Skip to main content

Maria Connolly, LPC Facebook Facebook Facebook

Category: Handling Change

Make the Most of Life by Getting Your Badass Attitude On

 If you want to make the most of life, stop waiting and start going after the badass life that you want and deserve because you’re the only one who can do it“Let life be an adventure. Live your life to the fullest, unfettered by fear of the ghosts and goblins of what might occur. Calamity and death happen as well to those who hide from life as to those who squeeze every drop of zest from it.” ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Are you tired of living a humdrum life? Are you ready to do something really impressive? Do you want to make the most of life? Have you had enough of taking it and you want to fight back to finally get the life you want?  Do you want to kick the make-do attitude to the curb and go for the gusto?

Then you want to be a badass! Sometimes we just have to call it for what it is to make the point.

But not so fast…wanting and doing are two completely different things. So do you want it? More importantly, are you willing to put in the dedication, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears to make the most of life? I hope so. Because life is short and no one can guarantee tomorrow. My recent Women’s Retreat in Italy has reinforced the fact that it’s vital to make the most of every day that you live. The ladies I coached were, in their own ways, all badasses too!

How do you become a badass and make the most of life?

The first thing you need to do is give yourself permission to live larger than life. You have to believe that you deserve the best. Then don’t wait for it to come to you. You have to go get it!

Listen to what your inner voice says is most important to YOU (not someone else).

Then write out a “My Best Life Ever List”. What would your perfect life look like? Prioritize it in order of importance to YOU.

Accomplishing one thing may make the next one easier to attain, so think seriously about the order you do things in. For instance, clearing out the clutter and simplifying your life will free you up to bring something really meaningful in.

Prioritize, what is the Number One thing you can do Right Now to begin accomplishing your priority accomplishment. GO DO IT! You heard me. Don’t write it down. GO DO IT!

What’s the next thing you need to do Right Now to accomplish your priority task? GO DO IT!  You’re getting my drift, right?!!!

Making lists is fine, but it’s only when you kick your butt off the couch that you can become a badass and make the most of life.

As you wake up every day, think about how you can push yourself just a little bit more today as you chase your dreams. We’re not looking for huge shifts in your attitude and actions…just gradual, sustainable, baby-step changes.

Listen to your body. If you need to rest one day, that’s okay. But if the need for rest is motivated by discouragement or negative talk (from yourself or others), don’t listen! Get tough with yourself and do just one thing. You might be surprised by how that breaks the dam of procrastination and invigorates you to do another.

A book I’ve really enjoyed and got me going is The Badass Life: 30 Amazing Days to a Lifetime of Great Habits–Body, Mind, and Spirit, by Christmas Abbott. The key is balance: using essential daily practices for the mind, body, and soul. She provides a month-long-program based on building mental toughness that leads to positive daily habits that help you make the most of life.

Why not grab a copy of the book, contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype) with me so I can help you remain accountable during those 30 days. I’d love to be your Badass Buddy!

How to Get Out of a Funk Quickly So You Don’t Get Stuck There

If you want to know how to get out of a funk faster to regain happiness, use these proven tips for mindfully exploring and resolving the source of your funk“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~ Mary Engelbreit

“Urggh! I can’t do anything right today! Everything I touch is falling apart!” Have you ever felt like this? Once your day starts off on the wrong foot, is your whole day shot? Or do you have a sure-fire way of resetting your emotions, so you can get over it faster? Do you know how to get out of a funk quickly?

We’re not always up and peppy. I don’t think humans are meant to be, do you? There are ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Most of us go through a predictable cycle of peaks and valleys. However, it can become a perpetual problem, if we spend too much time focusing on the negative. I agree with this beautiful expression from

“Our minds are like oceans. Like the tides, thoughts come in and then retreat back. When your mind is stuck, the ebb and flow of your thoughts are all negative. Each new thought process makes the negativity even stronger, creating a snowball effect.”

Being in a funk is normal; staying there is not a healthy option. A funky mood is signaling that it’s time for reflection to make a change in your life. Give yourself space to do that and then move on. Otherwise you’ll experience these effects of a sustained funk:

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Loss of energy and enthusiasm
  • Isolation and withdrawing from friends and activities
  • Lack creativity
  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness or despair
  • Inconsistent and irregular sleep patterns

It’s taken me years to recognize the signs, and still at times I can spend precious time in a pretty deep funk before I can get out on purpose. But the good news is that we can all learn how to get out of a funk through practicing mindfulness.

Previously I shared five ways to mindfully shift your level of happiness. Here are some additional ways to show you how to get out of a funk and back to enjoying life to the full:

Listen to what your body is telling you. It may be a case of just needing restorative sleep, good nutrition or self-care to regain your emotional balance.

Identify the negative, reinforce the positive. Your feelings help you understand and explore why you’re in a funk. Allow them to guide you, without judgment. Try writing them down. Start with how you’re feeling. “I feel       ” then “I feel anxious because     .” Keep digging until you get to the root cause so you can extinguish its power over you.

Take a break and do something creative. You may not think you have time, but how productive are you going to be in your funk, anyway? You’re not. So give yourself a break and restore your energy by getting out of your head and into your body. Creativity helps you process your mood and express things you can’t with words alone.

Break a sweat, get the endorphins pumping, and work the funk out. I use a number of exercises to bring myself out of a funk. If, because of injury or limitations, you need a low impact solution, try The Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Re-education. Learn to release the tension in your body and you’ll release the tension in your mind.

Use NLP to do a reality check. Connect with when you were at the top of your game. You’ve been there before. You’ll be there again.

It may be tempting to blame other people or circumstances, but we are individually responsible for our own mental state. You get to change how you internalize and deal with what life throws at you. I would love to partner with you and share personalized techniques for excellence with you. Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.

Fire Up Your Resiliency Skills and Turn Inspiration into Extraordinary Achievements

Learn how to ignite your mental and emotional resiliency skills so you can turn your inspirational ideas and good intentions into extraordinary achievements“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” ~ Henry Ford

You do it. I do it. We all do it. What? We come up with a great idea or a good intention, but because we don’t jump right on it, we never get around to doing it. “I’ll do it someday”, you promise yourself. But you never do.

Jim Rohn coined a phrase for this phenomenon: “The Law of Diminishing Intent.” Which means that the longer you wait to do something, the more likely it is that you will never do it.

When we put off taking action, we lose emotional energy that would be used to fuel that action, and inspiration fades away. And when you do take action, you’ll still go on an emotional roller coaster like this…

Inspiration. When inspiration strikes, you’re on the top of the world and feel invigorated, convinced this is the best idea ever!

Doubt. You start second guessing yourself and you begin a downward slide. You tell yourself why it won’t work.

Fear. Because you fear failure or wasting your time and resources on something that might not work, you quickly plunge downward.

Disappointment. Because you expected it to happen in a predetermined manner, you hit bottom when it’s not as easy as you thought it would be. You may be ready to give up.

Ignite Resiliency Skills. You mindfully make a choice to override what your brain is saying. You pick yourself back up and start up the hill again.

Perseverance. You’re conviction and self-esteem increase and propel you to the next step.

Joy. You’ve done it! You’ve reached the top!

Do you see that engaging your mental and emotional resiliency skills is the pivotal point for making your inspiration a reality? It’s important to know that your mind is only trying to protect you from doing things that are painful. And it’s encouraging you to do what’s pleasurable. These are just mechanisms in place to protect you. Knowing that, you can mindfully choose to create workarounds when these feelings become roadblocks.

Firing up your resiliency skills means you can adapt and be flexible as things unfold before you, because you’re not wedded to a specific outcome. It keeps you focused and determined despite setbacks. Resiliency and fortitude gives you the tenacity to learn from your mistakes. It gives you the strength to control your emotional responses and manage any unrealistic expectations as you purposefully push forward. It forges a strong connection with your purpose and motivation by always having a solid answer for the question “Why?”

If you want to live without regrets, learn to take immediate action, but don’t go in blindly without a next-step strategy. You don’t want your ideas to simply die. But test them to make sure they’re feasible. Think of your inspiration as a seed that you’re planting in your life garden and your resiliency skills as your gardening tools…

  1. Plant your inspiration. Capture it by writing it down.
  1. Let your inspiration germinate. Within 24 hours, seriously think about it with pen and paper (or tablet) in hand. The Law of Diminishing Intent says you only have a 48-hour window of opportunity to act.  
  1. Cultivate your inspiration. Break it down into steps and schedule when you’ll accomplish each step. Pull the weeds of doubt and fear. Fertilize your idea with a clear vision and strong emotional attachment.
  1. Watch it grow. Your ability to listen to and follow daily inspirations is a huge factor in attaining true happiness. So don’t let your ideas fade away. Don’t wait. Don’t put off. Now is the moment to listen and get the momentum rolling.

 If you’d like an accountability partner as you develop greater mental and emotional resiliency skills, please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.

Are Your Life Goals Aimed High Enough?

Creating and setting the right life goals means you aim high enough to challenge yourself, instead of settling for what’s comfortably within your reach.“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo

This time of year there’s a lot of talk about setting life goals and achieving life goals. But the most important conversation centers around this question – are you setting the right goals? Rather than settling for what’s comfortable and easily within your range, are you aiming high enough?

Archery is one of my favorite activities and I often think about how it’s a great metaphor for achieving your fullest potential in life. There are a number of life lessons you can learn from archery. Here are a few:


Lesson #1: Without a target, there’s no purpose.

What would you do if I handed my bow and arrow to you? Your first question no doubt would be, “What do I shoot at?” When you have a target to aim at, you gain a sense of purpose. It changes how you feel. You become excited about the challenge before you. The first time you hit the target is thrilling! Adding a target changes the way you view archery. It gives context and meaning to it.

The same applies with life goals. They change how you feel about life. They alter how you approach each day. Without them you’ll merely exist and meander through life without direction and without much accomplishment.


Lesson #2: Anchor yourself for success.

One of the first things you’ll learn about archery is how to position yourself and hold the bow and arrow. When you take your stance, you need to create an anchor point – the fixed position of the bowstring hand on your jaw or cheek while aiming the arrow. It gives you the strength and balance to shoot safely and effectively.

For life goals to be effective, it’s important to incorporate the practice of centering yourself, which helps you feel still and aware as you connect with your inner being. When you know who you are, then you know how to create life goals that get you to where you’re going.


Lesson #3: Aim high for the long-term

The first time you shoot an arrow you’ll pick a target that’s close to you. As your skill improves, you’ll want to move the target farther away to see what you can really do. Yet, as the distance increases, your arrow may fall far short of the mark. Why is that? You have to adjust your aim a little higher than the bulls-eye to compensate for the pull of gravity.

You want life goals that push your self-limiting boundaries. And to do that you’ll want to aim higher than you can ever imagine it possible to achieve. And when external forces make you miss your mark, you’ll need the flexibility to adjust and try again.


Lesson #4: Measure your progress

Of course, you don’t expect to hit the bulls-eye the first time you shoot the arrow. You’re happy just to nick the target. Then you’re thrilled to hit the outer ring. Each ring gives you something to measure your progress by.

Worthwhile life goals need to be specific and measurable. When you see where you were and how far you’ve come, it promotes self-confidence and builds momentum for further progress.


Lesson #5 Partner up for accountability

Being a member of an archery club makes you show up on time. It’s a lot more fun and motivational when you see how others are hitting the mark!

When you have an accountability partner for your life goals it holds you to a deadline. And you’ll be much more likely to push through the days when you don’t feel like it.


What are your life goals for 2017? My colleague, Nando Raynolds, and I love helping people become outstanding by teaching both the “what” and the “how” of extraordinary success. Come and check us out at our next free talk on January 12th on “Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet!”  Click here to get the details

You Know It’s Time to Make a Change When…

You know it’s time to make a change when you dream of escaping from your life or if you have these four other signals that you’re ready for a change.Does your work make you long for the weekend so you can escape? If so, you’re not alone. Feeling trapped has caused many people to think it’s time to make a change in their lives. You may want freedom to spend more time with your family, focus on your passion and to make a difference in the world as you fulfill your purpose in life.

So, is it time for you to make a change? Perhaps you’re thinking of starting your own business. How do you know if the time is right for you to make a change? Here are five ways to tell…

Do you want to escape? This signals that it’s time to go on a journey of self-discovery and uncover what’s not working and find out what you really want.

Do your priorities match your daily activities? Are you making time for your top priorities? Consistently doing what matters most is vital to feeling fulfilled.

Do you still feel excited about life? Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you’ve lost the spark, look for it. Do less of what drains you. Try something new. Do more of what inspires you.  

Do you look at others and think, “Why isn’t my life like that?” When you’re truly satisfied with your own life, you won’t be comparing yourself to others. Figure out what’s missing and fill that personal need you have.

How long has it been since you stepped out of your comfort zone? Growth only happens when you stretch yourself.

Just the fact that there’s so much talk about creating a work/life balance proves that many business owners are struggling. Does there really have to be a clear line between the two? Not necessarily. Don’t many choose to run their own business so they can blend all aspects of their lives together?

Think about an artist who doesn’t quit thinking about form and color when she’s doing the dishes or going for a walk with her loved ones. She delights in sharing her discoveries with those she loves and later she applies them to her work! In the same way, you can blend every aspect of your life in a harmonious way. How? Your life is the canvas and you can paint on it whatever you like by becoming mindfully self-aware.

Yes, mindfulness is a powerful tool, like the paintbrush in the hands of an artist. When you are centered and have greater mindfulness, your life takes shape as you make decisive choices instead of reacting to situations. Your choices become ultra-refined as you know what will enhance your life’s vision and what will not. You create a joyful palette of “colors” (activities, attitudes, intentions, emotional states, habits, mentors, friends) that work for you. They keep you from getting sidetracked by every bright “color” that comes along. You don’t get blindsided by mistakes because you’ve developed adaptive coping strategies. No matter what happens you can handle it for you’ve mastered your emotions and can see the whole picture as a life lesson.

Life is too short to spend it without living up to your full potential. If you know it’s time to make a change, why not start reassessing your life by taking my 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment, as it will help you pinpoint areas that need your attention first. Click here to download your free copy.

Let's get started with 30 free minutes

I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.


How to Step Forward to a Future You've Created

Discover how to replace your old, self-limiting map with a new map full of possibilities for the future