- A 4 Step Morning Routine That Can Change Your Life Completely
- Do You Recognize These 10 Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking?
- 1. Trying to find the “right” answer
- 2. Logical thinking
- 3. Following rules
- 4. Being practical
- 5. Play is not work
- 6. That’s not my job
- 7. Being a “serious” person
- 8. Avoiding ambiguity
- 9. Being wrong is bad
- 10. I’m not creative
- A Teaspoon of Happy: A Different Approach to Happiness — Yay With Me
- TOOL: Recipe for Me
- What is that made of?
- In closing…
- Struggling To Be More Positive? You Only Need A Teaspoon To Make The Change
- 1. Write Your Goals
- 2. Beat Procrastination
- 3. Celebrate Small Wins
- 4. Practice Gratitude
- 5. Be Optimistic
- 6. Don’t Dwell on the Past
- 7. Face your Fears
- 8. Visualize your Success
- 9. Find Inspiration
- 10. Enjoy Downtime
- 11. Meditate Regularly
- The Bottom Line
- More Tips About Staying Motivated
- Self Love After Weight Gain: How To Change Your Mindset, Not Your Dress Size
- What Weight Gain Meant to Me:
- Self Love After Weight Gain: Changing my Mindset
- Self Love After Weight Gain is Possible with these Four mindset shifts
- Final Thoughts + Body Positivity
A 4 Step Morning Routine That Can Change Your Life Completely
Step One: Express GRATITUDE.
“Gratitude is contagious.” — Benjamin Hardy.
After a good night of sleep, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is head to my work space. I sit comfortably in my chair and I begin to express gratitude to God and the universe.
I do this in the form of prayer. I don’t just think it, I converse it. I use a tone of voice that soothes and energizes me.
You can develop a form of expressing gratitude that is comfortable for you and your beliefs.
Spend 3–5 minutes being thankful for everything that you have and are physically and spiritually. Be thankful for the lessons you’ve learned, the experiences you’ve lived, and the blessings that are yet to come into your life. Being thankful for your life is one of the quickest ways to shift your mindset from negative to positive.
Gratitude is the most powerful practice, feeling, and form of expression that exists. Because living life in gratitude means living life in abundance.
And when you live life in abundance, you attract everything in abundance (Benjamin Hardy). Additionally, gratitude is known for being a method that multiplies your blessings (Louie Schwartzberg).
You can’t feel unhappy and unfortunate when you feel grateful. Gratitude guarantees happiness.
Lastly, gratitude keeps you grounded and brings your mind to the present moment. It reminds you that despite moments of hardship and distress, you are still full of blessings. It guides you to understand that “it is not what happens that determines the quality of your life, but what you do about it that changes everything.” -Jim Rhon
Step 2: Personal Development
To improve our lives we must: 1) invest time in learning, 2) maximize our learning experiences, and 3) not waste time on things that will set us back from accomplishing our goals.
After my daily prayer, I dive into personal development. I spend 10 minutes either listening to or reading about personal development.
It is during this step that you learn about how to work on yourself, improve your life experiences, and become successful in everything that you do.
Personal development teaches you about the power of morning routines, goal setting, character development, and self-discipline.
The key in this step is that you choose quality material to learn from. Listen to people that are known for their success in personal development and in their career. While you can learn something meaningful from anybody, you should only take advice from and follow the footsteps of those who are good at what they give advice for.
So take your time to research about books and motivational icons you can listen to or read about every morning. The good news is this is not a complicated task. Once you find a good source, you will be prompted to other reliable sources.
(Find a list of suggestions at the end of this article)
Step 3: Writing and Goal Setting
Next, comes writing and goal setting. Writing is a great habit to develop in your daily routine. It helps you explore your ideas, ground your thoughts, and develop a profound understanding of your learning. Also, writing down your ideas and goals keeps a record of your progress! It is awesome to look back and see the improvement you make over time.
Spend around 7–9 minutes on this step. You can complete this step immediately after personal development or simultaneously with it. I do it both ways and I recommend it that way. Here is why: writing and setting goals consist of those two parts, respectively.
This part consists of taking notes on what you learned you from your lessons that specific morning. I do this part simultaneously with personal development because I take notes as I go. I normally jot down meaningful quotes, techniques that I plan to put into practice, and topics or ideas that I will later explore and write about during my free time.
“Direction determines destination” –Jim Rhon.
Goal Setting. This is the most important part of this step and a habit that you must create in order to get somewhere in life. You can’t expect to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are headed. Goal setting, in particular, is the most dynamic step in my morning routines.
If you’re just starting the process of self-improvement and haven’t yet thought about your life goals (both short- and long-term), spend your first week or two thinking of them and writing them down. Once you’ve thought about your goals, use this time revisit them.
Check-mark the ones you have achieved. Study the progress you have made with those that require more work. Determine new short-term goals that will bring you closer to your main achievement. Always write them down.
Remember, big achievements come with small successes. It is the completion of these smaller goals what will develop within you the confidence you need to keep moving forward. Don’t skip steps. Don’t cheat yourself.
The only way to see your dreams materialize is by constantly working on them.
At the end of this step always take the time to envision your goals as completed. See and feel them unfold. Generating those vibrations will help you attract what you want and expect to achieve.
Step 4: Nourish Your Body with an Awesome Breakfast and Be Mindful Of it!
“Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live in” — Jim Rhon.
Everything in life is about balance. Every aspect of your well-being is connected to one another. Therefore, part of working on yourself is taking care of your body.
Feeding your body the right foods will give you the energy you need to begin and endure your day. It can help you stay focused on your goals because illness and discomfort are not present to derail you form them.
Take care of your body, so it can take care of you.
Also, be mindful.
In this step it is important that you practice mindfulness. When you are making your breakfast, make that moment the present occasion. Take pleasure in going through the process of making it and eating it.
Your goal is to experience the present. Don’t think about what you are going to do once you get to work, or what you are going to tell your friend or boyfriend that morning.
Focus on the present moment and appreciate every aspect of it.
The process of appreciating your present life experience is a meditating practice that helps you unleash your inner confidence.
So start this practice with your breakfast, but try to apply it throughout the day in all of your experiences. It is through mindfulness and appreciation that we turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Adopt this practice and see your inner confidence “shine forth a light in a dark cave” (The Buddha Walks into a Bar, 2012 pg.45).
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Do You Recognize These 10 Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking?
Whether you’re trying to solve a tough problem, start a business, get attention for that business, or write an interesting article, creative thinking is crucial.
The process boils down to changing your perspective and seeing things differently than you currently do.
People to call this “thinking outside of the box,” but that’s the wrong way to look at it.
Just Neo needed to understand that “there is no spoon” in the film The Matrix, you need to realize “there is no box” to step outside of.
You create your own imaginary boxes simply by living life and accepting certain things as “real” when they are just as illusory as the beliefs of a paranoid delusional.
The difference is, enough people agree that certain man-made concepts are “real,” so you’re viewed as “normal.”
This is good for society overall, but it’s that sort of unquestioning consensus that inhibits your natural creative abilities.
So, rather than looking for ways to inspire creativity, you should just realize the truth.
You’re already capable of creative thinking at all times, but you have to strip away the imaginary mental blocks (or boxes) you’ve picked up along the way to wherever you are today.
I to keep this list of 10 common ways we suppress our natural creative abilities nearby when I get stuck. It helps me realize that the barriers to a good idea are truly all in my head.
1. Trying to find the “right” answer
One of the worst aspects of formal education is the focus on the correct answer to a particular question or problem.
While this approach helps us function in society, it hurts creative thinking because real-life issues are ambiguous. There’s often more than one “correct” answer, and the second one you come up with might be better than the first.
Many of the following mental blocks can be turned around to reveal ways to find more than one answer to any given problem.
Try reframing the issue in several different ways in order to prompt different answers and embrace answering inherently ambiguous questions in several different ways.
2. Logical thinking
Not only is real life ambiguous, it’s often illogical to the point of madness.
While critical thinking skills logic are one of our main strengths in evaluating the feasibility of a creative idea, it’s often the enemy of truly innovative thoughts in the first place.
One of the best ways to escape the constraints of your own logical mind is to think metaphorically.
One of the reasons why metaphors work so well is that we accept them as true without thinking about it. When you realize that “truth” is often symbolic, you’ll often find that you are actually free to come up with alternatives.
3. Following rules
One way to view creative thinking is to look at it as a destructive force.
You’re tearing away the often arbitrary rules that others have set for you, and asking either “why” or “why not” whenever confronted with the way “everyone” does things.
This is easier said than done, since people will often defend the rules they follow even in the face of evidence that the rule doesn’t work.
People love to celebrate rebels Richard Branson, but few seem brave enough to emulate him. Quit worshipping rule breakers and start breaking some rules.
4. Being practical
logic, practicality is hugely important when it comes to execution, but often stifles innovative ideas before they can properly blossom.
Don’t allow the editor into the same room with your inner artist.
Try not to evaluate the actual feasibility of an approach until you’ve allowed it to exist on its own for a bit.
Spend time asking “what if” as often as possible, and simply allow your imagination to go where it wants. You might just find yourself discovering a crazy idea that’s so insanely practical that no one’s thought of it before.
5. Play is not work
Allowing your mind to be at play is perhaps the most effective way to stimulate creative thinking, and yet many people disassociate play from work.
These days, the people who can come up with great ideas and solutions are the most economically rewarded, while worker bees are often employed for the benefit of the creative thinkers.
You’ve heard the expression “work hard and play hard.” All you have to realize is that they’re the same thing to a creative thinker.
6. That’s not my job
In an era of hyper-specialization, it’s those who happily explore completely unrelated areas of life and knowledge who best see that everything is related.
This goes back to what ad man Carl Ally said about creative persons — they want to be know-it-alls.
Sure, you’ve got to know the specialized stuff in your field, but if you view yourself as an explorer rather than a highly specialized cog in the machine, you’ll run circles around the technical master in the success department.
7. Being a “serious” person
Most of what keeps us civilized boils down to conformity, consistency, shared values, and yes, thinking about things the same way everyone else does.
There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but if you can mentally accept that it’s actually nothing more than groupthink that helps a society function, you can then give yourself permission to turn everything that’s accepted upside down and shake out the illusions.
Leaders from Egyptian pharaohs to Chinese emperors and European royalty have consulted with fools, or court jesters, when faced with tough problems.
The persona of the fool allowed the truth to be told, without the usual ramifications that might come with speaking blasphemy or challenging ingrained social conventions.
Give yourself permission to be a fool and see things for what they really are.
8. Avoiding ambiguity
We rationally realize that most every situation is ambiguous to some degree.
And although dividing complex situations into black and white boxes can lead to disaster, we still do it.
It’s an innate characteristic of human psychology to desire certainty, but it’s the creative thinker who rejects the false comfort of clarity when it’s not really appropriate.
Ambiguity is your friend if you’re looking to innovate.
The fact that most people are uncomfortable exploring uncertainty gives you an advantage, as long as you can embrace ambiguity rather than run from it.
9. Being wrong is bad
We hate being wrong, and yet mistakes often teach us the most.
Thomas Edison was wrong over 1,000 times before getting the light bulb right. Edison’s greatest strength was that he was not afraid to be wrong.
The best thing we do is learn from our mistakes, but we have to free ourselves to make mistakes in the first place.
Just try out your ideas and see what happens, take what you learn, and try something else.
Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen if I’m wrong?
You’ll often find the benefits of being wrong greatly outweigh the ramifications.
10. I’m not creative
Denying your own creativity is denying you’re a human being.
We’re all limitlessly creative, but only to the extent that we realize that we create our own limits with the way we think. If you tell yourself you’re not creative, it becomes true. Stop that.
In that sense, awakening your own creativity is similar to the path reported by those who seek spiritual enlightenment.
You’re already enlightened, just you’re already creative, but you have to strip away all of your delusions before you can see it.
Acknowledge that you’re inherently creative, and then start tearing down the other barriers you’ve allowed to be created in your mind.
A Teaspoon of Happy: A Different Approach to Happiness — Yay With Me
If you prefer to listen, here's the podcast version of this post:
This is a simple post that I offer you as you begin your week. And yes, it’s called “A teaspoon of happy” – just my blog! What does that mean? It’s super cutesy and girly, yes. It sounds good on a site Hello Giggles, yes. But it’s actually my methodology – my approach to happiness. Because I think of it as a recipe – one I would to offer you.
When it comes to happiness – one of the only things that takes it away is thinking that it’s fleeting. The thinking about it and lamenting it: separating ourselves from it. The brain, the stupid thinking brain wants to get in the way of it all the time.
Whether it’s looking backwards or forwards – it wants to take over the body and keep us occupied with reflections and computations. Nostalgia makes things past better than they really were. Future-focus makes the present into a desire for what isn’t, yet.
Yet in truth, we are only truly happy in the active making of our life – the skipping, swimming, cooking, dancing, loving, creating, making – pain comes from the searching for the result. The result lives in the present moment.
And the end result we lust for, that moment is pretty inconsequential when compared to our life’s happiness. It’s brief. It can be powerful and epic, but when you add up the value, it can never live up to the sum of the focus it has occupied in the years prior.
Sometimes it is everything we dreamed it’d be: a wonderful and important moment – but nonetheless, it’s immediately over and then its’ time to aspire to the next milestone. This is not to say you should not strive— it’s to remind you that the striving is the best part. Separate from the result.
Results are bonus points – a casualty of the way you live. The way you live each day, must ALWAYS be the most awesome, beautiful, kind, smart, interesting, important, fun part of your life. Otherwise your brain takes each day away and places your life into the universe of “Analysis.
” Your experiences become a hypothetical played out in imagination vs. happening, in front of you right now.
When your focus becomes more about what you want in the future and not what you are living right now, it needs to be manually disempowered – meaning, you need to intervene and change that habit of thought.
You will know it has happened when you find yourself frustrated and dissatisfied with your life. That means somehow the thinking ego has taken hold of the throne that is ruling your life’s greatest focus.
Many successful self-helpers mislead in the way they portray success and fulfillment. They speak from platforms of great success, telling stories of ‘finally making it!’ Of suffering until that crossed that epic, wonderful finish line and THEN everything changed. Then they got it. They felt it. The universe loved them.
Well, I have a different opinion on that. Life is not going to one day become constant joy if you weren’t already there. In other words, it’s not a point you reach. It’s not a moment of arrival. That’s the perception – that you must push yourself and set goals to reach a result.
That if you focus hard enough you will manifest your dreams and that is when you reach nirvana. It sets your eyes on the wrong target to hear people talk about how to fulfill all of their dreams.
It almost makes the manifesting and super goal-oriented drive into a method of transport to take you to a far away land in the future: your best life lives here. The self-helpers are there, and we can be too if we just follow the map we draw in our hearts.
But that is not the true nature of happiness. Happiness must begin today, right now. It must be created with what you have right now. Think of it a daily recipe that you concoct and balance each day.
Discover and enact a day-to-day recipe that makes you happy in as many ways as possible. Build your happiness you build a cake: with time and care. Very specifically. Not casually or assumptions. See how recognizing the ratios and becoming deliberate about your moments changes your baking equation. You will discover the muffins rise higher.
Work in small but time-ratio-important steps. Place importance in time spent in your day vs. eventualities. For example, if you love the beach – move to a place near the beach or one that allows you to pass by one on your daily route.
If you love to write, write as often as possible and do it religiously – outside of a paycheck. Why? Because the pay is what the ego deems important. The process is what the soul loves.
Wherever possible, remove power from the ego because it is removing the value of your participation in today.
Decide these factors in your life as though you were cooking a 1-day recipe for happiness.
TOOL: Recipe for Me
There is only one tool I offer you in this post. This is your assignment today and this week. Make changes to your details. Think of it a recipe – everything you do today. Each and every moment you have, is not frivolous – it is an ingredient. It has a potency to affect the outcome of your lifetime. This is a recipe. You are making YOU.
What is that made of?
Just a cake recipe might ask for a teaspoon of baking powder – and that directly relates to how light and fluffy it rises to become, YOUR life’s moments matter.
• Make very small and conscious changes to the decisions you make. Firstly, begin to make them consciously. Place just the tiniest bit more of YOU into them.
Make them specific, each action you take is an ingredient to this recipe that is making You. Apply this idea as a filter throughout your day and ask yourself in third person about each action you take.
When it comes to something seemingly small or inconsequential, stop and ask yourself, “What would I do?”
No one’s looking at these tiny moments but you, yet everyone will see them instantly when they see you. It will be baked into who you are: your way of being in your day-to-day is telegraphic. You present what you are made of with how you show up in each moment of each day.
For example, you might ask yourself, “What matters to Me, the individual I choose to present to the world? What do I genuinely care about, ethically – am I demonstrating that? What do I have to do and what do I want to do? Do I have a kind way of passing strangers? Do I smile and acknowledge others as a natural state? Do I smell flowers? Am I a writer– with thoughtful vocabulary; someone who sends the best emails ever? Do I have a kind voice, even in my thoughts: Are they clearly the words of someone kind and self-loving? Am I someone who does not waste time on what is counterproductive or negative? Do I love to make things beautiful? Do I invest in making everything I do into a deliberate expression of what I am capable of? Expressions and actions matter: they create the actuality of your personality. It does not exist unless you live it.
When it comes to your big picture goals, pursue them with a delicate but specific emphasis: keep the balance by not letting them ruin today’s cake.
Because that’s when the ego starts stealing the present away. Let go of the job of worrying and focus on the ratios you can affect: even if that’s a tiny teaspoon at a time.
Create the right majority in your day and by default you will live a happy life.
I know that a lot of life is our control and therefore the ability to change ingredients is a challenge. With little freedom, building a positive majority can be difficult. So instead of looking at the whole, focus on adding new ingredients as often as possible.
Never forget the potency of one teaspoon. Even though it’s small when looked at as an individual instance, it adds up and CHANGES the makeup of the whole as well as the directional flow of every other choice in your life.
Tiny actions and individual moments become massive when they cement into a pattern lived over a lifetime.
Don’t worry— you won’t undo your potential for success if you stop focusing so hard on the striving aspect. Why? Because it’s the hyper focusing that actually blinds you from the truth I have been describing thus far. You only get to affect what happens today: right now.
When it comes to worrying about stepping wrong, know that there is no such thing. Why? Because this is your life and there is no wrong way to live it. You can’t fail at it.
Truly, you are the one who creates what your life is meant to be with how you choose to approach it, today. You are also the one who creates your brand of suffering. All of your suffering comes from a form of self-torture called lament.
It comes from the idea that you can control more than what is in front of you, right now. It is an illusion and one that makes you unhappy.
Be here now: make the best recipe. Put stock in the moments: the littlest ones. Do it consciously. Because, you know what? You become a master baker. (He he.) But for reals, you get good at upping the ratio as a default and suddenly you’re the empowered, focused, driven, successful individual who also knows how to live a great life.
People who are worried about the future– are also worriers. People who feel bad about playing– also feel bad. People who are scared of dying– are also scared of living. Invest in your ingredients and make them all special.
Don’t get overwhelmed – this won’t be a struggle or something you have to muscle through. All you have to do is start with simple consciousness. Begin to notice the details. Take ownership of your moments.
You are making a brilliant, awesome YOU.
Featured image via Flickr.
Struggling To Be More Positive? You Only Need A Teaspoon To Make The Change
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.
Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.
That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.
Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:
1. Write Your Goals
The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.
Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.
As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.
Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.
2. Beat Procrastination
Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.
Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.
Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:
What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)
When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.
3. Celebrate Small Wins
In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.
Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.
It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.
So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.
4. Practice Gratitude
It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?
Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.
So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:
60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life
By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.
5. Be Optimistic
Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.
At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.
Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.
6. Don’t Dwell on the Past
A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.
Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.
What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.
So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:
10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past
7. Face your Fears
You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.
If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.
Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?
Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:
How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)
Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.
8. Visualize your Success
You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.
One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.
Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.
9. Find Inspiration
Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.
From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.
Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.
Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.
10. Enjoy Downtime
You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.
Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.
You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.
11. Meditate Regularly
Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.
Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.
Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.
The Bottom Line
Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.
However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.
So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.
More Tips About Staying Motivated
Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com
Self Love After Weight Gain: How To Change Your Mindset, Not Your Dress Size
Self love after weight gain is tough, it requires a deep mindset shift and today I am sharing four mindeset shifts that I hope will inspire you to learn to show yourself love no matter what. We are more than half way through February, the month after January otherwise known as Diet-uary. Uhhhmmm, did I just make that up, yes, yes I did.
But you know how it goes, January is the month where many attempt to start new healthy habits, diet and of course lose weight. The obsession with weight loss is so real which is why the weight loss industry is a billion dollar business. They work because they prey on your emotions, your fears and society’s unbelievable and unattainable standards of beauty.
If January is national diet month, then February is love month, with Valentine’s Day and all. But, what if instead of focusing all our love on things, we turned that inwards and focused on self love. Learning how to show yourself love after weight gain is one of the hardest but most rewarding things I learned how to do.
I want to share some mindset shifts that really made self love after weight gain possible.
At 34 years old, I can finally say I know how to love myself and I do. But it took me a really long time to get here. Nothing happened overnight and it was a longggg journey full of all kinds of twists and turns that finally got me to where I am now. So I also am well aware of how hard it is to accept and love yourself as is, never mind self love after weight gain.
What Weight Gain Meant to Me:
If you have read my previous (very personal stories here and here) you also know that I struggled with disordered eating and orthorexia. How I perceived my body and in turn how I treated myself were inextricably tied to each other. If I gained weight, I punished myself by restricting my food intake, followed of course by subsequent bingeing.
If I lost weight, I got an immediate “high” and felt on top of the world. The thing is, that feeling never lasted very long. That is exactly what dieting for so many years did to me. It made me feel inadequate in every way possible, I was never smart enough, pretty enough or skinny enough.
I focused solely on my appearance and thought, if I could just get down to XXX weight, I would feel better about myself, I would love myself. But then I did get to this goal weight and nothing happened. For a fleeting moment I felt happy, but it was all superficial, in fact I really didn’t know myself at all.
I certainly didn’t know a thing about self love, never mind self love after weight gain. You can read more about why I don’t promote weight loss as a health goal over here.
If you are currently struggling with healing your relationship to food, bingeing, overeating and emotional eating, check out my FREE guide and workbook.
Self Love After Weight Gain: Changing my Mindset
So how did I get here? It took a lot of mindset shifts and that shit is HARD AF. Sorry, but this isn’t called personal development for nothing. How long does it take to develop anything of significant worth and reward? I mean, some of the best cheeses (and wines) take a long ass time, soooo…. why would you expect you to be any different?!
I know what it feels to jump on the scale in the morning to see that number come down 1/2 to 1 pound and get that high. I know what it feels to restrict foods because you fear they are making you fat.
I also know what it feels to feel so control around food that you end up bingeing on chocolate cake in the middle of the night with the lights off. But I also know what it is to leave weight off the table altogether and embrace my body and its changes.
When you learn to let go of the weight and its hold on you, or stop chasing after the next perfect diet, weight loss pill or supplement you create space for something else. That something else is self love, self care and self respect, and ultiamtely self love after weight gain doesn’t seem so hard.
Your thoughts are no longer preoccupied with how you look all the time and you can learn to accept your body as it is, yes even if you gained weight.
Becoming an intuitive eater and teaching other women how to do the same has been truly game changing. Learning to have a neutral relationship to food and realizing that food is just food and leaving it at that has been at the very forefront of my relationship to myself. Letting go of the “good” and “bad” labels on food has been super important as well.
Self Love After Weight Gain is Possible with these Four mindset shifts
Here are four powerful mindset shifts that really helped me discover self love after weight gain, while embracing intuitive eating.
Say Goodbye to That Which Doesn’t Serve You: Whether this is friends, family or anyone else, sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do for you. It doesn’t have to be a person either, it can be a thing- a job, a relationship (of any kind), self limiting beliefs and doubts or anything else.
If it doesn’t light you up inside or makes you feel less than, it could be time to say goodbye. For me, I had to unfollow some accounts on social media as they were not in line with my own beliefs and values.
When I spend my time scrolling through Instagram, I want to feel inspired in some way and if I am left feeling less than in some way, then it’s time to say goodbye. Social media can be a tool to connect with people, I have met some amazing friends online, but it can also lead to a sense of unworthiness and inferiority.
If you find that you are starting to feel that way, take a break online (social media detoxes are very rewarding!) or just unfollow people that don’t serve your best interests. It is not selfish to practice this, this is a form of self care.
Bye Bye “skinny” jeans: Are you holding onto a pair of clothing that used to fit? I did this for SO LONG!! And you know what, it never made me feel better about myself, instead it left me feeling sad, anxious, depressed and ugly. It did not make self love after weight gain possible, because it held me back, as it was not motivating to have these items lying around.
You deserve to be and feel comfortable in your skin and in your clothing. When I gained some weight after letting go of restriction and embracing intuitive eating, I felt uncomfortable at first. Things didn’t fit, but rather than going shopping for new clothes, I still tried to squeeze myself in my old jeans. It was not fun and most important- I was not honouring my body.
So after a few weeks of wearing nothing but leggings (because that was all that fit me), I went out and bought a few new pieces of clothing. I picked out and wore what was comfortable to me in that moment and made me feel good.
Wearing things that are too tight are not going to make you feel good, trust me! It is a much better idea to buy something new that makes you feel good than suffer in too tight and uncomfortable clothing.
Prioritize Your Health, Not Your Weight: This is primarily what the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement is all about. It is prioritizing your health over your weight or your appearance. Your health is so much more than just the food you eat, it is also a lot about what you are thinking.
Your thoughts throughout the day impact your health in a very important way and shape how you see yourself and the world. Rather than thinking about exercise as a form of punishment, I started viewing it as a form of pleasure. I no longer exercised to “work off” the food I ate, but rather because of how strong it made me feel.
When I embarked on my 30-day yoga challenge, I learned a lot about what I and don’t and chose to embrace the word movement over exercise because it helped me remember why I move my body.
If I was doing it solely just to lose weight, it wouldn’t have lasted very long and I am happy to say that I am still practicing moving my body (through yoga and Pilates) weekly.
When you learn to take the weight something and focus instead on your overall health and prioritizing self care, you will notice a difference mind, body and soul. Identifying what is important for your health is a big part of learning self love after weight gain. Read more about weight loss and intuitive eating over here!
Don’t Engage in Diet Talk: This is one of the harder things to do in our cultures and once you are more aware of how pervasive diet culture is, you will start to notice how much diet talk exists in everyday life.
As women, we are especially prone to negative self talk and body bashing and for some strange reason, we to talk about it with other women a lot of the time. Misery loves company, I guess? The best advice I have and one of the biggest shifts I made was to not engage in the body comparison/bashing and diet talk anymore.
Yes, sometimes, I still find myself occasionally getting sucked in, but the key thing is I am aware of it. That awareness allows me a moment of clarity and to rephrase what I am saying into something more positive. When I am out with friends or talking to others (co-workers for example) and diet talk gets brought in. I simply don’t engage in it.
Occasionally I will try and steer the conversation to something else or offer up an alternative viewpoint, but for the most part I don’t engage. My hope is that by not engaging in it, I can help shut down the notion that we are only as good as our appearances.
I also plan on doing more in-person workshops, panel discussions and speaking engagements to really help spread the word about self love and ditching diets. When we all learn to share our voices and speak our truths, we can truly make a big difference. Ending the diet talk was key in learning about self love after weight gain and helped me re-think how I viewed my body.
Final Thoughts + Body Positivity
With all of that being said, I know how hard it is (for women especially) to look in the mirror and hate what they see. I know how hard it is to get discouraged along the way. Weight gain may represent the process but not the destination. Or maybe it is the destination and that is what your natural weight is supposed to be. Fighting your body along the way is not the answer though.
I also recognize how easy I had it in comparison to others. That is the very definition of thin privilege and I get that my body type is still in the “ideal” category that society deems acceptable.
That doesn’t mean that my struggle wasn’t any less real than anyone else’s, but I do understand that many others have a far different experience with their weight, weight gain and their physical appearance. I cannot speak for them and don’t want to try, I can only share my own experience and also keep sharing others as well.
I get that the body positivity movement was not created for thin white women with a little roll on their tummies to feel empowered for sharing their story or a picture. But at the same time, that is their story and their truth and I think that should also be respected.
There is space for all of us at the table and when we share our stories and connect with each other in meaningful ways we are showing our support. Rather than bicker back and forth about who body positivity is meant for, lets instead listen with compassion and join together to share the same message.
If you are looking to change your relationship to food and your body for good, you may want to check out my 12-Week online program, be nourished. This program aims to teach you how to embrace intuitive eating, nourish your body, mind and soul and repair your relationship to food.
That wraps up this post all about self love after weight gain or just how to love yourself no matter what life throws at you. The weight is never the issue to me, it is always deeper than that. Health looks different on everyone and to try and pigeon-hole what it means to be healthy as one thing is not the way to go.
I would love to continue this conversation in the comments, so share with me what resonated with you the most and what can you do to show yourself a little more self love regardless of weight gain?
And don’t forget to download your FREE guide and workbook about binge and emotional eating.