If your life was a car, are you the one driving it? I don’t want you to be a passenger in your life, letting everyone else dictate where you are going, what you should do, and how you want to feel.
I want you to be where you deserve – in the drivers seat. I want you all to step into 2020 with excitement and hope that it is going to be an amazing year. Which is why this weeks blog I’m sharing a few things I believe can help us all to feel the way we want to feel and start our year off intentional about what we want and putting ourselves in the drivers seat.
I decided not to set any resolutions for 2020. I want to spend my focus and energy on adding more health and happiness into my life, not focusing on what I don’t want or don’t have. That feels too limiting and I want to feel abundant. I design my life in a way that brings in the happiness and health. Here are some ways that I do that, that perhaps you can incorporate into your life as well.
Feeling Good is our “Work”
What I mean by this is that I cannot control external circumstances, but I can control how I feel, how I react and how I respond to challenging situations. And so can you. My goal, and the aligned action I will take to achieve it, is to feel happy and healthy. Everything else falls into place when I focus my energy on how I want to feel.
How do you want to feel? What can you do daily to increase and nourish those feelings?
The way I work towards this is by getting clear about what I want, and why I want it.
Writing out the vision for what you want for your life, in your life: your career, money, relationships, health, spiritual practice, personal/professional development and the way you want to feel is like a prayer to the universe.
You can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are going. I did this exercise in my journal this week. I kept it really simply, but I was very clear about what I wanted. While doing the exercise I realized that I was doing something in my business that I no longer wanted to do. So this exercise is also great at showing you what you no longer want.
Soulful Dreaming Exercise
First, sit in stillness and let yourself daydream about what you desire. What do you want? Not what you’ve been told to want, or think you should want, or have decided that you no longer want but feel guilty for giving it up. Deep in your gut without even giving yourself time to second-guess your answers, what is it that you want? Right now, money, time and resources are not an option. Just riff. Later on you will work towards making decisions and taking inspired action. Right now, I just want you to write until you can’t write anymore.
If you are feeling stuck, fill in the blanks for each of these life areas:
For my career, I want….
For my health, I want….
For fun, I want….
For my personal and professional development, I want…
For my relationships, I want…
For financial abundance, I want…
For my spiritual well being, I want…
For my home, I want…
The universe is ready to give you a healthy, happy and positive life, so send out your dreams, desires and wishes so it can send them.
Set Healthy Boundaries
In 2019 I embraced that setting healthy boundaries with myself and others isn’t selfish, it is selfless. When I feel good, those around me benefit. My goal for 2020 is to say yes to all the things that I want and practice saying no when I truly want to say no. And to also ask for help when I need it, which is a personal healthy boundary that many of us struggle with you.
If it enhances the way you want to feel, do it. If it makes you feel stressed out and basically soul killing, say no thank you to it. I know I’m making it sound easy, and I know that it isn’t. It is a practice.
Practice saying no to things that you don’t really want to do, especially at work. Just because you are good at something, doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do it all the time. It is important for our health and our happiness to set boundaries.
Think of all the things you just do by default, whether at home or work, because you get asked, because you don’t feel comfortable saying no, or because you think it is faster to do it yourself.
You can be unapologetic about this. This will be the biggest boundary you set and will take strength for anyone who doesn’t like saying no. But it is a very powerful way to protect your energy and to feel the way you want to feel. Doing this for yourself, gives people the courage to do it for themselves as well.
What boundaries, if any, do you need to set for yourself and those around you? How will setting these boundaries change the way you feel?
Making Your Health a Priority Before It Makes You
The time for sacrificing our health for everyone and everyone else is over. Nothing is more important than your health. Unfortunately, we don’t become aware of this until we lose it. Eventually your body will say, “Enough is enough. You don’t want to take care of me, I’m going to stop working for you.”
“You cannot have a healthy mind without a healthy body and you cannot have a healthy body without a healthy mind. “
If you are not sure where to begin, start by making two little shifts each day.
Eat 2-3 healthy meals each day, or start by adding a big salad to each meal so at the very least you get in those greens.
Get into the kitchen and make food that you enjoy. When you don’t feel happy, it isn’t easy to find the energy to cook food that nourishes you, but set the intention that it isn’t punishment, in fact, it is a way to happiness. When you are healthy, you are happy.
Walk 30-60 minutes every single day, even if you are not in the mood. Just get your body moving because it will also begins to release all those happy chemicals in your body and start to shift your mood.
There is nothing more important than your health and happiness. That’s not selfish, it is essential! I can’t do what I do if I’m not happy or unhealthy. I can’t do anything if I’m stuck at home sick on the couch. Everything else seems more important than your health until you get sick. And neither can you, so if you are not doing this already, start making your health a priority before your body forces you to.
What I’m talking about it is living a healthy lifestyle, not dieting. I don’t believe in the diet culture for long-term results. Dieting might work in the short-term, but trying to lose weight, get healthy and stay that way means getting off the diet rollercoaster.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up absolutely everything. When you don’t deprive yourself of foods that you love, and stop making food the enemy, psychologists say that you are more likely to not slip into dieter’s remorse. When you get to that point, most people stay there and give up entirely, thinking they failed. So stop dieting and start living! Create the lifestyle that works for you and your body.
Set Non-negotiable Inspired Action To Feel Good
What do you need to do to feel the way you want to feel?
You now know how you want to feel, what you want, and are feeling energized with your new healthy lifestyle. It is now time to remove the obstacle of inaction and get clear about what action steps you want to take (not what everyone says you should take) to feel happy and healthy and make it non-negotiable. Meaning, don’t let anyone, including yourself, talk you out of, or make you feel bad or guilty for needing to do those things.
It isn’t selfish – it is selfless. When you are happy and healthy, so are those around you. I just don’t have the energy to do anything when I feel unhappy and unhealthy. I want to just crawl back into bed.
I want to increase my feeling of joy the moment I wake up. So I have a non-negotiable in the morning, which is, no negativity, and no rushing. Even it means having to get up slightly earlier so I can enjoy a cup of coffee, I do it – I choose it. I start each day by getting up, making my coffee and mentally, and most days in writing, listing out all of the things that I am grateful for. I don’t check my emails first, or worry about my to-do list just yet. I prepare my mind for a great day with an attitude of gratitude.
All of that takes me 15 minutes and then I start my day. And, it is a non-negotiable. Meaning, I don’t let anyone, including myself, talk me out of it. It works. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel abundant. It makes me feel patient when I really want something that I haven’t achieved yet. That is why I commit to it, because otherwise, and I know myself well, I will get pulled into the negative vortex as fast as my dog runs to the kitchen when I drop a piece of food.
If it works, work it like a full-time job.
Changing the way you start and end your day is a great way to raise up your positive vibrations. 15-30-minutes at the start and end of the day where there is no rushing around, choose a daily ritual that makes you feel good.
I just told you my morning routine. My evening routine is very similar. I only read something light and positive, I go to bed early so I get proper sleep, I write in my journal if there is anything I feel I need to release from the day, and I don’t schedule stuff in the evening every single night of the week.
No matter what happens in your day, you at least have taken 30 minutes just for you. It can be anything – just make it something that enhances the way you want to feel.
Take Control of Your Calendar
If you want to be in the power seat of your feelings, set healthy boundaries, and have time to achieve your goals, I recommend starting each day by doing the things that have to be done – the big deadlines. The things that would keep you up at night if you don’t get it done.
You don’t have time to get everything on your endless list done because it really is endless. There is always something new going on the list, so you have to take control of your schedule, not have your schedule control you.
Practice planning out your entire week either on the Friday or on the weekend so you know before you even sit down at your desk on Monday what you absolutely have to get done. If something comes up, you can look at your calendar, look at your must-get-done to-do list and decide where the new thing has to go. Sometimes it means having to say no to something, or someone and scheduling it for the week after. And sometimes it means moving an item over because you really want to say yes to that someone or something.
Isn’t it funny how we can always find time for the things that we actually want to do? Just like that, we have all the time in the world. When you put yourself in the drivers seat of your life, it starts to feel like you can actually stretch time a little. Not because you have more time, but because you are using the time to do what is necessary and what you want to do. Everything else that gets done is just a bonus and if it doesn’t get done, it can wait until tomorrow.
Push The Pause Button On Complaining
Not last, but the last one I will leave you with today, is practice not complaining.
A little complaint here and there is no big deal, but all day, every day complaining makes it really hard to stay positive and feel the way we want to feel. And that is what this “work” is all about – taking inspired action to feel good.
When you catch yourself, make yourself stop and replace it with better thoughts. Sometimes just saying, “this is a first world problem, do you want this attitude to gain momentum and ruin your day?” Simply questioning the complaint makes you think if it really matters. If it does, speak to someone about it.
When I need to vent, I do it with the intention that I need to get it out so I can move forward in a more positive way. And I try to end the venting session with a positive action or new perspective.
I’m not perfect at any of this, and probably never will be – its ALL a practice, but having the intention to wake up feeling, and saying, “I am so freaking happy” makes it all worth the effort.
We get cut up in thinking that we need to have everything achieved when and how we want it in order to be happy. But this just isn’t the case. I didn’t even reached all the goals I set last year, but I feel happy and abundant. For the goals I still want, I just put them on my 2020 list knowing that I did the best I can and sometimes the universe has a different timeline than I do.
What I know is that all I (you) have is right now. Happiness is a part of the journey, not the end result of making a certain amount of money or achieving a goal. Be so happy now that even the tiny little things you experience make you feel incredibly blessed. This is truly how we UNLEASH our inner contagiously positive.