We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Stanford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Oh Yes! So much so, that I have started a business focused on helping people be happier about their lives by having a healthier mindset. Mindset is everything, no matter whether you want to change your career, find a life partner, or lose weight. I’ve always been very structured. It was a requirement during my time in the Air Force and as an officer in the United State Navy. On top of that, as a nurse, structure is critical in my taking care of children who have cancer. That being said, that structure nurtured the perfectionist in me to so I never gave myself permission to relax. This meant all work, not much play. I finally decided that this was not the way I wanted to live my life. It wasn’t making me happy. So, a couple of years ago, I took some time away from everything and became certified through the Health Coach Institute, which helped me with changing my mindset and how I view my life. Frequently our balance is off because of the stories we tell ourselves and the judgments we make about our lives and decisions. I think work-life balance will always be skewed a little heavy on one side or the other. It’s not a perfect thing. It’s about doing what brings you JOY. When your work brings you joy on a regular basis, that IS your life balance. Rather than looking at “work” and “life,” what if we looked at the desired end result – a life well-lived that brings us joy?
What should our readers know about your business?
I am blessed that I’ve found the work that makes me feel fulfilled and happy. My clients come to me feeling stuck, unhappy, and wanting a change in their lives. What sets me apart from others is that I don’t just give my clients a new diet, exercise plan or a pep talk. I ask the big picture questions as to why they want change, what’s driving them and start here to make lasting habit and lifestyle changes. To me, that’s why weight loss is so difficult for many people. We don’t need another diet plan. We need to change how we think about food. We don’t necessarily need to start with a life plan with goals, objectives, actions and a timeline. We need to evaluate why we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing and why we’re thinking the way we’ve been thinking. What are the stories we tell ourselves? Are they true? And how do those stories color our happiness and quality of life? That’s why I named my company Your Healthy Mindset by Dana. I approach mindset coaching differently so that my clients have the tools they need no matter what situation they’re in. Each person has the answers that are right for them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My husband, Eric, and my two fur kids (Gracie and Griffin) moved to Phoenix from the Los Angeles area about two years ago. We love living in Phoenix and the opportunity to have so many things readily available. Since my best friends are visiting for a week, we have lots of time to explore! So many choices! I would love to spend a day at the Desert Botanical Garden and then catch lunch at Chelsea’s Kitchen outside sitting on their patio. The next day we could grab coffee at Cultivate Coffee do a local hike such as Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain or one of the many hikes in or around the city, then chill and catch dinner at Clever Koi, Cock N’ Tails, or Ladera Taverna &Cocina. A must for the visit is trip up north to hike and see the beauty of Sedona for a couple days. On the way, we could stop in Jerome, Cottonwood and Page Creek Cellars for some wine tasting and looking around. Lastly, because community and gym time is important to me, I would love to incorporate some time sprinkled throughout the week at my favorite gym – Chuckwalla Fitness.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Toni Gonzales at Ohio National here in Phoenix is such an amazing connector, mentor, and valuable friend to so many women here in the Valley. She’s a leader and strong woman who helps women build their confidence and careers in financial services, empowering them to find the success they deserve. Pam Ostrowski, CEO of Alzheimer’s Family Consulting (https://itsnotthatsimple.com), author and speaker, is someone Toni connected me with. She’s a fellow perfectionist who has learned through her mom’s Alzheimer’s journey what brings her joy and what lights her up and makes her happy. Lastly, I would like to recognize two friends and fellow colleagues who have supported me in my growth – both personally and as an entrepreneur, Michelle Tellez (https://www.beyondformcoaching.com) and Vikki Fuhrman (https://www.bodyologyclinic.org). These two women have been by my side as we all grow our businesses and learn about selves so that we can serve others.