WAEP8 Change Your Habits. Expand Your Life

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Let’s start at the beginning. You want to create a new habit. It’s something small like increasing your physical activity throughout the day.

If you follow Dr. B.J. Fogg’s advice or author, Stephen Guise’s suggestions, then you’d begin by doing two things:

  1. Choose something that can be accomplished in 30 seconds or less
  2. Make whatever it is so stupid small that you can’t fail.

As you begin implementing your new habit, you might try sandwiching it between two habits you already have. For example, after you wake up, you probably go to the bathroom. What if before you wash your hands, you do your 30-second exercise?

The key to success is remembering that you’re only required to do that one, small habit. If it’s a single pull-up, and you do ten instead, that’s great! But if you only do one the next time, that’s great, too! Don’t get after yourself with negative self-talk because this time you didn’t do ten.

(E+L=M: Event plus language equals motivation, remember? Listen to WAEP6 for a refresher.)

Great Books About Habit Formation

The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

Mini-Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, Stephen Guise

More Resources

James Clear



How to Increase Your Willpower

  1. Watch reality T.V. Willpower can be contagious! Choose wisely.
  2. Have a snack. Our brains use more energy for self-control than almost anything else. Keeping energy levels up and consistent helps us sustain our willpower.
  3. Watch a funny video. Humor helps restore depleted willpower and helps us get back on track with difficult tasks.
  4. Take a nap.
  5. Have a little caffeine.
  6. Exercise for as little as 5-10 minutes.
  7. Meditate for as little as 5 minutes/day.

Willpower is like a muscle. It can get overused and exhausted. Take care of yourself, and your increased willpower will take care of you!

Next week: Beth from PrettyLoaded.


Check out this episode!

Posted in The Womanly Toolbox | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on WAEP8 Change Your Habits. Expand Your Life

WAEP7 Get What You Expect

Get what you expect. Here’s how.


  1. Believe in yourself.
  2. Believe in others.
  3. Rinse and repeat.


Is it really that simple? Yes and no, but mostly, yes. It’s all about creating a positive mindset, which for some, is admittedly more difficult than it is for others, but can be done.

Here’s what we need to understand:

Pygmalion Effect: The high expectations a person of influence has of us results in higher expectations of ourselves, and thus better performance outcomes.

Examples: My Fair Lady, Gladiator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, A Knight’s Tale

Golem Effect: (The opposite of the Pygmalion Effect.) The low expectations a person of influence has of us results in lower expectations of ourselves, and thus poor performance outcomes.

Examples: A family member who tells you that you won’t ever amount to anything or a teacher who labels you as a trouble-maker

Galatea Effect: Our own high or low expectations of ourselves without regard to outside influences.

Examples: Telling yourself that you can’t make a free throw (either aloud or to yourself); Telling yourself that you’re always late; Telling yourself that you’re going to land a big client; Telling yourself that you’re getting better at a particular task. Telling yourself that you’re an efficient, productive person.

Navajo Proverb:

Thoughts are like arrows: once released, they strike their mark. Guard them well or one day you may be your own target.

You get what you expect, positively, or negatively. Why not expect the best?


How do these effects make their mark in your life?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Want to know how this applies to authors?

Check out Back Porch Writer.

Check out this episode!

Posted in The Womanly Toolbox | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

WAEP6 How Your Language is Sabotaging Your Success

It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water. – Franklin P. Jones 

Your language is sabotaging your success!

(Here’s how you can change that.)

Years ago, during my early training & development career, I learned about E+L=M. 

The concept is simple: Event plus the language used to describe the event equals our motivation to act.

The event is always the same. For example:

(E) Dinner date with a new person

(L) Sh/e is going to think I’m a complete dork/loser/slob/idiot

(M) You cancel the date OR while on the date your actions support the language in your head. You might say things like, “I’m such an idiot for ____.” Or maybe you spill things. Or maybe you go on and on about how you suck at your job.

If you change the language you’re using before that date to:

Sh/e is going to have a great time chatting with me tonight about _____.

Now your motivation to go on the date increases, and the nervousness you might have had, is reframed as “excitement.”

That brings up another idea…

Reframe these words:

problem becomes challenge

nervous becomes excitement

What would you add?


The language we use guides our thoughts. 

Shhhh… your reticular activating system (RAS) is listening.

The RAS likes to filter things for us and does its job super efficiently. It keeps us in tune to things like our name and potential danger, but it also focuses on the things we tell ourselves, so that when we interact with our day-to-day environment, its on the look out for information to filter in that supports what we’re thinking or saying.

OUCH! That could be really scary, huh?

You might have the mindset that this is a bunch of mumbojumbo, but is it?

Have you ever told yourself that you were going to spill your coffee or something else, and then a moment later, you did? Thus reinforcing your clumsiness?

Self-talk can lift you up or bring you down, and your RAS is there to support you either way!

Your challenge this week is two-fold:

  1. For the next 5-7 days pay close attention to how you’re describing the events in your life. Are you using positive or negative language? Are you finding that the outcomes are supporting your positive or negative thoughts?
  2. If you have or work with children, pay close attention to the language they’re using to describe an event. Can you give them the positive language to reframe the event?

Share your thoughts in the comments. What discoveries did you make about your language?

Check out this episode!

Posted in The Womanly Toolbox | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on WAEP6 How Your Language is Sabotaging Your Success

WAEP5 14 Ways to Develop Your Intuition

We all know what intuition is, right? But what if I told you it’s one of your body’s superpowers?

Tune in for the science behind intuition and 14 ways you can develop more of it in your daily life.

And don’t miss the Safety Tip of the Week!

Here are a few more resources that might interest you:

Sounds True

Creative Visualization, Shakti Gawain

7 Books About Dream Meanings to Help You Decode Your Thoughts

The Science Behind Intuition


Check out this episode!


14 Ways to Develop Your Intuition

  • Meditate
  • Notice everything you can using your five senses
  • Keep a dream journal
  • Get creative
  • Test your hunches
  • Pay attention to how your body is feeling
  • Escape the daily grind. Take a break from your schedule.
  • Get outside. Go hiking. Go fishing. Go tent camping.
  • Recall a recent negative experience in as much detail as possible. Before it happened, did you have any feelings warning you to make a different decision?
  • Feel out your situations. When we’re fearful, it’s usually because we’re over-thinking. Intuition is a feeling activity.
  • Do something repetitive. Dance. Chop veggies. Play an instrument. These types of activities calm your thinking self.
  • Stay true to your values. Pay close attention to how you feel when you say/do something that’s out of sync with your values. That feeling is your intuitive self saying, “HEY! Something’s out of whack, here.”
  • Try to get a sense for a person before you actually begin talking with them. (And before other people’s perspectives get in the way.)
  • Let go of your critical mind.


What are you going to do to increase your new superpower?


Coming up …

Willpower: Your Other Superpower

The Beth, the founder of Pretty Loaded



Posted in The Womanly Toolbox | Tagged , , | Comments Off on WAEP5 14 Ways to Develop Your Intuition

WAEP3 Stop Fear In Its Tracks



Is fear holding you back? What if I told you that you can get it under control with 3 different techniques?

This quick episode is packed with great info! I share the three components of emotion, a useful definition of fear (so we’re all on the same page), the Lazarus Theory, the 5 fears we all have in common (and every fear belongs in one of the five categories), 3 techniques you can begin practicing today to handle your fear, and the safety tip of the week. Oh, and stay tuned for the quote! 

Check out this episode!


3 Components of Emotion

  • Physiological
  • Cognitive
  • Behavioral

We all know that emotions are temporary, can be positive or negative, vary in intensity, and are generally involuntary.

While there are several theories, my focus is on the Lazarus Theory. This link will give you more information about it, but also some others.

Dr. Karl Albrecht’s article: The (only) 5 Fears We All Share

3 Ways to Deal with Fear

  • Deep breathing
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation

Other resources that might help:

Headspace – A mediation app that teaches you how to meditate in short spurts (initially)

Tiny Habits – BJ Fogg spends a lot of time researching this topic. His approach is to focus on one very small habit at a time (something that takes less than 30 seconds to do.) You sandwich it between two existing habits. EX: before getting out of bed, take 3-5 deep breaths, then get up and put on your robe/slippers.

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise – I LOVE this book. Between implementing tiny habits and then listening to this book, I’ve made a lot of positive changes to my daily routine. (affiliate link)

Safety Tip of the Week:

Get yourself a super bright, powerful, tactical flashlight  (affiliate link) wih at least 200 lumens.

Final Thought:

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom. – Marilyn Ferguson


Posted in The Womanly Toolbox | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on WAEP3 Stop Fear In Its Tracks

WAEP2 Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness

Good situational awareness keeps you safe.

How would you rate your daily level of situational awareness?

In this episode, I introduce a common definition of situational awareness, explain focus lock, normalcy bias, and establishing a baseline, plus The Color Code by fire arms expert Jeff Cooper. The great info doesn’t stop there! I share former CIA agent Jason Hansen’s pre-incident indicator tips, a few games to help you practice and develop your new skill, share the safety tip of the week, and challenge you to identify a relatively famous quote.

What did Dr. Endsley say?

Situational awareness is the perception of the elements in the environment with a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future.

It all comes down to this:

  • Perception
  • Comprehension
  • Projection

What the heck is focus lock?

Fixation on a specific person or thing

What is normalcy bas?

The disbelief that a threat exhists.

What does baseline mean?

Figure out what’s normal for the person and/or place.

Jeff Cooper’s Color Code:

The only one that matters in my opinion is yellow. This means that you’re alert. If you’re alert, then you’re in a better position to react.

Now that you’re up-to-speed on situational awareness, let me know what you’re doing to practice it.  Leave a note in the comments!

Subscribe via iTunes (Coming soon!)

Subscribe via Stitcher

Subscribe via TuneIn Radio

Get the download!

Posted in Quick Tricks | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on WAEP2 Situational Awareness

WAEP1 Freeze! Flee! or Fight! But, why?




What part of our brain is in charge of our fear response? Is it true that we run or fight? Can you easily identify aggressive body language?

In this episode, I identify where fear comes from, what really happens when we’re faced with a threat (freeze, flee, or fight — do we only have one choice?), and introduce several types of behavior that are typically viewed as aggressive. Some are more subtle than others.

And stay tuned for your safety tip of the week. It’s all about locks. (but not the Hapkido variety.)

Check out this episode!

Now that you’ve had a chance to listen, what do you think? I bet you’re going to watch critters a bit more closely, huh?

You might be curious why people fight if they have the option to flee. Have you ever been to a bar and seen two people get their undies in a twist? It’s not life or death. It’s a simple shove or accidental push that gets misinterpretted. Then one thing leads to another and someone throws a punch. (Usually a considerable amount of drugs and/or alcohol are involved, but not always.)

Deep down we all know why this happens.

Pride. The perception that we need to save face. 

Women aren’t necessarily any less guilty of this than men.

When the perceived stakes are high, maybe our pride gets the best of us, and we react badly.

But in a life or death situation, primal instincts drive us to protect ourselves in the most logical way. We will freeze, flee, or fight, and fighting will be viewed by our old brain as the last option. We believe in self-protection. 

Question of the week:

What body language do you look out for to stay safe?


Posted in Quick Tricks | Tagged , , | Comments Off on WAEP1 Freeze! Flee! or Fight! But, why?

Keep Your Wits About You this New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year 2


Normally I’d be all about creating a brand, spankin’ new post for the new year, but today is about efficiency. I’ve got friends coming over tonight, a house to clean, appetizers to make, and the family unit just requested chocolate cake – from scratch, of course.

I’ve got exactly two important things to share with you today.

#1. Go read the post I just wrote for Kori Miller Writes. It’s timely. 

Why You Don’t Reach Your Goals (But How You Can)

#2. Be smart. Be safe. 

I know there’s a lot of parties happening tonight. Have a great time!

But be smart. 

  • Indulge, but don’t overdo.
  • Eat real food before you drink alcohol.
  • Have a buddy (one who isn’t drinking would be awesome.)
  • Have a backup transportation plan.
  • Dress sensibly sexy. (Heels are a pain in the ass to run in if you need to. I’m not saying you’ll need to. I’m just saying you should think about what you’re wearing. I go for “comfortably sexy” when I venture out with my hubby. And yes, my shoes double as weapons.)

Oh, Kori, don’t be such a party-pooper.

I’m not. I’m a realist. And when alcohol starts flowing like a fountain, it’s pretty damn important that your situational awareness level is at least one step above white.

Speaking of … make sure your phone is full charged.

Kori, now you’re into it! I’ll be taking a lot of pictures, tonight.

That’s great! You should take a few pics of your amazing evening with family, friends, or complete strangers. But that’s not why your phone needs to be fully charged. 

Kori, you’re bringing me down, again.

Sorry. I want you to have a great time! And I’m sure you will. But I also wanted to give you a little reminder to be smart and be safe as you ring in 2016.

That’s all I got! It’s time to get things ready for our very small New Year’s celebration.





Posted in Quick Tricks | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Keep Your Wits About You this New Year’s Eve

Getting to the “Why?”

“Why?” It’s a simple, one-word question that packs a bigger punch than Mike Tyson.”

Earlier this month I spoke with a young woman who’s afraid. I don’t know exactly why she’s afraid. She didn’t tell me. It doesn’t acutally matter. She was afraid, and I needed to help her with the “how?” and the “what?”

She and you are my “why?” I’m not Rhonda Rousy.Ronda Rousey


Neither are you.

The good news is that we don’t need to be.

What we need is to be is who we are — in all our glory, mishaps, false starts, trip-ups, and successes –Be who we are meant to be.

Even when it scares the crap out of us.

I believe we all have the capacity to harness what scares us, and use it to propel us where we want to — need to – go. Sometimes though, we need someone to be our guide. I’m lucky. Throughout my life, I’ve been surrounded by amazing women and men who pointed – shoved – pushed (and sometimes dragged me kicking and screaming) in the direction that I needed to go.

What we fear isn't always tangible. Click To Tweet

Through this website and the soon-to-be launched podcast, I share what I’ve learned through years of martial arts training with you, so that any fear you have doesn’t consume you, but instead is used to fuel you.

You are magnificently strong, but just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a reminder.

What is your “why?”


Posted in The Womanly Toolbox | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Getting to the “Why?”

Halloween Party Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

I LOVE Halloween. I love decorating. I love dressing up. I LOVE IT ALL!

Except one thing.

Intoxicated dumbass people peeing in the trees on my property. Yes, that has actually happened. A couple of years ago, a group of college-age kids decided to go on a hay rack ride down our road. Apparently, two of the women couldn’t hold it any longer. They jumped off of the trailer, and thinking they were being quiet as mice (they’re not all that quiet, by the way, but that’s a whole other discussion) made their way through the ditch, and into a stand of trees and brush at the front of our house. They giggled and hushed each other. Then my husband, who was outside taking care of a few things (because we were in the middle of hosting a Halloween party) heard them. He didn’t approach them or the trailer. He simply said loudly enough for all to hear, “You might not want to do that. There’s poison ivy all over the ground.”  They moved pretty quickly after that.

And it hasn’t happened again, since.

But it made me think a lot more about being safe during holiday events, especially ones known to involve copious amounts of alcohol.

These tips might not be new to you, but it’s always a good idea to review them.

  • Don’t drink to intoxication.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Have a buddy.
  • If you’re alone, leave alone. There’s no shame in it.
  • Carry Mace if it’s legal in your area.
  • Carry a super bright, small flashlight.
  • Dress however you want (Avoid racist costumes. That’s just annoying.)
  • Make sure you have some cash for a taxi.
  • Tell people where you’re going and when you think you’ll be home.
  • Drink one glass of water before/after every drink you consume.
  • Eat before you go to the party.
  • Eat during the party (if there’s food available.)
  • Carry a small snack in your purse.
  • Pay attention to the people around you.

Well this is a pretty good start! Have a great time and stay safe this Halloween season. It’s a lot more fun when you can actually remember everything that happened.

halloween pumpkins


Did I miss any tips? Tell me in the comments!


Posted in Quick Tricks | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Halloween Party Safety Tips