Creating Personal Change: First Things First

Creating Personal Change: First Things First

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them make them.” ~George Bernard Shaw

Each and every one of us has some desire in us right this very moment to create change in our lives. Whether it’s personal change or circumstantial, we all know what we want, deep down inside.

The good news is that we can effect change in our lives. So how does one go about creating the life one desires?

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As we begin to explore Project Blissful, the first and most important step is to fully understand what you want and need in your life. Try this exercise.

Imagine that you are a fly on the wall. A loved one or friend is describing you to another person, in great detail. They discuss your appearance, your habits, your personality. They talk about your beliefs and morals and values. Essentially, your friend or loved one tells this person everything about you.

How does this make you feel? Happy and secure, or a little nervous?

Now, ask yourself: What would my loved one or friend say about me? How would I be described?

Next, change it up. Grab a pen and notebook (or a blank Word document).

Sit down and ask yourself how you would WANT to be described. Do you want to be known as a spiritual person? A hard worker? An artist? A great mom or dad? Hip, cool, or chic?

Now, imagine how the conversation would go. Write it down. For example, if you want to be a better golfer, you might write, “Susie is the best golfer I’ve ever met.”

This is a great way to figure out your desires and determine your goals.

Once you’ve written the conversation, you can review it regularly to remind yourself of your goals.

Remember to take care of yourself and to be the person you truly want to be. Next time, we will discuss more ways to effect personal change in your life. For a little inspiration, check out the following advice from Christian D. Larson:

Promise Yourself:

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds.

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Creating Personal Change: First Things First

The Single Best Way to Cure Procrastination

Did you ever have one of those days when you’ve got like fifty-bazillion things to do and yet all you seem to get done is updating your Facebook status and maybe a shower, if you’re lucky?

I’ve been there. Who hasn’t?

From the outside, it might just look like you’re procrastinating, but in reality, it feels a little more like being paralyzed, am I right?

Well, here’s a tip that might just help you to move past that whole “feeling so overwhelmed that I can’t do a single thing” issue. I hope you’re sitting down for this one, because it is seriously going to blow your mind.

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Ready? Here it is: the big secret.

How to Cure Procrastination

Just do SOMETHING. Pick one thing on your list, even something tiny and easy, and start doing it. Don’t stop until you’re finished. Maybe this is something small–like, I don’t know, a blog post. Or maybe it’s something bigger, like finally organizing your kitchen cabinets. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just do one thing.

When you’re done, look at what you’ve done and pat yourself on the back. You have just ended the vicious cycle of procrastination and paralyisis, and you are on your way to getting back on the productive horse.

Who knew it could be so easy?

And, once you’ve got your juices flowing, do one more thing. And so on.

I know, this all sounds positively basic and simple–but every now and then, we all need someone to tell us, as Nike once did, to Just Do It.

So, enough procrastination. Enough paralysis. Just do SOMETHING. Are you with me?

What are your best tips for avoiding procrastination and paralysis when you’ve got a fifty-bazillion things to do? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

Creating Personal Change: First Things First

Alone for the Holidays? 5 Easy Steps to Finding Love in 2013

“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart. Then people are going to treat you better. You’re going to find, yes you will, that you’re beautiful as you feel.” ~Carole King

After enjoying a wonderful holiday with my family and friends, I find myself reflecting on the many loves in my life–my wonderful husband, our beautiful children, my cherished friends and extended family members. My life is literally full of love, and I feel grateful for it every single day.

It wasn’t always this way, though. Back in my late teens and early twenties, I felt very alone in the world. Sure, I had friends. And I had family, though the nearest members were nearly three hours away by car. I even had boyfriends–but none worth writing home about.

I lived alone most of the time, and most of the time I didn’t mind it. I did the roommate thing twice, but found that I could feel utterly alone even in a room full of people–and that I didn’t really like living with people I didn’t love.

So how did I go from feeling utterly alone and miserable to being happy and living a life full of love?

I got clear on what I really wanted.

Whether you realize it or not, every single thought you have is helping to shape your reality. In my case, I was always thinking about how alone I felt. I often thought that no one understood me and that people in general weren’t all that great. I found fault in the people around me and found reasons to feel negatively toward some of them.

So, while I thought I wanted happiness and love in my life, I was asking the Universe to let me be alone and unhappy, simply by focusing on how alone and unhappy I felt. When I began to understand that, I sat down and made a list of my true intentions, and then I began to focus on those instead of the feelings of being alone and unhappy.

I stopped searching for love.

I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but when you spend your life thinking “I’m looking for love, I need to find love, why can’t I find love?,” that’s what the Universe will deliver–a never-ending search for love. In my case, after I wrote down what I wanted, I released the need to search and I started living my life. I decided to be happy and satisfied with who I was and the situation I was living in, right then.

I started saying “thank you” more often.

After seeing an episode of Oprah in which she said something to the effect of “want what you have and you’ll have what you want,” I took a look around my world with fresh eyes. Though I didn’t initially realize it, I had plenty to be grateful for–a home, good friends and loving family, my health, a job–the list went on and on. So I began to make a point of noticing those things, people and situation in my life that were good and feeling grateful for them.  That set me on the path to receiving more good things that I wanted.

I opened my mind and my heart.

I was limited because I had limiting beliefs. Even though I didn’t verbalize it, I thought I wasn’t really worthy of being loved. I thought that the people I was attracted to couldn’t possibly be attracted to me. I believed that all single men were single for a reason and that all the good ones were either married or gay and therefore unavailable to me. As I unconsciously held on to those beliefs, I kept reinforcing that type of situation in my life.

When I began to recognize and dismiss these negative beliefs, I was able to let love flow into my life.

I loved myself first.

Once I realized that I was feeling alone and unlovable because of my limiting beliefs and started to release them, the only logical thing I could do was to start loving myself. I made a point of treating myself like someone I loved, because if I couldn’t treat myself that way, why should anyone else?

And then I met him.

I started looking better and feeling better, and within weeks of making my list of intentions, I met the man I eventually married. It truly was all in my perception–when I perceived that my life was empty and devoid of love, it was that way. But when I began to notice all the love I already had and started to feel grateful for all the wonderful things, people and situations in my life, I found the love of my life.

So, how about you? If you want more love in your life, do you think a change in perception might be in order? And if you’re happy and loved in your life, will you share the secret to your success? Tell me in the comments!

 

Creating Personal Change: First Things First

Ugly Society, Beautiful You: Screw Preconceived Notions

Gianna the Dove Girl

I read something recently about how women and girls in today’s society seem to have increasingly lower self esteem today. The media and our society teach us to hate ourselves.

But it doesn’t stop there. Mothers tend to pass these poor self-image tendencies to their daughters, whether intentionally or not. That’s pretty scary, if you ask me–and their sons can’t be far behind.

Change your life–sign up for Project Blissful right now! It’s free.

It bothers me that this is an issue at all, but I do see some positive changes in the media these days.

For example, the “Dove girls” have been around for several years now. They are “average” looking women who model in their unmentionables to showcase “real beauty.”

Real beauty matters, and it’s totally true that many plus-sized women are gorgeous–but being healthy is still important, and that means different things for different people. But, in my opinion, it’s all about feeling good–when you feel good, you can’t help but look good.

Obviously, we can’t all look like the airbrushed models we see, but we should still strive to be our personal best. Still, that brings us back to the main issue–where do we draw the line?

As for my daughter, I tell her every day that she is beautiful and amazing and smart and strong–and I try to point out her successes as often as possible. I’m not perfect by any means, but I hope that my efforts will continue to help her form a strong sense of self-esteem over the years. So far, so good.

Where do you draw the line? And what do (will) you tell your daughters and sons about their bodies? Tell me in the comments section, below.

Creating Personal Change: First Things First

How and Why to Eliminate Toxic Thinking

Mr. Yuck Child's Warning for Dangerous Substances

 

Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health. ~Unknown

You know all about toxic families and toxic friends, but have you ever considered that your own thoughts can become toxic?

We’ve talked before about why it’s important to keep an eye on your thoughts–because you bring about what you think about.

So, hey–remember that “Mr. Yuck” guy from back in the day? That green-faced frowny type who reminded you what to avoid in the medicine cabinet and under the kitchen sink?

Well, dangerous substances can hurt your body, and toxic thoughts can make you sicker than any chemical sometimes.

So, if you’re focused on all good things, then more good things will come your way. But, if your thoughts become toxic, they can and will draw negativity and toxicity into your life, and can even cause physical side effects if left unchecked.

Research has proven that the way we think can cause a wide variety of chemical reactions in our bodies. When we’re thinking happy thoughts–forgiving people, feeling patient and maintaining self-control, for example–our bodies will release chemicals that make us feel peaceful and healthy.

But when we’re feeling negatively and thinking toxic thoughts–like feeling and nurturing rage, holding grudges or wallowing in guilt or self-pity–our bodies release damaging chemicals. This makes us more susceptible to illness and disease.

 

Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of the book Who Switched Off My Brain, says that “stress and anxiety harm the body in a multitude of ways; patchy memory, severe mental health issues, immune system problems, heart problems and digestive problems.”

Serious stuff, right? The way you think can literally affect not just your day-to-day quality of life, but also your long-term health.

So what do you do when you catch yourself thinking toxic thoughts?

Listen to Yourself Talk

You may not even realize how often you complain or lament about the things in life you don’t love. Maybe you are frustrated because you had to wait in line for a half hour at the grocery store, or the traffic on your way home from work was so terrible that you actually got out of your car and sat on the hood to get a little sun. Perhaps you found out that your kid failed Science or you didn’t get into the college of your choice–or your dog ate your knitting project.
Does it really help you to rehash and focus on these negative things? Nope, it actually hurts you. So, while you should absolutely feel comfortable telling the people you care about what happened to you during the day, try to focus on the positive side of things, even when there doesn’t seem to be one.

For example, if you waited in line at the grocery store, maybe you talked to someone who really needed a good conversation. If you sat in traffic too long–maybe you needed the solitude or you heard your favorite song. You get the idea–find the silver lining in every cloud.

Use Mind Control (On Yourself)

I can’t stress enough how important it is to recognize and monitor your thoughts. You may not even realize how often you think negative thoughts. For example, if your friend wins an award that you wanted, you may think “she must be better than me” or “I deserved that award, not her!” But if you can bring yourself to genuinely congratulate and feel happy for your friend, you’ll not only do her a favor, but yourself too.

If you find yourself FEELING negatively, take a minute to listen to your thoughts. You might be surprised to find out that you may be subconsciously thinking toxic thoughts.

Take control of your mind, because you can. All you need to do is mentally cancel those toxic thoughts and replace them with positive and healthy thoughts that reflect your true desires. (Because whatever you think about and focus on is what you’re drawing toward yourself–so why not think about and focus on what you really want?)

Change Your Scene

When I feel like my thoughts are getting a little toxic, sometimes it helps me to just change the scene around me. Maybe that means just going into a different room or taking a walk–or maybe I need to get in the car and go somewhere. But inevitably, if I make the effort to change my scene, it changes my mind pretty quickly. 

Try going out for coffee with a friend, taking a walk or a bath, working out–or even busting out the Wii for a little karaoke or golf. Whatever works for you–just get away from the spot in which you started thinking toxic thoughts for awhile.
What do you do to control and eliminate toxic thoughts? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

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