Excuses are like…

Last week I touched on being intentional with your thoughts and actions and having an attitude of gratitude. Are you taking steps every day to be in control of your thoughts, actions and emotions? It’s a challenge, sometimes an uphill one. Some days I wake up in such a funk. It takes a lot of effort to pull myself out of it. So I’m going to share with you the one way that has always been successful for me. 

EXERCISE 


Not only is physical activity good for your body, it’s good for your mind. When you engage in physical activity, the body releases endorphins into your bloodstream. Endorphins are like a natural drug for your body. Endorphins react with receptors in your brain to reduce pain receptors and increase happiness (comparable to morphine…the phrase runners high is making sense now huh) Other side effects of exercise include, increased sexual desire, better sleep, reduced anxiety or depression and increased self esteem just to name a few. 

But…exercise is hard, right? And who has time for that anyway? Are you already overweight? Does it hurt too much to exercise? Are you too busy, too tired? Gyms are expensive! Right?! How many times have statements like those above deterred you from physical activity? Too many! 

One of my first bosses once told me, ” excuses are like assholes, everybody has one, but not everybody’s stink”. It has stuck with me throughout the years. I apply it to almost everything I do. One of my favorite hashtags on Instagram is #ResultsNotExcuses. Why? Because if something is a priority, you make time for it. Everything else is just an excuse. But nobody can take away your excuses except for you. So today, I am encouraging you to drop the excuses.

Yay
I find of the most important part of exercising is setting goals for myself. Specific goals. Telling yourself that you want to start exercising and being healthy is a great start, but it is too vague. Instead, try saying I am going to exercise four times this week, and only have one cup of coffee a day. Setting specific goals will not only help you stay on track, but you will have something to actually attain.

If you have to, start slow. Find a video on YouTube or take a 20 minute walk (both free!). They have all sorts of workouts on YouTube from Yoga to HIIT. Some activity is better than no activity. Just remember to increase it every few days. I exercise to get in shape but also to increase my mood. Also the days I don’t push myself, I don’t sleep well. 

I challenge you to give exercise a shot. What are your excuses? Do you need an accountability partner? Follow me on Instagram and send me a message. We will keep each other on track. Conquer your excuses! You are stronger than your excuses! Choose to be healthy & happy starting right now. You’ve got this! We’ve got this! 

Do You Choose to be Happy?

As I mentioned in my first post the first few steps of changing your life involve the following:

  • Be purposeful with your thoughts and actions
  • Have an attitude of gratitude
  • Exercise
  • Cut out the junk

I realize I could go on and on about each of these topics. The snippets in the first post were just to wet your whistle. Hopefully you have decided to be ALL IN and are ready to delve deeper into the world that is, in your control (even though it, sometimes feels otherwise).

Are you ready? I’m ready 😉

Today lets talk about being purposeful with your thoughts and actions. You may have heard that before. You may even have an idea what it means. Or you may be like me…the person that reads “be more purposeful with your thoughts and actions” and thinks ‘Yeah! I can do that! I need to be more purposeful.’ And that is where the thought ends because you don’t really know what it means.

Thinking you need to be more purposeful with your thoughts and actions and actually being purposeful with your thoughts and actions are two very different things. So how is it you change from just knowing you should be doing something different to actually DOING something different? Well that is what I want to talk with y’all about today.

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How do you start your mornings? Are you disappointed when the urge to pee wakes you up and you have to trudge, sleepy-eyed to the bathroom? Do you think UGH my back hurts this morning, UGH I’m still tired, UGH how it is ONLY Tuesday?! Some of the negative thoughts you experience, first thing in the morning might not even occur to you. They’re second nature. You have been thinking them for so long, you no longer have to think about thinking them. Sad isn’t it? When you realize you haven’t even had control of what is going through your mind lately. But here’s the good news. You CAN AND WILL regain control if you work at it.

Yes I said work at it. Positive, intentional thinking takes practice. Takes work. Requires attention and focus. I started by purposefully stopping myself from thinking anything negative when I first wake up. Before I even get out of bed, before I reach for my phone to go through my missed notifications, I thank God for waking me up. Now you may not have a relationship with Jesus Christ but I do. Each morning I thank him for allowing me to wake another day. You may say thank you to the universe, thank you to Allah, thank you to Mother Nature. Whatever “being” you are connected to, say thank you. You have another day to live! It is a gift. What do you do when you receive a gift? YOU SAY THANK YOU! 🙂

Then find three more things to be thankful for. It might be hard at first. If you have been stuck in a rut or are feeling alone…whatever you’re going through, if you’re having a hard time finding something to be thankful for, start with the basics. “I’m thankful for this blanket to keep me warm. I’m thankful for the sleep I was able to get last night. I’m thankful for my job.” NOW don’t get me wrong…your blanket may be worn and old, you may have only gotten 3 hours of sleep, and you may not have your dream job but being thankful for the things you have will get you closer to the things you want. Why? Because positive energy begets positive energy. What you put out will come back to you. That blanket is better than no blanket at all, 3 hours of sleep may be better than the day before when you got no sleep, and your job may be an opportunity for you to receive your next opportunity. Being thankful and having an attitude of gratitude will change your life. The more thankful you are, the easier being thankful becomes.

att of grat

Being intentional with your thoughts and actions also deals with how you think about and treat yourself. I started listening to positive affirmations as I was getting ready for work in the morning. (Find them on YouTube) Repeating I am a successful person, I am leading a life of wealth and abundance, I am full of joy and compassion…sounds corny right…it felt corny too, at first. But it set me up to feel powerful and confident first thing in the morning. It changed the whole tone of my day and didn’t require me to do anything except basically tell myself how happy and awesome I am. After about day three I started feeling happy as I was repeating the words. They pumped life into my heart and boosted a part of me that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I started to believe what I was repeating. I started liking what I was seeing. I looked and felt happier, I looked and felt more confident. I was starting to like myself again and it felt AWESOME! So awesome in fact, I painted my neglected toes and waxed my neglected eyebrows (or manbrows as my loving daughter pointed out…little stinker). Any other woman can tell you how pretty a fresh coat of nail polish and some on fleek brows make you feel.

So…baby steps right. Here is what you do:

  • Say three things you’re grateful for, FIRST THING in the morning
  • Say and believe positive, affirming things about yourself
  • Treat yourself with love and kindness. Even if it is just painting your toes ❤

You can do it. Choose to be happy. Choose to control your thoughts and actions. Choose yourself! You’re worth it! 

happiness

 

One Small Step, Day by Day

How many times do you wake up dreading to get out of bed? Life is lackluster and you have nothing to look forward to, so you will yourself to go back to sleep for 10 more minutes, five more minutes…any extra time to avoid facing the day. Then, realizing you got yourself in a predicament where you don’t have time to pack a lunch, take a shower, get dressed and put your face on…spring out of bed, rush around like a chicken with…well you know the saying…and have a hectic and crazy start to your day.

I’ve done it. I’ve gone through seasons of my life where I dreaded most days. Always wanted something more. Never happy with what I had. It didn’t matter that I have a wonderful husband who supports me in all I do…even when I am failing. It didn’t matter that I have a beautiful, warm-hearted, spirited daughter with a witty sense of humor. A job that pays well, health insurance, gas in the car, sun on my face, a roof over my head, food on the table…I could go on and on about the things I have that couldn’t pull me out of the rut I was in.

So there I was 30 years old, miserable, overweight and moody. Depressed, really…thinking terrible thoughts about myself and my life…when it hit me.

I AM SICK OF MYSELF.

It was true. I couldn’t stand to be in my own head. I was so negative and “woe is me” that I couldn’t stand being in my own company any longer. You know it is kind of like body odor…when you can smell yourself, you know it is really bad…well that is how it was with my attitude.

So I decided to make a change. One small step, day by day…one foot in front of the other. It has been about 11 months since I started making changes and I am here to tell you even the smallest changes put into practice make a HUGE difference. So if you are in the same spot I was in I have some recommendations for you:

  • Be purposeful with your thoughts and actions
  • Have an attitude of gratitude
  • Exercise
  • Cut out the junk

Be purposeful with your thoughts and actions: If you catch yourself falling into a slump of negativity change it. You’re the only one that can. How you ask? Find something that makes you happy. Listen to music, find some cute pictures online of puppies, kittens or babies to look at, give your significant other a hug for 15 seconds or more. All of these things have been proven to raise spirits…hugs can even release endorphins into your blood stream to make you feel happier…hugs and happiness – YES 🙂

When you wake up in the morning train yourself to have your first thoughts be of something you are grateful for. Once you get in the hang of it add another something, try to shoot for three things you are grateful for each day when you wake up. It doesn’t matter if you are not in the house you want, you are in a house. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have your dream job yet, you can be thankful for your connections at work. Having an attitude of gratitude will change the whole path of your day. Additionally, positive energy attracts positive energy. Being grateful is positively a way way to attract positive energy.

Attitude 6-18-17

Exercise, oooh…I lost some of you here didn’t I? Yeah…I didn’t like to exercise either. But I am not asking you to get out and sign up for a marathon. Take a walk, 10 minutes to start. You’ll be surprised at how much happier you feel. Then pump up the pace, go longer…add some strength training. YouTube has so many options for free! Want to see some other programs that work wonders, check out DropDeadHonest’s blog post.  She breaks down some popular programs…what they do, her take on them and if she would recommend them.

Exercise 6-18-17

Last but not least, CUT OUT THE JUNK! Now this doesn’t necessarily mean just junk food. Although cutting out fried, processed foods will make you feel better, food isn’t all I am talking about. Junk is any and all things weighing you down. It could be habits, negative thoughts about yourself or others, gossiping, or toxic people. Toxic people is a HUGE one in my opinion! Don’t allow people to be joy suckers in your life. You deserve better. YOU DO! Tell yourself you do…right now…say it…I DESERVE BETTER. Now hold onto that and don’t let anyone steal if from you.

You are awesome. You were created for a purpose. Somewhere along the way, you lost sight of that. I’m here to help you remember it is okay to be down and out but we are going to get back on track. We are going to remember our worth. Remember who created us. Who’s image we are made in. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! Hold onto that. I have to. I hope you do to. This is my journey, how I am changing…what I have done to improve my life. I want you to join me. Are you in?

Im-ALL-In