Removing Toxic People From Your Life

At some point or another we all come in contact with people who always have something negative to say or have a way of cutting you down that makes you feel less than what you are. When you think of your health, most often times people think of diet and exercise. But many times, those toxic people in your life can make you so uncomfortable that it can be harmful to your state of mind and your sense of self.

So what do I mean when I say toxic people? These people:

  • Criticize you all the time
  • Say nothing but negative things
  • Are self-centered
  • Make other people feel guilty
  • Constantly put others down
  • Play the victim
  • Easily get jealous
  • Don’t seem to care about other people’s feelings
  • Can become volatile at times

There are ways that you can go about removing or at least reducing the amount of time that you spend with toxic people. Here are some tips to avoid getting sucked into the negative people in your life.

Give Yourself Space From Negative People

With the world that we live in of having smartphones and social media with us at any point in time, we need to just limit the amount of interaction that we have with those negative nilly’s. If they send you a text or email, don’t respond right away. It is ok to wait a day or two.

If it is someone that you come in contact with a lot, keep your time with them short and avoid blaming them for not wanting to hang around them. Let them know that you are trying to bring as much positivity into your life as you can and don’t have room for any negative energy right now.

Don’t Feel Like You Need To Explain Yourself

So many times we try to over explain things. Really it tends to be more for our own good rather than the good of others. Keep your explanation simple as to why you are choosing not to spend as much time with them or why you no longer can allow them in your life. Only you can decide exactly how to approach this as every situation is different.

Keep It In A Public Place

If you feel uncomfortable talking with them privately or now that the situation will get out of control, make sure that you talk with that person in a public place, especially if they are known for making a scene or possibly becoming violent. When you are in a public place, people tend to be less apt to act out. If you end up where the situation is getting worse, it is easier to leave.

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Sometimes it can be easier just to simply walk away and ignore the toxic behavior. Engaging in trying to explain yourself can be sometimes more draining than it is worth. Save that energy to focus on bringing positivity into your life instead.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

When you start to spend time around positive people, you’ll start to find yourself seeing the world differently. To have positive experiences in your life, you need to be positive about you. Embrace relationships that empower, inspire and motivate you to be your best, and you be sure to do the same for others.

By removing toxic people from your life not only tells yourself, but send the message to others that you are valued. Once you figure out how toxic people tear down your basic sense of self-worth, it becomes harder and harder to allow them back into your life. YOU are worth fighting for!

Saying No To Over Commitment

So you may ask, now does over commitment lead to clutter? Well, like to much clutter in your home, over committing to to many things can lead one to feel overwhelmed. We all can be guilty of it at one point or another as well. Saying “no” can be hard to do. If you are a people pleaser like I am, it can be extra challenging. We tend to say “yes” because we don’t want to let people down.

But when you take on too much, it isn’t just you that suffers, so can your loved ones. You end up spending more time chasing around for everyone else and giving all of your time and energy to them and neglecting the ones that you really need to be there for. There are ways that you can say no without coming across like you don’t care or by being impolite.

Be Polite

For many of us, saying “no” can make you feel a bit uncomfortable or nervous and therefore we ramble on and some how manage to dig our own graves and end up turning our “no” into a “yes.” So, if you have a real reason that you can’t commit and help with what they are asking, politely say “no.”

Try these steps to politely say no

  1. Start by giving a compliment if it is appropriate for the situation.
  2. Tell them your answer.
  3. Politely say thank you.
  4. Remember, we have all been on the asking end, so don’t forget to encourage the person.
  5. When you have given your answer, change the subject or excuse yourself.

Maintaining a smile and keeping your demeanor light throughout the conversation helps display that there aren’t any hard feelings.

Know Your Value

People tend to value other peoples opinions and look to others for approval. If you always depend on other people’s approval, what you are basically saying is “Their opinion of me is more important than my opinion about myself.” Remind yourself that you are unique, valuable, and important. No one else in this world can offer what you can. It is ok to make mistakes, because nobody is perfect. In fact, we learn most from our mistakes.   If you live your life depending on other people’s approval, you will never feel free and truly happy.

Don’t Feel Obligated

We all have reasons for saying no. Often times, it may be something that we aren’t willing to discuss with others (and that is just fine). If this is the case, try saying something like, “I’m just not able to.” Leave it at that – if you must, change the subject, or say, “I’m sorry, but I need to go.”

Stand True To Your Convictions

If the person is adamant, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Be firm in your words. Tell them that your mind is made up and that you are not going to change it.

Remember that your self-worth does not depend on how much you do for other people.

Tips To Free Your Life From Clutter – It Starts At Home

As we work our way though the holidays, are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by the clutter of life? Do you need a new perspective? My wonderful assistant Shawna Fisher has composed a series to help de-clutter your life. I trust it will help you as much as it did for me.


Are you one of those people who feel weighted down by a lot of clutter? I know that I can certainly relate!! And by clutter, I don’t just mean visual clutter. Clutter comes in all forms, from:

  • too much clutter in your home
  • over committing yourself to too many things
  • toxic people in your life

There are so many other things that I can list. But my point is, we can get lost in having too many things essentially running our lives. It then becomes the point where we just need to take control. Today I am focusing on the home.

Too Much Clutter In Your Home

Decluttering your home can be overwhelming. We moved into our house a little over 3 years ago and lucky for us (or not) we have a lot of storage areas in our house that we can stash stuff in all kinds of nooks and cranny’s! But there comes a point where you just can’t take it any more and you need to purge!

The key is to focus in one area. I know that this can be hard! If you are anything like me, I tend to start in one area and then as I move around the house to put things away I may see something else (yes, I see squirrels, ha ha) and end up picking away at another area all while leaving a mess where you originally started. So try to stay focused! If it is cleaning off your counter (my biggest nemesis), start by sorting things out. Throw away all the junk mail, sort out things that need to be filed and put away things that are just laying around. Once the clutter is gone off the counters, walking into your kitchen doesn’t seem to be so overwhelming or daunting.

Let’s talk about those closets! We all know they are the collectors of everything that needs to get stashed away, especially when we have company coming and we need to quick throw it in and just shut the door!  So, start by sorting them out into piles:

  1. Things to keep – Find a system that works for you to organize the things that you need to keep, there are so many ideas out there that you can get (Pinterest is a great tool).
  2. Things to sell – If you are a person that does garage sales, eBay, Facebook marketplace, craigslist or whatever, sell the stuff that you no longer want/need. After all, one man’s (or woman’s) junk is another ones treasure! Use that money to pay off bills, stash away for a vacation or go get a massage or a night out with friends or a loved one.
  3. Things to donate – There is always other people that are in need. Donating is so gratifying and helps people more than you sometimes realize. Find a charity, cause, church or a goodwill in your area to drop your stuff off at (some places will even pick it up right at your door).
  4. Things to throw away – I will raise my hand right here and say that as I have started decluttering my home, I have thrown more things out. From the junk mail on the counters to expired food in my pantry to half empty bottles of “whatever” that linger in my closets, it either goes in the recycling or the trash.

I know in my life, going from being overwhelmed with all the extra clutter to trying to purge and simplify my life is a slow process but will be a rewarding journey when it is all complete. I don’t feel so overwhelmed every time I look into a closet and I can actually find what I am looking for.

I hope you find this helpful in trying to free your life from clutter. Be sure to share this with someone you may think will find it useful.

Be sure to check out Shawna’s blog next month where she will be talking about “Saying No to Over Commitment.”

Is strength training really THAT good for you? I walk for exercise. Isn’t that enough?

Is strength training really THAT good for you? I walk for exercise. Isn’t that enough?

In my profession, I hear of so many people who focus on walking as their primary method of exercise. Am I an advocate? Yes . . . and no. It’s a great form of exercise! If done correctly, it provides stress relief, improves bone density, burns calories, and improves cardiovascular endurance. But what about your muscles? You work your leg muscles when walking, but you NEED formal strength training in the gym!

Our lifestyle today is sedentary. We sit in a car, we sit at work, we sit at home, we SIT too much! The muscles we use to sit (lower back, neck, shoulders) get overworked and tucker out while our core, back extensors, and hip flexors get weak. We then slouch and wonder why our neck and lower back hurts. Once we get used to slouching, that muscle habit continues in everything we do—including our walking. What is the solution? Strength training! When done accurately (good form, correct exercises, and strategic program design) your body will thank you! You will burn lots of calories, your posture will progress, injuries can be minimized, stress will decrease, bone density will increase, and cardiovascular endurance will increase. In addition, self-confidence, muscular strength, balance, core strength, and power will improve.

I believe another reason why many walk as their primary source of exercise is because they don’t know where to begin with strength training. Some information says that you should do strength training for 15 min as hard as possible; some says 60 min is necessary. The unlimited supply of information on the internet via product or gym commercials leads to information overload and confusion: “Should I work my core every day? Are push-ups good for me? Maybe I should buy a BowFlex! I heard squats could be bad for my knees and back. If I do strength training, will I look like a body builder? I keep hearing about Cross Fit. Should I do that?” Strength training can be confusing. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years and I’m still figuring it out.

The encouraging component is that with the right direction, exercise can be simple and safe. There is no need to know it all. Find the right person who listens, understands your body, and is devoted to learning more. When you find that person, hire them and let them help you with your health. If you are still reading, my hope is that you would trust me with this task. Yes, you should become self-educated about fitness, but you also don’t need to know it all. Hire me and I’ll guide, support, educate, and encourage you every step of the way.

So, when you are tempted to replace your strength workout routine in exchange for walking as your primary source of exercise, DON’T! Keep them both as life habits and your body will thank you for it!

Halloween Temptation and Your Health


It’s fall! The leaves are turning, the air is brisk, and the evenings are getting longer. This time of year is beautiful, but it also reminds us that Holidays are coming. While I love the Holidays, they do bring many temptations. Halloween brings candy temptations, Thanksgiving brings the temptation to overeat on unhealthy meal options, and Christmas brings both overeating and sweets.    Read More

Falling Forward

Falling Forward

Wow! I can’t believe Fall has arrived and my kids are heading back to school! It’s amazing how quickly the summer has flown by! We’ve had a wonderful time camping, spending time with friends, and enjoying the outdoors. However, we are all looking forward to the routine that comes with school starting. Our schedule changes dramatically this time of year and I find myself setting new goals and deciding how I will spend my time with the Holidays approaching. I also reflect on the activities of my life to decide what will remain in my schedule, what will be removed, and what will be added. Read More

Do It Anyway!

Do It Anyway

No one wants to work out all the time. “I’m too tired. I forgot my shoes. I have family coming to visit. I am too busy”. . . Is this you? Do you dread heading to the gym? Do you wonder if you are the only one who doesn’t want to be there?

Trust me. You are not alone.  Even the Olympic athlete, the fanatical cross-fitter, the marathon runner dreads training—at least some of the time.

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Summer Tips

It’s summer . . . Finally! WooHoo! Time to pack up and head to the cabin; soak up the sun at the lake; camp with the family; and take the kids to swimming lessons, ball camp, and soccer. Oh wait! It’s also time to mow the lawn; plant the garden; Read More

Take the “Do I Need a Trainer?” Quiz!

do i need a trainer

You probably ask yourself constantly, “Do I need a trainer?” Everyone is different when it comes to developing a fitness routine and some people really need one to stay motivated and accomplish their goals. However, there are some people who do not. If you want help in deciding the answer to the question for yourself, take this quiz.

Read More

Bring on Spring!

Ahhh . . .. The birds are chirping, the grass is green, and the snow is gone! It’s now time to start exercising outdoors and maybe even participate in a few local 5Ks. You may think, Ah! I can ditch that gym membership and exercise outdoors! Well, I agree . . .  kind-of. Get outside, but don’t quit strength training. The exercises you do at a gym are important!  Read More