I recently wrote an article on self-love/self-care and with my birthday recently this week and Valentine’s Day coming up tomorrow (and based on my #repost on Instagram from last night) I think it’s time we discuss something very important: It is time for folks to start loving their damn selves!
I set the intentions for the month of February to not include any negative self-talk into my vocabulary. Which, for someone with a long history of having a type-A personality with a touch (or more) of perfectionism and self-esteem issues is a hard thing to do.
So buckle up folks, and you can do that by inserting the metal end into the buckle and pull the strap to tighten because this might be a long ride.
Whether we believe it or not, the world is a beautiful and loving place; love has shown its way to me over and over through 2019 in many different ways.
So let’s get real, raw, and discuss self-love. We have got to love ourselves. We can get started by letting go of what no longer serves us, setting boundaries, and making subtle improvements.
In 2016 a close friend kept telling me “you have got to start taking care of #1.” We would often have this conversation on my 30-minute drive back from my night job because my day job (which required a masters degree and consistently exceeding 6+ revenue lines -without bonuses I might add) didn’t pay the bills. I wrestled with the meaning of that phrase for almost a year while at the same time while the Universe consistently showing me the theme “Let. It. Go.” over and over again. So that’s what I started doing; I started getting clear on what let it go actually meant. Throughout the last 7 years I’ve started letting go of toxic relationships and friendships that no longer serve me, I let go of jobs that caused me more stress and anxiety than what they were worth, and I slowly begin letting go of the thoughts that I’m not good enough, not worthy, and whatever other stories I was telling myself.
We are very creative people. Most of us fabricate stories (as Brene Brown so eloquently calls them our shitty first drafts). I live an entrepreneur lifestyle. For the longest time when people would ask me questions (even before the entrepreneur lifestyle), I would hear something totally different.
Here are a few examples to get your brain working:
Someone would ask “What do you do with Roxy when you travel so much?” What I would hear is “What are you doing with a pet? You are always gone and you’re a terrible dog dad”…. Now I hear something totally different. I hear the question itself. When someone asks that, my response is “Well I’m actually very lucky, my parents are in good health and they only live 3 hours away so she will go visit them or she will go to daycare. Any more questions?”
When I first moved back to Wilmington, I went to young professionals networking events (and I am very lucky to have met both my accountant and financial advisor there because they keep me in line) and people would ask me “Wait, why do you travel so much and why are you gone all the time?” I stopped fabricating the question and I would simply respond “Well, you know how you get in a car to drive to work? I do that 2 days a week and the remaining time I get on planes to fly to work because I have clients all over the world. Any more questions?”
Another question I get asked often is: “wow, I can’t imagine all the things you do. How and when do you sleep?” My response now is “very well actually. I’m usually in bed by 10 and up by 6. Sometimes it’s in my bed and sometimes it’s in a Marriott somewhere. Any more questions?”
My point is that no one will ever criticize us the way we criticize ourselves. As many of you reading this, I’ve spent my entire life telling myself things that I would never say to someone else…yet why do we treat ourselves this way?
Throughout my life, I have had obesity and I have had disordered eating patterns with a touch of exercise addiction (and possibly a mild addiction to ephedra when that was on the market - jeez those were the days amirite?). I know that sometimes I do not appear to look like the Hollywood version of a fitness “professional.” I put quotes around the word “professional” because it’s a fake word that we don’t have time to get into right now.
A little over a year ago, I received a phone call from the owner of a high-end boutique fitness studio frantically asking me to come to help them open because they didn’t have enough staff. I went and met with the regional fitness manager and to her dismay, she said I didn’t “look” like “their" coach material. Years ago I might have let that break me but now I have a different response. Don’t get me wrong, no matter watch position you are in, negative comments will never completely go away and will always sting at least a little. I quickly reminded her that they are the ones that called me and I didn’t call them; I have a job and I do not need one. I also let her know that if we did engage in any type of working relationship that I would not be signing any NDA or non-compete agreements; I wished them a successful studio opening and said if they needed any consulting services to give me a call but I won’t be an employee.
I decided to start setting boundaries on what’s acceptable and what’s not.
#SetBoundaries AKA #NoTimeForTheBullshit
Setting boundaries and getting clear on expectations can be a scary thing to do. Some people fear that setting boundaries might appear as if they are burning bridges. Well, if you think setting boundaries and burning bridges are the same things, then I tell you “may the bridges you burn light your way.”
Setting boundaries is about determining what is acceptable and unacceptable.
In my example above about having a night job to bring in extra cash... I also used my moonlighting at local colleges and gyms as a boundary. Having a night job and a “side-hustle” guaranteed that I was going to leave my office at a specific time. It helped me create a boundary so that I didn’t become so married to a job to the point where I would stay until some un-Godly hour when the work still wouldn’t be done and would still be waiting for me the next day. In salaried positions, it doesn’t matter how late you stay; your paycheck isn’t going to go up.
Setting boundaries can mean determining how and when you will communicate with others. Sending out internal office emails in the middle of the night or in the early hours of the morning is unacceptable. Actually, if you want me to be completely honest with you...using email as a means of communication inside your organization should be completely unacceptable altogether. If you are curious why that is and what is the solution to that, I would be happy to give anyone a FREE 30-minute consultation call. If our call is scheduled to start at 2pm and you call in 5 minutes late, our call still ends at 2:30 pm. After 2:30 pm I bill by the minute as those are billable hours; those are my boundaries.
Over time I’d say I’ve improved about setting boundaries. I try to be clear with people about what is acceptable and what is not; topics we will discuss and topics we won’t discuss, and so forth. After leaving my full-time job and the safety net of a steady paycheck, I had to get extremely clear on setting boundaries. Time is money and you cannot manage time but you can manage priorities. As an entrepreneur, priority management is essential to me. I strategically plan my schedule so I can maximize my priorities. I will not waste energy going back and forth via email with leads or clients trying to find a time to schedule a call; I simply give them a booking link to my calendar where they can find a time that is convenient to them and book directly. Automatic reminders occur to remind both of us when is our call and what method we will use to achieve that call. I weigh everything on my schedule. Real life example, I had to spend the day at the car dealership and was also scheduled to teach a fitness class that morning. I chose to get a sub for my class because paying $30 for a day car rental or taking an uber across town and back to teach a class for $20 wasn’t in the cards. I set boundaries.
If you are having trouble figuring out where to set boundaries. Make a list with 3 columns - Non-Negotiable, Give In, and Give Up. In the non-negotiable column, list the things that are so important to you that you will not budge on. In the “give in” column, list the things that are important but you can compromise on. In the “give up” column, list the things that you would exchange for something of equal or more value. More people should take this approach in job searches (both the employer and the candidate).
Each and every day we make subtle improvements to get better. It is so easy to get stuck in the vicious cycle of trying to prove ourselves and because of that, we operate from a place of shame and then we end up withdrawing. Let’s strive to get better. Let’s strive to be better. When we show up already approved, we operate from a place of no shame and therefore we are able to be present.
Self-love isn’t something you can immediately change your mindset into. It takes time. It’s about making small changes every day. Just because the boarding door of the 9am flight to self-care is closing, it doesn’t mean you can’t hop on the next flight out.
So this year, buy yourself flowers or candy. It’s time for us to love our damn selves.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends!
Keepin’ it 100 with Willy T
Earlier this week, I had the chance to lead a professional development session with a group of extremely bright and talented State Student Leaders of NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. As we approach our Association’s Annual Conference in Boston (this weekend!!!) I was asked to focus the conversation on networking.
During this session, we covered why it’s important, best practices, and networking-related quotes from “NIRSA Legends” that I gathered from some of my friends in the field. There’s one segment that I want to share with everyone because of its relevance to daily interpersonal touchpoints.
It’s the concept of managing an “emotional bank account” when communicating. I’ll explain:
When networking, it’s important to understand that the term itself is predicated upon mutual benefit. Similarly, to benefit a bank account, you’d want to put in deposits. Deposits in this sense can include being polite, positive nonverbal communication, remembering names and details, and sharing information that could benefit the other person.
Withdrawals on the other hand, refer to the things that would take away from the positive experience of others such as being rude, interrupting, sharing too much, and pushing a personal agenda.
Dr. Stephen Covey originally came up with this analogy, and he states that it is the base of all human relationships. We need to be cognizant of the deposits and withdrawals we’re making to maximize our communication with others and provide others with a positive experience.
And as a financial advisor might suggest, it’s usually nice to make deposits before seeking withdrawals!
With the NIRSA Annual Conference approaching - I’d be remiss if I didn’t post a throwback set of photos that exemplify one of the greatest experiences of my life. Serving as the NIRSA Student Leader, I had the chance to learn and grow with six student leaders and nine professional Member Network members as we represented the NIRSA member body for advocacy, development, and communication. I want to take the opportunity to thank this group for pushing me to be the networker, leader, and human that I am today.
Pictured: (Jordan Bishop, Earl Cabellon, Margie Cole, David Davenport, Heather Foster, Jess Gentry, Vicki Highstreet, Kelsey Jones, Andy Lemons, Tiffany Murphy, Megan Normansell, David Parker, David Peters, Pat Shank, Brian Smith - Photo creds to my friends from StevenMillerPix)
Peace, Love, and Networking,
Keepin’ it 100 with Willy T
For a Super Bowl that set a record-low in points, not all was lost for me on Sunday. As a college graduate from the field of public relations, I grew up analyzing Super Bowl Ads to the highest degree (in class and just for fun). I grew a major fascination for it, and since then I’ve always enjoyed the mystery of the SB commercials just as much as the mystery of the game’s outcome.
This year, the ad that stood above and beyond the rest was Microsoft’s “We All Win” commercial that promoted their new Xbox Adaptive Controller.
I urge you to take a moment and watch the commercial, which “illustrates Microsoft’s commitment to building accessible technology that levels the playing field and creates opportunity for all of us.” (Microsoft).
(If Owen stood out to you, it’s because he starred in Microsoft’s commercial released around Christmas that first promoted the product. I’ll link it at the end of the blog.)
You can tell from his introduction alone that Owen is charismatic, witty, and inspirational. At 00:59, he exclimates his excitement that, thanks to this controller, “now everyone can play!”
His dad, though, brings it home with his emotional take on his son being included.
“One of our biggest fears early on was ‘How will Owen be viewed by the other kids?’
Let’s keep it 100, fam… THIS is what it’s all about. Thank you Microsoft for helping us all play. Thank you Owen, Grover, Sean, Ian, and Taylor for reminding us that when we all play, we all win.
Peace, Love, and Inclusion,
Keepin' it 100 with willy t.
On my drive to Virginia last weekend, I grabbed my handy-dandy GoPro and timewarped the most beautiful part of Afton Mountain’s ascend toward the skies and descend through I-64 West overlooking one of the most mountainous and gorgeous parts of the state.
It drove me (pun intended) to write a poem and share:
A Haiku for Road Trips
The drive may be long.
But, to enjoy life’s journey,
Look out the window.
Deep, right? Peace, Love, and Enjoying the Journey,
Keepin it 100 with Willy T.
Do you remember how invigorating it felt as a kid to count down from 100 and leap into “detective mode” amidst your neighborhood game of Hide and Seek? How about the excitement of counting down the New Year? Adults even wear diapers in NYC to partake in this bliss...
If you haven’t made the connection between these moments and your workout routine, today’s the day. I was introduced to this tactic a few years ago and it’s assisted in successful completion of high-rep workouts ever since. Here are a few quotes for explanation and motivation:
“Research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that starting with the max number (i.e. 15 reps) and counting down shortens the perceived duration of the activity, which may make it feel easier. So, don’t count from 25 sit-ups; count from 25 to 1. And, maybe you’ll hate the task a little less.
Keepin' it 100 with willy t.
Happy New Year, fam! Thanks for patiently waiting a couple weeks for me to hop back on the blog grind. I was globetrottin’ around over the holidays and needed some time for self-care and reflection before taking 2019 by storm.
Over break, though, I came across a pretty dope social media post that’s stuck with me since the moment I saw it. The holidays aren’t easy for everyone… Whether it’s the stress of final exams, the loneliness of missing a loved one, or the burdens of finances and travel.
Tom’s take on this is absolutely foundational for motivating myself out of stressful situations in the future:
“Life is funny. At times I feel utterly overwhelmed and unable to handle the stress that life throws my way. It's at those low points that I have felt that I am the farthest removed from the things that bring me joy in life. Flash forward to this past weekend watching a sunset in to the Gulf when I had a little bit of an epiphany. The sun rises and sets every single day, but it's at its lowest point is where people stop to appreciate its beauty. I found comfort in this thought that even at your lowest points, there is still an abundance of beauty in this thing called life.
Keep it up, Tom - Your words inspired me and I hope they inspire many others!
Tom Giles is currently a Graduate Assistant for Competitive Sports at the University of Florida. Originally from the beautiful state of Michigan, Tom attended Oakland University (which is north of Detroit) for his undergraduate degree in exercise science. Tom’s passion is collegiate recreation which he has been heavily involved in, spanning multiple departments and schools. While working for RecSports at Florida, Tom is pursuing a master’s degree in sport management which he is excited to use as a future professional in the field of collegiate recreation. When he’s not working or studying, he LOVES being active. Once he’s worked up a sweat, Tom’s brain needs a workout too. His nightstand has a large stack of books waiting to be read and he is always appreciative of book recommendations.
Keepin' It 100 with Willy T.
As the calendar year comes to a close, I’m focusing my blog on healthy goal-setting for those who are looking to make new commitments to themselves when the ball drops at Times Square in 13 days.
To cap off the series and as we head into the new year, I thought it would be beneficial to share goals from the awesome humans who make up the Globetrotter Wellness Team. 2018 was a wildly successful one for GWS, and lots of things are headed in the right direction for 2019. But first, I wanted to share some goals from the humans behind the organization.
Steven Trotter: Principal
One of my main goals for 2019 is to increase the brand awareness and reach for Globetrotter Wellness Solutions. I’ll take a strategic approach to this and make sure the goals and objectives align with our core mission, vision, and values. Let's breakdown the large goal:
1. Increase brand awareness and reach for Globetrotter Wellness Solutions in 2019.
1.1. Develop consistent, relevant, and accurate content to share with audiences.
1.1a. Create quarterly blog calendars with guest bloggers.
1.1b. Launch the Trotwell30 Podcast
1.1c. Create and deliver online courses
1.1d. Present at conferences around the globe.
1.2. Strengthen authentic relationships with clients, partners, and colleagues.
1.2a. Partner and sponsor events when appropriate
1.2b. Create monthly and quarterly newsletters to be delivered to clients and contacts.
1.2c. Feature clients in a spotlight on successes and achievements whether it be for personal or for work.
1.3. Grow and develop the Globetrotter Wellness Solutions team.
1.3a. Maintain constant communication with potential colleagues.
1.3b. Recruit guest bloggers to write for GWS.
1.3c. Place people in contract positions that align with their strengths.
1. Incorporating regular self care weekly.
2. Find the joy in all my jobs.
Goal: By the midpoint of the calendar year, I will have registered and completed a Spartan Race Sprint.
Goal: At the conclusion of the year, I will have a journal that completed with logged acts of kindness and entries of life’s appreciations.
Aaaaand that’s a wrap for Keepin’ it 100 with Willy T in 2018! Hopefully this series (and this blog in general) has encouraged you to think, to dream, to create, or to just have fun. Hopefully, we’ll all make 2019 the best year yet. One last quote as we ride off into the sunset:
“We only have one life and one body to care of, and we better do it right. You never know what tomorrow may bring and so we better live this life the best we can and be grateful for everything we have.”
Happy Holidays! It is officially 12 days until Christmas and it’s my favorite time of year! Everyone is so much kinder to one another, decorations warm my heart, and now that I’m older it’s one of the few times a year I get to see my family. Now as a young adult, I’ve realized the beauty of Christmas isn’t just about the gifts or Santa- it’s about how the world agrees to take some time off work and spend quality time with our loved ones. With that being said, I wanted to have some fun with this week’s blog.
I don’t know about you, but I am always going to a gazillion potlucks during the holidays. I thought, why not share 12 healthier recipe ideas to bring to your next party?? We are a wellness organization after all. Whether your office potluck assigned you hot entrees, appetizers, or desserts, we have you covered. Here we go:
1. Festive water: Regular water can get boring, add some fun and flavor by adding fresh slices of limes and whole cranberries for some holiday cheer! For some fizz, add sparkling water.
Pro Tip: Freeze the fruits and they will help the water stay cold.
2. Hot Apple Cider: Trying to warm up? Brew fresh apple cider and keep it in a crockpot.
Pro Tip: Serve with cinnamon sticks as stirrers for extra flavor.
3. Cheese and Veggie Platter: Serve fresh cut vegetables such as carrots or celery sticks and cheese for added protein.
Pro Tip: Use holiday cookie cutters such as the star or gingerbread man to make fun shapes with your cheese.
4. Skewers: Break out those toothpicks and layer up pepperoni or salami, cheese, tomatoes, and olives in any order! Who doesn’t love food on a stick??
5. Fruit: You can never go wrong with nature’s candy. A fresh fruit platter complements any food table. You can still cut them out in fun shapes as in suggestion 3.
6. Vegetable Lasagna: Lasagna can be a holiday meal if you believe in it! The colors, the flavors, the nostalgia will all be a crowd pleaser.
Pro Tip: For a healthier swap use zucchini or eggplant instead of traditional noodles.
7. Turkey Meatballs: Be the real MVP and bring protein to your potluck! Turkey meatballs are a great alternative to beef.
Pro Tip: Get creative with the sauce, perhaps a cranberry orange glaze or stick with traditional BBQ sauce.
The following veggies are in season so why not save a buck or two while you’re at it.
8. Butternut Squash Soup: Turn a winter staple vegetable into soup for a bowl of nutrients!
Pro Tip: Keep in a crockpot for it to stay warm.
9. Brussels Sprouts: Did you know boiling brussels sprouts is NOT the best way to cook them? Roasting them in the oven will change your life. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at a high heat; you will never go back to the boiling pot of water.
10. Green Bean Salad: Steam fresh green beans and toss with dried cranberries and your favorite nut (pistachios, walnuts, or pine nuts would go great with this.
Pro Tip: For something extra special, make candied pecans to top this green bean salad with. Roasting nuts bring out their natural oils, guaranteed to make your kitchen smell amazing! Recipe source: All Recipes
11. Christmas 7- layer Cookie Bars: Everyone will be asking for this recipe, all those textures, colors, and flavors are sure to be a hit.
Pro Tip: Cut the bars in smaller bite-size pieces to encourage mindful eating and moderation. It is Christmas after all! Recipe Source: Tablespoon
12. Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip: Serve this with graham crackers for the ultimate crowd pleaser. Recipe: Source: Food, Folks, & Fun
Food isn’t always the only thing you can indulge in this season, try fun, love, and kindness. The good news is that potlucks foster the environment for just that. Bring a dish and leave with memories.
From my kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas!
Keepin' It 100 with Willy T
As the calendar year comes to a close, I’m focusing my blog on healthy goal-setting for those who are looking to make new commitments to themselves when the ball drops at Times Square in 19 days.
To follow along with the series, here’s Part 1.
Last week, I surveyed my followers on Instagram to get a pulse on their goal-setting habits. Here’s what I found:
Q1: “Do you write out your goals?”
Q2: What is a goal of yours as you head into the new year?
A: I’ll list below some of the most common answers:
If any of these goals sparked your creative juices or you have some personal goals in mind, it’s important to frame them in a way that they’re achievable and accountable. Here are a couple quick-read resources to help you turn those wishes into goals:
I’ll focus on putting these tactics into action and share some examples from inspirational friends and colleagues.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
‘Tis the season! The closer we get to the holidays, the more we see about “wish lists.” I have plenty of wishes of my own, many of which these days are less product-driven and more internally-focused. I wish that I could run a little faster, that I would spend more time focusing on others, that I would read more books, etc…
One of my coworkers keeps a quote in his email signature that’s always peaked my interest: “A goal that is not in writing is only a wish.”
This series will not be a blog that encourages you to force upon yourself New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, I want to do the opposite. Over the course of my next couple blogs, I want to focus on healthy goal setting and transparently share with you my successes and learning opportunities. If you feel empowered to join me in setting goals for yourself, I’d love to hear about them along the way!
Now is a better season than ever to spend some time in thought and begin writing down wishes so they become achievable goals. Hopefully, it’ll help you go the extra mile at work, push you to be personally accountable, and reach successes you’ve always hoped to achieve.
So, my step one: Think. Put some serious time into thinking about your goals like you would a Christmas list. Step away from social media, grab a pen, and just write what comes to mind. Maybe it’s about goals, maybe it’s about thoughts, maybe it’s even a doodle for my creatives out there. Let some rough drafts drive you in the direction of beginning to think about writing down accountable goals you move forward.
Peace, Love, and Holidays,
Who we are
Just a team of round pegs in a square hole changing the world one interaction at a time.
Look back at it