Mindset

You Don't Have to Love It // The Secret to Getting Started

You Don't Have to Love It, The Secret to Getting Started - Josie Feather Blog

The other day I was checking in with a friend on how of her fitness goals have been going and she said they had come to a halt because she “just hates running”. Oh gosh, have I been there. If you all think that I was born loving to run, work out, meditate, eat spinach, or basically any of the other things I do on almost a daily basis, well let me just tell ya - you’re wrong.

When I started running I hated it. If they handed out world records for how incredibly bad you could be at running then I would have easily won. My breathing was so bad I felt like I was constantly being strangled. I got side cramps like you wouldn’t believe. I was slow. SO SLOW. In fact, I am still incredibly slow compared to most “runners”. When I started going to the gym I hated that too. I felt like everyone was looking at me, probably thinking about how I was using every single machine wrong. All I wanted to do was get the heck outta there. Don’t even get me started on my switch to working out in the morning, that just felt like some type of cruel and unusual punishment.

But I didn’t stop running, I didn’t stop going to the gym, and I didn’t stop waking myself up at some ungodly hour to sweat first thing in the morning.

Even though I truly and deeply hated these things, and was legitimately bad at them, I kept with them. I knew they would make me a better person long term, and they were part of a process of achieving bigger goals, and if I gave up I would save myself the short term pain, but set myself up for long term frustration. I know that, because I had given up about a million times before that, and it had only served to make me feel worse.

You go to work every day even though maybe you don’t absolutely love it, right? Filing documents, answering annoying emails, or dealing with customers may not be at the top of your list of things you love, but you find a way to get it done anyway. So what if I told you that when it comes to things that are good for you, you don’t have to love them? You don’t need to feel like they’re your life’s calling in order to do them. What if you stopped putting the pressure on yourself to love every single thing you do, and instead learned to sit with that discomfort?

In fact, I’m giving you full permission to hate those things.

but hate them while you do them

Let’s get something straight here though. I’m not talking about forcing yourself to do the bizarre things that the “Wellness” or “fitness” communities tell you to - or basically anything anyone tells you to do (except maybe your doctor). I’m talking about things you intuitively know are important for you. I definitely don’t believe that everyone needs to run, but I do know that everyone needs some type of regular movement in their life. I don’t think you need to eat all organic food or swap your chocolate chips for fancy cacao nibs, but you should probably make sure that you at least eat some veggies occasionally.


All I’m trying to say here is, there are things in our life that are good for us, even though we don’t love them, and that’s okay.


It’s okay not to love them, but never eating a vegetable because you don’t love them is probably something you need to work on getting over.

This is definitely not just about exercise or eating right, it’ll probably come up with almost any habits you try to build in your life. Let me tell you, I still don’t love waking up at 5am even though I’ve been doing it almost every day for a year. I’m okay with the fact that I’ll probably never love it, but I can see how much good it does in my life, so I keep my focus on that instead of constantly talking to myself about how much I hate it.

Learning to sit with the discomfort of not liking something, but pushing through it anyway has taught me so much more then I ever would have learned by avoiding tough things. And who knows? you might find yourself ending up like me and learning to adore some of the things you used to absolutely loathe, like running!

Minset Master Social // Event Recap!

Mindset Master Social Event Recap on the Josie Feather Blog

On a rainy Sunday morning I found myself squeezing into a crowded little hall. I quickly got myself checked into the Mindset Mast Social. The beautiful woman at the desk greeted me with a warm smile and gave me my goody bag. I’m not sure if they technically call them goody bags, but anytime I’m handed a bag filled with snacks I count it as a one.

I stood on the edge of the doorway for a few minutes, watching other little groups chat and laugh together. I don’t typically go to events alone. I mean, who wants to, right? No one wants to be the one person without a group safety net to catch them if they blunder through an odd encounter, or the event ends up royally sucking.

This year I’ve challenged myself to go outside of my comfort zone. I’ve changed so much in the past few years I’ve found it can be hard to find people already in my circle who are as passionate about the same things I am, so I’ve given myself a little goal to be brave and venture to events and meet-ups based around some of the things that have become so important to me. When I came across The Positivity Charge, I was so excited to see a group of women with such a great mission, and when I saw that they’re doing a few events in Philly this year I made myself sign up without letting myself overthink it.

That’s how I found myself on Sunday at the Mindset Master Social. I really didn’t know what to expect, but when we were lead upstairs I was more than happy to help myself to a mimosa and find a seat. I was immediately grateful to be sitting next to someone else who happened to come alone. A sweet and lovely lady from Lancaster. Bonus points to her for telling me about her dog, that’s the quickest way to my heart.

After everyone settled there were some quick introductions and then we jumped into…

wait for itttttt….

CHOCOLATE MEDITATION

You heard me right. Well, technically it’s called “Cacao Sound Meditation” which sounds a lot fancier. Even as someone who’s not some crazy chocolate lover I was super intrigued. I’ve been trying out some meditation techniques lately to help focus my ever jam-packed brain, so I was excited to participate a led meditation.

It was lead by Jalpa Dhaduk, who started us off with some basic meditation, and then we slowly ate little bits of chocolate, really taking our time and focusing on all of the different senses. She pointed out how usually when we have chocolate we just shove it in our mouths and are quickly looking for more, but slowling down and really savoring the entire experience helped to focus my mind on the moment. Although mine was melting in my hand a little, so I won’t lie, my brain was also going “GET A NAPKIN NOW YOU WEIRDO”. You win some, you lose some.

KEYNOTE

After that we moved onto the keynote talk with Doctor Colleen Reichmann. Holy moley, is she a woman after my own heart. I honestly wasn’t expecting to hear a talk that was so on point with things running around my own head recently. She started by opening up about her own struggles with an eating disorder. Then she so eloquently explained how we all live somewhere on the mental health spectrum, even though not everyone crosses the border into actual disorders. She did such a great job explaining how some of us are born with some predispositions to mental health problems that start us off farther down the spectrum towards disorders, and things like stressors and environment can push us over that border.

Her main point revolved around how common mental health problems are and how important it is to learn to treat them just like we would regular health issues, ditching the stigma, and learning to embrace proactive care. I actually have a whole page of notes on my phone from the talk!

JOURNALING

Like I mentioned before, I didn’t want to overthink going to the event, so I didn’t spend much time even looking at the event list, so by this point in the morning I was thinking “did they really just go inside my brain and steal all these ideas?!”. I finally started journaling again this year after not doing any for over ten years. I absolutely loved it as a teenager, but quickly ditched it when I was paranoid that someone was reading it. This year I dove back in, and have been really loving it.

The co-founders of The Positivity Charge, Parisha and Dr. Rubina led the journaling workshop and went over the benefits of journaling, and gave us tons of useful prompts and idea of how to really take full advantage of journaling.

TAKE AWAYS

Like I mentioned, going to events alone is generally not my jam, but this was so worth it. Even though I felt some low-key social anxiety almost all morning, getting to hear from and talk to people about things that have been so close to my heart lately was refreshing and exciting. I’m actually really excited for The Positivity Charge Conference in August to get a little more out of my shell, meet some new people, and really connect!

My Morning Routine (with a full time job)

My Morning Routine (with a full time job) - Josie Feather Blog

The beginning of last year I was freelancing, so life was a little different then. When I accepted a full time position in May I knew I needed to make some changes. Not only was I going back to the 9-5, but I was also going back to a commute into the city (an hour each way) so my free time would be a lot more limited. I knew I wanted to set aside my nights to recharge and spend time with my husband, so that meant I needed to start taking advantage of my mornings as the time to work on myself.

My mornings feel a little crazy at times, but it’s worked well for me. Since we live in the middle of nowhere my gym is about 20 minutes away, which takes up a lot of time, and I’m really hoping I can change that in the future. Either way though, I am so glad I’ve found something that works for me, and I really wish I had started a morning routine a few years ago!

5:00 // WAKE UP

My husband makes fun of me for it, but when my alarm goes up I sit right up. My brain is not on, and I’m essentially a zombie, but I know if I let myself stay laying I’ll be passed out asleep again in no time. So I sit up and give myself a minute to adjust.

Once I drag myself out of bed I brush my teeth and throw on my gym clothes. Packing all my bags and setting out my clothes the night before is the most important part of having a successful morning for me. If I have to think about finding clothes in the morning I might as well just go back to sleep.

I grab my lunch for work and I am out the door and on my way to the gym. I’ll usually eat a banana on my way, although I don’t find myself as hungry first thing in the morning as I was last year when I first started my routine, so I go with how I’m feeling that day.

5:40 // GYM TIME

The thing I love about my gym time, more than the endorphins and more than feeling vaguely like wonder woman afterwards, is that it’s the one time of day I can always count on to be “me time”. Even if the rest of the day is pure chaos, having that chunk of time in the morning to only worry about me and focus on what I’m doing is such a huge mental help.

After I throw everything into my locker, I do some stretching for a few minutes before I hit the floor. I’ve been working my way through the BBG program (which I talked a bit about here!) which has helped me lately, since I’m no longer wandering aimlessly around the gym. After I wrap up whatever’s on my BBG schedule I try to do a few minutes of yoga and more stretching!

6:40 // CLEAN YASELF UP

I try to shoot to wrap up my workout around 6:40 and jump right in the shower. I KNOW, everyone is freaked out by gym showers, I used to be too. I have been pleasantly surprised by how clean my gym keeps their showers, and really, there’s just no way I could make it home in time to shower and still stay on schedule, so it’s really my only option. So far I’ve lived to tell the tale.

I usually only do my hair once or twice a week and then just dry shampoo the other days so I don’t have to wash or style too much. I’m all about keeping it simple.

7 // ON THE ROAD

On my way to work I try to either listen to an audiobook or start the day with an inspirational podcast (I love Optimal Living Daily and Chasing Joy!). Starting my day with something inspirational always helps to put me in a good mood and focus my brain on big-picture goals.

8(ish) // QUICK “MIRACLE MORNING”

Once I get to work I usually chill in my car for a few minutes and go through a short and sweet version of the “miracle morning”. A few minutes of meditating, affirmations, and visualizations, followed by writing just a bit in my journal. It all sounds so cheesy, and I was hesitant to try it at first too, but I have been loving the new additions! I am still really really really bad at meditating but it’s all about practice, right? I would definitely recommend adding in some or all of these to your routine. They’ve been really helping me start my day with a positive and clear mindset!

That’s it! It might seem like a lot, but adding these to my mornings instead of rolling out of bed and heading right into work and any craziness that might ensue, has helped so much with my overall happiness. It’s a lot harder to have a bad day when you’re full of endorphins and spent a few minutes clearing your brain out!

I am obsessed with hearing other people’s morning routines, so tell me what you are currently doing for yourself in the AM!