To Women Who Want to Live Their Best Lives But Don’t Know How

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I always think to myself, “What do my readers need to hear?  What are the things that I’m hearing from you?” And I think at the end of the day we all just want to live a really good life; we all want to live a fabulous life. You know I want to live the Flip Flop life, and hopefully you want to live the Flip Flop Life too. I created a manifesto of what does that really mean. So, if you ever want to get a copy of my Flip flop Life manifesto, do me a favor, hit me up on the socials or you can email me at squadleader at kimbarnesjefferson.com, and just put “Flip flop Life manifesto” in the subject line and send it to me and I will happily send you a copy of the manifesto.

I was thinking about who am I to come up with a manifesto? I came up with a manifesto because I was like, “How do I want to live my life?” And that’s where I want you to think about yourself. If you were starting a business you’d be like, “What kind of business do I want to start?” And then you would say, The business is going to sell magic beans and the beans are going to come in these wonderful containers, and then the wall colors are going to be this color, and then when people come in this door we’re going to greet them in such a way.” You plan a kid’s birthday party, you plan anyone’s party, you figure out all the minute details and you take it from soup to nuts. Yet you don’t do the same thing with your life and you kind of bump along, for lack of a better term. And then you wake up and you’re just like, “Hell, how did X number of years pass by and I told myself when I was a little kid that I was going to be_________”

Were you going to run away and join the circus?
Were you going to be a French clown? I don’t know. Whatever it was that you told yourself you’re going to be your kind of like, “DAMN life has just passed me by.” 

I’d Thought I’d Be More Successful By Now

This came up to me because I’m in the process of running this five-day masterclass and it’s all about those people who fall on and off the fitness wagon. And some of the themes have come up from these women, and I wanted to really kind of explore it a little bit more here with you.

It came to me as one of my private clients, told me that she feel as though she would be so much more successful.” My response, “What is success to you? How do you define success? And then how are you measuring it?”

How Do You Define Success?

Because the best thing I ever heard about when it comes to success is that when I aim at nothing, I always hit it. That was like a coconut to the head. And when I asked her this question, she kind of gave me this blank stare. The question I pose back to you is “Are you comparing yourself to somebody else? What do YOU want to be successful at? What do YOU want to be known for? What is that legacy you want to live?” Because before I start looking out the window and saying, “So and so has this, and so and so has that” and try to keep up with the Joneses, I got to know what I want. You know how I feel, and I’m going to get a little woo woo up in here. But if you don’t clearly declare what you want, there’s no way the universe can conspire to bring it to you. If one day you want an orange and one day you want an apple and one day you want a banana, there’s no way the universe is going to be like, “Girl, I’m just going to sit over here in the corner, I’m going to wait for you to get your shit together. And when you get your shit together then I’m going to kind of see if you really want it or you’re going to change your mind and lead your own little wild goose chase.”

So, I want you to really say if you tell yourself, “I have not been successful”, what is success? Define it, just like a word. If I were to say, “iPhone.” “Oh, I know exactly what an iPhone is.” And then you would take it to the next level. “What model iPhone do you have?” That’s the same thing that happens with goals and success. You can’t say, “Successful to me is really getting back to working out.” How many days a week are you working out? What are you doing for those workouts? It’s taking that one idea and then flushing it out. It’s like, “I’m going to build a house.” What kind of house? Ranch? Split ranch? (I know nothing about architecture, but are you picking up what I’m putting down?)

You define what you’re going for, because if you’re not clear on what you’re going for, how do you know you got there? How do you know that you’re not successful?

I’m all about having big audacious goals, I’m totally for that. But you have to clearly articulate what the goal is, and you have to give it a deadline, because it’s really easy to let things slide.

Think of it like a house project – have you ever remodeled your kitchen? And it starts with, “I’m just going to do the cabinets.” And then they take the cabinet’s off the wall and then they discover you have mold, or they discover that the wall wasn’t set up the right way, or they have to do something different to the cabinet. And all of a sudden what was one price slowly starts to creep up. And that’s what people do with their goals when they don’t put a concrete end date, they’re like, “Well, (say we’re going for weight) I was two pounds less, so I totally failed.” No, you didn’t fail. So, then I’m going to extend the date, and then I’m going to make it harder, I’m going to restrict, I’m going to work out 2x/day and I’m going to make sure that I don’t have any more than x number of calories and NO cheats.  Uggh…I’m sorry that shit never works, try this instead.

I challenge you to write down 10 things that make you feel successful. And it doesn’t have to be these big things. I’m going to share with you what I wrote down. Keeps things simple, I like simple because life is already complicated enough without me complicating my own life or me complicating someone else’s life. And also keeps you from chasing rabbits because it helps you to figure out if what you’re doing is in alignment with what you want most. For me, I said what success is for me is

✅ I don’t want to set an alarm clock, I just want to get up when I get up, and that’s every day.

✅ I want every day to feel like a Saturday, that’s what I want.

✅ Success for me is when my clients email me back, text me back, communicate back to me that I’ve inspired them to take action, that I’ve done something that has changed their life. No matter how small or insignificant that it is, I want to know that I had an influence over someone’s life.

✅ I also love it when my own mindset shifts, that something that I was once struggling with I now am like, “Huh.” X number of months ago, years ago I would have been shut down, now I have the tools to handle that.

✅ I’d like to be able to travel every three months, just pick up and go somewhere every three months.

✅ My thyroid and hormones have finally come back into balance

That is on my list of what success looks like for me. So, you take the time, write down 10 things, just what makes you feel successful, what makes you feel happy. It could be I want to get a dog, whatever, I want to get a cat, goldfish. Go for it.

Give Yourself Grace

I see so many people beating the tar out of themselves over just past shit that just doesn’t even matter anymore. It doesn’t matter to anyone but you, but you keep playing that song over and over again. Do you know those movies that you’ve seen five zillion times? You know what is in the middle of the movie, you know what’s at the end of the movie, you know what’s at the beginning of the movie, yet you still park your ass down and you’ll watch, you say the words along with it, especially if it’s one of those sad movies like The Notebook, you know exactly what’s going to happen, but you watch. Or I just re-watched Message In a Bottle,  sorry spoiler alert – the ending is not going to change, it’s still going to be a tear-jerking moment and you still watch it.

My husband is like, “Why do you do that?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” But I still do it. So, I want you to start to give yourself some grace. Stop being so hard on yourself. Yes, who doesn’t make a mistake? If you can point out someone who has not made a mistake, they’re not alive. And especially when it comes to health and fitness, there are no fatal mistakes. If you didn’t die, you’re good, you just learned a way that doesn’t work. Having a brownie is not going to kill you, having an extra glass of wine is not going to kill you. 

The Kindness Of A Kid

Give yourself the same kindness that you would give your kid. Your kid paints on your living room wall. Of course, initially you’re pissed off, but you say  “Oh Charlie, let’s clean this up together.” The initial ugh and anger turns into, “I’m not going to just go full crazy town on my kid.” I want you to have that same kindness that you would express to a kid that you would express to yourself, because think about it, when you beat the shit out of yourself, is that motivation? Does that make you want to try even more?

It’s Okay To Be A Beginner

No, you’re like, “fuck it”, and you move on, and you’re just like, “It’s time to go two feet in on just crazy behavior.” The big thing is to accept where you are and make a plan. Now, I know everyone wants to jump in and be the expert, but we all can’t come in at the expert level. We all can’t come in and be the know-it-all. I know that we want to be the know-it-all, but that’s not the case.

The other day I was listening to a podcast, and this woman is a consultant to really rich parents trying to get their kids into preschool, and she helps them craft the essays and all this good stuff to get some kids that are between three and five years old into preschool. And some of the parents come in, and what mother or father doesn’t think little Johnny isn’t a genius? Little Johnny can be the next president, little Johnny could be the next whatever, and they’ve included those kinds of things in their essay. The woman who is the consultant, she just tells it like it is, she doesn’t hold a punch. And she goes, “If you tell me your 18-month-old is a genius, your 18-month-old is fluent in any language, I’m ripping it up and throwing it in your face.”

I want you to think about that. These parents at 18 months are putting so much pressure on their kids so that they can get into PRESCHOOL. I want you to think to yourself that if you’re 18 months old, would you be an expert at anything? You might be an expert colorer,  🤷🏽‍♀️ you might be an expert at shoving a grilled cheese into the VCR, but what else can you be an expert at?
I want you to let yourself off the hook and say, “Some things I know, and some things I don’t know, and it’s okay for me to not know it all.” And that’s why people hire a coach, that’s why people write books to tell you how to do something a little bit faster. Because how many times can you spin your wheels before you take that next leap?

Transformation Is The Way

We love transformation shows; why do we watch The Biggest Loser? You like to see these people go from unfit to fit, and we watch the transformation. And during the show, the transformation seams, seamless? Is it like one minute they’re overweight and then one minute they’re down 100 pounds? No. There are trials, there are tribulations, and we tune in to that because we want to see the journey. And that’s where I want you to get back to it being in that journey because that’s where the grit is built, that’s where you learn who you are, that’s where you also learn what works and what doesn’t for you. Because so many people are out there looking for the magic plan; sorry, my queens there is no magic plan.

Seriously, I want there to be a magic plan too, that would make my life so much easier like, “Here’s the magic you’ve been looking for, rock on.” But there is no magic. So, what I want you to think about is through my transformation is my learning, through my transformation that is where the magic is. Your transformation is your own magic, and you pick the spells you make my own personal magic.

Think about this – it’s not a linear process. Biggest Loser, they have their ups and their downs, they all kind of cross their fingers when it comes to the weigh-in; same process. I want you to think about how many frogs’ princes and princesses kissed in fairy tales before they got to the prince. It’s the same thing. It’s not about I’m on this diet so I’m going to get all these amazing results. It might be I’m going to take a little piece of this, a little piece of Keto, a little piece of Whole30, a little piece of Weight Watchers, a little piece of Atkins and then make it the Kim Diet. And when I beat myself up, I’m probably not sleeping, I’m probably stressed like nobody’s business, I’m probably drinking a little bit more than I should, and I probably have a little bit more anxiety. So, when I start to peel away and just let myself off the hook, I might start sleeping better, I might stop drinking as much, I might reduce my stress. So, do you see that there is this nice cause and effect when I start to really kind of let myself go?

Set Boundaries

And the best way to let yourself go is to set these boundaries. If you are a people pleaser, raise your hand, where are my people pleasers? I see it all the time, especially with my clients who are people pleasers because to sneak away from work they’re like, “I’m sneaking away from work and that means that so and so might have to pick up the slack.” Or, “My kids don’t like the daycare, so I really don’t want to put them in daycare at the gym.” Or, “I’m already at work all day, I really can’t spend another hour at the gym.” It’s those kinds of things where I need you to figure out what do you want, and can you find a way to bring yourself into shorter periods? If you want to workout, can you find a way to workout at home? Can you find peace in an extra 30 minutes in the day so that you’re not doing it at the end of the day to take time away from your kids?

I want you to start to get creative with how you can make taking some time for yourself.  I will tell you that the best way to practice boundaries is self-care. And it is for your own well-being, because when you feel good you project that out to the people that you care about, and when you feel like crap you project that out to the people you care about as well. And boundaries are healthy, boundaries also help, again, reduce that stress, because one of the biggest things, and I talk to my clients about this is if you can’t go workout, the two things I always say are the not the simplest, but the two things that are the easiest thing that doesn’t require a gym membership is to minimize your stress and get some sleep.

When I set my boundaries those are two things that immediately go up because one of my boundaries is, I set work hours and I stick to them. I set a bedtime and I stick to it. And so, when I start to create boundaries just for myself personally, and I honor myself, then I proved to myself I’m worthy of me. So, if I’m worthy of me, that gives me more confidence to start making those boundaries to other people. 

I know that it’s tough when you’re a people pleaser. I have a client who she has a sick aunt and her aunt is like a mom to her, and she’s like, “How could I take the time off to go to the gym when she’s sick?” My response, “Well, what are you going to do, stare at her?” If you are away from her for one hour, what’s going to happen? It’s one hour. And you’re going to come back more refreshed and more recharged to really help her and serve her, and she’ll feel better that you’re doing something for yourself versus always waiting on her hand and foot.

Just start to think of those things as simple things to get away. And don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. So, many people can come to you and say, “Hey I need you to do this, and I need you to do that.” Here is your permission slip, it’s okay for you 1) to say no and 2) to ask for what you need.

What Happens When You Have No Discipline?

Lastly, so many of you come to me saying, “I don’t have the discipline. I really need the discipline.” And it’s not discipline that you need, it’s habit, because habits are how we achieve great things. Habits turn into discipline, so that’s your vocabulary lesson for the evening. Habits are decisions, habits are decisions that you make on a daily basis. I want you to think about from the moment you wake up in the morning. For me, I’ll tell you my habits. My habit is I set my alarm 15 minutes before I want to get up.

I snooze three times, that’s my thing, 🤷🏽‍♀️ it makes my husband nuts, but that’s what I do. Then I get up, I brush my teeth, I wash my face, put on my gym clothes, then I go downstairs, I make some coffee, I make my pre-workout drink, I foam roll and then I head out the door. That’s my habit, that’s my routine. It took a bit to get to that routine, but I want you to think about that. That’s what I do. Before I go to bed, I set my clothes up the night before so that I’m just ready to go. What does your morning look like?

Habits can hold you back, habits can be good or bad. “I’m always going to start again on Monday”, that’s a habit, it’s a routine, it’s ingrained in you now that, “I messed up, so I just get a fresh start on Monday. Do fresh starts only happen on Monday.” Why? Is that a rule? Show me, please show me that book that says that’s the rule.

Habits can put you into this holding pattern. Habits take practice so that they eventually become a routine, and then once you start getting that routine that’s where you get the consistency. And once you have that consistency, that’s where you get the results. People will say, “I want that fit girl magic, I want to live in that golden zone.” Well, that’s the formula right there, it’s establishing great habits that build on to great routines that establish consistency that give you the results.

The Power Of One Simple Habit

I always challenge people, what’s one simple habit that you can start? And then I get this whole list. Pump your breaks girlfriend, I’m looking for one simple habit. I’ll tell you my one simple habit. Drink more water – it’s already ingrained in me to drink coffee in the morning. If you try to take away my morning coffee I will fistfight you. So, instead what I do is I have my first cup of coffee then I have a glass of water, and then I have my second cup of coffee. And I can’t have that second cup of coffee unless I have that glass of water. That’s how I drink more water. Makes sense, right?

Then I teach group fitness classes, so I have to before I finish teaching class, I have to drink the entire bottle of water that I bring with me to class. If I don’t drink it all during class, I have to drink it on the way home, but in that time I’m away from my home I’ve got to drink that bottle of water. 

Lastly, usually around seven-ish while I’m cooking dinner, I have another bottle of water that I have to finish that. Typically, I’m drinking throughout the day, but I’ve established these three kinds of way-points throughout the day, but I’ve linked it to something else that I’m already doing so that it’s my trigger. So, I get the trigger of I’ve had my morning cup of coffee, I get the trigger that I’m teaching a class, I get the trigger that I’m making dinner. So, now I have three guaranteed times during the day that I’m drinking water. Does that make sense? What would your one habit be?

I want you to think about, “What’s my one habit, and what is a trigger or several triggers that might get me to remember this is time to do this, this is time to do that?”

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