Do you ever get the feeling like you’re constantly putting out fires? Like life is one massive struggle to stay afloat?
Do you come home from work feeling tired and stressed and without the energy to do anything other than collapse in front of the TV?
Do you always feel like you’re just not quite as happy as you think you could be/should be?
That’s life, right? Or at least, it’s life as many of us have come to know it. In fact, though, there’s no reason that this should necessarily be the case.
The problem is that we’re always chasing after the gold at the end of the rainbow and in doing so, we never stop to smell the roses.
Sorry to mix metaphors there but I feel it paints an accurate picture of the situation. We’re never happy because we’re always striving for what’s next. We’re always stressed about what’s coming up and we never appreciate what we have until we lose it.
We think that the only way to change this is to change our lives. To work harder and longer.
But it’s not. The way we change this is from the inside out. We need to change the way we think about our situation and we need to change the way we approach life’s problems and the way we enjoy the moment.
And that means taking control of our minds. Once you can do that, you can take back control and you can feel confident, relaxed and happy in the exact same circumstances. Once you can do that, you can start creating the space to actually plot a course and to start changing life for the better. You can stop treading water and start swimming.
All very abstract, yes. So far it sounds like a platitude from a bumper sticker.
But stick with me, because this is where the science comes in. And it might just change the way you think about your life, your brain and the interplay between the two.
Think about it this way: it’s not the situation that matters; it’s your perception of the situation that matters. And I mean this in the most literal and realistic of senses.
Think about it this way: you can be surrounded by fire and be completely calm and happy, or you can be relaxing at home and be completely stressed.
In the first case scenario, you’re surrounded by fire, but you believe that you’re invincible. As far as you’re concerned, nothing can hurt you and you have nothing to fear. As a result, you remain calm and your heart rate doesn’t even rise (well, other than from the effects of the heat!).
In the second scenario, you’re sitting at home, comfortable and with a warm cup of tea.
You’re surrounded by family who love you and you have the TV on showing your favorite TV program. But all you can think about is the work you must do tomorrow, your money problems and the fact that you’re not as well off or as successful as you’d like to be.
As a result, your body and brain interpret the signals as a sign that you are in danger. Your brain produces more norepinephrine, more cortisol, more dopamine and more adrenaline. As a result, the person who is surrounded by flames, but composed, is happier and calmer than the person who is sitting at home, but stressing out.
Now of course I’m not saying that you should be like the positive person surrounded by fire… That’s dangerous! But you also really shouldn’t be like the stressed person who should be relaxed. And here’s the thing: many of us are the stressed person!
THEREFORE, it’s so important to start taking control of your mind. It’s what will impact your peace, your calm, your focus and all the other things that contribute to you being happy and successful.
Changing your environment and circumstances is often incredibly difficult – perhaps impossible even – but you can change your mind today. And that can bring incredible benefits.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
If you want to achieve overall health, it is very important to have specific goals and a plan of action, which enable you to make progress and achieve your goals. Goal setting is the act of identifying what you want to achieve. This is the first step in making changes. After you know what you want to achieve, the next step involves planning, which includes the specific details and the actions you’ll take to meet each goal.
You may recognize Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” This is very often true. In general, you only tend to make a plan when you believe you can achieve a goal and are determined to succeed. However, if you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to make meaningful changes, you are essentially planning to fail, even before you try.
With the right mindset and motivation, the goal setting process helps you identify what is happening now and enables you to visualize what can happen in the future, if specific actions are taken. Goals encourage you to take action and be accountable. When set up properly, your goals can motivate you and reward your progress. If you want an aspect of your health to change, plan to succeed.
There is more to setting health and body goals than simply writing them down. Effective goals need to be realistic and achievable. Each goal should be broken down into the small, sequential steps you need to take to achieve the goal.
Writing down your goals is crucial to achieving them. When you write your goals down, they become “real” to you, rather than just “some day” dreams. Writing your goals down also helps you remember them and you can re-read them if/when you need to refresh your memory. Consider using an outline format so you can create main sections and subsections. Keeping your goals organized helps you succeed because you can see the big picture and the details, as needed.
Create your goals using the elements of SMARTER goals. This method of writing goals ensures that your goals include certain elements that help you reach your target and achieve your goals. In order to create SMARTER goals, each goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based, Evaluation-focused, and include a Recognition/Reward.
As you begin to consider and select the goals that you want to achieve, keep these tips and suggestions in mind.
Once you’ve written down your initial goals, using the SMARTER goals method, and sub-divided your larger goals into smaller, individual goals, it’s time to start creating your action plan…but we’ll save that for tomorrow!
TODAY’S ACTION STEPS:
1) Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – and go to the FORMS tab.
2) Complete the Client Agreement form and sign. Be sure to click SAVE when you’re done.
3) Complete the first part of the Set Your Goals form and answer questions 1, 2, and 3. Be sure to click SAVE when you’re done.
Don’t sign it yet (you can’t come back to edit it once you sign it).
4) Complete the PAR-Q form and sign. Be sure to click SAVE when you’re done.
5) If you have time today, join us in the Facebook group and introduce yourself! https://www.facebook.com/groups/discoveryourzen/