There are Always More Options

3-arrows-1-way

“The highest form of intelligence is the ability to see options.”

Just like you, I’m always looking to improve myself.

So, I attended a three day conference to help me enhance my career. One of the speakers, Jeff Walker, said the comment I referenced above.

It really stood out.

I don’t know whether it’s because it’s a new year and we find ourselves faced with options or whether it’s because it’s just so honestly, simply, true. It really doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that we are not victims of “the way it has always been.”

We have the option to change at any time. And if what we pick doesn’t work, we have the option to change again (or the option to redefine what we’re looking at).

Alternatives are endless, constant, and available.

Choose your option. Repeat until happy.

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Setting Realistic Goals During the Holidays

It’s okay to change your goals due to circumstances.

woman-resisting-cake

Simply because you have set a goal does not mean you are never allowed to change it.

As we move deeper into the holidays, it might be more difficult to stick to your goals (such as losing weight). That’s not a rationale for “giving up,” rather it’s an indication that you might want to adjust. After all, sticking to your program in January, when everyone else is doing it; is much easier than in December, when you feel like you’re all alone.

Adjust your goal to meet the conditions. Be realistic.

A goal “etched in stone” can be an excuse to give up when things get tough. Flexibility can be helpful.

You set the goals. They do not set you.

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Out of the Fog: Four Observations about Bad Habits

foggy scene

Forgotten habits exist right under the skin.

We think we’ve got them licked, but they’re always immediately beneath the surface, ready to emerge whenever we get careless or ignore their symptoms. Or look at them this way: We never get rid of them; we put them into deep freeze and can defrost them whenever we get sloppy.

We would all like to think we have “our acts together,” certainly in how we present ourselves to others. As I said we would like to think that, but equally certain is that within each of us there is a nagging — oft times scolding — inner voice pointing out our shortcomings; loath to congratulate and pretty darn quick to disparage. No one likes being critiqued with unrelenting regularity, so what do we do?

Simple, like teenagers not wanting to be scolded by critical parents, we tune it out. Call it “denial;” call it “defense mechanism;” or call it “mental health,” after all, a rose by any other name…

However, despite what children protest, sometimes, we parents know of what we speak and the warnings we provide could save them a bucketful of hassle — if only they’d listen. Alas; they, as did we, find out too late.

Being a “wrinkled kid,” I ignored my internal parent and was unintentionally thawing out some past routines.

It began innocently enough with five little words (six, if you count the contraction as two): “One small bite won’t hurt.”

And it doesn’t.

Neither does the next; or the next, or even the fourth. But upon the frightful realization that I had waded in so deeply I could no longer see the shoreline, I needed to face reality.

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Living in the Here and Now

Time is relative —

and who better to know that than Albert Einstein, who said,

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.  Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”

This concept affects us in virtually everything we do.

You need an unpleasant medical procedure, like a root canal. An appointment is scheduled a few weeks out. So, why is it that the days prior to the appointment fly by; yet, once you’re firmly planted in the chair, the minutes can’t move fast enough?

Your dream vacation, 14 days in a tropical paradise, is approaching in two weeks. Waiting to get on the plane takes “forever.” However, once you land, you know those exact same 14 days will shoot by at light-speed.

This fluidity boils down to a simple, twisted fact:

The more we want something, the longer it takes to get here and the faster it zips by. As a corollary, the more we want to avoid something, the quicker it shows up and the longer it remains.

Referencing the previous examples, since I really, really want to be in Hawaii, the wait-time to experience it is long-drawn-out. Yet, in a cruel twist of fate, since I don’t want to leave once I’m there, the time on vacation dissipates very quickly.

On the other hand, because I would do virtually anything to avoid being subjected to a dental drill, that appointment approaches more rapidly. However, since I so want to bolt from the dental chair, the period in which it holds me hostage slows to a crawl.

The concept of time’s flexibility is not new.

Though understanding it can make a significant impact on how to change one’s habits.

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No More Excuses: How to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin was onto something.

Have you ever met a successful person who was good at making excuses? I haven’t, either. Instead of wasting his time sitting around conjuring up good excuses, a successful person takes responsibility and does what he needs to do to achieve his goal. Simple as that.

If you want to lose weight, do it. Yes, it’s much easier to plop on the couch and crack open a bag of chips while cooking up a reason to skip another day at the gym instead of, well, going to the gym, but would you feel so great about yourself by the end of the day?

It’s easy to let your excuses discourage you from improving your body. It doesn’t have to be like that! Sometimes you just need a little push in the right direction, and what better way to do that than to debunk your lame excuses?

Excuse #1: I’m too busy.

Your life may be going 500 miles an hour, but there’s always a way to incorporate healthy behavior into your daily schedule. For example, the time spent waiting in a McDonald’s drive-through could be better spent preparing a quick healthy meal, like a cup of oatmeal or a bowl of salad. Exercise doesn’t always mean spending an hour at the gym. You can break up your exercise throughout the day or replace one of your activities with exercise (such as riding your bike to work instead of driving).

How to motivate yourself: Create a reward system. Every time you exercise or eat something healthy, give yourself a point. For every 100 points, treat yourself to something nice! Or, instead of a point, you can add a quarter to a jar and use the money to buy something you’ve had your eye on for a while.

Excuse #2: Being healthy is too expensive.

Organic food and gym memberships can be hard on the wallet, but there are plenty of other ways to eat well and work out on a shoestring budget. Did you know that you can get your daily intake of fruits and vegetables for an average price of $2 per day? That’s cheaper than a liter of soda! Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains in bulk, or prepare meals yourself instead of overpaying for already-made meals. Rent exercise videos from the library, jog around the park, or do physical labor around the house.

How to motivate yourself: Add a monetary value to everything you do or buy. This will help you go for the healthier option most of the time. A few examples include:

“Why should I buy this pack of soda when I can get water for free?”

“I’m watching cable T.V. This is costing me $50 per month. Maybe I should cancel cable and go hiking instead.”

“I spend $60 a week on gasoline, which adds up to $3,120 per year. Yearly bike maintenance costs a fraction of that.”

Excuse #3: It takes too long to lose weight.

Dieting and working out is a long and hard battle. Just because you don’t see instant results doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually. Be patient, and keep it up. You just need to keep your eyes on the goal. You’ll get there someday.

How to motivate yourself: There are tons of ways to motivate yourself to keep going. You just need to monitor your progress and keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this. Take a photo of yourself on a weekly or monthly basis, and, whenever you feel like giving up, lay out the photos in chronological order. Just seeing yourself get thinner and thinner may be enough to motivate you to keep going. Also, you can take out an old thin photograph of yourself and put it up in a place where you will see it every day. It would also help to take an article of clothing you want to wear when you reach your ideal weight and hang it in a visible place.

Are you a talker or a doer?

Do you know someone who talks the talk but never walks the walk? Do you want to be that person? Visualize the way you want to be, and do something to turn into the new you!

About the Author: Dora Novak, author of this article, writes frequently about topics related to food or health. As a start she used low calorie protein bars when she found herself having troubles with motivation.

Need help losing weight? Visit our sister site, www.21DayHabitChange.com and you’re guaranteed to change one bad habit in 3 weeks or your money back. (Enter code “ScottSentMe” and save 60%)

 

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