Labels- Do’s and Don’ts

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Labels- we seen them everywhere.  We label people.  We label products.  We label foods.  Depending on the label we give something, it will change the meaning and the perspective we take.

For example, we label people.  We generalize.  We label rich people as “greedy,” “grimy,” or “despicable”.  We label overweight individuals as “lazy”, “losers”, or “undisciplined”.  These labels we use create how we interact within the world.  If you see the people I outlined above in this way, would you interact with them?  Probably not.

What if we turned this concept inward to ourselves.  If we see ourselves as “lazy”, “uncommitted”, “no good”, or “weak”, how do you think we would act?  Like losers, I’m sure.  So, why give yourself labels like that?  Consider changing the way you see things. Change the way you see others and yourself.  Choose constructive thoughts, words, and actions when viewing other people, yourself, and products.  Choose products and people that will benefit you in your mental, physical, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual health.  For example, call yourself “loved”, “worthy”, “enthusiastic”, or “strong”.

Don’t
Allow others to determine your identity
Choose friends who do not want the best for you
Listen to negative messages
Dwell on negative thinking
Beat yourself up

Do
Choose a strong personal identity
Choose people who raise you up
Listen to positive messages
Cultivate positive thinking
Love yourself unconditionally

Choose people who support positive labels about you.  Choose people in your live who call you “smart”, “great”, “helpful”, “compassionate”, etc. They will support you both when you are on top or rock bottom. You will notice how you feel about your confidence, self-esteem, and decision-making.  Do this over time.  You will not only take on behaviors of positive labels. But, you will become more of those qualities!  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!
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“P”atterns

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The direction of our lives depend on the patterns we create each day.  This means our behaviors, habits, thoughts, words, and actions form who we are and where we go. They are subtle but they drive our actions and interactions with the world.  If we are not careful, our minds will choose the patterns that are most accessible. Mostly, negative messages and tones from around us! I let that happen to me before.  Not a road you want to go down.  Trust me.  Want positive changes in your life?  Choose positive “P”atterns throughout your day.  During the day, I will speak these words to myself to repeat these patterns so they become second nature. Below, I outline some “P”atterns I use.  Find the words that speak to you and focus on adding them to your daily routine!

Peace: In this day and age, it is so difficult to find a mindful calmness.  We have distractions, loud music, annoying people, and electronics that keep us busy.  Finding peace and quiet almost means locking yourself in an empty room with nothing to do.  Or, does it?  The secret to outward peace is inward peace. Our minds create peace or chaos depending on what we feed it. If we feed busy distractions and fill our lives with commotion, our body will feel the business.  If we fill our minds with peace, quiet, kindness, and compassion, we will feel such.  Give yourself some quiet time and your body and mind will thank you.


Positivity: Our world throws so many messages at us.  Negative news, rude people, tough situations.  It’s sometimes easy to dwell on the negatives in this life.  It is so critical to develop a positive mindset.  Practice gratitude, looking at the bright side, interacting with positive media, and smiling.  You will see how your perspective will change for the better.


Passion: Passion is tough to define.  A dictionary definition seems cheesy here.  To me, “passion” means a burning desire to spend time with something or someone you love. Life seems dull without it.  Passion makes life exciting and meaningful.  Find your passion and you will find your direction and reason in life.


Power:  The world makes us feel powerless sometimes.  We get beat down.  We fail.  We get criticized or discriminated.  DO NOT allow the world to make you feel powerless.  YOU are powerful!  You have the power to make decisions and determine your outcome. Personal power comes from owning who you are and your choices.  If you do this, no one can make you feel any less about yourself.  Own who you are and step into your personal power!


Presence: Our culture and thinking has a way of turning us away from the present moment. Technology, distractions, the news, situations all have a way of taking us away from a mindful moment in the here and now.  We dwell on the past on past mistakes.  Or,we overthink and overanalyze in the future.  Past and future thinking robs us of the peace in the present moment. Find strategies that put you in the present moment.  You will feel more at peace and powerful to make great decisions.

Patterns make us who we are- good and bad.  Choose patterns and behaviors you can be proud of and see your life change.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

#Despite

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“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”-Elon Musk


“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” —Conrad Hilton


“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”—Marianne Williamson


I have been having a tough time lately.  Whatever I do, it seems things have not been working out.  To add to this, I had a few challenges all at once in a single week.  I’m ok with one or two challenges at a time,  But three to four?  Give me a break!  I felt like I couldn’t catch a break!  I felt stuck.  I was anxious and overwhelmed.


But, something interesting happened.  I spoke with my friends and share with them what was happening.  They reassured me and gave me some perspective.  They made me realize that these circumstances were only temporary.  On top of that, they weren’t as big as I made them out to be!

These events made me rethink difficult times.  They reminded me that we all have challenging times.  They reminded me that I am not alone in my journey.  They made me realize that i can overcome difficulties despite obstacles.  I can survive DESPITE hard times.  They are only temporary!

If you are going through a difficult time, know this:  it is not here to stay!  Things will get better.  You will get better because of it!  You will persist DESPITE your circumstances.  Use these strategies to get through your tough times:

-call a trusted friend and share your struggles
-journal your thoughts and experiences
-reframe your expectations or perspectives on the event
-take care of your body- eat well, sleep, and stay active.
-do what you can at the moment.  Your strength and spirit to confront the big stuff will return.
-LAUGH!  Do something you enjoy that puts a smile on your face

In the moments you feel down and challenged, remember that challenges are temporary.  They are actually good for us because they make us stronger and more resilient.  Next time that you are in a challenging time, decide to persist DESPITE the challenge!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

“V”alues

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Value:  something (such as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable (Meriam Webster dictionary)

“In order to lead a meaningful life, you need to cherish others, pay attention to human values and try to cultivate inner peace.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

“It’s silly to have as one’s sole object in life just making money, accumulating wealth. I work because I enjoy what I’m doing, and the fact that I make money at it – big money – is a fine-and-dandy side fact. Money gives me just one big thing that’s really important, and that’s the freedom of not having to worry about money. I’m concerned about values – moral, ethical, human values – my own, other people’s, the country’s, the world’s values. Having money now gives me the freedom to worry about the things that really matter.”
-Johnny Carson

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”— Roy Disney


The other day, I spoke with my grandfather on the phone. We had a wonderful conversation and it was the highlight of my day.   If you don’t already do, I encourage you to do the same.  Our grandparents are full of wisdom and knowledge from life experiences and will only be around a little longer.  It’s a shame to think that some people do not appreciate their grandparents.  We got on the topic of attitudes and values.  My grandpa shared one of his lessons with me on how he has continued to stay positive and energetic despite his age.  He named 5 “V”alues that allow us to become our best selves.  Below is a summary of our discussion:


All Definitions from Meriem Webster Dictionary 
-Vim: Robust energy and enthusiasm.
In order to achieve anything in this world, it is critical to attack it with Vim.  Genuine, authentic energy will take you to places you never expected.  Energy and enthusiasm move the world forward. Strive to live each day with a sense of robust energy and enthusiasm.

Vigor: intensity of action or effect : force

Vigor can be another term for passion.  We know that passion is essential in our day to day.  But, why?  Passion drives us forward despite obstacles.  This intensity helps us become a light that shines on others.  People take notice.  They realize you mean business.  You aren’t messing around.


Vitality:  lively and animated character/ the power of enduring

Without vitality, we would be boring.  The people with a lively personality make friends easier and can change more effectively.  They are fully alive in themselves and show it.  Also, vitality brings a sense of perseverance.  This kind of person can endure the toughest circumstances all with a smile on their face.

Vertical:  perpendicular to the plane of the horizon or to a primary axis : upright

Every day above ground is a good day.  Sometimes, it is easy to get bogged down in this world.  Disasters and tragedies occur almost daily.  There is an overwhelming sense of negativity.  Sometimes, reminding ourselves that we can stand and work can change our whole attitude about our day and lives overall.  Focus on being grateful for being alive and vertical.

Virtuous: morally excellent : righteous
It is critical to be ethical.  To live by a code of conduct that aligns with a system of values.  If each individual did not have a set of virtues, society would not exist and this life wold be a nightmare.  Choose your virtues wisely as they will define your behaviors and actions

There you have it.  5 “V”alues that can create a vibrant, exciting, productive, and long lasting life.  Do you have other “V”alues that you live by??  Comment below! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Get Dirty

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“I can say the willingness to get dirty has always defined us as an nation, and it’s a hallmark of hard work and a hallmark of fun, and dirt is not the enemy.” -Mike Rowe
“Opportunity is missed by most people because its dressed in overalls and looks like work” -Thomas Edison
“Learn young about hard work and manners-and you’ll be through the dirty mess and dead again before you know it” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m noticing, almost daily, how there is a lack of work ethic amongst people.  While I am not perfect, I value and understand hard work.  I have been a part of the work force for 10 years.  I have worked in several industries and varying capacities.  One practice I have had all the way through is to do my very best.  I make a point to do everything I can- prepare, serve others, problem solve, get rejected, learn and study more- to complete my work.  Again, my work isn’t always on point or close to perfect.  But, I put my best foot forward each time.

We are afraid to get dirty.  We are afraid to look bad or make a mistake.  This is a viral issue.  It pops up wherever hard work is required to have progress- a diet, a workout program, the workplace, relationships.  We are insecure about putting in the effort without having all the answers.  We want a sure outcome before going in.  We don’t feel ready so we wouldn’t try.  But you know what?  Life is messy.  It’s not clean and efficient all the time.  Sometimes, to get what we desire, we need to get dirty to some degree.  Yes, I am talking about sweat, pain, and effort in the gym.  But, it goes deeper than that.  In order to progress, we need to be willing dive into the “gunk of life”- scary emotions, scary situations, tough decisions, taking risks.  Life becomes more meaningful when we accomplish things through effort and sweat.

What examples do you have of getting dirty??  Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Gear Up

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“Organize, don’t agonize.”  ― Nancy Pelosi
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Be willing to take the first step, no matter how small it is. Concentrate on the fact that you are willing to learn. Absolute miracles will happen.” -Louise Hay

To me, getting ready is an odd concept.  It’s an essential part of our lives.  We get ready for work, get ready for school, get ready for a party, and so on.  Each person has their own definition and routine of “getting ready”. Here, I will focus on getting ready to make a health/ lifestyle change.  But, you can apply this to anything in your life.

Getting ready occurs once we acknowledge something needs to be done.  We realize that our mood has been off, we could lose a few pounds, or ate too much dessert recently.  There is something about our health we want to change.  The first step of any change is “preparing.”  Once you take the first steps, change becomes easier!  Therefore, we need to consider how to get the ball rolling in order to make these changes stick!  Consider these questions when looking to make a change:

-What resources will I need?
-Do I have said resources?
-How much time will I commit to this change?
-Who can I count on for support?
-What are my goals?
-How will I keep motivated during this change?
-What happens if I hit obstacles?

Take, for example, that you want to start running more often.  You realize you need running shoes and workout clothes.  You decide you will commit 1 month to making it a new habit.  You want to run for 30 minutes straight after that month.  You will count on your trainer friend to encourage you and help you with any unseen troubles along your way.
Obviously, this is one hypothetical situation to illustrate how to being making a lasting change.  What other questions would you ask yourself as you “gear up” for a change? Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Why I Workout

“I’ve always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life. When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks. You’ll feel more confident to ask for the promotion. You’ll have more energy to be a better mom. You’ll feel more deserving of love” -Jillian Michaels
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” -John F. Kennedy

I am by no means in my top physical form currently.  I’ve never been a top athlete or have the sexist body.  It’s important to know that your body does not have to be perfect.  You do not have to be a perfect 10 or be featured in a fitness mag to reap the benefits of exercise.

Currently, people will come up with LOADS of reasons why not to do something.  It’s easy.  We can dismiss the activity or person with one tiny excuse.  We stay in our comfort zone and keep going on our merry way.  If it’s inconvenient, it’s not going to happen. Thats what occurs often in society now.  Some typical excuses include: “I don’t have the time”, “It’s too inconvenient”,” it’s too difficult”, or my personal favorite- “why would I get sweaty on purpose?”

We’ve all been there.  We know it’s important. We know we should be doing it.  But, we comfort ourselves by rationalizing why it wouldn’t work.  We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or others.  But, life is not supposed to be 100% comfortable.  It’s CRITICAL to do something you would not normally do to get the results you want.

Instead of making reasons why not to workout, think of some reasons why it IS a good idea.
-It feels good to get moving
-You think more clear after working out
-You get a sense of accomplishment by doing something difficult
-You have a better mood from working out
Of course, your body, mind, and emotions will become more healthy!
Are there other reasons you exercise?  Share below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!