Are you aware of where you are? Effective life planning and goal setting requires assessment of where you are, where you want to be, and how you will get there. To get from soup to nuts how many courses will you consume, or sit through, in between?
Fitness is a splendid example of assessing and planning a course of action. A lady at my gym had just completed an amazing workout. I complimented her strength and stamina. She replied, “I will never be able to get bikini skinny after four kids.” I looked in the mirror at my old t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers, and sighed. It is good to remember each person is unique and we must care for ourselves where we are in our lives right now.
On a scale of 0-10, where zero is ill, lack of health, and ten is woohoo, I feel fantastic; where are you today?
If you are a zero: practice self-care. Take medication if prescribed. Rest. Eat nourishing foods. Relax tired muscles. Heal. When you get to a three on the scale, how about some chair yoga? Are you a five – tired, don’t feel very motivated to exercise, bleh? Challenge yourself to a brave baby action step. Can you take just one more step than yesterday? If you logged 2,300 steps yesterday, can you take 2,301 steps today? Are you a ten – feeling at the top of your game? Would you like to challenge yourself to take 1,000 more steps today? If you walked 10,000 steps yesterday, how about 11,000 today?
It is key to remember that you can only influence your present. The past cannot be changed and the future is not here. But today you can analyze where you are, 0-10, and care for yourself where you are.
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Researchers have documented multiple benefits humans receive from pets. We can learn valuable life lessons from our pets as well and I learned a lot about authenticity from Ed the Pug. Ed was a dog and he did not apologize for being a dog. He enjoyed long walks and even longer naps. If it was sunny and warm, he played outside. If it got hot, rainy, or cold, he came indoors. (So very common sense!) Ed loved food and he didn’t care who knew that he loved food. One Facebook post recounted an imaginary conversation between Ed and me:
Ed: Let’s eat.
Ed: Food is good.
Me: Too much food will make us fat.
Ed: Too much food?
Ed: There is no such thing as too much food.
Simple things like calories and carbs didn’t bother Ed very much. He just knew that he loved food.
Ed, like many pets, offered unconditional love. Somehow he knew what time I was expected home every day even though Ed, being a dog, did not own a watch. He sat by the window at the appointed time and was thrilled to welcome me at the end of the day. He reminded me of the importance of transitioning between work and home.
Ed may be the happiest creature I ever met. When he was full of joy, which was all the time, his tail would curl up in a tight bun, leaving his behind for all see. Ed did not apologize for being full of joy or feel embarrassed because his behind was showing. He was a dog so he acted like one.
Ed showed me that humans create stress in their everyday lives by worrying needlessly, trying to be someone they are not, and denying themselves joy. Ed the Pug was an example for my family of how to accept yourself and be truly happy. I imagine he is in heaven, enjoying sunny days, long naps, and good meals; full of joy at being a dog.
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What can you accomplish in 200 days? June 14th is the 165th day of 2017 - two hundred days left in the year. Now may be an appropriate time to shake the dust off those New Year’s resolutions. Do those goals still support where you want to go? What would you like to accomplish this year? Lose weight, get fit, take an amazing vacation? Two hundred days will pass before we know it and we will be celebrating New Year’s Day 2018. What accomplishment would you like to be celebrating that day?
Last week NASA announced that twelve individuals were selected to join space academy to train as astronauts. Twelve were selected out of over 18,000 applications. These individuals earned advanced degrees and multiple achievements; military careers, medical doctors, scientists, and engineers. The seven men and five women will report for a rigorous two-year training program that may result in space flight. The key word is MAY. They are not guaranteed space flight. They are guaranteed a challenge and a unique experience.
The bios of these individuals tell a story of commitment, determination, and passion. In his speech, VP Mike Pence called them, “the best of us” due to their hard work. I may not know any of them personally, but I recognize their dedication to their own excellence in their story. Each day they work to improve themselves and others.
Each of us have experienced one hour that changed our lives. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. What impact can you make in 4,800 hours (200 days)? Perhaps you feel overwhelmed when you look at your busy schedule. Just a few minutes per day can make a significant difference. If you walk at a moderate pace for 15-20 minutes, you can easily walk one mile. If you walk 15-20 minutes per day for 200 days, that’s 200 miles! How will you dedicate yourself to your personal excellence and what accomplishment will you celebrate on December 31, 2017?