A Work in Progress
First of all, I want to thank you for your patience and delay in this week’s motivational Monday post. Even though today is Thursday, I thought it fitting to save this week’s until today as it is my birthday.
Today I am 34.
And I am thrilled to be 34 and feel fortunate for the life and lessons I have lived through thus far, thankful for where I am today and excited about where tomorrow will lead as I am confident while there will be challenges, there will also be wonderful moments to celebrate as well.
Birthday’s always prompt me to reflect, analyze and set goals, so when I came across the quote above, I couldn’t help but ponder my answer to the question it posed.
After all, perfection while not attainable, when understood as striving for our best self is something that can’t help but allow our answer to the above question to be YES!
It should ease our minds to know that we will make mistakes constantly along the way. After all, if we wish to grow we must try new things, and in the process we will become bruised as we are very much like a toddler trying to walk. But unless we try, we will never grow. We will never improve.
Today I’d like to share with you a few ways to continue to grow, improve and change as we all continue down the path of becoming our best selves that our old selves will most certainly be proud of. Have a look:
1. Read nonfiction. Learn how things function, work and once were. Allow others’ time, energy and experience help you to avoid unnecessary mistakes and setbacks.
2. Let go of what you don’t use (household) and what does support what you value (people, responsibilities, etc). By doing so you opening up the door to new experiences, more time and less stress.
4. Master your thoughts. When we adjust our attitude, we adjust our perception of the world we live in which allows us to see things differently. And when we see things differently, we see new opportunities, new inspiration for creativity and more hope that indeed the life we are trying to create is possible.
5. Keep a gratitude journal or simply keep a journal.
6. Eat lunch outside when the weather becomes lovely once again. It is amazing what basking in the sunshine, hearing the birds and squirrels dither about can do for our psyche in the middle of a work day or plopped in the middle of a delightful weekend.
7. Become determined to learn one new thing each day. Whether it’s learning a new vocabulary word (mellifluous - adj. sweet or musical; pleasant to hear. “She had a mellifluous voice.”), or becoming more acquainted with a new law that is on the ballot in an upcoming election, consciously choose to invite more knowledge into your life.
8. Stop complaining. When we complain, we actually invite more negative thoughts into our minds, squeezing out our attempts at becoming optimistic and hopeful. Think of it this way, if you can do something about whatever it is that is frustrating you, do it, don’t complain. And if you can’t, keep your mouth zipped.
9. Take control of your money. Set a budget, reduce or stay out of debt, eliminate unnecessary expenditures. (See TSLL money page. Full of posts on just this topic.)
10. Use only cash for purchases. Upon having to actually see how much money you are paying for something, you are less likely to fork it over so quickly and absent-mindedly.
11. End multi-tasking. While many things may get done, they aren’t typically completed with high-quality results.
12. Leave your cell phone out of the bedroom when you go to bed. My friend recently shared with me that she has every member of her family leave their cells in the kitchen upon going to bed. We need our sleep, and often we get in our own way of a blissful night’s slumber.
13. Take a look at your schedule for the following day the night before. Organize it in such a way that is feasible. Eliminate any tasks that are unnecessary. Each day should be very much goal-oriented as well as it includes small steps that we take to reach our larger goals. Knowing what to wear, how early to get up, when a bit of exercise can be squeezed in is often sabotaged by not planning ahead.
14. Eliminate eating processed foods. Read Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us to discover the grip processed food companies have on our eating habits and health.
15. Spotlight one food that sabotages your eating habits and eliminate it cold-turkey today. For me it was cookies. I used to be able to eat a whole batch in very little time. Deadly! Now, only on vacations do I let myself enjoy, and I never bake them anymore.
16. When in discussions, keep in mind, raising your voice doesn’t mean what you have to say is more important or deemed right and someone else’s opinion wrong. Easier said than done, but with practice, it is a tremendous ability to have in your arsenal.
17. Stop comparing your life to others. You may look to them for inspiration, but not competition.
18. Ascertain what you are passionate about and pursue it without delay.
19. Give compliments freely, but make sure they are sincere and specific.
20. Associate and work with people who inspire you and whom you respect.
It is the little events, at-first-glance small steps that we make each day that create a life we can look back on and smile as we realize how far we have come. Today, pat yourself on the back for how well you have done thus far, and always know that you can always learn something more to polish your best-self. Have a wonderful Thursday everyone.
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~Why Not . . . Read? (a three part series)