Are You Excited About Tomorrow?


In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast I have a very important question to ask you – Are you excited about tomorrow? 

Here’s something you might not know about me… I taught and tutored children for many years and one way I often used to help them remember things was through alliteration.  We would have so much fun thinking up funny, often hilarious 2 – 3 words phrases using alliteration to create memorable facts, tips or things they needed to remember in a pinch.  It seemed to work well and I am still using it today to remind myself of the themes of each day of the week for this podcast:
Mindset Monday, Tangible Tips on Tuesday, Thriving on Thursday, Fitness Friday, – you get the picture, right?  Wednesday is still a bit of a wildcard day.

So, here we are on Thursday’s episode and I am asking you whether you feel like you’re thriving or merely surviving. 

You know I talk a lot about finding an activity that lights you up.  And, today I am asking you straight up – do you have something that gets you up in the morning, pumped to start the day, excited to get going, revved up to tackle the day ahead?

When you go to bed at night, are you excited to wake up the next morning? Is there something you can’t wait for?

Personally, I look forward to moving my body, being able to exercise without pain, getting outside for at least one workout and finding out what my body is capable of through lifting weights.  The night before I prepare mentally for the next day, planning out each workout session rather meticulously and I also kind of ‘declare’ my intentions at the beginning of the following day, so that my husband knows where I’ll be and what I’m doing.  Sometimes he joins me, sometimes he doesn’t.

But, one other very exciting aspect of each day is this podcast.  I absolutely LOVE creating episodes for you, connecting with guests who want to share their messages with you, interviewing them, preparing the episodes for publishing and all the behind-the-scenes tasks that are involved in producing a podcast. It’s my passion for helping people and my creative nature that truly come to life in this podcast.

These two things get me very excited to start the day.  And, I am beyond grateful to have both of them.  I have come to realize it’s not a ‘given’ that we will always be able to move our bodies the way we want to.  Our mobility can be taken away from us suddenly or slowly over time.  You might not believe me and think that I am being overly dramatic here, but, trust me, I am not.  You never know just how devastating this situation is until you have experienced it yourself, first hand. 

For the past four years or so, I’ve asked myself the question – Are you excited about tomorrow? –  many nights. And often, I had nothing to be excited about. Those days were not special. They were like the day before. I was merely surviving; trying to get through each day somehow.

Let’s face it, most days of your life are the same. Do you know that feeling? You look back, and time seems to blend. You can’t separate days from each other. There’s a real danger in that feeling.

Because the next step is that you can’t separate the weeks from each other. That is what happens when every day is the same. And after a while, you stop noticing many things. You just go with it.

And finally, the years start to blend. And all of a sudden, you’re 80 years old, and you’re sitting in a chair, and you say:

“What happened to my life? Where did all my time go?”

I think many people underestimate the value of life. I’ve done that for many years as well. When I look back at my years of working hard (maybe too hard) building up my businesses, I think that I had a great time. But I can’t recall much from those years. It’s just like this one big event.

We all have chapters in our lives where time passes, life is hectic, we are working hard with our nose to the grind, somehow getting by, but are we really thriving?
Are we taking time to ‘smell the roses’ as the saying goes?  I doubt it.  And if you are or did, good on you. 

The truth is that time moves fast.  So, fast, in fact, when we take a moment to look back and reflect, we can’t recall much of what happened.

I’ve thought a lot about why that is. And I think that the Stoic philosopher, Seneca, who lived about 2000 years ago, had a good answer:
“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”

The problem is that we don’t treat every single day as a separate life at all. We wake up, drink coffee/tea, take care of our family, go to work, make money, do groceries, have drinks, watch Netflix, and go to bed. Or whatever your routine is.

The next day you wake up, and you repeat the EXACT same thing.

Do you know that proverb; variety is the spice of life? I’m sure you do. But why don’t you spice up your life?

Would you eat the same food every single day of your life? No one does that. You switch it up. One day you have some Italian, then some Chinese, maybe some Indian. Whatever. Or if you eat one cuisine, you switch up the herbs or spices.

So why on earth don’t you do that with your life?

If you’re not excited. Get excited. 

The funny thing is that variety is simple. Here’s another cliché for you — the best things in life are free.

Every day, pick something you want to enjoy. One day you can enjoy the rain, the other day you can enjoy the sunset.

Or how about having your favourite breakfast tomorrow? Or how about trying a whole new breakfast from another cuisine? I’m just throwing some tiny ideas at you. Variety doesn’t have to be big.

Get excited about life. Learn new skills. Languages. Cultures. Build a strong body. Switch up the little things. All those little things make life long and interesting.
These days, I’m glad that time doesn’t blend anymore. I treat every day as a separate life. And every day I’m a different person. A little bit stronger, educated, and different than the day before.

If you want to enjoy life, you have to make it happen. A good life doesn’t happen to you. Most people think that’s the case. They ask: “Why does my life suck?” Well, if you want a good life, YOU have to turn that into a reality. No one’s going to do it for you.

When you’re in bed, ask yourself: Am I excited about tomorrow?

·         If the answer is no many days in a row, it’s time to do something about it.
·         If the answer is maybe, ask again tomorrow, maybe you just had a miserable day.
·         If the answer is yes, go to bed with a smile on your face, and jump out of your bed in the morning.
Change is good, but you also have to be practical. You have responsibilities, issues, people to take care of, bills to pay, etc. So you can’t just hop on a plane and go to an island in the South Pacific or the Caribbean if your life isn’t exactly what you want it to be right now.

But you CAN do many other small things that turn every day into a separate life. So do it.
So, let me re-cap because I am very passionate about living life to the fullest, in the most exciting way possible for you.

When you go to bed at night, are you excited to wake up the next morning? Is there something you can’t wait for?

Ponder that question for a moment…       If your answer is no, find something that excites you.

It’s so important to have a feeling of, “I can’t wait for tomorrow,” when you go to bed. 

When you’re genuinely excited, you wake up the next day and make the best of it. 

It could be anything. Maybe you’re excited about trying a new breakfast. 
Or you just can’t wait to start reading a new book. Or you can’t wait to get working on your business.
Or you want to move your body and get some exercise in.

It’s a good way to live. If you have a bunch of those exciting days in a row it adds up to a good life.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo

Find YOUR Activity that Lights You Up – Mine is Spinning!


In today’s episode of #fitnessonFriday I am going to share with you a new workout obsession of mine – spin classes.  You’ve heard me mention my love for spinning before, but today I’d like to dive deeper into why I have become so in-love with this type of exercise and what to look for in a spin class if you take my advice to ‘give it a spin’.  Pun intended, friends!  Let’s go.

I get so jazzed and pumped up every time I even think of spin classes.  And, anyone who lends me their ear surely does get an ear full about why I am enthusiastic about this low-impact, yet heart-rate elevating form of exercise.  I rave about the instructors, who are all very individual in their types of workouts, the structure of each class, the energy they bring to the room, the music they play, the comments and jokes they share with us, the places they take us on our rides, the professional tips they provide – during each 45-minute session we are together.

It’s a wonderful thing when you get so excited about being able to move your body, get a great workout in and leave the session so on top-of-the world that you just can’t wait for the next session.  You simply want more, and I always leave feeling 100% better than when I started the spin class. 

So, I know a lot of what I am going to share with you is specific to MY spin classes and MY gym’s instructors.  However, this should give you some idea of how spin classes should be and could be IF you find the right environment and motivating instructors. 

First and foremost, spin classes are not for hard core cyclists, as I had originally thought to be true.  You can find quite an age range of participants and varying levels of fitness among the spinners. 

When I became a bit interested in spin classes, I looked at the gym schedule and saw that a class was about to begin.  So, in stealth mode I tiptoed toward the spin room.  Just as I got close to the door, a man came out and asked me if I wanted to join the class.  I stuttered, and made all kinds of excuses why I couldn’t take part and explained I only wanted to watch a few minutes to see what it was all about. 

Well, before I could blink an eye,

 Bill, the spin instructor that day and a very enthusiastic cyclist himself, had me all set up on a bike, adjusted to my height, spinning and feeling still a bit apprehensive.  Suddenly, the lights went out and we began to spin.  Bill had assured me that I was free to leave whenever I wanted, but I ended up staying to the very end and from that moment on…I was hooked.

The wonderful thing about spin is ->  It is completely YOUR ride.  The instructors will guide you through the workout provided a range of RPMs and a suggested tension level, but ultimately YOU do YOU and what feels best for you and your body.  The person next to you is pushing themselves in a different way than you are.  The person in front of you is taking it a bit easier.  It is so individual and the instructors always emphasize “It’s YOUR ride. Adjust accordingly.”

Imagine doing a workout looking up at a screen all the while being taken to exotic, far-away places you’ve never visited before.  Doesn’t that sound a bit dreamy for a workout?  Well, this is exactly what happens…

The lights go off.  The huge screen in front of you lights up and we are off cycling the hilly countryside and winding roads of: the Italian wine country, quaint French villages, Hawaiian islands, tropical-looking Croatia with palm tree-lined streets, the picturesque state of Oregon, the vineyards of California, around Lake Tahoe, or the Scottish Highlands from castle to castle avoiding herds of sheep crossing the roads.

And the icing on the cake when you are in one of Bill’s spin classes…the dreaded climb at the end.  He takes the class (no one left behind) up mountains of Switzerland or France with anywhere from 10 – 16 switchbacks to navigate.  It is quite intense but the feeling once you reach the ‘virtual’ top is nothing short of incredible. 

It’s comparable to being in a movie theatre with the only difference that you are sweating profusely, and your heart is pumping like crazy, your legs (quads in particular) are burning depending on how high you increased the tension, but your self-confidence and pride are off the charts because you accomplished an exhilarating workout and you pushed yourself to endure. 

The burn I feel during spin class isn’t telling me to stop; it’s telling me it’s working.

Not only will such a workout elevate your self-esteem, but it will also do your heart a lot of good.  With the sprints that are baked into each workout, your heart rate is elevated to provide an outstanding cardio workout without being hard on your joints.  That is one of the main reasons, I am able to get in a tough cardiovascular session.  Running and power walking have not been options for several years now due to my mobility issues, so when I discovered the kind of workout you can achieve with spinning, I was thrilled.  Sometimes, I walk into class with pain here and there (whether that’s coming from my hips or lower back) BUT I always leave with NO pain.  I’m not making any medical claims here, but it works for me and if you are craving an excellent cardio workout but you have been sidelined from putting any burden or pressure on your lower limbs, be sure to look into and try a spinning class.  It truly has been life-changing for me.

Oh, did I mention you are going to sweat buckets?  Because you are.  If you push yourself even slightly, you will perspire AND burn a considerable number of calories.  Now, the instructors often say you can’t rely on the reading your spin bike gives you.  Your data is always in front of you:  your RPM, tension level, distance cycled, and calories burned.  In a normal one-hour session (that means I am in the spin room warming up about 15 minutes before the class starts), my watch and bike indicate that I burn around 500 calories. That’s what I call – a lot of bang for your buck.  I can only burn that same number of calories in a tough one-hour swim session.

But here’s the real deal… throughout the spin session, I am building up the muscles in my body, specifically my leg muscles – my calves, my quads, my hamstrings and my glutes — all get a thorough workout.

Overall, the toned look of my legs has changed from being flabby and full of cellulite to more of an athletic-looking leg.  My husband has commented not just once that my calves have slimmed down so much.  Personally, I notice it most on my quads.  They feel powerful, they appear more defined and toned, they support me 100% better than before I started spinning.

Let’s just pause here for one moment and talk about why it’s better to have muscles anyway.

One pound of muscle takes up far less space in your body than one pound of fat. Google it!  The images you find will surprise you. 

And, another fun fact about building more muscle… it burns more calories.  Put very simply, if you turn fat into muscle, your body will burn more calories.  So, my muscles that I gain from spin class and strength training are working for me literally for hours after each workout.  Spinning is like a gift to my body that keeps giving back.

One of the best things about spin class is the upbeat music the instructors play.  It really gets you moving and motivated.  For me, it’s all about the top hits of the 80’s. When those start playing, I feel unstoppable on the bike.  Karen, one of my favourite instructors, gets us all pumping hard to ACDCs “Highway to Hell” on our final climb – which is quite suitable in an ironic sense.  Jeff gets us jumping out of the saddle to Van Halen’s famous song “Jump”.

I really like the badass beats at class -> because, for me, music is like: my morning coffee, or mood medicine. A good song is pure magic.

Music has a way of picking you up and pushing you harder, and is definitely a key factor in any awesome workout.
Not only does the music make a difference, but the atmosphere is also a major factor.  Generally, the other participants are there to have a good workout and some fun too.  Bill will often team up the girls and the guys for a friendly gender competition.  Who can out cycle whom in 30 second sprints? 

When the other ladies and I meet in the changing room afterwards, we all agree that we push ourselves much more in a class environment as opposed to working out alone.  You tend to push yourself more because you are surrounded and see that others are pushing themselves to their limits as well.  It’s inspiring.

Spinning is the same as running or swimming or any cardio activity you might have tried… It is hard at the beginning; it’s tiring and you really have to push yourself to keep up the motivation to continue.  But then, after while your body reaches a point where everything actually gets easier.  After 20 minutes, your body warms up and you’ll be able to harness your full potential, which is higher than you initially thought. (Sidenote:  We always tend to underestimate our capabilities.)

The point I am trying to make here is that it activates reserves you didn’t think you had at the beginning of your workout.  Being able to get over that ‘hump’ is an amazing thing to achieve and it feels so darn good.

Pushing yourself to the limits creates a training effect.  It comes from increasing the limits a bit more, over and over again.  Without doing this, there is little to no progress.
Spin classes have offered me this benefit – me versus me – pushing the limits with each workout – making progress, gaining muscle, feeling proud, and so much more. 

I would highly recommend finding YOUR ACTIVITY – one that lights you up, fills you with excitement and anticipation, leaves you feeling full of adrenaline and that “I can take on the world now” attitude. 

It doesn’t have to be spinning, but I am sure you’ll have a similar experience as mine – IF you find the right class and instructors, who make every attempt to create an enjoyable, yet strenuous spin session.

When someone now asks me what I do for fun, I answer: “Uh, well, yeah – I ride stationary bikes, in dark rooms, with strangers to very loud music.”

And, that’s my message for today, friends.

Til next time,

Lisa xoxo 

Some Year-of-End Thoughts

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast I am sharing some ‘end-of-year’ thoughts with you.

I like the idea of starting the new year with a different focus.  A year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days – is enough time to make a lot of things happen.

But, while we can achieve a lot in a year’s time, we can still become frustrated if we’re not realistic.  Taking the time to think and ponder what you really want to do in the upcoming year will ensure you get a good start into 2023.

Let’s be honest… no one can make a significant impact by doing something for a week or even just a month.  Mastering skills, working on your character, personal development, growing your mindset, and building healthy relationships all take time.

If you are chasing your dreams, never quit too early.  Keep going and stay the course as I like to say.
So, here we are just a few days away from Christmas and the holiday season.  Another year is coming to an end.

For me, Christmas has always been the most wonderful time of the year.  My excitement and enthusiasm for Christmas dates back to my years of working in my parents’ retail store.  I asked to be scheduled to work on Christmas Eve when everyone else didn’t want to because people would come in scrambling to find that perfect gift at the very last minute.  If I was able to help them, they were delighted.  This lit me up so much.

On the flip side, I also loved shopping and experiencing the hustle and bustle.  There is something magical about the colourful decorations, streams of lights, beautiful trees, the smells of Christmas, candy canes and gingerbread – two of my all-time favourites.  Not to mention, family get-togethers, playing games and enjoying quality time with people near and dear to us.

But my husband and I have started living a calmer, more mindful life and I’ve been taking a very different approach to the holidays.  I focus more on small, intimate get-togethers with close friends.  Planning and creating adventure and experiences with loved ones is my priority over the material side of Christmas, the gift giving.

I believe that people will remember the time spent with them rather than the money spent on them in the long run.  So, it’s experiences over gifts from here on in.
Along the lines of being more mindful, I like to look ahead into the new year quickly approaching and do some planning. Maybe you could call it an assessment asking myself some questions, journalling about it and finally, committing to the ones I feel align with who I want to be in the new year.

I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions because this ‘assessment’ could be done at any time during the year.  I’m referring to potential changes, habits and goals I want to be my absolute focus for the next 12 months.  I have 5 pillars:  health, fitness, career, creativity, charitable. 
So, I ask myself:

How do you want to improve your health and nutrition over the next 12 months?
What can you do or implement to increase your level of fitness?
How do you want to show up in your business and further your career?
How can you flex your creativity muscle?  Are there any new creative hobbies you want to try?
How can you be more charitable?  What organizations do you want to support and how?
If you’re listening to this episode in February or March, you could begin then.  There is no perfectly magical time to make changes in your life.

One thing I think people miss out on is BEING PRESENT.  This takes work and intention to always be present and live for the moment.  It took me years to work myself in a position to do this.  But now, I am fully present and focused on enjoying life. 

For the new year, I have suggested to my husband that we plan an event of sorts every 6 weeks to have something new, exciting and totally different to look forward to.  I wanted to inject some fun into our every day.  This might mean booking tickets to a symphony concert, going on a road trip for one day not knowing exactly where we are going to end up – like a mystery tour, trying a new sport like kite surfing.

Every year you have the chance to start with a clean slate.  You can hit the reset button and do things differently than in the past.  It doesn’t matter if you had a great year or a less-than-stellar year.

Celebrate.  Cry.  Laugh.  Enjoy.  Live fully.  Show up.  Be present.

But never forget that life moves forward.

-> What do you want to focus on in the new year? Or the next 12 months?
-> What do you want to do to improve your career, yourself and your relationships?
-> What will you do when things don’t go according to plan?  (Never think that everything will go well, as planned.  Be prepared for setbacks.)

For instance, I have focused on reading more over the past few years.  While I haven’t quite met my goal of reading one book (fiction or non-fiction) each week, I came pretty close.

Another focus of mine has been improving my nutrition and exercise routine.  I didn’t keep strict track of how many days I worked out or how many swim sessions I made it to, but I think my goal will be to get in at least 300+ workouts over the course of 12 months.

When I plan my year, I only focus on setting targets that I can directly influence.  I am never vague about my benchmarks.  So, you’ll never catch me saying things like, “I want to improve my fitness level by doing some strength training.”  That’s not specific enough and allows all kinds of room for non-execution and losing control over the situation due to external circumstances.

I choose to be detailed and maintain a certain amount of control.

So, instead I would lay out the plan by saying, “I will get in one hour of exercise each day, a swim session, a spinning class, a gym workout comprised of warm-up, 10 – 12 specific total body exercises, and cool down. And on my rest day, I will go for a one-hour hike.”  At the beginning of each week, I will plan in the exact workout for each day depending on my schedule.

While the time frame of 12 months allows us to make a lot of things happen, we tend to overestimate AND underestimate what we can achieve in a year.

In the fast-paced world we live in today, people want instant results and lack the patience as well as the necessary perseverance to stick with the plan over the long-term.

But, on the flip side, people also underestimate what they can achieve if they remain focused and make consistent efforts – big or small – toward their end goal every single day.
So, I want to encourage you to chase down your dreams and never quit too early.  Keep grinding away every day.  Be flexible and know when to pivot if your plan requires adjusting. 

Develop self-awareness which is a skill in and of itself.  Just know that life is full of paradoxes. 

There’s never one truth or ‘right’ path to follow.
The only path that’s right if YOUR path.

Let’s start thinking about the new year, full of possibilities and opportunities for you.  But don’t forget to be in the moment during the final days of this year.  Have a good time and enjoy the company of others.

And when January 1st rolls around… wake up, get to work on yourself and your goals and keeping looking forward.

I truly hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,

Lisa xoxo