Most people who know me know that I have a serious girl crush on Rachel Hollis. But seriously This past spring they held a RISE conference in Toronto and I SO totally wanted to go. But my crazy life schedule didn’t allow for that, and I was crushed. So you can imagine how incredibly excited I was to find out they were hosting an ONLINE RISE conference in the summer!
Back in May, I went to the first online RISE conference, and honestly didn’t know what to expect but it was a fantastic experience. It was a great first RISE conference- with the theme surrounding mostly about how do we be “courageous” in this crazy new time and with the “new normal” in this pandemic world.
It was so popular and so well attended that they hosted another online RISE conference this fall. Just this past week, I was able to attend it and man was it great. This time, the theme was about healthy habits and taking care of ourselves in the middle of a pandemic (and for life) – and boy did I need that.
This one was called RISE x LIVE Healthy & Happy. I thought I’d share some of the important takeaways I took from these days (although I’m pretty sure I won’t do any of it justice!)
Learning #1 : you owe it to yourself.
Rach opened up the conference with a keynote presentation that was kind of a kick in the pants to say “if you’re doing so well… why are you here?” It’s true, so many of us know we have more potential but tell ourselves we are meant to. be where we are despite the fact that we owe more to ourselves. One quote from her talk that really resonated with me was the “if you’re not moving towards getting healthy you ARE moving towards getting unwell”. Okayyyy… well… I guess you could say that hits pretty close to home. Sure I’m not awful at making “good” or “healthy” choices but I do have a lot of room for improvement, and I want to feel better. So here I was, Rachel hitting me all in the feels telling me “get it together man, you owe it to yourself to do better”.
Learning #2 : motivation is not enough.
Trent Sheldon was one of the other guest speakers who talked about “it’s not enough” to just be motivated. You have to want it- consciously you have to want it, not just do whatever is convenient and hope that you reach your goals. And, hey- doesn’t it feel so much better when you’ve worked your ass off for it anyways?
Learning #3 : set yourself up for success
In one of the previous RISE talks- Chris Chandler (who is always a highlight) talked about the concept of “time blocking”- how do you arrange your time to get what you need to do done? I’ve done something pretty similar the last couple years and it works really well for me… giving myself specific slots of time of my day to ensure what I need to get done on my to do list is accomplished. If you struggle with time management, this is something I definitely recommend. I struggle sometimes with underestimating how long things are going to take, but this holds me accountable so I don’t get distracted and focus on the end goal/ product. I’m still not perfect (today is a great example of me not getting everything done I wanted to do and now it’ll all be “rolling” into tomorrow, but it’s worth a good try. Dave talked about this a bit again this conference though, so definitely worth a mention 🙂
Learning #4 : figure out where you want to end up and figure out what you need to do to get there.
Dave Hollis shared how important it is to set goals for yourself – not just the goal but know what and who you’re becoming, and how you will actually get there. Some takeaway suggestions I really liked were about how you have to find things that help motivate you (you know you best!) and not like this “ideal” version of yourself (you know like when you tell yourself all you’ll eat is vegetables 3 meals a day)- because we know that’s not realistic and chances are you’ll fall off the wagon because that isn’t real life. You are way more likely to actually achieve your goals if you make them realistic and can figure out what makes you tick. For me with my healthier eating it has been more meal prep and making things “easy” to make a healthy choice (prepping veggies at the beginning of the week, etc.) because I know myself and I have great intentions but my follow through can be not as strong. He talked about being real, and being honest with yourself (remember that whole SMART goal thing?). But also pushing yourself into spaces to remind you that you CAN do hard things. Take on that challenge to prove to yourself that you can do it! Be bold, be brave, and do what scares you the most when you are afraid of failing. That is true courage.
Dave also talked about a really interesting concept of “how do you feel about yourself when you’re by yourself”- I’ve never thought of things like that before but this hit me pretty hard. Cause at the end of the day, if you are doing the right thing and being kind to people you are likely going to feel good about yourself when it is just you. But I think often the people who outwardly project their insecurities and maybe are not as kind are the ones who probably don’t feel so good when they reflect inwards.
Learning #5 : have grace with yourself.
Learning #6 : it’s okay to say NO.
Stacey Flowers talked about how important it is for us to have grace with ourselves- we are all only human after all… to know that that it’s okay sometimes to take a break. Rest. You’re no good to yourself if you are exhausted or anyone around you either. To trust yourself and your own capabilities and that it is okay to say “no” sometimes. Most of you know I am not particularly good at that (although I am working on it and starting to get better at taking time for myself, filling my cup up first, and saying no – more on that another day). Just the reminder I needed though that no matter how “perfect” you try to be or make things, we are all still human when it comes down to it. And in this space in 2020 with everything that has been happening… you’re allowed to give yourself some grace. Stacey talked about normalizing this concept of struggle and that we are allowed to have hard days. Your health is going to be the accumulation of your life choices over time. It’s about building habits and routines, and one bad day doesn’t ruin your whole life or negate your accomplishments.
Learning #7 : you learn more on bad days than good ones.
Nick Vujicic’s talk was nothing less than awe inspiring… a guy who has overcome all sorts of adversity in his lifetime- it was truly special to hear him talk about the things his parents and family overcame with his prognosis at birth and how much they fought for him despite the many who didn’t feel he would have “quality of life”. He has committed himself to achieving his goals and overcoming hurdles higher than most of us can imagine. (in particular being a PICU/ NICU nurse this hit home for me… so often we see the “bad” outcomes of situations like this, but he is the true definition of miracle).
Nick had a really interesting perspective on the “attitude of gratitude”- that many of us get wrapped up in material things and what we “have” but really you “don’t need more to do more”. You can be proactive, and anticipate to the best of your ability, but you can only do what you can with what you have. And chances are if you are grateful for that, the way you see the world is going to be a whole lot more positive.
Learning #8 : stop comparing yourself
Other than Rachel & Dave, Jay Shetty was pretty much THE reason I was pumped for this conference. I absolutely love his outlook on life and how he approaches situations and I think most of us could learn a little from it. Especially this year during COVID we have had a tendency to compare ourselves to others – what have we “accomplished” during this “downtime” of quarantine. And for those who know me, most know this is something I have constantly always struggled with throughout my life. Comparing myself to others, having this constant need to please people. It can be exhausting. So when COVID hit and I was still working and if anything things were busier trying to scramble and organize work and school and life… I was saying to myself “but I feel so much more behind than I even was before”. Jay Shetty’s talk was a great reminder for me (a reset if you will) to remember that we are all different and so often in life we feel behind others or ahead of them, and end up comparing our “wins and losses” and our own abilities to those of other people- our achievements, how skilled we are… and this does us a disservice really. Jay suggests repeating to yourself each time you have one of these thoughts “I am exactly where I need to be” (a nice tie in to Stacey’s points about trusting yourself and the process too!)… and just remind yourself that YOU. ARE. GREAT.
He also talked about in some of the most challenging moments of our lives- this is when we build adaptability. This is when we build the skills to help us deal with whatever life has in store for us next. But when we do overcome these hurdles or obstacles if you will- this is when we build focus and gratitude. If you’ve done it before, you can do it again right?! Your brain has a set capability of being able to process information and its surroundings- its “ability to solve unsolvable sound” like gossip or construction, things you aren’t necessarily engaged directly with. But if you are utilizing all of your energy involving yourself with this,you are not going to be able to focus on the real stuff that “matters”. And you are going to be that much more exhausted.
Learning #9 : “LOCATION has energy & TIME has memory”
Jay discussed the important concept of “location has energy and time has memory”- something that I would actually very much agree with and have for a long time. He talked about how different spaces can make us feel a certain way (think of how you are more focused in a library vs on your couch in front of the TV). We wire our brains to recognize different spaces uniquely. Especially in light of COVID19, with many working from home he suggested to create spaces for different activities to avoid ‘confusion’ to our brains (ie. eating where we sleep, sleeping where we work). For a long time (probably since I moved out and had my own space) I’ve tried to incorporate this into my life- having a second room which has become a spare room/ office has been really helpful. I. don’t find I can get a lot of work done sitting on my couch. I am also that weirdo who never put a TV in their room since I moved into my own place… I’m certainly bad for still looking at my phone in my bed, but I find it helps my brain separate my bed and bedroom for sleeping vs. that being my “lounging” space… so when I have the opportunity to “turn off” I can!
He discusses TIME as T- Thankfulness, I- Insight, M- Meditation, E- Exercise, S- Sleep being important to incorporate into our each and every day and the 3 S’s: sight, scent & sound. This sounds pretty basic but when you think about it, it makes a ton of sense. He talked about 80% of people saying their phone was the last thing they saw at night and the first thing they saw in the morning. So make a conscious effort to consume positivity and change the way that you “feel”. Look at something calming before you go to bed, change the sound that you wake up to to be a little more soothing (unless you’re me and need the loud AF alarm so you don’t sleep through it!) and start your day off well. For me that means giving myself some extra time to lie in bed because I know I am not a morning person. Give myself some extra time as well to have a coffee and get organized in the morning instead of having to rush to get ready and head out the door…. but for you that might look a little different!
Learning #10 : “LOCATION has energy & TIME has memory”
Rachel Hollis also finished off the day (just as fire as starting it!) with some important take homes as all of us try and adapt some of the strategies talked about throughout the day… whether that was in increasing physical activity, creating spaces to be successful in our goals, adjusting our nutrition or taking time for ourselves. But one thing in particular she mentioned really resonated with me: “in order to form habits you have to understand why they matter”…. seems silly right? but think about it… we have habits of things we do each and every day that we don’t even think about it. My dietician gave me a great example of this once- putting on a seatbelt. You get in the car and you just do it without even thinking about it! And the more I considered this the more I realized she and Rachel are totally right… there are habits I have gotten into without even thinking of it that have become “bad habits”- and it takes conscious effort to make some new/ better ones, or kick the “bad” ones.
Rachel talked a lot about “habit cycles”- how as human beings we all operate on this cycle of a cue, action, and a reward. So if your cue is you feel pretty awful about yourself, your action is to eat some junk food, and the reward is that you feel better.. of course your body is going to become conditioned to want those things! A lot of the “natural” things that we do are actually just things we have subconsciously conditioned ourselves to do… but don’t worry she also gave some great strategies as we navigate towards making better habits for ourselves.
The first step: ask yourself: when do I not feel good? (is that when you feel isolated, when you stepped on the scale today, when you didn’t get selected for the position you had applied for?) Then figure out: what set you off? what makes you feel that way? Perhaps it’s because you are feeling insecure about yourself or your abilities (a pretty common one). Maybe it’s because you have felt really alone since the beginning of this pandemic…. whatever it is – your feelings are valid. But then she suggests you go to your “power statement”- whatever that is for you. Whatever your motto is, what drives you. Think about that, and the person you want to be and embody. And then the last 2 steps- easy! Change your location (move out of the space that you are feeling sad or defeated in) and MOVE your body in your favourite physical activity. You have the ability to adjust your perspective and make a positive out of a negative. And take this opportunity to do something GOOD for yourself rather than self- sabotage. That is literally everything.
I hope that you guys are able to use some of the info that I was able to learn, experience and share last week- I certainly don’t do it justice compared to the amazing people who I got to watch and listen to, but hopefully you can join in at the next RISE LIVE conference and enjoy it as much as I did!
Sending lots of good vibes your way!