Celebrate

As I feel the year going forward, the minutes and the days passing by, I can feel my inspiration and motivation falling away. I am beginning to feel like my positive attitude about life and my gratitude and confidence in my transformation are fading in the background of day to day life. The reason I highlighted beginning is because I know by being conscious of this feeling, and catching it before it grows, I can STOP. I know it’s normal to slip back into my comfort zone, to justify reasons why my great life is great enough and to not move forward. Yes, I do have a great life, and I have lots going for me so it’s easy to be convinced that I don’t need more. The point is, I know I can be better. I CAN live a life that I wake up every day with no complaints. I CAN live a life where the problems I encounter daily are problems I enjoy solving, and help me learn. Sometimes our social norms and the people I encounter daily make me believe that there is nothing better, that I am doing what I always do and that is good enough. More than society – I am my worst critic and when I notice the feeling of failure creeping up I feed into those feelings and tell myself that I don’t need more, that I can fit into the norm and be happy – UNTIL I reflect. That’s what this post is really about. It’s about looking at those negative feelings and thoughts, the fears that this is just another phase in my life that will pass and I will go on living like the majority of the world sees… and saying to them “NO”, I will not give in to negative thoughts, and I will not give up. Every time I feel overwhelmed, I will instead CELEBRATE.

I am so happy and grateful that I have started a blog, continue to write in it, and post pictures. I am putting my thoughts and my life and my journey out there for the world to see, and I am not stopping. I will continue to learn how to improve this blog so that others may benefit from the knowledge I am gaining throughout this journey. I will continue to help other people find the healthiness within themselves and find ways to wake up every day in their lives and say “thank you, universe, for the life I get to live every day”.

I am celebrating that every time I look in the mirror now, I see myself getting stronger. I know strength doesn’t happen overnight, but even after only a month and a half I can visibly see a difference. I am still exercising daily, even if only minimally. I have begun using an app that I really enjoy, that helps build daily habits and reminds me to do just a small amount of exercise each day. Today I felt disappointment creep up when I hit the “snooze” button on the app’s question “did you exercise”, but I am celebrating that even though I didn’t do a workout first thing this morning, I made it to the gym and got sweaty and felt stronger! I can see my body changing for the better and am excited to continue this part of my journey.

My expression of gratitude has also increased. Sometimes I hear the little voice of doubt in my mind saying “how can I be grateful for this situation? Why can’t I just be negative for once. It feels good, and I am only human after all”. I am celebrating that when I hear this voice, I turn it around and find something to be grateful for.  Even days that I am feeling tired and less motivated I pick up my gratitude journal and write in it. It takes only one thing to get the juices flowing and remind me of everything else I am grateful for. I am grateful for the knowledge I continue to gain about myself, about the life I am living, about the profession that I have and how to become the happiest, healthiest, version of myself.

I would like to celebrate that I have stepped outside of my comfort zone more, even if just a little. Each little step outside of my comfort zone brings me closer to a life without complaint, with only happiness and joy and freedom.  I am using the 5 second rule even more. If I haven’t explained this before, I read it in a magazine so I can’t take credit for it, but here it is: it takes 5 seconds for your mind to change, so if you count down 5-4-3-2-1 while you are taking action, you won’t convince yourself not to do the good habit you want to do. For example, when you want to exercise, and think about it while you’re sitting on the couch, count down 5-4- stand up 3-2 put on your workout clothing – 1 begin exercising at home or head to the gym. When you really want to watch TV but know you should do something productive instead, count 5-4 step away from the TV – 3 – turn on motivating music – 2-1 – start cleaning the house (or start writing your blog, or your book, or pick up a motivational book etc). I will continue to work on this area too, stepping outside of my comfort zone by counting down every time I’m scared to contact someone about my business or learn something new or make new friends etc.

Finally, I’m celebrating that I am continuing to take steps toward becoming independent and learning about living the healthiest, best, life I can live. I am taking steps to go to more exercise classes, stock my pantry and my fridge with healthy food, read (and listen) to many motivational books that are teaching me how to step outside of my comfort zone and be successful, and write down things that I am learning.

I just want to end this post with another positive note. I am confident that each time I hear a little voice telling me that “I’m just dreaming and this isn’t reality”, “This is tough, and I’m not sure I can do it”or “I’m worried and nervous that I’ll fail. I fear I’ll lose people in my life because I am changing”, I will recognize the voice, thank it for motivating me and reminding me it is false, and push it away.

I am still not entirely sure what I will be doing in 5 years, or maybe exactly where I will be living, but I know I will have enough money and time to be heading towards living a life where I wake up excited to be me, and continue that excitement and motivation every day. Health is a big part of this journey, and I’m excited to look ahead and continue.

Shift Work

It’s been difficult to keep motivated while on night shift. In the past, sometimes the only exercise I got what when I worked nights – there’s a gym at the hospital I work in and we get an hour and a half break so it’s easy to spend that time at the gym. However, some nights are too busy and I only get an hour…or 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s not that busy, but by the time everyone else takes their breaks and it’s time for mine, I’m busy, then suddenly it’s 5am and it feels too late. Another excuse I know. Last night was one of those nights. I actually didn’t go until 5:50, only for 40 minutes, and took a quick power nap. This is a habit I recognize and realize can change. I can’t always control how busy I am at work, but because I rely on work to get in my exercise I didn’t work out before shift and ended up missing a day.

Maybe some of you can relate to me as a shift worker. Some people call me “crazy” for going to the gym on my break (most people nap), others have joined me (as I changed my thinking to join others when I first started). Even if you don’t have a gym at your work I think it’s a great opportunity to take to get a little exercise in. Do a set of stairs, challenge yourself and do 2. Bring an extra set of clothes to work if you feel you can’t because you’d be too sweaty. Working shift work has reminded me also not to pay attention to the real time but to “my time”. For example, whenever I wake up I am now making sure I start my day the same – make bed, change into real clothing, drink at least one large glass of water, take Juice Plus, make breakfast (lately a smoothie). One thing I’m going to try and add to this routine is exercise. I need to keep reminding myself NO EXCUSES. I could have gone down and up the stairs a few times on my break last night. I could have exercise before work even though I felt I had “no time” because I got up at 4:30 and immediately started making dinner instead of taking 10 minutes first to do a quick home workout video. Right now I’m sitting in bed, writing this blog, trying to plan when to do my workout – I have a vet appointment for my cat (just a checkup), I haven’t started my routine, and I planned on going to a dance class but was also invited to a motivational talk about healthy living. Life is about priorities. Right now, I’ll keep focusing on mine, and envisioning my goal – those strong arms, flat abs, and strong legs. I’ll keep picturing myself being able to do those push-ups and pulling myself up on a chin-up bar with ease. I’ll keep imagining myself as I age, able to continue to show my strength.

Wish me luck. Until next time.

The Beginning

Here it is, the beginning of a new and better version of myself. I started this blog, this site, and this transformation to help inspire (and perhaps teach) anybody interested in having more happiness and freedom in the one life that we have. How fitting that it is the beginning of a New Year. When that clock strikes midnight and we awake the first day of a New Year, it seems to be human nature to reflect on the past, the present, and have a fresh mind looking ahead. It doesn’t have to be January 1 – I often feel this way on my birthday too – and for me, the decision for a transformation began before the New Year, but I decided to put my commitment into full force when the New Year arrived. It helps that I went through a tough time, read a few motivational books, and met some new people who inspire me to be more successful. Even if you are not interested in transformation, or feel you already are living the life that is perfect for you, I encourage you to join me in my journey, share this blog with others, follow my Instagram, and please keep me accountable through your comments.

So what do I mean by transformation?

A lot of people roll their eyes when they hear of New Years resolutions so commonly expressed: “go to the gym more”, “eat healthier”, “drink more water”, “make more money” etc. Most people, including myself, start off each year thinking either “yes, I will do this!” and then lose motivation within a few months, OR thinking “I’m not making any resolutions because I never keep them anyway”. Sure, if that’s your mindset than you won’t be successful. If you hit a tough spot and give up saying “meh, I’ve already slowed down my exercise and eaten poorly a few days this year so I might as well eat this donut…and stop exercising…and maybe bake a cake and eat it after I consume this entire pizza”, you will never be a better version of yourself than you are right now. What I mean by transformation (wow that took a long time to get to the point, didn’t it), is I am on a journey to hit the tough spots and get over them. This is not just a New Year’s resolution but a conscious choice to make a lifetime change. When I start to fail I will continue to be grateful for the journey, push through, and remind myself of the end point. This end point can be so different for everybody but the common denominator is – Happiness. Are you the happiest you could be with your life? Have you made the healthiest choices with no regrets? Happiness and health go hand in hand, hence the title of this blog. Health to me is more than just how we look or what food or drinks we put into our bodies. Health is mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial. Yes, financial. A world can not function without money, and we can not enjoy what we love without money. If you don’t believe me, read You are a Badass at Making Money : it is one of the books I’ve read (okay, listened to on Audible) that has helped me jump into my new life with both feet and no life jacket. The point is: I will transform my way of thinking so that I will achieve my goals, finish the plans I set out to finish, have more freedom, and be healthier in every aspect of the word.

Baby steps.

In case I haven’t made myself clear this blog is going to be about my transformation. Since this is so broad a term, I’ll break it down into sections (as you may have noticed the categories of blogs you can search through on this site):

Healthy Body – having a body that I can still work with when I’m 80; that I can use to do things that I love such as hiking and biking; and that I can continue to strengthen and push to achieving my goals

Healthy Eating – putting things in my body that will help me live a long, good quality life; teaching my future children by example so that they may live without illness or injury; supporting the environment by eating sustainable foods

Healthy Mind – Maintaining a positive outlook on life so that I can overcome any challenges I am faced with; practicing daily gratitude so the universe works for me; getting over any fears I have about success and going for it – no matter how long or how hard it takes

Healthy Finances – Maintaining my freedom through money; Spending more time with family and friends thanks to money; having enough money saved to feel comfortable spending whenever I desire; Giving my money only to the things that give me the most happiness such as travel, my home, my family, my friends, and my health.

A part of this journey will be continuing to update this blog. Something I haven’t been successful with in the past, but plan to achieve success this time around. It might be daily, it might be weekly, but at MINIMUM it will be monthly. The rest of these posts will be about my transformation – the lessons I’ve learned, the gratitude I’ve felt, the struggles I’ve come across, and the changes I can already see taking shape. I hope to inspire others to start their own transformation through my journey, and eventually, to pay it forward to even more people. We only have one life. Why are we constantly making excuses for why we are not happy and successful yet? Why are we sitting back and watching our life pass by when we can be actively engaged in it?

Hopefully, I’ll soon have an answer for you.