The Problem With New Year’s Resolutions is NOT You

Let’s face it—the majority of New Year’s resolutions don’t last. In fact, some studies show that around 80% of resolutions fade into the abyss by the second week of February. So, how can we actually find some success as we enter this new year? Instead of looking to the future, it may actually be more helpful to look to the past.

I invite you to take 5 minutes to consider the GOOD from this year and complete the following prompts in a journal:

  • “I remember…”
  • “I felt…”
  • “I did…”
  • “I saw…”
  • “I am now…”

We can simultaneously honor all the challenges AND find gratitude for the goodness that got us to the completion of this wild year. You may not be exactly where you wanted to be one year ago today, but you have succeeded—because you are here now.

Confidence or self-efficacy may play an important role in this ability to create lasting change. Have you ever noticed that when you’re lacking confidence, you lack motivation? It’s totally normal to get stuck into a “why bother” mentality when things get difficult, especially these days.

It becomes less about resolving, and more about remembering

On the other hand, when something is already going really well we may have more motivation to continue pursuing it. For example, when you’re already doing something to take care of your body (even if it’s not crushing a HIIT workout), you’re likely more kind to yourself and more motivated to reach your goals. By gaining confidence in our small steps, we find our motivation to reach the summits. It becomes less about resolving, and more about remembering how we made it here in the first place.

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they often come from a deficit mindset. We resolve to make changes because we don’t have what we want or need. And then when we don’t reach our goals by February, our motivation to persevere plummets with our confidence.

By the way, according to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit, and a median of 66 days. We may not see lasting changes until August of 2021, but we’re not going to see ANY changes if we’re already out of juice on January 18th.

If we build on what we have now, we can integrate what we already know, what we’ve already experienced, and what we’ve already learned (especially this year) with the reality we want to see for ourselves, our families, and our communities to come.

NOW, I invite you to flip your page over and write the same prompts as if you are speaking about the upcoming year in the past-tense.

It’s December 31st, 2021… What do you remember about this “past” year?

  • “I remember…”
  • “I felt…”
  • “I did…”
  • “I saw…”
  • “I am now…”

If you could completely choose how this upcoming year, 2021, feels and looks (within your control), what would this next year feel and look like?

This embodied vision captures the essence of your best possible self and may give you the confidence you need to make it your REALITY. As you are doing this exercise, stay mindful of your body and breath. Do your best to breathe as you are at your best; put your posture in a way as if you are feeling your best; create a container for yourself.

Create a reality that’s challenging and compelling, and of course, in alignment with your values. Your vision may come from your depths and not just what you’ve been told you “should” do. State in as much detail as possible what you’ve accomplished, and how you got there.

Continued 2021 time-traveling exploration prompts:

  • What do you remember most from the year 2021?
  • How did you feel in your body this year?
  • What did your relationships look like? What did your relationships feel like?
  • What did you notice around you in your community, the country, and the world?
  • In what ways did you grow into yourself during 2021?
  • What did you do, in order for you to be here, embodying your best self on 12/31/21?

Put this page or journal someplace safe so you can revisit it one year from now and see how capable you truly are.

With love and gratitude,

Emma

Thanks for following along in 2020! We have some exciting things coming in 2021, including a 7-day National Parks ADVENTURE RETREAT.

Click Here to Learn More

From Burnout to Balance

FREE Burnout to Balance Discovery Session

Dear amazing human,

If you’re like many of the people I work with who want to leave 2020 like a big pile of compost and start planting seeds for 2021, you’ve probably tried a few things to finish this wild year strong…

🌱 Reconnecting with Loved Ones

🌱 Reflection & Journaling

🌱 Visualization, Meditation, & Prayer

🌱 Setting Intentions, New Years Resolutions, or a Word for the Year

You might be the one who doesn’t want to wait until January 1st to make this world a better place for yourself and others—you want to begin yesterday. And you have been putting in so much work already.

But then you hear more challenging news and the doubt sets in or you feel the weight of burnout. You beat yourself up and end up feeling like there’s something “wrong” with you because you’re not motivated to put the work into your goals and relationships.

It is not your fault!

The simple truth is that you’re still working through everything in the midst of a global pandemic. By nature, this decreases the confidence we need to stay motivated.

I’m guessing you already know this.

Here’s what I want you to know: You can stick to your intentions and make lasting changes. You can find balance in your body and your life. You can pursue new and old relationships, even from a distance. You can find sustainable health and well-being and this can absolutely overflow into your household and your greater community.

You see, there are particular experiences and gifts that only you have. You have a perfect purpose—and I imagine you even know what it is. 

When you’re burnt out and stressed out, it feels impossible to give your gifts and share your stories. 

And I know you want to give and share.

This is what I teach my amazing clients… I show them how simple it is to find more balance in their lives by tuning into nature & their bodies’ rhythms and learning how to give from their abundance rather than their leftovers.

Without both of these important pieces, any intention, resolution, or goal you set will have a hard time taking root. Your body will always fight back if they are not in balance.

And this is exactly what I’d love to show you.

I don’t want you to keep feeling frustrated by your own body and beating yourself up for not being at your best all the time. I want you to find forgiveness and the confidence to reach your value-centered goals for a long time to come.

That’s why I’d like to offer you a FREE Burnout to Balance Discovery Session to find your roots and grow confidently as we transition into a new year.

I’ve opened up 5 slots on my calendar for the next 3 weeks, and I’d love to speak with you during one of them.

Click here to book your free session>>

During this call, I’ll help you determine how to achieve the results you want, WITHOUT feeling like you’re sabotaging yourself anymore. You’ll get a personalized action plan to help you reach your unique goals over time.

If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and you’re ready for a different (and more fun & effective) approach to goal-setting—then I know I can help and I look forward to connecting with you.

With warmth,

Emma

P.S. Spots for these FREE calls will fill up fast, so if you know you want help with sustainability for your New Year’s intentions, I encourage you to grab one of these spots today!

Click here to schedule now.

Abide; V7

Merry Christmas, Find Your Rest

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been experiencing the culmination of loss and grief from this year. The sadness is settling in that I cannot meet with all my loved ones. It feels extra lonely now. And at the same time, extra still. As I shared in March of this year in Sometimes, Inside is Your Best Side,

“Nature uses the season of winter to rest from the productivity of spring, abundance of summer, and harvest of autumn. We all know this, but rarely practice it. In my lifetime we haven’t ever had to cease producing and consuming. We haven’t had to rest. There’s new growth and ideas and goods always sprouting up. We’ve been encouraged to keep up, keep going, do more.”

How might we find a better balance of stillness and contemplation when we can all be together again? This has been an unusually still Christmas and winter solstice season, and yet, perhaps that is exactly what our creator had intended from the very beginning when he sent a child to guide us with his “still, small voice.” I invite you to listen with me. I invite you to rest with me. I invite you to share your amazing story, when you feel ready.

Please reach out if you feel that you need some extra support in this time. You are not alone. May you feel that you are deeply, deeply loved beneath the surface of this challenging season.

Meditate:

Journal Prompts: This year…

  • When, where, or with whom did you felt most warm, safe, protected, and honored?
  • What do you love most?
  • What are three strengths you’ve tapped into? In what ways have you applied them?
  • How did you rest and renew?
  • What brings you deep joy?
  • What are you most grateful for this year?
  • What brought you a sense of wonder?
  • What has been hard to accept? What does this challenge have to teach you?
  • Who supported you in the ways you needed most? How did they support you?
  • When is one area of your day (specific time) that you can cultivate stillness during this Christmas and solstice season?

With infinite warmth,
E

Reconnect With Your Nature | Reach Your Vision

🌻 I believe in a world where all people are in-tune with the natural rhythms within their bodies and outside in nature.

🔑 My mission is to help you unlock your innate strength, wisdom, values, and vision so you can create self-initiated changes to improve your quality of life.

✨ I have been deep in work preparing beautiful spaces for you for the upcoming year.

In 2021, I am so excited to offer my 1:1 coaching programs, virtual group wellness workshops, summer camps for teens, and adventure-based retreats!!!

Let’s Connect 💛

🌞 Send a message with your email to stay in the loop about our future events! Or contact me at outsidewellness@gmail.com

A Beginner’s Guide

This season brings up different emotions for each of us. Whether or not you’ve been craving family time—it’s different this year. If you plan to communicate in-person or virtually with the people you grew up with, here are a few simple tips that may help your well-being.

Boundaries can support your relationships by front-loading your expectations and needs before a challenge comes up.

Perhaps you’d like everyone to wear masks. Maybe you don’t want to dive right into politics. You don’t eat meat anymore? Whatever it is, that’s ok, that’s you. Setting firm boundaries and communicating them early on to at least one trusted family member can help. This way, you will have an ally who can stand by your side and hold you and others accountable (and mediate, if necessary). Your boundaries can change as you do, but if you don’t communicate what you need—no one will know how to hold you.

We all have our history with family, which often magnifies our challenges.

No matter where we stand in our values, most of us are genuinely trying to do the right thing. We are more polarized in many ways with all that’s come to the surface this year, and yet many of us still choose to spend time having a dialogue, debates, and discussions with family. You are brave. When we remember that we are connected by bonds stronger than race, religion, and politics—we can learn so much from one another even if it makes us want to pull our hair out sometimes.

Also, leading a dialogue with “before I respond to your question, I just want you to know how much I love you” may perhaps help us and our family members feel a little more present and relaxed. Maybe not, but it’s worth a try.

What might this person have to teach you?

Perhaps what we learn is not about the content of the conversation, but about how to relate, listen, and respond rather than react. The Sustained Dialogue Institute defines dialogue as “listening deeply enough to be changed by what you learn.” A slight focus shift from what we’re listening to, to how we’re listening may be the key to depolarizing our dinner tables—and our country. 

If you don’t feel safe, respected, or heard, it’s ok to step away.

Unfortunately, setting boundaries doesn’t always mean they will be respected—but if you have made your expectations clear, it will be easier to bring them up again later. Your action to take some space for your well-being may be better understood and carry more weight if you’ve set healthy boundaries and expectations up-front.

Moving our bodies can help us alleviate stress and connect deeper with those around us.

Getting outside, moving our bodies, and playing can help us relax, unwind, and remember why we came back here. Plus, some healthy competition can get some of that pent-up energy out in a healthy way.

When you feel frustrated in a conversation, notice your breath.

Our communication or relationships will stagnate if we’re all holding our breath in frustration. For me, I often feel a fire in my chest and throat when I hear something that doesn’t sit right with me. My breath gets shallow almost immediately. If I speak right away, my voice shakes. Instead of screaming, like my body probably wants me to, I try to take a deep breath. These breaths help me stay calm, and it’s not surprising that I speak and listen better when I’m calm.

No matter what you believe in now, this soil formed you.

You don’t have to have all things in common, but practicing gratitude may help us feel a little better. Gratitude doesn’t have to be blind positivity. You can simultaneously be speaking against an ideal or policy your family supports while being grateful that they taught you to think for yourself. It is human to feel the spectrum of emotions that we all feel when with family.

And if you don’t feel safe in this soil, return to your boundaries and it’s ok to ask for help.

I wish you all well as you embark on this adventure of holidays during the pandemic. Be safe out there.

With love,

Emma

The Forest of Now

The aspen shivers. There are thousands of others just like her, but she overlooks the sanctuary that surrounds her. She only feels her frozen bones as her costume falls to decompose. She is naked and alone in the forest as the land cycles into winter.

In whatever ways grief has prepared you for this year’s wintertide, you’re not alone if you feel completely exposed to the elements.

As all of us learn at some point in our lives, wellness is continuous action—not a destination. Seasons of winter, loss, and uncertainty either awake or shake us.

Along this journey, we may arrive on a mountain peak of well-being for a moment and enjoy the beautiful view, remembering all that our bodies and minds are capable of feeling—one glimpse of the calm. And then we return, and not always to a safe place. We return to our conditioning, our obligations, our “shoulds,” and the misty valley below, obscuring our genuine vision. We stay on the run.

I take flight from the uncertainty in the valley. I fight the systems of oppression with these same oppressive rules driving my change. I freeze at death’s sting. It’s harder than ever to return to safety and calm with unlimited access to all that’s wrong in the world.

As Emily and Amelia Nagoski share in their book, Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, “To be “well” is not to live in a state of perpetual safety and calm, but to move fluidly from a state of adversity, risk, adventure, or excitement, back to safety and calm, and out again. Stress is not bad for you; being stuck is bad for you.” There’s a time for everything under the sun.

The sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze) and parasympathetic (rest) systems are survival mechanisms. We need relaxation to restore and recover—but excitement and risk show us what we’re capable of; adventure and adversity strengthen us. The stress in our bodies is on purpose, but staying there can cause chronic dis-ease. Rumination keeps us stuck, and so does suppression. Ideally, we have a balance.

The individual members of a forest find this fluid balance by communicating below the surface, providing information through mycorrhizal networks: a symbiotic relationship when fungus attaches to hair-like tree roots to connect trees with others. Without the community I once required for my balance, I have so much that I haven’t said. I feel alone. My roots long for connection.

We are blessed in many ways that our roots aren’t physical. Whether it feels like a blessing or not, we’ve learned to connect without touch, and our roots are deeper for it. Like the forest that surrounds one lone aspen, we are profoundly united.

Like the earth, my body knows what she is doing. In every season, she knows. If I allow the stress and rest to move, my body will flow through another season—inside and outside. I give and receive under the surface of this frozen land.

When we speak our body’s language, she responds. Whether through worship’s windy chills, the fire of a run, the grounding of a walk, a wave of tears moving through me, I am clothed in peace.

One way the soft animal of our body may respond to hardship on the horizon, like plants in winter, is to dive into our roots—protecting, conserving, waiting for safety in the depths (Mary Oliver). We may fear that we are alone here and will be here forever, even though we know that this is the sabbath we need. A sanctuary now surrounds you.

Exercising the Balance:

When was the last time you felt a deeply rooted positive emotion such as connection, joy, laughter, wonder, enthusiasm, or curiosity? Write, draw, meditate on, or speak to a trusted person about—what you felt, how you know it was good, and where inside your body you felt it.

Consider what environments help you experience this sensation? (Perhaps it’s setting boundaries around news or social media, persistence in reaching out to a friend you long to connect with, or walking at the park even if you don’t feel like it.)

Make a plan to take one step to amplify the still, small voice of peace inside you.

Abide; V6

Simple Meditation

5 Breaths

Practice:

When we are very young, we learn to self-soothe through sounds and movements. As babies, we babbled, cried, yelled. We tossed, and we turned. We allowed ourselves to feel and then let it go. Since then, many of us have learned the performance of “I’m fine.”

It can feel wonderful to come back to this practice when we need it. To sigh when we’re stressed, grunt when we’re upset, sing when we’re happy, cry when we’re sad. Sound and movement from within can help relax the mind and body, release tension, and induce a state of ease.

So without thinking about it too much, make a noise that feels really good and perhaps an intuitive movement to go along with it.

Listen to your body and trust your intuition to guide you.

Write:

  • What came up during this short practice?
  • How can you support your body and your mind to release what’s no longer serving you today?
  • How do you need support today, and how can you ask for it?

A Quick Note:

When we feel like we don’t want to move, that is when we must,
Maybe, in a different way than we’re used to.
Down and not up.
Like a seed: we must root down before we grow.
Honor your wild story.
Move your beautiful body.
Mother your nature.
Nourish your waters and let this weather nourish you.
You are exposed, but you are neither broken nor shattered.
You are alive and well and in pain, and your pain is your proof.
Your body is still the safest place for you,
no matter what you’ve lost inside or out.
She is still safe, and you are safe inside.
Go outside and see for yourself how life always returns after the rest.

With Love,
E

How Can We Support You?

What has been your biggest barrier to staying well lately? These posts are for you! Please fill out this short form to let us know how we can better support you during these challenging times.

Abide; V5

Music & Movement Medicine Meditation

For more gentle medicine songs, including “fern’s song” please visit Leah’s SoundCloud.

“root to rise”

the depths of my being

dance into the earth

with strength and patience

these roots move me

as they grow under the surface

where I cannot see with eyes

but feel in my bloodstream

I fall deep into myself

I grow

slowly

slowly

down

until I rise

-Emma

Journaling Roots:

  • How have your roots been feeling recently? Your roots are the foundation of all your work on the surface.
  • Draw your current root system: What’s your soil made of? What do your roots look and feel like? What are you rooting into? If this current root system inside you is not helping you grow, what would you change?
  • Draw your new ideal, most wonderful root system. What is one step you can take today to nurture and nourish your depths?

Abide; V4

Simple Meditation:

  1. Go outside
  2. Find wild earth (anything other than concrete)
  3. Take your shoes and socks off
  4. Breathe

3 Journaling Prompts:

  • What is good and beautiful now, in this moment?
  • What have you discovered along this wild journey of 2020?
  • Where are you called to go from here?

Extras:

20:20 Vision

The mountains know how to fall apart and build back up. The Earth is lovely and broken and whole and everything we know. Our creator, our ancestors, and our own bodies have brought us here to this moment—and we already know our way on this wild and living land.

Perhaps you have been so focused on the present situation, like I have—just one foot in front of the other—that you haven’t stopped to look at where you are. Consider this your permission, if you feel like you’ve needed it, to take up your rest and take in your surroundings.

The view is so breathtakingly beautiful, and so are you. So look up, and see how far you’ve already come.

No matter how far you feel like you have left to go—what is beautiful now? What is good, now? What have you discovered about yourself along this wild journey?

If 2020 were a trip to the mountains, I would find myself lost in the woods. 

If 2020 were a trip to the mountains, I would find myself lost in the woods. Even surrounded by Earth’s medicine and all I need here, it’s uncomfortable, uncertain, unknown.

It’s so natural now to freak out when I don’t recognize where I am anymore. I haven’t ceased moving—seeking to change outside of me, that which I refuse to change within. And then I look up, “where are we?” and “how in the *?!&^%$@#$!^@$@#* did we get to this place?”

The beat of Earth’s heart in me is the only sound in my ears anymore. When I stop for a moment to catch my breath, silence abounds. I have not stopped to listen to Earth’s heart or my own in ages: there’s been too much to hear. So I seek to numb this perfect voice of stillness, with noise. And there’s plenty of noise, these days.

Many goals and visions we’ve had have fallen in grief and uncertainty. Now it is as if we are in a talus field, trying to build something good and avoid breaking an ankle as we stumble though a crumbling land. Perhaps lately, it’s been easier to focus down on fear with each step.

Although fear may keep us from taking rest and listening to the land beneath our feet and within—bring your attention to that something is still driving you to keep moving. Whether you love where you are now,or aren’t so sure you want to stay here—notice where you are and what (or who) is driving you.

Before you go anywhere, look up, take note of your surroundings. Remember where you are going and be brave to look up and see how far you’ve wandered. It may not be as far as you think; you may even be exactly where you’re meant to be.

Now it is as if we are in a talus field, trying to build something good and avoid breaking an ankle as we stumble though a crumbling land.

Where is your path calling you now? Where do your feet long to take you? Who is the version of you who you long to meet along the way, at the next fork, and the end of your journey?

Your vision of your highest self is not new, but an ancient one—weathered, raw, and refreshed by these heavy rains and wild winds.

Whether you are a doer and want to continue on your journey already, or a processor who would like to enjoy this stillness a little longer—I invite you all to create a vision statement. This written vision will be your map to bring what you already know into fruition and bring you peace as you continue on your journey.

Your vision is alive, no matter what you’re feeling or experiencing, and may evolve as you do. What better time than now to reimagine our lives and the world in which we live? 

Your vision of your highest self is not new, but an ancient one—weathered, raw, and refreshed by these heavy rains and wild winds.

The Vision Statement

Consider what you’ve come through so far—and where you’ll go from here. The vision will be set in the future and reveal your ideal self (even though it will read like present-tense—for example, “I am” versus “I will be.” This technique helps you remember that to be where you want in the future, you must believe you’re already there). This vision will help you remember the path you must take and give you the confidence you need to meet your highest self.

For the beginning of each sentence I invite you to begin with statements such as “I am…” “I have…” “I serve…” “I welcome…” “I feel…” (Or other action verbs).

Then complete the sentence with “So I can…” (Ex. realize my values, talents, strengths, & desires, etc.)

Examples:

  • I am reaching out to friends, even if I don’t feel like it, so I can give to and receive from a like-minded community.”
  • I am going to the ocean at least once per week to help manage my stress.”
  • I have confidence in who I am so I can express myself fully with others.”
  • I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong to nurture and lead my three children.”
  • I am sticking to my doctor’s recommendations and eating 75% plant-based so I may heal from pre-diabetes.”
  • I am financially independent from my parents so I can pursue my passion for art.”
  • I volunteer in my community 3-4 times per month so I may be a part of something greater than myself.”

You get to choose the timeline within which you’d like to meet your best self. Please note that this is just a guideline. Remember to trust yourself and adapt this to fit your style and needs.

With love,

E

P.S. It would be my honor to coach you in setting goals and helping you make this vision your reality.