Be intentional. Rather than live your life being reactive to everything, be proactive with your schedule and practice a self care routine first thing each morning.
Vision + belief. When you know what you want and you create a positive mental attitude as a foundation, things become easier and manifest quickly.
Gratitude. An attitude of gratitude is the fastest, surest way to appreciate what you have while allowing room for more.
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather Hakes, a Mindset Coach, speaker, and author of Take the Leap. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and published in Voyage Denver as well as Women Who Empower and Inspire. Heather has reached tens of thousands through her international podcast, Mind Over Matter.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
I’ve always been into physical fitness and played sports throughout my life. I can remember as young as elementary school, going for runs — it’s always been my moving meditation.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I have had the pleasure of interviewing some amazing people through my podcast Mind Over Matter. Dan Holguin is still one of my favorites — he was a contestant on American Ninja Warrior and is an endurance athlete, mainly mountain running. I’ve never met someone with such high energy and a zest for life.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
When I quit corporate in 2017, I decided to get my 200 hour YTT in Bali. I was a beginner at best when it came to yoga and meditation but I wanted the experience to further my own wellbeing. I found a Yoga Alliance certified program and signed up. Little did I know it was for Ashtanga yoga — something I had never done before and is an advanced yoga. I assumed all yoga was vinyasa.
The first week was brutal. I cried. However, I persevered and learned that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. When I let go of the negative thinking and became present, it was a much different experience.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I believe in a mind, body, spirit trifecta. Physical wellness is important, but without the foundation of mindset and a connection within, physical wellness isn’t enough. I am in the process of obtaining my personal trainer certification to deepen my knowledge of the body — I’ve been fully immersed in the power of the mind for years.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
You’ve heard the saying before — “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. I can’t say there’s one specific person, but rather many individuals along the way that have mentored and inspired me to think bigger.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
Knowledge is not power — experience is. We know what to do, but why aren’t we doing it?
One answer: conscious choice. Your patterns, habits and behaviors are stored in your subconscious mind. The knowing what to do is in your conscious mind which is only 5%. In order to actually make changes and have sustainable results, you’ve got to tap into the other 95% — in your subconscious. This is where you can make lasting change in your patterns, habits and behaviors.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
Most people get hung up on the need to make huge shifts in life to get ahead. That’s why most new year resolutions fail. Instead, focus on small, consistent changes to build good habits and watch your life dramatically change.
The following are lifestyle tweaks that can dramatically improve your wellbeing:
1. Make your bed. By beginning each day with a productive task, you start out on the right foot.
2. Be intentional. Rather than live your life being reactive to everything, be proactive with your schedule and practice a self care routine first thing each morning.
3. Vision + belief. When you know what you want and you create a positive mental attitude as a foundation, things become easier and manifest quickly.
4. Gratitude. An attitude of gratitude is the fastest, surest way to appreciate what you have while allowing room for more.
5. Filter consumption of media. Stay informed but not consumed by what’s happening outside of you. Focus on the controllables — your thoughts, emotions and outcomes.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
Mental clarity: It’s easy to get stuck in your head. Moving your body releases blocks because it gets energy moving. Movement is key to connect within and a great way to provide mental clarity.
Feel good endorphins: Ever heard of runner’s high? It’s a real thing. Rather than rely on a substance like caffeine or sugar, get your heart pumping and enjoy the side effects.
Consistent habits = results: Consistency is key. If you commit to daily movement you’ll begin to see physical results not only in just your body but in other areas of life too.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
There’s no one size fits all formula. Someone may say running and that may be something you hate. I recommend trying a variety and finding something you enjoy. That way, you look forward to getting active rather than it becoming another chore.
Ideas you may want to try: walking, hiking, dancing, yoga, golf, basketball, skiing, swimming and biking.
I would also suggest finding that mind, body, spirit trifecta. Your body is just one piece — make sure you’re engaging in something that feels good emotionally and spiritually as well such as meditation, yoga and journaling.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It all starts from within. If I suggested just one thing, it would be daily meditation. It helps you to become present and create from a field of infinite possibility.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
I love quotes. One that has stuck with me for years is from the book The Alchemist. The quote says “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. It’s our personal legend.”
I’ve been fascinated with human psychology since I can remember. I started reading personal development books when I was 15. Understanding the power of thought and that we literally create our reality has helped me to stay responsible for where I’m at and given me the power to make changes.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Sara Blakely! I love her spunk and zest for life and to see the empire that she has created. I’d love to learn her tips and tricks to stay focused and build my own empire.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!