Kitchen Confidential: My Go-To Smoothie

Today's post is all about food! I don't know about you, but I love smoothies. It's fun to get creative combining all kinds of ingredients to create delicious new flavors. Many mornings I'll want something that is simple, quick, and nutritious, and keeps me full until lunch time. I was all about the fruit smoothies until this fantastic recipe for a Chocolate Banana version entered the scene as a recommendation from a friend. Now this is definitely the go-to favorite that I enjoy for breakfast, lunch (at times), or even a snack after a workout. I may be just a little bit obsessed...maybe ;) It's sweet and creamy thanks to the frozen bananas and packs a protein punch that keeps you fueled and full until your next meal! Trust me, one sip and I think you'll have a new favorite too!  Enjoy!


6 Qualities of Successful Leaders

Not all leaders are successful at leading. Sometimes people are placed in a position of leadership, yet never truly accomplish their full potential or develop a successful method of working with and leading teams. John Maxwell has said that leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less. If that is the case, most of us have been placed in a role of influence whether or not we may realize it. In order to grow and develop in our leadership abilities, it is essential to look for certain qualities that successful leaders cultivate and exercise. Take a look at your own life, and see how many of these are part of your leadership and character.

1. Honesty

2. Respect for others and their opinions

3. Superb communication skills

4. Decisiveness

5. Courage

6. Confidence

How many of these are a part of your leadership style? If you're like me, there's always areas where you can grow and continue to cultivate these kinds of character traits into your influence. Leaders are always held to a higher standard, and these kinds of qualities will continue to propel you, and the teams you lead, toward success. I encourage you to add to this list, and think of some qualities in other significant, successful leaders that you admire, and begin to implement some of those characteristics into your own life. As Jim Rohn says,

"Each of us should be in constant search of people we admire and respect, people after whom we can pattern part of our own behavior. Regardless of our age or circumstances, we are never beyond the reach of influence."

Know that as a leader, you can continually grow and make a significant difference through your influence. Continue to cultivate these qualities and others that will lead you toward success.

What Are You Waiting For?

I ask myself this question a lot, especially when it comes to facing a new challenge, fear, or setting a brand new goal. It's easy to be distracted by things that may be good/fun/interesting but if it pulls you away from what you are trying to accomplish, is it worth it? If you don't make a choice that takes you in the direction of your dreams then your priorities are aligned elsewhere. If not now...then when? If not you...then who? Here's the deal: no one can change your life except for you! Challenge yourself to take that leap of faith, to do the thing that you've been putting off, stretch yourself to a new limit, and decide that nothing is going to stop you from accomplishing that which you have set out to do. Now is the best time. What are you waiting for? If you've been looking for a sign...this is it. Just do it. Things are always easier once you get past that first step. 

We often set up mental roadblocks to our progress, and make things seem far more difficult than they actually are. Think about when you end up taking some time off from your exercise routine. Is it easy to just pick up and go again when your alarm goes off in the morning after taking a few weeks off? Probably not. You think of how cozy your bed is, how working out is always so challenging, and you think about how great it would be to sleep in a few extra minutes...etc and sooner or later you're off for another two weeks. Once you decide that feeling healthy and strong is more important that hitting snooze again, you're still faced with the same situation, but the end result is different. When the alarm goes off in the morning, do you want to get up? No. Do you do it anyway? Yes, because you know that once you're up and out, you'll be glad you took the time to strengthen and care for your body. The same is true for your goals. The longer you put things off, the easier it is to prolong a lack of progress. If not now, when? This is your time. Go do those things you've been wanting to accomplish. There's never been a better time than today to begin! What are you waiting for?


3 Thoughts On Success

Happy 2016! It's the beginning of a new year once again, and we're all thinking about the many things we'd like to accomplish or improve upon. There's something about the promise of a clean slate, a fresh start, and a new beginning that's exhilarating, refreshing, and maybe even somewhat challenging. No matter where you're starting, or what exciting goals lie ahead of you, here's three great reminders from one of my favorite authors on the subject of leadership and life success, Jim Rohn. You'll be inspired and encouraged to get out there and do something amazing!

1. Convert dreams into plans, and plans into goals, and goals into those small daily activities that will lead us, one sure step at a time, toward a better future.

2. Attitude is the major determining factor in how our lives turn out. Each of us will be somewhere in the next 12 months; the question we must ask ourselves is where?

3. We must design the future not just dream about it. The smallest of disciplines, practiced everyday, start an incredible process that can change our lives forever. It is the small disciplines that lead to great achievements.

Here's to a fantastic and successful year ahead! 
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