Prep and Journaling
First and foremost, we are going to spend January devoted to getting our minds right and addressing BELIEFS! If you’re not resonating at the frequency of where you want to go, it’s difficult to maintain ANY program. I invite you to start to clean up your diet, begin your movement or exercise program, and start the ball in motion to prepare for our hard launch FEBRUARY 1st, 2020.
I carefully selected two people y'all are going to love to kick us off in January, and I’ll tell you more about them in the component section. Jerad and Lau are an amazing scientific-yet-practical duo, who ditched years of traditional medical training and education to focus on their new beliefs about how to be as holistically healthy as possible. Their techniques are largely based on the simple concepts first brought to the public by Nicola Tesla, who believed that energy, frequency, and vibration were the secret key to advancing science. They designed an evidence-based journal to help all of us raise our energy, frequency, and vibration along the way, and I encourage you to buy it or simply follow along with a notebook of your own. In January, Jerad and Lau are going to take us through a series of lessons to help us set our energy in motion and get us in the habit of self-examination, goal setting, creating a vision board, learning how to get into a theta wave state to change beliefs, and journaling to prepare for the February 1st launch. For those who are really “chomping at the bit” to get going, by all means, please start trying out different things with FasciaBlasting, exercise, nutrition, mental work, etc, so you will be ready to design your own program for February 1st. Click here to purchase the journal!
Brainstorming Vision Boards with Jerad and Lau
Welcome to the New Year, New You Challenge 2020! We are starting this challenge with 2 weeks to prep, and you can start this process or revisit any step any time you want! This is the first step, and I’m going to break it down to make it DOABLE!
I’m going to take you step-by-step through the process of how to set goals, because I think it’s important to know HOW and WHY. Vague wishes are vastly different from concrete plans. I’ve been so blessed to be exposed to such an interesting blend of information throughout my life and my career, and I’m honored to be able to bring this to all of you.
Before we set specific goals, I’m going to walk you through this brainstorming worksheet. I wanted to help you really look at your lifestyle in a well-rounded way, because I think it’s so easy for us to set goals in just one or two areas and forget about the rest. This exercise may challenge you, but that’s a good thing! Give yourself a little quiet time to be open and vulnerable, because that is how we prepare for AMAZING CHANGES!
Download your worksheet, print it out, and let’s do this! This really is step 1. You’ll come back to this to narrow your focus, set concrete goals, and create your own personal vision board. So give yourself permission to write down everything that comes to mind in this process, uncensored. We’ll take these abstract comments and narrow them down in the next step, so just let it flow!
Here’s a run-down, so you can go back to any section you need. The live feed is available here whenever you need it!
7:50 -> These categories are designed to help you be a well-rounded person, and it’s fine if you have crossover between categories
8:25 -> Physical goals. There’s more to this than you might assume! This isn’t just how you look, but even digestion, skin, or how you are relating to anything physical.
12:18 -> Individual goals. These are just for you! Write everything that comes to mind, and you might be surprised at the crossover with other categories!
15:00 -> Financial category. This is more about your relationship with money and not just tossing out a number.
19:30 -> Sexuality. This can be with or without a partner, such as wanting to feel sensual or taking the time to put yourself together just for you.
21:57 -> Couples (or any other close relationship). Best to look at the in-home relationships, since those impact the energy of the home.
24:12 -> Life mission and purpose. We’re digging deep to find your passion and what brings you joy.
26:28 -> Emotional. Rather than saying what you don’t want, we’re brainstorming what feelings we want to experience (or experience more of).
27:46 -> Creative. Creative pursuits can make us feel energized and bring so much joy.
31:36 -> Spiritual. This is however you conceptualize spirituality and is not exclusive to any one belief system. This can be anything from reading spiritual books to meditating to setting up the type of morning routine that prepares your spirit for the day.
34:57 -> Hobbies and interests. What do you do just because you enjoy it?
36:39 -> Family and anyone you want to work on a closer relationship. Take the vague ‘feel closer’ and list some things that would bring you and that person closer. What would you like to do with them?
38:03 -> Culture and style. What do you want to develop? What do you want to accentuate or give more focus? 39:20 -> Education. We’re lifelong learners. What would you like to learn more about?
After you jot down your thoughts, let your worksheets sit overnight before you read over them. Does anything new come to mind as you read back through your first thoughts? Go ahead and add it all in! This space is just for you!
You can start this process TODAY, whatever today is for you, and follow your own timeline. There’s never a bad time to improve your life!
Get all the challenge info on the New Year, New You 2020 page.
Challenge Prep: Refine and Focus
This year in the New Year, New You Challenge, we are really taking the process of upgrading our lifestyle and habits and breaking it down into manageable steps. I’m so happy to be able to take this time with you to walk through that process, and it reminds me just how grateful I am for everyone along my path who taught me pieces of what I’m going to share with you!
I have a totally different approach this year, and that’s why we’re teeing up with this self-exploration exercise. This year’s challenge is so much more than a list of things to do - we are changing our relationship with the different factors that make up our lifestyle. More about that in a bit. For now we are diving into steps 2 and 3 of the brainstorming and goal-setting process. Make sure you caught the first step of Challenge Prep: Brainstorming and have your worksheets handy!
Step 2 -> Refine
Step 3 -> Focus
To refine what you’ve written on your brainstorming sheets, we’re going to take it a step further now. Go back and read through each category on your worksheets, taking anything vague or generic and adding to make it more concrete.
I went through to user-submitted examples in this live feed. If you want to hear the full thought process about how to take it a step further in each category, take a listen! I’ll include some examples here that I think are pretty applicable to everyone.
- Look for any negative statements you might’ve used. Anywhere you see the word not, find a way to flip it into a positive statement [approximately at 10:15 in the video].
Example: Not be so sedentary
Flip it: I want to create more daily movement.
- Go deeper. Look for the desire behind what you listed in your brainstorming. What will help you create the feeling you want in that area of your life? [13:45]
Example: feel sexy.
Flip it: connect with my femininity all day long. Then add specific examples like hug my partner when passing each other at home, get put together when just lounging if it makes me feel good, or wear heels just because it helps me feel self-love.
- Note connections across the different categories. It’s common to start seeing some themes emerge with crossover in different categories. [24:24]
Example: When your hobby, creativity, purpose, and business involve the same theme.
Flip it: Create a space for each aspect of that theme in your goals. If your hobby and business involve the same thing, make sure that while you get business done, you allow some time to enjoy and take pleasure in it as hobby time.
After you work through your sheets to refine what matters to you right now in each category, we’re going to focus our intention one one specific idea in each. Grab your highlighter, go through the categories one by one, and just highlight whichever goal you feel drawn to.[31:00]
Listen to your gut and don’t second guess yourself! We’re choosing just one from each because that keeps it balanced for you as a whole person, and because it helps prevent major overwhelm (if you tried to tackle every goal all at once). This is about getting the mindset right and setting yourself up for SUCCESS!
Get all the challenge info on the New Year, New You 2020 page.
Challenge Prep: Balance and Vision
Our challenge prep has been all about setting our personal goals for a well-balanced life. We’re getting clear about what we want to set ourselves up for an amazing New Year, New You Challenge! What do you want? If I looked across at you and asked right now, could you answer? Plenty of people have a vague idea what they want in a couple areas, but a huge number are missing out on this specific, whole-life vision. I’m so glad you’re here and giving yourself this gift of self-reflection and self-love!
This is the third blog in the series, so make sure you’ve done your brainstorming and the refine & focus steps before you move forward. Just like with FasciaBlasting one layer at a time, we’re preparing for this challenge one step at a time. We’re going through two steps of this today:
- Balance - look at current life balance and how to adjust it
- Vision - how to find and choose images for your vision board
I did this first exercise myself today, called a life balance wheel. If you just keep truckin’ along through each day, each week, each month, you might have no idea whether you’re balancing different goals in your life or - as is way more common - skewing toward a couple of them and skimping on others. This is simply creating a visual representation for you to see that balance or imbalance in your life right now. Some people do it to look more like a pie chart, and my example I’m sharing is in the ‘spider web’ style. Take a breath, get some paper or a white board, and let’s do this!
Make a large outer circle. Write the title of each category from our brainstorming worksheet around the outside, spacing it somewhat evenly (but no need to bust out a protractor!). Make a point in the center, and draw a line from there out to each category. Under each category write the short version of your goal (we’re keeping this in sight and in our minds!). Then, imagine the spokes as a number line from one to ten. Ready?
Think about where you are with each goal right now. Rank it with a number, then plot your point on the line, with zero as the center dot and ten at the outer circle. After playing connect the dots, take a look at what shape takes form.
Is yours a starfish like mine? My example is imbalanced, with significantly more time and effort going to a few hours and almost none to others. There is absolutely no guilt or shame needed here; this is a tool for you to see where you want to dedicate more time to create more balance. When you translate this to your vision board, you might print some pictures bigger for the categories that need more intention right now.
You can do this balance wheel again at the end of the challenge to compare. You can also do this exercise with a partner, family member, or friend to spark a great conversation with depth and meaning, and then you have an accountability partner!
Our next step will be creating our vision boards to represent our goals, and we want to take our time choosing images [4:40]. I took about two hours selecting mine, because I wanted them to have meaning behind them and have an emotional impact. The more powerfully you connect with your images, the more powerful your vision board will be!
For example, I didn’t just grab the first surfer picture I saw. I wanted to feel joy looking at it, so I chose the search terms ‘happy surfer’ and then really looked to find the one that spoke to me. Then for my goal about cooking more, I chose pictures that just looking at them motivates me to become a better chef. When you put together search terms, think about how you want to represent your goal and the emotion you want to convey. This is your time to invest in yourself!
Quick tips on saving and printing images. If you’re a Word user, you can open a new document. Go to your internet browser with the image you want, right click (or two-finger hold for Mac users) and choose ‘copy image’ (not ‘copy link’ or ‘copy url’). Then bring up your document and paste the image. You can resize it using the corners. Once you’ve pasted in all your images, you’re ready to print.
Check out my live feed to see all the pictures I used and hear a bit about why I chose them. I hope that inspires you to think through what you want to feel when you look at your vision board!
Our next steps will be to create our vision boards and then hone in on how these goals translate into daily and weekly schedules. Take your time and enjoy this process - you deserve a joyful life with balance and vision!
Challenge Prep: Beliefs, Brain & Behaviors
It’s time to translate our New Year, New You Challenge goals into our vision boards! Are you excited?! If you’re feeling a little nervous, we’re going to help you shift and learn to enjoy this process. I’m digging deep with my good friends Jerad and Lau of Pura Vida Vibrations so we can harness the power within to reach our goals and make lasting, positive changes. Make sure you’ve worked through Steps 1, 2, and 3 before you continue - there’s absolutely a method to this process, and we want you to get the most out of it!
Jerad and Lau are the caring team behind this year’s NYNY Planner. I chose this planner because of the power of shifting our mindsets and taking the time for some self-exploration, and they even included space for brainstorming, goal setting, checking in weekly and monthly on your goals, and opening your mind with carefully chosen inspirational quotes. This helps you build in your WHY and maintain awareness of it throughout the challenge and the whole rest of the year.
As Jerad said in the live feed, you can still produce changes if you skip step 2 or 3, but belief is at the core of all things. I love how he said it: “Our beliefs determine our thoughts, as well as words, which are spoken thoughts. Thoughts and words determine our actions; actions determine results” [9:00]. Basically, if you want to look a certain way or develop healthier routines, go all the way to the foundation to line up your beliefs with your goals. It will be so much easier to stay on track (or get back on track anytime); skipping this step might mean you can power through with your plan temporarily but ultimately return to your old habits.
Mindset shift: We tend to get stuck in beliefs and expectations and put self-development on the back burner. This is your time! You deserve to work through this entire process to unlock that power that is right there inside you.
There are simple things you can start doing today to change the beliefs that aren’t serving you [13:00]. You can read books that open your mind - this is my personal favorite way to start my day - or you can use audiobooks, podcasts, or documentaries. These are all great launching points, but have you ever felt super motivated while reading a book but never really implemented what you learned? That circles back to beliefs. We’re fast-tracking these shifts with our NYNY planners and this while preparation process. The next piece of the puzzle comes from understanding a bit about the brain.
Our brains shift through different states throughout the day, and we’re going to talk about three of those states:
Beta waves: most of us spend most of our time in beta. With daily life, work, family, fight-or-flight mode, if we’re living in beta 24/7 making any lasting changes is like a salmon swimming upstream.
Alpha waves: one notch down, this is a bit more relaxed, such as when we’re in a creative space with painting, music, or daydreaming. Read this article from Psychology Today to learn about using mindfulness training and meditation to help you shift from beta down to alpha.
Theta waves: the next step down, which occurs naturally right before we fall asleep and right before we wake up - that state where we’re between being awake and asleep. In this state, there’s no filter from the conscious mind placing judgment on anything, and it’s in this state that are belief structures are formed. We were mainly in this state from birth to age 6 (remember when playing rocket ship or princess was so real to you?), which is when many of our beliefs were likely programmed into our subconscious. Read this article from Dr. Bruce Lipton to learn more.
Mindset shift: if you have children, be mindful of the messages you’re sending their developing brains! And for you - what are your beliefs? Think back to when you were a young child absorbing inputs and determine whether that belief aligns with who you are and what you want in your life.
So how do we change our beliefs? We can actually harness that theta wave brain state to reset the subconscious wiring and implant the beliefs we choose. Our minds like to look for the complicated route, but really the best thing to do here is keep it simple. We’re not talking about expensive practices reserved for only the elite few; this is for all humankind.
Jerad and Lau generously shared a track they created to help you get into a theta wave state. In their practice, they use things like crystal sound bowls, which create binaural beats (that’s a super interesting rabbit hole, and you can listen to this interview with Dr. Lipton if you’re ready to jump in). This is the same note vibrating at a slightly different frequency, which creates a bit of a wobbly sound and, when the brain can’t decipher it, it sort of unplugs [28:00 in the live feed] and you shift down to theta. This doesn’t mean it’s relaxing; it’s more about a reset that opens your mind to take in the new beliefs (which Jerad and Lau layered into the track with the help of a neuro-linguistic programming expert, which basically means how word choices impact us neurologically). These are positive things, affirmations, to help you - absolutely nothing scary!
Tip from Lau: You can create your own affirmations! Always phrase your affirmations in the present tense, as if what you desire is already here, already occurring. Some simple examples are I am grateful for my perfect, abundant health. I am loving. I am joyful.
Mindset Shift: If one of your goals includes working out, how are you thinking when you go to do your workouts? Instead of ‘I have to go to the gym,’ try ‘I get to go to the gym’ or ‘I choose to go to the gym.’ The energy you’re bringing in with gratitude for and enjoying your workout is powerful and can lead to faster results!
Yes, these are huge concepts! For now, I want to bring you back to where this fits into our challenge prep. We’ve been taking the time to think about who we really are, how we want to live a balanced life, and now how to back that up with our beliefs and some brain power [49:00]. Making these changes little by little will help it be sustainable and attainable. I want to cut through overwhelm and set you up to be in the driver’s seat of your life.
Your next step is to take the images you chose and create your vision board. Bring in the energy and emotion you want to experience while you put it all together, and if you get frustrated (or aren’t used to doing visually creative things), go ahead and take a break as needed and return when you’re ready to enjoy the process. Then, make sure you put your vision board where you will SEE IT! Don’t tuck it away in a cupboard or corner - you need to look at it daily! Every time you look at those images, let yourself feel exactly how you want to feel. Let it rise up and radiate inside you!
Mindset shift: the typical way of thinking is that goals have to be measurable and tangible. We’re choosing goals based on what stirs the most emotion and energy in us. This will create powerful momentum!
You can watch the full live feed to hear so many more gems from Jerad and Lau. And you can find more of them throughout the challenge in the Food School group.
Challenge Prep: Creating Your Daily Schedule
We have reached the last step in the preparation portion of the New Year, New You challenge. I really believe in the power of this process, going from the big ideas in brainstorming, refining to narrow them down, putting goals together in a balanced plan, and then learning how to change habits in a lasting way. Today we’re taking our bigger goals and determining what goes into our daily schedule (and what will be weekly) to reach those goals.
Doing this step now will really set you up for a more successful challenge. In the live feed I walk you step by step through my process, because there really is a practical step like this needed to get from our dreams to nailing to how to fit in the action steps each day to get there. Set yourself up with a pen and some paper and do this with me!
Ashley tip: note which things are your absolute non-negotiables. These will become part of your daily routine, while the other beneficial steps may be several times a week.
My non-negotiable list used to take me 15 minutes in the morning, and I spent that all on setting myself up mentally. During last year’s NYNY, that list grew to between an hour and an hour and a half every morning. Remember to be realistic as we go through this, because what you set as non-negotiable really has to happen every day. I don’t want you to feel failure if it’s not realistic; I want you to choose what’s important enough to you to do every single day and revel in your success! You absolutely can draft a huge list and later pare it down.
Let’s get down to it. Get your vision board out and in sight, so you can see your goals [4:54]. Either make 2 columns on a page or have a notebook open with 2 pages. One side is for writing a list of the actions that go with each category, what you can do to propel yourself toward each goal. The second page or column is for anything in your life that could inhibit you from accomplishing these things.
Ashley tip: it’s not just about adding in more action steps. We’re removing some obstacles to make space for those steps!
As an example, I went through the action steps toward my physical goals [11:20]. I wrote out in the first column how many times a week I’m going to lift, do cardio, FasciaBlast, do traditional yoga, do FasciaYoga, go to my swim class, etc. 8 hours of sleep went on my list of daily non-negotiables, as did meditation.
Next, I went over to the second column to look at what I need to eliminate or where I need to create boundaries to make each step possible [13:47]. If I’m going to swim class three mornings per week, what am I normally doing at that time and how do I create the space? An inhibiting factor for me is whether I’ve gotten enough sleep. I’m less likely to feel like getting up and getting there if I haven’t slept enough, so then I create a boundary on my own schedule to make sure I get to bed on time the night before.
Ashley tip: we spend so much unintentional, unfocused time on things that don’t align with what we really want in our lives. If you look for these, you’ll find some time you can recover!
Start doing an inventory of things that are time suckers or energy suckers [20:18]. No more mindless scrolling (or mindless anything). If you want to take your life to the next level, be intentional and mindful with your time and everything you do.
I learned that for me, I need to schedule my non-negotiables in my morning routine. When I lived in Los Angeles and worked with (and was exposed to the habits of) all kinds of successful people, I noticed that none of them slept in. They knew you need to be up and awake and feeling good. As you whittle down your list and schedule out what is in your daily routine now and what will be two or three times a week, consider which of these to try shifting into your morning routine. You might be surprised at how great you feel throughout the rest of the day if you’re fueling yourself with you non-negotiables!
I’m so glad you’re here for this challenge, and I hope to help you build a bridge this year from where you are to where you want to be. Take your time getting all your prep lined up, and then you’ll be ready to rock this lifestyle upgrade!