Aim High (but not too high) with your New Year's Resolutions

I hope you had a wonderful first weekend of the New Year. Before we move onto how to make all of your right brain resolutions happen - we’re going to up the ante a bit during the setting process. 

Now your resolution list can definitely have some easy wins on it. If you are resolving to drink 64 ounces of water every day in 2020 - that’s fabulous. If you’re going to meditate for 15 minutes every day - wonderful (learning to meditate is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, by the way). These are small habits that can have a big impact on your wellbeing.

But let's also put some hair on your goals…

I’d also like you to consider having some BHAGs on your list. What’s a BHAG? It’s a BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL. Martha Beck calls them your WIGS (Wildly Improbable Goals), Brooke Castillo calls them your impossible goals and Jim Collins calls them your BHAGS. I’ve recently come to...

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The elephant in the New Year's Resolution Room


Do you still feel as revved up and motivated as you did two days ago? If yes, awesome, if no, you are not alone. The pitfalls of setting NYE party resolutions are many.

We borrow a resolution from someone else that sounds pretty good - oh hey I'd kind of maybe also like to lose weight, declutter, get my finances in order, too, yet we lack the true intrinsic motivation to get 'er done.

The pat answers about our resolutions were easy to give at the cocktail party, but that doesn’t mean that they are especially meaningful to us.  

Change isn't a walk in the park. It takes commitment, perseverance and consistency. You need new neural pathways in your brain to replace rutted out old ways of doing things.

Our brains like to be as efficient as possible, which makes the old way easier. The new way takes time and effort before it becomes ingrained as a new way of life. So motivation for the long-term is key.

But motivation has to be your own, not...

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Are you ready to surf or drift in 2020?

The topic of the upcoming New Year can be quite loaded. Some of us are so ready to shut the door on 2019 and others are all amped up with lists longer than Santa's on all the ways we need to improve ourselves in the next 12 months. 

How we're going to choose to fill the next 52 weeks can be either exhilarating or daunting.

Whether this is the bitch of a blank canvas for you or a fresh start and a clean slate, it's an opportunity to set some intentions for the next decade.

Do Resolutions Even Work?

When set properly, goals and resolutions set at the beginning of the year can work wonders. When arbitrarily proclaimed at midnight on Dec 31 with no plan to back them up, well, yeah, those resolutions barely make it past the late-night Uber ride home. 

My favorite perspective on the year ahead is to think about the new year as 365 opportunities!

I realize that 2019 might have given you 365 ways to want to bang your head against the wall or 365 ways to...

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How to Marie Kondo your Christmas -> 8 ways to spark the joy and dump the stress this holiday season

Uncategorized Dec 19, 2019

What do I mean by Marie Kondo your Christmas?

Don't worry! I do not mean folding your underwear in a weird way or having to organize ANYTHING in your home right now. 

Marie Kondo is that incredible professional organizer who wrote the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Did you read it?

Makes a great holiday gift ;-)! Just kidding. I mean it does, but that's not what this is about.

This is less about holiday presents and more about holiday presence...

which probably just made you feel guilty. Because in going overboard and trying to create a magical holiday for our loved ones, we are usually more stressed and less present than we are at other times in the year. And that feels kind of crummy.

Christmas is touted as the most wonderful time of the year ... except that comes with a hefty emotional and financial price tag for those of us who are orchestrating the magic for everyone else.

I saw the funniest quote the other day that basically said that December...

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Give Back Black Friday

Well, we’ve officially transitioned out of the season of stuffing to the season of stuff. Thanksgiving is over, but it’s always a good time of year to give that thanks away.

Today is Black Friday and before you give your credit card a workout, take a minute to pass some gratitude gravy.

Black Friday can be rough on those who work in retail. Yes, investment bankers, CEOs, and stockholders love Black Friday, but those who are manning (and woman’ning) the stores often bear the brunt of shoppers’ seasonal anxieties, which isn’t always easy.

We all know the horror stories of shoppers trampling each other to get the hot new item of the season. Or yelling at store personnel for being out of stock.

I highly doubt you even remotely fall into this category, but instead of just patting ourselves on the back for not being a complete jerk in life, let’s go the extra mile and start this shopping season by spreading some gratitude during our holiday...

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Talk turkey to me

gratitude gratitude gravy Nov 29, 2019

#GratitudeGRAVY day 14

Hello Lizzie:

For years I pretty much missed the point of Thanksgiving. Sad, but true. I'm the person who has literally lit my oven on fire while trying to broil bagels. 

Let's just say that a holiday dedicated to cooking one big meal coupled with fear of family tension has never been high on my list of favorites. 

Despite the Thanksgiving hits and misses we've had chez Larock, I've come to realize that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a celebration of the great FULLness* of life with some of the wonderful humans that are in my world. Flawed and funny, weird and wonderful, I give thanks for all of them. 

When I first started gratitude gravy a few years ago, I stumbled upon this post from my friend, Kelsey Murphy. I think it nicely sums up the great FULL ness of a Thanksgiving celebration:

Soak up the Crazy

But what if this holiday you soaked up all the good crazy, and let go of the bad crazy. Think about it…...

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The Gratitude Visit (aka the biggest happiness booster)

gratitude gratitude gravy Nov 28, 2019

GratiTIRED? I get it. This is why gratitude fatigue is real…. And, while the healthcare industry is starting to realize that gratitude is some of the best medicine, the correct dosage for each of us does vary.

But stay with me. We are in the home stretch of #gratitudegravy and this next practice is one of the best gratitude practices for boosting happiness.

Think of someone who is still alive who has changed your life for the better. Pick someone who has never been properly thanked. It could be a teacher, a parent, grandparent, an old friend, an old boss, anyone who had an extraordinary impact on your life.

Ok do you have someone in mind?

Part 1
Now write in your gratitude journal for a few minutes about how this person helped you. Write specifically how they influenced you, encouraged you, believed in you, write what you admire about them and why whatever they did meant so much to you at that time of your life.

Part 2

Call the person or arrange a visit and...

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What to do when you feel ungrateful

gratitude gratitude gravy Nov 26, 2019

#GratitudeGRAVY day 12

There are plenty of days, in this beautiful messy business of being human, where we might be feeling LESS than grateful for whatever is happening in our present or for what has happened in our past.

Gratitude is not a practice of "superficial happiology" - Robert Emmons, Ph.D

An effective gratitude practice does not require us all to become some kind of Stepford version of Miss Mary Sunshine. We are allowed to have bad days and not ride off into the sunset on our unicorn.

Heck, I had an entire decade of massive personal challenges in my business, in my marriage, in my everything, and there were plenty of days where I couldn’t muster up much gratitude.

A true gratitude practice is not one where we plaster a smile on our faces during the dark night of our soul.

And being happy 24/7 is not the goal. A meaningful, fulfilling and flourishing life IS the goal, but life is a full-contact sport. In order to have a meaningful one, you can’t...

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Grateful grace and the gratitude gravy chain

gratitude gratitude gravy Nov 25, 2019

#GratitudeGRAVY day 11

Several years ago, I was at a yoga retreat and one of my favorite teachers Patty Zimmer, said grace before we ate a meal together.

I'm not a very religious person, so saying grace isn't always in my repertoire.

Patty thanked everyone who made the meal happen, thanked the food delivery truck drivers, the cashiers at the store, the farmers who grew the food. She thanked as many as she could think of whose hands made the meal possible, not just the almighty ones or the ones in the kitchen.

I loved this practice and adopted it as my own. It’s a beautiful way of being grateful and full of grace.

Then, I stumbled upon a crazy gratitude story that took this one (or 1000) steps further.

A NYC-based writer named A.J. Jacobs was doing a similar practice with his kids. He said he’d been in a bad mood for a while and thought the practice would cheer him up, while also teaching the kids about the power of gratitude. So, as a family,...

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Gratitude goes Prime Time (10 ideas to keep your gratitude going long past the leftovers!)

#gratitudegravy day 10

I know this headline isn't actually newsworthy to any of you who have been watching Oprah for the past few decades. Gratitude went prime time A LOOONG time ago - when Oprah created a frenzy for gratitude journals just by talking about her own practice as being a key factor in her success.

The prime time that I'm talking about here is not too far off.

What's a Primer?

In psychology, primers are defined as conscious or unconscious cues that are paired together and create a behavioral change. (Adams-Miller and Frisch, 2009) 

Psychologists have found that as much as 80% of our day’s activity is directed by our unconscious reactions to cues in our environment.

My bedside 3 good things journal (aka my nightly gratitude primer. 

Eighty percent of our activities are unconscious???? That's huge, right?

This is why you're more likely to exercise if you put your running shoes by your bed at night so that you see them first thing in the morning.


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