What It Takes To Live Optimally - Areas to Optimize

Everyone strives for optimal living but it seems that only few really achieve it. I love that we are in a space where we are always trying to improve, to thrive instead of just survive. But what does it take to really live optimally?

“Optimal living requires sustaining an optimal foundation.”

Realize I say the word sustaining not achieving. Many of us achieve an optimal foundation but the hard part is sustaining that optimal balance that supports the optimal life that you are wanting to live.

When I first started my journey of personal development I always felt like no matter how hard I worked no matter how hard I tried I kept having to do more sh*t! I was questioning if it was ever going to get easier!? Am I ever going to feel comfortable with this process and fully arrive?

The truth is… No! It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. When you get stronger and smarter, and more clear, and honest with yourself you want to take in more, its a natural thing to want to experience life and level up your reality. But every time you level up your reality you have to recalibrate the foundation to support that reality.

So what areas of our live need to be recalibrated and continuously kept in check ignorer to sustain an optimal life?

Area #1 HEALTH

You can focus and sustain multiple areas in your life but if you neglect your health it almost makes it impossible to live optimally! When your body, hormones, and energy levels are off balance it can be really difficult to meet life fully. I understand we all come from different backgrounds, advantages, and disadvantages, regardless of what those are, it is our job to decide to work with those.

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“It's not about the cards you're dealt, but how you play the hand.”

― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Area #2 MINSET

I truly believe that if you put your mind to it you can do and conquer anything! Your mind is so powerful and we have to be careful of how we choose to use it. The mind can think things that don’t add value, hold you down, that tell you “I can never live fully.” “I can never achieve that state!” It is the mind that reinforces, subconsciously, the habitual patterns, thoughts, and beliefs that keep you from sustaining an optimal foundation.

Area #3 SPIRIT

This is who you truly are, what makes you feel alive, it’s what connects you back to the source! Its that place of peace, confidence, knowing and love. Spirit is just as important as Mind and Body. Because if you don’t live from your heart, from your soul… if you’re not doing what feeds your soul, even if you achieve everything else, externally, it’s not going to feel right, it’s not going to feel optimal. So you need to be able to identify what your purpose, your passion, how you fulfill your greatest self, how to feel good, living in the soul you live in, and that is a beautiful thing! You get to self create and self discover!

Area #4 ENVIRONMENT

When your environment doesn’t cater to a healthy, fertile soil, which allows you to grow strong roots and a strong foundation, then you become those plants that get washed away in the rain. You become the trees that break in the storm. This lack of resilience will stunt your ability to live freely and fully. So if you want to live optimally you need to create an environment that will help support your drive, your habits, and the things that you need to sustain this foundation.

Area #5 RESOURCES

Your time, energy, money, opportunity, relationships, people and things around you all contribute to either increasing or decreasing the elevation of your life experience. Realize, if you’re on this journey to become a better you and to live an optimal experience, it isn’t about doing one thing in exchange for another. It’s literally, something that you have to hone in on and focus on, grow, cultivate, and maintain in all areas of your life. Just like a garden, you need to invest your resources in order to make it grow; time, energy, sunlight, nutrients, soil, and repetitive cultivation. You’ll notice the more time and energy you put into your garden the more you’ll get out of it, the same goes for life.

“Show me a person who lives truly free and happy and i’ll show you a person who has taken responsibility and truth over blame and lack of action.”

Be good, be great, and most of all be grateful. Cheers to optimal living!
-MJ

Conquer Your Busy Schedule Like a Boss

Do you ever feel like you’re just so busy all you’re doing is just trying to keep up. Remember, in these moments its important to feel like you are in control over your life and energy! This feeling will allow you to conquer no matter what life throws your way! I promise you even though you are busy you can still conquer, and here are my steps to doing so.

  1. Have a Routine!
    It helps to have a routine both morning and night. Having a routine in the morning helps to start the day off right and a routine at night allows a proper closing of a chapter. This helps with creating consistency, stability and reduces decision fatigue allowing you to put more energy towards productivity which will set you up for success.

  2. Prep As Much As Possible
    Prepping is a HUGE time saver, it insures that I don’t have to spend as much time making decisions and coming up with solutions.

    Some of my favorite things to prep are:
    - Clothing
    My wardrobe is pretty minimal to this tends to be easy.
    - Meals
    I do this typically every 3 days. Doing this makes such a massive difference when I’m having a busy day!
    - Activities for the kids.
    Since our girls are homeschooled they typically tag along for work projects and daily errands so its so helpful to make sure that their tasks and activities for the day are planned out and written down.
    - Bags
    Whether I am going out alone, headed out with the kids, or going to the grocery store, I’ve got an individualized bag setup for that!

  3. Mind My Flow
    What this means is that I’m mindful of my schedule. For instance, if I know we are going to be out and about in the morning, perhaps playing pickle ball with the family for a few hours I probably won’t schedule that bike ride with my friend later that evening. It’s really just about find an energetic balance to the day and being mindful to not overload myself with tasks that require a ton of energy.

  4. Creating Space to Breathe
    This is great to implement and make space for breathing and mentally resetting in between daily tasks or appointments. Presence helps to create a feeling of freshness allowing you to reset, refocus, and redirected your energy.

  5. Make sure You’re Getting enough sleep!
    This area is so over looked! It’s so important to for us to recharge our batteries! I cannot stress this enough. Know when to work hard, but also know when to rest easy.

In conclusion when it comes down to it, just do your best! Do your best not to overload yourself and your schedule. But, if you’re like me, it’s much easier said than done and thats why I’m sharing these steps with you because overlooking the process it is bound to happen at some point. When you’re busy, taking time to plan, eat right, anticipate the busy-ness, breathe, and make sure you catch some ZZZ’s will lay the foundation for your ability to conquer!

Until next time,
Keep Elevating Life! :)

-MJ

Getting Out Of Overtired Cycle

Have you ever felt like you are dragging through your day? Maybe you wake up feeling really tired and find it hard to get to sleep at night? Have you ever woken up in the wee hours of the morning but then you're unable to get back to sleep and before you know it the sun is up and you’re feeling exhausted?

These are major indicators that you are over tired and need more sleep!

Here is a little secret: Sleep begets sleep. Simply put you need to find a way to get more sleep. My hope is that I can provide a few tips here for you to do just that.

Step #1 Get to sleep earlier

It’s much easier to get to bed earlier than to try and sleep in. Sleeping in can sometimes off-set your day leaving you feeling groggy and clouded mentally. You also don’t receive as much quality sleep in comparison to if you had just gone to bed a bit earlier.

  • Set an alarm an hour earlier than your normal bed time to prepare to wind down.

  • Make your bedtime non- negotiable.

  • Be in bed 10-15 minutes early, with lights out, to get settled in.

Take time to notice when you begin to feel sleepy. For some of us this may happen early and we might feel as if it’s to early to be tired or to lay down, so we typically blow past this indicator and miss our sleep cycle!

Step #2 Take naps or schedule quiet time

Thats right, schedule a nap or quiet time, even if you don’t feel tired. Create the atmosphere; Dim the lights, diffuse calming essential oils, or play gentle music when you go to lay down. At first you might feel fidgety or find it hard to relax but as long as you remove distractions and make this a consistent practice, your body and mind will adjust, relax and eventually you might even fall asleep!

  • Set your alarm and start with 30 - 45 minute sessions to avoid over-napping and feeling sluggish.

  • If you have a lot of thoughts coming up during this time feel free to have a journal handy to jot down any ideas you don’t want to forget.

Step #3 Wake up slow

This doesn’t mean sleep in or stay in bed extra long, it just means to take your time to enjoy getting up. Don’t automatically reach for you phone or jump up and startle yourself out of bed. Take time to admire the sunlight or view from your window, stretch and feel you body, notice the support and comfort of your bed. Get out of bed with presence and intention for your day.

Step #4 Have a bedtime routine

Bedtime routines anchor the mind and body to expect and prepare for sleep. As long as you are performing the routine and getting to bed on time, it will become easier and easier. Think calming activities.

  • Taking a hot shower

  • Self massage using essential oils that calm

  • Stretch or foam roll

  • Reading

  • Listening to something that will soothe you

Avoid exciting TV shows or movies, thrilling novels, hyper activity, stress, worry, and work.

Step #5 Don’t be afraid to use help

There are so many wonderful tools to help calm the mind and body, i’ve listed a few already, but here they are again along with some others:

  • Essential oils - Lavender and Camomile are wonderful soothers

  • Self massage with these oils

  • Take a warm bath instead of a shower

  • Mediation, yes there is an app for that ;)

  • Brainwave audio - Binaural beats

  • Relaxing Sounds

  • CBD Oil (I use Hemp Life Today) - I favor this over melatonin

  • Herbal teas that promote sleepiness - Camomile, Valerian, Lemon Balm, Lavender

Keep in mind these things are available when you need help. Try not to become dependent on them to make sleep happen, the idea is we are training the body to be able to do it on its own.

If you have any other tips or tricks please feel free to share! I’d love to share other ways to get to sleep with our community!

May you sleep well,
Until next time,

-MJ

What to Do When Your Energy Drags

You know those days where you can’t seem to pick yourself up, it seems like you just can’t get through the day, and when you finally do, you’re exhausted? You’re overwhelmed and feel like this feeling is never going to end unless you get a 6-12 month break from everything! But we know that’s probably not going to happen… These are typically signs that you are low on energy and you just need some catching up.

I have 5 simple tips for you to regain your energy so you can rock and conquer your day rather than dragging through it.

Tip #1 SIMPLIFY
Simplify as much as possible in your life.

Whether it is simplifying your schedule or simplifying the things you choose to put your energy into on a daily basis. We tend to have a habit of filling our spare time with screen time. (Example: 5 extra minutes = Scrolling through Facebook) What if we spent those few extra minutes taking a few deep breaths, moving our bodies, or doing something that creates centered focus and alignment? Believe it or not this will actually contribute to feeling more energized!

Tip # 2 CATCH UP ON SLEEP
Lack of sleep, restoration, and poor balance can leave us feeling unmotivated and unenergized. To catch up on sleep try getting to bed early, sleep in or schedule a nap or quiet time. These things are crucial because a lot of time we feel like we don’t need more sleep in in fact you’re just overtired and need more sleep!

Tip #3 EAT FOR ENERGY
Most of the time, when we are tired, we do what’s easy: go out to the restaurant, grab fast food or snack of food that has little nutritional value. If your not providing your body with the nutrition that it needs to perform at its peak then you’re not going to have enough energy to do things as simple as your daily tasks! Eat for success, eat lots of vitamin and enzyme rich fruits and veggies, cook whole meals and take time to meal prep! Meal prepping is so worth it. A lot of people tell me they don’t have time to meal prep… That means you should really be meal prepping! Meal prepping allows you to cook once for half a week’s worth of meals.

Tip #4 START MOVING
Once you’ve mastered getting enough sleep and having your meals planned make time to MOVE every day! It could be as simple as taking a 5 minute walk or a 5 Minute Workout. Motion creates energy, happiness, motivation and drive that will propel you through your day!

Tip #5 RELAX & RESTORE
This is HUGE! And absolutely necessary when you’re working hard and playing hard. Here are some of my favorite ways to relax and restore:

  • Reflection

  • Mediation

  • Yoga

  • Getting outside

  • Being active

Whatever you do take time to relax without anything to do!

If you have a favorite way to inspire energy let the community know by leaving a comment below!

May you be energized,

-MJ