Create a Life You Love: Get Started With a Balanced, Strong Foundation
“Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value.” -Erika Oppeheimer
In anything you do, you must begin with a solid foundation. You cannot enjoy your home if your foundation is cracked or uneven. A solid foundation should also be in order before you can expect to live a life you love. You could have the perfect career, but you will not enjoy it if your personal life is a mess.
If you want a happy life, you must live a life that is well-balanced. You cannot expect things to change in your life, if you do not change or alter your environment in a more positive way.
To be successful, one must have determination and the willingness to work at self-improvement. This includes working on yourself in all areas of life, including healthy living, building financial wealth and healthy relationships, trying out new things, and carving out time for yourself.
LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE
The #1 thing to focus on is your health. After all, your health is your wealth. You only have one body, so take care of it. If you are not healthy, you won’t be able to perform your best. You need to be at work, in order to have a successful career and a happy life.
If you haven’t already, you should schedule healthy checkups and dental appointments. Once you set these up, keep those appointments up to date. You should have healthy checkups every year and schedule dental appointments every six months. If you are overweight, losing weight will not only make you feel better, but it can help you gain confidence. We all know confidence is the key to getting that career. Began a regular fitness routine. This can be as simple as getting up and moving around. You don’t need to get a gym membership to be fit.
Change Your Diet
Change your diet by eating right and drinking enough water daily. I try to drink 4-5 water bottles a day. Have a healthy diet that is mostly of fruits and vegetables. Limit your meats, breads and dairy. Make sure that your diet has variety and has a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbs.
A good rule of thumb on how your meals should look, is to fill half your plate with vegetables, and divide the other half in two for two other food groups. To keep your calorie count in check, use a smaller plate.
Track your intake using apps such as Lose It, and MyFitnessPal. I currently love using my phone app because when I reach my nutrition and fitness goals, it “rewards” me with these virtual badges! Educate yourself by using credible sources and seek a nutritionist if needed. Every day I am surprised on the foods and diets I thought were healthy, boy was I wrong!
Types of Physical Activity
I found it easy getting in some physical activity just by cleaning my house every day, and taking short walks in the evening after dinner. Have kids? Take your kids to the park and play with them. I find myself out of breath trying to keep up with my 3 year old boy! Window shopping is another great way to burn some calories!! Do you have hour long talk sessions with your bestie?? Use that time to take a walk while you talk. I found myself walking over 10,000 steps while talking with my girlfriend without even realizing it!
Also check on your emotional levels. Many of our weight and health issues comes from our mental health. If you are noticing that you are always feeling down, or if you have a strong case of the “itis”, you could be suffering from depression. Many people who are working on their health, often forget to think about their mental health.
I know firsthand how a mental illness such as depression can suck the life out of you. You don't want to do anything, even the simplest things, are a chore for you. I remembered that even though I knew I didn’t have the energy, I would get so angry with myself for not getting things done. I snapped at the people that were closest to me, and I pushed them away. Then I would feel so alone when no one was there.
With the help of my loved ones, I got the help I needed and I began to turn to my faith. The one thing that has helped me tremendously was keeping my “spiritual cup” full. I read daily devotionals and read spiritual books such as “Power Thoughts” by Joyce Meyer. I also constantly read bible verses to keep me uplifted. Doing this gives me purpose and kept me focused on what was important.
Build Healthy Relationships
The thing I learned most on my personal life journey so far, is how much we need people in our lives. Our lives are enriched by the people we allow in it. I never really noticed it before, but I always felt I was my happiest and felt the most successful, when I had great people in my life.
We should surround ourselves around people who are positive and uplifting, and with people who we can learn and grow from. Any successful person will tell you that they wouldn’t be as successful if they didn’t have great people in their lives who helped them. Healthy relationships can also help with your mental health.
Remember to know which “friends” you should separate yourself from. Remove people from your life that are always negative and that are draining. Let them go. Be around people who love and support you and be around people who make you laugh. Laughter is the key to happiness. When you are happy, you perform better.
Be around people who inspire you. My life has enhanced tremendously when I filled my life with different types of people with different gifts and talents. Doing so I was exposed to so many new things and learned so much from the people I was around. They have opened me up to so many experiences I normally wouldn’t even be even imagine experiencing on my own. I have one friend who inspired me by her weight loss and because of her push, I realized I could run 6 miles. I would have never done that on my own.
“Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it will be answered to you.”
Another think you can do is educate yourself by reading books. There is a wealth of information out there. Education should never end with high school or at college. As long as you are breathing, you should be learning. The most successful people read every single day. Life is about exploring. You should try to learn something new every single day. You will be surprised at all the things that you did not know you didn’t know.
Begin to view your life as a learning manual. You will be surprised by how many life’s answers are right in front of you. You could be continually missing opportunities that are right in front of you. If you feel like you are life is a rerun, and you keep bumping your head, it could be because you haven’t passed God’s “test”. I like to think God gives you life’s little tests that you must master before going further down the path to the destiny that he has planned for you. You can also educate yourself by having mentors, who can help guide you in the right direction. If you are not able to have a personal mentor you can learn from the people you see every day. We truly learn from the people we are around.
In life, I believe that we meet others for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Make sure the people you are around are building you up and not always taking from you or, tearing you down.
Try New Things
You might not think so, but what you do outside of work, affects your work. If you are happy outside of work, it will show up when you go to work. Avoid the boring, mundane life by trying new things. It will be hard at first, but you got to do something different to keep your life fresh and new.
I know firsthand how challenging it is to try new things. We are all creatures of habit and it can be hard to break out our comfort zone. Once I got out my comfort zone and explored new interests, I was amazed by how much I was missing out in life. It opened me up to whole new world. I learned so much and developed new friendships.
Not only do you learn new things, but you also build courage and confidence. The new person you become shows up at work, making you more interesting. You will be the person who have exciting new stories to share and you will be surprised by all the connections you will make along the way. So go and try out that Zumba class, climb that mountain or go bike riding. Go to places you have never been before. Each year, list a thing or two you would like to do and do it!!
“You can’t take care of others if your cup is dry.”
Get this through your head. “Pampering yourself isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.” You can’t expect to perform your best, if you are always on “E”. Just like a car, you need maintenance and fine tuning to work your best. Make it a priority to have downtime and quiet time for yourself. Go to the salon, get your hair done. Get a massage, a manicure or pedicure.
When you schedule in time for yourself, you feel good about yourself. You began to have a glow on your face that anyone can see as soon as you walk through the door.
Pampering yourself doesn’t have to be spending money at the spa. It can be just taking time for yourself. You can have time for yourself by reading, listening to music, gardening, or even taking a nice walk. You can even catch up on much needed rest without feeling guilty. Pampering yourself could also include disengaging yourself from others so you will be able to quiet your mind. It could be a time to get connected spiritually.