Thursday, March 18, 2010

Secrets to a Happy and Motivated Life by Dr.Annette Colby

Whether you want to lose weight, end emotional eating, overcome stress, or move beyond sadness and depression, creating any major change in your life can create feelings of discomfort. You are here, and you want to be there. As enticing as the outcome of your goal appears, you cannot instantly jump into a happy, motivation filled life.

Instead, achieving happiness and success means that you have to venture out of your comfort zone into an unknown journey. On your path between here and there, you will most likely face many obstacles, experience setbacks and failures, feel emotions you don't want to feel, and discover you must learn strange new ways of thinking, acting, and behaving if you want to reach your outcome.

One-step at a time you walk across the middle ground between where you were and where you are going. This middle ground tends to feel shaky and unknown. You may stumble along with unsure footing wondering if you will ever feel confident again. One of the secrets of achieving a happy outcome requires acknowledging and understanding that the changes you are asking yourself to make will be uncomfortable. Your success rests on planning ahead to give yourself the tools and support you need to make yourself feel safe even in the midst of change and uncertainty.

The following strategies are designed to help you find that trust and self-assuredness when you are in the midst of creating your happy and motivated life.

Acceptance of Your Journey

Whenever you are feeling uncertain, stop and take a moment to breathe deeply. Take several deep, slow breaths. When you breathe, you allow yourself to come back to center and your inner resourcefulness. From center, you can regain your larger perspective about the importance of the changes you want to make. You can remind yourself that you are in transition because you made the conscious choice to experience more happiness. You are not a victim of this change, and no one forced you into this decision. Although your journey from here to there may not be an easy journey, remind yourself that the joy and success you want to experience is important to you.

It's Okay to Fall, But Get Back Up Again

When you are walking across the transitional middle ground between where you were and where you want to go, there will be times when you may feel uncertain and doubtful about your ability to have what you want. Perhaps you encounter a roadblock or obstacle, or perhaps the amount of effort you must put forth on a daily basis was more than you bargained for. You will consider quitting. The question becomes, when you want to quit, will you curl up, tell yourself you can't have what you want, or desperately pray that someone comes along to rescue you? Or are you going to gather up all your courage and find some way to gain motivation move forward once again? It's okay to stumble and fall, we all do it at one time or another. It is even okay to lie in the dirt for a while. What is important is that you remember that you are still on your path, still facing forward, and you can still have what you want. What is the one step you can take right now that will serve to raise your level of motivation higher?

Choose Faith

Have you ever heard the expression, "Feed your faith, not your fears." I love how this phrase can boil down a complicated situation into a very simple choice. Use this phrase to perform a reality check on yourself. When you feel doubt or fear, are your thoughts and actions helping to build your self-confidence that you can have what you want, are they causing you to go further down a dark spiral of negativity and despair? The issue is not whether or not you will experience fear. Fear is a natural by-product of going on your goal journey. The issue is how you will deal with fear when it shows up - will you feed faith or will you feed fear?

Get Support

Your journey between here and there is your own unique experience that you must navigate on your own. No one can take the journey for you, and no one can pick you up and drop you off on the other side. The journey itself is what offers the strengths, insights, wisdom, and joy that you are looking for. Therefore, you must walk our own path - but that doesn't mean you can't hold hands with some friends for a awhile. Meet with a nutrition therapist, life coach, friend, or advisor on a regular basis to keep you motivated. Your support people can help you though periods of self-doubt and instability and remind you that being able to feel more happy and motivated is what you want most.

Words Are Powerful

Be acutely aware of the words you use. Do the words you speak to yourself empower you or leave you feeling powerless? Are your thoughts self-supporting or self-defeating? Do you encourage yourself when things are going well and when things are difficult? Learning to motivate your self with positive, self-affirming, resourceful, and loving language is what allows you to feel happy and gain motivation to take each next step. Look into your own eyes in the mirror and speak kind, persuading words. It is up to you to provide the motivation you need to achieve success.

Take A Risk

Change requires you to move from your smaller, confined circle of comfort to one that is larger and more expansive. To achieve ultimate success, you will need to move beyond the edges of your comfort zone. Like Columbus sailing off to explore the edge of the ocean, you too are exploring unknown new territory. Allow yourself to be a beginner again - this is how you grow and transform. If you take a risk and fail, learn from the experience and adjust your actions. Just don't give up!

Create A Ritual to Honor the Change

Symbolically acknowledge your journey by creating a ritual to honor the growth and changes you have been making. A ritual can be anything metaphorical that has meaning to you. Perhaps it might be burying your scale, donating all your larger clothes, giving your diet books to the local library, a celebration of your journey with friends, or even listing all the things that have been holding you back on little strips of paper and burning them. Take some sort of physical action to acknowledge the path you are moving along. Doing this creates a deeper sense of meaning and importance to your daily actions, and raise your motivation level. You develop respect for the transition that you are engaged in. A ritual may help you close a door that you are ready to close.

Get a Transitional Object

Your ability to feel happy and keep motivated can also be increased when you carry a transitional object. Your transitional object can remind you of your successes so far, and keep your vision on your overall goal. The object could be something that reminds you of your journey, or it could be an item that provides comfort.

Link your sense of touch to the feeling of being happy or motivated. For example, think of how a toddler is able to comfort itself with a stuffed animal or blanket, or how rosary beads can help move thoughts back into love. Find your own transitional object that you can touch, stroke, or hold to remind you of the importance of your journey and provide you with motivation to continue forward. Below is a list transitional objects you could easily carry in your pocket or on your body:
Small smooth stone
Special necklace
Ring for your finger
Sea shell
Symbolic lapel pin

Your goals to end overeating, lose weight, overcome stress, or move beyond sadness and depression are important goals. Congratulations on your courage to move forward and make a better life for yourself. Use these tips and suggestions to keep yourself motivated, feeling happy about the changes you are making, and believing in yourself. Although your path may seem shaky at times, you truly can live the life of your dreams.

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5 Kids With Disabilities said...

Great suggestions on how to lead a happy life. If only everyone could practice them!

Happiness seeker/researcher/investigator said...

Lindsey, I know and understand that at times it is difficult to follow all the advice out there, but the key is take one simple step at a time.

It feels like a lot of work in the beginning, but once new neural pathways get formed, it gets easier .

I wish you all the best in your endeavours and look fwd to communicating with you further. Love and happiness/shveitta