Some people search elusively for happiness, always imagining that there is something better elsewhere. Sadly, they miss out on a lot of joy because of it. Life is never going to be “perfect” and while I do encourage people to dream big and pursue their dreams, the journey is just as important as the destination. After all, you never really know what’s round the corner.
I dated a guy once who was obsessed with collecting memorabilia. While he did have some interesting and valuable items, he spent most of his time and energy searching for the next thing. After a few months I realized that he spent hours upon hours scouring the internet and talking on the phone making deals with people to buy and sell things. He was addicted to the thrill of novelty and the idea that what he already had wasn’t enough. It was exhausting.
It is so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have or what we are not. That “if only I lost 20lb, I’d be happy” mentality. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t be happy right now, exactly how you are, in the middle of whatever crap you are going through. And yes, it might be a terrible time but there is always a bright side to everything. Ironically, the more accepting you are of yourself, the easier it will be to actually lose that extra weight or achieve those fitness goals of yours.
1. Say thank you regularly. I keep a gratitude list on my phone. When I am waiting for the bus, I am reminded of all of the things (and people) that are wonderful in my life rather than focusing on what I don’t have (like a car).
2. Do activity that makes your heart smile. Yesterday I was talking with my sister and she mentioned how important play is in her life. I completely agree with her. Stop taking fitness so seriously and be active because it is fun! Do Zumba, take a dance class, learn a new sport, play soccer…run with the sunrise, jump in a lake, have a paddleboard race in the ocean, or go snowshoeing. There is so much more to fitness than just lifting weights and “doing cardio” in a gym.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. Attitudes are contagious so be selective about the people you spend your time with. Who inspires you and encourages you to be your best? And on the flip side, what messages are you sending out into the world? How can you be more positive?
Lastly, it’s okay not to be happy all the time. There will be workouts that suck or days when nothing seems to go right. The key is to try to be aware of your reaction to these things, accept them, and move forward.