How to set Dreams and Goals for 2018

Happy-New-Year-Wishes-2018-1

Well 2017 has come and gone.  This was an amazing year.  I feel like I really lived it.  Some years let’s just be honest have been terrible.  This year for me personally was really good.  I had the following major accomplishments: RETIREMENT, AMBER DOG, Performances and I’ve been able to keep my sanity for the most part.

I looked over my goals for 2017 and I have to say that I have stuck with them.  That just means I need to continue to add to my goals.  I mean if I could nail the goals for 2017 then I can surely continue to nail the goals for 2018.

Since I’ve retired my focus has shifted.  I was super stressed when I was working and now that I’ve retired it’s time for me to get serious about relaxation and just settling into my groove.  Retirement is a Huge Adjustment and unless you’ve done it, I don’t think you quite get it.val_edited-9177

      This is me thinking about positive thoughts.  Give it a try and see what happens.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to give me a way to focus my energy in a positive manner.

So how do you set goals anyway?

  1. Keep it simple.  Make too many goals and you end up not doing anything.
  2. It doesn’t need to have anything to do with fitness or health.  This is a popular resolution but you can set whatever goal or dream you want.  This is your chance to really get creative with your dreams and try to figure out exactly what it is that you want anyway.
  3. Write it down.  Perhaps your resolution could be to start journaling.  If you have never journaled or not for a while, this is a great time to start.
  4. Tell someone what your goal is with the hope that you can get some accountability and also once you tell someone, it reinforces your goal because you are discussing it.
  5. Day dream about your goals.  What would it look like if you had this?  How would you feel?  Imagine it’s already yours and be happy knowing that it’s coming into fruition.

Feel free to comment below with some of your dreams and goals.  Remember the more you talk about it, the more likely it will happen.  So I’ll go ahead and get this party started by sharing my dreams and goals for 2018.

  • Daily yoga (at least 10 minutes)
  • Meditation at least 3 days per week but the more the better
  • Dance daily at least 20 minutes
  • Write daily at least 20 minutes
  • Go on a plane for vacation
  • Shop local, vegan diet and breathe through all difficulties
  • Transform my guest bedroom.
  • Keep singing

VAL DANCING FOR RONI

This is me dancing at my party and having fun.  This is what dreams look like.  Just do it.

Now see that wasn’t so difficult.  Well here’s to an amazing 2018.  Don’t worry about all the drama that’s going on in the world.  You allow what comes into your reality.  Choose wisely.

Merry Christmas Darling

Merry Christmas Darling

Can you believe it’s Christmas again?  Isn’t that what everyone always says.  There are two types of people around Christmas time.  Those that get all into the Christmas spirit with the decorations, presents, holiday parties etc and there are the other folks who bide their time until December 26.  I’ll let you guess what type of category I fit into.

This year is my first Christmas with my puppy, Amber.  So needless to say I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with her house training and getting her on a schedule.  It’s really like having a baby all over again.  I think I could have new parents hire Amber to puppy proof their house.  She will find every piece of plastic, glass, rock or choking hazard.  So needless to say, I am constantly catching her with stuff in her mouth.

So long story short is, I didn’t decorate a whole lot this year.  I wasn’t sure where I was going to put the tree and so I just got a really small tree and didn’t do a whole lot of shopping either (except for Amber).  I made quite a few gifts: bath bombs, granola and actually one of my gifts is the song: Merry Christmas Darling.perfect-beautiful-christmas-decorations-on-decoration-with-make-a-decor-pretty-tree-and-lights-idea-of_how-to-decorate-house-for-christmas_design-your-apartment-interior-decor-ideas

This is my fantasy Christmas decorations.  It’s nice to Dream


I sang this song at Merriment on Main.   I started working on this in October (you have to prepare way in advance).  Christmas songs in October just isn’t my favorite thing.  I mean that’s even way before Thanksgiving.  But I have always loved Karen Carpenter from the Carpenter’s and I really enjoyed rehearsing this song.

When you sing live, you just never know how it’s going to turn out.  Maybe you’ll forget the words or won’t hit the right notes.  But it’s always a thrill.

So here’s my rendition of Merry Christmas Darling.  Wishing you all a Merry Christmas Darling

Valerie is a Yoga Instructor, Health and wellness Coach.  Her hobbies include singing and dancing.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy. You can contact her at enlightenyourlives.com/contact.

Retirement Performance

VAL DANCING STAGE

Retirement Performance

When I first decided that I wanted to dance at my retirement party, my main motivation was because it was a dream of mine. I wanted to do it because I wanted to see exactly what my capabilities were at age 50. I felt that since I was a yoga instructor and a health coach that I should have the ability to perform and with the proper instruction, anything is possible.

So the dance training began and I found it to be very difficult. I had an injury at the same time I started training so I had to be very careful not to hurt myself. But I knew that I loved dancing and I just wanted to put on this epic performance at my party. I had an interest in belly dancing for years and I had done some training starting in 2008. I took a few classes with a local dance instructor and watched some videos but I hadn’t found a dance instructor in my area that I really was compatible with.
Then in 2015, I had surgery and the Dr. gave me the usual recommendation which was not to exercise for 6 weeks. I really despise that recommendation but of course I followed the Dr’s orders. They told me walking was fine.  Yoga was still not an option but the one thing I was able to do was belly dancing. And it just felt amazing on my spine, neck, shoulders and hips. Thus a belly dancer was born.
I soon realized that yoga and belly dancing were very much intertwined with one another.

VAL SPINNING
I kept up the belly dancing and I even taught a workshop at Angeline’s dance studio in 2016. I had previously been a Zumba and U-Jam Fitness Instructor and I felt comfortable dancing in front of people and I knew I wanted to perform at my retirement party in front of my loved ones, but I felt belly dancing alone would just feel completely inappropriate and I knew if I wanted it to turn out good, then I needed professional training and choreography.

I picked the song which was Transcendence by Lindsey Stirling and it had a classical feel to it. Although I used to belly dance at home to that song, I knew that ballet would go nicely with it as well.

At first I wanted to do a partner dance. But it’s difficult to find a partner and I decided to just do private instruction.
So it was going to be a belly dance/ballet fusion dance.
So ballet is very challenging. It’s pilates on steroids as I like to call it. And I was still working at the time and my work was not helping the situation at all. Because all of the sitting was counter productive. But I kept up with the training and the video is the final result.
When I watch the video, I feel happy with certain parts and other parts, I wish were better. But overall, I feel grateful that I had the ability and opportunity to dance and perform especially at the age of 50.

Sometimes when the fear strikes me when I think about releasing a video, I just think well if someone wants to criticize me that’s fine. They can go ahead and do a performance and then we can discuss my performance afterwards.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor. She recently retired from a Career in Law Enforcement after 26 years. Email her at:estrella.valerie@yahoo.com

Why I Love Dancing

Dancing-girlI really love dancing. I started dancing as a child and have kept it up for most of my life in some form or another. As a child, I studied Ballet, Tap and Jazz and as an adult I am currently taking ballet and tap. I have not always been taking classes. Sometimes I said I did not have time or I could not find a teacher that I was compatible with.

My body always feels better when I dance.  It feels amazing to just move your body.  I have always exercised either at a gym or been active riding bikes or hiking.  But dancing is a different form of movement.  My dance teacher, Angeline, says that it’s the toughest form of athleticism because you have to be strong, flexible, balanced and you have to make it look like it’s easy.  I agree that it’s very challenging but to me it just feels so good to just move my body.ballet-dancing-girl

When I was working at my sedentary job, I would get off work and would just love it when I could move my body.   When I dance my body wakes up and I feel alive.  It’s fun to dance to a song that is just a kick ass song.  Dance is a physical expression of music.  So you hear the music and with dancing you move to the rhythm  and it just is wonderful.

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In March of 2017 I decided I was going to have a retirement party and I wanted to perform at my party with my family and closest friends.  So I trained with Angeline for 7 months consistently.  It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  One of the reasons I feel it was so difficult was because I would go dance after work in which I sat down for so many hours of the day.  It’s like the sitting was counter productive to my dancing.  But I just had to keep trying to reach my dream.

I know not everyone dances or they say they can’t dance.  But whatever you are capable of doing, you should just do that.  If you can walk, then walk.  If you can run, then run.  Whatever you find enjoyable, do that.  I find dancing to be very enjoyable and I love it.  But sometimes I want to pull my hair out trying to learn something new.  But I just keep trying with the hope that I can improve.  I am not the world’s best dancer by any stretch. But I just do the best that I can do any given day.  Some days are better than others and some days I suck at dancing.  Sometimes I just want to do the thing I am good at and no I don’t want to do that new challenging move or choreography that I don’t know or want to know.  But if you just keep trying and if you have a good dance teacher, they will break it down and then it’s much easier.

Do whatever it is that makes you feel alive.  A big hint is that you usually lose track of time while you are doing it.