10 Ways to Improve Your Day

While I’m in Charleston, South Carolina, this week participating in and presenting a couple of workshops, I thought I would share a few of my favorite blogs.

This one is from the fabulous Kristin Barton Cuthriell.

  • Smile at everyone you meet.
  • Write down at least two things that you are grateful for today.
  • Do something physical. (Get rid of the excuses. My friend who works out regularly will be running three miles, while my aunt who has had a stroke, will be sitting in a chair doing her foot exercises. One is not more difficult than the other. They both will be pushing themselves appropriately. What can you do?)
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Do something nice for someone else. (This does not have to be time-consuming. Sometimes it does not take a whole lot of effort to improve someone else’s day.)
  • Plan something that you will look forward to doing. (An evening walk, a dinner out, a vacation.)
  • Set and accomplish a goal. (Yes, accomplishing this list definitely counts.)
  • When you become upset or frustrated, remember that whatever it is that is bothering you may not matter next year, next month, or even tomorrow.
  • Pray
  • Take at least fifteen minutes to do something that you find relaxing. (Observing nature, talking a walk, meditating, taking a warm bath, listening to music….)

Let go of bitterness today and let life in.

Kristin Barton Cuthriell, M.Ed, MSW, LCSW

Kristin is a licensed psychotherapist and educator currently working in private practice, counseling individuals, couples, and families. She utilizes a hope based cognitive behavior approach to therapy and other empirically validated treatments to help individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and difficult life transitions. Prior to entering the mental health field, Kristin spent a decade teaching first, third, and sixth grades. She received a BA in Education from Virginia Tech and went on to earn her Master’s in Education and her Master’s in Social Work. Kristin also enjoys speaking and writing and is currently working on a book designed to help people live more fulfilling lives.

You can read her blog at http://letlifeinpractices.com/

Create A “No Regrets” Policy

I haven’t been perfect this weekend. While I got all my workouts in, my eating has been a little on the high-calorie side, as is apt to happen when family gathers and we celebrate a birthday—in this instance, my husband’s.

In the past, a splurge like I experienced this weekend would have been enough to derail me. I used to suffer from a severe case of perfectionitis where if I didn’t do my diet and exercise perfectly, I would be so hard on myself that I would give up.

Fortunately, I now have a personal “No Regrets” policy. This gives me the ability to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best I can, and to celebrate those actions that are moving me towards my goal.

Being more tolerant and supportive of myself has helped me lift the “all or nothing” requirement that I used to have for success.

This feeling that you have to do your diet and exercise program perfectly or you’ve “blown it” is very common amongst dieters and is one of the primary reasons that people fail to meet their weight-loss goals.

The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect. If you eat a cookie or two, it’s not the end of your diet. But if you give up then and down a pint of ice cream on top of it—well that’s going to be much harder to recover from and your progress for the week will likely be stymied. Too many weeks with no progress and the motivation to continue seeps away and dies.

If you slip, it’s much better to pick back up right where you are.

One way to do this is to let go of regrets. Those cookies might not have been on your eating plan, but hopefully you enjoyed it, and now it’s over and done. Focus on getting back on track with your next meal.

By creating a personal “No Regrets Policy,” you more easily and consistently move towards the best possible version of you.

What do you need to tell yourself to get back on track immediately after you have been less than perfect? What can you do to be more tolerant and supportive of yourself? What difference does that make in helping you meet your goals?

Together we can do it!

 

 

What Did You Decide?

Yesterday’s blog was on figuring out your heart-felt reasons Why you want to achieve your goal. The next step is to decide.

Not only are you deciding how you will proceed, but most importantly you are deciding how intensely you will proceed. The power of your decision behind going after your goals will determine your level of success.

For instance, if you decide, “I think I’m going to lose weight,” that’s the level of commitment you bring to the process. It’s fairly tepid and you may lose a little weight, but chances are you won’t keep it up long-term.

If you decide, “It’s important to me for these reasons to lose X amount of weight,” your commitment will likely be stronger. You may get discouraged or derailed, but you are more likely to meet your goals.

If you decide, “I am going to do whatever it takes to lose X amount of weight and achieve these measurable goals because of these heart-felt reasons,” then your chances of success skyrockets. With this momentum behind you, if you stumble or face a challenge, you are much more likely to pick yourself up and keep going.

What often gets in people’s way is they think decisions are made once. Each moment of every day, you are deciding. You must be aware of these decisions and continually decide to move towards our goal.

Decisions like, “In this moment of this workout, am I going to give it my all, or ease up? Am I going to plan my meals, or am I going chance it? Am I going to eat what is on my plan, or am I going to have a little treat? Am I going to go to bed and get enough rest, or am I going to stay up and watch this movie?”

When a decision is powerfully made, you consistently make the small decisions that move you forward. And it is consistently (not perfectly) moving towards your goals that will help you achieve them.

Some ways to increase the power of your decision are to have a powerful Why, and review it often. Figure out how achieving your goal will make you feel, and strive to feel that way as much as possible. Pay attention to your beliefs about what you can achieve and what you deserve, and reframe them if necessary so that they help you move forward instead of hold you back. Visualize and focus on your goal being yours so completely that you feel as if you already have it.

What are some ways that you can increase the power of your decision? How will you respond if you hit a bump or are less than perfect in your moment-to-moment decisions? How can you let go of any belief other than you can have what you wish to achieve?

Together we can do it!

 

 

 

Photo by nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net