Swapping your closet can be exhausting, but going from summer to fall is one of the best times of the year. You get to do away with your flimsy, sticky tube tops that offer no support or protection and snuggle into cozy sweaters and things that make you feel warm and safe. And as an added bonus you never know what you’ll find from last year: a 20, your favorite lip gloss, an unopened lollipop, or a list of goals you made last fall.
My plan with this list was to discover characteristics within myself that I wanted to improve, work on these individually for 30 days (according to science, it takes 30 consecutive days to form a habit) each and discover an improved version of myself in about months. The reality was that I lost the list in my move to Portland and forgot all about my self-improvement goals. But it’s never too late to start again so now I’m sharing my list with you.
“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Buddhist Proverb
We all complain. Even if you argue that you are the happiest person in the world, you still complain sometimes. Sometimes we complain without even realizing it, but rarely is it ever helpful. Instead of complaining I will…
- change the way I think about situations by seeing the positive instead of the negative.
- practice yoga in order to become more mindful.
- train myself to be less judgmental.
- keep a list of things I am grateful for.
- avoid fueling other people who are on the complain train by changing the subject or asking them to stop.
- accept the situation or change the situation.
- do more of what makes me happy and fulfilled and less of what makes me complain.
- take care of myself so I am better equipped to handle difficult situations.
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
~ Henry James
Kindness is one of the simplest thing to give to another person, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and forget about it. Or maybe we don’t know how to be kind:
- Express gratitude to the people around you for things they do.
- Replace judgement with understanding.
- Replace un-constructive criticism with encouragement and constructive criticism.
- Just be there for someone – listen, hug, sit with them.
- Offer to help someone practically with a household chore, when they’re moving, or when they’re carrying something heavy.
- Remember the little things: little notes, letting someone merge into your lane while driving, holding the door for someone, helping someone with directions if they seem lost, a surprise gift.
- Be kinder towards yourself.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
~ Anne Frank
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day to day life but it’s important to remember the less fortunate. I cannot volunteer every day for 21 days but my goal is to volunteer with an organization I feel passionate about once a week and for the remaining days be mindful of the important people in my life and think about how I can be there for them.
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
~ Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon: you have a deadline but instead are squandering your precious time on social media and cat videos. Break the cycle and get s**t done:
- Organize your tasks into smaller steps that are more easily managed.
- Change your environment to be more productive.
- Create a detailed timeline with deadlines for each task to be completed by.
- Eliminate the temptation of your favorite procrastination.
- Surround yourself with inspiring people who take action.
- Inform others of your goals, they are bound to ask about your progress when they see you.
- Get advice from those who have already achieved their goals.
- Revisit your goals to be sure they are still what you want.
- Don’t make it complicated, there is no perfect time to do something.
- Just do it – strategizing, planning and hypothesizing should not become your newest form of procrastination.
“Acceptance is such an important commodity, some have called it the first law of personal growth.”
~ Peter McWilliams
In dealing with situation and other people’s actions, we have 3 options: cut them out of our life, be frustrated or accept and embrace it. The only empowering option is acceptance. Why?
- Life is too short for frustration.
- You are forced to find the good.
- It creates realistic expectations for the future.
- You likely do things that are just as frustrating.
- It strengthens your relationships.
“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.”
~ Robin S. Sharma
Your comfort zone may make you feel snug and safe but the boundaries leave little room for personal growth. Over time this once protective blanket may feel more like a straight jacket trapping you with boredom and fear. Stretch your zone a little and invite a little excitement and adventure in.
- Make a fool out of yourself without fear of what others think.
- Try something new, the worst that can happen is you fail.
- Take a minute to discover some of the subtle fears that plague you every day and face them.
- Become comfortable taking risks (not to be confused with being reckless). Your comfort zone is predictable to stretch it you have to do the unexpected.
- Find comfort in the unknown.
What’s on your list?