Belly Up Or Fight: Which Will You Do?

 

Which Direction Do I Take?

What are you shooting for? What are you wanting to achieve? Could it be a more disciplined child, a new career path, to lose ten pounds, or have a better marriage? What happens to your mind when discouragement sets in, when you keep hitting walls with something you’ve been trying to accomplish? What are your options? Let’s look at two possibilities.

 

GIVE UP. Forget it. You’re not getting where you want to go and you are hitting your head against the wall. It’s no use. Just accept your situation and be content with it. A problem with this option might be you’re settling for less than what you believe you deserve. If this is you, then you are hurting your self-esteem by giving up. In other words, this isn’t an option for you. On the other hand, maybe you’ve been trying so hard and are weary. Perhaps you need a break, but will resume later. This isn’t giving up, either. So, when is it okay to belly-up? The answer to that is in what you believe. Do you believe in your cause enough to go to your death fighting for it, even if you might never see its fruition? Only you can answer that question. Put the pen to paper and figure this one out.

PRESS ON. Take a break if you need to rejuvenate. Get what you need to resume with full force. Do you need a support group to keep you accountable or sessions with a life coach? Determine to keep going, no matter what. Decide to fight for your passion unconditionally: you will press on with or without results.

An example could be you want a more disciplined child. You fight every day with this child. You try reasoning and punishment, but it seems to get worse, not better. But if you keep in mind the growth happens because of the struggle, this will help you to persevere. Your belief will motivate you to continue. Another example could be to have a better marriage. Trying to change another person is futile, so make sure you are changing the only person you can: you.  Focus on your growth, rather than your spouse’s faults. This is a form of acceptance, but it is also placing energy where it counts.

 

What you decide will have more to do with who you are than what you achieve.

Why? Because you have a conscience, whether you admit it or not. This is the truth for every human being. To ignore it means death. To listen to it means life.

 

Make A Mental Shift

Fire sprinkler control systemWe were going to have our first freeze a few nights ago, so before dark that night, I moved all of my potted plants into the garage. Afterwards, I got my jammies on and relaxed.

Long after dark, I realized that I failed to winterize the irrigation system. (Now, if any of you have failed to winterize you irrigation system before a freeze, you know that you don’t want to let THAT happen again.When that happened to us, we were out of town. The water froze in the pipes, and once the temperature rose, the water melted and spewed everywhere onto my neighbor’s property. Thank goodness my kind neighbor turned off our main water supply). So that night I grumbled about what I had to do. I changed my clothes, got a flashlight and a screwdriver and marched outside in the cold. I shut the valve to the water flow and drained the water sitting idly in the pipes.  Finally, my yard was truly prepared for the freeze to come.

Lately, I have been frustrated because things haven’t been going my way, or they haven’t been “going” at all. I feel stuck, and nothing I do and no action I take seems to get me unstuck. So I realized the other morning that I needed to winterize the irrigation system in my head.  I needed to stop trying so hard with action and make a real shift in my thinking instead.  I needed to relax with the knowledge that I have done all that I can do for the moment and I needed to let things develop. And once I decided to shut the valve of frustration off, the the valve of inspiration automatically turned on and flowed. I had new ideas and a new attitude almost immediately after making that mental shift.

Do you have an ongoing struggling with something and nothing seems to happen? Have you been push, push, pushing and what you are pushing against seems to get more stubborn? Then make a mental shift today. Winterize that irrigation system in your head by shutting the negative valve off: just shut it down. Once you decide to discipline your mind and keep it up, you will have new energy flowing in to you.

 

Deciding To Decide To Lose Weight

I thought I had decided to lose weight 1000 times. But by the end of the day, I was right back to where I started from, only to face the next morning with the same remorse I had the previous morning. I didn’t realize that something deeper was going on, and that losing weight wasn’t a value for me but it was an ideal. I wanted it, but I didn’t want it badly enough.

A VALUE is something that we recognize as good and worthwhile, and we choose to have it in our life NOW by sacrificing other things. In contrast, an IDEAL is something that we recognize as good and worthwhile, and we want to have it in our life sometime in the future, but we are not willing to sacrifice for it right now. The key word here is “sacrifice”.

Some people say that eating healthfully is a value, yet they regularly make poor choices in restaurants and in the grocery store, or they may often eat junk late at night or frequently skip meals. For them, eating healthfully is an ideal, not a value, because they are not spending time creating a healthy diet in their lives. If they did spend time working on a healthy diet in their lives, then it would become a value – and a reality.

We choose those values that impress us favorably. Ideals are those other things we hold in esteem, but we don’t currently work to attain them. We may not look at a particular value in terms of our overall behavior, and we may sometimes confuse our values with our ideals. In addition, we may think that a particular ideal is a value when, in fact, we do nothing now to show that value’s importance in our lives.

Strong values are defended intensely, whereas weaker values are more easily compromised. Sometimes we think something is a value, but since we don’t sacrifice time for it, our behavior indicates it is really an ideal. But we can always choose to change our behavior.

 

Alcohol: All Or Nothing vs. Moderation: Part One

I think I’ve had a lifetime supply of alcohol. I had my drinking days and my party days. I had my share of hangovers. I decided to quit completely because it was easier for me to not drink at all instead of trying to moderate. Well honestly, I couldn’t moderate: I tried! And when I tried to moderate, I usually blew it and drank more than ever before.

I don’t really understand why, but I have heard that approximately 10% of the population has an allergy toward alcohol. What this means is that when any alcohol is consumed, it creates an irresistible craving for more. I can definitely say that this was true for me.

I went from drinking alcohol to not drinking alcohol at all: cold turkey. No tapering off for me. And it was tough. I went through a sort of psychological withdrawal.  I didn’t stop drinking to lose weight. I didn’t go “on the wagon”, only to return at a later date. I changed my lifestyle for my personal well-being, and for no other reason. But I will say that I am leaner as a result of abstaining from alcohol.

Most people are probably A-OK with drinking every now and then, and some will be okay with drinking many days a week. Only the individual can say whether he or she has a problem with alcohol, and then take the actions necessary to stop.

Why “take the actions necessary to stop?” Why not just stop? This my friends, is the difference between someone who couldn’t care less if alcohol existed and someone who really wants  (needs?) it most days. For the latter, in order to stop, it will probably take a little more effort than just “not drinking”.

Alcohol can be deceiving. Someone can have a problem with it and not want to admit it. But not admitting one’s problem will only make it worse.

Next post, I will discuss the physiological effects of alcohol and how alcohol can thwart your goals in weight loss.

Making Rest A Priority

      It seems the older I get, the more complex life becomes. 
      I think the most simple time in my life was when I was single, working full-time and living alone. I dated, but wasn’t tied to anyone or anything. I ran my own schedule, controlled what food entered my abode and did my own thing.
     Then I began dating my husband-to-be. We dated 4 years, and that was exciting. We got married into a life that was different for both of us. Although the complexities of living with another person added to some increased stress in both of our lives, it was well worth the sacrifice – and still is.  
     About 8 years later, we had our first and only child, although we didn’t plan it that way. We intended to have more children, but God had a different plan for us.
     With this child, life got really complex in multiple ways – fast! It was well worth the sacrifice – and still is. And I’m certain there will be more complexities to come!
     One constant activity for me throughout all these life changes is exercise: it keeps me sane and happy with my body. But one thing I realize I need more of is rest. I struggle with the idea of getting rest, meditation, relaxation and good sleep. It hasn’t been a priority, so I tend to put it last on the list, “Oh, if I get time, I’ll sleep in” or “if I get a quick 20 minutes, then I’ll do some meditating”. It’s as if I know it would do me well to indulge in these different forms of rest, but somehow, I never make it a priority.
      With all the complexities of my life, my body now demands different (better) treatment. The exercise has been a constant, but the rest has not. I have taken my health and my body for granted too long, and it’s time for a change.
    I recently decided to get on a schedule of meditation. I have tried several ways to do this and come up with this conclusion: every day is different, so the meditation can’t be the same every day. I can still get it in, but it may not be at the same time. And this will be my challenge. All I know is that all forms of rest are more of a priority with me today.
    Are you one of those who, if something is on your mind, you cannot sleep? What if you had a disagreement with your spouse and it is yet unresolved? How about a crucial appointment the next day, a test or a presentation? If I can’t sleep, then I have found that meditation can be a sufficient substitute.
     There will be an ebb and flow of rest for most of us. Some nights we will sleep well, and other nights we won’t. Even if you can’t find time to meditate or even if you don’t want to meditate, the main thing to remember here is to not go too long without some kind of quality rest, because a lack of quality rest will break down the immune system and we can get sick or be more susceptible to illness.  Sweet Dreams!

Be More Socially Interactive! Part 3 and Final

Yesterday, my daughter had a school holiday, and here’s where my head was in the morning:  I had all sorts of plans for what I wanted to do, which did not involve her.

Well, that didn’t last a New York minute! Do you know one thing I love about having a young person in my life? It’s that she has this uncanny ability to pull me away from whatever it is I am doing, regardless of how important it may seem to me to be at the moment!!

We played “hide the Lego Friend” outside; we raced everywhere to the tune of, “Last one there’s a rotten egg!”; I recorded several movies of her doing her activity of choice, her being the star of her show; we played I don’t know how many games of hide and seek; swung on the swing set – I could go on and on!

So a funny thing happened through all of this…at the end of the day, I found that I had been more productive and that I got more work done than expected! How could this be, you ask? Well, I was more focused when I did have a minute to do something on my computer. For example, I would negotiate, “Okay, let’s play a game of hide-and-seek, I’ll hide, then you’ll hide. Then I’ll write one email!” Of course, my little one agreed to this compromise. I became more efficient! I didn’t waste any time being diverted from my task at hand.

I would guess that balancing out my life with more social, face-to-face interaction would have this impact on other areas of my life, too: it would stimulate me and give me more energy and focus. This is the stuff of life and where the rich rewards lie!

Volunteering Creates a Positive Mental Attitude!

Most of the time, I am pretty outgoing and willing to go the extra mile, volunteer and take on new tasks. Life is good and I’m on track.

But there have been times I have gotten so self-absorbed that I haven’t felt like reaching out or doing anything for anyone. That sounds pretty selfish, doesn’t it? But here’s what I have done to fix that: I’ve set a regular schedule with certain volunteer activities. I am accountable to others to do this work and I will get sent my “assignment”, so this one thing holds me to doing the volunteering, whether I feel like it or not. Or, I have a specific time each week that I go somewhere to volunteer, and people are expecting me.

A funny thing happens when I do the thing I know I should do, which is often the thing I do not want to do: I feel better! Holding myself accountable to this volunteering takes me out of myself and keeps me on the track I want to be on, because I am a better person for doing it. And this feels good.

What kinds of volunteering get you out of yourself the most? The least?

The community newspaper and public library are great ways to learn about volunteer activities in one’s area, but these possibilities are endless! If you haven’t done so yet, get out there and commit to doing one small thing every week, where you are accountable to an organization for your volunteer work. That way, you won’t have to learn the hard way, like I did!

Be More Socially Interactive! Part 2

Isolation and overeating are brothers.

Reaching out to other people can be hard, especially to those who have gotten comfort in isolation with food. Being more socially interactive is one action that counters isolation. When one takes initiative to get out of isolation and be more social, the desire for that extra food may naturally disappear. On the other hand, if one sets out to indulge less often, this creates a vacuum. Since nature abhors a vacuum, something must replace that which was removed. If nothing replaces the habit of overindulging, guess what? The person won’t change and will eventually return to his or her old habits of overeating. Decide now what you will replace that bad habit with, and go to it! Don’t delay!

Social clubs of all types are everywhere. There are organized “meet-up” groups on the web, where people hook up on-line with common interests, then go out and actually meet with these people and do fun things, such as participating in book clubs, hiking clubs, mothers who do lunch clubs – the list is endless! Churches and the community newspaper can also be a great resource once one decides to be more socially interactive.

So is the hard part for us “deciding” and then “acting” upon our decision? I know I have had the best of intentions with certain ideals that never got off the ground. Let’s pick one thing today that we will do different, and see how that effects our mindset!

Be More Socially Interactive!

I am sure everyone has gotten used to writing 2014 now! Upping the year in our written documents is a habit that must change at the beginning of each year. But how about other habits? How about those new years resolutions? I have an idea!!!

If I were to take a poll, I would be willing to bet that if there were 2 possible new year’s resolutions, such as…

1. Become more active with social media, get more comfortable with many types of social media

—and—

2. Spend more time face to face with friends and loved ones,

That #1 would win as the resolution of choice.

Which is it for you? I, personally, am all over #1. And now that I’ve written that, I’m not very proud of it, either. It is a necessity, though, for anyone who is in business: easy to rationalize. And it’s so much fun to engage in, personally! On the other hand, those relationships will always be there, right? Hmm.

But something’s missing, isn’t it? The social and interactive “direct access” connection we get and give by spending time with someone in person. Even Skype and Face Time don’t have the same impact as physically being with someone. We are missing the 100% communication-ability that happens when we are immediately connected with one’s face, body, body language and voice!!

I am going to challenge you and challenge myself today. My challenge is to contact someone who we don’t know very well to meet up someplace and do lunch or coffee or something like that. And actually follow through!! I have a feeling that this type of socializing is a dying art in our world – and one that needs to be revived for our sense of well-being and connectedness!

How are you with the social media thing? I’ve heard some speak lately of wanting to cut back on the social media, that they really don’t feel it is adding a whole lot to their lives. What are your thoughts?

The next post will be an update! Happy social-not media-izing!