How Looking Up Can Change Your Life

20140608_172203

Look up. It seems so arbitrary but this simple head tilt changed my life.

In a world where our minds and eyes are focused in front of us or on the screen in our hands, looking up is crucial to cultivating presence. By looking up, we are forced to stop for a moment and take in our surroundings. As forward thinkers we’re always looking towards the next step, the next day, the next thing and we forget to take in the moment.

The present is all we truly have and we are quick to brush it off as though it’s frivolous.

Studies have shown that by stopping for a moment to notice your breath, your toes, or even a flower has an immediate calming effect on the mind. Those who are more present, stress less.

One day I decided to look up like a gawking tourist on my outings. It was amazing!

I was shocked by the things walked by a thousand times but never noticed. It was even more shocking to see the amount of people looking down when I looked up. We have much more of an audience than you’d think- be wary nose pickers!

So next time you’re walking about, look up. It’ll snap you into the present and you’ll feel more connected to the life happening around you.

Here are a few photos from my “look up” day.

I’ll be posting more of these on Instagram (Beccanaut) under the hashtag #lookup. I encourage you to do the same and share your findings.

20140608_172144

Every protest Barbie you can imagine. Agreed, Nudity is not a Crime.

20140428_125557

 

 

 

These two kids stealing a moment together.

 

 

 

 

AA6762FB-4332-4EB7-B4CF-BABE49368EFD

 

 

This moustachioed monster moped.

 

 

 

 

 

14 - 1 (1)

 

 

 

Who knew there was a chair under the PotteryBarn clock at Market and Castro.

 

 

 

 

20140604_143955

 

 

 

These construction workers playing with fire.

 

 

 

 

 

20140531_224503

 

 

 

This girl’s outfit and perfectly fitting purse.

 

 

 

 

 

20140502_203614

 

 

This wine shop’s perfect description.

 

becca-mountains

8 Ways to the BEST you

As a health geek, fitness instructor and herald of happiness, I’m often asked what’s “the best” diet and exercise for a healthy and happy life?

The answer is…

The best way to be is…you! Seriously. I feel, the best advice is the ramblings and rumblings of my own body. Human bodies are incredibly complex and varied. Take the face for instance, we all have eyes, ears, a nose and a mouth, but think of how different we all look. The same applies to our internal and external functioning.

After years of experimentation and tumbling down the rabbit hole of health information, and listening to my body, I’ve developed a set of 8 principles that work for me:

8. Move it, Move it

1236264565_another-treadmill-fail

Whether it’s running the treadmill to nowhere, chasing chickens or climbing around on all fours, moving your body in any way or style = using your muscles = burning calories.

It’s up to you to decide how, just do it as often as possible.

7. Worrying will Kill You

funny-handle-stress

Stop acting like you have any control over what happens beyond the moment you’re in right now.

Worrying achieves nothing and is the worst form of stress. It wreaks havoc on your mind, and because your brain controls your body, deteriorates them both. It also leads to weight gain. Take a breath, accept what is and live around what happens next.

6. Check yourself before you wreck yourself

funny_pug

When you play, you pay. Don’t over do it, on anything. You know when enough is too much, will power is a muscle, exercise it.

Whether it’s food, exercise or fun, know your limits. What goes up must come down, so know that when you play hard, you’ll pay hard; when you eat bad, you’ll feel bad. Everything in moderation.

Hack Alert! Drink a glass of water before eating a meal to prevent overeating. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full, beat it to the punch!

5. Being awesome requires 7-8 hours of sleep

Seriously-300x225You are lying to yourself if you think you can survive on less. No one can- healthily.

Your body and brain need to rejuvenate, give it rest. It will keep you on your best mental and physical game, reduce cravings and keep stress at bay!

4. Get your Freak On

hugs-that-turns-into-sex-funny-quotesSEX! Don’t deprive yourself of something fun, and the neural equivalent of being tackled by puppies or running 3 miles.

It’s in your nature! Sex is one of our basic instincts, next to food, shelter and survival. It’s also chock full of health benefits.

3. Show your teeth

funny-dog-pictures-smile

Smiling sends instant happy signals to your brain, it’s also your friend magnet.

Being in the company of others, even if it’s just a cashier, is a quick way to a better mood. Add a smile to that and you’ll probably make a lot more friends.

2. Don’t Let Strangers in your Body!

too-many-ingredientsIf you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. It’s that simple.

Healthy diet is easy, use your brain and eat foods made with ingredients you recognize. These strangers are toxins and overwork your liver, which is that awesome organ that helps you process yummier things, like the occasional glass of wine and cookie.

1. Puppies

anigif_enhanced-buzz-27747-1355523500-1

They are like chocolate chip cookies to the world, every morsel of them is squishy deliciousness.

It’s been proven that just looking at pictures of them can increase productivity and boost your mood. Go find one, look at one, it doesn’t matter, they’re basically extensions of God and any homage will better your life.

bec-puzzle

How I Gamified My Life to be More Fun and Productive

What was the best part of elementary school? Boom, in less than a second you probably answered recess. That glorious time to get your crazies out and play games. Whether it was kickball, freeze tag or an inside board game, the magic of recess was in the games.

You Can be Happier

Playing games produces positive emotions and social relationships, two elements crucial for happiness. You probably didn’t know it at the time but those games were shaping our psyches without us knowing by tricking us into craving the effort-reward feedback loop. Though most of us don’t get daily recess anymore, you can still get the same rewards…

Life Hack Alert!

Easily get those happy boosting, recess benefits by gamifying your daily routine. It’s simple!

Rules

  • List my daily habit goals and award myself a point for each one accomplished
  • Ex. (meditation, exercise, work and sex) (1 point per exercise, 1 point for 2 hours of work, etc.)
  • Lose points for anything that detracts from optimal performance
  • Ex. (wine, eating out, certain extra curriculars)

Goals & Rewards

  • Daily: Set a goal the night before and add 1 bonus point if I meet it and 2 if I surpass it.
  • Weekly: Rewards a prize when met (nice dinner, concert, etc.) Set on Sunday and add up points at end of week to claim or push to next week.
  • Monthly: Rewards a bigger prize (trip to wine country, Big Sur, theatre tickets), this way if I don’t meet a weekly goal, I can still apply those points towards the monthly goal.

Get an Accountabili-Buddy

Recess is lame by yourself! I play this with my fiancé, but you can play with anyone or in groups. Playing with others makes it more engaging, holds you accountable and you can celebrate with shared rewards!

Take Back your Recess

Play my game or create your own, but just do it! Adding simple gamification elements rewards the things you already do and incentivizes you to do the things you should. Bonus points, it also makes you happier because when you reflect on your accomplishments, you feel accomplished!

Play your way to happy!

bozo-and-boppers-wide

Successful Startup Founders are Bobo Dolls

Remember the Bobo doll or the Bozo bop bag? The misnomer of a toy that made you go from 0 → Hulk in 3 seconds? No matter how hard you hit, beat or tackled, the bottom-heavy inflatable clown always had the last laugh. Today’s tech startup entrepreneurs are like Bobo dolls- at least the successful ones.

The 3 Keys

Patience, perseverance and core values are key ingredients for successful entrepreneurs. The Lean Startup model puts these principles into process with the “build, measure, learn” concept which encourages startups to produce the simplest version of a product, measure the feedback and move forward based on the results – over and over until they find product-market fit. Like the Bobo doll, you get knocked down but it’s how you bounce back that increases your chances for success.

Great Foundation = Great Function

However, Bobo’s rebound function depends on his weighted foundation, championing the importance of foundation based function. The same applies to entrepreneurs and their company’s core values- great function starts with great foundation. Products are how a company functions but the value they create is the foundation for why the company functions. For example, Tom’s sells shoes and eyewear (product) because they want to provide basic needs for those who don’t have them, making the world a better place one product at a time (foundation). Their product could have been anything as long as it provided the means to affect positive change in the world.

So, if you’re thinking of venturing into the startup game, remember the Bobo doll. You will get knocked down, but if you have a strong foundation you too just might get the last laugh.