Plan Simple with Mia Moran
Communication with Michelle Barry Franco

Communication with Michelle Barry Franco

November 24, 2020

When we learn to express ourselves in a way that is authentic, real for us, and powerful — that has influence — we can create amazing change in the world.  –Michelle Barry Franco

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Michelle Barry Franco, a speaking and thought leadership coach about communication and the impact it can have. She’s also the mom to three teenage girls and talks about the importance of her work in raising them. 

Michelle talks about the importance of creating enough space and quiet to know what we really want, that this is a critical starting point for good communication. Knowing what we want is the first step to asking for it. Then of course we get into asking effectively. We talk about thinking that we don’t feel like we deserve what we want. Many of these thoughts aren’t even ours. They are thoughts we’ve picked up over time. Thoughts are just thoughts. 

Michelle talks about your stand, which for entrepreneurs in your area of thought leadership, but which can also be a stand you take in your life, for example talking to your kids. Know what you want to say—situationally or as a consistent message. 

We talk about: 

  • Knowing who you are talking to and being able to put them in context
  • Why so much miscommunication happens because we don't take time to understand where the other person is coming from 
  • Using the idea of understanding somebody to help through the holidays
  • Bring more love, compassion, and understanding to the conversation while still standing firm in our values
  • Being able to take a strong stand and change your mind
  • Knowing when you are done with something, letting go of limiting beliefs, and what that can open up


Michelle is a speaking and thought leadership coach. Her mission is to support and inspire those who feel a powerful call to share their stories and expertise from the stage in stepping into their most authentic powerful expression as a speaker. Michelle has over 30 years of experience in the study and practice of public speaking. She has a Master’s degree in Speech Communication, a BA in Cognitive Psychology, and certification in the Whole Person Coaching. Alongside 10+ years of teaching public speaking at the college level, Michelle works with founders, leaders, authors, and transformational healers of all kinds to help them tell their stories and change lives with their message. Witnessing the ripple effects of their stories, lessons learned and expertise, as it serves our world so positively, is the greatest gift of her work life.



Doable Changes from this episode:

  • TRY UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT. Understanding is key to effective communication. Next time you face a challenging situation, take a little time first to try to better understand the person you are communicating with, whether it’s your partner, your child, your boss, a client, your audience.
  • GET QUIET. We come back to this one again and again. What happens if you get quiet? What do you learn about yourself and what you want?
  • CHECKING YOUR THOUGHTS. Are your own thoughts getting your way? Or maybe they are thoughts you have inherited, been handed by others, taken in so many times you believe they are yours. Try acknowledging they are thoughts but not you, not the truth, not in charge. 
The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness with Dr. Valerie

The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness with Dr. Valerie

November 2, 2020

In this episode of the Plan Simple Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Dr. Valerie, the author of  Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment. She named Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) and describes it as everything that you thought was wrong with you and tried to fix it with personal development and therapy and medication and self-medication. And she talks about recognizing this as something that we carry in our system, something that we can heal and interrupt that cycle of transmission of trauma and fully liberate ourselves.

We start by defining patriarchy as a system of oppression that has been in existence for a very long time. In this system of inequality and oppression, all power—political, financial, and moral—has been in the hands of men. The only way for women to have access to any resource was through a man, which created a whole lot of trauma and trauma adaptations that still play out very strongly in our relationships, even in the most conscious and loving relationships. 

Dr. Valerie’s exploration of this area started with a question many women ask: What’s wrong with me? After a stroke-like incident that doctors attributed to stress, she began examining her life more deeply. It all looked good, but she started to connect the dots and realized she was responding to unseen trauma. 

We talk about: 

  • Recognizing experiences of trauma that may not seem like a big deal and that unprocessed and repressed joy are a kind of trauma
  • It's not easy to minimize our own trauma, but that doing the work to heal ourselves opens us to participate more fully in the world
  • How the ripple effects of your own healing can affect others and that healing is passed through DNA, so change can affect the transmission of trauma
  • Shifting from What's wrong with me? to How good can it get? 
  • How the patriarchy lays claim to women's time and how to reclaim your time
  • The deep-seated fear of our own power


Dr. Valerie Rein has discovered Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) and created the only science-backed system for helping women achieve their ultimate success, happiness, and fulfillment by healing the intergenerational trauma of oppression. She holds an EdM in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University and a PhD in Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Her bestselling book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment has been heralded by Amazon reviewers as "the most important body of literary work of our modern times" and "perhaps the most important book of the century for women." Her cutting-edge programs have helped thousands of women shift from survival to thriving and master the game of "How good can it get?" in their work and personal lives.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • STOP COMPARING. So often we get stuck in a game of comparison. We notice something traumatic in our own lives, but minimize it because there are so many worse things in the world. When you find yourself doing that, stop and acknowledge what is challenging you at the moment.

  • GET MORE RESOURCED. Learning is a doable change you can take to help you take the next step. Read Dr. Valerie’s book you can order it off Amazon through a local bookstore directly or via And you can get the first chapter and additional resources from her website (see links below—where you’ll also find a link to her retreat).

  • RECLAIM YOUR TIME. One of the things many of my listeners struggle with is time. We don’t have enough of it. We’re busy all the time and yet can’t seem to get done the things we want to do. Reclaim your time. Start by simply asking: Who does my time belong to? Does my time belong to me? Do I own my time? 

REALLY getting healthy as a family can be a big lifestyle change. But no matter how insurmountable it may feel, focusing on one doable change at a time can help you take small steps toward your big goal.

A healthy lifestyle is really made of lots of little things that when repeated regularly and added together over time make a huge impact on your life.

Choose one Doable Change every Sunday night — one thing that you are willing to play with for the week. The key is to keep it doable and fun! Write that thing on a sticky note or your phone so you remember it. Then put 3 things on your calendar that support it. 

Choose from the changes above or download a list of 101 Doable Changes we made for you.


Belonging with Becca Piastrelli

Belonging with Becca Piastrelli

October 26, 2020

Is what you're doing actually in alignment with how you want to feel and what kind of a life you want to live?  –Becca Piastrelli

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Becca Piastrelli, about belonging and connection. Even when we are doing, doing, doing, and around people a lot there can be loneliness or disconnect. 

That disconnect or lack of belonging can be a sign that we aren’t aligned with how we want to feel and the kind of life we want to live. So we need to look at how we are connected to the natural world, other people, and with yourself. You need to reach out to people, learn to love yourself, and build your belonging muscle. 

One of the big tools Becca brings to feeling more connected is using practice, rituals, and intentions. These things can be calming to the nervous system and bring a greater connection to our lives. Where do you start? Where you feel the most longing.

We talk about: 

  • Recognizing discomfort as a place where growth happens
  • Planning for space as much as for doing and cutting back on what we do and honoring unstructured time
  • Having a closing ritual to your day (it could be as simple as closing your lap top and doing what you really feel like doing)
  • Avoiding counterfeit connection
  • Being realistic with how long things take
  • The benefits of not doing all the time


Becca Piastrelli is a writer, land steward, womxn’s coach, and ancestral folk medicine keeper. She’s a storyteller, deep fertile listener, and gather-er of community. She’s dedicated to supporting womxn in experiencing a deep sense of belonging through connecting with the cycles of nature, ancestral wisdom, working with their hands, and being in meaningful sisterhood. She's seen it set them free time and time again, going on to start circles in their towns, quit their toxic jobs, and shift the dynamics of their relationships.




Doable Changes from this episode:

  • SET UP A CLOSING RITUAL. It’s easy in our ever connected world to work all the time. Create a ritual for yourself to close the day. It could be as simple as closing your laptop or shutting out all your tabs. If you work from home, it could be stepping outside before coming back in.

  • HONOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO. Sometimes we go against what we really want in the name of self-care or self-interest. Maybe you love to paint or read. Or you set up time to see friends. But when the time comes you really just want to sit or nap. Try doing that. Try doing it even if you feel guilty or like you “should” be doing something else. What happens if you do that every day for a week?

  • PLAN FOR SPACE. We all need downtime, unstructured time, time to be still or do what moves us. Block off space in your planner for this kind of time. Write Me or Space or Top Priority. If it helps write Dream or Rest. Let that space be what you want it to be when you get there. Just don’t fill it with overflow from your day. Let it be unstructured, no to do lists, nothing to check off.


Listen to Yourself with Martha Van Camp

Listen to Yourself with Martha Van Camp

October 17, 2020

There are definitely moments in time when each woman says “I'm sick of my own BS. I'm sick of feeling this way.”  –Martha Van Camp

In this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Martha Van Camp about weight loss. If you know my story at all, you know that my journey into

health and wellness and time management started with losing 85 pounds. Today we’ll talk with Martha about her story and methods!

Martha struggled with being the “big girl” most of her life and tried diet after diet. Finding herself raising 7 kids with a deployed husband, she gave up on herself for a while. She hit 40 and decided she wanted a change. She started researching foods and micro- and macronutrients and lost 50 lbs in 10 months. She calls herself her first client. From there she went on to enter bodybuilding competitions and started her own company. (Even if those aren’t your goals, she’s got a lot to share with us!)

There is never a perfect time, but there are moments when we can’t go on anymore. We wake up and we’re just done fighting the scale, walking into our closet, and finding nothing that fits. We look at all the piled up coffee cups and feel exhausted and know something has to change. If you’ve been saying “When the kids are older,” “When they go to school,” “When they go to college…” this is for you. Because the longer you wait, the longer the programming that says you aren’t important kicks in. What if today is the day, you say enough? 

We talk about: 

  • Thinking about our own relationship with food, what we’re carrying from childhood and how that and anything else is showing up now
  • What else you fix when you fix your food (spoiler alert—you can literally change your whole life)
  • Different ways to look at food—Martha recommends focusing on the macronutrients: protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats
  • Getting to a caloric deficit, but that may not be what you think
  • The need to make changes in what you eat—and when—as your hormones change with age (we talk intermittent fasting here)
  • The importance of listening to yourself and what you know about yourself


Martha VanCamp is the Founder and Head Coach for #beMarthaFit, an online wellness and weight loss coaching program.  She is also a NESTA Certified Master of Wellness and Weight Loss Coach.   Martha coaches approximately 500 monthly clients all over the United States and overseas military bases, via an established online platform.  She provides clients a customized meal plan, high accountability, and wellness/life coaching to achieve their goals.

Martha’s company also offers a subscription recipe website for anyone looking to lose weight.  The website offers low cal/macro-based recipes for all meals and snacks.  

Martha, who struggled with her weight from childhood until the age of 40, and was a self-proclaimed ‘diet junky’, finally conquered her own weight battle by doing extensive research on how the body processes food for energy.   Over a period of 4 years, Martha lost 100 pounds.  In addition, she has owned a CrossFit gym and competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions on the East Coast.   

Martha believes clients must focus on “fixing their food” first in order to not only achieve their weight loss goal but also to attain other life-goals.

Martha and her program have been featured numerous times on national television networks like CBN and TBN. Martha is a mom to seven children and resides in Tampa, Florida.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • PAY ATTENTION TO MACRONUTRIENTS. There are a lot of ways to think about food, but what if you start with three big components: protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Start by looking at labels. Notice how you are eating each of these (or what’s missing) at each meal.

  • PUT YOURSELF ON YOUR TO DO LIST. It’s easy to put everyone else first. Put something for you on your list. Even put it first. It could be a walk or workout or making the healthy meal you need vs. what your kids are clamoring for. Start each day with you.

  • LISTEN TO YOURSELF. Many of us hear a voice inside telling when something is wrong or not working or needing to change. Listen to that voice. Even if you don’t know what’s next. Start writing down what you hear. Use that to fuel your next step.

Everyday is NOT the Same with Lena Dolter

Everyday is NOT the Same with Lena Dolter

October 9, 2020

As you get more intimate with your cycle and the rhythm for you, then you can have those moments where you are by chance out of sync and bring yourself back to homeostasis because you know how to take care of yourself through your rhythm.  –Lena Dolter

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Lena Dolter, about getting in flow with our own cycles, yes, those cycles. We’re talking about our monthly cycle, periods, and how to lean into them and plan with them instead of work against them. 

It starts for many of us with periods being something we don’t really talk about. There is a disconnect between the information we are given and what we experience in our own bodies, and in some cases, like Lena’s, that disconnect can lead to a disconnect from self. So connecting with your cycle and to what is happening in your body is first off a reconnection to self. 

One of the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to overwhelm and planning is assuming we have the same energy all month long. We don’t. There’s a part of the month we have more masculine energy (external, productive drive) and a week to 10 days of internal energy

We talk about: 

  • To start to learn about our own energy, we can ask these questions: How do I feel physically? How do I feel mentally? How do you feel emotionally? How do I feel spiritually?
  • How our internal energy days are still productive they just look different and if we make space for them they can actually be quite creative
  • Recognizing that painful periods and PMS are not normal, though we’ve been led to believe they are
  • Having an inner rhythm, whether you get a period regularly, irregularly or not at all, and using the moon as a guide
  • Encouraging our daughters to embrace their cycle and power


Lena Dolter guides women to reconnect with their deepest self-trust so they can honor what they need without guilt or shame. If you are a woman who wants to stop working against herself, who is open to connecting with her body to support her in life, healing, and accessing her highest self, Lena’s work is for you.




Doable Changes from this episode:

  • PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ENERGY. Regularly ask yourself these questions over a 3 month period: How do I feel physically? How do I feel mentally? How do you feel emotionally? How do I feel spiritually? Start tracking your answers. Overtime can you notice patterns?

  • GO INWARD. What happens if you don’t try to keep pushing when your energy tells you otherwise? What if you allow yourself to clear your schedule? What if you allow yourself to rest or get more support? Notice what happens to your energy, your creativity, and your productivity.

  • PLANNING BASED ON YOUR CYCLE. As you gather more information about your cycle and your energy, start using this information in your planning. Block off the days when you anticipate being lower energy or more inward focused. See what happens when you plan around giving yourself what you need on those days. Are you less overwhelmed because you fit projects into days when you have the energy to do them? Do you get more done because you make space for creativity? Do you feel more in flow?
Walk Your Way to Better with Joyce Shulman

Walk Your Way to Better with Joyce Shulman

September 18, 2020

Walking is a great antidote for a crappy day.   –Joyce Shulman

In this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Joyce Shulman, founder of 99 Walks and author of Walk Your Way to Better about entrepreneurship, the power of walking, being intentional, and reaching goals and dreams. 

Joyce is a serial entrepreneur. From Rover to Macaroni Kids to 99 Walks, Joyce has used the power of walking to come up with great ideas and make them happen. So it’s no surprise that her latest mission is to get one million women walking. 

During the pandemic, a morning walk was important for me and my kids. Joyce and I talk about how walking is a great time to have a conversation with kids because they are shoulder to shoulder, not face to face. And when talking to teens, sometimes less eye contact is more effective. 

We talk about: 

  • Walking for your mind, your mood, and your body and the difference between walking and exercise
  • Starting your day with a walk or using one to break up your work or stop a spinning brain
  • Setting intentions at night to start the next day off right
  • Choosing clothes the night before and other steps to start your morning right
  • Thanking your fear and taking risks
  • Understanding whether you have big dreams and are scared to move forward or if you are good with a different type of dream or goal than society usually pushes on people
  • Getting really clear on what you want your life to look like in 10 years


Joyce Shulman is an idea junkie, an entrepreneur, a mom, a speaker and an author. She’s a recovering lawyer and spent the second decade of her professional life creating community and empowering women as the founder and CEO of Macaroni Kid, a multi-million dollar, hyper-local media company. Now she’s encouraging women to take ownership of their minds, their moods, and their bodies through the simple act of lacing up their sneakers and walking together. 


There's a really big and super important distinction between people who have really big dreams in their heart and are afraid of something standing in the way of them going after them and people who aren't wired like that, and society is telling them they should be.  —Joyce Shulman


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • WALK DAILY. Decide which works better for you, getting out the door for a walk to start your day or using a walk to break up your work. Not sure? Try a week of one and then a week of the other. Make it nonnegotiable to see how walking for 20–30 minutes can affect your mind, your mood, and your body.

  • SET YOUR INTENTION. Try setting your intention as part of your bedtime routine. Think about how you want to show up the next day. Don’t get too much into the nitty-gritty to-dos of the day, think more about how you want the day to feel—is it about productivity, space, joy? Each will be different, but try setting your intention the night before.

  • PICK CLOTHES THE NIGHT BEFORE. Set out your clothes the night before, whether it’s workout clothes, something comfortable for walking, what you need for your first Zoom of the day. What else can you set up—coffee, a breakfast plan? Take more decisions out of your morning to let you roll into the first thing. If walking is your first thing, you can get up, get dressed, and get going before your brain tries to talk you out of it.

The Skinny with Tess Masters

The Skinny with Tess Masters

September 9, 2020

Food is so connected to the human experience—it absolutely needs to be a joyous thing.   –Tess Masters

I have lost 20 pounds in the past 55 days!!! And I have our amazing guest to thank. I feel the best I have felt in my 40s! This is a must-listen if you want to get healthy now, which might just be the most important goal we can all have in 2020... 

In this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Tess Masters, the Blender Girl, about clean eating—and why it matters. Getting to a better place with our own eating can feel kind of daunting. It’s something we know we “should” do, but getting really clear on our own why and the real benefits can certainly help us make a real change. 

Tess and I talk about those benefits. Additional energy is a big one. I know I felt the change and Tess reports how much the people she works with comment on sleeping better, having more energy with their kids or partners or for the things they love to do, not feeling exhausted. Beyond energy, their digestion is better, their gut health is better. Plus your skin glows, your hair is more lustrous, you feel good in your body and often that shows up as more confidence and a sense that you can achieve your goals. 

Given all that, why don’t people make the change? It’s not easy, but it helps to start from a place of abundance. So often when we shift to healthy eating we focus on what we can’t have. What if instead celebrate what you can have? Tess helps people find foods that satisfy their cravings in a way that truly nourishes them.

We talk about: 

  • Getting over the beginning hump and how your body wants to stick with these changes that feel good if you can stick out the beginning
  • How a 90-day focus gives you time to let go of previous habits or practices that aren’t serving you and shifting to new ones
  • How “falling off the wagon” can actually be helpful because it reminds your body how the things you used to eat or drink made you feel
  • Using your choices as data points about yourself, how you respond to food, your emotional trigger points, etc. 
  • Adapting foods you love to be healthier (and getting more comfortable in the kitchen)
  • Tracking your food, sleep, and movement


Tess Masters is a lifestyle personality and author of The Blender Girl, The Blender Girl Smoothies, and The Perfect Blend. She is also the creator of The Decadent Detox™ cleanses and Skinny60™ weight loss program. You can find hundreds of easy recipes at

Tess and her delicious healthy food have been featured in the L.A Times, Washington Post, InStyle, Real Simple, Prevention, Cosmopolitan, Shape, Glamour, Clean Eating, the Today show, Fox, Home & Family, and many others.

In high demand as a spokesperson, presenter, and recipe developer, Tess has collaborated with KitchenAid, Vitamix, Williams-Sonoma, Four Seasons, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Silk, So Delicious, Driscoll’s, Earthbound Farm, Vegetarian Times, and many others.

She lives in Los Angeles.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • NOTICE HOW YOU FEEL. Start noticing how different foods make you feel. Write it down. Do you feel tired or bloated after eating something? Do you feel regret or comfort? What do you crave? Start paying attention and noticing. This is all data that can help you shift to healthier eating.

  • CHANGE THE COMPOSITION OF YOUR PLATE. Use the 80–20 rule. That means 80% of your plate should be non starchy vegetables and 20% of your plate should be a mix of starch and animal or plant protein. If that feels like a huge switch (maybe your plate is currently reversed), try shifting close, like 50–50. Try experimenting with different vegetables to fit that part of your plate.

  • FOCUS ON HYDRATION. Drink more water-based beverages throughout the day. Pack a water bottle when you go out. Bring a container of water to your desk. Track how much you are drinking. If you want to snack, try having a drink first. Think about ways to make water more appealing—a glass you love, adding fruit or herbs. And don’t forget about high-water content foods—include them with each meal. 


Ditch the Diet Drama with Lia Pinelli

Ditch the Diet Drama with Lia Pinelli

September 3, 2020

“I felt like if I wasn't thinking about dieting, and my relationship with food, so frequently, I would be able to produce and contribute so much more in the world.” –Lia

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Lia about one of my favorite and most dreaded topics—weightloss. Lia helps women ditch the diet drama and lose weight from a place of love. With a background in education and life coach training from Martha Beck, Lia has a lot to share about reframing how we think about weight loss. 

Both of us have a long history of dieting and struggling with weight, and we know many women struggle with this. Changing our approach can help so much. We talk about starting from understanding what's going on when we eat—hormonally, psychologically, in our brains in general—and how we can use that knowledge to empower ourselves to change our relationship with food. 

Lia shares her experience jumping from diet to diet, trying all the things and never getting results. She talks about how she just gave up and decided she was the weight she was going to be. She was teaching about body diversity and self love… but she couldn’t quite shake being uncomfortable in her body and her relationship with food. And she felt like she was wasting so much potential by spending so much time thinking about weight and food. That’s when she shifted to mindset tools. 

We talk about: 

  • Losing weight by focusing on mindset and getting curious
  • Counting cash not calories—and not letting relationship with food get in the way of doing big things in the world
  • Understanding the difference between physical and emotional hunger
  • The hunger scale and knowing our physical cues of hunger
  • How our hormones respond to hunger and fullness (and how we get unbalanced)
  • Finding what works for you (it isn’t the same for everybody)


Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach who focuses on helping badass women ditch the diet drama and lose weight from a place of love. Her clients are women who achieve at the highest levels.

They do it all: run companies, excel at their careers, raise children,  manage their households (a full-time job in itself!), squeeze in time for exercise (or at least try!), and stay abreast of current events.

They quite literally do it all. Except for one thing. Stop overeating. And that is where Lia’s work begins.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • GET CURIOUS. Start with curiosity. Ask: What happens if I eat this? How do I feel when I eat ___? How do I feel if I change when I eat? Use what you learn to start to make changes about what you eat or choose not to eat or when you eat or how much. Stay curious about how it feels.

  • NOTICE HUNGER CUES. Do you know what hunger feels like? If you are used to eating at specific times or even eating throughout the day, you may not know your hunger cues. Are you eating because you are physically hungry or emotionally hungry? Before you eat, ask, “Am I hungry?” Stop carrying snacks around. See what happens. Instead of looking at the clock for meals, see what happens if you wait and listen to your body.

  • TRY TWEAKING. Our bodies change. They change throughout our cycles and throughout our lives. If you feel like you have something that works for you and then it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to make tweaks based on what you are noticing about your body. Not sure you know enough yet, try something, see how it feels and then adjust.

What to Do with the Brain Dump

What to Do with the Brain Dump

August 28, 2020

The first step in planning — or just shifting out of overwhelm is to get everything out of your head and onto paper.
It is fall.

A new season. A time for new goals. 

We are in the midst of a planathon to get your fall goals set up and working for you… You can still join in and self pace the material. It is so worth having a plan in hectic times!

Every time we are setting a 90-day goal or choosing the 3 big rocks we will focus on for the week, I always start with the same tool. I get everything out of my head and onto paper. 

The purpose of this exercise is to clean out our minds and clear a way forward.

As women, we hold entirely too much info in our heads. The fact that the dry cleaning is at the dry cleaner, the dinners we want to cook, the forms that need to be filled out for the kids, the classes we would like to enroll them in, who each kid is getting along with and who they are not, the fact that you saw the spare sock behind the bed, all the big dreams and aspirations that we are waiting for the right time to create, a list of books we want to read, the three times you will exercise this week … 

It is too much.

It does not leave any room for creativity, innovation, or ease.

Holding all this in your head actually creates quite the opposite — stress.

Get it all on paper

So the first step in planning — or even shifting out of overwhelm is to get everything out of your head and onto paper.

Here is how it goes down: 

  • You set a timer. Start for 15 uninterrupted minutes.
  • Ask yourself what need to happen “this fall” or “this month” or “this week”
  • And start writing. You might put little things like call mom, do laundry, fill out school form. You most likely have big things in your head, things you always wonder if you can figure out, like write that book, start my own business, make x amount of money, I want to fit in those jeans, I need to find a weight loss mentor, I want to help my kids get more friends, I want to plan some daily fun, we need a beach day, want to go apple picking, need to set up the house for learning, need to order some school supplies, check-in with IKEA on the desk, remember the pillowcase in basement… and on and on.

Get it all from your head onto fresh, crisp paper.

I get asked a lot if it is good to make as you go. I find that makes the process take a bit longer and makes important items stay in your head instead of making it to paper.

So do your dump in the random order of your brain.

If you stop writing before your timer goes off, ask yourself, what’s missing. What’s just for me? What’s so big I am scared to add it?

If the timer goes off and you are feeling in the middle of the process, ask your self how much more time do I need? And recommit to the timer.

Make sure you are FULLY committed.

Once it’s all out on paper, what do you do with your list?

Then organize your list

I feel like this is the equivalent of cleaning out the closet. First, you get everything out. When you look back at the closet (which is now empty) you might feel a sense of space, relief, calm, joy. When you turn around and look at the pile on the bed, you are going to feel a brief moment of dread.

I want you to put the piece of paper aside for a moment, maybe even a whole day. Enjoy that empty brain of yours. Feel what it feels like to have done that.

This is the part of the FLOW planning process where we decide how we want to feel for the time ahead — your fall, your week, or today. 

With a clear mind and your newly defined feeling pulling you forward … let’s organize the braindump.

In our cleaning analogy, organizing the braindump is taking the clothes that you have dumped onto your bed from the closet, deciding what you want and what you don’t and putting them back in an order that supports you better than before you took everything out.

This part can be done with interruption. A bit different than the energy behind actually emptying your brain.

  1. Find a notebook, get some fresh paper, open a note on your phone or a google doc. 
  2. Cross something off the list. Go through your brain dump master list. Is there anything there that is not yours or just does not even resonate with you right now? Cross them off. Feel your body let go. I challenge you to cross off at least one thing.
  3. For anything that has a time, get it in your calendar and cross it off the list.
  4. Get a colored pen or your kid’s markers or have fun with digital colored text.
  5. Categorize the list. Move each thing to a category and cross off master list. Make choices. Create lists to organize your ideas. Here are some ideas:
    • Could delegate
    • Systems or Projects that Need Design (toilet paper, front hall, grocery list)
    • Pebbles (FLOW categories, work, house kids, food)
    • Rocks (FLOW categories, work, house kids, food)
    • Next Season
    • Don’t want to forget (Maybe subcategories, vacations I want to go on, dinners I want to try, books I want to read)
      • Next week

Listen to the episode to hear me flush out these categories and give examples.

In the challenge, we are figuring out goals and time blocking our days to get them done – the brain dump is step one to clear your brain and make the space to see what is that your heart is calling you to do this fall... You can do the challenge and plan your fall here. 

Doable Changes from this episode:

  • DO A BRAIN DUMP. Set a timer for 15 uninterrupted minutes. Ask yourself what needs to happen “this fall” or “this month” or “this week.” Start writing. Include little things and big things. Don’t organize or edit the list, just put down all the things swirling in your head. 
  • DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL. How you want to feel will help you prioritize things that happen in this season (week, day) and decide what things might wait for another time. What word will define your season? If you want ease, how you handle your list will be different than if you want to feel connected or energized.
  • CROSS SOMETHING OFF. I love a to-do list because it feels good to cross things off, but when our list is too long (like a whole-brain dump) it can be overwhelming. Start by crossing something off. Look for something that isn’t even yours that made it onto your list. Cross it off. Delegate something and cross it off. Put something on a list for another season and cross it off. Find a 5-minute task, do it, and cross it off. Doesn’t that feel good?


Align with Your Goals with Sharon Wilson

Align with Your Goals with Sharon Wilson

August 20, 2020

Put your goal out there and find everything you can possibly find to align and feel good and feel happy.  –Sharon Wilson

In this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Sharon Wilson, Founder, and Chief Inspiration Officer for over 22 years at the Coaching from Spirit Institute about attracting your ideal clients. She thinks of your ideal clients as your soul clients and says they are already here and are called at a soul level for you to serve them.

Sharon started her own business and replaced her corporate executive income with a newborn baby. How did she make the leap? She was miserable in her job, dealing with her misery by shopping, deeply in debt, and in a struggling marriage. She asked that if there was anything up there it would be a good time for something to show up. The powerful spiritual experience that followed set her on the road to becoming a spiritual coach. 

While she was still in her corporate position, people started showing up and saying they had a dream they were supposed to talk to her. People kept showing up for help, and she started honing her life coach skills. Then she got pregnant and really sick and had to leave her job. Her husband thought it would be temporary, but her journaling and meditation showed her it was time to take the leap and launch her spiritual coaching business. 

We talk about: 

  • How she replaced her corporate executive income within three months
  • Getting really clear on the stories we tell ourselves and letting go of guilt
  • Being really careful about who you tell your dreams and goals to so that people don’t dissipate your energy
  • Episode aligning and adjusting vibrations
  • Understanding your relationship with money
  • Writing a partnership agreement with your inner guidance


Sharon Wilson is a co-author of "Intentional Change” and Mastering the Laws of Attraction with best selling author and human potential expert, Jack Canfield. 

Sharon has worked in executive roles in both profit and nonprofit organizations in sales, management, marketing, human resources, organizational training, and much more.

She has worked as a mindset mentor and consultant with Fortune 500 companies to support empowerment and increasing employee productivity and a sense of happiness with mindset training and an appreciative inquiry approach.

Sharon also mentors individuals to create online businesses turning their passion into a prosperous business.

Sharon’s passion is supporting people to empowerment in all aspects of their lives and work.

Sharon lives in Pennsylvania with her loving husband of over 20 years. They are blessed with an amazing daughter, who has as one of her goals to be an acclaimed film director and humanitarian, She is one of the greatest joys in their life!




Doable Changes from this episode:

  • NOTICE THE STORIES YOU TELL YOURSELF. What are you telling yourself about your situation? Do you think you have to do it all? Be super mom? Never make a mistake? Really examine the stories you tell yourself and how it affects you. Can you start to tell a new story?

  • TRY EPISODE ALIGNING. State your intentions for an upcoming episode, a podcast you will be on, a dentist appointment, hanging out with your kid. Then surrender any worries or anxiety.

  • REWRITE YOUR MONEY RELATIONSHIP. Take some time to examine your money story. Then rewrite it. Say what you want out of the relationship. Be clear and direct.

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