You asked and I delivered. Specifically, on how I make my life work.
In this podcast episode I’m telling you the top 10 things I use/do to make my life awesome, and I know they can make your life awesome too.
EPISODE 185 TRANSCRIPTION
Welcome everybody. Sari de la Motte here with you for another episode of From Hostage to Hero. This one is for all y'all who keep asking me how do I have your life? How do I get your life? And my life is awesome and not awesome, as is all of our lives. In fact, in an upcoming podcast, I'm going to share with you one aspect of my life that is not really awesome right now for me personally, but I love to share all the things.
So before we get to that podcast, today, I'm going to talk about the 10 things I swear by and I want to share them with you because I love all these things. They make a major difference in my life. Some of them are things, some of them are practices, some of them are habits. And so let's get to it.
I'm kind of going in order of my day, but not necessarily. But that's why the first one comes up, which is morning pages.
Number one is morning pages.
So if you've hung around me enough, you know that I love my morning pages. I've probably been doing them now for about 15 years. They are from Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, which is for artists who are feeling stuck or unable to create art. So she wrote this whole book about how to get yourself out of that jam. And y'all should own this book because y'all are artists and you need to be doing the things she says in there. One of them is artist dates, which I just love and I need to get back to doing that. The whole Covid thing completely threw that out the window, but that's just an excuse.
But morning pages is one of the first things that she assigns. And here's the basic gist. It's different from journaling in that morning pages are the first thing when you get up, you just write three pages long hand of whatever the fuck is in your brain.
I like to call it a bowel movement for my brain. It's not journaling, it's not sitting there and thinking and reflecting. It's just like, "Oh my God, I hate my curtains. I've gained weight. What's my problem? I should stop eating M&Ms and oh, I have to run to the dry cleaners and I need to ask my husband to do this. And oh, I need to sign that permission slip." Now you might think, well, what is the use of that?
Well, I'm not really sure what the use is except for that I feel much clearer after I've done it. And that it just is a way to clear out your brain so that you can get to what you're doing. It's like taking all the garbage out so that you start the day with the clean slate.
It doesn't matter what you're writing. If you don't know what to write, just keep writing, "I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write," until your brain says something else. It's also a great way to see your brain on paper, which is frightening for most of us. But we never get that stuff out on the page and it's great to see it there on the page.
Now as I'm going through it, I'll oftentimes underline things I want to remember and then at the end of morning pages, I add those things to my to-do list and voila, now I've got all those things out of my head and on a to-do list. So it makes me feel much more calm.
It's a way of almost like anti-meditation, but it's meditative. Meaning in meditation, you're not supposed to be thinking here you are taking everything you are thinking and putting it on paper. It's very meditative in itself.
So I use those little composition notebooks. You can get a case of them on Amazon for 15 bucks and do I keep them hells to the fuck no. When I'm done, I just throw it away because again, it's not journaling, it's literally an exercise to clear my brain for the day. That's number one thing I swear by.
Number two is coaching.
My dudes. I am a certified co-active coach. Everyone in our business who is coaching is a certified or working toward being a certified co-active coach. I have a certified co-active coach as my coach, as does everyone in our business. We believe that coaching is going to save the world. This is where all of the mindset stuff comes in.
As you've heard me probably say before, I started with delivery, helping y'all deliver your content and then I found out your content was really bad and didn't make any sense. So I started working on the content side and that's how I came up with all my templates and the things there. And then I got really trained in the group dynamics piece. And there we have our three parts of a message, content delivery, reception. What you say, how you say it, how it's being received.
My work did not take off until I went and got my coach's training and added the mindset piece. So coaching is absolutely essential. If you want to have your best life possible, full stop, you have to have a coach. I don't think I've ever said it that strongly, but I'm saying it right now. You have to have a coach. I will always have a coach until the end of my life. It will never be over. Why? Because coaching helps you become a better observer of yourself and the more you know yourself.
And I don't mean wallowing in your stuff and what your parents did to you, that's therapy. I'm talking about your patterns and getting yourself out of jams and understanding why you're doing the things you're doing and how to do them differently. It helps you become a better observer of yourself. And when you're a better observer of yourself, you make better decisions. It is absolutely essential. So get yourself a coach.
If you want our help, we have coaches that are trained, CTI certified coaches, many of them actual attorneys, so they know your struggle.
Coach K is our lead mindset coach here. You actually have to be chosen by Coach K to coach with him. But if any of you're dying to coach with Coach K, you can email us and we'll see if he's got an opening. If you don't want to coach with any of us, we've got other people that can give you coaching references and names and numbers. But get a coach. It is the best money you will ever spend.
When I first hired my coach, I tripled my income in one year and we weren't even working on business stuff because I got my mind right. I started focus. That's when I started really focusing on attorneys. Triple my income in one year. I've tripled that now in the last five years. It's incredible what coaching will do. And if you need people telling you how great coaching is, I'm happy to give that to you because we've got tons and tons of happy clients here. But again, it doesn't even have to be through us.
What I will say is be careful of who you hire. There are a lot of people out there touting themselves as life coaches that don't know what the fuck they're doing. So co-active or CTI is the one that I recommend that you get a co-active coach. But coaching is another thing I swear by.
Number three, time maps.
If you have my Life by Design course, and if you don't, I'll just tell you a quick what it is, but it's not mine. I took it from Julie Morgenstern, which is she's got an organizing book and I can't remember the name of it, read it so many years ago. But the basic gist is this, every single moment of my life is planned except Sundays down to the 15 minutes. And now that may sound to you like the most horrifying thing ever, but I tell you, it gives me so much peace and joy and our clients who are using them love it. Because I now know when I do things and when I don't do things.
So if somebody says, "Can I meet with you?" I know exactly when I can meet with them. If I've got a to-do list and I hand it to my assistant, she knows exactly where to put those things. I don't just put things wherever they go and over schedule myself because I don't know how much time I have. I know exactly how much time I have every single week, if not every single day to get the things done that I need to get done. And when it's full, it's full. It's got to wait till next week. I've got my whole year planned out in advance, yep. And it gives me so much joy and peace to know when I'm doing the things.
To be able to say yes to people or no to people based on what I've decided is my priority versus the pressure to say yes to somebody or even to say yes to myself. There's times I want to take on a project that I really want to do and I'm like, I'm already committed to this.
So time maps. If you want to learn more about time maps, I have a podcast on time management. Go and search, sariswears.com, the podcast page and you can search for my podcast on time management and how to use a time map.
Number four, stretching.
It's a really weird thing to say, but I stretch every night before bed and have for I don't know how long. It helps me sleep better. It helps me age better. I still creak and still have issues, but I'm telling you this is not something that you want to wait until you are in a position where you're crouched over and you're in so much pain that you need to see a chiropractor every single day.
Do some stretches, whether that's yoga or just simple, I do both, simple stretches of your hamstrings, quads in the doorway frame. I'm telling you, stretching makes all the difference. It is really, really important. And I do it every night before bed and I do it every day after my workout. So twice a day. But I never ever, even if I skip a workout, I never ever skip my stretching at night.
Number five, time off.
I take every year it's gotten more, I think next year I'm taking 12 weeks off. Yep, you heard me right. 12 weeks off. I put it in my calendar. It's the very first thing I put in my calendar and then I schedule everything else around it. And if somebody asks if I can do something during that time, if I can move it and I don't have to get rid of it, I might say yes, but most of the time I say no and definitely say no if I have to get rid of it. I take time off.
And if you don't take time off, minimum five weeks a year. Minimum. All of my staff gets five weeks off, paid, a year. You are doing it wrong. What the hell are you thinking? Why are you here on this earth? It is not to work until you die. You need to be taking that time off and tending to yourself. You are the most important thing you've got for your family and for your job. Schedule that time in. I swear by it, the more time I take off, the more successful I am. It correlates 1 to 1.
Y'all think it's the opposite. You're going to take time off and your business is going to go to hell. Your trials are going to be shit. I'm telling you, the more time you take off, the more successful you're going to be. That has been absolutely true in my life.
Closely related to number five is number six, which is vacation for one.
I highly recommend that one of your weeks, if not a weekend of your time off, you do it by yourself. You can love your family, you can love your kids. I certainly do love my family and my kid, but getting away with just you and your thoughts is absolutely priceless. Actually not priceless because it costs a lot of money, especially for me because I go to Canyon Ranch every year now. I went for my 50th and I decided I'm going every year for a week in the desert and be massaged, and fed really healthy food, and exercised and hiking in the desert because it clears out my brain. It's like one big week of morning pages. Just me. I swear by it. Vacations by yourself.
All right, number seven is plantoeat.com.
I'm telling you, I swear by this, it's new in my life but I swear by it already. Plan to Eat is a place that you can put in all of your recipes. In the second part of their program, you can then plan your week because that's what Kevin and I have done for years is we've planned everything we're going to eat for the week on Sundays. And then when you click on the third tab, it creates a shopping list from what you just planned. It's amazing. Plantoeat.com and guess how much it costs? A whopping $39 a year.
If you want to get healthier, if you want to take out the stress of meal planning and grocery planning, get Plan to Eat. It's going to take you time to set it up because you got to input all of your recipes. But you can even go on the internet and download them that way. Kevin does all of our cooking so we're taking all of his brain and putting it in there. But now that it's in there, I can hand it to my assistant and she can plan all the meals for the week and go grocery shopping. Yes, I've got an assistant who does all that for me.
I know, but that really brings us to number eight. The other thing I swear by which is hiring.
If you can hire out the things that you don't want to do or that you shouldn't be doing because you're amazing and your brain is amazing and you should be spending your brain on your awesome tasks at work and the rest of your time with your family, then hire every last possible thing you can hire. I mean it. I've hired not just in my business, but I've hired somebody to handle all of our shit. Someone to go grocery shopping, somebody to do all our appointments, somebody to do all our meal planning and meal prep and go through my email and do all of the things.
Now, could I take that money and put it in a savings account to make sure that I have enough to retire? Yes. But why would I? Why am I going to wait until I'm 60 some years old to enjoy my life when I have the money now I'm going to spend it. I give somebody a job and my life is awesome now. I don't know how much time I have and neither do you. So I swear by hiring, I often hire before I have the money and then I make more money because I hire. Because now I'm not doing my laundry and planning the meals so I can focus on creating great content and making more money. So I absolutely 100% swear by hiring. Do it before you think you need it. You'll be amazed.
Our gal that does all that for us just broke her ankle and our life is in disarray because she's amazing and we are so dependent on her, which is the downside of it. So they break your ankle. But hire, hire, hire. Not necessarily at work where you're top heavy because you think you need that instead of hiring the right people. I mean hiring out your laundry, hiring out your house cleaning, hiring out your grocery shopping. If you could afford it, and so many of you can, and so many of you don't think you can and you really can and some of you really can't but you should because then you will. So basically all of you, hire, hire, hire. If anything on this list, I swear by that one.
Number nine, journaling.
I swear by journaling. Journaling is different than morning pages. There's a lot of shit that we all carry in our heads. Morning pages is a great way to kind of start your day and just get all of the cobwebs out. But journaling is more for figuring out your stuff. I journal on everything.
I journal on when Kevin and I have had a fight and what happened. I journal on my kid, went to the dentist last week and she has a hole in her tooth and how the hell did that happen. I'm a terrible mother. All that kind of stuff that I go through, I journal it, I get it on paper. It helps me work out my stuff. It's like a therapist that you just talk to that doesn't talk back, which is actually kind of nice. And most therapists don't actually talk back that much. They're just there to listen. That's what a journal is for.
So many of you have asked me, "I don't know how to journal, what do you journal about?" Just anything. This happened today. What's going on with me? Why am I having the reaction that I'm having? Where is that coming from? How do I want to be instead? Oftentimes I'll write down the five things that are stressing me out and I'll take each one step by step and say, "Here's all the steps I can do to stop this from stressing me out." A lot of it has to do with hiring and get rid of that. It makes me feel so much better. I always have a journal. I have journals and journals and more journals. People buy me journals all the time. It's a joke. But I love journaling.
Again, it's that observer of yourself piece. And if you get a coach, a good one, they're going to have you have a journal and they're going to give you a lot of stuff to journal about that comes up in your sessions because journaling is a great way to process whatever it is you are dealing with as a human, which is a lot of shit for most of us.
The last thing that I swear by is boundaries.
Here's what I want to say about boundaries, is that boundaries are for you, not other people. So many times people will say, "Well I've set this boundary and they keep doing the thing anyway." Whether it's your in-law or your parent or your spouse or your kid or somebody at work, your colleague, your employee. And here's what I always say is that boundaries are for you, not for other people. Meaning if someone crosses your boundary, the question isn't, why aren't they doing what I am saying? The question is, what do I plan to do if that happens? So as you're creating your boundaries, you're creating them for you. I am not allowing this in my life, whatever it may be.
So for me recently is, excuse me, I am not allowing anyone in my life who treats me badly or makes me feel bad. Now, there may be times when Kevin says something inadvertently or a friend says something and I'm not going to just cut that person out of my life, obviously, because it's not a pattern. But when somebody consistently treats me badly and makes me feel bad, my boundary is not they should stop doing that. My boundary is when they do that, they are out of my life. They have no room in my life.
So if that happens, the relationship is over, notice that the boundary is, the relationship is over. And that's how I want you to be thinking about boundaries. If X happens, I will do Y. Y is the boundary not X. So X is the behavior that you're no longer willing to tolerate. Y is what you're going to do when that behavior happens. Because it will happen because we cannot control other people.
Boundaries are also for you, right? I will not take on more projects than I can handle. I will not create a schedule that I cannot handle. I will not say yes to more things than I can handle. So many things that I've had to say no to myself.
So then again, how do I do that? Well, when this comes in, I've had to say myself. If something comes in and I've got that personal time marked out, it's an automatic no. Where before I'd be like, should I? Maybe I should take it? So I'm creating boundaries for myself. In fact, that's been the most important thing, is saying no to myself.
- Morning pages
- Time maps
- Time off
- Vacations for one
- Plan to Eat
- Journaling, and
Those are the top 10 things that I swear by that make my life work. Which ones are you going to try? Email me at, [email protected] and let me know. Talk soon.
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