Taking Care of An Elderly Relative-Things You Need to Consider

If you are part of the Sandwich generation, a group of individuals between 40-50.  You are probably taking care of your minor children and an elderly or disabled family member.  Current statistics estimate that “47 percent of adults in their 40s and 50s are supporting an aging parent in their 70s while also managing their kids.”  Due to economic pressures and longer life spans, intergenerational households are becoming more common.  According to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, the number of parents living with their adult children increased by over 64 percent even in the years before the 2008 recession.

   There can be drawbacks and benefits to having grandparents and grandchildren sharing one roof.  While every family is different, and your concerns may be unique, today’s post is meant to help address the many issues involved when you become a caregiver for an elderly or disabled family member.

Financial and Logistical Factors

  1. If feasible, pool your resources.  For example, with a combined household income, you might be able to afford a bigger house or a more convenient neighborhood.  The extra amenities will make the adjustment easier.

  2. Hire an attorney.  Consulting a lawyer about family matters does not have to be awkward.  Think of it as protecting your assets and preventing conflicts.  In addition, written agreements can make final estate settlements much smoother.

  3. If possible, create a rental agreement.  Your parent or disabled relative may be willing to help cover expenses.  Then, decide how you’re going to divide costs for housing, food, and other budget items, or simply charge them a flat rate that is fair and comparable to the amenities you are offering.

  4. Help with the paperwork.  Many seniors are computer savvy, but you should be ready to pitch in with some research and documentation for insurance claims and other services.  Plus, sifting through boxes and files now will help you put things in order while your relative is still alive.

  5. Create a family budget.  Caregiving can be expensive.  Ask yourself how you feel about cutting back on vacations or dipping into your own savings to assist with your parent’s bills or take care of the added expense of bringing another adult into your home.

  6. Adapt your home.  Many renovations make life simpler for seniors with limited mobility or other concerns.  Consider electric stairlifts or grab bars in the bathroom to prevent falls.  Contact

  7. Plan ahead.  In addition to solving today’s challenges, consider what your parent’s condition will be like 5 or 15 years down the road.  Then, be realistic about how much you can do on your own to care for them.

Emotional and Social Factors

  1. Assess your relationships.  Living together may draw you closer together if you already get along well.  On the other hand, a history of significant conflicts may indicate that you and your parents would be better off making further arrangements.

  2. Create ground rules.  Look for ways to maximize your parent’s independence and everyone’s privacy.  For example, clarify expectations about mealtimes, noise levels, and housework.

  3. Involve your children.  While living with grandparents creates terrific opportunities for bonding and developing compassion, there are challenges too.  Spend one-on-one time with your sons and daughters, especially if they’re giving up their bedrooms or a portion of your daily attention.

  4. Take care of yourself.  Remember to nurture yourself and your marriage while taking on other responsibilities.  For example, date nights may be easier if you count on your parents instead of looking for a babysitter.  If that is not possible, think about hiring someone, even if it is only for a couple of hours.

  5. Encourage socializing.  Staying engaged is vital for your parent’s wellbeing, and it will take some of the pressure off you.  Check out the senior neighborhood centers and cultural programs.

  6. Seek support.  Talk with your siblings about how to collaborate on paying your parents back for the love and guidance they gave you.  You can also find classes and support groups for caregivers through churches, local adult and family agencies, or organizations like the National Alliance for Caregiving.

     With all, what do you do when you are forced to take care of a relative that you are not fond of?  Perhaps that relative was abusive when you were younger, or maybe you just have no relationship with this individual?   Whether it’s a parent or another relative, the same tips would apply.  It might also be helpful to pay close attention to establishing a self-care routine and support system that nourishes you to reduce the inevitable level of stress and overwhelm.

   Think long and hard before you respond if your aging parent asks about moving in with you.  Be sure to include your children and your significant other if they are old enough.  If things do not work out, it can be tough to tell your mother that she will have to find somewhere else to live.  Careful planning and honest communication will help you decide on a plan that your family will be happy to live with.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Five Things Every Single Mom Should Consider Before Dating Again

Click here to listen to Episode 57 of The Welcome to Your Life Podcast-Five Things Every Single Mom Should Consider Before Dating Again

Hey, I get it; being a single mom can be lonely and scary.  Like everyone else, single moms want to be in a stable, loving relationship.  The problem happens when we try to manifest those relationships before we’ve gotten ourselves, our children, and our households in order.  When I learned that my ex-husband had started dating, I jumped headfirst into the dating scene.  After 20 years of being with one guy, I thought how hard could it be for me to find someone new; he did it, so I tried to meet guys on dating apps, in clubs, and through mutual acquaintances.  But I wasn’t ready, and my children weren’t ready.  Maybe, like me, after seeing your ex with a new partner, your first inclination is to find someone new; I had to learn the hard way that whether I was dating or not, my household was complete.

      Today, I want to share five things every single mom should attend to before they start dating.  These are the things I wish someone had told me before I tried to start dating again.  Now, as with any advice, you can take it or leave it, gleam what works for you and leave the rest.  But, I promise you that if you take your time and work through this checklist when you decide to start dating, you will feel less overwhelmed, more in control, and just plain happier, and so will your kids. You will enjoy the experience more and choose partners who have what you want and not just because you are desperate to be part of a couple.

 1.  Heal:  Make sure that you have healed from your past relationship. Break-ups are hard.  Often, we blame the other person as much as we blame ourselves, and as painful as it is, we must allow ourselves to feel the pain of this loss.  In my 12 years of working with single moms, I have found that it doesn’t matter how atrocious the relationship had become, or if the break-up was a mutual decision and you parted as friends, we still need to grieve.  So, allow yourself time to go through the grieving process.  The time is different for everyone; ending a relationship in which you have invested time, energy, and love will be hard on you emotionally, physically, and possibly financially.  One surefire way to sabotage a new relationship is to bring the unpacked baggage from your old relationship into your new one.

2. Make Sure Your Kids Are Adjusting: Break-ups are hard on kids like you; they have come to depend on the other person being in their life. They need your assurance that everything is going to be okay. Sit down and speak with your children, answer their questions, and explain how things are going to work from now on, including visitation, living arrangements, and who will pick them up from school. Your child may be dealing with some anger and grief now that you and your ex have called it quits. Make sure that you have a stable routine, and don’t be afraid to find some professional help. As a Parent Advocate and Case Manager, I helped moms and dads find a licensed professional counselor to help their kids dealing with anxiety and depression. Some kids have a hard time processing this change in their family and begin to act out at home and school. It is impossible to deal with a brand-new relationship while trying to ensure that you and your children are adjusting well.


3. Organize Your Household: Create a morning and evening routine for yourself and your children. Routines help children to feel safe and more in control. It will decrease the amount of overwhelm you feel when trying to get through your day and deal with your feelings and their feelings. Get out the calendar and assign household chores, schedule homework, mealtimes, after-school activities, visitation, and family time. To make your mornings less stressful, you can layout everyone’s outfits for the following day, make sure backpacks and lunches are packed, sign all school-related paperwork, and set the table for breakfast the next day. As moms, our #1 job is to ensure that our children feel safe and secure in their environment. I promise when they feel safe and secure, you will be much happier.


4. Get Your Finances in Order: Use this time of uncoupling to organize your finances, create a simple budget that includes your income, debts, and savings. No matter how bleak your financial outlook appears, it’s crucial to handle the money that is going in and out of your home with care. I learned this the hard way. In the early years of my single parenting journey, not having a budget cost me thousands of dollars in late fees. I don’t want that to be your financial story. You may need to find a new job or go back to school to learn a new skill. But you will never get a handle on your finances until you get the courage to make a budget and write things down. The worst mistake I see single moms making is finding someone to help them with their household expenses. If someone is helping you financially-they are going to want a say in how your household operates and how you raise your children. Ask yourself, am I ready to share or give up control. Think of this as a time to simplify your life and focus on yourself and your children. You are a strong and capable woman able to take care of yourself and your children.


5. Create Your Village: “Children who have single parents will also have many supporters.”  You can do this alone, but you do not have to do it alone. I do not know where my children and I would be right now if I did not support my family, friends, and church family. Raising children as a single mom is hard work; it can be physically, emotionally, and financially exhausting. You need someone in your corner to support you and your children. You need someone to vent to, relax with, and someone who will gladly watch your kids so that you can have some “me” time. Your village will include help for you and role models for your kids, so make sure that you vet everyone who comes into your circle to make sure that you share the same values.
I know that single parenting can be lonely, and I would never tell you not to date again, but you can never be too careful with children in the mix. When flying solo, you only had to worry about your broken heart if things didn’t work out; as a mom, you now must watch out for the little hearts under your charge. Following one or all five tips will help you be sure that you and your children are ready when you invite a new personality into your household.


What’s your advice on single moms and dating? Post in the comments!
With Peace and Love,
Renee

Hi guys, my name is Renee.  I am a Certified Coach and Yoga teacher host of the award-winning Welcome to Your Life Podcast and the Courageous Woman’s Book Club founder.      Thank you so much for checking out today’s post.

This month our goal is to raise $700 for the Atlanta Mission to help support homeless moms and their children-download The Courageous Woman’s Guide to Stop Thinking Like a Victim E-Book and Workbook Bundle. You get both for only $5. Take control of your circumstances and create the life you want to live. We donate $1 from every purchase.

Join the Group: Ready to heal, connect, and grow? Join the free Welcome to Your Life! Facebook Group for training, support, and love

Check out past episodes of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast. Don’t forget to follow.

When The People You Love Don’t Support You

Listen to Episode 52 of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast: When the People You Love Don’t Support You

     When four of my children decided that they wanted to move from our home in Ohio to Texas, the momma in me wanted to try to stop them from going. I worried about their safety and wondered when I was going to see my grandsons. I thought to myself, why in the world would you move in the middle of a pandemic. I had a whole host of reasons why they should not move, but I did not share one of them. Not, because I was selfless but because I know how it feels when the people who love you do not support your dreams.

    Growing up I dreamt of becoming a dancer and a model. I studied ballet and modern dance. I couldn’t always afford dance classes, so a lot of what I learned was self-taught. I got modeling gigs in local department stores and had convinced myself that after high school, I was going to move to New York and try my luck. My mother and grandmother hit the roof. My mother said I was too short to model. At 5’6″, I thought she may be right. It was the same reaction I got when I won a summer scholarship to M.I.T.   My grandmother told my mother she should not let me go, and my mom worried about my safety and not wanting to be separated from her only daughter would not sign the parental consent forms for me to go. I let my dreams go way too quickly. I did not trust that I would make the right decision, and I didn’t have anyone in my corner to push me out of my comfort zone.

     Consider this your kick to move out of your comfort zone.  You have decided to finally create a plan to reach that goal that has been nudging at your heart.  You have packed up your kids and your belongings and decided to end a relationship that is long past its due date.  Your doctor has just diagnosed you with a chronic illness, curable, but it will require that you make some drastic lifestyle changes.  Would you agree with me that these are all positive endeavors?  Yes! They are, you have decided to become proactive and take control of your life.

     With all this positive action, you would think that the people you love would jump on the bandwagon and become your biggest cheerleaders.  Sadly, that is not always the case.  So, what do you do when the people who love you do not support you? If you find that finding support for your dream is few and far between.  It may be time to eliminate the dead weight in your life and start fresh, filling your circle with folks who love and support you.

     When I start to work with a new client, one of the first things I like for them to identify is their support system. When you try to do something that you have never done before, you do not need to be pulled away from your focus by family and friends who do not support your vision for your life.

That is not to say that they must agree with you completely, but they should refrain from throwing water on your dreams by reminding you of all the times you did not quite hit the mark in the past. Sometimes, they might think they are helpful with comments like:

 “You can lose the weight on your own.”

 “You left him before, remember.”

 “Are you even trying? Try harder.”

 “He is a good provider. Are you sure you cannot work it out?  No one will blame you if you stay.”

 “Just eat less and work out more.”

 “Shouldn’t you be thinking of retiring instead of starting a new career?”.

 “People your age don’t run marathons.”

 “Is the pain that bad or is it in your head.”

 “Your time has passed; it’s time to let the younger folks have a turn.

 These are just a few of the comments my clients and I have heard when we confided to our closest confidants about our plans to make changes in our lives. Unfortunately, when they recall these conversations, many clients break down in tears. Because the truth is it can be heartbreaking to find that the foundation you have built your life on will not support the new you.

Whether it is losing weight, ending a relationship, starting a new career path, or pursuing your purpose, and maybe like me, your new career path is your purpose. You must create a support system that supports you unconditionally, holds you accountable when you do not believe you can do it and loves you no matter how many times you must start over.

If you have found yourself facing this type of resistance, you have probably asked why?  Why wouldn’t the people who claimed to love me not want me to do better, be better, live better?  The answer is fear.  They could be afraid that you will reach a goal and realize that you have outgrown them, or they might be worried that they will lose you to a new group of friends.  It could be that they are afraid that you might fail, and they want to spare you the pain of failing.  But failure is a lesson in itself.  That is a lesson for another day.

Whatever their fear, you cannot let it stop you from moving forward.  It is time to create a new inner circle.  Anyone who does not fall in step with your plans is dead weight, and you should eliminate them immediately.  I know that deadweight is a harsh term.  I am using it on purpose to trigger just how dire this situation is for your success.  This will probably be one of the most challenging tasks you will ever have to do, but ask yourself how you will feel next week, next month, or next year if you are in the same spot you are in now. 

If it makes you feel better, you do not have to cut them out of your life entirely; just keep them out of your inner circle. I love this quote by fellow blogger Jeri Clay, host of the “Shine your Life-Make your Life Shine Blog. “With like-minded people, you feel comfortable in sharing your dreams without judgment. You can express ideas freely with others who understand the hustle. Everyone will have different dreams and goals but will have the same drive towards the achievement.” 

Ready to get started:  Make a list of three people you can count on to support your journey towards a new you.  It is time to create your village. These folks can be professional supports such as a pastor, coach or therapist, or natural supports, including your mom, sister, cousin, best friend, or favorite church member.

If you want real success in your life, you must surround yourself with like-minded people who will help you empower your mindset and lend you the emotional fuel you need to keep going when you feel like you are running on empty.  You can do this; I believe in you.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Download this month’s book selection, the Courageous Woman’s Bible Discover Journal; if you are looking to connect or reconnect with God in a powerful way, this journal is for you.  Plus, I show you how to incorporate your daily time with God in as little as 15 minutes a day.  Start or end your day with the word of God,  and empower yourself to move through any obstacle life throws your way.  $1 of your purchase will go to help the Atlanta Mission continue its mission of supporting, clothing, and feeding homeless mothers and their children.  Click here to download your copy today!

15 Strategies To Have Your Best Year Ever

Check out today’s video: 15 Ways To Have Your Best Year Ever Lunch & Learn
This is a new year and you have the power to make it anything you want. Check out today’s lunch and learn where I share 15 easy to implement strategies that will help you have the best year ever. Remember midlife is your time to shine!!!!!!
Take control of your life and have the best year you have ever experienced. With a little bit of effort each day, you can make that wonderful year you have dreamt of a reality. It is the small things that can make the most difference over time.

Make the most of the next 12 months with these 15 strategies:
Don’t forget to download your checklist for today’s lesson here: https://buff.ly/3nkvr6L

With Love and Peace,
Renee

Creating Peace on Demand! Using Meditation to Enhance Your Self-Care


Javier Snchez Mingorance / Getty Images

Click here to Listen to Episode 41 of the Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

I have been rallying the self-care flag since April.  Like no other time in our lives, we need to focus on our well-being, or we will be swallowed by doubt and overwhelm.  So, for August, I will continue to share a new tip that will enhance your self-care and bring you some peace.  Midlife is not always the most secure time of our lives, but if we are intentional about taking care of our needs, it can be more comfortable.

So, what if you could create peace in your day on demand.  I know it sounds a little woo woo, but with a little bit of planning, you can make it happen using meditation. “Meditation provides you with that quality “me time” that’s so key to refiling your cup at the end of the day. It’s not only me time in terms of being alone and being away from others but being away from your day to day thoughts.”

     According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.” You can create your own meditation by sitting in a quiet place, using a memory that helps you feel more confident, happy, or brings you peace.  Focus on memory and breath.    You can also use a meditation app like Headspace or Calm.

Meditation is something you can do whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.   As with anything, meditation takes practice, so do not be upset if you cannot settle down on your first couple of tries.  Acknowledge the thoughts you are having and keep practicing. Do not worry about being perfect; be intentional on spending this time with yourself.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

My gift to you Beating the Midlife Slump! 10 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Self Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

Join the private Welcome To Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife. Learn from and connect with other midlife women this is your village a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

#midlifewomen  #wtyl #fitbabyboomer #atlantapodcast #midlifecrisis #genxwomen midlifewellness #midlifeaffirmation #midlifebeauty #fiftyplusbeauty #fortypluswomen #healthandwellness  #diabeticwomen #midlifecrisis #midliferesilience  #selfcare #selflove #midlifedetermination #menopause #hotflashes #bellyfat #inflammation #overfiftyandfit #empoweringwomen #midlifestyle

Five Tips on Finding a Gym You’ll Love and Use This Year!

I know it’s the middle of January, but, Happy New Year, my sister, I know that 2020 is going to be a fantastic year for us, as we grow spiritually, heal emotionally, and get physically fit.  Like millions of midlife women across the land, you have probably decided that it is time for you to revisit the idea of regular exercise.  I don’t have to tell you the benefits of regular exercise especially for women over 40, but my momma/coaching instincts are kicking in, and I want to make sure that you understand that putting in the physical work now could save you from not just weight gain but brittle bones, compromised immune systems, loss of energy, Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

But, how do you find a gym that you will love enough to use three times per week after the excitement of the New Year has subsided.  You know, there are so many weight loss programs, new and exciting exercise equipment like the Peloton bike, but the hard truth is that as a country we are more out of shape today than any time in our history.

My own quest for the perfect gym in 2019 had me feeling like Goldilocks.  The first gym was close to home but didn’t have the classes I loved or a pool.  The second gym had classes and a pool, but the yoga classes were more like physical fitness classes instead of the quiet meditative qualities I love in yoga, plus I wanted a gym that offered more fun networking events.  That led me to my third gym, it had the classes I love, a pool, and fun networking events.  But again, the yoga classes felt like I was in a middle school gym class.  So, you guessed it, I joined a yoga studio.   By the end of 2019, I had four fitness memberships.  Thankfully, they have all ended.  But I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

Here five tips that will help you find a gym that you will love or at least one that you will visit as much in July as you will in January:

  1. First, pick a gym that is close to home.  That way, whether you rock your workout at 5 a.m. or 5 p.m.  You will not have to drive more than 15-20 minutes out of your way to workout.  So, check out the gyms in your local area. Make sure that it has ample parking, and ample lighting, if you are going before the sun, comes out.  You don’t want to give yourself any reasons for not actually parking your car and walking into the building.
  2. Check your budget:  It’s always exciting to start something new, even a new workout routine, the pull of getting our bodies ready for the beach are undeniable.  But, make sure that the monthly fees fit in your household budget.  Read the contract and check for additional cancellation fees.  Nothing puts a damper in your motivation to workout than worrying about how you are going to pay the monthly fees.  Also, if your gyms fees are being automatically withdrawn, check your bank statement to make sure that you are only being charged the amount on your contract.
  3. Pick a gym that has activities you love:   If you just want to work out on the treadmill, the bike, or elliptical and lift weights, a gym like Planet Fitness could be all that you need.   I enjoyed my membership at Planet Fitness, they have enough machines and weight equipment that even during peak times you could probably get in an out within an hour.  But I also needed my weekly yoga fix, so I then had to join a yoga studio.  My advice is to look for a gym that has everything you need for a complete fitness routine.   If you enjoy aerobics or yoga classes, then look for a gym that has a regular line up of those classes.  Visit a couple of classes to get a feel for the instructor, and then choose the class you love, make a commitment to yourself to attend that class every week.  Put it on your schedule, lock it in, make it a non-negotiable use of your time.
  4. Partner with an accountability partner: most gyms have personal trainers who will help you to get back into the groove after a long fitness hiatus, but they will also act as your accountability partner, helping you get the most out of your visit each week.  Some personal trainers will even give you a call if you miss a week.  You can also grab a friend and pinkie swear to help keep each other motivated and engaged throughout the year. 
  5. Check out the culture: Every gym, like every workplace, has its own culture.  Find one that is right for you.  To do so, ask yourself the following questions, do you want a gym where you can work out and attend social activities?  Do you want a gym that is oriented more towards accommodating the needs of families? Do you want that is oriented more towards adults and children persona non grata?  

The bottom line is that you need to find a gym that is close to home, affordable, has the equipment and classes you need for a complete fitness routine.  You will need an accountability partner to help keep you going to the gym when your motivation starts to disappear, and you want to make sure that the culture of the gym is one that fits your personality and your needs at this time in your life.

There are 168 hours in a week.  We owe it to ourselves to take 150 minutes a week to get our minds and bodies in tip-top shape.  Let’s face it, you may not always enjoy working out, but exercising regularly will help you enjoy your life and increase your gratitude level.   I promise!

Meditation For The Fearful Spirit




<
Today’s meditation is called Meditation for the fearful spirit.

Join the Courageous Women’s Network for additional love, training, and support

Download my free guide:  The Courageous Woman’s Guide to Beating the Midlife Slump: Ten Strategies to help you Boost Your Self-Confidence, Self-Care, and Self-Love

 Our scriptures are

 Matthew 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”

It’s very easy to lose our confidence and become fearful of midlife.  As we age, we are wondering if we can still perform at the level we are used to physically and mentally. 

It doesn’t help that society is not always as welcoming or celebratory of women as they get older.  This all-levels mindful meditation will help us to remind ourselves that we are strong, vibrant, alive, and worthy.  In moments of self-doubts and self-pity, we need to remember that there is a high power that reminds us that we are not alone.

To begin:

Find your comfortable seat.

Sitting: If you are sitting in a chair, relax shoulders down, hands are resting gently on your lap palms up, feel the weight of your bottom in the chair and let it act as your anchor.  The belly is soft, and your feet are planted firmly into the earth.

On the floor:

If you are seated on the floor, sit with legs crossed, if you have problems with sitting with head over heart, heart over the pelvis, it might be helpful to sit on a pillow.  This will help you to erect your spine, relax your shoulders down, and allow your bottom to ground down in the earth.  The belly is soft, and your hands are on top of the thighs palms up. 

Leg variation:

If you find sitting on the floor cross-legged uncomfortable, try sitting with both legs straight out in front of you in staff pose both feet flexed. Or, cross one leg and extend the other leg straight out foot flexed (this will help you to balance)

Beginning with the breath:

Let’s take 3 breaths to quiet the mind and calm our spirits

  1. Inhale through the nose exhale through the nose
  2. Inhale through the nose exhale through the nose

On the third breath

  • Inhale through the nose (hold for three counts at the top) then exhale through the nose

Repeat out loud 4x’s

Lo, I will be with you always even until the end of the age

I will never leave you nor forsake you

Making sure that you relax the shoulders down and softening the muscles of your face.

Then repeat quietly to yourself 4x’s

Lo, I will be with you always even until the end of the age

I will never leave you nor forsake you

Ending as we began with the breath

  • Inhale through the nose exhale through the nose
  • Inhale through the nose exhale through the nose

On the third breath

  • Inhale through the nose (hold for three counts at the top) then exhale through the nose

Now, just sit quietly for a moment and find peace in the calm that surrounds you.

Wishing you Peace and Love

Renee


Download my free guide:  The Courageous Woman’s Guide to Beating the Midlife Slump: Ten Strategies to help you Boost Your Self-Confidence, Self-Care, and Self-Love

Join the Courageous Women’s Network for additional love, training, and support

If You Want To Win-Stop Breaking Promises To Yourself!

Stop Breaking Promises to Yourself

A promise is “a declaration that something will or will not be done,

given, etc., by one:” Dictionary.com

     I know that you have identified your New Year’s resolution.  You have written them in your journal and dreamt of the day when you can cross them off as complete.  Maybe you have decided to lose weight, get a new job, stop smoking, or finally fire that lame friend who takes more than she gives.  Maybe you have decided once and for all to make peace with growing older.  Not in a sad fatalistic way, but in an empowered life came at me hard, and I conquered it kind of way.

But I want to help you do something that will make the resolutions you have made much easier to accomplish.  Not to damper your resolve, but 95% of New Year’s resolutions just don’t happen.  I do not have any scientific proof now, but I think it might be because 95 % of us fail at this one very important thing, we fail to keep the promises we make to ourselves.   I don’t really care what the promise is, only that it was important for you to take the time, at that particular time in your life to make it, something happened that day to cue the creation of this promise, so it must be important.

I bet that you feel bad when you promise to meet a deadline for someone else but missed it because life got in the way.  But we write ourselves off and what is important to us all the time. Every time you break a promise that you made to yourself, you’re telling yourself that you are not important.  To get to the next level in life, that must end.

We are sacred beings, and the promises that we make to ourselves are sacred.  Keeping just one promise could change your entire life.  If you want 2020 to have a different outcome, then you must make yourself a priority.

I want you to understand that losing weight is only part of it, the real work begins in your mind, and if you are willing to take that journey, then you will succeed where the other 95% have failed.

How we show up for ourselves powers our dreams, determines how well we show up for others, helps us to complete our purpose, and create our legacy. 

A woman with too many broken promises in her life is a bitter woman. 

This is a good lesson at any age, but especially for women in midlife. Too many midlife women, have died too soon with their dreams still inside of them, let that not be our story.  There comes a time in life when we can’t blame life anymore when we have to look at our mistakes and deal with the real reason why.   

To fulfill a promise, you must have a plan, you can’t just declare it and hope it comes true.

Your homework is to write down three steps you need to take to complete the plan and fulfill the promise.

You are worthy of peace, love, success, and joy, but you must fight for it, and I know that you can do it!

Peace!

Renee

Did You Miss A Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

Join the group: https://buff.ly/2AKoTIB

If you are looking for a group of women who understand what its like to struggle through hot flashes, hormonal surges, and hard to lose belly fat.  Join the Courageous Women’s Network our free Facebook group, in this group you will receive love, support, and a little kick in the pants when you needed.  Plus, you’ll get outstanding training from me that will help you cut out the guesswork and get to your wellness goals.

P.S. Are you ready to make feeling good YOUR new normal? Stay tuned! I’ve got something awesome coming soon… 

Stop Being A Midlife Wallflower! Four Ways to Face Your Fears Today

I was listening to a podcast recently; the host encouraged everyone to find their movement. Find something that you are willing to get loud about, willing to stick your neck out about, a movement that is so profound in your life that you are ready to face your fears to be an advocate for the people who need your voice. I realized at that moment that I wanted to speak out for women in midlife just like me, who feel that society, their families, and their co-workers are trying to keep them silent.

Yes, its 2019, and women are more vocal about what they want, and many are not afraid to get it, but for some of us, aging has forced us to slink back into the background of our lives. Guess what, losing that 10 or 20 extra pounds will not give you the lasting self-confidence boost you seek. That is just the icing on the cake. The real work happens much deeper than the soft roll around your middle.

While most of us are not facing the same threats our ancestors did, we still face risks in our day-to-day lives that cause us stress. What are we so afraid of currently in our lives? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

We have become midlife wallflowers who still dream of accomplishing big things in our lives but are afraid that what we have to say will not matter to anyone except us.

It doesn’t help that we are questioning our identity and trying to find a way to fit into the lives we have created when everything in our psyche is crying out for something more. We are trying to create a new level of self-confidence to get us through each day, while facing our mortality, and having to deal with the patronizing comments from millennials in our office who are surprised that we are up on the latest apps or social media outlets. Yes, Ryan, I have a Snapchat account.

Let me tell you something sister to sister; it is time for us to face our fears once and for all. As a proud and lifelong introvert, I faced my fear the moment I decided to write this blog, record my podcast, and publish videos online for the whole world to see. I had the audacity to speak my opinion and gently push other midlife women to do the same. Who was I to study for a new career at my age?  Someone, a former close friend, told me that my ship had sailed and that I should be thinking of retirement and scheduling more time with my grandsons? I love them dearly. But there are some things that nana must do, and I am sure that they will love and respect me even more, when they see the results. Ladies, it’s time to put our fears into perspective.

Facing our fears doesn’t have to be scary. Luckily, you have within you the power to overcome your fears and embrace the happiness you deserve, right here, right now.

But how you may ask? Let’s look.

When we were children and feared that something was lurking under the bed, our parents would shine a light into the darkness. Once they did, it revealed the truth – there were no monsters. Once we shine the light of truth on what scares us, we often discover our fears to be unfounded.

So, let’s shine a light of truth on some beliefs that may be holding you hostage to your fears.

It’s human nature to worry. But did you know that research has determined that 85% of what you worry about never actually happens?  Let that sink in for a moment – most of your fears never come true.

But wait! That still leaves 15% of the time when things don’t work out! You are right, AND that same research reveals that, when misfortune did occur, people found they usually handled the situation better than expected. Not only that, they learned something valuable from their ‘ trouble,’ often even feeling as though the fear was worse than the actual situation.

Let’s take a moment to recap: we all experience fear, most of our fears will never materialize, and, if they do, chances are it won’t be as bad as we imagine. We will handle it better while learning something useful along the way. Sounds like a win-win proposition, doesn’t it?

Four Ways To Ditch The Wallflower Mentality and Overcome Your Fears

Being fearless is not about the absence of fear. Being courageous is facing the things in life that scare you, despite the sweaty palms and racing heartbeat. Being fearless is realizing that what you want is more important than any fear you have of achieving it.  But being fearless does not need to involve life or death situations. Fearless is falling in love again after being brokenhearted. Fearless is leaving a successful career for an uncertain opportunity. Fearless is standing by someone who’s disappointed you in the past. Fearless is falling and getting back up again (and again).

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every minute of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Ready to get started on the path to a more fearless you? Then check out these tips to give you the upper hand in facing off against your fears:

1. Own your fear. Psychologist Carl Jung said, “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” So, it goes with fear, as well; resisting fear expands it. Fearlessness comes from embracing your vulnerability, not by avoiding it. Say your fear out loud, write it in your journal, put it on a vision board.  Then write down three ways that you are going to conquer it, there is something powerful about saying what scares us out loud.  It immediately redistributes the power.  Reducing the hold, the fear has over us and giving us more power to push forward. Isn’t it time you stopped running and faced your imaginary monsters?

2. Reshape your fear. You are smart, and that can be a problem. Are you a habitual ‘catastrophizer,’ always assuming the worst will happen?  I myself was once a glass half-empty kind of girl.  Having an active imagination can fuel our concerns instead of suppressing them. Our brains often overestimate our fears while underestimating our ability to manage them. The next time you’re feeling afraid, instead of imagining the worst outcome, ask yourself what’s the BEST thing that can happen, and use your imagination to explore that scenario.

3. Take a risk. Playing it safe often feels like a low-risk proposition, but what if the opposite is true? What if playing it safe is a high-risk approach? When asked what they regret most, people on their deathbeds usually lament the risks they never took, not the ones they tackled.

4. Build your courage muscle. If you have ever started a new exercise habit, you know that building muscle requires starting slow and working your way up. Developing courage is like building a muscle. Show up, start slow, practice your form, and do the repetitions. Your fearless ‘muscles’ may be sore at first. Still, once fearlessness becomes a habit for ‘the small stuff’ you encounter, taking more courageous steps for the more significant challenges becomes easier too. You do not need to climb Mt. Everest to conquer your fear of heights. But facing your fears head-on is the sure way of overcoming what’s holding you back.

When it comes right down to it, we may not be able to control the good or bad things that happen to us, but we do have control over two critical things; our mindset and our responses to our circumstances.  Think of a fear you are facing (or avoiding) right now. Ask yourself, what would your life look like if you decided to face that fear? What would it feel like if you showed courage – even a little bit? The courage to take a risk. The courage to be your true self. The courage to love others. The courage to love yourself.

When you decide to take the initiative to confront your fears, you will discover that the universe is in your corner. Will it be easy? No. Will you face obstacles? Yes. Will you make mistakes? Yes.  But remember, your dreams are not meant to collect dust on a shelf or, more heartbreakingly, to take with you to your grave.

Do not be a midlife wallflower.  It is time to join the party.  The good news is you have what it takes to break through your fears right inside of you. You are courageous, creative, and the bearer of much goodness. Sometimes when we dare to dream great dreams; we must do it afraid. Just remember, regardless of your age, you are never too old to accomplish something new.  I am right here cheering you on and if you need it giving you a loving kick in the rump.

Talk soon,

Renee

Please share this post with a family or friend who could use this information; there is nothing more powerful than women helping women.

Missed an episode of the Welcome To Your Life Podcast: You can catch up on all the episodes here.

Join the group: https://buff.ly/2AKoTIB

If you are looking for a group of women who understand what its like to struggle through hot flashes, self-doubt, hormonal surges, and hard to lose belly fat.  Join the Courageous Women’s Network our free Facebook group, in this group you will receive love, support, and a little kick in the pants when you need it.  Plus, you’ll get outstanding training from me that will help you cut out the guesswork and get to your wellness goals.

REQUEST TO JOIN TODAY https://buff.ly/2AKoTIB