Have you ever been inspired by someone else’s action or what they have done? Have they motivated you to take action? So what is happening here? Simply, someone has moved you to take action. You say, “This article, this movie, or this person has moved me,” or “has inspired me.” So what do you do? You make a concerted effort for a short period of time to be like that person you read about or saw in a movie or met in real life. But alas the motivation and inspiration doesn’t last. Why?
Because it is really something that comes from outside of you rather than inside of you. Your inspiration is ‘out there’ so to speak and not ‘grounded’ in you. Only when you inspire yourself because of what you do will motivation stick, and if you continue to act out the behavior you will gain traction or momentum to continue the behavior.
Let’s take a look at an example. You have just read an article about the importance of walking and the health benefits you would receive if you walked a minimum of ten minutes a day. You're inspired! You begin day one and two with enthusiasm and then by day five you start to wane. You start saying to yourself, “Maybe I don’t have to walk every day. Maybe just every other day, maybe just once a week.” Soon your back to not walking. Sound familiar?
One way to stop ‘giving up’ is to take a different approach such as, “It’s important for me to walk 10 minutes a day, not because someone said so, but because it is healthy for me. I am responsible for my own health and walking will help me lose weight, strengthen my muscles, make me feel better, help me sleep better and so on.” This is not something someone else is telling you. You are telling this to you. You have now taken the first step, pardon the pun, to realizing your goal of walking 10 minutes a day.
Once you commit to walking daily for a minimum of ten days without missing a day and you do it, you are now actually beginning to reinforce your behaviour and sticking with your plan. It is this stick-to-it process that is hardest for most people – but if you want your walking goal to succeed you must do it at a minimum for ten days (and even longer for some of us, as it takes about three weeks to change some of our behaviors).
Now you are entering the realm of momentum. You are beginning to achieve something for yourself. You are inspired and motivated from within - it is you motivating and inspiring yourself not someone or something outside of you. You now want to keep walking because you have done something to reinforce a more healthful habit. Not only that you are beginning to see the results of your efforts. So It is not the effort of others that inspires it is your own efforts and results that inspire.
Let’s look at this momentum thing from a different perspective. Every time you break a promise to yourself it usually bothers you. It’s there in the back of your mind and after a while you start doubting yourself and wondering if you can achieve your goals. And if you do this often you let yourself down and your confidence about achieving goals is lessened.
Here’s the key, when you keep your promise to yourself you strengthen your self-respect and build your confidence and every day that you take action you are gaining momentum.
As you strengthen your momentum, you are strengthening your stamina for what you are doing and from that point on it is matter of reinforcing your activity and improving it. As time passes you will find you have improved and your results will continue to inspire you to continue to achieve more. Your motivation is now driving you from within. And this is the motivation that counts.
You no longer need someone to motivate you. You are using your own progress and achievements and you are inspiring yourself in the process. You have now set a new pattern of behavior, and once that pattern has set you have taken on a new habit.
Now let’s take this scenario and put it into the context of busy people. Busy people can easily be juggling many roles in life, such as a parent, a career, and managing side hustles. Added to their roles they have the pressures from having enough money to pay the bills, maintaining healthy work relationships and the anxieties of everyday living.
What this busy person requires is self-commitment – a commitment to apply the new habit coupled with self-discipline and a continued emphasis on the desired outcome.
Isn’t this true with whatever we do in life? We need to commit and move forward. It is less about making comparisons with others and more about doing what is necessary on a daily basis for ourselves until we achieve the necessary momentum to make the difference. Once we have that in place it becomes a matter of improving the behavior so that we end up becoming a better version of ourselves. With each improvement we become more satisfied in mind, body and spirit.
In conclusion, become responsible and accountable for driving your own inspiration and motivation and clothe yourself with the discipline to make it happen. By acting in this way you will be gaining momentum in all that you do.
As always folks take care, keep safe and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Some of us often experience someone who doesn’t respect the boundaries we have set and thus leaving us feeling unsettled. We can consider these people as toxic for us. So how do we deal with them?
The first thing to remember is that we can’t change other people’s behaviour. We can only change our own. This means there is no quick fix to making people respect your boundaries. What you can do is sort out the choices you have on how you will respond to your boundary intrusions.
Is there room for compromise?
Some of our boundaries are more important than others. This suggests you set priorities on your boundaries and know which ones violate your values. With this in mind it is important to know the ones you are willing to compromise or negotiate. A willingness to compromise can be a good thing, for instance when you have a new hire or in a new relationship, where each of you are adjusting. This doesn’t mean, however, that you abandon your needs to please them.
Is it time to leave?
Here is a critical question you need to ask yourself, “Is it time to leave or disengage from someone who is violating my important boundaries?” Often we continue working or dealing with someone in the hopes that he or she will change. In hindsight this proves not to be the case. People don’t change because we want them to, they change because they want to. And if they do not want to change then our choice is to live with the person and put up with situation, or use disengagement strategies like:
The basic premise here is you don’t have to put up with people who don’t make you feel good about yourself. Toxic people are not good for your physical, mental and emotional health. They may also harm you spiritually without you even realizing it. Surround yourself with people who support you and what you stand for rather than those who leave you depressed, anxious, frustrated, angry or confused.
Remember, you are in charge of you!
Your approach to your personal boundaries is really up to you. You need to understand that more often than not difficult people just want you to believe that you are the problem – you are just overreacting or being too sensitive. Let them think that way but you don’t have to agree with them or allow them to impact your boundaries. You are in charge of You, no one else is.
When you are caught in a toxic relationship whether at work, at home or in social settings, ask yourself these questions:
In conclusion looking after your personal wellbeing should always be a priority for you and setting boundaries is important in caring for yourself. After all one can only give to another if one is willing to give to oneself. This is a takeoff on the message, “love others as you love yourself.” We need to care for ourselves, our own respect, in proportion to caring for others.
If you have further questions or want to explore this further let me know by pressing the button below and we can set up a virtual face-to-face meeting to explore your situation and whether I am the right person to help you.
Thanks for reading and as always,
Stay safe, keep healthy and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Is it time to take care of yourself? What a question? Of course you do, or at least you think you do. What you may not realize, however, is that the level of care you give yourself is below par and may even be bordering on neglect. Certainly there are circumstances that may pressure you to spend less time on yourself than you would prefer but there are usually several reasons for this. They could include telling yourself:
You Are Selfless
When we always put the needs of everyone else before our own, we are demonstrating a classic example of self-neglect. This is a prescription for disaster, possible burn out or resenting doing things for others altogether.
An over extension of selflessness often shows up in the workplace, for example you feel compelled to go to work even when you are feeling ill, have a cold or the flue, or worse you have the symptoms of COVID 19.
I’m not talking about a slight headache or feeling a bit under the weather. But lets face it some people go to work when they have a fever, their eyes are running, they’re coughing and sneezing and their throat is sore. Hey, you are not indispensable and if you are feeling this way, you have a legitimate reason to avoid the workplace, after all you are not indispensable. Others will fill in for you. When you attend work in this condition there is no doubt you will spread those horrible little germs to your colleagues, who will not appreciate your free offer.
When I refer to selflessness I’m not referring to selfishness. Let’s be realistic- you have to put yourself first sometimes. Compassion includes self-compassion. In fact that may be the reasoning behind the saying “love your neighbor as yourself.” Just consider would you like to be put in this position? Do you want your colleague to spread their germs to you.
If you continually put others first to the neglect of your own health and wellbeing you may end up unable to do anything for anyone not to mention resenting the very people you care for. And that isn’t a healthy situation to be in. So,
Tend To Your Appearance
If you feel guilty or just plain lazy about tending to your appearance, your may be avoiding your own self-care. You can spend some time on yourself such as spending an extra twenty minutes in a hot shower, taking time for pedicures, enjoying a massage, keeping fit, or whatever special bodily treatment makes you feel better.
These are not self-indulgent acts when done in moderation. They are ingredients for your overall selfcare and ways to boost your self-esteem.
Another typical symptom of self-neglect could be consistently dressing down in a way that is not appropriate for the occasion.
Keep your clothes pressed and neat and dress in a way that gives the impression that you care about yourself. Take some time on your weekends to arrange your outfits for the coming week. If you like wearing the same thing make sure it fits comfortably and is presentable, as an example Steve Jobs wore the same black turtleneck sweater and jeans to the office and promotions but they suited him and looked neat on him.
Remember when it comes to your appearance you are special so dress for the part. Often your outside represents what you feel on the inside.
You Lack Friends
Lacking a small circle of tightly-knit friends could be another obvious symptom of poor self-care. Our close friends are available to us in good times and in turbulent times so they can be invaluable to our well-being.
We are social beings so developing positive relationships are healthy for us and for our overall wellness. Close friends, even one close friend, will:
You Lack Purpose
There are people who seem to have everything, but they still have a deep void within them. For instance someone you know may be outgoing, have a home, a family around them, and money in the bank, but still feel an emptiness inside. This could mean they are feeling unfulfilled because they never had the chance to complete their education, or to pursue a passion they had wanted, or maybe their career doesn’t give them the same satisfaction that it once did.
Are you in this same predicament?
Consider what is happening to you and determine if now is the time for you to make a significant change in your life. Don’t wait for a better time because there is never a better time. People wait and wait and then look back and discover that time has passed them by.
If you feel listless because you lack a sense of purpose search within yourself to discover something meaningful that represents who you are and what you want to become and go after it. The reality is no one can do this for you. Only you. Here are a few hints that may help you:
You Don’t Exercise
This is one of the more serious symptoms of poor self-care, as it directly affects your physical, mental, emotional and even your spiritual well-being. Lack of exercise negatively impacts your overall health, reduces quality of life, and harms your appearance.
Exercise performed just 3 times weekly can help you maintain a healthy bodyweight and body composition and is one of the best things you can give yourself. You really don’t have to become a fitness expert, just do something to move your body. Take in some of the benefits of physical exercise and determine what you will do to improve your exercise routine. For instance some of the benefits of exercise include:
You Feel Life Is A Chore
Some people have lost their zest for life, they no longer feel a sense of joy within themselves. If you feel this way it may be one more symptom of your disregard for yourself. Rather than experiencing the pleasures of life you go through the motions of living without finding that spark of joy in your everyday moments.
A few signs that you consider your life a chore could be the simple things like you don’t stop to take in the scenery on your way to work, you don’t experience joy from little things your kids or grandkids may do, and you only look forward to going to bed.
Feeling as if life has no real purpose for you can be not only sad, but kick starts a cycle of negativity and can spiral into depression. This is when you may want to consider:
It would seem logical that self-care should be second nature to us yet people can replace them with habits that don’t fulfill them and they go through life like a robot. If you find yourself in such a situation it may be time to wake up and do something about it.
You need to be selfish sometimes about your own needs and desires so that you can be unselfish towards others.
If you find you are not finding a sense of purpose or need to revitalize your purpose let me know by clicking on the button below.
Thank you for reading and always take care and continue on your journey to becoming the best version of yourself.
When we hear about goals, they often sound like something that changes year to year, and frequently has to do with money, weight loss and business. But here are six goals that every person should strive toward every day. They are designed to bring you joy and inner peace. When you gaze back on your life and you lived these outcomes you will be content that you lived a life of goodness.
#1: True Happiness
Happiness is not really a destination as much as it is a state of mind. A billionaire could be miserable about what they don’t have, while a homeless dude could be happy to score a hot shower and a cooked meal at the local shelter.
Happiness is all about perspective. While goals relating to tangible things like money can prove unsatisfying quests, the search for genuine happiness is one that will help you gain a more fulfilled and serene life.
This is not to say that money isn’t important, because it is in order for people to survive and thrive in this world. Here money is put into perspective, not as an end unto itself, but a means to an end and the more important quest is find that sweet spot where true happiness reigns.
From business to interpersonal relationships, when you live life with honesty and commitment to ethical values, you’ll find that a rewarding sense of wholeness awaits you. Integrity is a goal that will help you feel like you’re making the world a better place with your presence.
Integrity comes from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole and complete. It means a sense of wholeness or completeness. It is defined as ‘an undivided or unbroken completeness’, or ‘a state of being complete or whole.’ When we apply it to people we describe them as living by their values and principles.
True integrity and goodness go hand in hand. That is why people who live with integrity are referred to as ‘good people’. We are called to join their ranks.
You can work away at a nine-to-five job until you retire, but chances are that’s not going to make you live life to the fullest. You’ll become one of those faceless people in the crowd who live for the weekend—then trudge back to work come Monday morning, or whenever your schedule calls you.
Rather than just filling space or being a cog in the economic wheel take the time to reflect on who you are, your strengths, weaknesses, skill sets and your purpose. Move from your comfort zone and become the person you were meant to be. Whether it’s learning to find meaning within your work, discovering a new career path that challenges you, engaging with some satisfying hobbies or with the needy within your community, fulfillment in life is a great goal.
#4: Connection With Others
Human beings are social creatures, so forging good relationships is the key to thriving and feeling happy. Family, professional, and personal relationships are all crucial components to providing a sense of connectedness with the rest of humanity—so make good friendships and foster your relationship with your family.
Dalai Lama XIV once said, “We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of other’s actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from other’s activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”
At the same time, relationships do need boundaries, so learning how to create healthy interactions is also crucial for developing your sense of identity. The boundaries you set are crucial for ensuring you take care of yourself so that you can care for others.
Nobody can be successful in life if they’re down in the dumps, so fostering a sense of self-worth is an esteemed goal that every person should pursue. There are many simple ways to do this—for example, treating yourself with dignity and respect, keeping a positive attitude, taking care of your body and mind, and presenting yourself in an appropriate manner.
Personal development is also important to developing a sense of worth, because with knowledge and continuous improvement comes better opportunities and a sense of security and overall wellbeing.
You can only connect with the real world when you are spiritually connected on the inside. Spend some quiet time and discover the Divine within you and spread the goodness you discover with others. It will make the world a better place and bring you inner peace.
As always folks keep healthy, stay safe and become the best version of yourself,
Thank you for reading
Spring is a great time to clear away some of the clutter that may be enveloping your life. Clutter takes us away from focus. Of course some of my creative friends are ok with clutter, but for many of us clutter causes a huge distraction and takes us off point. By the way clutter, or a “temporary mess”, is fine if you are working on a project, artistic or otherwise. All you need to do is clean up when you’re done with it. Here are some decluttering tips for your consideration.
Clean Up Your Workstation: Have you caught the disease called the ‘Messy Desk Syndrome’ (MDS)? Many homebased business desks look like a cyclone just passed through. One can’t see the desktop due to the clutter. What does your desk look like? Does it have old files, papers, ink for the printer, coffee cup, pens, letter opener, printer, books, computer paraphernalia such as connections and wires, batteries, stapler, disks and on and on…
A messy desk is a psychological distraction, and those distractions take away your ability to focus.
Depending on your business there is another desktop that may be cluttered – your virtual desktop. Is your screen cluttered with files, word documents, PowerPoint files, videos, pictures, and what have you? The virtual desktop is also a disrupter. While we are at it, are emails interrupting you as you work away on a project.
Control Your Emails: Email clutter can definitely cause mental clutter. You have to scroll and scroll through useless emails just to find the ones you’re after. Beyond that, it can be highly distracted to have that number of unread emails on your email icon, reminding you that you need to sort through them.
Often people don’t think about the mental stress their chaotic inbox is causing them. Check your email regularly, being sure to delete the ones you don’t need or want. Unsubscribe from the useless marketing emails cluttering up your email and do a spring cleaning of your inbox. You’ll be amazed at the less mental stress it causes you.
Learn to Say ‘No”: You will have to learn to say ‘no’ to demands on your life and time that create upheaval. Frequently having to sacrifice yourself for others is taxing on your spirit and the only way to stop it from happening is to say ‘no.’ Yes, there are a few people who will be stunned or even frustrated that you have decided to put yourself first but do not allow their opinion to sway you. If they genuinely care about you, they will understand and be supportive of your decision.
Build Lists: Nothing helps to declutter your brain quite like lists. Lists have an amazing way of allowing you to empty your mind of all the things you’re thinking about or have to do without letting you forget them.
Get in the habit of making not only to-do lists but also lists of thoughts or ideas you have that have also been cluttering your brain. This will allow you to better focus on the task at hand, boosting your productivity.
Schedule Your Time: A lot of what clutters our minds regularly is all the things we have to get done and the short time in which we have to do it. While making to-do lists, as we mentioned earlier, can be helpful with this, it’s far more helpful to schedule your time appropriately.
Spend some time each day making a schedule for all you need to get done and the time you have to do it in. Break up larger tasks across a few days instead of trying to get it all done at once. Get the easy stuff out of the way first so you have more time to devote to the more difficult and time-consuming tasks.
Take Inventory of Your Life: It may be time to declutter the world around you. Ridding yourself of the things you are no longer using can do a lot to shift your physical and emotional well-being. This action begins taking inventory of all of the stuff in your world and validating which items are a functional part of your life. If something is no longer a useful part of your life, consider donating them to a charity or tossing it out.
Spring Clean Lifestyle: Decluttering your life can be important. It maximizes what you are able to do in a day and helps to ensure that everything that you do in a day is worth getting done. It doesn’t just mean cutting things out of your schedule, it means visualizing your day-to-day agenda and talking to other people in your life to make everything fit.
Live More Efficiently: You may also find that having a tidier home means living a more orderly life.
If you have a lot of pans in the fire, you may feel that you don’t have time to keep a spotless kitchen. However, decluttering your home makes it easier for you to find the things that you need to complete the task at hand. You may also find yourself more focused and inspired to do your work if you are in a more organized environment.
As always folks stay safe, keep well and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
“ Please Declutter your Life”, new eBook coming your way in April.
“Home Office Business Stress: Causes and Cures”
“Stressology 200: Stress Remedies For Today”
“A Beginners Guide To Self-Discipline”
Compassion comes from the heart. It is soulful and meaningful and encourages us to care for others. It is so powerful that even a portion of the brain lights up when someone cares for others. It has a nurturing effect on the body and causes the release of oxytocin, which in turn causes a release of dopamine (lighting up the reward center of the brain) and serotonin (which reduces anxiety).
Now too much compassion from witnessing repeated pain, distress and even death can cause an overload of the nervous system. Some experts refer to this as ‘compassion fatigue” while others refer to it as “empathy fatigue.” However you refer to it we must keep in mind that we need to look after ourselves and be self-compassionate as after all we cannot look after others if we don’t look after ourselves. We can witness this overload to the point of burnout at all levels within the medical profession as they deal with the devastating effects of COVID.
This article does not deal with ‘compassion fatigue’ or ‘burnout’ but looks at compassion from a different perspective, that of developing greater compassion within ourselves – compassion can be learned and developed if we allow it to happen. Here are four ways to strengthen our compassionate muscle.
1. Animal Therapy: Animal therapy is often used as a way to teach people about compassion. It can be used with those who have the most hardened of hearts with those who just want to grow in compassion. Sometimes people don’t like to use the term ‘animal therapy’ in the course of everyday language. Let’s just say animals as pets can teach us something about unconditional love.
When it comes to animal therapy however, there are plenty of experiments where animals have helped individuals come to terms with serious relational difficulties. One of my experiences included working within a Correctional Centre where I learned about the effect dogs had on hardened criminals. The unconditional love of dogs began to slowly thaw their hardened heart. It taught them to care for others and in turn these men received an unconditional response of gratitude and affection. Something that they had never, or very rarely received, in their past.
Animals have long been used to help individuals with various mental and physical illnesses because they have an uncanny sensitivity to the human condition. However even if you are not ill they will show you their affection and care. Having an animal as a pet may just be what you need to nurture your compassionate heart.
2. Spiritual Reading: Reading and reflecting on how others have expressed a compassionate outreach causes us to ponder on our own behaviour. These giants of compassion can become role models for us to emulate. Find biographies about men and women who care for others and reflect on how they have lived compassionate lives. Many people come to mind: Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Socrates, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus the Christ, Buddha and Jane Goodall (see also this post)
Spiritual or reflective reading is not something one does quickly – it’s not novel reading, although many novels may cause us to ponder and wonder about our own spirituality and compassionate outreach.
3. Living With Your Pain: I have always been struck by people who have experienced much pain and suffering. I marvel at how they have turned their painful experience into an inner peace and joy and then found ways to extend a compassionate outreach to others. A friend of mine was like that. She was seriously injured in a car accident which left her in a wheelchair and a life of pain and suffering. Every time I visited her, she never once dwelled on herself but always greeted me with a smile, kindness, joy and compassion. She genuinely cared for others from the core of her being. She had worked through her own pain and suffering to ‘suffer’ with others.
We all experience pain and suffering, maybe not as great as my friend but we have physical and mental bumps and bruises along the journey of life. We can approach them as ‘poor me’ or accept them as lessons on how to ‘suffer with others.” After all isn’t that what compassion is all about taking on the mantle of ‘suffering with others’.
This is not an easy task as we are asking ourselves to accept our condition and turn it into something else – or use it as a lesson to help us care deeply for others. It is all the more difficult when we are in the throes of pain, and it is precisely in that state when we have the potential to subjugate our own pain and suffering so that we can relate in real ways to the suffering of others. (Another blog dealing with the same subject can be found here.)
4. Reflective Prayer: Sometimes those of us who are privileged lose sight of those who are less fortunate. We don’t need to have a lot of money to become blind. We just forget to look and listen to the pain and suffering around us. Reflective prayer softens our hardened hearts. Reflective prayer touches a spiritual core both within us and beyond us. It teaches us how to ‘suffer with others.’
How so? In silence we look deeply within and recognize that pain and suffering is all around us, if we but look. And if we are honest we can even find our own pain and suffering as mirroring those of others.
There are those who are homeless, hungry, poor, destitute, lonely… we can find them on our streets, in schools, at foodbanks, in care facilities, hospices, hospitals, and workplaces. Reflective prayer asks us to open our eyes and ears to look at them and hear their cry. It urges us to do something to alleviate their suffering – it moves us to action.
Reflective prayer is active silence - a silence that moves us to action. It usually has four steps:
From silence we move to compassionate action.
Reflective prayer can be used by anyone as we all have a spiritual self. Those who don’t believe in a higher power, a God, can turn inward using the same four steps. Those who believe in a higher power or God recognize that their spirit is born out of a shared Love and that shared love must extend to others.
In conclusion there are many ways in which we can strengthen our compassionate self. This article explains four, Animal therapy, spiritual reading, working through pain, and reflective prayer. The real question individuals need to ask is, “How do I grow my compassionate heart?” or more importantly “How do I extend myself to others in a compassionate way?”
You may also be interested in becoming a member of the FORTIS MEMBERSHIP where we continue to explore the depths of 8 dimensions of health and wellness.
As always folks, keep well, stay safe, and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Thank you for reading,
Simply put purpose gives us a reason to wake up in the morning and contributes to living a life of fulfillment. When people find their purpose it often becomes a life changing decision for them. They can no longer take things for granted and shirk responsibility. It spurs them to become accountable for their actions and solidifies their integrity.
At the beginning of every year we receive a reminder gift to revisit our sense of purpose. But why is purpose so important? Why could it be a life changing decision for us? Here are 10 reasons to help us understand why.
1. Purpose contributes to a life based on our values, and this is a bit of a conundrum because our values often guide our purpose. You see our purpose tells us why we do what it is that we do, and our values guide us as we carry out that purpose.
2. Purpose stimulates our passion towards fulfilling our goals. It spurs us, goads and pushes us to get things done because we just want to get it done, It’s part of who we are and what excites and motivates us.
3. Purpose helps bring focus to our lives. Without purpose we find we chase every new thing that comes along, thinking that the next best thing is what will fill the void in our lives. But it doesn’t, our purpose does though.
4. Purpose brings clarity to our life. And with clarity we know what to keep and what to let go – and in many ways it allows us to live more simply.
5. Purpose brings meaning and direction to our life because anything we do around our personal purpose has meaning for us. Rather than living a random existence, purpose allows us to zero in on what we hold dear at our deepest level and gives credence to respecting ourselves and others. It is bound up with what we believe as being true and reflects our spiritual core towards others. And that inner core is on fire with love and that love drives us to care for ourselves so that we can care for others.
6. Purpose brings us a sense of gratification whether it is through our work or our personal activities. Simply put when we seek a life of purpose, especially when it is packaged with serving others, we get a sense of gratitude and self-fulfillment.
7. Purpose ensures that we live our lives according to what we think it should be rather than what someone thinks our purpose we should be. When we know our purpose, we also know who we are and we understand our ‘why’ – our reason for living. This ensures we live a life that is based on personal integrity and wholesomeness.
8. Purpose brings more structure to our lives as it can drive our decisions, choices, and the actions we take. If something doesn’t fit within our stated purpose we know what discard, and more importantly we know what is the best choice and action we should take.
9. Purpose can offer a fulfilling life, which in turn strengthens our self-worth. When we have self-worth we can extend ourselves to others with purpose. Tom Krause once said, "Your purpose in life is to use your gifts and talents to help other people. Your journey in life teaches you how to do that."
10. Finally, Living with purpose promotes joy. Imagine if you got up every morning to a day that you dread. Maybe you hate your job or whatever it is you do all day. If this was you it would mean that your daily activities don’t align with your sense of purpose. It also means that you are unlikely to be true to yourself or the values that you hold. But if you decided to design your day around your purpose, you would no doubt greet the day with new and exciting vigor.
This doesn’t mean that everything is always rosy or that we won’t meet challenges along the way. What it does mean is that when we approach life with an overall purposeful mindset and when purpose is given to goodness it gives us a sense of joy.
As always folks keep safe, be well and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Chances are you read that title and chuckled. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s as doable as Santa going down millions of chimneys on Christmas Eve.” Ah, but he does so maybe the title is not so far off.
What if you had some science-backed techniques to help you? It might make your effort a bit easier. Read the 10 top ways to avoid gaining weight and see what works for you.
You know that the festive season brings great parties and delicious food. So, pretending that you’re going to eat only one Christmas cookie is the exact opposite of realistic.
Instead of going all out, be honest with yourself. Acknowledge that you’re going to eat more than you normally do and that you need to set some boundaries.
Impartial goals are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. A gift you can give yourself is to improve the way you consume food, so set some boundaries and one or two goals for yourself.
Write down attainable goals and post them on your cupboard or fridge. Seeing them each day re-enforces your desire to be realistic and honest with yourself.
Make Smart Choices
An hour before heading out to a party or event, snack on some high-fiber foods, veggies, and proteins. All these will keep you feeling full for longer.
Then, once you’re at the event, use smaller plates. You’ll be forced to eat smaller portions.
Another smart choice is to chew slowly. We know that parties aren’t the best place to savor each bite. In short, be mindful of your eating. Give it a try, you’ll notice how delicious everything is and you’ll feel full quicker.
Give Out Parting Gifts
When we throw a party we often have piles of leftovers in the kitchen. Instead of getting stuck with the leftovers, why not pass them out as parting gifts?
You can invest in some disposable food containers, fill them up, and hand them out as your guests are leaving. Even better, pick reusable containers with a holiday theme to give your guests an extra parting gift.
Go Easy On The Alcohol
When you consume alcoholic beverages, you’re loading up on extra calories without even realizing it. For example, a regular beer has about 153 calories, while a glass of wine has about 133 calories.
Not only that, but excessive drinking makes you act irresponsibly, especially around food. So, let’s say in normal circumstances you eat just a couple of snacks periodically.
When you’re inebriated, however, you’re more likely to take bigger risks. You may very well end up gobbling several cookies at one sitting, rather than just a couple as you normally would.
If you don’t feel right about giving your guests leftovers, you can keep the extras. But don’t keep them in the fridge. Freeze them instead.
You’ll be less likely to reach for second helpings. Plus, you’ll have a ready-to-serve dinner all set for a later date.
Water is often under-appreciated and under-rated. What do you think about that? It is colorless and odorless yet it gives us several health benefits.
Since this article is about avoiding weight gain, let’s start with that. Drinking water regularly throughout the day will help you lose weight. It makes you feel satisfied, so you don’t eat as much.
More importantly, it’s not filled with artificial sugars that increase your caloric intake. Limit yourself to one glass of soda, juice, or wine each day. An excellent trick here is to sip your special drink rather than gulp it down. Carry a half glass around when circulating among guests or putting your hand over your drink signaling that you are not ready for a refill.
Then, for the rest of the day or evening, stick to water. You’ll start to feel less on edge and worn out because water washes out toxins from your body.
Can chewing gum actually curb your appetite? The science is inconclusive about this one.
But it’s a good way to get your mind off of all the food and sweets. Pop a bit of gum in your mouth after treating yourself with a sweet thing and you will be less inclined to help yourself to a second portion..
If you prefer hard candy to chewing gum, that’s okay too. Just remember to get the sugar-free kind so you’re not harming your teeth.
Turn Off the TV
Eating while you’re watching TV has been linked to overeating and making poor food choices. You get sucked into whatever you’re watching. Then, before you know it, that newly opened bag of chips is now a loose pile of crumbs.
It’s not only mindless watching that gets you. It’s also all those commercials for processed snacks and sugary drinks that increase our cravings for low-nutrient junk foods.
Get Your Steps In
Not all of us can go to the gym three days a week during the holidays. There’s too much on our plates as it is! A rather apt pun for this time of the year.
So, to make up for it, you have to make a conscious decision to stay active. Why not use the stairs instead of the elevator? How about parking far from the mall entrance so you have to walk a few more steps than normal?
Some people think this is a waste of time, but it is one way to keep fit when you are actually pressed for time.
It’ll help burn off those extra calories. Plus, any type of physical exercise reduces stress and pent-up tension you may be feeling due to all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
The holiday season is merry and bright. It’s also full of stress and anxiety for many.
The problem is that too much stress usually triggers cravings and overeating. And what’s the first thing you’re going to reach for when you’re anxious and tense? Sugary snacks packed with carbs, of course.
Studies show that there’s a direct link between stress-related eating and obesity. So, instead of letting the holiday strain get to you, try some de-stressors. This can be as simple as five minutes of doing mindful meditation or reading your favorite book.
If you prefer something more hands-on, why not treat yourself to something special. It needn’t be a big thing just something that will release a bit of tension for you. a facial. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. You deserve it!
I hope this has been helpful for you as you move into this festive season.
Thank you for reading and as always,
Stay safe, keep well and continue becoming the best version of yourself,
Every decision that you make helps shape your life, but some are more pivotal than others. For example, choosing a donut for breakfast instead of fruit is not going to have the same impact as starting an internet or a ‘bricks and mortar’ business over a job.
The decisions you make today might affect your life immediately, it might be a week away or even a decade from now. It might be a ripple effect or it could be cumulative. With that in mind, let's discuss six of the most pivotal life decisions you will make.
You might be surprised that this is the number one decision, but it's one you make early on. At least, it should be. How much of your paycheck is auto paid into your retirement fund? The majority of people delay this for far too long which is why the majority of people are not prepared for retirement.
Unless you want to work a part-time job in your 70s because you have to, then you should look at your budget and up the ante. If the world was perfect, you would dedicate 25% of your monthly salary to your retirement fund, but as we all know that isn't always possible. Whatever your number is, you need to set up an automatic payment so you never see it. It's a lot easier to cope when it never lands in your main account.
Now be careful here and distinguish between need and want. You may know many elderly men and women who are working and running businesses well into their eighties, not because they need to but because they want to. Such activities keep them engaged in their community whether that be where they live or virtually where they don’t.
This is two-fold because the first pivotal career decision you make is what career to embark on. This generally starts with college and selecting your major, entering a trade school, or skipping continued education altogether and starting a business. Regardless of the direction you take, you have to decide what you want to do with your life.
The second pivotal career decision you make is when you realize you got it wrong the first time and have to decide how to change it. Maybe you want to start over entirely and return to school. Perhaps you want to chase another position in a different company or change industries. Or, maybe you want to start a business, virtual or otherwise.
Whatever it is, this is perhaps an even more challenging situation than the first because by this point in your life you have bills, financial expectations, and responsibilities that make everything feel impossible, but nothing is impossible. You just need to clarify where you want to go and how to get there.
Whenever you are making a life decision of this nature, consider hiring a coach to help you work through your mind confusion and get on the right path.
Where you live is also a pivotal decision. Do you move out of state to the big city where you have more career options? Do you stay closer to your family even though your room for growth will be limited? Those are big factors to consider and even if you do choose the big city, will you be able to afford the cost of living there? Once you know the location you have to decide whether to buy or rent. It's not always a choice you get to make, many people are forced into renting especially in areas where housing costs are rising.
Marriage is a big decision. If it doesn't work out you can divorce but that can be complicated for finances, children, extended families as well as the personal emotions caught up in the process. Regardless of the outcome, if you choose to marry and who you choose to marry will have a massive impact on your life.
Your decision to have a family or to not have a family is also something that will heavily impact your life. Adding children to the mix is perhaps one of the biggest life-changing events you can experience. The thing is, you won't really know whether it's the right decision for you until you're in it.
There is no perfect time to have a family because if you wait for the perfect time, it will never come. When/If you choose to embark on the journey of parenthood, it will impact how you spend your time, your career, your vacation plans, and literally every aspect of your life.
6. The Good
There is one more life changing decision that people don't often talk about and may be more important than any of the previous five - that decision is one of commitment to a way of life that flows from deep within - a following of the Divine Spirit. A Spirit that challenges us, if we but listen deeply, to move in the direction of doing 'good' for others without malice. It is a challenge borne out of love, patience, forgiveness and understanding. The Spirit waits for us to move toward the 'good' and if the decisions we make don't move us in that direction we need to ask ourselves whether the decision is right for us.
These are six of the biggest decisions in life you will make, but each leads to more decisions as we journey through life. Choose wisely and when you are faced with one of them don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. This will not be a weakness on your part, but a strength because it will show that you want to make the right choice and mitigate against false hope and potential disappointments.
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe, keep well and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Human uniqueness is truly the spice of life. All people are different from each other in millions of different ways. However, sometimes these differences may seem difficult for us to accept. For many people these differences are viewed as imperfections, leaving them feeling self-conscious and breaking down their confidence.
Learning to embrace our differences–including our imperfections–is a necessary part of living a fulfilling life.
Mastering the art of self-acceptance and embracing our imperfections takes time and practice, but with some effort, we can learn to be true to ourselves by accepting and embracing what makes us unique.
So how do we do this? Well here are three ways.
Allow ourselves the freedom of not being totally in control over everything that happens in our lives.
People set goals that focus on changing different aspects of themselves all the time. For example, a hefty majority of New Year’s resolutions usually trend around fitness, weight loss, or some other aspiration to make a “change for the better” in some area of life.
These are all wonderful goals to set, but it’s important to understand that you can’t always change every aspect of yourself. Some things, like facets of your personality, make you unique and are usually considered a “non-negotiable” part of your personality.
Rather than setting impossible goals or forcing a strict pathway toward attempting to make a change that won’t happen anyway, we need to learn to accept the fact that we can’t have total control over everything. That might be scary but it is a basic tenant of life.
Also, we need to learn to embrace the freedom of letting go and learning to accept ourselves by embracing imperfections–not fighting them. Not letting them control us.
I’m not advocating a laissez-faire attitude here. Goals help us move forward, but don’t be a perfectionist in the process. Remember we are not perfect and can’t control everything that comes our way.
Imperfections don’t define who we are, they are but one facet of who we are.
Remember that everyone is flawed and makes mistakes sometimes.
Despite what our friends’ and our social media feeds might lead us to believe, there is not one single soul on this planet who is perfect.
At some point, everyone makes a mistake. Everyone has flaws or aspects of themselves they don’t like. While it’s unpleasant to address feelings about imperfections, it’s a very natural and normal part of human existence.
If you’re ever feeling isolated because of an imperfection, remember that you’re probably not the only person out there with a similar gripe! Not only do folks have tons of differing imperfections, but many can relate because they claim the same imperfections as you. When you’re feeling down about an imperfection, remember that you are not experiencing it alone–many others can relate to your complaints.
And when you are learning to embrace your imperfection, remember that you’re not on a lonely island, but rather part of a community who understands why that imperfection is tough to accept and overcome.
All this means is that we need to learn how to share our imperfections with others without feeling incompetent or thinking less of ourselves.
Accepting of self, including our imperfections, actually strengthens our confidence rather than weakens it.
We need to choose to stop comparing ourselves with others.
When we see someone succeeding or seemingly living a perfect life, it’s tough for us to resist comparing our life to theirs. However, it’s important to remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Rather than coming to grips with what we have, let’s not don’t get too enthralled by someone else’s life.
When we spend all our time comparing our life to someone else’s, there’s a good chance we’re not seeing the “whole picture” of the other person.
For example, you may see a friend’s best moments plastered all over their social media, but it’s vital to remember that these kinds of views into another person’s life are like a special highlight reel. You don’t see them posting about their sadness, mistakes, and the drama they may be experiencing. Often they don’t post these for everyone to see.
In conclusion: Let go of the perfectionist attitude that states that we are perfect even though we are not. We can’t control everything so let’s not try. There are others that experience the imperfections we experience so we are not alone. We can help each other in accepting who we are and overcome any set back we may experience.
And finally let’s not compare our life’s journey to others When we’re too focused on someone else’s story, we forget all about our own. When we choose to stop comparing ourselves to others, we are giving ourselves the freedom to focus on our own true self including our imperfections.
As always folks be well, stay safe and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
Thanks for reading,