It is a new year and a chance to make a bigger, better more improved version of the self you have always wanted to create. We all have goals and resolutions we want to achieve and strive for. We tell ourselves this year is going to be different than any other year and we start off the year strong, sticking to our resolutions and keeping our promises. Chances are our resolutions slowly start to fade out and before we know it we are back to our usual routine, not getting better and still miles away from our goal. My question is why? Why do we start out with so much hope, ambition and promise only to go back to our own ways? Why do we not stick to our new changes and routines and go back to what we were doing?
My answer is comfort and drive. We as humans do not like to be uncomfortable and will always resort to what is most comfortable to us. Some of us are comfortable being overweight and stuck in a job we hate because the steps we need to take in order to get to where we want are uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable giving up the foods we love to eat and for some it is uncomfortable to exercise so we are better off not trying and staying in our comfort zone. Some of us may be unhappy with the jobs we have yet we continue to go to them week after week because we are comfortable there and anything new or different is scary and unsettling. I heard a statistic the other day that 85% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs, 85%! That means out of 10 people you talk to, 8 of them are unhappy with their job. To me that seems like quite an alarming rate and brings me to my next point which is drive. We have to be driven to make the changes, we have to be driven to get uncomfortable, we have to be driven to make the sacrifices necessary in order to get what you want to get and be where you want to be. How driven are you to lose that 10-20 lbs, to get a new job, to make a million dollars, to find a spouse or start a new company? What are you willing to give up and sacrifice to get there? Life is hard and can beat you down if you let it but you have to have the drive and ambition to be better today than you were yesterday. Write down your goals on paper, read them everyday and take action. We only have one chance at this life so let us make the most of it and go after our dreams. It is time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Before the new year was even upon us, I started doing things that were a little uncomfortable for me but would also greatly benefit me in the long run. I have been working on improving myself and being the best I can be and taking the necessary steps every day to get me there. Here is what I have been working on lately:
Chasing my dream.
For those of you who are Frontdive Fitness readers, you may remember I posted awhile back about how I am changing careers. I am chasing after my dream of becoming a firefighter here in South Carolina. After thinking about my past work history and talking with some fellow firefighters, I concluded I have all the necessary qualities to become a great fireman. I have always had a passion for helping others and I figured what better way than helping people in a time of need by joining the fire department. The journey on this process has been a long, ongoing, tedious and patience forming one to say the least. I have taken several of the fire fighter physical and written assessment tests and have gone on a couple of interviews. I have my goals set high and I will not stop until I reach my goals. I will continue to grind it out and go on interviews until I get hired on.
I have to say, adding this to my daily routine has helped me tremendously. When I wake up in the morning after I do my normal routine, I sit down and meditate for 10-15 minutes. I focus on a deep nourishing breath in and a relaxing, stress relieving breath out. Sometimes I think about breathing in for a 4-6 count, holding for a 2 count and exhaling for a 6-8 count and other times I think about joy, happiness or abundance on the inhalation and worry, stress or anxiety on the exhalation. I found after meditating for a week, I am more patient, less anxious, less stressed and I can handle more stressful situation better. I found my temperament has improved dramatically and I no longer get mad, upset or frustrated at things I cannot control. Meditation definitely helps ground you and makes you become more aware of the mind, body and spirit connection. Also sometimes, I enjoy pulling up a guided meditation on Youtube and have someone lead me through this amazing experience. I highly suggest adding this to your daily routine and you will be amazed how much it benefits you.
Just like exercise is important for your body and health, so are games to activate and train your brain. Fellow co-workers have turned me on to a game called Lumosity which you can download for free on your phone. Lumosity is a brain game app in which it tests your memory, problem solving, attention, flexibility and speed. One neat thing about the game is it gives you 3 different games to play each day and it tracks your progress so you able to see if you are improving or if you just don’t have it today. Also, you become aware of different areas you are not so great in and try to improve on them. I am terrible on any of the memory recall games and I know this so I challenge myself to improve.
If you have a quick minute or 10, I highly recommend listening to some type of motivational, inspirational or successful video or audio clip. If you type in motivation, success or inspiration into youtube you will have a endless supply of clips to pump you up, engage you and make your mind strong/er. We all need some motivation and think of this as a way to give yourself your own personal pep talk. I usually like to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes and listen to several different clips to inspire me for the day and to help me get on my path to achieve greatness. The power of the mind is the most important and critical area to work on. We have to believe in ourselves and know that yes, we can make a difference, we can be successful, we will be successful, there is no stopping us and we will not quit until we win. A couple of people I would highly suggest taking the time to listen to is Les Brown, Zig Ziglar and Lewis Howes. Les Brown is one of my new favorites and I enjoy listening to him everyday.
Everyday take the time to write down at least one thing you are grateful for. You will be amazed on how great this make you feel, how thing really aren’t that bad, how blessed we really are and how much we have to be grateful for. We are all blessed to wake up everyday with a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, clothes on our back, money in our pockets and food in our house. Never take anything for granted, count your blessings and write down what you are grateful for.
Let us start to take the necessary steps to improve our lives. The time is now, don’t wait, don’t delay, take action and start taking control over your life. The path to greatness is a long, winding and bumpy one but it is worth it once you get there.