It's exhausting, this constant pressure that exists in the "real world." We're making decisions today that outline the rest of our lives. The choices we make now help us discover who we are, what we want in life, where we live and what people we want to spend our time with. How do you know which path is best? The truth is, you don't.
Yes, it is that most wonderful time of the year. For many of us it is a time to connect with people we love and care about, and to take time to rest and rejuvenate before a new year begins. Sometimes, it is also a very stressful time of year. There are gifts to buy, cards to mail, and cookies to make -- and those things can take away from the positivity of the season.
Most people who follow these simple steps soon discover they can live on much less. They turn away from consumerism, and lead happier, more focussed lives. They stop being human doings and once again become human beings. Some even discover financial independence. Equally important, their impact on the planet is dramatically reduced. Win, win, win.
Contrary to popular belief, disliking your body does not encourage meaningful healthy lifestyle change. Many studies have shown that being ashamed or unhappy with your shape does little to encourage you to be more active or eat better. In fact, for some people, it can fuel unhealthy lifestyles and disordered eating such as binging.
This weekend I got rid of about 20 per cent of the crap in my closet. And it felt FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC. Included in the purge: every pair of high heels that hurts my feet, anything beige, a briefcase that I hate, and pretty lace underwear that I love but is TOO SMALL. Because, really, who needs a daily reminder that your ass used to be smaller?
We all make choices in our lives every day -- some big, some small. We need to decide where to live, who to date, what job to take, how to brand ourselves...and we often base these decisions on short-term gratifications like what makes us happy for the moment, what seems more exciting or what is most profitable at the time. But I believe the key to success is focusing on long-term LIFE goals instead.
I'm not under any false assumptions that our society's completely unrealistic, unproductive and unhealthy beauty standard will change anytime soon, but I do think that we can start by calling it something different in our own lives. We can change our script, our vocabulary, our vernacular; change our own points of view, if not that of others.
Every year, I don't run or bike for roughly a month. Transitioning back into in-season training initially seems impossible. I used to feel so frustrated and overwhelmed by how hard this transition was. Now I remind myself that after about two weeks working out, sleeping, eating well and getting regular massages, I will feel normal again.
If you're an average Canadian, you probably own a principal residence and have a few dollars invested or saved somewhere. If you have money invested in stocks, bonds or real estate, you may be concerned about losing your money. This is a reasonable thought; although, depending on what you're invested in, your concern (read: worry) is probably a waste of time.
One of the main reasons why, for instance, weight loss efforts fail to such a high degree is that dieters routinely start out with unrealistic expectations. They look at what's being presented to them by commercial weight loss programs or popular television shows and anticipate similarly spectacular outcomes in their own lives.
I declared that I would live only in the now for 30 days. This meant I could not think about the past or the future -- I would only focus on what was happening in the moment. Sounds easy, but what an awakening experience. If I started to think about how something went wrong in the past or worry about something in the future, I would stop myself and release the thought and get back to the present.