Lifestyle Management

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Making Healthy Living a Lifestyle

This is an introduction to my upcoming series of “How’ to Make Healthy Living a Lifestyle. Each post will include Valuable Tips to Help You Achieve Your Healthy Lifestyle Goals.  There will also be free online video/tele-seminars offered.  Stay tuned… 

Every May is Older Americans Month. The 2017 theme is Aging Out Loud! It was first started in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy met with members of the National Senior Citizens Council. It was known then as Senior Citizens month, with the primary purpose of acknowledging the contributions to our country by men and women age 65 and older.
As everything evolves to keep up with societal changes, so too has Older Americans Month (OAM). This year the theme of ‘Age Out Loud’ was chosen to give aging a new voice, one that highlights the progress and new developments of our aging population. We are the generation who continues to set trends as we ‘disrupt aging’ as described by AARP CEO JoAnn Jenkins in her book of the same name.
I was just 14 years old when Older Americans Month was established. At that time, I had not heard of it, and quite frankly, would not have been interested if I had. I was in high school and being of the baby boomer generation, I was busy living out loud back then. Well, here it is 54 years later, and as a forever embedded member of the baby boomer generation, I am now, really Living Out Loud! I, along with many others are taking charge of our lives, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for ourselves and others. There is no doubt that what it means to age has changed through the years, and OAM 2017 is a perfect opportunity erase the old stereotypes, and recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.
The baby boomer generation is known for changing the direction of America as we set trends and new directions throughout the years. Now, as a 68-year-old, I, along with many of my cohorts are still setting trends. We are changing the conversation of older Americans by confronting the old stereotypes and living our best life now! We are maintaining our health, independence, and experiencing new life adventures! We have a reasonably good quality of life, and are embracing the joys of aging!’
Did you know that by the year 2050 for the first time ever, the world population will have more people over the age of 65, than children age 5 and younger? According to the Harvard School of Public Health, boomers are expected to live longer than any other generation. Acknowledging that trend, it only stands to reason that as our life expectancy is extended, we want to maintain a good quality of life, that includes being healthy, happy and spiritually grounded!
My inspiration to help me on the path to disrupt the platitudinal aging process comes from some older Americans I know personally, who are older than me. I want to introduce you to just a few of them:

1) Ernestine Shepherd, the Guinness Book of World Records oldest female body builder. Ernestine didn’t start her health routine until she was 56 years old, which resulted in her becoming a body builder. Ernestine is now 80 years old and continues to body build and lead a healthy lifestyle;

 

2) Alpha Bennett, a 78-year-old great-grandmother was inspired after completing her first triathlon at age 49 to take on new ventures that included running and cycling. She has participated in mud challenges, and spelunking. Recently she was a chaperone to a bicycle ride from Durham, N.C. to St. Augustine, Florida for about 20 young people from the ages of 8 to 17. It took them almost 2-weeks and their overnight accommodations were tents! Alpha continues to travel the world to participate in bicycle rides which includes places like Italy, Spain, and Europe;

3) Fitness Guru, Eddie Nelson, now 77 years-old, has participated in various Senior Olympic Games where he competed in the 100 Meter Dash, Discus, Javelin, Hammer Throw, Triple Jump and Weight Throw. He has a myriad of gold medals he has earned in the various competitions. Eddie has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not twice, FLEX magazine, on billboards and on TV. He is also the author of Old School Workout. However, what I want to emphasize here is that at age 74 Eddie was diagnosed with esophagus cancer. No doubt, he was devastated and didn’t understand because he was living a healthy lifestyle. Well, because of his lifestyle, according to his doctor, Eddie was able to defeat the cancer and, in less than 2-years, he is back to his physical fitness regime as though the cancer never existed;
4) Then there is 84-year-old Don who walks about 2-miles every day. What is so amazing about Don is that he has had major back surgery and refused to give up on life! How about you? Have you given up, or are you living out loud?

I share these stories to inspire you, man or woman, that growing old gracefully is more than a cliché, it is a reality that we can all experience, if we so choose, as those men and women are doing, I have shared with you. Remember, our future levels of health, wellness and wellbeing depends on the choices we make today. It is never too late to make better choices!

Now, I will go full circle and share some highlights of my personal story with you. I will start by mentioning some of the recognitions I have received that includes a ‘Profiles in Positive Aging’ award from LeadingAge Georgia. Can you even imagine the elation I felt upon receiving this award for just living my life … doing what I do! I love the things I do and knowing that I am providing indelible experiences to others and helping them lead their best life truly warms my heart. I have been featured on CNN’s AccentHealth network, selected by the Huffington Post / The TODAY Show as one of 50 Over 50 who Reinvented Themselves, and on the cover of a Special Edition of the GirlFriends magazine for the White House Conference on Aging, among other recognitions. I am highly seasoned and savoring the spices of life as I celebrate the joys of aging. I love this life!
One of the most significant days of my life was the last day of my 49th year. I had a doctor’s appointment. What made this appointment consequential, unlike any previous doctor appointments, I was told that I was pre-hypertensive. I couldn’t believe it! I had owned several health food stores and thought I was in great health. This proved to be a pivotal day in my life. Before I even left the doctor’s office, I decided I did not want to take medications and that I would make better choices to improve my health naturally so I could alleviate my potential for hypertension.
During that ensuing year, when I was 50 years old, I was introduced to the Senior Olympic Games. I joined a senior women’s basketball team. I was never an athletic person. This was all new to me. I knew I wanted to become more physically active. This, I thought was a perfect opportunity. I was having fun, meeting/making new friends, learning something new, being more physically active, and according to the coach, I would have the opportunity to travel around the country! I went on to earn, along with my team members, gold and silver medals as we competed in local competitions, state tournaments and the World Senior Games and National Senior Olympics. As I reflect, I have continued to be active for more than 18 years now and will be participating in the National Senior Games this June in Birmingham, Alabama. However, I have expanded by athleticism to include cycling and race walking.
As a result of my newfound adventurous spirit, at age 56, I went on my first hike, trekking Blood Mountain, a connector trail to the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, in North Georgia. Wow … I discovered a passion I did not know was hidden inside of me. A passion for the outdoors! This is significant keeping in mind that I was raised as an urban city girl, who never really enjoyed parks or being outdoors. That hike marked a momentous point in my life. By age 60 I had organized my own hiking group after becoming a Certified Outings Leader through the Sierra Club. Now, for more than 8 years I continue to lead monthly group hikes to share the wonderment of Mother Nature and the great outdoors with others.
To celebrate my 65th birthday, I led a group of friends hiking the Bright Angel trail at the Grand Canyon. Hiking really brought out my adventurous spirit so much so that I added other outdoor group activities that include zip lining, white water rafting, kayaking, camping, tree climbing, spelunking, backpacking and others. I am having so much fun, I could say, I am living my second childhood … what a blast!
Often, I am asked if I am retired, my response is simply, “I am not retired, I am rejuvenated!” With that said, I encourage you to live your dreams … live your best life now … Age Out Loud and celebrate the joys of aging every month, and on into the future!

Carolyn is a Healthy Lifestyle Coach & Outdoor Adventure Leader, a professional speaker, trainer and writer. She is the recipient of a LeadingAge Georgia – Profiles in Positive Aging Award, representing AARP. She was selected as a National Association of Professional Women VIP of the year (2016-2017); In January 2017 she was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) newspaper, has been interviewed on several radio programs and on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) for airing during Older Americans Month in May 2017. She is the founder of Hartfield’s Hikers, Older People with Active Lifestyles (OPALs) and Walk Outdoors for Wellness! (WOW!). For more information about Carolyn, visit her website at http://www.CarolynHartfield.com or send her an email at CH@CarolynHartfield.com

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Share the Love!

It is with great joy that I encourage you to share your love! First, you must love yourself unconditionally , then you will find easy to share your love unconditionally with others. Love yourself enough to stay focused and do things that are on track to your longterm goals.  Do these things for yourself. Your choices today and everyday for that matter, will help dictate your future health and accomplishment of your life goals.

Dream Big!  Dreams really do come true!  Do what you love.  Whatever it is, find time to just do it! If you aren’t sure exactly what that is, try different things.  Things that you never dreamed about.  You may discover your passion without even trying, as I did with my outdoor activities. You will find that being out in natures actually opens up your mind for greater clarity.  I challenge you to give it a try, if you haven’t already.  You will be amazed as to how invigorated you will feel afterward.  Take this from a city girl who do nutlike to get dirty nor sweat.  I discovered a true passion for activities in the great outdoors!  In doing so, you, as I have discovered, are guaranteed to have a life filled with more happiness, better health and harmonious living environment.

C. David Moody, of renown C. D. Moody Construction company in Atlanta states one of his most exciting projects is the construction of the new Cyclorama.  He says, during a Facebook live video of his walkthrough tour at the construction site, “Back in college in the 70’s when I was at Morehouse I used to drive down Paces Ferry and think ‘Gosh, someday I sure wish I could do a project in Buckhead.  Here it is 40 years later. Here I am.  Dreams do come true!” Never give up on your dreams.  However, you must continue to work toward them, no matter how small the task.  Love what you do, and share it with others … unconditionally!

At age 68, I will admit, it has not always been easy, but once I really started loving myself unconditionally, it is so much easier to share my love with others. Let me take a minute to share with you the definition I use for unconditional love: Unconditional love is caring about the happiness of another person or persons, without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.

Since I have been open to unconditionally loving others, I have received it back 10-fold. I share my experiences and thoughts with you to hopefully help you, as others experiences have helped me, especially with this aging thing. I am so very happy now and have embraced getting/being older. I am really experiencing ‘The Joy of Aging!

the_joy_of_aging_ch

This month of LOVE, with Valentine’s Day and all. I ask, ‘How about some unconditional love for yourself, and then your family, friends and others?

I encourage you to Live Your Dreams! They really can come true!  I, as C. David Moody is, a living example that dreams can come true!  Even those that you do not know await you.

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FYI … There is space available for the Alaska Cruise. I was able to secure some additional cabins for our group. Not sure how long I can hold on to them. Get info here.  I mention this because a couple of people who just signed up shared with me it was a dream of theirs to cruise Alaska.  Well, I presented this opportunity for them, and they jumped right on it. I was told that is something they have wanted to do for a long time.  So, I tell you this so you can be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you.  Particularly if it is something you feel in your gut, and you know that it is on the road to your overall goal … do it!

If you want to stay in the loop and hear more about how great life is for all of us, as we age, no matter the chronological years, please visit and consider joining my online Facebook Community – #The Joy of Aging. A Facebook account is not required to join the community. BTW, ‘The Joy of Aging’ is also the title of my new book … yeah, finally, I am really going to complete it this year! It is scheduled to be published with a fantastic launch event this Spring!

 

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Making Healthy Living a Lifestyle!

What a great year already … just a week into the New Year and it is awesome!
Healthy Lifestyle ... mproving Helth, Improcing LivesI  expect this to be an indication of the rest of the year.  My healthy lifestyle continues to pay great dividends for me in a BIG way.  I ended 2016 on a very positive note, and couldn’t imagine how wonderful 2017 is kicking off!

A brief recap of my 2016 end of the year, and a view of some of my scheduled January 2017 healthy lifestyle activities:  

In November 2016 I represented AARP and was awarded a Positive Aging Image Award by the Georgia Institute on Aging / Leading Age program, simply because of the way I live my life!  Can you even imagine?!  I was in great company, with Ambassador Andrew Young receiving the Icon in Positive Aging Award. November was also the month I completed the Atlanta Track Club Triple Peach Road Races.  I finished the last of the races, the Half-Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. My first time ever doing a half-marathon.  The other two races in the Triple Peach were the 10k Road Race on July 4th, and the 10-Miler on October 23rd.

In December 2016 participated in the Florida State Senior Games in Race Walking and the Cycling Time Trials.  My goal was to qualify for each of those events so I could participate in the 2017 National Senior Games to be held in Birmingham, AL in June.  Florida was the last qualifying location for the year. I received a Bronze medal in each event. This was my first time competing in either of these sports.

On January 1st – New Year’s Day I did the Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run/Walk … in the rain, no doubt!  There were more than 2,500 participants.  It was mostly wet, a light drizzle, and the temperature was in the 40’s. But, I was determined!

On January 2, 2017 this wonderful article, written by Laura Berrios,  How City Girl Became All About Urging Seniors to Have Fun Outdoors was published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, the only major daily newspaper in metro Atlanta.

On January 4th, as a result of the article, I was interviewed by Lin Tatum, host of the hour-long show radio Better Living, which airs in metro Atlanta GA, New Orleans LA, and Phoenix AZ on Saturdays and Sundays.

On January 7th, I checked my steps, to see how many I had logged since I had my Garmin Multisport Smartwatch.  This was the one year anniversary of having the watch.  I had clocked more than 3.5 million steps, equivalent to more than 1,500 miles … whew!  I had no idea!  I was just enjoying my walks and how great they made me feel. Plus, on my walks at the park in my neighborhood, I made new friends who walked the trail regularly.

On January 16th, I was summoned to have a team for the Martin Luther King, Jr., 5k Drum Run/Walk, at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.  Click here to join the team.  Yay!  People are signing up! BTW, I walk … I am not a runner!

On January 21st, I plan to participate in the Atlanta Track Club Peachtree City 8k/15k.  I plan to do the 8k which is approximately 5 miles.  This event is a part of the 2017 Grand Prix Series presented by Piedmont Healthcare, which includes 11 different run/walks around metro Atlanta. I will do as many as I can.

On January 22nd, I am scheduled to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15k Run/Walk. At the time I signed up last year it was before I knew about the Grand Prix, and definitely did not realize they had events just a day apart.  The plan is to do them both.

On January 28th, I have signed up to attend the Southern Snow Seekers One-Day Cataloochee Ski trip.  It is for beginners (that’s me!) and families.  I will probably just be an observer to see it I want to try this ski think again.  Many, many years ago I was a member of the Jim Dandy Ski Club in Detroit.  I went on a ski trip with them, but could not make it off the bunny hill.  I will observe on this trip and see if I will be ready for next year.

I say that to say … we will see how this Healthy Lifestyle thing is working for this 68 year old!  Quite frankly, I expect it is working well.  However, I do know my limitations. I am very happy with my quest to meet my personal mind, body, spiritual and emotional wellbeing needs. I am on track (pun intended) with my own self-directed Healthy Lifestyle Coaching.

Mindful Meditation is one of the things I practice to help keep me focused and boy has it worked for me.  When I reviewed my list of projected goals at the beginning of 2016 and compared them to my 2016 accomplishments, I was right on target.  Actually I surpassed many of my goals as a result of being able to stay focused throughout the year.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I did not venture off track, but, I was able to get back on track a lot more easily my practicing mindful meditation.

Walking was my primary physical activity for the year. Being gifted with a Garmin Multi-sport Smartwatch, which prior to receiving the gift, had convinced myself I didn’t really need one, ended up being the best gift ever.  It really kept me on track!  I had it set to regulate itself as I met, or fell short of my daily steps goals. I was able to track my heart rate and my sleeping patterns.  It was very eye-opening to track my activities without having to think about what I was doing and then to see the results.

dsc_2574My spiritual and emotional wellbeing are strengthened with my hikes in the woods, my positive thoughts, conversations with, and support  from friends, and my feelings of oneness with God.  I am able to see the bright side of most things.  Practicing ‘positivity’ helped remove or, at the very least, limit my relationships with people who have negative energy.

As I have moved forward into 2017, I can clearly see how my actions have become healthy habits which are now incorporated into my lifestyle. I had to determine my true level of self-commitment and how I saw myself in the big picture … my dreams.  It is never too late to have big dreams and to follow them.  One of the best benefits of following my dreams led me to discover my passion and my life purpose.   As a result, I have  surpassed many of my goals and had accomplishments far beyond my dreams.  Guess I wasn’t dreaming big enough!  I have discovered when you actually believe and walk your talk, you really can achieve your dreams.  I absolutely love my Healthy Lifestyle Coaching.  Not only is it self-fulfilling, it is so gratifying to see how I am able to help others live their best life.

I have been encouraged to share my Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint on a larger scale because many more people can benefit from them.  Because I so love the coaching I do, the results that I see, and the reassurance I get from others,  I will have a FREE online video conference to cover the basics of making healthy living a lifestyle to help those who are ready to change their routine 2017 and live their best life ever! This has been brewing for some time now and is the primary reason I am currently in the process of writing my first book, The Joy of Aging.  I have started The Joy of Aging Community group.  Feel free o visit it and post your joys of aging. We can have joy, no matter the age. Being in good health makes it all that much easier to have a quality of life that automatically results in a life filled with happiness.  We can learn how to fine tune our lives and orchestrate it to have harmony as any great symphony orchestra when all the instruments are in place.  I am here to be your conductor and help you create the best music for you to love, laugh and dance to like no one is watching!

If you are interested in joining this FREE online video conference coaching session, please RSVP here.  The space is limited.

Please feel free to visit my website at anytime to signup for my monthly online newsletters or any of the groups for fun activities, including the upcoming Spring into Life Retreat April 21 – 23, 2017.

Categories: Health Coach, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, The Basics | 1 Comment

Happy Healthy Holidays!

happy_holidays

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful time of the year … a time for family and friends!  I am so full of peace, love, happiness and gratification, that I am trying my hand at poetry, again … hope you enjoy it:

My wish for you during this joyous holiday season and after
Is that your life is filled with friends, family,
shared love and laughter
You are a wonderful person who plays a meaningful part
As you inspire others with encouragement and support
that I’m sure truly warms their heart,
I want to let you know that because you are so special
to many in so many ways,
I want to personally take this time to wish you Happy Holidays!

I am going to share with you 3 concepts I use as I move into the New Year. I hope they will be as helpful for you as they have been for me:

  1. It is a time of reflection, to review the goals and  aspirations you had for this year, relish in all of your accomplishments, of which I am sure there are many more than you realize.  All the small accomplishments count too!
  2. Let them go … revise or revoke those goals that were not attained, for whatever reason.  Reconsider or rewrite them so they will better fit into the next chapter (2017) in your book of life; and
  3. Be ready for a renewal of your mind and rejuvenation of your soul like never before.  Make a personal commitment to ‘Change Your Routine in 2017’ and be ready to savor all the spices that will be sprinkled in your life to season it to  perfection … Your life is your own extraordinary gourmet recipe for you to add all the ingredients that allow you to indulge the delectable flavors of your life experiences and satiate your palate!
I am sure if you take the time to connect the dots in your life backwards, as the late Steve Jobs of Apple once said, you will be able to delineate how you arrived to where you are, this very moment.  It is up to you to choose to change your path, or stay on the one that you are currently on, with maybe some tweaks to make it an even greater journey for next year.
I am so very happy to be enjoying my best life right now and believing that it will only get better!  Why not start a little early and take a sneak preview of what may lie ahead … although we never know what the future holds, we have our dreams that keep us in pursuit.  Join me as I am already looking forward and preparing myself to live my dreams  next year, of which  I expect it to be yet another phenomenal year, beyond my imagination!  I am so excited about the possibilities and propose that you too, get excited about your future.  I believe, if it is to be … it is up to me!

I am truly living my life to the fullest! And, I encourage you to do the same.  My primary mission is to spread joy to everyone with whom I come in contact, in person, via the Internet, telephone or video.  If you are or will be in the Atlanta area, consider coming out to meet and greet me and the many others in my network who will join us at our Annual Holiday Champagne Meet & Greet / Mix & Mingle Brunch.  Come and share in the fun, frolic and delicious food along with our unconditional love and holiday hugs.  See old friends, meet and make new friends. And, join us for our Holiday Toast, of which you can add your own toast, if you so choose.  Click here for the details and to RSVP

Recently, I have been summoned and encouraged, particularly during this time as I am being recognized for my lifestyle, simply for the way I  live my life, to better promote my successful Healthy Lifestyle Coaching sessions, and my Valuable Tips & Techniques to make Healthy Living a Lifestyle. Because I love what I do and the results not only show in my life, but also the lives of others with whom I coach, I am offering for the first time ever, a Special 2 for 1 Healthy Lifestyle Coaching Series to help you accomplish your New Year’s Healthy Lifestyle goals and put you in the 8% of those who actually maintain their resolutions throughout the year. If you are interested in more information and/or want to sign up, visit my web site at  or send me an email.

We will have our Annual December Hike at Stone Mountain on Saturday, December 3.  Click here for more information and to RSVP.  We will also have our Annual Fun & Fitness Hike on January 7, 2017 at Red Top Mountain. I will include a link for that one in my next post.

May you be blessed, and continue to bless others. carolyn-hartfield-cropped

And, as always…I wish you optimal health, happiness and harmonious living!

carolynsig

Categories: Health Coach, Lifestyle Management, The Basics | Leave a comment

Health Literacy … Your Responsibility – Your Health – Your Life!

Did you know only 12 percent of adults have Proficient Health Literacy, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. 
Healthy Lifestyle ... mproving Helth, Improcing Lives
In other words, nearly nine out of ten adults may lack the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease.  Fourteen percent of adults (30 million people) have Below Basic Health Literacy.  These adults were more likely to report their health as poor (42 percent) and are more likely to lack health insurance (28 percent) than adults with Proficient Health Literacy.People with limited Health Literacy often lack knowledge or have misinformation about the body as well as the nature and causes of disease. Without this knowledge, they may not understand the relationship between lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise and various health outcomes.

October is National Health Literacy Month. As a trained Health Literacy Coach through a program at the University of Georgia, and a certified Health Coach through a program at Emory University, I encourage you to use October to learn some Health Literacy Basics and improve upon your current knowledge.  We all know there is always room for improvement!

When I reached the great age of 65, I started going for my Medicare Annual Wellness visit around my birthday, which was in September.  To my dismay, the doctor I had been seeing, Dr. Jennifer Moncrief, whom I loved,  had left Emory and I had to see a new doctor.  The short of the long is, as we were reviewing my health status, of which I will report, was excellent, we were talking about weight and BMI, he admitted to me, without me asking, he was out of shape, which of course was obvious.  My previous doctor was in great shape.  Also, he seemed rather taken aback, though very polite, at the level of my questions, knowledge and responses.  While I left the appointment feeling exceptionally well, I was a bit disappointed with him.  I think I will seek a new doctor.  Someone more engaging and someone I can feel comfortable with who walks the talk of health.

I don’t know about you, but if someone is going to give me some advice, I want it to be obvious that they walk the talk of whatever it is they are departing to me.  That is a high priority and level of credibility for me.  And because that is a way of life for me to my very pleasant surprise, I will be a celebrated at living gallery of Georgia’s elders engaged in positive aging, by the LeadingAge Georgia / Georgia Institute on Aging ‘Profiles of Positive Aging Image Awards Gala in November at the Atlanta History Center.  Please cllick here for more information and of course to purchase tickets and come out and support me and the others.  Ambassador Andrew Young is the featured Icon Speaker!

As a result the focus for this month, I put together the following three valuable tips I feel confident will help you with your health literacy, and know that they continue to work for me.  Please review them and know that the talk I walk is based on my personal experiences, training and my research.  I feel very confident with what I share.  I know that because I have improved my health literacy and assured myself of optimum health!  I want you to know that, no matter your age, it is possible to improve and live your best life, as a very good friend of mine always tells me … I live life like it is golden!

Following are the three valuable tips I want to share with you and encourage you to consider incorporating them into your lifestyle during Health Literacy month.  If you start the first of October, you have more than 21 days, which is what they say is the length of time to make a them automatic, and turn them into healthy habits.

  1. Determine what Preventive Measures and Services, i.e., improved diet, physical activity, annual health screenings, etc., are best for you to improve your current health status.
  2. Become knowledgeable about your medical conditions and treatment so you can manage them effectively. Commit to do your own research and develop questions to ask your health professional to help you better understand your condition, the medications you are taking and any associated side effects.
  3. Develop a short-term, practical action plan that you can incorporate into your daily routine, i.e., walking more, drinking more water, making healthier food choices, etc.; and the long-term results you want to achieve. Keep a written log of your progress.

The goal is to have them become an integral part of your lifestyle where you don’t have to think about them, you just do them!  As someone who continues to work on improving my healthy lifestyle habits, at ageCarolyn Hartfield68, they have proven to have me living my best life … now!  Join me!

Please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and comments.

 

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International Women’s Friendship Month

September is my birthday month!  I will celebrate 68 years of life on the 5th, actually, I will be celebrating all month, and as I believe, everyone deserves to celebrate at least one day for every year of life!  Wow … that means I will be celebrating for more than two months!

When I discovered September is International Women’s Friendship Month, I thought how appropriate for me to acknowledge and celebrate.  For starters, I will be in Jamaica for my birthday with a very close friend who is a native Jamaican!  It is no coincidence that we met in 2009, the same year this celebration was started. She too, will be celebrating her birthday, and I will get to see parts of Jamaica I have not seen before in my several visits prior, including meeting some of her childhood friends.  I am so looking forward to the venture!

Then, without a doubt, I must acknowledge all the friendships that have developed as a result of my hikes and other outdoor activities.  I am so grateful for the relationshGirlfriends - Arubaips, that not just include me, but those that have developed as a result on the various activities.  Personally, I have friends who are great listeners, who console with heartfelt compassion,  who encourage me, and are my loudest cheerleaders … and those girlfriends with whom I just have fun with, whatever we may do!  I love them all!

I have learned through the years that to have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.  Women friends come from diverse backgrounds and  a wide variety of connections–sister, mother, aunt, cousin, neighbor, childhood playmate, college roommate, work, professional volunteer organizations, and sometimes, just by happenstance! And, though this is Women’s Friendship month, let us not overlook the men who are our good friends also.

“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce.  If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”                                                                                               Zig Ziglar


I encourage you to let your friends know how much you appreciate their friendship.  I do this regularly.  It is important to let them know how you feel about them. I will always share my heartfelt feelings with those I cherish … you never know what challenge life may bring and you aren’t afforded the opportunity to share your feelings.  Never put yourself in a situation where you wish you shoulda, coulda, woulda … just do it! You will be glad you did!
Also, don’t forget those random acts of kindness.  Those acts are for friends also, not just strangers.  And, don’t forget a friendly hug, for no special reason other than to express how much you care.  Be the friend you want to have … you will get it back, guaranteed!
Carolyn Hartfield, Healthy Lifestyle Coach
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Carolyn’s Story

Check out My StoryTravel-Varios as written on the ‘Next Act for Women‘ Blog by blogger Helene Stelian.  Leave a comment.  Thanks!

 

 

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Spring Brings New Life!

Spring is a wonderful time of year.  I am sure you have heard, as I have that we should do spring cleaning, getting rid of all the old drab winter blues.  Well, how about all the new life that spring brings, in addition to the beautiful and fragrant flowers!  This spring has given me a totally new appreciation for the season.  You know, having planted my seeds early, and to see them blossom, is absolutely phenomenal!  Let me tell you about a couple of the seeds I planted …

I was requested back in January to submit articles to a couple of magazines.  I, of course decided to do so.  I wrote the articles, submitted them, and did not hear anything else.  I was not sure they had been accepted, they would be published, or what.  I reached out a couple of times for status updates.  But, in the end, I just decided to move on.  I had submitted the articles and photos, as requested, and there was nothing else I could do.  I had done as requested.  Well, boy! was I pleasantly surprised when both articles came out in the same month, April!

Girl Friends Health Guide

Girl Friends Lifestyle magazine, Special Edition Cover

Publisher of the GFLifestyle magazine, Matthew Johnson, finally called and wanted my mailing address, he wanted to send me copies of the magazine.  He said, “I think you might like it.”  Well, several days later, when I received his package, it sat on my kitchen table for a day, primarily because I was working on my final homework assignments for my Health Coach class at Emory University that was about to end.  Well … when I finally opened the package, was I surprised.  Matthew’s statement to me was a great understatement!   A huge smile covered my face as my eyes focused on the publication that was in my hand … that was me on the cover!  I was overcome with joy!  I opened the magazine, read the story, and immediately called Matthew. I was a Cover Girl!  In our conversation, Matthew went on to tell me that this Special Edition of his magazine, was commissioned by the White House for their 2015 Conference on Aging, and he felt my photo said it all, relating to living life to the fullest, as a healthy baby boomer and an active senior citizen.

The magazine is actually published in Wisconsin.  I am sooo honored to grace the cover of this magazine!  Visit the Girl Friends web site to order your copy of this information filled publication.  It is a keeper. I am not saying this because I am on the cover, it really is a great publication!

And, as if this wasn’t enough to make my day … I received a call from my audiologist’s office and was told, with excitement, that they had seen the article about me in the magazine.  I was a bit confused.  I was trying to figure out, how they saw a copy of the magazine, and I had just received it in the mail.  Well, they were talking about a totally different magazine, and I did not know that until I went to the office the following day.  It was the North Perimeter Lifestyle Magazine, April edition.  Wow!  Spring was blossoming all over the place for me.  I saw the article for the first time when they showed me their magazine.  After I returned home, I sent the publisher an email.  He responded in a very timely manner, and I made arrangements to get several copies of the magazine.  You can go directly to my article here.

How about sharing with me what is blooming in your life this Spring!  In the event that you may be having some rain in your life, as I was having at the time these magazine articles came to light, I simply say to you, reflect on the seeds you have planted, and remember ‘April Showers bring May Flowers!”  Expect the best, and it will be yours!

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Resurrection Sunday Observance or Happy Easter

If you are a Christian, do you celebrate ‘Happy Easter’ or do you observe Resurrection Sunday?  This is a question I recently pondered.  So, I did a little research to find the connection, or lack thereof.  This is what I came across on http://www.gotquestions.org:

“Biblically speaking, there is absolutely no connection between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the common modern traditions related to Easter Sunday. Essentially, what occurred is that in order to make Christianity more attractive to non-Christians, the ancient Roman Catholic Church mixed the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection with celebrations that involved spring fertility rituals. These spring fertility rituals are the source of the egg and bunny traditions.”

What are your thoughts?
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Creating Great Memories

I recently returned from a fabulous trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was a trip with one of my Meetup groups. There were 23 of us on this adventurous and fun escapade. Although I had been to Puerto Rico before, it was so many, many years ago, and this time I experienced a lot of firsts in this new chapter of my life.Puerto Rico Blog-lg

I had my first experience staying in a hostel. We hiked the El Yunque Tropical Rain Forest, a first for me. We visited the San Juan national historic site, Castillo San Felipe del Morro also known as Fort San Felipe del Morro or Morro Castle, a 16th-century citadel, and one of the island’s most famous landmarks, another first for me.

We also visited the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery which is a colonial-era cemetery located in Old San Juan, that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean to symbolize the spirit’s journey to cross over to the afterlife.  It is located outside the walls of Fort San Felipe del Morro fortress. It is the final resting place of many of Puerto Rico‘s most prominent natives and residents, another first.

We walked a couple of beaches and walked through a colorful, authentic Old San Juan neighborhood.  While we were there, we supported a locally owned shop.  I overdosed on one of the local dishes, Mofongo, which is made with plantains.  I tried it at three different restaurants  …umm good!

I mention these things because I am now utilizing my Interpretive Guide certification by learning and sharing information about the places we travel, to enhance and enrich our tour experiences.

I can’t help but reiterate that this is such a wonderful time of life!  It makes all the hard work and struggles to get here absolutely worth it!  They all result in freedom, clarity of mind, and no drama … just fun, frolic and fantastic adventures.

Signing off ’til next time … Savoring in the Spices of Life!

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