How Your Self-esteem Affects Your Goals

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There are many reasons why people don’t manage to attain their goals.  Some people simply lose interest, others change their goals, but some of us may have self-esteem issues that make it difficult for us to reach the goals we set for ourselves.  Of course, when this happens, what little self-esteem we do have takes a hit, and attaining any goals we set then becomes that much more difficult.

Sometimes when we have low self-esteem we can either set goals that are too high, (perfection anyone?) or too low.  Setting the bar too low doesn’t really help with improving self-esteem since we denigrate whatever it is that we attained.  On the other hand, perfection never helped anyone ever.  I can get caught up in the perfection issue way too easily.  As a matter of fact, I’ve managed to sabotage myself nearly every time I’ve decided to start working out by insisting on getting up every morning at a certain time – no exceptions.  As a matter of fact, I really think that the only reason I’m still working out this time is because I allow myself to “sleep in” (if 6:00 am can be considered sleeping in).  By allowing myself an extra hour or hour-and-a-half of sleep once or twice a week, I’ve taken the perfection out of the mix.  And, I’m still getting up and working out.  Take that perfection!

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So, when you start your goal setting process ask yourself if your goal is based on perfection.  If it is, change that goal.  If it’s a goal that’s way too low, ask yourself if you want to keep it, attain it and then make the goal a little harder, or do you want to just set a slightly harder goal.  Being able to attain part one of a goal and then commit to part two may give you the self-esteem boost that you want.  By attaining goals, we improve our self-esteem, and that is a good thing!  I’ve left an interesting link for you to read below.

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/self-esteem-and-standards/

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Is Self-Care Selfish?

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As you know, I’ve been rising early in order to work-out.  Sometimes that means that I’m up at 4:30 a.m. since I’ve been doing most of my walking in the morning, in my basement with Denise Austin.  Why you may ask?  Well, our heat index has been 105° on more than one occasion.  So, the other day, I was minding my own business when I was informed by a family member that the very fact that I work-out is extremely selfish of me.  I was taking time and doing something for myself that should be spent doing something (anything) for the family.

There was something so shocking about this statement that I was at a loss for words.  After reflection on this I wonder, what should I be doing at 4:30 am?  Vacuuming?  Washing the floors?  Dusting?  The fact of the matter is, if I wasn’t working out, I’d be sleeping.  But, how come all my time is supposed to be “for the family”?  Aren’t we all adults here?

The definition of selfish is to be concerned exclusively with oneself, to the detriment of others.  I seriously do not think that making extra time in my day to exercise has anything to do with the detriment of other family members.  I still do everything that I was doing before I started working out every day, so this statement is patently untrue.  However, the purpose of his saying this was deliberately to undermine what I was doing.  I have seen positive changes this year, and that is what is bothering some people in my immediate family, not just this one individual.  When you start to change your life, some people may see this as a negative directed at them.  For their own reasons, they were happy with the status quo and now you’ve gone and changed yourself in certain ways.  This can be a problem, but remember, if you are changing yourself for your own reasons, they don’t get to say what you should or shouldn’t do.  (As long as what you’re doing involves only you).  So, self-care is not selfish.

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Why Are People from Honduras Seeking Asylum?

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As we all know, there are a lot of people from Central and South America seeking asylum at our southern border.  However, I haven’t really seen much information regarding the reasons why they’re seeking asylum.  We’ve all heard about the gangs, etc. but not the reasons why these countries are falling apart.  Since I’m an information seeker, I decided to look into one of these countries and let you know why there are so many problems there.  My first pick was Honduras since this was the country that caught my eye.

In my reading I found out that in the early 1900’s U.S. banana companies set up shop in Honduras, bribed government officials, gained control of over 1 million acres of land and sent the resulting money and crops to the U.S.  This buy-up of land converted Honduras into a one-crop economy, setting the entire nation up for massive poverty.  At the same time, U.S. military was used to prevent any uprising against the corporations by the citizens of Honduras, while the banana companies gained monetary control of the country.  By the time Regan was president, Honduras was often referred to as “U.S.S. Honduras”.    Honduras was also used as a place to train the Contras of Nicaragua, which in turn increased the U.S. military presence in Honduras.  This militarized Honduran society and brought about a crack down of any and all resistance to the government, thus squashing democracy.  The U.S. was also instrumental in disrupting the coffee trade under the policy of “globalization”, which led to the destabilization of this industry.

All this has led to an increase in military, a loss of human rights, and many human rights violations.  When the citizens elected Manuel Zelaya, a progressive president in 2006, his promise of reforms upset the ruling oligarchy, who then staged a military coup to overthrow the elected government.  Poverty is a huge problem, with drug lords and a corrupt government, police and military working together.  The U.S. is also at fault for militarily supporting this coup against the wishes of the 35-member Organization of American States.

So, this is a quick over-view of the problems in Honduras.  From what I have seen, the other countries from which asylum-seekers are coming have a history with the U.S. that is much the same.  Clearly, the fault is not with the people who have walked thousands of miles seeking asylum.  I’ve left some links below for your education.  Once again, nothing happens in a vacuum, and we need to look at the history of a problem before we start assigning blame.

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https://theconversation.com/how-us-policy-in-honduras-set-the-stage-for-todays-mass-migration-65935

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/opinion/in-honduras-a-mess-helped-by-the-us.html

 

What’s the What with Beet Juice?

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I recently saw a post on Instagram about the benefits of beet juice and decided to check it out.  What I found was interesting, and I’m excited to say that I’ll be adding this juice to my “to-drink” list.  Some of the benefits include helping you exercise longer (and feel better doing so), lowering blood pressure, improve blood flow, may improve muscle power in people who are suffering from heart failure, slow dementia, and help with maintaining a healthy weight.  Other benefits include preventing cancer because beets contain the antioxidant betalaines which are known to work against some cancer cells.  Beets also have the following minerals:  potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, copper and selenium all of which are beneficial to our bodies.

Other good things found in beets are folate and vitamin C.  Some studies have shown that beet juice can reduce the fatty substances that may build up in your liver, and it also shows that it may help reduce cholesterol.

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There are some things to know before you decide to drink beet juice.  Like turmeric, beet juice may change the color of your urine, in this case to either red or pink (turmeric can make it quite yellow).  Also, it’s suggested that you introduce the juice to your diet slowly to give your body a chance to adjust.  All I can say is, thank goodness I’ve hung onto my juicer.  I’ll let you know how this new adventure into beet juice goes!

Does Peace Begin on Your Plate?

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There are many choices that we can make.  What you choose to put on your plate is definitely one of them.  While almost everyone who has chosen to forgo animal products grew up eating those same products, however, at some point these people made a choice to not add to the violence and destruction that is so pervasive in the world.  After all, if you can choose to not cause harm to anyone else – including other species, why wouldn’t you?  When I finally confronted that question myself, I knew that I had to get off the Vegetarian diet and become Vegan.

This was a hard decision, not because of myself, but because of the other people in my life, and others in general.  The meat and dairy industries generate a lot of money, approximately $864.2 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  Think of the incentive there is to vilify vegans, along with doctors who speak out against these industries, and you will see where the pervasive negative attitudes come from.  Not only are vegans portrayed in various media outlets as being slightly insane and/or obnoxious, but there are numerous examples of how extreme veganism is.  Why being vegan is considered extreme is beyond my understanding.  Isn’t raising an animal for the sole purpose of killing and eating that animal extreme?

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Not only are there the ethical questions regarding killing an animal that doesn’t want to die, but if you add to that the environmental damage done by the massive world-wide meat and dairy industry, you can see how the destruction becomes unsustainable.

Now, back to my question, does peace begin on your plate?  My answer is yes, of course it does.  There is only so much in the way of sustainable food, and when one country has a problem with consumption that causes others to suffer peace also suffers.  I’ve left links below for you to read.  Look up other information and decide for yourselves whether or not you believe that peace begins on your plate.

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https://www.google.com/search?q=How+much+money+does+the+meat+industry+make+a+year%3F&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjknMjQ4djbAhWs6IMKHZpCBUIQzmcIQQ&biw=1366&bih=654

http://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2016/03/the-representation-of-food-on-television

http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

https://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/team-news/2016/10/10-reasons-why-meat-and-dairy-industry-unsustainable-0

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cutting-back-on-meat-consumption-could-help-end-hunger-by-2030-experts_us_55f3424ee4b077ca094f27a5

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/world-hunger-population-growth-ditching-meat/

Choices Do Exist

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With all the insanity and worry that’s been happening lately (school shootings, lost immigrant children, trade wars, White House issues, etc.), life seems to be way too overwhelming, and it’s too easy to become depressed over things that we really don’t have any control over.  As a matter of fact, there are a lot of things that we have no control over – our children/spouse’s actions, work issues, unexpected bills, etc.  So, how can we react when we’re depressed and overwhelmed?

It may sound too simple, but the only thing to do is to concentrate on what you can change.  I literally sign at least 50 petitions per week, and the number seems to keep on growing.  There is only so much that I can do, and petitions and letters to my congress people are just about the best thing I can accomplish.  I have no power (other than my vote/voice), so I try to use it every chance I get.  However, there is so much going on, and I can do so little.  This is just something that I have to realize that my power to make these kinds of changes is minimal, however, I keep doing what I can.

So, depression is a problem for me, and probably for a lot of people.  How do I handle it?  I try to spend time practicing gratitude (and, as I say myself, it is a practice).  And, finally, the last and best thing, is to follow the simple quote: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”  These are the words that I try to live by.  I’m not saying that I succeed all the time, but when I go out into the world I try to be as nice and friendly as I can.  One thing I don’t want to do is to make someone else’s life miserable.  So, I’m always trying to be as upbeat and friendly as I can manage.  Sometimes it’s easier than other times, but I’m always trying.  What are some things that you do?  Please share in the comments below.

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Five Habits That to Extend Your Life

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Harvard has a new study out regarding habits that may help extend your life.  Of course, it’s no surprise that the first item on the list is no tobacco products.  These products have been linked to a variety of health problems, so if you want to extend your life, I strongly suggest that you never begin using tobacco, or if you have, please stop.  Your life depends on it.

Another item on the list is keeping a low BMI (body mass index).  Keeping the fat down is always a good idea.  The other habit that goes right along with this is cardio for at least 30 minutes a day.  How many times have we been told that we absolutely need to exercise?  Not only does it make you feel better but doing so can help you live longer.

So, the last two habits are avoiding alcohol consumption and eating a healthy diet. As far as alcohol consumption is concerned, I recommend watching the documentary The Truth About Alcohol (I watched it on Netflix).  There is a ton of information in this documentary, and will hopefully help you to drink much less, or stop drinking completely.  (That’s what it did to me, and I don’t regret giving up my occasional glass of wine at all.)  The latest nutrition information has changed from promoting a lot of meat and dairy to promoting the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, with only small amounts of meat and dairy.  I myself am vegan, so I just concentrate my diet on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.  If you’re at all interested in the scientific data that supports non-meat/non-dairy consumption, I recommend nutritionfacts.org.

Well, there you have it –  five new habits to add to your daily life!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/a-harvard-study-says-5-habits-can-help-you-live-way-longer-this-one-is-the-most-important/ar-AAwzhiu

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