I want to talk about inspiration.

I think about being inspired a lot, and what things in my life inspire me- and in the different areas of my life. I actually wake up everyday thinking about what fuels me. What fuels me in my business? What fuels me as a mom? What fuels me as a friend? As a wife?

When I think about my business and what inspires me in my business… honestly and truly, because I’m a coach who works with other people who are trying to improve their lives, have better health, better fitness, better financial freedom, whatever it is that I’m working with them on- them reaching their goals inspires me. It inspires me to see people believe in themselves. It inspires me to be a vessel, a tool if you will, to help people peel back the layers of the baggage that they’ve been carrying around with them forever and live! And see themselves in the mirror and love what they see. On the inside as well as the outside. I’m inspired by that!

It is so rewarding to be able to sit back and watch people take steps and make progress. That is why I named my business Progress Matters because I truly believe every step we take is progress, and it matters. Even when it’s a step back. Sometimes we have to take a step back in order to move forward. I’ve learned that in my own health and fitness. I’ve learned that in my business, and I’ve learned that being a wife and a mom. Stepping back doesn’t always mean failure, it just means it’s time to regroup and go again, but go further this time.

It’s kind of like running a race, right? If you’re in a race and you have several different competitors next to you, and the first time you race them you don’t win. You come in very last. You’d probably feel like that’s a step back after all the training you’ve done. But then, the next time you race those same people, you come in 5th instead of last. So you’re better. You’ve made progress. You go back and do more training, get better and better at your skill, and the next time you race them, you come in 3rd. And then after that, you win. You win the race. It takes time to get where we want to go. You need inspiration along the way to be able to stay strong, stay in it when things are hard and when the trenches get deep. Because that happens.

Honestly for me, besides my clients and the people that I work with who really make me get out of bed every morning fully excited and ready for the day, I am always so encouraged by the new people that I meet. I’m also inspired by the possibilities that this business can bring. The possibilities for my family and financial freedom. I’m inspired by being able to make a difference in my family’s life. I am inspired to be able to truly contribute to what my husband and I are working toward. I have the power to do that. So, my own potential inspires me. It inspires me to live up to my potential. I’m not there yet! I am constantly working on this, because I know I have more potential than I’m currently living up to. I’m determined to reach the potential that God gifted in me. He gave me the potential I have. He has given me the tools, and the strength, and the ability. I just have to take the necessary steps to get where I want to go.

Let’s take the business out of the equation for a minute. Let’s talk about what inspires me in my day-to-day life. In my day-to-day life, I’m most inspired by my family. My parents, my husband, my children, my brothers and sisters-in-law… I am constantly inspired by the people closest to me. Why is that? Because I think they’re all amazing in different ways. They all have amazing qualities. For example, with my children- I’m inspired by them continuing to try to do better. My oldest son is a perfectionist. He doesn’t like to be wrong. He struggles when things don’t come easy. A perfect example is, last night he was practicing a poem for his class- he has to memorize a poem every week. He was practicing it and he wasn’t getting it. Part of it was because he hadn’t put in the work. He hadn’t done what he needed to do, so he was crunching and trying to really pull it out, and he ended up in tears. He was very, very frustrated. And he went to bed. The really cool thing that inspired me is, the next morning he got up, new attitude, and he said that poem the first time- didn’t miss a beat. He knew the entire thing. I love that he keeps trying.

My younger son is a huge talker. He keeps getting in trouble at school. I use “in trouble” loosely, he gets “minutes,” so he has to walk at recess. He just can’t keep his mouth shut. Sometimes he talks too loud- which he definitely got from his mother. So we ask every day, “did you get minutes?” Some days it’s “no” and some days it’s “yes.” He’s constantly trying though. There are some days when he comes in that door and he’s so excited because he didn’t get minutes. It is so rewarding, it is so cool, it is SO inspiring to watch him celebrate his victory and see the effort he’s put forth to succeed. It’s amazing.

I’m inspired by my father and my mother for different reasons. I’m inspired by the hard work that my father put into building two different businesses in his lifetime. He’s taught me so much about what it means to follow your passion and put the work in. He’s taught me that things don’t happen overnight, and that it doesn’t come easy. I’m inspired by my mother because of the selflessness that makes her who she is. As a mom now I totally understand that there are times when we do so much, and no one really knows how much we do. And we don’t get ‘thank yous’ for everything. But that’s the beauty and the curse, right? Because there are times that you feel taken for granted, but then there are other times when you’re just celebrating the fact that you can do the stuff behind the scenes because you love your family. You want to make a difference in their lives and bless them. And I’m inspired by the example that I had in her. To be the best I can be by loving other people first, and genuinely caring about their wellbeing.

I find inspiration in my faith. My faith in God. The love that He has for me. The grace, the mercy that He gives me. The forgiveness. Every single day I try to sit down and have quiet time with Him. I read a devotional, I pray, and then I listen. I just stop and I let Him feed me- whatever it is that He knows I need that day. The coolest thing is that He always answers the call. He always gives me what I need. That is the way for me to start my day- being inspired by the one who created me. And it gives me insight on my path for the day, helps me set my mind right, helps me know that no matter what, He’s there. And He’s going to be with me and He’s going to guide me through my day. It also helps me to be mindful about the attitude I want to have that day. And reminds me how blessed I am. Even when things are hard and times are tough, there’s still that inspiration there because He loves me. He’s there. I’m really inspired by what He teaches me in my walk through the day and through the weeks. Different people that He brings into my life. Being a coach and doing what I do, and being active on social media all the time, I’ve been amazed by the amount of Christian people I have met and bonded with! People I would have never bonded with, ever in my life, had it not been for social media, and being a coach with a strong faith. That was something I never saw coming. God is blessing my life with each one of these people. We share what’s going on in our worlds and the things that we’re wanting and needing, and the things we’re struggling with, the things we’re celebrating, and it is kind of mind-blowing really. Faith can be so mind-blowing. God is always there. Always. He gives me so much inspiration.

One of the times when I feel most alive, is when I’m busy. I’m sure you think that sounds really crazy. But when I’m busy and I’m making things happen and I’m getting things accomplished, and I’m crossing things off that to-do list, I feel SO accomplished and SO alive. It fills me up because I like to know that I’m making progress and that I’m taking steps to get things done. Another time when I feel most alive is when I’m surrounded by family or some of my best friends. I feel so alive when I can spend quality, uninterrupted time with the people that I hold most dear. It fills me up. It fuels my soul. It makes me appreciate them even more and I truly value the time that we have together.

Another thing that makes me feel alive is being able to go on a date with my husband. We do it once a week, most weeks. There are times when we go out with other couples and we have a great time doing that, but when we go out by ourselves- the conversation that we’re able to have, the uninterrupted by children is unbelieveable. It’s just so much fun to go back to that time when we were alone and be able to celebrate each other. To remember why we were married to begin with and look at him and think, “you know, I really like you!” “You’re really cool.” I feel very alive in that environment.

I also feel very alive when one of my children hugs me or tells me that they love me out of the blue. For no reason at all. There is nothing better than that. I am fueled by that. It warms my heart, my cup runneth over when things like that happen. To know that these little people that God has given me to raise, that I have the ability to love on them every single day, to help them to learn manners and things that they need as they grow up, and to give them a sense of security. When they come up to me and give me a big hug, or tell me that they love me, or they want me to lay with them, or cuddle with them, it makes me KNOW that I’m doing something right. It lights me up inside.

With what I do as a coach, I come across people all the time who get all gung ho about their health and fitness and starting a new program or process or routine, whatever you want to call it- and then about 3 weeks in, they drop off the face of the Earth. They don’t stick with it. Why is that? A lot of times it’s because they’re not getting results fast enough. Sometimes is simply a whole bunch of excuses. I’ll be the first to admit- I was that girl for a while… especially after having kids. I found every excuse in the book for why I didn’t have time to take care of me. My children were more important than me, it didn’t matter what I ate, it mattered what they ate, I didn’t need to work out because it took time away from them. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The excuses kept building and building and building until finally I thought: I don’t feel good. I don’t feel good about myself, I don’t like the way I feel inside, I don’t like the way my clothes are fitting, I don’t have any energy. It was awful. What it boiled down to was this: I had to take the reigns and control my life. I am a PERSON. Separate from being a mom and a wife- those are all titles I have, but I am a person who needs TLC. I need to love myself. Take care of myself. I only have this one body. I think a lot of times people fall into the trap of excuses and feeling guilty. They think they don’t have the time to take care of themselves, but they do.
What I have found for me is that when I surround myself with people who are like-minded, who have similar goals in their own lives, and we get everybody in a group together, there is so much power in that. Motivation, encouragement, support and accountability. That’s how I have kept going. Not to mention the fact that after getting into this routine and doing it now for three years, I realize how much better I feel, how much more alive I feel when I get to go upstairs and workout and just sweat, and challenge myself and have sore muscles. I love that feeling! I love the feeling of knowing how to fuel my body with the right kinds of nutrition and passing that along to my family. Does it take effort? Yes! Of course it takes effort! It’s not easy. But it can be done. It’s just a matter of making your mind up and going for it- no matter what.