So often we fall into the trap of focusing on what is wrong. We spend our days thinking of what needs to be done, the problems we need to solve, and all the things we want to change.
This week take some time to focus on what is right in your life. Think of your body and it’s amazing ability to heal. Thank life for all the bits of wisdom you’ve collected over the years. Acknowledge your amazing spirit that’s seen you through time and again.
Make a list. Start it now and keep it close. Treasure all that is right and wonderful and perfect; right here, right now.
“You’ve been criticizing yourself up for years and it hasn’t worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Who am I?
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do might just as well be turned over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed – you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done;
and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great individuals and, alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine,
plus the intelligence of a human.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am your habits!
Reread the riddle with the answer in mind. It’s so true isn’t it?! Scary, but true.
Examine your habits--they reveal life long patterns
Which of your habits are helping to make you great?
Which are dragging you down?
What habits do you need to break?
“If you don’t change direction,
you may end up where you’re headed.”
And remember: When your habits are hard to break, try bending them.
“It’s never too late to be
who you might have been.”
How did you feel when you first read these quotes? Did your inner voice respond with a resounding YES!, a longing , or did it shrink away?
As the days turn into weeks and years its so easy to loose track of our inner longings. Yet it’s so important to keep in touch with them.
When our actions and our hearts longing are in alignment we have peace, happiness, and joy.
How do your dreams and goals reflect more of the real you?
What beliefs or fears do you hold that keep the real you from shining through?
“It’s your road and your alone.
Others can walk it with you but no one can walk it for you.”
Little by little,
a little becomes a lot
Look back over your life. Everything you’ve ever learned; from your courses in school, to learning a language, to playing a sport, you’ve learned step by step.
The same thing can be applied to any dream, goal, or desire you have. Whether you want to change a habit, travel around the world, or (finally) get in shape, you can do it by taking one step, then another, and another.
You don’t heal, change, or grow in an instant;
but step by step, breathe by breathe
What will you start today?
Do you find yourself making the same New Year’s Resolutions year after year?
Are you setting the same goals time and again?
Do you start out super excited and raring to go with a new goal only to forget all about it a month later?
If so I have good news! Three easy steps to effective goal setting.
There was a time when I would cringe from the words plan, goal, and (gasp!) New Year’s Resolution. Why? For me they became a symbol of self imposed torture and an uphill struggle to failure. Sound familiar?
Then I discovered:
A goal is only a dream set to paper
For goal setting to be effective it has to be a true desire, specific, emotionally charged, and measurable.
In the past my goals would be something like “get in shape” or “get organized”. Yuck! I’m unmotivated just thinking about that!
So how do you set an effective goal?
Pick a goal, any goal. For this example let’s use what’s probably the top New Years Resolution- Get in shape (aka lose 10 lbs, start exercising, schedule liposuction, etc).
Step 1: Dream a little dream
For those of you who join me on facebook or twitter you’ve heard me say this a lot. Here’s why: it’s something athletes have used for years and is rapidly gaining popularity in many areas such as psychology, career planning, and you got it, goal setting. It’s a process called visualization; the act of creating vivid, highly detailed, mental images of a desired experience or performance. In short, a daydream.
Allowing ourselves time to dream about or visualize a goal will enable us to determine our true desire as well as the emotion we hope to create through our goal. Two essential keys to creating an effective goal.In our example, get in shape, my true desire may be to feel healthy and take care of myself like I know I should, so I could feel strong, energetic, and confident.Step 2: Break it down
For me to feel healthy and take care of myself like I know I should would mean exercising regularly so I would feel strong, eating nutritiously so I would feel energetic, and maybe getting more quality rest so I would feel confident.
I now have 3 specific goals that I truly desire, along with the reason why I desire them and the emotion I hope to produce through the them, which I can easily break down into action steps.
Step 3: Create a short statement in the present tense and post it
Boil it down into something short, concise, positive, and in the present tense. For instance, “I effortlessly exercise 3 times a week and love how strong I feel” Now, post it, everywhere! Make it your computer wallpaper, find an image to go along with it and frame it, write it on little notes and tuck them in your purse and wallet, or write it in your life planner. :)
More tips and tricks:
Daydream or visualize your desired outcome often. Studies with athletes show that a runner may improve their time by 30% through physical practice, and by up to 20% through visualization alone!
Set up a reward system. For example, after exercising 3 times this week I’ll treat myself to a long leisurely bubble bath. Or, after 3 months of regular exercise I’ll buy myself a fabulous swimsuit which I’ll look great in.
Surround yourself with inspiration. Put up motivaional pictures and quotes, make a uplifting playlist, enlist friends to help keep you on track, etc.
“Reach high, For stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, For every dream precedes the goal.”
-Pamela Vaull Starr
Do you feel like you live your life on auto pilot?
Are you just going along with the herd?
This week take some time and think about that. Ask yourself: What areas of my life are on auto pilot? Where am I not being true to myself? What changes do I need to make? Jot down some answers or journal about it.
Try this to get you started:
Move your tooth brush. Yep, that’s right, just store your toothbrush in a different place and see what happens when you reach for it.
Give it a try!
Imagination is the key that winds up the
springs of the possible.
Deep within each of us is a big, beautiful, amazing dream. Something that lights us up, makes our hearts soar, and brings that secret smile when we allow ourselves to believe, even if just for a moment, that it could come true.
This week take some time to think about your big, beautiful, amazing dream. Go searching for it. Don’t think about how it could happen, or wether you deserve for it to happen, or what anyone else would think about it.
Allow yourself to feel what it would be like to have your dream come true.
Find that one thing that makes your heart sing!
Within your heart keep one still secret place where dreams can grow.
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life
was ‘Thank You’ that would be enough”
It’s no secret that a daily habit of gratitude improves our health, boosts our mood, and reduces stress. So this week lets start a gratitude wall-- with a twist!
Here’s how it works:
1. Get yourself some sticky notes. You’ll need at least 2 different colors
(3 for the extra credit)
2. Every morning think of at least one thing you're grateful for. Start with the big stuff like
your health, your friends or family, even the bird in the tree or the fact the sun is out.
3. Write what your grateful for on one color sticky note and put it up somewhere you will
see it often such as the refrigerator, or above your desk.
Here’s the twist:
Use the second color sticky pad to add a “fears erased daily” section.
4. Each morning write down one thing your afraid of or worried about and stick it up.
For example “I’m afraid I’ll look like an idiot giving that presentation next week.
5. Each night take down your fears for the day and toss them. Add something else to the
6. Keep all your gratitude stickys in place for at least a week or two. Keep it going and
see how many you can come up with!
Extra Credit: Use the third color sticky pad to rewrite your fears before you toss them each night. For example: “I’m afraid I’ll look like an idiot giving that presentation next week” will become “I will present my idea flawlessly and everyone will love it!”
“Count your blessings. One by one.”
Last week I asked you to commit to a day of compassion. I am delighted at how many of you took the time to let me know how deeply that exercise affected you. It makes me so happy to hear that many of you felt lighter, happier, less stressed and joyful.
When we feel love and gratitude we change our brain neurochemistry, improve our health, and boost our mood.
In 2011 Brent Hoff teamed up with the Stanford University’s Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging to investigate the neurochemical nature of love, with a competitive twist. The 1st Annual Love Competition gives contestants 5 minutes in an fMRI machine to love someone as hard as they can.
Your brain on love:
Do you see an old hag or a young women in the picture?
I remember the first time I saw this picture. It was years ago, I think I was still in high school, and all I could see was the old hag. Even after numerous attempts by friends, family, and even teachers, all I saw was the hag!
It wasn’t until a friend outlined the young women while describing her that I kinda got it. I could kinda sorta see her the way you kinda sorta see the shapes of animals in the clouds.
So, you can appreciate my astonishment when I came upon this picture again and all I saw was the young women!
Do you see them both?
How about this next picture. Are the lines straight?
Believe it or not they are! Trust me, I printed it out, and measured them and everything.
Can you see how easy it is for our logical minds to believe they are “right”?
As with these optical illusions, there are always many different perspectives on any given scenario. Do you tend to jump to the negative?
We all have irritations in our days; whether it’s the crazy driver, or the new bank clerk that is taking, like, forever. And sometimes we get really mean spirited and think things like “How on earth did she get a job in a bank?! She can’t even make change!” or “Let’s see how you like it Mr Big Shot Driver!” We may be feeling overwhelmed, or insecure, but we never feel good when we get in that state.
For just one day, stop whenever you have thoughts like this, remember these optical illusions, and try to see a different perspective.
Maybe that crazy driver just got a call that their child was involved in an accident. (That would make me drive pretty crazy, wouldn’t you?) Maybe that new bank teller just received some horrible news or is nursing a broken heart.
So often we don’t know what another is going through.
Wouldn’t you want some compassion when you weren’t at your best?
“What you see and what you hear
depends a great deal on where you are standing.”