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How to Do Something When You Really Don’t Want to

unmotivatedPhoto courtesy of Jamelah

You know the feeling: you’ve got an endless To-do list and you’re drowning in deadlines, but you just cannot seem to find the right motivation. Regardless of what particular goal(s) you’re trying to reach, dealing with a lack of motivation can really slow down your progress. In fact, allowing your slump to continue can cause a hefty set-back, undoing some of your hard-earned progress you have already made.

I am presently lacking the motivation to get my butt in gear and get in shape. I’m well aware of the health benefits I will enjoy after my body drops a few pounds, and I see my skinny clothes beckoning me from my closet every day. I’m also cognizant that regular exercise and healthy eating are the key to getting fit. The problem? How to overcome the “I don’t wanna”:

  1. Question your motives. The first step in finding your way past a roadblock is to reassess why you set that particular goal in the first place. Make sure that the goal in question is attainable, necessary, and will lead you to a happier and better place than where you are currently. Evaluate whether or not you really need/want to make the changes required to reach this goal. It’s possible that your goals have changed since you set out to change your life, which is why you should reevaluate frequently. If, however,  you discover that you’re on the right track, renew your confidence in the idea by imagining a future in which you have accomplished this goal. Come back to that visualization of yourself succeeding anytime you struggle.
  2. Rename your goal. Sometimes, word association can get the better of us.  For me, “exercising” brings up thoughts of sweat and exhaustion. What I really need in my life is to improve my physical endurance to overcome some of the hurdles that a connective tissue disorder throws at me. From now on, I’m going to tell myself, “Let’s go get stronger!” It may seem too simple to work, but I know that it is possible to mind-trick your own mind.
  3. Forgive yourself. One of the worst things you can do when you’re already in an uninspired frame of mind is to berate yourself to an even lower place. I know this to be true, and I’m working on being nicer to myself when I slip.
  4. Make a tiny shift. After all, that’s how we came up with our name! Most often, people feel unmotivated to do tasks that seem overwhelming. To avoid this, make your tasks as easy and simple as possible. Want to get more fit? Walk for 3-5 minutes every day. Cutting caffeine out of your life? Drop one caffeinated beverage out of your meal plan every week, or move to half-caff.  Trying to get better at keeping your house clean? Organize one room at a time, or set a timer and clean for only 30 minutes. Doing a little every day may not seem like a big deal, but what you’re actually doing is creating habits.
  5. Try to have fun. I hate reading self-help articles that say “It’ll all work out!  Just do it!” While they may be right, that doesn’t solve my problem – not wanting to do it in the first place! There’s a reason we struggle to do some of the things that will improve our lives – they’re hard! So, instead of forcing yourself to do something you hate - change it up a little bit first. Find some way to add even the tiniest pleasure to the task at hand – like adding fresh mint into your decaf tea, or buying new cleaning supplies. For me, it meant finding fun ways to get exercise with other people, like playing kickball with my kids, having a nature walk with my best friend, and taking a swim with my husband.

Finally – even the best of us have moments when all we feel like doing nothing. Give yourself permission to do nothing for a bit, because it’s your mind’s way of telling you to slow down and take a break. When you’re finished doing nothing, get back up and try again - because as the old saying goes:

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

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Optimistic Realism: An Attitude Worth Having

 

optimism

Photo courtesy of Steven Depolo

Constantly seeing the glass as half full may seem like the “in thing” to do these days, but do yourself a favor and leave the pure, unadulterated optimism to someone else. It’s definitely beneficial to have a generally positive outlook, but there’s a big difference between that kind of unrealistic optimism and optimistic realism.

All of the recent talk about mindfulness has some people under the misguided impression that if they visualize success, it will arrive on their doorstep. ”If I believe it will happen, it will happen!” Unfortunately, this is a completely unhealthy way of thinking, especially if all you’re doing is believing.

Living a mindful life means being aware of and accepting things exactly as they are – even as you’re mindfully aware of being caught in a downpour without an umbrella. Mindfulness isn’t about reaching your goals at all, actually; it’s about being present enough in any given moment to appreciate all aspects of that moment, taking the good with the bad.

Adopting a mindful attitude does generally mean approaching life with a positive outlook - that part’s true, but it doesn’t mean you should become blissfully unaware. Observing and experiencing your life’s moments mindfully and then taking meaningful, realistic action is the key.

The most successful people are full of optimism but are keenly aware of reality, as well. To achieve your goals, you’ll need to master the fine art of balancing the two mindsets. As it was once said by William Ward, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

Pessimists never get very far toward their goals because they spend most of their time and energy complaining. Uber-optimists tend to spend most of their days in La-La Land, fantasizing about the future and assuming that their destiny is already decided for them.

Optimistic Realism: An Oxymoron?

It all boils down to this: actions speak louder than words. The only way to get where you want to be is to get up and start moving. You’ll need to have a realistic mindset about the road ahead of you on your journey. Bumps in the road will challenge you, for sure, and instead of wearing blinders, you’ll fare much better if you’re on the lookout for any detours you may need to take along the way.

So, keep your (moving) feet on the ground but leave your mind wide open. Your continued optimistic belief in yourself will help you succeed, but true success will only come when you put forth effort, careful planning and dogged persistence.

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Can You Answer Life’s Most Important Questions?

good vs evilPhoto courtesy of Nicolee Camacho

Some of my favorite moments in life are those ‘a-ha’ moments known as epiphanies. There’s something so satisfying about figuring stuff out, especially if it brings me to a better understanding of myself. I’m a pretty inquisitive person, so I may be more analytical than the average person, but I bet you wonder about things, too.

And if you don’t, well -maybe you should.

Here in the TinyShift community, we’re all entrenched in this journey toward being the best we can be. Since we’ve all decided we want to live a life without limits, it makes sense that we’re constantly looking for more answers. Ideally, we’re seeking answers that will enable us to make appropriate tiny shifts with big consequences. As I’ve discovered, if you’re going to make changes, you need to know why first.

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Why are you on this journey?

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Answer that before you take your first step. Once you have your ‘why’, you’ll find that more questions pop up. They won’t be easy to answer, but that’s the point. The more you challenge yourself, the better your chance at making progress.

  • Do you love yourself unconditionally? This is an easy question to brush off with a simple “Of course I do!” Dig deeper, though. Don’t let yourself get away with easy answers that aren’t authentic.
  • What would you like to change about yourself? Answering this question is difficult but essential. Without internal change, there can be no growth.
  • What does the general picture of your ideal life look like?
  • What can you get rid of? Many times you’ll find that along with a keen sense of self-awareness comes a desire to purge. Eliminate things and people from your life if they are impeding your ability to be happy or successful.
  • Do you have a timeline? Setting goals with general end-dates will encourage you to accomplish them. Most of us work more efficiently with a deadline.
  • Is there something missing from your life that would bring you gratification? What steps would you need to take to obtain or accomplish whatever is missing?
  • Do you need to make changes in your profession? I made a huge job change at the age of 36. It was scary and difficult, but crucial to my success and satisfaction.
  • How stable is your romantic relationship? This question alone can incite a litany of other questions, and may cause you to veer from your previous life plan. Remember that there are often many paths leading to your destination.
  • Are you making significant contributions to the world?
  • How well are you meeting your responsibilities?  As you come face to face with some of your imperfections, you’ll get in touch with some intense emotions. While it may be difficult to admit that you’re lacking in any one area, you must take stock of the good, the bad and the ugly. No sugar-coating allowed.
  • Are you looking to the future or are you stuck in the past? You’d be surprised how easy it is to confuse the two. Make sure that your goals will help you move toward a new and better future rather than a repeat of history.
  • Who and what are your top priorities?
  • Do your priorities match up with your goals?
  • What do you fear the most about your journey toward self-awareness and happiness? Often, simply acknowledging and sitting with your fears will neutralize their power.
  • (Your next question here.)

There are no ‘right’ answers to any of these questions, but leaving them blank isn’t a good idea. The more you challenge yourself to be accountable for your own life, the more pleasurable everything will become. Asking yourself the hard questions will result in some epiphanies of your own as you inch closer and closer to your definition of an authentic, fulfilled life.

What answers are you seeking? As some of us are on similar paths, we can learn a lot from each other along the way. If you haven’t shared in the comments before, we’d love to hear from you today!

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Are You Addicted to Food? (A Weighty Post)

Photo courtesy of Melissa Maples

The first step to recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is acceptance. We’ve all heard that saying before, and many of us probably know someone who’s dealt with a substance abuse problem. Once a drug or alcohol addict admits to having a problem, the solution is removal of the addictive substance and learning the self-awareness skills that will help them avoid temptation in the future.

Plenty of people use drugs and alcohol for a variety of acceptable social and medicinal reasons, but an addict has reached a sense of physically and psychologically craving their substance of choice. Did you know that a very similar addiction can also happen with food?

I started thinking about this topic when I read a few very disturbing news articles last week. One reported that 25% of women would rather be severely depressed than overweight. In fact, 15% would rather be blind. When I delved a little deeper into the topic, I realized that food addiction is a huge psychological issue for many people.

The culture that we live in glorifies emaciated and gaunt women (as well as thin, muscular, attractive men), and has created a sense of desperation in some people to live up to those glorified images. The problem? In order to do so they must kick their secret food habit, and that is much, much harder than it seems.

Food addicts need food to survive, so unlike alcohol or drugs, avoidance of the very thing that has become an addiction is nigh on impossible. Thus, these people slide into self-hatred at their inability to quit over-eating.

Guess what goes really well with self-loathing? You’ve got it – comfort food.

Thus begins a seemingly unbreakable cycle of self-starvation, hunger, binge-eating, and self-hatred. Pepper in a little depression, fatigue, and what you end up with is someone who sees food as an enemy and a best friend.

Breaking the cycle of turning to food for comfort is difficult because we’re surrounded by food every day. A food addict must continue to feed herself and her children in order to simply stay alive, whereas a drug addict can flush his pills down the toilet and begin “recovering.”

The secret to breaking the food-as-comfort cycle is self-acceptance. Come to terms with the fact that you may never be a size two. Love yourself anyway. Focus on all the things that you love about being you and get rid of negative influences. Even if you’re “overweight,” it’s ok. Stop the struggle. Just be you. Eat to nourish your body, not to comfort your emotions. Change starts on the inside, even when we’re talking about physical appearance.

By fully accepting yourself just as you are, and allowing for the fact that you may never be any thinner than you are right this very second, you release the pressure from yourself to be something that you’re not. Stop dieting and start living. Many food addicts can only lose excess weight once they enter into a healthier relationship with themselves. But even if you’re never as thin as you want to be, it’s ok. You’re beautiful how you are, here, now, today.

 

 

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A Success Story that will Amp Up Your Motivation

Photo courtesy of CR Artist

I’ve found that motivation is rather hard to come by this time of year, and that (ironically) was the catalyst for today’s post.

If you’re like me, then you’ve realized how difficult it is to overcome the emotional hurdles that come along with being in a slump – the biggest of which is a feeling of hopelessness. Luckily, motivation is something that comes and goes, and as long as you don’t give up on your goals, you will feel motivated again soon.

Along with staying focused on the end result, there are some other things you can do until your motivation returns, and some of them might even bring it back sooner. At times like this, choose one goal to focus on. Too many things on your To-Do list is a surefire way to overwhelm yourself. Spend some time with your negative thoughts; let yourself feel them without judgement. After a few days, start writing yourself inspirational notes, even if you don’t feel inspired yet.

You can also use this time to be inspired by other success stories, like the one that follows.

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When Howard was just 8 years old, his father lost his blue collar job due to injury, with no opportunities for sick leave or disability pay. Howard’s parents became unable to pay bills, afford healthcare, or even put food on the table. Howard wanted a better life, but he also wanted to make a difference for others. As the first member of his family to attend college, he earned a degree in Communications, after which he worked his way upward with sales and marketing positions.

His incredible drive and work ethic eventually got him hired as Vice President of a fairly large housewares company. Among his clients was a small company that sold coffee beans, loose teas, spices and beverage accessories. Howard became intrigued by this company when they began purchasing more and more of his company’s products. On a business trip to their location, he fostered a relationship with the company owners and eventually became their Director of Marketing.

Soon after, while Howard was on vacation in Italy, he noticed coffee shops on every corner, all brimming with customers day in and day out. People used the coffee shops as meeting places and hangouts. When Howard returned home, he pitched the idea to his bosses. However, the small coffee company owners wanted no part of the ‘restaurant business’ and they quickly dismissed his idea.

Howard was disheartened by their response to his idea, so he left the company to start a chain of coffee shops on his own, called Il Giornale. Two years later, he had enough capital to buy the rights to the small coffee bean company he had left. It cost him $3 million to purchase and he quickly rebranded Il Giornale to combine the two concepts into a colossal money making machine.

Of course, the name of that small coffee bean and tea company was Starbucks, and as of 2012, it is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, and Howard Schultz has a net worth of approximately $1.5 billion. True to his promise to himself when he was just a youngster, every Starbucks employee working 20 or more hours a week receives healthcare options, which are also extended to their spouses.

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I often think about Howard when my motivation is low, and I realize that if he can accomplish such amazing feats, having grown up in a housing project in the Canarsie area of Brooklyn, then surely the rest of us can find the motivation to accomplish our goals, too.

Until your motivation returns, let the stories of people like Howard stoke your fire. You only need one ember burning to keep your dreams from going up in smoke.

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3 Simple Plot Twists that Will Change Your Life Story

Photo courtesy of Melissa Maples

Sixteen months ago I was living a very different life story.

The main characters were pretty much the same; the setting was the lovely, lofty place I still call home. To onlookers, casual observers and indifferent passersby, my world as it is now remains unchanged, even static, if you will.

Those of you who’ve experienced a profound internal metamorphosis can understand when I say: Nothing changed, yet everything was different.

As you’re making your way through the plot of your life, remember that you’re the author, illustrator, and most importantly, the editor. By shifting and twisting the plot bit by bit, you have the power to keep making changes until the story matches the picture in your mind.

If the main character in your favorite novel can find his or her way to a happy ending, you’d better believe that you can, too. Like everything in life, editing your own plot line to perfection takes trial and error, but at least one of these three major plot twists is bound to be just what you need.

  1. “Kill off” an unsupporting character. It’s so easy to get rid of the bad guy in books and movies, and it won’t be quite that simple in real life. If all of your days and nights are filled with angst that always leads to the same person, fire the “actor” and fill the position with someone who’s a better fit for the role.
  2. Frankly, my dear, you’ve got to stop giving a damn. After all, Rhett Butler managed to do it in Gone With the Wind, so you can, too. A plot twist that will have a huge impact on the story of your life is to stop wasting your precious energy and emotions on arguments with people who just don’t, and likely never will, get it. The freedom and relief that will come your way may seem trivial now, but letting go of things that just aren’t all that important will allow you more time to focus on the things that are essential to your complete happiness and satisfaction.
  3. Take a hard look at the mirror, mirror on the wall. Hone in on your self-awareness. Love yourself unconditionally, with every single flaw you’ve got. Only when you’re able to embrace yourself in all of your imperfection will you be able to improve as a person. After all, you are the main character, and it’s up to you to decide it you want to be the Protagonist or the Villain. Make changes accordingly.

Personally, I got the biggest results from #3, and now my character is frequently brought to tears of joy. In my life story, the moral turned out to be “You get what you give.” Try to see what you can learn by re-reading the pages of your own story, and always keep in mind that you’re the one holding the pen.

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How Much are Your Hours Worth?

Photo courtesy of Saad Kadhi

While I was weighing whether or not to have the housekeeper clean my house this month, I remembered a conversation I recently had with a friend. Our chat was lengthy and had both of us taking opposite ends of a philosophical perspective, but I can actually summarize our conversation in a three-word question.

Does time = money?

This is, of course, something people have wondered about many times before. For me, it meant trying to figure out which was smarter. On the one hand, if I simply picked up a scrub brush and hopped to it, I could work around my clients’ needs and get the whole house cleaned in my spare time.

In that scenario, I’d have the same amount of money but less time in which to make more of it.

My other option was to call the housekeeping company and schedule a cleaning. They’d send out a crew and clean my entire house in a little over an hour, for which I’d pay them a pretty significant amount of money. While they sanitized my bathrooms and dusted all the knick-knacks I’ve accumulated (even though I once swore I hated those things), I could be working on paid projects, listing items in my eBay store, or coming up with my next big idea. Not to mention, I’d gain back the two hours (likely more) I would have spent cleaning the house by myself.

In that scenario, it seems that time does = money. However, as with so many things in life, it’s just not that simple.

When anyone is considering how to best spend the hours in their day, there are several things that must be taken into consideration. Primarily, you should have a good idea of what an hour of your time is worth to you in terms of income. Let’s use the cleaning company scenario as a hypothetical example. Hiring them would gain any of us three hours each month to do whatever we needed or wanted to accomplish, and for the sake of this argument we’ll stay focused on activities that have earning potential.

Would an extra three hours help you achieve important professional or financial goals? If so, think of hiring people to take care of some of your duties as an investment in your future. In order for it to be a sound investment, you’ve got to use that time wisely and not spend it surfing the Internet while eating Cheetos, though. If that’s the result of your investment, you’ve just flushed the entire cleaning company fee right down the drain, plus any potential earnings you could have generated by coming up with your next big idea.

So, if time really is money, then it’s clearly a good idea to buy more of it. At regular intervals, take stock of how well you utilize any time you were able to free up by buying more time. Did your investment in yourself pay off?

If it seems like buying time isn’t helping you attain your goals, spend some free time analyzing what you could do differently. Keep working at the time/money equation until you get an answer that has a big professional payoff.

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How to Find Success with Love and Money

Photo courtesy of Mark and Cece

Taking control of your own happiness is an important theme for us here at TinyShift. Our entire staff lives and breathes our mantra: making small changes that have big consequences. We’ve all seen our lives improve exponentially since we started taking control of our own lives. Part of what fulfills us on our journey is sharing our success so that you can also move toward living the life you really want.

We make it our practice to regularly learn about a variety of elements like books, apps, disciplines, practices (such as mindfulness, meditation, and cognitive therapy), courses, and the latest research that may help our readers find success. Recently, we were lucky enough to meet Cece Suwal and Mark Brener, who are Co-founders of The One World Initiative blog and co-authors of the national bestseller A Guide to Your Supreme Power. Let me tell you – this is one amazing twosome. They’ve been featured on ABC and in The New York Times, The New York Observer, Fortune/CNN Money Magazine, The Guardian UK, Shanghai Daily, and other news outlets around the world.

While talking with Mark and Cece recently, we learned that they are currently offering a 3-Part Mini-Course absolutely FREE. This course consists of: an audio series wherein multi-millionaires reveal their secrets, an e-book that addresses the root causes of anxiety and how to overcome it, and an e-book designed to help you enjoy happy and satisfying relationships and sex lives.

Here’s exactly what you’ll receive:

  • Multi-Millionaire Interview Series: Self-Made Millionaires Reveal Their Real Secret Tools for Success-a new, 3-part audio interview series and cheat-sheet-style e-book that will help you learn about the real ways to succeed financially, as shared by 3 highly successful multi-millionaires that Cece and Mark interviewed. (value: $100)
  • What Stress, Worry, and Anxiety Really Mean and How to Replace Them With Delight! – a 28 page e-book that explains the causes of anxiety and how to be free from it once and for all. (value: $30)
  • Relationship Advice That Really Works: How to Have Meaningful, Loving, and Sexually Satisfying Relationships – a 19 page e-book that reveals timeless wisdoms about love, why we need it and how to have awesome sex lives. (value: $14.99)

PLUS two bonus gifts!

  • How To Influence People For Maximum Results (value: $30)
  • Why Passion Comes Before Success AND What To Do If You Can’t Find YOUR Passion (priceless)

Again, we think this mini-course will help you as you take control of your life, and we think it’s great timing that we met Cece and Mark just as the new year is about to start.  We know you, our readers, are ready to make changes in your lives for the better, and this is a great tool to use on your journey. And it’s totally free!

To sign up for the mini-course, simply click here. You will be re-directed to their site. Please let us know your thoughts after you’ve had time to review everything!

 

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A Real Life Report Card: Making Changes for the Better

Photo courtesy of Hannah Swithinbank

As December is getting ready to melt into January, I’ve started taking note of the good habits I’ve formed in 2012.  In the past year, I’ve become mindfully aware of the power I have over my own life. The last thing I want to do is slow or halt the progress I’ve made in areas that are very important to me. Since I started making a conscious effort to break a bunch of bad habits and replace them with new ones, I’ve experienced some extremely positive changes in my life.

Being aware of your progression toward the kind of life you really want is crucial to your success, but being immersed in your day-to-day life can sometimes blur your perception of the big picture. And with that line of thinking, I had an a-ha moment.

In your school years, you always knew how well you were doing in a multitude of subjects all at once because you were given tangible evidence of your success every marking period.  Now you’re trying to master a much more complex subject: Life. Here in the real world, you’re the only one who can determine how close you are to achieving your goals. As both the student and the teacher, you’re pretty much left to your own devices when it comes to assessment. While most people have a pretty good idea of what it means to ‘Fail at Life’, it seems much more difficult to ascertain exactly when you’ve passed with flying colors.

What we could all use is a real life report card – a tangible way to measure the progress we’re making toward our goals. Succeeding at life isn’t something that’s easy to measure, though. And since we’re all improving in a wide array of different ways, I’ve compiled a few suggestions you can use to create an assessment that’s appropriate for your life.

  1. Put it in a jar.  Start each year (or other predetermined length of time) with an empty jar or other container of your choice. Whenever you reach an important milestone in your Happiness Journey, write a short note about it and place it folded in the jar. At the end of the year (or the real life ‘marking period’ of your choosing), read all of the notes aloud to give yourself recognition for making positive changes. Another possibility is to make a second jar for any setbacks you’ve experienced.
  2. Cross it off. Before implementing the above idea, write the small changes you hope to make in a notebook. List style works best for this assessment tool. When you empty your jar, cross off all of the accomplishments as you read them aloud. If you incorporate two jars, make notes under each item that still needs work.
  3. Blog it. Whether you prefer electronic posts or the kind you make with pen and paper, start a Journey Journal. This acts as a running record of your self-improvement, and can replace both #1 and #2.
  4. Reflect. Mentally assess where you are now versus where you were last year, or six months ago.  How do you feel?  Ask yourself if you are coming closer to ultimate happiness or veering off the path.
  5. Snap it.  Get into the habit of taking pictures of happy/momentous occasions so that you can refer to them later as you self-assess. Pictures can really jar the mind, and they will remind you of everything you’ve accomplished.  Conversely, photos can also help you remember moments that were low, giving you a reality check about how far you’ve really come.

Pick and choose some (or use all) of the above methods, but make sure you stop to take inventory of your satisfaction with life every now and again.  There’s a reason we had report cards in school, and although we shouldn’t spend too much time assessing ourselves (that would be too time consuming and detract from living mindfully) - if we don’t check in, we’ll be much more likely to check out, ending up right back where we started.

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The #1 Reason to Get in Shape Will Surprise You

Photo courtesy of Ms. PhoenixEvery year around this time it’s very common to hear people getting down on themselves about not being in better shape. In fact, New Year’s resolutions have already begun in earnest, or at least the planning of them, giving everyone a chance to promise to do better in January. “Just two more over-indulgent weeks!”

Unfortunately, along with healthy eating habits, exercise routines often slow down or even come to an abrupt halt around the holidays. Once the diet goes out the window, the motivation to stay fit goes right along with it. As with many things in life these days, the common approach to living a “healthy lifestyle” means restrictive dieting that is impossible to maintain. Several small slip ups can lead to a feeling of failure, and with a shrug of the shoulders, pure gluttony ensues.

In order to keep your diet and exercise routine from slipping away from you, make it part of your ever-increasing healthy lifestyle. As Savor author Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”

Every moment presents us with the opportunity to make a good decision or one that might lead us away from the life we want to live. The foundations of living mindfully include paying attention to ourselves and living consciously in order to improve our satisfaction with life. If we are living by the ideals of mindfulness, we should try to be present and aware of our food and fitness choices and how they will help us or harm us.

By choosing to be mindfully aware of your body, you become more in tune with yourself. You’ll find that you crave foods that nourish your body and that physical exercise feels good.  It feels good to be so connected to yourself! Not only will you be more self-aware and balanced, but your physical being will display the results of your mindful approach to eating and moving.  You’ll look healthier. Excess weight will come off. Skin conditions often disappear. Insomnia usually improves dramatically.

I’ve adopted a mindful approach to life. In fact, you might say I’ve embraced it with a zealous fervor. I was highly motivated to change my lifestyle because I was not physically healthy. My decision to switch to eating mindfully and following a regular exercise regime has vastly improved my body’s ability to keep excess weight off. I also sleep better and feel less pain than I have in over twenty years.

However, the most surprising benefit of becoming more aware of what the body needs actually has nothing to do with the physical being at all! Adopting a mindful fitness plan has been proven to make impressive physical changes…to the brain. The brains of people practicing regular, mindful fitness plans (and eating healthy foods) have higher levels of tryptophan hydroxylase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme of serotonin biosynthesis. Essentially, that’s our brain’s self-made anti-depressant.

In short: if weight gain, and more importantly your overall physical health are bringing you down this year (or at any time, for that matter) – put the concept of mindfulness to the test. Tune in to your body and learn what it needs. It’s highly likely that you’ll watch the numbers on the scale get smaller and smaller, while your grin grows exponentially.

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