Spring is almost here! It’s a time of awakening, renewing, and of expectations of wonderful, warm days ahead. The same can be true for your life, starting TODAY. Make a commitment to yourself to take whatever steps you need to make a change for the better, right away. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Even little changes now can make for big improvements later. Here are some things you can do NOW to become a better, stronger you:
1. Make a list of things you want to change about yourself, based on what YOU want, not what OTHERS want. Look online, in your library, or to your community resources and friends to get ideas how to get the ball rolling on these changes.
2. Start moving. Pick up that yoga or Pilates kit or equipment you got for Christmas that’s been sitting in the corner of your room and carve out an hour to get acquainted with it. Chances are, once you start using it, you’ll love it and you’ll want to do it regularly. Regular exercise will help your circulatory system, which helps flush out the bad, and helps strengthen and renew you each day.
3. Just say “no”! Practice self-discipline by cutting out all distractions when a task needs your full attention. Make sure other people around know that your “no” means “no” but be tactful about it. When you become a people pleaser by always saying “yes,” you’ll only end up short-changing and hating yourself.
4. Just say “yes”! On the other hand, sometimes a “no” makes and keeps you weaker. If the something you’re saying “no” to is something that could change your life in a positive way, then you are just saying “yes” to fear. While a certain amount of fear is good and natural (such as in physically harmful situations), there are many situations which evoke in people a vicious cycle of fear, avoidance, and stagnation: meeting new people, starting a business, giving a presentation, etc. You can overcome these fears through practice. Just take it one small step at a time. Meet someone new through a friend. Buy a book on starting a business. You get the idea.
5. Make a schedule every day. This helps you in the area of self-discipline. That age-old line is still true today: “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Discipline yourself today, and your dreams will be realized sooner than you think.
6. Learn and practice good nutritional habits. Even if you change only one bad nutritional habit today and replace it with a good one, that’s a step in the right direction. To get a better, stronger life, you need better, stronger thinking. Your brain can’t help you if you don’t supply it with good nutrition. Good nutrition is the foundation of a better, stronger you! Carve out some time today to learn about better nutrition. Then choose at least one eating habit you can change for the better.
7. Educate yourself in self-reliance. Your family, partner, and friends may not always be there for you. Make sure you can take care of yourself in any dire situation. If you don’t make enough money to live on your own, learn how to get there (do the research). If you’re in an abusive relationship, don’t let lack of knowledge or confidence keep you trapped (there is help and a wealth of material out there to learn how to stay away from or get out of this). Take responsibility for your circumstances and step up to the plate to help yourself out. Take a class at your local community college or adult education center; attend a lecture or seminar; check the library for free tax clinics, etc. Educate yourself today!
8. Read something useful for your personal development every day. Reading helps strengthen your thinking “muscles,” and getting knowledge will give you power. When you are powerful, you are strong!
9. Start a journal of your experiences along the way to becoming stronger. Everything we experience in life is there to teach us something. A journal will help you reflect on what has happened and can even help you solve problems as you think about all sides of an issue. When you face and go through difficult experiences, you forge a stronger you, just as metals are forged through fire. Buy a notebook today and write about something difficult you faced today or recently and how you handled it…or make a list of possible solutions. You will feel stronger even just by writing it down.
10. Take regular breaks from stress and hard work. You already know that you shouldn’t lift weights everyday without rest. Your muscles need time to repair themselves. As a result, they become stronger from the rest. The same is true for your mind and spirit. You know the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack [or Jill, for that matter] a dull boy [or girl].” You don’t want to be dull. You want to be sharp…and strong. So, give yourself a break and do something fun and relaxing. Even if you have to schedule it in…do it today!
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