Build what's important to you

Are you at a crossroads, asking what’s next for me?

For many driven people this question is tricky. We are faced with a mountain of “shoulds’. I SHOULD:

  • go for the promotion
  • change jobs
  • date more
  • be a better partner
  • be healthier
  • volunteer for stuff
  • etc.

The problem with “shoulds” is that they are someone else’s idea of what’s right for you. You can follow them but it never feels fulfilling.


Instead, I say: build what’s important to you.

The fact is no one can do it all or be great at everything. Trying is exhausting. When you give up the “shoulds”, you give yourself permission to go for what’s important to you right now. At different points in your life it will change, so focus on the one thing that is most important to you now, this year.

The result: you feel more fulfilled from your efforts, spend more time on this activity and usually be highly successful at it: a virtuous cycle.

How do you know what’s important to you? Try answering these three questions:

  • What do you long for? What would you always regret not doing?
  • What lights you up?
  • What do you spend your free time (and money) on?

If your brain is still getting caught in the “shoulds”, try a collage. Tapping into the creative side of your brain will bypass the “shoulds” and show you want you really want.

For more info on how to do this, click here.


The art of slowing downThis year I vacationed on the island of Sardinia, Italy, renting a rustic stone home or stazzu with friends. Since I never set up my international cellular plan and there was only a weak satellite connection, I had no internet for a week. It was heaven. All we did was sleep, run, sit on the beach with books, amble the local markets and prepare a local feast each night.

I still felt a twinge of guilt though, as millions of Americans do, and had to remind myself of the benefits of slowing down. My favorites are: it improves your performance, rekindles relationships and helps you see the bigger picture.

The last one has been huge for me. My first step in starting this business and falling in love was to create downtime, the space to be myself, to rest, daydream and connect.

Slowing down didn’t happen over night. I made one change at a time and got comfortable with letting some of the little things wait. But it was a beautiful journey that has added so much richness to my life I would never go back.

Here are a few ideas for practicing the fine art of slowing down:

  1. Set a clear boundary with time and technology. Try these or create your own.
  • Rent a vacation house with no internet or unplug the router.
  • Create work email free day or weekend. If that is not possible, then check and respond only during specific windows, such as 11am and 5pm.
  • Remove time sucking apps from your phone.
  • Carve out technology free times every day, such as meals or commuting.
  • Remove technology from the bedroom.
  • Cancel cable and get Netflix instead.
  1. Commit to sleep. The best hours to sleep are thought to be between 10 and 2 am. What would you need to do to get in bed by 10:30 pm every night.
  2. Make quality time your objective. I used to have several projects, (I’ll just read these 5 books or write this presentation) planned for each vacation, causing my family to get mad for ignoring them and me to be frustrated that I wasn’t getting enough done. Instead, make people and being present your only objective.
  3. Do one thing at a time. Fully engage in whatever you are doing, including a conversation, work, sitting in the sun for 5 minutes a day or going for a walk. When you need to move on, excuse yourself.
  4. Do it the slow way. Slow cook a meal (try my slow cooked marinara), take the country route, amble around an outdoor market or pretend you are an Italian man from an older generation and sit around the table all day long. The pleasure of doing nothing.

What do you do to slow down? I’d love to hear it below.




How do I find my purpose?

Whether you are seeking a more fulfilling career or greater focus in what you are already doing, the desire for purpose is profound and beautiful.

You may be like me, 15 years into a career you thought you wanted only to discover it is taking too great a toll on your body. Or maybe something is missing. A deep, inner missing.

The good news is your purpose is probably closer than you think.

For tips on how to find your purpose, check out my article on Mind Body Green:

What to find your purpose but have no idea what it is?

How has this process been for you – what are you discovering? Leave a comment below!



Joy at the Core (The secret to career fulfillment)

A lot of people ask me: “how did you know what you wanted to do?” And more to the point, “how do I know what I really want, what brings me fulfillment?

This is one of the toughest questions for many of us. We can DO very well. Give me a goal and I’ll figure out a way to get there with a plan, timeline, bullet points etc.

That’s not the point. The point is what do you want?

We think we SHOULD know and so we put all this pressure on ourselves. Then when it doesn’t appear, we give up.

My process was 100% unscientific, and long. Though now I have done itI can reverse engineer it for you, along with a huge dose of intuition and reading people.

I truly believe that following your joy is the key to finding the right fit and creating fulfillment. 

The reason I focus 30% of my time on food is only partially because of how good it feels to get health issues like hormones, weight and hypertension sorted out. Feeling good for the next 40 years is well worth the investment. I absolutely want this for everyone, which is why I did a post MBA degree in nutrition.

But the real reason is that food is a daily pleasure, a practice of joy. If you are not there yet, it’s ok. You will get there.

Once joy became my experience (instead of fear, self judgment and anger), it led me to explore other sources of joy, which brought me to this work.

The more I explored, the more “right” it felt. Until I just had to do it. The fear of judgment and economic uncertainty melted. (More on that next time).

So here’s a fun challenge: explore your joy this holiday

Show a little love and leave a comment below – what’s your joy?



How to do I create a life I love?

Often it feels elusive. Then it happens, seemingly by accident.

If you look closer, it is is usually a result of identifying what is most important to you and bringing it into your life.

Sounds great. But you may be wondering – how do you know what is most important to you?

Here are 3 steps to try.

1. Ask: What does a life I love feel like to me?

Not what it looks like, but what does the experience feel like when you are with your partner, in the kitchen cooking dinner with your family, receiving accolades at work, or maybe seeing the world.

Here’s why it works: Have you ever taken a job or entered a relationship because of how you think it will feel, only to realize the feeling did not come. You probably got frustrated because it didn’t seem worth it. You may have then doubted yourself and what you thought you wanted.

For example, say you want to make enough money so you can enjoy life. Great. But in process, how do you feel? If you’re enjoying life, then everything is aligned. But if you are feeling drained then it is actually the exact opposite of what you truly want.

Take another common example: you want to be in love to feel connected. Yet if you are not connected internally, it will be hard to create this feeling in the relationship.

Skip the middleman and go right to the source.

To identify the feeling you seek, put your hand on your heart and imagine living a life you love. What does it feel like to you?

If it does not come to you or if you tend to be more visual, create a vision board of this feeling. Pull out the colors, shapes, textures that how you want to feel. Then take a step back and describe it. I encourage you to look for one central feeling across all areas of life. Is it connected? Is it like flying? Is it creative? Is it spacious?

2. Use this feeling as your core approach life. In strategic planning, this is called the “one true thing” – the core desire that drives each of us. When you come from your core, life gets easier. It works more synchronistically.

For example, mine used to be connected, a feeling I longed for but did not feel I had enough of. Until I created it in myself and my life. Now the feeling is flying – being light and powerful and free. It is the feeling of pure joy I experience sharing my love or my work with others.

Why it works: Ninety five percent of what you actually experience is the process, not the outcome (which is out of our control anyway). If the process feels the way you want to feel then it will be more satisfying, regardless of the outcome.

Ask yourself: What could you do in each area of your life to create this feeling? How would you operate differently? What shifts would you make?

3. Cut the drag.  Less is definitely more. Use this feeling as a screener for what you will and will not do. This removes the frustration of doing things that don’t serve you and propels you toward things that do.

Why it works: By focusing on what matters most to you, you will often get better results. Further, but cutting the drag you will have more time to recharge and let your creative, visionary brain do its thing.

Ask yourself: Which activities, relationships and work do not create this feeling? How can you shift then or remove them? Then stick to it.

How did it go? I’d love to hear your experience. Please leave a comment below.

How to Make Change Easier

Hi Everyone,

For anyone who is making changes, you know it can be a mixed bag.

Take loosing weight or changing your thoughts. You have a strong motivation and a plan. But it’s really about sticking with it, past the obstacles that will inevitably arise.

Of course, I get impatient – I want results yesterday.

So I took a page from what usually works in my life – running. It works because long ago I decided it’s not about the race, it’s about the process. Like with most things, 98% of the experience is process anyway. And I love almost the whole process:  running, getting the gear, planning for the day, stretching, hanging out with runners, even working out injuries.

When the process is enjoyable, it’s easier to stick in there. Satisfaction is no longer dictated by an outcome, which is good because most outcomes are out of our control in many ways. And when you are having fun and are more engaged, things may go even better than you expect.

Want to try it? Try these tips to love the process of any change.

  1. Get curious. Treat it as a “go and see”. What happens when I do this? Pay close attention to how each aspect goes so you can learn from it, without being attached to the outcome.
  2. Enjoy the details. One great way to do this is by creating rituals. For example, have a breakfast you love or tea after dinner in a special mug.
  3. Get support. Join a group or a team or enlist a coach.
  4. Accept yourself no matter how it goes. Carve out time to replenish yourself.
  5. Be grateful. List 5 things you are grateful for everyday. You can’t be frustrated or angry when you are grateful. This one is more for you than (When I started running again after being barely able to walk about 20 months ago, runs kinda sucked. I said “thank you left, thank you right”)

Try loving the process with something you are working on! Let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below or shooting me an email.

In Joy,