The “Lesson Plan” for 2016.


As the last few days of 2015 unfold, I’ve found that I’ve been stumbling across lessons in small moments. Lessons in moments that I’ve been least expectant. Moments that I’ve allowed myself to be present and soak up my surroundings. It should come as no surprise, that when I let go of my expectations and am present in the moment, I’ve found these little treasures.

In a new month and the closing of  a great year, I’ve begun documenting these moments and putting together a “lesson plan” for 2016.  These moments have come from people, places, situations, conversations, books, and from my own experiences. I am grateful for each and every moment and the people, places, situations, conversations, books and experiences that have contributed to these “lessons”.

Rolling out of bed before 5 am is not most people’s idea of the perfect beginning to a beautiful day. I’ve never been like most people. Mornings are my favorite time of day. That being said, I still find it hard to make my way out of a perfectly warm and cozy bed and slip into the abrupt rush of chilly air. It becomes easy though, when you don’t give yourself the chance to continue sleeping. I just get up and out of bed. From there, I throw on my workout clothes and head out the door to my favorite place to really wake up. BurnCycle.

This gem of a studio is the place to really wake up and sweat your face off. Literally. I’ve heard it referred to as  a “dance party on a bike” several times and this description couldn’t be more accurate. Let me be clear though-I definitely have NO dance moves and still feel like I could dance backup for Justin Timberlake during the 45 minutes spent on the bike.

I’ve been to some pretty great studios in the Portland area and even some really great higher end studios in California (ahem SoulCycle…) but there’s one thing that really sets this studio apart. A message. Every class I’ve been to, the instructors are able to not only wake you up at 6 am and get you smiling while sweating, but are able to instill a yoga-esque mind/body connection while doing it. This is how I picked up my first treasure.

A little more.

The small blonde on the bike was a genuine bad-ass who of course began the class with a Britney Spears remix. How can you not love starting your morning sweating it out to a little Britney?! Clearly this alone would have won over the hearts of group exercisers everywhere, but it was not the way she won me over. It was her message.

At one point, she asked us to close our eyes. She dedicated the next 45-minutes on the bike to the thought of “a little more.” She proceeded to give an awe-inspiring sweaty sermon that left me ruminating on this intention and it’s importance in every day.

“A little more” is how I want to spend this next month..and the next New Year and the next decade.. Which is why this one sentence spoken by one instructor became the first lesson in my “Lesson Plan for 2016.”

The message wasn’t delivered strictly to being on the bike; “turning the resistance up a little more” or “giving a little more effort”; but included our daily interactions with others and with ourselves.  Were there areas that we could give a little more as we went about our day? At work, could you give a little more attention to a project? Could we give ourselves a little more self-love for all we’ve accomplished in a single day? Was there room in our relationships for a little more love to grow?

Of course, I left the studio a sweaty mess. A great sweaty mess, that felt that there was a little more room for improvement in my daily interactions with the universe.

I became conscious of the space that had been created within by this message. Room that yearns for a little more.

Can I practice a little more gratitude in the silent moments in-between my t0-dos? A little more patience when sitting in traffic? A little more kindness towards that “annoying” co-worker? A little more love towards my significant other? A little more compassion towards myself and all the plates I continue spinning at once? A little more generous with my volunteering time? A little more authenticity in my actions each day?  A little more quiet when someone speaks as to really listen? A little more trusting in the abilities of my employees ? A little more inspired by my failures?  A little more present when with my family? A little more faith that things can happen in a different order than the one I have in mind? A little more appreciative for the day I’ve been given? A little more mindful of the food I bring into my home?

The intention, a little more, resonates with me. It’s not about taking away from or limiting ourselves. The lesson in a little more is about adding more value into each conversation, action, and moment in our daily lives.

So, take this lesson into your day today and see where a little more can take you in the next new year. What areas need a little more in your life?






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