the landing page the best, newest step-one.

There’s a webinar (an online video class), which is really the best place to start.

In it, Allie walks listeners through the three main areas of your home that are the most cluttered.

Whether you’re single or you have seven kids, these are the three main areas of your home that are overstuffed and taking up most of your time.

If you’re not a webinar person, Allie has other resources available like her Clean the Clutter Starter Kit, which helps you get started and walks you through the same steps.

On what’s next for Allie:

Allie just put the finishing touch on her book proposal, so now that it’s done she can focus on her messaging.

She also runs the Declutter Like a Mother challenge every year, and they’re currently working with a production company to turn that idea into a television series.

How Allie feels about the Marie Kondo series:

Allie loves what Marie Kondo does and what she’s trying to do, because anyone spreading the message of simpler, even the ones that are a little legalistic and kind of out of touch with women and mothers who are struggling, she thinks anybody spreading that message is doing a great job.

It’s a little different for Allie though, you’ll never find her ranking everything before she lets it go.

She more feels in her gut whether it’s worth her time.

And Allie says she’s trying to create a life that allows her to roll with the punches and have a crazy, full life, not really thinking about lining up her produce and cleaning out her purse every day.

There are so many ways to approach simplification right now, so people have options.

To hear more from Allie, connect with her on Instagram @allie_thatsme and stay tuned for her vlog-style insta-stories.

On what it really means to be healthy:

“I think it means when you wake up in the morning that you feel good and excited… am I living healthfully, and that’s physically, spiritually, emotionally, how’s my mental health”.

Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

Guest Bio

Allie Casazza is from Southern California, married her junior high sweetheart, and is a mom to 4 young children. She inspires and encourages her audience at, is the host of The Purpose Show and is the creator of Your Uncluttered Home - an online decluttering course that earned her national attention for her philosophy of simple motherhood. Her business is built on minimalism and how we can all live a more purposeful life if we cut out all of the stuff to create space for enjoying the life we’re living! She has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Huffington Post and even ABC News. Everyone has really taken to her realistic, doable mom-friendly, philosophy of minimalism and simplified living!


The Purpose Show

Your Uncluttered Home

Inner Order, Outer Calm & Decluttering, with Gretchen Rubin

The Secret to Decluttering Your Fridge & Pantry

3 Steps to an Uncluttered Home

Clear the Clutter Starter Kit

Declutter Like a Mother challenge

Connect with Allie on Instagram @allie_thatsme

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82 The Secret to Decluttering Your Fridge & Pantry

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

This episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast will walk you through the step-by-step of decluttering your fridge and pantry you you can live well, feel really good, and find the healthy life that you want to live.

Declutter your pantry and fridge for streamlined meal planning and easy, healthy, real food cooking. An episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #mealprep #mealplanning #wellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #cleanliving #organize

How To Declutter the Fridge & Pantry

We’re walking through the secret to decluttering your fridge and pantry, no matter how small or how big. In this episode, I’ll give you the exact steps you need to streamline meal prep, meal planning, and cooking real food.

Listen now!

Download the Free Guide!

Download Your Free Guide!

Grab the free guide and declutter with ease.

    no spam, just love headed your way


    Today I’m going to give you the secret to decluttering your fridge and pantry, no matter how small or how big, and the exact steps for you to do it.

    Right now, we’re in the middle of a three-part mini-series on decluttering.

    Last week we had Gretchen Rubin on the show talking about her new book, how to declutter practically, and how to walk through the process with other people in your lives.

    Today, I want to get really specific and talk about decluttering when it comes to your kitchen, and even more specifically, your fridge and pantry.

    I know, I know, decluttering and minimalism are all the rage right now and everybody is Kondo-ing their closet.

    But this show isn’t about decluttering or organizing for the sake of decluttering or organizing.

    This is about living well, feeling really good, and finding the healthy life that you want to live.

    Part of that is eating well, and part of eating well is having a system that works for you in your life.

    What I find when I work with people on changing their lives and shifting toward gentle-wellness, doing the things that make them feel good, eating real food, and feeding their bodies, there are a lot of barriers that come up.

    So it’s not just about knowing what to eat, it’s knowing how to grocery shop, and when you get home knowing what to do with the food.

    And in all of my work, I find over and over that the fridge and pantry are major pain-points.

    Be honest and think about it: are your fridge and pantry crammed full of random items, half-used, some expired, shoved in the back, and just overall a chaotic mess?

    If you’re answer is yes, it’s so common and it’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.

    We’re busy, we get home, we have groceries, we throw them in, and we move on.

    But today, I want to share the secret to decluttering and the step by step to create a better process for yourself so that you have more ease when it comes to real food.

    So that preparing meals or cooking at home becomes simple, even effortless, and when you open the fridge or the panty you feel a sense of calm and a sense of purpose, you know what you’re going to do, you know what you’re going to grab, and the whole thing becomes easier.

    I’m not here to tell you to declutter because I think you should have a perfect pantry for Pinterest; this is really about having a system that works so that you can find health in your daily life and make it simple.

    And to make it even easier, I made a free guide for you all.

    It’s one of the many free resources that I provide for you, because I want you to do this, I want you to take action, I want you to make it work in your life.

    The guide is designed to go along with this podcast, step by step so that you can listen and then make it happen.

    Don’t worry if it’s not “instagram-worthy” or that everything isn’t in perfectly matching glass containers.

    This is less about how it looks, and more about that you’ve done it and have a process and system that works for you.

    I have this process broken into three simple steps.

    Before we walk through each one, I just want to remind you that it doesn’t matter if you have a giant walk-in pantry or just one little shelf of one cabinet; we’re all working with a different set of circumstances and different kinds of spaces.

    I don’t want you to think that if you don’t have a giant pantry or a giant fridge that you can’t go through this same process, in fact, I think the smaller the space the more important it is to declutter and maximize what you actually have.

    Step 1 | Know your why.

    I know you’re probably super pumped and Kondo-ing your way to the perfectly tidy and organized pantry, but let’s just press pause for a second.

    Before we dive into all the decluttering, it’s really important to be clear on why you’re actually doing this in the first place.

    Starting with your why makes a big difference and will help you keep it up in the long-term.

    If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek’s work, his first book, Start With Why, or his popular TED talk, this may be ringing a bell.

    The concept is that if you start anything by really reflecting on the reasons why you’re doing it, you’re more likely to actually take action and to stick with it long term.

    And you know we’re all about consistency and sustainability around here, because I don’t want you to spend a bunch of time and effort getting your kitchen cleared out and cleaned up just to fall back and find it’s a big old mess again in a few weeks down the road.

    I’m guessing your why behind decluttering is not just to have a pantry that looks perfect or to organize for the sake of organizing.

    I’m guessing your why has something more to do with helping you streamline the daily process of eating well, of meal planning or meal prepping (if those are things you do), and even if you do none of those things, just to clearly see what you have so it’s easier to pull together healthy, real food effortlessly.

    Or maybe your why has something to do with simplifying grocery shopping, so you’re not wasting so much time wandering around the store, or buying things and throwing them away after they go bad because you didn’t know what to do with them or because they were buried under everything else and you couldn’t see them.

    Maybe your why has to do with making fewer decisions on a daily basis and therefore have more time and energy for the things in your life that really matter.

    That’s some inspiration if you’re feeling a little stuck coming up with your why; I gave you some prompts in that free guide, too, which you can grab here.

    But don’t overthink it, this doesn’t have to be the end-all be-all, it’s just a place to ground down and center yourself on why you’re going to take the time and effort, because you may find halfway through, in the midst of the mess that comes before the streamline, you get overwhelmed, and that’s the point when you come back to the why. Why am I doing this? Why am I spending time on this? Why does this even matter to me?

    I even have some really specific prompts to help you out in that guide.

    Step 2 | Fresh start.

    So you’re crystal clear on why you’re even doing this in the first place, now it’s time to take action-- let’s make it happen.

    The first action step in decluttering is to take everything out.

    Yup, everything.

    Don’t overthink it, just take it out, put it on the counter or the floor.

    A quick note as you get started with this clear out phase, don’t let perfection, comparison, or all or nothing thinking be the enemy of action.

    Declutter your pantry and fridge for streamlined meal planning and easy, healthy, real food cooking. An episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #mealprep #mealplanning #wellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #cleanliving #organize

    I get it though, it’s so easy to get sucked into the all or nothing, perfectionism, comparison trap in this first step, I actually think it’s the number one thing that keeps us from moving forward in all things.

    It’s normal and I totally get it, but I encourage you to resist the urge.

    Take this step at your own pace and in your on way, just don’t put it off all together.

    And if taking everything out all at once seems overwhelming, try breaking it down.

    The incremental approach can totally work here, and there’s no one right or wrong way.

    If you find you want the do it all at once approach but then you're putting it off because that becomes very overwhelming, or you do part of it but then you lose steam and you’re unable to finish it, then take a step back and think about making it a little more incremental, a little more step by step.

    If you want to go big you can try setting aside an afternoon and tackle the whole thing: fridge, freezer, pantry, bang it out, get it done.

    Or you can take that incremental approach and try one area at a time.

    First the pantry, then the fridge, the the freezer.

    And if you prefer even smaller steps, which I think is a great approach, just do one area at a time: one shelve, one drawer, one bin.

    I get that it’s not as satisfying as the big before and after reveal, but if it means that you did it, it is the right approach for you.

    There’s no one right way when it comes to this clear out step, there’s just the way that works for you, which p.s., is the way you’ll actually do it.

    If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or putting it off, back up and start with a smaller step.

    Decide what to keep and what to let go: the rule of five.

    This step is so important because, remember, we’re not just looking to organize here, we’re looking to actually declutter, which means letting some things go.

    This is the ideal time to take stock of your fridge and pantry staples, and to get rid of anything that’s not serving you and your health goals.

    I know, if you’ve read Marie Kondo’s book or seen her Netflix series, this is the step where she asks you to hold everything in your hand and ask if it sparks joy.

    I’m going to go a different route.

    If you want to have a joy conversation with your food, I do think that’s a great idea, but I also have some more pragmatic suggestions for you in terms of really making some decisions about the items that you keep on hand and whether they might really be working for you in terms of health.

    In terms of deciding what to keep and what to let go, I like to give the rule of five.

    The rule of five is a simple decision rule to help you decide what stays and what goes, here’s how:

    Take every pre packaged item and do a quick scan of the ingredient list.

    Depending on who you are and what you have, you might have a lot of things in packages with ingredient lists, or you might only have a few, either way is fine.

    You’ll just scan the ingredient list, next to the nutrition information where there is a list of every single item that is included in that food or package.

    Anything with more than five ingredients or with unpronounceable ingredients can go.

    Toss it, donate it, whatever works for you.

    The main thing is to get rid of pantry and fridge staples that are super processed or filled with less-than healthy ingredients.

    But again, we’re not looking for perfection here, just awareness.

    If you’re not ready to toss that processed salad dressing or frozen pizza, go ahead and keep it, but consider replacing it with an upgraded option next time you’re at the store.

    I also think that for some people, there are just some staples that they’re not ready to let go of that make their life easier from a convenience perspective, or something that they really like to have on hand.

    You don’t have to throw everything away and have nothing left, but it is a great time to take stock of how much of the total percentage of the food in your pantry and fridge are super processed or not real food.

    And this might be eye-opening, you might find that there’s a lot in there that’s make with synthetic chemicals, that’s not real fool, that’s probably not going to serve your body, and maybe this is an opportunity to let go.

    Start small and build, allowing wiggle room for your own tastes and preferences.

    And you definitely don’t have to get overly rigid about the rule of five, maybe you have some bread that you love with seven ingredients, this is your call, it’s not about everything making the rule every single time.

    There are definitely things in my fridge and pantry that don’t make the rule of five, I have a gluten-free bread that I love that doesn’t meet this criteria.

    But for the most part, this is how I decide what to keep and what to bring back in.

    And obviously toss anything that’s expired or bad.

    And honestly, if you can to this point and you want to stop, I think you’re golden.

    You found your why, you did a clear out, you decided what to keep and what to let go, and if that’s good for you that is totally fine, because you’ve already done a lot of work.

    But if you do want to level up, I’m going to give you some more things that you can do to really streamline.

    Clearly see what you have.

    As you’re thinking about putting things back, it’s really helpful to be able to see clearly, I’m talking about putting loose items like cereals, grains, nuts, and seeds in clear containers.

    And yes, putting items in clear glass containers does look pretty, but the point is to be able to see what you have so you can make better decisions about what you need.

    If you don’t have perfect containers at the moment, don’t let that stop you from using what you do have on hand.

    Glass mason jars are one of my favorite ways to organize a pantry, fridge, and freezer-- they’re easy to find, reusable, and inexpensive.

    I like to use glass jars and baskets to keep items together; totally not necessary though, so if that’s not in your budget do not let that stop you.

    Look around and see what you have and once you have a set of designated containers, transfer loose snacks, cereals, nuts, and grains to them.

    Now you’ll be able to easily see what you have and what you need, which will streamline grocery shopping and meal prep.

    As a bonus, storing food in tightly sealed jars keeps it fresher longer, which is also a great way to reduce food waste.

    But I think you have to think practically, if there’s something that your family just blows through really quickly, it might not be worth transferring to a different container.

    This doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

    We definitely have some things we just keep in the bag because we know we’re going to get through it really fast, but there are plenty of other items that I will take a moment to just put into a jar or container and that way it’s fresher longer, I can see it, and it stays a lot tidier in there overall.

    Step 3 | Only the essentials.

    The final step in this whole decluttering process is to put everything back in a simplified, systematic way.

    So first, we’re going to think about putting things back by type; the idea is to gather ingredients, food items, anything that’s in a jar or container in the fridge and pantry kind by type.

    For example, put proteins together in the freezer and put the grains all together in the pantry, snacks and cereals can go together on another shelf, and baking items can be grouped in their own area as well.

    No need to overthink this part, just do the best you can putting items together in a way that makes sense to you.

    I think you’ll find that having items together makes meal prep and planning so much easier, plus it gives you a better sense of what you have and what you need.

    In my kitchen, I have all of our frozen proteins all in one spot so when I go to the grocery store, I can take a quick look and see what we’re low on.

    Same thing when I look in the pantry at grains and bases, like pasta, rice, quinoa, I can see whether we are running low on anything.

    An extra bonus here: when things go on sale you can stock up if you know that you’re low, that way I keep that supply replenished and I save money, which is always a bonus.

    Do an audit.

    Okay, everything is back in place, you’re in the home stretch.

    This is gold-star territory, some advanced steps so you may not want to take this on right now, or maybe it does sound like something you want to add to your overall system.

    Because now it’s time to do an audit of your fridge, pantry, and freezer.

    The purpose of the audit is simple, to create a list of grocery items necessary to fill in any gaps.

    Because you’ve already organized, it should be pretty easy to see what’s missing and what needs to be replaced.

    When you declutter, sometimes you’ll find that you’re actually missing some things that you really do need or that would make cooking and meal prep much easier.

    So check the pantry and fridge, create the list, and then work on adding these items back over the coming weeks.

    This doesn’t have to happen all at once, just a few items at a time will get you where you want to go.

    As a extra tip, stock up on essentials, such as shelf staple items and protein when they go on sale, and freeze what you can’t use in a few days in individual serving sizes.

    The magic list.

    Okay you amazing human, you’ve made it to the last step.

    The magic list is the last step in decluttering your fridge and pantry and will help you maintain the work that you’ve done to declutter, plus drastically cut down on the amount of time you spend figuring out what you need to buy at the grocery store.

    Here’s how it works: using a piece of paper or the notes function on your phone (I’m a pen and paper girl at heart, but in this case I prefer a phone because then I always have it with me), write out a list of the fridge and pantry staples, these are the items you use often and you want to make sure you have on hand all the time.

    And this list is going to look different depending on what kind of diet you follow, as well as the individual taste preferences of yourself and the people you live with.

    We are a mostly dairy-free and gluten-free household; it’s going to be different from person to person.

    And that’s the cool thing, you get to individualize this based on what you know works for you.

    My magic list allows me to not have that moment when I come home from the store and realize that I forgot a bunch of really essential items.

    I actually organize my magic list by the essential six.

    Basically, the essential proteins that I want to have on hand, the essential grains and bases, sauces, veggies, and this list helps me be focused when I’m grocery shopping, making sure I don’t miss anything or impulse buy random ingredients that I probably won’t use all of.

    It just reminds me about what my essentials are and helps me prioritize those things.

    Again, these are the items you use often and keep on hand all the time.

    And then each week as you make your grocery list, or even on the fly as you’re wandering around the store, you can take a look at that magic list to see what you might need to grab or stock up on.

    It’s also a great thing to keep in mind when you find sale items at the store, if it matches your list that’s a great time to stock up.

    There you go, you did it!

    Good job for doing the work and taking the time to work these steps.

    I truly hope that once you have that decluttered fridge and pantry, you’ll find meal prep, meal planning, and cooking really healthy food easy, simple, and streamlined, and that it makes your life a little bit easier.

    Grab the free guide here!

    By downloading it, make a commitment to yourself to actually walk through these steps.

    It could be tomorrow, it could be next week, but put a time limit on it for yourself.

    We know from the research that if you keep it open-ended and don’t give yourself a deadline, it won’t happen.

    You know your schedule and when this will work for you.

    Pick a time, make it happen.

    Share your results with me on Instagram or on the Real Food Whole Life Community page on Facebook.

    Declutter your pantry and fridge for streamlined meal planning and easy, healthy, real food cooking. An episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #mealprep #mealplanning #wellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #cleanliving #organize


    Inner Order, Outer Calm and Decluttering, with Gretchen Rubin

    Simplified Guide to Decluttering Your Pantry & Fridge in 3 Simple Steps

    Free Guide: Declutter Your Pantry & Fridge

    Start With Why, by Simon Sinek

    How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek TED Talk

    Wide 8-oz mason jars

    More on the essential six, from The Simplified Guide to Meal Prep & Planning

    3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

    The 5 Biggest Wellness Mistakes You’re Making (and how to fix them)

    No Fail Meal Planning Tips (for people who hate meal planning)

    How to Stop Overthinking Meals


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    81 Inner Order, Outer Calm & Decluttering with Gretchen Rubin

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin.

    We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

    Inner Order, Outer Calm & Decluttering with Gretchen Rubin

    Known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity, Gretchen Rubin breaks down how to better understand yourself and make change in the context of decluttering and simplifying.

    This is the first episode in a three part mini series to help you simplify decluttering in real life, take it off of your to-do list, and help you take action.

    Listen now!


    Today’s episode is all about how to find outer order and inner calm.

    We’re talking decluttering with the master, Gretchen Rubin.

    Gretchen is one of today’s most influential thought provokers and observers of happiness and human nature.

    She’s known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity in a way that’s accessible to a wide audience.

    Basically, she’s no nonsense, knows what she’s talking about, does a ton of research, really digs into the concept and then is able to explain it in a way that helps you better understand yourself and ways to really make change.

    Today we are talking about how she does that in relation to decluttering and simplifying.

    She's the author of many books including the New York Times best sellers, The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, and The Happiness Project.

    She also has a top-ranked, award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, where she discusses happiness and good habits with her sister, Elizabeth.

    This is Gretchen’s second time on the Feel Good Effect, we are so excited to welcome her back!

    Last time, we talked a lot about her study of happiness, understanding how happiness shows up, how we can have more of it, and also her book, The Four Tendencies, including a quiz that you can take to better understand your own tendency and how to leverage that to make habit change easier.

    I encourage you to go back and listen, take the quiz, figure out your tendency, and then dive into this conversation on outer order, inner calm with Gretchen Rubin.

    This conversation is actually the first episode in a three part mini series all about decluttering.

    Who better to kick it off than the queen, Gretchen Rubin?

    This mini series has a unified theme to help you simplify decluttering in real life, take it off of your to-do list, and help you take action.

    On how she went from the Four Tendencies to her newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm:

    Gretchen started working on this book while she was working on the Four Tendencies, it was kind of like her “hookey book” when she needed to take a break.

    Like many people, Gretchen finds it incredibly energizing to clear away things that she doesn’t need, doesn’t use, or doesn’t love, and she was always interested in why that is, why the joy seems disproportionate.

    She felt like the buzz she got from cleaning her coat closet was bigger than it ought to be.

    She also had always been enchanted by a book called, Food Rules, by Michael Pollan, which is a little book about how to eat healthfully well.

    She always thought it would be fun to write a book like that, loving that you just get in, get out, and get all psyched up; it communicated the ideas in a very clear and concise way.

    But of course, when she started adapting it to her own ideas it changed a lot.

    So while Gretchen’s book didn’t turn out totally like Food Rules, it challenged her to still tackle it in a way that was very streamlined and clear.

    It’s meant to be a book you can flip through and suck it in without a lot of time or energy, which is pretty consistent with the whole message of decluttering.

    On why outer order really matters:

    There are so many aspects to outer order.

    Part of it is the convenience factor, it’s easier to find things, it’s easier to put things away, and it’s easier to clean when we achieve outer order.

    But another part of it is more complex and emotional.

    A lot of times when people are clearing clutter, they’re trying to let go of things that maybe make them feel guilty or fill them with regret.

    In that context there’s guilt coming from all sorts of place:

    • The fantasy self: I got this because I really wanted to learn how to play the guitar but I still don’t.

    • The previous self: I used to fit into this, but now I don’t.

    • Spending too much money on something.

    • An emotional attachment: how could let this go?

    There’s a lot going on when you’re clearing clutter, it’s not just sorting through whether or not you need like five hammers.

    There are things that are harder to make judgments on.

    So, Gretchen tries to have a lot of fun questions to ask that make it easier to recognize when it’s time to let something go.

    “The deep irony is that many people, in search of clearing clutter, they run to a store in search for more stuff”.

    One thing to do: always start by getting rid of things.

    Whether you’re throwing them away, recycling, or donating, get rid of everything that you don’t want, because maybe you don’t have to organize it.

    Starting by elimination is the best thing.

    On finding the way that works for you:

    Gretchen really emphasizes finding the way that works for you, which is part of what makes her work so powerful.

    We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

    “Face clutter in a way that’s right for you”.

    But is this something everyone should do?

    According to Gretchen, not necessarily.

    For example, her sister is what she calls “clutter-blind”, someone who just doesn’t see it and just don’t care.

    At some point, there needs to be a level of order so you can go about your day and find what you need to find, but clutter doesn’t need to be cleared for the sake of it.

    There’s no reason to make your bed other than it makes you happier, or more in control, or you enjoy your room more.

    And some people are abundance lovers, they love collections, they love things going on, they love creative juxtaposition.

    But even for abundance lovers, Gretchen believes will still feel better after getting rid of things they don’t need, don’t use, don’t love.

    In the end, do it if it’s right for you.

    It’s this tension between self-acceptance and self-improvement; accept yourself and expect more from yourself.

    But if clutter isn’t bothering you and it’s not getting in your way, that’s okay.

    Because sometimes we go through seasons of stuff, too, things that we need or want now but don’t need later.

    Having children creates seasons, even older children are messy in their own way, but seasons pass.

    There is also this idea that even people who don’t mind clutter should mind it, like there’s an unspoken social norm; then you hear from people who don’t mind the clutter, “I don’t care, but I care that you care”.

    But this is interesting because it’s about preferences, “what I prefer is right, and what you prefer is wrong”.

    Maybe for some people, a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, but if you are making people adopt your habits, you may be interfering with what may work best for them.

    For some people, clutter really does have a purpose.

    As a writer, one of the things Gretchen does is take a bunch of notes and compile them into a document without particular order.

    And what she’s found is that sometimes she gets ideas from unexpected juxtapositions.

    And some people might use documents that way, there might be ten piles but they know exactly where things are.

    So if that works, then why use a filing cabinet?

    On navigating wanting structure but needing to self-discover:

    We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

    “It’s a fact about human nature, when getting advice, we love to receive a precise, standard template for success. And when giving advice, we love to insist that the strategy that works for us will surely work for others, but each of us must find our own way”

    People love Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and the thing is, that she has one right way: you do things in a certain order, and you take out everything and put it in a pile.

    Some people find that exciting, that she’s giving you one right way to fold, one right approach.

    But still, Gretchen hasn’t met very many person who have truly followed her system; people naturally pick and choose based on what works for them.

    There’s no need to beat yourself up for not following the full method, not everyone has the time or energy to spend a weekend purging.

    But you could do just one shelf today, and tomorrow another.

    “It’s amazing. If you do a little bit of work consistently, what you can do over the course of a couple months is astounding”.

    People often underestimate what they can do in the long run, and they often overestimate what they can do in the short run.

    A really good question to ask yourself to help know if something is going to work for you: when have I succeeded in the past?

    One thing that Marie Kondo says, that Gretchen does think is true and is in part why her system is effective, is that if you’re going through ten or so items in your closet at a time, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of making an argument for every item.

    You really do have to say to yourself, “do I really use it, need it, or love it?

    You have to ask yourself the hard questions.

    On carefully curating:

    Have things because you actually want it, or use it, or need it, or love it; don’t have things that are just hanging around by default.

    One place this comes up is with mementos.

    If you have a lot of something that takes up a lot of space, maybe you can keep one little component of it, one figure from your children’s Fisher Price collection.

    And that one piece can stand for all of the other pieces, and you can even photograph it all before decluttering so you won’t forget what the pieces were.

    We don’t need all the things, we just need to remember all the things.

    And when you carefully curate things, they are infused with more meaning, because there’s one thing that is standing in for everything.

    It’s a mindset shift; it’s not about organizing for organizing sake, it’s about curating the things that mean something to you to make space for what you need in life.

    On power hour:

    Part of power hour is all the stuff that needs to get done to create outer order.

    And part of it is the clutter in your mind, the things that need to get done that just don’t get done, things that can be done at any time but also at no time.

    Power hour is a way to pull all those tasks together.

    Just write down anything that you think you would want to do (“adulting things”), and then for just an hour on the weekend try to go through as many of those as you can.

    And the thing that’s crazy, is that you kind of underestimate what you can get done if you just do things consistently.

    If you do keep a list and then every week you do power hour, you start getting a lot done, because in the end, the stewing is worse than the doing.

    Power hour is a way to make time for the tasks that just seem to linger.

    Some couples like to divide and conquer with power hours, which is a great way to run a house.

    It’s not about assigning a task, it’s just about a task that needs to get done, and dedicating some time to do it in an efficient way.

    And when you do it, you’ll feel amazing!

    It’s the same way Robyn talks about exercise: if you don’t want to do it now, just focus on the afterglow.

    On the 10-minute closer:

    Gretchen also has another strategy, her 10-minute closer.

    10-minute closer is a transition; it doesn’t matter what the transition is, it’s just a way to mark it.

    Before you’re going to move to the next part of your day, take 10-minutes and just get everything organized.

    This is one of those things that might sound too simple, but try it.

    It’s so much nicer to come back to your desk when you’ve already taken the time to put everything away.

    We’re so focused on helping children with transitions, we give them warnings and we sing songs, because we know they need to prepare themselves.

    But adults need that too.

    The 10-minute closer is a way to shut down one area, which helps you move to the next, and when you return, it’s ready for you.

    It can help with healthy eating too; research is supporting that it’s healthier for our bodies to go through a period of not eating.

    For example, you might want to have dinner and then not eat again until breakfast, which allows your body to shift into another mode.

    Snacking doesn’t allow for that shift.

    So, if you’re trying to eat healthier, this idea of transitioning into “closing the kitchen” can help encourage healthy eating.

    Robyn likes to take this idea of a 10-minute closer and use it to get ready for the next day by making lunches, packing a gym bag, having her daughter pick out her outfit, all the things that seem to cause a lot of drama in the mornings.

    She likes to set aside 10-minutes the night before to take care of and set up for success the following morning.

    And it doesn’t always go that way, but it makes a difference.

    The morning is especially important because it sets the stage for the rest of the day.

    If you start off always feeling 10-minutes behind, it’s not a great way to start off.

    Doing things the night before is a really great practice.

    On how to work within a household of different preferences for clutter:

    This is really hard, and it comes up all the time in houses, with roommates, and in offices.

    One thing that Gretchen suggests, is to really get in control of your own clutter.

    And here’s the thing that really happens, often when one person clears their clutter, other people want that.

    Not necessarily the clutter-blind, but most people do find that desirable.

    Even in cases when there’s “a neat one”, the neat one may tend to move stuff around on the surface but may not be getting rid of deep clutter.

    If you are a neat one who maybe lives with someone a little less bothered by clutter (and maybe a Rebel type from the Four Tendencies), getting control over your own clutter just may make a huge difference.

    Tip: it can help if things have a specific place that they go, rather than just on an open shelf.

    If you’re a neat one, it’s important to know that not everyone is good at this, and you can help facilitate it by creating systems and getting rid of stuff that’s in the way.

    A reminder for those of you who know about the Four Tendencies: you do not tell a Rebel, “you have to do this”, that only makes them want to resist.

    What you can do, is remind them why they want it or why it’s important to you.

    Lead by example and focus on the things that you can control, first.

    For Obligers who feel stuck in decluttering:

    For Obligers who just feel stuck in this process or who are overwhelmed with getting started, there are some specific strategies to help facilitate decluttering.

    • Have people over and that will get you to clear your clutter, and you can really embrace it and go for a deep declutter.

    • Hire a professional organizer.

    • Have a friend who can hold you accountable to taking time to clear clutter.

    • Hold yourself accountable to a future self, and make it a goal to try and deal with the clutter by the end of the year.

    • Think about how it might benefit other people in your household to create an environment where they can thrive.

    • Another idea, is to say, “I need to do this for myself if I’m going to be there for other people”.

    There are a lot of ways to build outer accountability, but that’s exactly what Obligers need.

    On where to start in this process:

    There are just dozens and dozens of these little gems in Gretchen’s book.

    But Gretchen’s number one tip for getting this process started: don’t get organized.

    Don’t run out a buy a bunch of containers, just start by asking yourself, “Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I love it?”.

    Sometimes we use things that we don’t really love, sometimes we love things that we don’t really use.

    And even in this decluttering process, Gretchen believes that there is still room in our lives for the things that we just love, even if they aren’t serving any practical purpose.

    But if you don’t need it, use it, or love it, that’s when you can release it.

    And when we get down to the things that we really want, it doesn’t need to be organized.

    “You don’t have to get too complicated when you’re down to what you actually use”.

    On what Gretchen’s excited for now:

    For Gretchen, outer order is just delicious; she loves hearing about people’s relationships with their possessions.

    She’s excited to have her book out there into the world and talk about it.

    Additionally, Gretchen and her sister are planning to do a series of live shows on their podcast, The Happier Podcast.

    They’re excited to take this on the road and meet people face to face.

    Where you can connect with Gretchen:

    You can grab Gretchen’s newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make Room for More Happiness, here!

    You can check out The Happier Podcast, hosted Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth for more on happiness and good habits.

    Gretchen’s website is a great resource.

    She posts observations on happiness and good habits for human nature, information about all her books which all have tons of resources attached to them, like one-pagers, nutshell guides, and discussion guides.

    You can take the Four Tendency quiz here.

    2 million people have taken this free quiz now and it will tell you if you’re an Upholder, a Questioner, an Obliger, or a Rebel and what that means for you.

    She’s also on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @gretchenrubin.

    On what it means to be healthy:

    “For me, being healthy means having energy, being pain free, and having a body that will do the things that I want it to do… eating healthy, getting my sleep, being pain free, being strong”.

    We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

    Guest Bio

    Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the block- buster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than three million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. She makes frequent TV appearances and is in much demand as a speaker. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.


    The Secret to a Happy, Healthy Life, with Gretchen Rubin

    Take the Four Tendency quiz!

    Gretchen’s books:

    • Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

    • The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)

    • Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits--to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life

    • The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

    The Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin

    Gretchen’s 2019 tour dates

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

    Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollan

    3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

    Paring Down to Create More, with Melissa Coleman

    How to Get Unstuck and Simplify, with Ashley Gartland

    One Little Word, with Ali Edwards


    1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

    3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

    This post contains affiliate links.

    80 Be More Productive in 15-Minutes a Day

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    Want to be more productive? We’ve got you covered! In this episode, we are going to dive into this whole idea of productivity in just 15-minutes a day.

    Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect

    Be More Productive in 15-Minutes a Day

    In today’s episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast, we’re talking about what’s going on in your brain when you try to be productive, how multitasking isn’t helping you succeed, and some tactical tips to get you more productive in only 15-minutes a day.

    Listen now!


    Want to be more productive in just 15-minutes a day? I’ve got you covered!

    We are so excited to dive into this whole idea of productivity in just 15-minutes a day.

    If you’ve been here a while, you know that I’m not about quick fixes or gimmicks, and I know that 15-minutes a day might sound a little gimmicky, but here’s the thing: my approach to productivity is the exact same as my approach to wellness, which is all about intentionality and being incremental.

    When you can apply intentionality and incrementality, to areas like productivity and wellness, you can really move the needle without so much effort, so much discipline, or so much willpower.

    When you apply these techniques, you’re harnessing the power of your brain, the power of science-based habit, and mindfulness.

    When you use those practices and teachings, you can do more with less, no gimmicks required.

    I’m here to help you find time and create space for what matters most, and that it what productivity is all about.

    If you look at the business space and the entire productivity category, a lot of it is very much about being productive so you can do more.

    It’s about finding ways to do as much work in as little time as possible so you can do more work, be more successful, build a business, make more money, all those things.

    And there’s nothing wrong with building businesses and making more money, but I think it’s time to talk about productivity in the context of not doing more so you can just do more, but doing the right things so you can do less, so that you can create space and time for wellness, family, and friends.

    That is why I’m coming at this from a 15-minute a day perspective.

    Before we dive in, I want to invite you to be an insider by jumping on our free newsletter list, here.

    As part of our insider group, you get weekly emails with what I like to call “the simplified three”: I take three of my best ideas, whether it’s for productivity, meals, movement, or mind, and I send them to you.

    No fluff, just lots of goodness, plus behind the scenes and inside peaks into what’s coming up or going on with the business

    Your brain on productivity:

    If we’re going to get you to be more productive in just 15-minutes a day, I want to tell you the secret behind what’s happening in your brain when you try to be more productive.

    We’re living in a time and a culture that is just plain full of distractions, from technology to the way that we travel and the way that we work, life is full of all kinds of things pulling our attention away from doing focused work.

    And when I say work I’m not just talking about the things you do in your day job, but also your passions, your hobbies, or things you do for self-care, for self-love, or for fun.

    As we are distracted and pulled in a million directions, we lose the ability to focus on just one thing at a time.

    And when we’re distracted, we miss what’s really going on.

    Here’s the biggest myth I want to bust right now: multitasking.

    The idea that multitasking is helpful or something that we should strive for, or something that is at all contributing to productivity is flat out false.

    And I’m as guilty of it as anyone; I like to think that I’m a master-multitasker but the thing is, we know that the brain can’t actually multitask.

    So what you are calling multitasking, is really task-switching, switching from thing to thing.

    Let’s take an average work day in an office setting: task-switching might look like working on an important report, switching quickly to check your email, checking your phone, popping over to twitter to see what that looks like, doing a quick scan of your favorite insta stories, going back to your report, stopping quickly to talk to someone who’s walking by your desk, and then back to that report.

    And this can happen at home too: maybe you’re trying to have a conversation with your partner, quick check of the phone, back to the conversation, quick distraction from a pet or a child, back to the conversation, look at what’s going on on TV, back to the phone, back to the conversation.

    None of this is bad, you shouldn’t start feeling guilty or ashamed-- we are not about that here.

    We’re just about trying to help you see inside that beautiful brain so you can make better decisions in the way that you want to.

    Each time your brain task-switches, it drains a little more energy.

    Think about your overall energy for the day as a full tank of gas when you get up in the morning, and every time you switch, it drains a little more.

    It’s no wonder by the end of the day we’re exhausted and overwhelmed because our brain is just struggling to keep up with all the switching.

    I talked about this back in the decision diet episode, which you can listen to here.

    This idea of task-switching is totally normal, our entire society and culture is set up for it.

    “Part of productivity is training your solo-tasking muscle. Training your ability to do one thing at a time with as little distracting and task-switching as possible”.

    I really believe that the ability to solo-task is going to be more important than ever as we move forward, as technology become more pervasive, as we have more expectations piled on our plate.

    Our ability to create habits, strategies, and mindsets to focus on one thing at a time is going to be so important for not only productivity at work, but for our overall well being.

    On how to build your solo-tasking muscle:

    Maybe when you try solo-tasking, your brain gets distracted or your schedule just doesn’t support that kind of focused work.

    First, start reframing productivity as getting something done that actually matters, rather than just trying to get more done.

    We can go through days and even weeks when we get a lot done, but when we look back on that time, we might still wonder, what did we even do?

    That happens to me too, but when I do this reframe about, “how can I get more of the things that actually matter done, that are going to move the needle at work, in wellness, and in life”, it really helps me reevaluate what I’m working on.

    Second, start reframing productivity in terms of intentionality and incrementality: make a decision and have a reason behind it, starting small, and building momentum from there.

    On mindset and resistance:

    Before we talk about some tactical habits, we’re going to talk a little more about mindset.

    Often, mindset is standing in the way of productivity.

    We focus so much on habits like a productivity planner or the perfect app, but we wonder why it’s not working, and that’s mindset.

    So here’s what happens when you actually sit down and try to be more productive and be more focused.

    All of a sudden you’re met with this resistance, it seems so hard, you feel like you’re overthinking it, you’d rather do anything but solo-task and all of a sudden your phone or Netflix start to look really appealing and all of your motivation fades away, then you’re left back in that multi-tasking cycle.

    So what’s really happening in the brain, what is this resistance all about?

    It’s the exact same mindset that I talk about in wellness, the striving mindset: perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison.

    Think about it for a second, when I say make a decision and have a reason behind it, is your first thing to have resistance about that?

    I guarantee you, especially some of you Dynamos, that’s the case.

    If you haven’t taken our Wellness Personality Quiz yet, you can do that here.

    For a lot of Dynamos out there, this feeling of perfectionism comes up when I say “make a decision, have a reason” or when I say “just pick one thing to work on”, all of a sudden you might feel paralyzed because you don’t know which one it should be.

    And I am right there with you, this is where my anxiety really comes up, too: when someone says to “pick something, it doesn’t have to be the perfect thing”, I just need to find the exact right thing and if I can’t find it I can’t get started.

    If you recognize this in yourself, this feeling around perfectionism, around picking the right thing, or just getting started when you don’t know the perfect steps, that’s totally fine it’s a normal part of the brain, a normal part of the human experience.

    But recognizing that’s what’s actually standing in the way, not that you don’t have enough time but that your brain is keeping you from moving forward, is so powerful.

    When it comes to the all or nothing thinking, we very much often think 5-minutes doesn’t count.

    There’s a book that I love called, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport.

    Deep work is exactly what we’re talking about here: focusing, not being distracted, solo tasking, and spending more time doing work that actually matters.

    One of the places I differ in my approach from Cal is that he recommends working up to four hours of deep work a day.

    And while I think that’s an amazing goal, I think that for so many of us who don’t have control over our schedules at work, or who are working mamas juggling all the things, stay at home mamas, retirees, working up to four hours a day is often unrealistic and because it’s such an all or nothing proposition, you don’t end up getting there.

    But I don’t think you have to do four hours a day.

    If you can, more power to you, I think that would be incredibly powerful and effective.

    But I don’t do four hours of focused work a day and I’m able to create this business, do the podcast, create the website, and be a mama, be a wife, and work out, do all the things without four hours of deep work.

    So when it comes to all or nothing thinking, I think for the moment we can let go of thinking it has to be a certain amount of time and really start an incremental approach, doing it in really small baby steps to build up the muscle, to build momentum, and really to just start doing it.

    The last place resistance comes up is in comparison.

    Those of you who are Seekers, we think it has to look like someone else’s version, maybe a book that you read, maybe someone who you follow on Instagram, or a version of yourself in the past that was incredibly productive.

    And that comparison conversation can be really really loud and can keep you stuck.

    Your brain on task-switching and solo tasking:

    The last little tidbit I want to throw your way is when we talk about the brain, when we talk about task-switching, and when we talk about solo-tasking.

    This is huge, I really want you to know what’s going on because it will allow you to sit in that uncomfortable place and ride the wave out until you get more comfortable and more confident with solo-tasking.

    So what happens in your brain when you task-switch is you get a tiny little hit of dopamine, the same thing that shows up when you eat sugar or do something really pleasurable, even drug-use can trigger dopamine (I am NOT comparing the two, this is just what our brains do).

    Our brain craves stimulation and little rewards and there are little rewards and stimulation built into all these distractions, especially when we’re talking about phones and technology.

    The whole platform of email and of every single social media app, or really many of the apps you love to check, all give us a little hit of dopamine in our brains.

    And when you deprive your brain of that little hit by focusing on one thing at a time, your brain starts behaving like a toddler and throwing a temper tantrum-- it wants that little hit!

    And that’s why when you try to put your phone away and just focus, the first thing you do is crave picking it back up and looking at what’s going on.

    Yes, part of it is FOMO (fear of missing out), but part of it is just the actual way our brain is hardwired and the way that all of these apps are developed to get us coming back.

    But here’s the good news about all of this, about the striving mindset, perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison, and about our brains’ craving dopamine: with a little intentional attention, we can rewire.

    When you start to a incorporate a little more focused productivity and you start to feel that pull to check your phone, know that just by resisting it for a small amount of time, your brain will actually learn to focus.

    I think this is the coolest thing about our brains, that they can learn something different.

    But you have to give it a little space, a little time, a little self-compassion to say “yes, of course I’m craving that”, and just sit with that.

    And in actually not that much time, your brain will start to realize that it’s just doing one thing at a time, and everything is fine.

    The reason I talk about the way the brain works in habit change and mindset is because this is often the biggest barrier.

    If you go jump right to the latest productivity book and try to implement those strategies but you haven’t dealt with the stuff going on behind the scenes, it is so much harder and often that cycle of trying and failing just continues.

    So, here’s the takeaway so far:

    • Reframe productivity from getting more done to getting something done that matters

    • Think about it in terms of being intentional, so make a decision and have a reason behind it

    • Be incremental, so start small and build momentum

    • When you actually dive into being productive, sit with the resistance, and know that by working through it and giving your brain a little space and compassion, you’ll be able to come out the other side and it will be amazing.

    Tactical habits for productivity:

    Here are three action items; I want you to pick one to start with and let me know how it goes on our Facebook group or on Instagram.

    I love seeing you guys not only listening to the podcast, but putting this stuff into action.

    1 | Commit to doing 15-minutes of focused work.

    Depending on where you’re coming at this from, maybe you already have a habit of focused work, maybe start with an hour or with two hours.

    But if you feel like someone who is literally multitasking every single day all day, starting with 15-minutes can actually make a huge impact.

    When I say focused work, I mean solo-tasking, so no checking emails, no looking at your phone, no distractions.

    And if you have a lot of family and pets around, it can be tricky carving out the time, so it might be early morning, it might be late at night, it might be a break at work, but that’s why I’m saying 15-minutes, so you can actually do this and actually carve out that time.

    And I want you to pick one thing to do.

    While I can’t tell you what that one thing is, it’s probably something in the back of your mind that you’ve been avoiding, that you know you want more of in your life, or that you know you want to tackle but it just seems like too much and you’re never going to have the time.

    So here are some things to think about and get you started:

    • Writing: for many people, writing is focused work that they put off. Not writing an email, but writing something meaningful.

    • Reading: another one I hear from people all the time is that they want to read more but they don’t have time. So I’m asking you right now to spend 15-minutes of focused reading time instead of scrolling through your phone and instead of watching Netflix.

    • Decluttering: another idea might be decluttering. We have a decluttering miniseries coming up in a few weeks that I’m so excited for. Spending 15-minutes of focused time on the junk drawer in your kitchen, and then 15-minutes of the linen cabinet, and then 15-minutes in the closet.

    I know it’s not nearly as satisfying, but the fact is that you’ll probably do it a lot more consistently because it’s a small amount of time that’s very focused.

    One more little hint here: pick something with an endpoint.

    Decluttering a drawer has an actual end when you can get the reward of finishing the job, a book has an ending so you get that reward and that feeling of accomplishment when you finish it, even if it takes a little longer.

    Even in the writing process ,maybe you pick something where you can finish a chapter or finish a page.

    I want you to build in the closed loop where by spending intentional attention, focused time, solo-tasking, at the end you actually get that reward of finishing something and that feeling of momentum.

    2 | Create a productivity routine with “when and then”.

    You can use the powerful behavior change concept of “when and then”, which is pairing two things so that when you do one thing you’re more likely to do another thing.

    A sneak peek into my personal productivity routine is when I sit down at my desk, I plug my phone into a charger in the other room, which is actually in a cabinet.

    Having the phone out of sight and more difficult to get to makes it way less tempting for me to stand up from my desk and go check something.

    So, when I sit down at my desk, I plug my phone in in another room, that’s my when and then, and that’s part of the routine that I built.

    Maybe your when and then is picking up a book when you’re sitting in your car in the pick-up line, instead of looking at your phone.

    Maybe your when and then is when you get to work, you sit down and work on something meaningful for 15-minutes before checking anything else.

    You can create a whole series of these when and thens, you can build a routine that really works for you, but start with one thing, one when and then.

    And then focus on that first step, so when you sit down, write for 15-minutes, or when you pick up your book, read a page, or when you open the closet door, declutter for 15-minutes.

    By creating these when and then routines, you give your brain less time to act up, throw a toddler tantrum, be perfectionistic, all or nothing, or comparison.

    You just create a rule that you follow every time, which starts to become automatic and effortless.

    3 | Two out of three.

    Last up, I want you to think about that two out of three rule that we talk about here all the time.

    Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect

    “Consistency over perfection”.

    I want you to focus on building this habit muscle, and building this productivity routine on more days than you don’t.

    Sure, it would be great to do this every single day, but if that version of success seems impossible, come back to the two out of three and just remind yourself that you’re working on doing more days than you don’t.

    More days with focused, solo-tasking than not.

    And in a lot of ways, it matters less about what you actually do, and more that you do something.

    Because over time you’ll get better at this and you can build that 15-minutes into something longer, or continue with those 15-minutes throughout the day because amazingly, those small amounts of time build up to so much in the long-term.

    It’s about giving yourself space and time, and knowing when you’re actually focused and doing the things that matter.

    Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect

    “You can do far less and create so much more”.

    To summarize:

    1 | Aim to do 15-minutes of solo-tasking: no distractions, no checking, no task-switching, just one thing. Pick something with an endpoint. Be intentional.

    2 | Create a productivity routine: include when and then pairing.

    3 | Two out of three rule: consistency over perfection, doing something more than you don’t across your day, across your week, across your life.


    Connect on Instagram

    Join the Facebook group

    Wellness Personality Quiz

    How to Go on a Decision Diet for More Mental Energy & Willpower

    Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport

    3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

    How to Prioritize When Everything's Important

    Find Your Passion in 15-Minutes a Day, with Kelsey Murphy

    How to Find a Middle Ground Between Self-Acceptance and Self-Improvement

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    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

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    Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect

    This post contains affiliate links.

    79 Find Your Passion in 15-Minutes a Day with Kelsey Murphy

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige Reohr2 Comments

    Looking to find your passion in 15-minutes a day? This episode is for you.

    Looking to find your passion in 15-minutes a day? This episode is for you. In today’s show we’re talking with Kelsey Murphy about the ever-illusive idea of work-life balance, how to find more satisfaction in what you do, and how to discover your passion in just a few minutes each day. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #passion #whiskeyandwork #purpose

    Find Your Passion in 15-Minutes a Day with Kelsey Murphy

    In today’s show we’re talking with Kelsey Murphy about the ever-illusive idea of work-life balance, how to find more satisfaction in what you do, and how to discover your passion in just a few minutes each day.

    Scroll down to listen.


    Today’s episode is how to find your passion in just 15 minutes a day, and how better to do that than to talk to Kelsey Murphy?

    Kelsey’s a career, business, and life coach for Fortune 500 companies like Facebook and Twitter, as well as the founder of Whiskey & Work, an online community dedicated to honest conversations about ambition, goal setting, leadership, and striking a healthy work-life balance.

    We’re going to talk all about work-life balance because Kelsey’s specialty is really working for people who want to feel different at work, who want to feel more purposeful, more lit up, more satisfied (and that purpose part is what we’re all about here at the Feel Good Effect).

    Finding purpose, finding meaning, spending time on what you really care about, whether that’s in your day to day, whether that’s in your 9 to 5, in the way that you volunteer or give back to your community, the way that you parents, the way that you are in relationships.

    Finding your passion and pursuing it does not mean quitting your job and starting something new, although that is an option for those of you who are looking to refresh and to pivot, this is really about connecting with yourself.

    What lights you up and how do you add more of that into your life?

    I know some of you are interested in the wellness space or online business, and this is a great one for you.

    This episode is brought to you by our Wellness Personality quiz.

    I know there are some of you who still haven’t taken the leap and taken the quiz and I urge you to go for it!

    The quiz is a few questions and you’ll find some insight into how your brain works and how to leverage that, including a free research guide and tips for taking this wellness game to the next level.

    Get your personality guide here!

    On Kelsey and finding her passion:

    In this episode, we talk about career and finding your passion and how they relate to wellness.

    Kelsey is such a wealth of information and she is going to have so many tactical tips and ideas for us.

    Before we get to those, Kelsey has a website, a thriving business, and a podcast and she has a story that lead her to the different things that she does.

    She definitely is a multi-passionate person and entrepreneur.

    But she also feels kind of funny even saying the word “entrepreneur”, because growing up she never envisioned herself starting a business, which is relatable for a lot of people in similar positions.

    Starting a business was not on her list, but being a stay at home mom was, that was actually her dream: to grow up, have a successful career, do fun things, and then be a stay at home mom.

    But what she realized when she was growing and evolving was that she actually wanted both of those worlds.

    Looking back, Kelsey laughs because as a kid she was smart but never was really overly ambitious.

    She notices now that it wasn’t laziness, she was learning about who she was and how to love and embrace that but when things got hard or difficult for her, she tended to shy away from it.

    She just didn’t have the tools to go after what was holding her back, what about herself was she trying to fix and change that she more needed to just love and embrace in order to leverage them and move forward.

    Kelsey is a night owl, but she has evolved to become someone who talks about morning routines and she’s embraced them with her family because she realized that she actually had a lot of control over who she wants to be and how she wants to show up in the world.

    She realized that there were a lot of ways that she could change her brain and change the way she was operating to be a little more effective, efficient, and productive, but also to focus on more meaningful things in her life.

    To start her day with more intention, to be able to have the time and the space to laugh with her husband and have spontaneous morning dates with him and really fun adventures as well as downtime with her kiddos.

    Ultimately, she learned that she wasn’t lazy, she just was not doing things that lit her up, and she wasn’t loving all the different parts of herself.

    She also learned that she needed to embrace and love that she was so highly emotional.

    After graduating college, Kelsey went home and ran a business with her family for a few years.

    She took it over and helped them run it, but it was in a very small town, and she realized that as much as she thought she wanted to move back home and be a stay at home mom, she needed to get out into the world and have some experiences.

    She was just feeling that itch, so she threw all her stuff in her car one day and drove up to San Francisco, slept on her best friend’s couch for a couple days and realized that this was the adventure she was meant to be on.

    She started looking for a job and randomly stumbled upon and assistant job in an advertising agency which she fell in love with, the people, the creative work, the energy, and the environment.

    It was one of those places that everyone brings their dog to work, wears hoodies and flip flops, and stays up late trying to create a beautiful piece of art together.

    She worked her way up the ranks there, and ended up becoming one of the youngest Account Directors promoted there and took on these big accounts like Nintendo and Elizabeth Arden and she got to fly all over the world and do everything like research and focus groups to shooting big commercials with Britney Spears and Bono and all this stuff that she felt so lucky to do.

    It was amazing, but maybe in the highly emotional person that she was, she knew within the first few years that it probably was not the job for her.

    She just felt that sense inside of her, that it was a little bit off, that she didn’t feel super fulfilled by it.

    She realized that the people around her were actually passionate about their job, they really loved what they did, but she didn’t, so it was time for her to find out what she was passionate about.

    What am I wanting to google late at night, that I still have the energy for? Where am I being pulled to go after?

    For a while, she thought that was just her emotional mind, but she realized maybe that’s just part of who she is; it’s a superpower, it allows her to be more empathetic, more compassionate, it allows her to dig deeper into what’s really going on with people.

    But at that time, she just thought it was a nuisance, she thought it was blocking her, and was a fog not allowing her to clearly see what her next steps were.

    Now we know that when starting a business, there aren’t a lot of clear next steps.

    Maybe the one in front of you is clear, but the next ten are always going to be grey; you just have to take that one next step and see if it starts to feel right, if it starts to light you up, if it starts to build momentum and excite you.

    When she was at the advertising agency, she started working one on one with people and was trying to figure out how they were going to manage maternity leave, and then helping clients learn how to deal with difficult employees or bosses, and how to plan small side businesses.

    She started doing some consulting and that’s where she found out that she loved it.

    “I wanted to wake up early in the morning and stay up late and give all my spare time to these conversations”.

    She then went down the rabbit hole of certifications to try out a handful of different things, dabbling in different things trying to decide how she wanted to craft her own business.

    She ended up quitting her job and traveling the world for six months with her husband, where she met with different coaches all over the world.

    In these meetings, Kelsey asked these coaches about their craft, their practice, how they did it, what they loved about it, and also their business, how they ran their business.

    And then she kicked her’s off; there have been some highs and lows along the way.

    You think you’ve got it, you take a couple steps forwards, you hit a goal, and then you realize that target changes; you learn things about yourself and you grow.

    She’s been doing that for a while now, and she’s been so lucky to work with amazing people, like Marie Forleo who brought Kelsey on board to coach her entire crew at B-School.

    She does a lot of other business coaching and helps women who are transitioning in their first couple years of business, or transitioning out of their 9-5 and starting their businesses.

    Kelsey sits down with these women to map it out from a holistic perspective of “what do you want your life to look like?” and “how to we build a business integrated into that?”

    Looking to find your passion in 15-minutes a day? This episode is for you. In today’s show we’re talking with Kelsey Murphy about the ever-illusive idea of work-life balance, how to find more satisfaction in what you do, and how to discover your passion in just a few minutes each day. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #passion #whiskeyandwork #purpose

    “It’s not “here’s work” and “here’s life”. I really believe when you’re doing something you love, those two things are very integrated”.

    Fixing and changing vs. love and embracing:

    Something we talk about here on the podcast is self-acceptance vs. self-improvement.

    And they might seem like they conflict, but there’s a place where you can balance the two.

    And maybe you feel like you have these parts of yourself that you love and embrace but you also want to fix and change some things, and that might feel a little uncomfortable.

    Sometimes the way our emotions come out in different ways that can scare us.

    Kelsey says that she’s always been emotional, and for so long she wanted to change that; she saw it hinder her in so many ways and she didn’t have the tools she needed in order to embrace it, leverage it, and really use that part of her in a way she felt proud of.

    “I want to feel proud of the way I’m showing up with people”.

    She had to learn to love that different piece of herself, that emotional piece of herself.

    It really didn’t happen until she was working with her own life coach when she was able to admit and accept that it’s who she is.

    She realized she could love that part of herself, she could love being emotional and still work on being a better person.

    The more she could embrace it, the more she could make her story about learning to leverage and embrace being emotional, and manage it to a place where she shows up in the world proud of how she’s talking to people and acting.

    The first place to go is to acknowledge where you feel shame and where you feel guilt.

    Have you been telling yourself a story that maybe isn’t true?

    A story about that piece of you that’s holding you back, that if you could just change that one thing you would be better off.

    Can you shift that story to love and embrace that part of you while still growing and evolving into who you want to be?

    Looking to find your passion in 15-minutes a day? This episode is for you. In today’s show we’re talking with Kelsey Murphy about the ever-illusive idea of work-life balance, how to find more satisfaction in what you do, and how to discover your passion in just a few minutes each day. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #passion #whiskeyandwork #purpose

    “Love and acceptance as a pathway to change”.

    More powerful, more effective, and more enjoyable.

    On the one next step for making change:

    Kelsey’s idea of having that one next step is such a great way to flip the script on chasing what you’re passionate about or pivoting in your career, because it’s so tactical, actionable, and incremental.

    She feels like we’ve created this idea of having a passion that is a be-all end-all thing that you have to wear on your sleeve, which is a lot of pressure to put on passion.

    But the reality is, that’s not usually how it is.

    “You don’t find it, you create your passion. You create it by listening to your curiosities, by listening and following those curiosities, those things that tug at your heart. You follow them in very small tip your toe in the water ways”.

    Kelsey is a big believer in 15 minute a day things.

    It’s been life changing for her, it’s how she became a morning person- she started a morning routine with 15 minutes a day.

    And it’s how she started following a lot of her passions, everything from wanting to be a life coach to wanting to play the piano, exploring each in 15 minutes a day.

    We can change our brains, stop looking at passion as this big end-all be-all thing and realize that we’re going to have lots of passions throughout our life; our job is to follow those passions.

    If the word passion is too scary, start following your curiosities for 15 minutes a day and start going after those in a way that feels exciting with a little more ease and a little more joy.

    Kelsey has a whole 30 day Passion Plan.

    For 30 days, you start following one thing you’re curious about, one potential passion, and by the end of that month you will know whether that’s a passion you want to dig deeper into whether you start a business with, follow your career with, or it’s a really great story.

    And you’ve learned so much about yourself simply by being consistent and by following something that potentially intrigues you or lights you up

    Even though Kelsey has this business now, which has had its highs and lows but has been successful over the last few years, she’s still constantly exploring things within her business.

    For instance, her podcast has only been going for a few months now, and while it’s seen some really great success, she had no idea whether she was going to like it or not.

    She’d told herself to do it for 50 episodes, a couple minutes a day here and there, and at the end of 50 she’d know if she liked it or not.

    Just letting herself off the hook and committing to that allowed her to get through the first 6 before she realized that she loved it

    She thinks that’s part of her success with it, is that people can hear that it lights her up, and that she has wonderful guests to tell their stories

    The 30 day passion plan for you:

    For those of you who are wanting to start a business in the wellness industry, but it seems so daunting and overwhelming, maybe with a background experience in wellness but maybe not.

    Kelsey is working with a lot of people who have already started their own business, but they’re doing it on the side for now.

    What she tends to do for them, is together they’ll choose one thing that they’re really excited about.

    Pick something that lights you up, or something that you’re curious about.

    Decide that this month, that is what you’re going to explore: for 15 minutes a day, explore that.

    Log it into your calendar so you hold that 15 minutes sacred.

    Maybe you start by consuming information about it, listen to a podcast on it, look up some experts on it, get a book from the library on it, read articles on it.

    And then look more into those experts, go a little deeper, watch their videos, see if they have a free course, maybe reach out to one of them and see if they’ll do a 15 minute coffee chat or Skype conversation.

    The goal is to consistently consume this kind of information, dig deep into this one specific curiosity that you have because by the end of the month that time is going to pass anyways, you will blink, and next month you’ll know if maybe that’s a really cool secondary thing you want to have under your belt, or if it’s something that you just love.

    And if it is your thing, you get to spend the next whole month exploring how to make that happen in your life, how to become an expert in that one area.

    The dedication to one thing a month can be so powerful.

    This is a chance to take action, and we want you to grab this and tag us so we can see what you’re doing.

    This incremental approach can be used in so many different ways, even if you’re not looking to start a new wellness career, you could do this even if you’re just feeling really stagnant in your life, wanting to pursue something new but not sure where to start.

    Kelsey works a lot with people on their values, but that is also intimidating for a lot of people.

    But she says it can be helpful to look at the people around you and to the people who inspire you so that you almost feel a twinge of jealousy in a way when you see them (in a positive way).

    You can make that your thing and focus on that for the next month.

    For example, Kelsey had family friends who have a marriage that she absolutely loved, she loved the way that the husband and wife interacted together.

    So she sat down and looked at what they did that was different, and it was these small gestures of kindness that they did for each other.

    So for a month, she really dedicated herself to doing those and exploring acts of kindness and these small gestures, and through exploring, she learned that there is a lot of research behind that and how much it does affect the way that relationships end up.

    Just by dedicating one month of learning toward that and implementing it and trying to do something small every day, it changed the way that she looked at her relationship, it changed her marriage.

    It doesn’t just have to be business, it can be something that you just want to have in your life.

    The 30 day planner chunks it down into 15 minute increments so that you can start showing up in the world in the way that you want to

    Productivity with purpose:

    It’s not about organizing your time for the sake of organizing your time, it’s about being purposeful and thoughtful about productivity so you have more time to do the things you love.

    Kelsey takes her calendar seriously because she’s noticed that if she’s not intentional with her time, then she will blink and the week will have gone by.

    She knows that, for her, she needs to plan to have days that leave her satisfied and excited.

    Kelsey always looks at what kind of week she wants to have.

    She does a practice called a three year manifesto- she looks at where she would love to be in three years, starting with how she wants to wake up in the morning, and she looks at that when planning her week and thinks about what from that she can have right now.

    What can I plan in my week that’s giving those things to me right now?

    That’s when she’ll add in a note for laughter, or to take a minute to go have fun with just her and her daughter; she starts to really block off her time.

    For Kelsey, blocking off time is really important otherwise she goes through her day passively.

    But as moms know, when you have a child, you can’t always stick to this perfect schedule.

    But if she finds that she is behind, she still has those times blocked off and knows that she still wants them in her life, so she just finds a way to move them for later in the week.

    And she has to be a little more selective and minimize a little more, but they aren’t lost; she still looks at that day and is proud of what she wanted to happen.

    It’s kind of like looking at your day and saying “maybe I’m still behind, but I can still get two out of three of these really meaningful things done”.

    If you’re looking to be more productive with your time, you can use that 15 minute planner to time track, reflecting on how time was spent the day before and how that can inform how you want to spend the current day, even if it’s really simple.

    There are some parts of our days that we don’t have as much control over, but there are usually pockets of time that can be spent in more intentional ways.

    What’s coming up for Kelsey:

    It’s the first quarter of the year which is so exciting for Kelsey because everyone is super hyped about their resolutions and goals.

    Where January is a little overwhelming, by February goals are a little more clear and we know what we want to be focusing on.

    For Kelsey, in February she dives deep into B-School with Marie Forleo where she hosts her own personal Mastermind, which she only does once a year.

    She gets a small group of women who want to focus on the momentum and consistency of their businesses for about eight weeks in an environment of like-minded women on similar journeys.

    She gets to dedicate and fully immerse herself into these incredible, soulful women getting after their businesses.

    On another note, Kelsey’s podcast airs two episodes a week, Tuesdays are interviews with incredible people who share their stories and expertise and on Thursdays she has a 15-20 minute solo show that’s usually about what she has coached people on.

    On what it means to be healthy:

    “To me, being healthy probably looks like a day where it ends and I can breathe and smile and feel a sense of pride in the way that I showed up in the world, a sense of happiness in the way I treated my body, a sense of compassion for the areas I get to grow… and a sense of love towards myself, my body, and the people around me”.

    Listen now!

    Listen on Apple Podcasts

    Looking to find your passion in 15-minutes a day? This episode is for you. In today’s show we’re talking with Kelsey Murphy about the ever-illusive idea of work-life balance, how to find more satisfaction in what you do, and how to discover your passion in just a few minutes each day. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #passion #whiskeyandwork #purpose

    Guest Bio

    Kelsey Murphy is a Career, Business & Life Coach for Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, Twitter, Intuit - as well as the founder of Whiskey & Work, an online community dedicated to honest conversations about ambition, goal-setting, leadership, and striking a healthy work-life balance. 

    Her background comes from the Advertising industry as the Account Director for Nintendo, Dasani, Go Pro, and Elizabeth Arden.  Today Kelsey coaches people who want to feel different at work—more purposeful, more lit up, more satisfied.  She specializes in career strategy and communication, works 1:1 with employees from companies like Google, Apple, Gap, Glassdoor, Sundance and more. Kelsey has been featured as an expert for Forbes' top ranked career sites, Huffington Post, Business Insider, The Muse, LiveStrong, Living Healthy, and But on her other business card it might say snowboarder, eater, dreamer and fresh-air-addict. 


    1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

    3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

    78 How to Stop Overthinking Mindfulness

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    Mindfulness has something for everyone, even though it might seem unattainable or intimidating.

    This episode is about how to stop overthinking mindfulness and how to infuse more presence into your everyday life.

    Mindfulness has something for everyone, even though it might seem unattainable or intimidating. This episode of the Feel Good Effect is about how to stop overthinking mindfulness and how to infuse more presence into your everyday life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #welllnesspodcast #simplifywellness #stopoverthinking #mindfulness

    How to Stop Overthinking Mindfulness

    This is the third episode in our mini series on how to stop overthinking and really simplify wellness.

    In this segment, we talk about what mindfulness really is, the benefits it has on our wellness, how wellness mindset blocks get in the way, and some tactical ways to infuse mindfulness into your life.

    Scroll down to listen.


    Today’s episode is about how to stop overthinking mindfulness.

    Or if you don’t think about it at all, maybe how to infuse more mindfulness and more presence into your everyday life.

    I’m so glad you’re here for this third and final episode in our mini series on how to stop overthinking and really simplify wellness.

    Our first episode was how to stop overthinking meals, our second episode was how to stop overthinking movement, and then we’ll dive right into this third and final on how to stop overthinking mindfulness.

    If you haven’t already, I want to invite you to take our free Wellness Personality Quiz.

    It’s just a few questions, there’s no right or wrong.

    It’s about knowing your personality when it comes to wellness, some of the mindset blocks that might be standing in your way, and then you’ll get a free resource guide that will give you tactical tips and suggestions to move out of those mindset blocks and find sustainable, gentle wellness.

    Stay tuned, because at the end of this episode I’m going to give you a sneak peak at who’s coming on next week.

    On what mindfulness really is:

    Let’s talk about mindfulness for a minute here.

    I think mindfulness is one of those things that sounds so unattainable, right?

    What does it even mean? Does it mean I have to meditate for two hours a day, or become a yogi? We don’t all have time for that.

    But mindfulness and mindfulness practices are actually incredibly simple and they’re often the missing piece in the wellness puzzle.

    We often focus on food and then movement, but we forget about this other part, about our mind, about mindfulness, about the whole picture.

    So what is mindfulness, anyway?

    I love to use this definition from Dr. Leah Weiss: mindfulness is intentional attention.

    It’s paying attention on purpose.

    Think about that for a second: how often do you go through a whole day or a whole week without paying attention on purpose?

    It’s so easy, life is so busy and distracting and there are about a million things pulling our attention in different ways.

    Between multitasking and juggling all the things, it is just really hard to have intentional attention, or attention on purpose.

    So mindfulness is really about presence and about not missing your life or the important things or the people in your life.

    The other major plus when it comes to mindfulness and mindfulness practices is that you get so much benefit from them in such a little amount of time.

    You don’t have to spend hours on stuff, you can practice what I like to call micro-mindfulness, or these tiny little pockets, and it has so many benefits.

    Yes, more calm and clarity, but also impacts on sleep, mental health, and overall satisfaction with life.

    Get out of fight or flight and into rest & digest:

    Here’s the other really cool thing about mindfulness practices: they help you get out of fight or flight and into rest & digest.

    You may have heard about fight or flight somewhere along the line, it’s your body’s stress response to something you perceive as a threat.

    A fight or flight would have been really helpful to us back in ancient days to get us out of danger, but nowadays, our bodies respond to stress all the time.

    Maybe that’s traffic, your kid having a meltdown, a really nasty work email, a fight with your partner, and many of us can spend entire days or entire weeks in fight or flight mode, super reactive with cortisol spikes galore.

    And like always, this is not about shame or blame or telling you that you’re doing something wrong; this is a normal, natural part of the human experience.

    But because our modern lives are so full of these stress triggers, some of us find that when we’re in that fight or flight loop, we can’t get out of it, and that has really damaging effects on physical health, mental health, and overall well being.

    Maybe those stressors in your life are really big, an illness, something happening in your relationship, a move, loss of a job, or maybe they’re really small, just the daily stressors that add up over time and start to wear you down.

    Our bodies crave and need to get out of fight or flight and into rest & digest.

    We need to allow our nervous system to calm and reset, and one of the best ways to do that is with mindfulness practices.

    I personally think that some mindfulness practices just seem plain unattainable, they seem like they’re going to take forever, or that you need to be some yogi on top of a mountain (which is fine and super awesome if that is you, but for most of us that’s just not a daily thing).

    Maybe mindfulness sounds like a religion and you don’t want it to conflict with your spiritual practices, or maybe you just don’t know how to get into it in the first place.

    I think that’s where the wellness mindset blocks come in, of perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison.


    When we think about mindfulness, perfection might come up as that perfect yogi on a mountain or needing to go on a spiritual retreat or carve out time for a mindfulness class, and while all those things are amazing, if that’s your ideal and your perfect scenario but you’re not doing it because you’re not able to access that perfect option, then it’s time to rethink things.

    All or Nothing

    All or nothing shows up when it comes to mindfulness because we often think we have to do things for an hour at a time, so I have to meditate for an hour, or for half an hour, and that’s enough to keep many of us from trying at all.

    And there are a ton of benefits from meditation that lasts a significant period of time, but most of us aren’t able to do it, especially when starting out.

    So let’s not let all or nothing thinking get in the way of engaging with mindfulness or little bits of mindfulness throughout our day.

    Because maybe micro mindfulness leads you down the path to meditation, or maybe it just allows you to be more present and get into that rest & digest, allow your nervous system to have a break and allowing you to feel calm and refreshed, ready for whatever life throws at you.


    Maybe comparison creeps in here, you look at someone else and think you’re a scattered person who can’t possibly adopt mindfulness, or you follow somebody on social media (a place we fall into all sorts of comparison traps) who is a mindfulness teacher or yogi and you just think ”I’m nothing like them, that is not my life” and you may think that mindfulness isn’t for you.

    But the thing is, it is for you.

    It definitely doesn’t have to conflict with any spiritual or religious beliefs, it’s just intentional attention, it’s paying attention on purpose, being present for your life and for the people in it.

    Tactical tips to stop overthinking mindfulness:

    Just like the other two episodes in this mini series, I’m going to give you five tactical tips to stop overthinking mindfulness, to simplify it, and to actually start practicing it on a daily (or most of the time) basis.

    I encourage you to choose one thing on this list of five to put into action in your everyday life, and share it with us on instagram @realfoodwholelife or on our Real Food Whole Life Facebook Group.

    1 | Start with breath.

    You may or may not know this about me, but I’m a yoga teacher with a real interest in mindfulness.

    And while I think yoga has so many benefits for just about anyone, I don’t even think you have to start there, and I don’t think you have to start with an intensive meditation practice.

    I think that the simplest thing to do, is to start with breath.

    Mindfulness has something for everyone, even though it might seem unattainable or intimidating. This episode of the Feel Good Effect is about how to stop overthinking mindfulness and how to infuse more presence into your everyday life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #welllnesspodcast #simplifywellness #stopoverthinking #mindfulness

    We are breathing everyday, all day, whether we think about it or not.

    This is at our fingertips everyday, we don’t have to buy anything, we don’t have to set aside time, it is the perfect place to start.

    There are so many resources to get into breathwork: we’ve had Ashley Neese on the show already and she’s coming back in a few months to talk about breathwork

    For now, just keep it super simple with three inhales and three exhales.

    Set an intention for intentional breath once a day (maybe twice, maybe three times a day).

    Find a quiet moment, maybe in your car while parked, at your desk while your kids are playing, having a cup of coffee, and here is all I want you to do: close your eyes, put your feet on the floor, and inhale through your nose, letting your belly fill with air, letting your lungs expand, and then exhale through your nose, keeping your mouth closed, feeling your lungs and your belly contract and let everything go.

    And that is it. Do that three times.

    Big inhale, feel the oxygen come in through your nose and nourish your whole body and on the exhale let that feel like letting something go.

    The incredible thing about breath, is that it actually is activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the calm, the rest, the digest.

    It can pull you out of fight or flight within a matter of seconds, total game changer.

    And like I said, it’s free, you don’t need special equipment, you don’t need two hours, you can do this anytime anywhere.

    And I think you’ll find that it works so well, so you can start doing this in the morning, the evening, during a break at work, during a walk at lunch.

    And my favorite thing is that you can do this with somebody else, it’s a really great tool to use with somebody in your life who might need a little help calming and resting.

    I do this with Elle every night, we do three big inhales together and three big exhales together, and it’s been pretty cool to see her take this.

    She’s seven now, and she’s been able to use this in her life when she’s having a meltdown, not in the middle of the meltdown, but post-meltdown she’s learned that it can help her calm down.

    She’ll tell me, “Mommy I need to take my breaths, I need you to help me take my breaths”, and together we breathe.

    And it actually helps me because usually post-meltdown I’m in an activated fight or flight mode myself, and it helps me calm down and be with her in that moment, have some compassion for her, have some compassion for myself, and it’s just this little reset button that helps us get back on track.

    I’m telling you, if we could all just start breathing a little more, it would go a long way.

    Back to that intentional attention: just pay attention to the breath for three breaths.

    2 | Get the tech out of sight, out of mind.

    Most of us have goals about reducing the amount of time we’re on our phones, devices, social media, or other ways we’re distracting ourselves from being present in our own lives.

    I think it’s really admirable and it’s probably a good idea for most of us to spend less time on tech, but often, the goals are unrealistic and we end up beating ourselves up for the amount of time.

    Here’s a simple trick to help you be more present: put it out of sight.

    I know, it seems too simple to work, but there’s a ton of research that says the harder you make something to get to, the less likely you are to use it.

    We can use this information to our benefit to help modify our environment so that it’s a little harder to get to, we we aren’t so tempted, and when you reach for it it’s a reminder that you wanted to be more present today.

    Don’t overthink this part!

    It might look like you’re hanging out with your kid on the floor or having a conversation with your partner: take the phone, put it in another room.

    You can still hear it if it rings, but it won’t be right next to you whenever your mind starts to get a tiny bit bored.

    Another tip: put distracting apps in a different folder.

    I call this my simplified screen, I put all my really tempting, triggering apps in a folder labeled “mindfully”, to give myself an extra reminder that I don’t need to open those every second, and then I take it off my home screen and put it onto the second or third screen of my phone so I have to actually take more steps to get to them.

    And that makes a difference, by making it a little harder.

    Creating those active barriers between you and the device go a long way to make it a little less tempting and you’re able to get back to that presence.

    3 | Five minute morning.

    I have a whole episode on my five minute morning and how instead of turning it into a morning routine that’s two hours, I really just take five minutes of micro mindfulness to just set myself up to have a little calm so I’m ready to take on the day.

    I use my simplified morning journals to get focused.

    My tip here: get an actual alarm clock.

    If you’re using your phone as an alarm clock, the first thing you’re going to do in the morning is look at your phone.

    It’s not a matter of willpower or that you’re unmotivated or lazy, it’s that you’re putting your phone next to your body so you’re going to look at it in the morning.

    So don’t put your phone next to your bed, put it in another room and if you’re worried about getting a call in the night, turn the ringer up.

    But we all lived with regular alarm clocks until a few years ago so we can all go back, put a normal alarm in your room, and move the phone out so it is not the very first thing you look at.

    Start to think about this as a gift that you’re giving yourself, of a bubble of presence where you’re not going to be pulled in other directions by other people, and that you’re giving yourself, as well as the people in your life, that gift.

    The phone is still going to be there, the news is still going to be there, and your emails and social media are still going to be there.

    This is a muscle that you have to build because if you’re used to reaching for it and opening it up, you’re getting that little dopamine hit, and your brain is going to crave it.

    It might feel a little uncomfortable, just give yourself a window to know that you’re really going to want your phone but that you’re just going to let your brain work it out, it will get used to it and you’ll learn a new habit.

    4 | Five minute evening.

    This is the same thing in the evening.

    Come up with a phone or device curfew, I try for 8:30, sometimes it looks like 9:00 at the latest to give myself some downtime.

    One of the things I like to do its a gratitude line, it’s not a whole gratitude journal, it’s just one line, and I think of something I’m grateful for that day (the smaller the better).

    Those little micro gratitudes really fill up the pages, and over time I have this list of all the little tiny things in my life that I’m grateful for.

    Having that tech-free bubble around my evening routine allows me to wind down and also allows me to be more intentionally present, to pay attention, to be present for myself, to be present for those in my life.

    It allows me to get out of fight or flight because there’s a lot of things on my phone that trigger that stress response; putting it away, knowing that it’s going to be there tomorrow is such a gift that I give myself and is a core part of what I consider wellness.

    5 | Pair it with something else.

    One of the things my friend Kait Hurley, who’s been on the show before, has this move & meditate method.

    She has online workouts and an app where you move your body and then spend some moments meditating.

    What I love so much about this is that it’s pairing two things, maybe it’s something you already do and then you add another part on top so you know that you’re going to practice it.

    It doesn’t have to be separate time when you have to find time and space, it’s just automatic.

    Maybe you already have a movement or workout routine where you could add a little bit of meditation at the end, or a little bit of breath.

    Or you can pair it with so many other things.

    One of my favorite examples of pairing is when I turn my engine off of my car and take the keys out of the ignition, I take three deep inhales and three deep exhales.

    It doesn’t have to be one more thing on my to-do list, it’s just automatic: when I take the car keys out, I take three deep breaths.

    Stop overthinking:

    I really, really think mindfulness can be a game changer, can help you get out of that fight or flight stress response loop, to get you into rest & digest, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and most importantly be present in your life, not missing those moments, and being able to pay attention on purpose.

    It’s not going to happen over night or in one day, but as you work this into your daily life and routine, you’ll see it ripple across your life and even to other people, and it will start to really make a difference.

    And here’s the cool thing: when you put all of these things together from our mini series, mind, movement, and meals, they all start to affect each other.

    As you focus on one, each become easier.

    And you end up with this constellation of wellness that makes your life better, that allows you to feel really good and help other people feel good as well.

    Bottom line: stop overthinking it.

    Trust yourself, you are your own best teacher, you’re not doing it wrong, and you’ve totally got this.

    So let’s simplify.

    Take advantage of what we know from the science and ancient teachings and embrace gentle wellness, because I know you can do this, I believe in you.

    The five tactical tips to stop overthinking mindfulness:

    1 | Start with breath- three inhales and three exhales, as often as you want, whenever you need it.

    2 | Get the tech out of sight out of mind- the harder you make it to get to tech, the easier it is for you to practice mindfulness.

    3 | Five minute morning- get an alarm clock, give yourself a bubble of no distraction so you can be present and set yourself up for success.

    4 | Five minute evening- give yourself a phone curfew, again with that little bubble, practice a little gratitude, allow yourself some space before you go to sleep to reset and unwind.

    5 | Pair it with something- pair it with something you already do, maybe it’s meal prep, maybe after movement, after meals, or when you pull your keys out of the ignition. When and then is a powerful tool that can help you insert micro mindfulness into your life.

    As we end this mini series, I want you to remember that it all counts.

    All the ways that you’re adding to wellness into your life everyday all add up (little or big ways), they all lead to wellness.

    And doing it in a simple, gentle way will make you feel really good, will bring joy to the process, won’t leave you drained or depleted, because the last thing we want is the quest for wellness to make you ill.

    I know you can do this and I believe in you.

    Let’s get out of overthinking, let’s start simplifying, let’s take action, and let’s spread this message about what it really means to be healthy and this gentle-wellness revolution.

    (Tune in next week when we’re talking to Kelsey Murphy about how to find your passion in 15 minutes a day).

    Listen now!

    Mindfulness has something for everyone, even though it might seem unattainable or intimidating. This episode of the Feel Good Effect is about how to stop overthinking mindfulness and how to infuse more presence into your everyday life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #welllnesspodcast #simplifywellness #stopoverthinking #mindfulness

    Show the Feel Good Effect Love

    If you loved today’s episode be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts so we can keep bringing you more content like this! Share the show on Instagram, tagging @realfoodwholelife so we can connect and I can highlight you on my feed.

    1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

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    77 How to Stop Overthinking Movement

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige Reohr2 Comments

    Exercise and movement are so essential to true wellness, but it’s something so many of us overthink.

    How to stop overthinking movement. In this episode of the Feel Good Effect, we’re going to break down consistent movement with some tactical tips, strategies, and habits to get you out of overthinking and into action. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selfimprovement #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthpodcast  #wellness #wellnesspodcast  #healthandwellness #healthandwellnesspodcast #miniseries #overthinking

    How to Stop Overthinking Movement

    In this episode, we’re going to break down consistent movement with some tactical tips, strategies, and habits to get you out of overthinking and into action.

    Scroll down to listen.


    Today’s episode is about how to stop overthinking movement.

    It happens to all of us from time to time, or for some of us, a lot of the time- exercise becomes a thing on your to-do list that never actually happens.

    Maybe it’s something you dread or something you can’t find time for, but we know that it is so essential to true wellness.

    So, today we’re going to break it down with some tactical tips, strategies, and habits to get you out of overthinking and into action.

    We’re right in the middle of a mini series about overthinking.

    And overthinking isn’t a bad thing, it’s not about shaming you or making you feel guilty, it’s something we all do and it's such a barrier keeping us from the wellness that we really want to infuse into our lives.

    Last week, we looked at meals: how overthinking might be standing in the way of healthy eating, and I gave you five really tactical things that you can do to stop overthinking and get into action.

    And I’d love to hear how that’s going for you- let me know on instagram @realfoodwholelife or on our Real Food Whole Life community Facebook Group.

    And today we’re going to take it another step and talk about moving your body.

    When it comes to exercise and movement there are so many misconceptions that really get in our heads, which can cause all kinds of problems.

    In so many ways, moving your body on a daily basis is really a mind game.

    So, what comes up for you when I say the word “exercise” or when I talk about a daily exercise habit?

    Chances are you’ve got some stories around it.

    Maybe you didn’t feel like an athlete growing up; you got teased or picked on, you hated gym class.

    Maybe the activity you wanted to be involved in wasn’t available to you or you didn’t have the resources to participate.

    Maybe you decided early on that you weren’t athletic, or maybe other people told you that.

    On the flip side, maybe you were really into sports growing up, and you went so hard that you burned yourself out.

    Maybe you took a sport to the extreme and it took all the fun out of it.

    Or maybe somewhere along the way you developed an injury that makes moving your body a little more painful (or a lot more painful) than it used to be.

    I know my story is somewhere in a mix of those things- I played competitive basketball through high school which sucked some of the joy out of movement for me; it was very much about competition and the ways that I wasn’t good enough.

    It definitely impacted my view about sports, but over time, I’ve found a reconnected love for all things movement, how it makes my body feel being outside hiking, swimming, or things like yoga and practicing pilates.

    And it’s also a love that I share with my husband, Andrew- he is one of the most athletic people I know.

    He’s an avid hiker and walker and that’s something we’ve been able to infuse throughout our relationship as something we love to do together so it doesn’t become a chore, it’s just a daily activity that brings us together, allows us to connect, and is just a beautiful thing.

    But I know that’s not always the case; whenever we overlay the stories we have about exercise with the wellness mindset barriers (like perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison) it oftentimes results in overthinking, avoidance, or missing out on ways to move your body on a daily basis.

    And I’m not here to try and convince you to start running marathons or become a super-athlete- I’m just here to say that we know daily, consistent movement is so beneficial to our bodies.

    It helps with longevity, it helps with brain health, it helps with memory, with focus, it helps us get better sleep, it impacts mental health, anxiety and depression.

    And of course there’s that whole weight management thing, which is important but I think it’s so often the focus of movement that we forget all of those other benefits.

    I’m telling you, if we could put exercise in a pill and say “this pill may potentially help you live longer, it might help your memory, will help prevent a number of diseases, will help you sleep better, will help you feel better, will allow you to have more energy”, we would all take that pill.

    And even though it’s not as simple as taking a pill, it actually is as simple as daily movement.

    So if it’s that simple, what’s really going on?

    Back to that overthinking conversation: wellness mindset barriers can throw all kinds of problems into the mix when it comes to doing daily, consistent things, like when it comes to moving your body.

    Think about perfectionism when we're talking about movement for a minute, think about how that shows up.

    Maybe we have a perfect idea of what exercise has to look like and has to be and then if we can’t meet that perfect ideal, we don’t do it.

    And that happens all the time.

    Then there’s all or nothing thinking about what actually counts when it comes to exercise.

    This a big issue when it comes to movement!

    Think about how often you feel compelled to do an exercise for a certain amount of time, and often that’s for an hour, or at least 30 minutes.

    And get really honest with yourself about what you think counts when it comes to movement, and then how often you practice what you preach: if you can’t get that hour or you can’t get that 30 minutes, or maybe you can’t even get that 20 minutes, how often are you doing something incremental to move your body?

    I actually think all or nothing thinking gets made worse by fitness trackers (I’m not saying to not wear a fitness tracker, I actually have one myself), but when you’re supposed to hit a certain number of rings or a certain number of calories and you look and see that you’re not going to hit it that day, it’s often the case that people will just quit altogether.

    And if it happens day after day, they actually stop wearing their fitness tracker altogether because they don’t want to be told that they aren’t getting the full number of points or calories, and it really helps cement this cycle of thinking, that it’s all or nothing and if I can’t do it that way then I’m not going to do anything at all.

    Similarly, calorie tracking is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to all or nothing thinking because if you’re hyper focused on calories, you’re probably not going to do a five minute walk, especially if you’re looking at your watch seeing how many calories it burned and it doesn’t seem worth it.

    But when we’re only looking at that, we’re forgetting all the other benefits of movement.

    Getting out of that all or nothing trap is so key and really makes a difference.

    Comparison also throws quite a wrench into movement, because maybe you’re comparing yourself to the fitness Instagram star who you love following but you look nothing like her, your form is nothing like her, and your body is nothing like her- that can be really discouraging.

    Or maybe you’re looking at the person next to you in class in the mirror, and again, you don’t look like her, your form’s not like her, your body’s not like her- trust me I know that can be enough to send you for the hills and never come back.

    When I found my way back to wellness after having Elle, I was really hard on myself.

    I didn’t like the way my body looked, I didn’t like the way I felt, and then I walked into a class that had a lot of beautiful, fit women and a lot of mirrors and I spent the whole time looking at myself and beating myself up.

    Instead of being compassionate and noticing what an amazing job I had done to just even show up, I spent the whole time thinking about how far I had to go and what a failure I was and after the class Andrew picked me up and I got in the car and I cried.

    I felt so defeated and ashamed and so much of that came from comparison of looking at these other people who had nothing to do with me; their journey was not my journey, and yet I looked at them and felt so defeated.

    The other way comparison shows up is comparison to yourself in the past, and in my story that was the other thing- I used to be an athlete, I did two hours of exercise a day, and here I was, completely out of shape, comparing myself to who I used to be.

    While comparison, all or nothing thinking, and perfectionism are all totally normal, natural ways the brain works, they’re not particularly helpful.

    The good news here- we can flip the script, we can find another way, and we can get out of overthinking and make movement sustainable, joyful, and consistent.

    Tactical tips for getting out of overthinking

    Just like with our overthinking meals episode, I want you to pick one of these to start with instead of trying to do all five- pick one and take action.

    It's not going to be perfect, it’s not going to go exactly how you plan, but put it into your life, start trying it, experiment, see what works, see what doesn’t, and come back and make it happen.

    If you’re someone who already has a really consistent habit of exercise, that’s amazing, and I imagine that you can take one of these tips and actually update what you’re already doing

    1 | Focus on the afterglow.

    We’ve all been there, you’re sitting on the couch after a long day and all you can think about is why you don’t want to move your body, or maybe it’s a weekend, or it’s raining or snowing.

    Regardless, we can quickly get stuck in a mind game of talking to ourselves about why we don’t want to do it, how hard it’s going to be, or how much you’re not looking forward to it and the longer we spend thinking those thoughts, the more likely we are to just not do it at all.

    So, the next time you catch yourself overthinking or telling yourself that you don’t want to do it, just skip to the after.

    Skip to the afterglow and reframe the whole thing as a gift you’re giving yourself and a gift you’re giving to your body by moving blood to your brain, by getting fresh oxygen to your muscles, by moving and clearing out whatever’s stuck, whatever needs to move on.

    And that reframe can have a lot of power, because you don’t even have to be looking forward to it or love the moment of exercise, but it’s that afterglow that makes such a difference, that feels good; you sleep better, have more energy, and reframing it as a gift you’re giving yourself can really change the conversation you’re having in your mind.

    Don’t give yourself too much time to overthink it and talk yourself out of it, flip the script, think of it as a gift, and then get up and just do something.

    The hardest part is actually starting, so just get past that small barrier and you will find that you’re able to fit movement in a lot more often.

    2 | Take an honest look at the barriers to moving in your daily life and in your environment.

    This is such a simple one, but we’re all about radically simple here, and this one is going to change things for you.

    Once we get past that mind game of telling ourselves we don’t want to do it, what is actually standing in the way of daily, consistent movement?

    Is it that your yoga mat is buried under ten feet of other stuff in the back of your closet? Is it that your shoes are worn out and they make your feet hurt?

    Is it that you find yourself on a work break without a pair of shoes to change into?

    Is it the time of day- you keep trying to force yourself to workout in the morning but you would really do better at night?

    Do you find yourself after work without a gym bag or without the right clothes in the car?

    These are all examples of environmental barriers that we can change.

    Pull the yoga mat out and put it right next to the couch where you can see it, maybe put some hand weights right on top so when you have a few spare minutes you can fire up an online workout and get in ten minutes of movement.

    Maybe you go to a special running or walking store and have them fit you for some shoes that make your feet feel really good so you don’t dread walking, or you keep a spare pair of shoes under your desk at work so if you do have a lunch break where you can get out and move, you do it.

    And yeah, you can totally be that person who is walking in a skirt and shoes, it’s fine!

    But just be really honest with yourself, what may seem like a big barrier may actually be something that’s pretty small and with some little tweaks it can become easier for yourself.

    “A little thinking ahead, a little advanced planning, and a little bit of designing your environment… goes so far when it comes to daily movement”.

    How to stop overthinking movement. In this episode of the Feel Good Effect, we’re going to break down consistent movement with some tactical tips, strategies, and habits to get you out of overthinking and into action. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selfimprovement #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthpodcast  #wellness #wellnesspodcast  #healthandwellness #healthandwellnesspodcast #miniseries #overthinking

    3 | Find the joy.

    Maybe you’re never going to love exercise, but maybe you can find ways to make it a little more enjoyable.

    I want you to take a few moments to actually connect with what you like to do.

    We did an episode about personality types and wellness and I think this ties really well- knowing yourself, what works for you, and what you like and don’t like.

    For example, do you like to connect with others or do you want time for yourself?

    And the answer to this question might vary; for me, lately, exercise is a time for me to be by myself, I really feel like I need that inner time so I might take a walk by myself or do a quick home workout, or go to a yoga class.

    That’s the gift I give myself, not only to move, but to have some down and alone time.

    But there have been other times when I’ve needed more community and social time, so I found classes where there were other people my age and with the same interests.

    You can plug into a community of people who you can get to know and become friends with over time and who also might help you stay accountable, or maybe you know that you need one on one friend time right now or a group of people who can really hold you up.

    Maybe that’s a walking date with a friend- you’d be surprised how many people, you know, who say let’s meet for a drink or let’s meet for coffee but if you offer the alternative of a walk or a hike they might take you up on it.

    There are other ways to know what kind of movement will bring you joy; do you need to burn it out?

    Really workout hard and get sweaty and get some endorphins, or do you need more restorative, calm, and focused time?

    There are millions of options when it comes to movement, so the question is: what do you need? What works for you and bring you joy right now?

    If you’re doing something that’s really high intensity and that doesn’t feel good to you and your body, find something a little more gentle and a little more restorative or a little lower impact.

    And conversely, if you’re doing something that’s a little low and slow but you really feel like you need more activation and energy, find something in that realm.

    Another way to look at finding and infusing joy is whether you want to get into nature, if that fills your cup, or if you want to catch up on your favorite show, maybe right now a Netflix binge sounds really good so you could pair a home workout with your favorite show.

    There’s no right or wrong so we kind of have to take a step back and think, what are the hidden rules we have for ourselves around exercise, what we say counts and doesn’t count?

    Wipe that slate clean and say “I can make this joyful, I can make this absolutely fit me and what I need”.

    4 | Batch scheduling.

    Okay, so here’s what we know for sure about movement: if you don’t schedule it or plan it, it probably isn’t going to happen, especially if you have a very full day every day.

    I think what most of us do is use our calendars and planners for all of the ways we are responsible to other people, like our jobs, meetings, volunteer work, stuff for our kids- we put all of that in our planner and then we think somehow, magically, we will also find time to take care of ourselves and for wellness.

    So here’s the opportunity to schedule that stuff in just like you schedule everything else.

    One of the ways to make that happen is to sit down once a week and look at your calendar and schedule in those workouts, being really specific: what are you going to do and at what time and for how long?

    Those three little things make a big difference and there’s a ton of research; it’s crazy, that just writing it down and scheduling it makes a difference.

    And this might help you be a little more realistic about the time that you do have- it might be that an hour during a workday doesn’t work but 20 minutes does.

    Here’s a little gentle-wellness hack for you: come up with contingency goals or fallback goals.

    Those contingency or fallback goals are really what you’re going to do in that case that things go off the rails- if someone in your family gets sick or you have to work late, or you end up traveling.

    Because what often happens is what we schedule, we schedule for the perfect world thinking everything is going to go exactly how we think, but when it doesn’t, we get thrown off and we get that “on or off the wagon feeling”.

    So when you’re scheduling in what you’re going to do, when you’re going to start, and for how long, come up with a couple of backup options: some shorter workouts, some alternative days.

    Then for those weeks when things get crazy, you know that you’re at least going to get to do something, which is always better than nothing.

    5 | The two out of three rule.

    So if you do miss a workout, or you miss a whole day, or you miss a whole week, you can use two out of three to be consistent.

    I keep talking about daily workouts or daily movement, but what I really mean is consistency, moving your body more days than you don’t- it is as simple as that.

    That could be two out of three days that you get movement in and if you end up missing a day, you come right back the next day and say, “okay, the next two out of three days I’m going to try to fit something in”.

    That could even be two out of three weeks, if things get really crazy, and you always know you can come back and start again.

    I like embracing this idea of more bad workouts, sometimes I do movement or go to a class and just don’t feel great, I’m not able to push really hard, and I actually think that those bad days matter more than the good ones.

    It means that you’re showing up, it means that you’re being consistent, and it means that you know that perfection is not the goal and really knowing that everything counts.

    This is not a competition to see how many rings you can close, or how many days you can go without missing, because that is not the (only) point of movement.

    So really, let’s stop overthinking movement, making it a bigger deal than it has to be, making it a chore and something you dread, or something that you go all in on and then all out of.

    Consistency and sustainability is what actually moves the needle when it comes to wellness.

    These five strategies will help you get there:

    1 | Focus on the afterglow. Don’t get stuck thinking of how much you don’t want to do it or how tired you are, flip the script and think of it as a way you’re giving yourself a gift.

    2 | Take a look at those barriers keeping you from moving on a consistent basis, and make small tweaks so that it becomes easier.

    3 | Find the joy. What do you actually like doing? And how can you leverage that self-knowledge to make exercise and movement more enjoyable?

    4 | Batch scheduling. Once a week take out your calendar and schedule it out: what you’re going to do, when you’re going to start, when you’re going to finish, and then come up with some contingencies or fallbacks for when things don’t go as planned.

    5 | Two out of three. More bad workouts. Everything counts.

    Wherever you are with movement in your life, I want to encourage you to find ways to make it a priority, to find ways to infuse it into your life on as many days as possible.

    Because I know you can do it, I know you can show up for yourself and you can find ways to do it so it’s a little less of a chore and something that actually fills you up and makes your day a whole lot better.

    Be sure to come back next week for the third and final in this mini series on “stop overthinking”

    We’re going to dive into mindfulness, how to be more present and calm in your everyday life.

    Listen now!

    Listen on Apple Podcasts

    Listen on Spotify

    How to stop overthinking movement. In this episode of the Feel Good Effect, we’re going to break down consistent movement with some tactical tips, strategies, and habits to get you out of overthinking and into action. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selfimprovement #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthpodcast  #wellness #wellnesspodcast  #healthandwellness #healthandwellnesspodcast #miniseries #overthinking


    If you loved today’s episode be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts so we can keep bringing you more content like this! Share the show on Instagram, tagging @realfoodwholelife so we can connect and I can highlight you on my feed.

    1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

    3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

    76 How to Stop Overthinking Meals

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    What we eat doesn’t have to be so complicated, so let’s stop overthinking meals.

    How to Stop Overthinking Meals, an episode form the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #healthy #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellnessrevolution

    How to Stop Overthinking Meals

    In this episode, we’re talking about overthinking food and the tactical things that you can do, the actions you can take to get out of overthinking and into being brilliant at the basics.

    Listen now!


    Today we’re talking about overthinking meals.

    What we eat everyday, what we tend to overthink, overcomplicate, and then it ends up getting so hard that we’re not able to do it in real life.

    In this episode, we’re not just talking about overthinking, we’re going to get right to the tactical things that you can do, the actions you can take to get out of overthinking and into doing.

    If this is your first time listening, subscribe here so you can be one of the first to get bonus episodes when they drop!

    For those of you who come back every week-- so grateful for you! Thanks for being here.

    I’m super pumped for today’s episode, and it’s actually one of a three-part mini series that we’re doing.

    In this “overthinking” mini series, we’re going to cover meals in this part, movement next week, and mind + mindfulness the following week.

    I want to give you this information in a super concise, tactical way so that you can listen, you can share it, you can spread it, and you can do it.

    By the end of the mini series, you’ll have everything you need to know to stop overthinking and really live a well life full of all the things that just make you feel really good.

    I want to give a little shout-out to Allie Casazza over at The Purpose Show.

    She did an episode on over-complicating exercise and I thought it was brilliant and wanted to do something similar with my own spin on it, with the gentle-wellness approach infused; thanks for inspiring this one, Allie!

    On overthinking in wellness:

    Let’s start by talking about the term “overthinking”.

    I raise my hand right here and now to say that I am a queen of overthinking.

    But I think overthinking is more of a catchphrase for mindset blocks.

    We talk about mindset blocks all the time here, but to review, mindset is really the thought patterns.

    When we take in information or have an experience, the brain interprets that according to certain patterns.

    That's the mindset pattern and it leads to actions and habits and eventually to results.

    It’s often something we’re not even aware of, but the cool thing is that it’s totally changeable.

    I think when we talk about overthinking we’re talking about mindset.

    I think it’s important to know that it’s not your fault, it’s not about shaming or blaming, these are just ways of thinking that we've practiced over and over and it happens to everybody in one way or another.

    And the really cool part is that it’s totally changeable, we’ve practiced one way, so we can practice another.

    That’s really the point of the gentle movement and all of these strategies and tactics around overthinking meals, it’s about flipping the script on those thought patterns to say “it doesn't have to be this way, it doesn’t have to be so complicated, I don’t have to apply perfectionism or all or nothing to the situation”.

    You can go a different way, and you will end up with a different result, which is pretty magical, but also science-based.

    How to Stop Overthinking Meals, an episode form the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #healthy #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellnessrevolution

    “When magic and science come together, that’s always a good thing”.

    In the research that we’ve done here at the Feel Good Effect on wellness mindset blocks, we found that there’s really three big ones standing in the way for so many people.

    Those three things are perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison.

    These three blocks show up again and again and across the board when we’re talking about wellness, meals, mindset, or movement- anyway you look at it these things come up (especially in our wellness personalities).

    If you haven’t taken our Wellness Personality quiz, it’s only four or five questions so it’s super easy to take.

    Take the quiz here and we’ll send you your personality type and also a resource guide to help you unpack your wellness personality and provide you with some resources.

    If you’ve already taken it and know your type, that’s awesome and it’ll help you really dig into this episode, but we’re also revamping those resource guides so once we get them fully updated you’re going to get a new version along with even more tactical, targeted resources just for you.

    On wellness mindset blocks and approaching how we eat:

    For Dynamos, your biggest block tends to be perfection or perfectionism

    For Seekers, your biggest block tends to be comparison.

    And Cultivators, your biggest block tends to be all or nothing.

    But don’t get caught up in putting labels on things- it’s less about that and more about finding ways to undo old mindsets and dive into new ways of thinking.

    It’s really about self-knowledge and finding tools to unpack this stuff, which we’ll talk about more when we get to what I think are the five ways to get into changing the way you eat and eating to feel well without overthinking it.

    It really blows my mind how we’ve over complicated this topic around food.

    I’ve actually heard from some of you who are looking for answers and who have even heard guests who really resonated with you but who feel overwhelmed by the idea that either you’re not doing it right or you’re just having trouble getting started.

    And while I think there are so many amazing tools, resources, guides, and experts out there, I think that when we overfocus on that we often miss the basics.

    How to Stop Overthinking Meals, an episode form the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #healthy #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellnessrevolution

    “Wherever you are, really focus on being brilliant at the basics”.

    This is a quote often attributed to Vince Lombardi, but I think it was originally Muhammad Ali.

    At any rate, the idea is that to be great you must be brilliant at the basics.

    And I get it, being brilliant at the basics isn’t sexy, I think we want to skip ahead to five-part smoothie or the adaptogenic latte or eliminating one food group.

    And depending on who you are, those might be really helpful, but not at the cost of the basics, of the things that actually move the needle and, let’s be honest, the ways that you eat that are actually sustainable that you can be consistent with.

    I’m going to give you five things to think about and five things to potentially take action on.

    At the end of the show I’m going to invite you to just pick one, I think you’ll have more success by just picking one and really executing it.

    On the five things when it comes to meals:

    I think these five things are the most agreed upon in the scientific community on food and eating.

    But let me just tell you now, if you brought five, ten, fifteen experts on food together, they might not agree on anything.

    I’ve been on those panels at wellness conferences and what’s fascinating is that these people who are out there giving advice can’t agree on anything when it comes to how we eat.

    If we take a step back and do a high level view, I think these are the five things that make the most sense, that are the most actionable, and potentially have the most research backing them up.

    1 | Eat more vegetables.

    I know, could we get more basic than that?

    But what we know about the impact of plants and vegetables on our bodies is undeniable.

    Vegetables are amazing, and they make a big difference.

    They are filled with so much nutrients, so much fiber, they have all these amazing things that our bodies appear to need, and yet that so many of us are missing.

    For many people, you could go for days and not eat a vegetable more than the lettuce on a burger or parsley garnish here and there.

    So when it comes to vegetables, you can really take an additive approach, which is a game changer for so many people.

    You can change nothing, except for adding a vegetable to every meal (... or lunch and dinner… or just dinner).

    Here’s what happens when you ditch perfectionism, comparison, and all or nothing thinking, all of these options become available to you depending on where you are and what you need right now.

    Veggies are where it’s at.

    Maybe you feel like you’ve got your eating locked in but there’s someone else in your household or life who’s really struggling, this is the perfect start.

    Have them add a veggie to their plate at lunch and at dinner, even if it’s a piece of pizza and then some carrot sticks or a burger and a side salad.

    We can incrementally inch our way toward more abundance of vegetables until they become the center of our plate and at most meals.

    But really, on a daily basis you can think about the two out of three rule: if at least two out of three meals have veggies in it, you’re doing great.

    And if that’s not the case for you that’s an area you can start focusing on.

    2 | Reduce the amount of fake food.

    Fake food is anything that’s highly processed or just really far from its original source, what it looked like as a whole and now it’s been processed further and further away from its original form.

    So, really switching your focus to add more real food to every meal as often as possible.

    I’ll share a bunch of really great resources with you at the end so that you have a place to go to collect all of them, but for now, here is what you need to do in order to focus on making sure you’re eating real food over processed and fake stuff.

    Read all the ingredients.

    Instead of looking at all the nutritional stuff on label, simply look at the number of ingredients.

    If there’s a lot more than five, chances are it’s not real food and chances are there are a lot of ingredients in there that are super processed and that your body doesn’t really need.

    The five ingredients or fewer is a great challenge to go through your pantry to go through your fridge and freezer, check out the ingredient labels.

    Particularly, I know for many people, the refrigerator door is a place that many fake foods like to hide- condiments, sauces, salad dressings.

    Same thing with those frozen entrees you might have hanging out in the freezer, take a little look at the ingredients.

    And it’s not about judgement, it’s not about good or bad or that you should never eat anything that has more than five ingredients, it’s really about awareness.

    If you’re eating a lot of processed things you’re probably feeling it in your body, in your energy level, and that’s an amazing opportunity to flip things around and think about focusing on adding real foods.

    Maybe replacing some of those salad dressings with something homemade, or even taking some extra time at the grocery store to read through the salad dressing labels and picking one with fewer ingredients.

    And also with ingredients that you can pronounce- if there are words in there that you can’t pronounce or that sound really unpronounceable or not like a real ingredient, it probably isn’t.

    3 | Cook more.

    Now I hear this collective groan from some of you who are self-declared people who hate to cook and/or who have no time to cook.

    And I’m not here to tell you that you need to fall in love with cooking or that you need to find a whole lot more time, I get it and that’s totally fine.

    And, as a mama who works full-time and picks up the kid and has to make dinner, I feel you.

    I don’t have endless hours to be in the kitchen making food everyday.

    I think we carry a lot of baggage around what cooking means and this is where perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison really show up.

    So think about your own definition of cooking or what comes up for you when I say cook more.

    Do you feel like it has to be perfect, or it has to be what you see on food blogs, or what your grandmother cooked when you were growing up?

    Do you find that comparison thing coming up for you, maybe looking around at what you used to do, what other people are doing?

    Or does that all or nothing idea come up, like if you can’t make a two or three hour meal or meal prep for four hours on the weekend then you don’t even bother?

    I get it!

    But I also have to say, cooking can mean a lot of things and you can reclaim what you want it to mean to you.

    In a lot of ways, my cooking it simply about assembling real ingredients in a few minutes.

    For example, I just threw so things in a crockpot before I started recording this episode: I threw in some potatoes, some chicken, and some salsa.

    Sometimes I’m almost embarrassed with how simple my recipes are, but then I remember, I don’t need to be embarrassed because this is exactly what I’m talking about.

    Those are three incredibly simple, real food ingredients that, when combined, make a meal.

    And that counts.

    I think sometimes we say it doesn’t count if we take a shortcut, or buy some pre-prepped stuff, or just use the same recipes over and over again, or make the simplest five ingredient recipes on a regular basis, but of course that counts!

    That’s how we make this stuff work and be sustainable.

    And the thing is, when you cook for yourself or the people in your life, you eliminate so much that you don’t need.

    When you cook, you control the ingredients which is a complete game changer in how you feel and how you nourish your body.

    This is an amazing place to start- if you feel like you’re overthinking it, just start cooking more, like one time a week.

    Wherever you are, add one day and see where it goes.

    4 | Start noticing patterns.

    This isn’t something you have to do, it’s something you have to think about.

    Start noticing how you’re approaching meals and food during the week.

    Are you skipping meals because there’s nothing on hand?

    Or are you eating off your kid’s plate because you didn’t have anything for yourself in the fridge?

    Are you eating leftover donuts in the staff lounge in the afternoon because you didn’t have a healthy, sustaining lunch that gets you through that afternoon slump?

    Do you not have groceries on hand so you end up hitting the drive-thru, maybe you had good intentions but time got away from you?

    For most of us, these patterns reoccur; it doesn’t just happen one time, it happens a lot.

    But when these patterns come up, it’s not a signal to beat yourself up, instead, it’s a matter of making small tweaks.

    So if you notice those patterns, that’s one area that you can address.

    Next week, maybe prep yourself one lunch.

    Put it in a mason jar, maybe it’s an essential salad, I have a couple in my simplified reset that I love to help people prep ahead with, and then take that as a huge win.

    You broke that cycle, that pattern that wasn’t working for you and you came up with a solution.

    5 | Simplify grocery shopping.

    Okay, after five years of doing this work, of the gentle wellness movement, I come to know one thing for sure: one of the biggest barriers to people when it comes to meals is not having the right food on hand.

    Maybe you’re willing to cook and spend some time, but collecting the ingredients and making sure they actually go together to make a meal, the struggle is very real.

    (Maybe we can do a whole episode on simplifying grocery shopping, again I can’t think of anything less sexy or exciting but if that sounds cool let me know and I’ll do another mini series on that).

    But for now, I want to give you one actionable tip: shop with three fallback meals in mind.

    Most of us have a handful of recipes or meals that we can just throw together, we don’t even need a recipe, we know them by heart.

    Some of my fallback meals are the salsa chicken crockpot recipe, meat or lentil sauce with pasta, taco bowls, and we do a big pan of roasted veggies with a sauce once a week.

    So here’s how this tip works: I have a little piece of paper or a note on my phone that has my go-to fallback meals and then a list of ingredients for each one.

    And when I’m at the store, I make sure I get those ingredients.

    I know this sounds so simple, but I think it will help so many people.

    One, it helps make sure you don’t miss things, but also on days when you’re exhausted and don’t want to meal plan, you just know for sure that you’ll have those three or four meals that you know you and your family like.

    So those are my five, and they’re so incredibly basic.

    But if you can get brilliant at the basics, everything changes and it becomes so much simpler.

    There’s no more overthinking because this becomes a part of your life, a way of life, a way of being well that doesn’t cause you to beat yourself up or burnout.

    To summarize:

    1 | Eat more veggies- just add more when you can.

    2 | Reduce the amount of fake food and eat real food.

    3 | Cook more- that doesn’t have to be complicated, it can just be assembling whole food ingredients

    4 | Notice patterns and when you notice something not working, find a tweak and a fix.

    5 | Simplify grocery shopping by focusing on those three to four fallback meals with a standing grocery list that you always have with you.

    Here’s what I want you to do: it’s one thing to listen to a podcast and then move onto the next thing, but it’s another to decide to take action and pick one of those five things and try it.

    And that’s what I want you to do, that’s my invitation to you today.

    Because, listen, I know you’ve got this.

    So go ahead, pick one, and I’d love to hear about it on instagram or one Facebook with our Real Food Whole Life community.

    Give us a shout, let us know what you’re working on and we can also maybe connect you with other people who are working on the same thing.

    And then I want you to pay attention: What’s working? Really importantly, how do you feel? Is there any part of this that’s burning you out? Can you take a step back and simplify even more?

    Eating, cooking, preparing, and filling your life with beautiful, real food is a process that always takes little tweaks.

    So pay attention and ask those questions: What’s working? How do I feel? Is something burning me out?

    And then come back, make that loop, make tweaks and see how it goes.

    And when it comes to getting out of that overthinking trap, I want you to ask: What would happen if it doesn’t have to be perfect? What would happen if I stopped comparing to the latest diet trend or stylish influencer or version of myself from five years ago? What would happen if I let go of this all or nothing thinking and lean into the idea that everything counts?

    This is the gentle revolution. This is change. And you can do this. One thing, one action.

    And that’s what I want to leave you with: I believe in you, I really do.

    It’s not that I believe that you can do everything perfectly and if you just put your mind to it, everything will change.

    I just believe that through this approach, an incremental and intentional approach to wellness, one that it filed with joy and what works for you, that change is possible and feeling good is possible.

    Definitely share this with a friend. I try to make these really concise, really action-packed, and under 25-minutes so you can fit them into your responsibility-filled lives.

    Come back next week because we’re going to do the same thing with movement.

    I’m going to have another set of action items for you, and you can take the momentum from this week and build on it to next week.

    I promised you resources, so here are a few places I can send you, either past episodes or some of my favorite influencers and industry leaders who can help you out in some of these areas:

    One of the big testimonials from people is that it’s helped them not to skip meals and to have nourishing food on hand without having to work too hard.

    Another resource is a show on meal planning for people who hate meal planning.

    How to Stop Overthinking Meals, an episode form the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #healthy #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellnessrevolution


    1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

    3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

    75 How to Use Your Personality Type to Win at Wellness

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    Self-knowledge isn’t selfish.

    Knowing your personality can help you figure out what works for you in wellness.

    How to use your personality type to win at wellness, an episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #healthy #wellnesspodcast #wellness #personality

    How to Use Your Personality Type to Win at Wellness

    When it comes to wellness, and knowing yourself and your personality helps you to you make better decisions. This episodes is all about leveraging your personality to build a life of wellness that you love.

    Scroll down to listen


    Personality type assessments are all the rage right now, from Enneagram to the Four Tendencies to Sparketypes to Wellness Personalities.

    The cool thing is, when you really know your personality types, when you really know yourself, you can use that information to design a life of wellness that really works for you.

    Today’s episode is all about how to use your personality wellness type to win at wellness.

    If you were able to tune in last week, we talked with Jonathan Fields from the Good Life Project Podcast and we talked about his work with his new personality assessment, Sparketypes, around how to connect with your true calling.

    We’ve also had Gretchen Rubin on the show, talking about her personality types, The Four Tendencies.

    And lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions through social media about my Enneagram and my Myers-Briggs type.

    And my husband, who is a clinical psychologist, recently became a Strengthsfinder coach, so we’ve been talking about Strengthsfinder in our house.

    With all this interest around personality types, I thought it would be a good idea to do a full show on it.

    Not necessarily to talk about all those different assessments in detail, but really to talk about the point of knowing your different kinds of personalities and how to leverage that information to make your wellness journey more joyful and sustainable.

    Why take a personality assessment?

    There are all of these options out there (I mentioned a few of them: Enneagram, the Four Tendencies, Strengthsfinder, Sparketypes, and our Wellness Personality assessment).

    Of course, it could just be fun to do the quizzes and get a little information and a little insight into yourself.

    It can also be fun to compare with other people’s and discuss how you’re the same or different.

    But I think the true power in these different types of personality assessments is that they help you know yourself better.

    “Self knowledge, knowing what works for you, knowing what drives you, knowing what doesn’t work-- that is the actual core and foundation of wellness”.

    Knowing yourself allows you to create and design this life, and it can serve as the heartbeat of the life you want to build and the life you want to live.

    We’ve talked about self-knowledge many times in this show; in interviews with both Jonathan Fields and Gretchen Rubin, we had conversations around the idea of self-knowledge and how self-knowledge can lead to happiness, to well-being, to a sense a fulfillment.

    And also how the idea of self-study can seem really uncomfortable.

    I think the word self is often related to selfishness in our minds, and there’s this idea that taking time to know what works for you is selfish.

    First off, as we’re talking about personality types, I ask you to do a little internal bias check: when I say self, self-knowledge or self-study, does that bring up ideas of selfishness?

    And if so, that’s totally okay and normal, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, talking about it, and we usually don’t teach it in schools so for some of us it can just take a little while to even come around to the idea that knowing yourself and what works is not only helpful for you, but helpful for everyone else in your life.

    So when it comes to wellness, knowing yourself and your personality helps you do one really important thing, and that’s helping you make better decisions.

    At the end of the day, so much of our life is the result of these tiny decisions.

    There are so many things we can’t control, but when it comes to the things we can, life is an accumulation of these tiny decisions.

    If you can get better at making decisions, you find that it has a ripple effect across the board and things become easier, lighter, and more enjoyable.

    “You can spend more time filling rather than emptying”.

    Some examples:

    I want to give you some really specific examples of this, and even though I’m using my own personality type as a point of reference, it applies to all of us.

    Sometimes seeing the specific in someone else’s life helps us draw the relationship to ourselves.

    I want to note, that knowing your personality type is not about making excuses for your behavior or getting really rigid and stuck.

    For instance, I’m an introvert and it would be really easy for me to use that as an excuse to avoid all social situations and just generally become an isolated human.

    It’s finding that edge between respecting and honoring who you are but then also pushing outside of that and challenging yourself, growing yourself, and finding that balance between self-improvement and self-acceptance.

    I don’t think there’s any one personality type assessment that’s necessarily better than another.

    I think the more you know the better, as long as you don’t get bogged down in the details.

    Here’s how I come out in a few of these personality assessments.

    Enneagram seems to be so popular right now, and it’s the number one question I get asked.

    I took it a couple of times, and I understand that you have one that’s your primary but I scored so closely that I took it several times.

    What I came up with was either I’m a 1, which is Perfectionist, or a 2, Achiever, or an 8, Leader.

    And they were so close every time that I’m not sure where I land, but for the sake of this conversation I’ll go with Perfectionist.

    And then I took the Four Tendencies assessment, and I’m an Upholder with the Questioner-lean.

    When it comes to Sparketypes, I came out with Scientist and then either a Maven or an Essentialist shadow type.

    And then with our own Wellness Personality Assessment, which is based on a couple years of research that my husband, Dr. Andrew, and I did on the barriers to wellness, the mindset patterns that people have that kept them from wellness or help them succeed.

    It comes with a free resource guide and there are three types: and my type is Dynamo.

    And a Dynamo tends to lean toward perfectionism.

    Taking these all together helped build a picture of my strengths and weaknesses and overall personality that I have.

    I think it’s pretty accurate, but there are parts in each that I don’t totally agree with, but I don’t think that’s the important part.

    The important part is the big picture and being able to make better decisions.

    How to win at wellness:

    Let’s talk about how to use this information to win at wellness in the context of movement, meals, and mind.

    This is the way I love to look at the whole picture of wellness- we’re not just talking about food or exercise or mindfulness and mental health, but we’re looking at the big picture.

    Knowing my personality types, I want to tell you how I use those to make better decisions about movement, meals, and mind.


    Let’s start with movement, since I’ve recently been working on adopting a new workout routine.

    Those of you who have followed for a long time know that I’m a huge barre fan, and we actually did an interview with Sadie Lincoln, the founder and CEO of barre3.

    I also love pilates (check out this conversation with Robin Long on pilates and fitting movement into everyday life).

    And I’m also an avid walker and I love a good hike in the Pacific NW with my husband and daughter.

    But I just turned 39 this month, and something about my birthday in January and knowing that I have a year until 40 made me rethink my routine.

    I’ve also recently developed a little hip problem and plantar fasciitis so I’ve been trying to stay off my feet to heal.

    On top of that, we also just joined a gym that has childcare and a pool and gives us a chance to workout together.

    This combination of things has made me rethink my fitness and movement routine.

    I’m not ditching the ways that I know work for me, but I feel like I’m at square one trying to figure out how I’m going to create this routine.

    Here is where knowing yourself and your personality can really work for you:

    As an Upholder, I know that if I commit to a plan or routine, I feel very compelled to follow though.

    So I’ve been really careful of that right now, of not committing to a prescriptive program or an intense routine because I’m balancing a lot of other things.

    If you add in the concepts of being a Perfectionist, or being an Achiever, and a Dynamo, it sounds to me, when I take these into consideration, maybe I shouldn’t commit to a big overhaul in my fitness routine.

    Another factor in my self-knowledge is that I need something low impact, which I know from trying things out in the past.

    When it comes to anything in wellness, what’s so important is trying things out and then listening to yourself to see if it resonates.

    Maybe you’re somebody who tries out Zumba and just loves the community aspect of it and maybe you used to love to dance so adding dance back into your life brings you joy- that’s such a perfect thing to know, that’s such a great way to harness your personality and work it into movement.

    Or maybe you’re an Obliger, and you know you need accountability, so maybe you take advantage of Robin Long’s pilates Sisterhood and you hook up with someone there who becomes your accountability buddy.

    So you don’t feel bad that you’re an Upholder, you take advantage of it.

    It’s all these tiny tweaks to make it more pleasant and more aligned with who you are that helps to make wellness sustainable, gentle, and effective.

    When it comes to movement and your personality type, I invite you to take a little scan of your personality type or types and reference it against your movement.

    Where is it helping you? Where is it holding you back? How can you use it to your advantage to craft a movement routine that works for you, in your life and with your personality?


    I could definitely do a mini series on personality types and meals.

    Movement and meals are both areas that you could definitely find a ton of prescriptive, day by day, meal by meal, exercise by exercise plans, which is great because we all need to find that balance between rules and flexibility

    But, they really don’t account for your personality or your life.

    You may be finding that you’re trying to squeeze yourself into a box or follow a plan that worked for someone else with a different personality type, but it is not going well for you.

    Experimenting is a process that is so important when it comes to self awareness- you’ve got to be willing to try things out with the experimental mindset knowing that it might not work out.

    And if it doesn’t, that’s not a failure, it’s one more piece of information to help you make better decisions.

    When it comes to meal planning, through my own experimental process, I know for sure that we need some kind of map for the week and that rigid meal planning doesn’t work for me.

    I see this a lot with clients as well as in the Simplified Reset that we offer, which is a 30-day meal plan and meal prep program based on this idea that you need some structure but that it needs to work in your own life.

    And what I find is that people who tend to be perfectionistic or who tend to compare themselves to other people or a previous version of themself (I’m talking about you Seekers out there), or for the Obligers who maybe don’t have an accountability partner things start to fall apart, either you’re going all or nothing or throwing in the towel when it doesn’t go perfectly.

    So for me, I found that meal planning a specific recipe each night was overwhelming and didn’t work.

    So I switched over to meal mapping, which is much more loose but gives me enough structure so I know what type of meal we’re having each night (tacos, bowls, pasta, etc.) and I use a loose framework to make sure that I get all the groceries that I need (protein, grains and bases, veggies, sauces) and then I can combine those.

    Knowing my personality helped me develop a plan that really worked, and I think you can get even more detailed when it comes to meals.

    For instance, do you really love the opportunity for date night where you go out to eat?

    If that time and connection is something you value, make sure you build that into your routine.

    I think a lot of the time when we try to change the way that we eat for forget about what’s fun and joyful, but when you cut all of that out it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Or if you’re someone who really doesn’t like grocery shopping, then maybe you consider ordering groceries online.

    Again, it’s these little tweaks this paying attention and experimenting to see what works.


    I am a huge fan of breathwork.

    I think it is a gateway to mindfulness and has so many impacts on our nervous system (check out this interview with Ashley Neese on breathing for health)

    But when it comes to just sitting and doing breathwork practice, it wasn’t really working for me.

    So I did a little scan of my day and tried to find the times when I’m most stressed

    Something you can definitely do in figuring out what works for you, is a little audit.

    Do an audit of your day, your week, of a pocket of your day and think about when things might work and when they might not.

    I do have a little 5 minute morning, but doing breathwork in my 5 minute morning routine was too much.

    So in trying to figure out when I might need it most, and what came to me is when I’m driving, when I’m doing errands, when I’m in traffic, and especially when I arrive at my destination and there’s always a rush onto the next thing and I can’t take a breath.

    With that self-knowledge, what if I tried to insert breathwork into that moment?

    It’s been so successful and I want to share it with you.

    What I do is I pair breath with a certain activity, which is totally taking advantage of my Scientist/Essentialist nature: how can I make it simpler and use the research to make it work?

    Pairing is a very effective behavioral strategy, which is when you do one thing you do something else; in this case I paired breath with taking the keys out of the ignition.

    So when I take the keys out of the ignition, I take three deep inhales and deep exhales.

    I find myself instantly calmer, more grounded, more present, and because I built it into my life it’s not something I feel like I should do but never actually do.

    Let’s do something:

    It’s all the ways you look at your life and figure out how to use your personality to your advantage.

    The end result is this radically personalized life that is so of sustainable, gentle, consistent wellness

    Nothing makes me happier than seeing you all put this into action, because it’s one thing to listen to a podcast episode and it's another to do something.

    So let’s do something.

    1 | Take a personality test if you haven’t.

    2 | Share your personality type (I love seeing those on Instagram stories!).

    3 | Tell me how you’re using this self-knowledge of your personality to win at wellness (the smaller the tweak the better).

    Listen now!

    How to use your personality type to win at wellness, an episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #healthy #wellnesspodcast #wellness #personality

    Show the Feel Good Effect Love

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    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

    3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

    74 How to Know What to Do with Your Life with Jonathan Fields

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    In this conversation, Jonathan Fields shares his wisdom about how to dive into self-knowledge and really understand who you are, what you want, what you need in your life, and then how to harness that to do the work that you’re here to do.

    How to know what to do with your life, a conversation with best-selling author Jonathan Fields on the Feel Good Effect podcast. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #healthy #podcast #purpose #gentleisthenewperfect

    How to Know What to Do with Your Life with Jonathan Fields

    In this episode, we really unpack what Jonathan calls Sparketypes (the archetype of work that sparks you), tell you how you can figure out what yours is, and some really tactical ways to know what to do with your life.

    Listen now!


    Today we are talking with Jonathan Fields.

    Jonathan is a dad, husband, entrepreneur, and an award winning author.

    He’s the founder of Mission Driven Media and the Good Life Project, where he hosts the top-ranked Good Life Project podcast with millions of downloads and a global audience.

    He’s also the creator of Sparketypes, a set of archetypes designed to reveal the source code for the work you’re here to do.

    His latest book, How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom, offers a powerful framework for a life well lived.

    I invited Jonathan on to share his wisdom about how to look at your life right now and in retrospect and to find that through-line, how to dive into self-knowledge and really understand who you are, what you want, what you need in your life, and then how to harness that to do the work that you’re here to do.

    On Jonathan’s journey to and from attorney:

    Jonathan made a left turn after college, knowing that he wanted to do something to challenge himself and go back to school.

    He’d been a lifelong entrepreneur, often in the wellness industry, but never applied himself very much academically and he was curious what he was capable of.

    Until the last minute, Jonathan was split between going to get a graduate degree in physical therapy or law; he chose law, where he ended up doing very well.

    His first step out of law school was to Securities and Exchange Commission in New York, which is a massive federal government agency that investigates the stock market and that world under the veil of secrecy.

    From there, he moved onto a private equities and securities firm.

    Knowing where Jonathan is at now, it’s so different from these original positions.

    And this might give some optimism to people out there who may be in a career that doesn’t move them, that isn’t their calling.

    “You don’t always have to start where you finish”.

    In fact, many people don’t anymore; a recent statistic that Jonathan cites says that the average person changes jobs between eight and 11 times in their adult life and entire careers somewhere between four and seven times.

    And that’s been his experience, too.

    We have to prepare ourselves for adaptability more than domain expertise these days.

    After about a year of working in a big government agency, Jonathan knew that it wasn’t the right work for him.

    Similarly, he wasn’t feeling like law was in his future either.

    But not ready to leave it behind, he went into a giant, private firm in Midtown, Manhattan, where he stayed for about a year.

    However, he found himself in emergency surgery only three weeks into that job; he was barely going home, had massive amounts of stress, and he wasn’t taking care of his health.

    And although he likes moving his body and eating well, he had abandoned all of it and then layered on insane amounts of stress with little sleep and an infection that basically mushroomed when his immune system cratered.

    And that was his first major wake up call.

    “When your career starts to be rejected by your body, you kind of have to start to listen”.

    Not knowing where to go next, Jonathan sat in his office and made a list of things that sounded like a good fit for him to do with his life if he could figure out how to earn a comfortable family-worthy living in New York City while doing it; that was the beginning of the next story.

    After he recovered from his surgery, he knew he wanted to leave law but he also knew he didn’t want to go back to living hand to mouth, knowing he would likely go back into the world of entrepreneurship and wellness.

    He also knew he would take a pretty big financial hit, so he started saving money while still working a job that compensated well and didn’t leave him much free time to spend his earnings.

    It finally got to the point where he felt life he had what he needed and he didn’t think he could sustain the pace he was working at anymore, so he left.

    His first step out was taking a job as a personal trainer in a small, exclusive studio on the Upper-East side of Manhattan making $12 an hour.

    “It was all about having the opportunity to step into an entirely new space and learn what was working and what was broken”.

    And what he found was that everything was broken; the fitness industry has changed a lot since, but by and large it is an industry that is driven by maximizing revenue rather than creating powerful and sustainable outcomes for the people participating.

    The average big box club loses close to 40% of their membership a year, which means every two and a half years, they essentially turn over their entire membership.

    Any other industry with that level of turnover would probably not make it.

    So to these businesses, the approach to fixing it isn’t to reengineer the way they’re serving people, it’s to spend more money on marketing and locking people into contracts.

    Jonathan started to look at this and figure out what people really need, want, and aren’t getting, and then figure out how to give it to them.

    Over the last decade, there have been a lot of grand awakenings in the wellness world: intimacy, community, novelty, different functional movement, stuff that engages the mind as much as the body, stuff that allows people to have a sense of joy so they look forward to hard work rather than being terrified of it.

    If you look at the average crossfit box, the interesting thing is that there are a whole bunch of people who won’t pay $29 a month for a big box gym but they’ll pay $129 a month to be a member of a crossfit box and they’ll never miss a workout, but they wouldn’t show up at a big box gym.

    So you have to ask what’s really happening here that’s creating this change.

    On making the leap:

    Jonathan admits that he’s unusually comfortable with high levels of risk and taking action and investing in the face of massive uncertainty.

    Once he felt like he had a strong sense of how to do things right, the next step was launching his first fitness facility, which was focused on community building, and it grew rapidly.

    And after about two and a half years, Jonathan was looking for something new so he sold the facility and came back into New York trying to figure out what the next thing would be for him.\

    He was living in Hell’s Kitchen in the city, married with a young baby, and exploring the world of yoga.

    He realized that yoga had a lot of benefit to offer, but the way yoga was available was similar to the fitness industry: terrifying to the average, middle-aged, person who felt they were unfit, inflexible, nervous, and self-judging about their bodies and their capabilities.

    The thought of walking into a studio potentially filled with incense, chanting, where they would have to move their bodies in uncomfortable ways in front of large groups of people can be terrifying for a lot of people.

    Jonathan realized there was an opportunity to preserve the power of the practice and remove the barriers to participation.

    The change was in simple things like removing fragrance; in the US the average yoga studio student base is about 70-80% women, and women have a much higher incidence of scent-triggered migraines, so from the beginning he made a decision to not use incense in the studio so that they weren't turning away people who could benefit from the practice.

    They launched it and signed a six year lease, the day before 9/11.

    Followed was a lot of reflection over the next three weeks, but ultimately they decided what better time to open a business driven by community in service of healing.

    Over the next few years Jonathan was accumulating knowledge and certifications.

    For the first 18 years of his life, he trained as a competitive gymnast year-round so he already had a strong sense of somatics and mind-body.

    It was just the natural evolution from his fascination with that connection and entrepreneurship and being in service to people.

    On teaching yoga:

    At this point, Jonathan still considers himself teaching yoga, just not the asana (pose) part of it.

    He doesn’t teach a 90-minute class where people are moving and breathing together, but fundamentally, that part of yoga practice was originally developed to create a body and still mind so that you could deepen into the more lifestyle and meaning-driven parts of the practice.

    Robyn is also a yoga teacher, combined with a background in research and psychology and large scale policy change.

    She believes that when you have someone come to the practice with such a diverse background, it elevates all sides, but that the yoga philosophy, the asana, the movement, is secondary, although that’s what everyone thinks of and it’s where the barrier to entry exists.

    As a lawyer, what originally brought Jonathan to the practice was that there was so much stress that he didn’t know how to handle.

    He felt like he didn’t have the time for a physical practice (a feeling many of us are familiar with), so he was looking for something that could bring him back to center in the moment.

    He found pranayama (breathing exercises) to be incredibly effective at taking him from a hyper-stressed out and anxious state into a calm and grounded place very quickly.

    On what type of kid he was:

    This conversation on Jonathan’s history starts around college and post-grad, but as a child, and to this day, Jonathan is a maker.

    He wakes up in the morning and sees things that he wants to create; as a kid, that took the form of bikes, forts, painting, construction projects, as a high-schooler he made money painting album covers on the back of jean jackets, as a college student he spent his summer in construction building houses.

    “Any time I had the chance to make things, I am the happiest person in the world”.

    The process of making ideas go into something, making ideas manifest, is central to Jonathan as far as he can remember.

    He hasn’t always been this self aware, though; he’s human, and still working on it

    He was more introverted as a kid, and spent a lot of time alone in nature; having an orientation towards more stillness gave him more space to be self-reflective, but it’s taken him much more intentional practice of self-inquiry and self-discovery over the last 10 or 20 years to get to where he’s at.

    On the value in self-study:

    Robyn mentions that if you’re listening and unsure what kind of kid you were-- it’s completely normal; we don’t often have those opportunities for self-study or self-reflection, so it might not be something you have a lot of practice in.

    And Jonathan thinks it’s even bigger than that:

    “We don’t value self-awareness on the level that we value domain expertise”.

    Most people might define success as mastery of a craft or skill, but rarely is it defined as something rooted in self-knowledge and self-awareness.

    In Western society, we devalue it, but it’s the exact opposite in Eastern society.

    There are tremendous paths to self-inquiry that have existed for thousands of years and it’s sort of the heartbeat of how you build and live your life, but Western wellness doesn’t place value on that quite so much

    And that may be underlying so much angst and sadness because we don’t know ourselves well enough to understand when and what to say yes and no to in a way that will allow us to align our decisions with the things that fill us up in the world.

    “Sometimes we get it right, but a lot of times we get it wrong. We don’t know ourselves well enough to understand why we’ve gotten it wrong and what to do about it to come back into a place of better alignment and really just spend more time filling rather than emptying”

    There’s a lack of emphasis, or even pushing away, of the idea self-study in Western culture.

    Even the word “self” is so related to “selfishness” for so many of us.

    In a conversation with Dr. Kristin Neff, she talks about the idea taking “self” out of “self-compassion” if it’s becoming a barrier to practice.

    And in talking to Gretchen Rubin, she found that many people are coming to the same conclusion.

    If self-knowledge is so important, why is it so hard?

    Jonathan’s answer:

    “We have never really accepted that it’s a necessary process for us to be happy and live meaningful, fulfilled, fully expressed lives, so we’ve never gone in search for the tools that would allow us to actually deepen into it”.

    We also have become an instant-based culture.

    There are processes that are helpful, but there is very little that just gives you everything that you want in an instant; it’s a process, it’s a practice.

    Part of Jonathan’s daily practice is meditation and for the last nine years he has had a daily mindfulness practice and a daily breathing practice

    Every time you think you know yourself you realize that there is so much more that hasn’t yet been revealed.

    We’re really focused on short-term solutions, are there are some ways to shortcut the process

    It’s a blend of practice, tools, practice, tools, and practice; you get tools that will give you information, and then you build a practice around that, and then you cycle between those.

    But a lot of us just want it now, and Jonathan admits he would take it now too if he could.

    In fact, a lot of his work over the last few years has been trying to figure out how to accommodate a Western set of expectations while providing tools and resetting expectations that allow us to get immediate and valuable information and also emphasize the process of deepening into it and continuing to learn more over time.

    Part of Jonathan’s work over the last couple of years has been developing a set of archetypes that help people understand the source code for their life’s work.

    He’s learned that his primary and secondary archetypes are that he is first a “maker”, and informing that is what he calls a “scientist”, somebody who is driven to solve problems and figure things out.

    While his law practice required problem-solving, there was nowhere near enough opportunities for creating for him to sustain himself in the field.

    In everything he’s done, the through-line is being a maker informed by a scientist side of himself

    On the Sparketypes:

    In working with thousands of diverse people who the world views as successful yet who are miserable, Jonathan has been trying to deconstruct what’s going on there.

    More recently, he’s been working to understand the notion of meaning and purpose in the context of our work in the world.

    Do we each have some sort of deep driver, some sort of source code that informs the work that gives us a strong sense of meaning and purpose that allows us to feel engaged and fully expressed in the world?

    Looking at existing research, Jonathan found that what was out there wasn’t really applicable to the everyday world; there’s a lot of metaphysical, spiritual, philosophical stuff, but he wasn’t finding a straightforward, practical set of tools or processes that would allow somebody to quickly understand what their primary driver is.

    It’s been an ongoing process, and last year they made the decision to build a valid, well-tested assessment around it.

    “At the end of the day, it’s all about helping people live better”

    And over this course of testing, it has been distilled down to ten unique archetypes, which Jonathan calls “Sparketypes”, for the archetype of work that sparks you.

    And the responses they got after making this public was this it’s a unique, different, and useful resource that was actually helping people.

    Take the assessment here and find your Sparketype!

    We’re all at some level a blend of these categories, but what Jonathan was seeing is that one or two of them will really start to predominate.

    Your primary Sparketype you can think of as the source code for work that fills you with a sense of meaning.

    And then your shadow Sparketype isn’t shadowed in a negative sense, it’s just in the shadow of your primary.

    And the shadow is the work that you do that you feel confident at, enjoy, and maybe get paid for, but if you’re really being honest, you do it mostly because it helps you better do the work of your primary.

    For example, Jonathan’s primary is a “maker”, and his shadow is a “scientist”.

    He will start a complex project and then hit a wall where he needs a solution in order to let him continue this process of creation, so he goes into scientist, problem-solving mode.

    But as soon as he finishes the process that will allow him to go back to creating, he goes back to it, because it was in service of being a better maker.

    And not everyone is happy with the answers that they get; there can be a certain amount of social judgement within these categories.

    Robyn took the assessment, too: her primary is “scientist” and her shadow is “maven”.

    And they absolutely ring true for her.

    Solving big problems is the through-line for her work, and the “maven” side is devouring everything there is to know about a given subject.

    But she realizes, too, that while the Sparketype “performer” is her lowest ranked type, a little part of her job now is performing.

    It’s less about being competent in different areas, and more about what you choose to do when you have the option.

    In some case, like those of early entrepreneurs, you have to take on the role of Sparketypes that might not come naturally.

    But once you’re able to hand it off to someone else, the willingness to let go of it as soon as resources become available shows that it’s not your thing.

    If you find that your career isn’t in line with your Sparketype:

    There are two approaches:

    1 | Expand the way that you think about work.

    Is work something that you do to get paid for? Or is it something that you do on the side, because you can’t just not do it?

    In the broader context of my contribution, what can I do on a daily basis to let me express the work of my Sparketype?

    Start doing more of the stuff that fills you, and you’ll start to be in a better place.

    2 | Create a canvas to profile yourself on a broader level.

    What are the things that are really in conflict with my Sparketype?

    What can I do to resolve these conflicts?

    However, Jonathan does not recommend blowing this up and abandoning what you’ve built this far; that can end really badly.

    You don’t have to quit your job, and your work doesn’t have to be the primary way that you make money.

    On what makes a good life:

    Jonathan ends his podcast episodes by asking his guests “what makes a good life?”.

    It’s rarely answered the same way twice and there’s always something to learn from how each person approaches the question.

    After a qualitative analysis of all of the answers he's received, he’s found common themes, which he calls the Good Life Buckets, that people tend to focus on different parts of.

    The Good Life Buckets include: optimal vitality, deep and meaningful relationships, and meaningful contribution.

    When you fold those three things together and continue keeping those buckets full, focusing on a day to day basis, life tends to be pretty good.

    On what it means to be healthy:

    “To be healthy is about cultivating a state of body and mind that lets you feel how you want to feel, be who you want to be, and do what you want to do”.

    How to know what to do with your life, a conversation with best-selling author Jonathan Fields on the Feel Good Effect podcast. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #healthy #podcast #purpose #gentleisthenewperfect

    Guest bio

    Jonathan Fields is a dad, husband, entrepreneur and award-winning author. He founded mission-driven media and education venture, Good Life Project®, where he hosts the top-ranked Good Life Project podcast, with millions of downloads and a global audience, and leads an international community in the pursuit of live well-lived. He is also the creator of the Sparketypes™, a set of archetypes designed to reveal the source-code for the work you’re here to do. Jonathan’s latest book, How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science and Practical Wisdom, offers a powerful framework for a life well-lived, and its companion journal, The Good Life Journalreveals a simple 12-minute daily practice that lets you come alive not someday, but today.

    Show the Feel Good Effect Love

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    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

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    73 The Secret to Consistency with Wellness

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    Today we are going to talk all about how to stay consistent with your wellness goals and your wellness routine.

    The Secret to Consistency with Wellness, and episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast. Listen for more on how to make your wellness goals sustainable. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #healthy #wellnesspodcast #podcast #gentleisthenewperfect #resolution

    The Secret to Consistency with Wellness

    This show is really about simplicity and some very simple strategies that make such a difference in sustaining your wellness goals.

    Scroll down to listen


    It’s happened to all of us.

    We have big plans, big goals, maybe set some resolutions, or just have ways that we want to improve our wellness, whether that's with meals, mindset, movement.

    But when it comes to the day to day, when it comes to staying consistent, that's when things get tricky.

    Today we are going to talk all about how to stay consistent with your wellness goals and your wellness routine.

    Here we are in January (if you’re listening in real time) and I find January to be such a fascinating time.

    I’ve always been interested in wellness, but now I’ve found myself on the other side, as a professional in the wellness industry.

    It’s been about five years since I founded Real Food Whole Life.

    And what you learn really quickly in the wellness world is that January is a huge month.

    It took me a couple years of really learning this rhythm to realize just how important January is and just how much people are paying attention to wellness, wanting to make change, and really wanting to focus on those wellness goals during that time of the year.

    I think it’s amazing to have this moment of reflection, to step back and look at your habits and your routines and to ask, “is this working for me? Is this how I want my life to be?”, and take that moment of reflection and turn it into action

    But on the other hand, as someone who gets to see the back end of wellness, I see what happens in terms of actual behavior.

    Every month I look at the numbers from my website, the number of people who have visited the site and the number of clicks they’ve made so that I can be informed and create better content.

    After five years of looking at that information, what I’ve noticed is that January is one of, if not the, biggest month of traffic to my website.

    And that makes sense-- people are interested in eating better, meal planning, meal prep, and personal development.

    It's a destination and people are there to make that change and to make a plan.

    And I love that!

    But the interesting thing related to this conversation about sustainability and consistency is that by January 13th or so, after this huge spike on January 2nd, it kind of sustains itself for about two weeks.

    After that, there is a slow decline into February where we kind of level off for the year.

    What this tells me is that people have big goals and plans going into January, but for most people, sustainability and consistency is the biggest challenge.

    And I know this to be true; this is a simple fact of life and wellness.

    “If you can be consistent, if you can do things that are healthy or wellness related more often than you don’t, it will change your life”.

    And yet we hardly focus on that!

    We focus on the beginning, on the kickstart, on the 30 days, on the go hard or go home, and then we wonder why by mid-February we are back to where we started.

    This is the magic of the gentle approach to wellness: it is so much more focused on mastering consistency and on the things that you do more often than you don’t.

    On this time last year:

    Last year going into January I had big plans for the podcast, for Real Food Whole Life, and for myself personally and I was just hitting the ground running ready to tackle the new year.

    And then one day in early January, I woke up feeling the worst that I had ever felt.

    I couldn’t move, I could hardly talk, I just slept that whole day, and then the next day was the same.

    By the third day, things were only going downhill so I told my husband, Andrew, that I needed to go to urgent care; I felt really dizzy I could hardly stand up.

    Side note: this is an important lesson to everyone-- if you don’t feel good go to the doctor!

    So he took me to urgent care, I got checked in and when they took my blood pressure they sent me immediately to the emergency room.

    So we went to the ER, and I had the flu.

    I was really, really dehydrated and had really low blood pressure.

    I ended up staying there for about a day to get rehydrated and ultimately everything was okay.

    But once they released me, it took me five, six days to even be functional at all.

    It was just a completely lost week of my life.

    It really threw me off and it took me a few weeks to feel like a human again, to be fully functioning, to get back to all of my wellness goals.

    And then a week later, Elle got the flu.

    Kids are so much more resilient than adults, so it took fewer days for her to get better, but ultimately I took another week off to take care of her.

    Each day I just felt more and more discouraged about all of the plans and goals I had made.

    And not being able to work out or meal prep and do all of the things that make me feel really good.

    I really felt like I’d backslid; it was a familiar feeling of falling off the wagon.

    I tell this story because this kind of thing happens all the time, not necessarily getting the flu, but life gets in the way of our goals

    You have a plan, and then something happens, and then you feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon and you just might as well give up.

    And the thing I want you to know, here, is that this is so normal.

    Life is not this perfect, straight line.

    We don’t get to make linear progress; it is definitely a up or down situation.

    “I think if we wait for life to be perfect, if we wait for the perfect set of circumstances we’re never going to be able to make any change”.

    The more I really learned to embrace this, that life is messy, that things don’t go as planned, that this is part of wellness, the easier things became because I’m wasn’t fighting against life.

    My tactical tip for staying consistent with wellness:

    I want you to try this out and tell me how it goes.

    We can connect on the Real Food Whole Life Facebook group or on Instagram.

    This simple secret is what I call the Two Out of Three Rule.

    The Two Out of Three Rule works whether we’re talking about meals, movement, mind, or minimalism, and it’s the simple strategy I’ve used to help undo the all-or-nothing thinking.

    This applies to all of us, but especially to those of us who are Dynamos (if you aren’t sure what you’re wellness personality is, you can take the quiz here)

    This quiz is based on a couple years of research that my husband Andrew and I have done, the types of mindsets people have when it comes to wellness, and what might actually be holding them back (which isn’t always what you thought it would be!).

    If you haven’t taken it yet, I would highly recommend it and it comes with a free resource guide that we put together just to give you some insight into how you think so you can flip the script and embrace this life tested research based ways of living well.

    Let’s be honest, all-or-nothing thinking is a challenge for all of us, but Dynamos in particular-- this is such a challenge because you want to do everything perfectly and if it can’t be done perfectly, then you want to not do it at all.

    I bet most of you can think of a time when all or nothing thinking has really gotten in the way of consistency, of staying with your wellness routines and habits.

    Whether you went all in and it became unsustainable or whether you just quit all together and fell off the wagon, this all or nothing thinking is such a challenge for so many of us.

    And the reason I tell that story about getting the flu in January is because it’s so tempting to just give up.

    Here’s where the Two Out of Three Rule comes into play-- it really helps to shift the way you think.

    “Instead of trying for perfection… think about success being doing it more than you don’t”.

    Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that for all you Dynamos, for all you type-A perfectionists about wellness, that this feels uncomfortable.

    Who wants to do something two out of three times?

    But let me just say, if it’s working for you to do it perfectly and never miss a day, never have life get in the way then that’s awesome!

    But if it’s not working for you or if you find yourself on or off, all in or all out, let me offer this as an alternative.

    I want you to use Two Out of Three any time you find yourself all in or all out; this can help you get back to consistency, back to sustainability.

    Examples and habits:

    Let’s get into some tactical examples and habits.

    One of my favorite ways to use the Two Out of Three Rule is with the meals of the day.

    Most of us eat something along the lines of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and maybe one of those meals feels like a splurge.

    This is a way to take that moment and instead of turning it into a shame spiral, you turn it into an opportunity.

    Let’s say you plan a nourishing meal for dinner, but when you get home from work, you’re exhausted so you order a pizza instead.

    Rather than spiraling out all together, just say, “okay, well two out of three”.

    And the next two meals, focus on nourishment, on real food, and on healthy.

    I find that this applies so well to the three meals of the day, but it also applies to days and even weeks.

    If I have a full day of splurging, then I’ll take the next two days to really focus on nourishing myself.

    Each day and each meal is an opportunity for a two out of three.

    If you can adjust your mindset to see success as two out of three, that it’s not a failure because this is how life is, this will help you stay consistent and do the things you need to do more often than you don’t.

    “Incremental change adds up to really big results”.

    I even use this rule for weeks.

    After a two week holiday just now, where the last week didn’t align with my wellness routine, I’m not even worried because I’m focused on the next two weeks which I will fill with nourishment, movement, hydration, and taking care of myself.

    The Two Out of Three Rule applies to movement just as easily.

    If your goal is to work out every day but you miss a day, then reframe to “I’m going to get two out of three”.

    This works for whatever your wellness mind habits are, as well.

    One of the things I love to do is my 5 minute morning (listen to the episode about my 5 minute morning here and grab the journal here)

    But the truth is, sometimes I miss a day or even two from my routine.

    What I’ve found is that when I miss one day, it’s no big deal.

    But once I miss two days, it’s so hard to get back into it.

    So I practice Two Out of Three.

    Putting this gentle approach into action by having some compassion and having some room for life, illness, travel, and whatever else life throws at you-- it doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t make you a failure.

    It simply gives you the tools to come back to that important moment when you miss, or skip, or don’t live up to our own expectations.

    Here’s the thing about the Two Out of Three Rule: it really can be applied across your life and across your wellness goals and routines, but the magic is in the practice.

    By actually letting this infuse into your life, that’s when the real magic happens.

    The more you practice Two Out of Three, the more that you rebound after you “mess up”, the more that you start to change your brain.

    You actually change the way that you think and over time that grip on perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking starts to loosen.

    You’ll get a little more clarity on this idea that showing up and doing things more often than you don’t are what actually lead to long term consistent change.

    And the process, the day to day, is so much more pleasant because you don’t constantly feel like you’re failing
    This show is really about simplicity and some very simple strategies that make such a difference.

    So as we kick off this new year, as the wellness marketing messages drumbeat of all-or-nothing thinking, go hard or go home are so loud, and where our own brains are naturally drawn toward all-or -nothing thinking, I just want to extend this invitation to you for Two Out of Three.

    If you think about that trend line on Real Food Whole Life, and how it spikes in January and falls back in February, maybe think about your own trend line as a really long slow climb.

    Maybe in the short term it spikes and falls again and again, but over time imagine that line slowly climbing.

    You don’t need a perfect life to practice wellness.

    Once we replace this idea that we need perfect in order to make progress, with kindness, things change.

    Listen now!

    The Secret to Consistency with Wellness, and episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast. Listen for more on how to make your wellness goals sustainable. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #healthy #wellnesspodcast #podcast #gentleisthenewperfect #resolution

    Show the Feel Good Effect Love

    1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

    2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

    3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

    72 Paring Down to Create More with Melissa Coleman

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige Reohr2 Comments

    Fresh year, fresh episode. Today we’re digging into simplifying, organizing, minimalism, and paring down so you can create more with Melissa Coleman from the Faux Martha.

    Paring Down to Create More, a conversation with The Faux Martha’s Melissa Coleman on the Feel Good Effect Podcast. Listen for more on how to make a minimalist lifestyle work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selfimprovement #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthpodcast  #wellness #wellnesspodcast  #healthandwellness #healthandwellnesspodcast

    Paring Down to Create More with Melissa Coleman

    In this conversation with Melissa Coleman, we talk about everything from what minimalism is to how to separate minimalism from perfectionism, taking a step back from the hustle, and then some tactical tips for creating a framework for a minimalist kitchen and minimalist eating-- making this whole lifestyle work in real life.

    Scroll down to listen or read the full interview, below

    Grab the Cheatsheet!

    Downlaod the free cheatsheet to help you simplify meal prep.

      No spam, just love headed your way.


      Fresh year, fresh episode.

      Today we’re digging into simplifying, organizing, and paring down so you can create more.

      We’re kicking off 2019 with a conversation with Melissa Coleman from the Faux Martha.

      Melissa is a designer, a home cook, a baker, a dishwasher, a wife, a mom, and what she calls a “cozy minimalist”.

      She believes in everyday magic and aeropress coffee.

      Her work has been featured all over the place, including Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, and The Wall Street Journal.

      Melissa published her first book, The Minimalist Kitchen, in 2018, which we’ll dive into during this conversation.

      This episode is brought to you by a freebie that I’ve put together about meal prep hacks that will simplify your life.

      This little cheat sheet has a ton of good ideas and simplified suggestions to get you meal prepping without getting overwhelmed.

      If real food or healthy eating are part of your plan for the new year, this will definitely help you get there (and it’s totally free-- grab it here!)

      In this episode, we talk about everything from what minimalism is to how to separate minimalism from perfectionism, taking a step back from the hustle, and then some tactical tips for creating a framework for a minimalist kitchen and minimalist eating-- making this whole lifestyle work in real life.

      On what led Melissa to write her book:

      Melissa kept coming up against the problem of more, especially in her kitchen space, but also in her closet space-- she felt it everywhere.

      The problem she kept coming back to was too much stuff.

      In all areas of her home, but especially in the kitchen, Melissa started to pare down, keeping the things that she actually used and getting rid of the things that she didn’t.

      Something she started to notice was that when she pared things down to a manageable amount, she was actually able to make more.

      She knew how to use the tools and ingredients that she was keeping, and so she made more.

      On moving towards less: where to start and what it means in practical terms:

      Melissa is still trying to figure out how to talk about how to make moving towards less happen and how to become a more doable distillery in her own life.

      Simplicity is hard-- you can think about it in the context of a recipe.

      When she’s working on a recipe, Melissa tries to pare it down to the necessities and then gets rid of all the extras.

      And there’s a point in a recipe when you cannot delete a step, you cannot delete an ingredient, because if you do, it’s no longer what the recipe is actually supposed to be.

      That’s the hard part, and in a lot of ways it takes experimenting; it's not a one-size-fits-all thing.

      Once you’ve simplified, it looks simple, but getting there is the hardest part.

      It takes a lot of time, and that’s what feels counterintuitive.

      Robyn’s dad is a professor, an academic with high standards, who she worked for in recent years.

      It was amazing work, but it was too complicated-- people couldn’t access it, but it could be simplified.

      Her father found it frustrating, not wanting to “dumb it down”.

      However, to Robyn, simplifying does not mean dumbing it down.

      In fact, it is so much more work to write only one paragraph than five pages.

      You can always do more, and that’s why Melissa believes houses are so easily cluttered.

      You can always add more, but it’s about asking, “if I take this away, will the room feel unbalanced? Will it feel sparse? Will is feel welcoming?”.

      Simplifying takes time and intentionality.

      Our human brain is wired for more, but marketing messages, and the culture here, in the United States, is very focused on never enough.

      This combination creates a perfect storm that’s missing intentionality.

      If you haven’t had a chance to check out Melissa’s instagram or website yet, check them out.

      Everything is beautiful and pristine.

      And she has what Robyn thinks of as a dichotomy, because although it’s not Melissa’s intended message, it becomes about an outcome.

      That’s a secondary issue around simplification and minimalism: it becomes about an outcome.

      We have ideas around what we think minimalism is supposed to look like-- a white kitchen, or labeled mason jars in the pantry.

      And maybe those are part of your process, but it very well may not.

      On outcome versus process in minimalism:

      Melissa is a visual communicator, first.

      Her background is in graphic design, which is how she learned to beautifully and precisely communicate the essentials.

      And that is still her main mode of communication.

      When you’re scrolling through an Instagram feed, you don’t have to read words, but she also loves words, and to her, words matter.

      One thing Melissa is trying to figure out personally, is that sometimes she loves what her life looks like, but images don’t capture it all.

      You can’t see what’s behind the camera; it’s not the full story.

      She wants to be honest about her pursuit of minimalism, of paring down, of simplicity, but it’s really hard to be completely honest in that.

      “Even when it does look this way, it’s still the same life as it was before”.

      Your home might look just how you’d like, but your car still breaks down and you still argue with your husband or lose patience with your kids.

      Melissa has chosen minimalism as a tool, because life is chaotic.

      She began identifying where chaos became a problem, like when it got in the way of being able to figure out what to make for dinner.

      So she grabbed minimalism as a tool, used in the way she designed her home, in the way she designs her recipes, and she’s currently trying to figure out how to implement that into her work life.

      The byproduct of minimalism is space.

      Melissa loves space; as a painter she learned about using negative space as a tool to draw the eye to where she wanted, and as a designer she learned about using white space as a tool to draw the eye towards an image or message.

      And in her home she uses negative space and white space to create space to do the things she wants, like eat dinner, or have a bonfire with her family, or just space to remind herself where her phone is.

      Minimalism and simplifying are about the process and not the outcome.

      When we focus on the outcome, we can get confused and caught up in what we think it should look like; it can become a very privileged and exclusive thing.

      But if we can deemphasize outcome and focus on the process and steps to get there, we can find that space can come out in many ways.

      Robyn sees overlap in creating space and mindfulness: having space to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, or having space in your day to take a deep breath, or having space to sit down and have a meal with your family.

      And having that space doesn’t cost money, it just costs intention.

      And it also doesn’t require looking a certain way.

      It’s about remembering to find joy in our actions, too, which is easy to forget when we busy ourselves.

      Even by busying ourselves in creating the space we live in comes with stress.

      “The weird thing about minimalism is that you do have to do a lot of work to get to a place”.

      Our spaces matter, and Melissa thinks of spaces as mirrors that are reflecting something back at us.

      If your space feels chaotic, you might be feeling that in your life too.

      But even if you’re not feeling it, it’s a visual reminder of a need for space.

      And also about time: time is almost this secret ingredient.

      Melissa was working on a pizza dough recipe that took almost an entire summer of testing, and their secret ingredient, a beautiful analogy, was time.

      The dough tasted so much better when it had time to sit in the fridge and rest for three days, compared to dough made the morning of.

      “I love the analogy that time is actually an ingredient, it should be in recipes, it should be in our life… it’s a practice, and what it looks like today is going to look so different for you, for me, five years from now, maybe even two months from now… it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing”.

      Robyn reminds that when you overlay perfection, comparison, overwhelm, and guilt onto anything you end up with worse results.

      In this case, when you overlay perfectionism on top of minimalism, is becomes paralyzing because you’re trying to get an impossible outcome.

      It can discourage you from even starting or just drive you crazy with a new set of problems that you’ve created for yourself.

      Melissa talks about this idea in her book, too.

      She talks about it because it’s something she’s working on and living in.

      In talking about minimalism, Melissa wrote, “Does everything need to be efficient and just right? No. As with everything, I hope you see this philosophy for all its good and for all its flaws. I like to think of minimalism as a practice because it needs constant refining. Rules that are too rigid will strip away the joy, and rules that are too loose will create overflow and a frustrating kitchen. The magic is in the space between, or as Koren refers to it, the magic is in the poetry”.

      There’s a quote by Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets, & Philosophers, that Melissa wrote about all through her book.

      “Pare down the essence, but don’t remove the poetry”.

      That quote became a guiding principle for Melissa.

      For her, the poetry is in life and experience, in the practice of yoga, in the practice of failing, and in the practice of doing it right.

      Robyn reflects on having those moments every so often that serve to remind of the purpose.

      It’s not the other stuff, it’s not the outcome of the kitchen looking a certain way.

      And it’s hard; when you think about it from a neurological perspective, you notice that you don’t get reinforcement right away from this process.

      On everyday magic:

      On social media, we try to create a magic that’s expensive, that’s costly, and really there’s been so much work put into the picture that it’s not even enjoyable.

      Melissa realized that the ordinary things are really easy to enjoy, and you don’t have to do much work to get there.

      Something as everyday as sitting by a fire, being mesmerized by a flame, or laughing while playing a board game.

      Those were the things she was missing and the things that she wanted to give her daughter.

      As she started to experience certain things that brought a lot of joy, she paid attention to them.

      The transition to parenthood was a challenge for Melissa’s family, and paying attention to these joyful moments became increasingly important.

      “You experience those joys… you see them and you spot them, and then they go away again. And I wanted to figure out a way to remember what those things are”.

      Now, at the top of Melissa’s family calendar, there is a monthly bucket list with the basic things like canoeing in June or apple picking in October.

      Remembering the really basic things that don’t take much effort to get there but produce a lot of joy, and that’s the everyday magic.

      Melissa also thinks the everyday, ordinary magic is gathering around the dinner table.

      “The food brings us to the table… but then the magic happens once you get to the table. And getting to the table is really hard”.

      One of the reasons Melissa wrote her book was to figure out how to get to the table.

      She wanted to design recipes that were simple enough, flavorful enough, and nourishing enough to get her family to the table.

      But then once they got to the table, what kinds of conversations came up.

      “When you look at the every day, it’s nothing to really even write a blog post about or take a picture of, but when you splice together all those little bits of the ordinary, they turn into something magic. They create these deep, deep connections that you cannot find on Pinterest or Instagram”.

      Robyn reminds that science supports this idea: once you start intentionally pointing out these things, your brain learns to spot them.

      You are already wired to notice threats and spot harm, but you can start to rewire toward these things that matter, but you have to be intentional.

      Calling it out and writing it down may feel forced at first, but over time your experience in the world changes and you begin to create a meaningful life.

      On creating a minimalist life, step by step:

      Melissa uses frameworks everywhere.

      When it comes to writing, she knows that she writes best in the morning, at her desk, with a cup of coffee.

      She figured out when she succeeds, and then created frameworks around that working backwards.

      “The best framework is an intuitive framework”.

      Watch your patterns, pay attention to the problem areas, and then you can work toward really great solutions; that’s the process of working backwards.

      Melissa just created a pantry cleanse to break down the idea of framework.

      Think of the kitchen as a closet, because closets are the biggest troublemakers.

      The hard part, though, is that the clothes in the kitchen are perishable and they disappear, and we have too many tools, too many spices.

      In order to make it more manageable, pare it down.

      Robyn knows how difficult it can be to put this idea into practice, and she uses the idea of creating a capsule pantry to help.

      Robyn’s capsule pantry is very similar to Melissa’s composed dinner, which means this is a framework that is coming up for more than one person.

      It’s this idea that you can think of meals in parts, and use those parts to mix and match so that when you go to the store, you fill in the parts, not the list of ingredients.

      And then when you “shop” your pantry, there’s stuff in there that can be used to mix and match.

      What happens for so many people who are cooking, is they collect recipes and buy lists of ingredients for each recipe, and then end up with this overwhelm flow of stuff that isn’t used again.

      Within a framework perspective, it’s about getting really intentional with your patterns and looking for where the excess is.

      Spices, for example, are such a great example, because so many of us have excess spices in different shaped jars filling our pantries.

      Robyn’s strategy for paring down her spices is to pay attention to what is used and buy nothing else.

      Even if it’s a spice called for in someone else’s recipe, rather than adding an additional jar to her shelf, she skips it or just makes something else.

      In total, Robyn has only eight spices, which she stores in glass jars in a drawer and buys in bulk to save money and effort.

      And all of Robyn’s recipes only use those eight spices.

      But creating something that now makes her life easier was not a totally easy process.

      Melissa still runs into this issue every so often, looking in the back of the pantry and finding something that nobody is really eating.

      Her solution? Either get rid of the jar or fill it with something that they are buying all of the time.

      It’s thought intention, having a framework to start working toward, and experimenting.

      The experimenting piece tends to scare people, but too much step-by-step guidance won’t work for you if it’s coming from somebody else’s plan (it’s not one-size-fits-all!)

      Instead, you have to find a place between someone else’s plan and no plan, and that middle space can feel really uncomfortable.

      And when it doesn’t go the way you wanted, take it as feedback rather than failure.

      There are great resources to get started on this process, like what useful kitchen equipment Melissa recommends or a guide of what to include in your capsule pantry from Robyn, but you should also ask yourself whether you need or will even use something that made the list.

      “Use your intuition. Know when to say no when it doesn’t work in your space and say yes when it does”.

      On how to work like a minimalist:

      Melissa finds herself in a tailwind again and again, working hard and not being in the places that she wants to be.

      She makes a point that she loves her book, but she wants to be remembered by her relationships.

      While working on her book, she realized she was spending her time working on something, but not working on other things that she wanted to be working on.

      She was repeatedly finding herself in a place where her work life was out of control, even though she had created calm spaces.

      Melissa uses minimalism in her personal life to make it feel more doable and create space to hang out with her family, but her work life was spilling over into her personal life.

      While she was on her book tour, Melissa realized that if she was going to use minimalism as a tool in all other areas of her life, it needed to be woven into her work as well.

      Currently, she is working on making just enough, financially, but to make money as a blogger your work has to be seen-- a challenging balance.

      Melissa talks about how helpful taking breaks is: she took long breaks over the summer, disappearing for weekends and slowing down.

      “I approached life more slowly, content more slowly, and I personally feel so much more fulfilled and I’m so much prouder of the work that I’m producing at this pace than the work I was producing at the pace of a hustle”.

      Melissa was listing to an episode of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast with will. i. am., and on it, he talked about a horse named Hustle.

      You don’t want a horse named Hustle because they’re not going to last.

      You want someone who can endure, and in order for Melissa to endure, she has to work backwards and figure out the pace at which she can endure.

      Something she recently asked herself is, “If I can’t keep us this pace, can I work in this industry?”

      She gave herself 12 months to come to a decision, with the intention of walking away from her work afterwards.

      But during that time, she implemented some of the changes she always said she would but hadn’t.

      Ultimately, Melissa is proud of the work she is producing now, and where she’s at came from choices to make less money and be seen less on social media.

      All of our choices have consequences; all of our choices come with loss, even the best ones.

      Melissa’s choices, of working a more manageable, minimalist work life, comes at a cost but it also comes with reward and benefit.

      Both Robyn and Melissa fully acknowledge the privilege this conversation is, around sacrificing work for something more meaningful.

      And although it’s not the topic of today’s episode, it’s always an important message to notice.

      But, behind the scenes, being a content creator or business owner online in 2019 is the perfect experiment in pushing people to always do and be more, to be seen.

      Something that people aren’t always aware of is that if a content creator doesn’t put content out onto a platform at a frequent enough pace, the platform will consequently show their content less.

      And it’s not just about money it’s also about mission, why do this work if it’s not going to be seen?

      Doing really good work that connects with people and provides value might be a proxy for hustle, but producing really good content still matters, even if it’s at a slower pace.

      “Hustle always comes at a cost, maybe to our humanity, maybe to our wellbeing, maybe to our relationships”.

      It’s about finding a balance between taking the time off and doing what really matters and also amplifying the message and continuing the conversation amidst the chaos that is the internet.

      If you are a consumer online, they way you can help is by actually showing up and commenting.

      Engaging with online content opposed to scrolling through is on one hand, linked with more wellness, but that aside, it’s also incredibly helpful to the platforms you love.

      People like Melissa and Robyn don’t put content out there for themselves, they actually would love to hear from you!

      They aren’t experts, they’re just doing it in public.

      On what it means to be healthy:

      “Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry”.

      “Practicing moderation, whether it’s in your work life, whether it’s in the amount of spices you keep in your kitchen, in the amount friends you keep… so that things aren’t taking away and you’re able to add to things”.

      Listen now!

      Paring Down to Create More, a conversation with The Faux Martha’s Melissa Coleman on the Feel Good Effect Podcast. Listen for more on how to make a minimalist lifestyle work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selfimprovement #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthpodcast  #wellness #wellnesspodcast  #healthandwellness #healthandwellnesspodcast

      Guest Bio

      Melissa Coleman is a Maine-based freelance travel writer and the author of the memoir, This Life Is in Your Hands.

      Melissa’s writing has appeared in the New York TimesThe Boston GlobeNational Geographic TravelerTravel WeeklyO MagazineThe OregonianPortland Press HeraldMaine, Maine Home + Design, and on Everett Potter’s Travel Report and

      This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family’s Heartbreak, was a New York Times bestseller, Indie Next Pick, People’s Pick in People Magazine, and nonfiction finalist for the Maine Literary and New England Book awards. A window into the 1970s back-to-the-land movement, it tells of the joys, challenges, and a family tragedy experienced while growing up on an off-the-grid homestead that was inspired by self-sufficiency icons Helen and Scott Nearing.

      Melissa’s father, Eliot Coleman, a renowned pioneer of the organic farming movement, and her stepmother, gardening author Barbara Damrosch, own Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. Her sister, Clara Coleman, manages the family farm and is a sustainable farming consultant.


      If you loved today’s episode be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts so we can keep bringing you more content like this! Share the show on Instagram, tagging @realfoodwholelife so we can connect and I can highlight you on my feed.

      1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

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      71 Gentle is the New Perfect

      Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

      It’s time to talk about gentle: gentle is the new perfect.

      Gentle is the New Perfect, and episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast. This episode is all about the gentle-wellness revolution, a movement about flipping the script from comparison, all-or-nothing, and perfectionism thinking, to a gentle mindset. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selfimprovement #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthpodcast  #wellness #wellnesspodcast  #healthandwellness #healthandwellnesspodcast #gentle #perfection

      Gentle is the New Perfect

      This episode of the Feel Good Effect is all about the gentle-wellness revolution, a movement about flipping the script from comparison, all-or-nothing, and perfectionism thinking, to a gentle mindset.

      Listen in to learn about how to grab onto gentle and make it your own.

      Scroll down to listen


      It’s time to talk about gentle.

      Gentle is the new perfect.

      I’m so glad you’re here for this last episode of 2018!

      First up, I just want to thank you for giving up this time for yourself, whether you are a brand new listener or you come back every week-- thank you for being a part of this community, part of this conversation, and part of this movement about what it really means to be healthy.

      I love this time of year.

      It’s such a great time to reflect back on the year that has gone by and regroup to look ahead at the next year.

      And in doing so, I really wanted to take a moment to talk about gentle: more specifically, the gentle-wellness revolution.

      I’m going to tell you the story of how gentle even came to be in my own life, and how it grew into a movement that is this podcast, that is Real Food Whole Life, and that is you as part of this community.

      I also want to give you a few things to think about if you’re trying to decide if you’re going to set a resolution, or set intention through one little word (listen to last week’s episode with Ali Edwards about this idea!), or how you’re wanting to focus your energy and intention as we head into this brand new year.

      This is an awesome episode if you’re listening in real time and have some time to think ahead, but even if you’re listening to it in the future, you always have the opportunity to reset.

      “We don’t have to wait for a new year. We don’t have to wait for Monday. Every single day is a chance to make a choice to show up in a different way and to embrace this idea of gentle”.

      This episode is brought to you by our Wellness Personality Guide, which is a freebie that we’ve put together for the community to really help you understand who you are and how you operate when it comes to wellness.

      Check it out here, and be on the lookout for the revised version coming your way in 2019!

      On how the gentle movement began:

      Gentle is something that we talk about all the time on this show; it’s infused throughout the work on Real Food Whole Life, and it comes up so often in conversation with guests who are in the wellness space when we talk about what it really means to be healthy.

      It’s also an approach and a lifestyle that has changed the way that I am in the world.

      It’s changed my life, and I know for many of you it has as well.

      So, I want to take you back and tell you the story of how gentle came to be.

      Going back to growing up, high-school and even college, I was an athlete and a student.

      To tell you the truth, I wasn’t a naturally gifted athlete or even a gifted student, but I worked really hard.

      I learned how to strive to be my best, how to accomplish, and how to push through when things got really hard.

      And I developed this mentality of pushing and striving, of always trying to be better, of trying to reach perfection.

      Over the years I learned something: that striving, pushing through, comparison, and perfection can actually lead to success.

      That was kind of my status quo through my early career.

      There’s such a pressure to strive to accomplish, and it really can lead to success.

      But I can really say: it works until it doesn’t work.

      Another habit I picked up along the way, was to add things to my plate without taking anything off.

      So, I went through my 20’s and into my 30’s continuing to collect things-- I collected a full time job, and then I added more hours to that, and then I decided to add school, and then we tried to have a baby for many years without success until finally we were able to have my daughter.

      And as a brand new mom, I was exhausted.

      I felt like I was trying to fit into a box of impossible standards.

      I felt like I was trying to do it all: work, school, family, be a good wife, be a good friend.

      And I found myself applying the same mindset of pushing and striving and comparison that had always worked, but it didn’t work anymore.

      Eventually everything came crashing down.

      I remember standing in our living room, crying, looking at my husband, saying, “I can’t do this. I don’t know what to do. I think everyone else knows how to do this; I’m the only one who can’t figure this out

      And he looked at me and said that this isn’t what we had in mind for our life when we decided to commit to each other and be married; this wasn’t the picture that we had in mind.

      I knew he was right, and I knew this was not how I wanted to live my life, but I didn’t know what to do.

      I kept applying the same mindset and strategies around pushing, accomplishing, striving, and perfectionism, which led to the inevitable-- I crashed and burned hard.

      I got really sick, developing an autoimmune disease (which I think would have happened anyway, but certainly came to the surface at this particular time), and became so sick I really couldn’t even function.

      I realized I was going to have to give up quite a few things in order to be able to recenter and refocus.

      This is the point in the story when so many people quit their job, or quit school, or opt out of society, slow their life down, and then find happiness.

      However, that is not how it went for me.

      I will say, the wake up call did help me realize that I needed to take a few things off my plate, so I switched jobs (from 60-hours a week to something more in the 40’s with a little more flexibility and calm), I put a hold on school while we tried to figure out how we were going to take care of an infant and continue to work.

      What I did next was kind of predictable, but I didn’t realize it at the time-- I took the same approach of all-or-nothing and I applied it to wellness.

      I dove in head first.

      I was committed: I was going to work out six to seven days a week for an hour, I was going to meal plan and meal prep perfectly, and at the time, this is what wellness meant to me.

      I looked around and compared myself to other people in the wellness space and decided that’s what wellness looked like.

      I honestly believed that if I just tried a little harder and found more hours in the day, it would work and I would feel better, I would be happier, things would align, and I would find the path to wellness.

      And this worked… until it didn’t.

      I definitely felt better and was healthier.

      Switching my meals to real foods and moving my body did matter and did make a difference.

      But it was a short-term fix.

      The other thing that happened at this time was that I lost weight-- my new way of eating and new extreme exercise routine worked, but the way I was exercising wasn’t sustainable.

      After about a year and a half I looked around and yes, I felt better, I was healthier, I had lost weight, but I was also exhausted, totally burnt out, I felt like I was the only one struggling, and I realized I had done exactly the same thing again.

      So this was me: trying to do it all, feeling like somehow I was always falling short, taking care of everyone else but struggling to fit myself into the equation, and always falling into that never-ending, upwards spiral to do it all, have it all, and be it all.

      But then I finally realized something.

      “When it comes to wellness maybe I’m not doing it wrong. And when it comes to wellness, maybe you’re not doing it wrong”.

      Seriously. Let that sink in.

      I get it, we have big ideas about what wellness looks like, but when it comes to making it work in real life it just simply feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

      Here’s the thing: this all-or-nothing, perfection chasing, “everyone else has the answers” mentality just doesn’t work.

      “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy”.

      There’s a different, better way that starts with you.

      I realized that we needed to flip the wellness script to change the way I actually thought and what I thought was possible.

      Way less self-help, and a lot more self-trust.

      It was from this place that the gentle movement was born.

      I believe it’s a movement, a revolution, that involves less striving, less falling short, less never enough.

      It allows us to use gentle as the north star.

      On how embracing gentle does not mean losing drive:

      I know this is a fear that many of you have shared with me, that embracing gentle will mean losing your drive.

      And that without striving, perfectionism, comparison, and all-or-nothing thinking, you will fail.

      And trust me-- I get it!

      I held so tightly to those things thinking that was the only way to success.

      Maybe you’ve even had success in this mindset, like I did.

      But then life changes and you find that this extreme approach just doesn’t translate to the sustainable life that you want to live.

      Gentle doesn’t mean easy, it’s not the easy way out.

      It doesn’t mean going soft, giving up, or throwing in the towel.

      “Gentle is about persistence, and purpose, and incremental change”.

      But gentle does mean simple.

      It means making the wisest possible investment about time and energy that will impact your wellbeing.

      When I finally realized that there was this complete other way of approaching wellness that didn’t require changing who I am, or giving up on my big dreams and goals, or require me living a different life, it was my lightbulb moment.

      The more I released the grip on perfectionism and comparison and all-or-nothing thinking, the more I found this third way of using gentle as my north star.

      Coming at it from a place of compassion and kindness for myself.

      Coming at it from a place of reframing balance in more of the idea of equilibrium and not trying to do everything all at one time.

      And understanding that rules can be helpful and also that flexibility is sometimes required.

      And really, truly ditching comparison once and for all, by understanding what works for me, and embracing that.

      And by jumping off the off-again-on-again, all-or-nothing wagon, and knowing that each day brings a new opportunity.

      And that knowing that these small choices and changes add up to a life well lived.

      This is how I simplified and lifted the burden of always striving off my shoulders.

      I’ve settled into a life in the middle-- the extremes might be more enticing, but the middle feels really good.

      And I know that the middle works and it’s more sustainable.

      On applying gentle to your life, for your goals:

      Some of you have asked me really specific questions about how to apply the gentle approach to weight loss.

      I do think that we can approach something like weight loss from a place of self-love and gentle and still make changes.

      Maybe you have other big goals outside of weight related to wellness, whether that be related to eating well, to movement, to mindfulness.

      And the gentle approach can be applied to those goals so that you can really fit it in your life to make changes.

      This is your “start here” moment.

      If you’ve been on the fence or played around with the idea of gentle, if you have gone through these episodes from the last two years or if this is your first time hearing about it, this is an invitation to start here.

      “Grab onto gentle and make it your own”.

      And, guys, this is science-based; it’s not feel good woo-woo stuff I’m just putting out there so that you feel good.

      There is so much evidence that embracing this kind of approach and this way of thinking will not only help you step out of those barriers, but it is also actually highly linked with well-being and wellness.

      On what’s coming in the new year:

      We have so many more tactical shows planned for 2019 around gentle, and really applying it to some of those challenges that you have mentioned to me.

      If you have others that you want to share, you can pop over to my Instagram @realfoodwholelife and share with me in comments or shoot me a DM, you can always email me, or you can join our Facebook group.

      Share with me how you want to apply gentle and what you want to work through, and we will make that a focus of 2019 going forward.

      If you listened to last week’s episode, and you want your one little word to be “gentle”, let’s do it.

      If you want “gentle” to be your word and you want a tribe or a community, I am here for you to support you and live the example and make this visible for you throughout the next year.

      But regardless of what you’re called to, I want to give you these tools, mindsets, and tactics so that you can take whatever you’re working on and really infuse it with these ideas and practices so that you’re more successful and so that the whole process is more enjoyable.

      We don’t want to miss our lives trying to get somewhere else.

      I want to leave you with a gift today-- a gift of flipping the script, of saying no thank you to extremes, of knowing that you’re version of healthy can be exactly right because it’s what works for you, the gift of releasing perfectionism and comparison, and the gift of getting on a path of true wellness or what it really means to be healthy.

      That’s what I want to leave you with today.

      There’s no sales pitch-- this is truly about the mission and the movement, and I’m so glad that you are all here for it.

      Listen now!

      Gentle is the New Perfect, and episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast. This episode is all about the gentle-wellness revolution, a movement about flipping the script from comparison, all-or-nothing, and perfectionism thinking, to a gentle mindset. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #personaldevelopment #selfcare #selfimprovement #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthpodcast  #wellness #wellnesspodcast  #healthandwellness #healthandwellnesspodcast #gentle #perfection

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