Bonus Episode – Creating Healthy Habits

Jul 1, 2023 | Podcast

I’m Diana Swillinger, and you’re listening to the Renew Your Mind podcast. Bonus episode all about habits. 

DIANA:Hey. Hey. What is up, everybody? This is fun. A bonus episode. I haven’t done one of those before. So the reason I’m dropping this bonus episode here for you is because it’s January and everybody’s thinking about habits. Now, I’m not talking New Year’s resolutions because I don’t think you should set New Year’s resolutions. That would be a whole other topic that I’m not going to get into right now. But a lot of us are thinking about the kind of habits that we want to have in our life as we’ve started a new year fresh. So I asked my friends over at the In Raw Life podcast, Jessica and Sierra, if I could get the recording of an interview that I did with, um, them last summer. So they had me on their podcast in 2020. And we talked about habits, and I thought, you know what? You guys would really like to hear this. I did do an episode called Habit Hacks, and I was talking about the principles that I shared in this podcast. But this is going to give you the full version with Jessica and Sierra, who are super fun and relatable, and I just love them. So if you want to check them out, be sure to look for the

In Raw Life podcast. What they do with that podcast and their work is their goal is to equip women to be the best versions of themselves through things like time management, gratitude, and being present. They want to help women make the impact that they believe they were born to make. So you should definitely go check them out at the In Real Life podcast. All right. That’s all I’m going to say, and I’m going to share the interview that I did with Jessica and Sierra. Enjoy.


Jessica and Sierra: Do you ever feel like you are the only one living a life that is too hard to handle? Welcome to the In Raw Life podcast, where we’re going to talk about real life in its raw form.

Jessica and Sierra: Each week, we’ll dive into the stuff that nobody really likes to talk about because it’s uncomfortable, painful, a little awkward, or just weird. We want to normalize all of that and help you realize that you can live out your dream, even in life’s messiness.

Jessica and Sierra:  I’m Sierra. And I’m jessica. Uh, and we’re living our dream lives in real life. In raw life. 


Welcome back to another episode of the In Raw Life podcast. We are so excited that you’re here today. We have been focusing this month on, uh, creating healthy habits, challenging ourselves to do things that might be a little beyond our comfort zone just so we can get our bodies in gear to become better versions of ourselves. So whatever challenge you might be doing this month, we are so excited for you. And today, we have a special guest who is

going to help your mindset around those habits. So I want to welcome Diana. Diana is a life coach. She is the host of the Renew Your Mind podcast. And I have listened to some of your episodes and have fallen completely in love with you. Diana, we kind of found each other through Facebook, and then I sent your information over to Jessica.

And, Jessica, tell us what you have done since.

Jessica:: The second that Sierra sent Diana over to me, I looked at her Instagram, and I was like, oh, yes, I love her. We need to talk to her. And then I looked at her website and listened to a couple of minutes of the podcast that day, and I saw that you had a webinar about creating boundaries, and so I signed up for it that night, and I think it was that night, and I watched it that night and then have since.

DIANA: Uh that’s so awesome.

Jessica and Sierra: Listened to a couple of your episodes, and yeah, I just thoroughly enjoy listening to you and what you have to say. So I was really excited.

DIANA: Oh, that’s amazing.

Jessica and Sierra: Yeah. So thanks for joining us.

DIANA: I’m so excited to be here and to see your guys faces. Too bad on the podcast, they don’t get to see our faces, but we all get to smile at each other, and you guys have such a great energy, and I think that’s needed. We just need to be around each other, encourage each other. However it is these days online on podcasts, any way we can so that we can, like you say, just keep becoming the better versions of ourselves and growing. It’s so important so we don’t feel stuck.

Jessica and Sierra: Yes.Oh, absolutely. And I know that if you don’t believe us now everyone listening. I’m sure by the end of thispodcast, um, you will know that you need to listen to Diana’s podcast as well. Because, seriously, when I listen to your podcast, I feel like it is almost an extension of ours. Like, you’re trying to do good things, encouraging people to have a healthier mindset so that they can be good people, which is kind of the same thing that we’re doing. So I love how our paths align and how that alignment has brought us here. I just think it’s so great.

DIANA: Good. We’re all in the right place.

Jessica and Sierra We are.

So, Diana, we would love to hear kind of your background, your story, how you got to being a life coach and what inspired you to follow this path.

DIANA:  Oh, I didn’t even know you guys were going to ask that because, uh, I would have tried to prepare. you’re just going to hear a raw version of it, but I had no intention of life raw version in raw life. I had no intention of becoming a life coach. I used to think, honestly, about two years before I became a life coach, I saw somebody else in the business world left his corporate job and became a coach for business people, but same kind of thing. And I was like, Come on, that’s not a real job. How’s he going to make any money just cheerleading for people? And

I just had no idea what it was. So, honestly, my dad died a couple of years ago, and that kind of thing does a reset on your brain. I was like, Do I like my job? Do I like the person I’m working for? Is this the right place for me? Am I showing up the right way? Am I showing up the way I want to? Am I being true to me? Am I compromising like, everything came into question. So I wasn’t happy. Well, I loved my job, and I loved a lot of the people I worked with, and I loved all the people in the community because I was working for a nonprofit. But there were some things happening there where I was not being true to myself, and I was not proud with the way I was showing up. And the more I showed up with my own authenticity, the more friction there was in a work situation. Yeah. And that happens sometimes, right when we’re trying to become more real, um, even better, even if it looks a little ugly at first, but you’re just trying to find your way and be more honest about who you are, you start to get some people who don’t like that. Mhm some people want you to keep pretending and just trying to placate and appease them. So, anyway, in my work situation that it became difficult. I left. It wasn’t a graceful exit. And I was

doing school courses part time because I’d never finished my bachelor’s degree. So it was right in January at the beginning of the semester, and I just quick signed up for a full load. And I went to school full time and finished out my degree, uh, a year earlier than I thought I would.

Jessica and Sierra: That’s awesome. Wow.

DIANA: But I’m like, yeah, thank you. I’m like now what? Now what? Do I go work for somebody else? Because I just came out of a situation where that was difficult and I wasn’t very excited about mhm trying out the boss thing again or do I go work for myself? And I had three people within a two week time period say, well, actually, one didn’t say life coach. One, my marriage counselor said to me in front of my husband, you would make a great counselor. I was

like, what? And then two people the following week said I would make a great life coach. I’m like, what the heck are they talking about? So I had to look and really it was a fast turnaround. I just started listening to podcasts. I started talking to life coaches and I’m like, oh my gosh, I had no clue, but this is exactly what I need to do and I haven’t looked back.

Jessica and Sierra: That’s awesome.

Yeah, I feel like you were made for it. I think you’re pretty new to the life coaching, uh, business then, right?

DIANA: Yeah, it’s been a little over two years and the whole first year I’m like, what the heck am I doing? And I had to face every doubt and fear that I had in life. Uh, but I kept going.

Jessica and Sierra: Yeah, well, I just honestly, from, uh, listening to your podcast, I love the way that you internalize things and I feel like you have a really great way of looking at things as they are, not as they seem, if that makes sense. You don’t just take things of surface value. Like you really dive into why things are that way, and that I think is huge to helping others do the same.


DIANA: Yeah, because we spend so much time just going through life really fast and we don’t take any time to look at what’s going on in our thoughts and it just seems like our thoughts are happening. And then when our thoughts just happen, our feelings just happen and we end up feeling out of control or we’re trying to resist it. And it’s interesting, uh, we’re going to be talking about habits today because we’ll try to create new habits to combat things that don’t feel good in our life. But if we don’t stop and take a look at what’s actually happening, peel back a couple of layers and just slow down, we spin our wheels and we don’t get very far.

Jessica and Sierra: Yeah. One of your episodes I was listening to, you were talking about the autopilot thoughts and when your thoughts just go on autopilot and you’re not in control of them anymore and kind of how that can spiral like you just talked about, that was a really interesting oh yeah.

DIANA: Because we just don’t pay attention mhm compared to like a toddler in a grocery store. Because I had this experience when my boys were little. I have three boys who are older now, but they’re two years apart. So I had I don’t know if people listening if your grocery store still have those car carts so two kids could go in front of the plastic car and then the baby would be, uh, up in front by me and trying to go through the store as fast as possible, like get in, get out. And then the pastor’s wife was around the corner and I was like, oh no. And I put on a big smile and I’m like, Hi. And within a minute. My boys, Toddlers, age three and five, ish, uh, though get

out of the front car part unbuckle, crawl out, and they’re grabbing products off the shelf and putting them back and putting them in our cart or leaving them on the floor. And I’m like, that’s kind of what happens in our brains. Like, I couldn’t manage them right in that moment. I was talking to the pastor’s wife, but they’re just doing their thing and it’s kind of messy and they don’t care, and there’s no order. It’s just happening. So we  can be the adults with what’s going on in our brain and be like, okay, now that thought we don’t need today. Let’s put that one back on the shelf.

Jessica and Sierra: I love that analogy.

That is such a good visual. I’m sorry, I do not need this can of beans in my mind today. Yes, let that one go.

DIANA: That’s going to be toxic. Put that one back.

Jessica and Sierra: I love it.

Um, okay, so let’s start talking about habits because I am so excited to hear what you have to say about this. Um, I currently am in the middle of my challenge, which is to change my schedule around. Um, Jessica has set up a schedule for me where I wake up at 530 every morning, which that’s not too hard for me, but then I also have to work out as soon as breakfast is over with the kids, which that’s a transition for me. She’s encouraged me to take shorter showers, which is very challenging because my shower, I tend to kind of zone out and forget what I’m doing. And then Jessica is going to start her challenge on Monday, which is, even though this is airing in October, we’re just getting our start in these challenges. So, um, Jessica’s challenge starts Monday, and she is going to start each day with meditation, um, affirmations and gratitude, and try to develop a healthier meditation, um, habit.

Jessica and Sierra: Yeah.

And being more present. It’s all focused on being present. So with that being said, what can we do to keep our minds focused on building the habit, keeping the habit, letting go of the resistance? What do you suggest?


DIANA: Well, I have a lot of ideas, but since you just said it, I’m just going to point out that you said you have to work out as part of your habit.

Jessica and Sierra:

Uh, I did say it.

Have you guys talked about that?

Have to no, we have not.


DIANA: Okay.

Jessica and Sierra: We haven’t discussed it yet. I mean, we’ve in our own lives, but not on the podcast.

DIANA: Okay. Because I’m coming at, uh, habits from the place of what our mind does to sabotage us from forming the habits that we want. And one of the things we do with our thoughts is we tell ourselves we have to. So you said you have to work out, and I would like to tell you you don’t have to work out at all. Even when it’s a habit you want to form, it’s useless to tell yourself you have to because if you think you have to, what do you feel?

Jessica and Sierra: You feel like, okay, I have to get up and do this.

DIANA:  Yeah. It feels obligated or it feels like a burden, or it feels icky like that moment before you’re going to fail. Maybe if you don’t do it.

Jessica and Sierra: Oh, yeah.

DIANA:  All of those don’t feel great. And when you’re trying to form a habit, you want to come from a place where you’re using some positive emotions on purpose. And so you need to be watching your thoughts. Uh, so if you, anyone listening, wants to form a habit, you don’t have to do it at all. You never have to do it. So what do you want to do instead? You want to choose to do it. You get to choose to work out. Now, why on earth would you choose to work out?


Jessica and Sierra: Because it makes you healthier. It makes you feel good. Makes your body look good.

DIANA: Yeah. You want something good from it. When you said you have to, you’re like, I, uh, have to. When you say I choose to, you get a whole different tone in your voice and you’re like, I choose to do this because and so I would say, you want to. In addition to, um, not saying have to, you get to choose to. You get to choose to because you have a reason. Know why you’re doing it. Don’t just do it because, oh, I should. Exercising will make me healthier. Eating better will make me healthier. Getting up I’ll get more done if I get up earlier. None of those are really compelling. Whys? Even just because I’ll be healthier. Why do you want to be healthier? We can go deeper. I could keep asking you, Sierra, why do you want to be healthier?


Jessica and Sierra: Yeah, that makes so much sense. Because if I think about it, having, uh, a skinny body or whatever is really not why I want to be healthier. I want to be healthier because I’m now in my thirties and I have kids under three and my word, I am exhausted. And it’s not like I want to be able to play with them and have fun with them and have the energy to chase them up and down the street. So yeah, digging deeper into the why makes so much sense.

DIANA: Yeah, I don’t have to exercise. I’m choosing to exercise because I want to have more energy, feel better, and be able to run around more with my kids. Yeah, I want that. So I’m choosing this. That’s empowering instead of burdensome.


Jessica and Sierra: Oh my gosh, I love that.

DIANA:  Uh, I mean, that’s enough for people to work on right there. We’re done have it formed.

Jessica and Sierra: Yeah, I love that though. I like when I’ve heard before, people say instead of saying I have to, I get to because that kind of puts you in that like, oh, that’s exciting. I get to do this. That sounds fun.

DIANA: Yeah. So I get to sounds like, oh, uh, this is a privilege, this is special, this is an honor opportunity. Yeah. And I choose to does a little different. So whatever’s going to get you going. If like, I get to, I get to do this. And that’s going to inspire you to get up and do it. Do it. But if you want if I choose to makes you feel empowered, maybe that’s what’s going to get you up and do it. So find out what emotion your thoughts creating for you and let it be one that drives you to do the habit that you want to do.


Jessica and Sierra: Mhm, that is really interesting because I’m a writer also in addition to my fun podcasting. Uh, but as a writer, I love words and I love how words can totally change. Even though get and choose sound so similar, the fact that you said empower you’re right. Like choose makes me feel empowered, which is really neat. Like, I feel stronger already just by saying choose. Like, I choose to work out. I choose to be strong. I am strong. While look at me

work out kind of thing. Then throw some affirmations in there. Oh my gosh, this is my happy place.

DIANA: Yeah. There’s a phrase people say and they’re like, oh, it’s just semantics. And I’m like, oh, it’s not just semantics. It is semantics. And semantics are very important. You can change one word and you can change everything. Not only in the meaning, but in how you feel and what you do. So words are very important.


Jessica and Sierra: Okay, so you had also told me about, um, the way your mind sees change. Can you explain that a little bit?

DIANA: Oh, yeah. Okay. So our brain is set up. This is common psychology. You can Google this and find it everywhere. So the more primitive part of our brain likes to avoid pain, conserve energy, and pursue pleasure. So anytime you have all sounds, um, good to me. Yeah, right. Anytime there’s a habit you want to form or something you want to do, and even though you kind of know you really want to do it, you’re finding it very easy to make an excuse. You

can check in with your brain and figure out either like, oh, that running, that’s going to be hard. So let’s avoid that pain and conserve energy. Or let’s just have a cappuccino from, um, Starbucks instead because that would give me pleasure instead of pain. So on default, we’re talking about letting our brain do its own thing. Just like a toddler. Toddler doesn’t want to do the hard thing. That’s going to be hard, it’s going to be painful, or that’s going to oh, it’s so much work. I don’t want to do it. It’s too much work. Wouldn’t it be easier just to sit here and watch more Lego movies? That would be so much better. Our brains, left alone, will want to do that. It just looks different for us. Like, you know what? I’ll just sit down and watch HDTV. That’ll be easier than cleaning the kitchen every night, which is what I said I would do.


Jessica and Sierra: Right? It’s easier to look at clean kitchens on TV than to m make my own.

DIANA: Yeah. The reason it’s good to know this is because then you can just observe what’s happening when your brain’s offering that you should do something different than what you actually want to do. Be like, okay. That’s okay. It’s okay. You want to avoid pain. It’s okay. You want to conserve energy, pursue pleasure. That’s what my more primitive brain wants to do. It’s okay. It’s not a problem. It doesn’t mean I have to do it. And then I would say kind of in the have to choose to. The difference is you might find yourself saying, I don’t want to. I just don’t

want to do it. Well, I would tell you, you don’t have to want to. I tell my brain that all the time. I’m like it’s. Okay. You don’t have to want to do it. Like, oh, I don’t want to do my arm. I’m older. You guys are young. I’m doing arm exercises because the skin is getting a little looser underneath my arms. I’m like, It’s okay, I don’t have to want to do my arm weights. I don’t have to want to do it. I’m just going to do it anyway. Uh, no, wanting to do it required because the brain just wants to do what’s easy. That’s okay. It can want to do that. And you can still do what seems a little harder. That’s why again, you want to know your why. Why are you doing it? I don’t just want my arms to be less flabby. I do want them to be stronger because I’ve noticed they’re weaker. Um,

I’ve noticed my 40 something body is very different from my 20 something body, and I would like to feel stronger and capable with my body. Like, I always have. That’s my real why mhm you’re going.

Jessica and Sierra: To be my inspiration next time. I don’t want to lift the barbell again, because I totally I mean, I was working out the other night, and I was doing it, and I kept going, but I was at one part, and my boyfriend was helping me, and I was like, I just don’t want to do anymore. And he said, too bad. You don’t have to want to do it. So I’ll just hear Diana in my head telling me, you don’t have to want to just do it.


Jessica and Sierra: Yes.

DIANA: You won’t be the first person to hear me in your head.

Jessica and Sierra: I like it.



Jessica and Sierra: So when we’re in that moment thinking, okay, I don’t want to do this, but I can overcome that thought. What do you recommend to switch off the resistance and give ourselves energy. Do you have any tips to energize your mind on changing from the, um, what did you call it? Not prehistoric.

DIANA: Primitive.

Jessica and Sierra: Primitive. Thank you. The primitive way of thinking.

DIANA: Yeah. I like to go with curiosity a bit. Like, we’ve kind of been talking about just noticing what’s going on in your brain. I am not a proponent of let’s just come up with a positive thought or a positive mantra that will pull me out of where I’m at. I am just not a believer. I don’t think they work. I think when we believe something, like, if we believe, I don’t want to, and we’re like, yeah, I just don’t want to. I really believe that. That’s so true. I don’t want to. And we try to go to, oh, but I really do want to because of why I want to get this done. It can get into resistance. So for some people, just saying, well, I don’t have to want to, I’m just going to do it anyway will work. But other people might be like, but I really just don’t want to. I know I don’t have to want to, but I just don’t want to. So I guess I’m not going to. You, uh, you can go back to your why I said I wanted to do this because of the result I’m going to get, and I know if I sit here, I’m not going to get that result. Well, what if I did want to? What if I actually did want to do this? What would that feel like? What would I be thinking about if I did want to? Like, it feels so good on the couch, but if I was like, yeah, I’m going to kick some butt and get up and exercise. Um, what is a version of me that gets up and do it? Think if somebody challenged me? I don’t know. Uh, how clean your guys podcast is. I’m a Christian life coach, so I’m generally very clean. But let’s

hear it. The secret is go for it. Can I say the A word?


Jessica and Sierra: Yes.

DIANA: It’s not that bad. Um, one of my life coach friends challenged me to when I didn’t feel like doing something to tap into my alter ego who gets stuff done.

Jessica and Sierra: Yes.

DIANA: And my maiden name is Bence, and my dad was a go getter, so I always looked at him as somebody who got stuff done. So my alter ego is badass Bence.

Jessica and Sierra: Oh, uh, I love it.

DIANA: Diana doesn’t want to do this, but Badass Bence wants to get this done.

Jessica and Sierra: Yes.

Watch out for her.

DIANA: Yeah.

Jessica and Sierra: That’s amazing.

DIANA:  So I still have to be willing to want to tap into that. We can talk ourselves out of anything till the cows come home. We, um, can’t. You need to decide, are you willing to go through a couple uncomfortable moments here and there or every day or every other day in order to make this habit be a part of your life? It’s going to feel uncomfortable sometimes. Sometimes you might disappoint yourself because you’re like, you know what? I didn’t exercise for three days. I’m feeling disappointed. But does badass Benz want to get back in charge? Or I just want to stay on the couch? What are we going to do? You have a choice in every moment. So, uh, I think baby steps help, too. I love talking about baby steps. I have a podcast episode about baby steps. This is from the What About Bob? Movie, which I love. Dr. Leo Marvin gives Bob a book called Baby Steps and he’s hypochondriac uh, and, uh, uh, phobia maniac or I don’t know what you call them, who’s afraid of everything. But his character does stuff with

baby steps. 


So Sierra, if you want to get up and work out every morning, don’t make a plan to go run 2 miles and weightlift for a half an hour and drink two gallons of water and do push ups. You’re just adding too much on your plate all at once. Just do a baby step. So I got to this point because we were talking about what do you do to overcome well, my plan was to walk 2 miles every day, but I just don’t seem to be doing it. And even calling on my alter ego name is not getting me off the couch. What if I change it to a half mile? What if I make it more of a baby step habit? I can worry about walking 2 miles later. Let’s just do a half mile and give ourselves grace.

Jessica and Sierra: Yes.

I thought it was really interesting how you said, am I willing to go through a couple of uncomfortable days to develop this habit? Because I have found in my because I used to not like working out at all. And then I joined in college. I was on the rowing team, which I thought looked really cool. Like, oh, I’m in college and I row. But did I like to row? No, it was miserable. It’s every part of your body moving. And I was dead. So dead all the time. Um, and then if we weren’t on the ERG machine rowing, then we were running. And I also didn’t like to run. And so

I would find myself I would be at the end every time when we were running laps. And luckily we ran all around the campus so nobody would see me in the back. And as soon as the last girl got far enough away, I would stop and walk as quick as I could, but try to get some energy back. And I just hated it. It was not my favorite. But there was one day it was a beautiful rainy day. It was our longest run that we had to do. I think we had to go 5 miles that day or something when we normally did three and I was dreading it up coming up to it, but it wasn’t too hot. It was drizzly. I had a perfect playlist, and all of a sudden I really was enjoying it because I think I had built up the endurance. My body had gotten used to running at this point, and now by the time the 5 miles was done, I was ready to keep going because I was having so much fun, because my body had surpassed the uncomfortable part of it.


Um, and so I think that that can be true with every habit. When you’re building a habit, it’s uncomfortable at first, whether that’s to start something new or to quit smoking or whatever the case may be. In the beginning, it sucks because our body doesn’t want to do it. But as our body gets used to it, it becomes more comfortable, and I think the habit should therefore become easier. Right.


DIANA: I agree. And I would transfer that over to habits that have nothing to do with our physical body. Because if we’re trying to do a habit of journaling gratitude every day, like jessica is trying to do, your brain might come up with reasons or I only came up with two so far. Oh, shoot. I just repeated everything I wrote last week. It’s not original. It doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe I’ve done it enough. You’re having emotional discomfort in some of these habits, too. The emotional discomfort could be doubting. If your habit is something that’s goal oriented because it’s taking you to something you want to achieve, you could be doubting that you’re ever going to do it

well or do it enough or stick to it. And feeling doubt is uncomfortable. Are you willing to work at your habit through enough days of feeling doubt that you can come out on the other side or fear or disappointment in yourself? If you drop your habit for a week and you feel like you’re starting all over and you’re feeling disappointed, are you willing to feel disappointed for a little bit and still pick up and do it again? So the same way we have physical discomfort, we need to overcome from any habits, for all of them, we have to overcome emotional discomfort. It’s not a habit now because it’s easier for it not to be a habit. You want to make it a habit, you’re going to have to do some work. You’re going to have to get past some uncomfortable moments. If it was easy and there was no emotional discomfort, we’d all be doing all sorts of great things, but it’s hard to get

over some of those bumps in the road.


Jessica and Sierra:

Wow. That is so wise. I love it. Thank you for that.

DIANA: You’re welcome.

Jessica and Sierra: I just keep thinking about the non physical things I have to achieve. Jessica put one thing on my list and I’m like, no, can’t do it. It will take me five minutes. But my emotional discomfort has prevented me from doing it for six months now. Sierra.

Jessica and Sierra: Uh, okay, I know.

DIANA: Yeah, but you haven’t dropped from still deciding. It’s a habit you want to develop. That in itself is a win.

Jessica and Sierra: Okay, there you go.

DIANA: And you can congratulate yourself for keeping the desire to create that habit. You’ve been working on it just in your mind and you haven’t become as successful as you want to yet. So as long as you’re willing to keep that there and keep it as a goal and something that you want to create or do, and you keep working towards it, you are making progress.

Jessica and Sierra: Mhm.

DIANA: And I’d ask, how long are you willing to stick to it? Is the other thing I’d ask you, too.

Jessica and Sierra: Well, in that regard, I find sometimes that I am more excited by wanting to do something than actually doing it.


Like the dreaming aspect is fun and the, um, oh, one day when idea is fun, mhm, the actual doing. I’ve talked to Jessica about this before. I don’t know, the idea of success is not as appealing to me as the idea of dreaming about success. Is that weird?

DIANA: Why? I wonder why? Why do you think? No, you think it’ll be uneventful when you get there and so what’s the point?

Jessica and Sierra: Maybe I don’t want the responsibility or the anticipation is just really fun for me, so I could stay in this dream phase of like, oh, one day I’ll do that forever, but actually doing it, I’m like, well then what’s going to happen? Life is boring after that point. Or I failed, which is scary. But I think no success is scarier to me than failure.


DIANA: I think part of it is, yeah, because failures or not doing it is familiar, mhm? Where you are is familiar. So trying to move forward to someplace that seems less familiar or unknown, even if it would be tied to a lot of positive emotions, the idea of it being unknown can be uncomfortable. So we’re very attached to the familiar because remember, the brain wants to avoid pain, conserve energy and pursue pleasure. Well, if you just stay with the familiar, you’re going to save a whole lot of energy. Doesn’t take too much energy to think about it right now

and it seems all nice and fun, so let’s just do that and we won’t have to put forth any effort. Let’s just stay here, it’ll be fine. Our brain will just trick it just tricks us.


Jessica and Sierra: What do we need to conserve energy for? What is our brain trying to prep us to do?

DIANA: Well, uh, I am not an expert about why the brain does this and there’s so many people who the analogies they give are going back to the cavemen. Well, I don’t know what I believe about cavemen as a creationist, so I’m not sure. But for some reason, when God created our brains back in the beginning with the first people this is what we needed to do. We needed to, um, put forth enough effort to get the result that we want. And no more why? I don’t know. To save it for the next day of work. To not over exert. He did make us to enjoy pleasure. He gave us a lot of senses to take in and love pleasure. And it sets off, um, endorphins and dopamine feels good, even if it’s a false pleasure, like, uh, watching a bunch of Netflix. It’s tricking your brain into feeling good. Or drinking alcohol can trick your brain into feeling good. Or eating a bunch of chocolate can trick your brain into feeling good. It’s not really a life experience or anything relational or goal oriented that’s bringing you pleasure. It’s just a stimulation to the brain to release those endorphins that feel good. So he wired us for pleasure. But this

was before we had junk food and, um, TV and all this other stuff that we use. And I mean, avoiding pain, that makes sense, right? To try to avoid pain. Um, and maybe some of it is maybe he made some of this in us. So you stop me if I’m getting too religious for you all. So that when we go on a journey to become better, when we go on a journey to become more like God, which is our, uh, character growth and our emotional maturity and all of that, we have something to move through and to conquer and to grow from. If he made us to just be fine with everything

and not do anything and sit on the couch and I mean, what is there? What what is there to our existence? What is there to our, uh, relationships? What is there’s no wanting more. There’s no wanting to even be closer to God and grow in relationship with Him. It’s just a stagnant, boring life. So I think we’re supposed to have challenges.

We’re supposed to grow, we’re supposed to evolve. And how does a diamond become a diamond? It’s just an ugly lump of coal. And through lots of refining and pressure and heat and change, it becomes perfection in a beautiful diamond. And that remains a great analogy for us as humans.

Jessica and Sierra: Yeah, absolutely.

DIANA: Struggle is just part of the journey here on this planet, huh? I know, right? You want to struggle.

Jessica and Sierra: So, in a way, our mind wanting comfortable is a part of the struggle. It’s a part of the wanting to stay whole.

DIANA: Yeah.

Jessica and Sierra: And it’s a I’m following that.


DIANA: It’s a part of the dreaming as much as you were saying, Sarah, that dreaming of what’s to come, what you could have, is very pleasurable. I think our desire for pleasure pursues or helps us pursue good and better things. And pursue it should, I would think, when when done correctly, wanting to pursue pleasure is pursuing being kind to people and building relationships and loving each other and making the world a better place.


Jessica and Sierra: Oh, man, I love that still.

Yeah, it’s everything summed up that’s everything summed up into one.

So great.

Do you feel like you should be able to master your schedule, but you can’t seem to put all the pieces in the right place? Like, no matter how hard you try, you forever have a million things to do, and they will never get done. And time to yourself. Oh, not even possible. I’ve been there. And no joke. Jessica’s schedule smart changed my life. Jessica is extraordinary at, uh, puzzle piecing. She takes a look at your schedule, finds where things need to go, and seriously, when she did this for me, I felt like I had more time in my day. I am now able to be more present with my family, get all of the chores done around the house, and have quality me time without feeling

guilty because I’ve already been present with my family and got all the chores done around the house. Jessica, I cannot thank you enough for how you improved my day today and restored some peace in my life. If you want this amazing transformation for yourself, check out schedule Smart. The link is in the show notes, and for a limited time, use the promo code podcast for 10% off. Enjoy all of that time you are going to add to your day because you are going to freaking love it.


Jessica and Sierra:

Well, okay. So as to not keep you too long, um, thank you so much for, uh, all of that. That’s so juicy and really helpful, personally, even if our listeners don’t like it. I mean, I feel like that was so amazing.

I know it’s a lot to take in and think about. I know.

Um, but okay, so with each of our guests, we love to hear something raw from your life just because obviously, everything you’ve just shared, you sound like you totally have it all together, and I know you really do. Would you be willing to share something raw from your life to show that even that it’s possible to have this approach and this mindset, even with a sordid past or a challenge or whatever it may be? So can you share your rawest moment with us that you’re willing to share?


DIANA: Oh, my gosh. I mean, there’s a lot, but I almost want to. I was thinking of telling you guys the time that I dumped out a bottle of vodka into the rock garden and quit drinking forever. But that’s kind of dramatic. Yes, that’s a true story. And that’s partially what started me on my path to I mean, that’s really when I started on my path to become a life coach. I just had no clue. But mhm I think what be interesting would be to share a raw moment since I’ve put all of these tools to use, because, uh, when you try to manage your thoughts and renew your mind and have a better outlook, on life. Things do get better. They really do. And that happens with all of my clients. But what I don’t always tell them in the beginning and they know by the time they’re done coaching with me, is that we’re still going to have uncomfortable emotions in our life. We’re still going to feel disappointment. We’re still going to have grief. We’re still going to get frustrated sometimes. We’re still going to be angry sometimes. But we, um, get to do it better, and we don’t let it sabotage our lives anymore. So there are still uncomfortable emotions, I would say. I was sitting here, right in my office here that you see me in today. And it was my birthday this year when I turned 48. And I’m like, it’s going to be a great day. And the mail came mhm from the principal of the high school. Well, I’ll open it up and it’s a letter that says your son, he was

a junior in high school at the time, has been delinquent this many times. And if this isn’t rectified, there will be a court case and this statute and that statute. And I was like, what the heck is going on here? So my son had been tardy to school by like a minute. Not tardy enough, uh, that the hall people wouldn’t let him in. So he got in the school before the bell rang. But by the time he got all the way upstairs to his class, the bell had rung.


And the second semester teacher was very particular. He’s like, you’re late. And he started making a big deal of it and got the principal involved in all this. And nobody called me, so I didn’t know it was any different than the previous semester where his teacher didn’t care and he cared. And I’m like, fine, that’s valid. He’s actually late. The teacher gets to do this. But I’m like, why wouldn’t anyone call me and talk to me before they send this letter on my birthday? And I was making it all about me, like they don’t know it’s my birthday. And I was angry and I wanted to type an email. And I did type an email. Even though I toned it down a bit, it was still kind of a

reactive email. And I said words to my husband about it and how frustrated I was and I’ll have to have a meeting with him and set him straight and all that. And then I’m like, I need to be alone. And I went in my bedroom. I didn’t really know anything other than I just felt like I needed to be alone. And I went in my walk in closet with the light off. And I sat on the floor in silence. And I just wanted to sink away into the floor like, what is going on? What is this? But I’m in my closet alone in the dark. I’m like, I’ve done this before. I know what this is, because when you can identify an emotion, you can figure out what’s going on. I’m like, this is shame. I’m feeling ashamed because I just want to sit in my closet alone in the dark and melt away into nothingness. Why am I feeling shame? I didn’t do anything wrong. And I dug through my thoughts, and I’m like, oh, I know what this is.


It’s that thought. I’m a bad mom. I’m the kind of mom that lets my son show up late day after day. I’m sure they all think I’m a bad mom. The principal probably thinks I’m a bad mom. Oh, my God, I’m a terrible mom. So I let myself feel the shame for a minute. I honored that thought that came. I didn’t try to push it away immediately. I’m like, that makes sense. I got a letter. It’s saying, court date possible and truant and delinquent. Uh, it makes sense. I would think I’m a bad mom, and after five or ten minutes, I’m like, okay, I did that. I did shame. Now, is that true? Am I a bad mom? Let me think about this for a second. Am I a bad mom? I don’t think I’m a bad

mom. I love my kids. I always tell them I love them. I try to make sure my son gets out of the door on the time every day. In fact, now that I think about it, I was telling him, hey, if you keep showing up late every day, even by a minute, you might end up getting detention. And I would think to myself, well, if he gets detention, that’ll be a good lesson for him. He’s 16 going on 17. He should learn some of this stuff on his own. I don’t need to intervene. I’m like, oh, my gosh, I was being a good mom the whole time. This is exactly what I put into place. It just didn’t come to me the way I expected. I thought he’d come home and say, I have to go to detention. But no.

Instead, I got a letter from the principal. It just came about in a different way. I’m not a bad mom. 


I’m a good mom. I’m teaching him responsibility. Now, how am I going to go involve my son in rectifying this problem? And I’ll go work with him together, and it’ll be a teachable moment. So just because we get our thoughts right doesn’t mean we don’t have to deal with some painful emotions still. It just means they don’t dictate our lives. They don’t keep us down. They don’t sabotage us, and we get to work through it and manage ourselves and not stay in a

painful place. So I still go through those moments. That’s not an isolated incident. It’s just life.


Jessica and Sierra: Yeah. I also love that you shared how you like that it’s okay to sit in that feeling, because that is something.

Do you know anything about the enneagram.

DIANA: I do.

Jessica and Sierra: We are very big on the enneagram.

We are. I know I didn’t ask your opinion.

DIANA: Maybe you don’t like any. No, I do. I’m a three. Four. And so hey, I’m a three. When that letter came, it said, you did not perform well. Moms who perform get their kids to school on time. You blew it. You got booed off the stage, lady.

Jessica and Sierra: Oh, my gosh. I love it.

Oh, man.

So I am a seven wing eight, and I hate pain. And so all of those emotions uh huh. For the longest time, when I would feel them, I was like, oh, abort abandon.


Jessica and Sierra: Get me away from these emotions because they’re terrible. But now I’m like, okay, I’m allowed to feel this. Why do I feel this? I do the same thing. I try to allow the sadness because then I can move through it in a more healthy manner, I found. So I love that. I wish my closet was walk in. It makes for a great podcasting area. But it’s not walk in. But maybe I’ll still find a little corner to hide in.

DIANA:  Yeah, it’s a good shame pocket. Sounds so nice.

Jessica and Sierra:  A shame pocket. I feel like the shower is my shame pocket.

Yeah, that’s true.


Yeah. But you’re right, Sierra. When you allow yourself to feel the emotions instead of resisting it, you can actually move through it. Even if it’s murky. Like walking through a murky, thick, icky river. But you do get to the other side. But when we resist, we’re always just, like playing around, splashing in it, trying to splash it away, and bad at it and just get rid of it. But if we would just calm down, allow ourselves to have the experience, we can move through it and come out the other side. And then it’s in our past and we’re not resisting.

And it does feel so much better. That’s a habit to have, too, actually. I’m in the habit of processing my emotions instead of resisting them. And it does take a while to develop that habit. Yes.


Jessica and Sierra: It’s so funny, too. Uh, when you just said murky water, it made me think of the fact that all the Venice canals and everything got clear during the pandemic, because everyone’s like, oh, it’s not polluted anymore. But it wasn’t that it was polluted to begin with. It was that all the sand got to settle because it was undisrupted by boats. So I feel like if you’re in the murky water and you’re still resisting and trying to push away it’s, making it murky, all of that, you’re just stirring it up versus, like, if you’re still and embrace it, the sand can settle and then the water will clear.

DIANA:  Yeah. And a lot of times, we add additional when you’re stirring it up, you’re adding anxiety, you’re adding frustration, you’re adding anger, and you’re just, like, mixing it all in and, uh, you make it worse. But you don’t even know you’re doing it because it just seemed innocent to try to resist some shame, but then you’re going around the house like a storm, making a mess of everything else.


Jessica and Sierra: Yeah, been there.

Uh, thank you for sharing your raw moment because I know it’s a big ask to delve even deeper with us and to go the opposite end. We like to do lightning rounds with our guests where we kind of ask rapid fire. Just like a couple rapid fire fun questions to get to know you a little bit better in a different way. Sure. So, are you ready?

DIANA: I’m ready. Um I don’t know. Okay, if we’re talking about emotions, I’m feeling anticipation and curiosity right now.

Jessica and Sierra: Exactly what we want. Okay. What is your favorite season?

DIANA: It’s changed. It used to be fall, now it’s summer. I just chalked it up to being old and not liking the cold anymore.

Jessica and Sierra: We’ll accept it. Uh, what is your coffee order?

DIANA: Oh, let’s see. Let’s just go to Starbucks when I’m usually going to get wow, what do I usually get?


Jessica and Sierra: I know, right? I feel like we’re not going to.

DIANA: Starbucks nearly enough anymore. No, the last two times I went, I got a chai tea latte, but there’s a local coffee shop I go to and they, ah, call it Barista Bliss. And it’s a, um, vanilla latte, but with an extra I don’t know. It’s special. I don’t know what’s in there.

Jessica and Sierra: I love small businesses. Do you want to shout out that business if you’re in Wisconsin?

DIANA: Oh, yeah, in Wisconsin. Hey, you have a lot of listeners in Wisconsin. I’m a little north of Milwaukee. It’s in a little town called Jackson, and it’s called Coffeeville. It’s a log cabin with great coffee and some fun food. I go there for in person coaching and in person networking all the time.

Jessica and Sierra: Well, now we need to come visit because I need to go there.

That sounds amazing.

Uh, well, that kind of piggybacks. And I don’t know if your answer will be different. Another one of the lightning round questions is what’s your favorite small business? Not just coffee shop, but small business.

Jessica and Sierra: My favorite small business. I love that. Um, I’m going to go with a little place in Hartford, Wisconsin called Faith and Giggles. They have accessories like purses and hats and a little bit of clothes, and they’ve got inspirational jewelry and rocks. And the owners are very involved with stopping human trafficking locally. So it’s a beautiful store and they’re involved in a very important cause. So faith and Giggles in Hartford, Wisconsin. You might be able to order online.

Jessica and Sierra:  I was just going to say I bet you could even look that up online.

Yeah. What is the weirdest thing you did during.

DIANA: Quarantine? The weirdest thing I did during quarantine. Well, there was that time that I was like, I know we have hand sanitizer somewhere and I have to go find it now. And so I went through the garage, looking through all the

boxes to find five year old hand sanitizer. That’s a good one. Yeah. I made a Thanksgiving dinner about two weeks in. I’m like Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans. Oh, I love that pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream. It was fun.

Jessica and Sierra: That is such a good idea.

Thanksgiving makes everything better.

DIANA: It does?

Jessica and Sierra: Yes. Okay. And your last lightning round question, what is your guilty pleasure?

DIANA: Oh, my gosh. Perfect timing. I just went on Bakersquare.com to preorder because ever since Coronavirus happened, we have two Bakersquare restaurants in Wisconsin. One of them closed. It’s very sad. Uh, since Quarantine, the other one that’s open every time I stop in, they do not have my pie. And so I called last week and he said the trucks come on Tuesdays because they’re made at a central location. So I got on and I ordered two French silk pies. That’s awesome. One of them, um, is I said, keep them frozen. One of them is going to go in my freezer. And the other one, my husband will have a piece. I’ll have a piece. I do not offer it to the kids. And then over the next four days, I eat the rest. That’s, um, amazing.

Jessica and Sierra: You deserve it.



Thank you.

Jessica and Sierra: I just yelled at my husband recently for sharing the chocolate my chocolate stash with the kids. I’m like, no, they cannot know this chocolate exists. This is Mama’s Chocolate. He’s lucky I share it with him.


Jessica and Sierra:

Yeah, I fully understand.

Yeah. Okay, the real last lightning round question. What is your favorite thing about.

DIANA: You? Oh, my gosh. I should totally have an answer for this because I go through an exercise with my clients. Uh, it’s called I Am Lovable and Know What You Love About Yourself. What is my favorite thing about me? I like to think I’m weird and celebrate that, but I’m probably not as weird as I think I am, so I don’t know. What’s my favorite thing?

Jessica and Sierra: Hey, if you think it, then you are it, right? That can be your favorite thing.

And if you love that about yourself, you can have it.

DIANA:  I can be weird. I love that. Uh, yay.

Jessica and Sierra: That’s one of my favorite things.

DIANA: You guys coached me into accepting my.

Jessica and Sierra: Weird. We live in the weird.

I mean, I think we’re all weird in some ways.

DIANA: Here’s what I’ll say then, because there’s always a little bit. I mostly don’t care what people think about me anymore. That’s my favorite thing about me. Occasionally I do people I love, but then I work through it. But mostly I’m like, here I am. TADA. This is what you get. I’m good with me.


Jessica and Sierra: You could tell 16 year old Diana that it’s okay. One day you really won’t care, and it’s going to feel great.

DIANA:  Yes, mhm. And for me, I think it took a little too long. If you’re younger than 40, you got to do it sooner than me. It took me till I was 40. Just be you. Yes. Doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. Anything they think about you is all about them and their thoughts anyway. It’s not about you. God made you who you are on purpose, weirdness and all. Go be you.

Jessica and Sierra: I love it. Uh, what a perfect note to end on. Well, Diana, thank you so much for joining us. Seriously, this has been amazing. Um, we’re going to keep inviting you back for free life coaching sessions.


So, Diana, if people want to find you, where can they go?


DIANA: Yes. Okay. I think the best place to come find me is to check out my podcast. On any podcast app, it should be there. The renewyourmind podcast. With Diana swellinger, I would love to have you join me over there. And if you want to get a free guide on how to stop the negative voice in your head, you can go to my podcast website at rympodcast.com. Rym stands for renew your mind. Uh, there’s some other free resources over there, too, so come

on over and check it out.

Jessica and Sierra: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Seriously, check out her podcast, because if you loved this, I promise you her podcast is full of just as much juicy goodness. So thank you, Diana, so much for being on the show. We really appreciate it.

DIANA: Thank you so much for having me. I really love being here. You guys have great energy, great smiles. I love what you’re doing. And thank you so much for helping me embrace my weird.


Jessica and Sierra: It’s been fun. Yes, absolutely. You got to own it.

Yes. We are happy to do.

Jessica and Sierra: That.

DIANA: Well, that was fun. I hope you guys enjoyed that interview as much as I did. That’s it for this week, so I’ll catch you next time. Take care of you. 


As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. Um, I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com, to get my free resources or a free coaching.

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