How do You Change Your Life?

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Most people probably have some thing or other about their life that they’d love to change.  Whether it’s their job, home or health, many people are not contented with all aspects of their lives.  As someone who has spent many years making goals and then failing to achieve said goals, I’ve recently realized why I didn’t achieve them.  There is a process to goal-making that many of us know:  write down your goal; set steps to take so you can achieve the goal; do the work. While this model is good, I’ve found it’s not going to get you where you want to go.  To do that, you have to add something else – affirmations.

Yep, for years I had the idea that affirmations were for “other people” and I didn’t really need them.  However, on January 2nd I started saying affirmations every night before I fell asleep.  And, guess what?  Somewhere in my beanie little brain, I started to think these affirmations just might be correct.  And, since my easiest (ha! – easy!) goal was getting up and working out, that’s what I’ve done.  I’ve now formed a habit, and I get up every morning between 4:45 and 6:00 (which is my idea of “sleeping late”) and work out.  I don’t do this because I “love it”, I do it because it’s my goal, and now has become a part of my daily routine.

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How did I come to this miraculous conclusion?  Well, when I was writing my 200+ Days of Change post, I began wondering why I was actually achieving this specific goal against all the odds – family, time, naysayers, ME, and realized that the affirmations were the only thing I was doing differently this time around.  My affirmations are specific to what I want to accomplish this year, but at the same time they are designed to increase my self-esteem and self-confidence (something a lot of people need to work on).  I believe that the most important ones I say are: “I am a worthy person”; “I believe in myself”; and “I love myself”.  Now that I’ve figured out this works, I’m going to start saying my affirmations in the morning, too.  Maybe this will help me start achieving my other goals, too.

If you have low self-esteem, or self-confidence issues, I urge you to say these affirmations to yourself as many times as you can every day.  Just keep saying them even if it makes you feel silly or uncomfortable – I had a really hard time at first, but just kept at it (fake it until you believe it).  See if you don’t feel differently after 30 or 60 days of being consistent.  It’s a small thing to do, but it just might help you change your life for the better.

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200+ Days of Change

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We are already 200+ days into 2018.  That fact is both surprising and horrifying at the same time.  I know that I’m not where I wanted to be by this time this year.  I don’t feel like I’ve done nearly the things that I wanted to.  However, the one thing that I’ve done, every day since January 2nd, is to work out.  Every. Single. Day.  Even the days with a heat index of 105° I have gotten up and worked out.  Last week was terribly hot and humid, but instead of walking my 2+miles outside in the heat, I walked in the morning, in my basement using a Denise Austin DVD.  So, I still got it done.  I achieved my 18 mile-a-week goal anyway.

So, there have been benefits – I’ve got some muscles, my Buddha-belly is smaller and my butt is no longer on the floor.  While I’ve added planks, twists and sit-ups; I’m still looking forward to finding that exact Billy Blanks workout so that I can get started on Tae Bo again.  For the record, I’m sure that I’m just being too picky and too worried about whether I can keep up.  There is nothing worse than thinking you’re doing well, and then trying a much too hard workout.  I’ve been consistently doing some Sun Salutations every day so that my flexibility has improved.  Am I happy with my progress?  Yes, but there is room for improvement.

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As far as reactions to my changing…my daughter has been a wonderful cheerleader.  However, there are other people in my life who have been less than enthusiastic.  As a matter of fact, they’ve recently gone out of their way to make my feel terrible for “wasting” time on making myself healthier.  When this behavior has happened in the past, I’ve actually been bullied into stopping.  Not. This. Time.  And, I’m beginning to apply this new mind-set to other areas of my life.  Hopefully I’ll have some other improvements in the next 100 days.  How have your changes been going?  Share and let us know!

 

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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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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How are you doing with your Goals?

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How are you doing with your 2018 goals?  Are you still focused on them, or have you already lost sight of the end zone?  Even though we’re barely into the new year, I know that some of us are struggling to keep going.  I’ll admit that the only thing that gets me up and out of bed to workout in the morning is the knowledge that I haven’t missed a day yet, and I don’t want it to be this morning that I miss.

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Have you already accomplished some of your goals?  Or have you just been mulling them over?  Are there steps that you’ve taken to get you closer to attaining them?  Don’t let too much time pass before you get working on those goals you set.  But mostly, remember that every day is a new day.  We don’t need a Monday to start changing our lives, we only need to start!

Some Motivations for a Monday Morning

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Monday mornings can be a little difficult when it comes to getting yourself motivated. Here are a few quotes to help you!

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While each day is a new chance to begin, it’s also true that everything builds from today.  What will you build for your future?

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Putting it all Together

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As you know, I’ve been in the midst of changing my life for a while now.  Sometimes it seems that for every step forward, I take two steps back.  However, lately I’ve been feeling quite optimistic.  Losing weight has been a great “kick-in-the-pants” for me.  I’ve changed my eating and my exercising, and feel much better both physically and mentally.  Of course, there have been days where I’ve felt besieged by life, but those days are far fewer than they were.

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However, I’ve been having a hard time putting all the changes that I want to make together.  It’s hard to fit everything into one day.  My creative life is suffering a more than I’d like, and I’m not de-cluttering my house the way I thought I would.  It’s hard to get much done with the hot weather (an excuse if I’ve ever heard one), but I also have lost a little motivation in regards to these aspects of change.

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I think that my real issue is with organization.  So, my not-so-new goal is going to be trying organize each day into blocks where I work on different things at specific times of the day.  How do you organize your day in order to fulfill your goals?  Let me know, if could use all the help I can get.