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“Dad is so EXTRA,” my 17-year-old daughter recently said, referring to my husband Eric’s tendency to go a little overboard with taking care of the lawn and packing the car for vacations.
Extra. Extreme. Over the top. Yep, Eric and I are both guilty as charged. And this month, I’m embracing it!
Throughout my EX journey this year, the point has been to upgrade and expand. To take things to the next level in my life, in my business, and especially in my commitment to self care. So in August, I’m focusing on doing something Extra for myself, which makes this the perfect time to share something that has been in the works for a few months.
But first, let’s talk for a minute about the importance of self-care. I have a lot of room for improvement here, and I’m guessing you do too. It often feels like we women are wired to take care of everyone else before we think about ourselves. But that’s backwards. If we’re constantly depleted, we reduce our ability to give and serve, to live and love wholeheartedly. Imagine how much more you’d have to offer if you could start from a stronger foundation!
Already this year, I’ve felt the benefits of experimenting with new ways of cooking for my family. I’ve exchanged poor uses of my time and energy for more worthwhile choices. I’ve exercised my ability to make small action-based changes to achieve my goals. All of these small, achievable baby steps are part of creating real, consistent, lifelong changes that fit my master plan. And now it’s time to go the Extra mile. Or maybe six extra miles every day for a week?
Who is really the extra one here?
Here’s the story: after stumbling across @movarafitnessresort on Instagram earlier this spring, I was intrigued. They run a fitness and weight loss camp in Utah’s beautiful red rock country. It’s an escape, away from the world, where you exercise and eat healthy foods while learning how to take those skills back to your life. As much as I believed this was something I really wanted for myself, I still struggled to feel like I deserved it.
Will I be able to leave work and home for a whole week, just to focus on ME?
Will I be able to exercise that much?
Will I be able to make the changes stick in my daily life when I get back?
But, here’s the important part, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. After all, I had surgery to fix my bladder issues a few months ago, for this very reason—so I could really use my body to its full potential and stop letting it hold me back from what I want to do. That’s when this month’s Extra intention kicked in. I decided to just go for it.
I stopped by the facility when I was in the area recently, and I had a chance to sit down with the founder/owner/operator for an hour. I asked questions. I shared my story. I told her I was ready for a change, and that’s when I got super brave. I asked if Movara would be willing to partner with me in sharing my story—and their mission—with the world. I wanted to come, with all of my baggage and worries. The same baggage and worries you might share: that we don’t feel worthy, that it’s already hard to care for our other responsibilities, that we don’t deserve it. And guess what? They said yes.
And as you give yourself a little EXTRA, notice how it allows you to be a little EXTRA for the people you love!
Here’s how I plan to apply my Extra intention to the four pillars of memory keeping for 2018ex:
Experiences— Yep, this camp will definitely be a vulnerable and new experience for me. I’m going to bring my planner along, so I can document my thoughts, insights, and breakthroughs.
Exceptional moments—Of course I’ll have my camera on hand to capture highlights and scenery from hikes as well as the connections I’ll build with other attendees. My Fresh Start photo paper makes it easy to print photos on the go, so I can add them to my planning pages in seconds.
Expressions—I’ll use the Fresh Start Clear Stickers to add color and energy to the visual expression of my goals. It’s like they were custom made for this adventure! I can’t tell you how excited that makes me! They say things like: “You can do this.” “Determined to succeed.” “Never give up.” “Let’s flamingle.” “Stay positive.” “Don’t wish for it, work for it.” Can you even believe the complete and total serendipity that’s happening here?
Expectations—Once again, I’m working hard on not building up impossible Expectations for this experience—or for the changes it will inspire in my life after it’s over. I’m going in with an open mind and an open heart, to see what lessons are there waiting for me. As always, journaling will be an important part of discovering those lessons.
Will you join me in “being SO extra” this month? Connect with me on Instagram and tell me about your plans!
Here are five photos to take to decorate your planner or calendar this month.
1. Take a photo of something that’s already “so extra” about you! Do you have a giant collection of shoes? Are you a cycling fanatic? Do you cook like a boss? Whatever you do that’s over the top, capture it.
2. Photograph what’s “so extra” about your family, loved ones, or pets.
3. Snap pictures of whatever you’re doing Extra this month. If you’re spending more time getting ready, take more selfies! If you’re putting Extra effort into creativity, photograph the results.
4. Take a “before and after” that represents your Extra intention. And I don’t mean you should focus on or expect a dramatic physical transformation, because that’s not what I’m looking for. My before and after might even be me before a tough workout, and me red-faced and sweating after—proof that I’m doing something for ME.
5. Look for opportunities to photograph how your Extra self care translated into better care for those you love. Did your dog get extra walks around the block? Did your children get more of your focused attention? Were you able to show up and serve someone else in a new way?
“I know guac is extra…but so am I.”
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
“A hero is an ordinary person doing things in an extraordinary way.”
“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”
“There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”