Everyone is leading their own unique life and its very important for that fact to be realized and respected. Something that works exceedingly well for one person might send another person’s whole day into a tailspin. We all have our own little approach to our daily lives…our own needs, schedules, responsibilities, etc. There are families, children, jobs, commuting, where we live, what our jobs or responsibilities are, income, transportation, dietary needs, a hundred different variables in each of our lives.
Often times, even our close family and friends lead vastly different lives than we do which can easily influence our own decisions and choices. Such things combined with the multitude of sometimes-consistent and sometimes-conflicting information streaming into our consciousness on daily basis can create overwhelming confusion. We start to generate unfortunate misconceptions, make innocent mistakes, get less-than-desired results, and wonder what the heck went wrong.
The thing that is going wrong in these situations is not determining what works right for you.
Remember Goldie Locks and the Three Bears? She messed around with all the options available to her until she knew what was “just right” and then she was all set! Until the bears got home of course, but that’s beside the point….
We have to seek out and properly determine what sort of lifestyle changes we can make to improve our present situations without sending ourselves and our families into some chaotic overhaul that will surely be rejected.
Here are eight ways to do that:
1. Make a list of your favorite things.
Foods, drinks, past-times, hobbies, activities, etc. No need to get expansive and over-think it, just jot down the things that you enjoy the most and the things you would choose first to eat, drink, learn, or do. Once you’ve got them, make an adjoining list of healthier or more productive alternatives for each item on your list. If you get stuck and can’t think of an alternative for something, just Google it or ask someone that you can count on for some good ideas.
2. Take advantage of the free gym passes that all the major gyms offer on their websites to people considering a membership.
This way you can see what days and are ideal for you. You can see if your best time is early mornings before anyone else is awake, or during a lunch hour, before a swing shift, right after work, before bed, etc. Just print out those free passes and use them to decide what time is best for you, which gym you like most, and which is most conveniently located, etc.
3. If you have no interest or options in buying a gym membership, there is no doubt an alternative that suits you.
If you want more intense or personalized training then perhaps consider joining a private fitness studio. If you want more specific activity, look no further than Groupon and test drive all the classes, clubs, and studios that interest you. If you prefer to workout privately or don’t have a gym available to you for some reason, home workout programs are an awesome alternative, or in-home personal training if you can afford it. If you are unable to fit these types of things into your budget then you might want to just take up power-walking or running, hiking local trails. Try swimming in a community pool if possible, finding free or donation-only fitness classes/groups, and see what is available at your local community centers, churches, and YMCAs. And when all else fails, seek the wisdom of online communities, friends, family, or the all-knowing Google.
4. Do something good for your soul.
Create a prayer and/or meditation ritual for your daily life, go to church, read inspirational and enlightening books, develop a strong relationship with God. When you know God on a personal level, its much easier to receive the wisdom, guidance, instruction, and encouragement that God wants to give you. Don’t just pray when something bad happens or when you need help. Pray and be grateful every day, give thanks for the blessings in your life all the time, and appreciate what you have regardless of what you do not have.
5. See if you have a friend that wants to join you on a journey of positive changes.
There is undoubtedly at least one person in your close circle-of-interaction that would be happy to improve themselves. Deep down, we all want to be better people, do better things, make better choices, and live more abundant lives. Unfortunately, we’re oftentimes afraid to change or don’t know what to do differently or who we can to turn to for guidance. The truth is that in this day and age, you can turn in absolutely any direction and there will be some form of guidance for you there. We interact and connect with so many people on a daily basis and there are countless support systems, both virtual and real-life, that we can make use of. So I know that somewhere in your life there is a person that would appreciate an accountability and success partner. Look for that person…perhaps they are looking for you too.
6. Write things down.
Do NOT get all obsessive-compulsive about it, but do take notes in life because its a great way to keep learning and doing more. Even if you use your phone or tablet to email ideas to yourself or have productivity apps for this type of thing – the result is the same.
Write things down for several reasons. A) To ingrain a task or item to your memory. Writing things down is almost like an ultra-easy and fast way to put a sticky note on your brain. B) To sort your thoughts and prioritize things and view your mind-stuffs more objectively,almost from a third-person perspective looking down at them on a paper rather than swirling in your brain. C) To stay organized, keep on track, and remember things you hear or see that need attention or some sort of follow-up. D) To expel unnecessary “floaters” from your thought-space, such as undesirable memories or occurances that interfere with our productive thinking processes throughout the day. Like when you suddenly remember a stupid disagreement you had with your spouse four months ago and now you’re aggravated in the middle of a task or project for no good reason. Write things down, put them into a productivity app on your mobile device, get a small notebook, whatever. Just get things out of your head and into a place where you can do something with them.
7. You have to know exactly what you want. Set goals using the S.M.A.R.T system – Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Timed.
This one is important. So many of us set out to improve but don’t know what exactly “improvement” is going to mean. We don’t know where we are going, or why. You have to have those things in order to figure out how to get where you want to be. You’ve got to know what you want, what you are working toward, and how your life will be improved by your success. Be sure to know what you are seeking so you know once you have achieved it. Clearly write down your goals at least once a week, track your progress, and enjoy your successes.
8. Take a real honest assessment of your life.
What circumstances are truly unchangeable versus what circumstances might you just not be willing to change? We all have things that must be worked around and that aren’t going anywhere, like children and jobs and the like. But there are some things that we use as excuses to avoid putting in a little extra effort. And don’t get me wrong, I know that it can be pretty tough to look yourself in the mirror and tell it like it is, but you have to. Its important to separate what you can and cannot change, and then work solutions into the equation.
No matter what the excuse is – time, money, family, work, committments, whatever – there are some components of that excuse that are really and truly valid and there are some others that you have the power to change. Figure out what those changeable components are and change them.
Jot down your ideas.
Learn from experience.
Work things into your life.
Find easy, healthy alternatives to what you already love.
Just put the effort forward and be open to what the world has to offer.
QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
What do you want to change about your life?
What are 3-5 goals you could set for yourself, all across the board, for every aspect of your life?
What could you do with a week? A month? Ninety days? A year? A decade?
What does the life-of-your-dreams include?
Think about it, feel free to share here in the comments or reflect on it privately. Either way, enjoy the ideas you come up with!
© Danielle Hewitt (of Loving A Fit Life) and DanielleHewitt.com (including LovingAFitLife.com) 2011 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Danielle Hewitt and DanielleHewitt.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.